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CONTEST: Have Your Photos Painted for Free

photocontestAs many of you already know, I have an ETSY shop. Up to this point I’ve mostly sold printables but was thinking of branching out. I’ve always loved painting, but I’ve put it on the backburner for awhile until this past Christmas when my super awesome husband bought me art supplies: a tabletop easel, new paintbrushes, pencils.  It reignited my passion for painting. I wanted to be able to start selling some of these paintings in my shop. That’s where you come in.

I decided to have contest. Here’s how it will work: I want photos in three categories: 1) animals/pets 2) children (preferably closer up) 3)portraits (also preferably closer up. If I choose your photo two things will happen: 1) I will paint the picture then send you the original (a $100 value) and 2) sell prints of your painted photo in my shop (this is something you are agreeing to if you submit a photo). If you are interested, you can go to my Facebook page and like my page for further details and updates. I will be announcing winners March first.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

xo

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Dollar Store Paris Inspired Mirror

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Hi. My name is Courtney and I’m addicted to Pinterest.

It’s been 12 hours since I last pinned a recipe, funny cat photo or tutorial about making a mosaic with broken pottery. I have at least 762 of making doily curtains, 32 about reupholstering your furniture the lazy way, and how to cheaply decorate every room of your house.

My latest obsession, though, is Paris. Well….the idea of Paris.

My girls love, love, LOVE things Paris related. After we spent a day in “Paris” at home, they have had a wanderlust to visit Paris in their imaginations any time of day or night.  They might take after their mom a bit.

This fall they turn nine (boo-hoo!!) and for their birthdays I wanted to try to redecorate their room to be a Paris theme. Something girlie, fun, romantic and a bit more sophisticated for preteen girls (sniffle*).

I plan to put flower boxes on their windows, turn their closet into a boutique, making a light up Eiffel Tower behind an old window, paint a rug to look like cobble stones, making a biSTRO IN THEIR ROOM, PUT AWNINGS OVER THEIR WINDOWS!! Can you tell I’m excited?!! I plan to make myself a little sitting corner in the “Café” part of the room so I can take a little trip to Paris myself sometimes!

It’s safe to say I’ve had Paris room on the brain. So naturally when I was at the Dollar Tree this past week I was inspired. This whole project cost me three dollars. Yeperooski. Just three measly dollars.

I will admit, though, that I already had the glass paint from another project, but that is still just a couple of dollars. So, without further ado….

Supplies:

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-Dollar store mirror

-Dollar store scrapbook flowers (6 for one stinkin’ dollar! Holla!!)

-Martha Stewart Frost Glass paint

-Scrapbook Letter Stickers (I also had but they have these at the Dollar Tree as well)

 

So, if you’ve followed this blog at all you know I like to do easy projects. This is one of those, people! So super easy!

I started by sticking the letters to the mirror. Rocket science, right?

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Then, take the mirror out of the frame and paint over the whole thing, letters and all, with the glass paint. Leave it sit for an hour to dry.

In the meantime you can decorate your frame. Can you pause a moment, though, and just admire these paper beauties? These delicate flowers are even paler in person. They are small and adorable.

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They have a sticker on the back, but I hot glued them around the frame for durability.  After the mirror has dried take stickers off (you may have to do some touch up because mine peeled off a little of the paint). Then put it in a cool oven to bake(don’t preheat). Then turn oven to 350 degrees and bake it for a half hour. Check on it periodically, though, because mine turned a little yellowish. Poo.

Turn oven off and let cool off before removing it. Once it’s cooled, pop it back into the frame and voila! A masterpiece.

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Here is some other loot I’ve collected already (mostly from Goodwill). That Paris flea market sign is from the Dollar Tree!

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I’ve also started painting some of my own watercolors to add to the ambiance. Oui, oui.

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I’d love to hear more ideas if you’ve got ’em!

Bonjour!

xo

 

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DIY Owl Tote

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Last year, I made this advent calendar counting down until Christmas. Always one to cram extra projects into an already exhaustingly busy month, on day nine I had written, “Make a Christmas present for your teacher.” Blah.

I have a few friends who are teachers and I know they often receive the same gifts. So, I wracked my tired brain for an idea that might be somewhat original, cheap, and also something the girls could make, preferably having to do with owls since their teacher has a fondness for them.

I came up with nothing. HOWEVER, while I was browsing the aisles of Walmart in search of other last minute craft supplies, I stumbled across canvas totes, all under $3. Score. I snatched one up and scurried home, giddy with anticipation and self-congratulations of being so thrifty and clever.

This bag took less than an hour, and if we’re being honest here, it could have taken half that time had I not enlisted the girls to help me out with this. Ah! I love them. They are precious, but heaven help me! Let me get this out of the way because if you read any of my posts you know I like to keep it real, lest you think this was some Hallmark, Kodak moment so when you try this out with your kids you are cursing me and my family for generations to come because I made it seem like this project was sunshine and kittens and lollipops. Sugar and spice and everything nice it was not.

First, I had the girls help me cut out pieces for the wings (I don’t have a pattern, but it was pretty easy to freehand them) and was trying to make sure we all had ten digits on each hand by the time it was all said and done because Ev couldn’t keep her eyes on what she was doing and the dogs were wrestling and bumping into us. I asked Nora to keep an eye on the pieces to give her a “special job” while I was trying to sew pieces on. She lost them. Twice. Poor girl tries so hard, but is slightly absentminded like her Mama. Then I had the girls take turns helping me by pressing down the pedal while I guided the bag through the machine. StrEEEEEEssful!! The dogs kept looping around my legs and under the table, digging in my garbage and stepping on the pedal. Again, fingers were counted after that fiasco. I discovered also, much to my great annoyance, that I had to rip out one side of the bag so I could fit it into my machine, then I stitched it back up when all was said and done.

