2/27/09

There is an online Carnival Soiree on March 14th that is being hosted by Lisa from Faerie Enchantment. This day long Blog Event and Giveaway goes from sunrise to sunset..... here is a little excerpt from the announcement from her blog: Make sure you wear your Carnival best, think rainbows and pointy harlequin hats, Pageant Queen gowns, or Mermaid dress, top hats in every color and tutu's complete with pixie wings.What to expect:-Carnival Tea-Games-Tokens-Giveaways consisting of my collage cd: Circus Follies and an altered poker chip kit.-Free Circus images/ephemera-Carnival party pictures-Circus projects-Stories
Sounds like fun huh? Everyone should pop on over and have a lookie-lou and consider joining in the fun! Now, I already have a top hat.... but it is black, sounds like I'm needing a colorful top hat! So, I'm making myself a new top hat. So far not to shabby! Now I'm just needing some color... and a tutu, I must have a tutu~

Pink & pearl garland

Here is a little something I whipped up recently. You know those strings of beaded garland that are about 18' long that you can pick up super cheap at Christmas time? Well, I crocheted around each bead on this long strand of beaded garland. Kinda cute huh? Its a great project to work on while watching t.v..... something you can just mindlessly work on and before you know it-- its finished! I'm going to add this (and several more) to my Christmas tree next year. Here is the easy-peasy instructions just incase someone out there wants to give it a try~

First of all, your needing to attach your crochet thread to the end of the garland with a slip stitch or knot, whichever you prefer. Once the crochet thread is attached you simply chain 4 stitches then make a sc in between the next two pearls. Thats it....just continue with the ch 4 and doing a sc in between each pearl. At the end chain 12 or more then come back down the other side doing the same ch 4/1 sc in between each pearl. Easy-peasy~ Once your garland is completed.... you could go back up and down each side again adding 5 dc in each ch 4 space and a slip stitch in each sc space. This makes a wider garland, but I was wanting a smaller/simpler garland for my own tree~

2/25/09

Hall tree~

This hall tree I have had for about 5 years. It was originally a dark-dark wood which I painted white. I closed in the bottom part and made it into a cat bed :-) It has been like this for a looooooooong time. Never quite finished.... I've dragged it out to sell at yard sales...I guess $30 bucks was to much to ask for it...cause I always had to drag it back in. Now that I've added some brown paint to it making it look a little more "shabby" and of course covering the cushion for the cat bed (not that they have EVER slept in there) I'm liking it! and its no longer for sale lol

Here is a close up of the cat bed.... it doesn't look so "obviously" distressed with paint in person!


Trash to Treasure party~

Jen over at Sanctuary Arts at Home is hosting a "Trash to Treasure make over party"..... I am contributing my $1 dollar dresser that I recently made over. Here is the before....and here is the after.Here is the original post of the transformation with a tutorial on how I did it. The appliques were made using joint compound.... peeked your interest?...come for a lookie-lou!

2/23/09

Mmm-mmm Monday~

Here is a pretty tasty peanut butter cookie recipe that has oatmeal in it. Makes for a chewy/crispy cookie :-)
Peanut butter cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup oats
Cream together the butter, white & brown sugar, eggs and peanut butter. Add to the mixture the flour, baking soda and oats. Once thats all blended together drop by rounded teaspoon onto a cookie sheet. These suckers spread super large. So, I would suggest the rounded scoop be no bigger than a quarter. Once you have 12 cookies on a cookie sheet, take a fork thats been dipped in white sugar to compress the cookie ever so slightly to make the criss-cross pattern on top. You don't want to flatten them anymore than you have to as these will spread... and you'll end up with an overcooked cookie! Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Easy-peasy and oh so yummy!

2/22/09

Very Vintage Easter basket swap...

