Dec 30, 2011

2011 in Review (Lots of pics)

It's that time of year when everyone is posting their best projects of the year, or least some of their favorites.  I wasn't gonna do this but after thinking about it a little more, I've decided, why the heck not?

So bear with me here while I load up this poor blog with some of MY favorites of the year. Mind you, these may be craft projects and they may be paper/scrapbooking projects too. I always say that I'm an ADD crafter and do whatever strikes my fancy at the moment or whatever may inspire me.

Ready? Here we go!

This first one was a project that my hubby and I worked on in January when he lost his job. This is a little nook area in our kitchen. We wanted to add a lighted cabinet space under the counter to display the Phaltzgraf  Brown Dripware dishes that was my hubby's mom's. She passed away 2 days after the devastating 9/11.

We already had the perfect glass doors for this project. They were some fireplace doors that were left in the house when we bought it. We're assuming they came from the one fireplace in the family room that now has a fireplace insert installed. We were tickled that they didn't get rid of the doors because they were PERFECT for this idea we had! What do you think? Yes?

We also bought the stone tile at our local Habitat for Humanity store and they had just enough tiles to make this project to my liking. And when I say just enough, that's exactly what I mean. There was NO room for error in cutting here, not even an extra ONE. Whew!
I had to hold the shop-vac while the hubby wet cut the bricks because it still blew a lot of dust. I also had to keep the dry towels ready when the others got too soaked. It was a mess, but so worth it in the end! People can't believe that it wasn't already there. They tell us that it looks like it was there all along. I think that's when you know you've done good. ;^)

This is the Father's Day card I made for my dad. It was incredibly simple, but had a lot impact, at least I thought so. hee hee! It was made with Graphics 45 paper. That is such awesome paper!
masculine birthday card

This next project is just the cover of a mini album I made for my step-nephew's high school graduation. If you want to see the full photo posting of this, check it out {here}.
guy mini album

This next picture is the display board I made for my own son's graduation party. It's really not that spectacular to look at, since it's just a collage of pictures of him through the years. The part I like the best about it is the poem in the middle and the fact that it was printed using my Cricut machine with the markers that fit in it. Pretty cool, huh?
boy graduation poem die cutting machine cricut silhouette

This is a little mirror I altered from a Dollar Tree mirror. Everything was cut using my Cricut and cartridges. I thought it turned out really cute and my daughter was begging me to let her have it. I convinced her that she didn't need it nor did she have room for it in her room, so got over it. I sold this in my craft show.
girly mirror

This is kind of a dual project since my hubby finished the mantel he started a year ago and I made the stenciled huge chalkboard sitting on it. I made my own chalkboard paint in a dark brown with an almond trim. It's a huge piece and takes the right space for one this size! It hasn't sold, but had many admirers. (update: it's sold)
chalkboard design

This is a little primitive picture I made from a garage sale frame. It had one of those cheapo gold frames stuck in the opening of it that didn't fit someone was trying to make it work and it didn't.  Hmmm?? It's been posted the most times of any of my other projects on Pinterest, at the time of this post. 

Christmas, believe, Holiday, holiday burlap

This is the sign I made to hang on our tractor when we had it in the local Blueberry Festival Labor Day Parade. Simple, but cute, and it was the first larger project I had done with my Cricut and vinyl.
IH tractor

This table was my first furniture redo and I LOVED how it turned out! I was so tempted to keep it for myself and even the hubby was kinda wanting to keep it too. But when you're trying to raise money for a Disney Trip in the fall, greed outweighs wants and it sold in the first hour of my first craft show. 
painted table with graphics

Here is pic of the post mark image I put on the top. This is just so cool, but not my original idea, in case you haven't seen this all over blogland.

french post mark table top

This is a paper mache star box I had bought at a garage sale years ago and finally altered with red ticking fabric and a hand stitched label on the top.
believe paper mache box

This is a 3 compartment box I got at the local thrift store and it was already pretty, with painted flowers and butterflies with a little quote painted on it, but it was rough looking and needing a new life. This is what I did with it.
star decor

Here is one of 6 witches hats I made for Halloween. I was so happy that they turned out, considering that I made my own pattern and dyed the fabrics myself by hand & it still worked out! LOL!
witches hat

