Tag Archives: diy

Changing Views

25 Jun

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A little over a week ago I made the kids go outside, still in their pajamas, and run around in the back yard while I frantically snapped pictures.  They thought their dad and I had lost our minds, and I am sure they really thought we had gone off the deep end when Jason and I just stood behind our house, Jason shaking his head and me crying.

When Jason came home a few months ago and told me that all of the timber on the land adjoining ours had been sold, I didn’t think too much about it.  You know, it was one of those things that just wasn’t going to happen.  But two weeks ago, they moved the saw in, and the next morning we were awaked by the sounds of trees being cut down: a sharp squeal of a saw followed by a crash.

I know not everyone understands this, but losing these trees has been so sad for us.  We spend a lot of time outside, and the canopy of trees around us that has been forming for the past 100 years or so is one of the best things about living where we do.  It is hard to explain to the kids that even they, in their lifetimes, won’t see that view out of our kitchen window.

So, one by one the trees have been coming down, and every day there is another chunk of sky or torn-up ground visible through the thin line of trees left on our property line.  Jason and I joked about chaining ourselves to one of the trees in protest, but we both know that there is nothing to do but get over it.

So, in my effort to get over it, I am trying to cheer up my kitchen window.  I spend a lot (I mean, a ridiculous amount of time) looking out of this window, because it is where I stand when I cook or wash dishes.  I love to look out that window, but the view isn’t quite what it once was. Plus, I have really been neglecting the window and window sill.  It was really quite pitiful!

Brighten up a windowsill1

Bad, right?  My poor lipstick plant definitely needs to be repotted in a bigger pot, and Maddie’s rock that we brought her from Mexico (sounds ridiculous, but she loves that thing) needs to find a new home.  Plus, the window is just plain dirty.  Definitely neglected.

So, I moved the plant to the back deck (Don’t worry-I am going to save it!) and gave Maddie her rock to relocate (She’s been rolling it around in her stroller all afternoon), and got to cleaning.  That in itself made a huge difference.

Before we built our house, we had to tear down some really old houses that were here.  The people who lived here threw their trash out in the woods, so every time it rains now, glass and other things rise to the top.  We find all sorts of old glass bottles and keep most of them.

I got some of my favorite bottles that we have found and used them to hold some different plants from the yard.  Turned out really pretty, I think!

Brighten up a windowsill3

 

Brighten up a windowsill2

 

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So, even though the view out my kitchen window is changing, I still plan to enjoy being at my sink and looking out of the window.  I do spend half of my life there, after all, so might as well do everything I can to make it pleasant!

 

 

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Turning Christmas Trees into Summer Trees

24 Apr

I had to have Maddie in Cary for a dentist appointment at 8:00 this morning, which was totally CRAZY for us. I can’t remember the last time I was dressed and out and about that early in the morning, and I didn’t like it one bit! When my alarm went off before 6, Jason said, “Do you remember when you used to get up at 5:30 every morning to go to work?” I do, and I don’t miss it!

The pediatric dentist was amazing, and Maddie acted just as she predicted.  Yesterday, I asked her if she was going to be a good girl at the dentist.  She responded, “After I’m bad.”  I thought at the time that was pretty funny, but that is exactly what she did this morning!  At least she follows through….

One plus side to going to Cary this morning was that we got to go to Target.  We live a little ways from any good stores, so going to Target is pretty eventful for us.  I was finally able to buy some supplies to do something I have been wanting to do for awhile (since the beginning of January, actually).

When we took down our decorations after Christmas, Charlie got pretty depressed.  He was upset it was over, he missed Martin (our Elf on the Shelf), and he didn’t want me to take down our decorations.  I agreed to leave the little trees in his and Maddie’s rooms, and we decided after a few weeks that we would transform them into Valentine’s trees, then Easter trees, then summer trees.

Valentine’s Day and Easter are now over, and the kids still have Christmas trees in their rooms.

Christmas trees-minus some ornaments because the kids have been slowly been picking them off and playing with or breaking them.

Christmas trees-minus some ornaments because the kids have been slowly been picking them off and playing with or breaking them.

 

I found several bags of summer-themed foam stickers in the $1 section of Target.  I peeled the backs off of 2 matching stickers, then stuck them back-t0-back around a pipe cleaner.  They made really cute ornaments!

I found several bags of summer-themed foam stickers in the $1 section of Target. I peeled the backs off of 2 matching stickers, then stuck them back-to-back around a pipe cleaner. They made really cute ornaments!

