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Archive for DIY goodness

make . DIY Watercolor Paint

Baby Girl loves the YouTube Kids iPad app! She just loves it. I like it because I don’t have to worry about questionable content, and it gives her the opportunity to wander through some of the things that interest her. These days, she’s excited about cooking and party planning projects, how-to’s for dollhouses and doll furniture, and crafts, crafts, crafts! She’s a crafty girl! It’s not unusual for me to walk into her room or our play room/Kid Cave and find some idea she’s seen on YouTube starting to take shape with her own spin applied to it. Earlier this week, I came home from running a few errands to find this scene on the coffee table…


She explained to me that we were making paint – a video she had seen on YouTube Kids. Since I’m a painter, that’s all it took to get me interested! The idea is really kind of cool, using old Crayola markers to make watercolor paint. Baby Girl went through her markers and found all the ones that had lost too much ink to really be fun for marker art. It turns out, when you place those markers in water, the remaining pigment seeps out to create varying shades of “paint” that still has some artistic life in it. I thought it was a great way to repurpose what might have otherwise been thrown out, and Baby Girl and I spent a little time experimenting with the paints.



Different colors created paint with various amounts of vibrance. Baby Girl used 2 or 3 tablespoons of water for each color, and I imagine the intensity of some colors would be greater with less water. The paints made for very nice watercolor washes with light color building up slowly with more layers. We thought the fluorescent yellow marker created the most fun effects. It was a great opportunity for us to experiment with color, and I showed Baby Girl how to sprinkle salt on wet painted areas to see some of its marbling effect. For our experiments, we used my practice paper, which is thick, but not standard watercolor paper. It gave us a lot  more curling and puddling at the edges than traditional watercolor paper would. I had planned to try to create some backgrounds that I could use with lettering, and I ended up just having fun with how water and color work together. Here are some of our experiment results!

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make . Color-It-Yourself Gift Card Holder


This Fall, a colleague from WCBI TV, the local CBS affiliate station in Columbus, Mississippi, called to invite me to join a monthly segment on their MidMorning with Aundrea morning program. It’s a “mom’s panel” with a couple of other moms of friends who share my Baby Girl’s kindergarten class, and we just sit and talk for a few minutes about the stuff moms normally discuss! It’s been really fun and maybe a little out of my comfort zone, but still something I’ve enjoyed doing it. One of the things we talked about in our November segment was how we approach teacher gifts for the holidays. The consensus from Toralyn and Nell, like me, was gift cards! We’ve all had a habit of getting gift cards for our teachers and including them with a little personal happy to say “thank you” and “merry Christmas” to those men and women who love on our kids each school day.

I’ve been taking a little time this week to look whats cool and trending to bring to fruition some of the make-able ideas that have been flowing through my brain in preparation for the holidays. One of those ideas is a fun way to present gift cards to teachers or anyone else on my list. I’m planning a Christmas issue of AQUA, my e-based creative journal that will have a couple of printables and free artwork features to enjoy — including a printable gift card holder to correspond with the calendar I shared yesterday. But, I also thought it would be so fun to give a gift card in a holder that my kids can personalize with their own styles. SO, I decided to create a Color-It-Yourself design! I printed the layout and asked Baby Girl to color the images for me. She was happy to get involved! This template includes two holders and is pretty easy to fold and glue into the finished product. [You could also insert a business card or a set of gift tags!] Just cut out along the outline, and use a craft knife to cut the slit shown in the bottom flap — this will help the holder stay closed. Then, fold all the flaps back. Apply glue stick to the side flaps and secure them in place with the bottom flap. The top flap will slide into the slit to close. An easy personalized holder! I hope you enjoy trying it out with your little ones.


If you’re not on the AQUA list, go ahead and sign up! It’s just one email a month that usually includes two or three pieces of free downloadable artwork as well as a peek at what’s happening in the Pond.





Calendar Printable + It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas 
Toys in every store 
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be 
On your own front door!”

{“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”}
~ Meredith Wilson

Can you believe it’s December? Thanksgiving holidays ushered us right into a new month, and Christmas is in full bloom around the Pond. I love transforming our rooms with Christmas traditions, and this year I’m on a mission to simplify our schedules, our places and our thoughts. Last weekend we spent some time pulling Christmas boxes down from the attic and decking our halls with so many familiar treasures. We each enjoyed our own moments of “oohs and aahs” remembering where each holiday item should be placed in the house — and finding a few new places for things too! We are saving our Christmas tree for Saturday, so more trimming is in store!

