Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Craft A Day …Or Not

Hi, my name is Clara and I have fallen off the craft-a-day wagon.

Yes, I admit it.

Instead of inspiring creativity in my children today I melted a few brain cells playing with Sam and his new Super Mario Wii game all most…who am I kidding ALL day. But…but…but wait we did conquer like 3….oh my stop me now.

Don’t throw stones at me yet….we did squeeze in some reading this morning although I am not really sure any of that will count at this point.

Well, since I have no kid friendly craft to share with you I thought I’d share the sweet little rocking chair I finished for Cate’s room. Sound good?

Ok. The girl loooves to rock. So I found this UGLY rocking chair this Summer, it was priced right and it did have potential so I got it! When I picked it up I told the lady I was going to paint it and she was like…really??! Agh! She didn’t like it, had never used it, and was selling it but she was aggravated I was going to paint it. Make sense to you? Oh well, I know painted furniture is not for everyone but for Miss Cate it needed to be done.

As I found it…

Solid wood but kind of bulky and well…bulky.

Not much I could actually do about that but I did try to slim her down a bit with some Annie Sloan Pure White. Then a good ole sandpaperin’ and clear wax to seal ‘er up.

I recovered the cushion with some outdoor fabric I have had forever and made a simple pillow for the back.

Cute…eh?

Baby Cake is one happy girl with her own resting spot. Crazy hair and all…

Happy Wednesday and I am jumping back on the wagon today!

A Craft A Day …Homemade Sugar Scrub

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! It was such a sweet time with my family! Lots of precious memories to hold onto.

The kids and I actually completed this on Friday before Christmas just to add a little something extra under the tree for the ladies in our lives. Sam and Mags really got a kick out of making gifts.  I surfed blogland a bit to get some ideas of the basic ingredients and came up with these recipes. These mixes are so super easy and you may already have all that you need to whip up a batch in your kitchen. The scrub softens up dry skin so nicely!

Here are our recipes…

Almond Brown Sugar Scrub

~ 1 C Brown Sugar (3 parts)
~ 2/3 C Olive Oil (2 part)
~ 1/2 C Almonds (optional)
~ 1 tsp Almond Extract
~ 1 C Rolled Oats

Chop your almonds first. Then mix remaining ingredients together including almonds. I used my knock-off Magic Bullet to get everything blended super good. Also, I ended up adding a drizzle or two more of the olive oil to moisten the mixture a bit more. Just be careful to not get it too oily.

Peppermint Sugar Scrub
~ 2 Candy Canes
~ 1 1/2 C White Sugar (3 parts)
~ 1/2 C Olive Oil (1 part)
~ 1 tsp Mint Extract

Grind candy canes in processor or chop. Mix all ingredients together. Again, I added a bit more olive oil in the end.

*Both recipes yielded about 2 1/2 cups of sugar scrub

There are so many possibilities to play around with these sugar scrub mixes. You could use coconut oil or baby oil, different extracts or essential oils to change the scent. Lots of fun to play around with! The shelf life of these babies isn’t going to be as long as something you would buy in the store because it is preservative free sooo I am estimating a month or two for freshness.

Thankfully my awesome Mom cannot part with glass jars easily so I raided her stash to fill with scrub. I used Mod Podge and craft paper to decorate the lid and twine to tie my tag on.

Side note….my hubby totally knocked it out of the park this year for Christmas! Seriously that man has been listening! Anyway…I scored the latest Cricut…eeek! Ohhhh the possibilities! These tags would have been sooo much cuter with my fancy dancy new machine but alas my scribbly handwriting will do for now.

Wishing you all a great week as we wrap up 2011!

A Craft A Day… Neighborly neighbors

I am not sure this really falls into the “craft” category but it was our together activity today so I am sharing. We made yummy treats for our neighbors as to carry on this yearly tradition. I often times this year have referred to the K.I.S.S method that I am trying to implement in my life. Keep It Simple Stupid. I tossed my elaborate baking schemes out the window and…well…kept it simple this year. It made it more enjoyable for the kids to really help me from their perspective and mine.

