A Cool and Crafty Holiday Season – Fun DIY Christmas Projects

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The holidays are just another excuse to get your craft on. So don’t be timid about it! Go bold and try some of my favorite DIY holiday projects from around the web!
Cool and Crafty DIY Holiday Christmas Craft Projects
1. Gingerbread Men Jello Shots from That’s so Michelle – Perfect for entertaining your favorite friends!
2. Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags from Paiges of Style – Give your Christmas gifts some cheer with printable labels and tags that will have you dreaming of a pink Christmas or perhaps even a sparkly one!
3. DIY Paper Dahlias / Christmas Stars from Project Zakka – Use your favorite patterned paper squares to craft these easy Christmas Star ornaments for your tree!
You can find even more great diy ideas pinned to my boards on Pinterest!

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Upcycled Breakfast Table – DIY Chalkboard Game Table Craft Project

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Upcycled DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table - Chalkboard Paint and Washi Tape Craft Project
Our neighbors upstairs recently had to move out unexpectedly. One thing they didn’t take with them was a breakfast table and two chairs. So they gifted them to us. While I haven’t decided whether I’ll be keeping the chairs or not – I may paint the fabric seats – I thought the breakfast table was perfect for upcycling into a chalkboard game table!
Breakfast Table Makeover
This is the table I started with. The first step was to clean it.
Upcycled Breakfast Table - DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table Project
Next I applied two coats of Krylon Chalkboard Aerosol Spray Paint to the top of the table. I then painted the base of the table with Rustoleum White Gloss Enamel Spray Paint. I allowed both to then dry completely.

DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table - Easy Upcycled DIY Craft Project Using Chalkboard Paint and Washi Tape
Next I took Washi tape and applied it around the entire edge of the table top. Because Washi tape is more like a masking tape than a regular, super sticky tape, I highly recommend that you apply Matte Mod Podge to the edge of the table only, then adhere your tape to the edge of the table over top of the Mod Podge. Next, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over top of your Washi tape trim. Once the Mod Podge dries completely, apply a Clear Matte Acrylic Sealer over top of the edge of the table so it covers the areas that you used Mod Podge on. (If you plan to use your Chalkboard Paint Game Table outdoors at all in a covered area, I recommend using Outdoor Mod Podge to adhere the trim for your table followed by a gloss sealer as this Mod Podge dries with a gloss finish.)
DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table - Easy Upcycled DIY Craft Project Using Chalkboard Paint and Washi Tape

Finally, add a magnetic tin – that DIY is here – to the metal base of the table. Or, if the stand for your table is not metal, you can glue one on using Gorilla glue. Now you have a finished Chalkboard Paint Game table for kids and adults alike!

One final note. You will want to allow your chalkboard paint to dry for a full 24 hours before attempting to write on it. This allows it cure completely to avoid scratching the paint off with the chalk. After 24 hours you would then prep your chalkboard surface by rubbing the SIDE of a piece of chalk over the surface then erasing. Now your chalkboard table top is ready for games of tic-tac-toe, artwork, or whatever else the heart desires!

What kinds of games would you play on this chalkboard game table?


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Instagram – My latest creative discovery

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I’ve seen a lot of instagram photos around lately and I’ll admit I was curious. But my LG phone just wasn’t equipped to take decent photos nor did it have a flash. It also wasn’t the most intuitive phone in the world. So when my phone suddenly stopped working after only 5 months of use – my boyfriend has also gone through two LG phones with little success – I decided it was worth paying a little more to buy an HTC Android. After all, I not only use my phone for emergencies, but my business and at work as well. I stuck with the regular last year’s 3G model and saved a hundred bucks, but still got what so far is turning out to be a great product. It’s like when buying a used VCR would cost you $800 (back when VCRs were the latest and greatest) but that sucker lasted for 20 years before breaking while the modern $50 versions killed over in about two. Or how Atari’s in all their retro wonder glory continue to work while my son’s original XBox crapped out due to overheating. Or all those PC’s that died in 3 years, while my macbook just keeps on truckin’. You get the picture.

So now that I have a decent phone, my own picture has gotten even bigger. And I’m having fun exploring the world through my camera phone. My goal is to try to find at least one creative shot a day and post it to instagram, my personal facebook page, twitter and my tumblr.
I started with the dead beetle at work, then had my boyfriend take a shot of me. Then I took a photo on my daily walk through the neighborhood followed by a game of Clue at my parents’ house. Here are the photos I’ve taken so far (with captions.)
Our mascot at work. Everyone needs a dead beetle to vent to. http://instagr.am/p/M9UzElwlet/
A very happy me. Scott registered for college classes today. http://instagr.am/p/M9aKG8QlSF/
Our neighborhood yards are often full of interesting surprises. http://instagr.am/p/M_09NTQlUT/
Clue. Sometimes you wish people would just get one. http://instagr.am/p/NEV5HvQlRL/
I’m excited by the prospect of building a portfolio of my very own through instagram. Do you use instagram? Love it? Hate it? And how are you using it to stay creative?

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Unique Shopping Finds

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What’s more fun on a Saturday afternoon than a little window shopping? Well, buying of course! Here are eight of my top choices this week for fun and unique things you can buy.

1.) Recycled Necktie Wristlet 2-Pocket Gadget Holder, $20 from Tearful Touch
2.) Handmade Taco Teapot, $45 from Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen
3.) WTF Bandages, $7 from Urban Outfitters
4.) Spriglet Hair Pin, $10 from Pretty Little Things
5.) Video Notebook, $20.99 from Animi Causa 
6.) Tea Bag Tea Infuser, $30 from MoMA STORE
7.) Junior Dachshund Bookends, $150 from Jonathan Adler
8.) Blue Owl To Do List Notepad, $8 from boygirlparty

Have you come across a fun and interesting product lately that you just had to add to your wishlist? Feel free to share your unique product find(s) in the comments!


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Excercising my pencil.

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I’ve been in the need of a little creativity lately to keep me occupied. So when I found the book Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun (Lab Series) by Carla Sonheim, it was like fate. It has a year’s worth of awesome, mostly non-traditional drawing exercises to inspire creativity and make drawing fun. Here are a few of the exercises I’ve done so far.

  Draw 30 cats. Take it further and paint your favorite. Media: Watercolor pencils.

Sad kitty. Media: Watercolor pencils.

Alley cat. Media: Watercolor pencils.

(Left) Blind contour giraffe. Draw a giraffe without looking at the page you are drawing it on. Media: Marker, Watercolor pencils. (Right) Imaginary creature. Turn paint splotches into an animal shape. Media: Watercolor pencils.

Draw with India Ink straight from the dropper. Blot then color. Media: India Ink, Marker.

Draw a dog. Media: Watercolor pencils.


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