.DIY Subway Art.

Happy Monday everyone! 

I am back with another DIY project for ya but this time it was completed 100% by my hubs, Adam--what a guy ;)

I have seen different subway art and typographies floating around the blog world for quite some time now and to be honest, I was not always a fan.  I did not warm up to idea of having a bold black and white piece in our home until I ordered these prints from CAPow for our gallery wall. I absolutely adore our Minnesota and New Jersey typographies (click link to view prints) they inspired me to incorporate more black and white into our house.

This led to the purchase of new decorative pillows, naturally, as well as a new piece of art. I spotted this subway art on Etsy at Vinyl Wall Decor and More and it was love at first sight..only problem--it was too small for the wall I had in mind. I was bummed out for about a minute until Adam looked at the art and said, "Give me an hour, I'm going to play around in Photoshop."

..hour goes by..

"Hey Kate, come take a look."

Voila. He did it. What a stud.
Adam saved his work to a thumb drive and we headed over to Staples to have it printed. We had it mounted on black foam core and had it laminated. The final look is exactly what I was wanting and was so pleased to have the art hanging on our wall, thanks to four 3M hooks, for $33.00 dollars within 24 hours. The final size of the piece is 18in x 24in and the font used is Novecento found from this site.

The new chevron black and white pillows were ordered from Walmart and are surprisingly very nice! I love how the black and white lead your eyes from the typography prints on our gallery wall (cannot see in photo) to the subway art in the dining room to the pillows in the living room!
Maybe one day soon, when the hubs is not so busy, I will have him write a tutorial for creating your very own subway art in photoshop-- just maybe :)

(linking to some of these great parties!)

Thanks for reading!


.August Updates.

It's been 3 weeks since my last post--curious why? 

Well, I was on a role posting during the month of July and when I shared my plastic spoon mirrors something happened--something BIG.

You liked it! 

You commented, you sent emails, you featured it, you pinned it, you followed my blog! The truth is I was so overwhelmed (in a really good way) by the love shown to me that I have been a bit intimidated to write a new post..I did not want to let you down..

Does that make sense? 

It's kind of funny, silly, and pathetic all at the same time. Oh well, that's me.


I'm back with a little life update and will share more DIY projects soon :)

The past three weeks have been family filled and you know what?--It was amazing! Living away from loved ones is always a struggle so whenever we get the chance to spend good quality time together, we take advantage!

Our first stop was Chesapeake, VA to visit my brother Scott, sister-in-law Kim, and niece Emma. We had an incredible weekend together:
- Trip to the aquarium
- Meals together
- Watching Olympics
- Playing with Emma

My little niece is not yet two and had Adam and I amazed at her skills. Emma knows her entire alphabet and sings the song proudly. She can also identify animals, colors, and even a few numbers! It's  pretty awesome watching my big bro be such a loving daddy to his little girl. Scott and Kim are definitely doing something right--Emma is such a sweet and smart girl, missing her already!


This past weekend (thurs-mon) my parents and grandparents came to our house in Lynchburg to visit!

It was the first time my grandparents have been to our new house and the first for our parents since Christmas--Adam and I were eager to show everyone the updates on the house. In preparation for their arrival, I went a little crazy with cleaning and yard work but the end result made everyone smile, including me so it was worth the effort :)

We had a nice time eating meals and playing games together--we are a big card playing family when our grandparents are around. Ever play international rummy? It's an awesome hour long game which always includes coffee, dessert, music, and laughter for our family.
Have you spent any time with family this summer? I'd love to read about it :)

Take care!


.Plastic Spoon Mirror Tutorial.

In my spare time I find myself on a particular website just ready for my inspiration light bulb to turn on.
 Any guesses what that website may be? ;)

Pinterest of course!

