Category: Crafts

DIY Jungle Nursery Artwork

I alluded to this project in my last post, so here it is!

First we found and changed up some artwork of the animals that we loved – I used my KopyKake to project them on to canvases — you could use tracing paper, or just as easily do these freehand, but it was after midnight and I didn’t trust myself!

Still working on nursery artwork pre-prep at 2 AM...

Still working on nursery artwork pre-prep at 2 AM…

I traced the outline of all of the animals onto the canvases using a pencil.  These were 8×8 canvases.

All traced!  Can you tell by the lighting how late it was?!

All traced! Can you tell by the lighting how late it was?!

Then I packed these bad boys up into a suitcase and took them with me to surprise Las.  She was a good sport – she didn’t even complain that I showed up with work for her to do!  After a (VERY QUICK) trip to Michaels, we left with all of the acrylic paint and paintbrushes that we needed to get to work.

And of course I put the pregnant lady to work!

Working hard - with her feet up!

Working hard – with her feet up!

We did around 2-3 coats on everything to make sure it was covered well.  I think they turned out super cute!

All done!

All done!

And they definitely go well in Lewis’ jungle themed room!  Done just (barely) in time for his arrival!

DIY Nursery Jungle Animals Artwork Canvases

DIY Glittered Vases

I saw these cute little guys at Michael’s in their cheap-o bins and I just knew I needed them for Averie’s birthday party, but there was one problem – I didn’t want clear vases – I wanted them to go along with the party theme…

It's so little and cute!!!

It’s so little and cute!!!

So out came the modpodge, and the glitter.  Unfortunately all I had was coarse glitter, but it seemed to work.  I used clear sealer on top of the glitter to hold it all together.  They came out super cute!

DIY Glittered Vases

Easy Pink Princess Curtain / Dessert Table Backdrop

We know I love party things.

We also know that I love party things that can be re purposed and used everyday.

I wanted to make a backdrop for the dessert table for Averie’s Princess Party and decided I wanted to go a little ‘shabby chic’ and use lots of different fabric.  I also wanted to make sure it was something that we could use throughout the year.  Thankfully our little princess only has one window in her bedroom, and it’s a big window, so I decided we could make a backdrop that could double as a curtain for her room.

I should note that I decided all of this as I was standing in Hancock Fabrics, without knowing the measurements of Averie’s window, and without having a CLUE as to what I was doing, so poor Aaron was on the other end of the phone trying to help me out…

Good news is, I got it all figured out and came home with a stack of fabric.  How much fabric?  I have no idea.  All I did was get at least 2 yards of each color, making sure that the ream length would cover the height of the window with 5-6 inches to spare for tying.  Like I said, I was making it up as I went!  I walked out the store with just shy of $36 worth of fabric – hooray for sales!

Pretty Fabric!

Pretty Fabric!

I started to carefully cut each strip of fabric – about three inches wide, making sure that it would be at least 5-6 inches longer than the window itself.  PLEASE make sure you check that your fabric is the right way before you start to cut it, or you could potentially end up with some strips that aren’t long enough (don’t look too closely at the gold strips in mine…)

After a while, I decided I would try to rip them.  Afterall, it was shabby chic – it didn’t need to have perfectly cut edges.  It worked amazingly well.  I was able to not only get all of the fabric ripped to size in less than 2 episodes of Law and Order SVU, but I was also able to work out some pent up aggressions!!

I snuck into Averies room and pulled down her curtain rod – she had a cafe rod in her room – which is PERFECT for things like this.  I removed her curtain and started tying the strips of fabric on, in random order, trying to keep the knots at the top so they were relatively the same height.  At this point I didn’t worry about the length.

After I was done I hung the curtain back up in Averie’s room and then went along the bottom with scissors to make everything CLOSE to the same size.  Again – shabby chic, so it’s not supposed to be perfect.

DIY Princess Curtain Backdrop

The end result was awesome.  I need to shift her artwork hanging strip down, but otherwise I love it!  I’m almost a little sad that I have no reason to make another one for my bedroom!!

 

Super Simple DIY Art for the Walls

I finally finished up artwork for the walls in the dining area of the new house.  I wanted something that was individual and went along with our family, and after weeks of scouring the aisles of stores and online websites I knew I was going to have to suck it up and make something myself!

In the end I settled on a large canvas painted a deep red with hearts on it and 6 canvases in varying colors with our initials on them.

In retrospect, I really wish I had made a tutorial out of these.  It was REALLY simple, so I’ll try my best to walk through them!

