Capturing Space: Create Your Craft Room On A Budget! *

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After much anticipation and a little good ol’ anxiety creativity, I have finally completed my newly remodeled Craft Room! A project that’s been long in the making, this previously useless spare bedroom has become what will now be known as “Chelsea’s Lair”. Below you will find the dictionary definition of the term Lair and have a better understanding of why it is I will be choosing this title for such a room. . . . #YesImAWildAnimal.

lair
le(ə)r/
noun
  1. a wild animal’s resting place, esp. one that is well hidden.
synonyms: denburrowholetunnelcave More

Chelsea’s Lair is going to be the perfect place to calm down and get crafty. Being the wild, chaotic and disorganized individual that I am, I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to at last have a space in which I can truly unwind (and hide)! A colorful, calming and creative space . . . I can finally escape Life’s daily duties and comfortably update my Etsy Shop, Blog Space then go on to attempt every bat-shit-crazy Pinterest idea I can get my dirty little hands on. #ADreamComeTrue!

But seriously, this Lair will ultimately offer a space that Paige and I can bond in a creative environment time and again. Whether it’s painting on her easel or playing with play-dough. . . this home office/craft room will provide the perfect opportunity for playful discovery! Capturing a space that’s been so idle over the years, it’s nice to have the extra room while also finding affordability in a makeover.  So without further introduction, I present you- How To: Create Your Craft Room On a Budget!  

Craft Room On A Budget

So it’s probably important that I first address my obsession with Pinterest and all the un-realistic “home office” pins you can find on that succubus. Practical? No. Visually appealing? F Yes. I am literally entranced. Crisp white counters with perfectly paired rugs . . . invisible wires (seriously though, how is your computer not dead yet?) and lamps that twinkle with glitter complimented by the vague scent of rubber cement and lavender. It’s seriously a joke right? Nobody can keep a room this organized, pretty AND productive. It’s just not possible.

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And seriously with the white. Why does EVERY craft room have to be white?? Did I miss the memo? Not only is white furniture a pain in the ass to come by, it’s incapable of staying true to color in the presence of my toddler. #TrueStory. Talk about a blank canvas, my daughter would eagerly color the shit out of a white desk. It looks like paper . . . I can’t even be mad. Oh and white walls? #DontEvenGoThere. I can’t handle it. Needless to say, I decided on black espresso, as I do everything in our house. While I enjoy the calming effects of lighter colors, I also appreciate the resale value in our home, thus leading me to a uniform design and flow through out our house. . . espresso everything. It started small and has now resulted in a domino like effect through the entire place. . . every room. It just works.

So to start, this project came about when I stumbled across one hell of a good deal on Craigslist. Once my wedding was over, the spare room sat empty. With the initial intent of creating another guest room, I quickly switched gears towards a more productive space once I spotted this posting. $100 for 4 (gently used) Ikea “cube” shelves. I’m pretty sure they are called Expedit Shelves at the actual Ikea store, but since our entire house is filled with “cube” shelves from Target, Ikea and probably Walmart; I continue to just refer to them as cubes. Ok, so this couple was moving to Atlanta and couldn’t fathom moving such a boat-load of shelving, thus- I score. #BigTime. One 8 Unit “cube” shelf is $89.99 alone at Ikea. PLUS it’s over an hour drive to Ikea. Ferndale is maybe 20 minutes. With that being said, I purchased them all. 2- 8 unit shelves and 2- 4 unit shelves. That would typically run a person $279.96 plus tax. I scored them for $85- (Talked the husband down over the phone.) #GoMe. They seriously are brand new with the exception of a few minor scratches that are on the floor end only. I couldn’t be happier. I get home and rearrange them alongside a few dressers we already owned with my hubby. Below was the layout we came up with.

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Ok so this is when things start to get exciting (If you’re not excited yet, stop reading. . . seriously, we can’t be friends). I have the space and the furniture, now it’s up to me to fill in the blanks! That is right, a blank canvas left all to my devices. Lets get decorating. . .  dollar store time is upon us people! #IFingLoveDollarTree.

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Ok so first lets start with this little shelving unit. The shelf was something we had lying around already, probably from Ikea as well. You can pick one up for like $15 or less. Anyhow, I decided it would be best suited above the desk end of my random layout and could be used as a decorative focal point. I decided that by picking up a few randoms to throw atop this little beauty I could really get a great vibe going. First was the random ceramic blue bird (adorned with inappropriate and slightly humorous crown): Picked him up at HobbyLobby for $1.50. His beak was chipped- normally $15.99. The Pink Bird Cage you see: $3.50 – Also from Hobby Lobby. Normally $7.00 but was marked 50% off the day I was shopping. Blue frame: Free – I’ll explain further down in the post. The blue bowl and Green mini bucket: $.25 – DollarTree. Picked them up a few birthdays back for candy dishes. 4 for $1. The Purple Clothes Pin: $1.00 in the Michael’s Craft Store $1 Bins. The A-R-T Letters – leather wrapped – $1.00 each – Also in the Michael’s Craft Store $1 Bins. I’m telling you people, THIS is where it’s at. I can’t stop at any craft store without checking out the clearance sections, $1.00 bins or markdowns. It’s always a gold mine!

