You are browsing the archive for October 2011 - Crafted Niche - a lifestye blog that shares DIY crafts, recipes and tutorials.

Tea Tier, Shopping and a Guest Post

October 31, 2011 in Gettin' Crafty, Kitchen

Happy Monday all.  What’s that?  You’re about as thrilled for Monday as I am?  Good… well at least we’re in it together. :-)

First and foremost, I’m thrilled to say I’m guest posting today at Nifty Thrifty Things. Vanessa is away for a bit enjoying a vacation (CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP) deep in the heart of Texas! Be sure to stop by her neck of the woods and check her out!

Back here at Crafted Niche….. Happy Halloween!  I didn’t really do much Halloween-specific decorating this year. I got some pumpkins, but that’s about it. I’ve decided not to carve them though in hopes of them lingering a bit longer on the porch. I just love fall and a few pumpkins on the porch really seems to dress up my DEAD front yard. Seriously… my grass has been dead out front for at least two months. No mowing…. good thing. No green….. bad thing.  It’s a trade off. Remind me again why we don’t all just astro-turf our yards???

Anywho… Saturday I ventured out!  I headed to the big o’ city for a couple reasons:  1)  Sell that cute pedestal table I showed you last week to a lady from Craigslist and 2) Hit up my triple-threat:  Home Goods, JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. Booyah.  Did I mention my JoAnns and Home Goods are across the street from each other?  …and Hobby Lobby is just a couple miles down the highway to the next exit?  Love it!  Best part is, you’ll be SHOCKED to know I only spent $18 TOTAL at all three stores.

Home Goods was, as usual, fannntastic. From the minute I stepped in the door I was getting whiplash from looking back and forth. Kid in a candy store… this girl!  I’ll spare you the bajillion pictures I took and show off just a couple pieces that had me SMITTEN!

See the piece in front?  I can’t help but feel like I saw the exact same thing on an HGTV makeover show. It was gorgeous! …but for $599 we’ll just have to have a long-distance relationship. I will love him from afar.  Same goes for that cart behind. It really got me thinking… could we find older carts and simply swap out the shelves for something more worn with character?


Check out that shelf on the left. I practically climbed over top of a row of chairs when i saw this guy. He had a clearance tag on him and I just HAD to see if I could have him. ….but for $399… he’s ALSO going to stay put. Sigh.  BUT!  Why couldn’t we get a similar look for less?  Black metal structure with plenty o’ bolts… add in some rustic, weathered wood.  Done!

The photo on the right is of the prettiest leaning mirrors I’ve seen yet. I know the scale is hard to judge by the picture, but it was a LOT taller than most. See the mirror to its right?  Well that’s pretty much the standard height I’ve seen in most stores. But not my Hulk… that big ol’ gorgeous green man stood MUCH taller and made a bigger statement. At $99 the price was doable, but I’m cheap. What can I say. :-)

I kid you not. Just last week I pinned the greatest DIY clock over at Dittle Dattle.  Check it out here.  The clock above in Home Goods stood about 3 feet tall and reminded me so much of Carrie’s version!  She gives a great how-to.  Be sure to check it out if you’re in the market for a big clock!   (…or go to Home Goods and score that beauty for around $80)

After Home Goods I popped in (for an hour! eek!) JoAnn Fabrics and walked out with three things for my next project. It’s INSANE how many ideas I have in those stores. I just go crazy snapping pictures to remind me of the different projects I’d like to make. Halfway through the store my arms were LOADED. I had to give myself a responsible-crafter-reality-check and put down all of the things I wouldn’t be using in the VERY near future. I decided I should wait to buy them until I’m actually READY to work on those ideas. So thankfully I walked out of the store spending only $7 for three things.

Then on to Hobby Lobby. Same story… different store. That place is DANGEROUS. No…..I’m not referring to the wood carving knives… I’m talking FINANCIALLY dangerous. I want everything. I wander around dreaming up ideas and wishing I had all the time and money to do them. I grabbed the last remaining piece for my next project and also picked up a couple bonus items.

