Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cotton Branch Wreath

I'm a little late to the party, but in my defense....it took me forever to find cotton branches.  I heard they sold these at Michael's....and I finally found some in the fall section this year.  I purchased seven branches one week when they were 40 percent off.  
 Instead of using a wreath frame, I just used some brown wire (also bought with a coupon) to tie together the branch that I curved into a circle and connected.
So....for less than 30 dollars (I don't know the exact amount) I made one of these wreaths that usually cost at least 40 dollars+.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Snowman Spoons

 I used this technique to paint some wooden spoons that were hanging around my house.  My goal this year is to start getting rid of things I bought for projects I didn't do/or had to buy in larger packs than I needed at the time.  It'll take me years to purge, but....I'm four spoons lighter now.  My mom has a craft/antique booth and the plan is to throw these in there next Christmas.  I'll be creating some more friends to join these little guys, but...here's a start to purging, but more importantly...to Christmas crafts!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mini Unicorn Pinata

 I made my own mini donkey pinata a few years ago to fill with a gift card to a local Mexican restaurant.  Here are those instructions.  Recently I saw a unicorn pinata online, and it was my intention to make another pinata....the unicorn version, but then I ran across some mini donkey shapes already put together at Hobby Lobby.
 I used a coupon and picked up a three pack.  They also sold the fringe (this is not an ad-seriously, I just hate trying to search down products), but I just bought some tissue at the dollar store.
 I cut the tissue into strips.
 I glued strips down the main, overlapping them a little bit.
 I just used regular old glue stick.
 I did the same thing with the tail, but instead of having it go to the side like the main, I had it go towards the back.
 Here's a look at the finished main.  It doesn't have to be perfect b/c you are going to go over it with the white.
 The tail is also where the opening was.
I slipped the gift inside.  
I then took white tissue and I covered the body with fringe.
I took a gold piece of scrapbook paper and glued it into the shape of a cone.
I glued a little strip in the cone, and used that surface to glue it onto the head of the unicorn.
I have two more of these guys....I think I'm going pastel with the next one, and then....who knows, the sky is the limit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Baseball Wreath

 I'm headed to GMT today to demo some summer wreaths.  I've been posted those tutorials over the last few days.  I'll post the video later on facebook, but in the meantime, here is the final wreath.
 I'm going to demo this bubble wreath on Good Morning, Texas.  It's soooooo simple, and requires no glue.  I decided to deck this guy out for baseball season.  I bought all these ribbons at Hobby Lobby for half off (they sell their ribbon at half price for 50% off every other week, so...check your adds..if they aren't on sale this week, they will be next week-this makes them 1-2 dollars).  I did go to JoAnn for the baseball ribbon.
 I just found places all over the wire frame within the bubbled burlap and tied a knot until it was totally covered.
I found some used baseballs from a thrift store nearby, and a chalk board to write messages on (perhaps the score?) and I added those as well.  I'm ready for a (continued) great season, Rangers.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dollar Store Wreath

 I put this wreath together for less than five dollars (and half of that was for button covers).
 I got this wreath form at the dollar store.  I found this ribbon in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby for less than two dollars (and I only used half), and then I bought a few scraps of felt and burlap.
 I glued one end of the ribbon to the wreath and then wrapped it around the wreath/glued again when the two ribbons met.  I just made some simple felt and burlap flowers using some of these techniques.  I also bought these buttons for half off at Hobby Lobby and used some scrap fabrics for the center.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dear Younger Me,


    I turn 37 tomorrow.  I've reached the age in my life where I forget what my age is when people ask.I really thought I was 35 all year until my friends starting turning 37.

    There are moments when I think about where I thought I'd be.... I was going to be married.  There would be a couple kids.  My house would be clean.  My dog would be well behaved.  For sure, the front yard would have been landscaped.  I was going to be thinner....not thin, just...not so not thin.  What's up with the gray hair?  That was no where in the plan.  If it was, I was going to have more money to pay to cover that stuff up.  College loans, those were going to be paid off years ago.  

     Those don't define who I am at the moment.  This wasn't the life I had planned, but I could not have even written in the plans the incredible friends I'd meet and get to keep along the way.  The countries, states, and places I've been able to visit.  I've accomplished goals I never even thought about wanting to do because God provided moments and motivation to dream up some new, pretty incredible goals and adventures.  I've had a front row seat to answered prayers and miracles.  I don't know what the future holds.  I don't know if I'll get to check off any of the things from my "Once Upon a Time" list of expectations, but should none of those things ever come to pass, I know it's going to be a great adventure through year 37 and beyond.

