Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best of 2012

Whether it's songs or Facebook statuses, it's the time of year for looking back and seeing what's been popular over the last year.  I'm doing the same as I highlight some of my favorites posts from 2012.  This may be fun for some of you who are new to my blog and didn't see these the first time.   



























Happy New Year and thanks for sticking around in 2013--it should be another great year!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Free Printable Calendars for 2013

Lots of us have our lives in our phones, iPads, or in my case, my Nexus.  But there's just something about writing things down on paper, isn't there?

I've found several free printable calendars to share with you today.  This first one is the one I've printed out to keep track of my blog posts.  Click on the title of each one to visit the page where you can download them.

TomKat Studio



The Twinery




Hello Cuteness


Creative Mamma


Weekly Planner


Lau's Notebook

Design Bolts


In season fruits and veggies by Erin Huffstetler

What's your calendar of choice...Digital?  Giant white board on the wall?  Do you have another great place to share for printing calendars?

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Candy Cane Wall Art



My project today actually started as an idea from my husband--for a couple of years now I've had this wall of Ikea mirrors over our kitchen table.  I painted them brown and put squares of scrapbook paper in a few of them to make it a little more interesting.

When fall came this year, I painted some fake flowers with gold paint and put cream paper over each mirror.

My husband suggested candy canes in the center of each one, and I loved the idea, and felt like it was time to brighten everything up a bit too.

I took each brown frame and a painted it with a robin egg blue color.  It took a few coats to cover the dark brown underneath, but when everything dried I sanded down the edges to reveal the brown underneath.



Then I cut white cardstock to cover each mirror section and used hot glue to attach a mini candy cane in each one.  Cute and simple!  And I'm pretty sure that my kids are old enough now that none of these will go missing.  (Plus, the box I bought had 100 mini canes in it, so there are plenty to go around :)



I'd love to hear other candy cane decoration ideas too, since like I said, there are a few left over! 




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this post brought to you by
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas--Our 2012 Card

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from our family!



(I'm was pretty happy with how they turned out, and I even designed the graphics myself.  Also, want to know my "square card secret?"    Square cards are more expensive to order and even mail, so I had my square image printed on a 5x7 card and then trimmed off the bottom section after I received them.  They still fit in the envelopes they sent of course, and I could mail them with a regular stamp.  Not a bad trick if you don't mind spending some time with your paper trimmer.) 

But anyway, back to the season's greetings--Thanks for following along.  Having you guys around is what makes this blogging thing fun!

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Twine Giveaway and InstaShare


Just like most of you, we're in the home stretch of Christmas prep around here.

I'm stopping in really quickly today to have you go check out this Trendy Twine giveaway on the CuttingEdge Magazine Facebook page.  

And for fun, here are a few Instagram photos of what else we're been up to around these parts.  Follow me if you want to catch all the excitement :)

Fabric Asher picked out for his new PJ pants

Treats we took to Meagan's ballet performance

Emily and Meagan at their piano recital

Stockings I'm still trying to finish up before Monday night!

And finally, I met up with these 3 super cute ladies at Ikea last weekend.  Go check out their blogs and tell them I said hello!
Nicole from The Tape Diaries
Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me
Aleisha from Britches & Boots

Now, off to make some cookies and wrap some more presents!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Birth Stats Board (with DecoArt Dimensional Effects)


We recently had another nephew join our family, and since I couldn't attend the baby shower in another state, I decided to do something that I could send after he was born.

I found an 8x10 wood board at Michaels and used these other supplies as well:
stencil brush (so it was stiff)
DecoArt Dimensional Effects
black, white and light blue paint Deco Art 132276 Americana Acrylic Paint 2 Ounces-Baby Blue-Opaque (Google Affiliate Ad)
vinyl
sandpaper

Start by mixing 1 tablespoon of Dimensional Effects with 1 teaspoon (approximates) of black paint.  Use the stiff brush to drag the medium across the board.  Don't worry if the coverage isn't perfect, and you want lots of lines in it as well--this will create the raised lines that will sand off and look distressed later.


When that's dry, cover the whole board, including the sides, with blue paint (or whatever color you want your letters to be in the end)

Cut all your information from vinyl and stick to the board when the blue paint is dry.  Paint over everything with white paint and remove the vinyl.


When the white paint is dry, use sand paper to take off some layers of white and blue paint.  The raised lines of the Dimensional Effects give great texture to the final product.

