Sunday, November 4, 2012

Give Thanks

Sometimes you don't know what you have until you get the opportunity to see what others do not have.  I recently participated in a community service/mission project through our church called Love Loud.  Love Loud is a yearly mission project in which many projects are taken on by First Baptist Woodstock to serve the community.  Projects vary from home repairs to hair cuts and anything in between.  This project centered around a grandmother who had recently been given temporary custody of three of her grandchildren whose mother had been jailed for drug and shoplifting charges.  DEFACS would not allow the children to stay with her unless a list of items were completed in order to make her home a safe place.  You see, this grandmother's health was not good and her home had fallen into disrepair.  Along with about 100 other volunteers, we transformed this home into a safe place where hope can live, children can thrive, and a family can count on love from complete strangers who are the hands of God.  These before and after photos are just a glimpse of what the Love of the Lord can do.


Needless to say.....I have so much to be thankful for!  Often in the daily rat race of life, I forget to give Thanks to the Lord for all the small things.  My friend, D'Ann, created this very neat display in the entry to her home and I thought it was just what we needed in our home to be a daily reminder to give thanks for all we have. 
D'Ann's Foyer Display:
Since I don't have the same items to use, I couldn't just straight up copy D'Ann.  However, be assured that if I had the materials, I SO would have recreated her foyer table!  She is my creative muse, and so many of my projects begin in D'Ann's head...or collectively through our thrift, craft and antique store inspiration! :)  So I decided to make a smaller and slightly different version that I could place on my kitchen table.
This is what I came up with:
So here's what we did....print out the word 'thanks' and scribble with pencil all over the back of the word.  Lay the paper on the pumpkin and trace around the letters with a ballpoint pen.  This will leave an outline of the word on your pumpkin.  Use a sharpie marker to fill in the word.  To make the pennant banner, cut out the triangles from burlap fabric.  Print out the word 'GIVE'.  Hold up each triangle over each letter in a brightly lit window.  You will be able to see the letter through the burlap so you can trace onto the burlap with a sharpie.  Hot glue the triangles to a piece of twine.  D'Ann's pumpkin is bigger and all her lettering is bigger.  She used her great old frame to attach the GIVE part of the message and sat the pumpkin on an awesome yardsale find pedastal thing.  Since my pumpkin is sitting in the middle of the kitchen table, I devised the wood banner holder using a log from the fire log pile in the back yard and some twigs.  I had hubbie cut two hunks of wood from the log and drill a hole in each that fit the twigs I found.  In went the twigs and I just tied the twine to each.  And there you have it!  Two different ways to display a meaningful message in your home! 
I hope each of you will take time to GIVE THANKS for all the blessings you receive in life!  I know I sure have so much to be thankful for!  Thanks for reading~
Linking to some great parties!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Favs of Fall

I just love fall!  The weather is just perfect here in North Georgia right now, and I have been in the mood to add some fall touches to my home.  I try to stick mostly to fall decor that will take me all the way through Thanksgiving.  I may or may not be the absolute worst about not taking down the previous season's decor!  As I removed the moss bunnies and Easter egg topiary this weekend, I vowed to be more timely in getting that stuff put away next year.....yeah, not holding my breath!  Heck, the only reason I get the fall stuff put away is because I have to put out the Christmas decor. 

Well anyway, take a peek at some of the fall decor I've added to the homestead....
I love fresh flowers....any time of year!  This beautiful mixture of mums, sunflowers and carnations adds just the right touch in our kitchen.
The cloche got a couple of pinecones, a little fake pumpkin and some fall color berry-like things.  Sitting on the island in the kitchen is a great place to remind us of the beauty that is the fall season!
I was the lucky winner of this beauty last year in a silent auction at my school's fabulous fall festival.  The festival is coming up later this week, and I can't wait to see what I can win this year! Each class decorates a faux pumpkin and it is entered into the silent auction.  The entries are always so creative! I have the great honor and privilege to be assistant principal in the most wonderful school with a dedicated PTA!  Fall Festival is always an event we all look forward to!  This pumpkin is the center piece on the buffet in our dining room.
The dining table is set with fall colors, including these pottery soup bowls that belonged to my grandmother.  Fill it with a dollar store pumpkin, and it's instant Fall!

