Pinned It, Made It #4

Monday, October 30, 2017

Over the weekend my friend Michelle and I had our monthly craft night. We’ve been doing them for over a year now and I still look forward to it every month. If you’ve missed any of our past projects, I’ve created a list at the bottom of the post (we also share our top three projects to date). Anyway, this round of projects includes one of my favorite projects and our biggest #pinterestfail yet.

For our August craft night we decided to make fall pillows. We bought the pillow covers at Hobby Lobby (they’re super cheap) and used felt to decorate them. This ended up being one of my favorite projects, but it seriously took for-ev-er. We cut everything by hand (using this leaf template) and then hand stitched the details. I wish I would have had the time (and patience) to stitch details on all of the leaves, but I still love how it turned out. Thanks Handmade in the Heartland for the inspiration!



Michelle had to take her pillow home and finish sewing the next day, so this isn’t her finished pillow in the picture. You can see her finished pillow here (or in the 'favorites' section below). She took the time to hand stitch all of the felt leaves and pumpkins to the pillow cover, so hers should last forever. I used fabric glue to adhere the leaves on mine, so I hope it holds up. The pillow doesn’t get used, so I think it should be fine.



We also baked a batch of mint chocolate chip cookies using a recipe that Michelle had pinned. They were seriously so good. Adam and I ate all of ours by the end of the weekend.



September’s craft ended up being our biggest fail yet. Our project for the month was to paint mason jars for the fall (tutorial here and here). Um yeah, it’s harder than it sounds. We tried acrylic paint, chalk paint and spray paint. The one that I spray painted was the only jar that turned out decent. The other paints just looked too streaky and required way to many coats of paint. Luckily, the acrylic paint and chalk paint washed off easily so we can reuse the jars for another project.



Michelle also tried to decoupage faux leaves onto the jars like this pin, but as you can see, it didn’t work out. They just wouldn’t lay flat on the jar. So we gave up and decided to just meet the guys at a local brewery for a couple drinks. Our craft project didn’t turn out as planned, but it was still a fun day.



For October we stuck with the fall theme and made wood slice pumpkins using the tutorial from A Night Owl. This ended up being one of our easiest and most straight-forward crafts. Honestly, it was nice to just paint, glue, and be done on time for once. 



Plus they turned out so cute! Mine are on the right and Michelle's are on the left. I like how she did her leaves on opposite sides of the two pumpkins. I think I'm going pull the leave off of my smaller one and glue it to the other side...one of these days. Anyway, if you're looking for a quick, cute fall craft I'd totally recommend this one! 



As I mentioned above, it’s been a year since we started out monthly craft nights. I thought it would be fun if we both picked our favorite projects from the last year based on outcome. We both agree that our $15 Dollar Tree Craft Challenge was our favorite to actually do. Anyway, in no particular order, these are our top three projects we’ve created so far:



You can see all of our past projects here:
Pinned It, Made It #1: Burlap Wreaths, Reversible Scarecrow/Snowman and String Art

Pinned It, Made It #2: Christmas Ornaments, Wood Door Tags, and Painted Signs
Pinned It, Made It #3: Patriotic Rag Wreaths, Wood Sign Post + Welcome Signs, and $15 Dollar Tree Craft Challenge


If you’re looking for more craft ideas, check out our shared Monthly Craft Night Pinterest board!



Friday Five

Friday, October 27, 2017

One –Souvenirs


I’m back from my two week Scotland and Ireland vacation! I had such an amazing time, but it’s always nice to get home and sleep in my own bed. I’m still working on my first trip recap post, but today I want to share some of the souvenirs I brought home. Scotland and Ireland both had so many cute shops and so many local, handmade items available…I ended up buying a lot of stuff, but these are some of my favorite items:


From Scotland: I bought the gray herringbone cross-body purse at Stirling Castle and the bagpipe playing Santa ornament is from a Christmas shop in Edinburgh. The Highland cow (hairy coo) clay figurine and tea towel are from the Loch Ness area.


