Jun 30, 2013

Printable 4th of July Tags

I love making simple and inexpensive holiday decorations from vintage art tags.

Last year, I made some napkin rings for my Independence Day table, which was my first ever "tablescape." (You can see more of my 4th of July table in this post here, and the easy directions for my napkin rings in this post here.)

I also used the vintage artwork for super simple vases for my front porch. (You can see more of my 4th of July front porch in this post here and my back yard decorations in this post here.)

Can you tell what I used for these vases? They're beer cans with the tops removed using a can opener. I told you they were super easy! I painted them with a couple coats of craft paint and decoupaged on the artwork using Mod Podge. One year later, after being packed away in the basement, they still look great.

This year I'm filling them with dollar store pinwheels. (I put some un-popped popcorn kernels in the bottom to weigh the cans down.)

 I tied last year's napkin rings around my new blue ball jars to hold some flowers this year. 

There are so many fun and easy ways to decorate with vintage tags, and they make cute party favors, too. 

To print this tag-sized artwork for your own projects, just right click each photo, and when it opens in a new window left click it and save it to your computer.

 I hope you make something fun! Come back and leave me a comment if you do. 

I'd love to hear about it! 

Jun 28, 2013

Friday Finds

I can't believe how fast summer is already going by! 

My husband and I have been frantically trying to plant bushes in the yard before it gets too hot. I know I said we were going to wait until the cool of fall, but when push came to shove, we just couldn't stand to look at bare dirt all summer. We hope they will survive our hot desert summer, which officially starts today with a forecast of 104 degrees!

The good news is we finally have sprinklers and lovely green grass, and hopefully next week I'll be able to share some photos with you. 

More good news for my American followers is that our Independence Day celebration is next Thursday! 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, and today I'm sharing some festive 4th of July DIY projects from last year's Friday Finds. 

 Hurray for the Red, White, and Blue!

 Maggie of Little Miss Maggie decorated this cute Liberty Garden Bucket and offers a tutorial and the free artwork for download.  

This Firecracker Red, White, and Blue cake is from an easy  Betty Crocker cake mix.

 Laura painted this Stars and Stripes pillow and shares the how-to at Top This Top That.

For these Tin Can Luminary tutorials, visit Karen at Crafts for all Seasons.

 Room to Inspire used red, white, and blue scrapbook paper to bundle Red Vines for all.

 Deb at Lake Girl Paints painted these Summer Beach Chair stars.

 At Heat Oven to 350 Trisha and Nicole share these Cheesecake Cookies that I think would be a big red, white, and blue hit this 4th of July. 

 Linda's tutorial for this Patriotic Fabric Bunting is at Craftaholics Anonymous.

I had to search high and low to find the origin of this cute mason jar bouquet. I finally found it at Steadmans' Corner, where it was created by Sandie.   

 Venessa and Heather share these 4th of July Jello Firecracker Shots in two versions: adults and kids. Find the recipes at At the Picket Fence.

 Find the tutorial for this cute patriotic pillow cover made by Diane at The Checkered Apple

Country Living has instructions for this DIY red, white, and blue Rosette Banner.

The recipe for these Red, White, and Blue Stuffed Strawberries was posted on Babble by The Naptime Chef. 

This word art was created by Jamie of The Crafting Chicks.  Visit them for the free printable download.

 Sky at Capital B has been pleasantly surprised by all the Pinterest visitors she's had for this beautiful felt 4th of July wreath.

 And there you have them, many of my favorite 4th of July DIY Projects.  I hope you've found something today that inspires your creative spirit, too. 

Stay cool wherever you are this weekend!


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Jun 26, 2013

How To Replace Google Reader

This post is for those of you who read my blog via Google Reader.

Google Reader is shutting down on July 1, 2013. That means in a few days, you will no longer be able to read my blog (or any others) through your Google Reader subscription.


Not to worry, though.

If you'd like a new reader, I found a great blog post today written by Whitson Gordon at Life Hacker with descriptions and links for some other popular readers you might like to try. 

