Creativity at Home

I really like to be creative, but most of the time, I have more ideas than I can handle. Then when you add Pinterest on top of all of that, my ideas tend to get really carried away. So, I thought I would make a list of things that I want to accomplish in my house. If I could tackle a third of this list this year, I would be ecstatic!

1. New light over the kitchen sink with a colander. This one was completed yesterday with the help of my sister-in-law, Margie! yay!
2. Curtains on a rod to replace disgusting vertical blinds on the sliding door in our kitchen (black and white)
3. Cafe curtain to compliment the new curtains on the sliding glass doors (black and white)
4. Recover kitchen chairs (black and white)
5. Fabric covered, tufted headboard in the master bedroom
6. Curtains for the master bedroom. I already have the rods and the fabric for this one.
7. Hang a mirror in the master bedroom. It is sitting in the garage waiting for a coat of paint.
8. Paint a dresser for the master bedroom. Also sitting in the garage waiting for a coat of paint.
9. Move the craft office downstairs ???
10. Repaint the front door (new door possibly?)

Big changes that need to happen listed by priority:
1. New roof - this is coming next week, and thanks to our wonderful insurance company, we only have to pay the deductible and a little more to get a better roof!
2. Replace the deck
3. Replace the carpet
4. New tile flooring in both bathrooms

Wishin' and Hopin'!
1. Slipcovers for the living room furniture
2. Built-ins for the living room around the fireplace
3. Paint the cabinets in the kitchen
4. New counter tops in the kitchen

So, we'll see what I can accomplish with a list already out there! Here's to creativity at home in 2012!


Being Thankful

I often think that others have great ideas, and I sometimes intend to put those ideas into practice. Yet most of the time, I rarely follow through with those good intentions.

One of the ideas I'd like to try to copy is a month of gratitude. The past few years, I've seen people all over the blogosphere keeping a list of things that they are thankful for throughout the month of November. So... here is my attempt:

November 1
Today I am thankful for my husband who works hard at making his family a priority. He has been through some stressful changes this year, but one of the things that he has realized throughout the struggle is how important his family is to him. So, one of his new goals has been to limit his time away from his family and to invest in us. I think that is a big gift for him to give to us, especially to his son, who seemed pretty confused this summer when his daddy was away from us for 5 weeks to train for a really stressful job. I know that lots of people are away from their families for years serving in the military. I don't mean to belittle their experience by saying that our struggle was SO hard. I really have no idea how those families cope. . It seems like it would be SO hard. To us, however, the last three months with that job were the most stressful we've ever experienced. Donnie decided to quit his job because he was away from us so much and because when he was home, he was preparing for his job or anxious and completely wiped out. So now, he has a job which does not require him to bring work home. Regular hours and only a 15 minute commute. He is returning to himself and is working on finding ways to spend quality time with Dawson and I. So thankful!


HP Inspired T-shirt for Little D

So, I did it! I actually completed one of the other projects that I had intended to complete before Val's September 30th Pinterest Challenge deadline!!

I saw a picture of this cute little boy wearing a lightning bold t-shirt on Pinterest and thought... "Hmmm.... I think I could make Little D one of those and it could be his Harry Potter shirt!"

So I dug around in his thrifted fall clothes and found a couple of shirt options. I decided to go with the long sleeve burgundy one and use a mustard colored one (that is too small) for the lightning bolt. House colors of Griffindor, perfect!!!!
Both shirts had front pockets on them, so I decided to remove the pockets first, with my seam ripper. It wasn't really necessary to remove the pocket from the yellow shirt, but I decided it would make a cute embellishment on one of the sleeves.

Then I went to work making a lightning bolt with a straight edge and pen on the yellow shirt. Next I ironed freezer paper onto the reverse side before cutting out the shape and ironing it on. (Sorry no pics.)

I used a tight applique stitch with black thread to outline the shape. Finally, I pinned the little yellow pocket onto the right arm sleeve and used black embroidery floss to hand sew it on.

Here is my Little D sporting his new HP inspired lightning shirt!!! We went outside to play with sticks a.k.a. wands while we waited for my sister to come and babysit this morning.

I think I might just need my own HP lightning shirt!!! What do you think?

So there you go. Four out of six project ideas complete! Now if I could JUST find some thrifted lamps to make into fake mercury glass and get some pillows made!!!


Pinterest Challenge Progress

I've been working hard at trying to accomplish a few creative tasks inspired by Pinterest. Thanks to my friend Val, I've been getting several things done. I realized, however, that most of my creative tasks lately have been related to things I've seen on Pinterest, anyways. I've been cooking recipes from my recipe boards, pinning shower decorations that are in the works, and my bedroom redo (that will probably not be finished in a year!!!) has lots of projects related to my inspiration board. MY problem is that I don't take my camera out and take pictures of the projects that I do. I didn't do much better this time around, but I do have some after shots and the links to the inspiration tutorials for you. :) So... here's where I'm at with the six projects I wanted to complete:

1. Harry Potter inspired Lightning Bolt toddler shirt for Little d.

Yet to be started...

