Friday, December 16, 2011

Free Holiday Printable

Happy Holidays to you! Feel free to grab this free printable froms yours truly. (click on image to pop it into a new window, right click and save image) What will you do with it? We spread cheer in our office with the large version or you can print it out and cut it down for a smaller frame. Have fun!

PS. Someday I'll actually set up another account where you can download the PDF version, but this will have to do for now. ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our Family Monogram

I was so smitten by the monogram from Southern Proper Monograms that I decided my family should have our very own monogram!

Here's what I came up with. Thanks for the inspiration!

Oh So Posh Giveaway!

This gal is great and I really enjoy her posts on FB. She offers some great action sets and now she's giving back to her fans with a chance to win a Nikon D90!! I'm not lucky at all, so I'm not too hopeful in winning this, but those of you that know me well know how much I need a new camera! The old Fuji with the delay just ain't cutting it for this girl!

Crossing my fingers. :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I think I'm in love. Enough said.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That Old Trunk In The Basement

The other day my co-worker was on her way to donate a bunch of unused items she had found in her mom's basement. Of course I requested to see it all before hand. You just never know what kind of treasures you can find, right? Well, here is one of them. This old suitcase has a charm all its own. I simply threw some greenery in it, along with lights and pine cones and some left-over red bulbs to dress it up for the holidays. It looks just darling sitting in our entry at the office.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Crafty Christmas Canvases

So, I was inspired by this, which I think originally came from here. Anyway, I thought I would jump into my stock pile of scrapbook paper and do something fun with it for the holidays. No, I don't scrapbook. I am just obsessed with the patterns and colors of scrapbook paper!

I simply placed pieces of paper on some canvases that I painted this bright blue color and then modge-podged it all. Some of the paper warped and some stayed flipped off the canvas but I didn't mind that little bit of dimension. The two tall trees are definitely my favorite as the large one didn't quite turn out as great as I wanted.

They both add a fun touch to my Christmas decor.

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 8

Movie Night! Cozy blankets and ELF. Enough said.

"Smiling's My Favorite!"

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 7

Game Night! Candyland and our retro MasterMind games were the choices. For a twist, though, we got to play in mommy and daddy's bed with our jammies on! (Note to Self: The little pegs from MasterMind are not fun to find in your bed the next few days. Probably want to avoid that brilliant idea next time.) Kids loved it, though!

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 6

Mommy was busy with the KMSU Auction, but the kids were able to peel the 'glue snowflakes' we made the other night along with the snowflake swab project. (simply make snowflake patterns on wax paper with Elmer's Glue, let dry and peel off) They also got to have their favorite casserole over at grandma's so it was a win win!

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 5

Icey Snowmen! We took these snowman silicone cookie molds and filled them with water. Then the kids threw in some Christmas sprinkles and mommy added some food coloring. Next we placed a long string, dipping a portion in each snowman to make ice garland and placed it outside overnight to freeze.

If you recall last February we did something similar with our valentines. The Christmas sprinkles were a nice touch because they froze inside the snowmen and looked fun throughout the ice. I haven't had the chance to snap a pic of our final results, but we are going to hang the garland on our tree outside.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Easy Christmas Decor Using Things I Already Had

I actually swiped this idea from the Taube's Holiday Tour of Homes this year. They had done something similar in one of the showcased homes. I grabbed a few ornaments I had on my tree, found ribbon I already had and a picture frame I wasn't using and finished it off with a big bow that I had used last year for my daughter's birthday. I decided to tilt the frame, which was different than the one I saw, and I really like the effect. Simple. Easy. Adorable.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Plaque Using Uppercase Living

I just love how my latest project turned out! Using a small Uppercase Living expression and a small unfinished wooden plaque from Hobby Lobby ($2.50), I simply painted it yellow and sanded the edges a bit and there you have it! Another great piece for my mantlescape!

I'm also enjoying incorporating some 'non-traditional' Christmas colors this season. I've been blending my brown/blue/gray scheme with a pop of yellow and red for Christmas. I guess I've never been a traditional red and green Christmas girl anyway, but it is fun using a little different palette this year.

To order your very own Uppercase Living, just visit my site at I'll provide the vinyl and inspiration, you bring the glitter and glue!

Monday, December 5, 2011

To Garland or Not to Garland. The Big Debate.

Well, it's not really a debate, but rather some fun I was having with friends this weekend. We had the chance to attend the Taube's Holiday Tour of Homes this weekend and one thing that came out of it was a discussion on garland. Tacky or not tacky? I actually used it on my mantlescape this season, but I feel I'm safe using the newer, more 'funky' type garland! Plus it sparkles in the sunlight and the kids and I have a blast dancing on the floor and making it shake on the ceiling....but that's another story....

