Very Tardy Tutorial!

Hi everyone, long time no see! As far as my life goes it's been pretty crazy around here, hence the lack of posts. But I don't want to get into it right now, so instead I will show you my wall of inspiration from fall:I made this ridiculously large board to pin up all of my inspiring bits that I gather and want to look at all the time. It measures about 9x4 feet and covers almost the entire wall above my bed, so I used foam presentation board instead of cork because it's so much cheaper. I thought I would share how I made it because it was kind of tough and having a tutorial would have saved me a lot of time and effort, and my roomie and I came up with some clever tricks for its construction.

First, you'll need 2 packages of little sticky velcro squares. I chose these because I wanted to be able to replace a panel if it got too many holes in it and they come off the wall cleanly when I will eventually have to move again (don't worry, hopefully that will never happen!). And you'll need 9 pieces of Elmer's foam board, the 20x30 inch ones, color doesn't matter (this is if you're making one as big as mine, you may need more or less depending on the size of your board). You're also going to want a tape measure, a level, a straight edge, an exacto knife, a pencil, and a roll of masking tape. And lastly, you'll need a large roll of self-adhesive shelf liner paper, which comes in so many motifs nowadays that you're sure to find one that matches your decor  I have Angela to thank for this brilliant idea: I had bought the liner paper for our cabinets but the finish on the shelves was too rough so I couldn't use it. I was originally going to cover the board with brown craft paper to give it a similar look to the cork wallboards, but it was turning out to be a mess. Then Angela suggested the shelf paper and the pallet was perfect for my room with lovely polka dots in blues and tans.
1. To prep the boards, pull apart all the little velcro squares, match up the pairs and stick them together. Then peel of only ONE side of the sticky paper and press the sets onto the corners of all the boards but one. (This is the one you'll be cutting to finish a corner so you'll want to put on the sticky dots after you cut it.)
2. Okay, so now that you have all your supplies, measure the wall you want to put it on and decide on a size for the board.
3. To center the board, take the wall length and subtract the board length, then divide by two. Do the same for the height, and this will be the wallspace left around the board.
4. With the pencil, measure and mark on the wall where the corners of the finished board will be.
5. Now grab a board and line its corner up with the top right corner you just marked on the wall. Use the level to make sure the board is level and mark where the top is on the wall. Flip the board over and peel off all the sticky papers from the back of the velcro squares. Hold the board close to the wall and make sure you realign it with the top level line, then press it to the wall.
6. Take the next board and butt it up to the one you just put on the wall. Check to make sure it's level as well (if not, make it level and if there's a minute gap between the boards it's all right, it'll be covered with masking tape later). Now take it off the wall and remove the sticky paper and stick it to the wall just like the first one.
7. Repeat step 6 until you've reached the desired length of the finished board. Now you can complete the bottom row of board pieces just like the top row.If you need to, trim the board at the end with the straight edge and xacto knife to the correct length and stick on the last velcro squares.
8. Take the masking tape and tape over all of the seams between the boards.
9. (For this step you may want to bribe your roommate with cookies to help you.) Take the length of the board and add 2 inches. Cut 3-4 strips of the shelf liner paper to that length. Peel off the backing at one corner and stick it to the board, leaving an inch of overhang on the side and top. Have your friend hold the strip up against the board while you keep one hand behind the paper, slowly peeling off the backing. Use the side of your other hand to smooth down the paper and remove any air bubbles. Don't keep the tension on the paper too high because it can stretch a bit. When you reach the other end of the board there should be an inch of paper overhanging.

10. Peel and stick the rest of the shelf paper as in step 9 to the rest of the board, overlapping each strip a tiny bit.
11. fold the overhanging paper around the edges of the board, feel free to pull it away from the wall a bit to get it all the way around, just push it back on the wall afterwards. Ah, the wonders of Velcro.
Et voila! Add about 100 pushpins and you're ready to go! Please tell me if any of this doesn't make sense, it's my first tutorial and a complicated one at that. Hope this helps someone out there who wanted a gigantic bulletin board!

If you have found this or any of my other free patterns useful and would like to help me keep creating them I accept PayPal donations!


Happy (Belated) Halloween

Muahaha I'm back! I just got the internet hooked up yesterday so I can finally get back to blogging! I'm such a dork because I promised everyone pictures of the new place but I didn't buy my new digital camera (the old one belonged to Michael) until a couple weeks ago. And besides that, I wouldn't have had a way to get them onto my blog until now anyhow. So now you'll just have to wait and instead of seeing the place empty you'll get to see it all prettyful and perfect for the housewarming party! Yay! My head's spinning with all the things I want to talk about and post, but I think I should just go with one thing at a time.

