Friday, June 29, 2012

What $25 bought me at Valley Thrift.

There's really only one thrift store I go to. It's called Valley Thrift and it's in Kettering, Ohio. This thrift store has so much great stuff at awesome prices. You have to devote at least two hours to combing through it all though, but it's totally worth it. Today I stopped in, with nothing in mind really, and this is what I came home with:

 Super Size Me ($2), Knight's Tale ($2), Star Wars Trilogy Bonus Material ($5) - I'm pretty excited to watch that one.

 Warlord Comic Book, issue 69, May 1983 ($5) - A silly gift for The Mister.
 (The whole, "tacky-skulls-and-flames-and-overly-macho-with-questionably-gay-undertones-1980s-hairmetal-twisted-sister- ozzy-kiss-ridiculousness" is totally up his alley, being in a heavy metal band, and all.)
 Pyrex bowls, big one ($1), little one (69 cents), and small milk glass vase (9 cents) -being almost free, I had to buy it.
 This nifty summer purse ($3) - it's not vintage, it's ColdWater Creek, but it's vintage inspired.

 Bear Band wrapping paper (50 cents) and early 90s kitty cat wrapping paper (50 cents) - the cat one reminds me of the stickers my older sister used to have when I was little.
Yellow daisy invitaions (50 cents) and yellow birdie invitations (50 cents) - I have no idea when I'll use these or what for, but they were so cute and so dirt cheap, I got them anyway.
 Cactus string lights ($1) -the first thing I found at the thrift store. It made me laugh, so I got it.
Glass bear mug (69 cents) I thought it was cute and it has something written on it on Japanese. I'm a sucker for anything Asian. Can anyone translate this for me??
 Polaroid Land Camera - Pronto! SE (69 cents) I looked up film for it on my iPhone before I bought it. I found some on Amazon here, for $8 (which I bought when I got home.) There was another Polaroid camera there for the same price, but I looked up film for that one and it was $43! Back on the shelf it went. That's the joy (one of the many) of having a smart phone. You can see what you're getting yourself into before you buy it.
Magazines for kids (9 cents each)- I'll be teaching a kid's art class this summer at Hobby Lobby. The first two days of the class, we'll be doing collages, and I wanted the kids to have something they would like. All I have in my magazine stash is Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Whole Living.

$25 got me all this! Woo! In the afternoon, a good friend of mine came over and we made crafts and chatted about work and life and other girl stuff. My New Pyrex bows were perfect for snacks. :) What's the best deal you've ever gotten at a thrift store? Anyone have any thrifting horror stories??

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Outfit Post: Strawberry Fields Forever

Hi everyone! My blog has been around a little while now and I realized I haven't done any posts about my daily outfits! Which is weird because I like to dress up whenever I get the oportunity, and now being summertime especially, I've had a lot of days off, so I've warn a lot of cute dresses lately! ;) Here's what I wore yesterday!

[my necklace got flipped around in this picture: oops!]

Strawberry dress: Mimi Chica from Marshall's // Strawberry necklace: Dot's // Metallic sandals: Target // Red Belt: Forever 21 // Red Bolero: Marshall's // Headband: Handmade by ME! (see an a post about it from my old blog, back when I had long hair!)

All photos taken by The Mister, Edited by me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Artists I love: Gingiber

While browsing the Ruche website, I saw the January Fox print by Artists Stacie Bloomfield. I was kind of infatuated by this little fox and wanted to see more, so I googled her name and found her blog and etsy shop. Goodness, her work is beautiful! So fresh and fun and the animals are so cute! She's really talented. I mean, I can paint like a beast, but creating cute, stylized modern things like this is something I struggle with. I couldn't help myself. I had so have some of her work, so I bought a little collection of post cards for $8 in the clearance section. I'm all about supporting artists, but I'm also kind of broke. This was all I could afford, but if I had the money, I'd totally buy one of everything!

This will be arriving in my mailbox very soon! CAN'T WAIT!
 This is one of those things you pin to your board, "For the Kids I Don't Have Yet."
 Aren't skunks just the cutest? I love how they waddle. I want a pet one some day.
Godda include some bears in the BEARSHAPED BLOG! ;)

Really though. Check out her shop and blog, and buy some of her work if you can!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Busy Weekend in Columbus

Sorry for slacking a little on the posting this weekend. I had a busy one. Friday I worked on getting the sign-up information set up for the art class I'll be teaching at Hobby Lobby. Then I went to work, then I packed my bags and slept. Saturday I had work early in the morning and as soon as I got home I was picked up by my sister and we went to Columbus, Ohio with a couple of her friends. We were celebrating the beginning of her new life. Newly single and just been recognized as a registered nurse! Trust me, both of those things are blessings. 

 My beautiful sister sending a few texts on our way out to dinner.  

