One Direction Painted Canvas Shoes

     1D Painted Shoes 

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I joined a Hampton Roads crafters Facebook group to see what other people in my area were making. I decided to share some pictures of my crafts and painted shoes. One of the members saw my shoes and asked if I could paint a pair of 1D shoes for her daughters birthday. Of course I said ‘sure’. I didn’t realize that her daughters birthday was only 4 days away. It normally takes me 1-2 weeks to finish a pair of shoes. Not because the actual process takes that long but because I have a full time job and  have to manage my JewelScent business as well. 

I somehow managed to complete this order in 2 days! I’m pretty happy about the way the turned out. I actually did not know much about 1D .. other than they were a band! The lady loved them! Hopefully her daughter did too. I will send her a message to find. I’ll post the update when I hear back from her. 

Check out these shoes and more on my Etsy Shop 

 

DIY Fish Tank Divider

DIY Fish Tank Divider

A Simple Fish Tank Divider

DIY Fish Tank Aquarium Divider

Fish tank dividers can be quite expensive. They usually run about $10-20 for a ten gallon fish tank and I haven’t even looked at the prices for larger tanks. What if I told you that you could make your own dividers for less than a dollar a piece?

Materials

1-2 Packs of Report Covers (the slide bar kind)

1-2 Plastic Mesh Canvas Sheets per each divider

Pair of Scissors

Measuring tape (optional)

Instructions

If you’re a person who likes takes measurements this would be a good time to measure out the width of the tank. It’s perfectly fine not to take accurate measures (I didn’t).  Cut the plastic mesh canvas so that it fits where you want to divide the tank. Then slide on the report cover slide bars along the sides of the plastic mesh. You may need to cut the report cover slide bars so that there is no overhang. Slide the divider into place. If it  seems too flimsy, ou may want to add a second layer of the divider. Simply cut another piece of plastic canvas mesh the same size as the first piece. Layer the pieces and slide the report cover slide binders along the sides of the pieces of the plastic canvas mesh. Replace in tank and see if it’s sturdy enough. You may need to readjust the canvas length a bit.

Once the divider is in the tank, you want to put the substrate along the bottom of the divider. Make sure that there is no possible way of a fish swimming underneath the divider.  I have bettas so this is by far the most important step.

Tips

It’s easier to make/put a divider in an empty tank.

If you have aggressive fish such as betas, only add one fish to their side  first. Sit and watch for a while to make sure that they can’t escape the divider before adding the other fish.

Always purchase extra supplies just incase you do make a mistake. Trust me on this one!

Costs

 Plastic mesh canvas sheets are $0.59 each at Michael’s Craft Store

A 3 pack of report covers are $1.00 at the Dollar Store

Betta Cain Fish Tank Divider DIY DIY Fish Tank Divider Dean

 

JewelScent Giveaway!

JewelScent Giveaway! 

JewelScent Giveaway Soap All Natural

A hidden jewel valued from $10 to $7500 in every JewelScent product. Each of our scented candles, aromatherapy beads, and luxury soaps include a dazzling surprise buried inside. What will you discover?

How To Enter the Giveaway 

1. Go to http://www.jewelscent.com/tajaallen

JewelScent2. Enter your email address (refer to picture above)

3. That’s it! You have now been entered in the giveaway!!

This is my first giveaway ever so I am very excited! Once I receive 50 members the winner will be selected at random. The drawing will be recorded and posted on youtube (and my blog of course). I will contact the winner via email to find out their ring size and mailing information.

Good Luck!

Super Easy Homemade Yellow Cake Recipe

Super Easy-Peasy Homemade Yellow Cake Recipe

Based off of Diva’s Can Cook’s recipe 

   Homemade Yellow Cake

I used my refinished KA mixer  for this recipe but a hand hand mixer or
even a spoon and elbow grease would get the job done.

Ingredients 

1 cup softened butter

2 cups white sugar

2 large eggs separated

1 splash  tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 Cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

Tips- butter can be either salted or unsalted. Use what you! there’s no need to go out and buy unsalted if you already have salted. Trust me… your cake will still be yummy 🙂 Allow your butter, eggs, and buttermilk to become room temperature. That will make mixing a lot easier.. especially if you’re relying on elbow grease 🙂
 

Instructions 

1. Preheat oven to 325°F

Kitchenaid KA 45 Vintage Hobart

My refurbished vintage KA 45 Hobart mixer creaming the butter and sugar

2. Grease or Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans and set them aside. I used a stick of butter to grease my pans. The rest of that butter stick went into making the cream cheese icing 🙂

3. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar

4. Add in egg yolks and vanilla and mix well

5. In a separate bowl, combine flour , baking powder, and salt

6. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet

9. Get out a spatula and fold those egg whites into the mix

10. Pour batter into baking pans. Spread evenly.

ingredients, alternating with buttermilk

7. Mix batter until fluffy- the batter will appear airy like a cloud of yumminess

Homemade Yellow Cake8. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy

11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until perfectly golden

12. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool until the pans are cool to touch

13. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool until they are cool enough to be frosted

14. Frost cakes with your favorite icing. I used a homemade cream cheese icing!

ENJOY !

 

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My Newest Hobby: Bettas

Hey Guys! I promise that I haven’t fell off the edge of the Earth. My life has been pretty hectic lately. I officially move in two weeks. I really thought that moving from my 400 sq studio apartment to a 2 bedroom townhouse would have been a lot easier than this. I’m currently packing and purging. I’m planning on unpacking and purging again once I move to my new place. Since I haven’t had much time to craft I’ve picked up a new hobby…

I admit, I’m slightly impulsive with some things. Cute little animals always get me. I was in Petco a couple of weeks ago and I saw a sign that said, “baby bettas”. They’re cute little fish! They’re literally head and tail- so adorable! Anyways, for $1.99 I could not refuse. I mean how complicated/needy could a little pond dwelling fish be??

VERY!

So of course the guy at Petco was like, “yeah they just need smaller food”. LIES! When I got home I realized that they not only required smaller food but they also required a heater, at least 5 gallon tank, and a variety of food. So I naturally panicked and ended up spending at least $50 on this little guy I named Fry.

Petco Betta Baby Fry Fish

I was super excited to get him moved into his tank. I decided that I’d wait until I move to get his tank ‘furnished’. That didn’t really last long. These little guys get horizontal stripes on their bodies when they feel stressed. I joined a betta group on Facebook and some of the members suggested that I’d add decorations to his tank. I first added a couple of live plants. Eventually I purchased more decorations and even two neon tetras.

Everything was fine and dandy until I went to Animal Jungle with my friend. We ended up both walking away with new bettas. This guy was originally named Fishy #2 until I settled on a Supernatural theme for my fish. Fry is now Crowley, Fishy #2 is now Cain, and Fishy is now Benny. You’ll see Benny a little further down in my post 🙂

Betta fish Animal Jungle

So my betta family had quickly grown from one to three in less than a month. As of a few days ago I now have a total of 4 bettas. Two adults and two ‘babies’.  I realized that my ‘hobby’ had quickly grown so I search craiglist for a larger tank. I found a 20 gallon tank with a  stand for only $40. Funny thing- the people lived right around the corner from me … and we even work in the same building! I plan on sending her a picture of the tank and stand once I move. I haven’t decided on how I’m decorating it yet but that’s for another post!

My last betta? Well he/she wasn’t really planned… as if any of these guys really were. I saw him (for now) at Petco in Hampton. He was and still is literally a head and tail. The first thing I thought when I saw him was ‘Castiel’ so that is his name for now.

Meet Castiel

Betta Baby Petco Fish Fry

Let’s not forget about the first… the one and only

Fishy/Benny

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I originally had these guys in four separate tanks…

I was able to consolidate tanks and divide Crowley’s tank into two ~ 5 gallon tanks.  Crowley is on the left and Castiel is on the right. This is the last picture- I promise 🙂

Do you have Bettas or fish tanks? I would love to see them. I love new ideas 🙂

My AMAZING Sims 3 Deals

Yesterday I went bargain hunting with my best friend. We checked out a few garage sales and a storage unit sale. There’s a lady in Hampton Roads that operates a thrift store… yard sale type thing out of a storage unit. It’s a HUGE unit… massive. It’s any crafters/thrifters/deal seaker’s dream. Anyways, she had a ton of Sims 3 games. Now I am pretty cheap frugal. I figured that the games were like $5 a piece. The way things work at her shop are you pick up stuff, you show her stuff, and she gives you a price. There is room for bargaining but she usually prices stuff pretty fairly. So after I was done shopping I asked the price of the four Sims 3 games and she said that they were a DOLLAR each . She literally made my day!

The Sims 3 Video Game

Retail price for this lot is $99.96 

I paid $4.00 

DIY Suitcase Pet Bed Tutorial

DIY Suitcase Pet Bed 

DIY Suitcase Pet Bed Vintage

My version of the DIY Suitcase Pet Bed is pretty simple (like most things I do).

