Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

It was just my Mom’s 75th Birthday…

And I wanted to do something special for her!

I heard about giving 75 letters with memories in them  from people in her life,

And I liked that idea!

But I put my own twist on it!

Introducing…

The  BOOK OF MOM!

From Mom 75th Present

First, I must admit scrape booking is not my genre of arts & crafts.

But this is how I did it!

I asked, begged, borrowed, got mad at, begged again, bothered, badgered, honey badgered, and pleaded with people to give me memories they have of my Mother.

I did this mostly by email and Facebook.  Also when I visited my Mom, I sneaked in and took photos of her address book, all spy-like.  Then I sent out self-addressed, self-stamped cards for them to send back with hand-written memories of my Mom in them.

I really wanted 75 different people with a memory each, as my Mom has over 250 relatives just on her side of the family, not to mention my father’s or stepfather’s sides of the family or friends either!

Although I got some great awesome memories from great awesome people, I did not reach my 75 people goal.  The thing is, I am glad now because most of her 5 kids had way more than one memory to include in this books, as well as some other people from her life, so I got to include all of them!

After I collected the quotes, I changed fonts and colors of the ones I received electronically for some color in the book!  Some were hand written on cards also.

I decided I wanted photos to go with the quotes so I had to collect them as well. I went through my own online photo options, stole some from Facebook pages, and again, I went into spy mode and took photos of my Mom’s albums when I last visited her!

From Mom 75th Present

Photos! My Mom has always love Giraffes, fortunately I visited some last summer and took a lot of photos!

With book designs floating around my head, I started to collect embellishments for the pages!

From Mom 75th Present

I tried to get things my Mom likes, like puffy giraffe stamps, as well as shiny things!

My Mom likes shiny things just like me!

From Mom 75th Present

I also made frames from paper I had around. Fun way to add color to the pages!

And then I had an idea of genius!

Well, I think so!

From Mom 75th Present

I cut out words that describe my Mom!

From Mom 75th Present

And Modge Podged them all over a piece of cardboard for the cover of the book.

From Mom 75th Present

With the Catholic Guilt my Mother help install in me, I must admit the old dictionary I used was only from M – Z ! So, although there are a lot of A – N words that describe my Mom, this project of mine only covers the M – Z ones!

But believe it or not, they were enough for all of the front cover and around the edges of the inside of the front cover and both sides of the back cover!

From Mom 75th Present

The start of the inside covers were edged in words that describe my Mom!

From Mom 75th Present

The center was covered in burlap!

From Mom 75th Present

My Mother In-Law even got in on the creativity and layered the back cover in illustrations from the old dictionary with words describing my Mom around the edges!  Thanks Alice!

And now the pages!

From Mom 75th Present

Organizing the quotes going with the photos, and which photo & quote going with what pages took a lot of time! But I did it!

Before I go on, let me explain the quote part. I had some quotes hand-written on cards/note paper with envelopes, some quotes that I typed out I put inside blank cards, some I typed up and put into blank envelopes and others I just glue as is on the page!

From Mom 75th Present

And example of the quotes (one hand-written in the “P” card) and one just glued on the page, and the photos with frames!

From Mom 75th Present

More examples!

After the whole book was done with quotes, photos & frames…

From Mom 75th Present

I embellished with my shiny things, funny things, giraffe things, star things, old things and I put my paint pens to good use too!

From Mom 75th Present

I got creative with my embellishments!

From Mom 75th Present

Buttons!

I then made the Title Page!

From Mom 75th Present

All pages & covers are done!

From Mom 75th Present

Now what?

From Mom 75th Present

Binding…

From Mom 75th Present

And Cover Embellishment!

From Mom 75th Present

A vintage letter “P” Pin, a vintage small rhinestone pin, and a large blingy crown pendent…all for my Shiny Queen Mum!

The book is over 80 pages, so I will not put all of them on this blog, but if you click on any photo it will bring you to a photo album where there is a photo of each page!

Here are some page and quote examples!

