Wednesday, July 20, 2011

GREAT DIY blogger

Hey all, in this months issue of Better Homes and Gardens, on the last page they always spotlight someones that's made/done a cool project. This month was a woman from Utah who's blog is Her blog is so up anyone's ally that loves DIY (do it yourself) projects. And she uses power tools that I would love to own someday! Anyway, you should check her out and browse through her decorating ideas, it was so enjoyable for me and I got a lot of great ideas including: furniture staining, projects with molding, shelfs, and stenciling, to name a few.

Monday, May 9, 2011

creative juices decor blog

I thought this was a cute decorating idea:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

DIY: Faux Gallery Wrap Canvas

I have loved all the things shared on here. Thanks Amy for putting this together. I thought it was about my turn to share :)

I love the look of Gallery wrap canvas' but not so much the price :) I just thought up an idea to make a look-a-like canvas. If you are interested in how to make one you can check it out on my blog here, sorry I didn't feel like double posting. I hope you find it useful.

Here are some pictures of the one I made.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Look to your core

Another reason why I think Becky Higgins is so great. Read her inspiring post called 'I failed English.'

Monday, February 14, 2011

Glacé Icing and Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

I admit, I love multi-use recipes that actually work! This sugar cookie recipe is what I think of as a multi-use recipe. The original recipe is for yummy sugar cookies that you just roll out, cut into a circle and then just sprinkle with nutmeg and sugar. However, I have found that it also works great to roll, cut shapes and decorate with frosting. They are soft, nummy and still have enough substance to withstand the frosting process. I have also used this recipe for dough for fresh fruit pizza. The most recent adventure with this sugar cookie recipe is Glacé frosting on top.

Without further ado, here is the recipe!

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter (I didn't say they were healthy)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 1/2 cups flour (give or take a little to get the right consistency)

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add sour cream and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Roll on to floured surface (I actually spray my kitchen counter with pam and then roll out instead of using flour. I found it sticks less which really helps after you have done shape cutouts and are getting ready to move them to the pan.) Cut with large round cutter to 2-2 3/4inch diameter (or any shape and any size, you may just have to adjust the baking time by a couple minutes either way depending on the size.) Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (actually this is kind of important because these cookies do expand quite a bit.) At this point, if you are going to frost them, then bake at 350 degrees for 14-17 minutes until VERY lightly browned. If you are not going to frost, then sprinkle with nutmeg and sugar, then bake. Cookies should be large, soft, and thick.

I got the recipe and idea for this type of frosting from this website. Here is my condensed version!

Glacé Frosting
1 lb. powdered sugar
approximately 6 tbsp whole milk
6 tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Add in corn syrup and vanilla (or you could use almond extract) and mix well. Frosting should be runny at this point. Separate frosting out into smaller bowls in order to make different colors. Also separate out one bowl to make borders using piping. In the bowl of frosting that you separated to make borders, add a bunch (I think of this part as trial and error) of powdered sugar to make a THICK frosting. I just used white to do my borders but you could also color this. Place border frosting in piping bag and make small border around cookie. Once borders have been placed wait a few minutes so it starts to harden a little.
Then take the colored glacé or glaze-like frosting and "flood" centers of cookies. The borders act like a dam. Like any dam though if you do overfill then the dam will obviously not hold all the filling.
Spread filling around cookie. I found using a baby spoon works really well to get into corners etc.
Add designs. This one I spread, while the filling was still wet, different colored glaze in spiral
and then if you peak in the upper half of this picture took a tooth pick and created a web like design by starting in the middle and dragging the tooth pick toward the edge. Repeat dragging process all around the shape starting in the middle each time. You can do a lot of designs etc. let your imagination run wild.

You can also pipe words etc on using thicker frosting, but you have to wait several hours until the filling is dry to Light touch.

Let frosting dry 12-24 hours before stacking. I just put in a cookie sheet and covered with aluminum foil while this was happening so that the cookies didn't dry out while the frosting was setting up. Dries to a shimmery, pretty frosted cookie and can be stacked or packaged without getting frosting all over the other cookies!