 Nationwide arena was just down the street, so were in the Arena District, apparently.
 Really? Well I wonder what's in the salt packets.
 My sister posing with her friends as we waited for the fooood!
 Gorden Bierch Summer Brew
 One of the talented and funny pianist at the piano bar. I think her name was Lola.
 The band, "Your Villain, My Hero" at The Saloon. FYI the basist isn't naked, she's wearing booty shorts.

We arrived in Columbus and checked into our hotel, then went out to Dinner at Gordon Bierch Brewery and Restaurant. I got a wonderful veggie burger with their signature garlic fries and summer beer. Then we went to The Big Bang piano bar, which was fun, although not my personal preference for entertainment. Then we were off to The Saloon, a crazy big, dark, LOUD, crowded bar/ club thing with sticky floors and long lines to the ladies room. Where I got hit on by a middle aged bald man with one earring. And last we went to The Patio. Where I sat.

I would like to point out the fact that every last person on these bars was a skeeze ball. Ho bags and douche bags. All of them. It was shocking. My sister said, "There's not even one guy here I would want to go on a date with," and I replied, "There's not a guy here I would LET you go on a date with." Why aren't there places for girls like me to go mingle? I'm more of the quite type with a head always full of deep thoughts. I'm more like Zooey Deschanel rather than Kim Kardashian or Megan Fox. I'm a big believer in using your brain to generate thoughts and ideas, not your nether regions.  *cough cough* Moving on.

After we got back to our hotel, we each had a piece of cake and a bottle of water and went to SLEEP. It was great. In the morning we went swimming and took a soak in the hot tub. Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then we were officially homeward bound! I'm absolutely and unashamedly a homebody. All the way.

The only time I ever get bored is when I'm "partying." Please tell me there are other people out there who feel the same way!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Penne alla Norma

 This is a lovely recipe. I took a recipe from Martha Stewart and altered it a little. It took me much longer than I expected, but I imagine if I would have had things prepped and chopped before hand, it would have gone much quicker.

What you'll need:
  • 1 pound box of penne rigate, but any pasta will work. I cooked the whole box but only used 3/4 of it. I set the rest aside and saved it for later.
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 medium or 3/4 of a large one, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • optional fresh basil for garnish
  • optional ricotta cheese for garnish
Step one: cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
Step two: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (A LARGE skillet. This recipe makes a whole lot of food!) Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Step three: Add eggplant to skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and cook until eggplant begins to release juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (if the bottom of your pan browns too much, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape with a spoon).
Step four:  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 cup water to skillet; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
 Step five: Add pasta to the sauce and reheat if necessary. Top each serving with a spoonful of ricotta, and garnish with fresh basil.
This is a perfect dish for summer entertaining. It's healthy and hearty. I'm a vegetarian so I really like to make hearty food like this- I'm not a "rabbit food" kinda' girl. I need to feel full and satisfied after a meal, and this pasta really does it for me! I hope you try it and I hope you like it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Glimpses of June 2012

I've been going jogging every morning before the sun gets too hot. I've never been an athletic person. Like at all. Seriously. But I'm really proud of myself because last week I was able to jog a full mile without stopping to rest, then a few days later I jogged TWO miles without stopping! For a lot of people I'm sure two miles is nothing, but to me, I felt like I just climbed Everest. It was a really big deal in the story of my life! :]

I love being able to just sit and do nothing. When I'm in school, I don't get that time, unless I'm taking a time out while I wait for ink to dry or waiting for someone. But this summer I can actually RELAX and just watch the birds and the rain. It's such a great feeling.

I have really wide feet (a la picture #1) so it's really hard for me to find shoes that fit. I found these Minetonka moccasins at Marshall's for $22 and they fit really well so I was pretty psyched!

Other things I'm looking forward to:
  • Going to Columbus OH tomorrow with my sister in celebration of her becoming a registered nurse!
  • Having a couple friends over for craft day on Sunday!
  • Teaching some art classes for kids in July!!
  • My favorite show, Destination Truth returning for season 6 on July 10th! 
  • Re-reading my favorite book, Eat Pray Love!
What are you excited about this summer?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Summer! -- Sea Shell Candles

Well today is June 20th-- the official first day of summer. I wanted to share a little summery DIY with you today. I live in Dayton, Ohio-- a land locked place-- and working part time while going to school, I can't afford to travel. But I can afford is a $3 bag of sea shells from Hobby Lobby and some daydreams of white sand beaches!

