Dec
17
2011

Super easy to make puppy chow in 10 steps!  Great treat to bring with you to the Holiday party…everyone will love you!


1. Melt one cup chocolate chips
2. Add in 1/2 cup peanut butter and melt
3. Finally melt in 1/4 cup butter 
4. Pour melted mix over 9 cups of cereal
5. Mix gently until cereal is coated evenly
6. Pour into garbage bag
7. Dump 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar into garbage bag
8. Gently shake until powdered sugar coats it all 
9. Chill in fridge for about 15 mins 
10. Serve!

Dec
17
2011

Golden Revamped Frames

Step One:  Go to your basement, closet, or local Savers and find some old different sized frames.  The more of a variation in shape and texture, the better they will look together.  

Step Two:  Clean the frames with something like windex to remove any dust or price tag glue.

Step Three:  Take the glass out of the frames.  If you can’t remove the glass, simply put some painters tape over the glass near the edges of the frame.  

Step Four:  Get your supplies ready!  You’ll need a paint tray, a sponge brush, ( bristles will show more texture with your paint strokes if that’s what you’re looking for,) gold and silver paint, and patients!  Because we aren’t sanding the frames down or anything, a few coats are going to be needed.  If you don’t let each coat dry completely, you’ll end up with streaks of the original frame showing through.  That can give a really antique look to the frame, just be sure you like the colors of the frames you’re choosing.

Step Five:  Whichever color you’d like to have most prominent, use it first!  I chose gold, just because the warm tones of the gold pair well with the oranges and browns I have in my room.  Pour a healthy amount of your color onto your paint pallet and stir it up a little with your sponge brush.  

Step Six:  Start painting!  For the frames with more texture like the one below, you’ll want to really saturate your sponge and squish it on the textured areas.  This will ensure an even spread of paint on all the bumps and cracks.  The direction of your brush strokes doesn’t matter much on your first coat.  Just be sure to cover as much of the original color of the frame as you can.

Step Seven:  After your first coat has dried get your other paint color and mix some of your original with your new color.  You’ll want about 60 new color, 40 first color.  Make sure you mix the two colors together pretty well before you start painting.

Step Eight:  As you can see on the bottom of the frame below, the color only varies slightly when it’s wet, but once this coat is dry, it has a beautiful sheen of silver to it.

Step Nine:  After your second coat is dry, inspect the frames for any show through of the original color, or any flaws in the direction of the brush strokes that look weird.  

Step Ten:  Put the glass back in and admire your uniformly golden/silvery set of frames!  These look great grouped together as a collage of frames on the wall or together on a sofa table.  They will even look great next to different colored frames, with the shine of the new frames creating a beautiful accent.

Dec
13
2011

Striped Quilt

Above are examples of what your finished project will look like.  You’ll end up with a throw-sized, or large baby blanket.  My favorite part about making this quilt was picking out all the fun fabrics.  If you search enough, you can find some great deals.  I went to Joanne’s for all of my different fabric, but as long as you can get enough of each, and you stick to cottony blend, you’ll be good!

As you can see above, you’ll need 5 different cotton fabrics, ( 1/2 yard each,) and one soft fabric for the back of the quilt, ( 2 yards.)  You will end up with extra, but it’s better than not having enough!  And I’m sure all you creative crafters out there will find something to do with your leftovers.

1.  Start by folding all of your fabrics, lining up corners and edges to ensure a straight cut.  For fabrics with plaid patterns, you will want to line up the pattern like the above.  You won’t be able to get it perfect, but the closer to lined-up the better.  

2.  The thickness of the stripes is up to you, just make sure you vary them.  The point is to have a quilt, not a uniformly even blanket of equal stripes.  Plus it’s easier to hide small mistakes, like not sewing in a straight line, (guilty!)  

3.  Okay… FAST FORWARD…make sure you keep the stacks of each fabric separated, so when you piece together your quilt pattern later, you can pick your stripe order easier.

I found it helpful to stack them according to size, like my lovely organized photo above.

(One more, just because they look so pretty all organized.)

 

4.  Next you’ll lay all of the pieces out how you want them sewn together.  It’s easier if you keep them folded up and lay them side by side, still showing the width of each stripe so you’re able to vary the sizes…(I learned that after I already ran out of room while I was laying them out.  Oops!)

5.  Stack your strips in the order you had planned out, and get ready to sew!

6.  A good thing to remember… keep the pretty sides together, and keep sewing like a book, like the above. Your next strip of fabric in this photo series would have shown you how your next strip would go pretty side to pretty side of the bottom strip and the seam will go on the side that hasn’t been sewn yet…self explanatory, I know, but I still wish I had a picture for you…you’ll really have to get creative with this project!

7.  In hindsight, I would’ve taken more photos, but this was my first time making one so I missed some steps.  Anyway, make sure you keep one end of your quilt lined up.  One end will be uneven like the photo above, but you’ll cut the excess off in the end.  

Like I mentioned before, you can’t get it perfect… so just eyeball it!

8.  Get your pins ready and put the pretty sides together again.  Line up your sewn together stripes and your soft fuzzy back as best you can, leaving the excess soft fabric on one end to be cut off.

