Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Brilliance on the Cheap February 25, 2015

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 1:10 am
Tags: , , , ,

I haven’t written in a long time which I feel bad about.  I have been working on quite a few things from my aspiration list though so I thought I’d share.  I feel like I am working on these much earlier than usual which is promising for accomplishing more than I’m accustomed to.

  • Did some volunteering this month reviewing resumes for community members who were about to attend a job fair.
  • Kept up with a regular Yoga practice minus a slight break when I had Bronchitis.
  • Saw The Addams Family Musical with Karla at the Mercury Theatre.
  • adamsBought a new to me car and sold the old one (this was very difficult work because I had trouble finding a resource that could tell me all the steps I needed to take. I am working on my own how-to guide so that may show up sometime next month)
  • TiggyOrdered 2 chargers so I have no excuse to not use my currently dead Fitbit
  • Started and halfway finished a sewing project which I will share when it’s fully done. I underestimated the length of time it would take, but now that I had some practice it should be easier.
  • Hosted a Galentine’s Brunch with a heart theme…there was even heart shaped bacon!
  • brunchAttending a Spa party my friend is hosting this Friday and I’m going to try acupuncture for the first time!
  • Created a heart wreath at the end of January and made my own jewelry cleaner yesterday!

Okay I think that is enough updates for one night.  But I did want to share the jewelry cleaner with you real fast.  It was so easy to throw together and the results were impressive!  Here is what you’ll need:

Ah! Look at how dirty that water is!

Ah! Look at how dirty that water is!

1 tbs salt
1tbs baking soda
1tsp dish soap
1 cup warm water
Aluminum foil
Old toothbrush
Dirty Jewelry

  1. Line the bowl with aluminum foil
  2. Place the first 3 ingredients in the lined bowl
  3. Add the warm water (It’s going to fizzle)
  4. Next add the jewelry (The first set of jewelry I did was silver, but then I did a second batch of gold)
  5. Leave it in the solution for 10-15 minutes
  6. Retrieve each piece of jewelry and scrub with the toothbrush
  7. Rinse each piece in water and set it on paper towel to dry.

I must say I was a bit skeptical when I read about this solution on POPSUGAR’s website, but it worked like a charm and I didn’t even have to spend any money on fancy jewelry cleaner!  Try it out some time!


August Project: Earring Organization August 21, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:19 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Denise’s lovely earring organizer

I pinned it for a possible project in the future, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  Probably because it doesn’t just look nice, but would be very helpful to me and my current random pile of earrings:

Pile of earring circled in red

If you want to know how my day started just take a look at my ears.   If I had a good morning I’ll have on a pair of earrings that go with my outfit.  If my morning was rough I’ll have bare ears.  It is an extra good day if I also have on matching accessories.  It’s unfortunate, but when I’m in a rush these are the things that come last.  With my earrings organized I’ll be able to wear earrings even on a rushed morning!  Haha, well even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you it is clearly one to me because I just finished making my very own earring organizer!  The thing I liked most about this project was I was able to use only items in my house.  I did not have to go out and purchase ANYTHING!  Amazing.

Items you’ll need:

  • Shallow box to fit the space you have available
  • Styrofoam- perhaps you have an old box with packing still in it?
  • Fabric- any type is workable though I’d stay away from slinky or silky because it will shift easily
  • Knife- only if you need to cut the Styrofoam
  • Scissors- for the fabric
  • Tape or your preferred method of adhesive

The blog I originally got this idea from (click on the 1st picture to be connected) is in another language (I think Dutch with a French name?) so I pretty much just came up with my own way to create it with some help from Denise’s pictures.

Step 1- Cut the Styrofoam you have to fit inside the box you have chosen. I made sure to use a sawing motion and kept it pointed away from me at all times! Be Careful and maybe have a vacuum handy?

Step 2- Once I had the correct size of foam to place in my box I picked out an old shirt and started snipping! Basically it just needs to be a big enough piece of fabric to wrap around the foam.

Step 3- Wrap the fabric around your foam and tape it up just like you would a present. I almost used a hot glue gun instead, but realized it might melt the foam and this way I can always switch out the fabric if I want another color.

Step 4- Place the fabric wrapped foam in the box and start sorting through all your earrings to pair all your studs together.

Ta Da! Here is my finished product placed snug inside my jewelry drawer.

I tried my best to organize my earrings my category: colored stones, sparkly, metals and pearls, and randoms.  I am so excited for getting ready in the morning!  Now I can actually see what earrings I have available.  There is only one problem!  The box looks sad and unfinished.  I need to fill in the rest of that box!






