Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do it yourself darnit! Ornaments

‘Tis the season for tickling lights, wreaths, decorations, and ornaments! Being the craft lover that I am I searches far and wide through cyber land and found some adorable DIY ornament tutorials for all the crafty folks. Maybe I’ll even throw one together here myself shortly… we’ll see!

If you follow “A Beautiful Mess” you may have already seen this but I thought it was so creative I had to pass it on! I really need to try this and cakies did a wonderful job of illustrating the step by step of making these unique wrapped decorations.


Over on a new blog, Pear and Peacock, I discovered on my search you can get a little groovy with this awesome DIY Sequin Ornaments!

Pear & Peacock Blog


Design*Sponge has a great tutorial to get a little earthy with your holiday with this terrarium ornament.

Design*Sponge Blog


How can I not use an Etsy tutorial? Reduce reuse and recycle with this cutie miniature stocking ornament!

Etsy from Sweater Renewal


Looking for something a little less in depth? I love this idea from little chief honeybee. Make your Christmas tree a little more personal this year with photos! They really don’t HAVE to be instant photos. Super cute +super easy = A++ in my book!

little chief honeybee blog


I’ve talked about little dear’s shop before and I’m still loving everything she does. She just put up a great Christmas star ornament tutorial on her little dear tracks blog. One wonder: adorable!

little dear tracks


Don’t want to make anything for your tree this year? No sweat! There are tons of great ornaments on Etsy.com! I highly recommend the ever so talented Skunkboy Creatures. Her line of little stuffed ornaments is fabulous!

Skunkboy Creatures Blog


Do you have an ornament tutorial to share? Or do you make ornaments that are for sale…? Perhaps I’ll do a round two!

Happy Trails!

Monday, November 29, 2010

10+1 Random Facts about me

I’ve seen this on blogs like run with scissors and I thought it was a cute way to get to know a little about me. 10+1 Random Facts about me:

I was a Theater Major in college and I thought I was going to be a singer/song writer all my life but now I’m a photography major and I have no idea what I’m going to do but I’m going to enjoy the time I have.
2.) I’ve been to Poland, Germany, and Israel on mission trips and I hope to travel more. It’s true that you can never understand what you have until you see the way other people live and I want my daughter to learn that as well.
3.) I’m both extremely outgoing and extremely introverted at the same time; leave it to being a Gemini.
4.) I’ve written a science fiction story that no one will ever read.
5.) I have dyslexia but I’ve learned to thrive with it no matter what anyone says. I don’t see it as a disability; it’s just a different way of looking at the world.
6.) My mom bought me the complete seasons of Gilmore Girls last Christmas and I’ve already watched every episode at least five times.
7.) I love Jesus and have an incredibly strong faith in God but I can’t stand religion.
8.) I’m a movie addict; I love getting sucked into a good story with beautiful character, lovely colors, and great cinematography.
9.) I have to sleep with a light on; I have an unnatural fear of the dark and of zombies… don’t ask me why I don’t know.
10.) I love to read but I don’t do it nearly as much as I should.
11.) I’d rather be behind my camera than anywhere else.

Happy Trails!

whats in a name?

Since I’ve been blogging at a ramped rate I decided to dial it back a little bit and explain a little of whom I am and what this blog is “about.” I’ve always been a web savvy individual, this is not my first blog but it’s the first blog I’ve written in a very long time. I blogged about silly things and basic life stuff back in college and I attempted to run a few websites when I was in high school, which, well who knows what happened to them. When I first discovered Etsy.com I loved checking out artist’s websites and blogs to see what stories they had to tell behind their art work and I knew that I terribly wanted to sell on Etsy too. Soon after a good friend of my, Becky, started her blog. She’s such a wonderful writer and very inspiring which made me want to start a blog as well. It took a couple of tries but “with a chance of” was finally born!

with a chance of

Now you may ask “what the heck is up with that name?” I know, if you read anything about running a website or blog or company it will tell you to keep is short sweet and easy to remember. “Something with a chance of other stuff” doesn’t seem all that easy, but I think it’s catchy. The term actually comes from the idea of weather. Living in Pittsburgh the weather is ever changing from “Sunny with a chance of clouds,” or “Cloudy with a chance of thunder storms”or“This weather is so unpredictable that it has a chance of doing anything.” I never stick to the same niche for very long, I’m always bouncing around in what I want to do, what I’m interested, or what I make, so I knew this blog wasn’t going to be steam line and I need the title to explain that. There’s a little of this something but sometimes you’ll get a little of that something too. When I was first describing the name “with a chance of” people assumed that it had to do with taking chances, in some ways it does. Withachanceof.etsy.com still hasn’t taken off but it will soon I hope, it is one of the things on my “Before 26” list.

