Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cute Easter Backpack

UPDATE!!!  Added 3 new backpacks.

Fawnda over at Fireflies and Jellybeans made this adorable little Easter backpack.  I thought my grandson would love it, so I whipped one up for him!  How easy and inexpensive!  Check out Fawnda's tutorial.

The only thing I did differently was that I used cord from an existing broken backpack and I made two loops to run the cord through.  I used 2 lengths of cords, one threaded and finished from one side, and then the opposite on the other side.

 I also used fabric I already had, so the bag only cost me the price of the stuffed animal (and I'll fill it up with lots of goodies for my sweet grandson)!  It was a quick, easy project!  Thanks, Fawnda

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I shared my Lamp Project!

I shared my Lamp Project at

Brass Lamp Redo Tutorial

 This brass lamp was only $8 at the my new favorite Thrift Shop, Tickled Pink.

 It had some really nice detail, but I wasn't crazy about the brass.  I painted it black, using ColorPlace Rust Control Black Satin.

 I tried cleaning and then spray painting the paper shade, but it didn't work.  It smelled pretty funky, too. I cut it off the two frame rings.

 I used the old shade to make a pattern on kraft paper.

I used 2 sheets of white poster board to create the white base of the lampshade.  I was able to fit 1/2 the pattern on each poster board.  The lampshade took 41" in length and 13" in height. This allowed for 1" extra on the top and bottom to fold over the frame.
I cut tabs to fold over the frame, glued down with hot glue.

I laid 3 sheets of lacy scrapbook paper over the poster board.

I trimmed away the parts that over laid so the curlies didn't cover each other up.

 I used spray mount to glue the black paper to the poster board.  There were some spots that needed a touch of elmer's white glue.
Fold the tabs over the frame.

Voila!  The finished product.  It took about 2.5 hours overall to make.  OK,  I have to fix the top, I put the top frame on upside down. I will just slide a knife in the glued areas, flip the top over and reglue.  Our family saying is, "It's not a trip without a U-turn."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ready for Spring Flowers!

Hello, Spring!

I'm so ready for the flowers to bloom!
(of course, in other people's gardens.  I have a black thumb.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2.In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a criss-cross into the top using the back of a fork.
3.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Praise Him!

As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, Teacher, rebuke Your disciples. But Jesus answered, I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!
Luke 19:37-40

This weekend we were talking about praising God through song.  I told my daughter that if we don't praise him, the rocks will cry out!

Can you imagine how the rocks will praise?   The stone mountain formations will be bold and deep, the little pebbles sweet and rejoicing.

So rejoice, people!  Sing praises to God loud and clear as if nobody is listening!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quick Frame Redo

Earlier today we hit the yard sales and found these sweet little frames, 4 for $2:

A little white paint and here they are!  Not sure what will go in the center, but it's a start.

Thrifty Finds!

First, I want to give a shout out to my good friend, Donna, who has also just started a blog called Simply Livin'.  Please check it out at Momma Donna's Simply Livin' Blog.

Yeah!  It's Yard Sale season!!!  WOOT!  So, sweet daughter and I headed out today with our "new to us" SUV to find something to haul home!

First stop, FREEBIE Dilbert book.  What a way to start the day!

On the second stop, we hit the jackpot!  This beautiful BIG (44.5" x 25") frame was marked $15, but the sweet lady was looking to unload all her stuff and took $10 for it.  It's perfect, no chips or cracks. 

 She also had these little metal frames, with these satin prints in them.  I had to repair one of them because it was cracked, but I only paid $2 for all 4 of them!

The last stop of the day was a yard sale inside a church.  They were already closing down, so the lady running it gave me a freebie!  What a way to yard sale, start out free, in the middle get great deals and end up with another freebie!

