Gifts DIY style

Do you feel like the holidays just whizzed by? Well, I can’t believe I’m back at work and back in the rat race once again. Sigh… oh to be on holiday forever… ANYWAY! back to reality. Today I would like to share a few more of my homemade gifts with you. I think they are “oh so pretty” :), my family and friends think that they are pretty awesome too, so now I get to share them with you. Here goes:

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Can you believe I made these three items!? All the bits and pieces were purchased from craft shops, hardware stores and even our local supermarket. I used Instagram filters for a more realistic view of what they actually look like. The unedited photographs tend to make the wood look flat, like it has no grain and the grain is the star of the show you know. Without it there would be flat boring nothingness. So yay for grainy wood! I could create things all day long, the messier, the better. The only think I need to learn, is how to use powertools (hehe – naughty grin), then there’s no stopping me :).

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From the heart

I love Christmas. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. A time for love and a season of giving. To celebrate the begining of the Christmas season, my friends and I have a little get together to exchange gifts (secret Santa style) and embrace the warmth of our friendship. I am lucky to have such special friends and I knew a gift from the heart was in order. So I got creative and made a beautiful gift for my friend Jax. She loved it! This is how it turned out.

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I have a few more handmaid gift ideas and will give you a step by step guide on how to make a gift from the heart, so stay tuned over the next couple of weeks.

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Lucky number 12

So my mosaicing is becoming a real little money-maker! Ok, so I won’t be quiting my job anytime soon, but it does bring in some extra cash (chaching!). The most recent mosaic order was for a house number, the number 12. This means double trouble! Two numbers instead of one, eeeeck. AND to be done in only one week. Whew, time to get down to business.

As usual, Vince was roped in, I needed somebody to cut numbers out of wood (jigsaw+me = not friends). So after the tracing, the cutting, the drilling and the painting, I could get started on the glueing. This is a pic of the number in progress, I had just started glueing the pieces of cut mirror onto the wooden number.

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It does take a while to get the momentum going, but once it’s going, you just can’t stop me. I become obsessed! Waking up at 5am in the morning to mosaic before I go to work is like the best. thing. EVER. Totally obsessed! Sometimes I drive Vince crazy, but I just can’t help myself. Here is a pic of the finished product all glued and grouted and polished. See than shine? Nothing like good ol’ elbow grease.

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My client was soooooo happy and even placed an order for a mosaiced mirror. Yay for happy clients and more orders! I must be doing something right. 🙂

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Bitter sweet

I’ve been such an emotional wreck lately. We’re going to Cape Town for a few days and although I’m super excited, I’m also dreading leaving my four-legged babies. I worry about them so much and I’m going to miss them terribly. They’ll be in VERY good hands but I’m such a worry wart, it borders on chronic paranoia (eish). Vince says I’m going to drive myself crazy! So in the spirit of keeping myself sane, I will make a special effort to enjoy my time away. Deep breaths (in and out), deep breaths…

So while I will be missing these three little munchkins

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I will be enjoying this spectacular view

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and maybe, just maybe I will squeeze in a little shopping.

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A design miracle

Have you ever had the feeling that you’re burning the candle at both ends? Well that’s me! Holding down a full-time job AND trying to get all the mosaic work done for my clients is no joke. But it will be worth it in the end. I’m also expanding my homemade decor items into wooden frames, furniture and much more. Vince is helping me work on my product range as well as a marketing strategy. I’m very blessed to have a sales manager as a husband :), his knowledge is priceless.

Surprise, surprise! I now have a logo. After months of putting it on the back burner, I finally bit the bullet and got busy designing. It didn’t come easy. Designing for yourself is the hardest thing to do and after months of sweating over this ever-so-important design, here is the final result. What do you think?

I also now have a facebook page. It looks a little bleak at the moment, but I’m hoping to build it up to something worthwhile. Follow this link to like my page www.facebook.com/pages/Creative-Living/77919063123?ref=hl

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Home sweet home

I love my home. Its a fact! It might be small and need LOADS of work, but I love it. I needed something to let my home know how much we are in love with it (yes houses have feelings, and so do cars, and teddy bears). I wanted my home to know that although we do want to make changes, that it will always be my “home sweet home” forever and always.