So first of all, my Halloween was a major bust. Usually I'm a nut, waiting anxiously until October 1st so I can deck out the entire house with decorations and start planning the menue for the Halloween party. But this year I was overwhealmed with an empty appartment and a pile of boxes to unpack, so I never got the chance to get into the spirit. This was the first year since 1st grade that I haven't hosted a party on Halloween and it made me kind of sad. Plus I got sick the weekend before and I had to miss a Halloween party I was invited to. The theme was "Circus Freaks and Sideshow Geeks" and I was going to be the tattoed lady. Anyone want to take $80 worth of new temporary tattoos of my hands? So yesterday I made a last-ditch effort to have some fun, and I wore cat ears and a tail to work, which was really fun because my coworkers had on horns and a funny orange hat complete with ears, so at least I wasn't the only person dressed up. The bart rides to and from work were interesting, lol. Anywho, I got a small sugar pie pumpkin and carved a face on it, but that's about it. I'm going to hack it to pieces today and bake it with some sugar, cinnamon, and heavy cream. It turns into a kind of crustless pumpkin pie, really yummy. So much for Halloween, I'm sure next year will be better! Here's some Kyoto cuteness, he's getting so big and was caught sleeping on my apron collection!
As far as what I'm going to be up to now, I'm trying to get my butt in gear and restock the shops before I miss the holiday season completely. But besides that, my roomie Angela and I have been working on turning the new appartment into a super-cool-girly-artsy-fartsy space, and it's coming along nicely. I'm hoping to post some of my projects on here with tutorials, I already have pictures for a big one so I'll post it this weekend. I'm going to be having a yardsale soon, I'll post it on here in case anyone wants to come. And the housewarming party is going to be on the 17th, so I should have plenty of pictures to share. Thanks for all the support, things are looking up and I can't wait to get back to the good stuff!


Tag! You're it!

Jessica over at Zakka Life tagged me for a game, so here it goes!

The rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

7 Facts About Me
1. My fingers are double-jointed and can bend backwards at all the knuckles, and I can bend the top of my finger independently from the middle joint. It freaks some people out, lol.
2. I speak French almost fluently, I've taken classes for 4-5 years.
3. Although I obviously love cute things, I have a great facination with morbid things. But I also have an immense fear of my own mortality.
4. I am allergic to coconut and seaweed, ironic because sushi and Thai curries are some of my favorite foods. I'd rather have hives than not eat sushi thank you.
5. I've never had any kind of piercing, not even my ears, and I never plan to. But I want a lot of tattoos someday.
6. I know a lot about cars thanks to my dad, and if I need to I can diagnose and fix a problem myself.
7. I can play the guitar and I'm a gamer girl at heart, survival horrors and RPG's especially (I also play tabletop D+D every chance I get). I was also the president of the FHA-HERO club at my high school for 2 years running. I'm kind of an odd mix, yes?

Alrighty, I get to tag people now... Let's see...

1. Hyein over at Christina's. Her blog is so cute and fun, and watch out for her etsy shop, you'll want everything in it!
2. Kirsten over at Green... It's the new blue. She recently started a craft blog and it's a great one. She has an awesome etsy store and a free embroidery pattern for you!
3. Anne over at ReLove Projects. She's the master of recycling things into the most wonderful handbags, cards, and more. Go check out her awesome etsy shop!
4. Kimberly over at Chez Sucre Chez. She's got an amazing blog and etsy shop, she's a multi-talented crafter!
5. Amy over at Angry Chicken. She recently published an amazing sewing book called "Bend the Rules Sewing" and her blog is a must-see!
6. Cupcake over at Crochetroo. She's an aussie girl with lots of free patterns and an excellent etsy store.
7. And lastly, my buddy Ryan over at Evil Ryan. He's not a craft blogger, but he is my best bud and posts some great poetry. I wonder if he'll play...?

Pics of the new place will be coming eventually, I always seem to get there when the good lighting is all gone (like after dark, lol). The big move is on saturday and I may be without internet for a while, wish me luck!


The Search is Over!

I finally found an apartment! *Jumps around and giggles.* Actually, I guess saying "finally" is a bit too much, considering I've only been looking for a couple weeks. Angela and I were looking to move into a place by the 1st of October, though I didn't realize how close that really was until we were told we could move in on Monday. 'Oly crap. This place was actually the first one we put a finished application in for, and we got it the next day. It's so beautiful and wonderful, I'm going to post plenty of pictures on tuesday before I put all my junk in it. It's seriously my dream apartment, hardwood floors and original tile, pale mint green walls and white trim, you'll just have to see it, very very soon. Thanks again for all the support guys!



