Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kitchen Hood {Makeover} with ASCP

 This is my first real project using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I took a class back in March, and have been biting at the bit to get started...the problem was, which project to do first?!
 In class we learned 4 painting techniques, and one was a Texture technique, which is basically globbing the paint on, and leaving open spots wherever you like.  It actually reminded me of a fresco, or venetian type finish.  I immediately thought about my hood.
As you can see in this BEFORE picture, the hood is a lovely shade of pea green!  I've lived with this icky shade of green for 6 years, only because I paid someone to faux finish it....but no more!
Here is the new color!!!  I envisioned the color to match the tile border above the cooking surface, which is a travertine rope.  There also are some slate tiles in the backsplash that are this multi-hued beige.
 The surface of the hood was already textured a little, so the paint just accentuated that.  I used Old Ochre and left some places of old paint showing through.  (Yes, I did paint over the pea green with the wall color, which is Nantucket Grey...didn't want any peas showing through!)
one thick coat of Old Ochre with NO wax
 Here's what it looked like with one gloppy coat of Old Ochre.  You can kinda see the specks of grey-green showing through here and there.
Old ochre with clear and dark wax
 Then came the wax!  First clear...then the dark wax.  I don't own a wax brush, so I used old rags.  Talk about "elbow grease"!  I definitely got a workout today from going up and down on a tall ladder, to rubbing and buffing.  I'm not as young as I used to be...whew!
 But yea!!  It's done and I LOVE the color.   Now, do I put the trays back,
do I stencil a beautiful design on the front and leave the trays off...????
Here's a view where you can see the matte sheen of the buffed wax...lovely!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A {surprise} Baby Blanket

 I just love surprises...well, let me be more clear...I love to surprise people!  
I, myself, would rather know what's going on. 
 Maybe that's the "control" part of my personality coming out...Ha!  

Anyway, I have a sweet young friend, who is about to have her first baby.  
We live in different states, and keep in touch through Facebook. 
 I got to know her last summer, along with 2 other very special young ladies,
 and their Moms!

  They quickly became attached to my heart and my daughter's heart.  
They love the Lord and are shining examples of how to follow Christ!
full view of the blanket's the sneaky part.  I went to her Pinterest boards and looked at what she had pinned for the nursery.  Behold, a cute and adorable baby boy blanket....
AND it led me to the blog with easy to follow instructions.  
You can find that link here @ This Mama Makes Stuff.  
 The blog gives good instructions for making the blanket.  Her instructions are for using old flannel shirts or fabric.  I did a combination of the two.  One shirt that my hubby won't miss (I liked it because the plaid pattern was larger than the fabric plaids I found)

You also need 1 yd. Minky swirl fabric
a few flannel shirts and/or 1/2 yard of various plaid flannels
1 yd. muslin (30" X 30" plus 2  11" X 14")

The blanket is 30" X 30" and I made 2 burp cloths that are 11" X 14".
I cut strips 5" wide and the red plaid 2" wide.   The muslin is the base fabric and I laid the pieces out on top of it to check the pattern. 

Then I sewed the 5" pieces together (wrong sides together), 
and sewed each strip to the muslin, leaving a 1" gap.  
Then overlap and sew the red plaid strips on top (1/4" from edges) of the 5" strips.  
When piecing the strips together, I left the seam raw, so that they would fray. 
 I did the same when sewing the red plaid on top.  Gives it a "rag quilt" look.

You cut the Minky fabric 2 1/2" 32 1/2" X 32 1/2" and for burp cloths, 
 2 that are 13 1/2" X 16 1/2"

Lay your finished plaid topper on Minky fabric (wrong sides together), and fold Minky fabric 1" and roll over and pin in place.  Tuck and roll in the corners, and stitch in place.
I mailed the surprise package on Monday....and hoping she gets it today...eeeekk!

Linking up:
Cowgirl Up!
Romance on a Dime

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's a Great Week for a Party!

If you want to find other Moms who love to blog, then check out the party
 going on over at 5 Minutes for Mom

In my post today for the blog party, I'm going to tell you a little about myself and my blog.   I'm a newbie and slowly learning some of this technical stuff.  Thanks to my beautiful followers, I've solved my "word verification" issue and I'm no longer a "no-reply" blogger, which I was clueless about! 
 I was wondering why all I heard was...crickets!

I'm a mom to 2 teenagers.  My daughter is 15, and just got her driving permit...yikes!  She's a smart, dedicated, talented, sweet and mature young lady!  She fills our home with music with her lovely piano playing...and if I can get her to bring it home...her cello also!  She isn't a crafter, per se, ( she knows how to sew) but she does have an eye for photography.  She is great at encouraging me in my projects.  She loves to play cards and games of any sort.

