March 25, 2013

Pinspired ~ Backyard Patio

What is a woman to do when she has an absolutely wonderful sized backyard that is in pitiful condition?  Renovate, renovate, renovate!  After four years in this house and only a playground out there, it is time to start putting some energy and effort into creating a peaceful space that we all can enjoy.

Pinterest to the rescue!  I've found some great ideas that have me jumping at the bit to get this project underway {still waiting for HOA approval...fingers crossed}.  My excitement is almost too hard to contain.

This amazing backyard transformation came from Apartment Therapy {here}.  When I saw it, I immediately fell in love but not just because it was exactly what I was looking for but also because of how much this looked like my own backyard!

I am so attracted to the colorfulness of this patio project.  I'll let you in on a little secret...I'm not the colorful type when it comes to decorating.  I don't know that I would have the courage to try this inside my home, but I'm daring myself to be so bold on the outside!

Pops of color in the form of patio chairs -- brilliant!  Of course my plan will be to do this as inexpensively as possible, so I'll be on the hunt at thrift stores and yard sales for gems that I can transform with a can of spray paint and some cushions.

No backyard redo is complete without lighting and a fire pit.

Now that I have all of the inspiration, time to get ready to make my dream a reality.  Stay tuned!

March 2, 2013

Year End Gift

March is here.  The arrival of this month not only means Spring is just around the corner, but it also means that I only have a couple months left of preschool before the end of the year.

Each year, I challenge myself to come up with the perfect end of the year gift for my class.  Two years ago, each one of my little friends left with a book all about their year in preschool complete with pictures of them having loads of fun.  Last year, my budget was smaller so I had to come up with something that would have meaning for each child but wouldn't break my bank.  I decided to use Pinterest and search through the hundreds of pins I have to come up with an idea and I found something that worked well and cost me roughly about $1.50 per student {score}.

Cute as a button, right??  And it was so simple to make as well.  The list of supplies needed are below:

Unfinished wood board to use as the frame
Ribbon -- thin green organza and a wider white organza
White thumb tacks
Light green acrylic paint
Gray vinyl
Mod Podge {matte}
Clear acrylic spray paint
Picture of your choice in 4x6

Step 1:
Print your picture on matte photo paper {gloss paper will not work for this}.  I found that using a laser printer works better than an inkjet; it's less likely to have the colors run or ruin the picture altogether.

Step 2:
Paint the wood with acrylic paint; let dry for at least an hour

Step 3:
Using Mod Podge, cover the entire back of the photo and place it on the wood frame.  I initially smoothed it out using my fingers but then used my crafting roller to smooth out any additional bubbles.  Let this set for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Step 4:
Once it's dry, cover the front of the picture with Mod Podge.  I covered not only the picture but the frame as well.  I used my crafting roller to smooth out any bumps and bubbles then let it dry.

Step 5:
Once the picture was dry, I spray painted it with a clear acrylic spray paint to give it a nice shine then added the white thumb tacks on the corners.

Step 6:
Time to add a little more flare.  I created the little top-knot bow using both the green and white organza ribbons and attached them to the top with hot glue.

Step 7:
Using my Silhouette, I took my gray vinyl and cut out the year and placed it on the bottom

Viola!!  A finished product that is sweet and was hopefully a beautiful keepsake for each of my families.  Now the pressure is on to figure out what I'll do for them this year.  Stay tuned...this should be good!

Where we like to party!

March 1, 2013

Feeling Flattered

It has been said that 'imitation is the best form of flattery' and I have to say that I totally agree!

Several months back I was contacted by someone who saw the pirate ship cupcake stand that I made for my friend's son and she liked it so much that she decided to create one for her son's 5th birthday.  She sent me the pictures of her completed project and not only was I impressed with the awesome job she did, I couldn't stop smiling that she liked what I created enough to take my idea and make it her own.

Her name is Janaa Anderson -- check out Logan's ship!

The detail that I absolutely love about her ship are the anchors {wish I had thought of this} -- she truly made this her own.  My hope is that her little guy was overjoyed.

Having one person use your inspiration to create their own is wonderful but having two people do it is simply amazing!  A mommy that I know from a local mom's group saw the  Preschool Valentines I did for my son and liked it so much that she chose to use it as the basis for her son's school Valentines this year.

Her name is Nekia Miller -- check out Max's Valentines!

I LOVE that she used blue.  She shared with me that her son didn't want them to look "girly" so they chose the blue paper and he was very happy with the end result.

So many times on this journey I have wanted to just quit {especially when I get into the habit of comparing myself with others...bad idea, I know} but when you learn that something you created was an inspiration to someone else, it's at that point that you realize what you do matters and has value.

Thanks so much ladies for sharing with me your creations so I can share them with my readers!

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