Quick Cricut Goodness

Mom got Avery this little yellow plastic tote to take to the beach. Knowing Mom, I figured my  nephew would have one, too, so I decided to personalize Avery's to avoid confusion and ensuing arguments. (As it turns out, she did get Cameron one, but forgot to give it to him. So, it was just cute for cute sake, which suits me fine.)

I cut the sandcastle (Doodlecharms cart) from green vinyl and the wording (ZooBalloo) from the pink. Center. Layer. Done.

It took all of 8 minutes, and when Avery got home the day before we left, she found it neatly stocked with her beach toys. She squealed and told me I was the "best maker she ever had". My sweet girl loves to give compliments, and they always make my day.

And real quick before I head to my classroom to work for hours, making up for all the time I wasn't there this summer, here are some pictures from the vacation that inspired this little project.

 Sweet Avery

Little Fish
(PS-she's not using her vest at all anymore)

"Helping" by putting sunscreen on all by herself

Heading down one of six waterslides at the condo

Love this sassy pic, though she's really just waving to Pop Pop

My sweet niece, Brenna. I'm really proud of how great this picture came out!!


Avery's New Room-Part 3

Eventually I will make something that's not for Avery's room, but as I've said, I'm trying to have at least that one room done when we move in, and it's the room for which I have the clearest vision of what I want it to look like.

And by room, I also mean her bathroom, so....

I took these super cheap, completely not my style canvasses...

....and painted over them to create these:

I love them so. Especially the one with the quote. It's a Chinese proverb that I might have altered the wording of a bit. I can't remember. Both are mixed media, which is my favorite type of art to create. The snail was inspired (like a whole lot) by GalerieAnais. I. l.o.v.e her designs. For the quote I cut each letter out with my trusty Cricut. The flower was inspired by Lindsey's posies, but made of paper and using a fun brad for the center. Actually, the only painting on that one is the branch and the stripes on the edges.

I'm thinking the snail will look cute over the toilet, the quote/branch one over the towel bar.

The long canvas was on clearance at Target--$2.99. The square one was $4 at Hobby Lobby. I would never find plain canvases that inexpensive, and since I'm painting the whole thing anyway... I used the same trick with this trio for Avery's playhouse. I really love those. So much that I thought about recreating them in different colors to match her room. But then I decided that that's not all that creative.

I'm fixing to start in on two canvasses for over Avery's dresser, also in mixed media. It has taken me forever to come up with a design I like for those, and I'm a little nervous to start in on them. I think better in threes, apparently, as those designs are a snap for me to think up. 

Where do your art inspirations come from? Share, please!


Check This Out

If you have never visited Copy Cat Chic, you need to. Reichel finds the best looks for less. And even though I have never used any of the items she has featured, it really has helped me keep my eyes open for less expensive versions of things I like.

So when I found the Anderson Bed on PBKids, talked myself out of it because of the price, and then found the JC Penney's version for pretty much nothing, I had to tell her.

So, take a sneak peek at the bed Avery is getting (courtesy of PaPa & JuJu and Grandmommy & Pop Pop) and then spend some time at Reichel's place learning how to shop with an eye toward savings.


Cookie Sheet Chore Chart

Have I mentioned that I intend for this new house to change our lives? Hey, for the amount of money we're spending on this thing, I don't think it's too much to ask. We have really tried to think about how we will use each space as we made changes to the plan, selected cabinets, planned shelving, etc. Examples: adding outlets at the top of the stairs and over the fireplace for Christmas decorations, adding a closet under the attic stairs that would otherwise be wasted space. I really think having a place for everything will be life-changing. Right now I feel consumed by clutter, but while some of it needs to hit the road, most of it are items we use (or would use more) if we just had a place for them. We have 17 closets in the new house. Seventeen. Seriously. I know, crazy, right? That's not even including the pantry. And the master closet has more square feet than our current bedroom. Oh, we have a dishwasher, too. I've never had one before, and excited does not begin to express my joy in it. Combine that with a room just for books (a library in the house is an English teacher's dream!!) and one for crafts, and life-changing doesn't seem so far fetched, does it?

Right now I feel like I do everything around here. I'm not saying I do alot, but what does get done is generally done by me. That's changing, too. Kyle has promised to help more (he mows and weedeats; it's not like he does nothing), and we're officially bringing Avery on board, too. She is so excited about this, and we're working with that enthusiasm while it lasts. But since consistency is a weak area in my life, I wanted a way to help us all stay on track.

Enter the job chart.

Isn't cute? The turquoise and apple green are the colors I'm using in the kitchen, where this will live. I spent a lot of time looking for ideas on Etsy and Google, but nothing really fit our needs. Part of simplifying my life is creating systems that are themselves simple. The simpler it is, the more likely I am to stick with it. Most of the ideas I was seeing online had too many boxes and stickers and...stuff.

