July 4th Mantel

I majorly slacked off on my Spring decor.  I had a really cute setup for Easter and it stayed, until, well… yesterday.  When  realized that we’re hosting a 4th of  July gathering and I have Easter Eggs adorning my mantel.  No big deal.  I’m armed with a silhouette and pinterest, so I’m set.

I love the look of coordinating interest pieces, and I saw this pin from Landee See, Landee Do and I had my inspiration

The quick and easy thing to do?  Look around at what I have left over from Christmas and see what I can repurpose.  I found my chevron fabric covered canvas that I used to display a moss letter at a craft fair I did during the holidays.  Then I scoured pinterest for printables, and found 4 that are perfect – two are on my mantel, two are on my entryway table.

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The America printable, also from Landee See, Landee Do, on the left can be found here and the Pledge of Allegiance printable, from On Sutton Place, is found here. The fabric covered canvas is really easy to do – and cheap – and you can do whatever you’d like.  It’s also perfect to cover up botched art work (I would know NOTHING about that ;)).  The framed stars are actually a scrapbook sheet from Hobby Lobby that I was going to use for firecrackers, but I needed more blue.  And the board was something I had left over from my Valentine’s mantel, so I added a quick coat of paint to the back, cut out some vinyl words and there you have it.  Dual purpose decor… easy and cheap!!  The bunting is actually a Disney bunting, but I didn’t print the characters out, and I used some hot glue to attach them to the string.

Oh, and that pitcher filled with wheat?  I ran across the street to the open space and grabbed some, thanks to my hubby’s smart suggestion.

I also needed to update the entry table, since it too had a cute little bunny, eggs and two bunny silhouettes.
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The firecrackers I found in a magazine, and I bought paper last week from Hobby Lobby to cover them with.  The little tops aren’t as pointy as they could’ve been, but hey, they work.  I had been saving toilet paper rolls for months just for this project and used kebob skewers to have them come shooting out of the cute little box I found at Hobby Lobby.  I found some foam in the basement and used some moss to cover it up, and voila!  If I find some extra time before Friday I might add some curling ribbon to the bottom of them.

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The last bit are those two printables that I also found on pinterest.

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The printable on the left is from 32 Turns and you can find it here, and the one on the left is from Five Birds Crafts, found here.

I’m also finishing up a primitive rag wreath (but, of course I ran out of fabric and the fabric is exclusive to Hobby Lobby, which is closed on Sunday) and I want to put a bucket of flags on the front porch.  I also have 3D stars I made that I’ll put into bunting form to hang behind our food table, and I can reuse the tablecloth and runners from Tori’s 2nd birthday party, since I did traditional France colors for the party.

 

Big girl room – the plans

How did she get big enough to be ready for a big girl room?

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I’ve been pinning ideas for awhile now, and absolutely fell in love with this room from Petite Vintage.  I love the colors, I love the fact that it will grow with her daughter for awhile – something I want for Tori’s room.  We’re really lucky in that she hasn’t tried to climb out of her crib, but I’m ready for a new project, so I’m working on designs and mood boards to get everything together.  Most of her room, besides the actual making of the furniture, will be DIY.  I’m not sure when we’ll actually make the switch, but my project ideas can be done over time.

Here’s my rough idea for her room:

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Clockwise, from upper left: room inspiration from Petite Vintage, Leirvik bed from Ikea, herringbone quilt pattern from Sew Dang Cute Crafts, Knodd bin from Ikea, confetti curtains from Land of Nod, and milk crate wall shelf inspiration from pinterest (the link took me to a bad one – so I don’t know the original source)

 

I’ve already bought and received the wall vinyl to make decals – I’m throwing around the idea of doing the clouds, or maybe doing the off kilter squares like the curtains.  But I do like the idea of both gold and white vinyl.  We did big trees at our old house in the living room, so other than measuring, I think the wall project will be easy – and one I can do without any painting!

I’m also DIYing the curtains – I have heat transfer vinyl on order to make them once I find curtains (which shouldn’t be hard).  The quilt won’t be done by me, but I’m really hoping my aunt (who’s amazingly talented in the world of quilt making) will make it for her.  The milk crates I think will be a fun addition for storage and visual interest.

What do you think of the ideas for her room?  Have you tackled any of these projects before?

