Candle, Coffee, Vase

Spent $2 today on a cute little decoration for my home:

Vase: $1 at the Dollar Tree

Vanilla Scented Candle: $1 at the Dollar Tree

Coffee Beans from my kitchen: maybe 50 cents worth (it’s decent coffee)

Erin is happy.

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DIY Changing Pad

I always think of doing the step-by-step pictures for a blog post AFTER I already complete the project.  It probably would have been nice for this one, wouldn’t it?

In the end, I’m not sure this project really saved me any money like I hoped it would, but I did end up with a custom made changing pad and a little bit of self satisfaction.

At my local craft/fabric store, I bought yard of foam and enough oil cloth to cover it.  Then I used a simple needle and thread because I don’t know how to use a sewing machine.  I sewed two sides inside out, then turned the fabric right side out and sewed the final side shut.

Oil cloth is a great fabric because you can easily wipe it clean with a wet rag and it’s really sturdy material.  (Think picnic table cover at grandma’s house).  A lot of the changing pads you can buy in the store come with fabric covers – I know I’m not a mom yet but that just sounds messy to me.

So ta-da!  There you have it!

12 Free Fall Printables

Looking for an easy, inexpensive way to decorate for fall?  How about an autumn-inspired print for your bookshelf, end table or wherever else in your home that could use some seasonal flair?  MyBlessedLife.net has 12 free fall printables to choose from.  I think this one below is my favorite.

My friend on Facebook, Kathie, used this print in her home and I think it looks adorable.

I’m spending my Saturday morning enjoying honey dip donuts with coffee and reading the November issue of Real Simple while Jon works on some homework.  Oh yes, and we are listening to some piano music on the record player.  I am officially feelin’ the holiday cheer this morning.  It almost makes me want to bake something – almost.

Paper Mustache Straw Toppers

I am really trying to figure out an occasion where I can put these paper mustache straw toppers to good use.  They’re by  Paper and Craft and they have a template you can download for free!  Not that it would really be that hard to draw your own…buy hey, why not elimate one step of the craft, right?  Here’s the step-by-step.

Do you have any ideas for an occasion where these could fit in?  Maybe a themed party for kids?  Or maybe a themed party for “big kids” like myself?  I’ve been wanting to have a Bunko night for a while now…maybe these ‘staches’ will show up there if I can ever get around to throwing said get-together.

Printable Alphabet Bunting

My FAVORITE craft idea right now are these alphabet letters from Ruffled blog.

These downloads are absolutely FREE and they work for so many occasions!  I just made a banner for a friend who recently had a baby and I made one that says “Happy Easter” for the pancake breakfast I’m throwing tomorrow morning.  I wasn’t even sure I wanted to share about them because I kind of like having some crafty secret-weapons, but hey, it’s nice to share!

My Favorite Wall

I recently redecorated a wall in my living room because after skimming through the latest Ikea catalog I decided that my current wall arrangement was ugly.  I didn’t take a before picture at the time because I was in such a rush to tear down what was there and start fresh that it didn’t cross my mind.

But after a few days of hanging out in a creative slump it all came together nicely.  Now I’m happy to say that this is officially my favorite wall in our apartment.  And the best part is, I only used items and supplies that I already had laying around (most not-so-surprisingly emerged from the Dark Cave…excuse me, I mean the guest room). 

Here’s what I did:  

  

Look at that fabulous wall!!! 

To start, I grabbed a few old books because if there’s one thing I learned from spending so much time on wedding blogs last year it’s that books do not always belong lined up on a shelf. 

A few of these I found at a used bookstore in Downtwon SLO last year and the big green book on the bottom happens to be the Guest Book from my wedding.  Really, it’s a book highlighting California’s National Parks, but we bought some sharpies and had our guests sign the pages.  We hoped it would remind us to go on some great adventures over the years. 

Next, the picnic basket is something Jon accumulated some time ago.  When I found it I asked him why he had never used it to take me on a picnic.  He didn’t know.

The colorful candle stands were a wedding gift from my little sister Devan. 

And the wire basket-turned-votive-holder is something I picked up at a nearby thrift store.  I heart thrifting.

I didn’t get a good close-up picture of them, but those beautiful sturdy wooden shelves were a dollar a piece at a yard sale.  Steal!

I hung one of my engagement photos about level with the chair to fill in the empty wall space.  We still haven’t gotten around to framing any wedding photos yet, but I love the artistic feel to this specific shot.

The white K was a table prop from our wedding and the white lamp is from Target ($15).  Lately, I’ve been appreciating the look of white on white.  And since all our walls are white and must remain that way since we signed a renting contract, it’s a good thing that I can appreciate this look. 

This geometrical wall decor was passed on to me from my last roommate Shawna.  Again, loving the white on white. 

The glass jar with ribbon and twirly whirlies was yet another table prop at my wedding. 

And finally, we reach the main event.  I had a lot of fun creating this collage.  I actually had to destroy, or rather cover up, an old piece of art in order to re-use this canvas, but it needed a change. 

This project emerged from Jon and my desire to organize our plethora of plastic CD cases that were taking up so much space.  We bought some of those thin CD sleeves and began moving our CDs from their plastic cases into the thinner sleeves where we could then fit them all into a couple woven baskets on a shelf.

