Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dying Bottle Brush Trees

This past weekend I found a tutorial on how to bleach and dye bottle brush trees.  It was really easy and really fun.  I started with a bag of Lemax trees from Michaels that ended up being on sale.  It was a 21 tree pack in 4 different sizes.  I threw them all in a bucket of 50/50 bleach & water solution andthey bleached out in the time it took me to fold a load of laundry.

I then proceeded to dye them using food coloring, easter egg tablets, Glimmermist, etc.  The only problem I encountered were those darn blue trees.  When the trees bleach out they are a bit on the yellow side and when I used blue dye they turned more of a greenish color.  After trying everything I could think of I spray painted those babies {hence the blue base}.  Now that they're dry I'm going to paint the bases silver.  The only thing left to decide now is whether or not I want to spray a bit of flocking back on the trees as it tends to come off in the bleaching process.  Flocking or glitter?  I don't know...

My husband has been asking his dad for his Christmas ornaments for ages now that they don't decorate anymore.  My father in law finally relented and we are the new owners of some of the most gorgeous vintage bulbs.  Look at these...

And the old original boxes were amazing.  It's nice to have some family ornaments that have been passed on.  About 10 years ago my dad got a tad bit overzealous when cleaning out his shed and garage and he accidentally threw out all of our families ornaments.  When he realized it he felt so bad.  Needless to say, we don't say "ornament" around my mom these days.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Zucchini Cakes Recipe

Today we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with my in-laws and tomorrow my family is getting together for Thanksgiving part II.  After a big lunch I wasn't sure what to do for dinner tonight.  I decided to make one of my sides for tomorrow for dinner instead.  This isn't a great picture, in fact, I had to tell my husband to wait one sec while I took a quick picture before he grabbed it and ran back to the game.  This one is a keeper for sure and even my little kids loved them!

Zucchini Cakes

3 c coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 tsp salt
1 c bread crumbs
1/4 c diced red bellpepper {I used a 1/2 c because we love it}
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 egg
1 green onions
1 tbsp mayonaise

Press grated zucchini with paper towels to dry.  Add all ingredients to the zucchini and press into 8 cakes.  Press each side of cake in breadcrumbs and fry in 2 tbsp of oil on medium until browned on both sides.

I served mine with a drizzle of ranch dressing from The Cheescake Factory who has, hands down, the best ranch ever {you can ask them for a pint and they'll add it to your bill}.

I'm still going to make a batch tomorrow for those that didn't enjoy them with us tonight.  I hope you all enjoyed this day of thanks with family and loved ones!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bitty Clipboard

You might have seen my bitty clipboard in the current issue of Somerset Life.  If you ever see one of these little versions at your flea market don't hesitate to pick it up.  It's about 5x9 or so and one of the reasons I love it is because it fits perfectly on the console between my seat and the passengers seat in my car.  Stamps, schedules, notes, you name it have a home on this clipboard.  I have a dumb phone so I don't keep the data that most people do in mine.  I like my old school ways!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teeny Tiny Christmas Album

I have this years mini Christmas album picture ready.  It's teeny tiny, just 2x3.  I have come to find that these little books are the most enjoyable to look through.  I like the fact that the entire book is dedicated to just one day.  It never ceases to amaze me how much you can squeeze into a book this size.  {I used mainly K&Company products for this album with the exception of the paper on the front which is by The Girls Paperie}.

Tonight I need to chat with my sister about our Thanksgiving menu.  I'm in charge of our breakfast and I usually get the ham.  I want to try a side this year that we've never had.  The choices are pretty much endless, it's just a matter of narrowing it down to something that most everyone will like.  I saw a recipe for brussel sprouts in brown butter but that will pretty much only fly for me and one of my boys so that's probably not going to happen!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Honeycomb Love

I thought I'd share these darling little honeycomb gift tags that I found at Target.  How sweet are these???  I couldn't help it...I bought all they had.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Easy Christmas Centerpiece

By now you've probably guessed that I've begun decorating for the holidays.  I've mentioned this before but I'm early to decorate and early to undecorate.  All signs of the holidays are back up on the garage shelves by December 26th {this is true}.

My favorite candle is the Capri candle at Anthropologie.  It's the one that is usually in the blue glass container {and the one that you tend to notice the most when walking around in the store}.  Last year it came in a mercury glass looking container and I asked for a few of them for Christmas.  Instead of leaving an open flame going around children at various Christmas get togethers I decided to drop it down in a huge glass jar that I picked up at Homegoods.  Before placing it inside I filled 1/3 of the jar with fake snow.  I pulled out my best Christmas pick {really a few of them that I wired together} and I placed it inside as well, covering the stem.

Simple, easy and pretty! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Am I Doing Wrong?

I'd like to use my blog a friend please on decorating my mantle for Christmas.  I have always stuggled to create a nice mantle, holiday or otherwise.  I arrange and rearrange and I just can't seem to get it right.  What am I doing wrong?  Maybe a big silver charger or platter behind the compote of ornaments?  Some height?  Sorry for the bad picture, I had to take it from the end of my dining room table so I couldn't help but get part of my chandelier in the photo.

