Grand Haven

When you can’t get to the ocean a trip to the lake is the next best thing.

I love the sounds of the ocean, toes in the sand with not a care in the world.  (I really do!)

Sometimes it’s just not in the cards.  When that happens, the lake is a pretty close second.

We took a few days to unwind, relax and enjoy the scenery.

We’ve been to several towns around Lake Michigan but this was our first trip to Grand Haven.

It’s a pretty little place with a quaint downtown and plenty of great places to eat.

On Sunday night we happened upon a free concert downtown by the water

and then on Monday night a free musical water light show.

For a small town there’s a lot to do.

On Tuesday, I didn’t quite have my fill of water so we stopped in South Haven on our way home

for a bite to eat and another lighthouse to explore.

South Haven Lighthouse.

I could sit and watch the sailboats for hours.  Not a bad way to recharge the old batteries.  (I almost got my recommended dose of vitamin sea.)

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Nick’s New Swim Team Jacket

Nick joined the swim team this summer and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

I got to watch him at a few of the swim meets and was so impressed on his abilities.

He’s always loved being in water and has really become quite the swimmer.

I’m not sure I’d make it across the width of the pool let alone the length.

He even swims the 100 meter race.  (4 lengths of the pool for us non-swimmers)

Not bad for an 8 year old.

He’s so proud of his swim gear.  (Isn’t he handsome?)

But…his new Super Cool Design Team Jacket didn’t come with the option for personalization.

Joy® Embroidered Iron-On Monogram letters to the rescue.

For his Swim Team Jacket we used:

  • One Super Cool New Swim Team Jacket

  • Joy® Baby Monogram Iron On Embroidered Letters

  • Iron and pressing cloth

Directions:

  1. Check Garment care label before choosing which setting to set your iron.

  2. Remove letters from sheet.  Position letters with shiny side down on jacket.

  3. Cover letters with fine cloth.  With firm pressure iron cloth over the letters for 25 seconds.

  4. Turn jacket inside out and iron the back of the letters for 25 seconds.

  5. Allow to cool for 1 minute before handling.

Joy® iron-on embroidered letters and appliqués can be found at your local craft stores!

“This is a sponsored post.  As a member of the Joy® Design Team I have been provided product and compensation in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.

Shop Your Fav Brands at Scrapbook.com

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Quick and Easy Summer Mini Album

Quick and Easy Summer Vacation Mini Album

You don’t have to take an expensive Summer Vacation to have fun when your a kid.

Between Baseball games, Swim Lessons, Swim Team, Carnivals, Pie Eating Contests,

Fireworks, Drive In Movies, Swimming, Summer Reading Program, Mini Gardens,

Tie-Dyeing and just playing outside….there’s always something to do.

Because we have so many great pictures, I decided to make my grandsons a

Summer Vacation Mini Album to remember all the good times they’ve had this summer.

To Create my Summer Vacation Mini Album I used:                            (*affiliate links)

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

With the help of my Xyron Creative Station* putting the album together was super easy.

  • Cut two 6″ x 8-1/2″pieces of decorative scrapbook paper for the front and inside of the cover.
  • Lay decorative scrapbook paper (design side up) on the  Xyron Creative Station* crank the handle to run the paper through the machine.  As it moves through the Xyron Creative Station it adds adhesive to the back side of the paper.
  • Easy to use and it doesn’t need any electricity.
  • I like using the Xyron Creative Station* when making mini books because you get complete coverage, no wrinkling, no bubbles!

  • Cut a piece of mat board 6″ x 8-1/2″.
  • Adhere the decorative paper on each side of the mat board.

  • The notebook die creases the center of mat board as it goes through the Big Shot Die Cutting Machine making it easy to fold the cover for your mini album.

  • Cut a 2 1/4″ x 5″ strip of decorative paper to use for the spine and run it through the Xyron Creative Station*.
  • The small “hello summer” graphic is from an old Bo Bunny collection that I hoarded and never used.  It was perfect for this album.  (sorry I don’t think you can find it anymore)

  • Cut 5 white cardstock pages using the notebook die.
  • Crease the cardstock on the center score lines.
  • Using blue and white twine, wrap the twine around the inside creases and around the outside of the book cover to secure the pages.
  • I did one page at a time tying the twine in a knot on the outside after each page.

  • After I had all my pages together, I tied all the piece of twine together in one knot on the spine and let the ends of the twine hang loose.

I wanted this Summer Mini Album to be all about the pictures. 

There are no fancy embellishments or special pages inside this album.

(just lots of fun pictures of my boys)

The hardest part about making this album was choosing which pictures I wanted to use.

I printed my pictures 4″ x 5.3″ instead of the usual 4″ x 6″.

