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

Hyperemesis(HG)

DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

Glazed Cabinets

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Friday
Mar072014

Hellllllooooo, March!

Hey, folks!  What have you been up to?!  {Please pardon my absence--it's been busy around here!  We left for our Disney Cruise (which I HIGHLY recommend) last Tuesday night and returned Sunday afternoon, and I have been playing catch up this week.  While we were only gone a few days, A LOT happened.  There was a birth, a death, a brain surgery, and a fall causing a broken back and hospitalization, and all the regular stuff that happens when you are out of town, too!}

I don't have any great projects to share with you today, but I'll give you a look at what has been happening here this week. Even though it is March, it is still the Midwest, and we have mountains of snow everywhere.  It even snowed more this week, and it will likely snow again soon. I am more than ready for Spring!  

I created this little vignette to encourage my spirit and remind myself that Spring.will.come.  It ALWAYS comes!

 

And remember a couple of weeks ago when I had the CAbi party and stayed up til 3am?! Well, the night before we left for the cruise, my order arrived (all 10 pieces!!!), and I was able to take my favorite new jacket on the cruise! One of my short people snapped a pic of me in the airport washroom, and I just LOVE how it shows off the ruffles on the back!

Also, check out this photo I snapped when we were flying back into Chicago.  That is Lake Michigan folks!  It is about 85% frozen right now! Crazy!!!

It was nice to get away for a few days, but it's always good to be home, too!  I REALLY like having a routine...;)  Speaking of routine, it was back to my shortys' school to help out where ever needed.  I am doing an art presentation next week for my 2nd grader's class, and upon checking the supply bin for this particular project, I found about 300 colored pencils in desperate need of sharpening.  *Random PSA: If you have any time that you can donate to your child's school, DO IT! There are ALWAYS so many small jobs that need to be done.  It might not seem like much to you, but it is a HUGE help to the teachers and staff.*

On Wednesday, I finally gathered enough courage and started working on my master bedroom/bathroom.  That means loads of wallpaper removal.  Gross.  The good news is the wallpaper in the master bed/bath is removable, which means that the vinyl AND paper backing come off in one, giant strip.   The bad news is the glue is thick and nasty.  Eww.  Anyhow, here is the current progress.

BEFORE

NOW

I've decided to work in small sections, rather than remove all of the paper in the entire bed/bath, then go back and paint, etc.  I do not think I can handle the nastiness for as long as it will take to finish, and I think that by finishing a small area I will be encouraged to keep going, and I will only have to deal with smaller areas of nastiness. Our room is basically divided into three areas: the bedroom, the closet/suite (which is code for weird closet and sink/vanity space), and the toilet/shower room.  

By working in smaller sections, I am hopeful to firm up my design plans for the master bedroom.  For the longest time, I have wanted a plank headboard.  Then, for about the last year, I have wanted a board and batten headboard.  Last week I came across this image (I only have a screen shot of it) by Tribecca Home on Overstock, and I am once again crushing on a plank headboard.

If you follow my Master Bedroom board on Pinterest, you can check out some of my inspiration pieces.  I am excited to finally be working on this project, and I cannot wait to see how it turns out!

Last but not least, the Creating with the Stars 2014 competition just opened up for auditions. There are already well over 200 projects linked up.  I have entered this competition for the last couple of years, and I will probably enter again this year, because it is a great way to meet other bloggers.  Here is my entry from last year. I don't have anything amazing to enter this year, and I don't even have time to "compete" if I was selected (which I won't be, because there are some AMAZING projects already linked up!), but this contest will give me the push I need to write my "foyer makeover" post, and then I can finally share the whole thing with you!

So, that's what's going on around here.  What are YOU working on?!  I am heading back to my room to finish scraping the glue in the bathroom--fun, fun!

Enjoy the Son!

Wednesday
Feb192014

Rub 'n Buff and Randomness

Hey!  Did you guys know it is NOT Tuesday?!  I am totally happy that it is Wednesday already (Because that means it is less than a week before we leave on our Disney Cruise!), but I am bummed that I missed Tuesday Tips and Recipes--again!  My short people were off school on Monday, and, well, I forgot that yesterday was Tuesday.  No worries.  I'll share a quick tip today! ;)

For my Valentine's Mantle, I wanted to use a bunch of silver and gold frames.  I gathered up what I had, and wanted a few more.  However, I did not want to purchase any frames, so I did what any good DIYer would do and I made my own.  I already had the frames and the product needed to transform them: Rub 'n Buff in Grecian Gold.

This is ridiculously simple.  I squirted a small amount right onto my finger (I find that this is the easiest way to do it, and it washes right off with some soap and water), and rubbed it onto the plastic frame.

My frame was solid black to start with, so I loved the way it looked "antiqued" with just light coverage.  

