Monday, May 5, 2014

Curtain Charm

Entry to the dining area from the kitchen.
Curtains are secured and stay in place.
I recently replaced my faux suede drapes with some light-weight curtains I found in the discount bin at Big Lots. I was looking to add some excitement to the dining area window and decided these would probably do the trick - keeping with my color scheme.

They're light weight and thin, but still have a slight room darkening affect when closed and you can't see through them at night either.

Grandma's vintage brooch.
With the recent warmer weather, I've been able to enjoy opening the sliding window where these curtains hang. The problem is, they are so light weight that the slightest breeze whips these around like a sail on a sailboat.

I was going to add a safety pin to the back where the curtains join in the middle of the rod, but came up with this idea to use a large vintage brooch I had come across recently in my Grandmother's old jewelry box. It complements the design in the curtains and it secures the curtains in place. They haven't budged! ...even with the wind whipping the curtain like a billowing sail. I did have to use a rubber band to secure the curtain on the curtain hook.  

It's hard to detect if you aren't really looking. I know it's there, though and I think about my Grandma every time I look at it. 

Alice was her name.

Joining the following Link Parties:

A Bowl Full of Lemons

Carrie This Home Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop

The Dedicated House

Elizabeth & Co.

Ivy & Elephants

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party

The Weekday Mixer Social Media Link-up 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Greeting Cards - The Personal Kind

I've made a few cards over recent months for family, friends and coworkers.

Luckily, I've been able to generate a few unique creations with the cogs turning in my mind. I like it when I have plenty of time to create cards when I can layer things in 3-D effect. Unfortunately, time is a rare thing and making cards is even more limited. These are all computer made with faux layering looks in some instances.

Coworker birthday card - seek and find
The one I had the most fun making was the coworker's birthday card (above). It's a seek 'n find that I made with photos from a recent trip to England. She and her husband have been to England in the past, so she is familiar with most all the hidden pictures.

The castle ruins are from my family heritage. I had a lot of fun with this one.

Dear friend's birthday card - 91 years old

This card was for a February birthday of a dear friend who loves the cards I make for her. I'm always transposing her smiling face onto various celebrities. She gets such a kick out of them and she shows them off to everyone!

Mom's birthday card - a Duck Dynasty fan
This card I made for mom in October was obviously in keeping with the Duck Dynasty theme. It was a quick toss together. She enjoyed it - obviously she can be goofy herself as she is seen in this photo with the clown nose from an event years ago. She loves to have fun at 75.
Coworker farewell card
 A coworker in a neighboring office got a job in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area. After chatting briefly with her about her praying about the direction to take, I had this idea. She thanked me for using her favorite piece of art.

Coworker farewell card
Another coworker in that same office left a month or so prior. It was a difficult departure since her position was being eliminated and it wasn't by choice. I added a Bible scripture on a separate piece of paper on the inside front cover.

Well, those are my most recent creations.

I have some upcoming birthdays that I've already been working on. They involve more detail and will be more elaborate in putting together. When I got the idea for these works in progress, I made sure I started early to allow for do-overs and tweaking. I'll post those when they are completed.

Enjoy this day!

Linky parties I've joined:

Friday, March 21, 2014

I'm not Irish, but . . .

I didn't wear green on St. Patrick's Day!
Roasted cabbage

I'm not Irish, but I do regard their heritage as being worthy of using the correct slang of ST. PADDY'S DAY and NOT St. Patty's Day. 

I saw a few commercials on TV referencing Patty and it made me cringe. I was embarrassed for them. I vowed I wouldn't shop at a store that couldn't get the terminology right. Of course, I'm not in the market for furniture anyway, so that was an easy boycott. 

I have friends who use the wrong reference too. I've tried to light-heartedly correct them and provided a link to information about the proper use. Most ignore it. 

Earlier this week I came across a recipe for roasted cabbage - well, not so much a recipe as a "how to." I tend to roast most vegetables these days, because they have a deeper, richer, and sometimes sweeter flavor.  

My husband didn't care too much for radishes. Not even the thinly sliced ones I added to our salads. Then one day I roasted some with a mixture of parsnips, turnips, carrots - and he was shocked! Radishes take on a whole different flavor when roasted - sweet bits of earthy flavor burst onto your tastebuds.

