Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Hiatus

Gonna take a summer hiatus.
To just be. 
Be with my kids.
Be with my friends. 
Be present. 

% tips to Help you Be Present for your kids

Clear your mind here

have a wonderful summer! 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

be YOU tiful sign & whiteboard gifts

In some ways the end of May has the overtones of Christmas; parties, formal celebrations, traditions, and presents! While our immediate family didn't celebrate any big graduations we had four teachers to gift for and I had the end of MOPS, which includes a Favorite Things gift exchange for Of course I wanted to be crafty and upcycle and a whole month to prepare seemed feasible, and then all three kids came down with a low grade fever and had to miss school. :(

Time management took a flying leap out the window as I tackled these homemade-with-love-gifts. Forget housework. Forget dishes. Forget changing out of my pajamas. Totally could rename my blog "Crafting instead of Housework."

And showering regularly is overrated, right?  
A nurse's shower. #Autoclave #Nurses #NurseHumor

Last year, for our Favorite Things, I gave out coffee singles and hot cocoa packets, which are still favorites but I wanted to give something more substantial and meaningful. Our MOPS theme this year was "A Beautiful Mess." Part of this included seeing ourselves as beautiful. While "be YOU tiful"  isn't a very original idea, it fit the theme and gave me a chance to create signs from paint sticks. Oh, and to practice my favorite weathered wood technique from Cherished Bliss.

mix-n-matched acrylic paints for the hand painted letters
made doubles of some color combos

I was hoping there would be an extra leftover for myself....but some wanted two! I'll take the complement 
and then go home and make another one. It would be perfect above my full length mirror where I most need the encouraging reminder.

dark walnut stain

 weathered wood technique from Cherished Bliss

spray painted back of signs to cover store logo
then, twine Gorilla-glued on as a hanger 

Anyways, from the Dollar Store and craft stash I made these adorable dry erase message boards for my son's teachers. (Yes, plural. Two aides who rotate through + the teacher.) My only regret is that I didn't make one for myself. 

The marker/eraser canister was made similar to a chalk holder for my fridge. Supplies pictured below. For the whiteboard, ribbon was hot glued around. The tricky part was pattern matching the two ribbon strips, but the guazey bow distracts enough from any errors.

Marker holder hot glued to frame.

A square of rolled turquoise fleece is the eraser, and a lovely pop of color. 

My favorite thing about making gifts for others is that I get to play around with colors and patterns that I wouldn't normally use for myself. Its a fun break from the "usual" craft supplies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sweet Little Side Table

This is as close to a wordless Wednesday as I'll ever get. 

Can I tell you how much I adore the legs on this table? They are my favorite part of this darling little garage sale find. 

$1 Garage Sale Find

that hideous busted basket is going in the trash! 

homemade chalk paint
some distressing

click here to see this recipe of DIY stain

color variations between
stained and unstained


part of the "mudroom"

click here to see the mudroom bench transformation

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rainbow & Free Dollhouse

I was inspired by the rainbow wall in Primitive & Proper's American girl nook. A perfect mural idea for my Rainbow Dash lover. Click over for a great tutorial on how-to.

before            &                    after
I think I might love her room more than she does! Its colorful, its fun, and its totally personalized to her. 

Can you believe this dollhouse was next to the trashcan on trash day? Ok, its a bit old and dated, but its structurally sound, easily cleaned up, and works like a charm for my daughter's playdates. Its also a great shelf for her lamp, clock, and random toys.

My son asked if I could paint something on his wall next. 
Sure, I said, what would you like?
A jumping robot. 
uh, k???? 
(this mommy can paint between painters tape, might need a lesson or two to get a proper jumping robot, lol  Or maybe I can talk him into something simpler, like a sun. Or just get more glow in the dark stars.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ladybugs & Lilies

Winter stubbornly refuses to leave.  Monday after Mother's Day brought a 2 hour delay for school due to the snow and ice. Three days later and its still snowing in spurts. 

Fine then, mother nature, I'll have my own spring indoors.  

I'll have some ladybugs mixed in with my mother's day lilies, thank you very much.
(thank you, dear husband, for the beautiful flowers, they made my day)

folding chair was a curb discard = FREE (& ugly & dirty)
padding needed washing
 added an extra square of egg crate for more cushion for my cushion (not that it needs it, lol) 

the lady bug fabric was a remnant bin find
the remnant bin is a frequent stop on my Walmart circuit, ya never know what goodies are waiting

This chair needs to be functional for outside & for kids, so I 
sealed the fabric with Mod Podge Outdoors.
I would have tried Mod Podge Fabric, but Hobby Lobby was out. 
Since I haven't used either I'm not sure if one would work better against melting Popsicles, spilled lemonade, and wet-swim-suit-covered-bottoms.

the bright flash shows how the Mod Podge Outdoor 
dries with a slight shiny gloss
this is one coat, thickly applied

The chair frame was painted with homemade chalk-paint in Behr's Licorice Red. I wasn't too wild about the matte finish, just didn't mesh well with the funness (sure, that's a word) of the fabric, so I added a couple coats of metallic acrylic paint. Much better. 
Sealed frame with polyurethane.

 Thank you to my lovely assistant for modeling the chairs side view. 

I wish you could smell these through the screen. Its wonderful. I like walking into my kitchen/dining room and catching a hint of lilies in the air. (This is an unintended perk of an open-concept floor plan.)

 Almost better than the smell of coffee. Almost

Hopefully Spring will edge out winter for good sooner rather than later. I look forward to adding this chair to our deck furniture. It'll be a hit with the kiddos and their friends, that is if I care to share it! It turned out so cute and the added egg crate does make it rather comfy for a folding chair. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Trashed Sofa Table to Mudroom Bench

 After dropping my daughter off at school I cut through the neighborhoods on the way home. From the backseat I hear a whiny, "Not treasure hunting again!" from my son. 

Oh yes, we are treasure hunting! These neighbors throw out great stuff!

 Like this sofa table. 

Its sturdy, not-from-Ikea-quality.

Has some water damage, but that's minor. 

It needed a good scrubbing and vinegar bath (water damage leads to mold which had to be killed and sanded off Click here for mold removal tips). 

I chopped the legs down to about 17 inches tall. With the padding added it should give the bench a height of 18-19 inches. Perfect.

I mixed up a custom color from paint on hand using my fave chalk paint recipe from Elizabeth & Co.
Love this fun duck cloth from Hobby Lobby. It was easy to use the pattern as a guide to make sure the finished product had an even look.

 Its about the length of a four and a half year old.
Its sturdy, securely holds myself and kids, roughly 240 pounds.

Some light distressing. 
After curing for a couple days, sealed with polycrylic.

These drawers are perfect for gloves, hats, and scarves. 
The basket was a $4 dollar garage sale find. Score! 

Here's a pic from the door. Ever a "sofa table" its backed up against the couch to create a "mudroom." 
The "mudroom" is still in progress and this bench helps so much in the creation of it. 

(The accent table makeover in the corner will be posted soon.)

hmmmm, a bonus piece
the bottom portion of the table
what to use it for? 

Proudly featured here!
4 You With Love & here, too!! Photobucket
& again:    and more feature lovin':Photobucket

& here: Elizabeth and Co.

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