The Big Reveal!

La La La!  The day is finally here!  And no, I'm not talking about Halloween!  Puh-lease!  I am talking about The Big Front Room Reveal!  Check here if you want to see a good "before" photo.  Without further ado, here is the "after."  (Don't forget you can click on each photo to make it bigger!)

This room has been a living room, dining room and general junk repository.  I had a hodge podge of furniture that I somehow wanted to incorporate.  Do you remember the chair below (from this post)?  I had once asked everyone in blogland how to reupholster it on my own.  Ha!  You all know about my (lack of) sewing skills.

Luckily, I found a local woman on Craig's List who makes custom furniture slipcovers.  Check out what she did to those ugly old wingback chairs!

Yes, that is a slipcover!  I can't believe it!  It's a chocolate brown and linen-colored houndstooth fabric.  I LOVE IT!  The wool blanket draped over the chair picks up on all the colors of the room.  And those yellow stripey pillows...I told you you would see that fabric again.  How great does it look with the houndstooth?

I will totally confess that my mother-in-law held my hand through the creation of these pillows.  I bought the fabric and pillow forms, and she basically sewed them for me.  I'd like to say I did it myself, but you'd know I was lying!  Oh, and that wooden bench?  Ethan Allen, completely sturdy and in great shape, $40 on Craig's List!  Oh, I love a bargain!

I am so glad that my grandmother's dining room table could have a home in this room.  It can collapse to be very small or add sections to seat 12 people.  I think it is so pretty, and it would have been a shame to put it in the basement.

So there you go!  I'm not sure how to classify this room anymore.  Is it a dining room?  A living room?  A parlor?  (My friend told me I should call it a "keeping" room.  If I figure out what that is, I will let you know.)  For now it is the front room, and it is finally finished!

Oh, and have a Happy Halloween! 


Mirror, Mirror (leaning) on the Wall

We're almost there!  Day Four of the front room makeover, and I am excited to show you some of my favorite new elements to the room.

This mirror below is a pretty oval shape, and I got it at Big Lots for $5.  Yippee!  I thought I would give it a coat of (what else?) black paint, but then got it home and actually liked it in gold.  So gold it will stay!

My lamp is a $5 garage sale find, with a lampshade that I bought at Joann's and recovered in fabric.  Same process as what I did here.  And don't you love those big brown polka dots in that fabric?  You'll see more of those in the big room reveal tomorrow!

Lastly, the tall table that everything is resting on is a cheapie Target purchase.  I bought it when I was fresh out of college and in need of furniture.  It started out as a very light blond wood, then spent a few years as green, and finally, black.  I've gotten a lot of use out of it!

See you tomorrow for the Big Reveal!


WFMW: Easy Vintage Artwork

Day Three of my front room makeover is here!  It is also a great excuse to share a "Works For Me Wednesday" tip that I recently discovered.  

I needed some new artwork for my front room.  But I am not one to go out and spend a ton of money on art pieces, as much as I would like to.  Luckily, a few weeks ago, I found three gorgeous frames, all matching, at Goodwill for $4 each.  

These frames also came with mats, so I didn't even have to buy those.  I just needed to come up with something cool to put in the frames.  Enter Vintage Printables!  It's this wonderful website I heard about recently (I can't remember where, but if you blogged about it, please tell me so I can credit you!).  It has lots of beautiful sketches and vintage drawings, all free to use, as far as I can tell.  Check out what I ended up with!

Don't you love my vintage birds?  The colors are gorgeous, and they match my new room perfectly.  The best part is that I printed them in my husband's home office on the backs of manila file folders which, when cut to the right size, made the perfect "canvases" for these little birds.  I didn't spend a dime on the prints, and I got gorgeous artwork that looks fantastic in my new front room.

Oh, and did you want to see what the frames looked like when I started?  Nice, but just not the style I was going for.

So there you go!  Free, original artwork at Vintage Printables.  Works For Me!

Monogramming Makes Everything Better

Day Two of our front room reveal!  (I feel like I'm writing a script for a makeover show when I type that sentence.)

A while back I showed you a bench for my bathroom that I cobbled together with my monogram sewn on the top.  I found a local woman who does monogramming out of her home, and this little project below was another one that she did for me.  It's an inexpensive white table runner that I got from Pottery Barn on clearance years ago.  I thought it would benefit from a little embellishment (but really, what doesn't?).

