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;)

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. 

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

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.   

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   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;)


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


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!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Buffalo Review

I've mentioned before that when Matt and I travel we try to stay at places that will help make the trip more memorable for us.  This past week we stayed at the New Buffalo Inn and Spa in New Buffalo, Michigan.    
Normally I plan our trips months in advance, but this trip was kind of "on the fly", and when I saw the inn's midweek special on the internet, I inquired about it.  Basically the special was $20 off of the regular midweek price, a $50 spa credit and $20 towards breakfast at the local cafe. 

Here's a quick tip for when you plan any getaway (especially if you are planning a getaway at the destination's peak seasion).  If you are looking to save money, booking any room just about anywhere during the middle of the week, opposed to the weekend, will save you a lot of money.

New Buffalo is a small beach town in Southwest Michigan.  The inn was located in the heart of the small town and was a short drive or a good walk to the beach.  When choosing this destination, all I had to go on was customer reviews and photos of the inn's website.   The reviews weren't bad and the photos showed a variety of rooms. 

The room that I chose was a little smaller than the others, but I am very picky on the way a room looks and the the Miss Eber Knight room seemed to have the most charm.  The room had a vaulted ceiling with sky lights, a covered patio with a table and chairs, a huge two person deep jacuzzi tub, a fire place, a tv and a wet bar.  All of the rooms had access to the hot tub located in the garden area. 
Miss Eber Knight
My only concern about the inn was that it appeared to be a little outdated.  When we arrived, I was assured of this.  Not outdated in an "oh, I can't believe that I paid money for this" kind of way, but outdated in an "I think I saw those curtains in a magazine dated 1999 kind of way".  Basically, it appeared that our room had not be decorated in a good ten years, and the grounds needed a good upkeeping.  If the place was maintained a little better and the rooms were updated to this decade, then the inn would be a knock-out place to stay, because the overall experience was really good.  I mean, can you really go wrong with all the things they had to offer?  I don't think so, but I am a girl who notices details, and because of that I would rate it a little bit lower than other inns that we've stayed in. 
Across the parking lot from the inn was the spa.  You can see the spa selections hereMatt didn't want the massage, so I gladly scheduled a fifty minute Swedish massage.  The massage was great, and it only cost us $22 since we had the $50 spa credit.  Again though, I have to say that the spa in itself was a little outdated. Basically, the service was good, but I really wanted to do some decorating while I was there.  Again, I pay attention to detail, so I'm sure most people don't even notice.

The town of New Buffalo was rustic and charming.  There's not a whole lot to do in the small town, but that's the beauty of this kind of getaway.  There were a few shops (most of them were only open from 10-6), and there were a few restaurants,  but most of the people in New Buffalo could be found at the beach.
The New Buffalo beach was beautiful, and the weather couldn't have been better while we were there.  There wasn't any humidity, and the temperature was right around 80 degrees the whole time.   When we were there, the waves were big and the rip currents were strong, but that's the way Matt likes it:)  On our last day, the water became calmer, and the waves died down considerably.  I did notice a bit of trash here and there on the beach that was left behind by its visitors.  We were only there for a few days, so I don't know how often the beach gets cleaned.   It would have been a little nicer if people threw away there mess before leaving the beach though.
Now, lets talk food.  We had a mini fridge in our room, so I packed sandwiches for lunch and snacks for the beach.  Many of the rooms had full kitchens, but I knew we weren't going to be there long enought o utilize that kind of room. 

We had breakfast at the local cafe, Michigan Thyme Cafe.  The cafe was really cute.  They had inside and outside dining, and they also had a really cute botique atatched to the cafe.  The menu selection wasn't huge, but the food was really good.  On the first morning, I ordered the stuffed french toast while Matt tried the quiche, and the second morning we had fresh blueberry pancakes.  The inn gave us $10 vouchers for the cafe each morning, making breakfast about $5 a day for the two of us.  We would definitely eat here again if we ever go back.
As for other restaruants in New Buffalo, we tried Casey's Bar and Grill the first night.  They did have a nice patio area that made dining enjoyable.  Dinner was less than $20 for the two of us, and the food was mediocre.  It was worth the money, but it didn't wow us.  

The second night, we decided to go where we saw a crowd.  We tried the Stray Dog Bar and Grill.  There was more selection at this restraunt, and the food was a lot better than the previous night.  Prices were about the same, but we spent a little more money, because we ordered more expensive items this time.  We still only spent about $30 for dinner, so it wasn't too bad.  This restaurant has roof top dining, but you have to be 21 and show your ID to go on the rooftop (I didn't have my ID on me and we were sent back down), which I thought was hilarious, because I noticed kids sitting at the bar downstairs.
We aslo ejoyed a classic small town ice cream shop while we were there.  Nancy's had a large selection of hand-dipped ice cream as well as an assortment of other cool treats.  Matt had there famous strawberry shake and said that it was the best strawberry shake he has ever had....that's saying a lot coming from my husband.  Nancy's was right in town, but if you wanted ice cream at the beach, then Jakes at the Beach was the place to go.  Jakes offered classic beach food, but they also served Nancy's icecream.
The nice thing about New Buffalo is that is right on Lake Michigan and Chicago is just across the lake.  The windy city was about seventy miles away, so spent they day there before heading back to Indy.  Over all, we had a great stay, and we would definetly visit Lake Michigan again.