Snowed In

ok ok ok ok ok.  I know that Christmas is long gone, I get it really.  And on that note I promise that today will be the LAST Christmas related post until next season.  But that still leaves today…so prepare yourself!

My snow day was pretty productive.  Neither of these projects are new, I’ve showcased them on here before, but I was just happy to finish up and be done with the holiday season crafts.  First up, I finished off another set of holiday coasters.  I’m loving not wasting the wrapping paper I had left over from gifts, and I think they came out looking pretty festive!

Father Christmas!

I also added a square of felt onto the back, to avoid scratching table tops or whatever other surface the coaster might be on.  I simply attached with my best friend, the glue gun.

Small square of felt gets glued to the back

Pretty little stack of coasters ready to go

I tied ’em up, and chose a thinner ribbon this time, to avoid covering the entire Santa face.  And now I just need to store them away for next year.  Only…346 days until Christmas next year!

The other day my mom popped into our neighborhood Walgreens and what do you know?  All holiday items majorly on sale!  You betcha.  Being the recipient of one of my ornament wreaths last year, she’s a big fan.  So she stocked up on a cart full of ornaments and came home bearing gifts.  Today I finally had the time to sit down and tackle gluing all the tops on to prep the ornaments for wreath making.  I really wasn’t kidding when I said the glue gun was my best friend…

174 ornaments later…and I was good to go.  Now don’t be fooled by the picture above, the majority are red, but there were some pops of color in there as well!

Blue, green, gold, and silver bulbs are hiding!

Some of these bulbs are glass, but I would highly recommend sticking to plastic or shatter proof ornaments.  Inevitably you will end up dropping one and breaking it, which is always a disappointment.  I only broke one, but still…go the plastic route!

One of the advantages to finally tackling this project helped with my New Years Resolution…less clutter!  This got 7, count them baby, 7(!) boxes of ornaments up and off of my floor!  Now that’s impressive.  Some of the glass ornaments had these dividers in the container:

I decided to save them because while a typical paint palette isn’t incredibly expensive, you can’t beat free!  For the next project I work on that needs a palette for dividing paint colors, I know just where to go looking!

Anyways, here’s a peak at the finished product!

All it’s lacking is a nice ribbon bow at the top…one day.

 I love how colorful and fun it looks!  Unfortunately I still have tons of ornaments left…looks like sometime in the near future I’ll have to make at least one more wreath, but we’ll see!  I know you all must think I’m crazy for still making holiday related projects when January is half over…but now is the time to do it!  Get all the materials after the holidays while they are ridiculously on sale, and then you will be super prepared for next year!  At least that’s what I tell myself…

I promise my next post will be something totally unrelated to Christmas.  I swear my ideas branch out a lot farther…

Off for another riveting, I’m sure, episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  And then…my 1 day work week!  How shall I ever survive?

I’m dreaming of a white…Wednesday

Holy snow batman!  This is what I saw when I woke up this morning:

There’s a house in there…somewhere.  Photo courtesy of my Dad

I was giddy as a little school girl, because school cancellations and snow days are WAY more fun as a teacher than they ever were as a student.  I’m sure I’ll feel differently about that once I’m a parent, but for now, I’ll take it!  The snow day came at the perfect time.  As you can tell from my lack of posting the last few days, I was literally, and figuratively, knocked on my ASS with the flu.  I’m talking Sunday night to Wednesday morning I didn’t go anywhere other than from my bed, to the couch, and back.  Non stop fever, cold chills followed by hot sweats, constant full body aches, no appetite, headache up the wazoo, you name it.  Blegh.  I’m so glad the worst is over.  I still have a lingering sore throat, but feel 1,000 times better than I did.

I did end up having to take Monday and Tuesday as sick days, and then was lucky enough to get today off as a snow day, and whats that…oh the phone ringing?  Tomorrow is a snow day too?  You don’t say?!?  Well hallelujah!  I’ll be good to go by Friday, I think I can manage a 1 day work week.  And then its off to the Big Apple with Sister’s 1 and 2 for Wicked on Broadway!  Merry Christmas to us, thanks Mom!

Considering I’ve been on the couch or in my bed for the last 3 days, I haven’t gotten much done.  But I was visiting my friends over at eighteen25, and perusing through some of their older posts and came across this adorable To Do List with a free print out.  Umm hello, it doesn’t get easier than that.  So I printed it off, and stuck it in an old 8×10 Ikea frame I had lying around (free, I guess it does get even easier!).  And I love what I’ve come up with!  Thanks ladies!

Not only is this practical and cute, but it totally fits in with my New Years Resolution to stay organized.  I’ve even filled it with things to do…and checked off a few!  Productivity at its best.  I may end up painting the frame, or adding some kind of color to make it pop, but for now I’m pretty happy.  If you want to see their take, and find the free print off, click here.

