Lazy Girl Crafts: Make Your Own Art

We’ve lived in our house for almost three years now, and there was a lot of work that went into getting it to where it is now. We bought an old place beside our small, but working downtown, and it is definitely not the house we walked into with our realtor anymore. The previous owners had run a business out of it, so there was glass walls, bright red paint, and concrete floors. Truth be told, we walked around a bit, sighed over not finding our house again, and moved on. But both Craig and I had felt something. Something in the backyard, something from standing beneath the big oak trees. From standing in the driveway and being able to look down the street and see the lake. From the grapefruit tree, blooming sweet. There was something to this house, and maybe we could make it work.

And we have.

I’m proud of the life we’ve built, and the work we’ve put into our house. From the wood floors Craig put down himself, to the walls he’s taken down and put up somewhere else. I’ve painted every single wall, and even the kitchen cabinets. But now here we are three years later and we’re finally making our own art for these walls.

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It’s a New Adult Christmas with Kristine Wyllys and WILD ONES.

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It’s a New Adult Christmas!


Thanks for joining us as we celebrate the holidays with thirteen New Adult authors. Check out every stop leading up to December 24 to get excerpts, exclusive content, and hopefully a cutie under the mistletoe! Be sure to enter the rafflecopter to win a grand prize pack of an ebook from every author!


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Bri Martin likes her skirts too short, her heels too high, and trouble close at hand. So when big, brooding underground boxer Luke Turner comes into the bar where she works and starts a fight before she brings his first drink, she can’t help being intrigued. Luke is everything she never wanted and everything she can’t resist.

Soon, Luke is showing up everywhere Bri is, and she can’t break free of his hold on her, nor does she want to. When her best friend turns on her, it’s Luke who is there. When Luke’s opponent comes after her to send Luke a message, it’s he who comes to her rescue.

Before Bri knows it, she’s caught in the midst of a rivalry between her boyfriend and her boss, both of whom are not content to settle their scores inside the ring. She swore she’d never live this life, so like the one she once ran from. But only by confronting her past can she decide where her future lies…and whether Luke can be a part of it.

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BONUS WILD ONES CHRISTMAS SCENE:

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Scrap Wood and Pioneers: Our Kitchen Table

A very long time ago, when Craig first starting showing interest in woodworking, I told him I wanted a table.

But not just any table.

I wanted a table I could build a life on. A heavy piece with scratches, scars and a story. I wanted it put together with pieces of wood that didn’t necessarily match up perfectly, but came together despite that and invited people to sit down, have coffee, study or eat dinner and carve another moment onto it.

The one only he could make. With the name he gave me carved somewhere small. I wanted that table. My pioneer table.

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Well, after all these years, and all the furniture so far, he started it.

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He’s paced around the idea of it for so long, knowing all the years of hopes that went into it for me. People need to eat, so we bought one for our first apartment and then another and they all came out of boxes and got sold at yard sales when we moved and needed the money. It didn’t hurt to sell them, because I knew they weren’t my table. For whatever reason it was the one piece I was trying to get to like a lost kid who got on the wrong bus, but is searching out the window trying to find their street. After moving from our childhood home to Florida, and then to a different city and so many apartments the ground felt a little unsteady. We got older and made babies and the idea of home was still as blurry as I was, but it was out there.

The home, the life. The table I was going to make with him.

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He brought out the chisels and started talking about dovetails and we bought three pieces of lumber while he fought the difficult wood he got off a pallet and it’s all the mixed up pieces of mostly scrap wood of my dreams. He cut and fought and looked at me worried when it didn’t line up just right and I smiled and nodded happily. The imperfections were just right. The victories and surprises. On his days off and before work he went out to his shop, working off the plan he made up and letting it come together with the pieces we had.

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First comes love, and then comes sanding.

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Next part was the staining and we’re a couple of adventurous kids setting out to try weird, cool things and so for a few days we had some steel soaking in vinegar.

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And at first, we didn’t know. It smelled weird, and weren’t sure if we should screw the top on the jar of vinegar, because there was definitely some science happening as pressure built, so it sat without a lid for a day and then with the lid for like three days and then we said, “oh shit, it’s almost Thanksgiving, we need to hurry up and finish this.”

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And then you look over and smile, because there it is.

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Our table.

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I love it so much. A table of mixed up pieces, where we can count every line and cut. It’s the kind your kids grow up at, and you grow old with, all of it happening around this one piece. And there’s magic in that. One I was totally okay with waiting for.

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We’re simple kids who delight in old, handmade things. In making things work out of sketches and bits of this or that. We’ve been been building this life and fixing this house for so long. It’s a bit of a love story.

And one hell of a table.

