Friday, June 24, 2011

My Newest LandMark Letters

When we went out of town this past spring break I came across some neat letter finds. Here are some of them!

This C may very well be my favorite for now. It was just a matter of luck and timing that we came across this new Ferris wheel under construction in Myrtle Beach. It's actually nothing to sneeze at either. It's the SkyWheel and it's the tallest wheel in the Eastern part of the US. Here is an article about it. It looked like this before lunch and by afternoon, the full circle was complete! I got my C and I'm so happy.

In Washington, DC, we walked around to the museums and I snapped a few photos. I found this L when I looked across the roof line of a building with the Washington Monument in the back ground. I was needing some good L's so I took it!

O's are pretty easy to find, but as we were walking into the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, I couldn't resist snapping this O found with the Colossal Head. So tribal. So neat! So Olmec!

This L came from a South Carolina marsh. It's just a pipe and wood to some people, but to me it's an L.

At South of the Border, you'll find some craptastic junk inside the buildings. But outside... well, that's another story! Here's an A. It's Pedro and he's welcoming me to take his picture!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LandMark Letters in Sepia for The Finchers

My husband's best friend has the most amazing parents. His dad calls my husband his other son and they were so kind to give us the keys to their mountain home for the weekend. To show our appreciation, I made them a LandMark Letter gift.

Since their mountain home has a rustic interior, I didn't think the typical black and white would do, so I switched it up and printed these in sepia and framed in white, rather than black. I matted each photo on white card stock and used cream textured art paper for the background. 

Look closely at the C. I absolutely love this. I was so lucky to happen upon a ferris wheel that was under construction in Myrtle Beach when we were there for spring break. When we drove by later on in the day, they were finished and the C had changed to an O.

I usually print my photos on 4x6, but this time I made them wallet size since a last name with seven letters would require a really big frame if printed at the larger size.

The frame was a thrift store find that I spray painted off white. Have I ever mentioned that I absolutely love spray paint? Well, I do! 

I also made them a little thank you card to go with it. 

I used CTMH stamps. I believe it's the Roughin' It set, but I can't remember if that's the correct name. I also stamped on a CTMH covered button, which I think turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. Those buttons are fun! 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How I Solved my Linen Storage Problem with $2

There are so many things about my home that I just love, but if I could change something on the inside it would be my laundry area. It's not even a room. It's just this closet with shelves and since the closet is a further into the interior of my house, forcing the dryer hose to be over 13 feet long, nothing dries quickly! urgh.

Oh, and not to mention the fact that this closet is right beside my bedroom. It never fails that if I'm drying something with lots of buttons or buckles, that's the night when I have to go to sleep with the dryer still running because I forgot to turn it on earlier in the day or it's running for a second time because it didn't dry all the way the first go-round.

Clothes dryer rant aside, this closet has also served as my linen closet and it has been a mess since we moved here...over five years ago! Well, yesterday I decided to change that.

Here's what I had to work with. In this photo I had already started pulling sheets and blankets from the shelves because it looked so bad. I even found the paperwork to our washer and dryer that had been there since we moved into the house. It was untouched. Those shelves have basically served as a catch all for junk, but they were somehow so full that I had no room for laundry detergent, hence the basket of bottles on top of the dryer!

Here's where the $2 comes in. I found these wire baskets at Goodwill yesterday. When I got them home and took a closer look at them, turns out they're chafing dish holders, tee hee. Now they have an entirely different use. :)

And here it is all neat and organized. I have a big bag of crib sheets and bed skirts ready for Goodwill too. I don't know why I was hanging on to those for so long! I also made enough space on my shelves for my cute hot pink cooler, beach bag that I just got from Barnes and Noble and my monogrammed Land's End tote bag.

Since my husband likes to drive me crazy by throwing his sweaty hats on top of the dryer at any given moment, I decided to stick some nails into the wall to act as pegs for him to hang his hats on. I also pulled out an old coffee can, cut a slit into the lid and placed it on the shelf. It is perfect for stashing loose change and buttons as they come off into the wash. if only I can keep mommy's new change can a secret from the kids!

Funny thing about that little hook the basket is hanging from. It was always there but I didn't know it. After clearing this shelf, I discovered that it was upside down. The hook was on the top side serving no purpose so I flipped it over and now I have something to hang my fabric softener sheets (that I never use) from. I also put a nail on the wall for the occasional belt that I have to yank from pants before they go into the wash. Today's belt was my son's baseball belt.

And there you have it. My newly organized laundry/linen closet. My actual linen closet is upstairs, but I hate going up the steps just for a pillow case, so this is where my sheets will remain. Nice and neat!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Making a Hummingbird Feeder with My Little Hummingbird.

We spent the weekend in the mountains and not only did we get to watch the sun rise over the mountain tops Saturday and Sunday morning, we were also entertained by all the hummingbirds coming to eat at the feeder hanging from the porch. I nearly drove myself insane trying to capture one with my camera. I did get one shot, but it's really no good.

Not only did I enjoy the hummingbirds, but my daughter did too. I tell you, if she were a bird, she would be a hummingbird too! These birds pretty much live on sugar and so does my sweet Taylor and she's as small and quick as a hummingbird.

This morning, Taylor and I made our own feeder for our porch. This is what my kitchen table looked like at 7 a.m. today (I'm still on watch the sunrise over the mountain- time).

We used an empty water bottle, Gatorade cap, hot glue, tin foil, and non-toxic paint. Also, we used some twine for hanging, but that's not pictured here.

Since hummingbirds drink nectar, they needed some sort of flowers to pull the sugar water from. We used tin foil to make the petals, but first we painted the foil with non toxic paint. Here are Taylor's little hands in action.

After the paint dried on the foil, I folded the foil in half and free handed the petals with my handy Martha Stewart craft scissors. Love those things! I then opened the petals and crossed them to make an x. Next, I took a poker and put a hole in the middle and glued the petals together.

Here are the petals glued to the cap. I touched up the paint and then went a little crazy with the other colors.

And here you have it! A hummingbird feeder made by Taylor and me. It is filled with sugar water that is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. We hung this up this morning and we've already had a hummingbird come to feed!

I found the instructions on making hummingbird feeders at this site: Check it out. It has lots of helpful information and more detailed instructions than I gave you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Gift for Ms. Keri

My youngest son has had a wonderful speech teacher this year. Her name is Ms. Keri and he has loved working with her. I asked him why he likes her so much and he told me that it's because she plays games with him. Well, I like her so much because she's helped him find his L's and she's working on his K sounds.

Tomorrow is his last day with her. Next year he'll be in elementary school and will probably have the resident speech teacher so we will be saying farewell! Here's a little something that I made for her as a gift to let her know how much we appreciate her. My first swing at giving someone my LandMark letters as a gift!

I pulled out my architectural letters for this one! I even got to use some of my new ones from our last vacation. I even re-purposed an old frame to be 100% crafty on this project!

I printed my pictures at the Walgreens 1-hour photo lab yesterday. I then matted them on 4.5 x 6.5 white cardstock. I used a large sheet of black paper that I bought in the art section of Hobby Lobby as the background. 

The frame itself came from this really neat thrift store that just opened. They take old junk and re-purpose it to make nice new things. I picked up the frame from the warehouse in the back for a dollar. The paint even came from there. It was a small, half-full can of high gloss latex paint. I paid $1.25 for frame and paint! This project cost me under $5.

One great thing about architectural letters is that they are everywhere! The K came from one of the barn doors at Atalaya in Huntington Beach, SC. (Yes, that's South Carolina. There's one there too!) The E is a traffic light in Savannah, GA. Of course you know, traffic lights are everywhere too. The R was a horse mount in Savannah, GA...or was that Charleston? Okay, so I can't remember where that one came from, but both cities are very similar! The I is one that most people know of. Taken in Washington, DC. The Washington Monument!

One reason why having a well stocked craft room is beneficial to your family.

It's the last week of school and my son has one final project to complete. It's due Wednesday and last night it hit me that he pretty much had NOTHING done. On Sunday, the kids and I made a paper mache mountain, but other than that, we had a semi-dry paper mache mountain and a piece of raw plywood. After thinking about our busy schedule for the rest of the week, I realized that he only had last night to work on it so I herded the kids and hubby upstairs to my craft room and we got to work! ...well, after the spray paint dried on the plywood and mountain.

I've never really done paper mache, but I knew that there was a way to do it using strips of newspaper and watered down glue, so we went with that. Thank you Martha Stewart for that nearly dried up bottle of glitter glue that has been in my craft stash for a couple years. It now has a good use! We used my old, or should I say vintage in order to sound fancy, Sears Merry Mushroom napkin holder as the mold.

Then I fired up my Cricut, making the Hollywood letters, Zoo sign, these waves and that fierce shark. I pulled out my Martha Stewart (Thanks, again!) scoring board to score the bottom quarter inch of these waves so I could fold them to make a base so they would stand up. The surf boards are from an old TAC stamp set.

The road was cut on my old Creative Memories wavy paper trimmer and I just drew in the dotted lines with my Uni-Ball gel pen in white...Love that pen!

I kept the kids busy with Legos while I was playing with paper. ...I mean helping my son work on his project. They built the people and props with them. They stayed busy the rest of the time picking up all the Legos that that they dumped on the floor in the process!

A long time ago when I saw that Jolee's Boutique San Francisco sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby, I knew that it would some day have a purpose. Well, here it is! Eighty cents well spent! The gold 49ers corner of this project came together very well with my son's Legos.

The large items are held down with glue dots. Man, I love those things! They're even securely keeping that Hot Wheels Porsche from rolling around! The paper pieces are just held down with my handy Scotch ATG tape, which I do believe is one of my best purchases!

Can you guess the theme of this project? I bet you can! It's California and it takes a look at some of the places in Cali that make it interesting. We have Hollywood of course, San Francisco, the PCH, San Diego Zoo, La Brea Tar Pits (black t-shirt paint worked nicely for that tar!) and finally, the beach. It is on wheels and ready to go in the parade. All of the kids had a state to make a float so I'm looking forward to seeing them all together! (And to see how our project compares to the others....oops, did I say that?!)

So you see, when you buy tons and tons of craft supplies and tools, you're not only buying something for yourself. You're buying emergency items to help bail your son out of procrastination! :)