So, on our final stop of the tour, we visited the basement of the Taube in search of some Christmas bargains. I came across some silver garland for $2 knowing I could just do something cool with it. Here is the end result. I also had enough to make a wreath. I'll post pics when I'm finished with that.

If I do say so myself, this garland and my VERY economical Christmas tree decor is getting the thumbs up on the cool meter.

(((one cone tree thing from Joann's at 60% off, a couple strings of my $2 used garland, and two sprigs at .$50 a piece))) WHA-LA!!!!!!! FAB!!!

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 4

Snowflake swabs. I got this idea from here.

Q-Tips, glue, wax paper and glitter. Still waiting for them to dry, so we'll see how they turn out...

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 3

Construction paper and glitter and glue. Our projects are not extravagant!

Mommy cut out ornaments and added glue stripes while two year old had a blast sprinkling with glitter!

Five year wanted to make his own creation and came up with this.

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 2

Countdown to Christmas construction paper chain. Easy peasy for both kiddos. I cut the strips, they glued them. Each night when the day is done, we take off a link.

24 Days of Family Fun: Day 1

BINGO! Simple enough. We played Bingo! My five year old learns his numbers and my two year old, well, she just like turning the cage around and around stealing the little Bingo balls.

We have a set similar to this but seriously, I think this should be my next purchase!

24 Days of Family Fun: The Beginning

I was inspired by a friend of mine who is taking advantage of this holiday season by spending more time as a family doing things together every night. I already try to do projects with the kids; both for entertainment sake and also to boost their creativity. I have kids who would rather sit and color in a coloring book than play Wii (although I expect that will change with time) and I want to nuture that while I can.

Anyway, in an effort to do even more fun things together, I am going to try harder to set aside some creativity time this month. Feel free to share any family activities you and your kids do together. One place I am always inspired by is Family Fun! magazine.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Bit of MSU History

I've always said I am an exact clone of my grandma on my mother's side. I was blessed with her creativity and independence and unfortunately cursed with much of the same ailments! We are like two peas in a pod...always have been. But I am finding more and more the influence of my paternal grandma's genes in me, too! She was a teacher and I would have never thought that I, too, would enjoy the field of education. I have apparently come from a long line of educators on this side of my family.

Also like my paternal grandma, I tend to hold onto things and cherish little mementos. I am sure glad she was the same way as I just found the original diploma she had saved from her mother. I find it fascinating that my great-grandmother was part of the first graduating class of Minot State University, then called Normal School. Even more fascinating is the fact that I am holding an almost 100 year old diploma in my hands!

As MSU approaches it's 100 year celebration in 2013, it makes me proud that a little part of me is following in these women's footsteps. While teaching at MSU is just a very small portion of my time, it feels good being tied to the University in more ways than one.

Take a peek at my great-grandmother's diploma. (and the BeAuTiFuL hand lettering!!!)

1914 MSU/Normal School Diploma


Love the hand lettering!

President Crane (i.e. Crane Hall!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Deck the Halls!

Have I told you how much I love Christmas decorating?!?!? I LOVE CHRISTMAS DECORATING! This is the earliest I have ever started, but we got the living room painted this weekend so I was anxious to let the magic begin. :-) Here is my most favorite decoration so far. I painted these wooden letters last year, but I really wasn't happy with how I displayed them. They look a little like Uppercase Living letters on this photo, but they are actually just thin wooden letters I picked up from Hobby Lobby and painted dark brown. I put two hooks into the wall and placed a birch branch across them and then hung the letters from that so they dangle down and cast a shadow from the mantel's white lights. Now, this may not be the best way to attach a birch branch to a wall, but I tend to do things on a whim when I have a creative idea in my head! So far it has worked just fine and I'm pretty happy with it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Easy Upcycle

Sharing my mom's recent project. This was actually a desk that I had from my husband's grandmother. My mom gussied it up with a bright white paint job and some adorable new handle pulls. She also painted the chair to match. Or perhaps my dad was the master painter....not sure, but it turned out adorable regardless. I don't have the "before" photo, but it was your typical 70's brown. Now it will make a lovely addition to a bright sunroom.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In honor of 11.11.11 and Paula Scher

The number 1 from the Number Series by Paula Scher

Friday, November 4, 2011

Adult Halloween Party Decor

I posted some pics over on my eyecandy page of the recent party I helped decorate. So much fun!! Check it out!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Little Owl First Birthday

I had the chance to design some first birthday invites for a friend of mine. I actually took the owl from my previous free printable post and re-vamped it for the invite. Mom wanted somewhat of a vintage feel, so I used some patterns and a decorative border. I think it gave it a sweet little touch. And whoooo can go wrong with owls? Love.

