I need a new workspace

So, I’m loving my new silhouette portrait. I’ve spent hours coming up with prototypes for card designs, and I’m hoping to maybe open an etsy shop in the next couple of months.

A few examples:

happy birthday slider card

paper nesting dolls

opening iris card

This last design isn’t mine. You can find instructions for it here.

I even came across this amazing find.

letterpress starter kit

$26 down from $70! The amazing thing is that I had JUST been looking at this exact kit, but I couldn’t find anywhere online that had it in stock – I’m wondering if it’s maybe been discontinued. But I got one! And I got it at a GREAT price. I just ordered a Cuttlebug* to use it with.

*Side Note: Oddly enough, when I ordered my Cuddlebug yesterday from Amazon, it wasn’t eligible for prime shipping, and it also wasn’t $69.99.  It was $53 with $10 shipping. So while I saved a few dollars, I could have had it by Tuesday if I’d ordered it today, but instead I’ll have it sometime between the 20th and 25th. I don’t know how I feel about saving a couple bucks vs having to wait longer. I’m not that patient of a person.

But back on topic – I need a new workspace.  I’ve got all these new supplies, and I’ve been spending a couple hours a day either designing on my computer, or paper crafting, but this is the the area that I’m working in

floor work area

computer work area

My living room is a mess. It’s impossible to keep anything organized, and hunching over to work all the time is killing my back. A few days ago I asked on the FB spouse page for our base if anyone was selling a desk, and I found two that met my needs – and then they both ended up not selling the desks. So now I’m trying to decide what to do. I don’t want to spend anymore than $50 on a desk, which pretty much leaves me with the options of finding one used (which hasn’t worked out so far), buying a flat pack one, which probably won’t be great quality, or making my own.

As far as making my own goes, it wouldn’t be anything too complex, because I don’t have the tools or the know how for that. But I’m thinking about doing something like this

Not Donna Reed Desk

from So Not Donna Reed or similarly, this

bookcase craft table

from Organize and Decorate Everything

I think I’ll probably head out today looking for options – and hopefully find something. If I do, my next post will be a cleaning up the mess that is my living room and (possibly making and) organizing my new workspace post. Otherwise my next post is going to be a how to frame trading cards – with a side of “oh, my aching back”.

If you’ve got any ideas other than the ones I’ve mentioned for a decent workspace, please let me know. Likewise if you’ve got any pro tips for using my new toys (Silhouette, letterpress kit and Cuddlebug) leave me a comment, and I’ll love you forever. Actually, if you just read my blog I’ll love you forever – but comments make me happy.

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DIY Fabric Design with Stained by Sharpie Fabric Markers

I’m not receiving any compensation from Sharpie for reviewing this product, I just saw it and wanted to try it.

black, green, blue and red fabric markers

Did you know that Sharpie makes fabric markers now? Apparently they’ve been making them for awhile, but I just discovered them for the first time last weekend. I picked up 2 boxes of the Stained by Sharpie 4 count packages, though now I really want to try out the 8 count, because I really like the additional brighter colors.

8 count package

My first attempt was to draw on knit tee shirt fabric.

test doodles on knit fabric

I discovered that if you pull the fabric really taught (I used a small embroidery hoop), it gives you much more control over the markers, and there’s less bleeding.

But I found that the best fabric to use with these markers is a woven fabric with very little stretch or texture. I used part of an old white sheet. I wrapped a piece of board in craft paper, and then pulled the fabric taught around the board and taped it in place. I’m not much of an artist, so I stuck with straight lines, because one thing I can do is use a ruler.

finished fabric

The markers seem best suited for line art rather than large areas of filled with color. As you can see the coverage of the filled in diamonds isn’t entirely even. I also had some issues with keeping the pressure even, which led to blotches/dots. Someone  more experienced with sketching/art in general might have more luck than I did. Overall I’m pretty happy with how well my fabric turned out, flaws and all. I kind of like that it isn’t perfect.

fabric details

I hear that the color holds up well in the wash, but I haven’t had a chance to test that out yet. I don’t know what I’m going to do with this piece of fabric, but I do plan on buying some additional colors to make custom throw pillows.

In completely unrelated news:

joe sorren card

I got my final trading card to complete series A of Joe Sorren’s trading cards. I’m going to need an additional frame to frame them all. Hopefully I can pick that up this weekend. In other awesome Joe Sorren news, the Kickstarter is fully funded (with 48 hours left to go), so there will be a series B and C. I already purchased a few packs of series B. Exciting!!!