All that stuff brings us to where I am today. Living in Phoenix, AZ with my wonderfully crazy family and enjoy it as much as I possibly can. There are a few things that have kept me going since we’ve moved here other then my family: blogging, school, Hanson (music), and facebook. I’m so glad I can keep busy writing and being creative, it filled a great big hole and I’m starting to discover who I am. Thanks to everyone who has been reading, just started reading, and encouraged me to write and create.

I can’t wait to see where this ride is taking me…

Happy Trails!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving: a recap.

I can’t believe thanksgiving is over. I had been ho-humming about it for a while. As many of you know this was our first year away from our family and in Arizona for a Holiday which meant one thing: we had to cook. This thought was pretty terrifying to me. I HATE cooking. I do cook for us on a regular bases but I have been rather intimidated by exploring anything outside the realms that I’m familiar with. I’m pretty darn proud of us though, dinner was completely edible, very yummy, and no one got worms! Marc made the best turkey I’ve ever eaten, and I don’t like meat. The broccoli casserole I made was very tasty, although the corn bread I made needed some help. They only thing that wasn’t good at all was the pumpkin pie we bought from the grocery store, ew, Aurora likes it though. I’m glad our first Holiday was successful but I’m still really excited to head home to Pittsburgh for Christmas and eat food that someone else made for a change. I can’t help but love Granny Pkay’s cooking!

Marc's yummy turkey in the oven.

I'm so proud!

Piston really wanted some too. He did get a couple bites from the table.

We did get to eat dinner with family. We skyped with Marc's family during dinner! I love technology sometimes!

Happy Trails!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

gobble gobble!

Just wanted to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! This is going to be a very different turkey day for us. This really is the first major holiday that we will be spending in Arizona, it’s kind of sad, but it’s also kind of exciting. This year we are cooking our own food and starting our own traditions. I’m really tickled about it. I hope everyone eats until their pants don’t fit because I’m sure going to… mmm pumpkin pie….

Wait a minute... a thanksgiving peacock?!?! ^.^ Aurora and I made Thanksgiving decorations, a new tradition!

What I’m thankful for:

*My awesome husband
*Our adorable daughter
*Our crazy and loyal dog
*My amazing family (on both sides ^_^)
*Our adventure in Arizona
*Blogging and blogging friends
*Going back to school
*Discovering my own way of being creative

Happy Turkey Trails!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordy on Wednesday: Three

Well, my day got off to a little bit of a late start today. I meant to post my Wordy on Wednesday much early but things do happen, like sleeping in, Oops.

This week I was inspired by one of my favorite songs; “My Own Sweet Time” by Hanson. I know, Hanson, right? I’m very proud of the fact that they have been and always will be my favorite band! Why? Well, let’s save that explanation for another day.

"Tell me where I begin
You can't deny what's already been
I won't break but I can bend
Shaping the scars that I can't mend
Feel your fingers around my throat
There's nothing but bones beneath my skin
Somebody break my fall
I'm slipping down all over again

I'd do it all over
Taking my own sweet time
I may make it slower
But I'm taking my own sweet time
I'm taking my own sweet..."

- Hanson

On that note... Happy Trails!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Before 26

I’ve been truly inspired by Miss Elsie over at A Beautiful Mess blog, I mean who couldn’t be? She has fabulous style, a great website, and a gorgeous store! Who wouldn't follow her? For a while now I’ve wanted to have my very own shop so stumbling on her blog was one of the best things I’ve ever come across! One of the things she has done that really got me thinking was her birthday list. She wrote a list of 27 things she wanted to do before she was 28 and crossed them off as she went along. She made a new one this year also. I think the best part of this was she shared it with her blog followers. A person can write as many lists as they want but who is going to hold them accountable for it?

I decided to make a list of things I want to do before I turn 26. It’s not 25 things but I don’t have quite a year to complete it all so I cut myself some slack. I’m going to check it off and share my journey! I showed my husband last night and he thought it was a pretty good list, what do you think?

Are you making a list? What do you want to get done before your next birthday?

Happy Trails!

Monday, November 22, 2010

the odd little things...