From Mom 75th Present

“I remember you making curtains and cushions for the station wagon so we could camp out. I remember that EVERY Christmas there were tons of gifts for us kids always, no matter how little money you had. I remember a party of some size or another for every birthday growing up. Thank you for giving me a happy childhood. Have the happiest birthday ever! Love, Dawn”

From Mom 75th Present

“I remember the time you had to go to NY
and I stayed at Jay Crosby’s house for a week.
I was terribly homesick and I will never forget the
feeling of love when I came down the stairs and
you were standing there. Happy Birthday!
Love, Randy”

From Mom 75th Present

“You signed me up for sewing lesson and I loved it! I sewed everything! All through High School I would make prom or homecoming dresses and other clothes. I was always using your sewing machine. Before I left to go to California for college, you wanted to give me something special. You bought me my own sewing machine. I was 18 driving across the U.S. and I had my sewing machine with me. I am still using the same sewing machine, around 35 years later! Thanks Mom and I hope you have the happiest birthdays ever! Love, Carlene”

From Mom 75th Present

“When I was little I had the mumps and you let Carlene stay home from school to play games with me because it was the only thing that could distract me from the pain, until the meds kicked in. Thanks! I hope you have a pain-free birthday! Love, Todd”

“I have lots of good memories from New York when I was very young,
like trips to the beach and when you and Dad would bring us over to
Grandma Balzarano’s. You were always bringing us somewhere!
I hope you have a great Birthday! Love, Wayne.”

From Mom 75th Present

“Oh My Gosh, the best memory I have of you is the night before
Dawn had her appendectomy in the house on Riverview, when
you were pulling the strings on your cardboard puppets. Todd
& I were mimicking the puppets. You and Dawn were in tears
laughing and Dawn was saying, “ It hurts it hurts (Because Dawn
appendix was bursting) & You were just about tinkling in your britches!
Happy Birthday & Love, Patty (McLoone) Strautman”

From Mom 75th Present

Aunt Peggy, what I remember of you is from when I was 15 and now I’m 51. I want to take the opportunity to tell you, “Thank you!” for taking me under your wing, for believing in me, caring for me, and most of all helping me on my way. It taught me that one act of kindness can and will last a lifetime!” I love you Aunt Peggy! God Puts you Where He Wants you To Be, Thank you and Happy Birthday! Love, Janet Duffy” 

From Mom 75th Present

“Happy Birthday Sister! I remember when you all lived in Port Jefferson Station
at the end of a street with a stone wall in the front. You parked next to the wall
and I was helping you get the kids in the car. I calmly said to you, “please hurry up…
there’s a snake on my foot”. You freaked and screamed!
I scream “Happy Birthday!” Love, Mary!”

Again, if you want to see photos of all the pages, click any photo to get to the album!

I want to thank everyone who gave me memories, I could not have made this without you!

And now, the most important part…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM, PEGGY, AUNT PEGGY & GRANDMA!

We All Love You!

PS…if you want to see more things I make or have for sale click on the link below:

OUR OWN BIG WORLD!

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THEY WILL COME!

Squirrels…

That is!

After I think they broke two of my cheap plastic bird feeders,

I decided to make a feeder just for them…

And to make it indestructible!

So…I went to my favorite place…

RENEW SALVAGE!

I looked and looked and looked…

And I walked out with…

A Vintage Tin Food Strainer, A Mid-Century Style Tapered Table Leg, and a Square Bit of Screen!

From Squirrel Feeder

First, make center hole bigger!

From Squirrel Feeder

Screw leg into said hole!

I used super strong glue to make sure it was really secure.

From Squirrel Feeder

See!

From Squirrel Feeder

Now, I needed to make a lid!

My squirrels have to work for their food!

From Squirrel Feeder

I decided on the Screen…

And marked it where to cut.

From Squirrel Feeder

And I cut it!

From Squirrel Feeder

I attached it in just these two spots with thin wire.

From Squirrel Feeder

No fancy hinges for me or my squirrels!

All Done!

From Squirrel Feeder

Then place it where the little creatures can get at it!

From Squirrel Feeder

Fill it up with nuts!

And like I said…

IF YOU BUILD IT…

From Squirrel Feeder

THEY WILL COME!

From Squirrel Feeder

Hmmm, I smell something good!

From Squirrel Feeder

Uh…Wait…How do I open this darned thing?

From Squirrel Feeder

Aha! Got it!

From Squirrel Feeder

Relax for a second!

From Squirrel Feeder

Must Hide…Must Hide…Must Hide My Nut!

From Squirrel Feeder

Okay…This may not be the best hiding place I have ever picked!

From Squirrel Feeder

Oh this one is much much better!

And I know I will remember exactly where I put this nut when I freezing my cute little furry butt off in winter!

Yippy!

And he came back…again and again!

He is stocked up for the next 3 winters!

AND NOW…

NOTHING TO DO WITH SQUIRRELS…

Hoop Spheres!

From Hoop Balls

I took a bunch of old wood and vintage metal needlepoint hoops…

From Hoop Balls

And turned them into decorator spheres!