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Next comes the top of the bookshelf. I decided to spruce this up with a few things I already had lying around. It was ok at first but was lacking that “grab factor”. I decided to pick up a wall decal at Jo-Anne Fabrics last weekend to finish it off. The Decal was only $9.99 normally – A great price. I got it for $6.36 with a 40% off Coupon. #Winning. The Paige frame was a gift I got from my husband a year or so back and fit the bill so it stays. The blue frames, well: I hosted a black-market trade with my sister-in-law. She gave me 9 aqua, mint and teal frames in exchange for one pair of moccasins. You think I’m joking? I’m not. I initially ordered them for myself, the 5 was too small (this typically NEVER happens). Alexa, being the only human on earth to wear a smaller shoe size than myself, was my logical recipient for a free pair of Mint Green Mocs. Something I was truly in love with. . . . Don’t worry. I still ordered myself another pair (they were on clearance + free shipping = DUH). She called and told me she had some un-used frames she was getting rid of and thought I might be interested, I told her I had some brand new Mocs that wouldn’t see the likes of my foot. . . we rendezvoused that night. BAM! Trade. (I guess I will consider the frames costing me $12.99- the total for these AEO Mocs). The chair – already owned. The “Live What You Love” sign was a random purchase at Hobby Lobby for 40% off at $6.50 and that awkward vintage desert tray in the back? $2 from a Craigslist spree back in 2012. . . Yes I’m crazy.

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This little cubed in portion of my desk was another area I planned for appearance, not storage (although the apple obsession had to be stored somewhere- it’s a little of both). The bottom shelf was an excellent place to store all our old apple boxes, some needed-some not . . . but I seriously just love their packaging. The other side was a perfect fit for Paige’s first scrapbook. It’s basically an exact fit. Above are just fabric remnants, thrift store vases and some fake floral. All in all I would say totaling $8. It wasn’t much of a find as I just pick things up when I’m out and about . . . I figure out what to do with the stuff months down the road.

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I seriously just LOVE these letters. Fun Fact – If you switch the A with the R it spells RAT (a nickname my husband often uses on Paige when she’s being a “brat”). . . the fact that these letters were placed directly below her photos is however, a total coincidence. #ThatsWhatWeTellOurselves.

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This wall art was picked up at Hobby Lobby for $12.50. Originally $25.00, it was marked at 50% off- along with everything else made of wood in the store. I couldn’t help myself. . . . I Love The Sales!

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The desktop is probably my favorite part of the room. . . So much color, so many helpful storage ideas. It’s seriously just so FUN! On the left, I picked up a little file organizer probably 8 years ago while I was in college and never put it to use. It’s black, files away all my Etsy receipts. It’s pretty much a NEED now. I remember picking it up on clearance for like $6.00. The large vase/hurricane glass in the corner was a wedding shower gift that cost us nothing and the flowers inside were all different clearance finds (and no I haven’t removed the tags yet). I think all in all probably $12.00 in the vase. The lamp I found at Meijer a few months ago for $15.00 and it even holds an iPad and has a USB dock. Love that lamp. The dry-erase board was a clearance find at Target last week for $6.95 and the stationary was a gift many years ago. The green, blue and pink containers were all from Dollar Tree – 2 for $1.00 and the golf ball bowl was a purchased a few years back for Paige’s Golf party on Amazon. $8.99 plus shipping. The purple desktop storage you see was a clearance find at Office Max last month for $7.00 and the blue vases and frame were additional trades with my sister-in-law. I also picked up the fun “Wish it. Dream it. Do it” decal at Dollar Tree for $1.00. I seriously just love love love this desk, I can’t wait to finish this never-ending post at it tonight!

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*Fun Floral To Add A Little Color – Each Daisy was on sale for $.99 at Michael’s yesterday. . . I just had to have them.

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So if you’re wondering, yes you’re seeing a lot of empty frames. The one thing I’ve yet to do is print our photos, prints and quotes for all these wonderful frames I’ve come to own. #OneStepAtATime!

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More empty frames. . . .I also even managed to sneak my College Graduation Tassel on to the floor lamp I picked up at Meijer last month. . . a quick $17.00 buy. The black frame across the wall is also something I had purchased back in the day, but I’m pretty sure it was a BigLots purchase of $15 or less.

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Finally getting around to the storage, I picked up all the green canvas bins you see at my local Meijer. After a TON of research, measuring, indecisiveness and immense frustration; I finally settled on these obnoxious bright green bins. A close-to-perfect fit, these canvas cubes can store all my crafting gear while also tying into the colorful theme. They were initially $12.99 a piece but I snatched 8 of them up for a quick $6.95 per cube – Last 8 in the store! Other storage was found at Dollar Tree – per usual. I also picked up the fun frames at Michael’s for $1 a piece – Great photo booth props, and the wooden basket was a Christmas Tree Shop find for $7.00 at christmas. It’s perfect for storing all my extra fabric strips!

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Finally, my absolute FAVORITE part of Chelsea’s Lair. . . . the Paige Art! Something I added just moments before finishing up: Photographed some random pictures of my daughter, printed 3 12×12 photos for $2.99 each at Costco and found frames at 65% off for only $2.83 at Jo Ann Fabrics on Sunday! These were the perfect addition to the space and added that artsy, yet personal look I so enjoy.

