Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's About Time!!

So this is a non-CTMH post, but it's the easiest way to share a whole lot of pictures, so I'm going with it.  :-)  It's a very long post, with lots of pix, so you might want to grab your coffee and settle in for awhile.  :-)

 Right before Labor Day weekend, my husband says to me "Hey, We've got a long weekend ahead of us, why don't we re-do the kids' bathroom?"  Now, I've been talking about this exact project for quite a long time, but we've just never gotten around to actually deciding on doing it.  Luckily I've been researching what I wanted to do in there, so when he suggested actually doing it, I jumped right on that bandwagon!!

Here are a couple of pictures of the before:

Totally uninspired.  And messy.  And just plain gross  When we were building this house, my children were ages 7 and 4, so we purposefully did not add any upgrades to their shared bathroom.  We figured that to do so, we would essentially be throwing money out the window, since there was no doubt that our small, I mean children...would destroy the tiny space.  And we were right.  But now that we've been here almost 8 years, I was really itching to make it start looking a bit more sophisticated.  About time, right??

The first thing to do was to pick out a color scheme.  I started by picking out the shower curtain, and the teal blue color in the shower curtain really drew me in.

I love color on my walls, so I decided that the walls would mirror the teal.  In fact, the wall color I chose is called Venus Teal.  And I love the crisp contrast of white accents, so I knew that I wanted to work that in somehow too.  One of the projects I've been researching for months was how to paint bathroom cabinets, so I was excited to take our old, drab-looking, builder's grade oak cabinet and paint it a clean, simple white. 

I was so nervous, but after seeing so many great tutorials, I figured I really had nothing to lose.  I started by removing the drawers and doors, as well as the faceplates on the front (and learned how simple those are to remove!!  Who knew?). 

After sanding everything down to remove the varnish that protected the wood stain, I then primed it all with an oil-based primer.  I had read that oil-based would cover the wood grain a bit better than a water-based primer.  I primed one side, let it dry, then turned it over and primed the other side.  I lightly sanded everything again, with fine-grit sandpaper, then painted with a white semi-gloss latex paint (repeating the "paint-one-side-let-it-dry-flip-it-over-then-paint-the other-side" routine).  I should note that I used a high-quality brush to cut in the paint in the crevices, but I used a foam roller for everything else, so I wouldn't have brush stroke lines.
Here is the finished project:
 Hubby was busy painting the walls while I was painting the cabinets.  That went fairly quickly, but then we had to accessorize.  We happened to have a white vanity we brought with us from our previous house, but had not yet used it in this house.  After cleaning it up (think 8 years of dust here people), we decided it would look perfect!

A quick trip to Home Depot to get some new knobs, as well as a trip to Target for the sink accessories and new linens, and things were coming together.

 Then we got to the towel holder.  My kids are notorious for not using the towel rod that the builder installed.  Too much trouble to actually fold the towel, and place it over the bar.  Much easier to just shove it in there.  So I figured we would go with something that had hooks.  Home Depot had some really pretty hooks, which were an epic fail, as the towels just slid right off of them (there was a big round ball at the end, and the towel just couldn't "grab").  I really had something specific in mind, and no matter how hard I looked, and how many stores I went to, I just couldn't find what I wanted.  So I just decided I would make it.  After trolling the aisles at Home Depot (AGAIN!!...I was there 5 different times in the space of three days, LOL), I found these things near the crown molding section.  They are called plinthes, and are meant to go at the bottom of a door frame to finish off molding, so one end is unfinished and one end is sanded and routed. In this picture, they are placed unfinished end to unfinished end.

I thought I could glue them together, paint them white, and use some hat hooks.  I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the final results.

 Long post, but here's the before and after pix.  I know the lighting is terrible, sorry!


 Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Operation Smile Auction....

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to spend time with some other Close To My Heart Consultants in New Jersey, at a training conference called Leadershare.  What a fantastic trip!  We were lucky enough to have three of the Corporate Vice-Presidents there with us which just amazed me since the training was a relatively small group of consultants (about 120 of us).  Seriously, what company sends 3 of their top executives cross-country for such a small group?  For me, that just solidified the idea that Corporate CTMH really does care about the consultants, and is commited to making sure we have the best training available.

