Date Night Ideas – 30 Days of Lists

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I read about this fun idea on another blog about using basic lists to document what your life looks like at the moment. It makes documenting your life easier if you don’t have time or desire to be super crafty, just love lists, or it can give you an opportunity to try something different…like I’m doing today. You can create an actual basic list, or dress it up a little. There is a 30-day list challenge that you can participate in here if you’re interested.

The challenge today was to create a list using one of their prompts from their previous 2011 list.

As you can see in the photo above, I chose Date Night Ideas. It’s easy to get stuck doing the same “dinner and a movie” type activity, so lately I’ve been thinking about fun things that Nate and I can do to mix it up when we get the opportunity to go out. Gotta make it count, right!?

Here’s my list in case it’s difficult to read my handwriting in the photo:

Arcade Night

Shooting Range

Take a Class – DIY, dance, cooking…anything

Beer/Wine tasting night

Live sporting event

Live music

Snowshoeing

Geocaching

Thrifting

Stargazing (up the canyon)

Visit an art gallery in Salt Lake

Obviously some of these will cost more than others, but I tried to include a variety of options. I’m hoping this will help us out next time we are looking for a fun idea!

I’d love to hear any ideas you have or fun dates you’ve tried out!

Want to see lists that others have created? Check them out here on Facebook.

– Gisele

One Little Word – (May “I Am” Prompt)

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I was so excited when I read that the One Little Word prompt for May encouraged us to use layering techniques that I’ve always wanted to try. The prompt was to create nine cards with “I am” statements that are relevant in our lives right now…some positive, some maybe not so positive. And the challenge was to get messy with it…really embrace the imperfection and enjoy the process.  

I took awhile to create and narrow down my list of “I am” statements. Once my final list was complete I created my cards like this:

Step 1: Apply base colors and patterns using gesso and paint on cards. Let dry and repeat until desired texture is reached. This is how my cards looked after each had 1-2 layers.

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Step 2: Use stamps to add extra layering effects.

Step 3: Add the words “I am” to each card. This could have been been done with stickers/handwritten/printed. I decided that I liked the idea of using my own handwriting but still wanted it to be uniform, so I carved a stamp.

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Step 4: Create each unique “i am” statement using handwriting/stamps/stickers.

Step 5: Embellish!

Supplies Used: Cardstock, Gesso, Paint, Stencils, Stamps, Stickers, Pens/Markers, Small embellishments

Here are my completed cards. I got a little carried away and created 18.

Iam Statements all

 (click on image for a larger view)

As with each monthly prompt, the activities are not the most important element but they are a helpful tool to challenge me.

The physical act of creating each card really gave me the opportunity I needed to work through what each statement means about me and how I feel about it. I love that every one of these little cards contains a very tangible and vulnerable piece of who I am in this very moment.

I hope you had a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

Gisele

Related articles

One Little Word – January
One Little Word – (April photo prompts)

Sewing an Imperfect Pillow: A Very Unhelpful Tutorial

Finished pillow strip(click on pictures to see a larger image)

One of the challenges for the One Little Word workshop is to make your word visible by choosing a symbol or having your word somewhere that you see it each day.  I decided that for my word Choose I would use the ampersand symbol…because i'm choosing between this & that. :) 

I was purging my closet of old sweaters (I'm talking 10 years old…getting pretty raggedy looking) and I got, what I would consider, an inspired idea to use some of them to make a pillow with my symbol. 

One of my goals this year is to embrace imperfection, another is to finish projects that I start…what better way than to sew a pillow, right!? My plan was to avoid looking at other people's projects or looking at any patterns/tutorials…basically I wanted to fly by the seat of my pants (this is not my strong suit), make mistakes, forgive them and just do it. I didn't even measure…not even the distance between my button holes. I know… 

(If you are a seasoned seamstress or perfectionist you may want to stop reading…haha)

My thoughts: 

The edges of the sweaters are already finished so it takes out one of the steps…even if they are completely warped and uneven, it helps me embrace the imperfection from the get go.

If I totally mess up, it's not really a huge loss 

It's good practice and gets me sewing

Some of these shirts have some pretty cool memories attached to them so its nice to keep them around

Here's how I did it:

Step 1 – I chose two shirts with contrasting look and feel.

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Step 2 - I chose which section of the shirt I wanted to use and cut off the sleeves and excess material…I left as many "finished" edges as possible. (While I didn't measure my cuts, I did take a good while deciding where to make the first cut and what edges would make the best pillow shape. I measured from hem to hem of the sweater to check if it was "square"…it wasn't…I stopped measuring and moved on.) 

