Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Porch...for now

Here is the compilation of my last two posts fully displayed on my front porch. The stalks I found at my local farmer's market Chesapeake Bounty, along with the little pumpkins and massive mums. Turns out candy corn and the elements don't mix well so the candy corn wreath is now inside. No worries I am already working on a replacement. Since my kiddos are dieing to put out the Halloween decorations the new wreath will most likely have a hint of ghoul! Oh, and the mums are in full bloom and look awesome! We are very fortunate here in somd to have local farms where you can pick your mums right out of the ground. This year, I promise to replant, pinky promise!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Monogrammed Door Mat

Lately I've been looking for a doormat for my front door. Yes, I have to admit that we've been in our house for over a year and I've yet to put a doormat on my front porch. I am the polar opposite of a compulsive shopper and therefore don't but anything unless I absolutely LOVE it. Plus, I'm a cheapskate ;) I don't buy anything unless I get the absolute best price. Well, maybe not everything...excluding shoes, purses and designer jeans ;) Back to the door mat.... Here are some I've been eyeing

I really like the monogrammed look but then I saw the price tag!! Starting prices of $29.99?? Seriously, we're wiping our feet on it! After a little research... aka a trip to walmart, I realized this is something I could make for about a 1/3 the cost. Below is the tutorial for my monogrammed mat.

Monogrammed doormat tutorial:
$6.97 doormat from walmart
Capital D stencil (found in my craft armoire)
Frog tape(or any painting tape)
$1.97 black acrylic paint
large and small paint brushes(raided the kids' paint bucket)

Once you've centered your stencil, tape it down to
secure it. Press the center of the stencil down as you paint around. The paint does not bleed past the edges so stencil bond isn't needed. After you've painted your first coat, remove the stencil. Apply a 2nd and 3rd coat of paint with the small brush, applying a thick coat of paint and finishing your edges.

The Final Product!

Candy Corn Wreath

Fall is here and this weekend my goal is to get my front porch decorated. The candy corn wreath was my first project for my porch. The inspiration for this wreath came from here.  However, I opted to have all my candy corn head in the same direction( I'm a little too OCD for opposite directions) LOL.
 Here is my finished wreath
It's supposed to cool down a bit this weekend so I'll be able to actually hang this outside my front door!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Surfer Poncho

Two of my kiddos are on a summer swim team. While checking out one of my favorite blogs I came across a tutorial for a surfer poncho.  My kids are too big for most hooded towels, which don't stay on anyway. This makes the perfect towel and cover up all in one!

 The tutorial can be found HERE to make your own. I made one from a green and white striped towel for my son (not pictured) and this yellow and white striped poncho for my daughter.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Game table

Almost two years ago I found an old side table for $5 and two ladder back chairs for $1 each at a yard sale. They were too good of a deal to pass up. These items have sat first in the basement of my rental and then the basement of our new home. I finally decided what I wanted to do with these little treasures....

I painted the chairs and table a sandy color and distressed them. I added padding to the chairs and covered them in the paisley fabric I used in my dining room. I love how they turned out.

Since my house has a beachy/FL style I went with blue/white instead of black/white. The exterior edges are "perfect" with the interior lines done free hand. Being that it's a distressed peice I though perfectly straight lines would take away from the "perfectly imperfect" table.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Build Your Own Fire Pit

 We recently hit the one year mark of living in our new home. On our list of projects has been a backyard patio and fire pit. We recently had a 300sq ft cement patio poured and decided to build our own fire pit. This idea was born from a local nursery trying to sell us a fire pit kit for a cool $900!! What ?? They sell the same bricks at walmart for $2 each. A little old school math skills, a shovel, good old elbow grease and we successfully built our own for less than $150!
 My hunky hubby had plenty of leftover dirt from our patio to create our fire pit area. We used a stick, string, and a little shovel to mark the circle.
Spray paint to mark our circle.

Next, we went round and round the circle offsetting the bricks until it was three levels high. The bricks are pretty darn heavy so we decided not to use any mortar or adhesives.

 The finished product!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Decoupage Map Trash Can

The kids bath has a map theme and the boring white plastic trash can was really getting on my nerves. Since we now live in the DMV area I thought covering the trash can with a map of D.C would be fun.  I'd never worked with decoupage before so this is my inaugural project!

Here's what you need...

