Tag Archive | Decorations

My first Crochet Project

I learned how to crochet.

I did a simple search through Pinterest, and found a super easy to follow tutorial for beginners.

Yarn colors

Yarn colors

In just a few hours, with many pause & restarts of the video, I finally got the hang of it.  I made Crochet flowers.

My very first Crochet flower

My very first Crochet flower

Crochet Flowers

Crochet Flowers

Next, I made several long braided ropes using my own technique which is very similar to crocheting, only using just my hands and cotton twine.  I then positioned & sewed the crochet flowers onto the braided ropes.

Lace Curtains with Crochet flower tie backs

Lace Curtains with Crochet flower tie backs

 

Crochet flower tie backs

Crochet flower tie backs

What do you think? Did they come out okay?

Below is the video that taught me how to crochet my pretty flowers. I am so Thankful for the talented woman (Laura) at HappyBerry Crochet, who put together that video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQeq7Hci_qU

When did you learn to Crochet? What did you make the first time? Please share in the comments below.

Have a great day ya’ll!

Thrifty finds and guest room project

I am an empty Nester.  Sadly, to every mother’s dismay, our children must grow up, and move away.  Being the “Mother Hen” that I am, I have good days and bad.

I miss picking up after them.  Making them dinners.  Washing their clothes.   Shopping for school supplies or clothing throughout the year.  Even now that they have left home,  I still pick up a shirt or two here and there when I think it would look good on them….or perhaps a few essentials  I think they might need in their kitchens! Maybe cook them a meal or two to bring to them at their new abode,  to make sure they are eating well.   I can’t help myself!  I’m still their Mom!

The house is quite lonely without the noise of young men scrambling about.  With empty rooms only one or two good things can come out of them.  One…..an office for my hard working hubby! And 2…a guest bedroom.

For the past few weeks, we have been busy putting together a quaint, vintage style, little room.  Nothing over the top or elaborate.  We wanted something reminiscent of  the years from the 1930-60’s.  A mish mosh of things we have crafted, collected, and  also two or three things from loved one’s.  It’s not quite finished yet, but I wanted to share a few pics of it’s progress so far.

My youngest son had to endure 7 tough years of starring at John Deere wallpaper border and a sleepy yellow wall paint.  He hated it, but every  time I went in his room, I felt like I could just go to sleep.  The yellow was very relaxing.

Bedroom Walls, Before

It also had a green carpet that when combined with the J. Deere paper, reminded us all of grass fields! (Not a good thing)

We painted the walls in a beautiful minty green  SW 6750 Waterfall by Sherwin Williams, a paint and primer in one, which saved us tons of time.  The boarder came off incredibly easy and all traces of it were covered by the paint.  Only a few rough spots needed sanding.

Sherwin Williams SW 6750 Paint & Primer

Son 2 left behind a dresser that wouldn’t fit into his decor at his new apartment, so we painted that in a crisp white gloss.  My dear hubby painted that, while I had the easy task of painting the twelve knobs in black.  We make such a great team!  I don’t have a before photo because we both dove right in without thinking!

We purchased an old, antique iron bed from golsn.com a local shopping site similar to the popular Craigslist.

Bed before

We had it sandblasted and powder coated in an amazing winter white with clear coat.  I scoured eBay until I found just the right antique Bates Hobnail or Popcorn Chenille bedspread, and made frequent Goodwill visits for an assortment of vintage flat and fitted sheets and pillow cases.  I got bargains galore! I picked up a queen sized floral bed skirt for a piddly $2.99 and it fit exactly how I wanted-no tucking or pinning or hemming as I expected on my full sized bed.  I went through some storage boxes in my closet and pulled out an old crochet tablecloth that I bought many years ago, and I had always  planned on using it for a bed.  On the full size bed it has lots of overhang on both sides.

Crochet Tablecloth,blanket

It is so country…..doesn’t it look fabulous?  It makes the bed feel so cozy and it’s not heavy; it can be used during spring, summer, winter or fall.  The quilt is another ebay find I bought about 10 yrs ago, when I was on a antique/vintage quilt purchasing phase!  It’s tattered and stained from years of love from previous owners.  I didn’t want to fix it.   I love it just the way it is! It’s priceless to me.

I picked up so many pillow cases and unmatched sheets for that mixed up penny pinching, old time look n feel.  I’ll be stocked for years to come! My hubby and I have each tried out the new bed and it is a comfy retreat.  Now we’re just waiting on our first house guests.

