Gunner’s Room

I can’t even begin to tell you all how in love I am with my little guy. It was exactly how everyone said it would be and that special love affair that a mom has with her son is a real thing, people! I am smitten. I just adore my tiny little man and he’s affectionately been named “Mr. Wonderful” because lets face it… he is all kinds of wonderful!

I’ve always had the decorating for girls thing down so the thought of having to create a room for a little boy was a little daunting. I was convinced that boy rooms had to be heavily theme oriented. Sports was all that came to mind and I am far from a sports fan. I don’t know what I was so afraid of because what I ended up creating I am loving!

This all came about pretty organically. I had a few prized items I had been holding on to and I never exactly knew when I was going to use them. It was like they were meant to be in this space even before I knew this space was meant to be! One by one things came together and now my Mr. Wonderful has a cheerful space all to his own that will grow with him and not feel to juvenile.

This room used to be my youngest daughters room. Its walls were already blue so we decided to kick Chuck out and move her next door. Don’t worry, she loves her new space! I had always loved how bright this room was so we kept the wall color and had fun filling it up and working on new projects.

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The first project we tackled was painting the crib. Can I just start by saying PAINTING CRIBS SUCKS! Man did I hate this! 6 hours and practically 1 million coats later it was done. And yes! I used a safe paint. I do love how it turned out and being on this end of a project like this I can say it was well worth it!

Gunny’s darling Captain America cape that is hanging on his crib came from Klassi Kreations!

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I am in LOVE with my paper airplane mobile! I didn’t want to hang anything on the wall above his crib for fear it would come crashing down on him ( YES I’m one of those parents who thinks her kids are always one accident away from tragedy! I know! I know!) I was holding Gunner one day in his room trying to rock him to sleep when I had this idea come to me! It was perfect.  An airy way to fill the space, add some more pops of color and entertain my little dude while he gazed up from his crib.

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This is one of those special pieces I was talking about! For as long as I could remember my summers were spent on Lake Mead on my grandpas house boat. It was my happy childhood place that soon became my teenage and adulthood happy places. I took my own kids there and we spend the hot summer months swimming, boating and creating memories. Finally after 20 some on years it was time to retire the boat but not before my siblings and I raided the place for keepsakes. This sketch hung inside the boat and conjures up amazing memories of being with my grandpa, who was my most favorite person as a young girl, and my dad! I’ve been holding on to this piece of art for years wondering how to enjoy it. Now it hangs watching over Guns crib. I kind of think of it as if my grandpa is keeping watch over my sweet boy.  It didn’t always look like this. I’ll share how I breathed new life into soon enough.

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I’ve quickly found a new hobby of collecting small toys for Gunner and I hit the jackpot when my sweet friend was getting rid of a ton of toys her kids had out grown. Plastic dinosaurs, animals, action figures, trucks, cars and other small toys fill these bins from IKEA.

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The art collage above the toys is a collection of a gifted letter “G” from a sweet friend that I framed in a shadow box lined with fabric, an adorable print from Lucy Darling prints and framed fabric. All the frames were bought at IKEA. I use 3M Command Strips to attach all my frames in my house and they work great for collages like this one. No need to worry about having to put multiple nails in the wall once you realize you’ve miscalculated and pounded in a nail that no longer works.

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Gotta love thrifting! It’s funny how your mind starts thinking differently when you thrift a lot! This beautiful old globe was a whopping $6. I almost didn’t buy it because I thought it was too pricy! Ha! Isn’t that funny! $6 at a thrift shop is way different in my mind then $6 spent somewhere else! Glad I snapped out of it and realized that it would be perfect and a steal at that price.

And everyone has been asking about the 5 inch Green Army Men! I KNOW, RIGHT!! Totally cool! Those little gems came from my friends toy stash! What a find! I am on the hunt for more and have found them on ebay.

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I had scored a huge box of vintage marquee letters and just before I dropped them off to consign I sifted through them to see if I could spell out GUNNER and low and behold I could! Glad I checked. These are stuck on with ticky-tack.

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The giant VW Bus is the crowning jewel of this entire room! A labor of love and a little self indulgence on my part. The entire room took on a non traditional beachy/water feel and I had to try my hand at adding this iconic piece into the plans. For full tutorial on how I created this piece jump on over HERE!

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I needed a little storage for larger toys and I’m not a fan of the traditional toy box with a lid. I wanted a galvanized trough but the only ones I could find at local feed stores were too big and over $100. YIKES! This was a great alternative and a splurge at $40 from HomeGoods but it will last forever!

