Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Makeover...

 She wasn't an attractive ottoman but she had a good personality and sturdy legs...
This is about as much of a "before" photo as I have.
This was once a very nice upholstered ottoman. My mom handed it down to us and my husband used it in his office/man cave for a while.  She was old and a little worn.  We put her in the basement and somehow she never made it to Goodwill. 
Thank goodness. 
I gave her a second look a while back and dragged her upstairs. I gave her a good vacuuming and then I lifted her skirt and cut it right off. 
I primed her sturdy legs.

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Then I made a little slip cover out of a washed and tumbled canvas drop cloth. 

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(** Disclaimer:  I have said many times before that I am not a seamstress in any shape or fashion.  I'm sure there are many better ways to go about this but I just drape, pin, sew and trim off the excess. It works for us. )

This decision to revamp the stool  was made about 10 p.m. one night so the pictures are a bit dark and grainy. But if I didn't have an iphone I'm not sure I'd ever remember to snap pictures along the way.

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Everyone has turquoise zebra print upholstery fabric hanging around their house in case they decide to redo an ottoman at 10 p.m. after all fabric stores close, right? 
Well, that's how it went down at our house.

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Using the same drape, pin,sew, trim technique as the dropcloth dust cover
I made a turquoise zebra print cover for the ottoman.

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After I made sure all of the sewing did, in fact, fit I gave her sturdy little legs a coat of
 Sherwin Williams Spa that was still hanging around from the turquoise ombre chairs we painted 
( You may have seen their progress on Instagram)

And here she is all cute and zebra-y and turquoise in College Girls townhouse.
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We love her new look and she is a super useful addition.

And,total cost??
I had everything on hand and if I had needed to buy fabric it would have been 
less than $10.00 with a coupon at Hobby Lobby 
or at the fabric store in CG's college town. 
Their prices are amazing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I love Flipagram. I'm a little obsessed. 
This may not be a good thing. Not because Flipagram is a bad thing but because I really don't have much to put into a Flipagram and that hasn't stopped me. 
Not one bit. 
I'm scrolling through pictures just hoping to find something worth Flipagramming
 ( New word. Might end up being the word they add to the dictionary next year. 
This year it was "selfies.")
 I'm a much bigger fan of Flipagram than selfies. Just saying.

You will see this in it.

It is just random pictures of past projects 
tied together by a song about color.
Choosing the music is another fun aspect of the FG process. 
I'm not one of those people who knows the song title and artist of songs,  any song really. 
Even if I hear it a kajillion times. But with FG you can enter the title, artist or just a topic and a bunch of songs pop up. 
Then you can listen to a quick preview of the song before you choose it. 
Very fun and entertaining.

 Photo: Adding in some Sherwin Williams Anjou Pear mixed with white for shading. Leftover paint is being put to good use- I have a bunch of those SW samples to use. I just like the consistency of this house paint :)
The idea behind this one was to FG  the process of this painting step-by-step. 
Excellent idea in theory. 
I think this could really work if you decided before pictures were taken 
and documented it more carefully. 
I decided after the fact and just had to use what I had. (Again I say, not having anything spectacular to FG has not stopped me.)
The song is good though :)

I actually made my first FG in January - right after the first- and it was The Year In Review for College Girl and it was cute. 
I chose about 80 photos and found the perfect song and it is really fun to watch. 

I think that FG could be used for a school project of some sort. It's like  quick power point with music. I think a book review could possibly be done with FG. Or a science project. 
I think it could be a very creative way to present information if your child has a very savvy teacher.

Well, anyway, I am a huge fan of Flipgram. Try it - you'll like it.
 But be warned, it is addicting and you can definitely get sucked in and lose track of time. 
Post them on IG - everyone loves to check them out!! 
Have fun.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Family Portraits (Sort Of) For Sale!!!

  Mollie and I are going on a mission trip to Honduras in a couple of months. We are going to build chimneys, latrines, put flooring in dirt/clay huts and play with the children in the villages we visit. We are incredibly excited. 

We are very, very behind on our fundraising so we are trying out a type of fundraiser we have seen work for others on blogs and FB.

We are offering a family portrait painting - sort of. 

We are painting these 8 x 10 inch nest paintings. You can choose how many eggs you would like in your nest - the number in your family, number of children, two eggs for a wedding or engagement gift, perfect for grandmothers or moms with eggs representing each child or grandchild. We are asking for at least a $25.00 contribution per painting. That includes delivery or shipping (in the US). 

If you would like a larger painting we are open to that as well. We have payment deadlines coming up so please let us know if you would like to support our mission trip. If you feel comfortable sharing this on your own page with your friends that would be great!! The more paintings we get to make the closer we are to getting to Honduras. 
If you have questions feel free to message me.

