Super Powered Teacher – Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket

Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket Super Teacher Super Powered Teacher End of the School Year Gift

You know what next week is, right?  Teacher appreciation.  And Mother’s Day and my daughter has a band concert and our own personal Paint Night that weekend (three sessions of which I somehow ended up being in charge of setting up and playing hostess for – more on that later if I don’t take another unplanned two month blog break).  Busy week, and that means it’s time to look ahead and do as much prep work as I can now.

Super Teacher Teacher Appreciation Gift Tag AlaynasCreations

Luckily, I got all enthused about the idea I found for Teacher Appreciation gifts this year and I already have them put together and they are all set to deliver.  I’ve run across the saying “I teach, what’s your Super Power?” a few times in the last couple of years and recently it just clicked.  Then I ran across THIS adorable printable tag (while browsing my existing Pinterest Board haha) and that clinched it.  A quick brainstorming session and a spin through the grocery store and I had everything I needed for a cute gift basket.

Super Powered Teacher Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket Teacher End of School Year Gift

Inside the basket:  Powerade, Super Hero themed microwave popcorn, Super Hero themed travel tissues, and a pack of teacher reward stickers with plenty of “super” stickers.  You could use anything that had the word Super, Power, or anything Super Hero themed (and with all the new movie releases for Avengers, Batman/Superman and so on there are a lot of options out there).
*Quick tip:  check your local dollar store for cute and affordable baskets and containers.

A quick note from the kiddos completed the basket.

I am a teacher What is your Super Power Tag AlaynasCreations

Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket Super Power Teacher

The teachers will love it, right?  Or at least they’ll appreciate the effort 😉

For more Teacher Appreciation or End of the School Year gift ideas check out some of my past ideas:
Teacher Gifts In a Cup
End of the Year Countdown Blocks
More Teacher Appreciation Ideas
Bucket of Summer Fun Gift Idea for last day of school for teachers and children

Or check out my Back To School Pinterest Board where I am constantly adding any fun ideas I run across.

Bunco Water Bottle – White Elephant Gift

Bunco Diva Water Bottle White Elephant Gift

Outside my window the first snowflakes of the season are slowly floating down.  It doesn’t look like it will amount to much, but the snow, combined with the drop in temperature we have experienced lately are just more reminders that fall is on its way out and winter will be here much more quickly than I am comfortable with.  Life is crazy busy right now and there is so much I would like to get done before the weather sets in.  *sigh*  I don’t think it’s all going to be finished.  But.  When I do find a little time to get ahead of things I like to take advantage of it.  Today is one of those days.

My mom started a Bunco group years ago – back when it was really trendy in our area.  I can’t remember if I was in high school or college at the time, but that group is still going strong 15-20 years later.  After I moved back home last year I subbed at Bunco a couple of times and when a spot for a regular member opened up I was asked to join.  The game itself isn’t hard, nor do I think winning one of the prizes is really the point – though sometimes they do have some great prizes!  The appeal, for me, is to have a reason to leave the kids at home and have some dinner and a few laughs with a great group of women I may not regularly spend time with otherwise.

We had our latest Bunco Night this past week and it caught me by surprise when they started talking about Christmas party plans for the next get together.  A white elephant gift?!  It’s been years since I had to bring one of those to a party.  And while I love the idea of a fun and quirky gift, I also like gifts to be useful so I came up with the idea for a Bunco themed cup of some sort.  I drug my husband along to TJ Maxx with me last night during a super-rare date night in which we had a little time to waste between dinner and the movie and was happy to find this great water bottle – and for only $4 too!

Embellished Water Bottle before photo Simply add vinyl for a easy and inexpensive yet custom gift

One of my favorite tricks when I want something customized and unique is to add a quote or lettering in vinyl.  It’s a pretty simple thing to do with a die cutting machine and I have a Silhouette which I love to put to work on projects like this one.

