Dollar General Crafternoon

Dollar General Crafternoon

Hello there!

I’ve been busy crafting and just couldn’t wait to post this!  My college bestie, Chris, was in from Colorado last week.  He, Jim, and I got bored….like we do…and decided a challenge was in order.

During last years visit, we had a Project Funway Challenge which involved a $20 budget, Good Will (don’t judge), and an outfit refashion.  We had to walk a runway and wear what we made out to a local lounge.  It was a great time.

Soooo, we decided that we would try a different kind of challenge this time. We have since moved to our fabulous remote country home, so supplies were limited.   The nearest store happens to be a Dollar General, so we agreed on a $10 budget and 10 minutes to select our crafting materials.

This is what I chose:

Dollar General Crafts

DG Ellie’s Supplies


Chris was kind enough to buy a bottle of wine with his funds, so he was already at a disadvantage. Jim was under budget and let me have .50, since I was over.  We all agreed there would be no penalty – because wine.

Okay with that out-of-the-way, let’s get on with the crafts!

I was going for an Easter wreath, but I was under pressure and realized that i wouldn’t have enough flowers to make a wreath once I got home.  We were allowed to use materials on hand, so I raided the craft cottage to find some paint, brushes, ribbon, moss and old candle stands.

I used a couple of blue paints to paint the foam eggs. (don’t use spray paint on foam!) I dabbed my brush into some watered down brown paint and splattered a bit of paint on the eggs for spots.

I put the moss into the glass and put that on top of the candle stand.  Borrowed some of Chris’ twine and called that craft done!  BTW, I got the moss and the paints at Dollar General on a different trip.

Dollar general crafts

Mercury Glass is quite the rage.  I bought the best, hear me, THE BEST chrome spray paint at the Dollar General a few weeks ago.  I used it along with a spray bottle of vinegar to make this:Dollat General Craft

It’s tricky to see in this image, but the glass in the back has mottling from the vinegar. It looks aged and kinda cool.  The crazy watering thingy was actually Chris’, but he had wine,  SO… I got to craft with it 😉


I put the lilies in a $1 pitcher I bought from a garage sale on my way to the Dollar General (true story). They’re a little  kitschy, but I bought them, so I used them.  Forgive me, but I think most Spring decorations are kitschy.


Well, there you have it!.  I haven’t used the wire wreath form, so I will be posting on that soon!

Any suggestions?  I’d love to hear from you!


Bathroom redo

The results are in and not a bit disappointing!  Our redesign on a dime bathroom really surpassed our expectations.

We started with this:

DSC_0163I seriously hope that the previous owners of this house never find my blog!  I am sure they were delightful people, but this is too much.  We had to take care of this and fast!

We started by removing the hideous carpet that was glued directly to the sub floor.  Years of yuck that we don’t need to discuss here, trust me.

We proceeded to get this nasty sink out of the house as quickly as possible. We are pretty handy recyclers but neither of us could think of a way that we could reuse this.  Not even fit for a chicken feeder or bird bath. Still, we’ve kept it.  Old habits die hard.

We saw a pinterest post about using plywood for flooring.  Seemed like a small risk and we reasoned that if it failed we could use the wood elsewhere.

We bought two sheets of plywood and Jim used his table saw to cut 3.5 inch strips. We sanded them and nailed them to the subfloor. plywood installed

We stained and let dry overnight and came back with a couple coats of polyurethane. The results were quite stunning.

Now the sink…I had this idea to use a vessel sink.  I have childhood memories of visiting a great-aunt in the country. She had a basin and a pitcher on a stand.  When we’d come in from playing in the sugar cane fields, and would take turns pouring water so we could wash up.

I found the sink and the pump faucet at a local chain,  but it was quite pricey.  A quick jaunt to Amazon and I found exactly what I needed at a fraction of the cost.  Bonus: they delivered it to my door!

I had a chest of drawers that I purchased at an antique store and thought It would be the perfect stand for our new sink. It was in poor shape, but has little key holes in all the drawers and would fit my theme nicely.

Jim cut out the top and arrange for the plumbing to fit nicely into newly cut drawers.  He managed to save most of the storage space and the drawers are all fully functioning.

After fresh paint on walls and moulding we are quite pleased with the results.  What do you think?

bathroom beforebathroom duringBathroom After

You can find the original inspiration post here!

Thanks for reading…as always  I welcome comments, thoughts, suggestions, or just say hi!


