Tag Archive | crafts

I’ve Gone Mad … Mad for Plaid

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December 13, 2016 – Is it really possible that we are already half way through the month of December and just twelve days shy of Christmas day? The year 2017 is peeking around the corner!

Confession time: I have not been as devoted to writing on my blog as I would have liked this past year. A series of other priorities managed to finagle a way into my life and consume my thoughts. Funny thing about writing, when you’re consumed by thoughts one of two things can happen; it can all come flowing out of you  without any hesitation or it can stay bottled up inside you like a surge of water searching for an escape route around a dam. Unfortunately, the latter has become my struggle.

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Recently, following a great deal of reflection, I have come to the realization that writing has always been a really significant part of my life. It is a validation of my own thoughts and beliefs, no matter how crazy they may be. So, as the year 2017 sneaks in at an alarmingly rapid pace, I am making my first resolution. I will to be more dedicated to posting on my blog consistently. Here’s to resolutions and making them last!

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I have not let everything that I enjoy doing in my free time slip by the wayside. I still enjoy ‘crafting’. And, as the month of November rolled into December, I discovered that I have a growing obsession with PLAID….. not just any plaid, but flannel plaid. Oh my goodness, I have made plaid curtains, plaid table runners, plaid pillows, and plaid tote bags. I have appliqued plaid deer and vintage trucks on drop cloth and denim. I ordered most of my precious, flannel prints from fabric.com but when I couldn’t find the necessary  buffalo check, I began purchasing twin flannel sheet sets to satisfy my addiction. Living in Texas, where you can pretty much wear flip-flops twelve months out of the year, it is refreshing to surround myself with a fabric that is representative of an actual season – winter!

So, today as I make my way through this frigid 66 degree weather in Texas, I will proudly strut around in my plaid scarf, carrying my plaid tote bag, while sporting a new pair of flip-flops.

 

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With Love,

sunflower

 

These are a few of my Favorite Things

I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, LOVE SUNFLOWERS! I have a dear teaching friend that helps feed my obsession by driving all over the Texas countryside with me to take pictures of the fields when they are in full bloom. This year, due to the rains we had in early spring, the blooms were exquisite!sunflower 1

Each one is beautifully unique!

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This past weekend, I was able to go on a brief getaway to the coast. It was a great escape from the everyday ‘stuff’ and I couldn’t help but feel a wave of sadness wash over me when driving back home yesterday.

When packing for a beach vacation, it takes a lot of planning. Of course, the no-brainer is to throw in a couple of bathing suits, cover-ups, and flip-flops; but strategically packing the unfinished craft projects that you want to complete can be a bit tricky. On this particular getaway, I had decided that I wanted to sew some canvas bags. I had been buying coordinating fabric for this particular project and was super excited about trying out a pattern I had found online.

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I did tweak the pattern a bit, but for a great step-by-step tutorial on sewing tote bags Amanda from www.crazylittleprojects.com is your gal. I can’t wait to try her messenger bag pattern next.

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Just think of all of the possibilities! Beach Breaks – they’re not just for sand and sun anymore!

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With love,

sunflower

 

 

praying for JWR

The Days that Time Worked in my Favor

At the beginning of any extended vacation time  from work, there is a spring in my step, an unrealistic to-do list of Pinterest projects to try, and a feeling that the world is at my feet because time is on my side. I can easily organize the responsibilities of laundry, cooking, and cleaning with a lighthearted attitude.  I am so sorry  for those that  have not been able to feel that luxury of ‘time’ every once in a while because the opportunity to refresh is so important for one’s health.FullSizeRender (3)

This weekend, my husband surprised me with a road-trip for my birthday and our anniversary. Our definition of road-trip is: get in the car and drive to some undetermined destination.

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We spent two days driving to small towns, roaming around, talking, and laughing. Letting go is good and we both know that we have got to take these mini-vacations more often. We have decided however, that Siri will always travel with us in case we need assistance with gas station locations, hotel choices, and restaurant recommendations (that is a whole other story and one that we will laugh about together for years to come).

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With Love,

Penny

 

 

March Madness

Yep! It is here – the MADNESS!!! Basketball lovers everywhere anxiously await the end of football season, knowing that madness is just around the next corner. Scientists may officially list the seasons as winter, spring, summer, and fall – but sports’ fanatics include football, basketball, soccer, and baseball into the seasonal list as well. Native Texans include hunting season and, of course, all Texans have the unspoken understanding that sports’ seasons will overlap some.

Teachers, ohhhh teachers – bless them! March Madness means something totally different for them. Immediately following winter break, the symptoms of the madness begin to rear their ugly heads. Adrenaline courses through teachers’ veins and they begin to wake up in the middle of the night, haunted by recurring nightmares. Their sleep-deprived bodies will then toss and turn restlessly until dawn. Tension hangs heavily in the air throughout the halls of academic buildings. Alas, March Madness is what happens to educators as state standardized testing dates rapidly approach.

Seeking out moments of reprieve from the madness, is the only thing that keeps many teachers from going over the edge. I, too, am an educator. My escape is to start several craft or decorating projects.Image

Above is my muslin rag wreath with grapevine ribbon placed on an old window frame that was repainted and distressed.

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This is a burlap canvas with a painted wooden monogram place on it. I also embellished it with one of my drop-cloth flowers! When my grandmother passed away, I found this old fan in her basement. It doesn’t work but it still has the cloth electrical cord attached to it. It was pretty rusted out, so I took it apart and repainted it. I love the way that it turned out!

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I had two old metal bar stools that had ugly, ugly seat covers. I repainted them a sage green then went over the paint with an antique gel. After recovering the seats with drop cloth (I know, I know I seem to have an obsession with that stuff), I stenciled on the back of each stool. The small burlap pillow was made from some leftover fabric that I had purchased for another project.

