The only time my thumb is green is when I spill something on it

I do not have a green thumb. I seriously kill everything. With the rare exception of Bridget II, the schefflera I’ve been growing since college. Bridget I was also a schefflera, but she died during a winter or summer break in our college apartment when I was not there to tend to her.

Okay. Fine. Bridget II lives because my mother has a green thumb and she grew her into a tree. A tree that I now almost kill every 6 months or so. Speaking of which, I should probably go water her today.

So when I say I don’t have a green thumb, I mean it. But when I was offered the opportunity to test my creative skills in the world of terrariums, I jumped at the chance. Especially because Plant Nite hosts these shindiggities at over 700 local bars and restaurants in more than 75 different cities.

What’s Plant Nite? It’s a creative workshop that makes beautiful things easy and accessible for everyone. Basically, it’s like a painting party, but with plants. A host leads you through the instructions to create whatever is on the image, but you, as the artist, are free to make your own creative decisions.

I chose my event based on three things: 1. Proximity to my house, 2. The design of the creation, and most importantly, 3. The food at the venue.

The bar was a local restaurant/tavern a few towns over from me, and I opted for a terrarium set, titled “Fire and Ice,” because at the time, Game of Thrones was hot and heavy, and it just felt right. Look at this bad boy:

fire and ice terrarium

Photo Cred: Plant Nite

The food, though…that’s where my decision really came into play. This place is known for making a killer Bloody Mary, and I was not disappointed.

Epic Bloody Mary

Why yes, that is a deviled egg, cheese slice, salami roll, celery stick, and olive on my already-tasty Bloody Mary.

My future sister-in-law and I were starved, so we ordered a charcuterie display, meatballs, and a hummus-like spread that was really amazing. We took up half the table, but we didn’t mind.

Epic Cheese Plate

Their cheese and charcuterie plate hit the spot, but I’ll be honest, guys, it didn’t hold a flame to one of my own creations.

Once we had our snacks and bevvies, we were ready to take on this plant thing. We each had two glass terrariums before us, and an oath.

Plant Nite CommandmentsWe read through the oath quietly, but when our host was ready to get started, she had everyone read them aloud together with many giggles and smirks, but we promised to have fun above all else. And we did. I took the liberty of borrowing an infographic that shows off the Creative Oath:

paint nite creative oath infographic

Infographic Cred: Plant Nite/Paint Nite Blog

While the wonderful hosts had a wonderful step-by-step instructional, I’ve provided the abridged version for you to see how it works below.

Step 1: Fill terrarium with small rocks for drainage.

Step 2: Fill terrarium with a light layer of dirt.

Step 3: Add succulents.

Step 4: Add more dirt, effectively planting the succulent.

Step 5: Get creative! This is where everyone gets to shine.

Planted succulents

Without the creative step, this would be your end result.

Of course, the help of the hosts (and the amazing supply of colored rocks, moss, and other cool add-ins) made my terrariums as magical as they turned out to be.

Decorated succulent terrarium

I was pretty proud of my two little dudes. I loved the colors (and of course, mixed in some pinks in the “fire” terrarium).

Now, the real trick — can Chrissy keep these dudes alive? We’ll it’s officially been one month since I planted them, and they’re not only still kickin’, they’re thriving!

thriving succulent terrariums

Look at my babies! They’re growing!

Well, guys. I think my work here is done. Want to get a group together and check out Plant Nite on your own? I’ve got a fancy pants code for you to use (QUIRKYCHRISSY) at check out so you can save 35%.

Making Gorgeous Terrariums

Pin this and share it with your friends!

I was given two free tickets to attend the class, but no one paid me to say nice things. All opinions are, as always, my own. 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Grocery Shopping: Because Being Lazy and Proactive About My Eating Habits Are Better Than Saving Money

I read something on Pinterest the other day about things you should NEVER  buy at the grocery store. Among the items included many of our weekly (okay whenever-we-make-it-to-the-grocery-store-ly, which averages about 2-3 times a month) purchases. And so I said to myself, “Self, someone has to speak out against this insanity. Someone needs to tell these Pinterest Looney Toons to get a hold of themselves and drop the homemade spice mix. Self, that someone should probably be you.”

