Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our Winter Wonderland Christmas...(inside)

 I decided to only do one tree this year thinking that it would make things faster and much easier on me. I had forgotten the little fact that when I go changing things like this it actually takes me longer because I have to think things through more plus I made those previous decorations this year as well but I'm done now and am happy with everything. I knew I wanted to use the white Christmas tree that I had been using in the kitchen this year as well as my vintage Shiny Brite Christmas ornaments in the pretty robins egg blue color and so since I started thinking that then the snowflake thing just kind of took off from there and our Winter Wonderland started coming together.
 I didn't use all of my snowmen this year...only a few ones that went along with the colors...or came close..
 In a fix for a table centerpiece? Fill a bowl full of ornaments...I'm sure you have all seen this many many times before.

Hope that you all are having a wonderful Christmas season thus far.....

Another easy Christmas decoration..

 If you all look back in prior years where I've shown my Christmas decorations you'll see a picture of these books but they were with gold ribbon. Well since I changed my colors for the living room this year then I simply changed out the ribbons for this as well and added some silver bells and snowflakes.
These were hardback books and I simply tore the hard covers off of them and wrapped the ribbon around and added some embellishments. Now how fast, simple easy and inexpensive is that? Happy Crafting and Decorating!

Winter Artwork...

Ok well this project wasn't exactly something that was just kind of happened. If you all remember back many months ago I decided to see if I could paint some "contemporary cheap artwork" for my newly redecorated living room. Needless to say the more I looked at those paintings the more I hated them! So I was going to take them down and hang some pictures that I had ran across that was tucked away in my stash but then I got to thinking...since I was going to more than likely toss these 3 canvas's anyway why not try to make something "wintery" out of them. I realized in a hurry that I'm NOT an artist but what was it gonna hurt to try? So Mr. Candy Creek helped me decide what kind of folk art tree to paint and got to it. Then of course since our "theme" this year is winter wonderland it just had to have some snowflakes and why not make them 3D ones? I have to admit...they look much better than they did before and will work just fine for us through Christmas.

Coffee Filter Wreath..

Here is something else that I picked up off of Pinterest this year. I saw it and just had to make one. It's another simple and cheap decoration to make however it is a bit time consuming but was fun to make. Here is the list of supplies that you'll need:
Straw or styrofoam wreath
2 packs of 160 coffee filters
hot glue gun
hot glue
1 piece of floral wire
First off use your long piece of floral wire and wrap it around the top of the wreath and make a little loop so that you'll have a way to hang your wreath once it's complete. Then I use several of the coffee filters to wrap around the entire straw wreath so that you couldn't see the base of it. Now for the time consuming part....take an fold each coffee filter in half then fold in a triangle 2 more times. Once that's done twist the pointy end of the coffee filter about 3/4 inch up then snip the end off leaving only just a little of the twisted end so that it want come untwisted. Take and open up the fluffy end of the coffee filter. It will kind of remind you of a rose once it's been fluffed up. When I started gluing them on the wreath I just worked in a circle being sure to fill in as tightly as I could. That's it...just a little time and patience. Have fun and Happy Crafting!

Snow covered candle holders...

Hi everyone. Here is a cheap and simple little decorating idea. I bought everything at Dollar Tree and just love the way that it turned out. I had gotten this idea from seeing a post on Pinterest where they used empty wine bottles.
 First I just simply sprayed the glass containers with spray glue. I found that it was easier to work in small sections at a time and a spray box is a must of course.

Then I simply rolled my vases in epsom salt. If you have a vase that has a lip on it or a decorative edge where you can't roll it evenly then just pour the epsom salt on your vase and pat down with your hand. Be sure that you have some wax paper laid down so that you can keep reusing the salt and so that the glue doesn't get on your counter. The only thing that I didn't figure out is how to keep the glue off of your hands. It took me longer to get my hands cleaned back up than it did to cover all of the vases. It took half a bottle of acetone nail polish remover to get it all off. It was all worth it though. Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 Everyone!