My sewing machine will remain on my dining room table and my paintbrushes and paint cans will sit on my kitchen countertop until the madness is over!

This post is dedicated to all of my teacher friends!!!!! Good night, and please try to sleep tight!

With Love and MADNESS,

sunflower

MASTERS’ REVEAL – Not Golf… Bedroom

My husband is a golf junkie…actually, he is a sports’ junkie. I am a craft/decorating junkie!!!!! So, when he and I carry on a conversation about the master – we could be talking about two totally different topics. I am envisioning a master bedroom redo and he is thinking about working on his golf swing (After all, he might just be invited to play in a tournament with Phil Mickelson any day now). Sometimes meeting in the middle is a bit of a challenge. Luckily, we have more than one television  and compromise is the magic key! When a big game/tournament is on, I can go into another room and get my fix of DIY television (Martha Stewart is also waiting for my creative advice)!

Let me get to the point! The furniture in our master bedroom is from the 1980’s. It has been in serious need of an update. Now don’t get me wrong,to me the 80’s were not that long ago and I don’t feel a  day older than I did in the 80’s. But……….all good things must come to an end! My 80’s hairstyles and fashionable clothing had to be updated and though the ‘structure’ of my 80’s furniture is good, the surface has been calling out for help!

IMG_0650-001I wish this picture of my headboard was better. I had actually started sanding it before I thought about taking a picture.This headboard was so top heavy it made the room seem off balance. Golf Analogy – The Perfect Swing Requires Balance!

IMG_0683We removed the entire top portion and painted the bottom in black onyx eggshell/satin. I really like Glidden High Endurance Paint and Primer+One from Walmart. Now, I haven’t had a lot of experience with different paint brands, but I have had a great deal of experience with living on a budget. I like ‘high endurance’ and I like  ‘paint and primer in one’.  I did the top in Minwax Weathered Oak. After two coats, I wanted it a bit darker to blend better with the bottom so I mixed some of my black paint with antiquing gel and did a single coat across the surface. Happiness!

Golf Analogy – It’s a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get.
– Arnold Palmer
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 The headboard is now more streamlined – gone is the big 80’s hair!!!!! Ooops! I mean woodwork (isn’t it interesting how hairstyles and clothing styles follow furniture styles – or visa versa). Oh, by the way, I put things in place for a photo shoot last night at 10:00, so my decorating was quick and simple. Major accessorizing will come later.IMG_0687

I used the same black onyx on my cedar chest…

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and  on the dresser

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Okay – I couldn’t resist – even on  the dog’s bowls!

 The only piece left is the chest of drawers that the television sits on! Yikes – I am still contemplating the meaning of compromise as I develop a strategy so my husband can watch his sports when the T.V. is on the floor! Sleeping bags were really popular back in the ’80s right????

Golf Analogy: Golf is not, and never has been, a fair game. 
– Jack Nicklaus 

With love,

sunflower

Spring Has Sprung (inside…..)

Alas, my spring break is coming to an end. My seemingly endless to do list will be left incomplete for a couple of reasons:

  1. The weather  just refuses to cooperate with my plans.
  2. Last Friday, when my vacation began, it  seemed like I had plenty of time; so I didn’t really start my vacation with sense of urgency…..after all, a list is a list, and what isn’t done today will always be there tomorrow.

I did get my headboard redone and it looks AWESOME!!! I will publish pictures in my next post! There is something satisfying about morphing a piece of furniture that is over twenty years old into something that is functional and stylish.

Today, I want to share a celebration with you! One of my favorite little first graders is turning SEVEN YEARS OLD!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Haylee!

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I wish that this picture had turned out just a bit better….. Anyway, her theme is Lego Friends! Yep, now Legos come in pink, purple, teal, and yellow! I am getting ready to deliver her cake – along with a couple of little Lego sets to set up around it.

Boys and Girls, raise your hands if you wish that your parents or grandparents had bought stock in the Lego Company when it first started!

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With Love,

sunflower

Let’s Wrap Up Those Dropcloth Pillows!

I had fully intended to do a post last week on making rosettes for my dropcloth pillows; but somehow, life had other plans for me! My father-in-law has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and broke his femur a week ago. I am amazed at his strength and continuous faith as he battles with constant pain and uncertainty about future.

Those of you who know me, understand that my way of dealing with all uncertainty is to get my crafting supplies out and get after it! My motto is: if you can’t be in control of life, take control of completing some of the numerous projects that you have started and not finished! Do you agree? After all, there is nothing more empowering than cleaning out a closet that has been a mess for years, when you have a huge presentation to do tomorrow that you haven’t even begun to prep for…..

Anyway, I digress…

Here we go – Super Cute Dropcloth Rosettes!

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First, I cut strips of dropcloth – yes, painter’s dropcloth that you can buy at Home Depot or Lowe’s (cheap, cheap, cheap). I made the strips about six inches in width and twenty-two inches in length. The only other supplies you need are:

spray starch

an iron

crochet thread

yarn needle

hot glue gun

decorative buttons

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I folded my strip of dropcloth in half and starched the heck out of it before ironing. Then, I simply ran a stitch along the rough edge and pulled it tight when I got to the end. The fabric forms a circular shape and it pleats nicely (thanks to the starch). Image

I knotted the thread and ironed over the pleats one last time.Now for the fun part – I found some really cute vintage buttons at Walmart that I placed in the center of each rosette. I got so carried away that I now have rosettes on picture frames, lampshades, and pillows!Image

The hubby told me NOT to place them on our appliances ♥. Okay, okay – so maybe I am not in control of my crafting.