Tag Archives: #upcycled

SeeKarenFollow: This Week

So, yeah, it’s been a while.  And you would think that I would have lots of pictures from Instagram to share during my absence.  But when this lady takes a break, she means it.  So here is what little I have to show and tell from the last two weeks.

125/365 saving castoffs from the Goodwill bin for making tshirt yarn this morning #365project #seekarencraft

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I saved some of my hubby’s old t-shirts from the donation bin to make some t-shirt yarn.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with it yet.  There are just so many options to choose, it overwhelms me.

My hubby made me this brunch sammie. I'm a lucky girl!

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The hubby made me a brunch sammie on gluten-free bread and served it up with some pickled shrimp.  Yum!  Who’s a lucky wife?

This is the only evidence remaining of my latest epic recipe fail.  Crab-stuffed something sounded good, I had some zucchini in the fridge, and quinoa would make it all gluten-free.  Long story short, do not try to talk yourself into thinking that canned crab meat will work in a pinch.  It doesn’t.  Didn’t I learn anything from Top Chef?

Fortunately these lovely people have been much more productive than I over the last couple of weeks, giving me lots of goodies to pin on Pinterest.

  1. Okay, so if I had this blooming monogram on my wall, do you think I would keep my promise to always have fresh flowers in the house?
  2. This bulldog corkboard mural is too cute to be confined in a kid’s bedroom (though it is awesome there).  I say do some excellent pop art installation on your living room wall with it.
  3. I want one of all my favorite animals as framed fabric art.
  4. Direct your attention to your best asset with this lace-embellished t-shirt.  (Yes, I mean your booty.  Don’t you think the lace draws your attention down the line?)
  5. I need these rummage sale tips to get my resale mojo back.  More selling = more buying, so I need to get to it.
  6. Really, do I need to say anything else except strawberry margarita cupcakes?
  7. I know that I don’t need to say again how much I love bacon.   Besides, I will just be reminding you again in a few days.  But don’t you want some of these maple-bacon muffins with crumbled bacon glaze right now?
  8. I think I will have lots more success with this crispy buffalo quinoa bites salad.  No canned crab to make it go oh-so-wrong.
  9. Shut up!  Peanut-butter-cup-stuffed chocolate-dipped Oreos?  I might be salivating like Pavlov’s dog.
  10. I experienced another great minds think alike moment with this chocolate sour cream tortilla cake.  I have some leftover corn tortillas that I know would make a kick-butt dessert.  Once I get it down, I’ll be sure to share it with you all.

I also wanted to encourage everyone in or around the Indianapolis area to attend An Enchanted Spring Market this Friday and Saturday, May 24-25th.  Nicki has been posting about all the great vendors who will be there, and it sounds like it’s going to be great.  Memorial Day Weekend is a busy one around here, more because of the Indy 500 than my birthday of course, so don’t forget to make some room in your calendar for this vintage/crafty shopping opportunity.

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My Take: Coffee Filter Wreath

131/365 coffee filter wreath Mother's Day gift #365project #nofilter #seekarencraft

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With as much time as I spend on bloglovin’ and Pinterest, I know that there are a lot of coffee filter wreaths out there.  I wasn’t sure about hopping on the bandwagon.  But when I rescued a couple hundred coffee filters from a friend who was going to trash them, I decided to make my own.

130/365 "Flowering" coffee filters is therapeutic #365project #seekarencraft

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I followed the tutorial from The SITS Girls, but I used a willow wreath from Dollar Tree for my form.  Half of my time was spent folding, the other part gluing.  By the way, I used fast-grab glue instead of a glue gun.  Figured my fingers were safer that way.

Once the wreath was finished, it looked a little too “wedding”.  I was giving the wreath as a gift, and I wanted its recipient to be able to switch out the ribbon for all seasons and holidays.  I also wanted to accentuate the texture of the wreath, which was the best part.

