Archives for October 2012

Carving a Pumpkin with a Dremel

October is one of our favorite months. Carmel apple cider, cozy blankets, carving pumpkins…..there is so much to love about fall. A few years ago, Dan discovered the art of using a dremel to create pumpkin art.  He LOVES to carve pumpkins so finding another carving toy was an added bonus for him.

Dan used his dremel skills this year for the Young Life fundraiser a few weeks ago. You may have seen the pumpkin in my tabletop chalkboard tutorial post.

Today I’ll give you a quick ‘how to’ on this pumpkin carving process.

First, you will need a dremel.  We picked up a pumpkin carving dremel at Lowes a few years ago. I believe it was around $20.

Next, pick the image you would like to see on your pumpkin and print it out.  For ours, Dan used the Young Life logo.

Tack the paper onto the pumpkin. Then using a small, pointy object, poke holes on the outer edges of your image. Once that is complete, start in with your dremel!  This will shave away the top layer of the pumpkin, exposing  the lighter ‘skin’ underneath.

Dan added some fun leaves to the outer edges of the logo to create this beauty of a pumpkin!

You can even use a dremel on pumpkins for Thanksgiving!  Wouldn’t a turkey, pilgrim or even just a bunch of leaves look fun at your Thanksgiving table?!

What fun pumpkin design would you create?


linking up to:

shabby nest, at the picket fence, chic on a shoestring decorating, it’s a hodgepodge life, funky junk interiors, six sister stuff, nifty thrifty things,  i heart naptime, the southern institute

How to Build a Tabletop Chalkboard

Last week I wrote about the chalkboard centerpieces that I made for a Young Life fundraiser.  And today, I’ll share the simple tutorial with you.

You will need:

2 – 1×10 boards cut to your desired length (mine were about 12″ tall)  *  hinge  *  2 eye hooks  *  twine  *   chalkboard paint  * bakers twine or ribbon {optional}

 1.  cut wood to 12″ high {or to your desired height}

2. sand to a smooth finish

3. spray with chalkboard paint

4. hinge the top {I used one larger hinge, but you can also use 2 smaller hinges if you prefer.}

5.  add an eye hook at the inside bottom of each piece of wood

6. use string or twine to stablize the chalkboard when it’s upright

7.  tie a fun ribbon or grosgrain ribbon to the bottom of the chalkboard for added color

8.  cure the chalkboard by rubbing chalk over both sides – then wipe off with a dry cloth

9. your chalkboard is ready to use!

The chalkboards are so fun – and yet so simple! It would make a great gift for yourself or a friend.  Don’t you love it?!


linking up to:

between naps on the porch, my uncommon slice of suburbia, the inspired room, the southern institute, i should be mopping the floor, todays creative blog, savvy southern style, primp, sew much ado, romance on a dime, the brambleberry cottage, shabby creek cottage, the 36th avenue, house of hepworths, seven alive, shabby nest, at the picket fence, chic on a shoestring decorating, it’s a hodgepodge life, funky junk interiors,  six sister stuff, nifty thrifty things, i heart naptime

Fall Porch Update

I love our porch swing.  We sit on it every single day while we wait for the school bus.  But the pillows I bought this summer aren’t cutting it with the pumpkins and gourds that are also on the porch.

I recently bought these two striped outdoor pillows from etsy. They’ve been the prefect update for the fall and winter season.

 And then I added a fun pillow from Target.

I’m especially fond of it because Dan is a doctor.  {Though Dan is neither evil nor able to write prescriptions for poison!}

The star pillow is one I’ve had for years.  I found it tucked away in a closet and am happy to have found a fun place for it this fall!

I love the update that new pillows gave my porch!


Tabletop Chalkboards

Earlier this week, I mentioned the centerpieces I was working on for a Young Life fundraiser.  There were 22 tables so I kicked into mass production and made 22 tabletop  chalkboard centerpieces.

The chalkboards are an a-frame style and you can write on both sides.

{The YL symbol above is the logo for Young Life.}

Every year we sell the centerpieces as part of the fundraising effort.  And typically, we have some centerpieces left over at the end of the night.  Much to my surprise, we sold every single chalkboard this year!

Click here for the tutorial on how to make a tabletop chalkboard of your own!


Chalkboard Centerpieces

Every fall, I help put together a big fundraiser for Young Life.  And tomorrow night is the big night! My main focus was creating the centerpieces.

Chalkboards are such a huge deal right now, so we decided to ride that wave and create some of our own. For the past few weeks, I’ve been knee deep in building a chalkboard for each of the 25 tables.

There were 50 pieces of wood that needed to be painted – both front and back.  After getting a major hand cramp, I remembered the spray paint handle that I brought home from Haven!  That was a life saver!

Click here for a tutorial on how to create your own!



