September 22, 2009

I have been wanting to update my blog ever since I changed it the last time. The old picture was stretched funny, and the design was just underwhelming. Someday I will have time to do something that I absolutely love. But first I have to find a layout I'm in love with, a name that I can use for a blog, a site and a shop, and then design it all. That's just a little too much today. For now, this quick update will have to do.



Really, it is a very simple change. But I love change. I love to improve things! This really will make do until I can really spend quality time on it. Although it might change once or twice again over the next few days. You never know!

I'm linking this up to Kimm's Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented. Also linking up to Kim's Get Your Craft on Party at Today's Creative Blog. Head on over to these party's to see other creative projects.

September 17, 2009

So I finally had the energy last night to do more than just feed and care for my son. I've finally got something to share!

3 weeks ago my husband and I spontaneously decided to paint our master bathroom. Again. It was the first room in the house to be painted when we moved in. It was just the white contractor paint still, after 10 years of people living there! We chose a very beautiful grayish green. I loved it. But if you took all of our paint colors in our house and held them together - everything coordinates well. Except for that one. It was like the odd room out. It didn't even go with the colors we'd chosen in our bedroom. The other problem is in our window-less bathroom it just felt too dark. I know it really wasn't that dark, but it's not a high energy color so after nearly two years we were sick of it. (No offense to those who love this color - I love it too. It just wasn't

This is how we had it decorated in there. White, Cream and a little pop of Red here and there. I think it was pretty. It just never felt right.

So we matched the bathroom to the cream in our bedroom. Why? Because the paint store made a mistake and gave me 1 gallon instead of 1/2 a gallon. We had the paint, and it seemed right. Once we got it painted, I had to decorate on a budget. Baby is due in 12 more days!

I dug through my decor stash and found a $5 Goodwill frame to use, just spray painted it black. In the dining room I found another frame and grabbed it off the wall. I also re-purposed several things with a nice coat of spray paint. I love spray paint. The cute white shelves from above that cost me $4 for both originally? Painted them black! The white iron candle holders above the tub? Painted them blue. Just wait, you'll see. Then I spent $17 for new towels. Bathroom makeover complete!

Here's the frame and other things before I painted them.

The After:

Here's the back wall when you enter the bathroom. Complete with the freshly painted black shelves, red flowers from the living room, and the frame from the dining room. Of course, the blue towels that I bought new.

The wall above the tub. The green frame painted black and monogram I cut from left-over vinyl. I decided to just put it straight on the wall - I think it looks great! The white candle holders painted blue (the towels are the same blue). I'm still not sure if I want to spread them out more or leave them as is.

Lastly, I have a question for you all: Should I paint the Bath Tray or leave it as is? I was thinking black, maybe red? My husband says leave it, but I'm not sure I want to.

I'm linking this up to:
Kimm's Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented
Kimba's DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land
(I know it's a little late for these, but I'm running on low this week.)
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Head on over to check out all the amazing projects posted by others this week!

Don't be surprised if I my project posts suddenly hault for a little while. I do only have 12 days left until our second son arrives!

September 16, 2009

I have to tell you about a recent event that I'm still gushing over. My dear friends decided to host a shower for me and the little one on the way. Knowing it was my second child (and second son, at that) they knew I wasn't really up for a huge, overwhelming shower where we played the craziest of games. First, I really like to talk with everyone and games can slow that down, and second, whoever came up with the idea to melt candy bars in diapers and make you guess what they are was not pregnant. I mean that grosses me out normally, but during pregnancy? No thanks!

Of course, my friends know me well. There was delicious food: Meatballs, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Mini Quiches, Vegetables, Mini Cheesecakes, and a most amazing Chocolate Fountain! I was in Heaven. And don't worry, I completely understand and appreciate just how far overboard these girls went for me. Of course, the food is only the beginning. There was the loveliest flower arrangement from Pikes Market (courtesy of the hostess's Husband) especially for me. It made my house smell so beautiful for nearly a week!

You can only imagine my delight when I was told that our evening's activities would be none other than a craft! My friends know me so well! There were several different sizes of white Onesies to decorate. Most of us used the stencils provided with the pens, but some free-handed it. I'm so excited to use these "made with love" Onesies on our soon to arrive son.

Of course there were wonderful gifts from everyone who attended, and even those who weren't able to come. I must say I love all of my friends and I'm especially grateful to the wonderful Hostesses of such a perfect shower for me!

*Photos of the onesies to come.

September 15, 2009

Seriously, I've been so exhausted the last few days. I've been napping lots and trying hard to induce labor. I know I'm jumping the gun two weeks from my due date, but I'd rather just have this over with. So when it comes to my crafts and projects for this week. I've done a few things, but I don't even have the desire to take pictures and post about them. Maybe tomorrow. I've got something really exciting that I plan to start working on this week.

I'm also kicking myself for not doing the dumpster dive I was extrememly tempted to do. I just couldn't think of a re-invention for a headboard. Then today I saw this: Re-purposed Spool Bed. The headboard I almost grabbed was very different from this one, but it would have made a gorgeous bench. Seriously regretting that choice. Of course, my husband is grateful that I'm not cluttering up the garage even more. Anyhow, head on over and check out that project. It really shows you how to re-purpose things.

September 8, 2009

Is it ironic to anyone else when they are pregnant on Labor Day? I know it's all about giving the workforce a well deserved holiday. Every bone in my body gushes in patriotic pride that this holiday began in Canada and the US copied us. I may have crossed the border but I'm still proud to be Canadian. Anyhow, for me it's ironic because I'm so close to delivering I can't help but focus on that instead of the thousands of people working hard in my community.

I'm due in 3 weeks and honestly, while most of the time I am so busy I forget I'm pregnant today I was feeling it. Swollen feet, that horrible bloated feeling, craving 15 things at once - knowing I would probably only be able to squeeze in a bite at dinner before feeling sick. Ackk. I'm done. Some of you are wondering how it's even possible at 37 weeks to completely forget you're pregnant. I'm not kidding. I even have a story to prove it:

My husband is still in stitches over this. After his long day of painting, cleaning, moving appliances around (he is such an awesome husband) and me watching our son, we decided not to mess up the freshly-painted kitchen and go out to a local buffet for dinner. As I returned from the desert buffet, a lady at our neighboring table asked what I was having. I looked down into my hands and quickly replied "Carrot Cake, and a Brownie." All the while thinking, "what an odd question" as if I'd never been asked it. Her face and my husbands quizzical look made me realize that wasn't the appropriate response. Her next question cleared it all up "Are you having a girl or a boy?" My husband claims my face soon matched my dark red hair and my freckles stood out as I replied "A boy, our second!" We had a good laugh over that.

I did get out shopping for one sale. 50% off everything at the Salvation Army! There wasn't much, honestly, but I did find a frame and this:

It's so perfectly hideous, don't you think? What, pray tell, shall I be doing with it? You shall have to wait and see!
Over a year ago I was hanging out at a mall while waiting to meet up with my Sister. I strolled into Kohl's and noticed their frames were all on sale. So I decided to check it out. I found these frames with shadow box style art work. It's hard to see from the photo, but one of each of the instruments is popped forward.

They were originally $19.99 each marked as 60% off. The sale was half off that. So they ended up just over $4 each. I really didn't like the inside, but I loved the music theme and the frames themselves.

So for over a year they have sat with my home decor stash waiting for the right use. We recently, and finally, got around to painting our guest bathroom. It used to be a bright lime-ish green. It was hideous. Now it's a really light creamy tan. I love the difference! So with a new color in the bathroom I've decided to re-decorate as well. I decided I want black frames in there. That's when I remembered these ones. I pulled them out and went to work.

I got a huge surprise when I cut the frames open and realized that the shadow box effect was actually another piece of glass with the instruments printed on! I was able to remove that with a scraper, and put vinyl words on that layer instead. I also edited the photos to coordinate them a little.

This is what I came up with:

Eventually I want to put up pictures of my family having fun in the rain, but for now, I've put in these pictures. It will do. I also cut a vinyl saying to place above the photos: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to Dance in the Rain."

I'm adding this to Trash to Treasure Tuesday over at Reinvented and Today's Creative Blog's Get Your Craft On! Head on over to check out the other projects!

*Update - I'm linking to Kimba's DIY Day on A Soft Place to Land as well. I couldn't help but link up. I really want to win that apron. It's adorable. I think I'm going to head back now to check out what else The Hip Hostess has in their store.

September 7, 2009

Over 10 years ago I bought an unfinished shadow box, white-washed it, and then sponge painted it with gold. Inside I carefully arranged a picture of me on my grad night, my corsage and some ribbon. I thought it was so amazing and I had incredible talent. I can't say that I really did, but 10 years later as I went through all my old frames I discovered it. I couldn't resist attempting a make-over for our son's nursery.


I decided to do a little monkey scene to go with his bedroom. I pulled everything apart and evaluated it. The top mat was great but I'm not a huge fan of gold. I painted the bottom one dark brown. Then I worked on my 3D scene. I pulled the monkeys from my scrapbooking supplies, and then I pulled some old plants and bamboo pieces apart, threw in some twine, and backed it all with a simple fabric. I used a lot of glue and played around with the scene until it seemed just right.

I originally planned to paint the frame as well, it had GOLD on it. But when I popped the shadow box all back together so I could decide what color to paint the frame I decided I actually liked it!

This cost me next to nothing as it came from supplies on hand. It's amazing what you can make-over without going overboard!


This hung in the nursery for a while, but when we were decorating our sons bathroom in our new house I used it there instead. (It completed the Monkey Theme perfectly.)

I'm linking this to Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party. Click on the image below to see her post and all the awesome before and after projects posted.

September 3, 2009

Recently I read a blog post on Joys of Home of yet another case of blog theft. It’s floating around out there like crazy. While these stories don’t always surprise me, her situation actually did. The person was posting her entire blog, post-for-post as their own. Usually you hear of tutorials being copied and claimed as someone else’s hard work. Or another is family photos being downloaded and edited or used for random things. In a recent news story a woman received an email notifying her that her little child’s picture was being used in an adoption scam. The person was sending the photo of her son to people, which linked to her family blog. And people wonder why my family blog is private?!

While theft from a public blog will remain a threat for many years to come, there are some things that you can do to protect your blog. I have not implemented perfect protection for my own personal blog, but have started the process slowly. I found one article that gives a few good tips on how to create a Creative Commons license and protect your blog through Copyright. These things, however do not stop everyone, so if you experience blog theft, or wonder what to do in that situation, the rest of the article suggests some of the actions you can take.

One of my suggestions, aside from this article is to watermark your own photos. (The "mkr designs…" on my photos is a watermark.) After commenting on Joy’s blog, she emailed me to ask how to make a cute watermark for her photos. Since then, I have been looking for a free, simple method. If you own photo editing software such as Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, or some other in-depth program you’re already set to go, if not there are a few options.

Your choice will, of course depend on the style of watermark that you want.

1. Text Only

Picasa - no customization on font or location. Multiple photos at once. Click here for instructions.

Picnik - font and location customizable. One photo at a time from what I've been able to read. Click here for instructions.

Alamoon Watermark (Free software) - font and location customizable. Multiple photos. Also resizes the photos for you. Click here to download. There is an upgrade for $30 but I'll give you another suggestion in a minute.

These are all relatively easy to use. Picnik is online, Picasa and Alamoon are downloaded to your machine.

2. Customized Text or A Fancy Image

If you're looking for a custom design like your business logo, or even text arranged like my watermark, you're going to need a better program. My watermark is an image that I place on the photo in Photoshop. I designed it using Photoshop. Even if you decide that designing your own Watermark is too much work and have someone do it for you - I still think it's not worth your money to buy a Watermark Program.

Let me explain: If you purchase a Watermark Program you will most likely pay about $30 to get what you want. I would recommend purchasing a copy of Photoshop Elements instead. You can buy it here for $40. $10 more and you have a good photo editing program as well, something that is way more valuable! Isn't that brilliant?

