Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dollar Store Fall Wreath

I saw this rectangular wreath online and thought that it was so cute and unique and wanted to make my own.

So, I stopped at Dollar Tree and bought 6 packages of leaf garland and then went home and took the left over foam board that I had from the custom bulletin board project, and made a frame that I just pieced together with hot glue.

I cut off all of the leaves, from the garland and then set them in a big pile to pull from. One by one, I went around the edges and hot glued leaves to the frame.

I made sure to let some of the leaves hang over the frame so it wasn't so straight lined.

This actually goes very quickly once you get started.

This is after its done. It still needed something...

I had some left over rafia from the nursery letters, so I added a bow to the hanger.

Then I hung it up. This wreath is for the side door, that is on the front porch.

Please excuse the horrible pictures - they are all from my cell phone and this one was at about 5:30 in the morning - there isn't a lot of light that time of the morning!

I still wasn't thrilled with how it was looking, so I took it down to try to figure something else out. D told me "it looks more like a frame than a wreath, I think you need to add something to it". Let me just tell you - its a sad state of affairs when D starts giving me crafting advise. I knew that it looked bad.

I was able to get some picks with some gourds, pears, pumpkins, and berries on them at Hobby Lobby while they were half off. They were normally $2 each, so I got 3 picks for $3.

I added a little something to each corner and I think it's starting to look more like a wreath.
I have another idea for it, that I will share tomorrow...
Until then - Fall blessings,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tell Me About It Tuesday - About Me

I have been thinking and realized that I started my blog for a lot of different reasons – to document what goes on in our lives, to allow our family and friends to keep up with our day–to-day activities, to share tips and tricks while learning new things from others bloggers, and to meet other women. I had been reading a couple of blogs for awhile and one day just decided I wanted to start my own. I didn’t introduce myself or explain anything about myself – I just picked it up and ran with it. Now that I’m a regular blogger, I would like to take the time to tell you a little about myself. After all, it is my blog! My friend Amanda and I are starting “Tell me about it Tuesdays”, where we tell something about ourselves each week. Not all of them will be important – not all of them will be interesting, but all of them will be real! I hope you’ll decide to join us and let us know a little more about each of you.

