Friday, January 30, 2009

Covered Journal Tutorial and a Few More Mailboxes

This is the mini version of the covered journal. I love to give them as a pair. The larger composition book makes a great journal, and the mini is a must have for any busy woman's purse. I have been making these covered books for many years, and I never get tired of them. They make a lovely, handmade, personalized gift.

These are the supplies you'll need. I'm sure most of you already have these things on hand.

Begin by flipping your paper over to measure the front and back covers. I make a small pencil mark for the length and another one for the width. You want your paper to fit exactly to the edges of the composition book, with a very slight overlap on the black binding.

Now use those marks to cut your piece of paper. And imagine that I took a picture of this for you.

I have found that permanent double stick tape works best for this project. You don't want those edges pulling up and tearing. This stuff does the trick. Be sure and surround every inch of your edges with tape. Remember, you want those edges to be nice and secure. Don't skimp on the tape. Add a little piece in the middle for good measure.

Now you are ready to fit your paper onto the cover. Be careful here...that tape is very sticky. Once it's down, that's pretty much it. Carefully arrange your paper to fit the cover. You want it to be as straight and even as possible. If not, you will be able to see the edges of the composition book. That tends to look a bit sloppy if you're giving it as a gift. Now if it's for yourself or your MIL perhaps...just slap it on there wherever! (kidding, of course)

Choose a pretty ribbon to compliment your paper choice and wrap it around the inside cover. Tie a pretty bow, trim the edges,
A beautiful handmade gift anyone will love. My favorite way to wrap these is either in brown craft paper tied with a pretty bow, or for the minis in a clear cellophane bag with a pretty bow. Easy. Cheap. Useful. Pretty.
All bases covered!

And for your viewing pleasure...a few more mailboxes. I am officially obsessed with these. I went to Target last night and bought 5 more.
Help...I can't stop!
I forgot to mention that when I cover the full size books, I also cover the inside of the front and back. There are usually charts, calendars, measurement, etc that aren't so pretty and need some cute paper to love up on them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hidden Treasures!

Don't you just love it when you find stuff in your closet that you forgot you had? Well, I do. I had totally forgotten about this little card making kit I got at Target last year for 90% off. See that price at the top? It says 4.99, but I only paid 49 cents! Hooray for end caps full of clearance!!! That is a whole other subject right there. The end caps. Does anyone else get completely sucked into that vortex every time they go to Target? I LOVE the end caps. I could (and have many times) spent hours roaming around the store looking for yummy end caps full of cheap goodness! But, I'm getting a little off point I'll bring it back home for ya.

Here are all the parts and pieces that came in the box. I know...that's some good stuff. I am especially loving all the glittered tags and such that I did not have to glitter, thus being totally and completely covered from head to toe in glue and glitter. I don't love that so much.

I made 8 cards and still have a bunch of stuff left over. You can't beat that for 49 cents! I never buy pre-made cards because I really enjoy making them myself. Ummmm, this is way better. And I'm totally counting them as homemade.
Sue me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Craft Day

Saturday I had a super fun craft day with my niece and one of my sisters. Amidst the chaos of 6 kids running around, we actually got some cute things made. This little canvas board turned out so good...I love it and want to keep it for myself. I'm trying to work through it though, since I made it as a gift.

My niece brought a bunch of chipboard valentines and other goodies to get all papered and ribbonized and decoupaged and glittered. Good times were had by all! I needed a craft fix BAD, and this definitely fit the bill! I feel so much better.

I also changed up my candles a little. I hated the paper I had around them. It was slim pickins at Hobby Lobby, so I got what they had. My niece let me have some of this bee-u-tee-ful pink and brown paper...thanks Becca! Now my candles look more grown up and they match those glittery hearts that I've been dying to put out. I'm loving the non-traditional colors for valentine's decor!

