Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bedroom Corner

There is a corner in our bedroom that is kind of behind the door where I knew I wanted to put this little setup. These 8x8 frames are from Creative Memories and I got them before I stopped selling it years ago. They are magnetic and so they are very easy to change out the layouts and I don't have any glass to deal with. I have two 12x12 versions downstairs also.
Here is a close up of the four frames. Obviously I have one for each child and I try to change out the layouts every season. They then go into 8x8 albums that I have for each of the kids. Instant albums... I love it! The only thing I wish is that the ribbon wasn't there going across them. They come with little black clothespins so that you can clip things onto it but it just seems to be in my way. I haven't yet figured out how to take them off without ruining the frames. The black circles in each corner are the magnets that hold the layout in place.
I always do the layouts with one 4x6 picture and I always put their names on it. These layouts have been up for quite a while but the colors went so well in our room that I have left them up.
This little antique sewing machine table sits under it. It is something that has been in my family for a long time and I love that I own it now. On top is a beautiful doily, a vase that my grandmother gave me (that I finally bought flowers for) it's from Thailand, and the glass lotion bottle that was my great grandmother's complete with her lotion still in it, and a little glass dish that was hers also. It has been almost 10 years since she passed away and I like having these little pieces of her surrounding me.
This is the opposite corner of the entry into the bathroom. The only reason why I show this to you is because that framed picture of my husband and I used to be in between the four magnetic frames at our old house. It didn't fit in this house so I split them up. The picture we took using a tripod and remote and then I did some fancy stuff in Photoshop Elements to it and printed it at Costco. Now it sits here in our little workout corner. I have just recently started back on the elliptical after 2 months off (shame on me!).

I love creating scrapbook layouts but often times they go directly into albums and I don't get to enjoy them much. It is nice to have places like this that I can rotate my creations and get to see them before they get put away. The bigger ones downstairs are more for seasonal pages like at Christmas I put up last year's Christmas morning layout, and St. Patrick's Day I put up the girls' clover artwork. The clipboards that are in my office are for current 12x12 pages that I complete and want to enjoy. You can see that here
I hope to get into my room today and create something, as much as Spring Cleaning makes me feel good creating something for just a little while will make me feel better!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So Excited!!!

I am so excited to share with you my next little adventure... I am officially enrolled in Maggie Holmes Beginner/Intermediate Photography Class! I normally shoot in Sports mode because I find that it gives me the best color without the flash and yet still has a fast shutter speed so only half of my pictures are of blurry moving children. But I will learn, in this 6 week class, how to shoot and be comfortable shooting in Manual. I am very excited to no longer have dark and flat pictures and I will be soaking up all of the information that I can from this class!
These are just some bits and pieces of Maggie's photos that I love! She finds the most colorful and texturally interesting places to shoot and I am currently on the lookout for great places and great props to use during my class...
And in order to be a better (or shall I say... better looking) photographer I ordered something that I have been wanting for quite a while now. This came last week...
My very own Jo Tote! If you have never heard of this before they are beautiful camera bags that are roomy enough for me to fit my purse stuff too. So I can basically take my good Canon with me all the time and look good doing it! The inside is customizable with velcro inserts and it is black and white damask, which I am so in love with right now! Here is my new bag in sugarplum...
I think that I am ready for my new class which starts in less than two weeks now. I am already figuring out places that I want to go and people that I want to shoot... I can't wait!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring is Here!

