Sunday, July 29, 2012

DIY Magnetic Fridge Gallery

Let's be honest....I do not pretend that HGTV will walk into my house and find it perfect and ready for a photo shoot.  I LOVE dreaming of having a home like the ones they feature, but I just don't know that I will ever have that.  Instead, I surround us with things we love (which a lot of people on HGTV do, but they all love things that are white and only from a department store).  We also inherit things and sometimes, those things are not catalog-tastic.  But that's what makes our home ours.

Take, for example, my appliances.  They're black, they're not what I would have chosen, they came with our house, and they aren't going anywhere.  Our fridge is also a Hoovervillesque collection of magnets from my husband's life before Meghan, my life before Chad and our awesome life together.  Some believe strongly in a fridge free from magnets, cards, photos and clutter...but we just aren't those people.  In fact, I have found that I'm quite attached to most of these little pieces of memory.

What's a gal to do?  Because this....well, this is just beyond awful.

I just couldn't part with all my little hobo pieces of magnetic memory, only to stare at an ugly blank black fridge.  Instead, I got resourceful.  Taking a collection of mismatched frames, ditching the glass and backs...I had a few interesting and detailed frames to make magic with.

Enter some spray primer, Krylon spray paint in Catalina Mist, E6000 and some magnets from the craft store, I got to work.  Hubby helped me paint the frames a color that was inspired by a set of amazing Anthro plates. Note....when you spray paint, paint on something that doesn't move or blow around in the wind (like not a garbage bag...seems obvious, but we had some initial difficulty with that concept).  My new spracy paint backdrop is a large piece of styrofoam left over packaging from a piece of furniture.

After the frames dried, I took out all of the little metal bits on the back.  None of them were hard to remove with a pair of needle nose plier and jewelry cutters (an OLD pair I had previously destroyed snipping off vintage earring backs) and it ensured that my gallery of frames would sit correctly on the fridge.  Attach your magnets with a tiny bit of E6000.  Let them dry overnight to ensure the magnets stick to the frames and not just the fridge.  Also, if any of your frames are heavy, like mine, I found two magnets did the trick: one magnet glued on, and one or two more attached (via their magnetic little selves!) on each of the corners worked brilliantly.

And now...I have introduced negative space into our magnetic mementos.  And it's MUCH better.

Each frame is a little art collage.  I have one that holds a very special combination of a magnet showing a 1930s view of the ballroom in which we were married paired with a magnet I found that is the exact vintage cake topper I borrowed for our wedding cake.  I have one devoted to Chad's magnetic musical collection.  There's one for our favorite team and one for our favorite place.

It's sweet, quirky, and fun.  And a HUGE face lift for that ugly black appliance!

Another awesome thing...every piece is moveable.  I fully intend to have a constant rotation of interesting things, with our without the approval of HGTV!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Olympic Crafting: Make Your Own Medal Favor

Without plunking down a ton of cash on a "favor", I thought having said favor also be a little fun activity would be just grand!  (And a GREAT ice breaker when you have guests from different social circles)

So, what would YOU gold medal in?

Here's what I used:
-Cork Coasters
-Hole Punch
-7/8 inch ribbon (I used purple because that's what they're using in London!)
-Gold Paint
-Permanent Markers for Decorating

I decided to paint only one side of the coaster.  The back will be special, but didn't feel like having both sides painted was a must.

Next, make a hole.  Also, if you have a grommet tool, add a grommet to increase the strength.  I really love my's become a great and useful crafting must have.

Now you're ready for ribbon!  38 inches is about the perfect length and 7/8 inches wide is about the perfect width.  Larks Head that bad boy through the hole you made.  Square knot at the neck to ensure the ribbon doesn't come untied.  I also like to "seal" the ribbon ends by burning them slightly with a lighter.  It just makes super sure there is no fraying.

For a special touch, I decided to make a donation to the US Olympic Team on behalf of my guests.  The US is one of the few countries in the world that does not fund our Olympic team through the government.  So yeah, our Olympic superstars depend on sponsors.  And our Olympic not so superstars depend on private donations.  So, if you're enjoying the Olympics and love to cheer on Team USA, think about making a's a good cause to support.

So the rest is up to your guests!  Give them Sharpies and see what they come up with.  My gold medal event is pretty obvious...

And now it's time to display....ah, perfect.

Olympic Crafting: Olympic Torch tastic Party Decor

With a party and international celebration coming up, it was time to get crafting!  While I am planning to improvise my party decor by using basic plates, napkins, etc in olympic colors, some things needed to be specific!

Ever seen those great inflatable Olympic Torches?  Yeah...well you can only find them online.  And they're sold out.  AND, they're not London specific.  So I can do better.  And so can you!

Kind of awesome, right??

Here's what you need:

-Wiffle Ball Bat
-Gold Duck Tape (3/4 a roll for each torch)
-Red, Orange, Yellow Tissue Paper
-Wooden Disk
-Gold Paint
-Markers in Olympic Colors

So first, work on your flames.  I used half a sheet of each color of tissue paper.  Fold in half and then cut out your flames.  Layer up the sheets like so:

Fan fold all three layers together and then arrange around the tip of your wiffle bat like so:

Tape it down.  It doesn't matter if it's perfect, because you're just going to cover that up when you really wrap your "torch" with the duck tape.

