Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Point of View Features- Shelves!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Today is one of my favorite days.  I have so much fun featuring other bloggers and their great ideas!  No wonder Kim is so successful- she has a great idea for a blog- showcasing others. :)
This cute shelf was linked up to our Point of View Shelf link party by Angie at Burton Avenue.  I love all the decor she added to make the shelf festive and fun.
But, mostly what I loved is that she needed space to add fun seasonal items to her home, so she made it!  I have a lack of surface area that I can decorate so this completely resonates with me.  Time to bust out the woodworking tools and make me a shelf!
  This blog is run by two ladies who both have terrific ideas.  They are just getting started, but I think you'll love seeing what they have to share, like the board and batten treatment on the stairwell and this super cute Ice Cream Party
  Next month our theme is going to be Summer!  The link party happens the fourth Friday of the month and I hope you'll join us in the fun!

Have a great day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Taking a village {monday is "mom"-day}

Monday, June 27, 2011
All of my parent's 20 grandchildren.

Growing up I always had friends.  My parents had 6 children in just under 8 years- and there were no twins!  By force of nature we had built in friends and companions.  My older sister got married early, but then when I got married, 5 years later, it started a landslide and we had 5 weddings in 5 years.  Because we are all in the same stage of life we do things pretty much together.  From getting married to having children.  Of the 20 children you see, 18 of them are 9 or under. :)  It makes family gatherings fun and more than a little chaotic.
As parents we work together, watching out for each others' kids, helping entertain cranky (or happy) babies and entertaining the youngsters when they start getting a little rowdy.  
We even take turns walking the kids down to see the newest neighborhood attraction- a baby zebra! {I just love how these little cousins are holding hands!}
Our neighborhood is much like my family.  We try hard to work together, to entertain the kids, watch out for each other and help when someone is in need.  I feel very blessed to have found myself in this place.
Life is so much more full and happy when we are surrounded by those who love us and have genuine interest and concern for us.  The blogging community is another place I have found that same camaraderie.  
I feel that there is great power when people- especially women- work together for a greater purpose.  When we uplift, inspire and encourage each other.  
I would like to challenge each of us to work this week at looking beyond our own personal circumstances and see if there is someone we can help this week.  Even if it's something as simple as leaving a kind comment on a post when you normally wouldn't or don't think you have the time.  Grow your village.  Enlarge your circle of support and love.  
Everyone wins when we are working together.
Enjoy your Monday!
P.S.  I am guest posting over on the CSI Project today revealing my kitchen makeover sponsored by Dutch Boy!  Head over and check it out here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June Point of View Reveal- Shelves

Friday, June 24, 2011
Here they are!  Shelves- five ways.  Isn't it incredible how everyone can take a simple theme and interpret it in so many ways?  Amazing.
Want the details?  Click on each of the blogs below to see how they created their Point of View:
1. Camilla at Rosy Red Buttons
2. Michelle at A Little Tipsy
4.Well, you're here at Ameroonie Designs
5. Gwen at Gwenny Penny

For my project, I decided to stage some shelves in my youngest daughter's room.  Here's the before:
I hope you'll pardon the horrible pictures in this post.  This room is very difficult to take good pictures of, especially the wall with the long shelves.  The wall is around the corner from the window, so it gets no natural light, but I have to fight the light in the alcove.  So, there's my whining done for the post. ;)  This room used to be my craft room, before we learned we were expecting #4.  When she arrived, we dumped my craft supplies in the basement and I just plopped what was handy on the shelves.  I wanted to lighten up the feeling of the shelves, making them fun, fresh and colorful as well as a lot more youthful.
Here's the after.  I love how they are fun and bright.  I wanted to leave the red wall, but wasn't sure how to make it look like a little girl's room.  I decided adding turquoise would make the room pop.  And just as I was planning this, a package arrived in the mail from my good friend Gwen, and in it was a charm pack of Honky Dory fabric.  It has the perfect color way for this room so that was my inspiration.  

