Sunday, December 15, 2019

Reclaimed Wood Christmas Art

I finished all of my shopping, shipping, wrapping and baking this week so I finally had some time for creating something and decided to dip into my stash of reclaimed fence boards to create a picture for Christmas.  I love this line from the carol O Holy Night so I decided it would be perfect for this large piece.

Once I decided on the size I wanted, I cut the boards and staggered them randomly.  I often do this because . . . no matter how much I measure and how careful I am, I can't seem to get my boards cut evenly/equally.  Staggering means . . . it doesn't matter haha!

Using a piece of 1/4" plywood, I used small nails to secure the plywood to the boards, holding them in place.

I chose a simple font and printed out the words to fit the boards.  You can play around with the arrangement and spacing before you being transferring and painting the letters onto the wood.  Typically, I will use graphite paper underneath and trace the letters, transferring the print onto the boards.  In this case, I wanted to paint the words on the plain wood in white so I used the old "rub chalk onto the back of the paper" method and then traced over the letters.

These boards were a bit tricky as they are rough and ridged, not smooth.  In the end, I didn't mind that the lines aren't perfectly smooth -- I wanted a more rustic look anyway.

The boards I chose had these lovely, smooth knot holes in them.  I wanted to do something a little special with them so I attached these piece of snowflake paper to the back so they show through the holes.

I lightly sanded the words once they were dry and then added a few snowflakes.

I needed something fairly large and substantial at the end of this hallway and I think this works nicely.  I may even leave this up for the winter months.

Two side notes:  This little table was my very first blog post project in 2011!  I've used it in many places in my house and I just love it.

Second note:  That's my mom in the photo on top - she passed away last year with dementia.  She LOVED birds and these ceramic ones were a few from her collection.  I found this oil painting of birds at an estate sale and think it makes the perfect 'back drop' here.

Then my brother found this cardinal Christmas lamp that was my mom's and gave it to me.  It completed the arrangement!

My mom always made every holiday special . . . even ones like St. Patrick's Day (and we're not Irish!) and Valentine's Day.  I inherited my love of holiday decorating from her for sure!  I miss her.  The other day it was so gray and dreary here (for like the 5th day in a row!) and when I walked in the house I said to my dog (yes, I talk to him haha!), "Hudson, this weather is the PITS".  Now I hadn't said or heard that in years but that was one of my mom's sayings!  I guess in many ways . . . we do become our mothers!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Goodwill Picture Makeover for Baby

The church I work at has a nursing moms room that needed a bit of help.  It actually was kind of like a dungeon lol.  On the wall facing the rockers is a large electrical box.  I decided that attaching a large picture to it would help tremendously.

This large picture was at Goodwill for 3.00.  I thought it was pretty as is but decided to add a Bible verse to it.

After choosing a simple script font, it was printed on copy paper and using tape, placed where I wanted the words to be.  

I started using my usual method of slipping a piece of graphite paper underneath the copy paper and tracing over the letters but soon realized the finish on the picture was grabbing the graphite and leaving smudges.  I switched to a lighter touch and it worked fine.  Any smudges left behind were easily removed with a slightly damp "magic eraser".

Typically I hand paint using black, acrylic paint and a fine brush.  The surface of the picture was pretty smooth so I was able to use a paint pen.  I bought a set of these on Amazon and I really like them for detail painting on smooth surfaces.

All of the little 'spots' you see are not paint, just the way this photographed.  It actually turned out really well!

My 3.00 picture was attached to the metal electrical box using Command velcro picture hangers.  A quick, inexpensive fix for an unsightly spot!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Betty Crocker - You "Crock" Me Up!

The other day I sat down with my grandma's old Betty Crocker cookbook.  Just for a few minutes.  Over an hour later, I couldn't put it down!  Published in 1957, this book is a real time capsule filled with things that made me laugh, literally out loud.  By the time I finished reading some of the snippets to my husband, I had no mascara left . . .

I don't think I've ever thought of appetizers this way . . . nor have I ever considered serving any of THESE, at least not to people I like.

The names alone - seriously?! And I'll bet if I served Herring-Appleteasers at MY next party, my guests would describe them as more than just "different".  Even those "decorative bowls" couldn't make me eat Sardine Spread.

Brains? Yeah, I guess I'm NEVER going to know how good they are because I'm NEVER going to try them.  But maybe the secret is in remembering to remove that membrane just before using.

But wait . . . there's MORE!  Who would consider serving just plain, old brains when you can serve BREADED brains?  I know they say that butter makes everything taste better but I have my doubts in this case.

Boy oh boy.  I bet Myrna Johnston's neighbors all hoped THIS would be the summer they were invited over for some of that spiced tongue served in her garden!

