In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More No-Sew Fun With Felt


        The other day, I shared this post about my no-sew felt flower pillow.  Today, I am sharing with you two more no-sew felt pillows that I made to go in the same sitting area as the other pillow.  Felt is very inexpensive, so I couldn't help but use it again for these two pillows. 
        Once again, I don’t have a tutorial to share with you, but I made these pillows the same way I made other no-sew pillows I’ve created, with the exception of a few minor details.  I used the following materials to create these pillows:  2 pillow forms (one large, one small), ½ yard of grey felt, ½ grey lace, beads and a hot glue gun. 
        The larger pillow was really simple.  I made it like any other no-sew pillow, only I used felt as the back and lace as the front.  I chose hot glue as my no-sew adhesive for reasons previously listed in the above post.  The smaller pillow was made just like the larger one, only I created felt flowers to put on the pillow by cutting and arranging felt petals and then adding a small bead in the middle of each flower.  The smaller pillow was more time consuming than the larger, but I think it was worth it. 
        I hope these pics inspire you all to have some inexpensive, practical crafting fun with felt.  The next time you see felt on sale at your  local fabric store, just think of all of the possibilites;) 


Sunday, August 28, 2011

No-Sew Felt Flower Pillow


         It seems like I've seen felt flower pillows everywhere lately, and I’ve really been wanting to make one.  Felt is very inexpensive.  I knew I could make one for a little over $5 if I used coupons.  I used the following materials to make my pillow: pillow form, black felt and a hot glue gun.  Yes, you read that correctly…I used my hot glue gun.
          If you recall, I have not invested in a sewing machine and have come to adore no-sew adhesives.  However, felt is a porous material, so I knew that no-sew glues and iron-on adhesives would be difficult to work with.  Having nothing else in the house to use, I called on my trusty hot glue gun to the job.  Now, I don’t necessarily recommend this, but I can tell you that it works.  The problem I see with using hot glue is washing and drying the pillow.  Since my pillow cost around $5 and is only being used as an accent pillow on a chair that rarely ever gets used,  I didn’t fret over this problem too much.  I did discover this product at Micheal’s after the fact, and might suggest it for no-sew projects when working with materials such as felt in the future. 
           I don’t have a tutorial for this pillow, although I’m sure there are several out there.  I’ve seen enough flower pillows on store shelves that I  had the basic idea in my head of how to create one.  I made the pillow just like many of my other no-sew pillows seen here, only I used a hot glue gun.  After the actual pillow was created, I cut out several felt petals, arranged them on the pillow until I liked what I saw, and then I began gluing. 
           This was a quick, easy, inexpensive project that I think turned out pretty darn cute, and I really like the way it looks on the black and white chair.   In fact, it was so easy that I have more felt projects to  post about in the near future.  Until next time, happy crafting everyone!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Neighbor's Trash Turned Into My Treasure!

Before I begin this post, I just want to say......don't judge me. 

Perhaps I should start at the beginning......

While taking the dog for a walk recently, I noticed that my neighbor put this piece of furniture on the curb with a bright yellow "free" sign attached.....

Being someone who is still in the process of furnishing her home, loves the word "free" and can make ugly things beautiful,  I was intrigued with my neighbor's junk, so I stopped to take a look at the piece.

Now it was definitely damaged, but it wasn't in horrible shape.   I knew I could clean it and repurpose it, so when the hubs got home from work I shared my idea with him.  He, of course, did not see the beauty nor practicality in this piece of furniture, but after two and a half years of marriage, he has learned that there is a method to my madness.  Nonetheless, he drove to the corner across the street and loaded the heavy dresser-like-thing in his car, all the while not caring what the other neighbors who were out and about for the evening thought of him.  Such a good man, that husband of mine. 

I've had a busy few weeks, so my neighbor's junk has just been sitting upstairs for nearly a month.  But yesterday, I finally got motivated and started the project.  First I took my Black & Decker electric detail sander (that I got at a garage sale for $2 thank you very much) and sanded off the top layer of shine.
 
I bought this primer for the project.  This stuff saved me hours of sanding seeing as how I don't own a heavy-duty sander that can easily sand down to the original wood.  Not wanting to break my wallet by buying a new sander or ruin my manicure by sanding for hours by hand, the nice gentleman at Lowe's directed me to this product and told me that I only had to sand off the top layer of shine on the furniture before using this particular primer.
Using a small furniture and cabinet roller, I primed away.  Two coats of primer later, I was ready for the next step.

