Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cookie Sheet Advent Calendars

Well, I am officially in Christmas mode and to kick it off I thought I'd share a fun and cheap mini tutorial for making a Christmas Countdown Calendar using an old cookie sheet.
I've made a few of these and my kiddos absolutely love them. And because they are so inexpensive to assemble, they make the perfect neighbor and teacher gifts.

Here's what you need for the project:
1 cookie sheet (I found mine at the thrift store for $1.50. They seem to be pretty abundant. One little tip, be sure to take a magnet with you to make sure the cookie sheet is magnetic. I didn't realize that not all cookie sheets are magnetic so double check before you buy.

mod podge

craft paint

glitter glue (this isn't really necessary, but I used it to add a little sparkle to my magnets...I like sparkley things).

scrapbook paper, old sheet music or old book pages plus whatever embellishments you want to use to decorate (I kept it pretty simple. Once you get all of the magnets on the board you don't need a lot of my humble opinion.

paint pen and/or number rub ons

knick knacks for making your magnets i.e. dice, dominoes, miniture playing cards, miniture clothes pins, scrapbook tags, buttons, old drawer knobs etc.

craft magnets


To begin, drill holes in the top left and right hand corners of the cookie sheet (to accomodate the ribbon which you will use to hang the calendar).

After you've drilled your holes, it's time to start decorating the sheet. Make sure to flip your cookie sheet over so that the bottom is facing up. This is going to become the front of your magnet board.
Paint around the edges of the cookie sheet and just slightly onto the front of the board. It isn't necessary to paint the enter cookie sheet, as you will be covering the surface with scrapbook paper/sheet music. You can see here how it should look.

After the paint has dried, cover/decoupage the surface with paper using mod podge. I like to cover the entire surface with the "podge" then one by one place the paper. After each piece I paint a coat of "podge" over it.
Once you have the entire surface covered go over it with one more coat of "podge" and allow to dry.
Once dry apply embellishments and decorations. I kept my design pretty simple by adding only a border and page topper. This part is totally up to your discretion.
Here's how my sheet looked after paint, "podge" and embellishments.

Next, assemble your magnets. I used a combination of housefold items...dice, paper clamp, drawer knob, bottle cap, button as well as scrabook items to create my magnets. Really, anything goes. Just rummage through the junk drawer and see what you have lying around. I found a box of dominoes at the thrift store for fifty cents, so you may be able to pick up some cheap treasures there.
Once you have accumulated twenty-five items you need to number them. The nice thing about the dice and dominoes is that they are already numbered, so you don't have to bother with them. For everything else you can use a paint pen, or number rub ons. Once you have everything numbered, glue (hot glue or epoxy work) the craft magnets to the backs of all your knick knacks.

Thread some ribbon through the holes you drilled and tie the ends together into a bow. Here's what mine looked like when completed.
Voila! A super cheap and chic advent calendar that will be loved by adults and kids alike.

Oh, and the best part, you can use the backside (the concave side) to store your magnets as you remove them. I love's me some built in storage.

Not to shabby for a little time and a few bucks, eh?

Linking to:

DIY Club

The DIY Show Off

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

The Boardwalk Bragfest

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Multi purpose vintage suitcases and a fabulous photographer feature.

Not too long ago I invested in a couple of vintage suitcases to use as storage ottoman's/coffee tables.
I love them for that purpose, but now is usually the time that I start contemplating family pictures and Christmas cards.
And I got to thinking...vintage suitcases might make for some pretty fun picture props.
I took the idea and went a little crazy, but...
We ended up getting our pictures taken on the railroad tracks by our house and we chose a modern-vintage theme for the style.
I did so, because that is the style of my home, a little modern and a little vintage...and a little traditional. It's what I refer to as Hodge Podge Hip.
I firmly believe that family pictures should reflect the style and personality of the individuals being photographed.
So, I also chose a color scheme that I liked and that complimented the colors you can find in my and blue/gray.
I love how the pictures turned out and I think they are totally "us".
What do you think?

Might I encourage you to take a gander around your house and see what "says you". It just might be the perfect addition for your next family photo.

I cannot end this post without featuring the fabulous photographer...Angelica Celeste of

Fotosynthesis Photography & Design

I know her personally and she is one amazing photographer and creative gal.
Her work is quality and professional, but most of all affordable. If you are local to the Salt Lake area I would highly recommend her. And if you're not local to the area, at least stop by her place and give her some love.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Remodelaholic Feature

Howdy peeps!