To one we bid adieu – Victoria turned two!

Two.  I don’t think time has ever flown by faster.

When it came time to plan for the big day, I took my chance to choose (what will probably be) the last theme I can do without her input.  And I like rhymes.  Zoo, Moo, Boo – super cute ideas but not really my style (although I’ve done and seen some adorable interpretations of these ideas).  Then, I realized adieu rhymes with two, and I ran with it… Paris.

The invitation.

I designed it, with a graphic from Whilst Digital on Etsy.  I went with the country’s colors because almost every inspiration I saw was pink and black – and I wanted to be a bit different.

The details.

In the days leading up to the party, I worked on banners, buntings, mantle decor and layout – I drew it all out to make sure it would all flow with the 15 kiddos that had RSVP’d.  With the new house, I was excited to see how it all could come together.

Guests were greeted with an Eiffel Tower and door wreath to let them know they were in the right spot (hey, our house is new – it’s not on the map yet!).

 

Then – banners and buntings everywhere!  The mantle I switched up to bring in the French Flag again – and it was so easy.  Plain canvases covered in fabric – a 20 minute project and it looked great!

 

My favorite thing to use in party decor right now is the little ball tassel trim.  It’s just so fun and a little different.  I used it last year on the ceiling, for a baby shower, and this year behind her Happy Birthday banner (you can sort of make it out here – the morning light floods the back side of our house, it’s amazing).  Oh – and that tablecloth?  a $5 twin sheet.

 

 

 

I had the cake stand from last year, and I made a quick little cake bunting, and her two sweet little candles.

 

The favors were adorable – red and blue crayons in the shapes of Eiffel Towers, made by Posh Paper Creations, also from Etsy.  I mean, what toddler doesn’t like crayons?!

The activities.

It’s January.  In Colorado.  Who knows what the weather will be.  So I thought up some ideas to keep the kids occupied indoors.  One was covering our living room table in kraft paper (you can see it in the photo with the flag buntings across the room).  I dumped out crayons and let the kids go to town.  Then, it’s easy clean-up and recyclable too.

The other was making a little Paris city where the kids could pull off the pieces and move them around.  I used kraft, but smoother paper would be better, as the tape looses its sticky pretty quickly.  It was cute none-the-less and the kids had fun with it!

My good friend and photographer, Danielle Good, captured most of these images (save for one that I snapped with my cell phone).  She’s started doing videography and captured the party in all of its glory.

Joyeux deuxième anniversaire, ma douce fille!

Fall party – complete with free printables!

A few months ago I was approached by our church to take on the roll of planning gatherings for our young adults (and families).  With winter very rapidly approaching CO, I hoped that our weather would hold off for us to be able to enjoy an evening outside and celebrate the beautiful season with fun and fellowship.

Since I just love planning parties, I quickly went into “the mode” – looking at Pinterest for game ideas and making daily trips to Hobby Lobby for whatever new supply I needed.  A few banners, buntings and game ideas later, it all came together beautifully, and everyone had a great time – from the infants to the adults!

First – the decor.  The little leaf bunting was super easy to do – just use leaf die-cuts (there were also acorns and pumpkins, but I didn’t grab a photo of those) or cut them with a machine, poke little holes and string along with cord, twine or ribbon.  You can do them anyway – sideways like I showed, or even vertical (you can get a small glimpse of them in the Happy Fall Y’all banner photo).

I found quite a few games that were Halloween themed, and I just modified them to be fall instead of Halloween.  I whipped up some signs to go along with them (which are a combination of freebie and bought items from Kelly Jane Creative (who you should definitely check out on Etsy and Facebook) and free clipart that I found on the web)…

Acorn Toss – toss the number of acorns into the corresponding bucket

Squirrel’s Soup – Use a straw to move the ingredients from the table to the bowl
Take a broom and roll the pumpkin from the starting line, to cones, and back again

Gourd Bowling – use a pumpkin to knock down the gourds

 And what would games be without prizes?

The Cornucopia – AKA the good stuff

As a fun bonus, I’m giving these game signs away for free!  You can download them by clicking on the following links:

Acorn Toss       Cornucopia        Gourd Bowling        Pumpkin Race       Squirrel’s Soup
If you use them – please send me a photo using either the mail link up at the top of the page or on my Facebook page – I LOVE seeing what I make in action!

