Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Goodwill crafts

I love a good hunt. The thrill of looking for something so specific and the adrenaline rush that comes with tracking it down until you've got exactly what you came for. It's the whole reason I shop at Goodwill. I've gotten a lot of good finds at thrift stores but my favorites are old things that I can turn into new (or for me at least).

It all started when my sister-in-law Megan told me she wanted to make an FHE board (FHE="Family Home Evening" is something that we Mormons have once a week, devoted to spending time with our family). I told her that I, too, had pinned about a dozen or so ideas from Pinterest but none had really appealed to my taste. We texted about ideas back and forth, and mutually agreed that it would be so much fun to do this craft together! Megan lives in Virginia and I in Oregon, so we would virtually keep each other up to date via text and picture messages. She gave me the idea to use a metal sheet from Home Depot ($10) as my board, so I went out and got one. Then a few days later I was looking at it thinking, "What on earth am I gonna do with this thing?" So I texted her again, asking her how she plans to frame it and she sent me a picture of this awesome long wood frame with a design on the top. And THAT, my friends, is when I discovered the CALENDAR FRAME!

Apparently, back in the day (and maybe still...?) people would hang their calendars in these frames and it would hold the thing in place so that you know...if a burst of wind came through the door the month wouldn't change from March to October, thus surely confusing those in the household to dress up for Halloween way before it was actually fall. haha...but for real, I have *never* before seen one of these until now. And so I asked her, "Do you think I could find one at our Goodwill?" and she said, "I'm not sure...there were two of them at mine and I thought that was pretty rare considering I had no idea what it was! But I liked the way it looked so I got one!"

That very night I ventured out to Goodwill after the hubs got home and searched & searched, digging through a blur of orange-colored oak and something that smelled like mothballs. I couldn't find anything that resembled a calendar frame, and I was making my way back up the isle when I saw a long wooden shape at the bottom of the "rubble". It took a few beads of sweat to pull it out, but when I did I saw that not only was it EXACTLY what I was looking for but there was even a sticker that said "This Oregon-made calendar frame will last you a lifetime." I said out loud, "YES!" and the guy that worked there turned to me and said, "Find something good?" haaa...

Anyway, enough of my Goodwill shenanigans. This particular frame had a bar across the middle of it, so I had the mr. take it out with his nifty tools.
after- no bar!
I did the "distress with vaseline" method then spraypainted it white, but unfortunately I used the vaseline on it like I use it on my lips and went a little turned out a little too distressed for me. I tried to resolve this by spraypainting over it, but it still chipped off in places where the vaseline had soaked into the wood. So- it still has a distressed look just way, way less distressing :D

before- it looks much better in the picture than it did in person.

after- just a wee bit chipped here & there. much better in my opinion!
I covered the metal sheet with scrapbook paper using glue dots (super cheap and then you can switch out the paper if you like). All the letters I cut with my Silhouette (using a font that Megan and I agreed on for our project. We only discussed fonts for oh, a few hours. ha). Then I attached the little wooden labels with more glue dots, and on the name tags (which are actually, thingies) I hot glued magnets so I could move them around each week.

All the wooden labels I found at the craft store! They were inexpensive and just what I needed.

It was as easy as sliding the metal sheet right into the frame, without having to trim it or attach it whatsoever.

Megan made hers more simple but I love it just as much!

She painted her board white also, but left the metal sheet as is and stuck the vinyl letters on with a method I've never seen before. She peeled off each letter about halfway, leaving it on the vinyl sheet- then stuck those letters at once to the metal that they were perfectly lined up. Genius!

She also measured the spacing evenly on the metal sheet and put tape down to mark where the letters go. I didn't even think about this. I'm not patient enough to measure, haha...but it sure does make a difference!

And for the labels, her husband took a long wood strip similar in size to a yard stick and cut out sections with his saw. Then he routed the edges a little. The stick only costs 69 cents!

 So there you have it! Two different but similar ways to make an FHE board that is super budget-friendly!

My next Goodwill project was the ever so popular chalkboard sign. I just found a mirror that had a nice shape and painted the mirror part with chalkboard paint, and of course the frame white. Easy peasy!

I also picked up some shelves from there recently. I forgot to take before pics but one was dark green and the other black. I just did the same ol' thing I always do and painted them...yep- WHITE! haha. I love them.

Those blocks sitting on the shelf were FREE from Home Depot (in the wood floor section). They are samples of laminate or something that you can take, so I stocked up and mod-podged these letters to them. And yes, they were absolutely FREE. You're welcome ;)

and that is what now occupies this corner of my living room. My Goodwill corner! lol

Also from Goodwill: this little stool, perfect for my Charlotte to sit her tushy on. It was so adorable and tiny- I had to have it!

All I did was unscrew the lid and spray paint the stool, then cover the lid with fabric using my handy staple gun (okay...confession- my husband used the gun. I'm terrified of that thing).

