Hand Crafted Dog Bowls

It’s about time we did another project for the doggies!  Yeah, and we needed to use up some scrap wood….aaannnnddd….we had this ugly thing in our kitchen:

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Yes – that big ole, chewed up, drooled on dog bowl sits right in the middle of our kitchen walk-way…where everyone can see its ugliness.  Of course the girls need to eat, so it is kind of a necessity. But, after some serious complaining, I convinced the hubs that this necessity didn’t have to be an ugly eye sore! 

Here is how the design process went down:

Me:  Sweetie….is it possible…

Hubs:  No

Me:  wait…hear me out…we have a ton of scrap wood right?

Hubs:  No

Me:  Yes we do!  So anyways…I have been in love with this table that I have seen online.  See it here?

Hubs:  Hmmm….that is nice, but we don’t need a table.

Me:  I know, but is it possible…

Hubs:  No

Me:  Fine, I knew you wouldn’t be able to do it anyways.  I will just go out to the shop and build it myself…with YOUR tools.

Hubs:  Wait – what are you wanting again?

Hehe – it works every time!  It is true that I have been in love with a particular table I had seen online and we really didn’t need a table at all.  So I asked hubs if he could shrink it down to dog-size and we could replace the old ugly dog food bowls.  And really people….my husband is AMAZING!  Here is the outcome of that conversation, a little scrap wood, and a boring weekend…

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I mean – stop the train – that is the most beautiful dog bowl I have ever seen!!!  Our dogs are living high class now my friends.

Here is the low-down on how we took that pile of scrap wood and turned it into dog bowl beautifulness:

1.  Check out wood pile and find pieces to work. (See, plenty to work with there)

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2.  Make sure you have a supervisor on site.

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3. Rip the boards to the size you want – we used all 1 x 2 boards.

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4.  Measure, Cut, Measure, Cut

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5.  Glue the top pieces together and put a frame around the outside (the top measured 11 x 23)

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6.  Put a second solid piece under the slats on top for stability.

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7.  Center the bowls, trace them, and cut out the circle holes 1/4 inch inside the line you traced

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Intermission to show you how crazy messy our work table got during the project – whoa!

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8.  Check in with the supervisor. I mean it – just the most precious girl ever!!

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9.  Leave the rest of the building up to the genius, math-minded husband.  He was actually using the Pythagorean Theorem to find the measurements for the angles pieces…wowza.

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10.  Let the supervisor and her co-supervisor inspect the work (actually checking to make sure it wasn’t too tall…got a little worried for a second when it ended up being 16 inches tall instead of 14.  It would be horrible to have a beautiful dog bowl that your dogs couldn’t eat out of!)

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We got the 2dog stamp of approval to move forward with the beautification process.

11.  Sand and Stain to your heart’s content.  No pictures here because this is where the hubs left me to it!

12.  Wa-La – done – beautiful!  I am so so so happy with the finished project!  It turned out more beautiful than I expected.  I am no longer embarrassed by my dogs’ food-bowl – life is good Smile.

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A New Challenge

I hope you are ready for this one!  I have a LOT to say about this project that has been in the works for a while.  To keep myself on track, let me tell you the big ideas:

1.  We get ideas for projects in the strangest places.

2.  We love UGA Football (no, neither of us went to UGA).

3.  This project was a much bigger challenge than expected!

OK – so where to start.  Let’s start with where we got this idea for the latest project…

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Yes, that is the inside of a Chili’s restaurant.  If you look to the far left of the picture, you see plexiglass signage hanging as a room divider.  See it?  It’s green and frosted…  Well Hubs saw that and just loved it.  He kept talking about it for months and saying he wanted to do something like that in our house.  I couldn’t picture it…but sometimes I just go with it.

So he finally decided how we would take that idea and make it work for us.  We started in the basement.  Here is what our basement looked like.

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Yes, it is kind of a man-cave.  It does look a little different since we have finally upgraded our furniture from those red couches we had in college….about time…I know!

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Above one part of the couch we have these beautiful prints that we bought from the artist during Mule Camp 3 years ago.

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Above the other part of the couch, we have this super cool antique football photo.  Yes…you see a theme coming together now?

We must interrupt here to mention that we make no apologies for not attending UGA, but being super-huge UGA Football fans.  We both graduated from North Georgia and they don’t have a football team, so we cheer on the next closest team.  And…just so you know….I WILL have a degree from there one day!  Then, I guess we will be official.

Now above the TV, we have this….

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Yep – that’s right – a HUGE open wall.  Ugh…what in the world could we do with this space?  It is sooooo BIG!  Well, hubs had an idea!  So we took a trip to Lowes and picked up some plexiglass and we were on our way!

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I started by spending HOURS creating personalized subway art on my Silhouette.  I cut the subway art out of black vinyl, pulled the extra off, covered with transfer paper, and then….handed it over to the OCD husband to put it on the plexiglass straight!  That plexiglass is expensive and I wasn’t about to mess it up!