Okay fine, I didn’t actually say those things to myself. I was busy muttering under my breath about not wanting to put pants on and needing to eat more cheese, but whatever. I thought them. In fact, I’ve thought about this often enough I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to shit I’m never going to do. And about 60 other Pinterest boards dedicated to shit I’m probably never going to do.

Anyways, I’ve come up with a very important list of things you should buy at the grocery store because the cost outweighs the amount of time spent doing whatever it takes to make those things happen.

Whether you're trying to save money or just be the ultimate Pinterest mom, some of these "money savers" are actually not worth your time or energy.

Things you shouldn’t bother Pinteresting or forgoing because the grocery store makes it So. Much. Easier.

Spice mixes: Let’s start with this one (and ignore the fact that I do, actually, make my own taco and fajita seasoning but to be fair, I don’t really measure any of it). Sure, you can mix and match your seasonings easy enough. But ain’t nobody got time for experimentation. When you’re in a hurry, isn’t it reassuring to know that your X,Y,Z isn’t going to be fucked up because you were smart enough to use a spice mix which had the perfect blend of crushed red pepper, dried pineapple flavor and bacon bits (patent pending)? I thought so too. Also, no one makes ranch like Hidden Valley. There. I said it.

Miracle cleaning solution: Let’s talk about this “Blue Dawn and vinegar” bullshit I’ve seen all over Pinterest. I tried it when we first moved into the house. I was thinking to myself, “Self, this is going to make a great post one day. You’ll be all ‘Blue Dawn and vinegar’ was really a miracle in my stained bathtub!” And you know what? I was wrong. Because all that shit did was smell nasty. I understand cleaning with vinegar and baking soda is also supposed to help – I used it dozens of times to try cleaning my garbage disposal. It masked the odor alright…with vinegar smell. Give me Scrubbing Bubbles and a Plink drop any day.

Vinegar: We rarely use most of the vinegar in our cabinets. Brian uses the balsamic for his salad dressing (along with a pre-packaged spice mix) and I use the white vinegar when I dye eggs on Easter. And yet, there are people who make their own fermented vinegar. Dudes. You guys. This stuff is cheap. Who wants to stink up their house for a product you use a couple times a year or whatever.

Dryer sheets: I LOVE the smell of clean laundry. I hate doing laundry, but the smell of fresh from the dryer laundry makes my heart go pitter patter. On Pinterest, I ran across a pin for homemade dryer sheets which looked super cute, but sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. One of the comments on it, though, was priceless – “I tried this and my laundry smelled like vinegar!” Bring on the store-bought dryer sheets so my laundry can smell delicious.

Bottled water: Oh hell yes, I’m going here. I know this one isn’t a Pinterest thing, but I’ve seen it on the money-saving lists. Sure, I’ve got reusable bottles and travel cups and mugs galore (I usually get them free with brand names on them when I go to fancy blog conferences). We even bought fancy pants Brita water bottles (okay – these are great for traveling). But you know what I hate? When I wake up with enough time to brush my teeth, throw pants on, and MAYBE brush my hair before I race to the train…and have to spend more time filling a bottle with water than I did doing all of the getting ready part of my morning. Instead, I can grab a bottle on my way out the door and satiate my thirst while I commute into the city. Besides, when you buy them at Sam’s Club, they’re so cheap per bottle. And water is never truly free, y’all. Need I remind you about your water bill which is payment for water that comes out of your faucet?


Pre-packaged snacks: I love snack packs. A lot. And you know what? Those pre-packaged little goodies keep me from killing my poor boyfriend. Because I’m high maintenance like a freakin’ gremlin. Also, they keep me from eating the whole fucking econo bag of Doritos that I would otherwise buy at Sam’s Club in one sitting. It’s been known to happen.

So the thing is, you guys…I get it. If you’re on a money-saving kick, this might make sense to you. If you’re on an all-natural ingredient thing? I totally get that too. But before you go out to buy the necessary equipment and ingredients to pull these tricks off, don’t forget to add the math for the time it takes you to do this shit. Your hourly rate counts as money spent, doesn’t it?

