Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Definition Tile (With printable!)

It certainly felt like spring here recently! Although I'm bracing myself for one more cold spell before it is truly spring. 

So, I decided to make a Spring Definition Tile. The writer in me loves anything with quotes, definitions, or words really so thanks to Mr. Webster I used the definition of spring on this tile. 

Here's what I came up with after playing around a little bit in PSP. 

Items Needed:
6 x 6 inch Ceramic Tile (You can find these pretty inexpensive at home improvement stores.)
Spring definition file (I'm sharing mine here.) 
Mod Podge
Foam brush
Scrapbook paper of your choosing
1-2 Decorative flowers 
Rhinestone or pearl (for the center of your flower)
Sanding block or fine sandpaper
Glue gun
Acrylic sealer (optional)

1. Print out the definition on the scrapbook paper of your choosing. 
2. Center the definition on the tile and then using the tile as your guide, cut it out. I always leave a little extra which we will take care of in a later step. 
3. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the tile. Smooth your paper down on the tile and press down firmly with your fingers to get rid of any air bubbles. Let dry for awhile.
4. Using the sanding block or sand paper, sand off any excess paper. You could omit the sanding step but I just like the more finished, adhered look that it gives to it. 
5. Glue on your flower and the rhinestone center with hot glue. I used two flowers to give it more fullness and a pink pearl center. 
6. Spray with acrylic sealer for added durability. (You also use additional coats of Mod Podge instead.)
7. Sit it on a stand (or add ribbon and hang it somewhere) and admire your pretty work! 

Want one, but don't have time to make it? I made two and have the extra one in my Etsy store

Linking up to the linky parties listed in my sidebar 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quote of the Week: Looking Upward

"I try to avoid looking backward or forward 
and try to keep looking upward." 
- Charlotte Bronte

Friday, February 25, 2011

Paisley's Note

Yesterday while Noah was at school, his puppy Paisley wrote him a little note. Yep, I know she's a smart doggie! He's been behaving exceptionally well at school lately and Paisley just wanted to let him know she was proud of him too. 

He loved it. I think she'll have to write him more notes in the future!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cute Little Birdie House

While I know there is still snow in some parts of the United States, I've decided to start working on my spring decor. Don't worry, I'm not putting it out yet, but I thought I'd get a jump start on it by creating it now and putting it aside until it's time to decorate for spring and honestly, it won't be that for away!

So, my spring decor crafting started off with a little birdhouse. My Momma gave me a craft basket for Christmas that was full of crafting supplies like Mod Podge and foam brushes and some wooden items for decoupaging. One of those wooden items was a little wooden bird house. In the past I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to a birdhouse, but I think as I grow older my style is changing and growing and I could instantly see the potential in this little birdhouse. 

The birdhouse will eventually sit on my mantle. I don't think it would hold up for the use of actual birds as I used scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, acrylic paint, and ribbon to create it. 

But I am in love with the end result..... 

Close up of the sign 

Side view

Linking up to the craft parties listed in my sidebar

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: His Smile

I just love seeing him smile.
He has such a beautiful smile.
It makes me smile.

For more Wordless Wednesday check out 5 Minutes for Moms and Special Exposure Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Special Needs

CREATE Letters

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been working on making my office/studio more pleasing to the eye. I knew that I wanted to spell out a word with chipboard letters and place it above the doorway but the question was: what word? I wanted a word that worked for the multiple uses of this room. While brainstorming, I kept coming back to the word "create" and ultimately decided that would be the perfect word. When I'm on the computer, I'm often being creative by writing, when I'm crafting I am creating, and when I'm taking pictures, I'm creating. It works. 

I base coated the letters pink and then used Mod Podge and scrapbook paper to dress up   the chipboard letters. Since these are hanging above the door and will be up high, I didn't add ribbon or other embellishments. 


(Linking up to the parties listed in my sidebar)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dollar Store Bulletin Board Makeover

I'm working on getting my studio/office more organized and pleasing to the eye and every office space needs a bulletin board. 

I picked up this plain and drab bulletin board at The Dollar Store. 

Boring and drab, right? 

I toyed with the idea of covering the cork board with fabric or painting it too but ultimately decided that since it was going in the office area of my studio it wouldn't bother me if it looked like it belonged in an office as long as it was dressed up and cuter than it is now. So, I covered the cork board with scrap paper and painter's tape and painted the frame of the bulletin board a pretty pink. 

While it was drying, I made a rosette out of a bit of pink and white printed fabric. There are a bazillion different tutorials out there for rolled rosettes, but my favorite one is here.

I couldn't just use boring old thumbtacks so I grabbed some assorted buttons and jewels from my stash and glued boring thumbtacks to the backs of my buttons and jewels. 