9.  Trim the soft fabric nearly up to the edge of the sewn together strips.  You’ll need a little leeway to make sure everything is straight before you pin.

10.  Pin your stripes and your soft side together, trying to keep the ends of the pins nearest to the outside edge as possible.

11.  Carefully folding your pinned quilt up, bring it over to the sewing machine, and just sew as close as you can to the edge, and mind the pins!  Don’t forget to leave a small (1-2”) space on one corner so you can pull the insides out like pillowcase when you’re done.  

12. Pull it inside out and see how pretty it looks!!!!

13.  One final stitch around the outside edges and you’re done!  I loved how easy this was and how cute it turned out.  I loved it so much, I made a second one! 

My fabric went from the above to the below!  

Nov
27
2011

An Organized Display

In small living spaces, it can be difficult to conceal everything for a clutter-proof appearance.  It is sometimes impractical to try to cram everything into a drawer or cupboard, (things easily lose their place or are shoved around so frequently, they lose their organization.) For items I use daily, an organized display is my go-to technique.  A simple vase or small glass can make things like bobby pins and makeup brushes look pretty, but still easy to get to.  

Another tough thing is makeup.  No matter what I do, make up always looks cluttered to me.  Everything comes in such different shapes and sizes, you end up with bulky items overflowing your makeup bag and covering up little items on the very bottom.  I love this old wooden box for my makeup.  It is shallow enough to fit into a drawer and I can see everything without having to dig too much.  A pretty box to contain clutter makes things look less messy.  If you really don’t like seeing the mess, a cheap photo box with a lid is another great solution.  

Necklaces are such an easy fix.  Everyone has a tangled clump of necklaces in their jewelry box.  So why not take the necklaces you wear most often and make an organized display of them?  All you really need is a piece of wood and some long nails.  The piece in the photo was actually a garage sale find, but you can see how easy it is to create.  No time for a project?  Just take some pretty push pins,(clear, silver, or gold would work well,)  pin them in a row under a mirror and hang your necklaces!  

I’ve also been trying out a fairly flat bowl for my earrings, broaches and bracelets.  I got this bowl at Ikea for about $5.  I love the grainy look of it against all the shiny sparkle of the rings and earnings. 

The final organized display I conquered was my scarves!  A few hooks grouped together are a great way to hang your scarves, keeping them within reach as you run out the door.  I snatched this multicolored tin hook display at Pier 1 for $6.99!  You can even pick up some Command hooks at Target so you don’t put holes in your walls.  I believe they make them in nice finishes like brushed copper, stainless steel, etc.  

TIP:  Anything can become cluttered if you overload the space.  Try to tuck away less common items, rather than putting them on display.  For example, I put out my commonly worn winter scarves and tucked my lighter spring scarves into a nice bin in my closet.  


Nov
27
2011

All Together Now…

Here is the cozy woodsy creation originating from the loud and contrasting patterns and textures from the inspiration board. I think what it really comes down to is you will pick out each individual item because you like it - not because it came in a bed in a bag. These are items that differ in texture, pattern, even color, but together create a very designer feel. Details and layers are what makes this intimate, unique, and most importantly…. YOURS! And how cool is it that all of these items were either thrift store steals, or clearance from my favorite stores? ( And actually, the flowers were a free-be wedding centerpiece! Thanks Max and Ashley!) All of these tips on how to layer and work with contrast apply to other places in your home…like your couch, place settings, and even your bathroom! It may seem overwhelming to try and conquer an entire room at once… so start small with a bed spread, or a few new throw pillows and picture frames. Sometimes, the longer it takes for you to acquire items, the more unique and special they will be. Just don’t get distracted and switch your colors whilst compiling your inspiration collage… or you really will have closets full of treasures- mismatched treasures at that!

 

Nov
23
2011

Inspiration Board Continued…


When you start with small details like your favorite pillow, window coverings, or a cozy blanket, building a cozy retreat is easy. Don’t be afraid of using patterns together, or even bold colors. As long as you stick with one or two base colors to flow throughout the rest of your items, it will seem cohesive once it’s all together. The inspiration collage uses orange mainly, with earthy warm brown, golden yellow and grey to complement it. It’s also a great idea to bring in different textures to make a space feel more layered and personal. The brown threading is a great contrast to the velvet, or even the warm wood.

In my next post I show you how this really is a cohesive look… for those non-believers or even the curious-minded.

TIP: A local thrift shop or goodwill is a great place to find unique fabrics and items for cheap! Your closet may even have some treasures you don’t know of. An old skirt could be just the right amount of fabric to cover a small throw pillow, or old sheets for new curtains! The recycling possibilities are endless, if you use your imagination.


Nov
22
2011

Inspiration Board: BED

Nov
20
2011

"Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER."

Mark Twain

This is one my favorite quotes, which often challenges me to be courageous and follow my dreams.  I have always enjoyed writing, but my goal is to combine many things I love to do and make it somewhat interesting for all of you out there to read and enjoy.  I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks I’ve adopted for organizing, decorating, crafting, cooking, life, love, relationships, and who knows what else!  We’ll see where this trade wind takes me and my sail!

 I sincerely hope you enjoy, 


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