Christmas 2016

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! My toddler is super into the holidays this year and I have been taking a little time off from projects to spend as much time with my little munchkins as possible.  I always enjoy the holidays, but they are even more fun with little kids who believe in all the magic and stories you tell them!

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We visited the North Pole in Colorado back in July and while we were there we signed Hollis up to receive a letter from Santa. We didn’t do one for Bowen because he doesn’t really get it yet, but Hollis was so excited to get hers. I think I read it 40 times in the days leading up to Christmas.  It also helped with all of the threats I made to her that Santa wouldn’t bring her presents if she was naughty. She is so, so naughty these days (three-year olds, am I right?!),  I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of the year when I can’t use Santa as leverage! We are definitely going to do Santa letters again next year (one for Bo too!) and as many years as they will let me.

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I have dreaded taking the kids to see Santa because of impending freak outs, and waiting in long lines with very small, impatient children. Hollis has never been up for it in the past anyways.  But when Brian’s uncle told us he was dressing up as Santa at the Fort Hays basketball game, we decided to brave it. I talked to Hollis about it for a couple of days prior, and she promised me that she would sit on his lap. When the time came, she was a little hesitant, but once she was on his lap, she was good to go. I think it really helped that Uncle Rich was our first Santa.  My little stoic man Bo just sat there and took everything in like a champ.

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We spread our Christmas across three days with four different celebrations. We got to spend time with lots of family and got spoiled with food and gifts. I usually spend lots of time stressing about what to get everyone and worrying about whether or not I got everyone equally awesome gifts. This year I took a different route and made some handmade gifts. It was a lot of fun creating things for people and doing my favorite thing, DIY/crafting. It’s not something I would do every year, but it was fun to do something a little different for a change. They were so much fun to make that I am hoping to make myself one, and when I do I will try to do a little tutorial on it.

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I still can’t believe that the holidays are already over, but I am looking forward to taking all the decorations down and putting things back in their normal place…like my coffee table I had to put the Christmas tree on this year to keep it away from my busy-body 10 month old! I have a long list of projects I want to get to this year and I can’t wait to get back in the groove and get started on them. Hope you all had a merry everything!

 

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Garage Sale Art Makeover

Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.comHollis’ room has been evolving little by little as she grows. I’m trying to get used to the idea that I have a toddler now and not a little baby anymore. (Sob!) We’ve been using her dresser as a changing table up until a couple of months ago. She is still in diapers, but just too big for the changing table. Lately, her bed or the floor are safer for her wiggly toosh to get changed.

I had a baby-friendly gallery wall above the dresser, but I also bought a mirror to go over her dresser one day when she was a little bigger. It’s a big, heavy-duty mirror, which I’ve been storing it in the bottom of my closet where it is just begging for me to drop something on it just right and shatter the thing. So I was really excited to finally get to hang it up where it actually belongs.

Of course after I got the mirror hung, my gallery wall just wasn’t feeling right anymore. It needed something. to help balance out the large, round mirror. So I dug through my latest garage sale haul of pictures and frames. Nothing I had would work as-is, but I did have a frame that was just the right shape and size. It just needed a makeover.

I went with this little gem. I had no hard feelings about painting over this masterpiece. Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.comI wanted something easy, but that would carry out the colors in Hollis’ room. I decided a quick abstract painting would do the trick. I took the beautiful picture out and just decided to paint over the heavy card stock that came with the frame. I like it when abstract pictures have some texture and a really easy way to cheat and easily add texture is to just Modpodge some tissue paper before you paint. I purposely let it wrinkle in some spots and ripped and layered it in other spots. It also provided a nice, white background to start with.

Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.comNext I grabbed a craft brush, I liked the sponge tip brush for spreading color around. I squeezed dots randomly in a couple different shades of pink and some white and then just brushed the dots around. Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.comThen I added some black, sparingly. I didn’t want it to be too girly with all the pink.Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.com Lastly, I grabbed a can of gold spray paint (which I ALWAYS seem to have on hand) and sprayed a few random spots. I really liked the shimmer from it and I went ahead and sprayed the frame gold too. Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.comHere you can see the texture from the tissue paper. Of course you can also create texture with paint, but I just have time for that. Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.comAnd here is my little 10 minute art project (not including drying time). It won’t win any awards or anything, but a big improvement and will work in Hollis’ room.

Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.com Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.com Garage Sale Art Makeover // thegoldbrickroad.com The wall is not done yet. I’d still like to add a couple little things to the wall, but it’s so nice to finally have that mirror hung up and some original artwork. Garage sales are my favorite place to snag cheap art and frames.

Feelin’ Crafty: No Sew Curtains

When I was redoing the playroom, I went back and forth on whether or not I needed curtains in there. The two windows in the room are large, original windows. One faces North and one faces West. The North facing window is surrounded by a line of trees and really doesn’t need any window treatment on it, while the West facing window gets some sun in the afternoon/evening.

I originally thought about something really simple like wood blinds or even a nice roller shade. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of really nice curtains that will probably get used and abused by my toddler. BUT, because the windows are not a standard size, I knew that nice blinds or roller shades would be pretty pricey. So I needed to come up with some cheap curtains that would diffuse some sunlight, but that don’t cost an arm and a leg in case they get destroyed or I change my mind and decide to go with something custom.

