Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back in action- Paint chip calendar and True Colors card

Wow y'all.. it's been a crazy month.. an awesomely blessed, exciting, busy, somewhat stressful, crazy month. A lot has changed, most significantly my state of residence. Hello Georgia! I'm definitely loving every minute of it, and because I'm living in very close proximity to my very crafty blest flend Anna P. we've been doing  some hard-core Pinterest partying going on. The products of these wild nights will definitely be fodder for many blogs to come, but right now I have a lot of catching up to do!

A few posts ago I mentioned that I had a few other paint chip projects in the works. The first was a Christmas present for the sweetest, most inspiring little family I know.. literally (check out their blogs here and here). I've been babysitting for the P's oldest 3 boys for the past few years and grown to know and love all of them more than my heart can handle. Momma and Daddy P are two of the best parents I've ever witnessed, and their passion for foster care and adoption was one of the main things that fueled my interest in going into the field of social work. A few months before I moved, they were blessed with sweet baby M, and not getting to see that precious little boy grow up physically and spiritually breaks my heart. Thank goodness both of them are diligent picture po

Like I said, Mamma P is one of the most inspiring moms I know.. if/when I have kids of my own one day, I am already praying I get half of her patience, love, and super-mom powers. She's creative, organized, never frazzled, and always smiling, no matter what her 4 wildly energetic little boys are up to. So as one of my first real Pinterest undertakings I wanted to make something that she could actually use. I tried out a few ideas for weekly menu organizational boards (which she'd actually use, since she really does plan dinners a week in advance and stick to the plans.. like I said, super-mom), but none of them really panned out, so I took this idea here and made it my own.

Paint Chip Calendar

I was passing by the Benjamin Moore pain store the other day and couldn't help myself- I had to take a look at there selection, and boy, they had some good ones. Great colors, shapes, sizes, color names.. I was in heaven.

Aren't they great?

I know the employees must have thought I was crazy, but I grabbed handfuls of the most colorful and fun and made a beeline for the door. An idea was being formed and I needed to get it started before it was forgotten. My one-track brain doesn't hold much these days.. SQUIRREL! (An Up reference. Haven't seen the movie? You're missing out for real)

First I gathered and organized all these pretty little things into a pattern that fit my fancy. In order to accomodate every combination of month start dates it required a lot of space (a month that begins on a Friday would need a calendar with 6 weeks to fit all the dates, even though it only has a maximum of 31 days.. do the math). After over an hour of mixing and matching, this is what I came up with-

Next I took each column and attached them to the back of some ugly-colored paint chip cards just because they were ready-made, evenly cut pieces of material. For those less lazy than I am, any sturdy scrap paper strips would do. I used double-sided tape so it would be easier to un-attach and move them around if need be.

I repeated this step for each of the days of the week, but because my frame wasn't large enough to fit all seven columns, I had to make the weekend days smaller. No biggie. It actually added a pretty cool dynamic to the design. I'm beginning to love the improvisation factor in all this crafty stuff.. and if you know me at all, you know what a miracle it is for this anal, type-A control freak.

I bought this frame for under $8 at Walmart (the only real cost of the project, may I add) and lined it with a piece of poster board cut to size.

I then cut a piece of white poster board to fit in the frame and begun lining up the columns.

The perfectionist in me started rearing it's ugly head at this point as I realized there was some unavoidable unevenness in the alignment, so I used my handy-dandy paper cutter (an OCD craft-a-holic's BFF) and cut very small strips of posterboard to make some "grid lines".

After securing all of these to the posterboard, I labeled the days of the week, added a space for the name of the month, and put the family's last name at the top.

Finally, I let it dry completely before putting the frame together.

(Excuse the crappy picture quality and gross over-croppage.. all I had on hand was my I phone)

The outcome honestly surpassed my expectations. Love it!

The next project was one for that SBOM. At one point he had jokingly made fun of my paint chip stealing, so I told him that all he'd be getting for Christmas was a big pile of 'em. And I was only half-kidding

I'd seen some cute "things I love about you" projects on Pinterest that had gotten my creative juices flowing. I thought about doing this one, but after my promising him a piant chip-ified present, I adapted.

"What I Love About Your True Colors" Paint Chip Card

First I gathered up some of my least girly paint chips (I used the trusty WalMart brand again) and prepared my mental list of his great qualities, which definitely wasn't a difficult task. Then I wrote one quality on each color square, using various colors of Sharpies. To make the cover slip, I cut one chip in each of the primary colors and glued them to a neutral slip. When I'd made six or seven slips, I punched a hole in the top right corner of each one and secured them together with a thin ribbon. And he had to eat his teasing words, because it was a big hit :)

Like I said, this past month has been so good, and I know there is a purpose for me being here and now, for "such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). But I would be lying if I said that there weren't a few lonely nights that I've spent questioning if moving this far away from family and friends was such a good idea after all. I have a great friend and her wonderful husband right down the road that have gone so far out of their way to help me it isn't even funny, and I am more grateful for that than I can say. But I left a lot behind when I moved down here, and the only explanation I can give to people that ask why I did it is that God said so.. and even though it is confusing and hard, I know within my soul that it's right. This is where I'm supposed to be.

On the dark nights (and mornings.. and afternoons) that I feel so alone, unknown, and unheard, Kutless' new song "Carry Me to the Cross" floods my hurting heart with light. I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of their usual hard core, metal-esque material, but they mellowed out a lot on this one and it's one of my new faves. The first verse brings me to tears almost every time.. it's like they read my journal-

"When the path is daunting and every step exhausting, I'm not alone
I feel you draw me closer, all these burdens on my shoulder

I'm not alone, I'm not alone, You pull me me from this place"

Thank you, Jesus, for pulling me from the lonely places and setting my feet upon your Rock. The sorrow may last for a night but Your joy comes in the morning.