Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Faux Fireplace

Bustle Dress


DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

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Recycled canvas art

I recently read this blog post from A Beautiful Mess, along with this one from Sourthern Belle Soul, Mountain Bride Heart, and immediately pinned them!

I love to change things up, decor-wise, but I do not have the extra cash to purchase such trivial items!  As a result, I often just repurpose previous projects to fit my current mood/style/project/whatever. For this project, I used a couple canvases  that I had in my "to be made into something fabulous" pile. 

For this project, you will need:

A canvas, any size

Book pages (or newspaper, or magazine pages, etc.)

Vinyl letters

Craft paint

Mod Podge

I had everything on hand, except the vinyl letters that I purchased at Michael's for about $4.


***I ended up using the smaller canvas (left over from a play room at Gma's house) for another project that I am DYING to show you, but I am going to keep it mostly under wraps for a bit longer.  I say "mostly" under wraps, beause if you follow my on FB, you got a sneak peek at something new I am working on! Anyhow, you won't see anymore of the smaller canvas in this post!

I very quickly, almost haphazardly, attached the book pages to the canvas.  I used hot glue, but you could use anything.  Tape.  Elmer's.  Anything.

Then I chose a word and "measured" it out.  Again, I am using a very loose interpretation of "measured". It was more like "eye-balled"...

Once I got all the letters attached, I thought it looked really fantastic just as it was!

Then I remembered that I was using book pages from a romance novel that I purchased from GoodWill.  (I feel the need to say that I did NOT purchase the romance novel to read, but to use the pages on a project! Whenever I am at GoodWill, which is often!, I almost always pick up a book! I love to use book pages, and you can find some really yellowed pages at GoodWill!  And you cannot beat the price! ;) Anyhow, I decided that I had better scan the pages and see if there was anything that jumped off the pages at me. My scan went something like this, "Blah blah inappropriate.  Blah blah offensive.  Blah blah FOR SHAME! Blah blah YIKES! INAPPROPRIATE! HOLY MOLEY! SERIOUSLY?!"  Yeah...I decided it needed to be painted, for sure!, and I made a mental note to pay attention to the book pages I use in the future if I intend to leave them uncovered!

I brushed on a light coat of acrylic paint--just enough to obscure most of the text! ;)

When it was dry, I peeled off the letters. I forgot to take pics of the first piece, so I am switching it up here!  I made two at the same time, and I apparently forgot which one I was taking pics of!  Oops!  I am sure you can get the idea!

The paint looked really flat, so I added a bit of distress ink to give the piece some more texture.  I also Mod Podge the entire piece.  I did this mainly because the letters were very sticky, as you can see in the above picture, and I didn't want dust to settle onto my "new" art work!

I love how they turned out, and I love that I was able to change things up for very little money!

Have a blessed day, my friends!  Enjoy the Son!


Garden sign 

After my post last week on transferring a photo onto wood, I was inspired to try more ideas.  This is what I ended up with.

I think she's pretty cute, and here is how I made her. You will need:

An image to transfer

Scrap of wood

Acrylic gel medium

Craft paint and stain (optional)

The first thing I needed to do was decide what I wanted to transfer onto the wood.  I have some grandiose ideas in my head, but I thought I should start out with something simple. ;)  I wanted to make a garden sign, so I decided I would just print "Garden".  How original.  Anyhow...I knew that I needed to print the image in reverse, and I thought there would just be a "mirror image" button or something.  There wasn't.  I started Googling how to print a reverse image and got a wide variety of answers.  Some said it couldn't be done from my computer.  Some said just click the button (which I do not have "the button").  Most said to purchase a reverse font.  None of those suggestions were working for me.  So, I called my resident tech guy and he walked me through a few simple steps (it looks like a lot of steps, but it took about one minute!) and I was able to print my image in reverse.

How to flip text on a mac
        1    Open your text editor of choice.(Word, Text Edit, Pages….)
        2    Pick the font and size of text you want (I chose "cracked" at about 200pt)
        3    Type your message
        4    Save/Print the document as a PDF
        5    Open the PDF in Preview
        6    Choose File-->Save As(Export) and select JPEG as the file format
        7    Close Preview
        8    Right Click the JPEG you saved
        9    Select Open With-->Preview
        10   Select Tool-->Flip Horizontal
        11    Print the JPEG on your laser printer

There is my reverse image.  When I hold it up to the light, you can read it! (Simple and obvious, I know, but I am easily amused!!!)