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The heart canvas is quite large – I picked it up at michaels with a coupon. Note that you can try this process before taking the plunge by using construction or craft paper and a bottle of paint that you have on hand!

Cookie Cutter Heart Artwork

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas(es)
  • Acrylic Paint(s)
  • Paint Brush
  • Paper Plate
  • Cookie Cutter

Instructions:

  1. Select a canvas that fits your wall space.
  2. Paint canvas in one solid color using acrylic paints, you will likely need multiple coats and need to let it dry between coats.  This took three coats for us to get it solid.
  3. Select a cookie cutter – preferably a plastic one that you already have a duplicate of so you can throw it away when you’re done.
  4. Pour white (or other color) paint onto a paper plate.  You want it just to be enough to cover the bottom of the plate, it does not need to be deep.
  5. Dip the cookie cutter into the paint and pull it straight up.  If a bubble forms within the cookie cutter, poke it with a paintbrush to pop it.  Make sure you let any excess paint drip off before approaching the canvas.
  6. ‘Stamp’ the cookie cutter on the canvas.  I was able to get 3-4 stamps out of each ‘dip’ into the paint.

You could cover the whole canvas – I chose to stop and leave a curvy pattern and then put three hearts in the top corner – one for each of us!

Initial Canvases

The initial artwork took a little more work.  You will need a cricut for this, though you could potentially find other stencils in the craft area.  It’s VERY similar to this project  where I let Averie do the painting!

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas(es)
  • Acrylic Paint(s)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Cricut / Cricut Cartridges
  • Adhesive Shelf Protectors (or Vinyl)

Instructions:

  1. Determine what you want to put on the canvases, how many you want, what size you need and what color(s) you want.
  2. Cut the shelf protector roll so that it will fit onto the cricut mat (alternatively you could use vinyl, but it is more expensive!)
  3. Using the cricut, cut the letters or images out at the size you would like them to appear on the canvases.
  4. Ensure that the canvas is clean and dry and stick the image onto it where you would like it to appear.
  5. Using a paintbrush, paint over the entire canvas, including over top of the shelf protector.  (Note that you don’t have to paint over the whole thing if you don’t want to).  Be careful not to push paint underneath the shelf protector.
  6. Allow to dry and apply additional coats until the desired color is achieved.
  7. After the canvases are dry, remove the shelf protector from the canvas – the shapes that you cut out should remain white.

 

Mommy’s Helper

I had help working on party hats tonight! Normally I would not have busted into the button stash to make tie ends for hats… But Averie wanted to help, and although she’s a smart kid, she’s not quite able to tie knots yet!

So we used buttons, she would thread them and pick out a button and the. I would tie it on. Somewhere she has already learned that if you’re having a hard time getting the buttons threaded that you can lick the end of the string and it works better!

We managed to get 20 hats threaded! Did we use a lot of pretty buttons that will never actually be seen by people since they are on the inside of hats?

Yes.

Was it worth it to have a helper?

Absolutely!!

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Averie’s Scrapbook

I’m *supposed* to be scrapbooking right now.

SO – in lieu of scrapbooking, I thought I’d write a scrapbook journal entry!

I do have the first 3 months of averie’s scrapbook done, but I haven’t managed to get pictures of the pages I’ve finished since she came home.  I wanted to post some to my journal (and a scrapbooking journal) and see if I could get some ideas and inspiration from other scrapbookers…  so please – feel free to share your work with me – especially baby scrapbooking pages, I’m dying for ideas here!!!

 

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Page from when I was pregnant
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Ultrasound pictures and story from finding out we were having a girl as well as the story of choosing her name

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Pictures of her nursery

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The baby shower (the circles were part of a game we played)

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Baby shower pictures

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Everyone at the shower signed one of these cards (there were two)

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Averie’s Birth Story written by both Aaron and I (I’ll paste it below for those interested!)
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First bath (not sure I like this page yet)

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Pictures from the hospital – kind of hard to see, but there’s doilies behind the tags.

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Her birth announcement page

And for those interested, here’s her birth story that Aaron and I wrote up:

 We had a scheduled appointment with my OB for May 4th – which was our actual due date. At the appointment, the Dr said he figured she’d likely go into labor either that night or the next day. Not too long after that Mom started having slight contractions. We went home and within a couple of hours the contractions were starting to hurt and were coming more regularly – Mom and Dad walked to the gas station to get some Ice Cream to help move things along (the walk was to move things along, the icecream was to make Mom happy!) Not long after we got home, they were under 5 minutes apart and stayed that way for 2 hours and we packed up to go back to the hospital. We didn’t figure they’d keep us, as Mom could still talk through the contractions. Mom text messaged Nana, who of course headed in as well. In the end, Mom was sent home around 10:30 PM with an Ambien to help her sleep and instructions to come back when the contractions were stronger to the point that she couldn’t talk through them.

