Thursday, April 29, 2010

CD Covers

I was making cds for a couple of special people I know and realized we were out of those envelope cover thingys (yes, that is the technical term for them ;0). I started thinking about the fact that I hate when cd's get scratched and I like being able to know what songs and artists I'm listening to when someone else makes a cd for me. So... I decided to make my own covers!

All you need is some scrapbook paper and distressing ink to make the slipcovers and tie them together with some twine. This was so simple and I know it will make them feel special!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday : Soundtrack for the Adventure

Wednesdays are generally busy days in our home... I'm usually trying to get the house clean to host our church's mid-week bible study and Cliff usually walks in the door just before people start arriving. So, you can imagine my excitement when I heard about the idea of Wordless Wednesdays from other bloggers. So, I'll stop yapping now and begin my weekly silent post...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kisses To Go Around

Eli and I began our day at one of our favorite places... the park! Unfortunately, some of the kids that usually join us weren't able to make it, but it was fun seeing the four boys, all just a year old, playing and laughing together.

We spent the rest of the day just enjoying one another's company. Elijah was very cuddly and had plenty of kisses to go around!

Some kisses for Mama...

And some for Eli too!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sing Me A Song...

My darling husband has been swamped with work (which, of course, has its pros and cons) and I've been spending a lot of time keeping the kiddo entertained (and while Daddy is home and working... as quiet as possible) until bedtime. Once those sweet little eyes close and my bug is in dreamland, this mama is exhausted and drowning herself in beautiful music. There's a lot to be said about music that touches the soul...

The gambler by fun. (I've been on a big fun. kick lately). This song makes my heart feel so big! What songs inspire you?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mommy's Day Ideas

I am so blessed to have such wonderful family members. Some of them are so wonderful in fact, that they read all my blogs. You know what that means... no posting any gifts I create until after they've been given. So... with Mothers Day coming up quickly, I thought I'd pass along some great ideas that I've come across while wondering around in blog land...

Kierste from Brown Paper Packages creatively (and adorably) displayed her children's footprints through this wooden stool makeover...

What a great idea for grandparents!

She also shared on making personalized notepaper...

Over at Not So Idle Hands, you can find a great tutorial on making your own stamped metal necklaces (an increasingly popular favorite)...

If you're looking to make something personal and sentimental, check out I Am Momma Hear Me Roar to find out more about this sweet memory jar...

Janine from Tub Time Tales And Other Fun Things made use of the fresh flowers in her garden to make this lovely shabby pillar candle...

And last, but certainly not least, is the adorable Love Birds Family Tree from Just Another Day In Paradise...

Hope that helps spark your creativity! I know I'm sparked =)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Love And War

Things I'm thankful for:
1. Answered prayer
2. My husband's inspiring work ethic
3. The special bond I have with my Mom and my Sister. I love them so much!
4. Laughter
5. Living in the (somewhat) south... where they serve sweet tea in restaurants and most are against gun control. (I know... that was political. Gasp!)
6. Having people in my life that I can be ridiculously silly with.
7. Power tools

Current favorites:
Mod Podge!!!, the little lemur king (Julian) from the Madagascar movies, peonies and hydrangeas, distressed anything (furniture, paper crafts, whatever...), my new kitchen shades, the song "Light A Roman Candle With Me" by fun. (yes, the period is part of their name), the word "uber", graph paper (is that weird?), the bike trail at Starkey Park.

What my heart is breaking for:
The hatred that has become overwhelmingly apparent to me that exists in the hearts of too many children. Knowing that such hatred doesn't generally stem from loving homes, but of homes filled with abuse or neglect, or homes where parents are filled with hatred themselves and are setting the example for their children to follow, grieves me tremendously. I see it in our neighborhood and in the local schools (I live right across the street from the high school my sister attends and an elementary school). It kills me to know that the lives they are living is all many of them have ever known. How many of them even realize that happiness isn't too far from reach and peaceful lifestyles can be obtained? How many of them have never known what real, unconditional love is?

