Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Card Hanger-Upper

O.k., First, please send out a good thought for my 2010 Christmas poinsettia. Every year I plant one, and ever year it dies before Christmas. PLEASE oh please little flower, fulfill your Christmas destiny and STAY alive darn-it!!!
Now that I got that out of the way, I wanted to show you my fancy Christmas card hanger-upper thingy. ha ha. I don't know what to call it. I didn't really make a tutorial for this, and it is in no way an original idea. I've seen a few variations before and I wanted to try it out for myself. Every year I get a ton of Christmas cards with photos, and I didn't have a great spot to display them. Here's what I did: I found a frame for $5 at a thrift store. I spray painted it white, screwed in eye-hooks down the sides, zig-zagged twine all the way down, embellished it with fabric flowers and glittery letters, and ta-daa!!! That's it!! Here she is!!!
I fancied up some small clips so I can clip the cards up as I get them in the mail. All I did was brush on some Elmer's glue, and sprinkled glitter on. Simple. I watched a video tutorial on
Miss Mustard Seed's blog about making glittery letters. It was just as easy as she said it would be. A bit messy, but easy.
These are the letters I used. I got them in the craft section at Target for a dollar. They were already a bit glittery, but I wanted them to be turquoise (yes I know, MORE turquoise).
I don't have any cards to display yet, but you get the gist. Pretty, huh!? I made it so I can take the "Be Merry" off easily so it doesn't have to only be used for Christmas. It could hold recipes, photos, b-day cards, etc. My mom said she really liked it but it was a bit "beige" for her taste. What can I say, I'm in a "beige" phase. Ha ha!
It was my first attempt at making fabric flowers. I think they came out pretty good. All I did was cut a circle out of cardboard and cut fabric into strips. Then I just glued the fabric down on the circle in a circular pattern until I reached the middle.
I'm sure it will look even sweeter when it's all filled up with cards from my beautiful family members & friends. Can't wait!!!!"BE MERRY people!!!"
I'm linkin' up to tatertos & Jello :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I am Thankful.

On this day, as well as all the others, I am thankful. My cup runneth over and this in no way goes unnoticed. Ever. My heart is full. Now bring on the food & fill up my tummy!!!

I will now leave you with a song from my childhood:
"Gobble gobble gobble gobble, fat turkeys fat turkeys, gobble gobble gobble gobble, fat turkeys are we. We're not here for living, we're here for Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble gobble gobble fat turkeys are we." Ha ha. Happy Thanksgiving people!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I did my first-ever treasury on etsy last night (there was NO good tv to watch). I'm still not totally sure how it works, but I think the more clicks and comments it gets, the better the chances that it will end up on the front page of Etsy sometime. It's basically just a bunch of pretty handmade things that I picked that look pretty together. Click on it & leave a comment, k!?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good deeds - Noticed!

Good deeds never go unnoticed. They just don't. I've been thinking about it a lot lately and today I learned a valuable lesson. Don't wait to do good deeds. Do them the minute the urge strikes and don't look back. You won't regret it.

This lesson came to me today when I was joining my son Noah at his preschool Thanksgiving feast. As I arrived to the school, I saw a man in the parking lot that looked like he had fallen on hard times. He looked about my age actually. He was loading what seemed to be all of his belongings into 2 shopping carts. He had a couple of rolling suitcases, some trash bags full of clothes, and some loose items that he was carefully organizing. I wasn't the only one walking through the parking lot today, there were a bunch of us. Nobody stopped to ask if he needed a hand. Nobody really even looked at him. I felt the urge to help him in some way, but I also felt the urge to look the other way. I was running late to begin with and I wasn't sure what to do anyway so I went in and we enjoyed our lovely feast. Songs, food, hugs, it was wonderful! But, while I was enjoying the fun time with my son, I was also having a discussion deep within myself. I made the decision that if he was still out there after the feast, I was going to give that man my $10. Besides the fact that I was shocked to have a $10 bill in my wallet (I absolutely NEVER have cash), the sight of this young man with his 2 carts really stuck with me. He must have a story, everyone does, And I knew that my $10 would mean way more to him than it would to me. Sadly, as we made our way back to our car, he was gone. I felt guilty in a way because I had an opportunity to do what I knew was a kind thing, and I waited. I waited too long and he was gone and that was that.

