Wednesday, August 29, 2012

4X4 pumpkins {tutorial and sponsored post}

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
 Today I am participating in a group project of sorts.  I was given the opportunity to receive some kits for various wood and vinyl projects.  I was asked to create my own version of the project and then link them up with other projects.  This is a project that will be going on for a few weeks- but will be full of fun projects you can purchase kits for, or just make for yourself.  So it's a win/win. :)  I am working with Fab to bring you these fun projects.  You can find her instructions and the full link party with other versions of this craft here at Fablify

But, since you're already here, I'll give you my quick tutorial on how I made my version first. :)  I started with the kit, which includes 3 4X4 pieces cut to lengths of 4", 6" and 8", which have been sanded as well as 3 small pieces of 2X2 as the stem.  The kit also comes with 3 layered vinyl faces.  If you want to do this on your own, you can just cut the 4X4 to the correct lengths and sand them down.

I wanted my pumpkins to have a very rustic feel to them, so I took a hammer and chisel and notched off the corners as well as made some cuts into each side.  You can make them as deep or as shallow as you like.  Sand down the notches after you're done to make it easier to paint. 

This shows the wood after notching, painting and sanding to distress the paint.  I used a color called Cadmium Orange.  You could leave the pumpkins like this, which is very bright and fun, but again, I wanted mine a bit more aged, so I decided to stain them.  I used an antiquing medium in a mid-brown tone and wiped it on with a rag the followed quickly with a damp cloth to take most of the stain back off.  I also stained the stem pieces.  

I used floral wire wrapped around a marker for the vines and strips of fabric tied to the vines for leaves.  I used a small nail to create a hole on the top that I just slide the wire into, this will make it easier to store since I won't have to worry about crushing the wire. :)  I used hot glue to put the stems into place.
This was a fun, quick project that I would recommend anyone try.  If you're interested in purchasing the kit, you can do so here.  She also sells just the vinyl faces if that's all you need.
Melissa is hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway so head over there and enter to win- she's giving away finished pumpkins as well as kits- so lots of chances to win!!
I am looking forward to many more fun, fabulous projects like this over the next few weeks.
Are you ready for fall, or are you soaking up the last bit of summer vacation?  We are already into the swing of school and everything, and now that I have these pumpkins made, I'm kind of ready to pull out the fall decor and change things up a bit.  But, it might have to wait until I've had just a bit more sleep. ;)
Have a wonderful Wednesday!!
** I was given the unfinished wood and vinyl to create this project, but the opinions and statements are all mine.**
If you have any questions, or would like more detailed pics of the process, let me know and I'll elaborate.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Small things {a Mom-day post}

Monday, August 27, 2012
Dear Baby-
  The other day I was walking past you sleeping, tucked into the corner of the couch.  I was on my way to get something or other done, rushing, overwhelmed, exhausted.  I often feel like I'm on the verge of falling apart into frantic tears or mindless ranting.  Having a newborn is hard, even if they are easy- as you most certainly are.  But in that moment of rushing past, I glanced down and looked at your sweet face and stopped.  I dropped down on my knees in front of you so my face was level with yours and just sat and stared. 
 I grabbed my camera because I wanted to capture the shape of your mouth, the position of your hands, the peacefulness of your sleeping face.  I know from experience that this phase passes all too quickly.  Soon you will roll over, sleep through the night, smile on purpose, figure out how to make your hands do what you want them to do.  There are moments I can't wait for those things to come (let's be honest, it's mostly the sleep I'm excited about), but the thought of losing this time with you makes my heart hurt just a little.  So for today, despite not going to bed until 3:30 this morning, I'm going to hold you a little longer than I otherwise would, I'm going to let the laundry wait for a day, I'm going to put up with a little more chaos than I normally like- and I'm going to hold you, and smell you and kiss you and soak up every 5 week old baby minute I can with you.  Even if I don't get a shower.  Because it's not going to last, this precious newborn baby stage, and I don't want to miss it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Family Organization- Point of View "family"

Friday, August 24, 2012
I am so happy to be back again to participate in this month's Point of View reveal.  I love the challenges each month to come up with something that fits the theme.  I always seem to find something on my "I've been meaning to do this forever" list that seems to fit and it's nice to get it crossed off.  Without further delay- here's this month collage:

Wow! These projects are awesome!  To get the details on them, click through to the blog using the links below:
Gwen: Gwenny Penny
Leanne: Organize and Decorate Everything
Jonie: Just Between Friends
Ashlee: I'm Topsy Turvy

And you can find details about my project below.

