Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas On The Porch

I got my outside decorating done yesterday. The boys put the outside lights up. I need new ones, but will wait until after Christmas, to get them on sale. I use my old enamel buckets for some of my decorating and lots of thrift store Christmas balls.

I put them in my birdbath. Oops, never got my perennials cut down, oh well. Half the time I do it in the fall, and half the time in the spring. Wish they were covered in snow.

I use them here on my potting bench in rubber boots and in a bird feeder (don't worry, I am not starving the birds--I never put birdseed in this one--I end up with too much poop on the porch!).

I have these giant Christmas ornaments in my plant holder.

Here is a little plastic greenery on my front door. I used to use fresh, but got tired of cleaning the needles from my entry way. I bought good stuff, it fools even me sometimes.
And here are some snowflakes and balls in the front window. The 3 largest ones were red, but since I changed my color scheme this year, I spray painted them white and added glitter. I changed out some of the red balls with white ones.
On another note, please check out this link and watch the video. It is sad how we have changed Christmas and commercialized it so much and the money spent is outrageous!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Picture This

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I was too busy trying to get out of here to post a Happy Turkey Day Wish ahead of time. We went to my mom's and sisters--about 2 hours away. We had a great time and the cousins loved being together. Mom, sis and I hit the stores early this morning. Although, we are cutting way back this year, we are still buying some gifts, so we had to hit it early to get those bargains and do our part to help the economy Ü.

While at my sister's, I remembered that I had never taken a picture of the gift I had made for her last year. I found an image I wanted on Print Master. I resized it to a rectangle shape that I liked. I chose to print it in tile format 3 x 4. I printed it 2 times on different papers. I used some of the same papers, but put them in a different order for the second printing so that a different part would print on it. Using a paper cutter, I cut each sheet of paper into 4ths. I discarded the outside pieces, because there was no print on them. I then played around with the pieces until I found a combination I liked. I glued the piecs onto cardstock so thay would be stiffer. I used double stick tape and mounted them on the fabric backing. For the backing, I took the back of the picture frame and hot glued a cord around the edge and then covered it in brown velvet. I used the cord so that the back would not press right against the glass. And that was it. It was somewhat time consuming, but not too bad, and fun to do. It's a fun way to do a custom piece of art for someone.

I can't wait to show you all some Christmas decorating this weekend.

Thanks for all of your kind comments--it is so fun to read them!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bowled Over

Or should I say, bowl done over. Back to Thanksgiving decoarting for a moment. Here is a wooden pedestal bowl that I bought for $2. It was your basic wooden bowl, not too great (I forgot to take a before picture). But with a coat of cream paint, some sanding and stain, it was transformed. I got some fake harvest goodies (at 70% off!) to put in it. It will probably stay for Christmas with glass balls in it or glittered pinecones that I am working on-I haven't decided. I didn't get to more Christmas decorating yet--too crazy with kids. Hopefully tomorrow after preschool.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas

Well, not too much yet, but a little. I woke up to three inches of fresh snow today, which inspired me to clean and to start digging through the Christmas boxes. The Inspired Room is having a holiday link party so I thought I'd share one of my favorite Christmas decorating ideas. I will be doing more Christmas decorating this weekend so that when I return from Thanksgiving, it will be done.

One of the first things I pulled out was these pictures that I use every year. I am missing a few, must be in another box because it would have made too much sense to put them all together in the same box. These are photos of past Christmases. Some of my kids, some older photos of me. I am the sweet child in blonde curls screaming on Santa's lap. The little boy in the oldest picture in the snowby the car is my father-in-law. The frames are from the dollar store. I still need to put some greenery in the church--I like to use fresh, so I won't get that for a week or so.

I wanted the pictures at different heights, so I covered some books in scrapbook paper. I had to tape two pieces together, but it is a great way to add a little color. I am not sure if I will keep these particular papers. Now that I have changed the color scheme of my loving (ok loving was a typo, but I decided to keep it Ü) room, I am trying to incorporate blue into my Christmas decorating, all on a small or non-existent budget. Jen at Sanctuary Arts is having a link party too with things made with scrapbook paper. I thought I'd include this, since I covered the books with it. Plus my previous three posts were all made with scrapbook paper.

