Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tree Trunk Ornament

Easiest Pinterest Project Yet! (If you don't count cutting down the tree.)

We decided to cut down our own tree from the National Forest this year. It seemed like a very "Colorado" thing to do. With our $10 permit in hand and good friends at our side, we headed into the forest to find the perfect tree.

It took a while. My husband was darting through the forest and every time we thought we found one, we would see another one off in the distance. Finally, we found it way up on a hill. Our first tree as a family of three. Husband cut it down, while I held little H, supervised, and photographed the whole ordeal.

I love a good fat tree. This tree is not fat - but it is cute. I'm not going to lie - it's a little sparse in the middle - but it's trunk was straight and it was the perfect height.

So to make the ornament.
1) Cut piece off trunk & drill hole (in my case - have husband do this!)
2) Let Dry (ours was all sappy)
3) Use a Sharpie to write on it (The front of mine is pictured and the back says "Pike National Forest)
4) Modge Podge to Seal
5) Use a chopstick to force the ribbon through the hole and hang from tree. Ta Da! Simple.

Happy Holiday Crafting!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Banner Garland

This is another project I really thought about purchasing from Etsy. I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I wanted something bright to match the rest of my house decor   A trip to Hobby Lobby and a 50% off Coupon inspired me to take a crack at it. I figured if mine didn't turn out I could always just buy one.

Here is what I ended up using.
Banner Pieces (Something like this or cut your own) Modge Podge 
Foam Brush
Scrabpook Paper ( I used sheets that were already small. similar to this)
Single Hole Punch
Stick on Letters

This project is very simple, although it will take you a full day since the Modge Podge takes a while to dry.

First I glued the scrap book pages to the banner using the Modge Podge. I found it was easier to glue them on as whole sheets and trim once the glue had dried. I also noticed that my banner pieces were curling slightly. Before I trimmed them, but after they were dry, I stacked them under a large book and that seemed to solve the problem.

After each one is trimmed you will need to re-punch the holes through the paper.

Next apply the stick on letters. Now using a foam brush (a regular brush will leave stroke marks) apply a thin layer of Modge Podge over the entire banner and allow to dry. This will protect the paper and make your banner look nice and shiny.

Finally, run the ribbon through the holes and hang. Mine were light enough to hang with just a piece of scrap paper.

I think I may use this same technique to make a birthday banner.... one all my holiday projects are complete.

Happy Crafting.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Yarn Wreath

I've become obsessed with wreaths after my fall football wreath turned out so well. (I swore off wreaths a few years ago when I tried one from Martha Stuart and it was a hot mess!)

I was trolling Etsy and saw this adorable Christmas Yarn Wreath. I almost pushed the purchase button, but couldn't get over the sale price. I knew I could get all the "ingredients" for so much less! So I took a stab at making my own. It was a quick and easy project. I may even consider knocking out a few more for gifts.

All you need is a wreath form, either foam or straw (with plastic on) will work, yarn and coordinating felt, scissors, and a glue gun.

First, tie the yarn around the wreath form and start wrapping the wreath foam in yarn - and just keep wrapping. You want it to be very tight. Every once in a while push it all together to make sure it is nice and tight. (For this one I wrapped red and white yarn at the same time.) Once you have the whole wreath wrapped, tie of the yarn again and cut it loose from the spool.  (This is where my little one thought it would be fun to help out and unrolled a whole spool of yarn. He was laughing so hard the whole time I just couldn't stop him!)

Now all you have to do is add decorative felt flowers, or other establishments. There are lots of video and blog tutorials out there on how to make felt flowers. I cut circles of varying sizes into spirals and then wrapped them back up, secured with hot glue and a straight pin. I looped some ribbon around the body of the wreath, secured with one straight pin, and hung it on the front door.

Go get some yarn and make your own.
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Basement Office Complete with Window Seat and Corner Desk

The basement office is complete... Well, I need to get a few more things on the shelves, get the computer in there, procure a chair, make roman blinds...  Yea. It is not quite done. But, my husband is reading to my little one on the floor and  little one is pulling all the books off the shelves. Basically. all is right with the world!  (Sorry about the pictures, they are from my phone.)

I've moved all the sporting items we have into the window seat boxes and that really cleared out our storage room. This room is right by the back door so its the perfect location for all our sporting goods. 

Diplomas and other academic items that have been on the floor around the house are finally hung.  

I found adorable blue pillows at Target - On Sale! 

