Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Cards Update

I posted a few days ago about the promo code to use at SeeHere to order 50 FREE photocards. The original code "freebies4mom-1109" didn't work for the 5x7 cards that I ended up creating. I did a quick google search to discover the code is only working for 4x8 cards, but I found another freebie code for the site for 5x7 cards. You can use code "newbaby" at checkout for 50 free 5x7 or 4x8 cards. If you need a lot of cards you could use both codes on two different orders for 100 free cards total. You should also get 100 free prints for signing up with them. I ordered my cards on Wednesday and they were delivered by FedEx by Saturday, so they are quick with the shipping. Hurry because both promo codes expire Nov. 30th.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Painted Chalkboard Frame

I've been busy with cleaning and preparations for Thanksgiving, including getting my Colorado scrapbook album put together to show the photos of our trip. I mentioned before that we have four Thanksgivings to attend this year and we host a brunch at our house before the Thanksgiving dinner we attend that evening.

One quick project I worked on to add one more festive flair to that event is this chalkboard displaying our brunch menu.

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It's a simple frame I had laying around, but hadn't used in over 5 years. After seeing all the fun chalkboard projects in blogland, I decided to whip up my own. I used Rustoleum's chalkboard spray paint to paint the glass using several coats. The frame was a plain wood that is now Rustoleum's Heirloom White. I picked up a 50 cent box of chalk at Wal-Mart and wrote up a list of all the goodies. Yum. The little creature in the top right is supposed to be a turkey, but I sort of ran out of room to add him in. I also forgot how difficult writing in chalk can be! It did bring back some childhood memories of hopscotch and driveway doodles.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Yesterday I posted about the table decor in our dining room for Thanksgiving. However, since we are having too many people for everyone to fit at the dining table, some people will be sitting at our kitchen table. I wanted the kitchen table to look just as festive. So today I rumaged through some decor items I already owned to put together a simple and easy centerpiece. Here's how it looks:

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My MIL(and favorite author) had the creative idea to spray paint some pine cones silver. She was also wonderful enough to spray paint some extras for me. (Thank you!) Aren't they pretty? So I didn't even have to gather nor spray paint the pine cones. They look a bit more Christmasey than Thanksgivingey, but I like their simple elegance.

 I had purchased the silver charger plate a few weeks ago at Old Time Pottery for $1. The frosted glass candle holder I bought at IKEA for around $3 or $4. I almost forgot I had it because I had yet to use it anywhere! I placed the silver platter on a piece of fall patterned scrapbook paper. Around the centerpiece I sprinkled a few scrapbooking die cut felt and paper leaves that I had on hand. I also added a couple more candles with votive holders I found on clearance this summer from World Market.

I didn't have another tablecloth, so I just used a white sheer curtain I had tucked in the closet. It's a bit wrinkled(ok a lot wrinkled), but I literally threw this whole setup together in about 2 minutes.
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Here's the whole table with the wrinkled "tablecloth", the napkin rings I made, and the Martha Stewart favor cones. I had to dismantle the whole set up after some photo taking to keep the cats from eating the pinecones or playing with the die cut leaves before Thursday.

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Linking up to all the fun parties:


Sunday, November 22, 2009

More Thanksgiving Table Decor

I worked up another super easy craft to decorate the table at Thanksgiving. Using a $1 roll of fall ribbon that I picked up at Dollar Tree, I whipped up these pretty little napkin rings in no time flat. All I did was cut the ribbon into lengths of about 4" and wrapped the ribbon around the napkin and "fake"silverware. I secured the ribbon with a glue dot to hold it in place. (I'm using the fancy plastic disposable utensils that are silver colored along with white paper napkins and decorative throwaway plates. Al Gore would be horrified, but he's not the one who has to wash my dishes, so it's disposable all the way at my house for our informal Thanksgiving brunch.)

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I added a few of these cute little turkeys to the centerpiece. They are supposed to be placecard holders. I picked up a kit to make them last year at Target. They have a hard time sitting up and not falling over, but they are cute when they manage to remain upright.

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I swapped out the lantern I had before in the middle of the table with this glass bowl. I added some silk flowers around a candle in the center of the bowl. I kept the white goblets with the autumn picks. My mini pumpkins have not turned rotten yet, so they will remain. You can see my Martha Stewart favor cones that I posted about here on the table as well. Of course it was dark outside when I was taking the photos, but since we are hosting brunch, it will be light and the candlelight won't be as dramatic for Thanksgiving.

