ABC- for YOU from ME

Several months ago, one of my nieces had a birthday…as in she was born.

Then the next month another one had a birthday…as in she turned another year older.

Then several months later, another niece had a birthday…again, another year older.

Those three nieces have two things in common with each other (well in reality, they have many things in common, but for sake of this post, follow along. please.)

1. They are sisters

2. None of them received gifts from me ON their birthdays.

I know. I felt terrible! When Baby was born (the 1st Girly birthday of the year,) I knew I wanted to do something for the “Girls Room.” A door sign or something to celebrate the addition of more girliness to the family!

So I asked my Big Sis what colors she was going to use in the girls room. She told me. And I did nothing with the info. I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to do!

Out of desperation, I turned to Pinterest… and it didn’t fail me! I found several of this type of art from several Etsy artists.

Personalized Alphabet Name Print for New Baby Nursery or Child's Room - Graphic Typography Art 8x10 or 5x7

I’m not uber-crafty or anything, but I decided I had to at least TRY to make one of these myself… But due to my procrastination, I had to make 3 instead of just 1 🙂

So without further ado, my take on the Alphbet Art. For the girls room. Complete with some sparkle, because, well, because they’re sparkly, fun girls…or “goyeuls” as their cousin Elijah would say.

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I bought 3 inexpensive wooden frames, spraypainted/craft painted them in the desired colors… then glued on the coordinating initials. I then, very simply, just used Microsoft Word and played with the layout of my letters and colors until I found the look/size I was going for.

They can keep their Alphabet Art, or just have some bright fun frames to display their artwork or pictures of their beautiful selves.

And evidently my string of inefficiency is still in tact because I seem to have forgotten to photograph Miss Charlotte’s “C” frame. But just scroll up to the picture above and squint your eyes to remove the other two…you’ll get the idea :).

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Be inspired! These would be a very simple gift option for a couple that is expecting a little one too!

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DIY Accessory Storage & Someone Else’s 17th Birthday

So remember when I told you in this post about how my sister-in-law turned 17, and I wanted to make her something personalized for her birthday, which resulted in this “zebra-fied” nail polish shelf?

Well that put me in a bit of a quandary. See, I have a baby sister named Katie (who looks a lot like me I might add…) who also just turned 17,  has a bedroom with zebra print accents, AND has quite the collection of nail polish.

Katie & I at “Awana Twin Night” when she was 10 or so! 🙂

Not one to give the same gift to two different people, I started brainstorming, and called the only other spy, I mean sister, still left at home for some help on ideas. I knew these things:

-Katie doesn’t have a lot of wall space free in her room

-She has lots of jewelry/headbands/nail polish/accessories in general

-She is starting to phase out of the “teen” style stuff and more into sophisticated black accents (she is SO like me ;))

SO, we decided that an “accessories stand” was the way to go. A storage option for different things, not just limited to necklaces, nail polish, etc., but that could be used for whatever she chooses, and that would sit on top of her dresser.

I found some inspiration on Pinterest, and went to town. No literally, I went to town- you knew I live in the boonies, right? 🙂

I went to the Dollar Tree, and for $5 total, bought 3 lightweight metal trays and 2 glass candlesticks.

Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought some black spray paint.

Once I got home, it was as simple as spraying each piece of the stand (multiple times in light, even layers- front and back/top and bottom,) and then gluing them together.

Voila! This was my staged shot, with all my stuff on it…

But of course, it looks even more snazzy all decked out with her bling and in her room!

I have GOT to stop making these things for other people- I want to keep them for myself 😉

Happy Birthday, KK! We love you lots!

Do Zebras Paint Their Toenails?

If this is your first time visiting here today, check out this post, then come back.

Are you back?

Ok good- so now you know about my whole Mod Podge DIY experiment. I love a good success story 🙂

Well, I didn’t just make Mod Podge for the fun of it- I had a project in mind. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen these “spice rack turned nail polish organizers” floating around on Pinterest (the one pictured is from here):

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Well, my sister-in-law, who turned 17 this month, had been eyeballing that shelf on Pinterest. She has quite the nail polish collection, and loved the idea of displaying it in her room.  So way back in July, when I found out that she liked it, and if she had one, she’d like it to be purple, I went into birthday gift stealth mode.

I was determined.

I scoured thrift stores, craigslist, online, etc. looking for a shelf with similar lines to the shelf pictured above, which was previously used to hold spices. I couldn’t find one. I found lots of different types of spice racks, but none that I really liked the lines of.

Then one day, I found this shelf at Goodwill:

(My apologies for the terrible camera phone shots in this post…I forgot to take “real pictures” as I went.)

It’s not the same as the inspiration shelf, I know, but it matches the lines of some of my sister-in-law’s other bedroom decor, so I took a major leap of faith (I mean, look at that thing!) and bought it. Ok, so to be honest, it wasn’t necessarily a major leap of faith… it only cost $3.99- gotta love Goodwill!

It was very dirty, and required a good cleaning, some removal of old nails/hardware, and some sanding. After those steps, I pried the backing off, which was a piece of plywood, and by “I,” I mean my husband pried that off.

Using my DIY’ed decoupage, I adhered zebra print scrapbook paper to the plywood. I got the paper from Hobby Lobby for $2 total.

The steps are simple: Decoupage on wood, stick paper onto decoupage, allow to dry, decoupage over top, allow to dry. Here’s a shot of the shelf with the changes to the backing:

After changing the back, to personalize it to match her zebra themed bedroom, as well as make it more fun, it was on to paint! And purple it was. The purple paint was purchased for $0.57 at WalMart- it is just a small bottle of craft paint.

