W is for Wheels!

So I’m a huge fan of Fab, which every day emails me something new that I never knew I needed. It also gives me lots of ideas for things I could make myself. I love all things nautical, so when Fab emailed one day with nautical flags, I was all – HEY I COULD LIKE TOTALLY DO THAT!

I thought it would be cool to do A:

O:and W (source), since those are my initials:

I started to do the A, but figured it would look weird since the actual nautical flag for A is cut off. W stands for Whiskey, which is my favorite, and its design lends itself to the great painting technique known as painter’s tape. Plus, my curtains are red, white and blue so this one matches perfectly and I already had a white-primed canvas laying around. So, reading between the lines here, covering the canvas in a healthy dose of white paint and letting it dry is step numero uno.

With whatever was laying around that looked to be about two inches, I used a pencil to put hash marks on the canvas so it would at least be kind of straight and marked it off with painter’s tape. As I can tell now, the center box was totally closer to one side. Good thing I’m not a perfectionist. Then I started with blue paint:

Then added in the red while the blue dried:

Once that was all dry, I took off the tape and filled in the gaps by eye:

Since some of the paint leaked under the tape, I touched them up by hand, which is always the most soothing part for me:

Once all that was dry, I Instagrammed it!


Just Put a Bird on It

This is an art project that took two ideas and pulled them into one!

One day, while I was shopping with Stephie, I came across this cool print/canvas at Cost Plus:

Stephie so wisely told me that I could make that myself. So what did I do? I got myself a canvas and I put a bird on it. Or three birds.

Why three birds? Well, let me tell you the second idea.

“Three Little Birds” is my fave fave fave Bob Marley song, which you can listen to here. Plus the three little birds are me and my two brothers. I’m super deep like that. I was actually inspired when I saw this tattoo and saw wall hanging on Pinterest:

So I figured I would combine the bird print with Marley and boom, inspiration born.

With the help of my dear friend Jenn, I found two bird outlines that I liked on the internet. There are seriously a lot of birds on the internet. I have no idea where I found the ones I used but here they are:

I primed the canvas with white paint, which was soothing.

Then I cut out the three birds and put tape on the edges:

I perched them on a piece of painter’s tape that I put at an angle because I felt it added some fartsy to my art and got to work painting:

I gave it two heavy does of paint, being careful to let it dry in between coats, naturally. Once I felt that it was adequately covered in this lovely blue/teal/ocean/isitsummeryet color, I took the birds and paint off. Similar to the California print, some of the paint had squeaked underneath:


So I got the white paint back out and did touch ups. Now this part made me feel like a real artiste. I even wore a beret. Okay, that’s a lie but I’m sure there was at least one glass of wine and five cups of tea involved, and that’s arty. I just played the touch-ups by eye, where it looked like anything needed more definition. And ta da:

I would seriously make a billion of these if someone wanted to pay me. Super easy and super fun!

Valentine’s Day Mantle

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m a couple of days late on this but I just had to share.

I agree with Ms. Kelly’s post on Valentine’s Day in that it’s a holiday for under-performing couples to show their love when they really should be doing it all year. I love farmer’s market flowers, but I hate boxes of chocolates. Anytime someone wants to give me something from Tiffany, that’s completely acceptable. (As a side note – this was my first Valentine’s Day as a single lady in four years but it didn’t leave me wallowing in chocolate or wine so go me) But I digress…

Pink just happens to be my favorite color and I love the lovey-dovey sentiment of Valentine’s Day. Plus, my roommates were giving me grief about the Christmas stockings still being up on the mantle. So, once again, I paired with my holiday-loving friend Angiepants and headed to Michaels, where, as usual, I ended up spending more money than I thought. But look how purdy my mantle turned out!

I love having fresh flowers in the house, but since I knew I wouldn’t be home for three of the four weekends in February, I bought my first fake flowers. I figured they would work for Valentine’s Day and Easter, plus they were pink so duh:

The section formerly known as the dollar section (it’s up to a whopping $1.50 now!), where you forget everything that’s on your list and end up emptying your wallet, had the most adorable containers of buttons, and I just knew I had to make something with them:

I found some extra paper in my craft supply that I thought would accent the pink of the flowers and hearts and got to work. I used a pencil to lightly draw a heart on the paper and then filled the inside of it with buttons, gluing the back side with a scrapbook glue stick (I think any kind of glue stick would work here). But then I realized that you could still see the pencil markings since the buttons were inside of it. Gasp! The horror! Even though I erased it, I knew it was there. So, I started all over and just eyeballed it. I think it came out pretty good (if I do say so myself):

Even though I picked that frame up using the Michaels app coupon, and it ended up being more than I would originally pay but I rationalized it by saying I’d make similar button creations for the mantle for Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter, la la la. I can talk myself into anything. Besides going to the gym.