Bunco Diva Embellished Water Bottle DIY gift

I chose to add the words Bunco Diva and a few dice shapes to round out the design.
*In case you are wondering, the font for the lettering Lounge Bait (found it free HERE) and the dice are dPoly Block Dice dingbats (found HERE).  And did I mention to be sure to use OUTDOOR vinyl?  By using outdoor vinyl and making sure you get the vinyl on really well, these can be washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher without any problems.

Customize your own water bottle or cup using vinyl and your silhouette machine

Bunco Diva Customozed water bottle for gift idea

I would have added some feathers, as I was in that kind of mood 😉  but as I didn’t have feathers on hand I went with a fun glittery bow.  Now I just need to decide what to put inside the bottle – any ideas?  I may just end up stuffing it with chocolate if I don’t come up with a better idea before the party.  For now, I’m patting myself on the back for being on the ball with this single Christmas project – and we will just ignore the fact that there are at least 50 more things on the list that will need attention, won’t we?  What’s on your project list?  Have you started any Christmas prepping yet?

Christmas Gift Idea using vinyl lettering and an inexpensive water bottle or cup Bunco Diva for Bunco Christmas party

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

DIY Birthday Bib Simple and Stunning Winter Art Glittery Chipboard Gift Tags Happy & Vibrant Greeting Cards Bunco Water Bottle - White Elephant Gift Monogrammed Christmas Onesie Beautiful Thanksgiving Decor for Under $5 Wine Sippy Cups with Funny Sayings Thrifted Jewelry Box Makeover DIY Decorative Vinyl Christmas Gift Jar Harry Potter Reindeer Candle Hurricanes with Washi Tape Plaid Star War Paper Play Ships Glitter & Paper Christmas Banner Upcycled Measuring Cup

1. From Wine to Whine // 2. Creative Ramblings // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. unOriginal Mom // 5. Small Stuff Counts // 6. Alayna’s Creations // 7. Single Yet Married Mom // 8. Comfort and Yum // 9. Tori Grant Designs // 10. Cutesy Crafts // 11. The Crafting Nook // 12. Whatcha Workin’ On? // 13. Architecture of a Mom // 14. Havalah // 15. Create & Babble // 16. A Time For Seasons

Linking to:  Made By You Monday, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Merry Monday, Tip Me Tuesday, Lou Lou Girls,

Halloween Monsters – A Quick and Easy DIY Project

Easy 2x4 Halloween Monsters Tutorial for DIY Wooden Halloween Craft featureing Frankenstein Witch Pumpkin and Mummy

Hello Monday!  Is everyone having a good day?  Usually Monday is a pretty good day for me, at least where motivation and productivity are concerned.  I think I get more done on Mondays than I do any other day of the week – and twice as much as I accomplish on Fridays 😉  But.  Today wasn’t one of those days.  In fact, I felt like I spent the entire day dealing with not-so-pleasant things and not much time at all on the glorius Monday To-Do List.  My little guy developed a fever yesterday and and I kept him home from school where he has been fighting the fever and watching Justice League cartoons.  The big truck that was scheduled to pick up the calves that my dad is selling this year moved up the timetable three hours and I was the only one home that could go out and help him round them up, and trust me – he wasn’t exactly in a good mood about it.  Plus other problems I really just don’t even want to think about right now.  So in an effort to raise my spirits a little before I meet a friend at the gym and work off some of my frustrations I decided to blog.  Aren’t you lucky? 😉

That leaves the question – what to blog about?  I’m in full-on birthday party prep mode over here, with my daughter’s fun Cupcake Wars party starting in T-minus two days and while I will have plenty to blog about the party on Thursday, none are ready to blog right now.  Pinterest and the blogosphere are still flooded with Halloween ideas and the post getting the most hits on my old blog this week, last week, and probably the week before is another of my Fall craft days…so I’d better share it here, right?!

Here we go – a simple tutorial for quick and easy Halloween Monsters.

Fall Craft Supplies for 2x4 Wooden Monsters DIY

I believe I’ve mentioned that I love to turn crafting into a social event.  In fact, it’s been a great excuse to get to know people better and I met some of my closest friends because one of them wanted to learn how to make a wreath.  However, wreaths can quickly become more expensive projects and the supplies add up pretty fast, so wooden crafts are usually my go-to when I want to pull something together inexpensively.  For this project all you need is a 2×4 and some craft paint and a couple of random things from around the house.

