Monday, December 2, 2013
I’m pleased to share my Christmas mantel with you today. This mantel is so different than anything else I’ve ever done. Never in a million years would I have dreamed that I would have a woody cabin inspired mantel. It’s never been my style, but I suppose I should have kept in mind my favorite saying, “Never say Never”. I’ve said it for years, because I truly believe you never stop changing and evolving. What you dislike like today, you may like tomorrow and vise versa. And really it’s not a bad thing. Life changes and we need to too. Really the best part of this mantel in my mind, is the fact that I really had no idea where this mantel was going. Months ago I decided I wanted to incorporated white branches in my Christmas mantel. That was all I had going in. I just started decorating, and looking around the house. I pulled the mirror from the basement, the silver K was dusty and dirty in the garage, and the grapevine reindeer is from Joann’s. He was actually in my car to return. I loved him when I saw him, but just didn’t know how he would ever fit in to my décor. Old white cable knit sweater sleeves dressed up some plain glass vases and gave my branches some where to sit. I found this beautiful wool felted ribbon at a specialty store a while back.
I painted an old sconce glass by dipping it in paint and letting it dry. It reminds me of a snowy mountain top.
A few extra large pinecones flank the edge of the mantel, set off by burlap bows.
Saving that box of old clear bulbs that use too much electricity finally paid off! I used some white paint and painted them to match, then using twine attached everything together. It makes a nice subtle bunting.
My snow shoes came from the Katie Brown collect at Meijer. If you’ve never checked this line out, you totally should. It is so cute I almost regret giving you this tip!
I found this neat paper star at Home Goods and used it with some white picks to tie my tree into the mantel. This is the first year I have two trees up in my house. I purchased this skinny tree in an urn and really do love the size of it in my family room, which isn’t that large. Not having a tree skirt on the floor makes everything feel neater. I also added the painted lights attached to the wool ribbon around the tree as the garland.
Here’s how it all looks together. I am loving the layered effects of the wreath over the mirror and the reindeer on top of that. It really adds a lot of dimension to the room. The mantel feels cozy and natural to me. I feel like I will be able to leave this up the whole winter.
My monogrammed fire place cover is made from Pallet wood and is insulated to keep out the chill. If you missed that post you can find it HERE. Here’s a closer look at just the mantel.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my mantel. Diane
Saturday, November 30, 2013
While decorating for the holidays, I wanted to give my stainless steel reindeer a little holiday cheer. So I took a grapevine wreath (available at the Dollar Tree), and simply wrapped the wreath in a chevron burlap (from Hobby Lobby). I secured it in back with a dab of hot glue. Then I took two sprigs of pine branches (Hobby Lobby again) and pulled apart the stems into smaller pieces and glued them around the bottom half of the wreath. Afterward I tried a simple bow with the ribbon and attached it. I think it took longer for my glue gun to get hot than to complete the whole project. The results were just what I wanted, simple and understated, but with enough flare to make my reindeer feel special. And he does! The end.
Thanks for stopping by! Diane
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I spent Tuesday afternoon crafting with my two good friends. So much of my crafting is done alone, so when I get the chance to craft with friends, it’s always a good time. This post is simple, short and sweet because we talked too much to get any pictures along the way. So here are our 3 finished snowmen.
My friend, Linn gets the credit for coming up with this craft and getting all the supplies. Almost all of these items came from the Dollar Tree. You will need 2 glass bowls (one fluted on top, and the other a smaller one that fits perfectly in inside the top of the first), one pair of socks (use one for the hat and one for the scarf), a string of white lights and embellishments of your choosing, white paint, modge podge and Epsom Salts.
We painted the glass white and let it dry, then we use modge podge to coat the glass and added Epsom salts. We applied a blow dryer once dry to whiten the Epsom salts and then used a clear coat spray over the top to help adhere the salts. Stuff the lights evenly inside with the cord out the back, we applied a couple dots of hot glue to hold the glass jars together. Then with a hot glue we applied our embellishments. Cut the sock one sock down the side to create one long piece. This will be your scarf. The other sock is your hat. Again, use your imagination to create the hat you want. I tied a knot on the top and cut off the open end to shorten. Then I rolled it up to create a cuff. Or you could tie a string around the top to make the hat more flappy.
Each one really has it’s own personality. Mine is the blue one on the right. They are seriously stinkin’ cute in person!!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Have you got a drafty fireplace????
I do! The calendar may only say November, but it has been cold around here lately, and not just cold, but windy too. And that means that I am once again reminded of how the cold air can make the unlit fireplace feel down right cold. Not to mention the loss of heat going right up the chimney. I’m thinking of having a new sealing damper put on, but until I do, I needed something to help keep the family room a little more comfortable. So I came up with an idea to help me stay warmer, it involves pallet wood. No silly! I’m not burning it (I don’t think that’s a good idea!)
You start with a piece of Styrofoam installation. I bought mine at Lowes.
Then you measure the inside edge of the insert and cut your foam to fit snuggly inside. You want it to seal the opening completely.
Next cut slits in so your door handles fit inside. This will allow you to push the foam completely flush, so it’s important!
Then I cut pallet wood to fit over the top of the Styrofoam and glued the wood to the foam with liquid nails. I let it dry over night. I choose a flooring pattern.
Using a wooden letter from Michael’s, I laid it in the center and used Krylon Spray Wood Stain in Earthen Brown to paint over the whole piece.
Then I removed the letter and voila, I had a cute monogramed fireplace cover. Once it was dry, I put the panel in the opening of the fireplace.
Now I have an insulated fireplace panel that keeps out the cold drafts and looks cute to boot!!
To start a fire we just have to pull it off and set it aside. Remember NOT to place the cover on until your fireplace is completely cool again. The Styrofoam is not fire-proof and neither is the pallet wood!!! Always be safe. Remember to open your flue when starting a fire, and close it again when your fire is completely cooled.
Hoping you stay warm and safe this winter!
Friday, November 1, 2013
As the leaves start to fall along with the temperatures, we all have cold and flu season to look forward to. My family and I have already gotten our flu shots, but with 2 kids in school it’s inevitable that someone is going to have a cold or flu through-out the winter. I thought it would be fun to create a cute little Cold and Flu tray to set aside just for those days when someone is feeling miserable.
Using a couple of bar jars, I stenciled onto a burlap ribbon to create 2 jars, one for cough drops, and one for throat lozenges. I then glued the ribbon to the jars and fastened some rick-rack around it. Washi tape around the lid, and a matching scrap book paper inserted in the top of the jar finished them off.
Then I used a cute barn tray my husband made, along with a vintage handkerchief from my mom and filled it with some cold essentials like; kleenex, saline spray, lotion, and a thermometer. Now when someone gets sick I can just pull out the tray and leave it on the bedside.
Don’t you think this would help you feel just a little better?
I hope I never need this, but chances are, I will!
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Monday, October 28, 2013
Last week my Mom’s group held our annual cooking demonstration. I decided to give the pineapple and angel food cake a whirl. I’d never had it before but love pineapples and angel food cake, so I figured it would be good. I wasn’t disappointed! I could have eaten that whole cake! Good thing I had 30 friends to share with! I do have to admit I added whipped white frosting (from a can) and then added toasted coconut to the top. I suppose this technically makes it a 4 ingredient cake, but for the extra three minutes it took, I don’t think you will regret it! I wasn’t able to get a picture of the cake cut, but here it is at home before I left.
Below are 10 ideas for other 2 ingredient cakes. You can click on the picture to be taken to the recipes. Some of the pictures take you to Pinterest, just look below the picture for the recipe. Stocking up on a few of your favorite flavors will give you a quick, easy and delicious dessert to share with your family and friends. And if you don’t tell them, they’ll never know how easy it was. Of course, if you do tell them they will all think you are incredibly smart and wonderful for thinking of such a neat treat. Either way, it’s win-win for you! So go ahead and bake someone happy ~enjoy!
