Making up stories

Kids always love to hear their parents tell them stories.  Why not get them involved.  Start with "Once upon a time...." then take turns adding a word or a phrase.  (It helps to keep everyone on track by deciding the theme of the story first! :)

Saving a picture

My dear son is in *love* with Thomas the Train.  (What little boy isn't, right???)

Well, he got this...

...with one of his early Birthday gifts (thanks, cuz!!!)

He's been carrying it around the house "reading" it again and again and again.  Hmm...much like I do the Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs catalogs.  Its starting to look a little battle weary and since I see how much he adores it, I thought I'd preserve it a little.

Out comes my handy, dandy laminator.
See, I'm a sucker for a sale.  And when this baby went on sale on Amazon for $15 (normally $80), I bought it.  Actually, I bought two...then resold one on Amazon for $30.  (Hey, a girls gotta cover her crafting costs, right???)

So, I ironed the paper with a pressing cloth to straighten it out a bit, cut it down a smidge, put it in a laminating sheet (which came with the laminator), and sent it through.

Voila!  A Thomas keepsake!

Thomas Picture + Laminating Machine = One Happy Boy

Scrap Rag Wreath {tutorial}

Phew....FINALLY done with this little diddy.  I don't say that because it was hard, it just seemed like the project that wouldn't ever end.  It was a great idea to use up some of my drop cloth scraps from this and a floral wreath that I picked up at an antique store for pennies.

Pretty much the same method I used here.  Ha!....and looked back at that post I actually DID use if for what I said I was going to!  Pretty happy about that, since I collect things with and idea of doing something with it and then it takes a totally different turn!  Am I alone in this?

Supplies needed:
Wire form
Embellishments (optional)

How to:
Tear fabric into strips.  This can be anywhere between 1/2" and 1".  Be wild and crazy (unlike me) and vary the widths.  Make a snip at the top of the fabric and rip it.  It'll rip straight and give you those warn edges.  Then rip and rip and rip.  Then get bored with ripping, so start on next task (or project) but have to come back to this to finish.  (See why it took me so long?)

Once you have you pieces, cut them about 8-18" depending on how your form is.  Cut and tie one first and see how the length looks.  My form was a double form, so I cut mine about 15".  Cut LOTS of these, because you'll need them.  (Don't stop and set this aside like I did, otherwise it will take you forever.  Keep on trucking...)

Then start tying.  I double wrapped mine, but you can do single or double or a combo.  Tie with a square knot on top.  I spread mine out (not sure why?)  Did I mention I get bored easily?  Can anyone say crafting ADD?

Keep on tying.

And some more.  Don't give're almost there.  (Well, not really....but you can't stop here.)

Phew.  You made it!  Way to go.  But it still needed something, so I grabbed some starfish when I was at Big Lots the other day and tied three on with some jute I had.

See....nice torn edges.

Pretty starfish.

I wish I had a sea themed room that I could put this in!  Right now it has a nice place on my mantle as I attempt a "summer mantle"

Luckily I still have a lot of drop cloth left because I score this great wing back chair that I'm planning on covering in true Miss Mustard Seed style!  (I already painted the legs with chalk paint: Old White.)

Shabby Lampshade {tutorial link}

Is this adorable or what???  I've had an old shade form that I've been putting off redoing.  I think just might be the thing for it!

Tutorial here from Lady Butterbug.

Party Decorations and Favors on a Budget

I have 4 kids, so throwing big Birthday parties every year is a little much.  So instead, we do a big party with friends every other year, and do a small family party every year.  We alternate years so I do two big parties a year, instead of four.
This year, my oldest turned 8 (which I still cannot believe!)  She wanted to do a party at the gymnasium where the kids take gymnastics.  I've never been one to "pay" for a party.  We have always had them here at the house.  At her last party, two years ago, I had about ten 5 and 6 year old girls running through the house shrieking and screaming....and I vowed never to do that again.  


But I digress...

Since having the party at the gym, there really wasn't much I could decorate.  Plus, after paying for the gym,  I really wasn't wanting to spend a whole lot more moola.  

So...for less than $20 I had treats, drinks, and party favors.  I could have had that number down to under $15, but I opted to buy the cupcakes.  

I don't bake.  

And I was not in the mood to try this morning.  Partially because we ran out of time and partially because I didn't want to be tempted to stray from my diet healthy eating plan...which is really working BTW!

And again, I digress.  Sorry!

Here are my cupcake toppers and wraps.

Paper was mere cents (I have a stash of scrapbook paper to rival any small store.)
Popsicle sticks (on hand)
Punches and adhesive (on hand)
Die for cupcake wrapper (I have one, but you can buy these already cut in all a silhouette can cut them too.  Side note...I do sell toppers and wrappers in my etsy store.)

Most of the "expense" was in the favors.  I found these cute little water bottles at the Dollar Store and I bought a few packages of Kool-Aid singles to put in each bottle.  Punched a scalloped circle tag and matted a "thank you" circle sticker on a scrap card stock circle.  Tied them on with ribbon from my stash.

Beverages were $2.00.  Two 6-packs of water bottles at the Dollar Store (I was already there, so why not.)  I simply cut scrapbook paper in 9 1/2" x 1 3/4" strips.  Taped one side on over the label, wrapped it around, and taped the other side on.  

