Monday, September 24, 2012

On our way to Denver!

Just stopping in to say we're heading on vacation! After Colorado, we will have successfully been to the entire southwest! We're up to 8 states visited. 42 left to go!

Our boys get to stay with their most favorite person ever, the petsitter aka foster guru. When I say they love her, I mean They. Love. Her. Ninja will seriously cry for over an hour after she leaves. Nothing makes him feel better. When she walks in, he just can't contain himself. She must spoil them or something!

So with our petsitter watching our dogs and our wonderful neighbors watching over them (We have amazing neighbors who constantly make sure everyone is okay and will call the cops in a second if something is off. LOVE THAT!), I'm feeling comfortable leaving for the week.

I promise to be back soon. We have 31 Days coming up, and I promise to share my IKEA spoils.

BTW: We had a highly successful yard sale on Saturday. Our garage is looking so much better! We'll call and have the leftovers picked up by the animal shelter's thrift shop.

I can't wait to share pictures from our trip! I get to feed giraffes!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Make it Work: Family Dollar starburst mirrors revamp

I don't know how many of you have ever been to a Dollar General or Family Dollar. I like to think of them as the middle ground between a dollar store and Big Lots. They have really cheap stuff, but some of it is actually quite useable.

Case in point: Starburst mirrors. I absolutely love starburst mirrors. I kept seeing tutorials on how to make my own but it seemed incredibly time consuming. My crafting attention span gets really short when it comes to home decor projects. I like something that's easy to get finished. Todd and I worked on an epic map art project. Have you seen it posted yet? No, of course not. The project sucked all the life out of me. All I have to do is glue it together and I have dragged my feet on it. See? I need easy peasy. I NEED IT!

Back to the mirrors... I picked up the swirly one a couple weeks ago but didn't find a straight one until Monday. The swirly was 10 and the straight was 6. I was finally able to get down to business!

I also picked up my color. I wanted these to look vintage, so I used Rustoleum Pure Gold. It looked less shiny than their other options. I also primed with Krylon gray primer. I don't think it was necessary as the Rustoleum would've adhered to the metal just fine. I was mostly worried the color would leave "flecks" that would come off on your hand and not give me a smooth finish.

I pried off all the big and medium sized rhinestones. I left the tiny rhinestones because they were a b*tch to pry off so I gave up they would give mirror a bit of dimensional interest. The center mirrors are just held in place with bendable metal. Just don't bend them a lot or they're break. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything... If you prime, give them a bunch of light coats. The spray painting took a day and a half. I really wanted to make sure I did a good job on coverage for both sides. Between coats, I used a dry paper towel to "sand" the wires. I find that on projects like these where you won't be handling them much, just using a paper towel gets them decently smooth.

After they're nice and dry, take out your hot glue gun and glue little round mirrors to the empty rhinestone spaces. I say hot glue because it'll hold them better. Don't use glue like E-6000 because it'll eat through the mirror backing. I found the mirrors at Hobby Lobby in their general crafts section. I also found them at Michael's but their card machines were down. Must remember to carry cash.

After the mirrors are glued on and the big mirror and placed back inside, you can hang and admire!

I love them so much! The gold is more like a tarnished brass color. It really looks great if you're going for a vintage/retro vibe. These look great in our living room and pick up all the brass in the entertainment center and lamps. It's still taking time, but I do feel like the living room is slowly coming together.

I urge you to check out these types of stores. You never know what you'll find! I ended up spending 32 dollars for both mirrors. A starburst mirror of this size could run you 50-100 dollars. I love me a good deal! I can't wait to show you another project that's about to get started. It's all about spray paint and cheap stuff here at my casa.

Linking up:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My yearly post about doing good in your world.

Last year I shared with you my story of becoming an angel through Soldiers' Angels.  In October of last year, all three of my soldiers got to come home! Hooray! Now there are still soldiers that need adopting so please consider adopting one this year!

After my soldiers came home, I decided to join the Operation Top Knot team on Soldiers' Angels. With this team, you check out the monthly list and send gifts to expecting military families or families with young children. It's an absolute BLAST! You can send as much or as little as you want. It can be handmade or store bought. It's a monthly baby shower. You should send only new items, but you may be able to contact the family directly or through OTK and ask about giving them hand-me-downs. There may even be a family in your area!

I loved doing Operation Top Knot. You get to buy some adorable stuff like this:

And this:
If adopting a soldier or showering a family is out of the question, you can also join one of their sewing teams or check out this list of every option.

Obviously I chose today of all days to share Soldiers' Angels. I don't support the war, but I do support our troops. They're doing something I could never do.

I think in honor of Patriots Day, we should do something to commemorate service. It doesn't have to be military service. Today is a great day to help out one another. Here are a few easy feel good tips for today:
- Donate your old towels and bedsheets to an animal shelter.
- Take your outgrown clothing and jackets to a homeless shelter.
- Clean out your pantry and take non-perishable/non-expired food to a food bank in your area.
- Donate any unused toiletries (like all those hotel ones you grab but don't really want) to a VA program to be handed out to homeless veterans.
- Pack a small brown bag lunch and a bottle of water and give it to the first homeless person you see. Write a positive note and include it in the bag.
- Pick up trash while your kids play at the playground. It doesn't take long and makes for a nicer place to be.
- Send a positive anonymous card to someone you know is struggling.
- If you're at a restaurant or coffee shop and see a military or first responder (police, firefighter, paramedic etc), offer to pay for their item. It's the least you can do for someone who disregards their own safety to help others.
- Share something homemade with your neighbors.
- With Halloween coming up, consider donating your kids' outgrown costumes to a local women's shelter. The children would absolutely love it!

But most importantly, remember that today is only one day. You should strive to make a small change in the world every day you wake up on it. It isn't much. Hold the door open for someone. Pick up that piece of trash as you walk up to the store. Give someone a smile. Throw a dollar in the charity jar by a checkout lane. I fully believe that if we helped one another up instead of keeping each other down, we would be in a better place in life.

Have a great day everyone! I'm working on a project today, and I hope to have it posted tomorrow! I also intend on dropping off some clothes and toiletries at our local women's shelter.
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