Powdered to Perfection Funnel Cakes

Time:  30 minutes
Cost:  $$
Difficulty:  5/10
Overall Ranking:  9/10

Fried chicken, fried potatoes, onion rings, hush puppies, potato chips, and more fried, fried, fried foods.

Luckily for you, I’m not a health nut.  That’s right, people; I made my own homemade funnel cakes today.  All cakes are meant for me to eat, but this cake – this cake is meant for me to love.

funnelcakecollage

Homemade funnel cakes have been my dream creation since as long as I can remember, so I dared to commit to it this week as one of my last DIY projects (but surely not the last).  I’m almost as committed to this as I was to Josh Golden and the Jonas Brothers in middle school.  Since this project is so simple, I decided to also throw in this post some easy tips on creating your own DIY projects in general.  Two-in-one got me like:

jonas

  1. Pick something that you actually want to do and have use for.
    There are plenty of great pins on Pinterest!  If you want melted crayon art, get your hairdryer ready.  If you have a dream to be eating fried sugar while watching Project Runway reruns (like me), get out the skillet.  Be inspired, and don’t take no for an answer.
  1. Be creative with your materials.
    Tonight, I combined your everyday combination of milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda (and extra, supreme extra, butter).  The typical.  But, let’s just say you live in, I don’t know, northern Missouri, and there isn’t a craft store nearby.  Don’t be afraid to revamp or modify the original pin.  You won’t be able to find the exact replica, but your version will be better anyway, I’m sure.
  1. Take risks.
    As soon as I mixed my bowl of Heaven together, I threw it on to the bubbly oil in a skillet.  That takes real guts.  And, you can bet that gut got bigger after this project. Needless to say, you can’t be shy around potential funnel cakes.  If you’re really scared of using a certain kind of material, search for alternatives that would be safer, such as wood glue instead of a power drill.
  1. Be patient.
    I flipped my funnel cake too early out of pure childlike excitement and lost some of it.  LAME.  Don’t be me.  Don’t rush perfection.
  1. Personalize it.
    After the funnel cake is done, you can add anything you want – powdered sugar, chocolate syrup, ice cream, or fruit (but I’ll judge the healthy status)!  Whether it is tasty food or another DIY project, there are always ways to add initials, pictures, or your own personal touch.  This will make the project mean even more to you and the project more fun.
  1. Share.
    What’s life without those to share it with?  Make sure to include others in your endeavors, or use DIY projects as Christmas present inspiration.  You never know who you might inspire.

Overall, I wasn’t exaggerating on the gut comment.  The funnel cake project was superb, and I would definitely encourage you all to try making your own carnival at home, even if I did originally scream at the bubbling skillet.  This project didn’t take hardly any time, and it’s actually a lot easier than it looks!

Go for it.  You know you’re craving some sweets.  While you’re at it, add your own helpful DIY tips in the comment section below or message me on my Facebook page.

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Home is Where the Heart Is

Time:  Your entire life (4+ hours)
Cost:  $$
Difficulty:  8/10
Overall Ranking:  8/10

Have you ever tried to caulk? Have you ever tried to caulk on less than three hours of sleep to Channing Tatum talking about cheese? This is the story of a curly-haired girl with a sequined shirt learning how to caulk some wood.

I was super inspired by my hometown of Ste. Genevieve this week because, on Tuesday, I’ll be traveling back for Thanksgiving. But first, I’m heading to Chicago for yet another conference. You could say I’m getting a bit homesick with all the traveling. A wise man once said, “It don’t matter where we go, we’ll always find our way back home.”

So, today, I tested this theory with my string art project. Does that make it a string theory? I went by Home Depot and got five planks of wood, caulk, and stain. I choose the color “barn red” because it’s my mom’s favorite, and I miss her. I then stuck the pieces together with the caulk and began to stain the wood. When I lifted the newly formed canvas, it broke in half. I spent hours of caulk, concrete glue, and even duct tape trying to get it to stick. It was like a group project. No matter how hard you tried to keep it together, no amount of glue can keep it from falling apart.

showmestate

Next, print out a map of Missouri, and a small heart. Cut them out and tape them down on the boards. Take small nails and outline the map with them. Make sure to hammer them until they aren’t wobbly. Once all the nails are in, take off the map and heart.