From Hoop Balls

Perfect on the mantel or in a basket!

From Hoop Balls

You gotta love this atomic looking one done with the vintage metal oval hoops!

Now…whether it is for feeding little beasts or decorating you beautiful home…

Gather, Imagine, and Go!
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My favorite kind of project too!

I come up with the Mid Century Modern-esque design…

And Jim did most of the work!

The Inspiration…

The Shutters that I designed and had made!

From House Number Project

Next we picked the numbers…

From House Number Project

We wanted brushed metal and ones that stand off the wall a bit…and we found them online!

Then we gathering wood scraps!

From House Number Project

Wood = Check!

It is always a good idea to lay out the numbers!

From House Number Project

Numbers in Position = Check!

The Colors!

From House Number Project

Although the house is white, light aqua blue and a pale-ish yellow…

The brush metal numbers would not “pop” on any of those colors.

So when we are in doubt, we always go to our favorite color…

ORANGE!

From House Number Project

Awesome!

I painted…
And the rest was left to Jim!

From House Number Project

He Measured…

and Attached!

From House Number Project

Looking Good!

From House Number Project

Oh So Good!

From House Number Project

And there you go…

The done numbers with the house!

From House Number Project

He took out that wire and attached the numbers to the house!

Although it is not “perfect”, we did get thumbs ups from our neighbors!  

(I had to explain to Jim perfect is just a word.)

We love it!  

Now we need to find affordable Mid-Century Modern-esque cool outdoor lights to match…

And how to incorporate just a bit more orange outside too!  

If you like Mid Century Modern Stuff…

Click bellow to check out My Esty Shop for some great Buys!

Our Own Big World!

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Our Sunshiny Mid-Century Modern House!

There will be some before and after photos, but to get the full view of the before house please go to:  HenderBalz Blog: Adventures at Home !

As always if you want to see the full photo album, click on any of the photos!

Welcome to the Living Room!

From House House Lovely House!

We may just leave this oh-so-not mid-century couch in this room as both the room and the couch are big and they fit each other!

94% of everything else in the living and dining rooms is from the Mid-Century!

Matter of fact, most of the house is furnished with mid-century items…down to the set of Sears flatware my Mom gave me as a teen probably for my hope chest!

New Living & Dining Above…
Old Below!

From Melbourne House

You get the point…new paint, furniture and personal touches!

The Foyer…

Could not pass up the light fixture that Jim rebuilt and the Sears star burst clock that my Step Father fixed!

From House House Lovely House!
From House House Lovely House!

A corner here…

The Above Corner has my Mid-Century Belt Chair and a bunch of drift wood in the corner!

From House House Lovely House!
From House House Lovely House!

And a corner there!

The above Corner has our somewhat collection of international stools…two are old, one is from Honduras!

From House House Lovely House!

The Dining Room!

From House House Lovely House!

We love our new OLD dining room lamp that Jim rebuilt!

And now our bedroom!

From House House Lovely House!

Oh so cool, airy and grey with a splash of color!

New Above….
Before Below:

From Melbourne House

The other side (plus a tri-pod, an air filter and Chloe):

From House House Lovely House!

The Master Bath!

From House House Lovely House!

And Before!

No more carpet, stripped wall paper or dressing room lights!

From Melbourne House

Now…

THE FAMILY ROOM!

From House House Lovely House!

And what it used to look like!

From Melbourne House

The Whole Picture!

From House House Lovely House!

We want a cool low profile mid-century couch in this room, probably where the table and chairs are…but have not found one we like enough yet!

And Introducing…

THE KITCHEN!

From House House Lovely House!

And a similar view from before!

From Melbourne House

Bright and Happy!

From House House Lovely House!

Similar shot from before:

From Melbourne House

Personal Touches!

In the Kitchen:

From House House Lovely House!

And in a Hall!

From House House Lovely House!

TaaDaaa…

Jim’s new Office/Den/Man Cave!

From House House Lovely House!

And the old Dark Den!

From Melbourne House

Personal Touches in the Den!

From House House Lovely House!

And…

From House House Lovely House!

The guest room / Dawn’s Making Things Room!

Cozy Area!

From House House Lovely House!

And Work Area! (The table enlarges!)

From House House Lovely House!

The Pink Jack & Jill Bath just needed some love and a spit shine!

From House House Lovely House!

Half Bath is just a “happy” as before…

From House House Lovely House!

But updated!

From Melbourne House

And with personal touches!

From House House Lovely House!

