DIY GIFTS

The Giving Tree: DIY Fireplace Project

Once upon a time I worked in research for a large healthcare organization.  I wore a suit and analyzed data.  One of my first assignments was a Driving Miss Daisy mission.  I was selected to drive a visiting PhD from NYC to a dozen hospitals as he conducted one-on-one...

Look How They Shine for You

Warm welcome!  I have mentioned multiple times my obsession with heart symbols.  I promise if you tune in, you will find the shape in the form of rocks, leaves and flower petals.  It is as though nature is always in alignment with love. This week another symbol...

Wishy Washi: DIY Washi Tape Projects

I hope you are embracing the long stretch of July light.  From daybreak to dusk, summer feels like the season of bliss: layered with color and brimming with heart. Fact:  I hunt and gather washi tape.  I even organize it!  And brace yourself friends, this just might...

Honoring Time: DIY Photo Clock!

Hello and thanks for sharing your precious time here! I am not flying a great flight plan in the time management department.  Are you?  Please share your secrets!  I would love to hear from you in the comments section. Did I ever tell you about my adventures in ground...

Mother’s Day DIY Projects: Mug or Monogram?

Since returning from our California vacation, every post I start has no end (or middle for that matter).  I have been in a state of stall.  Here, there and everywhere.  Perhaps the diagnosis is keyboard laryngitis or I entered a creative wasteland! In a...

Tile by Tile: Smile by Smile

 Hello! We just returned from a trip to California.  As the self-appointed tour director, I affectionately called our trip the can’t sit still tour.  More on that another day. In the meantime, I am so excited to tell you about two photo projects this week....

Cheers: Wine Glass DIY

Did you know yesterday was National Drink Wine Day?  I discovered the holiday late in the day so I got busy celebrating DIY style. Apparently this holiday occurs annually on February 18 for the purpose of spreading the love and health benefits of wine. I started with...

10 Journal Prompts

“The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings; otherwise, I might suffocate.” ~ Anne Frank I mentioned my journal a couple of months ago (click here if interested).  My first memories with a journal trace back to middle school and the...

Meet the Neighbors

“When you stop & smell the flowers, life is sweet.  Witness the beauty in all you meet.” – Unknown. These cuties live next door in their two-story coop.  They are fascinating to watch and listen to as they explore.  I love their free-range...

C’mon Get Happy: Pondering the 80/20 Rule

I always advise my daughters to focus on what they love (versus what they hate) and to look for the positive in people and situations (instead of wallowing in the negative).   I try to share words of wisdom… like, “a positive attitude causes a chain...

Taking Yoga on a Hike

“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”   – Rumi I love yoga but sadly my “practice” amounts to about monthly mat experiences. A friend invited me to experience yoga in perfect harmony!  Have you tried yoga hiking?  It...

Spring Wishes & DIY Fish Soap

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” – John Buchan The lake finally shifted from ice to waves; a symbol of hope amid a week of constant grey skies and frigid...

Batter Up

“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder I signed up to bake cookies for a school fundraiser.  The perfect example of following my heart instead of my brain.  Things don’t always go well...

Photo Tile

I have been experimenting with tiles again.  I printed this beloved photo on tissue paper.  As you know, tissue paper is fragile so it is a tricky surface for printing.  The solution?  Trim and tape a segment of tissue paper (I used white tissue paper) to a base 8.5 x...

Metal Art

“The control center of your life is your attitude.” – Anonymous A few years ago we spent the afternoon at Hands On Art  in Door County.  My favorite activity was creating in the metal studio!  We combined metal pieces by welding – yes welding!...

Creative with Tiles

“The biggest challenge in life is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.”   – unknown — Watching a movie and creating. Multi-tasking for double the fun. I am combining Rub Ons and travertine tiles to create...

Rock Solid

“There is no rule on how to write.   Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” – Ernest Hemingway – – – Playing with rocks.  Simple...

Embracing the Run

“Running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring faith not only in oneself but also in life’s possibilities.” –Bart Yasso I was gifted with the book, My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso last year.  It was such a sweet gesture as the book included a...

Chalkboard Contact Paper Labels

Super excited to organize my pantry (well, technically this is a one shelf at a time project). I am using chalkboard contact paper and a punch to label my jars!  Simple and functional. Order here:  Amazon.com: chalkboard contact...

Pretty in Pink: Tissue Paper Project

We saw several of these dahlia like pom-poms in Franklin, Tennessee last winter.  Today we created some joyful bursts of color of our own.  We bought a kit at our favorite local store, Monograham in Delafield, Wisconsin. Tools and Materials: Tissue paper floral wire...