I'm sure that like everyone else today we are getting ready for the big FEAST tomorrow. So I thought I'd share with you some pictures my husband took of me today making our pecan pie. My mom is making the pumpkin pies but since I've recently learned how to make homemade pies I just had to put my newly learned skills to good use and plus...what's a good ole southern feast without pecan pie?
 Here I am placing the leaves out of leftover dough to make a pretty decorative edge. I think if your gonna put that much love and attention into something then you should try to make it pretty too. Plus it was fun!

Pie is all done....ohhh what I wouldn't give to be able to go ahead and slice into this about right now. The house is smelling so good. I have to say thanks to Suzie again for not only teaching me to make pies but also for the recipe. This was her mothers pecan pie recipe and I just pray that I have done them both proud in making it. I hope that everyone has a very blessed Thanksgiving this year. I know that there are so many things that I'm so grateful and blessed for in my life and one of  those is you all for continuing to come back and visit my blog to see what all this little hillbilly has been up to. May God Bless each and every one of you.

Chunky Mini Album Completed....

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! I thought that while I was taking a break from cooking that I'd share with you the completed mini album that I had shown a sneak peak of waaaay back in September. I finally finished it and it's on it's way to Oklahoma right now to rest in the hands of my dear sweet sis Suzie. This album was so much fun. I just hate that it took me so long to get it done for her..
 I had picked up some ribbon belts at the thrift store back about a year ago and then picked up some more about a month ago just so that I could use them on these little albums. I was so thrilled to get to use it as my closure and as you can see...this mini shouldn't really be called a mini because it's soooo fat! uhhh scratch that...because it's so chunky..that sounds so much better especially at this time of year huh?
 When I was making this album I knew that it was going to be really "chunky" but had in mind that instead of laying flat somewhere that it could sit up just like it is in the pictures and you could get a better view of the front cover.
 I used white sticky back felt and sprayed it with some glimmer mist and let it dry good over night while the backing was still attached so that the binding would match my scrapbook paper I picked out for the front and back covers...the felt holds really well and is flexible. I saw Laura at Following the Paper Trail use sticky back canvas but couldn't find any in my area but found that the sticky back felt worked just fine, is inkable or mistable and I think it kind of gives it another layer of texture that otherwise would of been ho hum. It kind of gives you something you can pet while looking at the album.
If I can remember correctly the binding side is about 4" thick! It's kind of like me...about as broad as it is tall. Hence is another reason I don't like to say it's fat.....just extra extra chunky!
I don't have a clue as to what show I saw Laura doing this binding method using the sticky back canvas and I'm sorry about that. But you can click on her link over on the right hand side of my page and scroll through her blog and find it. I'm sure that you'll come up with loads of other great ideas as well because she's great and so creative. Enjoy Suzie...I hope that you get as much pleasure out of looking at it as I did making this for you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shabby Chic Bedroom Makeover....

 Hi all...well what started out as my hubby and I KNOWING that we needed a new mattress set turned into me redoing the entire bedroom. Now although I had planned on doing this soon anyway, I really hadn't planned on doing it as soon as my husband and I went to buy a new mattress. See what happened was we didn't want a conventional inner spring mattress, we had done our research and had decided on an air bed. So since you can't use a regular headboard and footboard with an adjustable air bed we decided we would just make our own. So with my husbands carpenter skills and my ideas this is what we came up with. Then of course I just couldn't bare to paint that pretty new headboard and not paint the walls as well and then of course I couldn't paint the walls and not just go ahead and paint all the trim and doors as well since I was going to have to do that anyway eventually. And thus, the bedroom makeover began. I would give anything if I could find pictures of my bedroom before but I was so wrapped up in what exactly I wanted to do that I didn't stop to take any pictures of what the bedroom looked like before. But our trim was dark stain just like it was in the living room so that in itself is a lot of work. But in the end it has all been so worth it and we love it now. Even though I still have things to do AFTER the holidays such as painting all the furniture white and redoing my stack of suitcases. But that HAS to wait...seriously!
 Here is a better view of our headboard. We used the beadboard paneling for the center section and some gorgeous corbels that Suzie and Don had brought me back last summer. This headboard just worked out so perfectly for us and we were both so pleased with ourselves that we keep stopping and admiring it.

