Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Good News!!

I’ve been working hard on a new website! 

The time has come!  I’ve decided to combine my two blogs into one.  I’ve been busy moving all the the projects from this blog and all the recipes from my other blog over to my new site:
The transfer is complete and I will be forwarding the posts on this blog to the new one at the end of this week.  I hope you will come on over and check things out. Please leave me a comment when you visit and tell me what you think!
I’ve added a new post for Chicken Rolls that you won’t want to miss!

Cooking Up a Project

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Monogram Door Decor


I LOVE my new door décor!  Fall is one of my favorite seasons, but decorating my door is a bit tricky.  To begin with, my door is painted a deep burgundy which does not go with many colors.  I also have a glass storm door that is lovely for many reasons, but there is not much room between it and the door.  Certainly not enough space for a wreath.  I saw something similar to this on pinterest and knew it would be perfect. The beauty is that I can switch it up for each season.   I love how it contrasts nicely with the door and you can see it clearly.

The basics you will need:

wood letter – choose a size that you like.  I bought mine at Michaels craft for $3.99.  It is about 9 inches tall and 1/2 inch thick. 

burlap – for most letters you only need a strip of this.  Some letters will be trickier to hang than others.  A letter T for example may need to be held up on both sides, or looped around the center post instead of the top.

colored fabric – I used some canvas I had, but most anything would work.  Cream worked well for me, but if you have a light colored door, you may want to choose something that contrasts nicely.

button – This is your little bit of color that stays with the hanging year round. I used a nice green I thought would go with most seasons.

two Floral picks – I used ones for Fall, but I will switch them out for different ones each season. 

glue gun and glue

paint – I used Rustoleum’s Antique White spray paint and burnt umber craft paint.  Any dark brown will work. If you have a white door, you will want to choose something that contrasts nicely. 

sand paper

paper towel or clean rag

clear sealer – several brands carry a this in spray paint.

Felt – any color.  This is for the back of the letter to cushion it from hitting the door.

I did not get pictures, of the process, but I’ll walk you through it. 

Spray paint the letter your chosen color and allow to dry.  My letter was white when I bought it.  I used 3 coats of paint applied with about 20 minutes in between each. 

After the paint has dried, use sand paper to rough up the edges of the letter. 

Mix the burnt umber paint with a few drops of water to make it runnier. Apply to the letter front and sides.  Wipe off immediately with a paper towel or clean rag.  This gives an antiqued look to the letter.  Keep going until you are happy with the results.  After it dries, apply a few coats of clear sealer.

Cut the burlap to about 2 1/2 inches wide.  The length will depend on how far you want it to hang down.  Mine is about 22 inches.  Wrap it around your letter and tie a knot.  Don’t make it too tight, because you will be sliding the floral picks through it later.  Test this out before you glue anything else.  I had to “encourage” the ends to hang the way I wanted with some hot glue.  Once you have it the way you want, glue the burlap to the back of the letter to keep it in place. You can fray the edges if you like.

Tear your colored fabric to about 1 1/2 inches wide.  I used 12 inches of length, but again this can be adapted to the length you want. Loop the fabric around the base of your burlap knot.  Tie behind the knot and then tie anther knot near the ends.  This is your “hanger”.

Make a rolled fabric flower from your colored fabric.  Here is a good tutorial from simply {kierste} on how to make them.  Glue your button to the front. Glue the flower to the base of your burlap knot covering where you looped the strip of colored fabric hanger.

Slip the two floral picks through the burlap knot.  I am a symmetrical kind of person, so I put one through on each side. 

Cut strips of felt and glue to the back of the letter.  This is just to protect your door and keep your letter from making knocking sounds whenever you open the door.  (The marks on my door in the picture were there before I started Smile)

And you are done!  Leave me a comment with any questions regarding this project you may have. 

IMG_4882  IMG_4881

Some more Fall décor

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Daily List

I’ve become one of the many addicted to pinterest.com  The other day I saw a great way to organize your day.  The original idea can be found at lifes-a-journal .   I liked hers, but had a few changes I wanted to make to fit my lifestyle and needs.  I decided to make my own and see if I liked using it.  So far so good.

Daily List Master

After the kidney stone experience last year, I decided to keep the Hydrate section.  I just cross them off as I go.

I have had a challenge writing in my journal.  I’ve never been a regular at it, so I added a section for that.  My hope is that with a small area to write, I will not feel like I have to make up for all the days I haven’t written.  I just review that day and write a few things.  Sometimes it looks more like a list and other days it has my thoughts and feelings.  Either way is good. 

My daily list includes: Scripture Study, 10 minute pick-up in each room, Exercise and Tracking my food intake. 

