Revamped Dress

I've been busy packing to go to Wisconsin/Chicago tomorrow, but in between my errands I had a chance to revamp a thrifted dress!
You like?
This dress cost me a whole dollar!  I really liked the cowl neckline, but color and length were all wrong:
Completely unflattering.  I am about 5'10", so this supposedly full-length dress was a full 6" off the ground.  So, I cut off about 20" and then hemmed the bottom with a simple straight stretch stitch on my sewing machine.
But I still didn't love the color.  I remembered I had some dye that I had picked up a while ago for cotton yarn, so I used it on the dress, and it worked great!
Those last two pictures of myself make it seem like I am somewhat photogenic.  I assure you I am most certainly not!  Proof:
Nate told me to do a foxy pose, and that was what he got.  Fail! 

Working on the Kitchen

This last week I've been doing little projects around the house - mostly in the kitchen and guest room.  We've been wanting to replace our kitchen cabinet handles for some time now, but the ones we liked were $7 a piece at Lowes, so it would have cost us about $175 to replace them.  Fortunately, we found the same exact ones on Ebay for $40!  I love Ebay!
They made a total difference.  I put them on as soon as I got them in the mail.
They look SO much better!  Our kitchen cabinets are original, and they make them look brand new.  I really like the fact that the previous owners painted the kitchen cabinets instead of ripping them out and replacing them with cheap new ones.
We've also got this ugly half wall that the early 90's decided to barf all over.  I figured there had to be at least some semblance of a wall behind this awful paneling, so I finally decided to tear it down.
The first two panels came down well, I'll only have to patch and paint this side - easy peasy. 
Then came the real fun:
Apparently that one little wall of paneling needed a whole bottle of wood glue to stick itself to the wall - I feel like this was the previous owners' way of getting back at me for taking down all of the paneling. 
Or maybe they were secret Abstract Expressionists?
{Le Wall - by previous poor taste decorators}
Do you see how the paint just tore away! EEeeek!  So, this wall is going to be covered with 1/8 " masonite panel, and painted to match the rest of the wall, there is no way I could patch this wall! 
But, even in its unpainted state it still looks significantly better.

DIY Fancy Dry Erase Board

This project was super easy.  It requires a frame with glass, spray paint, and paper to put in the frame.  All you do is take the frame apart, spray it the color you'd like, cut the paper to size, and put it all back together.  You can use dry-erase markers on the glass.  

Here is the frame I used - we had gotten it as a gift and never really used it because it was a bit gaudy for our style:

And after:

I love spray paint.  It makes everything better. :)

Pita Pizzas & Garden Progress

Usually we make pita pizzas on the grill, but since the weather has been less-than-pleasant around here, I tried making them in the oven instead, and they turned out great!
These are super-easy to make.  I use whole wheat pitas as the crust (sprayed with a thin layer of olive oil), and then just layer on the sauce & toppings.  We usually make a quick homemade sauce which consists of crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, salt, sugar, oregano, crushed red pepper, and a little dash of malt vinegar - all mixed up and microwaved for a minute or so, just to get everything dissolved.  It is probably the laziest pizza sauce ever, but it works!
Then we just top it with mozzarella, mushrooms, spinach, oregano, and whatever else your heart desires & cook it at 400 degrees until the pitas are crispy and the cheese is melted.
In other news, the seedlings have started to grow!
We've got them set up with a light at night as well because it has been to cold to even keep them out on our screen porch, and it has been cloudy for two weeks straight!
They are getting a little bit 'leggy' but I'm hoping keeping the light on at night will help them from getting too tall.
Keep your fingers crossed that it will get warmer here soon!

Cold Rainy Spring

Photos taken from a cruddy camera while riding in the back seat in rural South Dakota:

South Dakota

South Dakota

On the way to Brookings

DIY Chalkboard Paint Closet Doors

My studio is not huge, and I'm really trying to use all of the surfaces/space that I can.  I was surfing on Pinterest (you can follow me here: Cassie Marie), and I came across a recipe for DIY Chalkboard paint. 
So, naturally I had to try it. 
I lightly sanded my closet doors, and then made the paint using some flat wall paint that I already owned.  You can find the recipe for the paint here: Chalkboard Paint.  
It turned out really well!  I'm going to make some more for a large chalkboard for our kitchen soon too!  It is nice to be able to use the doors for sketches, to-do-lists, and just doodling. :)
This saves a ton of money, especially if you are doing a large area, or wanting to use up old paints.  
Lastly, Rascal says hi!


In the last week my good friend Jane, and Nate's parents both came to visit us here in South Dakota.  
Jane had a show at the BrickHouse arts center while she was here.  Here are some shots from that:
Jane Ryder @ the BrickHouse

Jane Ryder @ the BrickHouse

Jane Ryder @ the BrickHouse

Jane Ryder @ the BrickHouse
It was a good time, a bunch of people showed up even though we had awful weather the whole time she was here.  
Yuck.  To think I wanted to get my garden beds planted.  I think I'll wait a little longer.  
Even though the weather was crap, it was great to see Jane!  Hopefully I'll get a chance to visit her down in Iowa sometime this summer. 

After Jane left for Iowa, Nate's parents arrived from Wisconsin.  It was great to see them, and nice to just relax for a few days.  We went up to Brookings for lunch and some antique and book store shopping.  That is where we found all of the little ceramic animals from the last post.  
We also went to an AFK (away from the keyboard) Reading at Mochavinos, and Terry (my father-in-law) got a chance to do a couple of readings from his book.  
Terry @ Mochavinos
It was a great week. :)   

Thrifted Recently:

I have been having great luck at the thrift shops recently, there is some furniture coming my way on Friday as well, but I'll keep that a surprise until then.
For now there are these lovelies:
These tiny houses are adorable, they are perfect for a project I am working on.
Another Deer
I found two of these wonderful mid-century antelope.  
And the icing on the cake - these beauties.  I'm pretty sure they were never used.  They have glass handles. :)
thrifted tins

Gardening Plans!

Baby tiger lilies!
Spring is here! (hopefully!) I think I will cry if we get any more snow - up until last week we still had snow on the ground here!  I was out in our yard today taking stock of the numerous flower beds around our house.  My plan is to rip about half of them out to make room for veggie gardens.  So, if anyone nearby would like some random flowers, please let me know, and I'll dig them out carefully for you!.
I spent a good portion of my day planning my garden and planting seeds.  I usually try to plant my whole garden from seeds because it seems like the plants grow better.  I planted sweet basil, thai basil, rosemary, beefsteak tomatoes, early tomatoes, jalapeƱos, yellow pear tomatoes, red peppers, orange peppers, chives, and lemon balm to start indoors.  I'm also going to start some cherry tomatoes and mint, but I haven't found seeds for those yet locally.
Big Plans
On the sides of the porch there are two long skinny flower beds, but the flowers in them weren't too impressive last summer, so I'm going to take most of them out and try to establish a perennial herb garden in their place.  Flowers are nice, but herbs are nicer.
I got fancy and painted some schematics.
All in all it was a nice relaxing day of planning and planting.  It was warm (55 degrees!) and sunny.
But, I'm not getting too comfortable, there's a lot of work to be done still:
{one side of where my herb garden will be}
Dreary Landscaping
{draaaaaab - not sure what I'll do here - suggestions?}
Garden - Before
{I'll be tearing out this weird curvy pain-in-the-arse to mow area, streamlining the flowerbed, and building my raised bed gardens here}

Wish me luck!