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I love using paint and paper to create a cozy cottage feel for my home. I am wife to an amazing man and mother to a very creative 7 year old.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meeting our son

We arrived in Beijing on Friday evening after  a 12 hour flight.  The next morning we headed out with 3 other families adopting and went to see some of the sights.  We enjoyed walking through the Forbidden City.  Cole just kept saying, "Cool!" to all the amazing buildings we saw.  He loved it.

Later in the afternoon we went to the Great Wall.  Daddy and Cole climbed the steep steps to a high tower...I chickened out half-way when I turned around and saw how high I was!



On Sunday we took an hour flight to Jinan the capital city of the Shandong Province.  We arrived at our hotel and were told Quinn  would be arriving in about 30 minutes.  As we waited to check in, we realized that he was already in the lobby!  We walked over and saw him, but the nannies from the orphanage insisted we put our luggage in our room before holding him.  We raced our bags upstairs and hurried back down as fast as we could!





We all loved Quinn instantly and Cole was so excited he was finally a big brother.  He kept saying, "Is this a dream?"
Quinn is very tiny...all the clothes we brought are too big.  He is very cute and likes to make lots of cute noises.  He makes good eye contact.  He is eating well. 

Monday was a long day spent at several government offices.  The building do not all use heat, so it was rough on Cole who got very cold at times.  Cole has done an amazing job despite the many hours spent in cars and planes and all the long boring waits.  Ray and Quinn were exhausted!

Today we drove 2 hours to Quinn's orphanage.  The orphanage was nice and they provided us with a lot of photos of Quinn.   Here is Quinn's empty bed!
Here are the boys on the drive home from the orphanage to our hotel:

We are enjoying our trip and are thankful for all the prayers.  Everything has gone smoothly.  I have not had any stomach issues, but have had a bad cold the entire time.  It actually has been a blessing in that my sense of smell doesn't work! 
We also have been so blessed to travel with a couple Derrick and Jen.  Jen and I found each other online several months ago and it has been amazing to get to meet her and share our journey together.  Their son was also at Quinn's orphanage and they are together in some of the pics the orphanage gave us!  We are so thankful for having them with us!
Here are some more pics:




Monday, October 7, 2013

Sprucing up the Master Bedroom part 2

After painting the metal bench I showed you last month, I decided next to paint our dressers.  We have had our bedroom furniture for over 15 years...and it was hand-me-down back then.  I have never really liked it, but didn't know what I wanted instead...plus getting new furniture is expensive!

Here's a pic of the before of my husband's dresser:



I had thought about painting it before, but the high gloss cherry finish had me nervous.  It seemed like it was going to be a ton of work sanding it down and prepping it even before getting the paint out!

What motivated me to get started was a good friend of mine. I was showing her around our house.  When we got to our bedroom she said, "this room is not you".  I want to be clear that this did not offend me at all!  She was totally right and I am thankful for her words because they got me to do something about it!  She was the motivation I needed.

I had heard about Milk Paint from Miss Mustard Seed Blog (missmustardseed.com) and loved that look that it gave to the furniture she featured.  I watched some of her how to videos and when I realized I didn't need to sand the dresser, I was sold!  I ordered some of the paint online and chose Shutter Gray.

I quickly wiped down our dressers and removed all the hardware.  I ended up taking out the middle piece that looks like a keyhole and filling in the holes with wood putty...I wanted to try to simplify the look of the dresser.

 
After removing all the drawers I was ready to paint.  I followed the instructions for the milk paint which included adding a primer to the first coat.  Then I used a paint brush and started painting.
 



The first coat looks, um, terrible.  Don't freak out!  It gets so much better! 




It didn't take long to paint the dresser and all the drawers and I gave them 2 coats and went over a couple spots a 3rd time.  After letting it dry for a bit I got some sandpaper and rubbed off some of the paint in spots where I thought the piece would naturally wear.

For the hardware I considered buying new handles until I saw the prices!  A can of metallic spray paint did the job for just a couple bucks. 

While the hardware dried, I did a coat of wax over the paint on the dresser.  This protects and seals the paint.  It's super easy and gives the surface a smooth finish.

Then I just had to put the hardware back on and slide in the drawers...and I was finished!  I was so happy with how it turned out.  I am guessing that all together it only took 3 or 4 hours to complete each dresser (I did them on 2 different days).



Here's both of our dressers completed.  I did my dresser in blue for a little bit of contrast. (And yes, we have a ginormous t.v. in our bedroom!).


I was super impressed with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.  I love the way the paint looks on our furniture and it was so easy to work with.  Did I mention it was low VOC?  Even better!

Next time I will show you how I painted my husband's night stand...and what I found behind the drawers!  Hope you are enjoying these little projects!




Thursday, September 12, 2013

How I Store My Stamps


 I have a bit of an obsession with stamps.  I love using stamps in scrapbooking, making cards, and even home decor.  I especially love Lawn Fawn stamps (lawnfawn.com) and have collected quite a few sets.  I have been storing them in their original packaging, but it wasn't working well for me...especially when my son enjoys using them and he was having a hard time getting them back in the packaging (he kept splitting the sides when trying to fit them back in).  Lawn Fawn sets come with a bunch of amazing stamps and some are tiny...I don't want to lose a single one, so I need to put them in something!

There are many great ideas on the web of how to store your sheets of acrylic stamps.  Some inexpensive options were using plastic bags, but they didn't look sturdy enough...they didn't really solve my problem.   Others recommend using plastic CD sleeves from office supply stores which look great and seem to work well, but when I added up the cost, it was more than I wanted to spend.

