Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Find Previous Projects:

Featured Favorites:
Faux Fireplace

Bustle Dress

Hyperemesis(HG)

DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

Glazed Cabinets

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Tuesday
Apr052011

Spring Vignette Part Two: Spray Paint and a Change of Plans

Okay. Back to the vignette!  I started by gathering up all of the Easter decorations I had, which were not too many!  I felt like the colors weren't all going together, so I decided to spray paint them.  

See this little guy?  He is made of wood, and I got him from my neighbor's donation pile!  Read: FREE!

 

 

I went to town spray painting my items.  I had a stroke of genius, not to be confused with an actual stroke, and decided to take my styrofoam egg picks from the Dollar Tree and insert them into a floral foam block to make it easier to paint them!  

Great idea, right? Wrong!  The propellent in the spray paint ate right through the styrofoam!  

It was instant, and I thought it was hilarious!  I wish I could have seen the look on my face as the paint just started eating through the eggs!

 Oh well!  I still had tons of eggs left over from years past, so those would have to do. After I sprayed my items, I took the small glass candle stick holder and the small decorative plate, and I hot glued them together to make a little stand.  As I was placing my items together, I realized that I didn't have anything with enough height for my display, so I went and grabbed a few stick from my yard and spray painted them white.  

Do you like it?  Well, I didn't.  Try as I might to get into pastel colors for my home decor, I just can't do it.  So, I got my spray paint back out, and repainted everything!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday
Apr052011

Spring Vignette Part One: Flaming Log of Death and Flea Market Finds

For several years now, I have not set out too many seasonal decorations.  Mainly because I have small children, and the decorations are just one more thing they can get into trouble with.  However, my kids are now 5 and almost 3, and I have decided to reclaim my house.

So, for the first time, I have made up my mind to create an Easter/spring "vignette".  I just love that word!  Bear with me, because there are many steps that I took in this process, but I think the end result will be worth it!  So as not to overload my dear readers, I am breaking this post up into several parts.  If you get bored, just stop reading!

My first order of business for my vignette was to decide where to put it.  I don't have a fireplace, so a mantel is out.  I don't have a dining room table, but I do have chairs for when I get my table!  Look!

Just imagine a lovely harvest table right here: 

I have an antique desk that I love, but it is not in a prime viewing location area, and that's what a vignette is for, right?  

I have a pie safe, but it is a little high, plus I don't necessarily like to highlight the ceiling beam!

In the end, I decided on the sofa table in the family room that is home to our "Flaming Log of Death".  Seriously, that's what my husband calls it!  When I brought it home, about seven years ago, he was like, "Who takes an old, dried out piece of wood and uses it as a candle holder?!?!?!?!"  Apparently I do.  Anyhow, the sofa table seemed like a perfect place to set up a vignette, and the Flaming Log of Death was begging for a transformation.

 

****BOREDOM ALERT****We will come back to the vignette in the next post.  What I want to do now is share a few tips I have learned about decorating and crafting. If you do not care about my tips, and just want to see the rest of the project, stop reading now, and tune in later!

First of all, for me, in order to be inspired, I need to be organized.  If I don't know what I have to use, I can't think of a project to try!  So, I have a very small area in my basement that I use as my "items-to-be-repurposed-and-turned-into-something-fabulous" storage space.

Note that I keep a designated laundry basket right next to my storage space, so it is super easy to load the basket with potential projects pieces and carry them upstairs. Here is a close up of some of the goodies on one of the shelves:

And some more:

 

I told you this was a very small area!  And it is my laundry room!  See the laundry shoot?  I love it!

The items on this shelf have been collected from many different places.  Some I buy from GoodWill or the Dollar Tree.  Some have been "garbage picked" from my mother-in-law's basement--and, let me tell you, THAT is a treasure trove!  I also have a collection of items that I got from neighbor while she was doing spring cleaning.  She had boxes of miscellaneous items to be donated, and I asked her if I could go through them.  She thought I was a nut, but told me to have at it!  I find that my best creations have come from thinking outside the box--sometimes WAY outside the box--and using items in ways that they were never intended to be used in a new and clever way. For example, while I didn't actually "transform" anything for this, I recently held a baby shower for a dear friend, and on the front porch I loaded a ton of blocks into an antique wash tub.  Unique and clever.  Just what I like.

