Most Extreme Restoration Challenge! Unicorn

DIY, Incentive, Inspiration, Nailed it
My husband and I were opening windows on our second floor because the air conditioner had gone out, when we found how badly this unicorn suncatcher had faded just hanging in a window.  As he really likes this one, I told him I could restore it for him.  Mind you, I wasn’t totally sure, but I hate to see him upset.  Fortunately, I used to do a lot of faux stained glass painting years ago, and I figured I could do that.  Almost immediately I thought of one of my favorite faux sports tv shows for the title of this one…Most Extreme Elimination Challenge!   [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up1K0dzwUJY[/youtube]   The first few steps were obvious: I had to remove the old paint and clean the glass.  The moment I started, the black…
Read More

Nailed It!–Nail Polish Pot Painting

Creative, DIY, Inspiration, Nailed it
Welcome to "Nailed It!": the article series where I find interesting crafter DIY ideas from the internet and try them out for you.  Then I judge it as either pass (Nailed It!) or fail (Screwed!).Today’s “Nailed It!” comes from the website Henry Happened Nail Polish Painting, an interesting blog by a former 9-to-5’er turned stay at home Mom with three children.  Her DIY’s are quite cute, matching the overall style of the site.  I happened on the one entitled “Nail Polish Marbled DIY Planters,” and thought I can do that too!  Hence, today’s “Nailed It!”  I read through the post, and there doesn’t seem to be that much to it. So I eagerly went to gather my supplies.*** WARNING!!! ***  I WILL be bashing nail polishes I purchased and hated. …
Read More

The Power of Positive Female Role Models

Arrangement, History, Inspiration, Uncategorized
I have been interested since - well since I was a girl - about role models for children that are women.  Not specifically for women, but that are women.  When I was younger (up even through high school) my personal was not a woman, but Jacques-Yves Cousteau.  In my opinion, he had the coolest job.  But I couldn't think of that many women that I wanted to emulate.  Oh sure, there were lots of ladies that people called role models, but after you strip away the ones that are just famous, how many are really good role models? As I got older, this became more of a burning question for me.  I don't have kids, but lots of my friends and family do, and they are growing up in a world where…
Read More

Nailed It! DIY Horns

Cosplay, Creative, Incentive, Inspiration, Nailed it, Time Management
Today’s Nailed It! comes from YouTube. This awesome idea with Cosplay potential is by KlairedeLysdotcom, and if you visit her YouTube channel you will be impressed with the beauty of her makeup tutorials and high quality of her photography.  This video has been on my to-do list for a long time, because if I could unlock how to make realistic horns that wouldn’t cause massive headaches when attached to a headband, my business would really start to take off during convention season.  So, I decided to take this on with my camera in my hand to see if it is as easy as Klaire makes it look. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9OBzrc0sVs[/youtube]     First off, I had to gather the materials.  On the video, Klaire mentions that she uses “Play-doh” to make the horn…
Read More

Nailed It! DIY Lace Masks

Creative, Inspiration, Time Management
Welcome to my new blog series, where I will try supposedly simple, pretty, and fun DIY tutorials across the internet.  I will show you -  the reader – the fruits of my efforts, and will let you know if they are as they seem to be. My first installment is a DIY that I have been wanting to do for a while now: Lace masks.         These appear to be lightweight – many are attached with mascara glue or other, skin-friendly adhesives – can be customized in many ways, and come in any color you can get your hands on.  After perusing many websites that list this as a DIY, I found the following website: http://truebluemeandyou.tumblr.com/post/27673480347/diy-masquerade-mask-tutorial-and-template-from The author has a template on this page that I am…
Read More

The True History of Valentine’s day, or Yes, I Love Research

History, Inspiration
Ready for Valentine's Day? Want to know the reason for all the love, displayed in overly tacky decor and so much red everywhere it looks like cherubs were sacrificed in all the major stores. But what does it mean to celebrate love on this day? The story goes that Valentine was a Christian priest who performed marriages for young people when it was deemed illegal by the Roman Emperor (usually Claudius, for obvious reasons). When he was found out, he was incarcerated and then grotesquely killed. His last words were written in a letter to one of his followers, signed “from your Valentine.” First off, let's get one thing clear for all of us non-Catholic people; this is the feast day of the Valentines. Feast days of saints often commemorate…
Read More

Quick Recipes – Baklava Cups

Baking, Inspiration, One hour, Pastry Making
No, these aren’t actually baklava.  But yes, they are made with (almost) the same ingredients.  The two big differences here is that the pastry sheets have been preformed by a machine somewhere into the cutest little fluted cups, and there is no layering involved.  So it is easy to make a little treat that tastes like baklava without all the hassle of making the million layer delicacy. I really love baklava, and was preparing to make my first batch (ever) from scratch by getting the ingredients from the store when I found these: [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="295"] I love it when I find a cheat while trying to be proper...[/caption] So I thought: “Can I make something taste like baklava while making it super quick?” I took them home and,…
Read More

Making Music with Sibelius 7

Arrangement, Inspiration, Music Writing, Writing music
With my New Year’s resolution now in effect, I cannot spend any money on my crafts, and that includes my music.  Thankfully, Brant purchased me a really wonderful Christmas gift of professional music software.  For those that are interested, I got the Sibelius 7 professional music writing software.  Brant is my number one fan when it comes to music writing, and he wants my music to sound as realistic as it can, as do I.  This is the most amazing software that I have ever used. I have shown you in previous posts how I use the free software, MuseScore.  In fact, you can reread the posts here, here and here.  I still really like this software.  Much of the writing in MuseScore uses the same features as Sibelius, to…
Read More

Halloween Cupcakes: How to Decorate

Baking, Creative, One hour, Uncategorized
Hey there!  I know that everyone loves the gross food traditionally offered on Halloween.  No?  Okay, maybe it is just me.  But not everyone wants to take the time to ugly up the food they work so hard on, to the point that no one will eat it.  So, how about just making the food cute and theme appropriate?  Yeah, I thought you might like that better.   Today’s blog will be a comparison of two simple decorative themes on cupcakes.  One is a store bought decorating kit, and the other is homemade. To start, we need cupcakes.  My time was much shorter than I had planned, so I went to my friendly neighborhood Publix and bought 24 pre-made cupcakes, 12 chocolate and 12 vanilla.  Next, I picked out what decorations…
Read More

Music Writing: Ave Maria for Christmas

Arrangement, Creative, Incentive, Music Writing, Writing music
Every year for the longest time, I have written (aka arranged) at least one piece of Christmas music.  This started out in church, where my family often sings or plays instruments.  We couldn’t find solos or duets for songs we wanted with our weird amalgamation of instruments and voices.  So I started arranging the music, and a personal Christmas tradition was born.  This year, I have chosen two: I want to write my own melody for an Ave Maria, and I want to arrange Riu Chiu for a choir.  Whether or not anyone actually sings or plays this remains to be seen, but I don’t care.  I am writing them.  First up… Ave Maria.  I am going to try to write my own melody to this beautiful and poetic prayer.…
Read More