Lazy Girl Crafts: Burlap Wreath

At this point everybody who has been on Pinterest or inside a Cracker Barrel has seen those burlap wreaths.
And let me just tell you, I see them and I want them. For all my eclectic, thrift store and Ikea sensibilities, I walk through those crafty stores that smell like potpourri and I want everything.
I’m immediately emotionally attached to all of it.
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Give me wooden crates. Give me the throw blankets your rich Nana put out for the nice guests. Give me pine cones and I’ll find a jar for them, I swear to God. I want my family name burned onto a piece of wood and candles and bird cages with no birds.
I circled those wreaths. I pointed at them, squinted as I counted dollars in my head, and then whispered, “I’m coming for you.”
And then I hit up the dollar store. Cause you know how I do.

…Except the dollar store didn’t have what I wanted. Not for this wreath. (I did pick up some things for a different wreath, but that one is at the end of the post.)

So, I went to Walmart. And then I was back in business.PicsArt_1415933314572

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I watched this video on Youtube on how to do it, and it was pretty straight-forward, so then I turned on Netflix and watched The Office. Basically you just tug burlap through the metal in 3 part sections, twist at the back, then start again at the bottom, fluffing and pushing it together as you go.

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It was about two episodes of work. Which is how I organize most tasks.

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One of those rolls of burlap only did half a wreath. I wish I’d known this before only buying the one, but alas. Craig did go back out to get another roll. And pizza. Good man, that Craig.

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With my jar of homemade Mod Podge I made way back when I first discovered Pinterest I turned a boring H into a glittery one.

And then BOOM. Burlap wreath.

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Those flowers are from Dollar Tree. So altogether it came out to about $15 bucks. Not bad, I say. And the letter and flowers are attached with a wire so I can take them off and add something else come Christmas.

It’s my every Cracker Barrel store dream come true.

As far as the wreath I made from stuff I found at the dollar store I went with the foam circle, twine and some flowers.

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Ignore the H there seeing as how I added it to the burlap one and not really sure why it’s hanging out in this picture. This was before the pizza. I hot glued the end of the twine to the foam and then just went round and round, keeping it together so there weren’t gaps, hot gluing little spots along the way. This was about two more episodes of work.

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Not bad for a lazy girl who lusts after fancy crafts, but would usually rather hit Next Episode.

Lazy Girl, Clumsy Crafts: T-shirt Pillows

Sometimes the right wind blows and suddenly I’ll think I can do crafty things. I’ll see something and it looks…doable. And that’s dangerous for me, because my eyes will narrow as I consider all the accessories I should buy for this new thing. I’ve dabbled in plenty. I’ve got a scrapbook and a box full of bits of paper I could maybe use in another one if and when that wind hits me. I hit the thrift store hard. Before Macklemore I was in there buying old man shirts and housewife dresses. We all know my affinity for secondhand stuff.

Basically I’ve got stars in my eyes and a glue gun in my hands.

Two years ago my mom bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. I come from a long line of seamstresses and I wanted the ability to make my own stuff. I wanted the power of watching something tangible come together. I wanted to make something cool with the pieces of something else.

But despite all the fervor, the machine sat in that box until two days ago.

I know, I know. But the box became a table of sorts and blended into the furniture and I’d glance over at it from time to time and think maybe, but then I pictured a needle flying inches from my clumsy hand and remembered there are fractions. And I can barely draw a straight line.

Did I mention that I’ve never, ever used a sewing machine?

But then that damned wind blew.

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Front Porch Stories. (BFF = Blanket Forts Forever)

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This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of blanket forts. Truth be told, I’m always thinking about blanket forts. And not in a nostalgic or cute way, but in a This Is How I Get Through The Day way. Once it was a small closet that became something more, and a million lives ago it was a clubhouse with a slanted roof in my backyard, but I’ve always been the introvert that needed the escape, even when I didn’t know to call myself an introvert. When I got words like “shy” and “homebody” whispered with my name.

Now I know about the science of these things and that my need to collect mind settling things, and fill my nest with them is how I cope. It’s also how I celebrate, how I stay level and how I gratefully spend my time without guilt.

There’s no use for guilt in the blanket fort. That’s like rule one of blanket forts. There are no voicemails and only clear calendars. We give so much of our time to other people and stressful things and in the blanket fort it’s all about staying weird and happy.

So, in celebration of this, today’s Monday 3 are the three things I’m filling up my blanket fort with during these rushed, anxious days in an effort to keep my head space cool, calm and somewhat together.

