Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vintage Linens and Curtain Panels

Hello all!  We've had to go through the sad process of cleaning out my grandmother's home.  She has Alzheimer's and had to be placed in a nursing facility back in December.  Her home has recently sold and it has been quite emotional going through her things.  I found many vintage linens and lace curtain panels that I know someone will appreciate.  It is not that I don't, just that I already took many items and don't have anymore room!  I've listed them all in my Etsy shop, click here to be taken directly to the shop.  I'm not looking to profit off of these items, just to basically cover the cost of shipping them.  I do hope they will find a good home.  The below photos are a few of the items I've listed.  Please check out my shop for more.  Thank you for looking!  Hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time to Take a Break

Hello my friends.  I hope you are all enjoying your summer (or winter for my Aussie friends!).  I have decided to take an indefinite break from my blog.  I feel I don't have the time to properly devote to it and it simply isn't what I want it to be.  I haven't done much crafting or creating and when I do, it has been inspired from projects I've seen on others blogs.  In other words, I haven't had that many original ideas or fabulous finds to share.  I have also not been great at taking photos.  Lots of photos of Chelsea but I am not keen to post too many photos of her here.  I am on Facebook and if I'm not already friends with you please request me!  I find that to be a much easier forum to keep up with.  I am still visiting blogs regularly.  I can't imagine life without visiting some of you!

When the time comes that I'm able to have a bit more creative time I will start posting again.  I know that time will come...  Until then, see you all on your blogs...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Summer Wreath

I have been looking for inspiration for a summer front door wreath and coming up empty.  Then I stumbled across this blog and found the inspiration I needed!  She even has a great tutorial for the rosettes.  My rosettes came out a bit loose but for the first try I'm happy with them.

Jeff even likes this wreath!  In fact, he told me I shouldn't put it on the front door as he is worried that it will fade in the sun.  So for now, it is residing in the living room.  I'm thinking of spraying some clear coat on it and taking a risk with the fading.  I know, I live on the edge.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chelsea's Rainbow Cake

I decided to make a rainbow cake for Chelsea's birthday party.  I'd seen it floating around on a few blogs and thought it was beautiful.  My sister Shelley spent the entire day (and it did take that long!) helping me make sure this cake was perfect.

We used the Magnolia Bakery's recipe for vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream frosting.

We made two batches of the cake and split each batch into quarters and then colored each quarter.  Special thanks to Layer Cake Shop for recommending the perfect colors to use.

I used three pans and we kept rotating them until all 8 layers were complete.

Once the layers were done we froze them and then stacked them in order of the rainbow (of course!) and frosted them up.

I added some sugar rainbows also purchased from Layer Cake Shop.

I held my breath as I cut the first slices and was VERY happy with the colorful result!

Chelsea loved her cake!  It was a big hit with everyone and the Magnolia recipe worked perfectly.

By the end of the party there wasn't one bit left!  Special thanks to my sister for helping me with this.  I told her to tell me I'm nuts next time I go to her with one of these ideas!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chelsea's Play Kitchen

Jeff and I have been working on a handmade play kitchen for Chelsea's second birthday. Happily, we finished it with days to spare! I'm so very happy with how it turned out. The original plans came from Ana White.  Looking at this photo, I realize I should have adjusted the tension rod to be even.  Oh well.  It does sit flush to the top of the sink normally.

We found a few discrepencies in the plan I want to address here in case anyone wants to make this. The shelf inside the oven needs to be 10" and not 12" so that the oven door will fit inside. The dimensions of the door need to be 10" across in order to fit inside. Unfortunately this was learned the hard way but Jeff made it all work. He is good like that.

We used poplar panels and had them cut to our measurements at Home Depot.

This is how the entire kitchen looked when we started.  I had wanted Jeff and I to both build it but because we procrastinated starting this project, Jeff did the building and I did the painting, sewing, and accessorizing.

This is the base for both the stove and sink - remember to shorten the shelf in the stove if you build this.  We realized this after the shell was built and painted.  Ugh.  Luckily Jeff worked some handy magic and was able to trim the shelf.

This is the top of the sink with the sink hole and faucet holes cut.  We used a stainless steel bowl for the sink and did not glue it down so that it can be removed and cleaned as needed. I found the faucet at  It is a cheap bar faucet and cost around $18 with shipping.

I used these unfinished wooden soccer balls found at Michaels for the burners.  I painted them gray and glued them soccer ball side down (the flip side is flat wood) using E6000 glue.
Here they are in the painting/assembly stages.  The paint is Martha Stewart's Enamelware color matched to Lowes Olympic No VOC paint.  I then used a spray sealer (which probably canceled out the no VOC paint but the paint on its own would have been toast against a 2 year old).

Here is the top of the finished sink and the stove.  The sink brush came from Pier 1.

The towel was a Dollar Tree find and was especially fitting as Chelsea will be having a rainbow themed birthday party.  The pot holder was crafted by Jeff's 8 year-old niece.  The hooks and towel bar came from IKEA.  The towel bar is actually part of a handle two pack.  The other handle is on the oven.