The new front!

From House House Lovely House!

The old front!

From Melbourne House

Not sure you can tell the changes…

All the cranky 50-year-old bushes were removed and more tropical plants were put in AND the entire outside was painted!

From House House Lovely House!

Love our new mid-century style shutters and the pop of flower in front!

The new Landscaped Corner Island!

From House House Lovely House!

The old corner:

From Melbourne House

New side yard “Island” landscaping!

From House House Lovely House!

And if you ever visit (And you know YOU ALL are invited) the Garage Door Entrance Welcome Area!

From House House Lovely House!

WE Love our new place and had fun and some fights getting it to this point, but it is not still 100% done!

And 10 pieces in these photos, I created!  Can you guess which 10?

Look forward to finishing it completely!

And to buy Mid Century Modern Items for you Home…Visit Our Online Shop!

Click:  OurOwnBigWorld

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Yes, Gnomes celebrate Holidays too.

And they, just like us, need Christmas Trees.

I have made it my goal to supply them some this holiday season.

From Felt Tree

Let me talk first about the tall one in the back.

Or better yet, let me show you how I made it!

From Felt Tree

Supplies: Cone, felt, glue gun, scissors and maybe some tidbits for decorations (I used some brads and tacks).

From Felt Tree

Cut, cut, cut out your tree leaf thingies.

From Felt Tree

Glue them, one at a time to the cone, all of them!

From Felt Tree

Start adding your decorations as you go.

From Felt Tree

Figure out your topper and decorate.

I decided on decorating a small Styrofoam ball with the brads and tack.

From Felt Tree

There you have it, the first of many…

From Felt Tree

A Gnome Christmas Tree!

For those Gnomes who like simple lines…

From Felt Tree

The Bobble String Christmas Tree!

Yes, it bobbles a bit from the way it is attached to its stand.

And now for those Beachy Gnomes…

From Felt Tree

The Pearly Shell Gnome Christmas Tree!

I made both the string and shell trees awhile ago…lots of string, shells, glue and patience, and you too can make them.

As you can see from the first photo, there are many other trees.

Some are vintage and some are just darned cute.

From Felt Tree

I had to have a variety, so many Gnomes so many different trees needed!

And these two are my favorite!

From Felt Tree

They so remind me of my Italian Grandparent’s Christmas decorations. Under their Aluminum Christmas Tree (Yes, I said Aluminum) they had this tiny outdoor winter skating Scene (a mirror was used to make the frozen pond) with these tiny trees all around it!   Ha, but they have sold already…should have put a higher price on them! 

I have two more in the making, but not sure they will get finished in time.

Gnomes…I got you covered!

Elves get all the attention during the holidays, give some love to any Gnomes you may know!

EARLY HOLIDAY BONUS CRAFT FOR YOU:

From Felt Tree

I made the wreath awhile ago, Click here to see how I did it: The Garbage Wreath

But then I put it in an old frame and threw some red felt on the back for that something special and different Christmas decoration!

HAPPY HOLIDAY CRAFTING TO YOU!

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Okay, I love Mary Catherine Gallagher…

and…

I love starburst mirror decor pieces too!

But after looking the at cost of new ones and even vintage ones,  I got discouraged!

Pinterest to the rescue, especially after I saw how easy it was to make (ha)!

Here is my attempt and how I did it!

Supplies needed:

From Starburst Mirror Project!

More supplies:

From Starburst Mirror Project!

Measuring and Gluing!

From Starburst Mirror Project!

Pre-final touches…

From Starburst Mirror Project!

Prep for painting!

From Starburst Mirror Project!

Painting!
I know silver is popular right now, but the antique versions are in gold, which will go better in our entry way!

From Starburst Mirror Project!

Final Product!

From Starburst Mirror Project!

Not bad, eh?
Even up close!

From Starburst Mirror Project!

Please click on any of the photos, to get to the photo album and to find out some extra details on how I did it!

Okay, now I have to be truthful!

After seeing a starburst mirror in every remodel/revamp/decor TV show, I am thinking it may be over done!

So I may change this:

From Mid-Century Finds

Into this:

I would take out the art work from the above gold frame and use it for something else!
It is signed art after all…even if I got the WHOLE piece for only $2.00 at an auction!

What do you think…Gold Star Burst for front entry way or Gold Fish Scales?

STAY TUNED!
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I have been collected leather belts from thrift stores, for this very thing!

I had to wait for the chair!

The chair finally came my way!

From Belt Chair

After I shined the wood up, I took off the seat!