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Step 3 – I decided to leave the little "V" cut that was originally in the neckline to add a pop of color to the back of the pillow. I cut out an appropriate sized, non-measured, chunk of the watermelon colored shirt, pinned it in place then sewed it into the negative space. Once that was complete, I sewed that side of the pillow closed and cut off the excess material.

V cut sewing

Step 4 - I printed out the shape I wanted to use and pinned it onto my shirt where I wanted the bright color to show through. I cut around the paper as closely as I could. I was hard to get a perfect cut with how stretchy the fabric was.

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Step 5 - I placed the watermelon shirt under the negative space and pinned the two shirts together.

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 Step 6 – Next I sewed around the ampersand shape in black thread…I like the texture this created. I sewed around a few times to make the stitching stand out then sewed on the sweater pieces to finish the ampersand. (at this point I only had one side of the pillow open and it was definitely a little tricky.)

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Step 6 – Because of the sweater material being knit and pulling in places, I needed to use a pillow form instead of stuffing it myself. I found a pillow form that was a little big so I could stretch the case around it nicely. I chose to finish the pillow with buttons and create an "envelope" pillow case. Button holes were the hardest part for me. I knew I would hit a wall at some point and consider quitting…this was it, but I'm so glad I didn't! I DID have to look up how to use the button foot on my sewing machine…cool little contraption if you ask me! This material was not the best for learning to make button holes but I went with it and since I made the holes on the black section, it was pretty forgiving. Once I had my holes made (they are not even close to evenly spaced) I pinned the bottom flap up and put a pin where I should sew on the buttons so they would line up with the holes. I'm sure there has to be a much better method for doing this but like I said…I wanted to fumble my way through this and be free to problem solve creatively. 

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Step 7 – This material had so much pull to it that my buttons didn't hold the material in place how I wanted so I just "tacked" the edges in place with black thread, which you can't really see. So while this looks like an envelope pillow…it's stuck this way forever, which is totally cool with me. 😉

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So there you have it! While this tutorial is probably the most unhelpful that you've read in terms of exactly how to do something, perhaps it will inspire you to create something and embrace imperfection! It was actually quite freeing and I'm pleased with how it turned out! 

Sweater pillow square

A little note about this black and white sweater…I wore it a lot…it was one of my favorites.

I wore it living in Chicago, feeling empty, lost, depressed and like my life was going no where…and I was wearing it about a year later, the night Nate proposed to me…and I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

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I'm pretty happy that a piece of this shirt is sticking around. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Gisele 

 

 

DIY “Thank You” Notes

Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I still feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things after the long-ish weekend but I wanted to share a quick DIY that may be fun to try during the upcoming holiday season!

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Let me first preface with this…I have been the WORST at writing/sending thank you notes! I'm really the worst at any kind of mail sending, really. (ask my good friend Beth…she sends me a handwritten card every few months and I guarantee that she can count on one hand how many letters i've sent…it's sad, I know.)

I'm ashamed to say that most of the thank you cards from our wedding were never sent…after 6 months of sitting on the half written stack, I wasn't sure if it was more embarrassing to send them so late, or not to send them at all.

That being said, I'm working on it…slowly trying to redeem myself. I think it's important…

to show gratitude

not to take people for granted

to slow down and personally hand write a note in this crazy busy world of ours

…when I do it, I'm glad I did.

So…I made these fun thank you cards for Graham's birthday guests! I had so many adorable photos from the party and it just so happened that I had a picture of Graham with each gift he received. I thought it would add a personal touch for each person to see him enjoying what they picked out for him!

They are so simple, yet personal, and I was so happy with how they turned out!

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I'm thinking that you could also do something similar for personalized gift tags, simple family Christmas cards or just a quick note to a friend to add a personal touch. You could also print wallet sized photos for smaller cards. 

Supplies Used:

Blank Note Cards (card stock would also work)

Washi Tape

Photos

*I added text to each photo in Photoshop Elements but it isn't necessary.

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I would love to see what creations you come up with, I'm always inspired by others creativity! 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions…I'm always happy to share.

Gisele

DIY Painted Coasters and Mug

We haven't had coasters since we've been married. A few years ago I had this fun idea to fashion coasters from recycled wine corks and they turned out super cute.  The problem was that due to the different sizes of corks and my cutting method, they were not perfectly level…drinks were more likely to topple over while using them, which, of course, totally defeats the purpose. 🙂 I decided to stick with something simple to get the job done.

(I also found a super cute mug at Target that I just couldn't pass up…so I painted that too! I'm started to notice that my three favorite mugs are blue/teal in color. Hmmm.)

