Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mom to the Rescue

This past weekend my Hubby and I went to visit our son and daughter-in-law.  (Man it's the pits when your kids move away... just say'in!)   Anyway, Bethany and I were sitting at the table eating breakfast one morning, and I was looking into her kitchen.  I made the comment that I had always wanted an open area on top of my cabinets because I think it's such a neat area to decorate.  Bethany had that open area, but had not yet decorated it, so I asked her about it.  She said that she had wanted to put things up there, but wasn't sure what to do.  We started discussing a few ideas and I could see she thought it would be a fun thing to do.  She knew that she wanted black and white, with a modern flare. Wellllll, say no more... it was time for a trip to GW!!!!!!  

As soon as we walked into Goodwill I saw a set of white dishes that I knew would work.  Add to that a few black dishes, several glass vases, and some black frames.  OH, and we even found two sets of horseshoe bookends which were perfect since they have horses.  This is we left GW with...

White dishes (place setting for 8)

Some black dishes

Frames, vases, and horse-shoe bookends

We made one more quick stop on the way home to get some fillers for the vases (rice and black beans), a small bottle of black paint, and some plate stands.  For a total of about $30 to $35 we had everything we needed.

The next day everyone left to go to a cross country meet.  I stayed at their house because I wasn't feeling well.  I started looking at all those things just waiting to be put in place.  I had an idea to make some of the dishes look a little more "modern", so I sat down with a few of the plates, black paint, and a small paint brush and started seeing what I could do.  I just worked with the design of the plate and added a little black here and there. 

Put some paint on the sugar bowl as well...

Now, this was as far as I was going to go.  After all, this wasn't MY home (you know, the "mother-in-law" and all"), I shouldn't take it upon myself to actually decorate the area... or should I???  Well, my hubby called and said that Jason and Bethany made the comment, "I bet we get home and Mom will have that entire area decorated!!"  OH MY WORD... you mean they wouldn't MIND if I did it???.  That was it... that was all I needed... let the decorating begin.  Now mind you, I had very limited items to work with, and I knew they didn't have the exact same decorating style as me, so I wanted to keep it simple for them.  This is what I ended up doing.

I started in the corner with one of the black plates and worked my way out.  The one vase was to tall for the area, so I tilted it and rested it on one of the horseshoe bookends.  I filled the vases with the rice and beans.

I made a few more "tweaks" after these pictures were taken, but that was basically it. (I should have taken some pictures from farther back to give you the full effect... sorry!)  Now... what would they think?  They walked in and immediately checked the top of the cabinets.  Drum roll please... THEY LOVED IT!!!  I assured them that they were NOT going to hurt my feelings if they didn't like it or wanted to change things, but they said, "Nope... we love it just the way it is!"  SUCCESS!!!!

Sooooooo, I guess even when I'm on vacation, the crafting juices continue to flow.  What about you?  Are you able to turn off your brain, or are you always thinking about your next craft project?  Would love to hear from you. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Great Gift – Lemon Scrub

Last year I made a number of different things to give as little gifts.  You know, sometimes you just need a “little something” to give to co-workers, or perhaps a hostess gift, or whatever.  I started searching the web for some ideas.   They all turned out so cute, and were loved by everyone, so I thought maybe I would share the ideas/recipes/pictures with you.  Maybe you’ll get some ideas for your own gifts!!

The first posting that I’m sharing is “Lemon Scrub”.  I’m sure if you look around, you will find many different recipes on line, but this is the recipe I used and it turned out great.  I found it at this post:  (Thanks Jordan for sharing!)

1 C Sugar
1/4 C Canola Oil
2 T Lemon Juice
Lemon essential oil
Many of the recipes call for extra virgin olive oil, but, like Jordan, I found that the smell was a bit overwhelming.)

