little love birds on a wire

This is a Christmas gift I made for my brother and sister in law commemorating their anniversary. I made it from cutting out little pieces of paper in the shapes of birds and their winter wear and a piece of embroidery floss for the telephone wire.
I hope they liked it. It was find to make.


Merry CHRISTmas!

This is a letter our 3 year old son "wrote" to Santa at preschool. (Note about the green bananas: We bought a few days before and apparently they were taking too long to turn yellow so he could eat them.)

Play nativity from last year.
Our pup.
Wishing you and your family a
Our Savior is born!


little felt reindeer

I first saw this little reindeer on the Martha Stewart Crafts Department blog and thought it was so cute. When I went to Cynthia Treen's esty shop and saw she was selling the pattern for $2.00 I quickly placed my order. (It is now $5)

I must admit, this was not the easiest project I have done, but it is worth it, as this little guy will be given shelter in a very special person's home (who will not be named here in case she sees it!).

I had to start over after I had cut out all the felt pieces and started stitching them together because I did not realize I needed to cut out tan legs as well as the white legs (if you look at the pattern you'll see what I mean). This was my fault, as it is obvious you need two sides of each of the 4 legs! I was out of tan felt so when I went to Michael's on my lunch break they only had patterned tan felt. I realized though that it may make the reindeer have even more personality, so I went with it. Glad I did! I like the way he turned out.
I substituted some colors and used ric-rac instead of pinked edges of felt because I had it and it looked cleaner. I like the little tassels on the saddles. I would have never thought to add those!
My son says he needs eyes, but I decided to stick with the pattern and not add them. Still not confident in that decision, but I need to get it wrapped!


Christmas fox wreath -redone

I recycled our Thanksgiving wreath into a Christmas wreath.
 It just took just a few simple steps: Add snow flake ornaments (from the Dollar store last year 50% off), burnt edge flowers, and of course a blue bow. Of and I can't forget, a little burlap Santa hat for the little fox (which is the only permanent fixture besides the burlap around the wreath).
Simple and perfect for this year!


book page tree topper

This is our tree topper this year. We have never had luck with store bought tree toppers. They never seem to have a good way of perching on top. When I saw this at BHG, I thought I'd give it a try and tore up my old Webster's Dictionary.
 I hot glued an antique broach to the middle of a cardboard piece of paper that I covered with a book page and fine glitter. Then I hot glued silver stars to the rim of the circle.
I added some random bits of Elmer's glue on some of the pages and sprinkled more glitter on them.
I made sure that the definitions were appropriate to some extent. (for instance I decided "vomit" was not a cool word for a Christmas decoration).
I added some twisty ties to the back and my husband wrapped it around the top branch.
Our dog got in on the photo action. He gets left out of a lot of my photos now that there's a kid around!  Do you think he misses being my main photography subject?

cowboy party ~ tent

Yes, I know, I've been very tardy getting the cowboy party -from October- up on the ol' blog. Here is the the tent I made for our 3 year old from CAKIES tutorial. So far he is loving it and I think he will continue to love it as it gets older. He can retreat in there to read and hide from his little brother once he comes along to terrorize him!

I stenciled the moon and stars on the sheet probably 10 plus years ago when I was single and thought it would be cool to make a duvet cover out of it---yeah not so much. Good thing I saved it thought because this was a much more fitting application.

The tent was pretty easy to make...once my husband came out to the garage and saw me struggling with the drill which I am usually adept with...I had it on reverse! Once again pregnancy brain! Ugh!


thanksgiving fox door wreath

 I can't have a holiday pass me by without a wreath or some kind of door decor. I've been using a puny little Thanksgiving wreath for many years now that looks ridiculous on our larger door and figured it was time for a good sized wreath to celebrate fall and Thanksgiving.

I had burlap left over from our son's cowboy party (which I still need to post more about), so I cut some of it into strips and wrapped it around a straw wreath. Warning: straw wreaths are messy to work with! I thought I would embellish it a little more with burlap, (like this) but I liked how it looked plain. Then when a friend and I were at Michael's the other day, she showed me this adorable fox ornament and I knew that had to be a part of my wreath. 

