My Resolution to You

Me

January 1, 2015. Nice ring to it, eh?

Happy New Year, you beautiful creatures, you.I am writing this as a sort of intention, or manifesto for the coming year, to my readers. I had a long conversation with my hero, (my big sister), yesterday, about vulnerability. About transparency. About authenticity. It became very clear to me that one of my hopes and intentions for this blog, was to open up a bit more, and let you in. 

I often talk about the power and the magic of truly relating to each other, and now it is time for me to walk that talk. I still plan to share fabulous and fun DIYs, events and recipes, but I am also hoping to incorporate some more #realtalk.

I am so excited and honored that you have decided to join me on my blogging journey thus far, and I can’t wait to bring you so much more; cue music, “We’ve only just begun…”

xo, Em

life is rad

Day 7: Holiday Wall Art {Fail and Fixes}

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Greetings, Blogosphere!

Today is DIY Day 7, which officially puts us over the halfway mark of this 12 day challenge. If I am being 100% honest, (which I am), then you should know I hesitated to post this craft. It did not turn out how I envisioned it, and after the fact I realized a better way to do the project. You know what they say about hindsight..

When I started this blog, I did so under the guise of being relate-able to the ‘everyday mom’. Everyday moms sometimes have fails. I wouldn’t call this project a total fail, but let’s be honest, it’s not my favorite. (That is what Ayden says when she doesn’t like something).

I am going to post my how-to for this project, and at the bottom I will post the fixes to my perceived glitches. Thanks for hanging in this thing with me, and loving me despite my imperfect DIYs. (:

(Sparkly) Holiday Wall Art DIY

Supplies:

  • Canvas
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Masking Tape
  • Glitter scrapbook paper
  • Glue
  • Black Paint
  • Gold or Silver Paint

Step 1:

Measure equal stripes on to your canvas using your ruler and pencil.

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Step 2:

Mask off your stripes, (masking inside the white stripe, so you can paint the black stripe.) And paint.

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Step 3:

While paint is drying draw & cut out your desired shape on the back of the craft paper, (I chose a snowflake because it is pretty neutral. I had to really fight the urge to make another ‘taxidermy’ head.)

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Step 4:

Remove masking tape once paint has dried, apply glue to cut out, and adhere it to canvas. (Note: the picture does not have to be dead-center, try placing it off-center for a more original look.)

***This is where my problems began. I am pretty sure the paint wasn’t fully dry when I removed the tape. Either that, or the paint just bled. I did not get the clean, straight stripe I was hoping for.)

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Step 5:

Add ‘snow’ with gold or silver paint and allow to dry.

This is my finished project. It isn't quite as I imagined or planned it. See below for suggested 'fixes' to this DIY.

This is my finished project. It isn’t quite as I imagined or planned it. See below for suggested ‘fixes’ to this DIY.

Fixes:

  • Paint upward of the masking tape seam.
  • Allow paint to fully dry over several hours.
  • Instead of scrap book paper, use Elmer’s glue directly on the canvas to draw your desired shape, then cover with loose glitter and allow it to dry. (I believe this will give a cleaner look to the project).
  • Add a splash of color, (like mustard or red, or both) to add a little contrast.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself!

xo, Em

Day 2 – Painted Pine Cones: 12 Days of DIY

painted pinecones

Hello! We meet again… And I am oh-so thankful for it.

Today’s DIY is a fun one that doesn’t take too much time or effort. You could do this one with your kiddos too. I chose to do it as an after-hours, alone-time project and it proved to be pretty relaxing and therapeutic. Initially these were going to be ombre pine cones, but I had fun breaking the ‘rules’.

Another major score was that I had all the supplies for this craft, on hand. I love when that happens. I had a couple of large zip locks filled with pine cones from holidays of past, and the paints and brushes in my craft supplies. Woot!

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Don’t forget to enter your DIY idea that you would like to see featured, for a chance to win a cool prize!

xo, Em

Day 1 – Pom Pom Branches: 12 Days of DIY

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Happy December!

We are officially in holiday season. As promised, I have taken the ‘Deck the Halls with DIY’ challenge; aka 12 days of DIY. I am kicking off my 12 days with a user-friendly craft that you can do with your kiddos.

I had a huge bag of multi-colored pom poms in my craft supplies, so this was a no-brainer for me. As you know by now, I am a total use-what-you-have gal. Here is a fun and easy way to spruce up a desk top, entry table or any other surface you fancy.

Pom Pom Branches:

1. Collect Branches

This part was so much fun! I took Ayden on a ‘nature walk’, where we collected sticks and twigs and branches. I made sure to get extra so that there were plenty for Ayden to make. 

