Tuesday, September 27, 2011

{LOVE} Hobby Lobby

I have been reading blogs for months now, many singing Hobby Lobby praises.  But alas, despite being in a county that is growing like mad with stores popping up left and right, we still have no Hobby Lobby.  Michaels, yes.  Joann's, yes.  Ben Franklin, yes.  Hobby Lobby... no.

A few months ago, we were in another town visiting relatives... and I saw a Hobby Lobby.  I hinted and hinted, but it was a no-go.  Hubby wasn't about to stop for me to drool while dragging four kids around the store.  LOL

My parents and sister live in PA, in my hometown, and near a Hobby Lobby, but they never really talked much about it (huh?)  I'm not even 100% sure they've even been in there.  (what??)  However, we're not in a position to go visit them anytime soon... so I still craved a Hobby Lobby visit.

Then, it happened.  A simple Facebook post mentioned the opening of a Hobby Lobby in a town 25 minutes from me... in another county, so I rarely know what's going on over there.


Despite having visitors for the weekend, I found a short period of time to go.  Well, that short period of time was more like 2.5 hours.  (Remember 50 minutes was driving time... so I wasn't TOO bad.)

Hobby Lobby is HUGE!

I {love} it!!

I'd describe it as Michaels, Joann's, and Home Goods rolled into one.

I found future Xmas gifts, future purchases for my decor, future Christmas decorations, future craft ideas... oh, it was wonderful.  See?  I still managed constraint... notice all the "future" purchases?

I still managed to leave with $60 worth of stuff, too... and a promise to go back next weekend.  I may finally learn more about this town that's only a short drive from me.  


Now, if only it would build a store closer!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Mirrors

Remember those mirrors I so badly wanted at Ballard Design?
Ballard Designs

Well, at $229 for two, THAT wasn't going to happen.  Still I dream, even though my dining room wall is now covered with lots of frames and such.  

So, when I saw the black framed mirror at Target for $25, I knew I had to get them. 

I found the perfect little corner of our family room.

Here's our new additions:
{with a flash at night}

Closer up... hi, me!

My mirrored niche.  :)  About $75 for all three tall mirrors.  Each mirror at Ballard would've cost over $100 EACH.

Isn't being frugal fun sometimes?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Techno-Geek Wreath

So, we've been cleaning.

And un-boxing.

And sorting.

And this is what I ended up with... a box of electrical wires that either don't work or aren't useful to us anymore.

My husband was about to just throw them away, but I urged him to keep them so I could attempt a craft.

Here's what I started with...

Lots of wires, silver and black and white duck tape, a wreath ($1) and scissors.  

Yep, lots of wires.

First I began cutting the wires to a  manageable length (when you wrap wreaths, the shorter you can make the wrap, the better... leads to less tangles!

When the wires were exposed, I used the appropriate duct tape to cover the ends.  

Sometimes I tucked cables into the wreath, sometimes I just used a big hunk of tape to hold the cable to the wreath.

And here's what I ended up with.  Great for the techno-hubby in your life.  Or your "office" door.  Or as a gift to your electrician.  LOL

Okay, okay... it's not exactly going to fit with my decor... but it will look so cute hanging in the garage for now.  :)  

A 12" wreath for just $1 (the wreath form, since I had the rest with me).... and I'm helping to do my part on Earth... recycling!

Fall Candy Displays

So, last week I decided to go on a little Dollar Tree inspiration adventure.  I love walking around the store to see just what interesting ideas pop into mind.

Well I found these items:
These are two sugar pourers and two wide ceramic candlesticks  (let's count 'em... yes, just $4.00). And the cool thing... those pourers fit perfectly inside the lip of the candlesticks.  

After a little spray paint (the outside of the lids and the candlesticks just to make them the same glossy black).
And gluing on little wooden knobs.
And adding some ribbon and some labels....

We got this:

The only glue involved was to put the wooden candle-cups to the lids (just hot glue).  Since the sticks and pourers fit perfectly, I didn't have to glue them on.  So, I can now use the candlesticks in the future for other uses, too!

The stickers were made by printing out labels from here (had to do it reversed since they are ready for iron-ons).  I also reduced it to 80%.  Then I ran the paper through the Xyron machine to give myself stickers. 

Put it all together and show off your candy corn and fall M&Ms in spooky, but cute style.

There are many Halloween spooky "treat" printables out there.  Go to Pinterest and search!  I liked the old-time Pharmacy label look of the treats design.  Rather than search more, I just used the Boo! sticker too.

I shared this at:

Celebrating a Short, but Precious Life

I've been working on a few little projects around the house, but I just haven't had much time to sit down and blog...but those projects are coming!  

This was a sad week.

Our dear friends J&J lost their beautiful little boy at just 13 months.  It's a very hard thing to watch.  He struggled his whole life... was quite a little fighter.  But alas, God needed to bring him home.  It's hard on those of us left here on earth, but we know that he's now walking and talking tall and proud in his new home with Jesus.

Today was the celebration service at our church.  This is not the first service we've attended for a child, and it never gets easier.

