Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just Because

I'm the first to admit, we have some wonderful friends. Each year for Christmas I want to do something for them, and to be honest, most years I don't get to it. This year I was bound and determined to do SOMETHING. A few weeks ago, when we had our first hard freeze, my Mom pulled the last of her tomatoes from the vine to keep them from dying in the cold. Most of them were very green, but all ripened up nicely - leaving us with hundreds of tomatoes - literally... My husband is of Hispanic background, and makes a mean salsa. Seriously - the best. We've had friends come over to have him teach them how to make it. :) So we decided to put all those tomatoes to good use and make homemade salsa for our friends - something pretty unique, low cost, but meaningful. I dressed up the mason jars a bit with some twine , fun clip magnets, and homemade cards (if you read my teacher gift post - these cards and magnets will look very familiar :) ). Here's the final result - I think they turned out great! Can't wait to hear what our friends think of them (and hope they don't read this!).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A DIY: Teacher Gifts (Oh my)

It seems like these always sneak up on me, even though I KNOW I have to do gifts for Christmas and the end of the year... But with two boys, at two different schools this year, that means a LOT of gifts. Ugh. My fear is always that I give them something they hate, or won't use, so I try to give them something practical, while making it fun at the same time... No small feat, and I have no doubt there have been years where I failed miserably. This year, I decided gift cards would be the best way to go, but I wanted to add something to them... I love the idea of these fun clip magnets (see Ashley Ann's blog here for a darling DIY she did on them), and decided I could use these to hold their gift cards, and add a little something else to the gift. Super easy, fun, and hopefully a little different.

I started with plain wooden clothespins and adhesive scrapbook paper. If you don't have adhesive, you can just modge podge the paper onto the clips - This just saved me a step. I measured the size of the clip and cut a bunch of little strips, then attached them to each clip using the adhesive strip.

Next, I applied a thin layer of modge podge over the top of each clip to just secure the paper and finish them a bit.

I applied magnets to the back of each clip using a strong adhesive (note: I tried the adhesive magnets, and trust me, they don't work. :) The adhesive just wasn't strong enough, and I ended up have to glue them anyway).

I added some fun scrapbook paper, distressed the edges with ink and added a "Merry Christmas" stamp to each and voila! Add the gift card and you are good to go, or just give as is.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Card Frame - A DIY from Poofy Boutique!

Yesterday I was so thrilled to be a "guest" of Kelsey's Poofy Boutique blog - she has a super fun blog full of crafty ideas, and a great Etsy shop to go along with it. Today I've asked Kelsey if I could share one of her Christmas crafts on my blog... She is posting one a day and I LOVE all the ideas she's come up with so far! (It was hard to choose just one!)

Her 'how-to' on a Christmas Card frame was just the motivation I needed (yep, my Christmas cards I've received are currently in a stack - I'll be making this frame this weekend to display them!). Here is her DIY:

Remember my craft room redo? Well I no longer have the craft room. We let one of Mike’s friends stay with us for a few months after he lost his job, and after he moved out we decided to give both of the boys their own rooms. So, all of the blue furniture – matches NOTHING.

I took the blue magnetic frame from the craft room and gave it a coat of spray paint.

I tied some butchers twine in a zig-zag around the frame.

and now it is ready for Christmas cards!


And here's just a few of my favorite items from her shop - she has something for EVERYONE on your list!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A DIY Feature - PoofyCheeks!

Today I'm featured on a fabulous blog I love reading! Not only does Kelsey do giveaways from time to time (she has a super cute Etsy store, more on that tomorrow), but she's also really good about posting fun crafts that are easy to do and great ways to add to your home decor. I was so honored when she asked if she could post my tutorial on Shabby Christmas Letters! So head on over and check it out! And be sure to read some of her other crafty ideas for Christmas - she's posting one a day! I'll be back tomorrow with more from Kelsey and the Poofy Boutique!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Christmas Mantle

Our mantle has been a work in progress for years. I've never been quite happy with it - and each year I play with it a bit more trying to get it just the way I want... This year, I think I'm finally there, or at least close.

