Sunday, September 29, 2013

diy { lego head }


When Mark saw this idea on Pinterest, he had to have one. 

I obliged.  He twisted my arm.  Nearly off.







It was very easy and it’s a fun “secret” place for the little man to hide his prized Lego Ninja guys. 



Red Vines Licorice container

spray primer

spray paint (mine is Rust-Oleum in Gloss Marigold)

black and white sheet vinyl



1. Clean and dry Red Vines Licorice container.

2. Prop the container (upside down) and lid over something so you can spray the outsides without the containers resting on the ground.  Spray on a coat of primer.  Follow according to instructions with two coats of gloss yellow.  Allow to dry thoroughly before handling and attempting next step.

3.  Black and white sheet vinyl adhesive can be purchased at most specialty craft stores by the foot.  I printed this image on printer paper and cut out the facial features, using them as stencils to cut out the shapes from the vinyl.  Then stuck the vinyl facial features onto the container.  Done!


It brings a nice pop of color to the dresser.  With those gray-on-brown adaptable frames, behind the white dresser… now I gotta work to get some color into this room!!  This board has a few more ideas for this room, mixed with ideas for later down the line.

Well, the boy had five days on vacation with Grandma, so this week it’s back to Homeschool!  I have a new schedule and I’m loving it.  It was nice to have the little lady to myself for a week, but now I’m ready for some structure again.  Bring it on, week! 


Saturday, September 28, 2013

diy { adaptable art frames }


Hey y’all.  I wish I was Southern.

I photographed a project today!  Can you even believe it?  I have proof.

The big boy is transitioning into his big boy room upstairs… again.  It’s a long story.  And we’re trying to pull out all the stops this time.  It might involve plumbing shelving you’ve seen on Pinterest a million times.  Yeah.  And I waver between planning some crazy custom bed and pulling up craigslist for something ready to go.  No idea where that one will end up.  But we did get a piece of the room done recently.

DIY art frames that look great and are super easy to switch out artwork whenever my (or his) heart desires!


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So here’s the lowdown…

This is the pin that inspired the DIY frames and the pin that inspired the pictures that I took of Mark’s favorite toys.


DIY adaptable artwork frames


Board(s) your desired size (mine was a 1x18x48” cut into 3 14x18” pieces)

6 clips

6 screws or nails to fit the hole in the clips

6 nail-less hanging brackets

Stain (or vinegar process)

Wax or Polyurethane if desired


1.  If you’re like me, kill two birds with one stone and have them cut your boards to size at the hardware store.  I love that option.

2.  Sand and stain your boards.  I sanded the corners for a softer look and then used a tea and vinegar process which you’ve seen all over Pinterest I’m sure.  Good directions  and photos are tricky to find… I plan to remedy that for you very soon.  You’re welcome.  I added a coat of Annie Sloan’s clear wax.  It helps bring out the wood grain and is easily wiped clean. 


3.  Mark the locations for your brackets on the back of the frame.  I think I did an inch from the top and three inches in from each side.  Hammer those little babies in.  I like this bracket because you don’t have to juggle hammer, brackets and nails while trying to keep them lined up.  The bracket itself just pounds into the board.


4.  Attach your clips.  I slipped a small black screw through one eye of the clip, and put a screw driver to it through the other eye of the clip, and was able to screw it to the board like that.  This process seemed more secure to me than gluing the clips on. 


5.  Hang your photos or artwork!!



These are pictures that I took of all Mark’s favorite toys.  I had him help me with Iron Man and Mater, and then I set up and photographed the Lego scene as a surprise.  We love how Ironman is standing alone and appears ready to take off.  They’re fun for now, and when the day comes for Mark to update them with new interests, it will be quick and easy. 


I have more to share in Mark’s room as well as Susie’s room!  I am excited to bring you more projects soon!

Blessings this week!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

diy { a pillow cover from the archives }


I have had these photos sitting in my blog photos folder for ever.  It has coincidentally been forever since I’ve blogged.  Almost three weeks.  Oh my word, where has the time gone?  Well it’s boring enough around here that I am finally pulling these photos out of the archives and making a post.  But, I will have you know, I have not been blogging because I have been doing some serious projects, so it will be my goal to photograph those and share them with you in the next couple of weeks.  Big stuff.  I’m so excited.  Now, back to the archives.

So I am not a Martha Stewart, prim and proper style seamstress. 

This pillow cover is made using a method I learned from MacGyver seamstress, Ashley Ann, which I pinned here.  Her photos taught me, hands down, the quickest method for a pillow cover.  I am married to this pillow cover making  method and I will never leave it for the rest of my life, being loyal to it and to no other for as long as we both shall live.  Seriously.

Here is  my description of the process.


cutting mat

cutting guide

rotary cutter

standard pillow case for pillow back

fabric for pillow front

pillow form (20x20 is the same height as a standard queen pillow case which makes it simple)


sewing machine and thread


Press your pillow case flat, and press the fabric for the pillow front.

Using the rotary cutter and your guide, cut your fabric for the front of the pillow.  Find the measurements by measuring width and height from seam to seam on the pillow form.  I don’t even bother adding seam allowances.  I use feather pillow forms from IKEA which settle over time, and they’re so easy to stuff in, the dimensions don’t have to be rocket science.  If that stresses you out the door, go ahead and add them in.  =)

Now trim off the seams and folded edge on the top, bottom and closed end of the pillow case (NOT the HEMMED open end).  For a 20x20 pillow form, the case is already the right height.  You want to just barely trim off the seams and folded edge so that we can reposition the hemmed edges to be an envelope closure for the back of the pillow cover.


