Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ornament Wreath to Kick Off Christmas

I can honestly say that I am thankful Thanksgiving is over {isn't that super horrible of me?!}. More than anything, I think that Thanksgiving is one of the most special holidays and I can't stand how every year it gets "skipped over" or forgotten in the wake of upcoming Big Bad Christmas. Unfortunately this year, I had to work on just comes with the nature of being a nurse, and over the years I've learned to just kind of dull my senses to holidays and weekends in terms of having to work those days.

My husband has a very strict "no Christmas crap until after Thanksgiving" policy enforced in our house and I couldn't agree more. While this year we have a rumbunctious, loud, into-every-drawer-and-cabinet toddler during the holidays, it makes me extremely hesitant to even want to decorate for Christmast {do we really need a tree this year?}. But I knew I had to at least put a wreath up on the front door, safely out of my little man's grubby, peanut butter-smeared fingers.

Throughout the year, we have our orchid wreath up on the front door to welcome guests. I made these by hot gluing the orchid flowers that I pulled off of stems from Michaels. Super easy and it makes me so tingly happy because the flowers are so bright and purtyful!

I am a new Pinterest addict and I recently saw pictures of ornament wreaths that people have made, such as these...
So so fun! Definitely a huge upgrade from our fake wreath with pine cones and gold {um, what the heck was I thinking buying that?!}.

You know what's even better about the ornament wreath? It is seriously so simple to make. You just bend a wire coat hanger into a circle, undo the hook ends, and slip any ornaments you want on to the wire. That. Is. It. Yes please!

So I asked my hubbs if I could make this and he said yes. I hit up Big Lots and bought way too many ornaments because I had no idea how many to get! A couple websites that I read said they used 80 and even over 100! Sheesh...

I can't tell you exactly how many I used for this wreath, but I bought exactly 199 silver, green, and blue ornaments...and from the looks of it, I could make at least one more wreath {which I'm going to do for my sweet friend, Kayla!}.

I really liked adding the "acorn"-shaped green ornament to break up the monotony of all round ornaments {not sure if you can see it in the picture}. I hadn't seen anyone do that yet.

I had a tough time deciding what colors to use. I didn't want to do the traditional red and green, I really can't stand a whole lot of gold, but I knew I wanted to have at least silver in there. You don't see a whole lot of silver, green, and blue color schemes for Christmas so I thought I would try that. Plus I knew it was a color scheme that the hubbs wouldn't think of as an eyesore.

Merry Christmas! If you want a picture tutorial to make your own ornament wreath, click here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baby Headbands

We've got baby boy number 2 on the way so I have to find an outlet for making cutesy-pie baby girl items since I have no cutesy-pie baby girl of my own {yet?}. I have a lot of friends and co-workers who are having girls or granddaughters and they can never ever have too many headbands! Here are a few I made today using this fabric rosette tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets and getting tons of great images from Pinterest.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Upcycled book card holder

I took an old book that I had and created this beauty for my friend's birthday! He could take it to his office and use it as a business card holder {those aren't his actual business cards, I just made those for effect} or he could use it at home as a bill/mail sorter. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the final project, after I had glued it onto a small piece of stained wood.

You should try this one! It's super easy and very low cost.

{1} Get a book. If it's hardcover, get rid of the cover. If it's paperback, you can leave the cover on.
{2} Open up the book to the first page and start folding each page in half lengthwise. Continue doing this for all the pages in the book.
{3} If you are going to glue the book to a piece of wood, trim down the front and back cover to fit your piece of wood. Glue the book to the wood with wood glue.
{4} Smile and admire your work :)

I got my instructions from Andrea Rodgers website here, where she has wonderful photos of each step. Let me know if you make this one!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No-Flour Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine comes faithfully to my mailbox every month despite the fact that I'm pretty sure my 2-year subscription ended at least a year ago {shhhh!}. So I am enjoying my fair *free* share of Rachael's recipes.

One that stood out to me was a no-flour cookie recipe from the October 2011 issue. I get super gung-ho for recipes that call for only a handful of ingredients, and I dish out super duper kudo points if they're ingredients I normally have on hand in my kitchen. This recipe had a mere 5 ingredients, all of which I already had {sa-weet!}. I had to try it.

Today is a special day for hubbs and me because my best friend is doing my ultrasound to see if our second baby is a boy or girl! KB is an ultrasound tech in an OB-Gyn office and she loves peanut butter and chocolate together. I thought these cookies would be a great way to tell her thank you.

I made these with semisweet chocolate chips instead of chunks.

{How to be a good friend: return your friend's Tupperware after washing and filling with something tasty}

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Beat first 4 ingredients together. Stir in chocolate. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets. Makes 16 cookies.

Ok, it seriously does not get any easier! Five ingredients and 10 minute bake time?! What more could you ask for? This would be great to make with the kiddos or for those that are baking beginners.

These turned out pretty yummy! I would like to see what a teaspoon of vanilla would do next time I make these...

And by the way, we're having another boy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Birds of a Feather" Wedding Cupcakes

My sweet friend from college was planning her wedding when she asked me to make cupcakes for the celebration. I was so flattered and excited to be a part of her special day! Crystal is someone I have a huge admiration for because of her creative craftiness and keen eye for pretty, vintage things. Her wedding was pretty much all DIY and so gorgeous! iDropPhoto took the above picture of my cupcakes and took many more beautiful photos of the ceremony and reception.

{They are seriously so adorable!}

{Argyles and charming!}

{Crystal's handmade brooch bouquet}

{The best seats in the house}

{At the reception tables}

{A sitting area in the back of the reception. A great spot to chill and drool over some pretty cupcakes in the back right corner!}

SUCH a beautiful wedding and beautiful pictures to capture it all! Now here's my iPhone pics. Don't laugh!

{They made all the cake stands with plates and candlesticks}

{I got a special spot in their program! Made me blush}

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting
Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting
Cocoa coconut cupcakes with coconut buttercream frosting and topped with toasted coconut
Hummingbird cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and topped with pecans

Hummingbird cupcakes aren't as popular here in California as in the south. They include banana, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, and pineapple. My husband says it tastes a lot like banana nut bread, which I thought was perfect for guests that like their cupcake with much less sweetness.

Congratulations Luke and Crystal! Thank you so much for letting me celebrate with you on your beautiful wedding day!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DIY Picture Frame Clock

Here's an easy way to make your own clock! I absolutely adore clocks, but the ones I like the most tend to be too pricey {which is probably because I like really big clocks!}.

I was searching around the Internet to see if there were other examples of DIY clocks but alas, I was left disappointed. There really aren't very many tutorials in Cyberland on how to make your own clock. I only found a few on CraftGawker, but they weren't to my liking. So I figured out a way to make my own, and I'd love to share step-by-step instructions with you on how I made mine!

What I used...
~ Frame of any size {I used a 16"x19" frame from my dad's house. You can even buy cheap picture or art frames from Goodwill or Salvation Army. DO NOT BUY A BRAND NEW ONE! Save your money.}
~ Sandpaper {I used 180 grit}
~ Kilz spray primer
~ Spray paint {Krylon is an awesome brand}
~ Clock Kit {I bought my 3/8" kit from JoAnn's}
~ Mod Podge
Optional Items: Card stock, acrylic paint, stencils

What I did...
{1} Select frame. I took that picture of our family dog in high school so I'm going to save that!

{2} Sand down the frame, but ONLY if you don't like the way it looks! If you want to keep the frame as it is, skip down to Step {5}, you lucky dog, you! This was an absolute pain for me to sand because this beast had so much detailing to sand around! Wipe the frame down with a slightly damp rag and let it dry.

{3} Primer the frame by spraying multiple coats of Kilz. Make sure to wait for each coat to dry before spraying your next coat. This step can actually be optional as well, I just like to have a nice bright white base for my top color to stand out beautifully. If you would rather stain and Polyacrylic your wood after sanding, then you definitely shouldn't primer.

{4} Spray paint your frame. This one took several coats because it's such a light color but I absolutely adore how bright and happy it looks! Just lovely!

{5} I taped a stencil to the sheet I wanted for my clock face with painter's tape and then started painting with a gorgeous subtle silver acrylic paint. I globbed the paint on and wasn't going for a perfection at all, especially after I smeared the paint after pulling the stencil off {I bet you can't see it though!} I was thoroughly thrilled with the result.

{6} Poke a hole where your clock kit will go. I used a screwdriver to poke a hole through the cardboard that came in the frame and my painted {but now dry!} stenciled clock face sheet.

{7} Grab your clock kit!

{8} Follow the kit's instructions for installing it into the hole you made.

{9} The clock hands that came in the kit were way too short for the size of my clock, so I had to improvise a little bit by cutting longer hands out of cardstock and gluing them on with Mod Podge to the hour and minute hands from the kit.

{10} I cut out my clock numbers from the same cardstock after stenciling them backwards {so the pencil lines don't show on the front!}. Glue the numbers on with Mod Podge. I also used a flower punch in the cardstock for the remaining clock numbers.

Now I can see how late the time is getting when I'm busy crafting in the craft room!

What do you think? If you make your own clock, I would really love it if you shared with me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Button!

I'm so glad that I was finally able to find a tutorial to make my own blog button {--> check it in the upper right hand corner!}

Thank you so much to Oikology for the tutorial!