Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Fresh Christmas Fireplace

I'm back!
Just like I promised with the fresh cedar mantel.
It's simple and stunning.

I gave you a little peek in last week's post about my paper rose trees.
In case you missed them...go check 'em out!

I'm not doing a whole house tour...
like I said during last year's tour...most of my decor stays the same.

The main thing that changes is the mantel...
and apparently now the little dresser. :)

Home Depot had some fresh cedar garland in their ad for Black Friday.
Since I'm not nearly crazy enough to do the whole
Black Friday thing, and besides, I have to work...
we were out shopping Friday evening.

Well, of course, by the time we got there, the garland in the ad was gone.
The sales clerk was awesome enough to give us this other garland for the same sale price.
She totally rocks!

I love the drapey look of it...and so carefree.
Getting it to hang on my not real mantel was anything but!

I paired it with different size red and white poinsettias,
some fabulous angel wings, a couple of my handmade stockings,
along with a few I got from Decor Steals.

I love these glitter metal stars I picked up on clearance this summer.

I've spritzed it and spritzed it and it's still completely dry.
Welcome to Colorado.
It still looks beautiful and it might just be my absolute favorite thing this year.

I hope your Christmas season finds you enjoying family and
friends and remembering the reason for the season.

We are heading to OKC to see Sara perform in the
university's Christmas shows and can NOT wait!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Paper Rose Christmas Trees

It's beginning to look a lot like...

And I am so excited!
Because I love Christmas!
And I love love love these paper rose trees I made...
that I'm going to share with you!

See them there...on the left?
And below?

Tons of paper roses all happy together.
Wanna make one, too?  Or two, too?
Or tutus.
But that would be a different post.

If you've never made a paper rose before...
never fear...I am here to help!

Cut a circle out of paper.
Very complicated, I know.

I used an image I found online somewhere...
and for the life of me I can't figure out where I got it.
Possibly the Graphics Fairy, but I can't find it anymore.
It's old sheet music...I printed it double sided on a draft setting so it was light.

Once you have your circle,
begin cutting a spiral to the center...
not too thick or too thin...
and make sure you leave a small "base" in the center.

Now, ignore my dry cuticles and start rolling the paper
rather tightly from the outside edge all the way to the center.
It will seem tight at first, but will end up looser at the end.

See? Once you let it go, it unravels slightly.

Now is when the center base is important...
using a good tacky glue...add a good blob to your base and
press the scrolls into the glue and let them dry.

I painstakingly glued them to some paper mache cone
trees that I painted with a creamy base color.
These trees are from Hobby Lobby and have a base that is
smaller than the tree and I like that it makes it sit above the surface.

You can adjust the size of your roses by making your
original paper circles smaller or larger.
I used about 3 different sizes on my trees.

From one sheet of regular paper, fold it to get either 4 or 6 circles...
if you do 4 even squares for your 4 circles, that leaves a
section that allows you a couple smaller circles...
that work great at the top of your tree.

I knew all along that I wanted to display them on
the little painted dresser in the living room.
I had fun looking for some pretty things to get the look I wanted.

I found the gorgeous velvet ribbon at TJMaxx and had
intended to use it on my little trees in the loft, but it just
seemed to work so well to tie together the little birdie and
the red mercury glass candlestick.

I think I'm going to leave it just like that!

Or I was...
until I threw in a few clippings from the fresh
cedar I got for the fireplace mantel.
Which I've decided to share separately,
so I didn't make this post extremely long.


This process was rather time consuming.
By rather, I mean very.
I cut, rolled, and glued roses in my spare time and while watching TV.
Then I glued the roses to the trees also while watching TV.

It takes longer than you'd think because you have to wait
for one row to dry before adding the next so they
don't shift when you get them close to each other.

I don't know exactly how long it took...but a good chunk of time.
As for me, I think it was totally worth it.
I love the way they look, they are perfect with my traditional
colors for red and white plus green,
and I really only had to purchase the tree bases.

So, what do you think?
Would you love to sit for hours and play with paper and glue?

December is always crazy busy for us...
but I will make sure you get to see my whole mantel...
and I've got a yummy treat to share if I don't run out of time!
Make sure you come back and see me soon!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful is an Attitude...

I had downloaded the above Facebook timeline cover
When I added it to my timeline, my mom posted this comment:

Thankful is an attitude we choose which has the power
to keep us from growing bitter or angry with life.
It's hard to stay grumpy when you
take time to count your blessings.
In "before amen" Max Lucado says, "To say thanks
is to cross from have-not to have-much,
from the excluded to the recruited. Thanks proclaims,
'I'm not disadvantaged, disabled, victimized,
scandalized, forgotten, or ignored. I am blessed.'
Gratitude is a dialysis of sorts.
It flushes the self-pity out of our systems."

Let us all remember to be THANKFUL.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bake Yourself Silly Gift Basket DIY

Dashing through the dough,
with a broken spatula...
O'er the pies we go,
noshing all the way...

And so it has begun...
the season of eating baking, right?

Today I have a great gift idea for you,
and it's pretty simple to put together.
Perfect for the bakers in your life.
The Bake Yourself Silly gift basket.

Start with a nice glass batter bowl.
This one is from Anchor Hocking and I
picked it up at Wally World for about $8.
I like the shape of it, it has a lid and can be used in the oven.

Find a cute kitchen towel or two, HomeGoods is your friend.
I included some easy Betty Crocker mix packets...
peanut butter cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip, and some blueberry muffins.

I also made up a  DIY gift sack with the dry
ingredients from my favorite pumpkin bread.
Don't forget to add a can of pumpkin.

