Friday, December 30, 2011

Life Box

I am so excited about the project I'm sharing with you today.  I put a lot of time into it because I'm hoping it's something that will grow near and dear to me in the coming years.

If you're on Pinterest, you may have seen this "Line A Day" Calendar Journal:

I love the idea of this.  It's something small, simple, and easy to do each day to halfway journal/document your life.  I have kept this project in mind since I saw it months ago, and it remained something I wanted to do before the new year started.  I'm calling it my "Life Box" since it will really be a documentation of the most important and special highlights of my life.  Basically each card has a date on it, and at the end of each day you write down one thing you did, accomplished, learned, experienced, etc.   Something significant from each day.  The first year is probably going to be pretty bland and boring, but I think it will be fun and interesting to do this the second year and forward to see how much I or life has (or hasn't) changed in a year's time.  I was kind of getting butterflies in my tummy when I was making this, imagining the possibilities of what is now a normal date in my life to become something so significant.  This year, I may write, "took Akela for a walk" or "slept in until 10:00".  But someday, that same card might say "bought a house", "started a new career", "got married", "had my first child".  AHH!!  It's just so exciting to me, and honestly makes me think this is going to be something that motivates me to LIVE more and better.  It's that little bit of accountability to do something significant every day.  Just knowing that I need to have something to write on my card at the end of the day will, I hope, encourage me to do more significant things.  Make sense?  I also think it will challenge me to continue to improve and grow.  It would be a bummer if year after year a card got worse or less exciting.  So it will also be something that motivates me to make my cards (days, life) better and more exciting.  I'm pretty pumped about all the possibilities of this!  

My Aunt Sharyn gave me a gift card to Michael's for Christmas, so I headed out in search of inspiration for this project.  I found the perfect supplies, came home, and got started.  I literally finished a few hours ago, and couldn't wait to share!  

If you're going to make a life box of your own using the tutorial I'm giving, you'll need:
  • A wooden box
  • Acrylic paint (Colors of your choice, I used four different colors)
  • Brush on gloss glaze (optional)
  • Paintbrushes in different sizes
  • Pencil
  • 365-ish 3X5 inch ruled index cards
  • White cardstock (I used textured, but you could use whatever you have, even colored or patterned if you wanted to)
  • Rubber stamps...alphabet and numbers
  • Black stamp ink
  • Small screwdriver

I started this project by first making the cards for each day of the year.  When I was getting my supplies, I found packs with 180 ruled index cards at Kroger.  I bought three because I'm a perfectionist and knew I would mess up a few.  I also pulled out my set of rubber stamp letters (the plastic container I keep my larger ones in is from Dove facial cleanser wipes...perfect!).  

When I first started this blog, I promised to share all my successes and also misses.  Because any crafter will tell you that you almost never get it right the first time.  So I started testing out the different stamps I had.  By the way, the original tutorial on Design Sponge suggests using a date stamp.  If you have one of those, it would certainly be faster than what I did!  But I didn't have one and didn't want to try to find where to buy one or spend the money on it for just this project.  So I used what I had.  In the end, I'm glad I did.

After looking at my two options for letters, I decided the larger (capital) letters were too big, and I didn't like the way they were all spaced out.  I like the small (lowercase) letters, but it took a long time and didn't line up perfectly stamping each letter.

I tried to do it anyway, but still didn't like the look of the giant numbers.  At least not in this "font" just looked a little off to me.  

Fortunately, I was working on this project at my mom's house, and she has stamps.  So I raided her collection and found these!

I was psyched because the clear block and stamps meant each month's lettering would be uniform and perfect and OCD-friendly.  YAY!  So I started out with January 31, testing out the letters and two-digit date for spacing.  I used my notecard lines to make it straight.  I was excited!  


FAIL!  I loved the font and everything, but it wouldn't stamp evenly.  Since they were from different companies (and different quality), the number stamps were thicker and the letters weren't evenly sized.  I could NOT get the full month abbreviation to stamp and the ink from the numbers was bleeding.  So on to plan C, or J, or whatever it is by now.