Vintage Typewriter Keys

Let the songs I sing Bring joy to you Let the words I say profess my love Let the notes I choose Be your favorite tune Garden Lyrics, by: Bear Rinehart and Bo Rinehart of NeedtoBreathe The backdrop for the current NeedtoBreathe tour includes this giant set of...

Wild Clipboard

The formula for today’s project: paper + clipboard = function I am hanging this near my desk.  I will use the metal clip to tuck important postal mail that needs my attention. Functional...

Clothespin Magnets

“I kind of have a happy magnet. I can’t stand being depressed, so I work my ass off to get out of it as soon as possible.”  – Sarah McLachlan Repurposing clothespins today.  Yes, clothespins!  Mixing cute paper and clothespins to fill my magnet...

Baby Onesies: Showering a Friend with Love

“I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely at it one night &  found it had wheels and moved easily in the slightest breeze. So now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing. ”  -Brian Andreas, Story People – – –...

Chalk it Up

Sipping Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea with a Diet Coke chaser and pondering… what could I possibly create today?  Seriously.  I am still happy (post-marathon) but honestly I would rather watch television than create today.  Thank you coffee mug for inspiring me! I...

Patiently Painting

“What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.” – Sai Baba...

Bling!

We have a dancer in the house!  Fun project underway here as she has discovered the power of a rhinestone setter.  This is unchartered territory for us as we traditionally use fabric glue for embellishing dance costumes.  I think we have stumbled upon a more permanent...

Nature’s Pace: Charmed Project

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson Simply stellar sunrises and sunsets this month.  I shot these photos tonight on my way home.  I am grateful for the beauty that greets me if I am awake to witness the sunrise (like on...

Treasure Hunting

With the magic of spray paint I created a splash of color for an outside patio.  I lean heavily toward the color black and the sister colors of grey and silver.  Today I went crazy with a can of wildflower blue by Rust-oleum.   I found this treasure in a...

Wings

Another frame… Promise to stay with me on this versus dismissing it as another frame re-style post!   I gave this little treasured frame wings.  Literally.  In the process of breaking an angel wing charm in half to separate the wings into two segments (which required...

Candle Re-style

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.   We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” -Albert Schweitzer A few years ago I had a...

Frame Re-style

I love photographs and as a by-product, I have an affinity for collecting frames.  Recently my  mind has been swirling with ideas on methods for updating old frames with new looks.  Today I re-styled this box frame….

Finding Faith

It seems every day my path leads me past a beautiful stone church down the road.  Like many churches it has a sign with clever messages. This week the sign said, “Lacking faith?  Borrow some of ours.”   Yeah, I would love to replenish my faith reserves....

Transparent Love

A couple of years ago Emma created this Mother’s Day gift for me.  She worked that Sunday with a specific vision that led to this collage containing images she knew I would love and inspired words and quotes.   Next she scanned the canvas, printed the image onto...

Chips and Salsa

The kitchen is not my comfort zone…as I may have mentioned before.  However, today we created some fun in the kitchen making homemade chips and salsa. I wish I could report that the salsa was created from my garden ingredients but such is not the case.  Instead...

DIY Blue Mason Jars

When we were in Eagle River, Wisconsin recently I found this beautiful jar at an antique store!  I am contemplating how to repurpose it into something functional.  It was a $10 investment for a future storage device or perhaps a hanging flower vase via the attached...

In Full Bloom: Nail Art

Today my daughter painted her nails in a fun summertime style! She found the inspiration on Pinterest but used her own color twist.  It all started with a layer of aqua blue polish as the base color.  Next, the roses were the result of painting uneven circles on her...

Time to Create

“When we are doing what we love, we don’t care about time. For at least at that moment, time doesn’t exist and we are truly free.” – Wieder Marcia Isn’t time our most precious resource?  I am currently in the midst of justifying in my mind...

Lake Reflections

Reflecting on the tradition of visiting Stormy Lake every summer for the past dozen years.  I love the friendships that have evolved and the layers of memories for the girls. Today we made a t-shirt for a friend several houses down the lake.  One of our traditions is...

DIY Bracelet

This blue bracelet has been sitting on my desk for months (ok, probably years).  I packed the bracelet and my Time Out New York book with the intention of combining the two for a quick vacation project.  This was a great project to implement while sitting on a dock!...

Have a Little Faith

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”   -Almost Famous We are preparing to carry on a long family summer tradition! Soon we will visit a northern Wisconsin lake relishing in...

Anthropologie Inspired Art

I stopped at our local Anthropologie recently and stumbled upon these…. Swoon.  When my fellow shopping friend inquired about purchasing the window decor she was informed that they were created by a local artist (but the name wasn’t mentioned) and that...