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." -Galatians 6:9

Things I'm looking forward to:
1. Friday... Eli will be spending the day with his grandparents so I'll be using my free time to work on getting things better organized around the house. Having "mommy brain" is bad enough, but throw in complete disorganization and I feel like a lunatic!
2. Digging into the Ben & Jerry's Half Baked Fro Yo that's calling out to me from my freezer as soon as I'm finished blogging =)

Moments that made me smile:
1. Watching Eli get SUPER excited at the most random times. He gets the biggest, goofiest grin on his face and starts waving his hands around in a clapping sort of fashion and it makes me giggle every time. I would love to know what goes on in that little head of his.
2. I'm serving on a girls' retreat weekend in the fall and I was messaging back and forth with the awesome lady that is going to be the director for the weekend. The details she gave me regarding the theme, fit exactly as I had pictured them. I felt like God had been letting me in on his little secret, lol.

Some things I've discovered:
1. I use the word "wonderful" way too much. And that probably won't change because the word makes me feel cheery.
2. I love to buy healthy food and I actually really enjoy eating it. It's convincing myself that I like it that's the problem. Same goes for exercise.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

All You Need Is Love

Hello friends! Yes, it's me and yes, I'm still alive. Besides just being plain ol' busy, our internet was also down for a little while. Boo! I never realized how much I relied on the internet until I was forced to go without. No fun at all. AND my darling grandmother is in the hospital. Not to worry... everything is under control. She's on the road to recovery and should be going home any day (though your prayers would be greatly appreciated). While I was thinking about her (and didn't have the internet sucking up way too much of my time) I decided to make a little something that I knew would make her smile.

Whenever we go to see her, her face just lights up at the sight of my son. I figured that a picture of his sweet little face would make some good company while she's away from all the comforts of home. My first thought was to decoupage some cutesy frame, but I couldn't find any to my liking at JoAnn's so I came up with this...

Cute, huh? The colors match her home so when they release her, she can find a nice, cozy spot for it in her casa and enjoy it for years to come. It was super easy too!

I found the board and stand at Joann's and had everything else at home. First, I spray painted the board. Once it was dry, I cut scrapbook paper to cover the front and used my handy, dandy Mod Podge to stick it on and then did the same with the photo I printed in sepia at home. You may recognize the photo from my previous post The Heart Of A Little Man. Yep... I photoshopped the food off of his face. Score! This was the first time I ever tried using Mod Podge on a photo and to be honest, I almost freaked out. When I applied the gluey mixture to the photo it started turning colors. I had to be careful not to brush over it too much, because the glue on top of it had turned purple and I was afraid of smearing the ink and messing up the photo (although I figured I had already ruined it). The purple then turned to green streaks (you can still see some of this in the photo) but once it dried completely, it was perfectly fine. Thank goodness! I traced two separate patterns for the flowers and put the pretty little stickers on top. Then... you guessed it... I Mod Podged those bad boys on too! After the whole thing dried with a nice, even coat of MP on top, I stamped "Love is all you need" to a piece of paper and glued it to the back of the silver book plate. The ribbon I attached it with was self-adhesive. You can pick up a little spool of it for a buck at JoAnn's in the scrapbook section. Because the book plate is a bit heavy, I did dab a little Elmer's glue under the ribbon for extra hold. That was it!

My grandmother loved this little thing and has it sitting beside her in her room. Hopefully it will make things a little brighter for her.

It would make a great Mother's Day gift too!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Little Love For My Trusty Kitchen

For a long time now, I've stared at the blank yellow and green walls and unshaded windows in my kitchen trying to come up with some way to snazz it up. By a long time, I mean three years. I had no inspiration, no cute ideas at all. Until this past week that is...

