Leola Hills is my little creative outlet. Here you will find tidbits about my {constant} home redecorating,
spiritual musings, various graphic design projects, & basic life betterment.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

slowly but surely there is progress!

I am slow when it comes to projects. Slowly my living room project is marching on. I have finally finished the curtains. I really wanted horizontal yellow striped curtains, but for the life of me I couldn't find horizontal striped fabric anywhere. And I checked everywhere....online and all fabric stores. Lots of vertical striped fabric, but none horizontal. No luck! Then one day on Pinterest I found the solution to my problem. Paint! Like wall paint on fabric! WHAT?! No, this possibly could not work. Well, I happened to have a pair of white curtains (that were in the living room before) and I figured a small can paint wasn't too expensive so I decided to give it a try. Oh man, it was a super easy project and guess what, it totally worked! They aren't perfect, but they are good enough for me. Plus it was easy, fast, and super cheap. I think when all was said and done I spent $12 on this little project....not too shabby!

So here is the finished product. I got the double curtain rod at IKEA for cheap (I don't remember how much, but because I have a hard time parting with money I can guess it wasn't much). Then I already had the shear curtains that are behind the striped ones. I thought about buying curtain clips for them, but then I remembered that I had these pretty shower curtain rings that slide so well so I used those. I just couldn't bear the thought of spending $20 on curtain rings!

Lastly, I sewed a new piano bench cover to spice things up as well and even though I hate sewing, this project wasn't bad at all! I'm pretty excited about how it all coming together.....Now onto artwork!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The BEST teachers

I feel so blessed and grateful for my kids' great teachers this year.

{This part is my own little rant...}

I have opinions about teacher appreciation gifts. They are kind of in the same category as standing ovations for me. I have to basically be brought to tears before I will stand and give applause to someone; after all a standing ovation doesn't mean anything if everyone stands every time...like when the performance or speech is mediocre. I believe you should only stand if it is amazing. I feel kind of the same way about teacher appreciation gifts. BUT it is totally socially unacceptable to be unappreciative of teachers so I still give them a gift every year, even if I don't think they always deserve it (and believe me, some teachers don't deserve it - as someone who actually taught once - even if it was for only like five minutes, figuratively speaking - I feel like I can say that). I mean, no one gives Scott an engineer appreciation gift once or twice a year and I'd say he is making a pretty significant contribution to society. Or how about your local garbage man or mail carrier - no appreciation gift there. Oh well, it is the way things are and I guess it's never bad to show appreciation for someone even if a million other people who are equally as amazing are getting overlooked.

{This part is about my kids}

So the real point here is that I actually do really appreciate my kids' teachers this year. All three have been truly wonderful. Grace's teacher has worked long and patiently with her to help her get her reading where it should be. Plus she is just sweet and kind and if my Grace can't be with me all day I was glad to know she was with this wonderful and kind woman. Adam was lucky enough to have the same teacher he had in 1st grade who moved up to 3rd last year (luck had nothing to do with it - I asked for her). She is an angel right here on earth. Seriously. Adam is a funny kid and can be hard to figure out. He's not naughty, just hard to read. This woman just gets boys - she knows their language. Not only that but she is loving and kind and happy and patient. Adam adores her. Lily's teacher is a happy, but no-nonsense kind of lady. She is the perfect teacher to prepare these kids for a harder workload and more demanding school schedule. She has taught Lily how to be organized and confident.

{This part explains what this is all about}

I have loved these teachers and if they were performing on stage not only would I give them a standing ovation but I would be jumping up and down screaming with delight! Because I love them so much I do want to show my appreciation for them. And because I think a teacher can use only so much lotion and candles I thought long and hard about what they might want. Naturally I came up with Sharpies. I mean, who wouldn't want the world's most perfect writing utensil, right! So here's what I came up with.....

OK, so here is a PDF of the tags. I took my kids names off and added three different types of ways for you to write in your own name. Hopefully this works....leave a comment if it doesn't and I will try to modify it. 

Monday, May 12, 2014


I am completely redoing my living room. I know what you are thinking...."Hey didn't she just paint the living room recently?" Well, yes, I did paint my living room about 18 months ago; but I haven't been in love with it sooooo.....there you go.

