DIY Decorative Foam Stamps

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Did you hear a really loud scream today?  A really high pitched squeal?  Actually two of them?  It was me!  The first one was because of this:

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If you can’t tell, it’s a SnAkE!!!  A really big snake!  That sidewalk there is 4 feet wide.  Ugggggg……

My husband said that it is a “good” snake.  No such thing!

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Gives me the chills just to see a pic of it!  That was my first squeal and THIS was my second

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I made a foam rubber stamp!  All by myself!  From scratch!  Squeal!  Want to know the best part?  It wasn’t that hard to do.  YOU can totally do this, too.

Here is what you will need:

  • Two paper copies of the design that you want to make into a stamp.  You can even just type out a name, a word or a phrase like, “Happy Birthday!” in Word.
  • Scissors
  • A sheet of craft foam.  I bought this blue sheet at Walmart and it is quite thin.  I’m sure that Michaels or Joann’s or any craft supply store carries thicker foam sheets.
  • Spray adhesive
  • Something to use as a sturdy stamp base.  I just cut a piece of wood to size.
  • Baby powder (you’ll see in a minute)
  • An ink pad

I got the idea after watching this awesome YouTube tutorial.

First of all I chose the letter A in the Damask Dings font (dingbat) and, in Word resized it to the size that I wanted.  I made two copies of this…hang on and you’ll see why.

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My printer is out of toner so I had to color in the lines a bit so you can see the image.  See it?  Good.  Next I roughly cut around my design (only one of the copies), sprayed adhesive on the back and immediately stuck it on the foam board.

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At this point I cut around my printed design, and here is where my second copy came into play:  As I cut each piece out, I placed it on top of the copy (paper side up) so my placement would be exactly like the original.  I ended up using a hole punch to cut out the smaller circles.  I’m lazy you know!  Actually it was to get perfect little circles.

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Next, I cut a piece of foam a bit bigger than the size of the design, sprayed some adhesive to cover the surface and then layed it down, sticky side down, on top of the image.  This is how you capture the design in place.  If it looks a bit wonky, you have a minute or so to adjust the pieces.

Now the foam backer is all sticky, what to do, what to do?  Baby powder, of course!  Sprinkle some on the exposed sticky parts, rub it in with your finger, then gently wipe the powder off:

Smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Before mounting the stamp, I inked it up and then stamped directly on the wood.  After letting it dry for a minute I mounted the foam on the side opposite of the stamped image.  This is where it would have been nice to have better quality foam.  With this thin foam I just have to be very careful when inking.  Kind of messed up the wood block, but it’s not the end of the world.   As you can see, my stamp works just fine.

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Made by ME!  Squeal!  (Did you hear that?!)  Since there is a layer of paper sandwiched in there, I wouldn’t recommend washing the stamp under running water.  To clean it, just stamp over and over on a damp paper towel until the color is gone.

I have a couple of really great ideas for using foam stamps.  I promise to share them soon!

 

********* Linking up to these awesome parties!*********

DIY: “Special Times” Perpetual Calendar

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Have you seen those family birthday calendars out there in the internet world?  They are a cool way to keep track of the birthdays in your family, for sure.  Most of the ones that I have seen are a long wooden sign that says, “Birthdays” or “Family” or “Family Birthdays” or something along those lines.  Across the bottom of the sign they list each of the twelve months or an initial to represent each month.  Then, under each month there are squares, hearts, circles all chained together; each one has a name and a number to represent a family member’s birthday.  Have you seen them?  Do you have any idea what I am talking about?  If not, Google or Bing “Family Birthday Calendar” right now.  You will be bombarded with all kinds of versions of what I just described.  See?   I would show you some pictures, but I don’t want to break any copyright laws.  End up in prison, or worse.

Well, a while back I had some requests from some ladies at church to make one of these birthday calendars for an upcoming “Super Saturday” craft making day.  I looked and looked and hemmed and hawed as I tried to find the perfect calendar to copy.  At the back of my mind were questions like, “What about small families?” and “What if no one has a birthday in Feb., or July, or September…the whole thing will look out-of-whack” and “What if a new child or grandbaby is born?  People will constantly be seeking me out to cut out more hearts or squares or circles.”.  I also got thinking about the anniversaries and other holidays that we look forward that aren’t birthdays.   This is what I came up with instead:

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Basically I painted a purchased wood plaque, painted it black and cut out white vinyl on my Roland Dr. Stika cutter.  The black with white lettering kind of gives a chalkboard-y look, don’t you think?