Supplies for Craft Day Halloween Decorations DIY Wooden Monsters and Witch

Like googly eyes and nuts and bolts

Vinyl Shapes for 2x4 Halloween Wood Craft

and a sheet of vinyl cut into to some geometric shapes.  I used my Silhouette machine but you could just as easily cut shapes with scissors or paint them on.

2x4 Wooden Crafts For Halloween Frankenstein and Mummy Easy DIY

For ‘ole Frank up there I painted the block green then added the hair and face with black paint.  Add on some googly eyes and a couple of bolts and he’s all set.
The mummy block was painted a coat of white first then I wrapped it with strips of scrap white fabric, glueing it down as I went.  If you tear the fabric strips instead of cutting them, it gives them a nice “aged” texture along the edge.

2x4 Wooden Crafts For Halloween Witch and Pumpkin Easy DIY

The witch hat is simply a piece of the 2×4 turned sideways, topped with another block of wood cut into a triangle.  I used raffia for the hair but you could easily use straw or yarn.  And Mr. Pumpkin over there is the easiest with a coat of orange paint, the vinyl shapes for the face, and a piece of green ribbon tied in a knot and glued on top for the stem/leaves.

*Quick tip:  you can use a number of adhesives like hot glue and craft glue but one of the best adhesives to use when trying to adhere anything to wood is wood glue.  It takes longer to dry, but holds really well.

DIY Wooden Halloween Decor Monsters using 2x4s includes tutorial

These guys liked to sit on my mantle or on the decorative ledge by my stairs and every time I passed them by I was reminded of the fun we all had the afternoon my friends and I got together to craft.  That’s the bonus with DIY projects – they all have a story, don’t they?

In the mood for a little more Fall/Halloween crafting?  Check out some of my other creations.

Halloween Front Porch Decor includes pallet pumpkins deco mesh wreaths and swags and wicked witch wooden sign with broomstick Make the switch to Thanksgiving easy with double sided sign

Front porch decor, including a witch wreath and Boo swags, wooden pallet pumpkins, and the double-sided Halloween/Thanksgiving sign.

Double Sided Wood 2x4 Craft for Halloween and Thanksgiving Beware of LIttle Monsters Thanks for little blessings

Double-sided Halloween/Thanksgiving blocks.  This one was another fun Craft Day project.

DIY 2x4 Pumpkins Make your own wooden pumkins with this easy tutorial

2×4 Pumpkins (see?  2x4s are one of my favorite craft supplies!)

Linking to:  R&R Wednesdays, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday Halloween Features, Made By You Monday,

Double Sided Fall Decorations For Halloween and Thanksgiving

If it weren’t for other people, I don’t know if I’d manage to work in time for “fun” crafting very often – especially right now when I seem to spend most of my days in the garage working on laundry drying racks or running kids to swim team practice or karate.  However, I get pretty cranky when all I do is “work” so when I was asked to put together a craft for the women’s group at a local church (last year) I was pretty quick to agree.  I love introducing people to one of my favorite hobbies!
Double Sided Wood 2x4 Craft for Halloween and Thanksgiving Beware of LIttle Monsters Thanks for little blessings
It didn’t take us long to decide on an easy (and hopefully quick!) 2×4 craft for Halloween and Thanksgiving – yes, it’s double-sided!    The easier it is to change out holiday decor and the less space it takes up in storage, the better, right?  The front side reads “BEWARE of little Monsters” and the back side says “THANKS for little Blessings.”
We ended up with almost 30 people signed up for the craft – Yay!  I was told most of them have never done anything crafty so I thought extra hard about how to have it all go as smoothly and easily as possible.  I ended up pulling together a kit for everyone and while I was at it I figured, hey, why not pull together a quick How To for the blog.  I haven’t done one of those in a while.
Halloween Thanksgiving Double Sided Blocks Kit
In the kit they found the wooden blocks, vinyl lettering, patterned paper cut to size, a couple of pieces of ribbon (which I forgot to put in the photo!) and even a nice little reference sheet with step-by-step instructions.  I took the extra time to type up the reference sheet because 1) a few of the people wouldn’t be able to make it to the craft session but still wanted to make the craft on their own and 2) with that many people they may not be able to have the example blocks right in front of them and I wanted them to at least have photos for reference and 3) some people learn better/retain things better if they can read it instead of just listening to a quick explanation.