Also exciting – I got myself a new toy. I bought a Silhouette Portrait with the Fabric Package Bundle using the promo code found here (it’s good until 5/31). I got a great deal on it, and I can’t wait until it gets here! I’m gong to be pinning Silhouette projects all week. If you’ve got a Silhouette, leave me a comment with links to some of your projects. I’d love to see how other people have used theirs.

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Bathroom Makeover

I finally found some towels that go with my shower curtain, so I decided to go all out and clean, organize and decorate my bathroom. It’s still not quite done, but it makes me happy every time I walk past it.  Now you know what makeover means, right? Before and afters! Warning: the before pictures are a little bit scary. Also, I feel like I should get some ovaries of steel badge or something for showing off my dirty bathroom to the internet.

dirty sinkMessy people? Who? Us? This is, well, bad. It also happens to be the way our bathroom has looked since we moved in. I should have made this clear awhile ago, I’m a slob and a procrastinator. I’m working on both issues. Hell, part of the reason I started a blog was to force me to work on both issues. But here it is. This is me. A work in progress.

before drawers

The drawers aren’t in terrible shape, but I was on a roll, so I straightened these up to.

undersink before

Poorly stitched together under sink picture. Mess, mess, mess, mess, mess!

medicine cab beforeNot the worst I’ve ever seen, but there’s room for improvement.

before picsAnd here’s a not quite panorama of the rest of the bathroom. Okay, done with the gross befores, lets move on to the afters.

This is my view every time I walk down the hall, not too shabby.

My sink and counter area are clean and organized. I’m still planning on hanging that basket that contains the electric razor on the wall right under the medicine cabinet, and I’d like to switch out my current containers for prettier ones, but for now I’m just happy that it’s clean and de-cluttered. Now what’s under that sink.

Like I said before, they weren’t really in terrible shape before, but I still thought I could improve them. Drawer 1:  I reorganized my make up and moved my brushes to the front of the drawer so that they would be easier to access, which just reminds me of how badly I need to clean them. Oh and do you like my nail clipper collection, we’re up to 4 so far, but I haven’t organized the whole house yet. I expect to find one or two more. Drawer 2: Those plastic drawers hold hair ties, bobby pins, clips, curlers and emery boards. They were already super organized, so I didn’t touch them. I removed the washcloths from the basket they were in, because it was unnecessary and I wanted to use it for something else. That first square container hold my face stuff. Lotion, sunscreen, etc. The second one holds allergy related things: Breathe right strips, menthol inhaler, saline spray, etc. That dove bar is for washing my makeup brushes whenever I finally get around to it, and the stuff towards the back of the drawer are things that wouldn’t fit in the two square containers, more face and allergy stuff. Drawer 3: Didn’t change much. I moved the brush that I never use down with the hair heating tools that I never use. I also threw my husbands straight razor down there, because he never uses that either. So it’s pretty much just the stuff we don’t use drawer.

The under sink after is one of my favorites, because I organized the crap out of it. Pic 1: I’ve had this under sink shelf thing for awhile, and it was sitting in the utility room unused so I busted it out. Lotions and hair products up front, and if you’ll look to pic 4 (lower right) I have a basket of extras in the back. Things like extra blades for razors, face wash refill, extra contact solution, etc. The drawer pulls out and has a divider (pic 3). I’ve got icy hot patches and large band aids on one side and and assortment of things on the other. That apple cider vinegar is for my hair, it does wonders for getting hard water residue out. Pic 2 aka, the right side of the under sink area: From front to back – extra TP, feminine products, dog shampoo, lotion and ear cleaner, bathroom cleaning products, peroxide and Epsom salt.

Medicine cabinet after. Pretty self explanatory – but I’ll explain it anyway. OTC painkillers, thermometer and neosporin up top, ear cleaners, allergy and cold medicine, deodorants and a container full of eye drops in the middle. floss picks, dry mouth mouth wash, contact solution, shaving cream and his mouth wash on the bottom shelf.

I finally bit the bullet and hung up some art. It makes the room look a million times better. The only reason I hesitated in the first place is because I don’t want moisture to ruin anything, but it’s super dry here, and we always run the fan while showering, and I open the window on sunny days, so I decided to take my chances. The whale vs. squid over the toilet was a birthday present from my super talented BFF, Stacy Nguyen, and the two water colors are greeting cards that I bought at the Monterey Bay Aquarium by artist Cheryl Kampe. And don’t worry, my pictures aren’t crooked, this picture was just taken at an odd angle. Oh, and look at those towels! Aren’t they the perfect colors? Not caring too much for the seashell on the toilet, it looks kind of sad and lonely, but I’ll find it a friend or two eventually.

