Archives for March 2011

Thrifty Thursday Blog Hop Week 18









Week 18 of Thrifty Thursday.  I would just like to say that it is snowing here in Indiana today and... COME ON SPRING!

Look around and join the fun.  The idea is to link to your frugal post, whether it be a DIY, recipe, tip, coupon... if you like it, link it.  If you don't have a thrifty post to link to, feel welcome to join the hop anyway, and link to your main blog.

Other stuff:
* Please follow Saved By Love Creations, your host!
*Grab my "Thrifty Thursday" button above and throw it on your lovely site.  Let's grow this!
*I will choose 2 participants to feature the following Thursday and to receive a free week of advertising on SBLC (under "love worthy sponosors' in sidebar).   Please drop by and follow them!  They are numbers 2 and 3 in the thumbnail list.  REMEMBER that to be chosen as a featured site, you must follow SBLC via GFC.
*Follow the blogs that are must reads, and please return the gesture by following those who follow you.  Leave a comment when you follow so that the blogger will know you are a new follower.
*Leave me a comment and let me know you were here.  I love hearing from you.
*Scatter joy, and frugal tips.
*Have fun 🙂

Weekly Featured Blogs:



Lesley over at Fabulously Flawed is freaking adorable.  I love her outlook and humor, as well as the way she approaches life from a place of gratitude.  Last week she shared this cute cute cute paper flower key hook (here), complete with tutorial.  She promises it will take no longer than 20 minutes.  Perfect!


K at Vintage Sky wowed me last week with this polymer clay home decor project.  It takes me back to my 100 days of polymer clay series!  Great job.




On with it...


Flea Market Coffee Table Revamp


I found the above coffee table at a local flea market for $3.  I knew I wanted to move the current family room coffee table into the craft room as part of my complete craft space reorganization (whole other post, that one is).    The whole thing was the orange color you see on top.  I sanded it and sprayed the whole table with Krylon fusion Cream.  Once that dried, I used home accents black acrylic paint with some glaze and iridescent gold acrylic paint from Golden's to create a marbled effect, mainly golden with dark undertones.
After that was dry, I arranged little 2.75 inch origami paper squares to my liking, and adhered them with Matte gel Medium.  I then covered the entire top with a layer of the Matte Gel Medium.  After all that dried, I covered the table with 3 layers of Minwax Polycrylic for shine and durability.  I love how it looks tiled.  Easy project, and frugal too.  Bliss.


What’s Your Story? Featuring Artist "Remember Me Emily"

Visit Emily's Etsy Shophttp://RememberMeEmily.etsy.com

Visit Emily's ArtFire shophttp://RememberMeEmily.ArtFire.com







Public Domain Image Roundup; Maps





I am becoming addicted to digital collage, and am on the hunt for public domain images to use.  I will be sharing hot finds for you to download and use as you will!  These maps are so cool.  Old looking (cause they are) - great for home decor projects (see this awesome wall art using a map, by Lorie at Be Different), and digital scrapbooking.

Thrifty Thursday Blog Hop Week 17











Week 17 of Thrifty Thursday.

Look around and join the fun.  The idea is to link to your frugal post, whether it be a DIY, recipe, tip, coupon... if you like it, link it.  If you don't have a thrifty post to link to, feel welcome to join the hop anyway, and link to your main blog.

Other stuff:
* Please follow Saved By Love Creations, your host!
*Grab my "Thrifty Thursday" button above and throw it on your lovely site.  Let's grow this!
*I will choose 2 participants to feature the following Thursday and to receive a free week of advertising on SBLC (under "love worthy sponosors' in sidebar).   Please drop by and follow them!  They are numbers 2 and 3 in the thumbnail list.  REMEMBER that to be chosen as a featured site, you must follow SBLC via GFC.
*Follow the blogs that are must reads, and please return the gesture by following those who follow you.  Leave a comment when you follow so that the blogger will know you are a new follower.
*Leave me a comment and let me know you were here.  I love hearing from you.
*Scatter joy, and frugal tips.
*Have fun 🙂

Weekly Featured Blogs:
Jenni at Who Makes Up This Craft has a knack for revamping furniture with fabrics and lovely paint colors.   Look at this chair, posted here...

