Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Wishing Tree

Here’s a fun idea for your New Years celebration that could last the whole year long….New Years Tree. It’s a great center piece to add to your party . If your keeping your gathering small , it would be a fun project to work on together as a family tonight.

This tree was made by my sister . For her wedding, they decided instead of a guest book, she made a wishing tree. Guest would leave a friendly note & hang it on the tree as they entered . This not only looked beautiful, but she now has a pretty display in her home.

I love this idea so much that we decided to use it for tonight’s party to collect all the things our guest will be looking forward to in the coming year. We’re calling it our “wishing tree”. It will be fun to look back on to see what we’ve all shared.
All you need is a vase and some branches from the back yard ( or from the craft shop), pretty paper, hole punch & some ribbon, Leave the branches natural or why not paint them !
Then make a cardboard cut out of a simple leaf. Now use this template to trace & cut leaves out of pretty scrap book pages . Make enough for each guest . Using a hole punch, punch a hole in each leaf & tie a ribbon on to make for easy hanging.

Place a pen with the vase & scatter leaves around the table. It makes for a great conversation as well as a unique center piece! This could be used for so many different gatherings, and makes for a great way to display it even after the partys over :)


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Simple embroidery projects

I’ve never embroidered before. This is something I’ve always wanted to try but never have. With handmade gifts to make I figured what better time then now!

The first gift I made was my daughters handprints for my Mom & Dad. Using a pencil I traced each of their hands on to the fabric.
Then using embroidery thread & needle I started at the bottom of the first hand. I used a split stitch……

You make a small stitch and then bring your needle up through the center of the previous stitch as you make your next one. You’ll need to work with at least 4 strands so that your able to split them while you stitch. Looks impressive, but is super simple! It almost looks like a braid.
Once complete, I then framed it. I loved it so much I made one for myself as well!

After I found out how simple embroidery can be I decided to make my sister a tote. She & her husband live downtown Chicago and are avid bike riders. My sister even rides to and from work daily until it snows. I made a embroidered version of her bike.
I made this the same way as the handprints.  I printed a picture of a bike & then traced it onto the tote. From there I just used the same split stitch in the colors of her bike. For the “metal parts” I twisted 2 black strings & 2 white. I then threaded the needle with that combo to create a more gray color. I love how it turned out. And most important, I think she really loved it too.

Don't you just love her antlers!

Now that I gave it a try, I’m going to look into more things to embroider & more detailed ways of doing it. If you’ve never done it , I would definitely give it a try. It’s a nice change from crochet or knitting. All three of those are great “watching TV’ type projects. But whats nice about these simple embroidery projects, you can easily complete one in 30 to 45 minutes.

Linked up to......Type A decorating Anything goes party!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Last minute gift idea !!!

Need a last minute gift? Have an old sweater? This simple wine sleeve will do the trick!

All you need is an old sweater, needle ,thread, and a bottle of wine (or other similar shaped beverage).

Slip bottle in to sleeve. Measure how long you will need . Mark & cut. Turn inside out. Now sew a simple stitch on the cut side of sleeve . Slide back on to bottle. Add a ribbon to the top & done!
Makes a great last minute gift or hostess gift. And best of all….its reusable!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A gift so nice I made it twice!

My sister, mom & I have decided to make it a handmade Christmas. This is a good and bad thing. Good because of how much fun it is to try & come up with something for each person. Bad because I have the hardest time making decisions sometimes!

My mom mentioned she really needs a memo board for her kitchen. So off to the fabric store I went. Once I got there I could not decide on what fabric to go with. Bold & dark? Light & airy? So I bought both. Why not make 2 and let her decide for herself. If she likes them both she can have them! If she chooses one, then I’ll have a great memo board for myself! Can’t go wrong with that.

You’ll need a canvas board ( I used 20x16) , fabric, batting, staple gun, ribbon (about 18ft) , and scissors.

Lay board on top of batting. Cut around board leaving about 2 to 3 inches on each side. You just want to make sure there’s enough to wrap each side. Then staple batting to the back of each side.

Now lay the board on top of fabric -batting side down. Cut around each side leaving enough on the sides to again wrap and staple to the back of the board. Make sure to pull tight as you go. This will ensure a flat & tight look to the fabric when your done.