UFOs and other life lessons

UFOs- UnFinished Objects

I’m not gonna lie….I am kind of ready to say goodbye to 2015.  It has been a difficult year for a lot of my friends and has also brought on some life trajectory realignments for me.   I am grateful to be in our new home and have both my kids attending college, but there is a messy part of the year that has just hung on.

Okay, enough whining, the purpose of this post was to share my unfinished objects.  I’ve started far too many knitting projects and I can’t seem to finish a single one.  I mention this now because I think knitting style is directly related to how I live life.

I start a new project with excitement and all the hope for wonderful results and somewhere between the dropped stitch and lost pattern, I decide I should start something else. Maybe something less challenging, something that will travel well. Halfway through that boring project, I am sure I should start something more challenging and stretch my skill base. This accounts for most of my UFOs, but there are even more elusive types of objects. The never to be seen items. These are the half finished objects that get unraveled because they will never be good enough.

Now let’s take a deeper look at me.. eh, I mean at my knitting. Before I begin, I need yarn. Lots of yarn!  The dye lots must match so I better buy an extra skein just in case.  Now that I have made this investment, I rethink the original design because I need to justify the cost of the project. This means that the original design should definitely be modified. I spend far too much time with pen and paper making calculations and changes. It gets late and the project sits. I’m afraid to ruin all this good yarn.

For those of you still with me, you may see there is a lesson here that is completely unrelated to knitting. I feel I have to get out of my head.  I have to stop planning and preparing. I have to start doing! I need to focus and finish. I’m stressed just thinking about it!

There was a time when I’d say knitting was like meditation, but now it seems to be calling me to action.  I have prepared the yarn and modified the plan.  I know exactly what I want my “project” to look like.  I have the skills to do it.  I just need to act without fear that it might unravel.

My Greatest UFO is not a knitting project.  It is a dream that was spun from the deepest part of my imagination.  I have spent hours designing it in my mind and now I just have to Start. I have to cast one stitch at a time. I have to mind the task and see it to fruition and know that It’ll be alright.

I am not ready to share My greatest UFO just yet, but I will share what’s on my needles at the moment for those of you who were interested in knitting after all.



More kitchen updates….

I am really excited about how our Farmhouse kitchen is coming together.  The fact is, some of the items are original to the house and date back to the early 1900s.  This provides a certain authenticity that I don’t want to water down with NEW fixtures.  The original owners of the house took a ’50s Diner approach to design.  This, though it had it’s charm, is not what I wanted.



The most dated elements include the countertops and floors, which we’ve decided will have to wait for an overhaul.

Light fixtures were also on the list to replace and though they are less of an expense, I decided we should try make our own rustic version of a fixture I saw at Lowe’s .

I knew I wanted something with an Edison type bulb, wire and an old finish.

Found at Lowe's. Forgive the terrible picture.

Inspiration Light fixture from Lowe’s

We played around with different wire frames until I remembered the old lampshade I found in the burn pit (yes, the previous owners left behind a lot of stuff in a burn pit).

I knew when I found it a months ago that  I would do something with it. It looked kinda steampunkish and I just couldn’t throw it out. Am I ever glad I held on to it!

I thought we could use the chicken wire left over from this project to complete this project.

So, I shared my crazy idea with Jim and as usual, he was more than happy to give it a shot.

We needed a light kit and we found the perfect color at Lowe’s

Simple light kit from Lowe's

Simple light kit from Lowe’s

we cleaned up the rusty frame…

Rusty old lamp shade frame.

Rusty old lamp shade frame.







then added  a little chicken wire and…Viola!

We're getting closer!

We’re getting closer!

We have an awesome new Farmhouse light fixture.

The best part is it only cost us $15 for the light kit.

The final pictures are coming soon! Jim is working on a butcher block cart that will really make the kitchen Farmhouse worthy.  I’ll upload the finished look soon.

Redemption Fairy

Redemption from the Graphics Fairy…

After the major failure I had over the weekend, I needed  to have a success.  That success came quickly and surpassed even my wildest imagination.

After re-painting the Painting NIghtmare I decided a quick and painless project was in order.  I raced to my Pinterest Boards and found a couple of crafts that I had pinned months ago, but never got around to starting.

I figured something to compliment the Farmhouse kitchen would be my best bet, so I flew over to the graphicsfairy and snagged up a couple of images to print.  What could be easier?  Really!

