Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Speak Out Loud Rustic Jewelry Blue Patinas

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Speak Out Loud | Upcycled Rustic Copper Cuff | Online Store Powered by...

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Speak Out Loud | Rustic Brass Cuff | Online Store Powered by Storenvy

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Speak Out Loud | Rustic Copper Square Pendant | Online Store Powered...

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Speak Out Loud | Hand Stamped Empowerment Thin Nickel Silver Cuff with...

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Speak Out Loud | Repurposed Rustic Copper Cuff | Online Store Powered...

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Speak Out Loud | Thin Brass Cuff with Silver Mustache | Online Store...

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Starting a Gallery Wall (Learning Photoshop Elements 11)

I've used Photoshop in the past, but it just seemed completely overwhelming. Maybe because I was so new to editing photos, or possibly because it just IS overwhelming. I've decided to give it a try again. Like I said, it really can be overwhelming (at least to me), but this time it didn't seem foreign. I've used many editing software over the past couple of years so my knowledge has grown quite a bit since my first go round. At the moments my faves include: Photoscape, GIMP 2, Inkscape, and PicMonkey. Those are all great {free-except PicMonkey now has a premium package}editing sites that I highly recommend  They all allow you to do a huge variety of things to your pictures, and also have some features similar to Photoshop, so I was able to navigate much easier this time. I downloaded a free trial of Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Elements 11
(Click HERE to find to all of Adobe Product Trials). One big reason that I was so interested in Photoshop are the actions. I'm sure that some of you have heard of actions, either from blogland, or from using them, but I hadn't actually ever tried them. An Action is a series of steps to achieve a certain look in a photo that is saved as a set. Instead of having to do every step, every time, you just hit the play (►) button and the work is done for you. It is AWESOME!! I haven't made any actions myself, but from what I have read, it is supposed to be pretty easy. What is even better, are there are a ton of places that allow you to download free actions! A few that I use are this one, this one, and this one; which also gives a great tutorial on how to install and use the actions. Today I worked on a photo gallery of my kids. This is what I have so far. I put them into collages for this post just to lessen the photo overload, although of course there's still a lot. I'd love to hear what you think!! 



I'm torn on which one of these to use or if I should use either one at all...any opinions???
The 2 above are a work in progress. Not exactly how I want them yet.

Today was my first day, so I am sure that I will look back at these in the future and probably think "I thought those were great??". But for today I love them and know that I will be purchasing when my trial is up :). I have them printed, and I am going to probably apply the photos to thin wood, instead of framing them, but I probably won't have time to do that project for at least another week. I'll keep ya posted! Do you have any favorite actions that you use??

Here are just a few other pictures I was playing with. There are so many can really spend hours!

Have a great St. Patrick's weekend!! Make sure to get your free St. Patrick's Day printables HERE!!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Diy Pendant Light {From a Vase}

Changing a light fixture photo image_zps590752ba.jpg

I hope you all had a great weekend! mine was pretty uneventful. Until tonight. I've been really waiting to show you one of my most favorite DIY projects. The plan is/was to tell you all about it, in detail tomorrow. But it is almost 3am, and my little one has been throwing up every 15 minutes or so since around 1. I hope this doesn't go on all night, but even when it doesn't it is so hard for me to sleep. I feel like I have to be on high alert with the puke bowl! I'm sure it will be a LONG night. I have some pics, but not the ones I planned to use. I will also be including an "unprofessional" tutorial....more of a "how I did it" tutorial. So, just in case I am unable to move off of the couch after a night of being nurse on the late shift, I wanted to give you a peek at my new love! A hanging pendant light that I made from a $13 vase, a light kit, and an Edison bulb. It was pretty easy! Stay tuned for the details!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Subway Art {free printable}

Since yesterdays' post had a Valentine's Day theme, I figured today I would keep up with the times, and begin to celebrate St. Paddy's Day! This is one of my kids favorite holidays. We look forward to watching the parade with friends and family and eating green popcorn! Lately, I have really enjoyed designing printables. It is such a cheap way to decorate your house for the changing holidays. The only cost is ink and paper. I began using a matte photo paper, because the colors of the prints are so much more vivid, but really you can use just plain printing paper. I found my photo paper in a pack of about 80 sheets at Walmart, for only about $8.00! So today, I'd love to share my St. Patrick's Day Printables with you today :). I've included St. Paddy's Day Subway Art, green and white chevron LUCKY clover, and a green and white chevron You are One LUCKY Shamrock. Just click on the link above the image to download the free PDF file. I think they turned out great, but I hope you like them! I'd love to see where you use them!

As always, feel free to print these, share them, give them as gifts, or use them on your blog. Just please don't sell them or use them for anything other than personal use, and please link back if you use them on your site. Thanks so much!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Labor of LOVE {bench redo}

I know I say this A LOT....but I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted! I have been doing SO many amazing projects (at least I think so) and I am so excited to share them with you guys! Over the next few days, I'll show you the different projects. This one has a bit of picture overload, but don't miss the free printable at the end of the post :)

I am going to start with this one, because it was intended for Valentine's Day, but I can't pass up sharing it just because cupid has left the building! When I was thinking of something special that I wanted to make for Valentine's day, I didn't want it to be only specific to the "Love Day". Who wants to put in hours of work, to have to shove the decor into a box till next year?? Not this gal!

I decided that I was going to make a wood subway sign for the wall, that says "I LOVE YOU", in lots of different languages. I first designed it, which you can feel free to download the free PDF file.

I sized it to the wood I was using, so you can just resize it to fit your project. I printed it out (in 3 pages) and taped the paged together. Then I spent way too long (I won't even get into it) transferring it to the wood. Here it is in pencil...

