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Sunday, February 19, 2012

For my little chefs...

Sometimes I think I might be just a tad crazy.  I decided around 4 AM a few days ago that I was going to take on a rather big project...on a rather intense time frame!  I have to have this finished up by Saturday, my daughter's birthday.  We're hosting our families to celebrate, and it must be done!!!  So I've kinda dropped off the face of the earth...I'm terribly behind on responding to comments and emails, not to mention my real life responsibilities!  Ah, well.  Here's hoping I get it done!  In the meantime....
For well over a year (basically since the moment I first saw the plans for it over at Ana White), I have dreamed of building my kids a play kitchen for Christmas.  Well, since we were now in our own home, 2011 was the year!  This is my second Ana White project (the first was some gallery shelves I still haven't blogged!), and I'm happy with how it turned out:
 
 
 
It's not perfect, but that's okay.  The only thing not quite done is the ruffly curtain that goes under the sink.  It will match the fabric I used everywhere else...it's even sitting neatly folded on the shelf above my computer monitor, I'm looking at it as I type!  :)  And I built a dishwasher, which is the same plan as the oven, I just didn't use plexiglass in the door opening, and only one knob.
I won't give you the how-to, since Ana's plans do that, but I will tell you what I used.

My kids absolutely love it!  It's absolutely doable, if you want to do it.  And if you want to be amazed and inspired, browse Ana White's plan catalog!



Linking up here:
{M} Twigg Studios-Ask Anna-Skip to My Lou-The DIY Showoff-Mad in Crafts-Marvelously Messy-Pinkopotamus-The Girl Creative-Sumo's Sweet Stuff-Making the World Cuter-Sew Can DoC.R.A.F.T.- Keeping It Simple-Creating My Way to Success-All Things Fee-Etcetorize -Craft-o-Maniac-My Junk Drawer-Homemaker in Heels-Singing Three Little Birds-The House in the Roses-Boogieboard Cottage-Be Colorful-Between Naps on the Porch-I Should Be Mopping the Floor-Embellishing Life {T} Today's Creative Blog-Tip Junkie-Cherished Bliss-A Diamond in the Stuff-Sugar Bee Crafts-Vintage Wanna Bee-Reasons to Skip the Housework-The Kurtz Corner-Me and My Boys-Funky Polkadot Giraffe-Hope Studios-Creative Itch-Not Just a Housewife-Rook No. 17-At Home with K-My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia-Home Stories A2Z-Type A Decorating-DIY by Design-Primitive and Proper {furniture only}-Elizabeth & Co.-Project Queen-Coastal Charm-Ladybug Blessings-Homework-Topsy Turvy-New Nostalgia-Measured by the Heart {W} Tea Rose Home-Someday Crafts-Lil' Luna-Creations by Kara-Sew Woodsy -Goodbye City Hello Suburbs-Blue Cricket Design-Sew Much Ado-My Girlish Whims-Very Merry Vintage Style-Savvy Southern Style-Seven Thirty Three-Night Owl Crafting-Sugar and Dots-The Trendy Treehouse-Southern Lovely -Polkadots on Parade-Restore Interiors-Chatty Chicks-Ginger Snap Crafts-The Sasse Life-Fireflies and Jellybeans-Organize and Decorate Everything-Rae Gun Ramblings {Th} The Shabby Creek Cottage-House of Hepworths-The Brambleberry Cottage-The 36th Avenue-Yesterday on Tuesday-Saved by Love Creations-Momnivore's Dilemma-Beyond the Picket Fence-Somewhat Simple-Gluesticks-A Glimpse Inside-Domestically Speaking {paint only}-A Creative Princess-Christina's Adventures {$20}-What Allie's Making Now-Tales from Bloggeritaville-A Little Knick Knack-Crafty, Scrappy, Happy-Two Yellow Birds Decor-These Peas Taste Funny {F} Thirty Handmade Days-Just a Girl-Romantic Home-Remodelaholic-Shabby Nest-Lovely Crafty Home-WhipperBerry-At the Picket Fence-Finding Fabulous-delicate CONSTRUCTION-My Repurposed Life-Naptime Crafters-Chic on a Shoestring Budget Decorating-Fingerprints on the Fridge-504 Main-Cookie Nut Creations-Making Lemonade-French Country Cottage-See Vanessa Craft-Sassy Sites-Kojo Designs-It's a Hodgepodge Life-Tidy Mom-Truly Lovely-Simply Designing-Bubbly Nature Creations-Home is Where My Story Begins-Miss Mustard Seed {furniture only}-Simply Sweet Home-Creation Corner-Joyful Stamper-Craftionary-Release Me Create-Simple Home Life-Family Ever After-Addicted to Decorating-One Artsy Mama {S} Funky Junk Interior-Ladybird Lane-Tatertots and Jello-Craft Envy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Book Review - Two Fantastic Reads from 2011