This French rooster is just a quick print and frame job.  Literally took me 2 minutes to complete.  This is super quick and inexpensive especially when you remember to shop here.

Quick and inexpensive Crafts.

Quick and inexpensive decor.

Here is another example of a quick to print decor.

Looks as good as printed canvas.

Looks as good as printed canvas.

And lastly, I found these terra cotta pots for a couple of dollars at Lowe’s and decided to try using Modge Podge to adhere the ink from a couple of prints.  These were printed on my HP printer on regular paper.

I started by using some white paint and dabbed it on lightly for an antique finish. I painted the ink side of the print with a coat of Modge Podge and glued it ,image side down, to the pot.

Hint:  Remember to reverse the image if necessary.

I used an embossing gun instead of waiting overnight for it to dry.  I ran it under cool water and brushed gently with a small paint brush until the paper washed away revealing the image underneath.  Tada!

Farm house pots for the kitchen.

Farm house pots for the kitchen.

jardin pot

The kitchen is really coming together.  Though we can’t redo the entire kitchen, this is a step in the right direction.


Kitchen Redon’t

The original title for this post was Kitchen Redo, but as you have guessed, it was a major bust.

First, let me say that the kitchen is in major need of an over haul.  We have pink walls for crying out loud!! The reality is, my budget was $250 and that’s several thousand dollars less than needed for a complete redo.

We found a $9 can of paint at the oops department at Lowe’s. The color was close enough to what we needed so we snagged it right up.

We spent the rest of our budget on supplies and new hardware.

The drive to the nearest store is 30 minutes and I had forgotten my list so I was going on memory.  I managed to forget the supplies for the hoop house ( see accidental garden). I was pretty bummed but decided all was not lost since I would have a freshly painted kitchen by noon and could decorate and blog about my awesome success.

Instead, at about noon, I realized that the paint we bought was looking kinda dingy.  What’s a girl to do but add another coat? So that’s exactly what I did.  It was well into the third coat that I realized that the hideous pink paint was oil based.  All of our hard work was peeling right off the walls!

Did I mention we have bead board walls?  Every line has to be painstakingly removed. I could’ve cried.

So here we are at 10 o’clock on Halloween night with pink peeling walls.

Be sure to avoid THIS big mistake!

Be sure to avoid THIS big mistake!

Not exactly terrifying, but crappy luck for sure. So there you go.  My reason for posting is that I have a self imposed 21-day blog post challenge and I can’t fail.

If you are still reading, I thank you for sticking with it.  Hope I’ll have better news for tomorrow’s post.


It’s my Beeswax

It’s not exactly My Beeswax, but I am using what I have available to make a few very easy and inexpensive salves and ointments.

If you saw my recent post on our Chicken tractor you would be familiar with this book.  We used plans to make a chicken tractor and eventually I would love to make the Top bar beehive using the same book for inspiration.

My bee mentor uses Langstroth hives and tried hard to encourage me to use the same, but I’m not really interested in selling honey.  I really don’t think Jim and I would have use for so much.  I’d much prefer to have a larger supply of beeswax.  Using the Top bar hive requires that the bees build their own comb from scratch.  This takes the energy from honey making that the Langstroth bees don’t expend because of the pre-made cells in the frames they use.

Either way, beekeeping can be a costly hobby.  I’m going to try to save some money by making my own beehive (ahem, having Jim make beehive). I’ll also save by making my own salves, deodorants and lotions.

My goal is to harvest the wax for salves like the simple one I made in 15 minutes today.

DIY beeswax salve

DIY beeswax salve

Here’s how I did it:


Coconut Oil
Essential oils


Put 1 tbsp coconut oil in small glass jar and 1/4 Cup of beeswax chips.  Melt in microwave until all the beeswax is melted.   Add the essential oils to suit your needs.

Here is what I used:

10 drops of Lavender- for sleeplessness
10 drops Geranium and 5 drops Bergamot and 5 drops lavender – insect repellent


This is not intended as medical advice.  Although essential oils are routinely used without side effects, please be aware that there may some contraindications based on your own medical history.  Please do your due diligence before following these or any DIY recipes.


Fall Wreath in 15 Minutes

Fall Wreath

Make this simple burlap wreath in just minutes. Use coordinating fabric to change the look as often as you like.


