Friday, November 30, 2012

DIY Canvas Quote

My boys' bedroom walls are bare. I have tons of ideas I want to do like a fabric tree or tissue paper Pom poms from the ceiling like in their original nursery but I know soon they will be out of theirs cribs :( and into toddler beds which means big boy bedding. (Makes me sad even thinking about toddler beds. What happened to my babies?) And by then, the room decor will change.

I decided a canvas would be cute and I happened to have all the supplies on hand. I painted a canvas with some orange acrylic paint. I did two coats.

For the see, 19 months ago, Jeannie and Amanda came to meet my boys. Amanda is a great photographer and took some newborn pictures for me. This is one of them:

Perfect, right? :)

Now, if you are fancy and have a circut or silhouette  obviously use those for your stickers...or if you are like me and have that on your wish list *hint,hint*, you can stickers. I have a million scrapbooking stickers and they worked perfect. To make sure I was going in a straight line, I used a piece of paper as my guide.

All done with the quote...then I went outside and spray painted it with blue spray paint. After it dried, pull off the letters and ta-da! Simple. Quick. Inexpensive. And so cute! The walls are still pretty bare but it is a work in progress! 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving care package


We have all had friends or family (or even ourselves) that have been in the hospital during holidays. I find myself asking "what can I do to help?".  I am obviously not going to do anything to actually help as I have no medical background, but I want to do something, something to show them that they are in my thoughts and prayers. I decided this Thanksgiving to send a care package to my family that has been relocated for some time while my husband's cousin recovers.

I mentioned in my previous post that my husband had been traveling back and forth to Spokane to see his cousin that is in the CICU there. Back in July, Joe went in for a heart surgery to repair his valves. He is in his early 30's and his father had just breezed through a very similar heart surgery and recovery, so we all thought Joe would be in and out of surgery with time to start recovering before his first niece was born at the beginning of August. Things with the surgery didn't go as planned, the doctor here in Alaska didn't expect his heart to have so much damage. To make a very, very long story shorter, he was flown via emergency life-flight to Spokane along with his mom. Since being in Spokane, he has had multiple steps forward followed by terrifying steps backwards. He had a mechanical valve put in his heart because his heart wasn't working, they planned to put him on the heart transplant list as soon as his other organs started coming back on board. We all can only imagine how life altering this could be but we didn't care, our Joe is alive.

Then a miracle happened...his own heart started working again! Even the doctors don't understand how or why but Joe's heart began beating on its own. After a few more scary surgeries, I am happy to report that Joe is on the recovery route again. His own doctor, his biggest cheerleader, says the laws of physics do not apply with in Joe's room in the CICU. More than once during this whole time period we have been able to say, "it's a miracle" or "the power of prayer is amazing!". We continue to pray for his organs to come back on board 100%, and he has a long road ahead of him but we all believe he is headed in the right direction! If you are a praying person, continued prayer for Joe's healing process would be greatly appreciated!!

Anyway, on to the care package. I knew that the family that is with Joe over the holiday would be missing their traditional Hebert Thanksgiving food (oh my goodness, I could go on and on about this family's cooking!). Since I can't pack up Granny's rice dressing or turkey to send to them, I went back to what I know. Desserts. Our family is a fan of fudge, chocolate pies, chocolate cakes...basically most things chocolate. Fudge seemed like the logical choice to send to Washington. So I made the fudge.

I gathered other items to add to the box.
The baby clothes are for Joe's niece who is just 3 1/2 months old. How could I resist these little turkey clothes? There is a little turkey on the bum of the pants...adorable!
I got these free printables from Pizzazzerie to add to the box. I love the coloring of the printables but also the verse. Our family has so much to be thankful for any normal year, but this year even more!
Using a large flat rate shipping box, I started packing. The fudge is the heaviest and largest, there is some pumpkin bread and chocolate covered pretzels in bags (with raffia to match the printables of course).
I layered in a box of black tea, more chocolates, the baby clothes (wrapped in tissue), and a card for the family and one for Joe.
I put the large printable on last so it will be the first thing they see when they open the box.
This is just a small, inexpensive way of sending some love (in chocolate form) from afar. We love and miss our family dearly! Next Thanksgiving we will be back together again!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Burlap Art

Don't you love it?!  The walls in our half bath were pretty empty and it's always bothered me.

Hobby Lobby had a set of two of these canvases for around seven dollars.  I didn't really have a plan when I bought them but figured one out pretty quick.

I had some burlap already because I stocked up before it was officially fall season when it would be hard to find.  I am a huge fan of this method to cut burlap when you need a straight line.  Measure to where you want it cut, snip it about an inch,

pull one of the threads in that snip and start pulling.  You will be able to pull that one thread all the way out

leaving you a line as a guide so you can cut with scissors and be sure its straight.

I cut my burlap a little bigger than the canvases.

