Monday, March 29, 2010

love: wedding reception photo booths

so my life-long bestie Leigh is tying the knot this summer....and I HAD to share this idea that she facebooked me about yesterday.

I have seen wedding reception photo booths before, but declined to have one at my own wedding due to the cost to construct a literal booth....

but as you see below, a more recent trend in photo booths requires only a few vintage frames, a backdrop, and your guests' willingness to be playful!
so naturally, my response to this adorable idea.... go haggle some vendors at my local flea market to find my bestie the frames she needs!

My haggling skills (meek, though they are) paid off, and I snagged this beauty below, along with another just like it, for just $3!

Hooray for flea markets!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

create: button earrings

so as of lately, i have been OBSESSED with buttons...
and this weekend, while ben and laura were visiting, we found a flower shop called A New Leaf on Wells St in Old Town, Chicago...well, this wasnt just any flower shop...

while the upstairs was covered in potted plants and freshly cut stems, there lurked a basement below filled with wonderful ribbons, candles, and most importantly.... BUTTONS!
I picked up these beautiful buttons:
which inspired me to create some cute, quick, and easy button earrings!

my tools were simple... buttons, of course, my trusty glue gun, and a pair of Dustin's pliers (perfect for twisting off the back of any button!) I found earring posts super cheap at my Hobby Lobby. Here are my button earrings drying...

the steps are pretty self explanatory: twist off any backing/loop/etc....put a dab of hot glue on your earring post... center on button (or, in the case of larger buttons, center towards the top so the earring sits appropriately on the ear lobe...test out your placement in a mirror, if needed), and let it dry! and here are my finished button earrings! the buttons from A New Leaf are the front three snazzy ones... the large blue ones I just couldnt resist! And I thought the fuzzy blue ones and plaid were just adorable! The rest are simple buttons that I found in my craft bin at home...

Friday, March 26, 2010

love: spring break, a visit from friends!

one perk of working in the public school system... SPRING BREAK!!! Though last year we flew off to see Dustin's sister in Miami (and came back with tattoos... ouch!...see pic above!), this year we are spending our spring break preparing for the big move to STL...apartment hunting, etc....
but before we head down to STL, we have friends coming to visit! Ben (Dustin's childhood friend) and his wife Laura (check out her etsy shop!) are coming tomorrow morning. We are hoping the weather is good! (picnic, anyone?)
thinking of Ben and Laura, I couldnt resist posting this beautiful pic from their wedding last was, HANDS DOWN, the most beautifully organic, rustic wedding I have been able to be a part of...well, maybe apart from my own!
happy friday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

create: chore chart for kids

If I had kids, I would SOOO make this chore chart station that I found on OnePretty Thing!

But in the absence of little rascals to clean the bathroom and vacuum the carpet, maybe I will just make one for my husband :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

create: scrappy leather headband tutorial

If you liked my flower power headband, read on:

I came across this tutorial on OnePrettyThing (visit everyday for new DIY ideas!). I am DEFINITELY trying it out! I did a leather working project for the hubby last year for Christmas, so I think I have some leather scraps laying around here somewhere....

I will post mine as soon as i get it done!

Thank you Missie Krissie!

Monday, March 22, 2010

create: anthropologie inspired decoupage birds

browsing online at anthropologie, i came across these lovely decoupaged birds... "One-of-A-Kind Nomad Flyers" they are called....but at $328 a pop, I decided to come up with my own version....still being obsessed with book pages (reference book page wreath, posted earlier) I decided to make my own text and fabric flyers....
i had some ugly clay birds (found at the dollar store), decoupage, and a duplicate copy of The Catcher in the Rye (a novel favorite, might I add). Once I made the first one that you see above and below, I was inspired to be more "anthropologie-like" and use fabric scraps on my second bird... you will see that one in the very last photo...