Now I really wanted to keep this piece white, but I was going to put it in our bedroom which means I had to paint it black to match the pieces that I found on Craigslist. You can read more about the Craigslist purchases here. 

When I purchased the furniture on Craigslist, the lady gave my a small container of touch-up paint, so I took the touch-up paint to Lowe's.  They matched the color and sheen perfectly.  I purchased one gallon, because I still have an armoire hanging out in my garage that I need to refinish in the same color. 

After letting two coats of paint dry, I added the hardware and put it in its new home ~ the sitting area in our master bedroom.

I left the original hardware on, because I had a hard time finding something that I liked to replace it.  Our bedroom has a vintage feel though, so I think it kind of works.

We did, however,  have to replace the two knobs, because one was missing.  These were $4 each at Hobby Lobby.  If you wait for the sale, they are only $2 each.
We still need to paint our bedroom and add curtains, so try to ignore that in this picture.  Slowly but surely everything is coming together thanks to garage sales, thrift shops, Craigslist......and now I can even say thanks to my neighbor's trash;)
 


Friday, August 26, 2011

500 pc. UPrinting Letterhead Giveaway!





         UPrinting is a company that offers custom printing services.  They’ve recently contacted me about teaming up with them to do a giveaway for all of you lovely readers.   Their  services would be great for both business and home, so be sure to check out their website to see what products they have to offer.  If you’re looking to promote your blog or business, UPrinting does custom envelope printing, business cards and flyers, along with many other products.   Or maybe you have a project to do around the house and are in need of custom invitations, greeting cards or calendars.   UPrinting has a variety of products that can be customized just for you!

     Today's giveaway is custom letterhead printing that can easily be personalized by you and for you!   You could even be creative and use the  letterheads for weekly grocery lists or annual family letters to insert in Christmas cards.  Maybe you’re in need of some quality stationary for your blog, Etsy shop or home office.   Or maybe you just want some nice stationary to use around the house.   If that’s the case, then this giveaway, valued at $89,  is the perfect giveaway for you! 



Today's giveaway includes the following:
500 pcs. Letterheads for One (1) winner
5.5” x 8.5"
70lb Offset
Front Only Printing
4 Business Days Print
Turnaround Time
*Free Shipping

Restrictions:  Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only.
If you have won this print giveaway from UPrinting in the past six months, you are not eligible for this giveaway.


Here's how to enter!
Leave me a comment letting me know you're a follower, and then tell me what you would do with the letterhead.

The deadline to enter for this giveaway is at Tuesday,  August 30, 2011.   

This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive letterhead  printing service by hosting.  Letterhead design and evelope printing is also available.  Please visit  UPrinting.com for more details.
 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Favorite Banana Muffins

           
               It’s August and that means back to school for most of the country.  Today I’m going to share a recipe that I always crave this time of year.    When I was a kid, my mom used to make us these yummy banana muffins.  I have many fond memories of grabbing a warm homemade muffin in the mornings before heading out the door and going to school.  The memories came flooding back yesterday morning when my house was filled with the wonderful smell of baked goodness as I was making a batch of these muffins for Matt and me.  The recipe is actually called Favorite Banana Bread, but I prefer to make muffins just like Mom always did.  This is also a great recipe to use when you have bananas that are starting to go bad and you don't know what to do with them. 

INGREDIENTS:
½ c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 ripened smashed bananas (about 1 c.)
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. butter milk

* Note: if you don’t have butter milk, add one tbsp. of vinegar to one c. of regular milk


DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat butter till softened and add sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat until thoroughly blended.  Add bananas and mix well.  Mix dry ingredients and add to mixture while alternating with the buttermilk.  Pour into a 9x5 bread pan or muffin pan.  Bake 50-60  minutes in bread pan or 30-35 minutes in muffin pan.


Note:  This recipe yields twelve normal size muffins, but in this picture there is twenty-four smaller muffins.  I wanted to make smaller portions, so I poured the batter into two muffins pans rather than one, creating smaller muffins.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My 100th Post & I've been featured!!!

