13 Jan

It is with much excitement that I announce to you that “The KC Experience” has found a new home!!!

From now on, all updates to “The KC Experience” will be at:


Please check out the new site and be excited about the new things to come at the new home!

Valentine’s Picture Frame Tutorial

11 Jan

Here’s a first for me: a craft tutorial.  If you didn’t know already, I read a few – ok ok – a lot of craft blogs every week day.  I’m consistently impressed at the creativity of people out there.  And I have many ideas stored up in my bookmarks toolbar for future craft sessions.

I also happen to really love Valentine’s Day – not necessarily because of all the love and gushy stuff, but because my birthday is so close to it (February 16th, in case you forgot).  😉

And in honor of Valentine’s Day I am presenting you with a picture frame tutorial inspired by my recent shopping excursion to Michaels.  I just love that place – though my bank account doesn’t love it quite as much as I do…

Anyway, on to the tutorial…

Valentine’s Picture Frame Tutorial

What you will need:

  • An unfinished wooden picture frame – I got mine at Michael’s for $1.00
  • Scrapbook paper of your choice
  • Mod Podge – I used glossy, but it doesn’t really matter what kind you use
  • An Xacto Knife – or another utensil to cut your paper
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon for the border of your frame
  • A foam brush
  • Some sort of throw-away plate for the Mod Podge
  • Embellishments for your frame
  • Hot glue gun
  • Newspaper to cover your surface

(I added some of the materials after I took the picture.  Sorry about that.)


What you will do:

Place your frame onto your paper and trace the frame – or just do what I did and cut around the frame with your knife.


Take out the insert from your frame and place it in the middle of the paper you just cut out.  I’m lazy and didn’t measure it out so that it’d be perfectly centered, but, if you so desire, be my guest.  I eyeballed it to get it centered and traced it with a pencil.  Then cut along the lines on the inside of the lines.  I say the inside because you can always cut off more if you need to, but once it’s cut the damage is done – take it from me.


So now you should have 2 frames that look something like this.  After I had the center cut out, I realized that I cut a little too much – see above.  So I took a Sharpie and colored in some of the spots that looked like they might show through.  And since my paper is zebra print, I could get away with it.  Otherwise, use a marker that closest matches the color of your paper.  OR you could just be a little more careful than I was.


This is where it starts to get really fun.  Using your brush, put a coat of Mod Podge onto your wooden frame, and, as precisely as you can, put your paper frame on top.  Make sure to rub it all over with your fingers to get out any air and to make sure it’s all going to adhere to the wood.  Work quickly, but be careful (especially if you’re using thin-er paper).  The paper I used was closely akin to cardstock, so it was a little more forgiving than regular paper.  Once you’ve got the paper down, brush on another coat of Mod Podge, and let it dry.  And then brush on another coat just to be safe, and let it dry.


If you’re like me and need to stay occupied while you wait, treat yourself.  My choice of treat: warm peanut butter bars with chocolate chips and Reeses peanut butter chips that I made earlier today – thank you Paula Deen for your baking genius.  It went along perfectly with this…


My inspirational music during this project.  Yes, I watch Glee and listen to the soundtrack.  And, yes, I realize it’s late.  And, yes, I realize I don’t have service – don’t ask.


Ok.  Now that we’ve waited…put another coat of Mod Podge on your frame and then cover it with glitter.  Make sure to shake of the excess.  And now, you guessed it, wait for it to dry again.

*Insert Jeopardy theme song here as we wait…*


Once the Mod Podge is dry, use your hot glue gun to glue your ribbon around the border of your frame, as well as the inside border.


My ribbon was sheer black ribbon, and you could see the hot glue through it – yuck.  So I decided to glue another strip of silver ribbon that I had on hand in the center of the black ribbon.  Although impromptu, I like how it turned out.


Now for the really fun part – add your embellishments!  I picked up this “XOXO” when I bought the frame and just hot glued it on.  PS – Isn’t Michael’s just wonderful?!