  1. Parks & Rec.  I can’t and won’t stop watching this show to the point that I’m on my fourth? go at watching all six seasons. Here in the fort I will obsessively lean on something to the point that you may wonder if I intend to watch another show yet, and the answer is no. I find my groove, and it’s a world of comfort to click Next Episode. The noise of Pawnee lulls me to sleep, chatters behind me while I write, celebrates me when I get a break. This is where I live now, and I’ll be here if you need me. okayweirdo
  2. Chai Lattes. I’ve never not been a coffee drinker. I won’t tell you what age my Cuban grandmother and Colombian mother started letting me have café con leche, because that’s not here or there and it was the eighties. But I’m not a fancy coffee drinker. In college my best friend dated a barista at Starbucks and we’d go all the time and I didn’t like any of it. All of it tasted too syrupy and Not Coffee to me, and I just wanted the coffee I was used to, sweetened with some milk, and preferably in my own mug. (We’ve established I’m a creature of habit.) Recently I discovered the new seasonal scent Woodside Library by Glade and just from the bottle I knew I had to have it. And it smelled like books and leather? Oak? Please, I’ll take them all.IMG_20140921_210522I mean, honestly. Look at that midnight blue and that bookshop door inviting you in and suddenly I’m having a lot of thoughts about a bottle. Reading the description it mentioned that it also had notes of chai tea. Now, I went to college, and thought I was super book cute, and tried teas, but the old school coffee drinker in me just couldn’t hang. But fine, I’m older. So I got some Tazo Chai Latte concentrate, and my latte and espresso brilliant milk frothing husband made me a latte.
    PicsArt_1411348192665I’m changed.
    This is now my every night thing and yeah, I’ll probably stomp this right into the ground and be over them soon, but maybe not. I sure as hell am still drinking café con leches and it has been…a number of years since the eighties.
    I’m also spraying that air freshener all day, every day.
  3. TARDIS blanket. Does this really need an explanation? I got a TARDIS blanket from ThinkGeek for Christmas last year and I’m basically Linus and wherever you may find me, you’ll find this blanket. Because honestly, what is a blanket fort without an amazing, nerdy blanket?
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So, what’s in your blanket fort? Hopefully snacks. There should always be snacks.

Front Porch Stories.

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  1. Craig and I are thrift store romantics who have always loved the hunt. Finding great secondhand stuff is the best, because half the fun of life is trying to figure out how something works without the instructions. The nostalgia that comes with finding something old and maybe familiar and then refashioning it into your now is pretty close to time travel. Our very first apartment way back when was outfitted with all thrift store stuff and on purpose, because we digged the motif even then. Our friends all came to our tiny place and lovingly told us it was not only because of our awesome company, but in this brand new world of being pretend adults it was nice to have a home base that reminded you of your grandma’s.
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    And we’re still those kids drawn to big comfy chairs covered in blankets and rustic wood furniture with scars and stories you can see, but now we’re actual grown ups who own a home and step on Legos instead of beer caps and that old school, thrifting sensibility has inspired us to learn to actually do things. Craig, the woodworker/carpenter to my sander and painter, has been building me bookcases and tables for awhile, but our new favorite is the adirondack chair.
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    Soon there will be a table, but having heavy, handmade wooden chairs made by the both of us would definitely be something the two kids in that cluttered, warm apartment would have thought awesome.
  2. This weekend’s Gator game almost killed me dead. Turned the TV to mute, jumping jacks between plays, muttering curses dead. I can barely even talk about it still, but my Saturdays are a whirlwind of emotion with all the TV happening that day, and let me tell you, this is emotional TV for me. I’ve got not only the Gator game, but DOCTOR WHO. And anyone who knows me, knows how big a deal that is for me. Anyone who walks into my house, hears my phone ring, or counts to any number between 1 and 12 in my presence, knows what it means. And THEN there’s Outlander on Starz. I’m not an old school fan, but did read the book earlier this year, and I’m definitely in. Have you seen Jaime? That highlander can get it. And this upcoming week THE MINDY PROJECT comes back and then there’s SLEEPY HOLLOW and I’ve got a lot to fangirl over, and will probably, most definitely, be bringing that to the blog.
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  3. Today the second book in The Lane series by Kristine Wyllys releases! LOSING STREAK is out and is a companion book to WILD ONES, which can totally be read alone, but like any series it’s the best to get the amazing, gritty, and unforgettable first story carved on your heart first, for not only Bri and Luke’s story, but to see the whisper of what is going to absolutely combust in Rosie and Brandon’s. Just like the first in the New Adult series it’s hot, tense and bursting with the kind of prose you’ll want to highlight all over and starring strong anti-heroines who are totally running the show. LOSING STREAK is an intense, seductive story about loyalty, sacrifice and the kind of love born from impossible choices. Go and get it and prepare to lose a couple of hours while you follow Rosie back into the Lane.
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