Here's my point: while I do not condone becoming a hoarder, if you see an item that has a great shape, or you just really like something about it, don't be afraid to snatch it up and keep it until you know what to do with it.  Inspiration will hit when you least expect it, and it will most likely be impossible to go back to a thrift store and find the super fantastic piece, at the super fantastic price, that you are dreaming about. So buy it now!

My next tip is about shopping at a craft store.  My preferred store is Hobby Lobby.  (I believe in their Statement of Purpose, and I have thoroughly enjoyed their products for many years.)  Not everyone has a Hobby Lobby nearby, but you can use these tips at any craft store! First of all, if your store has a weekly coupon (most of them do) sign up for it!  I shop at three different stores, and they all have a weekly coupon for 40% off one in-store item.  Hobby Lobby has great prices and great sales to begin with, and if you take another 40% , they are practically giving the items away!  So, sign up for the coupons! 

Next, always be sure to check the clearance sections.  You will be amazed at the things you will find there!  Buttons, beads, and little charms are some of my favorite embellishments to add to my projects.  Those items, however, add up quickly--unless you buy them on clearance! Check out these finds:

 

The buttons and beads were purchased in bags of about 150-300 pieces per bag. They were each originally $5.99, but I either found them on clearance or used my coupon, and they were about $3 per bag!  I have been using these for years!  Some other items I like to buy at Hobby Lobby are bags of miscellaneous ribbon, and fat quarters that are on clearance.  You never know when you need a crap of ribbon or fabric, and it's great to have these items on hand! I typically by about 30 yards of scrap ribbon (usually 15 strips about 2 yards each) for $1.99, and I pay less than $1 for my fat quarters!

Wow.  This is getting long, but I am almost done.  My last topic for this post is the flea market.  Ever see a really great project made from really old material and think, "I would love to make something like that, but I have no idea where to find those kinds of items, and they would probably cost too much anyhow!" No?  Well, that's what I used to think.  Then I discovered the flea market. I am fortunate enough to live less than one mile from the Kane County Flea Market.  I have wanted to go for years, but have only started going in the last couple of months.  I.Am.Hooked!  The flea market is a FANTASTIC place to find all kinds of unique goodies that you can use for your projects.  And you can't beat the prices either!  Check these out:

This flatware was three pieces for $1.  

 

These old church pew bulletin clips were also $1.  I already have a fun idea for these!

And check out this fantastic bag-o-junk I got for $2:

I honestly didn't even know what all was in there, but a few pieces caught my eye, and I figured $2 is just not much to pay for a potentially interesting bag-o-junk!  When I got home, I opened up my bag, and here is what I found:

I immediately separated some of the scariest pieces! Seriously, what's with the scary, broken angel thing?

And then I gathered a few of my favorite pieces from the lot.

I think this stuff alone is definitely worth the $2!

To sum it all up, don't be afraid to keep/purchase an item that you aren't 100% sure what to do with, think outside the box, use your coupons, and check out your local flea markets and thrift stores! I know we haven't completed any projects in this post, but I hope that these tips help you and inspire you to create something unique!  Maybe you'll even want to try a vignette! Look for Part 2 later today!

Monday
Apr042011

How to make an Easter tutu

Do you have an Easter dress for your little princess yet?  Can't find what you're looking for? Why not make her an Easter tutu?!

