Category Archives: DIY

DIY Wall Art: Ballard Style

I have had a few requests for a little tutorial for our project from last month’s workshop. I am happy to oblige. We tackled a Ballard knock off version of this fabulous wall art. 

Gather your Supplies:

– 1/2″ MDF board cut into 9 12×12 squares. The Lowe’s peeps are able to cut these for you and around here the first 4 cuts are free. 

– Permanent Spray Adhesive

– 9 12×12 sheets of scrapbook paper

– 80 grit sandpaper

– Paint and brushes OR Spray paint

– Rub-n-Buff antiquing rub

– Picture hangers OR drill

The process:

Once you have your wood squares cut paint the edges with the color of your choice. Mine are painted grey in the pictures below.

THOROUGHLY coat your board with spray adhesive and line your paper up and smooooooooth

Any little areas with any paper overhanging the sides grab the sandpaper and work against the edge of the wood. Gently keep working it until you sand the overhang off. 

Use a paper towel, sponge, cotton ball, finger….whatever you like to carefully work the Rub-n-Buff on the edges. Make the outside edges the heaviest and feather inward. **In this picture I used Precious Metals which is water based. It works but I prefer the Rub-n-Buff because it is oil based and less likely to bubble the edges.**

A little bit goes a long way. Trust me. Where you put it it stays. Start on the edge and work your way in.

I used my Silhouette machine to cut graphics for this set to hang in my kitchen.
And here is the original I created for my living room…

Happy creating! I would loooove to see your pictures if you make one too!

Post Dad’s Day Craftiness

I hope all of you had a wonderful day yesterday celebrating the special dad’s in your life. I know the kids and I were super excited to spoil their daddy a bit yesterday. He is such an incredible husband and father it was pretty easy to love on him!

Earlier in the week the kids and I whipped up a little goodness for him. I psyched them up for a photo session with yours truly in the name of lovin’ on daddy and they were so for it…right up until picture taking time. Oy. Suddenly flashes of Christmas card picture taking nightmares were flooding back to me. OK…maybe it wasn’t that bad. We headed to the park for a nice background and I snapped Sam’s then Maggie’s picture. Next was Cate and she was NOT having it. It’s all about the timing people. I took baby girl home filled her belly and took her outside by herself and voila she was happy to accommodate her picture takin’ mama. Here are our results…

I picked up these letters at Hobby Lobby for about $3 each with a 40% coupon. I also purchased a frame from HL at 50% for $10. It was not quite right for the occasion in all it’s zebraness but the only one I could find with the right amount of openings just as I needed them so I made it work!

The not-so-manly zebraness…

With the help of some scrapbook paper, mod podge, and a little black paint to antique the edges we changed the whole look.

Ahhh much better…

Our fella was happy and we had a pretty fantastic day! Hope you all have a great start to your week. I have several furniture rehabs to show you this week! Stay tuned…

A Year of Date Nights

Who else out there lacks some imagination when it comes to planning date nights with your significant other. Surely I can’t be the only one?!? Maybe the kids have made our brains mush…quite possibly. Sad to say we are soooo obnoxiously practical when we do have a weekend to ourselves we generally have some crazy project we are working hard to finish (or uh hmmm refrigerator shopping…boooring and entirely too practical). 

The last date night we had was in December. I dare say it was a bit disastrous. Where do you want to go eat…noooo…where do you want to go eat?? Seriously we are adults, right? Am I still the only one? If so, stop reading now because I may just bore you to tears.

Ok, so for all of you who just might be familiar with my issue I have a fun idea to share with you! I stumbled upon an idea for a “Date of the Month Club” by Cher from Love Actually. I thought it was quite brilliant I just needed to simplify it a bit for my purposes. All the extras in her package were cute I just knew my hubby would never use that stuff and I would be wondering where I was going to put it.

Sooo…here is my version….