There's not really a tutorial needed for this, but here's basically what I did:

  1. Spray paint a cookie sheet (ORB for me!!)
  2. Modge Podge two papers to cookie sheets--one about 3/4 the length of the sheet, the other 1/4. 
  3. Add stickers outlining jobs to be done.
  4. Seal with another coat of MP.
  5. Embellish.
  6. Add a magnet for each job to the bottom section.
All Avery has to do is take a magnet and check off jobs as she completes them. Easy, right? We discussed together which jobs she wanted on her chart. I was thinking we'd do about four things since she is four, but she had a list of 10 jobs! We settled on these six, making them general enough that they will work as she grows and her responsibilities become greater.

Avery LOVES this. Yesterday after she got home, she ran into the den and asked which job said "make bed." I told her and she placed a magnet beside it. I went to her room, and sure enough, she had made her bed! She'd NEVER done that before...and she sure didn't learn it from me! (See Sarah's take on bed making here.) And this one made me laugh out loud: she looked at her chart and asked what she could put magnets by. "Well," I said, "you put your dress up clothes away, so put one beside 'pick up toys.'" She did, and then said, "those are clothes, too, so I can put one there, too!!" Such a multi-tasker, she is.

What daily organizing tips work for you? Comment, please! I need all the help I can get!!

Edited to Add: Ok, so I don't really expect this house to change my life. I'm exaggerating.  I do think, however, that having a home that better fits our family's needs will greatly impact our day to day routines and will, by default, reduce my stress levels at least somewhat. It also gives us the space to expand our family should we choose to. We don't have room for that here. We will live in this house for the rest of our lives, so we built it with future space needs and old age issues in mind. And in a family that has deep roots in this land, I think we have constructed a home that can be passed down to future generations and become a part of the history this family has in our town.


Avery's New Room-Part 2

Okay, here's another project stolen from inspired by blogland. I don't remember where I first saw Suzanne's Give A Hoot Pillow, but when I did, I knew I had to make it. A bit of fabric from this shopping trip, some fiber fill and three hours of fighting with my sewing machine, and Hilda Hoot Owl was born...

Even her backside is cute! Love that fabric.

Seriously, it should have taken 20 minutes to sew, but I could not get my needle threaded. I spent at 30 minutes on two different occasions trying. When I finally got it threaded, the bobbin wouldn't catch. Sheesh. It was worth the effort though, because I love love love her. I also used Heat and Bond on the piece work, which made sewing  easier in one sense, but the web itself was hard to sew through and left needle marks. It also made the pillow not so soft, but it's really more for decor than head resting.

I can't wait to see how it looks in Avery's new room!

I'm linking this one to


Avery's New Room-Part 1

The house is almost finished!! Hopefully that explains my extreme lack of posting. Building a house is a full time job. All we lack at this point is carpet, finishing the hardwoods and a few plumbing odds and ends. We have to close on or before August 18, so it really is almost here!! I cannot express how excited we are to be moving into our dream home. The retaining wall, nicknamed The Great Wall of Goodlettsville, ate into our furniture fund (this thing is 200' long by 6' tall at its highest point), but I am determined to have at least one room completely done when we move in...and that, naturally, is our daughter's room. At four, her room still looks like it did the day she was born. The only thing that has changed is that we converted her crib into a toddler bed. She's tiny (33 lbs finally!), so this isn't a big deal. I didn't see the point in redoing her room knowing we wouldn't be in the house much longer. Besides, her room is so small, I'm not sure a bigger bed would even fit.

Her new room is 23' x 15' (HUGE), so the timing is perfect for all new stuff. And, since I'm making pretty much everything in there, I have been able to work on it over the last several months. I'm going to start posting about the various projects for her room, and once we're moved in, I'll how everything in use.

Let's start with the inspiration:

I had planned to make her bedding out of this fabric collection (Gypsie Spring by Robert Kaufman), but then found a set in the exact same fabric for $60 at Stein Mart. I couldn't by the fabric that cheap! Plus, it's already made, so she'll have bedding before middle school.

Here's a picture of the whole set. I'm using white sheets (more on those later!), and folding the comforter at the end of the bed. A white quilt from HomeGoods will be what's actually on her bed. Also not using the striped Euro shams. I may try to find some green ones in a damask or something, but I'm not sure I really even need them.

And speaking of HomeGoods....

Here's the picture of the washcloths she picked out again. See how great they're going to tie in?!

Okay, scroll back up to the picture of the bedding. See the nightstand? I'm 99% positive that's the filing cabinet from Walmart that matches the desk we ordered for Ave's room. The one I thought would make a great night stand. Hmm...maybe once I see the quality of the desk I'll go back to that idea. I do love them...

But anyway, I promised a project, and here it is.

I knew I wanted something for Avery's dresser and something with her name on it, and when I saw these Spring Blocks from Lindsey I knew it was exactly what I wanted there. Lindsey has a great tutorial on her site, so I'll just show you my finished product.

Cute, huh? My dad cut the wood for me (all scraps from the construction site--hey, I paid for them!) and sanded them with his belt sander, saving me sooooo much time. Here are close ups of each letter.

Lindsey also shows us how to make the cutie paper flowers on her site. I used a few on this modge-podged picture frame redo.

$2 at HomeGoods and paper I already had!

So there's two of the two dozen or so projects I have planned for her room. You can watch the progress of the list over on my sidebar. Like any good crafter, though, I'm adding as many projects as I'm completing. Oh well!

I'm linking this project up at

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