Cool, right?!  This is literally a dollar store, plastic frame.  With just a small amount of  product and effort, it was totally transformed!  The Rub 'n Buff comes in several different shades, and it costs about $3.99 per tube.  And it goes a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG way.  That little amount is all it took for the whole frame.  

When you're finished, your husband will likely make some corny "Goldfinger" remarks.  Oh, husbands!

I used the Rub 'n Buff on three frames for my V-day mantle, and, naturally, I do not have great pics to share, but here is a blurry one...;)

 

Such a quick and inexpensive way to transform a frame!  And Rub 'n Buff can be used on a variety of materials!

Now for some personal randomness.  Last Thursday I hosted my first CAbi party and had some much need "girl time". (I have been to several CAbi shows, but I have never hosted my own, and it was so.much.fun.  Before you think I am trying to sell you something--I'M NOT! I'm just stating a fact.  CAbi parties with my gal Whitney are fun.  Fact stated.)  The point of this story is that I didn't even realize how much I needed a girl's night.  My husband and I have become much better at setting aside time for regular date nights.  We give each other time to focus on our own projects, and we help each other is often as we can.  But I still need girl time, and this evening was a HUGE reminder of that.  My party started at 6:30pm, and everyone was gone by 1am.  WHAT?!?!?!  And that's not all.  Whitney and I ended up chatting until after 2am, resulting in a 3am bedtime.  Again, WHAT?!?!?!?!  Even thought I was quite tired, I felt refreshed after having such a great night with some really fantastic ladies!

Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE details? Yes?  Well, here is just some more proof. ;)

Setting the welcoming mood for my guests.

I just LOVE candles.

The party was the night before Valentine's Day, so I couldn't help but be a little cheesy with the red, pink, and white decorations!

For the cake banner, I tried to make a little clothesline with the CAbi dress.  I didn't get a good pic of it.  Surprise, surprise.

And after these photos, I put my phone away for the night and just enjoyed the party!

Now for just a little bit more randomness!

Here is me picking up some of "my crew" after school.  I have lots of wonderful things to say about this, but I've already been too wordy, so I'll just show you the happiness!

And, always keeping it real, while I was working on some custom art pieces for a client, a seriously threw these items on the butcher block and said, "Breakfast is ready!". And I wasn't even trying to be funny.  Hey, I'm not Super Mom and I just want to make sure no one thinks I am! 

And even though it is SO WARM today and all the snow is melting, I think it could be April before some of these piles are totally gone.

Dirty snow.  My least favorite part of winter.  But dirty snow means it's melting, so bring it on!

One last goody that I shared on my FB page the other day.  This is my bible from when I was nine years old.  My son has been using it for the last month or so, so I wrote his name in it and it just makes both of us happy to see it!

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

Thursday
Feb132014

Valentine's Day Mantle

I left you hanging yesterday, but here is the final product.

It did not turn out how I had envisioned it (which my initial vision and final product are generally different), but I really like it! My initial vision had lots of reds mixed in with gold and silver, but I ended up using copper instead.  It's very interesting to me because "metals" are very trendy right now, and I am not a trendy person.  I am unsure if I am drawn to the metals because that is what worked best for this, or if I am drawn to them because they are trendy.  Maybe the two cannot be separated...interesting, indeed.

With the exception of the small urns on either end of the mantle, this entire vignette was DIY and made from scraps!  {And the urns hardly count as a purchase when I found them so cheap at Hobby Lobby!}  I've already shared the steps for the LOVE board, and I plan to show you a couple of tips, that I used for this mantle, next week that will help keep your decor fresh without investing much, but I have an event tonight that I need to get back to organizing, so I will just show you a couple more pics.

This is why I needed to make my own wire basket.

And I already had every.single.one of these frames--please don't call HOARDERS!

 

That's pretty much it.  I will try to take a picture at night when all of the candles (in the urns and jars) are lit.  It is simple, but I like it!

And this is random, but our extended weather forecast is showing that it could reach FIFTY degrees next Thursday!!! WHAT?!?!?!  That seems crazy since my mail box is almost hidden in a pile of snow, and my gutter has so many icicles it is about to fall right off the house.  (And the entire town looks like this, just so you know I'm not exaggerating!;)

I can't imagine what 50 degrees will feel like.  Today it is supposed to hit 30, and it already feels so "warm".  :)

I will leave you with one last mantle shot.

Have a very Happy Valentine's Day, and be sure to enjoy the Son!

Wednesday
Feb122014

DIY Wire Basket

When I was thinking of my Valentine's mantle (which I will show you tomorrow!), I was picturing a long, narrow, wire basket. I looked around and did not find anything like my vision (big surprise), so I decided to make my own with the supplies I had on hand.