               As I opened my Blogger dashboard to write this evenings post, I was planning on sharing a bit of news with you…….. and then I got a little sidetracked.  You see, while looking over my dashboard, I realized that this very post I am writing is my 100th blog post!  It’s hard to believe that sixth months ago I woke up and told my husband I was going to start a blog.  Having no clue what I was doing, I spent the afternoon attempting to create a blog, and by the time I went to bed, I had written my very first post. 
            I've learned many things as I've created and maintained my blog.  One thing that I've certainly learned over the past sixth months is that blogging takes A LOT of work.  Considering the fact that my blog is still a hobby and not a career, I have a lot of respect for all of the full-time bloggers out there and the awesome blogs they’ve created (most of which put my little ol' blog to shame), but I've also learned to be content with my little corner of the blogosphere and to enjoy my creative outlet, regardless of how big or small it may be.          
            Now, on to the real reason for this post…..I've been featured!   I haven’t been very good about letting my readers know when or where I’ve been featured lately, so I thought I would write a quick post to inform you all of this exciting news.  Over the past few weeks, the following projects have been featured a couple of times by some very kind bloggers:  $10 Porch Swing Redo, $4 Goodwill Picture Frame Turned Dry Erase Board and DIY Wall Decor.  Check out my "featured" page to see which bloggers have featured my work, and be sure to visit their blog to see what kind of projects they’ve been up to lately. 
         

Sunday, August 14, 2011

65 Years

      

       .
            Before I begin this post let me just say that thoughts and prayers go to those who were injured last night at the Indiana state fair.  My heart is truly saddened for the families of those who lost their lives in last night's tragic accident.  Matt and I are thankful for the Lord's protection, especially when we realized we must have left the fair less than ten minutes before the accident occurred.  As soon as we got home from the fair, I wrote a quick post about how expensive fairs can be, but when I published the post and turned on the evening news, overpriced fair food was the least of my worries.  Please continue to pray for those involved in last night's accident.
 =================================================


      On a lighter note, Matt and I had plans to drive two hours south to visit his family today.  Every few months we all get together to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, ect.  Today we celebrated Matt's 29th birthday, our nephew's 2nd birthday and Matt's grandparent’s 65th anniversary.  Yep, you read correctly……sixty-five years!  In this day and age, when marriage seems to be taken lightly and divorce rates are skyrocketing, I am thankful to have grandparents who still love each other through thick and thin.  It’s encouraging to know they never gave up on one another or their marriage.  Matt and I are truly grateful to have them in our lives as an example of a healthy marriage.   


Saturday, August 13, 2011

The State Fair

         
            It's the middle of August, and that means it's state fair time.  It's the one time of year that I feel like I can eat anything fried and not feel guilty, because it only happens once a year! 
            Fairs are soooo overpriced, but it's tradition....what's August without the state fair.  Matt and I usually set a $20 budget on what we will spend at the fair.  Last year, we did great with our money.  For starters, we got free tickets and free vouchers for BBQ pork sandwiches at a local blood drive, which made admission and dinner FREE at the fair!  We also brought water bottles in a bag that I carried instead of buying overpriced drinks.  That left us with money to buy the traditional fair favorites like a turkey leg, corn on the cob, a funnel cake and whatever the new fried invention of the year was....last year it was fried Pepsi....which was surprisingly good. 
            This year we didn't do as good.  The only free tickets we could find were for weekdays.  That didn't work with our schedule, so we ended up paying for admission.  Then as soon as we got to the fair,  I was dying of thirst, so we paid $5 for a lemon shake up.  No water bottles this year.  I didn't bring a purse due to my neck injury from Thursday.  When it came time eat, Matt decided that he just wanted a plate of loaded ribbon fries, which was $6.50 a plate.  Note to self: read the small print at the window of food vendors.  After we ordered, we realized that each topping of his loaded fries were $1 each, bringing the grand total to $11.50.....yikes.....those fries were so not worth it!  That left us with $3.50, so we skipped the new fried invention.  I would have passed on the fried Kool-Aid anyway.  However, I also had to pass on the traditional funnel cake, because it would have put us over budget.  I ended up getting a pineapple whip icecream cone for three bucks.  Now, we could have just gone to the ATM machine to get more cash, but when we set a budget we try to keep it.  With admission, we spent close to $35....is the fair really worth more than that? 
        Yep, this was not our best year at the fair.  It didn't help that my neck was hurting.  I skipped meds today, so I would be awake enough to go to the fair when Matt got home from work.  Skipping meds was probably not my smartest move, because I was hurtin' by the end of the night.  My poor husband ended up with a sore, sweaty, hungry, less than cheerful wife by the time we left.  I Still had a good time with the hubs, even if I was a little cranky.   I'm sure next year will be better.  But for now, its time to take my medicine and go to bed.  Good night all!

