October 2011 - Dimples and Tangles

Hair Bow Help!



Happy Monday everyone and Happy Halloween!  I still need to pick up some candy today to be ready for all of the little visitors tonight.  


I have nothing overly fabulous to share today, just a bit of organization that was very much needed.  Although, it feels pretty fabulous to me!  This was my problem area: (or at least one of them!  Trying to tackle one little spot at a time.)




Emily's bow drawer.  It drove me batty to know which one I wanted each morning and spend 5 minutes digging through the pile trying to find it.  That 5 minutes is PRECIOUS before school in the morning routine!  I'd been wanting to get the majority of them out of the drawer for a while and finally did something about it.  This was a 10 minute project that has made all of the difference.


Nothing about this project is new or original, just helpful!  I took 3 strips of ribbon, some metal rings left over from curtain ring clips, and 3 flowers. Using a dab of hot glue I folded over the end of the ribbon around a ring and secured it.  After pulling the heads of the flowers off of the stem, I glued them to the ribbon, covering the ring so it wouldn't show.  I also pulled off the center of the flower and replaced it with a little jewel.




One quick tip: I discovered after these were finished and hanging up that the ribbon wasn't thick (bulky) enough to hold the barrettes and keep them from sliding down.  So, I just took another strip of the thinner black ribbon and hot glued it to the back of the one already on the ring (like a ribbon sandwich with hot glue down the middle) and it worked like a charm.




Voila!  3 nails in the wall and we are set up!  The hair-fixing process has been so much smoother and quicker since we can readily see our choices, and they don't get all squished in the drawer.




And this is how her drawer looks now.  Amazingly it's stayed like this for a few weeks since we cleaned out.  A place for everything, and everything in it's place.




Besides getting ready for this evening's festivities, here's what's going on around here today:




And, I'm hoping to have a massive garage sale this weekend, so I'm pulling and pricing.  
It's now or never...we need our garage back!
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Sunday Morning Scripture




"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
-1 Corinthians 15:58
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Life's A Stage



Last night was the annual Senior Adult Fall Banquet at our church and I was asked to come up with a way to decorate the stage.  It's kind-of difficult to think of ideas for something like this - it's a big space, tall ceilings, low budget, etc.  I hunted around on the web and Pinterest a little but didn't come up with anything too inspiring.  Just not a lot out there for decorating at a church!


A few weeks ago I attended a local holiday craft-type sale.  The sponsors did a good job of decorating the common areas, and one thing I noticed was that they hung big thick branches horizontally along a curtained wall and dangled ornaments from the sticks.  That got me thinking about the sticks, and as that stewed in my brain for a few days I decided to do big clusters of sticks all around the stage and fill in around them.  It was free, big and dramatic, and filled up the space well.  


I cleared everything off of my front porch and added those things in, and a friend brought up a park bench to use as well.  I went outside my back fence and gathered branches from what my husband had trimmed off of our trees sometime earlier in the summer.  Free, free, free!  The only cost for the stage set up was $6.00 for the tissue paper for the poms.  Pretty good!  


Here's the result...the pictures are never as good as real life.  It's hard to take good pictures in a room with no windows and fluorescent lights!






I used some thick burlap-type fabric pieces that I had to wrap around all of the branch containers to unify them.  Some of them are just trash cans and vases!






I followed this very simple tutorial for the poms.  I love them.  (The dark one is really chocolate brown.  It looks plum-colored here!)




The table decorations were done by a friend who organized the event.  They were beautiful.  Table centerpieces can be difficult because I always want something big and showy, but one has to remember that everyone seated at the table should be able to see around it.  


She used styrofoam pumpkins and covered them with faux mums.  I've seen this done with a real pumpkin and fresh flowers, but this is a great alternative if you want to be able to reuse year after year.


Lanterns were purchased at Ikea and will be used for many church functions in the future.  For the event the candles were lit and placed inside.




This arrangement was on the grand piano.  