Now that I've got this year back up and going, I'm looking for weekly guest posters again!  But I'm also expanding what I'm looking for.  I'm still looking for DIY bloggers, but I'm also looking for bloggers who would be interested in doing a book review.  I've been an avid reader all my life, but over the last year I feel I've neglected that NEED...filling up all my time with other projects.  So one of my goals for this year is to rediscover and nourish that part of me.  Regular book reviews from me and from guests will help that!  :)
If you're interested in guesting, see my guest posting page here.
And so, to kick of my book reviews, I have Kimberly here today to share two of her favorite reads from 2011.  Take it away, Kimberly!

2011 was a great year for readers, in areas of fiction and nonfiction alike. In fact it was such a good year for books that you might be hard pressed to settle on any one book from the best-of lists from last year. If that’s the case, I have two great books to recommend. 

The Paris Wife
If you’re a fan of American fiction from the 1920’s, then you’ll love this book. Paula McLain’s novel The Paris Wife chronicles the life of Ernest Hemingway’s wife, Hadley Hemingway, during the couple’s stint in Paris in the 1920’s. It’s a time when her husband was at the peak of his creative power and influence, holding court at Parisian cafes among the likes of Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. In fact, The Paris Wife reads almost like a version of Hemingway’s book about those years, A Moveable Feast, but told from Hadley’s perspective. The novel focuses mostly on the ups and downs of the relationship between Hadley and Ernest, who first met in Chicago and quickly fell in love, got married and moved to Paris to start a new life. Hadley, a woman in her twenties at the time, becomes immediately swept away by the dynamics between Ernest and his literary round table in Paris. But the exoticism of living among powerful writers soon loses its appeal for Hadley as she becomes privy to the darker tendencies of the group, particularly in her own husband.

 It takes a moment to acclimate oneself to the atmosphere and time of the book, but once you do so, I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Critics who reviewed the book praised it as much for the originality and beauty of the story as they did for the thorough research that went into it. Though most of the dialogue and smaller details are fictional, Paula McLain went to great lengths to try to capture as accurate depiction of Hadley Hemingway’s persona as was possible. If you’re looking for new  fiction to read, I would strongly recommend this novel.

Thinking, Fast and Slow
On the nonfiction side of things there is Thinking, Fast and Slow, a fascinating book by Dr. Daniel Khaneman that tackles a rather ambitious subject: human thought. But Dr. Khaneman has some rather impressive credentials to support his ability to write such a book. In 2002 he won the Nobel Peace Prize in economics, as he has devoted the entirety of his professional life to studying the eccentricities and abnormalities of human thought and rationalization.

The book itself proposes that we think about things using two mechanisms of thought, which Dr. Khaneman simply labels Systems 1 and 2. We use System 1 at all times to take in and process the information around us. It’s the kind of instinctual, intuitive sense in us that allows us to go on autopilot about certain things like getting dressed in the morning and holding a conversation about the weather. We use system 2 to perform highly concentrated thinking, such as when someone asks you to multiply 547 by 22—it’s something that makes our brains stop thinking about everything else so we can focus on the task at hand. The book explains the nuances of each system, explaining that we normally operate on system 1 and only bring ourselves to operate on system when it’s absolutely necessary. In other words, Dr. Khaneman contends that we have very lazy brains.

One of the most surprising things about Thinking, Fast and Slow is the ease with which it reads. I fully expected to read an academic text about the human brain when I start the book, but instead I found the pleasant and patient voice of Dr. Khaneman explaining huge concepts through simple diagrams, anecdotes, and exercises. If you want to better understand the mind, this book is for you.