I just used mom's numbers.  I liked this collection because they were all different and magazine ransom note-looking.  If that makes any sense why I would think that's cute.  Anyway...

I LOVED the way they turned out.  It seemed to go pretty quickly the way I did my stamping.  I started with the end of the month and stamped 8 cards with the 31 (yes, using the knuckle trick I learned in elementary school and taught my 2nd and 3rd graders to remember which months have 31 days).  Then, I took off the 1 and replaced it with a 0 and stamped 11 cards.  Once I got to 29, I stamped 12 cards for each number.  As I stamped them, I laid them across the desk in 12 different piles.  Doing this gave the ink time to dry before I got around to laying the next card down.  By the time I was finished, I had each of the twelve months stamped with dates and laying in the right order.

Then it was on to the month abbreviations.  I knew I didn't want to do the whole name for each month (how long would it take to get September done?!?!) so I decided on 3 or 4 letter abbreviations.  That, I can handle.  Sadly, the clear stamps wouldn't work.  There were a couple of important letters missing from my mom's set.  So, it was back to my wooden rubber stamps.  I opted for the smaller letters and decided to do the month on the other side of the card so it's more balanced.  I also decorated a couple of special days with stamps I had for holidays.

So at this point, all my cards were stamped with month and date, with a few decorated for holidays.  Time to start on the fun part!  The box!

I got this plain wooden box with a latch at Michael's for $2.99 from the wooden shapes aisle.  It wasn't my favorite...I was looking for something simpler, sleeker, something without brass hinges and latches.  But this was the day after Christmas, and this was the best I could find.  I'm so glad, because it ended up being perfect!

I didn't do anything to the box to treat or prepare's ready to paint once you bring it home.  I was originally going to just do two colors, a main color and accent color, but went a different direction once I spent some time in the paint aisle!  I wanted the main color to be something pretty neutral and basic so that it could easily sit on a shelf or desk in any room without being an eyesore.  But I also wanted it to be personalized...something "me"...something fun.  So, I picked out a color combination that made me happy.  If you're interested in using the same colors, the main color I used is Apple Barrel Gloss in "Dolphin Grey".  I used this color on the outside of the box on all sides and the bottom.  To help make sure I covered everything, I used a small screwdriver to first remove the hinges and latch and separate the lid from the base.

The other colors I used are all Americana and are called "Bluegrass Green", "Deep Midnight Blue", and "Vivid Violet".  FUN, fun colors (though the coloring in the pictures isn't quite the same as real life)!  I decided to write the word "Life" on the front.  No, I didn't perfectly scribe it the first time.  It took about 30 minutes to get the size and lettering I could deal with.  Use a light pencil to trace, draw, or write your design first.  You can erase and redo several times...the wood is very easy to work with and erases easily.  

When you do this, start with your LIGHTEST color of paint first.  I started with the violet lettering and painted over my pencil letters with 2-3 coats.  Then, I carefully went around it with the blue and filled in.  I did the green and violet border last.  For all the paint on the box, I used 2-3 coats, letting it dry between to get good, even coverage.  The wood soaks up the first coat really well, so you'll definitely want to do at least two.

I let my box and lid dry completely overnight, just to be safe.  Acrylic paint dries pretty fast, but I wanted to be SURE.  Then, I gave the entire thing a nice coat of this brush-on gloss glaze.  This can be found in the same place that you get your acrylic paint.  

I really only needed one good, even coat of this triple thick stuff.  It worked great, and made my box come to life!  It sealed the paint in, brightened the colors, and gave it a finished, shiny but not glitsy sheen.  I let this dry and cure for another full day, then re-attached the hinges and latch and put the box back together.