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Hubs used a little trick of putting my quilting cutting mat under the glass to make sure the vinyl went on straight.  He also taped off the edges where he planned for the other pieces to overlap.

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I was pretty proud of how the subway art turned out!  I LOVE my silhouette machine!  Oh, and I musn’t forget that I had supervisors to help me…

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Next we waited…for our very special wall mounts to come in.  We went to Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, and Michael’s and Hobby Lobby looking specifically for these wall mount spacers and ended up having to order them online.

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So let me explain how they work…  First, Hubs marked and drilled holes in the plexiglass.

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Before I forget, let me tell you the very valuable lesson we learned while drilling holes in the plexiglass.  Don’t use drill bits like this…

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Yep, that is one whole ruined piece of plexiglass there in the background.  The drill just snapped it!  Instead, use a drill bit like this…

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Yeah…this was made for the job! So back to the wall mount spacers.  After you drill your holes, you make sure the art is level and pre-drill holes in the wall.

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Then you put in the base piece by drilling a screw into the wall through the bottom hole of the spacer.

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Then you place the art work over the spacer and screw in the top piece of the spacer to the bottom through the holes you drilled in the plexiglass.

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It ends up with a great finished look when you are done!  We ordered 1/4 inch spacers for the middle piece and 1/2 inch spacers for the side pieces since they would be overlapping a little.  Hubs made a few more exact measurements, checked in with the supervisors, and finished hanging the side pieces with the same steps as the middle piece.

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Now we have a beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork over our TV.  No more big empty spaces!  I can’t believe my hubby saw that hanging plexiglass at Chili’s and envisioned this!?

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The only thing I don’t like about this picture is that it doesn’t really do the finished piece any justice.  You can’t really tell how super cool it looks coming out from the wall unless you see it in person.  Oh, and I had to add this one more picture of my Willow being a supervisor….just because I love it!

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Father’s Day Gift Giving

I know it is WAY past Father’s Day, but I still wanted to share this simple little gift we made for my daddy.  My parents live in beautiful, sunny Florida and spend many weekends at the beach.  We thought this cute little beach cooler would be the perfect gift for daddy.

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We picked up a simple personal cooler at Wally-world and then took some time personalizing it.  I used  my Silhouette to cut out special vinyl quotes and shapes to add our personal touch.

It started plain and boring like this:

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But we had a blast turning it into a one of a kind that looked like this:

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We loved filling it with some special beach goodies too! Included in the cooler are:  a beach towel, spray sunscreen, face sunscreen bar, a water bottle, and two cases of dad’s favorite “smartie juice” (its really Tampico juice, but it tastes just like the Smarties candies!).

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Dad loved his gift and put it to use right away!  We loved the visit to FL, and the time at the beach in the sun!

My first Silhouette Project ~ How to apply vinyl

A few days ago, I showed your our sweet little home-made mother’s day gifts.  I was so happy with how they turned out, especially since it was my first time cutting vinyl with my new Silhouette Cameo.

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The Silhouette makes beautiful clean and crisp cuts on the vinyl and it was so super easy to do too!

I started by making my design on the Silhouette software.

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First I formatted my paper size and layout to match the size of the vinyl.

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Next I went into “my library” and chose the quotes that I wanted to use for my project.  I lined them up on my workspace, and changed the size to make sure the final product would fit my small boxes I was putting it on.

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My sweet nephew wanted to make his own quote, so we just used the text box to make our own saying!  This is what I love the most about the Silhouette…you can use your own words and any font that is already on your computer.

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Once we had the new quote, we made sure everything was just right on the workspace and we were ready to cut it out.  So exciting!

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Now is the fun,  where you just sit back and let the Silhouette do all the work.

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All you really have to do is load the paper, and press “cut”…I mean it…really that easy.

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Once the Silhouette is finished cutting, there are a few more steps to the finished product.  First you carefully pull off the vinyl, leaving your design on the backing.

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Next you use the special tool to remove all the small pieces.

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Then you place a piece of sticky transfer paper over your design and use the scraping tool to make sure it is pressed down firmly.

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You will then pull your design off the backing so that it remains on the transfer paper.  This looks like a lot of work, but I promise it really only takes a minute.

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Almost done…Now you will press your deign on to its final location and again use the scraping tool to press it down firmly.

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And finally you will carefully pull the transfer paper off to reveal your final product.

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So easy and makes a super professional look.

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So are your ready to try making a vinyl design??

Homemade Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day, a day to honor our mothers, but I hope that you all honor your mothers every single day of the year.  Mothers are the most selfless people I know, and they deserve to be pampered every day!

I am sad to not be with my momma today, but I know I will be down to see her in a couple of weeks.  We made her something super special for her back screened porch, but you will have to wait to see that!

Hubs is actually blessed to have two mothers!  He was adopted and is so lucky to still have a relationship with both of his mothers.  We wanted to give them a little something to show them that we love them, and appreciate them both.

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How super cute is that!?  We had a great time building these special little gifts, and actually had a helper that day too!  My nephew came over for a little while, and was eager to make one for his momma too.  So here is the skinny…

I started by painting my mason jars (pint size) with off-white spray Krylon spray paint.