This is a guest post by Kimberly Wilson. Kimberly is from accredited online colleges, she writes on topics including career, education, student life, college life, home improvement, time management etc.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My latest wedding gift

I love to make wedding gifts.  Registries are a wonderful thing, and I certainly appreciated everything we got from ours...but I figure most people will probably shop from the registry and cover the necessities, so I can do something more personal and fun!  :)  A dear family friend got married last weekend, and I was trying to think of a new wedding gift to make (I was tired of my old fall-back ideas).  So, of course, I hopped on Pinterest and saw this, and this, and this:
And then came up with this!
It was pretty simple!  I took an 8X10 frame (courtesy of a garage sale) and a wood letter (courtesy of Michaels),
painted them with Americana Acrylic Paint in Bittersweet Chocolate, then gave them both a couple coats of Krylon Matte Finish spray.  This is for durability, of course, but also to give the acrylic paint a more attractive finish...it kinda looks dull otherwise.
Then I made my own script patterned paper in Photoshop, using the couple's names, wedding date and the saying "Happily Ever After."
Printed it out, and traced around the letter (put it face down on the backside of your patterned paper).
Cut it out, and modge podged it onto the letter.  (I love Modge Podge.)
Speaking of Modge Podge, after ripping off the part of the cardboard backing that makes the frame stand up, I then laid the rectangle onto my burlap, and loosely cut around it.  Then slapped some Modge Podge onto the cardboard, and carefully laid the burlap over it and smoothed it down.  After that, trim the edges off.
I took a strip of fabric, about an inch wide, and tied it around the top of the letter (which you unfortunately cannot do with every letter!),
then looped it over the frame.  This part was a little tricky.  I then put in the burlap covered insert, and pulled the two ends of the fabric until I got the letter positioned just right, then hot glued the edges down on the back of the cardboard, then covered it with another piece of cardboard to keep things neat and tidy.
Then tied a bit of lace around the letter.  I jazzed up a plain green button with some glitter,
and added a little rhinestone in the center, then hot glued that onto the knot in the lace.
THEN, for the final touch, I took my Martha Stewart Sanserif font clear mount stamps, and spelled out "truly, madly, deeply" and "since 2012" and stamped them onto the corners of the burlap, using Stampin' Up! Chocolate Chip ink.
Lastly, I put a quick bit of hot glue on the back of the B and stuck it to the burlap.
All done!  And I think it is great!


Linking up here:
{M} Twigg Studios-Ask Anna-Skip to My Lou-The DIY Showoff-Mad in Crafts-Marvelously Messy-Pinkopotamus-The Girl Creative-Sumo's Sweet Stuff-Making the World Cuter-Sew Can DoC.R.A.F.T.- Keeping It Simple-Creating My Way to Success-All Things Fee-Etcetorize -Craft-o-Maniac-My Junk Drawer-Homemaker in Heels-Singing Three Little Birds-The House in the Roses-Boogieboard Cottage-Be Colorful-Between Naps on the Porch-I Should Be Mopping the Floor-Embellishing Life {T} Today's Creative Blog-Tip Junkie-Cherished Bliss-A Diamond in the Stuff-Sugar Bee Crafts-Vintage Wanna Bee-Reasons to Skip the Housework-The Kurtz Corner-Me and My Boys-All Thingz Related-Funky Polkadot Giraffe-Hope Studios-Creative Itch-Not Just a Housewife-Rook No. 17-At Home with K-My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia-Home Stories A2Z-Type A Decorating-DIY by Design-Primitive and Proper {furniture only}-Elizabeth & Co.-Project Queen-Coastal Charm-Ladybug Blessings-Homework-Topsy Turvy-New Nostalgia-Measured by the Heart {W} Tea Rose Home-Someday Crafts-Lil' Luna-Creations by Kara-Sew Woodsy -Goodbye City Hello Suburbs-Blue Cricket Design-Sew Much Ado-My Girlish Whims-Very Merry Vintage Style-Savvy Southern Style-Seven Thirty Three-Night Owl Crafting-Sugar and Dots-The Trendy Treehouse-Southern Lovely -Polkadots on Parade-Restore Interiors-Chatty Chicks-Ginger Snap Crafts-The Sasse Life-Fireflies and Jellybeans-Organize and Decorate Everything-Rae Gun Ramblings {Th} The Shabby Creek Cottage-House of Hepworths-The Brambleberry Cottage-The 36th Avenue-Yesterday on Tuesday-Saved by Love Creations-Momnivore's Dilemma-Beyond the Picket Fence-Somewhat Simple-Gluesticks-A Glimpse Inside-Domestically Speaking {paint only}-A Creative Princess-Christina's Adventures {$20}-What Allie's Making Now-Tales from Bloggeritaville-A Little Knick Knack-Crafty, Scrappy, Happy-Two Yellow Birds Decor-These Peas Taste Funny {F} Thirty Handmade Days-Just a Girl-Romantic Home-Remodelaholic-Shabby Nest-Young & Crafty-Lovely Crafty Home-WhipperBerry-At the Picket Fence-Finding Fabulous-delicate CONSTRUCTION-My Repurposed Life-Naptime Crafters-Chic on a Shoestring Budget Decorating-Fingerprints on the Fridge-504 Main-Cookie Nut Creations-Making Lemonade-French Country Cottage-See Vanessa Craft-Sassy Sites-Kojo Designs-It's a Hodgepodge Life-Tidy Mom-Truly Lovely-Simply Designing-Bubbly Nature Creations-Home is Where My Story Begins-Miss Mustard Seed {furniture only}-Simply Sweet Home-Creation Corner-Joyful Stamper-Craftionary-Release Me Create-Simple Home Life-Family Ever After-Addicted to Decorating-One Artsy Mama {S} Funky Junk Interior-Ladybird Lane-Tatertots and Jello-Craft Envy-A Law Student's Journey

