Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tightwad Tuesday: Wood Slice Chalkboard Art

Hey there, friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. Labor Day is bittersweet, isn't it? As the last gasp of summer, it's a chance to whoop it up one last time; with school buses around the corner (if they're not on your street already) and the leaves tinged with a hint of color, we look forward to the good things fall brings but if you're like me...you also know you'll miss summer's sweetness and want it back with desperation in just a few short months. May you hold onto your summer memories until it comes around again...

So anyway...on to today's post. Guys, I don't mean to be a tease but I'm gonna show you another element of our new gallery wall today (pssst...did you see my yarn art last week?) without showing you the whole wall. Why? Well, because I'm eeking out as many posts as I can from this project, quite frankly.

I shared some cool things you can do with wood slices (or tree rounds, if you prefer--I never know what to call them) a couple of weeks ago and LO and behold, what did I find immediately upon walking into our local Goodwill? Yep! A wood slice. Except this is what it looked like.

Heavily varnished with a 1970s patina and yep, that's a poem. Sold.

Brought it home and sanded the heck out of it...

Then taped the edge carefully so I could maintain its natural shape (you'll see how I overlapped lots of short pieces of tape to achieve curves)...

After a coat of chalkboard paint, I had my first piece of chalkboard art. Yes, I'm slow to jump on the bandwagon. So here it is, sporting the year of our wedding, in celebration of our upcoming 12th anniversary.

Can I just say...I'm in looooove!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School: Paper Organization 101

Hey there and Happy Thursday! Have your kids gone back to school yet? Ours started last week and so I'm in full-on "let's-be-more-organized-I-wanna-run-a-tight-ship-we need to-be-a-well-oiled-machine" mode. Do you know that mode? Oh, my husband just loves it when I get this way. Ha.

So paper. Do you feel like it will bury you? It astounds me how much paper shuffling I do every week, and never more so than at the beginning of the school year. So I'm coming at ya today with some ideas for getting out from under it and then staying on top of it. Here are some of my best practices for dealing with paper:
  • Don't let junk mail reach the front step. I throw it in the recycling bin before I even come inside the house from getting the mail.
  • Immediately file bills and other items needing attention within the next week or so in a "Needs Attention" folder.
  • Have kids give me permission slips, book order forms, etc. upon coming home. I give them a snack and fill out all of the forms and put them back in their backpacks while they're eating and chatting. Done.
  • Birthday invitations get stuck on the fridge.
  • Receipts are recorded then tossed. The ones I may need in order to return something get paperclipped to my "Needs Attention" folder.
  • Homework papers get tossed, except for the art or writing projects that will make fun keepsakes. I keep the best work in a separate folder to be filed in a dedicated box at the end of the school year.

What tips do you have for organizing paper? Please share! In the meantime, feast your eyes on these ideas for how to file in style and calm all kinds of paper clutter.

Color Coded Binders by A Bowl Full of Lemons

School Paper Organization by Simply Kierste

Fridge Files by Less Cake More Frosting

Travel Keepsake Kits by Martha Stewart

DIY Magazine File Holders by Positively Splendid

Letter Trays by Creating Keepsakes

Basement Door Command Center by Home Made Modern

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tightwad Tuesday: Yarn Art

Well, hellloooo! I feel like I haven't posted a craft project of my own in a long time, so I'm super-excited to be doing that today. Especially because this particular project was simple, quick, and--in my humble opinion--turned out great. It's just what our new gallery wall needed. (I can't wait to show you how that turned out!)

Oh yeah, and since I used a frame I already had, as well as leftover yarn from other projects, this cost nothing to make. I bet you could do the same. Got five minutes? Then you have time to do this!

So here we go:

Yarn Art
Nap Rating = less than 1 nap...Boom.

Tools & Materials
  • Picture frame
  • Plain poster board or decorative paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

  1. Cut out your plain poster board or decorative paper so that it will fit behind your picture mat.
  2. With the mat on top of your decorative paper, lightly trace the word you want to use in pencil so that it will be centered properly.
  3. Unravel a decent length of yarn so you don't have to spend time doing that when your glue is hot.
  4. Using the hot glue gun, start tracing your pencil line with a line of glue. Work in small sections (I did one letter at a time) so that your glue won't dry by the time you get to the end.
  5. Quickly lay your yarn in the glue while it's hot, then put on a little more glue and keep working section by section until your entire word is complete.
  6. Cut the yarn.

And there you have it! Here's another sneak peek at our gallery wall. I L-O-V-E it.

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