I've had a few requests for before and after pictures of this room. 
Before We Purchased the House 


Swoon: Animal Prints for Playroom

The only work I seem to be getting done is ordering things for the house. (Not that I'm complaining!)  Thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and a variety of saved up coupons I got a few cute deals for the house the past few days. 

Today's Obsession though was sent to by inbox by B from Practically Crafty. She sent me the link to The Animal Print Shop. They are having a holiday sale to buy 3 prints and get one free. These are just what I have been looking for to finish off the Playroom. (I'm using the word "finish" liberally because I always seem to find something else to include!) Even if you don't need any animal prints you should head over there to check them out - they are sure to make you smile. 

Anyway, these are adorable animals and my little one is totally obsessed. They also recommend some frames to achieve the look they have. The recommendations range from Ikea to Restoration Hardware  (Just click the "framing help" link on the lower left hand side of the page.)  Pottery Barn had free shipping yesterday and I had a 10% off coupon that was about to expire... so I ordered some cute white frames for my little animals. You will have to wait and see which ones I ordered. 

 Now if they would just finish the carpet downstairs I could move on with my projects down there... 

Happy Crafting! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

House Update... One of Many

We have so much going on at the house! So, just a quick update to show you a few of the changes around here.

Mud Room/Front Entry
We found an amazing carpenter who has made a few of my visions come true. I don't need to tell you that there are more then a few pictures of mud rooms on Pinterest that have made me drool. Tonight Chris, our carpenter, finished our mud room in the entry! I still need to install a few hooks under the cubes to finish it off. I love how the shoe rack underneath is hidden. I don't have a before picture, but it was basically a big open space.

 I previously had a shoe rack/bench from Target in the front room, which has found a new home by the back door. In its place is this fun red chest from Ikea. (A huge thanks to my sister, who was visiting and put it together with minimal help from my husband the evening we brought it home.) I'm still debating what should go in it (and on top of it), but I'm loving it as quilt storage for now.

The Nook After
 The Nook 
After my last post about "the nook" I was encouraged to remove the silver vase and insert more picture frames. (Thanks K.A.) I am so glad I listened. I think it is looking much more put together now.
The Nook (from House Tour)

I'm including the picture I took from our house hunting trip because I remember thinking, "what in the world am I going to do with this!" 

 The Great Lighting Switch
I had a friend in town who used to work for Habitat for Humanity. I convinced her to help me (uh... my husband) switch around the lights in the house. Nothing went as planned, so we are just grateful that no one was electrocuted. I did however get new lights in a few places.

Kitchen Fan now in Blue Bedroom
Blue Bedroom Before
 Anyway... the blue fan from the kitchen found its way up into the now blue "big boy" room upstairs. This is good for several reasons, one of which being we don't have central air and a fan on the bedroom level really helps things. We have done minimal work on this room, since H is still in his crib in the nursery, and will be there quite a bit longer. I have repainted the room. (See before picture from our house hunting trip.) My In-laws also repainted all the pockets in all the closet doors that had been painted in the house. I think i want to do roman blinds in this room but need to (a) figure out how and (b) find a good fabric.

New Family Room Light
The lighting in the living room also got an update. This is the only spot for a ceiling fixture in the room, so I needed something that produced more light. Also, the other fixture was blue and there is already a lot of blue in this house. So... out came the blue fixture and in came the new, brighter, more neutral fixture.

Finally the kitchen (which had wires dangling for a few days while we waited for our order to come in) got a more modern, more kitchen appropriate light.  I think this will mark the temporary end to changing out lights. I have two large lights in the front room that I want to replace with something more modern, but the husband has made it very clear he won't be doing that! So I either have to wait till he forgets or, when I can't take it anymore, I will hire someone! In the meantime I'm on the lookout for new fixtures ... a girl can dream.

The Weird Basement Room/Soon to be Office

Basement Room Before (Not our TV)
Thursday's Progress
When we purchased the house there was this small room in the very back of the basement that I had no idea what to do with. You can't tell from this picture, but the wood actually has these little carved leaves all around it and behind it was some sort of cloth wallpaper.

The redeeming factor was that this room has a great little window that looks out over the back yard... perfect! When H is a little older, I would be able to sit in this room while he plays in the yard.

Cue our amazing carpenter and a few pictures from Pinterest.  I'm getting a built in desk, book shelves and WINDOW SEATS.  I'm in love! Here is a little sneak peek of the work so far... although I'm told they are going to be done by the end of the week!

