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First Day of School – Distance Learning Covid-19 Style!

First day of school is coming. Back to school sales have started. Backpack sales are going to be down I am guessing!

Who is ready for school to start? Well, I would be if I wasn’t going to be the main teacher. At one point, we were seriously considering homeschooling. However, I decided some precious quiet time without supervising kids would go a long way toward preserving my sanity.

Yet, here we are. Covid-19 has placed many parents in the role of teacher, or at very least student supervisor whether they wanted to be or not. I am really hopeful that the distance learning my Kindergartner and Second Grader participate in this fall will be more streamlined than what we experienced in the Spring. There were WAAAY too many sites and logins to navigate for a first grader.

What have you decided will work best for your children? Honestly, I think homeschooling would be really great this year if you can swing it. We want to keep our spots at the charter school, so distance learning it is until it is safe to go back.

Now, on to the file I made for you. I thought we needed a special back to school sign for “first day of school” this year. I think this has good potential and can be customized for those starting the fall off distance learning.

Enjoy! Please share pictures with me if you use the file, it makes my designing more meaningful to know people are enjoying it. 🙂

Here is the download. For the custom one I just inserted text. I am probably going to use this on some cute little chalkboards I found at Michaels. Have fun crafting and good luck with schools!

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Fall Leaves – Free Cutting Files SVG

Fall is upon us. Of all the seasons, summer always feels like it disappears the most quickly. I think fall leaves and colors are one of my favorite things about the fall. Hence, I thought I would make some leaf file cutouts.

I haven’t yet tried these out, but think they will be pretty for a fall note-card or perhaps a leaf mobile. Hope you like them and enjoy this transitional time from summer to fall!

FREE FALL LEAVES SVG FILE
CLICK FOR FREE SVG DOWNLOAD

 

PS – I apologize for the dearth of posts this summer. It has been a whirlwind, but I hope to get settled into a good routine as we enter fall.
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Playroom Reveal – Part II

Spring is approaching and I am thrilled. The sound of the birds chirping, and even the geese coming to nest by our pond is making me anxious for spring, gardening, and playing outside. Sadly, I know that I can’t count winter out yet.

Through the winter I have been slowly plodding away at making our basement playroom a colorful retreat. I think it is turning out lovely. While I still have a number of projects to fully complete the room, it is already a room we love playing in.

Functionally, the storage bins are fantastic. They hold TONS more than I imagined and it is great to have an easy cleanup routine. Our girls also love having a table and chairs near their play kitchen. They set up their animals to eat little meals. Also, don’t forget to add adult seating! The bench was a great addition to the room, and I love the green chevron pattern.

Painting some of our existing furniture with the leftover room paint has also been great. I painted the top of our train table to get rid of the harsh green in the room. I also painted a little wooden bench that I found at the thrift store. One last painting project is not yet complete – a kids desk that will be stocked with supplies and markers on the wall above.

 

We have waaaaay too many stuffed animals, but my husband and daughters are very attached to them, so I put up a hanging storage from IKEA for them. Note that I had to hang it from a diagonal bar as I wanted to ensure that I hit a stud when I installed it, and of course there was not one anywhere nearby! It is very secure now though, so if any young child should decide to play Tarzan, at worst it will break the mesh and bring stuffed animals crashing down around them.

The alphabet border is one that I compiled myself and cut out with my Silhouette machine in vinyl.

AWESOME ANIMAL ALPHABET CUTTING FILE DOWNLOAD

 

I really like how it turned out, though it took me a while to get it up on the wall in an orderly fashion.

 

With no door on the closet, it was easy to envision a reading nook. It is coming together nicely, with wavy mirrors in the back, bookshelves on the walls, and a nice string of lights. I still have to add a curtain and some floor cushions. The storage up high is also useful for keeping some things out of reach for supervised only play.
Overall, I LOVE the way it looks so far, and am excited to complete my last few projects and reveal the final product. I also hope to give more details on some of the projects I have completed for the room, but let me know if you have any specific questions as I would be happy to share what I did.

Have a great day and enjoy the warmer weather while it lasts!

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Make Your own EASY Valentine’s Day Card (Requires Cutting Machine)

Valentine’s Day is almost here. I love to celebrate holidays and occasions, but honestly, I haven’t had much energy for preparing such things as of late. Still, I wanted to at least make a nice card for my husband with my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. After all, I love designing files for it, so perhaps I should use them once in a while.

This card uses a couple of Valentine’s Day SVG  cutting files I posted previously:

Striped Heart Overlay

Happy Valentine’s Day Sentiment

My card is fairly basic. I used a piece of white cardstock for the base and then added the heart overlay on the front, and the sentiment inside.  I used a thin paper with red roses printed on it. There are, I’m sure, many of you ladies who would be able to make a much much more elegant card from these files, but this is what I was able to do while my two baby girls were running around!