2. Apple Pie Caramel Apple for friends :)

On Friday night, four friends came over and helped me make these gorgeous, yummy apple treats. About ten minutes into the process, I realized that making 50 caramel apples dipped in white chocolate was a much larger task than we could complete in two hours. But, we plowed ahead and started washing wax off, dipping in melty caramel, and then letting them sit in the fridge for about an hour before dipping them in chocolate and letting them set up some more in the fridge! My friends helped as long as they could (one had an allergic reaction to the apples, one had children to get to bed, another needed to pack for a trip, and one lasted until after 10pm) and I ended up finishing them at about 11:30 that night. So, just a fair warning: 50 apple pie caramel apples take about five and a half hours to complete. So glad that I have willing friends to come and help make them for our gifts this month at LOVE WINS!

3. Felt Leaf Garland for fallish decor.

This was my first project that was complete! It is hung in our main bath, where we have a colorful child-friendly shower curtain with lots of pockets for lotions, soap, toys, diaper creme, and other necessary baby hygiene products. :) I LOVE it! It is perfect with that shower curtain. I may just leave it up all year!

4. Freezer Stenciled word pillows for the couch or bedroom. Yet to begin. I don't know why I can't bite the bullet and get these things started!!! I have been wanting to make pillows with text embellishments for a LONG time!

5. Black and White Wreath.

When I saw this picture for the first time, I knew that I had the perfect fabric in my stash already. It is black and white with an almost terry cloth texture. SO lovely to tough and look at! I loved the black and white floral with a pop of bright color, but I could not get the idea of using orange with it for fall out of my mind. So, I followed the tutorial you can find by following the link above and I was finished in about 45 minutes. DONE!!!! and hung up! I decided to incorporate a little picture of my Little d into the wreath nook. I think it looks WAY cute!

6. Mercury Glass Lamp DIY SO want to do this for my bedroom.

For this project, I have yet to find the perfect lamps at thrift stores. I've had very little time to actually go to thrift stores lately, but I need to get to more than one to actually make a valiant effort in my search. I also need to reread the tutorial to see if it should be wood, brass, or something else for the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint. By the way, have you ever priced that stuff???? It is kind of expensive. $7 for a small spray can!!! Definitely going to need a handy dandy Hobby Lobby coupon for that one!

So, that's where I'm at. I have some other projects in the works for an upcoming baby shower for Baby P! Who knows if I will take pictures and share the results. It seems that the sharing is really only occurring once in a blue moon here on my blog! Thanks for inspiring me to be creative and share the results, Val!


Pinterest Challenge Accepted!

My friend, Val, a.k.a One Sassy Housewife, put out a challenge a few days ago. It involves using some inspiration from a site called Pinterest. Haven't heard of it? Well, it has become sort of a time-sucking rabbit hole for me and I've noticed lots of other people that I know lately who've jumped into it. Well, Valerie suggested that we stop doing so much "pinning" and start actually crafting!

I've used some ideas in my bedroom redo, but that room isn't nearly finished and I have taken a break from it.

So... here are some of the ideas that I have in the works or REALLY want to try.

1. Harry Potter inspired Lightning Bolt toddler shirt for d.
2. Apple Pie Caramel Apple for friends :)
3. Felt Leaf Garland for fallish decor
4. Freezer Stenciled word pillows for the couch or bedroom.
5. Black and White Wreath. I'll embellish with orange for fall.
6. Mercury Glass Lamp DIY SO want to do this for my bedroom.
She gave a deadline of September 30th. So, hopefully I'll actually be back soon with another blog post to show something actually completed! :)


Laughing While You Sleep

Tonight when I came to bed, you were laughing the way you sometimes do when you're dreaming about something funny. I'm not sure what you were thinking about or seeing in your dream, but I imagine it was something that really gets that laugh of yours going. Maybe you were "watching" It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or The Office. Or maybe you were dreaming about something funny that you saw Dawson doing. Whatever it was, it made me smile to hear you laugh while you slept. I think that might be one of the best sounds in the whole entire universe. It might be one of the little momentary surprises that helps me heal a little bit.


Cookie Exchange: Aunt Debbie's Almond Sugar Cookies

Almond Sugar Cookie Dough

1 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. almond flavoring
2 TBSP milk
My son Dawson and I getting the ingredients ready.

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten egg, milk, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Gradually add dry ingredients. (Add an extra splash of milk if dough seems too crumbly after all dry ingredients are added.)
Pouring the dry ingredients into the big bowl.

Chill overnight. Roll out dough between 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookie shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.

Bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes for thinner cookies, 10 minutes for thicker cookies.

Almond Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 TBSP. Milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond flavoring
2 1/2 TBSP. softened butter

Mix all ingredients together until creamy and smooth. Pipe with frosting tips onto cookies with plain icing and sugar with colored sprinkles.

Yields 4 dozen 2 inch cookies.

Small cookie cutters are great for this recipe. Little bite sized tastes of the almond flavored goodness seem to be just right. :)