Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My favorite posts of 2013 and a printable!

Ya know, I see lots of bloggers sharing their top read or top commented posts of 2013, but I'm gonna share MY favorite projects.  I just started "the blog" this year, and truth be told, I have a round up of the top read posts over there on the right, so no need to be redundant, right?

I pretty much explain this in the rarely-read "About" page, but I started this blog (it's almost the blogiversary!!)  as a way to share our finishing touches to our home with our friends and family all over the place.  There have been a ton of bumps along the way - and a lot of fun!

I've had moments of thinking of just giving this up.  Let's face it, I have a full time job that is pretty stressful, I don't always have time to produce perfect Pinnable photos (say THAT five times fast!), and even though I may only be able to sit down and get one post out in a month, I will say that my aunt telling me that she follows this blog at Grandmother's on Christmas Eve made me realize that the whole purpose that I started with is alive and well.  Thanks, Aunt Becky!  All of the creativity that I dive into is my way of releasing some of that job induced stress, including this blog.  So, we march on!

So, without further ado, here were MY favorite projects along the way.  Can't wait to see what happens around here in 2014!  There are fantasies of a finished attic brewing in my head...

I redid our Country Willow bathroom to a more fabulous Boho style and I still love it.  I walk in and just smile at all of those dark colors becoming something bright and happy!

A bunch of wonderful women that I call friends had babies this year, so they required some Boho Willow creative baby gifts!

Tiki torches made the deck much more inviting in the hot summer months and we didn't have to worry about them setting the house on fire.

 Boho Willow:  Laundry Room Redo

I redid our mess of a laundry room/mud room to something much more fit for human dwelling.

 Boho Willow: Lotion Bars

These lotion bars made winter a bit less of an issue for my super sensitive skin.  And I STILL have some in my fridge.

Super easy to make coasters were such a simple and happy project!  I hope the receiver loved them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Then of course, there was my last post, the Christmas gift for my Grandmother.  Love, love, love that one.

So of all the projects I did this year, these were my favorite, either because of the meaning behind them, the purpose, or sometimes, both!  

Oh yeah... I really liked - and used - this desktop calendar I made for 2013, so I made another for 2014 and YOU can download it here and use a small easel like I do or string the cards together or put them on a clipboard above your desk or display them however you choose!

Did you have a favorite Boho Willow post or project?  Let me know down there in the comments!!

Happy New Year, everyone! 
I hope 2014 is an amazing year for all of us!!

Shared at Teach Me Tuesday at Someday I'll Learn and Wow Me Wednesday at Ginger Snap Crafts

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The best thing I've made with my Silhouette - by far!

I wasn't sure how to title this post, but what you see up there pretty much fits, because as much as I don't like making people cry, it brought tears to this beautiful lady's eyes.  She is my amazing Grandmother that I share with 14 fantastic cousins.  She has given all of us so much, including quilts for the "big" events in our lives or just because she felt like making one.  I thought it would be nice to give her some of that homemade love back.

What I love the most about my Silhouette is being able to personalize things for people I love.  I don't sell anything, I haven't made multiples of anything I've sent through the machine.  I just try to come up with things that are meaningful for my friends and family, and of course, myself.  

This tale starts with a pine board...

I took it out to the garage and started sanding, then I stained it with my trusty Kona stain.  You'll just have to trust me on that part, I forgot to take pictures.  

Then, I added some crackle medium in random spots, mostly around the edges.

After that dried, I brushed on some black acrylic paint, again in random places.

Then, after that dried, I went over the whole thing with some white mixed with antique white craft paint, then took it out to sand some more to get a rough, distressed finish.

Then, I wiped on some brown glaze to really "beat it up."

I had asked those 14 cousins to send me a picture of them with a quilt. That alone was a challenge with all of us being spread all over the country, and two of them having recently spent a considerable amount of time OUT of the country.  Luckily, last year was a "quilted Christmas" - so I had a few pictures myself for those who just couldn't find one.  

I played around with different ideas of how to lay out the photos, went to PicMonkey to try to come up with collages, and nothing was really working for me.  In the end, I took those texted, emailed, and Facebooked photos and sent them to WalMart to have wallet size prints made.  (Let's just say that entering WalMart a few days before Christmas was a treat in itself!)

Once I had the prints, I cut black card stock down to "frame" the photos then laid them out on the board to determine how much room I'd have for vinyl.  I had these little miniature clothespins and I thought arranging the photos around the board using them would be sweet, so I laid it all out and glued the clothes pins in place.  Again, I was busy creating so didn't take photos of this process.

Then came time for the vinyl... I struggled with what I wanted to put on the board, I wanted something sweet, but not too cheesy. I found an image of a distressed white board online that I used to make some mock-ups and went to work...

Ultimately, with the help of some amazing women I'm lucky enough to know, a design was chosen and the whole thing came together.

The really cool part is that I thought to record the opening so that a cousin who had to leave the annual family Christmas Eve gathering could see, and that is a gift that I will forever treasure.