With ribbon in hand, staple it to the back of one corner. Pull ribbon to opposite bottom corner and secure to back. Again make sure you pull it tight. Now continue adding ribbon on the same angle of the first, about 5 inches apart .

Now cross ribbons the opposite angle to finish.
Do the same starting at the other corner & repeat. Weave ribbon as you go, or it you want a tighter fit for you notes & card storage, you can sew a button at each “X” on the ribbons.
Now hang & fill with your clutter. I can’t wait to see which one she chooses (and which one ends up mine!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Multi use for past Christmas cards

I love receiving Christmas cards each year! But I used to feel so bad about tossing them out after the season is up. So about 5 years ago I started putting my favorites aside each year to reuse as tags the following year.

You can dress them up with ribbon, or cut them out in interesting shapes. The possibilities are up to your creativity
You just need past xmas card, scissors , hole punch,& ribbon. Chose pretty little areas of each card & cut. Then punch a hole & attach to the present with the ribbon. This is also a great project for the kids to help with. Its fun to go through the pile & see what each of us comes up with.

When you get a gift from us, you just might find your tag is your last years Xmas card!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

T-shirt take home gifts

This weekend my oldest daughter had a slumber party . Since we always love to do a theme , she decided to have her & her friends go “camping”!

So up the big tent went in the basement! We went through all her stuffed animals & found all the bears . Then placed them around the tent & areas of the basement. And with any great camp ground , you have to get your souvenir t-shirt!
At “Camp Noelle” the girls were able to create their own. This was a great craft project & they’ll were all very excited to make this. This craft for 4 girls only cost about $20 to complete.

You’ll need a t-shirt (washed & dried) , iron on transfer sheets that can be drawn on (available at any craft store), permanent markers , ink jet printer (optional), iron & ironing board

First wash & dry you’re the t-shirts. This will help ensure that the transfer sheets will properly adhere to the t-shirts ( I found that out the hard way!).

Decide your camp name & using one of the transfer sheets print camp name -one for each person. Or if you don't want to use a printer, you can easily use a pemanent marker. Then cut each camp name off the sheet & iron to the t-shirt according to the directions for the transfer sheet. I did this before the party for all the shirts so they would be ready to go.

Next, cut the rest of the transfer sheets in half so that there is a nice size rectangle for each child to draw their picture on. Set up a table complete with permanent markers & let them get creative! It was really cute to see how each picture turned out. They also ended up agreeing on an official camp sign & each drew it on their picture as well.

Little sister had to make one too!
Once they were all done, I again ironed on the sheets according to the directions. They loved their new t’s and were proud to show them off!
This ended up being such a fun project I can see us doing this again for other parties as well. It makes for such a fun take home gift too!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dress up your mirror

I don’t like “plain” anything , and that includes the basic mirror we had in our master bath. So I decided to fix that. Just add molding!

I love molding almost as much as I love my glue gun. If I can find a place to use it , I do. This mirror was no exception. Since I used wood corner squares, the rest of the molding is simple straight cuts.

You’ll need…molding, molding squares, liquid nails ,caulk, caulk gun (for the glue & caulk) high gloss paint, tape, saw , miter box, tape measure.

First measure the straight edges of each side of the mirror. Subtract the inches of 2 wood corner squares. That will give you your length need to be cut for that side. Using a simple saw with a miter box will help you keep your cuts straight & even. I chose to paint my molding in a high gloss paint first, since it was in the bathroom, would need to be cleaned & handle moisture.

Once all pieces are ready, pick a corner to start from & get your liquid nails. Apply a good amount to the back of one of the corner squares. Press directly to corner of mirror. Tape square on as well. This will help keep the wood from sliding out of place before it has a chance to dry.

Apply liquid nails to the next long piece of molding and secure the same way. Now add the next square to cap that molding. Apply the same as before. Continue this until all molding is applied. Be sure to use tape again to hold all pieces in place while drying.
When dry, remove tape. Using calk, fill in small gaps between the molding. Your done! Now you have a custom look for your mirror for a very small price.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lifes been a little crazy......

