Girls just wanna have fun

Just posted a new photo shoot on the MaryJanes and Galoshes Photography site if your looking for something pretty to pin :)


Honey Bees

Yesterday we arrived home from a short trip into town.  I mean we were seriously gone for less than an hour.  I think had we not returned home at just the time we had we would have never known this had even happened, but an entire colony of honey bees have moved into the roof.  Right on my still in progress, need to be out there working on, deck!  So it seems the deck has reached another delay and we now need to call a bee whisperer to relocate the honey bees.  Because it was nothing like we had ever seen before (and I wasn't sure anyone who didn't get to witness it would understand just how incredible the thousands of bees were) I took a short video.  It took maybe fifteen minutes for all the bees to disappear into the roof (so not cool).

Sorry my video is sideways.... video is brand new to me and I thought I would have the option to rotate it once I got it on the computer.  Maybe there is a way, but I can not figure it out (and I figure everything out!).  You get the idea. Funny to listen to my 4 year old speculate that the bees must be having an important meeting LOL.  Wish us luck!


Embroidery and a giveaway!

Two giveaways in a row, what!  Things have been crazy busy around here with back to school and the photography business taking off, I'm sure your house is the same!  I did manage to find some time to FINALLY finish an embroidery sampler I've been working on for seriously like a year because I work on it a few minutes at a time the forget about it for weeks or months.....

I chose a few colors and stuck to them throughout.  I tried to keep a tea party like theme to make it really girly.  I'm either going to frame it for my girl's room, or make it into a pillow, haven't decided yet.  I did recently get a new pattern from Sarah Jane Studios that I'm preparing to stitch up on linen which will definitely be a pillow!

Speaking of Sarah Jane, I have been meaning to mention a project that I recently did with her!  I have been a HUGE Sarah Jane Studios fan for years, so when she put a call out for embroidery vets, I jumped at the chance to get to work with her.  I was selected (happy dance) and stitched up some test samples of her new patterns.  She used the samples in product photo shoots and a few for display at a large booth show she did.  Here are some shots from her blog that I snitched (with permission) to show you!

The first one is my sample, I stitched up everything but the scooter and wagon, my pattern was pretty quick and simple.  

Above, if you look close, on the ledge shelf next to the flowers is MY work! It was a lot of fun for me to see :)

So I got a bit side tracked there, but I had been meaning to share that with you..... Anyway... as I'm preparing to stitch up my new SJS pattern, I was gathering my thread colors and got to try out a new toy! Or tool? 

Have any idea what this cute little guy does?

He holds floss!
Well really, he could hold just about anything, can you say bakers twine!  But for my purposes, he holds floss.

One new skein of floss makes him pretty plump, but it fits easily and holds in place.  I love how he holds the end in his little mouth! I came across them on Etsy one day at Giggle Snort Society, there are a few different animals to choose from.  But the hedgehog was my favorite.  Though I do think a whole forest of animals would be very sweet!  

Each animal is hand cut out of wood and fits in a standard thread organizer.  One lucky MJ&G reader will get their choice of three!  You can even mix and match your animal choices!  Just leave a comment here telling me what you would wrap around yours!  Winner will be chosen at random.  Giveaway ends August 30th at midnight.  Winners are announced on my Facebook fan page so become a fan to see if you win!


Pleated Poppy Giveaway!

 *giveaway closed, winners announced on FB*

The other day I ordered the cutest new business cards for my new photography adventure!  I can't believe how it's taking off and I could not be more excited.  I'm always digging around my bag trying to figure out where I've put my card holder (which up until now has been an ugly metal thing I picked up for like ten cents somewhere).  I'm very excited to have a holder that's just as cute as my new cards now!

It even has a little tab on the side that I could attach it to my key chain, which is what I think I'm going to do, it's just to cute to hide in my purse!  I love the red and gray combination of this one, but there are lots of cute products in The Pleated Poppy Shop to choose from! And one of you lucky readers will get the chance to pick something out for yourself!

Just leave a comment here telling me which Pleated Poppy product you would love to get! 