Becca made these hearts. Aren't they too cute? The one in the middle is TO.DIE.FOR...all glittered up around the edges with the most precious vintagey looking paper in the middle, topped off with a cute brown bow, and a little pearl. Sorry the pics are a bit washed out. It's that darn crapola camera of mine again.

Have you seen these mailboxes at Target's dollar spot? Becca's turned out so cute, but it was a pain in the rear to cover. I haven't done mine makes me nervous. Maybe at our next craft day I'll attempt it. It might need to be a group project! We've decided to get together and craft once a week. Yippee...I'm so excited! I think next time we will do it after the kiddos go to bed...see the second picture down from'll understand. But it was soooo worth the messy house to have a fun craft day and spend time with some of my best friends!

My busy little bee in all her 3 year old glory couldn't stand not being included. She was dying to paint and I finally gave in. She told us she was making a tambourine....HA! How does she even know what that is? We were cracking up!

See what I mean?
It was totally worth it!

These pictures are absolutely unrelated to craft day. I just wanted everyone to know why it seemed like I had dropped off the face of the earth last week. My life was hijacked by the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. My dear sweet hubby is the Cub Master, which makes me the Cub Mama. Now friends, you know I love that man....but I almost hurt him last week. Men just don't think about the little details like...refreshments, trophies, decorations, setup, certificates, etc. So, basically I was entrenched in all things cubs scout and was unable to blog. I'm gonna be was a tough week people. But I'm back now, and sooooo happy to be here!

I have two boys in cub scouts. I couldn't let them down. They had so much fun! That made all the stress worth every second. Now I know to start planning ahead for these activities...just in case hubby forgets. I think I better start planning the Blue and Gold Banquet now. Save myself the proactive!

Oh, I almost forgot. The other reason I was MIA . The last minute science project I had to pull out of my butt at the last second (i.e. last night).
Fun times times!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sass it up!

With what you ask? Well....I bet you can guess. With ribbon, of course! I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before (ha, ha), but I love ribbon. In fact, some might call it a wee bit obsessed. I prefer to call it FABULOUS. Let's take a look at all the different things you could sass up with some sassy ribbon.

Let's say you have a picture already hanging somewhere, but think it needs a little something extra. Take some pretty coordinating ribbon, tie a big ole bow, and fake it to look like it's hanging the picture.

Have you seen those lamps they are selling at Hobby Lobby now, with the big luxurious ribbons tied around the shade? Have you noticed the price tags? Even with the half off, they still don't fit into my budget. And can I just say for the record that I was doing this long before they started selling them? I apologize for tooting my own horn, but I had to put it out there... toot, toot.

Even empty glass jars look good with a little bow.
Or that topiary from the dollar store that screamed potential and forced you to buy it and then you got it home and hated it and had no where to put it...tie a sassy sassafras ribbon around it and you're good to go!

Are your plates or platters looking a bit tired? What's a girl to do, you ask?
That's right...fake it to make it.
Fake that big ole ribbon to look like it has a real purpose other than being pretty.

If you're not down with wrapping every available surface of your house with could wear some on your feet.
I personally like to do both.
But, do what works for you.
Edited to Add:
The ribbon on the lamp was purchased from Trees N' Trends in their after Christmas sale. Yes, friends it is Christmas ribbon.
As for the flops...I wish I could take credit for them but I can't. The brand name is Yellow Box. They are sold locally, but I am sure that you could google the brand and find a source!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Symmetry and Balance...Mantel Part 2

So, I'm back with the mantle/mantel (I always get confused). I just wasn't satisfied with it. And after reading some of the comments I realized how boring and matchy matchy it was. Plus, I NEEDED more stuff up there. So I shopped my house and this is what I came up with.
A little more balanced, not so symmetrical.
This is about as crazy as my O.C.D. tendencies let me get.
I sad.
But I still don't know if I LOVE it.

