Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bad Blogger!

I've been on hiatus, but I am committed to getting back into the swing of blogging... I am so inspired by what I see on the plethora of blogs that I follow, that I have to get busy!

Here are a few projects that I did this Christmas season...

1. Pillowcases. I decided that our nieces and nephews get a ton of toys already every Christmas, so I got crazy and decided to make pillowcases with each of their names appliqued on them... I used wonder under and my Cricut Expression to cut the fabric into letters, ironed them on, and did a simple zig zag stitch around all the letters... They definitely got better as I went along!

2. Button Monograms. My mother in law had given me a quart size mason jar full of her mother's buttons, as I am the only one in the family who sews. I felt that they were too beautiful not to be shared, so I made 5 of these bad boys, including the one I made for us. Initially, I had every intention of making them into pillows, but I felt like the framed art was a better way to preserve Grandmier's memory. I don't care if I ever have to sew another button again, that's for sure!

That's all for this post! I promise to be back soon!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Photo Wall!

Well, we survived move in weekend and are pretty much unpacked! I thought I'd go ahead and jump right in with my first DIY project...

We are what we like to call a "professional aunt and uncle." Don't get me wrong, we want kids one day, but right now is just NOT the time for us... We are still young! We have six nieces and a nephew, and they all love to come to "Aunt B and Big Gosh's" house. We wanted a way to feature them all without worrying that we got everyone.

I bought seven matching 8x10 frames with 5x7 mats in them on sale 50% off (Michaels? Hobby Lobby? I can't remember...). I used sticker letters from the scrapbooking section of Michaels and spelled out the first and middle name of each one of the little stinkers...

We are the proud owners of a shiny Canon 50D, so we utilized it in taking pictures of all the kids... a regular point in shoot would obviously do the trick, as well. I like that these are snapshots of their faces, not posed professional pictures... It's so easy to lose kids' personalities in professional pictures. We uploaded the pics to Walgreens and cropped them, and in an hour, they were ready to pick up!

In case you were wondering, Elizabeth was born in March, and these frames have been packed up since then... I promise she'll have a picture soon!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I wanted to write a quick update... We are 9 days out from closing on our pretty new house! SO excited to get in there and start decorating! We traveled to my home town for an early Mothers Day celebration, because guess what?! The hubby had to coach last night... That's right, Spring Football in Texas is upon us! Several people have asked me if I went to the scrimmage, and I'm sorry to say that no, I did not go. I was at home packing up the things we wouldn't need for next week and a half. Mom and Granny both loved their gifts... Success! I have a bunch of projects planned for the house, so stay tuned for an ambush of tutorials!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fixed it!

I'm so sorry I have not posted, we are closing on our new house in less than three weeks, and things have been crazy getting ready for the big move! We are heading out west this weekend to visit my mom and Granny for a pre-Mothers Day celebration, and I finally broke down for a re-do. I just didn't like the colors I used for Mom's name plaque... Here is the results, and it looks soooo much better! Bear in mind that the modge podge is still drying in this picture!

I promise I will have lots of posts soon! Thanks for your understanding!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We're all in this together...

Okay, so the title plays a *little* off of the fact that my seven year old niece is (finally) getting interested in High School Musical. I may or may not be a bit of a sucker for Disney Channel movies.

That aside, if you can look past that little flaw, I had to come up with something for Mom for Mothers Day... It's coming up, you know... May 9. Mom is one of those "What do you get the woman who has everything?" people. I am a tiny bit obsessed with Wordle and I wanted to make something with my new Cricut Expression for her, because she thinks it's the neatest thing since the invention of the post-it note. Here's what I came up with. If I were to do it again, I would definitely choose different colors... the names of our family members don't quite "pop" as much as I would have liked them to, but I was starting to get impatient and quickly losing interest, so I was lucky to get the project complete... You can, however, see the names a lot better in person than in the pictures I got.

You'll Need:
  • A wooden plaque... I got mine at Wal-Mart for $.97... Quite a deal.
  • Acrylic paint
  • Scrapbook paper of your choice
  • Modge Podge (as a crafter, I think you should have at least one jar and one back up jar stashed in the house at any point in time...)
  • If you don't have a Cricut, you could use paper scrapbooking letters or stickers purchased from the store... There is no need to avoid this project because you don't have one!!!
Start with the wooden plaque:

Paint it your color of choice! I used an Antique White.

Cut a piece of scrapbooking paper the correct size to cover your plaque:

Attack it with Modge Podge... Under the paper, over the paper, on the edges of the plaque... Don't be afraid to use a lot! It dries clear, I promise! Make sure to smooth out any bubbles out from under the paper.

I used my handy dandy Cricut to cut out the letters at this point...

I am *slightly* OCD, so there had to be a method to the madness when it came to varying sizes. I used 1.75" Letters for Mom and Dad, 1.5" for the three kids and our spouses, and 1.25" letters for my nieces and nephew. I arranged the names on a piece of paper the same size as the plaque as I cut.

Then I transferred the letters to the plaque one name at a time... It took some patience, because once they are stuck, they are pretty much stuck!

Let it dry and you can display it on an easel or even attach a ribbon to the back to hang it from the wall! Adorable!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dishing It!

Since I just started blogging, I thought this opportunity would be great to share with other bloggers... Amanda over at Serenity Now is hosting a "Dishing It" monthly party, and the topic today is all about your blog... If you've got a blog, head over there and join in!

~How long have you been blogging? Two days... Haha! I have a personal blog where I keep up with our life for our distant friends and family, but this blog is a whole new ball game!