Something Beautiful

“The most beautiful sight in the world is a little child going confidently down the road of life after you have shown him the way.”  -Confucius Today I had some time to do one of my favorite things: linger at Barnes & Noble with no specific purpose....

Bamboo Paper Project: DIY Switchplate

We will be spending time this week in Oak Brook, IL for Elleri’s ballet camp.  Sometimes we will drive home; sometimes we stay in Oak Brook.  The area has every restaurant you can imagine and every store you might love.  My primary role here is to deliver Elleri...

Curvy Frame

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  – Marcel Proust We are still in the midst of a top-to-bottom “de-clutter and clean” project!  Just when I thought I...

Be True

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ― Brené Brown, Ph.D., The Gifts of Imperfection I have read a couple...

Seeking Blooms

The usual peak flower season in the Southeastern Wisconsin should be underway but given the severe lack of rain my blooms are small and weak… I can only imagine what local farmers are facing in their fields.  We should be participating in a creative rain dance...

Fourth of July Flag Cake

Happy 4th of July! Making a flag cake is a 4th of July tradition that my mom started years ago back when we celebrated on the shores of the Mississippi. To make this flag cake, the girls used a 9 x 13-inch cake pan to bake a Betty Crocker yellow cake.  To decorate the...

Resin Photo Keychain

A couple of weeks ago I made a key chain for my dad using a transparent photo of his favorite dog.  Today I am back with a new twist using an image printed on photo paper.  I developed this image as a wallet-sized photo at Walgreens.  I trimmed the image, painted...

Cheerful Pots

“Bloom where you are planted.” (1 Corinthians 7:20–24) The cleaning process uncovered some pristine terracotta pots which inspired today’s project.  Using spray paint, my goal was to create a cheerful row of pots for the beloved ledge outside my...

Light Switch

Simple summer day with too much cleaning and not enough time to relish the warm moments.  It is hot and dry here. As I watered my potted plants I found the birds were in a flurry of joy.  It was as if they thought maybe, just maybe, rain was on its way.  They...

Kitchen Philosophy

It’s a whirlwind of de-clutter, organize and simplify.  We are systematically cleaning our home and determining what to keep, donate, recycle or toss.  A friend over at the Domestic Wormhole blog was recently in the midst of a kitchen remodel which prompted a...

Resin Keychain

On May 31, 2012 I posted about a belt buckle project.  Click here for a peak back…belt buckle « ordinarycreative!   I promised I would report back on the finished project and I am happy to report that both buckles dried perfectly with no bubbles and no...

Sunshine and Old Frame, New Look

“Far away in the sunshine are my aspirations.   I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.” -Louisa May Alcott Today was a beautiful sunshine day.  The transition from the rhythm of...

Mirror Salvage

Today I dug out an old mirror as it just might be a great mirror for our guest room makeover!  We have guests from Minneapolis arriving on Friday so we are motivated to wrap up this room! This mirror is a salvage from somewhere, but I can’t remember where I...

Belt Buckle

Inspired by the clever belt buckles I saw on many of the riders during the Hits Horse Show in March, I am attempting a couple of my own.  Using some of my photos from the Hits Horse Show we attended in Ocala, Florida in March I am starting a gift for a friend. I was...

Wedded Bliss: How Sweet it Is

“Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.” – Voltaire A beautiful hilly area in Lake Geneva provided the backdrop for an outdoor wedding this evening.  It was a warm and beautiful night to witness the vows of these dear...

How Sweet it Is: Candy Jar DIY

“With sweet love and devotion Deeply touching my emotions I want to stop and thank you baby How sweet it is to be loved by you How sweet it is to be loved by you I close my eyes at night And wonder what would I be without you in my life Everything was just a...

Creative at the Hospital…Clorax Gel Pen Shirt

My nephew made a brief evening visit to the hospital.  I was ready with a black t-shirt and bleach gel pen.  We poured over magazines together to find a shape to inspire our t-shirt design.  We collaborated to watch the magic of the gel pen together.   The nurse...

Customizing an i-Phone Case

Emma surprised me with an early Mother’s Day present.  She was too excited to wait until the official “day” and I am melting at the sweet gesture. Using some of my concert photos as well as images of NeedtoBreathe albums she printed tiny images and...

Framing Ideas: Inspiration Line

“Art is limitation.   The essence of every picture is the frame.” G.K. Chesterton In alignment with creating some creative space, I converted a photo frame into an inspiration hub.  I plan to clip favorite photos and items for future projects here, instead...

Glass Etch: Monogram Wine Glass

As an early gift for the upcoming May 13 holiday (Mom’s Day) I received a Silhouette Cameo!  What is that?  Essentially it is a device that connects to my Mac and functions as an electronic cutting tool (think paper, vinyl, fabric, etc.).  Today is my first...

