Friday, January 08, 2010

Searching For Points

Want a fun way to nab some free stuff?  This, in my opinion, is a fun way to be frugal.  Frugal in the sense that I'm not out shopping and spending money, instead I'm sitting at home doing the searches that I was going to be doing anyway and earning points towards prizes.   I just started playing with the site Swagbucks and I'm having a blast.

First off, let me say that I am not affiliated with Swagbucks.  I do not work for them, nor do I get paid by them to tell you this.  Nor have I received anything free yet since I just joined up as well.

So what is Swagbucks?  It's a search engine.  That's it, just a search engine.  But, the fun part, and it is fun by the way, is that by doing internet searches on their site, you can be paid "Swagbucks".  And admit it, you're going to search the internet for something anyway, aren't you?  When you get a certain amount of their "swagbucks" (a fancy word for points), you can redeem them for prizes.  I'm going after the Amazon gift cards myself, or maybe the Paypal one. 

Besides doing searches, you can get your friends to sign up and for every swagbuck they get, you get one too (up to 100, but that's it.)  They also put out random swag codes that you can enter in and get more bucks for it.  There are other ways to win as well, but you'll have to go over and investigate to find out. 

This is a brilliant way for them to market their product drive people over to their site and get the word out about their business.  But more importantly, it's a fun way to earn free stuff.  I'm totally into free stuff.  "Free" is my favorite word, the next being the word "Sale" of course. 

Did I mention that it's "Free" to join?  Just tell 'em that I sent ya!  Yes, this is a gratuitous way to get you as a referrer.  Pass the word along and you can get referrals too.  ;)

Have a great weekend everybody!  I'll have some knitting for you on Monday.


The kids had a snow day today from school.  Noooooooooooooooooo!    It's not fair!  I just got them back in school.  I could have had a quiet house to myself today.   Oh Well.

We got basically a good dusting of snow, maybe an inch, so all the schools closed down.   You folks up north and out west won't understand this, I know.  You're all laughing your behinds off at us Southerners.

Most of the buses wouldn't have started anyway, but that's not the problem here in this climate really.  The worst problem we have is the ice.  Snow melts and refreezes then melts and refreezes all over again.  We in the South are just not prepared for it.  Our cars and buses don't have skates on them like yours must have. 

Yes, you laugh, but there was a 29 car wreck caused by black ice this morning on the interstate.  Oh yes, there was.  See, if we had skates on our cars, maybe this wouldn't have happened.  Well, it probably would have been worse actually.  We Southerners don't really ice skate well either.  Where are we going to practice?  Yes, there's a few rinks around here, but not enough for most of us to practice on and certainly none that are large enough to practice with cars on.

So there you have it in a nutshell.  The answers to all your questions as to why the South shuts down when we see a few snowflakes.  :)

This was the view of our back yard taken from my kitchen window.  There's no way I was going out there to take a pic, I'm allergic to cold weather.

And check out my front steps.  Snow only stuck to the bricks.  I guess the cement was too warm for it to stick around:


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Mirror Followup

Yesterday I showed you my Mirror DIY project where I painted the two mirrors with some Krylon Metallic Paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze.  Today I wanted to show you the big mirror on the mantle and the mantle itself.

Every year after I take down all the Christmas decorations I get all depressed.  The house looks so bare and so does the mantle.  I usually just go with a spare look, such as just a few candlesticks on each side and maybe one thing in the middle, but not this year.  This year I wanted something busy, but it had to include many shades of brown, a few other natural colors and have lots of texture.

Here's how it's turned out so far.  Bear in mind that this is a work in progress and that I'm still tweaking it:

I've had a devil of a time photographing this mantle.  The pictures just don't do it justice and neither does my camera.  So here's a couple of other angles:

All three of these are blurry. One day I'll get a real grown up DSLR camera.

For a breakdown of what's on the mantle:

This is to the left of the mantle.  The tall wooden puppet is from Indonesia and really works.  The brown teapot was brought back by my husband from a trip to Peru and the box it's sitting on was a gift from my brother's trip to the Czech Republic.