Last week when we celebrated Thanksgiving at our farmhouse, I took my paints to do a few watercolor sketches — possum haw holly, pine fronds and cones, as well as some practice painting words. I’ve put some of the sketches together in this printable December calendar. I hope you enjoy it this month! Punch a hole and hang with a ribbon or trim it to tuck into your journal or sketchbook as a reminder of how precious these days really are. There is also a little gift tag/paper admonition you can clip off and share with someone else to cheer it forward — do not open until Christmas! Click the image below to DOWNLOAD the printable calendar, and  I hope a few photos of our decked out halls will get you in the Christmas spirit.











Welcome October + Printable Calendar


“Listen the wind is rising
and the air is wild with Leaves.
We have had our summer evenings:
Now for OCTOBER eves!”
~ Humbert Wolfe
{poet 1885-1940} 

October is here! It’s one of my favorite months of the year because (among other reasons) in Mississippi, we finally begin to enjoy the cooler mornings and evenings of Fall! We had that coolness this weekend, and the air was indeed “wild with leaves!” My kids and I enjoyed changing out potted plants for autumn foliage and filling the house with our Fall decorations. We purchased an abundance of tiny pumpkins and gourds to spread across our table, and we even watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” in celebration.

I’ve been wanting to do some pretty artwork for marking time as we turn the seasons to Fall, so on Friday evening I did a few little watercolor illustrations. I’ve put some of them together for this printable October calendar. I hope you’ll enjoy it as you begin the season of pumpkins! Punch a hole and tie a ribbon to hang it just as is, OR trim it apart for a date reminder to slip in a favorite notebook. You can even clip the “Fall for you…” image as a sweet message to pass along and brighten someone’s day! Just click the image to DOWNLOAD, and enjoy a few glimpses of this weekend’s Fall handiwork!

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make . Birthday Circle Banner [printable]


Last month, we celebrated my Baby Girl’s 5-year-old birthday with her first little “friend party,” held in our backyard with lots of swimming, playing in the sandbox, and eating cupcakes! [Give me a moment, because I can’t believe she’s five already!]

I used some doodles and hand-drawn letters on her party invitations, including a cupcake with plenty of Baby Girl’s signature sprinkles. I thought I would share with you the “Happy Birthday” banner, “Happy” hang-ables and favor tags I made to match. They are a very easy print and cut pattern. I just used scallop scissors to cut them out so it doesn’t matter if you don’t cut a perfect circle. The banner and hang-ables are about 8″ circles, and the favor tags are about 3 1/2″ circles. The downloadable PDFs include one circle per letter for “Happy Birthday,” “Happy,” and cupcake hang-ables, as well as the small cupcake circle tag with an optional “thank you” to print on the flip side. The pieces are in pastel pink (my girl’s fave), green, lavender and blue. Just punch holes and tie or hang for your own celebration. And, really, is there ever a day when we don’t need more “HAPPY” and cupcakes?




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And, just to recap… Awww!


[originally posted at EyeJunkie.com on her 1st birthday :)]

make . DIY Paper Stars


Last month, we celebrated my oldest son’s 8th birthday around the Montgomery household! While I was getting over the shock that he could possibly be eight, I decided to create some fun decorations for our dining room chandelier. We decided to have just a “family party” rather than a “kid party” with friends this year, but I still wanted him to feel special — for a couple of weeks 🙂

Maybe I’ll share the “8yo Birthday Blast-Off” rocket centerpiece I made him to hang from the light in another post, but for this one I decided to offer a little how-to on some paper stars I created for the rocket’s airspace. These are really simple, and you can make them with any solid or patterned paper. I decided to print out some silly patterns in the colors I wanted, and you can download those if you like them. The stars are so whimsical that those white spaces left at the edges when you “print to page” from an inkjet printer aren’t even noticeable. So, I can even see these stars as a neat and festive way to recycle used printouts! Enjoy and have a blast in your own starry celebrations!


What you’ll need:

>> Sheets of paper — any size, where the width = about 1/3 the length.
** I used a 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet cut in half to make two stars
[you’ll need that approximate width/length to be sure your star can easily open to a full circle]
>> Tape
>> Scissors
>> Twine or string

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How to make it:

1. Gather your materials so you’re ready to begin — the more fun the paper and string, the better!

2. Fold your piece of paper accordion style along the narrow side. It doesn’t matter how wide the fold it, just try to keep it consistent.