Just a simple monogram in a rich chocolate brown.  The colors in the front room are this same brown, creamy yellow, and black.  A perfect fit!

Doesn't hurt that adding the monogram was only $12.  I love it!


Front Room Sneak Peek and a Few Awards

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was wonderful! In Colorado we had a gorgeous Saturday and so my husband and I finally got to take our daughter to a pumpkin festival.  So fun!

To start the week off, I want to thank a few people for generously giving me some awards lately:

Duchess from The Daily Adventures of Four Eds awarded me with the "I Heart Your Blog" award.
Christina and Victoria from As Time Goes By gave me a "Fabulous Fall Decor" award.
Sandy Toes from Shell in your Pocket also gave me "Fabulous Fall Decor" award too, yippee!
Wendy from The Shabby Nest gave me a snazzy award that has a special explanation I am supposed to share:

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Oh my gosh, I could pass along this award to so many women. A few of my recent favorites have been:
Lisa from Our Family (Lisa's blog is private, so I can't share the link with you, but trust me, she's terrific! And she's a Colorado girl, so how could I not award her?)

So ladies, consider yourself awarded! I enjoy you all so much!  And a huge thank you to the lovely girls who gave me these awards!  Their blogs are so fun and totally worth taking the time to visit!

And now, on to Day One of my front room reveal! (You didn't think I'd forget, did you?)

Here is a Goodwill lamp ($3) that got the royal treatment this weekend.  First, it came without a harp (the thing that the lampshade sits on) so we had to make a trip to Lowes.  No big deal, just a few dollars for a harp that fits.  Then I found this shade for $2 at another thrift store near my house.  They looked cute together as is, but needed a little color.

Enter my new favorite fabric, pasted on the lampshade with this technique!  I found the fabric in the red tag section at Joann's for $5 a yard.  I love the yellow color, and the little pinstripes add the perfect touch.  I am embarrassed to tell you how many yards I bought (eight!) but I loved it and I wasn't sure if I would ever find it again, since it was on clearance.  So you'll be seeing more of this fabric, both in my front room and in lots of other projects to come!

I'll be showing you more glimpses into the front room this week, with the big reveal on Friday.  See you tomorrow!


Next Week on "Buzzings of a Queen Bee!"

Oooh, don't I sound fancy?  A little teaser for next week!

I have been working obsessively on this room in my house.  It is alternately called the front room, the living room, the dining room, or that pain-in-my-butt.  :)  It's the first room that you see when you walk through my front door.  I have agonized over it since we moved here.

I've used it as a dining room, a living room, and, as you can see right now, a catch-all.  However, that might be about to change.  Stay tuned next week for some little peeks that will lead up to my latest (and hopefully last, if you ask my husband) changes. 

Have a wonderful weekend!  


How Organized Am I?

**Updated to add: The font that I used in the binder is called "Curly Cue" and I downloaded it for free on urbanfonts.com.  I love that site!  Also, someone asked me what my categories are: living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, adult bathrooms, kid bathrooms, adult bedrooms, kid bedrooms, hallways & entryways, dens/offices, porches & patios, exteriors, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, miscellaneous holidays, winter, spring, summer, fall, birthday decorations and crafts.  Phew!  I bet you can think of lots of others!

A few weeks ago, I showed you how I organized the recipes that I had torn out of magazines.  As I was putting that post together, it occurred to me that I could use the same type of binder for my decorating ideas.  So here is what I started with: a huge pile of file folders that I have been lugging around with me since before my husband and I were married, adding to them along the way:

I bought the biggest binder that I could find, and, of course, added a cute title page.

And now all my ideas are organized into plastic sleeves by rooms of the house, with a special section for each major holiday and season:

This is so wonderful!  It took only about an hour to put everything in it's place, not bad for such a big payoff.  The cute fonts that I used are just a bonus for little obsessive ol' me!



WFMW: Easy Lampshade Rehab

This project "works-for-me" so well, I can't believe it took me this long to try it.  I wanted to add a night light in my downstairs powder room, and I found those lampshades at Joann's (or Michael's or wherever) that have a sticky exterior for easy fabric attachment.  I bought some cute fabric, grosgrain ribbon and a little dangly fringe.  Just smooth the fabric over the sticky side of the lampshade, trim it to fit, and use a glue gun to seal the edges.  Then use the glue gun again to attach the ribbon and fringe.  Easy!