The final thing I needed to do was add dividers for each month.  This is where the white cardstock comes in.  I used textured cardstock that I found in the clearance section at JoAnn's a couple weeks ago.  I cut a card for each month that was 3.75" X 5" to fit the box.  If you have a larger box, you may be able to cut your cards a little bigger.  For me, this size worked out great because the dividers where the same width, but stuck above the date cards enough for the month title to be seen.  I used my rubber stamps with the capital letters and a centering ruler to get them straight and centered.

Then, I added something a little different.  I knew I would be pulling this box out daily, so I decided to write important dates (birthdays, anniversaries...) on each month divider for a quick glance of cards I need to send out that month.

And one final thing that I did, but haven't completed yet is a resolution card.  I decided this would be a good place to put a concrete, real, written list of things I want to accomplish for the next year.  I was just telling a friend the other day about how I think when we actually write down and/or share our resolutions, we are more likely to fulfill them.  Again, that accountability comes into play.  So I have a 2012 card that I will be writing my major goals on in the next week.  I plan to keep it in the front of my box, so I look at it daily as a reminder of what I plan to do.  I'm hoping to turn it into a checklist more than a "hope I do" list.  How awesome would it feel to be able to cross out/check off a resolution once you accomplish it??

So here is my finished box:

Look how perfectly those cards fit in!  I couldn't believe it!  

I'm loving this life box idea and hope that it's something I keep up with.  For now, I plan to put it on my nightstand to remind me each night to write something down.  I loved journaling in high school but don't make much time for it anymore.  This isn't quite the same, but maybe it will fulfill that itch in a small way.  I can't wait to see what it will be like in 5 years!

December Date - Volunteering

Christmas has come and gone.  :o(  I'm hoping to catch up on blogging soon because I am SO behind.  For now, here's the next in the series of the Dates for a Year Basket ideas.

For December, I had a lot of different ideas.  I could map out where they could drive around and see Christmas lights, send them to Opryland and/or ICE for the night, go get their picture with Santa, etc, etc, etc.  You get the idea.  There are a thousand and one things to do to celebrate the holidays.  I decided to go a different direction for a couple of reasons.  One, I find myself getting so wrapped up in the other fun events of the holidays that I forget to focus on the true meaning and spirit of Christmas.  Second, I knew that we would be doing a lot of those fun things together this time of the year, and didn't want them to be overloaded with that.  And third...I had already planned some stellar dates for the Spring and my budget was getting pretty tight. :o)

So, what I decided is to let December be another open-ended date that kind of just kick-started the process.  This date is all about volunteering and giving back!

Here's what was included in the December envelope:
  • Date Card
  • Two Packets of Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix

Here is the date card that was included in the envelope:

The cost of putting this date together was free (I already had hot cocoa mix).  I thought that using this month, when my budget and theirs was tight, was a perfect time to have them volunteer together.  I MEANT to include a list of ideas, but am just now realizing that I left that out (sorry, Kim & Larry)!!  However, it is really easy to find ways to volunteer.  You could go online and search your community's name and volunteering opportunities.  You could find a project that you can collect items for or make things for and send them off.  One thing that we did as a family this year was Operation Christmas Child.  This was something really easy and fun that we were able to do at home together.  If you belong to a church, they almost always have some opportunities for you to volunteer your time, money, and/or talents.  I'm sure you could search and find more than a handful of opportunities that interest you.  

So that is December's date!  It's certainly not the most creative, but I think it's one of the more sentimental and one that will create memories that will last a lifetime.  I'm hoping Kim & Larry found something to do this first married Christmas that means something to them and that they can possibly make an annual tradition.  This is date is number 6 of 13.  Fun and exciting dates are just around the corner!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Date - Movie Night

So much for posting a couple of updates yesterday!  I got too invested in decorating the house for Christmas.  I'll post some ideas for that soon.  I did want to get November's date posted right away since December starts this week!  So, in continuing with the Dates for a Year Basket ideas, here is November!  