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Darling cards!

As promised here are the super cute Make n' Takes from my quarterly Stampin' Up! meeting.  If you are interested in acquiring any of those supplies, click on the Stampin' Up! logo on my sidebar to be taken directly to my demonstrator website, or click on the hyperlinks.  If it doesn't show up automatically, I'd really appreciate you selecting Heather Ipson as your demonstrator!  :)  Enjoy!
Stamps: Mixed Bunch, from the Occasions Mini (only available until April 30th)
Punches: Blossom Punch5 Petal Flower Punch and the Scallop Border Punch (used to make the ric rac)
Other Embellishments: Stampin' Dimensionals
Designer Series Paper: Big Top Birthday
Big Shot Embossing Folder: Houndstooth
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Real Red
Designer Series Paper: Twitterpated
Big Shot Embossing Folder: Perfect Polka Dots
 Cardstock: Sahara Sand and Calypso Coral
Designer Series Paper: Attic Boutique
Stamps: Rue Des Fleurs, from the Occasions Mini (only available until April 30th)
Stampin' Around Wheels: Chamomile Standard Wheel
Other Embellishments: Stampin' Dimensionals and Basic Rhinestones
Designer Series Paper: Big Top Birthday
Stamps: Fox & Friends
Punches: 1/2 inch, 1 inch, and 1 1/ 4 inch Circle Punches, Extra Large Oval Punch
Other Embellishments: Stampin' Dimensionals and Natural Hemp Twine

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rustic Wood Wreath

We had a great weekend!  Got a table saw, for one!  A worthwhile investment that will help save us a ton of money...since we're using it to build those good ole cabinets for my craft room.  I might have mentioned them once...or twice.... ;)
I also got to go to my first quarterly Stampin' Up! meeting.  It was a blast, I got to see some new techniques demonstrated, as well as a new product.  Not to mention 5 fabulous Make & Takes, treats and socializing!  I'll post some photos later this week.
And last (but definitely not least!!!), my brother-in-law announced that HE IS GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!  I'm giddy as a school girl over this one.  My husband and I are both the oldest, we've been married for coming up on seven years and between the two of us, we have six younger siblings.  Not one of them is married.  But that will change soon!  In addition to gaining a sister-in-law, I also get to help plan a luncheon or dinner AND throw a fabulous bridal shower.
I'm almost ridiculously excited.

Anyway, onto today's post!
I saw this wreath awhile ago over at Shabby Love and pinned it, thinking it would be a perfect post-holiday winter wreath for my front door.  I thought right!  :)
I did it a little differently than Melissa did, however.  I used an 18" raffia wreath as my base, didn't even take off the plastic!
Then I cut three inch wide strips of dark brown felt
and wrapped them all around the wreath, using good ole hot glue to hold them in place.  It took about 250 inches in length to wrap around the entire wreath, with plenty of overlap so none of the raffia showed through.
A couple months ago, I took all the limbs from my pruning adventures and sliced them into about a quarter to a half inch thick discs with the chop saw (make sure your branches are all dried out before you do this).  They've been sitting in a bag in my garage waiting for me to get around to this!  So I dug out that bag,
and started hot gluing away!  It really was like a puzzle, as Melissa said, getting everything to fit just right with as little space as possible showing through.  Just kept going until it was done...I cut around 450 discs, and I used all but maybe 30.
Then I hung it on the door...rustic wood juxtaposed with sparkly silver ribbon (found on clearance after Christmas).  I completely love it!!!!
 The whole project cost me about $5.  Not bad at all!