Last year, I got the crazy idea that I needed a vintage sled as my mantle centerpiece. I love antiques, and my house is an eclectic mix of fun antiques and new pieces, but I'm not one that just has the "eye" for vintage. However, one of my good friends who is the owner of a very popular Etsy Vintage Shop is an expert (see her fantastic shop - BellaLulu - here). Last year, she let me tag along to a market with her on the hunt for a sled. I got lucky and we found one at almost the first area we went in. It truly is exactly what I had pictured in my head, and I love the look of it! You might wonder why the stockings are on the hearth and not hanging like they should from the mantle... Well, that would be for the safety of my sweet 2 1/2 year old little man (Leyton), who thinks things that hang are for pulling on. :) Until he's a bit older, we'll keep them down low so he can't knock himself out with a heavy stocking hanger falling on his head. :) And while the stockings are not super fancy or trendy, they are VERY close to my heart. My mom has made one for each member of my family, and I love them! They will forever be a part of my decor.

I added some cheap pine garland that I brightened up with some sparkly tinsel from Hobby Lobby (50% off of course!) and a few other pieces. One of my favorite Christmas decorating ideas is one I use in multiple places around my house (including on the far right of the mantle). I love the look of brightly colored glass ornaments in different vases, bowls, etc. It's an easy way to add color to any room without much cost or effort.

So what does your Holiday Mantle look like? I'd love to see it(and share for you on my blog)! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Shabby Christmas Letters - On the cheap! A DIY!

A few weeks back, I saw some darling letters spelling out "JOY" for Christmas Decor. I saw them from far away, so I didn't get to inspect them closely for details on making them, but I decided to wing it. I started out buying chipboard letters at our local Arts & Crafts store. I also bought different Christmas scrapbook paper (each piece big enough to trace a letter on), and a tiny tube of silver glitter, and that was it (just because I'm a sucker for all things shiny at Christmas). You'll also need modge podge, or something similar, which I already had.

I started tracing each letter on the paper and cutting them out. I then used modge podge to glue the cutouts to the letters. Be careful here to use a VERY thin layer of glue, or the paper will bubble. Mine bubbled a bit, but I have them up high and no one will ever notice. :)

The modge podge dries very quickly, so as soon as it was dry, I used scrapbook ink (I used brown) to distress all of the edges. You can do this as heavy as you like - I went heavy since I wanted to be see it from far away.

Once the ink dried (again, super quick), I modge podged over the top of the letters to seal it and give it a nice finish. Yeah, I know. Bubbles. Pretend you don't see them. :)

Last, I painted a little more modge podge on each of the letter edges and dipped them in the glitter. You really can't see much of this where they are displayed, but it gives them a finished look and a little extra sparkle. :)

Total cost -
Letters - $4 for 4
Scrapbook paper - $2.50 for 4 sheets
Glitter - $1.50
$8 total

And the finished product - I love it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

22 months later... ONE finished room!

We moved into our dream house 22 months ago. And in those 22 months, I've been completely and totally overwhelmed on how to decorate it, and where to start. I'm one of those people that won't just throw stuff up on the walls for the sake of having it there - I have to love it. Which makes my husband nuts. So I had us completely unpacked within a month, but just no decor, or very little. So....I decided to start with a bathroom. It's the bathroom for our guest bedroom and is hardly ever used, but I felt like it was a great starting place for me for a few reasons: first, it was a completely blank slate. It didn't even have a shower curtain yet. Second, since it's for the guest room, it doesn't have to fit the color scheme of two little boy rooms, the master bedroom, etc. No pressure.

So about 6 months ago I bought this great shower curtain at Target completely on a whim. I just loved the color (kind of a seafoam green/blue) and the fun waffle texture. This was my splurge at about $28. I hung it, and there it sat for 6 months. :) When I finally had a plan, I came back. We didn't make huge changes, but the few we made I think made a good impact.

I needed a towel rack. I love our antique bronze doorknobs and handles in our home, but I realized quickly a matching towel rack was expensive. And boring. And then I came across this fun idea to build your own on one of my favorite blogs - House of Smiths. She used molding to create super cute boxes and filled them with Vinyl (which she sells in her super cute shop). LOVE IT! But, in my world, I don't make and sell vinyl, and I was trying to do this on the cheap (remember this is room #1 - the list of rooms to decorate is loooong). I love beadboard, and had the great idea to fill the blank space with that instead. Enlist one handy husband, and VOILA! A shabby, home-made towel rack for about $30!



