Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Shower fun!

Remember me?  Yeah, I'm the one who used to blog on here often!  I wanted to show you guys a few projects that I did for my very best friend's baby shower.

The invitations

I made these diaper invitations out of plain white card stock for the diaper with a decorative safety pin and attached a tag and slipped the invitation right inside.

I don't do much paper crafting, but I really enjoy it.  The only other thing I've really done is invitations for my son's first birthday party (made out of altoid's tin), which you can see here

The Cake

This was the most intimidating part of throwing this shower.  I wanted a special cake, and I wanted to try and do it myself.  I have a big problem with seeing other people's ideas and thinking "oh that looks easy, I can do that!"  I always seem to bite off a little more than I can chew, but I think it turned out really cute, although not quite professional looking like I was hoping :-)

This was the second cake that I have ever made (you can see the first here, again my son's first birthday), I did NOT know what I was doing when I started, and it's a miracle it looks like anything at all.   Thank the Lord for an amazingly talented dessert-baking-mother-in-law who helped me make the Royal icing for the hood.  Who knew you could make an icing that would dry and turn hard?

After making this cake, which could be a blog post by itself, it was nearly a disaster a few times - (and I may have used a wallpaper smoother to smooth the icing...shhhh.) I was so worried about transporting it!  I was that driver that you honk at turning left going like 2 miles an hour until there are completley through the turn.  I will think twice before I get mad at one of these people again - they might just have a bassinet cake in their floorboard :-)

I went simple with the decor, since I had some other time consuming projects to finish.  Just some pretty pinky purple flowers in a .50 cent cup from walmart with some easter friendly pinky purple M&Ms

The Favors

I got the idea for these favors from Bower Power, who was thrown a baby shower with bulbs being the favor.  I loved that idea, and especially with a baby shower honoring baby Lily!  So of course, I had to do Lily bulbs.  I "planted" each one in a ready to plant garden thingy (I don't know much about this stuff - all I know is it cost $2 for 22 of these !) with a little pink Easter grass and wrapped it up in cellophone tied with ribbon and  a tag on each one made from left over invitation paper. The tag says

A Lily for Lily
Lily Claire Penrod
Plant this bulb on the day Lily is born

The Presents

I love opening beautifully wrapped presents.  You will never receive a gift from me in a gift bag!  The joy of unwrapping is sometimes better than the gift itself!  I saw this wrapping paper on, and decided to get some similar.  Well, I guess she shopped at Target, because I got the exact same paper.  Even put a flower on it too.  I made these flowers out of leftover yarn from the present itself.  They are super easy to make, and so cute

Can't forget a present for soon-to-be big sis! (a "sisters" frame and some pretty lip gloss in a personalized case, and by personalized I mean that I ripped of the sticker that came on it, printed her name out in pink letters and modge-podged it on there).  The letters on the gift itself is still left over invitation paper.

The present for Momma (or baby, I guess) was a blanket I crocheted with a basketweave stitch. 

I did one just like it for Levi when I was pregnant with him. 

Now, I just have to wait a few more weeks until I meet baby Lily herself!  I can't wait!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

DIY West Elm-esque Decorative Balls

I forgot where I saw this tutorial so if you know where this is from, or if it was yours - let me know so I can give credit.

I need some knick-knacks for my built-in in the dining room, but here's my problem.  I just can't buy knick knacks.  Yes, I've done it before - but usually only when staging a house, so I considered it more of an "investment" to get the house sold.  Don't get me wrong - I love knick knacks.  I walk through the aisles of Home Goods and drool.  It's one of the first things I envy in others homes.  But when it comes to forking over the cash for a ceramic dog, or in this case, "balls of string" (as my husband named them), I just can't do it.  I can't pay for something that doesn't have meaning or function or sentimental value that will just need to be dusted.  I hate the idea of spending money on something random purely to take up space. 

But that doesn't mean I won't accept a gift!  Or re do a tacky good will find, or make something from scratch.  That I can handle.

So this time, it's made from scratch.

This is so easy, and I am pleased with the result.

All you need is a few balloons, a ball of twine and some Stiffy

(make sure you have your search engine on "safe mode" when googling an image of this product)

Blow up your balloons to your desired size, then wrap them in twine.  You're just wrapping them at this point to determine how much twine you want. 

Remove the twine from one of your balloons, and put it in a ziplock baggie

(this baggie was left over from a diaper consumer research that I participated in.  If you are ever asked to participate in one of those - don't do it! Gross)

Then pour some stiffy in the bag to saturate your twine, rewrap the balloons, and hang 'em up to dry

(that poor little one on the bottom.  the balloon deflated when it was already wrapped and it didn't quite turn out right.  I was sad for it, like the runt of the litter.  He did make it into the arrangement - I didn't have the heart to throw him away, but he's toward the back.