 See what I mean about the dark furniture? Now don't you think that painting it white and putting new knobs on will be a welcomed change? I look forward to getting that done in the new year.

Here is the stack of suitcases that I'll be redoing in the new year as well...I already have ideas for these as well. I have my husband so excited that he even said that he's gonna spring for new carpet in the bedrooms this spring as well! WOW! I should of redone the bedroom a long time ago because I've always hated these dark carpets.
Have a good night everyone....I'll be dreaming of sugarplums shortly in our new room.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Time for BLING!....

Hey everyone. I wish that I had taken a before picture of this little clock but was so excited to paint it and bling it that I forgot too. It was originally just a plain old brown cheap clock that I had painted pink and then dry brushed with a little white to accent the highlights on it. Well NOW it got a fresh coat of metallic silver and some added bling! I'm in love with it now! Its amazing what a can of spray paint and a few loose rhinestones can do huh?
Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pizza Pops anyone?

 Hey everyone! Looking for a nice little after school snack for the kiddos? I remember how hungry my son used to be when he would get home from school and needed a little something to hold him over until supper time rolled around. Well I've found just the thing for you and they are super fast,easy and CHEAP to make....oh yeah and did I say that they are delicious as well? I didn't really know what to call them because I had seen them being made on tv but couldn't remember which show I was watching at the time but did remember most of the ingredients...if I forgot to add something then I'd never know it because they were so good. So I've named them Pizza Pops because each bite is like a POP of cheesy goodness. Like I said they will be good for snacks, however they were supper tonight for me and my husband. I didn't feel like standing and cooking for any length of time so this was the perfect thing....a side salad along with these is more than enough for anyone I think. So anyway, here is the recipe..hope you enjoy.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
couple of pinches of salt
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 cups Sergento 6 cheese Italian cheese (8 oz bag)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups sliced pepperoni cut into small pieces
1 jar pizza sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, Italian seasoning, rosemary in large bowl. Lightly beat egg and milk then add to dry mixture along with the cheeses and pepperoni.
Use an ice cream scoop to fill your muffin tin. Bake for 24 mins. Heat about half the jar of pizza sauce in the microwave and serve in a side dish for dipping. This recipe will makes 18 large muffins

Oh yeah I about forgot the most important part sure to set you one aside so you'll have something to snack on as well while your making that precious family of yours supper.
Have a good day everyone!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sneek Peek at what I'm working on now....

 Hey everyone! This isn't anywhere near done but I thought I'd show you what I've been working on. The cover isn't even embellished yet it's still naked and plain but I have big plans for it. I can't really call this a mini album even though it's short like one as you'll see it's quite fat already and I'm not nearly done with it. So I'm gonna call it "Fun sized". I'm making this album for my best friend Suzie from over at The Happy Shack and filling it with pictures of our "adventures together since 2008. Needless to say I needed something with loads of room and this is the ticket. I decided that I was going to combine some of my favorite scrapbook artist pages in this one album as a dedication to them and will listing the youtube links for each of them with the pages I did in this album. These ladies are extremely talented and I love their work and they deserve all the praise for inspiring me. So here outside covers measure 5 1/2" x 6" and the binding technique is one that I saw Laura at Following the Paper Trail use. That is the one thing I don't have a link for right now but when I post the completed album I'll be sure to include that for you.
 The above picture shows how thick this album is and it's no where near complete but I'm having so much fun with it. The thickness is almost 4 1/2"!! I'm loving it so far!
 Ok so in this picture I want to SPOTLIGHT the first scrapbooking artist which is.....Elsa at Just a Few Designs. She came up with the side pocket album and so I've used her page in this album. She's the sweetest thing ever and I've been watching her work ever since she posted her very first youtube video. Here is the video link for this page if you would like to make it as well..
 Next up....This one you all have heard me mention many many times throughout my blog. It's none other than the ever popular and much loved Laura at Following the Paper Trail. I included her pocket page. I did an entire album like this previously and shared it with you but the dimensions fit so well that I used it again. Here is the link for instruction to make this's called the Pouch Page..
 This next one was a Laura idea and you've seen me do this one many times although this time I had to adjust and tweak it so that it would fit. It's the Z-fold and here is how I changed my measurements to make it fit. Cut a 9"x6" envelope down to where it's 8"x6" making sure to cut a sliver off one end to form the pocket. Then I made a score line at 3" from the bottom just like the following video will show. The back part on mine is all different from what Laura did. I didn't use the coin pocket envelopes at all as you will see in the next 5 pictures...instead I created a fold out flap and then in another I created the flap with a pocket as well..this will accommodate even more pictures to give me the most bang for the buck so to speak. And I also used fold out "tags" that accommodate 6 pictures as well. So this one page really gives me ton of real estate. Here is the original link for the video..

