Quick, EZ Summer Color

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“Avid gardeners” describes three special ladies in my life. Every summer as I was growing up, so were the gardens of my Mom and Aunt Lil. When we kids were all little, the patches included as many vegetables as flowers. Sitting on the porch “helping” clean snap peas, we probably ate as many as were put into the basket! And many a fresh tomato was snatched off the vine and eaten like an apple, for a summer afternoon treat!

Over time, as the seats at the dinner table emptied, the gardens transitioned to nearly all flowers with just an occasional tomato plant or two. Though “in-laws”, my mom and aunt were as close as real sisters. Each year they would have this “unspoken” friendly competition over who had the best garden that summer. I remember gladiolas taller than my mother, and fat, bright faced zinnias in Aunt Lil’s credenza vase.

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Cards for Mother’s Day

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Sunday is Mother’s Day. As a floral designer, I know it is a big, busy day for that industry and reason for card companies to celebrate! As a Mother and Grandmother, I love the anticipated arrival of either cards, flowers, or better yet both! What fun.

A card is always appreciated, but is even more special with a personal touch. I enjoy making and sending hand-crafted greeting cards, and am sharing these latest projects with you. This is a Make-Do project for me; no need for outside shopping or spending because over time, I’ve amassed an abundant supply of papers, scrap, notions and envelopes.

Cards can be as basic as paper and envelope, with simple decoration and a hand-written message (and a little help from parents for pre-schoolers!). A standard size and weight piece of paper folded in half then in half again, gives you the typical card form and…

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Loving This Look

Our winter has been a light one, meaning little snow.  In Minnesota, it’s what is sometimes called a “brown winter”.  It does look a bit more friendly, but temperatures still restrict you to inside projects.

This is the exact time of year that we get antsy to do something.  The cleaning and purging could use a little more work, but at this point … boring.  Coming up with a project or two is easy enough.  The problem, as usual, is limited funds.

Long-time followers will remember nearly 4 years ago, we restyled and refinished  the cabinetry in our bathroom.  It has been  is holding up quite well and we still enjoy the look.

Bathroom cabinet redo with Rustoleum Kit

The bath color is a muted, dusty gold, although this picture doesn’t capture it well.  Most of the other tones in our open living areas are similar and neutral, and I do want to stay with those.  But we’ve been wanting a bit more color and the bathroom walls seemed a good place to add some.  This means paint of course.  In this case, the colors in my stash weren’t what I had in mind.  There was a good paint sale in the area, but it was still above what we could spend.  And then …

At Wal-Mart, on a sale table, I discovered a gallon of their “grab n’ go” paint in the aqua color.  At $11.00, it was a good price, but I had big reservations.  It was a semi-gloss finish which I felt might be too shiny.

I was considering a turquoise color that would match the current accents in the room.

 

This color seemed too bright, so I decided against but I kept thinking about it all week.  The next trip in, it still sat on the sale table … but now it was at $5.00 on markdown.

Now, most of you know I am a big proponent of mixing my own paint colors.  I bought the aqua gallon, and a quart of light gray in the same brand and finish.  At home I removed approximately 1/3 of the aqua (saving it, of course), and added most of the gray.  The result was much tamer so I did a sample wall.

Bathroom Wall

Still much too bright for us.  I wanted a much “dustier” shade, and so did a bit more experimenting.  For my darkening color I used a warm, deep cinnamon brown in a finish just one step below semi-gloss.  Each test got a wall splotch, until I hit on what I was going for.  I settled for the very top color in the picture below.

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We’re very pleased with our results

Aqua Bathroom

We have a few more small projects for this room.  We plan to frame the mirror, and replace the wooden backsplash with glass tile.  AND … I’m changing up some of the accessories, starting with this gorgeous shower curtain that is an early Mother’s Day present from my daughter (thanks, Breezer)!

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I’m lovin’ the coral, purple and all the aqua and greens in this.  Can’t wait to buy towels LOL.

I’ll keep you posted.

Meantime, I would LOVE to hear what you think about our latest project.  Remember, when you leave a comment for me, check the box to receive answer comments.  My site systems don’t allow an automatic answer sent back to you.

Thanks for stopping over.

