Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Paper Bag Calendar and Scrapbook

I taught a class on how to make these a while back. It was a huge success, but I never finished mine. I found all the unassembled pieces in the bottom of a drawer today and decided to finally finish it...2 years later. Apparently, I forgot some of my own instructions. I got a little ribbon happy and just kept tieing them on to my little heart's content. I LOVE ribbon. I have bags full of it. It makes me happy. So, anyway...as you can see in the picture below, the pages will not turn.

I will either have to remove some of that loverly ribbon or tear off each month as it passes. Which by the way, I ran out of calendar pages and never made more copies. Just when I thought I was finished...nope. Another half done, wonky project. Tell me why you people keep coming back? I am so pathetic sometimes. And I'm not ashamed of it, because I keep posting all of my failed projects. I ask again...why are you here? P.s. ...I love that you are here. I adore each and every one of my new friends!

This is the paper bag scrapbook. Very easy, but very time consuming. Great inexpensive gift!

Every other page has a little cubby for momentos, journaling, pictures, whatever strikes your fancy.

This is the same thing, only dolled up for Christmas. I did not include a tutorial for these because I didn't know if anyone would be interested. If you are, let me know. I'll be glad to post them!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fairhope, AL...Weekend Getaway

Oh mY gOodNeSs!!! Can I tell ya'll how much I missed you? Apparently I am completely addicted to blogging and need a 12 step program and some therapy. I was without a computer or internet for all of 2 1/2 days and was a basketcase. Don't get me wrong...this was probably the best weekend I've had in years. Hubs and I took a weekend trip to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary, and it was FANTABULOUS! While we were gone, I realized that we hadn't been away together without kids since our honeymoon...pitiful and pathetic. Anyhoo, we had such a nice, relaxing, low key time, BUT...the whole time I was thinking about ya'll and wanted to share my fun trip and fun finds with ya! Obviously, I took my blogging withdrawl and turned it into a frenzy of shopping. Above you see my haul. Most of it is mine, but there are a few treasures that the hubster found for himself. (i.e., the GINORMOUS salt and pepper grinders...what can I say, the man loves his condiments. What you don't see are the 3 jars of different flavored sea salt and spicy brown mustard. Hey, whatever makes him happy. He was such a trooper lugging around all my bags and schlepping around every single store that caught my eye. I felt I owed him, he worked for it.) So, it probably looks like I spent a small fortune, but you should know me better than that by now. 90% of that crap came from Sister Julie's Resale Shop, Dollar Tree, and Big Lots. Seriously, I have a problem. I travel 3 hours to this quaint little out of the way town with beautiful shops and specialty boutiques, and what do I do? First, I spend the ENTIRE day walking the downtown, perusing those great shops, and dreaming of lots and lots of cash. Then we get in the car, drive to Big Lots, fill our cart, and three hours later head for our Bed and Breakfast. And we loved every second of it.

This is part of our Big Lots cache. Hubs cannot wait to hang the 1500 icicle lights on the house this week! What a guy.

Dollar Tree rarely disappoints. Thanks Joy, for the heads up on those cute little trees. As for the vintagey typewriter, phone, sewing machine, and camera...I have a tasseling project in mind for those!

God bless Sister Julie and her resale shop. I think we were there for at least 12 hours. We also got an electronic air hockey table for the boys for Christmas, but it's hiding out in the "man cave" (garage).

And last, but not least...my splurges. Basically, I went in the cutest store I could find, found the most inexpensive, cutest things I saw and went hog wild (which translates to, nothing in this photo was over 11.99). I know...big spender. That's just how we roll. The picture does these babies no favors. They are so precious and sparkly in real life. I cannot wait to use them to their full potential.

Happy Anniversary Babe! I am so glad I married my best friend. I love you!!!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo ~ Amanda

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside...brrrrrrr!

Oh, how I love winter! Sweaters, scarves, boots, gloves, snuggling by the fire, and hot cocoa! The temperatures have definitely dropped here in south Mississippi, and I am one happy girl...I LOVE it! Plus, I can get out my "cocoa motion" machine and have hot cocoa on hand all day long. My nine year old son has been begging me to make him some for at least 2 months. I just couldn't bring myself to break out the hot cocoa till it was at least a little cold. Last night it got down to about 28 degrees, so I felt fairly comfortable getting it out. See that cute silver tin of mint hot chocolate? I got about 12 of them last year at Target for 32 cents. Having paid almost $4 all season long, I had to buy all they had. I wish I had 20 cans of it....mmmmmm, so good!