Let me explain why this company has two different prices for the same program. OEM is the simplified software package that a company gets in bulk, usually for the purpose of selling packaged with a computer, notebook, or a software bundle. It's the same program just doesn't come in the standard "Full Retail" box with all the manuals, etc. This one will come with CD's and installation instructions only. I hope that explains it.

I recommend Photoshop Elements because there are so many online tutorials on how to use it and free downloads that you can use in it. Here's how to make a watermark in PS Elements! I actually did something similar, just used the text tool to create 3 separate text pieces and arranged them together as you see on my pictures now. I'll try to make a tutorial for that soon. Here's another tutorial on how to then use the watermark on multiple photos.

I hope this answers some of your questions and helps you decide how you want to protect your photos. Let me know if you have more questions in your comments and I'll try to answer them the best I can.

September 2, 2009

Many of you know I love photography. Up until recently though, I've really kept my growing love of photography to capturing pictures of my family, nature, and those fun candid moments with friends. I've shared my first photo shoot with you in another post. That one I was less nervous about. It was mostly pictures of our friends truck and a few family ones thrown in - all for his new company's website.

This shoot made me a lot more nervous. Would I capture the family the way they hoped? Would they be pleased with the results? Would I forget something in my pregnant state of mind? The shoot was for two siblings and their separate families. I was worried about how all the kids would survive.

I prepared in advance, charged all the batteries, wrote a pose cheat sheet to myself just in case things were difficult, and got to the park a little early to have the camera ready. I thought it all through, and even brought a bubble machine so at the end the kids could have at it and I could still (hopefully) get some good pictures.

We're all at the park, everything is going smoothly, I take one picture and my camera froze. Literally - it would not take a picture. I didn't know what to do. Pressed a million buttons, changed settings, and powered off. Nothing worked. I prayed, removed the battery, and started over. It worked. (There's nothing like the power of prayer!)

Here's a quick peak for all to see. These are just a sprinkling of the photos I was able to get of these two wonderful families! The kids were great, the park was beautiful, and the bubbles were the perfect hit.

The First Family

An Outfit Change

The Second Family

One of my Favorites. I must tell you, this was a lucky shot - the littler sister is about to rip the older sisters arm off her shoulder.

Just one of the adorable shots captured around the bubble machine.

Thanks so much to my friends who were so willing to let me practice on them. I had so much fun taking and editing their photos. Despite their worries that I might be a little too far along in the pregnancy.

September 1, 2009

Another Trash to Treasure Tuesday here! I'm actually getting so much more done by challenging myself to have an entry every week.

A few short months after we learned I was pregnant with our second we moved our son into his new bedroom. The transportation themed room with a Thomas The Tank Engine toddler bed (bought on Craigslist, I would NEVER pay full price for that) replaced our Guest Room. That left a lot of things without a home. These for example:

These IKEA Grono lamps, which I've had for a decade (no joke), have sat around the house for months now, with no home. Oh sure, they're cute as is. But after a while I get bored with the same old. So it was time to make a change or just get rid of them. At first I planned to pair them and do something like I saw on IKEA Hacker:

That would have been adorable - but I had no idea where I'd put them. I just didn't need a pair of lamps anywhere. (I know, some of you are thinking I could have sent them your way. Sorry.)

In the end I decided to make two distinct lamps. Each is a very unique style

The first Revamp was for our Jungle Themed Nursery. I searched for the right image, imported it into Robo Master, added some text and cut this beauty out of Vinyl on MY NEW SILHOUETTE! (Saving that for another post.) Here's the first lamp:

The second lamp is for my niece. Her Mom won my Give away a while back for the Young Women's Plaque. (No it was not rigged.) Seeing as she just had a birthday, I thought this would be a really fun thing to personalize for her. This was also cut on my new machine. It's just scrapbooking paper and I stuck it on with Mod Podge. I'm still considering adding a ribbon. Happy Birthday B I hope you like your gift!

Head on over (or back) to Reinvented to see everyone else's awesome projects this week. I've already seen a few and I'm so inspired! Also check out my Tutorial for dressing up a soap pump, including the free file here.

I'm also linking this up to Kimba's DIY Day on A Soft Place to Land. Head on over to her blog to check out many more DIY projects.