GIFTS IN A JAR

SORRY. PHOTO WILL BE POSTED SOON

Each year, there is somewhere I get invited that is totally unexpected. It is nice to have these items already made up, especially around the holidays, so you do not have to show up empty handed or rush to find something to bring with you.

HOMEMADE HOT COCOA MIX IN A JAR YOU WILL NEED: For the container: Mason or other jar you have repurposed. Beware however, certain odors from jars previous use may linger. Jelly jars are great and do not have this problem. Pretty ribbon Card stock Thin fabric Pinking shears ( optional) can use regular or other decorative scissors. 2 packages of Powdered milk 3/4 cup Cocoa powder ( preferably organic) 2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar ( powdered and preferably organic) Mini marshmallows ( preferably without high fructose corn syrup) Crushed candy canes or peppermint or butterscotch hard candies. DIRECTIONS: In a large mixing bowl add your ingredients and stir. Before you place into mason jars, take three heaping tablespoons of the mixture and make yourself a cup of hot cocoa. I say this because different brands may not taste the same. Once you’ve tasted it yourself, you know what is lacking and can stir in more.

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Is your Welcome mat screaming, “HELP ME! ” instead?

Door Mat (Before)
Door Mat (Before)

Due to the invention of garage door openers, I rarely use my front door.I have had it painted white since 1985 LOL. I wanted a bright cheery color for some time now. I did know that my welcome mat has been worn for some time now but did not have the means to replace it.

After painting my front door, my welcome mat not only looked worn, it was screaming, ” Help Me! ” . So, I decided to paint it. Yes, paint. It is a rubber mat, very thick and sturdy. So I took the exterior door paint and painted all the trim and designs that were raised and the flat surfaces I painted black as it originally was. Then I took craft paint and painted the flowers. Once dry, I coated it with three coats of clear spray paint that bonds to plastic so that it would protect the paint from rain and make it last longer.

Door Mat (After)
Door Mat (After)

The results? Well, I am very happy with how it turned out, MY FRONT DOOR is saying, “THANK YOU! ” and my WELCOME MAT is saying, ” WELCOME ” again. Hope that you’ll give this a try. It’s like a custom doormat and matches the door perfectly. Let me know what you think once pics are posted. ūüôā

DECLUTTER YOUR LIFE

Hi everyone! I came across these videos that I truly love! The simplest ways I have ever seen to make a big job easier or just to maintain a sense of well being. Some of us may already know that having a lot of clutter around not only makes our day to day cleaning harder but also affects our ability to concentrate. 

In this “oh so busy, fast paced world” we find ourselves living in, I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in getting home at the end of the day and relaxing. Enjoying the peace of mind that comes with being able to shut out everything and just being able to be free of the worlds demands on us is so soothing to my spirit.

I came across this woman, Kathy Roberts who truly has a FANTASTIC system that not only helps you in your day to day organization, but in your ability ¬†to have more time for yourself. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love that!? She has many helpful videos on YouTube and she’s also on Facebook . In the video I’ve included Kathy says one hour however that’s her room by room plan. She also has other videos ( over 300) that tell you to do the system the same way except you spend 15 minutes in this room, 15 minutes in that room. It is AMAZING what a difference 15 minutes can make. I think you would be very happy to hear what she has to say. Shes amazing! And so are the results! So, I have included a video for you to check out. It will change your world! ūüôā

HOLIDAY TABLE CENTERPIECE

Site under construction . Photo will be posted soon.

Holidays are expected events that have the same colors and the same decorations each year. We have the biggies, Christmas , Easter , Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, New Years and many others . There’s Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day and a host of others. I was thinking, that’s a lot of decorations to store.

If you are anything like me, you are blessed with a lot of stuff but, not a lot of space to store it in. So, as I have gotten older (and find myself running out of storage for all my new creations) I thought, ¬†” Why not make a decoration that has interchangeable parts to it? ” So, I sat around thinking about what I could use that could be the base and fitting for all seasons. And, I have created the All-purpose wreath and the all purpose table ¬†centerpiece. It looks great with a pillar candle in its center.

NOTE: I did not make all holiday items on the same day. I went with the idea of it being an interchangeable wreath and started with Christmas. When it came to valentines day I made those interchangeable parts ¬†and so on. As for the flowers, I repurposed ones I already had. There are a million things you can use for each diferent holiday. I’ve listed only some ideas.

You will need:

A small wreath ( mine is the green Christmas type but you can substitute with twined wooden ones)

Floral wire or other wire

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

1/2 inch ribbon ( color or holiday design specific to wrap randomly around wreath or to create bows)

Large ziplock Baggie ( to store your wreath and other baggies that will contain each holidays interchangeable items

White craft paint if you desire to mimic snow on pine cones and to flock interchangeable wreath branches.