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More fun toys from my friend and some leaning art. The “Hello Sunshine” piece was a project from Poppy Seed Projects that I painted using the same paint from the crib and the huge surf poster is from Pottery Barn.

 

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We are Utah transplants who moved here from Huntington Beach, CA. This sweet little vintage sign greets you as you come into Gunner’s room. It sets the tone for the rest of the space and reminds me of my childhood growing up on the beach!

This was such a fun room to put together. Nothing about it screams baby and that’s what I think I love! He’ll easily transition out of a crib into a bed in this space with little need to mature the look of it!

This room is for sure kid tested, Gunner approved!

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Kids in Training: Keeping a Room Clean and Orderly! Giveaway and Free Printable

clean room giveaway poster

I know I’m not the only who has struggled with trying to help my kids keep their rooms clean! It was a constant battle and frustration in my home. I would often give up and clean it myself but the reality of them missing out on this important life lesson and skill finally won me over and I had to come up with a better plan!

In my e-book “Kids in Training” I drive head first into this very topic and share how we turned a corner when it came to conquering the bedroom clutter and keeping it clean! Can you believe after I put a few new daily responsibilities into action that my 9 and 7 year old daughters have been able to keep a spotless room for over 4 months in a row!!! CRAZY, I know!

It all came down to making them responsible, minimal daily pick up and seeing the potential that their personal space had hidden under all the piles and mess!

My girls do a few thing EVERY single day. By keeping on top of it they are never left with the daunting task of cleaning a disaster zone. I share our tips and tricks in Chapter 1 of “Kids in Training: Life lessons that will help lead to productive, responsible and grateful kids!” Keeping a room clean and orderly becomes totally manageable for little ones with a little direction, motivation and organization.

I’ve created a few fun chore charts that you can use to help your kids stay on top of their bedroom responsibilities! Help them identify a few daily tasks that will help them keep a clean room. By seeing what they need to do and marking it off when it’s done, they will feel the pride that comes with being responsible. I also talk about fun incentives and rewards for their continual hard work.

Chore chart 1

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These weekly chore charts are great for helping your kids keep track of their progress! Insert daily bedroom chores on the blank lines and have them mark them off as they accomplish their chore! Things to consider putting on the charts…

Make Bed

Clean Desk

Clean Dresser

Clean floor

Clean closet

Toys put away

Customize it to your kids room needs or areas that have been a struggle. If they have had a hard time keeping books in order add that chore to the daily list! Doing 5-10 minutes of daily work will totally help keep a space in order!

Read more about what’s been working in my home by reading “Kids in Training!” Along with helping my kids keep a clean room, I touch on 9 other helpful life skills that are helping me teach my kids how to be productive and responsible!

If you purchase a copy of “Kids in Training” Now through March 19th, you will be entered into our “Clean Room Giveaway!”

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These fun items are the perfect tools to help any kids room become organized and ready to KEEP clean! Items are being ordered and shipped from Amazon so they are subject to availability once a winner is chosen! Winner will be chosen from my e-book sales log and announced on the Blue Cricket Design Facebook Page March 20th! If you have already purchased a copy you are automatically entered to win!

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Click below to purchase “Kids In Training!” Check out is via paypal and the pdf version will be emailed to you after you check out!

Add to Cart

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First day of school

The first day of school is a big deal over here at the BCD house! It has been since the day I sent my first preschooler off for the very first time! This year was no differentand with all three of my littles off to school all at once I took full advantage of capturing this special day!

It wouldn’t be the first day of school without  a fresh box of Crayola Sidewalk chalk! This has become our signature first day photo op and this year Charlie got in on the action!

 

 

Grab an iconic black board and a bistro chalk pen and create this super simple “first day of school ” sign.

I borrowed this vintage school desk from a good friend and and piled on the thrift store books to help create this fun little scene. I absolutely adore the way these turned out!

These frames from “Cut it Out”  make the perfect personal sign. I create the printable and painted each unfinished frame keeping in mind what my girls outfits were and painting them a coordinating color.

I can not believe it’s back to school already for these little ones. These three will be all grown up sooner then we know it and I know I’ll treasure theses photos forever!

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“Good Morning America” came to my house to film a segment on “The first Day of School!” It was a day my whole family will never forget. The segment should air sometime this week  so be sure to fan the Blue Cricket Design facebook fan page ! As soon as I know when it will air I will post details there! More details on my day with GMA to come!