I printed these free blank tickets here. I came up with 12 date night ideas that I thought we would enjoy. About half of them are nights in and half are nights out. In the name of being realistic and budget friendly. Plus, I love the idea that once the kids are all tucked in the bed any night can be a date night. It is what you make of it. If you zone out in front of the TV {guilty} you may have missed an opportunity to strengthen and deepen the bond with your mate.

With my tickets printed I wrote a little preview of what each date would look like. I wrapped them up and tied them with a bow. Next, I made a flyer of sorts. I explained what the tickets were for and the benefits of being a “Date of the Month Club Member” included. Maybe a little cheesey…eh…you decide.  

Now all Jon has to do is put one ticket on each month of our calendar. 

Then I will take care of planning them out each month. I can make it as elaborate or as simple as I like. For me I like the thought of intentionally planning time with the man I love and stepping out of the dinner and movie routine.

Here are the dates I came up with…

{Bring It!} Game night in
{Dinner for Two} Candlelit dinner at home
{Relax} Spa night 
{Envelope Surprise} Day date, open an envelope to reveal you next destination
{Strike} Bowling date night
{Chef Challenge} Cook dinner together with a new recipe and then Wii face-off
{A Basket and A Blanket} Picnic…could be in the backyard, living room, park…we shall see.
{Power Outage} Date with no electronics…no TV, no phones, no lights…maybe?
{Out of Dodge} Headed out of town, where we will go nobody knows.
{Tourist Attraction} Act like tourists downtown 
{Night In} Breakfast in bed for dinner and snuggle in for a movie
{Get Dolled Up} Put on our fancy schmancy clothes and enjoy dinner and a show

Jon loved it! I am sure any guy would like a little pressure lifted from date night expectations. My thought and hope is this will spark more creativity from us both. 

Check out these links for more ideas:
The 5 Love Languages – take the test
The Dating Divas
The Art of Date Night

Before I go…our Valentine’s day stuff…

Pictures before school are too hard. If only you knew what it took to get this one. Silly kids!

A girl and her Daddy

A boy and his Mama

 Observations: Boyfriend you gotta deal with Mama’s kisses and Mama needs to visit Miss Rene bad.

Yes, and the only pictures Cate made it into were ones where her sticky little fingers were all over the camera lens. Nice.

Happy Dating!

Valentine’s {Love} Sign Tutorial

Remember this sweet little picture from the giveaway a couple weeks ago? Well, since there could only be one winner I thought I’d share a little how-to with you to create something similar for your home. It’s a super cute little thrifty project.

What you need:

Mat (could make your own mat from a cereal box or any thin cardboard)
Scrapbook paper or any image you like
Crepe paper
Hot glue

I purchased a frame with a mat from Goodwill for $3. I loved the details in the frame but to enhance them a bit more I brushed on two light coats of grey paint and once dry I lightly sanded. Much better.

I took crepe paper…left over from a birthday party no doubt…to make rosettes. 

Here is the method I used to create the rosettes…

~ Cut strip of crepe paper and fold in half lengthwise. I used varying lengths for different size rosettes.

~ Fold one end and begin to tightly roll to create center of flower

~ Once you have a good center begin twisting tail up as you turn the bud. As you twist pinch and hold with you fingers holding the bud. 

~ As you continue turning and twisting your flower will grow larger and larger. You can add a dot of hot glue as needed to keep petals in place.

~ Continue until you come to the end and finally glue the tail to the back of your rosette.
Glue the rosettes to your mat. Squish them all together…there are a whole lot of rosie roses on there!

I added some scattered pearls in the rosettes for more texture.

I took the original art work from the frame and used a spray adhesive to glue the “LOVE” scrapbook paper to it. Next I took some scrap paper and cut a few triangles and scrap ribbon to create the pennant banner. I glued the pennant banner down and put my frame back together.

While this one is likely a one of a kind it would be so easy to create something similar with the same elements.

Happy Creating!

