Monday, March 24, 2014

Gnome Sweet Gnome Wreath



So my husband and I have this running joke that if we ever had children they would look like a cross between a gnome and a deer. How on Earth did we come up with this conclusion? Its quite simple really:  Jared has bright happy eyes and cute little cheeks, just like a gnome...and apparently I have "doe eyes."  What do you think?


 

Anyways...I'm always seeing such cute garden decorations with gnomes, or deer, but never the two together.  I happened to be scrolling through Pinterest the other day, looking for spring Easter wreath ideas when I came across one that had garden gnomes on it.  What a fantastic idea!  I could make my own and include deer! Wahoo!! 

But wait...I was supposed to be looking for Easter wreath ideas! And now I have this other idea...too many ideas, too many distractions...what to do?!!  I guess I'll just have to make two....



I found these cute bunnies and carrots, that I HAD to use!  My mother-in-law, Rhonda, and I got together and made our spring wreaths. They turned out super cute! Its always fun crafting with someone else!


We had to do a photo shoot with our wreaths, of course, and my husband thinks its hilarious to just keep taking pictures when we aren't ready and properly posed.  (I guess they are pretty funny. Although next time we decided we will just hire a professional to take the pics. Sorry, Jared.)

       


                                                                           
  This wreath was very simple, once all of the felt flowers and felt toad stools were made.  I started by wrapping the wreath with green colored yarn, and then adding moss in bits and pieces with a glue gun.



I made up a bunch of felt flowers so I had several to choose from.
I found the gnomes at Hobby Lobby and the deer at a local farm supply store.  I bought a mom with two babies because we have a mama deer with twins that come around our neighborhood daily. 


I made these toadstools by cutting up pieces of dowel rods for the stems, and dipped them in Mod Podge and white glitter. For the tops, I took different sized buttons and hot glued batting to the top in the shape of a mushroom cap. I then covered the tops with red felt, gathered it underneath the button and sewed the gathered fabric to pull it tight. Then I hot glued the tops to the bottoms and used white fabric paint to create the white dots on top.

To create the sign, I used an old picture frame, covered the glass with black vinyl (or you could use chalkboard paint). I attached some wire to the back of the frame and attached it to the wreath and then used that to hang it as well.  I arranged everything where I wanted it first, then glued it down using a hot glue gun.

I added a few pieces of fern in there, too.  The bright colors are so fun and refreshing, and you can see it so good from the road!  I may have gone a LITTLE crazy with everything... but that's kinda how I roll.  Whimsical is always a little crazy and over the top, and whimsy is definitely what I was going for!!  I hope this brings you a little colorful inspiration!!







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Friday, March 21, 2014

China Bird Feeder





If you love pretty pieces of china, bird feeders, and instant gratification when making something... then this is the project for you! This project takes very little time, patience, and not much in the way of materials, so its perfect if your in the mood for a quick crafting fix! This is a bird feeder that my husband and I made for my mother-in-law.  I love the mix of prints and colors.  All you need are a couple of china bowels, and a cup and saucer.  If you would like a smaller feeder, it would be very easy to make a two tier feeder using only a cup and saucer for the top, and bowl for the bottom.  Antique stores have a lovely mix of china, and you can also find pretty dishes at thrift stores and even garage sales for a very low price.  Once you get your dishes, this is all you need:


1. Hold your plant chain as if it were hanging directly above the dish so you can measure out where your holes need to be, and mark them with a marker.



2.  Add a little bit of water over the mark where you are going to drill the hole.  Using the diamond bit with your electric drill,  use steady pressure while pressing on the drill until the bit goes all the way through the dish.


3.  Add a little bit of the E6000 glue to the bottom of the cup and attach it to the saucer.  Follow directions on the tube for drying time. This dish had lovely cut out details, so I didn't even have to drill holes in this one!


4.  Attach your hooks hooks through the holes, and you are ready to hang your new feeder!!


The birdies will thank you for it!!!




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Sunday, March 2, 2014

DIY Romantic Fringe Bed Canopy




Believe it or not, trying to get pregnant can sometimes take (some) of the fun out of trying to make a baby.  Out of all of the rooms in the house, the bedroom has been the most neglected.  I've been wanting to sexy-up (yes, that's a term) my bedroom a little bit.  Hey, whatever helps... am I right?  I thought about doing some little lights somewhere, but I have that chandelier, and that just seemed like it would be too much.  So I was looking on pinterest for ideas and came across a room that had a little shear canopy over the top of the bed with fringe hanging down the sides.  I thought, "I can make that!" I already had the shear curtain, and I ended up using one skein of yarn for each side.  It was surprisingly easy once I got going.


I ended up only using the yarn on the right, but used 2, one for each side. My curtains already had ribbons on them from being used as a canopy for my bed growing up.



I decided I wanted each side to be about 7'long.  So I measured out that distance between two chairs.



