Pinterest Challenge – DIY Capiz Chandelier. AKA DIY Nightmare Project!

Confession: this project was a long, long time in the making. And I’m not even totally finished yet. That kind of makes me want to ugly cry. I started this thing long enough ago that I had time to LOSE the faux capiz pieces I cut out. Okay fine, it doesn’t really take me all that long to lose stuff but made those circles months ago. Possibly in 2012.

Luckily, getting off of your patootie is what the Pinterest Challenge is all about! (I’m paraphrasing) You can see my past Pinterest Challenges here and here. This Pinterest Challenge is being hosted by Young House LoveBower Power Blog, Sparkle Meets Pop, and Red Bird Blue.  Here are my pinspirations:

 

Via:

And here is my semi-finished version:

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

I started off the same way that both Freshly Picked and Classy Clutter did: ironing 3 sheets of wax paper together. This is one of the steps that I did months ago. I also used the same method of putting parchment paper on the top and bottom of the 3 sheets of wax paper in order to protect my ironing board as well as my iron from any wax. I used a low heat setting to do the ironing.

The next part is where the frustration began. I bought a 2.5″ hole punch from Hobby Lobby. It was exactly like the one used by Classy Clutter. I then cut the wax paper in to strips to make it more manageable rather than having huge sheets of it. Following the tip from Classy Clutter, I stacked 4 strips on top of each other and got to punchin’. Or I tried to. After just a few punches my hole puncher jammed and started destroying everything in its path. Including my patience. Basically when I pushed down on the hole punch it would get jammed shut but not make a clean punch so when I pried it apart the wax paper just looked like I tried to punch a hole through it with my fist. Not cute.

I returned that hole punch and bought another one at Michael’s. It was a different brand so I hoped it wouldn’t have the same problem. It lasted maybe 10 punches longer than the first one annnnd happened again. I’m lucky I don’t have a hole punch sized hole in the wall or window.

I finally ended up buying this:

It’s a Fiskar’s circle cutter and is infinity times better. It can also make many different sizes of circles. The ruler in the middle slides back and forth to indicate the radius of the circles you’re cutting and at the end of the ruler is a tiny blade that you spin around to cut out the circle. I paper clipped multiple strips together so that the wax paper wouldn’t slide around and I could cut out more than one circle at a time.

Once all of the circles were cut out (I didn’t count how many I have but I’d say close to 500) I stuck them in a ziplock bag and forgot about them for a while. I needed to detox from the circle cutting experience.

Then I didn’t think about this project for a long time until it was Tuesday night and I hadn’t had time to work on a Pinterest Challenge project! Once I located the bag of circles again I moved on to the next step.

This part was easy: sewing the circles in to chains. I sewed them all in to one big chain and went back and cut them apart later. It was much easier than sewing individual chains! Make sure that you leave some space between each circle so that you can cut them apart. It also gives the chandelier some movement. I accidentally sewed a few circles together when I got overzealous about feeding them through and those circles don’t move around or flutter like the others.

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

Well, it was easy until this happened:

I ran out of white string. Amateur sewer alert! I only had this many circles left, too:

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I cut the long chain apart after every 8th circle. Because I was using an old planter that is a half globe shape, rather than a tiered lamp shade as I’ve seen used before, I didn’t cut different lengths. The slope of the globe provides some natural differentiation of the lengths rather than having to cut them myself.

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

Do you like my extremely sophisticated way of holding the planter while I strung on the circles? I couldn’t figure out a better way so I propped my feet up and used my legs to hold it! Don’t judge my pajama wear, either. By this point it was 10pm!

The reason this project is semi finished is a) because of the last few circles that I need to sew together still and b) I need to spray paint this planter white! I have the spray paint and everything but it’s been monsooning every day this week and I don’t have any in door space in which I can spray paint without spray painting the floor and/or causing bodily harm due to fumes.

After stringing a few on and holding it up, I felt like 8 circles actually made it too long. So I ended up doubling them over. I like the look better and it means I don’t actually have to glue or tape anything – the strings of circles will stay on by themselves! High five to less work.

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

Once they were all strung on I tied it to the ceiling fan to get an idea of what it looks like. Yep, I ghetto rigged the thing. I didn’t hang it up anywhere since it isn’t finished. And, minor detail, since I realized that I don’t actually have many lights that it will work on. Remember that part about me living in a residence hall? That means most of the lights are the long, rectangular, florescent lights. Oops. Looks like this sucker will just be ceiling candy until further notice. Anyway, I really wish I had a completely finished project to show everyone but I’ll update when I get there!