While at Michaels, Angie and I debated how I would hang the hearts across the mantle. She found the most adorable flower clothespins in the dollar section, but I decided that I would just string them. We had a very frank discussion about placement of holes lest the hearts look like nipples. Using a hole punch, I put holes in it and strung it along some pink ribbon I already had:

So huzzah, happy Valentine’s Day! What were your pink decorations?


No-Sew Curtains Tutorial

For as long as I lived at my house, and probably longer, there have been some butt-ugly brown curtains in the bathroom. Since I don’t sew, I hadn’t given too much thought to replacing them but then Young House Love blogged about quick and easy curtains. And nothing says Wheels like quick and easy. (She’s got jokes!)

Back in December, I went into Joanne’s looking for fabric for a tree skirt and got so overwhelmed that I ended up walking out of the store with nothing. With the traumatic experience in mind, I hollered at my dear and incredibly patient friend Angiepants to accompany me to Joanne’s to pick out fabric for new curtains.

We wandered around the store for an exorbitant period of time considering I ended up picking the fabric that I first came across. But, it was quite fun to look at all the different types of fabric and hold them up to see if we could see through it. Note – I got away with semi transparent fabric because the windows in the bathroom are semi opague. Thanks to the handy dandy Joanne’s app, I got several yards of material and grommets (more on them later) for $25.

Later that week, all hopped up on adrenaline after a night of work, I decided that Friday at midnight was the perfect time to start crafting. I apologize in advance for the fuzzy photos at the end.

Step One – Figure out sizing

I failed to take a photo of this, but I took down the old curtains, laid them on the floor and put the material over it. This way, I could see how much I could get away with “hemming.” Instead of a photo of this, I took one of me wearing the excess material, that’s like a totally helpful trade, right?

Step Two – Pour some wine

It makes everything better

Step Three – Get to work ironing

Using this new sew fabric tape stuff:

I set about making all four sides of the curtain panel straight and sewed. Since the fabric had natural lines, I just went with those. Had I been using an untextured fabric, I probably would have been annoyed at having to be anal about the sides.

I followed the instructions on the back of the tape, more or less. It suggested having a wet towel in between, but I thought it would hurt the iron (which isn’t mine), so I did one section with the wet towel and one without. It honestly, didn’t make a difference. Since there wasn’t going to be a lot of wear and tear on these, I didn’t think it matter. Should I be hemming pants (like I bought the tape for in the first place), I might be a little more careful about following instructions.

Here’s me folding (the tape stuff is underneath):

And me ironing:

This is what the finished edge looked like:

And this is the finished and totally hemmed panel:

Step Four – Install grommets

This was my very first experience with grommets. I honestly didn’t know what they were called until we came across the section. Thankfully, the lady at Joanne’s knew what I was talking about when I asked her for the “the stuff you use to put on curtains to hang them on rods.” Since they’re reusable and I know what to dress up my windows for every holiday, Angie and I thought silver would be the most universal choice:

You can see the ugly curtains in the background here!

Like the ironing tape, the grommets came with their own instructions, which I followed. I laid the curtain panel out on the ground and using a very scientific method (using the squares on the fabric) to space them out. The grommets came with this handy-dandy tracer thing (that I hope I managed to keep somewhere) that I used to trace where I would need to cut out:

Even though it was like 1:30 a.m. by this point, I was lucid enough to trace with a pen on the backside of the curtains:

Then using scissors my dear grandma gave me – I cut the holes:

I was then ready to install the grommets (again using the instructions on the package):

They just pop together, which is great:

Midway through this process, the heater kicked on and scared the living bejesus out of me by blowing up the fabric. Once I stop freaking out that my house was haunted and I was going to die because my roommates were sleeping and a ghost was going to attack me, I took a photo, naturally:

Nearly squealing in delight (as much squealing and prancing as one can do at 2 in the morning while her roommates sleep), I headed to the bathroom to hang up the amazing curtains:

Food for Thought:

-This project was super easy and made me feel super accomplished

-Luckily the fabric fit the width of the window, not sure exactly what I would do if the window was wider than the fabric, I guess combine two panels

-Since they’re kind of drapy/curtains, they didn’t need to be perfectly straight, which is good for me because I’m terrible about being anal about lines and stuff

Cardstock + Paint = California Love Art

There are two things I love very much – the state of California and Pinterest. When I happened upon this blog post/Pin, I knew I had to make it mine.