Corned beef and creamy mashed potatoes with roasted cabbage
The "how to" on most roasted veg is simple - cut root vegetables of your choosing into same size pieces - spritz with olive oil (toss in a bowl or brush on - your choice) - spread evenly on a baking tray - bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes (give or take an extra 5 minutes or so). You don't want them shriveled up and dried out, so keep an eye on them toward the end of the time. Oven temps vary it seems.

The veg comes out tender and moist. If you find it looks a bit dry - just spritz it with some olive oil. A little salt and pepper and you're good to go.

I decided to try the cabbage this week, because I purchased a package of corned beef last weekend. All the talk of St. Paddy's Day got me in the mood for corned beef and cabbage. I typically would have sautéed the cabbage in a skillet, but roasting is definitely the way to go for me.

As it roasted in the oven, the aroma of cabbage was filling the house - corned beef was already done in the crockpot. Even though we have cut way back on carbohydrate consumption, I decided some creamy mashed potatoes would be just the thing to add to this meal.

Oh! How good it is!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fidgety Fingers

In the evenings, after a long day at work and chores around the house, on weekends, I find sitting to watch TV without occupying my hands with SOMETHING to do is . . . a bit unnatural.

Seems I need to be fidgeting with something, turning pages of a magazine, cutting intricate graphics for some project, clipping coupons, knitting or crocheting . . . obviously, my favorite is crocheting.

frankly, sometimes string just doesn't want be string!

… individuality ...

Different, yet similar ...
Some grew bigger than others ...

Some wanted to be taller than others ...

Frolicking among the crocheted flowers ...

Some orderly positioning ...

Playing with the natural light ...

details ...

variety ...
Up close, and personal ...

Stacked and toppled ...

I may be linking with the following linky parties - click on these links and share the love!

Cupcakes and Crinoline

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bookmark Boo!

Halloween is really not an event I get too excited about.  I certainly don't decorate for it and can't recall the last time I bought a pumpkin for carving. No trick-or-treaters venture out to my neighborhood on a busy road front.

Years ago I lived in an area better suited to trick-or-treaters and it was always fun to see the little ones dressed in their costumes  -  more so the original costumes that parents help devise.

Even further back in the day when I helped create a costume for a trick-or-treater - about 30 minutes before the start of it - I came up with a mummy costume.  It started with white sweatpants and sweatshirt  - on top of that I loosely wrapped rolled gauze - several rolls - tearing some bits to hang in shreds . . . added some red and black makeup on a gauze wrapped face and head and there you had it.

These days, I'm content to just be inspired to create a few bookmarks I give to my friends, family - just as a fun token of being in the spooky-fun spirit.

I created these layered-graphic bookmarks with all the Halloween offerings from - The Graphics Fairy - one of my favorite places for graphics.

I'll add a black ribbon on some and leave some without - the backs of the bookmarks have a wood-look  where I can write - Happy Halloween! - or other messages specific to the recipient.

I may be participating in the following link parties:

The Graphics Fairy

Cherished Handmade Treasures

All Things Fee

Skip to my Lou

Not JUST a Housewife

My Turn For Us: Freedom Fridays #75

Monday, September 30, 2013

Goodwill Black to Tiffany Blue

Backstory: I was trying to find a small bottle of pillow spritzer a few weeks ago. After several weeks of restless sleep where the slightest thing became a huge factor in why I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I thought perhaps having my pillow scented with lavender would help.

I could not find the bottle of spritzer.
My poor attempt at organizing my dresser top
My dresser top is a mess. I thought having these canvass bins would help me keep things less cluttered on my dresser. Problem is – I can’t see what’s in them unless I’m digging through them. I drug out the two most used items – my deodorant and a bottle of perfume – and set them on the dresser for quick access. Other things just get shoved in the bins and mostly forgotten.

Recent: I have been thinking about having a nicer looking display – perhaps a mirrored tray with my glass bottles of perfume lined up. I gave some thought to what I might have around the house to repurpose. Nothing came to mind that was practical.