I had to show the hubs my frugal work since I know that a bunch of 8 year olds wouldn't appreciate it! :)

Now I just need to whip up a few thank you cards and I'll be on to the next project....

Sewing Challenge #21

My Moby Wrap bag had sprung a I patched it. :)

Sorry, nothing exciting.  Part of the reason for my challenge is to help me get through the mounds of "items to sew" that have piled up. :)

Ruffle Camera Strap {tutorial link}

 This one?      or      This one?  

The one on the left is by PriddyCreations (tutorial here.)  I like this one because its padded and a slipcover.  

The one on the right is by Crap I've Made (tutorial here.)  I like the ruffle on it. 

So....I'm going to combine the two! :)

Adding a design to a headboard???

So what do you think?  The stars are up temporarily...cuz I'm a wimp and am having a really hard time deciding if I want them up for good because that makes this headboard less versatile and I can only use it in his room and it will be harder to sell when we are done with it in umpteen years!  Really, those are only some of the thoughts that go through my head when trying to make a decision.  (See why I needed my mom's second opinion???)

Do I need to seek professional help? :)

Side note:
I just went to find the post where I showed you the foot board that I mentioned here and I can't find it.  Which means it never posted.  Then I went to find the pictures so that I could actually post them and I can't find those.  What in the world is happening around here??? :)  So....when dear son wakes up, I'll have to make his bed all pretty again and snap some more pics!

Here's the before (the painted before)

Here's the REAL before.

See that applique?  I pulled it off and it left some marks like this...which I tried and tried and tried to fix, but this is what is there...

...and although I'm the only one that can really see it, I know its there and it bothers me.  A lot.  

So I bought these for less than $1 each and painted and glazed them to match.

But am having a hard time committing, so put them on with these

And it looks like this from the side 

But it looks like this from the front

And I kinda think I LOVE it!

A visit from Mom and my summer plans

My mom just came down to visit for a week.  Woo Hoo!

You think I'd have a lot to write about, but no.  It always seems that just as we get settled into her here, its time for her to go.  Next time, I told her, she has to stay for TWO weeks!

I did get some great second opinions on some (well pretty much all) of the projects I've been wanting to do around the house.  So, I'm hoping to get moving on those and have a lot to post about this summer.  Its not going to be quick but that's because I have all 4 kiddos home with summer programs...just us.

I'm attempting to give home schooling a testing this summer.  I have some stuff planned (which I'll write about soon) and our summer scheduled so that things don't turn all "Lord-of-the-Flies" around here.

Here are just a few of the things I'd like to do around the house...

Build a folding table over  my washer and dryer (DONE)
Paint a mural on baby girls wall (DONE)
Make a hook rack for towels by the pool (Working on it...)
Put up some sort of board and baton or planked wall in girls room (Hubs vetoed this)
Reorganize play room (DONE)
Finish my craft room/office (Almost DONE)
Make new curtain for the living room (Scrapped)
Paint baby girls new/old armoire with chalk paint (DONE and SOLD so need to do another)
Build an outdoor fireplace (biting off more than I can chew???)
Do something to our powder room (Still trying to decide what.....)
Make a quilt (Started...)

But the (almost) biggest thing....simplify!!!  We have too much stuff.  It always make me laugh when the movers come to evaluate our home.  Every. Single. Time.  They totally underestimate the weight and time its going to take.  (Did I mention we move a lot?  Did I also mention we just found out we are here for 2 more years???)

The most important part of the summer....have fun with my family.  And document that fun!  My oldest just turned 8 (yikes) and we are realizing just how quickly she is growing up.

Off to planning...

Shabby Bench Redo

If only I could whistle.... :)

This is what it looked like when I found it here.

Dontcha just love those legs???

Slap a little white paint on it...distress it a bit...throw together some sage burlap and voila.

....... it wasn't quite that easy....but I'd do it again!

Since the burlap is a weave and not solid, I recovered the top with a white sheet first so you see the light through burlap, not ugly mauve.  
(No offense to anyone who like that color.)

I cut off the original cording.  I first attempted to truly reupholster it, but this baby was made well.  I could not get even the first few staples out, much less the hundreds that were used.  (And I wasn't about to ask for help from the hubs since he's less than thrilled that I have all this extra furniture in his garage anyway!  You think he'd be happy that I'm finally moving some out!?! :)

See the pretty ruffle?  I used the selvage edge of the burlap so I didn't have to hem the fabric before I ruffled it.  I was feeling lazy creative.

She is for sale here.  I secretly hope she doesn't sell, cuz I kinda want her at the end of my bed...but I guess that's not really a secret now, is it? 

{Sewing Challenge #20}

Linking Here:

Furniture Feature Fridays

A visit from Mom...

My mom just came down to visit for a week.  Woo Hoo!

You think I'd have a lot to write about and post, but no.  It always seems that times flies by when she is here and we never get as much accomplished as I would think.  It might, just might, have something to do with me having 4 small kids?  Maybe?  I dunno....


She did help me finalize some decisions so I will have some stuff to post soon!!!

And the even bigger news...we found out we are staying put for a couple more years.  This is the longest we've ever been anywhere and since we anticipated a move this summer, I was reluctant to start any projects.

Now I can! :)


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