It is especially impressive when you go to her blog to see the before pics!  She has inspired me to do something about that eye sore glider rocker in my family room.  You will also see a fabulous ottoman redo!  Thanks Jenni.  Keep it up.







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I love this spring entry room makeover, shabby chic all the way, over at Le Chateau Des Fleur by Frenchy.  BEAUTIFUL.

Now lets get to it...

Short Run Posters; My Source For Quality Large Format Prints at Truly Low Prices





Here is my latest art print set; 3 prints 24'x24' which I mounted on MDF like before in this tutorial.  I love the technique because it looks like prints on canvas, or oil paintings if I use a brushstroke medium.  I have always enjoyed the canvas look, but I am not a painter, and having my artwork printed on canvas -yeah,  not frugal.   These  three prints would have cost me about $300 on canvas.  No thank you.

I am writing this review in response to multiple requests for my printing source after I published this post.  Large format printing in general is costly.  It is just a fact.  That is why I was skeptical when I first found Short Run Posters and saw their prices.  They offer 18x24 prints for $2.97 branded, $4.97 unbranded.  The branding is a small logo on the bottom back of the poster, which is completely unnoticeable for my purposes.  I guess if you are selling the prints, you may not want the logo.  They recently added 24x36 size priced at $15.97.  Unbelievable, right?

Despite my skepticism, I placed my first order in 2009 and was quite impressed.  The prints looked exactly like the image on my computer screen.  I have place several orders since that time, all with great results and customer service.  I had an issue with shipping on one of my first orders that was due to UPS delivering to the wrong center.  Before I had figured out what the problem was, I contacted Short Run about the my order, and they immediately resent the prints without question.  I ended up getting the second batch, then several days later the first batch!  Estimated delivery times vary depending on location (see shipping policies here), anywhere from 1 to 6 days in the US.  There is a $10 flat rate for shipping, regardless of the number of prints you order, so I always wait to place an order until I have several files I want printed.  There is also express shipping available for fees for 1, 2, or 3 day express, which I have never used.  My prints have always come within 7-10 business days (this is 5 day production time + shipping), packaged in a sturdy cardboard tube.

For both sizes, there is a 1/2 inch white border on all sides, so the actual print area is 17x23 and 23x35 inch.  The paper for the 18x24 size is #80 coated cover stock, acid free (archival) with a matte finish.  For an additional fee, you can chose lamination for a glossy effect.  I like the matte finish just fine, and find the paper to be similar to photo paper in heaviness.  The 24x36 size is printed on #46 Bond matte paper.  I just ordered this size for the first time recently.  The paper is not quite as thick as the smaller size print, but it is still heavy.  It is uncoated, and I learned the hard way that you must seal the print with acrylic sealant before coating with Mod Podge brushstroke.  The colors are vibrant and appear just as the file on my monitor.

The Short Run Posters website is full of instructions, tips, FAQ's, tutorials, useful design links and resources to get you going.  I highly recommend this company.  Using SRP, this project cost around $65 total.  A far cry from $300, and  with the satisfaction of having done it myself.  I am amazed at their prices, and still find it hard to believe.  When asked how they can offer such affordable prints, SRP replied "Our philosophy for nearly 4 years has been simple: high quality posters sold at razor thin margins with large volumes overall. "  Seems to good to be true.  It is not.  Do yourself a favor, go there.  


I am making the digital files for the above prints as well as these bird prints available for just $5 each.  You can then upload them to SRP and order super affordable prints! Contact me for these, or any of my prints that peak your interest.  See examples of my work here.

"What’s Your Story", Featuring Artist Ashley Connelly

This week I bring you Ashley from The Creative Place.  This website is full of wonderful, budget friendly tutorials using vintage supplies and paper.  I ran across Ashley's work when I very first began blogging and have followed along every since.  Graphic designer with a love for repurposing, has a gift for creating beautiful home decor with a warm, inviting vintage feel.


You will also find amazing recipes, tips, guest posts and inspiring tales of motherhood.


Ashley's Etsy store has vintage supplies, paper and more for you to add to your stash.


Here are some of my favorite things brought to us by The Creative Place...