All you have left to do is insert your picture, and you’re all set!  I just love how mine turned out!  And the added bonus is that I had all the materials on hand, with the exception of the frame and the “XOXO” that I got for $2 at Michael’s!


Hope yours turns out great too!  Feel free to leave comments below!  Happy Valentine’s crafting!

Holiday Wrap-Up

5 Jan

I thought I’d give you an update about my holiday!  I know it’s a little late, but…better late than never?  Right??

Matthew and I flew down to TX the Wednesday before Christmas, and – believe it or not – it was colder in TX than it was in Seattle when we left!  I definitely didn’t anticipate that, which meant I didn’t really pack for that kind of weather…and neither did Matthew.  Fortunately we made it through okay.

We had such a great time down there.  It was a very packed week, but we really enjoyed ourselves.  We made (almost disastrously) and decorated Christmas cookies, ate more food than you can imagine, went to the weirdest Christmas Eve service ever, and so much more.

Christmas day we went down to my Gran & Papa’s house in New Braunfels to spend the holiday with the whole family (minus a few, unfortunately).  Matthew got to meet everybody there, which was fun, and we all enjoyed our annual White Elephant gift exchange.  I personally think I ended up with the best gift out of everyone, especially considering most of the gifts are gag gifts.  I got a whole bunch of red satin ball ornaments that were my great-grandmother’s.  What a precious heirloom!  I can’t wait to hang them on my own tree someday.

Two days after Christmas, Matthew and I spent the day together shopping (thanks to the ‘rent and grand’rents who gave us gift cards) and enjoying ourselves at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.  And when I say Texas Ranger, I’m not talking about the baseball team, people.  I’m talking about THE Texas Rangers…as in the Chuck Norris kind of Texas Ranger.  My favorite exhibit was the one for Bonnie & Clyde.  As it turns out, one of the people in their gang killed a man in my hometown – CRAZY.  (And, not coincidentally, I watched the 1967 version of “Bonnie and Clyde” a few days ago for further “study” on the duo and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.)  And while we were shopping, Matthew got himself a pair of legit cowboy boots – one of his goals for the trip.  I can now say I’m dating a cowboy.

The rest of our trip in TX was spent chilling with the family, which was nice after the hectic-ness of Christmas.  (As an aside: I think, as I get older, Christmas seems to rush by so much faster than it did when I was a kid.  It’s a little saddening.)  I so enjoyed seeing my family, extended family included.  Matthew seemed to really enjoy his time, too, which was an added bonus.

We had Christmas with Matthew’s family the day after we got back to WA, which is always fun with all the kiddos.  And for New Year’s Eve we didn’t really do much, but it was fun nonetheless.  We made pigs in a blanket, and Matthew made a delicious roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots as a “last meal,” so to speak, of the year.  He’s a goober (but I love him).

When I think back on 2010 I have a wave of mixed emotions.  This last year was definitely an interesting one.  As a whole, it seems like it was a pretty dark year for me.  I went through unemployment, a huge fight with Matthew, a demotion, and the ending of more than one friendship (for more than one reason).

On the other hand, though, I can’t help but see just how blessed I am – if for nothing else – for how the Lord has turned every one of those bad situations into a good one.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to see so many bad circumstances (in my life, at least) come full circle into great circumstances.  I’m just so blessed.  🙂

I guess I’ll wrap it up with some pics from the holidays – click on any of them to make them larger.  Enjoy!

On a Jet Plane

Matthew caught this out of the plane window: the tip of a mountain peeking out through the clouds

The "Welcome Home" sign Kristen made for me & Matthew.

O Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!

My Dad wearing the hat/beard combo I made him

Lunch with high school friends (Photo taken by Nathan MacDonald)

Matthew being a Cowboy at the museum

Me being a Cowgirl at the museum

The A-M-A-Z-I-N-G picture Matthew snapped at the museum

The New Year's Eve Chicken: "Before"

The New Year's Eve Chicken: "After"

That’s all folks!

