My #1 New Year Resolution: Stop dressing like a grungy college student

could blame it on the extra weight.
could blame it on the baby that I'm so busy caring for (who is a toddler now BTW).
could blame it on my tight budget.
could blame it on the blog and this constantly-crafting, no-time-to-get-made-up phase.

But, no, there are no excuses.  Running around in ripped jeans and your husband's sweatshirts isn't so cute anymore when your in your mid-thirties.

Stop. Dressing. Like. A. Grungy. College. Student.

Seriously...  I need to make some skirts, refashion some hoodies, and knit something for myself for a change.  Here's a list of projects to get me looking somewhat put together in 2013.

LOTS of First Birthday Party Ideas With A Winter or Ball or Balloon Theme

  1. Send cute homemade invitations.
  2. Cancel party at the last minute when you find out that only one person can come.  Freak out a little.
  3. Throw together a family party the day of the party. Relax and enjoy.

Darn December birthdays.  I had every intention of putting on an elaborate first birthday party like the ones you see on the Pinterest boards.  I pinned and I brainstormed and I pinned some more... about the theme and the food and favors. So I'm sharing my ideas even though I didn't use them all. But I did put together a really fun (easy, inexpensive) little family party at the last minute, here's how...

"How'd You Do That?!" DIY Image Transfers on Marble Tile & Canvas

Recently I stumbled onto the world of image transfers (putting photos or artwork on wood, canvas, tiles, fabric). I tried it out and made some special Christmas gifts for my mom and mother-in-law.  For my mother-in-law, I took some photos of the beach near her house and put them on canvas.  For my mom, I put a couple of photos from our trip to Paris onto marble tiles. The swiss-cheese looking holes in the tiles remind me of cobble stone streets and old architecture of Europe.  Unlike the tile coasters I made where the paper is glued on with mod podge, this method (wait for it...) TRANSFERS THE IMAGE to the tile/canvas etc. and the paper is rubbed away. I read several tutorials (I liked this one and this one the best) and learned there's different ways to do image transfers, but it sounds to me like using a gel medium is the best way.  I have to say that I like how they look on the tile better - maybe because it is a harder surface but I didn't get as many "bald spots" from rubbing some of the image off with the paper.  The canvas definitely had a hand-painted and "worn" look to it, my son even thought I'd free-handed them (extra dessert for him!).  Because of the risk of bare spots, I think black and white or sepia tones would look better on canvas.   I ended up doing the beach pictures on tile because the canvas felt too homemade.  (UPDATE>> I have just successfully done an image transfer on canvas with my inkjet printer, check it out here)!

Impressive & Inexpensive Tile Coasters With Paper And Enviro Tex

This post contains affiliate links :)

I caught the d├ęcoupage bug and made these coasters, along with some washer necklaces and glass marble magnets, for Christmas gifts. My mom was so impressed with the coasters that she asked me to make several more to display in her skincare salon boutique. I read many tutorials and most people use an acrylic spray to protect the mod podged paper from wet drinks, but then I read that the surface can still get tacky.  Luckily I read this post and used a resin called Enviro Tex lite that gives a thick, glossy and water/heat proof finish. They turned out great but I'm still going to try another option that I read about on Curbly -- polyurethane. She says her coasters have held up well and painting the finish on sounds a little easier than mixing and pouring and dealing with missed spots and drips. But Enviro Tex looks FANTASTIC so I still highly recommend it, plus you can also use it on the washer necklaces.

Super Easy DIY Glass Marble Magnets

This is going to be a quick post, that is just how easy these glass marble magnets are to make!  I wanted to make some for my mom who is always looking for pretty magnets, and then I made a bunch more because they are so fun and pretty.  These were just one of three paper crafting projects that I wanted to try for Christmas.  Hers are a black and white fleur de lys damask type pattern, and I also made some really cute polka dots and chevrons.  I only have pictures of the hearts and insects because the fancier ones are currently on display in my mom's skincare salon but I'll add some more pictures later.  I have to mention that I started out using Mod Podge to glue the paper to the marble, and then E6000 to glue the magnet on, but E6000 is photo safe so I figure why not just use it for the paper/marble as well?  One less thing to buy/get out/put away...

Mod Podge Washer Necklaces with Enviro Tex

This post contains affiliate links :)

As if the world needs another washer necklace tutorial, right?  Last week I went crazy with the Mod Podge projects!  I see so many enticing pins on Pinterest that I put 3 paper crafting projects on my Christmas project list.  Last week I made them all:  flat marble magnets, tile coasters and washer necklaces.  I learned enough in the process that I wanted to share some tips.  I'm going to try and give you the lowdown on different kinds of glue and sealants because it is kind of confusing at first (or maybe I am just taking on too many new things at once!).  So here' what you need to make the washer necklaces...