Tip:  it may be worth it to invest in new balloons, rather than using some that has been kept in a tupperware tea pitcher at your mother in law's house dating back to at least 1985

The largest chiming in at $50! Followed by the next size at $30 and the next at $10.  My arrangement would have cost at least $75 from West Elm, but it only cost me about $8 total!  Granted theirs does look way better - mine has the same-is effect for WAY less money. 

I'm linking up to DIY day


Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Hair-brained Schemes

I'm always saying to Jarrod: "I have an idea."  And while he is usually more than supportive when it comes turning these ideas into a reality, I can tell that this four word phrase strikes fear deep into his gut.

See, the thing is - while I managed to graduate from my pretentious over-priced University - I don't always see things in reality.  I will come up with some whacky way I can renovate this into that, and convince Jarrod it will be SO easy and SO cheap i swear - my plans are sometimes bigger than our means :-)

Take my knock of PB chandelier that I posted last week.  It's a nice dainty little fixture that is perfectly proportioned to our table, and our house for that matter.

This was not the original plan.

Oh no, I had much bigger things in mind.

This is what I was going for:

Pillar candles that are sitting on a frame of sorts.  I got to thinking about how I could construct that frame.  We don't have a table saw, so I couldn't take a large piece of wood and cut the middle out, I would have to costruct the frames out of pieces of wood.

It kept me up at night thinking about how I could manage this.  It needed to be strong enough to hold 20+ glasses, so I couldn't just miter them together. 

So I finally came up with an idea and ran it past Jarrod, who, as always, thought I was brilliant (ok, I might be exaggerating a little).  He did say it would work, though.

We went to the store to get the wood for my ingenious frame thing.  The cheapest piece was $5 - and I would need 8 pieces.  That would be $40 alone, for just the wood.  Way out of our "tuba playing budget."

I would often go into Home Depot and just walk the aisles trying to think of a cheaper way to do this.  On one trip, I stumbled upon the typically empty scrap wood bin that was actually full.  I needed eight pieces of the same width wood, and the pieces that I found were pretty wide.  A lot wider than I had in mind.  But they were 50 cents.  50 CENTS!  So I took all the pieces out one by one, and laid them on the floor to find the least warped ones.  I kept having home depot men asking me if I needed help - they didn't realize I knew exactly  what I was doing.  Or so I thought.

I got the pieces home and was so proud.  I politely asked (okay, begged) Jarrod if he could make me my frame.

It started a little something like this:

Then we (he) cut the pieces to fit in the "holes," so it looked something like this. I left one piece of wood off for the picture so you could see my brilliant construction plan:

Then I spray painted it.  Used like two cans of spray paint too

I thought it looked really rough, so I thought and thought of a way I could cover hide or the cracks.  It wouldn't help much to caulk because while I did get the least warped pieces, I still ended up with some warpage.  Caulk is good, but it's not that good.

So Jarrod is actually the one who came up with putting the bead board wallpaper on it.  I was impressed, and relieved at his idea!  He's my hero.  So I went to work cutting the wall paper for this huge monstrosity

I needed help carrying this thing, that's how big and bulky it was.  But I didn't really realize that yet, because I was so focused on trying to get it to look good.  My spray paint was a disaster - and I wasted two cans on it.

Then I needed to paint the wall paper.  I couldn't use more spray paint.  I had used all but a tiny tiny bit of my cabinet paint that I had in the garage.  It had been freezing outside for at least the last week, and the lid wasn't even on - I'm talking laying beside the can of paint.  But I was not to be deterred.  We couldn't afford to purchase more paint for just this little (okay it was getting big) project.   So I got my 59 cent paintbrush out and got to work scraping as much paint as I could out of this can.  I actually got it covered, but it wasn't looking great - and after I finished painting it, I was starting to realize how large this piece actually was.

It needed molding along the outside and inside edges, which would cost more than we were wanting to spend.  I was also worried about this giant wall paper wood thing with 20 glasses on it crashing on our heads as we ate.  Not to mention the fact that it was a large as our table below, and the room isn't that big anyway.  This was a disaster.

I was mostly worried about the ceiling not being able to support the weight - and we had worked so hard on this stupid giant thing - from picking out the wood, to wasting two cans of spray paint on it, to scraping the very last of the clumped up freezing cabinet paint on it - I couldn't just let this project go. 

Don't even get me started on the fact that it took me almost two months to cover those stupid glasses up with the contact paper.  Not as easy as it looks, folks!  Literally, Jarrod made the whole frame for this giant thing in the time that it took me to cover TWO cups.  TWO!!

I hated this - it was such a good idea - and now it looked like I was going to have to throw in the towel.

