Snip snip.

I did it.  I got a "lob" or a "clavicut" or whatever you want to call the adorable hairstyle that sits a tiny bit below the shoulders and makes your hair looks super fun and bouncy.  It was so time for a postpartum locks were so long when I pulled out the curls that they came almost down to my elbow, and there were several inches of dry dead ends.  Every morning when I woke up (or if I wore a necklace with a big clasp that day), I would have a huge dread underneath in the back that would take forever to comb out in the shower.  I was so over it.

So after pinning several photos of "long angled bobs" and lots of inspiration from Jessica Alba and apparently, Selena Gomez, I got one of my own.  And I couldn't possibly love it more.  My first thought when I got in the car post-haircut?  "I feel so free!"

{Necklace from Kangaroo Care}

I know it's only hair, but I swear there's something about getting a fresh cut that also freshens your whole life.  Our hair adorns us, and it's a way to express our style and feelings.  My hair doesn't define me, but it sure makes a difference to embrace the hair texture God gave me rather than flattening it everyday of my life like I used to do. 

It's such an easy cut too.  Even when I let it air-dry to my natural curls (which is 99.9% of the time), it falls perfectly.  I sleep on it and wake up the next day and it looks like nothing changed.  Yup, the perfect cut for a busy mom of two!

Simple living: thankfulness frame.

I've seen the blog posts circulating about how excessive Pinterest-surfing is causing moms to ignore their kids because they're too busy pinning at every spare minute.  And I get that, as I have to be careful not to retreat to my computer instead of engaging with the people in my home.  Anything can be taken overboard and abused.  Personally though, I have to say that many of the simple, creative ideas I've seen on Pinterest have actually helped me engage with the people in my life more.   This project is one of them.

First, I saw this idea on Pinterest, and then a sweet friend gave me a cute gift wrapped in burlap, and I thought I could repurpose it for this simple project. Who doesn't love burlap?  I wrote on a 5x7 frame with a white paint pen, framed the burlap, and in literally less than 5 minutes and $0 spent, I had this:

The idea for this frame, which is now perched on the dresser in our bedroom, is that my husband and I would use it to write notes back and forth to each other in the form of thankfulness. The notes are written with a dry-erase marker and easily wiped off.

Practicing thankfulness is one of the most important things we can do every single day.  For me, taking a moment to write or speak thankfulness is the difference between spiraling into a sea of chaos, resentfulness, and entitlement vs. peacefully surrendering my life and seeing the multitude of gifts I already have.  Yet, it's something I easily forget.  Every single day.

Writing on the thankfulness frame encourages me to search for something to be thankful for, even when I don't feel it at that moment.  And a bonus is receiving encouragement by what my husband writes.  The other morning after he had left for work, I found this:

Sigh.  I do love that man.  He knows me, he sees what's important in life, and he'll take two seconds to write on a picture frame to put a smile on his wife's face.  I've always wanted our home to be a place of beauty and peace, and it made me happy - and thankful - to know he sees it that way too.

So, I encourage you to make a thankfulness frame - for yourself or even as a simple gift for a friend.  We can all use a little more thankfulness in our lives, can't we?

I'd say this project was a hit.

I recently saw this simple, free toilet paper stamp idea on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect to try with my little toddler. We gave it a whirl yesterday, and I'd say it was a hit...

Paint in the hair always indicates a good time, no?

We used an old canvas I already had, with the edges painted green with craft paint.  When the painting dried, I coated it with glossy Mod Podge and let it dry.  Then it was time to hang!

I thought it would give a nice burst of color in our dining room, on the collage wall with other mementos like Luci Belle's name plaque, our engagement and wedding photos, and a photo from her birth.  Love it! 

Got any simple, free craft ideas to share?

Pinterest project: Repurposed wreath with fabric rosettes.

"Making these fabric rosettes is like therapy," I said to Brooke, a fellow creative soul, as we stood around the table in my dining room.  She agreed.  We'd been there for several hours on a cold, rainy Sunday, contentedly cutting and twisting our fabric in silence.