So all in all this room cost me around $300!! Totally worth it! I can’t wait to put it to good use and I hope to spend many an afternoon enjoying the organized chaos that is my life!

Have any of you created a home office? I would LOVE to hear about it! Also, check out the crazy link-ups over at the 36th avenue for great ideas on DIY EVERYTHING!

 

Whew, that was a long one. Happy Monday!

Cheers,

– C

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Back To Basics: Updating The Bedroom! *

So I should probably start off by apologizing. I know I said Wednesday that I would be posting this topic (Thursday) yesterday, and I didn’t. In fact, I attempted to make it one, straight week posting every day and I failed miserably! Oh, and on the one day of the week I work remotely no less. . . It should be the easiest of all the days, unless you of course wake up (as if you really slept to begin with) to a sick baby, a house full of chores and 5 Etsy orders to get out. It’s just been one of those weeks and basically, no time. Paige kept us up all night and I soon realized that she had a killer ear infection, thus requiring me to set a doctors appointment and cancel all pending errands (and said post). We made the best of it and she’s now feeling much better, but I wont lie when I say that I felt a little disappointed in myself for not finding the time. 

But really? Nobody cares if I post photos of my stupid bedroom updates one day later. Nobody is going to lose any sleep over this, especially me (Because it’s a post about a bedroom). On that note, lets roll because I finally fucking LOVE our bedroom and can’t wait to share the results!

Bedroom Update

So when I met my husband years ago, he had already purchased his house. A very responsible purchase for such a care-free 20 something, he was very much a dedicated home owner and it’s where we still live today. While I’m happily adjusted to his humble abode, I have made quite a few changes since my initial introduction of his territory. #AGirlsGottaDoWhatAGirlsGottaDo. While most men suffer from some sort of internal dysfunction as it relates to all things “pretty”, PJ and I actually agree on a lot of decorative compositions and we both seriously love a project! We have similar styles and it creates a very comfortable and collaborative connection when redesigning anything in our home. While he may not completely adore my impulsive “decorative” purchases, he does find joy in the final results. . . .whether or not he deems me crazy in the process.

While we are now married and the house is legally “ours”, I will always consider it to be HIS home- for lots of reasons: I didn’t help purchase it, didn’t get to house hunt (the best part), didn’t decide on location, didn’t select the paint palette and definitely did NOT orchestrate the landscaping.  While it’s an absolutely wonderful house and I truly enjoying calling this home, their will always be little things I try to transform in every attempt to call my own. From hanging art to complete revamps, I always have a project in mind and with no future moves in sight, it’s D.I.Y. from now until the day we decide on our next home together!

Za and Dad Painting

With that I bring you to our master bedroom. The last remaining “blue” room in the house, PJ had been clinging to his boyish walls since the day I moved in. Forever avoiding my “womanly touch” this little bastard would come up with reason after reason why we shouldn’t re-paint the bedroom. . . . or the office. When Paige was conceived and finally deemed a female, her and I together declared the office (soon to be nursery) blue be banished – And yes her vote counted before birth. The bedroom was another story. Finally, 4 years later I’ve successfully removed all blue walls from our home. #Chelsea:1Pj:0. I couldn’t be happier. . .  while on the other hand feeling slightly guilty. . . . Men were sad, pouting ensued, I even believe him and our dog Baxter talked trash about me and the baby ruining the Bachelor Pad for roughly 6 minutes and then finally, the paint went up and the boys shut up. . . . and it was a fucking fab deal! Paige even helped paint, all the while using her limited vocabulary to repeatedly say “Bye Blue”. . . I’m pretty sure it was her tiny way of rubbing salt in daddy’s already open wounds. Either that or she was simply stating facts. #ByeBlue #LoveHer.

So laugh all you want, but this was the only photo (above) I had taken BEFORE the room was finished. Not entirely paying attention, yet aware that I wanted to blog about our revamp, I kinda forgot to take the “Before” pictures. Trust me you aren’t missing out on anything, especially the blue walls. So unfortunately this isn’t a “Before & After”format like I had initially planned but rather a “Come See How Good My Room Looks – Ron Burgundy” format. As long as we are clear on that, may I present to you our new bedroom(!!!): 

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TaDa!! Ok so a little background: We painted the walls a neutral beige (not positive on the color- message me if you want it for sure, I can look), purchased the bed frame from Ikea last summer- The Malm Collection Bed Frame in Espresso and some random Ikea Shelves we turned into a giant unit that encased the bed.  It was a total D.I.Y., the board across the top is a floating shelf and the two towers on each end, well I have NO idea how we figured it would all work, but it did and we love it. Total it ran us under $400.00 for the furniture updates. The dresser at the foot of the room is just an old hand-me-down that was painted black before to match . . . it needs a fresh coat of paint. The round mirror above the bed was a $29.00 purchase from BigLots. I’m not sure if everyone has a BigLots around them. . . I’m seriously sorry if you don’t. I have loved that place since I was 16. We have one a mile away, needless to say, I get in trouble. #SorryNotSorry. The bed set, FREE. #ThankYouWeddingShower and the little mason jars, floral, lamps, wall art, random decor and metal letters ($1.00 each- probably my favorite purchase – stay off my side of the bed!) were all things I had either lying around or purchased from Michael’s (With Coupons Of Course) for a total of $37.00. Paint was probably somewhere around $45. Two gallons with primer included. . . we already had the rollers and all that from many prior projects. So all in all, this room was completely revamped – Just trust me on this one, it was damn ugly before- for just over $500. Super simple and nothing over the top.