3. When your folding is complete, cut the strip in half. You’ll be able to make a star out of each half? When cut, carefully fold the strip in half. You can use a straight-edge to help crease the fold. Then, tie a string around your folded strip at the crease.

4. Now you can get creative! Using the scissors, cut various shapes into the sides and/or ends of the folded strip. Your cuts will create light holes for more twinkly stars.

5. Pull the top and bottom ends of the accordion folds toward each other and secure with tape to create a full circle. you’ll tape on the opposite end of a fold as shown above.

6. Thread a string or ribbon through one of the star holes and you’re ready to hang for a stellar celebration!


make . Easter Cards & Bookmarks [printable]


Two weeks ago when the kids and I went to our family farm for Spring Break, my intention was to have some creative down time. And, I did! But, I also took my watercolor paints. As things happen, I really enjoyed getting to play around with them and just have fun with the joy of painting. I painted some plein air landscapes as we enjoyed the outdoors, and I also created a few fun illustrations springing from some of my sketch journal entries. My daughter enjoyed the bunny creations, so I decided to turn them into some sweet little printables for Easter. There are a set of two printable notecards and three bookmarks that could also double as jumbo gift tags. I hope you enjoy them as you celebrate Easter with your little bunnies.



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making . Saint Patrick’s Day Mini-Banner [printable]

We’re “hangers” around here. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I hang decorations and signs and pictures to the wrought-iron chandelier above our dining table every chance I get. Whether it’s “happy birthday” banners across the picture window or the latest crayon creations on the entryway or even Baby Girl’s intricate tape sculptures on my office door, we all seem to get into the “hanging” mood. And, I love it! I love the chance to create an air of celebration out of just ordinary days.

I’ve been inspired by some of the really cool paper DIY banners popping up around the internet these days! So, last week I decided to design one of my own in celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day…


For my DIY mini banner, I decided OUR Saint Patrick’s Day message should be B.L.E.S.S.E.D. The “luck of the Irish” is tons of fun and you can’t go wrong wearing green, in my opinion! BUT, I don’t really believe all our abundant blessings come from that “lucky” clover. They are birthed from God’s gracious hand, paired with our own hard work, the love and generosity of those around us and a pinch of the amazement God set in motion when He made this great world with humans beings in it. So, BLESSED, it is!

I put together some mini-banner flags that can be strung together and hung in celebration of March. AND, with the extra space on the printable, I also threw in a couple of “pinch me anyway” mini folded notes with a more traditional St. Patty’s feel.



What you’ll need:
>> card stock to print the PDF file
>> cutting mat
>> x-acto or small utility knife
>> metal straight edge
>> string or ribbon for hanging
>> glue

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How to make it:
1. Print both pages of your “printable” PDF onto white card stock paper. The flags are set up so that your banner will read “blessed” from both front and back.

2. Cut out the diamond shapes of your mini flags using a utility knife and straight edge. On the printable, you’ll cut along the diagonal lines. [Save the horizontal lines for scoring only]

3. Now, use your straight edge and a very light touch with your knife to score the center line of each diamond shape and fold to create your triangular flags.

4. Arrange the mini flags in the right order with your string positioned in the crease. You can determine the space between each flag.

5. Squeeze some glue onto the lower triangle and press the two sides together. I drew a small triangle with the glue, keeping it away for the edges and about a half inch from the string in the crease. This way the flags are secure enough to stay in place when hung, but you can also carefully slide them if you want to change the spacing.

6. Give it a couple of minutes to dry. Then, hang and be blessed!

** For your mini folded notes, just cut out the rectangular shapes (the printable includes 2 folded notes) and score at the center line to fold. The notes would be pretty cute as placecards or mini tabletop decorations!

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favorite things . Dolled Up DIY

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a CRAVE in Plop! land — probably because I’m in crave overload from some of the creativity I’m seeing online these days. I was looking through my archive of bookmarks and had to share this one right away! I’m not a seamstress. Not even close. But, I’ve fallen in love with these DIY dolls from MIKODESIGN. The illustrations are so sweet and whimsical, and I can imagine my Baby Girl squeezing the love out of this little Parisian and her stylish bunny. I particularly love the tiny camera, tote bag and itty bitty bottle of Chanel No. 5. I also noticed that you can purchase remnant bags of the Parisian fabric in a couple of colors — just the right touch of frou frou, if you ask me!

Programming note: I’ve been weeding through past posts recently getting inspired again, but mostly cleaning up inconsistencies I see, fine-tuning topics and categories and tweaking here and there. I hope you’ll poke around too!

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