From Ireland: I bought the angel Christmas ornament and white gold Claddagh ring in Galway. The heart bowl is from the Kylemore Abbey gift shop. The Blarney Stone shirt is obviously from Blarney Castle and I bought the garlic jar at the Kilkenny shop in Dublin.



Two –Halloween Costumes


Adam and I don’t have any Halloween plans, so we haven’t bought costumes for ourselves. BUT, I have bought costumes for the dogs. It’s probably a waste of money because they really only wear them for a few minutes so I can take pictures, but it’s totally worth it for the laughs. This is Jelly’s first Halloween with us and probably first clothing experience. As you can see, Ringo is sushi, Jelly is a princess, and Abby is a butterfly.



*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no additional cost to you. As always, I only recommend products that I have bought (or would buy) for myself.


Three –One Line a Day Journal


One of my ’30 for 30s’ goals this year is to start a daily journal. As much as I love the idea of writing full journal entries every day, I know that’s never going to happen. I couldn’t even manage to keep up with my travel journal on my last vacation and that was only for 2 weeks! So when I saw this One Line a Day journal, I knew that was the answer!


Each page is dated and has space for a one line entry for five years! I think it’ll be so fun to look back each year and see what I was up to that specific day. It reminds me of the On This Day app for Facebook. I’m terrible about updating Facebook regularly though, so mine is not that exciting…plus I’m sure my friends wouldn’t appreciate mundane one line a day posts showing up on their feed. Some things don’t need to be broadcasted to the world. 



Four –#stopsucking


Have you guys seen/joined the movement to stop using plastic straws? They say that 500 million plastic straws are used every day in the U.S. and by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. I know sometimes all of these causes and changes you should make to your daily habits can seem overwhelming, but those numbers are pretty staggering and this seems like a pretty easy change to make.


Every morning Adam makes smoothies for us for breakfast and we’ve been using these stainless steel straws for months now. The straight, wide opening ones are perfect for thick smoothies. The set comes with a brush, so they are easy to clean too. As of today, they’re $10 for a set of 5 on Amazon so they’re definitely reasonably priced too.



Five – Flowers Just Because


Adam brought home flowers a couple days ago and they are so pretty I have to share a picture. I love the fun, bright colors! I also love that he buys me flower just because he knows I like them =)



I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Does anyone have any fun Halloween plans?



Decorating with Olive Trees

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Disclaimer – I was provided products for review courtesy of Commercial Palm Trees. As always, I only promote products that I genuinely like and would use myself. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


2017 is the year of the olive tree. I’ve seen so many of them used in decorating lately and they always look so beautiful. I love their simple shape and neutral color. They add an interesting dimension to a room without being overwhelming, even the full sized ones.  I think they’re definitely the new fiddle leaf fig in decorating.


So when Commercial Palm Trees contacted me about reviewing a plant from Silk Plants Direct, I knew I wanted to get an olive tree. I ended up picking the 18” potted olive tree (it comes in a pack of 2) and I was really impressed by the quality. My mom was visiting when they arrived and she even commented on how real they look.


 
From what I’ve read olive trees are fairly easy to grow indoors, but thrive in sunlight and need occasional outdoor time. I’m a big fan of using real plants in decorating, but I don’t have very many sunny places in the house and I know I’d probably never end up taking a plant outside as needed. So for me, a fake olive tree is probably for the best. 
 

Plus there’s always a few spots around the house where a plant would look perfect, but it’s impossible to keep one alive there. In our house, that spot is on top of this cabinet next to the fire place. I think it’s the perfect place for a plant, but I just can’t get one to thrive in that spot. I think the air vent blows on it too much. So I just “repotted” one of the olive trees I received and now I don’t have to worry about sacrificing another plant to that spot. 



I love how the olive tree looks on the hutch in the pictures above, but it’s too close to the other cabinet (olive tree overload). So I decided to put the second olive tree in the master bedroom. This is another room that desperately needs plants, but it doesn’t get any natural light. We have solar screens on the windows and always keep the blinds close because this room bakes in the afternoon sun and can get crazy hot. A silk plant is the perfect way to bring life into the room without killing any more real plants.

