Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Lamp Post BOO!

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Sometimes I struggle at holiday decorating.  Only because it’s so time consuming and I feel like I don’t have much time.  Anyone else feel that way?  Okay.  So I’ll level with you.  It might also have something to do with the fact that sometimes I think that I’m not incredibly crafty.  Okay.  I think that often.  Like I’m not all thumbs when it comes to crafts, but I’m pretty particular and need things to look just right.  One minor imperfection and I can’t let it go.  Whenever I see said completed craft that looks kind of strange or has a tiny blemish I cringe.  Of course I don’t cringe at other people’s crafts.  I don’t notice their mistakes.  Only my own.  I’m an insecure crafter.  It’s a complex.  I must overcome.  Anyone else have this problem?

So I struggle with time and being an insecure crafter.  I really do want to be more secure in my crafting abilities.  Really I do.  Maybe I need lessons?  Probably.  Crafters Anonymous?  Definitely.  I see all of these cute ideas everywhere.  Tons and tons of cute ideas.  I pin all of them right here on Pinterest, but then I never do them.  Or if I start the project I never finish it.  I’m airing all of my guilt today, right?!  My name is Tara and I’m a craftaholic.  I bet there is a group for that… Honestly I do need to be better at finishing the projects that I start.  It’s a wonder that I can actually sit down at the computer and type blog postings when I’m such a spaz when it comes to everything else.  You laugh?  I may have the focus for some things, but with crafty projects… Well, I turn into that dog Dug from the movie “UP”.  It’s true.  Maybe you are totally laughing, because you think that my blog postings are exactly like that???  Oh my.  I really am insecure.  But I’m working on my insecurities.  Both craft related and non.  I’ve decided that the first step (remember I’m a psychology educated gal) in the process would be simple crafts.  If I do something simple then I will finish it and it will be perfect because it will be really difficult to mess up something so simple.  It’s that simple.

Here is THE easiest DIY Halloween yard decoration that I’ve ever made.

Seriously the easiest.

It’s dedicated to all the Dugs in the world.

I give you…

The Lamp Post Ghost Tutorial!


In front of our house we have an ugly light post.  I’m sure it was beautiful in its time.  Now it’s just quite dingy looking.  It’s super old.  Original to the neighborhood when others have been replaced.  The lamp doesn’t even work so I’m not sure exactly why it still in front of our house.  Maybe I should be digging it up…  One day we will just replace it?  Maybe?  Probably.  In its prime it was a gas lamp.  Then it was converted to electric way before we moved in.  However, the “electrician” (previous home owner who was a medical doctor and had no idea about how to be an electrician) didn’t do a very good job.  It quit working so the “electrician” then cut the line and left this random wire in the basement that operates the lamp post only it plugs into nothing.  No outlet.  No switch.  No lit lamp post.  So you get the idea.  We are left with an antique lamp post that has absolutely no use just standing in our front yard.


 See?  It’s not the most beautiful thing in the world.

BUT recently when I looked at that old lamp post I saw something different.

I saw a ghost.

So I decided to create one.  A lamp post ghost.  So simple that even a 6 year old could do it.


 And it can be created in record time.  By the 6 year old.

To create the ghost I purchased 3 yards of white drapery fabric.  It was on clearance at less than $3 a yard.

You could just as easily use a white sheet.

Banjo used a black Sharpie to make the ghost’s eyes and mouth.  Then we just threw the whole thing over the lamp post and there you have it:

Our Lamp Post BOO!


You can transform your own lamp post for Halloween and it will look super dandy.


Cutting Edge Stencils {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

The way for a house to feel like a home, for me, is to decorate it a way that represents you! My husband and I have moved every summer then come back to Utah and find a new house to live in for 8 months. So the joys of renting come with a lot of rules. Most of our houses we were allowed to paint, but I knew we would be leaving in a few short months, so why bother putting all the time and effort into it. Well, this time we are actually keeping the house we are living in and enjoying it longer then 8 months!! I was stoked! That meant being able to put time into our little house to make it ours!


Cutting Edge Stencils is AMAZING! Seriously guys! I was always scared of stenciling since my good friend had a bad experience with it. So I started to look into decals and just couldn’t find any I liked. Cutting Edge Stencils has a so many stencils to choose from that I sat in front of my computer for a couple days trying to pick one out I wanted to use in my house.