*For those of you that are going to ask (and I know someone is going to ask!) here is a quick run through of the sizes for the wood pieces.  You can use a 2×4 for all pieces (I got 2-3 sets out of one 2×4).  Cut out two pieces 7 1/4″ high, two pieces 4 1/8″ high, and two pieces 3 1/2″ high.  For the base block I cut it 14″ long then ran it through the table saw (or rather, my awesome husband did) so that it was 2″ high.

The rest of the process is pretty easy:
-paint all sides of all wooden pieces.  (Actually I would have preferred to stain them, but the stain has to dry overnight and it really messy so I figured paint was a much better option for craft day)  It will probably take two coats.
-cut your patterned paper slightly smaller than the size of the blocks.  Adhere patterned paper with Modge Podge or similar adhesive
-apply vinyl lettering
-apply another coat of Modge Podge over the top of everything, including the sides that are only painted (this keeps the finish consistantly glossy on all sides).  When I craft at home I also add a coat of poly which really helps protect everything, but as it takes longer to dry I skipped that part and was sure to tell them they could do that on their own later if they wanted to.
-when dry, attach ribbon embellishments using wood glue or a hot glue gun.

Told you it was easy! 😉  Now for the beauty shots.

Halloween Double Sided Craft Beware of Little Monsters with another saying on the back for Thanksgiving Made with wood 2x4 pieces and patterned scrapbook paper

 Halloween Wood 2x4 Craft Beware of Little Monsters Double Sided for Thanksgiving too
Beware Little Monsters Wood 2x4 Craft for Halloween Double Sided for Thanksgiving too
 Thanks for Blessings Wooden 2x4 Thanksgiving Craft
Thanksgiving Wood 2x4 Craft Thanks for Little Belssings Double Sided for Halloween too

Thanksgiving Craft Blocks Double Sided

The big craft day went great!  Of course it took a little longer than the time we had planned, but everyone was enjoying it and that was fine.  I spent my time wandering from table to table answering questions and getting to know everyone.  Most of the women had been able to arrange child care but one baby was too little for that and I happily carried him around with me half the time so his Mom could have her hands free for crafting. I’m always happy to be the “extra hand” when I am crafting with friends that have little ones because I remember how hard that used to be when my kids were tiny.  Now that my kids are older I know that if I don’t get my own craft finished before they get home it won’t be a big deal to finish it on my own – with or without their help! 😉

Wow.  I just realized how long it has been since I had a craft day with friends.  Do you like to craft with friends?  Has it been a while since you’ve done anything crafty?  Maybe we should challenge ourselves to make a couple of phone calls and get a craft day on our calendars!?!

Linking to:  Pretty Pintastic Party, Your Turn to Shine, A Little R&R Wednesday, Made By You Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday, Sundays Down Under, Learning from each other link party, BFF Open House, Tip Me Tuesday,

DIY Wooden Sign for Fall – Double-sided for Halloween and Thanksgiving

Halloween Front Porch Decor includes pallet pumpkins deco mesh wreaths and swags and wicked witch wooden sign with broomstick Make the switch to Thanksgiving easy with double sided sign

Too soon for Halloween ideas?!  Naw.  Seems like half the posts I run across online right now is someone blogging about pumpkin and apple recipes or decorating their porch with fall leaves and gourds.  I’m excited because I love fall and all the things that go along with it (especially the pumpkins!) but struggle with the part of me that doesn’t want to be premature and be sick of all the fun fall stuff before Thanksgiving arrives.  But in the interest of making sure you all have plenty of time to grab some fall decorating inspiration from here or other blogs, it probably makes sense to put it out there early so you have plenty of time to create.  Am I right?

