Tutorial

Simple Photography Print Tutorial

I finished my family room gallery wall about a week ago but I still hadn’t found the perfect something to put into a frame with awkward dimensions – 5 3/4 x 11 3/4 – what is that? I contemplated getting a picture enlarged and cropping to fit the frame or framing a piece of patterned paper to compliment my color scheme…..hmmmm……Then while toodling around on Pic Monkey I decided I would make my own very simple typography print!
I knew I wanted a black type on white look so I googled ‘white paper’ and clicked ‘Images’ and saved a piece of white ‘paper’ to my computer. You can use any color background you would like……simply google that color and save the image to your computer.
Next, in Pic Monkey open the white paper file you saved. Here you will resize to fit the dimensions you would like. My funky dimensions in pixels was 431 x 881. If you would like to create a print to fit in an 8 x 10 frame you would want 600 x 750 in pixels. I used this handy calculator to convert my measurement from inches to pixels. Click ‘Resize’ and enter your dimensions. Be sure to unclick ‘keep proportions’ and then click ‘apply.’
Now you get to enter your text! On the far left hand side click the icon that looks like a ‘P’, then ‘Add Text.’ You can play around with your font, color and sizing until you have a look you love. I didn’t get into all of the fun features and effects but I did add a little asterick for kicks. You can do the same by clicking the ‘Overlays’ icon, again located on the far left side. I chose ‘Stars’ and sized my shape for my print.
Frame, hang and enjoy 🙂
I’ll share my gallery walll later on this week but here’s a little sneak-peak!
I hope you enjoy the tutorial!
Have you used Pic Monkey to create your own print? I’m always learning and would love any tips or tricks you’ve learned!
xoxo,
 

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Uncategorized

Nagging Tasks {Home Edition}

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about resolutions. I’ve set a few of my own that I will work on this year – big things like organizing my digital photos and eating clean. I’m also a list person……I love to check things off my list! Do you?
I have a list of my grander resolutions but it will inevitably take me days, weeks and months to accomplish those tasks. I wanted to work on something smaller. I want that check mark next to my task now! The thought came to me when reading ‘The Happiness Project’ that I would like to focus on small things around my home – things that can be done in a few minutes or an hour or maybe even a day at most.
 One of the authors ‘resolutions’ for happiness is tackling a nagging task. I loved this when I read it! I immediately (at 2:00 a.m. aka ‘my creative time’) jotted down a list of tasks that were nagging me……I wrote out a three page list in a matter of minutes! Things like schedule a appointment for the dermatologist, get my daughters hair cut, floss and organize my boys schoolwork.
I thought I would take this one step further and write out a list of tasks around my home that were nagging me. I literally walked around my home with a pen and paper. Here are a few that I’ll share: (no judging, mkay?)
These french doors that let in beautiful natural light have looked like this pretty much since we moved into our home……4 months ago! Check.
This is the current state of my daughters closet. The clothes and shoes are clearly out of reach for a 3-year old, her dress up clothes have no home and I won’t even show you the other side! Serious closet makeover. This task may take longer than 10 minutes 🙂 Check.
Need I say more on this one?!? Check.
Hopefully this will help you to inventory your home and take pen to paper and list those tasks that are nagging you to no end. And then you get to check them off! My favorite part 🙂
So, what tasks are nagging you right now? 

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Crafts

Making Art with What You Have: Gold is Back!

So as I mentioned when putting my living room together, I am seriously purging items that I’m no longer in love with. But I could never bring myself to get rid of these frames.

I’ve hung onto them for over a decade now. They’ve graced the walls in the first three homes we lived in but then I was all, ‘I’m over this gold thing!” Bring in the chunky black frames and frames made from salvaged tin and lots and lots of easels……everywhere! That was the early 2000’s.
I’ve contemplated spray painting them dozens of times but never did it AND I’m SO glad that I didn’t because now that ‘gold/brass thing’ that we detested in 2005 is now ever so popular and amazing in 2013!
Check it:
I adore this room!! It may be a bit too much for my lifestyle with 3 rambunctous kiddos but I do use it for reference everyday when deciding how to style my living space, namely the pops of gold and brass.
I was so happy to unpack these gold treasures that I’ve hung onto for so long and they will finally be displayed proud in my living room.

