Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Etsy Love - Valentine's Day Cards


I have not done one of these in a very long time, but I've been thinking about getting back to some Etsy Love for a while, and today I'm taking the plunge. Believe it or not, Valentine's Day is in two point five weeks. I haven't really given it any thought, but I know there are people out there who are way more on top of these things than I am. Here are some fun cards I found for some of my favorite girlfriends.

Oh, Friends, I love you and miss you. Claire, you're still the one. 

Mallory, I know you're married and all now, but, well, this just seems like you.

Emily & Wintana, this one seems appropriately nerdy. and nice. 

Bobbie, this one won Most Creative, i.e. not using "ewe."

As for Mr Official Taster, well, he'd probably get something like this if I didn't make him one

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekend Reading

Birthday flowers

Happy Sunday, all! This week started with my birthday and is ending tonight with an-unrelated-to-my-birthday pizza party. I know, that makes it sound like a bunch of twelve-year-olds, quarters, and prize tickets, but I can't figure out any other way to say it. It sounds silly to say we're going out to dinner, when, really, we're getting pizza and beer with eleven or twelve closer-to-thirty-than-twelve-year-olds.

Below I've got my usual round up of interesting (to me, anyway) links. Anything you'd like to add? Any pizza or slumber party plans in your future?

Homemade dulce de leche. Need I say more? I received a jar of some made with buffalo milk that I have yet to crack open, mostly because I have issues with wanting to save special things until I figure out the "perfect" use or time, but I've been thinking hard about starting with putting it on a spoon. 

My mom always kept our house less warm than I wanted in the winter, though my friend's decision to keep her home a bracing 55F makes mom's 67F sound tropical. Turns out, being less warm than we'd like is good for our figure.

Earlier this week, I showed you how I painted a door mat for a custom look.

Do you make your own salads at a price per pound salad bar? Someone took the time to figure out what ingredients to choose to keep it light and less expensive, but still filling.

If you gave up booze for January, you'll be glad to know it really does have health benefits.

Again and again, Americans get all freaked out about reversing gender roles. Can we please give Wendy Davis a break? She should be celebrated as a role model, not vilified for going to college/earning money/being a single mom, sometimes/working toward her goals. 

How to make salt preserved lemons. Sounds great, I just need to figure out how to use them. Any suggestions?

Are you on Pinterest? I'd like to suggest you check out two of my boards - Valentine Fun because that's right around the corner, and with silverbells and cockleshells and marigolds all in a row if you need some daydream material

What a great idea for a program- using sport hunters' spoils to supplement local food banks, etc.

An app to to help you design your home. iPad only, but you can virtually decorate and redecorate to your heart's content.

Do you still drink soda? You may want to read about it being a possible carcinogen.

This scallion pancake challah sounds divine.

Another article about the dangers of sitting around at home. This time, it's all about the link between heart failure and sitting.

Finally, I shared this on Facebook earlier this week, but I think it's worth spreading the work. You can now use LinkedIn to post for and search for volunteer opportunities. What a great way of matching people, skills, and need.

Looking for more good reads? Check out all my other Weekend Reading posts here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Spray Paint a Doormat

homemade spray painted doormat

This was one of those posts that was supposed to be up last month, but since I didn't get it up then, you get it now. I was originally inspired by Young House Love to create my own winter/Christmas doormat for our new home. I wanted a bright red mat that spelled out "JOY." But you know what I learned? Js are really, really hard to make with painters' tape. So I went simpler, and I've still been happy with it. There's probably a lesson in there.

And although this was supposed to be a Christmas post, the you can use this technique to make a door mat for any season or event you'd like (or even no occasion). Add stems and a few leaves and this snowflake design turns into flowers. I think you could make firework-like bursts for the summer holidays or a sun. Birthday candles or a menorah would be pretty simple, and, excluding tricky letters like "J," spell out names, make a monogram, or try simple words. think: love, fall, boo. Stripes, chevrons, squares, crisscrossed lines/grid are easy straight-line designs. Of course, you could be fancier than painters tape and buy or make a stencil for more elaborate (or, ahem, curved) designs, letters, or even house numbers.

step one

And it's easy. Get your spray paint. Make sure it's a good quality (not the $2 can please) and be sure it is for indoor and outdoor use. Otherwise it won't hold up. I used Rustoleum. Start with a blank mat. I picked mine up at IKEA, but they have similar ones at home improvements stores, as well as places like Target or Home Goods. On a dry, non-windy day (double check your paint can for temperature requirements), spread your mat out on a surface you don't mind getting paint on (like a lawn) or protect your work area with craft paper or newspaper.

step two of how to spray paint an IKEA doormat

If you're using two different colors, spray your "under" color (in my case white) evenly over the entire surface. It will take you a few passes to make sure you have even coverage. Take your time, but don't worry if it's not perfect.

of how to spray paint a door mat

Follow the directions on your spray paint for drying time. I waited a full 24 hours. Tape off your design. I just eyeballed it and tried to make all my snowflakes a little bit different and all slightly different sizes. Remember, the parts you are taping will remain the under color. Be sure to press firmly, especially around the edges for crisp lines.

step four: completed door mat

Spray on your top coat. Again, go for even coverage. It's better to go light and have to go over the area another time or two than just pour on the paint. Wait for the paint to fully dry (I waited another 24 hours). Remove painters tape and enjoy!

DIY spray painted door mat

Since we don't have winter weather here in sunny California, my mat didn't have to hold up to rain or snow, but according to Sherry and John, theirs did.

spray paint your doormat

Have you ever made one of these? What design did you create and how did it hold up?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hello again & Weekend Reading

Christmas morning

Hi there. It's been a while. Sorry about that. December was hard and then I got sick. Everything's fine, no panicking (Mom, stop fussing, I'm fine), but the worst cold I've had in recent memory just knocked me over right after Christmas and I'm just now starting to feel like a normal human being. I even called out of work more than once, and I spent days alternately sleeping for twelve hours and laying on the couch. But the worst is behind me, I only have cough remnants, and my brain doesn't feel like dryer lint.

So hi. How's it going? What's new out there? I have some posts coming up that I really planned on sharing with you about a month ago, but, well, see above. Anywho, now that I've got my brain back, I've pulled together a list of interesting links from around the interwebs. Please share additional links in the comments!

Interesting article about a series of articles taking a fresh look at GMOs.

Are you a girl who reads? Check out this poet's ode to us. It's kind of awesome.

Cinnamon is known to help lower blood sugar, but apparently one variety is better than the rest

A worrisome and somewhat frightening look at Chinese-grown crops.

One anchor woman's retort to a bully. It's worth watching to see her stand up for herself and for lots of others

Need daydreaming material? Pretty pictures and temptation from The New York Times' list of 52 places to travel this year

Downton Abby returned this week! Take a quiz to see which character you are. I got Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, how about you?

Looking for a new book? Here's a list of 16 books to read before the movie versions appear in theaters this year. I'm not sure I can see The Giver as a movie, though.

Looking for more good reads? Check out all my other Weekend Reading posts here.
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