Moving on Up!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

After much hard work and hundreds of sketches Michelle Lea Designs has moved to it's new location and new name MICHELLE LEA CREATIVE 

It has been a dream of mine to combine both my photography and graphic design passions into one brand. I have very big plans for the blog at my new site and hope that you will take the leap with me.  So click HERE and head over and check out the new and improved home. Have a wonderful evening.


DIY Anchor Wood Art

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's been a whirlwind of a new year already and I can't believe that it's already March! How did that happen?  I love to do everything creative and life isn't normal if my to-do list isn't full of 50 projects in the works.... and boy has the to-do list been insane for weeks and weeks now.

So today's craft is really simple. My husband is having his Change of Command in his Navy squadron in a quick 2 weeks and we are having a large party with everyone at our house... thus I'm a little bit of a crazy woman these days. Like, ohhh lets rent a trailer and drive to Dallas to get a new living room and any other rooms at Ikea :)

Ok, on to the craft. The Supplies:

What you will need (so simple and great for the budget)
12in. x 12in. piece of wood
Painters Tape. I used approx. 2 inch and 1.5 inch rolls
Paint. I used Chalky Finish by American Decor
Paint Brush. I used the cheap foam brushes
Sand Paper. I used 220 Fine grit paper
E6000 Adhesive or other brand of strong liquid adhesive
Thick Chip Board Element. These are around $3 at my local Hobby Lobby
Optional Glitter for embellishment and vinyl decals for some extra bling

The first step is to sand your piece of wood for any rough areas and dangling pieces of wood, aka splinters waiting to happen. I only worry about the front and the edges. After sanding, I take a damp paper towel and wipe off the piece of wood to get rid of the dust.

Next I paint the entire piece of wood, including the edges with the lighter color.  This particular paint is awesome and only needs one coat and dries pretty quickly. I only waited about 20 minutes before moving to the next step.

Next you will start taping off to paint your 2nd color stripes. Here is where it gets mathematical interesting.... i.e stressful.  I had two rolls of painters tape and they just happened to work out perfectly to get my stripes laid out. I say go with what you have around the house and just measure out the easiest way to get equal stripes.

I used the smaller width tape to place between the thicker tape as spacers so that my rows were straight. 

Finally after all of that stress was done, I made sure that my tape was sealed well against the board and started painting my darker stripes.

20 minutes later, I removed the tape and then comes the fun part. Distressing. I take my 220 fine grit sandpaper and lightly go over random parts of the board to give it an older, worn look. You can see the difference in the before and after. I pay special attention to the edge, sanding down to the bare wood in places. Sanding is especially helpful if you have a line that smudged a little under the painters tape.

Next to paint and adhere your chipboard piece.

Paint your chipboard piece and let it dry. Make sure that you get all of the edges of the shape. Mine was still wet in this photo. 

Now to add your painted chipboard object. My anchor. I used E6000 adhesive to adhere the anchor to the wood. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area is you are using E6000. It's a little strong... and guess what? You are all done. You can add a sawtooth hangar on the back if you want to hang it on the wall or display it on a pretty easel. 

I made a few of these and added some vinyl decals to this one.

Thank you for letting me stopping by today and checking out this quick little DIY project. Please stop by and follow me on Instagram or Pinterest. I hope you all have a wonderful day and enjoy maybe some warmer weather. 


Upcoming Workshop and Guest Post

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hello fabulous readers! Today I'm doing a quick little guest post at Delineate Your Dwelling! You don't want to miss this cute little DIY Anchor Wood Art and you have to check out all of Amy's wonderful creations.

Life has been pretty crazy and I can't believe that it is almost March!! I have so many things to share and projects to finish.. and one upcoming awesome workshop. For those of you in Oklahoma, you don't want to miss the next workshop at Antique Garden in Norman, OK. We will be taking old reclaimed wood from a torn down wood home and making them into beautiful distressed signs for your home! You will have the option of the words Brave, Love, and Home

Antique Garden Workshop
March 7th from 3-5pm
give them a call or head over to their website for more details. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I hope to see you at the workshop!


My list of 100 Little Things for 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's Monday morning and the Christmas has been packed away and my mind is spinning with ideas for the new year... and ohhh what am I going to do with the bare wall in my dining room now?? Ohh and we had snow on Saturday!!

One of my goals for this coming year is to make a huge update to my whole brand. I guess I haven't been great about blogging over this past year. Life has just been so busy, in a good way. For those of you who don't know much about me. I am a photographer and graphic designer and workshop instructor. I also have an etsy shop where I sell my designs and some landscape photographs... and then there is this blog where I share crazy stories, free printables and other random little things. My plan is to get all of these branches of my brand into one amazingly beautiful website. The ideas are spilling over in my head and I want to get it done yesterday!! I'm using my Lara Casey Powersheets and Whitney English's Well Designed Year Sheets to make plans for the big things coming up. My 100 Happy Little Things list that I blogged about last week, is my version of resolutions that focus on some of the small, possibly vain, and happy adventures for our family type of goals.