 

This is the finished sunshine ornament.  I wrapped the pipe cleaner around a branch, then twisted the ends of the pipe cleaner into little curls.

This is the finished sunshine ornament. I wrapped the pipe cleaner around a branch, then twisted the ends of the pipe cleaner into little curls.

 

Charlie working on a snail for Maddie's tree.

Charlie working on a snail for Maddie’s tree.

 

...and his masterpiece!

…and his masterpiece!

 

We used pinwheels (also found in Target's $1 section) for our tree toppers.  I just removed the sticks and the wheels fit perfectly on the tops of the trees.

We used pinwheels (also found in Target’s $1 section) for our tree toppers. I just removed the sticks and the wheels fit perfectly on the tops of the trees.

 

A little frog ornament for Charlie's tree.

A little frog ornament for Charlie’s tree.

 

And a football ornament for Charlie's tree.  These were actually on his Christmas tree, but he wanted to keep them for his summer tree, too.

And a football ornament for Charlie’s tree. These were actually on his Christmas tree, but he wanted to keep them for his summer tree, too.

 

Maddie and her finished tree!  I found some great globe lights in Target, and we wrapped some yellow streamers around the tree as a finishing touch.

Maddie and her finished tree! I found some great globe lights in Target, and we wrapped some yellow streamers around the tree as a finishing touch.

 

...and here's Charlie with his tree.  A little burlap around the bottom covers the cords.

…and here’s Charlie with his tree. We hung some balls on his tree, too. A little burlap around the bottom covers the cords.

 

I am so glad we finally got this done.  The kids love them, and I can finally check “take down Christmas decorations” off my to-do list!

Mod Podge Easter Eggs

9 Apr

If you remember, last year the kids and I dyed Easter eggs the old-fashioned way, and I promised myself that this year we would try something new.  Today, we made these gorgeous Easter eggs using Mod Podge and scraps of magazine paper.

All you need are some old magazines, scissors, sponges or paint brushes, Mod Podge, and some eggs.  I had these white plastic eggs, but you could use any plastic eggs or even real eggs.

All you need are some old magazines, scissors, sponges or paint brushes, Mod Podge, and some eggs. I had these white plastic eggs, but you could use any plastic eggs or even real eggs.

 

Cut colorful paper out of your magazine into small squares and triangles, then "paint" the paper scraps onto the eggs with the Mod Podge.

Cut colorful paper out of your magazine into small squares and triangles, then “paint” the paper scraps onto the eggs with the Mod Podge.

 

Mod Podge Easter Eggs3

 

Some of our finished eggs.

Some of our finished eggs.

 

I love how they turned out.  The Mod Podge makes them shiny.  I would advise that you use plastic eggs so you can save them to use for decorations next year.

I love how they turned out. The Mod Podge makes them shiny. I would advise that you use plastic eggs so you can save them to use for decorations next year.

 

Even though we had a great time making these and I think they are just beautiful, I do think we will also spend a morning dying eggs.  The kids love it, and it’s just a tradition that I want to keep alive!

31 Days Unplugged – Day 10 – Key Fob Wristlet Tutorial

9 Mar

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Welcome back to the 31 Days Unplugged challenge!  I know that with the amount of social media you have cut out of your day, you probably have some extra time that you are trying to fill.  One of my goals with this challenge is to give you some ideas of how to spend your time productively and creatively in order to live abundantly for God.

I am so thankful to Kerri Waller for guest-posting on Mommy in Bonlee today.  Kerri is a wife and mother of 3 who plans weddings, attends college, blogs, and creates websites, so she knows quite a bit about time management! This is an awesome DIY from her to get your creative juices flowing.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these cute key fobs instead of making it, you can check out Kerri’s Etsy shop or send her an e-mail at kerri@mintforever.com. (Pssssttt…there’s a giveaway at the end!!!)

Hi everyone! My name is Kerri and I blog over at Kerri Waller Blog (original, I know). I am guest posting today for the 31 Days Unplugged and I’d like to share a tutorial with you all to make fun key fob wristlets!

These key fob wristlets are the perfect addition for your keys especially if you’re a mom and have your hands full and aren’t carrying a bag with you. They make perfect gifts for family, friends, teachers (teacher appreciation week!), colleagues, etc. You can personalize them to any interest or hobby by choosing the specific ribbon. SO! Here it is:

Supplies

You’ll want to measure and cut about 11″ of ribbon and cotton webbing. This ensures it’s long enough, after folding in half, to still fit on your arm.