We hope this will be a great way to share our trip to Honduras with others and to share a little art as well.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When Life Gives You Snow...

... Stay warm and make stuff!!!

What else can you do?? Here in Atlanta we are not prepared for snow and ice in a way that allows us to go on with school and work, etc. So we just have to go with the flow snow and hunker down at home. Sometimes I clean or organize and I can always still work (thank you for the fact that we have power and therefore, internet) 
but I always see these snow days as bonus "art time!!" 

So I thought that you might like to see a recap of some past snowy art projects and maybe get inspired to be creative if you are stuck at home for yet another snow day!!

This guy is my most pinned project ever. It is crazy - thousands and thousands of repins. He was the result of the passing thought, " I need a simple, inexpensive snowman project using stuff I have and that has a purpose in the classroom besides cuteness!!"  Snowman in a Baggie was born and he has made everyone he meets happy. He has also sparked many other baggie projects that I now do. That could be a post on its own!!

You probably have this stuff hanging around right now!

And sparkly Snow Guys.

All you need is paper plates, a baggie and "stuff" you have laying around!! 
You can really get creative with this one.

You can create a larger version of these fun puppets using paint sticks, different sizes of paper plates or paper circles or larger lids like those from coffee cans and sour cream containers!!

Another snowguy project that has been pinned a zillion times. 
A little more involved but he can hang around all Winter
 to keep you company on snow days!!

You can keep yourself the kiddos entertained for hours with this concotion!!

That's where you'll find this guy:

Photo: Word on the street is that Mr. Snowguy is expecting company. In the form of "flaky" friends!!   We are expecting another "snow event" I the ATL. I hope it's less eventful than the last one!!! #illbehomebythefireifyouneedme
 and this project - super cute and fun to do with the kiddos on a cold, Winter day:

And if you are someplace warm or really just over 
the snowy, Winter thing how about this guy??


Photo: Adding in some Sherwin Williams Anjou Pear mixed with white for shading. Leftover paint is being put to good use- I have a bunch of those SW samples to use. I just like the consistency of this house paint :) 

or on my Instagram.  I am constantly on IG. Obsessed.

If you are cooped up on a snowy day then I hope these pictures and links inspire you. And if you are somewhere warm and sunny... well, then, I'm just jealous!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Well, Hello.

Well, hello. Happy New Year. Yes, I know it is almost the end of January. 
I have not posted since December 14th. I feel bad about that because a LOT has been going on and I have some great (I think) stuff to blog about but I'm so busy with all of it that I  just haven't posted. Plus, I have had some blogger/computer issues that are 
so frustrating that I have to just walk away. 
So. No posts in over a month.
And no pictures on this post. ** See above comment  about computer issues. 
When I win the lottery I'm getting myself a Mac. Period. I never thought I would desire certain technology so much but I just do.
**And about the winning the lottery comment. 
Any time I say that College Girl always says, " Right. We'll never see any of the lottery winnings because mom will be in Haiti feeding children within 24 hours." True. But I will stop and get Macs so we can all communicate while I am cooking in Haiti. 
That would be so much fun.
Also. It has been years - really- since I have bought a lottery ticket so really this is all hot air.
But, fess up, do you ever think about what you would do if you won the lottery?? 
I actually knew some people who won the lottery years ago. They were clients at a job I had right out of college. It was crazy. They won a boatload of money.
I might buy a boat. Just sayin'.
OK, back to reality.
I haven't blogged BUT I have been on the mollie's mom FB page
and on instagram like crazy. That's where you can see what I've been up to.
I have to say that I love Instagram. 
It is right up my alley- lots of images and not much opinion!!
It's a "quick fix' in the social media world. I am following quite a few Australian bloggers on IG and I absolutely love their beachy style and the fact that I can have Summer vicariously right now via Australian bloggers. I'll take warm, summery posts any way I can get them. I'm over the term Polar Vortex. Completely.
So check out Instagram and the FB page and I'll try to get some posts up soon. I'm off to teach at conferences all weekend so I'm thinking it will be after that before I try to get something on the ol' blog- computer permitting. 
Still scrolling down and thinking surely this isn't a pictureless post?? 
That's against all the rules and codes of blogging. 
 But in the picture department- nada. 
Go to the above mentioned IG and FB posts and you will see some colorful posts and a cute snowguy or two.
And here's a teaser... just like on TV... CG moved- again. Uh huh.
 So we have more new apartment/budget decorating posts and pics in our future. Oy.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Little Manger Scene for Everyone

A few weeks ago at 
our Starry Night event at church
we used baby in a manger centerpieces and I wanted all of the children 
who attended to have their very own baby in a manger as well. 
Remember the budget was non-existent 
so cue the craft supplies hanging around at church or that were free.
In the "free" department I always like TP roll projects :)

I had my youth helpers cut the TP rolls in half lengthwise. We used a short piece of wire to hot glue a small wooden star to the TP roll "manger" I bought a huge bag of thin, small wooden stars at Hobby Lobby and spray painted them with paint I had. The starts were $2.97 for a zillion stars. I have more than half left for another day.This prep was done in advance since hot glue was needed.

