Monday, December 30, 2013

My Favorite Projects of 2013

As 2013 comes to an end, I thought I would look back at my favorite projects from this year.

1.  The Family Gallery Wall.  This is by far my favorite project of 2013.  I can see this wall from so many places in the house.  It is a great reminder of the special moments I have shared with my family and how truly blessed I am.

photos of my children intentionally blurred.

2.  The Craig's List Chest.  I was so excited to find this chest of drawers.  A coat of turquoise paint, some new drawer liner, and this is now a great place for me to store fabrics in my sewing room.

3. New Table and Organization in the Sewing/Guest Room.  My talented husband made a beautiful table out of 2'x4's and plumbing pipe.  For handy access to sewing tools, he framed out a piece of peg board for me.

4.  The basement bathroom is finished.  So much work was done in this space.

 5.  The lobby renovation for Appalachian Christian Village.  It is great to love your job!

I have been so blessed this year.  I am looking forward to 2014 and all the possibilities a new year brings.  Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed New Year!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Is All Around Us!

Christmas is almost here, so I thought I would share a little house tour of this year's decorations.  First up is the tree.  We waited a while to get our tree up this year. We get a fresh-cut tree and it doesn't last long in a house with two inquisitive toddlers.  Let's just say tree needles fly and ornaments are likely to be part of an impromptu game of toss. This year my boys have been grabbing the branches of the tree in an effort to "shake hands" (very sweet).

Hand print Snowmen ornament (made in pre-school...we have some super crafty teachers)

Homemade Chalkboard ornaments and DIY garland

A handmade felt rosette wreath.

Some handmade felt toddler trees.

A handmade garland.

A felt tree for toddlers (to decorate and re-decorate).

Wishing Everyone a Very Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fun Christmas Decorations for Toddlers

This is the first year both my boys are old enough to really be excited about Christmas.  I thought I would involve them in making some holiday decorations that are super toddler friendly.  First up is a  felt tree with working lights.  I simply took a foam cone (purchased on sale at Michael's), and then covered it with varying shades of green felt (I had plenty left over from making my wreaths, see here).

I snipped the strips of felt to add some texture to the tree. I used "Ailene's" clear tacky glue to adhere each strip to the cones, slightly overlapping each row.  To add the "sparkle" to the trees, I added a light string necklace.  The necklace is also from "Michael's" although I have seen these all over the place from "Home Depot" to the grocery store.  The necklace has battery powered plastic lights, which make for a really fun toddler tree.  I made one of these for each of my boys' rooms.  By far their favorite part is watching the lights twinkle and nothing is more special than having your own little Christmas tree.

Second up, I put together a little felt Christmas tree for the boys to decorate.  All you have to do is cut out a tree outline from a large piece of green felt. I used chalk to trace the outline onto the felt (notice my design is by no means perfect...just quick and dirty).  I then cut out ornaments and presents for the boys to use as decorations.  The felt ornaments stick to the felt tree and can easily be removed and put back for hours of toddler tree decorating fun... (well maybe minutes of tree decorating is for toddlers after all).

In case the felt projects above didn't already give it away, I am still on a felt crafting kick.  I would love to hear about any other holiday felt ideas you might have.  Please feel free to comment and share!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Deck the Doors with Lots of Wreaths...Fa la la la

I have been a busy little elf, making felt rosette wreaths for my friends' upcoming Christmas craft show this weekend (December 6th and 7th).  Here is a sampling:

Each wreath is made from hand made felt rosettes.  They will sell for $30/each.  If you are a local reader and want to attend the show or are interested in a custom order, please feel free to email me for details. 


Merry Merry!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Play Table and a DIY Christmas Garland

Last week I was so excited to find a second hand children's play table and chair set.  Lately, I have been checking out some play tables online.  Some of my favorites are shown below:

Land of Nod, Activity Table

Pottery Barn Kids, Carolina Craft Table
Needless to say when we walked into a local second hand store and found this solid wood table and set of chairs for just $65 with coupon, I was very excited.  The table comes with a paper roll holder, which we quickly removed because it was too much fun for my little boys to hang on (I am saving this for later).  This table is perfect for eating and crafts.  My little guys have already broken this in with Play-Doh time, cars, painting, snacks, and crafts w/Mommy.