These are just a couple of faux grain sack (drop cloth) pillows I made this year. These are so pretty and loved the amazing graphics that you can find over at The Graphics Fairy blog
french graphic pillows

Here is the backside of the pillow above that's on the right side. I just love the long ruffle and that these pillows are reversible with the image on one side and the decorative flap on the back with either the button edge or the ruffle.
ruffle grain sack pillow

I think if I could have had a dozen of these next wooden boxes with the canning jars and candles, I could have sold every one of them!
vintage box
It was a box that I picked up at the thrift store. I wish I would have taken a Before photo. It was originally painted a buttery ivory color with some sponge stamped hearts and Christmas trees on it. I started to sand the paint off and was liking the look. Then I did a coat of gel stain in Walnut that I rubbed on and then off and it looked perfectly aged. I added a graphic, again from the Graphics Fairy. Again, it was one of those projects that I was tempted to keep for myself, but it sold at my first craft show.

This fish sign was partly my hubby's inspiration. He has gotten so tired of seeing the infamous "Live Laugh Love" quote everywhere. He thought it would be funny to a guy if they had a sign with a play on that quote.
fishing lure sign

This next sign I made is one that started by me making it into a total mess! Oh my! It didn't end up going in the direction that was originally intended for it. Oh no it di-n't.
I painted it and the paint was crackling on me. I thought, Cool!, but then it all started to flake off in big sections - everywhere, that didn't look right. So, I sanded it off, which ruined the finish of the cheap paper finish of the board. It sat in my laundry room for weeks waiting for me to come up with something new, and hopefully good. One day, and I don't even know what sparked it in my head, but I thought that I could give it the look of old wood by covering it with scrapbooking paper that looks like that! Eureka! The rest just fell into place from there, which just happened to be at 10:30 in the evening, the night before the craft show. I like this so much, I AM going to make myself one too.

This triangle treat box banner is another one of those last minute inspirations that turned to success.
I had seen there was a call for treat boxes for the Cricut Magazine Holiday issue and on the last day of the submission deadline, I'm making these, taking photos and submitting at 11:30 p.m. And much to my surprise, they were accepted! AND, they were the feature project for the Treat Box section of the magazine!! To me, that's the next best thing to being on the cover! **UPDATE: Check out the magazine feature HERE!**

These next items are some drink glasses I made for my daughter's Tinkerbell themed 8th birthday party.
lids on drink jars
This was another fiasco (are you seeing a pattern here on how I craft?) that ended up working out better than I hoped. After much searching & haggling for the best deal, I bought some cute daisy cut lids for the jars, only to have them arrive and discover that they do not fit the jars! What? Are you serious? I'm not sending them back, but will hopefully find a use for those somewhere down the road. I should have just saved myself the money and hassle and just cut the design out with my Cricut, like I ended up doing at the last minute (again, another crafting pattern).

This is a different take on the faux grain sack button pillow I showed you earlier, but this is for Christmas. I just love these things!
santa's coat pillow

Here is a stocking I made from a sweater I found at the thrift store. I like the colors and the fact that it could be for a guy or a gal, depending on their taste.
christmas stocking from sweater

This is an idea I borrowed from another blogger that I just fell in love with! I can't find her name on her blog, but the blog is called The Old Block House & here is her post on this project.
burlap memo board
I unscrewed the legs from the table top ironing board, covered it with cork, then added the awesome looking potato sack I found at the local farmer's market. Trimmed it in rope cording and made my own tacks with vintage buttons. Another project I'm tempted to keep, but will try to sell.

I hope you stuck around long enough to look at everything. Ya know, trying to pick your favorite project in a year is like trying to decide who is your favorite child.

So what was your favorite projects for the year?

Here are some places I'm linking up at:

God Bless and it's my wish for you to have a Wonderful 2012!!

Dec 27, 2011


Is that a sigh of relief I can hear across blogland? I know I had one myself the day after Christmas! I look forward to that day, but I also look forward to it being over with as well. The weekend went off without a hitch, the hubby didn't get any service calls to dampen the spirit of the occasion and he got Monday off (without pay tho). We went to Gordman's to do a little shopping, since I have never been there before. It's been there for about a year or two and I never made it in there. Ummm, it probably wasn't a good thing for me to go there either. Can I just say...cute stuff!! I found some really awesome Christmas decorations at half off, which they were reasonably priced to begin with! They will be great for some of my crafts and I will probably kick myself for not buying up every piece of the ones that I got. yup. I can already see it now.

I got some really nice stuff for Christmas and since my hubby has been working so much, he ended up having to make out his own "certificates" to me. Going to Gordman's was for redeeming one of the certificates to pick out a pair of pretty dress heals. He also made me out a certificate for Hobby Lobby, but I won't be cashing that one in yet. Another certificate is for a home date night with him doing the cooking. Very nice!

My son got us some gift cards for one of our favorite restaurants, Ruby Tuesdays. We love that place! My hubby also got me a 16G flashdrive. I need to learn about it some more, but I wanted one so I could remove all the pictures from my desktop unit and hopefully speed that poor thing up more while still be able to get the pictures printed off with all the editing I've done to them. Besides that, it's just a good idea to have them stored externally in case something happens to my computer.

The next thing will be trying to get everything a little more organized, like I try to do every year and yet seem to fall short of that ultimate goal, but some progress is better than none at all, I suppose.

I guess I need to think about how I want to do my mantel after I take all the Christmas decor off. It's so fun to finally have one to decorate now, but haven't really put any thought into decorating one before. Any suggestions? This is what it currently looks like, just so you have an idea of what I'm working with.
I will also need to start cleaning off the treadmill again so that I can start to try to lose some of the weight I put back on from my attempt earlier this year. Or, at least get the tone back that I accomplished then. Why does it take so long to lose the weight and gain the muscle, but so quick to gain the weight back and lose the muscle? That scenario is just so backwards & wrong!

God Bless and have a great day!

Dec 24, 2011


I just want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and hope all your memories are happy and stay with you forever!

God Bless and have a wonderful Holiday!

Dec 22, 2011

Christmas Mantel & Tree

I have been trying for what seems like forever to get a picture posted on here of how I did my mantel this year. It's really pretty simple and nothing spectacular compared to blogland, but these are things I had and wanted to use in a different way. The reindeer is part of a pair I picked up at Hobby Lobby on clearance a couple of years ago. I typically have them standing outside my front door. I guess the other one will have to be lonely this year. LOL! I do love the look of a wreath hanging in the middle of shutters, like I've seen on Pinterest and blog land, but I guess I had seen so many of those & and knew I could not do anything better that I just wanted something a little different with the reindeer.

Yes, there's a fire a blazin' in the fireplace insert because we have it going all winter long to help with the gas bill. Because of the heat from the fire, I have to be careful what goes on the mantel in the winter. Some of the red berries in the garland get hot and split open showing the white foam. I pick them off, but eventually they'll be all gone from that practice. LOL! The floral spray at the top of the shutter is from a garage sale. The little tree luminary I just picked up at the local thrift store for some pocket change.

This is actually my first year being able to decorate a mantel because there wasn't one in the living room before.  There used to be a free standing wood stove sitting in front of the fireplace when we bought our house, but we finally had it removed and put a fireplace insert into the actual fireplace. Then my hubby started to put up a mantel when he was laid off the one time. He got called back to work before it was finished, but was able to finish it when he lost his job last Christmas (thankfully he's working again). And now I have a pretty mantel to decorate! I have a mantel in the family room too, but that is considered the hubby's room with it's authentic barn beam mantel that I could make look all cool, but he doesn't want me to touch it, so I don't.

 Here is our tree this year. It's not as pretty as years past, because I slacked on the motivation to put all the pretty icicle ornaments on, just a few made it. As you can see, there is no snow outside in northern Indiana right now. I'm not a fan of the stuff, but as I've maybe mentioned before, I do need it to get me in the Christmas spirit. We've had some, and that helped, but it hasn't lasted.

Here is a picture of the tree looking through some special 3D snowflake glasses that Brooke got in the mail from her aunt. You might get a better image if you click on the picture. Brooke thought these were so cool! VERY fun!!