The hook is just a cup hook that I spray painted black.

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When doing this in bulk, just stick the screw ends into some cardboard to make them stand up and spray away.  Then screw it in your painted board.  Easy enough!

For my tags, I just hand traced and cut them out with scissors, but you can use any shape that you want…rectangles…hearts…circles…whatever.  Make sure that there is a hole to slip over the hook.  For a clean look, only use one shape and have enough for each birthday, anniversary, holiday that you want to remember to celebrate.  In fact, have extras for newbies that join the family.  I handwrote on my tags and added border details, but when I made one of these perpetual calendars for my parents (who have 10 kids plus their spouses and grandchildren…), I typed, printed and then hand cut out each tag.  Made it look more professional.

So, the way that these calendars work is that you put all of the tags in chronological order with the next special day’s tag on top and place the stack on the hook.  When the special day on the top is over, pull the pile off of the hook, put the top tag on the bottom of the pile and put them all back on the hook.  That way you can see at a glance when the next celebration is.  Cool, right?  (If two or more people share a special day, put both events on one tag.)

As I have mentioned before, I am losing the beige and going gray in my home and I decided to lighten my calendar up.  First I mixed up a gray-blue shade of paint and painted a couple of coats over the black.  While the paint was still tacky I distressed a bit to reveal the black layer below.  I like to use a damp paper towel and/or my thumbnail to gently rub and  scrape away bits of paint.

Just for fun, I added a stenciled detail:

I cut out some new vinyl using the LimaBean font, slapped it on and replaced the cup screw.  I think that I like it.

So, which look do you like better?

Next celebration?  Mother’s Day!  Have a happy one!

 

********* Linking up to these awesome parties!*********

DIY Decorative Mirror Frame

 

Have you every used Gallery Glass products that help create stained glass looks?  I love the stuff!  My favorite is Crystal Clear (as if clear could be called a color):

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This is what it looks like.  My sister-in-law knows that I love this product and got me like 10 bottles of it when she saw it clearanced out.  Thanks, Kinna!!!  Now I can come up with all kinds of projects to make.  Trust me, I’ve got ideas!  Oh, and lest you think that Gallery Glass sponsors me…nah.  I’m not that cool.  I just like this stuff!

So, a couple of months ago I picked up a square framed mirror at the dollar store.  I bought it with absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it.  I like square stuff, remember?  Today I was doing some organizing and came across my G.G. stash (thanks again, Kinna!) and immediately formed an idea of what to do with the square framed mirror.  Want a sneak peak?

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Question… have you ever tried to take a picture of a mirror?  Not that easy, let me tell you.  Just so you know!

So, let me walk you through the process from dollar store to finished art.  Ready?  Let’s go!

First thing, I cut up a 4×4 piece of sticker paper and placed it smack dab in the middle of the frame.  You could just use tape if you want.  You might as well know that I did this project twice.  First, using the tip of the bottle, I just made big squiggles:

It was ok, but not great, so I just scraped it off and started over again.  No tears, now worries.  Next try, I just smeared a layer of G.G. over the whole mirror.  I didn’t really take any pics because I used my fingers to smear the stuff around.  Messy.  I used Q-tips to make my design.  Basically, I just wiped vertical “stripes” and then horizontal.  I truly wasn’t going for perfection, more of a playful look.  Really, the sky is the limit when comes to the textured looks you can create with this product.

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Important: once the product has dried, and before trying to remove the paper/tape from the center of the frame, make sure that you score around the paper with a razor so your awesome design doesn’t come up with it.

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Honestly, this project would have been easier if I would have removed the mirror from the frame.  I made quite a mess near the frame, so I made it part of the design and just wiped the area closest to the frame clean.  Yeah, I used a bunch of Q-tips and this is what it looked like once it dried:

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Well, it was mostly dry at this point.  See what I mean about taking pictures of mirrors?  I actually like this shot because it shows the effect pretty well.  Not perfect, but that is just fine with me.  I wish you could see it in person.