Here in the High Desert spring has been teasing us. One day it is beautiful and the sun is shining and then last week it was snowing! But I have decided to make spring stay put for awhile at least inside my house so I have been very busy getting my craftiness on!
Friday night my friend Kristina and I got together and made these moss covered letters. We each did the first letter of our last name, it was incredibly messy but I love how it turned out! Now I want to find a bigger ampersand and do the same thing. This is now sitting up on the top shelf of our chunky shelves in the dining room.
This is my take on Becky Higgins topiary found here I couldn't find enough of the right flowers (nor could I afford that many!) to cover a whole Styrofoam ball, so while I was at Tai Pan last week I picked up this green ball for like $4.00. I had this buttery yellow vase sitting around that I bought at Marshalls for $6.99. I did just like Becky's tutorial: filled the pot with floral foam stuck a spray painted dowel into the ball and the foam and then covered the foam with moss (leftover from the letter project) and added a couple of pears! So easy!
I did just like I said I was going to and spray painted this wreath stand Heirloom white and then distressed it. I love how it now pops against the buffet and the wall. The Easter Egg wreath tutorial is from the last post found here .
I have added to my apothecary jar collection and filled these ones with various fake fruit. I love the colors (especially the lemons with the raspberries and blackberries). Ok and I held my camera up to take this picture because I'm not that tall and I just realized that there is a Nerf gun dart up there! Didn't know that!... I guess that is life with little boys.
I also created this over the weekend. Now this one is also from Becky Higgins and I followed it as closely as I could. You can find it here I just loved the colors of it. The candle stick I got at Home Goods and spray painted it Sun Yellow from Rust0leum.
I also added a few pretty flowers to our bedroom. I will be sharing more about this little corner in a couple of days. I love the yellow against the blue!
I got really spray paint happy this weekend apparently! This little pot I have had for so long I can't even remember where I got it. It used to be olive green and went very well with my "Tuscan Dungeon" decor that I used to have. But now it is Sun Yellow and slightly distressed then filled with a mixture of pretty pink flowers and some foam fruit (yes, I had that much fake fruit thanks to my friend!) that I stuck wooden skewers into to add into the arrangement. The grapes I just tucked into the vase. This now sits in my laundry room and makes it a little more cheery! Couldn't we all use a little more cheeriness when doing laundry?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Easter Wreath Revamp

As I was perusing the dollar section of Target I found this cute little egg wreath for only $2.50. I thought that it was perfect for my house but a little plain. I wasn't crazy about seeing the seams on the eggs and how all of the eggs were the same finish, aren't Easter eggs supposed to be like snowflakes... no two are ever the same (at least when my girls decorate them!) So I brought this home and used supplies from my stash to make it unique.
I used these Queen & Co. adhesive rhinestones in the same turquoise color to make stripes across the eggs.

I used Distress Stickles to create little polka dots on the pink eggs.
And Distress Crackle paint in Mustard Seed for the yellow eggs. I didn't worry about covering the whole eggs just the front and a little of the sides.
I also painted some green acrylic paint on the green ones and then sprinkled a little Martha Stewart glitter on them while the paint was wet. And I covered the surrounding eggs while I sprayed some Tattered Angels glimmer mist in purple on the purple eggs, they looked dyed and I love it!

So here is my one of a kind wreath that only cost me $2.50 and it goes perfectly on my new wreath stand that I picked up on clearance at Michael's, although I want to spray paint it Heirloom white and then distress it a little. Happy Spring... even though it was snowing here last night!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DIY Chunky Shelves

