Sunday, September 30, 2012

365 Photo Project: Week 17.

Day 116.

Today was the last day of mustard... September flew by! I can't really believe tomorrow starts October. It was a solid last week of mustard pictures... Let me show you.

Day 116: some art that I painted for the new room. Day 117: a cute frame that I got from HomeGoods with a tree picture that I took for the new room. Day 118: some birds that my roommate bought for our kitchen windowsill (one for each roommate... I was told that I'm the mustard one.) Day 119: some string... I started embroidering again. Day 120: my splurge pillow from Target (isn't it cute and worthy of a splurge though?) Day 121: the dress and cardigan that I wore to a wedding that night. Day 122: leaves... the trees are finally changing!

Day 117.

Day 118.

Day 119.

Day 120.

Day 121.

Day 122.

While I have thoroughly enjoyed this month of mustard... I'm eager for a new month and a new color. October is the month of... pumpkin! (Orange, for all you literal, less creative types.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

How I Decorate a Room: Part 4.

I did some projects last weekend... I basically took old things, that I have decorated with at some point in my life, and made them new. That's the best way to save money when decorating. You splurge on some things but you thrift and revive others.

My first project was to take some old frames that I got from Target or Bed Bath and Beyond or something (they are from a bathroom that I decorated in high school... so it's been a while) and update them. They were black and white prints in a black frame. But I wanted my own prints that I ordered of my Instagram pictures in gold frames. ("Gold frames?" you ask... Yes, besides white, I've been having a hard time finding neutrals that go well on the brown walls.)

So, I took the old frames apart (free). Spray painted them gold. (Spray paint was $6, but I've already used it on other projects, so I would say the cost was about $1 for this project.) Inserted my own pictures. (I ordered 25 prints for $19 (including s/h) on Printstagram.) And ta-da! Custom art for about $1.09 a piece. Not bad...



I also took an old lamp and covered it with some cute fabric as I saw in this tutorial. I had a lamp that I had previously painted gold (I know... I need to chill out on the gold thing. People will walk in my room and think that King Midas has been there. *bad joke*) And an old lamp shade that was dirty and had a crack in it. And a piece of scrap fabric from Hobby Lobby for $2.09. And a little bit of glue stick and hot glue gun. It was a bit more difficult that the tutorial showed because my lamp shade was tapered, and her's was straight. But with a little pleating it all worked out. New lamp for about $1.76 (I had some fabric left over that I'll use in a different project.)



So there you have it, 4 new pieces for the room for a combined total of approximately $5.03. Not bad...

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I got an encouraging e-mail from my brother Joel last night. He said that he was reading a devotional by Charles Spurgeon and thought of me when he read it because I've been a bit... down. It was pretty much the perfect thing for me to hear/read last night. I thought I'd share it with you all. Just in case you are having a time in your life similar to mine...

The Divine Light in Darkness

-For thou wilt light my candle. (Psalm 18:28)

"It may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this be of a spiritual kind, no human power can bring me light.  Blessed be God! He can enlighten my darkness and at once light my candle.  Even though I may be surrounded by a "darkness which might be felt," yet He can break the gloom and immediately make it bright around me.

The mercy is that if He lights the candle none can blow it out, neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out of itself through the lapse of hours.  The lights which the Lord kindled in the beginning are shining still. The Lord's lamps may need trimming, but He does not put them out.

Let me, then, like the nightingale sing in the dark. Expectation shall furnish me with music, and hope shall pitch the tune.  Soon I shall rejoice in a candle of God's lighting.  I am dull and dreary just now.  Perhaps it is the weather, or bodily weakness, or the surprise of a sudden trouble; but whatever has made the darkness, it is God alone who will bring the light.  My eyes are unto Him alone.  I shall soon have the candles of the Lord shining about me; and, further on His own good time, I shall be where they need no candle, neither light of the sun.  Hallelujah!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh How I Need You.

I've heard my mom and dad say before, "We can always tell you're not in a great place when you're not blogging." I haven't blogged much lately about anything other than my photo challenge post. And I've gotta be honest... work is kind of rough right now, and it's taking a toll on me.

