Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pinterest Projects I Actually Completed: Cheap and Easy Holiday Frame

Well, Howdy!  I may need to introduce myself because it's been, I don't know...AGES, since I've written anything.  Life's been good, but life's been busy and the only time I have to write is in the late evening.  By that time, my brain is mush and anything I wrote wouldn't be very coherent (although it might be quite entertaining.)

Anyway, this Saturday Lil' Sis and I actually found ourselves with a free schedule and no boys in the house.  My suggestion that we spend the day in our jammies, binge-watching Once Upon A Time was met with:

via Giphy

So, I put my super suit on, and we headed out to single-handedly boost the local economy.  Several stores and one taco lunch later, I finally wore her down in Hobby Lobby when she asked if we could "Please go home?"  Light Weight.  You are no match for your mother.  Remember that always.

So, while she recuperated, I decided to get crafty and make a little frame for the kitchen counter.  I bought this little wooden frame in the $1 bins at Michael's a long time ago and had just never done anything with it.  I found some cute scrapbook paper at HL and went to town.

  • Lay the paper, pattern size down on a flat surface.  and then center the frame, on it.

  • Realize you will need something to adhere said paper to said frame.  
  • Realize you did not purchase said adherent.
  • Use your vast experience doing crafts with pre-schoolers at Sunday School and go on the hunt for Elmer's Glue.
  • Realize that at some point your children stopped using Elmer's Glue and only use glue sticks.  Not the same.
  • Miraculously find an old bottle of craft glue in the back of the cabinet.  Do happy dance.

  • Mix glue with water in a small container until it's a thin consistency.  But not too thin.  
  • Realize it's a very good thing your family is not dependent on your income as a DIY blogger.
  • Brush thin-ish glue/water to front of frame.  
  • Place it glue side down to the back of the scrapbook paper.
  • Try to fold the paper back over the frame in some kind of ninja-gift wrapping move.
  • Fail miserably and tear the wet paper.
  • Be extremely thankful that you know yourself well enough to have bought a second piece of scrapbook paper.
  • Scrape off wet, glue-y paper from frame.
  • Try again.

  • Remark to yourself that you like the second pattern better.
  • Remember that you didn't want to fold the paper over the back of the frame.
  • Cut the paper to just slightly bigger than the dimensions of the front of the frame.
  • Brush glue onto frame and place the paper on it.  
  • Smooth the paper over, very carefully, so it doesn't tear again.
  • Brush another coat of the glue on top of the paper and smooth again.
  • WAIT until it's dry.  (I capitalized that because this is the point where I usually mess up an otherwise easy craft because I have no patience.

  • Once it's dry, cut lines from the middle of the "hole" in the frame to the four corners.  Once you have four triangles, you can decide how you want to proceed.  I put double sided tape on the paper, just where it would fold over the opening and then cut off the excess.  You could just fold them in and tape the triangles to the back side of the frame.  Totally up to you how fancy you want to get.

  • I used an emery board in lieu of sandpaper to sand off the excess paper around the rounded edges of the frame. It worked beautifully and didn't tear the paper.  
  • I didn't want to leave the raw wood on the edge of the frame, but I didn't want to mess with stain, either.  I chose a brown water-based marker and "colored" the frame edge.  

  • I took a wet paper towel and wiped off the excess "stain" off the wood.  Then I took the stained paper towel and wiped it over the paper front to give it an aged look.  

I chose a couple of little printables and printed them on my home printer on card stock.  Of course, you could also put a photograph in there.  Here are the ones I chose:

from Craftberry Bush

from The Chronicles of Home

  You could also skip the whole folding the paper triangles thing (and I totally would have if I had done a little research first) and just stain the inside of the opening.  Here's an example of that:

from Not Just a Housewife

I love this little frame and it cost me all of $1.89 for the frame and two pieces of scrapbook paper.  It's easy to make (really, it is) and customize to the current season.  It would also make a great teacher gift for the holidays!  

If you stayed with me through this tutorial (of sorts), thank you!  My family and I wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pinterest Projects I Actually Completed: DIY Gratitude Tree

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
~ Melody Beattie

Tonight at our Wednesday night Bible Study class, I heard two ladies talking about a topic they had been discussing in their small group:  gratitude vs. thankfulness.  I had never really thought about the difference.  To me, they were two words that essentially meant the same thing.  When I got home, I was still puzzling about it, so, I did what every self-respecting nerd does:  I googled it.  Most of the hits were about the semantics and grammatical uses of the two words.  But I found the quote by Melody Beattie and it really spoke to me.  Another post explained it this way:  "Gratitude is a state of being and thankfulness expresses that gratitude.
Yes.  Yes!  A state of being.  I want to always be led to express my thankfulness, but I want it to come from a state of gratitude, no matter my circumstances.
I saw this beautiful craft and tablescape on Ella Claire's blog and I had to use these precious leaves somewhere in my house this fall.

The idea was to make a Thanksgiving Tree, but after thinking about it, this tree will instead be my Gratitude Tree.  I want that in my heart year round.

So, here's how I'm using her cute printable.  I took some fall patterned scrapbook paper that I got at Michael's for 10 cents a page and cut them down to 8 1/2 x 11 so they would fit in my printer.  

I made sure to get one-sided paper and printed out the words on the white side (obviously).  I wanted the back side to have some pattern and not just be plain white.  You could tea-stain these to make the background behind the words brown, but I liked the white.  I punched a hole near the stem and used a skinny peach colored ribbon to tie them onto the branch.  I got the branch off a tree in our backyard (free-yea!) and used a galvanized bucket I purchased at a garage sale eons ago.

I stuck the branch in a quart size canning jar and was debating on what to fill the bucket with so it wouldn't show.  I didn't want to spend much money on this and I had quite a bit of scrap book paper left.  I decided to cut it into strips and "curl" it like a ribbon.  I cut them into 1" strips and if I had it to do over again, I would probably do  1/2" strips to make them look more like ribbon.  I took some old packing paper and wadded it up to fill up the bottom of the bucket.  Then I went to town curling the paper with some scissors.

Don't be jealous of my fancy scissors.  

Ella Claire included some blank leaves so that you can write down things that you're grateful for (or thankful for, if that's how you roll).  Either way, this is a beautiful way to decorate your house with things that have meaning and help keep you mindful and intentional in the way you celebrate this season. 

I hope you're all enjoying this fall season with your family and loved ones.  I would love to hear about some of your traditions and how you keep your focus on the most important things!