Stainless Steel Cleaning Recipe

My refrigerator FINALLY bit the dust. Seriously that thing was as old as the hills. I have been wanting to replace it for-EVER but I always had 42 other things that seemed more important. Alas the time had come to say goodbye to the dinosaur and hello sleek and shiny stainless steel! While I do love all that sleekness it does like to grab hold of all those messy little fingers that are always touching it.

In my efforts to keep my house sparkly at all…uhh I mean most…most of the time…yea that’s it. I do not care for those messy prints everywhere. Not so sleek. 

I found a remedy that I thought was worthy of sharing with you all. Now I am sure you have your own trick and I would love to hear what it is but hey another trick up your sleeve never hurts, right?

What you need…

Olive oil…just use the cheap stuff
White Vinegar
3 cleaning cloths

Get it done…

  • Wipe down the whole fridge…or any SS appliance…with olive oil on you cloth.
  • Now go back and wipe it down with white vinegar using a new cloth
  • Take you third clean cloth and buff it all off. Seriously works like a charm. 

Now I haven’t tried other SS cleaners but I love that I have all this in my pantry anyway and it is chemical free.

What are your cleaning secrets?

Things are SLOOOOW in the furniture rehabin’ department this week because I have an extra guest at the house. So glad to have some unexpected company and I am just trying to soak it all up. In other news he is a picture takin’ mc-smarty pants and fortunately for me he is letting me in on some of his secrets. For you that means MUCH better pics for you to feast your eyes on. Nice! Much needed instruction. I am a hands on learner and in my quest to figure it out on my own EVERYTHING I read sounds the same….blah…blah…ba…ba…blah. Ya know?! 

Hope you are having a great week!!!

A Craft A Day …Homemade Sugar Scrub

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! It was such a sweet time with my family! Lots of precious memories to hold onto.

The kids and I actually completed this on Friday before Christmas just to add a little something extra under the tree for the ladies in our lives. Sam and Mags really got a kick out of making gifts.  I surfed blogland a bit to get some ideas of the basic ingredients and came up with these recipes. These mixes are so super easy and you may already have all that you need to whip up a batch in your kitchen. The scrub softens up dry skin so nicely!

Here are our recipes…

Almond Brown Sugar Scrub

~ 1 C Brown Sugar (3 parts)
~ 2/3 C Olive Oil (2 part)
~ 1/2 C Almonds (optional)
~ 1 tsp Almond Extract
~ 1 C Rolled Oats

Chop your almonds first. Then mix remaining ingredients together including almonds. I used my knock-off Magic Bullet to get everything blended super good. Also, I ended up adding a drizzle or two more of the olive oil to moisten the mixture a bit more. Just be careful to not get it too oily.

Peppermint Sugar Scrub
~ 2 Candy Canes
~ 1 1/2 C White Sugar (3 parts)
~ 1/2 C Olive Oil (1 part)
~ 1 tsp Mint Extract

Grind candy canes in processor or chop. Mix all ingredients together. Again, I added a bit more olive oil in the end.

*Both recipes yielded about 2 1/2 cups of sugar scrub

There are so many possibilities to play around with these sugar scrub mixes. You could use coconut oil or baby oil, different extracts or essential oils to change the scent. Lots of fun to play around with! The shelf life of these babies isn’t going to be as long as something you would buy in the store because it is preservative free sooo I am estimating a month or two for freshness.

Thankfully my awesome Mom cannot part with glass jars easily so I raided her stash to fill with scrub. I used Mod Podge and craft paper to decorate the lid and twine to tie my tag on.

Side note….my hubby totally knocked it out of the park this year for Christmas! Seriously that man has been listening! Anyway…I scored the latest Cricut…eeek! Ohhhh the possibilities! These tags would have been sooo much cuter with my fancy dancy new machine but alas my scribbly handwriting will do for now.

Wishing you all a great week as we wrap up 2011!

A Craft A Day… Imagination Station

Our craft of the day was to design a city with the use of blue painter’s tape… of course. We picked the craft room for our city so they would have a nice open space to play and they wouldn’t be under foot all day. We cleared out their crafting table and there was tons of space!

