Archive | March, 2012

Paint Chip Art

30 Mar

I love cheap art, but I REALLY love free art!  I am always seeing all the crazy paint chip ideas on Pinterest.  Most of them are wallpapering an entire area with paint chips, or some sort of mosaic with paint chips.  A little too overzealous for my tastes, and I would NEVER be able to score that many paint chips in one day!

The other day I was at Home Depot waiting for my paint to be mixed and stumbled upon these really cute leaf shaped paint chips in various nature inspired colors.  I was instantly drawn to them and snatched up as many as I could without taking them all.  Being that they are there for people to decide on a paint color, not wallpaper with!

After laying them out is several different shapes and patterns, I decided that a flower-ish shape would be cool with nature tones and leaf shapes.  They even had this cute little punch out in one corner that was a tiny little leaf!  These were totally made to be used as a craft project, not just home color choices!

I layered them and glued them to a simple piece of cardboard from my recycle bin (where I find so many of my craft supplies these days!) When it was dry, I super glued a hanger to the back and hung it on the wall in my living room.  Free art!


My New Kitchen

30 Mar

Not actually “new”, but we just painted it and I’m pretty darn excited about it!  Previously, the dining room was a pumpkin/squash type color that we loved for years.  Notice the marks on the wall behind  my boys?  Those are from YEARS of children (ok, and adults) dragging their chairs across the wall.  We needed to repaint anyway, so why not go for a new look?  Maybe something a little less in-your-face that our pumpkin?  The color that my step dad has always described as “kitty puke orange”.  Gee thanks.

The kitchen was kind of an after thought.  I remained white until about 3 yrs ago when a friend of mine bought a house and bought 2 different colors for her kitchen, kept one and gave me the other.  I decided to paint the kitchen that color.  I have no clue what it was called, something spice I think.  Well, after forcing Handy Hubby to paint the kitchen (he’s so obedient) I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I HATED the color!  So we left it, until now when I was finally able to admit that I’ve never liked the color.  He laughed, saying he never liked it either!  So for 3 years we both suffered daily via paint color remorse in vein!

Yup, 3 years we both bit our tongues, and I can only assume so did every person  who EVER came into our house, because that is one hideous color! Our cabinets get lost in the dark orange!  And they are very nice cabinets, they should not play second fiddle to ugly!

So without further ado . . . drumroll please . . . our NEW and much improved dining room and kitchen!

There is still a chair rail that needs to go up at the top of the stripes.  This should alleviate the need for necks to be wrung every time a chair bumps the wall!  Handy Hubby accidentally backed into my freshly painted wall tonight at supper and took a chunk out of beautiful handy work.  I nearly beat him over the head with my plate!

So now we have a totally new living room-hardwood replaced the nasty crapet (yes, CRAPET) a new sofa and live seat, a lovely new area rug and new curtains.

The kitchen and dining room have new tile floors and wonderful new and eye-assault-free paint!  Yay!




The finished product, FINALLY!

TP Tube Art

27 Mar

If you hit Pinterest, you can find any number of cool toilet paper tube projects.  I may need a pin board specifically for all the cool ideas and projects using TP tubes!  I tried my hand at some TP art that, when spray painted, looks like wrought iron.  It actually turned out pretty cool!  I made it on a small scale to test it out and I must say, it’s not bad.

You need a lot of TP tubes.  I saved them for quite a while, but my family goes through a great deal of TP, especially with 2 small boys who use WAY to much TP!

You need to cut strips, so cutting the tube down the long way, then cutting thin strips is the best way to start.  I also cut quite a few the short way, leaving them connected around.  If you let them bend a bit they take on the shape of a flower petal, making it very easy to do a floral design.

I curled the ends of a few of the long strips around a pencil so that it would take on the look of a curly iron piece.

Aside from these tips, you really just need to play around.  Let it out before you glue it, and your best bet is to use a glue gun.  Once it’s all glued and dry, blast it with a hot hair dryer to melt away all the glue strings.  Then spray paint it black, white, gray, hot pink . . .whatever you like.



















It’s a little crooked, I admit it.  But not too shabby for my first try!


Indoor Campfire

26 Mar

Friday night my boys wanted to have a sleepover in Big A’s room.  Since he has a loft bed I didn’t want to let Little C sleep up there with his brother.  I decided to let them have a camp out, my only solution to the conundrum of them being in a room with a 5 foot tall bed.  I rolled out the sleeping bags, hung a “tent” from the window and bed, and made them a pretend fire!  How do you make a pretend fire?  Well I’m glad you asked!

I took a piece of cardboard from the recycle bin and outlined the edges of it with the round bottom of an egg carton, cutting the “egg shaped” out of the bottom so that when they were glued hole-side-down to the card board it looked like the little rocks around the edge of a fire pit.

I took some toilet paper rolls (which I’ve been stock piling for TP roll crafts) and stacked them this way and that like logs, hot gluing them to the cardboard and each other.

I cut some orange and yellow construction paper into little flames and glued them to the rolls.

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The boys couldn’t find any marshmellows to “roast” so they ate ice cream and “warmed” water over the fire!  Goofy kids!


DIY Bedside Table

25 Mar

You know those ugly wooden bed tables that you buy for $10 and then throw a skirt over?  The round ones that you HAVE to keep covered because otherwise they are just a hunk of wood on peg legs?  We had 2 of them, one on each side of the bed.  I always hated them, but never felt like spending the money to buy something I actually liked.

One day, bored, I decided to spray paint one of them black.  Looked ok, but it was still just a round table on peg legs.  So I cut it in half.  Now, I have to admit I am a huge fan on the saws-all.  Once we bought a new desk and I cut the old one in half just for the hell of it!  A little bit crazy, I guess.

So once thew table was painted and cut in half, I had this kick ass idea to mount them on the wall on the bedsides.  They look so cool now, custom bedside tables!

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You may recognize the artwork over the tables as well, some more of my $0.35 art!  (that’s right, mounted scrapbook paper!)

All Aboard!

22 Mar

Big A’s school has an interest fair today, and for weeks he’s been working very hard on his train display.  Big A is a HUGE train fanatic, and very detail oriented.  We brought it to school today and spent 45 minutes getting it all set up.  His project is the largest, and the coolest!  (I’m not biased at all or anything)

Handy Hubby and I helped a little, but Big A did the majority of the work.  So even though this isn’t something I made, I am so pround and had to show it off!  The award ceremony is tonight and I am sure he will get a ribbon!  He better!

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Wish my little man luck with the award ceremony tonight!

Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden’s BEST Soup)

21 Mar

I LOVE soup.  Homemade soup especially, because it’s so much cheaper than eating out and canned soup lacks flavor and has too much sodium.  My all time favorite restaurant soup is Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.  Well my friends, if this is your favorite too, then I am about to make your day!  I hold, in my lap top, the recipe for that very soup!  And let me tell you, it tastes REALLY flipping flapping good!  It’s pretty easy to make, takes a little time with the chopping but it’s sooooo worth it!

Make this classic sausage, potato, and kale soup at home.
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 large russet baking potatoes sliced in half and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1/2 can. Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits (these are less fatty than real bacon)
  • 2 cloves garlic,  minced
  • 2 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Cook sausage in a 300-degree oven for approximately 1/2 hour; drain on paper towels and cut into slices.

Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, and garlic in a pot and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat; add kale, cream, and water (optional).  Heat thoroughly and serve.