Here's a close up of the first shelf.  I have a tutorial  on how to make the laugh sign at the end of the post.  The jar is hot glued onto a wood candlestick and filled with marbles I got from my mother-in-law that she got from her grandfather- so they're my daughter's great-great grandfather's marbles, kind of fun.  The bear is from my mom and my daughter made the flowers for me for Mother's Day.  I cut out tons of butterflies using my Cricut in sizes ranging from 1 1/2" to 3".  I stuck them to the wall using poster putty.
You might recognize the flower ball from the Spring Point of View reveal.  I pulled out the petals and put them on a smaller ball so it would fit on the smaller, painted candlestick. The bear is a hand-me down from my college friend and the small animals and tea pot I got at a local store (Tai Pan).
While I was shopping I saw a few really cute word signs, but I didn't have the budget for them.  So, I decided to make my own.
And, I even mocked up some shots to give  you a full tutorial.  Yay! ;)
Anyway- here's what you need:
Chipboard letters spelling out your word, scrapbook paper, paint to finish the edges of the letters, paint stir stick{what I had on  hand and it worked out perfectly!}, (*not shown: glue gun, tacky glue, embellishments)
The first thing you will want to do is finish the edges of your chipboard letters.  This one is inked, but for the laugh letters, I just painted them white.  I also painted the stir stick the final color (white in my case). *you will need to see how long your word ends up being, you may want to trim your stir stick to fit the word better- I totally lucked out and mine just fit perfectly. {let dry}
The next step is to trace the letters onto the scrapbook paper.  You will want to trace the letter face down on the WRONG side of the paper.  Cut out the letters and use the tacky glue to stick it to the chipboard letters.  *you could also mod podge these on, but I was in a hurry, and since these are just sitting on a shelf, I'm not worried about wear and tear. {let dry}
Angled view to show placement of the letters on the paint stick.
Now you're ready to glue them down.  Start with the first letter of the word.  I found it was easiest to run a bead of hot glue along the edges of the letter that will be touching the stick.  {you may want to draw a faint pencil line on the middle of the stick for guidance}  While the glue is still hot place the letter on the center of the stick.  Continue down the word.  If letters touch it's also helpful to place a small bead of glue at those points for added reinforcement.
Now, embellish to your hearts content.  I added ric rac, buttons, flowers and rhinestones for some bling and fun.  And just like that you have your own custom word art.
And, just a couple more notes: (sorry this is a long post) The link party for this month's point of view is over at Jonie's place- here.  Please come and link up your shelves, we love to feature you!  And, starting next month we are going to start having guest posters join us in our Point of View reveals!  If you are interested, leave me a comment with your name, e-mail and blog name and I will put you on the list.  We will just start at the top and work our way down.  I am so excited to make many new friends through our monthly parties- and I hope you'll come have fun with us and let your Point of View be heard.
Linked up to Think Pink Sundays with Flamingo Toes, and Get  your Craft on at Today's creative blog.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pant leg drawstring bag

Thursday, June 23, 2011
Summer is hard.  I'm feeling like I should probably re-do my summer list and make it more realistic.  Instead of camping and swimming- it should have "say "I'm bored" 50 times", complain about nearly everything at least once, ask for Popsicles at least 1,000,000,000 times and so on.  We'd have the list done by now and we're only two weeks in! ;)  It's not really that bad, but this week we've been painting the kitchen and family rooms, including the ceilings and my patience and energy are pretty much nonexistent right about now.  However, last week, before the painting mess started, I did manage to start teaching my daughter how to sew.  It wasn't my idea, it was actually my sister's and my niece's.  They came out to spend the day and my niece brought in a couple pieces of fabric.  Actually, they were pant legs cut off my sister's old cargo pants.  They had drawstrings in the bottoms, and they had the idea to make bags out of them.  So, we raided my fabric stash and found some coordinating fabric and got to work.
I don't really have any process pictures because it was a 'wing it as you go' kind of project, but I will explain how we did it.  I straightened the cut side of the pant leg, then we decided on the embellishment each girl wanted.  After that was sew down, we sewed a straight line across the cut edge to make the bag.  We decided to make the top of the bag fold down to close and just have the drawstring as an embelllishment of sorts, so we measured down about 1/3 of the way from the drawstring side and that's where we sewed down the strap.  It's meant to be a cross body messenger type bag.  Fun and fast and free!  My kind of summer project. :)
And I think the girls are pretty happy with them too.
Hope your summer is going better than my attitude. :)
p.s. don't forget- Point of View reveal and link party is tomorrow!  Hope to see you there.
Linking up to Friday Flair at WhipperBerry
Tickled Pink at 504 Main Craft Goodies

Monday, June 20, 2011

It takes two {Monday is "mom"-day}

Monday, June 20, 2011

In honor of Father's Day this past weekend, I wanted to take a moment and just give a shout out to the father of my children.  He is an amazing dad and I feel so blessed to be on this parenting journey with him.  He is everything I am not.  He complements my inadequacies and makes me more than I am without him.

I love that he is teaching my children how to fix things and work on cars (both my daughter and my son).  
I love that he is willing to learn things himself- even when they're hard.  It's such a great example to my kids.