Because the glittery autumn colored leaves aren’t working for me I decided to take the frames apart and glue a piece of patterned paper in each one. Most of these prints are from an discontinued Amy Butler collection and they are perfect since I’ve decided that blue and hot pink is where it’s at! (at least for this room)

 Here they are all updated and pretty.

I think that three on each side of my gold mirror would finish that wall……for now!

What do you think? How do you like displaying art in your home?

 

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DIY

My White Cabinets

We have been in our new home for a little over two months and loving every moment! We moved during a very hard time for me but it was the very best decision for our family. I had lofty (and probably unrealistic) plans for our new home. Most of my ‘making it our own’ list took a backseat to getting enough rest, BUT there was one thing that HAD to be done!!
This is a quick shot of our kitchen (complete with goofy staging:) that I took as we were walking through for the 10th time! Everyone who came in our house LOVED that brick wall which was apparantly done by the previous owner. I liked it but I secretly wished that it was shiny white subway tiles instead! Since we couldn’t spend the money to renovate our kitchen I wanted to make those bricks really pop!! If you know me at all I’ve been dreaming of a white kitchen for, well, years. White everything…..complete with dark wood floors please.
I started taking the kitchen apart……

 

 I took all of the doors and hinges off, drawers came out and original hardware removed. All of the doors and drawers went to my ‘shop’ in the garage. Another reason we love this house…..how did we manage without a 3rd car garage??
I used Sherwin-Williams Pro Classic latex paint color matched to Martha Stewart’s ‘Picket Fence.’
Disclaimer: I am not a professional painter nor do I claim to do everything the proper way. I do what works for me. I have painted many pieces of furniture so I know what I like and what I don’t like. Having said that, this may be a bit of a shock…….I didn’t sand or prime before spraying my paint on. Don’t hate okay 🙂 I did clean my cabinets really well before painting. Here is my life-saver and favorite painting product I’ve used to date:
This guy saved me oodles of time and sprayed on like a dream……a dream I tell you! I don’t own an air compressor (yet) so I went with this option which for the price tag of $100 was well worth it! I did just one coat on the back first and when they dried well  (2-3 days) I lightly sanded the edges and sprayed one coat on the front side. When the front was dry I used a clear wax to seal the edges of the cabinet door where they will be getting the most use.
While the doors/drawers were drying in the garage I worked on the inside. My husband and I primed the cabinet bases and then rolled on the paint. I’m lazy and didn’t want to cover everything in plastic and tape off so I decided not to spray inside. Because of the quality of the paint we used it rolled on extremely well. We did about three coats on the bases and used a brush for the crown molding, again doing about three coats.
The final result!!!
Doesn’t the brick look sooooo much better?!? I think so.
This project took me about a month from start to finish……so worth the time and effort! It completely changed the look of my kitchen……I’m in love!!!
So what do you think? Do you love white kitchens as much as I do? 

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Health

My Health Story: Part 2

{This is the second part of my story. You can read Part 1 here.}
 You’re probably wondering if during this time I sought any medical advice. The answer to that is a big, fat YES!! (I’m not yelling at you……just frustrated that’s all:) I had the gamut of blood work done to find a possible cause for my exhaustion and mental instability. Everything normal. Really?, REALLY!?! I wanted to scream! Actually I’m not much of a yell-er, I just cry.

Miraculously, as I was talking to a friend one day she mentioned that she, in fact, had very similar symptoms to mine. The next day I had an appointment scheduled with the same doctor she’d seen and helped her feel normal again. I actually took the first available appointment with his P.A. which was a L-O-N-G three weeks away. During this time questions arose: ‘What if they tell me that everything looks normal?’ ‘What if I never feel better again?’ I had to rely on my faith that my Heavenly Father will never give me more trials than I can bear.

