Fairy Houses

So…it’s been a really, really long time…I’m not sure if I have any ‘followers’ on this ‘blog’ but if I do…I can’t say with any certainty if today’s post will be followed by another or not 🙂

I truly started this site 5 years ago to just archive the DIY projects we were doing around our house. I figured that one day when my kids are older they might enjoy looking back on the things we accomplished together while making our house a home.

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This project was done a while back and isn’t a large projects but still a fun one to post for you (my girls) to share with you what we made for our garden. We started with a few pie tins and filled them with soil. A hot glue gun and random beads made your colorful walkways. I love how both of your personalities came out in creating your individual fairy houses. Regan, your rainbow colors and the word ‘read’ drawn on the top of your house will definitely attract a bookworm fairy! Lexie, your sunshine yellow house with swirls will for sure bringing along a dancing fairy! You each made your own popsicle stick house and cut a small foam ball into a chair shape that we covered in fabric. Everyone needs a reading chair! I love the real plant we left for the fairies that grew a bit as the season drew on.

Mini Decortive Christmas Trees

Merry Christmas!! Our house has been changing each week that Christmas draws nearer & I wanted to share this most recent craft with you. I will admit that these pictures are not the best but I am very much enjoying these in our home & a cake stand seems to be just the place for them!

Here is the quick run down…1st cut apart cereal boxes to make your own cones from if you don’t want to buy them. This is much easier with regular sized cereal boxes, I found that the Costco sized ones were too thick to mold just right. Use a hot glue gun to hold cardboard in place.

2nd start cluing whatever materials you’d like to your “trees”. Pearls, feathers, pipe cleaners, ribbon, paper/sheet music, fabric or burlap would all look nice. Next year I may try & get the kids involved with some colorful tinsel, button or tissue paper trees that we can put in their rooms.

The green pipe cleaner took much longer than I expected! This small “tree” used up 3 shy of a whole pack! This is the one that takes a bit of patience.

I saw this craft on Pinterest & traced it back to shaunamailloux.com she has a great tutorial there & her blog is beautiful. I didn’t spend as much time as she did on this craft, I really just wanted to get a taste of making these cute trees. Shauna made about 12 of these including an acorn one which is great & she took some pretty pictures of them!  Her post can be found here: http://www.shaunamailloux.com/2011/12/handmade-christmas-trees-pt-3/

I hope you try them out for your home 🙂

Best, Jessica






Posted in DIY

Outdoor Table

We are just a few months away from being debt free! Let me type it again, DEBT FREE!!! I was yelling it that time 🙂 We are on baby step #2 of Dave Ramsey’s financial plan and it’s been life changing. In an effort to get rid of our debt (all but mortgage debt in step #2) we’ve been selling things around the house to make extra income. The latest thing I had in mind to sell was out outdoor patio table. It was gifted to Justin years ago & was just not working with our current style. I posted it on Craig’s List & got $100 for it, woo hoo! I mean it was free 10 years ago! Anyway, total blessing that opened a door for me to ask Justin to build me an outdoor table, and wouldn’t you know it-my birthday was coming up, hee hee, he couldn’t say no 🙂

I saw this country style table on pinterest & read up on the instructions. They seemed easy enough for my smart man & I put in the request.

We had recently ripped out our deck from the back yard, it’d been painted red. We had plenty of wood left over to create this beauty. He did so great! Coupled with 4 free left over garage sale chairs & a practically new $60 canopy-I couldn’t be happier with it.

Love me some chevron!

I’m a total sucker when I see a garage sale sign! I wasn’t even looking for anything specific the day I passed the sign that lead me to this dresser. But really…it was $5! And I knew I could find a place for it somewhere.

I knew I was going to paint it but spent a fair amount of time going through images on-line looking for ideas to make an impression with this piece. It was fortunately already painted white but needed a touch up for sure. I gave it a quick sanding then used some outdoor white paint from our garage. No real reason for the outdoor paint type except for that’s what we had.

Then the drawers came out & my wonderful hubby started measuring. This was definitely the hardest part! We (well he :)) measured out the length of each drawer then divided it into equal amounts to get the thick equal stripes. We debated on whether to start one stripe angle at the third drawer bottom of the piece & continue it up without interruption to the top of the first drawer, then back down again in the “v” shape. This would have eliminated the three different chevron directions & minimized the amount of lines to paint. This proved to be too tricky as there is a slightly indented area in the middle of each drawer. ANYWAY…I love the pattern that we ended up going with. With the white we already had & this lovely gray color that was an oops paint from Lowe’s (1/2 pint size for only $1.25!!!) it all came together. The gray color is called Gray Flannel & had a satin finish.

