26 April, 2009

Let's yard sale and Hand Jive!

How was your weekend, my friends? Mine was busy and fun. Macie and I decided on a snap to check out a couple of yard sales Friday morning before school.

Yard sale season is just beginning out here, with the weather slowly warming up. I love seeing those bright pink signs as I drive through the neighborhood, calling to me: Susan Susan Susan, come look through our junk, come spend money on something you think you need, but don't.

Hence, my finds this week that I really thought I needed, but really probably didn't.

A fun collage project book, with just the inspiration I need to use more of my paper ephemera. Also another french book, I can use the pages for in my projects. 50 cents and 10 cents.

A jar full of fairy glitter, and a cute small mason jar. 20 cents for both.

A baggie full of weird stuff. I bought it for the keys, there were a couple of old ones in there. The tokens were cute, too. They say parking tokens. 25 cents.

A set of four placecard holderd from World Market, I'll probably use these for something else. 50 cents.

A neat heavy wood plaque with a tin frame attached, I'll probably pry it off to use for something else. 50 cents

Old "pillow" book, Night before Christmas. This will be cool for Christmas projects. 10 cents

These were in a baggie with the next picture below. I love the little tree!
I love these little treat cups. These will be a tutorial for my "Christmas in July projects. Behind them is a paper cone covered in sheet music and tinsel trim. So cute. All with above picture: 50 cents.
A Gorham pewter Christmas ornament kitty cat, I bought this after I dropped Macie off at school. I'll slip it in her stocking for Christmas. Yes people, I DO shop early for the holidays. It's never too early to pick up little things here and there, is it?

A leather wallet, in perfect condition. 50 cents. Seriously.

The girls I work with are always changing the purses they carry. I sware they must have a whole wardrobe of purses for every outfit. Me? I'll carry the same purse forever, and not really think about it too much. At least that used to be me. Now I think I actually have three, count them, three purses I actually use on a regular basis. I'm learning, people. Why not do that with wallets, too?

Here are my daughter's treasures.

A Hello Kitty insulated lunch sack, a Benji book, (she loves the movies) and an American Girl book. No she's not a kindergarten reading genius, but she wanted to get the books for "someday". Ahh, a girl after my own heart!

She also got this adorable pink cowgirl hat. She'll probably never wear it, it seems a bit small for her head, but I'll snag it and use it in a display somewhere.

Ya, I know, I buy too much Christmas stuff, but I just can't resist! I'd like to find more Fall
/Halloween things, and more Spring and Easter things, too.

We also went to Macie's school '50's dance. She was so cute in her kitty "poodle" skirt, and I dressed up as a tacky beautician.

I caught this totally candid moment of her applying her eyesahdow and lipgloss before we left for the dance. Yikes, she looks so grown up!

My beautiful doll.

My friend and I hangin' at the dance.

There were hula hoop contests, and lots of dancing to the Hokie Pokie, the Chicken dance, and the Bunny hop, of course. I've never excercised so much in my life!

I even hung in there during the whole "hand jive" dance from the movie Grease. I picked it up pretty quick (she said proudly), but woke up the next morning with bruises on my hands from the continual fist banging during the song! Can you believe!

Then I worked on Saturday, making people beautiful, and solving vexing hair color problems. (Did I mention I'm a hairstylist by profession?)

All in a days work for a mommy, professional hairstylist, bona-fide crafter, and wife/handjive dancer!

23 April, 2009

Alphabet blocks bookmark

Hey everyone out there in bloggy land! I've had a very creative week, so I thought I'd share another project with you.
You know I love 'em easy peasy, so here goes! We're making bookmarks out of old wooden alphabet blocks.
You'll need some old wood alphabet children's blocks, copped from a thrift store or yard sale. (or maybe your baby!)
Look for old books that have small illustrations you can cut out, to fit on the sides of the blocks. I used an old Little Golden book I found at the thrift store.

I layed the block on the pictures I thought would fit, then cut them out. You'll need 4 pictures.

I then used an antique colored decoupage glue, and glued them onto the 4 smooth sides of the block. The antique colored matches the color of the wood, making it look more original and old.

Make sure you coat them on the outside as well, once they're glued on to the block
.I trimmed as needed, and overlapped edges as I went, so there was no bare wood showing. The glue will help you seal it all up nice. My blocks were from the 80's, but looked brand new and too shiny, so I took my Mouse hand sander, and just made it look a little worn on the painted parts, and a little on the glued edges, to wear it.

Then I took a small eye and hook attachment, but first drilled into the bottom of the block with a very small drill bit, to get it started. Screw it up into the block, until tight. I got these at Home Depot, in the hardware dept.

See how the edges overlap?

I used fat ribbon, trimmed as long as I needed, and strung through the eye hook, then knotted and finished. I did one hook on the bottom, and one on the top.
How cute is that?