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

Capiz Chandelier | atightsqueeze.com

Have you ever started a project and completely lost steam until months later? What’s your favorite knock-off/copy cat project? I’ve been getting better about taking pictures of things that I think I can re-create later when I see them in the store. Hopefully the next project isn’t such a pain in the behind!

Spring is Here! (Or so it says)

It doesn’t feel very spring like outside. Actually, last night the low temperature tied the record low recorded at the airport nearby. 22 degrees probably doesn’t seem very cold or abnormal to some parts of the country but in North Carolina it is!

Either way, it is technically spring and my husband’s family is in town this weekend so I did a little spring decorating! Well I guess I mainly just filled a vase with plastic eggs but I did make a spring wreath!

wreath

[I really need a nice camera. And picture editing software…]

I really like the way it turned out! And I only spent ~$3! I used materials that I already had except for the foam wreath which I bought at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon.

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Sometimes I get wreaths that are white, sometimes they’re green. I haven’t noticed a difference. I’ve also used straw wreaths but I prefer the smoothness of the foam wreaths and knew I would be using push pins for this project.

I used a shirt that got a stain on it. IMG_1722

I’m really sad because I love the shirt but I have no idea what happened. It looks like coffee but it’s in the armpit. How does that happen? Maybe it’s like the colored pit stains I had after The Color Run?

color run

I saved the shirt for a later project and when I was looking through my scraps for this wreath I thought it was a great spring color. I cut it in to strips, glued one end of a strip to the wreath, wrapped it around, and then glued the other end. I wasn’t too worried about the strips being the same width because they overlap. They were all between 1″ and 2″ though. I wanted the front of the wreath to look somewhat uniform so I made sure that all of the gluing was done on one side so I could make that side the back and hide the hot glue.

Glue one end:

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Wrap the strip around the wreath:

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Glue the other end on the same side (the side not pictured):

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Continue all the way around until the whole wreath is covered:

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After this I got in the zone and stopped taking pictures. Sorry! Definitely something I need to get better about.

I wanted to add felt flowers but not roses. I wish I had a better way of doing these because it took some trial and error but I basically cut out spirals of felt and then mushed (technical term) it until it looked like I wanted. And then I pinned it to the flower. Rinse and repeat until it is full to your liking or you’re tired of cutting out felt. Either one.

Here’s a (blurry) picture of a mushed up felt spiral that I pinned on

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It really was a mixture of mushing, twisting, and folding.

Here it is with all of the flowers pinned on! I used pins that have a little yellow top. I have multiple colors but thought the yellow, white, and orangey coral were a nice combination.

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It was pretty this way but I wanted this thing to scream spring! So I made a banner. And this is the step where I took zero progress pictures. I used yellow scrap paper that I had on hand and cut out triangles. I then laid them out in an alternating pattern and used a sharpie to write “Spring has sprung”. I was going to try to print or trace a fancy font but sometimes I just start working and don’t want to stop the flow so I grabbed a sharpie and went for it. I don’t think it turned out so bad! Plus I’m sure trying to print would have taken a lot of time and cause some frustration (understatement of the decade). My printer is from 2005 but it acts like it’s from 1905.

After I had all of the pennants written I taped them to yellow yarn, played around with each string of letters on the wreath until I liked their placement and they were readable, and then hot glued the ends of the yard.

Finally, I used a white bow to hang it a bit lower than the existing hook on the wall and also to hide the hook a little bit. And voila!

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I’ll try to remember to take a full wall shot later tonight!

I really hope we get some good weather coming our way! Don’t make my wreath a lie, spring! What are some of your “good weather” plans?

Beer City, USA

A few weekends ago we took a little mini getaway to Asheville, NC! It’s about a 2.5 hour drive which is very doable for a weekend trip. We left Friday as soon as I was finished work, checked in to our hotel, and headed downtown for some dinner.

Food: Salsas

We had a list of places that we wanted to eat, as well as back ups, because a lot of them do not take reservations. The food Gods must have been looking out for us on Friday because when we got to Salas the waitress estimated a “3 minute wait”. We walked past it a few times over the course of the weekend and there was always a line! Know why there’s a line? Well, because it’s small. But also because it is DELICIOUS. I had pork tenderloin tacos and Tim had a Pom Pom Pom. I was too busy eating to take a picture but here’s a picture that I found online:

Essentially that is a cool bucketish thing full with layers of rice, beans, cheese, chicken, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, cheese, etc. Did I say cheese? It was amazing. The chicken was grilled so perfectly. I was more than happy with my pork tenderloin tacos but when we go back some day I will be getting a P3.

