Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What I made for the Vintage Crafter's Challenge!

Head on over to Simple Simon and Company to see this Market Bag I made with their vintage supplies!
The Vintage Crafter's Challenge

With Apologies. . .

Hi Tuesday Friends,
So I had this great tutorial worked up to post for today, however. . . instead of posting it for you to enjoy, I took MC (one of the twins) to Children's ER with a fever of 104.5. Luckily she only has a virus and the fever has not been that high since (whew. . . sigh), unfortunately that means I have had no time to write my fun post for you. I thought instead that I would show you some pictures of my girls releasing butterflies at the zoo (pre-fever). We had so much fun!

Curious girls exploring butterflies

The butterfly expert giving O her butterfly to release
O's beautiful butterfly
MG's precious butterfly she named "Buddy"

 Giving "Buddy" a sip of nectar

MC is a bit unimpressed because the butterfly didn't
fly away. It just hung out crawling on her arm.
So she encouraged her butterfly to take a sip of nectar as well

O also was able to release a monarch

which flew to MG's finger
and then landed on the flower in MC's hair
Well, I hope you enjoyed our little introduction to summer. I promise to have my tutorial for you next week and a surprise as well. Are you excited? I am . . . 'til then, stay well and I will see you next Tuesday.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Breezy Summer Mantle with Free Printable

Happy Memorial Day everyone!  
I am very thankful for all those who served our country so we can enjoy our freedom. 

Since it seems this weekend kind of kicks off summer, I redid my mantle on Friday.  

My theme: pinwheels!

I made 6 out of pretty paper, and hung them on my branches. 
You can see how to make them here 
(although I used a brad in the center instead of a pin)

Then I created this print...you know from the song...and popped it in a frame.  
 (click on the pic to make it large, then right click and save it to your computer.  You may need to paste it into a Word document to make sure it is the correct size.  Then print it out!)
Easy summer decor.
 *warning - putting this up in your home will cause you to sing this song over and over 
- possibly for the rest of the summer..and who knows what he 
says after "makes me feel fine"?  somethin somethin... jasmine in my mind?*

I also made this print - I haven't decided where I am going to put it yet. 

Have a great day - feel the breeze and soak up the sun!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

{DIY} Tissue Paper Flower

Need some quick, simple, elegant decorations?  
Try this tissue paper flower!

Tissue paper
pipe cleaner

Step 1:  Cut 8 squares of tissue paper at 6".
Stack them on top of one another, then fold accordian style.
Step 2:  Twist a piece of pipe cleaner around the center.

Step 3:  Pull the first two layers up, and scrunch them down over the pipe cleaner - creating the center of your flower.

Step 4:  Gently separate the rest of the layers, pulling them up toward the center of your flower.

Step 5:  Snip the last three layers in half.

Arrange the petals until you are satisfied with the shape, then place in a vase!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cheater's Chicken Alfredo Bacon Spinach Pizza (and it's Gluten Free!)

If you're searching for something to make this Friday evening - this is it! 
SO yummy and so easy - you can make it either with a gfree crust or a wheat crust. 
Here's what you'll need:

Crust Mix (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Mix - it is amazing.)
Rotisserie Chicken
Applewood Smoked Bacon
Fresh Spinach
1 Jar of Bertolli Rosa Alfredo Sauce (have you tasted this stuff?! mmmm.....)
Mozzerella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil (once you pull it out of the oven)

Prep:  Preheat the oven to the temp specified on the crust mix (ours was 425).  Mix up the crust.  While it is rising, cook the bacon either on the stove or in the oven.  Pull the rotisserie chicken off the bone and place it in a bowl.  When the crust has risen, roll/pat it out on your pans.  The gfree one has to be baked for 7 minutes before you put the toppings on. 
Toppings:  Pour some of the sauce out of the jar and spread it around with the back of a spoon.  Layer all of your toppings on in the order of your preference. 
We have a big debate around our house about how to top a pizza.  I like the cheese to go on last.  Ryan likes the cheese to go on first.  Whatever.  To each his own - it still tastes amazing.
Bake in the oven for around 12 minutes. 

Remove from the oven, top with fresh basil, and enjoy a delicious, gourmet pizza!
Mmmmmm writing this really makes me want some...wonder how cold pizza tastes with coffee?
Happy weekend friends - if you're stuck in this horrible rain storm stay dry and safe!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

**Giveaway Winner!**

Wow - you girls have such great ideas!! It was sooo hard for me to choose a winner, but I had to go with Alice who became a follower and said:

"I love the floral and the orange. I sew on an old Singer that was my husband's grandmas. It has a beautiful sewing table, but has the ugliest seat. It is covered in old, tanish colored fake leather vinyl stuff. It makes a cracky sound when you sit on it. It is kind of sticky filling. Mostly, it is just nasty. I would use the floral fabric to cover it and make it pretty again. I like the orange, because I just love orange. I would probably use it to make a pillow for my couch."
By Alice on Giveaway Day!! on 5/23/11

Okay Alice - you go make a cover for your poor sad chair!  Then you can sew a pillow for your couch!  You have 48hrs to send me your information - otherwise the fabric goes to another brilliant reader!  Love you guys!

*Inspired Homemaking* - Link Love

If you're new here, welcome!  and this is my version of a link love post - It's every Thursday (almost) and is a collection of beautiful things I find during the week that I want to share with you.

If you are featured - grab a lovely little button, you earned it!

Almost everyone I know is getting an IPad, and this would be a great cover to make for one. 
Get the tutorial at The Cottage Home.

This is a great gift idea for anyone really, but Jennifer at Delightfully Noted suggests giving it to your favorite teacher.  So adorable.

