Random Ramblings: September 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

PROJECT LIFE DATE CARDS

Ever since I started Project Life I have kind of struggled with the date cards for each week.  I see some online and people get very detailed and each week is different, and I did start out this year like that.  Then I found myself super behind on even just getting my photos into my album after we moved.
Last year I started project life and was all gung ho and just go so far behind it was not even funny.  For those date cards I was just using the cards that came in the kit and writing the dates on them.  I liked them, but I didn't at the same time.

So I started thinking about just making my own printable date cards so I could just have them all printed and already in my album and really no extra work on my end. Brilliant, why didn't I think about that before??  
So this year I had the turquoise edition of Project Life so I wanted something that kind of went along with those colors so it wasn't too outrageous looking.  
I totally have a thing for grey lately.  Like grey is the new black to me.  
I would love to design a project life kit with grey as the main focus and have pops of colors.  Maybe Becky Higgins will have another contest for people to submit Project Life design ideas?  Hey maybe, a girl can dream right.  

So I started with a grey texture on the back and I wanted the number of the week to be really big on the page, so I made it really big.  
I made sure to include the dates that coincide with that week.  
I liked it but then I was thinking it still needed a little something.  So I thought it would be perfect to add the year on there, so I made it as a strip across the bottom, and made it a light color and real small.  Just like an accent line, only the line is the date.  




I started with week 39 since I am currently working on getting all caught up with my photos.  I have a ton waiting for me to pick them up at Costco so I am hoping I can make it over there this weekend and get them.
After I make all of the week cards I am also going to send them Costco to be printed. I love Costco prints in the lustre finish, and you can't beat there price either.  If you are a Costco member you should check them out, and if you are a member but don't have one very close you can also have the pictures shipped right to your door.  

I am pretty tempted to make week cards for next year too and have them printed out so I will be one step ahead for next year and can really focus on staying current on my pictures.  

~NICOLE

Monday, September 23, 2013

DIY ZEBRA PAINTED WALL NAME

When I was growing up I had wood letters on my wall that spelled out my name.  I have wanted to do this for my kiddos for the longest time and knew when we moved here it would be the perfect time.  I had an idea right away for what I wanted to do for the boys names, but not exactly for Chloe.
One day I was at Hobby Lobby and they had these paper mache letters on sale for 50% off.  So I got each letter for only .99.  What a deal.  
So I only got the letters for CHLOE because the letters for the boys names I had thought of were different. 

So I picked out her letters and brought them home and there they sat.  I was still not quite sure what I wanted to do to them.  I thought I could paint them black or the turquoise color in her room.. But I was just thinking I would get to it another time.  Then it hit me recently I wanted to do them in zebra pattern.  

So first I needed to spray paint them white.  Which this was a task all in itself because it took so many coats I lost count.  Something to do with the material the letters are made from was just soaking up the spray paint.  So probably after 8 coats later, they were all white.

I tried hand drawing on some zebra stripes, because I thought really how hard could that really be.  Well ya not that easy apparently because it looks ridiculous. So then I cut this pattern out of some scratch white card stock I keep on hand.  I used my silhouette cameo and just cut a big square with the zebra pattern.  


Then I used a extra fine sharpie and traced the pattern onto each letter.  I just moved the stencil around to make it look good on each letter.  



My first intention was that I was just going to color in each zebra stripe with a thicker sharpie marker.  But that wasn't working.  It must have been the glossy spray paint because it just wasn't covering very well in each stripe.  So I just took a tiny paint brush and painted in each stripe.  It actually went pretty fast, and if I went a little out of the lines, it really didn't matter since it isn't a perfect line to begin with.
I did forget to get a picture of me painting them though. 


I let them dry even though I was dying to hang them up.  I was really liking the way they turned out and couldn't wait to see them in her room above her bed.  


I used these command strips (have you tried these, they work great for hanging so many things and then you don't have nail holes in the walls either ).  
So I put a few on the back of each letter to make sure it would hold them to the wall nice and securely.  



It was exactly how I imagined it. When I decided to do her room in zebra I didn't want to go too zebra crazy and have everything in zebra, but more just accent stuff along with the black and small hints of the turquoise too.  So her sheets are zebra, one lamp shade and a blanket at the end of her bed, and a few frames.
I really do love how big girl her room looks.
The black night stand is going to eventually get painted the same turqouise color, but for now it is just on the to do list.
I think in this collage frame I am going to add a few zebra papers to fill in a few of the spots and then add pictures to the rest of the spots.  



Here is a close up shot of one of the letters.  See, nothing perfect but all together with the rest of the letters, it looks really good.
Now I have been trying to think of something else I can make for her room just so that I can paint something else in zebra too.