My one caution when taping down a project like this is to make sure the painters tape gets pushed down extra well so no paint seeps under onto your 1st color. From close up you can see a bit of seepage & I may be going back over the gray lines with a little white paint & a tiny brush just to crisp up the lines.

Don’t forget to add new hardware, this makes a big difference. With such a busy chevron pattern already we just used these simple silver finished handles to keep it uncluttered. These  were on clearance when Yard Bird’s went out of business so long ago. If I remember right, they were like 4 for a dollar. They’ve just been in our garage waiting.

Pillows, picture frames, rugs…most everything looks great in chevron 🙂

Total cost for the dresser, paint & hardware…under $10. Success.

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Mud Room

Now that we have a preschooler, our house & garage is starting to clutter up with backpacks, shoes & papers. I wanted to make a designated area to hold this ‘overflow’ & try out a new Modge Podge project. My first step, rip up some old books! I’ve seen this DIY project done on HOUZZ and verious blogs. It looks so smart! Literally all I did was glue the pages in random order onto the garage wall marking out a nice spot to drop stuff when we got out of the car. I think it turned out great & it only took me about 2 hours on & off!

I found the wood creates at Beverly’s for $3.50! And the letters (& sign and B) for $1 each, nice. I added old shower curtain hooks to hang jackets up and the shelves for storage of rain boots or other once a year items.

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Chalk Board Frame

A friend got me this frame (which had a mirror in it) from an antiques store for $4. I sprayed it white & have meant to put it up in our home for some time. I just can’t find the place! But the chalkboard paint has been calling my name & I ditched the mirror & hung this beauty on our front porch to write notes to dinner guests & play dates. Love it!

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Coffee Filter Wreath

My sister asked me over the other day to try out this new project for a wedding shower she is throwing. After seeing the final turnout I decided to make two of my own at home. Thanks sis for the inspiration! Here is what you will need:

A pack of coffee filters. I bought 1-160 pack at the dollar store (used all 160 filters with 10 left for two wreaths)

One foam circle (also from the dollar store). Mine was super thick so I cut it in two with a bread knife giving me two wreaths. Can’t beat $.50 each!

Glue gun

Thick marker or sunscreen stick in my case to form the filters around

Ribbon to hang wreath with

Patience-project probably takes about an hour per wreath

The fastest way to start this project is to separate the filters & lay them out on your table or large space. Then one by on squish them around the stick to create the desired shape. Once I did 30 or so of these I started gluing them to the inside rim of the foam circle. I squeezed a nice line of glue down then placed three squished filters in a row. I had to hold them in place for a second since the foam takes a minute to contact with the filters. Careful, the glue can come through the thin filter & burn you. Continue placing filters down until all green is covered. The closer you place them together the fuller the wreath will look. If you feel the wreath isn’t full enough, no problem, just dab a small amount of hot glue on the end of a squished filter & fill in the few empty spots. All should be dry within a minute so attach the ribbon & hang!

I will admit with both on the wall they look a bit frilly so you may need a cool husband like mine to get away with hanging these ones 🙂

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Chalkboard Door

I’ve always wanted to try out chalkboard paint! Since our kitchen will eventually get its makeover with a black stencil I thought the kids would enjoy a black door that could be played with 🙂 They love it!

Quick steps:

This project took 15 minutes to paint but 4 hrs had to pass before the 2nd coat could be applied (which took another 15 min.)

1. Clean the door

2. Tape it off with painters tape

3. Edge door in with a brush, then use a small roller to paint door fully (I used Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint from Home Depot $10 (Lowe’s was $14.95))

4. Wait 4 hrs, then repeat step #3

5. Wait 3 days before using chalk on it 😦   (worth the wait!)

BTW, store bought erasers haven’t worked very well in cleaning the door of chalk. I’ve found that a regular wet kitchen sponge will bring the area back to a great matte black color (dry with paper towel)

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Due any day now, this family of soon to be 5, invited me into their inner circle to document & give thanks for this past year as a family. These kids are so excited about the baby on the way & have been so sweet to Mommy during her 9 months. The Roarks have supported my photography from the beginning calling on me for head shots & dance school photos for their families growing business, http://www.rhythmselite.com. They are so kind & generous & it’s an honor to take their portraits each year. Congrats on the new addition!

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Senior year

One of the highlights of senior year is getting your senior pictures done! It was such a pleasure to create these lasting memories for Ian. He’s an actor & musician. Ian brought all his skills to the camera lens with his easy going & willing to do any pose attitude. He was a true rock star!

His family is such a blessing to know. They are a great example of a tight knit family. Ian & his brother are close in age, but instead of the common rivalry they have many of the same friends & hang out together at school. Both boys are super polite. Having two kids myself, I’m always trying to make the next right parenting move 🙂 This family is  such an inspiration-a great picture of quality parenting & quality kids. 

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