I tried to stick to 3 colors - the Seafoam green/blue from the shower curtain, Chocolate Brown, and White. All my towels were bought on clearance at Target for about $7 a set. (a bargain in my book) I wanted a more custom look to my towels, so I added some grosgrain ribbon to the white ones (another great idea from House of Smiths - see her post here)

For the pictures above the towels, I reused old frames. I hated the plain white mats, so instead I used fun fabric and mounted the pictures straight on to really make them pop. (Cost = nothing! Scraps of fabric and repurposed frames)

For the decor on the counter - this is always were I struggle, however I love how this turned out. I used extra hand towels, a fun new Hurricane vase I received at a Church Christmas Gathering a few weeks back, and reused a wooden box we received a gift in. I filled the vase with Cinnamon sticks (clearance at Target - $5). The candle sticks are CHEAP. Yes, they are super cute and look really fancy, and they are actually wood, but cheap. Also a gift. Add fun oversized layered candles from Z-Gallerie about 10 years ago, and there you have it! I also added a rug and I think I bought it on sale - about $13. It's not a bathroom rug - for some reason those are way more expensive, but it is the braided chenille, so just as soft. I've just realized it's in none of the pictures! Oh well, you'll just have to trust me, it's cute.

I had really hoped to use more sewing in this room, but it just wasn't necessary! Oh well, I'm sure there's plenty in my future for the rest of the house. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Feature!

In the Spring, I joined the EtsyKids team, and it's been a ton of fun! Recently, I've participated in the EKTT (EtsyKids Treasury Team) and have really enjoyed making treasuries featuring some of my talented teammates. One of my treasuries, "A Slice of Pumpkin Pie," has been featured on the EKTT blog! What fun! Come on by and take a look at some of the other great features on this blog here!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vote, Vote, Vote!

I love entering contests. Not sure what it is about it because I never win, but I enjoy the competition of it I guess. :) This month I entered the design challenge with the Etsy Kids team I'm a part of. If you have a second, stop by and check out the great items out there by some very talented Etsy sellers... The theme this month is "dainty damask," and everything is just cute, cute! :)

Vote here! And here's the entry for Leyton Smiles - damask is one of my current fav styles - I only wish I had a little girl to use it on! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Sneak Peek!

Several new items coming to Leyton Smiles this week, including several new fabrics and several old favorites! A new item each day this week... Here's a preview of today's item - HELLO Alexander Henry! (stay tuned)! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Big Boy room (and Hello Again!)

Wow - has it really been almost 3 months since I posted?!? Goodness, maybe I'm worse at this blogging thing than I thought... ;) Things have been busy, busy around here! School ending, beginning of Summer, lots and lots of fun with the kiddos, and a few projects around the house! Whew! I'm worn out and it's just barely July!

One big project that's eating ALL my extra time is my oldest son's room. We moved into a new house about a year ago. And since then, I've never been happy with his room. I love the room itself, but the furniture just didn't look the same in this room - it was just too small, too plain, and just overall not right. And since I'm always on the hunt for a good project (because I like running around crazy apparently), I decided we had our work cut out for us! We are really doing a full on redo of the room... Painting (because he wants BLUE), new bedding (of which I'm too cheap to buy all of, so I'm making a good chunk of it), curtains, new built-ins, and even a new bed! Well, really, the bed isn't new. It's actually a wonderful antique that I've inherited and had restored several years back. I LOVE this bed, and I think it's going to be great in this room! So here's some of the before pics... When it's done, I'll post the after shots. Note - I totally forgot to take pics before we put the new bed in there. So that's the new bed, but most everything else is either being changed in some fashion, painted, or removed from the room entirely! Loosely, he's chosen a shark/ocean theme. Nothing on the bedding, but I'll tie it in with a few fun accents! Stay tuned - we've promised to have it finished before school starts - which is Aug 12th around here, so I better get moving!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Happys!

Would you look at that! I'm actually posting Tuesday Happys on a Tuesday? Get out of town.

Hope everyone's week is off to a sunny start! I'm looking forward to adding a few new items to the shop this week as I'm almost caught up on giveway items. If you didn't win one this time, no worries - I'll be participating in a few more soon! I just need a little break to work on a few new items for my shop. As much as I love giveaways (it's always nice to hear feedback), it tends to eat up my time and I don't get to make as many fun, creative things for Leyton Smiles as I'd like!

Also, keep your eyes out for another post later this week... I've had a few people ask me to share my story behind starting Leyton Smiles (it's nothing earth-shattering, so don't get your hopes up). :) Happy Tuesday everyone!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack!

Sorry for the major delay in posts! Life just happens and time gets away from me. In the last two weeks, both my kiddos have had a nasty virus that seemed to hang around for days, and my youngest turned 2, so we had a big bash to celebrate! I've still been completing custom orders, but haven't had a ton of time to just sit down and come up with fun items on my own. Anyway, back to regularly scheduled programming... HAPPYS! Can you find the theme? :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lucky Me!