Later – Cheryl

 

Ready for VALENTINE Projects?

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Hi, all.  Can you believe it’s almost time for a holiday again? By now, I’m actually glad for another little spruce up opportunity, though.  Christmas is gone and with all of Winter’s white, windy weather, things need some sparkle again.  But, because it isn’t so friendly outside, now is a good time for one of my EZ-PZ projects.

This one is super easy, using things you’ll already have around the house.  AND you don’t need any fancy tools!

SUPPLIES

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PAINT SAMPLE CARDS and TISSUE BOXES are two of my favorite recycled/reuse craft items. They have beautiful colors and designs and are a great weight for cut-outs.

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This project I also used WRAPPING PAPER CUTOUTS & A RED FELT PLACEMAT from among my post-season stash. The mat had a whopping $0.24 price tag. Though I did use a few punches here, I also did many things the old fashioned way … folding and cutting out larger heart shapes to use.

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The wonderful set of punches featured in some of these projects – are not mine. They were on loan from my daughter. I mention this so people won’t be discouraged. Most of my work is done with ordinary, everyday items like scissors, exacto knife and salvaged papers. Same goes for glue. You don’t have to have a hot glue gun or a glue wheel for everything. Less expensive double-sided tapes, tacky glue or elmer’s are available everywhere, and get the job done just fine.

(Not pictured is a small tension-rod for your window. If you don’t have one, they are found in curtain departments and are very inexpensive.)

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SIMPLE STEPS:

Cut five pieces of string. I used twine here. A number of things work; yarn, curling ribbon or fish line. You it light weight enough to have a bit of movement as it hangs down. I cut my longest piece at 25”. Two more pieces were cut at 20” and finally, two pieces at 17”.

TIP: You’ll want to measure your window and see how long you want your pieces. REMEMBER that longer is better, so you have enough to tie to your rod, and more is always good because too much is better than not enough.

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Here I laid out my string. Tops are held down with fun-tac putty and I’ve added my jingle bells at the bottom to help straighten out the twine. Trying a few dry design placements with my cutouts, when satisfied, I began to glue items to the twine.

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NOTE: The paper shapes are all doubled. You NEED TWO IDENTICAL PIECES for each display on your string. When applying, you will lay one cutout FACE DOWN, then place your string over it, and glue the matching cutout over the top. As well as helping the pieces adhere to the string, this gives you a pretty view from either side.

Valentine’s Day is winter of course, so your window will be closed. But you’ll still get movement and in my example, I’ll have lots of movement since this window is above a heat register. In summer, you’ll get breeze from the open window.

Now all I have to do is tie my strings to the curtain rod.

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In my Christmas Window Project SEEN HERE I used coordinating wrapping paper to make a sleeve for the rod. For today’s project, I simply tacked some matching ribbon to the front of the rod so I could hang it higher in the window.

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See you soon for more fun.

As always, try not to stress about it, just start your project.

Later – Cheryl

This original article “VALENTINE Projects” appeared first on Artzzle.com. No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission from said originators.

Copyright © 2013-2017 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Criss-Cross Christmas

For anyone, there are so many things to do and places to be, during the holidays.  People have lots of contenders vying for their time.

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Those of us with “blended families” have extra scheduling difficulties in this season, as people have to multiply the visits and celebrations.  It can be stressful, especially to kids, even after they’ve become adults.

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In the past two years, I’ve tried a different approach.  We combine Thanksgiving and Christmas into one get-together, and we celebrate in mid-December or early January.

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The thought was to aim for less stress directly on the holidays, when so many other duties call.  It has worked quite well … except … this year.

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So, for the first time – in a long time, even the single celebration has to be split, as schedules just can’t come together.

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This year, grandchildren are older, and teenagers have jobs and sports activities and everything included.  So even if we’re not trying to use the exact holiday for our gathering, there are still conflicts.

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Solution:  One family is coming here to our home, and we’re having a brunch instead of a turkey dinner w/fixings.  I’m really looking forward to it, as the kids AND grandkids are doing all the cooking.  Sounds like fun, don’t you think?  Can’t wait!

