Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghost in a Jar

I caught a little halloween spirit... in a jar!

A shout out to Mad Vintage Life for the awesome idea!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chalk it up!

It had to happen sooner or later...  chalk paper or chalk paint.

I resisted.

I gave in.

And I have to say.. it was fun.  :-)

I especially love the chalk paints!  Must play more with those!!  Chalk it up to fate.  Pun intended!

So this is a grateful shout out to Thrifty Decor Chick for this most excellent idea.

I love the containers in my kitchen.  And I love that I am not stuck with the label -- I can make it whatever I put in to it.  Sweet.

Oh...  Notice my whole wheat flour is about to expire?  Got any great ideas how I could use it up rapidly??

Participating in...

Sunday, August 1, 2010


On average, I think I have a 10% success rate -- one in every 10 trips results in success when I go thrifting.  Is that because I don't look the the right places or I just don't have a practiced eye?


A nice, medium-sized covered dish that washed up nicely.


A practical, medium-ish-sized bowl for ... whatever.

4 plates for $12

Couldn't resist despite the price.  :-)

What do you think?  Like my finds??

Monday, July 12, 2010

Easy Artwork

Dollar Store frames, Martha Stewart punched stickers, & a complimentary 12x12 scrap booking page cut for the background:

Nice & Easy!  :-)

Participating in:
  & The DIY Show Off

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Quick" Ribbon Pillow FINALLY Done!

This Ribbon Pillow was started at least 5 years ago.  I can't remember. BUT...  I finally, FINALLY finished it.  I love getting project done!   Doesn't it look nice?  It's ribbons weaved and ironed on to fusible webbing.  This is a nice project if you're ever looking for something fun to do with ribbons.

Do you like it?

Participating in Metamorphosis Monday and DIY Project Parad.

The DIY Show Off

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No Sew Bunting Fun

SUCCESS!  Well, mostly.  I won't point out the flaws.  Who is it that says it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful?

So here's a shout out to Maggy at Redtedart for this great No Sew Bunting project.  I got it done within a few hours on a weekend.  I used more stitch witchery than she called for -- I put it inside the bias tape and in the fold of the bias tape against the triangles.  Otherwise, I pretty much followed her directions.

From Jo-Ann Fabrics, I used:
- 1 fabric bundle ($10 before a 40% off coupon)
- 3 packages of blue bias tape
- 2 packages of stitch witchery

Didn't that come out really nice?  Next time I might try sewing one, but this was a sweet success.

Participating in:  Met Monday & DIY Showoff

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh where can those doors be?

Failure.  Ugh!!

What?  What is it I'm talking about?  Let me tell you!

I fell in love.  With a headboard.  And I thought it should be so easy to find those 4 raised-panel kitchen cupboard doors.  Have you seen the project from Remodelaholic?  It's fantastic!

Finding those doors has proven to be insidiously difficult.

I used Craigslist, Facebook, and the local Free Cycle. No luck.

I visited, not one, not two, but THREE different "house parts" kinds of places more than once.

No luck!

It should be so much easier, don't you think??  How do I get this project done?  

I need your advice!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My first furniture before & after

This is my first furniture before & after.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! 

But first, what did I learn?

1.  Black paint is awesome. 
2.  Benjamin Moore paint is not carried at Lowes or Home Depot.
3.  Rust-Oleum paint isn't half bad as alternative.
4.  Those little foam roller brushes rock - no brush bubbles or bristle strokes!

And now....

Here's what the table looked like before:

And after...

And here's me doing my happy dance (you'll just have to imagine it because you don't REALLY want to see it)!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easy Wall Art from a Disney Souvenir

Who doesn't love an easy wall art project?

Frame a favorite pin from Disney World!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fabric Basket

A shout out to The Sometimes Crafter for the nice, easy to follow (especially given my novice status as a sewer) tutorial for a Fabric Basket.

If I was able to sew with any consistency, it would have looked better, but I'm pleased nonetheless. So check it out and give a try! This is a nice project to use up scraps and fat quarters.

Review?  I will be making more of these.  They'll be nice to store some of my craft materials.  I may even try making some to use for my son's toys.  I especially like how quickly I was able to get one done.

