Happy Fall!

As Halloween is upon us, I feel like this fall flew by with hardly any recognition from me!  I love fall.  It’s starts off with a bang with one of my favorite days of the year (my birthday of course).  Add in college football, hoodies, PSL’s (pumpkin spice lattes for those who aren’t into acronyms), running in the crisp weather, Punkin’ Ale, and the crock pot, and you have yourself the best time of the year!

It has been a struggle to make sure that we fit in our fall activities and decorating.  I feel like I’m on teacher duty, then toddler duty, then house duty, and before you know it, i’ve collapsed and another day is gone.  Of course, Mr. C and I have definitely tried to make time to enjoy a Punkin’ Ale from Dogfish Head, just to make sure that we actually talk to each other a few nights a week 🙂 That being said, this past weekend, we were able to not only fit in a trip to the local pumpkin patch, but I was able to get crafty and change up our front door decor.

The supplies to this wreath have been sitting in my garage for the better part of 3 months now, so I decided to get to work.  I started by paining a wooden ‘S’ from Michael’s (where all of my supplies came from.  Gotta love the 15% teacher discount!).  I have a slight obsession with all things black/white polka dot, especially when you add in yellow accents.  As I didn’t have time to run out to the store, and our garage is extremely disorganized, I couldn’t find any of my little brushes.  Q-Tips made the best substitute and almost-perfect polkas.

Black with white polka dot ‘S’.

Back to the actual wreath.  I improvised with what I had and added some fall leaves, berries, and sunflowers.  I’m really anti-semetrical, but know that everything needs to be balanced in some way.  Since I only had the small window of Baby C’s nap time, I quickly glued the floral arrangement on.  It is minimal, but I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Wreath after arranging the flowers. I tried to keep the leaves in a circular pattern.

The finished product hung on the perfect, sunny Fall day.

And finally, here is a sneak peek from our trip to the pumpkin patch.  I’m so glad that Mr. C was able to put off his 10 page paper and be a part of this family outing.  Baby C’s first trip to the pumpkin patch was a day to remember!

Happy Cupcakeiversary!

Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary, so, to commemorate this, I decided it was a great reason to try one of those crafts just sitting around in my “to create” pinterest folder.  Mr. C and I both enjoy the song, Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and I thought the song lyric, “Home is Wherever I’m with You” would make a great sign for our entryway (remember that foyer that i’m trying to decorate?).

To give it more meaning, I am a local girl who hates change and married to an adventurer who has dreams to go to far away places and do big things.  We’ve had a multitude of discussions about this and I am usually scared or anxious by the end of it.  I thought this would be a nice peace offering that yes, I am willing to try out one of his adventures one of these days.  As long as we’re together as a family, I’ll be okay.  

So here you have my newest creation:

I started with this 12 x 12 blank piece of wood that was purchased at Michael’s (teacher discount!)

The back was already built for hanging, which was perfect for my first attempt at sign making.

The first thing I did was soak a steel wool pad in apple cider vinegar overnight.  I then rubbed it all over the sign and allowed it to dry (not pictured). The next day, I sanded some rough spots and began working on the lettering, which was a lot of trial and error.  At first, I was convinced I could type words and flip them backwards in Word or Powerpoint.  That’s not the case.  Once I found the right font and size, I copied and pasted it into Paint (that simple program that comes on almost all computers!)  This allowed me to flip the word so that it could print the mirror image.

Once I was happy with the lettering, I put the paper face down on the sign and went over it (LIGHTLY) with water.  You want to be careful not to soak the paper, or else it will just fall apart (yes, I learned this the hard way).  Once I could see the word, I then used a marker’s dull, rounded end to score each letter.  I did this multiple times to ensure the ink was transferring.

lettering transferred completely

Now, I did like the black, but the wood is actually darker than it looks here and the letters were more difficult to read.  Also, our printer is basically out of ink!  I think that next time, I’ll replace the ink and try on lighter wood, as to not have to do this next step:

Final

with white paint over the letters

I do like the white though, and it brightens up our entryway!  I plan to mix it in with some black and white family photos, which I hope will look classy.  There are some quirks from my hand painting , but what’s a homemade project without some quirkiness?

Happy 3 years, Mr. C!

A Seuss-ish Sort of Post

Cover of "Green Eggs and Ham (I Can Read ...

Cover via Amazon

Before I tell you about the project that I completed today and you are super impressed, you need to know that I actually started it when I had a day off due to a snow day…when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant.  Yes, that was January 2011 and yes Baby Cakes is now 16 months old.  You don’t need to do any more math than you already did, thanks!

Baby Cakes was due in early March.  Like any good elementary school teacher, I know that early March means Read Across America Day, also known as the time we celebrate the great Dr. Seuss.  I just knew that my little man was going to be a book lover like his mama, thus, the Dr. Seuss nursery was born.  I, however, am not a lover of “themey” rooms.  I was not envisioning themed sheets/blankets/ catinthehateverything.  I had great plans for a cute room, but underplayed the Dr. Seussishness just a little too much.  As of yesterday, these two items, from Etsy sellers It is Written in Vinyl and The Funky Monkey  were the only theme-related decor in Baby Cakes’ nursery.

It is Written in Vinyl

The Funky Monkey

I decided to change that. I had a project just waiting  calling out to me to finish.   Back when we were decorating, we had already spent so much money getting ready for Baby Cakes’ arrival, so I was looking for something very inexpensive.  I found $5 Dr. Seuss books at my local HomeGoods store.  I bought two copies of Green Eggs and Ham (in case I needed both sides of a page).  I also purchased a dark wood collage frame for  $7.99.  I spent the afternoon ripping out pages, cutting out phrases, and making my own Green Eggs and Ham collage.  I thought it was perfect, until I realized the color of the frame looked horrible in the  nursery.   To the garage it went, only to be saved today.  I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner, and I’m not going to make excuses, but 16 months flew by.  All this little picture needed was some fresh white paint and voila! It works perfectly.  I used white acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush. Easy and cheap!  Baby Cakes loves it too.  Ever since I read it to him, he’s been pointing to it saying “Hhhom”.  Now to get it hung on the wall…

Reading, of course.

Finished product

In the nursery

Easy enough, right?  Now that the nursery is almost done, maybe I should finish his baby book?

Blank Canvas

My blank, boring foyer.

This, my friends, is one of my summer projects.  This foyer has had zero character since we moved in almost 2 years ago.  Before yesterday, there wasn’t even a table sitting there, but thanks to a sweet, $25 Craigslist find (that I will have some fun with) we are on our way to feeling a little homier around here.  Here is Baby Cakes checking out the newest addition:

Be sure to check in to see progress on Operation Fix my Foyer.  I have a lot of great things in mind, of course, thanks to the ever addicting Pinterest.  Now if only I had more than a 2 hour nap  window to get it all done…