Side note: I apologize for the Shrek green cookies which may not look completely unappetizing to some, but it was my sons request to have green cookies.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Little Birdie Secrets

(Photo from Little Birdie Secrets)

This is a fun blog to go to for crafty ideas and tutorials. Check out this post for homemade boxes. Fun idea for Valentine's.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Join Gifts to Grow now and get 100 Free Points.

From knowing exactly when they want teddy to comforting them at 3am, the list of love is endless. Gifts to Grow gives parents the rewards they deserve, simply by buying Pampers diapers and wipes. Join now and get 100 Free Points.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The brownie recipe I have been looking for my entire married life!

Supernatural Brownies
From Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers, by Nick Malgieri.

Makes about twenty-four 2-inch-square brownies

Though the name sounds an exaggeration, you’ll agree that these brownies are absolutely out of this world.

•16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
•8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
•4 large eggs
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 cup granulated sugar
•1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 cup all-purpose flour
One 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan, buttered and lined with buttered parchment or foil

1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and turn off heat. Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over pan of water. Stir occasionally until melted.

3. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, then whisk in salt, sugars, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in flour.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top has formed a shiny crust and batter is moderately firm. Cool in pan on a rack. Wrap pan in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature or refrigerated until next day.

5. To cut brownies, unmold onto a cutting board, remove paper, and replace with another cutting board. Turn cake right side up and trim away edges. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares.

Serving: Serve the brownies on their own or with ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

Storage: The best way to store brownies is to wrap them individually and keep them at room temperature in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover. Or freeze them.

Note: If you have a 12 x 18-inch commercial half-sheet pan, you may double this recipe easily.


1 8 oz. block cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup butter (softened)
At least 1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP half and half

Mix first two ingredients together and then add the rest. Keep adding powdered sugar until you have your desired consistency. I frost my brownies so they have about 1/4 inch of frosting. Oh yummy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Felt Valentine Day Envelopes

Here is another little fun project that I finished for Valentine's Day. I got this idea from this website and also incorporated the felt flowers into the one for my little girl. They were pretty quick and easy. I thought that they would be fun little envelopes to put little love notes and treats in for the kiddos for Valentine's!

I went with the black for my boy so it would be a little more masculine
and the white and pink for my girl for a little more sweet and pretty.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Felt Flower Clippies

Since I have had a girl, I have to admit, I refuse to pay the outrageous prices for hair clips/bows. However, I love doing girlie things with my little girl's hair, especially since she has always had quite a bit of hair! Therefore, I have tried making various different flowers clips and bows. This was my most recent project. It is really basic, but in the future I might try adding different layers. This is the basics to build on. Have fun and enjoy! By the way, this is the first time I have ever done a "tutorial" on something like this so bear with me!

Start with a strip of felt (approximately 1 inch by 6-8 inches, depends on how big you want your flowers and how many petals you want.)

Cut the petals into the strip of felt by making it into this shark tooth looking thing.

Thread a needle. Knot the end of the thread and then do a running stitch at the bottom from one end to the other.

Pull thread tight and attach ends together to make a circle. Secure with a few knots.

Add in a little embellishment to the middle. These are just brads from the scrapbook aisle at a craft store.
I decided to make these into clips. I have also seen the flowers attached to headbands which might be cute too. To make clips, find alligators clip and coordinating ribbon to the flower.

Cover the alligator clip with ribbon by securing the ribbon with hot glue. I cover the whole thing but I know others just cover the top "jaw". I have also found that when you cover the clips using a ribbon with texture will stay in fine hair better than using a "silky" type ribbon.

Finished clip.

Then attach the flower to the clip with a little hot glue and you have a finished product!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Marvelous Mini Meatloaves

They're yummy, and easy. What else could you ask for? :)
I've only tried the 1st variation.

Marvelous Mini Meatloaves

Take 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef, 1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix and 1 cup water and mix & match your recipe from these options...

1 tsp. Italian seasoning
spaghetti sauce
KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

2 tsp. chili powder
KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
chopped roasted red peppers
ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese

1 tsp. garlic powder
KRAFT or BULL'S-EYE Original Barbecue Sauce
KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Then follow our 3 simple steps:
HEAT oven to 375°F.

Mix meat, stuffing mix, water and seasoning until well blended. Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.

