The Alchemist's Halloween Banner

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 | | 0 comments

 I was at the library and found this cute book with pretty projects.  I don't really like Halloween for all the cheesy, cheap decorations.  I do however love holidays and make the most of making my own decorations.  Either I am too picky about what I like, or I just want to make it so I don't have to spend the money on high priced, cheaply make decor.

Anyways, they have this cute garland idea, with the pictures to printout in the back.  I added a few of my own as well. 

I found an old book around my house and tore out a few pages to put through my copier/printer.  It took no time at all.  I had string and tape on hand, and that's all this project took.  So easy, and I think it's super cute, with a side of spook!

This bat was a favourite printout.

Right now it is hung in my office, but I may move it to the fireplace mantel.  Who knows.  

I hope you have a little but of inspiration to make simple Halloween decor.  It took no time at all to put together, which is a bonus!  

Have you made anything for Halloween?

Easy Thrift Store Chalkboard

At Christmas (I know, this is a little late!) we exchange names among my siblings for gifts. I drew my sisters name, and we both have a passion for all things Jane Austen!  So I was searching up ideas, and came across this book which I never got to read but I heard from her that it's a fun book:

The Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman

See, she just moved out on her own, so who couldn't use a little Jane Austen advice on life?!  

I also thought I wanted to make her a chalkboard (there, I finally got around to my point!) for her new place.  Who doesn't need a chalkboard.  They have cute ones out there on sale, but I was on a budget for this Christmas gift so I had to work magic to stay within that budget.  

I searched the thrift store and came across this old calendar box for $3.99!

Have you ever had one of these calendar boxes in your house?  Or do you still??

I picked out a pretty blue acrylic paint that I already had on hand, and coated the entire board except in the middle where I was going to put the chalkboard paint.

Next I found this recipe to make chalkboard paint on pinterest:

I cup of acrylic paint + 2 Tbsp grout.

I cut this recipe in half for my project and had lots!

Did you know that you can buy chalkboard paint in the store. $8 for a tiny can, or you can make it with a few supplies on hand!

After painting the chalkboard paint on I waited for it to dry, and rubbed chalk all over it to break it in.

Here it is:

I did my best at making fancy chalk letters.  Not as easy as others make it look!

Does this quote make anyone else smile?!  

I think it is such a funny line especially the way Tom Hollander says it!

What a cheap project to make:

Calendar Board: $3.99 (thrift store)
Acrylic Paint: Free (on hand small craft paint tube)
Grout: Free (on hand)

TOTAL = $3.99

So, will chalkboards go out of style soon?  It seems like they are everywhere!

And yet, I still don't have one in my house...

Advent Calendar 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012 | | 1 comments
So last year I made an Advent Calendar for my kids, and it worked out great.  However... I can't use it this year because somewhere along the way of counting down to December 24th, my dog couldn't handle the smell of yummy treats in the envelopes, and ate a few (envelopes, and treats!).  

So I don't know what happened to the last of the envelopes, but this year I made something new.  I snuck some of my kids Halloween candy (24 to be exact) and put it away just for this:

I just wrapped them in coordinating wrapping paper and printed numbers on my computer.  Taped them on and hung them by string.

Now I know I don't have to show you a picture of the process because you're brilliant and know how to wrap!  Can I just say that my wrapping is actually quite embarrassing!  Christmas morning is sure a treat!!  Haha.

My cute little helper, who watched most of the goings on, and hung them all up, making sure that the lower level did not touch the table!  That was her idea.  She's me through and through.

We usually do an activity each day of December as a family (sometimes big, sometimes super small), but my kids love that part the best.  Doing something together that's fun everyday.

All ready for December 1st now!

Lets hope the dog doesn't get them this year!!  What kind of Advent Calendar do you do?  Store bought?  Homemade? Something you've used for years?  Lets here about it...

