what i’m making… crafty, crafty lady

we’ve been crafting away in this house.

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craft night thursday night, we made photo holders, headbands, and heart garland.

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i decided i wanted to make a coffee cozy or seven; i loosely followed this tutorial. ¬†(they aren’t all pictured ūüôā and by the way, that cute little owl cozy has definitely solved my tea making problems.

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we’ve got a february birthday in this fam; so party prep has begun. ¬†i’m making little stuffed monsters as party favors. ¬†(i’ll share party pics after the big day.)

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my sister and i went to splatz for a girls night out. ¬†i’ve never gone to one of these paint and drinks deals; it was tons of fun. ¬†of course little sis’ painting (not pictured) turned out way cooler than mine; i am not a very brave painter.

aside from crafting, there’s been lots of food made here! ¬†since my little sis is in town- she is making the good stuff- mint oreo truffles, cupcakes, birthday cake with fancy decorations. ¬†meanwhile the mommy here is whipping up stromboli and alfredo sauce (with cauliflower) and faijitas and pancakes and green smoothies.

and did i mention that my sis brought season one of downton abbey with her. ¬†so you know we’ve been watching while we’re making. ¬†my verdict is still out on this show… so many friends love it, and i just haven’t fallen yet. ¬†what’s the deal abbey lovers?

what we’re making this week

i haven’t told you about what i’m up to in the creativity department in a while; i figured it was about time.

actually first i want to share a recipe with you; a recipe i have been using a lot lately. ¬†ginger cookies, or molasses cookies whatever you want to call them… they may be the greatest cold weather cookie in existence! ¬†now i am a chocolate kinda girl, so normally i would choose chocolate chip over every other kind of cookie; but these cookies are something special. ¬†i’m talking melt in your mouth, make you feel all warm and cozy, eat six before you realize it, perfectly pretty and round, kind of cookie. ¬†a dear friend of mine shared this recipe with me a few years ago; i don’t know it’s original source (mrs. judy, if you are reading this and know where the recipe came from please share). ¬†i have no pictures of these delectable cookies to because, quite frankly, they get eaten too fast.

ginger molasses cookies

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 1/2 sticks butter softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 + molasses (i never measure this really and i think i use more like 1/3 a cup)

~ 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling the dough~

preheat your oven to 350; sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a small bowl. ¬†beat butter and sugar for about 2 minutes; add egg and molasses and beat some more. ¬†gradually add flour until combined. ¬†scoop teaspoon size clumps and roll them into a ball then roll in sugar. ¬†place on ungreased baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes. ¬†you don’t want these to get over done so keep on eye on them.

if its snowing outside you should definitely be making these cookies for an afternoon snack!

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there’s happy valentines creative mess going on in my house. ¬†getting denim cuffs and clothespins put together for my instashop’s valentines package sale has me in happy heart mode. ¬†notice the valentines decorations that are hanging in my house (top pics) are blue. ¬†all the red, pink, and purple is heading out the door and through the mail to friends and gracious customers. ¬†the boys complain just because it’s out on the table… “mom why’s all this pink stuff in our house…” ¬†ahhh boys.

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i’ve been playing around with making prints on pic monkey. ¬†it’s pretty easy to use, and it’s free. ¬†of course you can pay to get betterfeatures, but you don’t have to. ¬†i’m super excited about these little prints that i made for the red valentines packages.

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i usually only share what i’ve been making, but this week the hubs brought this home. ¬†i know right, it’s amazing! ¬†he is a builder so he’s always making things (like houses and barns), but this is incredible (well houses and barns are incredible too, but they aren’t sitting in my living room) . ¬†i’m so proud, and full of ideas for more furniture. ¬†hmmm….. a new kitchen table might be in my future.

the boys and i have also started on some simple woodworking project for school as part of my “let’s make something in the garage b/c it’s snowing outside campaign”. ¬†i will post pictures when we get a little further along in the process- who wants to look at piles of sanded wood?

that’s about it: cookies, valentines, and furniture- that’s what we’re making ’round here. ¬†and now i’m off to make some potato soup and homemade rolls for dinner.

christmas decorations

we are keeping it simple this year. ¬†usually we have lots of decorations, several trees, i honestly don’t know how many nativity sets, lights everywhere. ¬†i am happy to be a little more laid back this year. ¬†we were traveling, and our space is smaller, and all the boxes stacked high in the garage are tedious to sort through. ¬†but as i sit writing in front of our tree; it feels cozy and good; and God went overboard decorating the outside here in colorado so i’m happy. ¬†all that to say here’s a peak at our home decked out to remind us of the birth of the king of kings.