It was so easy, in fact, that I decided to make one for my daughter's bathroom upstairs.  Same process...and about 15 minutes of work.  So rewarding!  Instant gratification!

Finally, I had this lampshade in our upstairs hallway, and I figured, Why not?  This time I bought some spray glue to use on the lampshade, then attached the fabric.  In the case of a lampshade, I also needed to fold one edge over to create a pretty seam, and then I used the glue gun to seal it up.  The rest of the process was the same as with the night lights.  A little fringe, and voila!

Now my only problem is overkill.  One day my husband is going to turn around and the light in the garage is going to be all covered with fabric and fringe.  I'm sure he will love that!

P.S. All these lampshades were bought at Joann Fabrics.  The night lights and shades came as a set, but the lampshade for the little lamp above was sold separately.  Just FYI!

Works for me!

Tour My House Tuesday: Master Bedroom

**Updated to add: Yep, that is my dog's bed under the window there (got it at Costco!).  I thought about removing it for the photo, but let's keep it real here!  (I didn't dust or vacuum either.)  Also, the paint color is by Valspar and is called "London Smoke."  However, I got it home and it seemed too dark for me, so I added probably about a gallon of white to it.  So now it is my own custom color!

We are almost done with our tour of my house!  (Hmmm...do you think that is enough reason to convince my husband to start our basement refinishing project?  I need more rooms to show on my blog, honey!  This is important!)  Today we are visiting the master bedroom.

The first thing you will notice is that it is actually a different color then the rest of the rooms in my house!  I am very surprised at how much I love this room, because I usually gravitate towards the "warm" colors on the color palette.  But I think of this color as a pale robin's egg blue, and I adore it!

Above is a lovely shot of the many cords I have hanging off my bedside table.  So pretty, don't you think?  I also wanted to show you this table because it came to us as a castaway that was in my husband's parents' house when they moved in.  Crazy, right?  I sanded it and stained it a darker color, and I love it!  

I also thought you might want to see a close up of our bedding, because I agonized over these paisley pillows for months!  But the colors in the fabric really work to pull the whole room together.  The Euro pillows behind them are actually covered with an old tablecloth of my grandmother's.  She always had the most wonderful, warm and inviting family meals around the table, so by the time she passed away, her tablecloths were pretty beat up.  I was able to salvage enough to cover my pillows so that I have something of her near me still.  I hope she would like that idea.

Above is the opposite corner of the bedroom that you couldn't see in the first photo.  Sometimes I come up here and read, or just curl up after I take a shower to get a break!  The chair sits next to a window with a great view of the mountains, so it's very relaxing.

You know, I had the hardest time pulling this room together, because I was so afraid of the color, but now that it's done I think I am most proud of how it turned out.  Isn't it funny how that works?  Maybe that's a lesson to me to step out of my box a little more often...what do you think?


Candy...Who Could Argue With That?

First of all, thanks to all of you for your advice on my scrapbooking dilemmas.  It was fun to read them throughout the weekend.  I got some really great ideas on how to get motivated, and I also got a gracious comment reminding me that I am a good mama, and that making the perfect baby book is not going to make or break that.  Phew!  

I think I've decided to push through and make a baby book for my kids, but when that is done I might just revert to plain old albums or perhaps an online scrapbook (such as what Shutterfly or Scrapblog offers).  Thanks again for your help...and I will keep you posted as to my progress!  (A little preview: my husband is going out of town in a few weeks and it might be the perfect time to spread out all my stuff and get started!)

In other news, my 15-year-old cousin just had a birthday.  Teenage girls are hard to buy for, don't you think?  I am so not in touch with what is "cool" these days!

Remember a few weeks ago I showed you a gift I gave to my sister and her husband for their anniversary?  Here is another version of the same idea:

Any teenager loves candy, right?  I picked up this little pot for a few dollars on clearance, and stashed it away for the right time.  It is a fun lime green color, so cute!  I used rub-on letters to spell out her name, and just glue gunned a ribbon around it.  I figured when the candy was gone, Holly can use this for her jewelry, hair ribbons, or even for pencils on her desk.

This is another little gift that was super-easy to make, and (hopefully) more unique than what I got her brother a few months ago...a Target gift card!