Friday's Progress

Upstairs Playroom
Ikea Lantern
Lots of little changes in this room. The hardware board continues to grow with every Home Depot trip. Our new favorite activity, in addition to our old door bolt, is the level that has been attached to an eye hook. A small pulley system is also now on the side of the board.

Hardware Board
An Ikea lantern and an old plant holder and a electric candle create a fun little lighting situation over the bookshelves.

Ikea Rug
A new rug on the floor brings a forest floor to the playroom and a fun place to play with toys. (H hasn't really noticed yet, but a few older kids that have come over to play have been particularly taken with the animal tracks.)
Zebra Ikea Print

Another great Ikea find is the zebra print for the large wall in the playroom. I saw this in someone's cart at the Ikea and was so in love, I hardly noticed that it would barely fit in my car with my other purchases. Thanks to my sister though, we made it fit.

The Downstairs Playroom
Old Storage Area Understairs
This used to be one of several basement storage areas, but it is soon to be another play area for little H. I don't have firm plans... but today I picked out paint colors and set my husband to work. The woman at the store said she wasn't sure why anyone would want to purchase the colors "fire" and "squash" ... the jury is still out, but with no windows I was hoping for something warm and bright. It's certainly bright... it's wet in the picture and mellows out quite a bit. You will have to stop by again to see the finished project.

Also in my garage are a variety of objects that got several coats of paint today....but you'll have to wait to find out what I have in store for them.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Painting Pumpkins With a Six Month Old!

We've been having a lot of fall fun around here! Earlier in the month we went apple picking, we went to a pumpkin patch and the first of several Halloween Parties. I love carving pumpkins, it's one of my favorite parts of the year. I wanted to figure out a way to include H in that fun.

My stroller strides group had a pumpkin painting activity for the little ones that we had to miss. I figured I would recreate the painting experience at home, close to our bathtub. I procured some non-toxic tempera paint, paint brushes, modge-podge spray (since the non-toxic paint is also water soluble) and pumpkins. We've been having beautiful weather so I thought I would set up shop outside - then little H boycotted his nap and ended up falling asleep way early and tonight the weather took a turn for the worst. I wasn't going to let the crazy Colorado weather ruin my fall fun, so I set up shop in the garage. We put H in an old T-shirt and then covered him and the bumbo (without strap) with an old towel.

We let him paint two pumpkins with a little cleaning up in between. For the first pumpkin, I applied the paint to the pumpkin with a sponge brush and let him move it around with his hands. On the second pumpkin, I let him dip his hands in the paint and then tried to aim them at the pumpkin. The first method was much more successful. H loved the feel of the paint and just wanted to put his hands in the paint over and over and over. I was glad we did this at home, close to our washing machine and the bathtub. As soon as he got tired of the activity, he was plucked in the tub and his t-shirt was put in the wash. The paint came right out of both H and our clothing.

Once H was bathed and in bed my artistically inclined sister and I took to the pumpkins. She painted this adorable face, inspired by Tim Burton. I had big plans for using my tulip puff paint to make intricate dots on my pumpkin in a pattern. Unfortunately, the black puff paint must have had a clogged nozzle, because while applying pressure to the bottle the top popped off and went EVERYWHERE. Yes. I made a bigger mess then my 6 month old. With the black paint all over the tarp and only my glow-in-the-dark puff paint left, I decided to stick with something simple. I was able to salvage a bit of the black paint to make a cute little spider. Modge-podge spray was applied to all of the pumpkins and it seems to be helping everything stick, although with the threat of snow, we moved the pumpkins into the garage.

All in all, a very successful activity - H certainly thinks so!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fast & Easy Football Ribbon Wreath

I've been seeing these cute ribbon football wreaths on Pinterest. You can find them for sale on Etsy, but I figured I could just figure out how to make them myself. I purchased the foam wreath from Joann's and wrapped in white ribbon, using hot glue to secure.

Then I started cutting ribbon - lots and lots of ribbon. I picked too much really thick ribbon and ended up having to cut it in half (note: smaller ribbon is better, although you will need more of it.) Some instructions for the wreath suggested that you pin the ribbon on to the wreath. Instead I hot glued all the ribbon into loops - then I hot glued all the loops onto the wreath, until it looked filled out.

I found these little footballs in the wood crafts section of JoAnn's. They were already painted - so I just used a paint pen to add the team name. I originally used hot glue to attach the footballs to a nail. The nail pushed easily into the foam wreath without damaging any of the ribbons. Unfortunately, when I hung the wreath on the door in the hot sun the glue melted and the footballs fell off... so my husband suggested gorilla glue, which worked like a charm.(Some of the wreaths I saw online used clips so the footballs could be removed.) The wreath has been hanging on my door for a few weeks now and is still intact - so it seems gorilla glue was the answer.