Our latest craft was a child's Christmas garland.  I was inspired by these easy garland ideas in my December issue of "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine. Like the BHG garland, I used striped drinking straws.  Instead of using wood beads as a filler, I found these holiday felt cutouts at "Michael's" (w/ 50% off coupon it was just $3.50 for the set of cut outs).

Materials: Paper Drinking Straws (cut in thirds), Twine, Felt Cut-Outs, Child's Needle

Easy Peasy

Is anyone else making DIY garland this year.  I eventually plan to use this garland on our tree when we pick one up.

Wishing everyone Merry Crafting!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Pinspiration-"Shadow Puppets"

I have to admit that when I first heard about "Pinterest" I couldn't understand the appeal.  Today, I have come to love "Pinterest" and wonder how I ever found inspiration before, not to mention how helpful it is to organize your ideas (no endorsements here...just love).  There are truly endless resources of creative ideas in the "Pinterest" world.  I thought I would start a new post series where I share some of the projects I have done, based on "Pinterest" ideas. I found this cute shadow puppet inspiration from on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. 


My boys are now at an age where their imaginations are supercharged.  When I found this pin for "Shadow Puppets" I knew this would be a big hit.  Using a few shortcuts, this project only took about 20 minutes.  The full tutorial can be found at the link above.  Below are my tweaks and shortcuts. 

Just need a printer, card stock, scissors, pencils, and tape

I just used regular clear tape to adhere the paper to the pencils.

 I just printed the shadow images directly onto white card stock and then skipped the step that suggests you line them with black card stock.  I found they work just fine without the lining.  My other tweak was to use some left over Halloween pencils for the handles/stems instead of the cute black/white straws (I just used what I had on hand). You can get all kinds of items for shadow puppets by simply searching for "animal silhouettes" on google.  All you need is a flashlight and some imagination to make this toy come to life. 

Have you been doing any "Pinterest" inspired projects lately.  I would love to hear about them.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Basement Bathroom Reveal (Almost Finished)

My husband, John, has been working diligently nights and weekends for the better part of a year to renovate our basement.  The process has been very involved and required work in just about every trade imaginable: plumbing, electrical, drywall, framing, sealing, insulating, painting, new ceiling, new lighting, new flooring, and more.  Today I am sharing photos of the basement bathroom.  I never got a good "before" photo of this space but I do have some "demo" and "in-progress" shots (see below).

Before there was  a standard acrylic tub/shower combo unit in the space.  The floors were this really ugly green/white vinyl and there were these really tacky wood doors everywhere in the drywall that provided access to the water shut-off valve and plumbing clean-outs.

The ugly green/white check vinyl flooring was wall to wall throughout our basement.  It was direct glued down to the concrete, not only on the perimeter, but everywhere.  This made for a tough demolition job.  To make things a bit easier, John rented this scraper (video below).

Piles of demo flooring
The walls now have spray-in insulation, new drywall, PEX water lines, and the floor has been replaced with a wood-look vinyl.  John put in a "Schluter-Kerdi" waterproofing system for the shower and tile that we found in-stock at "Lowes". 

This bathroom not only functions but adds a lot of character to our house.  One of my favorite things is the mirror which was handcrafted by John from multiple species of wood.  Not only does the mirror look pretty, but it is on hidden sliding hardware that allows it to easily move to the left and allow easy access to the water shut-off valve (pretty nifty eh?).

Our "James Bond" feature; sliding mirror reveals water shut-off valve.

Last but not least, here are some shots of the newly tiled walk-in shower and white-washed wood plank ceiling.

White-washed wood planks on the ceiling
Oops, almost for got to mention the vanity/sink.  After no luck looking through every local antique and thrift store to find a base for our sink, John decided he could make one himself. He built the sink base with standard lumber and then stained it a dark black/brown walnut.  He glazed the top to make splashes and spills an easy clean-up.  The sink and faucet were purchased online.

This cute little shower curtain was a $5 purchase from IKEA.  We have considered adding a glass shower door, but for now we are happy with this budget friendly option.

There are still some finishes and tweaks to be made, but this space has come a long way.

This space and post were made possible by all the hard work from my husband.  His skill and determination never cease to amaze.  Thank You!