springtime paper flower garland. easy and inexpensive.

(Spring has been in full swing here this week here in the Midwest – my apologies for the rainy day photos.)

Not sure I’ll ever outgrow paper flowers or paper anything for that matter!  When sprucing up for Spring and cleaning out my workroom in the basement I found one of these tissue paper garlands that I’d used to decorate for Tate’s first birthday party.  I was at first just going to hang it as bunting (it’s original design), but thought what better way to say “Spring” (and detract a little from 70’s wall-consuming mirrors) than with flowers.  Plus, they make every day feel a bit more festive!

Supplies needed:

  • Green cover or cardstock  (you could even paint or color some white pieces green if that is all you happen to have on hand)
  • Adhesive  (Double or Single-sided tape will work)
  • 1 Ivory (or whichever color you prefer) tissue paper bunting or garland (linked above) or you could also purchase a set of these and hang them up seperately

 

Instructions:

So simple, but just in case . . .

1 – Fold.  Spread the garland out and lay it on the floor or on a hard flat surface.  Then, fold the left side over on top of the right side.  Line up the centers of the top portion with the centers of the bottom portion.

2 – Adhere. Use tape to adhere the bottom most top pieces with the top most bottom pieces.  Making sure they are flat and very secure. 

3- Hang your flowers.  I already had command hooks fastened to my wall (mirrors) so I just used the distance and height that they were at, but place them enough distance apart that you get a sag (so that they middle flower hangs lower than the outer flowers).

4 – Cut your leaves/ foliage.  I didn’t even use a template for this.  Just cut some leave-like pieces from your cardstock and then fold them in half so that it gives them a little dimension.  Place adhesive on them and hang wherever you choose.

And one with Tate in the frame . . .

So simple!  So inexpensive!  And can carry my not-so-pretty mirrors through Spring and even Summer! 

Happy March and almost Spring to you!

 

 

 

 

“so happy to gnome you” valentine. diy and printable.

I “heart” Valentine’s Day for one main reason. Pretty paper and cute cards! Almost always a staple of the simple yet sweet holiday.

My ten year old little lady is the only one that will need class valentines this year. Her only request was nothing too “mushy”.

Out of several random ideas, gnomes (“especially their cute noses”) made the cut . . .

We made our gnomes into magnets that are conveniently a clip. If you can’t find the large clips (I’ve linked them below), really anything solid yet lightweight can be used as the base to make your gnome magnet. The clip is just an added bonus.

To make your gnome magnet valentines. . .

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper cutter or scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hole Puncher
  • Cardstock
  • String
  • Faux Fur
  • Felt
  • Small Buttons *optional
  • Large clips / clothespins or wood rectangles
  • Craft glue or hot glue
  • Magnets
  • Round wood balls or small felt balls would work too
  • Printer and Valentine card pdf *optional

gnomevalentine

Directions:

Step 1 – Cut out a small piece of felt and fur. I cut and used a 3.25 x 3.25 inch piece of felt (for the hat) and then a piece of fur a little longer and just a tad wider than my clip. So if you are using something other than the clips that I used, cut your felt and fur accordingly. *Cut your fur a little longer than your clip or base so that you are able to trim and shape (your beard) later on.

Step 2 – Glue the fur onto your clip or base. Then fold about a quarter of an inch or so of the felt upward onto itself and glue down. Wrap your felt around the front portion of the clip only, and then overlap and glue onto the clip and then together in the back. (My hat went about a half to three quarters of an inch down onto the clip over the fur/ beard). Glue your overlapping felt together all of the way up the backside of your hat. Roll the top down once and glue and then once more and glue it again. I used hot glue for all of this (for fast drying purposes).

Step 3 – More Glue. Embellish your hat with a small button or felt heart (that you have cut from your scraps). Glue them onto the hat with either hot glue or craft glue. Lastly, glue your cute little wooden nose just underneath the hat. I used craft/ tacky glue for this so that I didn’t end up with hot glue in my beard. Once your glue has dried and everything has set, turn your gnome over and glue a small magnet onto the back of your clip or base.

Step 4 – Give your beard a trim. Ours ended up being all shapes and sizes.

