Friday, November 13, 2015

6 Inspiring Fall DIYs

DIY Craft Pumpkin Ideas
Homemade Apple Sauce Recipe
Harvest Napkin Rings
Burlap "Give Thanks" Banner
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe
Harvest Inspired Tabelscape

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Veteran's Day Tribute

Today is an amazing day. We recognize the sacrifice and risk taken by those who have fought for us, for our freedom, for our comfortable lives. I’m sure all of us have someone in our family that is either currently serving or has served. I find it incredible that so many in our nation take such pride in defending what we believe in.

And I am SO thankful for it.

My grandfather, Charlie, served in WWII in the Marines. He never spoke of it to me or my siblings.
We only knew he had seen things during that time that he didn’t want us to know about. Even after the war ended, after his service concluded, he was still fighting for us, keeping those terrible memories to himself to protect our tiny na├»ve minds from the horrors he witnessed while defending our country and helping to give us a good, happy, care-free life.  
One of my fondest memories of my grandfather, Pops, was how every time I'd see him I'd sing "Jesus Loves Me" to him and he'd give me a quarter. Then there was the Lava Monster game. My grandparents had this horrid mauve carpet (because it was the 80s and that was the thing, I guess)... but my brothers and cousins and I would pretend it was lava and lay a path of cushions down. The goal was to get through the living room without touching the lava... if you did, the lava monster (Pops) would grab you and tickle you until you peed yourself.

Then there were the trips to Myrtle Beach every year... Pops would put me on his shoulders and wade into the deep water, making sure the waves never crashed over my head.  And the trips to Disney when the exhaustion would get the best of me and Pops would carry me for hours through the park.

I never saw Pops as a soldier, but I always saw him as my protector. And even now, though he's not with us anymore, I know he's still my guardian angel.  

Find a vet… someone you know or don’t… and try to imagine the things they’ve experienced in order to preserve our amazing lives… then tell them “Thanks”. 

They deserve it more than you’ll ever know.

Happy Veteran's Day!

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Kiss Me I'm A Vet" Sticker + FREE DOWNLOAD

Veteran's Day, to me, is one of the most underrated, under-recognized, under celebrated holidays in the US.  We so often fail to see the sacrifices that so many have made so we can live our amazing lives.

I designed these stickers so the people that deserve to be recognized and deserve the honor they've earned by their sacrifice can be given the proper thanks on Veteran's Day.  You can either use this with your Cricut or simply print it on sticker paper and cut it out yourself.  So easy.  Just download my image here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Autumn Pumpkin Vase Flower Arrangement

I know I'm not alone in this, but I MUST have fresh flowers in my living space on a regular basis.  I don't know what it is, but they just make me so happy.  This bouquet from Pro-Flowers is the epitome of fall gorgeousness to me.  The colors are absolutely breath taking!   You can browse all of their fall bouquets here. I thought they would like even more stunning in a spur of the moment vase made from a craft pumpkin.  Honestly, one of the easiest DIY vases ever!  All you have to do is cut a hole in the top and depending on the size of your pumpkin, add a glass or vase or jar to hold the flowers.  Easy peasy!

That's my parents' dog, Bear.  He's only a year old and is the size of a small moose.  He desperately wanted to be in the photos!

Can we talk about the absolute perfection of my mom's styling skills of this area of her kitchen?

The best part of this pumpkin vase is that it won't rot.  You can leave it out all season long and store it until the following autumn.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Michaels Makers Dream Tree Challenge 2015

It's that time of year again!  Nope, not Halloween.  Nope, not Thanksgiving.  It's time for the annual Dream Tree Challenge with Michaels!  **cue applause**

Last year, my tree was dripping with faux taxidermy and tartan plaid.  I adored it!  This year, I'm sticking with the rustic theme, but I wanted something more natural, more earthy this time.  I thought, "If I lived in the middle of the woods and had no access to a store, how would my tree look?"  

Well, this is what I came up... and let me tell you, this is the first time ever a tree I've decorated has given me goosebumps.  I decided to put this up at my brother and sis-in-law's new house.  The kiddos helped and it was such a blast.  I know they will enjoy having the tree up for a few months.

For the tree skirt we went with mother earth's natural ground cover and used moss.  I love love love the way it looks!  For the topper, I used leaves and feathers.  

Everything on this tree was bought at Michaels.  (except for the pine cones, which were bought at an estate sale.)

Most everything is found in the floral section.  Browse it HERE!
And in case you don't have a tree and need one, you can get free shipping at Michaels!  Go here...

I really hope you find some inspiration here for your own tree.  If you need some extra, check out the 49 other AMAZING Michaels Makers for some more awesome ideas.  Merry Christmas my friends!

Of course, it's Halloween weekend, so a nephew dressed as a puppy just HAD to photobomb the tree.  That's okay.  I think he makes it look even more awesome!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

DIY Leather & Metal Housewarming Gift

Hi lovelies!  I don't know what it is, but I am so motivated to get creative stuff done lately.  I feel like I have been in a perpetual rut for the past year, but, now it's finally lifting.  The clouds are parting, the skies are clearing... and all is well in the world.

I might be old fashioned, but I love giving housewarming gifts and hostess gifts.  I'm trying to do this thing where I celebrate even the smallest things in life.  Even if it's just someone moving into a new apartment or a friend having me over for dinner.  These are all the things that make life so amazing, so why not acknowledge the happy moments with a little gift?

This idea was inspired by my good friend, Sarah.  We stopped by Michaels during lunch one day and she saw these little test tubes with corks in the fun little bins by the registers and told me her idea.  I immediately asked if I could poach it and share it with you guys.  I came up with the leather wrap and metal tag, though.  The tag idea came about when Martha Stewart asked if I'd like to try out their new metal stamping kit and sheets of metal.  Of course, I said, "HECK YES".  

First I have to say that the sheets of metal in the pack are GORGEOUS.  There's a copper hue, gold hue, then a rubbed bronze kinda hue.  All absolutely stunning.

Secondly, although the idea of this metal stamping is pretty awesome, I felt it difficult to execute well.  I did not have the "rubber stamping mat" they instruct you to use the tool with, so I improvised and used a towel.  It worked... kinda.  I had to go over the letter with the end of tweezers to really get the detail to show.  I'm going to get the rubber mat eventually and see if the stamp works any better.

So now onto the little gift.  You need a bunch of spices, EVOO, one of those nifty little corked test tubes that you can get at Michaels, and a small bottle with a cork also from Michaels.  You will also need a piece of leather and some leather cording.  Again, both found at Michaels.

Layer and mix the spices into the test tube and then cork.  Fill the bottle with EVOO and set aside.
I found this pre-cut, pre-shaped piece of leather and cut slits in it as shown below. 
The slits on the short ends are what you will slide the test tube and the bottle.  The tiny slits on the long slides will be wear you lace the leather cording.

Below, you can see how the glass items slide into the slits in the leather.  Cut an extra long piece of leather cording to lace into the tiny holes and then wrap around the entire package and finally tying.  Take a smaller piece of leather cord and tie your tag on.

TA-DA!  A super adorable, minimal, rustic looking housewarming gift that will be just as delicious as it is cute!

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
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