I prayed that ‘things would work out.’ The day of my appointment came and as soon as the P.A. asked me what she could help me with I lost it!! I broke down, sobbing my way through an explanation of what the past several months had been like for me. I brought in a copy of my most recent blood test results analyzing my hormones. She proceeded to tell me that I was making little to noprogesterone…….how had this been missed?!? I’d had my thyroid checked on three different occasions in the past couple of years based on symptoms that I explained to medical professionals. Every result came back normal.

That day, in addition to a prescription for a compounded progesterone, I left with a prescription for a natural thyroid medication, a diabetes medication (this helps with converting sugar to energy, not because I’m diabetic) and a natural vitamin D supplement. Blood results revealed that I indeed had hypothyroidism.

I finally felt as if the dark clouds lifted a bit……

*********************************************************************************

It’s been a few months since that day and I can truly say that I feel like myself again! 🙂 I wasn’t blessed with a ton of energy like some people who seem to have an excess. I just have to work with what I’ve got! My days are never perfect {who’s are?} but they are easier now that I’m not taking 4 naps a day!! I do still try to sneak in a 30 min. nap somewhere during my day and I think that’s probably pretty normal.

I finally feel like I’m participating in my children’s lives, not just observing. And I can now make commitments that I couldn’t before (ie. volunteer at my son’s school, make a lunch date with a friend, plan and finish a project!) YAY!!! Soooo, back to this little-very-new-blog of mine…….I hope to have new projects and more inspiration for you now that I’m feeling better. My schedule will be unpredictable because I’m taking it a day at a time 🙂

What a blessing it is to be alive…….to be able to create, to inspire, to teach, to love…..
Thank you to each one of you for being a part of my journey! Here’s to a wonderful 2013!

 

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Health

I’m Back! My health story: Part 1

{disclaimer}: this post is wordy so I’ve divided it into two parts……

WOW!! I’M BACK!! It’s been awhile since I posted on my beloved blog! I have missed connecting with the wonderful friends and supporters I’ve gained since starting my blog……I found that I really NEED and enjoy that connection and also my desire to share things that I’ve created.

The projects and new creations have slowed WAY down these past few months that I’ve been away, unfortunately. My health has been a worry and concern for me lately and made it nearly impossible to do the things that I love doing. I really struggled writing this post and putting into words a very personal experience, but I hope that maybe by my writing this it can help or encourage someone in a similar situation. I think that as mothers and women we want to appear like we have everything together. On the outside I was just fine……inside I was crumbling.
For the past year, my health slowly got to a point that I just couldn’t function anymore…..like at all, really. It’s amazing that my children are still alive! They are resilient little creatures for sure because I don’t think any of them would guess the amount of pain I was in. And when I say pain, it wasn’t the physical sort that you would likely think, but a complete physical and mental exhaustion that turned to a pain unbearable.
My days were like this: Wake up at 7:15, get my 2 older boys off to school, eat breakfast (I’m a breakfast girl. If there is one meal that I NEVER skip it’s breakfast!!) 8:30, go back to sleep on the couch while my daughter watches cartoons and entertains herself. 11:00, drag myself off the couch and wander around for another hour trying to convince myself that I have energy. 12 noon I actually got a small kick of energy to get some housework done, fix lunch for my daughter, run short errands, or work on a project. 2:00 pm, I’m completely drained…….it’s depressing really even just typing this (that was such a dark point in my life it’s hard to even recall it)
Okay, back to my schedule…..most days I will need to lay down after kids are home from school around 3:30. I would cry myself to sleep on the couch thinking about my boys who were gone all day from their mom and now I don’t even have the energy to ask them about school. 5:00, pull myself together to fix something for my family to eat (not many healthy home cooked meals were happening during this time) 7:00, I went to bed with my kids…….half the time falling asleep on their floor and then dragging myself to my own bed for the night. Wake up the next morning and repeat….
I knew that I could only do the absolute bare minimum to keep my family functioning so any other miscellaneous to-do’s were out of the question (my blog, decorating my home, maintaining friendships, extra activities with my kids, etc.) I couldn’t commit to much knowing that my energy level just simply wouldn’t let me.
As if I wasn’t already overwhelmed with what I couldn’t do we found and bought our dream home (we’d been looking for over a year and a half!) and MOVED in November. That was truly a blur…..if it wasn’t for my mom and the powers of heaven I’m not sure I could have done that.