MAKE indentation in center of each with back of spoon; fill evenly with 3/4 cup add-ins.

BAKE 30 min. or until meatloaves are done (160°F). Top evenly with 3/4 cup cheese; bake 5 min. or until melted. Let stand 10 min.

Make Ahead
Bake meatloaves as directed. Remove from muffin cups; cool completely. Place in single layer on baking sheet; freeze 1 hour. Transfer to airtight container. Store in freezer up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator, then reheat in 375°F oven 20 min. or until heated through.

Special Extra
For a little kick, add 2 Tbsp. A.1. Original Steak Sauce to meat mixture before pressing into muffin cups as directed.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fabric Rosettes/Rolled flowers 2

So I LOVE the method of making them on a felt cirlce. It makes it much easier and you can effect the shape more, so it's not so disc-like (my son likes to call them flying saucers. He wants me to make him one so he can use it like a frisbee...gotta love boys :) I used two strips of fabric on this one, I just laid the red one over the blue one, tied a knot in the top:

glued the knot to the center of a felt circle:

and started not twisting, but more like folding over each other like so:
I was always putting a dab of glue on the part of felt where I was going to lay my fabric down on. Glue your spot, fold your fabric, stick fabric on glue. Glue the next spot, fold, stick fabric on glue. Does that make sense? :)
Here is one type I made for some girls who wear school uniforms of the colors red, white and blue. They look sooo cute in their hair! (no pic of them, but here it is by itself)

Here's the alligator clip with a strip of felt inbetween its, uh, jaws? ;)

and here's the back:
I know I already mentioned this in the previous post, but I glue the clip upside down, it fits better and seems to work just fine. I wore one on the back of my head to a soccer game and spent most of the time chasing kids, so I think it works :) I'll have to test one on the front of my head next.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fabric rosettes/rolled flowers

Okay, so my latest obsession is fabric rosettes/rolled flowers. Here are some great tutorials:

Little Birdie Secrets

Some of This and Some of That

(I haven't tried this way yet, but it seems MUCH easier and less messier making them on a felt circle. I'm going to try this way next!

*Materials* fabric, scissors, felt, fabric glue or glue gun, embellishments.

You can use old clothes (*bonus on clothes! Use the buttons, snaps, whatever, it's amazing!) leftover fabric, old jewelry (also a huge bonus!) for the extra awesomeness...I just love making these because: they are easy, use glue, I can recycle old/stained clothes and earrings/necklaces. Here's some pictures of what I've made so far and I'll list what materials I used: (Sorry for some of the fuzzy pics!)

I made these two matching rosettes to give to a friend at her baby shower. For the pink I used an old dress of Lizzy's that had a small stain (these clothes were all clean and washed :) and for the light green and patterned green, two old shirts of mine. Sweet. I bought some stringed pearls and the heart at Jo-Ann's, and in the green is an old earring and in the patterned green is a fake diamond jewel-thingy. I bought a small bag of them at Jo-Ann's also, they and the pearls have come in very useful. The can of pearls that has a TON was 2.50 and the small bag of diamonds was around there too.

Sorry this picture is on it's side, but I made this Saturday night to go with my pink top for Sunday :) I bought 1/4 yd of the bright pink at Jo-Ann's (it makes a ton and if you only get 1/4 it's way cheaper) and in the center is one of the jewels and an earring and another small earring in the yellow and three pearls cut from the strand of them in the light pink. The light pink is from an old dress and the yellow is from a bed sheet. Crazy, i know. Kind of sounds weird but it works! :>) The love charm was from a necklace of mine that I like so it was nice to incorporate it into something new that was still mine.

All three of these fabrics I got at Jo-Ann's. I walked around dumping fabric-roll after fabric-roll into my cart and asked the lady for 1/4 yd of all of them :>) I got a lot to try and they only came to about $6. Anyway... in the center of the blue/teal color are the three pearls, on top of the pink is a little bit of light-tan net/tulle (can't remember which one I got) and a white button that came off that old pink dress of Lizzy's. In to the middle of the yellow is my personal favorite - an old earring. I could use a whole bag of those, love the color. I just bent the rod of the earring up so that it would lie flat.