 in total I can get 8 pictures on that one fold out flap rather than using the coin envelopes and its and alternative for those of you who can't find the coin envelopes or are overseas and those are ready available to you.
 This is the one that folds out and reveals a pocket for a tag.
 keep flipping...
 Ta Da! and there it is!
Ok so the last scrapbook artist that I have "featured" in this album goes to Ms. Bona from Live Love Scrap. I'm sure that if any of you have ever watched youtube you have all heard of her. She's yet another extremely talented lady with a ton of ideas. This is just one of her ideas. I had done this before and then when I went to tell who inspired me to make one myself I had not only forgotten who it was but had lost the link as well. She calls this her Picture Fold Up Wallet...she used it as something you could stick in your wallet but I've glued the back in my album and this little puppy can hold up to 17 pictures!!! What more can you ask for? So here is the link for her video as to how to make it...

Thank each and every one of you ladies for inspiring me each and every day! And thank you Suzie for making me laugh and giggle just looking at these pictures while I'm making your album. It's almost as fun as if you were right here with me while I'm making it........ALMOST!
I'll be sure to post the final pictures of the album once it's completed...or at least show you a few more finished pages and what I've come up with for the front cover. I'm excited for you all to see the idea I came up with for it.
Here is what the front cover looks like now that it's done. Yes I love butterflies just like Elsa does so that was added for both of us. I hope that I served them proud and that they enjoy my album if they ever get to see it.

My Mexican Casserole recipe....

Hey All! Yesterday I was on the phone with my mom and was working on a mini album while talking and she was telling me about a Mexican pie recipe that she had made and how good it was. Well I have to be honest...I'm an not real good at multi tasking at all so when she was telling me what she put in it all that heard was Mexican pie, ground beef and what I thought was corn chips. Well I had stopped working on my album to finish our conversation because obviously I didn't hear the rest of the ingredients because I just simply can't do 2 things at once. So after our phone call ended I got to thinking about what I was going to make for dinner and so the mad scientist headed to the kitchen to see what I could find to make. So I grabbed the corn chips, ground beef and then opened my pantry and literally started pulling anything out that sounded like it would be good in a casserole and here is what I came up the way. I misunderstood my mom about the corn chips as well...she had said corn tortillas. But this turned out really good and my husband loved it as well.
(1) 10.5 oz bag BBQ corn chips
(2) pkg taco seasoning
2 lb ground beef
(1) 16 oz refried beans
(1) 15 oz whole kernel corn (drained)
(1) 15 oz diced tomatoes (Italian style)
(1) small can sliced black olives (drained)
(1) Tbls dried chopped chives
(1) tsp onion salt
(1) medium onion chopped
(1) 8 oz (2cups) Sargento 6 cheese Italian
(1) cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning as recommended on pkg. In a large sauce pot combine beans, corn, tomatoes, olives, chives and onion salt. (Drop the onion salt if using chopped onion, saute chopped onion while browning ground beef if you choose that route). Heat this mixture then add ground beef to bean mixture and stir well. In a greased 9 x 13 glass dish add a layer of corn chips then a layer of the bean/beef mixture then add some of both the cheeses and repeat this step one more time. Crumble the remaining corn chips and top off casserole.
In a preheated 350 degree oven bake for 20 minutes.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chili's copycat Grilled Carribean Salad....

