My New Happy Place

Once upon a time, I found a deep comfort in weekly trips to the mall. It was college, and I had one of those dreaded MWF 9-9:50 classes on my schedule, meaning I actually had to get up Friday mornings and go to class. Normally, that would bum me out, but I’m a morning person so I dealt with it. More than that? I had a standing date every F at 10:00 with my best friend. She would drive down from her college, pick me up at the roundabout, and off we’d go! I was living at home, had minimal expenses, and was waitressing which provided me with a constant stream of cash. It seemed only natural that I should expand my wardrobe on a weekly basis. I’m not talking a full on spree, but a shirt here, an accessory there….just a little something that made me feel accomplished. And much like just buying makeup makes you FEEL prettier, even if you’re not wearing it, that bag of something new made me feel….special.

WOW. I sound like a spoiled, bratty, fashionista.

I should probably clarify that our “go-to” spots were Nordstrom Rack, Forever 21, Old Navy, and Target. Deals please!

Anyway, that tradition changed once college was over. I moved out of my parents house. I had real expenses. I got a paycheck, not cash. Priorities changed, but I still definitely enjoyed what were now much more sporadic shopping trips.

Cut to today. Priorities have changed exponentially. Rather than cash OR a paycheck, I have a budget based on my husband’s income. My weekly shopping trip has highlights of Fresh and Easy and Trader Joe’s. Every few weeks, I even get to do Costco! THE THRILL!! The sad part is, I’m not being facetious. I actually do like going to the grocery store, getting everything on my list and hitting the weekly budget. But let’s face it, the grocery store is has become a requirement, not a funsy.

Which is how I found myself standing sparkly eyed in Michael’s. Joanne’s. Paint and fabric and yarn all seemed to hold unlimited potential! There were so many things that I could do! I bought yarn and a crochet needle! Wood and Modge Podge! FABRIC!! And the best part of it was that when I talked to the Hubs about it, he encouraged it as home improvement opportunities!!! I may have enough clothes (maybe), and according to him enough shoes (impossible), but we can always use charming new thing for the house. SCORE.

However, the challenging part is that at some point you actually have to take the items OUT of the Michael’s bag and do something with them, or your husband starts to wonder why you keep accumulating the bags at all.

So here I go.

When I started this endeavor into craftiness, I wasn’t super organized with regards to before and after pictures, so today’s “before” was pretty much taken this morning despite the craft being completed a couple of weeks ago. And to call it a “craft” is being pretty generous. I glued. Seriously. I should probably let people think that I’m tutoring some small child on how to glue things so when I say, “look at this!,” they will respond with an encouraging, “Wow! That’s great! VERY impressive for a four year old!”

So what is this fabulous first “project”?

A nice little homemade picture frame.

Introducing, my materials:


That would be one sheet of scrapbook paper and one plain wooden picture frame. As you can tell, I’m a pretty big spender when it comes to crafts, considering that the picture frame cost $1 and the scrapbook paper was some I already had laying around the house. Also, let the record show that is not the actual scrapbook paper that was used in the making of this craft. As I mentioned, I executed an epic fail by not taking this picture real time.

Of course, I could not have completed this project without help from a couple more friends. Enter Modge Podge, scissors, and one of those funny little foamy paintbrush thingys. (Do I know the lingo or WHAT??)

Once I had everything assembled it was as simple as trace the frame size onto the scrapbook paper (PENCIL! I also had a pencil!!), cut scrapbook paper, liberally apply Modge Podge to the wood (using aforementioned funny little foamy paintbrush thingy) and carefully apply to the wooden frame.



A PICTURE FRAME! Toss a picture of me and the Hubs in some tropical locale and bing, bang, boom – I did something crafty!! The key to celebrating my success is to not look so closely. Like this closely…


So the edges are uneven and ugly…..I need to sand them still! I’m one swipe with some sandpaper away from perfection. If only I knew where to get sandpaper or what kind of sandpaper to get…..Baby steps people!!

But whatever, I sort of did it. I tried. And if you look at it from across the room or kind of squint your eyes to make things blurry, it looks great good enough.

Stay tuned! Big plans for crafts this afternoon – VALENTINE’S DAY Edition!!



One thought on “My New Happy Place

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