Many bloggers dip and/or dye their coffee wreaths.  Me, I didn’t have that kind of time.  Besides, they were already glued onto the wreath.  Instead I watered down some silver paint (2 parts paint to 1 part water) and lightly ran a flat artists brush over the coffee filter edges.  The entire wreath only needed about a teaspoon of paint (including the tiny drops that I flipped onto my face and arms during the process).

132/365 mini wreath with coffee filter flower for Gran on Mother's Day #365project #seekarencraft

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I also made a second gift wreath by painting another willow form and attaching a coffee filter flower.  The flower is sprayed with red glitter paint.  So subtle, you can’t even see it in this shot.  Wink.

131/365 coffee filter wreath Mother's Day gift #365project #nofilter #seekarencraft

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What do you think about the silver tipped filters?  Can’t you just see a Christmas bow on there?  Halloween?  And think of the possibilities for weddings…just add your custom colors and have fun.

SeeKarenFollow: This Week

Who else is overjoyed that it’s May?  In Indy, May is a month full of activity and celebration…including my birthday.  I usually share my birthday weekend with the Indy 500, so I’ve learned to make the most of it.  This week, however, was all about counting down to Cinco de Mayo (from the food I ate to the shoes I wore and of course the margaritas) and other random moments caught on Instagram.

I finally took down my tissue paper flower garlands, but only to replace them with red and blue crepe paper and glittery Cinco de Mayo decorations.  Yes, it does look a little like a 4th grade classroom up in there.  So?

120/365 Catching A Midsummer Night's Dream at #IRT #365project

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The hubby and I saw my all-time favorite ever presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Indiana Repertory Theatre this week.  The Shakespeare classic was depicted as a young boy’s dream set in the Belle Époque era.  Loved it!  And isn’t IRT beautiful inside?

Wah wah. It's a brownie sinkhole. #seekarencook

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Sometimes a great recipe starts with an epic fail.  This was the case with my Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream.  I hadn’t planned on ice cream.  But when the brownies blew up in the over, fell while cooling, cemented themselves to the pan, and then turned out to be a pudding cake consistency inside, plans changed.  I have to say, though, they made the best ice cream ever!

122/365 random rainbow sighting #365project #nofilter

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This photo is why I love, love, love Instagram.  Because sometimes you spy a random rainbow in the sky.  And not only do you need to take a picture of this thing that makes you smile, but you also need to share it with others immediately.  Smiles all around!

When you look at what I pinned on Pinterest this week, it will appear that I was very hungry.  And thirsty.  All week.  I threw in a couple of crafty ideas at end.  Because they are awesome…not just to feel less guilty about my food cravings.

  1. Nacho fries are a brilliant idea.  Why hasn’t anyone done this sooner?  Maybe they have, but I wasn’t paying attention.  Never mind.  I want to try these soon; maybe even switch it up with sweet potato fries.  Yum!
  2. Month of May parties are all about the potluck.  I’m keeping this Royal Potato Salad recipe in mind for the next shindig.
  3. It’s probably dangerous that I can now make these cinnamon-sugar almonds in the crock pot.  As soon as I figure out how to make them with non-refined sugar choices, I may just be out-of-control.
  4. Speaking of out-of-control.  Chocolate-covered bacon toffee.  Someone please pry it away from me.
  5. I had an awesome idea this week.  Why not make my own version of a Choco-Taco with some leftover taco shells that I have in the pantry.  I spent a few days pondering ice cream options that would blend perfectly with the shells.  Then I found these Peanut Buster Choco Tacos.  So good; I’m totally going to copy!
  6. Roasted jalapeno margaritas.  Do I need to say anything else?
  7. Hot summer days are a comin’, and where would I be without these agua frescas?
  8. Ten gifts in one hour.  Hooray!  That’s what I’m thinking when I see these fabric key chains.
  9. How adorable is this no-sew lattice t-shirt?  I’m thinking you could customize it to your desired level of exposure (ahem).
  10. Not only do I appreciate the DIY wood transfer tutorial on this post, but the message is something that I need in my life.  Daily.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Take 2: Catalog Hack Cookbook Bird House

Almost two months ago, I crafted this Uncommon Goods bird house cookbook catalog hack.  You can follow the link to get the full tutorial, but here are a few fun pics from that project.

