30 April 2010

denim cuff bracelet

I made this in light of the Lucky Star Search Jean Crafts Contest going on at Lucky Star Lane.  The rule was to recycle a pair of jeans into something else in honor of Earth Day.

Here are my materials:
old pair of jeans
old jewelry cuff
pearl bead
hot glue gun
Fray Check

And here is what I did.  I used the waistband of my hubby's old jeans... made sure I kept the original button and a belt loop intact!  I covered an old jewelry cuff with the portion of the waistband, using hot glue.  On the inside of the bracelet, I did the same.  Covered it with ribbon.  In fact, I used 2 ribbons and overlapped them, just for fun.  One of the ribbons has a ruffly edge that peeks out from under the cuff.

Then I went to town with the embellishments.  I cut down some wide ribbon and hand stitched a ruffle to go around the button.  Fray Checked the edges.  I hot glued a pearl bead to the center of the button.  And I added a small scrap of lace to the belt loop.  Super easy, super fun!  It has a sort of shabby cowgirl feel to it, huh?  Yep - definitely wearing this with my cowboy boots!  Yeehaw!

28 April 2010

Hello, summer!

I have had these shoes for so long. Since the 90s you guys! They've survived the test of time. But I got bored with them and so they haven't gotten much wear the last couple summers. It's amazing that they've also survived the last couple trips to Goodwill. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do this with them:

10 minutes, you guys. 5 strips of fabric tied on to each shoe. That's it. And a little Fray Check. Satisfies my apetite for both new shoes and the color turqouise!

Linking up:

Show and Tell Green

26 April 2010

Hook troubles

I have soft walls.  Hate them.  Where's a stud when you need it, you know what I mean?  And I ain't talkin' men. ;)

I have had this hook I got at Cost Plus hanging in my half bath since we moved in, pretty much.  Since I wanted to hang it in a spot that didn't have a stud we used anchors.  But a couple weeks ago even the anchors weren't holding anymore, and my hook became homeless.  So I have since been on a mission to find an alternative way to hang it, sans screws and more gaping holes in my wall (and hopefully hide the exisiting holes in my wall).  An alternative, CREATIVE, fast fix way to hang it.  Until I have time to properly patch and repaint, etc., etc.

Here is what I've finally come up with (after much trial and error).  Sorry for the photo, there are no windows in this bathroom so I was stuck with the effects of automatic flash lighting.

Materials I used:

decorative wall hook
scrapbook paper
mod podge
heavy nails
hot glue

First I removed the glass from the frame.  Then I mod podged scrap paper over the cardboard insert in the frame.  Hung my frame on the wall using heavy nails.  And I secured it to the wall with hot glue.  (No throwing tomatoes!)  Then I nailed the hook THROUGH the frame's cardboard backing into the wall with 2 more heavy nails.

I sure hope it holds up because it's freaking cute, isn't it?

Linking up!

The Girl Creative

23 April 2010

Master Bedroom revamp - one new piece and another way to use an old piece

I'd said that we got one new piece of furniture for the room.  I loved it the minute I saw it:

This chest is from the Edland line at IKEA.  It is dark gray and connects my pine chest/bureau to my black bed frame beautifully.  

(Here's a photo of the pine bureau)

Here is what the chest from IKEA looks like in the room - sorry, this is the best angle I could get because it is alongside our bed:

No need the remind me that I've got a hot mess of chords on display. :)

So the items we purged from the room? The chest at the foot of the bed:

And the black armoire, which held a tv at one point.  Then my husband upgraded to a wall mountable flat screen and we kept the armoire for storage.  In the end I decided it was both too bulky and too squatty (is that a word?) for the room:

Another fun change was to replace my old nightstand (you can see it 2 pictures above) with this fun find from Goodwill:

Just a big pail turned over.  Fills the slim space under that window nicely.  Learned this trick a while back when a horse trough became my quirky, always-a-good-topic-for-a-stale-conversation,  coffee table.  True story.  In fact it currently is a quirky, always-good-topic-for-a-stale-conversation coffee table on my back porch:

But I digress.

The room is just about complete now.  I kept the one wall the same as it was (the wall in the photo above  with the pine bureau in it).  Now I really want a long, skinny bench to go below the fabric mural I posted on Monday.  Any idea where I can find one on the cheap?  Or the best way to make one?

Now because I don't ever get rid of anything that can still be put to good use, all these disposed of pieces have a new home.  The chest that was at the foot of our bed is now here:

Love how it looks.

The file cabinet is now in my design room:

And the black armoire is now in my brother's house!  And is being well cared for there. :)

I think they all look better in their new spots, don't you?  

Eh, so much for not digressing.

21 April 2010

Master Bedroom revamp - displaying pictures

Today I'm going to show you how we rearranged the photos we had hanging on the wall. Before, I had a family picture above my bed.  By doing so I'd committed one of the most cardinal sins of home decorating, which is to hang pictures that are too small for the space on the wall.  Here's a prime example:

It looks small and unimportant there, doesn't it?  One better option would have been to do a collage of pictures, if I really felt that photo needed to be on the wall.

I've seen people hang even smaller pictures though - 4x6, 5x7.  Even 8x10 in some cases is TOO SMALL to go on the wall.  Unless it is part of a vignette, in a niche or a corner somewhere.  Those sizes are meant for table tops. That is why they have a stand that folds out behind them, lol!

So I wisened up and put this larger Ansel Adams print above our bed, in it's *new* location.  Because it is now framed by 2 windows, it is the perfect size for this space.

I'm not sure why but a lot of times we are too afraid to hang large photos or even artwork on our walls.  The same attitude goes for color.  Why are people so afraid to paint their walls something other than tan?  Break out of your comfort zones people.

So what did I do with the family photo I originally had hanging on the wall, you might ask?

Here it is!  Along with several other favorite photos.  I leaned all my photos up against the foot of the bed while we were rearranging things, not on purpose at all.  And decided I liked it!  That happens to me a lot, coming up with something awesome by accident.  In fact - here's a story for you.  My daughter has the most exquisite piece of furniture in her bedroom.  A perfectly shabby chic dresser.  13 years ago we "inherited" this piece from my in laws' garage.  I loved it.  But it was an awful color (at the time).  A dark forest green.  My mother-in-law agreed to help me strip it down to bare wood.  We worked and we worked on that thing.  All day long.  Took a break to eat something and when we came back I decided I liked the way it looked with all the layers of paint peeking through.  Not a year later guess what trend emerged?  Shabby chic ya'll!  True story.  I know Rachel Ashwell had been doin' her thing for some time, but I hadn't seen it yet.  Not that I'm tootin' my horn or anything.  Some accidents are just meant to be, I guess!

And should you be curious about the first shabby chic dresser ever (kidding!):

I might have a made a killing off of this had I known, though.  Given Rachel Ashwell a run for her money?  I'm just sayin'!


19 April 2010

Vote for me! Vote for me!

I have submitted 4 party entries in Sweet Charli's Birthday Party Contest.  Any of you that have been around for a while know that planning my kids' birthday parties is an absolute passion of mine!  So please help me win this contest!  You may only vote once, so go check out my entries - they are #1 (Pinkalicious party), #5 (Cooking party), #13  (Robot party) and #14 (Rockstar party) - and vote for the one you like best!!! 

Voting ends April 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced on April 27.  If I win, I will be celebrating with a giveaway!

18 April 2010

It's a...

Well I got one guess - a head board.  Which is pretty awesome, I'd never thought of making a headboard like this.  That would be really cool, actually.  Sorry though Becca, it's not a headboard.  And the rest of you guys are party poopers!  Lol.

Several weeks ago, as some of you may remember we got flooded.   Our master bedroom took the biggest hit.  Everything had to be moved out for several days while it dried, and while the pads and carpets were replaced, the foorboards cut out and put back in, and repainted... kind of an ordeal.  As the hubby and I began putting things back, we thought it might be fun to do things a little differently.

Here is how the bedroom was arranged before:

It  was a tight fit.  But we felt we only had one option for furniture placement, based on where the cable outlet was (and it wasn't where we'd orginally requested it be placed when we built the house). 

The idea now, as we've begun to revamp things, is to purge and rearrange - creating a more open and serene space.  The furniture has been moved around, and some of it is gone forever.  I also have one new piece in there. 

The rearrangment of things left me with this one blank wall, the biggest in the room.  I knew it needed something big.  I knew it needed to make a statement.  At first, I envisioned writing on the wall.  Even considered painting something scripty on there.  Too hard, though.  I've seen lots of fabrics with script on them, so that got my wheels turning.  And one day I stumbled across this print at IKEA and I snatched it up so fast!  Then my goal became to turn that fabric into this mural using a couple canvases.

Here's how I did it!  First I tried hot gluing two 24x48 canvases together.  (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby suring one of their 50% off sales.)  The hot glue didn't work so well, because the canvases didn't meet up perfectly at the edges.  So I ended up taping them tightly with packing tape instead.  Really I should have screwed or nailed them together.  I'm just too impatient and with the quantity of projects I do, I didn't want to get stuck on this one... ya'll know what I am talking about!  Since the canvases are hanging by a row of nails though, it's turned out to be stable enough (on the wall, at least).  When I take it down it is a bit flimsy, but it is there to stay, for a while, so I don't really have to worry about that.

