And just when you thought it was safe…

Hi, everybody! I guess I should start by reintroducing myself. I’m Ashley, and this is my humble blog. Several years ago, I began posting recipes and little DIY projects. Like many of my hobbies, my intention was to be a diligent blogger, to do at least one post a week and join the online community of bloggers I’ve admired for years.

Yeeeeeeaaaaaah. Nah.

Life quickly sidetracked me. After a year-long stint with the State Department (INCREDIBLY LONG STORY) and becoming sick with what they said was panic attacks, I moved in with my brother and started working at a local donut shop. Which I loved. Creating recipes on a daily basis was a blast.

But then I started getting sick again. And again. Eventually finding out that I have food allergies, including peanuts and peaches, a gluten intolerance, and most shockingly, lupus. 

Ummmmm, what?!

All of those things have forced me to make some changes in my life. I’m still learning how to handle gluten free baking. I’ve been on immunosuppressants for a few months, and all of my labs so far have been good. It’s taken a toll on me mentally and physically.

And so I’ve returned to my blog.

This means a few things for my blog. I may have more personal posts rather than simply showing crafts. Of course I am still going to show you the cute things I make, and my adorable puppy, Nymeria, but it might get serious. For realsies. 

So bear with me while I figure things out. I’m hoping to feel some catharsis by sharing my stories with you. It’s good to be back!

And Now I’m Back From Outer Space

I’m BACK! Can you believe it?!

Okay, I suppose I have some ‘splainin’ to do. The past couple of months have been crazy. I’ve gotten a new job, interviewed for a fantastic opportunity that could turn into a wonderful career, and stayed busy. I’ve been awful at posting and such, but I’ve made tons of things lately.

Today I’m just going to tell you what I’m sure you already know: Pinterest is an idea Mecca. I’ve pinned nonstop since the day I finally buckled down and made an account. It’s been a lifesaver for my naw job, teaching crafts to kids, and I have so many ideas for when I get my own place.

I’ve been thinking about color schemes for my future place for a while. I really gravitate towards neutrals like cream, gray, and chocolate, with rust and dark teal accents. I thought about painting the plethora of empty candle glasses I have accumulated. I bought several martini glasses from the thrift store a couple of weeks ago, and was given two vases by mom. Figured I’d paint those too.


I love the results of them. However, the vase I tried to paint ended rather atrociously. I decided to try something new. I found some great yarn covered vases on Pinterest and decided to take a crack at it. I decided to use the yarn left over from a blanket I’m knitting (still in progress) to keep the color scheme consistent. Using a hot glue gun, I wrapped the yarn around the vase starting from the top down.


It did take a couple of hours with Joan Jett, Queen, and Adele for company (my Pandora is so very odd). Don’t you love it? I made a random striped pattern, giving it an almost tribal look. Perfect for my eclectic collection! Have fun taking a crack at this easy, albeit time consuming, craft!

Make It Monday, Er, Tuesday: Wooly Mammoth Dad Scarf

Oops, totally forgot to post a Make It Monday yesterday!

The weather is getting to that perfect place when I wear a sweater, scarf, boots, and a plethora of layers. It really is my favorite time of year! And what better time to knit the family all sorts of goodies?

For my dad, I decided to make a scarf. I found a nice manly-looking Red Heart worsted yarn in Aran Fleck.

So manly🙂

I then cast on 52. For the first row, knit two, purl two, and repeat. On the second row, purl two, knit two, and repeat. You will then repeat these rows until the scarf reaches the desired length.

I’m still in the process of completing this project. Dad requested an extra-long scarf. I will post the final result soon!

As you can see, this scarf is getting ridiculous. Watching Futurama while workin on it!

Make It Monday: I Only Date Time Lords Painted Shirt

To any girl lamenting a lost Time Lord, fear not! I wanted to make my sister a Whovian shirt for a while. After the success of my painted oxfords, I decided to use the Martha Stewart Multi Surface Paint again. It was as simple as tracing letters and painting inside lines. Not always my strong suit but it worked out in this instance!

Start out with a clean shirt. I bought this vintage fit tee at Old Navy for a couple of bucks on sale.

I found some great letter stickers at Target, again for a few bucks. If you feel confident freehanding your quote, have at it! I can’t write in a straight line to save my life. You could also use stencils. I like the stickers because they don’t move on you and you can see what the quote will actually look like before committing to it.

Next, use a fabric marker to trace your letters. If you don’t have paint, you could fill in the letters with the marker instead. Then iron the letters, flipping the shirt inside out, according to the instructions on the marker box.

And paint! I used a silver, making it quite Who-like!


My sister loved the shirt, and her friend has asked for one as well! It was a fun project, and now I’m trying to figure out what I want to put on my own shirt. If anyone makes one, don’t hesitate to share! Have a great day!

Make It Monday: Blue (Wo)man Group Painted Shoes

I had a pair of oxfords that my mother bought several years ago. At the time, I wasn’t too interested in the shoes, simply because they were quite wide on my very narrow feet. I have been told that they make me look like the Penguin. From Batman. Not the look I go for, usually. And they had these annoying yellow spots all over. Ew on several levels.

