Buckeye Bank {acrylic block project}


Need a graduation gift for an Ohio State bound high school senior? Looking for something to give a Buckeye fan of any age? This acrylic block bank is easy to make and all supplies are available from Uppercase Living. Here’s another idea: fill with buckeyes for a graduation table centerpiece and tie with a scarlet and gray ribbon.

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

STEP 1: Remove backing paper from the “O” 011 013 014 015

STEP 2: Smooth onto acrylic block and then gently remove transfer tape.

STEP 3: Cut around other vinyl pieces so you can get a better visual on placement.

STEP 4: Remove backing paper, smooth vinyl on to block and remove transfer tape (for leaf, circle and the tiny mocha brown embellishment).018

STEP 5: Finish project by punching out slit to make the block into a bank. Or, pull the front and back halves of the block apart, fill with buckeyes, and snap back together (to make a centerpiece for a graduation party).023

Family Rules

Have you seen the Family Rules signs on Pinterest?

Family Rules montage

Custom Family Rules
Family Rules created with Uppercase Living vinyl lettering

Here’s an example of one I helped a customer do with her own family’s rules. Love the way it turned out and I love the thought she put behind each rule: say please & thank you; pray; hug often; play hard; trust God; love; believe in yourself; laugh.

Recently, I came across a post from a special needs resource blog that I follow to help me with my job in special needs ministry. The topic was how to create a therapeutic living room in your own home, and suggestions were given to create both a calming environment and a stimulating environment. The very first item on the list for establishing a comfortable, calming environment was to post your Family Rules. A sense of order is important and everyone needs to know that the entire family, even parents, live by the rules.

I asked my three boys what our family rules should be. Being the goofy tween and teens that they are, their first several answers included gems like:

–         Only one chore per day

–         Every kid should have his own iPhone

…more like a wish list than actual family rules.

Finally, the oldest said: “The Golden Rule” and his brothers chimed in, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” I think that does sum up the Golik family’s rules quite nicely.

The Reveal {my home office reorganization}

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my home office re-do. Started by purging everything — even furniture — from the room and rearranged and reorganized to create a more functional and less cluttered environment. 

office montage 3I’m finally ready to show you “the reveal”…a term you’ll know well if you are a fan of HGTV.

One of the biggest changes was moving my desk (a large former drafting table) on an angle looking out the window. I now have a view of the outside world when sitting at my desk (which, these days, means I’m mostly looking at huge piles of snow).

Several of my favorite Asian pieces were brought in including three Korean chestchests and two peasant prints. (My family lived in Asia when I was a teenager and my parents, siblings and I each have a few of these colorful prints in our homes.) Propped atop one of the chests is a fun expression — Do Something Good Today — applied to a framed piece of chalk wall vinyl. The chests have lots of little drawers and cabinets, which are perfect for storing my Uppercase Living catalogs and sample words.

Office montage 2Another favorite expression — In This Home — is featured on a framed black and white photo of my three boys. The Bible shown here is the Benjamin Family Bible that belonged to my great great grandmother in 1903. One of our sons is named Benjamin…and it turns out there is a whole branch of Benjamins (last name) in our family tree. There even used to be a village of Benjaminville in Illinois,  where many of them are buried.

When I look up from my computer, just to the right of the windows, is a custom expression that says: What did  you do for somebody today?

Is your workspace (or living space) a reflection of you? Do you have the words that are important to you right there where you can see them?

Stay Strong: Create Hope project to benefit the Philippines

How many of the one-minute timeline videos have you watched on Facebook recently (in honor of the social media giant’s tenth birthday)? May I ask you to take 60 seconds more to watch one more movie? And better yet, would you please share it with a friend?

During the month of February, Uppercase Living will make a donation to the post-Typhoon Haiyan recovery and rebuilding efforts in the Philippines for EVERY “Stay Strong” expression that is purchased.

If you would like to support this project with the purchase of a Stay Strong expression, please order directly from this link:


Thank you for watching. Thank you for caring. Thank you for sharing.

Breathing Space


Shortly after dinnertime last night, I knew I had 24 hours of unscheduled time ahead of me (thanks to a blast of extreme cold weather that cancelled pretty much every activity on our family/work/school calendar). I made the impromptu decision to tackle The Office project I had been putting off for a while.