I wanted to make sure the top of the torch looked neat and tidy.  I guess because I'm a sew-er, I have issues with raw edges.  Take a piece of tape (enough to wrap around the whole bat with some to spare) and folded down the top 1/4 of the tape to make a nice clean edge Martha would be proud of. Wrap around and over itself in a "V" formation.  Lovely!

Now wrap your little Duck tape loving heart out starting at the top and all the way down to the bottom.

Alright, so let's make it fancy pants.  Paint some little wooden disks gold and get out your Olympic colors.

Draw on your Olympic rings or whatever design you may choose.  A helpful hint for those of us who are crap at drawing, start with the middle top ring in black so you can center it.  Then add in your green and yellow rings, then the outer rings.  Voila...not perfect, but trust me, it will be an awesome accent.

Glue that baby on and BOOM.  An awesome torch, perfect for your Olympic Party decorating needs!

Awww, the hubby.  He is so very much my favorite :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Win a CUSTOM Pair of FREE Cork Earrings from Simply March!

It's a Friday Giveaway!  How do you feel about these?

Or these?

Or theeese??

Well, a pair of these could be yours, or if you win, I'll make a very special pair, just for you!

How do you enter?  The details are below:

1.  Like Simply March on Facebook
2.  Head to the Simply March Etsy Shop and find your very favorite thing.
3.  Pin that item on your Pinterest boards!  You only have to pin once and only one item to be entered.
4.  Post the link to your pin onto the Simply March Facebook page and like magic, you're entered. so hard.  The contest will run until tonight, July 13th, 2012 at 10pm.  I will announce the winner on Saturday!

Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: Rock Star Tee-torial

Every day, I see a new tee-torial on Pinterest.  So yeah...I'm adding another one.  Some people want to fill the world with silly instructions.

Alright Pinterest...let's be real. A curvy gal like me is NOT going to make a men's shirt into a skirt unless said shirt originally belonged to the BFG.  I needed a tee that would be cute, somewhat fitted in all the right places and not require me to ditch my bra.  Because that should NEVER happen in public.

Start with a tee that might be a little bit on the large side.  This is a toss away from my sweet hubby and seeing how we had all Beatles music at our wedding, I thought it would be perfect for cute-ifying.  All you need is scissors (and love).

First, cut the neck away at the seam.  Yep, get that nasty old constraining ribbed collar outta here.  Follow along with the pics below, starting top left, across then down to the next line.

Ribbed collar out.  Then, make a 2"ish slit in the very front center.  Fold the tee in half matching up your shoulder seams so you can cut the front of the neck evenly.  BOOM.

Mkay...arms are next.  Cut your arms off on the body side of the seam.  Then it gets a BIT more tricky. You want to narrow in that arm hole a little bit more, but not so much in the front that it makes a weird gappy, boob show.  So cut in more to the back.  The pic below shows the shirt upside down...that's about the ratio of front to back.

Alright, that was super bloody easy.  So now you need to get a strip of tee about 9" x 2"...then stretch the holy be-jujuice out of it so it's nice and long.  Tees are awesome like that.

Now is the "wow" moment.  Take the newly created strip tie in the back, through the arm holes and cinch it!  You may need to further trim the back of the neck so it doesn't stick out...but that's all in the fit.  You should try it on to get it juuuuust right.

Yeah.  Awesome.  Add a tank and get to being cute.  Hubby approved.

Jewelry is courtesy of my etsy shop, Simply March.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Opening Ceremony Viewing Party Invitations

Ooooo, I cannot WAIT for the Olympics.  It is truly one of my very favorite excuses to throw a fun party.  I've been working on invitations and boy, I'm looking forward to a FABULOUS evening with friends.  Here's my sample invitation....a knock off of the actual ticket.  I do not claim to be an amazing graphic designer, but feel free to borrow my concept!

I find QR codes to be the COOLEST things.  This one links right back to the London 2012 Official Website.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Olympic Bingo: The Perfect Opening Ceremony Game

Remember way back when our favorite royals got married?  Well my Royal Wedding Bingo Game was SUCH a hit at my party (and yours too, I hope!), I'm bringing it back for some Olympic fun.  BEHOLD!

That's right!  Using a selection of random countries, famous people who may (or may not) appear for the big kick off on July 27th, a few typically English sights and items that are 100% Olympic, I have 6 individual bingo cards in PDF ready for printing.  How do you get 'em?  Well, you comment below with your email addy and I'll send all six right over!

In return, I would love it if you followed my blog or "liked" Simply March on Facebook.  That would be just grand!  And stayed tuned for more Olympic themed party ideas.  July 27th is going to be an EPIC evening!

***I can promise to get these to you until NOON on July 27th....after that, I will do my best to email them out in time to you...I generally carry my smart phone, so I should see the email, but I will be working hard to set up my party, so be patient....and get your request in as soon as possible!***