Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crafts for the Non-Crafty: Photo String

SO. A change in plans.

See, originally I planned to show you how to make your own pretty Dry Erase Message Board - for the fridge! So I spent all day Saturday working on it, but not quite finishing all the examples. In an office chair we got for free from The Hubs' office. That they were getting rid of because it hurt people's backs.

See where this is going? *sigh* My back is broked. For the 3rd time since he brought it home - I seriously cannot sit in that chair for longer than 30 minutes without my back being WRECKED for the next few days. It sucks. Who knew a chair could be so awful? I know it sounds crazy, but seriously, the chair is the only connecting factor to the recent rash of back incidents. (This weekend we're going shopping for a new chair for me so I may craft my little heart out comfortably.)

So, I don't have the Dry Erase Board done just yet. Next week, most likely. BUT, I do not arrive empty-handed! I just moved up my craft plans a week.

Today, instead, I present the super-easy Photo String! Seriously, it's ridiculously easy.

  • thin ribbon or transparent beading monofilament
  • push pins
  • binder clips (splurge a little and get some cute, colorful ones!)
  • photos of various sizes that you would like to hang. 

  1. Measure out how long you want the ribbon or beading monofilament to be (3'-3.5' should be good for starters); hold it up to the wall and see if that's long enough for you.
  2. If using ribbon, pin the ends to the wall with push pins, allowing the ribbon to drape slightly (you don't want it taut). If using the clear beading monofilament, double-knot the monofilament ends around the push pins, as pictured below:

3. Using the binder clips, attach the photos to the ribbon/bead monofilament! If using medium-size binder clips, you might want to make sure the clip also clips a little of the string/ribbon to keep the photo in place. (If you don't care about the pics sliding around, then don't worry!

My version of the Photo String using ribbon:

The framed art above the photo string was made by my mom!

My version of the photo string using clear bead monofilament:
It's hard to see ('cuz I like the push pins to blend into the wall a little), but I actually used 3 pins and created a > -shape, and pinned it above my craft desk to use as a photo strip/ inspiration board (hence the torn-out magazine pages). I need to make a bigger one. xD See below:

The charming young boy in the middle is my baby brother, Matthew. He's 18 now, but what's the point of having a blog if you can't humiliate your family members a little? ;D
I like how it looks like the pictures are floating by using the clear monofilament as the base. It's admittedly a little trickier to use the bigger binder clips, though, but I LOVED these binder clips (found them at Michael's in the dollar bins!).

That's it! Easy, it looks neat-o (esp. if you vary the sizes of the photos you're using), and it's easy to change up the photos - all you do is un-clip 'em!

Have fun! Next time I post a craft, it WILL be the Dry Erase Board, I swear. If you want to get the materials in advance, check out this post for the materials needed!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Music Monday – “Music to Clean to”

So, I’m sure your first question in regards to this entry is, “Why the eff does a HOMEMAKING blog have a Music Monday?”

My first response is SHUT UP, JERK. But since I want you to come back and read again, my next response is to apologize profusely and offer you a frosty beverage as an olive branch. Want a little rum in that Diet Pepsi? Is the Malibu kind ok?

Now that we’re all calm again, I’ll finally explain that while yes, this isn’t a music blog, music DOES make life sweeter. I, for one, enjoy creating soundtracks to my life, and I happen to think that I’m actually not too bad at it. I have a varied music taste, but I also tend to like singles over whole albums. I make playlists for my moods and for life events. I’m kind of a nerd like that.

I not only make playlists for my moods, but I make playlists to affect my mood. One thing I’m rarely in the mood for is cleaning. I know, shock – I call myself the “hot mess housewife” and I’m not into cleaning. *gasp!* However, when I have to clean, like if we have guests coming over, the one thing that makes that grueling task way more enjoyable is a good soundtrack! I put on playlist and get right to work, and the time flies by. I don’t whistle while I work, I shake my groove thang.

So since music is one of the few things that can make me clean (the other is being pissed off about something – if I’m angry, I will scrub a ceramic tile counter until it’s powder), I decided it’s only fair to help my fellow reluctant cleaners by giving them a good hour-long list of songs to booty-shake to. DJ HMHW IN THE HIZZOUSE!

So this week is Music to Clean to: Booty-Shakin’ Beats 1 (I say “1” ‘cuz there WILL be more playlists in this theme in the future, I assure you). It consists of mostly dance and pop songs, with a couple “rock” songs thrown in, but they’re all very, very danceable. It is exactly one hour long, so you could just hit “play” and only clean until the last song ends! Plus your butt will be in the air shakin’ the whole time, so you’ll get a workout, too! Everybody wins!

