Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shutterfly Brand Ambassador- My First Sponsored Project Idea

Super Exciting News!!!

We are So, So, So excited to announce that we have been chosen to participate in a project through Shutterfly and Looksi Square, which means we are working on OUR FIRST SPONSORED BLOG POST!  A very exciting milestone to achieve  and only after 5 months of blogging!  

The Task at Hand

Shutterfly and Looksi Square have challenged the bunch to come up with some sort of display for 4 x 6 photo prints.  I've thought, and thought, and bounced ideas off Kyle and my good friend Serena and together, we've come up with a concept!

See those old, dirty windows up there?  They will become cabinet doors for a furniture piece similar to a small china cabinet or buffet- but its purpose will serve as photo storage.  Albums, Scrapbooks, Mini-albums and even Photo Boxes will be able to be tucked neatly inside this piece of furniture.  I am SUPER excited about the idea of having a home for all of our photos- IN ONE PLACE.  

But That's Not All----

The Cabinet will also have a built in Photo Display!  The window frames will become a sweet place to display family photos and can be switched out with the seasons of life! 

I am super excited about the concept we've come up with, and even more excited that I get to work on this project with one of my best friends, Serena.  
We are getting together next week to begin construction, but not without a challenge of course.  Nothing is ever simple, or easy it seems.  

Dark Shadows

Two nights ago our house was broken into in the middle of the night.  They came in our sliding glass door from our back patio and quietly walked through the craft/play room into the garage (moving my laundry bins out of the hallway) and packed out most of my beloved woodworking tools, a friend's bicycle, some wheels and tires, Kyle's chain saw and more.  Then, they came into the kitchen and took Kyle's keys and 1 credit card out of his wallet.  
I keep reminding myself that these are just THINGS and I am SO THANKFUL that no one got up to see what the noises were- it scares me to think what could have happened if we met face to face with these terrible people.  Needless to say, yesterday was wasted with insurance claims, police and getting our vehicles re-keyed so that we didn't wake up this morning and have no cars in our driveway.  
It is so frustrating that there are people out there who are brave enough to violate someone else so terribly and enter there "safe space" while they are sleeping.  We have a long way to go feel safe again but all of our "things" are replaceable.  With this project on the line, they will just have to be replaced sooner, rather than later!  And all through the process I will remind myself-

"Keep your face always to the sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you"-unknown

Stay tuned for updates- and the finished project will be revealed in the middle of June!

Please, make sure your homes are as secure as possible- and write down the serial numbers of all important and or valuable items you own- without documentation of these, if they were ever stolen, they can't be reported stolen and looked for without serial numbers.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Mother's Day Creation- Barnwood and Vintage Window Planter and a FREE PRINTABLE!!!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

This is my second Mother's Day, officially- and I feel honored to be a part of this club.  As I was reading through quotes to find the one I wanted to put on my project for my Mother, many of them brought tears to my eyes upon taking time to reflect on what they really meant.  I wanted to pick a quote that would inspire my mom in the place she is currently in life.
My mom thought she had her "dream come true" life, when she purchased Cedarbrook Lavender & Herb farm almost 10 years ago.  At first it was amazing, then it got really tough when she realized she had to focus WAY more on "business stuff" than what she really enjoyed doing on her flower farm.  As soon as she got comfortable splitting her time between business and the pleasure the farm brought her, the economy took a down turn.  With that big change, came a whole new set of challenges which has lead to a drastic change in her daily life activities.  
I am proud to say, that she is FINALLY, ALMOST at a point where she will, again, be able to enjoy flowers because her dream is back in sight and possible- although VERY different from what is was initially.  I hope this gift I made for her, sitting in front of her new little home, will remind her on a daily basis to DREAM!


It is SOOO important to Dream.  If you don't dream and make goals how will you get ANYWHERE!?  I have this discussion with my husband often, as he and I think very differently.  I am a Dreamer down to my heart of hearts, hence why I am an Entrepreneur.  I have been working very hard lately on a project that will change my little family's life DRASTICALLY, and I am SOOO excited about where it will take us. Only because I Dream for a future where we can live life comfortably in a way and place we are happy.  Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers this next week as hopefully all my hard work will begin to pay off!  And DREAM BIG for your life, you never know what might become reality if you dream it!
Enough philosophical babble- and on to my fun project!

