Sunday, December 29, 2013

Amazing Goodwill Store Find

Yesterday I found this turned wood lamp at Goodwill for only $3.99.

I thought about painting it, but the wood was in such beautiful condition. I decided to simply remove the old lamp component and top it with a pillar candle. I can only imagine how much the lamp had originally cost. It stands at 22" tall. If I found this at somewhere like Pier One or Pottery Barn it would have easily cost $100. I think it's a pretty amazing Goodwill Store find!
Now if I can be so luck again! lol

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kitchen Organization

How do you organize your pots and pans?

I asked Chad to get me something to organize my kitchen. I couldn't stand having to lift up, and pull out all my pans to get to the one on the bottom. It seems like I always want to pull out my big 12" pan that is on the very bottom. What a hassle having them stacked on top of each other.

We bought two different styles of Rev-A-Shelf 2-tier pull out cabinet baskets. One side neatly organizes all my pans and lids. The other side stores pots and colanders.

The new system pulls out smoothly and everything is easy to access. I am thrilled this project is completed. It only took about an hour from start to finish. Including pulling everything out of the cabinet, cutting out the existing shelf, assembling the new storage system, and putting everything in it's new home. It was under $150 and worth every penny!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Hardwood Steps Are Finished

My Christmas present is finished and I could not be any happier!
I love the hard wood steps and iron rails!

Chad did such an amazing job finishing the stairs. He's fantastic at detail work!
This has made the house feel so much cleaner, modern.
The house immediately felt cleaner after all the carpet was gone.
I don't seem to have a good before picture of the stairs. This does show the carpet we removed, and gives a glimpse of the white balusters. Definitely a shock seeing just how dirty the carpet really was. We could have shampooed the carpet another 100 times and it still would have been filthy. 

It's hard to believe that the stairs looked like this when we first bought the house. All chewed, covered in dog urine and hair.
And I'm not kidding about dog urine and hair.
Can you imagine living like that???
Yucky! Look at the baluster.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Making Buckeyes for Christmas and Chocolate Candy Spoons

I found these cute little gingerbread tins at Hobby Lobby for $1.99 each regular price. Oh my goodness, do they ever have a ton of cute gingerbread themed items this year! I had so much fun shopping. The tins are the perfect size to fill with treats for Christmas gift giving. I made Buckeyes for Chad to take to some of his co-workers. To make the gift tags I used some red and green glitter wrapping paper. The stamp sentiment came from Stampin Up! The Holiday Twine twine came from Divine Twine. I just love the green and red twist in it!
Now onto the recipe...

Buckeyes Recipe
2 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 1/4 cups melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pound (32 ounce) package powdered sugar
2 packages chocolate candy melts
2 teaspoons shortening
In a large bowl mix peanut butter, melted butter, and vanilla until smooth. Next add powdered sugar and work dough until completely blended. Line a metal tray with wax paper. Make sure it will lay flat in your freezer. You'll thank me later :) I like to use a melon baller to form the balls for the buckeyes. This helps keep the balls a consistent size, I can make about 12 dozen buckeyes with this recipe. After all the balls are formed place them in the freezer and take a break. That was a ton of work!
As soon as the balls are frozen, and you are ready to resume the process, it will be time to dip in chocolate. Line another metal cookie sheet with wax paper. Clear a shelf in your refrigerator for the metal tray.  I like to start with one bag of candy melts at a time. Place a small bowl on a potholder, add bag of candy melts and a teaspoon of shortening. Microwave for 1 minute on 50% power. Stir, then continue to microwave at 50% power for 30 second intervals until smooth. Placing the pot holder under the bowl will make it easier to take in and out of the microwave with out burning your hands. You'll thank me for this tip later too :)  Stick a toothpick into a peanut butter ball and dip it in the chocolate, place on cookie sheet. Continue the process until all the balls are dipped.  Since the balls were frozen when dipped in the melted chocolate, the chocolate will harden pretty quickly. Place them in the refrigerator until ready to package, or just begin to enjoy!
One last tip today, If you use a plastic spoon to stir the chocolate you will be able to use it later to make chocolate dipped spoons. It's a great way to use up any left over chocolate. Plus that means less to clean up.
Fill a coffee mug with candies or homemade cocoa and mini marshmallows and you have a sweet little gift for friends or neighbors. Yummy!

Glittered Cinnamon Gingerbread Ornaments Recipe

Last year I made some Cinnamon Gingerbread ornaments, and loved the way they smelled. When I unwrapped them this year I could hardly believe just how good they still smelled. So I decided to make more this year to give as gifts. 

The glitter looks so pretty on the ornaments. I love the way it sparkles when the light hits them. I bought the fun Holiday Twine from Divine Twine that's used on my gingy ornaments.

Cinnamon Ornament Recipe

1 cup of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of ground cloves
2 tablespoons of ground nutmeg
1 cup of applesauce (I like to use cinnamon applesauce)
2 tablespoons of white glue
Mix ingredients until they come together to form a dough. I like to roll the dough out in-between 2 sheets of wax paper to make cleanup easier and quicker. This will make about 2 dozen ornaments depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use. I use a small straw from a kids drink (like juice boxes or Capri Sun) to make the hole to hang the ornaments. You can air dry your ornaments few days, turning at least a couple of times a day. If you prefer, you can bake in a 200 degree oven for about 2 hours. I found the air drying keeps the cinnamon ornaments a lighter color as opposed to baking them.
Once the ornaments are dried they just need ribbon or twine to hang on your tree. It's also fun to decorate them. This year I decided to glitter mine up. After using Mod Podge to add glitter to your ornaments, you will want them to air dry for another day. That way the glue smell will dissipate and the cinnamon fragrance will come through again. Be sure to clear the holes of any glue and glitter before allowing to dry, otherwise it will become difficult to string with ribbon later.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

You Rock!

I ordered a new die from Die-Versions called You Rock! I just love it! I can't even begin to guess how many times a day I say fabulous, cool, and You Rock! I was thinking about making a card, but when I started going through all my patterned papers I found this one. I knew it was perfect to make a scrapbook page. It was nice being able to sit down and look through old photos to use for this page. Lot's of great memories! I feel so blessed to have such a good man as my husband and father to our son Parker. Chad is such a good daddy!
Time certainly has flown by since Parker was a baby. It's still hard to believe he's seven. He is so tall! I'm only one foot taller than him! I'm sure Parker will end up being six foot tall. In the picture in the upper right corner, you might notice the 4 picture frames. I inked up Parker's hands and feet when he was a couple of weeks old. Those will be treasured forever!

Another Use for Glitter Wrapping Paper

This year I found  rolls of glitter wrapping paper at Walmart. It comes in silver, gold, green, and red. After wrapping a few presents, I decided to see if I could die cut the scrap paper. It worked! Yay! The best part is that it's only $4 a roll. A 12x12 sheet of glitter cardstock is about $1 for one sheet.
Now I know, I can use all this beautiful wrapping paper for all sorts of other crafts.
The first thing I tested to see how well the wrapping paper would work with my dies was this Christmas Word Tree. This die came from Die-Versions. I immediately knew I had to make a Christmas card. To make my card I used  Whiter Shimmer cardstock from Papertrey Ink and patterned paper from the Winter Frost  designer series by  Stampin' Up!
Here's a close up of all the fabulous sparkle on my Christmas Word Tree card. Next to my thumb you can see a hint of the white shimmer cardstock I that I used for the card base. Isn't it lovely!
Here's a picture of a Christmas card I received, that I think is just gorgeous.
I love all the silver glitter. I decided to use it to make another card.
Do you ever repurpose the Christmas cards you get?
I keep all the card I am given. Some I will treasure forever. Others I keep to eventually repurpose.
Here's my new Reindeer card.
I love the pop of color the green glitter wrapping paper gave it. I used red wrapping paper and the Believe die from Die-Versions to add the perfect final touch.
I love seeing all the sparkle and texture from the glitter.
I hope I've inspired you to repurpose your cards and use up all the scrap wrapping paper :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside

I think we are going to have a very cold winter this year. It's been 20 years since the last major ice storm. Today it's a whopping 19 degrees.

We're definitely lucky that despite the ice, we are safe at home with electricity.

The plants and trees look so pretty with all the ice on them. They just glisten in the light.
I hope it doesn't get to bad and break power lines. I know people that aren't from the south think it's crazy when it's reported on the news snow is coming everything starts closing. It's not about the snow though, it's about the ice that comes with it here. It's easy driving in snow. You have no control driving on ice.

My Christmas Cards Are All Made And Ready To Mail

I've been having fun making Christmas cards this year!

I can't help but just adore Gingerbread men! I love them! They are so cute! Plus yummy too!
This die came from Sizzix, it's called Gingerbread Man #3.
I found this fabulous green sequin ribbon at Walmart in the Christmas section. It was only $1 for a few yards. I glued in in place with Liquid Glass.

I enjoyed breaking out some of my old stamps to make these Holiday Greetings cards.

These two cards came from a retired Stamping Up! card kit. About time I made them! lol

The card on the left was also from the card kit. I used the same cardstock base to make the peaceful wishes card on the right.

Here's a close-up so you can see the sparkle from the glitter I used with the red craft ink.

One more fun card using cotton balls to make the snowy hill.

Christmas is Coming Early This Year

I'm pretty excited about Christmas coming early this year for me! I didn't think I'd be able to talk Chad into tackling this project for a few more years.
After Thanksgiving we ripped the carpet off the stairs. I can hardly wait to have hardwood steps!
Even though we've had the carpet and stairs cleaned it was really disgusting seeing all the evidence in the carpet and padding of dog pee. I can only imagine how the previous home owner felt seeing what his renters did to this place.
We are installing white risers and gunstock treads to match the hardwood floor. We pulled out the white spindles and soon they will be replaced with black iron.
Soon I'll post pictures of the finished project.
Plus we plan on adding molding along the walls. It will be so fantastic!