1- 24 inch Wire Wreath form

2.5 – 8 inch natural burlap

Wreath 1 - CopyWreath 2 - Copy

I bought my materials at Hobby Lobby, but any form and burlap will do the job. Wreath 3 - Copy I secured the end by folding and weaving it in to the form.  You could use hot glue if it is not staying in place.  I didn’t have any problem getting it to stay.

Work the burlap evenly through the gaps in the form as illustrated above. Note I am working from the inside out in this picture.

Wreath 4

Twist tightly and go the other direction.




Working from from the outside in, in this case.    Twist at the other end and continue. Wreath 5

Continue in this manner until the form is completely covered.

That’s all there is to it! Simple right?  I love this project because I can change it to match the seasons.  I could add fall foliage and pine cones for fall then add a turkey for Thanksgiving.  A bow to match my curtains and it works all year round!

What do you think? What kind of wreath decorations would you suggest?


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Menus, Magnets and Misfortune…


Hey all!  I thought I would share a quick tutorial on this super easy, but very handy menu craft.

First, a confession…I have known that I spend waaay to much money eating out.  I work full-time and generally eat out just to get away from my desk at lunch.  Come dinner time, my husband and I are just too exhausted to think about dinner plans.  I usually get home to hungry eyes and just order pizza, or Chinese. If I’m really feeling festive, we go to our favorite Mexican Restaurant located very conveniently within walking distance (to be clear, I’m not suggesting that I have ever walked there. I’m exhausted remember?)   Now, I will admit that I have been aware of this for some time and made great efforts to plan better.  I’ll spend a small fortune on groceries every weekend, just to make myself feel like I’m eating healthy.  Truth is, the garbage or the chickens enjoy much of this, since it is generally beyond its prime by the time I remember that I have it.  {Hello, black and mushy avocado} Herein lies the problem. I have an expanding waistband and a shrinking bank account.    I needed a solution.

The menu craft.

I was first inspired when I saw this awesome post. My brain is usually a foggy mess when I get home.  I generally forget what my awesome plans were.  You know, way back on Sunday, when I cared and did all the grocery shopping.  So, my solution was to make AND USE this awesome new tool. (I took some liberties and added magnets-my husband gave me some supercharged ones to replace the wimpier easy to handle one pictured here…I’ll get to those in a minute.)

Let’s get started.



Once you’ve gathered your supplies.  You just insert the paper into the frame and glue magnets to the back.  Sounds easy right?  Well it is, unless…..

Unless, the magnets of misfortune turn on you and refuse to separate, so you use the sharpest thing near you to pry them open, which just happens to be a pair of very sharp scissors who then try to kill you because they are being controlled by these demon magnets.

I wasn’t going down like that! I have conquered bigger adversaries! So with minimal damage to my ego and fingers I finally got those little monsters apart and continued to use the PERMANENT marker to write in the title and days of week.   (I decided to do this until I have time to pull out my Cricut and make vinyl letters).



l really like the finished product (even with my uneven handwriting..thanks Merlot!).  I am really hoping that this will help us to keep our budget in mind and eat at home more often.  Another bonus: I love that I can change the scrap paper to match my mood or the season.  What do you think? Menu CraftI hope you have enjoyed this quick tutorial.  I will update when I get the Cricut cranking.  Until then, happy crafting!



Easy DIY- Journal

Up-cycled journal instructions

This Valentine Journal is a great personalized gift.  They come together quickly and require minimal supplies. Really, most people have all the necessary items on hand.

Let’s get started…


  • cardboard scraps (this example is a corrugated scrap I had lying about).
  • scrapbook paper of your choice.  (you could use comics or print a design).
  • Adhesive  of your choice
  • regular printer paper
  • heavy duty thread
  • needle
  • awl
  • binder clips

Binding our paper

First, cut paper in half.


Now fold paper in half (do this 3-4 at a time).  It should look like this: DSC_0038

Use binder clips to hold paper in place while you punch holes with the awl. DSC_0040

or use one of these for speedier results 😉


Punch three holes along the folded end. You can see the holes I drilled if you squint or grab a magnifying glass. Sorry :/  Use a bit of thread to secure the papers together by sewing in and out of the holes. Bind tightly.

Next, you will place a generous amount of glue along the folded ends.  Set aside to dry while we cut our cardboard to size.