I have decided to step WAY out of my comfort zone and go bold. I rarely choose bold colors. I am putting white board and batten on the bottom two-thirds. This seemingly easy project is taking forever; mainly because both Scott and I are total perfectionists. Then top half I am painting a dark gray/navy blue. I have been super nervous about it. I put the first coat on it last week and so far I am loving it. Also, another major improvement is that I painted the ceiling white - I am so sick of looking at brown ceilings! What a difference it makes. So here is the progress as it sits today.

 See what I mean? Super bold. But I think it will look good. 

White ceilings are glorious!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

words to live by

One of my favorite things in our house is the rotating quote frame. Not only are these great words to live by, but I love that it changes things up a bit. Here are some of my favorite quotes that I rotate through.... 

*** Incidentally these files will all be available for purchase through my etsy store soon.

Friday, February 22, 2013

etsy store

I have started selling cards and different graphics on etsy.com. Here is a small sampling of a graphic I made for the new mutual theme....

To visit the store, click HERE

The Wall

Filling a big empty wall can be overwhelming. After I painted the great room I decided I needed to focus on our big empty wall. After many months of thought and a mish-mash of wall hangings this is what I came up with. I have LOVED it!

This is my quote frame. It is easy to access the contents inside, so I made a bunch of quotes and every few weeks I change them around. This is one of my favorite quotes; along with "There should be no yelling in the home unless there is a fire."

 I love this window and the story behind it. When Scott and I were first married we lived in the horrible little basement apartment in an old home. I am pretty sure it was the old cellar that they converted to a living space. The bathroom was this narrow little hallway; so narrow, in fact, that we had to step over the toilet to get into the shower! Incidentally that meant we also had to sit sideways on the toilet. Oh, the good old days! The shower was lined with linoleum and was so disgusting, so Scott asked the owner if he could spruce it up a bit. Upon permission be tore it all out and lo and behold he found this...an old window buried in the wall. I fell in love with it immediately and have been hauling it around with us since. It's one of my favorite things.

This is a family tree of my Mom's side of the family. My uncle made one for each family member a couple years ago at a reunion. It has great detail and I think it is beautiful. 

The is our engagement picture...one of my all-time faves!

I wanted to incorporate some artwork on the wall and this is one of my favorite paintings. It's called "Angels Among Us" by Annie Henrie.

I also re-framed the silhouettes. They look stunning with the wider mattes and larger frames. Plus I like the more subdued backgrounds.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pinterest is my Friend...

Well, Pinterset is my friend only when it comes to gleaning great ideas (otherwise I think it is the perfect forum for causing depression and thoughts of inadequacy).

A few weeks ago my sister Michelle had the best idea to get us sisters together (and Angie, our adopted sister) and have a Pinterest party. We all go on and pin things but usually don't actually do them. I am always cooking recipes I find there, but I seldom do other ideas I see there. I thought this was a great idea and I was pretty excited about it. 

I decided to make homemade laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent. It is something I probably would never have tried on my own, so I was happy to have the encouragement!

The results were great! I LOVE the laundry detergent - I may never buy detergent again. And it is much cheaper. The dishwasher detergent is only ok. I probably won't make it again. But it does work alright (It works best with Lemi Shine - but Lemi Shine isn't cheap, so I am not sure it is really all that cost-effective). Despite the dishwasher detergent I am pretty excited! 

After the party I was inspired. So this last week I made a couple of other things I found on Pinterest. The menu board is one I saw and copied. I like it so much. Then I came up the "Notes" board to match because I knew I would use it. 


 The Menu and Notes boards are just made of frames that I already had and wasn't using. I went through all my scrapbook paper (which I have in abundance) and picked a paper that was cute and low-key. Then I cut out the letter on the Cricut with vinyl and stuck them on the glass. That way I can switch out the paper when I get tired of it and I won't have to re-do the letters. Clever huh?! I use a wet erase marker instead of dry-erase. It comes off easier and has a better tip to write with. Oh, how I am loving these babies! Plus they are cute and they make me happy when I look at them. 

Are you on Pinterest? If you are, I hope you are making some of the great ideas you find...it is super fun!!!

My next project is homemade soap....we'll see how it goes!