Greg Swisher and Jana Makaeva created Cutting Edge Stencils to be simple and easy to use for any “DIY-er” They love the concept of doing/redoing furniture and other items yourself. Adding a Cutting Edge Stencil is an easy way to spice up anything!

Instead of just sharing a bunch of facts, I am going to let you into my home and tell you how using a Cutting Edge Stencil went for me 🙂


This is the wall you see right when you walk into my living room. Welcome! We have two big windows that let in gorgeous light but this dark red wall was just sucking it all up. So, I knew it was the perfect space to use my Cutting Edge Stencil.


I picked out the Tamara Trellis Moroccan stencil and it came with everything I would need to make it look fab! The kit came with my stencil, that seriously was massive! And a top part stencil for the ceiling and hard to get spots. A small paint roller, detailed stenciling instructions, a leveler, and a small paint brush to get those hard spots.

I then watched the instruction video. I was determined for this to turn out perfect! I ended up watching a few of their videos 1. because they are so short and 2. they explain everything so well that I knew it wouldn’t hurt to get some more practice.

Here are the videos that I watched:



Watch them! They will save you so many mistakes and time!


I primed my wall first (3 coats to get red of that dark maroon color) and then called a friend over, turned on some music (actually Disney channel for the baby haha) and then went to town!


My friend that helped me was the one who had a horrible experience with stenciling. She was amazed at how easy Cutting Edge Stencil was. There was no bleeding (which was the part we were nervous for) and we finished this in 2 nights, spending about 4-5 hours each night on it.


I used a gorgeous Turquoise color (yep, the color was called Turquoise haha how original!) And I kept the background the white primer color. I am so amazed and excited with the finishing product! I am trying to figure out what else I want to stencil in my house. I am thinking my bedroom is next hehe. I was really nervous to do this because I am a very impatient person when it comes to crafting. I tear the tape off to soon or put the picture up before it’s even dry. With Cutting Edge Stencils, it dries so quickly that there is no waiting around for that first layer to dry. We just kept going and were sad when we couldn’t finish it in one night (babies get really tired after 10:00. hehe oops 🙂 )

I am thinking for my next room I want to use one of these stencils. I actually have about 5 others I am having a hard time choosing from, but I’ll save you my obsession 😉

cutting8 cutting9

So here’s the amazing part! Cutting Edge Stencils is giving away one stencil up to $50 value! Guys, that’s way more then half of their collection. You’re going to know exactly how I feel when I say I have about 4839 favorites!! So start entering below!

Hairbow Supplies, Etc. {Giveaway} CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.


I like to think that I’m a crafty kind of gal.  My friends and I even get together for crafts night.  One of my most favorite craft nights involved making hair clips for our little girls.  That particular one was 2 YEARS ago!  I’m thinking that it’s high time the ladies and I gather to make some new hairbows for our girly littles.  Good thing I know just the place to find all of our supplies and at a great price… Hairbow Supplies, Etc.  Who really has the time to shop around at multiple locations?  I do not.  Hairbow Supplies, Etc. has all the supplies to create the current looks.  I’m talking the good stuff.  There’s even Grab Bags that have multiples of items… ribbons, silk flowers, trim…

shabby rose trim 0307142

You know all the goods to create the best looking hairbows!

Here are just a couple more items that are perfect for the spring season:

easter bunny shabby flowers

circle rhinestone sliderNow for the giveaway…

Hairbow Supplies, Etc. is going to hook the winner up with 5 yards of shabby rose trim (winner’s choice of up to 10 colors in 1/2 yard quantities) and 5 yards of bunny chevron ribbon.  

shabby rose trim 030714

easter bunny chevron ribbon 15

Pretty dandy!

Enter on the Rafflecopter below.