I walk in the door every morning with good intentions. "Today, I am going to maintain a good attitude the whole day and love on my co-workers. I'm going to be the light that this place needs right now." Then something bad happens at work, or it's announced that more overtime is needed, or *fill in bad work thing here*, and there goes my good attitude.

One of my favorite band's, All Sons and Daughters, came out with a new EP yesterday, and the song that opens the album has been really encouraging to me. It's called "Oh How I Need You"... It reminds me that I can't do this on my own, that no matter how good my intentions are if I'm not leaning on the Lord then of course they aren't going to last, and how I need Him. It's a good reminder. And the truth that I'm trying to rest in today.

Because it's a brand new album there aren't any YouTube videos out there to show you of the song. But you can visit the link below to hear the whole EP for free.

All Sons and Daughters - The Longing EP

"Light, Glorious Light, I will go where You shine. Break the dawn, crack the skies, make the way bright before me. In Your light I will find all I need, all I need is You."
-Oh How I Need You, All Sons & Daughter

Monday, September 24, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 16.

Day 111.
Believe it or not, I'm starting to run out of mustard things that I own. So, I'm having to try a little harder to spot mustard. A little work never killed anyone though... So let me tell you about my week in mustard...

Day 109: I got a lot of packages in the mail one day... that's what you get when you go crazy on Etsy. Day 110: a big fan at the Royals game... a fan was pretty unnecessary considering I was wearing a jacket and scarf. Day 111: a cute wreath that my roommate made for out front door. Day 112: a print that I bought on Esty a few years ago. Day 113: I illegally took this picture of a piece of art at the Plaza Art Fair. Day 114: my shower curtain. Day 115: yet another mustard scarf, hanging from my new coat tree/scarf hanger.

One more week of mustard...

Day 109.

Day 110.

Day 112.

Day 113.

Day 114.

Day 115.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Try-It Tuesday (a little late): Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars.

I haven't had a Try-It Tuesday recipe in a while. It's because I'm cooking for only myself these days and have been more concentrated on making meals that I have the ingredients for and know how to do, than trying something new. Now I can see things from my mom's point of view a little more when she says that cooking is more functional than hobby-al. (Yep, hobby-al is a word.) I haven't tried new cooking recipes, but you better believe I'm still baking... Let me tell you about it.

Things at work have been a bit of a downer lately. Morale is low, and I keep on waiting for our management to do something encouraging to help morale (because normally they're really good at that) but they haven't. So... I took it upon myself to encourage my team with the best method that I know how... baking. I made these Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites for them a couple of months ago and they were a hit. So I made those again. (Last time it took me forever to put the dough in between the cookies, freeze them, dip them with chocolate, sprinkle them with sprinkles. The trick to speed up the process... two words: piping bags. If you ever decide to make these, and want to make them quickly, ask me about it.)

Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites

 Their picture

My picture

I also made this recipe for Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars. I had mentioned this recipe when I was gearing up to bake with pumpkin. And y'all... this stuff is good. I can already hear you saying, "But I don't really like gingerbread..." Believe me. You'll like this recipe even if you don't like gingerbread. I made a huge pan for work and it was gone by the end of the day. If you're looking for a new, perfectly fall, pumpkin bar recipe... look no further. This is the one.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

Happy baking!

Monday, September 17, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 15.

Day 108.

Can you believe that I am fifteen weeks into this project? I can't! Another week in mustard... Another piece of cake.

My week in mustard... Day 102: queso at On the Border with the new roommates. Day 103: my Kindle case... one of my favorite purchases from Etsy. Day 104: my friend Danielle and her Bible cover... she sewed this herself! Day 105: a blanket at my house. Day 106: ... me. Day 107: mulligatawny... probably one of my favorite soups ever. Day 108: a random jar en mi casa.

Day 102.

Day 103.

Day 104.

Day 105.

Day 106.

Day 107.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How I Decorate a Room: Part 3.

Like I mentioned before, one of my favorite things to do is make my own art. I have a hard time going somewhere like TJ Maxx or Gordman's and buying art that I feel like I could easily recreate myself. I like doing it myself because:

1. It's cheaper.
2. You can tell people, "Thanks! I made it myself!" when they compliment it.
3. You can cater it to you.

Let me show you how an idea progresses into a reality, at least in the brain of Abby.