We are going to start this off by telling you about ourselves... The basics - I'm 28, married (3 years in a couple of months), with no children and one very spoiled doggie. I have two sisters, one older and one younger and a wonderful mother who is my very best friend. My dad died 7 months before I got married, at the age of 58, but is still and forever will be my hero. I grew up in Houston, moved to Waller right before 7th grade and then moved back to Houston after college. I attended Sam Houston State University (SHSU) but quit just short of graduation (I have about 30 hours left). I catch a lot of flack for not finishing, and I plan on returning one of these days. My husband and I moved back to Waller this year and are living just down the street from my parents old house. I work in Houston at a laboratory construction company as the Division Administrator which is pretty much a glorified way of saying "Office Manager" though I wear many hats that include Human Resources, and Marketing. I enjoy what I do and like to think that I'm good at it. I like to spend my free time with friends and family. I also enjoy reading, crafting or watching tv (guilty pleasure). The only bad part about that is that I don't have a lot of free time (do any of us these days). I am a self-proclaimed "sucker" - I get suckered into all kinds of things, all the time - even if I know up front that I don't want to do them. I hate to disappoint, so I agree to do way too many things (hence the lack of free time). A little more about "me"... I don’t believe in assumptions. I think that your name should precede you. I can’t stand unnecessary noise (tapping, drumming, and pen clicking) – it makes me crazy. I’m addicted to "Fresh Ink" cards. I love to bake. I'm married to the love of my life. I wish I could be like Martha Stewart (minus the jail thing). My family means the world to me. My favorite color is red because it makes me feel good. I am extremely organized at work, and not so much at home. My mom is my very best friend and always will be. The volume on my radio has to be set to an even number or I can't stop thinking about it until I change it. Chances are, I'll change yours too. It's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be. I honestly believe that pantyhose are the devil. I love any cocktail that is blue and frozen! I talk to people I just meet. I believe in planning for the future but living in the present. I love all types of flowers. I’ve made some bad decisions in my life but I am grateful for the learning experiences. My middle name is Rae. I’m addicted to Nine West shoes. I love the fact that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. I'm a Christian and was baptised Lutheran. I adore those really big sunglasses (with rhinestones), but hate that Darren says it makes me look like a bug! "Precious Memories" by Alan Jackson is probably my all time favorite cd. I think we all have a purpose, even if we don’t know what it is (yet). I want to be a mom, more than anything in the world. I'm creative - when I want to be. I love to go fishing with Darren but I don’t bait my own hook and I don’t take the fish off because that part freaks me out. I re-use gift bags and tissue paper, not because I’m cheap but because I’m resourceful. I think the best way to lead is by example. I’m not big on dresses and skirts; I’m more of an old faded blue jeans kind of girl. I love to get mail. Mopping the floors is the chore I dread the most. If you ask my opinion, I will give it to you - I will not tell you what you want to hear. My dad will always be my number one hero. I think that the song “The Good Die Young” has some truth to it. People that don’t send thank you notes completely un-nerve me (for weddings, babies and showers) – I did something nice for you; the least you can do is say thank you. I live for a great bargain! Fall is my absolute favorite season – I love the colors and the smell and the way it reminds me of family and God and all of our blessings. I don't agree with involving people in the arguements between you and your spouse. Save it for Jerry! I think that you should always stand up for what you believe in. I think your handshake tells a lot about you. I love warm towels, right out of the dryer. I don’t like for people to see me cry. I love a variety of music. Well, except house and trance and heavy metal - that's just trash! It drives me crazy when people are all over you in line – back up and wait your turn, just like I did! Law and Order & Grey’s Anatomy are my favorite shows! I'm a control freak. I used to believe you only fell in love with a person once, but now I know that's not true - I fall in love with my husband, all over again - everyday. I think children should be taught manners and I don’t think making them behave or spanking them “damages” them. I thank God every day, that He hasn't given me all that I have asked for. I hate to see people mistreated and always root for the underdog. I prefer country living rather than city life. I adore "to-do" lists and feel so productive when I get to cross things off of them. There is nothing better than a good home cooked meal other than a good home cooked meal I didn’t have to cook (or clean up after). Like it or not, first impressions last a lifetime. I love pictures. There are few things I hate more than shaving my legs. My favorite part of the day is when D and I lay down to sleep - the conversations and kisses that only him and I share - it just makes everything else seem so small. I believe that learning to forgive takes practice. I love romantic comedies, even if you already know how it's going to end. I can’t stand drama in my life, but I love watching it on television! I pray every day. I smile at myself in the mirror while getting ready (and Darren makes fun of me for doing it)! Having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world and I can’t wait for the day that I get to experience that with a child of my own. Ice cream is my favorite food, even though I’m lactose intolerant. I know for a fact that no matter how much it hurts, the world doesn’t stop because you are grieving. If I sleep past 9:00am I get a headache that I can’t get rid of, no matter how much Tylenol I take. I don’t think credentials make the person. I love how excited Coco is to see me when I get home - that's a wonderful ending to a day. I’m obsessed with kitchen gadgets. Everyone has their own political views but I don’t think they should be shoved down each other’s throats. I’d like to be my own boss one day. Ironically, the less time I have to work with, the more I get done. I still believe that no matter how old I get - my mom can make everything "all better". I adore Sunday dinner with the family and wish we could do it more frequently. I don’t believe in being mean when arguing; you can apologize but you can never take back the hurt you may cause. I hate pumping gas!! I think that money is a really lousy way of keeping score. I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t like children or animals. I love to read suspense novels and psychological thrillers. I don’t pretend to be anything that I’m not. I’m just me! I hope you'll join us every Tuesday! Next week we'll be telling you all about our spouses/significant others. Join us at "Tell Me About it Tuesdays":

