Sunday, September 23, 2012

Favs of Fall

I just love fall!  The weather is just perfect here in North Georgia right now, and I have been in the mood to add some fall touches to my home.  I try to stick mostly to fall decor that will take me all the way through Thanksgiving.  I may or may not be the absolute worst about not taking down the previous season's decor!  As I removed the moss bunnies and Easter egg topiary this weekend, I vowed to be more timely in getting that stuff put away next year.....yeah, not holding my breath!  Heck, the only reason I get the fall stuff put away is because I have to put out the Christmas decor. 

Well anyway, take a peek at some of the fall decor I've added to the homestead....
I love fresh flowers....any time of year!  This beautiful mixture of mums, sunflowers and carnations adds just the right touch in our kitchen.
The cloche got a couple of pinecones, a little fake pumpkin and some fall color berry-like things.  Sitting on the island in the kitchen is a great place to remind us of the beauty that is the fall season!
I was the lucky winner of this beauty last year in a silent auction at my school's fabulous fall festival.  The festival is coming up later this week, and I can't wait to see what I can win this year! Each class decorates a faux pumpkin and it is entered into the silent auction.  The entries are always so creative! I have the great honor and privilege to be assistant principal in the most wonderful school with a dedicated PTA!  Fall Festival is always an event we all look forward to!  This pumpkin is the center piece on the buffet in our dining room.
The dining table is set with fall colors, including these pottery soup bowls that belonged to my grandmother.  Fill it with a dollar store pumpkin, and it's instant Fall!

And saving the best for last.....this is a very crudely made wooden trough that I made this week.  I just grabbed some boards out of the hub's scrap wood box, used the jigsaw to cut it the lengths I needed, nailed it all together, beat it up a bit with a hammer, and stained it.  Hubby saw it and just shook his head.  He immediately wanted to "fix" it for me.  I told him that wasn't least until it's time to take down the fall decor!  It took like 20 bazillion hours to get this thing set just right, and it's staying right where it is for now! :o)  It is really bad long as you don't look real's just fine!
Well, that's all for now.  I'll be adding some additional decor in the coming weeks, so I am scouring all the great ideas in blogland and Pinterest! 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Monogram Madness!

Can I just say, I am obsessed with monograms!  I love a classic monogram, and I struggle with where to use them without overdoing it!  I have several monogrammed pieces of clothing, and I have one on the back windshield of my car.  I have seen these great wooden cut-out monograms on Pinterest and just decided it would be perfect for our front door!

BUT...I didn't want to pay the price I am seeing them sell for on sites like Etsy.  Not when I know I have the tools and the ability to at least give it a try myself.  So that's what I did this weekend!  And here is our door today.......

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  So, I wanted to tell you all that you can make one yourself.  If you have the correct tools, this is not hard to do.  It does take time and patience.  So, how to do it?  Here is what I did. {Warning: the photos I took were not of my original above.  I did one for one of my daughters today and took pictures since I didn't remember to do them the first time.  Just didn't want it to confuse y'all!}

1.  You need to download the font called KK Monogram to your computer.  It can be found at

2.  I used Microsoft Publisher to create the monogram.  You can create individual text boxes and move them around so that the letters touch each other.  This is important to make the monogram all one piece.  I used about a size 300/bold font for the middle letter and a bit smaller for the side letters.  The initials I used:  the C in the middle is our family name, and the smaller C and A on the sides are for my first name and hubbie's first name. When the monogram was complete, I saved it as a pdf file on a jump drive.

3.  The next step involves enlarging the monogram.  Because I am an elementary school assistant principal, I have access to bulletin board paper and a projector.  I taped the paper to a wall and shined the monogram via the projector onto the paper.  I made mine about 20 inches tall by 24 inches wide and I traced it. Here is a what it looks like....this one is a different one I am making for one of my daughters.  This may be difficult to see....but hopefully you can get the idea. :)
 4.  I went to Lowe's and purchased a piece of 1/4 inch thick smooth surface plywood.  It was $20 for the sheet and I had the nice young man at Lowe's cut it into 6 pieces that measured 24x30.  This is a blurry pic of the pieces of plywood waiting for me to make them into something pretty.  Since I can get 6 monograms out of one sheet of plywood, that's a pretty good deal!


5.  I used spray adhesive on the back of the paper and stuck it to the board.  Word of caution here...I used way too much on my first one and ended up having to sand off a lot of the paper.  The second time, I used less and it worked great!  I was able to peel off the paper from the wood once it was all cut out.

6.  Then I used a drill to drill pilot holes to have a place to insert the saw blade.  This picture shows you the paper stuck to the board, some of my pilot holes and also some of the pieces already cut out.

7.  I used a jigsaw to cut.  It was important to cut out the inside sections first so the stability of the entire piece was maintained for as long as possible. Go very slowly with the jigsaw, and do not try to turn a corner!  The blade will break, so it is important to think through how you will make your cuts. I had to stop and add more pilot holes as I went.  I just lined up the drill right beside a line so the hole would be in just the right spot for my jigsaw blade to get to the line I was wanting to cut.

8.  Once the piece was completely cut out, I sanded it using my mouse sander to get the little prickly edges off.  Then it is ready for spray painting!  This particular one I am showing you is going to be a fun turquoise blue and will go in my daughter's dorm room.  I used a cream color for our front door monogram because I wanted it to pop against the black door.
So here is the one on our front door again.  You can see I added a burplap ribbon bow and it was ready to hang! 

This one took way more time.  The one I made today for my daughter took about 2 hours, start to finish.  I suppose it is like anything else, the more you do something, the faster you go!  Good luck to you should you decide to go for it!
Linking up to some great parties!