I laid out four pieces of contact paper leaving a small line open where I wanted to paint the wire.  I used fabric paint for this but because the paint doesn't need to be flexible when dry I probably could have used anything.

Here it is with the wire done.

I found a bird online that I liked and printed and traced it onto paper.  I used a sharpie to trace around my stencil.

I wanted them slightly different so I just made the second bird a little shorter and fluffier when tracing and also changed the tail feathers slightly.

Painted inside the sharpie lines and let it dry.

I knew I wanted the words in the upper corner and was worried that they wouldn't be straight or positioned wrong so I went ahead and stapled the burlap to the canvases before painting the words on.

I used my silhouette to cut out the words on the contact paper.

I went back over the words with the black sharpie to touch up areas that were to light.

One more look at the finished project.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Amanda's Fall Resolutions

I know, I've been M.I.A. for a while now. Honestly, I think I underestimated how much school work would go along with the three nights a week classes and working full time. Luckily, my three sisters have been busy blogging away about some really great topics and projects! I have really enjoyed their recent posts, have you checked them out yet? 

To catch you up on the happenings in my life: 

I got a new job! I ended my last job on a Friday and started the new job on the next Monday. I should have planned it where I had a little break in there! I have been at my new job for almost three weeks and am really enjoying the new environment and challenges! 

I am over half-way through my first "real" semester back at college! (I say "real" because I am actually going to classes at the university three nights a week).

My husband, David, has been to Spokane twice to visit his cousin that is in the CICU for major heart surgeries (remind me to tell you more about the amazing miracles this man has been through). 

We've gotten a little further on our kitchen remodel which includes getting a new dishwasher!!

And lets see, what else have I been up to? Oh, I officially started Christmas shopping and Christmas baking planning! I am trying to spread Christmas gifts out over more than just one paycheck this year. 

Anyway, it may not seem like it but we've been busy around here! The first things to start slipping when we are busy is our eating habits (we start eating junk that is quick) and we stop working out.  As a result, I've gained weight which makes me self-conscious and uncomfortable. I've decided to not wait until January 1st to make a resolution. I am making my fall resolutions today! Here are my official fall resolutions:
  • Work out - cardio 3 days a week, weights 3 days a week
  • Plan healthy meals and stick to it
  • Pack my lunches - it is so much cheaper and better for me to bring my lunches to work
  • Stay up on my homework - on nights I do not have class I should be working on homework but I make so many excuses to not. 
  • Maintain a clean house by doing a little each day
  • Keep up on blogging
Today, I got on the treadmill again! I am using the couch to 5k app by It's only day one but I like the idea of the app telling me what to do. 

I made a menu plan for the week and went to the grocery store for all the fixings. I even started on some of the meals for the week because some evenings we have no time to cook. Here is my menu plan for the week:
  • Chicken taco salads - I will post the recipe if it's good. I have the chicken cooking in the oven now since it can be reheated the night we eat it. I will pre-make the salsa dressing when I am done with this post. Then all I will have to do is reheat the chicken and assemble.
  • Lasagna Soup from a farm girls dabbles - I subbed italian turkey for the sausage. I have this done up until adding the pasta. I will reheat the soup and do the pasta the night we eat it.
  • Baked chicken with twice baked potatoes. I have baked the potatoes and preassembled them. This way when David gets home from work, he can put it all in the oven. 
  • Skinny Jalepeno Popper Chicken from 
  • We will do left overs on one night. 
I am putting myself out there to have you (and my sisters) keep me accountable for taking care of myself, working out, and eating right. Alaskan winters are too dark and depressing on their own with out me eating horribly and not working out. So, who is with me? Need to recommit to your New Year's resolutions for 2012? Why not start now with me? Pretty please! 

I promise I will be back with more interesting things next time I blog! :)


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fabric Wall for Command Center

I know I have said this before but...I always thought when I had kids I would be THAT organized mom. I would have everything together. My house would be clean. My kids would be clean. Everything would be orderly. HA! Then I actually had kids and well...all that went out the window. I try, I really do. But have you ever tried getting something accomplished with two 18 month olds? It's counter productive. Folding laundry...yeah, they just throw it everywhere. Organizing toys, yup...take them out and throw them. when we moved into our new (base) housing I was happy that there would be an area for me. Brett gets the garage. The boys have the playroom. I wanted an area for me to be organized, do projects, pay bills, etc...Again, everything in base housing is white and you can paint but what a pain to paint everything back when you  move out (and who knows how long we will actually be here) so I saw this awesome tutorial on using fabric on the walls using cornstarch and water at The Thriftness. Genius!

Before....don't judge! :)
I knew I wanted something grey because awhile back I painted an old filing cabinet  my dad had given me using this tutorial from Amanda (I think I even got the same color...yellow). I like grey and yellow together and knew I wanted that scheme somewhere in the house.