I added a burnt edge flower in bright orange.

And added some more flowers made out of this brown fabric (which does not fray much) and some rhinestone buttons I've had for many years.

With a wide satin ribbon to finish it off, I was ready to hang it on the front door. Now I see I should have ironed the ribbon first, but oh well! It's more natural, right?

I stuck everything on with T-pins except for the fox, which I hot glued on so that I can change it into a Christmas wreath when December rolls around. I love being able to re-use stuff!

quick thanksgiving door/wall decor

Here is a quick idea for a last minute Thanksgiving decoration. I had this awesome round frame I got at the thrift store a while back. I've been wanting to spray it white and add it to my gallery wall, but with being pregnant, I've been hesitant to spray paint much and it's been sitting around.
Sooooo, it became a turkey frame. All it took to make was the frame, a scrap of burlap, felt (use any colors that please you for feathers), hot glue and some letter stickers. I used hot glue to keep the stickers in place on the burlap. If you did not have stickers, a little pennant banner of paper would look cute across the top too.

And there you go! Easy, fun, cute and quick. AND I can still use the frame for other things when the time comes. I'll just pop out the turkey and store him (or her?) for next year.


cowboy party ~ horse piñata

My 3 year old's cowboy/wild west party is coming up next week so last week, pretty much every evening after work and after the almost-3-year -old was in bed, I worked on this:

I used Oh Happy Day's technique to cut out the shape and tape it all together.

The Safeway produce man helped out by giving me a few apple boxes to cut up. It had a few "air holes" but they were easy enough to cut around.
I free-handed the horse shape and cut it out with a combination of scissors and box cutter.

photo courtesy of 3 year old photographer who kept busy taking photos so mama could draw and cut out the horse.
 Cut out 2 of the same shape.

I then used a cereal box (not shown) cut in in 3 or 4 inch strips to bend around the horse's shape and duct taped it all together. The cereal boxes are much more pliable than big cardboard boxes and worked well to go around the bends.
Here is the almost-birthday boy (who refused to put his shirt back on) with the piñata to show the scale. He wanted to ride it!
 Heading into the "the barn"

Then came the looong part. I cut folded strips of tissue paper (of varying sizes) and then fringed them while they were still folded. Then unfolded them and hot glued them to the piñata, starting at the hooves and working my way up to the top.

For the sides (where the cereal box was taped on) I just glued on the tissue paper in a strip and didn't worry about fringing it.

For the tail I just cut strips of yarn and tied them together and hot glued them on. The mane is self-explanatory.
And her were are: the final product:
We'll find out if it was all worth it at next weekend's party!


bedroom curtains, oh yeah and lamps!

I finished our bedroom curtains several months ago (May?), but have forgotten to take any photos. These are not the best, but they will do. Since hubster works at night most of the time we needed blackout curtains but I could not find long enough ones that went from floor to ceiling without having them custom made (btw, 1000's of dollars!). I found the circle print blackout curtains at Walmart of all places (I had to go to 2 stores to get enough) and then I bought some matching (or at least complementary fabric) at an awesome place that sells fabric in a where house-type store. Because I bought so much I even got a discount. I think it ended up being about $3 a yard!!!
It was a lot of work (although straight lines) to iron and sew all these, but it was worth it. I doubled the fabric to make it thick enough to hang properly.

try to ignore the paint job. we are not expert painters and i hardly notice it anymore!
I made the curtain rods from conduit. I've had this idea for a long time, but needed to find the right lengths. I finally figured out the math and the nice man at Home Depot cut them for me (although they said they do not usually do that). I bought the curtain rod "holder-upper things" and my husband helped hang them. Soooooo glad this project is done! It took over 2 and a half years to complete it!

Our house decorating has really taken a back seat to other things- basically, life. Mostly the fact that the husband and I have very different design aesthetics. It takes a LONG time for us to agree on furniture or decor purchases. He's traditional and I am modern, mixed with handmade and thrift store finds. He got to chose our bed frame and his bedside table (here) about a year ago (I chose the mattress here) and I chose my own bedside table, even though it is completely different. We chose our armoire and dresser a few years after we got married and we are both pretty happy with those.

