Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ten Free Printables for Fall

I’m ready for fall, aren’t you?  If you asked me to pick my favorite thing about fall, I couldn’t do it.  I have way too many…

sweater weather


caramel apples


hay rides

Yep…I’m ready. 

So today I’m treating us to ten free printables to get us inspired for fall!











Crow and Roses Printable


I can’t wait!  So what’s YOUR favorite thing about fall?

free fall printables

Friday, July 27, 2012

How I Spent Just $2.47 and Kept Kids Entertained for Hours

On a whim, I bought this roll of brown paper in the paint section of Home Depot for $2.47.
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I rolled out several feet of paper for the kids to draw and color on. And guess what?  They did! For like TWO HOURS. It was new and different, and they loved it!Blog2 and wm
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Meanwhile, at the other end…
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I like this paper better than the brown Kraft wrapping paper (you know, like shipping paper?) because it’s thinner and the roll is only 9 inches wide.
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This is nothin’.  We’ve got 165 feet of artistic entertainment left to go.  I’m just sayin’.
best. purchase. ever.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How to Make Your Hallways So Interesting People Will Forget Which Room They Were Going To – Ten Pin Tuesday #4

Our main hallway doesn’t have much in it besides a carpet runner and a thermostat.  So I’m always looking for ways to spiff it up. Especially since it’s  the most used, most traveled area of our house.

Here’s a collection of some of my favorite ideas for giving a hallway its own personality!

1. I love this style from Thistlewood Farms.  The dark frames with the labels, the chandelier, the shadow box … greatness!   And this totally makes me want to put wainscot in our hallways.  I also like the wreath, and especially the contrast of the stained door against the wall trim.

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2.  I like this end-of-the-hallway collage, too.  She used all the space, and didn’t just hang a picture or three at eye level (which is totally what I would do without Pinterest).  Because when you’re standing at the other end of the hall, you see the whole space, right?  Everything is in the same color palette and works well with the wall color. And, bonus points for cleverly camouflaging the smoke detector with all the different shapes and sizes of frames.

Sunshine photo wall-1

3.  Our stairwell could use this sort of sentiment!  I love the big “&” typography, as well as the different shapes, sizes, and colors of frames.  I’m betting each of these photos tells a story of a great moment in time.  Don’t you just want to linger in this space?


4. On the other hand, this collage of mismatched frames all painted black is stunning!  I love the initial and the addition of mirrors for some interest.  This picture is of a nursery, but I  like the idea of it in a stairwell or hallway.


5.  Big, black and white photos always look stunning.  And from ceiling to floor, this really makes a statement at the end of hallway. I love the photo of the dog! She’s part of the family for sure, so why not?


6. Whoa.  I love the stripes.  I’m not sure my hubby would be on board with me painting the hallway in stripes, nor am I sure I’d have the patience to paint them.  But, this is outstanding and makes a huge statement on the walls without the use of frames or photos. This must be what they mean when they say a space has “energy”!

7.  Wouldn’t this collage of mirrors look wonderful in a hallway?  Elegant and classic.


8. The wainscot is striking in this hallway, isn’t it?  And that top piece of molding almost looks like a picture rail.
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9. I love the functionality of this relaxed space. Shelves, hooks, and of course the massive chalkboard.  Fun!



10.  Candid photos are just fun to look at, aren’t they?  And this collage with a mix of black/white and color looks great in this space. Love.

Here’s a couple of tips I’ve collected for reviving a wall:
Tip #1
Before pounding nails into the wall, use painters tape and newspaper in the shape of the collage you want, and see if it fits your space.  Try using one of these collage shapes:


Tip #2
One of those “why didn’t I think of this” moments!  Use painters tape to measure the distance between two nails.  Then place the tape on the wall and make sure it’s level before hammering in the nails.


Tip #3
When you remove nails, put two rubber bands on the head of the hammer criss-cross style, and it will keep the wall from getting damaged.


What’s your favorite way to decorate a hallway?
I’d love to hear! 
Thanks for visiting today!

- Lori

Friday, July 20, 2012

Organizing Kids Toys For Less Than $15

Do your kids collect trinkets the way mine do?  You know what I mean ~ the teeny, tiny pieces  that come in the form of party favors, value meals, school "treasure chest" awards,  you-did- great-at-the-dentist-prizes, and sometimes I swear just appear out of nowhere?   You know what I mean, right?