Now mind you, I am on a very tight budget so I knew that if I was going to do anything, it was going to have to be inexpensive. It all started with my Decoupage Wall Art idea which came out of nowhere. I was out in the garage and noticed the large, lonely, blank canvases that have been sitting in my garage for years, just waiting for someone to show them a little affection. I knew that I wasn't actually much of a painter but I'd been seeing a lot of decoupage crafts on different blog sites and decided that was the way to go. So that's where it all began. I bought some rugs that were on sale at Kohl's a while back that are varying shades of green, yellow and blue and liked the idea of using the canvas to tie in more of the blue (as I mentioned before, the walls are yellow and green).

Once the picture was up on the wall, I just couldn't stop. My parents gave me a few of these cute little lanterns a long time ago...

Unfortunately, the colored glass didn't match anything else, so I used acetone to remove the paint on the glass and painted them with some of the Frosted Glass paint I had left over from previous projects.

When they were finished I hung them over the kitchen sink using anchors, ooks, s hooks, and some chain that I bought at Home Depot.

Next was the window shades. We have a pretty private back yard but I always hated feeling like the neighbors behind us could see into our kitchen at night since we didn't have any window treatments. Thankfully, that's no longer an issue since Little Green Notebook had a great tutorial to Make Shades Out Of Mini Blinds. It was so cheap and easy! And my favorite part... no sewing required! Woo hoo!

Here are pictures of the finished product:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Busy Little Bee... That's Me!

Where in the world have the last three days gone?!

Between filing taxes, doing some work around the house and having some fun with the little man, the past week has been a blur. We've really been enjoying this beautiful weather. Yesterday, Elijah and I went next door to play with his little buddy Lennon, Lennon's Ouma, and beautiful mommy (and my dear friend) Janine. We swam, talked, laughed and ate homemade cereal bars.

And of course, I've been crafting away...

My big little sister Brittany came over during her spring break to spend some time playing. I call her my big little sister because while she is about 6 years younger than me, she is also about 6 inches taller. Anywho... while browsing blog sites, I came across a tutorial (by Kierste from Brown Paper Packages) on UCreate for ABC's in a Can. While I do want to make this at some point for my little munchkin, it's cute design was actually the inspiration for a savings tin. Britt is going on a missions trip to Nicaragua this summer and has to come up with some money to fund her trip beforehand. Thus came the savings tin. She did most of the work... I mostly just offered suggestions and cut out her letters which spelled out "Feed Me." Then we glued on the top and started taking the can's suggestion =)

I saw yet another great idea on I Am Momma Hear Me Roar. After watching her Bleach Pen Tutorial, I decided to make a shirt for Eli. Since my husband has family members who are really into surfing, I just couldn't resist the wave design...

I've also put together a couple more things to add to the Decoupage Wall Art I made to dress up my boring and bland kitchen, but I'll be posting those photos on tomorrows blog ;0)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Walk Through The Park

My wonderful husband and I went to Starkey Park today and had an amazing time walking the trails, taking photos, and soaking in the sunshine (perhaps a little too much... my chest and shoulders are burnt to a crisp!).

Some of the trees were fun and twisty...

And some reminded me of Sleepy Hollow.

We kept finding patches of these pretty flowers in the midst of burnt underbrush...

The honey bees just loved them!

I am so thankful for days like these!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Decoupage Wall Art

In my post An Artist In The Making, I mentioned that while Eli was finger painting, I was painting too. Well, my artwork is finally finished and I am absolutely thrilled with how it came out!

While it did take some time, it really wasn't very difficult to do. I apologize in advance for my lack of photos throughout the process. As I got closer to finishing, I got more excited and forgot to get pictures of some of the steps, but I'll do my best to explain...

1. Choose a large canvas and paint the entire thing. I chose a light blue. This will take a few coats, but I didn't worry too much about white spaces showing on mine since I was going for a messy look anyway.