I will have some AFTER pics real soon - the paint is drying on some of the items right now!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Warm Banana Fritters a la Mode

Way back when I was 9 years old, we stayed in England for about 9 weeks while my father took some law school courses.  I have so many memories of that summer; the castles, the gardens with huge roses, the ancient buildings, the sea air, and of course, the food!  The English have wonderful, delectable desserts.
There was a cute little restaurant that had awesome warm blackberry pie with warm, thick rich custard sauce poured over the top.  I have been able to easily recreate that recipe with Marie Calendar’s Razzleberry Pie and homemade warm custard.
Another food memory was eating banana fritters at a restaurant near the Southampton Garden Maze.  I have attempted to recreate the recipe a few times.  Sometimes I sautee the bananas and use a touch of warm maple syrup over them, other times I go for the full fat!
This time I prepared a batter, sliced then dipped the bananas in the batter, then fried them in hot oil.  It wasn’t exactly what I remembered, but it was ooooo!  so good.
Here’s the recipe I used, courtesy of




Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 24 mins
  1. Sift 1 cup flour with sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. Mix egg and milk.
  3. Add to flour mixture gradually, stirring until smooth.
  4. Add shortening.
  5. Peel bananas, cutting crosswise into halves or quarters.
  6. Roll in remaining flour.
  7. Cover with batter.
  8. Fry in hot, deep fat (375°F) for 4-6 minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brass Mirror Spiffed Up!

Check out this brass mirror find from last week.  It was around $3 at Tickled Pink.  I loved the scroll-y details.  Not too fond of the gold.  My decor is not really Louis 14th (XIV?)

Little Gold Mirror
Well, couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, so I took off the candle holder and took out the mirror.  My handy-dandy can of black satin spray paint was ready.  It got painted.  Four coats and lookie here! (sorry for the fingerprints from hanging it up).
Don’t you love the detail?  And it looks great in the Pink/Black/White room!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Story of the Yellow Art Room

I must create!  Without a creative outlet, I feel my soul become stale, my days become routine and my mind become dull.
After closing a bittersweet chapter on our lives, my husband and I have been searching for how to fill our time.  Going from working 17 hour days to only 40-45 hours a weekalmost feels like retirement.  Some days are long and we find ourselves walking around, partaking in the mundane routine of daily life - laundry, helping with homework, meals, chaffeuring, work, needing a project to work on, something more to accomplish.
The kitchen table has become a place where we all live.  Homework, reading, crafts, bill paying, everything piles on the table until there is no room  The desire to create wells up in me, but the thought of clearing a place, beginning a project, then having to put it all away again suppresses all creativity.  If I can't make a mess, how can I make?
An inkling of a thought...very small, indeed, began to take shape in my head.  I began to visualize the utility room in the basement as "my" space.  Among the hot water heater, furnace and sump pump, there could actually be room for me.  And my projects.  Behind a closed door!  Out of sight from visitors!  As usual, the inkling didn't stay small for long. It soon bloomed into a full-blown plan.
You can find anything on the internet.  I began to search for Art Rooms, Craft Rooms, Art Studios...and found so many art spaces. From cramped, repurposed closets to magnificent studios with soaring windows and abundant light,  people make while making do with the space they have.
As I gathered ideas, I shared my vision to my husband who embraced it with manly enthusiasm.  I'm not sure if it was to give him something to do, to keep my messes in one spot or to make me a place because he loves me (or maybe all three?) but he, too, became involved in the Yellow Art Room Project.  And best of all, it required TOOLS!  Maybe even a new one or two!
The only rooms we had were an extra guest room and the basement utility room.  I was really excited about converting the bedroom into a bright and sunny art room, but with visiting family and carpet, it just wasn’t a good idea for my kind of crafting.  I needed a room where I couldn’t hurt anything!  We decided on the basement utility room. 

 The room was set up with my stained glass table and supplies, but over the years the lack of time and energy had kept me away from creating any stained glass pieces.  The table became a dumping ground of stuff…and under the table…and around the table…and junk eventually overtook the entire room.
The first thing we did was purge and organize!  It’s amazing how much JUNK you can collect in a few years!  I have a bunch of stuff ready for the summer garage sale.
I first found an entire kitchen with upper and lower cabinets and the counter at Restore for only $350.  It was perfect.  We went back to get it the next day and it was…gone.  I was soooo disappointed.  Seriously, I almost cried right there in the warehouse.  I couldn’t believe it! Apparently, God had other things in mind, and they didn’t include spending $350 that we couldn’t afford.
However, we did purchase cabinet doors for our office at $1 a piece.  That will be a spring project.
Lesson #1, Buy it when you see it or you might lose it.
In my throes of disappointment, I bought the YELLOW paint (Behr’s Indoor Latex Semi-Gloss in Twenty Carat).  I primed the walls with concrete primer and that was a major pain.  The concrete walls are very pitted and it took forever to cover.  The yellow went on much easier!  Here is where I say that I worked so hard I slept like a baby – but NO! That yellow is like a JOLT of caffeine!  It kept me awake ALL NIGHT.