Put the sewing pins in the middle of the ribbon. I used about three of them from one end to the other.

Sew one side of the ribbon and webbing from one end to the other end.

Then you can take the pins out and sew the other side of the ribbon and webbing.

After you have sewed both sides and trimmed the excess thread, fold it in half and press.

Take the key fob hardware and put it over the open end of the fob. Use the key fob press to squeeze the hardware together as tight as you possibly can get it. I actually don’t have a key fob press, so I use pliers. :p It works!

And you’re done! You can use any ribbon and color cotton webbing that you want. The possibilities are absolutely endless!

Win a Custom Key Fob Wristlet!

Click here to enter to win your very own custom key fob wristlet from Kerri!

DIY Chevron Wreath

9 Jan

I have been working on cleaning out and selling all of my wreath-making supplies (decided to do away with the business) and found the gray chevron fabric that I used to make this wreath for my mom last fall.  At the time, I had intended to make one for myself, too, but I never got around to it.  Well, today I finally did!  And I love it!  It will be great until the spring, or even longer.

I decided to re-post the original blog for you in case anyone was interested in making one of their own.

 

 

Is anyone else obsessed with chevron like me?  I just love it.  I found some grey chevron scrapbook paper the other day that I just love, and my new yellow chevron pillows are being delivered tomorrow.  I can’t wait!

Mama asked me to make a gray chevron wreath to match her new paint colors, so we went to Hobby Lobby today and got the fabric, and I made it tonight after I put the kids to bed.  It turned out just beautifully and I thought I would give a quick DIY on it.

Gray Chevron Wreath with Flower Embellishment

Supplies Needed:

Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Straw Wreath Form (I used a 15″ Form)

1 Yard of Gray Chevron Fabric 

Silk Flowers of Your Choice

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1. Cut the fabric into strips about 6 inches wide.  Make your cut in the direction of the arrows in the chevron pattern.

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2. Cut those strips into pieces that are 10 inches in length.

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3. Take each fabric strip and fold over one edge.  Secure it with the hot glue gun.

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4. Begin gluing the strips of fabric to the straw wreath form.  Secure one edge to the back of the form with the hot glue gun.

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5. Pull the fabric tightly around the form and secure the end of the fabric to the straw form using the hot glue gun.

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6. Continue adding strips of fabric, overlapping the side of the fabric that is folded over onto the fabric on the form so the frayed edge of the fabric isn’t showing.  For a more uniform look, line up the pattern of the chevron on the front of the wreath.

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You will need to fold over the fabric a bit to keep it tight around the form.
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Halfway there!

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7. For the last piece of fabric, fold over both sides so the frayed edges are not showing, then secure it to the wreath the same as the other pieces.

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All done!

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8. Use the hot glue gun to add the flowers of your choice.

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And all done!

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Isn’t it pretty?  I can’t wait until Mama sees it.  And luckily, I have enough fabric left to make one for myself!

Some New Creations…

29 Aug

Casey, Julie, and I have kind of been on the fence as to whether or not we want to continue with our Mommy in Bonlee business this holiday season.  We have taken the summer off and are feeling re-energized now, so have decided to make a few things for the fall and Halloween season.

I spent all day yesterday making some wreaths, and I must say I really enjoyed myself!  I really like making them, and love seeing them on my door (and other people’s doors) even more!

I love this one for fall, and it looks great on my red front door:

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I really like this one for football season.  Go pirates!

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Casey is busy with some tutus for Halloween, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.  I think a mummy costume is in the works!

If you are interested in seeing more of our creations or buying anything, just click the Facebook link on the right.  You can order through that page, or you can click on the link to our Storenvy shop and order that way.

I need to get focused now on packing for our Labor Day beach trip-so excited that we are staying at a hotel and someone else will be vacuuming and cooking and making our bed!

Have a great day, everyone!

DIY Chevron Wreath

9 Jul

Is anyone else obsessed with chevron like me?  I just love it.  I found some grey chevron scrapbook paper the other day that I just love, and my new yellow chevron pillows are being delivered tomorrow.  I can’t wait!

Mama asked me to make a gray chevron wreath to match her new paint colors, so we went to Hobby Lobby today and got the fabric, and I made it tonight after I put the kids to bed.  It turned out just beautifully and I thought I would give a quick DIY on it.