Photography by Cindi Finley Mintie and Aaron Jaeger.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cute Halloween Pumpkin Craft

I made these last year and forgot all about them until I found them in my Halloween totes. I love fun surprises! All I have to do now is paint some paint sticks green and attach them so they can be placed outside in the ground. All you need for this project is some wooden circles from Hobby Lobby and paint. It's fun making silly faces with different expressions. I actually left the little plastic tabs they use to place them on the hooks on the store and painted them green so they act as the top stump of the pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halloween Family Silhouettes

I stumbled across a site that provides free vintage graphics and I think I'm in love! It inspired me to do some Halloween art with my kiddos and my four legged kiddo. It may seem a little odd the choice of words I used but I just can't help but follow up Trick or Treat with Smell My Feet and Give Me Something Good to Eat! Must be the kid in me.

Turns out, it is rather fitting for each one. Mr. Man always says, "I'm just trickin' you mommy." Little Miss does this 'smelly feet' bit when you change her diaper and the dog, well, she's always looking for something good to eat (off our plates!).

Check out the Graphics Fairy for some sweet vintage clip art. ((where clip art is cool!))

I used clouterie vintage and gothic arched door.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fun Fall Project for Kids

Our variety of leaves from our yard

Pressing the leaves on to contact paper

Our leaf tree

Last weekend my kids and I had a great time gathering leaves from our yard for a fun fall project. I remember doing this as a kid when we learned about the different types of trees. I wanted to make an indoor 'tree' for the kids to preserve some of fall's spectacular colors. It seems as though we only get a few weeks of turning leaves before they die and blow away around here.

We carefully pressed them in a book all week to flatten them. In the meantime, I had gathered some dead branches and spray painted them brown. I wanted a richer brown than what they were... Next, we placed them in between contact paper to seal them and cut around the edges, added a hole on top and added black string to hang them. We placed the branches in a large vase that I had on hand. They had a blast hanging them on the branches, pretending it was like decorating the Christmas tree! Our little tree turned out pretty cute!

This project was inspired by Family Fun's Leaf Mobile!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's NOTSTOCK at Minot State!

Dave DeVries

The Monster Engine Book: An experiment with children's art

Local artist Ben Daggett of  Rulesome

Twin Cities artist DWITT

A variety of options for your screenprinting pleasure!

Once again, the MSU Art Department presents NOTSTOCK! If you get the chance, stop by the Beaver Dam at MSU for an event filled with music and art. This year showcases numerous local musicians and artists, along with nationally known poster and comic artists from across the U.S.

I thought the most interesting find this year was the work of Dave DeVries and The Monster Engine in which he takes a child's drawing and interprets it into his own version. I love this concept! It's so fantastical! (is that a word?) Anyway, Dave teamed up with NOTSTOCK and area elementary schools and will be transforming one child's "Monster Beaver" into a painting that will be auctioned off, with proceeds going toward a flood family. You can meet Dave and see the children's drawings at this year's event.

Along with music and poster art, you can purchase a t-shirt and choose from numerous designs and screen print your very own!

Free Halloween Printable

I came across some free vector art on this site and normally I would just do my own, but I thought I'd experiment a bit with some of theirs. Feel free to download this. It's just a low resolution JPG, but it may be nice for a printable for your Halloween decor.

(owl and treescape from vectorjungle)

Click on image above and it will open in a new window. Right click and 'save picture as' onto your computer and then print!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lots of little time

This weekend my mind was just racing as I hit up the last days of my mom's garage sale. Funny how I could still find some things to grab after I thought I saw it all the first night. I'm in the process of some making fun things. As soon as I find the time to finish them I can't wait to share them!

Think fall. Think spray paint, vintage fun finds, twigs, scrapbook paper, etc. etc. etc.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lovely Vintage Pieces...Now What?

I scored something fierce last night at my mom's pre-garage sale. She has so many unique and beautiful vintage items that I just had to have! But, now what? I'm at a loss on how to work these pieces into my decor somehow. I wonder if I could turn my kitchen into something eclectic and funky since it's right out of the 60's itself. It's times like these where I wish I was a real trained interior designer so I could pull it all together somehow.

Here are a few of the lovely items. I will try to showcase more finds in the next few months. I also have an affinity for vintage toys that I am hoping to do something with someday. Either that, or I am going to have to go into business with my mom and mother-in-law and sell vintage on Etsy. The problem is that these things belonged to grandparents and great-grandparents, aunt and uncles, and various relatives so they are hard to part with. That, and they are so damn cool!!

PS. If you are in the Minot area this weekend and want to check out a moving sale, here is the info.