Balance

“Balance is not about walking around with a bunch of “positive” happy qualities; it’s about walking the tightrope between the poles within us and the circumstances outside of us. True balance means we can embrace and love the most topsy-turvy parts because they...

Wedding Shower: Love in the Details

The Friday project: creative bliss preparing for a top-secret surprise party for a lovely couple to celebrate their upcoming nuptials.  So thrilled to honor the happy couple. The groom-to-be has a background in designing and manufacturing mason jars so we are using...

You Rock!

“To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.” – George Kneller Enhancing rocks today.  Why?  I am planning to hide a few out in the world with the thought that they will make their way into the hands of...

Mod Podge + Fabric

Still trying to organize my desk… (focus might be my word of the year in 2013).  I am back trying to perfect the marriage of fabric and Mod Podge.  Simple supplies today: I tried painting this terra-cotta pot and then I applied rub-on words but it was a bit of a fail....

Mirror Mirror

“Every person has magic in them, they just don’t know they possess it.” Magical Cottage Queen, Mirror Mirror movie With some cute paper, Mod Podge and pink paint to match the room, we did a makeover on this mirror for Emma’s room.  Some paint...

Embellishing Candles

I discovered some beautiful embellished candles that I wanted to purchase while I was on vacation in Colorado.  When I inquired at the boutique, I was informed the candles were simply part of the store’s decor and not for sale!  I took a couple photos and an...

DIY Photo Blocks

One of the gifts I received after my beloved grandmother (Evelyn) passed away was one of her photo cubes.  Simple acrylic cube that held her photos.  I loved these photo cubes as a child but I think I am finally realizing the reason for my obsession with them is the...

Paper Mache Bowl

I set the scene to launch creative zen time with some candles… Aveda candles simply rock!  Of course then I was distracted trying to capture the perfect flame photo. I really have to work on focus.  FOCUS.  Tomorrow my focus will hopefully be laundry… I...

Vinyl Record Bowls

I am in the midst of organizing my home office desk.  This leads to me think … I should make a pencil holder out of a vinyl album (the perfect solution or  lame distraction? I am not exactly sure!).  Step one:  review my albums that haven’t made the cut...

Image Transfer

Hello snow… I am wearing sock monkey slippers, eating Girl Scout cookies and watching the snow accumulate in the woods.  I am also experimenting with image transfers and the oven is pre-heating.  Creative in the kitchen: but not in the traditional sense! I have...

Leap Day Push Pins

When I started this project on January 1, 2012 I mentally prepared for 365 posts, following a weekday project and weekend photo framework.  I seriously contemplated taking today off (2.29.2012)!   Energy ran low and it seemed logical to skip the day that is usually...

Heart Art

I was given this heart for a birthday present years ago. It is my one and only Valentine decoration that is pulled out every February.  I love its texture and shape but I only love it in February. Red doesn’t really fit as a permanent item in our home…...

Love

Love is a many splendored thing, Love lifts us up where we belong, All you need is love! How wonderful life is, Now you’re in, the world… Elephant Love Medley Lyrics, Moulin Rouge Soundtrack Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place Suddenly it moves...

Bananagram Monogram Tags

I love Bananagrams.  Its portable, clever, mind-stretching fun. Its fun to see the pattern of words the tiles present. I like to think there are random messages if I tune in and notice.  Value pain?  Yes.  Always grateful, pain and all. I drilled tiny holes in the...

Wooden Elements Transformed to Photo Frame

The creative well felt a little dry today.  The old standby of  too much to do, too little time was on replay in my mind.  So I went for a run.  Then I went to a 7 p.m. meeting.  Finally the creative flow began late in the night… all inspired by a tiny...

Resin

I have experimented with resin: embedding photos and tiny angel wings in a mold and creating keychains and jewelry.   Resin is brilliant for embedding objects – think shells, rocks, dried flowers.  But what I have learned so far about working with resin is...

Tiny Wine Glass Project

Pinterest… Its like Web chocolate.  A tad addicting and delightful. I am sure you are familiar with Pinterest, but in case you haven’t received your login or set up your boards…. Read on!  If you are a Pin-expert skip down to the photo of the wine...

Vinyl Album to Clock

I still love vinyl albums.  I have about a dozen album favorites hanging in a contiguous pattern in a corner of my house (my version of wallpaper I guess). Last year I found Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. album in a closet at my mom’s house.  Which...

Tissue Paper Flower

Day 19 and I am feeling energized with more ideas for creative pursuits. I feel as though I have granted myself a free pass for more “fun”!  Permission to relax about the laundry and the required details of life.  I am consciously transitioning from...