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Kaysha Sparling Design
Next 4 images Interior Design by Kaysha Sparling Design:
Kaysha is good friends with middle sister, Monica. They both went to Texas Tech together (years ago) 😉 and both currently live in North Dallas. Kaysha is crazy talented and currently taking a few new clients.
Christmas is just around the corner and the cards are starting to arrive. Now you need a beautiful (yet, inexpensive) way to display them! Lucky for you, I know just the thing...
A few years ago, I was looking for a creative and elegant way to display all my cards from friends and family. I found some beautiful display frames in some high-end furniture stores but they were asking almost $250 for a silly frame! I looked it over carefully and decided I could make one myself for a lot cheaper, and even better… I could make it exactly the way I wanted it to look. Since then, I have made another dozen as gifts for many of my friends and family have begged for one! With encouragement from my sisters, I decided to share my step by step process.
Below, you will find a list of supplies, tools needed, and step by step instructions. If I can do it, so can you!!
Let's Get Started!
1. Decide where you want to hang or place your Christmas card holder. Since you are making it custom you can make it fit any space you want. (I made mine 28” x 42” and I think it is perfect)
2. Using your Mitre Box, cut your corners at 45 degree angles.
3. Using your sandpaper, sand off any splintered edges or bumps so the corners line up perfectly.
4. Now this is the fun part…..Place all 4 pieces of wood on an old blanket or beach towel and hammer away. This gives your frame a rustic old world look. (If you are going for a clean line look, skip this step)
5. Lay out your wood to make the frame. On the back of the frame attach your L brackets.
6. I felt as if this was not sturdy enough, so I decided to sink 4 large screws in each corner of the frame to add extra support.
7. Stain or paint your wood any color you want. (I have been using a dark stain, but I cant wait to make a rustic white one.)
8. Allow plenty of time for stain to dry.
9. Install the picture wire and small screw eye rings. (see picture) I spaced mine every 5 inches.
Congrats! You are finished!
You can lean the frame against any mantel or wall or hang it anywhere. I have mine hanging in the kitchen. During Christmas it displays my Christmas cards. During the other months of the year, it displays my kids’ special artwork, pictures, or birthday cards. It would make an excellent gift for a college student too. Enjoy and feel free to share with your friends!!
This hurricane season was projected to be a busy one by the NOAA guys back in June, and boy were they right. The Texas coast was hammered by Hurricane Harvey, and now Irma is trying to prove herself as she approaches Florida and the Atlantic Coast. I hope none of you have to use this, but here are some tips from past experience and lessons from Harvey on preparing for a flood or hurricane.
Image: Satellite photo of Hurricane Irma by NOAA
Preparing for a Flood
If you find yourself in rising water
Fire Ant Rafts/Floatillas
9/1/2017 1 Comment
There was a website created to help reunite the lost pets from both Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. It has great resources and is much more comprehensive than mine. Feel free to go there if you need help finding your pet! Good luck!
Find My Lost Pet
Watching all of this unfold in the place where I grew up is so overwhelming. My family has been fortunate and, like all of you, I just want to help in some way. My pets have always been a huge part of my life and losing them is like losing a family member. Having our dogs with us when we went through disasters was a tremendous comfort in a very terrible time.
There are so many people who were separated from their pets during this disaster and there are numerous places where the lost and found information is posted (It's a shame they can't all be merged!). So, I am pulling together information on all the lost and found pages, and the shelters in the areas of Texas affected with their website and Facebook pages so those who need it have an easy way to look for their furry companions. I started with the Houston area and will update this page as I collect more.
Most shelters are posting their intakes on their Facebook pages. People who are finding stray dogs and cats are also posting on these pages, so make sure you check the visitor posts in the right column of their FB page. I am also including donation links from their pages and the Amazon Wish Lists I could find for each shelter, as many of them were damaged in the storms, or are completely overwhelmed with the sheer number of intakes. You can order goods from the Amazon Wish Lists and have them shipped directly to the facility.
***Please keep in mind that I gathered all of this info myself and I believe it to be correct, however, I am human and can make errors.***
My 4-legged family members.
General Lost and Found Sites, Facebook Pages, and Facebook Groups:
Austin Pets Alive! has been helping relieve the shelters by taking some of the animals found after the storm. They have transports in place when they are able to reunite. I am including all of their info as well.
Austin Pets Alive!
Amazon Wish List
Houston (*Surrounding communities listed below in alphabetical order*)
***NRG Arena Downtown is serving as a makeshift shelter for Best Friends Animal Society, Austin Pets Alive, Houston Pets Alive and the Houston Pet Set!***
Address: 1 NRG Parkway
Hours: 10am-7pm daily
Link: Descriptions of animals
League City Animal Control/League City Pets Alive
"Friends of" Website
Lost and Found Facebook Page
"Friends of" Facebook Page
Amazon Wish List
Village Creek Kennels and Grooming
Port Arthur Animal Control
"Friends of" Facebook Page
By Katie, Julie, and Monica
This is a list of tips from some folks who have managed emergencies in the past. For now, this has information specific to #HurricaneHarvey but generally can be applied to any disaster. #BeSomeone #HoustonStrong
1. People will need help for many months but most help will only be around right at first and then disappear. Continue to be available in a month and 6 months later!
