Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quick and Easy Happy Halloween Projects!

Happy Halloween! I've got a big basket of candy bars to hand out to the trick-or-treaters that will be ringing our door bell...are you ready too?

We've been really busy here at the Brown house getting ready for Justin to close on his house next Monday. He's completely moved out of his apartment and is staying at our house until he takes ownership of his home, so I haven't felt much like crafting because my craft room is stacked deep with boxes of his stuff. For me, a cluttered craft room kinda kills my crafty 'bout you?

Anyhoo...I decided to make a couple of quick Halloween projects, which made me feel better about my non-functional craft room - ha! ha!

First off, I made a fun spider Halloween headband for a super sweet little girl in my life! Her name is Heather and she is the youngest daughter of my terrific friend Megan F. Heather is a 3rd grader at the school where I work, and she is so much fun! Every morning she stops by my desk to say good morning and share one of her precious smiles with me...she totally makes my day! Here's a close-up view of the giant pom-pom spider headband that I made for her:

This project comes together really's how I made it:

Start with a large black pom-pom and 2 fluffy, tapered chenille stems:

To form the spider legs, cut the chenille stems into 4 pieces each. Bend one end into a little loop to create the "feet", then shape each piece to look like a leg:

Next pour a puddle of craft glue onto a paper plate. Dab the end of each leg into the glue, then tuck the end of each leg into the body of the spider. Attach a couple of google-eyes and glue on some beads form a mouth. Tie a scrap piece of ribbon into a knot and glue it to the head of the spider, if you want a girl spider. (If you want a boy spider, you can glue the knotted ribbon under the mouth to give him a bow tie.) Lastly, cut a piece of black elastic to fit the circumference of a head. (I used elastic that was covered in black sequins.) Stitch the raw edges together and then using some heavy duty tacky glue, (I like the Aleene's brand), glue the spider to the headband to cover the stitched seam. Allow to thoroughly dry and then place on the head of an adorable little girl:

Lastly, I decided to make some cute witch's broom pins for a few of my gal pals. These are SOOOOO EASY to make! I purchased a few packs of little brooms, which can be found in the miniature/doll house section of your local hobby store. I also bought a couple of packs of Halloween buttons and some pin backs. Using some more tacky glue, I attached the buttons to the brooms and allowed them to dry. (I removed the button shanks from the backs of the buttons so that they would lay flat on the brooms.) After everything had dried, I flipped the brooms over and glued on pin's a photo of a few of the pins that I whipped up...I know, cute, right?? ;)

I tucked each one into a little cello bag and tied the top of the bag with an orange, zig-zag stitched ribbon. I'll hand these out to some of my peeps tomorrow!

Thanks for dropping by today...have a fun and safe Halloween! I've been working on some awesome home decor pieces for Justin's new house, so be sure and check back next week to see what I've been up to!

Have a blessed day,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Primitave Country Lampshade Makeover

The project that I'm sharing with you today is a great way to give a tired lampshade a new look! Better yet, it is soooo simple to do...if you can tear fabric and tie a knot, then you can do this!!

I started out with an old lampshade that I had stenciled an ivy pattern on about 15 years ago. I cut several pieces of jute twine, wrapped it around the shade, and tied knots at the top to secure the twine pieces in place:

Next I tore several pieces of fabric into strips, leaving the strips "fringy-looking" to add to the country charm of the lampshade. I then tied the strips of fabric around the shade, knotting it at the top in the same fashion that I attached the jute twine:

Once I had finished tying all of the strips around the shade, I then attached the shade to a basket that I made several years ago when I was a Longaberger consultant. (Sorry, but I can't remember where I purchased the lamp attachment that clamps onto the basket handle.) I then added some artificial greenery to the basket, and TA-DAH!!, a fun accent lamp to sit on the chest-of-drawers in my guest room!

Thanks for dropping by today! Wishing you a terrific and productive week!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Silly Saturday

Actually...I have several friends like this, and I am SO THANKFUL that I do!! They make my world a funnier, brighter place to live! Happy Saturday, All!! :)


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Made-From-Scratch Yeast Rolls

Recently I came across a recipe on Pinterest for 30 minute rolls, so I decided to give them a try. They were okay, but didn't rise as much as I thought they should have and they were heavier than I like for a hot roll. This led me to try again and tweak the recipe to see if I could make these rolls lighter and fluffier. Much to the delight of my hubby, my second attempt was a success! Here's my version:

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus a little additional flour for rolling dough into balls
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Turn off oven once it has reached this temperature. While oven is heating, combine the first 4 ingredients in a Kitchen-Aid mixer and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Using the dough hook attachment, add the next 3 ingredients. Spoon a little flour into a separate bowl. Dust your hands with the flour and then proceed to make 12 dough balls. (The dough is sticky, so dusting your hands with flour will help keep the dough from sticking to them.) Place the dough balls into a 9" x 13" buttered pan. Cover pan with a clean tea-towel and place in warm oven for approximately an hour, or until rolls have doubled in size. Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating up, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a shallow dish. Using kitchen shears, snip an "X" in the top of each roll and pour melted butter over them. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are a nice, golden brown. Serve hot with butter...mmmmmm... soooo good!!!