So, I gave myself a reason to head to our local Goodwill on a recent Saturday morning. Our local Goodwill is not a great treasure trove. I’ve purchased the occasional useful item there, but for the most part not much luck on great finds overall.

This day, though, I thought it would be okay to settle for a nice rectangular glass relish tray or a small mirrored "something."  I found two square relish trays and was willing to settle for those. They were in my shopping cart as I continued on looking at the opposite shelf.  

After a couple coats of spray paint
I found a long (16”) rectangular metal tray with a removable tempered glass insert.  It was black and boring.  I knew I could spruce it up with something from my growing collection of spray paint.

I kept looking through the clutter of items on the Goodwill shelf and found another treasure that would work for my plan to organize my dresser top.  This find was a small wire basket with a removable glass insert – again it was black and boring. However the glass insert was decorative with a design.
Tiffany blue tray

Once home, I cleaned both pieces – prepped my outdoor workspace on the deck and chose my color – Rust-oleum’s American Accent in Aqua. I chose this color because it reminds me of the blue Tiffany & Co. box – not that I have ever had one. This fresh blue color just seems appropriate for a staging area for bottles of perfume.

Tiffany blue tray and basket for the dresser
I was overly anxious to get started painting, so no before pictures – I often read that on blogs and now I understand how it is so easy to skip that step.

It took three light coats to get the coverage I wanted. I am well pleased with the results.

Now, I’ve started conjuring up other paint projects to use this color on – a few metal tins, a heavy cardboard box and glass bottles.

Even the Mister thinks my dresser top looks much better.
No more canvass bins

The blue and white runner is one woven years ago by my late grandmother, Ollie Frances. She died at the age of 45, before I was born, so I never knew her. My grandfather, J.C. died in December 2011, at the age of 103. 

He had this runner on a desk in his house. It’s one of the mementos I was given after the house was cleared out. The runner is quite faded from years of being on the desk in front of a window where the sun shone in, but the reverse – which is how I have it displayed on my dresser – is still rich in color and sentiment.

I may be linking here:

A Stroll Thru Life

Jennifer Rizzo

My Romantic Home

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

My Turn For Us: Freedom Fridays

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bearcat Bound

The grandson of one of my girlfriends is graduating high school next weekend. There is a graduation party to celebrate his accomplishments - of which he has many. 

Kaleb's high school activities have been shared by his grandmother over the years and she is very proud of him, rightfully so. As a senior, he attained high ranking on his bowling team - frightfully skilled in his sport. It wouldn't surprise me to hear of him competing in pro-bowling leagues in the future - in between his medical work of course. 

I believe this strapping young man is aiming for a degree as a medical technician. He will be attending the University of Cincinnati this fall.

My husband and I will not be able to attend the graduation party. So, I've made my gift - hurriedly, I might add - to give to her ahead of time so it can be added to the gift table.

Kaleb's Graduation Gift
I mentioned hurriedly because I only came across this idea on Pinterest late Friday. This meant I needed to make a trip to the Goodwill on Saturday to find a suitable picture frame and of course there's never a guarantee you'll find exactly what you need. Luckily, I did.

This little craft project had to be worked in with yard mowing, laundry, cleaning, running yet another errand. It's certainly not one of my best projects, but the concept carried out pretty well.

The frame is black metal - perfect, because I planned to add some cutouts of the UC Bearcat. 

I printed out the text "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS" - in Stencil Font; situated that in the top frame, then printed out a UC collage of logos as a background for the bottom frame and folded up the paper money to fit visibly. That all worked out well.

Then time started getting on. I had cut out the UC pennants and the Bearcat mascot pics and applied them to the frame with Mod Podge. It was going to take several coats to even out the ridges left behind by my strokes with my sponge brush. Back and forth I went - when I remembered - to apply another coating of Mod Podge. At one point my sponge brush with the Mod Podge was getting tack and pull off what was already a bit tacky on the frame.

I was just in too big of a hurry. I managed to fix the flaw - with the help of a black marker. 

It didn't really turn out perfectly smooth - but I figured in the end he was really only going to be excited about the money. If by chance he decides to reuse the frame to hold pictures of his girlfriend, friends or family it will suffice. After four years, it will surely have served its purpose.

Best wishes, Kaleb! Great things lie ahead for you.