I can admit it: when I'm sad I tend to buy things in an effort to cheer myself up. Problem is, it works, which makes me do it again in the future. Nedless to say I've been buying some extra goodies lately because I've been kind of down for the past couple of weeks. *Sigh* It's a very bad habit, I know, but can you blame me? Just look at what came in the mail from Superbuzzy today! (And yes, those are Clover's bias tape makers!)

And I was a bad girl and stopped by a special little fabric store in Castro Valley called The Bolt's End. (Check out the vintage basket weave trim, great for handles on zakka purses!) They buy closeout designer fabrics and sell them for a couple dollars per yard cheaper than anywhere else I've seen. Plus the ladies who work there are really nice and helpful, and the store's within walking distance of a wonderful tiny bead store (the owner knows me by name now), a yarn store (a little pricey, but fun to look in), one of those paint-your-own-pottery places (for which I have a gift certificate I need to use before I move), and last but not least, there's a little shop that is a lot like etsy. It has spaces that are rented out to crafty people who sell their handmade wares. It's really cute, but the name escapes me. I think it was Crafter's Cottage, but I'm not sure. I'm really going to miss Castro Valley, I think I'll have to come back to the area once in a while for the shops, and back to Hayward to eat at Smile Thai and Le Paradis.
Sorry if I become whiny in my posts sometimes, at least you can stop reading and skip to the good parts if you don't want to hear it, lol. Anywho, I love getting new fabric home and looking through my craft books trying to figure out what to do with them. But lately I haven't been working on anything, or doing much of anything at all for that matter. I feel like such a slug. My best friend Ryan moved about 1/2 an hour away, I'm stuck in this apartment with my now-ex-boyfriend, and I don't know if I can handle a full classload this quarter. My co-workers have been such a big help, also my soon to be roomie Angela, mom and dad, all you readers out there. I can't wait to find an appartment, having to live here right now is stressing the heck out of me so badly that I don't even crochet much anymore except for on Bart. I just read or goof off on the computer, wasting my time, but I'm the one who wanted something different so I guess I brought this on myself. Not that Michael and I are fighting, far from it in fact, it's just hard to keep remembering that he's not my boyfriend anymore, no more snuggles, sharing sodas, holding hands... Maybe I should start packing up a bit even though I don't have a place to go set in stone right now, I think it would cheer me up. There's a couple apartments we're looking at on Saturday that are in older buildings and have wood floors, built-ins, big living rooms, etc, so I'm pretty excited for that. Blah blah blah... And now for something completely different!
I got some more Japanese craft books, one on needle felted baked goods (While I don't actually know how to needle felt yet, this book is a good enough reason for me to learn!), and one about embroidery, which I'm hoping I'll have time to practice once in my new place. (Look at the little felt and wood trees in the last pic. So cute!) Please enjoy the pictures, and thanks a bunch everyone!


Little Lunchbag!

Alrighty, first off I want to appologize for the posting gap, I've been having a hard time around the house these past couple of weeks. Looks like my boyfriend and I are going our seperate ways and I've been working on finding a new apartment. But hey, it's not all bad! We're still on good terms and I'll be moving closer to work and living with my artsy friend Angela. We've agreed that we have to make the living room into an art studio and I'm going to go crazy with adorable and awesome decor since I don't have to worry what the man will think. It should make for some very interesting home improvement posts, yay! Anywho, onto the crafty goodness:My favroite resource for Japanese fabric, Superbuzzy, was having a sale, so as a birthday present to myself I got a bunch of larger yardages than I normally do of some really cute ones! And right after I placed the order I picked up an amazing new craft book in Japantown that's all about lunchbags. I fell in love with this little red and white one, and the moment I got the fabric home from the post office I knew the green apples were destined to be a lunchbag! I seriously cranked it out in 2 hours, pretty amazing for the girl who tends to start and not finish. It's lined on the inside with ecru linen, and I couldn't help but use that little hedgehog trim for the tie.

Afterward I went to the store to find a tupperware for it and ended up finding the most perfectly sized ones, and in apple green no less! I'm seriously debating whether or not to put this on etsy, I just love it so much and I really want to keep it for myself, but god knows I need the money for the move. I'm going to think about it, but most likely it will end up in the shop. Here's some more gratuitous pics from the adorable lunchbag book!


I won!

