Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scrabble Nameplate Project

I came up with a really cute and easy project this past weekend. I thought I'd share it here, along with a little how-to.

Let's start with a picture of the finished project:
click on image to see larger

I so adore this project, particularly because of the  simplicity factor. So let's move right into the how-to, shall we?

I started by using aqua acrylic paint to cover the entire tile holder. I used two coats because I wanted it to be extra aqua-y, but it has a kind of cool, color wash effect with only coat so it's up to you!

Let the paint dry completely.

Decorate the back first. I used patterned paper and the Martha Stewart Crafts Butterfly Border Punch (I got mine here) to make a border for the back side. I adhered the butterflies with Modge Podge. Use a thin layer of Modge Podge on the back side of your paper and place the border onto the holder. Then use a second thin layer of Modge Podge over the top of the paper to adhere securely. Let this dry completely. Lastly, spray the entire surface of the tile holder with acrylic sealant. I used the glossy type which I bought at Hobby Lobby. Here is what the back side of my nameplate looks like:
click on image to appear larger

Now we can move on to the fun stuff - embellishing the front. I used a cluster of fabric flowers and a Jenni Bowlin chipboard butterfly to decorate mine. I used a plain old hot glue gun to adhere the elements. I placed several layers of foam square adhesives (like these) to fill in the space between the butterfly and the tile holder and added a dollop of hot glue for good measure. Lastly I used the hot glue gun to adhere the Scrabble tiles spelling my name. A closeup of the finished product looks like this:
click on image to see larger

As an alternative, you could leave the Scrabble tiles free and clear of all adhesive so you could change out the letters. Just think of all the possibilities...

I hope you enjoyed this little project. If you make one yourself, please link it up in the comments. I'd love to see your work! 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Speaking Of Transformation

I am so proud of this boy. He decided to cut his hair...I love it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Change Is Good

Click on image to view larger.

Yesterday's prompt in my art journal class was "Change is good." And it was right on track for my thoughts over the past several weeks.

I believe that very few people really enjoy change. I know there are those who relish novelty and need to have constant changes in stimuli, but I can't say that I actually know any of these people. Most people I know, particularly my family, would prefer for life to stay just the way it is, no matter how stagnant or stressful the situation. I mean, everyone gives lip service to wanting things to change, wanting life to be easier, wanting things to be better but very few do anything to make those changes happen. Making the move from wishing to doing takes a considerable amount of courage. It's like the place we know in life, no matter how difficult, is preferable to the unknown. So often, we are willing to settle for the familiar rather than embrace change.

I was certainly guilty of this kind of thinking in the past. But about a year ago, the reality finally sank in - if I wanted my life to change, then I was going have to consciously make that happen. I could no longer be a passive bystander in this game of life. I would have to move into the driver's seat. Luckily, my husband Jim came to this same place in his life at exactly the same time, although his route was quite a bit different than mine. We both had fears and issues about change...but we knew we were ready to stop letting fear rule the roost. Believe me, adopting this new attitude was not easy but it was absolutely essential to the process.

I'm still learning to see change as good. My initial reaction to change is a tightening of my stomach muscles and a brief spasm of nausea, but it resolves in a couple of seconds. And then I take a deep breath and remember all of the wonderful things that have happened for our family since we decided to live life on our terms. So I relax and smile. It's just another small step along this journey that is our amazing life.

How do you react to change?

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Never-ending Spring

I have a hard time balancing how I feel about spring (the season, not the coiled tool part).

Clearly, following the dreary dark coldness of winter, I am in need of light and sunshine. I love the look and sound and feel of spring. I look forward to the growth, the flowers, the very brightness of spring.

Then I smell the air...and for one brief second I am truly in Heaven, savoring the sweet aromas of spring...

And, then I am in Hell.

For that is when the 'sneezing, congestion, itchy nose, itchy skin, itchy eyes, watery eyes, scratchy throat, can't catch my breath and then have an asthma attack' time of year begins. And goes on. And on. And on...

This sucks.

So, please forgive my sporadic blogging. I will try harder to fit it in between gasping episodes and sneezing fits. I am now entering the Nyquil haze but will try to return with more pages from my art journal tomorrow...if I am alive.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dream Home

Dream Home, originally uploaded by studiojenn.

Yesterday's prompt in my art journal class through Red Velvet Art was to focus on your dream home. Jim & I have spent many an evening musing with a glass of wine over this very topic so I was totally stoked to tackle this in my journal.

I love the way this turned out. It perfectly captures my feelings.

What's your dream home look like?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In Honor Of My Mother

I've just been thinking a lot about mother's day this week. The older I grow, the more respect and awe I have for my mother. I do not think I am alone is experiencing this phenomenon. I am still organizing some deep thoughts about motherhood in general and how special my mother is specifically, but in the meantime I wanted to share this great picture of my mother & I at the welcome home party. I love how natural we both seem. I love the wide open smiles. I love how you can actually feel the love...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Welcome Home

I am still filled with joy and laughter from the lovefest last weekend that was Grand Master B's welcome home barbecue. There was just so much support from family and friends, our adult friends of course but also B's own close friends. It is amazing to see the progress that he has made this past year. But it was also incredibly moving to see such outward support and pride for his accomplishments from his own peers. And B did such a good job of interacting with everyone. He did not isolate himself with just his friends. He sat and had conversations with his family, from the younger cousins to his great-grandparents. He was open and inviting. He joked with my girlfriends and entertained the children out in the backyard. So many people mentioned how happy he looked...and I couldn't agree more. It was truly a celebration of him.

My immediate family was there (of course) but aunts, uncles, cousins, godmothers and grandparents made an appearance as well. It was exciting and moving to meet a new member of our family, Princess P. She is 5 years old and is a complete angel. My first cousin just recently found out he was a father. This is the first extended family event that she has attended. We are so glad that she is a part of our life now!

My uncle Jimmy provided the meat, a fantastic smoked pulled pork, from his kickin' restaurant Boxer Barbecue in Council Bluffs. We served his homemade sauces with the meat, both a sweet thick sauce and a thinner smoky sauce with a vinegar base, on a plain hamburger bun. My good friend Laura made a cabbage slaw that complemented the meat perfectly. I put mine atop the meat/sauce but lots of folks ate it on the side. Special thanks to Grandma for mac salad and salsa, Mom for amazing potato salad and beans, Deana for making deviled eggs and cupcakes, Michele for pasta salad, Denise for fruit salad, Kozy and the Molinas for veggie trays, the Hagstrom's for ice and Jones for my very own jalapeno plant.

The best gift of all? This look on his face...

Yep, he just looks so happy.