We headed home and Mom relaxed on the couch after Dad made a quick can of lasagna. At this point Mom was still in pain, and it was increasing, but we didn’t want to go back in too soon. Mom took the Ambien and tried to sleep. Dad got ready for “bed” – he took a shower and got dressed in normal clothes – even put his shoes on – so that as soon as Mom said “lets go” he was ready! Mom didn’t get much sleep overnight, ended up with maybe an hour – the rest of the night was spent feeling miserable. By 7ish in the morning Mom decided we would have to pack up and go soon or she was going to have a breakdown from pure exhaustion! We ended up back at the hospital hooked up to the monitors again. Since we had gone once earlier for a false alarm for a total of 3 trips now to the hospital, we knew the drill. Unfortunately, when they checked, Mom was still measuring the same as the previous day. At 10:30 AM the nurse let us know that they were going to admit us anyway – she apparently told the Dr on call that if they didn’t admit us that Mom would likely have to crawl out the door to leave judging by how much pain Mom was seemingly in. Dad quick got a hold of Nana (who wasn’t impressed that we didn’t call her BEFORE heading to the hospital) and let his side of the family know as well.

They sent us to room 1165 and got all of the IV’s hooked up. At 12:30 PM Dr Driscoll came into the room and talked to us for a bit and then broke Mom’s water. Shortly after that the anesthesiologist came to put the epidural in. Mom felt a million times better! Grandma and Pauky showed up and Kelly stopped by, but for the most part Mom didn’t notice much from the visitors and was just crashed on the bed, not feeling any of the contractions. The first nurse (Deb) guessed Mom’s delivery time after 10 PM. Everyone else picked times close to the nurses.  Dad opted to go against the grain and try to make mom feel better by choosing 6:45 PM (of course if you ask Dad he will say it was because he knew).

Around 4:30 PM our new nurse Nicole wanted to check me again, so everyone dispersed to go get food for dinner. She checked and Mom was already at 8 cm.  Mom hadn’t been feeling the contractions, but they’d obviously been working! Everyone was still at dinner and Mom started to feel more and more pressure over the next 30 minutes or so. Dad came in and got the news. Nicole the new nurse then guessed our delivery time around 7:20 PM. By 5:00 people still weren’t back, but Mom was really feeling pressure – Nicole checked again and Mom was 9.5 cm. She said that whenever Mom was ready to start pushing we  could. Mom held off until 5:20ish, but by then she felt like she needed to start pushing. Some people were back from dinner and were sitting outside the door, the nurse popped out and told Dad (who was still eating) that we were going to start pushing – he was a little nervous about getting ill since he had only just finished eating! He came in and at around 5:30 the pushing started.

Mom was doing alright with the pushing, but she kept thinking her eye was going to pop out from pushing so hard. Dad kept getting cool washcloths and doing silly things that amused mom – he was so nervous he even ran top speed into the wall! Eventually the pushing started to really hurt and the nurse was paging everyone she could trying to get the Dr in the room. She actually told Mom to to stop pushing because the Dr wasn’t there yet and we were close. Dad didn’t approve of what the nurse said but since he kept slipping and falling on the floor he couldn’t express his disapproval very well. Mom didn’t listen very well either and was still pushing , just not pushing as hard!  After a few minutes there was a mad rush of nurses into the room and Dr Driscoll was there, ready to deliver Miss Averie. At 7:07 she was born. She barely made a peep, her cries were very soft and few and far between, Mom wasn’t sure what to think and was just listening hoping that everything was okay, Dad said “She’s beautiful” so Mom at least knew then that Averie was certainly a girl! After what felt like an eternity but was really less than a few minutes, they placed our baby girl on Mom’s stomach. Dad clipped the umbilical cord, and Averie was wiped down and put on Mom’s chest while Dr Driscoll finished up what she needed to do!

The rest of the hospital stay for mom was a blur of visitors, nursing Averie and trying to eat and sleep as well.  Dad recalls staying up the first night with Averie so Mom could sleep a little. Dad also would parade our baby girl down the halls so all the nurses could see how beautiful she was, he even got upset when he took you to the nursery and they wouldn’t let him stay!  Averie had a full head of hair and really captivated a lot of people because she was just so alert and nothing seemed to bother her.  She definitely was a gorgeous little girl, and was so well behaved right away, taking to nursing and not raising a fuss when all sorts of different people wanted to hold her!