DIY Chalkboard with Hobby Lobby open frame…

I often look in my rear view mirror and see four little faces in the car and think, “I HAVE FOUR KIDS!!”  I am the busiest I have ever been—but I can’t think of anything else I would rather be busy doing!!  That being said, I have so many different places to be during the week that I sometimes feel like I don’t know whether I am coming or going!!  And then I saw it….a beautiful, scalloped open frame at Hobby Lobby.  It hit me that I could get some chalkboard paint, paint the wall in my eat in kitchen and frame it!!  They had chalkboard paint right next to the acrylic paint at Hobby Lobby.   I love the way it turned out!! 
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It usually has a scripture of the week across the top, and Monday –Saturday columns with all the million places and appointments I need to remember.  It saves me brain power on trying to remember everything going on in my life.  And if that isn’t enough reason to love this thing—dressing up the board for birthdays and holidays certainly is. 
My other favorite part of this board is that it is right next to the dinner table which makes it easy to focus on where everyone is headed during the week and how we can help each other with our family and personal goals.  We get to catch up on what everyone is doing at dinner time together! 
This school year has been different than any year for us because I don’t have any kids in school!!  Justin is taking a break from school to focus on healing from PANDAS(which is going really well!!), and this is our first year homeschooling Little Miss.  I have to say, I love homeschooling—it has been so rewarding!  I wasn’t going to give up my ceremonial First Day of School pictures—so I got some of all my kiddos.  They turned out so fun using the chalkboard for the background!! Look at this picture of my sweet Justin—see that smile??  Yep, we have been seeing a ton of smiles from him lately—which make me smile more too!!  And he has learned how to pose for pictures!!
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I wrote down each of my kids’ names, and grades and listed three of their personality traits that are their strengths and then included a few things they love at their ages.  It reminds me of what sweet kids I have and how all their strengths are needed in our family—I feel so blessed to have these kids making me smile everyday.

Fall Burlap Deco Mesh Monogram Wreath…

I needed something for my front door, and after a few months of stewing came up with this little beauty…
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Hobby Lobby is killing me with all their fun burlap stuff!!  The base of the wreath is made from burlap deco mesh and then I found these beautiful burlap flowers the other day there…
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Added a few fall berry picks and a mod podged monogram wood initial and voila—fall wreath complete!!
I think it may need a little hot glue to keep everything in place, but other than that—it looks great on my door!!
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Fourth of July Wreath…

One of the most important things that my mom taught me was to look forward to something when your were down and keep moving forward one day at a time.  When I miscarried early in my marriage, she took me out shopping—and I kept thinking, “who can think of shopping at a time like this?!?”  She kept pointing out cute holiday stuff at Hobby Lobby and I muttered sadly, “I just don’t care about anything right now.”  And she tenderly said, “I know, but we just have to find something to look forward to.”  And we did.  We forced ourselves to get excited about Memorial Day and the summertime.  Maybe that’s why I look forward to holidays now, it keeps the days passing by—especially when they aren’t going very well!!
So that’s what I am doing today, looking forward to the Fourth of July already!!
I made this wreath with my mom, and it is made out of red and white Deco Mesh.  It is the first time I have ever used it, and it was SO easy!!  I really enjoyed it.  And then I added polka dot and striped ribbon, and some cork-screw pipe cleaners, and metal star.  I love it!!
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Lego Man DIY ornament…

This idea has been rolling around in my head for a while now, and I finally got them made yesterday!!  Check out this Lego Man ornament…
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I love this little guy!!  Here’s how I made him..
You could use a baby food jar, but I didn’t have any so I bought a glass jar from Hobby Lobby.  Then I painted the jar and lid with acrylic, yellow paint…
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I punched a hole in the lid with a nail and hammer and then put some green ribbon through it, and tied the ends in a knot on the inside.  I put hot glue around the knot just to secure it a little more.
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Next I used liquid craft glue and twisted the caps back on the lids and then added a red striped knot to the top.
I used the back of a paint brush and dipped it into acrylic, black paint and made two eyes for the Lego man and then painted on a black smile—you could use a sharpie if that sounds easier!!
I gave him a quick spray with acrylic gloss, and VOILA!!!  The cutest Lego man ornament!!!
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Merry Christmas!!!

I am linking to the following parties!

Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in TexasI'm Topsy Turvy Skip To My Lou

Back to School balloon wreath…

I love it when my kids go back to school and we are all on a schedule!!  I wanted to celebrate new school year with my kids so I whipped up some cupcakes and altered my balloon wreath and all of a sudden we have insta-party!!
I took my Monogram Balloon Wreath, here’s the link if you want to know how to make a balloon wreath, and then removed the monogram and added a banner that says, “School Rules!!”  The banner shape was from PowerPoint and it only took me about 5 minutes to print it out, cut it, hot glue it to the pencils—and be done!!
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So easy!!  And wouldn’t this be a cute back to school gift for a teacher??  Or a teacher appreciation gift??  Hmmm,  I might need to go make some more…

I am linking to the following parties!

Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in TexasI'm Topsy Turvy Skip To My Lou

Patriotic fabric pinwheels in a paint stick picket fence…

I love pinwheels, and I love red, white, and blue.  I don’t have any wreaths for my door for my summer months, so I had to come up with something.  I decided on pinwheels, but didn’t want one more wreath.  I decided to make a picket fence out of wooden paint sticks from Home Depot.
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I glued the paint sticks together until they were wide enough that I could put two additional paint sticks across to make it look like a fence.  I painted them with a gray, watered down acrylic paint and then hot glued them together.
Then I drilled one hole in each of the top corners and used an old, wire hanger to hang it from.  It makes it look like a basket:)
I used red and white baker’s twine and hot glued it in a swag across the front and then added cardstock with the letters HAPPY and secured them with hot glue.
Here’s some pictures on how I made the pinwheels.  I cut out ten,
 5 inch squares of patriotic fabric and put a piece of Warm and Natural batting in between two pieces to make a little “sandwich.”
Next I sewed from one corner to the opposite, diagonal corner—just off the line of center.  I didn’t pin or mark anything and they turned out great—just wing it!! Then flip it around and sew 1/4 inch down the other side.
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You need to do this on the opposite corners as well so you end up with a double straight stitch “X.”  Then you will make 4 cuts to the center, but not through it.
So it looks like this…
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I did use contrasting thread (red in my bobbin) to add some fun!!  After you have made your 4 cuts, you can cut the edges of the square with pinking shears.
I folded the corners to make a pinwheel and then sewed a black button in the center.
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I hot glued two of the pinwheels directly to the picket fence, and then I spray painted three pencils blue and used them for the other three pinwheels.  The final step was to hot glue some burlap ribbon across the top edge.
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Chevron and pinwheels—can’t go wrong there!!  And the picket fence had to be my favorite part—who knew paint sticks could turn into something so fabulous?!?
I am linking to the following parties!

  Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in TexasI'm Topsy Turvy Skip To My Lou

Paint chip color matching activity…

Summer is just around the corner and I am still trying to get my summer activities planned out for my kids!!  Justin will be doing some home therapy this summer—which means a therapist will be in our home doing one-to-one therapy with him.  What does that entail?? A therapist at our house for 10 hours a week.  We used to do 40+ hours of home therapy a week, which was wonderful, and CRAZY at the same time.  It was absolutely essential for Justin’s progression, but Little Miss and I couldn’t leave the house while a therapist was there, and I needed to be on hand to observe, learn, and help—so it was a little overwhelming at times.  It’s going to be a little different now, because we’re almost 5 years past the original year of ABA (one-to-one) therapy when Justin was just starting out and had quite a few tantrums.  And Justin has grown up so much since then and learned so many skills that it won’t (hopefully!) involve a lot of tantrums.  The therapy programs will mostly be focused on teaching Justin life skills—amidst all the distractions of his family:)  It’s going to be great, but a little crazy as I try to juggle therapists in and out, and try not to be OCD about keeping my house clean, and deal with the regular crazies of life with a 2 year old and 10 month old.  So what do I do when I’m overwhelmed??  Organize, over-plan, and get to work!!   I have made a huge list of fun activities to do—A WAY TOO LONG LIST of things to do!!  I’m in the process of editing it down:)  I did say OVER-plan, right??  Trying to stop that…

Here’s the first of a few clothespin activities for my kiddos to do this summer…

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I used a free paint stick from Home Depot and then glued down strips of cut up paint chips leaving a little “handle” so it can be held in one hand.  Then I cut out matching paint chip tags (I just used a tag paper punch) and then glued them to regular sized clothespins.

My Little Guy is loving colors and saying them right now, so I wanted to teach him how to match them and also help him with his fine motor skills (opening and placing the clothespins).  Justin’s adaptation of this activity will be to first match the colors when asked, and then I’m making him a different paint stick with black and white names of colors so he can match the clothespin colors to the word—that will help us understand what words he can already read.  Justin can do so many great things—but doesn’t always want to do them when asked (funny that he’s a “typical” kid that way!!  Or just inherited some good stubborn genes that run so strong in our family…).

I have a few more of these I want to pull together with faces of family members and matching names, and number to quantity matching.  We’ll see how much I get done this weekend!!

I am linking to the following parties…

Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in Texas I'm Topsy TurvySkip To My Lou

Handprint birdbath…

I found this great, stackable terra cotta bird bath inspiration on Pinterest (you can click here for her fabulous instructions on how to make this!) and knew my kids would love to make one!!
I decided to put the kids’ handprints on each pot and love how personal it turned out!
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The pots are stacked on a reebar pole and then I bought a pretty bowl with a teal painted inside for the birdbath part of the planter.  The bottom terra cotta pot has my husband and my handprints, and then each kid has their own pot with their own handprint.  The top pot has a label made from sculpey clay that says,
 “With helping hands, we all grow together 2012”
Quite appropriate for our family!!
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We made this over spring break and Little Miss was so excited and then we didn’t see any birds come AT ALL!!  She kept wondering when they would come, and then she was practicing her violin one day and a bird came!!  They come EVERY time she plays!!  Can you imagine how often she’s practicing now??  So cute!!  And we can watch them from our window!!  It has been really fun. 
Now to add some bird feeders and we’ll have a regular aviary outside…

I am linking to the following parties!

Ladybird Ln I Heart Nap Time Keeping It Simple Raising Oranges Making A Diamond in the Stuff Pincushion Creations A Crafty Soiree Fine Craft Guild mop it up mondays Creative Itch Photobucket It's OVerflowing Whipperberry Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Sew Happy Geek The Taylor House Design Dazzle wednesday's wowzers One Artsy Mama Goings on in Texas
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