The reason I'm rambling on about this is only to say that I want to help! I am a mother to my kids, a wife to my husband, a friend to my friends, a relative to my relatives, but I am also a citizen of this world and I want to help. It's as simple as that.

A lady named Meg writes a blog called "Whatever" and she put a call out to all of us crafty people in the world to fill the "Water for Christmas" Etsy shop with our donations to help bring clean drinking water to people in Africa. Water. Not Martinelli's or Dr.Pepper. Not Starbucks or Orange Bang. WATER. Clean drinking water.

So I packed up one of my Christmas hearts and sent it on it's way. My donation is small, but if all of us crafty people donated one $10 item, think of the good we can do.
The Water for Christmas Etsy shop will be stocked with donated items by 12/5 I believe. What a great way to spend your Christmas shopping money - giving clean drinking water to those in need. This one deed doesn't let me off the hook for the future, but I'm happy that I took advantage of the opportunity to give back when I had the chance. Geez. This post is kinda heavy. Just tryin' to tug on those heart strings a bit :) xo

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Quality Time Made Simpler"

It looked like this at our house for most of the day today. So, the kiddos and I had some quality indoor fun. I definitely love a cozy rainy Saturday filled with snacks, hide-and-seek, and snuggles. Noah insisted that we crack open the windows a bit so we could hear the rain drops. LOVE that sound!
After we put Hayden down for her nap, Noah and I decided to get crafty! The other day, my sister in law came by for a bit and she brought us some fancy supplies from her new
Christmas Tree Banner Craft Kit. I already put my order in for the full kit, but until it gets here she left us with some supplies to play around with. Noah was super excited to get started and this is a BIG deal because he's not typically much of a craft-lover.
He especially loved using the "glue spreader" to spread the glue on his tree.
Noah made the 2 blue ones for himself & daddy, and I made the pink one for Hayden. We had so much fun and it was a perfect quiet-time activity for us on a rainy day. The full kit comes with tons of supplies to decorate 12 trees which is super awesome! Starting December 1st (when our house gets fancied up for Christmas), Noah and I are going to make one tree a day until all 12 are done (our own special version of the 12 days of Christmas). We'll add them to the banner as we complete them and we'll watch our little banner grow. He already told me we have to hang it in his room, and I think it's a great idea. Once we get started, I'll take pictures of our banner in progress so you can oooh and ahhhhh along with us. I have a feeling that this banner will make it's appearance every year from now on. Christmas is all about quality time, traditions, and making memories for us and this kid kit takes care of all three. Make some fun family memories and deck your halls in the process! Perfection. Go over to Smart-bottom kids now and buy a craft kit to make your own fancy Christmas tree banner. Do it. Ha ha! Happy crafting people, xo
Oh yeah, and I'm happy to report that I made it to 20 followers!!! Woo hoo!! I know a lot of you have TONS of followers, but I'm just starting out over here and every milestone is a BIG one. Thanks followers, you are loved!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Breaking the rules.