Monday, September 27, 2010

Country Sign In Book

I have looked everywhere to find a sign-in book for Bridgett's shower (if you can't tell already I'm the head hostess). I know that she can use her baby book, but it's a Pooh book and we've been looking for a western one and I don't want all these signatures to be in a Pooh book if she finds a western one she likes and wants to switch all of her stuff over. Anyhow - the point of the matter is - it's almost impossible to find a western/country guest book or baby book that is less than $100 and I think that is just ridiculous so I decided that I would just make my own.

I started out with this little brown (cardboard like) book, filled with brown (butcher paper like) paper. It was tied with a cream colored ribbon and showed a multitude of potential!
I took the ribbon off and the paper out (its just secured in there with the ribbon), and started with the cover...
I started with some blue jean scrapbook and some spray adhesive glue. I spray glued the inside cover of the book, lined up the paper and then pressed it down to smooth it out.

I pulled the paper tightly (to avoid wrinkles) and folded it over onto the front, sprayed the front cover and smoothed the paper out.

This is what it looked like when I finished that. I did the same thing with the back cover.

This is what it looked like when I got finished covering it. I needed to punch holes in the scrapbook paper so that I could thread the ribbon back through, so I used my Xacto knife to punch little tiny holes where the old holes used to be.

Then I dug through all of my stuff, until I found these eyelets. I used the dark silver ones, and centered them over the tiny little holes I left myself.

To set eyelets you need a small (scrapbooking) hammer and an eyelet setter.

You position the eyelet where you want it to be, and hammer it down. Make sure you have something underneath your project. I use a mat so that it isn't as loud.
As you hammer, the eyelet buries itself and the base of it starts to open up which secures itself.

This is what it looked like when I had both eyelets set.

All four of them set.

I decided to forego the ribbon and use some of the rafia that I had left over from the nursery letters. The rafia was hard to thread - I had to do it piece by piece.

Before I tied it all up and called it a day - I decided that I didn't like the plain pages the way that they were - they hung a little past the cover, so I got out my corner punch and went through and punched all of the corners off of the pages, to make them rounded.

This is how all of the pages look now - I like it much better.

This is currently what I have for the sign-in book. I like it much better than what I started with. I think it goes well with her theme and will coordinate really well with the decor of the shower.
I'm not completely finished - I still have some more ideas for it. I'll post more if I ever get around to doing anything else with it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Custom Nursery Letters - Part 2 (The Reveal)

I was really bad about taking "during" pictures of this craft project, but I have quite a few afters to share...

All of the letters (except one) are covered with scrapbook paper. I bought coordinating paint and painted all of the backs, sides and edges so that there wouldn't be any raw edges. I bought this little wooden star at Michael's for 99 cents and bought some antique gold paint and painted it. I originally wrote "Sheriff" on it, and then changed it to "Sheriff Clay" and decided that I didn't like either so I spent some time re-painting it (like 4 more times to cover it up) and decided that I liked it best plain. I just hot glued it onto the C.

The accents in Clayton's nursery are going to be red and blue bandana print so I thought it would go well.

I was really excited when I originally saw this bandana print "cowboy" sticker and I just knew that it would be really cute on a red letter. I am not thrilled with how this letter turned out. Its much easier to read in person, which helps some but I don't think the red on red turned out as well as I had hoped. The red paper is textured, and I added the "Wild Wild West" sticker just to break up the red a little. Both of the embellishments are hot glued on.

This was the simplest and quickest one to do. I just covered with with an old fence patterned paper and added the black ink. I decided to leave this one plain and not add any embellishments. This one is D's favorite.