Step by Step - Barnwood & Vintage Window Planter

I always start a project by perusing through my stashes of materials in the garage, on the side of the house and on our back patio- I knew I wanted to make a planter box for my mom for Mother's Day, but I didn't know what style.  After some inspiration gathering on Pinterest, as always, I had some ideas in my head, but went to take a look at what I had to work with.  I decided it was time to use one of my vintage windows that have been sitting around for a while.  I also picked up some scrap wood for the structure and base from the side of the house- and I picked out a piece of barnwood to use for the outside walls.

Step 1

I set up my window on my work bench and figured out how deep I wanted my planter box to be.  Then I measured the long piece of scrap wood to figure out if it was long enough to cut into 3 sections to create the base for the planter.  

After I cut the 3 equal pieces and laid them out under my window, I realized the gap between them would be large enough for a significant amount of soil to leak through.  So, I found a scrap 1x2 to add into the mix, making the gaps between the board basically nonexistent.

Step 2

Seeing as I only had my two hands working on this project, it is very difficult sometimes to hold pieces into place when you are screwing them together in a manner that they won't move.  To help combat this issue, I always start my screws by getting the screw into the wood before I attempt screwing into the other piece   Just like this-

Then, I was able to hold everything together where I wanted it and begin to push the screws into the other piece of wood.

Step 3

With my base all secured to the bottom of the window, I laid out some scrap 1 x 2's to create a frame for the top of the planter box.  Attaching this frame to the window was challenging because I had to make sure I wasn't screwing into the glass set inside the frame.  I also had to pay close attention to screwing into an odd angle on the back side of the frame.

This frame was to be secured into the middle of the window frame where I wanted the top of the planter box to be.  Again, only having two hands, I had to get creative in how to support the frame in a way that I could get it secured in place.  I ended up stacking misc items under the top of the window frame to put it at the same height as the bottom where I screwed on the base.  Then I was able to slide the 1x2 frame under it and screw in through the backside of the window frame into the 1x2's.

You can see that the base boards are all wonky-  this is because they are not straight (one of the challenges that arise from using scrap wood for building projects).  Luckily, you can always force the boards to be somewhat straight when you attach the other side to something- as you will see in the next step.

Step 4

With the base and top support screwed into the window frame, I was able to attach the barnwood to the outside to create the walls for the planter.  I set the barnwood on its side on each side of the planter and marked where I needed to cut.  I made sure to have the two sides go from the very back of the window frame to the front edge of the frame and base.  The front piece then covers the raw edge of the sides giving a more seamless look.

I used wood glue and finish nails to attach the sides- needed to be strong enough to hold it all together with the dirt and plants inside, but I didn't want to see any screws.

And, then it was ready for planting!

It was beautiful after I planted the flowers and they will grow in to be stunning in a few weeks.  I used lobelia around the front and side edges, when it lobelia grows along an edge, it drapes down- and will be so pretty.

I love how it turned out, but it needed something else... and that's where the quote comes in.  I wasn't happy with any of the stock quotes available in the Silhouette online store, so I used my software and created my own, and I am happy to share it with you.  Click on the image below to be directed to the PDF that you can download- feel free to use it however you'd like (but please be sure to share photos!)

Did you make something crafty for your Mom this Mother's Day?  We'd love to see or hear about it- tell us or link us in a comment!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Camper Overhaul Introduction- How to Create Your Own Pattern & Giveaway Winner Announced!

The Winner of our Mother's Subway Art Barnwood Photo Holder is.....

Serena Harkless!!! 

Julie Swagger was the initial name drawn by, but I wasn't able to find her in the bunch's Facebook Likes (which is a requirement for entering the giveaway) and was not able to make contact with her.  Julie, if you read this, please get in touch with me and I'll make sure you receive a gift from the bunch as long as you are connected with us on Facebook =)

And now for some other, just as exciting news.....


