Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Scrap Paper Roses

This project is super easy.
All you need is some scraps of paper and scissors.

Start by cutting out a round "cloud" shape.
Like these:

Then, cut a scalloped edged spiral all the way to the center of your paper...Like this:

Next, starting from the outside edge,
begin rolling the paper up very tightly.
I used a safety pin. The curves you've cut 
into your shape will contour nicely into a beautiful little rose.
Stop rolling when you get to the center of your shape.
The last little part from the center of your "cloud"
will flatten nicely into the outside of your flower.
If you like, now would be a good time to add a spot of glue.

When you stop rolling, your rose should stay together.
If you want your flower to open more, press lightly on the center.

NOTE: Make sure you cut your layers about the same size
or it will not stay together.

When you are done this is what they should look like:

I love them...so much I had to take more pictures...



Now...what should I do with these little beauties?

Escort Card Tree

Yes, you read that right.
An escort card TREE.
I got inspired by these pictures from pinterest.com
Aren't these ideas dee-licious?

So, using these as my inspiration...
I decided to make a "tree" to hang our escort cards on.
I, personally have never seen anything like it.

Here are the materials I used:
  • ugly green plastic pot for a plant- .25 at a garage sale
    • spray painted with a pretty brown spray paint with sparkles in it...paint 3.76@WM 
  • 2 packs of escort cards- .50 at a garage sale
  • 2 long branches- FREE from my yard
  • a decor type bird's nest- .10 at, yes...a garage sale.
  • 3 styles of vintage lace- FREE from a dear lady named Kelly :)
  • 2 pks of stained mini clothespins = 3.98 at WM
    • stained by me with FREE stain I found in our home when we moved in.... you can see that project here
  • "lovebirds"- on sale for .99 at Hobby Lobby
  • various pieces of florist foam- found at various places= $3
  • bag of moss- Dollar Tree $1
  • glue gun and glue sticks
Grand Total: $13.58

First, I spray painted the ugly garage sale planter.

Then, I cut up pieces of foam and wedged them into the pot.

*note- in hindsight, after knocking the finished product off of my dresser, I realized a little bit of weight was needed and added some rocks from my driveway


...and added more foam, making sure to hot glue it all together.

Then, I stuck my twigs into the foam like bunny ears.




Next, I began ripping up pieces of moss and gluing it down to cover the florist foam.







For the next step,
I took my little nest and 
nestled it into a little nook
within one of the branches.
I actually wove the sticks around the branch to keep it secure, then hot glued it into place and glued 
the birds onto the nest.







Next, I took three different styles of beautiful vintage lace and wove them back and forth between the two branches. I used the nooks and crannies of the twigs to my advantage and hot glued them in spots as needed. These will serve as a place to hang the escort cards. 










Lastly, I hung the tiny clothespins onto the lace trim.
Ready to see the finished product?
(well, without the cards...we will do that at the venue)



So stinkin cute.

An unconventional 'Something Blue'...

My friend is getting married.
I have known her seven years and LITERALLY have 
NEVER seen her wear anything but flip flops and sneakers.
She wears flip flops so late into the year, she is usually
 still wearing them at Christmas...not kidding.

So when she was trying to figure out what to wear with her dress,
my first suggestion was flip flops...
"Flip Flops?" she said...
"Yes, flip flops." I said. "We can make them pretty..."
Then I had the idea to make them her 'something blue'.

Here is what we started with.
Plain Old Navy flip flops...$1

Next, I dug into my large tote of vintage lace...

(given to me by a lovely lady named Kelly S...I love to show her what I make with the materials she gave me...gives me a sense of satisfaction that we saved these things and are giving them new life)

and warmed up my hot glue gun.

I chose a length of lace that had a silky ribbon running 
through the center, I thought the ribbon would be a good,
 solid surface to glue onto the shoe.

Here I am gluing the lace on.

When I got to the center toe thingy, I had to think a sec...
I didn't want the lace to be tight around the toes,
I wanted it to lay relatively flat and not be in the way.
What I did was glue it all the way to the center, then backed it up a little and glued over itself...I did this a couple times, creating a semi circle around the toe thing...it worked, just hard to explain.
Other than that, I'd rate this project an 
for easy peasy.

Ready to see what that crazy girl is 
walking down the aisle in?
How cute are they?
LOVE them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mascarpone and Chocolate Stuffed French Toast with Homemade Strawberry Sauce

Please excuse the Dora plate, this batch was for my kids...I am thinking I need to buy some pretty plates for pics.

This post is three recipes in one.
You'll learn how to make my basic french toast,
stuffed french toast, and homemade strawberry sauce.