*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of March 27th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Hairbow Supplies, Etc., but all opinions are strictly my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Burp Cloth Cupcakes REPOST

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Shop BabyBunch.com Today! Remember the posting I did way back when on burp cloth cupcakes?  I’ve decided to repost it, because I came across the cutest shop that actually sells them!  Not mine, but ones that aren’t DIY and are super adorable.  Because not everyone can be all about the DIY.  And… to be honest the cupcakes took me quite a while to make, so I would probably just purchase them from here on out.  😉   Baby Bunch is the place to get the baby gift cupcakes: blue_pj_cupcakes

But also lollipops made out of rompers:



Want a Dandy Deal?  Use Coupon Code: ‘bbafpj2011‘ and get 10% Off and Free Shipping On All Orders Over $100 At Baby Bunch! Now if you are up for the DIYer challenge then here you go… Back in the fall (of 2010) I helped my mom throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law.  Well, I guess I should start with something from a few years back.  When Banjo was a baby he spit up a lot.  It was seriously out of control.  Thank goodness for hardwood floors!  One thing that I learned fast was when it came to burp cloths the prefold cloth diapers made the best ones.  My mother-in-law sent me a tonof prefolds that she embellished with printed grosgrain ribbon.  Perfectly absorbed and perfectly cute!  So going back to the fall when I helped with the baby shower for my SIL…  I knew that  I wanted to make her some burp cloths using prefolds.  I also knew that I wanted to make them look cute for presentation and using my favorite among favorites… FABRIC!  So I created some burp cloths that incorporated all of the above!   In addition to the prefold cloth diapers and fabric I used these supplies:      – corrugated scalloped bulletin board border – thin ribbon – decorative long pins – felt – rubber bands I started by cutting a piece of fabric slightly larger than the center of the prefold diaper.  Then ironed the edges of the fabric in to make the seam creased for attaching to the prefold.     Using pins to secure fabric down the center of the prefold: Sewed around the fabric edge:   The finished burp cloths: Ready for creating a cupcake… First, fold the thin part of the diaper in on the fabric (or under if you would like the fabric to show in a swirl at the top of the cupcake):     Then fold in half (long ways) again:   Roll up like you would a sleeping bag: Secure with a rubber band: Cover around rubber band with the corrugated boarder:   Add on a felt flower with the long pin in the center:     Tie around a ribbon: Voila!  A Cupcake Burp Cloth! If you choose to fold the burp cloth with the fabric showing then you will get the swirl effect for the “icing”. These were fun to make and worked great for decorations on the cake table!

Gemmilou’s Wooden Dolls {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Dandies, I’m going to let you in on one of my favorite hobbies lately: painting up peg people!  I stumbled across this darling Etsy shop, called gemmielou, and kind of went crazy ordering and painting peg dolls!

iusb_760x100.5996777First, I ordered a small family set to paint up my family:

IMG_9182 copy

Then I bought a bundle of little girls to make for my nieces:


Then I painted up a little family for my brother-in-law’s family.  PS–you can order a wood family about this size for only $2.25!!


And THEN I just couldn’t stop :).  I neeeeeded a Nativity set!  Gemmilou has all sorts of wooden doll shapes and sizes, and she is more than happy to make custom listings so that you can only order the people you need.

woodShe made up a custom order of just the pieces I needed to make up a Nativity scene.  Everything always arrives in the most darling brown paper, tied up in strings, and the wood is solid, smooth, and ready to paint.  This is what I started with:


The wood is perfect for painting, and most things only need one coat of basic acrylic paint found in any craft store.  These dolls are SO affordable!  We’re talking $2.25 for a family, $1.75 for a set of four little girls, or even 30 dolls for $9.00!  Think about how fun these would be for REUNIONS!


This took a couple nights with some holiday TV in the background, and I think it turned out just how I envisioned!


Did you know there are other Etsy sellers who sell a painted nativity for $225?!?!  Isn’t that ridiculous?!  You could make this yourself for less than $10!


I hope these pictures inspire you to order your own peg people and make up a family, a nativity, or even a bunch of characters for your kids to play with!  The sky is the limit with these dolls, and they’re just so dang fun to paint up!


Checkout all the darling dolls from gemmilou and get started!

Online Store

Merry Christmas!

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

Countdown til Christmas!

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.


Now that Thanksgiving is past and gone, its Christmas time for real, and I can hardly stand it!  I’m a sucker for Christmas countdowns, and here is a super simple countdown you could make for your home!


Start by making 24 pockets.  I outlined them in double-sided white bias tape because it curls so nicely around curved edges.