Since the weather is supposed to be cooling down, I chose something for a cozy night in for November.  Here in Tennessee, we still have 70 degree days mixed in with a couple of cool ones, but cozy nights in are always indulgent!  This date is kind of a popular, predictable date, but it had to be included.  This month, Kim & Larry get to enjoy a Movie Night!

Here's what was included in the November envelope:
  • Date Card
  • DVD of a movie they hopefully hadn't seen (I got it in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart)
  • 1 bag of unpopped popcorn
  • 1 jar of Popcorn Seasoning.  The one I got was butter flavors, with four different varieties.  (I got it for about $3 at Ross)  They also had some other choices, like a sweet variety and a spicy variety if that fits your recipient better.
  • 2 bags of candy (I got sharing size bags of M&Ms and Skittles...something fruity and something chocolate that they can share)

Here is the date card that was included in the envelope:

This date was an easy one to plan and prepare.  I had a box of popcorn, so just added one of my bags.  I grabbed the candy for a dollar in the checkout line at the grocery store.  When looking around at date ideas, I saw somewhere (though, I've searched and can't find it again!) where someone suggested playing a game.  The game is that you turn on the movie with the sound off, and each person chooses a character.  As you're watching the movie, you fill in your own dialogue to match what is happening on-screen.  You can turn a funny movie into something serious, a serious movie into a joke.  Have you ever done that while people watching?  I've seen Kim and Larry do that several times when we've been together, with strangers we see out, our pets, whatever is on TV, etc.  So I could definitely picture them playing this game.  I'm sure it wouldn't be fun for a full movie, you would probably get bored with it pretty quick.  But it makes movie night a little more fun and different. 

For me and what I included, this date cost about $10.  You could definitely make this date cheaper if you tell them to just rent a movie on demand off of their television, or to just turn to a movie channel at the top of peak movie times and use whatever movie is coming on.  You could also leave out the popcorn and candy and suggest they gather all their snacks onto a tray and bring them to the living room for munching.  You definitely could pull this together into a larger, more valuable gift, too.  You could include several movies and/or more popular titles.  Add more snacks, a six-pack of their favorite beer or bottle of their favorite wine.  A gift card to order pizza or chinese.  A nice big cuddle blanket, pajamas, and slippers can be added.  The possibilities are endless!

So, there you have it!  I'm really getting excited to get into the new year.  There are LOTS of fun, more creative, and exciting dates happening in the Spring & Summer!  This movie date is number 5 of 13.  Stick around, because I'll be posting December's date soon!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

October Date - Bake a Birthday Cake

I am WAY behind on blogging, and I apologize!  Life has been changing pretty rapidly and time has been slipping away from me.  So, in an effort to catch up before the holiday season gets fully under way, I'm going to try to do a couple of posts today.  First up, the next date in the Dates for a Year Basket!  It's already November, so you'll get two today.  But this one is all about October!  

When thinking about what to plan for October, I had a lot of options.  I could have planned a fall activity, like a hayride or corn maze.  I could have gone with the Halloween theme and sent them to a haunted house or ghost hunting near local urban legend sites.  But, Kim & Larry are a unique couple in that both of them have a birthday in October, only a few weeks apart.  So, October's date was baking and decorating a cake together!

Here's what was included in the October envelope:
  • Date Card
  • 1 box of cake mix
  • 1 jar of sprinkles
  • 1 "Happy Birthday" banner
  • Birthday candles
  • Party poppers

Here is the date card that was included in the envelope:

This date was fun to plan, and super easy.  This date could be modified for just one birthday, or you could choose to use it as a "half-birthday" celebration or to celebrate something else entirely.  I got all the supplies at my local grocery store.  You could also include a tub of icing, but since I was assembling this in July, I didn't want to send them something that would expire.  I of course didn't include the eggs or oil that they would need for mixing their cake, but those are inexpensive and simple things they could pick up at the store if they didn't have them at home.  On the card, I also mention the Red Plate.  I forgot I haven't posted about that yet, but will do that soon.  It's another cheap, easy, and meaningful wedding gift!  