2. Do not just show up at a shelter or a non-profit and expect someone who is managing a crisis to find something for you to do. Many of these foundations will have instructions or applications on their websites for volunteering. See an example here: Red Cross
3. Donate to local organizations that are working hard to help their neighbors. The giant organizations such as Red Cross and United Way will get many donations nationally but will not be around for the long haul.
4. Donate money. Money can be used to buy exactly what is needed by organizations to help their neighbors.
5. If you want to donate items, many organizations will make a wish list. They don’t need to wade through mountains of unwashed, used clothes and old stuffed animals. They are required to wash used items before distributing, and it is almost impossible to do when there is such a massive need, so donate NEW items (at least initially). Some organizations will make an Amazon Wish List, where items can be sent directly to them, which makes it easy for everyone! There are many items needed immediately in shelters, such as:
6. Nursing homes have needs as well
8. Don’t take pictures of yourself volunteering for your social media account. It’s not about you and you need to honor the privacy and dignity of others experiencing one of the worst moments of their lives.
9. Donate Blood! There is always a need, but especially in disasters.
10. The animal shelters will be overflowing after this. Volunteer to foster an animal or help at the local animal shelter. Consider donating as well! I have listed all the shelters in the area affected by Hurricane Harvey and included links for wish lists, donation portals, and websites/FB pages. Click here to check it out.
11. Consider donating straight to a cause you support. There will be people from all walks of life with homes and businesses that will require tons of work and support to rebuild. Do you love a particular sport? Find a team to sponsor. Have a fireman in the family? There will be many Volunteer Fire Departments who will be wiped out. Love animals? Help the local shelter (see #10)! The schools will need help recovering, too!
12. This is a great learning opportunity for kids. Helping others is an important life lesson, so get them involved!
***More resources on how to get and offer help specifically in Houston can be found atTexas Tribune.
A BIG thank you to Traci Maxwell of Wimberley, TX, Rebecca Howard of Sedalia, CO, and JJ Watt for being a fantastic role model and supporting your city.
By Katie, Julie, and Monica
My family and I have been through several floods and hurricanes over the years. I can share more on that later, but given the recent events with #HurricaneHarvey, I want to help you navigate through what will be a very difficult time in the coming weeks. Here are the things I wish I had known when we went through it the first time. I pulled this together from my own experience, other family and friends who have been through it, and multiple resources. #HoustonStrong
Safety First - Don’t go back to the site of the disaster unless you are cleared to do so. If there are barricades, it is likely for your safety. Don’t put the safety of emergency personnel in jeopardy because you are being impatient or are curious.
If it is an emergency, talk to the officials to get help.
First Calls to Make:
Be VERY wary about Flood Renovation companies. Ask a lot of questions, verify references, get everything in writing, and make sure you know what you're committing to. Some are legit but some are scams preying on desperate folks like you who have lost everything.
Contact Local Organizations to see what resources might be available to you.
Houston Hurricane Harvey flood victims: click here
Insurance Claims - again, claim before Friday!
A little information about flood insurance from FEMA and Bankrate.
Clean up (General, Car, Property, Clothes, Leather)
Car (From State Farm Vehicle Flood Damage Checklist)
Property (from floodsafety.com - more details can be found there)
Clothes (summarized from The Spruce - see their great site for more details on decontaminating your laundry room!)
Leather Shoes/Accessories (summarized from The Spruce - see their great site for more details!)
There are lots of people who want to help. Reach out and don't be afraid to ask.
That's what Texans are all about.
A BIG thank you to the websites listed under each category, as well as Jamie Hornbuckle and Amy Hampton for their input from personal experience.
I am a very sentimental person and have a bad habit of keeping everything. Most of it has stayed in a random box and moved with us from place to place. After our last move, I decided to get rid of a lot of the crap that I really don’t care about and do something purposeful with what I keep.
One of my first projects was figuring out a way to display my babies’ hospital hats and bracelets from when they were born. Many suggested shadow boxes, but I don’t have a ton of space on my walls (and TBH, I don’t really want it on my walls). I opted to go a different route and made ornaments with them. They were cheap, easy, and I really love how they turned out. When they’re not on my Christmas tree, they sit on a votive candle on my bookshelf in the office (see picture above).
What you need:
Take the metal portion off the ornament so there is an opening to the inside. If you want to add something decorative (like confetti), add it first. Add the hat second. You can get it to sit how you want with the straw. Add bracelets and other smaller keepsakes. Put the top back on and enjoy! Let me know what you think!
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