Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Repurposed Old Wood Canvas Pictures

Since I assume that my younger cousin's do not use the internet enough to read my blog or know how to find it - I assume this is safe to post.

Abby, Emma: If you are reading this - you better stop!! ;)

Earlier this year on one of my thrift store trips, I found these urgly (yes, urgly) pictures & didn't pay very much for them. I knew they would work for some photo Christmas gifts when the time came & I was absolutely right.

I wanted to give my cousins (aka my peas in a pod) something personal that I made for them so I used pictures that I took of them earlier this year and decided to coordinate it to their individual bedrooms.

  • I painted the thick sides of the frames
  • I covered & trimmed each with some scrapbook paper and used Mod Podge to adhere it
  • I used the Mod Podge again to attach the pictures
  • I used Paper Glaze to coat the top & give it a glossy top coat
It was pretty simple & I'm glad I grabbed those canvases earlier this year...I really enjoy making presents for people. I've made a handful more presents but I can't post them until after Christmas because those people might actually read my blog.

My goal is to get everything created, bought, & wrapped before December starts so the countdown frenzy is on!


23 Days of Kindness

It's that time of year again! CHRISTMAS! I love, love, love, love Christmas. Love it.

You know what else it's time for?

23 Days of Kindness

Last year I was inspired to do 24 Days of Kindness from Dec. 1-Dec. 24 after finding myself stresesed out every December over presents & seeing that over the years Christmas has turned into a giant commercialized, selfish, & pride centered holiday. I can only see your face now....your all like WHAT?! Please, stop me where I'm wrong:

 We want the best toys/newest electronics/cutest clothes/etc. We fret about what to get and what we will get. We even trample people the day after Thanksgiving to get it. (I secretly like Black Friday. Just for the shopping & deals - I don't like the cranky attitudes.) We are too prideful to admit that we cannot afford to keep up with everything & everyone so we go into debt to buy Christmas presents
Am I right or am I wrong?
(Please note: Before I offend someone, I don't mean everyone of  you do this. I am referring to society in general.)

For me, I want Christmas to truly be about what I feel is important. God sent his Son to be born among us, to live among us, and to ultimately give us the greatest sacrifice we will ever receive that we could never repay. It could have never started without the birth of Christ.I also want to be truly grateful & give to others without the requirement of receiving anything in return. I know that the majority of us always receive something in return but would you have the same mindset about gift giving if you weren't receiving anything back? The gift giving part of Christmas is to me inspired by the wisemen who gifted the infant Christ who they had never met, who couldn't give gifts in return, & who had yet to do anything for them.

So why can't we do that? From Dec. 1st to Dec. 23, I challenge you to do something nice for someone you don't know everyday. (If you would like to, you can also do kind things for those you know.)  

I'm posting this early so you have time to think about some of the things you could do. Here is a quick basic list:
  • Pay for the person in the fast food or coffee shop line behind you
  • Give a store giftcard to a random person (Walmart, Target, grocery)
  • Donate to a food bank or homeless shelter
  • Buy breakfast for a co-worker
  • Leave a generous tip for your waiter/waitress 
  • Bring Christmas cards or poinsettias to a patient @ a nursing home
  • bake cookies/goodies for your local police/fire deparment to show your thanks & support
  • put baked good on your neighbors doors 
Or other non-monetary tasks...
  • donate books you no longer read to the library
  • be a polite driver for a day
  • let someone in line in front of you
  • babysit for a couple who doesn't get to go out much
  • helping someone who needs it with home/yard work
  • print coupons for good deals/toys and hand them to someone in a store or leave them with the item
Really, just let it flow. Plan some. Make some spontaneous. Either way, do it with the spirit of giving & love. Leave handwritten notes explaining this was a random act of kindness. Encourage those who can to pay it forward.If you can't do all the days, don't fret - do what you can.

I encourage you to share this with others & participate. Don't just read this & think "mmm, that's a really nice thing. I'm glad people will do that." YOU DO IT. If you have kids, get them involved - make it a family effort.

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. 
Proverbs 11:25  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Literary Junkie's #1

I saw this Literary Junkie's linky party via another blog & I got excited about. I love to read. Like...seriously love it. It's my number one favorite hobby ever. If you like reading, then go over & check it out. Follow the gals & find some new reading friends!
Goings on in Texas

I'm excited to be able to connect with other readers. I can find new books & be all like "OMG" about current books with people who don't think I'm a total nerd.