Things I learned:  1) You really *do* need a good cutting surface.  2) Don't give up -- finish it, you still may love it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kitchen Conundrum

Our kitchen is stuck in the year 1968 or somewhere very near there.  Actually, that's not quite true.  A number of months ago, my dear husband started to pull down wall paper and now a third our kitchen is in that "undone" state.  The stuck part has dark brown cabinets, a brown push-button electric stove, and centennial wallpaper.

Anyhow I hate my kitchen and I should have held out for a better one when we were house hunting.  I was tricked by the amount of space, but in truth only half the kitchen is actually workspace.  The rest is eating space.  I didn't recognize that.  And the amount of workspace is laughable.  How on earth did the family before us live and raise children with this kitchen?

Here are the major problems, aside from outdated appliances and decor:
  • No pantry!!
  • Terrible lighting
  • Poor storage
  • Horrible work flow/design
  • Traffic pattern bisects the kitchen

We will finally be talking to someone about redoing our kitchen. We chose them because on their website they say they will work with DYI people. They have a culinary center and a can take care of design as well as the whole renovation and contractor process. I asked around and they've got a solid reputation, so I'm nervously optimistic that our kitchen conundrum will begin to be solved with these people.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Candle Shade Knock-off

While I still may buy these candle shades from Chiasso since they are so pretty, I nevertheless decided to give it a go and make some for myself.  They turned out pretty well and I think I may spend more time with better paper next time.

Anyhow, my proof-of-concept worked pretty well though you can see I did not take enough time to make sure I was cutting straight.  :-/  Also, if I were making these for a dinner party or something in particular, I would have taken my time and chosen different paper.

I was thinking that those edge punches would make for a pretty border on the top and bottom of these shades..
First, I started with the biggest bowl I could find to make a nice circle.  That bowl turned out to be a pasta serving bowl in case you'd like to use yours.  Then I used some fancy folding (er, I just folded it in half to find the middle) and then found another circle shaped object, a cup, to trace in the center.  Once I was done tracing, I cut out my pattern.  Then I trimmed it down until I found a shape that would work for my wide wine glasses and fit 12x12 scrapbook paper.

With my pattern, I cut out two shades at once.  This paper is not my first choice for decorating, but it was sufficient for my test.

Finally, I rolled it into a shade-shape and glued it.  Voila!  It was and easy project.

For safety sake, I would warn anyone trying this to use LED tea lights and not real ones.  I tried to do a nice picture with real tea lights (I do not have the battery-operated ones on hand) and I think I'd be worried about the paper catching fire.

Let me know what you think and certainly post pictures if you try this project.

Happy Met Monday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Play Mailbox

For months I've been asking (ahem... yes, that would be nagging) my sweet husband to build our son a mailbox.  Our son outgrew his awesome Little Tikes Garden with the little mailbox that he loved so much and I knew he'd love a bigger one.

Well this one is probably more than I meant, but it was easy and inexpensive to do.  It's just a regular, plastic mailbox on a post with a base nailed on and then painted white.

Our son LOVES it.  He's already stuffed his favorite bear and cars in it and, of course, played mailman.

Now I intend to make him a mail carrier bag and maybe a mailbox (drop box) and he can really get in to his pretending.  Sometimes it's a lot of fun being a parent!

Please drop me a quick comment and let me know what you think!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cabin Fever

Like so many others, it's this time of year that gets me restless.  I start looking for travel deals, especially ones to Walt Disney World.  While we could do it very cheaply by staying off-site or at a value resort, I end up always want to stay at my favorite moderate resort, Port Orleans Riverside.  I love the feel of the place and that we can take a boat ride to Downtown Disney.  I don't want to wait until this fall to take a trip.  I want to take one in May.

But then the cost prevents me from making any plans ... and then I'm back to my winter blues.  Oh, but I can look at pictures from our last trip and smile.  How can you not when my boy is so darned cute?  We had such a nice time, but it's never long enough.  I could happily spend two weeks or more there.  I envy those who do!