My home office is our former living room. It is the first room you see when you walk in the front door of our home. While it has “good bones,” it is often so completely cluttered that it borders on unsightly at times.

Last night I removed everything from the room. Everything. I emptied out every drawer and cabinet. I removed artwork, including the Grande Delicate Tree (shown in the picture), from the walls. I took out the rug and most of the furniture. I vacuumed and dusted the floorboards.

Ah, breathing space!

Next, I rearranged the furniture, placing my large, drafting-table desk in front of two windows for a whole new view. I brought the rug back in and worked on the lighting so that my desk area and upholstered reading chair have ample light for my ever-aging eyes.

I am looking forward to painting the walls and installing a new expression or two to complement the “new” space. I promise to post a photo of The Reveal when this project is truly finished.

(Meanwhile, my dining room – where the contents of my drawers and cabinets got dumped — looks like an episode of Extreme Hoarders, but I’ll tackle that next.)

Focus on What Matters


Are you a New Year’s “resolutioner”? Or, instead, have you joined the #oneword365 crowd to come up with your One Word for 2014? Here’s the idea…choose just one word for the whole year. Forget the New Year’s resolutions and discover the impact that your one word can have on your actions and decisions. Use your one word as a compass to determine how you want to live or who you want to be.

This idea intrigued me because, truth be told, I am terrible at New Year’s resolutions.

Like most women my age, my life is cram-packed with family, work, and all kinds of activities, and that is exactly the way I like it. I enjoy the opportunity to wear several different hats (metaphorically speaking) and have snippets of every part of my life swirling around in my brain at any given moment.

The word I have chosen for 2014 is FOCUS. (I even put it on the wall of my office, in vinyl lettering.)

By focusing on FOCUS (oh the irony!) I am striving to be more present in every aspect of my life, whether it’s work-related or playing Ticket to Ride (our new favorite board game) with my sons.

What is your One Word?

Spring Block Project


· “Spring” vinyl expression in Bright White (item #17320 from Uppercase Living®)

· Sandpaper

· Craft paint in spring colors

· Wood blocks (cut from scrap wood, select pine or MDF board). Shown here, 3.5” select pine board from Home Depot cut as follows:

  • 3.5” x 2.5” – two needed (p and g)
  • 1.75” x 3” – one needed (i)
  • 1.75” x 5.25” – one needed (s)
  • 1.75” x 8.5” – one needed (branch)
  • 2” x 2” – one needed (r)
  • 3” x 3” – one needed (n)
  • 3” x 2” – one needed (bird)



· Cut wood according to dimensions listed above

· Smooth edges and surfaces of blocks with sandpaper; wipe clean

· Paint blocks according to picture (or choose your own color combo)

· When paint has dried, cut vinyl pieces and apply to individual blocks. (To apply vinyl, remove backing paper, apply sticky side to block surface, smooth with fingers or burnishing tool, carefully remove transfer tape).

Color Inspiration – turquoise

Color inspiration: #fairytalepink #springhyacinth #robinsegg #italianturquoiseUppercase Living offers fifty colors of vinyl to complement any decor. Italian Turquoise is the newest color in the palette and pairs well with more muted shades of blue (such as Robin’s Egg). Turquoise can add the punch of color needed to a room, whether it is an expression on the wall or a pillow on the couch. It is a bold and impactful choice when used as an accent color in a room predominately featuring hues from the opposite side of the color wheel.

What can you create with the color inspiration shown here: Fairytale Pink, Spring Hyacinth, Robin’s Egg and Italian Turquoise? If turquoise makes you happy, add it to your personal wardrobe (a scarf, necklace, or blouse) in addition to your living space.

Positively Delighted

I am positively delighted to have the opportunity to share photos, ideas, projects and products with you. Your walls (and what goes on inside those walls) should be something that makes you happy, productive and grateful. Perhaps the design tips and vinyl expressions you see on these pages will give you inspiration for the places and spaces where you live, work, and play.

Inspiration for the places and spaces where you live, work, and play. What's important to you? Put those positive messages on your walls with Uppercase Living vinyl expressions and decor. Click "Shop UL" tab to browse expressions or place an order.