Reuse & Renew

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | | 7 comments
I rarely ever spend full price for something, and Christmas is no different.  This year I bought most of my kids gifts second hand.  I know some people like that, and some would be repulsed, but honestly... I would not buy my son a $250 ipod touch, when I could get a almost new one on kijiji (second hand selling site), for $80!  He didn't care, and it does everything a new one would, so where's the problem.  I am GOING GREEN! they say.

So, my daughter was asking for a handheld game, and I found one second hand, and when I brought it home, it was in rougher shape than I thought.  Still didn't stop me from fixing it up!

Here is the before:

Ya, I told you it was pretty rough!  I scrubbed that sticker spot off, and here is what I did with the rest if it:

I used:
-nail polish
-permanent marker
-rub on stickers

The nail polish is my daughter's and the rub on stickers were from the dollar store that I already had in my scrapbook kit.

Here is what I did with them:

The "P" and the "star" are the rub ons, and the rest are just doodles.

I even did the side:

My daughter actually thought it was super cool that it was so funky!  

And, can I just say that after 5 months, all of the polish and stickers have not been damaged, scratched or worn off any bit.

So next time it's present time, think Reuse and Renew!!

Magnetic Memo Board

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | | 3 comments
Long time, No see!!

I finally found a cord that will upload my pictures to my computer.  Why I didn't buy one, don't ask, it's what I do apparently.  

So I finished a long forgotten project and I am so happy with the outcome.  Shall we dive in?!!

Once upon a time... there was this frame... my Mom owned it, gave it to me, I gave it to my brother, he put it out near the trash bin, my Mom called me saying he was throwing it out, I said I didn't want it.  A few days later I had an idea for it, and frantically (doesn't it always have to be frantically) called my brother to grab it from the garbage for me, and from there it became .... my precious!! (did you do the voice for "my precious too?)  My 3 year old has been watching The Chipmunks Chipwrecked, and the cute little chipmunk says that phrase and so my cute daughter has been gargling her raspiest voice and repeating it.  It's hilarious!  

Woah!  Way off topic.

...So I got the frame.

Yes, this is it.  love it or hate it, it works for what I wanted it for.

However after obtaining the frame, I primed it white (forgot to take pictures), and it sat in my garage for over a year.  Why did it sit in my garage...?  Well because I was waiting to find a piece of sheet metal to fill it.  When I couldn't find one, i gave in and bought one at Home Depot for $25.  Yes, that was a lot for me to dish out on a project, but again, so worth it!

By the way this is a large frame.  3x4 feet.

Does that make the sheet metal a better price now....?  Am I trying to fool myself...?

I (as in my sister) stained it for me with leftover stain she had called Minwax Early American Stain.  We added about 4 coats to get the right shade I wanted.

This is how it turned out:

We used a rag along the sides, and an old toothbrush to get in all the detailing.

 Love this quote.  I found it on pinterest.

Done.  Worth it?  

I love it!

Frame: free
Sheet metal: Home Depot $25 (3x4 ft.)
Cute magnets: Micheals (3 pack) 27 cents

Total: $25.54

Am I Alone Here...?

Monday, December 12, 2011 | | 4 comments
Am I alone here when I say...

-I leave my clothes on the floor by my bed, so if I am lazy the next morning I just wear the same thing as I did the day before.  Why do more laundry?  Why waste time on thinking of another good outfit, when you can just wear the same one!

Am I alone here when I say:
-I feel as if I have accomplished housework when I turn on the dishwasher and washing machine and dryer, then head out shopping and come back to a cleaner house.  It makes me feel as if I was in two places at once and no one would ever know.

Am I alone here when I say:
-I clean the house moments before my husband gets in from work, because trying to keep up on it all day and following the kids around to do it doesn't work for me.

Am I alone here when I say:
-I have in the past eaten enough chocolate to get a sugar-high so I can bounce myself into a workout with energy rearing to go!  *okay, definitely not as much as the picture, but doesn't that chunk of chocolate and her facial expression make you laugh!  (ok, maybe I am alone on this one.)