So, I've seen a lot of variations on the hairbow holder out there in blogland. I thought I'd try one myself. The wood plaque was 1.97 at Wal-Mart, the butterfly 47 cents, the ribbon 2.97, and the paint 67 cents. All I did was give the little board 2 or 3 coats of apple green, hot glue the butterfly and the ribbon on .....and whala, a cute bow holder. I obviously didn't make my ribbon strands long enough because I have a whole gallon size ziploc full of more bows. I have 2 girls, you can never have too may bows! Hey, it's a good excuse to make another one.
I like it, but somethings missing...I'm not sure what. My next one will be way cuter, maybe an initial instead of a board. What do ya'll think?
p.s. With the leftover ribbon I tied bows around the lampshades on my buffet...precious! And around two red candles. I HEART ribbon. Like the snowman obsession, I think I have an unhealthy attachment to ribbon. I have bags, yes bags, of it. It's not just for hairbows. I use it to wrap presents, wrap candles, wrap lampshades, as a runner on a tablecloth, on bulletin boards, on curtains...the list could go on and on. I think all of my quirks are being made very apparent on this blog. It's quite liberating just givin' it all up and laying it out on the table for everyone to see! Love it or leave it...that's me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Santa Claus is Comin' To Town...a little early!

I'm sorry. I just couldn't wait any longer. I HAD to put some of my Christmas stuff out. Last year it was so much easier to justify putting it all out the week before Thanksgiving, because I was pregnant and due Dec. 10. I had a good excuse to get it done early. This year I have no such excuse. I my defense, I have had out my Halloween and Fall decor since September. I was getting sick of it...I needed a change. Plus, can I just tell you that this is one LESS thing I have to worry and stress about in December. It takes a tiny little weight off of the huge holiday load! So, I'm putting it out in stages. No rush. Just whenever I feel like it, or have a few extra minutes to spare. It is a work in progress. Actually, it will always be a work in progress, because of my constant tweaking. I will change this stuff around 28 times before it's all said and done. But...that's just the kind of girl I am. By the way, that wooden Santa above was rescued from my Mom's garage sale stuff. I think she made it in 1985, but I still love it. Is it too country-ish? Please lie to me and say, "No Amanda, it's precious"...thanks for being true friends!

I'm not wild about the piano setup. I'm not sure what it is yet, but I'll keep tweaking and eventually it will work. Don't you just LOVE those red berries? They were actually candle rings that I bought at Michael's after Christmas a coon's age ago (my fellow southerners know what a coon is, right?). Anyway, I snipped them, straightened them out, and.....TADA, I have a lovely berry garland for free! I cannot tell you how much fun it is to shop your own house and repurpose old stuff that's not being used...fun, fun, fun!!!

Last year I almost threw this little tree away. He just looked so sad and tired and I wasn't using him anyway. But, this year when I pulled him out of the box, I saw him with new eyes. I added a few pinecones and berries and some "can't go wrong" feathers...and SHAZAM...totally full of life revamped tree.

Can you tell that the runner is not really a runner? It is three large napkins butted up together and straight pinned. Clever. I really wanted to go buy an new runner, but I couldn't bring myself to spend the money. (I'm saving for a pair of lighted trees to go in the urns at my front door) So, yesterday I'm busily putting out my little Christmas treasures and all of a sudden I remember those napkins I got at Target for like 90% off. They've been sitting in a drawer waiting for their debut. At the time I bought them I had no clue what I'd use them for, but I LOVED the color. Well, it's only taken 4 years for me to figure out a use for them. I think they look great and the color is PERFECT! After Christmas I'm going to use them to make a valance for my girls' room. Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose...gotta love it!

My mantel is definitely not done. I have grand plans for it. Those jars will be filled with gumballs and peppermint sticks. And I'm in the process of making some cute topiary trees. Hopefully, it will all come together. Don't you just love Frosty? He was a MAJOR splurge. Quite possibly the only Christmas decoration I paid full price for. I wanted him soooo bad. I visited him many times before I actually bought him. The day I came to see him and he was THE last one on the shelf, I knew I had to bring him home. And I am so glad I did. He has such presence up there. He looks like he owns the place.