Wait, I am a total nerd.

Anywho - here we go:

1) What book are you currently reading? Give us a little synopsis and your review.
I actually just finished a book & haven't started a new one. I devour books in 1-2 evenings if they aren't like ridiculously long so I haven't picked up a new one yet. The one I just finished was "Redeeming Love" by by Francine Rivers. Amazing book. It came highly recommended by several people so I decided to give it a try. The book has a Hosea/Gomer biblical theme going on (God tells the main guy to marry a prostitute who has no trust & no desire to marry him) I thought it sounded a little cheesy when someone first told me about it but once a few more people mentioned it I decided to give it a try. So glad I did - it's such a beautiful love story & well written book.

2) What are your 3 favorite books of all time?

Wowsers. This is hard. Do you know how many books I've read?! A whole lot. Here are three of my favorites....I honestly don't know if they are my all time favorites or not but I'll say they are for now.
  • The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (which is technically 7 with another on the way)
  • Game of Thrones series George R.R. Martin (again, multiple book series with more on the way)
  • The Stephanie Plum Novels by Janet Evanovich (yup, multiple books) Perfect reminder - the 19th book just came out today.

3) What is your "approach" upon entering a bookstore? Where do you immediately head after entering through the front door?

 I have a Kindle. *gasp* I don't go to the bookstore. BUT if I was to go to the bookstore, I would usually head straight towards the fiction. I honestly know what I'm going for most of the time.

I think I'm going to buy a new book now....

Friday, November 16, 2012

Boy Name Meaning Picture

It's a quickie but I loves it:

It's inspired by some I've seen on Etsy/blogs but am too cheap to pay for. This cost me $0.
  • I used PicMonkey to create a collage and add the text/art. I then printed it on on heavy cardstock in a 5x7 format. 
  • Lucky me had a spare basic black 5x7 frame and blue craft paint
You like?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stocking Holders (No Mantle Solution)

I wanted to hang stockings this year. Problem is, I don't have a mantle.  I wish I had onee but I don't so I accept it and just drool over other people's adorable seasonally decorated mantles.

The good news is I have a pretty easy, cheap, & simple solution for hanging stockings for those of us who don't have a mantle.

You'll need
  • Wooden Plaques from Michaels/Hobby Lobby. I used 4x4" and I think they were 59 cents each. I got 4 plaques & had a 25% off coupon so I paid less than $2 for all 4.
  • Small letters. I got some red glittery ones at Michael's on clearance for 79 cents each. You could get plain wood ones & decorate/paint them as you wanted, too.
  • Scrapbook paper. I got 2 sheets for $1 just in case I messed up when cutting (which I did.)
  • Craft paint & a brush (I already had both on hand so that didn't cost me anything but both items are relatively inexpensive.)
  • First, paint the edges of the wooden plaques. 
  • Once the paint has dried, use Mod Podge to glue the scrapbook paper onto the plaque 
  • Next, use scissors or a a razor knife to trim the scrapbook paper. Try not to get frustrated when you cut the paper crooked. You should probably try not to say words that your child will overhear & repeat; especially naughty ones.
  • Coat the scrapbook paper with another layer of Mod Podge

  • Forget to take more pictures
  • Use Mod Podge again (or Super Glue) to attach the letter to each plaque
  • Drive a small nail into the corner
I used Command Strips to hang them. I'll probably have to get another pack next year to rehang them but I didn't want 4 unnecessary holes in my wall.

 Total cost for plaques: around $6 (the entire thing was around $20 with the stockings. I used mini stockings that were on sale at Target instead of regular sized ones. I have some cheapy ones that I actually stuff.) 

It makes my living room feel a little more Christmasy now. Time to put the tree up this weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I have a real family. And we are real weird.

Just in case I've mislead anyone to believe that I am some perfect normal person with a normal family in a always wonderfully decorated/organized/clean home or something along those lines: here is proof we're not. Actually, my house is always clean and is pretty well organized because I like a clean organized house. It's not a discipline thing - it's more of an OCD thing. My family though; we're totally not normal and we're kind of weird.

