Headed towards back to the basics living.


Subway Art for The Nest

Well, the nest is about 95% complete. I have 2 more small projects and then it will be done! Woohoo! I’ve been so anxious to share some of the things we’ve been working on for it, but it seems that we had so many irons in the fire but none of them we’re 100% ready-until now. So I thought I’d start with one of my favorite projects: subway art. I’ve seen it everywhere in the blog world these days. And I’ve got this crazy obsession with words. It’s a match made in Heaven…or something like that. Someday I’m going to do a whole wall-top to bottom- of words. A quote or Bible verse or something. But for now, here’s my own little version of the fabulous subway art I’ve seen out there.

Did I mention that it’s really pretty easy to do?

  • 1. Start with a piece of wood, whatever size you like or have on hand.
  • 2.Paint the whole thing a solid color, or whatever suits your fancy.
  • 3. Then, find a category or theme that you want to go with. As you can see we went with types of birds to go with the theme in DD’s room. If you want some more ideas, check out this great Subway Art party from a couple of weeks ago over at Tatertots and Jello.
  • 4. Finally, you just have to decide if you want to paint the words on, cut them out with a craft cutter, or purchase the letters from a craft or teacher supply store. Ours was made using a Silhouette Craft Cutter. I considered cutting the words from Vinyl but have been having some trouble getting the vinyl to stick to the paint I’ve been using from Lowe’s. Vinyl only seems to stick really well with an extremely smooth surface. So we went with using scrapbook cardstock and Mod Podge. Is there any project that a little Mod Podge can’t help with? I’m considering carrying a little Trial Size  in my purse-you know, just in case. Just kidding, about that last part, but I sure do love the stuff.

    Anyways, if you’re curious what the rest of the nest turned out like, stay tuned. Pictures and posts are going to come at a faster pace now that it’s ready to go. Now if we could just get DD ready to come out and meet the world as easily as 1,2,3….



    Bathroom Scale: From Ugly Duckling to Swan

    Ever since I got pregnant, me (& the rest of the world) seem to find my weight gain fascinating. Not kidding. For some reason many  people  seem to think what would normally be a major faux pas is suddenly acceptable. I will never get it, nor will I ever get rude people (major pet peeve of mine). But I’m getting sidetracked here. Let’s start again shall we?

    DH and I bought ourselves a scale right after we got married. Seems a bit odd now that I think about it. What newlywed couple do you know that buys themselves a scale? Well, anyways, we bought this little guy in what I considered at the time to be a lovely shade of dark forest green. Now, no offense to forest green. I love green and I love the forest but at this point in time I think it should stay there. Truth is, I have a love affair with all colors. I love the way they can play with your emotions-calming you down or revving up your energy. But right now I love bright happy colors. Just like I love positive music and refuse to listen to sad sappy country songs right now. I think both have the ability to affect us in ways we  don’t even realize frequently and I’m determined to love and enjoy life.

    So with that in mind, I decided that my bathroom scale needed a little perking up. I figure if I’m going to be standing on this thing at least a few times a week for the next year (first for weight gain and then weight loss) then I might as well give myself something pretty to look at in the process, no?

    Whether or not you like the color of the scale I think most would agree this guy needs some freshening up!

    Here’s how I did it:

    Goodbye old cover!

    Step 1. Remove the old cover using a boxcutter/razorblade. Try to keep the old cover in tact if  possible.***

    Now, you’ve got yourself a nifty little template to use in making your new cover.

    Looking better already!

    Step 2. Make sure to clean off any remaining sticky residue/glue using an adhesive residue remover (i.e. Goo Gone). I recommend wearing gloves and working in a well ventilated area as this stuff has a strong smell and contains some not so green-friendly things in it. If you know of an eco friendly product that works just as well-please leave a comment-would love to find one!

    No you don't need your eyes checked-sorry! This was the only shot I got of this step for some reason.

    Step 3. Trace around your “template” using a fabric friendly marker/pencil (I just used a No 2. pencil) on both the fusible interfacing (less than a yard is needed) and on the wrong side of your chosen fabric.

    Step 4. Now cut out your fabric and fusible interfacing following your guidelines you just drew.

    Step 5. Place the rough side of your fusible interfacing on top of the wrong side of your fabric and using an iron fuse them together.

    Step 6. Place the fused pieces onto wax paper or material of your choosing to protect your work surface. Then use a liquid seam sealant (like Dritz Fray Check) around the edges of the material.Let it dry completely.

    Step 7. Brush the right side of your material with two coats of Mod Podge, letting the material dry completely in between coats.

    Step 8. After the second coat of Mod Podge is completely dry, flip your material over and apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of the material as well as on the scale where the material will be placed. I recommend doing this quickly so that neither has time to dry before you place the material right side up onto your scale. Smooth & allow this to dry completely-probably overnight! Follow up with a couple of coats of Mod Podge around the edges to seal them completely! Finally, use an acrylic sealer to “finish” your scale and make the cover more durable!