 

We were about to trash all the old cases when I decided that I wanted to keep the paper inserts that came with all the CDs.  So I spread all the hundreds of cases out on the living room floor and one by one I pulled out the insert to see if it was anything worth keeping. 

Then, after I had chosen my favorites, I ran upstairs to grab my good friend Mod Podge to help me with the final step. 

Section by section, I painted a layer of Mod Podge (matte) over the canvas before placing the square pieces where I wanted them.  As I went along I made sure to smooth down all the corners and air bubbles to prevent as much rippling as possible later on as it dried.  And when everything was in place I painted a thick layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface to bond it all into one cohesive piece of art.   

Oh, rewind:  before I started placing the pictures down on the canvas, I actually painted the outside edges lime green.  Forgot to mention that. 

So now, this collage respresents all the different kinds of music we have accumulated over the years.  The bright mix of colors also allows me to tie in almost any color into my living room color scheme.  And unlike those similarly bright and funky pieces of art that I sometimes drool over at Urban Outfitters, this project only cost me a re-used canvas, old CD inserts, and a half a bottle of Mod Podge. 

Yep, pretty cool!         

Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother’s Day is about a month away, which for me, means that it’s time to begin thinking about what I’d like to do for my mom this year.  I don’t know about you, but last minute gits are never as meaningful or fun as well thought out in advance gifts that I get to put a little heart and craftiness into.

However, my mom is usually happiest with a pedicure gift certificate or some dark chocolate, so after some contemplating I may end up giving her one of the “usuals.”  But nonetheless, its fun to think about some new crafts that I can do.  Hope this helps inspire you! 

Doily Wall Art

I really like this doily wall art idea, especially if your mother or grandmother has a doily that they wanted to preserve.  With a little fabric dye from Michael’s you could even dye your own into a fun color and create a meaningful piece of family history.

Fabric Flower Collage

This project looked fun and fairly simple overall.  I really like simple. 

 

Chalkboard Flower Vase

I made chalkboards for the women in my family last Christamas by buying cute frames, then covering the glass with chalkboard paint.  However, for Mother’s Day I love this idea of making Chalkboard Flower Vases (or pencil holders, or kitchen spoon holders, etc.).  This gift is cute and something that mom can decorate to fit any holiday or occasion. 

Decorative Mirror

I like the idea of taking something that your mom may collect (such as sea shells, bottle caps, ticket stubs, old jewelry, pictures you drew as a kid, etc.) and making it into a piece of art.  My mom likes to cut out funny cartoons from the newspaper so maybe I can make her a magnetic board so she can display them fashionably.  All you need for this project is a sheet of steal and some paint or fabric.

Mosaic Garden Stepping Stone 

And for those of you who aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and deal with some concrete mix, you can create a mosaic garden stepping stone.  Whether you personalize it or just make a fun pattern these are great gifts for a mom who likes to spend time outside in her backyard or in her garden. 

Happy creating!

Controlling the Remotes

The problem:  I started noticing it a few months into our marriage.  Of all the books I read about the differences between men and women, I was never adequately prepared to deal with the plethora of remote controls that threatened to take over my coffee table and my life.  

Jon assured me that it wasn’t that he didn’t care, but rather that it was a biological difference between us.  God had made space in my brain to care about things like the remotes being put away at the end of a day, while Jon hadn’t been so blessed, or cursed, depending on how you look at it.  But I still needed to find a solution to the clutter.  

The Solution:  Mod Podge, playing cards, and a $2 tray I found at the Goodwill.

I love crafts, but I tend to gravitate more toward what I find easy to make.  Mod Podge is easy.  It’s fun.  And you need no skill whatesoever.  My kind of craft!

So, I painted the sides of the tray with some red paint.  Then, I covered the bottom of the tray with Mod Podge before laying down the playing cards.  Next, I covered the tops of the playing cards with more Mod Podge, creating a smooth, thick layer of Modge Podge over the cards.  Finally, I grabbed a cold Diet Coke from the fridge and waited for my masterpiece to dry.

Once it was dry, I lovingly placed the four remotes into their new home.  They smiled, because they knew from now on they wouldn’t get lost between the couch cushions.

And we all lived happily ever after!

Tea Anyone?

The other night Jon and I stopped by our neighbor’s apartment.  Nate and Mayra live four doors down from us and just had their first child a few months ago.  Nate works and goes to school and Mayra has Jon beat because she makes better homemade spicy salsa than anyone, including Jon.

We stopped by just to say hi and because earlier that evening in the parking lot Nate had told me that he had a box full of tea cups and saucers that used to belong to his mother that he said I could have if I liked them.  Few people know that I have a special place in my heart for mismatched China, especially since I’ve never owned any.  So these cups sent a love shock straight to that place in my heart.

When I opened the box Nate told me that he thought I’d like them because he knew I liked weird stuff like that.  And it’s true.  I think my taste balances on the fence between trendy and eclectic.  Occasionally I might even admit to “weird.”

So I’ve already been thinking about all the cute things I could do with these adorable tea cups.  The most obvious solution being to invite some friends over to drink tea out of them.  However, I’m thinking of claiming the white one with the tiny pink flowers as my official tea cup because it’s already by far my favorite one.


And luckily I just bought a box of Nilla Wafers in case I fail to make some kind of fancy treat that’s good with tea.  But speaking of that, what would you make to pair with tea?  I promise, my guests will appreciate your suggestions.