I also finished off some of the coasters I made the other day.  Added felt to the bottom, and wrapped ’em up with a ribbon and now they’re ready to be a hostess gift or something next year.  Let’s just hope by next year I remember where they are!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Wednesday, and aren’t quite as snowed in, or flu like as I was!

Coasting right on through…

Something I discovered, only last year, was an elite little product called Mod Podge, and we’ve been having a casual love affair ever since.  I have not dared to branch out terribly far on my decoupage adventure, but I continue to see Mod Podge and I having a lasting relationship, which means bigger and better projects are surely on the horizon.

With Christmas ending I thought a great recycled use for all that wrapping paper would be some festive coasters.  Even if it means that I have to put them away until next year…but something as simple as this would be great for having around the house or giving as small gifts, perhaps a host gift for a holiday party you attend next year.  Never hurts to make in advance and then store for the next year!

All the supplies you need are tile coasters (16 cents a pop at home depot, beat that!), mod podge, decorative paper (I chose to recycle wrapping paper left over from the holidays, but you can use anything such as paper napkins, fabric, stickers, scraps of paper, etc.  Whatever you think looks visually appealing) a pencil, sponge brush, and some scissors.  I also like to keep a handy dandy art roller close at hand, but that is completely optional.

All the goods
My handy dandy art roller, I have found that it helps to remove wrinkles and bubbles

Step 1:  Decide what part of the paper looks most visually appealing, place the tile on top and trace around it with your pencil.  If any pencil gets transferred to the side of your tile, fret not, it easily wipes off.  The paper does not have to be the exact size of the tile, you can add small elements and have blank tile exposed, I chose to cover the whole surface.

Trace around the tile with a pencil

 Step 2:  Cut out the shape that you traced, line up with the tile and trim the edges so that the paper doesn’t over hang the sides.

Cut out squares of paper

Step 3:  Spread a very thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile

Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge to the tile

Step 4:  Carefully lay the paper down on the tile, make sure the edges match up, even out any wrinkles or bubbles.  This is where I use my trusty art roller, I feel like it really helps to even out the paper and avoid wrinkles or bubbles.  Be aware that the thinner the paper you use (ie: paper napkins) the more wrinkles you are likely to have.  But wrinkles aren’t the end of the world, they give your coasters character!

Lay down the paper over the layer of Mod Podge

Step 5:  The next step is to cover the paper with a generous layer of Mod Podge.  Make sure you get all the corners and edges, this will help seal the paper onto the tile.  Try to make even strokes, big globs of glue are more likely to dry white rather than clear, so try to evenly spread across the whole tile.

Cover in an even, but generous layer of Mod Podge

Step 6:  Your tile will look like it is covered in wet Elmer’s Glue, which is normal (and can actually be used as a substitute if you don’t have a bottle of Mod Podge lying around).  You now have to, impatiently, wait for the Mod Podge to dry.

Wet glue waiting to dry

Step 7:  Once the Mod Podge is sufficiently dry (usually 15-20 minutes) make another layer.  I’m usually happy with 2-3 layers but often times do each layer in alternating brush strokes to avoid streaks (first layer vertical, second layer horizontal).

Waiting for the second layer to dry…

Step 8:  This step is optional.  Once everything is completely dry, I recommend overnight to be on the safe side, I tend to use a spray on sealant.  This helps to preserve the paper and add an extra water proof layer (especially for coasters).  I like and would recommend Plaid, I have had a lot of success with their clear acrylic sealer.

Step 9:  The final step is to add something to the bottom of the tile so that it doesn’t scratch whatever surface you choose to put it on.  I have used furniture pads, felt, and cork.  You can come up with whatever method you like the best.  I enjoy felt because it is the least expensive way to cover the entire bottom, but I also like individual felt circles, which can be placed on the four corners.  Cork is a little more on the expensive side, but you can buy a roll of cork and cut it to individual sizes that will meet your needs.

Here is a peek at my finished products!

And here are a few other coasters I made last year, just to give you an idea of some other options:

Pretty coasters

As you can tell from the background of my photos, I completed this entire project from the comfort of my bed courtesy of my new “lap desk” (thanks mom and dad!).  This is not a route I would recommend, but just goes to show how simple it really is.  Some how in my mind I justified coming home from work nursing a migraine and a sore throat as warrant for an afternoon in bed.  It was bad enough for me to back out of the typical Thursday Grey’s Anatomy night with the girls…

Well I hope you liked my short trip down decoupage lane.  I urge you all to try it…it really is that simple, and rewarding!  Happy Thursday!

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress: EEEK, gotta get going on the less clutter part, stat!