Help with Scrapbooking...Please?

I'm going to be totally honest here, at the risk of sounding like a neglectful mama.  You all have seen how much I love projects.  I am totally motivated by the idea of the finished project, and getting to put my new craft in it's new home where I can enjoy it.  But...

See this?

This is my pile of scrapbooking stuff that I have been collecting for over two years, since before Nina was born.  That's right, it's Nina's baby book.  And it's in pieces.  Completely undone.  Not even one page.  And yes, I am due to have Baby #2 in three and a half months!

Here's my confession: I totally want to put this baby book together, but I keep letting other projects get in the way.  I know it's because the other projects have a more satisfying result: I can put them on display where I can look at them all the time and enjoy them.  With the baby book, I just keep thinking about how I am going to put all this work into it and then stick it on a shelf, not to be enjoyed except a few times a year when we walk down memory lane.

Now don't get me wrong.  I loved looking at my baby book when I was a little girl (and as an adult), and I totally value it's importance.  But I just can't get motivated!  How selfish am I?  Can you help me?  How do you get the motivation to do projects like this?

Oh, and have a great weekend!


Star Studding

What do you get when you combine this:

And this:

And these?

A cute little shirt that your daughter doesn't need!

I had this plain white shirt that Nina received as a gift, and since her hair is still super-short, she often gets mistaken for a boy. So I had to "girlify" this plain shirt for my sweet little girl!
As you know, I have no sewing ability, but I found Heat-n-Bond in a great big sheet, which means I can cut it to any shape I want! I bought a little fabric remnant at Joann's, and then Googled "star stencil" until I found a shape that I liked. I had to fiddle around with the size of the star a bit, but it wasn't hard to do on our printer. Then I traced the star onto the fabric and the Heat-n-Bond sheet, ironed them both onto the shirt, and embellished just a bit with a few green stitches that even I can do.

I got my idea from an even sweeter shirt that Nina received for her birthday.  Someone with more skills than I actually sewed an adorable letter "N" onto a shirt, and it just got my ideas going!  How cute is this?

What a great gift for any little girl!

I also want to add a big thank you to Jennykate of Jennykate's Spot for the Kreativ Blogger award!  Be sure to go over and say hi to her if you get a chance...such a sweetie!  She asked me to share six things that I value...I am a sleepy pregnant woman, so my six things are going to be of the non-deep variety.  I value hot coffee with cream in the mornings, comfort food like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, a cozy wood-burning fire, flannel sheets on my bed at night, a quiet hour or two for myself when my toddler takes a nap, and the smell of apples and cinnamon baking in the oven.  Yum!

Have a wonderful Thursday!


WFMW: Scrapblog is My New Best Friend!

**Updated to add: Remember that I am answering questions (with my very limited knowledge) in the comments section, so head over there to see what has come up!

I could not be more excited about this discovery!  Last week I heard about Scrapblog, an online scrapbook design website.  Totally free to use!  Well, this past weekend found me sick on the couch, so I had some time to play around.  It is so much fun, and so easy!  

See my new blog header up there?  I designed it myself on Scrapblog.  It is addicting to choose the backgrounds, fonts, stickers and borders.  They have so much to choose from.  Then I had the brilliant idea to try and make our Christmas cards on Scrapblog.  I fiddled around for a bit, and look what I came up with!

This is just a rough draft, but I am so excited about the possibilities!  I think I'll make our baby announcements on Scrapblog too, one for a boy and one for a girl, since I don't know what I am having!  

So here's my tip on using Scrapblog for your blog or to make something that you eventually want to print out.  After you create your page, save it and publish it.  This just means it is available for viewing on Scrapblog.  Then go to the File menu and choose Export as JPEG.  It will save it for you in JPEG, a format that Blogger or the nearest Kinko's will understand.

I would also recommend watching the Quick Tour video on Scrapblog if you are new to the website.  It helped me to see what it was capable of.

If you have any questions, go ahead and leave them in the comments section and I will try to respond in the comments section as well.  I am self-taught, so I don't know how helpful I can be, but I will try!

Tour My House Tuesday: Loft

On today's tour I'm going to show you the room at the top of our stairs.  We call it a loft but it really just has a half wall that overlooks the stairs.  It does allow for a lot of light in the upstairs hallway, and has a great view of the mountains, which we love!