Now I definitely need to get the boys names done.  That is next on the to do list for their room.

~NICOLE

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARD



My husbands birthday was on Sunday, so I had been thinking of good masculine birthday cards in my mind for a while.
For some reason I like to make cards, but just never get around to making them as often as I would like. 

So I thought this would be a perfect time to get a card made.  

I cut out the HAPPY HAPPY and the word birthday from my Silhouette Cameo .  I like the clean look of white on white, but I just thought it needed something more... to make it look more masculine.
So I went through my paper stash and found this great brown texture colored paper.  I cut a notch in the bottom and measured it to size.  I glued that down right in the middle of the card.  Then I added the HAPPY HAPPY words using foam adhesive.  I wanted it to have a little dimension.
After that I glued down the word BIRTHDAY.  
Of course after that I thought it needed just a pop of twine, because aren't you suppose to use twine on everything.. well at least my brain thinks so.
So I carefully lifted up the brown piece and wrapped the twine around and tied it in a bow.  Then I glued the brown piece back down where I had lifted it up.  
I still thought it needed maybe a little something more.  So I took my new bottle of Glossy Accents and traced the letters of the BIRTHDAY word.  
I set it aside and let it dry overnight.
The next day when I was looking at it I thought it just needed one more thing... so I added some black stitching with my favorite pens the STAEDTLER triplus fineliner .  
That was just the finishing touch it needed.  I put it away until I could give it to him on Sunday.  

Now it really has given me the itch to make more cards..  
I used to sit and make a bunch of different cards so if I came upon needing one in a quick hurry I had some on hand already.  So maybe I can get some made to keep around just in case.  I know there as been several times I needed one recently and didn't have time to sit down and make one.  Sounds like a good thing to add to the ever growing list of things to do.  

~NICOLE

Monday, September 16, 2013

DIY CANVAS WALL ART

I love canvas art but sometimes they can get so pricey.  So I love to be able to create my own.  Much more personal that way too.  
When we moved I knew I wanted to do the kids room in something new.  They needed something new since they finally would not be sharing the room with their sister.  
I didn't even have to think about what the theme would be it just had to be a motocross theme.  The boys are obsessed with riding their dirt bike so that is just what it had to be.  
At first I looked at tons of comforters with dirt bikes on them but none of them really caught my eye and the colors were just not what I wanted.  Jacob has a KTM so the kids love anything black and orange but I didn't want their room looking like Halloween exploded in there all year round.  So I was just at a loss and figured I would just keep searching until I knew I found the right one.
Then it happened.  I was online one day and saw an add for Bed Bath and Beyond and saw these comforters and I just knew these were the ones. The comforters had the most perfect colors and not a dirt bike theme.  I decided this was so much better because then if we wanted to take away the dirt bike theme, we didn't have to change the comforters too.  
These comforters had the orange for KTM in them, the green for Kawasaki, the Blue for Yamaha....  perfect a good variety of dirt bike manufacturers colors.  

So my mom wanted to get these for the boys, so she ordered them and shortly after we moved in they arrived.  The set even came with curtain valances...  What a deal.  I will share how I fixed up the curtains in another post.  
So then once the beds were all set up, I needed to start finding ways to make it look like it had the motocross theme.  I searched online and there isn't much out there to purchase.  So I put my brain to work and thought of this DIY canvas idea.  
I went to Hobby Lobby, cell phone coupon and printed coupons in hand.  I got the two of the 2 packs of 16x20 canvases.  They are $7.99 and I used the 40% off coupons.  Each of the boys bought one of the packs and me and Chloe used our coupons for a few other things I needed that day. 
When I got home the kids wanted to help with this project and I thought that would be cool since it was going up in their room.  I thought it would be fun for them to be able to say they helped make the art hanging on their wall.  
So I put the kids to work painting the canvases a solid color.  We went with the three main colors from their comforters.  So once canvas was orange, one was lime green and one was navy blue.  We did roughly 2 coats on each canvas.  They loved doing this part.  


Then it was my turn to get crafty for the project.  I used my Silhouette Cameo and cut out 3 different shapes on white vinyl.  I cut 2 of the same dirt biker guy, and one of the quad guy.
I then attached the vinyl cut outs onto each of the canvases.  I just put one of the dirt biker guys upside down and one the right way.  Even though it is the same image it looks different just being upside down and looks like the guy is doing some awesome trick.


Now I have to be honest and say this part was not the most fun, not was it easy.  I got so mad I ended up throwing one of the vinyl images away and had to cut it out again.  I don't know if it is the canvas texture or the paint on the canvases or what but the vinyl was not wanting to stick to the canvases at all.  It took a lot of patience and I had to go really slow.  Once I got them on and not to move it was easier.  I was just not having the best luck with it that day.
Once I got them on I turned the canvases over and really pressed down to get the vinyl to really stick to the canvases so they would not lift or just come off.  They have not even peeled up at all since I hung them up.