And saving the best for last.....this is a very crudely made wooden trough that I made this week.  I just grabbed some boards out of the hub's scrap wood box, used the jigsaw to cut it the lengths I needed, nailed it all together, beat it up a bit with a hammer, and stained it.  Hubby saw it and just shook his head.  He immediately wanted to "fix" it for me.  I told him that wasn't least until it's time to take down the fall decor!  It took like 20 bazillion hours to get this thing set just right, and it's staying right where it is for now! :o)  It is really bad long as you don't look real's just fine!
Well, that's all for now.  I'll be adding some additional decor in the coming weeks, so I am scouring all the great ideas in blogland and Pinterest! 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Monogram Madness!

Can I just say, I am obsessed with monograms!  I love a classic monogram, and I struggle with where to use them without overdoing it!  I have several monogrammed pieces of clothing, and I have one on the back windshield of my car.  I have seen these great wooden cut-out monograms on Pinterest and just decided it would be perfect for our front door!

BUT...I didn't want to pay the price I am seeing them sell for on sites like Etsy.  Not when I know I have the tools and the ability to at least give it a try myself.  So that's what I did this weekend!  And here is our door today.......

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  So, I wanted to tell you all that you can make one yourself.  If you have the correct tools, this is not hard to do.  It does take time and patience.  So, how to do it?  Here is what I did. {Warning: the photos I took were not of my original above.  I did one for one of my daughters today and took pictures since I didn't remember to do them the first time.  Just didn't want it to confuse y'all!}

1.  You need to download the font called KK Monogram to your computer.  It can be found at

2.  I used Microsoft Publisher to create the monogram.  You can create individual text boxes and move them around so that the letters touch each other.  This is important to make the monogram all one piece.  I used about a size 300/bold font for the middle letter and a bit smaller for the side letters.  The initials I used:  the C in the middle is our family name, and the smaller C and A on the sides are for my first name and hubbie's first name. When the monogram was complete, I saved it as a pdf file on a jump drive.

3.  The next step involves enlarging the monogram.  Because I am an elementary school assistant principal, I have access to bulletin board paper and a projector.  I taped the paper to a wall and shined the monogram via the projector onto the paper.  I made mine about 20 inches tall by 24 inches wide and I traced it. Here is a what it looks like....this one is a different one I am making for one of my daughters.  This may be difficult to see....but hopefully you can get the idea. :)
 4.  I went to Lowe's and purchased a piece of 1/4 inch thick smooth surface plywood.  It was $20 for the sheet and I had the nice young man at Lowe's cut it into 6 pieces that measured 24x30.  This is a blurry pic of the pieces of plywood waiting for me to make them into something pretty.  Since I can get 6 monograms out of one sheet of plywood, that's a pretty good deal!


5.  I used spray adhesive on the back of the paper and stuck it to the board.  Word of caution here...I used way too much on my first one and ended up having to sand off a lot of the paper.  The second time, I used less and it worked great!  I was able to peel off the paper from the wood once it was all cut out.

6.  Then I used a drill to drill pilot holes to have a place to insert the saw blade.  This picture shows you the paper stuck to the board, some of my pilot holes and also some of the pieces already cut out.

7.  I used a jigsaw to cut.  It was important to cut out the inside sections first so the stability of the entire piece was maintained for as long as possible. Go very slowly with the jigsaw, and do not try to turn a corner!  The blade will break, so it is important to think through how you will make your cuts. I had to stop and add more pilot holes as I went.  I just lined up the drill right beside a line so the hole would be in just the right spot for my jigsaw blade to get to the line I was wanting to cut.