Here's my finished bulletin board. Much better than before! 

I love the buttons and jewels as thumbtacks! So much better than a plain and drab thumbtack and when they are not in use, they add additional decoration. 

Now, I just need to add hanging it to J's "honey-do list." 

Total cost for this project = $1.00!
The only thing I bought was the bulletin board - everything else I already had in my supplies. 

(Linking up to the craft parties listed in my sidebar.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quote of the Week: Life is like a Mirror

"Life is like a mirror;
if you frown at it, it frowns back, 
if you smile, it returns the greeting." 
- WM Thackeray

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Date Nights

When we were in the beginning stages of the approval process of obtaining a PCA for Noah, we were told to think about scheduling, when we'd like them to come out, and when they would be most helpful. While I knew that they would be most helpful to us on weekdays during the early evenings for supper, bath time, and bed time wind down, I also knew that I wanted a PCA at least sometime, just for a couple of hours over the weekend. 

I had multiple reasons for wanting a PCA for a couple of hours on the weekends. First of all, weekends can sometimes be hard on Noah. There is no school, there's a more laid back, less structured routine and that can be difficult for Noah. Secondly, I thought it would be nice to have help with Noah so that J and I could have a little time to ourselves, to run errands, or even just leisurely cook dinner together without Noah being underfoot. 

What has resulted months after that initial thought of "wouldn't it be nice" has now become "Saturday Date Nights." Sometimes we run errands that we have been putting off doing with Noah and take our time doing those and grab a bite to eat. Other times we have cooked dinner together and then enjoyed our meal together in peace without interruptions! And sometimes we go out - our favorite Saturday night eating spot has become a nearby Mexican restaurant that has awesome fajitas and karaoke on Saturday nights. It's nice to talk, eat, and not worry about Noah. Oh, and giggling at the tweens singing every Taylor Swift song she ever wrote is fun too! 

Our marriage wasn't/isn't rocky by any means but being a parent of a special needs child (or being a parent period for that matter!) can be stressful at times. There are times that Noah has us both on edge and we snap at one another. Luckily, we learned a long time ago to overlook those snippy moments but I'm very grateful for this new time on Saturday nights where J and I can re-group as a couple. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Flu and Valentine's Day

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! I do want to take a minute to publicly wish my hubby a happy belated birthday. Yep, my Valentine was born on Valentine's Day. (Cheesey, I know!) 

Noah has been very sick with the flu so I haven't had much time for crafting, a lot of cooking, or doing anything terribly fun. (Although we did go out for J's birthday and I did make this skinny chocolate mousse which was to die for but I forgot to take a photo of it. And I actually followed the recipe exactly which is a minor miracle for me!) The good news regarding the flu is that I think Noah is on the tail end of it and we're gonna try school tomorrow! 

(Photo is of daisies that J gave me for Hearts day. Daises are my FAVE! Give me daisies over roses any day!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quote of the Week: In Love

"In love, it is better to know and be disappointed than to not know and always wonder." 
~ Unknown

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Mantle

I've had my mantle completed and decorated for Valentine's Day for a bit now, I just keep forgetting to share pictures. Since it's almost Valnetine's Day, I figured I better get on it!

This mantle is a bit more sparse than usual but I like it. 

 Decopauged Xs and Os in the middle of the mantle

On the left side is the rose petal framed heart I created, and a picture of Noah that was already framed in a different room that I just brought to the mantle because it went with the decor so well.

On the right side is another candle and my chalkboard picture frame.

Close up of one of the candles. 
I just wrapped it in a piece of scrapbook paper, secured it with tape in the back so I can easily take it off later, and tied a bow with some red ribbon.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Confession: I don't like chicken pot pie. I never had. I think it's probably the crusty top and the thickness of it. I just don't care for it. 

J loves it though so when I saw this recipe for chicken pot pie I decided to give it a try. Like always (I don't think I can leave a recipe alone, I'm always tweaking it to what we like) I changed the recipe a little bit. 

The verdict! I love this soup! It's got a semi-thick textured broth like in a regular chicken pot pie but it's more liquidy (yes, I made up a word) than regular chicken pot pie. I made biscuits  with it for J so he still gets the crustiness like that of a traditional chicken pot pie. 

So, here's my version of chicken pot pie soup. 

3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (I boiled them, let them cool, then shred them.)
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups water
3 cups of milk 
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped in bite size pieces
2-3 carrots, chopped in bite size pieces
2-3 potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
1 small onion, diced fine
1 chicken bouillon cube
fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Whisk the flour and 1/2 cup of cold water together. Mix well so there are no lumps and set aside.
2. Pour the remaining 2 cups of water and the 3 cups of milk into a large stock pot on medium high heat. 
3. Add your bouillon cube, celery, onion, carrots, and potatoes and let cook on medium high heat for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 
4. Add the flour and water combo to your pot stirring well. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot. Cook for about 5 more minutes until the soup thickens a little bit. 