Heidi over at Foxgloves, Fabric and Folly is hosting a "Very Vintage Easter Basket Swap~
You've got until Sunday, March the 8th to sign up. What are you waiting for? You know you want to!! Come join in on the fun~

2/19/09

Show and Tell~

Here is a small chest that I recently picked up for $4 bucks that I remade into a pirate chest for my grandson's upcoming Pirate Party that I host every year. Here is the before...... Here is the after....I've written two tutorials (with photos) on how to do the faux leather treatment on the outside of the trunk....and one on how I made over the inside of the pirate chest as well. If you've linked to my blog through "There is no place like Home" and wish to have more of a lookie-lou you can click "here" to enter~ You can view more Show and Tells here~

A little stepping stool...

that I made using a shallow wooden box that I picked up from a second hand store for $2 bucks. This (of course) is for my grandson to give him a little boost so he can climb into his toddler bed that I made for him awhile back ;-)I spray painted the box black and painted the two cars using acrylic paint and then used some clear gloss sealer over the top :-)

2/18/09

Pirate chest

Easy peasy tutorial on making over the inside of a pirate chest. You can view the Faux leather tutorial I did on the outside of this pirate chest here.The supplies: a map, some glue, scraps of paper, scissors & paint. Also, if you wanting to make an embossing on the inside lid your going to be needing a stencil and some joint compound-- oh and some spray adhesive.
I pulled out the perfectly good black velvet fabric out of the trunk I just made over with the faux leather treatment. With the inside bare, I made a paper template for the sides, bottom and top of the trunk-- cutting a smidge bigger on each piece. It is so much easier to cut away extra than to have to recut a whole new piece if its to little. Once all the pieces were cut I dry fitted the pieces just to make sure everything was cut just right.... then I got out my map paper. The map paper I am using is actually from a roll of wall paper that I picked up from a thrift store for .95cents. You can use a regular map that you find in your glove box as well. Lay your paper templates of each piece onto the map, keeping in mind that your wanting your cut map pieces to be "right reading" not upside down or cock-eyed. (unless thats the look your wanting) Once all your map pieces are cut...just glue them into place inside your chest. You can use regular cheapie glue or use Modge podge. I always have to trim away my paper as I cut everything larger...so to get a super clean edge on your map -- let it dry-- then trim away any excess paper with a razor. (I think this is why I always have so many projects that I work on at one time, I don't like to WAIT) Anywho...Now, the fun part. Distressing and aging the inside of your pirate chest. I use several different colors of brown and black paint to age the seams and edges of the trunk & lid. I apply the black to the very seam of each inside piece and then the brown fades out into the trunk getting lighter and lighter~Once it is looking aged, the next step is to add some depth to the trunk. (this is in keeping with my philosophe of "more is better") I of course pulled out my trusty joint compound! I adhered a small stencil to the lid with spray adhesive (the lid is bowed and wouldn't let the stencil lay flat) I applied the joint compound to make the embossing. I turned the trunk over to make it easier to work on. Next, I globbed a bunch of joint compound onto the stencil. Seeing how it is a curved lid, I couldn't use a putty knife...so I used my finger to spread out the joint compound evenly over the stencil. Next, I pulled up the stencil. At this stage I used a pencil to add more detail to the embossed area. I just pushed & pulled the joint compound to fill in some areas... and pressed deeper to take some of the joint compound away from other areas. Here is a photo of the skull with the stencil removed and after I had worked my pencil magic on it lol.Once dry, I went over the raised area with a base coat of brown paint. Then I just kept adding browns & some black until I liked it. Once it was all dry, I dipped my finger tip in a light brown paint and went over the raised skull design to give it more depth. Now it looks like its a piece of carved wood on the lid. I then measured and cut a piece of burlap fabric to fit inside the lid of my pirate chest. I used a pin to pull up some of the threads to make it look old and worn. I then used my sewing machine and zig-zagged around every edge to keep it from fraying in the future once I attached it to the trunk. Next, I used some watered down paint straight onto the fabric to give it a dirty look...Once that was dried, I used hot glue and glued it to the bottom of the lid to hold extra special stuff. Fill with some of your pirate look and enjoy!Taaaaaaaa daaaaaa easy peasy!

