DIY: Chalkboard Menu Board
August 4, 2014, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As a new mom, it has been hard to make sure my family is eating a well. There have been many nights when we have succumbed to the ease of frozen pizza or fast food. In an effort to start eating more healthily, we have begun planning our dinners for the week each Sunday. To make this thankless task a little easier (and more fun), I put a menu board on the side of my fridge using a large chalkboard decal.

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While I can’t say we’ve been eating perfectly since this project, I do think it has helped!



DIY: Placemats
July 26, 2014, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Before and (Cr)after, Design on a Budget

After finding out we were pregnant, we looked around our two bedroom condo and realized there was definitely not enough room for three people. So in August, we moved into a new house in the suburbs, with enough room for the three of us (and then some, if we feel so inclined). The house we chose has a great floorplan, but definitely needed some work. We spent the fall getting the house livable, painting and having a new floor laid down on the bottom level. As the fall wore on and I grew increasingly huge, I was less and less able to tackle new projects.

The first few months after T-Money was born, I didn’t feel crafty at all. I was definitely in survival mode – eat, nurse, sleep (sort of), repeat. But when he started sleeping well, and we got in a good nursing pattern, a little inspiration returned and I decided to try a small project.

And when I say small, I mean tiny. Namely, placemats. We bought a new kitchen table and I wanted to try to keep it looking nice, at least until there’s a little man banging, scratching and drawing on it. It literally took me 3 weeks to finish 6 placemats. Babies are super demanding, folks! But I’m happy with how they turned out.

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I made them reversible, using two fabrics from Premier Fabric: Feathers in Spirit/Slub and Gigi in Coastal Blue/Slub.

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We only keep 4 of the 6 chairs at the table, unless we have company, but I went ahead and made 6 placemats. I also have a little fabric left, which I want to use to make a few hot plates. W’e’ll see how long it takes me to get to that!

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The only thing I don’t like about these is that they come out of the washing machine pretty wrinkled. But for my first post-baby project, I think they look pretty good!



Wedding DIY: Odds and Ends
July 25, 2014, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized, Wedding Craftiness

My last Wedding DIY post. And only a year and 4 months after the actual wedding. ;) These are the smaller projects I did for the wedding, which probably don’t warrant entire posts devoted to them. But I’m proud of them nonetheless and wanted to share!

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My husband is a huge Beatles fan, so when making the little pillow for our Ringbearer to carry, I decided to add “All you needs love… Love is all you need.” I used the freezer paper stencil method I’ve discussed at length in previous posts. Unfortunately, this somehow got lost after the wedding and never made it home with us. Sad face.

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I made these confetti rings that I found in Martha Stewart’s Holiday book, using gold tissue paper. As you can see, I couldn’t manage to get the folds in the paper out, and didn’t end up loving this project.

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Instead of the ubiquitous slide show, I made a small photo display with baby pictures and photos of our relationship thus far.

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Koufeta is a Greek Wedding tradition that I wanted to incorporate as a nod to Mike’s Greek heritage. Traditionally made using Jordan Almonds, we switched to little round mints to avoid killing my highly nut-allergic husband.

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The little boxes were hand folded using scrapbooking paper. Truth be told, they were folded twice, because the mints ended up being bigger than I anticipated. It was a HUGE HUGE hassle, but I think they turned out so pretty!

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We made these adorable welcome bags for our out of town guests, but it appears I never photographed them. The bags included two homebrewed beers (made by Mike), these homemade cookies (made by me), a guide to the “Best of Memphis” and a few other odds and ends.

**Photo credit: Most photos taken by our wonderful wedding photographer, Sarah Rossi.**



Wedding DIY: Chalkboards
July 24, 2014, 8:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized, Wedding Craftiness

It’s been over a year since my last post, but I’m going to jump back in where I left off… wedding crafts! Yay!

Remember this post about my Save the Date cards? After taking that photograph, I cut the large chalkboard into a lot of small chalkboards and used them all over my wedding.

My favorite chalkboards were the ones on the Cupcake Buffet Table. We had 4 flavors of cupcakes, plus a cake to cut. It looked SO cute. Plus... cupcakes. YUM.

My favorite chalkboards were the ones on the Cupcake Buffet Table. We had 5 flavors of cupcakes, plus a cake to cut, all from Muddy’s Bake Shop in Memphis. It looked SO cute. Plus… cupcakes. YUM.

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Instead of making programs (which would just end up in the trash anyway), I used two large chalkboards for this information. These were on either side of the steps where we said our vows.

These two chalkboards hung on the gates to the garden.

These two chalkboards hung on the gates to the garden.

One of our "favors." More on the Koufeta in a future post!

One of our “favors.” More on the Koufeta in a future post!

On the Guest Book table.

On the Guest Book table.

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This hung in the tent where we had our reception. This is one that I actually preserved using hairspray. I knew I’d want to keep this one forever!