Drinks: Margarita at Salsas!

  • Tim:regular margarita with habanero
  • Me:strawberry marg. It was National Margarita Day, afterall!

We went back to our hotel after dinner to hang out, stopping on the way at an Ingles to pick up a six pack of random beer.

Drinks: Random mix of drinks in a six pack

Food: Continental breakfast.

It was nothing to write home about but it was free and they had one of those Belgium waffle makers that I love.

Our hotel was ~5 minutes driving from downtown Asheville and our routine was to drive downtown and park in the deck on Otis. The deck is free for the first hour and then 75 cents for any additional time, with a max of $8. For the ease of parking it was definitely worth it.

Food: Jack of the Wood

We wandered around stores for a while before stopping to eat at a pub and try some more beer. We each had burgers which were HUGE and delicious.

Drinks:

  • Tim: Green Man ESB
  • Me: Green Man Dweller

Food: French Broad Chocolates!

After Jack of the Wood we had a chocolate factory tour to get to! French Broad Chocolate Lounge has been open for almost 5 years but more recently, due to the unknown when dealing with outside vendors, the owners decided to start making their own chocolate. So French Broad Chocolate Factory was born. The tour is $10 but is well worth it. You spend about 2 hours in the factory getting a tour of the facility, learning about the bean to bar process, and TASTING CHOCOLATE! I didn’t lead with the tasting chocolate part because people probably wouldn’t have bothered to read anything further. It was really fascinating and their chocolate is delicious. Absolutely something that I would recommend to everyone!

Drinks: Highland Brewery

Another of our planned stops was to tour the Highland Brewing facility. It’s one of the largest breweries in the region and really has a great operation. We got there a little after 4 for the 4:45 tour and it was already full! That was supposed to be the last tour of the day but because there were a lot of people that wanted a tour they opened up a 5:15 slot. Now that’s customer service! Plus who can really complain about having to wait around in a brewery with a bar attached? We ordered a flight of beers and sipped on them while waiting. There was also some live music that started up towards the end of the wait. The tour was maybe 20 minutes long and was pretty standard brewery tour fare but they have a really huge operation and it was interesting to compare home brewing to brewing at this level. Plus they give you a little cup of beer.

Drinks: Thirsty Monk

I forget what we ordered here! We had read a lot about the Thirsty Monk so before heading to eat dinner we stopped at the Thirsty Monk. They did have a lot of beers but if you go make sure you know whether the beer you want is upstairs or downstairs (2 separate bars).

Food: Twisted Crepe

In our earlier wanderings we passed this crepe place. Ever since visiting Paris and getting nutella/banana crepes from street vendors I have been obsessed with crepes. I have to be honest, this place was just okay. I’ll eat nutella and banana in almost anything but the crepe was a little rubbery. One of my former roommates made crepes that were much better.

Food: Kilwen’s

So since the crepes didn’t bowl us over and weren’t very filling AND we didn’t know there was a Kilwen’s in Winston-Salem, we decided to get ice cream. Don’t judge – we walked a lot this weekend!

We went back to the hotel and rested up for our next big day.

Food: Early Girl Eatery

Here we did have a wait. Of about an hour. It wasn’t a big deal because we had planned on walking Asheville’s Urban/Public Art trail and there were some stops in the area. The wait was worth it – the food is amazing! It was really sunny outside so their space looked so warm and inviting as well. I really like the bright colors around the windows. Well, I love the windows in general. I would love this exact room in our future house, House Gods!

After that we did the Urban Trail which I highly recommend. It was a really beautiful day to walk around and it took us to parts of the city that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Plus, each stop has a statute and a small historical tidbit so you get a good  history lesson about the city. We had a really good time trying to follow the map and find each stop! I would highly suggest getting a brochure with a map. We saw two women doing the trail with a map they had printed off of the internet and it looked like they were struggling. We stopped by Asheville’s Visitor Center (which is huge and very nice!) and got a brochure that was very helpful. It had a map with each point marked and said helpful things like “travel north on Y Avenue and turn right onto X Street”. We probably would have missed a few without it!

Have you guys made any weekend treks? Ever been to Asheville? If not – you should check it out!

Peanut Butter Pinterest Challenge Time!

I know you remember that. For some reason I can’t stop saying “It’s peanut butter pinterest time” in my head. It’s weird, I know. My next Pinterest Challenge project should include peanut butter so it at least makes sense. I love how you can type “pean” into Youtube and “peanut butter jelly time” is the first suggestion.

ANYWAY. It’s Pinterest Challenge time!