The boy and the girl helped me layout their city. Here is their genius and all the essentials of a town according to a 6 and 5 year old.

Hot Wheels + Legos + our blue city = hours of pretend play
(which also = one happy mama)
Even lil’ bit was a happy camper!

Eeek! It’s 3 days till Christmas! Are you ready yet?

Before I go…

BIG thanks to Suzy @ Saved by Suzy for featuring Sweet Memories today!

A Craft A Day… Glow in the Dark Slime!

We made glow in the dark slime! Oh my! The boy was on cloud nine with this experiment. He really gets into science projects.
If you would like to make you very own hop on over to The Idea Room. She has a great tutorial with a video that you should check out.

What you need...

Here is my peeps enjoying their squishy slimey goo…
Maggie mixing up her purple-y blob

See…all boy
I thought it might be super sticky but it isn’t. It forms fairly well when manipulating but if left on the table for awhile it sloooowly begins to flatten out so be careful where you leave it unattended. It is best left in a container when it is not being played with. It does glow in the dark too! So much fun!
Ok…if you make your very own gooey concoction you must let me know!
Have fun on this drippy dreary day in Greenville. Hmmm…what are we going to get into today???

A Craft A Day… Felt Christmas Tree

Ok here we go…the kids are home and Jon will be working a bazillion hours this week with the Christmas rush so what in the world am I going to do to keep this little people entertained? Hehe…no really we have lots of cool things on the agenda but I thought it would be absolutely crazy super fun to complete one craft a day while they are home. I always have so much on my to do list…mostly self inflicted but a lot nonetheless…so I like to make sure I have intentional quality time with my babes. It takes some planning but always…most always…proves to be a rewarding time for us together. I am a planner though, it is just my nature. So onto my planning of all the fun activities I have in store for the kiddos these next two weeks.

Day 1 – Felt Christmas Tree (thank you Pinterest)

If you aren’t a crafty person Pinterest is a fabulous resource for awesome ideas laid out step by step to complete with your children.

I found this felt Christmas tree by Natalie at Johnny In A Dress and knew it was going on the list of must do’s. I did this one first because it could potentially provide much entertainment over the days to come.

So here is our lovely tree…


3/4 yard green felt
6-8 colorful felt sheets
hot glue gun

I cut my green triangle for the tree about 29 1/2 in wide at the base and 36 in to the top. I used  felt sheets to make the ornaments. The kid’s handy dandy Ikea cups were used to trace and then cut round ornaments and then decorated them with a hot glue gun and more felt. A bright yellow star for the top and some colorful gifts for under the tree. Use double sided tape (any removeable adhesive will do) to adhere to the wall and let the kid’s go to town decorating and redecorating their tree. Easy enough!

They are having a blast with it!

December Workshop

Yes siree, it’s that time again! Our December workshop is full of some simple yet fabulous last minute gifts just before Christmas. Pssst…I won’t tell if you keep them for yourself….wink…wink. I have three projects lined up for us!

#1 Jersey Cotton Scarf ~ Soooo popular right now and fun to wear! You will have two styles to choose from. You can choose the ruffle or an infinity style scarf. These are no sew projects and super easy to create!


#2 Bird’s Nest Necklace ~ These are quite lovely. They can be personalized with your choice of color beads for your “nest.” Another simple but stunning creation!

Sarah Ortega

#3 Felt Flower Pins ~ These beauties are very versatile! You can add them to an outfit or to embellish your new jersey scarf. Go crazy with color!

Alright get those fingers ready to get reacquainted with the hot glue gun and RSVP for this fun event!

All the particulars…

When ~ Saturday, December 10th at 10:00

Where ~ Message me for details…

Payment Options ~ Class fee may be paid through Paypal to When you RSVP for event I will send out Paypal invoice. you may also drop a check in the mail or bring it by in person. Mailing address is given upon request.

*All colors will vary upon availability*

Looking forward to some crazy craftin’ girl time!