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The other kids who are local, have been remodeling their home and wanted us to visit their place for a get-together.  We headed over there last weekend, and had a blast.  My daughter-in-law is a marvelous cook and this time, she even made a big vegan dish for my husband.  And it was fun to see the new looks in their house.

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So, Readers … how will you be spending your time over the holidays?  I love when you share in the comments.

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And if you’re looking for last minute decorating ideas, you can do a search in the menu bar up-top.  Just type Christmas and you’ll find all of the projects and ideas I’ve posted previously, lots of stuff there.

OR, visit Artzzle’s Facebook page.   Lots more fun projects there and many are “kid” friendly too.

In closing, I’ll just say that

Whatever your Beliefs or Reasons for the Season,

be Happy, stay Safe and Best Wishes to all!

Later – Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting That Holiday Mood

Some pretties to see and easy projects to do. Find the links to help you through!

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Has the Holiday Mood struck you yet?

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Around here, that spirit isn’t appearing as early as usual.

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Still in disbelief how Thanksgiving sneaked up us like that!Artzzle.com

And NOW, it’s barely two weeks until Christmas.

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 [ “How To” BOOK COVERS PROJECT here ]

Hubs is officially retired now … this is his first full week of “no work”.

Artzzle.com[ “How To” WINDOW VALANCE PROJECT here ]

He immediately began taking retirement very literally.
He’s spending lots of time on …
morning coffee, afternoon naps, evening news – with wine …
and hours in his workshop (sitting) in his comfy chair out there …
watching old movies … over and over and … well, you get the idea.

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Anyhoo.  We’ve just about decided (mainly Ihave) that …
the big ol’ fake tree is staying out in the garage rafters this year.

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Not a great tree booster any year, Hubs much prefers
a few nice Pointsettia plants.

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For 2014, I’m also…

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HELP WANTED: Needed NOW- Holiday Inspiration

Tomorrow is the 1st of December … already.

Thanksgiving was quiet this year with no visitors.  The days following are usually when we begin the Christmas decorating.  This year’s gloomy weather isn’t promoting much holiday spirit.Christmas

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Rain and record warm temperatures have dissolved the two light accumulations of snow we have had.  Soggy, brown ground and cloudy days are on the schedule for the week.

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Over the weekend, we did dig out some of the holiday bins.  Well, giving credit when it’s due … Hubs did the digging, braving our crawl space to find some of the holiday bins.  Containers were brought up, unpacked and items placed all over our space. And the mess began …

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Many of you know but for those who don’t, I’ll tell you big messes really aren’t my thing! Can’t stand em’.  They literally make me uncomfortable.  But I do try to find something positive, even in a negative situation.  The positive at this stage, was that seeing some of my Christmas treasures again, sparked an inkling of enthusiasm.

By late Sunday evening, items were up here, but not arranged yet, and the kitchen and dining room were a complete disaster. Pieces, paper, boxes and bins everywhere.

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At that point, we were pooped out.  And as awful as it is to wake up to a dirty house, it had to be …  I was tired … so it was off to bed.

Monday, creating some heavy duty enthusiasm was an ABSOLUTE MUST.  I began browsing digital photo albums and finally … holiday posts from previous years.

Christmas at Artzzle

It opened a Pandora’s box of ideas.  Click HERE for your inspiration.

Meanwhile, Hubs and I will keep plugging away at our 2016 Holiday Home!

This is only the beginning, but our goal is to finish by this coming Saturday.  Next, current displays have to be taken down, wrapped and packed away.  Lots of crawling, climbing, reaching and handing going on.  Not a speedy process for a couple of old(ish) fogies decorators like us!

TIP:  No matter your age, always make climbing and ladder work a “two-person” project.  In-home falls can be dangerous, but especially when working alone as you have no one to come to your aid.

Besides … it’s always more fun and more work done … with two instead of one!

It’s good to be back and I’ll be glad to read your comments again 😀

Later – Cheryl

 

 

 

 

Yes … Tomorrow is Halloween

Here are some last minute, EZ=PZ’s for tomorrow!

Just Click the Pics and Find the Fun

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PROJECTS

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PROJECTS

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Have a fun and safe Halloween.

Look for much more frequent posts in the weeks to come.

Later – Cheryl