Since the wedding I’ve reused most of these chalkboards MANY times. As I mentioned above, I did preserve a few by spraying them with hairspray. It makes the chalk permanent, but also takes away the dusty look, so I’m glad I didn’t do it on all of them. I have to admit I was sad to erase some of these (especially the big ones that took so much time).

Have a great day, everyone!

**Photo credit: All photos taken by our wonderful wedding photographer, Sarah Rossi.**



My Biggest (and best) Project Ever!
July 23, 2014, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Inspiration, Uncategorized

So… wow. It’s been well over a year since I posted to the blog.

I do have a good reason for being AWOL, though. I’ve spent the last year + working on my biggest project to date. Look what I made!

TEasily the best, coolest, most amazing thing I ever made! But also, as it turns out, quite time consuming. Let me just say, I do NOT get mommy bloggers. How do they have the time?

That being said, with the kiddo sleeping pretty well (knock on wood), I’ve gotten some energy and free time back, so I’m ready to start working on new projects. They’ll likely be small to start off with, but hopefully I can come up with some interesting ideas! Stay tuned!

 



Wedding DIY: Bouquet Preservation
April 21, 2013, 9:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

My wedding bouquet was made entirely of Esperance Roses. It was lovely.

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I wanted to preserve the memory in some way, but didn’t want to have to commit a huge amount of space to it. I decided to dry just a few of them and put them in a shadow box.

First, I chose a few of the flowers that were still faring well and hung them upside down.

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I left them hanging for about 5 weeks. They probably didn’t really need to dry for quite that long, but my honeymoon came in the middle of that time, so I was a bit busy. :)

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Here are the supplies I used:

Dried flowers
Hair Spray
Shadow Box (mine is 8 x 10 – if you want to preserve more flowers, use a bigger box)
Quilting pins (make sure you have the ones with the little balls on the ends)
Pliers
Scissors

First, pick the flowers you would like to use. I dried a few more than I thought I’d need so that I would have choices. You never know how they’re going to look once they’re dry!

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Next, spray your dried flowers with the hair spray and let them dry completely. This will help them hold their shape.

Open the frame, and lay the flowers on the back to determine your layout.

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Snip the stems to fit the frame.

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Remove the ball from the end of your pin by gripping the pin with the pliers, and pulling the ball with your fingers.

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Place the pins in your frame back, just below where you’d like the base of the flower to be, leaving about half of the pin showing. I put the sharp end down, but I doubt it would matter much either way.

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Lift up the visible part of the pin with the pliers.

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Slide the base of the flower onto the pin.

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Repeat with the other flower.

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I had some lint on the frame back, so I cleaned that up before putting the frame back together.

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And we’re done!

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I also made a second smaller one. The idea is to put this in my (future, hypothetical) daughter’s room. :)

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Wedding DIY: Lamp Centerpiece
March 26, 2013, 9:00 am
Filed under: How to, Wedding Craftiness

We decided to forego the traditional seated dinner at our reception, and went with a buffet-style selection of eclectic foods instead. We had lots of Memphis-inspired fare, such as barbecue pork sliders with jicama slaw, as well as some Greek dishes in honor of Mike’s heritage.

In lieu of a big floral centerpiece on the buffet table, I wanted to create something simple, but eye-catching. I remembered having seen a pin on Pinterest where someone had created a shadow silhouette inside a lampshade, and decided to run with that idea.

Here is what I used for this project:
Plain white lampshade, the simpler the better ($15)
Black poster board ($2)
X-acto knife
Surface safe for cutting (such as a quilting mat)
Clear tape
Lamp base (from my living room)

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First you will need to measure the diameter of your lampshade.

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Next, print out your template. Be sure to pay attention to the height of your letters, and not just the total length. I had to go back and do this a second time, because I chose a font that was too tall.

Cut your black poster board into a strip about the height and width of your first word and tape it down to your cutting surface.

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Next, tape the template over the top of the poster board.

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Firmly trace around your letters with your x-acto knife. You will not be cutting all the way through at this point (unless you have much stronger hands than I do, in which case, go for it!) Just be sure you’re cutting through the template and scoring the poster board underneath.

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This is what it should look like when you’re done. (Note the shorter font from this point out!)

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Next, you can either go back over the scores with your knife, or use a small scissor to cut out the letters. I found the scissors to be much easier to deal with.

Once you’ve finished the first word, go back and repeat the taping/scoring/cutting process with the rest of your words.

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Decide on the spacing of your words, and tape them down to the inside of the lamp (backwards, of course) using clear tape. Regular scotch tape would probably be easiest to work with, but all I had was packing tape, and that worked fine. Just make sure it’s clear.

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And you’re done! Put it on the lamp base, flip the switch and voila!

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Here is a picture that my friend Lori took at the wedding, before the food was out on the tables. Because this was in the center of the room, with no access to a plug, I had to use a little ingenuity in lighting it. After a lot of trial and error, I ended up using four cheap tap lights attached to the harp of the lamp. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked!

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