In summary: April 2013

I just can’t believe it.

April came and went, just like the weekly snowstorms we had.  Yes, that’s right.  Snow.  In April.  Not something I thought I’d be saying.

No, these aren’t from the same storm, but rather the three different snow storms we had.  April 9, April 16, April 23.  Totaling 47.6 inches.  FOR THE MONTH.  Whoa.
One of the big things we did this month was redo our dining room, and I worked on a few other decor things I’ve had on my mind to do for awhile.  Maybe I’ll get to a post on those.  Or I won’t.  We’ll see 🙂

By the way  – can you believe we scored that buffet table from an antique store for $79?   Or that it came in not long before we got there?  It was meant to be.  Same with the chairs (although, they cost a bit more).  It opens up the room so much and gives me a place to stash things.  Also, ignore the mess on the table – I was too excited to share with friends and didn’t care about the mess.
April also was full of fun with T.  From her meeting her shadow (which she did not like), to a new babydoll, to visits with friends, a party at school and exploring new things (which includes mom’s phone, thus the blurry picture in the collage), it was a great month for her.  And while I loved my baby, I do have to say that toddler T is so much fun.  

I’m really looking forward to all of the new, fun things that May, I know, will bring.

Christening party

Since Tori was born in January, just 3 weeks after Christmas, I wasn’t sure how many people would be able to attend a birthday party for her (don’t worry – I’ll still be throwing her one!), so I decided to go all out for her Christening.  But by all out, I don’t mean financially.

I started by making my own invitations:

I used vistaprint for them (after searching around for codes and finding the cheapest place).

I’d say that this was when I started looking at pinterest, but I’d be lying.  I pinned a bunch of ideas even before Tori was born for party ideas for her for various occasions – from holiday parties to birthdays or other events.  So I started combining them all and came up with a plan… shabby country chic, with tans, ivories and light pinks.  Mason jars, burlap, and wildflowers were part of the decor.

In order to save money, I asked my mom to ask around and see if any of her friends had some things we could borrow for the event – like mason jars, tents, tables, linens, and a tub for drinks.  Luckily we were able to borrow everything I was looking for, for the cost of a thank you note and postage!

I bought burlap from a fabric store and cut 10 inch table runners out of it.  I placed 5 jars on each table, three with flowers (some I bought for $4.99 a bunch – the white and green button mums – and the others I cut from my mom’s bushes), and the other two with floating candles.

 But was that enough?  Oh no 😉

I bulk ordered tissue paper and cardstock and made my own dot decorations and tissue poms.  The best thing about these poms is that they looked a MESS when I folded them up, but as a friend said, they ended up being forgiving and looked great!

I cut close to 1000 dots in the couple of days prior to the trip, and honestly I could’ve used more.  But I think my mom and sister were thankful I didn’t.  They were troopers in helping me pull everything off – by either watching Tori or helping glue dots together.  Each dangle had 60 dots on each – glued together by hand!  And another good thing, was that as the day wore on, the kids who attended pulled them down and used them as toys – running around the yard waving them wildly! 

While we weren’t looking for gifts, we set up a birdcage just in case – and we received some really sweet cards as well as some books and other gifts to commemorate the occasion.  I also had a good friend from high school make her yummy cake. 

Can I also say that my Cricut machine was a life saver?  I’ve had it for over a year and hadn’t really put it to use until now.  I used it for the dots as well as the banner above the cake/gift table.

We had three tents set up in the backyard (I wish I had taken a photo of it all, or asked for it!), with one hosting the food.  We had BBQ and the fixin’s, tea, lemonade, beer, and wine all set up.  It all came together exactly like I envisioned, and everyone had a great time!  And thanks to my friend Hannah for taking these pictures.

Proud parents and godparents, with our newly baptized girl!

Only two months left.

I have been a horrible blogger.  I know, I’ve been saying that for the last, oh, 8 months.  But I really am going to try to make a conscious effort to get back into it, especially since the next two months will be extremely exciting around here… with Christmas, the New Year, and the upcoming birth of our little girl.