I learned from before that the white border around the image will transfer with the image.  I wanted a softer, more natural look for the sign, so I tore the image from the page as opposed to using scissors and ending up with rigid lines for the border.

I carefully applied my medium.  Remember Goldilocks...

And placed my image, smoothing out as many bubbles as possible.

Then I let it dry over night.

The next morning, I wet the paper with a rag and rubbed off the excess with my fingers. Once it was dry, I was ready to add some color.

First, I brushed on a bit of red, then immediately took a damp cloth and rubbed it in and off.

Once that was dry, I brushed a bit of the teal color on, and just blotted it with the rag.

Once THAT was dry, I sanded the whole thing, and then applied some stain over the whole project.  I had some small chainlink on hand, so I cut a section of the chain and simply screwed it to the back of the board.

Then she was ready for the garden!

It's not the greatest thing I have ever created, but I am learning something new!  And, this project cost me $0.  That is, ZERO DOLLARS.  Nothing.  I love to create new things.  I get positively giddy when I am able to create said things without spending any money! And, don't forget about my "grandiose" ideas.  These projects are practice for something bigger! ;)

Enjoy the Son today, my friends!


Privet Hedge (gone wild...)

We have an absolutely beautiful privet hedge in our back yard.


Okay.  That is a big fat lie.  Here is what the privet hedge in our backyard recently looked like.

The hedge is actually not even ours.  We have lived here for almost three years, and I suspect that the hedge was out of control long before we moved in.  We asked the woman behind us if we could trim up the hedge.  We offered to do it oursevles, but she declined, stating she loved the privacy. She said we could trim anything on our side (obviously), but she did not want us to take anything off the top. So, we always just trimmed away our side, and the hedge continued to grow out of control.  In the above photo, I had just trimmed the hedge.  Can't tell?  I know.  It's so crazy.  But, before I trimmed, you couldn't even see the fence!

This winter, new owners moved in and realized that the hedge had to be trimmed. They said they hoped that they could reshape the hedge and get it under control to a nice, full, even hedge. So, at the beginning of June, they hacked away at the wild hedge, and this is what was left.

Yikes! Who knew there was really a house back there?!  And what happened to nice and even!!!  I know that it had to be done, but...wow.

I have never done much with the back bed, because the hedge was so overgrown it made the back of the yard seem like a forest, and it really never bothered me to have nothing back there.  (I did plant some hydrangea bushes back there a couple of years ago, but they were very small and were trappled during the Great Hedge Masacre.) Anyhow, now that the hedge is, well, awful and providing little privacy, I decided that we needed a focal point in the backyard--other than the hedge!

So, this junk-loving girl gathered some junky treasures and plopped them in the back bed, creating a very quick and quirky scene to distract from the hedge.  What do you think?

I had almost all of these "treasures" already in my possession.  I think my favorite additions to the back yard are the little red chair and the red washtub stand.  You see, I garbage picked a couple of red bar stools over a year ago. (Thank you, Mary, for the curb alert!!!) Some of the bottom rungs were really chewed up from some playful pups, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but I really liked them!  So, they have sat in the barn shed for quite some time.  Then a couple of weeks ago, inspiration hit.  I asked my husband to help me saw off the bottom of the chair.  To his credit, he did not ask any questions and immediately stopped what he was doing and went and grabbed the cordless circular saw.  He must have seen the look in my eyes and known I meant business! ;) I said we didn't need to measure, because no one would ever sit in the chair, so we just eyeballed it started cutting.  (If you have ever seen me work on a project, you know that measuring is not my strong suit.  Don't tell my dad and brothers!  They are carpenters by trade, and I used to work with them!  "For shame!", they would cry!) Anyhow, we sawed off the legs and as I grabbed the top part to place it in the back, my husband grabbed the bottom to throw it in the trash.  "STOP!", I cried!  My hubs looked at me like I was crazy, well, I AM actually, but he put it back down.  The next day I stopped by the flea market and picked up a rusty, old washtub for $5 and I think it looks super cute resting in the bottom of the old bar stool!

