Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Mini Tutorial: Photo Transfers for Sis

Just got back from Hershey Park...a day long field trip with my son and his fifth grade class. I'm smelly, exhausted and my voice is gone...but, hey, I had fun! And so did my son and that's what it's all about!
So, last night I wrote this post to share with you all....
For my sister's 50h birthday, I made and bought 50 presents and wrapped them for her to she would have 50 days of presents! (She gave me the idea on my birthday.) Anyway, for two of the presents, I created photo on canvas and one on a wood block. The process was a little tougher than I expected and I had to recreate the canvas one twice because I actually rubbed my nephew's face off on the first one...couldn't have that!
 These are the results. After the transfer was complete, I painted the edges and then dry brushed paint in spots that I felt needed to be filled. I also added papers, quotes, and stamped images and words on top to create a cool collage effect. I really love how they turned out -- each one a surprise!
To create a photo transfer, you will need to print a photo on regular paper (remember the image will be reversed). Paint gel medium on your surface (wood or canvas) and then smooth the print onto the surface, making sure all bubbles are out. Leave this over night. In the morning (or whenever), dampen the surface and begin rubbing off the paper with your fingers...carefully. You may have to do this more than once to get all of the paper off (I actually left some paper on in sections for texture.) Then paint, stamp, add embellishments if you want. Let dry and apply a matte coating of Mod Podge. That's it...have fun!

A Little Knick Knack

Sunday, May 27, 2012

So What are These?

Well, I know they are bottles...My son found them in Massachusetts. He said there were a lot of them and brought three home for me. I've never seen any quite like them. Has anyone else? If you know what they are, please let me know. They have unusual caps on them, too.

Meanwhile, I've been on the go... school activities, field trips, graduation parties, soccer tournaments, etc. I'm also busy preparing for my son's graduation party next week. Finally decided on the menu...I'm making pulled chicken and my neighbor is making pulled pork (his special recipe) for me. Plus fresh fruit,  pasta and a super good watermelon/mint refreshing!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

18 Years of Adventures

Today is my middle son's 18th birthday! I'm not that old...I had him when I was 10.
Anyway, he's the guy that I've mentioned a lot in my blog, here and here, because he is one of a kind. Aren't they all?
So, Nolan, I just want to thank you for bringing to my life (in this order), everything I ever wanted to know about:

  • having a second child
  • having a rather large and hungry baby
  • trains
  • trains again
  • insects
  • sharks
  • interesting ways to use permanent markers (see photo)
  • having a huge heart
  • scary things
  • snakes
  • Pokemon
  • patriotism
  • art camp
  • different perspectives
  • determination
  • soccer 
  • InterMilan
  • hockey
  • persistence
  • commitment
  • character
  • organic foods
  • the Paleo diet

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I won!

I opened my mail box and found this today!!
I entered a Mother's Day giveaway at NiceGirlNotes and won a wonderfully soothing group of  Maclauren bath products!

So, I'm sitting here sweating after my zumba class and can't wait to use them (and my family can't wait either). Yes, I take a zumba class (mostly as a form of entertainment for the rest of the class) and it really makes me sweat, which means that I'm getting in shape.

So, thank you Roo for sending me this little luxury!! Call me weird, but I actually like the bag holding the products as much as the products.

And if you haven't visited NiceGirlNotes, you are missing out big time! Roo is really funny.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Make Mountains

He finished! My son has been very busy creating his fifth grade state float. He chose the state of Maine because we have so many happy memories of hiking and sea glass hunting there. He decided to focus on Arcadia National Park (even though we've never actually been to that part of Maine). He wanted to make mountains...and I showed him an easy peasy way to make them. Sure, we could create them out of plaster of paris, but ugh, no time. So, I'll share a secret...he created them out of paper bags!

Here's how:
1. Take a paper bag ...we used lunch bags -- white and natural.
2. Twist it to make it pliable.
3. Straighten it out and then twist the top to make it pointy and then crumple it a bit to shape it like a rocky mountain.
4. Cut slits about an inch around the bottom...this is the part you will glue down to your surface.
5. Then glue it! Ta da! Mountains.

By the way, he did it all himself...I supervised and offered advice. I also superglued the lobsters to the side because I didn't want him gluing his fingers together! Now, cross your fingers that we get it to school in one piece!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Grad Party Ideas

Can you tell I'm getting in the party mood? Actually, I'm taking a break from helping my youngest son with his 5th grade state float...don't worry, he's doing 90% of the work. I'm just providing ideas and showing him how to implement them.Yep, it's 10 PM on a Friday night and we had a busy evening...First, a band concert, then we went to Rita's for Italian Ice and now back at the house constructing a float. I'm such a socialite!
I'm beat, so I did what any good mom would do...grabbed a glass of wine and headed over to Pinterest to stir my creativity and plan for my graduating senior's upcoming party. He's taking a gap year to work and travel the world before he heads to college the following year so, I'm going with a travel theme. Here are some cool ideas I may use:
I love the idea of using vintage, cool.

