Thursday, April 14, 2011

Homemade Madness

Apparently, when I get stressed I get creative. Or at least that's what I think is happening. Could be I'm going through some odd domesticity phase. Either way, I've been a busy bee.

Outside of making the steamer trunk table and the towel rack the week before, I've been hard at work (.....yeah. We'll stick with that) on repainting this sweet book cart that I bought from a friend for $5 (no "before" photo. Whoops) and I've been engaging in a serious love/hate relationship with this tree trunk table I was going to make that was inspired (copied) from The Art of Doing Stuff.

I also saw neat map art that had me scrambling to Ikea/Target to put my spin on it.

Material List/Cost:

Map of Baltimore: $5 (Target. Who knew they still made paper maps?!)
Three picture frames: $5 each (Ikea)
An idea of a shape or cut-out to trace: Free


Step 1: Get really excited at the prospect of cheap art.

Step 2: Buy your supplies. Duh.

Step 3: Figure out what you want to cut out. I chose a raven because that's a very Baltimore thing, what with Poe dying here and the football team (I should mention I'm a die-hard Patriots fan).

Step 4 (Optional): Be lazy and find a silhouette of a raven, print it out and cut it out to use to trace. I'm going to say I did this for consistency, but the truth is I just didn't want to hand draw anything.

Step 5: Trace the shape on the parts of the map you want to cut out.

Step 6: Cut out shape.

Step 7: Unwrap Ikea frames, open them up and flip the insert over so you have the white background showing.

Step 8: Place the shape in the middleish of the frame, put the insert back in white side up and close up the frame.

Step 9: ART!

Part of the reason I chose to make a set of three is because beginning April 29, we will have lived in three different places in Baltimore. Each Raven encompasses an area of Baltimore that we lived in and I made sure that the exact location of our apartment/houses were in the raven. I lucked out in that the area that says BALTIMORE has our first apartment and the area that says MT WASHINGTON has our second. For whatever reason our new neighborhood isn't labeled on the map, but the park we live on is there, so that's good enough for me.

I think we'll even hang them chronologically. Although I do like the arrangement of labeled, unlabeled, labeled. Hmm...

I'm also diving into the world of homemade beauty products. Steven needs a pretty good back scrub and those can get pretty expensive. While flipping through Fresh Home I found a recipe for a DIY back scrub. To break it down, it's

1/2 cup Sea Salt
1/4 cup Baby Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

And you just throw the ingredients in a bowl, mix them together and put them in some sort of container (I bought a .50 travel container from target that was the perfect size). I think all told, it cost $11 dollars and that's only because we were out of Vanilla Extract. From the looks of it we can make 10 or so batches.

Steven tried out the back scrub today so I'll post if he has some awful back outbreak, but he seemed to like it. Then we realized he was out of shaving cream and because my husband only cares about (me -- but that's not my point here) cars, shaving like "a real man", hats (because according to Esquire all men should wear hats -- really. That's almost a direct quote.) and vacuums (more on that later), his shaving cream is stupid expensive. To save some money, I offered to DIY his shaving cream. He rolled his eyes but agreed to try.


The ingredients are seeping as I type, so if all goes well then I'll post a how-to. So far the ingredients have been kind of a costly investment, but ounce-by-ounce it becomes significantly cheaper to make your own than buy. I'll try to put on my math hat and come up with a breakdown on DIY vs Buying. I will say, it would have been a lot of cheaper if I had amazoned the ingredients, but I was too excited and we live 2 minutes from a Whole Foods. I'll also have 90% of the ingredients to make homemade deodorant, so guess what's next!

To end with a bang, here's a teaser:


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