Gray Chevron Wreath with Flower Embellishment

Supplies Needed:

Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Straw Wreath Form (I used a 15″ Form)

1 Yard of Gray Chevron Fabric 

Silk Flowers of Your Choice

DSC_0435

1. Cut the fabric into strips about 6 inches wide.  Make your cut in the direction of the arrows in the chevron pattern.

DSC_0436

2. Cut those strips into pieces that are 10 inches in length.

DSC_0437

3. Take each fabric strip and fold over one edge.  Secure it with the hot glue gun.

DSC_0438

4. Begin gluing the strips of fabric to the straw wreath form.  Secure one edge to the back of the form with the hot glue gun.

DSC_0440

5. Pull the fabric tightly around the form and secure the end of the fabric to the straw form using the hot glue gun.

DSC_0441

6. Continue adding strips of fabric, overlapping the side of the fabric that is folded over onto the fabric on the form so the frayed edge of the fabric isn’t showing.  For a more uniform look, line up the pattern of the chevron on the front of the wreath.

DSC_0442

You will need to fold over the fabric a bit to keep it tight around the form.
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Halfway there!

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7. For the last piece of fabric, fold over both sides so the frayed edges are not showing, then secure it to the wreath the same as the other pieces.

DSC_0445

All done!

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8. Use the hot glue gun to add the flowers of your choice.

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And all done!

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Isn’t it pretty?  I can’t wait until Mama sees it.  And luckily, I have enough fabric left to make one for myself!

Dying Easter Eggs

28 Mar

We have had a lot of fun this week beginning our Easter traditions.  This is the first year that Charlie really understands what is going on, and of course if Charlie likes it Maddie is totally into it!  We have been learning a lot with our resurrection eggs and some library books about the whole point of Easter-that Jesus died and was resurrected.  We have also been doing the other Easter stuff, like Easter egg hunts and dying eggs.  We dyed our eggs on Monday, and I am just now getting around to posting about it!

I had aspirations to do lots of great, creative things with our Easter eggs, but ended up just buying the good ol’ Paas Easter egg kit and going for it.  We didn’t even write on them with crayons before we dyed them!  Maybe next year…

Both Maddie and Charlie got a big kick out of watching the color tablets dissolve in the vinegar.

Both Maddie and Charlie got a big kick out of watching the color tablets dissolve in the vinegar.

Working...

Working…

They immediately wanted to take the eggs out of the dye!  I had to make them leave them a little longer so the colors would be a little brighter.

They immediately wanted to take the eggs out of the dye! I had to make them leave them a little longer so the colors would be a little brighter.

Green hands!

Green hands!

Our eggs had a slightly more "natural" color since our eggs were blue and brown instead of white!  I like how they turned out.

Our eggs had a slightly more “natural” color since our eggs were blue and brown instead of white! I like how they turned out.

...and displayed on the table.

…and displayed on the table.

Now the kids can’t wait to destroy the eggs on Easter day!  They want to crack them open so badly.

I have seen some other really cool things with Easter eggs.  One of my favorite blogs is Glitter ‘N Glue, and she had a great post today featuring DIY Glittered Easter eggs.  I wish I had seen this before we dyed our eggs!  Click on the link to see her idea: http://glitternglue.com/2013/03/28/diy-decorative-glittered-easter-eggs/.

This site also has some really cool ideas: http://www.thegirlcreative.com/2013/03/24/creative-ways-to-decorate-easter-eggs.html.

Next year, I am definitely getting more creative with our eggs!  Or I may just stay up late one night and do it myself…

 

 

 

 

 

The Innovative Easter Bunny

25 Mar

This is the end of another great weekend!  The kids and I traveled to Mt. Airy on Friday to spend some time with our family there.  We stopped on our way at the Children’s Museum in Greensboro and had the most fun time.  They basically have  a town set up for young children, complete with a grocery store, theater, a doctor’s and dentist’s office, a post office, a news studio, a firetruck, and tons more stuff.  I wish I had videoed Charlie’s reaction when we walked in.  He kind of doubled over with his arms out and just went “OOOOOOOOOOOOO.” It was the funniest thing I have ever seen.  I love being there for experiences like that with them.  We had a great time there and I could barely get them to leave.

We had a great visit in Mt. Airy as well.  I am always glad when we can go and spend the night rather than rushing back home in one day.  Even though I don’t get much sleep that night, it is worth it to get to spend some time with Daddy and Grandma and Julie.  Daddy spent time coloring with the kids and he and Maddie made pancakes on Saturday morning.

