DIY: Calendar Prints to Wall Art Plaques

With Thanksgiving officially behind us and Christmas approaching quickly, I’ve got presents on my brain. And not the ones that I hope to find under the tree for myself… the ones that I’ll share with others! I’m a sucker for homemade gifts, so this year I want to share with you some of my favorite DIYs that I’ve done this year. Who knows?? Maybe one will inspire you to make some homemade gifts this Christmas season!

First up: How to turn your favorite calendar prints into wall art plaques 🙂

I love prints (if you can’t tell from my FriYAY Faves collection…) and I loooooooove Rifle Paper Company (P.S. They are having a 30% off Black Friday sale through Monday). I’ve been a huge fan of Anna’s for years now, and my hubby did a great thing and bought me the 2014 Travel Calendar last year around this time. I’m already looking forward to getting another Rifle calendar for 2015… Maybe the Honey Bee? or Les Fleurs?

Anywho… I digress.

Calendar Prints to Wall Art Plaques

I was so in love with my Travel calendar that by June I couldn’t bear the thought of parting with it. Sooooo I decided to make the first 6 months permanent features on my wall. Here’s how:

  1. Buy a large wooden plaque to adhere each print to. I got mine from Walmart with a coupon for only $2 each!
  2. If you want the plaques to be a different color, go ahead and paint them and let them dry completely before the next step.
  3. Lay the prints face down on the plaque, and on the back of the prints with a pencil trace the outline of the plaque to get the calendar pages to the exact size you desire.
  4. Cut your prints out carefully. Mine needed a lot of trimming because it was a large calendar, but whatever you do, make sure those lines are straight!
  5. Use Modge Podge to lightly coat the wood in the area that the prints will go. Be sure it’s a very even, very thin coat to ensure that the paper won’t bubble.
  6. Lay the prints gently on the wooden plaques. Be sure to get any bubbles out my rubbing over them.
  7. Dry, hang with 3M strips, and voila!

Calendar Prints

Ours look great in our pantry area of the kitchen!! I love that we were able to repurpose these pretties and now we get to see them every day! Plus, if you are thinking about doing this project to make gifts, one calendar equals 12 pretty presents to give to friends and family! And each with their own unique print 🙂

Enjoy!

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Battling Contentment

If there’s one thing I fear (other than snakes) it’s lack of change.

I’ve found that some things that are commonly scary for other people give me excitement. For instance, I really don’t mind moving. In fact, I think it’s fun. New places, new friends, new opportunities. A challenge that I can’t even anticipate until I’m fully immersed in it. I crave it! However, even that opinion may change before too long.

But sameness is a scary thing to me. Staying in one place for too long, scary. Doing the same thing over and over, scary. But only because I think once you hit a place where you’re totally fine with the “same-ol-same” you’ve either (a.) gotten yourself to a false sense of perfection, or (b.) you just plain don’t care anymore. Both are dangerous places to be.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love where we live right now, and I don’t want to move. I also love what I’m doing right now, and I don’t foresee it changing. But day after day I find myself in a battle with contentment. {If you look up a definition for contentment right now you’re going to think I’m a crazy person, so I’ll go ahead and give it to you so we can get that out of the way. Contentment: a state of happiness or satisfaction. Crazy person…} But stay with me…

The battle is in the synonyms: comfort, ease, gratification. The trouble is that this life wasn’t meant to give us comfort, be easy, or gratify us. It’s all about glorifying Him. Which is hard. And requires change on our part. A lot of change.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and complete. Romans 12:2

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{I doodled it up, just for fun. If you’d like a doodle reminder for yourself, click here for a free “Be Transformed” download!}

A few weekends ago, Will & I rearranged the furniture in our {tiny} apartment. His old desk is now our new kitchen table. The old t-shirt shelf is now our new pantry. The armchair in his office is now our new armchair in the living room. Small. Free. Barely noticeable changes. But these little changes battled our restlessness with sameness in our home, gave us a little burst of energy, and somehow taught me (once again) that movement in our lives is a good thing.

On a very very very small scale, our furniture rearranging was a battle with contentment, sameness, and satisfaction with what was. And the result was something fresh, exciting, and new. But the process wasn’t flawless. We scuffed the floor a little and moved things 100 times, but while the process was challenging, the outcome brought joy and thoughts of “Oh wow, I’m glad we did this”.