What crazy DIY shit have you seen recently on Pinterest, or the Internet, or anywhere really, that would be much easier to purchase? Have you tried any of the DIY options I mentioned? Are you a die-hard DIY maven? Are you a bottled water drinker?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

7 Easy DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Women and Couples

Halloween is definitely the holiday of all holidays around here.  My family and friends totally jump into Halloween head first. It’s the fourth family holiday. It’s the ONLY holiday my aunt flies in from out of state to celebrate with us. It’s kind of a big deal around here.

I figured you may be looking for some Halloween costume ideas – I know I still am…so I thought I would help you out and share some of the best costumes my people have put together in years past. You’ve already seen my bouquet toss winner Halloween costume…and my Sally costume…but I’m not the only one with the ideas. Several of my friends have given me permission to share their photos and costume ideas with you, so you can see what excellent company I keep over here in the real world.

Fast(ish), Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

My pal, Brookie Banosnapper showed up at my RIDICULOUSLY EARLY (First week of October early) Halloween party last year in this ensemble. Best. Idea. Ever.

Grumpy Cat Halloween Costume

One of my friends from college, Shelli was unrecognizable by many of her friends when she showed up in this costume! I was a big NCIS fan a few years back (which was when Sheli threw down this costume. I wish I could have seen it in person, but she lives a few (hundred) miles away from me.

DIY ABBY NCIS Costume

Deb, one of my favorite English teachers, rocked it in her garden ho costume. Her English/theater background worked well with this punny costume.

DIY Garden Ho Costume

Valerie showed up to one of our Halloween parties in this creative garb a few years back, before everyone was doing it. She already had dark hair and a good chunk of the wardrobe requirements, so this costume was a breeze for her. No one noticed that she had black chucks on (shhhh).

Flo Progressive Halloween Costume DIY

Dynamic Duos: Couples/Pairs Halloween Costumes

Ron and his best friend decided they would be the ultimate best friends for Halloween. Not that I’m a fan of these two dumb dudes, but I hear they’re pretty popular with the ladies.

Lloyd & Harry Dumb and Dumber Costumes

Our friends Ava and Mike are super awesome, and they came to our Halloween party at the apartment last year as Hawkeye and Hawkeye, which I thought was a totally fantastic couples’ costume. Right?

Hawkeye and Hawkeye
And then there was the costume set that Brian and I opted for last year. Captain Mal and Kaylee from Firefly. It wasn’t my favorite (partially because I ordered the coveralls from eBay and they did not fit the way I wanted them to…)

Captain MaL & Kaylee (3)Friends, what should Brian and I do for Halloween this year? It appears we’re going to be moving right around Halloween, so we’re strapped for time. Any suggestions? What are you going to be for Halloween?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

DIY Halloween Costume: The Bouquet Toss Winner

Happy October, Blog Friends! It is now officially acceptable for me to get excited about Halloween and BOY OH BOY am I excited for Halloween.  Of course, we won’t be throwing a Halloween party this year. And we don’t (yet) have a house to decorate for one of my favorite holidays, but big things are happening this month. Big things.

I figured I’d kick the season off this year with a little Halloween costume love.

A few years ago, whilst I was dating the bartender, I came up with the most brilliant Halloween costume, if I do say so myself. Mom and I were sitting in her room, brainstorming ideas. My mom is a BRILLIANT costume creator, so it only seemed right to run ideas back and forth with her. I was broke, out of work, and in college, so I knew I wanted to keep it cheap. I figured I had a couple of bridesmaid dresses hanging around my closet to use, so we started thinking about ideas…

The next thing I knew, I was plotting the ultimate bouquet toss winner Halloween costume. I started with the dress, which I ripped to absolute shreds. Then I bought fake nails, which I glued into the shredded dress. I saved a few of the nails, which I left to put in my hair.

On the Saturday before Halloween that year, my mom and I got to work for all the parties I was headed to. We started with my hair, spending an hour creating one of those bridesmaid-esque updos. As soon as it was finished, I pulled and tugged and messed it up. It was important work. I then stuck fake nails into the knotted mess and even a few flower petals.

I put on the dress, so Mom and I knew what skin space we were working with. We started with bruising, using a plethora of eyeshadows to create blue-gray-green bruising all over my body, including one black eye. We moved on to scratches (with all those broken nails, scratches were a must). This was accomplished with real scratches (light ones) that Mom traced with dark red lip liner to maintain them all day long.