The other day when I went to WalMart,
they had packages of strawberries for $1 each.
With all my best intentions of making jam,
I picked up four packages.

Well, as you know strawberries are a fickle fruit.
You must eat them within a day or two or they will go bad.
After the hubby said he didn't have time to help me do the canning,
I set out to use up those strawberries.

We gave a pack to Grandma...
We ate strawberries with breakfast and for snack...
Yet two days later, we still had more berries and they were getting very ripe so I had to make something with the last package.

I started by hulling my strawberries.
(FYI- hulling is just a fancy word for cutting the stem and surrounding white part off)
Then I quartered my berries and put them in a sauce pan with two cups of water, a cup of sugar, half a tsp of salt and a half cup of clear corn syrup. Bring to a simmer and let it boil lightly 
for ten or so minutes. It will look like this:

Then, use a slotted spoon to remove the berries and set them aside, then put the mixture back on the heat and bring to a rolling boil for a few minutes to reduce and thicken the mixture.




Don't let it boil over.
You will have a huge mess.






After your mixture has thickened, add your strawberries back in.
(the reason you take the berries out is so that they keep their shape and not turn to mush)
To store, keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

You can also freeze this sauce:
Once its completely cooled, 
store in freezer containers for up to four months.

ON TO THE FRENCH TOAST-
Here is my basic french toast batter we will be using-
(I find one egg makes 2 pieces of french toast, 
so multiply accordingly to suite your needs)
Yields- 8 pieces of french toast or 4 stuffed

8 pieces of bread
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla
a good shake of cinnamon
whisk together in a flat baking dish (I use a pie plate)
soak bread in mixture long enough to coat
cook over med-high heat just as you would grilled cheese

HOW TO STUFF FRENCH TOAST:
Mix together softened mascarpone cheese with chocolate chips.
(mascarpone is like a lighter, Italian version of cream cheese found in the specialty cheese 
sections of most larger grocery stores, I found mine at WalMart.)
Spread your mascarpone mixture onto one side of two pieces of bread and put them together like a sandwich.
Press lightly around the edges to form a seal 
so the goodies stay inside the french toast.
Dip  and coat your "sandwich" in the egg mixture, 
and cook like a grilled cheese.

Yum... I just made myself hungry for it all over again.
Hmm...I have leftover sauce and cheese filling,
I think I am going to go make it again right now!

Here it is again in all its glory...
Yes, in all its D-D-D-D-Dora glory. LOL

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Super Simple Headband

This project is idiot proof.
You just cannot mess this one up,
it only takes as long as it takes to warm up your glue gun.

I started by buying a pre-made ribbon wrapped headband for .97,
and a sequined leaf already attached to a piece of felt for 1.97.


I figured out where I wanted the leaf,
and hot glued it into place.


Then, I tried it on my favorite model...


Super Cute, Stella!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No time for projects!

Sorry for the lack of blogging,
I have been so busy!

From having a three day garage sale,
which turned into a over a week with prep and clean-up...

And this was only about a third of it...

to ending up with sun poisoning so bad, 
I ended up in the ER.

All while having to be a wife and mother
and squeeze in working a few days a week.

I also have been on a mad dress hunt.
I have been planning my friend's wedding,
and needed an appropriate dress that would compliment her colors.



Here is what I came up with.
What do you think?

So now it is time to get down to it...
I have some projects that need done for the wedding that is in 
three weeks.
Yes...three weeks.

I also need to finalize all the plans and decor.
Lots to do, I haven't been procrastinating...I SWEAR.
I've just been busy.

So come back soon, I should have some new 
projects up by middle of the week.

For now, I am off to Jo-ann's
and tomorrow is housework.
Yuck.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wedding Pennants

I am making decor for my friend's wedding.
While cruising pinterest, I came across this picture-

(Sorry it's small, when I blew it up, 
it got very pixelated)


Anyway, I knew I wanted to recreate it in her colors.
I started by cutting out triangle shapes out of pizza boxes 
to use as a template for all the other triangles.

Can you tell I do most of my crafting in the middle of the night?

Then, I started cutting out the triangles.
I had made two sizes of templates so that I could
layer a smaller triangle over the top of a larger one
that I will be cutting out of scrapbook paper.


Yes, that is a ten cent sticker on the chalk ink pad...Yes, I am a rockstar when it comes to garage sale-ing.

I had a 2" alphabet stencil out to use, but it turned out to be too big.
Everything else I had on hand was too small.

FAST FORWARD TO TWO WEEKS LATER AFTER A VISIT TO JO-ANN's AND HOBBY LOBBY...