For other ideas on how to use Dimensional Effects, visit the DecoArt website.  They asked me to create a project for them, and I made these two picture frames, creating different patterns on them by the way I applied the Dimensional Effects.  I used a stencil brush to make the swirl marks, and on the other I used a popsicle stick to get thick lines. I have on my list to try this same kind of thing but using a color other than black to add in too.





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**I was compensated by DecoArt to create a project for them, but was not required to write a post about it--and of course all thoughts and opinions are my own**


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

TV Console from a Dresser

This post comes to you from my friend Kathi.  She transformed a free dresser into an amazing TV stand, and it just must be shared :)  She'll tell you all about it--

Our big old tube TV had been on the fritz for awhile.  We knew our days with our hand-me-down TV were coming to an end.  So, we started shopping for a new TV and putting money aside for it.  But then I realized that to get the TV we'd really like to have, we'd need a new entertainment center of some sort because our current one would only hold a fairly small widescreen TV.  The idea of buying an expensive piece of electronics and a new piece of furniture made my budget cry.  So instead, I got crafty.

I thought about starting from scratch and trying my hand at a Ana White design.  But then I realized I wasn't quite brave enough (yet).  I had seen some old dresser turned TV consoles, and I thought that I might be able to handle that.  I went on Craigslist and found a dresser for free, and my awesome hubby picked it up.





It wasn't in terrible shape, but it wasn't looking too pretty either.  And it REEKED of smoke. 

I started by using my electric sander to get down to the wood.  Then I took the back off so I could get in there and build some shelves.



I used some putty and spackle to fix some imperfections in the wood.  Then I primed it with an oil based primer to get rid of the smoke smell.  (Sherwin-Williams Oil Based Multi-Purpose Primer)



Now was the tricky part (for me, at least).  I'd never really built anything before, so even though I can now say it wasn't very hard, at the time, it was kind of overwhelming for me.  I measured the openings where my 2 shelves would go (and learned the hard way to allow for how much the saw blade will take out of the MDF.  Duh.)  I used 1/2" MDF and cut bottoms, sides and backs for my shelves. 



Before I glued them in, we (my husband and I) used a hole saw (similar to this one) to cut holes in the back of the shelves for cords to go through.  I just used Gorilla Glue to put the shelves in.  That stuff really expands, so don't use too much.  As it was drying, I regularly checked on it to wipe away any excess glue.  I had to get pretty creative on how to clamp the shelves down.  I turned the dresser on its side and back and used books, heavy tools, clamps and all sorts of things.  Hey, it worked.

So, the shelves look really unfinished at this point, so we used a miter saw to cut small decorative trim to cover the MDF boards.  I didn't take a picture of that before it was painted, but here's an up-close of the painted/distressed trim.  We nailed them in using finishing brads.  And then I raided my scrapbook supplies and used my eyelet setting tools to sink the brads in the trim and then used spackle to cover the small hole.



Now we were ready to paint!  While I was doing of the prep work, I happened upon a picture of a dresser repaint that I loved, and I used that as my paint inspiration.  I used Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint to paint the existing hardware.  I do wish I had spray primed it first.  I might end up having to redo those at some point.

We were able to borrow a small Graco Project Painter paint sprayer from a friend (we used it for the primer, too).  I used Sherwin-Williams ProClassic paint in Marshmallow, thinned down with XIM Latex Extender for the sprayer.  In between coats, I did a light sanding and then used a tack cloth to really get it cleaned off.  It took a few coats of paint (3 on the drawers and 2 on the dresser).

Then we used a sponge roller to paint the black (Sherwin-Williams All Surface Enamel, thinned a LOT with the Latex Extender) on the top.  I did this several times trying to achieve a perfect finish.  I didn't get perfect, but I got close.

I hadn't decided yet if I was going to distress it or not.  But then I realized that I hadn't smooth out all the imperfections in the wood (back after I primed).  If it wasn't going to be perfect, it was going to look like I meant it to be that way.  So, I grabbed a sanding block and started distressing.  I did rub a little bit of dark stain on (and then quickly wiped off) some of the distressed parts that weren't dark enough.

And at last, we used the sprayer to put on a coat of water based polyurethane to seal in the awesomeness.  And then we were finished. 




This project took me several weeks to complete (an hour here, an few minutes there), and I can honestly say it was completely worth it.  It is my absolute favorite piece of furniture in my house.  And it is so fun to be able to say that my husband and I did it together.



Doesn't that look amazing you guys!  Great job Kathi--I really love it!

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