Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2012

Upcycled Domino Tile Pendant Necklace

My metals/jewelry making class that I am taking has inspired to create some really cute upcycled/recycled tile art necklaces .  I was at the thrift shop last month and I picked up this tin full of Dora the Explorer domino type pieces.  They were in great shape and made of a nice heavy filled plastic/resin with white on one side and Dora characters on the other side.  I sat them aside until this past weekend when I thought – I need to do something with those cute little pieces.  By nature, I’m a big recycler.  I love taking something old and making it new.  I’ve seen these necklaces all over Etsy so I thought I would give it a try.  So, while hubby was out and about, I plopped down at the kitchen table and began creating. I had already downloaded a few art sheets specifically designed for domino size pieces from Etsy (these sheets are really inexpensive). You don’t have to use these, I just chose to.  Leading up to this project, I had already bought jewelry bales, jump rings, and c

Save 50% or More on College Books

I have spent that last 3 years finding the cheapest college books on the planet. And now with two college age students, I have to be even more prudent.  If you are looking for ways to cut down on the cost of supplying your child with his/her required text-books, take a look at how I did it.   NOTE:  this only covers buying the physical book as we did not download any books through a reader which might be even cheaper. 1. We would get the list of required books from the University student account website 2. We would look at the cost of each book if purchased directly from the University bookstore 3. I would then open up browsers to     a. (free on-line book trading site)     b. Ebay     c. Amazon     d.     e. Chegg (on-line rental)     f. Barnes and Noble. Here is a real life example.  My daughter needed a book entitled “Research Methods in Social Relations (7 th Edition)”  Hoyle and Judd. School Price:  $140.56 new/$98 used:      a. Paperbacks

Just an Instagram Kind of Night

Refurbished Thrift Shop Chair

When my daughter moved out this past September, I decided to take an old chair that I had picked up at the thrift shop and re-finish it for her first apartment (paid $4.00 for it).  This was one of those DIY projects where I actually started taking pictures as I went along.  I wanted some really nice before and after pictures to share. Well, a funny story about those before and after pictures…..  It was a nice sunny day ........and I was painting in the garage with the garage door open.  After taking several before photo’s, I laid my camera on top of the hood of my Santa Fe which was parked right in front of the garage.  While I was on my second coat of paint, I got a call to pick up some items a few miles away.  So, I pushed everything in the garage, ran into the house and got my keys and jumped into the car – and took off.  At this point, I still didn’t realize that my camera was been sitting on the hood of the car.  I drove to my friends house and then returned home. I

Jewelry Making Adventures Part 2

Last week I told you about the Ghost that haunts the building where I attend Basic Jewelry/Metals class.  This week, I want to share with you what we are actually learning. We will be learning basic metalsmithing techniques to create a simple linked bracelet.  At the end of the 6 week course, we should know about annealing, pickling, stamping, drilling, sawing/piercing, filing/sanding, plier usage, and patina. Annealing, pickling, what kind of class is this?  These terms were so foreign to me.  So….I listened, watched and I learned.  Annealing is the process of softening the metal (copper, nickel, etc.) by heating it with a gas/air torch.  Me -- use a torch??  I don’t even like to light the BBQ grill :) Pickling is the process of cleaning the soot off the torched or dirty metal from the annealing process.  Pickle is an acid (Sodium bisulfate).  I had no idea! We also watched the instructor perform some stamping techniques.  My assignment for the week is to design my bracelet

Annie Oakley, Girls and Guns - Who Knew!

Ohio’s own Annie Oakley's most famous trick was being able to repeatedly split a playing card, edge-on, and put several more holes in it before it could touch the ground, all while using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet!  Can you imagine that? As a female, have you ever shot a gun?  I have.  For three years, I was a rifle and pistol range instructor in the US Marine Corps.  How in the world did I ever get that assignment?  Well, by being a good shot I guess :)   Of all the talents a female could possess, I have to be good at target shooting??  I can honestly say that it is a natural talent and one of the few I have discovered to date.  I’m sure I have more, just trying to figure out what they are.  The first time I ever “qualified” on the rifle range, I scored high enough to be classified as an expert (my highest score ever was 248 out of a possible 250 points).  I was immediately snatched up to become an instructor.  I started out on the rifle range, teaching Marines to qualify

A Ghostly Time At My New Jewelry Making Class

Well, I finally started on one of my yearly twelve goals last night by attending a beginning metals/jewelry making class.  It was held at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, a castle like building in downtown Columbus, OH.  The building traces its roots back to 1861 where it became one of the first Ohio State Arsenals, designed specifically for the purpose of storing arms. The inside of the building has high ceilings and the classroom floors are all concrete.   In the particular room I was in, all the floors were sloped and we were told that the room used to be a stable at one time – really cool right! We were also told by the instructor that the place is haunted.  This piqued my interest so I looked it up on-line and found out about Esther! Many patrons of the Arts Center have seen the “bedraggled visage of a woman in nineteenth century clothes through the narrow windows of the pottery room. She sometimes appears among the tables and pottery wheels inside the room--sometimes only her

Buttercup, the Three Legged Dog

When I came home from work on the day before Thanksgiving, this adorable dog was hopping around our house. My 21 year old daughter had brought her home from the shelter because she couldn’t stand the thought of her being at the shelter on a holiday. I also think she had hopes that I would adopt Buttercup. As soon as I walked in the door and sat on the floor, Buttercup came over and laid her head in my lap. She had the prettiest blue eyes. We don’t know what happened to her before she got to the shelter, only that she had a severely broken leg and it had to be amputated. My daughter was not very happy that I decided not to adopt Buttercup, as a matter of fact, she told me that I didn’t have a soul :( Luckily, Buttercup was adopted by week’s end and she is living happily ever after!