Give it a whirl, it doesn’t take too long. Be sure to write a loving note and seal it with a kiss. Ha! I didn’t even put mine in an envelope. My husband probably won’t even notice anyhow. Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

I love to see your creations – feel free to leave a photo or link so I can take a look at what you come up with too!

 

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Striped Heart Card Overlay – Free SVG Cutting File for Valentine’s Day

HeartCard

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. It has been such a mild winter here in Michigan it is hard to believe it is already February. We did have a good snow last night though to remind us that winter is not over yet!

I found a nice striped heart image online that inspired this cutting file. If I get around to making any cards this year I will post a picture of what it looks like cut out and adhered to a card!

UPDATE: I did get around to using this for a card. It looked very nice cut out on a rose printed background. Check it out here.

As always, please feel free to use this file for personal use only. I always love to see what you create with it!

 

FREE SVG File Download

Also check out my other Valentine’s Day cutting files:

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!
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How To Make a Giant Curtain Rod For Under $20

 

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have definitely found that window treatments of all variations seem extremely overpriced! It hardly matters what color and style you pick, it is going to be expensive. Having just moved into a new house, we have lots of windows that need love and attention. I can only go as quickly as our budget allows, so the further I can stretch each dollar, the sooner I will have all the windows covered!

Not wanting to sacrifice on quality, but wanting to have awesome wall to wall, ceiling to floor, room darkening curtains, I set out to find a solution. Here is what our room looked like before. Notice there are cheap blinds, and some variation of curtain do-dad above the windows. These

Now, my curtains themselves I bought on sale online at Kohls with a good sale and a good coupon for sure. For a total of 10 panels (it is a really big room, about 23 feet across I think), the curtains themselves cost around $200. I’m sure there are plenty of other posts and pinterest links around which could tell you how to make the curtains and save money on them as well. However, with limited time and a baby on the way, that project wasn’t going to happen.

I love how my curtains turned out. They also help a lot with regulating the temperature in the room also. We didn’t test it scientifically, but we are pretty sure they saved us money on our heating bill this past winter.

Time for the details. The following are the supplies I used for making and hanging the curtain rod, and approximate prices. I’m sorry I don’t have more pictures of the process, I hadn’t intended to post this and don’t have many.

Supplies:

  • Electrical Conduit – about $2 each
These come in lengths of 10 feet at my hardware store, so I needed 3 of these.
  • Spray Paint – about $5
I used a Rustoleum spray paint that works on metal
  • Epoxy
For gluing the dowel connectors. You don’t need this if your rod is less than 10 feet long.
  • Wooden Dowel(s) – about $1 each
For connecting the conduit from the inside – test at the hardware store to make sure you find ones that fit tightly INSIDE your conduit pieces. I used two that were about 2 feet long each.
  • The Cheapest Curtain rod you can find
I used one I had on hand to steal wall brackets and finials from. I priced these at the hardware store, and it was MUCH cheaper to just buy a complete curtain rod from the clearance section if you can find one.

 

My plundered finial. Pardon the cobwebs.

 

Before Painting
You can barely see the connection!

 

Wall bracket

 

Once you have the materials, the assembly isn’t too hard. Although, I admit that I had some help. My husband mounted all the wall brackets for me, and my dad finished the project off by connecting the rods with the dowels and spray painting it for me. I finished it off by hanging the curtains and adding the finials.
Compare the Before and After!
  1. Cut the conduit to length. I cut three equal pieces that totaled about a half foot less than the length of my room. By ‘I’, I should say, the nice guy at the hardware store cut them with a hacksaw for me. This left enough room for the finials, but did cut it a bit close.
  2. Connect the conduit with the dowel rods and epoxy. This is mostly trial and error – if the dowel rods fit very tightly, you may not need the epoxy.
  3. Paint the rod (and possibly the finials and brackets if they don’t match).
  4. Mount the wall brackets.
  5. Hang the curtains and arrange as you like.
  6. Add the finials. Mine were a bit smaller than the opening of the conduit, so I added some cardboard and used hot glue to get them on.
  7. ADMIRE!




I confess, although this process doesn’t need to take very long, it took months around here. We had the curtain mounted using pre-made conduit connectors (they connect on the outside and don’t look nearly as nice) and unpainted for a long time. I have the excuse of having been pregnant and fully intend to use it. The curtain was functional, but not pretty. I am so happy it is done now! Enjoy the pictures of before and after. Let me know if you need more details on any of the steps.