Although these days were extremely dark for me, my family was my biggest support, especially my amazing husband and my equally amazing mother! There would be nights that I would cry, wondering out loud if I would ever be me again to my husband and he would just hold me in his arms and tell me that yes, of course you’ll be you again…..we just need to figure this out. My mom would call to check on me just about every day. She helped me with my kids and let me just talk……or probably complain mostly about how I couldn’t get anything done, how I was a horrible mother, how utterly exhausted I was, how I was letting everyone in my life down…..the list goes on. I was (and still am) so grateful to have such support from those closest to me.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the rest of my riviting story:)
 

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Inspiration

Inspiration: Organizing Small Things

We all have them……..buttons, bands, clips, doo-dads……you know, those small things that need their own place. Problem is, how do you store them, out of sight but within reach for often use?
I found some great inspiration for organizing small things…….
I’ve had this Pinned for forever and absolutely adore this idea!!
MarthaStewart.com

 

So I found a little white bowl that I use to keep my hoop earrings in that I keep on my bathroom counter. I love my hoops!!

 I love this idea! The yarn is neatly contained but easily accessible and the best part, visible!!

Home Made Simple

I purchased these jars years ago at Walmart and use them for storing ribbon. It’s so nice to be able to go to one place and find just the color that I need when working on a project! And they are a pretty cute accessory too 🙂

Don’t you hate when you can’t find the unique button that came with your pretty cardigan? Never again! This is not ingenious by any means but simply the way I organize the extra buttons and thread that comes attached to clothing. It’s just a watch box that I keep in my laundry room. Every button not attached to clothing goes into this little container so it’s easy to find if and when it needs to be used.

Here are just a few more clever ideas for organizing the small stuff in your life 🙂

Cutlery tray turned catch all!

BHG

Use a baking tin to corral crafting goodies!

 Handmadeology

Very cute magnetic storage system for the itty-bitty 🙂

Shelterness
What great ideas do you have for organizing your small things?
 

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Pretty Projects | Tutorial

Pretty Projects: Floor Lamp Tutorial

I’ve been working on my reading nook project {more on that later} and decided this lamp needed a good makeover!
Safety first, I removed the shade and then taped and bagged any cords and electrical components…….I would like this lamp to actually work after I’m done making it over 🙂 I used small bread bags but you can use anything you have on hand…….read: plastic grocery store bags. Be sure to tape your bags nice and tight!

Next, I primed using a white Krylon spray paint. I went over the lamp in waves and because it it SO HOToutside (is 105 degrees hot!?! ok, just wondering:) it dried really fast in between coats and I was able to prime the entire thing all at once. I did use the entire can of primer.

Here it is primed and ready for a coat of yellow paint:

 

I used Krylon ‘Meringue’ in satin and used the same spraying technique…….applying in waves so it’s applied evenly all over. This paint does dry super fast (especially in the AZ heat) so you can follow up with a second coat after waiting about 15-20 minutes. I liked the color but had my heart set on something a little darker (I seem to do this A LOT with my projects lately:)

Soooooo, I went over the pale yellow color with Krylon ‘Bright Idea’………and it was exactly what I had in mind!!