I haven’t been picking up my DSLR camera as much as I’d like to, but when you have the new iPhone 4S with the amazing 8 megapixel camera and Instagram, it’s just much easier to chronicle daily life that way.  I have, however, asked for a few new things to go with my camera for Christmas (like a shutter remote and scoop flash!) so that I’m armed when our little one comes.  And I’m hoping to get some good use out of it before she does to get in practice again.  While I like our Christmas card pictures, having to set up the countdown timer and then hope to get in place by the time it goes off can get hard… especially when you’re moving at my speed 🙂

It’s really hard to believe that our guess date (it’s a new term that I’ve been working on picking up from our birthing classes – more on that after the classes end) is only two months away from today.  Time has really flown by.

So what do I look like right now?  Back in August, I posted this picture from me at 15 weeks.  I definitely wasn’t nearly as pregnant looking as I thought I was.  I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since then.  This week I hit 31 weeks, and here was the picture I took to document it:

I’ve been really happy how well I’ve handled pregnancy.  Sure, I have my moments (and when I do, watch out, haha!).  But overall, I can’t complain at all.  The discomfort has been slight, and I’m generally sleeping through the night still (with a couple of breaks to use the bathroom… but I generally do that in a zombie state).

A few pregnancy highlights:
How far along: 31 weeks
How big is baby: The size of a squash (although, I’ve never seen a squash that looks like the type they’re saying – I’d say more like a small pumpkin).  While it says she should weigh about 3.5 pounds, I know she weighs more than that by now… she was 3 lbs 4 oz when I was 28 weeks.
Maternity clothes: Yes.  And they’re amazing.
Gender: Sweet baby girl!
Movement: All the time.  She does these roll things that at times can be quite nauseating, but it’s comforting at the same time.  I don’t think I ever had the full blown kicks, but more little jabs from elbows and knees.
Sleep: Like I said, pretty well!
What I miss: Enjoying my hubby’s homebrew (so I’ve had a sip here and there when he orders a beer or has one at home), as well as real sushi.  I’d love a spicy tuna roll (you KNOW what S is getting me after we have her ;))
Cravings: This is one of the things that I never really had.  I went through a phase where I’d choose tomato soup over anything if I could, but that’s been done for a couple of months now.
Symptoms: Nothing too bad.  I’ve had this numb feeling right where my ribs end on the right side, which my OB said can happen.  My restless leg has also been acting up pretty bad.  But that’s about it.
Words of wisdom: Just to drink a lot of water, especially during the winter.  And have a humidifier!  Dehydration will lead to discomfort, and no one wants that 🙂
Best moment this week: For the last two nights, we’ve been doing various classes to get ready.  Monday was the first in our 6 week birthing class series (which takes us up to Jan 9… crazy!), and last night was the breastfeeding class.  S has been great, especially since I chose a nontraditional method to childbirth (more to come…).  And last night he made a comment about how all of this has us spending more time together.  And it makes me happy that he’s being open to my ideas (I had imagined us being kicked out of class because S would be laughing over one thing or another… we can be immature sometimes :)).

We’ve worked through the nursery and have bought most things that we need for her arrival.  I’ve been also working toward making her nursery exactly how I envisioned it, even after my original vision didn’t quite work out.  I’m happy to say that just a few hours of looking through nursery pictures online and really taking the time to think has worked out in my favor.  I’ve got some art done, am working on shelves to put up (we bought plain ones from Ikea and I’m staining them to match the crib), and am still trying to figure out what to put above the changing table since S didn’t like how the mirror I re-purposed turned out.  But as a tease, here’s the art that’s now above the crib that I made, as well as the mobile I finished back in October.

The art was easy in concept, but when it came down to actually doing it, my Cricut didn’t like to cut the fabric (even after I stiffened it up quite a bit).  But, all in all, it wasn’t too bad… I just pulled out my Exacto knife after cutting out the pattern on paper and got to work.  Once I get everything finished, I’ll pull out my DSLR and take good pictures of the room in all of its glory!

Nursery redesign.

Last week I finally received the color samples I requested back at the end of October.  I was pretty darn excited to see how the colors would look, so S and I went upstairs and put them on the walls…

Result… not good.

The pink was incredibly pink and the brown was too red.  And after talking to a friend who uses the pantone color chart that another vendor uses, he said we’re probably out of luck with colors to go with the color on the walls (he’s also the friend who helped us paint).