Fall break starts tomorrow, and I am SUPER excited to be off work for a few days! I've got several projects lined out to stay tuned for the fun posts that you'll be seeing over the next few weeks!

Have a TERRIFIC day, friends!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Faux Rawhide Lampshade Tutorial

Good morning! Last weekend I was piddlin' around the house, and decided to up-cycle an old paper lampshade for Justin's new house. Since his new home will be decorated in a hunting lodge/western motif, I've been pricing new lamps with rawhide-looking lampshades and boy are they expensive! After some thought, I decided that I could probably make one using what I already had on hand, and I ended up surprising myself at how good it turned out! Take a peek and then I'll show you how to make one for yourself: 

I began with a lamp that I had purchased several years ago at Old Time Pottery. It had a plain, plastic-backed paper shade, so I thought it would be perfect to use in my attempt at creating faux rawhide. Using a dry, soft-bristled paint brush, I "painted" the shade with some left-over coffee from that morning's breakfast. (This is a messy process, so I stood at my kitchen sink and rotated the shade while painting it so it could drip into the sink.) I then placed the shade on a tea-towel that I had spread out on my counter and allowed it to thoroughly dry. I repeated this process, to "age" the shade just a little more. Here's a photo of the shade before I got started:

Although it's hard to tell in the photo, (because I had moved outside, where it was sunny, for the next step), the shade is now darker and you can see the texture of the paper which picked up the coffee stains. To add a bit more dimension, I used an old toothbrush and some Apple Barrel "Nutmeg Brown" acrylic paint and splattered the shade with paint by running my thumb over the paint-loaded toothbrush.

After the paint splatters dried, I then sponged just a little bit of Americana brand acrylic paint in "Fawn" over the lampshade to add even more depth to the color. Once the paint dried, I then got to work by punching holes around the bottom of the lampshade. (My Crop-A-Dial made easy work of that!) I then proceeded to stitch the lampshade using some jute twine:

Once the stitching was complete, I glued some of the jute to the top rim of the lampshade to give it a balanced look. I then placed the shade on the lamp base and TA-DAH! - a great looking lamp for Justin's new bedroom!

I really love how this project turned out! I've been working on some more lamp up-cycle projects, so stay tuned as I'll be posting those in the near future!

Thanks for dropping by...have a SPECTACULAR week!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fabric Covered Button Necklace Tutorial

Many years ago I was a cross-stitching fanatic...I cross-stitched everything from pictures to pillows; to clothes and tea towels! While cleaning out one of my craft tubs I came across some unfinished cross-stitched projects, (which I really need to eventually finish - LOL!), as well as a couple of tiny roses that I had stitched on linen and turned into buttons. I thought that I could turn the buttons into a couple of pretty necklace pendants, and here's what I came up with:

It's really, really easy to turn any favorite fabric, (or even a tiny cross-stitched piece of art!), into a button! You can buy the button forms at any craft store, such as Hobby Lobby or Michael's. The package comes with a pattern that you can cut out to fit the button form. Here's what one of the button form sets look like: 
Simply follow the directions on the button cover package to create a fabric button/pendant. Next, pick up a bezel from the jewelry section of Hobby Lobby or Michael's that the fabric covered button will fit into. Using a little Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, (which I picked up at Hobby Lobby too!), adhere the fabric covered button to the inside of the bezel.

Allow to thoroughly dry and then add a decorative bail to a pretty cord and attach the bezel to the bail with a jump ring. That's it, folks! A lovely and unique hand-stitched pendant to dress up a simple button down shirt and jeans! Here's another look at the finished project:

Thanks for dropping by today! I hope that your week is going well...we're half way to the weekend - YIPPEE!! :)


Monday, October 7, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Nacho Soup

Good morning! We enjoyed some wonderfully cool temperatures over the weekend...the low dipped to 50 nice! With the cooler temps here, I decided that a big 'ole crockpot of soup was in order, so I made a batch of Chicken Nacho Soup for our Saturday night supper. This is a delicious, somewhat spicy soup...great served with sour cream, tortilla chips, etc. Here's my recipe:

  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cooked and shredded
  • 1 can Campbell's Nacho Cheese Soup
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (I use mild, but feel free to go spicier if you like!)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste

Dump all ingredients into a crockpot. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, etc. Terrific to make if you have a cold or are fighting seasonal allergies...the spiciness will open your sinuses right up!

Wishing you a SUPER week!