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I have another centerpiece to complete to put on the kitchen table. Since we are expecting at least 9 people, we will have to put people at both our kitchen and dining room table. Not a big deal since the rooms are right next to each other, but I have another idea in my head on how to decorate the other table. I hope to post that one tomorrow. If you are looking for other Thanksgiving decor, see my "Give Thanks" banner tutorial here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Free Christmas Photo Cards!

Have you ordered you Christmas cards yet? Have you thought about Christmas cards yet? Are you just worrying about Thanksgiving first? I'm not trying to rush the holiday, but I wanted to share a freebie code to order 50 free photo cards! FREE! Even free shipping! The offer is for Fuji films online photo site. The site, offers 50 4x8" Cards or 5x7" Photo Cards for free via coupon code "freebies4mom-1109". Just enter the code at checkout to get your free photo cards. This offer is good until November 30th, so you have a week to get those photos uploaded and a card created. They don't offer as many background choices as Snapfish or Shutterfly, but you can't beat free.You should also be able to get 100 free prints for becoming a new member to the site. They sent me an e-mail with the 100 free prints offer after I signed up. You will be rolling in the photo freebies.

Here's a photo I took last year of Emma that I will probably use on our card this year She loves to scale the Christmas tree at least a few times while it's up. She's our own little mountain kitty. Luckily, she is small enough that she has never manged to knock over the tree.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Thankful for YOU!

Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I have been thinking of the many wonderful blessings in my life that I am thankful for such as my family, my friends, and even my job. One of the new blessings in my life this year is this humble little blog. I started this blog several months ago because I loved reading all the many amazing blogs out there and I wanted to join in the fun. I have been so inspired by all the wonderful creative people out there that have given me so many ideas on how to make my house the cozy retreat I desire it to be without spending much money. I hope I have given you some helpful ideas and tips in return. I very much enjoy sharing my projects and crafts with you and I still amazed that there are so many of you out there that actually like my blog! I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all my new blog buddies. You guys rock!

I have soooo many ideas of projects I want to do just floating around in my head. I think I come up with a new idea almost everyday. I just wish I had more time to start and finish them! I will continue to show the  crafty projects and transformations I do manage to finish along with the many photos of beautiful idea rooms that I come across online. If you have any suggestions on things I should show more of or do differently, or if you have any questions please leave a comment or feel free to drop me a note at  Again I just have to say to all my readers:

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Tree Paintings Get New Frames

I had several unused picture frames laying around. They were unused because I didn't like the color of them anymore. That is a problem that is easily remedied with my dear old friend Mr. Spray Paint. Mr. Spray Paint and I like to get together on the weekends to turn trash into treasure.  I used two different paints, Rustoleum's Heirloom White and Krylon's glossy white.

Here's the first frame, the gold one. (I also painted the blue frame white, but I haven't used it for anything yet so that's a reveal for another day.)

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This frame got the Heirloom White touch. I used it to frame a painting my brother-in-law made for us. He's an art major so every once in a while he will give us something really cool that he created.

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I had a blogging brain drain and completely forgot to snap a before photo of the next frame. Imagine a dark silvery gray color. More gray than silver. With a few nicks and scratches. Just kinda bleh.

Spray paint to the rescue! (They should put a big "S" on the can like Superman's logo since spray paint can save so many things that would otherwise be junk!)

Here it is in all it's white loveliness. My hubby painted this picture. He paints cute trees. Doesn't it just look like a happy tree? Like Bob Ross used to say while he was painting? (Bob Ross was so neat, I grew up watching him paint on PBS. Who else do you know that can complete a pretty painting in 26 minutes)

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As soon as I fill up the other frames I painted I will show how those turned out too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grapevine Wreath Makeover

This is a quick and easy wreath makeover I completed over the weekend to share. It started out life as a glittery gold wreath that looked like this. I found the wreath at a yard sale for 50 cents.

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I wasn't really digging the gold, so it got a coat of Heirloom White spray paint and ended up like this.

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Then with my trusty furry assistant's help, I added various stems and leaves from some glitter Christmas picks I bought at Michael's. I think I spent about $3 on them, but I had a giftcard so they were free to me. I didn't glue them on, just tucked them amoung the branches.

