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Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your day off with family and friends, relaxing in the sun, eating yummy foods, and lighting sparklers and those weird snakes. Me? In my office dungeon at Rushmore. So I’m rebelling and taking a few minutes to put up this blog post.

I have always loved the 4th. Mainly? Fireworks. (Also? Prelude to my birthday. Woo-hoo!) For the first 8 years of my existence in South Dakota, I spent the 3rd up to my eyeballs in patriotism and celebration. (And getting paid for it. Perk!) Mt. Rushmore used to put on quite an awesome Independence Day Celebration, always held on the 3rd so as not to interfere with local communities on the 4th. Unfortunately, the fireworks have been put on hold indefinitely. (They’re blaming the pine beetle infestation…) The NPS still tries to provide a variety of entertainment on the 3rd, but without the fireworks it doesn’t have the same draw. People used to line up to get into the park at 5 am. Seriously. And they wouldn’t leave until midnight after the fireworks. But now the 3rd is just another day and while I’m not required to work it, it also means no big-league CNN-airing celebration in the area. The 4th, either way, is not a paid holiday for us, so here I be. This evening we’ll head over to Custer to hang out with friends and watch the fireworks. It will be a much more low key affair, but that’s okay too. I shall try again for some awesome firework photos. And likely fail miserably what with the contributions of little hands to the attempt.

‘Round the house, I swapped the frames again…


First one is my own creation – photo shop and a free fireworks brush. Middle one is an image I think I found on Flickr eons ago. It’s been hanging out on my computer and I can’t find it anymore.. The 3rd one is from here. Found via Pinterest.

I also spruced up the entertainment center.

Stuck a couple pinwheels in the orchid (actually, stuck one on the stake for the flower stalks, the other on a dead flower stalk I hadn’t trimmed back, hence the wonky angles). The small USA tryptich is made from a couple sheets of scrapbook paper and some stick-on embroidered letters. You know, the ones you used to have on your letterman’s jacket. Instant cheap art! The red frame art is found here. Love this blog. So full of fun ideas! Much to my husbands perturbation, I also put up her Candaian version for a few days. Did you know I used to be able to sing the entire Canandian National Anthem? Call it a hazard of attending a major hockey school who happened to import a large number of Canucks. So a nod to our northern neighbors.

What’s everyone else doing to celebrate our birthday? Somebody, please go watch the Chicago fireworks over the lake for me…

Another update of the frames for you. This one took a bit longer than the last few. Probably because there were so many cool options out there.

So what did I end up with?

1. From the Girls at eighteen25 again. Love their Subway art.

2. From the Graphics Fairy. She also has blue and purple

3. This one’s all me.

Hope you have a happy weekend!

Well, almost.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.

This may be the last of my crafty posts for awhile.  What?  Did I just hear a sigh of relief?  Humph.  (Oh, I have more crafts planned.  But it’s no fun to ruin the Christmas surprises.)  But it’s December! *falls over from the shock*  We’ve started our advent activities and I’ll probably blog on those more than anything.  Or at least that’s the plan…

You’re all familiar with the British Keep Calm and Carry On poster, right?  (Right-o.)  They’re all the rage this year.  Also the rage is altering the design for any rhyme or reason.  I first discovered an awesome version over at Craftily Ever After for Halloween.  I loved this one too. Unfortunately what with the Fall Festival and birthdays and anniversaries and Halloween I never got around to printing them out.

Luckily for me she created three Thanksgiving versions!  And thank you Michaels for frame sales!  I picked up 3 simple matted frames for less than $4 each.  Unfortunately…the frames were ugly.  But what the heck, that’s nothing a little spray paint can’t fix.

I used a metallic bronze spray paint courtesy of Menards.

I plan to update them for each season.  And if I can’t find a suitable free piece of printable art I want to hang, or if I only find 2, then I can easily pop in a favorite photo instead.  Or make something up myself.

See?  I already have Christmas in there!

The Keep Calm and Merry On down on the far right also comes from Craftily Ever After.  She made three for the season, but seeing as how we’re not the churchy types, nor do we carol often, I opted to find something different for the other two.  The Keep Calm and Jingle On I made based off one I saw on Etsy, but using the same colors as the Merry On.  The Christmas subway art I picked up off eighteen25.

Now I’m just going to need to keep coming up with ideas for each season.  Keep Calm and Hop on for Easter?  Keep Calm and Kiss On for Valentines?  Keep Calm and Rocket On for the 4th?  Heck maybe I’ll just have to use the original for awhile.  Do you have a good one for me?  Throw it out in the comments.  Maybe it’ll show up down the road.

You can also lay bets on how long before I get fed up with the back of the frames or break them.  They just have those ridiculous bendable pieces to keep the backs in.  I hate those!  But at $11 for 3 decent sized frames beggars can’t be choosers.  Besides.  That’s what they make duct tape for.