531675c17415b970c245ee57a4b61da9I found these curtains at Target a while back and immediately liked them. They were just what I wanted as far as the color, and they didn’t feel too grown up or too childish for our shared playroom/rec room. What I didn’t like about them was the length or the pocket top. I wanted them a little shorter, long enough to cover the entire window, but short enough that my child hopefully won’t be tempted to mess with. I also wanted a grommet top or to add clips to the top so that the curtains would slide open and closed easily over the curtain rod.

After much debate, I decided to pull the trigger and buy them, only to find out that Target no longer carries them….That’s what I get for thinking too much. But the good news is that they carry the exact same design only in the form of a shower curtain. My first thought was, ‘how ghetto would it be if I hung a shower curtain on my window?’. Then, I thought with a little modification, they might actually work.

A standard shower curtain is 72″ x 72″, so I ordered two curtains and planned on cutting them in half so that I would have two 36″ wide panels for each window. A standard curtain is 54″ wide, so these are significantly more narrow than a regular curtain would be, but my windows are less than 72″ wide, so I wasn’t too worried about it. I also ordered some brushed nickel shower curtain rings to match the curtain rods I had already bought.

Feelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comI had to break out the iron and attempt to get out some of the major wrinkles out.

Feelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comAs you can see, I didn’t get them ALL out. Then I folded it in half lengthwise and cut them in half. Feelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comAfter I cut them, I folded over the cut edge about 3/4″ to match the already hemmed edge on the other side. I just needed it wide enough fit my 5/8″ wide Stitch Witchery under. If you’ve never used Stitch Witchery, it’s the greatest invention ever, especially if your sewing skills are questionable like mine are. It is also super cheap, I got mine at Wal-Mart for around $2.

0217151349aFeelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comAfter I got the hem pinned and my Stitch Witchery under it, I ironed it flat.Feelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comSuch and easy and quick project. All I had to do after ironing, is add my shower rings and hang them up. I love how easy they are to slide open and closed. We generally leave them open most of the time, but they are nice to have on an especially sunny day.

Feelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comFeelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comFeelin' Crafty: No Sew Curtains // thegoldbrickroad.comI wouldn’t recommend going this route if you really want to block out a lot of sunlight. If this was a bedroom, I would definitely have put up something heavier. I still may add a blind or shade of some sort behind the curtains at some point. Or I could sew or Velcro on a light-blocking panel to the back of the curtains. For now though, these curtains do the trick and take the edge off the sunlight we get and add some privacy.

Feelin’ Crafty: Headband Holder

I knew way back when I was pregnant with Hollis that some day we would be up to our eyeballs in hair bows. I just had no idea that it would start so early…like while she was still in my belly! Lately I feel like I’m drowning in baby girl headbands…which is probably the most adorable way to drown. It amazes me how many people can mistake a baby dressed in all pink as a boy unless she has a headband on her little dome. I’m constantly digging around in Hollis’ dresser drawer, diaper bag, car, etc. for her headbands and usually don’t even find the one I want.

thegoldbrickroad.com thegoldbrickroad.com thegoldbrickroad.comI decided something MUST be done about this problem (first world problems, am I right?!). I started rummaging through my craft supplies to see what I could come up with. I knew I wanted something that hangs on the wall, out of the way where I can see all of her headbands at once. I immediately found a wooden plaque that I remember getting at JoAnn’s, but I can’t remember what for. And of course I grabbed my trusty can of gold spray paint.

Here’s my wooden plaque. For a second I thought about leaving it just wood because I liked the look, but I decided it needed the gold spray paint to glam it up a little bit. I didn’t want it all gold though, a little gold goes a long way, so I taped off where I wanted the wood to show.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comDIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comI wanted some fun, girly knobs to put on it to hang the headbands from so I had to plan a trip to Hobby Lobby (oh, darn). I was overwhelmed with their selection of decorative knobs. I could have spent hours looking at them. I fell in love with about 20 of them, but sadly, I only needed three for this project. My wheels are spinning trying to come up with more projects that require knobs/hooks.

I just eyeballed where I wanted to put the knobs and marked them with a sharpie.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comThen I used my drill to pre-drill holes where I needed to screw in the knobs.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comThe only problem I encountered was that the screws to the knobs were way too long for the wood plaque I was using. I had to call in reinforcements aka the hubby. He used a spade bit so the bolts in the back of the plaque would sink in farther and then cut the excess off with a saw. I wanted the back to be nice and flat so that it will hang flush to the wall and not scratch things up.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comHere is a close up of the back after.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comI also had to attach something to hang it up with. I bought these little guys at Wal-Mart in the picture hanging section of the hardware isle for a whopping .97 cents. I went ahead and attached two (there are six in the pack I got) so that I could hang it horizontally or vertically in case we use it for something else some day. It’s so not like me to think ahead like that, but I’m sure my future self will appreciate it.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comHere is the final product. I think I’m going to add a few strands of ribbon to the bottom so that I can clip her little barrettes to it too. Then we can always remove them later if we want to use it for something else.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.com
DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comHere it is in use with a few of her headbands.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comThis project has me super excited for Hollis’ room. I thought I knew what I was going to do in there, but now I’m rethinking EVERYTHING. I can’t wait to finish up the bathroom and entry way so I can get started in there!