Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine Topiaries

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Hi All!  With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I have a couple more Valentine related crafts up my sleeve.  And I can't wait to share them with you!  First up is a cheezy yet cute Valentine Topiary.

All the materials I used were terra cotta flower pots, paint, paintbrush, pencil, scissors, two unsharpened pencils, yarn, glue gun, two empty ribbon rolls, two Valentine Pillows, and heart fillers.  You can substitute materials, or leave out others, totally up to you!

The first thing I did was paint my pots, I decided to paint the actual pot white, and paint the saucer underneath pink.
Paint the pots white
I used a patio paint that is specifically for ceramic and other outdoor type materials, this was perfect for the terra cotta pots.
I used patio paint, which was perfect for the terra cotta pots
Make sure that you paint inside the rim, at least a few inches, just to make sure that no unfinished pot shows through in the end.
Paint just inside the edge
Next I printed each word I wanted to use, in a special font on the computer.  I chose Love and Hugs.  Once I had printed it, I cut out the word, and used transfer paper and a pencil to trace the word onto my pot.  Here is how it looks with the word love.
I used transfer paper to trace my letters onto the pot
Then I used my pink paint, and a very thin paint brush and filled in the letters. 
Itty bitty paintbrush and pink paint
Make sure to let the paint dry before doing another layer, I used about 3 layers of pink paint.
 I used the same technique for my pot that says Hugs.
 Then I took my unsharpened pencil, and glued the yarn onto the end.  I then wrapped the yarn around the whole pencil and glued the other end to the eraser.
I wrapped an unsharpened pencil in yarn
Now it was time to assemble.  Here are all of my supplies laid out.
All my supplies
The first thing I did was to lay my pot on the saucer, and make a pencil mark through the hole, to mark the center.
Make a mark with your pencil through the hole so that you can find the center
Now I took the pot off, and made a dot of glue with the glue gun over my pencil mark.  Stick the yarn covered pencil in this dot of glue.  If necessary you might also need to do a layer of glue around the pencil to make sure it is secure.
Stick the pencil onto the saucer with hot glue
Hold the pencil in place for a few seconds while the glue solidifies.  Here are what mine look like.
Slide the pot over the pencil so that it rests in the saucer.
Slide on the pots
Next I slid the empty yarn holder over the pencil and inside of the pot.  This just takes up more room so that you have to fill less space inside the pot.
I used an empty ribbon spool as a space filler
Now I took my pillow (thank you dollar bin at Target!) and cut a small hole in the bottom.
Cut a hole in the bottom of the pillow
I then slid the pillows onto the top of the pencil.
Slide the pillow onto the pencil
Then I grabbed the purple hearts I was going to use to fill to pot. (again, thank you dollar bin at Target!!)
I used purple hearts from Target as a space filler
Now I filled in the pots.  One box of filler was enough for both of the pots.
Here is my finished product and a couple of close ups.  Cute huh?

 I love how they turned out, even with my incredibly unstable painting hand!

Simply Living

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stuff I like Sunday #1

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Since most of my inspiration comes from searching the web and checking out all your lovely projects, I decided to create a day for some of my favorite finds.  Welcome to the first Stuff I like Sunday!  Each Sunday I will feature 5 things that I have bookmarked for future projects I can't wait to try.

Each time I borrow an idea for a project I always link back to where I found the project, but I decided a little extra shout out never hurts!  If your project is one of the 5 I feature, feel free to grab my featured button, or Stuff I like Sunday found on the right side, or found here:

Simply Living

Simply Living

#1: First up is the lovely Valentine Art work Maggie from Black and White created:
Click the photo to see her tutorial
Isn't it absolutely adorable?  I love that something so simple was created in Word!  I don't have photoshop on my computer, so I love ideas like this that don't involve any fancy and expensive programs.  Thanks for the great Valentine Idea Maggie!

#2:  I'm loving the felt Dahlia Katie made over at Food Wine & Mod Podge.  The name of her blog alone confirms that she's a woman after my own heart!  Check out how cute!

Click the photo to see her tutorial
I've been doing a lot with felt lately, as you can tell, and can't wait to give this flower a try.  It looks a bit time consuming, so it might have to wait for a while, but I think that it is just absolutely stunning.  Great work Katie!

#3:  The super cute and incredibly functional boot tray Ashli made over at Maillardville Manor:
Click the photo to see her tutorial
Talk about simple, functional, cheap, and cute.  With winter (eventually) ending, and spring rain on its way, I think this would be a great project to get ready.  Sure beats all the puddles on the kitchen floor!  Love the idea Ashli!

#4:  I instantly fell in love with Alisha's Valentines Topiary Tree over at Homemaking Honeys.  How cute!
Click the photo to see her tutorial
I've already been working on some Valentine themed Topiaries, but with a different colored ribbon I think this would be great for other holidays, or even as a Christmas tree ornament with a little ribbon loop attached to the top.  Can't wait to give it a try, thanks for the inspiration Alisha!

