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Saturday, June 27, 2015

String Art Initials -- Easy Craft Idea

String Art Initial Plaques -- a super easy craft to do with your teens this summer from my3monsters.com
Hi guys!  As you may know, for the past several summers I have had the extreme privilege of heading up the craft cabin at our church's camp for teenage girls. {We call it Girl's Camp.}  I have tons of fun each year coming up with cool new quick & simple craft projects to teach the girls.  This year one of the projects I have planned are these fun String Art Initial plaques.  I can't wait to see how each girl will put her own unique spin on it!! 

Supplies:

wooden plaque in your desired size
3/4" x 18 gauge wire nails
hammer
paint
embroidery floss
scrapbook paper
glue gun

String Art Initial Plaques -- a super easy craft to do with your teens this summer from my3monsters.com
Step 1:  Begin by sanding and painting a wood plaque your desired background color.  I picked up this approx. 5x7 inch wood plaque at Walmart for 97 cents.  A bigger one would be a cool addition to a gallery wall -- they come in all shapes and sizes at craft stores.  For camp I bought some 1x6 pine boards and cut them down to 7" pieces. 

I painted mine plain 'ole white, but I think it would be cool to paint wide stripes or a bright, funky color.

Step 2:  Create a template for your initial.  I printed mine out from the computer and taped it to the wood.  If you are so inclined, you could freehand a design lightly in pencil or chalk directly on the wood. 

Step 3:  Outline your letter shape with small nails as pictured above.  Tap a nail into the wood about every 1/2 inch or so, making sure to get the insides of your letters, too.

String Art Initial Plaques -- a super easy craft to do with your teens this summer from my3monsters.com
Gently remove the paper template or erase your pencil lines.  You want to try and get the nails as straight as possible, but you can see mine are pretty wonky and it turned out fine.

String Art Initial Plaques -- a super easy craft to do with your teens this summer from my3monsters.com
Step 4:  Beginning at one "end" of the letter, tie a piece of embroidery floss onto a nail and start wrapping it around the nails in a random pattern to "fill in" the letter.  The less you think about it, and the more random it is, the better.  If you end up not liking how an area looks, simply unwrap the string and try again.

String Art Initial Plaques -- a super easy craft to do with your teens this summer from my3monsters.com
Step 5:  Once you are satisfied with your string art, tie off the end of the string on another nail and trim all the ends short.

String Art Initial Plaques -- a super easy craft to do with your teens this summer from my3monsters.com
Step 6:  Add a few embellishments.  This is optional, but I thought it added a little something special.  I used coordinating scrapbook papers to make a few rolled paper rosettes and leaves and hot glued them onto the plaque.  If you have never made rolled paper flowers before, this is a great tutorial at By Stephanie Lynn -- her projects are always amazing!

Hot glue a loop of ribbon to the back of the plaque for hanging and you're finished!

String Art Initial Plaques -- a super easy craft to do with your teens this summer from my3monsters.com
I LOVE how it turned out and it really was super easy.  I finished the whole thing in about 20 minutes.  With just a little help, kids of all ages could create their very own string art.  I'm planning on taking the supplies up to the cabin next week for all the cousins to do together one afternoon.  {They'll be my guinnea pigs to see how well it will work at Girl's Camp!}  I'll add some photos after our trip to show you some of the variety you can come up with.

Happy summer, friends!

Amy


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Friday, June 19, 2015

Budget Kitchen Makeover Progress

Budget Kitchen Makeover progress at my3monsters.com
HI guys!  Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?! Almost two years ago I put together this mood board for the main living area of our house -- kitchen, dining room, and family room.  I studied interior design at BYU and I'm kinda' nerdy so this is what I do for fun.  At the time, my husband was out of work and I was feeling very overwhelmed, wanting change, but feeling stuck.  It helped to dream a little bit and visualize a better time in the future.

It didn't seem so at the time, but dark days and challenges do come to an end.  Over the past few months, I've slowly and surely started doing some of the projects I had dreamed of at that time.  Our home is still a work in progress, but y'all, I didn't know I could LOVE this dinky little house so much!  It is bright and warm and the perfect backdrop for our little family.  

I hope this post doesn't come across as braggy.  I'm not trying to be like,"Look at the majestically lovely place I have created for my perfect family who never make messes, darlings. Please hold your applause for the end of the tour."  I mean, come on.  You've all been on Pinterest.  You've all seen the uh-mazing homes that are out there on the internet for us all to drool over and we all know that mine is not really one of them.  This post is meant to encourage you to create a house that you love, even if it's not Pinterest-worthy.  Surround yourself with things that you love, collected over time.  Put your heart and soul, your blood, sweat, and tears into your home.  Dream a little when that's all you are able to do, knowing that someday it will all come together.  I promise.