I would still like to add some art on either side of the TV and maybe a window topper to match the bed set but for now, it’s pretty much complete. . . and all for a feasible amount of cash! I just love it. . . . not to mention, now that all the rooms are almost identical in color, resale value is at its highest!! #IfWeEverActuallyMove. Can’t wait to nap it up this weekend. New Sheets, New Me!

Have any of you recently remodeled a room? I would love to see how everything turned out!! I’m also in the process of updating my craft room- post to come later!! Happy Friday!

Cheers!

– C

Free Valentine Prints! *

So typically I’m not a huge fan of “V-day”. To be honest, all I’ve ever hoped for was an excuse to get my hands on some chocolate covered strawberries. . . . like seriously. As if I couldn’t eat them any other day of the year, V-day is an excuse to eat not only 3 or 4, but a dozen. All at once. #NoShame. Hell I don’t even care for the fancy ones, I’ll make them myself. Just buy me some Dolci Frutta and I’ll dip those babies myself. . . . damn, then I can eat a whole pint of berries! You think I’m lying? Ask my husband (or anyone that lived with me in college), shit’s not even normal.

Anyhow, in honor of the people that DO care about such a worthless Hallmark Holiday, I’ve decided to provide you all with some free prints for the special occasion. A “V-day” gift from me to you- I typically sell prints on my Etsy Page but in honor of such a stupid romantic holiday, I decided to “share the love” so feel free to print these little monsters out and decorate the shit out of your homes. #ThankMeLater.

FREE V-day Prints

All of these prints are placed on a chalkboard backdrop for that rustic, charming feel I know you’re all going for. . . Or at least I was, when I made them. If you hate them, I’m sorry. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until “V-Day” 2015 for my next installment of love. But seriously, LIKE THEM!

Love - Chalk 8x10Click To Download:

https://app.box.com/s/s7r6n01fdrkdxzl2em6s

I Love You - Free V-day Print - 8x10

Click To Download:

https://app.box.com/s/4f5amo69bfjmtf7vz119

Love You Always - Chalk 8x10

Click To Download:

https://app.box.com/s/pq7qk4uibogxn4em1g2u

XO Chalk - 8x10

Click To Download:

https://app.box.com/s/vwtw6g7p7ko3s6cvgbb8

So there’s that. The most mushy little prints I could possibly think up for your printable pleasure. Please don’t say I never gave you anything. Happy Monday! XoXo. 

Cheers!

– C

Fresh Prints Of Bel Air *

Ok, lets take a hot minute to assess where my crafting has been, where it’s going and WHY I didn’t think to name my Etsy Shop “Fresh Prints of Bel Air” – #FML #AnotherLostOpportunity . . . You see, I opened my own Etsy shop shortly after my wedding was over. I was bored out of my mind and I enjoyed some of the crafting so much that I decided to turn it around into something I could profit from (on the side). Just for fun, a total experiment. At first I had no idea what I was doing. Orders came in here and there, I would barely make a dime for the time I put in and over all I wondered what on earth I was even doing. But, it was something to call “my own”. *-This was of course BEFORE I began this blog and among many other things started dealing with the “Terrible 2’s”. 

Terrible Twos

After a while I began wondering if it was worth all the work (or lack there of). I added a few new items here and there but nothing really took off. I would stalk research other Etsy shops that sold other things, similar things, whacky things, things I liked and try to understand how they had been open half the time and sold 10 times my figures. I wanted to pretend they were just self employed, totally devoted and had no lives to get in the way of their beautiful shops. That’s when I decided I was going about this all wrong and my logic kicked in. . .

I spent the majority of 8 years Bartending. I could make $600 on an average night at some places. (No, I didn’t take my clothes off- I just worked at all the best bars!) Divide the 7 hours I was at work, I’m averaging a pretty penny per hour. NOW- Etsy: I’m working my ass off for 2-3 hours on a dumb burlap banner (or whatever other weird things I list in my Etsy Shop) that costs me supplies, gas, time with my family and multiple minutes I could have spent watching Gossip Girl Re-Runs. #I’mAnAddict. All For an $11 turnaround? While I’m no mathematician, (I barely passed statistics)  and apparently not very good at spelling either, (my computer just informed me I can’t spell Mathematician). . . . I can however, figure that this is just NOT very profitable. Thus in turn making this “crafting” that I so once loved seem like a fucking miserable way to spend my days a chore. 

My Current Situation When Compared To Bartending. . . . #WhatWasIThinkingGettingADegree??

At this point I decided that some of the things I did enjoy about my wedding planning were simple little side details that I may have over looked. I created a number of little prints that I had forgotten all about and really enjoyed making. I even made our Wedding Programs and Day Of Timelines (Both printed on a Brown Kraft Paper – If You Can Imagine) . . . I’ll just show you the proofs (Below) since my photographer was the worst fucking vendor we had and declined to take any detail oriented photos whatsoever. (I only made sure to underline this 1,000 times prior to show time, I put a lot of hard work into this day- none of which was captured.) #SheDeservesToHaveHerCameraStolen. I won’t name drop for now, but that’s only because I had carrot cake for breakfast and I’m feeling slightly up beat. 

