Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Decor FUN!!

Just some random pictures of our Halloween decor!  I tend to change it up every year and keep it interesting!  We did the rope spiderweb for the first time thanks to Martha Stewart!  Directions are in her Halloween issue this year.  

You might also notice the small white card behind the mum.  We've been Boo'ed!  It's a fun neighborhood tradition.  Details are here on my neighbor/friend, Amanda's blog.  http://www.myheartsdesireblog.com/2011/10/boo-your-neighbors.html

  When we moved to Florida in July 2011, we would jog around our neighborhood and I saw this fiber optic cat on a neighbor's front porch!  I KNEW I had to have one!  I didn't steal theirs but found this one at Eckerd Drug!  (Do they still have those stores?)  It's 11 years old and still works like a charm!!

There are also tombstones, pumpkins and a toothy rat which spent the first part of it's life with us as the mascot of John's lab at UGA.  (I will spare you the picture....)


Last year I got this Halloween tree and the boys absolutely love it!  I spent quite a bit of time last Sunday hanging our ornaments in the perfect spot only to have the boys rearrange it every afternoon after school!  But that is what makes it fun---it's totally kid decorated!!  


We had some new additions this year to the tree.  While we were in Santa Fe over spring break, I bought several Day of the Dead skeletons to add to the mix. I got them at the coolest store in the world called the Jackalope!  (http://www.jackalope.com/).  Uh-oh, didn't know they have an online store.......


And every time I walk by this dude, the boys have positioned his arms and legs in different ways---but he's always waving (Guess he's friendly)!!!  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's that time of year again!!

I love decorating for Halloween.  But I don't just put it all up at once.  I do not start until October 1 and I slowly add items until about 2 days before Halloween.  I was trying to think of something funky to put on the doors this year.  I had seen feather wreaths for other holidays but I am way too conservative for that---but anything goes for Halloween in this house!  I got online on Thursday afternoon (Yes, September 29---nothing like last minute) and ordered 6 orange feather boas.  I thought I would have a couple of days to get my other supplies lined up but the boas arrived on Saturday!!!!  2 DAYS!!  (Yay for:  http://partyfeathers.com/v1/)  You can also get these at Hobby Lobby and party stores.  Ebay is another place to check out.  I needed 6 just alike and thought ordering online would save me from driving from store to store.


I ran over to Walmart to pick up two straw wreaths or some foam wreaths and, of course, Walmart didn't have either.  (Don't get me started on Walmart.... if it wasn't 2 1/2 minutes away, I would boycott the place!)  I ended up buying two pieces of foam core with a hope it would work!

Evan helped me cut the foam core into the biggest circles it would allow.  


We started wrapping the boas around each circle.  We hot glued the ends and kept on going!  (Clothes pins were handy to hold everything in place before we glued.)


And we added a little fun!!


So, this is it for now!  Just some wreaths.  Got to get some more pumpkins tomorrow.  No telling what it will look like on October 31!  You will just have to check back!

I also want to throw this picture in there!  I completely forgot about this until the morning of October 1.  I was awake about 3 minutes and ran around scrambling to fill it!  I was totally busted but the boys didn't care!!  This is the 5th year we have used this--another one of my projects!  So, only 9 more years for Evan!??!  I don't think he wants to stop any time soon!  Me either!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Pumpkin Pizazz!!!

I have loved those fake plastic/foam pumpkins that craft stores have had for several years now.  When we lived in Florida, real pumpkins did not last very long due to high heat and humidity.  After shoveling several of them from the porch, I was so happy to find an alternative!  I bought several fake ones in Florida and they have lasted for years and I literally "toss" them in the attic at the end of the fall season!

I have been a subscriber to Lowe's FREE "Creative Living" publication for many years too!  During that time, I have used that magazine for inspiration for many of our projects.  This year's fall edition had the cutest idea for real pumpkins and real mums.  See here, page 10:  Lowe's Creative Living  The magazine states that the pumpkin should last about 3 days but I was not willing to invest my money or time for something so temporary.

I ran to HoLo and bought 3 large bunches of mums that were on sale (of course) and then to Michaels for one of their fake pumpkins (with coupon).