8.  Once the piece was completely cut out, I sanded it using my mouse sander to get the little prickly edges off.  Then it is ready for spray painting!  This particular one I am showing you is going to be a fun turquoise blue and will go in my daughter's dorm room.  I used a cream color for our front door monogram because I wanted it to pop against the black door.
So here is the one on our front door again.  You can see I added a burplap ribbon bow and it was ready to hang! 

This one took way more time.  The one I made today for my daughter took about 2 hours, start to finish.  I suppose it is like anything else, the more you do something, the faster you go!  Good luck to you should you decide to go for it!
Linking up to some great parties!




Friday, August 31, 2012

Off to College!

This precious girl graduated from high school in May.
And we just sent her off to college.  I am always looking for a space to decorate, and her dorm room was no exception!  I had a vision for the space based on a few Pinterest photos, and I am so happy that my college girl saw and agreed with my vision.  So, welcome to University Village Suites at Kennesaw State University!  {Let me say up front....they don't make dorms like they did when I was in college!  KSU didn't have dorms until about 7-8 years ago, so these are "cadillac" dorm rooms.  She has a roommate, but each girl has her own room.  They share a kitchenette and bathroom as common areas.}

 This was so much fun....well, except that it was raining while we were hauling all this stuff into the dorm!  Luckily, we were allowed to use nails.  This made the "gallery wall" much easier to do! 

The gallery wall was inspired by Pinterest, and I began collecting thrift store items to use back in the spring.  We threw in a few other pieces, such as canvases, a great centerpiece frame from IKEA and several other clearance sale items to pull it all together.  I used several bright colors of spray paint to bring new life to the old thrift store items.  The repetition of these colors, along with the anchor color, black, made this wall a show stopper!  {And the high ceilings didn't hurt at all either.}  The curtains came from IKEA also.  We decided to hang them all the way up to the ceiling, and it really does help draw the eye upward....along with the gallery wall.  Since she is on the top floor, the ceilings are 3 feet higher than the lower floors.....worked out great to make this small space look larger!

One of the favorites for this room turned out to be this bench.  I found this at the thrift store and bargained to bring the price down to $15.  I painted the piece a nice shade of pink, added IKEA boxes to the opening and made a padded cushion with gray chevron print on top.  This is a comfy spot for visitors and the storage boxes add some great hiding places for a girl living in such a small space!

The rug is from IKEA.  While we both loved it as soon as we saw it in the store, I really struggled with purchasing it because it was a bit more than I wanted to spend.  The rug really anchors the space and adds more visual depth.  So glad we decided to get it....$80 well spent! :o)

The bedding is a hodge-podge from IKEA, Target and Pottery Barn.  We didn't want this room to look matchy-matchy.  And we didn't want it to look like a little girl lived there.  I think this combination of fabrics looks very "anthropology-ish" and very grown up.  The bed is a twin XL and Pottery Barn teen has a great line of dorm linens that were perfect!  Their sheet sets are a bit more than some other stores, but they fit perfectly and the paisley pattern worked perfectly in our big scheme for the room.  The polka dot duvet cover is from IKEA and it was not my choice.  My college girl fell in love with it, and there was no talking her out of it.  We were worried because IKEA bed linens are not made for twin XL beds, but it worked just fine.  I am very happy that she insisted on the gray and white polka dots....I really love it!  The pillows are from Target and IKEA.  We knew we wanted lots of bright colors and not matchy....the combination we ended up with really works well together!  And Puffy right in the middle of it all....just melts my heart!

And the chevron pirnt headboard was her daddy's contribution to the room. :o)  He used plywood and mdf that he had as scraps.  I covered the plywood with quilt batting and the great gray/white chevron print.  Daddy added some mdf legs and this headboard really gives her room a homey feel!

 The other side of the room is not nearly as exciting, but oh so important!  The desk area holds her computer & printer, her television and a very important new pet....Harry Potter, the beta fish!

And my college girl LOVES her new space!  She is loving college life and I am happy for her that she gets this opportunity.  Now....the true test.....can she keep it clean???

Linking up to a few great blogs:
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special