Awhile back I posted a tutu-tutorial and showed you how to make a tutu.  You can check out the tute here. Also, I have a FABULOUS updated that a lovely reader suggested.  This will make it even EASIER to make a tutu! First, find something that has twice the circumference as your desired length.  It can be a book, a box, a picture frame, whatever you can find.  For my 10" tutu, I use a printer paper box because it is exactly 20" around.  Next, I slide a small dowel rod (you could also use a large wooden spoon, etc.) through the tulle, and I start wrapping the tulle around the box.  I try not to wrap more than 30 times before I cut, because, since I sell my tutus, I like my edges to be very crisp.  However, for your own personal use, you can wrap it as many times as your scissors can cut through--probably about 50.  Once you have wrapped the desired amount of times, make one cut!  Not 100, just one!  Woo-hoo!!  The end result will be a very nice, neat stack of tulle strips!  So fantastic!  Thanks Brook! Here are a few pics of the process I just tried to explain, but I took them myself while trying to roll, cut, etc., so I hope you can understand them!  If not, just leave me a comment and I'll try harder! ;)

 

Here is my "Sugar and Spice" tutu.  I think this looks very spring-y.  What do you think?  

Maybe you would like to make your own Easter tutu!  If you do, I would LOVE to see it!  Have fun, everyone!

Thursday
Mar312011

Happy 5th birthday, Quinn!

Today my firstborn turned five.  Hard to believe...

He is really into Legos, and all he wanted was his friends to "come over, play Legos, and eat Lego cake". Sounded good to me!  It was a lot of fun, and I thought I would share a few pics!

I do not claim to have any baking talent/cake decorating skills, but Q really loved these, so that's all that matters!  There was a SERIOUS amount of food coloring in the frosting.  Just check out these little faces if you don't believe me!

That's my big boy!  Happy birthday, Quinny!

Thursday
Mar312011

Tutu Pillow

I recently painted and redecorated Morgan's room (hopefully that post will come soon!), and I have been keeping an eye out for another throw pillow for her bed.  While I was doing some spring cleaning this week, I was getting ready to put a pillow in the "donate" pile, and then I was struck with inspiration.  The pillow had a great shape, it just didn't match anything, and it never had!  I decided that I could recover it and make it work for Mo's room.  

I went to my fabric bin and found a large scrap of white material that would be more than enough to make a pillowcase.  Then I went to my "special" fabric bin.  (About a year ago, I realized that all of the clothes I was throwing out because they were stained or torn or ruined in some way that would cause me to not want to donate them, could be used for different projects.  Many times you just need a scrap of something.  So, I started keeping all of the clothes that I wasn't going to donate in a special bin, and I cannot BELIEVE how many projects I have used them for.  Those posts are coming soon, too!)  Anyhow, I found a onesie that would go perfectly with the colors in Mo's room.

Since I have a small tutu making business, and Morgan loves tutus and all things princess-y, I decided to make her a tutu pillow.  Here is what I started with:

 

I made a very basic pillowcase to start with.  I am not the best at sewing, but it works!  After I sewed the pillowcase, I realized I forgot to sew the batting inside.  Figures.  I do not always use batting, but in this case the material was a bit thin, and since it was white, and the pillow I was trying to cover was purple, I decided I needed a little batting.  So I just tacked some batting to the top side of the pillow.  Classy, I know.  After I stuffed the pillow into it's new case, I just hand stitched the case closed.

 I set the pillow aside and sketched a pattern out of a cereal box.  

Next, I traced the pattern on the fabric.

Anyone curious what a baby string bikini would look like?  Probably something like this:

Bahahahahaha! I couldn't help posting this.  This scrap was leftover after I cut out my pattern, and it totally gave me the giggles! Anyhow…

Next I cut four strips of 6" wide tulle to about 42" each.  I set my machine to the longest stitch possible, and sewed a straight seam about 3/4" from the top edge of the tulle.  I made sure that I did not back stitch when I got to the end, but just pulled several inches of thread from the machine before cutting it from the fabric. Then I  took one of the pieces of thread at the end of the tulle, and gently started to pull, causing the tulle to ruffle. (P.S. Don't mind my blue and green finger nails!  I made a bit of a mess with the food coloring from Q's cakes!)

 

Finally, I used fabric glue to glue the "shirt", tulle, and a little bow onto the pillow. 

Mo loves her new pillow, and I love that I used all recycled materials and saved about $30!  What do you think?  

I am linking up with The CSI Project and learning how to make LOADS of fantastic pillows!  Check it out!

Visit thecsiproject.com