Thursday, May 27, 2010

Refinished Finds

Well! Let me tell you, this has been one busy house lately and I finally have something to show for myself.

As you know, I am a huge fan of finding great bargains. Who isn't? Anyway, I found two cast iron benches for sale on Craigslist a while ago. They were in fine working (sitting-on) condition, but the previous owners had done a poor paint job and the paint was peeling badly. In other words, I got a great deal on the pair!

As soon as I found them I knew I wanted to refinish them in a fun color to spruce up my yard a bit. And that's exactly what I did.

Here's the before picture, taken while I was power-washing the little monsters. Notice the lovely previous paint job on the bench in the rear:

Once they were dry, I primed them with a spray-on metal primer. Other than the resulting tired finger, this step was incredibly easy and will keep the paint from chipping off:

After the primer set, I painted them. I LOVE the color! I used Behr outdoor paint/primer-in-one paint. The color is called Dragonfly:

So happy to have that project finished and my yard looking happier! FYI: Behr paint is on sale this Memorial Day weekend ($5 off/gallon; $20 off/5-gallon). Now get painting!

Later, crafters,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Swap it!

Do you have growing kids?
The kind that you buy a pair of shoes for and they don't fit a week later?
You may be interested in hosting a children's swap! I first read this swap idea in Real Simple magazine. With three growing kidlets, it sparked an idea for a clothing swap - children's style!

How to get started:
I first emailed everyone I knew that had kids. Tall kids, small kids, thin kids and chubby too!
No one was going to be excluded, all ages and sizes were needed to have a successful swap.
We had a great turn out of about 13 people. Overall, it was like playing store! And I actually got to keep some great things for my own kids!

Rules of the swap:
No stains or rips in clothing, good tread on shoes, working toys, books without damage
Don't donate anything to the swap that you have a hard time parting with.
Be respectful and don't hoard.
Come prepared to spend your points!

Our Point System
The points you award your items are the points you will “spend”. Please be fair.
Use sticker labels to mark your items. Include the number of points the item earned in your eyes, as well as your initials or name on the sticker if you want your items back after the swap.
Items not picked up by a certain date are donated to good will.

Each item is given a certain number of points
Point system is on a scale of 1-5

1 point - used condition from a lower end store like Walmart,
3 points - great condition from mid level store like target/Old Navy
5 points - brand new from high end name brand like Janie and Jack/Nordstrom
Free Pile - clothing with minor stains, games/toys with a one or two missing pieces, etc...

Basically, the points are like dollars.
Most people kept their items middle of the road; 2, 3, or 4 points.

We used simple labels like these below.
Stick on the front of the items, or inside on the tag.
Be organized:
- Plan the swap out one month to give people time to sort through their things.
- Keep track of points so everyone can be reminded of how many points they have to shop with.
- Have bags or bins labeled with gender and sizes to put items in when people drop them off.
- Delegate to friends! It will be easier to set up with some help setting up and taking down.

I had two girls I was donating from, and 1 baby boy. So I had a hefty point tab racked up. I didn't spend what I donated, but I was okay with that! I basically traded things I couldn't use anymore, for things that my kids needed now or in the near future! Not to brag, but Baby Boy has a full wardrobe now for the entire next year. Woot!

Our Swap looked like this:
Sorry for the random shoe in the middle of the floor...

Luckily I had a large space to hold this swap. Customize it to your group.
Make it as casual or fancy as you wish!

Don't be intimidated. It didn't take as much time as it looks.
You just have to be organized. You can be thrifty and stylish at the same time!

Have fun swapping!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Relish! on Jasmere

Have you heard of Jasmere? It's a cool deal-a-day site I've recently fallen in love with. The more buyers, the lower the price for the daily deal!

Anyway, I just had to share today's deal: a 6-month subscription to Relish!, a cool family- and budge-friendly weekly meal planning service.

Relish! creates meal plans you can choose from each week. Choose your favorites and they'll give you the recipes, shopping lists and tips for the entire week's dinner planning (including freezer meals!). How cool is that?

Currently the deal is $11 for a 6-month subscription. As more people sign up for today's deal, the price will drop. It may end up at $10 or $6 by the end of the deal. The regular cost is $7/month, so a 6-month subscription would normally cost $42. Talk about a great discount!

I'm all over this deal. Can you imagine how much time this will save me? Now I won't have to stare in my fridge and pantry for 40 minutes wondering what to make! I am the WORST dinner planner in the world. Who's with me?!

Happily printing off my grocery list,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Family Bound Mom

Have you ever met any one who doesn't like free stuff?

I found the "big one" when it comes to deals, and you will definitely find more than one awesome deal for your liking. Coupons, activities, food, ALL FOR FREE or close to it!

Check out Family Bound Mom! A new blog about all things FREE!
Although baby boy just turned one, I couldn't help but use my free canvas print code on this little picture below from Canvas People. I can't wait to see how it turns out! I should receive it in about 10 business days, and all I had to pay was shipping and handling for $14.95!

Don't wait too long, all of the deals don't last forever. I can't wait to hear what you all get!
Off to more freebie shopping. :)


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday Paper Hat Tutorial

I hope you all had a fantastic Mother's Day celebrating the mothers in your lives. I did! And now it is back to the real world where I have to make my own breakfast.
Ah well, It was good while it lasted.

