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!*********

Raid Your Yard: Lovely in Lavender

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What is growing in your yard right this very minute?  If you don’t know, run and look.  I’ll wait.  At this spring time of year it seems like everything is in bloom and looking beautiful.

Here are some areas in my yard that I am absolutely loving right now:

Today I decided to get all Martha Stewart-like and bring some of my outdoors…indoors.  Some people like to gather a bit of every kind of flower that they have in bloom and put them in a vase.  Me?  I prefer only one type of flower in each arrangement.  That’s just me, though.  I decided to gather lavender since we have absolute TONS of it in our landscaping.

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Let me share a story that I always think of whenever I see lavender:  My friend was wearing the color lavender when she was approached by a guy who, in what must have been his best “designer guy” impression, said to her, “You look lahv-ly in lah-vender.”  Cracks me up every time.  Just trust me when I say that this stuff is buzzing with bees.  Buzzzzing like crazy

Since we have absolute oodles of lavender, I decided to make a few arrangements with items that we already have on hand.  Ready to see?

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I think that this is an actual Martha Stewart pitcher.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

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This is a tall, modern vase that I like to keep in my kitchen window above the sink.

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This funky, modern looking vase was purchased at Michaels a couple of years ago.  My daughter likes to keep it in her room.

And lastly, this one:

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Just a simple jar that everyone, and their neighbor’s dog, has.  A drop of blue and a tiny drop of yellow food coloring makes the perfect aqua water.  A touch of raffia completes the look.

I’m loving having the outdoors, indoors today!  Four new arrangements and it didn’t cost me a dime.  Love that, too!  My home is lovely in lavender.  (Snicker!)

Now, why don’t you grab some scissors and a vase and go raid YOUR yard!  I promise you will be glad you did! (Just watch out for bees!)

 

(Check out the Link Parties that I like to link at)

2 Minute DIY: From Tank Top to Framed Art

Framed Flag Art

Got an extra 2 minutes?  It’s time for some lightning speed DIY!

We have all heard it said that sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box.  True in so many ways, including home décor.  Case in point, this black tank top with a cool metallic gold American Flag detail:

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I added the frame in this pic as a clue to my “out of the box” idea.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Of course you are, you smartie!

This tank was a child’s size that I got at my local thrift store in one of those “as much as you can shove in a bag for $5” sales.  I love those.   I can shove a LOT in a bag.  I have seen similar tank tops in my days of perusing thrift stores and garage sales.  My guess is that if you frequent these cheapo shopping venues, you are sure to run across frame-worthy art, as well.

You will notice that my frame in the above pic is black.  I just applied a couple of coats of off-white paint and scraped off bits when it was still a bit damp to reveal the black beneath.  FYI: I am not going to count that in my 2 minute (see my title) time frame.  My blog, my rules!  My thought is that you may already have a frame that you love that you don’t need to paint.  2 minutes:  Ready?  Begin!

Take apart the frame and use the glass (carefully) as your pattern to center your tshirt art.  Trace around it with a pencil, pen, whatever (a white colored pencil works great on black), then cut it out.  At this point you can just discard the glass, or keep it.  Your choice.  I tossed mine.  Now, just adhere the fabric to the cardboard back of the frame, making sure that it looks centered in the frame.  I used spray adhesive, but you can tape the edges down or in all honesty, you can just center it on the cardboard backing,

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…then stick it in the frame.  Voila!

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Makes me feel patriotic, just looking at it!  So, what are YOU going to frame as art?

 

 

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

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Witty Hoots

Thanks, to Brenna from Life After Laundry for picking this project as her favorite for Tips & Tricks week 10!  Another big “Thanks!” goes to Nemcsok Farms and Witty Hoots for picking this project/post as a Frugal Family Linky favorite!

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

 

Easy Floppy Bow (Using a Blouse Sleeve)

Remember this pillow that I made using a blouse that I recently bought at a thrift store?

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Well, I promised that I would show you how I made the floppy bow.  Remember?  I hate to break promises, so here we go.

For this bow, I used the sleeve portion of the blouse.  See here?

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First, cut off the cuff, like so:

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So far, so good?  See that fancy slit?  That is what helps make this easy bow so, well… easy.  You’ll see.

Now, just cut your fabric so it is slightly wider than you want your bow to be.  Basically 3 quick snips, don’t over-think it…it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Turn the fabric inside out and pin it, making sure to secure that slit well.  Then simply stitch the ends like so:

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Now here is where that little slit makes life easy.  Remove the pins and turn that baby inside out through the slit.  No need to sew it up, it is going to be hidden in the back of the bow.  You may notice that one side of the bow is a little wider than the other.  Since the fabric is so floppy, it really won’t be noticeable when you are done.  Trust me, it will be okay.

Now grab that cuff and cut it in half lengthwise

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Position this knot to form a bow and either sew to your desired tightness, or just add a touch of hot glue.  Trim the ends off then add a hair clip if wanted.  Done!

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Yep…that was pretty easy!