 

I think the key to using silk plants in the home is to have a mix of both real and fake. You’ll always have a few spots in the house where a real plant will flourish and you should definitely buy real in that case. However, you’ll also have plenty of spots where you need to add the life and design that a plant can give a room, but it’ll be a plant dead zone. In that case, try a silk plant. They’ve come a long way from cheap, plastic looking plants of the past.


Are you on the olive tree bandwagon? Do you have any fake plants in your house?




Fall Project List – Outdoor To-Dos

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

You guys, I feel like it’s never going to cool down in Phoenix. Early last week the forecast was showing mid to low 80s for this week, but now the forecast is back up to the mid-90s. I’m ready for some actual fall weather! Anyway, looking ahead a couple weeks to when it’ll no longer feel like living on the sun (hopefully), it’s time to start planning some outdoor projects. I’m seriously so excited to finally have a chance to work on our yard. I’ve been looking at pictures of everyone’s outdoor projects and beautiful yards for the past few months while mine was wilting away in the heat. That’s the funny thing about living in the desert – it feels like our seasons are totally opposite. The fall to-do lists I’ve been seeing on other blogs are all indoor projects, so it feels weird to be sharing projects like starting a garden, but such is life in Phoenix.

By now you know that I don’t accomplish anything without a to-do list or having someone hold me accountable, so hence the reason for today’s post. I’ve put together a list of eight outdoor projects I want to get done before Christmas and I think it’s totally doable. I know Adam will be on board with this list, so together we should have no problem finishing before the holidays. Oh, and I should warn you that these pictures aren’t pretty. I’m not kidding when I say our yard has gotten out of control over the summer. Adam and I (mostly Adam) wacked all of the weeds a couple times, but it’s just too damn hot to be out there doing yard work after like 7 a.m.


Ok, let’s get into it. The first project on my list is priming/painting the new patio cover. We had the entire thing replaced a couple months ago, but we’ve been waiting for it to cool down before painting it. It’s still just raw wood, so we really need to get this done ASAP. The paint on the rest of the house is old and faded, so I’m not really sure what we are going to do about the paint, but we can definitely prime it in the meantime.



A couple years ago I bought a bunch of bags of mulch for around our trees, but I never actually did it, so that’s the next project on my list. Right now we have the landscaping rocks around all of the trees, but I think replacing the rocks with mulch will really help with how much we have to water. I think it’ll look better too.



We started a vegetable garden in the spring and had a couple successful tomato harvests, but then it got too hot and everything started dying. And then the weeds took over. So, we need to clear everything out and replant for the fall. 



Speaking of gardening, I also want to start an herb garden. I bought this raised planter (it’s only $28!) at the end of May and it’s still in the box. So my goal is to put it together and start growing some herbs, especially basil.




The next project on my list is cleaning the barbeque. We use it quite a bit all year long and it could definitely use a good cleaning. I want to take apart the big pieces and scrape off the burnt stuff and just give it a really good cleaning. 



The last project in the backyard is probably going to be the biggest and worst. The weeds have completely taken over the pool area and we need to get that under control. When we had the backyard landscaped a couple years ago they didn’t do a very good job with the weed plastic in that area, so the weeds came back pretty quickly. We’re planning on pulling out the rocks and redoing the plastic. I’m not looking forward to this one at all.



I also want to do a little front porch refresh while the weather is nice. The plants on the front porch died months ago, so it’s been looking shabby for a while. At least the wreath I made during our first ever craft night still looks cute!



The last project on my list is technically indoors, but the garage doesn’t have A/C, so it’s basically like being outdoors (maybe even worse because there’s no air moving). We started our garage makeover during the spring One Room Challenge, but didn’t finish in time because of shipping errors. We did manage to epoxy the floors before the worst part of summer (but it was still ridiculously hot in there), but that’s as far as we got. We moved some stuff back in over the past few months, but there’s still a shelf full of stuff on the patio and my craft room is so full it’s unusable. So my goal is to get everything organized and moved back into the garage. Oh, and we still have to hang one more light.



So that’s my fall to-do list. I’ve been thinking about these projects for months and I’m excited to finally have a chance to get started on them. I’ll post updates as we cross items off the list.


Do you have any projects on your fall to-do list?



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