Monday, March 21, 2011

CYO Fabric Coasters

Have you ever seen a beautiful fabric that you wanted to display somewhere in your home, yet didn't have a place to add another pillow, curtain, or slip cover? Well, how about coasters? Here is a simple Create Your Own (CYO) coaster project that will catch anyone's attention....

You will need:
4- 3 1/2 inch Fabric Squares (I recommend using good quality fabric scissors, like Gingher, to prevent fraying)
4 Tiles (I purchase mine at Lowes, but you can find them at various hardware stores)
Cork (may be rolled, in sheets, or you can even use felt squares or circles)
Hot Glue Gun
Mod Podge (your BFF in the craft world; I use gloss)
Acrylic Waterproof Sealant (I use Krylon Crystal Clear spray; a brush on application may also be used)
Sponge Brush

Step 1
Because the bottom of your tiles look like this...

you MUST protect your furniture using cork or adhesive felt. Some tiles are perfectly smooth on the bottom, but you still want to add protection. Gotta keep the furniture pretty!

If you buy cork in bulk (roll or sheets) you have to cut your own squares. No biggie. I place the tile on the cork and cut around it to make a perfect square for the tile. Make sure you use thin cork versus overly think because it will fall apart when you cut it. 

Step 2
Use the hot glue to bind the cork to the bottom of the tile. Work in right angles so that the glue does not have a chance to dry. Also, when you lay the cork down, you want it to be "bending" towards the tile, not away. So, if you were to lay the cork on the tile, it should make a "tunnel," not a "ditch." 

Once you have your cork on, or felt... it will look like this...

If you want a more natural look, maybe for an outside patio, you could stop here. But, we want pretty. Let's get pretty.

Step 3
Line your tiles "four square" and add one layer of Mod Podge, using your sponge brush. Just slap it on. I go in a clockwise direction so that I know every tile has had the same amount of time to dry between coats. By the time you finish, you can go ahead and begin to add your fabric. In the same rotation you chose before, place your fabric onto the tile and LIGHTLY press/rub the fabric in to set it into the Mod Podge. Keep an eye out for bubbles. Be careful around the edges because you do not want to cause fraying... me no likey fray.

Note: I cut out a 3 1/2 inch square out of cardboard and use that as my template when I cut my fabric. Place it in the back of the fabric and with a pencil, trace the square and then cut it out. Less stress is a good thing. "Work smart, not hard."

Step 4
Now, enters patience and a good opportunity for you to muli-task. Repeat Step 3, adding a layer of Mr. Podge on each tile and then walk away. Allow it to dry 15-20 minutes. Use a sweeping motion in the middle of the fabric, but "blot" the edges and reinforce the bond. Sometimes the edges need a little extra encouragement. As always, remember their sensitivity. If they get upset, it's ugly. Trust me.

Step 5
Using your finger, gently rub over the fabric to work out any bubbles that may have come up and to make sure your fabric is as snug as a bug between the tile and Mr. Podge. Remember... edges. You can usually figure out which way the grain of the fabric is going, so work with it rather than against it. P.S.-Don't worry about having "too much" podge on b/c it dries clear. Just run your brush back over your finger marks to smooth it out.

Step 6
Repeat Step 4. Yes, one more coat. You want your fabric to be protected, right? Walk away and come back in 30 minutes.

Step 7
Bring your tiles outside on the concrete or place them on a protected surface and give them a good dose of the acrylic sealant. That's it! Allow to dry a good 2 hours before you wrap it up as a gift or place it on your coffee table. Welcome shiny and beautiful!

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try... a fray will show its face.
Imperfections are the beauty marks of being homemade.
Other options: scrapbook paper instead of fabric, matte vs. gloss, colored tile, photos, etc.

Fabulous Idea for those with Kiddos: Take a piece of art work your child has drawn/painted/colored, cut it into fours and when the coasters are together, you see the whole picture.

Men: Find out their favorite sport or professional team and find a coordinating fabric.

I love creating these with four different, yet beautifully coordinated fabrics. My aunt chose these two fabrics for her living room and they work perfect. The best part about this project is the versatility. Being inexpensive is a great perk too.

Happy Creating!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sweetness in Age

by skippy0723

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

PW is having another photography contest and the theme is "beauty." I have had the pleasure of enjoying some incredible photos this week. Today in particular. 