This date cost about $10-$15, but could be less if you didn't include the decorations and more if you wanted to add more decorating supplies.  Actually, you could go all out and make just a birthday decorating kit to give as a wedding/baby/birthday gift for anybody.  You could include icing tips and bags, food coloring, a cake plate, books with decorating tutorials and ideas...  You could really make it nice!  

I'm hoping to get the November date posted this afternoon, since December kind of snuck up on my!  This is date 4 of 13...many more great dates to come!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September Date - Window Shopping

Time to share the next date from the Dates for a Year Basket!  Although I would have loved to plan awesome, spectacular, expensive dates for every month, it wasn't possible with my budget and to be able to include 12 complete dates.  So, I kind of "warned" Kim & Larry upfront that each date would be different, including the theme, experience, setting, and cost.  This month is a little more laid back and (I think) the least planned of all of them.  Or maybe I should say the most freedom for creativity.  :o)  

I decided to use this date for September because it could be indoors or outdoors, and I thought the "just before Fall" weather gave them the option to spend some time outside in the cool breeze, or if the Summer heat was lingering, hanging out indoors.  September's date is a window shopping date!

Here's what was included in the September envelope:
  • Date Card
  • $10 Cash

Here is the date card that was included in the envelope:

On the card, I mentioned a few local places for suggestions, but those could easily be swapped out for what's near you for drooling over expensive brands or local flair.  And although this date doesn't have a lot of "pre-planned" instructions, I think it's a good second month date for newlyweds.  A great chance to step away from the stress of finances and just focus on each other. 

This date only cost $10...obviously!  It could of course be less or more if you wanted.  It could be a free date if you chose to bring along your own coffee or not to snack while you were out.  Or, you could add a bit more cash for lunch or dinner...maybe even a little to buy a treasure from your trip.   

I haven't heard from my sis yet about if they went on this date yet, and/or how it went, but I will share when I find out!  I just wanted to get this date posted for those that were waiting.  This is date 3 of 13...stay tuned for October's date reveal!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Easy Cheesecake Decor

My life is pulling me away from blogging, but hopefully I'll get into some kind of regular rhythm here soon.  For tonight, I've got a quick and easy tip for decorating a cake for any occasion.  My brother's birthday was yesterday.  I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, and he asked for a chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce.  So, I found a great recipe for a super easy marble cheesecake.  It was definitely yummy!  The problem is, I'm a cake decorator.  With icing.  Cheesecake and icing don't go too well together.  But, it WAS a birthday cake, so it needed to be festive somehow!  So, here's a simple trick to decorate cheesecake, cakes that won't be complimented with icing, or something to add to a store-bought cake to make it your own.  The best part?  Here's all you need:

Chocolate Chips
Ziploc Bag
Wax Paper

The first thing I did was dump a good amount of chocolate chips into a bowl.  I probably used a cup and a half (maybe a little more).  I microwaved the chocolate for one minute, stirred, and microwaved for one additional minute.  After two minutes in the microwave and some stirring, it was completely melted.  Next, I cut a small tip in the corner of the Ziploc bag and spooned the melted chocolate into the bag.  After you've done that, you're ready!  I laid down a nice size piece of wax paper, and started writing birthday sentiments.  I planned to just do one, but had extra chocolate, so kept going.  I figured the more choices I had, the better.  

This was my first time doing this, so I'll tell you what I've learned.

  • Cut a large hole (to match the thickness you want your letters) and write slowly.  I cut a smaller hole, so had to go over my writing a second time, and I didn't quite like the way that looked.  I think if you have a larger hole and write slower, you would get a better result.  
  • Make sure all your letters connect for each word.  If you notice, I even connected the "th" after 17 and the exclamation point.  It looks strange and not right when you do it, but it will make sense when it's on the cake. 
So after you've written your sentiments and/or drawn your designs, stick your chocolate in the freezer.  I slid my wax paper onto a cookie sheet to put into the freezer.  I wanted my letters to be flat (my cake wasn't that big), so I used the flat surface of the baking sheet.  You could also place it in a curved bowl or dish if you wanted your chocolate to set that way.  I let my chocolate sit in the freezer overnight plus about 6 hours.  But you're really just looking for the chocolate to be hardened, so it probably would be ready in about an hour.  

