Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Birthday Party in a Box

My college boy celebrated his birthday at A&M.  It was hard on this mama to not be there.  His birthday was in the middle of the week of State Testing.  As a teacher, I was not allowed to even take the day off. Ugh!  So, what's a mama to do?  Send a party in a box to one of his buddies!

First, I decorated the inside of the box with bright fun scrapbook paper and washi tape!

Next, I added party favors from Dollar Tree!  I bought hats, blowy thingys, whistles shaped like airplanes, balloons, etc. I had old leftover Bob the Tomato cups that I added.

Next, I added packets of lemonade and chocolate chocolate chip cookies!

I added a banner from Dollar Tree that says "Happy Birthday!"

Then, I added birthday confetti!

I made a banner strung across the box and taped it to the sides!

And, I mailed it to his buddy so he wouldn't just open it up in the mailroom and not share his party.

My acomplise sent me photos and a video!

His Ol' Lady (roommate in Corps speak) left after finals when this pic was taken.

Marshall celebrating his 19th B-day!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Window Boxes - Totally Me & Super Cheap!

My hubby decided to build me these two really cute, but really big window boxes.  We had cheap, little,  plastic window boxes for years and it bothered him that they weren't the same size as the windows.  We've been married for 26 years so he knows that I have a black thumb and can't grow real flowers.  (He's still traumatized about the fact that I killed his childhood cactus months after we were married.) Anyway, the boxes are not built to hold a lot of weight.  So even if I wasn't a plant murderer, they wouldn't hold the weight of the dirt for real plants.

I went to the big box craft stores (M & HL) to look for fake flowers.  Oh my!  They charge over $20 for a stem of greenery.  I have two 4 foot long window boxes to fill!  At that rate, each window box will be well over $100 and probably need to be changed out each season.  No, I needed to find a more economical solution.

First, I went to Dollar Tree.  I found ivy stems for $1.  They weren't as big and full as the $23 stems from the other store but, hey they were $22 cheaper! I bought 8 stems of ivy.  Then, I bought 4 of Dollar Store's pool noodles.  That's a total of $12! The rest of the supplies, I already had so I''d have to guess on the cost for the rest of the supplies.  But for me, it cost $12 to totally decorate my window boxes.

Dollar Tree's pool noodles are a little shorter than other stores but they ended up being the perfect length for my window boxes with no cutting.  I also could place 2 side by side.  I haven't even pricesd floral craft foam in years. But, I know I saved a ton.  You can just stick your flowers into the pool noodle the same way.

Pool Noodles instead of floral foam in the bottom of the window box.
Next, I added the greenery.  I put about 4 stems in each box.  I would like a little more but I bought all the ivy my Dollar Tree had in stock that day.

Here is the window box with the ivy.
At this point, you could add Dollar Tree fake flowers.  But, I decided I wanted something different, something cuter and more personal.  I made my own flowers!  The flowers are bottle caps (free from friends).  I used E6000 glue to hold them together.  I also glued them on my silicone mat that kept them from sticking to my table as they dried.  I used pliers to bend some of the bottle caps for leaves.  I used wooden skewers for the stems.  I took the flower tops, stems and leaves outside and spray painted.  Once they were dry, I assembled the flower to the stem and added the leaves.  In this picture you can see a wooden stamp holding a leaf in place while it dried. I painted the centers of my flowers yellow and then added polka dots by dipping the handle of a small paint brush in paint and dotting it on.

Flowers made from bottle caps and skewers.
And voila! My window boxes have been transformed!  I love the way they turned out and I can leave these flowers out all year with no worry about changing the flowers with the seasons.

My totally cute window box!
Hubby recently got a welder and he practiced his welding skills by making me some horseshoe flowers!  They totally go with my bottle cap flowers!  I added 3 flower pin wheels (again $1/each from Dollar Tree). I love the look of my front flower garden!
Horseshoe flowers and pinwheels complete the look.

Last year, we drove through Roswell the day after their UFO Convention.  I think the sign just adds to the total kitchy look.

