Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monograming my home

So after my beginning work on the living room, I decided to continue by adding our family initial to the decor. I did this two different ways. The first way was to spice up our existing evergreen wreath from Christmas with a non-holiday look. I changed the wreath from including a red bow and snowy pine cones with berries to a simple green wreath with our initial. Here's a look at the final piece. I'm in love with it!
 I started with a simple wood letter that I bought at Hobby Lobby for about a $1.
 I spray painted it white (making sure to cover the edges and sides) and, once dry, I then used Command hooks to hang it on the wreath.
 I'm completely in love with the way this looks and I'm so glad it was incredibly simple to do.
 Of course, this isn't all I did with our monogram. Prior to painting it, I used it as a stencil and traced it onto some styrofoam board (we had some in our garage from a package that we'd received and it was used as packing foam). My objective was to create a moss covered letter to add something natural looking into the living room.

So, after cutting out the letter of the foam I also traced it to some light brown card stock to use as a backing for the letter. That way, if hanging on a mirror, no one would see the reflection of some bright white foam. I then started to use the hot glue gun to attach the moss to the letter. I used moss (not moss sheets) I had bought from Michaels (using their 40% off coupon of course).

 I made sure to cover the top and sides then I had to go back around the letter to touch up any white spots I could see. I'm pretty meticulous and wanted to ensure it was fully covered so I would say this took me an entire Sunday afternoon to make.

Once finished and the glue was dried I used some clear window suction cups with hooks to hang the letter on my mirror. (sorry about the below photo being so dark- I plan to post a better one)
I'm not quite finished with it yet only because I want to include a ribbon to make it look like the letter is hanging from the mirror on a hook. Once I have that piece complete I'll share an updated photo.

You may be able to see, in the reflection of the photo above, a hint at my next post...a wall of frames. Boy was that a project!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Busy Bee!

Sometimes I wonder how things change from simple to complicated so quickly. I start out with a small project and it leads to something else which leads to something else and before you know it, the small project I planned to do has led to 5 projects that took a week and a half. I think there's some good and bad to those scenarios. It's great because I had fun creating some really cool things but it's not so good because I don't always stop to take a break and breath. So with all this time I've not been posting, I've been busy making things.

Over the next few days, I'll be posting what I've been doing the last month and a half. First, I'll start off with my lamp shade and pillow make-over.

I had bought some barrel lamp shades from Target quite a while ago and just left them as is. Recently I've needed some color in our living room so I added a small change to the lamp which I think looks so cool!



I took some brown and blue ribbon and attached it with some fabric glue. I really love the little bit of color it adds to the room when the lamp is on or off.

Now on to my pillow makeover. I've had the original pillows for at least 5 years and the wear was beginning to show so I needed to do something to give it a new look. I decided I would give the sweater pillow look a try. I went to Salvation Army and found a nice white sweater for 1.99.


I turned the sweater wrong-side out and sewed the bottom of the sweater together. I then turned it right-side out and placed the pillow inside to get an idea of the size needed and where to cut. Once I marked where I needed to cut I took the pillow out and added 1/4 inch to my cut markings. From there I began to cut off the extra material not needed. For me my markings told me to cut about 5 inches below the collar and make sure the sleeves were cut as well. I turned the sweater wrong-side out again began to sew the opening together leaving about 7 inches un-sewed. I then turned the sweater right-side out and stuffed the pillow inside the sweater through the 7 inch opening. In order to close up that 7 inch opening I turned the ends in and used a whip stitch. Once that was complete, my pillow was ready for the couch!

Two simple projects that made me feel our living room was evolving! I love it!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Granola Gifts

One of my gifts to some friends/family happened to be homemade granola. I have to say, I loved making this and it tasted amazing!!

After researching granola recipes I ended up creating my own. Most recipes I found were either too complicated or too many odd ingredients that I didn't have in our kitchen. So, here's my recipe:

Homemade Granola

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pumpkin spice
¾ cup wheat germ with cinnamon and flax seed
*Mix the above in a large bowl and set aside

½ cup melted butter
¾ cup honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
*Mix the above wet ingredients in a small bowl

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.

Pour the mixture onto baking sheet and bake for 10 min. Remove from oven and stir mixture around. Bake for another 8-10 min until light golden brown. Remove from oven and pour onto parchment paper to cool for 5-10 min.

Once cool, stir in dried fruit.
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried blueberries
½ cup dried apricots

Makes about 5 cups. Enjoy!

You may know, from a prior post, I had created my own basil pesto and frozen it for later use in my meals. Well, I have an update for you.  I made my own pasta dinner with the frozen pesto and the meal received Beans approval :) It was a success!

Bowtie Pesto Pasta 

2 cups uncooked bowtie pasta
3/4 cup shredded turkey breast (used deli meat since I didn't have shredded on hand)
1/2 cup basil pesto (2-3 cubes frozen pesto)
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1 small can sliced black olives

*Cook and drain pasta as directed on pkg
*Mix hot cooked pasta, turkey, pesto and bell peppers in same saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until hot and pesto cubes are melted.
*Add olives and serve.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family and I have! Happy New Year and best wishes for a safe and healthy one!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birthday Celebration

It's been over a month since my last post so I have a lot to catch you up on. I'm anxious to share all the projects I've been doing for the birthday and holidays that are now upon us.

