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I did go to Blissdom this past week – it is hard to pass up an chance to meet and hang out with bloggers right in your backyard.  Blissdom is a blog conference that is headquartered in Nashville TN so naturally it is a little easier for me to go!  I had a great time and got to finally meet a lot of great people in person.  (This is going to be a picture intensive post and a lot of Blissdom talk so just keep going if you aren’t interested!)

For me … it is always a little nerve racking to walk into a room by myself and try to recognize and meet up with people.  But everyone is always so nice and easy to get to know!  At the kick off party Wednesday night I got to hang out with these lovely ladies. (Charity @ Sit Relax and Read, Cyndi @ Walking in His Grace, Kellie @ This Blessed Nest, Amy @ Positively Splendid, Jen @ Tatertots and Jello, Beckie @ Infarrantly Creative, and me – yes that is the bump for those of you looking for bump pics!)   

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Photo by Angry Julie – from the Official Blissdom Flickr Stream

Can I just say that every single one of these ladies is a complete sweetheart!  Beckie is hysterical, Jen is just adorable, and Kellie makes the most beautiful bags!  And Amy lives right here in Nashville with me!  I think we be getting together soon!

In between all the sessions and the breakouts and the sponsored food breaks – we all also managed to get some time together.  Of course, I had to see my buddy Kate @ The Centsational Girl.

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She always has a kiss on the cheek for me – it is our Blissdom tradition!  I love her – she is a complete doll and an absolute ham!

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More lovely ladies here – Beth @ The Stories of A to Z, The Nester, Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality, and Myra @ My Blessed Life.  We had a great Mexican Dinner together – there were about six tables full of home bloggers.

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We spent a lot of time by the fireplaces in the Magnolia Lobby – here is a shot of me and Allison @ House of Hepworths.

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Loving this shot of some of my favorite bloggers – Myra, Richella @ Imparting Grace, Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick, Traci @ Beneath my Heart, and Rhoda!

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And of course I loved meeting Lori @ Be Different. Act Normal – you might know her as @milliemux on twitter!

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It was so great to spend some time with Sarah too!  She is such an inspiration and the biggest sweetheart! 

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There is so much talent on this couch I can hardly stand it!  I am sure you know most of these fantastic bloggers!  It was amazing to get to spend even the briefest time with them!  There were so many other wonderful women that I got to meet and hang out with I can’t even begin to name them all.  Our little tribe of bloggers is packed with some of the most creative and wonderful ladies!  I am inspired by all of you!

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Blissdom was in a word – a blast!  That isn’t to say that I didn’t come home overwhelmed and unsure of where to start with all the ideas I have.  I wanted to try to summarize some of what I learned but honestly my head is still swimming with info.   For now – I will just share the pictures and enjoy the memories!

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P.S. Melissa from The Inspired Room has a link up going if you want to link up your Blissdom recap post!  I did!

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I normally don’t do a whole lot of decorating for Valentine’s Day.  But you guys have been killing me with all your great cute ideas.  So I decided I would come up with something.  Enter my friend Brittany @ Pretty Handy Girl – when I saw her this weekend at Blissdom wearing this fantastic sweater with these adorable rosettes. 

I have been loving these little rosettes all over blog land so I immediately started quizzing her on how she made hers – and of course she has a fantastic tutorial on her blog!  (BTW – if you don’t know Brittany or if you aren’t reading her blog – you are missing out!)

I decided I wanted to make a Valentine’s Day Wreath.  So following her easy steps – I took a Goodwill sweater that I was going to make a pillow out of and chopped off one of the sleeves.  I then traced lightly with a Sharpie to line out the circles that would eventually become rosettes.  Then I cut out the circles through both layers of fabric to give myself 10 rosette circles total.

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Now for the rest of the rosette making you are going to have to follow Brittany’s tutorial because my mom called and I made them while I was on the phone with her!  (Love you momma!)  So while there are no pictures of that – that also should give a testimonial on how easy they are to make.  And 10 of them takes about 30 minutes!

Are you ready to see the final wreath?  Ok – here you go!  DSC07539

I filled in between my little rosettes with these adorable heart picks that I got at the dollar store.  One pack was covered with glitter and the other was a matte fabric finish.  Here is a closer shot!