Tie the string to one of the nails and alternate wrapping it around the inside and outside nails. I ran out of string with four strands from Walmart, but it was 1:30 a.m., so I couldn’t finish.

The string art itself was not difficult and looks incredibly awesome, but the wooden canvas still doesn’t stick, which makes the piece impractical. I don’t like impractical things. If I could change this project, I would definitely pick another method to do the canvas.

I’m not going to stress over it, though. Just because something doesn’t stick together doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful (foreshadow). Plus, I’ll be eating deep dish pizza in less than 12 hours.

If you like the urban rustic feel of this project or if you know how to stick wood together, let me know in the comments section. I’ll see you after break, kiddos!

Bold Necklaces and the Hollywood Dream

Time:  1 hour
Cost:  $
Difficulty:  6/10
Overall Ranking:  7/10

“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”  What Madison was really trying to say was, “Be sassy.  Wear great sunglasses.  Pursue greatness.”  Or was he imitating Goofy?

So, that’s what I did.  I shipped myself to sunshine and surf out west for a conference at the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California.  I know you were probably expecting Weezer references and songs referring to sunshine today.  Literally, just flew in, and only still awake because I have to do this blog for a class, but I also needed to tell you that my face almost gotten eaten by a photobombing horse (but that picture is too embarrassing for blog material).

CaliCoastline

One of my main takeaways from the conservative activist conference was to stand up for your beliefs, even when it is not easy.  Put on your shades, and let the sass seep through your pores.  This inspired me to make my own bold statement necklace to stand out with style.

necklacecollage

The major focus of this project is the beads, so I scoured my small Midwestern town for such gems on a Friday night because that’s just how social I am.  I started with running down the aisles of Walmart, screaming, of course.  Nothing.  Well, we are young ladies.  Young ladies don’t get their beads for Walmart.  Where’s the class in that?

So, then, I tried Dollar Tree, and the Dollar Store, and Walgreens.  I’m writing a book now, “Searching for Beads in Kirksville – A Personal Narrative of Struggle and Redemption.”  Yes, that’s right – REDEMPTION.  I finally resorted to picking out beads from Walmart.  Stick it to the man? No, the man definitely won this one.  I decided to choose beads for the shape, rather than color, and spray paint them bright red.

I never spray painted anything until this project, but I’m scarred for life after the amount of red paint covering my hands and grass.  It looked like a gory mess.  I tried two different types of spray paint, and both of them were a complete mess.  I eventually decided to paint the beads blue from the paint I used for my window home decor blog.  This is what I should have done first.  This is what you should do first.  Paint the beads by hand.

Once you find beads (or paint them three times, like I did), use the small wires to connect the beads together.  You may have to lay out the necklace design, but this will prove difficult when the actual beads are hooked together.  The structure may change as you are adding beads.  Connect them to a chain and, tah dah, you have your own statement necklace.

I like this project because the necklace is cute and practical.  With the right set of wire tools, forming the wire isn’t too bad.  The only struggle I had with the project was finding beads and making them look classy enough to look like more than just beads.  Therefore, I liked this project, but it wasn’t one of my top picks either.

Did you make your own DIY project necklace?  Share pictures on my Pinterest site!

A Hoot ‘n’ Holla

Time:  2 hours, excluding dry time
Cost:  $
Difficulty:  2/10
Overall Ranking:  8/10

Earth is important. Mother Earth.  Earthy vibes.  My Homeland.

owl1

I’m not very much of an environment person, but I respect where I live.  Not because I live there, but because it must have taken a lot of love to create it.  I remember, in high school, I had to make a dollhouse, complete with clay dolls and whatnot.  Well, that made me want to rip out my hair, so I can’t imagine the amount of thought God put into me and the microscopic planet on which I live.  But, back on topic.