Allright, I think I may have a slightly unhealthy obsession with snowmen. Now that I'm looking at my pictures, I realize how many of them I have. I even put Mr. cutie patootie in the bathroom. Sue me...I like snowmen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lazy Perfectionism at it's Finest!

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture? Yep, it says "Happy Holiday"...no S. Good thing we don't celebrate Kwanza, Hannukah, Chinese New Year, and various other holidayS. I'm just gonna be honest here, I was tired of writing and erasing and writing and erasing...you get the picture. All the re-writing would fall in the perfectionist category. The giving up and leaving it as is definitely falls in the LAZY category. Nester changed my life with the whole lazy perfectionist thing. I used to think I was just your run of the mill perfectionist...boy was I wrong! A true perfectionist would NEVER leave this cute chalkboard note like this. Thus, the word "lazy" comes into play. Hey, I've got 4 kids, a husband, a house, church responsibilities, room mother duties to perform...I don't have time to start over just for some measly little S...sue me.

If anyone is interested, my cute chalkboard was this ugly picture in another life. It was hanging in my kitchen (was I smoking crack?), and I really wanted to just hurl it out the front door. Yet still, I left it there. Until....one night I saw a can of chalkboard paint on the "oops" table at Lowes for $3 (reg. $10). I snagged that puppy and headed for the checkout. I could hardly wait to get home. I was so pleased with the outcome! The painting has a texture, but it doesn't make a bit of difference. I think it gives it character...that's what I like to say when something doesn't turn out quite like I expected. After the paint was dry, I sanded the whole thing lightly, and hand rubbed on some antique white craft paint on the little dot detail. LOVE IT! Have I ever mentioned how utterly addicted I am to "trash to treasure"?
And, last but not least...my ill fated ornaments. I guess from a distance you can't tell how pitiful they are. I had such high hopes for these little babies. I was so excited to try this project when I saw Valarie do it on her blog. She made it look so easy and foolproof. It is not. At first I thought they had turned out great, until the next day (24 hours later) I painted on the dots and turned them upside down. Nope, the paint on the inside was not dry. It bubbled out the top, oozed down the sides...it was heartbreaking. So, I cleaned them as best I could and decided to wait another day to clear coat them. If you are wondering why I insisted on turning them upside down, I thought it would keep the wet dots from smearing on the bottom. Guess what happened? 48 hours later, the paint on the inside still wasn't dry...it happened again. Maybe I was having a blonde moment, maybe I didn't read the directions thoroughly...blah, blah, blah. Anyway, this is what I got stuck with. I'm rollin with it. They didn't all turn out bad...I'll just put these "special" ones on the back of the tree.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"I Can Make That...Par-tay!"

OOOHHHH...this is so fun! I love me a good party. Chris, over at Just a Girl, is hosting an "I can make that party". I an effort to save money, yet give a beautiful one of a kind, from the heart gift this holiday season, Chris had this fabulous idea. Her blog is hosting a Mr. Linky party where we can all share ideas and inspiration for fun projects! Apparently, she read my mind on this one, because I had already decided to make this a homemade Christmas. Plus I love to save money and any excuse to do a cute craft is right up my alley. P.S - I don't think I've had an original idea since 1995, so I'm all about the sharing of the fabulousness!

My inspiration for these cute blocks came from Tip Junkie...I think. The ones I saw were for Halloween and Thanksgiving, but there are soooo many possibilities with these little lovelies. They would make a great holiday gift like this, or you could spell out a name with them...I'm thinking for a teacher's desk. I used old scrap wood scavenged from a new house construction, but you could just go to Lowe's and have them cut up a 2x4. The only supplies you need are craft paint for the sides and back, wicked cute scrapbook paper, chipboard letters or die cut letters, your favorite ribbon, and mod podge. They were so easy and very fun to make.

This is my take on a bulletin board. I have wanted one for my girls' room for quite a while, but was holding out for the RIGHT one. I never found it. So if you can't find what you want...make it. I happened to have this canvas and the fabric left over from another project. Actually, now that I think of it...I had all of this stuff laying around the house. All you do is center the fabric onto your canvas, wrap the edges to the back and staple. Easy. For the ribbon part I slipped on a ring clip, looped the ribbon, and used upholstery tacks (you could also use hot glue). I chose to run the ribbon vertically, but you could also do it horizontally. Either way...very cute...very easy...original gift!