From Belt Chair

My trusted basket of leather belts, don’t you have one?

From Belt Chair

Then I was a’belt weaving away!

From Belt Chair

Not sure if I will keep the belts on this chair or not yet…

as well if I should cut the ends of the belt off or let them hang!

From Belt Chair

Love how the colors in the belts bring out the colors in the wood!

From Belt Chair

Belt Weave!

From Belt Chair

I think this technique turns a plain chair into a conversation/center/art piece!

I love the chair so much…I think I am not going to leave the belts on it as the shape of the back and the wood speak for themselves.

So, I will go back to waiting for the perfect chair again!

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I will go back to my Upcycle Arts & Crafts projects…

But these days I am spending time to get stuff ready for a new home!

A Mid Century Beauty!

I thought I would to strip and refinish some of my old finds…but found something that I is my secret love.

Howard’s Restor-A-Finish

Some Before Photos…

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

One of two End Tables!

Warn and dull!

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

One done and one not!

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

On the way to looking good!

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

There you have it!

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

While I was at it, I worked on this little pretty!

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

Okay, the top is made of Formica, but did refinish the wood legs!

Is is bad that I am falling for Formica?

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

Speaking of Formica…

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

This little cutie has a wood pedestal which I shined up to make into a nicey nice!

From Mid Century Wood Shine!

It is happy in our now non-mid-century place!

Shining these guys on…so made my happy today!

Easy Peasy and such good looks!

Don’t be afraid of nicks & stains…all they are saying is “We have been loved, now love us again!”

UPDATE!  WE OPENED OUR OWN ONLINE STORE!  

Please visit and shop if you are so inclined at:  Our Own Big World!

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So this is what I did while the rain was pounding down and wind whipping around…

From 20120827_0026

During Tropical Storm Isaac hitting my neck of the woods!

From Thumbtack Ball

And with being stuck inside for two days in a row…I do think the glass of wine was essential!

All you need is…

1) Styrofoam Ball
2) Thumbtacks
3) If you want extra decorations…you can use cute brads.
4) You shouldn’t need glue, but to make them really secure you can use glue of any kind.
5) Time and really, not even tons of it!
6) Wine isn’t really essential!

From Thumbtack Ball

Cute Flower Brads!

From Thumbtack Ball

Finished!

From Thumbtack Ball

With the ball, not the wine!

From Thumbtack Ball

Ball Scales! Love it!

And now it is nestled…

From Thumbtack Ball

In with some of my other black, white and silver-colored balls in my vintage enamel pans!

You do know I am kind-of obsessed with decorative balls, don’t you?

Globe Balls = 5

From My Balls!

Silver, White, Black & Sliver Balls = 11  (See Photo Above)

Turquoise / Blue Balls = 8

From My Balls!

Vintage Sporting Balls = 8

From My Balls!

Orange/gold/Reddish Balls = 14

From My Balls!

Rope/String/Rattan Ball = 4
Green Balls = 7
The rest of My Balls = 7

From My Balls!

(Mind you I have gotten rid of some of my repeat Balls)

All my Balls = 64

(and I have to admit…I have only made two of them!  This one and scroll down on this blog and find the moss one I recently made).

64 Decorative Balls = Obsessed!

I am obsessed and I am okay with it.

Because I have decorative ball collecting rules!

1)  Must not have one like it

2)  Must pay under $6.00, but usually under $5.00)!

Now back to waiting for the Tropical Storm to really pass Southern Florida!

Prayers and good thoughts go out to wherever that thing will hit land!

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Everyone loves a Puppet!

So, make one…or two!

And then…

Write a puppet play!

When all said and done…

You have several activities and lots of fun!

I used pre-made puppet packets from Michael’s that I bought for cheap!

But of course you can use old socks, bits and pieces of stuff around the house and glue to make your own puppets!

Ha, I just made one with a sock my brother left behind! An old sock, paper and a piece of twine!

I like to call him…

From Puppet Play

Maaaster Rrrrrhino!

Now the First Character my nieces made:

From Puppet Play

Darkness, The Evil Ghost!

And then…

From Puppet Play

Ghost, Darkness’s Bumbling Sidekick!

We also needed a Pretty Victim!

From Puppet Play

So Brittney was created!

And now, of course…

We needed a Hero!

From Puppet Play

From Puppet Play

Super Freddy!

While they were making their characters we all talked about the “play.”

Auntie Dawn wrote it all down. We practiced, laughed and had fun!

The finished product!

Introducing…


Enjoy Enjoy!

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