I also raided John's tool box for this tool (weapon) that he inherited from his grandfather.  I am not sure what to call it----just keep out of reach of children!!


Then, I took out quite a bit of aggression and poked holes into the pumpkin.  Can we say Pumpkin Prozac!?!?!?  LOL!  I also found out the hard way that the tool got very hot!!!  Ouch!


Next, I cut the mums from the stems, applied a small bit of hot glue and filled the pumpkins with mums.  No need to put any on the bottom as it needs a flat surface to sit properly.

But I wasn't happy!  WHERE DID THE STEM GO?  The mums were so big, I couldn't see the stem!  That simply would not do!  I did a little quick thinking with an empty toilet paper roll and masking tape and fashioned a much bigger stem!  I applied a little paint and decided I was done!


I love it!  It would make a beautiful center piece but I think it's going on our front porch----along with the other fake pumpkins!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Evan needed a shelf.....



We have been working on a little update of Evan's room this summer.  He requested more shelf space to display his Lego creations and Yoda collection.  Of course, I couldn't simply go to Home Depot or Container Store and buy regular ready made shelves!!  Evan and I did some brainstorming and we came up with a great idea to use up old license plates that I had from a previous project.


This is simply a piece of plywood with license plates glued on the front and around the edges.   I was careful to highlight places we have lived before and to "mix up" the color!  This is "BEFORE" Evan did his part!



Evan had a ball setting up his collections!  Yoda definitely got the prime spot!  (The bad guys are on the bottom shelf----I assume so he can keep an eye on them!)  Also, the license plates allow for him to use magnets to stick pictures and other mementos on the shelf!



I also found these decals on Pottery Barn Teen to complete the area above his desk.  I had originally thought we would add some more shelving directly above his desk, but we discovered we didn't need any more.  We decided we were done!  Evan LOVES it!!




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Yep.....a new name!

Yes, I have changed the name of the blog!  Since both boys are in school now, I hope to have a little more time to create.  I have realized that I am not creating for any monetary aspirations but I do create to preserve my sanity!  I might sell some stuff from time to time but friends and family will reap the rewards of my efforts!  I want to be able to "sign" my pieces when I do give them away and decided the "Home Ecky Becky" was not 'me' enough.  After quite a bit of brainstorming and asking many opinions from my group of trusted advisors (you know who you are), we came up with "random.acts.of.KINDness"

It's kinda cute, don't you think?  (no pun intended....)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sorority Fun with Kaylin!!



My niece, Kaylin, pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma last fall at the University of Kentucky.  Her experiences have certainly brought back many memories from my AOII days at Murray State.  The boys and I were very lucky to spend some time with Kaylin this summer and I would like to share one of the projects we did!  I will share another KKG project once Kaylin gets settled back in school and sends me some pictures-----hint, hint.....;)

One of the symbols of Kaylin's sorority is the owl.  We put our heads together and I made a mad dash to HoLo to pick up some cute fabric.  My mother, Kaylin, and I whipped up these precious little critters in just a few hours last week.  They are about 6 inches tall and so darling!!


They may look like they are patchwork but they are not.  We simply cut the fabric in the shape we wanted and sewed the various prints on top of the main body of the owl.  We left the edges raw for a shabby chic feel.  The eye circles and beaks are cut out of felt and simply hot glued on!  My mom sewed the buttons on for eyes after Kaylin painstakingly went through mom's button stash for just the right ones!  (If anyone in Princeton needs a button, give Rita a call!!)  The buttons don't match but that is what makes them so unique!  


Kaylin will be getting a little sister in the next few days and one of these cute little "hootie-hoo's" will be moving into the dorm with her!  Color me jealous!!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jazzing up some floor pillows!!!

I had been looking for some floor pillows for the boys to lay on while watching tv downstairs.  Typically, they get in Tucker's dog bed and although he doesn't complain, I know Tucker doesn't like it!  I looked all over for some floor pillows and was shocked at the prices on some.  (But what did I expect with CB2, Ballard Designs and West Elm!).  However, I found some at.......of all places......Kroger!!!  They were about $15 each and I couldn't even make them for that!!  You can beat that price and they each came with a handle!!!