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After my wedding I decided to start making other cute prints as gifts which you can see in a previous post: Gifts For The Girls * and the creative obsession began. I was riffling through movie quotes, song lyrics, Pinterest boards, print searches and whatever else I could get my hands on to come up with my next idea. The creative process began, and still continues! Today, I’m successfully converting my Etsy Shop into a more “print friendly” shop if you will. I’ve devoted myself to creating print after print, color wheels, quotes and personal art that’s easily customized for each customer. I even spent the better part of yesterday morning  creating a Facebook Business Page for this new avenue and have added access to my shop through Etsy Theme Shop! (I can’t give myself too much credit though, I work in Social Media for a living, I better know how to do all this shit!)

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I have spent a lot of time considering the options and while I still list some of my favorite “Rustic” crafts, I’ve determined that it’s more appropriate for a full-time working mommy to be heading in this direction. The wonderful thing is that I create the prints once, save as a template and it’s done! It’s that easy! Less time spent stressing and more time spent eating ice cream with Paige, all while being able to dabble in something I truly enjoy! 

On a side note, my first full day having my Facebook Page up (Today), I won a contest through Etsy Theme Shop that gest me 100+ Likes and a Featured Ad to run on Thursday! I’ve met some awesome nice people via this contest already and can’t wait to check out their pages as well! I’m so very excited but rather nervous. I need to get posting some new prints!! Wish me luck. 

Do Any Of You Have Etsy Shops Or Sell Something Online?? Please Share, I love to follow new small business!! Xo.

 

Cheers!

– C

Crafty Canvas Covers *

Since I went Mrs. Clean on my house 2 weeks ago and organized each and every crevice; my usual chores have been few and far between. With all this new time on my hands I’ve of course come across a few “projects” to tackle and I’ve decided to fill you in on my latest!

Canvas Creations

This project was not only incredibly affordable but was a total piece of cake! I have been trying to decide what I can do with all these extra pieces of fabric lying around and after a totally failed attempt at trying to attach scrapbook paper to canvas, I decided to repurpose the fabric in a somewhat similar fashion. I’ve seen the idea around and have heard of friends doing similar projects but couldn’t find a “How-Two” anywhere so I decided to tackle this on my own, didn’t seem too difficult! 

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The Items I used I already had or picked up on random outings to the craft store here and there. The letter P I planned on using for another project but figured I could use it more effectively on something like this. Plus, I can always pick another one up. The Flower I just saw in a clearance bin at Michael’s one day and thought it would look cute. I grab weird things all the time and never know what I’ll use them for, until I do!

Anyhow, here are the items I pulled together for this project. . . . 

Supplies

  • 4 Canvas Boards (Whichever size you prefer, I chose the small 4 pack they offer at the craft store)
  • Random fabrics (best if you can find a color scheme or something to pull together)
  • Staple Gun (+ Staples)
  • Hot Glue Gun ( + Glue Sticks)
  • One Wooden Letter
  • One Large Flower Accent

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The accents are totally optional and you can of course add whatever you would like to spice this party up, I just personally went with what I already had. Or you can even just leave them blank, whatever blows your skirt up. 

So lets get on with these fool proof steps so you bitches can all go on with your day . . . .

Directions:

Step 1: Grab one of the fabric remnants you want to utilize and make sure it’s ironed flat. Lay one of the canvas squares on top and cut roughly 2-3 inches around each edge.

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Step 2: Take the bottom and top edges and fold them over the back side of the canvas. Make sure to pull them tight and begin stapling along the wooden frame. 

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Step 3: Once complete, work on the left and right edges and do the same. Fold each edge as if you were wrapping a christmas gift. This part is a little difficult (especially for men – if any men are ACTUALLY reading this right now- but seriously, what is wrong with you, why can’t you comprehend folding paper around a box?? It’s mind boggling. We all know you could make the best paper airplanes in 2nd grade. Stop pretending you’re so awful. ) but if you make sure to really tighten up the fabric, you’ll be all set. 

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Ok, so this first one might not be the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen but hey, I’m totally winging this! Plus, it’s the back of the canvas, who cares! My second one went MUCH smoother. I found it easier to staple the inside fold then the outer fold. More staples but a cleaner look. It’s up to you! 

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Once you’re finished you should have a smooth, clean and pretty little fabric covered canvas. Once finished with all four you’re ready to decorate! As you can see below, the first one is clearly the “demo”. I got a hang of it by the second, third and fourth. #ThankGod.

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Step 4: Grab your wooden letter and start painting. (That is, IF you are painting said letter. You may want to leave it black or white or even wood, whichever it came in to begin with. I was stuck with black and was going for Pink so I had to bust out my paint collection! )

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If you don’t already know, paint is typically wet for a while (Yes I just said that, you never know who’s reading) so lay your letter aside afterwards allowing time to dry. I use the cheap acrylic paints that take rarely more then 30 minutes to dry. If it helps, you may want to use a primer on black letters too (if that’s what you ended up with), as it didn’t cover with one coat. 

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Step Five: Get to glueing! Make sure to heat up your hot glue gun and add whichever little details your heart desires. First, I glued the flower on. I had to remove a bit of hardware from the back before attempting to attach but it went on with no major issues. 

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Next came the Letter P. I literally drenched the back of this thing in glue as I was afraid it wouldn’t stick. It stuck just fine, no worries here!! 

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TADA!  There you have it, you’re done already. I hope it went as seamless for you as it did for me, this project really was a synch! Not to mention it’s adorable. Now I just have to decide whether to hang it in my Daughter’s room (Paige) or my new and colorful craft room! -Which I will totally blog about later, I’m in love with how it’s coming along!!) 

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So there you go, another project down in the books, another post to finally blog. I’m almost as proud that I’ve completed another post as I am that I completed the craft at hand. #TrueStory. I hope you enjoyed the project and that it’s something you yourself can re-create! Feel free to share your results and let me know, are there any projects you yourself have recently attempted?? 

Cheers!

– C

Gifts For The Grandparents *

So back before the holidays, I was on this kick of making sentimental gifts for close friends and family. . . while I should have probably gotten around to blogging about it then, I was too busy back-up shopping online in case these hypothetical gifts didn’t turn out as I imagined. To be honest I was quite surprised- I’m not such a hack after all!

I spent many a hour riffling through Pinterest boards and Blogs searching for some sort of inspiration when I landed on TipJunkie’s “14 Gifts For Grandparents” and decided to roll with it! I came across a few ideas I liked but one in particular stood out to me, #9- The Family Photo Display. The photo linked me back over to My Simple Obsession’s Blog where I found the simple and cute directions to create such a project- 

Family Spotlight Photo Display Tutorial

While I’ve always enjoyed the creativity behind a personal project, I can’t help but crave the challenge of completing an idea inspired by someone else. I like to know that I too, can do that! I too, am a somewhat crafty bitch! I too, can be a productive member of society! I also would like to take this chance to show Sarah, who created this project over at My Simple Obsession , that she is MUCH more talented than I but that I was, however, inspired by her post. I love her blog, it’s cute, simple and super fun. She’s got some great ideas so if you ever get the chance, go check it out! 

So anyhow, after looking over her post, I determined a few things that I may have to change or modify:

  1. Without one of those Cricut machines I was a lost soul. While I’m excellent at freehand lettering and I’m a huge fan of collecting stencils, I was in no way going to stack up against her perfected fonts. They are divine. I then moved on to adding the Cricut to my future Christmas List (It was too late of notice for this year, I didn’t want to be #thatwife.) Once adding it to the list, I surrendered to the idea that I would just have to utilize my stencils. . . and it wouldn’t be “perfect”. The end. 
  2. I wasn’t able to find the same size plaques at Michaels she lists in her post. I unfortunately was out shopping at the wrong time and they only had one left (I needed two – Both sets of Grandparents). I resorted to a lengthier and much more slender version they still had in stock. It wasn’t my favorite but it worked. . . . again settling. It’s tough for a perfectionist like myself but I’ve learned this whole act of “re-creating” other’s projects forces me to work with what I have, not with what I want. #BabySteps.
  3. I didn’t have her exact floral options but I did find some nice alternatives in the scrapbook section of Michaels. Or maybe it was the Martha Stewart section? (Is that a section? I don’t know.)
  4. I didn’t have the chance to run to Walmart for said “Burlap Ribbon” she lists in her supplies but I did however see some nice burlap looking ribbon at 70% off at checkout. #Score.
  5. I didn’t use eyelet screws, I used those micro mini nails I always find left over in the garage. . . I was totally scavenger hunting for the missing pieces to this project, not even going to lie. 
  6. I chose not to paint the plaque but instead, stain it. We stained our kitchen back splash with multiple stains over the summer and I had a ton left over, again rations. Also, I just love the look. 

Once I got home and I had collected all the supplies I would need for this project. . . . I began to plot my path to project perfection. Below is a list of all the items I acquired to complete the task at hand. While they differ slightly from Sarah’s post, I felt I could still accomplish my end goal. 

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Supplies:

  • Burlap Ribbon (Michaels)
  • Wooden Plaque (Michaels)
  • Mini Nails (2) 
  • Mini Clothespins (Michaels – come in a variety of colors!)
  • Hemp Twine (Walmart)
  • Paint Marker (Michaels – One Black, One White)
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Floral Decoration (Of your choosing) 
  • Staple Gun 
  • Stains (Home Depot – Of your choosing)

Step One: Stain the plaques. I used a variety of english wood, black and an old barn grey. They created a dirty, rustic brown. I couldn’t decide on an exact color so I just kept adding layers of all of them. . . .5 layers to be precise and NO, you don’t have to do this. You can more then happily just buy one stain you prefer and do one or two layers until you get the desired effect.  

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Make sure to wipe off each layer of stain after you apply it. This was important for me to know as I was a first time stainer myself. . . .luckily the hubby had some good experience before our kitchen backsplash “project” as you can see in the background. (He did such a good job, all the wood turned out different shades and I instantly fell back in love. . . with our kitchen. DUH!)

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Once they are done being stained (and wiped down) the plaque should look something like this. . . (See Above). Let these dry for the next 24 hours before attempting to complete the project. Also, DO THIS OUTSIDE. I made the mistake of attempting it on our kitchen counter. The house smelled for days, not to mention if it gets on ANYTHING it could be totally destroyed. I got lucky on that one but seriously, just take it from me. OUTSIDE. 

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Step Two: Lettering. This requires a stencil of your choice and your paint markers. You can use actual paint if you prefer but the paint markers make it incredibly easy! I pick them up at the craft store all the time! The phrase goes: GRANDKIDS  (Large Font Above) – Make Life More Grand (Small Font Below).

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Once finished with step two you should have a pretty little outcome such as this. . . .(See Below). I know it’s not Cricut perfect but hey, it was a $4 solution to a $150+ Cricut dilemma. Side Note: I was following the examples on My Simple Obsession’s post so closely that I committed the exact same grammatical disaster Sarah warned us NOT to do. That’s what I get for just following the pictures #ChildAtHeart. Regardless – It’s MAKE not MakeS. I did however realize my error before completing the second plaque. . . (remember I’m making two – one for each set of Grandparents), in case you missed that part. So that’s good. 

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Step Three: Involves those little nails I was telling you about, or eyelet screws, or whatever you yourself may have purchased (or found on your garage floor like me). Basically line them up along the bottom Right and Left corners level to one another. 

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I personally just eye-balled it but whatever it is you prefer, be my guest. Some people are more anal than others. Personally, I’m not really into that. . . . #I’veGotJokes. Oh, and if I didn’t mention it before, you need a hammer. 

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Step Four: Attaching the hemp twine. It’s pretty simple really, just tie the hemp to each nail and make sure it’s rather taught. If it isn’t, your photos will sag once you hang them. If that’s the look you’re going for then by all means, slip it some slack! 

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Step Five: Attach those cute little flowers you’ve been waiting to use! First off, remember to heat up your hot glue gun! (I always forget that step in everything, go to squeeze out glue. Boom! No glue. Also, really hard to squeeze.) Once your gun is heated, put a little glue on the back of each flower and place them wherever you please! 

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I went for the paper flowers as opposed to the fabric option that Sarah’s blog mentioned. I honestly didn’t have a preference I just happened to come across these first while creeping the craft store and I liked the colors. Fabric would be cute too, these were just more my style. 

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Step Six: Attach the ribbon. Take your burlap ribbon and cut two equally length pieces then staple them to the back of your plaque. I personally tied the bow first THEN stapled it to the plaque. This helped me to make sure the bow was equally centered, . . . at least my brain thinks so. 

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Step Seven: Take those cute little clothespins you’ve collected and get to pinning! This was my favorite step as I’m OBSESSED with all things Mini. I also loved selecting which pins I wanted to use as Michaels had SO many cute colors I never had expected. 

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& finally, you’re finished! Well minus adding the photos. I personally added pictures of our little Paige before I gave them as gifts but I mistakenly forgot to photograph them before I gave them away as gifts! Sometimes it slips my mind I’m actually going to blog all of this. . . I’m learning. Slowly. But regardless, below is the final product! 

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It’s so cute! (Although I must say it was even cuter when I added my little munchkin’s snap shots! It was the perfect gift for the grandparents. My in-laws even hung it in their living room, a place that no child has ever landed before in the history of the Scally household. #ProudMoment! 

So in closing I would just like to thank Sarah over at My Simple Obsession for providing me such a wonderful idea and challenging me to create something meaningful for the Grandparents! So tell me, which projects have challenged you? I would love to hear your thoughts and especially projects you’ve tackled. . . as I may try them myself! 

Cheers!

– C

Gifts for the Girls *

So this holiday season has been a bit of a stretch on the wallet. With tying the knot in May, 8 weddings to finish the 2013 season, 30+ Bach/Bachelorette & Showers, a remodeled kitchen and the significant setback of placing our daughter in Montessori, it’s been one hell of a year! Simply put, we are broke! And no, we aren’t eating Ramen every night but I’m not out buying myself the latest Prada either. (AS IF I ever was before!) HA. We are getting by for now but this process has definitely got me thinking outside the box….. But through my obsession with Pinterest, Etsy and my ability to think up a craft over a simple cup of tea, I’ve decided that this year my best girlfriends are getting a simple yet personal gift of my choosing!

Along with the help of some simple computer skills, (and trust me when I say simple) a little patience for downloading some outrageously fun fonts, and a Costco Membership I have come up with the idea to create a chalkboard poster with out all the excessive chalk paint and additional expenses! As I am a HUGE fan of the rustic/vintage themes lately. *Our entire wedding was rustic everything. . . . I have compromised authentic with creative and come up with a thoughtful gift I hope they will truly enjoy. 

obligated to love what i made you

You see, my two best friends, Heather & Rachel ( & Dual Maid of Honors),  just recently moved in together. Roommates since college, I sometimes still pine for the days we could watch One Tree Hill and eat movie theatre popcorn in between classes. (Yes Heather would literally stop at the movie theatre on her way home just to purchase a large popcorn. . . . No she wasn’t high.) No responsibilities and zero motivation, it was a magical time. To be honest I can’t say I even watched any of their shows. . . I was never much of a TV person growing up but I loved to sit in the room and interrupt the most important points in each episode. . . . I’m sure anyone that knows me is not in any way shocked by this. In all actuality, I was a late bloomer when it came to watching addictive television. It hit me around age 25 when I was on maternity leave, right about the time when everyone on planet earth had placed the shows I was just starting in the category of “that’s so last decade”. . . . due to a little bug I caught called NetFlix. I mean honestly, have you people ever tried to watch just ONE episode of Grey’s Anatomy on that thing, OR Gossip Girl for that matter?? It’s like one episode just rolls right into the other, it’s impossible to get off the train. A whole new world for me. . . or a lack there of. I’m not entirely sure.