Then they cut a bunch of short pieces of raffia from an old bundle that was in the closet. 
Everyone has some raffia hanging around :)

An old white sheet that I have been using for projects for literally years was torn into strips about 3/4 of an inch by about a foot.
 It doesn't need to be exact and tearing looks great - no need to cut.

I bought this bag of little clothespins for $1.97 when wooden items were 40% off at HL. 
Then we let the children glue some "hay' in the bottom of the TP roll manger with a star. They made two little Sharpie dots for eyes on the clothespin and then "swaddled" the clothes pin with the torn sheet.
 It doesn't matter how they go about wrapping up the baby - it works every time.

They were so cute and they loved carrying around their little baby in the manger and the parents thought they were adorable. It was a quick and easy craft with low cost, small amount of prep and every age child could accomplish it!

I have been getting hang out with some 6th graders at a neighboring church once a month.
Their director invited me to come "make art' with them once a month. It is a ton of fun and she gives me a lot of freedom in choosing the projects to go with the verses or stories that are a part of their lessons.

They have a big, creative space and they are NOT afraid to get messy!! My kind of peeps. And, my friend has paid interns who will help set up and clean up whatever messy project I come up with!!! That's a bonus! 
Right before Thanksgiving we got a head start on the Advent season and made these ornaments from my favorite, Crayola Model Magic air dry clay.
They always turn out perfectly. 
This project is great for all ages and they can make several so they can give some as gifts!!
We challenged them to take one of their ornaments and give it to someone they don't normally give gifts to - even a stranger in a random act of kindness and bring a smile to someone's face. You never know when someone's day might be changed by even that small gesture. I can't wait to meet with them in January and see who followed through. That's kind of a tough assignment for a sixth grader.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baby In the Manger

We had a very fun family event at church last Friday night. It was planned to kick off our Advent season. We were about a  week early but the way Thanksgiving hit we had to schedule this way and it was really perfect. Everyone was relaxed and not rushed because we weren't in the busy December season where everyone has 2 or 3 events every weekend night.
The event was called "Starry Night" and we served dinner so we needed centerpieces to go with the theme for each table and the budget was small - really small. Like $0.00 :)
So I scrounged around at home and this is what I came up with.
I had some large wooden balls and large jumbo craft sticks. I painted cute little faces on the balls and glued them to one end of the craft stick (which I broke in half)

Then I tore long strips of white sheeting that I had on hand.
 The strips were about an inch wide and about 30 inches long. 

I put a dab of hot glue on the top of the poor baby's head and glued the strip of fabric down. Then I just started wrapping the baby's head and body 
until it looked like a little baby all "swaddled" up!

And there you have the cutest little baby all wrapped up!

I went out in the yard and grabbed some 6 inch clay pots I had stacked up. I soaked them in Clorox water in the sink and washed them out very well. They were going on tables where we would eat so I didn't want some creature to come crawling out :)
I stuffed a couple of plastic Publix bags in the pots after they were dry.

Then I snipped a bundle of raffia into strips and
 filled my clay pot (manger) with the raffia (hay.)

Then I printed the verse that was our theme for the event onto some gold chevron scrapbook paper. I punched two holes and threaded it onto a skewer. This made a cute banner that I stuck in the pot and secured with a dab of hot glue.

 I glued the baby in the manger and 
then I repeated it until all the centerpieces were finished. 
I tied some scraps of ribbon on each skewer and when we got them placed on the tables I tied a star shaped gold helium balloon to each skewer. I didn't  take a picture of all of them on the tables but it was the perfect centerpiece - the baby in a manger was nice and low and then the bobbing gold star balloon was up high and out of the way of conversation around the tables. They were festive, the children loved them, they were perfect for our theme and I didn't have to buy a single thing other than the gold star balloons at the Dollar Tree!

And because the theme for our Advent Kick-Off was appropriately stars, we had a huge inflatable planetarium in our gym. This thing was awesome and can seat 60 people inside. Our families loved it - the tickets were $5.00 and 
benefited our Youth International Mission Trip 2014.

It was a fun and exciting Starry Night!