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¬†i wanted a real tree this year but because of our time crunch we settled for plastic; it’s still pretty. ¬†we don’t have a mantle so stockings are hung by the banister with care. ¬†i made some christmas bunting; and my littles helped me make a stable for my gorgeous willow tree nativity. ¬†we are celebrating the birth of Jesus and making our home cozy.

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after helping me make the stable my littlest wanted to build again today; so we made a “house for Jesus”. ¬†be still my heart, he’s a precious little creative bundle.

making a rental house a home: decorating with photos

i love to decorate with photos. ¬†i think it’s an important part of remembering who we are, and where we have been. ¬†the Lord told the Israelites over and over again to set up monuments to remember who they were and what He had done in their lives. ¬†i view pictures (and parties) in the same way. ¬†i want memories to be fresh in my mind. ¬†i don’t want to forget all that God has done for me; how He has grown our family. ¬†and so i decorate with photos. ¬†many of my photo displays are changeable. ¬†i can switch out the photos to change out the memories.

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here is one of my changeable photo displays. ¬†(the lighting is horrible in this picture because it is hanging in the upstairs hallway- no windows and one little hall light) ¬†i made this out of an old frame i’ve had in closets for years. ¬†it was so easy and i think it turned out so cute that i decided to give you a quick tutorial. ¬†yikes- i’m so bad with giving good directions, but let’s give it a try.

what you’ll need: ¬†an empty wooden frame, paint and painting supplies, sandpaper (i like to snag sanding blocks from the hubs sheetrock supplies), wire, you may need some small nails and hammer and pliers (but i didn’t)

step 1– sand your frame. ¬†you don’t need to go all crazy; just sand it lightly so it will receive the paint well.

step 2— pick your color. ¬†the hardest step of the whole short process. ¬†so many pretty colors to choose from!

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i didn’t have just the color yellow that i wanted so i mixed some to get the perfect mustardy hue. ¬†(i’m a fan of these little apple barrel paints because they are inexpensive. ) ¬†the littles wanted to help but they did not agree with my color choice, so they did a little painting on their own.

after you’ve chosen your paint (and mixed some colors if necessary) you are ready to paint.

step 3Рpaint your frame.  i used a small foam brush- super cheap and easy.

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coat number one; you can see how the dark is showing. so i knew i needed a second coat

step 4– lightly sand your frame

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while sanding i noticed the price tag on the back of this frame. glad i kept this thing for all these years. who paid $100 for it? not me!

step 5– if you want a more vibrant color paint your frame again.

step 6Рlightly sand again.  you could skip this step if you want a more polished look, but i like rustic so i lightly sanded my frame concentrating more on the corners and edges.

step 7– time to add your wire. ¬†measure your wire across your frame and cut. ¬†my frame already had metal tabs that would have been used to hold in a picture so i was able to loop my wire through them. ¬†i measured my wire about 3 inches wider than my from so i could loop through the tabs and twist it back together for security. ¬†if you don’t have those handy tabs on your frame you could use small nails or tacks to attach the wire.

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floral wire- i think this came from michael’s it is 26 gauge wire

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little hands like to help

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just slide wire through and twist

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you could put as many wires across as you want. i just went with the number of preexisting tabs.

step 8- hang your frame on the wall and gather some pictures and clothespins to make your project pretty.

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and there you have it.  an easy way to create a changeable photo display in your home (and only a few holes in the wall)

you could also go with something simple like the giant clothespin in the picture below.  i can easily change out that picture any time i wish.