About your work:

Where are you located? I live in Wake Forest, North Carolina (just north of Raleigh) with my amazing husband, 2 sweet boys (Jimmy, almost 4 and Joshua, 1 month) and a silly miniature schnauzer, Biz.

What do you create? I love to create art journals, mini albums, tags (designed on the computer). I also like to sew basic projects like pillows, quilts, and totes, and also like to incorporate sewn paper into my art journals.

When and why did you set up your online shop? I set up my etsy shop in May of 2008. I made a few embellished journaling tags and wanted to see what it would be like to have them in a shop and if they would sell. I didn't really keep up with my shop and work on it until last year (2010). Right now I am mostly selling "found paper" scrap packs for others to use in their creations. I have a few art journals in the pipeline, hopefully to debut soon!

How do you promote your creations? I don't really promote my creations for the shop, although I will announce on my blog (thecreativeplace.blogspot.com) if I have a new product(s) in the shop.

What inspires your work? I love to look through magazines, books, and blogs. Usually an idea will come to me that is inspired by what I see.

What is your must have tool for creating? I must have a cutting mat, metal ruler and rotary cutter- this is how I cut all of my paper.

Do you have any tips for others wanting to turn their art into a business? Just go for it! And enjoy it! It's most important to enjoy what you are doing. If you are stressed out about making new products, keeping up with your shop, etc. then you really aren't "doing what you love" anymore! I have found that I have to have a plan - a place where I keep ideas and inspiration, but also where I have the "business side" of what I am doing. Buy a journal or sketchbook. Map out what you want to sell in your shop. What the materials will be, how much they will cost, how much time it will take. Have a section for doodling, and a section for jotting down new ideas or inspiration. Create realistic expectations for yourself and your shop - have a deadline of getting one or two products in your shop and build from there. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Enjoy what you are doing!!

Extras:

What good books have you read or movies have you seen lately? I am in the middle of reading "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas. I am loving it! My hubby and I are into watching documentaries on Netflix. They are so informative and it's neat to learn about different things - we recently watched a National Geographic documentary on the Giant Redwood trees - amazing!

Where was your last vacation? Outer Banks, North Carolina (the beach!)

What is your favorite pastime outside of creating? I love, love, love spending time with my sweet family. I also love to go antiquing and to consignment shops with my hubby when we have "date time". You never know what you'll find 🙂

Who is your favorite designer/artist? Wow, there are so many, I don't think I have just one! I have several blogs I keep up with that are truly inspiring to me.

Paper Mache Mary Jane Shoes Altered

I mentioned this project in this post, a what I am loving to read update.  I got the inspiration for these adorable shoes from Cloth Paper Scissors March/April 2011 issue that I picked up at my local Barnes and Noble.  There is a decent tutorial on creating these mary janes from paper and just a few other supplies.
This is my first ever paper mache project, and I think it is so cute I might freak.  I am not sure what I am going to do with them yet.  Shadow box maybe?  Or dangling from the wreath posted here?  They are about 4 inches long.  I thought they would be bigger, but I couldn't care less.  Precious.  Any ideas for display?
I stamped a cross on one soul and on the other I collaged "Glory to God".  Spring and Easter are a time when God's Awesomeness screams even louder than normal.

Dollar Tree Spring Wreath

SpringWreath2
I needed to bring some spring to the ol' front porch and decided a wreath would be the way to go.  Off I went to the Dollar Tree.  I loved the fall wreath (here) I made from Dollar Tree supplies so much that off I went to the Dollar Tree, where I found some off white carnations and a wreath form...
I removed the flowers from the stems and hot glued them to the wreath form.  That is it.  I used 7 bunches of the flowers, the wreath form and some green ribbon I had in my stash.  Spent a whopping $8.  Well worth it.  Fast, easy, frugal... it's a good day.