Today was a busy day at church for us.  Jason and I taught Sunday School, then after the service the youth sponsored a lunch to raise money for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.  It is always great to spend some extra time with my family from church!  After lunch the kids had an Easter egg hunt.  Because of the cold, rainy weather, we had to “hide” the eggs inside, but it was still fun!

Maddie getting a lift to reach one of the harder-to-find eggs.

Maddie getting a lift to reach one of the harder-to-find eggs.

Charlie going through his loot.

Charlie going through his loot.

The whole crowd! I love these kids.

The whole crowd! I love these kids.

Maddie with some of her friends from church.

Maddie with some of her friends from church.

After we got home, Charlie and Maddie dumped out their baskets and started going through their findings.  Of course it was mostly candy.  I have been thinking today (especially considering that Charlie has a dentist appointment tomorrow) that there have got to be some alternatives to candy in the eggs!  Here’s what I came up with:

1. stickers (you may have to cut a sheet of stickers into smaller pieces to fit in the eggs)

2. necklaces (I found some good ones here:  http://www.orientaltrading.com/bright-cross-necklaces-a2-36_1494-12-1.fltr?Ntt=crosses)

3. hair bows or clips for girls

4. quarters, nickels, and dimes

5. magnets

6. stamps and ink

7. small containers of play-doh

8. bracelets

9. stuffed animals (these baby chicks are too cute: http://www.orientaltrading.com/baby-chicks-a2-48_8752.fltr?prodCatId=550678&tabId=6)

10. packets of seeds

11. raisins

12. toy cars

13. Silly Bands

14. erasers

15. tattoos

16. bouncy balls

17. rolled up socks

18. Lego pieces (look at this cute bunny and chick set: http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Seasonal-Bunny-Bagged-40031/dp/B007F824HW%3FSubscriptionId%3D14H876SFAKFS0EHBYQ02%26tag%3Dhubp06ac0-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB007F824HW)

19. Band-Aids (the kids love these)

20. little plastic animals

21. lip gloss or chap stick

22. nail polish

23. mini hand sanitizer

24. pencil sharpeners

25. fruit snacks

Any more ideas?  Comment below!  I am sure I’m not the only mother who would appreciate having the Easter bunny leave things other than candy behind in those baskets!

 

 

DIY Bookend

16 Mar

Good morning!  I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful Saturday.  It is going to be a gorgeous day in NC today-the high is 74, so I am in the process of opening all of our windows and letting in some fresh air.  Hopefully we can spend the rest of the day outside!

Every spring Jason and I embark on a renovation project of some area of our yard, and this year we are focusing on the side of our house by the garage.  It is very rocky and shady, so we don’t have any grass or plants on this side of our house and it annoys me every time I walk outside and see it!  Jason uses it to place things that he doesn’t use but thinks he will some day, so it has become an eyesore in my opinion.  Hopefully we can change that this spring and summer.

One of the things that Jason has sitting in this area of our yard is a big stack of bricks.  They were leftover from when we built the foundation of our house, so they have been there for quite awhile!  Charlie and I painted some of the bricks a couple of weeks ago and used them to mark the beginning and end of our strawberry patch, and I have been on the lookout for some other things we could do with the bricks.

Since Jason and I both teach Sunday School, we have a couple of commentaries that are easier to just leave out on our dresser.  I don’t like how they look just standing alone, so I decided to make a bookend using a brick.  It was really simple to do and I love the finished product!

You will need:

1 brick

felt

a glue gun

a cardboard letter (very cheap at Hobby Lobby)

spray paint

I painted my "W" blue to match our bedroom walls.  I decided to leave the brick its natural color.  You could paint both the letter and the brick white and that would be really pretty.

I painted my “W” blue to match our bedroom walls. I decided to leave the brick its natural color. You could paint both the letter and the brick white and that would be really pretty.

This glue gun is one that I found when I moved into my first classroom 12 years ago!  Maybe I should ask for a new one for my birthday!

This glue gun is one that I found when I moved into my first classroom 12 years ago! Maybe I should ask for a new one for my birthday!

Glue some felt onto the bottom of the brick-otherwise it will scratch your furniture.

Glue some felt onto the bottom of the brick-otherwise it will scratch your furniture.

Glue your letter to the brick, and done!

Glue your letter to the brick, and done!

Pretty, isn't it?

Pretty, isn’t it?

I also love my peacock feathers!

I also love my peacock feathers!

I really liked how this turned out.  I have a couple of other places that need a cute bookend, so I think I’ll have to make a trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up some more letters!