I also wanted to share one of my favorite thrift store finds from a few year ago. I paid $2 for this copy of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. It does not have a copyright, but I think it is from about 1940. If anyone knows, I would love informationon it. I have tried to search for it in the past, but not this year. It has six of these gorgeous, intricate pictures or plates as they are called, plus other drawings. We always read the real Christmas story from the bible on Christmas eve and then we read this.

Other things we do to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive is involve our children in giving to others. They each select a child from a tree of giving--these are anonymous kids from our schools and they shop for them. They must work to earn money for the presents. We read a chapter book together during Christmas--something touching and heart warming. We go caroling with the neighbors. We make sure we hit those "grouchy" neighbors and hopefully soften them up a little. I will share more of our traditions through the coming month.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nu 2 Me

Okay, I bet all you creative ones have been doing this for years, but here in Montana, we are a little slow on the draw sometimes. I have had a cricut for a year. My mama bought it for me, and although I am a scrapbooker wannabe, I am not one at this point and time in my life. I do use the cricut a lot for preschool--it is great. But then I discovered a few weeks ago that they (you know that great "they") made vinyl to cut on your cricut. Now, as I said, maybe some of you have known this, but it was new to me. I have so many project ideas in mind for it. Today I was playing around and made these two little signs with some thrift store frames I had. I used the brown vinyl, and think I would like these better in black. The camera flash changed the color of the scrapbook paper--it is a deeper red. If you don't have a cricut, these could easily be made with scrapbook stickers. Gee, that's three projects in a row with scrapbook paper.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Hooked!

The weekend went by so quickly. We have had unseasonably mild weather so we were able to get some outside projects done that had been neglected in September. I need one more week of this good weather to get my garage ready for cars! I destroy the garage in the summers--hauling home too many garage sale finds, starting too many projects. Add my husband's sprinkler business stuff on top of my treasures and well, you get the picture.

I wanted to share this quick and easy project (and cheap!) that I have been selling lately. Buy the little plaques at Micheals ($1 each). Paint the edges. Pick out some scrapbook paper and press it on the top of the plaque to get the shape (kind of like the stars in the previous post) and then cut it out. Decoupage the paper onto the wood. When dry, sand a little and put a little stain on it and then poly. Add a hook (I buy these at a local hardware store-2 for $1.79) and and a hangy thingy on the back. I sell them as a trio--they are great for necklaces and purses and dog leashes and such.

Have a great Monday!

PS--I am messing around with my blog layout--you may see various changes over the next few days, but for now, I must get ready for bed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Can Make That! (Or You Can Make This!)

Just a Girl is having a "I Can Make That" party and never wanting to be one that is left out, I decided to join in with some papered barn stars. This is not my original idea--it's one of those I tucked in my brain, maybe saw it in a magazine?? But, I haven't seen a tutorial on it so I thought I'd share. I probably am showing you way too much of the process, but here goes.

I started with a bunch of metal barn stars. I bought these at a place called Real Deals. The larger ones were $2.60 and the smaller were just under $2.

I sorted through my stacks of scrapbook paper to find what I wanted. If you are color/design challenged, scrapbook paper mats (pads) make it easy as they have coordinating paper all together.
I then used a sheet of white computer paper and pressed it on the star to make a pattern. The larger stars all had the same sized points, the smaller one all had different sized points or arms or whatever those are called. Ignore the chocolate smudges on my pattern, I was making (and eating) chocolate chip cookies at the time.

Next, use your pattern to cut out your paper. Press the paper on the star to get the fold on it and to check to see if it fits (not sure why my pinky is up--must have thought I was having tea).

I used modge podge (watered down a little because I wasn't sure I had enough). I always put the modge podge on the item and on the paper. I think Martha told me that helps prevent bubbles. Then cover it all in decoupage glue.

When it was good and dry I sanded the edges with fine grit (220) sand paper. I then stained it with walnut stain. See the difference the stain makes? When the stain is dry, spray a clear finish on the stars.

And there you have it. The little ones still need a ribbon through them. The larger ones have a hanger on the back. Check out Chris's blog--I have found lots of great ideas and blogs from her party.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I have been honored to receive two awards. One is the Kreative blogger award given to me by Kandy at Junk Sophisticate. I am supposed to list 6 things I love or maybe 6 things about me. You get both, you lucky ducks.