This list is in the recommended order in which to play these songs, as they flow nicely into each other IMHO. Of course, I ain’t your mama so do what you want, but I do request you at least give my order a shot?
1. “Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks”, The Rapture
2. “Say Goodbye to Love”, Kenna
3. “Dare”, Gorillaz
4. “It Takes Two”, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
5. “We Are Rockstars”, Does It Offend You, Yeah?
6. “Move Your Feet”, Junior Senior
7. “Red Alert”, Basement Jaxx
8. “In Heaven”, Fatboy Slim (Warning: excessive use of the word “f***” in this son as it’s part of a heavily repeated phrase in the song)
9. “Sucubz (Ark Original Mix)”, The Ark
10. “Love at First Sight (Remix)” Kylie Minogue
11. “Shake Your Rump”, Beastie Boys
12. “Date With the Night”, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
13. “You’re No Rock n’ Roll Fun”, Sleater-Kinney
14. “Pump It Up”, Elvis Costello
15. “Womanizer”, Britney Spears
16. “Here It Goes Again”, Ok Go
17. “Touch the Sky”, Kanye West (even if you can’t stand the guy, give this song a chance –it’s a great, uplifting song with an awesome horns riff)

Now, I can’t just offer you the songs for free download ‘cuz that would be, y’know, ILLEGAL, but I assure you that all except the “Sucubz” song are on iTunes. As such, if you can’t find “Sucubz”, and you just HAVE TO HAVE IT TO COMPLETE THIS AWESOME PLAYLIST OMG, email me at hotmesshw |at!| gmail dot com and I will send you a link to download it. I think the playlist will be ok without it, but it’s a fun little booty-bouncing song that will make you smile, so feel free to ask me for it! =D

Every Monday I will have a new playlist, usually “Music to Clean to”, but occasionally I will offer
playlists for various entertaining themes (dinner with friends, romantic evening, your nephew’s bris, etc.). So check back every Monday for your new soundtrack for your next clean-up date!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Sneak Peak - Crafts for the Non-Crafty

I'm so excited about this project I just might pee my pants. Just a little, though.

This week I'll be posting my first tutorial for "Crafts for the Non-Crafty", a semi-regular feature post for this here blog in which I help non-crafters decorate their homes with cool, cheap stuff they can make themselves without a lot of sweat (or skill) necessary! One of the few domestic things I'm actually pretty damn good at is crafting. I have a natural gift (thanks to my mom, who's amazingly artistic) to make stuff with my hands and even make it pretty. If being a crafter was all that was necessary to be an amazing housewife, Martha Stewart would be my biggest fan rather than the other way around! ;p Sadly for me, the ability to craft is so not even necessary to housewifery - but it's a nice bonus that can help make your house a little more visually interesting (and save you some money on the way).

Anyway, the first project is halfway done; I did the prototype today, and it turned out good enough that I'll definitely post it, but I want to make one more, a SIMPLER version, first. The point of the "crafts for the non-crafty" is to make simple yet lovely projects, after all - and I had to go and make mine all fancy. *rolls eyes*

BUT here's the necessary materials, if you want to get a heads-up and prepare. The tutorial will be posted by Wednesday night!
An iPhone is optional for this project ;D
  • Cheap frame (check the dollar store!), at least 8"x10"
  • 1 piece of Scrapbook paper in a pattern you like, at least 8.5"x11"
  • Four 3/4" magnets
  • mini glue gun (not pictured)
  • Paint, in white + the color you want the frame to be (optional - only needed if you don't like the frame you bought's original color). I prefer acrylic, but spray paint is fine (Spray is faster, but messier and more expensive!)
  • Sealer for the paint job (if painting on a wood frame) (optional)
  • Paint brush (optional - only if you're painting) - I like sponge brushes
  • Square velcro (both soft and scratchy sides) (not pictured)
  • Dry erase marker (not pictured)
  • 1 piece of vellum paper (optional)
  • Spool of thin ribbon (optional)
  • patterned rub-ons (optional - not pictured)
So as you can see, you only REALLY need 4-6 items. Of course, I'm going to show you how to dress up the basic project a little bit as well, in really easy ways! Look for the full tutorial on Wednesay!

Psst... there's a sneak peek of one of the finished products on the Hot Mess Housewife Facebook page!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why I'm a Hot-Mess Housewife, by Sammi M. (Age 28)

Now, as I said in my "welcome" entry, I am a hot-mess housewife.

First, for all you non-hip white people out there, a definition of "hot mess" courtesy of Urban Dictionary:

1. hot mess
When ones thoughts or appearance are in a state of disarray but they maintain an undeniable attractiveness or beauty.
Although Nichole had just awaken, her boyfriend thought she was stunning - she was a hot mess.

2. hot mess
Someone or Something that is such a mess... the level of it, is off of the charts. It's past pathetic, past pitiful. It's to the point you almost have to walk away to keep from bustin a gut. Hot messes can exist in levels.

i.e. Hot Mess, Hot Fuckin Mess
Oh my God, y'all a HOT MESS!