Somehow this room has evolved into containing quite a few of old family pieces.  This bookshelf was in pieces when it came to us.  It was in my husband's room as a child, and his parents kind of dismantled it in their empty-nest enthusiasm.

Another piece from my husband's side.  They were really into collecting antiques for awhile.  They always refer to it as "the cow box."  I'm sure you can see why!  

This is the alternate view of the loft.  Those double doors lead to the master bedroom, which I will show you next week.  And that big wooden piece is the hope chest that my mom gave me when I graduated college.  A family friend made it for me.  I love it!

I love this little collection.  The desk comes from my husband's grandfather, and the needlepoint chair comes from my grandmother.  When we first got married and I put these two pieces together, I cried when I saw how well they fit, like they had been made for each other.  I know I am super-sentimental, but it just made me happy to think about our two families, our individual heritages, coming together to make a new one.

And just in honor of my blog's name, I had to show you my little bee pillow.  I am always drawn to bees in decorating...so charming!

So there we are!  The loft is one of my favorite rooms in the house, because it is removed from the hustle and bustle of downstairs, and has such comfortable pieces that remind me of our families.  Maybe I'll go curl up with a book in there today!


Dreary Fall Weekend

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  Around here, we thought we were going to have a fun fall weekend.  However, when we woke up on Saturday morning, it was to this:

Mother Nature decided to dump a cloudy, overcast, foggy, rainy, 5o degree day on us.  Of course, this was the day we had planned to go to a charming local Pumpkin Festival, complete with corn maze, rides and games for kids, and a pick-your-own-pumpkin field.

When I was growing up in Ohio, fall activities were some of my favorites.  We always went to Rouster's Apple Farm where they had apple orchards, a crackling wood fire in the fireplace, lots of yummy apple cider, and, of course, pumpkins.  For Nina's first October, back in 2006, we made sure to take her to the apple farm.  Check out this photo with baby Nina and the little bin of apples (that has been there since I was a kid!), labeled "Little apples for Little people." 

So I guess you could say that I was the most disappointed member of the family this weekend!  I had very high hopes for fall family fun, and it just didn't turn out.  The only good thing was that my husband found a really cool green pumpkin at the Pumpkin Fest (you know, in the 20 minutes we were there before the rain and cold forced us to go home!).  Check out my little set-up outside the front door!
I sincerely hope that your weekend was better than mine!  What did you do?


Halloween Advent Calendar (just a little late!)

I am totally innocent.  I just happened to stop by Goodwill recently, and this clock literally jumped off the shelf into my cart.  It was $3.99.  

OK, not really.  Well, the Goodwill part is true.  And the price.  I have been loving the Halloween advent calendars that have popped up in blogland lately.  (Has anyone not seen Chris's adorable concoction?  Her kids must be so excited to wake up every morning!).  But I knew I was planning on copying Chris shamelessly to make a Christmas advent calendar, so Halloween was not very high on the priority list.

Then, I saw the ridiculously cute clock that Cherry made.  Again, I loved it, but I knew I had other things on my agenda (like my family and home, you know, the usual!).  However, when I saw this clock at Goodwill, all the ideas came together in my head to form...well, go take a look for yourself!

The "Before":

And the "After":
It's a Halloween advent calendar/clock all rolled into one!  Actually, the project was super easy.  It's simply scrapbooking paper Mod Podged onto the back of the clock.  I got a piece of sheet metal to put under the polka dot paper so that it would be magnetic (about $5 at Lowes).  The numbers on the clock, and the numbers on the "countdown" pumpkins, are rub-ons (Hobby Lobby).

You can't see the pumpkins all that well but they were on sale at Hobby Lobby for $1 per bag of 24.  Just little wooden decorative pieces with a little magnet glue gunned on the back.

Then I picked up this little bucket at Target, added a sticker and some cute ribbon, and it is the perfect container for the yet-to-be used pumpkins.  Nina loves putting a new pumpkin up for every day, even though she doesn't remember what Halloween is or the concept of a countdown.  But I figure as my kids get older it will be fun to have these little Halloween traditions and memories!  Even more special because I made it myself, although it was hard to resist this Pottery Barn Kids version!

Have a great weekend!