Hope this sparks your imagination to create one of these little beauties. I'd love to see them, let me know if you do!

21 April, 2009

Antique silverware project

Finally! Here is my silverware project I promised so long ago!

This is very simple, but first I must give credit for the idea to Rechelle at Walnuthaven Cottage for this fabulous idea. Go check out her version of framed silverware, and then hop on over to cherrysjubilee. She did domething similar, but with old child's school scissors. Love them both!

I rounded up my old antique silverware pieces, then went on the hunt at Goodwill for 2 matching frames. Here's what they looked like before:

Yikes! I know!
Pick a favorite scrapbook paper, preferrably with a smaller print, so it won't compete with the patterns in the silverware. Attach to the back of the frame, and reinsert into frame, securing with staples.
Play with the positioning of the silverware, until it looks right, then hot glue your pieces to your scrapbook backing. Hot glue will not ruin your pieces, and will come off when you want to repurpose them.
That's it! Here's my version, below.

Sorry for the yellow cast, I think that's my flash

A very simple redo, and the frames were 1.99 a piece, and I already had the silverware. If you don't have any, search at thrift stores and yard sales, or see if an antique store has odd mismatched pieces they'll sell for cheap.
Happy hunting!

19 April, 2009

Paper banner tutorial

Good morning, all!

Today I thought I'd show you a simple little craft you can do, with a computer, some ribbon, and some printed scrapbook paper.

I saw this on someone else's blog, and was going to give her credit and link back, but her blog disappeared, so what's a girl to do but take full credit for the idea?

I'm sure alot of you have done different versions of this, but here's mine.
This is a paper banner, in which I made my daughter's name to hang in her room.

First, I downloaded some fonts from dafont, and 1001 free fonts. You'll need a chunkier font for this to work.. I chose Callistroke. Edit: I forgot to add that you need to format the font to be outline only, so it prints correctly.
Then print out the letters you want, doing a test on plain computer paper first, to make sure they're all matching in size.

Note: I didn't know how to make my font really large, to fit a 8 1/2 x 11 size, so I found out and here's how: highlight your letter, then in your toolbar, choose format> fonts> then adjust the font size in the box, playing with it until you reach the desired size you want.

When everything looks good, print your letters out on your printed cardstock.

Mount on heavier cardstock, to make your letters sturdier, then cut out.

Punch holes in the top of each letter in a spot where the letters will hang balanced.

String through with ribbon, jute, string, or whatever makes yours unique!

As you can see in the close ups, the font I chose has lines inside the font. I think it gives it a little more of a 3d look, not so flat.

This would be a cute project to do with any word, like HOME, or FAITH, or your family name. Be creative, and have fun!

I also wanted to share small project with vinyl lettering I did for Macie's room.

I ordered the vinyl lettering through Uppercase Living, but almost everyone knows someone who has their own vinyl cutter nowadays. (Is that a word?)

I ordered the lettering mirrored, which means they cut the vinyl with the sticky side on the front.

I removed the back from the frame, then stuck the lettering on the glass from the back, then added the flower last.

You'll need to hot glue the glass back to the inside edge of the frame to secure it. Embellish with ribbon to hang. Super simple!

This week will bring my long awaited silverware project, and maybe a couple of other surprises and home decor ideas from Jo Packhams book I talked about last week. It's supposed to be a really warm week here, so I'll be able to do more of my projects.

Have a beautiful day, my bloggy friends.

18 April, 2009

Some snow, some sugar, and a crockpot

Yes, once again, snow has hit us! We've had literally no snow all winter, and once spring came, so did the snow. Here is a view out my front door. So I thought...

Why not make some Monkey bread? Yummy!

How can you resist all that brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon?
I've seen this recipe floating around for years, but never paid much attention until last Christmas, I was getting bored with quick store bought cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. I made these, and boy were they good. Good and fast, with that Islavedoverthisandtheyare definatelyhomemadetaste!
I took this recipe, and tweeked it to make it my own. Will I share? Of course!
Homemade Monkey bread
1/2 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans Grands Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 stick of butter, no substitutes

Heat oven to 350F, lightly spray a fluted bunt pan with cooking oil.
In a large ziplock bag, mix white sugar and the cinnamon. Open biscuits, and cut each one into 4 pieces, then a few at a time, shake in sugar mixture, until all are coated.
Mix melted butter and brown sugar together.
Place half of the coated biscuit pieces in the bunt pan, and pour half of the brown sugar mix over the pieces, then repeat with the second layer of biscuits, pouring the second half of the brown sugar mix to finish the top. If you want the walnuts and raisins in there, just sprinkle them among the two layers evenly.
Bake 30 minutes, uncovered, then pull out to see if the layers are cooked all the way through. I always have to cover it with foil, then bake it an additional 10-12 minutes, to finish it off.
Pull from the oven and eat while still hot. Yumm-o!
My daughter loves the snow, so we bundled her up, to go out and help Dad shovel. That lasted about 10 minutes, then she was off to the backyard to play by herself!

