Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A couple of months ago I posed about a menu board I'd made for my kitchen using a tile, some adhesive vinyl and my Cricut machine. You can see that post here. Since I'm not one to just leave things be, especially when I get the craft bug, I made another one! Seriously, I will never be done tweaking my home decor stuff.

This one is even easier than the last. I found this super cute frame and loved it, so I decided that it would be perfect. It's a 5x7 frame. I found a piece of scrapbook paper that I loved and cut it to 5x7. In MS Word, I typed out the word "Menu" and the days of the week in a font I liked and printed it out on a piece of regular paper. Then, using removable adhesive (Hermafix Tabs work great for this!), I attached the scrapbook paper over the printed words and ran it through the printer again. Then I popped it into the frame. The glass works just like a white board, so you write on it with a dry erase marker and wipe off to clean.
Happy menu planning!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Painted Crown

Taylor is a princess! She'd been wanting more things that were "princessey" (is that a word?) to decorate her room, so a crown above her bed seemed to be just the thing.

First, I went the route of those metal canopy things that the green checkered fabric (you can see it above) would hang from. Then I saw the price of those things in the children/home decor boutiques! My stars, those suckers are expensive! Seriously, I don't think I saw one cheaper than $300!

Above her headboard were the words "follow your dreams" that I cut out on my Cricut machine. It was cute, but the pink on her apple green walls became a shocking pink and I was never really happy with it. So, since the crown canopy thing was out, I decided to take down the vinyl letters and paint a crown.

(I'm going to take a break now and apologize for the photos. We've got a sunscreen on Taylor's window so it's always a bit dark since it faces North. It's screwed on, or I would have taken it off for the photos. Though they don't look it, her walls are a light green color. Continuing on...)

I love the way it turned out:

Want to make one yourself? You can! (Really, it just takes a bit of time). There are two ways to go about it. The first is to free-hand draw the crown on the wall.

You're freaking out now, aren't you?

That's what I did, but I totally get that not every one can do that. If you are one of those people, you'll need an overhead machine. I think that you can check those out from the library.

You'll trace the outline of the crown (or draw it for those of you artsy fartsy types) on the wall using chalk. Why chalk? Because if you mess up, it's really easy to remove it without a trace. Just make sure that you work from left to right if you are right handed, or from right to left if you are left handed, so you don't smudge what you drew.

Once you've got the chalk outline the way you like you can outline it with paint. I love those little paint sample cans that stores are offering now. You know, the tiny one's that let you try the paint on the wall before you buy it. Those little cans of paint are perfect for projects like this!

Don't worry if you can still see a bit of the chalk outline after you've outlined it with paint. Once the whole thing is done and dry, you can use a damp cloth to remove any chalk remnants.

As you're tracing the chalk outline with the paint, you should have something that looks like what is in the photos.

This is what it will look like when it's completely outlined with the paint:

Once you've got it outlined, fill it in!
If you are feeling particularly creative, you can use paint to give it dimension. How, you say? You'll need 2 colors - a light color and a dark color. You can use white and brown (or black), or you can use two different shades of the color you made the main crown in. Since my crown was pink, I used a light pink (it was almost white), and a mauve color.
The general rule of thumb is that if the sun was shining on it, you'll add the light color to the areas that the sun would touch. You'll add the darker color to areas where there would be a shadow.
Confused? You'll add the light color to the top parts, dark colors to the bottom.
You can see how I added the light and dark colors in the photo below.

Since it's a crown, and crowns should have jewels, I used a regular hot glue gun to attach rhinestones to the crown. I'm thinking now it needs more because you can never have too much bling, right? :)

I think I might add Taylor's name in the main section of the crown, too. What do you think?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thanks for the love, Rookie!

Today is a sad day around our house. Hubby was waiting outside for a golf buddy to pick him up this morning and called for our 10 year old German Shepherd, Rookie. When Rookie didn't come (Rookie *always* comes), he went looking for him. Last night, our sweet dog laid down to sleep and then crossed the rainbow bridge and went to Heaven.

Rookie was such a funny guy! We got him just a couple of months before we got married and he was such a cute puppy. He was all ears and feet and we would crack up watching him walk because he was always tripping over those huge paws. Watching him learn to perk up his ears in the traditional Shepherd fashion was just as funny. They never seemed to work right.