Giveaway ends August 23rd at midnight! 


Painting! What a difference it makes....

So I talked about choosing paint colors for the deck.... then preparing the space or paint.... and now it's time to actually share the finished paint job!  Our deck is half wood and half concrete.  It's important that you choose the appropriate paint for the surface your painting.  Don't forget about choosing exterior paint when painting things that are outdoors.

For the wood portion, we used True Value's Painter's Select Porch and Floor satin paint in "Afterhours".  The orange lid you see on the can was the best two bucks we've ever spent!  Instead of having to bang the lid on and off every time we need to open the can, this lid has a screw cap that lets you pour it out at a nice controlled stream.  We decided to try out a paint sprayer since the deck has railings that would take FOREVER to paint!  The paint sprayer (again, from True Value) made very quick work of the project, though it does use more paint than doing it by brush and if you don't lay down drop clothes your bushes will also get painted.  (On a side note, you can also find stain tips for the paint sprayer and use it to stain which solves a TON of problems with streaking when staining!  We used it for the mason jar light stain, amazing!).

On the concrete portion of the deck we used textured Quickcrete concrete paint.  My True Value location was discontinuing this paint so I picked it up on clearance.  The light texture in the paint gives the surface a nice no slip surface but not anything that is uncomfortable to walk on with bare feet.  Are you ready for the big paint reveal?

The concrete portion of the deck was inspired by my friend Lori and her original floor stencil that she generously shares with all of us! But instead of doing my entire floor I decided to have a rough edge stripe down the center.  The concrete goes up the house a bit on one side so I wanted it to look like it was a waterfall coming out of the wall.

Now that everything is painted and the gazebo is up, it's time to start decorating!  Can't wait to pull it all together.


Back to School with free jeans from Express!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Express was always one of my favorite stores for back to school shopping.  I loved their style and trends.  A great pair of Express jeans is a definate MUST for back to school.  Express is giving away 50 pair of FREE JEANS! Follow the link to enter the Express giveaway.
Don't worry if your not getting ready for back to school, Express carries women's jeans  too! With many style options from jean leggings to wide leg your sure to find something to suit your style and compliment your body style.



I think the Crop Zelda Jean Leggings looks so comply, I would definitely be rocking a pair of these!
Of course they have jeans for guys too!  Like these straight leg Rocco Jeans! OR maybe you prefer a dressier jean, like the straight leg Zach Jean.  Either way, your sure to find something in your style.
For back to school your daughter may prefer something trendier.  Check out what's hot in jean trends right now... COLOR!


I remember colored jeans as a kid, I suppose it's only fitting they make a comeback.  Either way Express jeans will have you looking great! What's your favorite jean style?  Do you have a pair that have been your favorite forever or do you get a new favorite pair each time you go shopping? Now go enter theExpress giveaway


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Camping Party Camper Decoration Tutorial

Did you spot the fun camper from my camping party?

Want to make one?
What you need-
Large piece of cardboard, I taped two together, you can too.  Or use foam core board if you like.
Paint (just acrylic craft paint and some brushes)
Scrap fabrics
Glue Dots

This project does require a minor amount of drawing ability (unless you have a projector).  First I drew up a sketch of what I wanted the large camper to look like on a small piece of paper.

Then draw it large scale onto your cardboard.

Paint your background colors....

Outline in black.... I knew I wanted the curtains cut out for actual fabric so I used my blade to cut the curtain portion out of the window.

I chose a few fun colored fabric scraps, one for the curtains and a couple for a bunting.

Cut triangles out of the bunting fabrics.  For the curtains, cut a rectangle larger than the openings so that you can bunch them up to look draped. Grab your glue dots, turn the camper over, and adhere the curtains to the back.

Again with the glue dots, place your bunting flags on the front.

Now have a party!  How fun is that.


Leather Bracelets Tutorial

The other day my sister in law had a really cute teal braided bracelet on that looked like leather and I loved it!  Upon closer inspection it was actually string, but it inspired me to find the leather and create what I had thought it was.  I love how they turned out (and that I can make 5 of them for less than she paid for one!).  I came up with two styles....