I will be sharing a new fall idea or two every week until November – or until I run out of ideas, which-ever comes first!  You’ve already seen my 2×4 Pumpkins and my Wooden Pallet Pumpkins (and if you haven’t I’d love for you to check them out) so this week I thought I would share my Double-Sided Wooden Sign for Fall.  The front side has a fun saying for Halloween and the back side is for Thanksgiving.  I love the double-sided concept, especially when it comes to holiday decor because not only does it cut down on the amount of storage space I need for storing off-season holiday decorations but it also makes it super easy to change out the decorations from one holiday to another.  This works especially well with the back to back holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I can leave out the pumpkins and bright orange and red leaves from September through November and just switch out a few select pieces for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Double Sided Wooden Fall Sign for Halloween and Thanksgiving DIY Tutorial

It was pretty simple to put together.  We just took 3 pieces of scrap wood (1×6 or 1×8 probably) and cut them all to the same length (maybe 15″ wide or so), then used smaller scraps (1×2) as braces along the back and put screws in them to hold it all together.  Then stained it all mahogany.

Thankful Thanksgiving Front Porch Sign DIY Tututorial

Thankful Grateful Blessed Wooden Front Porch Sign for Thanksgiving Decorations
I like the effect the wood braces on the back give the sign – makes it more rustic and a bit vintage looking, I think.  I also used the same stain technique as I did on the Corn Hole boards (see tutorial HERE) on the Thankful side of the sign for the lettering.  I love the look.  The Halloween quote was done with white vinyl using my Silhouette machine.

Wooden Halloween Porch Sign Home of the Wicked Witch and all her Little Monsters Double Sided

I have kind of a obsession “thing” for witch themed decor for Halloween.  There’s just something about the pointy hat and the witchy boots that makes me smile.  And I prefer the more fun and whimsical look to the scary things and the gore that often goes along with Halloween.

Thankful Wooden Sign Rustic and easy to assemble sign for Thanksgiving and Halloween

It looks great on the front porch with everything else doesn’t it?  And is often the case with most of the holiday decorations I make – it’s easy and inexpensive too!

Fall and Thanksgiving Front Porch Decor includes wooden pallet pumpkins deco mesh wreath and double sided wooden sign for Halloween and Thanksgiving

Have you decorated your porch for fall yet?  I’d love to hear some of your ideas!

Linking to:  Merry Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Celebrate it Sunday, Sundays Down Under, Made By You Monday, Your Turn to Shine, LouLou Girls, Idea Box, A LIttle R&R Wednesday, Pretty Pintastic Party, BFF Open House, Creative Exchange, Best DIY Projects and Recipes Party, Link Party Palooza, Saturday Sharefest, Tip Me Tuesday,

Wooden Pallet Pumpkins

Fall front porch decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving with pumpkins

It’s fall!  At least here in Utah the last week or so it really feels like the weather has suddenly decided summer is over.  There is that unique crispness in the air and the days just aren’t quite as warm as they were.  The leaves are even changing colors up on the mountains.  It happened suddenly, like someone flipped a switch.  And what’s funny is that it coincided almost to the day with the day the kids started school just over a week ago.

I thought I would be sad to see summer go, and I am a bit, but I’m also excited for the change of seasons.  I love fall and all that goes along with it – sweaters and jeans, brightly colored trees, apples and pumpkin flavored everything… 😉  I’ve been seeing fall decor and pumpkin recipes popping up online.  And I have to admit I gave into the urge for pumpkin and made pumpkin muffins for the kids lunchboxes this week.  So it’s no surprise that I have pumpkins on the brain and wanted to share the pallet pumpkins my husband and I made a couple of years ago.  (I was going to say last fall, but dates on the photos say 2013.  Wow time goes by so quickly doesn’t it?)
Oh and before I forget – more details on that great Thankful Grateful Blessed sign can be found HERE.