My list of things to-do varies day by day, so it is blank and I fill it in.  I just check them off as they are completed.

Notes are for me to write things like appointments, kids day off of school, holidays or funny things the kids say. 

I don’t remember where the quote at the bottom originally came from.  I just like it and it helps me keep perspective on hard days.

I created my daily list in Excel and saved it as a PDF.  I uploaded it to Google docs, so you can print it off too :)  I decided to print off enough pages for a year and have them spiral bound at the copy store.  I think you could print on both sides if you used heavy enough paper.  I plan to bind mine along the top edge rather than the side.  I think it will be fun to look back on and see a glimpse of my days as time goes on.  Click HERE for the Google docs link.

UPDATE*** A friend requested a spot to list menu items.  So I’ve added a section to the master list.  It looks like this and you can print it HERE.  You can still choose the other format by clicking on the link above.

Daily List Master 2 picture

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Scrabble Advent Calendar

I know I am late getting these posted.  Maybe they will inspire you to make them early for next year :)  I have two words in my defense: Football and Wrestling.  You multiply that times 2 boys at 2 different schools and you get the idea.  Who knew sports could take over your schedule so completely.  So better late than never, I give you 3 posts of Christmas projects.

I made this advent calendar last year, so I do not have in-progress pictures.  Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it.  This project can be made with letters from 1 scrabble game.  I had some tiles that were burgundy on one side.  I used those to give an antique feel.  You could create the same effect by painting the back of your tiles before beginning this project.  I would do one thing different if I were to do this project again.  I would place the “Merry” line over a space or forgo placing the tiles within the squares on the board completely.  I like things to be symmetrical, so this bothers me a bit.  It is still cute as is however, so I try to get over my OCD.

IMG_0561 IMG_0563

Drill a small hole (front to back) through each scrabble tile.  Come in far enough that they won’t split the tile, but don’t go over the letter. 

Print out the numbers on printable labels and then cut them into shape with a circle punch.  Stick them on the back of the tiles.  Make sure you have them in order!  I used a blank tile for the top and used a star sticker.  The bottom three tiles are just glued directly onto the board. 

Use a small bit to drill holes for the brads to go through.  For each tile: run a string through the hole of the tile and then put the ends through the hole in the board with a small brad.  Tie the strings to the same length and open the ends of the brads to keep them in place.  I added a piece of tape on the ends of the strings as an extra precaution. 

All done!  I seem to be making myself a new advent calendar each year, so maybe I’ll get next years posted sooner! 

Have a Merry Christmas!!

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Family Pictures Advent Calendar

I don’t have a tutorial for this advent calendar.  I made it quite a few years ago, but it remains one of my favorite projects. 



  To make this project, you will need:

11x16 frame with glass removed (you will need the cardboard back to the frame however)

Scrapbook paper and cardstock

Number stickers and letters

25 small brads

25 eyelets (I used stars)

25 pictures

Thick string




This project is created on the cardboard backing that comes with your frame.  Cover the backing with coordinating scrapbook papers.  I used scrapbooking adhesive tabs to do this.  Create the tree with graduating triangles.  I cut graduating stars and layered them for the top.  I also glued on a button.  I used two brown buttons for the bottom of the tree.  I know it’s hard to see, but the letters spell out ‘Tis the Season for Memories.


Cut rounded corner squares from cardstock.  The size of these will depend on the width of your tree.  Mine are 2 inches.  I added a little strip of green cardstock over the top of each one to reinforce where the eyelet goes.  Punch the eyelet through the top. 

Cut 25 white cardstock circles to fit on one side of the squares.  Use the number stickers to create the days 1-25. 

On the other side of the squares, attach a favorite photo.  I used past Christmas photos, baby pictures, winter photos, etc.  I used a baby photo of the person who’s birthday coordinated with that number and a picture of the kids acting out the nativity for number 25.  I even got a few old pictures of my husband and I when we were little. 

I scanned in old photos and just printed them all on photo paper.

This next step is a little time consuming.  If the instructions don’t make sense, leave me a comment and I’ll try to explain it better. Lay your finished squares on the tree to determine their placement. 

Punch a hole and place a brad for each square to hang on.  Run a piece of string through the eyelet and put the ends through the hole with your brad. (I did this before I put the brad in).  Tie your string to the appropriate length and tape the ends down on the back of the cardboard backing.  You want each square to be hanging the same length.  Open up the ends of the brads to keep them in place as you go. 

Now you are done!  I made one of these as a present for someone else too.  I made everything, but they had to add their own photos.  You can make this on a smaller scale, but the pictures will be quite small that way.

