Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Turn Yourself Into A Comic Book Character



If you have a comic book lover in your life they might enjoy a piece of artwork with them as a comic book character!  This effect can be used to blow up any image though so you can use this for any style of artwork.   I thought about putting this one in Jer's superhero room but I came up with different artwork instead so this is now decorating the "Man Cave".  


Supplies:
foam board from dollar tree (in the school supplies section)
graphite transfer paper - we picked this up awhile back at JoAnn's for $2 with a coupon (reg $4) - you can usually find it over by the drawing and painting supplies
fat markers
ball point pen 

 

I found a picture of him that I thought would work well.  This one was an excited response to a Christmas present.  :)  I used Picnik and the Infared Film effect to turn it to stark black and white.  Then I cropped the image into four equal sized sections and printed each one as a full page picture.  Then pieced them back together to make one big picture.  For the "Pow" I used one of the speech bubbles on Picnik and used  the Badaboom BB font for the lettering. 

After measuring out about a 2 1/4" border I laid down my graphite paper within that border and taped the picture down on top of it.  Using a ball point pen I traced a basic outline.  The nice thing about the graphite transfer paper is that you can reuse it a bunch of times too.

   

After carefully peeling away the graphite paper, I was left with an outline of the picture and just colored it all in with markers. 

 

For the facial dots I laid down a sheet of graph paper and used an ultra fine point orange sharpie to make dots where the lines intersect.  I just held it there for a second and let it bleed through the paper and onto my poster.  If you don't have graph paper you could easily make your own using a spreadsheet. 

 

You could always do it without the dots but I really think it adds to the comic book effect.



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Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Link Party 52

You guys never fail to link up awesome and inspiring projects each week.  :)  You can check out all of last week's links but first here are a few of my favorites:


How stinking cute is this Monster Gift Card Holder from Rae Gun Ramblings?!  I wouldn't even care if I got a gift card - the monster itself is a great gift.


I am drooling over these Ham and Cheese Sliders by Cooking with K.  Seriously.  YUM.


I love Clean, Smart, Simple Style's take on Melted Crayon Art.  This looks like it would be a lot of fun to make!



This Mini Garlic Monkey Bread from Crumbs and Chaos looks delicious.  Such a fun new way to serve garlic bread.



I love the bold look of this LOVE Pillow by A Pumpkin And A Princess.  I think this would be fun year round but it would also be great if you are just looking for a temporary decoration for Valentine's Day.

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.


PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.
Polish The Stars

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole


It is really difficult to get a picture of this dish that does it justice.  Just trust me when I tell you that it is delicious!  Normal people might have this as a side dish but we often eat it for dinner...and lunch...and maybe breakfast.  :)

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
adapted from Taste of Home

6 Large Russet Potatoes, baked
Salt and Pepper
6 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
8oz Sour Cream
8oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
8oz Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 Green Onions, sliced

Cut skin off of baked potatoes* and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Place half in a greased 9x13x2-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and half of the bacon**.  Top with half of the sour cream and cheeses.  Repeat layers.

Bake, uncovered, at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until cheeses are melted and bubbly.  Sprinkle with green onions.

Makes 8 Servings.

*For the first baking of the potatoes, I usually cook them in the microwave.  Just pierce them repeatedly with a fork, wrap in paper towels and microwave on high and flip every four minutes.  Cook 8-12 minutes or until a fork can be inserted with little resistance.  You can also cook them in a slow-cooker: pierce repeatedly with a fork, individually wrap with foil and cook on low for 8 hours.

**I also bake the bacon while the potatoes are cooking.  Just follow my Oven Baked Bacon recipe.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Superman's Telephone Booth Closet



Instead of just going with a Batman theme in Jer's new room, I decided to mix and match designs from all of his favorite superheroes.  So after completing the Gotham City Skyline Headboard I moved on to Superman's Telephone Booth Closet Door.

This one was Shelby's idea and I was a little hesitant at first because I thought it might be too overwhelming with the mural right next to it but I decided to go along with it and it actually turned out pretty cool.  The idea came around because of the contents behind the door.



Everything a little boy needs to emerge as either his undercover identity or as a superhero!



He has easy access to all of his hats, costumes and weapons.



To create the phone booth door, I used my quilting ruler to trace out the lines and "primed" it with three coats of Krylon Acrylic Latex Enamel in Gloss Banner Red followed by two coats of Behr Premium Plus in California Poppy.  I said primed with quotation marks because this wasn't actually intentional.  We picked up the Krylon paint during a trip to Walmart because it was handy and we thought the high gloss would make it look more like metal.  Since it is an enamel it caused a couple of problems though.  It was runny and caused some drips and it is kind of see-though so even after three coats you could still see the pencil lines I had traced on as a guide.  So I put a couple of coats of the Behr paint and primer in one over the top of it because it was thicker and helped cover up the lines and even out the brush strokes.  I was able to do two coats with a little $3 tester and there is still some left.