Bouquet toss

I needed to add a smidge of fake blood, so I put one earring in, and blood coming down the other ear. I also figured a bloody nose would look pretty convincing. I finished the look with a single high heel, crutches and an ankle brace because I’m hardcore.

My then-boyfriend picked me up for our Halloween festivities in a hoodie and camo pants with a mask in his backpack. A mask that he may have put on twice throughout the entire day.

We started at a Halloween wine-tasting event at my local liquor store, where I was competing in a costume contest to win a wine refrigerator. I walked around the place, petitioning my cause and making sure that EVERYONE voted for me. If ever I had to explain what I was, I had a whole speech prepared.

“I caught the bouquet. You should see the other girls. I mean, it’s not what catching the bouquet MEANS…it’s about taking out the competition.”

I went home with a wine refrigerator that day.

Last year, at work, I thought I would revive my favorite Halloween costume of all time. I took it to a more gruesome level, and was pretty pleased with the results.

If you're looking for a creative, unique Halloween costume with an old bridesmaid dress, consider the bouquet toss winner.

I may have looked more like a zombie than a live person, but I couldn’t stop adding gore. I especially liked the knee cut. I won a contest there, too…but never received my prize…grumble grumble grumble.

Of course, the best part about this was taking the train home in costume. I looked fucking spectacular, and it wasn’t Halloween proper, so no one else on the commute was dressed up. It was kind of magical.

If you're looking for a creative, unique Halloween costume with an old bridesmaid dress, consider the bouquet toss winner.

I still don’t know what Brian and I are going to be for Halloween this year, but it’s sure to be a scream.

Blog friends, what’s the most creative costume you’ve ever come up with? Would you rip a dress to shreds to have fun with Halloween? Are you down with the gory costumes? What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

My Brother’s Menagerie: In Which my Little Brother Flexes his Creative Muscles (and Something About Pets that aren’t Dogs or Cats)

My brother is a crafty, creative genius. Long before Etsy was a thing, my brother was hand-making jewelry, whipping up delicious creations in the kitchen and helping me build the most elaborate indoor forts known to man.

Most recently, he’s been found hand-making hamster cages.

Hamstervision: Homemade Hamster Cages and Other Pet Palaces

My hamster spent his entire life trying to create his own condo in my dresser. My brother turned an old television into a hamster apartment so his didn’t have to. He called it “Hamstervision.”

We grew up with hamsters. We started with a gerbil named Axel Rose, followed by a hamster named Jon Bon Jovi. The string of hamsters in our lives ended with my little furry lover, Romeo, who ironically ended his own life by trying to escape his cage, Houdini-style.

My brother’s menagerie was always a little more exotic than mine, though.

  • The chameleon that I may have terrified into losing it’s tail… (Seriously, this was the most horrifying thing on the planet. My brother told me to hold the damn thing by its tail…so I did…and the next thing I knew, I was holding a tail…but no chameleon).
  • The sickly turtle that couldn’t get used to living in a terrarium, even under a heat lamp. It was part rescue mission/part lost cause.
  • The hamster that we mated with our cousin Rachel’s hamster…who proceeded to eat all of the babies (Rachel’s hamster, not my brother’s hamster…or Rachel.)
  • The cannibalistic snail that ate my snail…and my replacement snail – jerk.
  • The pair of hermit crabs that lived in various seashells in the short time we had them.
  • The spunky dalmatian that was born in a thunderstorm and captured all of our hearts (including the old-man dog and old-man cat that dominated our household zoo).
  • The frogs that I apparently have zero recollection of whatsoever (but my brother assures me that they existed).

You can see, he’s always been quite the animal lover. Me?

Okay, fine. I loved animals too.

I haven’t had my own pet since Sammy Fish (my finned college bestie, who hated car-travel but had to suck it up at least four times a year). And according to Brian, I won’t have one for quite some time. Sad face Although we have discussed our very own exotic menagerie…and maybe a bunny named Bunnicula.

My brother, on the other hand, has had a string of delightful pets, including several hamsters and my newest little furry nephew, Biscuit the Hedgehog.