In addition to all the wonderful training (and awesome stamping goodies!!!) we received, one other hightlight of the weekend was the auction to raise funds for one of the charities CTMH supports, Operation Smile.  I was honored to be asked to donate a project for the auction.  After initially freaking out about what I was going to make, and having major self-doubt about whether I could create something that others would actually want to spend money for, I decided to create a home decor project.  I ended up making a canvas that can be used as a wall hanging.  Here is a picture (click on the picture to make it larger):

I was so humbled to have my artwork featured next to some other truly amazing art.  There are some seriously talented paper artists in Close To My Heart, y'all!!!! 

We went non-stop all weekend, and I came home and just crashed on the couch, but it was such a fun get-away.  Why don't you join me next time??  :-)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm baaaaaaack!!!!

Wow!  Has it really been almost 3 months since I've posted?  Time sure goes fast.  And a big huge apology to my followers.  My life has been so very crazy for the past 3 months, and that's all I'm going to say about that.  Let's just say everything is good now!

I had to come out of hiding to share a fantastic new customer special this month.  If you've ever thought about becoming a Close To My Heart consultant, NOW is the time!!  For this month only, new consultants will have the option of choosing a FREE Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge, or $100 in product credit with the purchase of a new consultant kit.  Now, the kit alone is valued at almost $300, but is available for purchase for only $99.  When you add in the value of the Cricut cartridge, or $100 free product, that means you receive almost $400 in products and supplies for only $99.  What a deal!!  Plus, as a consultant you are eligible for a discount on all CTMH products, as well as a built-in network of friends who also are addicted....ahem, I mean who love papercrafting as much as you.  :-)

Watch the video below for more information. 

I would love to add new friends to my team, and help you get your business started.  Please contact me if you have any questions!

Monday, December 12, 2011

So long, farewell.....

This is a sad post for me this week.....this post marks my last project and blog post as a member of the Heart2Heart Challenges design team.  I have had such a great time the past six months, using the challenges to really stretch my creative borders.  The other design team members have been wonderful to work with, and they are truly amazing (and TALENTED!!) women.

So this will be the last challenge of this year.  The new design team will ring in the New Year in January, and let me tell you, I can't WAIT to see what they have in store for us!  This week our challenge is to create a Holiday Wish for you, our blog readers.  I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Merry Kwanza (I'm not sure what they say, so please forgive me!), and in general, a very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  Thank you for being part of my life for the past 6 months, and please stop by often! 

Materials used: (all products are CTMH, unless noted otherwise):

-paper: Mistletoe Level 2 paper pack, Topiary cs, Sweet Leaf cs
-ink: Cranberry
-stamps:  Trinity alphabet stamp set
-embellishments: Color-Ready Alphabets Cork, Red Sparkles, Colonial White Waxy Flax, Art Philosphy Cricut Cartridge; Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder/Cuttlebug machine

Monday, December 5, 2011

Photo inspiration week!

This week we have an inspiration challenge for you at H2H.  Here is the inspiration photo: 
One of the things that jumped out at me when I saw this photo was the glittery lime green ornament.  I love to make these myself, and they are soooo easy to create, so I thought I would show you how.

The picture just doesn't do the ornament's glittery goodness justice, but if you click on it, you can see the shimmer a bit better (and also my reflection in the glass! LOL).

There are a million and one tutorials all over the internet that show you how to make these, so I'm just going to show you the basic steps.  Here is what you will need:

-re-inker in whatever color you choose
-clear glass ornaments
-ultra fine glitter (I used CTMH's prisma glitter)
-disposable rubber gloves
-small Dixie cups

I usually use the clear glass ornaments you can purchase pretty cheaply at any big box craft store.  Remove the top, and set aside.  Pour 20-30 drops of re-inker into the ornaments, and gently swirl so that the ink covers the entire ornament. 

It's important to do this slowly and gently.  Shaking the ornament results in air bubbles and uneven coverage.

When you've covered the entire inside with re-inker, place the ornament upside down in a Dixie cup.  This allows the excess re-inker to drain out, so that it doesn't puddle up at the bottom of the ornament.  Let it dry for about 10 minutes.  Remove the ornament, and wipe off the mouth of the top...sometimes ink likes to puddle here.  If you're not happy with your ink coverage at this point, you can simply rinse the whole thing out with water, and start again!