Mix everything together and quickly fill your jars before it separates.  They will need to mix it before using.
I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased some cute little jars, and to Crafts 2000 for the little wooden spoons…

I made some labels, and then personalized each one with the name of the person receiving the gift.  I also created a label to go on the top of the jar to explain what it was.  I printed it on card stock and then used a decorative punch to cut it out.   Finally I made a label to go on back with some directions.
Just in case you would like to make some Lemon Scrub for your friends, I’ve included the labels I made which you are free to use.  There is one label with a name (just to show you how I did it), and a few that just say “Lemon Scrub” in case you just want a generic gift.  You should be able to size these to fit your jars.  (If the resolution is not good enough just e-mail me and I will send you the higher resolution files.)


Hope your friends enjoy this little gift as much as mine did.  Oh, and while you are making one for your friends, be sure to make one for yourself at the same time.  It’s GREAT stuff!!!!

I'm gonna go party now...
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Coffee Table to Ottoman

I can’t believe that a year has passed since I told you about a coffee table that I was making over.  If you have never seen what happened to the table, be sure to check out this posting: 
For a long time I had the table sitting around awaiting its makeover.  Well, during my time of absence I DID complete a few projects.  This was one of them.  Let me share this little beauty’s transformation. 
This is what the original table looked like before it’s paint job…

Poor little thing… it was painted so perfectly, and then got all scratched up on the way back into the house…

First I gathered my supplies:  Padding, old plastic tablecloth (to be used for waterproofing just in case something spilled or I needed to clean the fabric), and decorative fabric.  I also had a staple gun, electric knife (yes, you read that correctly), glue gun, and some decorative cording.

I placed the padding on top of the table so I could cut it to the correct shape.  (The box of books on top of the table was just to hold the padding in place.)

I used the electric knife to cut the padding (it was really thick, so I found that the electric knife worked best.)

I then flipped the whole table over so I could staple the fabric to the underside of the top.  I put the plastic tablecloth between the fabric and the padding. 

Once I had secured all of the fabric to the table I covered up the staples and finished it off by hot gluing black cording around the entire table.

I reattached the hardware and TA DAAAAH… FINISHED!!!!  Oh baby… I love it!!!!

All that was left to do was to decorate the top of the table… errrrrr, OTTOMAN!!!  :-)

I LOVE my table.  Not to brag, but people can’t believe that I did it all by myself.  Not only does it look good, but it also gives us a nice cushioned place to prop up our feet after a long hard day!!

I would love to hear what you think… be sure to leave me a comment.  Oh, and while you’re at it, why don’tcha click that little button to your right and follow my blog!!!

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Remembrance Gifts

One of the things that my dear Mother-in-Law loved was jewelry and scarves.  After she passed away and we started going through her drawers, the sweet memories started flooding in.   In her better days, she was always dressed up.  We could remember how she would pair up a suit with a beautiful scarf, or dress up a pretty sweater with a piece of jewelry.  That was something that she was known for by all her friends and family.  Several family members had asked if they could have something to remember her by.  When we saw all the scarves and jewelry we thought that would make a perfect gift for them!!

At that point I went through the process of trying to match up each scarf with a necklace and a pair of earrings.  That done, I started thinking about how to package them up.  I didn’t want to just put the things in a box, so I started thinking about a way to present them.  The first thing I decided to make up was a card to be included with the gift.  This is what I came up with.

Next I decided to make up a pretty cardboard shape thing that we could use with the scarf and jewelry items.  I came up with this… (the holes were to feed the ends of the scarf through).

Finally, I took each set that I had made up and put everything together in a box.  They turned out SO nice and made wonderful remembrance gifts which we gave to her sisters, niece, and close friends.  Here are some pictures of the final gifts (the pictures don’t really do them justice though).

(The “dots” on this scarf really were red, not pink like the picture makes it look.)

This is what the final package look like – including the gift card.  Not only did they look pretty, but they smelled just like her as well because they still had her favorite perfume lingering on them.  

Everyone loved their packages and were very touched to have a sweet remembrance of such a dear lady!

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