Pallet Pumpkins are a great addition to any Fall Halloween or Thanksgiving front porch decoration

I thought about doing tutorial photos as I went but when it comes right down to it, the pallet pumpkins aren’t that hard to put together.  Acquire yourself a pallet and get the husband and his Sawsall to rip it apart.  Line all the boards up and sketch in a pumpkin shape.  Don’t worry about it being perfect – that’s not the point of a pallet project, right?
Cut everything out with a jigsaw.  Give the rough edges a quick sanding.  Then turn it upside-down and lay it all out so you can add a couple of strips of wood to the back and screw all the pieces to that.

Pallet Pumpkin detail of back and stand

Making it stand up was a bit of a dilemma as mine were pretty big and attaching them to a base didn’t seem like the right choice.  In the end, Sam just took a hinge and added another piece of wood to the back like the stand on a picture frame.

Tutorial for Pallet Pumpkins detail photo of stand on back

The pumpkin looked good as it was, but I am a sucker for darker wood so I stained mine.  I knew the old dry wood would soak up a lot of stain, so I used a can that I had determined was too dark for my countdown blocks and did plan to use for any other projects.

Pallet Pumpkin Before dry brush technique

Turns out it was a bit too dark for the pumpkins too and a lot of the character of the wood got lost.  So I dry brushed on some streaks of orange paint and we were back in business.

Pallet Pumpkin detail photo Alaynas Creations

Much better.

Pallet Pumpkins are a great addition to any Fall Halloween or Thanksgiving front porch decoration

And there you have it! A semi-quick, mostly free, and totally adorable addition to the front porch.  The best part is that when I switch out the Halloween décor, these babies will still look great for Thanksgiving.

Pallet Pumpkins A tutorial for making your own set of these fun easy and inexpensive pumpkins for your front porch fall decoration

As always – if you use this tutorial or even are just inspired by it and come up with your own spin I would love to see it!  Please feel free to share comments and photos.

Happy September and Happy Fall!

Want more great fall decor ideas?  Check out my easy and inexpensive wooden 2×4 Pumpkin Tutorial.

Featured on:  Merry Monday

Linking to:  Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday, Made By You Monday, Sundays Down Under, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Tip Me Tuesday, Your Turn to Shine, Wow Me Wednesday, Idea Box, BFF Open House, Pretty Pintastic Party, Saturday Sharefest, Friday Finds, Creative Exchange,

Swimming Subway Art with FREE Silhouette Cut File

Subway Art for Summer Swimming Tutorial

Right now, there are few things my daughter likes more than swimming.  She spends four mornings a week at swim team practice and loves every minutes of it.  She also likes creating things and when she came up with the idea for these Swimming Subway Art wall hangings (“Mom, I want a piece of wood, painted and with vinyl words about swimming and a picture of someone diving, and it should say splash with like water drops coming off of it and…”) I was happy to help her out.  She did most of the work herself, including instructing her dad what size to cut out the wood (I think it’s 10″ x 12″) and learning how to use the sander.

Swimming Subway Art Wall Hanging

At the time, it was also one of their projects for school.  They needed to be able to give a presentation to the class and teach their classmates how to do something.  We actually made three boards so Kaitlyn could walk her class through the process.
-Cut the wood, routing the edges and inscribing a keyhole in the back (for hanging) if you choose, then sanding it
-Paint the wood
-Apply the vinyl

Swimming Subway Art using wooden board and vinyl lettering

We ended up doing three versions so that she could demonstrate a couple of the steps and that worked out perfectly so that she could keep one and intends to give the other two to her swim team coaches at the end of the summer season.

Swim Team Subway Art Wall Hanging

Cute right?  I’m so proud of my craft creative little girl!  And guess what?  I saved the Silhouette Studio cut file and you can get it for yourself HERE.
You may need to make sure you have the following fonts installed (you can find them free online):
-Britannic Bold
-Kristen ITC
-Arial Unicode MS
-Brush Script MT
-Badaboom BB
The diving silhouette and the “splash” were just free clip art I found online and converted to a cut file.