Once you're satisfied with the ink coverage, and have cleaned up the mouth, pour several tablespoons of glitter into the ornament.  Put on your rubber gloves, place a finger over the opening of the ornament, and shake, shake, shake, until the glitter covers the entire inside.  It's OK to add more if you need to.  Pour out any excess....warning:  the glitter will be dyed whatever color your re-inker is, so don't pour the excess directly back in to your glitter jar!  :-)

Put the top back on, and there you have it.  Blinged out ornaments!  These are really pretty all on their own, or you can jazz them up by adding vinyl to the outside, or using Staz-On ink to stamp an image.  I decided to make mine a Christmas gift for my daughter's Sunday School teacher, so I made this awesome little basket for it to sit in.  You can see Liza Stenz's fabulous video tutorial here -----> awesome basket tutorial.

So what inpsires you about that gorgeous picture up top?  We'd love to know!  Be sure to link it up at H2H's blog, and earn a chance to win some blog candy.  Make it a great week, and Happy Crafting!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sketch time!!

My post this week is going to be very, very brief.  Many of you know that I have had back issues, and had surgery in February.  I've recovered well, but I twisted wrong or something a few days ago, and it really really hurts to sit at a computer (don't know what I'm going to do at work this week!).  So, brief blog entry it is (it will make up for all the other posts where I tend to ramble on.....).

We have a sketch challenge at H2H this week.  Here is the sketch:

And here is my interpretation:
The stitches were hand stitched, using the amazing new Ruler to make guide holes.  I popped up the sentiment with some dimensional tape.  And of course I had to add some bling.  Here is a closer look:

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that everyone has a fantastic week this week!  My son plays in his first high school basketball game tonight, so I'm excited to see that.  Go Vikings!  :-)

Materials list (all products are CTMH, except where noted):
paper:  Mistletoe Level 2 (retired), Chocolate cardstock, Cranberry cardstock, Colonial White cardstock.
stamp set: Just for the Holidays
ink: Chocolate
embellishments and tools: Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain, Mocha Opaques, Colonial White Embroidery Floss, Ruler, Scalloped Punch,

Monday, November 21, 2011

In Time....

Last week I saw the movie "In Time", starring Justin Timberlake (man, I love him!).  The premise of the movie is that everyone stops aging at the age of 25, and only have one more year to live, unless they can "buy" more time.  It was an interesting concept, and I enjoyed the movie (but hey, really....JT on a big screen for 90 minutes?  What's not to enjoy?). 

Anyway, it got me thinking about time.  I recently returned to the work force, after being a stay-at-home mom for many years.  It has been a HUGE adjustment for all of us, and I sometimes think it would be great if we could just "buy" time, since I never seem to have enough!  This week's challenge at H2H is to create something using a "time" can use a clock, a saying about time, or anything else "time" related.  I chose to make a little desk calendar for my new desk.  The company I work for deals with an industry dominated by men, and there are definitely not a whole lot of frilly things in my office.  So I thought I'd make a little "pretty" for my desk.  Just something to look at and make me smile.  Here is how it turned out:
I used a simple 5x7 acrylic frame for my base (one of those little cheapie ones you can buy at Staples, to display flyers and things), and cut patterned paper to fit inside.  I then decorated the top of the frame with the calendar, an image cut out of Colonial White cardstock, and some bling.  I put the decorative paper clip on just to hold down the pages of the calendar.
This picture might give you a  better idea of how I layered it....

The calendar was stamped using the Month by Month stamp set.  I started with December 2011, and stamped a page for the next 12 months.  I then glued them all together, using this tutorial I found on Pinterest (can I just say how much I LOVE Pinterest!).  I used a different glue than the one suggested in the tutorial, though (I used Elmer's Craft Bond Tacky Glue, but I think any thick, white glue that dries clear would work).  It was super easy, and I can think of 101 ways to use my own note pads!  :-)

Once the calendar was stamped, I simply adhered it to the top of the frame using some red-line tape (in this case, Terrifically Tacky Tape).  Added the image and the bling, and Voila!  Desk calendar!  I can't wait to bring it in to the office, although I'm sure my boss will think I'm crazy.  :-)

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope all my American friends have a blessed Thanksgiving this week.  Be sure to take some time for yourself, and get a little crafting done, using a "time" theme.  Then link it on up at Heart2Heart Challenges!  We love to see what you create!

Materials used (all products CTMH, unless noted otherwise):
-paper:  Perfect Day Level 2 paper pack (retired), Colonial White cs, Tulip cs
-ink: Tulip, Juniper
-stamp sets: Month by Month, Key Moments
-embellishments: Perfect Day My Stickease, Clear Sparkles, Martha Stewart Scoring Board, sanding block, decorative paper clip from my home office desk drawer....