Monday, June 30, 2014

Fixing Up The Side Yard With Some Birdhouses

My mom and step dad have been super creative and busy lately. She was kind enough to send me not one but two guest blogs! They came up with a unique and cute way to add a little something more to her yard. 

After a long and cold winter our side yard definitely needed some help. The first thing we did was take out the dead plants and plant new grass. 


Already, we could see a huge difference. 


But the yard still seemed to be missing something. So we gathered a collection of bird houses to hang on the fence.


There was no way to hang the bird houses as they were, so we grabbed some eye hooks and key chain rings.


My husband drilled a pilot hole in the back of each bird house, so we could easily add the eye hook.



Next, we used a basic picture frame hook and nailed it to the fence. 



Then we were easily able to hang each bird house.




We are incredibly happy with the results. The birdhouses just seem to add that extra something we were missing.



Monday, June 16, 2014

How to Make A Dinosaur Pillow

I hope you're having a fantastic week so far. I'm so excited to reintroduce you to one of my favorite people in the entire world. My good friend Carol is sharing her crafty talents with us yet again! If you missed her post the first time around you can view it here! And be sure to stop by her awesome website, here. My favorite is her fancy lady series. Also, if you scroll down on the right you'll notice a CaroDraws button, that links you directly to her site.

Hey-O! I am very honored to be able to contribute to Melissa's craft-tastic blog again. Before jumping right into things i'd just like to take a quick moment for a tip. Before tackling any project it's a great idea to research AND practice. Here is a great reason why. When I was in junior high I took a sewing class as an elective. I made a plush toy and remember it being very easy. In theory it is. However, just because I used a sewing machine a couple times (17!!) years ago doesn't mean I am by any means still proficient with a sewing machine. Initially, I was planning on making Lumpy Space princess from Adventure Time.  

For your laughing enjoyment, here is how she turned out.


Not only did I jam the sewing machine up 4 times (which my handsome fiance helped untangle me out of) but I probably couldn't have picked a trickier shape to tackle right off the bat. After I got all the laughter out of my system I took a deep breath and decided to take a step back. I chose a new project and one that I could make entirely by hand. I found a very cute design in Mollie Makes magazine by Diana Stainton (www.pygmycloud.com). Not only are a lot of my friend's kids entering their dinosaur phase, personally, i've never grown out of mine so I felt this Stegosaurus was appropriate. First I sketched out the dinosaurs body and plates and then proceeded to cut them out of green felt and a light brown felt.




A great thing about this project is the amount of leeway for personal creativity. You can make it larger for a big pillow or change the color to something more psychadelic. Next, I sewed two differently shaped white buttons on for eyeballs and a strip of black felt for the mouth. 



I used a running stitch on the mouth. Now's the time for any other details or flourishes you'd like to add on the top layer, for example, the brown scale-like stitchings shown here.



Now is the time for some extra fun stitching. I had to look around online to learn how to do a Blanket stitch and now i'm in love with it. (Google: quickest way to learn if you don't know how). You're going to use a Blanket stitch as a decorative border and as a way to attach the front of the dinosaur to the back. Once you get to the plates, the article suggested switching back to a Running stitch and then continuing with the Blanket stitch. You'll want to leave about a 4" gap to give yourself a spot to insert the stuffing. (I chose his butt area, of course). I got a nice big bag of Polyfill stuffing at Joanns on sale. Here is Clive the Stegosaur awaiting his Polyfill enhancement procedure.


After you insert the stuffing all you have to do is finish stitching him up. You'll want to do your best to keep your stitches tight and as even as you can get them to ensure his stuffing innards don't pop out. However, if they're a bit uneven it just adds to the homemade charm.....at least that's what I keep telling myself.



And he's ready for some lounging on your couch or bed or for some adventure time with your little dinosaur lover.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Make a Free Father's Day Banner

I just wanted to quickly interupt this month of awesome guest bloggers with a little father's day project. My hubby is such a great dad. He is actually the best husband and dad I could have ever wanted. He works hard, spends lots of quality time with both Jakey and myself. And definitly makes us feel loved, safe, and supported. So for Father's Day I wanted to make sure he felt loved and appreciated. I made this Father's Day banner for him out of paint chips. Oh, and did I mention this was FREE. 


I grabbed a bunch of paint samples from the store. Cut them into triangles. Punched holes into each side. And strung them onto some twine. 


Next, I printed the words HAPPY FATHER'S DAY and cut them into circles. I then glued the letters onto the paint chips. 


Although, this project was easy, it was time consuming. It did take a couple of hours, but my hubby is worth it. 


Monday, June 2, 2014

How to Create a Fun and Unique Picture Gallery Wall


I have an exciting treat for all of you...

A whole month of guest posts!!! We have some super fun guest posters returning. And I thought to kick off this fun month I'll start with my mom's beautiful gallery wall. My mom is the foundation of my creativeness and she's still coming up with awesome ideas! You can also check out my mom's previous guest post here and here!

My husband Raul and I moved from California to Ohio in 2006. It was very hard to leave our children behind but we knew that they had grown into responsible young adults. Beside all of our memories, we had many pictures throughout the years and we wanted to hang them up in our living room.  




I did not want a lot of nail holes in the walls so we decided on a multi wall hanger we had seen in a magazine. The cost was $300.00 if we ordered the product from the magazine.  My husband Raul studied the picture for about a day and decided that we could make our own wall hanging. We did however order the metal rods and individual picture hangers from the magazine. The cost $55.00. We bought a beautiful silver curtain rod on sale for $25.00. 


We used the curtain rod as the main hanger for the picture frames. We measured the wall in order to hang the curtain rod in the center of the wall. We used three heavy braces for the curtain rod since the frames are heavy. This also prevented the curtain rod from bending in half. 



We did not want different colored picture frames. Our living room wall is green so we decided on using black frames as an accent. We had some picture frames already and we bought some on sale (by one and get one for a penny). We also had fun going to thrift stores and buying picture frames and painting them black. Total cost for the picture frames and paint $20.00.  
After we hung the curtain rod up, we arranged the frames without pictures. 


We used a small level to make sure the picture frames where straight. We did this to get a feeling for what the frames might look like when the project was completed. 



 The next step was the most exciting part of the project. Raul and I went through our pictures 
and decided which ones we wanted framed. We had our own printer so we could enlarge the picture if need be. After we decided on the pictures we wanted, we put the pictures into the frames. 

Throughout the years the pictures have been changed. We can change the picture by removing the frames from their hangers and not damage the wall.



Since we have been in Ohio we had many parties with family and friends and our hanging pictures have always been a source of conversation. 
Total cost for the materials $100, memories priceless!