I know, behind again. My kids have been sick since last FRIDAY. Seriously. Can I get a break please? :) I think we are all on the mend now and both little guys are off to school tomorrow - for the first time this week! Good thing - my youngest little man turns 2 tomorrow and I have a birthday party to get ready for on Saturday! Nothing like the last minute... :)

Oh, on another note, I WON something last week! That NEVER happens to me! I rarely enter giveaways anymore because I never win. seriously. never. win. So anyway, I did, and I still can't believe I won! It's the cutest basket, from the cutest Etsy Seller (put together with a bunch of little goodies from various sellers), full of prizes! YEA! Check out Kelsey's adorable shop, Poofy Cheeks and her super fun blog here. Here's a pic of the Easter Basket (photo by Kelsey, Poofy Cheeks):

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Happys!

In the last few weeks, I've discovered teams on Etsy. What a great way to interact with others in your category (or interest, region, whatever - there are teams for EVERYTHING), get and offer support, and meet other sellers! Recently, I joined the Etsy Kids team, which is full of very talented people, specializing in the Children's category. Today's happys are some of the fun new things I've discovered made by other Etsy Kids team members. Enjoy, and thanks Etsy Kids for a warm welcome to the team! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Minky Fabric = Lovey

Fabric has overtaken my house. I have a real problem - I just love to buy it! My husband is concerned it's going to land me on Hoarders someday (kidding of course), but seriously - I have TOO MUCH fabric, and it's therefore in multiple storage boxes in multiple areas of my house! So my youngest, who is *almost* two (sniff,sniff) is very attached to his loveys. He calls them "double" - no idea where that came from, but we just go with it. ;) Anyway, all of his "doubles" are made with minky, and so anytime he finds ANY of my minky fabric, he runs off with it... I'm forever finding minky scraps all over the house, and he's forever increasing his stash of loveys.

Guess that means I should find a better hidden storage solution. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The return of Tuesday Happys!

With a STAR theme! :) I love all of these items, but I think the first one (10 in groovy baby barn star by LilMissCraftyPants) is my absolutely favorite! I'm considering buying one of these for my little guy's room - SO CUTE!! Enjoy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (and a Giveaway!)

Wow - this week has FLOWN by! And finally, we have some NICE Spring-like weather. Sunny and 65 - doesn't get much better than that! :) I realize I totally missed Tuesday Happys. I realized it somewhere around Thursday. And decided "Thursday Happys" didn't have the same ring to it! One thing, if you have an Etsy shop and have something you want me to feature in Tuesday Happys, let me know, I might be able to build a theme around it! :) Leave me a comment if you are interested.

Second, I have another GIVEAWAY going on! This one is being hosted by Ashley Ann, who has a WONDERFUL blog called "Under the Sycamore" full of creativity and just great stuff all around. It's a short one - ends tomorrow night, so run on over and enter to win a Swaddle Blanket! Yea! This one has been really fun as she's local! She has a great following my area, and on Etsy all around.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Shameless Plea for Votes! :)

I know, I know, it's Tuesday and there's no happys. :) I promise they are coming tomorrow... It's just been a crazy week (Several Sales - YEA! Finally!).

I entered a challenge with a "LUCKY" or St. Paddy's Day theme for the Busy Moms of Etsy team (which is an awesome team BTW, really enjoying it!)... Anyway, they are conducting a vote on the Etsy forums this week on the items entered. I guess I didn't realize I had to campaign for votes as right now I'm like the only one with NONE! So here it is, my plea for just one vote. Just so I don't look completely worthless. And anyone with an Etsy login can vote. Just saying. :) I'm #18.

And if you vote for me, leave me a comment! I'd be glad to return the favor someday!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Giveaway from Leyton Smiles!

One of my very first customers ever on Etsy, Heather, asked me if I might be interested in doing a giveaway on her blog. It's a super cute blog, and she had been such a wonderful customer, so of course I jumped on it! So here's your chance to win a free Reversible Chenille Bib from me! :) Head on over and check out her blog - she's worked hard to list all kinds of great deals (and giveaways) there!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Last Chance!

Just a reminder that the CuddleBug Lovey over on Tiffany's fabulous blog - Stuff Parents Need ends TODAY! Deadline to enter is Wednesday, February 24th at 7:59pm CST, when a winner will be drawn via Mention you are a follower of Leyton Smile's blog or a fan of the Leyton Smiles Facebook page and earn an extra entry or two! So hurry on over and enter! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Butterflies! (Tuesday Happys)

In my endless digging for treasures on Etsy, I came across a butterfly item that I just loved... And so this week's edition of Happys was born. I'm hoping to maybe catch a treasury later this week and continue the theme - we'll just have to see how lucky I am! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Item!

