Tagged: DIY

Feb 14

Project No. 7 – Heart art




Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Want a super quick, super easy Valentine’s project? This is for you!

I recently got together with some girlfriends and wanted to do some kind of craft together. Since I barely had time to plan anything, this idea popped in mind. I had been eyeing this work by Ali Edwards for years always hoping to replicate it somehow. This was the perfect opportunity, so I picked up a heart punch, pulled out my paper scraps and made plenty of snacks to get us through the night.



Everybody got into and made several. It was really cool to see how the style evolved through the night. We all started off with red and pink versions but by the end, there was every color scheme imaginable. A few girls even got out the circle punches and were making art for their kids’ rooms.

Brady got me the best Valentine present EVER – a clean house!!! He hired someone to come in and clean our house and it was FABULOUS! He was worried that it wouldn’t be “romantic” but I feel like that’s exactly what it was. It lightened my load and gave me that relaxed feeling. Especially because we were having Graham’s birthday party and lots of company.

This morning, I made the kids pink heart-shaped pancakes again. My favorite part was when Lilah asked if they were pink because I put lots of love into them. Why, of course!

Hope you are having a sweet day filled with lots of love!

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Dec 31

Project No. 3 + 4


Merry Christmas everybody! We aren’t quite done with the holiday here, but we have been enjoying all the giving, eating and family time so far. I have a couple of handmade gifts to share:


For my mother-in-law, we already had her gift, but I was trying to come up with something to make here that would be personal and inexpensive. When I ran across this Polaroid magnet idea on Pinterest, it seemed perfect. My MIL has 10 grandkids so I swiped pictures of them off Facebook and got to work. I followed the tutorial and was only sorta happy with them. The chipboard that the photo was glued to soaked up all the white paint from the paint pen. And after my kids played with them a little, they were scratched and dog-earred. I went ahead and gave them to her, but wasn’t especially proud. However – they really did entertain my kids! They loved scooting them around on the fridge – arranging by age, gender family, etc.

We draw kid’s names on my hubby’s side of the family – there are 10 kids. One of my nephews we drew is 9 years old and an avid competitive swimmer. I found a good Michael Phelps quote online and turned it into some graphic art for him. Don’t worry, we still gave him a toy with it. I’m not the lames aunt ever!

When we were at my in-laws in Clay Center, there was snow on the ground!! It was my kids’ first snow experience of the season. Lilah loved making snow angels and drew faces and halos on them. Graham threw the first snowball and even screamed “Snowball fight!!!!”. Where did he learn that?!?!

One of my favorite gifts the kids got was the Little People nativity set. After they opened it, Graham shouted “this is just what I wanted!! Awesome!” and then they all three sat down and played with it for a good 15 minutes – which if forever in the attention span of a two-year-old, right?


Hope you all are having a great holiday! The hubs has been off work all week so we have had lots of family time here. We took the kids to see “Puss In Boots” tonight and it was a hit. I found myself giggling a lot and the two older kids made it threw the whole thing. Tomorrow we are celebrating the New Year and then Christmas with my family on Sunday. Cheers!

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Nov 09

Project No. 1


Remember my pledge? Welp, project number one is complete and I’m here to report substantial progress on the quilt I started as well.

With I had to take down my Halloween mantel decorations, the mantel was looking sorta bare. So I put together this super simple, quick “Fall” banner.


See – easy, right? Just cut some squares of burlap, hand lettered the FALL letters and hot-glued on some rick rack. I would like to add some sort of garland or foliage to the mantel still, but this was a quick fix.

In other fall décor news, guess which 11-month old has been dining on my decorative balls? Seriously!! What the heck?? We are constantly taking these away from him. I am being really stubborn though and keeping them on the table, hoping he’ll eventually learn that they are not toys (or food!).

And I have completed the quilt top I started. Next, I need to find a backing fabric and get it all quilted together. This part of the process always overwhelms me, so starting is the biggest step.

Last night I had bunco with the girls and came home to find that the hubby had helped the kids make me a little turkey craft. How sweet was that?! They made it out of their hands and were SUPER proud of themselves. I love those kiddos!

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Feb 20

Choo choo, Graham is two.


Our son, Graham, turned two last week. Because he is in love with trains right now, we threw him a train-themed party.
train birthday cake and table

I had this dream of buying a fabulous cake so I wouldn’t stress myself out about making/decorating a cake. But when I started price-checking cakes like I wanted, I quickly retreated. So I whipped out my trusty old cake mix boxes and got to baking. The cake didn’t turn out anything like what I wanted, but I was still happy with it. I used cookie crumbs and chocolate frosting to make a track around the perimeter for his toy trains to sit on.


