Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Goodwill Stools Makeover


I love finding a hidden gem among the trash.  That's why I love browsing at Goodwill stores and thrift stores.  You never know what you might find.  We had been looking for a new set of stools for our kitchen counter.  We were looking for backless stools because our space is kind of limited.


However, when I saw these beauties, I couldn't pass them up.  Ok, so they needed some work, but you could tell they were well made by just the weight and feel of them.  The wood was in good shape, they rotated well, and they were very sturdy.  For just $10 each, it was a deal I couldn't resist.


The seat cushions had definitely seen better days though.  There was quite a variety of paint colors and dirt.  Someone may have taken a marker to them as well.  The wood was easily cleaned with a magic eraser sponge, but we decided to just recover the seats.


I found our material at JoAnn's in the home decor section.  It's from the HGTV Home collection, called Turtle Shell.  I love the bright colors and geometric print.  I was able to get enough fabric by purchasing 3/4 of a yard.  With my coupon, I was able to get the fabric for around $15.  This brought our project total to $35 for two stools.  This is less than half the price you would pay for just one new stool.  After unscrewing the stool cushions from the stools, I unattached the black back fabric.  Position your fabric in place on the top of your stool cushion.  Be sure to center any design if your fabric has one.


Fold your fabric under on one side and staple in place around the edge.  Stretch the fabric to the opposite side of the stool and staple in place.  Now staple the other two sides, stapling a few staples on what would be the four sides.  Now pull and position your fabric evenly between these four "sides" and staple the rest of the fabric in place on the bottom of the stool seat.


Trim the excess material.  Replace your black cover fabric and attach it in place with staples around the outside edge.  Screw the seat back to your stool base.


I was very pleased with how these stools turned out.  They are the perfect pop of color for our kitchen.  Off to do a little more treasure hunting!



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Monday, August 17, 2015

First Day of School 2015


We all survived the first day of school!  It actually went quite well.  Everyone loves their teachers and had great days!  Maybe even looking forward to Day 2!!

6th Grade

4th Grade

Pre-K

On the way to the bus stop

Waiting for the bus

Sending sissy off to her first day of middle school

Our baby is growing up!
Hope everyone had a great first day of school this year!  The craziness has begun!
Good Luck!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Back to School! Excited or Dreading?

Here it is!  The last weekend before school starts!  I'm really not looking forward to this.  Sure, I really need to get back to a routine.  I thought less routine would give me more time and make me more productive.  Not so much!  We've been busy, but I'm not sure what we have done.  We've been at the beach quite a bit.  We have done some beach condo projects that I will be sharing soon.  I did get a few workouts in over the summer, but not sure any of them happened during the month of July.

So I'm looking forward to the routine, but I'm not looking forward to waking up early, constantly running from activity to activity, and most of all HOMEWORK!!  Yuck!  With three kids it's tough to fit in everything they want to do, but I know they love it.  My parents helped me to do everything I wanted, and I want to do the same for my kids.  They know if their grades slip, that activities go first.  So for now we work in dance classes, gymnastics, volleyball, and soccer on every day of the school week plus Saturday games.

This year will be a new transition with schools as well.  It's the first time we will have three girls in school at three different schools.  My youngest is in Pre-K five days a week!  :-(  She does get home a bit earlier than the other girls, so I will have to be sure to schedule some fun time with her before the older girls get home.  I'm going to miss my baby!  Not looking forward to giving up our time together.  But she is a little smarty pants, and I know she is going to do great and love school.

