Monday, June 25, 2012

Not Quite Ready For "Junk Gypsies"

I added a new show to my dvr's to-do list. "Junk Gypsies."  It fits right in with "Cash & Cari" and "Rehab Addict." They're all about creative women who do what many of us would love to do: They actually make a living using their creativity and imaginations. "Junk Gypsies" and "Cash & Cari" are both on HGTV and "Rehab Addict" is on DIY.
In a nutshell, Cari Cucksey runs estate sales. Every now and then she finds a "treasure" that she refurbishes or completely re-works to put in her shop.
The Gypsies are sisters Amie and Jolie Sikes, who design rooms using flea market finds, other peoples' junk, and a whole lot of whimsy.
Nicole Curtis (from "Rehab Addict") buys old homes that need lots of tlc. L.O.T.S. of tlc. She "rehabs" them and (hopefully) sells them. She shops architectural salvage, dives into dumpsters, and picks up curb-side cast-offs to find the pieces that would have been in the house when it was built. The houses are beautiful when she gets done with them. She lives and works in the Minneapolis area and I'm just waiting for the house my father-in-law grew up in to show up as one of her projects!

You may be asking, "What does all this rambling have to do with a cup floating in a swimming pool?" Well, my other favorite part of my house (besides the front porch) is the pool that we put in nine years ago. Sunday afternoon Andy and I were doing our laps (Before you get the wrong idea--they're not THAT kind of laps! The current from the jets carries us around the pool on our inflatable rafts. Usually about one lap every four or five minutes. Watch out, Michael Phelps!) So, anyway...I said that I needed to come up with some way to float my cup so I wouldn't have to hold onto it. That is deceivingly strenuous! I mean, what if it tips over and spills? And I can't leave it on the side of the pool, where I would only pass it every four or five minutes. I might need a drink at three minutes! Before long Andy got out of the pool and returned with a piece of foam insulation (JUNK) with a hole in the middle. Voila! But of course, I cannot leave well enough alone, so I had to make it cute. Finally!

The first version took waaaaay too long, but it is pretty cute. I got out some SU! background stamps and stamped a blue paisley pattern on some muslin scraps and red polka dots on some others using StazOn. I tore the muslin into strips about 3/4 inch wide and wrapped them around the foam, tying knots around the outside edge and leaving the ends to fray. I was watching "Junk Gypsies" while tearing and tying and the finished floaty would have fit right in with anything they do!

That would make a really cute picture frame. And you could always use ribbon to cut out a few steps....

I decided to go back to the drawing board and simplify. Crazy, right?! That's when I realized I could just stamp the designs directly on the foam. The cut edge was still pretty rough and ugly, so I hot glued some ribbon around the edge. Don't touch the tip of the glue gun to the foam. They don't play well together.

I also learned that a circle doesn't work. The whole thing rolls right over. 
It took a little trial and error to get everything just right, but now, when we are doing our laps, we can have our drinks close at hand. 
Life is good. But please don't tell me if I could have bought a ten-pack of these for two dollars at Dollar General. Ignorance is bliss.
Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It Just Looks Like I Live Deep In The South

How inviting is this?! Relaxing on a shady porch in a rocker with a glass of iced tea and a good book (on an iWhatever).
Our favorite part of our house is the front porch. Even when the floor needs to be painted. It's just six feet deep, but it runs about 26 feet across the front of the house and another 30 feet down the south side. It's very welcoming and the shade from the roof helps keep the downstairs cool if there is any kind of breeze at all. The porch is the one thing that we both insisted on when we were adding to and renovating the original house, and it is the house's most outstanding feature.
But I'm not here to write about my porch today. I'm here to write about that little table in the photo. I know that's not my normal kind of thing, but it was so much fun to re-do! It is literally a marble top table! I found it at a neighbor's garage sale and bought it for one dollar. Yep. One. Of course it looked more like this at that time....

I think it was meant to be a plant stand. I'm not a big fan of that shade of green paint, so of course I had to cover that. I had just enough blue left from when I painted the rocker a couple years ago. I didn't want it to look new. That would make it stick out like a sore thumb at my house! So I left a few spots bare and sanded a little to let just a hint of the green come through. I have some big pieces of glass in my backyard (my uncle was the original American Picker) and a few months ago I learned how to use a glass cutter. I knew I wanted to put glass in the top and bottom of this, but I couldn't decide what to do to make it cute.
Then I remembered all those flat marbles that I used to put in vases and candle dishes. I had enough different colored ones to make a design in the top, and the bottom is just rows of green. (No problem with green glass or glasswares--I absolutely love Jadite--it's just that shade of paint. It's a home town rivalry thing.) 
I just put down a dab of hot glue and pressed a marble into place. The worst part was trying to clean up all the hot glue "stringies!"
I had to squirt some glue in the joints and pound in some loose nails to tighten it up a bit, too. I'd hate to spend an hour and a half gluing down all those marbles and have the whole thing collapse under the weight!