I scrounged a piece of wood off the scrap wood pile and worked some crafty magic on that sucker. It went from zero to hero :). Here is a picture of my crafty work-of-art. So proud.

I still need to find the perfect spot for it. I had Vince hold it up in several locations around the house but I couldn’t quite decide. Eventually he got tired of holding it.

Look out for a post on my next big project. Eeeeck, I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into…

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Hellooooooooo Santa

I found this Santa Teapot at our local grocery store. Can you believe it! What a treasure! I hope to have this for many MANY years and to pass it down the family tree. And do you know what the best part is? It only cost R141.95 :). How cute does he look in my window?

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Our new baby

Yip, you guessed it. Our home is plus one bundle of fur! This brings our grand total to three. Three four-legged creatures that bring so much joy to our lives. We love them to bits. My parents even refer to them as their grandchildren! So funny!

Our new little addition is called Tiny. He is so cute and fits in like he’s been living with us forever. I first saw Tiny on the SPCA facebook page, he was found at a local shopping centre and nobody ever claimed him. Some say that he was dumped there, but I find it hard to believe.  He has so much spunk and personality! Anyway, I fell in love with him and just had to have him. Vince filled in all the adoption papers and two days later, Tiny was happy in his new home. As for my other spoilt brats (Peanut and Tyson), it took them a while to get used to him, but two weeks later, I can say that we are one big happy family :).

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Lookie what I made

Scrap wood + handcut stencil + a few hooks = one fine keyholder

Vince’s garage is full of interesting stuff and when I feel the creative bug bite, that is my one-stop-shop for finding something I can get my DIY hands on. While mulling around the garage, seeing what I could see (no touching!), I found a piece of scrap wood roughly the size of an A4 page. It was too small to do anything with but it seemed like such a waste to throw it out. I asked Vince to router the edges and sand it so it was nice and smooth. Mmmmmm, I love wood! Wood is beautiful! This little piece of wood has amazing knots. It was destined to be something beautiful.

After white-washing my little piece of wood, I then measured for the placement of three hooks and marked where each one should go. I then drew up a stencil with words on my computer and printed it out onto normal paper. I then cut a stencil from the print-out, this was very time consuming but so worth it in the end. Now, the tricky part, placing the stencil onto the wood. I had to make sure the wording was straight, I’m not one for skewness (if there is such a word). Once my stencil was in place, I used a sponge and gently sponged silver paint onto the wood. I let the paint dry for a few days and then gave it a VERY light sanding to give it a more rustic look. I also varnished it before placing the hooks, but I won’t do that again, it makes it look a bit unnatural and I was going for natural and rustic, so boo for the varnishing. All painting, sanding and varnishing done, and now for the hooks. I used the kind that screw into place but my weakling arms couldn’t manage them so Vince came to the rescue and voila, they were in.

Here is a pic of the finished product 🙂

I’m thinking of making some more items. I’ve got a lot going on in this brain of mine. I’m also busy designing a logo for Vince’s furniture and decor business. Will give you a sneak peak soon. xxx

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Blooming marvelous

I hate winter! It’s cold and miserable and the days are way too short. But, there’s one good thing about winter in South Africa, the blooming of the aloes. Oh, such a beautiful site to behold. I have a garden full of these majestic plants and when they bloom, they make my heart happy. See how gorgeous they are! Like a little ray of sunshine on a gloomy day…

The aloe is a flowering succulent. There are about 500 species of aloe (can you believe it), the most common and well known of these is Aloe vera, or “true aloe”. The aloe is native to Africa, and is common in South Africa’s Cape Province, the mountains of tropical Africa, and neighboring areas such as Madagascar, the Arabian peninsula, and the islands of Africa. I only have three species of aloe in my garden and I plan to collect more, much much more. Hehe. Think I’m going to have an aloe overload! My love of aloes is a bit sentimental since they are my Dad’s favourite plant. 99.9% of my aloes were given to me by my wonderful father :), the most amazing man. Here are two photo’s of us together. One is from my wedding day and one is from my 21st birthday. Aaaah happy days.

Me thinks that these posts are getting a little bit soppy. Will update you on some home decor soon. Got a lot up this sleeve of mine.

If anyone has any tips on how I can improve on my writing, please feel free to comment. I’m a designer, not a writer, so in essence I have NO IDEA what I am doing…

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