Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Super Finds in the Land of Somuchpretty

My trip to the Land of Somuchpretty, a.k.a. Hobby Lobby, produced 2 great finds that I wasn't looking for at all. I should have stayed on my path, finished getting my list of paper products, and left the store. But that would have been way too easy, and not nearly as much fun. The finds? A lamp and a...a...a...thingy-ma-do-bob, for lack of a better term right now. The lamp is adorable! The price tag was listed at $89.99. Ouch!! Couldn't do that...at all. But, I could do the $9 that it was on sale for at the time. Oh yes!! The lamp and the shade, and it even had a light bulb in it! Bingo! Cute as can be. It needs some dusting, serious dusting, but for $9, I'll dust it. Trying to come up with the name for what is wrapped around the lamp. Wicker? Yes, it's wicker. Don't mind the dinosaur of a computer in the background, need to strip it for electronics recycling day. It's actually called Recycle-rama. It's a great thing.

Obelisk!!!!!!!!!!!! That's the better term for the thingy-ma-do-bob. It was on the tip of my tongue and I just couldn't grasp it at the time, but there it is. Just had to dig through the memory warehouse and find it.

What a cool lamp. Now where do I put it?

This is just a visual object, it has no purposeful use. Honestly, it doesn't, it's just a really cool piece. TM says it looks like a genie bottle. Ok, so he has a point. My genie must be trapped in the bottle, because it doesn't open. Need to find a place for this guy also. But.......it was originally $59.99 (I know, I would have left it in the store also) , however, it was on sale for $6. That's why it came home with me. For $6, I can use it for a few years and won't feel bad about getting rid of it, or painting it a different color.

Thingy-ma-do-bob, a.k.a. obelisk. 

So, for a mere $15 I purchased both of these items. I think it's a darn good deal. Good job for finding a bargain. I might change the lampshade to burlap, not sure yet, but I do love that look. However, I've seen some burlap lampshades, but they start at $49. Not a possibility that I will pay that price. TM would pass out.

Two great items for one low price of $15 combined. Not too shabby.

Here are some pics of lamps that I've been pining over for a while from Pottery Barn.

The Clift Glass Table Lamp Base - Clear.

The Bacchus Table and Bedside Lamps.

The Fairmont Glass Crackle Table Lamp.

This next set is from Ballard Designs. Love me some Ballards and The Barn!!!!

The Cassidy Table Lamp.

The Malia Seeded Glass Lamp.

The Ellis Glass Table Lamp.

The Madison Lamp.

These next two are from Crate & Barrel.

So there you have it. Lamps I love, and a great bargain lamp, just waiting for a facelift. I can't decide if I want to leave the wicker on the base, or take it off. Once it's off, I can't put it back on. I wish it was removable, then I could put it on when I wanted to have it on. Oh well, decisions, decisions. I do know that the green shade needs changing. Love the size and shape, just don't want a green shade, right now. I do have some leftover burlap in a box of fabrics, in the basement. That would be the most cost effective, plus I think I have spray adhesive as well. This could be a fun project.

Enjoy your day! Bundle up, the snow is on it's way, here. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Good Luck Notes Paper Rings

A trip to Hobby Lobby can be so relaxing. There is so much to see in the wonderful-land-of-Somuchpretty. If only I had a place the size of Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey. Oh the things I could do. Oh, the things I could buy. I wish. I wish. Oh my, my, my.

My trip to Hobby Lobby was a success. I found paper for making the Good Luck Notes Paper Rings for the Good Luck Wish Jar. Blue and yellow sheets, the school colors, although they match, they're not too matchie-matchie. Close, but they both have a textured look, and the true school colors are in the paper, but not a solid mass of just one color. I like it!  

The colors are good together, the yellow seems mellowed.

Great price on the paper, 59 cents per 12"x12" sheet of paper. You can do a lot of detailing with a small amount of paper.

This has a denim look to it. Nice texture look.

Unfortunately, the yellow paper was only available in 8.5"x11" sheets. But for 44 cents a sheet, that's good.

Sticking with texture looks, this yellow paper has a look of linen. I like the different shades of yellows on the sheet.

I bought 12 yellow sheets and 9 blue sheets. There's a lot that can be done with this amount of paper. The paper goes on sale often, and I should have waited to get 40% or 50% off. Unfortunately, I didn't want to take the chance that it would be gone and not restocked as the stock of papers changes some with the seasons. However, I will wait for sales when I get all of the supplies for the invitations and thank you notes.

