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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's All About "Peace, Love, and Happiness"

Peace, Love, and Happiness is what I strive to have in my country. This was an easy, patriotic project.

I took scrap 4x4 posts and cut them to 5, 7, and 9 inches. I painted them red, white, and blue. I got three deck post toppers and painted them gold.  My "inspiration" for the gold toppers is a flag pole. So many of them have gold toppers.
I found the center of each post top.
I drilled holes in the top.

I screwed the deck post toppers on top.
I then cut vinyl, on my Silhouette, for each post and applied it with transfer tape.   "Peace" is Tiranti Solid LET font. I used all capital letters and centered them. The dimensions were 2.6x5". 
 "Love" is in the Annoying Kettle font with the dimensions of 2.6x7". 
"Happiness" is in Too Much Paper font with the dimensions of 2.6x9"
Using scrap wood, paint leftover from other projects, and vinyl I already had, made this project about $10.  The only thing I had to buy were the deck post tops. I'm really happy with the results and like that this project will help me decorate for Memorial Day and The Fourth of July.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

A Memorial Sign

My sweet Uncle Jim died on April 6th.  He suffered with cancer the last eight months of his life. 
During his 63 years on Earth, Uncle Jim was many things.  I wanted to create something, that represented his life.  With my Aunt Esther's help, I came up with a list of words that were important to Jim's life. This was my memorial to him.

First, I chose to do the names of the most important people in his life: Jim, Esther, and William. Then, the relationships he had: husband, father, friend, brother, uncle, cousin, and son. Next, I wanted to represent the roles he had in his life:  a veteran, missionary, writer, believer, friend, and counselor. Finally, I wanted to choose the adjectives I felt described him best: gentle, caring, and kind.

Using a variety of fonts, I cut these out of vinyl, on my Silhouette. I used the negative part of the vinyl to create a stencil.  I carefully arranged the words to the board I'd prepainted navy blue.

After attaching all the vinyl to the board and rubbing it down well, I painted the words cream.  I let the paint dry completely and then removed most of the vinyl.  I decided to add a pop of color, and emphasize the red, white, and blue Memorial theme by painting some of the words red.  So, over the cream paint, I painted red.  I wanted some cream to peek out, and it did.

Here's what I had when I removed all the vinyl.

I distressed the sign with an orbital sander. This was a mistake.  The sand paper was fresh and the sander fast.  There are a couple of places that show the circular marks. I was so disappointed since this was a time consuming project and I didn't have time to redo it.  I decided it just added character (or I hoped). I then drilled holes in the top and added wire to make it easy to hang.
Here's the sign I presented to my aunt and cousin.  I think remembering all the special people we've lost in life is a special way to spend Memorial Day. I will miss my Uncle Jim. He will not be forgotten.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Winners of the Tupperware Giveaway Are....

These three people are the lucky winners of 3-$20 gift certificates for Tupperware merchandise.  Contact us and we'll get you in touch with Frannie, who has sponsored this giveaway.  Remember, Frannie has a special offer for our followers.  If you order $100 of Tupperware, she will offer you free shipping and handling!  Just let her know we sent you.  Click on the button on our sidebar to go directly to Frannie's shop.


19. Ginny said...

I already follow your blog with the Google reader, which is where the RSS feed thingy goes. If not, well shoot. Thank you!

25. danakim said...

I am an email subscriber


42. Tiffany said...

I am a follower.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Patriotic Sign from A 6"x6"x14" Post

With Memorial Day coming, I wanted to decorate with a Patriotic spirit.

1. I took a 6"x6" wood pole that I found in my husband's scrap pile (14" long) and painted it navy blue.
2. Using my Silhouette, I cut "USA" using USStarsNStripes font.  I made it 5.5"x11". I cut it out of red and white vinyl.
3. I used transfer tape to place the red letters on the board.  I then covered parts of it with the white vinyl.

Here's a close up of the white vinyl over the red vinyl.

4. My husband drilled holes on top of the pole and I placed little American flags in each hole. 

Not only is this perfect for Memorial Day but we'll also have a decoration ready for the Fourth of July!
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Friday, May 27, 2011

And the NEW winner is....

We've never had this happen before.  We had a great giveaway, and the winner of the prize didn't claim it. What??? Anyway, we're trying again. The new winner of the cookies from Grace, Sugar Momma's is:

7. DebWestbury said...
I am partial to butterflies...so I love the Butterfly cookies

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Turning Blah into TaDa with a little Mod Podge

This is what I had to work with: 2 old chairs, an old table, and a TV stand.  It was beat up, scratched, ugly, and not something I'd want in my house.  I painted it all white, got out the cricut machine, grabbed pacs of scrapbooking paper, got a container of Mod Podge and a brush, and a can of Polyurethane to seal everything.  Here's what I came up with:
The two chairs.  "G" is for GraciAnn and "M" is for Mariella.