The knobs came from Home Depot.  I like the glass knobs that many others have been using on this project but I felt the brushed nickel gave a more realistic look.
We decided to have the oven door open from the side rather than the bottom so that Chelsea would not be tempted to step on it and break the door and/or plexiglass.  This way, she will also be able to stand in front of the oven to get things in and out.
I found this small rack at a kitchen supply store and the pizza is a Melissa & Doug play set.
We attached an LED push on/off battery powered light inside the oven for a more realistc vibe.

This is the sink without the tension rod and skirt.  There is some nice storage for all of Chelsea's play food and utensils.  Some of which she will be receiving at her birthday party.  The store bins are from IKEA.  They come in a set of 1, 2, 3.  The number 3 bin doesn't fit so it will likely be housed inside the oven.

Here is one more look at the completed set.  I'm so proud of us for building this and want to also send special thanks to my father-in-law who helped troubleshoot and gave Jeff use of some of his tools.  I didn't do a final total but this entire project cost us roughly $150.  I think it was well worth it and came out nicer and larger than any of the commercially available kitchens.  It is our hope that Chelsea will love this and that it will be something that will stay in the family for generations to come.

My next post will be of the accessories and Chelsea's reaction to her new play kitchen.  With my posting - this may take a week or two! 

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shrinky Dinks - A Better Late Than Never Post

I should have posted this back on Halloween but I'm going with the better late than never theme. Do you remember Shrinky Dinks? They were one of my very favorite "toys" when I was growing up. Hubby's niece Juli was with us one day as we were browsing a toy store - all of a sudden I spotted a Shrinky Dinks kit and was instantly excited! Juli didn't have a clue about Shrinky Dinks and when I explained what they are she said, "Sounds like a rip-off." Gotta love kids.

Well as soon as we got home and started coloring - she began to change her mind.

Once we got them in the oven and she saw the shrinking fun commence - she really got into it.

Halloween skeleton before...

...and after.

Some more afters.

The complete Halloween tree (tree even came flocked girls!). Juli is now a convert.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cute Champagne

A while back I reading a magazine and saw these cute little cans of pink champagne. I immediately went to the local wine shops but no one carried it. My sister went to her favorite wine shop and they gladly ordered it. I love everything about it! The box is pink and fun...

...and the cans are so cute.

I still have two left and I'm not sure that I will drink them. They look too cute sitting in my fridge.

They even come with their own little pink straws!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Well it was one heck of a holiday season. Can't say I'm sad to see it in the rear view mirror. It was fun but oh so tiring and oh so fattening. But I had to sneak it one more treat. I stumbled upon hot chocolate on a stick after the holiday shopping was done and read about it here and here and here. I knew I had to try it! So I whipped some up and am giving some to my neighbors and a few others for early Valentine's Day gifts.

I've been making homemade marshmallows for some time using Martha's recipe found here. They are fabulous but always a bit sticky so I decided to try Alton Brown's recipe found here. I was much happier with these and I think I'll stick with this recipe in the future - they were more cohesive and easier to cut and work with.

If you try this recipe, make sure you follow it exactly. The first time I tried it I attempted to use some chocolate I had on hand and it didn't quite set up properly. The second attempt came out perfect. These little suckers are delicious by themselves too! (Note bottle of wine in background - while not mandatory, it doesn't hurt to have a little sip while creating your chocolate masterpieces).

Here is the recipe I followed:

Hot Chocolate Blocks
Originally from King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup heavy cream
One 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or in chips (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips)
4-oz bar unsweetened chocolate cut into smaller pieces (I used Bakers)
Wooden or cookie/lollipop sticks (I used wooden popsicle sticks I had on hand)
8x8 pan lined with parchment paper
Heat the cream and sweetened condensed milk over medium-low heat until it starts steaming, stirring periodically. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes, then put back on medium-low heat and stir with a whisk until chocolate is completely melted and shiny. I put a tsp. of vanilla in prior to whisking. Pour chocolate into prepared pan and level.

Let sit overnight (at least 12 hours - don't try to cut it sooner - trust me!).

Remove chocolate from pan and cut, top side face down, into squares. Heat the knife under hot water, wipe dry, make two or three cuts, then reheat knife.
Place a marshmallow on top of each square and push the stick in. That is it! When it comes time to enjoy - just heat 4 - 8 oz. of milk and swirl the stick until the chocolate is melted and incorporated.

Much as the other bloggers, I packaged them in individual cellophane bags (I had these on hand and purchased them at a cake supply shop but I believe Joanns or Michaels also carry them).

I used the lunch bag idea of another blogger but used the brown bags I already had on hand. I printed heating instructions (lifted from here) on card stock and added a Valentine clip art image and trimmed with shears. Then I simply folded over the bag, punched a hole and tied with some red ribbon. You can see I was rushing to get this done by the height difference in the bags!

Overall this was a super easy, fast (save for the 12 hour set-up time), and inexpensive recipe. Perfect for winter gift giving - hot chocolate isn't just for Christmas! I'll be delivering these to the neighbors this evening, surely they will think me mad for giving Valentines already but I couldn't wait to give this one a try. Let me know if you do too!

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