Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This year's tree

Here's our family Chrtmas tree. I tried to add a little to it every year. My favorite is the chandelier crystals I added last year. This year however I went really thrifty and found some beautiful ornaments at the Dollar Tree and New River Pottery in their dollar section. For $15ish dollars I added probably 100 new ornaments. My attitude towards the tree is that you can never have enough ornaments.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

'Cause we need a little Christmas...on these kitchen cabinets!

I live in an apartment with hideous, ultra modern white cabinets and cheapy silver handles. So I'm sprucing them up with a little Christmas cheer! I made 9in wreaths from garland I got from the Dollar Tree (15ft for $1). Then I tried a little bow at the top and ribbon to hang them. I used duck tape to hold mine (it can't hurt these cabinets). These kitchen cabinet wreaths made a huge difference and had a big impact for cheap, we're talking 20 cents each!

Here's my baker Santa I got 75% off. I added some scrap fabric, an old hot cocoa tin from Williams Sonoma (I never throw away anything I find beautiful), and some bowls to create a cute scene on top the fridge in keeping with the theme of the kitchen.

Love my cute gingerbread man- Thanks mom!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Desserts

One thing I love about fall is all the delicious fall desserts. I don't profess to be any great baker so all my credit goes to the recipes. We tried many different fall desserts but 2 have become family favorites, definite keepers.

Our family is not big on cooked apples/apple pie. However, I've been dying to make a pie with fresh apples this fall and I found a recipe that EVERYONE will love, even non-apple pie fans and those undecided. This apple pie was light on the apples and heavy on the delicious crumb topping and crust and served alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was fall dessert heaven.

Crumb-Topped Apple Pie

2 cups flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup uncooked regular oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I chose a variety-1 fuji, 1 golden delicious, and 1 granny smith)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine first 5 ingredients. Add butter and stir. Reserve 1 1/4 cup, packed mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture on bottom and up sides of 9 inch pie dish.
Arrange apple slices in pie plate.
In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Add water and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour over apples.
Top pie with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake at 350F for 42 minutes

(Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

Another winner (sorry no pictures-they were too good to last long enough!) for our family's favorite fall dessert was a chocolate chip pumpkin cookie adapted from several online sources.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup Libby Pumpkin Pie Mix canned
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. In another larger mixing bowl beat softened butter until creamy. Add sugar and blend. Add egg, pumpkin, and vanilla, blend well. Gradually add flour mixture and blend. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 375F on a greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Wreath

Here is a really cute fall wreath that my sister Mande made for her first home! So cute. Love the fall colors against her black door. She's the best and smartest and most creative big sis ever! p.s. sorry about the sideways pictures.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Halloween Greeting Card (Beware, the witching hour is upon us!)

This is our family Halloween greeting card that we are sending out this year. I love all the altered art ideas I have seen lately and thought they would be cute applied to our Halloween card. I took a picture of my daughter and had it printed in sepia tone. Then I took old book pages, paper, and stickers to create a cute, bewitching theme.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Glass Slippers

An old, worn out pair of my daughter's summer sandals...BIBBIDI BOBBIDI BOO!

Glass Slippers!

I wanted to make use of what we had (recycling, saving the environment and all that jazz!) and I didn't want to spend more money. So I painted her shoes silver and added some sequins I had and tada! glass slippers to go with her Cinderella costume. She loves them! That's what really matters.

Gone Batty!

I took a page from Martha Stewart's book and made these bat cutouts to decorate my front door. At some point I will add spiders and spiderweb silhouettes. It's just something fun to look at as we are coming and going.

Scared Stiff! (starched ghost)

Here is another fast, no cost Halloween craft. I used a cloth diaper (I had them laying around-they are great dusting rags) but other materials such as cheese cloth or old sheet would work too.

Step 1: mix 1 cup cold water and 1/4 cup corn starch in a small sauce pan.

Step 2: bring to boil and stir until a thick jelly-like paste forms.

Step 3: soak cloth in water and squeeze out excess water (the water will help the cloth to absorb the starch)

Step 4: in a bowl add the starch solution and cloth, cover cloth well with starch solution and remove excess

Step 5: lay fabric over object to shape (I used a vase with a bowl turned upside down) and allow to dry over night

Step 6: add on face with paint or permanent marker.

I think with would look great with a battery tea light underneath or hanging from the ceiling.

Witches Jars

Here's a no cost idea for Halloween decor. I took jars and vases that I had and added "witches ingredients". I used pulled apart cotton balls for "cobwebs", green yarn for "poison seaweed", and black paper cut in the shape of bat wings for "wing of bat". I printed out the labels on computer paper with a spooky font. I used brown watercolor paints (the kind my two year old uses) to age the paper and then tore out the labels to give them a frayed look. I attached the labels with scotch tape. It was simple and quick and required no purchase. You could use all kinds of things around the house to double as "witches ingredients" and add them to any container.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Decorating Craft Pumpkins

Here's a craft pumpkin where I added ribbon and tulle to give it a bit of Halloween whimsy. I attached my ribbon with glue dots so it was super easy but glue or pins at the top and bottom would work too. The thing I love the most it that it will last from year to year so the few dollars I put into it will go a long way! Can't take credit for the idea, I got it from http://thepleasuresofhomemaking.blogspot.com/ . Hers was way cute with the leaves on top.

Halloween Greetings

Getting excited for the spirit of fall and Halloween, I made two Halloween greeting signs to hang on doors in my home. I painted hardboard with acrylic paints and used paint pens to write the greetings. Everything was free hand (I don't profess to be some great artist), but who needs perfection anyways! I found super cute Halloween ribbon with black and orange and spider webs. Super easy, super quick, and the cute sayings add a bit of holiday cheer to the Halloween season.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fall Ribbon Wreath

I know it's a little early for fall decor but all the fall decorations in the stores got me in the mood to make a craft project for decorating in October and November. This is a super, super easy project that I did in under an hour. It was super cheap too! I took a wire coat hanger and bent it into the shape of a circle. I bent the hook of the hanger at the top into a loop to hang the wreath. Next I took coordinating orange, brown, and gold ribbon and tulle and cut 6-8 inch strips (I got the ribbon from the dollar section of Michaels and added it to what I had in my stash at home). Then simply tie the ribbon around the hanger, fluff, and voila!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First attempt at distressing

This was my first attempt at trying to make-over an object to look old and distressed. The frame before wasn't bad but it was silver and somewhat modern looking. I never displayed it because it didn't feel like my style. Now I love it and it makes the old black and white photo of my grandmother look so adorable. Any tips from you experts out there on how to do differently/better in the future? I'd love the advice.