Join the Club

One of the best ways to exercise creativity is to unplug. Turn off the computer and the television and go live. But there are certainly elements of technology that also make it useful for fueling inspiration.

Bookmarking sites such as Pinterest and StumbleUpon allow you to “favorite” blog posts and webpages and search or browse through other people’s favorites.

Blog memes or link-ups are also great for visiting new sites and seeing different projects, often revolving around a theme. Here are just handful of the wide variety out there:


Today’s challenge is a simple one – I want you to go blog-hopping! Pick a blog link-up from the list above and go surfing. Leave comments along the way as you discover inspiring new sites, fantastic DIY projects, or delicious looking recipes.. I’d also love for you to come back here to share your discoveries.

Just don’t let yourself spend too long online – use it as inspiration for unplugging and creating.

EXTRA POINTS: You can earn 2 extra points for the Grand Prize Giveaway for submitting a post to a link-up party this week.

{image © Aaron Twa |}

Valentine’s Day Craft Stash Giveaway

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’ve been thinking about making cards. It’s been a few years since I’ve made my own Valentines and, quite frankly, I miss it! Making Valentines is fun!

I want to share that fun with you, so one reader is going to win part of my craft stash – supplies for making at least half a dozen cards – and my copy of the February 2012 Family Fun magazine, which is full of more great Valentine’s Day ideas.

So what’s included?

  • 6 pink gift tags
  • Red, black, pink, and patterned tissue paper
  • Miniature clothespins
  • 12 white cupcake liners
  • 6 white envelopes
  • 3 pages of sheet music with various love songs
  • 6 small pieces of patterned paper
  • 6 bookmark-sized pieces of scrapbook paper
  • Red and pink heart confetti
  • Ribbon, lace, and twine
  • Hershey’s Kisses (A Valentine’s package HAS to have chocolate!)
  • Anything else I may find to include between now and February 1
  • February 2012 Family Fun magazine

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Many Uses of Chalkboard Paint

One of my most popular posts is this one, where I linked to several different chalkboard walls posted around the web. Since that seems to be something a lot of y’all are interested in, I thought I’d expand on the idea of chalkboards and highlight more uses of chalkboard paint.

Oh, and if you’re like me and can’t stand the feel of the chalk or the way it sounds when you write with it, you may be interested in chalk pens.

chalkboard globe{via}

  • Label your herbs.
  • Number tables at a wedding.
  • Paint a dresser.
  • Or a headboard.
  • Create a fun table.
  • Paint a globe and let your kids sketch in the countries.
  • Make reusable gift tags.
  • Identify drinks with chalkboard labels.
  • Paint the inside of a lunchbox for an easy way to leave lunchbox notes.
  • Make chalkboard placemats.
  • Or chargers.
  • Paint your refrigerator!

Empty Frames

I picked up these picture frames a few months ago at The Love of Jesus Thrift Store in Richmond. It’s one of those places that seems to price things randomly. You know, where two identical vases could easily have two vastly different price tags. Their picture frames are priced like that. Sometimes you can find an awesome deal and sometimes you have to wonder what on earth the pricing crew was thinking.

Apparently these frames arrived on a good day. I got six or seven of them and they were all marked either $0.25 or $0.50. They don’t have backs, and some of them don’t have hanging hardware, but they all matched and I thought they would be perfect for a project.

They’ve been spread across my dining room table for the past couple of days, so I thought I would share them as this week’s “find.” This weekend I’ll post pictures of what I did with them!

Have you been thrift shopping recently? What great treasures did you unbury?

Flower Week

One of my favoritest bloggers {Emily of Jones Design Company} is going to be celebrating the arrival of May with a special Flower Week. Each day, from May 2 through May 6, she’ll be posting new flower projects and tutorials on her blog. She makes some of the most lovely things and I’m excited about following along!

Project 52 update {March 17}

Over the last two weeks I’ve started several of the items on my Project 52 list and completely finished one.

  • Started purging my wardrobe. I’ve gone through my closet and dresser, now it’s time to tackle the box of clothes that didn’t fit anywhere when we moved into our house. I’m holding a clothing swap next month and will be taking all my “leftovers” to Goodwill when we’re finished.
  • Got more than halfway through making my sink skirt. I should be able to finish it up this weekend.
  • Finished my dry erase board. Pictures coming soon.
  • Started the cupcake liner wreath. I should be able to finish it up while we watch a movie tonight.
  • Went through an entire stack of magazines, pulled out the articles I was interested in, and moved the stack to a box that will be listed on Freecycle.
  • Michael and I (mostly Michael) planted two trees in our front yard (in the middle of a downpour!). We also dug up and hand-cultivated the garden area in front of the porch, getting rid of the scraggly, unlovely plants that were there. We bought seeds, soil, mulch, etc., and I started a dozen plants indoors so that we can transplant them outside when our large garden area is ready.
  • Put up one bird feeder outside. It’s not hanging yet,  but it’s got lots of visitors anyway, including a cardinal couple.

My weekly list has been a good springboard, but I still haven’t pulled out my cello. I’ve gotten in all the reading and the piano practice, and I’ve written a couple letters. The list has also motivated me to take more pictures, though I haven’t really been adhering to a certain theme each week. I guess I need to make a list of ideas for that, too!

Project 52

In order to give myself an outline of some of the non-work-related things I want to accomplish, I’ve set a goal of tackling roughly one project a week for a year, for a total of 52 projects (which means I have a little bit of catching up to do). I left approximately three months’ worth of projects undecided, to allow room for new inspiration and ideas and I’ve marked out the ones I’ve already finished this year. I’ll try to remember to post updates here as I finish each additional project.

Here’s the list so far:

  1. Plant garden
  2. Put up bird feeders and houses
  3. Put up hanging flower baskets
  4. Make cupcake liner wreath
  5. Create and order wedding photo albums
  6. Finish sanding dining room chairs
  7. Finish painting dining room chairs
  8. Finish painting laundry room
  9. Sew sink skirt
  10. Make curtains for kitchen and family room
  11. Put up “white board” in kitchen
  12. Set-up craft area
  13. Make Baked Alaska
  14. Paint “accent” wall in dining room
  15. Paint cookbook shelf
  16. Purge closet
  17. Donate and/or sell crates of books
  18. Sew covers for pillow forms
  19. Dye napkins
  20. Install another shelf in bathroom closet
  21. Hang clock in living room
  22. Read Large Family Logistics
  23. Purge and file papers
  24. Hang chandelier (requires finding one!)
  25. Put knobs or handles on entertainment chest
  26. Hold cookie exchange
  27. Make quiche
  28. Frame and hang/display wedding photos
  29. Hang “Price of Freedom” print
  30. Install flooring in craft room and get rid of the extra
  31. Finish installing switch plates and outlet covers
  32. Complete bedroom curtains
  33. Hang plates on dining room “accent” wall
  34. Install or hang a “headboard”
  35. Have vows printed, framed, and hung
  36. Scan, enlarge, frame, and hang letter from Michael
  37. Write Grandma, Uncle Billy, etc. to ask questions about Grandpap
  38. Paint the porch
  39. Paint kitchen window sashes
  40. Give bathroom second coat of paint over tub
  41. TBD
  42. TBD
  43. TBD
  44. TBD
  45. TBD
  46. TBD
  47. TBD
  48. TBD
  49. TBD
  50. TBD
  51. TBD
  52. TBD

Additionally, each week I want to:

  • Send a letter
  • Play the piano for at least an hour
  • Play the cello for at least 15 minutes
  • Read for at least an hour
  • Photograph a specific theme or idea

What are some of the things you hope to accomplish this year?