Hey all...I thought I'd share a copycat recipe that I made from a recipe book that my best friend Suzie had bought me. It was so good that I had to share it with all of you.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup store-bought teriyaki marinade
1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
11/2 teaspoons lime juice
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons diced jalapeno pepper (I left this out)
2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro (I used 1 teaspoon of dried)
pinch of salt
4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
4 cups chopped green leaf lettuce
1 cup chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks ( I used a can of pineapple chunks that I drained real good)
1/2 cup mandarin orange slices (again I used canned that was drained)
1/2 cup whole dried cherries (I left these out because I don't like them)
2 cups crushed tortilla chips (husband didn't like them as a topping)
1. Do ahead: Marinate the chicken in the teriyaki marinade in a covered container for 2 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
2. Do ahead: In a small bowl, combine the honey-lime dressing ingredients whisking well, and refrigerate in a covered container.
3. Do ahead: Combine the pico de gallo ingredients and refrigerate in a covered container. (I made a double batch of the above dressing and put it in a rubbermaid dispensing bottle)
4. Light a charcoal grill or preheat the broiler
5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Cook each breast, turning once 5 or 6 minutes per side, until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Set aside and keep warm.
6. Combine the lettuces with the cabbage and divide among 4 serving bowls. Top each salad with the pico de gallo, pineapple chunks, orange slices, cherries and crushed tortilla chips.
7. Slice the cooked chicken into thin strips and divide among the salads. Serve with ramekins or honey-lime dressing on the side.
Serves 4 and the estimated AT-HOME cost is $9.50

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Handmade Smash Journal tutorial.....

Hey all! Welcome back...well it took me a while but I promised that I'd do a tutorial on the smash journal that I showed you all a picture of that I made last month. I made one for myself this time and took the pictures as I was working on it....I'll note what products I used to finish it up at the end of this post. READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS FIRST BEFORE BEGINNING and look for CAPS on really important things. So lets get started...

What you will need for the front and back covers are as follows: (2) 7 3/4" x 10 1/4" chipboard, (1) 14 1/8" x 10 1/4" flexible chipboard (this is extremely flimsy and has to be easily bendable), (1) 3" x 10 1/4" chipboard (this piece will be cut again to use as a reinforcement piece for you latch) ***NOTE the picture above shows the measurements written on each one and you can go by those HOWEVER...the measurement showing what the center measurement is is should of said 5 1/8" rather than 5 1/16". You can see how I cut the triangle section out and all the measurements you'll need.

IMPORTANT** Work from the back inside cover FIRST! Once you have your triangle "reinforcement" piece cut out go ahead and glue that on your larger flexible piece of chipboard and then cut the excess off after the triangle piece is glued on. This way you have a perfect "fit".

After doing the previous step go ahead and grab one of the 7 3/4" x 10 1/4" chipboards and on one side make a tick mark measuring over 2 1/4" on the opposite side of that mark on the BACK side go ahead and apply your glue and glue that to the above piece as shown in the picture. The basics for the back of your journal is now complete the area in the picture that is showing as white will be the area that will bend over and allow for you to Velcro your stick glue and a pen plus it will have plenty of room for your journal to expand. NOTE* 14 1/8" is the longest that I could find for my flexible and bendable chipboard...if you don't want to Velcro a tube of stick glue and a pen on the inside of the journal then you want need to do the offset on that one end.