Fathers tend to get passed over when it comes to rearing children- but their strength and wisdom are without their equal, I have found. 
I am grateful for both my father and my father-in-law, whose teachings have made me who I am, and who influence my children in the most wonderful of ways.  And for grandfathers- who have helped me in ways they cannot even begin to imagine.
I am truly blessed to be surrounded by fathers of all kinds, who carry with them dignity, strength, wisdom and love.  Who are everything a father should be and more!
Thank you for not belittling your roles in the rearing of your children and grandchildren.  For embracing your influence and making it matter.  I love you all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabric Cabinet Makeover

Friday, June 17, 2011
I am desperately trying to get my supplies in order.  I am overrun with stuff- all kinds of stuff, from scrapbooking supplies to sewing implements- my shelf runneth over. :)  So I am always on the lookout for great ideas to help me get organized.
 This shelf unit from Sew Many Ways is awesome!  So much storage from big box shelf units.  She makes it look custom by adding crown molding on top.  So smart!  And she has tons of great organizing/ storage solutions in her craft room- you should check them out. :)
Stef from Girl.Inspired. has such a beautiful aesthetic.  And her fabric storage is no different.  One day I am going to invest in these fabric holders.  I think they make everything just look so clean and crisp.

I knew I wanted something similar.  A piece of furniture to hold the fabric and some way to keep that fabric organized.  Well, thanks to my Mother-in-law, I'm half-way there.
Sorry about the pic, I remembered I needed a "before" shot half way through taking it apart. :)
She found this great cabinet at a garage sale for $10.  She asked if they would take $8, and they did!  So score!  It looked fine as it was, but I want my craft room to be a bright, happy place- so I knew I wanted to paint it.
I used three different brands of spray paint in this project from the primer to two different shades of yellow. (didn't like the first one)  And I am here to tell you- Krylon paint is the best!  The sprayer is so much easier to use, the paint goes on much more smoothly and the color was fabulous.  (and there is no compensation for me to say this!)  I took my friend Mandi's advice and went with sun yellow.  It really is the perfect yellow for me.
Here's the "after"!  I just love it.  The yellow is perfect for my craft room. (Or what will be my craft room if when it ever gets finished.  I am very happy with the way it turned out.  For now I just have the fabric stacked in color families, but one day I really hope to get the fabric organizers and stand them up.  I think it will make them easier to see and will be better use of the space.
I did realize one other thing during this project- refinishing furniture is not my favorite thing!  Shocking, I know.  But true nonetheless.  It doesn't mean I won't refinish furniture again, but I am much happier using my sewing machine or mod podge.  I guess that's good for me to know. :)
Have a Happy Friday!  I'll be back next week with TONS of great projects, so stay tuned.
And, just as a quick reminder- Next week is the Point of View Reveal and link party- so get your Shelf projects lined up!  It's going to be a great party. :)
Linked up to Friday Flair at WhipperBerry.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Giving Stuff Away

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
This week I feel really priviledged to be participating in a HUGE giveaway.  My sister has a good friend who makes the most comfortable and gorgeous headbands.  Perhaps you've heard of Vintage Rose Wraps
Well, they are celebrating the change of the seasons with a large (and by large we're talking about 30 different vendors) giveaway and I am included in that list.  I am giving away my Summer Fun Totebag (value $65).  It's a winner take all contest so head on over and get entered.  You'll be so happy I sent you if you win! (we'll discuss my take if that happens- lol!)
Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, June 13, 2011

To hold Heaven {Monday is "Mom"-day}

Monday, June 13, 2011

My sweet baby 2 days old
It is an amazing feeling- holding a brand new baby.  Looking in that brand new face, you can almost hear heaven whispering down.
Saturday I held my newest nephew. 
He is gorgeous.
All the cares of my life flew away as I sat and watched and was amazed.
A perfect new life.
Full of promise and hope and joy.
Months will fly past.
In a moment he will be smiling, then sitting, then running.
In a flash.

But, for those few moments, when they are brand new, you know for sure where they came from. 
There is no question that God aids in the creation of these sweet, amazing new souls. 
That they are someone, before they become anything.
That they talked with angels.
And now they are here.  In our presence. 
To teach and to be taught.
And it is miraculous.

Welcome to our family, sweet baby.  We can't wait to get to know you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Candy Coated Pretzels

Thursday, June 9, 2011
I've been wanting to make these for some time.  I didn't add caramel to them, but next time I will for sure.  A layer of chewy goodness underneath the sweet white chocolate?  Yes please!  As it was, I didn't have the supplies for caramel, so we stuck with plain old candy coated pretzels.  The kids didn't know the difference, and they were thrilled!
I used Almond Bark.  I have never used it before, and it was great.  It melted easily and spread nicely.  I had a couple of extra 9-10 year olds on hand and they were happy to help.  We made quick work of the dipping.
I followed the directions on the package for the smaller pretzels and just dumped a handful in the candy and stirred them around until they were coated, then used a fork to spread them out on the paper.  The mound in the back of the picture is the last batch.  The candy was getting stiff and so I just left it in a mound.  The kids didn't care. ;)
As my little taste tester said, "It's Da-wicious!"
What fun new things have you been up to lately?
Linking up to the BFF Link Party at The Answer is Chocolate and Friday Flair at WhipperBerry. Also partying at Jen's Weekend Wrap-up party at Tatertots and Jello.  Partying at Sundae Scoop at I {heart} naptime too. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Fun

