December 16, 2011

Tis the season for handmade gifts!

So I know a lot of bloggers post pics of their handmade gifts AFTER Christmas so as to not give away any surprises, but I sort of love the idea of showing pics without telling who is getting the goodies!

I've made quite a few gifts this year and still have a few projects to complete, but thought I would show you guys my attempt at a Pinterest favorite, coasters made from ceramic tiles and scrapbook paper. I tried to find the link to the very first website I saw pinned with the idea, but people are all over the interwebs making them, so I don't know who to give credit to!

I made seven sets to give to some sweet women in my life. (Commence the guessing about which set belongs to who!) Here they are drying:

It's a simple process and my only tip is to try to use the thinner scrapbook paper. The more cardstocky it is, the harder it is to get it to stay down smoothly. By the way, cardstocky is a word professional crafters use.

I went ahead and bought enough tiles to make several more sets (I think the individual tiles are 16 cents or so at Lowe's), because I think these will be great last-minute birthday gifts.

As a sidenote, a co-worker challenged me yesterday to make something crafty out of a piece of soft foam packing material. Challenge accepted- and conquered. Meet Office Supply Snowman!

We have since located something orange to be his nose, but I'm lazy and don't want to upload a new picture. :)

Have you made these coasters? If so, what are you tips/tricks?

What I Whipped Up Wednesday

December 14, 2011

Printer/Type Tray Ideas

I need you to be honest with me. I'm the biggest nerd you know, right?

I know. I admit it.

On my last super speedy stop at Goodwill (I literally spend less that 5 minutes in there whenever I go. I know exactly where to go and what I'm looking for.) I scored quite a few fun craft supplies, including a couple card-making kits, normally $17.00 for members... I got them for $2 each- brand new! I also got a couple plastic storage containers with drawers, because you can never have too many containers for organization!

But what got me really excited, for no explainable reason was a lonely little print tray on the bottom shelf. I immediately snatched it up because I knew the possibilities were endless! My first thought was using it in my one-day-my-wish-will-com-true craft room to store beads or other teeny tiny things. But then... the internet happened and I saw such fun ways I could use it, besides the obvious use of organization. Let's explore, shall we?

I love this cute little Christmas display but it sure looks like a lot of work and it would only allow me to use the tray during the holidays. Boo.

Genius, I tell ya! What a fun way to store/display some of my favorite jewelry! This also makes me think that I could display vintage jewelry that I didn't wear (and could find at thrift stores/yard sales) solely as art in a bathroom or guest bedroom.

So, no- I haven't started my dice collection...yet. Nor would have I ever thought to collect dice... but I L.O.V.E this. It's such a cool way to decorate, with little pieces of the past. How cool would this be in a game room/casual den? I'm sure I could think of other small items to use, but this is awesome.

Yeah, it's great. I already have some shells I could use, but may need to buy some more fancy-shmancy shaped ones. Or I need to book a fabulous vacation on the beach to work on my collection. Oh, wait. Done! Come ooonnnn Spring! :) :) 

Anyway, my tray is pretty big (I'm not with it right now but I would say it's around the size of a pizza box) and it has lots and lots of small compartments. It's pretty much the color of the tray in the last picture, and I can't imagine wanting to paint over that pretty brown.

So.... whatcha think? Have you seen these guys before? Do you like the idea of using it for wall decor? What do you think I should do with it?

December 13, 2011


Long-ish post. No exciting project pictures. Sorry :)

Life has been eventful lately, to say the least. Remember way back when when I said that the hubs and I had made a decision to put our house on the market by January 1, 2012? Well, that was all well and good and exciting, but after talking to lots and lots of people about selling a house, we decided that we should wait until spring. With a tentative "deadline" of sorts, we were motivated enough to finish a few projects around the house, especially installing tile in the master bathroom and replacing the hall bathroom vanity and mirror. Here's a little before and after action on the master bathroom, which may or may not have involved a spontaneous road trip to Murphy, NC to buy tile:

Before, with icky linoleum floor

After- pretty tile!

Fast forward to the weekend following Thanksgiving. We were visiting Adam's dad and step mom at their new flip house, a foreclosure that they're sprucing up. While we wouldn't rule out a move-in ready place for our next home (with the right price), our plan has always been to buy a foreclosure to renovate for ourselves. While walking through his dad's new "project" I realized that if we were going to buy a foreclosure, we might need to consider buying before selling, because most likely anything we bought would need a lot of work before we could move in.  I contacted a realtor on a Tuesday afternoon and we made plans for her to come visit us at our house and decide on a game plan for selling our house and buying our next home.

Two days later, the realtor calls. "I have something I wanted to run by you..." Long story short, she has been working with a guy who was looking to buy and she felt like our home might just be the perfect fit. Our house. The one that's not even listed. The one she hasn't even seen. She wanted to show it to him the following Monday. Panic ensues, but we know it could be a really great lead so we go into ultra-productive mode for the next three days.