I saw these really incredible shelves on the House of Smith's blog a while back and have been wanting to re-create them in our dining room. I knew that the perfect place was above that buffet but it took us a little while to get to that point. Now that the wall is painted and the buffet is done we (mostly Neil) got the shelves done too! This is what the House of Smith's looked like...
Aren't they amazing?! And the full tutorial is here, Neil built them and then I filled in the holes with the wood filler and painted them and then he hung them... a true team effort! So these are ours...
I'm still working on actually decorating them since I have never had so many places to put decorations before, especially Spring/Easter decorations! I just took a trip to Tai Pan and Home Goods, plus raided the dollar section at Target so I'm getting there!
For right now this is my set up. The wreath on that new wreath stand I will be sharing more about tomorrow. I can't wait to craft and pillage some more fun vintage-y finds to put on these shelves for oh so many different occasions.
So here is where this wall goes right into the kitchen (please don't look too closely!). I would like to get a new dining table set at some point as soon as I think our kids can handle it. They are almost there.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I have been so busy around here doing the home improvement type stuff and just trying to keep up on housework that I haven't been able to get into my room for quite some time. But last Friday I got a little bit of time and then I got a few more minutes Sunday morning to finish this page up. I had this picture left over from last year sitting in my little photo box and these papers from American Crafts that I hardly even got to touch around Valentine's Day. So I decided to use them and create just a little something.
I am learning to create more clusters on my pages to ground the elements and I have had a lot of fun experimenting with it. I love these label stickers and the pearls are something that I try to stock up on at the expos. I'm also trying to use my stamps a lot more!
This is a stamp that I picked up on clearance at Michael's around Valentine's Day. No one was buying it because someone had stamped it onto a red ink pad and then left it! But it was nothing that a little stamp cleaner couldn't fix. You will notice that I am an idiot and stamped this image not only crooked but upside down as well! I just decided to go with it, I guess it adds to the charm of the page right? I got to use my new tiny stapler and then I added one of my new favorite things this rose brad from AC. A little button and a pearl and it creates another cluster.
I am loving the banner trend right now and decided to use some scraps from the AC papers. The background paper is this amazing pink ledger paper from SEI. I had to pick up a bunch of it when I was working in the booth. The banner I just threw together using different sizes of triangles. They are not perfect and I like the fact that they are not uniform. I then sewed a straight stitch across them. And it's a perfect place for the title (gotta love my Thickers!)
One of my favorite pieces from this line are the details flowers. I am being very selective as to how I use them because I don't want them to ever run out, and there are only four! This was a really simple way to ground the photo to the page using a strip of patterned paper and matting the photo with a solid color, then I added the little strip with a decorative edge and stitched a zig zag on it to tie them together. So easy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irishly Blessed

We have had a great day here for St. Patrick's Day. We have carried on many traditions while others didn't quite fit in this year, but hey, there is always tomorrow (it can be a two day celebration right?). The girls have been out half day all week and so it has thrown my schedule for a complete loop. But here is what we have done so far...
Everybody is wearing green although I think that there has been some pinching going on anyway!
The girls got new headbands this year, Madison is wearing one that she got at school and she got a hand stamp of a shamrock.
The few decorations and handmade things from the girls that I have are out (I'm hoping to clean up the clearance section at Target and Michael's tomorrow!) And "The Night Before St. Patrick's Day" was read yesterday as well as read in Kaley's class by her teacher.
We have had lots of playing around too.
Neil made dinner. Now I know what you are thinking, "what are you wierdos eating?!" This year we had fettuccine alfredo with chicken. The noodles were dyed green as well as the alfredo sauce, and then salad with green ranch dressing. I guess that it's a good thing that the chicken and the cheese were not green... that would have been just plain yucky! It might seem odd that we have Italian food on an Irish holiday but that is because it is more kid-friendly. Next year Neil promises that we can have something Irish, and the kids will just have to deal with it, although he hates Corned Beef and Cabbage.
I even got a few shots of all four kids together which is an amazing victory. I don't have any of Neil and I yet but the day isn't over. We still haven't had dessert yet and I am hoping to make my sweet shamrock treats for the girls tomorrow after school since I ran out of time today.
We also continued our tradition of watching Veggie Tales "Sumo of the Opera". Why?... you ask.... because there is a segment in there that is a flannelgraph of the story of St. Patrick and his journey through life in which he trusted in God and brought Christianity to the country of Ireland. We try to remind the kids that today is not just about wearing green, or pinching, or leprachauns and gold, but about having the courage to tell others about God and trusting that he will take care of us no matter where we are or what we are going through.