Budget Kitchen Makeover progress at my3monsters.com
So, we started with a plan -- the first photo of this post.  My first project was giving all my golden yellow walls a coat {or three} of white paint.  It took all of my fall break from work to complete it and was a TOTAL pain in the booty.  My husband was wary because we have always had colorful walls and the whiter things got in here the more stark and "sanitary" things started to look.  Now, I want my house to be sanitary, I just don't want that to be word people use to describe it.  I assured him that when we added in some bright, colorful accessories it was going to be warm and inviting again. And then I prayed that I was right.  {I love my mirror-turned chalkboard on the white background wall. Chalk art design found here. Bright and fun scrappy garland tutorial found here.}

So I decided to tackle the cabinets in the kitchen.  We had already painted all the cabinets white and added chicken wire inserts to the upper cabinets.  With everything white, it seemed like we needed a little color in there. What I really wanted was to paint the lower cabinets navy blue {I have a little love affair with navy blue going on right now} and get lighter countertops.  I used a Sherwin Williams color visualizing tool to give my husband an idea of what it would look like:


So I spent the first few weeks of my summer break stripping the white paint off the lower cabinets and repainting them with my favorite navy blue chalk paint . {Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint in Relic} I also used an adhesive vinyl product called Instant Granite to give the countertops a little makeover.

Budget Kitchen Makeover progress at my3monsters.com
Then, the plate wall -- something I always knew I wanted to have somewhere in my home.  It fit perfectly on the wall above my kitchen.

Budget Kitchen Makeover progress at my3monsters.com
I have been collecting plates from thrift stores with this project in mind for a while, but several of the plates I ended up using were melamine plates from Target.  They weigh next to nothing so I could hang them with Command adhesive strips, and they look just as good as the nicer ceramic dishes when they're hanging on the wall.  I chose a really amorphous layout rather than something symmetrical.  That way I can add to it over time as I find new plates for my collection.  

Budget Kitchen Makeover progress at my3monsters.com

I also hung new curtains from Kirkland's in the living and dining rooms.  That really helped to warm it all back up and make it feel home-y.


Budget Kitchen Makeover progress at my3monsters.com
I keep saying the walls are white, but really they're a milky, creamy color called Du Jour from Valspar.  I love how it changes with the changing light in our home.  {It makes a much prettier backdrop for my Vintage tea cup display, too.}  The cabinets, trim, and picture frames are all Ultra-white and I love the subtle contrast.

Are you all photo-ed out for one day?  I'll share some of the progress we've made in the living room soon.  We still have a lot of projects on our "dream list", but it's coming along.  What projects are you working on this summer?  I'd love to see 'em!

Have a great day, friends!

Amy


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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cheeky Motivational Printable

Free printable -- cake is a sometimes food -- to keep you motivated for healthy eating.  From my3monsters.com
Hi guys!  I've been severely MIA these past few months -- we've had a broken wrist with an accompanying surgery in the family and the busy end of the school year with its accompanying general summer laziness and lack of motivation to work. Those are my excuses and I'm sticking to 'em!  Enough about all that . . . let's just get straight back into the fun.  I am now in my 40's {that's not the fun part} so my doctor put me on his "longevity program".  I underwent the most intense physical of my life only to discover that everything is working in proper order, except I need to go a little easier in the carb department.  {That's not the fun part either.}

Y'all, I wanted to cry when I heard that.  Happy tears, some, for being generally healthy, but the thought of a low-carb life was devastating to me.  I could live -- I mean, I WANT to live -- on homemade bread and caffeine-free Coke alone.  {Apparently it wouldn't be a long and active life, however.  Thanks for smashing my dream, doc.}  And cake.  Don't even get me started on cake.  The worst thing our generation has done is to start selling single slices of cake in the grocery store bakery.  I used to have to get invited to a birthday party to get a delicious corner piece of cake with more fluffy frosting than actual cake. That kept the addiction under control.  Now I just have to be out running errands.  It's just wrong. So, as I embark on gaining a new appreciation for lean protein and vegetables, I made myself a little motivational reminder to hang in the dining room.  

Free printable -- cake is a sometimes food -- to keep you motivated for healthy eating.  From my3monsters.com
Years ago, I was watching Phinneas & Ferb with my kids and there was a scene where the mom was staring at a cake and repeating her mantra, "Cake is a sometimes food."  I laughed so hard.  It has been a little bit of a joke in our family ever since.  Since I like my motivation with a side of cheek, I decided it was high time I made myself a printable. I made two different versions because I couldn't decide which would look better in my space -- a graphic black and white {which, obviously, I ultimately used} and a pretty, soft watercolor version.  Both versions are available in both an 8x10 and 11x14 below.  Just click on the links below the images to download them from my drop box.  Easy cheesy.
Free printable -- cake is a sometimes food -- to keep you motivated for healthy eating.  From my3monsters.com


Free printable -- cake is a sometimes food -- to keep you motivated for healthy eating.  From my3monsters.com

Eating healthier isn't always fun, at least not for me, but it helps to find a little humor in a difficult situation.  I still really want that cake -- like, seriously, I would pay someone right now to bring me some cake and not tell my husband and kids about it.  At least now I can chuckle a little bit about my predicament and get through my worst days by remembering that sometimes {on occasion} I can have cake.  Just not today.  Cake.