2/17/09

Keeping it green~

I've been saving these plastic cat litter containers for awhile now.... wanting to reuse them but nothing was coming to mind. I've cut them down to use as little toy containers, but-- they just were not cute enough! I started cutting one apart and found that it cut rather easily with a razor and also scissors. Sooooooo I cut them down to this, recycling only the curvy handle part. Next, I cut them with my paper cutter to get them all the same size-- because I like love matchy-matchy. I used some of the flat pieces to make stencils of patterns pieces I use often....The bottoms of the plastic containers I am using for paint~Its working out nicely :-)

2/16/09

Chloe~

Here is my grandaugher Chloe minutes after being born....she is screaming for hair and makeup~ You have no idea how much that dark hair shocked me!! Here she is with that stuff they glob into the newborn babies eyes.... she smeared it all over her face and chest. She heard that stuff makes your skin youthful. Look at her casually striking a pose, she is such a diva~ Here is Chloe sitting in a blanket nest having her first bottle given to her from her nurse. The nurse only gave her half...she screamed for more. Thats my girl! Chloe fell asleep while trying to take off her hat because she just KNOWS it doesn't match her outfit. She was upset her bracelet didn't come in another color as well.... white is so last year~Chloe using her fathers finger as a cell phone. You never get good reception in hospitals. I think she is setting up a manny-peddy for tomorrow~Lastly, big brother Jonathan peeking in at his little "pet" sister. He took one look at her and called her a truck...a red truck~

Mmm-mmm Monday~

For President's day I am sharing a recipe that I got from Hippie dogs blog. (I asked permission to post it on my blog) Anywho, it is called Cherry Squares. Its pretty good....although its not that sweet and very heavy. The men at my hubbies work really liked it. Personally, I thought it was a tad eggy tasting, 6 eggs- go figure. I think this is a recipe that I'm going to tweak :-) I mean its so easy peasy, I think I might try adding applesauce instead of so many eggs and even more vanilla than whats called for...and next time I would put some of the batter in muffin cups as it did rise up an awful lot and took forever to cook. Geeze, sounds like I'm complaining doesn't it! lol... I'm not, I'm just "saying" for saying sake~ Anywho, if I haven't scared you off, here is the recipe!

Cherry Squares
3 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 sticks butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling
Mix all the ingredients together except the pie filling. (that goes on top!) Spread the mixture into a large greased rectangle pan. (it will rise, so figure it will double in size) You might want to make two pans. Place blobs of the canned cherries filling here and there on top of the cake mixture. (I would add more of the cherry pie filling than less of this, as this is what gives it a little kick!) You can even make a little indentation with a spoon and add some cherries this way as well. The cake mix does rise up around some of the cherries a little bit. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into little squares!

2/15/09

"A" meme~

Brenda from B's place has a fun Meme on her blog. She assigns each participant a letter and your to find words beginning with that letter that defines you~ coolio huh? Drop her a comment telling her you'd like a letter! :-P My assigned letter is "A".... and no, I'm not starting off with a$$.....
1. Artsy~ In most everything I do...I like things to have an "artsy-flare" to them. A little flourish here...a little doo-dad there, just make things a little cuter/sweeter than they already are. On the flip side there is an ever present pressure to forever do this because everyone expects it from me!
2. Audience- I used to be a member of my high schools Chamber singers group. We would preform in front of large audiences all the time. We even spent a week in Hawaii singing.
3. Attention- I like attention, lots of attention.
4. Antiques- I love classic cars, vintage items, old photos, old sewing items and furniture. I could spend hours & hours in antique stores.
5. Ambiance- I am all about ambiance. Every party HAS to have a theme. It gives me a jumping off point to create a new and exciting event.
6. Ability- I have the ability to do a lot of interesting things. I can mix/pour & smooth cement, lay brick, hammer/nail/saw with the best of them. With most things if I see something I can make it. I also have the ability to visualize things from start to finish immediately--- I'm just needing a theme! I have decorated several big convention events with huge success.
7. Attitude- I like to think I have a Polly-Anna attitude about most things. But on the flip side I am extremely realistic person with no false idealistic beliefs.
8. Asymmetrical- I do not like things that are asymmetrical. I like "matchy-matchy" I like balance, symmetry.
9. Audacity- I am pretty bold and daring. I call it "razzle-dazzle" lol
10. American- I am very proud to be an American.

2/13/09

What a beautiful day~

My grandaughter made her entry into this world today at 9:18 this morning. Both my daughter and grandaughter are both perfectly healthy... Chloe was 7 pounds and 19 inches long... The most shocking thing was/is that my grandaughter has black hair! I took zillions of photos, but of course shooting through the nursery window none of them turned out. When we finally did meet face to face, I stopped taking photos! I'll take some more photos tomorrow and hopefully those will turn out cute and I'll let everyone have a lookie-lou at this little gift from God~

Happy-happy...

joy-joy....my grandaughter is coming into this world today!!