If you wanted to do something like this, the hardest part would be finding the right piece to start with. 

I took this pic from above so you could see the pattern. When the photo opened on my computer, my first thought was, "Wow! That would make a great patterned paper!" It would make a neat background for an iWhatever, too. If you use digital papers and would like a copy, just send me a message and I'll remove the watermark for you. 

That's it for now. I'll try to get back Friday, but you know what a wonderful job I've done of that lately! lol
Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sometimes I Amaze Myself (in good ways and bad!)

Last Saturday Andy and I attended the wedding of a very special young couple. The groom works for Andy (who thinks the world of him!) and was kind enough to ask us to share in their day. This couple has already stayed together through events that wreck many marriages. One of the biggest obstacles they overcame was the May 2011 Joplin MO tornado. They survived by curling themselves and their two year old son around a toilet and holding on! The groom's beloved car actually helped protect them from debris. Since both of their homes were destroyed, they had to rebuild. That is enough to do in any relationship, but they managed to live with their parents during the process! Impressive, right? 

I put together a 12x12 album using black, cream, and kraft and enclosed a note with the card, telling the bride that we could change the colors to whatever she wanted. I also said that if she would send it back to me with the photos she wanted to use that I would be happy to add them for her. Imagine how thrilled I was when we walked into the church and saw arrangements of dried hydrangea with cream colored feathers and black accents! Even the attendants wore black dresses and tuxedos. I couldn't have matched her colors any better if I had known them in advance! 

The album is covered in a simple diamond-quilted black patent leather.

The first page is matted for a single large photo.

I kept the layout of each page very clean. A wedding album should be about the WEDDING, not the album....

All the mats are 4x6, so photos can be added after trimming off just a tiny bit.

With just a few pics on each page, we could easily trade out the 4x6 mats for 5x7's.

"There is no such thing as a mistake in scrapbooking. Just opportunities for embellishment." The butterflies cover the corners where the punched design didn't line up. 

I am nothing if not frugal. Use your paper trimmer to cut a square from the center of two 12x12 papers then switch out the centers and add some mats. Easy, right?

I don't have anything new to say here, but I can't stand to leave ONE pic blank!

I love, Love, LOVE this page. The clocks are printed on canvas. The whole 12x12 was a bit busy, but using a three inch strip down each side is just right. The script paper is from a pack of five 12x12 sheets of tissue paper I found at Michaels. I tore it into strips, inked the edges, and added a piece of black ribbon down each side.

The key paper is also a piece of tissue paper from Michaels. I cut one sheet in half diagonally,  put the pieces edge to edge to make the diagonal stripe, and adhered the lace. Do you like my attempts at symbolism with the keys and the clocks?
I didn't put any mats on the last page. They might want to add more 4x6's or use the script paper as a mat for a single larger photo.

 So there it is! I included a couple sheets of die cut stickers, too, just in case the bride wants to put the photos in herself. (I hope not! I want to see how it looks with pics!)

We missed our opportunity for an awesome fix-up. We were seated behind a 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist (who recently announced her retirement at the age of 20!) How cool would it be to say to my 19 or 23 year old son, "There's someone I'd like you to meet...!"

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back later in the week!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June Calendar

June's free calendar for your iWhatever or computer comes to you all the way from Washington D.C! My mother, my brother, and I left last Sunday and got back yesterday. Yes, we were still there when the tornado warnings were issued Friday evening, sitting in our plane, unaware of the severity of the storms! 

Regardless of the problems we had getting home, we had a wonderful trip, seeing so many historical sights and learning so much! Each evening when we returned to our room Mom journaled about everything we had done that day. She averaged six or seven pages PER DAY! She and I had an advantage--Brian is a junior high American History teacher, so he was able to tell us all kinds of stories--our own personal tour guide. He might be convinced to tag along if you are planning a visit! 

I had my iPad with me, so I was able to put this calendar together with Coolibah one evening while we were resting after a long day of sightseeing. Unfortunately, the wifi in our room was pretty sketchy, so I was unable to post it until I got home. Feel free to download it to your device(s). 

If you've never done this before, just click HERE for instructions telling you how to download this calendar, or HERE to learn how to make your own calendar using Coolibah (my favorite app!).

I hope you like it. I wanted it to feel kind of beachy without the typical seashells and flip flops.

I'll be back later in the week (after I've recovered a bit more!) Thanks for stopping by!