I think that in our walk with Christ we have to battle the easy, comfortable, and “normal” every day in order to reach those moments of true faith-walking and pure joy. If we’re the same today and tomorrow and from then on, where is the significance? What is our life pointing to? Likely, ourselves. But my aim, my goal is to change… be transformed… battle the satisfaction with what is and reach for something higher. Bigger. Closer to Him.

And sometimes doing that is scary. {Yes, I’m contradicting myself. I love change. I fear change. We can’t all be perfect…}

I’ll close by acknowledging that the Bible also uses contentment in a very positive context. And well as it should be used. Please don’t misunderstand me. Contentment in HIM, especially when our circumstances are less than ideal, is a very very good thing (that’s what the Bible speaks of in Hebrews 13:5, Phillipians 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:6). I also aim to be in total unity and happiness with my God in every season of life.

But here on earth when I speak of battling contentment, I mean battling contentment within ourselves. Battling our forgetfulness that we need Him or just plain ignoring the fact that we do need Him and being okay with that. That’s where my heart is. Not to say that all states of contentment are bad. They most definitely are not. But ask yourself, am I satisfied with myself or with Him?

It’s a telling question.

Lessons from a Kitchen Table

Yesterday morning we didn’t have a kitchen table. By last night we did. The most amazing part… We didn’t pay a dime or get anything new.

New kitchen table

And here’s how… Our new kitchen table is Will’s old desk. Some simple home love rearranging led to a cozier, more complete feeling house (or at least kitchen… now the office is empty… oops!) Oh, how I love repurposing and using what you already have to create something even newer. Better.

The lesson: Change is good.

(And yes, I’ve learned it before, but I’m learning it again. Stay tuned. Deeper things than a new kitchen table are on the way.)

Home Love

Even though we have a small one-bedroom apartment, sometimes I have trouble keeping the house tidy. (Note: I didn’t say we, I said I.)

We blame it on life, which is valid, but I’m starting to learn that you pour your time and energy into the things you love. Thank goodness I spend a lot of energy on Will and our marriage. Thank goodness he does the same. Thank goodness we both spend a TON of energy on our “jobs”. (Mine might be the only one with a paycheck, but law school is a JOB, folks.) And thank goodness even with all of that we still have time to invest in friends and family.

However, the home sometimes gets the shaft.

So today I tried something. I got home just 10 minutes before Will. I knew this because he text me something along the lines of “I’ll be home in 10”, so I knew my window of opportunity was short.

In 10 minutes I:
– Vacuumed the whole house
– Spot mopped all the tile
– Hung the random unhung clothes strewn around the house
– Wiped all counters (kitchen and bathroom)
– Cleaned the toilet
– Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher
– Organized random out of place knickknacks
– Lit a candle (A crucial step in Home Love 101.)

And the outcome? A renewed sense of peace in my home. A reawakened love for my abode. A newfound pride in my place of dwelling.

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It only took 10 minutes.

Did Will notice? I don’t think so. Haha. He didn’t say anything if he did. But that also gave me some peace. It wasn’t THAT bad. Not neglected completely. Just in need of some love.

I think I can give 10 minutes weekly to my tiny home to show it my love. And in the end, I’ll feel better and more confident about myself too. I’m no June Cleaver, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep a darn cute house.

Simple. Easy. Practical. Home love.

What are your busy-person home love tips?? Because believe me… I have LOTS more to learn.

Remember that time we moved in a day…

… yeah, my calves do too.

So the wonderfully decorated apartment I blogged about 3 days ago? We moved out the next day. Haha! Life is funny, and sometimes the Lord has a funny way of showing you when and where to go. Also, He is really good at showing His grace through imperfect times, and our new place is even better than we imagined. (Thanks, mom, for always believing that and reminding me all along that it would be.)

The decision wasn’t easy. Obviously in the heat of law school and GAA it wasn’t our first choice to relocate. But circumstances led us to a crossroads, and through many prayers and debates and even a few tears we knew what we had to do… Make a move. For safety. For peace of mind. For the chance to make this place our home.

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Not too shabby for a day’s work. (Sidenote: I didn’t totally hate recreating/ redecorating a space with so much character. Keeping those home decorator dreams alive!)

The best news is that we are now in a great neighborhood! I can’t wait to run through the cherry blossoms in the spring! Plus, we have the best landlords (who I hope to befriend), we STILL have a brick wall (hallelujah!!), and to make things even better we now have AWESOME skylights that let in infinite amounts of natural light. Better. Than. Imagined.

All in all, me and my calves are thankful for a new place to call home. Now for the housewarming party… 🙂