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.

.... and on to the tour

We moved into our house in February of this year and we are still figuring out where to put things and  finding the style for this house. I have a pretty simple style typically and so I wanted to go with something a little different than the normal pumpkin style of Fall decorating this year. I worked off of the colors already in the house and went from there.

I started on the front porch. I have to give a disclaimer... our front doors are a mess. A stain job gone bad that the painter made worse by a re-do job, so now we are waiting for the painter to completely strip and stain the doors again.... so till then, we have rustic/not so great looking doors.

I made two cute stacked frames and added grateful and thankful. I then hung them from the doors with thick burlap ribbon.

I found the cutest pumpkin at Home Goods, perfect for Halloween. Our corn crops didn't do so well this year... but they sure do look cute on the porch. 

now inside to the entry/dining room.

I love using my vintage mason jars and electric line glass pieces. I already have a yellow and blue color scheme going on in the entry, so I decided to use the same colors for my fall decorating. I love these fake stems that I found at hobby lobby. I cut them into individual pieces and placed them in my blue mason jars. I layered a burlap runner with a cotton runner from West Elm and then added in some of my gray dishes

The living room. I changed up the pillows to go with the blue, gray, yellow and burlap look from the dining room.

I added some decorations to my bare fireplace. The pumpkin bit the dust earlier today, as my one year old quickly knocked it to the ground! But I got a picture first, so all is ok.

I made a small vignette on the coffee table with some of my favorite books, another mason jar of stems and the best smelling jasmine candle.

I love this print that I made. It is a great reminder for me that it doesn't have to be perfect. The journey is more important. You can head over HERE to download your own print.

... and the star of the house who just can't stay out of the photos.

The breakfast nook area. I absolutely love this light and everything about this little area.

The mud room. I added a couple of pillows and a fabric bunting to mom's chalkboard. I can't lie, that saying has been on the chalkboard since Valentine's Day... maybe I will get it changed before next February!!

This mudroom is my favorite thing in the house and we use it daily. It typically looks a lot crazier than this though.

One hallway of photos. I only took a photo of this hallway, because the other hallway has empty frames... one day I will get it all done! I added another cute fabric bunting to fall up the photos.

I hope that you enjoyed that quick little tour. You don't have to go overboard with tons and tons of decorations to add some fall to your home. You also don't have to stick to traditional colors of decorations. Do what reflects you and your style. It's your home and you only have to impress yourself and surround your family with what matters to you!!

Have a wonderful Fall and enjoy the cooler temperatures and a cup of apple cider.

Check out all of the wonderful bloggers on the Fall Home Tour this week in the links below:

An Autumn Welcome Home Tour~ Day OneAn Autumn Welcome ~ Monday, September 22, 2014
An Autumn Welcome Home Tour 2014~ Day TwoAn Autumn Welcome ~ Tuesday, September 23, 2014
An Autumn Welcome Home Tour 2014 ~ Day ThreeAn Autumn Welcome ~ Wednesday, September, 24, 2014
An Autumn Welcome Home Tour 2014 ~ Day FiveAn Autumn Welcome ~ Friday, September 26, 2014

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!

I'll be showing you how I took my homes color palette and decorated it up for fall. I'll also be participating in a Halloween Tour with Everyday Enchanting later this month. I will say this over and over, Fall is by far my favorite time of the year. 

Here are a couple sneak peeks for tomorrow. 

Have an awesome and happy Monday! See you all tomorrow.

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. 

I typed up those three words and I think it is the perfect Fall print. The perfect sentiment to remember as life gets crazy with Fall break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

Click HERE to download your PDF file. 

I hope that you have survived back to school and are starting to enjoy the beginnings of Fall and all of the new and wonderful things that come along with this time of year.

... and a little sneak peak of the upcoming house tour on Septmeber 23rd. I can't wait!!

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.

I've had so much fun this summer with the kids, but it has went by way to fast. I hope to make the last few days packed full as much fun as I can. Even a trip to the local water park.

So onto this awesome  (and did I mention insanely easy?!!) back to school inspired chalkboard. 

This chalkboard project is super frugal and quick to make.  I bought all of my supplies at Lowes and used some extra items that I had around the house.

Supplies I used: 
3 Yardsticks
Thin piece of wood, approx. 16x24
Chalkboard Paint
Paint Brush
Gorilla Wood Glue
E-6000 Craft Glue

1. Cut your main piece of wood (if needed) and yard sticks to make a frame around the chalkboard.  I cut my main board to 24x16 inches and cut my yard sticks so that they butted up to each other instead of making angles to form a more traditional frame look. I used my black and decker electric orbital jigsaw. It is small and easy to use, but you may have a big fancy saw to use instead. Just make sure that you wear eye protection and keep your fingers and other body parts away from the saw.
2. I took each yard stick piece and lightly sanded the words to make them less of a marketing product for Lowe's and a little more distressed.  Make sure that you take a paper towel and wipe off the blue paint that will sand off and wood dust that is left from sanding before you stain.

3. Lightly brush on stain and wipe off any excess with a paper towel.  You only need to stain the top and the sides.  You could do multiple coats if you like. I also stained the backside of the chalkboard, but this isn't necessary.

4. Now it's time to paint the chalkboard.  I used chalkboard spray paint. If you want, you can wear a mask since it is a good idea to not breath in the fumes.