This precious little guy, Caleb, breathed on earth for 414 days.  In celebration of the time we got to spend with that little guy, there was a balloon release of 414 balloons.

I know Caleb was looking down on us, watching that beautiful rainbow in the sky... and shone that infectious little smile.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pedestal Bowl

A few months ago, I found a big decorative candlestick for $1 at a local consignment sale.  It was nice, but it was for a taper (which I don't prefer) and it had a screw sticking out of the top that didn't want to budge.

So, after finally unpacking some old boxes, I found the perfect "topper"... a small red bamboo bowl I had bought when "staging" my home.

Put the two together (easy... it just screwed on with some pressure... and added a little glue for support)... spray painted them with Oil Rubbed Bronze.... and ....

Wah Lah...

Inside is a nice little resin pumpkin I picked up at Michaels...perfect for fall.  (The fabric peeking out are some fall napkins I had to help boost the pumpkin up.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

News of the Day

We made the local newspaper.  

A friend of mine interviewed me on the process of building a new house, and we were in the local Homes section of the paper.
I didn't tell the kids much about it, so they were surprised when I showed them the layout of the newspaper.  "That's our house!"  And, yes, my sweet little Westie made the paper... sleeping on her half-chair/Doggie-Throne.  :)

It doesn't take much to impress me.  

This was cool.

Thanks, Susan!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I {heart} Dollar Tree

It only took a year.

Our unfinished basement has been our catch-all spot for boxes upon boxes upon boxes.

My hubby and I have finally gotten around to doing something about it.  We keep dreaming of finishing off the basement and having more useable space.  

THAT may not happen anytime soon, but at least we can get rid of the boxes. 

We succeeded!

The basement is now *mostly* free... free for me to use as a big ol' craft space!!!  YAY!

I promised to get the piles and piles of crafty goodness organized.  Remember we moved in last September, and have had no organization downstairs whatsoever... so my goodies were still in shopping bags, thrown into piles, and tangled up!  So we're slowly acquiring some nice wire shelves, but I wanted some way to sort the items.  I wanted it to look nice (and neat, orderly... you know, to satisfy the OCD).  I started cringing looking at bins and baskets.  I found a few neat storage items at Target today, but at $5-$20 a pop (and I need dozens), I just couldn't take that kind of plunge.

So, with just 30 minutes left to shop before having to head back to the home to grab the kiddos off the bus, I decided to take a quick detour... to Dollar Tree!

I was in organizing heaven!

Granted... the are mostly buckets, dish pans, planters, wastebaskets and laundry baskets, but I think they just may work... and the total for all of these things you see... $30... for 30 bins.  

Hmmm.... what magic can I whip up to make this look good?

Stay tuned.....

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Touch of Fall....

On Friday, I had a few free hours, so I decided it was as good of a time as any to get a little fall decorating done.  Here's a snippet of how fall entered our home....

All new goodies on my dinner table (perhaps not completely done)... the wagon was a Michael's find... it was the perfect shade of soft orange, the gourds and cattails were all Dollar Tree finds, and the raven was from Michael's.  I splurged on this guy... $4.99... only to find more later at Dollar Tree for a BUCK each.

My Fall Banner.  This was one of my first attempts at making something I found on a blog.  Don't ask me which one.  I'll never remember.  I bought felt (for the back of the triangles) and used clearanced kitchen towels to get the patterns for the inner triangles.  They are tied together using strips of kitchen towels.

My hearth... do you see the second raven hanging out in the middle of the fall flowers?

I love this guy!  I found him at Home Goods and really splurged on him ($12.99), but I loved the fact that he was all sparkly and a great size.  

Raven #3... this little setting is in my living room on the media cabinet... much too high for the stinker puppy to grab and chew.  Gotta watch her... she's already eaten a few of my decorations...

Just some more fall touches.  I made this arrangement pumpkin a few years ago.  I covered a faux pumpkin with sprinkles and then cut a hole big enough to shove a bunch of fall faux foliage.

My feather wreath!  I've been wanting to get one, but wasn't sure the feathers wouldn't be a bit too much.  Fortunately getting this "bronze" colored one, it has just a touch of creepy to it.  Great for Halloween... though I'm hoping it can remain till at least Thanksgiving.  On sale at Joann's this weekend.

A little update to my books/pear... gourds!

Scarecrow... who can't adore a little scarecrow.  :)

When you pay just $1 for a few pretty fall-colored flowers, you make it work.  Here, I put them inside the faux grass.

Cabinet Door Office Boards

Months ago, I bought two identical cabinet doors at the Restore for $3 each.  I knew I wanted to use them in the office somehow to keep things nice and symmetrical.  I needed a place to hang important notes, business cards, invitations, whatnot.  But a big board wasn't my choice.  This nook's wall is quite visible to the kitchen and living area... I wanted something a little neater.

I got this.

First I primed and spray painted both cabinets with Heirloom White spray paint.

Then with cabinet door #1, I cut a piece of adhesive cork to fit inside the middle area.