Make a strip of fabric for the binding, and paint up twenty four buttons.  I found these blank wood buttons on eBay for cheap cheap cheap.


Sew button holes in the pockets, then lay everything out on a big quilted rectangle and sew the pockets down around the outer curve.


   We used a dowel rod: painted it white and drilled holes in the ends to run a string through.IMG_8807

Then chock it full of candy and treats!IMG_8811This turned out really big–about a door’s width, so hanging on the back of a door might be a great idea for saving wall space.


 Merry Christmas!!IMG_8797

Caravan Shoppe {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

 A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine pinned an image of some cute blocks to one of her boards, and I immediately pinned it to my “Kids Activities” board and took a look at the link.  Just a week or two later, I saw those same blocks pop up in my Google Reader feed from another blogger who had discovered these great blocks for her daughter, too.  I jumped at the opportunity to review the Olliblocks from Caravan Shoppe so I could introduce them to you!


Caravan Shoppe is a digital download site with lots of innovative artwork that can be downloaded (and used!) immediately after purchasing.   Caravan Shoppe explains that “upon purchase and confirmation of payment, you will receive an email containing a secure download link of your Caravan purchase.  You will receive a zipped file that contains a printable PDF of the artwork that you have purchased, as well as instructions to help answer any questions specific to the product that you have purchased…  For best results, we’ll always recommend a local printer or print shop that are always easily accessible and affordable.

“One of the delightful aspects of our digital download products is that you can make several copies of each item you purchase and download. Keep them for yourself! Give them as gifts! Get creative with all the possible uses for your brand new piece of art!”

The Olliblocks are my absolute favorite because of their versatility and the way that my boys used their imaginations to play with these pieces.  “You can be as creative as your little one as you find new and exciting ways to use the Olliblocks download. It is perfect for printing out and adhering to magnets, framing as the whimsical art piece it is or backing with cardboard to use as paper dolls for quiet time.”


As I perused each of the links on Caravan Shoppe, I also found lots of other digital downloads that I loved — like these Chalktastic Backgrounds!  “Simply download once and print one for yourself and several others as gifts for those who are always snapping photos of their kids! These large format posters can be printed at 36 x 48 and the process is as simple as putting the files on a jump drive and driving to your local Staples. Sound too good to be true? Let us add this cherry on top. Printing will only cost about $6 a poster.”

This set of 7 Chalktastic Backgrounds only costs $7!


I can attest to these engineer prints at Staples in all their glory — I had a large poster size print of our family picture printed on an engineer print for $2.99 and then attached it to a foam board from the Dollar Tree.  Hanging on our wall, no one can tell the difference between that and the more expensive black and white prints.  Well, maybe someone can tell, but for less than $5, I’m willing to take that chance.  🙂

love print

There are also some great holiday prints for Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas that can be used in a variety of different ways and for years to come.  These files can also be printed and given as gifts (but not sold!), which can also make for some great birthday presents throughout the year or for holiday gifts at the end of the year — which is what I intend to do with this Alleluia! DIY Nativity Puzzle.


And, if that weren’t enough, Caravan Shoppe offers some FREE PRINTABLES of some digital downloads for you to try out!  I LOVE these Caravan Signature Party Hats

party hat

**Caravan Shoppe is offering a discount to our Dandy readers!  Use the code happygiveaway (all lowercase letters!) for a 20% coupon code!**

Head on over to Caravan Shoppe, check out their great digital download packages (and freebies!), then come back here and enter to win a $30 Caravan Shoppe gift certificate!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the evening of Saturday, March 2nd, and emailed within 24 hours. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Caravan Shoppe, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Sock Monkey.Net {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Is there anything more cheerfully adorable than a sock monkey?  His funny little face and his skinny little limbs are just so loveable!  If you own a sock monkey of your own, do you just love it?  If you don’t own a sock monkey, would you love to make your own?!  I am so excited to show you the cute little shop of Sock Monkey.Net, where you can find hand-made SockLady Sock Monkeys, as well as supplies and do-it-yourself Sock Monkey kits!


