True Value DIY Blog Squad!

I am beside myself excited to FINALLY be able to tell you that MJ&G is one of ten bloggers chosen for the 2011 True Value DIY Blog Squad!!!!  *happy dance*  If you have not heard about this awesome squad yet..... each year True Value chooses ten bloggers to be on their DIY Squad, gives them some funds to shop for supplies at their local True Value, and fabulous projects using True Value supplies are shared on the Squad members' blogs.  Check out this years squad.....

·         Katie with All Bower Power: http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/
·         Josh with Bungalow 23: http://bungalow23.com
·         Kate with Centsational Girl: http://www.centsationalgirl.com/
·         Brian & Paul with Handyguys Podcast: www.handyguyspodcast.com
·         Layla & Kevin with Lettered Cottage: www.theletteredcottage.net
·         Roeshel with The DIY Show Off: http://thediyshowoff.blogspot.com/
                  ·         Sarah with ThriftyDecorChick: http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/
·         Bruno with ManMade DIY: http://manmadediy.com/
·         Taylor with Mary Janes and Galoshes: http://www.maryjanesandgaloshes.com/
                  ·         Marian with Miss Mustard Seed: http://missmustardseed.blogspot.com/

There is a great variety of styles and projects between us, take a minute to check them out!  

So my family spent some time this past weekend at a couple of the local True Value locations.  The biggest thing we are going to tackle is creating an outdoor living space!  I'm not an outdoor kinda girl so I'm really excited to create a space that I enjoy being in that gets the kids out of the house and us all some fresh air! I will be taking some "before" pics soon so we can get started! 

Have anything hardware related that you would love to see done?  Check out my True Value inspiration pinterest board for a peak at things to come!  If there is something on there you'd love to see let me know!


Super Easy Zipper Pillows

My couch pillows were in desperate need of replacement.  I knew I wanted to make some myself this time with fabric I had on hand.  So I headed to the store to get some pillow forms so that I knew what size to make my pillow cases.  I had never really purchased pillow forms before, so when I saw they were just white zipper pillows (the same zipper pillows I was planning on making) filled with stuffing I decided to skip it and just stuff the pillow case itself.  So I have to pull out a mound of stuffing when I want to wash the cases, it saved me some major cash so I'm fine with it! Plus now I can make them any shape or size I please!

Of course I have to share how you can make super easy hidden zipper pillows (do not be afraid of the zipper part, this tutorial makes it all SUPER easy!).  But the tutorial wasn't mine, I learned this awesome method from Prudent Baby.

Check out this hidden zipper! It's in there!

Today's featured Sponsor!  Periwinkle Jazz


Makeup Inspiration

I've mentioned that I'm slightly addicted to Pinterest. One of my favorite things about it has been finding new hair and makeup inspiration, which has inspired me to start playing with new looks. I thought I would share a makeup look I'm liking right now that's not over the top and would work for anyone.

I hate taking pictures of myself, can you tell? LOL.  Much rather be behind the camera! Something I'm working on though.

Please ignore what looks to be like a huge difference in skin tone here, different rooms, different lighting.  I'm very pale.

For this looks I used these products......

You won't need the specific brands of course, but in case you want to know (because I usually do!)......

Just one eye shadow shade (gold), lid to brow bone.  Fully lined eye with a bit of a cat eye.  You can also set your eye liner with a bit of matching eye shadow and an angle brush (I used Creep from the same Naked Pallet). Nude lips and pale cheeks.


Chair Love

It seems I enjoy taking photos of chairs :)


Today's featured sponsor! 


Chalkboard Wine Bottles DIY

If you enjoy wine as much as I do you probably have a recycling bin full of bottles.

Perhaps you are also as indecisive as I am and have a wide variety of shapes and sizes as I do.  How will you ever know what you like if you don't try them all?   Wash and dry your bottles.  I soaked mine in a warm water bath to get the labels to come off easily.  Okay, lets be honest, the bath started out warm, but three days later when I actually got around to finishing the project it was cold, but the labels were well soaked through and came off like a dream!

Now grab a can of chalkboard spray paint and hit those babies with two light coats. 

Now draw on a fun label, or your dinner party menu..... price a table of goodies at a craft market, you'll think of something!

Today's featured sponsor!



What?!  I didn't do anything......


I ♥ Lilacs

We have a ton of lilac bushes in the yard which I LOVE.  They are so fragrant, I had to share.

It's supposed to rain here all weekend, but I love thunderstorms so I'm going to choose to enjoy the rainy days and my house filled with the scent of lilac!


The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer, a Book Review

So many people are interested in learning how to better use their cameras.  It's not just for photographers anymore! But when your starting out it's hard to find an understandable, detailed, beginner's guide.  Lucky for us some of the pros have started to share their knowledge through their own e-books and Katie Evans wrote one I love so much I had to share it with you! The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer-

Katie has a way of explaining all the information in ways that works for everyone no matter what your learning style.  Personally I'm a visual learner, so all of the images that show me clearly what she's explaining with her words really helped me understand what she's saying and retain that knowledge.  She will empower you with her encouragement while giving you the tools you need to understand your camera and take beautiful images!

This book has 72 pages of easy to understand explanations giving you everything you need to get that camera off auto.  Learn everything from what ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed mean (and how to use them) to choosing the right camera and lenses for your needs, to how to find light and edit your images.  It's a start to finish guide that will walk you through everything you need to know, all the while keeping you entertained with beautiful images. 

