Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Schoolwork Storage Bins

I am still sitting on pins and needles waiting for my special order hardware to arrive so I can finish my desk. I am starting to think my mailman reads my blog and finds it funny to watch me suffer. Ok, I know he doesn't and he is too nice to torture me...I just want to finish my project!

While I am waiting, I thought I would show you another project that I did to help keep us organized around here. We live in a small place. Maybe small isn't the word...teeny tiny is better. So I am always trying to figure out the best way to store things and keep our clutter contained.

This Christmas I became obsessed with having an old sled to hang on my wall. It all started when a friend had one up in her house. Oh...I wanted one so badly. Unfortunately, Southern California is not exactly oozing with antique sleds...or sleds at all. I have bought sleds when we go to the mountains to play in the snow. There are even a few types to choose from. But they are certainly not something you would ever want to display on your wall.

On a trip to Home Goods I found a good alternative. It is not a real sled, but a wooden toboggan looking piece that has metal shelves on it. I love it! Cute and functional...just what you need in a tiny house. I also loved that I would easily be able to detach the shelves to use year round. And I found the perfect place to attach them...

...right on the side of my bookshelf where I store art stuff. They fit perfectly. Great storage and it is using what was unusable space. I added numbers cut from vinyl on my Cricut.

Each of us has our own bin with our own number. I knew it would be a great place to put magazines or school papers, but I had no idea how easily the kids would start putting their things in there. It is amazing. How come they can get their things into this bin but can't figure out that their dirty clothes go in the hamper?? One of life's great mysteries.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Craigslist Desk Drawer Transformation

I am waiting...not so patiently...by my mailbox every day. Every day. EVERY day. I ordered some hardware for my desk...and well...I am starting to get very impatient. I want to finish the desk!!

Here is where my project is now...

I am loving it. Not as much as my daughter is though...she LOVES it!

Just look at these knobs...

Could they possibly be any cuter?

I know something that could be cuter. Check this out...

Yes, those are giant holes in the drawers. They are not cute. They are ugly. Ugly and frustrating. I want to finish the project. I found the perfect solution...I just need it to arrive in the mail. Aaah!

Please Mr. Mailman...make my day tomorrow and bring me my much awaited mail!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Craigslist Desk Transformation

Apparently my Craigslist desk had undergone a few cosmetic changes before it came into my hands. Just take a look at the inside edges...

Knowing what I was planning on doing with it...and how much sanding it would take to get rid of the multiple shades of blue...I kept thinking...WHY didn't you stop with the white? WHY didn't you stop with the white?

Oh well. So I had a bit of sanding to do. It wouldn't kill me...right? It turns out my sanding was a much easier job than I had anticipated. I was having trouble with my old sander, so I knew it was time to bite the bullet and purchase a new one. I wanted a cheap one, but the one I decided on at Home Depot was out of stock. WHAT? Do you not understand that when I finally come to a decision of what I am going to do, that I am READY at that very minute? That minute! To my surprise, Home Depot offered to upgrade me to the next model since they didn't have their product in stock. A better model at the lower price? I was sold!

With my new "Ryobi RS290 Orbital Sander" in hand I headed home to get started. And let me tell you...that little sucker has power! It whipped off the ugly coats of blue with no problem! It was amazing.

The plan in my mind did not include blue. Not one ounce of this desk was going to remain blue. That is now how things turned out. See this?

I couldn't bring myself to sand it off. I love a piece with history. Something that had its own life before it came into mine. I could just imagine Cammie Jeff sitting around in July 2001 painting her furniture to give it an updated look. Something she deemed to be a little bit cooler.

My first thought was 2001? That wasn't very long ago. And then it hit me. She painted this in the summer of 2001...July 2001...before 9/11...before the world changed. Before everything as we knew it here in the US changed. I could imagine her sitting at this desk and pondering life...where was our country headed...would we ever be the same again...would she ever feel safe again? And I knew...Cammie Jeff would remain on the inside of our little desk.

Now I know you haven't been able to see into the inside of the desk...cause it looks like a dark cave in the photo. It actually did look like a dark cave, and not just in the photo. The inside portion of the desk was painted black.

Now don't get me wrong, I love black furniture...but it wasn't black. Electric blue with white drawers and a black inside...well, it just wasn't cute. Besides, there are all kinds of little drawer cubbies inside there...and they are ADORABLE. Trust me. Take a really good look at that black cave. Adorable little cubbies that can't be seen. What good is that?

I took a can of Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x Primer and gave it a good spray. INSTANTLY I was in love! It was beeeautiful. Probably more so since it looked like I would be able to paint right over the black and not be forced to try and sand in those adorable little cubbies! I gave a coat of primer to the entire piece and let it dry. I could see it. I could see the vision from my head taking shape right before my eyes. I followed it up with two coats of Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x Heirloom White Satin...my favorite. Just look how pretty it was...