The second cabinet was done with a piece of cut galvanized steel.  I cut it to size with regular scissors (couldn't find the tin snips).  Oh, I probably dulled the blades, but it went quickly and easily... less than 2 minutes.  I spray painted the metal with Heirloom White, then used spray adhesive to lay white burlap on it.  I wrapped and trimmed the edges, and using hot glue, I pressed the covered metal onto the cabinet.
Now, it's a magnetic board!  I found some old pebbles and used strong glue to hold them onto the magnets.

The office is now complete.  New boards....

And now my office is neat and ready for business school.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Calendars

I have a serious problem with calendars.  

Nothing really works for me. 

I try new planners every year. 

(Small ones... are you kidding?  Four kids.  'Nuff said.  Big ones... too tough to carry around.  Stickers... really?  I don't have time to pretty-up my own planner with stickers.  Daily/Weekly pages... I need to see a month on the calendar at once.)
I found a simple one this year... let's hope it works. 

As for the family wall calendar, I've tried big paper calendars, small calendars, dry-erase calendars, chalkboard calendars... nothing seemed "right".  Paper calendars aren't attractive and get all wrinkly by the end of the twelve months... not to mention ink is permanent if you have to change things.  Chalkboards produce too much dust (and to be honest, it's a pain to keep them looking nice and fresh).  My only gripe with dry-erase is the fact that it only covers one month and then you need to erase the whole thing and start over with every new month.  I've seen some people make some really cute ones with glass inserts in frames.  Very simple and it can be tailored.  However, I needed a certain size and limited budget.  I was fretting over making a new calendar...


The Target Dollar Section saves the day again!
These dry erase boards were $2.50 each.  I bought two... one for the current month, and one for the following month.

I simply added black ribbon and stapled it to the boards.  The tape is simply covering the staples to avoid scratching the wall.

Know these?  Little sticky plastic bubbles?  I used these on the bottom to help keep the calendars still (friction) and to avoid them "clanging" as people walked past and moved the air.

And here's our new calendar wall.  Love it!  Another cool plus to using the ribbon and nails... as each month fades away, I trade calendars and replace last month's calendar with the next month.  And it's subtle, and hidden from most traffic.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Office Cabinet Reorganization

School has begun!
(Do you hear the cheering?)

Just before school started, hubby and I decided we really needed to get some things organized here at home.  Our home office is a little nook in the corner of our kitchen and it's kind of Grand Central Station... everyone moves through there everyday.  Papers are piled all over:  bills, coupons, important papers, kids' schoolwork and teachers' papers, etc.

If I didn't get this ready by the first day of school, I knew we were in for trouble.  (Have you ever seen the pile of paperwork that comes home on day one?  Geesh... multiply that by four, and you can practically swim in it.

Here's the cabinet over the computer last month:

I adjusted the shelves when I unpacked last year to make the bottom ones tall enough to hold books and files.  Then I unpacked all papers/binders and just piled them in.  The wooden file case on the bottom left held all important school papers that came home:  teachers' notes, PTA papers, tests/projects I wanted to keep.  

Do you see the problem?

The file barely fit in there... I had to remove the entire box to file papers (and I hate to file!)

Here's a shot, mid-organization.  The paper sorter boxes on the left are from Target.  The magazine files on the right were a buck in the Target dollar section.

Here's the left cabinet now:

The paper files are labeled to hold all kids' papers (look how many are in there ALREADY... only one week of school... geesh).  Semesterly, I'll sort through them and put the kids' papers into their "save box".  I made the tags with index cards, Cricut letters and my new LAMINATOR.  Yes, it was well worth the whopping $18 purchase at Amazon.

Here are a few standards for us:  coupon drawer holds coupons till I can sort them into the coupon binder;  change is just that... money from emptying our pockets and/or bottom of the purse :) ;  bandaids, which I thank my friend Kathleen for that idea.  How often does a child run inside with a scraped knee.  Now with Neosporin and bandages in the kitchen, it's easy to clean up instead of running up to the bathrooms.  The coupon binder is for carrying to stores.  The Box Tops box came from Target as well (dollar section!)  

And here's the right cabinet:
The top two shelves are paper sorters that hold some important binders (VBS, important numbers/papers of the family, etc.)  The third shelf down holds $1 buckets filled with kids' supplies like crayons, gluesticks, markers, etc.  With the large island, where much homework takes place, I always need these school supplies.  

The magazine files from Target on the bottom hold things like manuals, directories (can't believe how many we have:  church; old church; elementary school;  old school; each class; Bible study group; etc.), magazines, and more.  I debated turning them the other way to make it look neater, but decided I'm too lazy.  This way, I can grab the item I need if it's visible without pulling out the entire file box. I also added a little dry-erase board for any notes I need to remind myself of (why not?  It was a buck in the dollar section, too!)

The magazine files.

The buckets (sorry, had to use flash... need more lighting in this room)

In the next couple of posts, I'll show you a few other additions to the office.  :)

We are SET for school!
Bring it on!