Month: November 2012


Hello World,

I currently am in a Digital Imaging class and our latest project was to revise an icon. I have always adored Dorothy, and I made cinema-graphs for the first time!

And now that I have used an expensive digital SLR, I am hooked. I am now saving up for one, along with a less expensive lens.  The only problems I came across with my cinemagraphs was I could not get the file size small enough with CS6. I compressed these puppies multiple times and they still are not small enough.

I only used the last three for my project, but I had them arranged in a different formation and the title is “Waiting to __________.”

Enjoy! And have a great Thanksgiving!

DIY Built in Bookshelves

Hello World,

In a previous post, I blogged about how my parents installed custom cabinets in the dining room and saved themselves $5,000.  My parents also recently installed built-in bookshelves in the living room.

Check out below for pictures (thanks to my mom):

Here is the living room before. My mom thought the TV looked weird with the way the room looked. We also have a stove because we live in Idaho… and the winters can be rough! (The National Guard actually had to shovel snow off of my high school a few years ago because the roof was starting to cave- and the school was only 10 years old.)

My parents bought unfinished cabinets from Home Depot.  (4 upper kitchen cabinets were bought total)

They bought a discounted fireplace mantel. (Note from my mom: Double check the measurements you need for the fireplace- including cabinet spacing and trim.)

They also bought a discounted gas fireplace insert.

They picked a fireplace that was narrow- so it wouldn’t eat up too much space.

My dad build the top frame out of 2×4’s and plywood.  His piece is sitting on top of the kitchen cabinets. He cut them to size and made the back panels with thin plywood sheets.

He installed the fireplace and added trim to finish the edges.

My mom painted all the trim in our garage on saw horses and over drop cloths.

My mom used one gallon of primer on the build-ins. She also would sand a little between paint coats.

My mom used 1.5 gallons of semi gloss paint- with 2 full coats of cream paint.

My dad also cut oak plywood to size for the shelves.

Because it is chilly in Idaho, they primed and painted the shelves inside.  This actually is our basement with drop cloths on our pool table.

Almost finished- still needs to be staged/put items on the shelves.

My mom doing final touchups.

My parents bought these hammered metal knobs at Habitat for Humanity for $0.50 each.

Check out how the living room looks now here: link.

Candle Jars to Succulent Garden

Hello World,

In a previous post, I blogged about the free Bath and Body Works mini candle I received complimentary of Influenster. Well, I actually had a few burnt up ones hiding in my junk drawer. (I already milked all the scent out of the wax by placing the candles on my candle warmer.) I didn’t want to just throw the jars away, and I found a way to reuse the little glass jars.

My friend’s grandmother gave me a small chunk of her succulent garden this summer, and since then it has been budding like crazy. I already have replanted some buds in old tea cups and such, but here is a new take on the succulent garden that is super easy and looks pretty modern!


Check out how to make your own below:


1.   Gather your jars, they can be any size. Here I chose the BBW mini candles.

2.   Peel off the labels. The new labels are way easier to remove than the ones from this summer.

3.   Wipe.wash off any remaining sticky residue.

4.   Either melt the candle on a candle warmer or in a saucepan full of simmering water. You also could pop out the wax with a spoon. Pour the melted wax into an unwanted plastic/glass container. I poured all my wax into an empty 4 oz candle jar. (it ended up looking similar to sand art… but with wax.)

5.   Fill your mini candle jar with moist soil.

6.   Evaluate your succulent garden, and determine where some ‘breathing’ room would be needed for your larger plants.

7.  Gently, snap off a succulent bud, and trim the stem to have a clean break.

8.  Put the stem into the soil and in a few days your succulent will start to take root. It’s that simple!


You also could use this same technique with a larger candle jar and plant multiple buds in it.


Does this candle jar look familiar? I removed and reused the wax in this tutorial: link.


I had quite a few mini candles in my stash.  These look cute lined up on a windowsill, and would be a REALLY easy gift to give someone. You also could decorate the jars with rhinestones, glitter, ribbon, ect to make them really unique!


Such cute little succulents!  When they get too large for the mini candle jars, just replant them in a large container. (Oh, and water them periodically and let them get enough sunshine to be happy campers!)

IDEA: You totally could make a few of these and use them as PLACEHOLDERS for Thanksgiving! Each person would get to take a mini plant home with them!  I bet they would be thankful. 🙂

(Disclaimer: I was not paid in anyway to make this tutorial. I really do have a ton of burned-up candles.. lol)