I decided to stick with something super simple this first go 'round using the paint.  I think it would be so fun to stencil, monogram or freehand a great design. These would make great personalized gifts! 

Here are the supplies I used: 

Tiles (Home Depot) 

Martha Stewart Craft Paint (Michael's Craft Store)

Modge Podge applicators (Hobby Lobby)

Cork backing (Hobby Lobby – package of 6)

Alcohol and cotton squares (not pictured)

E6000 glue (not pictured) *This glue is super strong and needs to be used well in a well ventilated area. You could also try glue dots or another less toxic glue…this is just what I had on hand.

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Here's what I did:

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1. Clean with alcohol

2. Paint your piece (I decided to paint them all a little different…I feel like people are constantly losing thier glasses around here, and maybe (just maybe) people will remember which coaster they had…I know it's a long-shot.)

3. Let dry 1hr

4. Place in cool oven, preheat to 350 and then bake for 30 min to cure for top rack dishwashing (If piece is not oven safe then you need to wait 21 days to "air cure")

5. Let cool in oven

6. Wait 72 hours to use

7. Do any additional glueing at this pont.

8. Enjoy!!

Here they are in use…

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And my new favorite mug

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Notes: 

I have never used Martha Stewart paint (or any glass paint for that matter) so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  When I first sponged the paint onto the coaster it bubbled alot.  I did a google search and a few people said that the bubbles would calm as the paint dried so I didn't worry too much but I did try to make it as smooth as possible. The paint did settle a bit but it's not smooth at all…not like I had hoped. I think the issue was my applicator.  If I try this again I will try a different brush/sponge to see if I can achieve a different look. I'm still pleased with how they came out and am excited to use them!

(As I sit here typing, I realize that I'm not using a coaster under my glass…I suppose I need to use them if they're going to do their job.)

Here's more info on the paint I used and all of it's applications/curing, etc.

http://thecraftsdept.marthastewart.com/2013/01/faqs-martha-stewart-craft-paint-and-martha-stewart-glass-paint.html

 *All opinions are my own, I was not asked to review this product.

 Gisele

 

Playing with nature…a leaf confetti update

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I am so excited about how these turned out! I had a few extra minutes during nap time a few days ago and decided to see if I could pull something together quickly using the confetti I punched here.

 

I had some old projector film laying around so I used that as my base and just sewed right into it. I didn't have too much of a plan and just enjoyed playing with different designs.
I'm planning to use these in my Project Life pockets but I think the leaves would also be so adorable sewed onto greeting cards. 

 

For the first two cards I used two pieces to press the leaves between and sewed thru both. On the others I just used one and sewed the leaves on top…i'm pressing these right now so the leaves dont curl at the edges. 🙂
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Tip…
If you're going to sew thru the leaves I would definitely recommend doing it while they're still fresh and pliable, and press them once complete. If you're just sewing around the leaves you could use pre-pressed leaves/flowers that are already fully dry. 

 

They are all so fun but I'm loving the third one with the heart strands right now! For a closer look at the individual cards, click here.

 

Have an amazing day!
Gisele 

Embracing Fall and Pinterest Leaf Confetti

I'm not a huge lover of Fall…

I mean, I see the reasons that everyone loves it…the cool fresh air, the gorgeous hue drenched mountainsides, colorful leaves floating about the yard, the return of hot drinks after a summer chalked full of frappaccinnos, the seasonal closet rotation where everything feels new after being tucked away, the breeze through the open windows…ok, who am I kidding, Autumn really is a beautiful thing.

The problem is that quickly after Fall follows Winter. I do not like the cold, the dreary, the ugly grey smog that we here call "inversion", the lack of leaves, the whitening of my skin and the mood shift I experience as I yearn for the sun and heat to return every year. Because of that, I spend so much time in denial that Winter is on it's way that I forget to really enjoy the beauty all around…so this year I've done a few things to embrace the transition. 🙂 Here is one small thing I did to enjoy the the little things…

Yesterday I just couldn't resist picking a few of these beautiful leaves off our lawn. I've been seeing this leaf punch lately on Pinterest and I thought I'd try making some confetti to use in one of my weekly Project Life layouts.

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Punch and confetti
Confetti pile
Look at those beauties!! I love the detail and imperfections each one has…like mini masterpieces. It worked well punching the shapes while the leaves were fresh and still pliable. I hope they work well in my layout.  My only concern is that if they start to crumble after turning the page numerous times I will be left with more of a "mulch"…I'll have to do some durability testing. :) 

UPDATE 11/6/13: Click here to see how I used them and for a few tips.

I hope you find time to enjoy the Fall season! 

Gisele