Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Handmade Holiday: Mason Jars

I love making things. It makes me happy and it's my favorite thing to do. My family doesn't really have a choice but to love it with me. Every Christmas we MAKE. We make neighbor gifts, friend gifts, teachers gifts. . . you name it. This year we had so many fun ideas, it was hard to choose what we were going to make. The kids decided they wanted to make all of their friends the little mason jars with animals on top filled with candy. I first discovered this idea on Pinterest and thought it was darling. You can use these jars for storage, trinkets, candy, crayons, etc. We filled ours with green and white marshmallow striped candy from Zurchers. The kids had such a fun time making and delivering their jars and their friends loved them! I've included a photo tutorial on these, the only thing I left off was to make sure you buy spray paint for plastic or at least do a primer coat before using a regular color. These are so easy, you'll want to make several! I'll be posting several other DIY ideas for gifting coming this week. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Decorating

There are amazing Christmas displays everywhere. I took the photos above at Jolley Pharmacy in Salt Lake City on 1300 South. They always do such a beautiful job on their displays year round but especially at Christmas time. They have darling ornaments and Christmas decor.

My second stop was Anthropologie and they are known for their displays. These pictures don't do them justice. If you're down at City Creek, you have to stop in and see for yourself. Anthropologie has the most unique and amazing merchandise of any store. I could just walk around their store for hours looking at everything. Their Christmas selection this year does not disappoint. There are some stockings I have my eye on, but I'm just not so sure about dropping $300 on stockings, so I may just have to come up with my own version. Keep your eye out for that post . . . happy decorating!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Cards 2013

I've been working on Christmas cards for this year, determined to get them done earlier this time. I've purchased them in the past from Tiny Prints, Etsy & Walmart and I've actually always been happy. There are two things I wanted to do differently this year, one was to have them printed on metallic paper and two was to design my own. These are both tricky to accomplish because I am frugal, I didn't want to spend more than $1.00 to $1.25 per card and the other challenge was that I don't have a legitimate design program. Well, I'm happy to say that with a little time and research, I was able to accomplish both. I designed them in Keynote and am having them printed at Persnickety Prints. I've heard so many good things about Persnickety and I'm excited to try them out. Now just deciding on which one to go with will be the challenge!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Basement Remodel

We are finally making plans to finish our basement remodel. Last year we remodeled half of our basement to make room for baby. It literally has a line down the middle, the old carpet butts right up against the new carpet, pretty fancy, right? Well, we have plans to finish it out, likely in the spring. So for right now, I've been dreaming up exactly what I want it to look like. We have a big open room that is L-shaped, with our home office on one end and our main family room at the other end. Big open rooms can be a challenge for design. It leaves a lot of possibilities, but you have to be careful about furniture placement. I have a preview of the design elements and once we complete the project, I'll post before and after photos. For now, you can just dream with me as you look through by project boards . . . 

I purchased two long white desks from Ikea to form a L-shaped desk along a corner wall in the office area. The rattan chairs are Almsta from Ikea. Once I have all of my colors decided, I plan on painting the backs of the chairs either a shade of blue or that orangey-red. The white task lamp is also from Ikea. I made a framed bulletin board similar to the ones at Ballard Designs but for a fraction of the cost! The fabrics shown will be used for window coverings and cushions for the chairs.You can find them here.

Ikea Wall Shelf, Ikea Red Frame, Urban Outfitters Porteur Wall Shelf, Urban Outfitters Little Boxes Wall Organizer, Paper Source Map

I haven't fully decided on this one. I need more storage for all my crafting supplies and I like all three Ikea storage cabinets shown above. My first choice is the red one, but it's only two doors wide, so I think I'll have to go with one of the other styles. The bins are for organizing everything on the inside. I'm having a hard time deciding on that as well. I might just have to pick a couple! I'm still working on what I want the family room to look like, I'll post pics on that as soon as I can.
1) Hemnes Wardrobe
2) Pax Wardrobe
3) Red Hemnes Wardrobe
4) Rugby Stripe Bin
5) Magga Basket
6) Serena & Lily Pandan Bin
7) Land of Nod White Polka Dot Bin
8) Land of Nod Grey Polka Dot Bin