As soon as I laid my eyes on this picture, my left hand went to my chest, I gasped (soon wondering if anyone heard me), and tears filled my eyes instantly. Stunning. Absolutely beautiful and I have no clue who this woman is. You simply must click on the picture to see the beauty and calmness within her soul up close. Where do I see this, you say? Her eyes. Her precious smile. 

Clay called me while I was admiring this photograph and I cried even more when I was trying to explain how it touched my heart. He probably thought I was a nut. 

Maybe I am. If I were, I would be a Circus Peanut. 


Why not? It's a marshmallow disguised as a nut. Wouldn't you rather look like a nut than actually be one?

Tangent. Sorry. As I stared into this woman's eyes, 2 Corinthians 4:16 popped into my head. Outwardly, she is very fragile, old and wrinkled. Yet, when you look into her eyes, you see depth, wisdom, humbleness, joy, and most of all, perseverance. She is still there, brimming with life even though her body may not be able to keep up as it did before. People in this stage of life are a special gift to anyone who is willing to slow down and listen. Oh, the stories she could share!

The dynamics of this photograph are unbelievable to me. She reminds me of heaven. Do you see it?

Sometimes, I don't think I fully understand how deep God's love is for us. 

To me, this picture is a sweet reminder...

Keep'em coming PW!


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Day A Solider Lived

Heavenly Father,

What can I say, other than "Thank You?" How can I do anything else but pour my heart out to you in constant gratitude? A year ago today, you kept this world from taking my husband. You surrounded him with angels and blessed our testimony with a miracle. You gave him the wisdom to wear his bullet proof gear when the other guys looked upon this routine with eyes of invincibility. Without it, the large pieces of shrapnel, now sealed tight in a jar, would have penetrated his chest and killed him instantly. You allowed pieces to graze the top of his helmet, surrounding him left and right. You comforted his fall with minor injuries, yet allowed hundreds, possibly thousands of tiny pieces to enter his arm and cheek. You left scars that will never let us forget the day you spoke loudly, "You are mine and I have great plans for you." Allow us to never forget the emotions that came and went during this time. Allow us to speak of your grace and mercy to others and testify of your Mighty Hand for years to come. Just as you spoke the world into motion, I believe you spoke into motion every piece of metal that was aimed directly at Clay. You provided swift hands and feet to the men around him. Father, my words are so futile to what is felt in my heart. Thank you for allowing us to still dream and walk together as husband and wife. Thank you for saving a husband, brother, son, best friend, and the future father to our children. I can't imagine growing old with anyone else besides him. Thank you for our love, Father. More than that, thank you for first loving us.  May the 14th of March be a special day of remembrance for the rest of our lives, not only for your saving grace, but also in gratitude to all of the families who have, are, and will sacrifice for the freedoms we have...


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Starbucks, my friend.

Dear Starbucks,

Thank you for being so good to me this week. Sunday you gave me my favorite Tall Non-Fat Latte with 1 pump of Peppermint for FREE! Reason? Because the sweet lady at the window said that your computers were acting "wacky" and handed me back my gift card. When I offered to pay cash, she kindly waved her hand at me and said with a smile, "Don't worry about it." I was amazed. 

Your drive-thru this morning added icing to the cake you gave me on Sunday. I handed, yet another sweet lady, my gift card and she said that charging for 1 pump of peppermint was "ridiculous," so there was no up charge. I totally agree with her and thats why my card is registered. Therefore, I'm not charged for flavor shots. But, I appreciated her precious gesture of saving me a couple Washingtons. She hands me my latte with a smile, I drive off and then realized...whoa, wait a miniute.. I have a grande.

I am not a grande kind of gal. I like the amount of milk in the tall and 1 shot of espresso. It's perfect. Everything is doubled when you size up. Two shots of espresso? Not since my college exam week days. Wow, I am saying that like I am so old. Only two years ago. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Sorry for the digression, it's the second shot. Anyway... I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your kindness this week and the amazing people you have hired to take my money at the window in exchange for a delicious pick-me-up.

P.S.- I will meet you again tomorrow with a dear friend of mine. Will you put one of those sweet window ladies at the front register around noon? I know you won't let me down, and, oh...totally digging the mermaid's new style!

Thanks, friend.

Note to All: Addicted to Starbucks? No. Busy week? Yes. Do I do this all the time? No. Will it happen again? Maybe.