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Magnetic Scrabble Tree

Magnetic Scrabble Tree

Have you seen those printable trees that have Christmas word in different fonts to create the shape?  Of course I thought scrabble tiles could do the same thing.  The tricky part was finding words that fit into the number of spaces I needed.  I could have glued the tiles right onto the cookie sheet, but that is investing a lot of tiles for just one project.  So instead I used my trusty E6000 glue to attach magnets to the back of each tile.  I found this old cookie sheet at Goodwill and loved the antique feel it had.  When Christmas is over, I intend to spell out other messages with the tiles that fit the season or current Holiday.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scrabble Family Frames


“Another scrabble project?????”  Why yes, you should know by now I am a little obsessed.  However, this time the letter tiles made it easy to make a fun personalized gift.  My friend and my sister have Birthdays just a few days apart.  After some trial and error I came up with these pictures.  I did have to pull my friend Janelle to help me think through the details.  As one of them was for her, I decided to forgo surprise and let her pick some of the elements.  We’ve had fun working on them.  What started out as two presents has blossomed into four.  One for Janelle’s sister and one for me.  Some of the supplies needed will depend on your personal style.

Supply List

An 8x10 frame of your choosing.  Take a tape measure with you to the store.  Frames openings vary slightly depending on the style.  You will need all the space you can get for a larger family or one with several long names.  Scrabble letters to spell out all the names you need to use.  I used colored tiles for the family name, but if you just have the basic tiles, they will work just fine.

Graph Paper

E600 glue


Scrapbook paper cut 8” x 10”

A lint free cloth for cleaning


1. Remove the sample picture from your frame and clean the glass on both sides, let dry completely.

IMG_86892. Cut graph paper to 8” x 10” and place inside the frame where a picture would normally go.  This will give you some lines to help line up the tiles.  The smaller the grid, the more lines you have to help you.

3. Figure out the placement of your letters so that all the names connect to each other.  This is actually the longest part of the process.  The more names you are working with, the longer it may take.  Keep rearranging them until you get them all to fit.  My nephew Sam helped by picking out all the letters I needed for me. 

My friend Sandy posted a comment that totally saved me. 

You can use this website to help you with the pattern. Go to
and select criss-cross and when you fill in the names repeat the names as the clue so you can see the answers

I decided to make one more and misspelled one name that messed everything up.  I had glued down 2/3 of the tiles before I realized it.  I ran to the computer, typed the names into the site she suggested, ran back to my work table, pulled a piece of glass from an old frame and quickly removed the glued tiles and placed them glue side up on the table, put the new glass into my frame, cleaned it, calculated the middle and started placing the tiles in the new formation.  Whew!!  Did you get all that?  It worked perfectly!  Thank you so much Sandy!!!!

4. Take a picture of your placement.  I did this with the camera on my phone.  It is just to use as a reference while you are gluing.  You don’t want to waste all that work you just did!


5. Prepare your glue.  E6000 glue is great, but it can be a bit messy to work with.  Squeeze some onto a disposable surface (I used the back of the picture that came in my frame), and let the glue continue to drip into the puddle you have made.

IMG_8695 6. Scoop up some glue with a toothpick and apply it to the middle of your letter tile.  You only want to put the glue in the center.  This way you will be able to make slight adjustments with your tile on the glass to get the right placement without making a glue mess. 

IMG_8696 7. You will need to shift your letters a bit to make room for you to work.  I started with the name at the top left and worked my way from there.  Take your time.  This is where the picture you took comes in.  Sometimes you have to shift some letters more than others and you will appreciate having a guide to get them back to the right spot.  The E6000 glue does not dry immediately, so you can shift the letters slightly to get the right alignment.  If you do get glue to the side of a tile, and it is in a place that will show, you can carefully scrape it off with a clean toothpick before it dries. 

8. Let you project sit and dry overnight or at least for several hours. 

9. Turn your frame over, remove the back and graph paper.  Use your lint free cloth to clean the back of the glass to remove any specks.  Place your chosen scrapbook paper into the frame and close it up.  Now you are finished :)  One of the beauties of this project is that you can change out the background paper to suit your mood, decor or even holidays.  I chose 5 different papers I liked and stored them in the frame behind the one showing. 


Tip…I find my most of my scrabble tiles at thrift stores.  I even stop at them when we are traveling.  I also have family and friends who keep an eye out for me.  Yard sales are another great source.  The names in your family will determine how many games you need.  There are is one J and one K in each game.  Some scrapbook stores have a stash of scrabble tiles too.  I recently found an old game called numble that was a scrabble game with numbers.  I used them for the date.  I have seen scrabble like tiles with numbers at the craft store too.

Happy Crafting

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