Back in April I spotted a pin and I had exactly two thoughts:

1. AMAZING, will definitely be making this!
2. DANGIT, why couldn't I have thought of this genius idea!

I have been in a bit of a creative rut lately. It's getting rather difficult to think of something completely new and original in the blogging world and the crazy awesome filled world of Pinterest. I have honestly sat just thinking of things to make, different techniques to play with and nothing--absolutely nothing!

When this happens I simply decide to try my own hand at someone else's craft because "imitation is the best form of flattery." --Truly it is my way of saying thank you to the crafter who came up with the idea and to express how much I adore their project--so much so I needed to have it in my home! So here it goes:

Thank you Kristi, from Addicted to Decorating, for coming up with this beautiful and BRILLIANT craft. 

Here are my Plastic Spoon Mirrors:
Materials needed:

- Large Cardboard box
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hot Glue Sticks
- 5 Sawtooth hooks
- 5 Nails
- Hammer
- Ruler
- Scissors
- Pen or Pencil
- Duct Tape
- String
- 1 Can of Spray Primer
- 4 Cans Spray Paint
- 3 Mirrors: 2 10in Round Mirror, 1 12in Square Mirror
- 1 Rough Piece of Sandpaper and 1 Fine Piece of Sandpaper
- Optional: 4 Command Strips
and of course
- Plastic Spoons: 14 bags of 48 count $1.00 each

The entire project cost me around $50.00--I think that's pretty good for a set of 3 mirrors!
Making your Plastic Spoon Mirror:

1. Check your home for any materials you may already own. Then gather the rest of your supplies during one shopping trip to save yourself from having to run back and forth for more. (I took a few different trips...)

2. Cut your cardboard box so it lays flat on the ground or table. 

3. Decide the diameter for your mirror using a ruler or yard stick. (I made one large, 22 inches, and two small, 13 inches.) 

4. Cut a piece of string and tie one end onto the tip of your pen. Measure the string to the radius you desire and then tie the other end to your scissor.
5. Using your pen, string, and scissor you have created a drawing compass. Hold your scissor point firmly on your cardboard box and draw your circle. 
Hint: Keep your pen and scissor pointing straight up and draw slowly. Also remember to keep the string taut as you are working your way around. You may even have a roommate or spouse hold your scissor in place.
6. Once your circle is drawn, simply cut it out. 
Hint: If you do not own scissors sharp enough, try using a pocket knife or an x-acto blade.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 for your inner circle. 
Hint: If you are creating a 22 inch large circle, draw a 12 inch inner circle, no smaller. (I made the mistake of drawing a smaller inner circle and had to change my plan once the spoons were glued. Will explain more later with photos.)
8. Using your duct tape, tape along any creases on both sides of your cardboard to add stability.
Hint: To create clean, smooth edges on your cardboard, tape around the perimeter of your outer circle and inner circle. I did not do this with my large mirror but with my two smaller mirrors and the smaller ones look polished and complete.
 10. Cut the ends off of your plastic spoons. 
Hint: Shop around for the most inexpensive spoons you can find--the "heavy duty" are impossible to cut through! I found bags of 48 spoons at Family Dollar for a $1.00 each.

11. Begin gluing your spoons onto your cardboard. 
Hint: Practice spacing them out in alternating patterns first.
 12. After 8 rows on your 22 inch cardboard circle, your spoons will appear to have run out of room. 
Hint: This is what I was referring to earlier. I still had more room for spoons before reaching my inner circle but my spoons began to overlap each other and I did not like that. 
 So I cut my inner circle to make a larger, 12 inch circle leaving just enough room for one final row of spoons.
13. For your final inner row of spoons, cut the ends to form a nice oval shape because you will see the bottoms.

14. Use your rough sandpaper first to sand down your inner row spoons and then the finer sandpaper to smooth out your spoons. This step will take the longest but is worth the effort.

15. Glue your inner row of spoons slightly overlapping each other. 
Hint: Take your time and you will be able to line them up just right!
 For your two smaller mirrors, you will not run into the spoon spacing problem as I did with my 22 inch  one and you will complete it so much faster! I highly suggest completing your large one first :)
16. Spend 5-10 minutes removing all of your glue gun "hairs".
Hint: Repeat this step after priming your work, the "hairs" will pop up all over!

