Monday, June 15, 2015

Wall of Pictures

I have an open concept in my house so there aren't that many walls to hang pictures.  My foyer has a two story wall that I nailed some frames up when I first moved in.  8 years later and the same 6 posed baby and family pictures still hung.  A lot has happened in 8 years, including me having more kids.  The most recent family picture was missing my youngest child who is now 7 years old.  I was so ready to take all the posed, Sunday dressed, fake smiles off my walls.   

My wall was empty for a while because I couldn't find the frames at the price I wanted and since I was going for a less formal look, I wasn't going to reuse any of the black frames that I already had.  That meant having dozens of black frames that I didn't need and having no frames that I did need.

I was out of luck for weeks until I saw the triple picture frame on sale.  That started my collection.  I bought every size  they had in the dark stain.  The following week, at another Target location, they had the grey and white frames on sale so I bought all that was on the shelf.   I couldn't resist the 75% off price.  

In the end, I love love the mix and match of frames.  It was exactly what I was looking for as well as exactly what I wanted to pay. 

This project took what seemed like forever.  I first measured the wall to see how high and wide I wanted to go and decided the best place to start was to lay everything out on the floor.  I went upstairs to view the entire layout.

Once I was satisfied.  I started to hang the pictures, starting in the middle and working my way out.  I came up with this.  I stared at it for a while and stepped away.


When I came back, I decided to tweak things a bit.  With plaster (to fill in holes) in one hand and a hammer in the other, I started to create new holes, while filling in the old ones.  This is what I came up with the 2nd go around with it. 


This time when I stepped away and came back, I still loved it.  All in all, it took me nearly 4.5 hours to come up with the layout and hang everything.  My framed space was 6 feet tall by 9 feet wide with the lowest bottom frame about 3 feet from the floor.  It stayed this way for I would say 6 months because I was so busy.  Yet, no one seemed to notice and I even had some comment on how great the pictures were.  I don't know if they just didn't notice that all the pictures were exactly the same or that they were just being nice.

When I finally had time, I went through thousands of pictures, copying my favorites into a separate folder.  I knew which pictures I really loved, but I didn't know which size to order.  I needed to visually see where everything would be to make sure I didn't have the same poses right next to each other.  

Therefore, I decided to create a template of my wall on the computer in order to better see what pictures would look good and where.

It was very easy to move images around on the computer and when it came time to ordering the prints, they were already marked on my template.  This made ordering prints, quick and painless.

Here's my final selection.  All my images were taken by me except for the ones that I'm in.  Each photo just makes me smile and it brought back a memory of the time that it was taken.  That is what I wanted.  I didn't want any photos that were taken in a studio with a fake background and forced smile. 


I wanted "family love" and I think I achieved that.  There aren't any "say cheese" smiles.  They are mostly of them running around and being silly.  


I love love love my wall of pictures.  I love the frames.  I love the pictures.  I love the fact that it is the first thing I see when I walk in door and it is what I see when I sit in my office as I work so I am super happy.

The total price was $75 for all the frames (which were originally $300, but I got 75% off) and approximately $25 for all the photos.  Total amount spent was $100 for the entire project which is $50 under my budget so I am super happy about that.  Sometimes, all you have to do is wait to get what you want at the price you want it.  I'm so ecstatic I did just that..I waited and waited...and finally found what I was looking for.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Watermelon Whale

Summer is here!  One of my favorite things about summer is fruit.  I absolutely love all kinds so I generally like to bring fruit to any party that requires me to prepare a dish because its something I love and it doesn't require heating or refrigeration.  The only thing is, I always forget to bring home my dish.  It normally happens every time so this time, I wanted to make a watermelon boat to hold all the fruit.  This allowed me to leave it behind.

I decided to make a Watermelon Whale. Isn't he cute?

I'm not sure it was a good idea to make it right before the event because it did take a little bit of time to carve it out and cut everything up.   

I first outlined where I was going to cut on the watermelon.


I started to carve, using my outline as a guidance.


Once I was done, I popped off the top.  It was surprisingly easy to do.


I touched up the corners and then I started to scoop out the watermelon to make it hollow.



I carved out the eyes and mouth as well as cut up all the fruit.

 I mixed all the fruit in a large bowl since I thought it would be easier to do than trying to mix it up in the watermelon itself


Once all the fruit was mixed up, I poured it into my whale and added the blueberries for eyes and spout.