I cut each picture 3 1/4″ x 4 3/4″ which left a nice white border around my picture when added

to the album.  I used my Xyron Mega Runner* to add adhesive on the back of the pictures.

I had all 21 pictures added to my album in no time.  (one on the inside back cover)

These are three busy little boys. 

They’ve had a great summer so far and they still have another month to go before school starts. 

Who says summer is about lazy days.  

The Summer Vacation Mini Album measures 3 3/4″ x 5″.

“This is a sponsored post.  As a member of the Xyron Makers Program I have been provided product and compensation in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.

A Kid Sized Makeover

Mini Park Bench before

Mini Park Bench Makeover

Tucked away beside my porch, next to my hydrangeas, was a wobbly, forgotten little park bench.

It had been left out all winter and hadn’t weathered very well.

I picked up the little bench a few years ago at a yard sale when it was still in good shape.

The bench has nice metal frame and a cute jungle theme inset. 

I knew with a little tender loving care the bench could be almost as good as new.

I carefully took the bench apart and gave it a light sanding to get rid of the rust and grim.

I painted the frame with Rust-Oleum Dark Gray Paint and Primer*.

*Disclosure:  “This is a sponsored post.  I have been provided product in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.”  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Learn More

DecoArt Color Stain

I had a difficult time choosing which color I wanted to use so I created a color sample board.

In the end I went with white.    (bird poop doesn’t show up as much on white)

The wood slats were painted with DecoArt White Americana Decor Color Stain*.

DecoArt Color Stain has a semi-transparent, satin sheen for enhancing wood, concrete, terra cotta, and other surfaces that can be displayed indoors or out. Once cured, there is no reason to add an additional polyurethane or other sealant on top. The water-based formula makes cleanup simple while still offering a durable finish.

And because little details count…I also painted the screws.

Do you like how I used a long reach hole punch to make holes in my box for the screws to sit?

Finished Park Bench  (well almost)

The white color stain paint* allows the wood grain to show through giving my bench

a “worn look” with out being worn out.   (It’s hard to see by the pictures.)

When my husband got home and looked at the bench he thought the animals looked a little flat.

So…I rubbed DecoArt Champagne Ice Metallic Lustre™ Wax* on the metal to make them stand

out.  I added a little metallic lustre™ wax* on the bench frame as well.

DecoArt generally recommends using a Multi-Purpose Spray Sealer* if you plan to keep a piece

with Metallic Lustre outside.

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He was right, it really makes a difference.

I placed the bench in the shade under the maple tree in the front yard.

All I need is a couple pint sized buddies to come over and enjoy it with me.

For your Convenience these are Products Used on my Kid Sized Make-over…

Click on picture links for purchasing options through Amazon.

  

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If you liked this post you might like to read  A Trash to Treasure Love Story

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Gnome Gardening with Kids

Gnome Gardening with Kids

One of our favorite Summer traditions is creating our annual Gnome Gardens.

The boys and I look forward to making them every year.

I started the tradition of Gnome Gardening several years ago when Nick was only 3.

To create our gardens we use a variety of containers and objects we’ve picked up along the way.

For the plants, we use succulents and flowers that won’t grown too big.

I like using Asparagus Ferns to mimic trees.

As mini gardens grow in popularity… there several places you can find accessories

for your gardens.  We like to get something new for our gardens every year.

This year we added items picked up at  Dollar Tree.

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

This is Nick’s 6th year making Gnome Gardens so he’s pretty proficient with his garden.

You can see Nick and my first Mini Garden here.

This is Warren’s 3rd year making a Gnome Garden.  

He lets me help him.   (maybe that’s why his is my favorite)

His garden is all about the house placement.

You can see Warren’s first Gnome Garden here.

I love seeing how much they’ve grown from their first gardens.

The extra credit award goes to my daughter-in-law (the boys mom). 

She found this little gnome house at Dollar Tree and repainted it with a Mario inspired look.

The tiny Camper and firepit was from last years garden and is available at LeisureArts.com.

Leisure Arts Mini Garden Supplies…        (*affiliate link)

You can see last years Gnome Gardens here.

This year was Emerson’s turn for his first Gnome Garden.

He always wants to do everything his big brothers are doing.

Water bottles are a great item to have when Gnome Gardening. 

It helps the boys control how much water goes on the garden, and they’re fun too.

This little stinker sprayed me as I stuck my head out the window for a quick pic.

(I may have sprayed him first.)

Creating mini Gnome Gardens is a fun and memorable project to make with kids.

We always have a good time.

It gives them something to take care of all summer long.

And…it adds a little whimsy to my front porch.