Here’s how I am managing (and lightening) my kids’ collection:

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My kids LOVE their trinkets.  And, I have girls.  So on any given day aside from trinkets, there are also about 50 of these all over the house:


And I have three nephews, so you Boy Moms out there can substitute hair bands for Legos, Matchbox cars, and Transformers.  I feel your pain, too.

My goal was to find a way to corral my kids Tiny Toys. First, I tried using see-through shoe boxes:


It worked for awhile, but I didn't like that it took up space on their bookshelves, or workspace at their desks.  Or that it overflowed.  Or that it just looked like a hot mess.    I wanted their Tiny Toys to have a "home", and this wasn't cutting it.

So I went with Plan B:  The Hanging Jewelry  Keeper.  A trip to Home Goods was all it took.  (And really, who doesn't love a trip to Home Goods?!)  Mine were $14.99 each.


(Note to Boy Moms:  the ones in the stores are pretty feminine looking with Vera Bradley-ish fabric.  But, Amazon has
some with 80 pockets and in solid colors!)

I bought one for each of my girls, and they’re working out FABulously!  They're two-sided AND they swivel, so they can flip it over easily.

I hung each one on a Hercules hook because with a lot of swiveling I thought a nail might too easily pop out of the drywall. 

Close up of the hanger on the Hercules hook:
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Plus, there's LOTS of pockets, so they can really fill these things up.  There are larger pockets at the bottom for sunglasses, wallets and even Barbie dolls. You can buy some with zippered pockets, too.


Now we are all happy.  I love them soooo much, I may or may not have bought a third one for my own jewelry (smile).

The girls can see all their trinkets and take one out or put it back easily. No dumping out the entire shoe box of stuff looking for the glow in the dark wrist band from last Halloween that they need RIGHT NOW for an impromptu puppet show.

And with our new jewelry keepers came one very important new rule:  once it's filled up, any new trinkets are welcome, but they must replace an old one.  The old ones then disappear*.  (Virtual high fives all around!)


So, Momma's happy too.  Did I mention I hung these on the wall inside their closets at kid-level? 


Out of sight, out of mind.


Next up, I’m putting in a couple of these hooks.


Because we also have tons of these lying around.  And they seriously need a home. In the closet.


Have a organized day!
- Lori
*Our toys “disappear” into a box we have labeled “South Africa”.  We recycle toys all year long, and then send it with our church missionaries when they visit less-fortunate children in South Africa (or elsewhere) each summer. It’s a win-win for everyone.  =)

Sharing with the readers over at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to Transfer a Digital Image in Five Easy Steps

So if you read my post earlier this week, this was #4 on the projects I wanted to try this summer.  And this is such a fun and easy project!  I found this big ceramic pitcher at Home Goods :
…and wanted to add an image on it for a little something extra. So today I’m sharing how I did it.

1. Print an image you’d like to transfer using a laser printer. (Ink jet will not work.) I used this free image from The Graphics Fairy:
(If you have an ink jet printer, then save the image to a memory stick and take it to an office supply store and have them print it for you on a laser printer. I took mine to Office Depot where a black and white copy is less than 50 cents.)

2. Brush three layers of Omni~Gel transfer medium using a sponge brush on the front of your printed image. Brush vertical strokes. Let dry. Brush horizontal strokes. Let dry.  Brush diagonal strokes. Let dry.  (Drying time was about 15-30 minutes each time.)

p.s. Here’s what the Omni~Gel bottle looks like:

I bought my bottle at Michaels in the verrrry back of the store where the stain and wood pieces are. It’s $10, so use your 40% off coupon if you can.  This bottle will last for several projects!

3. Once dry, cut down to size and place image face down in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes.



4. Take image out of water and place face down (I used a sheet of wax paper as a work surface). Using your fingertip, rub paper off the paper on the back of the image.  

Continue to dip image and/or fingertips in water and gently rub off all the paper you can. Try to get off all the paper you can so it will lay smooth. Let dry completely (about 20-30 minutes).
Almost there…


5. After you’ve rubbed off all the paper and the image is completely dry, use Omni~Gel once more as a glue. Brush some on the back of the image and glue the image to your surface. 

DONE!  And I couldn’t be happier with the results.


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Have you ever transferred a digital image? I’d love to know about it!

Thanks for visiting!