In the mean time…

I created a FREE printable ready for you to download!  Enjoy these ” First day of…” signs: Preschool through 12th grade! Please feel free to share and pin.

First Day of School Pre-12th

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Hand stitched Cards by ” Teal and Lime”

This year I wanted to start a tradition of the boys exchanging handmade gifts. Of course I helped considerably with my youngest’s gift for his brother. My older son was able to offer a lot more help with his little brother’s gift.  First up was lacing cards for Jax (<2 years old) to give Pepé (4 years old).  This project is so easy, but has the power to keep little hands busy for a while.

DIY Lacing Cards

I purchased card stock shapes from Michaels. Each shape comes in a package of 10 for $1.99.  We chose stars, houses, and two types of leaves.  You can also create your own shapes on heavy duty card stock.  To keep this project as quick as possible, I opted to buy pre-cut shapes.  We used some for lacing cards, others for gift tags, and saved the rest for future art projects. I punched holes with a 1/8″ hole punch around the perimeter of each card.

DIY Lacing Cards

We cut one yard lengths of yarn to lace with. To make them easier to thread through the holes I used white electrical tape to bind the ends like shoelaces.  We included a variety of fun colors from our yarn stash in the arts and crafts storage center.  The yarn scraps were lovingly donated by Grandma who crochets towels for her Etsy shop.

Lacing cards are great for fine motor skill development.  For my very active 4 year old, I know they can keep his little hands and mind busy.  He loves to have a project to do (just like his mama).  This is a great project for him while mama sews.  The lacing cards can also be reused over and over again.  He can even color the cards if he likes.

For more great ideas from Jackie please visit “Teal and Lime”

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Guest Post: Angry Birds FREE printable by My Concrete Sky

who doesn’t love angry birds?
last time i checked, they are pretty close to taking over the world…
(or at least pinterest pins, eh? ;)
well, if i’m being completely honest, angry birds aren’t quite my thing, but my 4 year baby boy is sure obsessed! and i have this 6 year old daughter, who kinda likes angry bird herself, but mostly just loves making stuff for other people!
so put the two simple joys together and voila!
a fun, handmade, mommy/baby nugget ANGRY BIRDS project/sibling gift!
i wish i was clever enough to claim this idea all as my own,
but instead i am just super grateful for the genius idea i found here
i changed it up and bit and instead of hand painting each can, i created some printable labels because a) i don’t have the patience to paint each one individually! b) my daughter could then do most of the project herself (since it is her gift to little brother…)
today i am sharing those printable labels with you so that you and/or your babies
can make a fun set of your own!
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THE SUPPLIES:

+ recycled soup cans (in the amount of ‘pins’ you want to make…we had 10 for our set)
+ mod podge (i favor matte finish, but i’m sure glossy would be fab too!)
+ green acrylic paint (’2553 lime green’ by folk art from walmart for $0.97 is a great match!)
+ sponge brush (to apply mod podge)
+ regular brush (to apply paint, but you could use a sponge brush too…just use whatever you have!)
+ printed labels (you need one for each can you have…download below!)
THE PROCESS:
+ paint the cans (just the tops and about an inch around the top and bottom of the cylinder part…)
while you let the paint dry, cut out your bird labels
once paint is dry, generously apply mod podge (momma helped baby girl with this part…)
stick the bird labels to the mod podged cans
make sure the entire label is adhered to each can
apply coat of mod podge all over the now labeled cans (and to the painted can tops)
let it dry
stand back, admire and go gaga over your adorable creation
wrap it up pretty and give it to some angry birds addict who will love this real life set to bits and pieces!

 

A COUPLE MORE THINGS:

after one trial and error can, i discovered the easiest method for applying all coats of mod podge that i must share with you! (see photo below…)

put your hand in the can opening while you mod podge then you can apply mod podge on the entire circumference of the can without getting it all over your hands! once i was done mod podging, i slid the can off of my hand using the counter’s edge so i wouldn’t ever have to touch the stickiness! (you can see two finished cans in the background on the counter’s edge using this ‘slide-off-of-the-hand method’ :)

also, mod podge both coats with the can’s ridges instead of against…much easier!
i bought an actual angry bird doll dude at a post-thanskgiving sale…if you’d like to make your own ‘bird ball’ there is a great tutorial from the same blogger that inspired this project herea big thanks to heidi for posting her project so others could pin it (thereby allowing me to find it ;)and to  freevectorsdaily.com, the site that so generously shared the angry bird images i used to create the labels…THANKS FOR SHARING!!

