Nailed It or Failed It: The Great Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryNailed It or Failed It


Here we are again at another round of Nailed It or Failed It!

(I don’t know why I put an exclamation mark there. I want more enthusiasm than a period, but not as much as an exclamation point. Exclamation points seem almost bordering on menacing with their enthusiasm, don’t you think? There should be an in-between punctuation mark. Is this where the winky-smily emoticon would come in? I hate emoticons. I feel like anyone who is not a 14 year old girl should not use emoticons. Is that mean? Probably I shouldn’t be writing all this out, lest I look whack-a-doodle. Whatever. It’s not your first day here.)

ANYway. The Challenge.

As per usual, I have a lot of excuses as to why I did not get to this until the very last minute humanly possible. But they all sound very excuse-y and lame, so I shall refrain. You can pity me and admire how quietly dignified and regal and stiff-upper-lipped I am in the midst of my suffering, though.

The first thing that caught my eye (at noon yesterday, no lie about the procrastinating), were these toilet paper napkin rings –

TP Roll Art

HAAAaaaaaNO. Not really. That looks like a lot of work, for one thing. And if you are the kind or person who uses napkin rings, you can buy them pretty inexpensively and they won’t even be CARDBOARD.

Y’all know my feelings on making stuff out of cardboard.

I really want to be doing this

Wish1  or this   Wish2  or this  Wish3

but alas, we aren’t moving into the house until the 18th, so.

Instead, I’ll talk about something I’ve done with the kids – making bookmarks.

I like the kids to make something with their own hands to give each other at birthdays and Christmas. I want them to find the joy in giving, and I believe that anything you make yourself, for another person, is a gift beyond the actual item. You are giving your time and your knowledge; you think about the other person when you are deciding what to make and when you are making it and when you hope they like it. You are giving yourself when you make something, whether it’s knitting a scarf or making a nice dinner.

Big started reading like he knew what he was doing back in 2011, and inspired by pins like these –

Bookmarks1  Bookmarks2  Bookmarks3

– Little and I made him some custom bookmarks.


We made a ton, but these were the only ones not in use that I was allowed to take pictures of. They are not the cutest ones we made, just putting that out there.

Now that Little is turning into such a good reader, Big wanted to do the same thing for her last Christmas.


They both loved making them and receiving them, and I can see this being a gift that we make again and again.

I personally loved the paint chip ones, but Big really didn’t like how the name of the paint color was on the front. He had some very strong opinions on what he wanted to do.

I had the various colored tags with the grommets in my scrapbooking stash, and you can get the circular metal-rimmed tags at the office supply store. I use them for all kinds of stuff – labeling wires and cords, as gift tags, all kinds of stuff. Martha Stewart has a whole collection of them at Staples.




Go check out what my Twitter pals did this month –

Nailed It or Failed It: The Great Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryKnitting, Nailed It or Failed It


It’s that time again! My Twitter pals and I have chosen a project from Pinterest to blog about.

This month I chose something a little more challenging than the Magic Eraser Toilet Cleaning Experiment or the Homemade Shaving Cream Fiasco.

This month I chose the Honey Cowl.


The Honey Cowl is a free pattern by the amazing yarn manufacturer Madelinetosh. Here’s the Ravelry link, where you can see almost NINE THOUSAND other Honey Cowls.

Here I am feeling like an idiot for taking pictures of myself.

does this smile look fake? it feels fake. this is dumb. how do people DO this? 

Here I am realizing that the cowl is basically inside out and the previous 8 million pictures don’t even show the pattern stitch –

see that line between my eyebrows? I’d botox the crap out of that if Jim would let me

Here I am getting distracted by all the gray stripes in my hair –

yes, I am really that pasty.  

Honey Cowl for the WIN! Totally Nailed It.




Miscellaneous Pattern Notes:

I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Flash Dance held double for the Honey Cowl. I cast on with 32″ size 9s, knit a row, then switched to 8s and continued the pattern. I only knit it about 8 inches wide, because I am not sure how much fabric my mother-in-law will want around her neck. I didn’t block it, because I think it’s perfect the way it is. I love the rolling edges and didn’t see any reason to wrestle with them. At the end, I switched to 9s, knit one row, and cast off using the Stretchy Bind Off.

This pattern was super easy, super pretty, and I think it’s a fun knit as well. Holding the yarn double really added to the depth of the color, and the Tosh Merino Light has a gorgeous sheen to it. It was great tv knitting, and went relatively quickly.


Check out my Twitter pals and see how their projects turned out!

Nailed It or Failed It: The Great Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryNailed It or Failed It

Once again, it’s time for the Pinterest Challenge.

Once again, I sort of forgot about it until the very last possible second. We moved houses again this week, and things were somewhat uncertain due to the Super Storm of Snowicanageddon of DOOOOOM, so I was behind. (I realize the hurricane did not affect my life until October 30th, but be nice and don’t point it out, please.)

So I needed something quick, easy, did not require materials that were more than 50 miles away, and could maybe even be done in a hotel room.

Some options I considered: How to make a heart-shaped hard-boiled egg.