Am I alone here when I say:
-If anyones toothbrush in the holder touches mine, I toss it and get myself a new one!

There you have it... confessions from my life to yours!  

Tell me I am not the only one with these quirks?!  

Do you do it too???

A Little Bit Awkward, A Little Bit Awesome! #3

Thursday, September 29, 2011 | | 4 comments


-visiting someones home... crossing my legs... swinging my leg (habit since... forever.  Do you do that too?) and having her kitten pounce, and grab hold of my leg, while I let out a shrill scream and fling my leg, as their precious kitty goes flying across the room!  Ahh!  Really awkward.

-wearing sunglasses in the grocery store because I was having a rough day and couldn't control the tears.  People were definitely staring.  Needless to say I raced around for what I needed and fled as fast as I could out of there!!

-having my husband ask me what the heck I am doing, because I am doing the bum stretch-wiggle-squat to fit into my jeans.  That for some reason (-a dozen or 2 oreos later - did I really just confess that!!) won't quite slide on like they used to.

-hmm, maybe how I have been missing from my blog for about 2-3 months with no hospital reason to be away for.  But hey, I started this blog, and I will post when I want to post!!!  (sheepish grin)

-having a broken camera, so I have been digging around the web for photos (hence the flying cat!)


-having a family vacation with my awesome troop!

-finding a place with cheap icecream!!  (Ya, that's my baby.  cute hey!!)

-Ummm, finding PINTEREST!  A love affair has insured!  (I even put a button at the top of my page to take you to my pins!)

-*sigh* school back in session!  I love my kids, but... oh the peace!!

-watching THE HELP in theatres with some girlfriends.  What a great show, and the book was fantastic as well.  Have you read it?

-writing another blog post!  That means I actually have a moment of time to do it!  Cheers!

What have you been up to?  Have you found any new blogs I should be checking out?

Brick Wallpaper

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | | 2 comments
I know, what happened to me for a whole month hey?!!  Sheesh.

So I have to say I have so many different projects on the go that I haven't finished one, but are in the middle of all of them.  If it weren't for my sister coming over and randomly suggesting she help me put the wallpaper up in my sons room, who knows when I would have gotten to this project.  I DID however have the supplies for it because I did want to do this.  It was a great 2 man job anyways!

Here is the wall in my sons room which I wanted to add wallpaper.  Why wallpaper...?  Because I found a cool brick-like one, and it was perfect for my boyish room.

We cut one strip at a time to make sure it all fit, and the bricks lined up properly.  I bought this roll at Home Depot for $24.99.  I have to say, that even though my sister and I were meticulous in our measuring and cutting, when it came time to hang, we had two short pieces!!! 

What went wrong?  I have no idea, but I had enough wallpaper to fill in the shorter spots.  Problem solved.

p.s. if you were wondering why I am wearing a CAPE in the picture below, it's because I was also having my sister dye my hair at the same time (hence the cropped photo!)

This is my sister hiding from the camera as we measure and hang the wallpaper.

We (okay it was she) soaked the wallpaper in the bathtub and counted 30 seconds.

Then we folded the wallpaper in onto itself to activate the glue.  
We did not press the sides down, we just let them bubble over (make sense?  haha)

Finally we hung the paper on the wall, and used a squeegee to press out the large bubbles.  It worked out great.  We did have to put towels at the baseboards from the water dripping.  I waited until the wall paper was all dry before cutting it on the top and bottom to measure up perfectly.

Here is what it looks like now.  Fun hey?!

It doesn't look like it in the picture, but there is a ledge where I stopped the wallpaper.  That's why I only did half of the wall.

It was much easier having two people to hang the wallpaper and keep company, so consider that when you decide to hang wallpaper.  Although I have to say I think I would much rather stencil my walls than hang wallpaper ever again.  Personal choice.

Now I just have to finish decorating his room.

But for now, he loves the brick!

Any new wallpaper projects for you?
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