Friday, August 9, 2019

Happy Campers Marriage Survival Kit - Take Two


 Hello! Welcome to my blog! My sister got married last summer. What do you give someone who has everything? A creative gift of course! Since survival kits are my thing - my sister was definitely getting one. She already got a wedding day survival kit for her bridal shower. When giving marriage survival kits I try to think of what the couple is interested in. I also consider what season of the year we are in.  My brother in law was big time into camping and my sister, well, not so much. I thought a happy camper marriage survival kit was perfect! I had already made a Happy Camper marriage survival kit for an anniversary present (CLICK HERE TO SEE IT) but I wanted to update the graphics and also I purchased a few different things as well. I borrowed ideas from other survival kits I have made as well (CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL MY SURVIVAL KITS).
Here is a list of what ended up in this one:


I love shopping at Winners as I can find nice unique stuff there. I lucked out to find adventure/travel type merchandise like the water bottle and flashlight. I purchased a really nice blanket there as well.
I put it all in a bag that I found at Hobby Lobby when I went on a trip to the States.  


The tags can be found HERE. They are free to download for personal use. I like to put quotes with the tags so if you are into the quotes, cut them out and paste them to the back of the corresponding graphic. 

I hope this gives you some ideas for your next creative gift! If you make one I would love to hear if you came up with any different sayings.

Happy creating!!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Wedding Day Survival Kit - Wedding Shower Gift Idea




Welcome to my blog! My sister got married last year and I made her a wedding day survival kit. Survival kits are my thing. I love unique and creative gifts and if you have been to my blog before, you have seen a lot of survival kits. Check out my other wedding day survival kit HERE - it is boring but pretty.


My sister had a natural theme for her wedding so I wanted to  go with that theme. First thing I needed to do was find a bag I liked to fit some stuff and the kit took off from there. I found this bag in the cosmetic bag section at Winners.

Winners also had some cute supplies in their cosmetics and travel section. I found the lip balm, a travel sewing kit, and lotion there. 
Here is a list of the contents along with the saying I put with the items. I wanted some kind of snack - I chose a Clif bar because my brother-in-law's name is Cliff, so this was very handy. I had a different saying on the tag - for a personalized touch (You raised the bar when you found Cliff! Feed your adventure!)


My sister loved the gift and it came in handy at the wedding. The tags are free for personal use. For the tags go HERE.
Stay tuned for the wedding gift I made her - Happy Campers Marriage Survival Kit!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Mist Trail, John Muir Trail Loop - Yosemite



 Cross another one off the bucket list! We had a great trip to Yosemite! After reading a ton of articles about this park for a year on what we should do when we were in Yosemite - the Mist Trail was number one on our list.

I read lots of posts about this hike. 
When doing my investigating into this hike I wanted to know:

How much time do I need?
*answers are based on my experience and different circumstances could change the outcomes*
When I looked into this - I got the impression this hike would take 5-6 hours.

It took us four hours. That includes lots of stops for pictures, eating, rest, getting gear on and off, etc. My husband and I are not athletes and not the youngest chickens in the pen. On the other hand, we do a fair amount of hiking. There were definitely some people I seen that had a difficult time with this hike which seemed surprising as they looked like they were not in bad shape. There were also some who totally surprised me that they could get to where they were because of age or mobility issues.

Below is a recap of how our hike played out.



What time of day should I go?
We were at Yosemite on a Friday at the end of June. From my studies - a lot of people suggested to go early to beat the crowds. This was not an option for us as we stayed outside the park at Oakhurst. We left our hotel at 7 AM and got to the parking area at 8:30. We read we could park in the trailhead parking if we got there early enough. The trailhead parking was FULL, but there was plenty of parking available on the side of the road. I was not sure if this was allowed as no other cars at that time were parked on the side of the road- but there were no "NO PARKING" signs where we parked. There were markers indicating the side of the road - which we thought was an indication that as long as our vehicle was inside that line it would be be fine - and it was.

When we got to the bathrooms at Happy Isles (8:43 AM) there was a long line up for the women's bathroom, but it moved fairly fast.