But then I remembered that no one in my house likes hard-boiled eggs. And also that I am 41 years old and I really don’t have time to spend 15 minutes wrestling an EGG into a SHAPE.  And frankly, after spending a month with my family stuffed into a 500 square foot apartment, I am not feeling very heart-ish.

Then the DIY tanning solution caught my eye. Yes. You heard it right. Do-it-Yourself Tanning Solution.

I did not actually consider trying this.

I am 41 years old. I don’t have time to pretend I am not pasty-white. There is something ironic about eschewing chemicals to change your appearance, yet still being unable to accept your appearance; but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

There are a number of good tips in the comments, like if the tea doesn’t make you bronzy enough, then you can add food coloring or instant coffee to the solution. Or heck, just mix some cocoa powder into some lotion and smear that all over yourself. You will be pretty AND delicious!

Here’s what I want to know: Why not just run a hot bath, and steep some family-sized tea bags in there with yourself? Doesn’t that seem more efficient?

I continued searching until I found this – Hammered Leaf and Flower Art.

Awesome. How cool does that look?

Let me tell you, Michigan is lousy with leaves. All I needed was some watercolor paper and we were good to go.

I showed the fam.

Big said, “Oooh! You use a hammer!”

Jim just looked at me. “We can’t leave here because we are riding out the edge of a hurricane. But you want to go out in the hurricane to gather leaves?”

I’m like, “okay, FIRST of all, JIM, it’s SCIENCE. Second of all, It’s for my BLOG, JIM.”

Honestly. Men.

Anyway. I got everybody rounded up and we went outside in the freezing cold wind and rain and gathered leaves. Then we went to the dollar store, which is the closest thing to any kind of shopping, and bought a cheap sketch pad.

Arrange, cover, hammer.



Verdict? It was fun, everyone got to participate, and it involved a hammer.

If I had the proper paper, it would have turned out even better. I would do this again, so I give it

I was heard to say “Big, you can’t say ‘crap,’ that is a grown-up word.” and Big was heard to say, “But mom! You said we had to beat the crap out of it!”

But let’s pretend that didn’t happen.

Check out my Twitter Pals and see how their projects went!

Nailed It or Failed It: The Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryNailed It or Failed It

All right, here we are again at the end of the month and my twitter pals are ready to do another round of Nailed It or Failed It.

This month, I chose Homemade Shaving Cream.

For one thing, it would guarantee I’d shave at least once.

I read a lot of the comments at the original post, and they all seemed to agree you should use thick ingredients, otherwise the shaving cream is too runny. They suggested a thick cocoa butter lotion, like the kind that comes in a tub.

Ingredients: $3.25

I, in a rare spurt of over-achiever-ness, found cocoa butter so thick, I had to grate it.

don’t be hating on my picture-taking skillz, y’all

I mixed all the ingredients together. I only made a half a batch, because the travel shampoo and conditioner I got at the dollar store were 3 ounces each, and that is close to 4 ounces, which is half a cup.

I’m very mathy.

Also, I used coconut oil instead of baby oil because I already had some.

Jim sat nearby and drank coffee and wondered if I was going to ruin the cheese grater. Or the metal bowl that I put directly on the stove burner to get the cocoa butter to melt. And how much did I spend? And is that cheaper than store bought shaving cream? And why was I doing this again?

Some people do not understand blogging, JIM.

Also, I explained that this way I had control over the ingredients and that it would be better because it only would contain cocoa butter, coconut oil, and the two hundred chemicals in the shampoo and conditioner.

It’s for science, JIM.

And then I didn’t have a container to put it in, so I ran around the house pouring the hand soap that was in this bottle into the other bottles so I could use it.

And then I spent 45 minutes rinsing the hand soap residue out.

And then I had to look for a funnel.

Jim perked up enough to help pour while I took these award-worthy photos

And then I had to let it set up for an hour, so we watched this video.

But Jim refused to do the dance.

At about ELEVEN PM, Jim had to go to stupid WORK, and I decided this was the optimal time to go ahead and do the experiment.

why yes, I did just post a picture of my pudgy, unshaven leg on the internet. you’re welcome.

The people who said the shaving cream was runny were masters of understatement. It was like pouring buttermilk on myself.

But it smelled pretty.

After shaving with the homemade stuff, I realized that I needed a control group.

So I rummaged around and found my husband’s shaving cream.

second verse, same as the first

The real shaving cream was imperceptibly thicker.

But it made me smell like a dude.

At TWELVE-THIRTY AM JIM, my husband finally finished working and I asked him if he could tell any difference.

He couldn’t.




Upon further reflection, I think I may have been a little hasty. The homemade shaving cream was not thick and luscious like the canned stuff, but it worked. And it was certainly an improvement over the bar soap I usually use. I had worried that shaving with shampoo would make me itchy, but it didn’t. So I may try this again. It wouldn’t hurt to leave it in the shower and see if I use it.

Also, apologies to my fellow Nailed It or Failed It participants. When I hit publish on this at 1am, I forgot to link to them. Click over and see how their projects turned out!