Maggie helped me with these yummy treats…

Holiday Pretzel Treats (or you could alter slightly and call them Reindeer’s Noses)

Bite size waffle shaped pretzels
Hershey’s Kiss OR Hugs
M&Ms candy

~ Heat oven to 170
~ Line baking pan with wax paper and lay pretzels out in a single layer
~ Place 1 kiss or hug on top of each pretzel
~ Bake for 4-6 minutes just to slightly melt chocolate
~ Remove from oven and slightly press an M&M on top of chocolate
~ Let them cool for a few minutes then place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to completely set

*For Reindeer’s Noses use Hershey’s Kiss and red M&M’s

The Sam boy helped me here…

Puppy Chow

9 C Crispy rice cereal squares
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1 C Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 C Powdered Sugar

~ Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips in saucepan over low heat
~ Mix and melt until smooth
~ Pour over cereal and mix until well coated
~ Pour powdered sugar in large Ziploc bag
~ Pour cereal into bag and shake, shake, shake until powdered to perfection

I purchased these cute containers last year at an after Christmas sale AND I found them again this year! Whoa baby…it’s a Christmas miracle!

We used white muffin cup liners to separate our powdery goodness from our crunchy chocolate melts.

The best part…DELIVERY! “Are we going to the neighbors yet?” Now imagine that sentence repeated about 52 times and you get the gist. Alright already…treats delivered!

What is your favorite treat to make at the holidays? Test out my new comment box. Is it easier to use?

A Craft A Day… Imagination Station

Our craft of the day was to design a city with the use of blue painter’s tape… of course. We picked the craft room for our city so they would have a nice open space to play and they wouldn’t be under foot all day. We cleared out their crafting table and there was tons of space!

The boy and the girl helped me layout their city. Here is their genius and all the essentials of a town according to a 6 and 5 year old.

Hot Wheels + Legos + our blue city = hours of pretend play
(which also = one happy mama)
Even lil’ bit was a happy camper!

Eeek! It’s 3 days till Christmas! Are you ready yet?

Before I go…

BIG thanks to Suzy @ Saved by Suzy for featuring Sweet Memories today!

A Craft A Day… Glow in the Dark Slime!

We made glow in the dark slime! Oh my! The boy was on cloud nine with this experiment. He really gets into science projects.
If you would like to make you very own hop on over to The Idea Room. She has a great tutorial with a video that you should check out.

What you need...

Here is my peeps enjoying their squishy slimey goo…
Maggie mixing up her purple-y blob

See…all boy
I thought it might be super sticky but it isn’t. It forms fairly well when manipulating but if left on the table for awhile it sloooowly begins to flatten out so be careful where you leave it unattended. It is best left in a container when it is not being played with. It does glow in the dark too! So much fun!
Ok…if you make your very own gooey concoction you must let me know!
Have fun on this drippy dreary day in Greenville. Hmmm…what are we going to get into today???

A Craft A Day… Felt Christmas Tree

Ok here we go…the kids are home and Jon will be working a bazillion hours this week with the Christmas rush so what in the world am I going to do to keep this little people entertained? Hehe…no really we have lots of cool things on the agenda but I thought it would be absolutely crazy super fun to complete one craft a day while they are home. I always have so much on my to do list…mostly self inflicted but a lot nonetheless…so I like to make sure I have intentional quality time with my babes. It takes some planning but always…most always…proves to be a rewarding time for us together. I am a planner though, it is just my nature. So onto my planning of all the fun activities I have in store for the kiddos these next two weeks.

Day 1 – Felt Christmas Tree (thank you Pinterest)

If you aren’t a crafty person Pinterest is a fabulous resource for awesome ideas laid out step by step to complete with your children.

I found this felt Christmas tree by Natalie at Johnny In A Dress and knew it was going on the list of must do’s. I did this one first because it could potentially provide much entertainment over the days to come.

So here is our lovely tree…

Materials:

3/4 yard green felt
6-8 colorful felt sheets
hot glue gun
scissors

I cut my green triangle for the tree about 29 1/2 in wide at the base and 36 in to the top. I used  felt sheets to make the ornaments. The kid’s handy dandy Ikea cups were used to trace and then cut round ornaments and then decorated them with a hot glue gun and more felt. A bright yellow star for the top and some colorful gifts for under the tree. Use double sided tape (any removeable adhesive will do) to adhere to the wall and let the kid’s go to town decorating and redecorating their tree. Easy enough!

They are having a blast with it!

What do you think about this workshop idea?

Ok fellow workshoppers, I had an idea for a potential workshop in February but I thought I would poll you all first and get your thoughts.