Step 5 – Print and Attach. Print out the cards and sign (I have formatted the pdf so that you can print four cards onto a letter size piece of cardstock). Or simply use small blank pieces of card stock and write your own message to include with your gnomes. I have used a small hole puncher and attached mine with some string, but do as you wish here. Put the card and gnome in a small bag or simply clip the gnome onto the card.

The End!

In other news, we’ve had plenty of winter weather here as of late. School has been cancelled the past two days. Two kids have been at home with me watching the rain, snow and ice fall (while the other ventured to D.C. for a planned school field trip). It’s been all things cozy – especially potato soup and blueberry muffins + warm coffee. I’ve been enjoying it so (maybe a little too much) but I’ve also been missing some routine. High hopes that we keep some of the “cozy” while some shadow of a routine returns next week.

P.S. – Wander by next week for one more Valentine idea! 💌

thrifted and made holiday gifts. week one – “the smell of Christmas”.

As we are getting our first real winter weather of the season today, I find myself suddenly yearning for the cozy of the holidays (unlike yesterday where it was nearly seventy and I wanted nothing to do with it). Therefore to better prepare myself and perhaps you, for the next month, I am going to be sharing some simple yet lovely gift giving ideas that are a little thrifted / a little handmade. Think teachers, neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc.

Week One: “The smell of Christmas”. A festive pot (thrifted) paired with items to make a homemade potpourri (handmade).

It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Items needed:

  • thrifted pot
  • an orange
  • one to two cinnamon sticks
  • a handful or two cranberries
  • greenery
  • a small bag or parchment or scrap fabric
  • an instruction card (I have included mine below if you wish to use it)
  • scissors and a hole puncher (optional)

The red pot was thrifted for a dollar or less and all the other items can be found at your local market, in your fridge or pantry, around the house or in your backyard. I’m thinking this enamel pot once had a lid and was perhaps part of a fondue set; however my thoughts upon finding it automatically turned to the holidays and how pretty it would be on a stove simmering with the smells of the season (cinnamon, orange, cranberries, evergreen). Keep an open mind when thrifting. Your pot doesn’t necessarily have to be red or “Christmasy” or in great condition. A black and white worn enamel pot would be perfect as would just a simple metal or copper pot. Look for something that is a bit unique and nicely made.

As for the brown bags, I had them and just dressed them up a little with a simple tree. However, you could use cellophane, parchment, or even some scrap fabric to enclose the potpourri items in as well.

I grabbed the greenery from the backyard and tied a few hand torn pieces of scrap fabric around the handle. The key (and the fun part) is to just use what you have – all of those odds and ends you have in your craft or sewing cabinet leftover from other projects or from the kids past projects.

Lastly, include an instruction or recipe card. A handwritten one would be sweet but if you wish to use it, I have provided mine below.

Printable instruction card: smell-of-christmas-potpourri.pdf

*You will need just a half of a sheet of paper and it will print two copies.

Enjoy!

-xoxo

P.S. – Now off to enjoy the smell of my bathed babe’s head as he drifts off to sleep in my arms one last time as a one year old. Life is so fun right now, may our days with him as a two year old be even sweeter!

sixteen years.

We celebrated sixteen years of marriage (twenty years together) today with a breakfast date (us and the babe) because of an evening full of practices for the bigger two. We took a car to get fixed at the shop, started preparing for the little’s second birthday party (this weekend), helped with homework, put away laundry, did the dishes (always doing the dishes), worked, picked up kids from school, had a late dinner of pizza and kept five humans and a dog alive one more day. Just another day full of love and life and living. Sixteen years of marriage has given us everything we ever hoped for. Those and every minute more with all of these gifts is so worth celebrating!

-xoxo-

double digits.

Welcome to the double digits pretty girl! We celebrated with family and then with friends at an Escape Room. Decorations were a hodgepodge of some of her current favorite things. May this year be your best one yet sweet Isla!

P.S. – A look back at her 7th Birthday and some of my forever favorites snaps of her . . .

Such a difference a few years makes!

may ‘19. some favorite random moments.

A few random tidbits and photos I want to remember about this “full of all the things” May.

We’ve almost made it through “birthday season” – whew! The last celebration is this evening. We now have a 13 year old, 10 year old and 18 month old. Reference the above photos for what a new 10 year old does while in front of a mirror.

My husband is from St. Louis and a huge sports fan! Tate’s new favorite song is now “Gloria”. If you’re a Blues fan you’ll understand. (wink, wink!)

