free printable gift tags!

This year I decided to try some cute gift tags to tie or tape onto our Christmas presents.  I found some awesome ones here and thought I would share  🙂  There are a whole bunch more to choose from though if you are interested!

I printed out the tags on a cut up manilla envelope to give the tags some texture and background color.  Then Brett cut them out and I taped them onto each gift with a bit of washi tape 🙂

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Happy gift wrapping to all!

the new mad scientist lab!

Brett and I have been interested in turning our downstairs into a bit of a mad scientist lab for a while now.  We’ve had this awesome ping pong table that Brett and Raj saved from the garbage, moved to the house they rented down the street from us with our friend Fred, and then moved to our house (by literally rolling it down the street in the middle of the night haha).  🙂  Sometimes the ping pong table has been used to play ping pong and sometime it has been too full of stuff to do anything fun with.  Well, we recently cleaned up the downstairs (including a HUGE trip to Goodwill) and figured out how to save our beloved ping pong table.

While figuring out what kind of desk space we wanted downstairs, Raj suggested turning the ping pong table into a desk.  Well!  This idea meant a trip to the ReStore to figure out how to support this new desk concept!  (I guess it is important to note at this point that the multiple moves and the fact that the ping pong table started in the trash has meant that the support systems on the poor table have been wonky for a while now).  🙂  At the ReStore, Brett and I found 4 filing cabinets and had the locks drilled out of each of them…the previous owner had donated the filing cabinets locked with no key 🙂  We hauled the filing cabinets home and put them downstairs.  That night, Brett and Raj took off the ping pong table’s edge supports and put two filing cabinets under each side.

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Voila, a 4 station desk!  🙂

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Underneath the center of the desk, Brett put a few cinder blocks and a board to hold some of the computers off the ground.  The cords were put into a metallic crate.  Brett also drilled a hole in the center of the table to allow the cords to more easily pass below the table.

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I even put my sewing machine down there 🙂  What do you think?  The new, HUGE desk was so low cost and created an awesome new space downstairs for us.  I think the next step for this space will be to make some curtains to hide the shelving more easily.  What do you think?  🙂  Have you created a repurposed desk from old things in your house before?

fabric shopping!

Recently I got a sewing machine as a late birthday present from my dad.  I’ve slowly been figuring out what to make first but Brett and I have been so busy getting ourselves moved back in and settled that I hadn’t made time for fabric shopping ’til now!  🙂  After I figured out what to make first (more on this soon…Eeep!  Teasers!), Brett and I headed to the fabric store.  What an overwhelming experience!  I had a list of what I needed and in what amounts.  Brett and I must have circled that store more than 3 times trying to find everything haha!  I ended up buying most of the fabric I needed online…Champaign might be a wonderful place to live but we don’t always have the biggest stores with the biggest selection 😉  It has been quite a learning experience already though.  Who knew there were so many different types of fabric?!  🙂  I am so excited about my first project!  Stay tuned!

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DIY Flower Frog Bowl

A new DIY project!  A super easy way to arrange cut flowers, in a smaller than normal container.  This DIY Flower Frog Bowl project comes directly from DesignMom.  I’ve added some suggestions though on how best to arrange the flowers 🙂

For my first go at making a flower frog bowl, I simply took one of the crystal bowls that we bought at the Re-Store for our wedding reception center pieces.  Brett and I absolutely love the Re-Store 🙂

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I took a bit of strong adhesive and a flower frog…

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…dabbed a bit of glue in the center of the frog and of the crystal bowl, waited 2 minutes, and then stuck them together.  The cure time for the glue is 24-72 hours so the next step was waiting.  A few days later I noticed that a bouquet that I had purchased was starting to become a bit droop-y (yes, that is a flower, technical term).  🙂

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I figured this new project was the perfect way to save the flowers that were still going strong!  I took the flower frog bowl that I had made and a pair of kitchen shears.

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Taking some of the largest flowers first, I cut the stems such that they were easily inserted into the prongs of the flower frog bowl.

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I placed the stems diagonally across the flower frog though this turned out to make the process more difficult as the stem now hides many of the prongs in the center of the flower frog.  Next time, I’ll pierce the stem closer to the edge of the flower frog where the flower will rest.

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I first placed the largest stems and then used the bushier flowers to fill in the gaps.  I learned this from trying to do my own wedding flowers with a bridesmaid of mine, Shelly…that story is for another time though 🙂 (eep!!!  Teasers!)  My wedding bouquet was made primarily of calla lilies and hydrangeas.  The hydrangeas performed this magical function of filling in the gaps made by the odd shaped calla lily flowers 🙂  Here, I used the bushier flowers in the bouquet to fill this same task.

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I think the small bowled bouquet turned out really wonderfully!  It gives the impression of a bouquet of random wild flowers and I have to admit that I really enjoy the bright and different colors.  This small bouquet would be great as a centerpiece on a dining table or just sitting on a shelf someone in the home.

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What do you think?  Is this a project that you would try?

P.S. Here are some tips for keeping cut flowers looking great in your home!

we are sewing!

I asked my dad for a sewing machine for my birthday and it has arrived!!!  I am so excited about this new gadget in our home!  🙂  I told that Dad that he should expect throw pillows for Christmas 😉

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I’ve managed to pull everything out of the tightly packed box but haven’t gone through the instructions yet or watched the Quick Start Guide DVD.  Anyone have any thoughts about how helpful that DVD or the instructions booklet will be?  I wanted to go through everything before heading to the fabric store.  I haven’t used a sewing machine since 6th grade when we made a draw string bag.  Also, that remains my only experience with a sewing machine.  I am so anxious to learn more about this awesome machine!

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Now the biggest question remains….do I teach myself to sew in English…

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…or in French?  😉

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I would really love to hear any thoughts/suggestions you all have for good beginner projects.  I have one in mind but, like I said, I know nothing of what I’m about to get myself into!  🙂