Decorating the Party

Today is Nick’s and my engagement party!  We’re having a few immediate family and members of the wedding party for a fun BBQ out in our local park.  Here’s a few of the decorations I’ve prepped to make it festive!  Most of these will also be appearing at the wedding, too!

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Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Hooked on papering!

A recent thrift store find had me excited about making a new project.  This simple wooden hook hanger was a plain rust-color when I picked it up, but I’d had this great bird printable on hand, and decided to use it to embellish the accessory!

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I started with the hook, a small mirror, the printed sheet, scissors, and a little glue.

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I folded the paper around the edges of the block to figure out where the corners would be.  Then I snipped them a little so there wouldn’t need to be any corner folds.

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Paper will of course tend to wrinkle because of the moisture in the glue, so I used a small paint bottle to roll out the bubbles and wrinkles.

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I added the mirror on with a little more glue once the base dried!  Exciting!

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Not wanting the bare edges of the mirror to show, I picked out a few pheasant feathers to glue around the edges.  I carefully overlapped the tips over the quills so they wouldn’t show.

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And the finished product!

What finds have inspired you lately?

Chalk it up to caffeine!

Continuing on my adventure with chalkboard paint, I thought one morning as I made Nick his coffee and me my tea that our respective morning beverages would be a fun place for some chalky application.  Not IN the cups, but ON them!

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I started with these plain coffee and teacups, purchased for a pittance at the local ARC.

I taped off my areas for painting.  This shows just the placement of the tape; I added more wax paper to cover the rest of the cups later.

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And the final results!

What are your plans for chalkboard paint?

Fun With Chalkboard Paint!

I happen to have a theme for this week, and it’s dun dun dun… chalkboard paint!  I started out using it for speech bubbles for our engagement photos.  After that, I made some boards into regular old chalk boards, also for use at the wedding!  Those are all fine and dandy, but I wanted to see what else I could do with this versatile paint!  So I grabbed a few jars that I’ve been collecting and a few other cans of paint and went to work!

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Wax paper and painter’s tape helped me seal off the areas I didn’t want getting paint on them.  I did each jar a little bit differently!  One jar got a complete coat on the outside (after a base coat of regular spray paint), another got an interior coat of white and a fabric cap.  These two others are my favorites!

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A little squat salsa jar got a coat of light brown paint inside, but the cap got a few coats of the chalkboard paint!  Since I couldn’t get all the adhesive off from the original sticker, I covered it with some cute cute lunch-themed fabric and there you are: lunch money jar!

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The other I added a little chalkboard ‘label’ to!  First I blocked out a base for the label and painted with the same beige as the lunch money jar.  Then I blocked out a slightly smaller space for the chalkboard paint using painter’s tape.  A few coats later, and there we are!

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The adventures will continue Friday with more chalkboard paint stories…  Stay tuned!

I’m back!

You missed me SO MUCH, didn’t you?  And I know you’re just DYING to know, what did I do these last two weeks?  Well, here, I’ll show you:

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First, there was a lot of this (including stats.  I’ve never had to do stats before.  It is painful in the extreme).  I’ve written several papers, read about 800 pages (that is not an exaggeration), and collaborated with many wonderful classmates!  I have a test to take this week, and then things will be settled out for a while.

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We got the carpet cleaned.  I’ve promised myself since this that I will vacuum at least once a week, more if I have the time and energy.  The accumulation of long brunette hairs in the carpet is just no longer acceptable.

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I sanded and painted this charming antique schooldesk.  I’m hoping to make it  fixture in my future classroom, but after living on the porch for two years, it needed some serious TLC.  It’s cleaned up and painted a base coat, but I kind of like the whitewashed look and may leave it!  What do you think?

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I also finally finished cutting all the flags for my wedding bunting, and created this test string to use at our engagement party next month.  I’d planned to serge each flag, but after testing one of the flags, I thought they might be better without.  We’ll see how this one stands up when used outside in the park pavilion for the party, and then I’ll decide.

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I did have a LITTLE fun!  Last week I went to Live@5, Alice 105.9’s summer patio concert series.  My friend Mara and I have done this for many summers past, and it’s always been fun, but this one got crazy really fast!  My name was drawn for a trip to Vegas, so Mara and I will be going together at the end of the summer!  It was SO crazy!  I am also no longer allowed to say “I never win anything!”  Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Denver?  Check out the ball park in the background of the photo!