You guys know I've been learning to use my camera this year, so by the time I got this book I wondered if it would be TOO basic.  Worry not!  Even if your past the point of needing to learn your camera's settings, if your not a pro, there is SOMETHING in this book for you to learn.  I highly recommend it!


Typography Fabric Canvas Tutorial

I recently made some fun wall art for my nieces' birthdays.  It was fun and simple to do so I thought I would share a quick how to with you!  If you've ever had a canvas that your project didn't turn out quite how you wanted it to (like you thought you could paint and turns out not so much?), this is the perfect use for that canvas. 

I will admit that I was making these last minute so I was to rushed to take step by step photos (sorry!).  But it was really easy so I don't think you'll need it.

First, wrap your fabric of choice around your canvas and staple to the back.  So it's like your re-stretching the canvas with fabric, but right on top of the canvas already there.  Then decide what you want on your canvas.  Here's the only tricky part..... I have a projector (you know, the ones your math teacher used to use to walk you through that algebra equation that looked like Latin?) well, we don't need the Algebra (thank goodness) but you either need a projector OR print your words out the size you want them on the canvas and use carbon paper to transfer. Any way to you want to do it, get your words outlined onto your canvas.

Once it's on there, fill it in with plain old paint, what ever you have.  I used acrylic craft paint.  It may take a couple coats depending on the fabric you want to cover and the color paint your using. 

If your using a fabric with a lot of pattern (like the one above) you may never get it thick enough to completely cover (unless your using a really dark color).  It's okay for the fabric to show through a bit. 

Once you have your base color you can go back with a paint pen and do an outline just to make the words pop.  I did a messy, sketchy outline with mine, you can decide if you like it sketchy or neat.  Actually my decision was made for me...... I didn't have the right color paint pen and the nearest store to buy one is an hour away (I know! crazy) so I called the local auto supply store and they said they had touch up paint in a pen form.  Are you laughing at me yet?  Turns out the pens were ball point, which wasn't working on my canvas, but luckily they also had a nail polish like brush in them so that's what I ended up using, not exactly conducive to nice straight, pretty lines, so I worked with it rather than against it. But hey, it's part of working with what you have!


Lego Themed Boy's Birthday Party Invitation

Good morning! I was going to share this with you on Friday, but as I'm sure you noticed with all Blogger blogs, there was some issues with the system and no one could get in to post anything. 

Anyway! Hudson got this invitation in the mail the other day from my Capricorn cousin who throws amazing parties.  They are having a Lego themed boy's birthday party for her son's birthday and the invite could not be more fun.

The personal details were written on back but the information was easy to sort out as you were putting it together.  I do suggest including a small piece of paper with the information again as the kids didn't want to stop playing with the legos and the marker did start to wear off a bit as they played (not to mention the odds of me finding all the pieces again for important info is slim!).

Shipping for this invite is going to be a couple dollars, but if your child is having a friend party they are easy to hand deliver. 


Tiered Pie Tin Organizer from The Crafting Chicks!

You may remember just a couple weeks ago I was over at The Crafting Chicks making the little glittered house gift box. Well I'm beyond thrilled to have Kristen (one of the Crafting Chicks) here today. I think we have all been lusting after those pie tin looking organizers. I know I've been throwing knock off ideas around in my head, but Kristen has come up with an idea better (and EASIER!) than anything I've thought of so far.....

Hi everyone! I'm really excited to be here with Taylor at Mary Jane and Galoshes. I'm Kirsten, one of the five "chicks" from thecraftingchicks.com. Over at our site, we do all sorts of DIY projects...everything from darling Hutch Makeovers from Brooke, BLUE Play Kitchens, My first building project, to little Pies in a Jar. We are a bunch of proud moms with 16 kids between the five of us, that have "craft therapy" on a regular basis and we love to share our ideas on our site, so there's your personal invite to come and join our community!

Today for you I have a thrift store remake. I have wanted to make something similar to THIS for a long time. I can't stomach the $69 price tag from Pottery Barn. I just barely told my husband that even if we had all the money in the world, I couldn't spend $69 on something I could remake, NO WAY, I hope you would say the same. So I spend $6 at the local Utah thrift store (the DI) and got these beauties, $6 TOTAL.

So I purchased Rust-Oleum 2x spray paint, the same color used on this side table, I literally went on a painting rampage that day. I used the lid of a sandwich tray to keep those suckers contained. Rolling the candlesticks around and spraying seemed to work pretty well. One coat worked well especially since I didn't mind if the gold shined through, even though it didn't. I am so into yellow/gold lately.

After the paint dried, I used E6000 glue, which is the only glue for metal and glass, to adhere the candlesticks to the old cake pans. I love that these pans are weathered and even rusted in areas because I plan to use this for packaged treats and other supplies.

I glued one candlestick upside down to make it match and not look so much like 2 candlesticks. When looking for pans to use for this, make sure that the bottoms of the pans are flat and not bend, otherwise this would turn out to be a hot mess and they wouldn't look right. I let the glue dry overnight.

School supplies and a snack. Perfect. Total cost: $6 and some leftover spray paint :).

These are fun because you can load them up with just about anything.

These 3-tiered stands have been all over the Internet, but this is my version and I really love how it turned out. Thanks Taylor for having me as your guest today. Your blog is amazing and inspiring!

So ladies come and visit us at thecraftingchicks.com!!



I could not be more excited about that organizer!  And the colors are perfect, the blue goes so well with the natural color of the tins.  Thanks Kristen for being here today.  I'm now headed out the door for the supplies, I can not wait to make this project any longer!