Biscuit the Hedgehog

Biscuit the Hedgehog – My spiky nephew currently lives in a cage built out of storage cubes

Whenever my brother gets a new pet, he feels the need to really create a home for it. But those store-bought cages just don’t do it for him. So he BUILDS HIS OWN PET PALACES. He builds cool toys for them to play with. He basically does some crazy juju magic to create these genius inspired homes for his fur babies. I absolutely adore him.

homemade hamster cages

Roxxi the Hamster lives in this china-cabinet-turned-hamster-palace. Note the details…like the cork cabin and the cork bridge.

So there you have it, my friends.

My brother is a creative genius and has the coolest pets around. With the coolest pet palaces around.

Would you build unique homes for your pets? Do you have any cool pets? Do you have any ridiculously crazy pet stories? Am I the only person in the world who de-tailed a chameleon?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

DIY Fill Your Own Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

Confession: I originally wrote this a few years ago when I was working at marketing-esque company as a blogger and copywriter. I’m pulling it from my archives since it’s no longer live on a site and my Pinterest peeps are clicking on the images.

DIY Christmas Ornaments

This weekend, I had a little bit of fun with Christmas crafts. Crafting Christmas ornaments, to be specific. I thought that homemade Christmas ornaments would be just the thing to get you started for the holiday season. (There’s no need to mention that much to the chagrin of my peers, my holiday spirit started 4 weeks ago with holiday music).

Growing up, my mom was all about the holiday crafting. She makes gorgeous wreaths for all of the holidays and seasons, but she would let me help with the Christmas designs. We would also create fun and colorful beaded Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree. Though many of them have long since disappeared, they hold a sweet memory in my heart.

The Raw Materials

DIY Ornament materials

Materials to Fill Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments

In the spirit of holiday fun, I made six glass ball ornaments with simple items that I had lying around the house. I started with a pile of household materials: Clear glass ball ornaments, buttons, ribbon, Mardi Gras beads, and leftover fabric from Halloween costumes a few years ago. You may have other materials that would also be perfect for this project, so be creative with your ideas. You never know until you try it.

The Christmas Ornaments

Mardis Gras Beaded Ornaments

I made two Christmas ornaments with the Mardi Gras beads, the first a plain colored purple, and the second multicolored with traditional Mardi Gras colors of gold, purple, and green. I really liked both of these, and I loved the way they shimmered in the light. It was really easy to make them too!

For the purple ball, I just guided one strand of uncut beads inside through the small opening. For the multicolor Mardi Gras ball, I cut all three strands, and guided them in together through the opening, cutting the remaining beads off once the ball was filled. I used the scissors to push the beads all the way inside.

Memory-Inspired Ornaments

My next set of Christmas ornaments was in homage to our 2011 Halloween costumes, Poison Ivy and Ras Al Ghul. For those of you who love keepsakes, this is a great way to preserve any fabrics or materials that have meaning to you, whether you are using extra fabric from your wedding gown, a child’s favorite piece of clothing that they’ve outgrown, part of a blanket, or anything else that you can think of. Our family Christmas tree has always been loaded up with keepsake ornaments that didn’t come from Hallmark.

I cut a long strand of gold and black fabric that my boyfriend had used for his Ras Al Ghul costume, and a long strand of green velour fabric that I had used for my Poison Ivy costume, and guided them in the same way I guided the beads in. Again, I used the scissors to push the fabric into the glass balls. I also considered adding little pieces of ivy to the exterior of the green ornament with a hot glue gun to add to the Poison Ivy nostalgia from the costume.

Button-filled Christmas Ornament

The Christmas ornament idea that inspired me to get this ball rolling was the button-filled ornament. I had so much fun picking out the buttons from a huge collection that I came across at a garage sale over the summer. I knew my aunt was big into crafting with buttons, so I thought I might test the waters…

The buttons sat in my room untouched for several months before I finally decided what to do with them. I slid them into the opening of a glass ball ornament for a cute and fun little decoration. This one was probably the most time consuming, considering I had to make sure that the buttons fit, and choose the colors to have a decent variety.

Red & Silver Christmas Ornament

My last ornament, and personal favorite, is the ribbon filled ornament. I used a tinsel cord ribbon and a small thin red sheer cloth ribbon and laced them through the opening in the ball and let them intertwine with themselves throughout the ornament.

The result was a lovely red and silver shimmering ornament. I’ve always loved the red and silver combination of colors, and I think that the multiple mediums made for a cute combination inside the glass.

