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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

watercolor ceramic mugs {diy tutorial}

Looking for a DIY present idea this holiday season? 

It seems like every year, I'm on the hunt for a new project to gift folks with. If done well, a handmade gift can be some of the most precious things a person gives and receives. 
Who is it going to? Will they use/enjoy this? Is this going to be tossed? Ha! - All good questions to pose with handmade gifts. 

And every year, some project catches my eye and makes its way under my tree. 2016? These watercolor mugs!

Beautiful, no?
 How about also inexpensive, quick and easy!

: :  Materials  : :

  - ceramic mugs
 - nail polish of your choice (two colors for a multi tone look!)
 - polish remover
 - towel
 - deep dish or bowl
 - toothpicks

Notes: Avoid super quick dry polishes. They dry too fast for this project. Also, don't use a bowl you're overwhelmingly attached too. A throw away would be perfect, but I used a plastic tupperware one and cleaned it afterwards.

Start by making sure any stickers or tags are removed from the mugs
Hint: Check the bottom! And hot water removal FTW!

Next fill up your bowl with room temperature water and set it over your towel. 

Prepare your work area. This project requires you to move quickly through the steps and you don't want to be hustling around for supplies while your paint dries.
 - Lay out a couple of toothpicks within reach.
 - Fold over a couple paper towels as a place to lay your mugs to dry after the fact.
 - Remove the brush tops from your polish and set aside.

Quickly, poura few drops of the polish (or two) into the water. You want it to sit on the surface and spread out. 

As soon as its poured, grab you toothpick a gently swirl the two colors together a bit.
Make sure your polish isn't globbing together! If it globs, pour the water out and refill. Your temperature might be too hot, or you might not be moving quick enough and your polish is drying.

Then gently dip the mug down into the water and pick it right back out. The polish color should cling to the side of the dipped area like watercolor! 

I usually hold the mug over the bowl for a few seconds to allow any water to run off, then flip it upside down and lay it on my readied paper towel.

Depending on the state of the water and any reside on the surface, you may or may not need to rinse out your water for the next mug. It doesn't have to be fresh water, but you don't want any leftover gunk hanging out on the surface. If it looks clean, feel free to pour more polish and go again! 

I let my mugs air dry for at least 24 hours. Probably also wise to add a "hand wash only" tag if these are a gift since they won't do well in the dishwasher.

And voila! Handmade and beautiful gift!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

our christmas book advent

I love advent countdowns.
 The decorative ones are so pretty and the ones for kids are just down right sweet. But confession - I've never really had my life together enough to fully pull one off. Even this decorative one from a few years back didn't come together until halfway through the month. And it was more a sweet little art piece than anything else. 

But this year will be different!
This year it's going to happen!
 How, you ask?

When a friend mentioned wrapping up a single Christmas book to read each night, I practically jumped for joy! Books! We read those each night! Christmas books! We have those too! Wrapping? So I can satisfy my kid's itch to open a gift too?? This is everything!!! 

So the books... I decided I'd go from December 1st to the 25th. So 25 books was the magic number. 
I knew we had our share of Christmas books because I keep a box of seasonal books and DVDs tucked away. I was really surprised to find 16 of them in there! We had all the classics. The Grinch. The Night Before Christmas. Rudolph. And several fun ones too! 

 I snagged a couple on a quick trip out the next day and then scored a few from my mom (a teacher!) to finish out my stash. The great thing about this is if you think it thru, you can use borrow books and even really inexpensive Golden Books. I also wanted to make sure I had several about the real Christmas story, since that's the true reason we celebrate. 

When it came to setting them up for Jake to read each day, I also decided that I didn't want my selection to be completely random. I wanted to have a good variation throughout the days, and even a few specific books on a handful of nights - my most special nativity story on Christmas Day, the classic Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, etc. So I decided to tag the books with a number. It brings the countdown and advent full circle as well! 

Ever the DIY efficienado, I was going to make the tags myself. But I stumbled upon the cutest, simple free set from Simple As That. Hellllloooo, my beauties!