So yesterday morning was spent taking down the existing tree, and deciding how I was going to decorate now that the big art feature is no more.

After talking with S about different options, and heading to Michael’s to get supplies to make more wreaths (which are also for sale again in my Etsy shop), we saw that they were having a BOGO sale on their canvases.  Armed with a 20% off your entire purchase coupon, we bought two large canvases and 8 small canvases to go along with the other two canvases I’ve already covered that I haven’t done anything with.  I also have some buttons and burlap on the way, so I think this huge blank wall (about 10 and a half feet worth!) will have some new life!  I’m also thinking about refinishing a mirror we have in the basement to go above the changing table, and adding a shelf to the final wall for knick-knacks.

Now to find the time to make it all 🙂

Nursery progress… part one

When we found out what we were expecting, I started into nursery planning mode.  I guess it’s not hard to imagine that, due to my planning with the guest bedroom and master bedroom updates.  I decided from the beginning to do something relatively neutral, and bring in specific colors later.

My blank slate:

The first thing I did, was find my overall inspiration.  I found this fabric, from babybedding.com, and I was set.

 I ordered it, and sent it off to my aunt who’s making our valences (because, seriously, $70 for a small, tab-top valence is nuts!).
At the beginning of August, my mom came to visit and I took her to take a peek at the furniture that S and I had decided on.  She loved it, so we pulled the trigger, mainly because it was special order and it could take 10 weeks to arrive (mid-November-ish).   We also ordered my glider… an armchair/ottoman combo that was also special order.

The next thing we did was take advantage of The Container Store’s labor day sale, and bought materials to turn the regular closet (which was a shelf and one rod) into something more baby appropriate.  Here’s the after:

 Two weeks later, a friend of ours came over and helped match the paint to the fabric and then he and S painted the room.  With the theme of birds in mind, and still not knowing what the sex of our little one was, I decided to stay neutral and buy a tree with green leaves instead of the adorable ones that were colored either blue or pink.  I ordered it, it came in, and I’ve slowly put it up in phases.
Last night I finally finished it, and am not happy.  It’s not the tree itself… I LOVE the design and largeness of it… but the colors leave a lot to be desired… for the room’s colors I already chose.  Here, take a look:

The lighter green is more like John Deere green, and really does not look right with the fabric.  Not to mention I feel in love with the fabric even more when I created our crib skirt out of it with a little bit of pink.  See what I mean though, about how amazing the tree itself is?

 I hated to do it, but I contacted the seller, and asked about an exchange… changing the tree from light brown, dark green, and green, to dark brown, light brown and pink… something like this quick drawing:

I’m hoping that even though it’s been just over a month, he’ll work with me and my hormonal self.  If not, I guess the price of the two of them still is better than even one of the other art pieces I decided to make instead of buying 2 at $200 a piece.

What do you think about this new change?

Guest bedroom update

So about a month ago, I wrote about how I wanted to DIY a headboard, and how I had found a duvet cover that I thought would work perfectly with the room.

I was able to finish the guest room last week.  So here’s the before picture:

Pretty blah, and it’s an airmattress (which is amazingly comfortable to sleep on)
And, now the, after:

I made the headboard and footboard a couple of weeks ago, and they turned out really well, considering I had never tried to upholster anything before.  I probably should’ve raised the headboard up even more so you could actually see it but it would be an easy fix if we end up getting rid of the box spring and having a low profile.  See that curtain?  I made it using the no-sew method and some fabric I picked up from JoAnn’s on sale.

The duvet is the one I mentioned when we had finally found and ordered our bedroom furniture.  And I did another gallery wall in this room, which I hope will be filled with pictures from our travels.  Picture frames came from Hobby Lobby (close to our bedroom ones, but cheaper), the clock on the nightstand came from a little boutique in Estes Park, CO, and the lamp is a left-over from S’s bachelor days.  Oh, and I made the shadowboxes with the keys for about $15 (would’ve been cheaper if I had the keys on hand).

The pillows came from Kohl’s (hooray coupons!).  The one in the front matches one of the scrapbook pages I used to temporarily fill the picture frames.

I have plans to finish this room with a desk when the time comes to turn the office into a nursery, but that’s still out in the unknown future.  But for now, I’m incredibly proud of it, and can’t wait for our first guests to come (right now that’s in May when my parents come to visit).