Well, I guess I can't complain too much given that I live in the Great Lakes and Finger Lakes region.  Typically our winters are full of snow and we have a contest with neighboring cities (Buffalo & Syracuse).  However, we don't have as much as those of you south of us.  I'd go play out in the snow with my son, but the temp is only 17 degrees.  Brrrr!  Not much fun for snow frolicking.  Guess I'll go shopping instead.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Okay... Okay..  I know it's a mundane thing to post for Metamorphosis Monday, but I just have to!

You see, it has only taken me nearly 5 years to accomplish the oh so small feat of selecting curtains. And what a difference it makes to the room -- it transforms the feeling of it entirely and makes it much more cozy.  I wish I could have found curtains I didn't hate years ago.  Or I wish I could bravely mistreat my windows like the Nester.

And I got to tell you something.  I hate ironing.  The room has 4 windows and that meant 8 panels to iron.  Bleah.

So what do you think?  Any ideas for an affordable area rug for me that will allow me to play with whatever color I want in the room (hint:  see that photo on the wall)? And what the heck were the house designers thinking in 1968?  Who puts a heating vent under a window where it could potentially be behind curtains?!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

I must have been hiding under a rock or something, because I just finally stumbled on to this awesome Muppets version of Bohemian Rhapsody.  I grew up watching the Muppet Show and love seeing them when we visit Disney World.  I'm so glad Disney is doing more with them like with their "Give a Day. Get a Day." promotion.  And this video rocks!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Yummy & Easy Pumpkin Muffins

How much easier can a two ingredient recipe be?!

My 3-year-old son absolutely LOVES these and asks for seconds. Even my husband asks me to make them.  And -- get this -- this is a Weight Watchers friendly recipe.  Can you believe that one muffin is 3 points?


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together:
  • spice cake mix
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree

I find that the results are nicer if you sift the cake mix, otherwise you probably will want to spend a little time mixing out the small lumps of cake mix.

OR, use your mixer to work out the lumps.  I tried this new beater blade attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and it's pretty cool (thank you Santa).  It did a great job getting rid of the cake batter lumps and the muffin comes out really smooth.

Anyhow, the resulting mix will be thick, but that's okay!

Spoon equal amounts into cupcake pan (use cupcake liners for best results).  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

If you try this recipe, I'd love to hear about it!

I'm participating in DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land -- so fun!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My curtain challenge.

Curtains for my living room (or is it a family room?) have been a huge challenge for me.  I don't really have a specific color scheme nailed down which is certainly part of the problem.  I've also been searching for an area rug that I like, but haven't found one.  Yes, I know I'm probably doing everything in the wrong order, but that's just how I seem to do things sometimes.

So my family room is huge -- it runs the whole side of my house and has 4 very tall windows.  Therefore buying curtains you don't like (or do like!) is not cheap.  Sadly I don't have the Nester's knack for tasteful mistreatment of windows, but I greatly admire it.  And honestly, I would still have the similar challenge of finding that much fabric to even attempt her lessons on mistreatment.

To date, I have tried 3 different curtains.  First, a very vivid red duck cloth type from JC Penny.  I chose it because my husband really wants to have color in the room.  We differ on what that might mean, but we both agreed that the red was too much for the room.  Next we tried a neutral/beige, stripped curtain, again from JC Penny.  I made the mistake of not noticing the width was larger so the curtain looked ridiculous as there was too much fabric -- though the color wasn't bad.  Then I admit I gave up and decided to put up some very cheap curtains from Target for my third try.  Who knew that the rod pockets wouldn't be large enough?!  Groan.

The holidays then arrived and I abandoned all efforts to put up curtains.  Bleah.

After Christmas, JC Penny had another sale to lure me back in again.  My husband and I liked the style of the first curtains we tried, but not the color so I went back and stared at the color selection for a while.  I finally settled on a toffee color and nervously awaited for them to be ordered in.

Results?  I am pleasantly pleased with them!

And now I am off to find an area rug that will work in the room.  It has to allow for red, green, and toffee.  It should also allow light yellow and blue to be in the room.  What do you think?  I'm nuts, right?  Hah!!  But what's life without a little challenge?

Seriously, if you have any tips or suggestions, I'll take them.  I will also amend this post with a few pictures of the room when I get them taken.