There was an extra piece of scrap wood in the garage, and I brought it inside and put it on the table.  It was the perfect size, and I got to thinking: what if we just made it out of this one piece of wood?  I laid my cups on top of it, and I thought it might just work.  As much as I hated discarding that horrible huge piece that we had worked so hard on, I thought this was actually a pretty nice idea.  So I cut my wall paper and covered that one piece of wood (that we didn't even cut - just brought straight home from the store) and tried to scrape just a tiny bit more nasty clumped up frozen old paint to cover it.  I managed to cover the whole thing with paint and leave just enough for the molding.  You know, like when you're a kid (okay, 27) and you're trying to lick every last drop of the brownie mixture from the mixing bowl.

So in the end, I got my chandelier.  And it's perfect.  And if it weren't for that one piece of wood in the garage, and if it didn't turn out so well afterall, I would probably still be in bed crying about my great idea that just flopped.

I only wasted eight pieces of wood, the last of our cabinet touch up paint, 2 cans of spray paint, some wall paper, and a lot of hours of agonizing and working on this huge thing monster thing

Now any idea on what I can do with that huge giant wall paper covered scrap wood frame?

Monday, January 25, 2010

And the winners are...

Thank you to all of you who participated in the paint color party!!

The first winner, the winner of the JUMBO ACCUBRUSH kit, which includes the handle, 3 refills, paint try, and instructional DVD is:

And the follower who will receive the ACCUBRUSH Roller with 2 refills and instructional DVD is:

So ladies, contact me with your mailing address!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paint Color Party and Giveaway TODAY!!!

I'm so excited about this party, because I seriously need to do some paint color shopping for a few rooms in our house.

There are 2 ways to win the ACCUBRUSH system (the most amazing paint tool EVER in the HISTORY of paint tools!!!)

1.  Enter a link to your post with your favorite paint colors, making sure to link back to this party (this winner will receive the JUMBO accubrush set (roller, 3 refills, tray, and DVD)
2.  All of my followers will be entered as well, so if you don't have a post you can still win - or if you do have a post and are my follower you have 2 chances to win! (this winner will receive the roller, 2 refills and DVD)

MckLinky will be open all weekend, and the winners will be announced on Monday.

Here are some of my most favorite colors I've used:

Behr Pebblestone:

Behr Brushwood

Below the chair rail here is Behr's Brushwood, but above is Valspar's Swoosh

Disney's Space Dust

Restoration Hardware's Cloud

Valspar's Stonington

This is what we have currently as our main color throughout the house.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way it looks next to a crisp white.  All of our trim is just Behr plain ol' white paint with no color mixed in.  For the wall colors I always use a flat paint, and for trim a semi gloss.

In the front living room I've painted it Stonington, but the back wall has an accent wall called:

Valspar's Eiffel Tower

Valspar's Evening Eclipse:
I think this is a nice color, and I loved it while I was painting it, but it just doesn't feel right for this room, so I"ll be painting it again soon!

Sherwin William's Bittersweet Chocolate (cabinet Color)

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Monday, January 18, 2010

PB knock off candle chandelier

So, we have a large room that we've decided is a living / dining combination.  But there is only one light fixture, and it's in the middle of the room.

We had contractors give us an estimate for putting more light in, but that is going to have to wait until we have more $$$

I wanted more definition over the area, so this is what I did:

I've seen these all over candle chandeliers all over, I've seen them at Pottery Barn, Z Gallery, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, and some high end boutiques.  They always cost several hundred dollars.  As always, I thought "I could make that myself"

The problem was, while this wasn't going to cost nearly what it would in the store - it would still be expensive with all of those candles.  I mean you're still talking $4 for a small pillar candle from WALMART!  So I put my thinking cap on.

I decided to buy some glasses at Walmart.  They were $1.92 for a set of four, and I covered them in a waxy finish contact paper:  So while the candles alone would have cost at least $100, I spent only $12.   I put some tealights in the glasses, and I think they look pretty convincing as candles.

Then I got some scrap wood at Home Depot for $0.50, and covered one side in bead board wall paper. 

And painted it the same chocolate color as our cabinets

I attached (and by I, of course I mean Jarrod) moulding around the sides and put the hooks where the chains could attach

(I didn't paint the inside, because no one will see it)

I painted the trim, and then hung it by chain from the hooks we put in the ceiling:

And Ta Da!!  I put rested some of the candles on scraps of leftover trim to stagger the heights of the glasses (there are only two different sizes here)


Total Cost: $32.50
Cups: $12 (1.92 for a 4 pack at WalMart)
Contact Paper $6
Scrap wood $0.50
Trim - $7
Hardware (chain and hooks) $7

I hope to see you all back here on Friday the 22nd to share all of your favorite paint colors.

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Go see all the other great projects over at Kimba's!!

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