I said that I would share my list of goals for 2015 and here it goes. I seem to only make it to around 80 on my first try. Maybe it like the last 10 lbs... the last 10 goals just seem to be the hardest to think of.

1. Fill out my Powersheets and Well Designed Life Sheets
2. Buy new outfit when I lose 10 lbs. (oh that treadmill was yelling at me when I went to get a diet Pepsi this morning)
3. Setup a family trust
4. Get caught up on photo books (I'm only 9 years behind)
5. Learn to play one song on the guitar
6. Pray nightly for one month
7. Get awesome headshot
8. Run OKC half marathon
9. Fancy hair each day for a week
10. Fall scenic drive
11. Go to Turner Falls
12. Wear a Bikini
13. Start Christmas Fund- 52 Week Challenge
14. Buy an old car and fix it up (maybe this is a 10 year goal)
15. Date nights once a month
16. Build a fort with the kids
17. Go to a drive-in movie
18. Game night once a month
19. Redecorate Master bedroom
20. Go to a photography conference
21. Kate Spade sexy shoes when I reach my weight goal
22. Go country dancing
23. Have a backyard movie night
24. Ride 4-wheelers at Sand Dunes
25. Go to Roman Nose
26. Get new glasses
27. Make a blurb book
28. Get 4 facials
29. Buy 2 new outfits when I lose 20 total lbs
30. Buy purse and outfit when I lose 30 total lbs (this baby weight with #3 is a *****)
31. Single task instead of multi-task
32. Clean up both computers
33. Set up email filters
34. Don't compare yourself to the world so much
35. Stick to cleaning checklist each week (you can download yours HERE)
36. Do a magazine layout and pitch locally
37. Use my journal to download every night for a month
38. Attend church every Sunday for a month (my husband laughed at this... but with kid's schedules and his military schedule, we just don't make it as much as we need to)
39. Create a workflow for photography business
40. Create a workflow for graphic design business
41. Pay for the coffee of the person behind me at Starbucks
42. Go out and look at the stars with Ryan
43. Visit the Eiffel Tower
44. Go back to Ireland
45. See the Northern lights
46. Workout every day for 30 days (this includes wearing my Nike fuel band)
47. Set office hours and stick to it (when I have a real job, if it's not finished I get to it the next day... but working from home means I can just stay up all night and finish or something crazy and I need to stop that!)
48. Say no when I need to. Give my best yes
49. Get sewing machine tuned up (so I can stop yelling at her)
50. Make videos of the kids
51. Unsubscribe from annoying emails
52. Redesign blog/website/shop
53. Re-brand myself
54. Skate (I once was a roller derby girl)
55. Write two e-books
56. Blog 6 times a month (this will be a huge improvement over last year)
57. Get a style at dryer
58. Teach more workshops
59. Organize my iTunes (its insane)
60. Teach K to sew
61. Play horse with E
62. Visit 5 local museums
63. edit European photos into collections for the shop
64. Write how you started letters to the kids
65. Wreaths Across America
66. Get concealed weapons permit (we've had cars stolen and break-ins in our little country neighborhood)
67. Have a no spend month with $550 budget
68. Visit Pitcher, OK
69. Go to the Alamo
70. Visit Rowdy in Texas
71. Visit Junk Gypsy
72. Stay above the 3.9 average (this isn't a GPA)
73. Build shed
74. Build dream back porch
75. Get new laptop
76. Organize photos digitally
77. Make birthday cakes
78. Have craft days at the house
79. Do Love Dare a few times
80. Peace with myself
81. Start a magazine (crazy I know)
82. Go to a blogger conference
83. Have patience

100. Make a list for 2016

so I made it to 83 and that may be it for a while.  Have fun making your list and resolutions in whatever form you choose to do them.  Have an awesome Monday morning... Now I have to go because there is a 16 month old smiling and needing my attention and a cat on my desk sending me messages that she needs food. :)


The Anti-Resolutions 2015 Happy Goals Printable

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas break for me is a time of quiet and happiness... time to reflect within myself and get ready for the coming year - all of the goals that I want to achieve for myself, my family and my business. Setting new goals means looking back on what I did and didn't accomplish last year. Each year, I see everyone's lists of resolutions and I decided a few years ago that resolutions are just not for me. Resolutions tend to be large and vague lists of to-do's that can be overwhelming. For me the biggest mistake is forgetting to focus on the little things in life. It's the little things in life that end up becoming the big things when you look back on your memories.  That's why I enjoy making my list of 100 little things each year, focusing on the positive.