I'm not sure where I went wrong after this, but let's just say that this was my first truly failed project. I think I ran out of patience with this one once I started painting the words. So a few days went by, and I decided to paint this bench.

I didn't have any intentions on painting the sign on it, but my sister-in-law suggested it. At first I thought....she's crazy! I'm not wasting all that time again!! But I'm a glutton for punishment.
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Life in Eight has Come to Visit (DIY Wall Stencil Download)

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week! I am enjoying the (almost) spring weather today, knowing that next week it will be in the single digits. I am still working on the vanity for our bathroom disaster makeover, and it has been THE hardest piece of furniture that I have ever stripped! I have no idea why, but the paint just didn't want to come off. Now that I've sanded it, and painted it, I've realized that the stain from under the paint is bleeding through. I've learned the easy fix for that, and I'll share that with you tomorrow. I'm purposely lacking pictures of it, because I don't want to reveal any of it until it is finished. But I'll give a sneak peek of it tomorrow. Today, I want to introduce you to a new blog that I came across. Gaby blogs over at Life in Eight, which is about organization and decorating. I L♥VE her style! I was reading about her bedroom makeover, and when I saw that she designed her own stencil AND is sharing is with us for FREE, I emailed her right away and asked if she would share the post with my readers. I'm so happy that she accepted! Please take some time to check out her blog, you will NOT be disappointed! So here is Gaby....

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Get Organized with $150 Giveaway to The Container Store!

Myself and 14 other bloggers are so excited to provide you with this opportunity to make one of your New Year Resolutions come true! We all want our organization to be pretty and sometimes that costs money so we are offering all of you the chance to win....
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Like Me" on Facebook #32

I'm SO excited!! I've been linking up to The Naptime Review's "Like Me" on Facebook, for a while now, and this week I get to be a co-host!
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Monday, January 14, 2013

A New Look and a Freebie (Valentine's Day Printable)

I spent the evening last night (ok, all day and night), re-designing my header. I was ready for a change, and with the new year here, this was the perfect time!
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013


With Valentine's Day just a month away, it is time to start getting inspired for love! Do you decorate with cute banners and hearts? Do you make special crafts for your kids? Who is your Valentine? These are some of the things that I am lovin' on for Valentine's Day this year!


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Thursday, January 10, 2013

casual winter wear

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Good morning and happy hump day! I'm so happy that the kids finally went back to school yesterday. I can get back to all of the projects I have sitting around half finished. One of the big projects that I've been working on, is a bathroom vanity makeover. Well, that isn't really the big's just part of the big project. I'll start from the beginning. I am the best wife ever! Ok, so I  just thought I would throw that out there, here is really where is started. My husband went out of town, and I thought it would be nice for him to come home to a new bathroom. This was my plan: tear out the old linoleum, replace it with peel and stick "wood" floor (did you know they make that? It looks great! At least in the box ;)) replace the vanity with a "new to me" vanity that would have a fresh new look, replace the toilet seat, remove the bottom row of tile and replace it with tall base board, re-caulk the tub, paint, add a new shower curtain, and some new decor. Doesn't sound like much, right? I went shopping for all of the supplies, enlisted the help of my sweet neighbor, and in true Jill fashion got straight to 10 pm the night before my husband was to arrive home! That's just how I roll. What my husband came home to definitely wasn't the same bathroom that was there when he left. It was my first DIY disaster! We tore out the old linoleum, to find another layer of old linoleum. As I started to pull that out, what I found underneath was a rotted, stinky, subfloor! What was I going to do?? Well because I am a skilled carpenter, and plumber, at least that is what the certificate on YouTube says...I was going to attempt to replace the subfloor. The ONLY thing that stopped me, was this is our only bathroom, and what if I couldn't figure it out? I pictured a big hole in the floor and no toilet. That is where I stopped, and that is what he came home to. Not happy with his over ambitious wife the next day. This is the before, as you can see it really needs an update!

And here is what I realized....

 Why couldn't this have just gone as I had planned in my head?? I spent the rest of the night tearing out the layers of linoleum, and sprayed the floor with bleach until I could get my husband to help me. I forgot to tell you when this was...THE WEEK BEFORE THANKSGIVING!! The problem is (as some of us know), when we have to wait for our husbands to help fix something, we have to just sit back and will be a while. The floor is STILL in its disgusting state, minus the stink. So I've had to move on to the rest of the bathroom. I've painted the walls, and the trim. I still have to paint the doors, but have replaced the door handles. Now coming back to the start of this post. The "new" vanity....

That sweet neighbor of my that was helping me, purchased a new vanity for her (much easier) bathroom makeover, and I painted her living room for her old vanity. When I'm finished with it, she will wonder why she didn't just bring this one back to life! This is what is looked like when it came to my house. I've been stripping the old paint off for the past 3 days, 3 DAYS! I even wondered if I gave it some dollar bills, if it would strip faster ;-). There was layer, after layer of paint on this thing! Today I plan to sand it.

I don't want to show any pictures of the progress of the bathroom or vanity. I'm excited to be able to show the finished bathroom reveal, so just keep these nasty pictures in your mind as I get it ready for an amazing before and after. Hopefully the bathroom reveal will include new floors. Can I borrow someone else's husband please?

Update and question: I returned the peel and stick floor because my brother gave me a few boxes of really nice laminate wood floor. I know that isn't the best floor for a bathroom, but I know it will look amazing. Have you used laminate wood in a bathroom? Have you had any trouble with the moisture?? I'd love to hear about it!
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