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To give the mason jars an antiqued look, after they dried, I lightly sanded the high spots on the jars.

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Meanwhile….in the driveway….Hubs and Nephew were busy building the boxes/trays to hold the jars.  They cut cedar wood planks down to size (2 inches high, 12 x 4 inches perimeter).

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After everything was cut, they used the nail gun to put everything together securely and then used the air-sander to smooth the edges.

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Finally we put a coat of stain on the boxes, and set them aside to dry.

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We then filled our mason jars with soil and plants.

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The last little personal touch, was made by cutting out vinyl quotes on my Silhouette Cameo.  I will give you more details on how I did that later.

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I was so happy with the final look!  They are super cute for a kitchen window seal, front porch table, or even dining room table.

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I was so proud of my nephew’s hard work, and he was so excited to give his to his momma today!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there!

Handmade Gift Tags

This year I chose to muted color palette for Christmas decorating.  I wrapped all my presents in brown packing paper this year, and I just couldn’t find any gift tags that I liked.  So when you can’t find it, you make it!  I started by picking up a packet of Avery Eco-Friendly White Shipping Labels (48165).  These are full-sheet labels and perfect for the job at hand.

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I typed out my gift tag to’s and from’s and printed them on a regular sheet of paper to test out the size and spacing before printing it on the label paper (that label paper is too expensive to waste!).  Once I was sure it was perfect, I printed my labels and then used a punch I already had to punch out the individual labels.

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I had to do some of them regular and some at an angle to fit in all the words.

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Then I used a gold sharpie to draw a simple border around the label before peeling off the backing and adhering them to my gifts.

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I think they turned out just PERFECT and go wonderfully with my overall look.  Plus each one is personal.  In our family we do 4 gifts for each person (something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read) so I could type their “something…” on each tag.  Love them!

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DIY Painter’s Dropcloth Stockings

That’s right – I made my beautiful stockings out of painter’s drop cloth this year.  If you have read my blog…ever…you know I love some painter’s drop cloth.  It is cheap, easy to work with, and matches my décor perfectly!

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Would you like to know how to make your own?  Yay!  I knew you would!

Materials (makes 4 stockings):

  • 4 yards of outside material (I used canvas drop cloth)
  • 4 yards of inside material (I used muslin)
  • 2 yards of ribbon (mine was brown ruffled)
  • 2 yards of lace
  • Jute
  • 1 inch think basic ribbon of your choice color (for hanging loop)
  • bells or decorations that match your theme
  • Sharpie (I used brown)
  • monogram pattern

1.  Draw your pattern for your stocking.  I drew mine straight onto the canvas, but your could use poster board, cardboard, or something like that to make a template.  Cut out two canvas panels for each stocking and 2 muslin panels for each stocking (total of 8 each for 4 stockings)

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I actually spent time drawing, cutting, going upstairs and holding it up to the mantle to see the size, then trimming and snipping until I was happy.

2.  At this point you will want to go ahead and monogram 4 of your panels.  I used the projector/sharpie method that I love so much (only because I don’t have an embroidery machine).  I designed my monograms on the computer, printed them out, projected them onto the fabric, and traced them with my brown sharpie.

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3.  On the right side of the muslin, go ahead and sew your ribbon/lace.  I knew I wanted the lace to hang from the edge so I sewed it right to the edge.  Then sewed my brown ribbon about an inch apart.  The real thing I did was lay it out before I sewed anything to make sure I liked the look.  ** Keep in mind that this will be folded over, so if you have something that is directional (like my lace) make sure you sew it “upside down”. **

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4.  With right sides together, sew the top of the canvas to the top of the muslin.  Make sure your monogramed piece and ribboned piece are sewn together.  Also make sure the “toes” are pointing in the same direction.

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5.  With right sides together sew all the way around the stockings.  Let me try to explain…In the picture above, I would take the piece on the right, lay it right sides together on top of the left piece.  It looks weird, but I promise it works.  Sew all the way around leaving a 2 in opening somewhere (I chose to leave my opening on the muslin piece because I knew that would be the inside and you wouldn’t see where I sewed it together after the next step).

6.  Now turn the piece inside out from the hole you left.  You will end up with something that looks similar to this.  Sew together the hole in the lining.

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7.  Now you will push your lining into the outside of the stocking and fold over your decorative piece on the top.

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8.  Cut a 6 inch piece of the ribbon you are using to hang the stocking and pin it to the inside of stocking.  I chose to also hang three lengths of Jute from the same side (with bells).  So I pinned the jute to the outside opposite the hanging ribbon. Sew it all down.

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9.  I also chose to make a Jute ribbon and hot glue it over the stiches of the above step.

Now you are ready to hang your beautiful creation!

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I made the three for us girls (me and the 2Dogs) with lace, and made Hubs’ without lace. Smile  I think they turned out pretty amazing to be my very first attempt at making stockings.  I actually kind of love them!  I can’t wait to see what Santa fills them with on Christmas morning!

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