Many fun events have occurred over the last few months but let me start with the most important one. My little Bean turned 1!! Where does the time go? Her first year has gone so fast. My baby is growing. I'm such a proud mama!

In my last post I made a banner for her party and didn't show you the final product. Well, as promised here it is:

Her party was a Winnie the Pooh themed party. Complete with a 100 Acre Woods sign, Tiggers Terrific Lasagna, Kangas Fruit Kabobs, Poohs Lemon Honeycombes and Rabbits Garden Salad.

When it came to eating the cake, she was very cautious but quickly realized how tasty it was. She probably would have ate all the sugar bees on the cake if we didn't pull her away to open gifts.

We had such a great time watching her open presents and eat her cake. She loved looking at those tissue paper balls I had hanging from the ceiling. I was kind of fascinated with them too. They turned out great and only took 3 materials to make: Tissue paper, fishing line, & hooks.

I took a stack of about 20 sheets of tissue paper then folded it similar to a fan (1 inch folds back and forth until you have all the tissue folded.
 From there you use the fishing line to tie around the center of the tissue (above: where my finger is at).  Ensure it's snug but don't tighten it too tight or you could cut through the tissue paper. I then used scissors to cut the ends to a point or rounded edge. After securing the center I turned the tissue paper on it's side and began to pull up one piece of tissue at a time on each side (see below).

After Beans birthday then I really focused in on making more gifts for friends and family for the Christmas holiday. In my next post I'll update you on what those gifts are and how to make them. :) Talk at you soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Projects

What a weekend! Not only did Hubby and I get a date night (movie: J Edger, dinner and Bean's birthday & Christmas shopping) but we also got a lot accomplished in regards to projects.

First of all, I want to ensure I update you on our home projects. A month or two ago we had new house doors installed (front and side; door and storm door). What do you think of our new front door? I love it!


As for other home projects, this weekend, Hubby did a final mow of the lawn...which has our lawn looking so nice. And, while the temperature is still tolerable, he also got our Christmas lights up (First time ever and I'm so excited!!). Don't worry, we celebrate Thanksgiving at our house so they won't be turned on until after the fall holiday :)

I happened to get a few projects completed myself! One of those happens to be a holiday gift project. I can't share details with you just yet (Otherwise it won't be a surprise to those people getting the gift) but I will be sure to update you after the Christmas holiday. Another was our 'Jar of Thanks' (mentioned in the previous post) and a decor project for Bean's birthday in December.
 Jar of Thanks

I'm having a Winnie the Pooh birthday party for Bean in December with her parents, uncle, grandparents, and great grandparents all there to help celebrate the big '1'. Bean's birthday decor project is a Winnie the Pooh banner. I found a Winnie the Pooh book at Goodwill and got some ribbon from the fabric store. From there I found the pages I wanted to use and cut them out and used rubber cement to glue it to the ribbon. Yes, I said rubber still exists. You'll have to wait until December to see the final product and the rest of Bean's birthday celebration.
Have a great week and just remember, it's the last full work week before Thanksgiving so make it a good one!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photos of the Bean-ster

This is Bean's first fall so I just had to get some cute photos of her in a warm sweater playing in the leaves. It also gave me a chance to work on my photography skill.

A few weeks ago the weather was beautiful and the leaves were still very colorful. So, I took Bean outside to play in the leaves. She, of course, had to inspect the leaves and figure out why in the world these things were making so much noise every time she moved! After her approval, we had some fun.

(Enjoy the photos Grammy and Grandee!)

As the holidays near, I'm thinking about the traditions I want to start for my own growing family. I'm thinking one of our Thanksgiving traditions can be a 'Jar of Thanks'. Every day between now and Thanksgiving I'm going to write down one thing I'm thankful for (I'll see if I can convince Hubby to as well) and place it into a jar; then, on Thanksgiving, we can read them aloud. Bean can't tell us much in words at this point but I will still ask her and make sure we put something in the jar on her behalf.

Enjoy fall and all the wonderful things that come with it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

HoPe It WaS sPooKtAcUlAr!!
 This was Bean's first beggars night so we wanted to make sure she had the full experience. Costume? Check. Trick-or-Treak bag? um....(I did throw that one together last minute with fuzzy fabric, safety pins and ribbon) Check. Trick? well, I did look one up just in case we get asked so, Check. Destination? Grandma n' Grandpa's, daycare & neighbors. In all, that's about 5 houses.

We started with the costume. I love those striped tights!
 She didn't mind the costume and loved her final look! See that big smile?
 Bean was totally in character and even moved like a ladybug on all fours! Bean liked looking in her little bag when treats were placed inside. She didn't smile a whole lot on our trick-or-treating adventure but she was very patient and loved watching all the other children walk about the neighborhood.

We had to have a photo of Daddy and Bean on this momentous evening!

....and I really wanted one too!!