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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life means so much.

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
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So nobody's rich, nobody's poor
We get 24 hours each
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So how are you gonna spend?
Will you invest or squander?
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Try to get ahead?
Or help someone who's under?
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Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
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Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
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Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much.

- Chris Rice

All it took for me to appreciate the gift of life I've been so graciously given was to watch these two kiddos and their puppy for a little while. They don't stress about their schedule or a mile-high to-do list. They just live in the moment and find joy in the littlest things... a fistful of grass, the invitation of a sunny afternoon, a dripping popsicle. What a lesson.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Scenes from the weekend.

A few little snippets of my weekend that made it wonderful... 

Shawn's famous smoothies. We have them almost every day, but they taste especially delicious on a slow Saturday morning.
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Found these letters and drooled. A lot. Then I saw they were $95 each. Still love them, though. :)
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Antiquing in Franklin, and found an old mantel mirror that I adored. Again, a little out of our price range, but it's fun to dream. :)
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Thought of you, Kirra. (Mainly how you need to come visit me, pronto!)
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Saw a tractor (or 3) in the rearview mirror. Pretty normal in our neighborhood.
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Added little fall touches to our home on a blustery afternoon. I cannot. wait. for. FALL.
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Watched my sweet husband take a Sunday afternoon nap. I love him.
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Hope you had a delightful weekend!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

One more DIY and an announcement.

So I hinted at one more do-it-yourself project to round out the week, but instead of finishing the post, I opted for a sushi date with Shawn. Sorry, friends! So here is the last DIY post for a little while, though I'm sure not the last one ever. I'm constantly creating, whether or not I post the instructions on the blog. But it's been so fun reading your comments and seeing new faces around here this week!

That said, let's make a couple cake plates, shall we? :)

This is one of the easiest projects out there, and just takes a little searching in a thrift shop to find the right supplies. The only other supply you'll need is super glue made specifically for glass, found at any craft or hardware store.

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You'll need a base for your cake stand, of course. I found these for a dollar each at a thrift store. One is originally a sundae dish and the other a candle holder.
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You'll also need a plate for your cake stand. These were thrift store and (very on sale) Anthropologie finds.
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Follow the instructions on whatever glue you're using. For this kind, it says to apply sparingly to one surface, place it on top of the other surface, and hold down for 30 seconds. You should probably wait several hours before moving it, just to be safe.
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After a few hours, flip it over and you've got yourself a cake stand! With the glue I used, it's even dishwasher safe!
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Wouldn't these make the most adorable gift? Bring over a plate of cookies and say, "Oh, by the way, I made the cake stand for you too." I think most people would love that.

Also, an important announcement:

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My dear friend, Kirra, has opened an online antique shop aptly named Lovies! She's also started a separate blog for it and is hosting a giveaway to kick things off. Make sure you check out the giveaway as well as the adorable shop. So excited for her!

Happy Sunday, friends!

Friday, August 27, 2010

DIY Week: Paper garland

So this is one of those projects that seems too easy to even post instructions, but hopefully it will inspire you!

I've made two types of garland or "bunting" that could be used for celebrations or just as everyday home decor (I'll probably use mine as both).

First, I wanted some garland out of old sheet music. My mom gave me a large stack of it, and I've been using it for tons of projects.

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This little paper cutting contraption was a very good $8 investment (on sale at Michael's). While you could cut out these circles by hand, it would take a looong time. This tool makes it so easy - and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes at any craft store.

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I cut out a stack of them - really as many as you want for whatever length you want the garland to be.
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Then I just placed them one by one under my sewing machine needle and sewed them just like I would sew fabric. I sewed approximately through the middle of these, leaving a little space in between each one.

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If you want a more colorful garland, you can do the same thing with different kinds of scrapbook paper.
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The only problem with most scrapbook paper is that it usually has one color side and the other side is white. Because I didn't want the garland twisting over to the white side when hung, I decided to fold these little guys in half.
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I then just sewed them along the flat side, all pointing in one direction, and ended up with this:

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Because this is the last day of "DIY Week" I maaay just be posting one more project before the day is over. This has been fun!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

DIY Week: Make your own personalized poster.

I've been seeing lots of art recently that revolves around words and cities. I love it. Here are a couple examples:

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I decided I wanted to make one for Chicago, but a little more personal than just the famous landmarks.

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I started out by finding a frame in my craft closet that I wanted to use. It was 12"x 16", so I went to Photoshop and created a blank document with those same dimensions. To give it a polished look without having to add a matte, I gave it a thick white border, then made a rectangle in blue. Then I listed lots of favorite spots in Chicago - some famous ones, others that are just more personal. Yep, Argo and Grand Lux made it to the list, along with the address of our first apartment. Not things you'd see on any Chicago list which is what I love.

The cool thing is, I really don't think it's necessary to have Photoshop to do this project. If you have a color printer, you could do something like this in a Word document.

Next, I translated it into a PDF file, put it on a zip drive, and had it printed at FedEx Office in a 12" by 16" size. It only cost $1.94!

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Finally, I trimmed the edges and framed it.

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The colors are hard to see, but here's the original file (and what it looks like in person):

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I think I'm going to have to do one for Nashville soon... :)

DIY Week: Beachy bulletin board.

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So this is one of those projects that involved a lot of trial and error. Sometimes that's just the case when you're trying to invent something from scratch with no manual. What I intended as a chunky, beach-style picture frame ended up as a bulletin board. But hey, I learned a lot along the way!

I started out with a square piece of plywood. Did you know that if you buy a large piece of plywood at Lowe's they'll cut it for you for 25 cents per cut? How helpful is that!

I ended up with 4 16x16" pieces of plywood and a little left over that will be perfect for another sign one of these days.
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First I sanded the edges just a little, then primed it using a spray paint primer. And because it was already white, I just left it. No need to paint white over white.
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I then decided I wanted some stripes. I made sure the primer was dry and I taped it off into 3-inch stripes using masking tape. I then painted the stripes a light tan color.
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When I pulled off the tape, this is what I had. (I then added one more stripe to the very bottom to make it even.)
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And this is where things went downhill. Quickly.
I planned on adding a little piece of plexiglass with a picture behind it, but could not figure out for the life of me how to attach it. So I nixed that idea, and decided I'd just tape the picture with a border around it onto the wood and that just looked tacky. So I went "shopping" in my craft room and came out with an empty square frame, some twine, and a little wood flourish I bought probably 2 years ago, hoping to make something out of all of it.

I was able to attach the twine inside the empty picture frame like so:
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Then I glued the little wood piece to the top of the frame right in the middle:
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I then glued the frame right onto the wood.

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I grabbed some clothespins and pictures and I had made a bulletin board! Not at all what I had planned, but good enough. My final step was to drill a small hole in the back to hang it from a nail.

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It's now hanging in our bathroom, and I think instead of filling it with so much I may just print one large black and white picture and hang it inside.

Any other suggestions? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!