   I will now pick up my birthday soap box and leave with this song....it speaks to me.  So if you are struggling with the age thing, the life expectations and life mapquest directions taking you down a different road than the one you thought you should be traveling, regrets from paths begun that diverted you from God's plan, this puts me back on track...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Watermelon Wreath

 I've seen versions of this wreath around for a year now.  One of my friends threw a watermelon themed birthday for her daughter last year, so we discussed some pins (it turned out super cute).  I'm going on GMT next week, and I was tasked with bringing some summer themed wreaths, so this was one of my choices.  My goal is to show several different techniques for making some easy wreaths.
 My favorite part of this wreath is that you can find these wreath frames at the Dollar Tree.  You can also find them at craft stores, but....not for a buck.  You could use scraps, but....I decided to just buy a few yards of fabric (one of each to be exact).  I did a version of this a few years ago for Halloween.  That post lives here.
 I cut the fabric into about half inch by 4 inch pieces.  You can make it longer for a fluffier wreath.  I then just started tying on my pieces.
 Green all around the outside (you'll fluff them later).
Once I had a row of green, I did the light pink, and then (last) two rows of bright pin, with a few black throw in for 'seeds.'  I did the black ones at the end after I had fluffed out the fabric tied on to space the 'seeds' out evenly.  It's certainly not a difficult wreath-but it takes awhile (an hour + to tie all the fabric onto the frame), so....my dog and I watched episodes we recorded from Shark Week!  The only key is to tie it close to the middle of the ribbon, but once you do a few, you will get the hang, and if any are just totally uneven, pull it off and tie again, or just trim the longer end!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Buttered Biscuits

 I recently made some biscuits from scratch. A gal I knew via church who loves to cook posted about these on facebook (thanks, Cindy, if you ever run across this) and I gave it a go.  The original post was via the bluejeanchef.   They were really buttery and delicious, and there were a few steps I had never done before that I'll definitely be trying out with other recipes that need cold butter (pie crust?).
This ones a keeper.
Ingredients:  2 1/3 c. bread flour, 8 t. sugar, 1 stick of butter (stick it in the freezer for an hour or so), 1 1/3 c. buttermilk, more butter (for greasing the pan and to brush on the top of the biscuits towards the end of cooking), regular flour (not the bread flour)
Instructions:
Preheat Oven to 425
1.  Mix the bread flour and sugar.
2.  Grate the butter into the dry mix.
 3.  Stir together until butter crumbles are coated, but don't over mix.
 4.  Add buttermilk.  Stir again until just mixed, but crumbly.  Again, don't over mix.
5.  Add about a cup of flour to a bowl.  Take a spoon and drop a ball of dough into the flour (about the size of an egg).
 6.  Toss around and coat.
 7.  Drop into a buttered 9x9 baking pan.  Set each one next to each other.
8.  Bake at 425 for 25 minutes.  Pull out and brush the tops of the biscuits with about 3 T of melted butter.  Cook at additional five minutes to brown.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Ornament Wreath

How about a little Christmas in July?  I made this last Christmas with some of the extra balls I had from misc projects.  I did a quick little how to video on putting this little guy together.  The interesting part...everything was bought at the dollar tree or Target dollar spot.  Those are my go to places for every holiday.  Let me just say....it doesn't get any easier than an ornament wreath.  Give it a go.  You can find the how to video here.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Raspberry Oatmeal Bar

My work has an annual cookie RECIPE exchange.  We bring two cookies and attach the recipe.  This gives me a new supply of cookies to bake, and I don't have to suffer through a few dozen bad cookies if it's not to my liking.  My principal brought the following recipe and it definitely made my top 2.  Yu-um.  So...if you are thinking Christmas (and who isn't....uhh...right?) and trying to decide on what you want to bake, OR if you just want a great new cookie/bar to try.  Here's one I've added to my sugar fix rotation.
Raspberry Oatmeal Bar
Ingredients:  1 pkg yellow cake mix, 2 1/2 c quick-cooking oats, 3/4 c butter (melted), 1 jar (12 oz) raspberry preserves, 1 T water
Instructions:  
1.  Preheat over 350
2.  Mix cake mix, oats, and butter until crumbly.  Press 3 c of crumb mix into grease 13x9 pan.
3.  Bake 10 minutes.  Cook for 5 minutes.
4.  In a separate bowl, stir preserves and water until blended.  Spread over crust.  Sprinkle with remaining crumb mix.  Bake 25-28 minutes or until lightly brown.
5.  Cool and cut into bars.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Homemade Ice Cream

I remember visiting my cousins' grandparents on their farm years ago.  Their grandmother often pulled out the ice cream makers and whipped up a few batches of homemade ice cream for the family that stopped by when we were up for 4th.  Every once in awhile my Mom would pull out the machine, and this year, when my cousin's kiddos came to visit I decided it was time to pass on the tradition.  We used Paula Dean's recipe and if you've never let some fresh ice cream churn at your house....add it to the to do list.  Just typing it out makes me want to go make another batch.  
Vanilla Ice Cream
*Makes a Gallon+
Ingredients:  4 eggs, 2 c. white sugar, 2 (12 oz) cans of evaporated milk, 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 T vanilla, whole milk (about half a gallon).  Ice and rock salt.
Instructions:  
1.  Mix all the ingredients (other than the milk).  Pour it into your ice cream maker. 
2.  Add the milk until it reaches the fill line.  Close the lid.  
3.  Fill the sides with a layer of ice, spring about 1/4 c. rock salt, another layer of ice/salt/ice/salt until it reaching the top of the machine.  
4.  Let the ice cream machine run for about 30 minutes (or until it stops if your machine has a stop mode).  You will need to keep adding ice and rock salt as it melts down (you want the whole canister to stay covered on all sides.  It will never get firm like the store bought ice cream, it remains soft (like soft serve).  
*If you are concerned about consuming raw eggs, you can used pasteurized liquid eggs.  
*To flavor your ice cream, add 2 c. of fresh fruit (strawberries, peaches etc) and 1 c. of sugar before adding the milk in the machine.