These will do well in small doses here and there.
 The paper rolls are ready to be rolled, but I'll wait until it's much closer to the date before actually rolling them. Don't want them to get crushed. I cut strips of paper measuring .75"x3". I did a test run with plain paper to determine what size was needed.  There are close to 100 pieces of paper total. That seems like it will be more than enough.  I wrapped an opposite color piece of paper around the stacks to keep them nice and neat. The paper stays together with the use of an adhesive.

Prototype of a rolled note and the strips of paper that will be used to make the rolls.
 Two of my very best friends, when it comes to doing paper projects. My handy-dandy Fiskars Personal Paper Cutter and Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner permanent strips. (The paper cutter has changed in design, mine is 6 years old now.)  Love them both so much it makes me weepy. I got this little cutter in 2007, when I made invitations and countless other things for our wedding. What great fun, and I learned so much during that year. There were many projects. I wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of my two little friends. They have gotten so much use throughout the years. They stay pretty close to my desk at all times.

Say hello to my little friends.
There was yet another paper that caught my eye as well. Still on the textured look paper kick here, there  was paper that looks like burlap. Thought this would be great for the background of pictures that I'm thinking of using on some of the tables. 

It has kind of a blue background to the burlap. Pretty, but not girlie at all. Great for my son.

Same paper, just different lighting.

The absolute best finds of the day, however, had nothing to do with my trip there to begin with. That is a subject for next time.

Enjoy the sunshine. It's crisp, cold, and sunny here. Days filled with sunshine are beautiful.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Idea Time

The internet can be a wonderful tool for ideas. I have been thinking about the Open House and elements to go with it. Do you ever have a vision of something you want to do, but can quite put a finger on the exact vision? I do this often, sometimes it's that I want to see something similar to my thought, so I can better tailor my idea with out having to make 4 or 5 different prototypes.

Two years ago for eldest son's Open House, I used an autograph picture board. I wasn't too fond of the set up, as it's often difficult to write on a wall, so to speak. For the Open House for my youngest son, I have been thinking of the Wish Tree that I made for our wedding years ago, so people can leave well wishes. We still have the tree, it's out on display. Although, I don't think this sort of thing is quite right for my son.

Wish tree from wedding. Not the best picture, but the concept was great.
I kept thinking of a container to put notes in, with a large picture of him set up behind the container, on an easel maybe. The container was the problem. Flower pot? No, too girlie. Bucket? No, too industrial, and I don't want to sand and paint it. A large rustic type jug? Well, he has to be able to get his hand in it. Think about it later, just let the idea simmer and grow in the ol' cranium. While looking at ideas for centerpieces, I came across this beauty at celebrations website.

Good Luck jar. 

It's the perfect container. How could it be there? What a grand idea! The creepy part, I have that exact jar in the basement with my decorating stuff. I needed something to display river rocks in last year and got it at HobbyLobby for 50% off. So for a whopping $6, I grabbed it. I never did put the river rocks in it, but kept the jar, and now I'll use it for the Open House. BRILLIANT!!!

The paper is easy and quick, and the label will be a breeze. DIY ideas to customize a grad party has some really neat ideas. They were even nice enough to post a template for the little paper notes. I will change the look of mine some, as I need different colors. I've decided not to use the template for the notes, but instead will create my own note papers. I can create them on the computer and just tweak them once I figure out my fonts for the entire party, then print them later. I do like to stick with one or two fonts for a party, it keeps everything uniform. The fonts will be decided from the Open House invitations that I make. Instead of string tied around the notes, I'll make paper rolls in coordinating school colors, that the notes can be slipped into easily.

Back to that jar. This is the second time I have had something on hand and it's just sitting there waiting for me and I find a neat idea for it on the "InterWeb" (my son likes to call it that) or in a magazine. Last Christmas season I pulled out paper mache ornaments that I purchased for dirt cheap at the end of the prior year's Christmas season, at Hobby Lobby for about 80% off. So for about 20 cents each I bought 3 of them and knew I'd do something with them. Found a great project for painting them white and detailing them with really chunky glitter. I'll have to post pictures of them, next Christmas, as I don't want to even think about pulling out all of the Christmas boxes again right now. Not yet, I just got them put away. Wait...I might have photos on the camera of them, I'll have to take a look.

Until the next time. Enjoy! I'm looking forward to spring!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spinning in Circles

Yes, that's what I've been doing, spinning in circles. There are so many things that I want to accomplish, and can't seem to settle on one specific task to complete first. I've found myself going from task to task, and back to another task, repeatedly. That's right, spinning in circles. First off, life has gone crazy, lots going on here, but nothing exciting enough to share. It's just been family life, doctor's appointments (lots of them), teeth pulled, orthodontist appointment (different kids), cats, school, classes, dinner, boyfriend/girlfriend dramas. Yes, that's more than one set of drama. You get the idea.....family life. The one thing that I haven't had time to do, is be creative. I do so miss it.