"NEVER rip books! NEVER." I can hear my mom's voice echoing in my ears as I type those words. That was her mantra when I was growing up. "Books are precious gifts and they are NEVER supposed to be treated badly." Well, here I sit, a grown woman - BREAKING THE RULES!! Ha ha. Ok, in my defense, I got this stack of old children's book FREE at the library's used bookstore. FREE. So I gave myself permission to treat the books "badly" and give them a new life. Actually, I am not treating them badly after all. I'm saving these sad old books from the trash and reinventing them into holiday decor. You know, like Phoebe saving the dead trees from the chipper and letting them fulfill their X-mas destiny in her living room (ps, did you know that everything in life at one time or another relates to FRIENDS). Ok, getting way off track.
Apparently book pages and sheet music are "all the rage" this holiday season, so I thought I would get on the bandwagon. I decided to make ornaments, but I also think these would make really pretty gift toppers. As you continue reading, you will see the faint outline of a blog "tutorial." I put the word tutorial in quotes because I-am-awful at it. I see so many wonderful tutorials on various blogs and they make the instructions of their project look so clear and easy. For some reason, I can't get coordinated enough to make it work. So, you'll have to bear with me.
Ok. First, tear out the pages of the book that don't have illustrations on at least one side. It's ok if there are pictures on the back, you just need one side with only words. Next, fold the pages into little accordions. Some people are very precise about this and have a scoring-board and bone folder. Not me, I just wing-it.
To make a circle, I used 3 pages. Once they were folded into accordions, I folded them each in half.
Then I glued all of the ends together to make 3 fans. After that, I glued the 3 fans together to make a circle. I used my glue gun for this because it dries fast and holds well.
oooooohh. Aaahhhhhhhh.
A while back I bought this pack of white circles from Michael's. It was $1 and I knew they would come in handy for something. The small & medium sizes were perfect for this project.
Trace the circle on to a book page and cut it out (see people, in order to get this shot, I had to hold the pencil with my left hand and take the pic with my right. As you can see by the way I'm holding the the thing, I'm clearly not ambidextrous). Tutorials = HARD.
Next, I got a bit distracted and started making paper chains out of the extra pages. Isn't it cute!? This will look dandy on my X-mas tree. I know, I know. Focus.
Uh-oh. This is when my "tutorial" totally fell apart. I was so busy crafting I forgot to take pics of the remaining steps. The next thing I knew, my ornaments were done. At least it isn't rocket science and of course you know that you can always contact me if you have questions ;)
Taa-daa!!! Aren't they charming!? I really love how they came out. I basically printed out some pics of my kiddos on regular printer paper, mod podged them to the circles that were already covered in book pages (I will skip the mod podge next time. It's not really necessary and the colors from my pics ran a bit - just fyi), and hot glued the whole thing to the accordion circle. I added a bit of glitter glue around the edges of the pictures, and added a ribbon hanger to the back with hot glue. Wallah! Pretty pretties :)
I hung them on my chalkboard to display them for Thanksgiving, but ultimately they will end up on our Christmas tree. I plan to make more of these with pics of other important people in our lives. It was super easy and fun, and would make adorable gifts too. Happy crafting people!! xo
I'm linkin' up at tatertots & Jello :)
AND Sew Chatty :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free for me!

