Saturday, July 30, 2011

Art On The Cheap: A Guest Bedroom Update

Pin It I happened upon this great copy cat art project on Two Girls Being Crafty. Tristin was inspired by this piece from World Market…
…that sells for around $100!  I thought I’d give it a whirl myself and ended up with this pair of canvases.
It’s definitely different than the copy cat piece and the original, but I love how they turned out.  Best of all, the technique is simple, quick and easily adapted to fit the colors of your space. 
I took two 16x20 canvases and spray painted them Heirloom White.  One was actually an  “OOPS” canvas from a few projects ago.  Spray paint is your friend!
I got out a bunch of my acrylic paints and started mixing and matching them on these lovely artist palettes…errr…brown paper bags.
Then I started to draw the branches with brown paint and a thin brush.  Tristin used a paint pen, which would have been helpful.  Either way works, of course.
Next, I just started adding circles, here, there and everywhere in different sizes and colors until I was happy with the look.IMG_4358
At first, I thought I wanted to put these in the family room, but they just didn’t work there.  Too small for that big space.  Today, I tried to put them in the guest bedroom and I’m liking it much better there.
Of course, they’re just propped up for now, but I’m trying to get a sense if I like them there or not.  I can’t decide if I like the bright POPS of color.  Maybe I should do a watered down wash of acrylic paint to either slightly darken them or lighten them.   The original from WM has a dirty/aged quality that I kind of like, but I’m not sure if it would really go in this room. Thoughts?
So, that’s my latest adventure in homemade art on the cheap.  Thanks to Tristin from Two Girls Being Crafty for the inspiration! 
I’m linking this post up to the below parties!  Check them out for some fabulous inspiration!

handmade projectsShow and Tell GreenCreativeShareWednesdays Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special  The DIY Show Off  UndertheTableandDreaming


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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gardening Update: The maters are coming!

Pin It Well, the Earthboxing is going REALLY well this year, despite the later than normal planting.  Here are my beloved tomatoes in all their glory at 7.5 weeks post-planting:
We have LOTS of tomatoes on all four plants.
The cherry tomatoes look like grape clusters.
Unfortunately, the dreaded blossom end rot fairy paid us a visit again this year.
BOO.  Hiss.
It even got our first ripened mater. 
Sad, I know.  Luckily, this “present” seems to only hit the first few tomatoes and goes away.  Crossing fingers.
We also had a nasty wind storm that did this to our tree…
Darn Bradford Pear trees.  They are pretty….pretty USELESS!  Developers that plant them should be ashamed.  They have a life expectancy of a goldfish and crash-n-burn in an ugly way.  The city came to take most of it away.  Now, we’re left with half a tree that looks as though it could topple over at any moment.
During that same windstorm, the hubs and I woke up and rushed to check the tomato plants.  For fear of losing them, we drug them into the house.
Yep, there they were.  In my kitchen.  A little damage, but obviously they survived. 
Pictures are a bit blurry, but I had tomatoes in my kitchen.  You understand, right?
Our peppers are also going crazy.  Our first go at bell peppers and it looks like we’re going to have plenty from one plant.
And new little peppers already coming on…
Happy jalapenos too!
So, our yard is a little (LOT) brown from the lack of rain, but at least we have loads of GREEN in our pots.  Hoping for a little red soon!
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Friday, July 22, 2011

DMB Caravan – Are we getting to old for this?

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I’m all for a good concert, especially outdoors.  So, when the hubs heard that Dave Mathew’s was doing this Caravan thing for their 20th anniversary, we jumped in. 


If you haven’t heard about the Caravan, basically DMB put together a huge list of great artists to play over a three day period in only 4 locations…Chicago being one of them, in honor of the 20th anniversary.  Our neighbor is a DMB fanatic so we got them to go along with this crazy 3-day madness as well.


Here’s how we spent our DMB Caravan weekend…

We saw too many great artists to count including…

Amos Lee


David Gray


Ray Lamontagne (which I didn’t get a picture of…ARGH!)

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (who appeared on Treme if you’re fans of that, which we totally are.)DSCF4174

O.A.R. (Derek’s fave)


Kid Cudi, Ben Folds, Gomez, The Wailers, Liz Phair….the list goes on and on.

Dave closed the festival each night.


Dave himself is quite a funny man on stage.


This was my first DMB concert and even if you’re not a fan of their music (I realized there are a lot of haters out there), you have to admire their stamina.  They plated three days in a row, for three hours each concert…not breaks and they never repeated ONE SONG!  I find that impressive.

The festival was held on the Southside on the site of an old steel plant.  We thought there would be a lawn of some sort…


…but unfortunately it was acres and acres of mulch/wood chips.  And stumps.  OUCH!  Notice the funky dirty feet.  Oh, yeah.  THIS is how a festival should be.  :)

Where the mulch ended, the “moon rocks began…



I got smart and wore sneakers on Days 2 and 3.

That leads me to GEAR.  One needs certain gear for an outdoor event in the summer.  An event with NO shade, loads of beer and dust.

The hubs wore these the first day..


Smart man. 

He also suggested bringing hand towels that we wet and use for a quick cool down.


Again, smart man.

Other items that we didn’t know were necessary, but saw plenty of were…

Rope sandals. 


If that’s what they’re called.  I’m way too uncool for these.

Hula hoops.

DSCF4162   DSCF4164 

Yep, it’s 100 degrees outside…let’s hula.

The cowboy hat.  I think our buddy Ryan was almost sold on this one.


And although we cursed the sun most of the three days, we saw some awesome sunsets over the masses each night…


Did I mention that there were 60,000 people there??

Here’s what we say to YOU, oh sweltering sun…



All and all, it was a great experience.  However, after three days, it left us wondering…




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Ebates: Have YOU Earned Your BIG FAT CHECK?

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Most of you know my frugal ways.  The couponing.  The GW thrifting.  The DIYing.  Well, another way I save my family money is by shopping…through EBATES

It’s so simple, that it’s should be a crime not to use Ebates for your online shopping.  Basically, you log into Ebates , search for the stores you love to shop at, click the link to the store and BOOM…you instantly earn a percentage of your purchase back from Ebates .  Simple enough?


Online stores pay Ebates a commission (think of it as a finders' fee) on every sale and Ebates shares that with you.  Nice, huh?   I receive a quarterly Big Fat Check (that’s seriously what they call it) just for shopping through links on there site.  There is no hassle, no fees, no anything really…and that’s what I love. 


They also give you various online web discount codes for their featured stores.  My purchases and Ebates percent back, shows up automatically on my Ebates account.  Simple as that.  Again…no strings. 

So, I just wanted to share this little frugal/money back thing with you all just in case you haven’t heard of it before.  I didn’t believe it until I received my first rebate check.  Click on this LINK now and start earning money back from Ebates and receive a $5 bonus after making your first online purchase!


Happy Shopping!

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