Can I just say how much I love having a girl?? With a mess of boys, it's fun to have this princess to play with. She wanted me to make her a bow, so she looked throught my hodge-podge of old jewelry and stuff and she picked a metal butterfly. I was dubious, but I told her she was right and that it turned out great. She even had a butterfly on her dress, so it made her very happy :) the white and the pink were from Jo-Ann's and in the middle of the white are two small diamonds from some old earrings, and in the middle of the pink is a jewel with a pearl near the outside of the flower.

I was trying to come up with designs that used red, white and blue since those are our kids' school uniform colors. I just realized I could incorporate khaki too, I'll have to try that, the boys have some very holey pants I was going to convert into shorts. Anywho, all the fabric was stuff I had, I especially love the red and cream one. In the middle of that one is a snap from one of Grant's old onesie. Crazy huh?! A snap. From a onesie. I'm feelin' good :) I put a little pearl in the center of it. In the middle of the dark blue are three pearls ( I know, they're in everything!) and the light blue is from that same onesie the snap came from and there is a jewel in it's center.

Denim from old jeans and flannel-like fabric from my mom's stash I went through years ago. Center is an old earring that has lost it's mate and also part of a chain from an old necklace.

I like this fabric, kind of like plaid tweed? My british ancestors would be so proud. In the very center is a button with a jewel, and surrounding it are jewels and pearls.

The bottom fabric is black, from a pair of pants that I got bleach on. on top of the black is red and zebra striped fabric I braided together first and then twisted into a circle (see the above tutorial links). On top of that is a button with a jewel and behind it all is some black netting/tulle with a strip of the black and white.

The dark blue/plaid fabric has part of a chain and an earring, the white and light green striped has a white, fabric-covered button from an old dress, and the green has three pearls. The small rosettes are from the yellow sheet.

The top is black with a short string of the pearls with an earring back, the green has a button and pearl, and the tweed has a jewel. Thanks to my 7 yr old for coming to the rescue when he saw me trying to take a picture of the back of my head ;)

They also make great gifts. I had no wrapping paper, so desperation was the mother of invention here and I used tulle/netting and a piece of the looooooong pearl strand. Still have tons left :)

Okay, I think I've bored you enough. I got a box of alligator clips from Sally's for about $5. Put a skinny piece of felt inbetween the prongs and glue one side of the clip to the bottom of the rosette arrangements. I glued my clips upside down because it fit better that way. The felt inbetween helps so glue doesn't seep through and get all over your clip and hair. I also place the clip so that the part you pinch to open it is at the top of the arrangement, not at the bottom where you could see it from underneath. It also kind of bumps the arrangement out a bit, but it's a lot less noticeable when you place it facing downward. Sorry if that's confusing. It also helps to have a big mirror by you while you're putting your rosettes together so you can hold stuff up to your hair to see if the arrangements you're making work. You can clip these babies to your hair, headbands, in the back of your hair snuggled next to your updo or bun, on your purse, coat lapel, shoes, baby girl headbands.. so many possibilites :) Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

slip-coverish and pillows to boot!

So a million years ago I posted about this home-made sofa wrap I wanted to do...about 15 months later, I got around to it! Well, not exactly. #1 That one is way nicer. Way. #2 My couch(sorry, I can't say sofa, it's not natural to me!) is shaped differently and I don't have access to super-cute fabric like that. #3 what am I listing again? Oh yeah, I like to browse and look at ideas, but when it comes down to it, I make it how I make it with what I got. So... here is what mine looked like with a green slipcover I bought last year at the ARC thrift store for $7:

Last week I got this bunch of fabric at ARC for $7 because Saturdays are 1/2 off most colored tags, yay!.

I decided to try and cover my couch with it, so I sewed two long pieces together to cover from the back of the couch all the way to the front meeting the floor. It wasn't long enough, but nobody sees the back anyhow. The next step was to cover the arms, but I didn't sew them to the rest of the fabric, why more work? Right. I didn't like the dark green showing through, so I tucked pieces of material here and there to cover everything and yes, I used safety pins to pin them together :) I like change, so things can't be too permanent, and let's face it, I like to do things fast and sloppy :) Here is the end result: (PS I made the red pillows, boo-yah! that's why they're so misshapen and lumpy)Oh, and Grant has managed to slobber on BOTH of them. Of course. That is the ritual. He somehow will find what is new/nice and baptize it into our family with a bucket o' spit and some boogs to along with it. Good thing I think he's cute..