So the bonus items?  Well…… they were an acrylic paint pen in black annnnnd THIS guy:

I found this galvanized piece back in the floral department and it just so happens all metal schtuff was 50% off! Woop!  After the discount I scored him for $3.5o… and he was perfect for what I had in mind…

I love coffee in the morning… and hot tea during the day. I was so sick of having to dig in the cabinet for my tea and thought something a bit cuter and accessible would do the trick. I used my acrylic paint pen to free hand some numbers on the metal. I know… it would have been MUCH cuter to actually stencil them on… but sometimes you just want to get it done quickly right?  It’s the PERFECT height to fit under my kitchen cabinets but still be able to easily reach inside the top tier for sweetener. Loving it.

Who knows… maybe I’ll sand off the numbers a bit to make them look worn. OH… and that glass jar filled with coffee is from Michaels. I bought the jar and then slapped a chalkboard label on the front. I like to write the coffee flavor (and day the bag was opened) on the chalkboard.   …and this girl HAS to have her straws. I’m addicted… Use them for water and whatnot though. I’ve just found I drink a lot more if I use a straw!

My sister Christy wrote a GREAT tutorial for you guys on how she made the light I showed you a couple Fridays ago. I’ll try to get pictures tonight and get that to you as soon as I can.

Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween.  Be safe!

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A Finishing Touch for Roxy’s Bed

October 28, 2011 in Bedrooms, Building and Repurposing, Do it your Dog-Gone Self, Furniture Makeovers, Pups

Confession – I’ve been sitting on this for a while now. Seems I’m BAD about that. I buy (aka hoard) when I find a great deal and then things sit until I get a sudden burst of motivation. Case in point:

I bought a cute vinyl decal on clearance at Michaels MONTHS ago. At the time, I thought I would find an old board to put it on or stick it directly to the wall above my window. The longer the decal sat on my dresser (see! I didn’t even put it away!), the less I liked the idea. I thought paint would look better on an old board and I was afraid the decal would be too small for the scale of the window.

But wait – Plan B (or C?) – What about putting it on Roxy’s bed that I built earlier this year?  I held the decal up to the front of the bed and it was a PERFECT fit.  Don’t you just love when things work out like that?!  So of course I did just what you’re expecting, right….. put it on Roxy’s bed while I had it out?  WRONG.  I put it back on the dresser for another few weeks.  (I swear, I have a problem!)

Fast forward to today… Finally got motivated.  Took me long enough! While my Mom may not be nearby to make me clean my room, I still do just fine throwing a fit about it alllllll by myself! I put my big girls pants on, dug through the MOUNTAIN of laundry and made my way to the dresser.  After reading the instructions twice (I’m a decal newbie) I slapped that bad boy on the bed! (there might be a better way to say that… but let’s just roll with it)


Yup… that’s a dog bed in the kitchen. Normal? Nope. But it was the best natural light I could find thanks the the skylight.

It’s definitely NOT perfect… but it was the third thing I ever built… so I’m pretty happy with it.

The bed was strategically sized to perfectly fit a couple of cheap $2.50 bed pillows at Walmart… which strategically fit in el cheapo waterproof pillow covers.

I love that it looks hand-painted. I think it goes well with the look of the bed.

Roxy likes to make sure EVERYONE knows it’s HER bed.

…and fair warning. You could probably stop scrolling now… because all you’re going to get now are pictures of Cutie Patootie Roxy with the bed in its normal spot….






Still scrolling?  Okay!  You’ve been warned.  Here are a few too many pictures of Roxy lounging in “her spot” in the bedroom:

That’s a water bowl to her right. If Queen Roxy wakes up in the middle of the night and wants something to drink, she’ll pace around the bed and growl until I get up and get it. So filling HER water bowl is MY sleep aid.

After 14 years of my photo sessions, she’s less than amused!


LOVING this decal!

Roxy is officially OVER it. Doing what she does best… SLEEP.

If you’d like to see how I built this bed, check out the original post!

Have a great weekend everyone! I’m hoping to get a lot of cleaning and laundry done. Here’s hoping I find the MOTIVATION.

Huge thanks to all of the amazing bloggers with such great link parties.  Be sure to stop by and give them a visit!

Thank you to the following blogs for featuring Roxy’s Bed!