I cut out specific landmarks such as the national monuments that I wanted to be clearly displayed and adhered them first...

The next step is sort of like doing a puzzle where you actually cut the peices to fit. The "Roseanne" puzzle. If you never saw that episode it's a hoot!

Here is the final product after filling in all the gaps and giving it three coats of decoupage...

**Tip- Inbetween coats of decoupage, wrap your paint brush in plastic wrap. This will prevent the glue from drying and the brush from getting hard.**

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thread Wrapped Easter Eggs

While searching "the mother land", aka I came across thread wrapped Easter eggs. While they were beautiful and elegant they were a little too fancy for my taste. After all, I'm a casual gal. I decided to search the wide world of blogging to see if anyone else had their take on these little thread wrapped darlings. In my search I found  a blog with brightly colored eggs that I loved! Unfortunately she didn't provide a tutorial so after a few takes I came up with my own tutorial and here it is...

Hot glue your thread to the top of your egg,

Paint the craft glue onto your egg and tightly wrap the thread,

Continue to tightly wrap the thread eliminating any gaps in between colors


Friday, March 25, 2011

Kitchen Desk Organization

 Somewhere along the way the desk in the kitchen has become the dumping ground for school papers and clutter, as well as an extension of my husband's closet. I hate all things cluttered and messy and this area was stressing me out!

 Here are the before and after pictures..

I used a few of those super cool- basket's made of recycled magazines- that I already had but were not in use. I also hung a frame with pictures of my crazy kiddos when they were babies..

To help with drawer organization ( as you can see above, the one drawer was having difficulty shutting) I used a trick taught to me from my friend T...drawer organizers! Who'd of thunk it? They are often used for utensils and such in kitchen drawers but also work great in desks and dressers too. Tip- measure the depth of your drawer before purchasing to make sure they fit.

Aahh, much better!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In the Works...

This week I've been on spring break but my children have still been in school so I've used this time to accomplish some spring cleaning. I've been working on closets and drawers that have long been neglected. I still have many projects I want to do in my new house and now that I'm done with the things I have to do, I can get on with the things I want to do!

On my list of projects is my entryway. I'm looking to accomplish a combination of these two looks...

I love the idea of a simple table or bench along with some personal touches. Now that the weather is warming up a bit the local auction house will be back in action and I'm hoping to find the perfect piece for my entryway there. Really anything will be better than the shoe basket I have sitting next to the door now!

I also want a tufted headboard for my master bedroom. After pricing them I decided I could make one myself! I found a few very resourceful blogs to help in my planning and construction. I'm going to start this project after we return from our spring break trip. I plan on making one very similar to this...

As you can tell from my "inspiration" photos, I am a bit obsessed with Pottery Barn. I have PB taste but a Target budget ;)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Bowl Food - Vegetarian Style

In case you didn't know it I am a carcass hating veggie lover. Last weekend was the Super Bowl, as you know and I decided to make chili. We had plans to head to our neighbors house to watch the game and wouldn't you know she was planning on making chili too. I opted for a vegetarian version and she'd make the "real" stuff. Believe it or not all the adults ended up eating mine! It was "meaty" and spicy and an overall hit.
Here is MY recipe...that's right, it's an original, straight out of the Shanny test kitchen ;)

 I package morning star meal starters
2 tblsp olive oil
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 can northern beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chilies
1 can yellow corn
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 package chili seasoning

Drizzle olive oil into a large pot and brown the "meat".
Rinse all your beans and dump them into the pot.
Add the rest of your ingredients and stir.
Cook on medium til hot and bubbly.
Let simmer on low until you're ready to eat!
A dollop of low-fat sour cream and 1% cheddar cheese are the perfect finishing touches.

To guarantee your husband will eat it do this...

Add Frito's!!!

Since my friend was providing appetizers and drinks I thought it only fair to bring dessert. The day before while enjoying a lazy Saturday morning of Food Network I saw Giada make these wonderful chocolate/hazelnut filled won tons. My kids begged me to make them and I was happy to oblige.
Here they are...

Taste-test approved!