Filling Up My Free Time May 3, 2012

I had my first checkup!  The doctor said everything was looking good and I could get my cast off probably next Thursday.  Yippee!  I gotta tell you my body has so many bumps and bruises from getting around using only one foot.  Knowing that I will have use of it someday soon makes me so thankful.  In fact this whole experience has really caused me to step back and see how lucky I am to even have two legs to walk on.  It sounds dramatic, but I really took for granted that I could get around so easily before.  Now I see it is a blessing!

A good thing that has come out of this experience has been more time.  Last week I was off of work completely and this week I have gone back part time.  In the time off from work I have caught up on TV shows, and read a lot.  In fact I finally finished Game of Thrones!  That felt like an achievement to me.  Now my sister has me watching the first season OnDemand on HBO.  It follows the book pretty closely, but almost makes me mad how quickly it can tell a story that took me so long to read.  I told myself I won’t continue with the series, but I find myself really wanting to know what happens next. …we’ll see.  After that book I read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender- The main character can taste feelings of whoever made her food!  And then since that was kind of a downer I read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo- a true story about 4 year old boy who almost dies and sees Heaven in the process.  That one was a way happier ending and very uplifting.  Next on my Kindle is The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain.  I don’t know too much about this one yet, just that it’s a historical fictional story about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife.   I have yet to start a book club like I mentioned on my 2012 Aspiration list.  Maybe someone has one I can join?

This past weekend my sister and I went over to my cousin’s new apartment to help her set up some things.  We also made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to pick out the fabric for some pillows my sister is making for her.  While I was there I picked up a few items to make my April Project {just in the nick of time}.  It took me awhile to choose what I would do.  I went through Pinterest and all my bookmarked websites for projects.  I decided on a beaded braid necklace.  I found a photo of this necklace awhile ago on Pinterest.  It originated from a blog called ECAB- Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business by Elizabeth and Jessica.  I’m unsure which one of them did this tutorial, but I just fell in love with this necklace and decided to make it for myself.

Items I purchased:

Glass Beads– I bought mine already threaded but rethreaded using heavy thread
Metal Chain– 20 inches and its a plus if you find one that matches your jump rings
Jump rings– I used 2 large only
Bead tips– used to cover the knots you make in the thread
Heavy thread– I used double duty thread made to use with denim

I had scissors, pliers, and a tape measure on hand to use as well.

I followed ECAB’s tutorial pretty closely, but thought I’d show some of my pictures because I’m a visual learner and thought they might be helpful.

1. Cut six 20 inch sections of thread and bead 5.5 inches onto each strand. You can see I used a needle to make the beading process easier

2. After you have your six strands beaded, pair them up, thread a bead tip on them and tie a knot (it needs to be as close to the beads as possible). You can then use your pliers to close the bead tip over the knot and then cut off the hanging thread. Do this to the other side as well and then to the other two pairs.

3. Attach three of the bead tip hooks to a jump ring {clamp them using the pliers}, attach the jump ring to a piece of chain 10 inches long, then attach the clasp to the other end of the chain. You can take the other piece of chain and attach that to the other side of the clasp.

4. Now you can start braiding! Just make sure to anchor the necklace so the necklace doesn’t move around. Once you are happy with your braid, clamp the bead tip hooks to the jump ring on the other piece of chain.

Words of Wisdom:

  1.  I would recommend for people who don’t work with jewelry that often {ME} is to cut the thread a little longer so you have more room to work with and your beads that you so painstakingly threaded don’t fly all over the floor.  <– Unfortunately I’m recommending this because of personal experience.  Their recommendation was 6 strands of thread at 10 inches each.  I ended up doing 6 strands of 20 inches each.  You can decide what works best for you.
  2. The hardest part for me was tying the triple knots close enough to the bead strands before I added the bead tips over the knot.  All I can say is you need patience and practice.  I’m pretty sure I spent at least an hour trying to accomplish that part {I told you I had extra time lately!}.
  3. It is very important that when you are braiding the beads into a braid that you take your time and make sure you braid as much as you can.  Meaning if you have a loose braid it won’t look as nice once you connect it to the necklace.  It will stay looking like a braid if you keep the braid tight and clasp the bead tips to the jump rings in order so the braid stays together.