Our middle daughter will be starting fourth grade.  This past year she has been diagnosed with ADHD and we started the Feingold Diet for her as well.  This diet eliminates many harmful additives, artifical colors, artificial flavors, and foods high in salicylates.  We've found that she is sensitive especially to artificial colors.  It causes some rage and compulsive behaviors.  This was particularly tough when she gets frustrated with homework and couldn't even focus on her tasks.  She would get down on herself and call herself names.  Very tough to watch as a parent.  This diet has helped us to see her sensitivities and gives us options on what foods are made without these additives.  It's sad that we can't even go to the dentist to have her teeth treated with fluoride without her being subjected to these harmful dyes and flavors!  What is the point of making our toothpaste blue??!  It is difficult to regulate this diet at school.  There are so many temptations around her and people that don't understand.  Last year's teacher was good about it, but there are always friends around that share their candy.  She's not very good at turning them down.  One piece and the compulsive behaviors get worse.  We are hopeful for this new school year, especially since her teacher specializes in reading, which is a tough subject for her.

My oldest will also be entering middle school!  I'm already stressing because she didn't get the math class she was signed up for.  They are supposed to be be looking into it, but with school starting on Monday, I assume she will be attending all of the classes on her original schedule.  I worry that's going to make it harder for her if they completely change her schedule and she has to have another first day later on after everyone is already settled in a class.  I'm sure it will be fine after the year gets going, but she's not the most outgoing person.  I hope there is at least someone she is familiar with in some of her classes to make the transition to a new school a little bit easier.  Hoping to avoid all those "mean girls" as well!

Although I'm dreading all the unknowns that come from them growing up, I know that they are smart and sweet girls that will handle it all with grace.  I think it will be harder on me to see them deal with tough times.  A bit scared of the coming year, but I know that we will support them and be there when they need us.  Is your family looking forward to the school year or dreading it?  I have to admit that I'm doing a little bit of both!



Friday, July 17, 2015

Wedding Countdown Wood Blocks


Last month I shared my Honeymoon Travel Journal gift since we were into wedding season. But what if you are looking to make an engagement gift instead. I have the perfect gift that could be used for any special event. I made Wedding Countdown Blocks for our friends' surprise engagement party. I thought it would be a fun way for them to countdown to their wedding next year. This could be easily made to countdown to a new baby, Christmas or any other big day!


I found my small blocks as well as my long block at Michaels. You will need four small blocks and one long. I used a foam brush and craft paint to paint them dark blue. Pick your favorite color. Make sure to allow your block to dry before flipping it over to paint the other sides. You will probably need to paint a couple of coats. 


Now it's time to add your stickers. You could also use a paint pen to write on your numbers as well.  In order to get all the numbers, you will need to make your blocks with a certain number combination. I love the tutorial on Something Turquoise for the layout. On each block, you will need to sticker or paint these numbers:

Block 1 - 0,1,2,3,7,8
Block 2 - 1,2,3,4,5,6
Block 3 - 1,2,3,4,5,6
Block 4 - 0,4,7,8

Just realize that your 6's will also be used as 9's for the countdown.  You will also have a couple of blank sides on your last block.  You can use this space to add a heart or a picture of a diamond ring.  I drew in a heart with my paint pen on mine.

You will also need to add your wording to your long block.  I used Days Until I Do, but you could use whatever works for you.  If you're doing it for the birth of a new baby you could use Days Until Baby!  Or if you'd like to reuse this for different occasions, you could always use Days Until the Big Day.  That way you could use your Countdown Blocks to countdown all the big moments in your life!  I like to start with my letters in the middle of my block and space them out evenly towards both edges.  You could also trace your block onto a piece of paper.  Then practice your saying on this paper so you can get your wording spaced out just right before writing it on your block.


If you are using stickers on your painted blocks, you will quickly discover that they do not stick that well. Not it's time to add the Mod Podge. Using a foam brush, add your Mod Podge to each side of your block, allowing it to dry before moving on to the other sides. Apply a couple of coats until your numbers are secure. 


You can also add a layer of clear acrylic spray paint to seal your blocks.  This may make them a bit less sticky if you are having a problem with that.  


I think this was a fun gift for my surprise engagement party.  It was also great decor for the party if you would like a little decoration on the gift or cake table.  Whatever the event, these Countdown Wood Blocks are the perfect way to build the excitement for the big day!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Father's Day Mini Canvas Art


Father's Day is this weekend!  You didn't forget did you?  I'm sure you have the perfect gift for Dad, but if you are still looking for that last minute gift to make with the kids, then I can help.  My girls and I decided to make Dad his own collection of mini art.  We all made our own little masterpiece to give him.