There are several random things out back, and while I could tell you a story about every piece (you know I could!) I won't drag this post out too much more! ;)  I'll just share a few pics!

I have a few little projects I am working on to add to the back, and I will share those as I finish them.  But, for now, I really like it!  It TOTALLY distracts from the hedge! :)

After I put some of my lovely junk out back, I thought that I might throw a few things in the front too!  It used to look like this.

Bleh.  Now it looks like this.

Nice!  And it was a super quick change!  My favorite thing are the lamp shade chandies that I hung from the tree.  They are a little hard to see from the street, but they look really sweet from my favorite spot on the front porch!

We are experiencing a pretty decent drought, so everything is really dried up here.  Plus, we had almost a week of 100+ degree temps, so many of my plants that I transplanted are not looking so healthy.  However, I just keep watering them, and I am confident they will come back next year! 

What does your yard look like?  Have you added any unexpected pieces to help fill in your garden?

I pray you are enjoying the sun and the Son on this lovely Friday!!!  Enjoy your weekend!


How to Transfer a photo onto Wood

I recently read a fantastic blog post (thank you, hubs, for showing it to me!) about how to transfer a photo onto wood.  You can head over to Digitial Photography School and read their post for a very detailed explanation of this process.  Or you can just stumble along with me and read my post! ;)

For this project you will need:

A laser printed photo

A scrap of wood, cut to size

An acrylic gel medium (I picked mine up at Michael's for about four dollars)

The first thing I did was choose a photo and print it on my laser printer.  Laser printer is the key here! Then I cut a piece of some reclaimed barnwood to the size I wanted, which was slightly larger than my photo.

Next, I applied a nice, even layer of the gel medium to the wood.  I was channeling Goldilocks here.  Not too thin, not too thick, but JUST RIGHT. Then I carefully placed my photo (which, again, is not a photo but a laser print out of my photo) face down and tried to get it as smooth as possible.  ***A couple of notes here: The tutorial that I read said to print the photo to the EXACT size of the wood.  I didn't want my photo to go all the way to the edge of the wood, so I did not do this.  What I should have done, however, was trim off the border around the photo, and you'll see why in a minute.  Also, in the tutorial, they were using new, smooth, unfinished (unstained) wood.  I wanted a very rustic look, so I went with the reclaimed wood.  The reclaimed wood posed two potential problems.  (I say "potential" because they didn't bother me, but some people might really be frustrated with them!) First, the reclaimed wood is quite porous, so it can be hard to get the print smooth, and the entire image might not transfer.  Second, the reclaimed wood was already stained (about 100 years ago!) and the image came out fairly dark.  Again, not problems for me, but something to consider if you try this project!

Not much to see, but still...

I let this dry over night, and in the morning my son helped me "roll" the paper off.  We removed the paper by getting it fairly wet with a rag, and then gently used our fingers to rub the paper off.

Now, this had all seemed so easy, so I was not sure that it was going to work! ;)  But as we kept rubbing off the paper, the image started to "appear", and it was soooooooooo cool!

We just kept wetting and rubbing, rubbing and wetting, and after about 20 minutes or so, the paper was almost entirely gone. You can see, however, that the white border from my print was also transfered to the wood.  Lesson learned.  Next time I will trim off any excess. 

I sanded the edges of the photo to get rid of the excess paper and gel.  Then I applied a very light coat of some Minwax stain that I had on hand.  The stain made any remaining hints of paper "disappear". At this point, you could consider your photo done.  However, I wanted to finish it off a bit and make it look old and well worn, so a applied some distressing ink to the edges.  Once that was dry, I rubbed some Annie Sloan soft wax onto the wood, and then buffed it off, giving the photo a more polished look.  ***Mod Podge makes tons of products (they even recently released a photo transfer medium!) and you could certainly finish your photo with Mod Podge for about $8 as opposed to $60 for the Annie Sloan was.  My MIL already had some wax, and that is what the tutorial I read recommened, so I used it.  But if I had to buy my own, I would have went for the Mod Podge!

I nailed a small, saw-tooth hanger to the back of the photo.

And she was ready to be displayed!