2. Pick your Poms

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Pick your color scheme. I was a bit limited, since I only had the colors from my bag, to choose from. I wanted bright, rich, jewel-tone-ish colors. (Ayden was a bit more liberal with her color choices.) 

3. Trim your branches

Depending on what kind of sticks you collect, you may need to trim them a bit. At the very least you will probably have to cut the sticks to your desired length.

4. Hot glue ’em

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Using a hot glue gun, dab glue at tips of stick, (one stick at a time and one dab at a time), and start attaching the pom poms. Or, for a more kid-friendly approach, use Elmer’s glue, (we prefer the sparkly kind in this house).

5. Let ’em dry

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Let the sticks dry for a couple of hours, (or over night). Once dry, put your pom pom branches in a vase, and display as desired. 

xo, Em

DIY Challenge – Day 3: Edible Witches Brooms

Some people claim that they are not very crafty, and while I agree that certain DIY’s are definitely more challenging than others, I truly believe that there are crafts out there for everyone. This is one of those crafts. This is a great one to do with your Littles, (as long as you accept that some of the supplies will be consumed along the way).

Are you ready for the easiest-peasiest Halloween DIY ever? I give you:

Edible Witches Brooms

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Supplies Needed:

  • 1 cookie sheet
  • parchment paper / wax paper / tin foil
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups
  • Pretzel sticks

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Instructions:

  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Unwrap mini peanut butter cups (paper liner included)
  • Line peanut butter cups on dressed cookie sheet, face down
  • Insert pretzel sticks in the center of the peanut butter cup, pressing about 1/3-1/2 the way in.
  • Refrigerate or freeze

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The biggest challenge about this little Halloween DIY, may be not eating all of the peanut butter cups! Enjoy!

xo, Emily

DIY Challenge – Day 1: Crayon Drip Pumpkin

I am happy to say, that I successfully completed day 1 of my 5 Days of DIY Challenge! Hooray! It was almost a disaster, but this project ended up being loads of fun, and I am pleased with the end result!

The Project: Crayon Drip Pumpkin DIY

Originally I had pictured doing this project on a large, plain, all white pumpkin. When I got to the store, they did not have a large, plain, all white pumpkin. I could have gone on a wild-goose-pumpkin chase, but Ayden was with me and we were nearing lunchtime. Dragging a hungry toddler around on a mission, is a recipe for disaster. So instead I settled on a smaller white pumpkin, with orange speckles.

1. Choose a pumpkin

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2. Choose crayons & peel off wrappers

In the Pinterest post that originally inspired this project, the person used an entire box of crayola crayons, in rainbow order. Because we have a crayon-farm in our home, (not literally), I used my typical use what you have approach. I collected some of Ayden’s broken crayons, and up-cycled them for this project.

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3. Paint or color pumpkin stem

As if you wouldn’t have guessed, I painted my stem gold. It doesn’t have to be perfectly in the lines, because the crayon wax will cover some of it. Also, you will go back at the end and touch up the paint.

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4. Glue crayons to top of pumpkin & let dry

I used basic Elmer’s school glue, but I bet a more industrial type of glue would be even better.

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5. Use a blow dryer to apply heat from the top of the pumpkin

Ok, here is where it gets tricky. I probably didn’t wait for the glue to completely dry because I am very impatient. But even if you are more patient than me, you still might find the crayons want to slip off. First of all, I had to use low heat to start–I think it created a bond between the crayon to the pumpkin. When I turned the heat on high–again, impatience, I had to hold it from higher above. Then you can start playing with the angle of the blow drying, which causes the colorful crayon wax to drip down the sides. This was so much fun for me! Therapeutic, even. (:

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6. Cool & serve

When you are finished, let the crayon wax cool off and set. You can go back and touch up the stem with your paint, and viola! Your crayon drip pumpkin is complete!

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Stay tuned for Day 2 of my 5 Day DIY Challenge!

xo, Emily

5 Days of DIY Challenge

heart autumn

It’s Sunday afternoon, and I am sitting here thinking about all of the fun, Autumn DIY ideas I keep seeing. Sometimes there are so many to choose from, that I feel overwhelmed. Then I decided that this week, I would delve in to the Fall-frenzy of craftiness. Then, (because one is never enough), I challenged myself to do a craft for every day, this week. And by week, I mean Monday – Friday.

So I am inviting you to join my ‘DIY Everyday Challenge’. Even if you only do one DIY craft this week, I want to see it! If you are an Instagrammer, tag me @aydensmommy and hash tag #fivedaysofdiy.

Even if this turns in to a solo mission, I am excited to see what Ayden and I create! The fun starts tomorrow, so tune in!

xo, Emily