To make these little heavenly triangles you need :
nutella, won ton wrappers, 1 egg beaten, pastry brush, canola/vegetable oil ( HOT!), powdered sugar

 If you aren't familiar with nutella you are missing out!
It's awesome on Eggo's and in milkshakes.
I went with these natural, soy based won tons.
They were thin and fried very easily without burning.
To assemble these you simply:  Brush the edges of your won ton with egg wash.
                                   Place a dollop of nutella in the center.  
                                                             Fold them in half and press down all the edges.             
                Toss them in the HOT oil.
                                         45 seconds on each side and you're done.
A light dusting of powdered sugar on top and that's a wrap!

* Tips- be sure there aren't any air bubbles when you seal the edges, otherwise they'll be too puffy.
- I used wax paper on my work surface for easy clean up.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No Sew Window Treatments

The before picture...

I snagged these sea foam window panels at Target. They were too good of a deal to pass up even though I knew the length was a little short... $6.97 each!!  I've seen a few different "no-sew" window treatment projects on other blogs and decided to give it a try. I picked up some iron on adhesive when I bought my fabric for the bottom.
This stuff is AMAZING!! Easy to use, cheap and super strong. I highly recommend it. With just a hot iron t0 seam the edges it really gave a professional looking finish to the curtains.
Here is the finished product!
 I fell in love with this paisley print. It went perfectly with the panels and I'm excited to make a coordinating table runner for my dining room table. Plus, it was on sale for $5 a yard!(I only used 1 yd) This means that I basically ended up with custom panels for less than $10 a panel!! Yay me ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Valentine Door Decor

My front door is a bore so I decided it needed a little love. While looking for fabric at Joann's for my never ending window treatments I couldn't help but notice that all of their Valentine's decorations and such were 40% off. This girl can't resist a good sale!

I purchased a large heart hanging thingy...I apologize for the lack of vocab on this one. Whatever it's called it was cute and therefore mine!. I also grabbed some cute xoxoxo ribbon and fancy shmancy scrapbook stickers that were 30% off.

I used my BFF( the hot glue gun) to adhere the Bliss sticker to the center. Next I tied a cute little bow and glued that to the upper right hand corner. Here's my finished door hanger thingy..

This is obviously the inside of my front door. After I slip on my Ugg's I'll brave the cold and hang this bad boy up!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine Topiary

I've officially been bitten by the Valentine's decorating love bug!

 With all my favorite blogs being full of Valentines inspirations it's no surprise that my to-craft list has grown with each passing day.  This week I decided to attempt some of these ideas starting with a Valentine's inspired topiary. The instructions to make the felt rosette balls can be found HERE. I purchased the base ( a red flower pot), pins, foam insert ( for stabilization), and the foam ball, as well as the pink/red felt at my local Wal Mart.

I used the inner circle of a roll of masking tape as my guide to trace the circles. Then I used my fabric scissors to cut them out and got to sticking. Here's a shot of the project 3/4 of the way done.

This was a very easy  project and came together quickly. Once the foam ball was covered I painted the wooden dowel pink. Then I inserted it into the foam insert I had placed into the pot. I adjusted it to the height I wanted and then covered the foam in sparkly basket fill. This is the end result.

LOVE how it turned out and have become a topiary junkie. I already have ideas for St. Patrick's Day and Easter!

My fret over a rosette...

While looking for inspiration on decorating my mantle I came across a blog with a tutorial on making a paper rosette wreath. Go HERE to check it out. I've never made rosettes before but I've admired them from afar. I've seen them on headbands and even as jewelry and have wondered if they're as difficult as they look. This blog used tissue paper and basic glue, both of which I already had so I figured I'd give it a go.

In true Shanny fashion I didn't follow the tutorials directions exactly and decided to use the tacky glue instead. Of course, I was wrong. The glue stick worked best but it took a few tries for me to realize this. First I couldn't make any two the same size. Then I couldn't successfully get them to stick together tightly resulting in them unrolling thus giving me a craftastic headache! I regrouped and started over. This time smothering the paper in glue stick on both sides and and twisting it as tight as possible. 

 This was the end result.

In stead of making a wreath I wanted to make a heart shape of rosettes to prop up on my mantle. I cut out cardboard from my recycling box and painted the white side with red paint. I made a few white rosettes to outline the heart in and then fill the inside with red like this...

Next....I quit. Yep, you heard me right, I was a big fat quitter. I just didn't love how it was turning out. There was too much space between the inadequate rosettes and I decided to abort the whole project. As a matter of principal I put the rosettes in a bag instead of throwing them out since after all I had spent a lot of time on them. I'm not in LOVE with them but they're mine!