Just a peak for you. At this point the drawers weren't done...but I couldn't resist the photo. See how cute those drawers are??

And just a teaser of what is coming next...

Aren't these the cutest knobs you have ever seen? Michaels craft store...you have swept me off my feet once again.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Craigslist Desk

Hi! I hope you have all been having a great week. I spent a few days in Disneyland with my family...which is why I have been MIA. Despite the massive amounts of construction going on around there, we had a great time.

I have been itching to show you all the latest project I have been working on. Take a look:

I love it! Ok, I know it doesn't look like much here, but just wait until I get my hands on it.

My kids have been sharing a room for the past 3 years. Part of living at the beach is having less space. It has been a trade off, but we have loved being here. My daughter has been dreaming and planning a room of her own. She even has a board on Pinterest for her new room! She's a girl after my own heart! One of the things she hoped to have in her new room was a desk like mine. So when I found this piece on Craigslist I knew it would be perfect. The price was perfect too...FREE! Hmmm...now maybe you think this desk is looking cuter!

Not only was the outside a mess, but the inside was a mess too:

Don't worry, I did say hello to the 80's for you.

This has been a bit of a time consuming project, but it was definitely an act of love. I am waiting on a few pieces I special ordered, so you are going to have to see this reveal in bits and pieces. I hope you find it to be worth the wait!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I thought Valentine's Day was over...

I am happy to say I have taken down all of my Valentine decorations. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Valentine's Day. It is one of my favorite holidays. I know a lot of people think it is a marketing gimmick, just a reason to get us to spend money. I don't agree. I think there is nothing more important than taking time to show others how much we love them. Do I think Valentine's Day is the only time to do this? Of course not. But it allows me to stop and consciously take time to show love.

Not to mention...I am raising a little boy. A little boy that I want to grow up and be unafraid to show love. A little boy that I pray will grow up to shower his wife and kids with love and affection all year...not just on Valentine's Day. The little boy who sees how valuable Valentine's Day is while he is young, will take that lesson with him when grows and one day begins his own family.

How do I know the traditions we share will follow him? Experience. My Dad used to give my brother and I a heart shaped box of Conversation Hearts every year for Valentine's Day. Every year. Nothing made me feel more loved than that box of candy hearts. Is it my favorite candy? Nope. But to this day, I still feel very loved when I see a Conversation Heart. Thanks for the lesson in love Dad!

So, the decorations are down and I secretly tossed out the leftover Valentine candy. (Yes I know, I am a terribly mean Mom.) I thought Valentine's Day was over. Until this...

Meet "Bob." I was working on a couple painting projects in the yard and my daughter asked if she could make us a snack. This isn't an unusual request. One of the ways she shows her love is by creating something for the rest of us in the kitchen. It is very sweet. However, when she brought out the snack tray, she was not alone.

I was greeted by "Bob."

"Welcome to Chateau de Brion." The name alone made me giggle. How many times do Mom's hear "What are we having for dinner?" My answer to that question is often...Chateaubriand for Two. Not that I am a gourmet chef or that my kids would be happy to eat it...I just know it is an answer that will make them laugh. I love to hear my kids laugh.

Let me tell you, nothing says you have arrived at a fancy restaurant like a tray of grapes & almonds...and a waiter named Bob.

I think "Chateau de Brion" and "Bob" are proof that the lessons of love are being learned. Today I definitely felt the love!

XOXOXO to my Chef and "Bob." I love you guys!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday...Cute Robot Party Ideas

I want to share with you all some really cute products that are out there for little boys right now. My little guy has a thing for robots...I think maybe all little boys do. The Robot Valentine Pencils and Robot Valentine Mugs I made got my mind thinking about robots. So when I came across these Robot products at Michaels in the Dollar Section I was thrilled!

These are so cute for little boys!

Painting books that you just use with water...they are great...and only $1! They are the perfect starting point for a little boys birthday party!

They also had little bags of puzzles for $2. These would make really prizes for goody bags.

And more Robot pencils. Target has been out of theirs, but these are really cute too...and only $1. They also have matching pencil holders, larger erasers and magnetic sets.

And don't forget the mugs...they are $1 at Michaels. You can easily make your own coloring insert by shrinking down the pages in the paint book.

Enlarge the images on the paint sheets and make large decorations for your party. You could even take an enlarged image and make a "Pin the bolt on the Robot" game. The possibilities are endless!

I wish I had a reason to use these for a party, but I am planning my little girls party next and it is going to be ALL girl. If you use these for a party, please send me some pictures...I know it would be ADORABLE!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Eye Chart

Happy Valentine's Day!