When I first decided to do the letters, this is the first idea that I had. I wanted to wrap one of the letters in jute so that it would appear to be "rope".
This, by far, was the most time consuming letter to do. It took me a little over 2 hours to get that letter wrapped. I started at the bottom of the Y with the natural jute, and hot glued it on, then I brought it to the back and hot glued, brought it to the front and hot glued and over and over again until I got up to the split. Then I had to cut the jute and start over again and wrap one side and then start back down at the "v" and then go up the other side.
Although time consuming, I'm extremely pleased with the way that this one turned out.
The T was another quick one to come together. It's covered in dark blue jean paper to match his bedding (Bridgett and her mom Jackie are making the bedding - the comforter and bumper will be dark denim material). I tied rafia around the letter and made a knot and then found a scrapbook embellishment in light and dark blue and hot glued it to the top of the knot so that it stands out some.
I was really unsure, for a long time, about what to do with the O. I wanted something that didn't match all of his bedding, but that still coordinated with it. Maybe something a little more neutral that tied in with the A and the Y, but brought a western feel to the room. I stumbled upon this paper and knew that I had to use it somehow. Even after I covered the O, I wasn't really in love with it. I went back and forth about adding something to it, but decided that it needed a little something extra. I had bought two horseshoes to use on something else but pulled them off of it and used them here. I just painted them a burnt sienna and used a paint pen to add some markings to make it a little more realistic. I hot glued them to each other and then onto the O.
The N is by far, my favorite letter. I am really pleased with the way that it turned out and how it ties the colors of his nursery to the western/cowboy theme. I started with Real Leather Craft Lace and tied a couple of knots into it to make some lassos. I put a magazine between the letter and the lace and sprayed glue all over it and then pressed it down onto the N until the glue dried. I felt like it would be easier than trying to hot glue it and not have any glue showing. The lace is pretty pliable so you can bend it and shape it pretty well I just continued to do that until I had taken it from one side to another. When I had all of the lace down, I hot glued a cowboy hat scrapbook sticker on top to finish it off.
I bought a picture hanging kit at Hobby Lobby and am going to hot glue hangers to the back so that they can hang the letters like pictures.

And the letters all together - and ready to be hung up!
In case you want to make your own - I'm figuring with supplies (paper, glue, hot glue, letters, embellishments) I made these letters for about $45.
I bought some little brown (butcher paper-like) gift bags and some red bandana print tissue paper to wrap them up in and I'm going to give them to her at her baby shower!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Custom Nursery Letters - Part 1

My sister-in-law (D's little sister) is pregnant and I wanted to do something special for Clayton's nursery so I decided to attempt to make some letters (spelling his name) to hang above his crib. I knew right off the bat that I was not going to be able to paint them - I'm just not that talented, but I thought that I could cover them with something and go that route. I couldn't find any letters that I liked so I talked D into letting me print them out and trace them on some wood and then him cut them out for me. Then - I was at Hobby Lobby and stumbled upon some giant chipboard letters that were $1.77 each - much cheaper than the wood route, so I bought all the letters that I needed.

The letters look similar to this (I forgot to take pictures at first). They are like giant scrapbook embellishments.
Then I went to the scrapbooking paper and picked out a different sheet for each letter and a few 3d scrapbook stickers to add once I got the letters all papered.

Once I was home, I turned the paper over and traced the letter then cut it out and used Elmer's spray adhesive to adhere the paper to the letters. Warning: Be careful with that spray glue! It is strong and gets everywhere, so make sure you put something down under what you are spraying.

Then I used an Xacto knife to trim all the excess paper, to make sure I had clean edges.
When I was at Hobby Lobby, I picked up a pad of black ink so that I could trim the letters with it, to add a little deminsion and possibly age them a bit.
You can see the difference with (right side) and without it (left side).
This is after I finished the whole letter. I think it makes a huge difference.
These are some of the tools that I used to finish the letters.
Come back tomorrow to see how they turned out!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bug Graveyard

This picture was taken just a few hours after I vacuumed. It looks like I never do! I don't know how she does it, but she manages to get all kinds of bugs in the house and then torture them and kill them and leave them in the living room - to show off her handywork. It makes me crazy!