You should now have separate front and back pieces from your pillow case, each with three raw edges and the original hemmed cuff edgea still intact.


Now we are going to use those hemmed ends of the pillow case…



First some simple calculations… So take your pillow form width… mine is 20 inches.  Add a couple inches for overlap… I added 2* so that = 22 inches.  Then divide in half = 11 inches.  *=My cover gapes a little – I recommend adding more like 4 inches for overlap.

Stack your case pieces with hemmed edges together and measure in from the hemmed edge, 11 inches in my case… and cut the two layers of the pillow case.


So in the above picture, I measured from the left hemmed edge, cutting the pillow case on the right edge of the guide at 11 inches.  There are two layers here, so each layer will make half the back of the pillow cover and they will slightly overlap.

Next, you simply lay your pillow front right-side up, then your pillow backs on top of that, right-side down (so it’s like the pillow cover is inside out), and pin around the edges.  Your pillow case hems will overlap in the center. 

In this picture mine are already sewn but you can see the layout…


Once it’s sewn together, turn it right-side out through the gap in the back.  Then slip your pillow form into half the pillow cover through the opening in the back like so…


Then pull the other side of the pillow cover back around the rest of the pillow like so…



And that’s it.


Here is the pillow on our bed, where it no longer lives.  Hey, I told you the photos were from the archives.  It’s in one of my wooden pub chairs in the living room now.  I got the flour sack at Farm Chicks in 2012.  My favorite part is the random “NRA” (National Rifle Assoc.) stamp on the bag and the hand pointing to where to open…



So what do you think?  Can you handle a simple pillow cover like this???


Friday, September 6, 2013


We just got back from vacation.  It’s okay to say that as long as it was within a week ago, right?  Because it feels like I’m catching up still.  I *just* got the laundry caught up.  Still need to mop.  Well, let’s just stop there because you don’t want my to-do list rearing it’s ugly head up in here.  It’s UG-LY.  I crossed off a whole two things today.  Baby steps.

Anyway, since we -ahem- just got back, I thought I’d share a few pics from vacation.  I’ve blogged about my parents’ house many times before.  Sorry.  We go there a lot.  We had some of the same old adventures and some new adventures this time. 

We hit the natural sandstone waterslides again…



Don’t look at my horrible chipping nail polish.  And to my friend who knows who you are: I am sorry I posted a feet picture.  I feel like this one is more illustrative than the typical feet at the pool, though, right?  No?





Apparently I had twins… one of them was held up in the womb about three years…





Mark made a rock tower…


The water channels are a ten minute walk from the road near my parents’ place.  Susie is light enough that daddy carries her so we can hike faster.  Lucky lady…


That night we took a sunset trip to the Butte.  The wheelin’ trip through the woods to the hike involved Ty, Susie and I in our little Samurai jeep, our friend and his girlfriend riding double on a dirt bike, and my son following them on his dirt bike.  We made it to the top just in time…



It was pretty, but a little spooky hiking down in the dark with the little wolf bites among us.  Then we got down to the parking area, where Mark’s dirt bike had broken down – and realized it wouldn’t be fixed there, and that for our friends to ride double in the dark with no headlight would be a disaster.  So we ended up with Ty, me, Susie, Mark, one friend AND a dirt bike – in the Samurai!  Do you know what a Samurai is?  I’ll post a picture later- it was a bit crowded!  And our friend tailgating us all the way out of the woods so he could see by our taillights.  It wasn’t the most comfortable trip.

The next day we did a local hike like normal people – in the daylight…

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See the lookout at the top of the hill in the picture above left?  It was a short, steep hike right to that lookout.


Fully functioning out house just in case you should have need of it.  Actually I believe it is for the volunteers who stay in the lookout and “look out” for fires during the dry season.


That was the closest we got to the lookout because it was covered –COVERED- in flying ants.  Swarms.  Like you have never seen before.  Ty tried to go near it and didn’t last long and I didn’t even try.  I could barely stand at the top because they were pestering us so bad. 

But it was worth a few minutes for the view.



Mark and Ty stayed at the highest rock for a while looking at the view and finding things on the map.

Then we followed the lead of a guy we saw on the logging roads, who told us where we could find fossils in abundance.  We did not have such luck as he proclaimed.  We would like to try again sometime when we have more time and see what we can find.  But we had fun finding the spot and found a couple unidentifiable specimens.


That is the Samurai.  Pretty mini. 

We got all hot and parched and headed back to cool off in the swimming hole…


I can’t stop laughing at that picture.  The purple butterfly net and the pink water shoes!  Wow.

But he did catch us some friends…


We caught Mr. Pinchy some baby fishy dinner too but he would not partake.






Such a sweet spot to chill.

While we packed up, cleaned up and got ready for the drive out to hang with some family out of town, we sent the kids to their surprise my mom had made for them…





It was loads of fun!  Started lots of conversations about Indians Native Americans and “white man.”  Is that PC?  We will start an ongoing study on the first settlers and Native Americans because the tee pee will be up for the rest of the dry season at mom’s, so we will have a couple more chances to use it and make learning memories before taking it down before the snows.

Well now you are fully caught up on our vacation happenings.  Even if I’m not caught up on house work.  :/