One of the many things that has come up has been the catalog and order sheet for announcements, cap & gown, and all of the other accessories that go along with High School Graduation. That's right, time to start thinking about it. My youngest son, GG, will graduate in June, then it's time for an Open House. Not sure if that thought excites or scares me. We did this 2 years ago with the eldest son, CC. I learned a lot and am now prepared to open our doors and yard to all kinds of friends and family. Well, better prepared.

Two years ago, my son, CC, wanted a slight Asian theme to his Open House and invitations. This time around, I have a son that just shrugs and says, "I don't know." He's been most unhelpful trying to come up with any sort of theme to add to the mix. So it's idea gathering time and time to look at the past and see what worked and what didn't and what should be done differently to make the day easier for me. To get in gear, let's look at some pictures from the Open House 2 years ago.

We had 2 tents, one larger and one smaller. Paper lanterns with the school color ribbons hanging from the top.
Inside of the large tent. Vegetable garden in the background, and perennial bed to the right of the vegetable garden.

 What an absolutely gorgeous day it was, the weather was perfect. Sunshine, blue skies, and all of the plants were doing well. I love summer. It's a little hard to see the smaller tent, behind the umbrella on the right, it's more of a canopy than a tent.

Looking to the back of the yard while standing on the deck.
 As mentioned earlier, there was a bit of an Asian theme. The takeout boxes were filled with blue and yellow Jelly Bellies. The boxes were super easy to make, just a little scrap booking paper, ribbon and the printer. Easy and cute. The chopsticks were free. When we placed the order at our favorite Thai restaurant for a tray and half of Pad Thai for the Open House, and I can't remember how many countless egg rolls and spring rolls, my son and I decided to get carry out to take home. We asked for a couple of sets of chopsticks, and they gave us about 15 sets of plain chopsticks. I put them in a drawer at home and thought we would just use them...whenever someone got an urge to use chopsticks. This was well prior to me coming up the with the idea below, it just worked out well. A little paint that I had in my craft arsenal, and we were good to go.

Candy dish on the cheap and cute. Matching chopsticks to boot. 
 We had lots of seating. I wish there was a reason to leave the backyard like this more often. Someone needs to get married, or have a baby, or something, after this year's Open House. It was very peaceful and serene.

Inside of the small tent looking at the larger tent in front of the shed.
Again, we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. It started out a bit windy as we were setting up. The table cloth kept blowing up. But it calmed down later in the day. Perfect timing.

Inside of the larger tent looking toward the smaller tent. Loved the lanterns hanging from the ceiling. 
These pictures were taken before the guests arrived, I wanted to get some pictures before everything was disturbed, and I almost forgot to take pictures.

Another look into the larger tent from the smaller tent.
This was a fun project, making name cards to go with all of the different foods. It really helped the guests know what they were eating, as many people had not tried Pad Thai previously. This picture was taken after everyone had eaten, as you can tell by the untidiness of the surrounding area.

Name cards for menu items made from the left over scrap booking paper that was used for the invitations.
Plasticware is a must for any occasion when you are serving food. I had these flower pots sitting in the basement on a shelf, already painted white from 2009. I was going to use them for my (step)daughter's baby shower, and decided to make bouquets instead of using living plants. Using the same ribbon that I used for the paper lanterns, I decorated the pots. The bamboo clusters are from a bunch that I had in the closet that I occasionally place them behind chairs in a corner or use them decoratively throughout the year. Using 2 stalks, I scored and broke them to the desired length, then wrapped them with ribbon and hot glued it to the pot. I will use these pots again this year, but will decorate them differently.

Quick, easy, cute, and very sturdy plasticware holders.
Loved the paper lanterns hanging around the yard and in the tents, I actually left them hanging in the trees for a few days after the Open House. It really made the yard feel like a little oasis. The lanterns are from Hobby Lobby, they came 3 in a pack for $6.99. Perfect! Even more perfect, they were on sale for 50% off, so just $3.50 for 3 lanterns, and I still have all but one packed away in the basement.

Lantern hanging in trees really helps decorate the yard.

Just beautiful!

Nice shot of some of the plants. The plants in the urn didn't grow so well that year.
So at this point, I am formulating some ideas for the big day, no reason to wait until the last minute to try to come up with something. This way I will have plenty of time to make anything that needs to be made, and still have a buffer just in case I change my mind. I will try, try, try to remember to take pictures as I go along so that I share my thoughts and ideas.

Have fun, bundle up and stay warm.