I tend to stay away from the odd and scary things but sometimes creepy is cute! I’m not talking about bloody, gushing, weird; things just slightly miss shaped and that have an odd prospective. I enjoy things that come out of an artist’s imagination. I enjoy imperfections and misshapen figures in art, or fantasy type characters. It might be because it's the kind of art I like to create and hope to make in the future. Someday I would love to create my own art doll; hopefully I’ll be able to take you on that adventure.

Below is a super cute but a little creepy shelf sitter Marc's Dad bought for us while he was visiting over Halloween. I had been eyeing this guy up for a while and I'm so glad he's in our home!

Here are some really cute and sometimes slightly odd and even creepy sellers from Etsy that I love!





Happy Trails!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Adventures in Craftiness: Resin Experiment.

Every since I saw the episode on Thread Banger by The Naughty Secretary I’ve wanted to try my hand a making resin jewelry. It’s always seemed very intimidating. Every time I went into a craft store for a new project I would stop in the isle that had the resin, look at it, think about it, and keep moving. I finally decided to just do it! I’ve been collecting beer bottle caps for a while and figured I’d try my hand at making some magnets first. I’m so glad I did, it’s a snap! As long as you follow the instructions it’s so easy!

Casting Resin (I used Easy Cast )
Bottle Caps (Beer, soda, or even water bottle caps)
Measuring tools that you don’t plan to use for anything but resin.
Funky Paper (Old magazines, craft paper, or little doodles)
A Pen
Craft Scissors
A plastic cup or that you don’t plan on using ever again
A Straw and/or something to sire with

First I traced the bottom part of the bottle cap onto paper and cut out the circle on the inside of the line. I then placed them on the bottom on my bottle caps. If you wish you can glue them down (I would recommend this because my started floating to the top at one point and I had to push them down with my straw.)

Next I mixed my resin. The instructions for my kit called for a well ventilated area, which is a very good idea. Even though the casting resin I bought is low odor, it still smells! The instructions for my kit indicated to mix one part resin to one part Harding solution then mix well for two minutes.

After my two minutes were up I carefully poured the mixture into my bottle caps, and then I waited. It takes 24 to 48 hours for the resin to fully harden.

You can make all kinds of fun things with these little guys! Get some magnets or jewelry making supplies and have at it!

I hope this helped! Don’t be intimated by trying new things, it’s so much fun and easy. As long as you take your time.

Happy trails!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Painting with Aurora

The terrible twos have been a rough time for me. Aurora is head strong and she doesn’t care who hears about it. Hmm… sounds like someone I know. Some days we have are good some days are bad it just depends. I’ve been trying to come up with things for us to do so we can deter boredom and tantrums. So, yesterday I pulled out my water colors and decided that we were going to paint! I love painting but I’m not very good at water colors and I knew that if they got everywhere it would be okay. I must say we had a lot of fun! Now we have a small art gallery hanging on our kitchen cabinets and I think we are going to make more today. I highly recommend this activity to all the moms out there! Its lots of fun with little mess and little work involved.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wordy on wednesday: two

As promised I have created a new image for my "wordy on wednesday" series! This was an idea I had a long time ago, I've sketched it out but never finished it, and I'm really happy with the results:

Happy Trails!

Monday, November 15, 2010

my first inspiration.

I’ve been asked a few times who my favorite photographer is throughout the time I’ve been back in classes. I love so many different artists I’ve found through Etsy and other research but I always go back to the same photographer. Back when I was taking photography 101 at community college I was introduced to Jerry Uelsmann. His style was completely unique to me and I fell in love with it.

His work is very different from my style and typically my taste but something about it draws me in. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he started editing images into wonderland before you could do it on a computer. He took time and great effort in creating each unique image in a dark room. The grit and grim of his labor I think shows in his work. Every single one of his images still blows my mind.

His work was truly my first introduction to Photography as an art form and I think he will always remain my favorite.

Check out more of his photography at his website.

Also, take a look at his wifes work. Maggie Taylor is also one of my favorite artists.

Happy Trails!

pumkin pie anyone?

I’ve been so excited for the Christmas and holiday season I almost completely forgot about Thanksgiving! One of my favorite holidays is just around the corner. I have great memories of visiting friends and family and eating way to much of my Uncles Cajun turkey! This year we’re going to be tackling the task of cooking dinner ourselves. I most defiantly plan on documenting our journey because I think it’s going to be very entertaining. The good news is that we got a free turkey from our local grocery store! The bad news is I have absolutely no idea what to do with it! It should be exciting!

Well to get us in the Thanksgiving mood I found some really great decorating ideas on Etsy that I’d love to share!

Jenn Matthews