February 12th, 2013
So my husband is out of town for work and I don’t know why, but I get more done when he’s NOT here. Maybe because I just want to hang out with him once the kids are in bed. Without him here, I can spend more time on my laptop and more time tidying etc. Anyway I was going through my blog last night looking for some pictures to share with a friend, and I really loved reading it! I loved seeing all my weekly updates, about my son and the home renovations. It’s such a great record of our lives, and I’m mad/sad that I haven’t given it the time (or had the time) to blog much since getting pregnant and having a second baby. I need to re-commit and really make it a priority – heaven knows I still waste plenty of time even with 2 kids and a job – so I just need to get into the habit of filling wasted time with blogging instead of wasting it. Like right now – I nursed the baby at 5 am and can’t go back to sleep – I could just surf the internet or I could actually do something worth while! Oh and I’m so sorry about my poor grammar, my brain has officially stopped working since having baby 2 and I can hardly construct working sentences. Please forgive me!! On a side-note I’m now on Instagram – so follow me there – /theprojectgirl
In my blog reading last night, I came across my Goodbye 2011 post and LOVED reading it so much that I knew I needed to do one for 2012 even though we’re 6 weeks into 2013. I guess thats better than 6 months into 2013. Better late than never. So without further ado (sorry about so much ado)…
I became a mom… again
Was way too lazy while pregnant (I think I don’t like being pregnant very much at all)
Was really happy to NOT be pregnant those last two months
Gained and lost 20lbs
Finished renovating our home
Relied on my husband more
Relied on God more
Missed my extended family a lot
Watched my baby turn into a boy
Purchased a lot of toys (who knew you needed so many?)
Traveled a little
Decorated a lot
Stretched my time within an inch of it’s life
Spent way too much time on my computer/phone/ipad and too little of it with my babies
Spent too little time nurturing my relationship with my husband (I promise I’ll do better in 2013!)
Made a few life-long friends
Learned how much I am loved
Was blessed way way more than I deserve.
Word of the year: FULL
Our home, hearts, and hands are full, and I couldn’t be happier.
Professional Images courtesy of Julia Bender and Kelli Nicole
January 7th, 2013
I’ve been slowly plugging away at organizing and re-organizing our kitchen. I recently showed you my spice jar drawer:
And I figured it was time to tackle the pantry. We have a large cabinet pantry – you can see it here on the far left next to the fridge:
Here’s what it looks like with the door open (this was after I reorganized it):
And here’s the top drawer (there are two and they are massive):
This photo was obviously taken after the organization :p I love this drawer because it fits full-sized cereal boxes, and keeps all the bread items accessible and off the counter tops.
In my organizing I came across this drawer that we’ve been using to store TONS of used jam jars and salsa jars. I couldn’t part with them because they were glass and so pretty, but I was about ready to because we have tons of them. Some I’ve been using to hold misc pantry items like small amount of left-over pasta, raisins, chocolate chips, tea bags, stevia packets etc. And a bunch were just empty.
I organized that drawer in the pantry and filled most of the empty ones and cleaned it up and it looked like this:
Which is pretty good, but I wasn’t in love with all that red gingham, and it’s hard to tell what is inside of them from above. So I thought about making some sort of label to put on the lids, but that seemed like a lot of work especially if the contents do end up changing. So then, I wondered if I could spray-paint the lids with some of my handy-dandy chalkboard paint, and then just write on the lids what each one contained.
I consulted with Mr. Project who was confident that the lids would take the paint, and then I filled up a make-shift paint booth (cardboard box) with lids and painted.
The painting went well and stuck okay. No problems getting them to take the paint (though make sure they are all clean and free of grease). They can scratch though with a sharp nail or object. You could prime or sand before the spray paint to avoid this, or possibly paint, write your contents, and then clear-coat. But then you wont be able to change what the lid says… which could be fine depending on your storage system. I just painted them and am okay with any scratching here or there – these odds & ends don’t get too much every-day use, so I don’t think they’ll show wear too quickly. And since this is a repurpose project it doesn’t need to last forever. I also recommend using a chalk marker if you don’t want your lids to smudge.