I just wanted to invite all of you to check out my feature over at Remodelaholic. Cassity has been kind enough to share my little girls' bedroom makeover...thanks gurl!

It was such a fun project. I love any excuse to go shopping and spend my hubby's dismay.

Head on over and check it out.

Gratitude...tis the season.

Hey Peeps.
Today I am shouting out to Jan over at Bobbypin's Boardwalk. She has an amazing blog with amazing ideas and is a super fun read.
She has been so sweet and supportive and I really appreciate it.
So, Jan, thank you.
And to the rest of you...thank you for stopping by. You know, having blog and not having anyone stop by would be...really lame frankly.
So, thank you all for visiting me.
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving full of fun, family and food.



Friday, November 19, 2010

hOLidAy gIvEAwAy

I nearly had a panic attack when I realized Thanksgiving is in less than a week, because that means Christmas is right around the corner.
But, you know what that also means right?

gIvEAwAy tImE!

I have already professed my love for Lori C. Mitchell's figurines...and I'm gonna do it again.
I love Lori C. Mitchell figurines. They are so fun and whimsical which is a perfect combination for the holiday's if you ask me.
How would you like the chance to win a couple of this little cuties?

gIvEAwAy rUlEs
Everyone is allowed up to three entries. Here's how to enter.
1- Be a follower of retropolitan. {If you aren't already, you can do so by clicking the "follow" icon in the sidebar}and post a comment letting me know.
2-Leave me a comment and tell me why you love Christmas {it can be as simple as "I love gifts", or "egg nog's the best"...whatever}.
3-Invite your friends to come visit me here at Retropolitan, by mentioning me on your blog and/or linking back to me, then leave me a comment telling me you've done so.
Here's what's up for grabs...Tootsie and Tinker Twinkle. They retail for $40. Aren't they just the cutest? They are looking for a nice new home for the holidays, so don't leave them hanging.

Giveaway ends
Sunday December 5, 2010

...and here are a few of their friends.
Patsy and Peppy Mint

The Toymaker

Mrs. Claus

Melody Maker

Holly and Henry Carolers

Gingerbread Boy and Girl

Elfin Magic

Downhill Santa

Bruce Spruce

All Wrapped Up

Alright, good luck...let the giveaway begin.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Paint new friend.

I kinda have a crush on this little fella.

He is but a small and simple paint pen. However when you remove his cap all sorts of magic happens..okay not really, but it's pretty cool the things you can transform with this baby.

Disclaimer: May result in uncontrollable urge to paint on everything you see.

I've been trying to gather some plates for a collage I want to start. Some I've found are interesting on their color or cool shape. And some are...lacking.
I know I could hit up Anthropologie where fun and funky plates are readily available, but they come at a price. To be frank, $10 even $5 is too much for me to spend on just one plate. I mean, I would have to be hard core, David Beckham/Alex O'Loughlin in love with it to buy it. Come to think of it, if it had David B. or Alex O. on it I probably would buy it. But, anywho.
I'm a cheapskate. I'm sure that comes as no surprise. Here's where my trusty paint pen comes in.
With a little paint and some creativity I as able to transform these plates from dull and drab to totally fab.
All of these plates were plain and white and 75 cents from the thrift store. They had some interesting elements, but needed a little "oomphing"...don't we all sometimes?

Ampersand Plate

Monogrammed Plate

Silhouette Plate

Number Plate...of course. You know I have a sick preoccupation with all things numbers.
These plates cost me under $2 (that includes the cost of the paint pen which is $4-ish...varies on brand and where you buy it).

Here is the beginning of my collage.

It's not quite finished yet, but we're off to a good start.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Old Jug Lamp.

The other day whilst meandering around the thrift store, I came across this cool looking jug.

I imagine it's just some old liquor bottle but I thought it was neat. I especially liked the scrolled, metal handle so I grabbed it. It cost me a whole $2.
I knew immediately that I wanted to turn it into a lamp base. I think it could be quite the conversation piece.
"Hey, nice lamp. I have the same jug at home only it's full of booze".

I shall call "Jug-O-Booze lamp".

Coincidentally, I was browsing around Anthropologie the other day and came across this little fella:

I know it's not an exact match, but the concept is similar...old jar/jug with metal banding.
Not to be rude, but I like mine better, especially since Anthro's version costs $328 and mine only cost $12 ($2 for the jug and $10 for the lamp kit).
And what's more, Anthro's lamp base reminds me of a penicillin capsule. But I still love it anyway.

Linking To:
Beyond The Picket Fence