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No-Sew Curtain Tutorial

pic14Carter’s room is coming along…slower than expected, but it’s comin’! I thought I would share my no-sew curtain project I did. I am in love with the material I used from the Online Fabric Store. It is exactly what I was looking for to start pulling his room all together. Beautiful and high quality fabric.  And yes, I have officially jumped onto the no-sew wagon and LOVE it! These curtains took me about 2 hours from start to finish. They would have taken me 2+ days if I tried to sew them. 
pic1Supplies Needed:
-Curtain Fabric, I used: Premier Prints Air Traffic & Premier Prints Zippy Black Denton
-Scissors
-Iron & Ironing board
-Iron on adhesive, I used:Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive
-Curtain Rods
Note: The wooden panel cover at the top of my curtains was already there from the past renters, I just recovered it with fabric. It is solid wood and screwed straight into the ceiling.
pic2Step 1: Cut your fabric for 2 curtain panels (I kept the width of the fabric and just cut the length from curtains out of Ella’s room. I like the look of floor to ceiling curtains)
pic3Step 2: There are different types of Iron-On adhesive. There are some that are for hemming which do not have a paper side, but I decided to use this type: Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive so I did not have to do any pinning :-) Place your adhesive paper side up along both edges of your fabric and the bottom. Mine was perfectly straight because I used the width that the fabric already came. Iron the adhesive onto the fabric. Do not touch your iron to the sticky part, just the paper side. Follow the instructions on your particular adhesive. pic4Step 3: Pull the paper backing off and you will see that a clear strip is left attached to your fabric. pic5Step 4: Fold the edge of the material over to the inner edge of the adhesive and iron. If you follow the edge of the adhesive as you fold,  your hem will be perfectly straight…which means no pinning :-) My directions said to iron for 8 seconds. Depending on the thickness of your fabric. Just keep checking and making sure it is holding together. pic6pic7pic8Step 5: Now it is time to do the top of your curtains. I just created a hole for the curtain rod to slide through. After experimenting, I suggest making the “hole” larger than the fold you see above ( I just doubled the size of the adhesive). I would do a hem 3-5 times larger than the adhesive width. This leaves the curtains hanging better and less pressure on the adhesive holding the curtains up. Place your adhesive the same way you would in steps 1-3, but instead of folding it right over onto the edge, fold it farther over (3-5 times larger than the adhesive width, you will want to determine this before you cut your fabric). Now Iron just as you would in Step 4. pic12Step 6: Hang your curtains and enjoy! Note: I did not make the top cover that you see with the airplane fabric, but I do know that it is solid wood and there is a solid piece of wood on the top that attaches right to the ceiling. Inside there are hooks that hold the curtain rods. I used a staple gun to cover it with the airplane fabric. pic11pic10Becky and I have some exciting news coming soon…part of the reason we haven’t been blogging for awhile:-) Can’t wait to share it with you! Stay tuned… ♥Christina

Handwritten Message Wall Art

photo9I was inspired by a $400 piece of Pottery Barn handwritten wall art the other day and decided that it would be pretty simple to get this same look for free with items I had on hand. I wanted to make 2 different pieces that went together. I happened to find 2 wooden blocks that were the same size sitting out in our shed, but you could use any type and shape of wood and still get this look.
photo2Supplies Needed:
-Wood ( I used 1 1/2 inch thick square blocks)
-2 paint colors, you can use acrylic ( I used Annie Sloane Antionette Chalk Paint so it would match Ella’s room)
-Large paintbrush & small paintbrush to “write” with
-fine to medium grit sand paper or sanding block
-hardware to hang your art if you want it to go on a wall (I used hooks off the back of an old picture frame)
photo3Directions: Paint 2 coats onto your wooden blocks of your base paint color and allow to completely dry. The Pottery Barn art has a base coat of white and black lettering. I went with a pink base and white lettering. Practice writing with a small paintbrush on paper or wood until you get the look you want and feel comfortable writing with a paintbrush. As you can see, perfection is not required.
photo1Now you are ready to go for it! Start writing whatever phrase you would like to have. I like the way “I love you” looks. If you really mess up, no worries…you can lightly sand off the area you don’t like, but wait until it is dry.photo4photo5After the words have dried take a sanding block and lightly sand over the words to give them an uneven grungy look. This will “fix” any mistakes you made and smooths out any paint globs to make it look like a “printed” flat finish. If you sand too much, you can go back and repaint over the spots that need and and repeat the sanding process again. I also sanded the edges of the wooden block to give it a distressed look.photo6photo8This was a very budget friendly, easy and beautiful project to add to Ella’s room decor. I love that I created my own personal art in the form of a messages to my daughter. It makes it way more special and something she can see everyday. So now I want to put personal love notes though out my house as art. In case you are wondering, the other block says “Dear Beautiful, True beauty is kind…it shines from within…You are truly Beautiful” I will have photos of it once I finish the display wall in her room. Have a wonderful day ♥Christina

Dominican Republic: Be the good in the world.