I chose my favorite words, and easily peeled them off the wax paper...

...and then just stuck them into the cake!  That's it!  (Please ignore my huge lack of water bath cheesecake crack)

I would change a few things the next time I do this, but I think it turned out alright.  It's different, simple, and still special.

Just imagine all the things you could do!  You could even use white chocolate or almond bark with added food coloring if you wanted to add some color.  I'm excited to incorporate this idea into future cakes and experiment to see what else I can come up with!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

August Date - Bookstore Scavenger Hunt

I'm excited to finally be able to share one of the dates I planned for my sis and her new hubby for their Dates for a Year Basket I gave them as their wedding gift.  I wanted their first date to be fun, exciting, and different.  So after I planned all twelve dates, I decided to put this one first because of its originality and hopefully to get them excited to open their date envelope each month.  August's date is a bookstore scavenger hunt.  I got the idea from The Dating Divas originally, then googled "bookstore scavenger hunt" to come up with more ideas.  (Kim & Larry...hold off on visiting that site, because one more date I've planned came from them!)  They have AWESOME and creative date ideas, for all types of dates (including double or group dates) and all types of budgets.  You could even take some of their ideas and transfer them for something to do with friends or family.  GREAT resource.

Anyway, here's what was included in the August envelope:
  • Date Card
  • 6 labeled envelopes including "task cards" to be opened at the bookstore

Here is the date card that was included in the envelope:

I was super excited that I happened to have coordinating stickers in different colors to label Kim & Larry's envelopes!  I didn't even realize I did until I was trying to decide how they would know which envelopes to open together.  

For the task cards, I had planned to use the ones linked on the Dating Divas site, but when I clicked on it, the link was no longer available.  This inspired me to create my own task cards, which I actually enjoyed because I made three cards instead of two, and added some other tasks of my own and some that I found online.  Here are the three different cards that were in the envelopes:

Of course, I adjusted the cards for each of them.  This is Kim's set of cards; for Larry's, I replaced his name with Kim's and his last category was called "His".  If you don't like one of these, you could change them out with other ideas or shorten them to only two cards.  I kind of catered these tasks to fit Kim & Larry, but there are a lot of other ideas out there.  At first, I thought of just making one set of task cards since they were looking for the same things.  But I like the idea of separating and then coming back together to talk about it, so Kim got pink cards and Larry got green ones.  

Kim texted me the evening of their date when she got home and said they loved it and had lots of fun.  Here's some pics of their night:

This date really only cost the time it took to put it together and assemble the envelopes.  So, if you're looking for a free date, this is an easy and fun one to do.  But just like anything that's free, it takes time to prepare to make a success.  So, there is date number 2 of 13!  Stay tuned for September's date!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pinspiration Tuesday

Last week, I told you about how my mom and I were starting to take one day a week to actually DO something we pin on Pinterest, and not just dream about it.  This week, we took a different spin on this, but I'm super excited about it.

One of the first things we decided was to make some of the yummy food we've been drooling over.  This week, mom made dinner and I made dessert.  Next week, we'll switch and I'll do dinner while mom finds something sweet for dessert.  It was fun, and a huge success!  I think my dad and brother are going to really enjoy Pinterest day for the great meals we'll get to try!

**Sidenote:  We're actually calling this Pinterest/Food Network Day, since we're excited about trying out some of the things we're seeing on The Pioneer Woman's new show.  I'm also subscribed to Monthly Christmas FN Magazine that has HUNDREDS of delish recipes included!**

Mom made these Spinach Lasagna Rolls (I took the picture after we ate some...hehe):

The linked recipe was the inspiration, but she actually used alfredo sauce, and combined a bunch of different recipes she found.  She also tossed some ready-made frozen meatballs in the pan.  It was DELISH and surprisingly filling.  