IMPORTANT** if your planning on using the magnetic closures like I have it is important that you cover the inside of the back cover FIRST so that you can place your closure and then cover it all up when you cover the back side. Just a few notes about covering with pretty cardstock....First off you will need 2 coordinating pieces of cardstock to cover all of it as shown above in the picture and be sure to allow enough room around the edges so you can fold it over to make nice clean edges. (I've shown how to cover cardstock before in previous posts). Secondly, the area where the flexible chipboard is.....I've found that it's best to use a liquid glue for this area such as Quick Dry. But be sure to smear it around nicely before applying your pretty cardstock. The reason I say that is...if you don't use a liquid glue then the "flap" will squeak each time the journal is opened and closed. I learned that lesson after making the first journal. And then Thirdly when your putting your cardstock on...use a bone folder to make crisp edges where the chipboard and flexible chipboard are 2 separate heights. Refer to the above picture and you can see where that was done. It just makes things crisper and cleaner looking as well as will prevent the cardstock from pulling away.
 Now once the inside of the back cover had been glued down and all edges have been cleaned up. BE SURE that you have already added your magnetic latch BEFORE covering the back side of your journal. As you can see...I covered this side in the same manner as I did the front side by using 2 different coordinating cardstocks. The only thing to remember now is that you want had to cut your cardstock wider this time. Now you will cut it to fit or better yet leave a little bit about 1/8" so that the other paper will peek out a little all the way around the journal. I think that gives it even more character....AGAIN use liquid glue of some type on the area that will be bending and don't forget to smear it so that you want have bumps showing through to your cardstock.
 Now that the back cover is all done...your ready for the front cover. Another reason why I start from the back is because if I started from the front then I wouldn't know exactly where I needed my other half of the magnetic clasp should be placed. So go ahead and cover the front, leaving some excess all the way around. Be sure to snip the triagled edges off all for corners but DON"T get too close to the chipboard. Then place your back piece directly under your front cover....fold the flexible "flap over toward the front cover and figure out where you need the front closure to be located. Go ahead and install that and then cover the inside of the front cover like you did the back side of the back cover.
 This is what this inside of both the front and back covers looks like. As you can see I added a couple diagonal pockets to mine.
cardstock is showing in the picture. You could let your imagination run wild here on these. The picture below shows another example of how I decorated my envelopes.
Ok well your pretty much done now. You'll need to cut SEVERAL and I mean SEVERAL pieces of cardstock or whatever kind of paper you plan on using inside your journal. The measurements for that is 7 1/2" x 10". I had probably 35-40 sheets in mine (and that's just a guess!)
*FOR BINDING IT: I used my Bind it all...but you could use a hole punch and book rings as well, or you could even use Ribbon if you didnt' want to use book rings.
*THE CARDSTOCK I USED WAS: DCWV Mariposa stack, K & Company Homemade Specialty Papers stack
*CARDSTOCK FOR THE INSIDE: A WIDE VARIETY (I actually just go through and try to use up the stacks that I don't have many papers left)
*MAGNETIC CLASP: came from Hobby Lobby and comes in a package of 3 and are called My Purse Hardware and were $2.99 when I bought them about a year ago
*VELCRO: for you to add your glue and pen inside. Please see the previous post on the other SMASH journal that I made that shows where they go. I am out of glue sticks right now so mine aren't in there yet.
*EMBELLISHMENT: The butterfly I found at Michael's in the bargain bin for $1 and it simply clips on. (wish that I had more of those..I bought the last one they had at the time)
I've tried my best to be as descriptive as I possibly can and hope and pray that I haven't forgotten anything. I think that if you look at the pictures as you read it will make more sense to you. But if you do have a question just let me know and I'll try to help you the best way that I can. Hope that you enjoy and have as much fun making them as I do! I'm going to make mine an inspiration journal and look forward to getting started on it. Have FUN! and give me some feedback letting me know if you made one or not and if you like yours or if you have even more ideas to add to mine.
Come on back soon....I'm going to start on a mini album tomorrow and will try to post day to day pics of my progress on check back often.
P.S. Just because I'm calling this a Smash journal doesn't mean that it has to be could always make one of these and use it as photo album as well.