17. Take your plastic spoon circle outside and spray with a primer made to cover plastic.

18. Once your primer is dry, spray paint the color of your choice! 
(I used: Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Multi-Purpose Spray Paint, High Gloss, Apple Red)
Hint: Double check to make sure your spray paint is meant for plastic! This spoon mirror will test your patience. It takes many many light coats to cover every nook and cranny but it's fun and shows instant results!

19. When your spoons are painted and dried, bring them inside to glue your mirrors to them.
Hint: Because of weight purposes, lay your mirror front facing you on your table. Place hot glue along the perimeter of your mirror and then place your cardboard spoon circle on top of mirror. Press firmly (and carefully) with your fingers and let sit.

20. When your mirror is in place, tape a few sections of the mirror onto the cardboard for extra security.

21. Hot glue your sawtooth hook to the back of your cardboard mirror. Again, let sit.
Hint: For my large 22 inch mirror, I used 3 sawtooth hooks and only 1 each for my smaller mirrors.
22. When everything is dry and to your liking, hang and enjoy!
Hint: I reinforced the large mirror to the wall with four command strips along with the three sawtooth hooks and nails to guarantee it would stay in place. The smaller mirrors are extremely light and did not need more help. So far so good friends!

Take a look:
 Final Measurements:

My large mirror with spoons attached is 25 inches across.
My smaller mirrors with spoons attached are 16 inches across.

This project was truly fun to make and surprisingly did not take a lot of time. I suggest breaking it up into 4 days to avoid getting overwhelmed and tired of it. (I know how that happens with some projects..like this one!)

Day 1: Cut your spoons and make your cardboard circles.
Day 2: Hot glue your spoons.
Day 3: Prime and Paint.
Day 4: Attach mirrors and hooks and hang!

I know I wrote out many steps for you--some are no brainers while others have a few helpful tips. I hope you found this tutorial and project inspirational! I know I sure did thanks to Kristi's tute.

Happy Living--Happy Crafting
and remember
--Little Things Bring Smiles--

(linking to some of these awesome parties including the Pinterest Challenge hosted by these lovely ladies)

.Little Things Bring Smiles: Part 21.

The name of my blog is

Little Things Bring Smiles.

I chose this title because it is important to remember the little things in life and to rejoice in them. My reason for blogging is to share my life, all parts of it {including the good, the bad, and the ugly} along with my home, crafts, and DIY projects I complete. Each month I want to focus on the little things that brought smiles to my days. 

I would love for you to share your little things to see if they bring a smile to me, or another reader :)

 Here are my little things from July:

- Hosting a house full of people due to the mighty wind storm
- Celebrating the 4th with dear friends eating great food and playing games
- Making progress on decorating our dining room
- Scoring an awesome Craigslist steal
- Visiting our friends in the hospital to meet their precious baby girl..
- ..Holding the baby
- ..Staring at the baby
- ..Seeing Adam love on the baby
- Finally completing our Deck Makeover
- Watching two bunnies play in our front yard while Colden went CRAZY inside
- Staying up late watching movies with Adam and sleeping in on Saturdays
- Adam and I took a break from coffee for a few months but we busted out our coffee 
  pot this July and have enjoyed every single sip
- Making plans for family visits
- Sitting under our deck during a huge rainstorm with Adam
- Adam threw out his back (not something that made us smile) but he missed work 
  and was HOME! More fun for me than him, poor guy.
- Cooking new meals, some good some blah
- Watching Adam play with the girls I watch, especially the baby
- Double date with my in-laws
- Going to church with family to hear Adam's Grandpa preach in celebration of his 90th 
- Spending "me" time crafting
- Seeing our house featured in a magazine!

Now it's your turn. Always remember,
Little Things Bring Smiles!