After seeing my horrible chalk-handwriting, Mr. Project volunteered to write the labels for me:
And there you have it, a much more chic drawer of pantry odds & ends. And best part is it was all using stuff that I already had. Yay for free projects!
December 22nd, 2012
Firstly let me just apologize for not being around. I gave birth to my second son Leo on the 30th of October, and getting back into the swing of things with a toddler and a newborn is much more difficult than I realized. I think we are finally hitting our stride though and I feel like I’m figuring it all out, at least for the moment. I still need to compile some photos and tell my birth story for my family’s record, so that will be coming soon. But for now I just wanted to get a quick Merry Christmas posted (so you know I’m still around) along with a freebie.
As a designer, I like having complete flexibility with my tools including my die-cutting machine. I had been using a Cricut Expression in conjunction with the SCAL software in order to be able to cut any shape that I designed or downloaded, but I was never completely happy with the whole “work-around” for the Cricut (and their lawsuits towards 3rd party vendors), and so I finally caved and bought a beautiful new Silhouette Cameo which has an amazing free software suite that suits my needs perfectly especially in conjunction with my Adobe Illustrator software. My first project was this christmas banner and 3-d trees. The Cameo was so easy to set up with my MacBook Air laptop and everything just worked so smooth and seamless that I could hardly believe that I didn’t have any issues.
The paper I used is the All is Bright collection by Rhonna Farrer from My Minds Eye. I love how the patterns and colors are more subtly Christmas, which is just what I wanted for my decorations. I also wanted glitter letters and brainstormed several ways to get glitter letters on the flags. What I ended up doing was buying this double-sided adhesive paper - Grafix 9-Inch-by-12-Inch Archival Double Tack – you can also try the Silhouette Double-Sided Adhesive Paper. And I cut out “MERRY” from the Peony Pro Font and then attached the die-cut double-tack to the flags and pealed back the cover paper and poured glitter on it. It turned out perfectly and was pretty easy (the hardest part was getting the hang of peeling the adhesive paper backing.
I just love how the whole thing turned out, simple and elegant.
I also wanted to create some 3D trees out of paper. These are great because they stand up and only require one 12×12 sheet of paper to create.
To make one tree, you cut out 3 tree shapes, score them down the middle (I use this awesome Martha Stewart Scoring Board ) and adhere the wrong sides to each other to create a 3-d standing tree.
This is a super quick and easy way to decorate a small space or party table.
And lucky you, I’m giving away the cut files for the trees. Click the image below to download the ZIP file. The ZIP file contains a .SVG file, a .DXF (for the silhouette), and a .JPG file for those of you without a cutter.
Enjoy making some trees and have a wonderful holiday season!
I’ll be home with my family snuggling this little guy:
October 8th, 2012
One of the great things about the opportunity to guest for Jen is that the product she sent fit in perfectly with my own stash!
It’s Sharmaine here again, with another layout using My Mind’s Eye “The Sweetest Thing”.
This time I thought I would twist it up a little and I’ve used Jen’s “Bluebell” range on a girl layout, a page about our neice.
I just love the blues and yellows in this range!
Yes, it is one of my favourite colour combos!
The little details in each product are amazing.
Just check out this scalloped chipboard piece.
and because I loooove the chipboard buttons so much I ran out *insert sad, pouty face*
I wasn’t sad long.
I used my trusty little circle punch and made some button shapes out of the stunning pattern papers.
Yes, that is a monkey eraser you see before you!
I love finding different things to use as embellishments.
This little cluster shows just how easy it is to fit the “Bluebell” embellishments and stickers into a cluster
Gosh I love all those little bits!
Bluebell 6×6 Designer Paper Pad
Bluebell “Smile” Enamel Dots
Bluebell “Remember” decorative buttons
Bluebell “Bright” Chipboard elements
Bluebell “smile” stickers
Bluebell “Bright” Tiny Word stickers
Bluebell “Playful” Label stickers.
