Handmade books...

Two posts in one day? I know, but I just couldn't wait to show you all what I made! I'm in charge of a fun group at my church that we call "clever ladies". We get together once a month and learn a new craft. Well, this month a very talented friend of mine taught us how to make handmade books (I've been after her to teach us since I saw one of her books clear back in December). A little chipboard, some scrapbooking paper, and a whole lot of stick glue and VOILA! Check it out.

And here are the supplies all ready for another book I'm going to make for The Princess.

I'm going to make some of the these babies for Christmas gifts this year too! Here's to "clever ladies"!

Happy Crafting~


My mother is a collector. She collects just about everything. I'm not really a collector. But I do have a few smallish collections of things (well, a big collection of crafting supplies, photos, and home decor books - but those don't really count.) One thing my mother taught me is the art of displaying a collection. Here are a couple of my favorites at my nest...

These two jars sit together in my bathroom. Yes, in my bathroom. They each house a prized collection. The tall jar has my seashell collection. My family LOOOOOOVES the beach. Especially the beach in Maine. Pretty much any beach in Maine. I also love the color white. So most of the seashells are white...although I have thrown in a couple of random pieces of sea glass as well. (Sea glass is much harder to find than sea shells are). Oh, and a wishing stone. (Wishing stones are rocks with a ring of color in an unbroken circle all the way around. Make a wish on one then give it away and the wish will come true...I got mine from my cute sister-in-law in Maine who happened to find it on the beach.)

Then there is that cute little canning jar. A dear friend of mine gave it to me a couple of years ago for Christmas with some of her homemade jam inside. (mmmmm good stuff!) But I loved the shape of the jar so I had to find something to put in it. While visiting my mother, I scavenged some of her buttons - only the white ones. Don't they look pretty in the tiny jar.

I wish this was a better photo...but I used some of the prettiest white buttons to make this "wall art". The captions under each stack of buttons read "live", "laugh", "love". Simple.

I don't collect rocks. My kiddos do, but that's another story. I thought this jar should be included, however. This is our "rock jar". When the kiddos do an unexpected random act of kindness, Momma puts a rock in the jar. When the jar is full, the kiddos get a special treat. The kiddos must be on a roll, 'cause the jar is looking full! But, truthfully, I just wanted to show y'all how pretty it looks. The old canning jar came from The Hubby's grandmother's house. Filled with the stones, it makes a nice addition to the kitchen counter. Really it does.

How do you display your collections?~


My favorite spots

Thought I'd post a couple of pictures of some of my favorite spots in my house.

This console sits at the base of my stairs. I love it for it's serenity. The monochromatic color scheme is so soothing. The photos are black and white pictures of The Hubby and his brothers as children, and me, my 'lil sis, and my dad when I was about 5 - they are favorites of mine. I also love the reflection of the stairs in the mirror. Just don't look to close. You can see where Two took a toy truck and banged the drawers...he left a nice group of dents...at least I didn't have to repaint the piece.

"Really?" You're thinking. "This is one of your favorite spots. " Yes!!! I just love me a barn star! I really love the way the simple lines of the barn star and the bead board on the refrigerator surround play off of one another. I love bead board! You can't tell in this photo, but the walls are actually a sort of mossy green...Cathedral Gray by Ralph Lauren...but it really is green. I love the way the two greens play off of each other. Also, for this month at least, the calendar matches!!

I love this corner for all sorts of reason. First, I love the big, comfy chair. (It seriously is so comfortable...we got it at IKEA for cheap!!!) And, of course, I love the Toile pillow and the yellow, nubby fabric on the cute triangle pillow. (I found the toile at Walmart!? but all the other fabrics are from JoAnn's). The buffet is a rehabbed piece we found at a used furniture store. I use it to store toys and games, as well as a few of my larger serving pieces. And that mirror? That mirror is one of my favorite pieces in the whole house. There is a great furniture store not far from our house. A family runs it out of the barn behind thier house. They call it the Shabby Sheep. How cute is that? Anyway, the furniture is awesome. I usually just go there to drool. One day I took The Hubby with me, and he discovered this mirror. He had to have it. So it came home. And here it is. I love it! Have I mentioned before that The Hubby has excellent taste?

We have done so much work to our kitchen since we moved in (that is a post for another day). But this corner has to be one of my favorites. There used to be a random floating cabinet to the left of the window. The Hubby tore it out and we (and by we I mean The Hubby did everything while I "supervised") put up these wonderful shelves. They are a great place to store my glasses - and a couple of cute knick knacks! But then there was the issue of our Carbon Monoxide detector. It is a necessity, but soooo ugly. Luckily, we found this great plate rack at Christmas Tree Shop along with the plates and mugs. Put it in the unusable space behind our dumb split corner sink (something I will replace eventually) and it hides the detector. (This is why I put up both photos...from a distance you can hardly tell the detector is behind the plate stand. ) Also, I LOVE my phone - a perfect find from Pottery Barn.