(Any of my facebook friends catching on to why I was requesting your prayers last week?) I wish I had a super happy ending to the story, but I don't. But I do have an encouraging end to the story. Our realtor said that he liked the house, and at one point even asked to see info on comps (recently sold houses that are similar to ours so he could see what a fair price would be for ours). He just didn't like how our house is directly behind another house. He saw it as a "challenge".


Moving forward, our realtor suggested that we plant a couple bushes at the front of our property line to obstruct the view a little. I also asked her when she thought we should list our house. She said she wanted it listed by mid-January.

Not so far off from our original goal, huh?

The encouraging news is that she says the size of our living area and bedrooms are really good compared to a lot of houses on the market in this area AND all three of the comps she showed him sold within three months of being on the market. I guess that's why she wants to go ahead and list the house. Apparently homes in Soddy Daisy, the city we live in, are selling pretty well. People are moving here because of access to a large-ish lake and the good school district.

So basically I have a running to-do list in my head 24/7. We don't have any MAJOR projects that need to be accomplished, but we definitely have some things I want to get done before the house is listed. Please pray for us as we attempt to get a million things done over the next month (somewhere between all the holiday happenings!) and pray that God will lead a buyer to our home who will instantly fall in love with the place! I am going to stay positive because at the end of the day, we don't have to move right this instant, so we can wait until that perfect buyer comes along.

Until then, I'll still call this place HOME and wait in great anticipation to see where God will have us settle next!

December 11, 2011

Owl-Themed Baby Shower

It was a hoot!

Come was bound to be said eventually.

Our friends, Brad and Cristina already have one kiddo, Lyric, who happens to be one of the sweetest and most adorable little boys ever but in just a few short weeks a precious baby GIRL will join the family! If there's anything worth celebrating its a baby, and so well over a month ago  recently we threw them another one of our infamous co-ed baby showers. This time around it was owl-themed because Baby Girl's room will be done in owls. And I am SUCH a fan of this idea! I love owls!

The first project I worked on a few weeks before the shower was a wreath that Crisitna could hang on the door of the baby's room or even on the wall. It started with this little gal...

Made with felt, fabric, thread and hot glue

I put her on a yarn-wrapped wreath with some felt "branches" and some paper flowers and buttons and voila!

It's probably one of my favorite wreaths I've ever made. That's why I've started on a similar one for myself...haha!

Then came party day! Our amazing friend Amy was the hostess with the mostest and had decorated her house with the cah-utest stuff. I brought along any and all bird-themed paraphernalia as well. Here's some of the  decorations:

The money tree with a couple of my pretty little silver birds I got from WUSLU

This cute little guy usually sits on my front porch

Owl balloons!

Amy made this adorable diaper banner and owl-themed diaper cake!

I got this trivet from Goodwill months ago so of course he got in on the action :)

On to the food!!

Can't find an owl-shaped cookie cutter? No problem! Amy made this with a tulip-shaped cutter. So smart, right??

Me and my friend Brenda made this too-cute owl and nest cupcakes. I got the idea for the owls HERE

My stupid memory card got full before I could get any pictures of the guests and all the fun games Amy had planned. However, if you do happen to plan an owl-themed baby shower for any of your friends, you have to play Whoo's Whoo (haha, so clever...). It's simple: have all of your guests bring a picture of themselves when they were a baby and have everyone guess whoo's whoooo! This was so fun, and who doesn't love looking at old pictures??

The DIY Show Off

December 5, 2011

Browned Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Cinnamon Frosting

Life is crazy and has had some unexpected twists and turns lately so the old blog has been on the backburner until things calm down. I *hope* to have some exciting news in the not so distant future (no baby announcements, don't get excited) so stay tuned (and pray for us!). I am not getting my hopes up but God has brought us to this situation for some reason and I'm looking forward to seeing why!

In the meantime, I thought I would share some cupcakes I made three bazillion years ago a couple of months ago that were delish and a fun new experience for me. I started the post shortly after making them and then forgot about it. Ha. No play-by-play on this one, just go check out the website I found the recipe on. Great instructions there, if you're interested.

Ohhhh yeahhhh....

Hubby has his business class on Tuesdays and all the students share a meal together before class, sort of potluck-style. He ( I ) usually signs up for dessert and I decided to try something new. I love to cook and bake but I have never ever made homemade cake OR homemade frosting. THIS seemed liked as good of a recipe to start with as any :)

If you want to give this one a try, keep a couple of things in mind. First off, homemade cake is usually a bit drier than boxed mix. I thought this one was pretty moist, but they were best the day I made  them. Leftovers were... eh. Second, you may or may not love the chocolate cinnamon frosting. I thought it was yummy and imagined it to be delish with a pumpkin-type cupcake, but some who tried it did not care for the addition of the cinnamon.

I loved making these and sharing them with Adam's class and some of my friends, and I can't wait to make homemade cake again! I love knowing exactly what's in my cake, as opposed to boxed mixes (although, I always have a couple on hand for last-minute desserts). Thanks for honey & jam for the recipe and inspiration!

PS...these are NOT low-fat. But they have eggs in them so they are an excellent source of protein. :)