I hope your holiday was filled with family, love, and laughter just as mine was!!

Shared at The Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming by Stephanie Lynn, Wow Me Wednesday at Ginger Snap Crafts, Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style, Teach Me Tuesday at Someday I'll Learn

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Custom name word blocks

In my Silhouette'n for Christmas post, I promised a tutorial on the wood blocks I made for my dad for Christmas.  These are so easy, it's ridiculous.  But, my camera skills were working that day, so here goes!

A while ago, I shared a picture of a pile of wood with a caption that read "future project."  Now that the holidays are here, I finally dipped into that pile and got to work!

I started with sanding the blocks to buttery smooth with my trusty Mouse.  

Once that was done, I wiped them down with tack cloth and got to work staining them with my favorite stain - Kona from Rustoleum.  It just brings out the wood grain so beautifully.  I stained each side and edge.

Then comes the tough part... the part that requires patience... waiting for them to dry just a bit, maybe 10 minuets, till I wiped off most of the stain.  Once that was done, I just let them dry overnight.  If you have a fireplace or a wood stove, I highly recommend doing this part near it.  Not close enough that anything can catch a spark, of course.

While they were drying, I cut out the vinyl letters and had all intentions of simply applying the letters to the wood and calling it a day.  Once the letters were on, though, I decided to paint one quick coat of antique white craft paint over the "G" block and the one that I wanted to use for "family" since I knew I wanted to use a different color of vinyl for that one. Once I painted them, I waited about an hour and peeled the "G" off, leaving me with this - check out that wood grain peeking through!

I considered doing more of the letters this way, but I liked the simplicity of just the first letter.  I ran over the edges and corners of the "G" and the "family" block with a sanding pad to rough it up just a bit.  I then dabbed a paper towel over an antiquing ink stamp pad and quickly dabbed it onto the two white blocks.  I think the finished product is pretty good for a "manly" gift, don't you?  They kinda look like they belong in an old western!

Though I used my Silhouette, you certainly could do this project without one.  Card stock can be Mod Podged, you can buy decals and stickers, or maybe you have some real scissor skills and you could cut your own letters (I don't - that's why I have a machine that cuts for me!)  I've seen a ton of holiday sayings being made using blocks, kids names, important dates, whatever your mind can think up! What will YOU make?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's a Silhouette Christmas!

I have been a Silhouette using FOOL all day!  This is my first Christmas season with my trusty little sidekick. Honestly, I don't know how I made it through the holidays without one before!

I spent a good chunk of the day cutting out the pieces for the gift card holders that I found in the Silhouette online store.  I had one book of scrapbook paper and a pack of black and kraft card stock, so I just aligned, cut, and glued 12 of these little beauties together.

While I was working on those and looking through my library of design files, I came across a reindeer and knew the perfect spot for this little guy.

I had made these blocks a week or so ago, but finally got around to taking pictures today.  If you've been around here before, you know I don't share gifts until they're given, but the chances of my dad seeing this are pretty darn slim, so here they are!  I'll share a tutorial on these later this week, but they were so easy, I'm sure anyone reading this can figure it out just by taking a peek at this photo!

And finally, because 12 gift card holders, a reindeer, cleaning, and cooking weren't enough, I decided that since we didn't have a Nativity, I needed to make one.  This was also a file from the Silhouette online store, I just sized it out to wrap around the front of the tub and cut it down into sections to apply it.  I love the way it turned out!

So that was all the Silhouette'n I got done today - and my own little bit of DIY Christmas!  

Have you been following along with the projects I've shared on Facebook and Pinterest?  I'd love to see your projects and share them with my family and friends!

OH - and if you love NYC - be sure to follow BohoWillow on Instagram!  I'll be visiting this week for work - and the office is just upstairs from "the" tree!  

Linked up at That DIY Party at DIY Showoff, Sunday Showcase @ By Stephanie Lynn

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas, Christmastime is near!

It's time to pump up the Christmas tunes, pull the decorations out of the attic, and roast some chestnuts on an open fire to stay warm!  

I don't know about you, but once I see my first Christmas movie, it's on.  I happened to catch How the Grinch Stole Christmas the other day, and little Cindy Lou Who made me smile just as much as she did when I was a little girl.  I love Christmas movies, and the cartoons are no exception. I still look forward to seeing these little guys and hear their helium voices each year.  (Truth be told, I love ANYTHING Theodore - he's just so adorable!)

It's clear that you all LOVE Christmas projects - the ornament I shared is by far my most popular post ever! (Thank you all!)  In honor of the upcoming holiday, I'll be sharing a DIY project a day on the Boho Willow Facebook page that anyone can do. Be sure to like Boho Willow on Facebook to follow along! I'll also have a special board on Pinterest just for these projects, so you can follow along just about anywhere you'd like!  I'd love to hear from you if you complete any of them! 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and let's get our DIY on!

Follow Boho Willow 2013 Christmas DIY challenge on Pinterest
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