6 Things I Love
1. Jesus
2. Hubby and Family--all of them, the good, the bad, and the ugly (wait I don't have any ugly family members!)
3. Spending time with girlfriends
4. Rainy afternoons when I can read
5. Having a glass of red wine in the hot tub on a snowy night
6. The mountains that surround my home

6 Things About Me (Extremely Random!)
1. I needed 195 credits to graduate from college. I graduated with 195. I didn't believe in taking extra classes Ü.
2. I made a fort out of old wooden fruit crates when I was 10. It was awesome. I painted it white (see I was always a junker!).
3. I worked in Glacier National Park for two summers--it was a blast!
4. My fingernails are always a mess, I never paint them and they are torn from working with tools (I do keep them clean in case anyone was getting grossed out there).
5. My husband proposed to me on television. I still have the video tape of it.
6. I was in the audience of Hollywood Squares once. I got to meet all of the stars and saw myself on television.

Now I am going to pass this award on to these 6 bloggers who make me smile: Orchard Street Cottage, Flea Market Studio, Junk-It-Junction, Joys of Home, The Cottage Nest, Time Worn Interiors.

My next award came from Julie at Orchard Street Cottage(see link above). It says I need to post this message with it:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Okay I will pick these wonderful blogs to share this award with. Go check them out:
The Blessed Nest, Bless Our Nest, Made With Love and Glue, Karla's Cottage, The Pleasures of Homemaking, The Feathered Nest. Do I see a nest theme here?

I couldn't leave you without one little project, some painted suitcases. I love these sitting on a porch--and they can hold junk too!

PS--I haven't updated the blogs I read list to the left. I will be working on this week. I read so many these days!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Redneck Patio Table Transformed

I admit it. For two years I have had a cable spool as a patio table and another smaller one as a side table for my BBQ. It served its purpose well. Had a hole in the middle for my umbrella. I covered it with festive vinyl. But this summer the spool had to go and was replaced by a garage sale table (a step up from the free cable spools Ü).

The spools then became an emergency room visit waiting to happen. The kids rolled on them, had races with them, stacked them to jump off of and onto the trampoline. I decided I did not want a lawsuit from some neighbor, so hubby tore them apart. The sides were made of some great wood (I am not sure what type, but hard). They had a slight curve to them , but I used them anyway to make these signs. I plan on using the round tops for tables, but haven't decided on legs yet.

I have received two great blog awards and I will share these and pass them on tomorrow as it is time to go watch a family movie. Blessings!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Craft Show Time

Honestly, I almost cringe at that word or phrase--craft show. Do you picture crocheted toilet paper covers, geese festooned in bad fake flowers, and stiff bows attached to baskets? Well if you were around in the 80's you know what I am talking about. I signed up to do the first craft show in 1988. I made some hideous fabric wreaths gathered on a metal ring. Then, at the last minute I had a workshop at school so my dear husband ( we had been married a few months), went and sat in some school gym all day for me. I sold nothing, zero, nilch! Luckily I am resilient and I didn't give up. So on Saturday I will have my stuff in, I don't know what number--maybe my 30th, craft show. I have been crazy trying to get things done. Of course I don't have as much as I would like, but I did get quite a bit done.

Here are some coat hooks I made from cupboard doors and decoupaged pictures. I also made these stockings. The white ones with the pom-poms are normal, they just don't look it in the pictures. (I will take a photography class someday, until then please forgive my very amateur photos!).

I'll show more tomorrow--gotta run!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Novemeber

Yesterday was too crazy busy I didn't get a Happy Halloween post up. Younger two kids trick or treated for a bit, but then decided they had enough candy. I question if they are mine as I ran from house to house trick or treating as a kid to insure that I would get as much chocolate as possible! We then went to a bunko party which was a lot of fun. If you got a bunko, you had to eat a jelly bean that might be a trick (I got a dirt flavored bean) or a treat. DH won the prize for the most losses.

While we were there, eldest child and the entire football team were at a friends and decided they needed new haircuts for their playoff game that they are playing today. He started with a mohawk kind of a thing and ended with a shaved head, with his number 4 shaved in the back. He left this morning before I could get a picture. I guess there were checkerboard heads, and triple mohawks. I am really pleased that I paid good money for him to get a regular haircut a week and a half ago--humph! I don't really mind--it is just hair, but hopefully it will grow out some before I want to take family pictures for Christmas cards.

This pumpkin started as a green one from a friend. I spray painted it and then added the black design with a sharpie. I did three like this. I will keep them up for a few more weeks, or until they turn to mush, since I think they work well for Thanksgiving too. Have a fun weekend!