Charlotte noticed it right away when she came toddling out from naptime, and she LOVES it. It's a nice addition to our little kid table (also from Goodwill...and also painted I maybe have an obsession here?)

It's truly a rare thing for me to go into a thrift store and come out empty-handed. The possibilities! Love gettin my thrift on and poppin tags :D

and these are just extra pictures...not DIY related whatsoever... ;] Can you tell how much these two love each other?!

Now go get on to your local thrift store and get craftin! ; D

***this post is being featured on my friend's blog, Tales of a Frugal Momma. Though I've never really aspired to be a guest poster, I was totally flattered that she asked me :] Thanks Frugal Momma for letting me share this with others!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

an insta-summer

For some reason, I seem to think that our lives are only worth blogging about when something exciting happens (which for us means we do something outside of our apartment or there is a holiday). I forget that the whole purpose of this blog is to document our family life- even if we are boring and do nothing exciting ;) I want to remember the little stuff, too. I'm trying to be better with writing about more "normal" and possibly boring things that go on around here, which may mean I'll lose a couple of readers but let's be honest...this blog isn't exactly hoarding in dozens of comments anyway :)

Some "little things" that have gone on lately are:

*lots of smoothie- concoctions.We love our smoothies around here. Whenever I turn on the blender T says, "ARE YOU MAKING SMOOTY?!"

*cable. I hate it and love it. But it's only costing us $5 extra per we might keep it around.

*whacked off most of my hair a few weeks ago the day before the 4th. I LOVE it so short. It's probably my best hair cut ever. And the place I went to is my new favorite (albeit more pricey than I have ever paid for my hair...)

*we have been spending more time IN the apartment and not out & about because we finally have air conditioning. That thing is heavenly and I never want to turn it off. I don't how people "back then" ever lived without it! When the missionaries came over last night one of them said how nice & cool it felt in our apartment- we've definitely never heard that before!

*Talmage took a huge leap in potty training. He now goes #2 in the potty! For a few days prior I let him nap in his underwear and put the little potty in his room in case he had to go. This was huge- he always slept in a pull-up be it nap or bedtime. When I didn't give him the option of having a pull-up it was like magic- he suddenly became completely unafraid and was even excited that he could use the potty instead. Right now I'm trying to convince him that the big potty is a better option because FLUSHING the poo is way more fun. He alternates between little and big potty, but honestly I'm just glad to not use as many pull-ups....those things are so dang expensive. I don't know how we will get him to sleep through the night with underwear...any suggestions/advice from you expert potty-trainer moms? (besides no water before bedtime) I've been told to wait until they wake up in the morning with a dry diaper, but he is always soaked. It's really gross, actually :(

*Charlotte is going to nursery! She's only at the 17 months mark but we're going in there with her and supervising, getting her in the groove of things. She does so well and totally belongs there. Our nursery leaders are wonderful, too. It's two grandmas and they are awesome. They have such a routine in there and they interact with each child- not just sit there and babysit. When I went in there with her one time one of the leaders had baked homemade banana bread for the kids- talk about royal treatment! I wouldn't mind being 2 again ;) The best part is just watching her interact with kids close to her age- she is a very social toddler!

*Jonathan got a new calling in scouts as assistant scoutmaster. Before he was teaching the 11 year olds and now he is with the 12 year olds- which means he gets to go on scout camping trips! They've already gone on one camp out and apparently it was a riot. The boys caught a frog and brought it to him, begging him to cook it so they eat frog legs. Killing harmless creatures and eating them for sport totally goes against Jonathan's nature but he wanted to be a "cool leader" so they cooked the poor froggy. Now on Sundays the boys come up to him and say, "Hey! Frog slayer!" while giggling uncontrollably. He hates it but it makes me laugh because they love him for being "that leader that cooked the frog that one time." Guess he got what he wanted! hehe.

Other than that we're just soaking up the sunshine and enjoying this gorgeous summer! Oregon is probably the best place to be during the summer months- the green forests and rolling hills, berries galore, and beach-access is hard to beat! With the exception of a tropical island of course :]

took Talmage to the park next door for some t-ball. He hit the ball a few times and one of those times the ball went straight into his sister's face (she was watching on "the sidelines"- content in the stroller). Out came the pouty lip, then the trembling lip, and then she lost it. Cried for a looooong time. poor girly..I was trying hard not to laugh or scream for joy from the fact that he hit the ball so well!

free slurpees from 7-eleven on 7/11!

she tried to copy her bro by going head-first. ha ha

movie time!

berry-picking at Fordyce Farms

being silly while waiting for dad to come home :]

splash pad and park

except when she's teething...

storytime and dino exhibit at local library
It still hasn't felt like summer started though...probably because we haven't even gone to the beach yet! Guess we gotta get movin on that one ;)