I just finished painting a new house number sign.  I can't wait to hang it!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beginning Bible Journaling

I've seen pictures of people Bible Journaling and wanted to give it a try. I picked and bought this Bible from Amazon. Then, instead of thinking, I just dived in. I found a page I kinda liked with ideas to copy, I pulled the new Bible out of the box, and I started painting. I knew if I thought about it too long I wouldn't get up the nerve. I mean, I've never really written in my Bible before. I've highlighted things occasionally but not too often because I hated when it would bleed through the page. I was brought up to respect books and keep them nice and pristine, and of course the Bible is the most respected book. So, taking that first step was hard.

My first page looked okay, then I added more details and messed it up. Maybe someday I'll be able to fix it. But, the thing I realized is Bible Journaling is about the process, not the product. It's a time to think about and reflect God's word while creating. 

Today was my second day. I am quite pleased with the results today. I used Psalm 119:105. My Bible is NIV but I journaled with KJV.  I used gelatos, markers, stickers, and a regular crayon.

Psalm 119:105
It took me a couple days before I got this posted.  Here is another one that I completed.  The background was done with acrylic paint.  I used markers, stickers, and the "Creature" I drew and cut out of orange cardstock. Plus a little washi tape to hold on a tab.

Mark 16:15 (Back when we were like 11 or 12, Chris and I were in a puppet ministry and Chris had an orange monster puppet named Creature.  We had a skit where the puppets used this verse and "Creature" thought it meant to preach to him.

My Bathroom Remodel

I was telling my students last month that I had put cabinets together myself.  And then it hit me, I never shared my bathroom re-model on my blog.

During the summer of 2014, we were about 2 days into our vacation, driving to Washington D.C., in the middle of no-where, when we got the call.  Our friends who were going over every couple of days to check on our house and our dogs, opened the front door and water gushed out!  One of our pipes had broken and flooded our house.

Chris was trying to figure out where the nearest airport was so that he could fly home to take care of the house while I drove back.  But, this was the vacation that we had dreamed about for years!  So, once we calmed down, we called the insurance company and hired a company to go in and dry stuff out.  Special thanks to Chris' dad, Mike, for going over and helping as well.

The next month was spent going through all our stuff, finding out what was ruined and what was salvageable and making a list for our insurance.  The bathroom was a total loss.  The main room (living room) on the bottom floor is never used.  It lost a wall.  Hopefully, we will finally get to updating that room this summer.  We decided to do ALL the work ourselves to save money so that the insurance money could be used on nicer finishes.

This is what was waiting for us when we got home from vacation.  It was dry but paneling, flooring, and cabinets were removed.
The company that came in to dry out stuff pulled a couple sheets of paneling down, pulled out the sink cabinet, and pulled up the linoleum.  We removed the rest of the paneling, the shower stall, the toilet, and the ceiling.  We changed the location of the door to the laundry room in order to fit in a new bathtub.
Garrett and Chris pulling down the ceiling to install a new light and fan as well.

The drain for the bathtub was only a few inches off from where the drain for the shower was but it was a major pain to re-route the drain.  Three jack-hammers later, it finally lined up.  I wanted my bathroom to have an open feel with a pony 1/2 wall at the end of the tub.  Chris was a real trooper because a pony wall requires much more support (and headaches) than a regular wall.

Tub with pony wall.
We picked all our cabinets out from Ikea.  I really liked that the sink cabinet had drawers.  Routing the "European" plumbing fixtures behind the drawers was another pain that Chris awesomely mastered!

The cabinet has drawers so the pipes run right against the wall for the sink.
It works!

We learned how to tile by watching YouTube.  I really like TileGuyGA.  I watched several of his videos multiple times.  But, somehow he doesn't get covered in mortar and grout like I did.

Michelle putting up tile.
We had just enough leftover trim tile to put a little backsplash behind the sink.
 I just took a few pictures of the bathroom, a year after the remodel was finished.  I love my bathroom.  It is so calming and beautiful.  I have a tub and a makeup station.  I feel blessed.

The shower curtain has to be extra long and extra wide.  They don't sell such things. So, I bought extra long and taped 1 1/2 shower curtains together.

The bathroom today (complete with dirty laundry in the hamper).

Michelle's Makeup station.

The main light has a fan, too.