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Here we are in the full swing of summer vacation.  Day #3 to be exact.  I almost thought we wouldn't make it past day #2, but somehow we all survived and lived to tell the tale.  I think it was a mixture of let down from the weekend and unrealistic expectations on my part.  I want this summer to be magical for my children, but there are realities of budget, time and just plain old real life that sometimes get in the way.   
I decided to take a page from Eighteen25 and make a list of all the fun things I'd like to do with the kids this summer.  I'm hoping having them in a  prominent place will help me stay accountable for actually doing them.
I kept the display very simple.  A clearance frame from Joann's, scrapbook paper and a sharpie- and the list of things to do is done!  I chose things we would do for sure and things I have always wanted to do but never got around to.  I'm really hoping we'll get them all crossed off.
In fact- we have a couple things done already: the carnival, parade and today: the hike.  We just walked the back way from the school up and over the hill.  Simple, close- done!
We found cactus' in bloom and had a really good time.  To help make it exciting I brought along a pack of gum (5 packs for $1 at the dollar store) and some single serve packets of punch to put in their water bottles (also from the dollar store).  Total cost- less than $1 for everyone to have a good time. 
Simple really is better.
Maybe we really can get this list done.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Carpe Diem {Monday is "Mom"-day}

Monday, June 6, 2011
I hardly know where to begin.  Last Friday was one of those days.  It started at 6 a.m. and didn't stop until after 11 p.m.  17 hours of constant motion, effort and emotion.  I'm still tired.
For weeks I had known I wanted to do something fun to celebrate the last day of school for my kids.  Their last day of school only lasted 1 1/2 hours and they'd be home by 9:30, so I thought I'd do a little celebration breakfast after school.  I had been working on a menu and what I might use to decorate.  Then, the Saturday before school got out, we got the call that our sweet neighbor friend Nate, who was just 10 years old, had suddenly passed away.  And his funeral would be Friday, the last day of school.
I was torn, do I go ahead with my plans, or  put them off for another time?
If I have learned one thing from Nate's sudden death, it's that you never know how much time you have left on this Earth.  And I plan to make the most of what I do have.  So, even though I knew it would be pushing it, I went ahead with our party plans.
The kids were surprised and thrilled.  Friday also happened to be National Doughnut Day, so we went with that as our theme.  Doughnut muffins, pull apart bread and full sized doughnuts.  Fresh fruit, berry muffins and juice rounded out the menu.
As usual, I had too much food.
Then I got all the kids shipped off to various places so I could go help with the funeral.
It was beautiful and devastating all at the same time.  That so many people would come to honor one ten-year-old boy speaks volumes as to the strength and power of his spirit.  We were blessed to know him and privileged to participate in his services.
As I listened to all the things his family did with him, I realized that they didn't let his special needs hold them back.  And it made me realize that all the excuses I use for why we can't/don't do things with our children are just that- excuses.
I am determined, this summer and beyond, to not just survive, but to embrace and enjoy each and every moment I am given with these four precious people.  Because time is fleeting.  And even if we avoid tragedy- one day, these moments with small children will be gone.  And I'm not going to miss them.
Because it's not every day you get to watch your two-year-old learn that roller coasters are much more fun when you ride with your arms in the air.
Linked up to Hookin Up with HoH #52

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pillow Point of View Features

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I love the challenge of our Point of View group.  I love coming up with projects to fit the theme, and having a deadline to finally finish something.  But my most favorite part of the Point of View is the link party.  I love seeing how all of YOU have interpreted the theme.  Recent or old posts you have that match up.  It's always delightful to see a large group of projects all centered around the same thing.  And, I get to feature some of them.  So that's the icing on the cake! :)

I love this lattice pillow.  It was linked up by Alexis over at Persia Lou.  There is so much texture going on.  And the inspiration she took this pillow from?  I just might be inspired to try both pillows.  Love!

I think this Pillow for Remote Controls from Craftbuds is so smart.  And I love the idea of giving it to a grandparent as a gift.  I know both sets of my grandparents could use something like this.  And they'd make sure the remotes got  put away.  My kids?  Not so much. :)
There are plenty of other great pillows over at the link party.  Go check them out!  (and these pillows were featured on other POV blogs- but a couple faves are #25 and #24, and Persia Lou had other pillows posted, they are #17 and #19- both awesome pillows)
And..so you have time to work up a project for next month, or dig through your archives to find an old post to fit the theme- next month we are doing SHELVES!  Take that any way you want and tell us your Point of View!  I can't wait to see.  The Point of View reveal and link party takes place on the fourth Friday of the month, so next month's party will start June 24th!  Hope to see you all there!
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