Part of my decluttering mission for this month has also included recycling and repurposing items I was no longer using.  This old broomstick wreath from JoAnn was sitting in a pile in my daughter's closet, decorated with ugly yellow plastic flowers, half of which had already been blown off when the wreath adorned my front door a few years ago. Oh, the poor things my front door had to endure before Pinterest came along.

Then I saw these fabric rosettes on Pinterest, and I thought I could make some for my old wreath.  Brooke and Paul ended up visiting for the weekend, and she brought a ton of her fabric scraps - everything from velvet to denim to Hawaiian.  So, while the boys discussed venison chili and oil drilling, we went to town on making rosettes.

We used this very clear tutorial on how to make the rosettes.  I swear it's addicting once you get started. 

And then, you just need a good 'ole hot glue gun to fasten them on.  I swear most of the world's problems could be solved with a hot glue gun.

I love how it turned out!  So much that I decided to make it an "inside" wreath.

The rich velvety blue of the last rosette on the right is my exact color inspiration to paint the chandelier in the butler's pantry (see the last photo).   Now, to find the perfect color of blue spray paint...stay tuned!

Pinterest project: DIY birdfeeders using bird seed, cookie cutters, & gelatin.

These adorable birdfeeders are the perfect winter project to foster creativity and also make the birds happy!  I saw this on Pinterest and thought it would be a fun and inexpensive way to provide food for the birdies all winter.   Do it on your own, or with kiddos!

You only need a few items:

  • Bag of bird seed for small birds {I got mine at Target.}
  • Box of Knox Gelatine {Get at any grocery store.  The box has 4 packets inside.  Gelatin is completely safe for all birds as well as weatherproof!}
  • Water
  • Cookie cutters in various shapes
  • String or twine
  • Wax or parchment paper

For the cookie cutters, use simple shapes such as a star, heart, or circle.  You don't want to use very complex designs because they won't hold together well.

Here's the tutorial that I used - so easy! 

After taking about 30 seconds to make the birdseed mixture, I pressed it into the shapes and added string and let it dry overnight...

Come morning, I simply removed them from the cookie cutters.

Cute, eh?

Ready to hang them from the trees!

Come, birdies, COME!

Pinterest projects lately...

So few days before Christmas, so little time.  Thanks to Pinterest, I now have seemingly endless amounts of inspiration and a constantly growing list of craft projects to tackle. Thanks to my mom being in town for a week over Thanksgiving, I've made a lot of progress!  Free childcare so Mommy can have some sanity creative-time?  Check.

First, a small home improvement project to brighten things up a bit...

I fell in lurve with this orange window...

...and then became obsessed with replicating it in my own kitchen.  My kitchen sink area resembles this layout, all white with the farm sink and glass cabinets on each side.  Except with a heckuva lot more stuff cluttered around it.  I was already planning to paint my kitchen walls creamsicle orange {one day} but it just seemed like so much to tackle with all that taping and painting around oddly shaped spaces. 

So, painting just the trim around the window?  Much more unique, and faster too!  My sweet husband decided to buy me paint for this project as a birthday present, so I went on a mission to find the perfect creamy orange...ah yes, "Orange Slice" by Glidden.

Sure brightens things up, doesn't it?

~ ~ ~

Once that was completed, I got busy making handmade Christmas decorations.  My love affair with wool has been taken to another level, I tell you.

Christmas yarn wreath with felt poinsettias.  I was inspired by this beautiful wreath from the Hope Mommies website, but I also loved the poinsettias like on this wreath.  So I sort of combined the two ideas and used the tutorial from this site which even includes an easy template you can print for the petals!  For the center of my flowers, I used three small green circles of felt and added a jingle bell.  I then painted a small, thin piece of wood with chalkboard paint, wrote on it with chalk pen, and attached it to the wreath with yarn.

It's amazing all the things one can do with a glue gun.