Enjoy!  I would love to see photos of your creations using the Swimming Subway Art.  Feel free to comment and share!

Want more fun ideas to keep busy this summer?  Check out my list of ideas to Fill Your Summer with Fun – Without Breaking the Bank!

Featured on Inspired By You.

Linking To:  Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party, Wow Me Wednesday, Your Turn to Shine, Thursday Favorite Things, Lifestyle Link Up, Saturday Sharefest, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Made By You MondayWhat To Do Weekends,

Patriotic Subway Art – Pledge of Allegiance

I’m having a hard time believing we are only two weeks into summer right now because the time seems to be going by so quickly.  Before we know it, it will be the 4th of July – my favorite summer holiday!  We have been finalizing plans for the holiday over the past week and I’m happy to see that so many of our traditional activities are coming together.  I even remembered to buy rodeo tickets!

So, with Red White and Blue on the brain I thought I’d share the fun 4th of July subway art I put together last year. In true craft-hoarder fashion I was able to dig up exactly what I needed in no time at all, including some scrap wood that was the perfect size (approx 13″ x 24″) – I didn’t even have to sand it! A simple coat of blue paint, a few pieces of vinyl and it was all ready to go up on the wall.

4th of July Subway Art Pledge of Allegience
The hardest part was setting up the cut files for the vinyl lettering.  It always takes a little bit of playing around to get the different sizes and placement for subway art to look right (and I’m no expert with any of it) but I kept this one pretty simple and instead of changing fonts I just adjusted sizes and spacing.

The husband turned out to be a big fan of this one too – yay!  (He has a soft spot for anything patriotic, I think)  It didn’t take long for him to route a keyhole on the back so I could mount it on the wall.

Patriotic Home Decor Red White and Blue Subway Art
Last year the fun subway art joined some of my other decorations on the ledge in my stairwell.  Sadly, this year they all remain in boxes in the garage until we can get the new house built.  The kids and my mom have put out her 4th of July decorations upstairs and tied flags to all the fence posts around the yard, so it is feeling sufficiently festive around here and I kinda, sort, just might be glad I don’t have to face packing any decorations back into boxes in a few weeks. 😉
Patriotic Home Decor Display on shelf ledge
Anyone else care to share their 4th of July projects or plans so I can live vicariously through you too!  I have had no chance to make anything for myself or my own house in months and I just might be experiencing withdrawals. I really should try to rememdy that soon, shouldn’t I?

Summer Bucket List – Summer Fun Ideas

Bucket List Fun Summer Ideas for the Family

It’s Friday and another week has just raced by.  We are down to just two weeks before the kids are out of school for the summer and I’m getting pretty excited for the change in routine.  Being able to make it to the gym without having to wake up at 4:45AM to do so would be awesome.

Bucket List Summer Fun for Kids

It has become our tradition over the last few years that as summer approaches we sit down as a family and talk about what we are looking forward to and what we would like to make sure we do during the summer.  It’s always a fun way to spend an evening and I’m often surprised by a few of the suggestions from the kids.  Once we have a pretty good list compiled I sit down and type it all up, cutesy it up a little bit, then put it on display so we can cross things off when we do them and it’s there to refer to if we have a little down time we want to fill and are in need of ideas.

Summer Bucket List 2015

Summer Fun Idea List Bucket List

Included in our list this year:
-lots and lots of swimming
-hike Timpanogos (we almost made it to the top last year and are determined to go all the way this time around)
-go boating
-swim goal (Kaitlyn – summer swim team)
-family 5K (We are signed up for the Great Inflatible Race at the end of this month!)
-Tyler wants the 4 wheeler fixed
-Collect Brag Tags – 100 of them!  (This is through the Heber Valley Unplugged Program, which was initiated in a neighorboring county a few years ago.  The kids have participated in it in previous years while we were here on vacation and it was a huge hit.  More info available HERE.)
-water park
-sell house in North Carolina (fingers crossed!  It is now officially on the market)
-make homemade ice cream
-rodeo/parade (4th of July)
-ride horses/trail ride
-BBW with friends
-Kaitlyn wants to babysit
-random hikes (to explore and to get in shape for the big one)
-clear out clutter/junk on farm
-kids learn to cook a few things (Kate realized I put this on one there twice.  I guess I’m really sick of the daily “what’s for dinner?” grind.  I’ve been too lazy to reprint the list lol)
-spend time at the lake
-try out a new restaurant
-playdates/time with friends
-set reading goals
-Pass of All Passes

Family Fun Ideas Create Your Own Bucket List for Summer

So, what’s on your Summer Bucket List??