I figured I would cheer you all up with a fun and easy tutorial. This one re purposes, recycles, and revamps your little gal's dress-up wardrobe all in one! First shown to me by my friend Mia, so that we could bring the fancy back to the party {hats}!

Sunday Paper Hats
- One Sunday Paper
- Masking tape
- Some or all of the following: Feathers, boa's, flowers, leaves for embellishing
- Hot Glue :)

You knew I was going to have hot glue on the list didn't you?

This is where is gets fun, and silly. Even the boys will want to make one!

1. Take 3-4 sheets of newspaper and lay them over your models little head. Make sure to spread them out a little each way. The more volume the better!

2. Grab the masking tape and wrap, wrap, wrap, all around your models head. Make sure the tape stays on their for head and above their ears so that it doesn't get "stuck". They might want to use this more than once!

3. Now take the edges of the paper and roll it inward!

4. Take the hat off your models head.

5. Embellish! Glue anything fancy on. It is more fun for him/her to decorate it on their own. If you are feeling really creative, use real flowers! Or better yet... toys! Who said a hat can't have sponge bob sitting on top? Go crazy!

Voila! You have a fancy recycled Paper Hat!

Would you like some tea with that?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Making Pepper Proud

Pepper! I hope you're proud of me, woman. I was so inspired by your Mother's Day card post I actually made Mother's Day cards.

Unheard of!

I mean, I made cards. For the moms!

I used some very cute butterfly paper from the paper packs I purchased to make my family room Mod Podge wall art, and because I couldn't find glue anywhere (can't say that surprised me) I actually used Mod Podge as my adhesive.

I very skillfully maneuvered a random box cutter replacement blade to cut out the butterflies (I know, I need to get a safer razor...), then skipped on over to my friend Christy's house to borrow her paper cutter. Have I mentioned Christy is an amazing card-maker? Cutest cards ever.

Anyway, she helped me fix up the edges of my cards, gave me these great tiny rhinestones and voila!

Hope the moms love 'em, because they are in the mail and on their merry ways! What do you think? Good enough for a second-time card maker?

Patting myself on the back,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last minute Gifts...

For those of you who don't have time to make something this Mother's Day you are in luck!
The Silver Loft Jewelry is having a sale! Clearing out all of the Winter inventory to make room for some new designs. Buy any necklace and choose an earring pair of your choice for free! No coupon necessary, but make sure to let the seller know which pair of earrings you want, and they will magically appear when the rest of your order arrives!

Silver Heart Pink Pearl Necklace

Most items are one of a kind, so make sure you order quick if you have your eye on something!
By the way...Happy Happy Cinco De Mayo!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother's Day Cards!

Sometimes the best gift is something you say...

Tell them how much they mean to you, what you are thankful for from them...all that jazz.
My favorite gifts from my kids are always things made by them! I will still love things made by my children when they are adults. Unless it is a picture frame with pieces of macaroni from a 30 year old. That is something that is only cute from a 5 year old. You get my drift though right? Once she is 30, maybe she will be crafting her life away like her mama and giving me something super cute like these below from Two Dogs Wood Working!

Double opening 5x7 Memory Keeper Sonoita Blue white trim photo picture frame

Anyway, on to the point of this blog post! If you are too afraid of making something really extravagant, or just don't have the time, give a home-made card along with your gift. Remember the heart cut-out cards that we made in February? Use my tutorial to make some adorable Mother's Day cards like these below!

Simple Butterfly 3D Set - Cut Out Card - Eco-Friendly, Recycled Greeting Card with Envelope

Butterfly Mother's Day card

These adorable ideas came from the Ruby Wren designs and Basil and Betty shops from ETSY. If you don't already know about that ETSY, you are missing out. It is an entire WORLD of handcrafted goods. You can find some much needed inspiration. Or maybe you are just looking for the perfect unique gift for that special someone - which is perfect for Mothers Day because our mother's are pretty darn special if I do say so myself.

Have fun last minute crafting (or shopping),


Monday, May 3, 2010

Gina Miller Giveaway Winners!

The time has come...
Announcing the winners of the Gina Miller Giveaway!!!

The winner of the adorable Bitty Baby Actions is...


Who said...
"LOVING THE ACTIONS! And love the name... we have a bitty baby doll... named bitty... and she goes with us everywhere! :) I tried to become a fan on Facebook... can't figure it out! HELP ME! :) LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR SITE! You have the best ideas! ... Now how do you have time to do all of this! Wonder Women! I am posting you on my blog right now! Darling!"

We see you figured us out on Facebook too. ;)
Congratulations on your win of these actions! We hope you will love them. Please contact us at for the details.

Don't stop reading...

The winner of the $20 gift certificate for digital scrapbooking goodies of their choice from
Gina Miller is...


Congratulations to you Stacy! Thank you so much for following us on Facebook!

Contact us at for details!

And for the rest of you who didn't win, don't let that scare you away...
Please keep coming back for more ideas and more future giveaways!

A big Thank You to Gina Miller Designs.
We love your Lily Pad Shop and can't wait to see what you all do with her great designs!