Looks very similar to a table I saw on Tatertots and Jello awhile back and just knew something that color was in my future:)

Next, to tackle my beat-up-crushed-in-dusty drum shade. Here is what I did:
{Drum Shade Tutorial}
1. Gather your fabric and embellishments……the gray suting fabric is for the body of the shade and the patterns are for the flowers I’m going to make to attach to the body when it’s completed.
2.Measure the height of your shade and add about 2 1/2 inches. Measure the perimeter of your shade and mulitply by 2 just to be safe 🙂 For instance, my shade height was 9.5″ and the perimeter was 48″ so I need my gray fabric piece to be 96″ x 12″. I had to sew three pieces  of gray fabric together to reach my 98″ in length. Put right sides together, sew a straight line with 3/8″ seam allowance, open and press. Do the same thing with the other piece (if you have one:)
3. Start about 1″ from the edge of your fabric and create gathers as you sew (I was not extremely precise with this…..I just folded and bunched as I went.
4. When you have gathered both sides of your fabric you can take the top thread and pull and stretch so you have more of a gather in your fabric. {This all depends on the look you want to create……I didn’t gather too much because I liked the rumpled, messy look of my unprecise gathers I had machine sewed}
5. Take some coordinating ribbon and hot glue to the edges of your shade. I left about half hanging over the edge so I could fold over and hot glue to the inside. It just gives it a finished look!
6. I don’t have a picture of this step {stayed up too late trying to get this project done and didn’t have good light for a pic:} Lastly, wrap you gathered piece of main fabric around your shade using hot glue to secure to the edges of the shade. I had a lot of fabric left over once I had wrapped it so I simply cut of the excess, folded under and hot glued to the shade where the two end pieces met up.

Here is my finished shade AND lamp:

And a close up of the flowers…….
I hope you have fun creating your own lamp and drum shade! 

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DIY

Little Rocking Chair

I promise this is the last post on my daughters room but before I show you the complete reveal tomorrow I thought I would share a before and after of this sweet little rocking chair that I found for her room. I scored it at a garage sale for $2.00!!!

Remember when I posted it on Facebook asking for some inspiration ideas?!?

Almost all of you said to paint it white/cream and cover the cushion with a bright fun fabric. Well, I followed your advice and painted the chair a creamy white, distressed it and added this fun green apple fabric to the cushion!
Didn’t it turn out so cute!! It’s the perfect little accessory for our ‘almost-big-girl-room!’ The room is perfect for my little princess (can you see her playing under her “tea-time” table?) Be sure to check back tomorrow for the complete room reveal! You can catch a little sneek peek of her closet-turned-play-area in the last photo!
 

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Pretty Projects

Pretty Projects No. 5: Clothesline Frame with Mini Pennant

Different than your common clothesline frame I decided to add a bit more flair to it with my ‘little ones’ mini pennant:
This frame was originally gold then painted white and then finally spray-painted yellow. I used small eye hooks, picture wire and pliers.

 

 I screwed the hooks into the frame starting one-third of the way down because I knew that I wanted three ‘lines’ of photos. The second pair of screws went in halfway down and the third pair one-third of the way up from the bottom. Simply create a starting point and continue twisting and finish with the pliers until they are secure.

 

Next, thread the wire through the hook on one side and use the pliers to wrap it tightly and then thread through the corresponding side. I left my wire a bit loose across because I knew I wanted it to not look perfect, if you know what I mean 🙂
Simple as that! Now you can use any size clothespin you would like to hang your photos or postcards or whatever you plan to hang on your picture wire.

Now onto the mini pennant banner!!

Here are the supplies you will need: I printed ‘Little Ones’ out using my printer. The scalloped circle and mini flags were cut using my Silhouette. You can easily cut a thin rectangle out of scrapbook paper and clip the edges to resemble the little flags!

 

The rest is super simple! I folded the flags in half over the twine and glued them closed. I used my stamp pad to distress the edges of my mini flags and ‘Little Ones’ cutout.
Now using your clothespins clip your mini pennant banner to your picture wire on your frame. And your done…….ready to hang!
This creation went perfectly in our Master bedroom with the yellow accents and sweet pictures of our kiddos – it’s fun waking up to their beautiful ‘little’ faces 🙂

Make it a beautiful day 🙂

 

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