 If you're here to link up your own amazing projects- scroll to the bottom of the post to find this month's link party.  Don't forget- it shows up on all 5 blogs- and that's a lot of views, so come make new friends and get your projects seen. :)

Now that there are 7 of us in our family, I am finding that it's a lot harder to get in the swing of things.  This week marked the start of another school year and with it comes a schedule, homework and a need to be organized so things don't fall through the cracks.  While I still have a lot to figure out (and I'll be sure to share posts when I do get a few more things finished) there are a couple of things that I have done that work for our family.
The first is this family binder.  My friend had this unfinished binder she let me have and I added some scrapbook paper and a chipboard monogram.  Inside there are page protectors that I simply stapled a paper tab to. (I have a punch that makes the tabs)  I used stickers to create the categories and made sure I stapled close to the edge of the page protector so I could still slide papers in and out.
You would definitely want to personalize this for your family, but I'll share what my categories are and why.  The quotes section is for sayings that inspire me.  Sometimes it's nice to have them handy to read when you need a boost.  The school section holds papers from school I need to have handy- menus, disclosure forms, etc.  Contacts are neighbors, friends, community lists- any numbers and addresses I might need.  Calendar is more like school calendars of days off, things that won't change or need to be edited.  Menus are from local restraunts that we order take-out from and coupons/ discounts to places we like to go.  I also have a few other page protectors in the back to hold various other odds and ends I want to have handy.  It's nice to keep the papers off the counter and accessible when I need them.  I store the binder in an out of the way corner of the counter where I can grab it when I need it.
This is my second organizing tip:  I have a file folder for each member of the family.  I wanted to add a bit of color, so I took scrapbook paper and lined the inside of the back on each of them- this also helps with figuring out which folder belongs to which person.  I keep papers specific to that person in their folder- extra homework practice pages, sports schedules/information, anything that we want to save for that person.  This is not for daily homework, but I do keep monthly reading calendars and other longer-term papers here.

As the weeks go on and I start to figure out more about how to get my family organized and our schedule on track I will be sure to share.  In the mean time- I'd love to hear about how you keep your family organized- please feel free to include links to posts you have written about it.  I'll take all the help I can get. :)

And don't forget to link up to our Point of View link party too- any post that you feel is related to "Family".  Also, get your wheels turning, and your posts ready for next month's theme: Orange!  Perfect for fall, Halloween and all the goodness that comes with the cooler season. :)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Big Thank You

Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Thanks for being patient with me while I adjust to having a new baby, a family of 7 and putting my house back together after finishing the basement.  It's been a lot to take in the past 4 weeks, but the good news is my feet are now actually looking like feet instead of floaties, I actually have a craft room where all my goodies can live together in one place (finally), and the heartburn that comes with pregnancy is a thing of the past.  I can feel the creative juices flowing again, and as soon as I get more than 5 hours of sleep in one night (preferably in one stretch, but I"m not picky) I'm looking forward to getting things rolling again here.  In the mean time, I thought I'd share a couple of the thank you's I made to show my appreciation for all the help I received during my pregnancy and after. :)
I got these pillow boxes as swag from Pick Your Plum at a blogging event.  I knew I wanted to give some dear friends chocolate and I figured these would be a fun way to do it.  I used some left over supplies from some cards I had designed earlier, so they were pretty easy to put together.  I used Washi tape to make tabs on the insert so my friends could see which side to open it from and could pull out the little note inside.
These cards are pretty simple, but fun.  Sometimes it's nice to just see someone's take on something to spark your own creativity- so I hope this sparks something for you.  The best thing about these is the "thanks" is a rub on from American Crafts that has multiple sayings so you can create more than one and you don't use up all the letters in an alphabet pack. :)
Once again- thanks to all of you, for your visits, your readership and your congratulations.  We are really loving our darling girl.
I'll be back soon.

linked to Home Decor and Organizing link party
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