I love it!

This project was soooooooooooo easy!  Honestly!  I cannot wait to put a little spin on it and try out one of the many ideas bouncing around in the crazy space that is my brain!!! 

I have more posts lined up for you--if I can tear myself  my kids away from the pool long enough to post them! ;)

Last week the temperature here was over 100 degrees for about five days straight! We are enjoying the "cooler" weather this week, and we are always thankful for the Son!


July Mantle

Is it July already?!  Seriously?!  This summer is going by WAAAAAAAAAAAY too fast, but I am doing a pretty good job of enjoying every moment of it!  I have so many things that I want to share with you, but between some internet trouble and my daily trips to the pool, I haven't had a chance to post anything recently! 

You may recall my spring mantle that I created recently.  My mantle gets changed up quite a bit, but I haven't really done much since my spring mantle, because I just LOVE it!  I did decide, however, that I could dress it up for Independence Day, without TOTALLY redoing the mantle.

I was trying to think of some fun things to do with neutral colors that would still convey "Happy Fourth of July!".  One thing that I love are all the patriotic buntings (can you pluralize bunting? is it just "bunting? hmm...) that I see hanging on porches and gazebos, etc.  However, red/white/blue doesn't necessarily scream, "neutral".  But I thought that I could get a sort of bunting feel with a roll of burlap.  I also wanted to add a few red/white/blue decorations, without making EVERYTHING red/white/blue.  Know what I mean? Here.  I'll just show you.

I love that there is really not much color in this vignette, but it feels very patriotic nonetheless. (I totally just Googled "nonetheless" to make sure it is all one word.  It is.) I wanted to make sure there was one significant piece in red, and one in blue.  The problem was, I didn't have any.  What I DID have was several bottles of spray paint, so I searched through my lovely junk that I rotate in and out of displays around my home (is that weird?!), and I found a couple of pieces that looked like they were ready to be given a new life.

I sprayed them, and while they were certainly red and blue, they were a bit...bright.

Yikes! I thought I would tone them down a bit with some stain.  I just used a dry cloth to rub a little stain on, then I rubbed it right back off.  I also dipped some little clothespins in the stain while I had it out.  You know, just changing things up a bit.  Using my time wisely. ;) A splash of stain REALLY helped out!

Then I just started adding some items, removing a few, moving this here, that there, and pretty soon I ended up with a display that I am very pleased with! Here are a bunch of fun shots that I am excited to share for two reasons. One, I really like the mantle and just want to show it off! Two, I used the manual settings on our camera for the first time and I think I got some fairly decent shots of the mantle! Check it out!

This little lamb was cute, but she looks much more patriotic with a tiny flag made out of some old t-shirts!

I went through all of my vintage buttons and pulled out as many red/white/blue ones I could find! And I also had some vintage looking game pieces from Hobby Lobby that I was dying to use!  I think they work well in the 1/2 pint milk jar I just picked up at last weekend's flea!

And I just like something about this old picture.

I changed out the "Bloom" banner for one that was a bit more festive.

The red and blue color on the pail was added by literally folding a couple of old, t-shirt scraps in a vintage doily! And I found some fun little blocks in my collection to add a bit more color.  (Random side note: When I was hosting a vintage baby shower for my dear friend Kate, I looked high and low for vintage/antique blocks.  I could not find any.  Seriously, none!  The week after the shower was over, the flea market was overflowing with vintage blocks.  So, I decided I had better buy a few, because surely the next time I would want some I wouldn't be able to find any!  I buy a few every time I go to the flea.  As a result, I have a fun little collection now!)

The burlap "bunting" was nice, but it needed something.  So I took some scrapbook paper, old book pages, twine, buttons, etc., and made some lovelies to hang on the "bunting".

And, see the plants in the sewing box?  Yeah.  Those used to be ivy, but I forgot to mention to my husband before I went to Texas for two weeks that those were REAL ivy.  They were a touch crispy when I returned.  I tried to find more ivy, but everyone was out, so those are bugle plants.  We will see how I do with those...;)

Do you decorate for the Fourth of July?  How long do you leave your decorations up?!

Wherever you are for the holiday, I pray you have a safe and blessed day.  Enjoy the Son!