A  pillar candle. ( white seems to go well with all holidays)

NOTE : Some ideas of inexpensive things you can use are: Tiny Easter eggs ( plastic and wooden ones can be found in craft stores or walmart), American  flag cupcake toothpicks, Shamrock cupcake toothpicks! Easter cupcake toothpicks, small pine cones, nuts of your choosing still in their shells ( walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts etc.), mini snowflakes, jingle bells, mini candy canes ( preferably plastic), an additional wreath to break into branches and flock with white paint.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. First separate your holiday  items.
  2. Take your wreath and place it in front of you and figure out where you’d like to place items on wreath. Put items onto wreath ( without connecting) until you have the design you like.
  3. Determine the length you need your wire to be. Hot glue each piece onto the floral wire.
  4. If you have chosen to add ribbon, place ribbon first then Place wired items into your wreath.
  5. If you are using tiny flags or shamrocks from cupcake toothpicks, I found it nicer to remove toothpick and glue two together, with wire placed inside.

REPURPOSING GLASS CONTAINERS

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

We throw away more things each year without giving a thought to what else they might be useful for. Below I would like to share with you some things that I have done. Things that allowed me to free up drawer and closet space as well as be able to display them decoratively, incorporating them into my homes decor.And I don’t know about you, but I can never ¬†have enough closet space.

My marbles I keep in an old Maple Syrup jug displayed on the bookcase instead of tucked into a drawer.  The jars that I , personally, have found to be most useful are:

Maple syrup jugs

Glass orange juice or grapefruit juice jars

Used Yankee or other type Candle Jars,

Honey jars

Any glass jar can be used really. I prefer jars that have either clear, silver, black or gold lids without any graphics on them. They are useful storage containers that can easily display things like cotton balls, Q-tips, makeup sponges, marbles, ¬†seashells, nailpolish bottles, bobbypins or other hair ties, even teabags, whatever you like. Because they are taller than they are wide, they can help you consolidate space. ¬†Or, can be displayed on your bathroom counter or anywhere else you choose to display them. And the lids are snug ¬†as well, so no danger of things falling out. Old glass juice bottles are great for storing cereals and macaroni and take up less space in your cupboard. ¬†Hope you’ll give this a try.

YOU WILL NEED:

Hot soapy water

A sink or other container to soak them

Scrubber sponge

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill your jars with hot water, put lid on and submerge into a sink filled with hot soapy water.
  2. After about 15 minutes you should be able to peel off jar labels quite easily. For the more stubborn ones you can use a scrubber sponge. They typically get scrubbed off with little effort.
  3. Rinse your jars and lids with cold water and set aside to dry.
  4. Fill your jars.

GALLERY-PERFECT PHOTO HANGING TIPS

Ever hang a lot of photos and despite your having taken the time to measure, one photo is off center or not evenly spaced? The reason is because all photo frames have the hanging hole in a different place. Here’s a remedy that is a bit time consuming but, yields ¬†the perfect results to a gallery perfect picture hanging.

YOU WILL NEED:

A roll of wrapping paper

A level

A pencil

A yard stick ( more accurate than a tape measure because it doesn’t bend)

Picture frames

Sticky notes

Painter’s tape ( or any tape that won’t remove paint from walls) finishing nails

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Begin by measuring wall that your pictures will be places on.

2. Roll out wrapping paper with white side down and cut paper to exact size of wall.

3. ¬†Place all frames on paper according to how you’d like them placed on your wall. NOTE : It is good to arrange in multiple ways and take photos so that you can be sure of what placement you like the best.

4. Be sure that top of frames that will be on top row of pictures meet with the top of the wrapping paper. You will therefore only be tracing these frames on three sides.

5. When you are sure of your placement, trace the frame that is on your left, first.

6. Then measure spacing between  all photo frames going across. When you are sure they are evenly spaced, trace around them.

7. Take sticky note now and label one for each picture giving it a name, ie. grandma, baby’s first birthday etc. Now set note with title of picture onto the glass of that photo. Write the name you have given in the center of frame tracing so you do not make a mistake with placement later on.

8. Take top row of frames and remove from the  wrapping paper after you have checked that the spacing between photos was exact and have traced around each frame.

9. Looking closely at top tracings, position next rows of photos so that they are evenly spaced, using your yard stick to measure that they are. (At times you will have smaller frames that will be on sides of maybe rectangular ones or some frames that are slightly larger than others. In this case, you would measure space from the top of the tallest frame that will be in the center row. This will be what you use to measure spacing between the first and second rows). If I’ve lost you, read it again.

10. When you are happy with the spacing, trace the middle photo and  measure size of smaller frames that will go on the sides of middle photos so that they are centered with the middle frame.

11. Be sure that the spacing on both sides where smaller frames will be placed are equally spaced  on both sides.

12. Trace other frames.

13. Now comes the part you need to be done precisely in order to have your frames hang perfectly. Take all your frames that each have a sticky note and title stuck to them on a post it note and,  one at a time, turn them over.

14. Using yardstick, place yardstick even with the edge of your frame. One measurement will be the left to right measurement of where the top of the hanging hole is on frame . Important you measure where the top of the hole is, as this is where your frame will rest. The  other measurement will be from the top of the frame edge to the center of the hanging hole. Mark these measurements on your sticky note and place sticky note back on frame glass. Then using your yardstick find these measurement on your tracing and draw an intersecting line. Do this for all frames.

15. Lastly, take wrapping paper and hang it on wall using painters tape. Stand back and be sure you like the height of where your photos will be positioned.

16.Check with the level that the wrapping paper is perfectly straight on walls. Once it is, tap finishing nails into center of your intersecting lines and tear away paper. be sure to do this carefully so that you can still see tracings and what frame goes where. If you pull paper gently toward you and off nails, you won’t ruin the tracings.

Repurposing in Home Decorating

Ever want just a different look? Tired of looking at the same home decor day after day? Do you have a wall of family photos with all different frames? Well, change it up a bit. This can easily be accomplished with very little expense to you. Here an idea I hope you will give a try before spending a lot of money or a day shopping to try to find the right sized frames.
Have you just re-painted but don’t like the way your photo frames look in contrast to you new paint color choice? PAINT THEM ! Here’s how.

YOU WILL NEED:

White or black paint (these colors usually look good on any colored wall) or the color of your choosing

Paint brushes

Craft paint the color of your choice ( you can find at your local Walmart or craft store)

Matte or glossy clear spray paint ( optional

Something to protect your work area

A cardboard box ( package box,pizza box, whatever you have)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Remove all your cherished photos and glass from frames and set photos in a safe place where you can store safely for a few hours.

2. Fill sink with soap and water and wash and rinse both sides of your photo frame glass and set on towel to dry.

3. Cover the surface where you plan to paint your frames.

4. Paint sides of all frames only and set aside to dry.

5. When dried, paint the faces of your frames , taking care not to drip down sides of frames. If you are covering dark frames with a lighter color paint do two light coats rather than one heavy coat.

6. Once dried take the frames outside or in your garage with door opened.

7. Spread a cardboard box open onto the floor . Place frames onto it being sure Spray with a clear coat paint . Do not spray too much as this will cause dripping.

7. Be sure not to neglect the old photo inserts that came with your frame. You can use the paint color of your room to paint these, keep them as is if they are not damaged or worn , or reverse them so that they look fresher.

8. Now that your frames are completely dried, you can reinsert photos.

NOTE: When picking craft paint do not use glossy kind. It is less forgiving when you get a drip and not necessary since you will be clear coating . Clear coat spray paint makes them easier to wipe down if dusty and prevents paint from coming off. Please see my blog on GALLERY PERFECT PICTURE HANGING TIP.

SEASHELL WELCOME BASKET

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

Photo is one I made to welcome my Aunt Vera, Uncle Roland and cousins when they visited for my¬†son’s military retirement ceremony. They are my favorite family members and I wanted them to know they were special to me. I wanted them to feel welcome.

 

 

YOU WILL NEED:

Small crate or sturdy basket

Assorted seashells Wooden cut out letters ( you can find these in any Walmarts in the craft section)

Paint ( the color of your choice or you can leave wood color)

Raffia

Netting

Hot glue gun with LOW TEMPERATURE glue sticks

Whatever you would like to present to your guests

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Paint a wooden tangerine crate or use an already made sturdy basket.

2. Paint  your wooden  cut out letters that spell the word welcome.

3. Glue wooden letters onto basket.

4. Glue seashells onto basket on all sides in a random fashion.

5.  Then starting on the underside, hot glue netting all around. This is tricky because you need to wait a second or two and use a bamboo skewer to quickly press netting into place. If you use the tip of the glue gun, the netting will melt.

5. Wrap netting around the crate and hot glue in place to the bottom of basket. This mimics the look of a fishing net and you will not see it once you insert the raffia.

NOTE: I rarely use netting so I don’t buy it. I save turkey bags, onion bags, tangerine bags etc.. And re-purpose them

6. You then filled it with raffia on the bottom and place items in the basket that they may have forgotten like toothbrushes, toothpaste, sewing kit, mouthwash, hand lotion, cologne, Tylenol ( in case anyone got a headache) , tea bags ( my Aunt loves only Lipton tea ) and other assorted goodies like candies, mints,. They loved it.

NOTE: You can use a myriad of things such as stamps, post cards for your guest to send to friends, writing pad , pen and envelopes and whatever you think your guest will like.

