Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quick, Easy & Cheap Heart Wreath

Today's the day- my house is a total disaster (though, with 3 kids, that's not new), and the living room is over run with taken down, yet to be packed away Christmas decorations. We even got the decorations that were outside down (thanks Nick!). Go us!

Psst... if you think YOUR house is messy, you haven't seen THIS yet:

Click on it to enlarge and play a rousing game of I Spy!

While I was taking stuff down, I remembered I had a stash of post-Christmas goodies in my closet, so I sorted out the things that are gifts for next year, from the items that are just decorations. In my stash were 2 candy canes from Dollar Tree.

Inspiration hit when I had to lay them at an angle to get them in the box. They formed a heart. Oh, love it! They are red and white, but not striped, more of a mix. They are just as adorable as can be in the shape of a primitive heart.

I bemoaned that I only bought 2, especially since they had them in solid red as well. Oh, well, next year, right? Anyway, as I sat there thinking of my misfortune, I thought... Why can't I just use these two? DUH! Yes, a blonde moment (I'm naturally blonde, but should have been a natural red head- true story.)

I quickly took time out for crafting. ;) All I did was use two white pipe cleaners- 1 to tie the curved tips together, and 1 to tie the ends together. Then, I had some red and silver ribbon left over from my Ribbon & Tulle Heart Wreath, so I grabbed it- just enough for an easy bow, with streamers long enough to wrap around it.

I am in love with it, and I have a wreath that can be put outside.

It cost me $1 for 2 candy canes (50% off at DT), and I got the ribbon for $1 at Goodwill, but most of it went to my other heart wreath, so maybe $.30 worth of ribbon.

End total? $1.30 for a super cute, kind of primitive looking heart wreath!

Just last night, I was looking at heart shaped wreath forms at HobLob, and cringing at the thought of spending $2.79 for the TINY one. I didn't even bother to look at the full size ones. Too pricey.

This post is linked up at the link parties listed here

Check back on Tuesday to link up with Talented Tuesdays at My Frugal Family!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cheap Craft Supplies

Today, Nick and I took a drive into Lansing to do some craft supply shopping. You gotta love a man who is willing to shop for craft supplies with you, while holding the bags, and paying. Ahh.. true love!

My main goal was to just get to Hobby Lobby. We also stopped into the Dollar Tree next to it, and the Big Lots across the street, both of which yielded some supplies for very little cash. I love frugal crafts!

At Hobby Lobby, my main goal was finding some sort of wooden doo dad (technical term) to put in the middle of a picture I'm working on, similar to the monogrammed "H" picture I worked on earlier this week. It's smaller, and I wanted something different in the middle, but lacked anything on hand.

I was hoping for a Fleur De Lis, but alas, did not find any. Instead, I found a little wooden medallion thing that is similar in shape to a Fleur, but isn't. I also wanted to look over the scrapbook paper.


My niece, Alex, is turning 3 in April, and my sister loved the monogrammed "H" picture, and requested one for Alex in bright colors. Since I don't scrapbook, I only get paper when I have an idea of what I want to make, and because it's been mostly Christmas and house items, I had nothing in bright colors.

I found 2 pretty bright colored flower paper, then I saw some nice antiqued looking paper with old letters on it. I picked up 2 of those to use on the wooden cigar box I found at Goodwill yesterday. I can't wait to work on it!

I picked up a 2 pack of wooden letter "A"s, a wooden cross, and an oval medallion to put the cross on. I also picked up a Distress Ink pad, since so many people use them. I found, though, that while it's supposed to be easier to use, it really is just a regular ink pad, simply raised up. I thought it would have some sort of pattern on it for distressing. Anyway, it was 40% off, so not a horrible buy. Oh, and ribbon! I found some cute, bright colored striped grosgrain, which I'll use to make a banner for my niece's birthday- 50% off!


 Next, we stopped at Dollar Tree, where I just wanted to look around a bit. I did find some things, though. I picked up a 10-pack of flower shaped wooden shapes, a 7-section shadow box, 2 "pictures" (which will be sanded down, mod podged with paper, and made into 1 "A" sign), plus 2 letter "H" wooden shapes, marked down to $.50 each. I forgot to get the shadow box in the photo.

What I'll do is layer the smaller picture ontop of the larger one for the "A" sign. The big one already has some pretty light aqua sheer ribbon to hang it from, too!

At Big Lots, I wasn't doing much looking, but found a great deal- scrapbooking kits for $2 each! They each had 8 sheets of 12x12, and an assortment of embellishments, plus some letter shaped post-it notes. I also grabbed 4 small spools of decorative ribbon. One is lavender and says "Heaven Sent" on it, with stars. One is white and says "Father's Day" on it. One is lavender canvas ribbon, and the last is wired, sheer lavender & green gingham ribbon. The ribbon was only $.75 each for 2 yards.