Add a stack of muffin was close to Halloween
when I made these, that explains the candy corn.
Throw in some hand stamped bamboo spoons for little extra personalization.

Put a little tissue filler in the bottom of your bowl, 
arrange all items for the best fit and presentation.
Find a fabulous gift basket bag wrap thingamabob big enough
to fit all your goodies, tie it with a cute tag and some twine...

And you're ready to give an awesome
afternoon of baking to someone you love.

You can download and print the tags here.

You can customize this for any occasion...
just think...sprinkles, cupcake decorating tools,
cookies cutters...make it your own.

I recently made these two fun baskets as door prizes
for a chili cookoff my mom and I organized.
They were a big hit.

I've been trying to get this post up for some time.
It's just been crazy around here.
We've had some wild family stuff going on since summer
and I, for one, am ready for it to calm down.
Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?

I've got several fun holiday themed projects waiting to be shared.
And, by George, I am going to do my best to get them out to you!
I hope all you lovelies have a wonderful
week and a blessed Thanksgiving!

Re-gifting here:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cookie Dough Jack-O-Lantern Truffles

Halloween is a perfect time to send a fun
care package to your favorite college student!

You should definitely include some of these yummy cookie dough jack-o-lanterns.
If you can keep from eating them yourself.

Cookie dough is one of Sara's favorite things.
I thought it would be awesome to send some
homemade treats and scare up a little yum.

I looked for some ideas online, but most called
for using a can of sweetened condensed milk.
I found this odd...since it's not a normal ingredient in chocolate chip cookies.
At least not the ones I make.

So I just messed around with my favorite recipe until I got it just the way I wanted.
I used a small scoop, just like when I bake real cookies...
so they'd be a uniform size.
Roll them into balls, place on parchment or freezer
paper on a cookie sheet, and freeze until firm.

I dipped them in orange colored vanilla candy melts from Wilton and let them set.
BTW, I think I am the worst candy dipper in the universe.
My truffles, cake balls, whatever, are never smooth and pretty.
Guess it's a good thing they taste good!

Using a toothpick and some melted chocolate,
add the eyes and nose while they're sitting on your cookie sheet.
You can do the mouth now, too, if you want.
It was easier to pick them up to add the mouth, but doing the whole
face while holding it made the candy coating melt in my hot little hands.

Yes, I am aware their smiles are lopsided.
Snarky little things.


I'll show them...just bite their face off!

I packaged them up in cellophane bags with cute tags.
But those darn jack-o-lanterns would not stack nicely.

I said, if you guys don't start cooperating, heads are gonna roll.


But they just sat there and stared at me with
those happy little smirks on their faces.


But you can't send a care package with just one thing!
Among other things there was a Practical Magic DVD and
I included some of these cute Halloween pedi gift bags...
inspired by Being Bianca.
To have and to share...roommate, littles, friends
Spread the love around.

Cookie Dough Truffles
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Whisk flour and salt together and then add to creamed mixture until blended.  Add chocolate chips and mix well.
Form into balls and freeze until ready to coat using chocolate or candy melts.

Have a sweet week!

Sharing the love here:

A Simple Pantry
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Sincerely Paula
What's Cooking Love

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Touch of Fall

Howdy, Peeps!
I'm just sharing a little of my fall decor today...
in hopes that maybe summer will finally get tired of hanging around...
and it will cool down some.

A lot of my decorations are the same...
so you may have seen them on last year's tour.
Sometimes I move things around and occasionally add new items.

The little mouse hanging on the side of the wire
cloche is new, but not really a fall accessory.
Just a bit of whimsy.

Oops, it appears my "slipcover" is riding up.
Pardon me!

I added a little printable banner to the chunky shelf.

Other things got moved around...and now some
orange candles glow here on a side table.

I love putting little pumpkins in this big lantern.
I rarely light the candles that are normally in it anyway.

One major difference this year...I got the dresser painted last winter!
I am loving it...and it looks so cozy and warm over there.

I know some people like to decorate for fall with neutrals and white pumpkins...

...let them, I say...I will keep the things I love about fall...
the warm, rich colors that evoke thoughts of falling leaves and
crunching through cornfields on a cool autumn night bundled up for a hayride!

Ooooh...and hot apple cider and pumpkin bread...and caramel apples...

Aaaahhhh...I feel refreshed already.
Take that, summer!

I found this cute pom pom garland on clearance this past weekend.
So fun! I knew I had to add it to the mix.

Some time this past year, I spray painted the shutters...
they were bright white and chippy...but too white.
Now they are more subdued...and you can still see
the chippy-ness beneath the thin coat of paint.

Warm, rich, cozy...
I think it's time for some of that cider.

I hope you've enjoyed this little jaunt into fall.

If you pretend not to notice the dust on my black tables...
I'll pretend to feel really bad about its existence.

I have a Halloween-ish treat coming up next,
so don't forget to check back with me soon!
Have a great weekend.

Doing my best tour guide impressions here:

Kitchen Table Art
Upcycled Treasures
Stone Gable
Sand and Sisal
A Stroll Thru Life
Love Grows Wild
Horrific Knits
Sowdering About
Just a Girl and Her Blog
Ivy and Elephants
Crafty Allie
A Simple Pantry
The Blissful Bee
Carissa Miss
From My Front Porch to Yours
Embracing Change
The Newlywed Pilgrimage
Saving 4 Six
Lamberts Lately
Live Laugh Rowe
Crafts a la Mode
AKA Design
Craft Dictator
Liz Marie Blog
Lolly Jane