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16 Feb

Weight Loss: A Creative Way to Keep Track

A Creative Way to Track Weight Loss

WELL, I DECIDED to lose that extra weight, and I wanted a way to keep track of my weight loss that would encourage me to keep going when I wanted to quit (which was about once a day). So I thought that maybe having an interactive visual would be the thing. I saw something similar on Pinterest (don’t we see everything on Pinterest?) and with my BRAND NEW CURIO by Silhouette America, I made my own version.

Simple, really. Two canning jars (pint size) with lids and rings, some vinyl, and my lovely NEW CURIO. Did I say I just got a new Curio?

Did I say I love my new Curio?

I cut two circles out of green vinyl for the tops and then the phrases “lbs. to lose” and “lbs. lost.” Then I put 50 (yes, fifty!) flat marbles in the “lbs. to lose” jar and as I lose weight, I’ll fill the empty jar as I empty the full jar! Make sense?

So here’s to day one. I’ll take another picture when I have some marbles in the empty jar.

Update: I’ve now lost seventeen pounds in two months. Want to know how? Low-carb. I have more energy, have lost weight (and inches!) and never feel hungry. It was a little rough getting started, as I got “Low Carb Flu,” but that went away in a couple of days, and now I feel much better than my old way of eating. And no, it’s not a super restrictive diet. I eat lots of veggies, albeit low carb ones, and plenty of meat and full-fat dairy. When I crave cookies, I make homemade peanut butter cookies with just three ingredients that satisfy. And at night, I eat a tiny slice of chocolate cheese cake. Yum!

What do you think? Do you have any special ways to keep you going when you want to quit before you attain your goals? What do you do?

16 Feb

Christmas Wreath: Quick and Easy!

Quick and Easy Christmas Wreath

I HAD THIS wreath on my door throughout the fall, but with Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to change it up for the holiday. One of my favorite things is little, fat birds, and I found this one at Joann’s with their doorbuster sale for just $2.50. Adding a couple of holiday picks cost another $3.00, so for just $5.50 I got a brand new wreath for the holiday.

The only thing I don’t like about it is the brown bow at the top. Had I been more foresightful, I would not have hot glued the brown bow to the wreath so I could change it out. But I still think it’s a pretty Christmas wreath, anyway.

Here’s what I did. Gather two holiday picks (mine have holly leaves and little red berries) and wire them to the burlap wreath. Tuck the little bird’s wire feet firmly under the wire and there you have it! (I learned from the bow and didn’t hot glue anything to the wreath, so I can change it out for other seasons.) You could use berries, snowflakes, jingle bells, or any other Christmas trinkets you have lying around, or head on down to your favorite craft store (with coupon in hand, of course) and get yourself a few new doodads to add to your decor. With a little imagination and even less effort, you’ll have your door decked out with a Christmas wreath for the holidays in no time!

Another craft I did was this rustic joy hanger. It’s made with painted letters, a small grapevine wreath and a large jingle bell. Easy-peasy!

I love the word joy. It is a simple word with only three letters and it is full of such a huge amount of emotion. It represents the elation of the Christmas season and personifies the coming of the Christ child.

So I wanted to make a decoration that shows my joy in the season and would be simple to make and still have huge impact.

You will need:
1 six-inch grapevine wreath
1 three and a half inch rustic jingle bell
5″ letters J and Y
Acrylic paints in Brick Red and Metallic Bronze
Small paint brush
Sand paper
Hot glue gun and glue stick

What you do:

  1. Paint the letters with the Brick Red paint and allow to dry
  2. Paint over the letters with a light coat of Metallic Bronze and let dry
  3. Sand the edges of the letters
  4. Tie the jingle bell to the top of the wreath so that it hangs in the hole in the wreath
  5. Hot glue the letters to the sides of the wreath

16 Feb

Little Wooden Houses: Building a Tiny Neighborhood

LITTLE WOODEN HOUSES

I LOVE LITTLE wooden houses! So when my son told me he had some scrap wood and asked me if I wanted it, I eagerly said yes. He cut it into house shapes for me, and I spent the day painting and sanding them. I did 13 today, and would have done more, but I ran out of houses. There’s something therapeutic about painting and then sanding little wooden houses. Mine range in size from fairly large (about 6″ tall at the peak) to really tiny (about 1″ tall at the peak).

 

 

I sent him some pictures (which he declared cute) and asked him for as many more as he wanted to give me, according, of course, to how much scrap wood he has available at any one time.
I made a Christmas village for my coffee table with the larger ones, and some of the little ones became pendants on necklaces or Christmas ornaments for gifts. The third one from the left in the picture above is my favorite, and will become a necklace for me.

 

They couldn’t be simpler to make, yet I see some of them on Etsy selling for a pretty penny. But you can make them easily. I guess I could have sanded them first, painted them, and then sanded the edges again, but I figured I’d get pretty much the same result if I just painted them and then sanded them. And they turned out just the way I wanted them to.
All you need is some house-shaped wood, or get someone to make peaks (roofs) on some blocks of wood for you. Then paint them the color of choice and when they dry, add details like windows and doors. Sand all the edges and some of the flat surfaces if you want a really old look, and then seal them with varnish. You could rub some oil on them first, which would give them that antique-y look that’s so popular, too. Easy-peasy!