I live in the deep south. We don't really celebrate winter here. It's not a season we're familiar with. The temperature can fluctuate from 40 to 80 in the blink of an eye. People wear shorts and flip flops year round. I would love to have a beautiful wintry mantel going on, but I can't pull off snowflakes and fake snow when it's 75 degrees outside. The lemons fit with our climate much better. I would love to eventually get some limes to go in there. They'd be much more fun and funky...thank you Tutu's Bliss for that lovely suggestion. Now I just need to squeeze it into the budget without being noticed...fat chance.

This is how I shop ladies. See that chip on the lid of the cutie leather trunk? I think it adds character, plus it means deeply discounted. I can live with it.

If my camera wasn't a piece of crap you would be able to see that the original price was$54.99, marked down to 9.99, and then an additional 60% off. I paid all of $4.

The finial on top of this was broken off and rattling around inside. Yep, I super glued it right back on. It's probably been a good 4 years since I glued it and it's still holding.

I think you might be able to see this one.
Original price $27.99
Marked down to $6.59

My point to all of this?
You don't have to spend a small fortune to have beautiful things. Those "things" don't have to be perfect to be beautiful. Sometimes it's those little imperfections that make it so beautiful.
So embrace your budget, your creativity, your inner Martha, and surround yourself with beauty!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Simplify and Beautify

Remember all those empty apothecary jars I had laying around? I finally filled them. I'm not sure about this. It is very minimalist for me. Am I a minimalist? I think I need more stuff up there. What do ya'll think? I love getting your input and hearing all your wonderfully inspired ideas!

I really loved these lemons when I bought them 5 years ago. I don't know if I'm feeling it anymore.

LOVE my new bird...Target.

Before the lemons, I tried going the natural earthy route. Actually, I just used what I could find lying around my house. I don't think it works.

Nope...not feeling it.
I'm such a girl.
Never satisfied.
What now?
Keep the lemons or try something else?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quick & Easy Valentine Frame & a Shout Out

This one is so easy I feel like I cheated. Maybe I did. So, anyway...who hasn't seen those super cute handmade greeting cards at Target's dollar spot? I always admire them, but never buy any. Until....I had a lightbulb moment while perusing the dollar spot the other day. I thought, how cute would that be in an old chippy frame? Pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

You may need to trim it up a bit, depending on the size of your frame opening. Other than that, nothing, no work, nada!
Easy peasy.
Now go and frame a $1 store bought card and wrap some candles in scrpabook paper and ribbon.

One of my very dear bloggy friends was the Saturday Spotlight at SITS ... Megan @ Little Bella Bean. She has the cutest etsy store ever and she is giving away one of her precious appliqued onesies. Just click here to visit her etsy store, then go to SITS and leave a comment telling which one was your favorite to be entered to win.
Megan handcrafts the most precious baby things...onesies, t-shirts, tutus, burp cloths, washcloths, and blankies. I love her creations almost as much as I adore her.
Go visit her shop and show her some love!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Feel a Craft Comin' On!

I got these babies at Hobby Lobby today for 90% off...29 cents and 39 cents! I'm thinking something valentiney (word?). It's been a good 3 or 4 weeks since I've had "craft time", and I am in dire need to be crafty! A girl can only go so long without modge podge and scrapbook paper and glitter! Wouldn't that little house make the cutest little fairy cottage? My wheels are a turnin'. I LOVE to hear from ya' commenter friends! Let's dish about what we could make with these lovelies! Lay it on me. Gimme some LOVE!
Can you tell I have Valentine's Day on the brain?
I even wrote ya'll a little V-Day message on the chalkboard in the background!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Have Apothecary Jars...Now What?

I love these glass jars. I've been building my collection for a while now. At Christmas time they were a lot of fun to fill...there was so much to choose from. Now I'm absolutely at a loss as to what to fill them with. What is wrong with me? I see these beautiful pictures all over blogland of different things people have done with theirs, but I am stumped. I have a big beautiful mantle that is empty right now. How sad is that? What a waste. Help a sister out. I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas on what to fill them with. Let's brainstorm together. Come'll be fun!