So learn from my mistakes and use the regular paint and primer from the start and you will not only have better results but you probably won't have to do as many coats.  :)



I used my Silhouette to cut the "Telephone" letters out of black vinyl but you could easily hand cut them or stencil them on.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Link Party 51

Thank you all so much for your support and kind words on my post about our drive-by shooting.  I haven't felt up to responding yet but I have read each and every comment and they really meant a lot to me.  I was numb the first couple of days before I finally broke down and sobbed for awhile on Saturday.  We still aren't entirely sure how we are going to proceed but we are considering a few different options.  The insurance adjuster is coming by this afternoon so after his visit we will at least be able to patch up the door and wall.  It hasn't helped that when we are in the living room watching tv all I can see are those holes reminding me of that terrible day.

Anyway, I am trying my best to put the pieces back together and return to normal life.  Which means it is time to get on to the link party.  :)  There were some great projects last week.  A few of my favorites were:


This delicious Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread from Crumbs and Chaos.  Yum!


This Bathroom Makeover from A Pumpkin And A Princess is absolutely beautiful!  I love the stenciling on the wall and the clean spa feel of the entire room.


The Taylor House shared some great ideas for an Overnight Guest Basket.  What a great way to make people feel at home.


I love the steampunk feel of this Burlap Skeleton Key Table Runner from Posy The Porcelain Pig.


Thinking Out Loud! shared some fun Marshmallow and Toothpick Creations.  I completely forgot about making these as a kid.  This is probably something that Jer would have a lot of fun with.

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.


PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.
Polish The Stars

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hug Your Loved Ones!

I cannot express how important it is to tell people how much you love them, hug them every day and spend as much quality time together as possible.  The people we care about are the most important things in this world.  In the end nothing else matters.  It doesn't matter if the dishes are done or if you were able to buy the newest coolest electronic, or whatever else it is that seems important in the moment.  All that really matters is having people in your life that you love and who love you back and making sure that they know how much you care.  We were reminded of this yesterday afternoon when a bullet passed through our front door:


Barely five minutes after walking home from school with my son, I heard three loud popping noises.  There are fireworks set off in our neighborhood all the time so I just assumed it was that and didn't really think any more about it.


Then when I came into the living room a few minutes later I noticed this picture laying on the floor with a hole in it.


I looked up at the spot above the tv where it usually sits and realized there was a hole there too.


This ended up being where they dug the bullet out of our house.  Our son was on the other side of this wall using the bathroom.  If it had gone through the wall just a couple of feet over instead of the door....things could have been really bad.  Or if it had happened a few minutes earlier as we were walking home.  Or if we had been in the living room doing homework.  There are so many ways that this could have all been much, much worse.


As it was, everyone made it through physically unharmed.  We just have some holes in our doors and the wall.  As well as wood splinters all over our living room from the where the bullet busted through the door.

We don't have any known enemies so the police believe it was just a random drive-by.  Apparently these have been happening often lately in the Twin Cities area.  I didn't think to ask but they didn't mention there being any casualties.  Their best guess it that it is a bunch of stupid teenagers who think it is cool to fire into people's houses.


Who knows, maybe they just didn't like our 'No Solicitors' sign.  

My husband was on the way home from a business trip so he didn't arrive until a few hours later.  It was difficult having to deal with the police alone and put on a happy face for our boy but it was probably a good thing that he had that time to cool down.  Thankfully one of our friends came over to stay with us until Shelby got home.  I am so grateful to have a friend like him who we know we can count on any time no matter what the circumstances may be.

Our families really want us to move back home right away.  Honestly the thought crossed my mind.  Unfortunately while we were already planning to move back...that just isn't a possibility right now.  Our plan was to put the house on the market in the Spring of 2013.  The very earliest we can list it without having to pay back the first time homebuyers tax credit is August of this year.  We do not have the money to pay it back and with the housing market the way it is we will probably barely even be able to sell it for enough to pay off the mortgage much less another $8K to pay back the tax credit.

The only way to move right now would be to just walk away and face foreclosure.  We aren't really considering that option right now which means we are stuck here for at least 7 more months.  Since it was (in theory) completely random the police don't believe we are in any danger of having another situation like this.  So we will just try to put the pieces back together and move on.  If there does happen to be another shooting in our neighborhood though - we are gone.  I don't care if that means filing bankruptcy or facing other long-lasting repercussions.  I will not stay here if we discover that this was just the beginning instead of some crazy fluke.