I've already been recruited to help with decorations at our Women's Retreat in January (Thanks D!).  We're racking our brains for ideas now and I'll share pics after that event.  If you have any ideas to share, I'd love to hear them!  The theme is "Life's A Trip" and we'll be going with a "trip" theme...vintage suitcases, maps, etc.  Suggestions?


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We're Being Invaded



If you have young boys, please tell me your house looks like this too:








(No, I haven't dusted that spot in a while.)












It used to drive me crazy, but now I try to let it be a gentle reminder that it won't be like this for long...and treasure each moment.





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Sassy Ceiling Fans



This is more of an "after" than a "before and after", since this was a project that I did before I started blogging and taking pictures of everything. I think you'll get the idea though.

When we moved in to our current 15 year old home 4 1/2 years ago, all of the fixtures were original.  The previous owner who had built the house made some very good choices on many of the "bones" of the house, but it was definitely time for some updating.  We did a lot of painting, tiling, wallpaper stripping, etc. very quickly after we moved in and all of the lighting needed updating.  Although I don't have a before photo, I'm sure you would recognize the shiny white and brass combo that used to be in the bedrooms.

I had already repainted the children's bedrooms and went in search of new lighting.  I really would have liked to ditch the fans in favor of something more decorative.  But, we live in Oklahoma and we use our fans in the bedrooms every night, usually throughout most of the winter as well.  So, practicality won out on this one.  I went to a couple of local home improvement stores ready to purchase new fans and could not find anything that caught my eye.  Everything was just boring, too "old" looking, or just unattractive. 

The fans were still in good working order, so I decided to work with what I had.  I had covered fan blades in my son's nursery in a former house, so that gave me inspiration to do something fun with those. In addition to improving the blades we stepped it up a bit and decided to re-vamp the entire fixture.  We (meaning my husband) un-installed the fans and took off the blades.  I took all of the brassy metal parts outside and sprayed them a metallic bronze, and took the bases that attach to the ceiling and painted them the color that I wanted to complement the room.

In Caleb's room I had originally wanted to paint a wall with rugby-type multi-colored stripes, but we were in a time crunch when painting and I knew that would take WAY too long.  So, I transferred the plan to his fan and ended up with this:


MUCH BETTER than the original and much more personal than anything I could have found at the store.  I taped off the blades and painted them with acrylic paint and then applied poly as a top coat.  I also replaced the clear glass globes with some $2 opaque globes from Wal-Mart.






We did this about 4 years ago and it has held up really well! 


Originally I painted Emily's fan light pink.  The blades were pink with green polka dots.  Couldn't find a picture of that, but I've just redone her fan to go along with her new room, so you just get to see that one.  It's more fun anyway. 


I was lazy this time and didn't even take it down to paint it.  I taped newspaper straight to the ceiling, taped off all of the bronze metal parts that I wanted to keep, and removed the blades and globes.  Then, I put tarps on everything underneath me and sprayed the turquoise on the base right where it was.  I may or may not have had to touch up a few blue spots on the white ceiling afterwards.


For the blades on this one, I chose one of the fabrics that I used in her room and traced the outline of the blade on it.  When cutting the shape out, I cut about 1/8 of an inch inside the line so the fabric would be slightly smaller than the wood.  I was also careful to line up each blade on the same part of the pattern in the fabric so that they would all match.



Then, I applied the fabric with mod-podge (underneath the fabric) and also did a layer over the top of the fabric and around the edges of the blade to "seal" the fabric on.  I did 3 or 4 coats of the mod-podge (following the directions as far as drying times in between coats, etc.) to make certain that the fabric was sealed well and wouldn't peel and start flapping off as the fan rotated.



I finished if off with a splash of color with the red prisms, which I dug out of my Christmas ornament stash (I think they were from Target in years past)  and tied to the ball chain with cute ribbon.  



I'm so glad I spent the time to re-do these rather than giving up a few hundred dollars to buy new ones.  I love their colors and the personality they bring to the room.  Now I don't mind having the fans in there at all! (Except when it's time to clean them!) 





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Sunday Morning Scripture


"For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."
Psalm 84:11


Happy Birthday Dad!  