Here are the real, unedited, unforced, unnormal, behind the scenes pictures from our attempt at a family photo shoot.
I was defeated.
I don't even know where my other child is in this one.

 Thanks to my wonderful sister for helping out with the picture taking. Chins up, sister. (Don't worry - I'll never leak the chins down picture.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Paint (review)

When I kind of get to the "finishing stages" of a room where I just need some stuff I'm waiting to spend the $$ on, I usually choose a new room to tackle.

New rooms to tackle: the kid's playroom & bathroom.

I recently participated in a BzzCampaign for Benjamin Moore's Aura Waterborne Interior Paint to exchange my honest review of the product for a free gallon of paint and other goodies. This came up at the perfect time since one of the main things I needed to do first was paint.


Bathroom Before
I actually like the color of the bathroom & room but since the rooms are shifting focus and function, the look needs to changed. I wanted something that would be soothing for a bathroom & hopefully soothing enough to keep my kid's from totally destroying their playroom. I chose the color "Solitude" in Satin from the Affinity color line at my local Benjamin Moore retailer. It's a pretty blue-grey that I really love.

 Some of the properties of the Aura Waterborne are:
  • Never requires more than 2 coats in any colour
  • Mildew resistant
  • Colour Lock technology for exceptional colour
  • Colours don't rub off when cleaning
  • Stains wash off easily
  • Easy application
  • Paint and primer together
  • Seamless touch-ups
  • Excellent in high-traffic areas
  • Long-lasting, fresh look
  • Easy cleanup 
The items bolded are the items that I positively agree with. It gave me smooth, even, quick coverage in only one coat with minimal odor. The color is beautiful & fresh. I really don't doubt that overtime it will prove to be mildew resistant, easy to wash, & a great for the bathroom.

It's a much better & much more bathroom friendly color, isn't it?! I plan on using the Aura in the same color to paint the kid's playroom so I'll hopefully get to finish that soon. Also, if anyone is interested in receiving a $5 off coupon, just e-mail me through my link & I'll send one out to you.

***Please note: I recieved a free gallon of paint, a small can of white, & $5 off coupons to honestly review my opinion of Benjamin Moore's Auro Waterborne Paint. This opinions I give are 100% mine.***

Friday, November 2, 2012

Master Bedroom Progress

Our bedroom is finished...mostly. It has been for awhile BUT I'm still searching for the perfect comforter for our bed at the perfect price AND I need to get a new ceiling fan. (I feel like I'm trying to pull Excalibur out of the stone.) I haven't wanted to post the overhaul because I felt like it had to be "perfect" before I did. Erm, but I'm not perfect & neither is my house so let's get on with it....

Here's the deal: This room used to be the boys room/playroom. This room also has an extra few feet & double closets. Momma got stingy & took it over.

This "before" picture was an afterthought as the paint process began.

This is the overview of the after (minus a new light fixture & comforter)

We painted obviously. I wanted a charcoal color to accent around the closets & a light gray for the room. This room is a little different than the rest of the house because I have a mix of colors & furniture - (White, black, blue, grey, & wood) - but I like it.

I created a "sitting area" where the closet is. 

 I secretly store all my books in the suitcases. A: It hides them because there are too many and B: it keeps Zeke from being able to move the suitcases.

Notice my penchant for elephants:

Thrift store glasses & tealights and Modcloth Jungle Hook.

Here's a rundown of the different projects that went into the room:
  1. Headboard Frame
  2. Footstool 
  3. Dresser
  4. Side Table
  5. Lamp
  6. His & Hers Closet Sign
  7. Chair
  8. Jewelry Holder Shelf
There was other assorted decorating like painting the nightstand to match the dresser, the leaning mirror & suitcases, putting pictures of my actual family in the empty frames, adding a fresh plant, & some tweaking I've done even since I have taken these photos.

There is still work to be done here & there. I need some wall art & I would like some curtains/window scarfs to soften up the window edges. Yes, a new ceiling fan & comforter, too.

So, what do you think about the mix of furniture colors? Too much? Just right? Too many elephants? ;)

Quick Chair Recover

There really isn't much to say in this post.

A: I found this chair for $1 at a thrift store.

B: I covered it in fabric to match my footstool.

The end. :)