My first DIY Challenge

I am just warming up to having my own blog, I had one a long time ago and just got out of the habit. Then a creativity group I saw someone post about a DIY challenge with promotional materials and I was intrigued. I love crafting and I like play around with old things and make something new. So I messaged Jenna Kaufman at to learn about her challenge. She sends out promotional materials that she has piled up and challenges other crafters to create whatever they are inspired to, how fun! After we talked I was very interested and I signed up for the challenge. I shared that I craft in many different ways, my favorite holiday is Christmas and my favorite color is red and she created me a box.

So yesterday I dug out the box and decided to create. I had a fun collection of randomness from Jenna, my favorite collection of X-Acto knives and my Kindle for musical inspiration 🙂  Guess I should have been listening to my Christmas playlist.


The idea is to run with the theme, in my case Christmas in July. I can use any or all of the items in the box and I can add things from around my house. I had a whole lot of fun and I just wanted to share with all of you! This is not so much an instructional post because you may never have these items sitting around to be deconstructed. But I want to inspire you to look at things in a new light and be creative.

First I decided to make a wreath out of the Frisbee. I put my knife set to work immediately, cutting the middle out. I already had loose flowers that I use to decorate at Christmas so I wanted to design a wreath that would go with it. Since the flowers are red I painted the frisbee black for a base. Most paint chips off plastic easily so you’d want a paint for plastics or you could wrap fabric around the frisbee. Then I looked through the box of promotional materials and saw a black ribbon. It was not long enough to wind around the wreath or to tie a bow, so I cut it in fourths and glued it on. Then I glued leaves from my bunch of flowers.


I added the red flowers but it needed a little something more. So I went back to the box and got a star shaped chip clip. I separated the parts, painted the star silver and added it. Now what used to be a frisbee is a wreath that will match my Christmas decorations. Due to the slope of the edge I will have to create a notch on the back to hang it up easier but I was able to get it on the door for the photo.



Now that my wreath is done I turned back to the box and pulled out a adorable keychain sock money. Now what would Christmas be without an ornament? He was pretty awesome as is but I wanted to help him prepare for the cold winter. I still had another ribbon so I took it and cut it into three equal strips. I did not have anyone else at the house to hold the end so I used the other chip clip magnetized to the fridge to braid easier.


Only thing left to do is hot glue the braided ribbon around the monkeys neck and then I removed the keychain clip and replaced it with a ornament hook. Voila a very easy new ornament for my tree this year!


I was happy with my new decorations but I was still feeling crafty. In the box I had found a paper fan. I knew I could make something pretty with that.


First thing I did was add a little hot glue to the back of the wooden base so it would stay open permanently. This is optional because it’s a trade off. Makes it harder to protect but it keeps the paint from getting messed up every time it gets opened and closed. I just plan to modpodge the finished product so it stays more stiff and is a little more sturdy than just paper. I unfortunately did not get photos of the steps of this one because I just started painting and did not think about it. I painted several layers of white paint to block out the pre-existing pattern then got creative. I decorate my tree in red, black, and silver so those were the colors I worked with. I used paint pens and had a lot of fun.


It is not specifically Christmas but I love it! It became my favorite thing I created yesterday. My husband saw it when he came home then later noticed bits of paint on the side of my hand and asked if I had painted. I laughed and said of course I did you were looking at it earlier. He told me he thought I had bought it! That made me happy.


So there you have it, I hope this post has inspired you to look at things anew and listen to your creative side!



Yesterday was Mother’s day. A day for recognizing one of the people in our lives who had a big hand getting us to where we are today. They carried us, fed us, taught us and all too often we take them for granted. Despite this they still get up and continue to feed and teach us. They love us and I think in most cases if they could go back in time and sign up for the spit up, dirty diapers, sleepless nights and teenage angst all over again, they would. My mother has had ten children. Life was not perfect but whose is? I admire the choice my parents made to have a large family. I would not trade any of my siblings and the history we have together for the ability to have been bought nicer things or have had more one-on-one time with my parents. My older sister has five of her own and I love my nieces and nephews. I have not had the opportunity to experience motherhood yet but it is something I look forward to with my whole heart.