In the center is a small collection of cut crystal.  Some were wedding gifts, some belonged to my grandparents and a couple were also brought back by my brother from the Czech Republic.

And to the right, I found some old books that has been tucked away and stacked them with their edges out to display the different shades of tan and brown.  These also served to give some height to display the black pottery.  Oh, and there's a green pillow tucked into a small metal basket on the right.

To pull everything together I grabbed some strips of burlap that was leftover from the kitchen curtain project and bunched it up a little and then spread it across the mantle.  I made sure to give it some height in some places to add interest.  Next I grabbed some dried curly grape vines that were originally in my foyer in a large pottery jug and stuck it in random places.  I also have some little vine balls on the mantle that have been dyed that I purchased at Target.  I used these as filler.

Also please keep in mind that the nasty striped wall paper will also be disappearing over the next couple of months. My "MantleScape" will have so much more impact then when it doesn't have to fight the stripes to be seen.

I'm not sure what else I'll do to the mantle, but I like where it's heading so far and I"m loving my "new" mirror.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

DIY 2010 project #1

I have a couple of mirrors in the house that I loathe.  They were fine when purchased, but more and more, as I found my own personal decoration style, I came to hate them with a purple passion.  The frames were brassy where the rest of my home has warm browns and autumn tones.

So I decided to do something about it.

First came the little cheap plaster of paris mirror:

Then the beveled mirror that goes over my mantle:

In the mirror is the view of our garage ceiling.  Notice the patches made there next to the light?  Yeah, while putting in our new second attic space, the hubby decided to step through the ceiling.  Not that that has anything to do with mirrors, I'm just saying.

Here's another view of the big mirror all taped up and ready for painting.  Don't ya just love cheap dollar store construction paper?  Notice the nasty brass color of the frame?  This pic is probably the truest to it's natural color:

And a corner closeup:

I used Krylon's Metallic paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze and sprayed two coats to get this:

This, obviously is not where they will end up, but it was all I could get before my camera battery died. 

Big. Difference.

I will probably put some rub 'n buff on the smaller mirror, but the larger one is done.  I'll have a finished, back on the mantle pic for you tomorrow after my camera battery is revived.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Clever Little Shawl 2.0 *Complete*

Over the holiday I finished the second "Clever Little Shawl" (my Ravelry project link)  for my mother.  I even got her to model it for me - to a point.  I had to promise to crop out her head.  Can do.  Here's how it turned out:

From the back:

And on the dress form:

I love this pattern to death! 


1.  It's simple and makes for great movie watching.
2.  It's a reproduction of a shawl from the 1800's.  The history geek in me loves that.
3.  So warm and cozy without being bulky in the least.
4.  Needs no shawl pin to keep it closed.
5.  You pair this up with some cute but simple clothes - dark jeans, black boots w/ a heel, black shirt, and you've got yourself one unique & chic outfit. 

The link to the free pattern is here:  Carol's Clever Little Shawl

My Mods: 

  1. Made the ends 24 stitches wide vs 34 to make it more slender. Increased back up the the proper stitch count on the next two rows after the ribbing section and reversed the process at the end of the shawl.
  2. Began the lace pattern at k2 instead of k1. This began as a mistake, but I liked it and kept going.
For more details, click on the first link above to go to my Ravelry project page.  While you're there, why not give it some "favorite love"?  :)  

Monday, January 04, 2010

My Little Fairy

Our family can be odd at times, but then, whose isn't really?  But this past holiday, they really proved it they're loons.  It all started with the pink fairy wings that my Mom bought and brought to her house. 

The Youngest loves Tinkerbell and couldn't wait to put them on.  I'm loving the phase he's in right now.  He's completely gender neutral in regard to toys.  All toys are fun to him, even fairy wings and magic wands.  I'm saving this pic for blackmail later on when he starts bringing the girlfriends home:

Then my silly nephew got in on the act:

Then my second cousin combined the fairy wings with some Hulk hands:

We got my 80 year old Uncle in on the fun (he was such a good sport):

Even the dog got in on the act:

Remember the phase I told you the Youngest was going through?  Yeah, he asked Santa for a Daisy Duck this Christmas.  Ya know what?  He got it:
More blackmail for later!