I think these sock monkey kits are fabulous gift ideas for boys, girls and even grown-ups!  Children love Build-a-Bear because they get to create their own stuffed animal, right?  This is the same idea, but WAY more affordable!  (And cuter).  These kits come with those cute vintage red heeled socks, a needle, thread, black embroidery thread, two button eyes, a pom-pom, red yarn, and a bag of poly-fil fluff.  The budget kits contain every supply except for the fluffy filling (and are only $13!).  And don’t freak out if you’re lacking sewing skills or a sewing machine, because Sock Monkey.Net also carries a deluxe kit that is pre-sewn!  I got to review just such a kit!


It was a fun little project!  The top-quality classic socks were great to work with.  Stuffing the skinny tail got a bit tricky, but stuffing it with the end of a pencil helped push all the stuffing down.  The kit comes with a nice bobbin full of thread, plenty of black cord, and and a surprising amount of well over enough stuffing, so you could use the extra on another project!  Or another monkey!


The instructions were simple and easy to follow, and offered some helpful tips.  I’m definitely keeping my instructions to make more in the future!  I originally made this monkey for my 9-month old, but the toddler is just crazy about it!  He runs around the house flinging “Monkey Face” around and takes it up to bed with him for every nap.




Do you need a sock monkey in your life?

Sock Monkey.Net is offering TWO readers a Budget Do It Yourself Sock Monkey Kit!

big 2009 BK Monkey

You could make one for your Valentine!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, February 18th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by SockMonkey.net, but all opinions are strictly my own

Cutting Edge Stencils {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I’m sure you know by now that we’re a military family, meaning that we move every 2-3 years.  And, then, on top of that, we’ve had the not-so-rare experience of moving 1-2 times either from base housing to a rental in town or vice versa (or, in one duty station, we did both!).  We’re usually looking for an easy, inexpensive way to make our house a home, and I was excited to find that Cutting Edge Stencils fit that bill!

Straight from their website {with my comments in italics}…

Cutting Edge Stencils “…are so easy to work with, even beginners get great results!  {Yes, yes!  I’m a super-beginner and was able to start immediately!}

Stencils are very cost effective and so much better than wallpaper or vinyl decals!  {Although I love the vinyl decals in my home, I have not yet found a way to easily peel them off the walls, take them to our new home, and reapply.  And wallpaper?  Not touching that one!} 

Stencil patterns are a hot decorating trend and so many DIY decorators are discovering the ease and fun of stenciling.  {Remember Kim Myles from HGTV Design Star and Myles of Styles?  She’s created stencils for Cutting Edge Stencils!} 

Anyone can create gorgeous accent walls with stencils and so inexpensively!  It’s easier and faster than you think.  Stenciling is not just for walls, but also floors, ceilings, furniture, fabrics, and rugs!  {I created a new focal piece for my kitchen with my Rabat Craft Stencil — my mind’s reeling with other ways to use this stencil again!}”

Over the holiday weekend, I finally completed a project that has been sitting in my closet for a while — I found this great tray at a yard sale for $2 about a month ago, but it needed a little love.  It had already been sanded down, so I painted it white and left it until I had some more inspiration.  The Rabat craft stencil was perfect for creating a little interest on this piece, and I loved using this stencil to make the end result pop!

The stencils are made of a 12 mil clear plastic, which allows it to move easily while still feeling substantial and sturdy.  Here are some of my favorites:

Birds on a Branch Wall Stencil

Casablanca All-Over Stencil

Crazy Daisy Flower Stencils

Little Salamanders Stencils

Turkish Tulip Craft Stencils

In addition to great pictures and tutorials at the main Cutting Edge Stencils website, they also provide How-To-Stencil videos on their YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/CuttingEdgeStencils

Cutting Edge Stencils is offering offer one stencil of any value up to $50 – the Dandy winner can choose his/her favorite stencil from the website

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

**The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the morning of Monday, December 3rd and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

**This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Cutting Edge Stencils, but all opinions are strictly my own.


Knit Pumpkin

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Remember my knit pumpkin tutorial from a few years back?  Wow.  Where does the time go?  I cannot believe it has been 2 years since I made that little pumpkin!  He only makes his presence known around here during the fall season, but he is still alive and well.  And looking ever so fine gracing our stairs with the other fall fixtures I might add.

Although our staircase is updated from that old picture, so I think that’s even more dandy!

Maybe it’s time I made another pumpkin…



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