Here’s how the darker teal /navy/green towels look up next to the shower curtain. I’m liking it. And when you put those towels through the dryer they make the prettiest lint … seriously, I almost felt bad throwing it away. And just ignore my microfiber hair towel hanging there, unless you have frizzy and/or curly hair, in which case, go out and buy one RIGHT NOW!

Maybe I’ll do this thorough clean, organize and decorate all in one day thing with another room tomorrow, because just about every room in my house could use this kind of treatment. Bedroom next? Or maybe just the closet …

P.S. I have 1 more card to receive to complete series A of Joe Sorren’s trading cards sets, and when I receive it I have a fun (for me at least) framing project planned.

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Joe Sorren Trading Card Kickstarter

If you follow me on twitter then you probably already know how excited I am about this.

card deck instagram

old town shops mural with trading card

I actually got to trade for this card the one night I was in Flagstaff, so I had to get a picture of it up next to the original mural.

Series A was pretty cool all by itself. Joe Sorren is my all time favorite artist, and being able to actually own pieces of his art, even if they are just 2.5″x3.5″, makes me incredibly happy. I’ve already collected almost all of the first series. Once a few trades come in, I’ll only need two more cards to complete series A.  And once I get those,  I have a fun trading card display/framing project planned (all the supplies are already purchased). But this kickstarter, I am so  freaking excited about this! There’s going to be a plushie! And that scarf! Oh, and, you know, way more trading cards! I’m going to get up early Friday morning, and just keep refreshing becauseoftoast.com until they post the kickstarter link … and then I’m going to spend too much money … though probably not as much as I’ll want to.

Side Note: From what I hear, Joe is a super cool guy. I personally have never met him – the one time I was in the same room as him I fangirled so hard that I had to go hide in a corner, but he’s played music with my dad, and back when he was an unknown artist he did a piece for my stepmom’s shop, and I know about a dozen other people who are buddies with him. In other words, if you like cool art, and cool artists, but you’re on an art budget, you should totally check out Joe Sorren’s trading cards.

Blog Note: I don’t want to get too personal here, but I’ve been struggling with some health issues, and I found out today that I’ve apparently been fighting off an infection for the last few weeks, so the house related projects and blogging are suffering a little bit. To be completely honest, my house is a wreck, and I’m lacking the energy to do much about it. I’m not quitting, or even taking a break from blogging, I’m just a little slow right now, so please have patience with me while I recover and get back up to speed. I love making stuff and blogging, I just happen to love lying on my couch and/or sleeping slightly more at the moment.

Once again, thanks for caring enough about me, or my house, or my ideas, or my blog to even be reading this. It gives me the warm fuzzies, and I need those right now.

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Throw pillow cover from pillow case

I intended to make an envelope pillow case like this, but I like to wing it. That usually works for me. This time, not so much. I did end up with a decent usable pillow, but I’m probably going to need to add a few buttons to keep it closed all the way. So this is not a tutorial – do not do what I did. Go find a tutorial and follow it, and you’ll probably end up much less frustrated than I was. Having said that, here’s what I did.

king sized pillow case

I took a king sized pillowcase

ironIroned out the wrinkles

measure and markMeasure and marked

made my cuts

Made my cuts

iron and pin

Ironed, pinned and sewed the raw edges, then sewed up the one open side seam.


Flipped back the extra flap of fabric, and sewed it to the side seams.

put in pillow

So here’s how it works: you put the $3 DIY pillow insert (which you recently made) into the pillow case, making sure that the bottom corners get stuffed in there right.

pillow flap

Then you  take that flap that’s sewn on the inside, and bring it up over the top of the pillow.


Ta-Da. This is where I’ll probably make an alteration.  I’ll add a couple of buttons to make sure that there’s no gaping.


Luckily I can just turn the pillow upside down, and have the opening facing towards the back, and no ones’ the wiser. Again, this is NOT the best way to do this, but luckily I was able to make it work. I’m thinking I might actually follow some directions for my next pillow. Speaking of, exactly how many pillows do you think a large sectional like ours needs? I’m thinking a whole lot. A DIY throw pillow roundup may be in order this week.

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I take pictures

It doesn’t have to be 100% home stuff 100% of the time, right? Did you know that I’m on flickr? Well, you do now. Come be my friend!


Snow filled gully
Gazebo black and white
Hotel Monte Vista
Saguaro Cactus

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