To create a Gnome Garden you’ll need:

  • Container for your garden. I like finding unusual items like the top of a broken wagon. It adds a little extra whimsy to the garden.
  • Good Potting Soil
  • Small Garden Tools
  • Gnome or Fairy Figures
  • Rocks, Twigs and other found objects
  • Store Bought Accessories such as the gnome houses
  • Succulents
  • Annuals that won’t grow too big or tall
  • I like to use Asparagus Ferns to mimic trees
  • Water Bottle
  1. Start the Gnome Garden by adding potting soil to your container.
  2. Allow the kids to loosen up the soil before adding plants.
  3. Small gardening tools are also fun to have.
  4. Add plants to the container before adding accessories.
  5. I like to add the largest plants first near the back of the container.
  6. Allow the kids to add their special pieces to the garden.
  7. Give the garden a good spray of water using the water bottles.

Crafts for Kids

A Special Thanks to LeisureArts.com for providing the Mini Garden Supplies. 

Learn More

If you are looking for something different for your kids to do this summer

you might want to look into the Orange Art Box.

It’s available to purchase as a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.

Perfect gift for that budding artist.

Creating a Summertime Essentials Bag

 With Summer and Vacation time here…

it’s a good idea to make a Safe Travels Essentials Bag to pack in the car.

There are so many things to remember when taking a vacation.

So…whenever we take a road trip I like to pack a few essentials to have handy.

When you have kids you never know what can happen.

For my Safe Travels Bag I used:

  1. If you use a fabric bag… cover with a soft clean cloth and iron on cotton settings for 30 seconds. Turn bag inside out and iron for an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Because I used a leather bag… I glued the letters onto the bag using a craft glue.

There are so many items that you might need to have on hand this summer.

These are just a few:

  • band-aids or first aid kit
  • sunscreen
  • anti itch spray
  • bug spray
  • rain poncho
  • scissors
  • small sewing kit
  • tweezers
  • toilet paper?

 

 

“This is a sponsored post.  As a member of the Joy® Design Team I have been provided product and compensation in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.

Look for Joy® iron-on embroidered alphabet letter sheets at your local craft store.

Shop Your Fav Brands at Scrapbook.com

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

The Ugly Planter Box

It’s true…I have a soft spot in my heart for sweet old gentlemen. 

(and apparently, so does my husband)

While on a call, my husband met this nice older gentleman.

The two began to talk and one thing leads to another and my husband walks away

with this wood planter box that the gentleman had made.

“This is a sponsored post.  I have been provided product from Wagner and DecoArt in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own.

Stenciled Wood Planter Box

As he unloaded it from the car he actually apologized.   (it’s like he doesn’t know me at all)

It was a little unique with the hand drawn pictures on the side.

But, I thought it was great.

All it needed was a couple coats of Farmhouse White Curb Appeal Paint from DecoArt*.

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*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Earlier this year… I received the HomeRight Super Finish Max Extra Power Painter*

along with the HomeRight Large Spray Shelter* from the awesome folks at Wagner.

I’ve been wanting these for a while now and have been eagerly waiting  for the weather to turn

nice and the rain to stop so that I could use them.

With the exception of trying the sprayer at the Creativation Trade Show,

it was the first time I’d used a power sprayer.  It was super easy to use and clean up.

And…it comes with three sprayer tips for different uses.

The portable spray tent is great to use on days with a little breeze or even indoors.

I can’t wait to use it on even bigger projects.

Ok, I’ll admit, because of the marker drawings on the side it took more than a couple coats.

It really was easy to use and the Curb Appeal Paint dried really quick.

After all the coats of paint were dry I gave the box a light sanding to make it smooth.

The box looked a little too plain, so I decided to stencil a design on the sides.  

To stencil the design…

  • Position the stencil onto the box and tape down the edges with removable painter’s tape to keep the stencil from moving.  Use stipple brush to apply paint inside open stencil areas.
  • Carefully remove stencil from box.  Make sure their is no excess paint that’s seeped under the stencil before moving the stencil to the next area on the box.

Learn More 

  • I painted the edges of the box with a thin layer of “dolphin” paint.
  • After everything was completely dry I lightly sanded the box with a piece of extra fine sand paper.  The sand paper gives the box the worn and weathered look I was going for.

Now onto the fun part, the fruits of my labor.

I picked soft pink geraniums, vincas, pink coleus and vinca vines to fill my flower box.

I put the box on an old white bench and sat it in front of my window.

It’s one of the first things I see as I come down the stairs in the morning.

I love how soft and delicate the flowers look inside the box.

It’s a great addition to my front porch.  

And to think my husband apologized for bringing it home.  (I think it’s lovely.)

  

Don’t Miss a Thing…Make Sure to Follow me

If you liked this post you might like to read  A Trash to Treasure Love Story