Lions, Tigers, Widgets, and Buttons, Oh My!

Photo Credit: Help, what are all those buttons on the side of this blog? There are so many different ways you can follow your favorite blogs so that you don’t have to type in their web address each and every day. Which one is best? I would say whatever is most convenient for you. As an example, I like to either receive an email or a Facebook update because I look at each of these on a daily basis, several times a day. But recently, I discovered RSS feeds through my Yahoo! page and to reduce the amount of emails I receive, I started receiving RSS feeds of my favorite blogs and I love it! In case you’re still not sure, I will further explain all those buttons on the side of my blog. Followers Google Friend Connect is a service that helps site owners easily provide social features for their visitors. Users gain the ability to sign in to, make friends on, and interact with your site, making it more s

Just a Little Note

Sometimes all you need is a little note to make you smile....

How I got a Rachel Ray Cookware set for $17

A few weeks ago, I ordered a 10 piece Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set with the orange handles. This set normally sells anywhere between $159 and $179 for the complete set. After checking out Amazon and a few other websites, I decided to purchase from Kohl’s. At Kohl’s, with all their holiday discounts, I was able to get the set for $129 including shipping (as an added bonus, I also received $30 in Kohl’s cash for making this purchase). After receiving the set and going through all the pieces, I decided that I really didn’t need two of the pots (a 6 quart stock pot and a 1.5 quart sauce pan). I started wondering what I could do. I really liked the pans and it was the pans that I mainly needed. I decided to look on Amazon and Ebay to see how much the 6 quart stock pot was selling for. I couldn’t find this particular size on either site. I did find an 8 quart oval stock pot which was selling for $89 on Amazon. So I thought, let’s try to sell both items on Ebay.

From Thrift Shop to Soy Candles in a Day

I love the "hunt" and then the good find! 

I Tried Insanity!

Picture Credit: OK, not the whole program, but I tried the first DVD :) I’ve always been into fitness. I’m a regular subscriber to the magazine called “Fitness” I have a YMCA membership and I have a small home gym in my basement. Just because you have access to all this stuff, doesn’t guarantee that you will work out though. I’m also a sucker for Infomercials. Last year around this time, I bought Zumba – and that craze lasted about a month! Luckily, I was able to re-sell it on EBay right before Christmas for $50, getting most of my original investment back. This brings me to my first fitness tip of the year – if you’re not sure you’ll like a new fitness craze, try to buy it used off EBay or Craig’s List. A few weeks ago, my husband purchased “Insanity” off Craig’s List for $45 and it was still in the shrink wrap (the guy told us that he recently found out he had

The Grand Pup

“The Grand-Pup” as she is so affectionately called. This dog should be in pictures!

Christmas in Columbus

The Columbus Commons is 9 acres of live, green space located in the heart of Downtown Columbus, OH. It is the former site of the City Center Shopping Mall. The Christmas light display is beautiful!

A Christmas Memory

I have two daughters who are now 18 and 21 years old. You know how it is with the first child, you keep up with the “Baby’s First” book with their first words and first steps. When baby number two comes along, you’re a little less organized and start slipping up on keeping track of all those firsts. It just so happens that at some point, for my first daughter, I ended up with not one, but two Baby’s First Christmas Hallmark tree ornaments. Somehow, daughter number two never received such an ornament. Each year as she got older and would decorate the tree, she would ask, “Mom, where’s my Baby’s First Christmas ornament”? I would say – not sure what happened honey. For a few years that seemed to work, but by the time she was 10 years old, she was really mad about the whole situation :) When I realized that she really felt slighted about it, I started searching the internet for a Baby’s First Christmas 1993 ornament. I thought for sure I could find one on Ebay, but no luck. I

We Met on

I am always intrigued and inspired by how people met their significant other. I thought it would be unfair if I asked you to tell me how you met your husband, boyfriend, wife or girlfriend without me sharing my own personal story. I think it is these kinds of stories that give people hope that they too will meet ‘the one.” Please comment and let me know how you met. Just reply back with your first names, ages, and where you are from. The rest of the story is up to you! Here is my story…. I had just arrived back from a four day trip to Tempe Arizona where I had witnessed the Ohio Sate buckeyes defeat Miami for the 2002 National Championships in triple overtime. My girlfriend and I went with a group of tailgating friends as a once in a lifetime experience. After four long days of fun in the sun and screaming my Buckeyes to victory, I came home feeling like I had just been run over by a Mack truck. I was exhausted and when I tried to talk all that would come out was a faint whisper an