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So there you go – my one and only Valentine’s Day wreath!  I really love how it turned out!  Just the perfect mix of sparkle and sweetness!

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So now tell me – do you “decorate” for Valentine’s Day?  Do you do a lot or just a wreath like me?  I am curious to see where you all land! 

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Linking this up to

Metamorphosis Monday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
Get Your Craft On with Kim @ Today’s Creative Blog
Make it Yours Day with Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden
Hooking up with HOH with Allison @ House of Hepworths
Show and Share with Chris @ Just a Girl

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I LOVE monograms.  LOVE them.  I think you guys know that after seeing my monogrammed fall wreath and custom monogrammed door mat!  And based on the comments on those projects – I know you guys do too!  So I found a bunch of great projects that I thought I would share with you! 

1.  Create Custom Bottles

How awesome is this custom monogram soap and hand sanitizer dispenser!  Best part – you can make it even if you don’t have one of those fancy cutting machines.  Check out the post by Amy @ The Idea Room to get the details on how.

2.  Make a Scented Display Piece

How great would this smell in your bedroom or bathroom?  Jami @ freckled laundry made this lavender covered monogram letter! 

3. Spruce up a Wreath

In need of a wreath for your door now that Christmas is over?  How about following the idea that Meg @ A Little Knick Knack had and covering a monogram in moss?  I LOVE this idea! 

4.  Make up some Mugs

Pick up some Goodwill mugs and make some custom monogrammed mugs using a porcelain marker.  Gabrielle @ Design Mom has the full tutorial.

5. Gussy up a Pillow

How about creating a custom monogram pillow?  Stephanie Lynn @ Under the Table and Dreaming came up with these that use a Flocked Heat Transfer to achieve the monogram look.  Love it!

6. Personalize a Clipboard

I love this idea – create custom monogram clipboards for your kids to put their school papers and other stuff on.  I found this one on 4 Growing Boys – such a great idea!  I want one just for me!

7.  Frame it Up

Create a custom art piece like Jessica @ This Blessed Life made.  How adorable is that?  It only cost her $1.55!  Brilliant!

8.  Make a 3-D Standout Piece

Or you could make a 3-D Mosaic Monogram like Suzy @ Suzy’s Artsy Craftsy Sitcom made.  This chick is amazing.  She actually made that letter out of cardboard herself!  Great tutorial!

9.  Learn about Quilling

Did you know what Quilling was?  I am going to be honest – I didn’t.  But after seeing this gorgeous quilled monogram – I think I am going to have to learn.  Quilling is the art of rolling paper and Kara @ Crafttastical has done a fantastic tutorial on how to not only learn how but how to make a beautiful piece like this!

10.  Write it up

Finally – how about making your own monogrammed stationary set.  This is a great idea for a gift or even just something special for you.   I found this great tutorial featured at Design Sponge

So there you go!  Ten great monogrammed craft ideas.  Which one is your favorite?  Have you gotten any new project inspirations?  Oh and did you know about quilling or am I the only one in the dark on that one?   Let me know your thoughts.  Oh – and if you have a fantastic monogram project you want to share with us – hop over and post it on my Facebook Page!  (Seriously – I always ask you guys to do this and no one ever takes me up on it!  Don’t leave us hanging – SHARE!!)

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Giveaway!  A $55 CSN Gift Certificate could be yours!!

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Are you still on an organizing kick?  Or are you starting to lose steam?  Sometimes I lose my momentum when I get stuck with not having the right storage tools or accessories to get my project area actually organized.  So with that in mind – I went out and found eight great organization basics! 

Love this set of four canisters!  Perfect for the pantry and you can’t beat the price.

Set of 4 Canisters from Crate & Barrel – $12.95

These bright folders will have your papers under control in no time! 

Chelsea Letter File Folders Pk of 6 from The Container Store – $4.99

Love this sleek little basket.  Designed for CD’s but I can see it holding a lot of things!  And the price is right!

Paper Rope CD Basket from Target.com – $5.99

If you are low on cabinet space – cabinet organizers can really change your life.  We used these in our first kitchen apartment when we got married and it was a god send!

3-Piece Dinnerware Organizer from The Container Store – $9.99

Let’s say you need to get your bills under control – this paper organizer might be just the ticket!

