Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pinterest & A Snow Globe

I love Pinterest. Have I mentioned that before?! Ah yes I have. {Actually, I just posted a link on my Facebook page to a Pinterest tutorial my blogger and real life friend Audreya put together....so go check it out if you are still trying to figure out with this wonderful obsession pastime is.}

One of my recent pins is this:

Aimee from It's Overflowing made these and I just fell in love. They are an Anthropologie knock-off. Wait - Anthropologie style without the price tag? Double love!

I was actually going to wait and make these next year since my project to-do list is longer than I have time to discuss. However, Ellie and I went to Dollar Tree this morning and I found those little Christmas village trees. Two trees for a buck! Plus, these are already snowy and all so I just grabbed some mason jars and stuck them inside. I didn't do any gluing or even add "snow" to the base. Since I plan to use my mason jars post Christmas, I've decided that after the holiday I'll just pop the trees out and store them until next year.

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Holiday Placemats

As I was unpacking Christmas boxes, I found one of my holiday placemats that I made several years ago. I had a couple more but after enduring a toddler, the others were retired. Anyway, it's an idea for a fun project to do as a family. I just went through holiday magazines (mainly Martha Stewart) and cut out all the images, text, and colors that I wanted to include on each placemat. I glued mine onto white craft paper and then had them laminated. In hindsight, a thicker laminate would have made mine last longer. For kids, it would be fun to give them their own magazine and let them tear out the images they want to use to make their own collage print. It would add a special touch to the dinner table, serve as a conversation piece and showcase your child's artwork. I really wish I had my other placemats to share with you all. I did a different "theme" on each mat...but this was all pre-blog :)

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I Can Teach My Child

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ikea Ektorp Sofa Review Part 1

I am so excited to share my Ikea Ektorp sofa review with y'all! Ikea doesn't have a clue who I am but I know that I would have appreciated more reviews from fellow bloggers when I was making my new home purchases. Our old couch was bought used and was close to nine or ten years old. The cushions were sinking in and it just wasn't the style I wanted for the new living room. What I wanted was this:

The PB Basic.
Unfortunately, the price was out of the question - at least $1,440.00. So I started searching for a similar slipcovered sofa to no avail. Why is this style so difficult to find?! Anyway, after searching online I found reviews for this:

Source: ikea.com via Kristen on Pinterest

The Ikea Ektorp Collection. Looks a lot like the PB Basic but the price for this one is $399. Sold! Well actually, after convincing the hubby we decided to go with the corner sofa 2 + 2.

Source: ikea.com via Kristen on Pinterest

I love the traditional sofa "look" better than a sectional but we are in a season of our lives where comfort and couch space are a must. As soon as I sat down to test it out I could envision our two sweet girls snuggled up on the couch with us watching movies :) And let me say, it is perfect for that! I really believe it is the most comfortable couch that I have ever sat on. It is cushiony but still firm.

We also purchased the matching Ektorp Bromma footstool:

Source: ikea.com via Kristen on Pinterest

I know I must seem crazy for choosing a white sofa. {Did I momentarily forget that I have two children under three??} The color is called "Blekinge White." It is very white - meaning it does show every little bit of lint, dirt, food, etc. that gets on it. Which reminds me of the not so funny story of the day we got our sofa. Ellie came walking into the living room with a full glass of orange juice and spilled it all over the top of the footstool! Fortunately, it all came out in the wash. I used a little bit of stain remover on it just in case. Nothing stays "new" around here for very long, that is for sure.

However, it has been fairly easy to "spot clean." I use a spray bottle with one tablespoon of baby wash mixed with one cup of water. Anytime I find a dirty spot, I just spray and scrub it with a cloth diaper. Like I mentioned, the slipcover is removable and can be washed and air dried. The only problem is I don't have enough space to dry all the slipcovered pieces! Something one ought to think about prior to purchasing a slipcovered sofa, huh? Putting the slipcovers back on isn't very difficult, just a bit tedious. It is worth the effort knowing that my sofa is clean and that I'm not sitting on mystery stains from many years past. We have made some changes because of the new white sofa. Like no shoes on the furniture rule...probably a good rule anyway. And we throw afghans and quilts over the sofa for our daily use. When company is coming over, I just fold up the throw blankets and enjoy our white sofa!

Here are some pics of ours. I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality. I'm decorating for Christmas now and can't get a better picture. If you read my blog much, you are used to this type of picture quality.

All in all, here are the pros:

  • Machine washable
  • Can be spot cleaned
  • Cushiony but still firm
  • Great for cuddling up with the whole family
  • Size (not too big like our last overstuffed couch and love seat)
Here are the cons:
  • Shows dirt
  • Must hang dry....and find the space to do so!
  • Maintenance is time consuming (i.e. removing slipcovers, washing/drying, putting slipcovers back on)
When it comes down to it, I LOVE my new sofa and I would purchase it all over again. White is definitely my color of choice right now and it just really brightens the whole room. I love the Pottery Barn look and feel of it...without the PB Basic price tag!  I titled this "part 1" because I plan to share with you an update after we have had several months to really enjoy the sofa and see how it holds up.