Cabin Fever

23 Nov

I’ve had quite a bit of extra time on my hands the last two days because I’ve been snowed in the house.  So I thought, what better to do with my time than write a blog post?  And here we are.

We had some super snowy weather yesterday – I’m talking snow the entire day.  I couldn’t make it to work because I couldn’t find the driveway.

The driveway is supposed to be here somewhere…

It’s still on the ground today, but fortunately isn’t snowing anymore.  Since we’re trapped in the house, Jessica and Paul (the awesome couple I live with) have decided to start setting up the house for Christmas.  It’s slowly transforming from a house to a winter wonderland.  I love the Christmas season.  Love love love it.

With all this Christmas merriment around me, I can’t help but get a little bit homesick.  Christmas is always a big deal at the Clary house every year.  We have lots of traditions that date back before I can remember.  Decorating the Christmas tree together while listening to Mitch Miller & the Gang and afterwards watching “White Christmas” while drinking hot chocolate.  Watching “The Gathering” with my mom & dad – the other kids don’t really like this particular Christmas movie – and all of us getting teary-eyed at the end while trying to hide it from each other so we don’t look like big babies.  Baking and then decorating about a million Christmas cookies.  I love it all.

Christmas is a little different now that I live in Washington.  I don’t always get to participate in all the traditions, especially decorating the tree (which is the one I probably miss the most).  However, it makes me excited about one day having a family of my own with whom I can share these traditions and make traditions of our own.

This year I get to include Matthew in the cookie decorating holiday tradition after we fly to TX for Christmas, which is super exciting.  In the meantime, though, I’m going to decorate some Christmas cookies with the cutest 2-year-old and 4-year-old I know.  They just came out of the oven (and some of them straight into tummies), and now I’m waiting for nap time to end so that Operation Frosting and Sprinkles can commence.

Yum.  Can’t wait.  🙂




19 Nov

I realized that I’m way past due for giving you guys an update.  (*Note: I know I say this in a lot all of my blog posts – definitely needs to be will be remedied.)

Anyhow, I’m doing pretty grand right now.  I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away.  Where have the last couple of months gone?!  Before you know it, we’ll be heading into Christmas (my personal fave)!

Speaking of Christmas…BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  Are you ready for it?  Are you sure?  Absolutely positively?  Absotively posolutely?  Okay, okay – don’t get pushy.

Matthew’s coming home to Texas with me for Christmas!

Did you have to read it twice because you were so excited?  I know, me too.  We’ll be in Texas Dec. 22nd through the 29th, and we’re both super excited.  🙂  He’ll get to meet the ENTIRE family on my mom’s side, which should be fun, and I hope to introduce him to a couple of my TX friends too.  And I can’t wait to include Matthew in all of our fun family traditions, including decorating Christmas cookies while listening to a little bit of Mitch Miller & the Gang.  Oh bliss.

My trip to TX back in Oct was fantastic – the perfect little vacation.  And my next day back to work upon my return I was promoted!  So lots of big things happening for me.  (Here’s a little eye candy of me and my Texi-boy for you – can’t wait to see him in Dec too.)

I should also tell you that after a year + working for Youth Missions International, my time there has come to an end.  It was a very natural end for both me and the organization.  The promotion at my other job just made it too difficult for me to try to do both.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of that wonderful ministry and look forward to helping out in any way I can, whether through volunteering and/or financial support.

On to other things now…Several months ago Jessica and I decided to decoupage Mattie’s ceiling fan to match her bedspread after I saw this tutorial on one of my favorite craft blogs.  And I finally got some decent pictures in some decent lighting.  So for your viewing pleasure (click the pic to zoom in):

Each blade is different (obviously) with an “applique” on each one to match some of the objects on her bedspread from Pottery Barn Kids.  I free-handed them and was pretty impressed, if I do say so myself.  😉  It was a really fun project, and I’ve become completely addicted to Mod Podge projects.