I love it! And the best part is that my sister-in-law loves it too! It’s a one-of-a-kind piece, and she didn’t waste any time getting it set up in her room. Here it is all decked out 🙂

Not sure if I’m allowed to say this in blogworld or not, but…. I think I even like mine better than the Pinspiration piece! Shh, don’t tell 🙂

Shelf- $3.99

Paper- $2

Paint- $0.57

Decoupage- $1

Total Cost: $7.56

Not too shabby, eh?

Putting the Mod in Podge

I’m on a little bit of a “prove it to me Pinterest” roll. I can pin 1000 things, but they will do me NO good if they sit on Pinterest, and I never try them out. So I figured I’d share one of my most recent projects with you- later 🙂

First things first though… the project I’ll share with you later required Mod Podge. When I went to buy Mod Podge, I was a little surprised at the cost. I was completely on a budget for this project, so back to Pinterest I went. After doing some research from friends as well as on the internet, I landed on this site via Pinterest, and a “recipe” if you want to call it that, for homemade decoupage/adhesive medium (image below is from the site linked above.)

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The recipe? Equal parts: Elmer’s School Glue & Water. Shake well in a glass jar.

Umm, even I can handle that!

So I bought two bottles of Elmer’s School Glue, cleaned an old glass salsa jar out, and turned on my sink faucet. Seriously.

In went the glue and an equal amount of water. I shook it to death. And it worked like a charm! I am so excited to show you what I used it for! Come back later to find out 🙂

Total cost for this project: $1.00

The glue was $0.50/bottle. I didn’t even come close to using it all for this one project though, so technically, I could’ve probably gotten by on just one bottle of glue! A great cost-saver when compared to Mod Podge.

Successful Pin!

 

Hidden Storage

I am nothing if I am not a compulsive organizer. “A place for everything and everything in its’ place” is my mantra.

I think initially the compulsion started because my family moved around a lot, and with every move came the “purging” of stuff I didn’t need. With each new “settling in” came the reorganizing. I love to rearrange and play with a layout until it’s the most organized and functional that it can be…

while still being pretty.

It’s gotta be pretty. Utilitarian plastic bins are fine, if tucked inside a closet. But if it’s going to be visible, it’s gotta look good.

So, this past summer I took on a few “make it look good” organization projects at my workplace. This is now my 2nd year as the school librarian. Year 1 was spent determining what I really needed out of what was left by the previous librarian. Then summer #1 was spent organizing, purging, and desperately trying to make the space bright, cheerful and kid-friendly.

Project #1: Hide that Storage!

I have an excellent work table that is right behind my desk. My deskchair is on a constant swivel, from computer, to workspace. But the worktable only offered exposed storage below- there weren’t any doors or drawers, just one big open shelf.

So, after toying around with what was best to do, I decided to enclose it with a curtain.

You have to know- I don’t have a sewing machine, and I don’t intend to spend hours of my life with a needle and thread in hand.

Enter this stuff from Walmart:

Stitch Witchery, Super Weight

A few summers ago, I bought 2 rolls of Stitch Witchery, for a few dollars total, and I have used it for several products! You simply:

-Unroll a stretch of the stitch witchery, which feels like scratchy lace, the length of the fabric side you want to hem.

-Lay the stitch witchery on the side of the fabric and fold fabric over it to create a straight hem line.

-Lay a damp, lightweight cloth over the hem, and iron.

Voila! A perfectly hemmed, and in my experience, very durably hemmed piece of fabric.

So I measured my table from underneath the top lip, down to the floor, and cut my fabric with 1″ allowance all the way around for hemming.

I made 2 side panels, and 1 front panel since the table is pushed against the wall in the back. I just stapled my curtain into the wooden table.

After attaching the 2 side panels:

The finished product:

Now I can easily access my stored items by just lifting one of the 3 panels, but everything is hidden from view. It’s just what I needed.

Hope it inspires you!

 

 

 

 

 

Homesick

Generally, I am not a “material” person. I don’t feel that I find my worth in my material possessions- most of the time.

Just to be honest with you though, my main spiritual battle right now is with contentment. Contentment with my home.

If you’ve read my posts before, you know that I love the home we live in now. It is a darling home, in a nice neighborhood, with an excellent yard, and great neighbors. It is in good repair, and is overall pretty wonderful.

The catch?

It belongs to someone else.

I don’t know why my mind is so hung-up on home ownership. But it is. Like I said- I battle with it. I constantly have to remind myself to be thankful- which is pretty darn silly when I am so very blessed.

So I’ve been really trying to meditate on being thankful and knowing that God has us here, in our current situation, for a reason.

I am a constant re-decorator, with an itch to change things around in the house. I want new colors, new arrangements, new styles, new garden arrangements in the yard, anything to make the home more “us.” I am a chronic DIY-er, and love to tear down & rebuild.

Yet I constantly feel like I don’t want to spend too much money on changes that I, one day, will leave behind in this home. My DIY bones are itching like crazy, but it’s not my home, so permanent changes are out of the question.

The more I’ve thought about it, I’ve seen a striking comparison to God the Father.

How often must He look at me and think, “Why is she investing SO much in her life there? Doesn’t she know that’s not her home?”

How frustrating to watch your children throw so much away, in pursuit of things that will not last.

The more I pour into building my life here on earth, the less I am able to focus on eternity, and those things that will matter for eternity.

Is owning a home wrong? Absolutely not. And I pray that one day, God will allow us that privilege (and burden, some of you might argue!)

But as long as I am dwelling on building my earthly kingdom, instead of focusing on building God’s Kingdom, then maybe I just don’t need a home of my own.

“He’s still working on me, to make me what I oughtta be…”

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