But before you serve up these tasty delights, you'll want to make sure you've planned well for your party:

So let's see:

1.  Dig out my light heart and happy frame of mind.
2.  Go out and find a wild strawberry from the nearby      meadow.
3. Figure out if my apartment, house or cottage includes help. (Does the dog cleaning up food I drop count?)
4.  Do I have to make any preliminary preparation because of activities away from home? Wait.  She was ALLOWED activities away from home??
5.  Find friends who "mix well".
6.  Recruit a surprise guest with some special talent or conversational skill or my party will be a bust.
7.  Plan for that SHORT period of relaxation or rest before my guests arrive.  Notice the word "short".  Because heaven knows with everything else I'm supposed to do for this dinner party, there won't be time for much more THAN a short period of relaxation.

Now thank goodness Betty thoughtfully includes these "special helps" because no one, and I mean NO ONE wants to shirk on their household chores.

Fasten your seatbelts . . . it's a wild ride!

I'm guessing my yoga pants and fuzzy slippers don't count?

Don't be a sloth and JUST clean and cook.  Use that brain of yours to plan all of the family outings and that garden you're going to have to work all summer.

FINALLY, something to lighten my load.

Because it's not enough that you planned dinner with a light and happy heart, foraged for a wild strawberry, realized that YOU are the only 'help' in your house/apartment/cottage, made sure at least ONE person you've invited has a special talent and took only a SHORT moment to relax.  Now you better make sure that you have humorous and interesting incidents to relate like the neighbor's cat being stuck in a tree??

Prevent unnecessary fatigue?? I'm thinking eliminate 90% of all the other stuff and you won't need to have a dust mop and a long-handled dust pan OR a self-wringing mop to prevent fatigue.

HOWEVER, on the off chance that the long-handled dust pan and self-wringing mop don't eliminate your fatigue, lay down on the floor.  Not a soft couch or comfy bed.  And of course, no more than 3-5 minutes you lazy bum.

And I DO mean JUST a MOMENT.  For just a moment you can do this.  However, I'm pretty sure that the arms, hands and head falling limp are an indication that you surely MUST not have been wearing comfy shoes or been thinking happy thoughts or remembered to buy that long-handled dust pan and self-wringing mop.  Shame on you.

Aside from all of the humor, I DID find some really great recipes.  I made this Lemon Cake Pudding last night and oh my . . . it is SO good!

I adapted it by subbing Monkfruit sweetener for the sugar and almond milk for the regular milk.  I've been following Weight Watchers for 8 months and have lost 48 pounds so I'm always looking for great recipes that I can 'adapt' to my new lifestyle.

The lemon cake pudding was delicious warm.  Tonight I had it cold from the refrigerator and I think it was even better!  With fat-free Redi Whip it was a one point dessert - Yum!  There are other variations in the cookbook using different fruits/flavors that I plan to try as well.

I enjoyed (and am still enjoying!) this peek into the past and will be sharing more of the recipes soon!  

Monday, October 28, 2019

My "Little Stinker" Skunk Dog Costume

 The doggy day care we go to hosted a costume contest last Saturday so I made Hudson a skunk costume lol!

He was very quiet and still during his 'fittings'.  I think because he wasn't quite sure what was going on!  I followed the instructions for a skunk costume HERE on YouTube.  I pretty much followed it except I used a black, baby onesie that I bought at Target for the shirt.  I also sewed everything because, I sew :) but I'm sure the hot glue method would be just fine.

He really would NOT move with this thing on!

He was like a statue!

I dusted off my embroidery attachment for my machine and made these little tags for his costume. (He's still not moving!) Then we got to daycare.  Which he LOVES.  And I think his desire to run and play got the better of him and he finally started moving in his costume.  After just a few minutes . . . 

 My Little Stinker 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Dollar Store Cupboard Door Fall Wreaths

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to do a bit more decorating in the kitchen for holidays so I added Command hooks to the INSIDE of the cabinets  so I can hang wreaths on the doors.  

Since then . . . I've not made any new ones haha!  Click HERE for the tutorial on placing the hooks.

I decided to do something for fall and bought everything at the Dollar Tree.

The wreath forms came two to a package.  I simply wrapped wired ribbon around the forms and secured with hot glue leaving a long 'tail' for hanging.

I tied the 'tail' with some string to keep it neat and centered.

I love the felt leaves the dollar store had this year!  I added some felt leaves, faux flowers and some acorns I had collected.

The hardest part (and it's not REALLY hard) is making sure they all hang at the same level.  I just cut a slit in the ribbon and slid it over the upside down hook then looped it over to the front of the cupboard.

Easy, cheap holiday decor!

How are you 'fluffing your nest' for fall?