Best of all, Whitson also talks you through the easy steps for downloading your entire Google Reader blog list onto your computer desktop to save it, so you can then import it into your new reader.

Great news, right?

For easy peasy directions how to switch your reader before July 1, click 


As always, you can read my blog anytime at thenorthendloft.com. You can also have my posts delivered right to your email inbox by signing up over on my sidebar, and I've also included a bloglovin' button there.  

Lots of options. Just email me if you need help choosing. 
Happy Reading! 
{Note: If you don't recall ever signing up for Google Reader, you probably aren't using it and can continue reading your favorite blogs the way you're used to.

Jun 21, 2013

Friday Finds

I'm so glad it's Friday, aren't you? 

Today is the first day of summer, and Google is celebrating with this cute little cartoon on their home search page.  I just love Google!


Today is a gorgeous first day of summer in Boise, with my favorite fluffy summer clouds piling-up high above the Rocky Mountains.

This weekend I'll be helping my daughter with her neighborhood's first annual summer yard sale. Summer and yard sales, now there's a winning combination!

Friday Finds has its eye turned towards some bright pretty summery colors today. 

 I've been wanting something outside on my deck to hold the overflow of serving dishes from the table when we have our family dinners out there in the summer. I think this repurposed changing table made by Tanya at twelveOeight would be perfect. I love the pops of color against the weathered grey wood.

Vintage Revival
 Ever since I saw this fun corkboard mural by Mandi at Vintage Revival, I've wanted to make one of Tucker. Mandi shares a great tutorial with us.

Eight by Five
Heidi at Eight by Five made this darling stenciled pallet sign for lucky baby Alexa. I love the colorful flags on top of the chevron print.

Designer Dad
  Stephen of Designer Dad put together his tabletop creative zone with a simple tray and clear jars full of colorful art supplies. What a great inspiration to spend a summer afternoon enjoying an art project.  

Creative Cain Cabin
 Dawn designed this sweet summer camping graphic art over at Creative Cain Cabin. Hop on over there to download and print it for free.  

Family Circle
 This mouth watering stuffed flank steak stuffed with blue cheese, spinach, and roasted red peppers looks complicated to make, but with step by step photos and an easy to follow Cooking School recipe at Family Circle, it's a cinch. 

DIY Showoff
Over at DIY Showoff, Roeshel's husband, Russ, loves to cook and has shared his fabulous Summer BBQ Menu and recipes with us. His savory Smoked Pulled Pork and this luscious Pineapple Mandarin Orange Trifle will definitely be finding themselves on my table this summer! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy your first day of summer.


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Jun 17, 2013

Summer Breeze Doorstops

Summer at my house means an open front door to capture the summer breeze. 

The breeze flows all the way through our shotgun floor plan from front door to back door, and it's lovely!

Sometimes the breeze gets a bit frisky, and we all jump when these double doors between the dining room and kitchen slam closed. 

Last week, after the doors slammed shut and my heart finished pounding with fright yet again, I decided to make some summer breeze doorstops.

I love cast iron doorstops, especially in the shape of cute Scotty dogs. But these doors are also outside our master bedroom, and I imagined us stubbing our bare toes on heavy solid doorstops on our way to the kitchen for a glass of water in the dark of night. 


Soft doorstops seemed more toe friendly. 

I used craft supplies I already had on hand to make my doorstops, so they also have the bonus of being free. First, I sewed two simple drawstring bags by hand using burlap, embroidery floss, and twine.

I cut a piece of muslin a bit smaller than an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of card stock and scotch taped it to the card stock all around. 

 Then ran it through my inkjet printer and printed my favorite bunny graphic right onto the muslin. 

 I cut the bunnies out and used double stick fusible web and my iron to adhere the muslin to the burlap. 

I double bagged some dry garden soil and slipped it inside the burlap bags for weight. 

Two cute summer breeze doorstops that are safe for bare toes. 

One for each side of the dining room doors. 

I like neutrals these days, but you could also make these doorstops with cute calico bags and vegetable seed packet labels for a farm house look or blue, red, and white stripes and a star fish graphic for a beach house. The possibilities are endless!

Let the summer breeze in!