And, the map banner? I'm doing it!
The Post It note on brown paper (below) is kind of cool, but I think the Post Its might fall off in the humid Maryland air, so, I'll probably do a variation.
 And, these ...well, they ROCK! Okay, enough wine. I need some sleep.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ideas for a Baseball Themed Party

I promised I would show you a few more pictures of the teacher's appreciation luncheon we hosted last, here they are. You could use these ideas when planning any baseball or sports themed party-- whether it be for kids or adults.
To add height to the back of the tabletop, my friend Wendy used little plastic baskets from the dollar store turned upside down and covered them with a tablecloth. They not only added interest, but provided a resting spot for the cold drinks and bins of peanuts.

Speaking of peanuts, another mom created these graphics for our school "team."
I love the "ice cold" sign she made, too...

And, here's a simple centerpiece...fill a large glass vase or ice bucket with could substitute golf or tennis balls if you need a different theme. Or use the popcorn holder centerpiece!

And finally, here's a better view of the concession sign my friend Victoria made...I love the detail. It's on poster board, but it looks like a chalk board (even in real life).
That's it. I'm currently working on ideas for my son's graduation party...too bad he doesn't play baseball...
Linking to: 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May Flowers on the Front Porch

On Mother's Day I took advantage of the beautiful spring day and planted my window boxes. I am impatient and want them to overflow with color (maybe that's why I planted impatiens..hee, hee!)

I dragged out my antique rocking chair and plopped in a big pot of red New Guinea impatiens to match my newly painted bright red front door (which you can't even see behind my screen door). My house number pots are looking a little worn...I'm thinking I may have to re-invent them by next spring.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Some Cool Photos

It's almost Mom's Day and like a proud mom, I'm going to share some cool photos my son took at school. Oh, and my other son had his photography in an art show at our local mall (can't show you those, since they are still at the mall). The youngest hasn't really got into photography just yet, but he's a cool kid, too.
I do love being a life has been so enriched by these unique and wonderful human beings. Each one is so different and they have taken me to places I never imagined. Thanks boys. I love you all.

And, to all you moms out there, Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What I've Been Doing (Good ideas, too)

I see a light at the end of the tunnel! My custom orders are almost finished...just got another one the other day, but that's manageable. The above photo is my dining room in the midst of all my projects. Notice the stack of wood blocks waiting to be sanded and primed for orders. Warning: there are a lot of photos, but some good ideas in this post (I've been saving them all up)!

Teacher's appreciation lunch was a grand slam success thanks to the help of some very ambitious and creative ladies, see below. My friend Wendy got a bunch of great ideas off of Pinterest. One was to create a concession stand for the teachers in their lunch room. My other friend, Victoria, made the banner and concession sign and another mom created all the graphics to use on the popcorn and peanut baggies. We also had Big League Chew and Cracker Jacks...of course! I took these with my iPhone during set up...I'll try to post the finished pictures if I can get some from Wendy.

We served hot dogs, sauerkraut and salads for lunch. With baseball cake for dessert...we went through FIVE cakes!

Wendy made the centerpieces for the tables...the popcorn holders are filled with peanuts!
I also finished my prom breakfast signs. The theme is luau, but it's a secret so, don't tell any seniors. NOTE: Acrylic paint works much better than markers on foam board. I created each sign to look like wood boards nailed together, then painted various Hawaiian symbols, finally finishing with a dry brush to make each sign look, well, hand painted! Seriously, corn dogs, quesadillas and Rita's ice for breakfast? Whatever.

And, now I'm on to planning my son's graduation party between working, parenting and attending field trips. Whew!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Need a Break

Okay gang...taking a little blog break ... right now,  I have a total of six custom orders (yippee), and I'm creating six signs for the prom breakfast, running a teacher's luncheon next week, making two posters for teacher's appreciation week, planning upcoming high school graduation party, ordering graduation announcements, not to mention work, kids and sports, two field trips, and two recitals...all in the next two weeks ... umm, yeah. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fun with Fleurs and Old World Plaster!

It's about time I posted something  art/home decor related so, here goes. I made a bunch of old world plaster blocks a while ago when I was creating my key holders. I had fun coming up with new ways to use them. In this one, I distressed it slightly and stamped it with architectural stamps to really give it an old world feel. I added the fleur de lis for a final touch! This one (below) has one of my favorite sayings on it and I added little grommets and some crystals for the flowers. I created one like this before and sold it, but this time I'm giving it to a friend.

Linking to: