Monday, December 20, 2010

My Apologies to All You Musicians...

I can't let you see what is inside these packages before the 25th, but I'll show you how I'm wrapping this year!

Long ago, when I was but a music major, my mom started buying me sheet music at flea markets, antique stores, rummage sales, etc. Mostly piano and choral music. I'm not sure how she'll feel about this, but I've found a use for it all!

Here is how I prettied up the cookie mixes I gave out:
I love the mix of music, burlap and ravel-y muslin. (not Ravel-y, you music geeks!) Muslin makes great gift tags, by the way. On some of them I just used a black Sharpie wherever it worked, and I liked that, too.

The best flower pattern I found was here. It works well with paper. Have a most blessed Christmas everyone!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Do Yourself a Favor...

...and make chocolate covered potato chips as one of your Christmas "cookies." You will thank me. I had a helper! Mostly she just ate the chips...

Anyone who knows Widman's Candy in Fargo, give a shout out. These things are amazing! Put wax paper on the counter, or cookie sheets for portability. Melt some chocolate or almond bark. Dip ruffled potato chips in them. Lay them on the waxed paper until the chocolate hardens. So easy an 18-month-old could do it (with a lot of assistance :0) Widman's covers the whole potato chip, but I just dip them in a 1/3 or 1/2 way. Make sure to use good quality chips. You don't want these things breaking. I've heard Pringles work well too, but I'm a purist :0)
Perfect salty/sweet combo!

Monday, December 13, 2010

If You Want to Destroy my Sweater....

How's that for a great song reference? I gotta confess--I still have NO idea what that song means. If you want to comment and disillusion me, feel free. :0)

Anyway, one of my FAVORITE sweaters got destroyed in the wash this month. You can't tell in the picture, but it is somewhere between my size and Ava's size: So I decided to make lemonade....errr...crafts! Here is my cozy new pillow which I made with a small Ikea pillow form. I ended up making the pillow smaller, and taking in the sides of the sweater to make a pretty easy craft. I love the chevron cable knit!
And I saw these online somewhere. Little votive sweaters made from the sleeves. I puckered the cut off part on the bottom and glued some felt over it. I need to get some bigger candles to put in these. (the glass votives are from Ikea and I already had them.)

Oh shoot, I forgot to take pictures after I gussied them up! Okay, well all I did was tie some jute twine around them, but it's kind of a nice touch.

And some pictures for Grandma. I find these snowpants to be quite humorous...

Ava LOVES sledding and being outside!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Multitasking Princess Leia Buns

As you may remember from a recent post, our clan dressed up as Star Wars characters for Halloween. Cutest Yoda ever, right? Well when it came to the Princess Leia buns, I was stumped. I have short, blonde, curly hair. I had no idea what to do. But then I remember this post. SO cute. Oddly like Princess Leia buns...

After the big day, I just pinned one on my purse for a cute accent.
Plus it covers up a stain I was too lazy to try and get out. :0)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sockin' it to Ya!

Ava is mobile in full-force now. We are used to the spills, slips and bumps that come with the territory. I realized, however, that most of her socks don't have "grippies" on the bottom. Maybe that's because she has tiny feet and most of her socks would fit a baby that can't even crawl yet. :0) So I remembered a tip I saw in Real Simple: use puffy paint! Remember? From the 80's?

Here is a picture of her new socks. (or "shaaaa!" in Ava-ese) I put cardboard inside the socks so the paint didn't leak through to the other side. It was pretty super easy. And Ava stays on her feet (a little bit) more. :0)

Friday, November 12, 2010

You "otto" do this project. Wah-wah.

FINALLY! I finished another long-standing project. Yay!

When I moved to Wisconsin to start teaching, I was really excited to outfit my very own apartment. It was the cutest apartment you've ever seen. I called it the Hobbit House. The tallest thing in the place was the refrigerator. I could reach everything! It was very exciting. (I am five feet tall :0)

I bought two of these slipcovered ottomans from Ikea. As you can see, with one wash they started to look a little like they were wearing "highwater" pants.

As I had been seeing a lot ruffles and pleats out in blogland, I was inspired to make those ottomans a little more ladylike (and cover up those legs!) Basically, I cut 4 1/2 inch strips of fabric, ironed them a 1/2 inch on either side, pinned them to the original slipcovers and sewed them around. On the first one I pleated it, ironed it and put some basting stiches in. On the second one I ended up just pleating it as I went a long and that was a LOT easier. I ironed it afterward.

I read a tutorial or two, but I ended up eyeballing the pleats. Its a nice little Ikea upgrade! I like 'em!

Linking up to:

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Miss Mustard Seed

Monday, November 1, 2010

Autumn at Our House

Hard to believe it's November already! Here are a few snapshots of our fall season...

First haircut!

Happy Halloween!

Obi Wan, Leia, and Yoda :0)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Tale of One Filing Cabinet

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...Grab some popcorn people, this could be epic. Or probably just long... The saga begins in February, 2010...

Behold, the before of the office:

When Mr. Wonderful and I married, I inherited this filing cabinet. It's not a bad filing cabinet, but it didn't really go with the antique table we're using as a desk. It's more contemporary, shall we say. But it's made of wood, so of course I wanted to paint it. Mr. Wonderful gave me permission to do whatever I wanted with it. Yay! But, needing to make things complicated, and having seen this post on Centsational Girl, I decided to experiment with paintable wallpaper. You know, I had a 9 month old child, what else did I have to do? I found it on sale at Menards for about $10. We don't have a bathtub, so I used storage tubs to soak the wallpaper.
Fold it, glue-y sides together.

Originally I had planned to wrap the paper around to the back, but it failed epically, as the drawers are too close together to allow for the raised surface of the wallpaper. So I decided to just leave it on the fronts.

After painting the whole cabinet Cottage White by Behr, this is what I had. (These pictures are from back in March)

Looks pretty good. I knew I was going to add hardware eventually. I ordered some label holders for my birthday (some women want clothes, some women want hardware!), and thought I could use some of my "found" hardware to go with them.

But the reality was that it wasn't working. I ignored it for many months, but the wallpaper wasn't totally adhered to the filing cabinet, I had a curious toddler on my hands and I knew it was just a matter of time until things got ugly, but I felt stuck with it.

Enter screen molding. I think that's what it's called. I looked for the cheapest molding I could find at Menards, basically.

I used a miter box (yes, it was even me! It wasn't even Mr. Wonderful!) to make some 45 degree cuts using the measurements of the drawer fronts.

They looked kind of rough
So I found something that looked like an emory board and filed away.
Looking better!

Using tiny headless brad nails I hammered the moulding to the fronts, used a tiny nail punch to get them all the way in the grooves, painted them with some off white freebie paint I had (antique white from Glidden), and used caulking to fill in the corners as well as the sides where the edges of the wallpaper showed through. Then I added hardware--the label holders I got for my birthday, and chunky pulls that match our kitchen hardware.

Here's a close up.

And the full effect of our office, which is located in the butler's pantry.

Now if I were a good blogger, I'd have written something clever on the chalkboard. MAN! But, I'm pretty excited about how it turned out, even though it took...mmmm 6 months. Thanks for hanging in there to the end!
I'm linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick
also linking up to Miss Mustard Seed
also linking up to Funky Junk Interiors
Whoops! I linked to Thrifty Decor Chick again! Sorry everyone!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Before and After + a Fall "Mantel"

Thanks for joining me for the Laura Ingalls party! I had a blast reading the posts and always marvel at how much one can learn from bloggers. And I'm glad Nellie Olson didn't come. :0)

I finally have gotten to the point where I feel like I'm pretty much done with the "mudroom". I may come back to it in the future if I have any spare beadboard or trim, but I decided not to go out and buy it special. I dressed it up for fall and it feels finished to me! Yay!

Here is the grizzly "before". This is just the top of our stairs, what you see if you turn left when you enter our back door. Welcome to our home, right?:I gave the mildew a scrub down with bleach, fresh primer and paint, new baskets/tags, hooks, a corner seat, and accessories!!!

I seriously hardly ever get to accessorize. No room for it. Here are some fall leaves from our yard:

Pine cones, berries and a fern from our yard:

The mirror used to hang in my sister's and my closet (is that right, Grammar Police?) when we were kids. It is from an old wardrobe. I've been trying to use it in our house, but it's VERY heavy and I couldn't find a good spot for it. I like it here!

It's kind of a difficult spot to photograph, but hopefully you get the picture. (wah-wah). We've been using this area more and more as it's gotten colder and I really love it. It has also become the place to store our library books throughout the week, which is handy and cute too!
Happy Autumn, all!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Get Your Laura Ingalls On Party

Well the day is here! I decided on something really simple. Like bread and butter simple.

Over the weekend we visited my folks and enjoyed another installment of Ally-take-your-stuff-home-you're-almost-30-why-do-we-still-have-some-of-your-stuff???? Thankfully, she also offered me this cookbook that I remember from when I was a kid. It's an old Discovery Toys cookbook. When I saw the "recipe" for making butter, I thought it would be cool to try. Here are my tools:
All we did was put a tablespoon of whipping cream in a baby food jar and shake it. The book has more activities to go along with it but they were a little advanced for Ava. In fact, she wasn't sure at first:

But then she at least picked up the jar:

I tried some of the butter on bread. It was kind of like fancy whipped butter that you get at weddings. But it was also one step away from being whipped cream, which kind of weirded me out. But it was pretty good. Not exactly churning Laura Ingalls-style, but whatevs.

I've also been making bread. I started a few weeks ago with regular bread, but we're trying Ava on a dairy-free diet to see if it clears up her eczema, so now I'm making dairy-free bread. From this recipe. Here's the yeast chilling in the soy milk:

A picture of my adorable mixer. (Thx,Fatmessers!)

Rising dough:

And loaves! I actually really am enjoying the bread baking. The kneading, the rising, all of it!

So I can't get logged into Linky Tools, so let's not overthink this. Just post a comment with a link to your post! Looking forward to see what you came up with!