This is 1 kit opened up- 2 chipboard alphabets, 1 accent stickers, 1 6pack of boarder art, some chipboard tags, sticky buttons, card kit, and more. LOTS of stuff for only $2!

This is kit 2- similar items, but some differences. Accent paper instead of boarders, different colored chipboard tags, 1 different chipboard alphabet, different buttons, and 1 of the 4-packs of paper is patterned instead of all solids.
All in all, I got 16 sheets of paper- 12 are solid colors (with some duplicates), and 4 are patterned.

Both kits came with a 20 count pack of stickers, but they are cardstock stickers. Both sets were identical, with the stickers shown above.

All of the paper from the packs. I love having some solids to work with, since I rarely buy solid colors.

Some of them upclose. 
It was nice getting out of the house, though my bottom is really sore now. It's been doing really well, but I've noticed on the days I'm active, especially if I have to stand up a lot, my tailbone gets REALLY sore. Tomorrow, we're planning to start putting the Christmas stuff away. I know, I should have already. Honestly, though, there have been times the tree was still up just before Valentine's Day.

It would have gotten taken down before now, but the weekend we planned to was just 2 days after I broke my tailbone, so alas, it did not happen.

If we can haul rear on getting it all down tomorrow, and put away, then I want to do some crafting. On my block for this week:

  • "A" sign for Alex
  • ALEX Banner for her birthday, similar to my LOVE banner
  • Aged Cigar Box
  • Finish the extra sign for me 
  • Do some more organizing in my craft area
I hope I can get to all of it, but I'll be happy if I can even get 2 of the projects done. With the ALEX banner, I am planning to try and make felt flowers instead of felt hearts, but I'm SO not good at free handing flower shapes. The wooden flowers I picked up will help with that, though.

As for the shapes themselves, I plan to add at least 1 to the "A" sign I make.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Oh, and on a final note... I was amazed and flattered to find out that I've been featured on 4 sites since yesterday.

Much thanks to all 4 sites! Your links are available on my side bar, so I hope to be able to send some new viewers your ways!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

When to Just Say No!

Tonight, Nick and I escaped the house for a bit, and spent way too much time waiting for a meal at Pizza Hut. It took them 35 minutes from the time we ordered, to bring us our food. We sat and waited almost 10 minutes after finishing to flag down the waitress. There were 4 servers, and the place was certainly getting busy, but not -that- busy. Heck, it took them 2-3 minutes to seat us while 2 people were standing behind the counter doing nothing.

I found that tonight, I had no patience. After we left, we needed to get crickets for our leopard gecko, and located conveniently right between the pet shop and Pizza Hut was... Goodwill. Oh, how I love thee, Goodwill. With only minor grumbling, Nick went in with me. I found a wooden cigar box with a penciled on date of December 1963. It's in amazing shape, though there is a small crack in the back that I want to repair. It was $.99.

I also snagged a baggie of buttons still on the cards for $.59. I haven't counted them, but there were probably 15 cards with 2-6 buttons on each. Just plain, regular buttons, but I love buttons, so I picked it up.

They also had a set of matching jars. I kept calling them Apothecary jars, but I'm not sure if that's exactly what they are. Either way, SO many people in blog land have been using them to decorate with, and they're oh so cute! I saw one of them the other day, but turned it down at $1.99. Today, though, when I saw 2 of them, I caved and bought both at $1.99 each.

I also found a really cute pink baseball from a local hospital. It's adorably girly, and brand new. I am going to save it for Gilly's Easter basket, since we like to do Spring things for part of it,

Now... the "Just Say No!" part... at the pet shop, the local humane society has 2 large cages for cats and kittens up for adoption. We always OOO and AHHH over them, but we have 4 cats. Actually, one of them is from that pet shop, Giaa, our youngest. She is a solid black cat with just one tiny little tuft of white fur on her chest. We adopted her almost a year ago. She is about 17 months old.

Today, they had an older torti in one cage, a male. I'd estimate he was under 1, but probably not by a whole lot, maybe 10-11 months old. Nearly full sized, but still very playful. In the other cage... oh, so cute. A pair of young kittens, maybe 7-8 weeks old. So playful, and loving, and adorable, and I just wanted to pick them up, and take them home!

We sat there with them for probably 15 minutes. They were just way too cute, but with 4 cats already, we just do not need more. They were just oh so cute, though.

When we first got cats, we adopted 3 all at once from a local no-kill shelter. Aliex, Rajik, and Kirese, all who are now almost 2 years old (mid-March through mid-April birthdays, each 2 weeks apart). They are a great little trio of cats, and always piled all 3 onto my bed to snuggle and sleep wrapped up in each other during the day. Then, we found Giaa about 5 months later, and adopted her. Then, all hell broke loose.

Kirese really hated Giaa, Rajik was indifferent, and Aliex was mostly indifferent as well, though all 3 took turns growling and being all put out over it. We finally found out that to get them to accept her, we should use baby powder on all their bottoms, so their scents matched. We were at the point where we felt maybe it best to take Giaa back, because the other cats were not taking to her, and we didn't feel it was fair to upset all 4 cats over it.

Let me tell you- the baby powder worked amazingly, and within a couple days, we no longer had to keep Giaa shut in our room, away from the other cats.

However, we realized then that we probably would not be able to adopt any more cats until we no longer had these 4, which (if we are lucky and they remain nice and healthy) will probably be years and years away, likely through when all 3 kids graduate, since that's only 10 years away.

Speaking of... it's hitting me more and more that Raegan is only 4 years away from graduating. 4 years. In 8 months, she'll be picking out a formal gown for her first school dance. In a year, she'll be taking drivers training. It's just too much to wrap my mind around- I have an almost 14 year old daughter, and I don't even know where the time went.

Valentine's Day Placemats

This is a project I did when I was still spending most of the day laid up in bed. After Christmas, when Dollar Tree marked their Christmas items down to $.25, I picked up 4 bright red placemats. I picked up 4 because I was on a budget, and wanted to spend in even dollar amounts. I did not, in all my infinite wisdom, pick up on the subtle fact that we have 5 people in the family.

Because I was laid up at the time, I did not get back to DT for almost 2 weeks, and when I went, they still had Christmas stuff out, but were out of the red placemats. I did pick up 5 of the same placemat in white, though, for Easter.

Anyway, because I was in bed, there are no tutorial pictures, but it's easy enough.


You'll Need:

Buttons, pom poms, or other embellishments

  1. Cut out shapes from the felt. Because I was doing Valentine's Day, I went with hearts. For Easter, I think I'll do eggs. 
  2. Stitch a button to the center of the heart, if you are doing what I did. Otherwise, embellish the felt shape as you like.
  3. Hand stitch the shape to the placemats. I did a primitive looking stitch, but you can do any type of stitch you want, obviously. You could also do this with a machine, if you are so inclined, but it was a fast job even by hand. 
Ta da! 3 easy steps, and you're done! I would estimate start to finish, it took me about 15 minutes per placemat, once I figured out what I wanted to do with them.

Total cost would depend on your On-Hand items. I had everything on hand once I decided to make these. I didn't have anyhting in mind for the placemats specifically when I picked them up, though. Breaking down the costs (cause, let's face it, you buy the supplies at some point, whether they are on hand or not), though, I spent $1 on 4 placemats. Thread- $1.99 for 1 roll, but I used very little. Buttons were bought in a big container for $4.99, probably close to 500 of them. So, a penny per button- $.04 for the buttons.

I had thought about adding some ribbon trim hand sewn on in loops and ruffles in the corners where the hearts were, but opted not to. Being 4 of them, I put the hearts in a different corner for each one. I did 2 pink and 2 white hearts, and used red thread on them.


Now, for something kind of funny... I have a red velvet (ish) stocking hanging above my desk. It's been there since probably late October, early November. I tend to forget it's there. Today, I did some much needed tidying around the desk, and saw a few picks I bought after Christmas at 90% off- all of them are in pinks, lavendars, and reds for Valentine's Day. Well, haven't come up with a use yet, so I decided to put the stocking to work as storage. I think it turned out cute:

Have a FANTASTIC weekend, everyone!! 

This post is linked up at the link parties listed here

Check back on Tuesday to link up with Talented Tuesdays at My Frugal Family!

Super Points

One of the things I do to fill my time, is try to find websites that will give out rewards or payments for my time. My favorite is Gather, which is kind of like a mix between a blog, and a social network like Facebook. For 2008, I earned $1400 there. For 2009, it was down, but I still earned around $850-900. In fact, from January to May of 2009, I saved all my earnings, and took the kids camping up to Mackinaw City for 4 days.

Anyway, I found a new site. I'm not sure yet how great it will turn out to be, but if you like earning sites, check out Superpoints.

So far, I have seen that you earn points when you shop online, as well as from survey's, and playing a clicking game. There is also a search function, but I haven't tried it yet.

Points wise, you get around 500 for signing up, which is worth a $5 Amazon gift card. They do have a minimum cash out of 2500 at first, then it goes down to 1000, then down to just 500 points, based on levels of interaction. It took me all of signing up and filling out my profile to get to the 1000 point cash out level. That means as soon as I hit 1000 points, I can cash out for a $10 gift card.

Check it out if you've got time!

***Edited to add:

Well, thanks to some active referrals, I bumped up to the level where I only needed to have earned 500 points to go ahead and cash out. I cashed in for a $5 Quiznos gift card, since there is one right across the street from where Nick works. I'll let you know when I receive it, so everyone knows how long it takes!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gold & Tacky to... Not Gold & Tacky

Last week, I found these gloriously tacky looking, gold plastic candle holders for the wall. They have a great design, but they're gold. Yes, really. Gold. Not like gold metal. More like fake, metallic-ish gold.

I immediatly wanted to spray paint and dry brush or glaze them. I'm not entirely certain if I'm happy with them, or if I want to redo them. Time will tell, and since they are for a room re-do that hasn't been redone yet, I have plenty of time to decide if I love them, or if they're getting another makeover.

They cost me all of $.29 each.

Painted Cherry Red- they were darker than these pictures turned out.

After dry brushing on black paint- it was too wet, and I added more than I had planned to.

 The pair

Held against the wall.
Like I said, I'm not sure if I'm in love with these or not. If I redo them, I'll likely go straight black, and add just a hit of a red glaze to them, instead of the dry brushing. I wanted the crevices to show black, but that didn't work out.

This post is linked up at the link parties listed here

Check back on Tuesday to link up with Talented Tuesdays at My Frugal Family!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Talented Tuesday = Talented Ladies!

I just went through all 120 links on my weekly Talented Tuesday party, and I'm just in awe at some of the completely awesome things I got to see. I'm really glad I decided to start a weekly link party, because you ladies have been totally inspiring me!

And seriously- 120 links!! The amount of talent out there is just astonishing. You ladies really are an amazing bunch!

Today I didn't do a single thing crafty. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I'm a total insomniac. Normally, my issue is falling asleep. I can't do it until I've totally exhausted myself. Well, imagine my delight last night, when I fell asleep before midnight! That's like super early for me, when many nights, I see the wrong side of 4am.

However, it was not a peaceful sleep. I kept waking up. I finally gave in at 2:30, and was up for the day. The little sleep I did get, though, was helpful, as I was productive today in non-crafty ways. For starters, I did the first major grocery shopping trip since I broke my rear. What's really scary, though, is that we were due to go grocery shopping the weekend after I broke my butt- almost 3 weeks ago.

I've done quick shops here and there, and sent hubby for things, but no long, planned out grocery shopping trip. Since I knew I wanted to do that (actually, at 4am, I wanted to, but I resisted the urge to go out and shop in the middle of the night, though out grocery store is a 24 hour one), I opted to shower this morning. I hate, hate, hate morning showers, so I never take them unless I have to. My greasy hair told me I had to. Ok, it wasn't that bad, but it was driving me nuts.

Now, because I wanted to shower, that meant taking Gilly to school, instead of waiting for the bus. It wrapped up neatly. I could dwadle a bit, since the bus comes at 8:10, but school doesn't start till 8:45. That, and the school is only a bit further than the grocery store, so I could stop there on the way home.

The only flaw- I got there, and (thankfully) checked for my debit card when I was getting a cart, and realized it was safe & sound... in the jeans I wore on Saturday to Chuck E Cheese for a belated birthday party for Chris & Gilly. Oops!

Ran home, and went back to the store. I'm really glad I checked when I did, otherwise, I'd have been really embarrassed at the check out counter. I loaded down on things we needed, and followed a meal plan. That makes grocery shopping easier, and most the time, cheaper. I plan my meals around sale prices, so we can eat as cheaply as possible, while still getting variety.

Some of the big things for the next two weeks? Sloppy Joes, Chili, Chicken Stew, and a Taco night, along with stand-by favorites like pasta, pizza, turkey-burger helper, etc. I picked up hash browns, too, since we have eggs and sausage, so we'll make a nice big breakfast on Sunday.

It was just after 10 by the time I finally left the grocery store, and I opted to run by Goodwill real quick. Remember my project earlier this week? Well, I decided I wanted to see if there were any more of those pictures at the As-Is side. When I was in last week, there must have been 10-15 of them, split between 2 different designs (did I mention they were brand new donations?).


I lucked out, and found 3 of the other design, though I opted to only grab 2. I have an idea for one, and the other will sit and wait for inspiration, or maybe to make a similar one to my first one for a gift or something.

I also found a long wooden drawer organizer- like a silverware organizer, but a lot longer. It'll fit very nicely in my craft desk, and maybe help me to bestow some organization on that mess. I seriously need to spend 2-3 days just gutting that area, and re-organizing all of it. It needs it that badly. If not worse.

All right, that's all out of me for the night. I hope to do another craft post tomorrow or Friday! In the mean time, keep creating amazing things!

In the mean time, here are some of the projects I started yesterday that I want to finish up soon!


(These are all pre-fixing, none of these have been done over in the photos above!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentines Day Crafts

I'll admit it freely- before this year, I never really looked at how many cool things can be done for Valentine's Day. There are just so many wicked cool crafts that look oh so sweet! On any given day, I'm finding more and more fun ideas, and more and more takes on already seen ideas.

I am in love with Valentine's Day right now!

Frugal Decor

Last week, I made my first trip to Goodwill in several weeks. I'm able to drive for short distances again, so that makes it much easier to get around! While I was in there, I found some "trash" that I wanted to turn into "treasure" with paint, scrapbook paper, and mod podge.

Here's the first finished item- a wall hanging. I haven't decided if it will be for my dining room or my bedroom, since both rooms are done (or will be) in the same shades.

Cost Breakdown-

Picture- $.99 at Goodwill
Scrapbook Paper- $.20 on sale at Michaels
Spray Paint- $3.29 for a can, which lasted through 5 projects today, with about half a can left, so... I'm going to say maybe $.85 worth of spray paint
Acrylic Paint- On Hand
Mod Podge- On Hand
Letter "H"- $1.50 on sale at Hob Lob
Hot Glue- On Hand

First, I taped part of the frame work off. The picture is all in one- it looks like a frame, but it's all just 1 piece. I liked the crackle paint, so I wanted some of that to remain, and thus, taped it off. I then sanded the surface down so the paint would adhere better.

I spray painted the very edges and the main picture surface, which I forgot to take a photo of. The design underneath showed through still, but that was all right. It looked nice on the crackle area, too.

After it was painted, I removed the paint tape, and dry brushed black acrylic paint onto the surface where I hadn't painted. I had forgotten to sand this part down, though, so the paint didn't stick real well. I wound up wiping most of it off to give it a more glazed like effect.

I also wound up adding some around the edges that were painted red, which gave it a nice effect.

While this dried, I sprayed the letter H red. While that dried, I cut out the black scrapbook paper I had chosen, and mod podged it to the surface of the picture.

Once the letter was dry, I dry brushed black paint on the surface, again wiping it off for a glazed effect. Once all of this was dry, I glued the letter to the surface. I love it!

It's a large piece, standing probably 16x20, and it cost me $4 to create! This will be the large center piece to whatever wall it goes on, with a pair of candle holders I also painted today going on either side of it. I can't wait to redecorate the rooms so I can add these to one of them!

From Trash To Treasure:


This post is linked up at the link parties listed here.

Don't forget, today is Tuesday, so link up with my Talented Tuesday Link Party!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Talented Tuesday

Welcome to Talented Tuesday! I can't wait to see all the fun posts today, so be sure to link up, and check out the links below for some new inspiration!

I saw so many talented things last week, and loved them all. Here are just a few of my favorites, though.

Turn an entertainment center into a fun, unique kids kitchen! I've seen these done before, and they never cease to amaze me!

Turn an adult sized neck tie into a cute kids tie! This is great with Easter coming up.

I love pedestal vases, and they're really popular right now. But who wants to spend $20+ to buy one, when you can make them for around $2! I have several of these as well, and love them!

How romantic is this for Valentine's Day? I love how it looks against the black door, with the vivid red ribbon.

This wonderful frame is made from a clear acrylic photo frame, mod podge, scrapbook paper, a clip, and ribbon. These would be easy to make with on-hand items!

If you were featured this week, feel free to grab the "Featured At" button below!

Have you been featured on my blog? Copy and past the following code to your page!

The Rules

1) Post a blog about something you've made- a refurnish, recipes, a craft project, a sewing project, room decoration, anything you've done!

2) Add a link to your blog post- not to the blog itself, but to the individual posts! You can post more than one project, just add more links! The links should look something like:

and NOT like this:

3) Add the code below to each post you link to the MckLinky, so that others can post their projects here as well! The list will accept new links through Saturday, so if you make something new, come back and post it! Don't forget to look at the links on the list, and let people know where you found their post at!

This MckLinky will remain open and accepting links through Wed night, so feel free to come back and add more links if you post new things!!