Linking up here:
{M} Ask Anna-Skip to My Lou-The DIY Showoff-Mad in Crafts-Marvelously Messy-Pinkopotamus-The Girl Creative-Sumo's Sweet Stuff-Making the World Cuter-Sew Can DoC.R.A.F.T.- Keeping It Simple-Mo Momma-Creating My Way to Success-All Things Fee-Etcetorize -Craft-o-Maniac-My Junk Drawer-Homemaker in Heels-Singing Three Little Birds-The House in the Roses-Boogieboard Cottage-Be Colorful-Between Naps on the Porch-I Should Be Mopping the Floor-Twigg Studios {T} Creating a House of Grace-Today's Creative Blog-Tip Junkie-Cherished Bliss-A Diamond in the Stuff-Sugar Bee Crafts-Vintage Wanna Bee-Reasons to Skip the Housework-The Kurtz Corner-Me and My Boys-Embellishing Life-All Thingz Related-Funky Polkadot Giraffe-Hope Studios-Creative Itch-Not Just a Housewife-Rook No. 17-At Home with K-My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia-Home Stories A2Z-Type A Decorating-DIY by Design-Primitive and Proper {furniture only}-Elizabeth & Co.-Project Queen-Coastal Charm-Ladybug Blessings-Homework-Topsy Turvy-New Nostalgia-Measured by the Heart {W} Tea Rose Home-Someday Crafts-Lil' Luna-Creations by Kara-Sew Woodsy -Goodbye City Hello Suburbs-Blue Cricket Design-Sew Much Ado-My Girlish Whims -A Mommy's Life with a touch  of yellow-Very Merry Vintage Style-Savvy Southern Style-Seven Thirty Three-Night Owl Crafting-Sugar and Dots-The Trendy Treehouse-Southern Lovely -Polkadots on Parade-Restore Interiors-Chatty Chicks-Ginger Snap Crafts-The Sasse Life-Fireflies and Jellybeans-Organize and Decorate Everything-Rae Gun Ramblings {Th} The Shabby Creek Cottage-House of Hepworths-The Brambleberry Cottage-The 36th Avenue-Yesterday on Tuesday-Saved by Love Creations-Momnivore's Dilemma-Beyond the Picket Fence-Somewhat Simple-Gluesticks-A Glimpse Inside-Domestically Speaking {paint only}-A Creative Princess-Christina's Adventures {$20}-What Allie's Making Now-Tales from Bloggeritaville-A Little Knick Knack-Crafty, Scrappy, Happy-Two Yellow Birds Decor {F} Thirty Handmade Days-Just a Girl-Romantic Home-Remodelaholic-Shabby Nest-Young & Crafty-Lovely Crafty Home-WhipperBerry-At the Picket Fence-Finding Fabulous-delicate CONSTRUCTION-My Repurposed Life-Naptime Crafters-Chic on a Shoestring Budget Decorating-Fingerprints on the Fridge-504 Main-Cookie Nut Creations-Making Lemonade-French Country Cottage-See Vanessa Craft-Sassy Sites-Kojo Designs-It's a Hodgepodge Life-Tidy Mom-Truly Lovely-Simply Designing-Bubbly Nature Creations-Home is Where My Story Begins-Miss Mustard Seed {furniture only}-Simply Sweet Home-Creation Corner-Joyful Stamper-Craftionary-Release Me Create-Simple Home Life-Family Ever After-Addicted to Decorating-One Artsy Mama {S} Funky Junk Interior-Ladybird Lane-Tatertots and Jello-Craft Envy-A Law Student's Journey

Saturday, February 4, 2012

And the miscellaneous bits about my bathroom redo...

(Before and After of my entire bathroom redo found here.)
Just tying up loose ends.
I took down all the plain old nickel hardware (light fixture, towel ring, towel bar, TP holder, toilet flush handle, robe hook, shower curtain rod and rings) and painted it with some more Krylon oil rubbed bronze, and added the copper highlights just like I did with the faucet.  Everything is holding up perfectly so far...except the shower curtain rings.  They WERE plastic rather than metal like everything else, and the inside of the rings where they rub the rod are chipping.  If I was smart, I would have somehow put some clear tape on the inside of the rings...but I guess I'm not!  :)
My Eastern Europe photos were edited using the Pioneer Woman photo action Seventies.  The frames are just 8X8 frames I spray painted white.
The hand towels and bath towel are from IKEA, shower curtain from Amazon.  Tumbler is plastic, they were two for $0.84 at Walmart...my kids broke the glass tumbler I had, and I'd prefer for that not to happen again!  Soap dispenser I got at Robert's Crafts (before they closed all their stores to sell online only).
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