Monday, May 26, 2014

Sponge-Painted Letter Wreath

I hope everyone is having an amazing Memorial Day Weekend. This little project turned out to be a bit red, white, and blue -- just enough to motivate me to finally share it with you guys =)

All you need is a sponge, two colors of paint, ribbon, and a wooden letter. Paint the wooden letter -- front and back -- with a few coats of one color (a good rule of thumb is whatever color is lighter, but I can see the reverse working). I went with white for my base, and blue as my "sponge" color.

Squirt out a very tiny amount of paint of the second color onto a paper plate. And then, lightly -- oh, so lightly -- dab a sponge into the paint. You might want to press the sponge into a paper towel or a dry part of the plate to avoid any over-painting.

And then - dab away!

Loop a ribbon through your letter (or, if your letter is sans loop, staple or glue to the back) and you're done! It's a nice change of pace from the standard wreath.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Writer's Wednesday: Where the Hell Have You Been?

I don't know if I have been a great blogger or a shitty one.

On this blog, I've been terrible: I pride myself on doing at least one entry a week, maybe more, and I have been letting that fall by the wayside. I can't even blame it on not doing any more crafts: I have four finished projects just waiting to be written up, but the pictures stay on the camera and off this blog (two of those include upcycling various items into yoga bags. Hey, what can I say: you craft what inspires you and yoga is currently my main source of inspiration).

However, I've been making some great headway with my 365 Blog. I'm now less than 80 entries away from completing it. I can probably blame this project more than anything else; kind of hard to do a craft write-up when you're busy writing pseudo-essays every day! But I'm so happy I've kept up with it. It's been the driving force behind my essay writing: gone are the days when I think up an idea or craft an opinion and let it fall by the wayside. Since I have to write about something every single day, why not write about that? Those entries eventually become rough drafts, which become second and third drafts, which eventually get submitted to various websites.

Usually, these websites reject me. And sometimes, they don't. Primarily Thought Catalog, where I've been a fairly consistent contributor for almost a year now.

Every once in a while, another website picks up on my stuff: you can check out my essay on redefining a morning practice on Elephant Journal, my opinions on being "an un-noble yogi" here at Rebelle Society (although -- prima donna writer moment -- I have to mention that the editors had final say on the title and the formatting of the essay in general for both of these essays).

You can also check out an essay about strength over skinny on Literally Darling -- and keep an eye out for my Foolproof Guide to Planning a Wedding on that website next week.

And have you bought my book yet? It's now available across the board on all digital formats: got a Nook? You can get it on the B&N website? Kindle? Amazon, baby. iPad or iPhone? iBooks! Got a smartphone? Android market! And don't forget Kobo, if the aforementioned websites don't suit you.

So, yeah, things have been a bit busy! Combine this with my yoga teacher training and finishing up my third manuscript (which is actually coming together -- I'm only two chapters away from completing!) and it's not hard to see why this blog has slowed to a standstill.

But I promise to make a better effort with this blog -- but if this blog keeps silent, at least you know I'm not dead ;)

Friday, May 16, 2014

How to Get Rid of a Wasp in the House

...without spraying the inside of your house with Raid.

There is a wasp nest somewhere on our property, and it's resulting in wasps getting into the house. I've probably had to kill four or five wasps within the last two weeks. As much as I love spraying Raid and Wasp Killer outside, I can't exactly be running around the house spraying it, especially with a bunch of small mammals living in the house (let's not forget that Raid is a neurotoxin).

So what do I do? I use hairspray and thick-soled shoes.

From as far of a distance as I can get, I spray a generous amount of hairspray on the wasp. This causes their wings to become sticky and heavy, forcing them to eventually fall to the ground and attempt to clean the hairspray off. When they fall to the ground -- while wearing my shoes -- I stomp on them with everything I've got. The extra force is necessary; wasps seem impervious to the traditional methods of insect-killing (fly swatters et al) and -- trust me on this one -- you don't want to just *injure* a wasp. Wasps are incredibly aggressive and have zero issues stinging you to prove a point.

And remember: the hairspray alone will not kill them. It might take them a while, but they can and will clean the hairspray off and be perfectly fine.

For someone like me, who uses so little hair spray that she still owns hair spray from her days going to high school dances, this is perfect. Actually, what would be perfect is to not have any wasps near or in my house, but we can't have everything.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cleanliness Tip: Martha Stewart Can Shove It

Source: Hyperbole & A Half

Keeping any abode clean is a full-time job in and of itself. The bigger that abode gets, the more of a job it becomes. Martha Stewart suggests instituting a "tidy room" clause: whatever room you enter, you are not allowed to leave until everything is put away. Basically, if you enter a room in your house that is all sorts of disorganized and messy, good luck making new plans anytime soon. She even suggests giving clean rooms a once over to make sure everything is in its rightful place.

And to that I say: sure, just as soon as a adopt a brand new personality.

I'd love to be that type of person who never lets anything accumulate for long (especially if it's a room I go in). It would be great if I had the mental fortitude to make sure every room I enter is clean before I leave it. But I'm not. And if I tried to implement that rule, I know I'd burn out (and my husband would follow it exactly once). I'd last a whopping week or so before I become like the Hyperbole and a Half girl, meekly asking if she really has to clean all the things.

So I have a new rule in place: the "one item" rule. This is especially true for rooms that seem to get way too cluttered for their own good (like my dining room table). Essentially, before I leave a room, I make sure at least one thing is put away. Usually that thing is whatever I was using at the time. Sometimes it's not. And sometimes that one bit of tidying is enough to get me to tidy up a lot more than just one item (apparently even housework isn't spared from the laws of physics. An object in motion stays in motion...).

This really works for someone as scatterbrained like me, who will enter a room and forget why she went in there. I might not remember why I went into the bedroom, but that pair of jeans is now in the hamper, so the trip wasn't completely for naught.

I might not have all my baseboards scrubbed and shelves dusted by 9 a.m., but I am keeping my head above water when it comes to keeping the house nice in the midst of school and work (and my delusions of making it as a writer). And that's really all anyone can ask for.
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