I am a busy wife, mama, maid, bookkeeper, cook, blogger, painter…ahhh the list goes on and on. While I am thankful for all of it, it can get to be overwhelming at times. I am not alone, right?!? One chore that I dread is meal planning. Ugh! Wouldn’t you know, every week it keeps coming around again and I have to sit down and plan out the menu for the next week. If I don’t plan I end up walking aimlessly in the grocery aisles trying to figure out what to do. So I was thinking surely I am not the only one who dreads such a chore!

Perusing blog land I see lots of meal planning/organizational tools, ideas, printables and then it hit me…Ah ha! Wouldn’t it be fun to create a magnetized monthly menu planning board? Stay with me here. I start googling this idea and it has been done…beautifully done. Check out these awesome boards by Kimbo at A Girl and A Glue Gun.

My idea is to host a workshop creating the menu boards and also have a recipe swap. Bring 2 or 3 of your families favorite dinner recipes, 1 copy for each attendee. You will go home with tons of tried and tested recipes to add to your dinner rotation and a great way to plan them!

So what do you think? Would you be interested in this workshop? I am thinking Saturday, February 4th. Feedback people…I need feedback. 🙂

Sweet Memories

Back in the Summer I had the opportunity to meet a sweet couple through Craigslist of all places. I know I have said it before but I have been so blessed to meet some of the greatest people from there. I have heard other’s stories to the contrary but for me it has been cool who God has connected me with.

The couple, Jon and Melissa, were selling some furniture that I “needed”…ummm…let’s pretend it is not still in my stash of pieces waiting to be rehabbed. Nevertheless, meeting them turned out to be the real jewel of the whole process. While I was there Melissa showed me her Grandmother’s dressing table and chair that she wanted to have refinished for her daughter. The set was darling and very sentimental to Melissa but just not in a finish that was in keeping with the rest of the house.

A few months passed and Melissa and I reconnected to go ahead rehab the dressing table set.

Before…

Pinky red paint color + black glaze = not what Melissa wanted

We went with a dark stain for the top and Sherwin Williams Navajo White for the body. Melissa had asked for some “ABC” detailing on it but not to look too juvenile as she wanted it to grow with her daughter.

And the result (minus the hardware that Melissa already had)…

I really enjoyed working on this piece and getting creative with the details but the best part of all was Melissa’s reaction when she saw the finished product. She had sweet memories of her Grandmother sitting at the table so it was very precious for her. That made the whole process so much more rewarding! I mean I so love what I do but to see how much this meant to her was really fun for me!

I am starting the week off thanking God for the people and opportunities He has brought and continues to bring my way! Recognizing each encounter as a gift from Him. I am reminded of these passages…

James 1:16-18

So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Before you go…

The workshop was so much fun this weekend! So much so I completely spaced on taking pictures. Oh well! Everyone did a great job and I think some were surprised by their own creativity. Love it!

I have an idea for our next workshop in February. It is a little off the beaten path from what we have done before but I think it will be something busy mama’s will appreciate. Hmmm…I think I’ll give you a preview tomorrow and see what you all think about it so check back with me then!

Have a great week!


Linking up to…

Saved by Suzy
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Dramatic Flair

This piece has taunted me since this Summer. Every time I went to start another project I literally had to step over this one to get to something else and yet I did again and again.

My client had purchased this piece via an internet auction. She paid a whooping $13 for it but we both wanted to cry a little when we laid eyes on it. I usually have some sort of vision or inspiration but I just wasn’t feelin’ it. My client was in no hurry and I was not very motivated so it sat and sat.

Anna, my client, saw a picture on Savvy Southern Style of what she envisioned for the chest. Here is the inspiration piece from Kim at Savvy Southern Style…

A wee bit closer…

Nice…huh?!?

Hmmm. Ok, now I am slightly more motivated. A month or two more pass and here we go (finally!).

Jon, spent a Saturday chiseling about 85% of the peeling cracking veneer off. After lots of cleaning and prep I choose Annie Sloan Paris Grey and Pure White for the highly distressed and quite dramatic finish. Anna wanted the top stained so I choose Dark Walnut which showed off the tiger striping detail beautifully. New hardware and this baby had new life!

Hold your head to the left to fully appreciate this terrible before shot…

This look isn’t for everyone but it was just what Anna wanted. Ugly duckling no more…

The new hardware really tied it together and made the look work…
New fabric lined drawers…
Beautiful tiger striping detail…

Wishing all of you a wonderful week! Looking forward to some girl time this weekend at the workshop!!