Pine cone garland.  I've been embarrassing myself for months now, scooping up pine cones and acorns from people's yards, hoping they won't notice.  I have pine cones scattered all throughout the house.  It was time to convert them into Christmas decorations!  I made this simple garland by tying yarn bows and gluing them to the ends of plain pine cones with a hot glue gun.  Then I glued each pine cone bow to a strand of ribbon.  Seriously took about 15 minutes total.

Handmade ornaments.  There are hundreds of handmade ornament ideas on Pinterest, but I decided to use my trusty pinecones.  Just brushed them with some gold and silver paint and glued yarn to hang.

I still love these paper birds from last year...

Felt Christmas garland.  Ever since I made the felt leaf garland for fall, I've been wanting to try another one, except stitching the felt pieces together this time with a needle and thread instead of using thick yarn.  Sometimes I like to pretend I can sew, you see.  I was inspired by this Christmas garland and decided to give it a go...

Felt mistletoe.  No doorway is complete at Christmastime without mistletoe.  How adorable is this?  I've already gotten some smooches underneath it.

Winter mason jars.  Finally, I recycled my fall acorn mason jars and made them wintery.  I cut some holly and berries out of felt, glued them to white ribbon, and added kosher salt for fake snow. 

I really wanted to make these adorable snow globes or yarn wrapped trees or a wine cork wreath, but there's always next year! 

Please share your Christmas craftiness too!

3 reasons why I love Pinterest.

I am completely in love with Pinterest.  Have you tried it yet?  Several friends told me about it, but I was hesitant to take the plunge, because I just knew I'd love it.  Well, that's the understatement of the year.

"What's Pinterest?" some of you might be asking.  It's a site where you can create virtual "pinboards" of anything on the web and browse through what your friends have pinned and repin the things you like to your own boards.  For instance, I have a pinboard to collect ideas for creative ways to use chalkboards.  Or wood pallets. Or color inspiration or inspiring wordsCheck out all my pinboards for yourself!

So, why do I love Pinterest so much?

  1. It's inspiring.  Finding moments to be creative everyday is an absolute necessity for an artistic soul like myself.  Taking just 5 minutes to browse through Pinterest satisfies that need, even if I don't have time to actually do a craft that day.
  2. It makes both the left and right sides of my brain happy.  My creative side loves browsing all the photos, especially how they're arranged as collages on the page.  My organized side finds it a wee bit too fulfilling to put all my pinned items into neat little categories.
  3. Easy and fun DIY ideas.  Previously, I bookmarked ideas for DIY projects or crafts in various places on my computer but never did anything with them. Now they're all in one place and for some reason, I'm actually doing them - score!  Most of them I can do with materials I already have, or for just a few dollars.  Here are the links to each project I've done so far and then my version below...


Fall yarn wreath

This was so much fun and a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I'm also now nerdily obsessed with felt.  There's so much you can do with it!  I used the wreath tutorial above and also this easy tutorial on how to make felt flowers.  Doesn't it look purty with our orange door?



Autumn leaf garland

I do like how this turned out, but next time, instead of using thick yarn, I'll probably use a needle and thick thread or at least a thinner yarn.  To make this garland, I had to cut 5 small notches in each leaf and hand-thread the yarn through.  I asked my husband what he thought of it when it was done and he said, "Nice!  What are they?  Kites?"  Awesome.  So I think I'd like the effect a lot better if it was hand-stitched with thread like this so it creates a more realistic "vein" line down the center of the leaf.  I'd also love to try using textured felt.


Paper punch heart garland

This was totally free.  I already had a heart paper punch and a bag full of paint color samples I'd collected over the years.  Add a needle and thread, and voila, a cute little garland for above the door in Luci Belle's room.


Mason jars with acorns

It was fun walking the neighborhood collecting all different types of acorns for this project!  I used a hot glue gun to add some burlap trim and a green felt heart around the rim of each jar.  They made great decorations for a fall-themed baby shower I threw yesterday, and I love them so much they're staying on the table!

Other projects I can't wait to try...

AHHHHH!  See?  I'm outta control!


Have you tried Pinterest?  How has it inspired you?