2. After the paint dries completely, use a dark brown paint and really water it down so that it is basically brown water. It's better to keep it very thin and transparent and add several coats than to make it too thick and mess up your canvas.
3. Take a very porous sponge and brush it across the canvas from side to side. It's important to brush it in the same direction because you will see the stroke marks.
4. Use the same brown paint you previously watered down, and apply the thick paint to the edges with a small brush. With each small section, run a paper towel over it to smudge it up before it dries.
And this, dear readers, is where I've failed you with my lack of photos. I'm so sorry... I swear, I really do love you! Here's what happens next:

5. Cut out many different flowers in varying shapes and sizes out of an assortment of scrapbook papers. Once they are all cut, distress the edges.

6. Lay all of the flowers out on the canvas. Use a pencil to make a small dot where you would like the stems to reach the paper and remove the flowers.

7. Put a good amount of green paint on a paper plate and dip a piece of yarn into the paint. You'll want to pull the yarn tight. I tried to make a picture as an example of how to hold the yarn...
8. Once you cover your yarn with paint, make straight vertical lines from the bottom of the canvas to the dots you drew in pencil. Allow paint to dry completely.

9. Put all of your flowers back in place and decoupage them onto the canvas with a paint brush, making sure you get all air bubbles out from under your paper.
10. Hang your work of art for all to admire =)

A few tips:

-When distressing the edges of your flowers, don't be shy on the distressing ink... it adds a really cool effect when you put them on the canvas since it will smear a bit and it really makes the artwork!

-Once you draw your pencil dots, I would suggest taking a picture before removing the flowers so you can remember where you placed them.

-I preferred to only keep about 6 inches of yarn between your thumbs at a time when applying the paint for your flower stems.

-It worked best for me to go over the whole thing with my Mod Podge for the initial coat and, instead of waiting for it to dry to add another coat, I went over it again while it was still wet. After second coat, I started squeezing out all the air bubbles, pushing air out towards the end of the flower petals.

-The Mod Podge I used had a glossy finish which I really liked. Because you can see the stroke marks, it's good to make sure your brush strokes are all in the same direction.

If you decide to try this, please email me your photos... I would love to see your creations! Have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Frosted Glass

This week I decided to pick up some of Krylon's Frosted Glass Finish paint to play around with...

This was SO easy to do!!! All you need is a clear glass object, some masking tape or stickers to make your design, and the paint. I also used a ribbon to tie around mine.

Adhere your sticker or tape to the glass...

Then spray your paint on. I put my vase upside down to keep a smooth glass surface on the inside. Spraying thinner coats and more of them will give better results.

Follow instructions on the can for drying time. I applied about 4 coats of paint and it was about 2 hours before the vase was ready to be handled.

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Artist In The Making

While Mommy was playing with paint, putting together a little something to show you in the not-too-distant future, Eli had some fun painting too...

Finger painting that is!

Don't worry... I didn't give him actual paint. Different colors of yogurt worked just fine...

It tasted yummy too!

I live for his smile!

He got very into his artwork...

And then very into the tub...

I love my little artist!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, or happy resurrection day as I like to call it. Today was busy but wonderful for our family. Here was our day in a nutshell...

The morning was busy as we hurried to get ready for church. But before leaving, Eli had to get his Easter basket...

Which he loved!!!!

I was so excited when I found the Veggie Tales plush toy and marshmallow characters! He also received the adorable little lamb that I just couldn't pass up, a little walking chick, bubbles, balls, and eggs filled with chocolate Teddy Grahams, animal crackers and fruit snacks. Yummy!

Cliff and I don't usually exchange gifts for Easter, but Cliff surprised me with glorious chocolate and a new Betta. Everyone, meet Reginald...

After a wonderful church service, we headed over to my grandparents' house where we had some great food and Eli got to go swimming in his new bathing suit...

Then it was off to Cliff's parents' house for more food and Eli opened a basket bigger than himself!

Overall, it was a very happy day filled with food, love, lots of laughs, and pure joyfulness as we remembered the reason for the holiday. Who could ask for more?

Blessings to you and yours! xoxo