Guess what I did last night? I bought another glass container...I just couldn't resist.
I think I may have a problem.
The good news is that I know exactly what I want to put in this one. I am on the hunt for the perfect very first!
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Better late than never!

Yep, I'm late as usual. I may have a teensy problem with that, but such is life. Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick is hosting a "Declutter and Organize" party. I have been looking forward to this since she posted about it several months ago. I LOVE to declutter. In fact, frequently I get in trouble around here for getting rid of stuff (crap) we don't need. I've learned to be creative in my throwing away of happy meal toys and chuck e. cheese paraphernalia. And as for hubby's stuff...I just steer clear of it...I learned the hard way. My family does not share my affinity for decluttering. The picture above shows some of my favorite containers. They came in a set of three for about $10 from Ikea. I think I have 3 sets...I love them. This is above my computer desk and holds all related stuff. I am all about hiding the clutter in pretty boxes or containers!

This is probably one of the best things I've done to keep clutter under control. Having a family of six is great, but it also lends itself to quite a bit of clutter if not kept in check. This is our shoe basket. It sits right by the front door, in plain excuses to leave your shoes laying around. And believe you me...we have lots of shoes. I used to worry that having it right out in the open wasn't very pretty, but it is so worth it. In fact, I actually like looking at that basket full of shoes. For some reason it warms my heart to see all those shoes piled up. Maybe it's because they remind me of the people I love the very most in the whole wide world!

This is my girls' room. Whoa...we have alot of toys and a lot of pink! (btw, the other lamp is out in Dad's shop for repairs) These canvas storage cubes rock my world. They are cute and functional and hold a TON of stuff. And they come in all kinds of fun colors and patterns (Target & Lowes have the best selection). The shelving unit with the plastic bins is not my favorite thing, but it definitely does the job of corralling all those toys.

My dear sweet sister made this bookshelf for us many years ago. She saw one in the Pottery Barn kids catalog and thought, hey I can make that. And she did. She has a shop full of power tools and she is definitely not afraid to use them! You can't really tell in the picture, but the back is made of cute! Not only is it cute, it is extremely functional. It holds lots and lots of books, of which we have many. Plus, I am sure it cost her next to nothing to make and the one in PB kids is about $250 and it's not even that big. Whooty-whoot-whoo!

Oh dear! Can I tell you how much I despise stuffed animals? ALOT. And what have we here? Oodles of stuffed crap that my daughter just can't live without. So, what do you do? I am highly opposed to pet nets. They only make the ugliness of it all...more ugly. What's a girl to do? I'll tell ya. Get yourself to Target and look for something super cute to house them all in.
Above is the before, and here is the after : much better! Thank you Target, thank you.

Uh oh, I think I am passing on my shoe addiction to my daughters (age 1 and 3). Can I tell you how much I HEART these over the door organizers??? I have one on just about every door in my house. They are very versatile too. Think outside the box. Don't just use them for shoes. They're also great for craft supplies, pantry items, collections of small toys or trinkets, baseball cards, accessories, jewelry, bath items, etc. The possibilities are endless. Be creative.

In my 8 year old's closet, I've used it to organize all of those lego instruction booklets. It also houses the boys' magazine subscriptions. Just roll them up and pop them in. Easy and accessible when you need to find a certain one.

Ok, speaking of Legos...I have a problem I need some serious help with. See all those boxes? That is about half of what we own. Yeah, I know...crazy! But they are the most played with items we have. The boys LOVE them and so does daddy! Back in the day when we only had a few sets, organizing them wasn't a problem. Now I feel like the whole house is being taken over by legos. HELP!
Most of these sets are put together, but there are extra pieces and lots of older sets that aren't put together...culminating in a BIG HOT MESS! I need some suggestions. I've tried a few things, but nothing seems to work very well. It would be nice to have them organized in such a way that it would be easy to find what you need, but still have them out of the way.
Please, any ideas would be welcomed and appreciated.

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