As I was unrolling the wire (I believe this one is actually called "poultry net" or "poultry mat", and I purchased it last winter at Home Depot for $20 and I have gotten TONS of use out of it, and there is still so much left!) and getting ready to cut, I had the great idea to start with a sample piece since I didn't know exactly how high I wanted the sides to come.  I am so glad I started with a small piece, because I made a few errors and it would have been a major pain to start over if I was re-cutting the full size piece.  (Have I mentioned it is a bit time consuming to cut the wire? I have great wire cutters, but it still takes awhile!)

Anyhow, I pretty much made it up as I went along, and I think it is pretty easy to follow, so I am just going to post the pics so that you can see how I made this basket.

Here's the start of the sample basket. I just laid the scrap of wood (same width as the one I wanted to use, just 1/4 the length) on the wire and gave myself plenty of room on all sides, and cut out a section of wire to work with.

Then I started trimming the sides so that they could be folded up.

 

Then I cut a section out of each "corner" so that I could fold the ends up.

Again, this is where I am very glad I was trying a small piece first, because I realized that I wanted the wire to wrap around the "ends", not the front and back sides.  

Here is the practice attempt.

And here is how the edges on the final product look.  Much better.

To get the edges to fold up, I used the piece of wood to bend the wire around.  I wasn't going to keep the wood in the basket (because this wire is VERY sturdy and laid nice and flat), but I ended up liking the wood in there and left it for now!

I had wanted to do something cute with edges of the basket, and I thought about "curling" the wire around the top.

Yeah...that looked better in my head! There was not much length of wire to curl, and I kept breaking pieces off, no matter how careful I tried to be!

And that was annoying, because I had intentionally cut the wire so that it could be "curled", and now I had to go back and cut off all the little pokey pieces.  Ugh.  Lesson learned.

 Here is what the (almost) final product looked like.

I liked it, but I wanted the wire to be a bit more rustic, so I got out some paint and added a little character.

Aaaaaaaand, I am leaving you there for today!  Silly, I know! But I want you to see the whole thing altogether, and this post is long enough!  

Stay warm today! I have heard a rumor that Spring is just around the corner! Enjoy the Son!

Monday
Feb102014

Mixed Media Art

I attended my first art class EVER yesterday, and it was fantastic! Sweet Jackie Lauger of Fat Jak Originals hosted a workshop at Relux Vintage (my new favorite shop in downtown Geneva!), and I cannot tell you how much I loved it. What I CAN tell you is that if you have an opportunity to take one of her classes, do it!  If you are not local, find an art class in your area, step out of your comfort zone, and just go!  

Yesterday's class was focused on mixed media art.  I have made a number of pieces that qualify as mixed media art, and I have shared some of them with you, but the techniques and tricks I learned yesterday will take my art to an entirely new level, and I am excited about that!

Here is the piece I made yesterday.

 

I will give you this caveat regarding this class/piece: This class was focused on empowering and encouraging women through art and community, and being intentional about looking after our own wants and needs.  And I created this piece for myself. It is personal and I am not finished with it, but I wanted to share some of it with you.

Just look at this texture!

There are about 8-10 layers on the piece at this point! Those teal "circles" are joint compound that I spread on over a dot stencil and the are awesome!  

I love how the colors are blending and fading on this corner.

 And the red design on this edge was made by using a dollar store DOILY as a stencil! Crazy!

This piece is currently in my office, and I am peeking at it while I type. I like it.

And, because it's been awhile, here are a couple of my most favorite mixed media pieces.

Here is a piece a started working on a few weeks ago.  Again, it's not finished, but now that I have some new tricks to try, I am ready to work on it again. 

I am not very good at drawing, so it took awhile for me to get this little gal right. Jackie showed us a number of pieces that she has made, and she confessed that she is not good at drawing people, so she challenges herself by practicing them as often as she can.  Genius, right?  If you're not good at something and want to become better, practice.  Sometimes you need someone to remind you of that.  So, I have already picked up a sketch book and some pencils, and I am going to start practicing.  I'll keep you posted!

Have you tried mixed media art? Mixed media, loosely interpreted, is just a bunch of different materials (paper, fabric, buttons, paints, plasters, etc.) put together to make an art piece. My favorite thing about mixed media art is that, when I make it, my materials are 100% recycled.  I even recycle my canvases.  

Here are some super cheesy photos of me showing my son's nursery artwork (he is almost 8 now, and this canvas has just been sitting in a box for years!) being turned into a mixed media piece.

before

 after

See? Easy peasy!  Take an unwanted art piece, use recycled materials to transform it, and BAM! New, FREE art!

I pray you are all staying warm--it is quite cold here with wind chills reaching 20-30 below zero. BRRR!

Have a blessed day and enjoy the Son!