For the chalkboard paint, you really need to do two coats... light coats and it's quick and easy.  I let it dry for about 6 hours between coats and then the next day I rubbed the chalk all over the board to get it ready for use. Then I wiped it off with a wet white dishtowel and it looked amazing!

5. Now it's time for assembly. Lay your chalkboard on a flat surface with some sort of protectant for the table if you need to. Place your yardsticks where they go and make sure everything lines up perfectly. Mine wasn't perfect on one corner, but that just gives it some character :)

(I didn't end up using the staple gun... but that's the glue that I used)

Have some paper towels ready and clamps. Get out your Gorilla Glue or preferred wood glue brand. Put a small line of wood glue on the back of each yardstick and put it into place. Gently place the clamps onto the sticks and leave it to dry for an hour or so. Some glue will take longer to dry. You will also need to let the glue cure overnight. 

6. Now for the embellishments. I chose to add a flower from my stash to the bottom corner. I used my amazingly strong and quick drying E-6000 craft glue. I also clamped down my flower to help it to stay tightly connected while it dried.

I added a washi tape covered clothespin to the top right corner. This will be great for attaching little notes or encouraging prints or pictures. 

I added in a piece of paper from my project life kit, a letter and photo of mine to finish it off.  I didn't want to add in too much, since I don't know the teacher well enough to know what she really likes or doesn't like. I love how it turned out, so cute!!  

7. The final step is to add a hangar on the back of the chalkboard. You could also add a ribbon for hanging if you want. I chose to add a sawtooth hangar on the back for mine.

I hope that you like this project as much as I did. You could make one for many occasions... like a countdown for Christmas or to hang at the kid's homework area. You could also use a different framing item... the possibilities are endless.  

Have a wonderful week! More projects to come... soon!

FREE Summer Prints and Postcards

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

School is out and my little girl said bye to her favorite friend this past weekend. That's the bummer of being a military kid. You're either leaving your friends behind or watching your friends move on to the next duty station.

They exchanged email addresses and in the spirit of keeping in touch with friends and family... these two cute postcard designs are perfect to stay in touch. Send a sweet hello to friends you haven't talked to for a while... And it's perfect the boys and girls. My son says I only design girly things ;) The best part...?? You can send more postcards, cause they're cheaper postage :) so no excuses for not sending love around the world to your family and friends this summer

If you've followed along with my blog for any length of time, you know that I love simple and pretty things that make people happy and feel all warm and fuzzy. So these make me feel all warm and fuzzy and I love the color combinations and the anchor of course! I hope that they make you all giddy too!!!!

May I present to you... Happy Summer :)

... and her brother Hello Friend!

and then the important gotta have part... the postcard.

You can use these as 4x6 ish prints to make you or a friend smile. Or you can print both sides of your pdf's and have endless fun with sending postcards to friends, family and strangers. I highly recommend sending it to someone who is somewhat a stranger... it doesn't hurt to brighten even a strangers day. 

to achieve the postcard, you will need to download the 2 pdf's below (fully download them from the dropbox before printing) and print them. So I print the pretty side first. I print it on best quality setting in my printer. Then I pull that out of the printer and make lots of grumpy noises as I figure out again (for the 90th time) how my printer feeds thorough and place the dang piece of paper back into the tray to print the other side of the paper with the postcard details... yes I screwed this up the first time today. But only once is better than times in the past. Click on the photos below to download. 
... and as an extra bonus, if you love these designs as much as I do. You may also love my notepads available in my etsy shop. Personalized with your initials. They also come in multiple designs and colors. Go check it out :)  Yes shameless plug. But a girl has to pay for her many hobbies and crafts!

Be sure to follow me over on Pinterest and I hope that you loved the postcards and stop by and say hi again! Have a wonderful week :)


Saturday, June 21, 2014

So it has been forever.... or a little over a month since I posted here on the blog. I started this blog close to two years ago as a way to focus on something positive and happiness. I was going through a time of being a little lost and a lot of broken. I haven't kept up with a completely predictable posting schedule, but have posted in clumps as I had crafty and happy things to share. In the last few months life has gotten busy with family, work, and trying to launch my photography fully here in Oklahoma and the etsy shop. There are times that I feel the stress of having to post and so I decided to back off just a little and breath... to work on what matters and not force something to post about, when I'm just not feeling it at that moment. So I think it's time to work on a little change with the blog and get back to what really makes me happy and simplify a little.  So maybe there won't be as frequent postings, more of me- the imperfect me... who has her days that she is pretty broken... mixed in with some kick tail days that make me feel proud of where I am in life as a mom, creative girl and wife. So I hope that you will stick around and keep reading as it comes.

I've been taking a summer photography class and driving my family all around Oklahoma exploring. I'm working on a list... an Oklahoma Passport of the places we've been and want to go. A memento that we can look back at and keep track of our thoughts and impressions of a location. Maybe the kids will use it to record how mom stopped 30 times to take just one more picture on the side of the road or how my daughter exclaimed "I don't want to go to juvie mom" as I was carrying her past a no trespassing sign for the perfect photo. Summer is our chance to drive our kids crazy and their childhood wouldn't be nearly as fun if mom wasn't as crazy as she is. Be Bold :)

There are quite a few photos... hope that you enjoy them.
who sits in that building up on the tipy top of the grain elevator... I would die!

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