At this point I was getting a little discouraged.  I wanted this room DONE so I could create.  However, money was tight and we weren’t finding what we needed to build my vision.  But now I had a Yellow Room!  I didn’t tell my husband, but I had few doubts about the color now that it was up.  It’s really, really, really (really really really) bright.
In my sorrow and desperation, I bought a 9 cubby organization unit at Walmart.  It was $47. Youch.   I found pegboard at an auction in a bundle for $.10 (yes 10 cents) per sheet, but the bundle was 212 pieces.  We couldn’t deal with that much pegboard so we bought 3 sheets of pegboard for $16 each at HD.  Youch again.  At least it was already white so that saved me some painting effort.  Dear hubby sold a couple of things on Craig’s List and bought another organization unit because he felt so bad for me about losing the cabinet. He’s so sweet. He moved the outlets so they would be above the counter…if there was ever going to be a counter…

Wait!  I found a 12′  uncut white counter at Peddler’s Mall.  We bought it on a Friday night, since we were heeding Lesson #1.  On Saturday morning, we rented a truck for a couple of hours from HD (great deal!) and went to pick it up.  As we walked in the building, my eyes went directly to the corner where the counter was and it. was. not. there.  I am not kidding.  They resold it to someone else that morning.  I was absolutely fuming.
Lesson #2 Take it home right away or have them move it to a secure area where customers are not allowed.
A customer simply removed the Sold sign, threw it on the floor and proceeded to repurchase my countertop.  There is no validation system in the simple check out method at Peddler’s Mall.
I was scouting the ads on Craig’s List every single day.  If you haven’t checked out Craig’s List, you are missing some golden opportunities!
First I found a listing for shop lights.  We got 4 shop lights for $5 each. What a deal!   The next day I came across this ad for a Men’s Indoor Yard Sale.   This fantastic couple was selling the man’s entire basement full of tools and woodworking materials.  This guy is a master woodworker. His furniture was absolutely amazing, but he could no longer do it for health reasons.  We walked into the basement and along one wall, he had a 10′ workbench and shelving just like we had designed!  This guy was a manager at a major department store and had salvaged STACKS of 10-12′  3/4″ melamine boards from a display that were going to the trash.  We bought all the wood we needed for $60 AND spent $25 on some tools.  The wood was sufficient for both the shelving and the countertop.  The most expensive part was renting a truck for a couple of hours to haul it back home!  Ok,  God provides. I’m convinced He has a better plan than I do!

I found some black photo boxes for the craft supplies at Michael’s, on sale 2 for 1. Hubby installed some dowel rods for my ribbons, and mason jars hold pens, brushes, markers, beads, etc.  There is room for my tools – glue guns, heat gun, stapler, dremel, drill, and hand tools.

The section on the right holds wrapping paper, boxes, ribbon and tape for easy gift wrapping.  My mat cutter and boards are on a big shelf and my fabrics are in storage boxes on the big shelves.  I set up my antique table for further crafting and to permanently hold my sewing machine.

The Yellow Art Room is still a work in progress.  I’m painting some boards with magnetic paint and chalkboard paint for my inspiration boards.  They will go along the wall where the sanding table currently stands. (got those from the same guy for $1 each 2′ x 4′ x 1/2″) We are going to cut down the glass table to 4×4 and reposition it.  I’m still in the process of cleaning it off and finding a place for the glass supplies.
I love my room!  A big shout out goes to my husband who has put a lot of labor into making me a special room.  He’s so good to me :o) . I love you, honey.
In future posts I will share with you some of the arts and crafts that here. Come craft with me!