She also tossed together this Marinated Tomato Salad with Herbs from Pioneer Woman's cooking show debut:

It was also super yummy and went really well with the pasta dish.

For dessert, I made these awesome Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars:

It already sounded yummy, but when I got to the bottom of the recipe and saw it was adapted from Paula Deen, I knew it was a good choice!  We couldn't wait to eat it, so dove in when it was still warm instead of waiting for it to chill.  Even warm, it was also a winner!

So, that was the meal for this week.  We also got some rosemary olive oil bread and stuffed mushrooms from Kroger.  I am totally full & happy as I write this!

The second part of today's Pinspiration actually wasn't inspired by anything on Pinterest.  I know, I know, I'm already breaking my own rules.  But I AM currently unemployed, so going to JoAnn's, Michael's, or Hobby Lobby each week to get supplies is not a great habit.  I'm hoping that will change in the very near future.  But for now, I needed to figure out a way to cut down costs on my crafting addiction.  So, mom suggested heading to Goodwill to find something to renew, upcycle, or change into something new.  I had a few doubts, but figured it was worth a shot.  I wasn't sure how many things I'd be able to find and/or how I could make something simple into something I could be proud of creating.

Well, We were not in Goodwill longer than 5 minutes and my arms were FULL of items I had plans for.  I actually had to start putting things back and deciding what to purchase and what to leave behind!  I found so many little treasures and my mind was racing with different ideas.  I've had many requests and suggestions from a lot of different people that I should launch my own etsy shop to sell some of the things I create.  So, my mind was going wild with what I could do.  Before I launch an etsy shop, I want to have a good stock of things to sell.  I think it's a great idea, because I love crafting and creating; it's definitely a deeply loved therapy of mine.  But in my little apartment, there's just not room for me to keep it all!  Walking around Goodwill, I got a ton of ideas of where I could start with that so hopefully my etsy will be up and running soon.  I'll keep you posted!  To's what I got today:

A glass lampshade, four wooden painted letters, a wooden painted apple, two brass metal tissue box covers, a wooden box, a large glass plate, a tall rectangular vase, a frosted glass bowl, and my absolute favorite:  a wooden recipe box.  

Isn't she a beauty?  Well...she's pretty now, but with a little love and attention I think she'll be a star!  I love the vintage look, but the stain job has scratches, there are some nicks in the side, and it's a little dirty.  Nothing a little elbow grease and love can't fix!  I started on this project today, but don't want to reveal until I'm finished and know which direction I'm headed.  Most of my projects are a work in progress and ever-changing until the very end.  Stay tuned for how it turns out!

I'm excited about this new journey of creating things from my own mind an not necessarily copy someone else's creativity.  We'll see how it all goes!

AWESOME Giveaway!

Hey guys!  I'll be blogging later tonight or sometime tomorrow about today's Pinspirations.  For now, I wanted to fill you in on an amazing giveaway happening RIGHT NOW!

Caity Shinnick is the sister of my long-time best friend from high school.  She is very creative, and makes beautiful, classy, and elegant stationary, invitations, jewelry, and more.  I've been following her blog for a while, and am excited to tell you all that she has a brand new website up and running.  Caity's sister, Sarah gave me some stationary designed by Caity a few years ago and I love it so much that I only use it for very special notes and occasions.  Her stuff is just my style, and I'm anxious to see how far she goes now that the world is able to purchase her creations online.

To kick off the big launch of her website, she is having an AWESOME giveaway with some things we all love!  I encourage you guys to head over and enter (I'm entering as many ways I can).  Then, check out all her cute can place an order right on her site!  GO NOW...HERE!

Check in later tonight...I'm excited to share some things with you guys that I'll be working on the next few weeks!


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