Anyhow, we did not have matching bedside lamps. In fact my husband never has had a lamp since we got married! I can't live without mine since I read in bed. I've been using a milk glass lamp I received as a gift for the past 5 or so years. I still love it, but needed an update and I wanted matching ones to make up for the fact that we have different nightstands. I was browsing through Target the other day and found these awesome lamps and shades WITH a bulb attached!!! Each piece was only:
That means for $15 dollars I got two lamps, two shades and 2 energy star bulbs!!! AMAZING!!! And I got to sneak some modern in there! That's a lot of words for what I am trying to get across!  AWESOME DEAL and were getting closer to completing the bedroom decor! Not quite there yet, but getting there!
I did not notice the little price tag under the bed until after I uploaded the photos. Oh well!
Just a few more things to add. So in a few more years..... :) 

doily web

I am so excited about this simple little project I came across the other day on betz white's blog. Something about using a doily, which I usually would never do, and pairing it with a spider! I don't know: it speaks to me! Maybe I will use doilies in future projects...well, we'll see.

Here's my version:

For some reason, we are lacking in plastic spiders around here, so I made one from 2 black buttons, some rhinestones (for eyes) and legs made out of floral wire which I "painted" black with a Sharpie.  

 I spray painted the thrift store hoop white and hot glued on the thrift store doily from the other day. I cut around the doily for the parts I did not want. I thought it looked more realistic off center.
What a great idea! Thanks Betz!

thrift store finds

I scored at the thrift stores this week. Here are a couple of my finds.

Look at this cute little wooden owl. Anyone have any idea why there is a slit through his forehead? Is this a piece of something else? It makes a perfect companion to the other fall mantle decorations. I didn't even notice at the store, but it is almost a perfect match for our mantle and cabinetry stain. Wow!
He was only $1.50!

 I found this doily for 49 cents. I wanted a pure white doily to make this.  I already bleached it, but the blue did not go away. That's okay because the embroidery hoop I found at another thrift store (which I have outside drying from painting it white) fits just inside the circular part and I can cut the blue part off (sorry to the granny that labored over this!) 
UPDATE: you can find the doily web I made here.

I found a few other things too: flash cards, a stadium seat cushion (I've been wanting one for a long time, even though I doubt that if I put it on the ground right now, I could get out of it with this belly of mine) and this book and a toddler book of potty songs sung to tunes of familiar songs. I also found a box of Martha Stewart glittered blue ornaments for $3.99. Score! I can make another one of these ornament wreaths.


reversible fall pillows and couch update

We have tufted pillows for our couch! I have been trying to do this project for over 4 years!!! I bought some fabric button cover kits a while ago, but the fabric I chose was too thick and I could not make the buttons so I gave up. My mom was able to get a few of them done, but not enough for all the pillows. Then I decided to make the buttons on the bigger pillows larger and use the smaller buttons on the little pillows. Joann's had a 40% off sale on all notions and I bought 10 more big button cover kits for the large pillows.
 I wish I had taken some before photos of the couches, and you would think I would have some, but I can't find any. It makes the couches look more sophisticated (at least I think so).

In addition, I decided to use different button fabric on each side. One is a tweed-look fabric and one is a microfiber (like the couches).

Did you notice the owl pillows on the couch? They are reversible too! My mom came over to help me make them. I still don't know how to put in a zipper (I know!). AND she advised me that the sweater material (made from one of my husband's sweaters I stole out of the to-go-to-charity-bag) needed some support so it would not stretch out. She used pieces of iron-on Stitch-Witchery to attach some cotton fabric on the back. Who knew? um yeah, my mom.
I used pillow forms I already had, my husband's old sweater and I think I bought the owl fabric last year for $5! The only things that were new are the zippers. My mom used invisible ones. From 1 yard of this owl fabric, I made the above two pillows, this bag and two smaller trick or treat bags: one for my son and one of my friend's daughter. What a deal!