Courtney at Mon Petit Lyons, made this table runner for Valentine's day, but I think it would work great year round...of course it features a lot of AMH, who I love, you know.

You know I love toadstools right?
This pillow at Lovely Little Handmades is just adorable.

Okay I can't find any info about this anywhere - but it is amazing.
I first saw it on Pinterest.

The big question everyone is asking is what is the white?
I think it's marshmallow.
yum. and adorable. 
I'm thinking you could do this with other fruits too - say pineapple, cantaloupe, and kiwi?

And lastly, here are a few pics from an Antique store we visited last Saturday.  It's on *Inspired Homemaking* because I really just wanted to crawl into an antique bed and live there. 
They had plenty of dishes and clothes. 
I think it would have worked out.

How amazing are these stairs? 
I will have painted stairs someday.

Have a great Thursday, friends.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pretty Pillow Shams - a (really!) simple tutorial

For Mother's Day this year, my husband built us a bed.  We were using an antique one that was my Great-grandmothers, and we loved it, it's just kinda creaky.  So it's now in our guest bedroom.  Ryan found a great knock-off plan over on Ana White's blog and built this Pottery Barn Farmhouse Bed.

The original is around $1200.00.  Ryan spent $40.
All of the wood was reclaimed wood - he got a bunch from a pile at a lumber yard - so all he had to purchase was the stain, wood filler, nails, and screws.

Isn't it pretty?  Thanks hubby!
Well, I've been wanting to show it to you for a few weeks, but the pillow situation was SO embarrassing I couldn't do it.  I HAD to make some shams first.
and so I did.
and I made a tutorial in case you are in the same plight I was in.
Shams can be made in many many ways, but since I wanted to keep it simple I made them pillowcase style.  If you use 56" wide fabric this works out perfectly because you can use the selvage for the edge of the pillow and you don't even have to finish it!  I also left the edges of my embellishment raw because I was lazy thought that's what Anthropologie would do.  Right?  Pretty sophisticated silk - embellished with bright, textured fabrics with a raw edge.  I know it's not everyone's style, so if you hate the raw edges (mom) just sew all four pieces together then stitch the whole thing on the pillowcase.
Here is what you will need (these measurements are for a queen size, but they're not really tall, so feel free to adjust the measurements to your liking). 

11/3 yard of 56" wide fabric
Fabric scraps in your color palate 2 different colors 6 1/2' x18"- fat quarters would work well, or just something from your stash
Sewing machine/thread
Scissors/pins/yard stick

Step 1:  Cut out the pieces.  Cut four pieces 19"x 26" out of your main fabric.  (Best to do this by folding the fabric selvage to selvage (the width from selvage to fold will be 26") then just measure 19" from the edge, cut and another 19" and cut).  Out of your embellishing fabrics cut 8 pieces 3 1/4" x 9" (4 of each color).

Step 2:  Turn your pillowcase pieces right sides together, and sew around the three sides that are NOT the selvage.
Clip the corners and turn right side out.

Step 3:  Pin the first rectangle to the front (be sure to only pin it to the top piece!).

Top stitch it on about 1/2" from the edge.

Pin the second rectangle on - and place it right up next to the first one so that the seam allowances will stand up - like this:

Sew around that piece.

Continue in this way until all four piece are sewn on. Like I said before, if you would like, sew all 4 pieces right sides together to create one big rectangle.  Then press all the edges under and topstitch that on.

Step 4:  Stuff your pillowcase with a pillow - I just used a regular queen sized pillow from Target.  That's it!
4 easy steps to a better looking bed - AND it looks so custom with that bolster which you can find the tutorial for here.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

{DIY} Enameled Ink Coaster

So, it's the end of the year and I have two wonderful and adorable Preschool teachers to make gifts for. These fantastic ladies are OBSESSED with Route 44 Diet Cokes from Sonic. It has become a running joke with us this year, and so I decided to play up the fun with their gifts.
I learned this craft from a Stampin' Up consultant. I have loved doing it and it is a great craft for your kids to do as well. Here is what you will need:

Unglazed tile (tumbled travertine, or unglazed porcelain tile) [4x4 or 6x6 are good sizes]
Craft ink (you do not have to use Stampin' Up ink, but it MUST be craft ink)
Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (you can find it here)
paper to cover your work surface
glue gun

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Cover your work surface with a piece of paper. Lay your tile on the paper. Decide what design or words you will want to stamp.

I chose to stamp Route 44 Parking Permit for the teachers' obsessively large thirst for beverages from Sonic.

Pour the embossing enamel powder over the ink as soon as you have stamped your tile. Let the powder sit for a minute or two to make sure it adheres to the ink.

I was unable to find the embossing powder in any craft store where we are, which is why I ordered it online, but you may be able to find it in art stores or in your local craft store.
The reason you must use craft ink is that it stays wet longer, allowing you time to stamp and then pour the embossing enamel powder over the ink, thus making the powder stick to the ink.

Shake off the excess embossing enamel onto the paper. See how the embossing enamel sticks to the ink? Well, maybe not, it was difficult to capture this, but the powder sticks to the ink making the ink look grainy.

Place the tile onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, but check after 5. The tiles is ready to remove from the oven when the stamped image looks wet and glossy. When you remove your tile from the oven, allow to cool to the touch, this doesn't take long, perhaps 20 minutes.

While you wait on your tile to bake, pick up the paper with the leftover embossing enamel powder and pour it back into the container. This stuff will last you for a VERY long time.

Hot glue some felt to the back of your tile (which is now a coaster) and you are finished. Add a sonic gift card and a Route 44 Diet Coke and their gift is complete.
Fun, right?
I hope you like this craft. It really is fun, easy, and the results are rather nice. Happy Tuesday everyone. See you next week,

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