~Why did you start blogging? I wanted a place to hold me accountable to finishing projects that I start... I have a bin of projects that I started that I gave up with or gave up on... and I think sharing my projects is a great way to be motivated to finish them up!

~Tell me about your blog's title. Why did you choose it? I guess it's kind of self explanatory... my husband is a coach, and he's gone a lot... Now, don't get me wrong, I go to most of his games and the like, but practices and other commitments leave me alone at home a lot! I reignited my love for baking, crafting, and sewing to "do something constructive," as my mom says.

~What do you blog about? The plan is to blog about my decorating DIY projects, crafts, baking recipes, and anything else that comes to mind!

~What is your favorite thing about blogging? It's a creative outlet! It also gives me a sense of accomplishment when I finish a project to share.

~If you had to choose one famous person to become your blog's next devoted reader, who would you pick? Hmm... Most of my "idols" are music artists, and men... How about Ellen? She's just awesome.

~What's the funniest comment you've ever received on a blog post? Stay tuned... :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Breaking the ice... A Spring/Summer Wreath

As I was driving through our new neighborhood, I realized something. The homes on our street are all new builds, but the majority of them have beautiful upgraded doors. I really wanted the granite countertops as an upgrade instead of spending 2k on a door, so we went with the standard plain jane without a further thought. As I drove through the neighborhood, I decided that the severe case of boring that our door had could be cured with a decorative wreath to match each season. We aren't moving in for another five weeks, so I decided to go ahead and make a summery wreath to put up as soon as we move in. I was inspired by this project over at Tatertots and Jello, and I had been drooling over this bird pattern, so I combined the two! Piggy backing off of other people's ideas and making them your own is a great way to get the creative juices flowing! Don't be afraid to use their ideas, but give credit where credit is due! I forgot to take pictures as I made it, but lucky for you, I decided to make my grandmother, Granny, one for Mother's Day. This is my first attempt at a tutorial... So bear with me, and constructive criticism is always welcome!
You will need:
A styrofoam wreath- I got mine with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby for $2.90 with tax... FIY, If you can pull up the coupon on your phone from their website, they will accept it at the register! Amazing! I *never* buy anything at Hobby Lobby without a coupon or it being on sale. The wreath I found was back in the craft section with the styrofoam balls instead of up in the floral section where I thought it would be.
Burlap- I had this left from another project, but a 2/3 of a yard should give you plenty to work with! (I am in love with burlap, and it's cheap!)
Assorted Cotton Fabrics- I used four different fat quarters that I had on hand... What are fat quarters? Head to your local Quilting store (Or Joann's Fabrics) to find out. I got these on sale for $.99 a while back, I believe... Basically, a "fat quarter" is the equivalent of a quarter yard of fabric, but it's a larger square instead of coming as a long skinny strip like you would get if you had the fabric cut at the counter.
Stuffing for the Birds- You can buy a bag of this at the store, but for such a small amount, I refused to buy a whole bag. If that tickles your fancy, knock yourself out. I, on the other hand, had an old pillow on hand that was about to get trashed, so I stole some of its stuffing. You could also use cotton balls or even rice to fill them. Get creative!
Straight pins- I bought these at Wal-Mart, because let's face it... Anything you can get at Wal-Mart is probably the cheapest price around. These don't have to be *quality,* so bargain hunt away. If you have a bunch on hand, use what you already have!
Twine or Jute of some sort- this hangs out in my craft box at all ties... I use it for everything... We don't have Christmas ornament hooks? No ribbon for a present? No problem. I just love it.
A stick- I went on a walk with my dog and found one... No need to get stressed about this!

Start with your foam wreath form:
Using straight pins, attach the end of a 3" or 4" strip of burlap:

Wrap the burlap to cover the wreath. When you get to the end of a strip, pin another strip and keep going. I used two strips the width of the piece of burlap I had:

When you reach the end of the last strip, fold it under and pin it:

This should give you a nice, finished look:

Now onto the birds... Cut out the pattern off of the website, pin it to your fabric, and cut away!

The body has to be cut on the fold...

Your two pieces should look like this!

Pin up one side (right sides together) and sew away!

Pin up the other side and sew it up!

Match up the head sides and pin it... Stitch it up!

Almost done!

Turn the little guy right side out and stuff him up! It helps to use a capped pen to form the stuffing how you want it!

To do the tail, turn it under so the ugly rough edges are on the inside and pin...


Next, we're going to hang the stick in the middle of the wreath for your love birds to perch on.

I tried letting it just swing, but it's really better when you brace it at the bottom, too.

I cut 48 2" circles and 48 3" circles. I doesn't really matter what sizes or how you place them together, but I'm a little bit OCD, so there is formula for how I did it.
The breakdown is:
24 2" burlap
24 3" burlap
6 of each from each of the four fabrics I used for the birds

I matched them up, laid them out in a pattern, and then I went for it!

They should be pretty close together if you want them to stick up for volume... Mine are about an inch apart in a zig-zag pattern. The beauty of the styrofoam wreath form is that you can always take them out and put them back in to adjust them.

Here's the process just getting started:

Ta-da! Adorable!

I hand stitched strings of twine onto the bellies of the birdies.

...and then I tied them onto the branch and trimmed the excess. I used long quilters pins to brace them so they'd sit up a little bit straighter, but that's not really necessary, because once it's laying flat against the door, they will naturally sit up.

See how clean our lines are on the back?

Sweet little lovebirds!

Here it is hanging on our apartment door. I tied some extra jute to hang it... This works best if you tie it around the wreath form instead of trying to pin it in.