I love my to-do lists and notepads... you will see lots of them in my shop. My love of lists makes this approach to New Year's resolutions perfect for me.  I actually make a list of "100 little things" to accomplish in the coming year. I make the goals smaller, more obtainable and rewarding. Instead of saying lose 30lbs... I write one to-do as "Buy pretty outfit when I weigh 140", then another when I drop 5 more pounds.  It is a positive to-do... a reward for when I reach that milestone... not just the big, ugly words LOSE 25lbs mocking me and stressing me out... which then leads to eating half of a chocolate cheesecake :)

I also use the list to document family goals; taking the kids to the drive in, teaching my daughter to sew and visiting local attractions. I don't always complete or accomplish all of my items... but it's rewarding to look back and see what we accomplished... Happy little experiences. Visiting the Eiffel Tower has been on my list for a few years, but that's ok... we will get there one day :)

Click on the photos below to download your printables
It's a new year, so out with the old...  2015 for me is going to be a year of Balance, Grace and Growth. A year to remember that people will hear more than your words, they will hear your heart... I want to come across from a place of a compassionate heart and stick to my purpose and passions when setting my goals and adventures for the new year. 
I hope that you enjoy writing your 100 little things for 2015. I also hope that when you look back over the year that those little things were big memories and experiences for you and your family. 

Tomorrow I will be posting my list of 100 things for 2015. You can click here to see my list from 2014 to help you get started. 

Have a wonderful weekend recovering from the Christmas festivities. 

- Michelle

How I Paid for Christmas This Year

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Every year I stress about paying for Christmas presents. I think with my emotions, hormones and all girly feelings when it comes to buying things for other people... and buying Kate Spade goodness for myself :)  My husband goes with the do we need it or do we just want it way of thinking. The answer is almost always NO we don't need it to the Christmas type of purchases. So last January, I was spending hours in a hotel while we waiting for our house to be built and I was gaining inspiration on Pinterest for the upcoming year and I found the most amazing idea... Saving a little each week and then I could use that money saved for Christmas presents. The idea that they proposed was a way to actually save money and put it away in your savings, but saving it for covering our Christmas presents expenses was a better fit for me.

I found this printable through Fresh and Organized. You can click on the photo to visit her blog and download the printable
So each week (well most weeks) I put away the amount of money on the chart. I had to borrow a little from the jar over the months and then replenished as I could. I needed up with about $800 at the end of the year. You can see that you can save a lot more if you stick to it each week and don't take from the pot through the year.

It sounds like a lot of money and when you look at the total, you think dang who needs to spend $800 on Christmas presents. But there are 5 of us and then a small circle of family and friends to buy for... and teachers, etc.

The day after Thanksgiving, I sat at the kitchen table and came up with a budget for each kid.  Since two of mine are older (13 and 9) it helped them to understand what they were working with for Santa.  We all made our lists and I made a Note on my iPhone to keep it all organized and could get started shopping. I've done a pretty good job of sticking to the budget and reminding myself to stay away from impulse buys of junk that the kids don't need anyway and spend more time on meaningful gifts that keep us from feeling like we killed our budget with the holidays.

I'm really excited to get started on saving for next year. I'm even thinking about doing two of them... maybe.

I hope that you are having a wonderful December and are almost ready for Santa.


Very Merry Christmas Home Tour 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I am so excited to be featured along with 30+ other amazing and creative bloggers in the Very Merry Christmas Home Tour. Thank you to Carrie, from Lovely Etc. for inviting me to take part in the tour this year! You can follow me on Pinterest or Instagram to see what I'm up to throughout the year.

Christmas Home Tour Teaser

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's that time!! Time for another round of home tours. My home tour will be posted on Thursday, but you will find links to all of the amazing bloggers who are opening up their homes below. Make sure that you visit them and leave lovingly sweet comments. I hope that everyone is having fun getting ready for Christmas festivities. 

Chalkboard Class FUN

Sunday, October 5, 2014

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to teach a fun Chalkboard Lettering Art class at a beautiful local boutique. I adapted a cute Halloween inspired design that I have used on one of my large chalkboards.

Michelle Lea Designs: Fall Home Tour 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Fall!! The air is cooler and I've been dreaming of apple cider and falling leaves. It's still warm here in Oklahoma, but the inside of my house is getting ready for Fall! Ariean from One Kreiger Chick and Nina from Everyday Enchanting invited me to join in the Fall Home Tour... I was so honored and excited to join in with so many other amazing bloggers. Make sure that you check out the other ladies tours for more awesome Fall ideas.

Fall Home Tour Sneak Peek

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tomorrow is going to be an awesome day at Michelle Lea Designs. It's Fall Home Tour day with the awesome One Krieger Chick and Everyday Enchanting!

Progress not Perfection Print

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hello. I am so glad that Fall is starting to arrive. It has been football non-stop in our house for the boys. I jump in and out with conversations about the uniforms and get lots of eye rolling. I've been working on getting the house in shape for Fall decorations and an awesome Fall Home tour with One Krieger Chick and Everyday Enchanting in just 10 days!

I needed to fill two frames in my living room. I was running around all week like a crazy girl, trying to keep my head above water... when I came across this quote on Pinterest (is there any other place to get inspirations these days???)

Progress NOT Perfection. Simple and three perfect words. 

DIY Chalkboard: Back to School

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This is one of my favorite back to school posts and I wanted to repost and share it with you! I made this wonderful chalkboard for my daughter's teacher last year. We typically find out who the new teacher for the year a week before school starts, so just enough time to get a sweet personalized gift ready for those first days.

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