I love the way they turned out and the kids love them too.
Next project I think for their room is going to be names over their beds.  I have a plan for that too.  I also have started a project for their room that is going to be a subway art with all words relating to dirt bikes and motocross.  I can't wait to finish that one up.

I definitely love the way their room is coming together.  I love the colors, the big boy look, the feel of it being an all boys room for them now.

What is your latest DIY project?  Have you ever made anything on a canvas?

~NICOLE

Sunday, September 15, 2013

SUNDAY RAMBLINGS

Tonight I thought I would just share some Sunday random thoughts....  

1. Today was Jacob's birthday and I made him breakfast burritos this morning and steak and corn and noodles for dinner.  I made him a yellow cake ( even though he doesn't like cake or sweets really for that matter ) and I decorated it to look like a campfire.  I frosted it and then covered it in crushed graham crackers then added some chocolate candies that look like rocks and some stick cookies to look like logs.  

2.  I am tired of the heat and super ready for fall to be here.  

3.  I hate Mondays.  The boys don't have school on Fridays so we get a 3 days weekend and sometimes after that it is hard to get back into routine on Mondays.

4.  Since Jacob has been on graveyard every night since Thursday the kids and I have slept in the living room.  They absolutely love to do this, kind of like camping in the house.  So I happily agree even though I sleep on the loveseat and sometimes it isn't that comfortable, but I do think it is kinda fun.  

5.  I am excited for my shows to come back on this fall.  Grey's Anatomy, Revenge, The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries are my top 4.  

What are some of your random thoughts for the day?  

~NICOLE


Thursday, September 12, 2013

REESE'S CHEWY CHOCOLATE COOKIES


Today I thought I would share this recipe with you.
We went to Target yesterday to pick up a few things and I wanted to make the kids some homemade cookies.  So I was looking at the chocolate chips and then I saw the reese's peanut butter chips and thought I would make something with those instead.  I do not think I have ever made cookies with them, so figured it was worth a shot.  There was a recipe on the back for cookies and I used that as my starting point.  I changed it a little and improvised when I realized I was a cup short on my sugar.
In the end they turned out great and I didn't overbake them as I tend to do with homemade cookies.  The kids loved them so I say it was a job well done for sure.  
Want to make some too?  Let me share the recipe with you so you can try them too.  They are soft and just utter perfection when they hit your mouth. 


Let me ask you this when you try them... Can you eat just one???  :)

REESE'S CHEWY CHOCOLATE COOKIES

INGREDIENTS 

2 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 BAG PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS
1 TSP.  BAKING SODA
1/2 TSP. SALT
3 STICKS BUTTER - SOFTENED
2 CUPS SUGAR
2 EGGS 
2 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
3/4 CUPS COCOA POWDER
1 CUP CHOCOLATE BAKING ROUNDS - CHOPPED UP 

** I only had 1 cup of sugar so I added about 12 packs of truvia and then about 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar .  I did not know if it would work, but it seemed ok in the end so I got lucky this time **

DIRECTIONS

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. 
3.  Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Easiest way to do this was in the mixer.  
4.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat well.  
5.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.  
6.  Stir in peanut butter chips and chopped up baking rounds.  
7.  Drop by rounded spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet.  

Bake 8-9 minutes.
Let cool then transfer them to a cooling rack.  
Enjoy.
The best way to try one is right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk.  

I packed one for each of the boys in their lunches this morning and they were so excited.  
Let me know if you try them and what you think too.  

~NICOLE


                            

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

REMEMBERING TODAY ... 12 YEARS AGO


I have missed it here.  Missed sharing and missed writing.
I thought today would be a good day to come back and honor those last lost their lives 12 years ago today, on a day that changed the world forever.
I will never forget that day.  I was taking Jacob to work and we heard it on the radio and we thought it was a prank.  So we changed the radio station and heard the same thing.  We were in shock and just listened on the way to his work.  As soon as I got home I just listened all day until I had to go to work.  At the time I was working at Kiddie Kandids in the mall and I remember hearing the mall had been closed for the rest of the day so I called into work and it was true.
This is a day that changed all of our lives forever.  One that my children will now learn about in the history books of their soon to be History classes.  One that my children are already learning about at school.  Today at school little Jacob said in music class they sang patriot songs and learned about what it meant to be Patriot Day.  
I will never forget.. as most of the world will not.  
On my own personal bucket list is to one day go to New York.  And if I ever make it there I would love to go see ground zero.  

So here is to those men and women that lost their lives from this tragic day.  




~NICOLE