Looking Back at 2013

Another year has come and gone.  It’s an opportunity to reflect on the year behind and look forward to the one ahead.  What’s been going on here at Crafty Staci?

Here are the most popular projects featured on my blog in 2013:

Leather Cell Phone Wristlet     Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center     Christmas Tree Coffee Sleeve     Felt Flowers from the Land of Oz     Rocking Chair Organizer     Too-Short Shirt Refashion     Fox Coffee Cup Sleeve     Yoda Bag     Binder Bandolier     New Jeans Coffee Sleeve

While a few of those were also popular on Pinterest, I was a little surprised to find some differences:

Asking the Bridesmaids:

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Duct Tape Sunglass Holder:

Duct Tape Sunglass Holder - Crafty Staci 2

The Nightmare Before Christmas Inspired T-Shirts:

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 4

Money Gift Tea Bag:

Money Gift Tea Bag 1 - Crafty Staci

Ruffled Tote Bag:

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Dammit Doll:

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Choosing favorites among my projects is a little like picking a favorite child.  I love them all for different reasons, whether they’re hits or misses.  These are a few I particularly loved that didn’t make the blog or Pinterest cool kids lists:

Pinwheel Coffee Cup Sleeve     Linen and Lace Infinity Scarf     Zippered Christmas Countdown Banner     Teacup Bird Gift Card Holder     Pennant Banner Coffee Sleeve     Pizza Box Valentine

Visit me again on Wednesday and I’ll fill you in on what you can expect in the coming year.  Have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve!

DIY Chalkboard Paint Pin Test

If you’re visiting my little corner of blogland for the first time, you can find out everything you need to know about me and more here.  It’s pretty riveting stuff.

You had to know, with the popularity of Pinterest, there would soon follow blogs spoofing, analyzing and testing pins.  My favorite right now is Pinstrosity.  There are definitely more bad results than good, but they actually take the time to figure out why it might have failed.  They are currently holding a contest to try out pins from their “To Test” board and write about it.  I happened to find out about this while I was completely alone in the house, always dangerous, so I found a pin and joined the fray.

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I went with the How to Mix Chalkboard Paint in any Color from A Beautiful Mess.  I looked at several others, but I had a few rules for myself.  1.  I was NOT going to the store.  Whatever I made, the supplies had to be in my house already.  2.  There had to be actual directions to follow.  There were a couple of interesting projects, but they were more inspiration than instruction.  3.  It had to be something I might actually use in the end.

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Now, you might look at the supply list for the paint and think “Unsanded grout, already in your house?  Really?”  Yep.  My husband is a fixer, and the box was sitting right there on a shelf in our garage.  It was meant to be.

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Brown might not have been my first choice for paint color, but the instructions called for 1/2 cup of paint and my options were pretty limited.  I mixed in a little yellow to lighten it up, but it still looks like brownie batter.  Not bad, but it kinda made my hungry.

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It doesn’t say how many coats of the paint to apply in the directions, but I used three.  I had a LOT of paint, so I figured I’d go heavy.  One was definitely not enough, as I could still see through it, but I probably could have stopped at two.  I had quite a bit of paint left, so this would be enough to paint a pretty large project.

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My biggest issue with this was that there were still lumps of grout in the paint that I didn’t see, even after much stirring.  I’d recommend using a shorter, wider container than I did so it’s easier to tell when all the lumps have disappeared.  There are a few bumps on the project because of it, but overall nothing really that noticeable.

I nearly turned this into a disaster before I was finished. As I’m painting I thought “Hmm, I wonder if I should add a clear coat to protect it at the end.” To my chalkboard paint. Yeah. Follow. The. Directions.

The best part is that I finished painting the tray and realized we had no chalk in the house.  Beautiful.

Technically, I still didn’t leave the house to get supplies.  I got my oldest child to do it for me.  Chalk in hand, I proceeded to slate the surface, as the directions stated, by rubbing the entire thing lightly with chalk.  That’s when I remembered why I probably got rid of every bit of chalk we had – it’s messy.

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It then says to rub lightly to remove the chalk.  This is after rubbing vigorously with a paper towel.

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Do you ever watch Mythbusters?  I feel like this is one of those where they end their myth test with “Plausible.”  The potential for a good project is there, I just don’t feel like I nailed it.  Next time I would choose a lighter paint color and confine the chalkboard to the inside bottom of the tray.  However, the whole point is to be able to make your own chalkboard paint and to that I can say “Confirmed.”

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Thanks to Pinstrosity for letting me spend a little time on their playground!

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Friday Favorites–Pinterest Finds

This week, I decided to share some of my favorites from my Pinterest boards.  I try not to visit every day, because if I did nothing else would ever get done.  Today though, I spent a LOT of time there.  My daughter called it procraftination.  Smart girl.

This canvas project from Virginia and Charlie has been popping up for a while.  I was surprised to find out when I tracked it back to the original post, she didn’t use glue, like all the pins say, and she didn’t paint it.  It’s puffy paint, and she left it white.  I still love it, and she shows some other versions she made as well.

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I think I’ve mentioned this before, but a few years ago, we took our kids on an epic, two-week, cross-country road trip.  It was fantastic.  I’d love to embroider our path onto a map and frame it, like these from Martha Stewart.

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I found this cute project recently.  It comes from a Hungarian blog, whose name, A Papír egy Csoda, Google translates as The Paper is a Miracle .  What a fun, beautiful way to fill the space under the stairs.

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I love Christian Louboutin shoes.  You know, the high heels with the red soles?  And it’s really only because of those soles.  I could have something similar and sparkly for a fraction of a fraction of the cost with this tutorial from Could I Have That.

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I like food with flavor, but not super-spicy.  Every once in a while though, I get in the mood for a jalapeno popper, and I think this Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich from BS’ in the Kitchen would be a delicious substitute.

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These bags from Jump From Paper look like cartoons, but are actual bags.  They’re pretty pricey, but kind of adorable.

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This Thin Mints sign from Etsy seller Atlas Signs is my most liked and repinned pin.  And oh-so true.

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I had to do some serious digging and searching to find the originator of this shadow box car display, which is Work in Progress Kits.  Totally worth it.  I’m digging out my son’s old Hot Wheels right now.

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We’ll wrap up this week with one of my favorite new quotes, courtesy of SomeEcards.

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I Haven’t Forgotten About You

Honest.  I know it’s been a little light on the projects around here lately, but I’ve had two things working against me.  My little Etsy shop was wiped out after Christmas, so I’ve been putting my effort toward restocking.  That said, my effort has been pretty limited because I’ve also been sick more days than I’ve been well since the beginning of October.  Yep, that is a lot of sick.  I’m on my second round of antibiotics, and I’m hopeful I can beat this and move on. I have a few fun things to share soon, including an expandable bag, a fabric inventory system, and an entire series of book-recycling projects.  I’m anxious to get moving again.

As a consolation, here’s a FANTASTIC round-up of Valentine projects I came across recently from Dani Marie Designs.  If you follow me on Pinterest or Facebook, you’ve already seen this.  My coffee cup sleeves are included, but there are also 100 other great ideas!

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