I know I don't normally do more than one post a day but I'm so excited! I never win anything but I just won a copy of the new book, Listography, on a whim. I was browsing Whip Up and I saw they were giving away 5 of the books to people who listed their top 5 guilty pleasures. I was already on the website version, you can see my listography here, and I love it, so I thought I'd give it a go and try to win the book.
Here's mine:
*Buying all that’s left of an amazing dollar-a-yard fabric, leaving not a single scrap for anyone else.
*Letting the kitten get into a huge bag of yarn and unwind every ball around the entire house. I, personally, think it’s adorable.
*Going to the rediculously expensive chocolate and buying just one for me, and not telling my boyfriend I went there without getting him one.
*Taking way too long in the shower just so I can finish singing the song that’s been stuck in my head for a week.
*Using my relatively agile toes to pick something up when I’m too lazy to reach down and use my hands like a normal person.

I thought it would just be funny, I didn't think they'd actually pick me out of all the 100 or so people who entered! I didn't even notice I won until Kawaii Crafter (of Zakka Life) left me a note asking if it was me. LOL! I'm sorry, I'm so proud of my selfish moments!

More Japanese Goodies!

Recently I've been pen-paling the author of Zakka Life, a wonderful craftblog with a new craft project posted every week, definately pop over and check it out! She contacted me to tell me about a new store opening up in Union City, which is a few miles south of Hayward, called Daiso Japan. I'd never heard of it but when I looked up the website I knew I had to go! It's a Japanese import store containing all kinds of little goodies for extremely reasonable prices. I went a little nuts and got a whole bag full of goodies for me and gifts for my mother and sister. I thought I'd post some pics of my goodies up here for fun! Up top there is an adorable lined basket/tray that I got for the coffee table to corral my works in progress. They have a bunch of different ones in sweet little fabrics for three dollars. Three Dollars! Gah!
And I couldn't pass up a set of those adorable little plates, I think I squealed a bit when I saw them! And I love this thick felt bag with the little cat on it:

And of course I got a bunch of adorable stationary (there's too much to photograph it all!):

This sweet little felt bucket will hold all of my cutting tools on my desk, which I'm trying to organize right now.

I got a million little notebooks, a couple of my favorites are here, along with a sweet little zippy pouch made with wide-weave linnen and a leaf embroidery, and some cute erasers (I got some pencils and pens too!):

I got a bunch of gifts as well, and an apron, some papers, and some twine to crochet. That little store is so much fun, I'm so lucky to have someone out there to clue me in to stuff like that! Ah, the wonders of the blogging community!


Alrighty, prepare yourselves for a very long post with lots of pictures! Here's what went on during my birthday extravaganza in Las Vegas! In all, there were a lot of people that came. Me, Mom, Dad, Michael, Michael's parents, my sisters Aura and Holly and Holly's husband, my uncles Adam and Amen, and my aunt Julie and her boyfriend. For my birthday dinner my dad took us out to Emeril's seafood house in the MGM Grand. Very fancy with a ballet service and the best sorbet ever for desert. My first legal dring was one of their mojitos and mmm boy was it ever good. And don't worry, I didn't get smashed.

So, most of us stayed at the Flamingo and had a really posh room with a nice view. The hotel across the way with the blue roof is the Imperial Palace where Michael's parents stayed. In amongst the palm trees is a bunch of nice pools.
This is me, waiting for everyone to arrive to see my first slot machine, lol.

Goodbye little dollar.
I must have been thinking, "Go big or go home..."
Will she win? Eh, no, but it was fun all the same. Actually, I did end up coming home with about 25 dollars more than I left with just form playing slots. Turns out though that the slot machines in Vegas don't pay real coins anymore. Instead they pay money voucher tickets that you cash in later. I was bummed, and determined to get a bucket full of coins. We found a place way down by Circus Circus called "Slots of Fun" that had all the old-school slots and really cheap tables. But it was really far off the strip and we couldn't stay long. We also found out that the Tropicana has a big group of coin-paying ones, and I won quite a bit of quarters and nickels alltogether. The tropicana is also where we got to see the Bodies Exhibition. It's preserved human bodies on display for educational purposes. It was fascinating and I'm so glad I got to see it!
The fake Eifel Tower was actually pretty cool.
The fountain show at the Bellagio is definately worth seeing, it was so beautiful!
I didn't get to see all of the crazy hotels and such, but I saw quite a few and I think my favorite was the Venitian. It has tons of shops and Michael and I wandered around and got ice cream, looking at all the expensive goodies and considering taking a ride on the canals, but we ran out of time.
And since I'm such a dork, I took some pictures of fancy Italian fashions I know I'll never own, but maybe I can make something like them?
And last, but certainly not least, in the airport on our way home I saw a vending machine with an ipod advert on the side, and I jokingly said, "Honey, can I have a dollar so I can get an ipod from the vending machine?" Little did I know...
Only in Vegas...