He was a frustrating dog, too! As a puppy and a young dog, he destroyed many a thing in our house. Two lemon trees (he chewed on the trunks), a set of patio cushions (the stuffing looked like snow in our yard), an air conditioner (yes, our air conditioner. After the second time of him killing the a/c in the summer, it got a nice picket fence around it), carpet, numerous toys and tennis balls and our house fell prey to his chompers. Wait, you say. The house? Yes, the house. He'd find a corner that looked tasty, lay down and chow down. We had to use stucco patch to fix the holes!

He was a non-stop bundle of energy. In the house, he'd follow you where ever you went. He just didn't lay down. You could throw a tennis ball for hours and he'd never grow tired of chasing it. He loved swimming in the ditch. He loved the girls. And, he was Hubby's dog. Not too long ago, he was in the house and the girls were napping. Hubby left to go run an errand, and Rookie laid down in front of the garage door - so close that if Hubby were to come back in, the door would hit him. Never mind where I went in the house that day, he didn't follow me. There in front of the door Rookie stayed until Hubby came home. He was waiting for him.

Hubby and I called him the "Bird Man". For some reason, birds and he got along. I'd look out the back window and he'd be laying in the grass, surrounded by birds. They'd be all around him hanging out, and a couple would even sit on him. I wish I had a picture of him with his birds.

He was a good, sweet dog who was so loyal and who loved us to death. All he wanted in return was a couple of scratches, a hand to throw a tennis ball and to be loved. And we did.

Rookie, you were a great friend. We're really going to miss you.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


No, not for me. Though, it's a possibility sometime in the future. The distant future. The really distant future. The really, really distant future. Let's leave it at that, mkay? :)

I liked the last template that I was using, and apparently lots of other bloggers like it, too! In my blog browsing I came across that particular template a lot. Free stuff is good because it's free, but it's bad because it's free, know what I mean? I'd been wanting to make some updates here, so when I came across the old template for the 364th time, I finally got motivated.

I've still got a free background (because, well, I'm cheap - err, frugal), from a super cute site that has some great tutorials for the technically un-savvy like moi. Check it out - linky on the way upper left corner. The new header and buttons I bought as a kit and then customized. So there you have it, a new, fabulous blog! You like?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm in party planning stages since Taylor's birthday is right around the corner. Her invitations are done and in the mail. I'm currently working on party favors and decorations. That just leaves the cake. The party is soon enough that I need to start getting my game plan together. As I was searching for inspiration, I came across the cake I made for Taylor's 4th birthday.

The theme she picked for her 4th birthday was Princesses, so we had a princess cake (in Cinderella blue, no less). I was fresh out of my very first cake decorating class and decided that I'd make her cake myself. It's not too bad, considering, but I'm much better at cake decorating now. (No, really! :)

I can see the flaws in it, but then, I'm a total perfectionist. All that matters in the end, though, is that Taylor thought it was perfect!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Giveaways Coming Soon!

We've partnered with not one, but two (!) fabulous blogs for fun giveaways featuring Turtle Taylor goodies that are coming soon! The details will be posted here when the giveaways are running, so you can get in on the fun. Watch for more info in the next couple of weeks!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Super Cute Onesie!

A long time ago, I bought a package of plain white onesies, intending on making something cute out of them to add to my pile of goodies that I take to craft shows. It's now years later (seriously, years!) and I was cleaning out my craft closet and came across the onesies. I found out about a gathering foot for my sewing machine on a sewing blog I stumbled across (and can't remember what it is!), so off to Joann's I went thinking this package of onesies would be perfect to try it out on.

I get my gathering foot home and attach it to my machine. I'm thinking that it will "ruffle" the fabric as I sew it. That didn't happen. It just created a stitch down the middle of the fabric strip. Hmmm. Not what I thought I'd get when I read about it and read the instructions that came with the foot. I tugged on one of the threads and it created a gather, so I just went with that. I'm thinking a trip to Joann's is in my near future so I can get one of the gals in the sewing machine department to demonstrate how this foot is actually supposed to work, because I'm fairly certain I didn't do something right (not like that would be a first, or anything!).
Now that I've got my cute ruffles in red and white polka dots and black and white polka dots, I sewed them to the fanny of the onesie. Cute!
The front was obviously too plain and I debated about doing an applique on this one, but decided a bit of bling was in order. So, I used my Minnie Mouse pattern that I used for the T-shirts I made for our Disneyland trip for a cute rhinestone Minnie design.
I think this turned out so cute! Makes me (almost) wish I had one small enough to fit into onesies again! Hubby won't go for that, so maybe I can just finagle another Disneyland trip out of him, instead. Wishful thinking and all that. :)