#5:  The final project that really caught my eye this week was Sabrina's adorable party invitations:
Click the photo to view her tutorial
Once again, what a simple way to create a project without the expensive and extra programs, I already have powerpoint on my computer, score!  Can't wait to throw a party and put my own spin on this invitation idea.  I'm sure the shower was a hit, thanks for the fabulous tutorial Sabrina!!

You all have instilled so much inspiration in me, can't wait to find the time to give some of these a spin!  Stop in next Sunday so see 5 more things I like!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Love Blog Award!

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I am thrilled to have been given this award from a new blogging friend Shelly, over at A Creative Space.  Thanks Shelly, what an honor!

I'm excited to pass this award on to 4 more lovely blogs out there.  Please be sure to check them out yourself, I can't say enough good things!

Christin, over at Cooking in the Minors.  Christin shares wonderful recipes and all of her adventures in the kitchen.  Check her out for some great, healthy, ideas!

Christine, over at Crafty Geordi's.  Christine shares some excellent thrift finds, craft projects, and excellent photography!

Judy, over at DIY by Design.  Judy's blog title says it all, she shares some great DIY decorating and designing advice.  Check out her great step by step photos and excellent ideas.

And finally, Jennifer over at Sunshine and Chaucer.  Her colorful take on the world will be sure to inspire you!

There are a couple of conditions for the award :
The aim of this award is that we bring unknown, good blogs to light, so I would ask you not to blog fellow bloggers that already have 3,000 followers.

Have you been TAGGED and want to participate?

To play along, create a post where you use the 'LOVE BLOG' image. Include the persons link that gave you the award and inform her/him that you accept the award.  (feel free to grab my button, found on the right column of my blog)

Then choose and link to, 3 - 5 favorite blogs. Each blogger can then link back to you if they choose to participate. :)

And, most importantly... It is okay if you are too busy to accept this award, Bloggers understand!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Organized Work Space

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Speaking of school (check out my post here), I decided it was high time to get an organized space going.  Since moving back in the with the folks last spring, my space is somewhat limited.  But with Sister #2 off at college, I decided to commandeer her desk area, and give it a little inexpensive face lift.

Here's what I started with:

Gotta love the outdated calendar and the Gandhi Poster!

A little messy, since it is full of things she didn't need at school with her.  I did a little shopping at my go-to spot, Ikea!  I picked up a plain white magnetic board, some fabric - I needed less than a yard, but have plans for the left over fabric! (I loved the blue and white pattern with the small hints of orange - this was my color scheme), magnets in orange and white (they matched my fabric so perfectly, it was unbelievable!),  small magnetic boxes, matching orange and white magazine holders, and a couple paper boxes in the same shade of orange.  Overall I spent just around $50, which I was more than ok with.

Home I went, happy as could be with my organization goodies.  First thing I did was iron the fabric to make sure there were no wrinkles.

Next up, it I plugged in the trusty old glue gun, and let it heat up.

Then, I measured my fabric and cut a piece big enough to cover the magnetic board.  Then I spread out the fabric, put the magnetic board on top and glued around the edges.  Once I got to the corners, I trimmed the sides and wrapped like a present, gluing as I went.
Wrap the corner like a present
 I had decided to prop the board against the wall, rather than hang it, but I took the time to trim off the fabric where the nail holes were incase I decide to hang it on a wall in the future.
If you plan to hang your board, steer clear of the nail holes
Here it is all wrapped and finished.
And the front view, propped against the wall.
Sorry for ALL the crooked's my lack of picture taking abilities, the room is straight!
And now with the matching magnets...I love it!
See the subtle hints of orange in the fabric?
Here is my finished board, covered in the essentials.
Again with the crooked picture taking...ahhh
I added a magnetic box on each side, one to hold things like a ruler, scissors, tape and the other to hold extra magnets.
Because my board is propped against the wall, the boxes are resting on the table, but they have hefty magnets and would stick to the board if it was hanging on a wall.
Then I have a couple pictures, coupons, and a weekly meal planner.
And of course a monthly pad of paper to jot down quick notes and make lists.  Pretty soon I need to go find my February list...yikes!
On each side of the board I added my magazine holders.  I love that the orange and white help tie everything together.  One side holds cooking magazines, like the Food Network and Everyday with Rachel Ray goodies.
The other side holds decorating and household magazines, like Veranda, and Good Housekeeping.
Then I put together and added the cute paper boxes on top of the wooden filing cabinet (sister #2 painted that herself!).  One box holds craft supplies, the other holds school papers.  I still need to label them, but I like the nice and organized way to hide some of my mess.
Here's an overview of what my small area of the desk looks like.  Much better huh?
And we can't forget the Easy Embroidery Project I made here.  And the Even easier Yarn Wreath I made here.
Now I just need to get started on some more crafts and school work...yippee!

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