Remember this post when I made my Christmas card wreath?

That post explains the Pinterest Challenge but basically it’s a challenge thought up by Katie Bower of BowerPowerBlog and was started by her and YoungHouseLove to behoove people to get out of their computer chairs and start making things they’ve pinned! I’m definitely guilty of pinning away and not making any of those pins a reality so it’s a great kick in the rear. This Pinterest Challenge is being hosted by BowerPowerBlog, YoungHouseLove, The Remodeled Life, and Decor and the Dog.

So now that all of those details are out there – time to reveal my project! Tim and I were in Asheville this weekend drinking a lot of beer and eating a lot of delicious food so I needed to choose a project that I could do in an evening after work. I have a few larger projects that I really want to do but they’ll have to wait for later. Or maybe I’ll cheat and do *most* of a project and then finish it for the next Pinterest Challenge. JK I definitely wouldn’t do that…

shadowbox

Here’s my pinsperation – coincidentally it’s from YHL! If you type “wedding shadow box” into Pinterest you can get a lot of really great examples. I’ve known I wanted to do this for a while so I’ve been sequestering wedding related items as I come across them with this project in mind. Now, only 1 year and 9 months after getting married, I finally did it!

First I stopped by Michael’s to get a shadowbox. They had a few good options and I debated for a while which to get. I wanted white and they had a 11″x14″ that I thought was a good size, however, I wanted one with a hinged front door rather than one that you have to remove the backing. It was much easier to stage the items at the bottom of a box rather than on a flat surface that then would need to be gently reattached. This shadow box was one of the more expensive options (originally $50) but all table top frames and shadow boxes were 40% off AND I had a 25% off coupon that worked on sale items. So I paid $22.50. Cha-ching! It is a bit more decorative and has a nice cushiony cloth backing so pins stick easily into it.

Here are a bunch of the items I gathered to add in:

    

I started with the pom pom because it took up so much room. For a few minutes I really wished I had gotten a larger shadow box because a good 30% of it is overtaken by the thing. It’s like kudzu! For now it’s okay but I think I could trim it if I want to put something else in there and, unlike kudzu, it wouldn’t grow back. After that I started placing the paper items in there until I liked their orientation and, more importantly, all of the good stuff was showing. I really like shadowboxes with objects rather than only paper because it gives it some dimension so I added in some extras.

I ended up leaving out the invitation due to lack of space and also because I feel like the invitation should be more focal and not overlapped or overshadowed by other items. Plus, I have a frame that has the invitation on one side and a picture on the other. It will be displayed in the house just as soon as I put a picture in the frame. Okay so I’m awful about procrastinating.

Here’s the final product! (Sorry for the not so great pictures. It’s difficult to photograph a glass box!)

If you’re interested in a run down of what the heck you’re looking at, here you go!

  1. Pom pom! Because we met during college, got married there, and incorporated our school colors into the wedding, we felt that it was only fitting to keep up the theme. I had these pom poms made for our exit from the chapel. Rather than people throwing birdseed or blowing bubbles, everyone grabbed a pom pom and shook it as we left. It was awesome!       Here they are in action. The toilet paper is another school tradition – whenever we win a game everyone meets out on the quad and toilet papers the trees. One of our groomsmen had the awesome idea to toilet paper us!
  2. Bottle of M&Ms from our rehearsal dinner that are black and yellow (gold) and have lyrics to the university fight song on it except with our names added in.
  3. Escort card
  4. It’s kind of hard to see from the picture but it’s a door hanger from our welcome bags that everyone staying at the hotel received. The hanger says “Please do not disturb, we are recovering from Timothy & Brady’s wedding”.
  5. Response card
  6. Save the Date (engagement pictures that we took…where else… but on campus)
  7. Program for our wedding. I originally had all of these plans to make layered programs and do something fancy but when it got closer to the day and I started working on them I just decided to let it go. We printed these out on nicer paper and it took SO much less time and stress. Sometimes you just gotta know when you can’t handle something! The quote on the bottom is from Winnie the Pooh and says “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
  8. Photostrip picture!
  9. So I actually didn’t wear this necklace on the day of but I made it for the wedding and think it’s beautiful so I was happy to stick it in there. My mother in law let me borrow her pearl necklace that my sister in law also wore.
  10. Little wood people that I painted for the cardbox.
  11. Buttons from my mom’s dress that my cousin sewed onto my bouquet while we were getting ready that day. My mom’s dress (which my grandmother also wore and my great-grandmother MADE) had a billion of these buttons all down the back and I loved that my bouquet kind of mimicked that =)

Whew. Long post! I can’t wait to sit back with a glass of wine tonight and look through the many other Pinterest Challenge projects linked to the host blogs! Has anyone else used a shadowbox for a project like this? I think I want a hall of shadow boxes someday. For those of you married, do you have any special wedding related displays in your house? Please tell me I’m not the only one who is so bad at getting pictures up and framed…

Meeting Young House Love!