My inspiration for this frame came from a baby shower I recently attended. My friend received 2 or 3 very similar frames called Frou Frou Frames. They came from a very high end baby boutique, and run $50-$60 a piece. Yes, you heard me right, I said $50-$60. Can you believe that? Well, I couldn't. I thought...hey, I can make that. This frame started out in life black, so I spray painted it, bought 1 yard of very lush ribbon at H.L., and added a brooch I already had. I still need to distress it, but I wanted to show it to you anyway...unfinished and all. I for one, love my copycat frame that cost me all of 1.50 to make!
I cannot wait to see all the creative and wonderful ideas from the talented ladies of blogland!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is this little beauty?

Ok, so I think it might be a candle holder. But I'm not sure. What do you think? Whatever it is, I think it is beautiful and quite unique. A dear friend of mine gave it to me as a hostess gift the other night. I didn't dare ask her what it was. I thought I'd get creative with it. I didn't want to use it as a candle holder. So I thought, and I thunk....and I came up with this........

TADA! Isn't she a beaut? I had some yummy white berry garland that I got at Dollar Tree a while back. I never found a use for it, so I pulled it out of the drawer, and just stuffed it all in that glass pumpkin, tied a nice fluffy bow on top...and there you have it! Wow, that was quite the run-on sentence I just wrote. Sorry about that.

And here is my buffet all dolled up for Thanksgiving. I finally got around to taking all my halloween stuff down. Didn't quite get it all put away...it's all piled up on my kitchen table. But you really didn't need to know all that...soooooo. What do you think? What would you have done with the cute glass pumpkin? I love to hear all the different ways we get our decorating on! Do tell!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mod Podge Rocks!

This was a super easy, very inexpensive project...right up my alley!

What rock have I been living under? How is it that I've never used this magic potion? I knew it existed, but I did not know how wonderful is was. I'm hooked...I love it. I have all kinds of crafting ideas rolling around in this crazy head of mine. Anyway.... So, I think this might become my new standard gift. Isn't it cute? I love how it turned out. Next time I'll use some super cute colorful scrapbook paper for a whole new look! I can't wait to make one for myself...I gave this one away as a b-day gift.

Love it on the mantle!

Love it with my white pumpkins!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Heart The Nester!

For those of you poor unfortunate souls who haven't been introduced to the Nester, go here. She is Amazing I tell ya! This lady is the real deal, the whole package. She is uber talented, beautiful, classy, and too funny to boot! She totally inspired me to let go of my perfectionism...still a work in progress, but improving. Anyway. She does these gorgeous window treatments that she so lovingly refers to as "mistreatments". You'll have to visit her to get the full story on that. So, this is my version of mistreatments. I have these windows that scream...hi, I'm from 1975. I wanted to detract from this just a tad, maybe a little disguise. This is my "before" picture, because I forgot to take a real one...sorry. As you can see, we have these skinny little outdated windows that are begging to be replaced, but that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Their one positive attribute is that they let in alot of natural light...I'm trying to boost their self esteem...sometimes I say ugly things about them. I just happened to have this remnant of fabric my sister gave me...perfect. I cut it to fit above the window, hot glued some cute trim on the bottom, and tacked it straight to the wall. Yes, you heard me right...I used upholstery tacks, and no one has ever noticed until I point it out to them.

Then I had my handy dandy #1 Man hang this curtain rod I wasn't even using. Looks good so far, but something is missing. Oooo, oooo, ooo, I just remembered those panels I used in our apartment before we bought this house...they'd be perfect.
Let me tell you girls...there was absolutely No sewing done for this little project. I don't sew. I can't sew. I use hot glue and upholstery tacks, and iron on hem tape. Sometimes I cut the fabric, but sometimes I just rip it...ala Nester. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. I think they are lovely. And the best part...the only thing I didn't have laying around the house was that trim and it was 30% off at Hobby Lobby. Yes, it's a beautiful thing. I LOVE to create something from nothing and spend little to no money while doing it.

I thought I'd give you a close up of those infamous upholstery tacks. No one ever notices...I promise. Easy Peasy!

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