Monday, November 29, 2010

Teacher's Gifts

I struggle every year with finding gifts.  Gifts for my family, for my friends, my neighbors, the mailman...... you get the picture.  I love to give gifts, cookies, etc.  The one I struggle with the most is the gift for my kids teachers.  I have a lot of friends who are teachers and I know they LOVE everything their students give them.  I know that they are all heartfelt and loving, homemade and store bought.  Everything is appreciated.  But I have this desire beyond belief to always give them something that they have NEVER received before.  It is getting increasingly harder and harder to find something unique each year.

Last year my kids were REALLY into mod podge.  So we made some cute name plaques for each of their teachers and principles.  I thought they turned out great!  This year we've decided on something a little more out of the box....


My kids each have their own rice bag.  They are the best comfort (second to moi) that my kids could have.  They heat them up in the microwave when they come in from playing in the snow.  We've got them in the freezer for the little bonks and bruises.  They stick them under their sheets before they hop into bed at night so their toes don't get cold (how cute is that)

But I figured I couldn't exactly just hand them any old bag.  So my kids picked out the material and we pieced together the fronts.  We then decided to write a poem to go along with them (since, apparently just writing a description or instructions is SO five minutes ago!)

This is what we ended up with....

 The lizard one is for the one male teacher my kids have.  My daughter INSISTED that he is obsessed with Lizards.  So we had to go with that print.  The others are made with a print from Mary Engelbreit.  It just looked so happy and cheerful, I had to use that one!
Here they are all together!  Now to get working on my sister gifts.... I'll show you those tomorrow!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grapevine Pumpkin Tutorial

I don't have alot of Fall or Thanksgiving Decor.  But that is something I am definately trying to change.  I absolutely adore the cute grapevine pumpkins that seem to be at every craft show I go to.  But I can't aford the price tag.  So I figured it out for myself.

First, I took some grapevine that I had laying around the house (It used to be ontop of the cupboards, but hey... I never throw anything away)  Along with some old wire that was in the drawer (oops.  forgot to take a picture of that!)

You want to start by making a loop.  The size depends on how big you want your pumpkin, and how much grapvine you have.  But the sky's the limit its up to you!

Now take some of your wire and twist it around TIGHTLY (trust me on this one, it will come undone if it's not tight) Then continue wrap the grapevine and twist your wire.

Once you've got it as full as you want your pumpkin just twist a couple extra times around the middle with your wire.  Then separate & "fluf" up your pumpkin.  My grapevine had these little twigs twisted around the vine to keep it together.  I just snipped them off and separated all the vines.

I sent the kids outside to find some leaves for an added little touch.  And put a piece of green scrap material around the center for a little color.  I like it... What do you think?

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Manly Office Space

So, I am married to the most wonderful, perfect (at least to me), adoring & sensitive man alive. I am so incredibly blessed that he chose me to be his wife. He works so hard so that I can stay home with our delightful children.

I have to admit it, but our house is on the “crowded” side. So my husband (I’ll call him Mr. Sensitive”) only has a small “corner” in which he calls his office. Ok, it is a little bit more than a corner, but less than a room…. I’d say it is a wide hallway perhaps. A little over a year ago we tried to sell our home to move into a bigger one. So we packed up half the house to “stage” it to sell.

(oh how cute all nice and staged....)

Obviously that didn’t happen. Any way’s , my sweet hubby has spent the last year TRYING to unpack what we had put into boxes. He has been trying so hard but with his work schedule it wasn’t going very fast, but I wanted a way to show him that I noticed he was trying and I was grateful for it.

He really isn’t into a lot of frills, and around this house “frills” out votes "simple". (With 6 girls and only 3 boys, how else could it be) I wanted his office to portray what he loves most. So I went through all his “mission” memorabilia from Ponape, Guam. He had so much stuff that is all beautiful. Among it I found a great ‘mobile’ hand carved like dolphins & fish.

He has an actual sea turtle shell. But my favorite has to be the  2 hand carved shark with real shark teeth on them. (I knew that would make a manly space)

Then to round it out I figured that since he is such a perfect husband & father I would make him a “picture wall”  He  is after all "Mr Sensitive" and he honestly never throws away a picture or any type of drawing/note/scratch paper that the kids give him.

While he was at work one day I went downstairs and “stole” the most memorable of his pictures. I pulled out my trusty black spray paint and went to town on all the un-matching picture frames. Oh they looked beautiful. Then I used my nifty “Cricut” to cut out the perfect saying.

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” By Thomas Monson. It is perfect for my husband who sometimes gets so involved solving all the problems that he forgets to stop and “smell the roses” (or diapers in our situation)

I centered the quote on the wall and then surrounded it with his pictures of our family, his parents and everyone else.
 I also added some more memorabilia  from Ponape.  Some really intricate hand carved wooden boats.

"Mr. Sensitive" was so excited when he got home. And I love that the walls are no longer bare. What a WIN WIN situation.

It is still a work in progress.  I know now that it has a little "style" he'll work hard to get the rest of the boxes put away (hint hint hint)

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Cottage Instincts

*** Ok, so I should probably admit that I'm NOT the best speller (thanks Monica :)) Without even noticing I've misspelled PROBLEM (ok, so it only has one M) I ran downstairs to show my 17 year old daughter. Who, after laughing hysterically admitted that she didn't notice it was spelled wrong either. She wants to wait to see how long it takes "daddy" to notice that it is spelled wrong. Eventually, I promise, it will be fixed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An apology and a new clock!

I am SO sorry that I haven't posted for a while.  Like I said before October is the MOST hectic month of the year for me.  Luckily 3 of my girls are now another year older, and Halloween is finally past.
Here's 6 of the 7 kids (sorry, the "teenager" is just too cool to hang out with us anymore)  I've got Harry Potter, Hermine Granger, a Beauty queen, A Mummy, Cinderella & a little dinosaur.  AWWWW ..... How cute!

Any way's, now that October is gone, I can finally get back to what I love most.  CRAFTING!!!! I've been keeping myself busy.  My hubby found an old Rooster clock (not exactly my style).  And I love turning Trash into Treasure

The original picture I took didn't turn out for some unknown reason (sorry) I found this one on Google images (it's the exact clock without the gaudy gold frame)

First things first.  I took it apart (one of my favorite parts) and spray painted the gold frame black.

I decided that I really didn't want a boring back ground for my clock, but my front room really doesn't warrant any excitement.  After long consideration I decided I wanted it to look OLD.  Kinda like stucco maybe?  So here is what I did.  I covered the clock fact with...... wait for it..... little strips of masking tape.  To give it that textured look.

Then I spray painted the face antique white.  (Definitely one of my new favorite spray paint colors)

Next, I cut out a beautiful damask out of black vinyl as well as some dots and numbers for my clock face.

Once all the vinyl was applied just the way I liked it.  I put the clock all back together.  And hung it in the front room.

I really love how it turned out!