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IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT OUR WORLD,  YOU WILL SEE SO MUCH GOOD.

There are so many people out there that are living good lives, who are striving to be good people who do great things. Yes, there is a lot of bad in this world also, which unfortunately, is very easy to focus on. Seeing the good in the world is what makes a difference though, not focusing on the bad. There are so many opportunities to help people in need, to be that person that changes somebody’s day and to spend your life serving and giving back. It’s becoming a common theme among our society – GIVING BACK – I want to be a part of it!

I recently went to a work conference in Dallas Texas where I had the pleasure of being taught by Roy Spence – a big-time marketing guru. You would think he would talk about…. marketing…. right? Wrong. He talked solely about “purpose”. He talked about giving back and “love culture”. I loved every second of it. It is vital to have a purpose; to stand for something you believe in and to never back down from it, no matter what. Without a purpose we have nothing – nothing worthwhile anyways.

I had the most amazing opportunity of my life back in November and I want to share some of it with you. The dental office I work in is, to say the least, awesome. Dr. Allan Thomas is my boss. He is, of course, a dentist, but beyond that he is a really good person. He is always looking for ways to serve the community and to give back. We take part in a charity campaign called “Smiles For Life” every year and again, to say the least, it’s awesome. It’s a great cause. (If you are curious or interested, click here for more information.) Long story short, the money we raise goes to helping children in need. There are many ways the money is used but one of them is by sending people to the Dominican Republic to do free dental work. There is a huge need for the help down there and I was so blessed to be able to go on this 10 day trip with my team.
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It truly changed my life.

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Yes, oral health is important… (don’t even get me started)… but even more important is service and love for your fellow man.

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The entire trip we heard this catchy little phrase: “It’s not about the teeth, it’s about the people”. At first I thought, “oh that’s cute” but soon it became real to me. Yes, we were there fixing people’s teeth, but more importantly, we were there to love them. I truly fell in love with these people. We were there to show them we care, give them our time and hopefully help their lives – but I guarantee they helped me much more than I helped them. They showed me what it is to really love with a selfless love.
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I didn’t realize how much I had until I flew 2,894 miles to the Dominican Republic and saw with my own eyes how different our worlds were. These people have “nothing” in a worldly sense, but really, they have everything. They are so happy and so full of love.
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Although I couldn’t speak their language, I was able to say exactly what I wanted to say to them through actions. I loved every moment that I had to serve these people (even though it was very hard at times). I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

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This is Sony, he is 13 years old and he was one of my favorite patients.
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One of my favorite moments of the trip happened on the 3rd day. It was Monday and we were working in a small batey (a batey is a small village where sugar cane workers and their families live), outside Santo Domingo. It was a very poor community. We were told that the people there were only able to eat once a day, if that, because that is all they could afford. The men would work in the sugar cane fields harvesting for only a few months out of the year. On average they harvest 2 to 3 tons a day and get paid $1 per ton. It had been raining the night before, and continued to rain almost the whole time we were doing clinic. The rain made for better temperatures to work in, but also resulted in a lot of mud. Personally, I can’t imagine living in those conditions. They live in shacks with no running water or electricity and are constantly trudging through mud – might I mention with a smile on their face. I found myself feeling very grateful for what I have, but very sorry for what these people were faced with. I wanted to do more but didn’t know how or what.

I remember the moment I saw it. Someone from the group said, “TOMS really does work!” I looked down at the children’s feet and saw them wearing black TOMS, covered in mud. It was one of those moments you don’t forget. It made me so happy to see that this idea someone had to sell a product but also give aid to those in need was a success. People that buy a pair of TOMS shoes are also buying a pair for a child in the world without. How cool is that.
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Photo credit: Jordan Smith

I feel like I learned so much about our world and about myself on this trip. Yes, it was hard, but it was also fun. Sunday was a day where we were able to go to church and enjoy a day of laughter and relaxation with friends before the hard work began. I’m grateful we had Sunday. It was much needed.
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Above everything else, above all the great memories I was able to make, I think most importantly, this trip taught me how important it is to think of others. It taught me that service and being generous with your time and talents is truly what matters in this life. Not everyone is able to travel 3,000 miles to go help people in need, but I realized when I came back to the states that we have plenty of need for help here. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget the feelings that I felt 5 months ago, but I hope I can always be the kind of person that is willing to try.

At the end of the week, we were able to spend one night at a nice resort, get a fairly “normal” shower and relax on the beach… and in my case, get stung by a jellyfish! It was a time set aside to think about our week. I’m happy we had this time. The Dominican Republic is a beautiful place – the land and the people.

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I want to be a bigger part of this LOVE CULTURE that is trending. Although, I hope it isn’t just a trend. I hope this sticks around long enough that it becomes a part of our everyday culture as human beings. There is so much good in the world and so much NEED for good in the world.

Be the good in the world.

♥Rebecca