Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Dollhouse Edition

So Spring Break FLEW by, and I find that I did not accomplish NEAR as much as I'd have liked. However, my house is CLEAN and somewhat gutted (as in 4 huge black trash bags, and a couple small trash bags and boxes), Annie's room is complete, my room is clear, ALL my laundry is done, and my kids are bathed, so I think I did okay.

I started a couple projects that I'll work on finishing this weekend (fabric rosettes over a hideous shell design on my mirror, and Annie's name for her wall), but in the meantime, I'll have a nostalgic post.

Last year my dear friend picked up an old dollhouse at a sneak-peek pre-garage sale. She got the house, and all the furnishings, for TEN BUCKS. Yes, ten. Score of the decade. I decided that since Annie already had the dollhouse (I wanted to get it for her for Christmas, but we got it too early to hide it for months), I'd renovate it for her Christmas gift. Also, since I don't own a home, and will probably not get the chance to renovate my own space for a long time, this gave me a little home renovation fix. :)

I started with the bathroom, painting a black and white checkered "tile" floor, and lime and blue swirled wall. I added tiny little hand-drawn pictures to the wall.

Moved on to paint the "hardwood floor" in the living room,

And "stone floor" in the kitchen. The staircase became black with red and pink alternating steps, and could still use a little tlc.

The house was coming along, but so was Christmas! I busted out the last few details a couple days before the big reveal.

Living room wall is a blue-grey with silver sunburst. The other wall reads "relax...", and the window has little beads hot-glued into the corners. THAT turned out cute. I glued a little flower bead onto the front door as the knob.

The kitchen wall was painted red, and I hung a little "stained glass" window in the window. "K" is for Kelly, of course. The lamp is paper i colored swirls on, hanging by beaded wire.

The staircase wall is complete with some art, a "family photo", and a beaded cross. (Booo on the dark picture! It was dark outside, and a flash washed out the whole photo.)

Added some black curtains to the bathroom (ribbon tied with sequined thread), and the bedroom got purple and blue walls (went for a Mediterranean feel. The pink and yellow design on the wall needs some serious help, but the "painting" turned out cute.), a beaded wire embellishment in the window, and got fresh carpet laid.

Then it was on to the front. What to do... what to do? Yuck...

So I added some landscaping, and painted the shutters and shingles. :)

Swirled porch corners, a red door, and a welcome mat made it HOME!

Needless to say, Annie's reaction was priceless.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break Room Makeover

Project #3 (or thereabout) for Spring Break: gut Annie's room. We loaded up a huge black trash bag full of "give away", and another of "throw away", and a couple small trash bags of "give back to people, already!"

I really, really wish I had "before" pics of her room. She had a twin daybed with a pink and turquoise comforter, and not much of a room to speak of. Everything was in mismatched plastic storage containers, which worked for their purposes, but just made for kind of a cluttered room.

Today we purchased this 9-cube organizer and some cute bins to accompany it, along with some adorable knobs for her dresser (which needs a serious repainting - coming soon - and has been knob-less for months. Poor dresser and poor Annie. She became pretty particular about making sure those drawers never fully closed).

We bought Annie a full-sized bed a few days ago because she was in desperate need of a mattress that didn't have springs poking out, threatening Tetanus. The full bed was only $20 bucks more than a twin, and we'd like to have a bed that company could actually use, so we went for it. The result: perfect.

Annie is the coolest little girl. She's down for whatever, doesn't want a pink and black zebra room, doesn't care much for pastels, and is so happy for anything she receives. Needless to say, she is ecstatic. Precious, precious girl.

The pictures are terrible quality, but hopefully you can get the gist. :)

A little redhead helper... :) The mirrors were $5 each at Target. I turned them into a wall mirror for use when she's modeling. :\ (Notice the paper fashion show announcement on the wall. That was our first fashion show together. It'll get a frame soon!) The corner houses her library and cute-in-a-creepy-way Hello Kitty humidifier.

This dresser (which will soon get a new paint job) was my sister's when we were little. Well, technically it was "ours' because we shared a room, but I think it was hers before there was even a me. It was putrid white with gold accents. I painted it black (botched that job, too) a while back, and the few knobs that it still had were misplaced. Today we found some ADORABLE ones at Hobby Lobby... on sale for half off. Yesssss. (The dollhouse is something I did for Christmas. I'll have to put that one up here, too.) Her name, which is our next project, will be decoupaged/painted and hung on this wall, I think. Its pretty bare.

And, voila. Her room is beautiful. Brown curtains and rod are from Dollar General. Sheer I already had. Green and white duvet = Target clearance endcap, along with the brown jersey sheet set. Red scarf on the bed = Dollar General. Flower painting = already had. Cube organizer = made the room. Also got a red hamper (on the floor by the cubes) = cute.

The lamp is my favorite part of the room. I wish you could see it here. Perhaps I'll dedicate another post to the lamp that pulled this room together. :)

Total project cost: about $150 (not including the mattress). Not bad, my dea, not bad!