So, that out of the way, I will tell you how we pulled this together. Let’s start with the supply list, shall we??

-canvas tote

-scrap fabrics for eyes and wings

-large buttons for eyes

-sharpie paint marker

-fabric markers

-glue gun

-sewing machine

We started out by making a wing pattern out of paper and making two, cutting them out along a fold so you have two mirror images. Then I traced something round for the eyes and drew large circles in the middle of large buttons (also found in the craft section at Walmart). I pinned the fabric pieces to the bag (after opening up one side so, as aforementioned it fit better through my machine) and went to work sewing the pieces on. I chose to do a straight stitch because I like the raw edge look, but you might prefer an applique stitch. Once the fabric pieces were on, I stitched the open side back up and hot glued the button eyes on. Once all of that was done, the girls wrote on the back of the tote. Pretty easy peasey, my friends. I think they turned out cute, don’t you? Oh. Yeah. The bag is pretty cute, too. 😉

norawriting girlswithbag eviewriting backbag

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Freebie Contest!

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Hello all! I just started making these typewriter prints for my shop with lovey messages, but I could use some help. Here is where you come in. Here’s the deal: tell me what you would like to see the message in my little machine say in seven words or less. It can be funny, sweet, or just plain smart; whatever your little heart desires. If I choose your idea, I will create a typewriter print using your phrase and will sell and feature it in my shop and send you one, free of charge! More than one winner may be chosen, depending on how many brilliant ideas I receive.  Now, what have you got?

You can visit my facebook page or just comment below with your ideas! 

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24 Days of Christmas Crafts: Day eleven (sort of)

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Soooooooo…..this is me. A  little cross-eyed and crazy with Christmas preps. I am a little embarrassed to even be writing this post because my promise of 24 days of Christmas was paved with good intentions! But, simply put, I’m pooped! Christmas is only two weeks away and my list doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter. Though I HAVE been busily preparing and crafting to get things ready for Christmas (making a superman quilt, a queen size quilt, teacher gifts, garland, a bunny and a kitty hat, two princess dolls, two ballerina shirts, a painted plate, two books, two screen printed tees, shrinky dink dog name things {see? this is how tired I am}, a wreath, two VERY ugly Christmas sweaters….you get the idea), I have neglected to take pictures and haven’t had time to blog about them. This is me being incredibly lazy because I am tired! I have also been trying to potty train a puppy at the same time (an early Christmas present for me from my amazingly sweet husband), but it’s honestly like having a toddler in the house. Sooooooo….rather than make any more excuses or promises (though I do hope to be able to post some of my crafts soon as well as yummy recipes) I am offering a peace….um…..offering. Here is a free Christmas printable. Maybe you can use it to make some Christmas crafts of your own!

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(Just right click on image to save and download)

 

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Day 6 and 7 of Christmas Crafts: DIY Children’s Book

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One day we asked Nora if she could be anything in the world, what she would want to be. Her answer, very prompt and very serious was, “A unicorn in a uniform.” Sam and I had a very hard time keeping a straight face. One day I told him I really wanted to draw and write. If you are an artist or a writer, you understand that itch you get sometimes to get the creative juices flowing (especially if you are the mom of small children as well). Even as I am trying to type out this blog I am being bombarded with questions and I have had to retype the first few sentences at least three times each and I’m still not sure if they make sense! 

Anywho…..my husband said that I should write books like “A Unicorn in a Uniform”, and from there we rolled out a bunch of other titles that rhymed. I have written three so far, but have only illustrated two; one for each of my girls for Christmas. I am going to show you some samples of “Dogs in Clogs”. 

***Disclaimer: not that anyone would want to steal this idea, I am still asking for the courtesy that you not steal this idea for a book of your own (referring, of course, to the titles and ideas of these particular stories).

I am making this a two parter because there is a lot of work that went into these books, but they were so much fun to do and such a great creative outlet! 

Step one: I wrote the stories. Edited, read them to my kids, re-edited them and when I was finally satisfied and happy that the girls enjoyed them, I got out some blank pieces of drawing paper and went to work. 

Step two: I scanned the completed pictures onto my computer and then used Picmonkey to add fonts and other details I wanted to add. Here are a few sample pictures.

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Anyway, more to come about putting these books together later!! Have to dash! 

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24 Days of Christmas: Day Four- Vintage Christmas CD

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I usually try to make myself wait until Thanksgiving Day to start listening to Christmas music. It takes a lot of self-control, which apparently I don’t have because by the second week of November I had made this Christmas CD and have listened to it almost every day since.  Since I love all things vintage as well, I like to call this my “Vintage Christmas List”.

I started by searching for songs by my favorite members of the Rat Pack and also honorary modern-day members like Norah Jones and Micheal Buble. I looked for songs by Burls Ives and Doris Day. I grew up listening to Bing Crosby every Christmas, so he is my absolute favorite when it comes to Christmas songs.

I found them, downloaded them, and burned them to a CD. Pretty complex, right? But I wanted to share my list with you. Oh yeah, I also added “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas”, another classic I loved growing up, which my kids love now, too! Every time we get in the van, they request it.

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