My son is 14, and all boy!  He's smart, creative, efficient, funny and mechanically
inclined!  He's a fast learner and very us all at pool, chess, and blokus.  He also plays the piano and tinkers with the guitar.  This guy is a creator.  He loves to design and build, and will probably invent something one day!  

Living life, being available and invested in my family's lives is the greatest privilege! My hubby of 21 years is my biggest cheerleader (and assistant on some projects)  As the kids have gotten older and more self-sufficient, I've found extra time.  What to do? 

We built and moved into our home 6 years ago.  Shortly after moving in, I had some health issues that kept me from working on projects that I had on my "list of to-do's".   Now that I've been feeling better, I was motivated to get to work!  This blog was born out of that desire.  I also became very inspired by the creativity I saw on Pinterest.  I really had no clue about the variety of blog topics.  I became in October of 2011 I wrote my first two posts.  No one read them.  Talk about  But, in January of 2012, I tried again.  In February, I started my FB page and found link parties.  Wow...people were reading what I was doing.  And some even liked it!  This was the encouragement I needed!

Most of my posts are of a DIY nature...I'll throw in a cooking one here and there...and on occasion, my random thoughts on life!

Here are a few of my most popular and most viewed posts to date:

My blog is my journey to make things around me beautiful!  I'm not in a race, or on a timetable.  I create when time allows.  I plan on treasuring these last few years with my children at home, and want to be "present" for them.  I believe there are lots of ways to add "beauty" to this world!  "The King is enthralled by your beauty..." Psalm 45:11
Appreciate you stopping by and would be thrilled if you joined me....

Friday, April 13, 2012

Some {Fix-Its} & an Award!

 Has your moss turned from a lovely green, to an unattractive shade of brown?
I've noticed that when sheet moss is exposed to heat, or even over time, it will turn on you!

My French Flower baskets (you can find that post here),...after only 2 weeks, the sheet moss that I had attached to the baskets, turned BROWN! couldn't even see the moss because it was the same color as the baskets.  

So, do I have a solution for you!!  A decorator friend told me about this amazing product.  It's actually a spray paint intended for florals.
 I found it several years ago at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.

I used a paper plate as a shield, so the spray wouldn't get on the basket, and spritzed away. Now that moss is PERMANENTLY GREEN!
The first picture shows the "after" color of the moss on the basket!

The other "fix-it" I have to share today, is for those ModPodge Sheetmusic Placemats I made for my Easter table. You can find that post here.

I was errked discovered that the ModPodge finish can be a tiny bit tacky,
and can "stick" to things or each other, which was the case with the
 placemats I wasn't using, and had stacked in a drawer.
Solution...???   Clear sealer!!  Now this one is made by ModPodge, but you can use any clear spray sealer that you may have in your garage.  Spray a coat on each side, and your problem is solved!

Now, on to the award!
When I started this blog, it was mainly for me to document my ideas and projects as well as motivation for me to get some things finished that have been on my "list" of to-do's.

My surprise has been the friendships that have begun, the creativity and humor of so many talented women, and the inspirational posts I get the privilege of reading by some extremely mature, wise and Godly women!

The encouragement I get from my followers and the sweet comments that are left,
 are truly my award!

I was honored and so very humbled to be chosen by these gals...
Suzie @ Suzie Homecaker  Lori @ The Stonybrook House
 and Amber @ Snippets of Design
to receive the Liebster Blog award.
 Thank you Suzie, Lori and Amber!!!

Thank you for reading my blog....and I hope to inspire you to not only make beautiful things, but to be the BEAUTIFUL person God created you to be!

According to Google:
"The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany.  Liebster means favorite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.  Upon accepting the award the recipient must then pass it on to three to five more blogs of note."

I am passing the award on to these LOVELY ladies who are doing awesome things over at their blogs.  Check them out...they've got talent!!

Kristin @ A Vintage Fairy

To accept this blog award you must:

1. Link back to the person who awarded it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog
3. Give the award to 3-5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 3-5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

Congrats ladies....and keep blogging!!
Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Can I Mod Podge Today? {sheetmusic candle}

 I do like Mod Podge!!
 It's easy to work with, dries quickly, and you can use it on practically anything!
 As I was looking at my plain candle, I thought....
how fun to add a little music and interest to this candle!

I grabbed up my supplies:
Mod Podge Matte
Sponge brush
Sheet music
Candle (from Hobby Lobby)
I like torn edges, so I tore a piece of the music that had some markings on it.  It wasn't quite wide enough to fit all the way around the candle, so I glued (with mod podge) a piece of music at the end to make it fit.