Materials: 

1 suitcase

Upholstery fabric

A pillow, polyester stuffing, or something squishy

Scissors

Sewing machine

Optional

Cowboy hat or other fun acessories

Now What…

Buy/find a suitcase 

The suitcase says, "JC Pennys"

Well I purchased my suitcase from a thrift store for $1.99 . Très vintage… you could smell the vintage-ness.

Remove top of suitcase 

For my suitcase I literally just ripped it in half… But a better way would be to use a drill or a screwdriver. 

Measure the interior of the suitcase

Vintage DIY Suitcase Pet Bed

Or simply find a cushion or pillow that fits inside the suitcase. Most standard pillows will fit inside a suitcase. I used my old foam mattress topper. I love reusing and repurposing things!

*just remember to leave a few extra inches when taking measurements. This allows you to have extra fabric to work with just incase you encounter a problem

Make the Cushion 

DIY Pet Suitcase Vintage Bed

DIY Suitcase Pet Bed Sewing

I chose nautical themed fabric to match my living room. I got it on sale at Hancock Fabrics months ago. The cowboy hat? It serves no real purpose 🙂

Finishing touches 

I added a sisal border to add to the nautical theme. My mom helped a lot with this project. I am not really the patient type. She helped measure everything out and made sure I didn’t aimlessly cut things!  This project has been in the making for over a year now. It’s so nice to finally have it completed!

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Let me know what you think 🙂

The Number 1 Secret to Thrifting

Thrift stores have become more popular in the last few years. It’s almost become a sort of fad… which is weird to me because I originally started shopping at thrift stores out of necessity. Now I shop a thrift stores out of habit. Once you start thrifting it seems weird to pay full price for things. Buying stuff on sale is fun… it’s honestly like a sport to me. I purchased a Bissell steam mop for $10 and I literally felt like I had just won the lottery. It was awesome!

BUT

“A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need.”

-Sidney Carroll, A Big Hand for the Little Lady

This is by far the most important rule to thrifting and  to shopping in general. Do not buy something simply because it’s on sale… buy it because you need it! If you chose not to follow this rule you’ll end up with a house full of junk you don’t need and probably 20+ cats. Nobody wants to be THAT cat lady.

I know you’re probably thinking,

Grumpy Cat Bargain

 

 

KitchenAid Hobart K45 Makeover

KitchenAid Hobart K45 Makeover

Can you believe that this is an original KA Hobart K45 from the 60’s-70’s??? I am so excited that my project is finally complete! I can’t believe how much I love it. Tonight I’m making mashed potatoes with my ‘new’ mixer. I bought this mixer originally from the Hope House Thrift Store in Norfolk, VA for $17. Even with paint and a new can of food grade grease my total project cost under $50!

Check out my previous blog that walks you through the transformation here

My latest Thrift Store Find – KitchenAid Hobart Mixer

My Latest (AMAZING) Find

A KitchenAid Hobart Stand Mixer for $18 at my local thrift store. I honestly didn’t believe the sticker price. I searched up the model number ( K45) online and found out that my mixer was made between 1960-1979. Surprisingly the mixer still works! It just needed a deep cleaning and a new grease job.

KitchenAid K45

KitchenAid Hobart K45 at the Hope House Thrift Store for only $18!

KitchenAid K45 Hobart

The ‘Vintage’ Grease running down the stand

Okay…I admit- it was extremely dirty, greasy, and just not pretty

But it was under $20 for a working KA … how could I turn that down?

 So maybe I bought a KitchenAid mixer with ‘vintage’ grease… it’s nothing I couldn’t fix.

But at least the mixer was in good shape. No dents, scratches… nothing!

So I resorted to searching on google to find out more about my new KA. I came across a youtube video about fixing a KA that leaks oil. It wasn’t until then that I realized that there was a leaky oil issue… I’m not really a mechanic but I broke out a few screwdrivers, a hammer, and started following the instructional video. Here’s the link to the video.

What Lies Beneath

There’s many secrets that lie beneath the surface of a KitchenAid mixer. Some say that the gears have a healing effect on whoever ventures into the depths of the mixer.

What I found…

A ton of vintage grease

KitchenAid K45 IMG_4121 IMG_4123

I scrapped the vintage grease out with a plastic spoon and knife. My dad ordered a can of food grade grease and it should be here fairly soon – like within two days. I gave it a new paint job but I won’t share that info until the grease comes in. I don’t want to ruin the reveal 🙂

That’s all for now but here’s a few sneak peaks into my next blog post – KitchenAid K45 Makeover

 KitchenAid Hobart K45