Monday, November 18, 2013

Etsy Shop Open

I worked hard all weekend and finally finished loading all of my baby headbands in my Etsy shop. I opened the shop about a year ago but haven't done the best job marketing and didn't renew items once they expired so there was a lapse in having inventory up. Needless to say, I have darling new items up and ready for purchase. I've designed and made jewelry for years and made the transition to headbands when my baby was born last year. Each piece is one of a kind and handmade and most definitely the perfect jewel for your little one. I was telling my daughter just today how attached I become to these little jewels. It is hard for me to part with them because I fall in love with each piece. I love seeing them on your babes though and that makes it all worth seeing them go. Take a look at the collection, I'll be adding more styles as we near the holiday shopping season. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Zara Baby

Ok, so I may be obsessed, but I can't stand the cuteness in baby fall wardrobe options this year! I've always had a thing for grey and mustard and when I went to Zara to check out their lineup for fall, I was not disappointed. They made sure to include my favorite colors in far too many options! These are a few of my favorite outfit combos, now to make a decision on which one! Happy shopping everyone!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What I've Been Up To

As hard as I try, I just can't stay away from creating! I love it and its what makes me happy. To the dismay of my husband, out home is well stocked with crafting supplies for when the urge strikes. I've been designing and making jewelry for as long as I can remember. My mom helped my sister and I start a business when we were girls making safety pin bracelets and that turned into a jewelry company selling to local boutiques. I owe my beginnings to her. Since then it's been hard to turn my back for very long. I continue to design jewelry which has also spread to other accessories. I'm also doing infant headbands and hair bows for girls. I'm doing a few local boutiques here in Utah and need to get my Etsy shop up and running again. I'll keep creating as long as my love for it continues. 

Here's a few pics of what I've been up to . . . 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chair Re-do

So, I bought these chairs 5-6 years ago at my local thrift store and have been hanging onto them ever since. My husband keeps trying to get rid of them, he just couldn't catch the vision! Well, I finally painted them about a year ago which changed the look dramatically and about a month ago bit the bullet and had them reupholstered. I bought this fabric at Home Fabrics, one of my favorite go-tos for inexpensive home decor fabric. I am so happy with how they turned out, they look so updated and fresh! Now I just need to find the perfect little spot for them. While I decide, my daughter Paisley happily snuck them to her room on loan. She created the cutest little seating area!

Birthday Celebrations

October is a busy birthday month at our house. Mine kicks off the month, and Drue and Porter's both fall at the end. We combined for one party this year and invited friends and family. Of course I didn't end up having time to make all of the cute things I had planned, but the party was a great success. I can't believe my baby is 1 and that my other baby is now 9! I love watching my kids grow into neat little human beings.

I posted about this chalkboard easel not too long ago. It was an afternoon project and I've already used it a ton! It has a permanent spot in my living room and I have plans to start writing weekly quotes or fun messages for the kids. I really love using it for birthdays, holidays and get togethers!

I love how simple these cakes were. My inspiration came from Pinterest for the little washi tape buntings and the sprinkle numbers. I made basic two layer cakes using cake mixes and then frosted with yummy homemade frosting. I did the numbers by cutting them out using an xacto knife and poster board. I then used the poster board as a stencil and placed the sprinkles inside the numbers. I think they turned out pretty cute for simple birthday cakes.

I made this Happy Birthday banner a couple of years ago and pull it out for every birthday at our house. I tried to do in gender neutral so it could be used over and over. I did all of the shapes and letters using a die cut machine at my local scrapbook store. I did the tassels using plastic tablecloths from Zurchers and I think when I have more time I'll add more tassels. I love tassels, I think they're so fun! This was the first time I had made them using anything other than tissue paper, but I wanted it to be easy to store and not get damaged, so the tablecloths were perfect!

The weekend ended with our annual fall photos of the kids. I've only had professional photos done a couple of times because I love photography and capturing the kids in a more casual setting. Drue was in a funk and was refusing to smile until the very end when we got a couple of her classic toothy smiles! I love my three and feel so blessed to be their mom!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Favorite Find: Girls Tween Fall Wardrobe

I don't know about you, but I kinda hate most of the clothes out there for my 11 year old. I feel like they are either super cheap looking or too teenager looking. I want classic cute clothes for my daughter that she will be happy about wearing. I love when I score and find cute clothes at Target or Old Navy, but I'm finding sometimes I have to spend a little more now that she's getting older. She can still wear 12-14 in kids which is huge because that right there saves a lot. I did a little shopping around and found her some cute pieces for fall. Most of the items are from Gap, JCrew, Next Direct, Nordstrom and Target. Now, to choose which ones to buy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Easel Chalkboard

I saw this darling chalkboard and quickly fell in love but I knew I couldn't drop $100 on all its loveliness. So I did what I do best and Googled "Easel Chalkboard". There were actually a lot of options out there. I found a great tutorial for one that actually was more my style anyway. I ended up spending about $40 on supplies and the project from start to finish took 2-3 hours.

Don't be nervous about tackling this project. It really is easier than it looks and so quick to build! My sister was leaving on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I knew this would be the perfect accessory on the front porch for her farewell party.  

Supply List (all items purchased from Home Depot)
* masonite board cut into two pieces with dimensions of 20"x24"
* lumber 2 1/2" wide, 36" length x 4, 18" length x 4
* chalkboard spray paint
* eye hook screws (2)
* hinges (2)
* L-shaped brackets (8)
* small tacking nails
* twine, ribbon or rope (12 inches)

Step 1: In preparation, you will want to spray your masonite boards with the chalkboard paint. I did three coats of paint, letting each dry before applying the next.

Step 2: screw wood pieces together using L-shaped brackets. You will have two separate frames when you are done here.

Step 3: Next you will need to paint all of your frames. I painted mine in a grey-wash. I used inexpensive craft paint mixed with about 1/4 water. I brushed this on and immediately wiped it with a white rag so that a little of the natural wood still shown through the paint. I was lucky enough to have a helper on hand who woke up early from her nap.

Step 4: Here you will also need to tack down your masonite board with small nails and a hammer in several places along the perimeter of the wrong side of the masonite.

Step 5: Next, you will screw in the eye screws at the bottom center of both frames on the wrong sides.
Step 6: Now screw both hinges onto the two top sides of frames. This is done easiest if you lay them both out top to top. I didn't take a photo of this and I should have!
Step 7: Tie your choice of ribbon, twine or rope from one eye screw to the other. I just tied rope in a knot on both eye screws. My rope was about 12 inches in length before I tied it.

For the finishing touch on mine, I had a friend cut gold vinyl dots for me and applied them at random around the frame of the chalkboard. I think this really added a nice bit of glam and I love how it looks!

I have to say that my first attempt at chalkboard wasn't too bad. I found a couple tutorials on Pinterest that helped. Basically I chose a couple of fonts and first designed it in Word and printed it out. I then drew faint horizontal guidelines on the chalkboard with chalk and lightly sketched the words. Once you have the words how you want them, go back and darken them up. Then you will take a damp cloth and clean up and chalk mistakes. 

I love how this project turned out! I can't wait to use it for future occasions like holidays, birthdays and baby showers! The possibilities are endless . . . 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Labor of Love

My baby Drue was born almost 1 year ago! It's hard to believe, the time has flown by! When she was 3-4 months old, I had the urge to get her a mobile for above her crib. The problem was, I just couldn't find anything I was in love with so I did what I usually do and created my own. What began as a project that would probably only take a couple hours ended up taking me 10-15 hours to complete. That is why I like to call it my little labor of love. It was worth every stinkin minute I spent on it because it turned out absolutely lovely and matches her room perfectly.

I started out by spray painting some small plastic animals. I chose gold for that little bit of stylish glam. I adore these little creatures and will most definitely find other projects to use them on.

The main structure of the mobile was built using metal rings in diameter of 8-12 inches. I found these at Hobby Lobby. The other fun parts were made out of lots of colorful bits and pieces. I made tissue paper pom poms, paper punched in round circles, embroidery floss, metallic polka dot tulle, wired pom poms from Zurchers and fringe trim purchased at a fabric store. I was lucky everything ended up coordinating so well.

It was hard to capture this as it was constantly in motion, but this is basically how I created each tier before attaching all of them together. I love how the little glammed animals dance.

Here is this tier once I added the wired pom poms. As I was doing this tier, I had the thought that these wired poms poms on the metal ring would make a darling crown. I might just have to make a birthday crown in the future.

I couldn't be more pleased with the finished mobile. I love how unique it turned out. It adds the perfect finishing touch to baby Drue's nursery. You might say I'm in love with my little labor of love!