i decided that though the text was black-and-white, I wanted to add a little anthropologie "pop" of color... thus, for the wings I brushed "antique gold" and "barn red" acrylic paint on the pages before I ripped them up... in hind sight, I suppose I could have just painted the color on post-decoupage. Another post-project idea would be to intermingle the red and yellow scraps to add more dimension to the wings....or add fabric wings to make have a more multimedia approach...
this last one is a photo with both types: text and fabric flyers. I will say that the fabric was a PAIN IN THE BOOTY to decoupage to the bird! But I am happy with the way they turned out!
(also, a note: this last photo was taken at night, where the best lighting in my house is in the bathroom. yes, the birds are perching on the lid of our porcelain throne, if you get my drift... :-)

Friday, March 19, 2010

love: visiting family

we are visiting family back home this weekend... i just found this cute little photo of Fairbury's downtown....basically, thats 3/4 of the town.... :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

love: picnics

The weather was so nice tonight, we were able to grill and eat outside!

I think I would picnic every night of my life, if possible.

Priority #1 when looking for an apartment in STL: A yard for picnics. yippee!

Two aesthetics to highlight:

my (partial) collection of vintage votive holders. they make me so happy! (my current favorite is the taller yellow one on the far end...Fairbury antique store find!)

also, this lovely yellow green chair. its one of four matching body styles that I found at my Salvation Army for just a couple bucks, colors ranging from ochre to lime to teal. yummy. This one i did a wash with my favorite Ivy Leaf Krylon spray paint....spray a little on, rub it into the wood with a gives you a worn, stain type finish.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

grow: flower headband...rejected

So i took a chance and wore my flower headband to work today...
At 8am, as my students are coming into the classroom, one says,


thank you, student. thank you.

(i labeled this post as grow seeing as how it was a growing moment for me...

I took a breath, and gently explained to my student that his use of the word "ugly" makes me feel badly, and that he could say something more encouraging, as people have different tastes and what looks good to some may not look so good to others...and so on and so forth....

What i didn't tell him is that I MADE THIS HEADBAND AND I AM VERY PROUD OF IT! That statement would have been a little self serving. :-)

my advice for the day: if you want to be challenged to be a better person, teach :-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

create: more fabric flower power

so once i started making those fabric scrap flowers for my pillow posted earlier....I COULDN'T STOP! These little flowers have so many possibilities! One is posted here... I hot glued a small flower in the center of a larger one...then attached that whole piece to a cheap headband...added some leaves that i cut from scrap fabric and decorated with little embroidery thread stitches. Precious, if you ask me :-)

love: composition notebooks

There were about three things that got me through my awkward middle school years:

1) my VHS copy of Harriet the Spy

2) my best friend leigh

3) my composition notebooks
I drooled over the sewn-in binding, the black and white color scheme, the drama of it all.
Between middle school and high school, i went through probably 20-30 of those bad boys. That collection of composition notebooks narrated my early adolescent story...fears, dreams, crushes, questions...
So when I stumbled upon these beauties the other day, I HAD to get them for my little sisters (ages 8 and 12):
I cant recreate my childhood for them, nor can I find them best friends like the one I had. Heck, I probably cant even find them a copy of Harriet the Spy on VHS (garage sale, anyone?).

But what I can do is pass along my love for the composition notebook. And thus inspire the composition of their own awkward middle school narratives.

create: mouse pad makeover

confession: ever since we have been married, my husband and I have failed to purchase a mouse pad. almost two full years of mouse pad-less-ness (word?). Instead, we have been using the object that you see above, a wrinkled cardstock "Save the Date" from a friend's past wedding, complete with random directions, telephone numbers, notes, etc written all over it.


So naturally, the other day, as I was wandering the aisles of my local Dollar Tree (love that place!), I snatched up the first mouse pad I saw...Spiderman. Not my first choice in styles, but for a buck, who can complain? Thus, I set to work transforming Spidey into something a little more...grown up chic.
Here are my tools: a scrap of pretty fabric from that pillow in my previous post, decoupage (my favorite!), and Spidey, of course.