What you need

I picked up all my supplies at Michaels.  
  • Leather cord
  • Crimp ends (the silver things shown above that are a C shape
  • Pliers
Each of my colored cords were 1 yard.  I cut them into three equal lengths and crimped on one end by folding the ends of the crimp over one another.

Sorry for the focus, I do not have a macro lens yet.

Braid your cord.  Depending on which style you like (loose or tight) will determine how your braid your cord.  For a loose braid I keep my cord flat as I braid, for a tight one you fold the cord over at each turn.

Determine the right length for you as your braid.  When you have enough length cut the ends off and crimp again.  Be sure your crimp ends are facing the same direction so that you have a good side and a bad side.  Connect the ends with a clasp of choice.  I like to wear a few of them together, the colors are fun! But the turquoise is definitely my favorite!


Mason Jar Light Tutorial

I must say... this project freaking ROCKS!  I'm so in love with how it turned out, it's SUPER simple, and I'm so excited to show you how you can make one!!! It's part of my outdoor living space for True Value.  It was inspired by something similar I saw on pinterest, but I didn't see any tutorials out there that really show just how you can make one.... until now!  The big reveal.......

I had a few ideas for what I wanted to do for lighting in the gazebo.  I had seriously considered spray painting an old broken chandelier and wrapping it in christmas lights and hanging that from the center of the gazebo....  it would have been fun, maybe someday when I get bored with this I will still do that... but for now, I'm loving this!

What you need-
A big board!  You can decide how long you want yours, mine is 4.5 feet of a 2x12 board.
Hole saw bit the size of your jar lids.  I picked up my bit and jars both at True Value so I was able to match up the size right there.
Large, wide mouth mason jars (True Value)
White christmas lights
Stain, I like dark wood so we used a mahogany stain
12 feet of rope
Palm or circular sander (mine's a Dewalt circular sander from True Value)
Construction grade adhesive in a caulk gun
One long screw (or something like it, I'll explain later)
measuring tape

I determined how long I wanted my overall fixture by laying my jars out at a spacing I liked and cut the board to length.  Make sure you use a measuring tape and make all of your spacing even (including the space between the two rows)

Mark where each of your jars center falls and drill your holes with this awesome hole bit.....  Drilling tip- drill all of your holes (including the ones for the rope later) from the same side, that way if you have any splintering you can hide it all on one side!

Getting the wood out of your bit can be a challenge.  If you have an extra set of hands it's a lot easier, but not required.  There is a hole at the top of your drill bit, stick your long screw into the hole and use your hammer to pound it down.  The wood will pop right out.  If your screw gets stuck into the scrap you can simply back it out (that's why a screw is ideal).

With a drill bit the size of your rope, drill two holes in each end (see picture for placement).  Once all of your holes are drilled, use your sander to go over everything.

Dust the board from any sanding residue and stain to your liking.

String 6 feet of rope through each end.  If your rope frays, wrap the end in some masking tape like a shoe string, it will help it go through the hold.

Now for the jars..... remove the lids, you won't need them for this project so put them somewhere for a later date.  Put a line of construction adhesive in each hole and insert jar.  The adhesive isn't pretty, but you won't be able to see it once the lights go in and it's hung.  Just be careful not to let any ooze out the side that the jars come out.  If you space your jars out on the ground and do a dry fit, then put the glue in the holes, you can place the board on top of the jars which will use the weight of the board to hold it all together until it cures.  Ours took 48 hours to cure, but once it's cured it's rock hard.  The threads on the jar help give it something to grab onto.

tick tock..... waiting for things to dry is no fun!  Once its cured you can fill each jar with some christmas lights and hang that baby!  We hung ours from the poles of the gazebo using some fancy knot my husband didn't know the name of..... not much help to you... Obviously if this thing fell it would be a huge glass mess, so make sure if your not a knot person that you look into fancy knots before you hang to be sure you get something really secure (or call a boyscout troop).