Regardless, Once we graduated we all went our separate ways. Heather moved off to San Diego after college and Rachel stayed at home in Rochester pursuing careers in the automotive arena. I stuck out the introduction of this Great Recession in the bar for another year following graduation only to land myself a marketing career in the greater Detroit area where I met my husband and began my life as it is today. While we grew in distance we grew closer as friends. . . .With my wedding on the way, Heather was spending an awful lot of time and $$money$$ flying back and forth for the special occasion. A Mitten Lover at heart, Heather made the decision to make her move back home just after my nuptials. It was the greatest of news and I like to think my wedding made this happen! 3 years on the West Coast was FAR too long for me and Rachel to go with out. After some last minute moves, the girls settled into their house in Royal Oak and we’ve been making an effort to spend more time together ever since. 

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Rachel – Me – Heather

When Heather first moved home, we hoped to make her transition as easy as possible. We knew she was giving up an awful lot back in California to come here and while we wanted to jump up and down in excitement, we in no way wanted to diminish what she may be experiencing as she left her friends and career behind. This Christmas gift was actually inspired from the initial gift I gave Heather when she moved home. As a way of making her move a little lighter, I printed a Subway Art poster for her of all the most important places in San Diego. 

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After a lot of thought and creative digging, I came up with the idea to create a chalkboard design with a framed, finished feeling. I started by searching for the perfect backdrop. . . .Google. It’s as simple as that. I typed in “Chalk Board Back Drop” and tada! A thousand options. My advice is to look at the pixels and measurements and look for the largest option photo possible as this wont blur or distort when you go to stretch as a background. Below is my favorite option. It has a little dusty finish, a truly authentic feel:

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Now me personally, I’m an Apple girl at ♥. I have the obvious experience with Office as I think it’s somewhat essential in this day and age but with a Graphic Artist for a father, we never owned a PC a day in our lives. I’d like to keep it that way. While I have recently acquired the entire Adobe Suite, I have yet to really master it. . . . so this little project will be put together in Pages. For those of you unfamiliar with the program, it can be easily done in Word as well. To start I chose a 16”x 20″ page setting and stretched this fantastic chalkboard to reach each edge. (Adjust your margins to 0″.) I decided on a 16″x20″ layout because I will be printing these off at Costco. For the amazing price of $5.99 you can print a 16’x20″ photo on a lustre finish that’s the perfect touch for any piece of framed art. Not too matted but just enough shine, it’s a fantastic service and I LOVE the Costco Photo Center. So fast and always spot on!  

Once the background was in place, it’s just a matter of creating your own design. I stuck with a similar layout for each girl but substituted fonts and words in each piece of work. Next, I downloaded SO many FREE Fonts from a variety of sites. You can google Free Font sites but from personal experience, I recommend getting on Pinterest and searching “free fonts”. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with. I found so many fun fonts, especially for a chalky feel. I must have spent 2 hours just downloading fonts. . . . This was by far the most time consuming portion of this project. (By the way you in NO way have to spend that much time or download as many fonts as I did. I just couldn’t help myself. . . I’m a freak like that!) Make sure to check out my pinned fonts here. Also, some of my favorite Chalkboard Fonts I found on the fantastic blog: The36thAvenue.com . She had some Excellent Fonts that I used in this project.

*Some of my personal font favorites are: Return To Sender, Scribble Box, Dirty Cursive, and Chalk Line Outline. I also love the font Broken Hearts for cutesy little heart images that can really accent a project! ( I do a lot of prints for weddings so this in turn is a GREAT font for me.). 

After I decided on fonts and what not (obviously the most important part of this post!!), I simply would insert a text box for each word I wanted to use to describe the girls. I would resize each box to fit the desired space, use a multitude of type sizes, fonts, etc. and then finish it off by making each word White as to appear the color of chalk on a board. . . . the finished product turned out a little something like this!

Heather's Chalkboard Poster

!!AHHHH!! 

Rachel's Chalkboard Poster

I can’t express how excited I am to get these printed! I think they turned out so fantastic and can hardly wait to find the perfect white frames to finish them off. Upon finishing such a project I can honestly say that my imagination is running absolutely wild. I can’t stop thinking of the next best print I can come up with! If you’ve had a chance to check out my Etsy site, you will see that I had previously designed some rustic prints for your special day but now that I’ve created this personal gift, I can’t wait to craft, craft, craft! Have you crafted any gifts this season?? IF so PLEASE Share!

*SideNote: Any recommendations on Netflix shows you have enjoyed? I am always looking for the next best show! (Even if it is 10 years ago!!) HaHa Thanks!! 🙂 

Cheers,

– C