{snag these H E R E }

The icing on top was the wrapping paper.
Jake was pretty dismayed last week when I bypassed the outer space Santa wrapping paper for some simple kraft paper with gold foil trees. And I felt a twinge of guilt for wanting my sweet neutral Christmas tree to look perfectly aesthetic with its packages and bows underneath.

But now! Now I had a reason to toss three rolls of Santa on Saturn into the cart!

I can't wait to start this Thursday night!

I think I'll also be pairing this bedtime ritual with this special advent coloring book. It includes a part of the nativity story each day and the Scripture reading that coincides. Perfect for reminding us of the Christ's birth each night!

Is this your year for an advent? There's still time!!

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Monday, November 21, 2016

thanksgiving place card notes {printable}

Thanksgiving week is here! My house smells like cinnamon and my mind is whirling with how I'd like decorate my house for the holiday season. 

I get to catch a break this holiday as my mom hosts our Thanksgiving feast, but Jake did volunteer to create place cards for the tablescape!

After talk about paper turkeys, drawings, and more, Jake told me he wanted to tell everyone in his family that he was thankful for them. Who am I to argue with that sweet logic? And he's so excited to be filling these out for everyone in attendance.

While I'm sure they will be especially sweet coming from my hardly literate, backwards-letter-writing preschooler, I think these cards could be a pleasant adornment from anyone. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to tell someone how much you love them and why. 

Interested in grabbing these simple printables? Go  H E R E  to snag a two card per page print and add a little extra sweetness to your table this year!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oh hello there mid-November!

To say that my November has had a bit of a rocky start would be fair.
Almost every day this month, we have either spoken with, visited, or been patients of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Our gal Eliza has had a rough go of it these past few weeks with routine (but a bit anxious) testing, some sickness, and even a less than thrilling hospital stay. 
All that to say, I'm glad my girl is feeling better. But this mama is tired. And I feel like I'm already playing catch up on the season.
It'll all shake out. I'm sure of it. I will say that all this time in the hospital or on hold with the hospital or driving to and from the hospital has given me internet powers like never before. Actual accomplishments? Zero. But I wore my phone life out...


I've been doing a wee bit of stalking over at Jones Design Company. The Lex family just bought a lovely new house that's sure to come with approximately 482947 fantastic decor renovations. Emily's taste is flawless so I'm basically living vicariously thru her in this. 


Why vicariously? Well, because I've also been following the market myself. J.B. and I have known for quite awhile that our present home was not going to be suitable for a kiddo with special mobility needs. We love our house, but have come to realize that its practically the most inaccessible home ever built. Seriously, give this place an award!
Which means that in the coming months, we'll be embarking on the build/sell/maybe build journey in hopes of landing a better home for Eliza to get around in. 
So I'm also stalking the local housing market.


Thanksgiving is next week?! When did this happen? Seriously guys. 
Also next week? J.B.'s birthday.  
Cue my mad rush to be thankful for all the things and go snatch the yummiest of  bakery cakes for my man. Thankfully (< see what I did there!), J.B. isn't one to make a huge fuss out of his birthday. 
Is that a man thing or an over 30 thing?
 And since I'm not hosting Thanksgiving, I can give an even greater sigh of relief. Back to my place in the online world as I've stared at these lovely tablescapes that I thankfully (

via / via / via
But usually certain things have been accomplished by Thanksgiving week. A certain amount of Christmas presents have been purchased. Plans for the holiday season have been made. My Christmas cards have been faithfully ordered from Tinyprints. Not this year.
A family photo session is in the works for this weekend, and I'm hoping for a quick turn around on the prints. Until then, Tinyprints, I'm just going to imagine our faces on your flawless designs.
A few of my favorites...

Okay, enough basking in the glow of the internet. Hopeful my sick kiddos are on the mend and we're going to be prepared to hit Thanksgiving with our fat pants at the ready!!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

the wilder circus {halloween!}

Another year, another glorious family Halloween!!
And welcome to The Wilder Family Circus! 

