Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIY Glass Etching

I have a handful of tea glasses and some that I use all the time, but I have wanted to "spice" them up a bit. They are very simple and plain and I have had plans on doing something to them, but just haven't had the time. Today I decided I would test my idea out on a glass cup (former candle from Ikea) to see if my idea would be even possible and if it would look nice.

My idea: etching flower patterns onto the glass. Yes, cause I have nothing better to do with my time :D

Here's what you will need:
  • Armour Etch - etching cream
  • Sponge brush - any brush will work
  • Stencils - I used Martha Stewart Blossoms
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • Gloves - optional, but this stuff is toxic
  • Painters tape - optional, but good to tape off areas you want to prevent etching
I didn't do this, but I would recommend taping off the area around the stencil to prevent any drips ending up on the clean parts of the glass.

  1. Clean the glass with rubbing alcohol to remove any fingerprints and dust.
  2. Apply the stencil. I had sticky stencils so it made life a bit easier. I used two separate stencils and applied them separately.
  3. Mix the bottle of etching cream well.
  4. Apply Armour Etch carefully with the brush (avoid drips). Be careful not to get any on the outer edge of the stencil. This was hard. I should have just taped the edges.
  5. Leave the etching cream on for 5 minutes. The directions said no longer than 1 minute, but that didn't do anything, so I left it on for 5-6 minutes. It was enough time. 
  6. Wash off in the sink with luke warm water. Remove all the cream.
  7. Remove the stencil carefully. Add the second stencil and repeat steps 3-6.
  8. Voila, you have an etched cup :)

I used two of the brushes to hold the cup from rolling.

Apply the cream to make sure you cover every inch of the stencil. The more the merrier. As you can see, the cream was very close to the edge of the stencil. This is why I say, tape the edges with painters tape. I didn't have any and was too lazy to go buy some. Tsk tsk!

One stencil down...one more to go...

I would do one stencil at a time. I wanted them close together and I also didn't want to fuss with cream running off the edge of the stencil because of the curvature of the cup.

It's hard to see, but it looks fabulous, if I do say so myself :D


 Yay!!! I really like them. So, now onto the real tea glasses. 0 down, 12 to go.

DIY Gift Bag

We had a white elephant gift exchange at my work and we were also celebrating one of the post-docs in my lab leaving for bigger better things. Celebrating isn't the right word, as she is going to be greatly missed and it was a hard leave for her as well, but alas, tis life.

I put together a few things for her on behalf of the lab, but I realized too late that I didn't have an appropriate gift bag for the white elephant gift, nothing Christmas related or festive enough, so I had to improvise.

I had bought a handful of plain bags a while back and I also had a ton of bows that I have been using slowly, but not fast enough. If I put the two together...

Voila, my very festive gift bag!
Plain paper bag

Plain paper bag with bows

Yes, I think it works and I think I like it. What an earth shattering idea I tell you, just earth shattering!!!



The hubby officially has weekends again and for the first time in all the years we have been married, we have a Saturday together. Long story short, he's been working two jobs and I have been looking forward to some time with him for such a long time. In honor of his special day, I made one of his favorites for breakfast - pancakes.

I love me some homemade pancakes. It's the same recipe I always use, see the recipe here!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Shoe Rack Organized

I hate the sight of shoes in a house. They're dirty and messy and most of all, disorganized. We don't ever wear shoes in our place and so, the shoes pile up, especially when we have guests. In our tiny place we have a small area by the door that had room for a shoe rack, and it has been the bane of existence since we moved in from day one. The apartment has a lot of these "bane of my existence"...but for the sake of this post, the shoe rack was at the top of them :D

So, one day, I had had enough. I had been keeping my eye out for some way to make the space look cleaner, and had been searching high and low for some sort of cabinet that could house shoes and yet still be functional. It also had to fit under the counter and be thin enough so the front door wouldn't slam into it. I was also not going to pay $200 bucks. Well, I finally found one and decided, well, regardless of whether it's made of laminated particle board (aka crap!) and it doesn't look that great, it's better than the rack we have now. I bought it and put it together (took me forever...who came up with the instructions...bad English and bad grammar). Anyways...alas, my corner is a bit tidier.

The color doesn't match the room as much. I really wanted a beech color cabinet, but oak was the closest I could find - it was either that or white or black. Neither would look nice.  It also does not fit all the shoes it says it's supposed to - 30 shoes. Ya, maybe if all you have are a women's size 6. Men's shoes were hard to fit in, but after some squeezing and cursing, they fit. I'm satisfied. I'm not ecstatic, as it's not the prettiest thing ever, but I'm satisfied.

Oh the eyesore...uh...yuck! Here's a tidier version of a before...

Yes, I have a lot of shoes, yes most of the shoes are mine...who's counting... 

Clean and organized. 

It has 3 rows for shoes, 6 rows in total. It's hard to fit anything but flats, but the tennis shoes fit in the first row and the racks are moveable.

The only thing it doesn't fit are tall boots...which is fine. I only wear tall boots if its freezing and/or raining. It's neither of those two ever, here in SoCal.  

I needed a place for my bike helmet. As much as I would have loved this to be hidden, a hook was the best I could do.

It does the job. It makes me cringe a bit less. I'm thinking of changing the handles to something a bit nicer looking, maybe that will make me like how it looks better, but for now, it is what it is.


I went to see my family over the break. It was a quick, squeeze everyone in and have time to relax sort of trip. I didn't get to see all the friends I wanted to see, but nonetheless it was nice to be home and have some of that great turkey my mom makes every year. There was just enough left overs for me to take some back home for the hubby. He couldn't come with me this year, but he got 2 nights of leftovers :D and my suitcase got a nice dose of cranberry sauce (some idiot thought it would be a great idea to pack cranberry sauce in Tupperware...cough me...cough).

Gobble gobble! Bread from Boudin Bakery.

I may be partial, but this is the best gravy on the planet!

We went to visit my sick friend, who has a pet bird named Zazoo. This little guy loved walnuts and had to be near everyone. This was the only way to get him to shut up, otherwise he would be yelling from him cage: eating walnuts on my moms shoulder out of a Royal Albert plate. Sigh...birds these days...


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