The boys thought they were perfect and Tucker breathed a huge sigh of relief!!  But I noticed they were a bit blah.  So, I raided my button stash and my mom's and purchased a few trendy buttons at Hancock Fabrics.  With a really long needle and 50 pound test fishing line, I added these buttons to jazz them up a bit!




Yes, you are seeing this correctly, none of the buttons match!  The boys thought they were pretty cool and I did too!  So, if you have any pillows that are lacking some jazz, just add some fun whimsical buttons!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Burlap Obsession - Part II

Well, unfortunately it took me 4 months to get to the "Part II" of my burlap obsession posted on this blog.  And since it's 104 degrees in the shade today the thought of burlap literally makes me itch.  BUT, I have to get "Part II" out of the way as I have been creating, creating, creating this summer.  I want to post my new projects so I  need to tie up this loose end.

While scanning my favorite magazines, I realized we were missing a fundamental thing in our bathroom---a stool!!  I wasn't thinking of creating anything but could not find anything to suit our needs and space and BUDGET!  But then, I came across this lovely item at Garden Ridge.


Now, this might fit in your house but it wasn't quite the right thing in ours!  Alas, I knew some burlap would help this stool immensely!!  I got to work with some burlap and a hot glue gun.  I didn't even bother taking the exquisite, zebra print vinyl off, I just put the burlap right on top!


I used some ribbon to add a finishing touch!  But, then, my perfectionist self took over and decided I needed a bit more.  It needed some piazza!!  So, found a stencil and took care of that!


Viola!!!  Isn't it just perfect??!  John thinks so as it's where his briefcase lives....that is....when he's home!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Burlap Obsession - Part I

In the past couple of weeks, I have become obsessed with burlap.  Why not?? You can't beat the price and it's versatility!  But rest assured, you won't be seeing me in any clothing items made of burlap---oh, wait a minute....my Tom's shoes!  Anyway, I have been doing some redecorating and recently burlap has become an integral part of bringing texture into our home.  I have a few projects featuring burlap that I will be posting in the near future.  Here's the first----a pillow!!!


I picked a design, printed it out on the computer, enlarged it and made a stencil.  As you can tell, I kept my design fairly simple!  :)  




I taped the stencil on the burlap and got to painting!




I took a short cut and found an old pillow that I no longer needed and used it as a pillow insert.  I don't think I will miss it!



Once the paint was dry, I simply placed the pillow in between the layers of fabric and sewed a simple seam around the pillow.



That was the quick part, because the next step was somewhat time consuming!!  I started unraveling, and unraveling, and unraveling and unraveling.........got half way done and had to take a break!



After a drink and a snack, I got back to work.  Fortunately, I was on the back porch as I stirred up quite a snowstorm of burlap fibers and thread!  Finally, the pillow was done!   I love it!!



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Been there? We have!!!


I have been seeing those canvas city prints in local home decor stores and in the many catalogs that frequent my mail box.  The prints usually have city names depicted in a rustic, eclectic way.  They always caught my eye and even though I have been to Paris, Rome, New York---(heck, even Casablanca) I had not been to every city on them. If I were going to put one in my home, I want to be able to say I have been to every city on there!!

Earlier this week, John and I celebrated our "dating" 20 years milestone. I got to thinking of all of the stuff we have done, seen, owned, survived and celebrated together.  Wow, we have literally been around the block and around the world!!!  That took me back to those canvases and I thought, "Ha! I can do that!"

And what do you know....we even had a scrap piece of wood in the garage that was perfect!  My fabulous "boyfriend" of 20 years sanded it for me and picked off the spider webs.

I painted it a rustic brown and threw in a few other color specks just because I felt like it.  Then, went to my favorite store (HoLo) and got some stencils and a stenciling brush.  John and I did a little brainstorming and debated about which cities to add.  It had to be cities in which we lived or been to together.  Of course, they had to be memorable!  Unfortunately, Metter, GA, Woodville, FL, Prothro Junction, AR, and Possom Trot, KY just didn't make the cut!  Within two hours (and I stopped to eat dinner), I was done!