Antique Iron Bed with assorted vintage and antique linens

I have a few more things to do before the guest room is complete.  I will post more as we go. Till next time……

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas thoughts

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Christmas as an adult, when our kids were little, was very exciting. Full of hope, and promise. Full of anticipation, of wonder. Seeing the eyes light up of both my boys when they were very small, meant more to me than any gift I could receive.

My first year, as a “Mom” was more for my Husband and I, than my oldest son. He was just nine months old, and I hardly think he could focus on more than just his Gerber peas and carrots. Yeah, It was mommy and daddy whose gift was abundant from the joy of their first born son. God himself,  gave us that gift.Unwrapping all the presents that our young baby would soon learn from,  just made our hearts beat happily. Beating to tunes, like that coming from a  drummer marching in a parade down main street on the fouth of July!

Our “second” Christmas, well, that was amazing for our little boy (and of course, us)! He had some of the biggest eyes you could ever imagine. He had a bounce in his step (just like Santa), and a sparkle in his eyes as he gazed upon all the lights, garlands, hanging tinsel and other decorations adorning our tree.He raced, to pick up and open packages of stuffed animals, cars and early learning type toys. Mostly Sesame Street. I guess he knew instinctively, that he was to tear off the pretty, colorful paper adorned with ribbons & bows and curly strings that wrapped the gifts.  I don’t recall telling him. His favorite present, a stuffed silly looking character, was “Elmo”. Man, he carried that thing everywhere. It’s wobbly limbs all fuzzy and soft. It’s big hard plastic white & black eyes. The bright, fire engine red fur. He loved that thing. For a year it was his favorite friend and toy. Carrying it around, with his cuddly blanket (his first true love). His favorite, that is, until I shared with him MY favorite toy from when I was a baby. My Teddy bear, which he gave the honoring name of “Mow”. To this day, I have no idea how he came up with it, or what it meant. I never did have a name for him (Mow) when I was little. To me I guess, “My Teddy Bear”, was his name.

By the time our third Christmas rolled around, our second  son that we were blessed with, was s only a month and a half old. The season pretty much went unnoticed by that little guy. His eyes could barely stay focused on the lights. No matter though, his “Bub” got the cool stuff, while again, the new baby gets the softie toys, blankets and books! Plenty of clothing for the upcoming months, the necessities. The things older folks would call, the boring stuff.

This newly born baby was raised on Disney, and therefor, he got all Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck type toys in his first few years. That is, until he showed an interest in Football. Then he became a New York Giants Fan. (Like his father). To this day, over 20 years later, he Loves the Giants. He always starts out the football season with a strong attitude. All pumped up with excitement for his team.  Gathering fun facts about the latest players. Conversations with dad daily, about stats from all the teams in the nfl.
Then, slowly as the weeks pass, his interest starts to fizzle. By the end of the season getting him to sit on the couch for a game is like pulling teeth. That is unless, unless his team is in the playoffs or better yet….the Superbowl. Between the two of them, no muzzle can contain the noise of billowing excitement that comes from their mouths. Nor would I allow it. I enjoy hearing them sharing football time.

Through the years, the growing boys both went through many phases of interests. There were trucks, micro machines, GI Joes and Matchbox. Wrestling figures, Star Wars, sketch pads & paint. Fieval, Indian in the Cupboard, Skateboards & bikes. So many things that came and went. An abundance of bills left our wallets through the course of two childhoods, yet I bet, neither could name one thing they remember playing with for any length of time. Pack rat that I am, I saved a few things over the years that I hope to pass on to each of their (highly anticipated by me) children.

I looked forward to decorating our Christmas tree each year, with newly made crafts that the boys each would make in class at school. Paper plate wreaths, or macaroni noodle chains. Pipe cleaner candy canes and clothespin reindeer. Cute ornies from cute kids. The memory of  kids crafting days stays with me. I enjoy the thought of their tiny hands cutting through construction paper, while awkwardly holding the miniature plastic, dull edged scissors.  White glue sticks, leaving sticky patches of marks on the crafting tables that picked up lint or teenie tiny paper scraps. Assorted Crayola paint and marker colors that I worried would not wash from their clothing (but did). Thinking about how hard it must’ve been, as a toddler, to keep their handmade gifts a secret, and how smart they were, to remember them on Christmas day to give them to us.