In order to make these beachy candles, you'll need:
  • I have a "Candle Creations" candle maker that melts and drips my wax, but you can melt it on a stove top pan too, just follow the melting directions on your wax. 
  • Sea shells, try to get some with deep spaces. I got a pack of six for $2.99 at Hobby Lobby. 
  • Wax. You can recycle old candles or buy new wax. I like to use palm wax because it's eco-friendly (comes from trees, a natural and renewable resource), it holds its color well, and it doesn't deflate as it cools like some other waxes do. It also has a nifty crystallized pattern as it cools.
  • Wicks, metal wick tabs (this keeps the wick from floating up as the candle melts), bamboo skewers or pencils, and plastic bags or small cups to stabilize wobbly shells.
More after the jump:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


One of my friends from work adopted a pregnant cat because the owner couldn't keep her. Well a week or two ago, she had her kittens! And they are sooo precious! I love how tiny their claws are, and how their tails are like little pipe cleaners! Their little baby meows are so cute and I LOVE how they wiggle when they try to walk! In a couple months she'll need to find them homes. Anyone in the Dayton, Ohio area want a cuddly kitty??

Monday, June 18, 2012

Let the Sun Shine In- wall plaque DIY

I wanted something summery for my room, so I got the idea to make a wooden wall plaque with a fun summer quote. I chose "Let the sun shine in," from the 1969 musical Hair. Yeah, I'm kind of a hippie.

First thing you need to do is get a plaque and measure it. Open a program on your computer that's capable of text editing. I used Adobe Illustrator but if you only have Microsoft word, that will probably work too. Make sure you open a document the size of your plaque so your words don't get cut off. Arrange your text the way you want it and print it out. Trim the paper as close as you can to the text.

When you have your text where you want it on your plaque, tape it to the wood on one side, like a little hinge. Slide graphite/carbon paper, face down, under your quote, and trace each letter. I did mine on an oval but it was a little heard to gauge whether or not my words were straight. If you use a square or rectangle, I think it would be easier because you can line it up with the sides.

Now all you have to do is paint it. I used Martha Stewart craft paint. It's really great because it's thick and works on all surfaces. I recommend using a small round or flat brush. If you go outside the lines here and there, that's ok. You can touch it up. Just mix a teeny amount of brown in some white to make a tan color to match the wood. I'll admit, I did this. Once the paint is dry, use a staple gun to attach ribbons to the back.
The really great thing about paint is that you can change it if it's not to your liking. At first I painted "SUN" red and all the other colors orange, but I wasn't completely happy with it. So I mixed the colors and painted over the orange after it dried on a few words. Now it has a nice ombre effect. ;)
here it is hanging above my bed, with a pattern I made in silkscreen class, some Instax pictures of my cats, and a mailer from artist Ben P Norton.

Anyone want to make one? What quote will you use?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012 - a redo of last year

This year I'll admit I didn't get my dad a fancy present. It's not that I didn't care, or that I was lazy or that I didn't want to spend the money. It's just that this year I wanted to have a re-do of last year. Here's the back story. My dear ol' dad is a fantastic provider for our family. He works his butt off just so his family can be comfortable and have a happy life. He doesn't have a selfish bone in his body. Because of this, I was blessed enough to grow up in the country in a big house with five acres and a pool and woods and an orchard and a garden and lots of trees. That's the key thing here-- the trees. When I was younger, my dad and I would take walks around our yard in the evenings and he would tell me the story behind each tree. He had bought the land to build the house a couple years before I was born. It was a cornfield before the house was there, so every tree was planted by him or us. I had heard the stories a hundred times but they never got old. Sometimes he'd make up names for them. "Here's old Ashley the ash tree. You brought her home from school on earth day when you were in second grade. She only had one leaf when you planted her and now look how big she is!" Unfortunate events occurred and we had to move away from that house and all the trees. (We both REALLY miss our trees.) For his birthday a couple years ago I got him a Fuji Apple tree. I wanted to carry on the tradition of planting trees and memories. Then for father's day last year I made him a mini scrapbook to catalog the growth of his tree. I thought it would be nice to have pictures instead of just memories and stories. But sadly that little tree didn't make it through the winter. :( This year I bought him a new tree as his father's day present. We didn't have time to plant it this weekend, but next weekend we will find a nice spot for it and update the scrap book.

 The apple tree sticking out of the back window of my Saturn. It made such a funny *wooshwoshwooshwoosh!!* sound as the wind rushed through the leaves as I drove down the road.

 This is the photo from last year of us behind the other tree. It's so tiny you can hardly see it. It only comes up to my chest.

To make a little scrapbook like this one, you'll need:
  • two small, flat pieces of wood. Mine came with the frame and the holes pre-drilled but you can also buy plain pieces and drill the holes yourself. 
  • binder rings
  • scrapbook paper-- this is a good project to use up some little scraps!
  • other little ribbons and embellishments
  • a hole punch
  • printed photos-- I used Fuji Instax instant photos for convenience 

Cut down your papers to be just a little smaller than your wood covers. Glue the pages back to back. Punch holes to line up with the holes on your covers and put binder rings through all of it. Decorate the pages and cover any way you like! Go crazy! :D

Happy Father's day, Dad! Thanks for being awesome and also for passing down lots of good traits! ;)