This project took longer than I originally thought it would, but in the end I was very happy with the result: 



The Bench Finale! April 4, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 5:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

So after Tom yelled at me for not completing my homework of actually finishing the bench, in one of my recent posts, I decided to finally take care of business.

The few last items I had to take care of included painting and upholstery. The remaining items to be painted were the “spindles” as I’m calling them that are almost arm rests for the bench.


Painted Spindles

Once that was completed I moved on to re-upholstering the bench top. Luckily I had an extra pillow sham that I put to use. I only had to tear apart a few seems in the back to make it slip on like a glove. With my trust staple gun I got to work. Pulling the corners tight I started stapling from the left and worked my way around. The key is definitely to make sure you’re holding the fabric as taught to the back. I think the final product turned out well.

Fabric on the bench seat

All my last final pieces were finally done. I’d like to say I’m finished with my homework now. Hopefully Tom doesn’t take of any points for being late…

The Final Product!


Amazed at Amazement September 6, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:41 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I am always amazed by my amazement when the season’s change.  In Chicago it happens four times every year {although once and awhile it seems like someone somewhere forgot to flip a switch}.  You’d think I’d get the hang of it after over 101 changes {gosh that seems like a lot}, but I never do.  This change is special though…that’s because this particular time of year is my favorite change.

I love that it feels like a new beginning even though everything is starting to die.  That sounds super morbid, but honestly I think years of starting school in September has messed with my head.  The first smell of Fall is enough to make me wanna run out and buy 10 new outfits.  While everyone else is lamenting the last hot day I am getting more and more excited every morning that I wake up and feel chilly when I walk out the door.  All the good things about the fall and even the beginning of winter start flooding my mind: the beautiful leaves on the trees, the crisp smell in the air, the new lines of clothing in the store, and all the yummy comfort food!

I have already started a list of things I want to do this fall:

  • Apple Picking
  • Make an apple pie
  • Find a new fall coat {coats are my secret <3}
  • Pumpkin Decorating
  • Fall Planting
  • Stew and stock making

After last week’s post I know I sound a bit list crazed, but I have actually started and knocked a few items off the Project list and one off the Fall list already!  Yay me!  Honestly sometimes I’d rather just sit around and watch TV, but I feel like such a bum {I blame the guilt on my dad} when I think about accomplishing nothing that I make myself try to finish something.  Anyone else love fall as much as me?  Anyone else got a list they want to complete?  I’d love to hear about it!

PS- Guess who just bought a ticket to visit Denver?  I can’t wait to go see Sarah, Jonathan, and their new abode!


Project Lineup August 30, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 9:03 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Kate was right!  I totally agree with her post above.  As a finance graduate and a HR professional I would recommend contributing to both a 401(k) and a Roth.  Doesn’t mean I’ve actually kicked my butt in gear to contribute to MY Roth {sorry Dad!}, but for the record I agree and those are the responsible things to do.

Speaking of my irresponsibility…this Saturday I found myself wandering the isles of Hobby Lobby {favorite craft store by far} for about 2 hours.  You might ask me what could I possibly do in a store for that long, but believe me it’s not difficult for me to do.  You see I’m definitely not an in-and-out of the store kind of person.  But then you add in all the possibilities in that store and I get a bit carried away.  I went in there for just 4 items:  A 16 inch pillow form, ½ yards of fabric, a marking pencil, and a 12in zipper.  I came out with those items plus items for 3 more projects! Yikes!

I love a creative project.  It will keep me in a good mood and challenge my creative side {that finance side of me needs a balance}.  It’s just that I usually don’t finish projects right away.  In fact I made a list last night and I am currently in the midst of 6 different projects right now.  Here is a glimpse of a few of them:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Even though I have all of these projects at different stages, you’ll be happy to learn that I completed the project that required the 4 items {a 16 inch pillow form, ½ yards of fabric, a marking pencil, and a 12in zipper}!  I attended a sewing class this Sunday at The Needle Shop in Bucktown with my sister.  It was a four hour class that teaches you how to use a sewing machine {theirs or your own} and you complete a pillowcase during the class. It usually costs $70, but was on sale for $56 for the month of August {lucky us!}.  I really enjoyed the set up because there were only 4 students in this class so there was plenty of time for questions and Cherri, our instructor, was awesome and very patient!  I would recommend the class to anyone who is unsure if they want to learn to sew.  I definitely enjoyed the class and will be thinking about the next one I want to take.  Here is my final product:

To top it all off, this class helped me knock #10 off my aspiration list for the year!


%d bloggers like this: