Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mess "free" painting with kids: Dollar Tree cookie sheets!

So it turns out that Dollar Tree cookie sheets make great art/painting stations.

Since I'm outnumbered by the kids painting isn't something we do a lot of because it was stressful for me to try to make sure we weren't make a gigantic mess. I'm not super uptight person about messes, but painting with the kids would just push me over the edge. Invariably paint would end up on the wall, table and chairs making for a big mess to clean up afterwards. Enter the Dollar Tree cookie sheet. They are smaller than typical making them the perfect size for a standard size piece of paper and some paint (we've used both acrylics and watercolors with great success). It keeps the mess contained (well as contained as you can get when handing a three year old a paintbrush and saying 'have at it!') plus it seems like it was easier for my boys as well (ex. the paper doesn't slide around as much, etc). One of my little guys knocked over his water cup this time around and instead of it making a huge mess all over the table (and him!) I just picked up the tray, dumped out the water, gave it a quick rinse and we were back in business. Boo-yeah! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Construction Site Portable Play Mat

My best creative ideas come when I am creating for someone I love. No doubt about it. My number one inspiration most days are my crazy love-able 3 year old twin boys. Last year for Christmas I made them these time intensive felt car mats. I love them, but  I'm not crazy about how the felt has held up (especially because I used velcro for the closure, take my advice and don't do that!). So for Christmas this year I thought I would try something new for the construction site play mat I wanted to make them: designing my own fabric and having it printed by Spoonflower!

Sound crazy? Well it was really. Designing the fabric took quite a long time since, well, I started out without really knowing anything about Adobe Illustrator. But I love how this construction mat turned out!

Spoonflower was great to work with and I love how my fabric turned out! I think my little construction enthusiasts are going to love these! Of course I made a few extra for my etsy shop :)

Rustic nail and string art state ornaments

I love it when a creative bender ends somewhere fabulous! My sister loves NYC and I wanted to make her some kind of ornament to put on her Christmas tree to remind her of a place that is really special to her. And this is what I came up with:

Mini rustic nail and string art NY state ornament!

I seriously LOVE how this turned project turned out!! So much so that I decided to add these state string art ornaments to my etsy shop. My sister is going to love this ornament! 

I love them so much that I made one for each of the states we've lived in since we got married. 

One of my customers is ordering one for each state her kids were born in and letting them choose the string color (awesome!). I love that there are so many ways to personalize this gift to make it meaningful for the recipient. Plus they look gorgeous against the dark foliage of a Christmas tree! 

I won't rehash the specifics of how to do this project since I know there are tons of nail and string art tutorials out there. Just follow the tutorial you find, but do everything on a mini scale! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Give Thanks

As my boys get older the fun of holidays is starting to sink in a little bit more so for the first time we've been putting up some holiday decor! I've had some scraps of plywood left over from other projects that I've been hanging onto for um, well like 2 years. I was just about to throw them away when I realized they would make the perfect hand painted signs! So I did a couple small ones for Halloween, but I saved the nicest piece of scrap wood for Thanksgiving:

{Ignore the stickers on the apples :)}
I LOVE how it turned out! Just a quick recap of the process:
1. Sanded, then stained wood (dark walnut by minwax)
2. Designed "give thanks" on the computer then printed it out and traced it onto the wood (I ran a piece of white chalk over the back of the paper and then traced the out line with a pencil. It worked great!)
3. Filled in the traced out line with white acrylic paint. (be patient, this takes time!)
4. Distressed the letters a little bit to hide my less than perfect paint job.
5. Applied a light coat of furniture paste wax to seal it. (you could use any sealer, I just had this one on hand plus it gives more of a matte finish rather than a high gloss which is what I was going for)
6. Attached a saw tooth hanger and put that baby on the wall!

It hangs above our kitchen table and I love that it is a beautiful reminder to be grateful. On an even sweeter note one of my 2 year old twins asked what it said. I explained it was a reminder for us to say 'thank you.' When his dad got home that night he excitedly brought him to the kitchen and said "Wook, Dad! Dat say 'say dank you!" I melted into a little puddle. Two year olds are the most aggravating and adorable creatures on earth!

(Linking this to the Dare to do-it-yourself Series at Primitive and Proper)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Project Big Boy Room: Part Two

When I saw these darling striped rag quilts earlier this year on DIY Divas earlier this year I fell in love (they have a great tutorial on their site, go check it out!). I loved the texture of the rag quilt combined with the bold stripes. So when I started planning the big boy room I knew these quilts in some form or another would make an appearance.

I changed the dimensions a bit (we plan to get the long crib mattresses from IKEA). I also wanted to make the quilt a bit heavier and even cozier (my boys love cozy fabric) so I backed the super soft flannel with an extra cozy minky type fabric. This was my first real attempt at a quilt so I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, flaws and all! :)

While you can get dirt cheap flannel at JoAnn's I opted to invest a bit more in some higher quality flannel and I am so glad I did. The flannel is super soft and cozy. I'm excited to see how they look on the simple platform beds we are planning to build. For now they are tucked away in our closet and I am really hoping I did all the calculations right when I figured out the dimensions :)

Next, I'm planning to redo the bookcase in their room for better toy storage and my goal for October is to get the beds built!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Project Big Boy Room: Part One

We're in the process of changing our boys room over from a nursery to big boy room. I know that this will be something that happens over the course of a couple months (from planning mode to fully finished) and I'm doing my best to be patient with that. Anyone else an impatient creator/crafter/decorator? I'm seriously the worst so this is going to be a great learning experience for me. I've been planning and plotting for over a month now so I am really excited to show off my first finished project for their room: a map dresser!

Here is a Before: 

{My husband spent several hours sanding, staining, and finishing this old dresser for our boys nursery. He was nice enough to let me paint over all his hard work:)}

And After:

I really love how it turned out! I had the hardest time choosing a color for the dresser. The color scheme for the room is going to be blues, greens, and gray and I just couldn't decided on a color. I finally marched myself over to Lowe's and forced myself to just pick something. The color wasn't quite what I was expecting (I was hoping for a deeper blue), but I really like it any how. I actually think it will end up going pretty perfectly with the rest of their room. What I love the most though is that each drawer is a map of somewhere significant to our family. 

One of my guys is really into maps right now and I love showing him where my husband and I got married and where he was born. I know he doesn't super get it right now, but he still thinks pointing at the maps is fun!

I did this little make over on the cheap: DIY mod podge, DIY chalk paint, spray painted the old hardware and used free highway maps (most states will send you one for free). Overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out and itching to keep working on projects for their room. Next on my to do list is making some (simple) quilts for their beds!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Rachel, of Maybe Matilda is hosting a giveaway today and the prize is one my monster bags! Sweet! Go check it out.

Plus, Rachel is hilarious, so creative, and mother to one darling little guy. Definitely check out her blog.

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