Off to Joann's for fabric. Originally I wanted a chevron pattern but I like pattern I chose. I washed it and ironed it. Measure it for the space and cut off any extra. Next you use a sponge brush and apply the cornstarch to the wall (4 cups of boiling water, then 1/4 cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup cold water, slowly stir that into the boiling water. Let boil until thickens, almost like a gravy. Let cool then follow the last step). Depending on how big of an area you are doing, you will want to do small sections. I started at one side of the wall and worked my way over and down to get any excess fabric out instead of creasing. Once you have put all the fabric up, follow up with a coat on top of the fabric. Make sure to smooth out with something flat. I used a dry wall scraper (I don't know the technical term). Cut off an excess on the edges. While that was drying, I went around the edges with a coordinating ribbon then applied another coat on top of the ribbon. To keep everything in place until it was dry, I used push pins.

Measuring using push pins to hold it up
Cut any excess off

Now to complete everything, I used yellow accents. It is not completely finished as I am going to add some pictures and a calendar but all in all, I think it turned out pretty good and it was very simple to do! An easy way to add color without it being permanent! (Please ignore the ghetto chair...that is an upcoming project as well).


Friday, November 2, 2012

No Sew Curtains

Confession: I do not know how to sew.

I have a sewing machine my sister in-law gave me but I've never used it. I just don't even know where to start (but I am hoping Jeannie will give me a quick lesson at Thanksgiving). I mean, I know how to sew on a button or I have fixed B's uniform a time or two but nothing fancy.

Our new house is white. Very white. Basic military housing which is fine because we really like it but it needs color. You can paint but you have to paint it back and that's a pain. I bought a set of tie up curtains from Target for our window above the sink to add some color to the white walls, white cabinets, white counter tops, white appliances and white floors but they weren't wide enough. So yesterday as I was buying curtain rods for our bedroom and guest bedroom, I saw a curtain panel on clearance that matches my kitchen rug. $9.99. Lets give it a shot. I can try and make it work, right?

During nap, I decided attempt this. I already had a curtain rod hung up so I put up the long panel to see where I needed to cut. I made my mark and took down the curtain to begin cutting. I used the fold creases as a guide and cut the bottom then cut directly in the middle.

On the curtain rod above the sink for measuremeants

Cutting at the creases

Now, this is where the sewing comes in. Normally a person would sew the edges but given that nap time is not a long enough time to teach myself how to work a sewing machine, I decided to use hot glue. HOT GLUE you ask? Yes, hot glue. And let me say, it turned out pretty good.

I laid the panels on the floor in our playroom and just started to glue (side note: make sure not to glue the pocket where the curtain rod goes through like I did...I had to go back and cut it open). I started with the sides then did the bottom. As I was pressing the fabric down, I smoothed out the glue so it didn't dry as a hard strip of glue as hot glue usually does.

And there ya go, super easy. Inexpensive and fast. With two toddlers, that's what I am all about. I am sure Martha Stewart would probably shake her head at me but hey, it worked and looks good!

- Sabrina

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Dresser for Little Man

I am starting with a picture of the finished dresser because I am just about giddy with how it turned out.

Over a year ago I came across these two tall narrow dressers at a garage sale and snatched them up for $20 total.  Then they sat in the garage and collected junk on and around them until I finally got motivated to tackle this project.

Once I decided what we really needed for our family, furniture wise, I decided to sell one of the two dressers on craigslist.  This is the one I decided to keep for HB's room.

Yes, those are Winnie the Pooh handles, you are not seeing things.

If you can get beyond the paint job and the character hardware it has a wonderful shape to it.

I hauled the drawers outside and sanded, and sanded and sanded some more.  Let me tell you, had I known how hard it was going to be to remove every last bit of the paint in order to stain it, I probably would have chosen a different finish.  I also would not have taken this on in mid summer in Arizona. We'll chalk those decisions up to learning experiences.

Finally done sanding!

I used a Minwax dark walnut stain and love how they turned out.  The stain looks different on different parts of the drawers which turned out to be a happy surprise.

Now for the dresser body itself.  I knew I was going to be painting it so I wiped it down really good and then primed it with Kilz.

OK, I admit it, I forgot to take  a picture of the dresser during the painting process but you get the idea, paint, dry, sand with brown bag, paint, dry, sand edges to get that distressed look, finish with wipe on polyuerethane matte finish. I used Valspar, Ultra in Night View for the paint color.

Keep in mind that I painted the dresser for how the room is eventually going to look, not how it looks now.  In other words the next project for this room is new paint on the walls.

I also found some Spiderman wrapping paper and used spray adhesive to line all his drawers.  When shopping for liners I was drawn to the graphic print ones but this is for my three year old, not me so this is perfect for now and can always be changed later.

We got the hardware from Lowe's.

One final look because it makes me happy.