Heading up the trail it was not terribly crowded, but we were not lonely either. 

Coming down the trail at the bottom of the mountain it was super crowded. 

I was happy with the time we were able to start the Mist Trail.
Temperature wise - it was perfect.


What should I bring with me?

  • I took a backpack with water, a lunch, the park map, sunscreen, and a camera in a ziplock bag. We packed rain ponchos to put going up towards Vernal Falls. We wore good quality trail to rapid shoes. You need good grip going up the wet stones. There were also places that were totally immersed in water going up the steps on the Mist Trail. Depending on the time of year - your feet will get wet. Going down the John Muir trail there was a wet part that we had to step through water. There was a lot of water run off and a part of the trail was flooded. It wasn't too muddy though as there was a lot of rocks to avoid the mud. Some people brought a change of shoes. Our shoes were for water and the trail so we were fine. 
  • I seen some people with walking poles - I prefer not to have them as I like my hands free. When climbing it is suggested to use your arms to help you when you can to save leg strength. 


Watch the video for a recap of the hike

What did I learn?

  • PARKING - When we left our vehicle at 8:30 in the morning we were the only ones parked on the side of the road. When we got back to our vehicle the road parking was packed. Someone parked right behind us - not giving us any room if we had to back up. We did park so we were the first vehicle, but if someone tried to squeeze in front of us we would have been stuck. We noticed driving out that a lot of vehicles parked on the side of the road were a real tight fit and figured there were some that would have a hard time getting out. As we left the Arch Rock entrance we noticed tons of parking, but where we were at the end of where you can drive to it was packed.
  • PLANNING - I had planned when we got back to the valley from the hike, that we could explore the valley if we had the energy. We did not - we were done. Even though the hike was 1 hour shorter than I anticipated, we did not have the energy to do anything else on that day. With an hour and a half drive back to our hotel it made for a pretty long day. 
  • We had a great experience! I have hiked to falls before, but never close enough to get drenched by them. It is pretty cool hiking up not only one falls but two. It was great to go down the John Muir trail to experience different scenery. We came across some people going down the Mist Trail as we were going up - a mom and young girl. It looked challenging going down as not only do you have to navigate the steps, but the crowds too. What did you learn/love about this hike? 
    Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Basket Idea - Thanks for Raisin' Me


Hello! Welcome to my blog! I love making unique gift baskets. Check out this one I made for Mother's Day 2018. It is a raisin theme. My daughter made me an adorable card a couple years ago with this saying and I loved it. I thought this would make a lovely idea for a gift basket! 
In the basket I put: 
1. chocolate covered raisins
2. raisin bread
3. homemade Jumbo Raisin cookies
4. lavender plant

I wrapped a box with birch bark wrapping paper, tied some purple tulle around it and printed out the tag I made. The tag below can be used for personal use only.


Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mom - You Are TeaRiffic! Mother's Day Gift Basket


Hello! Welcome to my blog! I am a couple years behind on putting my Mother's Day gifts on my blog, so my next few posts will be ideas for Mother's Day. In 2017 I used a tea theme for a gift basket. For this gift basket I used a wood box, a mug filled with wrapped chocolates, a potted plant, bags with tea and fancy sugar.

For heat transfer tips see my post HERE.


I made the sugar cubes by adding a little bit of water to regular sugar, and then I pressed the moist sugar into a clay mold. Of course you want your mold to be small. Let dry. I let mine sit over night. They turned out really cute!
 Here are some of the tags I made. You are free to use them for personal use.

I hope this gives you some ideas !
Stay tuned for the next Mother's day gift idea!




Thursday, August 30, 2018

Creating a Photo Wall on a Budget - and How to Determine the Layout


Hello! Welcome to my blog! This project has been on my mind for years - and this summer I found some time to do it. Some reasons it was hard to get started: 1. Out of the tons of pictures I have, which ones should I use? 2. What should the layout be?
3. What frames should I buy?