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rose Petal Heart Framed

This is just a simple inexpensive project that I made as part of my Valentine's Day decor.   

What you’ll need: 

Scrapbook paper (one piece) 
Cardstock (one piece)
Rose petals (Bought at the Dollar Tree.)
Glue (I used a clear tacky glue but a glue gun would work just as well.)

The only items I needed to purchase for this project were the rose petals and the frame both of which I found at the Dollar Tree making this project cost a total of 2.00. 

What to do:
1. Take a part your frame and discard the glass. We won’t be using it for this project. Trace the backing of the frame onto your scrapbook paper and cut it out. Adhere your scrapbook paper to the backing of the frame.
2. Draw a heart onto cardstock and cut it out. 

3. Begin to glue rose petals to the heart. Start on the edges of the heart with the pointed part of the petal pointing in towards the heart. 
4. Continue to the glue petals to the heart overlapping the hearts so none of the cardstock peeks through.
5. Once the heart is full of petals, apply a liberal amount of glue to the back of heart and glue it in the center of the scrapbook paper. Add the frame and you are finished! 

Cute, eh? Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm a Glittery Guest

I'm a glittery guest blogger today over at Just Add Glitter and Stir.

I whipped up this cute little Valentine's day decoration to share with Maggi and her readers.

Cute, isn't it! Go check out my tutorial at Just Add Glitter and Stir

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Noah's PCA

I have been meaning to write about this forever but am just now getting around to it. When we were going through the process of applying for a Personal Care Aide (PCA) I looked and looked for personal experiences with PCAs of other families of special needs kiddos but couldn't find any so my hope is that if anyone else out there is going through the process of approval or thinking about applying they might find this post and find it helpful. 

For over a year before I finally applied, people were urging us to apply for a PCA for Noah. I felt it wasn't necessary at that time until his surgery was coming up. I decided to go ahead and apply back in April of 2010 and finally in Spetember Noah was approved to get 15 hours of a PCA in our home.

I'm not gonna lie - it hasn't been exactly easy or comfortable for me, especially in the beginning. I had a very hard time letting them do anything. At first, I let them do more housekeeping type duties (sweep Noah's room, change his bed, etc) and then I slowly worked up to letting them do more with Noah. But I just felt bad/guilty for needing them. I felt like I shouldn't need them here, like other mothers don't need help and it was bad that I did but then I quickly had to remind myself other mothers don't have 14 year olds who don't walk, talk, and who need as much assistance with basic daily things like dressing and eating as Noah does. It's not a "normal" situation and I have to realize and recognize that to be ok with it. 

Over time though, I have gotten more comfortable with it. So much to the point that I now feel comfortable leaving Noah alone with them while J and I run to eat or run to the store or something like that. 

We have a PCA come in the evening, right around the time Noah usually wakes up from a nap. She is able to help him with eating while I cook dinner, read to him, give him a bath, etc. We don't have her here every day but it is nice at times on the day she is here to not have to try and juggle dealing with Noah while I cook dinner or get his bath in before J has to leave for work. 

We did initially have a couple of issues with some of the PCAs they were sending. But the one we have currently (aside from her issues of being late, which we are working on) seems pretty good with Noah. She was actually sent as a fill in but when I learned she had experience with kids with CP, I specifically requested her. 

So, I'll keep y'all updated on how it is going. 

Quote of the Week: Your Heart

"Live from your heart,
Share from your heart,
And your heart will touch people's souls." 
- Melody Beattie

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A "S" for my Door

Back in October, I shared with you "Noah themed" subway art that I had created as part of his birthday party decor. After his birthday, I ended up putting the frame subway art on his bedroom door. I really liked how it looked on the door and decided to create things to hang on the other doors in the hallway, one of those rooms being our bedroom and the other being the bathroom. 

For our bedroom door I decided to create a monogram. I started off with a large chipboard S from Hobby Lobby. Our bedroom is done in teal, brown, and cream so I painted the edges of the S teal. 

I am really into anything with writing on it that looks like newsprint right now, so I decided to create my own faux newsprint. The song, When You Say Nothing at All, is "our" song and was sung at our wedding, so I found the lyrics for the song, copy and pasted them into a word file, changed them to a pretty font, and printed them out on to a piece of white card stock.

I then tea stained the paper to give it a vintage, aged, quality to it. Then I traced the S on the back side of the paper, cut it out and adhered it to the S with Mod Podge. I finished it off buying tying a little bow with some sheer teal ribbon and adding some ribbon to the back to hang it with. 

Love it!

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