My Barn Sale Purchases

Remember when I shopped a few barn sales last week?  I didn’t buy much that day. But I did come home with two wooden boxes. I probably have enough wooden boxes, but I always seem to find a use for them!  Here is how I put them to use!

The first is like a small toolbox.  I’m sure there is an appropriate name for it….something more fancy than ‘box with a handle’. But here it is…

It’s perfect for fall with gourds.

And the use for my second wooden box isn’t nearly as glamorous.  It found a home in the kid’s bathroom.  We got a new toilet a few weeks ago.  And the basket I had on the back of the old toilet didn’t fit on the new toilet.  As luck would have it, this wooden box fits perfectly!

I’m hoping that the extra roll of toilet paper will make it easier for the kiddo’s to replace the old roll when they run out.  Maybe that’s wishful thinking!

While they’re nothing fancy, I love my new purchases!


Ashley Creek Farm

We had another beautiful day here in the northwest.  The temperature ranged from 30 degrees when we woke up to a high of 74!

Dan had the day off. And since the weather was perfect, we headed out to a pumpkin patch.  A few friends recommended a little hidden secret….Ashley Creek Farm. So we were anxious to check it out.

Ashley Creek harvests pumpkins, corn, gourds, garlic and more! And they sell them for far too cheap, in my opinion!

Look at all of these beauties!

We’ve been to pumpkin patches that are muddy…soggy and rotten pumpkins…stems broken off.  These are all perfectly lined up by color and type of pumpkin. It was like shopping at a high end pumpkin patch, if such a thing exists!

Dan picked this pumpkin.  Guess how much it cost.  Do you have any wild guesses?  Why bother. You’re probably guessing too high!

We paid a whopping $5 for it! Are you amazed!?  {And Emmie couldn’t resist jumping into the background!}

Their corn stalks were $2 a bunch. They had several stalks wrapped together to create a bundle. And did I mention it was only $2 a bundle!!

And apparently there are no signs of running out of pumpkins anytime soon! As were were leaving, they pulled up another tractor full!

Before we left, we had to get a few token family pictures….

And here is a look at all of our goodies before we crammed it all into the car…

Other than having sweat drip down my torso in our blazing 74 degrees, the pumpkin patch trip was a complete success!!

Now I’ve got some decorating to do on my front porch!


If you live in the area and want to visit this little hidden gem, here is the address…

Ashley Creek Farm * 9221 Littlerock Road SW * Olympia, WA 98512


A Day in the Country {Barn Sale Weekend}

Today was the perfect fall day. Cool morning temps. Sun shining.  Boots. And barn sales!!  So after the kids got on the bus, I headed out to hit a few of my favorites.

My first stop was to the Country Chicks.

{and the address for locals that are interested….13535 Littlerock Rd. SW – Rochester}

There were endless booths of antiques, fun junk, barn wood creations and more .

{succulents plantings}

{pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins}

{old shovels….fun garden art  to write on the back of the shovel with chalk}

{rosehip branches and bittersweet wreaths}

I did end up buying two little wooden boxes. I wasn’t sure where I’d use them, but I can always find a use for an old wooden container!

 My next stop….The Clement House.

{7420 Lords Lane SW- Olympia}

When it comes to curb appeal, this place takes the cake!

Doesn’t it make you want to have a big red barn in your yard?

I only purchased a few pumpkins at the Clement House, but sure enjoyed walking around their barn and property.

{pumpkins galore outside the barn}

{fun antiques inside the barn}

{and more pumpkins}

I had a fun day buzzing around town, visiting the local barn sales!

Come back next week to see my little wooden boxes being put to use!

Are you heading out to a barn sale or pumpkin patch this weekend?


Fall Shelves and Mantel

Last spring, my good friend Heidi asked me to update her mantel to reflect a lighter, spring feel.  This month, she asked me to help her transition it over to fall.  Heidi liked the look and feel of the existing shelves but wanted to warm it up for autumn.

Here is what the left side of the shelves looked like last spring…

And here it is all decorated for fall…

And now the right side of the shelves….

And here it is all ready for fall…

I know it’s difficult to see the details and changes in the pictures above. So let’s take a closer look at what it looked like last spring…

…and now the quick, simple update for spring….

{jars – Target for $5.99 and pine cones – Michaels for $3.99 a bag}

Next I simply swapped out flowers in a vase…

{orange flowers – Pier 1 for $8 a stem}

And swapping out a vase with rocks and an orchid for a wire pumpkin and candle…

Very little changed with this decor update.  The overall placement of the items stayed the same.  We simply switched out a few spring items for fall items,  added some pumpkins and gourds, and an entirely new look was achieved.

Have you made any updates to your shelves or mantels this fall?


linking up to:

fox hollow cottage, the  inspired room, home stories a to z

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