 I slathered the back of the music with mod podge, positioned it on the candle where I wanted it, and put more mod podge of top.  I went back and made pretty strokes, since you can see them when it dries.
When it was dry, I tied a burlap string around it, with a small silver heart charm I received from Nan @ You Could Make That.  (I won one of her giveaways, and it was wrapped so pretty with this tie and charm.  I love her attention to detail!)

You could also use scraps of scrapbook paper, decorative napkin, book page, etc.

In this pic, you can see the blue and red markings....those piano teachers like to do that!  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Best Carrot Cake Ever!

This really is the Best Carrot Cake you will ever eat! ....and believe me, I've tried a bunch!

I only make cakes for special occasions at our house.  If it's your Birthday, you get a cake of your choice....Valentines Day, it'll be a chocolate cake of sorts...Christmas, I sometimes make a Birthday cake for Jesus...and for Easter, it's always a 

I adapted this cake from Saint Louis Days Saint Louis Nights Cookbook.  I made a few changes from the original recipe...omitted the pecans in the batter and the pineapple in the icing.  I also love the toasted pecan flavor, so I toast my chopped pecans in 1 T. butter @ 350 for 10 minutes or until brown, and you'll only find them in the ICING!

 I lived in St. Louis for 5 years, before moving back to Texas.  
Love this cookbook and you can find it here.


2 c. flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1 8oz. can crushed pineapple with juice

8 oz. + 4 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
3 sticks of butter, softened
24 oz. powdered sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 c. chopped pecans (toasted and cooled)

*Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.
*In a large mixing bowl, mix oil, sugar, and eggs, beating after each egg.
*Add dry ingredients to mixture.  Mix well.
*Add carrots and pineapple
*Grease, wax paper, grease, and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
*Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  (If using dark non-stick pans, check at 30 min.)

*Beat all ingredients well, spread on cooled cake.

I usually always 1 1/2 the recipe for the icing, especially for a layer cake, because who wants to run low on icing, right?  I already did that for you, in the recipe that's why the measurements are the way they are for the icing!

Go ahead and grease the wax paper and flour it.  I've never had one stick using this method!

The only other tip I have, is that when using those dark non-stick cake pans...
they really do cook faster, so when I follow a recipe, I always check 10 minutes before what the recipe says.  (I already adjusted the time for you in the recipe above)

Just stick a toothpick in the center of the cake and if the toothpick comes out without any gooey cake batter on it, then the cake is done.  

There's nothing worse than a DRY cake!  I think most of the time, they are simply cooked tooooooo long.  You'll also notice the cake pulling away from the edge of the pan, as well.
Let the cake cool in the pans on a rack, for 10 minutes, then revert onto the cooling rack.

When the cakes are no longer warm to the touch, you are ready 
to slather those babies with icing!

So, the we eat it now, tomorrow, or wait til Sunday?  Hmmmm.....
after all, I did sacrifice this piece for the pictures!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chocolate Bunnies in Jars...Kitchen Mantle

 I know...I know...I'm almost done with the Spring and Easter decorating!  I've been on a roll lately, but Easter if quickly approaching, so a bit of a time crunch.  
 I thought these chocolate bunnies would be cute on the Kitchen Mantle.  Added a few faux carrots for color and whimsy.  Wish those books were old cookbooks, but just don't pay attention to the titles....

Did you see these adorable bunnies in a jar from Martha here?
These were my inspiration, but I knew I wanted to go with 3 different colors of chocolate. 
I adore the chocolate lamb, but my local Target didn't have any...guessing I'd have to visit a chocolatier shop.  Maybe next year!

What I did find.... Dove has a White, Milk, and Dark chocolate bunny. Not to mention the fact that Dove makes a pretty tasty chocolate anything!  And these will be consumed in a few days!

 I made the nest out of shredded sheet music paper.  Added chocolate whoppers, pastel eggs, and cookies & cream eggs (unwrapped)  Each jar is different.
It's kind of hard to see through the glass, but...hopefully you get the idea.
Bought 3 ball brand jars, and hot glued a burlap strip around the lids.  Tied a little raffia bow around each bunny, and wahhh la!
  The fireplace is a see through one, into the living room, so I have this stone mantle in the kitchen.  The copper tray and antique scale are regulars in here.
 And while we're talking bunnies...
I Love my Big Bunny on the island too!  He's just adorable...eyed him from a distance at Warrenton Antique Fair.  
I have no idea what he is made of.  It looks like faux bark...but his eyes are like marble. 
This cute little bark basket is holding a carrot!  

Looking forward to sharing my Carrot Cake recipe with you this week, so stay tuned...
Linking up:
The 36th Avenue