A thin coat of decoupage (applied directly to Spidey) to secure the fabric, then trim the edges as closely as you can. I even painted a little decoupage along the sides of the mouse pad so to create a cleaner edge.

The edges didnt look finished enough for my taste, so I broke out my glue gun and added some natural jute trim.

And, ta da! A brand new, respectable, Spidey-free mouse pad!

And in case you were wondering, that old "Save the Date" has been recycled :-)

create: pillow frenzy

recently, i have been in a pillow-making frenzy. i was tired of all the mismatched, dorm room, inherited-from-my-mom pillows that were taking up space on my sofa. so i grabbed some scrap fabric, my sewing machine, and a few fun flea market finds to revamp my cushiony friends:

this first pillow, above, features the very first thing i EVER bought at a flea market... a dainty little 50 cent doily that I soaked in a bath of equal parts acrylic paint and water, then allowed to dry (the doily was originally white). I liked the uneven dye job that i got, and the paint stiffened the fabric just enough so it wouldn't sag on my pillow. I carefully hand stitched around the doily in corresponding thread to secure it to the front of my pillow.

My next pillow is this lovely floral print on the front, burlap on the back. I made these little fabric roses out of random scraps that I found in my sewing stuff. A little twisting, hot gluing, and ta da, a beautiful flower! I was inspired by two other bloggers:
2) and I found a tutorial hereThis is just a close up of my flowers in action :-)

My third pillow also features a thrifty find, though this one is a vintage scarf that I snagged at a little antique shop in my hometown in Central Illinois. Same process as the doily: careful stitching around the outside with matching thread.

My final pillow is simply burlap, stitches exposed, with another acrylic dyed doily sewn on. For this one, to maintain some original white coloring, I simply kneaded the doily in my hands with a little acrylic paint, then allowed it to dry.

Monday, March 15, 2010

create: beethoven's makeover

my hobby lobby clearance find brought to life with a coat of my new favorite color, Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss Spray Paint in Ivy Leaf...

create: book page wreath

so my mom picked up some old book pages for me, aged and torn, all wrapped up in twine. I was eager to incorporate the aged text into a craft project, and I was SORELY disappointed when I realized that only the front and back pages were legitimately old and aged. The filler pages were none other than chapters torn from a Danielle Steele romance novel. DISAPPOINTING.

S0 I had this stack of twine-wrapped smut sitting in my house for a few weeks until i came across a tutorial on "Living with Lindsay" appropriately titled "Librarians, Please Avert Your Eyes". Here is the link.
I followed her tutorial to create my own version of her craft-vendor knock off book page wreath. And I LOVE it! What a great use for a disassembled romance novel! And if you look very closely, you may still be able to read some of the steamy parts :-)

create: obsessed with vintage silverware

i was recently digging through piles of old silverware at my local salvation army (15 cents a piece!) and I found several beautiful pieces that I couldn't live without, yet had no use for.
Browsing on the web inspired me to create these beauties:

#1 Silverware Hooks
This is my first silverware project, a fun use for beautiful silverware. I see myself using them in the kitchen to hang dish towels, tea cups, etc. Inspired by design*sponge, which you can veiw here.

#2 Serving Tray

My next silverware project was made from an old frame found at the Goodwill, a little acrylic paint, decoupage, and a lovely Anthrolopologie doily that we recieved as a wedding gift (thanks Bethany!)

#3 Lots of Little Hooks

Sorry for the blurry photo! I found this fun alphabet stenciled wall hanging at the Goodwill for a buck. I bent silverware handles and used Gorilla glue to secure them to under the letters. Super cute to hang tea cups, cooking utensils, pot holders, etc from.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

grow: my blog-baby is born!

Welcome to!

After a few years of mulling around the idea in my head,
(along with a nudge from my hubby) is finally born!

This little blog-baby will attempt to chronicle a few key areas of my life:

create: all things crafty, thrifty, repurposing, DIY...

love: my roles as wife, sister, friend, teacher, daughter... plus all the things I love!

grow: challenges, opportunities, and dreams for the future...

there is much more to come!