In the mood for Valentine's Day!

I'm not typically very commercial when it comes to Valentine's Day.  I enjoy the hearts and flowers, but would prefer it to be every day of the year.  Who wouldn't?  But, once I saw these bad boys on Martha I knew I had to craft something up.

(Photo via Martha Stewart here)

I was also inspired by these ladies (Heidi and Rhonna: click their names for their blog) who are part of House of 3

(Photo via Rhonna Farrer here)

So, I came up with this!

If Hobby Lobby or Michaels loves me, they'll have the perfect little birdies to add to my corners. 

Tomorrow, my adventures will consist of going to Goodwill.  I'm going on a treasure hunt and I can't wait to share another project I have up my sleeve!


Have I told you lately...

that I loved you?  OOOOH, I'm in need of a chick flick and this one looks like it fits the bill!  Agh. 

Why I have to see this movie:
First off, this movie is based from a Nicholas Sparks story.  Mr. Sparks, you always know how to pull at my heart-strings.  Second, Channing Tatum, which should be the end of this discussion, but my story has to be there first.  And third, it's an emotional movie about two people falling in love while this soldier is home on leave.  You give me anything about the military and I'm very emotional.  (Proud Army wife for 4 1/2 years now!)

If anyone goes to see it, think of me sitting next to you sobbing.  This is such a girl's night out adventure in the making. 


Fly away with me!

This week has been a roller coaster of sickness.  Not horrible, I-need-emergency-care sick, but allergies turned to cough, turned to aches.  Blah.  Hopefully, my sick for the year has been done.  But, this sick couldn't keep me away from crafting. 

I saw a CUTE and simple picture done by Ashley Ann.  Check it out here.  Plus, her blog is FULL of cute photos, crafts, inspiration. 

Here's what I made!

There's lots of texture and color, which I really love.  Not totally perfect, but anything too perfect, is scary (to me).

Now to do it yourself!

Take a canvas, any size.  I used one that my mom already painted on.  Then, I covered it in masking tape.  Make sure all the edges are pressed down well.  If you don't, make sure you paint it really really well!

As you can see, I've taken little bits of tape and haphazardously placed them in different spots.  Again, more texture, more interest. 

Then, I painted the whole canvas in Behr's Glorious Gold.  I had this color from a trunk I painted. 

You can see the texture better in this one.

After the paint dried, I took my favorite Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Spiced Marmalade.

I took my applicator tool, with a felt pad, and dabbed that in the ink and started rubbing it all over my canvas.  I made sure to highlight the "grains" of the tape and the edges.  This is my less messy version of the glaze.  You can always take a darker yellow or orange and water that down and splatter it on your canvas.  Then rub it into the cracks and edges with a paper towel.  I've done that before and it's a breeze.  Just make sure your darker color is watered down quite a bit, and wipe it quickly before it dries.

You can really start to see the texture pop through.  Although the ink pad looks a lot darker, it really highlights the Glorious Gold.  (haha I love the name of that paint.  it is glorious!)

Next, I found scrapbooking paper that was interesting in pattern.  I really like the way the pink popped on the yellow.  Plus, it goes with the colors of my studio.   I freehanded and bird and a few leaves.  Cut them out and placed them on the canvas.  (I got carried away and forgot to take pictures of those steps... oops!)

Once, the items were arranged how I liked, I used ModPodge to glue the paper to the canvas.  Be careful because the paper will tend to bleed its colors onto your canvas.  Then, I freehanded some branches to the leaves with a pencil.  I learned that once you write on glossy paint with a pencil, you're pretty much committed.  I used Craft Smart brand paint in Espresso for the branches.

After my whole arrangement was dry, I took it into the garage and sprayed it down with clear spray paint.  This will give a sheen to the paint and the paper, which weren't glossy to begin with. 

Ta da!  Very simple.  It took me a few hours to do this one.  I'm thinking about experimenting to see what else I come up with!  If you do a canvas painting, e-mail me a picture or link me to your blog.  I would love to see it!

(I was having problems with my blogger, so forgive this weird formatting.  I'll fix it ASAP!)


The Dresser Re-do Unveiling!

We always have to have a before and after shot.  Here's the before:

I know it's not terrible, but it's not girly.  I wanted a place to do my "final touches" before we went out.  I wanted a happy corner to my bedroom, and by golly, I was making it happen.  One thing stopping me, is budget.  I love quite a bit of what I have.  I knew the light blue color scheme had to stay, because the budget doesn't allow to re-do everything.  Work with what ya got!  Am I right?

Voila!  The star and picture frame stayed.  'love' had to stay as well.  The star, I picked up at Hobby Lobby awhile back.  The picture frame was purchased at Gordmans, awhile back, as well.  The print I got from Jennifer Squires, I believe.  (If I'm wrong someone please correct me.)  I took out the glass in the picture frame because a) it broke, and b) I didn't like the extra glare.   So, those things were already in the bedroom.  Not enough to give it the "uuuumph". 