Linking to:  Wow Me Wednesday, The Party Bunch, Pin Me Linky Party, Frugal Friday,  Lifestyle Link Up, DIY Sunday Showcase, Family Fun Friday, Thursday Favorite Things,

A Gift for SuperMom

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… !!

Ok, not sure where I was going with that 😉  Actually, I’ve got pregnancy on the brain.  No, no, I’m NOT pregnant.  But it sure does seem like I am hearing about more than the usual number of friends and acquaintances announcing they are expecting or showing up with new babies.  It feels like it goes in cycles – have you noticed that?  Most of the time it’s not on your radar (unless you yourself are pregnant then baby and pregnancy cues are EVERYWHERE) then all of a sudden it feels like everyone is pregnant all at once?  I call it Baby Season and it is in full strength lately.

Super Mom Gift Box New Baby Mothers Day

The most recent announcement unexpectedly came from one of my good friends in North Carolina.  It was also her birthday last week so I figured I would go a little bigger than the Starbucks gift card I had already picked up and put together a fun pregnancy gift box.  I really wanted it to be unique and I was stumped.  I think I covered every aisle at Michael’s at least three times trying to come up with something fun and creative, thinking the entire time about what (in my opinion) is uniquely her.  And finally – light bulb!  See, she has two small boys who are really into Power Rangers and super heroes, and when her husband was deployed last year the tagline on all of her photos was “daddy went away to be a superhero.”  Why not go with a SuperMom theme?!

Super Mom Gift Box Mothers Day New Baby
Once I had the theme, the rest of it came together easily.

Supermom Tshirt Tank Top DIY
SuperMom tank top – check! (yes, I did the logo myself!  I’ll do a tutorial on that soon!  I found this really cool sun-activated dye at Michael’s….)

Super Mom Keep Calm Double Wall Cup and Straw
SuperMom double wall drink cup with token “keep calm” saying – check!
I did a quick search for clipart for the crown then used my handy-dandy Silhouette machine to cut out the vinyl.  Simple as that.  I always use “outdoor” vinyl on projects like these and as long as you wash the cups on the top rack of the dishwasher ONLY, it holds up pretty well.

Super Mom Funny Wall Hanging
Funny SuperMom Wall Decor – check!
Wall Plaque UnfinishedSupermom Super Tired Wall Decor Vinyl
Quick mini-tutorial for you on this one.  Unfinished scrolly wood plaque from Michael’s.  (love those things!)  Paint it.  Superman logo and lettering in vinyl, courtesy of my Silhouette machine, of course.  Put it all together and ta-da!  Under $5 and probably less than 10 minutes.

Pregnancy Countdown Blocks Teal and Grey
It wouldn’t be complete without one of my signature Pregnancy Countdown Blocks, right? (I have decided to retire these in the Etsy shop.  If you want one you better order it quick before I run out of stock!)

I also included a couple of other fun items
Supermom Gift Box Nail Polish Nail File Pamper Supermom Gift Box To Do List Notebook

printed out a funny meme that fit the theme, and created a quick card using the same SuperMom logo.
Super Mom Card and funny memeSupermom card interior

Supermom Pregnancy Gift Box

So there you have it – a Super-fun gift for the SuperMom in your life!  I’m thinking this would make a great Mother’s Day gift, don’t you think?  (which, by the way, is only a week and a half away – eek!)

Linking to:  Link Party Palooza, That DIY Party, Pin Me Linky Party, DIY Sunday Showcase,