Overall, I had a great time crafting these Christmas ornaments, and it only took me about an hour to do 6 of them. At 10 minutes per ball, you can easily make a beautiful set to give to someone you love.

Happy crafting!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

What do a Glue Gun, an Exacto Knife and Pain Have in Common? A DIY Challenge. With Scrabble Tiles. And Christmas Ornaments. Obviously.

If you recall from two weeks ago, I joined some rockstar bloggers in a DIY challenge. Not a competition mind you, a challenge. I’m also pretty sure that by challenge, Joules meant, “I challenge you to make something artsy without hotgluing your hands to your forehead.” or some nonsense like that. Therefore, Joules, I call this a success. 2 cuts from an exacto knife, a cardboard paper cut and one tiny hot glue burn later…My hand is not hot glued to my forehead. AND I have FOUR masterpieces!

I started with a bazillion Scrabble games that I’ve collected through my estate-sailing, garage-sailing summer.  The below picture is a mere sampling. Each box is FILLED with either boards, tiles or tile slats.Scrabble Obviously, I had a lot to work with. Scrabble Tiles And so I took this challenge on with the goal to REALLY get going on my plans…of Christmas presents for everyone! (OK, maybe not everyone…but if you want a Christmas card and MAYBE a present (5 randomly selected Christmas card recipients are getting Scrabble ornaments!) e-mail me your address (quirkychrissy@gmail.com) and you’ll at least get a sweet holiday card, and you might get a sweet ornament for your tree!

How’d I do it though? Oh. Right. The DIY project. I got carried away with…well Christmas joy.

How to Make Scrabble Tiles Your Bitch…Err…Ornaments

This was SO easy! The hardest part was collecting the Scrabble Tiles. Something along the lines of hundreds of man-hours went into the hunt for all the games. I’m hardcore. I know.

I started with the exacto knife and one very unlucky Scrabble board. I cut out two pieces from the board to make two board ornaments, which I hot glued Scrabble tiles to for authenticity (and because I have a shit ton of tiles). This part was the hardest in the actual project, so I decided that I would only do two exacto knive pieces…Brian apparently thought that a dull blade would be better for me…didn’t he learn in school that the sharper the blade, the LESS likely to cut yourself? (Unless you’re me, and you’d probably cut yourself anyways…)

After the tricky pieces, I thought it would be fun to make some easy pieces.

scrabble Tile OrnamentsYou’re probably catching onto my theme, aren’t you? Well, wait my patient little pretties. I’ll get there.

After I glued all of my letters together for the final two words, I was ready to glue ribbon to them! I chose a more festive ribbon for the tiles alone and a simple gold ribbon for the tiles with board pieces (Mission: Not to have Polish ornaments that look how I dress. Goal: successful.)

For the travel edition tiles, I sliced the ribbon in half with scissors (no cuts!) so as not to be overwhelming.

The final products are the perfect addition to my mini book Christmas tree.

What do you think, Blog Friends? How’d I do? Do you want your own? Should I sell them on Etsy like a boss?

If you want to check out more of the DIY challengers, go visit them!

DIY bloggers headshots

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Mission Impossible (Or Possible): DIY Scrabble Joy for the Holidays!

I’m on a mission. A DIY mission, to be exact.

Let me start by introducing you to Joules, who writes an adorable blog about her life as a DIY maven, a mom and overall cool person. I met her in real life and she’s just as adorable. Joules has ideas. Lots of brilliant ideas. DIY brilliant ideas. And she inspires me. She even inspired me to paint canvas and use it as a display for my Disney pins, as shown below:

Disney Princess Pin Display Disney Maleficent Pin DisplayPretty cool right? I love my Disney pins, especially the Maleficent pins. (I had 2 others, but lost them at Disney (sad face). So displaying them seemed like a great plan.

Anyways, so Joules put together this challenge. This DIY challenge. In which 4 bloggers take on the world of DIY…or a project…maybe three projects. Whatever. One of those. Basically, today, I’ll be announcing my project. And the 3 other LOVELY ladies will be announcing theirs. And then we’ve got 2 weeks to make it happen.

