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

Glazed Cabinets

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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!


Flower hair accessories

Hmmm... That title sounds really "bleh" for such a great project, but I am still on my first cup of coffee after a very long weekend, so it's all I got right now! ;)

Lately, I have been seeing flower hair accessories everywhere, and I LOVE them!  Seriously, isn't this fantastic?!?!

I made that, y'all! (I've only been home from Texas for a week--I couldn't resist using a little southern vernacular!) I love this! What I don't love is a $15+ price tag.  (You all know how cheap frugal I am!) So I decided to try making my own.  My cousin Veronica (she is super crafty and has a great little blog you might enjoy!) made me a really great flower pin a year ago, and I remembered that she said she just heated the edges to get her fabric to curl.  Sounded easy enough.

To start, I cut a bunch of rough circles, all different sizes, from some organza fabric that I had in my scrap bin. (I should feature my scrap bin(s) sometime!  It is like an acrchive of all my projects from the last 10 years!)

The next thing I needed to do was heat the edges.  This part was a little bit of trial and error for me.  I am sure that I could have looked on Pinterest or just Googled this project and I would have found a great tutorial somewhere.  But, the truth is, I got the idea in my head that I was going to make a flower "right now", and I sat down with my supplies and just started experimenting.  My first attempt (okay, my first THREE attempts) were failures.  In my defense, I am used to melting the ends of the satin ribbons I use for tutus, and organza is COMPLETELY different! Long story short, I was getting the organza too close to my flame and totally melting the fabric. As in, black and crispy melted.  Lesson learned.  I decided to light a candle and just sort of pass the organza over the flame, and that worked perfectly!

I had no idea how many "petals" I would need, so I just made a lot!  Typical Holly...

After the edges were curled, I started stacking them together.  You could do this with just a few petals, or you can use a lot!

Once I was happy with the size and fullness of my flower, I took a couple of stitches and sewed all the layers together.

Then I took some of my vintage pearls and beads and attached them to the flower.  I was going to sew them on, but I didn't like the way they were laying, so, hot glue to the rescue!  Someone should check the archives and see if I have ever completed a project without hot glue...;)

I loved this little clip so much, that I ran over to Jo-Ann and picked up a few more colors of the organza fabric, and, in typical Holly-fashion, I made a clip in every color.  What can I say?  I know what I like, and on this day, it was DIY flower hair accessories!!! ;)

I like to use single prong alligator clips for my hair accessories, and I, again!, used hot clue to secure them. 

I finished these beauties the day before I left for Texas. I should have been packing, but I was waiting on some laundry to dry, so I decided to do a little photo shoot.  Check it out:

I have found that these clips are perfect for when I've been at the pool all day and have ridiculous hair!  I just pull it back into a messy pony, add a flower, and I instantly look like I tried a little harder. ;)

Or when I'm going out for dinner and want something a little different.  I like the low, side-pony with a flower.  My gal Sarah says the side pony is frightening and reminds her of the 80's.  She's right, but I wore it anyway.  I liked the 80's!

And sometimes I just want to add a flower to spice up my plain locks.

The other day, I wore a bun and placed a couple of the flowers together. And Mo loves to wear them, too!  I have had so much fun with these little clips--I think I need an intervention! ;)

If you try these out, send me a message and let me know what you think!  Better yet, send me a pic and I'll post it here!

Praying you are all well and enjoying the Son!


Another memo board

Miss me? I've been enjoying summer and have just returned from two weeks in Texas with my short people.  And we have returned just in time for our town's annual Swedish Days Festival, which I love!  (For all of my local readers: Come out and join the fun tonight! Last night we camped out on the courthouse lawn with several hundred other festival revelers and danced to the sweet tunes of Mike and Joe.  So.much.fun!!! We will probably go back tonight, but tonight is a tribute band called ABBA Salute, and I am not quite sure I will enjoy it as much as I did Mike and Joe, but everybody loves a little "Dancing Queen" and "Mama Mia", right? Plus, the people watching is FANTASTIC, so I am sure I will enjoy myself no matter what! Come join us!!!)

Okay.  Enough about summer.  I have been dying to show you this project that I FINALLY completed! Check out this memo board that I created for my sister!


I started with some reclaimed barn wood, various findings, chalkboard paint, and some chain.

I painted and distressed the little wicker basket and was going to use it as a catch-all for mail, etc., but I ended up not using it at all, so you won't see it in anymore pics. ;) I painted a section of one board with some chalkboard paint.  I glued some cork board onto another section.  And I started attaching my findings here and there.

I painted "keys" above the hooks.  (I know.  You're like, "Thank you, Captain Obvious.") I probably should have used a stencil, but since I was going for a very rustic and ecclectic look, I decided to freehand it.  Eh. It'll do.

But, it looked too new, so I sanded it a bit. Much better.

Then it was time to start attaching things! I embellished some tiny close pins so my sister can clip notes and photos and such to the wire.