But when I saw these painted oxfords on A Beautiful Mess, I was blown away. Painting shoes? That sounded ridiculously perfect! I searched far and wide for Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Paint and found a collection of 10 colors at Hobby Lobby for $19.95. Paint for forever!


As you can see, there were some yellow spots located on the tops of the shoes. Prior to painting, I took a wet paper towel and cleaned them well. Then I let them dry completely before proceeding.


I promise, no one had an accident on these shoes. That yellow had to go. Shake your paint very well before pouring it into a plastic bowl or something and begin painting.


First coat. As you can tell, I chose a nice pearl light blue hue from the Martha Stewart Paints. After finishing the first shoe, I decided it would just be easier to paint free-hand rather than tape the black sections. Just as easy, especially since I had a tiny brush to paint in the little circles.


The first coat was completed on both the shoes. I let the shoes dry for at least an hour between coats, enough time to watch some “Star Trek” with my dad.


Once the second coat was completed, the shoes started looking as if they had been blue from day one. Yay! I felt a lot more comfortable once I had done the first coat, so the painting went much faster.


As you can see from the close-up, the second coat still left a few streaks on white visible. I decided to go with one more coat.


And success! Three coats were the charm!


With three coats of paint, these oxfords looked better than new, they looked original and fun!

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Make It Monday: Goldfinger Knit Cowl

This week’s Make It Monday is another work in progress, though I’m fairly certain this one will be done quickly. While wandering through Hobby Lobby the other day I happened upon a gorgeous goldenrod yarn. It is one of my favorite colors, and seems to scream “Fall!” At least to me.


What better way to celebrate the shortening of days than by knitting a scarf? I decided to make a cowl, making up a pattern as I went. I cast on 200 onto size 6 circular needles, knitting 2 rows, purling 1, and then repeating. Easy peasy!


As you can see, nowhere near finished. But I can’t wait to show you the results!

Make It Monday: Great Balls of Denim

Sometimes you have a craft that completely surprises you with how amazingly it turns out. Something that friends and family gush over when they see it, like my Omigod You Five Guys Apron from last week’s Make It Monday. Something you are just so ridiculously proud of showing off.

And then you have this week’s Make It Monday.

I have seen so many amazing crochet and knit rugs posted on Pinterest and wanted to try one myself. But I had no idea what to do. When I saw this one from Heartland Living On A Budget, I couldn’t help myself. I had to do it.


Don’t you love the pastelness of this rug? I just want to curl on it with a good book!


I didn’t have extra sheets to chop up. I did have two pairs of jeans that didn’t fit. And that is when I should have thought twice. Not me.

I spent the vast majority of Sunday evening cutting the first pair of jeans into strips, ranging from about a fourth of an inch to an inch wide. In all fairness, I was watching the first season of “Battlestar Galactica” during this time and failed to understand the complications from such differing sizes of jean chopping. I then sewed these strips by hand together. Yes. I was lazy and did not want to set up the sewing machine, thus I took over two episodes to sew these strips together. You may yell “Idiot” at the computer screen whenever you wish.

For some odd reason, I was making perfect stitches on these strips. Perfect stitches that will never be seen and thus did not need to be perfect. I am very dumb sometimes.

By eleven, I had a lovely little (unfortunately, quite little) ball of denim yarn.

I hold the world in the palm of my hand. If your world consists of knitting or crocheting. I think that may be stretching it a little.

I went to bed, figuring I would be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning. No, that is not a euphemism, it is a real saying. At least among my family. And so, I woke to begin the project. As detailed on the linked website, I first tried a double-crochet. This did not work out well. The denim is very bulky and cumbersome, much more so than I had factored into the equation. I started over, trying a single crochet this time. By the time I was nearing the end of my ball, what was supposed to be a rug was more like a, oh, I don’t know, a placemat.

“What is this strange thing you are staring at?” I’m fairly certain Scooby asked as he photo-bombed me. “It’s so puny. I don’t like it.”

I’m not certain if I’m showing off the size of the rug or my slightly grotesque Abraham Lincoln had a baby with a hobbit and this is their lovechild feet. Or my hole-y Batman PJs. “Holy strawberries, Batman, we’re in a jam!”

At this point, I was frustrated. I had errands to run and did not have the patience to cut the second pair of jeans yet. I waited until the afternoon to tackle that particular monster. And, like the idiot I am, I did the exact same thing: making lovely little straight stitches on those dumb rags. I began the process again. I made two more rows and was almost out of jean-yarn.

The product of two days. I cannot say I am pleased.

At least this was a bit more rug-like.

The moral of the story: sometimes crafts go wrong. You can’t always gauge how well something will go beforehand. And you can’t beat yourself up about it, though it probably seems I have in this post. I simply need more materials. I know things now, many beautiful things- wait, sorry for the “Into the Woods” moment. I do know how to handle this project now. I’m simply going to wait until I see cheap jeans (let’s say $1) or take whatever old jeans people throw out and work on this project slowly but surely. I would love to see it reach five feet in diameter; I think it would be pretty impressive. I’ve seen several examples of these on Etsy and have to say that I am impressed by their results. I think this will be a work in progress that I’ll just have to keep you up to date on in the future.