10 Life Lessons We Need to UNLEARN by Martha Beck

Had to share this article when I stumbled upon it.  I especially appreciate number 2.  It took me along time to figure out that it is ok, inevitable actuallly, to experience valleys with the peaks in life.  I spent so much energy trying to fix myself or cover up the lows to  be the smiling, happy, "light up the room" girl.  It is a relief to be able to accept how I feel...
"Free to Be Me"
Soft pastels on paper
By Johnnie Lanier


 In the past 10 years, I've realized that our culture is rife with ideas that actually inhibit joy. Here are some of the things I'm most grateful to have unlearned:

1. Problems are bad. You spent your school years solving arbitrary problems imposed by boring authority figures. You learned that problems—comment se dit?—suck. But people without real problems go mad and invent things like base jumping and wedding planning. Real problems are wonderful, each carrying the seeds of its own solution. Job burnout? It's steering you toward your perfect career. An awful relationship? It's teaching you what love means. Confusing tax forms? They're suggesting you hire an accountant, so you can focus on more interesting tasks, such as flossing. Finding the solution to each problem is what gives life its gusto.

2. It's important to stay happy. Solving a knotty problem can help us be happy, but we don't have to be happy to feel good. If that sounds crazy, try this: Focus on something that makes you miserable. Then think, "I must stay happy!" Stressful, isn't it? Now say, "It's okay to be as sad as I need to be." This kind of permission to feel as we feel—not continuous happiness—is the foundation of well-being.

3. I'm irreparably damaged by my past. Painful events leave scars, true, but it turns out they're largely erasable. Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist who had a stroke that obliterated her memory, described the event as losing "37 years of emotional baggage." Taylor rebuilt her own brain, minus the drama. Now it appears we can all effect a similar shift, without having to endure a brain hemorrhage. The very thing you're doing at this moment—questioning habitual thoughts—is enough to begin off-loading old patterns. For example, take an issue that's been worrying you ("I've got to work harder!") and think of three reasons that belief may be wrong. Your brain will begin to let it go. Taylor found this thought-loss euphoric. You will, too.

4. Working hard leads to success. Baby mammals, including humans, learn by playing, which is why "the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton." Boys who'd spent years strategizing for fun gained instinctive skills to handle real-world situations. So play as you did in childhood, with all-out absorption. Watch for ways your childhood playing skills can solve a problem (see #1). Play, not work, is the key to success. While we're on the subject...

5. Success is the opposite of failure. Fact: From quitting smoking to skiing, we succeed to the degree we try, fail, and learn. Studies show that people who worry about mistakes shut down, but those who are relaxed about doing badly soon learn to do well. Success is built on failure.

6. It matters what people think of me. "But if I fail," you may protest, "people will think badly of me!" This dreaded fate causes despair, suicide, homicide. I realized this when I read blatant lies about myself on the Internet. When I bewailed this to a friend, she said, "Wow, you have some painful fantasies about other people's fantasies about you." Yup, my anguish came from my hypothesis that other people's hypothetical hypotheses about me mattered. Ridiculous! Right now, imagine what you'd do if it absolutely didn't matter what people thought of you. Got it? Good. Never go back.

7. We should think rationally about our decisions. Your rational capacities are far newer and more error-prone than your deeper, "animal" brain. Often complex problems are best solved by thinking like an animal. Consider a choice you have to make—anything from which movie to see to which house to buy. Instead of weighing pros and cons intellectually, notice your physical response to each option. Pay attention to when your body tenses or relaxes. And speaking of bodies...

8. The pretty girls get all the good stuff. Oh, God. So not true. I unlearned this after years of coaching beautiful clients. Yes, these lovelies get preferential treatment in most life scenarios, but there's a catch: While everyone's looking at them, virtually no one sees them. Almost every gorgeous client had a husband who'd married her breasts and jawline without ever noticing her soul.

9. If all my wishes came true right now, life would be perfect. Check it out: People who have what you want are all over rehab clinics, divorce courts, and jails. That's because good fortune has side effects, just like medications advertised on TV. Basically, any external thing we depend on to make us feel good has the power to make us feel bad. Weirdly, when you've stopped depending on tangible rewards, they often materialize. To attract something you want, become as joyful as you think that thing would make you. The joy, not the thing, is the point.

10. Loss is terrible. Ten years ago I still feared loss enough to abandon myself in order to keep things stable. I'd smile when I was sad, pretend to like people who appalled me. What I now know is that losses aren't cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing. A real tragedy? That's the loss of the heart and soul themselves. If you've abandoned yourself in the effort to keep anyone or anything else, unlearn that pattern. Live your truth, losses be damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home