Next I measured my fabric to the size of the now assembled canvas, trimming down to where there was about a 2 in. edge all around.  And I began hot gluing the fabric around all the sides.  Just a little at a time.  After the first side is done, I had to tug the fabric as I went for a snug fit - vertically as I glued along the length of the mural, and horizontally as I glued along the width of the canvas.  The reason?  As the hot glue dries your fabric will give a little and you don't want puckering.  

Last step -  I hot glued the extra edge of fabric to the back of the canvas as well, giving it a neatly wrapped edge.

This was fairly easy. I needed a lot of space to do it in, so I was halfway in my design room and halfway in the fawyer working on this thing!  And desperately trying to convince my youngest children that it wasn't a plank.  Or a slip and slide.  Grrrr...

The bedroom reveal will continue with some other fresh ideas throughout the week!  So stay tuned. :)

ETA: For my fellow craftaholic Linda, who is hosting a glue gun free linky party (see button below), this project can be done with a staple gun instead of a glue gun!!! 

Also linking up here:

17 April 2010

Who likes guessing games?

I'm revamping a room in my house.  This is a major focal point.  Can you guess which room this is now hanging in?  Or how I made it?  Lol.  I'm so mean.

Be back tomorrow with details on this fun new project and throughout the week with what's going on in the rest of this room!

Linking up!

Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!


13 April 2010


Double posting today.  So you know it's a good one!  Amy at Mod Podge Rocks is featuring my stamp initial today!!!  Amy blogs about all things decoupage, featuring a different project nearly every day.  Mod Podge could probably save the world considering all you can do with it.  I'm just sayin'!  Hey, it's brought a lot of joy to a lot of lives.  Always a good thing. ;)

See my original post and tutorial HERE!  And thanks, Amy!

Big thanks!

I was given the Sunshine Award by 2 crafty bloggers last week - C.R.A.F.T. and Lucky Star Lane.  If you haven't checked out these ladies' blogs, you really should.  They both have some really fun and unique things to show off.  And they both make me smile, too.  So thanks ladies - the feeling is definitely mutual!

It is my duty and privelege now to pass this award on to 6 other bloggers that make me smile.  And here they are:

Char at Crap I've Made

Char is a long time friend, since before we were bloggers, and I *heart* her.

Kierste at Brown Paper Packages

Kierste is a breath of fresh air and such an inspiration to busy moms everywhere. 

Jen at Tatertots and Jello

Jen is in the "big time", but she still takes time to say hello to the little people that visit her blog.  I really appreciate that about her.

Amber at Crazy Bloggin' Canuck

Amber is always good for a laugh!  Her life never ceases to amaze!

A Joyeful Journey

A Joyeful Journey is a feel good blog.  I just love going to see what she has to share for the day.

The Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare is my favorite place to see what cool things are being made in the crafty blog world.

I'm going to go let these ladies know about their awards.  I hope you will also drop in and tell them Lei sent you over!

12 April 2010

Party Like a Rockstar!!! Birthday Party

My oldest daughter just turned 11 and she asked for a rockstar party this year.  I had a lot of fun with it, just as I always do!  Here are the juicy details and photos of our party!

The invitations looked like this:

I printed these tickets out for free at this site.  You can pick your color, customize the wording and everything.  This is actually the second time I have used these invites for a party!

As guests arrived (dressed to the 9s of course), they walked the red carpet.  It was originally placed outside, but I forgot to get a picture of it before the party started, so this was taken as an afterthought in our fawyer.  But you get the idea. 

Each guest's name was mounted on a silver star.  When they reached the front door, there stood my brother, all bouncer-like.  He is tall and handsome and I thought he had some star power about him.  I'm pretty sure the girls agreed. ;)

The cutie he is holding is my nephew.  Guess who bought him that t-shirt?  Uh-huh.  Aunt Leilani, of course!

Uncle Gary had the VIP list on a clipboard as the girls arrived.  You had to be on the list to get in!

And see what the sign says? 

Upon entering each girl got her hand stamped, and received a backstage pass with an itinerary of acitvities listed on the back:

I made the lanyards from some existing ones I purchased at Party City on clearance for $1 each.  Originally they had photos of the Jonas Brothers inside.  I pulled those out and tuned them into art for the wall (see below) and inserted some free clip art (found online), the girls' names, and their itineraries instead.

Here's the clip art I used:

First the girls went to "Wardrobe and Make-up" where they got to have their nails painted black/silver, and got to choose a tattoo:

Next up was a photo shoot!

Time to rock out in the "Recording Studio".  They played Wii Sing It and had a blast showing off how well they knew every. single. Miley Cyrus song out there.

Even the cool Aunt Sarah got in on the action... until she realized she didn't recognize any of the songs. Don't worry Sarah, your daughter will reach this age one day and then you'll wish you could turn them all off!

After the rock out came the dance off.  This was the highlight of the night.  It even continued outside on the trampoline while the girls flipped to their content.  I wondered if we were going to get the cops called on us for disturbance of the peace!  But we were cool.

Drew showing his break dancing moves:

Adriana and her bff strike a pose:

Here is the playlist we made for the party/dance-off, in case anyone is interested:

Hey Soul Sister, Train
Party in the U.S.A., Miley Cyrus
4 Minutes, Justin Timberlake and Madonna
Let it Rock, Kevin Rudolf
I Gotta Feeling, The Black Eyed Peas
7 Things, Miley Cyrus
Girls Just Wanna have Fun, Miley Cyrus (but if I could have found the original Cyndi Lauper for download I'd have totally used it!)
All the Right Moves, One Republic
Jai Ho! A. R. Rahman (from Slumdog Millionaire)
Forever, Chris Brown
You belong With Me, Taylor Swift
Naturally, Selena Gomez
La La Land, Demi Lovato
Baby, Justin Bieber
We Rock, from the "Camp Rock" soundtrack
I Love Rock 'n Roll (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - I had some influence on this one :))
One, two Step, Ciara featuring Missy Elliott
Glamorous, Fergie
Fly on the Wall, Miley Cyrus
Pocketful of Sunshine, Natashe Bedingfield
Umbrella, Rihanna
Thunder, Nuttin' But Stringz
Thriller, Michael Jackson
Burnin' Up, The Jonas Brothers
If You Leave, O.M.D. (me again, lol!)
Happy Birthday (Altered Images - really wanted the Tings Tings remix but it isn't for sale)
Love Song, Sara Bareilles

One or two of the songs had the be "clean" versions for an inappropriate word or two.

I finally got the girls to get off the tramp and come in for the "After Party".   We ate some of the 4 ft. sub we ordered from Subway (Adriana's choice of food).  Plus chips and dip, color coordianted M&Ms (cheapest at WalMart, folks!) and miniature 6 oz. cans of soda.  All this was held in the "Green Room", of course! 

After the goodies had been scarfed down it was autograph time!  Each girl got a scrapbook page to decorate with stickers of guitars, hearts, music notes, etc.  And then they passed their sheets around and everyone signed their name fashionably.

Next came cupcakes and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday by the party guests!

Adriana opened her gifts as the parents came and picked up their daughters.  We'd filled every single minute of the 2 hr. party!  Everyone left for home with one of these bags:

Inside there was a scarf ($1 section at Target had pink/black cheetah print and solid black - I mixed the 2), a pair of hollywood inspired sunglasses (12 for under $10 at Party City), and Pop Rocks:

The decor included lots of tulle - hot pink and black - hanging from lights, tied onto the back of chairs, and in our hair. ;)  I scattered silver balloons all over the floor.  Hung lots of silver stars on the walls along with the signs I've pictured.  Also hung lots of music notes.  I got a pack of 18 cut outs for about $5 at Party City.  I had a silver disco ball hanging by the table.  Hot pink and black streamers.  Zebra print napkins and plates.

Here are a few additional photos...

Me embarassing my daughter with my side ponytail ("Ew, Mom!), and the wrong way to sign "rock on".  I instead look like I am cheering for the Longhorns, of which I am not a fan (sorry folks):

"Before she was our star".  Found this frame in the $1 section at target!  It was a nice touch:

My absolutely adorable nephew, Leo, again:

This is how I contained the party to the downstairs:

The bathroom was labelled a "Dressing Room":

And that's it.  It was so fun!  Lots and lots of work, but I can't wait to try this idea out again.  It occurred to me a few days beforehand that I probably could have found some young aspiring middle school band to come play in our garage for fairly cheap.  And I really wish I had remembered to take pics of the girls walking the red carpet.  I'm always thinking of ways to improve things so I can try them again and again!  But in the end I am very happy with how everything turned out.  

Hope you got some great ideas!  And if you try this theme out yourself, I always love to see how others' parties turn out!

FYI: the font used in all my labels and signs is Blackletter and comes standard with Microsoft Office Word. And the lighting effects I applied to my photos can be done in Photoshop under Filter>Render>Lens Flare.

Additional resources and inspiration:


Linking up:

The Girl Creative



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