I have a lot of fun little projects planned for this week, and I’m excited to share them!  Stay tuned!

DiY Scarf Vest!

I have to share this quick-and-easy solution for a vest accessory!  From the amazing studs & pearls blog, this super simple and fast vest-from-a-scarf DiY.  Looks AMAZING!

source: studs and pearls

DiY: Scarf Vest at studs & pearls

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Faux Mercury Glass Experience

I wanted to create some votive candle holders to double as décor and wedding favors, so I gathered my DiY wits about me and went after a beautiful vintage mercury glass look.  There are tons of tutorials out there on how to do this, and I read several, devising a plan that worked!

My ingredients included 72 small votives purchased from amazon.com for about $36.  What a deal!  Add to that some painters tape, a squirt bottle, and metallic silver spray paint, and you’re ready to go.

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Since the votives came neatly packaged in these boxes, I opted not to cover them entirely in tape.  The cardboard shielded the bottoms just fine from extra overspray!

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The key here is to spray the insides of the glasses with water to achieve an antiqued look, before spraying the paint.

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On the porch with my tools and paper, so as to not continue to paint the concrete, like we’ve already done.  Squirt and spray, and then leave them for a while, of course.

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I also purchased some LED tea lights because, hey, it just seemed safer.  No worries about kids or relatives lighting themselves on fire.  Also, LED tea lights?  Just kind of awesome.  Here’s the look, along with my sample table centerpiece (and some other stuff that I have on the dining table).  I love the soft, glowing look; I think it will really suit our reception location!

Did I mention this was ridiculously easy?  It only took me a few hours to complete 50 votive holders (I’ve reserved 24 for other designs, mwah ha ha!), plenty for the decorations and our attendees.  Next I will be creating the copper tags (saying “B & N”) to add to the votives, as a personal touch!

Made or seen any great DiY décor or favors?  Share them!

What am I saving for storage?

Now that I’m in full-on preparing-for-teaching mode, I’ve been saving all sorts of containers left and right.  Spice jars, pickle jars, peanut butter jars, you name it, I’ve got some!  I’m saving them for a number of purposes: to store small craft supplies, for pens and pencils, or even just because I like the look of them.  Here’s a few I have in stock!

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Spice jars!  These are the kind that typically come from the Simply Organic line at Target, and I love them because of their classic square shape and screw caps.  I’ve been collecting these with plans to keep them at home for small craft items like gems and buttons.

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Glass jelly jars are wonderful for so many things, even as cute drinking glasses!  Right now, this one is storing a few buttons and wrapped with a bit of leftover ribbon for some decoration.  These are also great for storing pens and brushes, even mixing paints and other raw materials.  Need them to have an even more distinctive look?  Try coating the inside with paint for a unique display (and to hide any messy stuff inside from view!)!

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Ah, the plastic peanut butter jar!  This I am planning to take to my classroom for storage of small items.  Unlike the glass jars, there’s no risk of breakage with this little guy, but you can still easily identify the contents.  Small items like dice, counters, pompoms, or pattern blocks will fit perfectly and safely into this container, even around the littlest of hands.

How are you repurposing your leftover containers?

Help me create a wonderful place to learn!

Well, I’m just two weeks out from finishing student teaching and hopefully ending my job search!  Education is a tough business right now with very limited financial support, and I need all the help I can get to create a great learning environment in my future classroom.  And I would appreciate any help I can get!

source thesmarterwallet.comAn easy way to support my new classroom and students is to make purchases from my Amazon Teaching Wishlist.  I have a lot of badly needed items sorted by priority order, as well as some items that would really make my classroom unique and a wonderful place to be!  I’m striving to create a place where students feel welcome, safe, and happy, and anything you can give will help me to create that and support their success.

I need some basic things like pencils, markers, and storage, but also some additional items like attention-getters, books, and cleaning supplies.  All of these things will help me to create a supportive environment for my future students – who are of course our future leaders!

Make an investment that’s sure to have a great return – invest in education!  Thank you for all your support!

Howl’s Moving Ceramics

This has nothing to do with anything other than being so incredibly awesome and relevant to my interests that I can’t NOT share it.

Sourced from instructables

THIS IS SO AMAZING.

This incredible creation was made by Liz of Artisan Cake Company in Portland, Oregon.  She regularly builds in fondant and cereal bar (and in rather nerdy fashion!), but turned to clay and glaze for this piece.  I love it and I want one.  Check out her whole process at Instructables.