    I’m actually kind of excited to weigh myself tomorrow. Now if only there was a way to make that scale magically transform your weight to the exact amount you’re looking for!!!

    *** If you don’t have an old cover to use as a template you can use wax paper and a fingernail to trace the shape of your scale, as per directions in One Yard Wonders. It’s a great book filled with projects like this one. I’m going to be working on a car trash bag and a dog bed cover from there soon.


    New Uses for Gift Wrap, Pt. 1

    I love gift wrap! Love, love, love it! Good things often come in pretty packages! But there’s also some pretty fabulous ways to use gift wrap for things other than wrapping gifts! Here’s a few that I’ve come up with:

    1. Use it to coordinate a bunch of books on a shelf. No adhesive is necessary if you make the flaps a little longer. Then when you want a new look it’s as easy as tracing the “templates” onto the new paper.
    2. Use it with some ModPodge to cover just about anything. Here I used it on an old ugly 3-ring binder and a box of checks. If you must pay bills why not have something pretty to look at?

      Litlle bit of measuring, cutting and modpodge. Goodbye boring!

    3. Frame it. A large frame allows a pretty print to be shown off.

      A group of coordinating ones could provide a little eye candy like I did with these scrapbook papers.

    4. Or use it as mat board when framing pictures. Way more interesting than just your typical mat.
    5. Wrap empty shoe boxes with it. Add a tag and you’ve got yourself some cheap organization.
    6. Make labels to coordinate with just about any project you’ve got. Here I used it in my closet for a little laundry organization.

      A five minute project to help family members keep things straight and presorted for laundry day.

    7. Make notebook dividers with it. Take paperboard (i.e. an empty cereal box, cracker box, etc.), cut paper to fit, followed by a thin coat of modpodge, and trim as needed. Punch holes for the binder rings. Use alphabet stickers or marker for labeling.
    8. Make bookmarks out of them. Take the leftover paperboard from idea seven and use it to make sturdy, pretty bookmarks. Same procedure as in step 7. Punch a whole on one end and thread some ribbon through for a little extra flair. Try using stickers/letters or even special edged scissors for fun.

      I like making some bookmarks extra long-they're great to use with magazines!

    9. Use it to cover an old beat up closet door for coordination with the rest of your room. I haven’t done this yet myself (we’re renters), but I think it could be pretty easy and fast and make a big impact in a room.
    10. Use it to line drawers like they did over at Young House Love.  Now this is taking things to a whole new (beautiful) level!

    Stay tuned for more ways to use wrapping paper and gift bags-including reusing/recycling them-tryin’ do my part for the planet, ya know?


    Mod Podge Heaven

    So just got my first bottle of Mod Podge a couple of weeks ago. Well, let me tell you-I love it!!! Yes, it’s a little smelly but it’s also vaguely comforting in that it reminds me of using glue and scissors to cut and paste in elementary. Ah, those were the days: when your biggest problem was whether or not your ‘s’ looked like an ‘s’ and not a ‘g.’ Or was that just me? Well, anyhoo, I posted some pics of a cedar chest/storage chest that I just finished up.

    Basically, I just started with a quick light sanding to create a rough surface for the paint to adhere to. I used 320 grit sandpaper since the chest was some type of fiberboard with a thin real wood laminate on top and I didn’t want to strip the poor thing all the way down too far. I had some deep bluish gray paint leftover from a previous project  so I just used that as my base color. Thank goodness it was zero VOC paint so I had all my brain cells left afterwards. (At least until the Mod Podge that is.)  The painting only took me about an hour with about an hour drying time in between coats.

    After that, I took some coordinating scrapbook paper and applied it to the front with some handy dandy Mod Podge. I honestly don’t know if Mod Podge would really be considered green-but it does say it’s non-toxic on the bottle. I have yet to come across anything that is so easy to work with and gives as good a  result. It’s awesome because you can take inexpensive paper or fabric and give things a custom finish. And it’s sooo easy to apply. The key seems to be continous smoothing of any air bubbles that form until its almost dry. I began by using a small paint brush to  paint a thin layer of the modge podge all over the surface I was going to cover.

    Then I put another thin layer on the back of the paper I chose. The two Mod Podged surfaces are put  together, then any air bubbles are smoothed out and finally another thin coat is painted on top of the paper to act as a sealant. Wa-La!  I threw some cheery red pillows on top to give some cushioning as we walk in the door and take off our shoes. It’s a rule I’m still trying to get DH to go along with, but I have to try.  Have you ever thought about all the grody stuff that you track in from outside? But I guess that’s another day,another post.

    ***Would love to hear about /see pics of any furniture redos you’ve done or creative ways you’ve used Mod Podge. I got a lot of my inspiration for this redo from Mod Podge Rocks. It’s a fun blog  filled with tons of ways to use Mod Podge just in case your creatively challenged at the moment. May just have to head on over there myself….