Home Stories A2Z  

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How to make Silhouette Prints using Picnik

October 27, 2011 in Gettin' Crafty, Kitchen, Pups

Ask and Ye Shall Receive! Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments about my Encyclopedia Silhouette Prints. I absolutely love hearing from each and every one of you and your comments always make my day.  Thank you, THANK YOU for making blogging SO much fun!

So the nitty gritty side of the Encyclopedia Prints… Let’s show you how to take your pictures from this to this:


It’s okay. Take a deep breath. It’s EASY.  I promise!

If you haven’t done so already, you need to sign up for an account at  The freebie version will be JUST fine for what you’ll need for this project.

Once you’ve done that, pick a photo you’d like to use for your silhouette. The fewer fuzzy wuzzy flyaway hairs the better. Trust me, it’ll make your life so much easier. (Maybe I’m just lucky having three smooth haired dogs… even if they DO shed!)

Upload your photo to Picnik and we’re ready to get started!

Under <BASIC EDITS> you have the option to CROP your image. Get it situated jussst how you like it and then we’ll start working on making it into a super posh silhouette.

Cropped?  Good. Lets go.

  • Click on <EFFECTS> in the top tool bar
  • Scroll down through the list of effects on the left. Shortly before the bottom you’ll find DOODLE.  Click that!
  • Change your brush color to white
  • Adjust your brush size. I like to start with a big brush for coloring the background

  • Using the DOODLE effect, color out the big, obvious, gotsta-go background. Don’t start on the detail work yet… just get rid of the background until you’re left with something like this:

  • Now is when I like to change my brush size to something quite a bit smaller and start working on the outer edge of my subject.
  • GO SLOW and work in shorter brush strokes.
  • UNDO is in the top right corner of the screen and it will quickly become your best friend for correcting bad “doodles”
  • The smaller the brush, the smoother the lines
  • ZOOM in on sections – you’ll find the zoom in lower right hand corner. VERY helpful
  • Don’t be afraid to doodle right over things that make your outline awkward… like Emma’s collar!

…and you’ll be left with this:

  • After doing the edging with the small brush I like to increase the brush size again and color in the rest of the background
  • When you’re done CLICK APPLY on the left
  • …and it should look something like this:

Now comes the fun part. Lets make it a flat black and white print!

  • Click <BASIC EDITS>
  • Click <EXPOSURE>
  • Click <CONTRAST> and slide the bar all the way to the right.
  • Click APPLY

If your image isn’t completely black and white, don’t fret. We can fill in with black or add more white.  The important part is that your border is accurate!  Here’s what mine looked like after this step… and all those blue arrows are pointing out the things I need to touch up.

  • Go back to <EFFECTS>
  • Scroll down to DOODLE and color in any of the white background that you’ve found.
  • ZOOM IN and pan around. You’ll be amazed what you find when you zoom in.
  • After everything in the background is white, change your brush color to BLACK and fill in any spots on the subject.  When I made Roxy’s (the white terrier) print there were several larger areas I had to color in with black in the middle of her head. It was easy though! With Emma below, you’ll see there were areas along the edges that needed to be touched up. Remember…. ZOOM IN!

…and after all that:

  • Click  <SAVE & SHARE> tab at the top and save the photo to your computer.
  • Tuh-Dah!  You’re finished!!

You’ll have to cut me some slack… I did this one quickly for the tutorial so Emma’s head is a bit lumpy.  As I said earlier,  just go slowly and use shorter brush strokes in case you need to UNDO. If you use longer strokes, then you’ll lose an entire line if you make a small mistake at the end. (Trust me… VERY frustrating)  I got so MUCH faster as I went so don’t give up if it’s hard in the beginning. By the time I got to my 4th silhouette I was zipping right along!

At this point I was able to just open the image and print it directly on a standard paper size… which actually was my encyclopedia page cut to fit.

I think it would be ADORABLE to print silhouettes directly onto cute scrapbooking paper for an easy way to bring color and/or pattern into a space. Just don’t choose something super dark or it will show through the ink. Maybe something with a simple burlap print would look nice?

Hope this helps and if I’ve forgotten anything please don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your questions!


Be sure to stop by and visit the amazing link parties where I’ll be joining up!

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