I saw an idea on Pinterest that I liked, but didn't love. It was too busy of a design, and didn't completely apply to me because I'm not married. But I liked the idea of having your heart in two places... because that's me. I'm a Kansas girl and a Missouri girl. So I thought it'd be fun to depict that.

At first I thought I'd do a shape of Kansas + a shape of Missouri. Then I thought, they are right next to each other in real life, so why not connect them? You know what perfectly connects Kansas and Missouri? Kansas City!

I don't have a cartographer's brain, so I googled it, so I could get some kind of image as ground work. I came up with this ugly, but simple picture to base it on (and random flags where Kansas City is...)

Then I remembered in an art class I took in high school that to keep your dimensions straight it's good to make a grid. So I did that in Word. Nothing fancy, but it helped. (As you can see by the multiple outlines that I did of the west side of Missouri, it was a trial and error process.)

Then I painted it! In some colors that were used in my room. Put a star on my beloved Kansas City. And you've got custom artwork for about $6 (that includes the canvas and the acrylic paint.) You can do it, too!

Monday, September 10, 2012

How I Decorate a Room: Part 2.

I've been hard at work decorating my room. This week I started working on some art on my own (more to come on that when they're finished) but after looking at what I created, I felt like it was lacking something.

1. Because I'm an amateur artist and the stuff that I create isn't that great.
2. Because I have a tendency to paint/decorate in the color scheme that I have decided on, and that color scheme only, and before I know it, my room is way too matchy matchy.

So, I decided I should branch out. You know, let other artists take a crack at my walls. So where did I go? Etsy. I love Etsy. You can find cheap art. And you can help out the starving artists of the world. (Clearly, I'm not helping out those starving artists THAT much because I only buy the cheap stuff.) Here's what I found...

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa
Paper Gangster Prints. What a name for your Esty shop, huh? Basically, they print cool pictures on vintagey looking paper. I bought 5 prints for $14.50 (including S/H). Cheap art, I'd say. (And I even got a few to give to other people!)

White Vintage Summer Dress with Flowers Watercolor
JoJo La Rue's Watercolor Art. This print is a bit more girly than I normally go for, but I like how classic and feminine it is. It was only $18 (including S/H) for an 8x10 print.

City Skyline.
Print Party. This print is pretty random, but I like it. The dimensions are 5.5x11, so I think it'll be fun to have a different shaped piece in the room. This is my splurge for art... it was $22 (including S/H).

Alright, besides some knobs, some paint for my furniture, and maybe a coat hanger/rack thing... I think I'm done spending money on my room. Let's hope I can stick to that, because my bank account is going to resent me if I don't.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

365 Photo Challenge: Week 14.

Day 96.

Mustard month is alive and well. I've got so much mustard surrounding me that this month should be a piece of cake. I'm loving it... truly loving it.

Here is my week in mustard. Day 95: some stackable bowls that I bought at World Market. Day 96: croquet at a cookout our neighbors had. Day 97: literal mustard... my friend at work brought a whole bottle of it instead of just putting some on his sandwich or whatever it was he ate with it... I found this funny. Day 98: me, in a mustard cardigan. Day 99: this random crepe restaurant downtown that some girls showed me over the weekend. Day 100: art for my room (more on this later.) Day 101: a card that I got from my dear friend Jessie.

A great week of mustard, I'd say. Now let's do it again...

Day 95.

Day 97.

Day 98.

Day 99.

Day 100. 

Day 101. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Etsy vs. Abby: Sevilla Style

I have been looking to buy some art on Etsy (more on that soon). I'm trying to put stuff on my walls that mean something to me (with a few random prints mixed in) so I searched "Seville" because my trip this spring to visit my cousin Brad was a pretty special one. And I was curious to see what kind of art is out there relating to Seville.

I don't know why I found this so fun, but I found quite a few pictures that resembled some that I took while I was there. Take a look at the comparison. And take a look at the money I saved by taking my own shots on my iPhone (P.S. I just ordered 25 pictures on Prinstagram from $12. Pretty cheap art, I'd say.)

Abby Price - $0

Abby Price - $0

Abby Price - $0

Abby Price - $0

Abby Price - $0

Now that I think about it... I did spent quite a bit of money flying myself there and back, staying in a hotel, and eating lots of food... But oh well! I wouldn't trade it for the world...