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our little set turned out even cuter than i anticipated (that’s always a good thing isn’t it?)
hope you have as much fun as we did making this simple present!!
happy holidays from our home to yours!!
Download the FREE printable HERE!
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alisa is living her dream and true calling as a full-time mommy/wife and as a nap-time artist/designer. She spends he days schnoogling her babies, avoiding laundry, finding order in the chaos, enjoying the journey, and cultivating a creative life. to see more of alisa’s work, please visit her at myconcretesky.com.
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Wrapped Christmas books

Christmas is all about creating fun family traditions and indulging the littles in   extra fun! I loved the idea of wrapping up Christmas books and having the kids open one each night to read as a family! You’d think that finding Christmas/Winter themed story books would be hard and expensive but if you frequent Thrift stores like I do you’ll quickly find that it’s amazingly easy and affordable!

Thrift stores are chuck full of Holiday books! I paid 50 cents or less for every book. I left one store with 11 Christmas books! Two thrift shop visits later I had a full collection. I even grabbed Easter, Halloween and Valentines Day books to start those holiday collections!

Starting tonight we get dive into the book basket! I don’t know who’s more excited! Me or the kids.

Speaking of Christmas stories…what’s your all time favorite Christmas story?

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Cultivating a love of art in kids

One of the most asked questions I get is how do I get so many projects done with a house full of kids? And my answer… GET THEM INVOLVED! It not only allows me to have time to be creative but more importantly it helps me encourage them to be creative, express themselves and develop their talents. It also helps them understand the creative process and in my opinion it’s never to early to have a love of art!

At my kids elementary school they are lucky enough to hav ethe PTA sponsored “Reflections” art program. Each year there is a theme and every student is encouraged to enter an art project. This years theme was “Diversity Means” and this is my Blue Birds project titled ” Every Gardens Different.” She did this all my herself, even the hot glue, she was supervised of course and she was so proud of it! It was a treat to see her do each step and get more excited as it came together!

She was so excited to turn in her art work! I hope that as my kids grow up they will will have fun  memories of being creative!

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Googly eye picture

This super simple craft is perfect for the kids! Googly eyes glued onto scrapbook paper and framed! Makes  a great little vignette additive during this spooky time of year! Grab the school and kids and get to work! This project cost me $1. I used paper and a frame I already had and bought the googly eyes at Dollar Tree! That cute rat is also from Dollar Tree! LOVE that place!

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Huge Print preview!!!

I saw a great segment on Studio 5 where the darling,  Laci Davis, shared an AMAZING secret! She filled us in on the how you can get HUGE black and white photos printed at Blue Print Printing shops for WAY cheap! I knew I had to go check it out for myself!

So I took this photo…

And I had it printed to be 4′ x 3′! This print cost me $6.

And to put it into perspective, here’s the silly faced model sitting next to her larger then life print!

And here’s a funny story…when I went to go pick up the prints the guy who was helping me over the phone showed me his printing FAIL:

He accidentally put in the wrong dimensions on this picture of Cricket and this is what happened! Pretty funny huh! He gave to me for free and lets just say this thing might be hanging up as a family joke from here on out on special occasions! I’m thinking prom night, first day of her senior year!

I had my photos printed at SBR Technologies in Salt Lake City. To find a print shop in your area do a google or yellow pages search for ” Blue Print printing” and see what pops up. You will basically find printing costs for black and white for about 35 cents a square foot.

This was my test run! Now that I know I LOVE this technique I’m going to create a fun photo wall. I think this is a little too big for what I’m going for but you can print like this in any size so I’ll be getting creative!

These photos are printed on paper, not photo paper so they are not as sturdy as a photo print. This is what makes them so affordable so it’s a fun way to print photos and change them out!

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After I saw the HUGE long photo of Cricket I thought how fun would those look at a wedding reception!! Long huge black and white photos of the bride and groom  hanging off large dowels with ribbon hanging  all over! Makes me want to get married again!

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First day of school headband

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This is what you get when you add a silk flower, a fabric rosette, a rounded pom pom, a fabric button and netting!

Gather your elements and create the clutter you like! Glue them onto a piece of felt, trim and hot glue onto a fabric covered headband!

Makes the perfect accessory for the first day of school!

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