Free printable -- cake is a sometimes food -- to keep you motivated for healthy eating.  From my3monsters.com

Have a great day, friends!

Amy



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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces

Hi guys!  A few weeks ago I found a roll of the cutest gray trellis patterned contact paper while I was picking up some stuff for another project at Lowes.  I knew it was exactly the thing I needed to clean up my fridge and give it a little makeover.  I know, I know.  Lining shelves with contact paper -- be it in the fridge or the pantry -- is hardly a novel idea.  But have you ever tried to apply contact paper to glass?  It's quite possibly the most difficult thing in the world to do and have it look good. Today I want to share a little magic with y'all to make the job the job soooooo much easier!

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
Here's a little example of my best attempt at applying contact paper to my glass refrigerator shelf the "old fashioned" way.  Try as I might, I could not avoid getting bubbles, which inevitably creased when I tried to scrape them out.  At one point I tried to peel the contact paper up and smooth it out again, and tore it tout suite.  But add one simple step to the process and . . . 


My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
PERFECTION!  And in a fraction of the time.  I know you're on the edge of your seats to see how I did it, right?!  It's so simple . . . 

Just add water.

It seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it?  Water and sticky stuff usually do not make fast friends.  You just have to trust me on this one.  The contact paper will still stick -- like, really stick -- and the water makes to process of adhering it to the glass soooo much easier.

How to apply contact paper to glass the easy way:


1. Begin by cutting a piece of contact paper approximately the size of your glass shelf.  Err on the generous side because we will trim it down later.

2. Remove one shelf at a time from the fridge and clean it with warm water and dish soap.  {At least I needed to wash mine.  Your fridge may very well be cleaner than mine. Just sayin'.}  After you rinse off the soap, don't dry off the top of the shelf.

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
This is the look you're going for.  Then, peel off the backing of the contact paper and place it on top of the glass.  I promise, this is going to work!  

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
3.  Use a soft cloth to gently smooth the contact paper and push the excess water out the edges.  Just keep rubbing gently from the center to the edges until all the bubbles have been removed.  If you find a really stubborn bubble, you can poke it with a small pin and gently squeeze the water out.  {I used one of my son's insulin syringes to draw the water out, which worked liked magic.  I know not everyone has syringes at their disposal, but if you do, use 'em.}

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
4. After the contact paper is perfectly smooth, use an X-acto knife to trim off the excess paper around the edges for a perfect fit.  Voila!

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
Perfectly smooth, perfectly adhered, perfectly perfect in just a few minutes. 

My Magic Trick for Applying Contact Paper to Glass Surfaces -- trick out your fridge or your windows for almost no money in just minutes! At my3monsters.com
I love the way it makes my boring old fridge look fresh and clean, but it can be used in so many other applications.  I first used this method years ago to put clear contact paper on the french doors in my master bedroom for a frosted glass effect.  Seriously, plain old clear contact paper on a window looks just like frosted glass, for a fraction of the cost and hassle.   It's still there and still looks as good as the day I first applied it.  

{To do a window, use a spray bottle full of plain water to spritz the glass before applying the contact paper.}

Have a great day, friends!

Amy


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Embark!
Passport Stamp Printables

Hi guys!  For the past decade or so I have been involved with our church's youth program for teenage girls and have had the opportunity to attend what we call Girl's Camp every summer.  It is one of my favorite times of the year because it gives me the opportunity to be super creative.  In 2012 our camp was based on a travel theme so I created passports and sticker "stamps" for all my girls. 


Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark
Well, this year the church-wide theme for the youth program is "Embark in the Service of God", and I have received a TON of requests for blank versions of my labels that can be customized for different events.  I am more than happy to share them again so they are more accessible for those who would like to use them!


Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark

Above is the completely blank version that could be used for just about any event you can dream up, and below is a more Girl's Camp specific version, with a stamp for each of the certification requirements. 
Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark

Both sheets can be saved to your computer.  Just hold CTRL while clicking on the desired image above to open it in a new tab.  Click on the image again the new tab to make sure it is full-size, then  right click and "Save Image".   Open the image in a photo-editing program {like Photoshop or PicMonkey} to add your own text.  The sheets are sized to be printed on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.  I used full sheet adhesive labels, then cut them out to make stickers they could save in some passport notebooks we created.  The image I used for the cover is below:


Printable Passport Covers and Stamps for the 2015 LDS Youth Theme at my3monsters.com #embark
I hope that helps some of you who are planning youth activities this year!  Feel free to email me with any questions you may have -- I'll do my best to answer them.


Have a great day!

Amy


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