57/365 prepping for another blog DIY #365project

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A pre-made bird house, a vintage cookbook from the thrift store, and outdoor Mod Podge made the project quick, fun, and easy.

egg recipes for a bird house

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I “cracked” myself up by using all egg-based recipes to cover the walls of the bird house.  Get it?  Cracked.  Eggs.  Cracked Eggs.  Hello?

let the mod podging commence

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My first challenge in the Pinterest Challenge; the walls were wider than the cookbook pages. Never fear, I MacGyvered a solution by using some painted appetizer picks.

cookbook bird house

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So this is where the story previously ended.  I called it my prototype, because I wasn’t happy with the results.  It was out of proportion, and I needed to find a solution before putting this baby on display.  (This is where I resist singing a certain song by a certain housewife from New Jersey and embarrassing myself with my trash TV viewing preferences.)

I found a candle holder at the thrift store for a buck, which I just knew would make the perfect pedestal for my bird house.  So I adhered the pedestal to the bottom of the bird house using clear silicone caulk.  I also decided to flip the orientation of the cookbook so that the graphics at the top of the pages showed from the front of the bird house.

When I was satisfied with the overall look, I began applying the Mod Podge.  In between Mod Podge sessions — it took four — I used clamps to make sure that the pages and cover of the cookbook glued flat to the bird house roof.  Next step: remove the clamps and apply Mod Podge to the entire bird house one more time.

Sometimes I’m not so good at thinking through cause and effect.  Silly me, I removed the clamps from one side first.  It promptly fell off my craft table, and my perfect pedestal broke.    Arrrrrrgh!

Super glue didn't work, but silicone rescued me. Again. #seekarencraft #latergram

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I first tried Super Glue to fix the broken pedestal, but with no luck.  What did I do?  Turn to my trusty silicone caulk, that’s what.

All’s well that ends well.  But is this the end?  If you are being picky, you can see the repaired crack on the pedestal.  Maybe I will end up painting the pedestal to disguise it more.  Maybe I will just call it character and leave it as-is.

From some angles you don't notice that this was in pieces yesterday #seekarencraft #latergram

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Besides, from some viewpoints, you can’t even see it.

Also, if you are visiting from Details or Copycat Crafts, WELCOME!  I love comments, visitors, and followers.  You can also find me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

DETAILS      Copycat Crafts

Tutorial: Potted Easter Egg Vases

Pretty Easter egg place setting/centerpiece flowers on the blog tomorrow #seekarencraft

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Are you searching for quick and easy centerpiece idea for Easter?  These potted Easter egg vases are so easy, I’m a little embarrassed to call this post a tutorial.  But I love them so much, I just have to share.

Years ago I dog-eared this egg cup floral arrangement in my Martha Stewart Living magazine, but I never took the time to actually carry out this idea myself.  Lately, I’ve seen at least a dozen versions of the egg vases on blogs.  I was again inspired to get moving on my own project.  One of my recent favorites is from LIttle Inspiration.  Then I remembered these gold-leafed terracotta pots from The Hunted Interior, and I knew that I wanted to substitute pots for Martha’s egg cups.  (Explaining the random food shot in a craft post.)

82/365 creamed eggs with crispy hash and sauteed grape tomatoes #365project #seekarencook

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Okay, so down to the business of how I did it.  Using a sharp-tipped knife, I carefully poked a hole in the top of six eggs.  If the resulting hole wasn’t large enough for the egg to pass through, I made it a little larger while being careful not to remove too much shell.  Some of the yolks broke in the process, but that’s okay.  I scrambled them in these creamed eggs over the weekend.

