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Friday, September 26, 2014

Multi-Tasking Furniture



Hello friends! Remember back in June when I shared my beautiful new Sauder dining chairs with y'all? I am still loving them in my dining room, but today I want to show you how you can use your furniture pieces in different ways in order to make them really work for you. Whenever I buy something new for my home, I like to imagine several different ways I could use it so that I know it's a great purchase and I won't get tired of it. I am always tweaking our home decor here and there to keep it from getting stale, so my furniture has to "go with my flow" rather than fight it.

The obvious place to put my pretty blue X-back chairs is around the dining table, which works perfectly for us. I never realized how cramped my dining room felt until we took the giant old chairs out and replaced them with these new petite ones. Let me show you a couple of other ways that I might use these chairs around my house to solve some other decorating dilemmas.

Problem Area #1: The Non-Existent Entry Way


Our front door opens right up into the middle of our main living area -- the family room is to the left and the dining room and kitchen are to the right. There is really nothing that transitions you into the home. Knock on my door and your right in the thick of things! There is also nowhere to put our 'stuff" when we get home -- no logical place to stow backpacks, purses and extra shoes. So I have used my dining chairs here to create the sense of an entryway.



Placing a chair on either side of our big entertainment armoire gives us a place to sit down and put on our shoes before we leave the house and it breaks up the wide open space a little, making the entry feel a little more welcoming.



Having a couple of extra chairs right in the living room also comes in handy when we have guests. My kids pull them out all the time when they are playing video games with their friends. They are also convenient to pull into the dining room if we put the leaf in the table and need extra seating.

Problem Area #2: The Itty Bitty Master Bedroom


I've said it before, I'll say it again -- our house is tiny y'all! That means we really have to make stuff work for us. Years ago we found some fabulous bedroom furniture for our master bedroom -- it is big and chunky, sturdy and comfortable. And we barely have room for the big ol' bed and dresser in our space. I have always loved the idea of using chairs as side "tables' for a bed.



These chairs sit right next to the bed at the perfect height to hold all the bedside necessities without taking up a ton of space. They also don't have a lot of visual weight so they don't make the room look cluttered. I love that they don't hide the board and batten detail on the walls behind them.



They also work great as a place to sit and put on shoes in the morning or take them off at the end of the day.

If you invest in high-quality, versatile furniture pieces, they will keep working for you for years to come. Check out my Pinterest board to see more great furniture pieces that could be used in multiple ways.

Have a great weekend, guys!

Amy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DIY Spell Book Tutorial on Craftaholics Anonymous!

Halloween Spell Book by My 3 Monsters on Craftaholics Anonymous
Hi guys!  I am super excited about the project I am sharing over at Craftaholics Anonymous this month.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love coming up with fun new decorations every year.  This year I took an old book from the thrift store and gave it a "magical" makeover.  Head over to Craftaholics Anonymous to get the free cover image printables and learn how to make your own.  

Happy Halloween Crafting!

Amy


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Going Solar with Sunrun


Hi guys!  Today we're going to talk about something a little out of the ordinary for me -- Solar Power.  {Hey, it's fun to mix things up once in a while to keep us all on our toes, right?}  We moved to Arizona nearly 13 years ago and it immediately felt like home.  But as much as we love it, the strength of the sun never ceases to amaze me.  I mean, really, you'd think I would get used to it -- they don't call it "the Valley of the Sun" for nothin'.  Moving here from California, I assumed everything would run on solar power.  Why would people not take full advantage of all that sunshine?  While there is a lot of solar power being used here, I was surprised that not one of the houses we looked at had solar panels.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Super Easy Book Page Garland

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com
Hi guys!  I adore the look of old books and book page art.  Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of old books from thrift stores that I like to use for little projects around my house.  Don’t worry — none of them are valuable, though I did find Gary Cooper’s autograph on a slip of paper inside an old book one time!  Most of my stash have already had their covers removed and used for other projects, so all that is left are the beautiful old, yellowing pages that are so perfect for vintage-style home decor projects like this one.  I have used these book page garlands all over the place lately — in my dining room, in my office at work, and to decorate for a vintage paper doll themed baby shower.  They are quick, easy, and inexpensive — the perfect crafting trifecta!