And now I feel like I’ve blog-vomited all over the place with all of these different things going on, but so much has happened – which means there’s lots to share!  These next couple of weeks are going to be B-U-S-Y for me, but I’ll try to get an update in here every once in a while.  Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

“Here, Llama!”

4 Oct

Oh how time flies!  And so will I very soon.  October 13th, to be exact.  That’s right – I’m flying to TX for a short – 5 day – visit home with my family (and maybe a dentist appointment)!  I’m unbelievably excited about seeing my family (and hopefully some friends too).  It’s been way too long since my last visit home.  So if you’re a TX friend or family member of mine, let me know if you want to try to catch up while I’m home.   I fly in the 13th and leave the 18th.

In other news, IT’S FALL!  Oh how I love fall – the brisk weather, the color-changing of nature, the pumpkin carving.  All of it.  I’m in love with fall.  To usher in the month of October (and autumn), Matthew and I spent Friday night at his high school’s football game cheering on the South Kitsap Wolves.  It was muy fun, even though the wolves lost (*sad face*).  Then Saturday we went to a local, fall fair where there was pumpkin-carving, yummy fall foods to eat, and other seasonal activities.  Matthew and I made a “nature frame” (a cardboard frame to which we glued stuff from nature, like leaves and moss).  We also ran into some good friends there and enjoyed chatting with them while their 2-year-old son fed a llama.  Here’s a pic of Matthew and me from our adventure, as well as said 2-year-0ld feeding the llama with Matthew (click the pics to see bigger images):

And, as you may have noticed in the picture, I cut my hair.  Like big-time.  I probably lost 7 or 8 inches off my mane.  I had no trouble parting with my mess.  After the deed was done I was a little uncertain about it since I haven’t seen so little hair on my head in years.  However, it has definitely grown on me (not literally – thank goodness), and I’m loving it.  And I’m loving how much $$ I’ll save on shampoo and conditioner!

So that’s my life right now.  I’m doing great – just looking forward to visiting home.  It’s definitely a much-needed trip.  I’ll be sure to let you know how my trip goes!

So Big, So Strong, So Mighty

28 Aug

This last week has been awesome (for the most part). Summer camp at work ended two Fridays ago, which meant we had no kids at work this week – woohoo!

But the most exciting part is that Matthew and I had the same days off. To most people this isn’t a big deal (at least not big enough to blog about). But to us it’s HUGE. Matthew and I normally work very different schedules leaving us with different days off…and it’s frustrating. So when we got the same days off this week, we weren’t even sure what to do with our time together!

We ended up going to some parks and enjoying the beautiful weather one of the days, which included a delightful, impromptu picnic (and me getting us slightly lost – oops). The second day was spent entirely with Matthew’s brother and his family, who we haven’t seen in a while, up in Renton, WA. We also got to enjoy Sonic for the first time in a year because we finally got one close to us!

It was so nice being able to have 2 consecutive, FULL days to spend with Matthew. What a rare treasure that is for us.

But I hear that all good things must come to an end – and come to an end it did. We both had to go back to work the next day. I love getting all that time with Chewie (Matthew’s nickname), but the more time we’re together, the harder it is to head back to work when it’s over.

Too bad that it’s just a part of growing up – something I’m becoming less and less fond of as of late. 😉 When people used to tell me that being an adult is hard, I never – never – would have imagined it being as hard as it actually is. I think the biggest thing that gets me through is knowing that I don’t rely on my own strength – thank goodness.

After Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and God destroyed their enemies, they sang this song (Ex.15:1-3):

1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD : “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.

2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

Verse 2 is really what I’m feeling right now. Just like Moses and the Israelites wouldn’t have been able to conquer their enemies without the Lord’s strength, I wouldn’t be able to get through grown-up life (or anything, for that matter) on my own strength. I am so glad that my God is bigger than I am (or ever will be). And I’m so glad that I can rely on him through all of the tough grown-up stuff. What a joy it is to be his child!

“My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do…for YOU!”