Christmas craft week…

I’ve had both the table and miter saw out and they’re getting all sorts of use. Unfortunately, none of it is fun Christmas decor. Just boring old trim work – baseboards and casing. We’re lucky we have a tree and garland up – Steve wanted all Christmas decor on the chopping block until our home was completely put back together – which is going to take some time. So our happy medium was put some of the decor up and continue to push through some finish work on the home. Slow and steady progress – but I’d really like to be making Christmas decor! Here’s a few that still adorn our home…

Life with Fingerprints: DIY Holiday Star, Christmas Crafts
Life with Fingerprints: Christmas Craft, holiday forest out of 2x6 wood
DIY Easy Christmas Crafts - Paper straw tree: Paper straws and an Ikea frame
Life with Fingerprints: Christmas Crafts, pillows made from store bought napkins
  Christmas craft using a wood burning tool

 

Valentine’s Printable Banner…

After the Christmas decor comes down and I’ve finished sweeping the red and green glitter – I like to get my house back in order. It always feels like Valentine’s sneaks up on me and it seems I’m never quite ready to deck the house out again in holiday decor. Don’t get me wrong – I love to decorate for the holidays, but some holidays I go for simple and Valentine’s is one of them.

In the past I’ve made many red and pink crafts including the Valentine’s rag banner that hangs along our entertainment center. I also think it’s fun to get the kids involved and have them help make some decorations. Here’s a printable banner I designed for them to color.
Valentine's Printable Banner for Kids
Valentine's Printable Banner for Kids
Valentine's Printable Banner for Kids
Valentine's Printable Banner for Kids
Valentine's Printable Banner for Kids
For full instructions and the free printable download, go to howdoesshe.com.

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DIY Thankful Sign…

DIY Thankful Sign

Just before my TIA, I started collecting materials for a new project – a THANKFUL sign. I wanted it large to sit above my entertainment center and I wanted the letters cut out of wood. Funny sidenote: when I showed up to the ER, I had my purse with me and as I was grabbing my wallet out, a pack of scroll saw blades came with it! I had just been that morning to the specialty wood shop to grab my last supplies. After my ER visit, I was feeling anything but myself. I felt out of place in my own body, I was tired and dizzy.

After two weeks passed and I could feel the depression start to wash over me and zero motivation to do anything, I pulled out my tools. At first, I was doing it somewhat reluctantly because I really didn’t feel like working with wood. But saws have healing properties for me and this jig saw project was just to trick to snap me out of a downward spiral. And what better message to be working on for me, right?

As I cut those letters, I had a distinct impression of gratitude that I was still able to do projects like this. That the numbness in my fingertips had subsided and I could feel the vibration of the saw. I had complete control over my fingers to move the wood in and out from the blade. I felt like myself more so than any other time in the previous weeks and it felt good. Project Kara is a happy Kara, even if they’re small projects.

Tonight as a family, we spent time talking about gratitude and a spirit of Thanksgiving. We all took turns sharing things big and small that we’re grateful for. I am beyond grateful for my health – a huge wake-up call for not only myself but also Steve. We often take our good health for granted and I recognize that. I am grateful to feel like myself again, its an uncomfortable to feel as though you don’t fit in your own skin and body. I am grateful for a loving and dedicated husband who takes care of me even when I don’t think I need it – he always knows how to help me. I’m grateful for those little humans who call me mom even when we’re in the thick of it and my patience is surface level – they’re always quick to forgive. I’m grateful for friends and family near and far who enrich my life on a daily basis. I have so much to be grateful for, I love a season dedicated to sharing our gratitude.

DIY Thankful Sign

DIY Thankful Sign

It’s a wonderful life…

A while back, I saw this sign on etsy, It’s a Wonderful Life. Steve loves this movie and we find ourselves watching it every Christmas. I would’ve snagged the sign up in a heartbeat, but it was no longer available. I waited a couple months thinking that it might be restocked and it wasn’t. (Naturally, it was restocked at the beginning of the year, after I cut all but one letter!)

So I got familiar with the scroll saw again. It had been a year since I had made the Noah’s Ark set and I was a little rusty. I had all intentions to give it as a gift to Steve for Christmas as part of our traditional homemade Christmas presents. But as luck would have it, the saw broke on my very last letter and I was unable to get it finished and the saw was unrepairable. So it sat unfinished in a Wal-mart bag in the garage for far too long.

Only 8 months later, I was able to get the last letter cut, the letters painted and the sign complete. Merry late Christmas Steve. Or even better, merry early Christmas.

It's a wonderful life

It's a wonderful life

Wrapping paper photo mats…

Hallie has had these white Pottery Barn Kids frames in her room since she was a baby. Last year we did an overhaul on her room when I built her a new queen size bed and we learned that she had no insulation in her room!

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

The pictures came off the wall and we leaned them against the wall – they stayed like that for 8 months until we finally got around to painting her room. We were putting the pictures back on the wall and they just didn’t seem to work anymore. The walls were a light gray and the pictures got lost. So the frames and mats got a little update with some gold spray paint and some wrapping paper.

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

This was the easiest and cheapest upgrade. All you need is a photo mat, some wrapping paper, scissors, tape and an exacto/craft knife.

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

Remove the mat from the picture frame and cut a piece of wrapping paper a little larger than the mat. Cut a large X in the photo cutout.

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

Use tape to secure the inside tabs to the mat and pull tight as you tape the outside edges.

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

We put the frames back together and hung them on the wall and Hallie and I both agreed the white frames needed a facelift. We found the perfect gold/bronze made by Rustoleum that matched her lamp perfectly. It was the perfect touch to her updated “tween” room.

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

Wrapping Paper Photo Mats

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