Don’t you just love this quote?   It is by Gordon B. Hinkley and I adore it.  I just printed it up on aqua cardstock, cut it 4×4 inches, sprayed some spray adhesive on the back side and stuck it right in the middle.  Go ahead and print it up for yourself, if you want to.  Look closely at the cardstock.  Do you like the spotted bits?  Kind of goes with the distressed font (Attic), right?

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The spots were a happy accident. I tried to distress the frame a bit with sandpaper, but it didn’t really show.  BUT, it got bits of black dust on the paper and I decided I liked it so I purposely added more, smashing it on with a paper towel.

A-ny-way… it is done and here it is!

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Again, the little white bits are mostly dry.  Ain’t nobody got time to wait!  Oh, yeah.  I added a satin flower that I made a while back and I like the way it looks.

One more look?  O.K., fine.

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Makes you want to run out to the craft store RIGHT NOW to get some Crystal Clear Gallery Glass Window Color, doesn’t it?  Go! I want to see what you create!

 

********* Linking up to these awesome parties!*********

 

Recycled Jeans Satchel

 

At this very moment, do you have any jeans in your home that really should be in the trash?  I’m talking holey, stained, terribly out of style jeans that you know will never be worn again?   I recently came across some jeans destined for landfill and I decided to check out Pinterest (of course!) to see what I could make with them instead.  Although I found some really fun projects, I didn’t see anything that screamed, “Make me!”.   Not knowing what I was going to make, I started cutting and this is what I ended up with.

Recycled Jeans Satchel

I kind of love them!  Think of it as a satchel for putting your phone, lipstick, or whatever you need, in.   Do you ever find yourself wearing an outfit that doesn’t have pockets?  Maybe a dress, skirt, yoga pants?  It’s kind of a pain.  Make one of these simple satchels and you won’t need to carry your stuff in your hands or have a full on purse when you really don’t need it.  Ready?  Set?  Go!

First step, cut off the pockets.  Easy!  Cut only the bottom layer (not the finished pocket edges) and leave a bit of fabric on the top.

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Flip it over and hot glue the top edge down so you can have a finished-looking front.  Back doesn’t look too bad, either.

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For the flowers I did an internet search for “flower template”.  Here are the two that I used: 4-petal-heart-template and Flower-Pot-Card-Template.  It is best to have at least 3 different sizes, so I had to do some re-sizing in Word.  Once you have a paper pattern, cut it, then trace it on your fabric,

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then cut out the fabric.  Might as well cut out two layers at a time, right?   I wanted the denim to looked a bit frayed,  so I just scraped the fabric edges with my fingernail to get that effect.

To assemble the flower, grab some thread, a needle and a button and sew the button through all of the layers…or…hot glue each layer and add the button to the top.  Then just hot glue the flower to the pocket.   Play around with positioning before gluing.

For the strap, cut out the inseam starting up one leg and once you reach the crotch, going down the other leg, then back up and down the other side.  Most, if not all jeans have double stitching for the inseam so just cut near the finished edges on each side of the stitching.  Easy-peasy!

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And this is what you get:

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At this point, determine how long you want your strap to be, cut to size, then hot glue on the back like so:

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Done!  Check it out!

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I have been asked to be in charge of crafts for a young women’s camp this summer and this is definitely one that we will  make.  My goal is to have the girls create items that are useful, not something to shove in the back of a drawer once they get home.   I think that they will like them.

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What do you think?

 

Linking up to these awesome parties!

Nemcsok Farms

 

Pastel Tissue Paper Spring Sign

Has Spring sprung where you live?  It has here and I love it!  The trees all blossomed a few weeks ago and flowers are coming out and everything is SO green.

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The phrase, “A breath of spring” certainly comes to mind.  I wanted to make a little something today to celebrate spring.  I knew that I wanted to make a sign of some sort with a length of 1×6 pine that I had in my garage.  I originally thought that I would make an Easter sign of some sort, but Easter will be here and gone before we know it.  I wanted something that can stay out for a couple of months or so and this is what I came up with:

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I love this phrase.  To me, it means that where you are right now in location and life circumstances is where you are planted.  You might be thrilled with where you are planted like a sunflower planted in good soil with ample water and full sun.  Yep, it is easy to bloom well in those conditions.  Maybe right now you are planted in not so perfect circumstances.   Bloom where you are planted means that even if your part of the world right now is weed infested with poor soil and very little sun, do your best to bloom anyway.  Basically, think positive, be happy, take life as it comes and pull out those weeds if you can.  If you can’t, then you be the best bloom you can be to brighten up your little spot in the garden.