I also threw together a larger train car for snacks. I used shoe boxes, covered them in brown paper grocery bags and made the wheels out of rolled up strips of black felt. One of the cars had wheels made out of some vintage coasters.

We also had some sugar cookies made by a friend of my mom – and I was so happy with them! Adorable! My favorite was the RR crossing sign and the stop light. We used these as party favors for the kids as well.
train party cookies
For low cost decorations, I made him a birthday sign out of cardboard and reused our 4th of July pennant banners. I made the sign to match the party invitation that we mailed out. He was really funny with his invitation – he carried them around the house and called them his “tards”.
train invitation
Graham absolutely loved his day. He loved all the attention and all the snacking. He was super excited for presents and told each giver “than-too” after he unwrapped. We even had a difficult time pulling him away from his new toys to blow out his candles. But once he got to it, he was thrilled to hear his birthday song and huff, puff and blow his candles out. He was so darn cute doing it that we let him do it a couple more times.

Happy second birthday, Grahamser. It’s been two sweet years – here’s to many more!

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Feb 14

One sweet day.



Lilah had her very first Valentine’s party at preschool last week. So one evening, we sat down and made valentines for all her classmates. I had seen an idea for matchbox valentines recently, so we went with that. They turned out to be an easy project and she enjoyed the process. Especially filling the boxes with the candy.

For the last few years, we have made pink heart-shaped pancakes on Valentines Day morning. So, of course, I continued the tradition today. The kids LOVE pancakes, so at least I know they will have full bellies.

Owen is barely fitting into his valentines shirt today. This boy is getting so big! He is two months old now and is in the 85% for his weight. At his check-up, the doctor called him a “tank”.

I hope you are all having a sweet day!

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Jan 26

Graham’s room.

When I was pregnant, we had the task of determining where to put our kids with the addition of the new baby. We contemplated putting the baby in with one of the older kids, moving the older kids in together or moving our oldest downstairs to her own room. In the end, we decided to keep them all separate by moving Lilah into what was once our guest/toy room downstairs.

This meant that we moved Graham into Lilah’s old room (keeping the nursery for the pending baby). Not only was it decorated for a girl, it was DISGUSTING. The walls were beyond nasty. The first thing we did was paint it and it immediately felt beautiful. The wall color didn’t change that much, we just painted it a little bit warmer gray.

We didn’t have to buy any furniture, thankfully. We are borrowing the crib from family, and we weren’t moving the dresser and play table to Lilah’s new room. The super cool “G” toy box was built by my incredibly talented brother last year for Graham’s birthday. We love it because there is no hinged lid to come crashing up and down. The two doors slide back and forth perfectly.

The license plates belonged to Brady’s grandfather and had been stashed in our garage for years. I was happy to use them – and surprised to find four that matched the colors in the room!

The growth chart was made by Graham’s aunt Casi – it was also a gift last year for his birthday. Don’t we have the most talented family??

I painted/collaged these canvases a while back for the kids’ toy room. They are modeled after these prints. The two globes were auction finds and just needed a coat of paint – they had gold hardware on them before.

And I made the “Oh, the places you’ll go” sign. I have always loved that Dr. Seuss book and with the globes below, it just made sense. You can’t tell it in these photos, but I used sheets of lined notebook paper to make the letters – they are decoupaged on. We had this huge canvas hanging in our garage that was from Brady’s college days. He and his college roommates had it hanging at their house and whenever they had a party, guest would sign it. See below for the before. You might notice my name in big red marker in the middle – that is from our early dating days :)


And the little guy has loved his room. Of course, it is always WAY messier than this. He is really into trains now, so there is constantly a layer of little train cars and tracks covering the floor. It’s a dangerous place to walk.

And we are happy with the way that we separated our kids. Lilah has been sleeping great downstairs and surprisingly, has never once questioned being so far away from us. I guess she’s too little to realize it. I’m just glad that the two older ones are sleeping all night, cause this baby boy is not!

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Oct 26

A new hope chest.


My mother’s side of the family has been working to sort thru some of my grandma’s belongings, as she is living in an assisted living home and my uncle and his wife are moving into her old house. Lucky me, I got dibs on an old chest that she had. It is a beautiful piece and still has the 1941 paperwork stapled to the inside of the lid.
As a child, I remember pulling old mementos out of it, such as her 1947 wedding dress, and straining to imagine that era. My mother always had a memory chest too, a “hope chest” as we called it. And as we grew, it was filled with little pieces of our past. Like our first pair of shoes, our baby blankets or my girl scout sash with all my hard-earned badges.

I had already started small “hope chests” for my children. So when I got my grandma’s chest, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. But it didn’t take long to decide that it would be the perfect home for all our photo albums, which were currently stashed here and there. This inspired me to develop some sort of system for organizing all these photo albums.

One night, with the hubby out of town, I went through each book and jotted down what was inside. I used the digital files on my computer to determine the date range of each album. Once I had a rough chronological order of them, I numbered them.

I used metal-rimmed tags and a circle punch to make the number labels. And I stuck them on with hot glue. Here’s to hoping they stay on!

Taking, sorting, printing and organizing pictures is a huge task! Often, I only print photos once or twice a year. Many times I have questioned why I go thru all the trouble of printing and storing them at all.

My mom always kept photo albums and I LOVED looking thru them. Especially as I got older. I can’t imagine not having those albums to share with my husband when we met. Pictures can really share so much about your past and I am hoping my children appreciate it as much as I do. We’ll see if I can maintain my system and not get too far behind with all the pictures we take…

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Mar 25

Birthdays and chocolate and cake, oh my.

Over a month ago (seriously, it’s been that long?!?!), my little guy turned one. As if that wasn’t a big enough milestone, we decided to baptize him then as well. Oh, and it was also Valentine’s Day.
Is that enough reasons to party? I think so.

Since it was Valentine’s, the theme for the party was pretty obvious. I called it the “Kind of our Hearts” party. Feeling inspired by some of the amazing desert tables going around the internet, I decided to go “all out”. (I may have also been high the day that decision was made ;)

Six glue sticks, five cake mixes, three jars of frosting and one crazy mama later:

Seriously, this was a lot of work. How do all these people pull it off? Maybe all those other mom’s out there aren’t doing it alone? I was exhausted after baking and decorating all day! Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and I loved planning and carrying out all the details, but it was a TON of work.

Like, if I still worked full time, this would have never happened.

Hell, if I still worked full time, I probably would have picked up cupcakes at Dillons and called Pizza Hut. (We also served lunch – pulled pork sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, fruits and veggies).

But anyways, enough about the work.

It all started with the invitations. These were pretty simple to make, and I had almost everything on hand already. I used an old deck of cards for them.




And more details from the party:

One of the reasons that this was time consuming was these little guys. I have a mini-bundt pan that cooks six of these at a time. I think I made like eight batches or something crazy like that – that is a lot of in-and-out of the oven, watching the timer, greasing the pan, etc, etc. BUT, aren’t they cute?!?!?

The cake stand was actually very simple (and cheap!!) and inspired by this easy tutorial.

The crown on top was originally going to be made from fondant. But, having never worked with it, I got intimidated at the last minute. This one is made from foam paper and served the purpose just as well.

For the wall art, I just used some leftover wrapping paper and taped it over the art. Be warned, this took a lot of tape and trial and error. Lots of error. (That damned thing would NOT stay up!)

Chocolate dipped pretzels. The strawberries were supposed to be dipped as well, but I ran out of energy. And chocolate.

And the birthday boy. Who loved his party, but mostly loved his cake. Which is a reminder of why, in the future, I need to just keep it simple.

Happy Birthday, Grahamsey.

All hail King G. (Which is what Brady and Lilah have nicknamed him.)

And I conclude this with a vow. A vow to never go overboard again.
At least until May. (Lilah’s birthday ;)

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Mar 20

Inspired.

Last week, my friend Lacey send me a link to an adorable tutorial for this t-shirt dress.

Normally, I scroll through tutorials, save them in my bookmark folder, imagine myself making the project, then close out of the window. End of story.
But this one was too cute. And looked so simple! So, this morning I dug through my drawer of old t-shirts and found some (more than I’d like to admit) that are too small for me now.
About an hour later:

This really was (almost) as easy as it looked. The sleeves were tricky, but on my second try, I got it all worked out. I am still intimidated by the embellishment that she did, but may get motivated some other time.
For the pattern, all I did was take one of Lilah’s dressed and trace it. The knit fabric was a little tricky to work with – I’m used to quilting fabrics. But, not too bad.


Do you have a little girl about this size? You should try it too! Very rewarding!

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Feb 08

Valentines DIY

So, with Valentine’s approaching and my son’s birthday this week, I am getting in the crafty mood. Been seeing lots of fun DIY projectsonline recently that I am putting on my “to-do” list. Wanted to share to see if any inspire you the way they have inspired me!

I actually attemped the cake stand this weekend and it was VERY simple. And inexpensive. Only needed to purchase the cardboard circles, and those were like $2 at the cake store. Also really want to get around to the little rose barrettes. I need more hours in the day!

Some of these have tutorials and some are just to give ideas. Enjoy!

1. Bakerella 2. One Charming Party 3. Kady Hope 4. Hanna Hoosier 4. Purl Bee via Twig and Thistle 5. Prudent Baby 6. Sew Mama Sew 7. Ali Edwards

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