Cutting and Covering the Covers and Spine

You will cut two covers. These are 4 3/4 X 6″.  Don’t forget the spine (not shown). The size of the spine should be the thickness of your bound paper (above). DSC_0034






Place your covers and spine onto the scrap paper. Give yourself an inch around on all sides.  Apply an even amount of glue to the underside of the covers and the spine.  Be sure not to put too much on otherwise it may wrinkle.  Press evenly on both sides and get rid of any bubbles or wrinkles before glue dries. (read: act quickly!)

After the cardboard is glued to the paper, glue down the corners like this:


Fold and glue the sides. It should look like this:


or this:


This is a good time to add trim to spine (if desired)DSC_0040

Now the fun part….Glue the bound paper inside of the covers.  Attach it directly to the spine pressing down firmly.  Use binder clips (I used cardboard scraps to prevent dents from the clip).  Now the hard part….wait…..keep waiting…just a few more minutes..resist the urge to open this up.  This should take 5 or so minutes to set, but may vary depending on the glue you used. (I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue)


You are almost there!  You may have noticed that the insides are still pretty icky. No worries, just cut some paper to fit and….


VOILA! You just made a book!  Add some decals or decorations for added  pizzazz. DSC_0043DSC_0044

Perfect for Valentine’s Day!DSC_0053  DSC_0056 DSC_0057


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Please leave comments below.



The Perfect Gift Box for your Valentine!



  • 2 sheets of regular card stockDSC_0038
  • Your favorite adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Bone folder (not pictured here)
  • Ruler (also not pictured here)

  Valentine Box Base:

Begin by measuring an equal distance on each side of the cardstock. In this case 2.5 inches. base

Valentine Box Top:

The top is just a smidge larger than the base. Topbox 

Score along these lines on both Top and Base.  (I normally would not draw the lines, but did for the purposes of this tutorial).


Clip the edges as shown here:  clips





Glue the edges as shown here:
glueboxI recommend you place glue on all corners before folding them together by matching ends like this: two side by side

fit That’s it!  In just a few minutes you have the perfect little Valentine Gift Box that can be dressed up anyway you’d like.






The possibilities really are endless!



Hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial.



Steampunk inspired corset and fascinator.

Steampunk corset and fascinatorGrommets and Lace

My first attempt at making a Steampunk corset turned out as nicely as I could’ve expected since I used only materials I had on hand.

The fabric was from an old bolt of leftover lining from my purse making days.  I have grommets that came with an old sewing kit I found at an estate sale.   The ribbon and lace were left over from who-knows-what-craft.  It was pretty old.  I thought it needed a little stability but didn’t have any boning material on hand so I cut up some old mini blinds that were in the garage.  I patterned it using an old vest that fit well.

Cardboard and Cogs

The next part of the look was created after I saw this tutorial. I used cardboard from a Coca Cola cardboard box.  I had feathers on hand ( who doesn’t?) and trimmed it with an old button.  Not too bad.  I cut a hole in the base to slide the headband in and Voila! I had a mini top hat.

Rock me mama like a spinning wheel…..

cropped-dsc_0056.jpgI continue to enjoy wonderful wheel upgrades.   First, I had the Tilly contraption; built by my Dear Husband using old bicycle parts and a music stand.  Then came the Ashford Kiwi, which was actually very nice to spin on, but not at all a joy to behold.   It was made of composite wood and was functional but not decorative.  Now, thanks to a keen and watchful eye, I am spinning on a lovely Frank Herring wheel straight from England!  The wheel is kinda art deco and not the standard pioneer type I’ve seen at most guild meetings, still, it was a wonderful steal and a dream to spin on.

Victory over Cricut!

We recently spent an entire weekend dusting off the old relic that is my Cricut. I bought this contraption in 2006 with all the hope and conviction of a newly rehabilitated procrastinator.  I would use it, I promised. Then after tearing through a few reams of card stock, I was done.  Finished. Bored.

Enter Christmas 2014,  I was itching to make something…anything.  I was sure that I could make something fantastic if only I had the right tools.  I thought about the Cricut occasionally, but was left wanting. It was so limited.  Then, I saw an amazing post on Pinterest. It detailed how I could turn any font into a design for Cricut.  My mind was blown.  The excitement was short lived when I learned about how Cricut had tried to put an end to this type of use  (they prefer we spend a large fortune on over priced cartridges).So my genius husband and I found a work around.  We modified the Cricut and now can do some pretty awesome crafts like these: