Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shoe Addict Thriving: Hat Pin Heaven... And Gluing My Fingers Together



I finally got my hat pin findings in and with cruise a mere 7 DAYS AWAY!!!! I was excited to start putting together some hat pins. I got a very good start on them and made myself a variety to go with the different things I might wear on the cruise.
Hats are going to be a must on the cruise...staying out of the sun for a very fair skinned melanoma survivor is priority number one! I quickly discovered a couple of things about the hat pins:

1. They are very very sharp.
2. They did not come with a nail head like pictured.
3. They are a lot more bendable than I expected

To try and prevent the top bead from sliding off I used a bit of beading glue - essentially super glue. I managed to glue my fingers together and to the hat pin finding the last one I made for the night.

So with one hand and some nail polish remover....

I tried to get my fingers free. 5 minutes later I had one free.

5 more minutes together and I managed to get the rest of my hand free. I will admit to still having super glue remnants on my fingers this morning.

Here are some of the results.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Shoe Addict Thriving: Practicing with Mod Podge




I have been wracking my brain and searching the Internets to figure out how to achieve the look I wanted for the wall art in Ben's man cave. I wanted to mount the pictures from the University of Maryland on canvas and then hang the canvases on the feature wall of his room.

When I searched the Internet there were many websites that had snarky answers such as, "Why would you want to mount a photo on a canvas? Why wouldn't you just have the photo printed on the canvas?" I had basically given up on the idea and just decided to do the collage in giant frames from the craft store.

Luckily at the homemade gift exchange last Friday my friend introduced me to the little product known as Mod Podge. I am not quite sure how I have made it this long without knowing what Mod Podge is, but am I glad she let me know about it! I searched Mod Podge the other day and found that there are many how to articles on how to mount photo's to canvas with it. had a lovely tutorial on making art on canvas. They used one print out to cover the entire canvas. Check it out for lovely ideas for canvas art. had many articles on how to use Mod Podge on canvas. They say to use the fabric kind to mount things on canvas.

For my test run I simply used the matte finish regular kind. I used an old canvas and painted it blue with left over latex wall sample paint. I then took pictures of my niece, nephew, and dad to make a canvas "scrapbook page" for my dad and mom.

I didn't do the most perfect job on it - some of the pictures are mounted crookedly. I really just wanted to get an idea of how the product would work. I was pleased with how easy it was to use, how it adhered the photos to the canvas, and how the finish looked. I believe I have found the technique I am going to to plan out the canvases themselves.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shoe Addict Thriving: Tying Up Loose Ends



Crochet patterns always instruct you to weave in the tail of the knot after you end a color. I have never liked the results of this method. The kind of yarns I like to use are often very soft and sort of slick. It tends to loosen and slip out of where you have woven it in.

I sew down each knot in order to eliminate the worry that the crochet product will unravel or come loose. This is how I do it:

1.) I take needle and thread that closely match the yarn and sew through the yarn knot 3-4 times in different directions.

2) Then I tightly loop the thread around the "tail" of the yarn 3-4 times to make a tight hold on the tail.

3) I then guide the needle down the middle of the thread holding down the tail and make a knot and then cut the tail off close to that knot.

This leaves me with a nice finished end that I don't have to worry will come loose.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shoe Addict Thriving: Man Cave Madness



Here is my inspiration board so far for Ben's man cave project.  Ben is all but twitching from all the color infusion going on around our house.  I want this room to be for his comfort and enjoyment while also being accessible to guests.  I think I am going to go with a monochromatic room in two shades of gray on the walls and with a white media center and black denim recliners. 

Man Cave

Man Cave by shoeaddictthriving on
Not the typically tacky man cave - an eclectic collection of traditional sideboard, flat screen TV, sheepskin rugs, and modern recliners.

I want to incorporate Ben's interests without the room getting too themed or kitschy.  Also, since the TV and furniture are going to be big ticket items I want to do the decor and accessories in the room on a tight budget.  I am going to do a series of collages for the wall art from University of Maryland yearbooks I have been collecting from flea markets and EBay.  I am using the photos of buildings and the sports section of each yearbook.  I am also trying to think of something that can incorporate the University of Maryland red in the room without being overwhelming. 

I have a couple more project ideas that I need to develop, but I feel like the man cave inspiration and plan is mostly in place.  Next I need to plan out when this will all start happening.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Shoe Addict Thriving: Homemade Gift Exchange



I recently participated in a homemade gift exchange with my friends.  We agreed to make or buy gifts for each other for a $10 limit.  I decided to make scarves for everyone doing different color / pattern combinations for each girl. 

I took a basic pattern and then changed it up for each one to make a different pattern of stripes. 

My friend Mrs. Oomph was a part of the gift exchange and made these awesome book page wreaths for us.  I actually had these on my list of projects to try, but a whole lot of deadline projects were way ahead of trying to make them.  I immediately picked the tiny one featuring an adorable owl ornament and it looks perfect in my room.

Despite the questionable literature featured on the leaves it is an awesome, unique, and handmade treasure that I love!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Shoe Addict Thriving: Budget Buster-- Wilton Class



I was very excited to start the Wilton cake decorating classes at my local craft store.  It seemed a pretty good bargain too at $27 for the four week course (one night each week).  With $5 off coupons for the two follow on classes I figured I was getting a pretty good class for not too much money.  The course ends up being a budget buster though.  Here's what I ended up spending:

  1. $71 for the class "tuition"
  2. $99 for the toolkit that I thought would provide the tools I needed for the first two courses (not the case)
  3. $50 for the course 2 and 3 class kits (after the 40% off coupons)
  4. $50 for decorator icing
  5. $8 for chocolate decorator icing
  6. $11 for colored fondant
  7. $20 for gum paste
  8. $7 for white fondant
  9. $3 cake leveler
  10. $10 cake lifter
  11. $9 cupcake decorating kit
  12. $10 tip covers
  13. $6 couplers
  14. $6 various decorating tips
  15. $8 icing colors
  16. $4 piping gel
  17. $6 meringue powder
  18. $14 turntable

This doesn't even include the cost of parchment and wax paper, cling wrap, cake boards, and ingredients for making the cakes.   Now this all was spent over 12 weeks so at $32/week it really sneaks up on you.  I didn't really have to buy everything that was on the list.  If you are interested in the class here's some tips to make it more budget friendly.

  1. $72 - just buy the class kits with the 40% off coupons and it ends up being cheaper than any of the bargain tool boxes
  2. $7 - make your own butter cream and cut down the cost of frosting significantly
  3. Skip the colored fondant - I didn't really miss it and I just used the $0.99 color to tint it for the class 
  4. Skip the cupcake kit - the cupcake nail was stupid and I didn't use it at all and the only tip I needed was the filler tip - order online before you start the class.
  5. Skip the tip covers - or buy only one pack when you get to the royal icing class.
Grand total $234 a $158 savings!  To save $30 more skip the extras like the cake lifter, extra bag of gum paste, extra tips, extra colors, and extra couplers.