Pineapple Angel Food
recipe by justapinch
Blueberry and angel food
recipe by The Frugal Girls
recipe by Better Recipes
recipe by Budget 101
recipe by Lady with the Red Rocker
Pumpkin Spice Cake
recipe by Mommy Savers
Almost Fat-free Chocolate
recipe by Food 2 Please
Cinnamon Apple cake
recipe by Heather Spehle via Pinterest
Banana Cream cake
recipe by Sandy Taylor via Pinterest
Key Lime cake
recipe by Rachel Wiencek via Pinterest
Peach Angel Food
recipe by Lizzie Jane Baby
Don’t they all look yummy? Hope this gives you some inspiration and gives you a quick and easy dish to bring without the stress.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Over the last year I’ve been making a conscious effort to reduce the number of products in my house. It started when I realized that I had cleaning products in several different cabinets around the house. Some I liked, some I didn’t. The ones I didn’t were just sitting there, as I reached around them and moved them from place to place. Once day I thought, why? So I committed to using up the products one by one and decided on my favorites to keep around for good. I also added a couple homemade multi-taskers like a granite cleaner and laundry soap (which isn’t just good for laundry). My cupboards were cleaner and things were good. But then, something came up and I was in the need of a good degreaser. Actually, it was my husband that wanted it for a tough job. I tried giving him some Dawn dish detergent (which is on my love list), but he needed more. So while at Meijer I spotted some Zep Fast 505. Could 505 be better than 409? Who knows, but I thought maybe this would help my husband, so I picked it up. I think it was about $4.
I left it on the kitchen counter for when he came home, and while I was cleaning up the kitchen I looked from the bottle (degreaser) to the stove (greasy). As a matter of fact, more greasy than normal from a few good cooking sessions followed by some less than enthusiast clean-ups plus under the gas burners there was a build-up of burned gunk that has been building up over time (hey it’s under the burner, who looks there?). I have a stainless steel stove that I usually only use Weiman’s Stainless cleaner on, one of the winner’s that made it through. I decided to give it a try and see how it worked. Below are some pictures of before I cleaned.
All I did was lightly spray the cleaner on and waited for a few minutes (2-3) and wiped off with a dry paper towel. I sprayed it on the stove top as well as the cast iron burner covers. I was amazed and delighted with the results! Some of the spots required a second spray, but there really was no scrubbing, which is a no-no on stainless steel. Everything came off so easily. Here are the after pictures. I did have to use my Weiman cleaner after I wiped off the stove since it was a bit cloudy and streaky.
Looks almost brand new doesn’t it? I think I have a new product to add in to the “it" list. I do prefer to use natural products when I can, but there are times when you need that extra strength. I am very pleased with the ease of removing the gunk with any scrubbing or scratching of my stovetop!
This is NOT a paid advertisement. I have NOT been compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own.
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Saturday, October 19, 2013
When I shared my Halloween Mantel the other day, I showed you the wreath I made out of 8 Dollar Tree skulls. The wreath was very easy to make. I started with a grapevine wreath, also available at the Dollar Tree. I painted it black and wrapped one gauze cloth from the Halloween section around it and fastened with hot glue. So far, it has cost me $10 in products from the Dollar Tree. Fair warning these in progress photos have no editing, and no prepping. This is the easiest way for me to do pictures while I craft, because if you’ve ever crafted with me you know I am a very fast crafter and can’t really be bothered to stop and make the background look pretty. It just isn’t important or realistic to me.
My next item came from Micheals. It was a Halloween Garland and it cost $5. I simply flipped the wreath over and hot glued the garland to the wreath, making sure to glue it to the outside so that it can be seen from the front.
The last thing to do is glue the heads around the wreath. Take care you make sure they are positioned in a way that they will hang nicely. Eight fit perfectly. I was going to add some black flowers, but decided it just didn’t need it. That was it. I think it makes a nice ghoulish looking decoration, and it really was very easy to make!