I went on a shopping trip around my house.  I pulled out my perfume bottles.  Grabbed the antique pitcher (thanks MOM!) from my studio.  The light blue Ball canister was stashed away in the studio, along with the tall oil vase and little white candle.  I had the silver tray from a friend and was dying to put it to use in a "pretty spot," which I would see and use everyday.  Silver deserves it!  Here's a close-up of the tray:

A place for jewelry, bath salts in the Ball jar, baby oil in the oil vase, and my other lotions and potions.  I love that everything is easily ready to use, but still contained in a beautiful way. 

Now, the pitcher has a hidden secret.  Yes, I'm an amazing gardener.  (ha)  Look closely and see what you find.

Nothing special, eh?  Well, the flowers are fake.  I did buy them at Michael's, but they were on sale.  Totally justified.  Plus, they feel real and don't really smell like flowers.  Doubly justified, by the husband standards.  I love the look of flowers, but the smell can be overpowering for me, and especially the men.  So, I got crafty.  But, flowers need a smell and these pretties smell like vanilla.  How?  Why?

I read that the smell of vanilla and pumpkins (seperately or together) is a big turn-on for most males.  Vanilla is easy enough to handle on a daily basis.  So, that's the winner!  Now, the how...

Find an empty vase/pitcher/pretty vessel.  It's best if the base is wider.

Then, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a vanilla reed diffuser set.  Genius!  Open that bad boy up and stick the oil and reeds into the bottom.

(Bad lighting.. oops)

Then, begin placing your flowers around the oil base.  It takes a little bit of arranging, but that's why I hear they call it a floral arrangement. 

The reeds in my arrangement are covered up.  It would be cool if you raised the oil pot up and had the reeds in the mix for a different look.  Maybe for a more organic or modern look.  I was kind of going for my crazy version of shabby chic. 

Now, the mirror.  I stole that from the other side of my bedroom.  It looked lonely and wanted to join my pretty party. 

The sticker on the left says "Live * Love * Rock" by Marah Johnson.  I chose it because, well, it rocked and there are added pinks and browns.  Plus, 2010 is the year that I'm going to rock.  Good reminder.  Also, you can't forget a picture of the husband, with a leftover Valentine's Day sticker.  As the years go on, I'm going to add little pictures or handwritten notes, ticket stubs, wine labels: anything that reminds me of a good time with the husband.  I want it to be somewhat of a memory board, in other words.  Looks empty now, but that only leaves possibilites for new adventures!

Time to get inspired to do the rest of the bedroom touches.. it'll be awhile on that one.  ha!

What is everyone else up to?  Any crafting, organizing, creating things you want to share?  Leave a comment with a link to your blog or how-tos.  I would love to see them!


Ooooh La La!

Photo via BHG

I have been so inspired by Better Homes and Gardens.  Every January they have been putting out the Organization Issue.  SOOOO Pretty!!  And if you love repurposing items, as shown in the picture above, check out this link to bring you more inspiration.

It's a short post because I'm off to tackle the bedroom.  We'll see what comes of it!


A Friendly Introduction

Dear 2010,
I have been so excited to meet you.  This is the first decade that I will be an adult, out on my own, with a family, and REAL responsibilities.  I can't believe I'm here.  I'm ready to grow and make this year a pivotal year in my history books.  My hope is that we grow a beautiful friendship.  My dream is that we stay motivated, happy, healthy and focused.  I can't wait to see where you take us!

-Just Ashley {hearts}

So, I woke up on Friday morning in a rare form.  It wasn't a hangover, I was just like a little puppy.  I have this feeling that 2010 is going to be a great year.  Then, I read my horoscope, which completely confirmed that notion.  My brain was flooded with project ideas, inspiration for activities with the family - anything and everything that is awesome brain rushed me.  As I was getting ready for the day, I figured out what my "resolution" is. 

Some people think the because they make a resolution, it will find a way to make it's way to truth.  Not so much!  I've made resolutions.  I've broken resolutions.  This year it's a different ball game.  So, here it is folks!  I've decided that every day I want to do something for me, for my family, and for my house.  Then, once a week, I want to do something for or with my friends.  The one restriction is, I can't "half-ass" it.  I think once I put my everything into what I'm doing, better and more exciting paths open up. 

What are your goals/resolutions/dreams for 2010? 

{On a side note, I finally opened the scrapbooking digital kit (Serif's Digital Scrapbook Artist) my hubby bought me last year.  I should've done it sooner!  They have the cutest embellishments and playing around I made the above name tag.  Love it!}
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