The last day of school was yesterday. The remainder of this week will be full of rest and freedom, but I’m hoping for a bit of relaxed order to start happening next week. I’ve got a list of house projects I’d love to complete this summer!

It’s also been “peony season”. I can’t seem to keep myself from picking one or a bundle of them every time I walk past.

And the last 6 months (months 13-18) of Mr. Tate . . .

Our 13 year old, who isn’t real fond of pictures (unless there is a fish in his hand), let me get just a few. Baseball in Memphis got cancelled for the weekend of his birthday so he got to go to dinner with cousins and fishing that evening. Not exaggerating when I say fishing is his first true love!

And for a Mother’s Day photo, cooperation just wasn’t happening . . .

I have so many things that I’ve been wanting to share but first a few days of rest.

XOXO!

sweet little things. via hallmark baby.

Littlest man is now almost just a week shy of eighteen months. Ahhh, how can that be. At about six months pregnant, I stumbled upon Hallmark baby. It has since been one of my most adored places (on the web) for purchasing sweet little things for sweet little ones. See below for just a few of the clothing, nursery and gift items you can find on Hallmark baby. A random post, but definitely a noteworthy website if you’ve got little ones in your life.

(all items and so many other sweet little things can be found on Hallmark baby)

birthday weekend. the food.

(Saturday Breakfast of Greek/ Mediterranean Omelet with gyro meat & Vanilla Lattes – from a local coffee shop)

My birthday was Sunday and the weekend was both beautifully festive yet wonderfully casual. We had dinner out Friday with friends, then I had breakfast with a friend on Saturday and lunch with a friend on Sunday. For my actual birthday, I just wanted a no fuss day to do some cooking and relaxing and such a sweet day it ended up being.

I tried my hand at a couple of new recipes.

For breakfast, I made Joanna Gaines’ Orange Scones. The scone itself is lighter and more cake-like (not as heavy and less dense) than other scones I’ve had. The combination of the maple and citrus flavors in the glaze is amazing and compliments the “lighter” texture of the scone perfectly.

And then for dinner I made Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers and for desert Secret Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Cake. This cake was definitely a special treat for all. Each bite was comparable to eating lightly sweetened pieces of fudge – so delightful! We celebrated extra by giving Mr. Tate his very first few bites of chocolate cake.

If only, the dirty dishes on your birthday would magically disappear. The only unenjoyable bits of the day.

Orange Scones Magnolia Table Cookbook – Joanna Gaines

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Cake – Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients Cookbook – John Whaite

*I used dark chocolate cocoa for the icing. The original recipe calls for regular cocoa powder. I also added truffles (from Aldi).

Now, tis’ the time for a sugar detox. 🙂

Happy Monday!

“birthday season” & confetti pockets.

Four out of five (5 out of 6, if you count the pup) of us will celebrate birthdays within the next two months! Therefore, I tend to refer to these weeks for our family between March 31st and May 20th as “birthday season”. It’s a season full of so much busy (but so much fun), lots of celebrating and of course so many sweet memories (& treats).

In honor of “birthday season”, one of my favorite simple paper projects – confetti pockets! I have customized and done so many of these over the years. You can’t help but feel at least a little “happy” when making them and what a sweet gesture they are for the recipient!

Supplies:

  • Scraps of cardstock (whatever color combo you wish)
  • Vellum (clear transparent-like paper)
  • Various punches or even a good hole puncher will work
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine (or you could hand stitch)
  • Printer
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Step 1: Make your confetti. The more, the merrier! From rainbow to pastels, be picky about your color palette or just use whatever paper scraps you have lying around. I love using various textures and/ or throwing in a few pieces of metallic or glitter here and there. I have collected a variety of punches over the years, but even a hole punch will do the trick. OR to save time, feel free to use store bought confetti (so easy, but still so pretty). One of my favorites was a New Year’s greeting that I did several years ago – the pocket included a Polaroid and metallic store bought confetti.

Step 2: Print & cut your pockets. Make your own or feel free to use one of these:

confettipocketsyay.pdf

confettipocketshooray.pdf

For the above pdf’s use an 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of vellum. I have set it up so that two pockets will print per sheet of vellum. Once printed, cut your sheet in half so that you have pockets 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches (before folding). Then fold your pockets in half so that your finished pocket is approximately 4.25 by 5.5 inches in size.