Then, I made a casing on each short side of the shear curtain to sew the fringe into.  Make sure the curtain is wide enough to go across your bed.  I folded one end up about 6" and ironed it, and then folded that back down in half so it makes a 3" casing, ironed that and then pinned the top.



You can see where my hand is inside the casing...this is where the fringe is going to go.


Now to make the fringe.  I decided the easiest way to keep it from getting tangled and to keep it tight enough to be even, I would wrap the yarn through the two chairs that I had measured the 7' distance between.

Then I started wrapping and wrapping!  This only took about 10 minutes or less.


Once all of the yarn was wrapped, I grabbed on to both sides to hold on to the ends, and cut right down the middle of the loop around the chair at the ends of each chair.


Then I gathered all of the ends of one side so that they are pretty much even.


Using my glue gun, I added glue and fringe all the way across the inside of that casing we pinned earlier (where my hand was.)


I did this all the way across spacing it out as best as possible.  It doesn't have to be perfectly spaced out because it will be bunched up any ways when it is hanging.  I added a little glue to the top of the fringe when it was all in place and then folded the top of the casing down.


Here is the encased fringe before sewing.


I did a 1/4" seam all the way across the casing being sure to go slow and straighten out and catching the fringe as I went, enclosing it within the shear curtain.


I did another seam connecting the top of the casing (where the pins are) to the shear curtain.  Here are the two finished seams.

Repeat this process with the other side, and that's it!  I used twine threaded through the casing like a curtain rod, tied knots on the end, and used strong tacks in the ceiling to hang it in place.

Don't you just wanna crawl up in there and sleep for days?  I think I just might...


Swanky...if I do say so, myself!
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Apple Cider Onion Soup with Gouda Cinnamon Toasts


I always forget how amazing this soup is until I make and eat it again.  Onion soup is ok, not my favorite, but this one is special.  It has APPLES in it.  And BRANDY! Wahoo!! Not to mention cheesie toasts that have cinnamon and sugar caramelized on one side that float on top of the apple/onion goodness. And...you make it in the crockpot so there's no work involved when its time to eat! ...You're welcome.

Ingredients:

Soup
2 T of olive oil
2 T of butter cubed
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled cored and chopped
4 medium to large onions peeled and sliced thin
4 C chicken broth
1 1/2 C of apple cider
2 T of Brandy
salt and pepper to taste

Gouda Toasts
2 T butter
Loaf of French Bread
2 T sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 C shredded Gouda cheese

1. Spoon oil and butter over bottom of crockpot.  Add onions and apples and set on low for 8-10 hours until caramelized.

2. An hour before serving, add broth, cider, brandy, salt and pepper to taste, and set to high, heating until hot, about an hour.

3.  Make toasts while soup is heating:  Mix sugar and cinnamon together.  Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread and top with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Broil for a couple of minutes until golden brown.

4.  Flip your toasts over, top with Gouda cheese, and broil again until cheese is just slightly bubbly.

5.  Serve soup with toasts floating on top, cheese side up.




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How To Redesign a Dress





I was fortunate enough to inherit a lot of my grandma's clothes when she passed away a few years ago.  Most people may think, " you want to wear your grandma's clothes?"  Yes!!  This woman had extreme style and class.  I never her saw her not put together...even when she was working outside in the yard!  (And yes, I got some of the cool gardening clothes, too.)  This particular dress was one she wore in the late 80's early 90's, I believe.  I LOVE the lace and floral print and the unexpected color combination!  I had a vision for making this pretty, flowy dress a little more fitted so that I would be able to wear it all the time.   This could apply to any dress that needs a little tweaking.  This is how I did it:


I chose a dress that I already had and used that as kind of a pattern for the top and the length.


I left an extra inch or so at the bottom because I wanted the length to be a little longer, and to allow extra fabric for hemming.


Then I cut off the excess fabric from the length.


Using the top of the dress as my guide, I cut around the edge leaving 1/2" of extra fabric all the way around the edge of the top and stopping where the waistline began.


I then flipped the dress inside out, connected the armpit and the waistline using pins as my guide.  and then sewing in a straight line through all layers from the armpit to the waistline.  I then trimmed the excess fabric to 1/4".


Next, I ironed around the armhole edges folding down 1/4", and then another 1/4" and sewed 1/8" seam all the way around on both armholes.


Doing the same pressing method of 1/4", and then another 1/4", I sewed both the lining and the lace hems of the bottom of the dress.


Using the extra fabric that I had  cut away from the length, I folded and hemmed at 2 1/2" sash to go around the waist.


I like to finish the edges at an angle so they look like a ribbon.


Here is the finished product!!  I love how twirly this dress is!  It looks like a vintage inspired piece that I would buy, but this one happens to be priceless!  I like to think that my grandma had a hand in helping me make this little beauty.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, I would love to see what kind of dress redesigns you come up with!!



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