MEMORY QUILT

Photo to be uploaded soon

Do you or your child have many blouses or tee-shirts that they can no longer wear ? Are you taking up space that you could utilize better because these items are too sentimental to throw away? I have the perfect solution. I wish I could claim it as my own idea , but I first heard of this from a girl I worked with. She made a quilt from them and gave it to her daughter for her 18th birthday.
Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of hers. It turned out fabulous. The one photographed is one I am working on to celebrate my sons twenty years of service in the U.S. Navy. It is made of many of the tee-shirts he has bought for me , as well as many he has worn himself that no longer fit. You can also do this with sweatshirts. Just do not mix the two fabrics as they stretch differently.

YOU WILL NEED:

1. Old Tee shirts or sweatshirts that no longer fit.
2. Fabric to frame each shirt after cutting,  so that all pieces are the same size. A solid color without stretch or design will work best.
3. Iron on stabilizer  to iron to the back of your shirts before cutting them.
4. Thin cotton fabric to use as the back of your quilt. amount will vary based on the size of your project
5. Transparent thread ( because you will be sewing on top of design on many of the shirts.)
6. Fabric scissors
7. Seam ripper tool
8. Thin Cotton batting to put between the front and back of your quilt.
9. Tape measure ( or yard stick)
10. Piece of white chalk
11. Sewing machine (optional but easier) with quilting needle
12. Straight pins ( can use safety pins but they do tend to shift)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Continue reading “MEMORY QUILT”

TWO TIERED DIAPER CAKE

Diaper cakes are quickly becoming all the rage at baby showers. And rightfully so. They are very cute, can be used as gift table centerpiece and are chock full of goodies for baby. When I make my diaper cakes I try not to use all newborn diapers,as the mom-to-be typically gets loads of diapers as gifts and babies grow quickly. Below is how I make my diaper cakes. As far as toys go,I save McDonald’s Happy Meal Care Bears and other soft toys just for this purpose. They are the perfect size.

YOU  WILL NEED:

1.  36 newborn diapers

2.  36 next sized diapers

3.  Cardboard cake board ( sold at Walmart and at times in dollar store)

4. One  Empty  paper towel or aluminum foil roll. ( I find aluminum foil roll or plastic  wrap roll is sturdier)

5.  Two receiving blankets or one baby bath towel

6. 3 yards of baby ribbon ( Can use solid color or baby print)

7.  Masking or duct tape ( to tape the empty roll to the center of the cake board for stability)

8.  2 yards of 1/8 inch elastic  to hold the diapers in place. You will cover the elastic with the ribbon.

9.  Multiple baby items that can attach to ribbon .Things such as barrettes, baby feeding spoons, pacifiers, baby diaper pins etc.

10. Larger baby toy like small stuffed animal or rattle to put at top of  the cake

11.Rubber-bands Рonly   three are needed but have more in case you snap one accidentally.

12. Artificial flowers (optional) from the dollar store that match your color scheme.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Place about a six inch piece of tape, two or three inches inside empty towel roll. Attach the rest to the cake board. Then tear off three more pieces and place on outside of paper towel roll to secure to the base of cake board.

2.  Wrap both receiving blankets or one bath towel around the towel roll and secure in place on bottom middle and  top with  rubber-bands. Be sure to fold appropriately so that the blanket is even with the top of  paper towel roll.

3. Now it gets interesting. Fold each of the larger sized diapers in half. With folded part facing as outside of the cake, stand on its side and stack side by side around the cake. When it gets to the point where they are starting to fall over, it is time to place and tie a piece of elastic loosely around the diapers to hold in place for you. Then fill till they are snugly together and fill the circle of the cake board.

4. Fold all smaller diapers in same way and place on top of the bottom layer, Forming  a second tier to the diaper cake.  Attach elastic around this tier as well. Stick any ends of elastic in between diapers to conceal them.

5. Attach ribbon around both tiers to conceal the elastic.

6. If you are giving to a girl attach barrettes evenly around ribbons as a design.

7. If you have purchased flowers, cut stems with scissors to the right height and stick flowers in between diapers taking care not to poke hole in diapers. I find it easier to roll a piece e of tape around wired stem to avoid sharp edges.

8. At top of cake is where you would attach toy , if paper towel is above top layer of diaper cake you can do one of two things: A. Tie toys around the top with elastic to conceal the towel and then apply ribbon with a pretty bow that drapes down front of cake OR B. roll blanket or towel off the tube and cut tube to same height as the top of the cake. Then gently roll the receiving blankets or towel  inwards and put a bigger flower inside as cake topper. Because the stems are made with wire I would roll a piece of tape around bottom of stem to avoid poking hole in blanket or towel. Everyone will love your creation!

APOLOGIES FOR NO PHOTO YET. SITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.