Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!! We hope your day was wonderful - ours certainly was!!
There's nothing like little ones to add joy to the day!

Have a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Picture Letters

We were looking for something a little different this year for our grandkids for Christmas. We have had lots of fun with them through the years and decided to make their initials with pictures of them from birth to now. I first made the letters with paper - and a pencil and ruler. Our granddaughter's first and last name start with M and our grandson's first name starts with J. We felt the J was too small, so we gave him the JM insignia that my husband uses for his business. My elf helper then took the letters and traced them onto scrap lumber and cut them out with his jig saw. (Sorry, no pictures - he's a speedy elf).

The next step was to prime them

then to paint them. I didn't intend to paint both sides, but I painted the wrong side of the JM, so I was stuck with painting both sides. If you are sure you will totally cover all the wood with pictures, you probably wouldn't need to paint, but I was pretty sure that at least my edges would be showing.

Next step was to start decoupaging (mod podge) pictures to the letters. I would recommend getting your pictures photocopied onto regular paper as I tried to use some pictures that I had extras of, but they do not decoupage easily!

After applying the pictures, add another coat of Mod Podge and then a coat of Acrylic Sealer.

We plan to put picture hangars on the back as soon as the sealer is dry. And there you have it - a "memory board". (This is not a quickie project. It required many hours of sorting through photo albums, etc. as not all our pictures are digital. And then there's the "Awww, remember that - wasn't she cute - etc.). But we are pleased with the end result.

I'm linking up with Make if for Monday at Cottage Instincts ,

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas at Knottliten Cottage

The tree. It's the smallest (and cheapest :) one we could find and it's up on the trunk, so the babies can't destroy it. I had extra fabric from the cuff of the burlap stockings my mom made us, so we cut the red, green and tan plaid fabric into strips to tie on the branches, white lights and an angel with a patchwork skirt to decorate the tree. A burlap tree skirt inside out (the other side has adorable felt ornaments that would be too much temptation for the babies).

The centerpiece. I made this in five minutes with stuff already around the house - two wine glasses from Goodwill I had in the cupboard, red tea lights I had in storage, extra trimmings from the tree and the berries from the fall front porch decor.

The front porch. This was almost free - more tree trimmings, holly cut from my neighbor's yard and a red bead garland I found at Target for $2.

Go here to see more thrifty holiday decor linked to The Shabby Nest.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

It's finally here - Thanksgiving Day! Thankfully, my husband and brother set up all these tables and chairs last night. We will not have room for a fancy centerpiece, but we will know where to sit as soon as I get all these bows attached to chairs.

But for now, I'd better get that turkey in the oven!!
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bathroom Mini Makeover

One day I walked into my guest bathroom and thought "hmmm - BORING! Not really put together". It wasn't horrible, just a little tired and mismatched looking!
So . . . .

Out came the Almond Satin (very close to Heirloom White) and the basket and the magazine rack got a new coat of paint.

I sanded the edges with my CoW (Chunk of Wood) block sander and wiped some gray stain over them.

Added some contact paper left over from another project to the magazine rack -

And made a few little changes . .

And viola - not much of a change, but enough to make it fun to go in there again!

Sorry about the lighting - I live in the Northwest - we don't have very long days!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cubicle Land

I work for the State Department of Education. You know what that means - a small cubicle with a jillion restrictions on what you can and cannot do to it. When I started four and a half years ago, I was with the Pupil Transportation Department. You know - processing the criminal histories of school bus drivers (and school volunteers - very interesting job), helping set up trainings for drivers and in general helping to make sure our students are safely transported to and from school. That lent itself to some interesting cube decor ~

I got the scrap book paper at one of our Big Lots when they were going out of business. It was 50c a package, so it cost me less than a dollar to "wallpaper" one of my walls. I started collecting school buses from second hand stores, garage sales, etc.

They made for some interesting additions (and so did those grandkid pictures!)

They became plant holders too!

And look at that view - I actually had a window seat!

About a year and a half ago, I transfered out of Pupil Transportation and into Human Resources. Now I do love this job, but the cube that came with it left a little to be desired!

Thinking that perhaps I'd better "grow up" my decor, I went to our Big Lots that was still open and got a couple rolls of shelf paper (1.00 per roll). I then got out the trusty T-pins and started "wallpapering"

Amazing what a little color and organization do for a cube. This cube is much smaller than my last one and has a big post in the middle.
I kept a few of my favorite pieces from my animal/bus theme just for fun.

Then I threw in a little "Fall".

With my snack box, and my cup of tea -- I'm all set!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pantry Door

I have had an open space with shelves that I call my pantry since we moved into this house. It always looked messy and I tried to hide it with curtains, etc. One day when my husband and I were in Lowe's looking for something else, we came across the bi-fold doors and I asked him if one of those would fit on our pantry. (A regular door would be too wide to be able to be opened.)He thought it would, we bought it and headed home to cover up this mess!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that he had installed the door the very next day while I was at work!

Now for some charm and cuteness! I've always wanted a pantry door that said "Pantry", so I printed some large letters with Word, scribbled across the back of them, taped them on the door and traced them onto the wood.

Next, I used my trusty black paint pen to outline the letters and then filled in with craft paint.

But I wanted more - I wanted something down the panels. I didn't know what I wanted, so I started looking in books, on line, etc. and finally found what struck my fancy in my old Betty Crocker Cooky Book.

I loved the little drawings at the top of each page!

Now, here's where the choices come in. You could take these to a copy store and have them enlarged and trace them on (similar to my letters), find some wall paper or decals that you loved and paste them on, decoupage something on, etc. I am fortunate to have a wonderful sister-in-law who is very artistic and she agreed to just draw them on for me freehand!! What a time saver!

Then I helped with the trusty black paint pen - she did some shading and viola!! it transformed those plain white doors. I love going to my pantry (and now I think I'm inspired to clean up the mess inside and make it cute too!! Check back in a couple weeks to see that!)

For more do-it-yourself projects visit A Soft Place to Land