I had a hard time finding 1.5" stencils...
in fact, I had a hard time finding any stencils.
Jo-Ann Fabrics doesn't even carry them anymore.
I bought 1'' stencils and a chalk ink pad,
I got them home and dang-it if they weren't too small.
*Sigh*

FAST FORWARD TO A WEEK LATER AFTER 
I'D BEEN GARAGE SALE-ING AND FOUND SOME 
FOAM LETTER STAMPS...


OK, I was going to make it work this time.
I stamped my message onto the triangles.



After I stamped my message, I laid out the pennant the 
way I wanted it and punched holes in the corners.
Then I took the distressed ribbons I made here,
and started lacing and tying my pennant together...





OK, so here we are...
almost a month after I started,
and countless issues later, 
I FINALLY
have a finished product.

Ready to see it?
I am certainly ready to show it off...



Ta-Da!!! Whatcha think?

Just a Little Tease...

Yes, those are miniature clothespins...
and Yes, I am staining them here...
Just another wedding project...
I am only teasing you.
I don't plan on telling you yet.
You will have to come back to see...
Mua, ha, ha, ha...(evil laugh)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homemade Wedding Signs

For my friend's wedding that I am decorating,
we needed a way to tell people what we wanted them to do
as they entered the venue, so I decided to make some sort of signs.

I had found a pair of pretty, ornate frames in a white washed, 
goldish color that I thought would work perfectly...
except they did not come with glass in them...thats OK,
I can work around that....especially since I paid a buck each.

I decided that I wanted one to say "sign the book"
and the other to say "find your seat".

I picked out some ivory cardstock and used the paper 
backing from the frame as a template to cut it to size.
Then I stenciled my words onto the paper...
but it was a little crooked, so I tried AGAIN,
and AGAIN, and AGAIN. They were all coming out crooked!

Enter the hubby...
My husband said, 
"Why don't you draw a faint pencil line where you want 
each word to be so you can line up your stencil on it...
then you can just erase it when you are done."

He's smart,I knew I married him for a reason...

And of course, the words were straight the last time...
or close enough that I'm not making them over...
except that I had left a couple smudges 
on the paper from my stencil...ugh.

Another mistake...sigh.
all the mistakes I make have me feeling like a crafting hack.

Then I had an idea, why not distress the paper to make it look antiqued, and those smudges will just look like age!
I got out my distressing ink and a pouncer sponge brush,
and brushed over the whole surface, concentrating 
on the imperfections and around the edges.

I stood back and admired them...I think they turned out beautiful, 
but I wanted to take advantage of the fact that they had 
no glass and make them three dimensional.

I found a tutorial on how to turn basic dollar store crepe 
paper into beautiful little flower rosettes.You can find it here.
I made up some rosettes according to the instructions, 
then glued them into the corners of my frames.

Sorry that I forgot to take pictures along the way...
{Sometimes when I don't know how something will turn out, I totally forget to take pictures.}
But, I do have a really nice "after" picture,

What do you think?


Wedding Guest Book Makeover

I have been helping to plan one of my best friend's weddings.
I am doing all the decor and little details.
I found our guest book at a garage sale in a box of other
wedding stuff for ten bucks. There was also a cake topper,
plastic disposable champagne glasses, and more...
I figured all in all I paid about three dollars for this brand new Martha Stewart guest book still in the original plastic.

Yes, its nice, but that grey ribbon is NOT.
Her colors are pale pink and dark brown, 
so the grey was not going to work.

I figured it wouldn't be too hard to replace the ribbon.
well...
I couldn't find 1" grosgrain ribbon anywhere. Thanks, Martha.
I bet she sells it, but her stuff is overly expensive in my opinion.
So I went home hoping the 3/4" pink satin ribbon 
I already had would somehow work.
I started by cutting the ribbon with my Xacto knife 
where it goes under the protective sheet. 
Then I began to gently pull it off, being careful not to rip the book.
Yeah, right...
I tried not to tear the book.
Martha apparently uses some really good glue.
That poor guest book ripped to shreds...
LOOK!
It was at this point that I crossed my fingers 
and hoped for the best.

Time to try out the never ending roll of ribbon.
*crossing fingers*
This ribbon has also been used here and here.
I laid it out across the giant rip, and....
THANK GOODNESS, it worked.
It just barely covered the rip.

I used fabric glue and a paint brush to smear it onto the rip.
That worked fine until I saw a brown brush bristle under the ribbon.
NOT OK, I switched to Q-tips. Then I smoothed down the ribbon and wrapped it around the edges of the book.