Dum spiro, spero!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Makeover: Classroom Edition

This January I was pulled in to teach Pre-K 4 at my daughter's Catholic school. The teacher who has been doing it for years left to be a nurse, so they needed someone pretty quick. I've never taught, but after lots of prayer and conversations knew it was my gig.

The kids adjusted really well to their new teacher, and I'm loving my job. Oh, the things that come out of the mouths of 4 year-olds! One of the first things I did was give my room a major makeover. I think that if you and your students are going to spend all day every day looking at walls, they should be awesome. So... here was my weekend project a couple months ago...

I started with the "News Room - Weather Station" and School house (morning Math Meeting, Circle Time, and Calendar)...

Then moved to the Art Depot (where they house art supplies) and City Park (picnics and such).Next you'll see Le Cafe (Kitchen Center - don't worry, someone donated a bigger kitchen!) and the Boutique (dress-up)...

then, of course, no town is complete without a Library...

and a Church, which still needs a little work. Should probably add a steeple. (Church calls us to be leaders, hence the Leader Board. My kids each have their own symbol, and their leader duties change each week by switching around their symbols, which are Velcroed on. The Line Leader is a pocket that houses all the symbols, and changes daily.)

Behind my desk I stapled on different colored construction paper, which gave it a fun and bright effect. Nice for a bulletin board, eh? :)

It was a really fun project, and the kids LOVE it! (Parents do, too! I've gotten lots of great feedback.)I enjoy walking into Mrs. Kelly's Christian City every day (I forgot to take a picture of the door, which is a sky, trees, hills, and street signs. Each kid's name is a street sign, for example, Sarah Blvd. or Cory Ave.

A couple tissue paper clouds completed the project... for now. :)

Dum spiro, spero!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

No more procrastinate! Tomorrow is too late!

My new motto? Nah, but it's a pretty good chant. I had to run it through my head a few times today (and, not to lie, a couple times out loud).

Let the crafts begin! I started Spring Break with a list of projects in mind. I'm not going to write them down, just going to wing it for now, but I'm excited that I've already gotten a couple things done. And it's just day one!

Project 1: Aidan's name for his room. I mean, he IS fifteen months already. Are you kidding me?!
It turned out cute. I got some cheap cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby (while they were on sale for half-off, of course), some really cute scrapbook paper, and some mod podge. I decoupaged the paper onto his name, leaving the cute paper full (A, D, N), and ripping and pasting the checkered papers to the I and second A. Got some "velcro" Command strips to hang them, because they're so light, and they look so cute above his crib! Total project time: approximately 30 minutes (how stupid that I put off such a short project for so long!).

(Sorry for the blurry photo. My camera is in SERIOUS need of upgrade. "A" is cute little dinosaurs, "D" is robots and rockets and outer space, and "N" is planes, trains, and automobiles. :)

Project 2: A friend is having a baby soon, very soon, and I needed a cute gift to add to the package of diapers for her diaper "sprinkle" tomorrow. (Not a shower because it's her 5th baby - all boys! - but we loooove throwing parties around here, and think EVERY baby deserves a little something!)

I started with an 8 X 10 canvas (small, but all I had on hand) that I'd already painted blue a while back. I decoupaged paper left over from Aidan's name onto the canvas...

Again, sorry for the poor quality. It's night out there, and my kitchen lighting + camera = foul. Then I decided it needed a little something extra. I was going to put a big "L" on it, for the new baby's name (Levi), but decided that since he has 4 brothers, and several of them will share a room, that wouldn't be quite fair. So, instead I painted on their last name. It turned out pretty cute, but I'm torn with the layout of the name. I think names like this are hard to read, and I'm not quite sure why I did that. Meh, too late. And I know she'll like it either way. :)

More to come tomorrow. I promised my little Annie that we'd do her name, next. She's only been waiting 6 years for it. :)

Dum spiro, spero,

Spring Break, Lent, and Promise

Spring break has begun! I get to say that, because I actually get "spring break." Now that I'm teaching (pre-school at Slaton's lil Catholic school), it's like being back in school again. Late February, the itch began, and now that it's here, I couldn't be more excited! Nine full days of rest, relaxing, and Lenten promises upheld! I've decided that since New Years resolutions never really work for me, Lent will become my "new year." Forty days of preparing for a life changing event, leading into a life changing year. Sounds perfect to me!

Lenten promise #1: Serious decrease in sugar intake. I'm not going to say I'm "giving up" sugar, because my body needs to keep a few carbs a day, but no sweets, no breads, very little other carb foods, no sodas, etc. I'm doing this because I love sugar, and, in the deprived state, it leads me to prayer. Sure, the prayer may start with "Lord, please give me sugar," but it inevitably leads to a deeper conversation with the good and gracious God.

Lenten promise #2: Pray more. Noted, and doing better day by day.