We had so much fun in these costumes! 
J.B. the ring master, Jake the strongman, Sarah the tight rope walker, and Eliza the clown!

This year, we even joined our church's trunk or treat festival and created a circus tent trunk! 
(And we won a prize! Totally didn't know there were prizes! Next year, we're going for the sweep!!) 

And I will say, while the car trunk tossed in a whole new element, I think these costumes might have been my easiest to date!

The details... For J.B., I only had to order a matching set of suspenders and a bow tie. The megaphone was a party prop from Hobby Lobby!  For me, I snagged a glittery headband and a blue tutu (cheaper than DIY!) and then made myself a little no-sew cape with black fabric, some iron on ribbon and a black fastener. Jake wore girl's leggings (!!), and a cut up red t-shirt. His belt (and little shirt tie) were from a scrap of pleather with a snap in the back. The barbell is a piece of PVC with styrofoam balls on the end. We had a bit of a McGyver moment at the trunk or treat when the glue released and the whole barbell fell apart. So apparently super glue and styrofoam don't mix? Duct tape to save the day, of course! Eliza wore a little romper my mom stitched up and I added some pom poms for fun!

Only a hour of trick or treating in our neighborhood landed us with four buckets of candy! Plenty of time to come back and admire our loot. And with the kids in their Halloween jammies, I totally had flash backs to five years ago... 

Oh my stars, Halloween has officially come full circle!! And the family costume game is now six years strong! 

I hope your Halloween was equally excellent! 
Until next year! 

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

twix or treat! {halloween goodie bags}

Y'all know I'm a sucker for a goodie bag.
No birthday or holiday is complete without the tiniest little package for all of Jake's pals! 

So enjoy this yummy Halloween treat, kids! 

I grabbed cheap cellophane bags and fun sized Twix bars. Then I used a couple of other things I had on hand - black and white baker's twine, a tiny hole punch, and scissors. 

The design I made for these was simple, but cute. I'll even add a couple of options here if anyone wants to download them! 

Options for you:

{printable with space to add a name H E R E}
{printable without name H E R E}

Finished product was officially approved by my kiddo. He's excited to take them to his friends at his Halloween party on Friday! 

Only one week left until the big day!
Hope y'all are costume ready!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

silhouette status unlocked

Yes! Yes! Yes! After years and years of DIY, I suppose I'm finally adult enough to have a legit crafting tool! On a whim and taking advantage of an awesome sale price, I spent a little chunk of fun money on a Silhouette Portrait

It's the most basic model in the Silhouette family, so don't fret that I've gone high society on you. But this baby cuts vinyl, fabric and more. 

In true Sarah fashion, I [of course] picked a miserably hard project to start with. I used a Silhouette hack on my first ever cut. I designed my own cut out and retraced it all into the new software. And I picked a delicately tiny cut at that. 

Seriously guys, what's wrong with me?
So while it took me approximately 56 hours to figure this beast out and how to work around the system, my first project was a success!!

High five everyone! I'm a crafting grown up!

The details: I created the design in my better-known-to-me Adobe Illustrator and brought it over to the Silhouette software to clean up and trace into their system. Then I cut it onto freezer paper instead of an "approved" vinyl. Obviously this is pretty tedious as its intricate and sized small enough for an 18 month old's tshirt. But I got the pattern onto her shirt and had the design done in five minutes. 

Jake got a shirt too. His pattern was so much easier and faster. I'm improving!

Many of y'all know that I've done the freezer paper trick for years to place designs onto fabric (tutorial here!), but doing it without a cutting machine means you have to print the design onto the freezer paper, then hand cut everything out with an exact-o knife. Not the quickest task. So this bad boy will enable me to do that same process in a fraction of the time!   
Well, once I tame this machine...

So now I'm in search of allllll the Silhouette projects! Oh glorious options!!

 Want to know more about the design on Eliza's new shirt? Head over to Expecting Eliza to hear the story! 

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