I was driving home from picking up Noah from preschool the other day and there was a detour. I was annoyed. As I screeched through the alley still lingering in my annoyedness (because I had to go out of my way a bit - Heaven forbid), I saw it. A Chair. A seriously ugly chair. BUT, this ugly chair had a FREE sign on it, which meant it was now MY seriously ugly chair. My son looked at me like I was a looney toon as I tried to shove this chair in my trunk. Remember now, this was a detour, so I wasn't the only one redirected. Most of you know that there usually isn't too much room in an alley to pull over. Yep. There I am. Shoving this seriously ugly chair in my trunk as the eighty billion cars are piling up in the alley behind me. I was finally able to make it fit, and as I screeched away, my annoydness was gone and my adrenaline was rushing. I swear. It's like a drug. The thrill of the hunt is a powerful thing. Ok, anyway, back to the chair. It was ICKY! Here is the "before" shot in all it's glory.
Eeeeeew. It was structurally sound and aside from the ugly-factor, it had pretty good lines and I could feel a "cottage-chic" vibe radiating from it. And luckily, after I heaved those gross mildew filled cushions in the trash, I remembered that I had a cushion in my garage that would be a perfect fit. Oh yeah!
Before I got to work turning this drab chair into a fab chair, my kiddos decided that they NEEDED to watch the trash truck pick up our trash cans. So, they perched on our new FREE chair and waited. The trash man is a celebrity around here. I'm pretty sure we make his day because my kids can not stop waving to him. He waves back with a smile on his face and all is right with their world :)
And here it is "After." I know what you're thinking and the answer is "no". NO - I am not going to paint everything in my house turquoise. I promise. Yes it is a color I love, but don't worry, I will practice self control and put down the can. I can do it. Ha ha. Isn't this a pretty little nook?? I think I'm in love ;)
I distressed it a bit to give it that "pulled in from the garden" look. I think it helps it not look so "electric" over there in the corner.
Cute, comfy, and FREE! Now that's my kind of chair :) XOXO (and yes, I know that annoydness isn't really a word). Ha ha.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Question: When you decorate your Christmas tree, does it have a heart ornament on it?
Answer: No.
Question: How on Earth will everyone who sees it know it was decorated with love??
Answer: Don't worry, these pretty hearts will do the trick.

According to my Nana who was very very wise, it is absolutely essential that every Christmas tree have a heart on it to show that it was decorated with love. So, it is now my mission to make sure that happens :)

I decided to expand my horizons this year and add a Christmas item to my etsy shop. I thought they would make sweet hostess gifts, teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, or really a cute gift for anyone that you love. They're perfectly packaged and ready to go. Head on over to Ooh La la Co on Etsy and check 'em out. I'm especially happy with how the packaging came out - who knew cupcake liners would make such pretty flowers!?

Go buy one people, do it!!! Ha ha, xo

Monday, November 8, 2010

Friends & a Flea

Yay for Sunday fun day - Friends & a Flea Market (2 of my other true loves). This Sunday, my sweet hubby watched the kiddos while I headed with my sis and some friends to a local flea market. It did NOT disappoint, let me tell ya! Here's some back-story for you. My twin sis and I have some flea market lingo. Ok, not really lingo, just a code word we use when we think something is overpriced (which is very often the case). Our word is "precious." Often times, we will ask the price of an item that isn't already marked. We usually have a price in our head of what it is worth to us. When the vendor throws out a price that is WAY higher than we were thinking it would be, we don't bother to haggle. We simply tell them thank you and move on (while mumbling.."way-too-precious" to each other as we walk away). Ha ha! We're no experts (like Frank or Mike from American Pickers), but we generally can tell when something is valuable. Often times flea market booths are filled with old items that have great sentimental value to the seller, but they're not really worth much money. Last time we were at a flea market, my sister actually used the word "precious" when talking to a vendor and I had to quickly walk away before I started busting up laughing. We are not meaning it to be rude in any way, it's just a funny thing we do to keep us entertained, and to soften the blow that we will not get to purchase that particular item. Sorry for the rambling ;)

This painting was my first purchase of the day and I have named it "Serendipity." Why, you ask? Well I saw this painting the last time we were there, but I passed it up. I really really liked it, but it was in the first row and I got nervous about purchasing something so early in the day. When I realized my mistake and went back to buy it, I couldn't find it. But, the fates wanted me to have it this time, and when I saw it, I"popped" on it right away. AND, I got it for the bargain price of $10 marked down from $20. Oh yeah! That's my pretty friend Alana in the pic with me. She just got back from her honeymoon in Bali (jealous) so we spent the day catching up and hearing stories of how a monkey bit her in the jungle while she was there - ouch. Ha ha. Classic!