Of course I could have whipped out a can of paint as I usually do when making similar signs, but this time I decided to try something new.  Want to see what I used instead of paint?

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Tissue paper!  I love the mint green that came with this pastel tissue paper set that I got at little old Dollar Tree.  The steps were simple:

  1. Crumple up the tissue paper to get it all wrinkly, then semi-flatten it back out
  2. Using a regular paint brush, paint a layer of decoupage medium on the bare wood, top and sides.  Another option would be to paint a base color similar to your choice of tissue color so you don’t have to do as many layers.
  3. While the decoupage medium is still wet, lay a sheet of paper slightly larger on all sides so you can wrap it around the edges.  As you lay it down, encourage wrinkles but attach it securely.
  4. Immediately (meaning that the layer below is still wet) brush decoupage medium on top of the tissue paper layer.  Apply to all sides (except the back).  On each corner edge you will have an excess of tissue…just tear it off and lay the remaining down with the decoupage medium.  You won’t even be able to notice it.
  5. Wait until the layers are dry before adding another layer.  My bottle says to wait 15-20 minutes.  I broke all rules and used my hair dryer to speed up the process and it worked just fine.  I’m such a rebel.
  6. Add as many layers as you want.  I added 3, but if I would have painted the board first, I would have just added one, maybe two.  Maybe next time I will paint with one color and tissue with another just for fun.  Maybe white with one layer of pink tissue on top for a sheer color effect.
  7. If you get any tears, that is okay.  Just tear a piece of tissue (straight edges will show up more than torn) and decoupage right over it.
  8. If you want the back to look nice, decoupage it as well once the front has completely dried.

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Really, the process is super easy and adds a different look.  For added effect, rub a little stain or dark wax on to accentuate the texture.  Hmmm…maybe this Fall I will try that.

I cut out the vinyl lettering with my Roland Stika vinyl cutter, but you could easily just print this Bloom pdf out (the font is Café Rojo) on paper (maybe with a cute print) and decoupage it right on your sign, leaving some space so you can see the your wrinkled tissue border around it.  (Do a test run with this method…some printer inks smear with the decoupage medium.  If yours does, I have heard that if you spray your printed page with hair spray, it will fix the problem.)

So, there you have it.  Simple, yet profound at the same time.

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Unfortunately the pictures don’t really show the fun texture, but I really like the effect.  Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!   Now, go BLOOM!

 

(This project was featured as one of 6 Spring-Inspired Projects at the Do Tell Tuesday Link Party! Thanks Lisa, Diane, Cassie and Tori!)

 

Giant DIY Satin Flowers

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Remember this post where I showed you how to make adorable satin flowers?   Well, I love those little flowers so much because they can add cute touches to anything from hair, to clothing, to home accessories, to purses, to gift packages.  To be honest, though, they are a bit small to add a lot of WOW to a room.  You know the theory that “bigger is better”?  Well, it is if we are talking about bigger budgets, bigger backyards, bigger pieces of chocolate cake.  Bigger thighs?  Maybe not so much.  An-y-way.  I thought that I could take this idea of making satin flower up a notch and make one, well, bigger.  The process was pretty much the same except I added more layers.  Eleven, to be exact:

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For a base, I covered a circle shaped pieced of cardboard with fabric (to keep it pretty) to add stability:

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Of course I glued the flower layers to the ugly side so the bottom looks nice and finished.

This finished flower turned out to be about 8 1/2 inches wide.  Big enough to make a statement in a frame that I backed with unpainted textured wallpaper:

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I thought that it turned out pretty good, and I’ll admit that I excitedly thought,  “I MADE that!” every time that I walked past it.    The above picture just doesn’t do it justice.  The satin is so beautiful and I love the color that the fabric turns when the flame melts the edges.   Come to my house sometime and you will see.

After I had walked past it a hundred times or more I got thinking again.  Dangerous!  I adopted a new theory, ” If bigger is better, gigantic is the best!”.  Are you with me?