October 1st, 2012
Well I kind of went crazy this year… I know I haven’t posted about this yet, but a few months ago we tore out our old fireplace surround and Mr. Project built a whole new set of built-ins plus a new mantel. We also had some snazzy new tile installed as well. So this year I had almost 3 times as much mantel space to decorate, so I focused my efforts on a big Halloween mantel display. I’ll post about the mantel later.
I reused all my decorations from last year, and added a bunch of new jars and some new artwork to the space. I also finished two projects that I tried to get to last year – a chalkboard art piece and an urn with branches and ravens.
My banner from last year stored really really well and was quick and easy to re-hang. If you’re interested in building a similar banner, it might be easier now because these Lost & Found Halloween papers have been manufactured by My Mind’s Eye and are available for purchase at most any scrapbooking retailer.
Here is the overall pic:
I tried to mostly incorporate my existing shelf decor though I did remove a few things here and there. I’ve still got a little bit of filler to add, but I like to pick up clearance items after Halloween, so you’ll have to wait till next year to see it more fluffed up. Here are a few detail shots:
(I have already been informed that I spelled Werewolf wrong)
You can see my Doctor sign and my apothecary shop sign. I designed and printed these and placed them in frames that were already on top of the shelves. I’ll probably have these printables available to purchase in my Digital Shop sometime this week along with my new apothecary labels (the labels from last year are already available).
I also took some of my Lost & Found Halloween papers (with orange glitter) and cut them to fit in some of the smaller frames I had already in the bookshelves. I just placed the images over the glass, so they’ll be really easy to remove and store for next year. I found some old western ephemera type photos online and printed them to fit portrait sized frames to give a little spooky feel to the space.
And then this year I finally got around to my chalk art piece. Last year I bought the chalkboard (with the lace edging printed on it)from Grandin Road. I loved it and wanted to do something cool, but just ran out of time and energy. This year, since all my decorations were pretty much done, I spent the time to create some chalk word art.
It looks so fun in the space, and hopefully will last years to come!! Here’s a quick tutorial on how I did it.
This is the board to begin with (notice the creepy baby hand prints on the bottom lol):
I designed the type and layout on my computer (using illustrator), and then printed it out. The finished size is 18×32 – I printed on three 12×18 sized papers and then taped them together.
Once I knew it all fit and looked good, I did a very elementary transfer by rubbing graphite pencil lead on the back of my printout. Some sort of opaque projector would work really great, but I don’t have one of those and I figured that this would just be the easiest way to transfer my image over and prepare it for the chalk. You’ll want to tape this in place with the correct side showing (not this ugly side).
Here you can see I’ve done some of the chalk work, but more importantly you can see the graphite transfer. So if you don’t remember from elementary school, you place the design right-side up and then just hand trace with a pencil (or other hard instrument – pen, embossing tool , etc. ) and the graphite that you rubbed on the back will transfer over to the chalkboard anywhere you trace.
I did mine in sections. I’d trace and then pull back my printout and do the chalk work. I used a white chalk marker instead of chalk, and was really pleased with it. I tested some chalk sticks and since they were brand new, they just didn’t go on the surface very well, also it could be the quality of the chalkboard etc. But either way I was really happy with how the chalk marker worked. I had tons of control and it does not smudge at all once it’s dry. So I didn’t have to worry about any mistakes after I was done with a section. It will come off with water though, so watch your kids and their sippy cups! I’m going to pick up some spray fixative to hopefully keep it looking good for many years to come.
I used a ruler to do my straight lines – worked like a charm!
And here is the final outcome! I would say start to finish (not including the design work), it took me about 5 hours to do. Really not that bad, and no hand cramps afterwards. I did only use one marker, but I kept thinking it was going to die after the first section, so definitely stock up if you are doing a big design. Oh and it was way easier to draw cursive then block lettering, so if you’re doing the design, use a lot of cursive type!