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displaying photos is a great way to make your rental house feel like home.

(that’s my sister¬†in the photos-¬†puddle jumper and puddlejumpercreates¬†)

making a rental house a home: kitchen/living

until this summer it had been a long time since i lived in a rental home. ¬†decorating is different in a rental; you have to work with what you have. ¬†i’m used to having free reign in decorating my home. ¬†i want to change the paint, knock down a wall, add built in shelving… i could do it- well the hubs could do it.

here i’m working on a different scale. ¬†almost all the walls in our upstairs (where all the bedrooms are) are white. ¬†a nice neutral-i can work with it; but downstairs. ¬†well it could be worse. ¬†my kitchen/living room has a rust colored accent wall- not bad it almost fits in my normal range of color choice- a would choose a more red rusty than orange rusty but it’s doable. ¬†there are also some small accents of a sage green- again doable. ¬†but the main color in the room…. well it’s pink. ¬†i try to pretend it’s beige, to convince myself in different light it looks tan; but try as i may to think it better…. it’s pink.

i’m guessing when colors where chosen someone thought it was going to be beige, a neutral to compliment the accents well. ¬†but those little paint chips lie to you! ¬†they whisper sweet colors of khaki, tan, cappuccino to you in the hardware store. ¬†you dreamily buy gallons of paint; scheming paint chip in hand. ¬†you arrive home, don yourself in scrubby clothes, cover all surfaces with old sheets and plastic. ¬†you pull out your rollers and brushes ecstatic about all the wonderful ways you will decorate your fine room with your glorious new wall color. ¬†you open the can and your nose wrinkles- hmmm you look at your paint chip, your awe-inspiring paint chip. ¬†the liquid paint doesn’t quite match that little guy. ¬†it will look better on the walls, you tell yourself. ¬†so you paint your whole room; while your paint chip laughs in the corner. ¬†you step back and look…. is it cappuccino? ¬†it sure looks mauve. ¬†you probably just need a second coat; it will be darker, truer to the paint chip. ¬†and he roars in the corner- rubbing his tiny sly painty hands together. ¬†two hours and another gallon of paint later…. is it cappuccino or even beige? ¬†nope it’s pink; no denying it pink!

we’ve all experienced the horrible wiles of the mischevious paint chip! ¬†maybe you were hoping for a calm beachy kind of color and your room turned out to look like an easter egg. ¬†maybe you were going for a rich burgundy and you got barney purple. ¬†no one seems to be exempt from the deceptive little paint chip.

what just happened?  give it up for rabbit trails!!!!!

i am dealing with the pink! ¬†i don’t even notice it much anymore; although it is a great conversation piece when people come to our home. ¬†for decorating purposes i’m treating the wall color as the color it longs to be— beige.

whatever the colors may be in a rental home.  adding touches of who you are and what your family likes is key to making you feel more at home!

for me that included softening some window treatments; and filling walls with pictures of our family.

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i am in love with the blue fabric;  it tied all the colors in these rooms together well.  (ok so maybe not the pink so much)

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these couch pillows help bring the colors of the room together also; and i already had these so win-win! ¬†(the pink even looks beige in the pictures but it certainly isn’t!) as you can see behind the couch we have lots of these vertical blinds.

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not my favorite, but i couldn’t afford to replace them all so i opted to replace the sets in front of the sliding glass doors so we went from this to…….

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….this. much better; don’t you think. ¬†and as an added bonus our little dog can’t see out of these curtains to bark at the neighbors as they walk by.

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this print is part of a gallery wall with family photos. ¬†it’s a great free printable that you can find here. ¬†i printed it out at staples as an 18×24 engineer print for less than $5. ¬†i like the way the black and white pop against the rusty wall.

we are making improvements little by little. ¬†i’m not a- decorate all at once- kinda girl; i’m a- little here and a little there; and it might take me 6 months before i finish this gallery wall or sew that pillow cover. ¬†i slowly but surely make it feel like home for us and those who come to visit.

to be continued….