Kassett Storage Rack from Ikea – $4.99

Have little stuff that is dragging you down?  Craft stuff?  Jewelry?  This box with storage compartments is the perfect answer.

15 Part Rectangle Box from Crate & Barrel – $7.95

These eco-friendly maize baskets come in a variety of colors – perfect to match whatever room you need them in.

Medium Maize Open Bin from The Container Store – $6.99

Maybe you just need to organize your family – this hanging memo board and station could just be the answer!

Luns Writing/Magnetic Board from Ikea – $14.99

So there you go!  Find anything you needed?  Are you stalled or are you still going strong?  Or perhaps you may already be finished!  Let us know where you are!

Oh and don’t forget – you still have time to enter my giveaway for a $55 CSN gift card!  That would get you a ton of organizing goodies!

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*** Giveaway is now closed!  Check back tomorrow AM for the winner!***

My dear friends at CSN Stores are back at it and have offered me a chance to give you another great giveaway!!  I know you are so excited!!  If you have never shopped with CSN – they have everything.  Literally.  With a network of over 200 stores you are bound to find just the thing your looking for – in any style from modern office furniture to traditional dining room accessories.  Even if you think you aren’t into modern stuff – a touch of modern here and there can really invigorate your style!  Want some ideas?

Graham & Brown – Jigsaw Mirror - 16x16

Kikkerland Bookends

British Invasion – Live Like a Queen Pillow

Graham & Brown – Blue Silk Swirl Fabric Wall Art
Fun stuff huh?  I really love those bookends.  So here’s the great news – the folks at CSN are giving me a gift certificate that would let you get any one of these!  Up for grabs is a $55 gift certificate!  This doesn’t cover shipping costs – but you can use it at ANY of their sites!
What do you have to do to win?  All you have to do is leave me a comment and let me know what you would get with your $55 gift certificate.  You can also get an extra entry if you
  • Become a Follower (or if you already are one just let me know!)
  • Like my Facebook Page (or let me know you already hang out over there)
  • Blog about this giveaway
  • Tweet about this giveaway
That is 5 ways to win!  Make sure you enter a separate comment for each way you have entered to win!  The giveaway will stay up until Tuesday (2/1/2011) at 8:00 pm CST.  I will announce the winner on Wednesday AM.  Good luck!!!

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So it was COLD here this weekend.  I really just wanted to spend the weekend under a blanket but decided to be productive instead.  So remember that last week I cleaned out my closet right.  I had some sweaters that over time had shrunk.  (I am going to go with they shrunk rather than I just got bigger!)  But they were still fairly nice and I had four that I thought really coordinated well together.

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And then I remembered this vase that I fell in love with last year.  Does anyone else remember this project by Stephanie Lynn @ Under the Table and Dreaming?

Well rather than just do one vase I decided I would do four!  So I went to the Dollar Store and picked up one vase and 3 glasses.  All varying heights and circumferences – but they were all very straight.  Not tapered very much at all. 

DSC07388 So I set out to make my little vase collection – following Stephanie’s directions of course.  You simply cut off the sleeves of your sweater.  I used the chunkier sweater for the glasses that had more detailed cuts.

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And then slide the sweater around the vase.   I decided I wanted all of mine to have the sweater extend about an inch into the vase.

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Now to do the bottom – so it doesn’t get all bunchy –  cut down to about one inch below the base and then cut slits in the sweater about 2 inches apart (Stephanie’s brilliant recommendation). 

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As you lay down the sweater across the bottom you have to trim out the excess pieces of fabric in between your slits so you can ensure that the bottom of your vase stays flat.  Then you just glue with a hot glue gun and your little vase is complete!  I also put a ring of glue around the tops of mine too – just to make sure both ends stayed in place.   Wanna see how my little collection turned out?

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Aren’t they cute, cozy and snuggly?  I just love them!  Not too bad for $4 total and about 20 minutes of work!

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I am trying to decide what I should put in them now.  What do you think of some rustic branches?  Decorative grass?  Something that looks like an early spring bloom?  I would love to hear your opinion!  

Linking this up to

Metamorphosis Monday with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
Motivate me Monday with Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple

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