And I am almost done with a scrapbook page! Can't wait to finish it and share!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Sweet Kids

At least once a season I like to take individual pictures of my kids so that I can create a page for each of them that includes facts about them at that moment. And I use them to create 8x8 pages of them to go on 8x8 frames that I have in my bedroom. I should really share that sometime! But last week while we were out in the backyard working on the garden and picnic area I decided to use the opportunity to take pictures of each of the kids.
My sweet Madison... the beautiful version of her Daddy! I've noticed her smiling like this a lot more since her teeth have come in so crooked. I am loving her hair as it grows longer and longer and there is so much of it! We just had her parent teacher conference and she has improved so much since first starting at this school and we couldn't be more proud of her!
My adorable little Kaley Bailey bug. My shadow, my sunshine, and my mini me! She seems to not be able to wait for spring/summer to actually get here because she is already pulling out her tank tops at just the sight of the sun. We had her conference too and she is doing great and is well on her way to being above grade level at the end of the year. It is always good to hear teachers say that your child is a pleasure to have in their class and even better when they both say it!
I have the hardest time getting mad at this face! The problem with twins is that when they are both naughty I will punish the first one (usually Zach being slightly more naughty) and then I will turn around and it feels like I am already done punishing and so Gabriel doesn't get as much of my anger. I know it's not fair but he really has always had a special place in my heart. He is so sweet with such a pure heart that I find it difficult to get mad at him, I mean, look at that face!
Zachary lately has been telling me how much he misses me (even when he has been with me for days straight) and even told me that he didn't want me to go anywhere because he thought I would get caught in a trap! Apparently, he has been watching TOO MUCH Scooby Doo. But even through his eyes you can see the plotting of trouble forming in his mischievous little brain.

I know that they really need a haircut, hopefully that will happen this weekend. And I am hoping to get at least one more project done around the house too! Yay!

I took these pictures with my Canon Rebel xSi. I usually shoot in Sports mode, I find that it gives me the best color and yet the shutter speed is fast enough that they don't come out blurry. I really want to shoot in Manual but that is going to require taking an online class. The one that I want to take is starting in just a few weeks and I am trying to come up with the money. We'll see!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Living in Gotham

Lately it has felt as if I live in Gotham City. My boys think that they are Batman and Robin although there are lots of times that the villain in them comes out. The boys love to bring their Batman toys and the Batcave down stairs and we play for a long time. Usually they make me the bad guy and then put me in jail, but I don't mind.

We play peek-a-boo and go up and down the elevator with 6 different batman figures, put all of the bad guys in jail and then knock them off the roof. There is always lots of imagination going on when these boys play.
This batcave set was one of the best things that we bought the boys for Christmas and it even folds up and has a carrying handle. The boys just never seem to get tired of playing with it!
We have lots of fun setting everything up and then of course knocking it all down many times.
And there is always lots of tickling and giggles that come along with mommy sitting on the floor. I'm always fair game when down at their level and they make sure that I know that.
I love these sweet little hands that line everything up and make sure that even Mr. Freeze has his gun in his hand because it's not right if he doesn't have it. These are the moments that I cherish.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Buffet Revealed

Remember this buffet that I shared with you last week? Well I found it on Craig's List in Riverside and bought it for $85 dollars.
The top was pretty messed up, lots of stains and dings and scratches. But I loved the shape of it.
We found that the shelf was really bowed and the back had a big break in it. And the hardware had to go! Well, sanding, primer, 2 coats of Lincoln Cottage Black paint, and polyacrylic later. Plus new hardware, a new support and back and now it looks like this...
I love it! It looks perfect in my dining room.
Neil put a new back on the cabinet and created this support to hold up that shelf. I haven't started putting much in here yet because I'm still trying to decide what needs to go in here that my boys won't mess with.
The handles and knobs we found at Lowe's and the hinges were not easily replaced and so Neil spray painted them chrome to match the rest of the hardware.

This is my big blank wall for now. I have more projects in store (surprise honey!) and I will show you the whole room when it's all done. But I am so in love with this paint color that I used for this wall. The wall extends right into the kitchen and it warms up this space so much. It's Cafe Blue by Valspar. Can't wait to get the rest done now!