These are some of my favorites. What are your favorite spaces in your home?



Jen...this one's for you.

My mother always says that ideas are like germs. They float around in the air, and all you have to do is catch them. I kind of think that is true. I felt like I was so original to come up with this idea, but since I made them I have seen the same idea cropping up all over the place. (No thanks to me, of course!)

They are a fun and easy project.

You need:

Glass beads: I like the large (1-1 1/2") size but you can use any size. I found mine in Target in the flowers and vases section. A whole bag only cost $4.99!

Scrapbook paper: or in the case of the bee magnets, I drew the image myself and photocopied it...shrank it, enlarged it etc. And the toile magnets are made with pieces of fabric...I love TOILE! And have I mentioned before how much I love BEES?


Mod Podge: Of course!

Magnets: I use the round ones you can find at any craft store.

Hot Glue: To glue the magnets on the back.

The way I actually made them is by cutting the paper (or fabric) into squares just larger than the beads.

I put Mod Podge on the flat side of the bead and centered the image just where I wanted it (you can see the image even when the Mod Podge is not dry.)

I didn't put a coat of Mod Podge on the back of the paper although you certainly could, but I did coat the back of the fabric with Mod Podge.

After the Mod Podge was sufficiently dry, I cut around the edge of the bead trimming the paper (or fabric) as close as I could.

Then I hot glued on the magnets.


I have seen them made by layering on different papers etc. which can make them much fancier, but I usually make them with my kiddos and so try to keep it as simple as possible.

They make great gifts...this year we gave them to One's school teachers at the end of the year...to the Hubby, Grandpa and Papa for Father's day...and to my cute sister-in-law for her birthday.

Happy Crafting~


The back door...

Since I have mentioned so much about our back door I thought I might post a few photos...

Where we live in the Northeast, it seems like most people actually use their back doors as the main entrance to their homes. This year I decided the little porch (and I mean little) needed some color, so I found this cute planter at Walmart (for something like $6) and planted some impatiens.
I'm not much of a gardner, but I do know impatiens like the shade. But my friend had actually given me these plants. They weren't in bloom, and they didn't have the little stick that tells you what they are, so I planted them and put them in a spot that gets full sun. They've actually done really well considering. They get a little wilty (is that a word?) during the heat of the day, but they always perk up again at night.

I love the porch lights. The Hubby picked them out to replace the brass lights that were here when we bought the place.

The last picture shows the planting bed that wraps around the front of the house to the back (well, it's really the side) door. I tried to add a little color this year. I love the pink. **Try not to notice the fact that my hosta is looking a little yellow - I'm not sure what's wrong with it.**
So there you have it...a little tour of my back door. (cute rhyme, huh?)


Baby food jars?

So having recently left the baby food stage, I had an overload of jars and decided that I should try and do something with them. So here are a couple of ideas...

Votive Holders : pop in a couple of tea lights and they look absolutely lovely. I personally prefer the simplicity of the plain jars, but they also look great dressed up with ribbon. Or you can get adventurous and use some fine guage wire wrapped around the neck of the jar to make hanging votives.

And here's a little project that's also fun to do with the kiddos...

Some tissue paper and a little Mod Podge and you can decorate the jars for every holiday imaginable. The young 'uns and I made these for Valentine's Day! See how pretty they look all lit up. (Make sure you pay attention to them when you have candles burning, however).

And finally, look at this fun little project I did after our first trip to the beach with One as a baby. I found little pictures of lighthouses and boats in magazines. Then I was lucky enough to find the words "first day at the beach". I decoupaged them to the lid using my favorite Mod Podge and put all of the shells we collected that day inside. Such a fun keepsake!


Hooray for chalkboard paint!

The entryway just inside our backdoor was a hodge podge of closets when we moved in. We made our "wicked awesome" budbench out of one closet. We really needed the other one for a coat closet/broom closet so we left it. Problem was it was ugly. And I mean ugly. All of the doors in our house are hollow core cheapies. So the question was...how do we make them look better without replacing them? The answer for this door was chalkboard paint! Too bad this picture isn't better...as you can see the door is in a bit of an odd space...right next to the back door. (You can't open both doors at the same time.)

Now at least it looks cute, and it's functional too! Can't beat that. Add a cute little basket to hold the chalk and erasers and it makes a nice reminder board just before you leave the house. Truth is, I love chalkboards (I have them all over) and now I can't get enough of chalkboard paint. I've got all kinds of little projects planned for this great invention...I'm thinking flowerpots, boxes, the wall inside the boys closet (I'll explain that later)...the possibilities are endless. But, for now, I'm happy with my door.

Tutorials/ DIY

Welcome to the Tutorials/ DIY page at The Shabby Nest
Here you'll find a collection of my favorite Tutorials and DIY projects.
Simply click on the photo to take you to each tutorial.
I update this page often, so make sure to check back.