So, I raided my craft area/homeschool supply area and came up with an idea and because I had supplies on hand, they didn't cost me a thing!  Perfect!

Here's what I did:

First I got plastic sheet protectors that would go into a 3-ring binder (I looked up cost and they run about $15 for 100 and each will store 2 sets of stamps), a trimmer and a stapler:



I then took a set of stamps and decided I wanted the pockets to be 7 and 1/4 inches tall.


Next I trimmed down the sleeve going across the top (opening side).


I then trimmed off the white part that with the holes that would be used to place in a binder normally.


I forgot to take a pic (oops!), but I then folded the pocket in half and stapled on the folded line twice...one about 2 inches from top and another about 2 inches from the bottom.  You can see the staples in this picture with the stamps inserted.  The staples allow you to put 2 sets in one insert and keeps them from sliding into each other.


With smaller sets I decided to keep the cardboard insert which helps keep the pocket from bending.


I found that the pockets also worked great for my stamp sets that had matching dies (again I kept the cardboard insert to keep pocket from bending).






Here are all my sets in the drawer that I use to store them:


I have been using this system for a month now, and  it's working great.  I can flip through my sets quickly to find what I need. I also like using the cardboard inserts for the dies because they stick up a bit and I can find them easily.   AND my son has been able to use them without any issues...problem solved!

I love when to have my stuff organized and especially like it when I can do it cheap!

Have you solved any organizational problems lately?  I can always use extra help, so please share!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Surprise! It's Kelly Marie's Birthday Party Blog Hop!



 

Welcome all of you from Kelly Marie's Birthday Party Blog Hop!  If you are following along on the blog hop, you just came from Tiffany's Blog.

I am so excited to be a part of this blog hop.  First, because Kelly is a really good friend of mine. I am so blessed by her friendship...she is so sweet!   Secondly, this is my first blog hop ever!  I was so excited to be invited to participate...I just started this blog in June so this is all still very new to me.

Here is the card I made for Kelly:


For my background papers I decided to go with teal and yellow since I know Kelly likes those colors (and so do I!).  I was inspired by all the chalkboard art I have been seeing on Pinterest, so I combined several different sets to come up with a similar look.  I just rubbed a piece of chalk on the paper to complete.  I had to add some of the new silver sparkle Lawn Trimmings...I love it!

I love the vintage look of galvanized metal so I took some Pumice Stone Distress Ink and rubbed it directly onto white cardstock.  After that, I sprayed it with water mixed with some Perfect Pearls.  I then used the stars included in the Stitched Journaling Die Set to cut out these adorable tiny stars.  It's hard to see in photo, but they really do look like they are made of metal.  I think they add a nice touch!

Happy Birthday, Kelly!!!  Hope you enjoy an amazing day!



Make sure you visit all the blogs in today's hop!  So much inspiration and creativity!  Your next stop on the hop is Laurel's Blog



Monday, September 9, 2013

First Week of Second Grade!

Last week Cole started second grade...and so did I!  We began our 3rd official year of homeschooling together.  I love that I get to spend so much time with my son and that we get to learn new things together. 



My goal this year is to be more structured.  Cole thrives on structure and so I am working on making our days more predictable for him.  I tend to wake up in the morning and decide what to do based on how I am feeling which worked for younger grades, but now I need to change my ways! 

Another change is that we will be doing the majority of our homeschooling in our garage.  I spent time this summer working on making it a more usable space (you can check out my post on it here: garage redo ).  In the past we used the kitchen table, but it stressed me trying to clean it off for meals.   Now we have a space that is always ready for us to do work...it also doubles as my craft space so I can create a card while Cole works on a worksheet...bonus!!!

This first week went really smoothly and I actually liked having a schedule to follow and a space that is dedicated to doing school work.  Cole seemed to really like it too!








Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sprucing up the Master Bedroom

At the beginning of summer I had a long list of projects I wanted to complete.  One of my main goals was to work on sprucing up our master bedroom.  Over the next couple of weeks I will reveal some of the projects I have been working on and then show you the whole room reveal...suspense!  (It's even a surprise to me since I still have one more thing I'm trying to work on!)

One of my first projects was this iron piece I found at a garage sale for $8.





I loved the size and shape of the piece and thought it would work well in my bedroom.


I did not love the color, though, so I got out my trusty gray spray paint and gave it a make-over.  Remember that several light coats are better than heavy coats that can cause ugly drips...I always have to remind myself of that because I want to hurry up and see how my project will turn out!


Here's what I ended up with after several coats of spray paint...looking good.





This little bench seat works perfectly at the foot of our bed.


I always go for form over function (not the most practical person), but this time I got both.  The bench works perfectly for my husband to set his business travel suitcase on it.  He was plopping his suitcase on our bed which grossed me out...what germs were on it after pulling it through airports?  yuck!  Now he has the perfect spot to set it down while packing which makes me very happy.

I love the power of spray paint!  Have you ever used it to transform something in your home?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Monday, September 2, 2013

This Week's Card

Here is my card for this week...woo hoo!  I've done it 2 weeks in a row! I am also submitting this to the "these are a few of my favorite things" Lawnscaping Challenge http://lawnscaping.blogspot.com.


I made this for my sweet sister who had a baby girl last week!  So excited to have a little girl in the family now!  Babies are definitely one of my favorite things!

I used my new favorite Lawn Fawn deer stamp http://www.lawnfawn.com.  It is so sweet!  I also used Lawn Fawn dies which I love.   I used my new favorite shadow inks (came in the mail last week) from Hero Arts http://shop.heroarts.com.   Oh, and I couldn't resist using my white gel pen to add the white spots on the little deer!

I love how girly and soft this card looks.  I hope my sister likes it!