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com

You will need:

  • an old book that you don’t mind tearing a few pages out of
  • a printer
  • decorative paper {optional}
  • twill tape or ribbon
  • tape and glue stick
The first thing you will need to do is set up your computer to print on the book pages.  I have an older version of Microsoft Word that I like to use, but any word processing program will work.  Your screen shots may not look exactly like mine, but the process will be very similar.  Chose the book you would like to use and carefully tear out enough sheets to make your garland — one page per letter.  Often the margins will not be equal {which drives me crazy!} so I trim the edges a bit to make sure the text is centered on the page.  Measure the length and width of your book page.  In this example, my page is 3.75 inches wide by 6.5 inches long.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com
Open up Microsoft Word and click on File in the upper left corner, then choose Page Set Up.  In the box that pops up. you can adjust the page margins and size.   The first tab in the box is for the margins, as shown above.  I like to set all the margins to .5 inches.  If you would like your letters to be printed lower on your page, simply adjust the top margin until it looks the way you want.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com

The second tab in the box lets you adjust the paper size as shown above.  Your book page is most likely not one of the standard sizes listed, so choose “Custom Size” and enter your width and height in the boxes below.  Click OK and you’re all set.  The shape of the printable area should change on the screen to match your book pages, just like magic.  Choose your font and size then set it to center justification.  I almost always use a typewriter-inspired font like Linowrite at 200 pt. for my book page garlands, but any font will work.  Just make sure it is big and bold enough to stand out against the small text in the background.

When you go to change the size of your font, 200 will probably not be a choice in the drop down box.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that for years I didn’t know you could make text any size you want by highlighting the box and typing in any number then hitting enter.  When I realized that, it was a major face-palm moment.  Duh!  Please tell me I’m not the only one. . .

Anyhoo . . . Type in the message you want on your garland — one letter per page — and print it out on your home printer.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com
I wanted to give mine a little more interest by cutting the bottom into a shape, so I drew the design I wanted lightly in pencil on one of my pages.  You can get as creative as you want here.  I went for a simple point, using a ruler to keep everything straight and symmetrical.  You only have to draw it out on one page because you can use that first one as a template for all the others.  Use scissors or a paper cutter to cut out the design.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com
 For this particular garland I decided to add a little color as well, by mounting the book pages onto decorative paper with a glue stick and cutting it out with a narrow border on each side.  This is completely optional since the garland also looks great using just the book pages.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com
Once all of the letters are prepared, assemble the garland by folding the top of the page back about 1/2 inch over the twill tape or ribbon and taping it in the back with scotch or masking tape to secure it.  Be sure to leave 12-18 inches of twill tape or ribbon on each end of the garland for hanging or to tie a decorative bow.  I clipped this one up to my chicken wire memo board with mini clothespins and embellished it with tassels made out of cute cocktail napkins.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at my3monsters.com
That’s all there is to it. friends.  Book page garlands are so easy and inexpensive you can make a new one for any holiday or special event!

Have a great day!

Amy


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mini Mexican Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Cream Pies



Mini-Mexican Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Cream Pies at my3monsters.com
Hi guys!  I love me some cream pies.  I blame my mom, really.  She makes the MOST delicious banana cream pie with home-made -- like, actually made from scratch -- vanilla pudding. I drool just thinking about it.  Did y'all even know you could make your own pudding from stuff you probably already have in your kitchen?  And it's really pretty easy, and tastes soooo much better than the instant kind?  I'm tellin' you.  So when I saw the delicious new Coffee-mate Latin flavors -- Mexican Chocolate and Dulce de Leche -- at the store a little while ago my mental wheels started spinning.  Could I actually use Coffee-mate to make cream pies?  The answer is YES!

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