Since I've still got a handful of onesies left, I'm going to keep experimenting with my gathering foot and see what else I can come up with. I think I will try an applique on the next one. Maybe I'll go for broke and do an applique with rhinestones!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Taylor's First Big Girl Room

I was going through pictures the other day, looking for a picture of a particular wipe case when I came across these photos of Taylor's first big girl room. We don't like in this house anymore, so while her current room has the same feel as this one, it's still a bit different. For some reason, I've never liked her current room as much as I do this one. I'm not sure why, but I think in some way it's because I wasn't quite ready to move out of our old house and have never felt that same connection with this house as I did with the old house. Who knows?

The dresser I found at an "antique" store. I put antique in quotes because that's what they called themselves, but I don't think anything in that store was old enough to be called antique. It wasn't the dresser that I wanted - they started a sale that day and someone got there minutes before I did and bought *the* dresser. I still mourn the loss of that dresser - it had cabriole legs and such a pretty shape. This dresser was option number two. I purchased it with the intent on painting it. You can't really see the detail in these pictures, so I'll do another post on it soon.

The hat lamp I adore, and it came from Ebay. I added the ribbon. The hat came adorned with some kind of tulle and fake flower atrocity. Blech!

The purses that are hanging on the wall in the first picture that are holding, well, purses were a collaboration between me and my dad. I drew the shapes, he cut and sanded the wood, and I painted. I adore these little purses - they just scream Taylor to me (she is such a purse girl!). One of these days I'll put some of these in my store.

The bookcase in the picture below runs the entire wall. It turns into a window seat and then goes back to a tall bookcase on the other side of the window. It's all one unit and all built in. I designed it, and then had a company build it for us. I love the functionality of it - it has an incredible amount of storage, but the footprint is small (it's about 14" wide), so it doesn't make the room feel smaller. I liked it so much that when we moved, it was the first thing I contracted to have done.

I spent a good deal of the day yesterday cleaning and organizing Taylor's current bedroom, and Megan's is on tap today. Once they are somewhat presentable, I'll photograph them and post them soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Farm Party Invitation

For Megan's 2nd Birthday, we had a Farm Party. What's better for a farm party invitation than a barn?! On this invitation, I debated about making the barn doors open to reveal the invitation detail, but thought that would be way too much work! So, I just added a brad to the top so that the front piece would swing away, so you could see the invitation details on the back.

If you missed the cute farm cake I made for this party, you can see that post here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Won!

Today's Mama has teamed up with Cricut and they are running a design contest for projects created using the Cricut machine. People who submit a winning project win 4 of the new Cricut cartridges. I got an email today that my "Go Fish" game won! I'm so excited! You can see the original post here.

Do you have some awesome projects that you've made using your Cricut? The contest is still going on, so get the info on how to enter from Today's Mama!

A Birthday Present for Grandma

I admit that I'm totally into handmade gifts lately. It's so much more fun for me to make something for my MIL than it is for me to go to the store and pick out another shirt or something for her. This is what I came up with for her birthday this year and just put it in the mail yesterday (about a month late - yikes!) This was an easy thing to make and turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!

Here's what you need:
  • Wooden plaque (available in craft stores)
  • Paint
  • A piece of metal (available at home improvement stores. Tip - make sure a magnet will stick to it!)
  • Magnets
  • Something to glue on top of the magnets (buttons, glass pebbles, scrabble board pieces, etc)
  • Strong glue (I used E6000 available at craft stores)
  • Letters (I used my Cricut machine, vinyl and the Alphalicious cartridge. You could use scrapbook letters, rub ons, or even small wooden letters)
  • Sawtooth hanger

Here's what you do:
  • Paint the board. Once the paint was dry, I lightly sanded the edges to give it a distressed look.
  • Adhere your letters. I used a T-square as I was sticking the letters down to make sure my lines were straight. Make sure you space your letters so that you leave enough room for the metal piece.
  • Place glue on the back of your metal piece and then glue it onto the board. I used clamps to hold it down until it dried, but you could also stack books on top of it to make sure that it adheres well.
  • Glue the magnets onto the decorative pieces (buttons, glass pebbles, etc.)
  • Turn the board over and attach the sawtooth hanger to the back so it can be hung. If you'd prefer, you could just set it on an easel.