Awards, a Tag and "Vintage" Pillows

**I want to give a shout out to Naturally Caffeinated Family for giving me an award today!  Wow, I am so excited and am definitely feeling the love!  Be sure to head over and visit her lovely blog...it is a good one!  Also a big thanks to The Undomesticated Wife (don't you love that name?) for a sweet award as well!  I am overwhelmed!  Two amazing bloggers think I am nice.  :)  I am thrilled!  

Hi everyone!  I have lots to say today, and a little project to show you.  First of all, thanks to those of you who have given me awards in the past few weeks.  I have not forgotten about you, or the honor that you think my blog is worthy of being talked about at all!  Thank you to the following blog friends:

Brie from My Home-My Life for the "I Heart Your Blog" award
AngiDe from Nana's Box for the "Brilliant Weblog" award
Sandy from Shell In Your Pocket for the "BFF Gold Card" award
Lulu from The Dirty Martini Diaries for "The Smile"award
Sebi from Pearls and Grace for the "Brilliant Weblog" award
Christy from Between Here and Home for "The Smile" award

I totally should have posted about these as I was given them, but I am not that organized, and for that I am sorry!  But that doesn't mean that I am not oh-so-appreciative to these wonderful women for sharing the love with me.  I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed each of their blogs.  It makes me sad that this community will remain mostly "inside the computer" because I know I would love to have a cozy cup of coffee or a nice glass of wine with each of you!  As it is, please take the time to visit these ladies' blogs.  You won't be sorry!

Next, I was tagged a few weeks ago by Amanda from Baby Makes 5.  I am supposed to share seven random or weird things about myself.  You would think this would be easy because I am definitely random and weird.  Here we go!

1. I have to put chapstick on before bed.  Can't sleep without it.
2. I cannot stand overhead lighting.  I will follow my family around and turn off lights behind them.  They love it.
3. I always gag when I brush my teeth.  It's really charming.
4. Ironically, though I gag when brushing my teeth, I can't throw up.  I recently spent two days with the stomach flu, trying to throw up just to get some relief...doesn't work.
5. If I ride in the car for more than half an hour I will fall asleep, day or night, but I can't take naps in my own bed.  I guess I can't slow down enough when I am home.
6. I hate mushrooms.  My grandfather used to say they tasted like ears.  I agree.
7. I will still buy those blow pops with the gum in the middle whenever I go to a gas station.  I love them! 

Lastly, I want to show you a little project that I have been working on for awhile.  I truly hope that Marie from Watch the Wind Blow By believes that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Ever since I saw this post on her cute little vintage Halloween pillows, I have been using my glue gun and pitiful little sewing box to make some of my own.  Oh, who are we kidding?  I shamelessly copied her pillows!  But they are finally done and I just love how they turned out.  Plus, since they are made of nothing but pieces of felt, a little pillow stuffing, and my own blood, sweat and tears (Yes, I burned myself on the glue gun again.  And poked my finger with a needle.), they are very inexpensive to make!  OK, enough drama.  Here they are!

I am not sure how long they will last living in a house with Nina, who loves to put everything in sight down for a nap.  Dolls, pumpkin pillows, her pretend Elmo phone...they all have to have "sleepytimes" and she drags them around the house looking for the perfect nap spot.  But for now, I love these little vintage-y guys and they are the perfect little blast of fall color in my house!


Works For Me: An Easy and Unique Gift!

It always seems like friends' birthdays creep up on me.  I have the best of intentions to buy them a perfect and thoughtful gift.  Then, life (and very often, the budget) gets in the way and I end up scrambling at the last minute, which I hate! 

Here's a good idea that has really worked for me: When I am out at thrift shops or garage sales, I buy little flower pots.  They are everywhere this time of year!  It helps if they are cute "as is," but ugly pots work too, if you have the time to spray paint them.  Then when I need a gift, I use my rub-on letters (I know, I know, me with the rub-on letters again.  I should get paid for this!) to put the person's monogram on the pot.  Vinyl letters work well too.  A little Mod Podge on top makes the pot look really "finished," and then I just stick some flowers from the grocery store in there to complete it.

Check out this pot that I just did for my sister's 1st wedding anniversary (with her and her husband's joint monogram):
As you've heard me say many times, I just love monogramming!  Adding a little personal touch turns a bland gift into something utterly unique.  I would be so happy to get a little pot like this for my birthday, wouldn't you?  :)