Step One – Find your state (or really any shape):

I found an outline of California that I liked on the internet, saved it to my desktop and opened it in InDesign. I made it fit (proportionally, of course!) to an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper since I had picked up a fair large thin canvas (for hella cheap at Wal-mart). I used my work printer printed several copies of it on card stock. It was just typical

Step Two – Paint your canvas

I failed to take a picture of my white canvas but I covered my canvas with a nice dose of white paint. I felt like it gave it more texture and it was fun to do. If white ain’t yo thing, any color would work.

Step Three – Cut out your state and adhere tape to the back:

I was careful to put lots of tape on the edges because that’s where the paint would be sure to leak through. I should have put a couple more pieces by the cut out.

Step Four – Select your colors:

Since the state flower of California is a poppy, I went with orange. Since I couldn’t choose which orange, I made a combination of these ones. In retrospect, this isn’t always the best choice, but you can read more below on that fun fact.

Step Five – Paint:

Put a nice coating of paint all over the canvas. Be extra careful around the edges since it’s not totally secured, some paint will get underneath. Let dry. It’ll look like this, but less fuzzy:

Step Six – Touch things up:

As I said earlier, some of the paint leaked under the state cutout so it wasn’t as clear as I wanted. Using some white paint, I went in and touched up the edges. I also added in the Channel Islands. I don’t have the steadiest of hands, but this was actually surprisingly easy and fun to do. Having the print out of the state helped to eye things.

I also mixed up some of the paint to do another coat of the orange since I wasn’t terribly pleased with how it looked. Upon first remix of the paint, it wasn’t an exact match so in that regards, using one bottle would be easier, but I figured it out. Then I hand painted a heart where my hometown is.

Then I popped it in a frame. Boom. Art. I started this project before I bought the frame, so it doesn’t exxxacctly fit the way I’d like but meh, still looks amazing.

Not to be a brag, but I think it looks even better in the frame. This may be my favorite style of painting. I felt like I was actually painting but it didn’t look like a fourth grader did it. Now, I just have to find more shapes to make art with!

Ornaments + Hanger = Purdy Wreath

In yet another delightful Pinterest find, decided to liven up my mama’s house with an ornament wreath!

I enlisted the help of my bestie Kelly, and we headed to our friend Walmart, where I found these beauties – three containers of ornaments (went with red, green and silver) for $5/pop:

After the pain of going to Walmart with me had subsided, I tricked Kelly into coming over for pulled barbecue chicken and football so that she could be the muscle.

Step One – Pull all the tops off the ornaments:

Step Two – Put hot glue on the edge and replace the tops:

Step Three – Group all the ornaments:

Note – This was just me being anal. It didn’t end up working out well because there were colors next to each other and a good shake of the hanger allows for equal distribution of colors.

Step Four – Get the muscle to bend a wire hanger into a circle:

Step Five – Thread the ornaments onto the hanger:

Step Six – Shake the wreath until you’re statisfied with how it looks, then get the muscle to wind the ends together:

Step Seven – Hang it and admire your awesome handiwork:

Hello, My Name Is Wheels

And I like to craft. And write. And this is my brand-new blog.

Though I’m sure this blog will be ever-evolving, it’s my goal to discuss the trials and tribulations of being a 20-something and to catalog all the fun I have with a hot glue gun.

A little more about me…

I live and work in Berkeley, Calif., the dirty hippie capital of the San Francisco Bay Area. But, I’m originally from the country outside of Sacramento, the capital of the glorious state of California.

This is me. (And my [younger but way bigger] brothers because apparently I don’t have a lot of pictures of just me)

My favorite colors are pink and green. But never together. I haven’t met a medium I don’t like but painting is my favorite, even though I’m not that good at it. I’m a pinterest-aholic.

I love sports (go San Francisco Niners, Oakland A’s, Sacramento Kings, UCSB Gauchos and Notre Dame Fighting Irish) and am a super proud graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

I turn 27 in December so I’m 26 going on three. If I could, this is the outfit I would wear all the time:Thanks for stopping by, I hope we’ll be very happy together!