Kyle has been talking about wanting to get a camper or a trailer for at least two years.... I LOVE sleeping in a tent, but I also LOVE the idea of having a place where all of our camping gear LIVES- not having to have 18 bins of camping gear in our shed sounds GREAT!  
So, Kyle's dad is a general contractor and stays very busy with clients on a word of mouth referral basis.  He was working for a repeat client last month, and she mentioned that her dad had passed away and had a camper that he had hardly used.  She had it stored at a friends house since he died, and its been sitting there unused, and in great condition ever since.  Somehow they worked up a deal, that if we torn down a shed on her property and disposed of the building materials (wooo hooo, free reclaimed wood!), that we could have the camper FOR FREE!  
Of course we took her up on her offer, and Kyle and I have had fun talking about what we want to do to make it ours while cleaning it, and sealing a few small leaks.  Our plans include:
  • Re-Upholstering all the Cushions
  • New Curtains
  • New Wall Paper
  • New Laminant on the Table
  • Possibly new flooring (but the current linoleum is in good condition, and it isn't ugly)
  • New Vinyl Pin Striping and Branding Decals on the Exterior (more details to come, but I would LOVE your help in giving our little camper a brand)

A Great Start

This last Sunday morning, my mom was in town, so Kyle and I got up early and cleaned and cleaned for 2 hours and now the inside and out look sparkly new.
We then got a great start on the Re-Upholstery.  Because the foam inside the cushions is still in great condition (actually the fabric is as well, its just not PRETTY), we are able to re-use the foam and just create new covers.  But, in order to re-cover the foam, we needed patterns for the new fabric.

How to Create Your Own Pattern

I was fortunate to receive a gift of fabric from my good friend Candace.  She had quite a bit of beautiful Home Decor fabric left from different projects that she didn't want sitting around her house anymore- They are perfect for the Camper!!!

Any of you who know me well, know that one of my downfalls in crafting (and why I am a TERRIBLE BAKER) is that I HATE TO MEASURE!!!
I often figure out ways to do things without having to use a tape measure and math.  This was definitely one of those times!  In order to figure out if I had enough of the fabric I wanted to use for the tops of the cushions, I rolled out the fabric and laid out the cushion covers on top of the fabric- AND THERE WAS ENOUGH!

1.  I started by taking off the original cushion covers.  There are zippers but they are corroded so we had to destroy them to get them to open.  Once we had them off, we cut apart the original cushion covers on the seams- this essentially created two halves that will be sewn together leaving a pocket to slide the foam into.  (Zippers are NOT CHEAP- especially the LONG ones I'd need for this project, so I've decided that I will just sew them closed.  By the time the fabric needs washing, I am sure the foam will need replacing anyways.) I also cut on the seams that created the corners so that I ended up with one, flat piece of fabric.

2.  With all the seams cut, I ended up with a flat piece of fabric.  I laid that on top of my new fabric (opposite finish sides facing each other) and cut around it leaving about 3/4 of an inch of extra new fabric around the other for a seam allowance.

On the edges where they will be sewn together to create a corner, I cut diagonally into the corner at the point where the two edges meet all the way to the old fabric- this way I know how far in to sew to make the corner.

3. I ended up with a finished piece for one side of the cushion.  I will be buying flannel backed vinyl for the other side just like the cushions came (the vinyl is heavy duty to withstand being up against the base plywood the cushions sit on).  I will lay the other half of the original cushion (the vinyl side) that I cut apart ontop of the new vinyl just like I did for this side and cut around it to make the other half!
Here is the finished piece!

Don't worry, I won't leave you hanging.  In my next Camper Overhaul Post I will outline how to sew these all together to create the new cushion cover!  

This method can be used for almost anything you want to create as long as you are ok with destroying the original to create the pattern!  

Have you created something using this method?  We'd LOVE to hear about it- please tell us in a comment below, or leave a link to your project if you Pinned it or Blogged about it!

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