June 14, 2011

Family Photo Wall

This is a project I've been meaning to do for a while.  I picked up a few frames from Hobby Lobby a couple of months ago when they were on sale.  Then I set them aside and forgot about them.  I finally dug them out today and decided to get them hung.  I had the arrangement in my head already so I just needed to get the supplies together (hammer, drill, screwdriver).  I started with this wall in my dining room... . . . 
It already had these "Piggies and Paws" drawings on it.  If you haven't heard of Piggies & Paws before they're a company that does home parties.  An artist comes to your home and takes handprints or footprints of your kids and then turns them into a picture you  pick out from a book.  The first one is a palm tree from my sons hand with thumbprint monkeys.  the second one is a fairy made from my daughter's foot.  The third one is a santa made from my daughter's hand and the last one is a reindeer made from my sons hand. . . . 
They're just sitting on plate racks so it was easy to take them down and move them to the opposite wall above my server. . . . 
I think it's a better fit since it's a smaller wall.

Then I traced the new frames on some butcher paper so I could tape them to the wall to determine where I wanted to place them.
Once I was happy with the arrangement I hammered my nails right through the paper and then tore it off and hung my pictures.
Something didn't look right though.  The wall still felt a little empty so I went through my pictures in the family room and pulled one out.  Then I found a frame I had purchased at a garage sale and spray painted it black.  I played around with Wordle to make a "word cloud" to put in my newly painted frame.  If you haven't heard of Wordle, it's a free service where you can enter random words and then have it generate a "word cloud" similar to a subway print.  You can change colors and arrangements.  The more times you type a word the larger it gets so I typed our names three times and the rest one time and then printed on photo paper.
Here are some closeups of the frames I purchased from Hobby Lobby (along with a quote)


Here is the final wall . . . . . 
I'm happy with the outcome.  It's looks finished for now but there's enough room that I can add more photos in the future. I am thinking about cutting a quote with my Cricut out of vinyl to add it it.  For now, though, I just need to get some photos printed to put in all the frames.. . . 

´¨)
¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´   Denise


June 12, 2011

"Big Girl (or boy)" Sippy Cups

I've been on a kick over the last year to try to eliminate as many toxins from our home as I can and create a healthier environment.  I started off simply by getting rid of over processed foods and learned how to make most things on my own.  I now have several "mixes" stored in my fridge for cakes, muffins, pancakes, etc.  I also use a ton of spice rubs and even make my own McDonalds Knock off nuggets.  I got the recipe here but I modified it a bit with different seasonings.    I also started making my own cleaners.  You can check out the post here.  

Next I want to try freezer cooking and canning fresh veggies and jams. We planted a garden for the first time this year and we're trying out best to keep the deer out.  If this goes well I'd like to expand and include more of a variety next year.  Currently we have green beans, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, and peppers.  

In addition to these steps I've started getting rid of all my questionable plastic containers and replacing them with glass or stainless steel.  We bought new pots and pans, cookie sheets, and utensils.  I also recently splurged on stainless steel popsicle molds.  I can't wait until they get here.  These "questionable" plastics include my kids dishes and sippy cups.  I found this awesome post about using mason jars for kids cups here.  Since these were going to be used only for my kids drinks I went ahead and had my husband drill holes in the lids.  I can always buy replacement seals if I want to use them for canning.  We also eliminated all our plastic straws and purchased some stainless steel ones from Amazon.  I love them!  Here' is what the cups look like all finished. . . . . 
I made two for each kid.  I placed a blue rubber band around my sons and a pink and green rubber band around my daughters.  I'm thinking about making the lids a little prettier by covering a piece of scrapbook paper with contact paper so it will be water proof.  These will only be allowed in the kitchen.  I'm trying to keep them from wandering all over the house with sippy cups.  All in all I'm happy with the result.