As much as I was dreading trying to find something cool for 3rd Grade boys...we sure scored! The Mustache Valentines were a huge hit! You know you have done well when you see boys pouring out of the class with a mustache on their face!

For the girls, we went a different direction. As cute as I think the mustache's are, I thought not all the girls would like it. I say not all because at my daughters birthday party last year, almost all the girls ended up taking photos at our photo booth with a mustache! They were meant for my little guy and his buddy, but the girls thought they were cool. Who would have thought?

I found a really cool site online where you can personalize your own eye chart. Listen carefully because this name is hard to remember. Eyechartmaker.com. Ok, never mind, that is totally obvious. I however, must admit that every time I want to create something here, I google "personalized eye chart." Really? I can't remember to type in Eyechartmaker.com?

You can create a chart like at the doctors office, but you can make it say whatever you want instead of random letters. You do have to play with it just a bit to find the wording that works best to fit in the given space, but it is easy. Easy...FREE...and pretty cool.

Look what I made:

I think they are sooo cute! They say "You are a really great friend to me."

I picked up the red glasses at Party City in the individual party favor section. They are just 10 cents each! Not a bad price for this cute Valentine. 10 cent glasses + a FREE printable = my heart is all aflutter!

On the back I typed up a personal message for each girl. Personal touches always make things feel more special...and then there was no need to hand write any names! A double bonus!

The glasses were also a big hit! I wasn't as sure about these I must admit. I knew they were cute, but would they actually wear them? Want to know a little secret? I saw the "cool girls" come out of class wearing them. Yep...I'd say that this Valentine's Day was a success!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Mustache You A Question...

I'm not sure why, but ever since I saw this Mustache Valentine...I can't get enough of it. It tickles my funny bone...and it drives my kids CRAZY that I find it so funny!

It was "Love At First Sight" and I knew I would be making these for Valentine's Day. However, I thought we would make them with chocolate lollipops. Which was a great idea...in theory. In my opinion, the candy mold only has one cute mustache. It was going to take me 100 years to make all those mustache's! So the kids and I decided to use these:

Party City sells these in the party favor section, and they are already packaged individually. They were also only 25 cents!

Of course I couldn't leave them like they were. I took off the topper that was already on the package and replaced it with my own. This one to "Harry" I find particularly funny.

For my son's class, we decided to give out these Valentine's to the boys, but with a little tweak:

These turned out so cute! I mean cool...these are for boys...these are really cool!

I can't wait to hear what they think of them. I went into my daughter's class on Friday to make a Valentine's Project. One of the boys took a piece of black rick rack and taped it under his nose as a mustache. Next thing you knew, all the boys were trying to make mustache's. They are going to LOVE these Valentine's! I would say that finding a Valentine that you know 3rd Grade boys will LOVE...that is Valentine success!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Initial Necklaces

Michaels Craft Store has broken my heart. Yep. Broken my heart. I am sure you have seen their fantastic Dollar Section...or what used to be the Dollar Section. After Christmas, it suddenly became the $1.50 section. What?

Ok, I realize the economy is bad. But I am tired of paying for the bad economy. Literally, paying for the bad economy. I am tired of getting less for my dollar.

Don't get me wrong, I am still shopping the "Dollar-Fifty" Section at Michaels. But it is painful. I am much more cautious of my purchase, and I think of how I am paying 50% more every time I look at the products. Ouch! Michaels...the Dollar Store still manages to charge $1 despite the poor economy...why oh why do you hurt us this way?

Alright, enough of the drama. I did find a cool product there the other day:

How cute are these little initial necklaces? You can't see it on the black backing, but the chain is a little black chain. The initials come in all sorts of colors, but I was lucky to find the initials I needed both in pink...perfect for Valentine's Day!

All I did was add the off white paper to the top to personalize the packaging a bit more. I added a black mat to coordinate with the existing package and a personalized message to the girls. They turned out so sweet!

Remember, love is in the details. What kind of details are you adding to your Valentine's Day celebration?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dinosaur Match Game

I absolutely LOVE the Internet. Do you know how easy it is to search for ANYTHING online? In my quest for cute Dinosaur things to make into Valentines I did a lot of searching. Every time I went to a store, Dinosaurs were on my mind. I can pretty much tell you all the Dinosaur products that are in stores at the moment.

Searching for products online is so much better. Not to mention, a lot of times you can find what you need for FREE. Yep...for FREE!

Nickelodeon has a great website for their show "Dino Dan" where you can find all sorts of great FREE printables...Dinosaur printables. Just look what I found:

How cool is this? A Dinosaur Matching Game...for FREE! All I had to do was print them out. So simple!