So, as I mentioned on Sunday when I was talking about getting steampunk gear at estate sales, I spent a lot of time going to garage sales and estate sales and resale shops. A lot. Like full work days, 8 hours a day, every Saturday, all summer long, a lot of time. Searching for Scrabble. In total, I probably collected about 15 boxes of Scrabble games, some travel size, some full size, some deluxe size. Some old, some new. All for less than $3/pop. But it was tough work.

Luckily for me, I managed to acquire plenty of Scrabbles, so that I could play a DIY project that I’ve been dreaming about since joining Pinterest in 2011 (Before it was cool). I want to make Christmas ornaments (among other things, but we’ll start with ornaments.) Because I have a LOT of Scrabble pieces now!

So with my very busy next 2 weeks, I’m going to make some crazy Pinteresting shit, while seeing 2 pre-screened movies, attending a gamer fashion show, a toy and game fair, a midnight showing of The Hunger Games, creating Christmas cards to send you, decorating for the holidays and working a full time job.

I’m like Wonder Woman without a cape. Except when I have a cape. Or a hood. One of those.

So if you’d like to go visit those other lovely bloggers (because you know you want to) you can easily check them all out with the links below.

DIY bloggers headshots

Of course, I can’t just leave you with that! Because if you’re interested…and you should be…you can play on your own! If you’d like to be featured here on Quirky Chrissy, play along and send me your DIY project by November 24 (because it is a VERY busy week, Blog Friends…and I want to have time to show off your sweetness if you send me sweetness). I’m very excited about this and I hope you are too!

Blog Friends, what DIY project would you love to take on this month?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Steampunk Sunday: How to Get Steampunk Gear and Supplies SUPER CHEAP

This post is part of a sponsored post series about the steampunk lifestyle. This campaign is sponsored by Steampunk Goggles. All opinions are totally my own. 

If you’re rocking the steampunk look, or want to have fun with arts and crafts in the steampunk genre, you know it CAN be easy to find the cool stuff you need to make the neatest accessories. Of course, it can also be ridiculously hard…a pain in the ass to say the least, but I’ve got my own little tricks up my sleeve.

Steampunkin

Sweet Jackie

If you saw my steampunkins, then you know I found some SWEET stuff to play with. I’ve since run that shit through the dishwasher so that I can reuse it for fun artsy projects of joy.

I really liked the piece on the top right of “Jackie” – you know, the piece I used as a “flower” in her “hair.” It was probably my favorite find the week I acquired that piece.

I digress…

So if you’re into steampunk, odds are, you make a lot of your own sweet pieces. Or you shop on Etsy. Or specialty sites like Steampunk Goggles (the wonderful sponsors of this post.) Either way, you want unique accessories and accents that make your steampunk look your own. Sometimes a combination of the three can create the perfect ensemble or decorative piece. (And you know I’ve been working in retail copywriting too long when sentences start coming out like that. </cheese>)

I’m going to teach you my sweet secret.

Confession: I have a summer addiction. I spent nearly every Saturday morning from May through October digging through other people’s junk. I’m a garage sailor (yes. sailor) through and through. I’m actually going to be talking about this a few times this week…but today is all about the steampunk finds.

Estate sales are my absolute weakness, and I’ve found some pretty amazing things for SUPER cheap. Not only is it fun to walk through someone’s home, observing their things and their home, but also it’s a bit like treasure hunting.

Take this one home I went to about a month ago. The gentleman who lived there was some type of builder or plumber. Piping, tubing, pieces tools galore lined the walls and floor of his garage. I spent several hours digging through all of the dusty boxes and bags to find pieces that I thought were interesting or usable. I came home a smelly disgusting mess. It was awesome.

The best part about my finds, was the fact that estate sale operators understand what I do. I walked up to the lady with a giant bag of stuff and said, “I have NO idea what any of this is.”

And she looked at me knowingly, “Are you an artist?”

It was the first time that it had been asked of me by a stranger. And I never REALLY considered myself an artist. Until that moment.

“Yep.”

“Well, I’ll go easy on you. It looks like you have some copper and…how about $4 for the whole bag?”

“Deal.”

FOR THE WIN!

How to Get #Steampunk Gear Super Cheap After washing every single piece (and bleaching some tubing that smelled awful…and I eventually had to throw away anyways…) and showering…I had a pretty sweet box of goodies to show Brian.