Soooo....yeah....I still can barely wrap my head around this and put a cohesive thought together.  I'm a bit numb right now.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I just had to shut my emotions off in order to stay calm for my boy.  He seems completely un-traumatized by the entire experience.  He told me that someone must have accidentally fired their gun and it just accidentally came into our house.  According to him it's all just a big accident.  Coincidentally on the way to school that morning he told me that he wants to be a police officer when he grows up.  So he was thrilled to get to talk with several police officers and receive sticker badges from them.

As unhappy as I am with the whole situation and somewhat anxious about being in my own home now...I am so very thankful that everyone is safe.  Which is why I am begging you to tell people that you love them and hug them every day because you never know what tomorrow may bring....

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies


I'm sure most of you already have a peanut butter cookie recipe but if you are on the search for a new one you should really try these!  They are full of peanut butter flavor, soft, chewy and moist.  These are my favorite cookies and they turn out perfectly every time.  :)

Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup Creamy Jif Peanut Butter (I usually use the Target generic version)
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
1 1/4 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

Preheat oven to 375F.  In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla until well blended.  Add the egg and beat just until blended.  In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Gradually add to creamed mixture at low speed.  Mix just until blended.  

Form into 1-inch balls using a cookie dough scoop and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet 2-inches apart.  Flatten slightly with a fork in a criss-cross pattern.  Bake at 375F for 6-8 minutes or until bottoms are very lightly browned.  Do not overbake.  Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack.  

Makes about 3 Dozen.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gotham City Painted Headboard

If you follow me on Facebook you already know that I have been taking a break from our usual January purging and organizing tasks and started working on Jer's new Superhero Room!!!  It has been a lot of fun to see how excited he is when he gets home from school each day and runs upstairs to see the progress.  He is so proud of his "new" room and anytime someone comes over to the house he insists on taking them to see it.

After doing the basic repainting of the room, the first project I finished was his Gotham City Painted Headboard that I based off of one by Sugar Tot Designs.  I used a quilting ruler to trace the building shapes onto the wall then used a foam brush to paint the edges and a regular brush to fill it in.  For the Bat Signal I found a logo online and printed it out to make a stencil and traced it on the wall as well.  Then I used the quilting ruler to draw the lines leading back to the building top.



The base wall color is my Custom Gray, the skyline is Sorcerer, the background of the bat signal is Moonrise, and the windows and tapered part of the bat signal is a mix between my custom gray and moonrise.  

I used gray and white for the bat signal because it goes better with the design of the rest of the room.  Apparently this is against the law and my guys didn't seem to appreciate the artistic license that I took with it.  When they first saw it they BOTH asked why the bat signal wasn't yellow.  Geesh!  There's no pleasing those two!  :p

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Link Party 50

There were some great projects linked up last week!  Check out a few of my favorites:


I LOVE these Starburst Pintuck Pillow Covers from Krista Sew Inspired!


Lisa's Craft Blog has a great tutorial for these pretty Wire Wrapped Bird's Nest Necklaces.  She even has a few different versions to inspire you.


These cute Photo Plaques by Days of Chalk and Chocolate were made from something you have probably passed by a million times at Goodwill or garage sales.  Such a great idea. 


This Caterpillar Headband from Loopy Loop Creations is adorable.  I really want to make one for myself.  I guess it would be more socially acceptable to make them for my nieces though.  :)


Musings of a Glamourpuss made an awesome Bling Light Switch Cover.  This would look amazing in an old-school Hollywood style bedroom!

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.


PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.
Polish The Stars

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oven Baked Bacon


Cooking bacon in the oven is so much easier and less messy then cooking it in a skillet.  The best part is that you can make large batches at a time while cooking the rest of the meal so everything gets done about the same time and can be served hot.

Oven-Baked Bacon
adapted from Martha Stewart

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil.  Lay the bacon strips flat on the foil making sure that no pieces overlap.  Bake about 10-15 minutes to desired doneness, flipping the bacon every five minutes.  Transfer to paper towel lined plates to drain.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Link Party 49

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week!  I am still trying to get through the usual January cleaning, purging, and reorganizing tasks so I haven't had much time to craft.  It is fun to browse through all of your crafts and decorating endeavors to get my creative fix.  :)  Here are a few of my favorites from last week:



Decorate With A Little Bit shared a great way to add character to your home through the use of Interior Windows.


This Individual Serving Microwave Torte from Remodelaholic looks absolutely delicious.


I love the elegant look of this Monogramed Lampshade from Deep In The Heart Of...Arkansas?!!


Another great recipe is this Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap from Once A Mom Always A Cook. Yum!
Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.



PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Polish The Stars