This photo wall cost me less than $12. It is not that I did not have money to spend, just why spend more money I you have to? I moved into my house ten years ago and never unpacked my framed pictures. I decided I would use the frames I had and use them. The twelve dollars was the fonts (purchased at garage sales) a mirror from the second hand store (which is the frame around the F)  the large frame and the square frame. All were purchased not really knowing I would be using it for this wall - I just liked the items so I bought them. The one I intentionally bought for this wall was a plate frame that cost $2 at a second hand store - I painted it to match.


 Now for my questions that seemed to put this project on hold for so long:
1. What pictures do I use? - do I put grandma on the wall? What about Aunt Jane? I don't want to leave anyone out right? I decided it would be a photo wall of our immediate family. 
2. What should the layout be? - I looked and looked on Pinterest. I had a ton of ideas pinned. I finally decided that the layout would be determined from the frames that I had. 

Laying things out on the floor, I started with the biggest frame I had, having no idea what picture would be inside it. I added other frames that kind of made a nice centre arrangement. Then I thought I could do a collage on either side of the centre arrangement - still not really knowing what pictures would go in the frames. Then the ideas of pictures started to come. My ideas were "We have two girls - their grad photos could go in the centre of the two collages and pictures of their lives surrounding that (baby, family, their dogs, their children) and a family picture in the centre."

3. What frames should I buy? - I really only needed to buy one more frame to match the other side of the collage. I had a ton of frames so I did not need to buy more. They were all mis-matchy though so I went to work painting them. (I will post about the frame painting soon). Then another dilemma came up - what colour do I paint them?
It might sound crazy - but I chose my colours from the amount of paint I had. I had a lot of olive green, and light beige. Of course I had those paints because they matched the style and decor of my house. I had purchased the paint from Michael's when they were on sale for $1. I mixed a bit of plaster of paris in the paint so it would stick to the frames as some of them were cheap dollar store frames. Adding plaster of paris in acrylic paint makes it a chalk paint. Then another dilemma I had was  - what frames should be green?what frames should be beige? I decided the 5x7 frames from the collage would be green and two frames from the centre piece (since I had more of that paint) and the 4x6 frames from the collage and one from the centre piece would be beige. The big frame would remain black to tie in the letters and the round frames I would paint black. I love how the frames turned out:






With the "family" frame I mod podged burlap on poster board to make it stiff. I hot glued the letters on. The glass is still in the frame I just put it behind the burlap, just in case I want to change this up one day. I purchased these letters at a garage sale for $1 a while back. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them - but they just happened to fit perfectly into this frame and so on the photo well they went.

 I loved this tip before putting the pictures up. I traced all the frames on to paper and did a mock set up on the wall. This was extremely helpful. I rearranged the pictures after I took this picture. I noticed the collages were further away than I wanted them to be from the centrepiece. 

It feels so good to have this completed. The awesome thing was my husband was excited to help me hang this up because it looked so good! Usually he cringes when it comes to putting a nail in our walls. He is going to build me a console table to go under this so stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

DIY Ranch Sign


Hello! Welcome to my blog! A couple of summers ago I made a ranch sign for my mom. Instead of painting the information on it I wood burned it. I only have a little wood burner so the wood burning took quite a while to do (the sign is about 4'x5'). The sign just went up this spring so I was able to get a picture of it where it was intended to hang.


I was happy how the sign turned out. I burned out some of the plywood along the edges to give the worn look. I also burned the wood with a torch.
On a smaller piece of plywood I wood burned a scenery that my daughter drew for me (she is the artist, not me). I wanted to do it on a separate piece of wood just in case I messed up.


After I wood burned I put on three coats of clear Varathane. In hind sight I would have chosen a lightly stained Varathane to give the wood a more aged look. 

It will be interesting to see how this weathers. I wood burned a little sign for my aunt and the burnt part of the wood came off leaving just an impression of the font, and basically you can't read the sign. She painted black paint over the font so we can see what it says now. I did not put Varathane on her signs. I will have to do a post in a couple of years showing how the ranch sign weathers.

Thanks for stopping by!