**For my follow-up review, read part 2 here

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book to pumpkin {and other festive stuff}

The holidays are in full force and we are enjoying every moment! With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I thought I would share some of the crafts I've been working on.

 I've seen lots of old books given a new life on Pinterest. After following this tutorial, I made a pumpkin. It was a little more difficult than I anticipated but I am more or less happy with the outcome. Ellie (unprompted) even pointed to it and said, "Mommy, look it's a pumpkin!" When I asked her who made it, she responded "God did!" I love that kid.

I also shared a link on my Facebook page to these Martha Stewart printables. I printed the turkey place cards on a creamy natural cardstock. I think they will add a nice and personable touch to our special meal.

If you are looking for some fun conversation starters, you can print these. I put mine in a jar, tied it with a ribbon and will be using it as part of my centerpiece. I snuck a peak at some of the questions and I think they will be fun to share over Thanksgiving and help build special memories.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday shared with those you love. May we all remember to be grateful for our abundant blessings all year long and give thanks to our Heavenly Father.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Glass Pebble Charms

 With the holiday season quickly approaching, I thought I would share an easy and fun craft that is great for gift giving. I first saw one of these glass pebble charms at an adorable boutique in Llano, Texas. (I wish I could find the name of the shop but I have searched and cannot find it.)

I bought this one for myself and decided I would need to make more for some of my close friends and family. 

Here are the supplies that you will need:
  • Glass pebbles (I found mine at Hobby Lobby but I've seen them at Walmart and other craft stores as well.)
  • Mod Podge
  • Jewelry bails (I got mine half off at Hobby Lobby. They have a good selection of various styles and sizes.)
  • Super Glue
  • Selected magazine cutout or scrapbook paper

When I made my list of gift recipients, I decided what design or letter I wanted to seek out for each person. Next I gathered some old magazines and looked for potential charms. I will say that the best typography I found was from bridal magazines. It helps to use the glass pebbles as you search and place it over the letters to make sure they are the right size - they have to be pretty small!

I traced the pebbles on the paper and cut out the desired designs. Next, I adhered them to the back side of the glass pebbles using Mod Podge. Make sure that you put your design face down so that it will show through the convex side. I added an additional coat of Mod Podge to the back of the cut out once it was adhered. 

After it dries, carefully use the superglue to position and attach the jewelry bail. And now, it is done! Easy peasy, huh? 

These are great for necklaces and charm bracelets but they might even make neat looking rings. I've even seen cute magnets made from glass pebbles. The possibilities are endless :) Have fun, be creative and make some thoughtful gifts before this holiday season gets too crazy. Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Key Art

I have been meaning to share this project with y'all for weeks but it has been crazy busy around here! We are finally starting to feel settled in the new house and, actually, we had an open house tonight with all our old and new church friends.

Pretty easy project but I'm really into "key" art or decor....whatever it is called! This was not an original idea by any means. Several years back I purchased it as an old stained wood drawer with brass keys glued  inside. As I mentally started to decorate the new house, I knew this piece was too dark and the keys were hardly visible on the dark backdrop of the wood drawer. Well that was nothing some leftover paint couldn't fix! I used a bright white latex paint that I always have on hand and then sprayed the keys with leftover Valspar spraypaint in "Mediterranean" (same color used on my lamp projects).

The keys really pop against the white drawer. I wanted to keep it looking shabby chic so I just distressed the corners with some sandpaper. Did you notice another display of hydrangeas? Love them! They are sporting an old can of beans (san beans)  spray painted in "Mediterranean." I must say that I have lots of crafts in mind for my old cans. I just cannot throw them away! Hopefully, I'll get to crafting with them soon because I'm running out of space for all my potential crafting items ;-)

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Another lamp makeover

Remember the rosette lamp makeover I did? Well I used the same spray paint on this one but no rosettes. It is a funny story actually. Well more like one of those stories that is definitely NOT funny at the time but comical after the fact. I had two of these lamps in our old living room and Chase stated that they were too outdated for the new house. So...I did what I always do when I have junk on my hands - I spray painted them! Unfortunately, in between the first and second coat, an acorn fell from a tree in the yard and broke part of the lamp base which was made of glass. I was pretty bummed about that but decided to make the most of the one lamp left. After attempting to tear apart one lampshade, I changed my mind and decided to decorate the leftover lampshade (from the broken lamp) only to discover it had been accidentally given away in our garage sale. So! Back to square one. I had seen wire lampshades covered in fabric at a local craft shop. It gave me the idea for this one in which I used strips of white fabric, lace trim and a strand of plastic pearls. I knotted them end to end, alternating fabric/lace/pearls and then wrapped them around the wire lampshade frame.

Here is the "before" picture of this lamp:

And the "after" shot:

What do you think?

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bath time shapes

Happy November! It has been a whirlwind around here with all the Halloween and fall festivities but I wanted to share a fun idea with y'all before I forget. Ellie and I frequent story time at our local library and recently received these foam shapes for her to use in the bathtub. Ellie has really enjoyed playing with them in and out of the tub; plus, they are great for practicing shapes. These would be easy and inexpensive gifts for young ones since the foam can be bought at any craft store or even Walmart. The foam sticks really well to the side of tub and when she is done playing, they don't take up much space to store until next time. Sometimes it's the simple things :)

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