I pulled the green ties through for some color and pinned some strips of red for fun. I got the small, green pillow cases at Jo-Ann's for 2.99 each and they also had bags of Buffalo snow (batting) for like $1 or $2 so I bought 2 bags and stuffed the green and red pillows with it with it and I have most of the second bag of batting left.
I got the idea for the red pillows from Becky Higgins' blog. I don't know if it shows any specific pictures, but whenever she's done videos in that room with the pillows, I always admired them :) And I think she's awesome! Her pillows/couch are way cuter, but I just love the tiny strip of black and white peeking through on the edges of the pillows.
So, for the red pillows I took two identical square pieces of red fabric, folded them in half, then over and in half again. You now have a smaller square (duh, you're saying!) Take the one corner that does not have any edges (that will be the middle of your circle) and place it on the floor so that that corner is the bottom-left. Then I free-handed it, cutting an arc from the bottom-right corner to the top-left corner. Then you can unfold it and see if you like it or need to re-fold it and take some edges off.
When you have your two circles ready, place one pattern-side up (in my case it didn't matter since it was a solid and same on both sides) Place strips of black and white fabric along edges. Note: The more of that strip-fabric you want to see, then place more along the inside edge of the circle because you will be turning this inside out. It was hard doing this on a circle! Looking back, I should have cut strips that curved like the circle. Also, because mine was zebra-striped, I made sure to turn the stripe fabric so they were vertical, because that way I would see more of the stripes since I was doing such a little strip.
So, I sewed it inside out, not all the way. I left a hole a couple inches wide so I could turn it right-side out and stuff it with batting. Then I just used needle and thread to sew the hole closed. (By the way, when I look at the pillows, I think of Pirates of the Caribbean because I watched/mostly listened to it while doing this after everyone was in bed :) makes it more fun.

I wanted to show a close up to what I did with the arms of the couch. I measured how long the arms were and sewed a piece to match. I tucked it on the other side into the cushion, and on this side into a long side piece that I pinned in the front and wrapped all along the side and pinned at the back. I also pulled the front of the arm rest fabric forward to cover the front and tucked it under the green bow. Sorry if this isn't making any sense! Just make the arm rest cover extra long so you can pull it over the front of the arm rest if you're wanting to cover everything. :)

I couldn't leave my stain-mottled glider/rocker out of the fun! When I was at the ARC, I also picked up a green sheet and that is what the rocker is wrapped in! I don't know where the tag is, I probably cut it off...but it was probably a full-size, mayyybe a queen. I would say full though. All I did was lay it over the couch, made sure the sheet reached the floor on the front and sides, then tucked it into the seat cushion.

Then I started with front left side (you can do whichever side first) stood/kneeled in the front of the front left of the chair, took the folds of the sheet that had gathered there and pulled it straight towards me and pulled it back along the side and pinned it under the flap that was hanging over the back, then pinned the parts that touched the floor together. Did the same to the other side. Pretty surprised how easy it was!
Then I used some leftover green and white fabric from the couch and laid 2 pieces pattern-side down on the floor. I then laid a square pillow I had and kind of cut around it with a 1 1/2 inch space, following it's shape. Then I sewed it inside out, only three sides. Then I turned it right-side out and pulled it over the pillow cushion and folded the last edges in towards themselves so the frayed edges wouldn't show, and hand-sewed that side. I'm thinking that rocker and pillow combo are lacking some color, but it was late and I was done! :)

Whew! That was a long post and took me a few days to do, (mostly because when my bee-bee isn't slobbering on new pillows, he likes to dance on the table ;)
but I just wanted to share it with you - my silly-spastic-attempt at decorating on a dime! I would LOVE for you to share some ideas too! Or you can just link to them, there are some that I've seen out there that look fun and inexpensive. The next thing I want to do is make fabric rosettes! I'll post the link late-uh...much love and have a great day!!