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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pallet Wall Art

This post has been a long time coming.  The project itself was a series of starts and stops over a period of months, then once I got it finished it sat for weeks before we mounted it on the wall and then the photos have been waiting to be blogged for quite a while now.  So before I get distracted again, let me share the latest addition to my craft room.

It all started with a stack of wooden pallets that the builders in the neighborhood abandoned.  And like a lot of my ideas lately, I had seen a number of fantastic Pinterest projects using those weathered pallets - everything from outdoor coffee tables to flower boxes.  I found myself drawn again and again to the pallet wall art and finally I decided that the perfect place for some wall art of my own would be above the dresser I refinished for my craft room.

Have you ever tried to pull apart a wooden pallet?  Geesh!  Those babies are built to last! LOL  Eventually the husband got sick of watching me struggle with them and helped me pull them apart.  I have a phobia about bugs, and since moving to North Carolina it has only gotten worse.  So I laid out all the pieces on the patio and hosed them down.  Sprayed them with bug killer and let them sit.  Did it all again when I decided they had been sitting too long.  And one more time before moving them into the garage.  Just for good measure, right?

Eventually I found a day when the power tools were out and I used the nail gun to attach the weathered wood pieces to some newer 1x4 scraps.  Then realized that the finish nails, though well hidden weren't going to keep it all together well enough.  So I added some screws, stained it to bring out even more of the character in the wood and left it to sit again while I decided which quote I wanted to display.  See, this is where the perfectionist in me rears its ugly head.  Was that one too cheesy?  Did this one fit the feeling of what I had in mind for the room?  It took me weeks to come back around to my original thought of simply using the word Create.
It was a pretty simple matter to cut a stencil using my Silhouette.  A bit trickier to get it all lined up right and keep all the edges of the contact paper down while I added the paint.
In the end, I was very happy with the result, but it felt like there was a bit too much "white space" now.  So I free-handed some swirls.  Then let it sit in the garage for a while longer before I decided I liked the swirls and could finally recruit the husband to hang it on the wall. 
Oh wait!  We were out of picture hanging supplies! LOL  Eventually though it did make it onto the wall and I get to admire it every time I use my printer. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Catching Up

Miss me?  We hit the GB limit on our internet hotspot (yes I run it through my phone - I'm going to explore other options but it was the only option during the move and the first months in the house) for the first time ever!  I'm blaming it on the little one's discovery of YouTube on his new Ipod lol.  Whatever the reason, I forced myself to not use the internet on the computer except when absolutely necessary and since I can't blog through the data on my phone... Needless to say, I've missed it!
The last couple of weeks have been busy, as usual.  I thought there were be a lull in orders through the Etsy shop after Christmas, but that wasn't the case.  In fact, I've been too busy to list any of the new items we've been working on (stay tuned for that one!).  Our new Girl Scout Troop has started in on it's first cookie sale - lots going on there! 
I've been working on getting the house and routine back to normal after the holidays.  For the first time I actually followed through and did something cute with the cards for the year.  (Idea found through pinterest, printable found here)  And I even managed to go through the financial files for 2012, switching them out for the new year and shredding everything I didn't need to save (thank goodness the youngest one likes to use the shredder!) and am all set to work on taxes as soon as the W2s and so on arrive.
We also made it through Kaitlyn's first science fair project - woohoo!  I can't be the only parent out there that wishes that all these great "learning experiences" for the kids didn't involve quite so much parental time and involvement, am I? :)  She didn't win, but she really enjoyed doing her project and putting together her presentation board.
We are now coming off a super-long weekend (this one boggles my mind.  Two weeks into school after the holiday break and we end up with 5 1/2 days off?!) and I'm ready for life to return to normal - or at least our latest version of normal.  I have lists, lists and more lists, and a million ideas and projects swirling around in my's going to be a great year!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Word for 2013

Good morning!  I'm feeling chipper today but not quite motivated to do anything tangible and productive yet, which usually means it's a great time to blog :)

With the holidays behind us and the new year begun, I have done my share of thinking about goals and plans.  For the last few years, one of the things I have been using to solidify my resolve and remind myself of my goals throughout the year is Ali Edward's One Little Word concept.  Basically I pick a word for the year that best fits what I want to focus on for the year.
I love the way Ali describes it.
 "You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities."

If you want, you can see the words I used in previous years (link here). 

In the past year, especially the last few months, I felt a bit like life was galloping along and I was kind of just along for the ride, holding on for dear life at some points.  (Ok, maybe not quite that extreme but it's a nice visual, right?)  And what I would truly like to work on this year is figuring out how to make the days more...mine.  To feel less like life was quickly passing by and I wasn't getting what I wanted to out of it.  And it wasn't necessarily about control.  I think I'm pretty good about setting priorities, saying "no," delegating, making sure most things on my list get accomplished, planning some fun things and down time when needed, etc.  I ran through a bunch of words to try to describe to myself what it was I wanted.  Simplify.  Revel.  Savor.  Explore.  And the word I kept coming back to was

Not the most exciting word as words go but a very versatile one when it comes right down to it.  By definition Choose means:
1. to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference:
2. to prefer or decide (to do something)
3. to want; desire.

To me that means taking the time to be more aware of what I am choosing to do with my time and how it will affect my life.  Take spending time with the kids.  I ran across this quote by Anna Quindlen this morning and thought it was great.  "...when in doubt choose the kids.  There will be plenty of time later to choose work."
Some other great quotes from Pinterest

(photo found here)
Perfect right?  One of the things I try to work very hard on is my attitude and perspective on anything that is currently going on in my life.
 (photo found here)
For when I doubt myself.
(photo found here)
And for when I need a little reminder to prioritize or not try to add anything else into a packed schedule.

So I'm wondering, does anyone else have a word for their year?


One final glimpse at the holidays.  I'm sad to see it go, yet happy to move on to all the other things that are waiting for us - not the least of which is my first experience with selling Girl Scout cookies with our new troop starting this weekend!  Ack!  I'm a little bit nervous about that one, actually.
Anyway.  Overall we've had a nice run this holiday.  Everyone got completely spoiled.  We've had fun and the kids are happy.  Sure, we've dealt with more than our share of cold germs (I don't think a single one of the four of us is running at 100% today) but I think we're past the worst of it.  And maybe staying home, doing not much of anything, for a week straight was what we all needed.
New Years Eve was no exception.  I had a number of fun ideas, but in the end we chose a quiet evening at home with just the four of us.  We had "party food" like pigs in a blanket and cheese and crackers for dinner, along with sparkling grape juice that Tyler insisted we do a "cheers" with.  (we assumed he meant a "toast" while saying "cheers")  The kids were excited that we had given them permission to stay up until midnight for the first time.  We spent the time eating, playing games, and watching a movie.  Tyler fell asleep on my lap at 11 but Kaitlyn made it until midnight and was still asking for more.  Me?  Well I gave myself permission to doze off on the couch more than once ;)

So now we are a whole 5 days into 2013 - wow.  Time flies doesn't it?  HAPPY 2013!  I have all kinds of plans and ideas for the new year - as soon as I get rid of this cold and get my energy back!