Have you ever noticed how many birds there are outside?  There are a lot of birds.  I don’t know how many birds, but there are a lot of those little Audubon society-lovin’, French fry-eatin’, original tweeters.  There’s this song called “Fly On” by Humming House that is absolutely perfect at describing my thoughts on birds.  The lyrics are, “As we fly on, fly on, just like we always do.”  This really encompasses birds because they can just take off and fly and not give two-cents about being held down.  Birds – they’re chill, I tell ya.

scuttle

If I were to be an animal, I’d probably be a bird, so why not make a little friend of my own?  Here, I introduce Roanoke, the recycled owl.

owlcollage

This project is relatively simple and inexpensive.  Let your friends throw a house party and steal all of their empty soda bottles when they turn away.  (Thanks, roomies).  Outline with a permanent marker where the cut lines are, as shown at the original pin site.

cutlines

Match up the ends, and wrap tape around the attachment.  Make sure to keep the tape from wrinkling.  Roanoke looks pretty old ‘cause I didn’t do that.

Paint the entire body a dark brown.  You may have to add an extra layer, and it might look weird, but I promise he’s adorable in the end.  Add white circles for eyes, outline them in black, and paint his white belly.  Add the extra elements, like a faded black bottom, feathers, a beak, and pupils.  He shall look ravishing.

I would definitely recommend this project, and I should certainly be making more Baby Roanokes for my friends in the near future.  The project is relatively inexpensive, especially if you already have the paint from other projects, like I did.  The owl is a nice addition to my humble abode, as far as being adorable as well.

Have you seen something on Pinterest that you would like me to try out?  Send me some of your favorite DIY pins on my official Pinterest site!

Light It Up

Time:  3 hours
Cost:  $
Difficulty:  9/10
Overall Ranking:  2/10

Light – such an interesting concept – can be bright, pure, and good, but also scorching, blinding, and flickering.  For example, when I am doing homework or the power goes out or I have huge bags under my eyes, I need some lighting.  But, when my alarm beckons me out from my warm cocoon of covers in the morning, light is a no-go.

Even more interesting still is the lack of light that shadows life into the twilight.  There’s a song by For King and Country with the lyrics, “Everything in sight was lost in silhouette.”  I love silhouettes of cities, like the city skyline right at sunrise.  When I was scrolling through Pinterest this week in search of a lantern/lamp DIY project, I found the lamp of the New York City skyline.  As much as I love it, I wanted to make it my own, and so, I decided to do a variation of the original pin by doing the silhouette of Paris.

lanterncollage

I picked out a classy, little black lamp from Walmart and printed off the outline of Paris.  First, I painted the inside of the lampshade black.  I don’t know why I did that, but it was in the instructions in the original pin.  I cut out sections of the skyline and taped it around the lampshade.

Take a pin, preferably with a larger top, and stab the outline of the city.  Also, add more holes around the buildings, leaving only the silhouette skyline without the little pin holes.  The thicker the pin, the more the city will stand out.

I originally tried to use a screw.  Do you know how hard it is to get a screw out of a lampshade?  I wouldn’t recommend, and, thankfully, no one was around to see that side of me.

Stabbing the shade takes quite a bit of time, so I decided to listen to old Anastasia songs and Family Force 5.  Once, you finally are happy with the progress of your lampshade, the light will probably burn out because it takes forever, or at least mine did.

I would not recommend this project because the detail of the buildings are not as pronounced as they looked in the pin.  The pin looks more magical, where mine appears to be very DIY and tacky.  It took a while to make the project relative to the lack of elegance in the outcome.  I also did not like sticking the pin into the shade, time after time.  For each of these reasons, I ranked the project pretty low.

Do you know how I could have improved this project?  Have you had some Pinterest fails?  Let me know in the comments section, or follow me on Facebook for all my rankings.