Lily’s Gallery Wall

In the old house Taylor and Lily shared a bedroom for sleeping. Lily and Sawyer shared a bedroom for clothes and toy storage. So none of them really had a space that belonged completely to them. I knew that in the new house I wanted to do some personalized decor for each of them, especially since for the year we were on the market the house had to be very neutral and generic. Taylor has decorated and redecorated her room a dozen times, and I’m happy to let her do that. At 15 she’s old enough to know her own style. But in Lily and Sawyer’s room I’ve done gallery walls. Sawyer’s is pretty much done, and I’ll show you his in another post, but this post is about Lily’s. 
It’s still very much a work in progress. I need to spread it out a little more and raise her art display twine some. The roll of twine with mini clothes pins came from Target via Bargain Hunt, but it would obviously be very easy to DIY. She is very artistic and constantly drawing, painting, and crafting, and I wanted her to have a place to display her creations. She also has some of her school awards up there. 
The Be Kind banner was made by me. Semi-tutorial here.
Taylor did the pineapple painting, and the flamingo and party dress artwork are my very tentative forays into the world of watercolor. The dress is my very poorly executed version of a gorgeous free printable offered by Lisa at Mabey She Made It. If you have mad watercolor skillz like me, well, you should probably go get hers. But I wanted a pink dress, plus our printer is still buried somewhere in a box, and Lily is ridiculously affectionate toward things that I make just for her, so for now anyway she gets my version. 
The little orange L with arrows was a clearance find at Hobby Lobby that I painted. The floral pieces are all clay flowers Lily and I made using oven bake Sculpy and (mostly) Martha Stewart molds. I just hot glued them onto wood plaques and hung them with adhesive Velcro dots. The woodburned pieces are all made by me. The Lily the Lovely piece is clay art made by me
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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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Crafty Birthday Party: The Activities

Fair warning, this post is going to be LONG. I planned a ton of activities for this party. And we got to almost all of them. We had planned to do Sharpie tie dyed shirts, but about half the girls forgot to bring a shirt to dye. We were also going to do nail polish pendants, but we really just ran out of time and energy.
We had the party at our church’s family life center, which was such a blessing and terrific for the space and amenities, but it’s not my favorite place to shoot pictures, so excuse the industrial background.
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We started out just letting the girls mingle and have fun. They picked out their party favors and chowed down on the food. A few of them had to come late, so we waited on the crafts until they were all there. My mom did such a great job with the food and decorations.
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I made this cupcake banner courtesy of inspiration found here.
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Gratuitous shot of my awesome nephew LB.

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              Taylor                                    Lily
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Sawyer

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After the food and presents the girls dove into Taylor’s monstrous collection of nail polish for mani-pedis. A couple of months ago I found a bunch of pedicure flip flops for like 40 cents a pair so I stocked up for the party.
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After the nail polish, the girls did chocolate facials. These were SO simple, just coconut oil and cocoa powder. They all said it made their skin super soft, and of course it smelled amazing! I had enough left to package some up to send it home as parting gifts the next day.
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While the chocolate facials were setting, I had them making lip balm.
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Then I let them dive into my bag of leather remnants, and they cut out leather earrings.
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Next they made Shrinky Dinks. This was maybe my favorite activity of the night just because of how entranced they all were by the process. Most of them had never seen them before, and they couldn’t get enough of them! Did you know that you can buy a 50 pack of the sheets for $22.00? Such a better deal than paying $6 for 10 sheets at the craft store!
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Then they painted little canvases mounted on magnets.
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Next up were bottle cap pins. Images purchased here, here, and here.
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Doesn’t that little hipster squirrel just slay you? That whole sheet of images was awesomesauce!
Next (yes, there was more!) I let them dig through my bag of satin remnants to make singed satin flower hair clips.
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The last activity of the night was the photo shoot. They were looking a little tired by this point.
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All of these accessories were found at the Dollar Tree, and we had enough scarves and sunglasses to send one of each home with each girl.
DSC_0561So this is what I look like at 5:30 in the morning after hosting a bunch of newly minted teenage girls! Keepin’ it real, folks.
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After that I put them all to bed and popped Frozen in the DVD player. The next morning I fed them fruit, pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, and milk. All in all I think it was a huge success!

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