Life has been crazy in our house! Non stop everything since before Thanksgiving. While on vacation, my vintage book page wreath was featured in a Treasury on ETSY. Things have snow balled since then. 

On our way to the St. Louis arch.
While traveling to Texas we stopped off to spend the afternoon in St. Louis. Did the arch & had some lunch. When leaving I decided to check my email. I had a custom order request for 4 of my wreaths to be used in the window displays of Hotel Rex in San Francisco, CA. So here there we are traveling on Saturday & me figuring out how to make & ship them in the next 2 days!
Bought some supplies IL, then in OK, and made the wreaths Sunday night after getting settled in at my Father-in-Laws home in Texas.
(can you believe my step mother-in-law even had fresh flowers in our room! Sooo nice!)

I’m happy to say they were shipped the next day & I can’t wait to see the pics of the display soon!

But this is just the start of crazy. Since the start of the trip I have had a steady order of my wreaths & LITERLY have been making wreaths every moment possible to fill orders & trying to get ahead of them as well. It really is true….if you love what you do , others will take notice. It feels so great knowing that people out there love it as much as I do.
Finishing up one of Fridays order & celebrating with a well deserved  glass of wine!
As for now I’ve caught up & shipped all orders several days before expected ship date. Now I'm making a nice supply of them so each will ship the same day of order. I've had so much fun with these wreaths & have been coming up with some "new" ways to use old books too. Can't wait to show you those later!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hot Fruit Salad

Before it was baked.....
As promised I have a really yummy & just about the easiest recipe I’ve ever tried. While in Texas I had something called Hot Fruit Salad. It was so yummy. I decided to make it to add to the spread for my daughters 9th birthday party today.

You'll need....

1 can applesauce
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 can cherry pie filling

½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Layer fruit & pie filling in a 9x13 casserole dish in the above order. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over top. Bake @ 325 for 60 min. Serve hot.

And after it hit the table!
Didn’t I tell ya it was easy! Such a quick dish to add to your buffet. Honestly, it tastes like you went to great effort & so flavorful that everyone will love it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Easy Beadboard

This weeks been so crazy! My etsy shop is going full speed for holiday shoppers & has kept me working every moment of the day! (I'll blog more about that later). But I wanted to squeeze in a moment to post about a simple way to create a beadboard look for your home. Now that the holidays are here & everyones hosting parties, this would be a great project that can be done in a day & you'll be back to hosting in no time!

When we move here the walls were all builders white & had no character. I can not stand that. I’ve always love houses that have lived , aged, and love that make them in to a “home” . You just can’t get that with a new home. So I had a lot of work ahead of me!!!
The first thing was to add bead board & molding. I knew it was going to be something I had to do myself since my husband works long hours & I have no patients to wait for help. I like things done yesterday! So I decided to paint faux bead board.
This is not hard to do at all. Its time consuming but well worth the work when your finished.

1.Start with ANTIQUE WHITE walls in a FLAT FINISH. You’ll need a gallon, (or less depending on the size of the room)of WHITE -SATIN FINISH paint to paint your stripes or “boards“. You can also use a gloss for a stronger effect. If you just painted your walls wait at least 24 hours before starting the “board’ stripes. Otherwise you might pull off your paint.
2. Figure out the width you’d like your “boards” to be as well as the height you’d like it to be. I decided mine was going to be about 4 inches wide.
Then starting from the end of the wall measure that amount out & mark your first board with painters tape. I used the 2 inch wide tape. If you’d like a smaller width use a smaller tape. Place tape vertical along the wall starting at your highest point your board will be, down to the base board. Use a level to help keep the lines straight. This will mark the first board.

3. Now measure your next board from the edge of the tape. Continue this measure and tape process along the wall until you complete the room.
4. Now your ready to paint with the WHITE SATIN FINISH paint. Roll paint over each marked out board space. This is the fast part. But be sure to cover the entire space completely . I suggest doing at least 2 coats.
5. Let dry and remove tape.
Now you can add your chair rail molding to the top of your painted bead board! Eventually I painted a warm color above the molding to give this look even more “pop”. It feels much more homey & its done in an afternoon!

I linked this to