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Here's the end result:
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Since I didn't actually glue anything down I can remove the leaves and stems and add something different later if I want. I also picked colors that don't scream "Christmas" so it can be used year round. I have several other wreath makeovers planned so come on back for more if you love wreaths as much as I do.

Linking up to Reinvented Trash to Treasure:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crafting a Thanksgiving Banner

I kept seeing all these cute Thanksgiving banners all over blogland. I can't remember which blogs had them, but there are several of them out there and they were all so pretty that I just had to have one too. After some cutting and pasting while watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" I managed to complete my banner and my favor cones both in under an hour with the TV on.

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I think it's pretty self explanatory on how to make one, but who doesn't like a good tutorial which photos and tips?

First I used my Cricut to cut out the letters "Give Thanks." I used the Storybook cartridge and I think I cut out 3" letters. (They are the same style of letters I used on my revamped wall plaque and corkboards.)

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I then dug through my stash of scrapbook paper to find some designs I liked. I decided to stick with a fairly neutral color scheme so that I can reuse it year and year and it won't clash with my decor. I ended up using 4 different papers to cut out the 10 flags. I just drew a basic template the size I wanted and then used my paper trimmer to cut the edges in the straight line.

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Once I had all the banner flags cut out, I lined them up to come up with the best arrangement of the papers. and glued the letters on.

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I decided to add a little more interest by creating a scalloped edge. I did this using a paper corner rounder that I purchases several years ago at Wal-Mart in the scrapbooking section. If you remove the plastic guide around the gadget, you can then flip it over and run it along the edge to punch out a scalloped edge. (I can show a more detailed how-to on that if anyone's interested.)

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Finally, I simply punched holes in each corner of each flag and threaded a ribbon through the holes. It's now hanging up on my fireplace, but I might move it to the dining room for Thanksgiving day.

It was dark when I was finished so I had to use the dreaded flash to get the picture to not look so awful. The lighting and coloring looks pretty bad in the first photo I posted.

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Linking up to DIY Day on A Soft Place to Land.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Summoning My Inner Martha

I have several crafts and projects from the weekend to post about in the coming days. I was seriously getting in touch with my inner Martha Stewart the past couple days. (Except for the whole illegal activities and jail thing.) But you must admit that she is the queen of craftiness. I was browsing on her website the other day and I came across some beautiful printable templates. One of them was this gorgeous cone favor design. They are available in different colors and you could also easily copy them into work or photoshop and change the colors if you needed something different. I had a Martha like moment when I realized that they would make adorable cornucopia like favors for the Thanksgiving brunch we host at our house.

So I printed out a bunch of them and cut them out so they looked like this.

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Then I used some craft glue spread in a line along one edge and rolled them up into cone shapes. It was a little tricky to roll them up without getting glue everywhere. So I did get glue everywhere, even on the nosy cat who tried to "help". But they ended up mostly neatly rolled. Or close enough.

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Then it was time to break out the goodies to put in the cones. I wrapped two chocolates in white tissue paper and tied the paper closed with white ribbon. Since I don't like chocolate all that much I wasn't too tempted to eat any and all the pieces managed to make it into the favors safely. (If they were Snickers or Nestle Turtles they would be in danger though, I do have a weakness for those.)

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I stuffed the candy packets inside the cones and voila! Super easy and pretty favors for any occasion.

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Even Martha would be proud, don't you think?

Linking up to DIY Day on A Soft Place to Land. I love Tuesdays!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Colorado Scrapbook Pages

I have some more scrapbook layouts of our Colorado trip that I have completed and can share. I don't know if I'm going to make the deadline of finishing up the scrapbook of this trip by Thanksgiving, but I will try. It's difficult because of the huge number of photos I have. It's so tough to narrow them down to the best ones that should be scrapbooked. Not to mention trying to put into words how amazing the trip was and how much I fell in love with Colorado.

This first set is from our visit to Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs. The park is filled with red rock formations that look so gorgeous with the sun hits them just right.

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The rock formation in the center of the top row is called "kissing camels."
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This next two page layout is about the drive we took up Mt.Baldy outside of Colorado Springs. The route climbs up an old stagecoach road and then follows an old railroad bed.

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The final page of this group is one I did about the beautiful sights we saw on the drive from Colorado Springs to Leadville.

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Here is Emma pointing out the details on the page such as the title and pretty ribbon. Or she is just playing kitty Godzilla and and stepping like a giant across the landscape.

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