83/365 let the Easter crafting begin #365project #seekarencraft

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After removing the eggs, I rinsed out the eggshells with very hot water.  Then I repeated the rinsing, allowing the eggshells to drain overnight.

upcycling the egg crate as my paint tray #seekarencraft

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I may have been a little giddy with a reason to buy these lovely Martha Stewart Pearl & Metallic paints.  And to use my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.  Once home, I picked out my six favorite colors…this was maybe the most difficult part of the project…and began to paint.  I am proud of myself for ‘upcycling’ a used egg crate for my paint tray.  My drop cloth was the calendar art I removed from the yard sale frames for this project.

Easter egg vases awaiting their blooms

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Instead of gold-leafing the rims of my terracotta pots, I used the yellow-gold paint on all but two of the pots.  With all the color going on in the arrangement, I decided to leave the eggs their natural color.  But I thought it would be fun to paint two eggshells the same gold and provide contrast against the two unpainted terracotta rims.  The difference is subtle, but I like it.  When the pots were dry, I added moss to each and placed the eggshells inside.

85/365 putting color on everything but the eggs #365project #seekarencraft #Easter

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Next I began to add the flowers.  These were from a bunch that my husband surprised me with last week.  See what I mean about all the color?

I don't know. I just thought it looked pretty. #seekarencraft

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No, stems this color do not occur in nature, but they put a smile on my face.  And it wouldn’t be Easter if we weren’t plastering pastels on everything that didn’t move for a hot second.

Now add flowers #seekarencraft #Easter

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After I added all the flowers, I realized that I forgot to add water.  Do not do as I do; do as I say.  Add the water first, then the flowers.  But aren’t they cute?

Pretty Easter egg place setting/centerpiece flowers on the blog tomorrow #seekarencraft

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Here’s the beauty profile shot again.  So much pretty for so little effort.

Catalog Hack: Uncommon Goods Cookbook Bird House

Woohoo!  It’s time again for the Pinterest Challenge.  I swear, when Sherry and Katie first imagined up this link party, I almost started blogging.  But then I didn’t.  I did, however, enjoy following along…kind of like the shy girl who isn’t quite ready to join in the reindeer games.  Now I’m ready to show off my bright and shiny nose first catalog hack project.

A few months ago, I pinned this Julila Child cookbook bird house after seeing it in the Uncommon Goods catalog.  I love the concept.  Books in any form are my thing, but I am especially digging upcycled book projects like these:

Inspired, I made a quick run to the craft store to buy bright, shiny new supplies.

57/365 prepping for another blog DIY #365project

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This is my first time using the Mod Podge Outdoor.  I’m hoping that using it will give me the option to display this birdhouse outdoors (probably in a somewhat protected area).  I’m not saying I will; a girl just likes to have options.  I next headed to the thrift store to find a vintage cookbook that caught my fancy.  I’m not sure it gets any more perfect than The American Girl Cookbook, circa 1966.  Well, maybe a vintage Julia Child cookbook, but my Goodwill store didn’t have that in stock.

reason #14 that I don't regret repurposing this cookbook

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Usually I wouldn’t be able to tear apart a cookbook for a project like this.  Instead, I would curl up and read it like a good book (once or twice) while admiring the lovely illustrations.  Then I would add it to my hoard.  Maybe I would give a recipe or two a try…maybe not.  This cookbook, however, was just plain grody.  They don’t photograph well, but there are actually dried-up bug guts stuck to the broken binding in the shot above.  Ewww!  No curling up with this one.  Well, except for the dead bugs.  I couldn’t resist paging through the book and admiring some of the more ‘creative’ recipes, but afterward I felt like Lady Macbeth.  I couldn’t get my hands, or the cookbook, clean enough.

The bird house that I purchased came with a perch already installed.  Gently rocking it back and forth, I was able to break the glue without damaging the wood.  With more twisting, rocking, and pushing, I was able to remove the perch.  My spoon was slightly larger than the hole left with the perch removed, so I used a drill to make it a little larger.

egg recipes for a bird house

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If you haven’t noticed yet, my sense of humor is more than a little quirky.  So it will come as no surprise that I picked out all the fun egg recipes from the cookbook to paper my bird house.  Ha!  Get it?