This is an easy several hour project that makes a huge statement. You could make this for just about any team or sport you wanted.  The hardest part was finding the right ribbon!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our House, Revisited.

Between traveling, visitors and some early snow, we actually found some time to attack a few house projects. My husband likes to call these "my projects" but none of this would get done without his help and in many of these cases, he does most of the work. haha. The house is finally starting to look like ours. (Although I always have more projects up my sleeve.)

Vinyl Decal - Easy to Apply.
Inspired by I Heart Organizing's birch tree playroom, I set out in search of a stencil or decal that would give it a jungle feel. When this Sissy Little decal came up on Zulily, I jumped on it. I had never worked with a vinyl decal before and it turned out to be easier then I had imagined. The walls in the playroom are textured, and that posed a bit of challenge. The first set of trees we tried to apply as a set of four - that was a mess. Cutting the trees and applying them one by one worked much better. The directions were easy to follow and turned out looking great!

Buttons and Ribbon for Fabric Box Labels
We completed the bench seating a few weeks ago - instructions here. I found fabric bins that I liked at IKEA. I was trying to figure out a way to attach labels to the bins. Velcro did not want to stick and my little one can be pretty hard on items. I found some cute green buttons in a variety of sizes and sewed them on to the front with a small clear button on the back. (The flaps on these bins turn up enough for you to be able to work behind them.) I then printed and laminated labels for each of the bins, hole punched them and used some ribbon to create a loop (using hot glue or a quick stitch) which was then slit and hooked to the small back button. So far so good. We will see if they hold but they look quite cute.

Dress Up Station with Mirrors
 We wanted to create some play stations around the outside of the room. I found some pegs at Home Depot to hang dress-up clothing on. (Please keep in mind my husband installed most of this stuff for me - haha.) I haven't had a chance to make the dress up clothing yet, but I do have this great little ranger vest some dear friends from Edwards gave us. These mirrors are from Wallchart (although I also saw them at Target). Little H loves looking at himself in the lower ones and he will grow to be able to use them all. They were easily hung with the Command picture hanging Velcro tape.

Hardware Activity Board
 My husband put together this great activity board. He has some additional things to add, but with the grandparents coming we wanted to get it up on the wall. We found that little H loves to play with the hardware on our family room coffee table, so this gives him something to play with in his playroom.
(More on this to come, when we get it finished!)

I used the extra fabric from the seating to make some hanging bookshelves. There are lots of instructions for these online. I used towel rods because it seemed easier. I found the towel rods at I made three pocket shelves in three different sizes to accommodate different sized books.  We ended up hanging the two small ones under the chair rail by the tent and the one large one above the seating. I also added a small pocket to the front of the large one.
Large Towel Rod Bookshelf

Playroom With Tent

Finally - The Tent! I wanted a little fort in the room. Again, there are tons of patterns online. I used a pattern from Simplicity. I had major trouble with the cutting instructions - but was able to just do it my own way with the required fabric. The tent has a great little seating mat and pockets in the back for storing little treasurers.
It hangs from an eye-hook in the ceiling, but we also had to add an additional hook in the back to keep it from rotating sideways. It may actually be easier to just purchase a tent in the future, but it was nice to get the fabric I wanted.

The playroom still needs stuff on the walls and a rug, but it's finally well on its way !

Laundry Room 

Laundry Room Storage
I added some fabric baskets from Target to our laundry room shelves to hold everything. I used some ribbon an card-stock to label the bins. (Since we are cloth diapering, I also have to use the space to dry the diapers when its too cold outside.) This room needs some decoration... I'm still looking for something perfect.

Craft Area
Craft Area.

Hanging Fabric Storage
 This house had the best little craft area in the basement. Unfortunately, once I started setting up, I found that it didn't have a great place to keep fabric. My lovely husband hung some towel rods behind the lowered part of the ceiling. Using pants hangers, I hung my stash fabric so it also blocks some of the sun that comes in through this window in the afternoon. It has freed up quite a bit of much needed shelf space. It also makes me so happy to use my fabric as decoration, because it is so pretty. haha.

We are certainly not done with the house- although we are taking a short break from projects to host Jeff's parents, my sister and my best friend from Atlanta. (Plus a nice break helps me get inspired for my next projects!)

Happy Crafting!