The table.

The front of the TV stand. 

One side of the TV stand (and the top).

The other side of the TV stand.

See what a little Mod Podge can do?  If you don't have a Silhouette or Cricut, you can cut shapes and still work wonders.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Monogrammed Tote

I have an inexpensive gift idea for you that will make a big impression.  Last year I made these totes as gifts for some friends.  This year, I wanted to make them for Ryan's teachers as an end of the year gift.  If you haven't noticed, I think Ryan's teachers are two very special loving ladies who took great care of my little man this year.

I'll give you the full tutorial, but first I wanted to show you the finished product with the gift I put inside. (I'll give you the clipboard tutorial another day).

Here is what you will need:

  • A tote bag (you can get these in a three pack at most craft stores)
  • Decorative ribbon for top of tote
  • Apple Barrel paint (cheapest at Walmart)- in black for small letters and matching color of ribbon
  • Textile Medium (to make it washable)
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Freezer paper (found in the plastic wrap/foil aisle of any grocery store)
  • Exacto knife
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Iron
  • Pencil to trace letters
  • Printed letters in your choice of font (I used Annabel Script 400pt for Large letter and 200pt for small letter)
  • sewing machine or needle and thread

I am going to give you the tutorial for all those of you who don't have a Silhouette, but you can easily cut your letters on freezer paper using the Silhouette as well.  Shannon has done this many times and suggests selecting "Vellum" speed 3, thickness 25.  Make sure to use a mat that has plenty of stickiness left to it.  Rub the freezer paper down well to avoid any bubbles, which could cause the paper to tear.

If you don't have a Silhouette, here is the tutorial for you!

1.  Print off your letters or any design that you want to use.  Cut a piece of freezer paper larger than the  size of your letters.  With the waxy side down, trace your letters or design.  A typical monogram is your three initials.  The first initial goes to the left, your second initial goes to the right and your last initial is the large one in the middle.

 2.  Here are all my letters ready to be cut out.  If you make the freezer paper too small don't worry, you can add more freezer paper to the shirt so that you don't get paint where it shouldn't go.

3.  Now take your exacto knife and cut out your letter.  Make sure to keep any pieces that make up the letter (see my D and L as examples-they have little portions that will need to go back in).

4.  Measure the rim of your tote bag with your ribbon and add about 3 inches to overlap the ribbon when you sew it on.

5. Heat up your iron to the highest or cotton setting.  Turn off any steam settings. Iron your tote bag.  Then cut out a large piece of freezer paper that will fit the inside of your tote bag. You want this piece to cover the entire inside so that you don't have paint bleed through.  Place the freezer paper waxy side up and iron your tote again.  This will help the freezer paper to adhere to the inside.

6.  Take your ribbon and put it at the top of your tote.  You are using to help gauge where to put your letters or design.  Center the freezer paper of your large letter in the middle of the tote bag.  Iron it down making sure it is flat and without any bubbles.  Then center the freezer paper with your smaller letters to the left and right, iron down too.

7.  If you use fabric paint, then you can go ahead and paint away.  If you are using acrylic paint, you need to add textile medium according to the directions on the bottle and mix it.  This makes the acrylic paint safe to machine wash.  You can get many more uses of your acrylic paint by doing this as it is much less expensive than fabric paint.

8.  Using a foam brush for each color, paint your letters.  Make sure not to use too much paint as it might cause the freezer paper to bubble and paint to bleed underneath.  I painted the large letter to match my coordinating ribbon and the small letters in black.  I did two light coats on each letter.  You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process if you get impatient.  Just make sure that the first coat is completely dry before painting the second coat.

 9.  Peel off the freezer paper.  If you have any difficulty, use your exacto knife to get under the freezer paper.

10.  Using your sewing machine or just needle and thread, sew your ribbon to the top of the tote.  I put my seam in the back and tucked the ribbon underneath for a clean look.

Ta Da!  Finished tote bags that are personalized and special for the recipient.   Ryan's teachers loved these and the clipboard that I included inside (the tutorial is coming soon).

Freezer paper stencils are fantastic and let you make inexpensive personalized gifts.  If you have any questions, please let me know!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kale Chips Are Delicious!

Have you ever heard of Kale chips? I don't know how I learned about them.  I'm really glad I did though! They are easy to make, extremely healthy, and they taste wonderful!

This is what you need:
A Bunch of Flat Leaf Kale
Olive Oil Spray
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Wash the Kale leaves well.  Then dry them with a paper towel.

Lightly spray the front and back of each Kale leaf and place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer.

Sprinkle the leaves with salt. You can use garlic salt too.  Parmesan cheese is optional. Place the leaves in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  The edges will just start to brown.

Here are the finished chips.  They are crispy and have a very mild flavor. My girls LOVE them.  They're a great alternative to potato chips.

We hope you enjoy them!
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