I used some scrap fabric and old book pages to make a little rosette and banner for another section of the memo board.  I attached old, church pew bulletin holder to the bottom of the panel.  Two down and one up so that she can attach lots of goodies! Right now there is a picture of my sister and I in our flowergirl dresses at our parents' wedding.

Cute, right?  I am on the left. ;)


On the last panel, I decided to add a bunch of very small, randomly placed nails below the cork board.  This way my sister will be able to hang all kinds of little lovies on her board.  I started her off with a felfted "F" since that is her last initial.  I also added some of my favorite tin tags.  There is a fantastic store in Geneva called Cocoon.  They have such yummy items, and a DELICIOUS sale room!  These little tags were only $0.50 each!  I bought every number that they had, knowing I would use them for SOMETHING at SOME POINT. ;) But, the only numbers they had were 5, 6, 8, and 9.  Weird.  Lucky for me, my sister became my sister in 1985, so I was able to use a couple of my tin tags!

One more beauty shot.

And that's it!  What have YOU been up to?!  Whatever it is, I hope you are enjoying the Son!

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Catching up

Okay.  It's been two weeks since my last post.  I bet you think I've been sitting around doing nothing...;) Ha!  Actually, I have been working on so many things I haven't even taken time to post a fun project! Most of what I have been working on has been yardwork.  Lots of yardwork.  Ridiculous amounts of yardwork!  But I love it!  I want to show you the most recent junky memo board I created for my sister.  And the new hair clips I just made last night.  And MY fairy garden, because I loved my daughter's so much I had to make my own! And several other projects I have completed over the last two weeks, but I still need to photograph some of the them, so what you are going to get today is a random sampling of the last two weeks!  Enjoy!

Let's start with Mo's recital.  Isn't she adorable?!

I know I am biased, but, c'mon now!!!!  She is too cute!!!  Her class performed the sweetest little tap routine to 'Uptown Girls', and the audience just ate them up!!!  And, I learned that I could never be a 'Toddlers and Tiaras' mom, because I was totally stressing getting her into her little costume, making sure her headpiece was on right, adding make-up, etc.!

Now for some yardwork pics.  Our yard is almost completely covered in shade.  Shade is fantastic, until you are trying to grow some grass.  When we moved in to this house almost three years ago, I removed several trees, bushes, and randomy placed shrubs.  I added new beds and have been transplanted and dividing hostas like crazy for the past few summers.  I planted grass seed where I removed the shrubs, etc., but it has not taken.  As a result, our front yard looks pretty terrible.  That doesn't stop me from trying to add some charm, though!

Here is sad shot of part of the front yard.  (You can see the new seed that has just been spread!)

There used to be two separate beds here, and there was a "grass" walkway between the two, about four feet wide.  I use the term grass VERY loosely.  Since there was hardly any grass there, I just combined the beds a couple of years ago.  I still like to have a walk way there, so I make sure to keep it free of plants and shrubs.  However, that makes it look very bare! So, I decided to use some of my reclaimed lumber for a little garden path.

That looks better, right?!  How about some mulch?

Much better!!!  We had 15 yards of mulch delivered on Wednesday, and I estimate that I moved about 4-5 yards.  I am hardly 1/3 of the way done, and already my back and shoulders are screaming at me, and I couldn't be happier about it!  It is so lovely to be healthy and able to work hard!!!

Here is a shot from a second floor window.  It really showcases the tradgedy that is my front lawn.  Sigh.

Does anyone remember our addition barn shed? I finished painting it last fall, and over the weekend my husband helped me add some shutters and a window box.  I transplanted a little of this, and a little of that, and I think it is coming together in a very charming sort of way.

I have planted flowers in my washtubs, whiskey barrel, several pots and pails, and just about anywhere I can sneak in some flowers!

I also had to redo my porch cushions.  Again.  It's my own fault.  It was so mild this winter that I didn't pull them in.  And, if you recall, Taco and Burrito (the neighbor's cats) think the cushions are there for them, and they thoroughly enjoyed the soft place to lay on all winter!  Anyhow, the cushions were terribly faded, constantly covered in white cat hair, and honestly just awful.

Gross.  This year I went with a fabric that was a bit more whimsical.  It is still canvas, so it will hold up nicely, it's just more cheerful.  What do you think?

We absolutely love to sit on our porch, and we do sit there!!!  Everyday!!!

And we just hung a new flag for Memorial Day.  I was so happy to see that out of the ten houses on our side of the street, seven houses were flying a flag!  If you have served our country, or if you are currently serving, I thank you so very, very much for your sacrifice!  My sleepy little life and silly blog posts would not be possible without you.  Truly, thank you.

Again, this is just a sampling of what has been happening here, but I just wanted to take a moment and let you know I am still here, still plugging along, and still so very grateful for all of your support and encouragement! 

I will leave you with a silly shot of me and my little nut from the recital.

Oh goodness!  We DO have fun!!! 

Enjoy the Son!