Here lately, we've been stopping her at the door to try to see if she has any. Obviously, she still gets some past us but we've caught her in the act on more than one occasion with LIVE bugs in her mouth - trying to sneak them inside. I have no clue what started this, but this is a habit I'm trying very hard to break her of. Until then, I know that my living will look like some horrible bug graveyard!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My New Digs

Back in June, I moved into an office and have been working here and there to get it all fixed up. It's still a work in progress, but I wanted to share where I was so far...

This is what you see, standing in my doorway.

As you turn to the right, I have some guest chairs and a book shelf. I would like to find some older wooden chairs to re-finish and reupholster, but I haven't found any that I like.

This is what is on top of the book shelf. A plant that I found at Wal-Mart for $5, a candle that was on clearance (originally $30 and I paid $9) at Hobby Lobby, a candle stick that was on clearance (originally $15 and I paid $3) at Hobby Lobby and an engagement picture of D and I. It's hard to tell but the candlestick, the pot, and the frame are all an oil-rubbed bronze. The frame is hammered. My photography skills suck, but it looks good in person! :)

This is the corner of my desk. I found this cute little lamp at Ross for $14. Next to it sit my business cards, calculator and electric stapler - that is probably my favorite office supply. It sounds ridiculous until you get used to it - now it's a must have!

The clock that hangs on the wall to the left. I found it at Ross for $12

If you come around my desk to the left, straight in front of you (on each side of the window), hang framed map pictures I found at Kirkland's (originally $30 each and I paid $30 for BOTH of them).

Some pictures and a plant (that I'm in the process of killing), I found that pot at Wal-Mart for $7. I bought a smaller one for $5 but haven't figured out what I'm going to put in it yet. The plant thing obviously isn't working for me!

This is the other side of the world - on the other side of the window.

You don't see the key box unless you are standing right in front of it, but I had to put it somewhere. That printer is my lifeline - I would be lost without it. It sits on a printer stand that matches my desk, and it holds all my paper and stuff. I'm still trying to figure out something to hide that one cord. - Hopefully I can think of something but I'm open to suggestions!

This is in the corner of my office, looking at my desk. My new custom bulletin board is under neath that hutch, to the left of my computer.
On top of the hutch, I got that arrangement at Kirklands for $25 with a amber cracked glass fleur-de-lis finial from Hobby Lobby that I got on sale for $7. I have an amber cracked glass potpouri bowl from Kirkland's (on sale for $9) in the middle, underneath a clearance wall hanging from Hobby Lobby (that I got for $9) and on the far right side I have an amber cracked glass (see a pattern here) faux jug that I picked up at Hobby Lobby for $12 when it was 50% off. The frames I got for $5 and $3 on clearance at Kirkland's.

This is Command Central! I really like seeing this bulletin board everyday. I re-printed everything I needed to put on it, in colors that coordinated with it (its hard to tell from my pictures) but all of my notes are in sage green and cream.
That Dymo dual labeler makes my life easy breezy!
All of my pens and markers, some note pads and apparently money to the left, and my electric hole punch.
When I sit down and look to the right, I see my notebook (with Monday's to-do list) and my pen holder that doubles as a picture frame. Cute, huh?

My new amber cracked glass candy jar that I got 50% off at Hobby Lobby for $12. Its always full of m&ms and I have MANY visitors throughout the day that enjoy those little treats. This is sitting at my computer - what I see pretty much 8 hours a day. Can you tell I'm ready for Fall? And of course, I have to have some good speaker so I can listen to iTunes and I always have a diet DP near by!
So far, I've spent about $165 on decor for my new office (not calculating the countless bags of m&ms that I go through). It's still a work in progress, but I'm happy with the results so far.
Thanks for stopping by, but I have to get back to work! :)