Step 3: Sew your pockets. Pick your thread color, set up your machine and zig zag stitch the side and bottom of your pocket. Then fill the pocket with your confetti and whatever else your prefer. Once filled, zig zag stitch the top of pocket closed. Knot and trim your loose ends.

*You can also hand stitch if you don’t have a sewing machine.

The End!

In a few short steps, you have a fun-filled pocket that makes the perfect party favor, birthday greeting, invite or decoration! Tis’ the season for all of these around here!

As the years pass, the celebrating becomes less but the things to appreciate are so much more! Here’s to pockets full of confetti this “birthday season” and every season!

~ xoxo ~

diy spring flowers. made with fabric scraps.

Happy Monday!

March happens at the end of this week- yay!!! I love the transformation the earth seems to take on during the days of this “still winter yet start of spring” month. In the home, I’ve been craving more color and vibrance. And for myself, I’m already noticing that little extra energy one seems to get at the start of a new season.

It’s no secret that I love paper and fabric almost as much as the smell of a new bebé! I always seem to have bunches of both lying around. Last week, I saw a beautiful photo of one of these rain soaked and it prompted me to try the below. And even though mine turned out really looking nothing like my inspiration source, I enjoyed the time I spent making them. They were simple enough that my mind could wander and relax. Not to mention, they’ll add a little extra “pretty” to baskets and gifts come Easter!

Since I just made this up as I went along, there really is no right or wrong way to do them. Feel free to put your own twist on them or add your own details. My main goal was to just keep them simple (and inexpensive) by only needing a few supplies and those supplies being things I already had on hand.

Supplies needed:

  • Small foam or paint brush & Scissors
  • Fabric scraps – torn into strips (bigger or smaller depending on what size flower you are wanting to make)
  • Mod Podge or diluted Elmer’s glue (or fabric stiffener) I had the fabric stiffener but I love and prefer the texture that the mod podge gives the fabric once it dries.

Step 1:

Tear your scraps into strips. Mine were about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. You don’t want to get too wide because they will be harder to tie and shape. The length can really be any length. I tore my strips and then cut them in half (but because I was using scraps the lengths varied). Just remember the longer your strips the bigger your flowers will be. For solid flowers, I used 10-15 strips of the same color for each flower and then I tore some small strips (1/2 inch wide or so) for the inner part of the flower. I just used one small strip per flower for the center. I also tore one to two wider green strips per each flower (for the leaves).

Step 2:

Cover your workspace with parchment paper or old newspaper and then lay all of your strips out flat. Use your brush to cover each strip with mod podge (or glue substance) so that they are completely covered. Once all tops are dry, turn them all over and cover the bottom of each strip and let that side dry completely as well. If you want flowers with less stiffness, only cover one side or use less mod podge.

*do not mod podge your smaller center strips at this time.

(All of these strips of solid color fabric reminded me of when used to do the winding of the maypole every spring in elementary school 🙂 )

Step 3:

In really no right or wrong way, criss cross the strips you have chosen for your flower over each other. Use a small scrap or strip to tie the strips together (this one does not need to be mod podged or stiffened). Lay it over the flower as shown below.

Step 4:

Use one hand to hold the strips in place while you turn them over to knot the small strip. From here you really can do no wrong. This is when you you pull, rumple, fold, etc. each “petal” of the flower. The more you mess with them the more texture and life you create.

Step 5:

Once the flower is to your liking, find the center and flatten it. Brush a good amount of mod podge onto the center area of your flower. Then take a small center strip and crumple or ruffle it between your fingers. At this time generously coat it in mod podge so that it stays together and then place and press it in the flattened center. See below. Let it dry completely.

*you can also use hot glue to secure the center

Step 6:

If you want some “leaves” thread one or two strips through the knotted strip on the back or bottom of the flower. You can use these or some twine to secure the flower to baskets, wreaths, or anything else you want to add a little “spring” to!

Step 7:

The fun part! Use them to adorn or decorate whatever you please. They’re perfect for Easter baskets or wreaths! Or we are hanging onto our egg cartons, painting them and filling them with goodies to deliver to our neighbors during the Easter season so they will add a little extra “pretty” to them as well!

Yay for March! And Yay for Spring!

– XO!