Then, she came in and was treated to some hot chocolate, her favorite.

After that, I assembled everything to put in the crockpot for some hot split pea soup for dinner tonight. If I'm feeling really energetic (which I doubt), I may make some homemade biscuits.

I have to tell you about my crockpot. Last night for dinner, I decided to do some BBQ chicken in the crockpot. I put the stuff in, and turned it on, and forgot about it, like you're supposed to do. I was so busy sewing the poodle skirt, and doing other things, I didn't really notice there was no yummy smells filling the house.
At 5:30, I go up to check dinner, and the crockpot had apparently decided to give up the ghost, AKA die!
I fiddled with the knobs, plugged and unplugged it, and nothing! Stupid thing!
I can say that, because I've always hated my newer crockpot.
About 3 years ago, I bought a bigger, fancy stainless steel looking one, to replace my smaller, totally 90's looking one.
The only thing I liked about it was that it was bigger, so you could cook more food. But it really was weird, because even on low, it vigorously boiled everything to death! The lid rattled to no end the whole time, and you couldn't leave it for the day to cook stuff, or it was burned to a crisp when you came home!
I'm glad it died, because now I can go buy a new one, how cool is that?
Here's my old trusty one, below, that is happy to come out of the cupboard, and tirelessly serve our family, once again.
I actually think the pattern on it is rather cute!

The soup is a really easy recipe, which I'll also share with you. I used leftover ham from Easter dinner last week.

"No Hassle" Split pea soup
1 lb. dry green split peas (soak overnight)
4 C. water
3/4 lb. ham, cubed
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tb chicken bouillion
1/2 C. celery, chopped
1 C. carrots, sliced
1/4 C. onions
1 bay leaf
Drain peas after soaking overnight, and add all ingredients to your crockpot. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours, or high 4-5 hours.
This fit in my smaller crockpot fine, and was plenty with leftovers. Double and put into the bigger size if you have a large family.
With the cold temperatures, I will not be able to do my silverware project, due to spray painting in a cold garage gives me the shivers, so stay tuned. Instead I'll be working on something indoors.

17 April, 2009

Buttons and a poodle skirt?

Yesterday I was looking at the thrift store, for important purposes, of course. My daughter's school is having a fun 50's dance next week, so I was trying to find a couple of things for our costumes.

I've decided to dress up as a 50's beautician, complete with ugly white smock top, bouffant hair, and cat eye glasses. My husband will be a greaser, and my daughter of course, had to have a poodle skirt. (More on that later).

I cruised the store, and in the back craft area, I found the most amazing buttons.

I bought 2 bags that had old buttons still on the cards, and a whole bag of loose buttons. There are some really old ones in here!

I may put some in my soon to be Etsy shop, so let me know if you're interested

I know! There's more!

The rhinestone pin in the middle of the picture was mixed in with the loose buttons. What a nice surprise!
I also found the missing pieces that I need to start my silverware project I promised was coming! Yay!
I will be working on that tomorrow, and hopefully posting on it soon. It's snowing here in Colorado, and our garage my workshop is freezing, so no spray painting unless I get brave.

So for the 50's dance, I decided I could make a poodle skirt myself, although technically I don't really sew! I do have a great old Singer sewing machine from the 1970's, given to me by my MIL. It was her husband's mom's, and is really a great machine. I've done small things here and there, nothing big.
Here she is, in all her 70's glory. I've actually been told to hold on to this old machine, because they were built so much better than the new ones! I think it's true, what do you think?

My friend came over and helped me get it going again, and explained a few fundamentals of sewing. So today I got out the pattern, and put it together pretty easily. The only part I got stuck on was the waist piece. I only pinned and unpinned it about 16 times, trying to interpret the pattern to get it right! Then I had to go back and shorten the length, which was waaay to long for a 6 year old! What do they think 6 year old are supposed to be, Amazons?

My daughter decided upon looking at the pattern that she wanted a kitty skirt, like the pink one in the picture (did I mention she'd CRAZY about kitty cats?) No poodles for this little miss!

So here it is!

The kitty turned out so cute, and reminds me of a stuffed cat my Aunt gave me when I was young. I think I'm more excited for her to wear it, than she is! I can't wait to get her all dressed up, and show her what the 50's was all about. (Of course, I wasn't there, but you know!)

Ugg, my husband just informed me we have a leak somewhere, 'cause there's water coming down from the ceiling where our window seat is situated. Off to see what's up!
Have a super weekend!


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