DIY ‘You & Me’ Wall Art!

I found this pair of frames at the Salvation Army for $2.97.  


On the same trip I found this circular frame for just $0.97.  Another great price! 


And for less than $4.50 (when you include tax) all three frames went home with me! I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with them, but I knew I’d come up with something.

Once I got them home I removed the old ballerina pictures which had been stuck on with double-sided tape.  Unfortunately, the tape was so old that it left a pretty nasty residue behind.  Definitely a bit of a bummer, but I knew I could work around it.



I laid all three of the frames out and gave them two even coats of black spray paint.


I bought three pieces of scrap photo mat and had them cut at a local craft store.  I figured that I could use them as backings to cover up the rough texture left behind by the double-sided tape.  The store charged $0.25 (plus tax) for each piece of mat, so for about $0.82 I had three backings.  A price that’s definitely hard to beat! 

The store was able to cut two rectangles perfectly to size for the former ballerina frames.  But when it came to the circular frame I had to improvise.  I asked the employee to cut a square with the same measurements as the diameter of the circular frame.


Then I measured and marked off the center of the square.  I did this by drawing a line down the middle of each side of the square.  The point where the lines intersected marked the middle. 


Using a compass I drew a circle, making sure the needle of the compass was on the mark I had made for the middle of the square.  Then I used a craft knife to cut out the photo mat circle (making sure to have a piece of cardboard beneath it to prevent the table from being scratched).


My next step was to cut a circle and two rectangles out of craft paper that would match the size of my photo mat boards.  I used the mat boards as templates and just traced around the outside of each one to get the right shape.  Once traced I cut the craft paper shapes out with scissors.



Next I decoupaged the craft paper to the photo mat boards with Mod Podge and let them set up to dry for a couple of hours.


In the mean time I used Microsoft Word to create a template for the words that I wanted to paint onto the craft paper.

template you and me

I printed the words and cut them out using a craft knife (again, with cardboard beneath it).  I made sure to save the interior pieces that I cut out from the “o” and other letters so I could use them in my stencil.


Then I centered the templates over the craft paper and taped them in place using a couple of small loops of scotch tape. 


After lightly applying some black paint with a sponge brush I let things dry and then peeled off the stencil. 



Unfortunately, there were a couple of spots where the paint bled a little. But I figured nobody would even notice it once the frames were hung on the wall.

Next I applied glue to the freshly painted picture frames and pressed the photo mat boards into place.



And the end result was the phrase “You & Me” which I hung in the corner of our bedroom. 


What a sweet little reminder to wake up to each morning!


A Day Trip to Dollywood…

…is sure to be fun.  Especially when there are friends involved!  So, when Misty and Rob invited us to join their family for the day, we decided to head down to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and check out Dollywood for ourselves.


The mountains were beautiful and they had the park decorated for fall.

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Having never been on any amusement park rides before, Bailey was a little very nervous about it at first (in fact she had a mini-meltdown when I tried to sit her on a carousel horse… so bad that even after sitting on the bench instead of the horse she still cried through most of the ride).


…but after seeing Maelen have so much fun she decided that it must not be that bad. 


So she gave the rest of the rides a chance and she ended up loving them (to the point of kicking and screaming “no” when I went to take her off of the duck ride… yep, that was totally my child)




Besides the rides there were so many other things for the girls to do.  I’ve gotta admit… I was impressed!  It was a lot better than the Dollywood I remember from a trip I went on when I was a girl scout over 15 years ago.  They had two different playground areas…



…and a couple different water play areas.




Before heading home, we rounded off the day with a yummy dinner at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant.


What a fun way to spend a day with the people you love!


Happy Birthday Baby Cole!

Congrats Kellee, Jason, and Connor on the arrival of baby Cole!  Cole Lewis Ratliff was born yesterday at 7:54 a.m. weighing 9 lbs. 3 oz. and measuring 20 1/2 inches long. 

baby cole

Cole was born with a full head of beautiful red hair and a sweet set of dimples… talk about adorable!


Bama Bound!

Craig and I enjoyed a lazy weekend in Huntsville, Alabama visiting with our friends Jared and Melanie who are expecting their first child (a baby girl!) in just 3 weeks! 


We love you guys and are so excited to meet the new little Dervan!


Getting’ Down on the Farm!

Saturday morning Bailey and I joined our friends Misty, Rob, and Maelen at Mini Meadows Petting Zoo for a little fun on the farm!



The girls were excited to get to brush the bunnies…


visit with all of the other animals…


(Maelen hugging the calf… too cute!)




…play with the toys in the barn…



…harvest veggies…



…bounce on the jump-jump…



…and race rubber duckies!


What a fun mommy-daughter morning we had!