My sweet sister decided she was going to collect fruit reamers (juicers) and made her first official purchase. She read a story about them in a magazine once and has had a fondness for them ever since. We tied a sweet little tag on it and labeled it with the date, location of purchase, and the #1.
It was a VERY successful day - look at all that loot piled in my hubby's truck. Ooh La la!!
This was my favorite find of the day. Back story: I saw a cool claw foot stool in a home decor magazine about 5 years ago. It was so awesome. It was painted bright orange and the people were using it as a small table beside a cool chair. Ever since then, whenever I'm at a flea market or thrift shop, I look for them. In the past, they have all been WAY too "precious" for me to buy. $65 was the cheapest one I ever saw and there was no way I was gonna p-o-p (btw, if you don't watch American Pickers on the History Channel, you definitely should). I tucked it in the back of my mind and said to myself that one day I would own one. Well folks, that day has come. Drum Roll Please..................................... I know what you're thinking. Yikes. It's rough. Really rough! BUT, it was $5!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG. I about died when the guy told me. I yelled to my sis across the aisle so loud, everyone turned to look. Ha ha. I was so so so so happy (& still am). I'm definitely going to paint it (not sure what color), and I have to bust out my E6000 glue to put the seat back on. It's going to be awesome when I'm done with it. I can't wait!!

This little shelf was a $1 impulse buy...that's my magic number at the flea market. If I'm remotely interested in something and it's only $1, I'll take it! Not sure if it will get a paint job, or where it will go, but still. $1 people!
And lastly, another $1 treasure. This tiny little wall hanging with these sweet little birds on it. It's a sweet little poem exchanged from one friend to another:
"These Mean You"
A cheery word, a smiling face,
A helping hand when due,
A friendship spanning
time and space -
To me, these all mean you!

The handwritten label on the back reads:
To: Dot
From: Achie
Date: Christmas 1941
I don't know why, but it called out to me. I loved the sweet words and the names and date on the back sealed the deal. And the $1 price tag made it an easy deal to seal.
This post dragged on longer than I wanted it to, sorry for that. I just LOVE flea markets. I love love love them. Ahh, the thrill of the hunt... xo

Friday, November 5, 2010

Frame Re-do

My hubby and I have been married for a little over 7 years. My dad gave me this wall hanging for a wedding gift. It has the Apache Wedding Blessing on it (no we're not Native American, I think he just liked the words). I actually really love what it says:

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you with be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
to enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon this earth.

Beautiful, right!? Beautiful. However, the thing was butt-ugly (no offense to my dad or to any of you who think the "before" shot is absolutely beautiful). Because of it's ugly-duckling status, it has been "dwelling" under my bed for 7 years, waiting to fulfill it's destiny. "Now, beautiful/ugly wall art, I welcome you to your new dwelling place!!" Here is the "before" pic. Look at those leaves and that light wood frame. Ugh.

Step one, buy Mod Podge (aka Glue of the Gods) & find coordinating paper scraps that you like (or in my case, I made scraps out of paper I liked).
Apply a thin layer of God-Glue (ha ha) to the frame with a paint brush. Oooooh. Ahhhhh.
Lucky for me, my paper-cutter needs a new blade. This works out great because I wanted sort of a "torn edge" sort of look.
Make sure your scraps are long enough to wrap around the side of the frame. The people at IKEA would disagree, but I definitely didn't want that yucky light wood to show on the sides.
After the whole surface of the frame was covered, I went around and folded over the edge and used the same mod podging technique. After everything was secure I went over the entire thing with mod podge. I did 2 coats & only waited a couple minutes between coats and it came out fine. Like I said, Glue of the Gods!
I then ripped off all of those icky purple leaves, and Ta-daa!!! There you have it. The "after picture isn't the best it could be because I had to close my window shutters so there wouldn't be a glare. You get the gist I'm sure. I like it. It's MUCH better than before, and it was all done with supplies I had on hand (& it's one less thing lurking under my bed). I may go back later and embellish it on the corners with some cool paper flowers. Or not. Who knows. But it's done. And I like it :) Happy weekend and happy crafting people!!! xo
Linking up to Tatertots & Jello Link Party :)