Sadly, With the curse of time, mice & our move across the country; some crafts and ornaments they made were destroyed and can no longer grace our tree. But I always put something on our tree that they made.  Something, is a stretch. If anyone knows me well, they know that barely a green limb of tree is showing. I pack that baby with lots of stuff. Rubbermaid bins were a great invention. The old adage “the more the merrier” was intended for people like me, and their Christmas trees, and I have a LOT of bins to prove it 😉

Christmas morning gift giving is a little different now, with grown children. A little sadness enters the room. Gone is all that excitement, the fast ripping of colored paper. They are all grown now and he toys aren’t toys anymore. The gift matter has changed quite a bit. Technology has gotten way far advanced for my liking. But, always being our children, we want to get them things they “want”.  Most of it is however, beyond our pocket depth. So, we seem to be resorting to necessities ( you know, those boring gifts they don’t want to waste their own every day money on), and a few small things on their lists (yes, we still ask for ideas of what they want, their wish lists lol). We keep stressing to them, that they need to hurry it up and bring us our Grand kids, and they will see for themselves. That the gift of Christmas, is seen in the eyes of a child.That’s where real pleasure will fill their hearts.  Then as Grandparents, we can shower them again, in toys…..for “their” children.  Oh, how I can’t wait!

At some point in time, it’s only natural for an adult to dream about far away places to travel. White sandy beaches riding bareback on a gallant Stallion.  Flights to Rome, sipping wine and floating down city streets made of river water. Treks across the desert to meander through pyramids where Pharaohs lived out their destiny. Walking through Castles in England  where Kings and Queens once ruled, or the rolling green hills of Ireland where my ancestors come from.There was a time my dreams “might” have been bought at a ticket counter in an airport. A time when I may have scheduled or planned a vacation of a lifetime.

Now, and more frequently as I am growing older and more sentimental; my dreams are purely to remember a time that was so simple and right in front of me all along. A time that can no longer be brought back, except in those dreams behind closed eyes. Dreams that no money in the world could buy, nor replace. Thoughts that drift into my mind when the room is silent. Memories of the best years of my life. Time spent with my family,  of raising my own children, of growing and aging with them and with my sweet husband & lifelong friend, of all our pet family who shared our lives throughout the years. Times also of my own childhood, with my own brothers and sister and mom and dad. Dreams of  all my Christmases. The time out of each year that we all come together, and dedicate our thankfulness of Jesus’ birth, our birth, theirs. And for all the Lord has blessed us with. Our dreams are, our memories. Our memories, our Love. That is what Christmas, and this life is about. Love.

When fall rolls around, I plan, in my mind,  on starting the holidays a bit early. The cookies, the meal planning, the decorations, the lights, tree, wreaths, cards, gifts, the get togethers. Right up until the last minute, my mind is a whirlwind. Nothing gets done until, just days before. When it’s all said and done, I wish I had stopped planning and just did things. After I put the Christmas tree up, I never want to take it down. I want the warmth of Christmas to last forever. The memories to stay alive in my mind.  The family to be together, the happiness to last.

I keep my tree up for a few weeks. Well into January. Each and every night, I stare into the twinkling lights and glistening tinsel. I think about each ornament on every branch. The beautiful scent grows with each passing day.  I see the star atop the tree and think back to the day, when the first star shined. When the warmth all started. It wasn’t in my lifetime, but rather when Jesus was born. If everyone in the world could hold onto that thought, that feeling, that reason for our season. It would be Christmas every day of the year.

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SANTAS BOOTS

I’m always trying to add a little something extra each year to my Christmas decorating. This year I decided to make  “Santas Boots”  In addition to decorating, these WILL be worn by “Santa”  one day when we have Grand kids!!!

You will need:

Boots ~ with black sole

Roll of painters tape

Can of “Red” Spray paint. I used Krylon Dual Paint & Primer in Banner Red (Gloss)

1 yard of Black Felt approx 1 1/2″ wide.  (you will have  some leftover)

Scissors

Heavy Cardboard (I used cardboard from an old oatmeal canister)

1 yard of Gold Ribbon approx 1/2″ wide.

Glue gun and Glue Sticks, and school glue or Elmers glue stick.

How I did it:

I started with a pair of my hubbys worn (and hopefully, no longer needed) work boots. (rounded toe, cowboy or farm boots…..no lace up type boots). You can also hunt for old boots at your local Thrift or Goodwill store if your hubby doesn’t want to part with his!

  • I took the boots outside, and used a brush to remove all dirt from them.
  • Using painters tape (the blue kind), tape off the rubber sole of the boot getting as close to the seam where the shaft of the boot meets the sole. Covering all of the sides of the black sole. You do NOT want any paint on the black sole.
  • Shake the spray paint for about 2 minutes (or according to their directions) and evenly spray the boot shaft The leather or material part of the boot. (NOT the rubber sole). You may have to use 2 coats, like I did.
  • Let dry for several hours .
  • Next, measure around the ankle of the boot, and your black felt, and cut to strips. One “strap” for each boot. And glue the straps around the ankle with  the seam to the front of the boot (you will be covering it up with the buckle).
  • Cut a 2 1/2″ square for your “buckle” and then carefully cut a square hole in the center.

Now  you will glue your gold ribbon onto the buckle evenly, and lastly, glue the buckle onto the black felt strap.

***Note*** All measurements are approximate due to different shoe sizes. My husbands boots are a size 13, so obviously, my boots needed more materials!

Santas Boots

Santas Boots

 

Simple Christmas Crafts for the Dinner table

Here are three cute ideas for decorating your holiday dinner table. Real quick, real easy, and fun to do with the kids!!!

Chenille Letters
Instead of place cards, guide guests to their seats with chenille~stem letters. Twists together red and white chenille stems, then shape the stems for each letter into guests’ first initials. Use one of two stems for each letter, cutting small pieces as needed to finish the shapes. Display the chenille letter on a simple cloth napkin and embellish with a sprig of evergreen.

chenille letters

Rustic Burlap Napkin
Fashion these charming no~sew napkin rings by gluing together the short ends of a frayed strip of burlap. tie a single thread of burlap through the buttonhole of a button; then glue the button in place.

Rustic Burlap Napkin rings

 

Evergreen Napkin Embellishment
Sometimes Mother nature knows bests, as in this simple table setting that features a napkin accented by a single pine sprig. Less is more!

pine sprig napkin

 

Cinnamon Ornaments

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Cinnamon Ornaments  
Making Cinnamon Ornaments are a perfect holiday fun activity for kids. The ornaments are easy to make and their aroma lasts long after the holidays are over.

 Makes 12 to 20 ornaments.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours in oven Or 1 to 2 days drying time

Ingredients:

3/4 cup applesauce
1 bottle (4.12 ounces) McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground

***(While I personally use McCormick seasonings for most of my day to day cooking, if you are on a limited holiday budget, Dollar Stores sell a 4.25 ounce bottle of Cinnamon which is perfect for this project. Or, any brand & measure 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cinnamon).

Supplies needed:
Cookie cutters
Drinking straw
Colorful ribbon
I suggest you also wear either a mask, or a handkerchief over your mouth and nose, as this is very dusty and can take your breath away or make you gag.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.) Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into desired shapes with 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament with drinking straw or skewer. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

2. Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.)

While your ornaments are in the oven or drying, you can prepare your ribbon. I started with approx 1/4 yard of red Gingham fabric. I feel it best represents an old fashioned Christmas spirit, but you can choose any color or style ribbon you wish. I also like the “frayed” look, as it adds to the rustic charm.  You will need at least 12-20 strips, 22-24″ long and about half the width of a finger. 🙂

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3. Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. Decorate with opaque paint markers, found in arts and crafts stores, if desired.

nutritional_information:
DO NOT EAT

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Lastly…..

If you are anything like me, you first attempt you are bound to make mistakes, or get too impatient, and rush a little when removing the ornies from the pan. They are very fragile, and make break.  Out of 24, I ended up with exactly HALF, that broke to pieces!

So…..what to do with the broken bits? Well, I re-purposed those as well! Which leads me to my next simple craft.

Potpourri

Broken cinnamon ornaments

Cloves

First, if you are fortunate to have a food processor, toss them in until they are crumbs. Or, just put them into a paper bag and roll them . That will work too. 

Next, crush cloves as well as you can, and mix both the ornie crumbs and the cloves. Now, you have a long lasting homemade potpourri, that you can boast about making (not by accident of course lol)Caution: Be sure to place out of reach of children.

You will need a decorative bowl to put your new found potpourri in. I used an old pottery crock. I cut  fabric to my desired width and length, and glued it, using a simple Elmer’s glue stick (mine was leftover from my much younger children~~I hang on to “everything”). Then create a bow. This can be as simple, or as sophisticated as you prefer. Enjoy!

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Courtesy of & Original Recipe for the Cinnamon Ornaments was obtained from The McCormick.com website. I made a few changes with a few of my own contributions and photos etc. For Their version, please visit http://www.mccormick.com/Recipes/Other/Cinnamon-Ornaments.aspx