2/12/09

Two-two-twoooooooo~

More days until my grandaughter is born! *woot-woot*

Centerpiece party~

With 3 indoor cats...a 22 month old grandson and my grandaughter's impending birth tomorrow! and worst of all...a "hashy-husband" this is all I could muster~ I'm keeping it super-simple! The candlesticks are my favorite! They are heavy metal that have been painted white.... I know, kinda dismal~ but things are hectic right now! lolCindy at "My Romantic Home" is one of the hosts for this centerpiece party. Susan who is in Between Naps on her Porch lol...is also hosting this party! If you've linked here... you can view my complete blog here.

2/10/09

Four....

more days until Chloe is born...not that I'm counting mind you~

2/9/09

Faux leather tutorial~

I found this box at a thrift store for $4 bucks (I know-- highway robbery!) anywho, I thought I could make it into a lovely leather covered pirate chest for my yearly pirate party (for my grandson's birthday) Here is a tutorial on how I did it. Faux leather tutorial~
Supplies: Tissue paper, foam or paint brush, modge podge (or glue & water) and an object to cover and of course some paint.Firstly, I spray painted the box as I couldn't stand looking at it the way it was any longer. You do not have to paint or seal the object your going to give the faux leather treatment too... this was just a personal choice. Now lets get started!
1.) Crumple several pieces of tissue paper, taking care not to tear it. Smooth the crumpled tissue paper out into a full sheet again and set aside.
2.) Working on one small section at a time, apply the glue to the surface to be covered. Lay the smoothed-out, crumpled tissue paper over the glued area and press into place. Dab the area with your fingers and then take a brayer and run it across a few times to smooth out any air bubbles. If you have applied to much glue the tissue paper will start to stick to your fingers & brayer and tear-- if this happens, tear a piece of tissue paper making sure all edges are torn (so that there is no straight edges) and patch the area that was torn. Once your object is covered, let it dry. Here is the top of the box finished, I folded and glued the paper over each edge and made mitered edges at the corners and cut away the excess tissue paper. 3.) Continue covering all areas in the same manor until everything is covered that your wanting covered. Let dry~4.) Re-apply another layer of glue same as before only this time lay a piece of un-crumpled tissue over the area. Once your object is covered allow it to dry thoroughly, trim edges with a razor to get a nice clean edge. Go over the entire object with a layer of Modge Podge or glue/water mixture. Here is my box covered twice with tissue paper. The first layer was crumpled, the second was a smooth sheet of tissue paper. Now, comes the fun part. Painting! I just grabbed several different half empty bottles of brown paint and started painting the box. You have to keep in mind that you are rewetting this tissue paper - even though it has modge podge on it...so it might tear, so be gentle with your brush strokes and let it dry between coats. I am a firm believer in "more is better" so I just kept adding more & more paint to get it to look like a dirty old leather pirate chest that has been around for ages! The first "layer" of paint consisted of 2 different colors of brown paint and some watered down black paint that I patted on around the edges with my finger tip. The second layer I used 3 different brown paints to add depth to the chest. I darkened around all the edges where you would expect to see dirt-- I hear those pirates were a dirty bunch of scoundrals~ Once your happy with your paint and it has dried, apply another coat of Modge Podge or spray varnish to really make the faux leather pop.I puchased two door handles (Home Depot $1.27 each) that have a look of forged metal....and just screwed those into the sides of the chest to help carry all the heavy loot.
As you can see...I have not added the faux leather treatment to the bottom of this pirate chest. I am going to keep this pirate chest indoors for my grandson to play with-- so I am going to add felt to the bottom. I spray painted the clasp (that was on the box when I bought it) black...and reattached it. Taaaaaaaa daaaaaaaaa all finished!Well, I am pretty darn happy with how this turned out. But... I can't leave well enough alone! Even though the inside is finished in a beautiful black velvet I'm eager to start making over the inside to match the outside!

Here is a link to the tutorial on how I have made over the inside of the pirate chest.