Next, I cut the cards using my paper cuter, so I would have nice, straight edges. I chose to cut off the "Dino Dan" logo (sorry Nickelodeon!) cause the boys I made this game for don't watch tv.

They are so cool! It is fun, but really educational too. I haven't looked at Dinosaur names in a long time. Dinosaurs have CRAZY names!

They key to making this a great gift is the packaging. I placed the cards into a small bag that is sold for lollipops at Michaels.

I made a tag to place on the top of the bag to finish things off. So simple...so cute...so FREE!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday...Dinosaur Valentines

I've had an unusually high need for little boy Valentines this year. I guess part of it is because my little man is in school for the first time. So today I am going to show you the Dino-Mite Valentines I made.

I am a big fan of gifting things that will be used for more than just one day. I also want something that won't just get thrown out, so the first part of this Dinosaur gift is food. Who doesn't want fun food for their kids? So when I found a box of Dinosaur macaroni and cheese I was thrilled!

Of course I couldn't just leave it as it was. Yes, I admit, I have a problem! First I printed out the words I wanted to use. I wasn't exact in where they were printed, but close to where I wanted them to be.

Next I used a piece of parchment paper (cause I couldn't find anything else that was see through)...

and traced out the area that I wanted to cover.

Next I cut out my "pattern" and placed it onto my printout.

I moved it around a bit to find where it fit my words the best and then traced around the pattern onto my printed page.

I cut out my words and used glue to stick it to the package.

It looks so much cuter already! However, I really didn't want it screaming Safeway, so I added a strip to the bottom of the box too.

I found a pack of plastic Dinosaurs at Target in the Valentine section. It was $2 for a bunch of them. I would show you what it looked like, but my little guy broke into those the minute we walked into the door. So, sorry, no picture. Since this gift was for multiple boys, I divided the dinosaurs into a "set" for each boy.

I folded a piece of red cardstock and stapled it to the top of each bag.

I mounted personalized cards for each boy and glued them onto the red cardstock (covering the staples).

I think they are adorable! What little boy wouldn't feel special with their own personalized goody bag?

I could have given them the bag as it was from Target, but I really believe that the details are what make a gift special and show your love. Not to mention, the added bonus: money saved! By making each bag personalized, I was able to open up the prepackaged container and distribute the dinosaurs between 4 little boys instead of them all going to one boy. $2 for a gift for 4 boys instead of spending $2 per boy. Special + Savings = A Happy Crafter!

The large bag is a bagged puzzle from Target. I thought it was a perfect compliment to the Dino-Mite theme. I hope the boys are as excited to open these Valentines as I was to make them.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine Contest Winner!

Hi! Life around our house has been extremely hectic this past week. We had a Doctor's appointment, Girl Scouts, selling Girl Scout Cookies, 3 trips to the Girl Scout Cookie cupboard to get everyone from our troop their cookies, AWANA Olympic practice and preparing for a Super Bowl party...those are just all the extras on top of the normal stuff. This week I have had a sick girl home from school, which is not allowing me much time to get anything done...although it has been good to get some one on one time with her. So I am trying to get back on schedule here.

I'm a bit late, but I want to announce the winner of my Valentine Contest! It is...Jean in BC!!

"One of my favorite posts is the robot mugs. Having 2 boys myself, it's nice to see other themes besides sports and cars! ohh... and I like the ocean garland on the door, and the Christmas table, and the ....."
By jean in BC on Woohoo!! Valentine Giveaway!! on 1/29/12

Jean, give me your address and I will get your prize in the mail to you! I will be sending you a heart felt garland

and since you have little boys and loved the project:

Robot Valentine Mugs!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you Jean!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine Card Week: Owl Valentines

Look what I found in a Dollar bin at Michaels:

How cute are these? I LOVE it when I find a real treasure like this for only $1! I picked up the ink pads for $1 too, because the ink was a perfect match to the blue on the owl wings.

I have been addicted to owls for awhile. I think they are so cute. I know you've seen all the trends that have popped up in blogland and Pinterest. I think they are adorable!

Want to know a funny little quirky secret about me? I hate birds. Yep. Hate, hate, hate birds. They freak me out! I think it comes from being pooped on by a seagull as a kid...not quite sure. I do know I had the hatred long before a seagull attacked me at Sea World recently. Yeah...that was a hilarious site I am sure!

Long story short...I can't stand birds...but I love cute owl products.

Anyways, I thought these would make sweet Valentine treats for some of my daughter's friends. I love using non-holiday specific products t0 make gifts for a holiday. Who wants a bunch of heart stuff the day after Valentines Day? Not me...I am on to the next occasion.

Whooo will you give some love to this Valentine's Day?