Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Seeing Diamonds: Embroidered Monogram

It looks as though I'm going to try to embroider this design on all the things.  Here are three different ways I've used the Diamond Font.

You can get this embroidery font on etsy (order through ebates for cash back).  And you can see where I first used it here.

This bag is from T-Shirts & Jeans.  It's cute on its own, but why not add some personalization to the back?!

Plain tank from Walmart-- personalized!

This didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, no thanks to the thread.  I bought a box of thread with over 30 spools.  I wanted lots of different colors, and it was an economical way to go.  The problem is some of the spools don't embroider as well as others.  It's always a surprise to see how a spool will act.  I hadn't used this color yet, and it kept breaking and fraying.  Drats.  This was a Mother's Day present for my mom.

Finally, here's a banner with peachy pink fabric and a bright green monogram.  These were the perfect initials for the font to shine.

Now, what I can embroider next with this monogram? 😉

Friday, May 26, 2017

4 Ways to Decorate with Faux Succulents

Succulents have been super popular the last few years and seem to be staying on trend.  There are two problems with real succulents, though: they are pricey, and they can be high maintenance.  In some climates, succulents are low maintenance and require little to no attention.  But there are some succulents that seem to die no matter what.  Too much water, not enough water, too much sun, not enough sun, too much humidity, on and on.  Divas.

That's where fake succulents come in!  Here are some ways to use faux succulents to decorate your space-- indoors or outdoors!

You can find faux succulents at a variety or craft stores.  I got the ones you see above at Michael's.  They come in different sizes and varieties.  It was hard for me not to buy every single one they offered.

Over the last couple months, they have put them on sale a few times, plus there are always coupons on the Michael's app!  If you order online, be sure to use ebates to get 2% cash back.

Let's start with the easy DIY pictured above.  You can grab any container.  A teacup, bowl, jar, whatever.  This white bowl once had a candle in it.  When the candle was used up, I cleaned out the bowl.

First, I stuffed a paper towel into the bowl and then covered the top with succulents.  This, of course, should be used for indoors only since there is a paper towel in the bottom, and I didn't glue anything down.  I used this in my dining room, and the succulents stay put.  Since I didn't glue them down, I can always move them to another container if I want to change up the decor.

My mom made the succulent jars you see above.  She used craft paint (like Apple Barrel brand) to paint the jars.  Using sandpaper, she sanded down a few areas of the paint to give it a rustic look.

She stuffed each jar with 3 to 4 plastic grocery sacks.  Then she cut circles from cardboard to set on top (pictured below).  The hole was to brace the main succulent.  After setting the succulents in place, she sprinkled small rocks in the spaces.  You could use hot glue to keep everything in place.

Want to really wow your guests with an impressive centerpiece?  Grab a piece of driftwood or dried out branch.  Glue moss and large succulents to the center of the wood or into any holes/openings.

This project combines real and fake.  If you have some real succulents planted but want to add some bulk and variety, add some faux succulents to the planter.  Can you even tell which is real and which is fake?  Neither will your guests!

Now go grab some fake succulents, and get ready to go crazy!  These plants will be the easiest to care for that you've ever had!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Photos + Video: Petit Jean State Park (with a Toddler): Part 2

When we went to Petit Jean in the fall, the waterfall was just a trickle.  It was enjoyable to see it from the overlook, but I was really hoping to see more.  We also didn't hike down to the bottom of the waterfall since we weren't sure if we would be able to do it with Harlow (who was a few days shy of being two-years-old).

I've been wanting to go back after a heavy rain, but the timing has never worked out.  We got a heavy rain this past weekend.  We woke up Saturday morning, and I pitched the idea to Colin to head to Petit Jean.  I was hoping the waterfall would be impressive this time around.  I wasn't disappointed!

We got to Petit Jean State Park in the early afternoon.  We first drove to Cedar Falls Overlook to see the waterfall from above.  It was roaring!  I knew we just had to hike to the bottom.

We then headed to Mather Lodge for a late lunch and to enjoy the view...and to make sure we had energy for the hike!

The Cedar Falls Trail starts at the lodge and is a 2 mile round trip.  The hike down wasn't too bad with Harlow.  Colin carried her on his shoulders for some of the hike, and she walked for part of it.  It's a steady descent, so it's not overwhelming.  The hike is rated as strenuous, but I think it's because of the hike back up to the top.  When you get close to the top, you have to hike up steps, and that takes more energy with a toddler for sure.  I don't think Harlow would have been able to do it back in the fall, but she was definitely able to do it this time around.

The waterfall was gushing when we finally reached the bottom.  Since we were there on a Saturday in the spring, there were quite a few people.  We couldn't sit and enjoy the waterfall as long as we would have liked since other people were trying to walk past us.  There are lots of boulders to climb and rest on that would make for a good picnic and rest spot before heading back to the lodge.

The pictures make the waterfall look much smaller than what it really is.  It's hard to get a proper scale since we couldn't stand close to it with the amount of water that was in the pool below.

The hike is enjoyable.  It's beautiful scenery, and you walk along Cedar Creek on the way to the waterfall.  The weather was nice when we were there.  I didn't get too hot until the end of the hike as we were almost back to the lodge.  I'm so glad we decided to make the trek.

After we got back to the lodge, we drove to the M.A. Richter Memorial Overlook.  From here you can see Mount Nebo and Mount Magazine in the distance.  It's a small, quiet overlook that I prefer to the large, crowded, chain-link fenced Palisades Overlook.  The Richter Overlook is a short drive down a gravel/dirt road, so that might be part of the reason it's not as crowded.  The Palisades Overlook is right off the highway, so it's quicker to get to, maybe also part of the reason it's more popular.  Down from the Richter Overlook is a CCC Overlook that's peaceful and remote.  I think this is one of my favorite areas of the park.

By this time, it was evening and time to head home.  I have two more trails I want to hike, so we're going to have to go back soon!

Here's a short video from footage I shot on my phone.  We had a good day!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Displaying Photos + Memories on Tin Tiles + Wood Planks

If you're looking for a unique way to display photos, then this is the project for you.

My brother got married last month, and my mom wanted some ways to display photos for the wedding rehearsal dinner.

She used antique tin ceiling tiles as the backdrop to pictures-- a twist on a bulletin board!  She first tried gluing clips to the tin tiles, but the glue and clips didn't stay put.  She then went and bought heavy-duty magnets and glued the clips to the magnets.  This way you can move the clips around as you change out photos, allowing you to change the layout of your pictures.

You can find tin tiles at antique stores and flea markets or pick up replica ceiling tiles at hardware stores.  The small binder clips can be picked up at any store that sells office supplies.  Heavy-duty magnets can be picked up at craft supply stores.

You can prop the tins on an easel or hang them by gluing wire to the back or attaching a sawtooth hanger.  My mom made this photo tin to hang in her kitchen:

If you don't have access to tin ceiling tiles, use an antique wood board instead (like below).  You can glue the binder clips to the board.  Don't have an old board laying around?  Pick up a new piece of wood and distress it yourself!

While this doesn't display photos, it's a good way to use distressed boards.  My mom purchased the gather sign and glued it to the antique boards to hang in the kitchen next to the tin tile.

These projects are quick and easy ways to personalize a space!

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