February stated off really great. Like: went to Disney World and rode all of the rides and went to Harry Potter World great! And got a butterbeer mustache. Yumm.

I would have been absolutely miserable about returning to NC if not for (drum roll, please)

yhlbooktour

This is from their post here and wasn’t updated so I took some creative liberty to add Charlotte. I just wanted picture representation of them coming to NC!

I left Winston at 5pm (I couldn’t leave early due having just returned from vacation) for the hour+15 minute drive to Charlotte. I knew I’d get there late but it was my only choice!

On my way!

That’s my trusty GPS named Richard (Tricky Dick when he’s being not so trusty) and my car dinner of half a hoagie from Harris Teeter!

[Sidenote: Photobucket changed their settings and I can no longer find the font I used for my watermark! Sadface.]

At one point Richard was all “the delay on your route is now 48 minutes, would you like to try a faster route?” and I freaked out. 48 minutes?! No thanks. Luckily the faster route was indeed faster and only added about 10 minutes to the ‘all things go perfectly and there is no traffic’ estimated arrival time.

I got to UNCC and didn’t have any problems finding the parking garage due to some pretty major Google Earth stalking/calling to ask where to park. At this point it was about 6:30 so I figured their speaking portion was probably over and I’d just have to get in line for signing. I was bummed but knew from the beginning that would be the case so it wasn’t a big deal.

As I walked into the student union and approached their Barnes & Noble it was eerily quiet. No lines, no crazed fans, nothin’. I knew it was the right day/time/place because I saw this little buddy

I started to feel a little panicky that it was over already. Luckily I mumbled something about a signing and someone let me know that it had moved upstairs! I got there, found the right door, and went in – I was finally there!

And the speaking was still going on! I couldn’t see the front because at that point it was standing room only and the orientation of the room was kind of wonky but I could hear them! I have to say… reading the blog you really feel like you know John and Sherry. Hearing/meeting them in person did not change that at all. They are just as fun, quirky, and up beat as the blog!

They spoke for maybe another 10 minutes and then the line for the signing began. The UNCC people running the event were really great and started the line by having rows of people stand up to get in line so people in the front rows (most likely the people that got there first) would be first in line. Obviously this meant that I would be verrryyy far in the back of the line but that’s only fair!

I stood for a while and leafed through the book some more. Then I realized that I kept leaning against the light switch and at one point almost turned off the lights. That would have been embarrassing to say the least.

After the first few rows were vacated from people who went through the signing line I sat down so I could be far away from the light switch/any potential disasters. Finally, after about an hour or so I was able to get in line! Suddenly it felt real. Also because the line formed straight in front of the table my eyes naturally fell on the table when I was facing forward and I felt like I was staring at them. I guess that’s natural but I felt like a weird, drooling, fangirl. (I mean, I am… but I didn’t mean to LOOK like one)

(Mouthbreathing guy from Hey Arnold! What’s up, 90s?)

In my nervousness I had this moment of panic where I thought, “Oh no – I didn’t bring a sharpie for them to sign with!” You know, because normally authors at book signings expect everyone to bring their own writing utensils… That makes sense (it does not make sense).

Again, I have to say how fun and approachable John and Sherry are. I saw so many people bring them gifts and they were so excited and gracious about each one and really just great people. Annnd at one point I overheard Sherry say, “I looked at the wrong hole!!” and laughed a lot to myself. Add crazy laughing to that drooling fangirl image now.

I’ll take a picture when I got home but I asked Sherry to draw New Jersey next to her name as a little shoutout to our home state. She acted all coy like she couldn’t draw and then whipped out an awesome outline. I decided to return the favor by drawing a NJ next to MY name in their yearbook thingy annnnd I definitely still owe them a favor because I kind of just drew a blob. I didn’t even bother taking a picture because it was just awful.

It was an awesome day and I’m so glad that they came close enough for me to drive to it! UNCC was a great host and they have a beautiful campus! I have a few projects from the book that I want to work on so hopefully I’ll have some more posts in the near future =)

PS. Apologies if anyone noticed that I updated this like 11 hundred times. I kept forgetting/messing up pictures. Really gotta learn to use that “Preview Changes” button to my advantage…