It makes me smile when I look at it.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I’m back!  It’s been so long since I’ve even logged into this blog so I’m sorry for those that have posted questions.  I’m now just seeing them all.  My life has been overwhelmingly hectic.  During this past year, I decided to become more involved in my kids’ school.  I decided to be the yearbook coordinator, not realizing that it would take up every free moment I had.  I also had a crazy work schedule, oftentimes working double shifts.  On top of that, as if I didn’t already have enough on my plate, I went back to school to “enhance” my education.  Had I known I would have had to physically sit in class, do homework,  write papers, and study for quizzes and exams every week for 15 weeks, I probably would not have signed up for this “opportunity.”
Now that finals are over, I’m doing my summer work schedule of waking up at 2AM to go into work so that I can spend the entire day with my kiddos (yes, my job is that flexible).  Since the yearbook can be put to bed and I accomplished my goal of getting at a person to say to me that I made the best yearbook ever (yes, I’m patting myself on the back right now ;), my time has been freed up considerably.  I still have to study for certifications which I’m lacking the motivation at the moment, but my stress level has diminished significantly and I am beyond ecstatic to pick up this blog again.  It makes me so happy thinking of all the projects I want to share and do.
I look forward to this summer and all that it brings.  I have a load of field trips and adventures to explore with my kiddos which includes anything from visiting a publishing plant to see how the yearbook is  made to being silly at home with the kids, making cookies and building forts. 
Thanks for all my followers that have stuck around!  I appreciate it.  I promise to start posting again:)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to make a Burlap Wreath

It's been awhile since I have made any new decor for my door.  When someone posted on FB asking if anyone could make them a burlap wreath, I took that as a challenge.  I actually went shopping for the supplies the very next day with coupons in hand.  Fortunately, everything I needed was at Hobby Lobby so it was indeed a one-stop shop.  How did it turn out?  I really love it.  I love the colors and I love the rustic look the burlap gives.


Here's what you need:  A wire wreath, pipe cleaners, and whatever color burlap you want.  I ended using 30 feet of the base brown burlap and 5-7 feet of the other colors. 


Use wire cutters to cut the pipe cleaners to 1/3.


Insert the burlap into the wire wreath, attaching with the pipe cleaner.


Once attached, make another loop by inserting the burlap through the wreath again.

Scrunch up the burlap and tie the loops of the burlap together using a pipe cleaner.

You can then use your fingers to fluff the burlap.


Continue until the entire wire wreath is covered.

Add your second color weaving between the loops.


Next, comes your third and so forth.

I used 5 different variations of burlap for this wreath.  I added an "H" to the bow just because I thought it would be cute.


I love the end result.  Total cost was just shy of $30 for all the materials (only because I had 50% off everything).  Therefore, without coupons, it would be around $60 for all the materials.

I had so much fun, I made myself a couple of more wreaths.


The more you make, the more materials you can reuse (the pipe cleaners, the base burlap, etc), and the cheaper it gets.  The color combinations are unlimited.

I'm glad that I took on this challenge.  My sister is too because that is the wreath I made her for fall.  I love the yellow flowers!  I think I have to make myself one, but alas, I'm out of doors ;).  Maybe next year.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Building a Cubby Organizer

My boys LOVE legos.  We have pieces in every nook and cranny of our house.  I'm sure some have found its way into our vacuum.  When I saw this cubby organizer at my neighbor's house, I knew I wanted it.  At the time, they didn't sell the cubby organizer any longer so I was a bit disappointed.  However, a couple of months ago, I was mentioning to my other neighbor about the organizer and she said she saw online.  It was a modified version of the one they sold a few years back, but the concept was the same.  I waited patiently for a friends and family sale and voila, it finally came.  Did I buy it?  Nope.  I was so disappointed they didn't sell it in the store and when I tried to purchase it online, adding in the shipping and surcharges didn't make it worth it to me.  I decided to build it myself.  Do I love it?  That's a BIG whopping YES!

I measured E.'s wall where the cabinet would hang and decided to make it to the dimensions of the one that was being sold.

I drew out how I was going to build it and it just so happened my dad came to visit that week and saw my drawing.  He decided to help me out.  We bought 1x6x8's and ripped the edges so they would be around 5 inches deep.


Then, he made notches in the wood so that the shelves would slide into place.

We contemplated if we wanted the shelves to be removable, but in the end, I decided to nail them in permanently.


One row done, 4 more to go!

I then puttied all the nail holes and then sanded everything down.



It sat in my garage for the longest time because I knew the next part would not be fun.

I had to stain, polyurethane, sand, then polyurethane and sand again all 25 cubby holes.  This was so tedious and I seriously contemplated whether or not it needed a second coat of polyurethane.  Of course, the perfectionism in me would never allow me to skip that step, but I was pretty drained with all the work that went into this project and that thought did cross my mind.

The total project was $17.  That's a great savings, but I did spend about 10 hours from start to finish.  In hind sight, I would have to say this would be a project that is WORTH purchasing over making.  If you have the time, its a great project to do.  If you don't, it's SO worth cost of the item plus shipping and surcharge.  I only say that because what I made is basically what was sold.  Had it been a custom piece that needed certain specific dimensions, that would be a different story. I did build a cabinet for E. on the other side of the bed that was custom and SO worth the time and effort, but that project will be saved for another post. 


For now, my kiddos have a place to put all their Lego creations.  Currently, it's home to all their Mixel creations.  I think it is super cute and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it turned out.  I'm happy that all the hours I put into building it created a piece that I am proud of.

The bed and all cabinets are built!  3/4 of the room is done.  Only 1/4 to go!  E.'s room is turning out to be simply a hand-built room and I love it!
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