Lenten promise #3: Take full advantage of time off, starting with Spring Break. Monday is my first day back to the gym (if I can breathe... I'm thinking my bronchitis is turning to pneumonia, but I'm going to give it my all, either way), and I'm kicking out projects left and right. I also have HUGE plans of spring cleaning and house gutting. I've got empty tubs and trash bags ready to be filled, and I've already started the tremendous task. I'm actually looking forward to it!

Lenten promise #4: USE MY TALENT! Crafts are calling, and I must answer. A part of me is missing without doing something crafty, and I feel the void. I started today, and it feels great! I was going to start a blog called "When I Stopped Procrastinating and Actually Started Doing Things I've Been Wanting to Do FOREVER", but the title was too long, and, well, I have a perfectly cute blog right here. I believe, if I'm successful at this umpteenth blog attempt, it will become my craft blog. I'm hoping I'll actually keep up with a blog this time, which leads me to

Lenten promise #5: Return to blogging (in the evening, instead of watching mindless, after 10 pm television). I feel great doing it. I miss writing. I think I need the outlet, and I miss the clicking of keys.

So, here is to yet ANOTHER attempt at Smiling Eyes and Fireflies. :) Peaceful Lent to you!

Dum spiro, spero,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jess, I think she means the bag...

I'm in love.
I don't usually fall for things. People, yes. Things, no.
But I've found the thing that, if I had an extra few hundred bucks lying around, I'd be carrying.

Introducing Petunia Pickle Bottom's Cake diaper bag:

Tis' the perfect bag. Alas, I'm in love.

We don't have a Nieman Marcus nearby. I wouldn't buy one even if we did.
I WOULD, however, go Breakfast at Tiffany's on it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2 Js and 2 As.. Yes, we are THAT family

Aidan is here!

Aidan Thomas Kelly was born November 24 at 8:58 p.m. He was 8lbs 4oz. Yes, big,

with a head full of beautiful auburn hair. (He gets it from his Grandma.)

A few days before he was born we had a "scare." My contractions started coming 5 minutes apart, so Jeff and I headed to the hospital in the middle of the night. Thank God Bee was there to stay with Annie! She'd come in to town in hopes of being here when he was born, but the little bugga was stubborn, and we missed it by a day. Annie was very happy to have her Aunt Bee here, and enjoyed some reading time.

It was a false alarm, but we went in for a check-up on Monday anyway. After having a "she's gone past 40-weeks" sonogram (they wanted to be sure he was comfortable enough to stay in a little longer), and getting the news that if I waited I may have a 10 pound baby if he waited much longer, we decided to go in on Tuesday to get the process rolling. I was already a few centimeters dilated, so I wasn't too concerned with the idea.

We went in early that next morning, and Jeff and I spent a peaceful day hanging out, playing Skip-Bo and such. At about 8:00 p.m. I was dilated to 5 cm and feeling good.

Then came 8:30. Nurse checked me and I was a "6." But immediately after she left the room I was in pain. Not "breathe and you'll be fine" pain, but "OMG OMG OMG" pain. Up to this point it was all good, breathing through contractions, not paining even with the Pitocin. But When that 8:30 contraction hit, there was NO WAY, I thought, that I could labor 4 more centimeters without an epidural. My thoughts were that if it hurt that bad at 6, I would die before I got to 10.

Decided I wanted an epidural. No way I'd go 2 more hours without one. Jeff knew that I really didn't want to go the epidural route again, so he talked me down to getting some pain killer through my IV. I agreed, and they had some pain meds hooked up by about 8:35. The nurse came in, hooked on the bag, and left the room. Immediatly after her exit, I was in full-on labor.

I yelled at Jeff to get the nurse, but he didn't even have to leave the room. She heard me. I think the whole floor probably heard me. Seconds later my doctor and the nurses were in the room, and Aidan was gearing up to meet us.

He was born at 8:58 p.m.

And it was love at first sight.

We spent almost every moment together those two days in the hospital, a stark difference from my previous two deliveries. Annie was entirely enthralled with her baby brother when she came to meet him the next day.

She doesn't really like to leave his side.

We brought him home on Thanksgiving day (what a way to celebrate, eh?!). And, in true Kelly Family fashion, our car broke down on the way home from the hospital. Fortunately it waited until we'd exited Division to Slaton, and some friends happened to be driving by at the exact moment we stalled. Thanks to Michael for helping Jeff push us into the United parking lot, and to MomnDad for picking us - and all the hospital flowers and gifts and such - up. :)

We battled a nasty bout of Jaundice for a few weeks, but fortunatley we have a big picture window where Aidan did lots of sunbathing.

The weather was even nice enough for a few days that we got to spend some time outside.

Aidan is an amazing baby. He laughs and smiles every day (since he was about 3 or 4 weeks old). He coos, and imitates my sounds and mouth shapes. Yes, he is very advanced for his age ;). He doesn't really cry much, and he makes some hilarious grunt and chortle sounds.

I'm head over heels for this little guy. Thank God for our precious little Aidan, Annie's "Bean."