Saturday I graduated from college and a lot of my family was able to attend and celebrate with me. My Mother-in-Law was missed terribly. She passed away just a couple weeks ago. The love she showed to me is something I will cherish. She told me she loved me over and over and she showed it by the way she cared about what was going on in my life. She would have loved to attend the graduation, she was so proud that my husband, her son, and I were both going to be college graduates. So as I consider Mothers Day I think about my Mom and what she has done for me and my Mother in Law who I wish I could have had for longer. I hope that one day when I am a mother I can make them both proud.

A gentle reminder…

I read a really timely article earlier about recognizing what you have and being grateful and satisfied. These last couple weeks I have been going over my budget over and over and have been kind of bummed about not having much money. Now I don’t mean that I’m sitting around pitiful because I can’t eat out all the time or go to the movies, I do have legitimate financial concerns that have been causing me to stress. It’s school time and I have a $125 textbook that is out of the question, my five year old laptop has a flickering screen that freaks me out every time, my tennis shoes were coming apart, I worry about gas money and as pathetic as it sounds I was totally ok that the prize for a silly college game was a pack of toilet paper. BUT that being said after I read the aforementioned article I took a moment to really appreciate all that I do have.

I have family, friends and a wonderful boyfriend; people who love me. People who care about me and check up on me. Over the past couple years my church has become like family to me which is really nice since my family is in another state while I’m going to school and it’s been hard not being able to see them much. I miss my siblings and it seems every time I go home they’ve grown another foot, so it’s nice to see smiling faces weekly who ask how I am doing and do nice things for me. I have been so blessed by the love of God shown through them.

I am debt free, sure it means making do, not always having money for textbooks and not being able to have the latest technology. But I am so grateful that financial aid and scholarships have allowed me to come to college with a level of financial freedom. I will graduate in May after five years of getting to learn new skills, interests, and ideas all without incurring dept that I would have had to pay off in the years to come. Some people don’t have this blessing, some colleges cost a great deal above what financial aid will cover, some people have to go to law school, medical school or grad school to pursue their dreams but I don’t and I am grateful that I owe no one.

Remember I mentioned my falling apart shoes (I was not being dramatic) I had two friends who knew about my tight budget who both gave me a pair of shoes that they don’t wear anymore, both better quality shoes than the ones I had bought for myself that were falling apart. And aside from that awesome and timely blessing I have plenty of clothes to wear, I even have clothes in my closet that I never wear.

I have a work study job (I just had a couple weeks off between school semesters, which is the reason for the low funds) that works with my school schedule and lets off for all weekends and holidays. It isn’t perfect, I’d certainly love to be above minimum wage but it pays the bills and it is more than some people have.

I have a place to live that is filled with stuff, so much stuff that I’ve been researching minimalism to get tips on de-cluttering. Stuff I’ve been given, stuff I’ve made and stuff I’ve bought, the common denominator? It’s stuff, that’s it…stuff. Of course I love my books and movies, anyone who knows me knows that, and as most artists do I have plenty of artwork and supplies to make more lying around the room. But my point is it’s unnecessary and yet I have an apartment full. I have not only what I need, I have plenty of things that I want.

But most importantly I’ve got grace, God gave it to me when I least deserved it. As the lyrics to a song called “O The Blood” go

“O what love
No greater love
Grace, how can it be
That in my sin
Yes, even then
He shed His blood for me”

I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and I can think of no greater reason to be grateful today. But God doesn’t stop there, I have my relationships, job, school, home, books, movies and all that is in addition to things I take for granted most every day, my sight and hearing, my health, my creativity and my passion. So what reasons do you have to be grateful ?