I sure hope that glue dries clear...*more crossing of fingers*

Well, that darn glue DID NOT dry clear.
Well...I will deal with that later.
I need time to figure out what to do.

I attempted to distract myself by making 
something for the picture frame...
I found a perfect piece of brown scrapbook paper
and used pink chalk ink to stencil the monogram.
M is for her name, J is for his,
and the O is for their last name.
Then I cut it out using the piece of paper that had been 
in the frame as a template.

Then, I faced yet another issue...
The photo corners...ugh.
I got out my Xacto knife and used it like a seam ripper.
Then I put my monogrammed paper in...
and got this.
GREAT!
I have ribbon threads showing up on my brown paper!
NOT PRETTY!
Now what?

I tried to use my Xacto knife to get them out,
but that did not work.

Then I had a brilliant idea...
I glued a thin strip of pink ribbon around the inside 
of the frame to hide the threads.

Next, I needed to adress the pink ribbon that 
had the glue showing through...you could still see it.
I thought about making a few ribbon and lace
rosettes  to put along the top third of the ribbon...
but as you will see later, I used rosettes elsewhere 
and didn't want to over-do it.

Then I thought I should add another "floating" ribbon.
Meaning, I would just tack it down on the inside of the book 
and let it "float" on top of the other, wider ribbon.
I found a perfect, sheer pink ribbon and layered it on top.
That worked, but I can still see the glue 
through the ribbon a little bit.
Now I am wondering if I should add a bow like the original one.

Then my husband comes in and says he can't even read the monogram...Seriously? Now?

So, I took his advice and hand painted with pink paint right
over top of the chalk...

Are you ready to see the before and after?

Before:

and....wait for it,
wait for it...

AFTER:
I am pretty pleased with the results too!

Transforming Goodwill Plates

So, I have this silver colored plate rack.
It was one of the first items I ever bought full price for my home.
I have had it since my first apartment, and unfortunately,
it has been sitting in a corner for a few years.
I used to use it for 3 picture frames that are long past gone.
I saw it laying upstairs looking pathetic and thought to myself...
SELF, you need to do something with this or get rid of it.
The hoarder collector in me picked the first option.

Then, I was on a mission...
a mission to find three red plates of the same size...
 I found some lovely plates at WalMart, 
but at 7 bucks a pop, I gently put them back....
I was planning on painting words on them anyway.

I looked...
and looked...
and looked some more.
I was DETERMINED not to pay over a couple bucks each.
That meant I needed to get them used.

Well, red plates are hard to find.
Then I saw someone (wish I could remember who)
out in blog land who spray painted their plates.
Genius Move!
Especially since we weren't going to be eating off of them...

First, I found 3 plain plates at goodwill and paid .59 each.
Next, I got a dollar can of spray paint from WM.
Then, I went to town on those plates.
I could have SWORN I took pictures of this project, but...
EH, guess not. Use your imagination.

I wanted to put the plate rack in my 50's inspired kitchen,
so I thought a food inspired quote or saying was in order.
I came up with "eat, drink, and be merry".
I blew the words up to the size I needed and
printed them out on my home computer printer.

Then I traced around the letters with a pencil on the BACK SIDE
of the paper so that when I turned it over and smoothed it down really well, I had a very faint impression of the words to use as a guide to paint the words. I used a paint pen for precision.

Does that make sense? I hope so, 
I don't know how to explain it any better.
This is why I take pictures...ugh.

Well, I do have a picture of the finished product...
Wanna see?


In hindsight (always) I wish I'd placed the
"be merry" a little more centered.
But those words were very time consuming,
and I didn't want to repaint the whole plate.
I recommend using a stencil, not the way I did it.
It worked, but it was doing things the hard way.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bargain Ring Bearer Pillow

We still needed a ring bearer pillow 
for a wedding that's in a month....yeah, 30 days from now.
Shudder
I found this for $2 at the Salvation Army.
Oh, and this was after I cut off the unsightly plastic "rings".
I could not figure out what all these ribbons were for...
So... I cut 'em off. Hehehe.
See? Isn't that better?
But....it's still a little lot plain, what to do with it now?

Next, I hunted for some pink ribbon.
I wanted something a little fancy.
I soon found something and decided to sew it in the middle, 
going all the way through to give it a "tufted" look.
I hand-sewed it...yes, I love her.
Then I tied it in a pretty bow and.....
Here she is!
All of that cuteness for a mere $2.


She will go so nicely with the flower girl basket I "made".
You can see that project here.


You can check out a couple of the other 
wedding projects here or here.