Indiana State Fair 2011


Friday, August 12, 2011

a pain in the neck.......

       
      
        Unfortunately the title of today's post is quite literal for me.  I really do have a pain in my neck.  After spending yesterday in severe pain, my husband finally made me go to MedCheck late last night where I was diagnosed with a cervical muscle strain and trapezius muscle spasm.  Have you ever had a Charlie horse in your leg?  Yep....well that is the feeling that I had in my neck several times throughout the day Thursday.  I've had a stiff neck before, but this was a little much...even for me. I can't rememeber the last time I actually cried because I was in so much pain. 
       The solution to the problem was three ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer every eight hours, which completely knocks me out.  I feel as though I have wasted a whole day in bed.  I had so many things on my Friday to-do list, and not one of them got checked off my list.....sigh.  On the plus side, my neck does feel better today,  but I was told that it will take three to four days for the muscle in my neck to heal.   We were hoping to go to the state fair tomorrow night, and we have plans to drive two hours south and visit my in-laws on Sunday.  I'm really hoping that I can go without the muscle relaxers tomorrow, so we don't have to cancel our plans. 
        Before I end this post, I just want to say how thankful I am for my husband.  He was very patient with me last night.  Even though I didn't think I needed to go to the doctor, he put his foot down and made me go.  He didn't complain about taking me to MedCheck late last night even though he still had to get up for work early this morning.  I'm so thankful that I married a kind and patient man who can handle me....even when I'm a little bit stubburn.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More No-Sew Pillows

Someone recently asked me where I purchased the pillows from on this loveseat.  I told them that I purchased the tan pillow from Kirkland's years ago and the other two I made a few months ago....

....using heat-n-bond.  Would you really expect anything else from me?
I found this fabric in the JoAnn's scrap fabric pile for half off the reduced price.  $3 looked like a good deal to me, and I still have plenty of fabric leftover for a different project.

I fell in love with this Waverly home decor fabric, and the cheapest place I could find it was from fabric.com.   Waverly fabric is not cheap, but since I only bought half of a yard, I justified the price;)

Using coupons, I purchased two pillow forms from JoAnn's 40% off the regular price.
I "no-sewed" the pillows using the heat'n'bond and an iron, the same way that I would have sewed the pillows with a sewing machine.

After three of the four sides were "no-sewed", I turned the pillow right-side-out and stuffed the pillow form in the pillow.  Lastly, I "no-sewed" the fourth side of the pillow.
Not too bad for a "no-sew" project, huh?  They were easy, cost-effective, and they look pretty good in the room too:)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chalkboard Wall Decor Knock Off

I saw this piece of wall decor at a store awhile back and thought it would be great for a kitchen.  It was $20, and I remember thinking that I could make it for less.



So when I saw this at Goodwill for $3.99, I thought it would make a perfect chalkboard.



I bought some chalkboard paint from JoAnn's (with a coupon it was less than $5) .....




.....and began painting.




Once the paint dried,  I looked at the picture from the store, and using a piece of chalk I began writing the "recipe for success".




My version cost less $10, and I think it looks all right:)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Raspberry Tea Recipe




I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine, and it's always a hit when company comes to visit.  In fact, I usually double the recipe when company comes, because it goes that fast.  My mom and sisters LOVE the stuff and have requested the recipe.  I told them how to make it last time they came to visit, but I also told them I'd put it on my blog for future reference;)


INGREDIENTS:

4 quarts of water
1 to 1.5 cups of sugar
1 12oz. bag of frozen raspberries
10 individual size tea bags. 
1/4 cup of lemon juice


DIRECTIONS:


Bring water and sugar to a boil.
I've used Splenda and Steevia as a sugar substitue and it turns out fine, but there's really nothing quite like using real sugar.



Then add tea bags....
Don't use an off-brand tea bag; it doesn't turn out well.  I use Lipton.



.....frozen raspberries....
I've tried several different off-brands and name-brands of raspberries for this recipe, but Trader Joes all natural raspberries are my favorite ones to use.
....and lemon juice.
freshly squeezed lemon juice is best



Give a stir and let steep for 3-5 minutes.



Strain raspberries and tea bags and set aside.
I use my deep pasta pot to make the tea, because it has a built-in strainer that makes the whole process easier.
Once the tea has cooled, pour into a pitcher and put in fridge to chill.



Then serve it up...



.....and enjoy!