At another garage sale, I was able to ask for a $2 price on this sweet craft box FULL of buttons…while not all of them are “steampunk” worthy, there are quite a few antique-y buttons that will be awesome on some of my projects.

craft box full of buttons

I’ve done this several times, and now I have lots of DIY projects in the works, so get excited. Here’s the start of something I’m working on right now:

steampunk lunchboxI started with a lunch box that I received at BlogHer, painted it with a color I mixed myself, and glued some of the more unique buttons. Then I glued lace around the handle and added a few more buttons. I’ll be adding some of the fun items from the box-o-goodies next to see where this ends up.

As you can see, Brian’s got a lot of patience for me…and my “projects.”

Collector vs. hoarder Someedcards

 

What are you working on, Blog Friends? Anything fun? Anything Steampunk?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

DIY Halloween Bathroom Decor. Or How Chrissy is SERIOUSLY Twisted: 2013 Edition

After a year and a half of getting to know me on the internet, I PROBABLY don’t have to tell you that I’m seriously messed up in the head. I probably also don’t have to tell you that I’m a smidge on the sick and twisted side. Or that I love Halloween. Or that I love fake blood and guts and scaring the crap out of people.

So it REALLY shouldn’t surprise you that when I had the opportunity—for the first time ever, as I now live in my very own apartment (that I do not own, therefore don’t have to care about quite as much)—to really go a little nuts on the Halloween decor.

After Pinteresting the heck out of Halloween for the last month (Do you follow me on Pinterest? Because you should. I pin awesome stuff), Brian and I threw a little…Halloween Kickoff Party in our tiny apartment. And by tiny, I mean big enough to fit 24 of our closest pals. Obviously.


SpiritHalloween.com
The thing that I was most excited to decorate though…was the bathroom. Most of the apartment had a fun Halloween feel to it (and I’ll take you on a photo tour soon, promise!) thanks to my Halloween-loving uncle who donated a slew of amazing Halloween-y items to us (we filled up the car with goodies!) But the bathroom…the bathroom was going to be disgusting. And amazing. And perfect.

After working in a pretty awesome haunted house…and then my stint as an extra in a horror movie (I’ll tell you about that when the movie comes out, yo!), I learned a few tricks for high quality horror. So I had a plan. I was going to turn our bathroom into something of a horror scene.

For our Halloween party, we turned our bathroom into a bloody horror scene using some items we had laying around the kitchen for realistic looking blood that was EASY to clean up.

For our Halloween party, we turned our bathroom into a bloody horror scene using some items we had laying around the kitchen for realistic looking blood that was EASY to clean up.

DIY Decorative Blood

For the blood, I picked up some corn syrup, chocolate syrup and strawberry syrup. Then I mixed them all together. The real bonus, though was the pumpkin spice coffee grounds. That’s it. Easy peasy. And it smelled AMAZING. So even though my bathroom looked disgusting, it didn’t smell like ass at all!

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What do you think, guys? Twisted? Awesome? Disgusting?

Our guests told us that our bathroom was disgusting…BUT they also said that it smelled REALLY nice. And it totally did.

Cleaning up the fake blood

Everyone kept tell me that it was going to be SUCH a bitch to clean up. Because like…sticky. Oh and that we would have ants. But you know what? It wasn’t so bad.

Unfortunately, because we need to like…shower…we couldn’t keep these decs up through the season. So I went to work. I used two rolls of paper towels, an entire can of Extra Strength Scrubbing Bubbles (minus whatever I used to clean the bathroom prior to the mess), half a can of Windex Foaming Glass Cleaner, A bunch of 409 Kitchen cleaner and some Windex Bathroom Touch Up (this one, I scored from BlogHer)….

You want to know what worked best?

Warm water.

I realized, as I was breathing in all of the chemicals and choking to death, that maybe I should try just good old fashioned water, so I turned on the shower. And watched as coffee grounds and syrup melted off the walls and filled the tub. It was amazing. Even though I felt ridiculous for wasting all of the cleaning product that I wasted. Because water is awesome.

And the towel? I threw it in the washer. Piece of cake.

Shop New Halloween Decorations for 2015 via TrendyHalloween.com
What is the creepiest thing you’ve done for Halloween?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!