With my pages selected, I measured the front and the side panels.  The pages were a little narrower than the pre-made bird house walls, so I centered the pages on each side.  I cut the pages according to my measurements.  To make the holes for the entry and perch on the front of the birdhouse, I used a pencil to poke through the book page, creasing the edges around the holes as I went.  I then removed the page, laid it face-down, and trimmed the bent edges with scissors.  I had to whip out the cuticle scissors for the finer detail cutting.  Always resourceful, I am.

let the mod podging commence

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Please forgive my Yoda impression.  I next covered the sides of the bird house and the backs of the cookbook pages with mod podge.  I placed the pages back onto my prepared bird house walls and used a small brayer to smooth them and remove any air bubbles.  For tighter areas, I used a small plastic putty knife.

I let the mod podge dry for 15 minutes.  I am bad at this waiting part, but I was fortunate to have a dilemma to solve in the interim.  Remember that my cookbook pages were narrower than the bird house walls.  What could I do with those bare corners?  Suddenly, I remembered that I had some leftover wooden ‘fork’ party picks.  Why couldn’t I use these as a sort of gingerbread detail on my cookbook bird house?  The perch was going to be a spoon after all.  What goes better with spoons than forks?

With minutes to go in my dry time, I trimmed down eight wood forks to size.  Hmm, but I couldn’t leave them wood-pick-colored.  Black Sharpie to the rescue.  With the newly-black forks in place, other bare wood parts called out for attention.  The solution?  Yellow craft paint.  I think it may be the same color as the Petersik front door.

The mod podge had now dried enough, so that I could add the first top coat.  I covered the pages on all sides with light, even coats.  I let them dry again and repeated this step twice.  Eventually I will also mod podge the book roof of the bird house.  For now, however, it is just resting on top of the bird house.

complete with mixing spoon jacuzzi (mini bird bath)

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I inserted the spoon and called the result my prototype.  I wish the walls were a little taller, so that they were in better proportion to the book roof.  Maybe I will give the bird house some height by adding another wood box to the bottom.  I’m also not crazy about the blank part of the cookbook pages showing on the overhang.  I wonder if I should turn the book around, so that the graphic details of the page headers can be seen?  I think the spoon will also look a little less LARGE, if I add some height.

cookbook bird house

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Now folks, this is how I recommend NOT to complete a project.  I should have done all my painting (and thinking and planning for that matter), before I started waving the mod podge brush around.  But sometimes projects evolve on their own…or at least they do for me.  In these instances, I let go of my fear and consider it an adventure.  Or at least a learning experience.  Do you do this too?

Oh, and share the love by visting Sherry’s, Katie’s, Megan’s, and Michelle’s challenge posts.

Historic Fixture

33/365 gas pipe light fixture with vintage bottle "globe" #365project #upcycle

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Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you buy yourself.  Or at least that is what my husband and I kept telling ourselves this Christmas.  As we shopped for others, we ALSO kept finding the perfect gifts for us.  We tried to resist, but in the case of this Peared Creation Classic American Brewery Lamp that we found at Homespun, our attempts were futile.  “To resist it is useless; it is useless to resist it….”

Umm, sorry!  (But can anyone name the artist and song?)  Seriously though, this light fixture had everything we love:

vintage ♥
upcycled ♥
industrial ♥
local ♥
handmade ♥
beer ♥

Beer, you ask?  Yes.  This lamp uses a vintage beer bottle from Indianapolis Brewing Company.  (To learn more about IBC, check out this post on Historic Indianapolis.)

Indianapolis Brewing Company

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Add to this the fact that the light switch is a vintage faucet handle, and…well, who can blame us for eagerly finding a place in our budget to possess her?  Just look at her when she’s turned on.

Indianapolis Brewing Co.

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What gift have you given yourself lately?