A few weeks ago, I had asked if there was anything I didn't offer in my store that you would like to see... One thing that came from that was the suggestion of BIBS! Considering one of my children used spitting up as a defense mechanism (I swear he could get you from across the room - and at will), I can't believe I wasn't already making these in bulk! So take a peek at the new bibs if you haven't already! I have one listed with a gift set, one listed by itself, and several more coming the next few days. Let me know what you think! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Happys!

Just another edition of Tuesday happys! My longing for Spring continues this week with the bright SPRING colors! (Did I mention I'm getting very tired of the cold, dreary days and snow?) And this week I have a theme - CITRUS! Such a fun word to search on, and what fun items I came back with! Here's just a few of my favs...

Happy Tuesday everyone!


So I promised details this morning on a big event for Leyton Smiles! Tiffany, from "Stuff Parents Need" has done a wonderful review on my CuddleBug lovey. Her sweet little one, Darah, was in need of something to keep her hands busy and comfort her while they attempted to wean her from the swaddle blanket. I've "been there, done that" with my boys, and knew the CuddleBug would be perfect! So I sent one her way, and she has done a great review and is now hosting a giveaway of my CuddleBug Lovey! So swing on by her blog and leave her a comment! She has several fun ways to enter, so be sure to participate any way you can and up your chances of winning! :)

Also, her blog is GREAT. Seriously, it's one I read daily. She has great information on new and different products, as well as she is just a talented writer and is darn funny to read. Consider following her blog! :)

Last but not least, if you do decide to enter, leave me a comment and let me know! I'm so excited to see what the rest of the "blogging world" thinks of my CuddleBug Loveys!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tomorrow's a big day!

Tomorrow will be a great day for Leyton Smiles! Not to totally give the secret away, but....

You might want to check back for details on how to win a giveaway from me!


So excited!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Facebook. Yes, have some.

Ok sorry, the title of this just makes me laugh. Remember Ghostbusters? I'm not even going to go into the scene where that line is used, but just trust me, it is. And everytime I hear "yes, have some." it just makes me laugh. Ok, now that you realize my humor is a bit off, let's move on. :)

I caved and gave in to creating a Facebook fan page. The only problem? Now that I have it, I'm not sure what to do with it! So I'm taking suggestions... What things should I put out there (remember, I am Facebook challenged. Just bear that in mind. The fan page was a struggle for me. I am very computer-literate, but for some reason, FB and I just don't get along)? Also, I suppose I need some fans?!? I added a link in the sidebar of the blog if you are interested...

(Right over here ------------------------------------------>)

Or you can find me here. And if you don't come visit me there, no big deal. But if you do, leave me a note with your fan page (if you have one) and let me know so I can fan you back!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Happys (Part II)!

I warned you I don't always have a theme. I wasn't kidding. This week is a conglomeration of all things I find cute currently on Etsy. No category, special color, or theme. Yes, there are far more than this, but you don't really want to see 853 of my current favorites, right? :) Happy Tuesday! I hope this brightens your day a little... In the land of little sunshine lately, I was THRILLED (and almost blinded) to see the sun this morning! First time we haven't been cloud-covered since January 25th. And it was starting to wear on me...

Have I mentioned I have small children? Would you ever guess that looking at my favorites these days? It seems I gravitate to all things little people... :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yea for Craftgawker!

I'm so excited Craftgawker has accepted one of my Swaddle Blankets for their site! What fun, and I'm in such great company - there are some amazing crafty people that have items on Craftgawker, and I don't exactly feel worthy. :)

Check out some of the fun items on display there - - and it's always changing!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Tuesdays or Tuesday Happys!

So in an effort to spice things up around here, I'm going to start a new feature. I love the term "Happys," (my Dad started using this word when referring to little things he buys my boys to make them smile - anything from a cookie to a new toy) and am going to use it in reference to fun things I'll post each week. Tuesdays are a "blah" day around here - and I thought it would be fun to showcase some of my current favorite items on Etsy by other sellers! This week I'm going with a Valentine's Day theme, but a "theme" may not always happen. Sometimes I'm scatter-brained like that. ;) Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Did you "Spot" me on IndieSpotting?

What fun to have my CuddleBug Lovey on the first page of the "Indie Finds for Baby and Kids" section of IndieSpotting! Yea! :) That just made my day! And if you haven't ever checked out this website, you should! All kinds of wonderful items out there for EVERYONE!