I looked in my fabric stash and found this lovely blouse that had been purchased and cut up for my daughter’s school project last year.  This little number set me back probably $.50.  Way cheaper than fabric store fabric.  I didn’t want to ruin good fabric if my big idea didn’t work.

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I totally know what you are thinking.  “How could you cut up such an stylish blouse?”  I know, right?

As I started cutting I realized something awesome, this 100% polyester fabric tears really easily.  In no time at all I had a large stack of fabric squares.  The largest squares were cut out of the back of the blouse, but I was amazed at how much fabric was in each sleeve.  I didn’t even try to count how many layers this flower has.   I just know it was a lot because I wanted my gigantic flower to be nice and fluffy.

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Using the same process that I showed you in my Super Simple Satin Flower tutorial I started melting my edges.  Unfortunately, my hubby was working at home when I made this and I knew that he would not welcome the thought of me putting fabric over a flame in the house so I did it on my front porch.  Trust me, it is much faster to do indoors.  Every little breeze makes the candle flicker.

I made a cool little video to show you a way that I found to speed up the process, but ding-dang-dong, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to add it in WordPress.  I will keep trying to figure out how to add the video, but basically, just take one side and simply fanfold the edges (maybe a 4-6 inch section) and hold the fanned area vertically about the candle’s hot spot to melt a larger section at a time.  Quickly spread out the fanned out area just in case parts fused together and then melt any sections that might have been missed.  Again, don’t put the fabric IN the flame, just OVER the flame.  We are melting, not burning the edges.  It probably took me an hour to melt all of my edges.

Once all of your pieces are melted, start stacking, largest on the bottom and work your way to the top.  Many of my pieces were similar in size and that is okay.   Just do this:

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See how I put the glue down and scrunched the fabric to make sure the layers beneath can be seen.  This also adds wrinkles which help add volume.

When I got to the center area, I took 4 of my smaller melted shapes, pulled the center down to form a cone shape and glued them down to hide all of the hot glue spots.  At this point, I still had some extra melted fabric sections so I folded them in half and glued in the bare areas.

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Ta-dah!  This baby is about 14 inches across!  It’s gigantic!

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Here, you can see how I added it to a throw pillow:

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And here I attached it to a framed mirror:

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In all honesty, this bright blue doesn’t go with anything in my house, BUT, my daughter is going away to BYU this fall and this BYU Blue gigantic flower will go with her.  Now that I know that it IS possible to make a Gigantic Satin Flower, I’m making one for me!

So, whadda-ya think?  Was my $.50 investment + 1 1/2 hours of my time worth it?

(Here is a different blouse makeover project that I made)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY: Hip to Be Square Wreath

I like square stuff.  I’m not sure why, I just do!  Check it out…

Our table is square…

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Our dishes are square.  You got me! I know the smaller white dishes are rectangles, but in my little world, I categorize them as square…my kindergarten teacher would be so disappointed.

If I had my dream home, it would be foursquare style:

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Seriously,  you should Google “foursquare architecture images”.  You will need a rag to wipe the drool off of your face.

Well, it is Christmas time and I thought that I would share an insanely easy  DIY holiday wreath with you.

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Call it rectangle, if you want.  I made this baby so many years ago.  Yeah, maybe time to change out the bow.  Anyway, I am going to show you how to make a square wreath.

You just need three things:  a frame without glass, cheap-o greenery garland (mine was 7 yards long), and a glue gun with glue sticks.  You will spend more time waiting for the glue gun to heat up than you will spend making this wreath.   Once it does, put a little dab of glue on the back of the frame ( I like to start in a corner) and then start wrapping.

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Don’t wrap too tightly because you will want to manipulate it around until the whole thing is uniformly covered.  Then hot glue the end to the back.  Ta-dah!

You can add a bow and fru-fru if you want:

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I kind of like mine a bit more plain :

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And this is where it stays…for now.

What do you think?  Is it hip to be square?

 

PS. I linked up: http://organized31.com/2014/12/inspire-us-thursday-link-party-78.html    http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/12/11/thrifty-thursday-week-89/  http://www.lambertslately.com/2014/12/create-it-thursday-84-plus-features.html  http://www.thegritsblog.com/search?q=little+friday&max-results=20&by-date=true  http://romantichome.blogspot.com/2014/12/more-christmas-decor-show-and-tell_11.html