To make this a quick and easy DIY craft, we used mini canvases and Sharpie markers.  You could sketch your design with pencil, or just jump in with your doodling.  I actually found my four pack of canvases at Ross, but you can also find them at JoAnn's or Michaels.  Choose just a few color Sharpies or go for the full rainbow.


Everyone had their own ideas of what they wanted to create.  I love how they all go together in their own way.  


Dad will love each and every art piece, because he will know that it was made with love from the heart.  


 I helped my youngest by sketching a heart that she could color in.  Afterwards, we traced around the outside of the heart with black to sharpen the look.


On Father's Day, Dad will have the perfect collection of art to hang to remind him just how special he is to his family.  
Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Honeymoon Travel Journal Gift


We're into June.  That means we're right in wedding season.  If you've seen any of my other posts, you know that I like to make wedding gifts (or really any occasion gifts) for the lucky couple.  I really believe that making a gift from the heart means a little bit more and hopefully it will mean more to the recipient if they know the thought and effort you put into it.  I decided to make a Honeymoon Travel Journal for the newlyweds to document their fun trip.


I found my blank notebook at Walmart in the office supply section.  I liked the fact that it had the rubber band closure as well.  I found my maps in an atlas that I purchased at Goodwill.  I used the atlas to make my Hometown Heart Map Canvas as well.  Another great wedding gift!  You will need a bottle of Mod Podge and a foam brush to create your travel journal.


My newlyweds were actually traveling to two places for their honeymoon.  I used a heart template to cut out two small hearts around the two areas that they were  traveling.  You could also just cut one heart if they are visiting one location or you might have three or four if they are going on a cruise with multiple destinations.  Another idea would be to cut out a heart to represent both of the bride and groom's hometowns.  I printed a sticker with the words Our Travel and centered it on another circle of map.


I placed my hearts and title circle onto my journal, using a bit of mod podge on the back of them to keep them in place.  After they dried, I used my foam brush and brushed a layer of Mod Podge over the whole front of the journal.  Allow to dry and repeat this process until you feel your map pieces are secure.


I also glued a manila envelope to the inside front cover of the journal.  This allows the couple to drop in ticket stubs or other souvenirs.  Perfect way to keep track of those little items while on the go.


The newlyweds loved their Honeymoon Travel Journal.  I know they took it with them to journal their trips and document all the fun times they had.  This is a great gift from the heart, that is simple to make.  Who do you know that would love their own personalized journal?


You may also like:

Hometown Heart Map

Wedding Initial Canvas

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Beer Cap Shadow Box for Father's Day


Father's Day is almost here.  I'm not sure what your Dad likes to do, but both my Dad and my Hubby enjoy a beer now and then.  They both also like to try new and different beers.  If this sounds anything like the man in your life, then maybe you should make him his own Beer Cap Shadow Box!  This is a fun and easy DIY gift for the beer lover!


You can find ready made shadow boxes that have the slot on the top or even the sliding top, but they can get pretty expensive.  You should be able to make your own for much less, especially if you utilize one of those handy 40% off coupons that many of the craft stores offer.


You can purchase any type of shadow box.  Mine was about an 8x10 size, perfect for a shelf top beer cap shadow box.  Using a Dremmel, we used a cutting tip to make our rectangular hole in the top of the shadow box.  After getting the right size, we sanded the inside of the cut to make it smoother.  Test your slot to make sure your beer caps will slide in easily.


Now you have a beer cap shadow box, but it may be a bit boring.  You could stencil a saying on the front of your frame or even a picture.  I decided to use beer stickers to add some interest to the front of my shadow box.  Pair it with a six pack of beer and Dad will be ready to start his beer cap collection with his new beer cap shadow box!