I love you very much!


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My Shell Was Broken

Remember this post where I showed you my favorite purchase from Atlanta?



Well, this is actually what I pulled out of the box when it arrived at my home:


Aaaahhh!  Actually, I had prepared myself for something to be broken.  I just expected it.  I really thought that it might be broken in half, but this break turned out to be much better that a clean split would have been.  This one wasn't too hard to fix.

I started by gathering up all of the pieces I could find in the box.  I could hear some rattling around inside the shell, so I shook and shook until they all fell out.  There were about a million (almost ;-).  My first plan was to try to piece and glue them all back together, but the more I thought about it I knew that wouldn't work.  This thing is heavy and the broken part is on the bottom, right where all of the weight would rest.  

So, I brainstormed with my sister and she suggested trying clay.  Brilliant idea!  I went to Hobby Lobby and picked this one.  I had no idea what kind to get other than I knew I wanted a clay that would air-dry.


As soon as I opened the box the smell transported me back to my elementary school art class.  We got to do a clay project each year and that wet, gray, mushy clay triggered many memories of those times.  I got to work mashing big globs of the clay into the hole.  I filled it totally in and molded the ridges along the top to match what was already there.


The clay was super easy to work with, and I just added a little bit of water to my fingers if it started to get too dry. 


I wanted to try and match the texture of the shell, so I found an old bottle brush under my sink and pressed the bristles in to match the spots that were already on the shell.  I also used a knife to make long ridges. 


The package did state that the clay would shrink as it dried, so this is what I had the next day:


I thought about filling it in with more clay and letting it dry again, but I thought I would just keep having the same problem with the shrinking.  The clay that was there and dry was nice a solid and attached well, so I just grabbed a tube of paintable caulk and filled in the cracks.  I smoothed it out a little with my fingers when all of the holes were filled in and let it dry.  

Everything looked good!  I picked out a few colors of craft paint and mixed the best I could to match the shell and here's the result:  


I'm happy with how it turned out, considering the big hole I started with!  It's now sitting happily on the dresser in my entry way full of gourds and pumpkins. 


  

The next time we take a trip, I'm buying something small!



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A Beautiful Sight



It's finally coming...and only 1.2 miles from my house!  We have TWO on the other side of town, 30 minutes away, but I'm so ready to be able to pop in here often!
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What We've Been Up To

Just a few things our family has been doing...


We spent a few hours on a gorgeous evening at the State Fair.  Always lots of interesting things (and people!) to see there.


The food theme this year...chocolate covered anything.  How about those chocolate covered corn dogs with sprinkles?

The kids were very happy with their standard sweet treats.  That big bag of cotton candy was supposed to be for everyone to share, but Emily ate almost the entire thing by herself.  

Ooooooh, Aaaaaaah.

Look closely to spot 2 Bison who were trained to jump on the back of a flatbed and run up a ramp on to the top of a horse trailer.  Amazing.  For you OBU grads...BISON, GO WITH KA-RIP!

School Picture Day-I snapped a few shots outdoors before they left.  Typical Emily.


Caleb just wrapped up his first season of baseball.  He loved it and played hard for his "rookie" year (his words).  The team came out fairly well with a 6-3-1 record.  Way to go Oklahoma Iron!


I decided it's high time for my children to have a few more responsibilities around the house.  They are already responsible for several chores, but folding laundry was added this weekend.  Not a perfect job, but they're learning and I didn't have to fold the whites.  Yay me!  (Excuse the junk around in the picture...I was in the middle of a project.)

Caleb performed in his 5th grade program at school.  I cannot believe that he has reached his last year in Elementary school.


Finally, we had a classic movie night and the kids saw E.T. for the first time.  Better than I remembered it and they loved it.  Emily's favorite part was when E.T. brought the Reese's Pieces back to Elliot and Caleb's favorite was the chase scene at the end where the boys fly across town on their bicycles.
(Warning-there were a few inappropriate words but I'm hoping they went right over my kids' heads!)

All right, that's the update from the Griffin house!  What fun things have you done with your family lately?
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