I'd love to say I lean towards the first definition more (and I'm sure The Hubs would humor me with a "yes"), but I'ma have to call a spade a spade and admit I'm more of the latter. *sigh*

Here's the deal: I did not grow up being made to clean. My dad (who I spent the predominant amount of my childhood with) was not a clean person unless he had a lady spending the night, or his live-in girlfriends made him. My mom was similar, until she married my stepdad (who is a very tidy man), so she let me slide. Then I went to college, and I moved every year, and it gradually resulted in my becoming messier and messier because I cared less and less; I mean, I was only going to be in any particular place for one year, so why bother even unpacking? SERIOUSLY. I didn't unpack anything other than necessities for most of college. I didn't even hang my clothes unless they were nice and needed to be preserved.

My husband is similarly messy, so he didn't mind my messiness as much at first, and we equally let our current apartment get pretty cluttered and ugly. We finally snapped out of it, though, and have been slowly working on changing our cleaning habits and making our apartment a home.

BUT we're still very much a work in progress. I'M still very much a work in progress when it comes to being a "housewife". While our apartment is much less hideous now, we're still lazy cleaners. For example:
  • We sometimes let the dishes go for about 2 weeks *eep*.
  • At any given moment, our kitchen counters are cluttered with spices and other ingredient apparati (apparatuses? apparatusi?)
  • Our laundry pile is so big, our dog sleeps on it sometimes instead of her dog bed.
  • Our main bedroom is basically a storage unit... oh man, if I had less pride, I'd take a picture to show you how bad it is. (Shockingly, I still have SOME pride.)
However, we make it our business to scrupulously clean our apartment whenever we have guests over, so our friends (hopefully) never think we're complete slobs. (Just mostly! ;p) We've been so much better about keeping things mostly tidy, it doesn't take us nearly as long to get clean. Our walls are still mostly bare, but I'm slowly adding to them. I've even hosted my first family event successfully!

So, yeah. I am NOT a good housewife. I'm a hot mess when it comes to the domestic arts. So this is my blog to work through that, and help out my fellow hot messes along the way. First step in Hot Mess Housewife recovery: admitting you're a hot mess and how hot that mess is.

I owned up to my stuff. WUT UP. Now as I'm maturing (or at least I hope this is maturity... and not the gradual slip into madness), I'm taking more pride in my home and find myself actually WANTING to clean. (Not that this desire actually leads to cleaning half the time, but at least the WANT is there now! ;p ) Right now I'm working on cooking at home more, getting our bedroom in order, and making our home a little more "home-y" with self-made decorations. As such, my successes (and hopefully rare failures) will be shared with you via this blog for you to use or help me improve upon!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This is not your typical housewife blog.

For one thing, the name is slightly a misnomer. I'm not a housewife. I AM a wife, happily married for 3 year to The Hubs, as I call him on the internets. However, I don't exclusively work as a housewife. However, since we started living together (about a year before we wed - quel scandal!), I've been trying to tap into that "housewife" gene to be the wife and (eventual) mother that I feel I should be.

Turns out, that gene's a little recessed and is taking longer than expected to pop forth, let alone nurture and be worth a damn.

So I'm not the BEST housewife (along with not technically being one in the first place), but dammit, I'm trying! I figure I can't be the ONLY one who feels like a homemaker failure most of the time, though - but you don't see many blogs like that! (At least, I don't. Feel free to point me in the right direction.) So I'm here to fill in that void - be the voice of housewife FAIL in this big ol' blogosphere of awesome stay-at-home moms and Martha Stewart Jrs.

Why is it so important to me that I become a better "housewife"? I mean, all this talk of taking care of the home borders on anti-feminist, doesn't it? Lest you think I'm one of those women who thinks the only place for her is in the house, that is SO not the case. I like working, makes me feel like I have value. I also love teaching; I even liked SUBBING all last year, for the most part, and I get totally jazzed when I strike upon great ideas for my classroom and pedagogy. I have to admit, though, my dream is to work as a part-time teacher and spend the rest of my time at home raising the kids and working on my creative pursuits; partly because I was a latchkey kid and I want my kids to have a parent at home when they are out of school. The Hubs is agreeable to that if we can afford it - oh, and once kids are actually in the picture (and apparently Daisy the dog doesn't count). Hopefully, kids will be in the picture soon (I'm poking holes in those condoms!*), and around the time they're starting school, we'll be nearing a point where I can pursue that dream realistically. Before that time, though, I need to get my homemaker side in shape! Gotta pull my weight if I'm staying home half the time at that point - and right now, my homemaker skills are NOT up to snuff.

That isn't a knock against SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) blogs, btw - I LOVE THOSE BLOGS! Hell, I have so many of their ideas bookmarked for my own use! I'm just sayin' - they have it all together and I, well, don't. So I'm here to share what works for ME, and maybe you can adopt it to make it work for YOU. While I'm at it, I hope to throw some humor and fun into the mix as well.

Welcome to my hot mess! May you never repeat my mistakes.

* That was a JOKE, people. I'm a little crazy, but I'm not BATSH** INSANE.


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