Scroll Saw Bowl

Last month Nick’s cousin Katelyn got married, and we made this cool wood bowl for her wedding gift. The was our first time using a scroll saw, and we followed the tutorial over at The Kim Six Fix. I think it turned out so awesome, and we got tons of compliments on it! Nick did the sawing and gluing and I did the sanding and glue cleanup. I can’t wait to make another one for us!

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Early Fall

Okay, a reasonable person might be expected to believe that I had dropped off the face of the earth. In reality, the settling in to the school year along with various other unexpected occurrences has hit us like a freight train and blogging has gotten pushed to the back burner. But I’m here now! So I hope you’re ready for some pictures, because I’ve got a few to share.

This is a little half octagon table Nick and I refinished. Okay, it was way more him than me, but I helped a little. I am so terribly sad that I didn’t get a picture before he started tearing it apart, but trust me, it was UH-GLEE. Think sea foam crackle paint all over, and the veneer on two of the doors was badly damaged. That’s where he really impressed me – he smoothed it all out with Wood Bondo, and you can’t even tell it’s not original. The top was in good condition, so we just stripped, sanded, and stained it. We used a Rustoleum stain in Kona.

I shared this image over on Instagram. These lovely little banners were inspired by the one made by the adorable Bethany at Pitter & Glink. I made a cardstock template for my banners using my We R Memory Keepers Banner Punch Board, then cut two for each banner from dropcloth. I machine stitched them together with pink thread, then cut the words from htv using my Cameo. The font I used was Magnolia Sky, which is free for personal use. The flowers and bow are a variety of purchased and handmade pieces. I punched holes in the corners and added eyelets using my Crop-a-Dile Punch and Eyelet Setter, threaded in some random satin ribbon I had on hand, and knotted the ends on the front. On the back of each banner I hot glued a wooden skewer cut to size along the top to keep the banner hanging straight. The Create Beauty banner is hanging in my craft room (as pictured below), and the Be Kind is part of Lily’s gallery wall.

So this happened in late August. Sawyer wasn’t feeling well at all and we couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment, so I took him to the ER. By the time we got there he was having some breathing distress and they ended up keeping us for two days. We never did find out exactly what the problem was, but the best guess was that he had a virus combined with an allergic reaction to something that really hit him hard. Below is a picture of him hanging out with his buddy Chase, who brought him Play-Doh, cars, and snacks and spent some time looking suitably impressed with Sawyer’s grand tour of his hospital room.

Nick works for Lexus and they sent him this amazing gift basket, which was such an awesome thing for them to do!

Nick’s cousin got married last month, and we stayed at an amazing chalet near the wedding venue where they had this gorgeous handmade quilt on the bed. I’m in love!

We got to see Nick’s sister Kristin and her family, which was awesome. They live in Texas, and it had been over a year since we’d seen most of them. It was so much fun to get the kids together with their cousins!

Our Lily girl got baptized a couple of weeks ago, and she couldn’t have been more precious.

So those are a few of the things that have been keeping us busy lately. What have you been working on?
*There are no affiliate links in this post. I have not been compensated for using any product mentioned in this post. I just like to share what I have used in case you might want to use it too!
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Hodge Podge End of Year Update

Guys. Come on now. You didn’t really think I was going to go the whole rest of 2015 without blogging again, did you? Okay, okay, so I’m cutting it close, but I’ve been a little busy. Here’s all that’s been happening:

First of all, the house. We got the foundation work all completed, and it is now completely steady and under a transferable lifetime warranty. Unfortunately, the buyer ended up backing out with no real explanation the very day we were having the work done. So that was disappointing, but the foundation repair needed to be done either way, so we are more prepared than ever for when the right buyer comes along. We also put in new kitchen counter tops and new backsplash along the sink wall, so it went from this:

to this:

Halloween was definitely better this year than last, but I didn’t do anything crafty in the costume department. Or take really any pictures, apparently. This seems to be the sole picture I have of the two littles who trick or treated. Lily was either Rapunzel or Sophia the First, depending on her mood and whether or not she wanted to wear the wig. Sawyer was a little more put together as a pirate. But seriously, what was the deal with this picture? Mom/photographer/blogger fail.

We also had a couple of things going on with the ladies ministries at church. Our Teachers of Good Things group had their quarterly craft meeting, and this time around we made easy burlap wreaths. Nick came up with a pile of wire coat hangers and helped me (mostly just did it for me) shape them into wreath forms. Then we just unhooked the top, accordion folded burlap ribbon, threaded it on, and rehooked the top. My awesome mom, who is a licensed florist, whipped up burlap bows for everyone.

My SIL Leah the wreath model.

We used basically this tutorial on Just Call Me Homegirl although as I mentioned, we accordion folded the burlap instead of zigzagging/twisting to save on time because our church life center had a second event happening after ours. In retrospect, I wish we had followed Homegirl’s tutorial more exactly, because folding it the way we did required more burlap (about 15 yards a wreath) and I found that over time it tends to compress and sag down to the bottom. I think it would work well this way if you were to first use a fabric stiffener on the ribbon.
We also did a fun Christmas Sock Exchange/Cookie Party. Everyone brought a fun pair of new Christmas socks filled with goodies and we all baked cookies and exchanged socks. So fun!
In other news, I finally got to upgrade to a Cameo, and I did a lot of fun projects for Christmas with it, I made a couple of cool guy gifts out of paracord, I made some awesome drop cloth Christmas stockings, and I participated in the Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange again, all of which deserve their own post. Happy New Year, guys!
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Simple Ornament to Year Round Display

Guys, we are hardcore into this getting-ready-for-market thing over here. The storage unit is rented and more or less filled, the new linoleum is down in the bathrooms, and the new carpet is in (squeeeeee!) People, we have pulled back out the baby gates. That’s right, we are doing whatever it takes to keep little kiddos with crumbs and exuberant puppies well away from the deliciously soft and fluffy goodness carpeting our bedrooms and hallway.

And moooooost of the painting is done. By which I mean we still have to paint the ceilings (how do ceilings get dirty?) and do some touch ups here and there. And we are right smack in the middle of painting all the kitchen cabinets white and ohmygoodnessIlovethem! Why didn’t we do it years ago? SO. A bit slow here on the blog. But crazy, overwhelming, Ijustwantanap busy behind the scenes.

But I managed to break away to slip in a post here. A few weeks ago I became aware of the imaginative world of Patience Brewster. Patience Brewster is a one-artist company featuring the whimsical renderings of Patience in the format of stationary, home goods, art, accessories, and Christmas ornaments. I’m dying a little over this gorgeous Zelda Zebra ornament and think she would look great in my craft room (when it happens).

Like Zelda, many of her pieces are versatile enough to be displayed year round, and I thought I would share with you one of my favorite Christmas ornaments that stays out all year.

I collect Willow Tree figures, and I have a number of them displayed on a shelf in my living room. Several years ago Nick’s grandmother Gail gifted me with this beautiful Heart of Gold ornament, and it’s very special to me.

I normally have it hanging on the wall above the shelf displaying my collection of figurines, but this year I decided to up my game on the display to tie it in with Valentine’s day. This was a super simple project. I grabbed a two pack of 6×8 burlap canvases from Walmart for under $4 and wrapped one around the top with narrow satin ribbon in red. I crossed the ribbon through the elastic string on the ornament and tied it in a bow, then wrapped a bit more ribbon around the center of the bow to finish it off. Then I just hung it up!

This is easy to change the ribbon on to keep the display fresh for the current season, and the neutral colors and the gold of the heart will play just as well with springy blues and greens as it does with the red. And if I decide to use the canvas for something else, it couldn’t be easier to take apart!

I am not affiliated with Patience Brewster, was not compensated for mentioning or linking to her products, and there are no affiliate links in this post.

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Painting With A Twist: 16th Anniversary Date

Thursday was mine and Nick’s 16th wedding anniversary. Can you believe he’s put up with me for so long? Good guy, that one.

That day Nick had to work, and that evening we wanted to attend a memorial service for a friend of ours who went home to be with the Lord this week after a battle with colon cancer. So there wasn’t really much opportunity to celebrate, although we did have a lovely dinner together after the service. My parents took our two girls for the night, so with just Sawyer on board it was almost like a real date. 😉

But on Friday, Nick made big plans for us! He told me to drop the kids off with my parents (all 3 of them!!) and meet him after work. From there we drove to Painting With a Twist where he surprised me with a yummy dinner of fish tacos and an art class!

I did this several years ago at another place (Uptown Art, I think) with my friend Danielle, and we had so much fun!

I came home raving about it, and told Nick that I would love for us to get to do a class together someday. He’s a terrific artist, and I can at least follow directions, so I thought it would be something we would really enjoy together, and I was right!

The class we took offered an option to do it as a couples class and split the painting, which is what we opted to do. This was perfect, because my one hesitation about doing it together was the thought that we would go home with two paintings that were essentially the same.

The instructor was great, very patient and encouraging, and it was such a relaxed atmosphere. I was not comped in any way for this post, and Painting With a Twist does not, in fact, know that I’m writing it, but I wanted to share was an awesome experience we had!

The price point varies depending on the scheduled painting, and it ranges anywhere from $25 to $45 a seat, although you can find classes like these on Groupon and Living Social all the time.

It was so cool to see how everyone’s painting was a little different from everyone else’s, and it was awesome to me to see how well mine and Nick’s flowed together.

He added a little heart with our initials to my tree. 🙂

We plan on hanging these in our bedroom, and I would love to be able to do this again next year. How neat would it be to someday have years worth of artwork to look back on as memories of our anniversary each year?

This was such a fun date, and I’m a truly blessed girl to have the husband God gave me! I love you, Nick!

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Gallery Wall

So my husband has been after me to get some photos up on the walls for ages. And I’ve been in agreement, especially since I’m also a photographer, but the cobbler’s children and all that. To start with we didn’t have many printed images of our own. Then back at Christmas I ordered a bunch from the awesome photo lab I use. But we didn’t have the frames we wanted.

Then right after Christmas Nick and I stopped at Michael’s and found these awesome frame sets that came with 9 various shapes and sizes. And even better, they were marked down from $49.99 to $7.99! So we grabbed a couple of sets. 

Right now we’re in the process of going room by room in our home to both pare down on our belongings and make any touch-ups/repairs/updates that need to be done. And right now we’re on the living room/staircase, so it was the perfect time to get all those pictures framed and hung. There are still 4 frames that we’re looking for just the right photos for, and I plan to add a few non-photo elements to the layout as well. But here is the wall in progress.

Ignore our builder grade banister. It’s on the to-do list for when we have the money.

Some of my favorite shots ever of both Taylor and Lily, not to mention my handsome husband and his two gorgeous sisters up there!

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