Ok, I admit it, this list is not all-inclusive but it's a good start!  AND, it makes me smile every time I see it!  Thus, that's why it is now located in our living room!  Hopefully, this will help the boys learn to spell Tallahassee (think osmosis)---they are going to have to learn---"In what city were you born?"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!! (and Aunt Nita, too!)

Today is my mom's birthday, and my aunt's too.  Yes, they are twins!  They are celebrating their 49th birthday today!  Did I do my math right?  ;) Mom has been dropping hints that she has been wanting a Kindle.  Well, I don't know if I would call them 'hints' as they were quite straightforward and often!!  Somehow, Roger and I took the bait and got her a Kindle for her birthday.  She opened it on Sunday and we were there via Skype.  


While I was researching which Kindle to get Mom, I became very interested in getting one and a few weeks ago, John surprised me with one!  Of course, the main reason was that so I could 'help' Mom with hers!    And if you are like me, with every new electronic device, you need at least one accessory to go with it!  I thought I would like a case. Something small that would fit in my purse and of course it had to be fashionable!  I decided on a design and went to the most un-fashionable place in the world but found this great fabric at Walmart!  I spent a whopping $3 on the fabric and came home, got out the sewing machine and got to work!  I already had the batting, thread and picked out two buttons from my button collection.  In less than one hour, I whipped up two Kindle cases for Mom and me!  The only difference are the buttons!  I even got to use the new fangled, fancy button hole maker on my sewing machine (why didn't they have these when I was in college/grad school?).



Ta-Da!!!  Yes, a whopping $3 later!!!  I love mine!  And I think Mom does too! When she opened it she said, "Oh, it's a Vera Bradley!"  I said, "No, it's a Kennita Kind!"





Love you, Mom!  Happy Birthday!  And Happy Birthday, Aunt Nita--a gift card is in the mail to your favorite store!!  Let me know when you get a Kindle, I know where you can get a case!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Put a little love on our front door!



We moved to Little Rock four years ago this month.  When we moved in, I decorated our front porch with two ivy topiaries that I had purchased from HomeDecorators.com when we bought our Florida house in 2001.  I have used them extensively over the years but decided this year, as they were approaching nine years old, that I was done with them.  So for fall this year, I broke down and bought some wreaths and made some other wreaths for Christmas decor.  But now it's January!  Now what?  I decided to make some wreaths that would last until summer.  What to do? I did some exploring on Etsy for inspiration and off to HoLo I went.

I ended up with two grape vine wreaths and 4 strands of garland.  Luckily the garland was half price, which coincidently swayed my decision to go with garland instead of stems.  I put a strand of leafy garland around the wreath and attached with florists wire. Then, laid the pink garland on top of it and attached with more wire!  A few days later, I was back at (you guessed it) HoLo and saw these cute LOVE hangers and thought they would fit inside the wreath.  I came home and with more florists wire got busy!


My dear friend, Amanda took these pictures for me and has also blogged about door decor in her blog:  http://www.myheartsdesireblog.com/ Thanks girl for snapping the pictures and for suggesting a craft blog....I do believe "craft" was the word that made me go for it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A New Kitchen Bulletin Board

I got crafty today!  I needed a new bulletin board in my kitchen.  Well, actually, I needed a bulletin board, period  I had been putting my special cards, pictures and kid projects on a blackboard...with tape!  I decided I needed an upgrade.  I liked the bulletin boards I had seen in Pottery Barn and Ballard Design but needed something a bit more economical, and they were so girly!!  I needed something less so!

I had ordered the jute webbing from an upholsters supply store.  I want to use it as garland on my Christmas tree  next year.  Pottery Barn was selling something very similar before Christmas but it sold out very fast.  Plus I believe they had 10 yards for $17.  I ordered 75 yards (!!!) as it was cheaper than ordering cut 25 yards from craft supply stores.  (Please let me know if you need any, I have plenty!)

I was originally going to cover the bulletin board in a burlap with a stamped design on it.  But could not decide on a design.  After I got the webbing, my weaving experience from ole Murray State came back!  (Professor Boyd would be proud!)  I got a canvas on clearance at HoLo and got to work!

I think it turned out awesome and I had a great helper in Carter.  Feel free to send  me a card or a picture and I will tuck it in my board!  I will see it often as it seems as if I am always washing dishes!