I made some Keiflies yesterday and they were just delicious!! I LOVE those things! It's my step-mom's recipe that was her mother's, I believe. My back was hurting after rolling out 70 Kiflies and 2 batches of sugar cookies with Brooke. She enjoys decorating with the colored sugars, but I think I end up throwing away half of the sugar because she seems to get more on the cookie sheet than on the cookie.  :^/

Well, I'm done here today. I have a ton of presents to still wrap and I will be picking up my sister later this afternoon.

So everyone have a Wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or any other celebration that I may have missed!!

God Bless!!

I'm linking up to these blogs:


Dec 20, 2011

So Close!

We are in the final stretch, aren't we? I'm still working on finishing up some last minute shopping and baking. I haven't even began to wrap anything. My daughter is out of school for the next 2 weeks and my son is home from college for the next month. I might be a little more sparse on here than usual because of this to spend much valuable and needed time with my family.

I have a rewarding day planned for Wed with a friend of mine. She has a much younger cousin that has been bullied (TERRIBLY) at school because she's overweight and her family doesn't have much money, so she has no clothes that look nice. I was horrified when I heard how she was being bullied at school and wanted to make her feel better about herself.  So in talking with my friend, we decided to do some shopping for her. I bought her a really cute outfit and my friend picked up some cute boots and lots of cute accessories to go with the outfit and my friend's dad (actually the girl's uncle) pitched in enough funds for another outfit that can be mixed and matched with mine!  Then, after she opens her gifts, she's going to a local beauty shop for a cute hair cut and a new do at no charge! I hope this is the best Christmas she's ever had. This is a girl that will truly appreciate everything that she gets too. She's just 15 or 16, but she has innocent qualities to her that makes her truly special! She doesn't deserve to be treated the way she has at school, and if I EVER find out who these other kids are that have been doing those things to her, I pray they're not from families I know, or I will have a whole new attitude towards them from now on.

Now onto something different if you've come here to check out some crafty stuff.

I got this idea from another blogger, but I'm too lazy today to go searching for where it came from. My apologies if it was you. This is a small ironing board that I made into a pegboard and covered it with this cool looking burlap potato sack I found this past summer at the local Farmer's Market. It wasn't for sale, but I asked if I could buy it and they said Sure! It even kinda looks Christmasy with the colors, don't it? I made the tacks using vintage buttons. It didn't sell at my show, but it was in the running a couple of times with a few of the shoppers, but was outweighed by other items I had. LOL!

This is a decorated shutter I sold at my last show. It's kinda Christmasy too with the cute rustic Angel and that pretty burlap bow. I distressed the shutter to look older, because it was pretty freshly painted white. If you click on the image, you might be able to see the distressing better.

Here is the cute little Snowman Soup packets I made up for my daughter's classmates last week. I got the idea from over at Tracy's Treasures when she made up some. I had already purchased the cute little ziploc goody bags from the Dollar Tree a while back, but hadn't quite figured out what to put in them that was inexpensive besides a bunch of candy and cheap trinkets. Thanks Tracy for a darling idea! The cocoa packets fit perfectly inside these bags like they were made for it! Added the little candy cane and only one Hershey's Kiss.

I punched the borders of the cardstock with one of my Martha Stewart punches after I printed the Merry Christmas image and the poem on it.

Here is the poem that is printed on the backside. This was about the only way I could think of to make this whole thing work. I did have to use my adhesive runner between the bag and the inside of the cardstock so that the whole thing wouldn't flop around. Brooke said it was a hit!

Then, this is a snowgirl wrapped candy bar that I made up for one of my daughter's friends who had a birthday party last weekend. I like to include some kind of huge candy bar with their gift just to make it a little extra special. I think these things are the cutest things! I used a huge KitKat bar for this one. I forgot to edit the image, so it's not cropped or reduced in size, so if you click on it, it will probably be HUGE! I don't remember where I got the snowperson image to print, but if you look on Pinterest, there are tons of images that have a site to get it from.

This will most likely be my last post this week, unless I'm feeling pretty froggy! LOL!! So, just in case . . .

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, and Happy Holidays if you're celebrating another holiday instead!

God Bless and have a great day!

I'm also linking up to these parties: While He Was Napping

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