I love all of the items on the mantle so I don't know what to take out...

And some things behind, some things in front of the garland...how do you feel about that?  Please offer up your best suggestions, nothing will hurt my feelings!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flea Market Bag Progress

I thought I'd share with you the progress I've made on my new {old} flea market bag.  I like where I was going with the idea but I'm not crazy about the final product.  I had the bib from an old pair of  overalls that my daughter wore when she was about 18 months.  It was almost a perfect fit when turned upside down.  I added a few bus tokens where the buttons used to be and added a brooch and some ribbon.  The only problem is that it looks like the bag is wearing a weird shaped pair of panties.  You see it now don't you?  I'm not feelin it...I'm going to redo my redo.  I just need to give my fingers a break, it was rough pushing a needle through that thick fabric.  Would you believe I couldn't find a thimble anywhere???

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Do you have a Lush store by you?  About 7 years ago my husband and I were on a cruise in Canada and I  popped into a store called Lush, which I'd never heard of.  I purchased quite a lot of soap because we didn't have a Lush in the states at that time.  About 4 years ago a nearby mall opened one and I was over the moon!  If you don't have a store nearby I believe you can buy their soap online.  My favorites are The Godmother and Sexy Peel.  The Godmother smells kind of bubble gummish but it's an even richer scent, if that makes sense.  And Sexy Peel is the strongest lemony scent ever.  I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite beauty items with you before I tear off the adorable packaging. 

If you're lucky enough to have a store local to you for sure try out their Brazen Honey mask.  They have to be kept refrigerated so it's a super cool treat for your face and an excellent reason to lay down for a few minutes and relax!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Stocking Alternative

Recently I made these Christmas cones for K&Company using a couple of their Christmas lines.  I've had these paper mache cones for ages and I was really excited to pair them with the vintagey holiday paper.  My favorite is the first one pictured.  I stuffed a couple of them with patterned tissue paper and a couple of them with shredded paper.  You can't tell by the photos but I attached ribbon for hanging.

Wouldn't it be fun to meet a friend for lunch or a day of shopping with one of these filled with a few small treats?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Flea Market Bag Before Pictures

There was one other item that I bought at Sunday's flea market that I didn't show you.  I found this great over the shoulder bag that was ripe for jazzing up.  This is for sure, the before picture.  There are times when I flea market and I don't want to yank around my rolly cart with a bum wheel.  More often than not I leave with just a few things that could be put in a bag like this.

I love the long straps so that you can wear it over one shoulder across your body.

I don't think this picture really shows how many great pockets it has inside.  I believe that it's some kind of military bag because it's stamped inside with ink and they had lots of them in various conditions from well used to almost new.  This is a different color than I ever choose to work with so we shall see what happens!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Give-a-way Winner & Today's Flea Market Finds

Before my flea market review I'd like to congratulate the winner of the Martha Stewart Craft Station, a one Miss Susan Lacis!!  Thank you to everyone who left a comment and stopped by to put their name in the drawing. 

It wasn't looking good for today's flea market right up until I went to bed last night but I remained hopeful.  Not only did it turn out to be beautiful and sunshiney, I also got to go with my sister and her sister and mother in law and niece.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular today with the exception of small metal tins {more on that later}.  I found the trophy above to hold my paint brushes.  I think I will pass on the scary baby head that holds them now.  My kids will completely appreciate that decision since it freaks them out.

Now this...in all the time I've been flea marketing I have never seen one of these egg holders.  I thought it was just darling however it was WAY overpriced.  I ended up buying it anyway.  I won't tell you how much or you'll consider me super frivolous. 

You'll be seeing this again used for the purpose I bought it for.  Think shot glasses dropped into those holes with various buttons, small bits, etc....

This brings us to miscellaneous.  It's completely my intention at this moment in time to send out those vintage Christmas cards.  The tins I mentioned earlier are for the January class at my studio.  In 2012 I'm going to be centering 1/2 my classes around decorative storage for organization.  The January class is called Precious Metals.  I'll post more on that in the upcoming months.

I really loved this compote.  And the few ornaments that I picked up today look so pretty sitting inside of it that I suppose I've begun decorating for the holidays as of today.

So if you think I was kidding about all the posts have some faith.  Girls I've got 4 posts in the hopper already!!!!!  GO ME!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

42 Posts In 58 Days + A Give-a-way!

I just happened to notice last night that I posted 96 times in 2010 and only 55 times in 2011.  Can that be right?  I can tell you with all certainty that I had WAY more to share than I actually posted and seeing as though I'm extremely self-competitive I simply cannot have that.  I have decided to post 42 times in the next 58 days to BEAT last year by 1 post and I'm totally jazzed about it!

I'm in the process of giving this blog a facelift, the temporary header is just to see if I like the style.  So far I do but we'll see how the final draft comes out later this month.

So without further ado let me tell you about the Martha Craft Station above.  EK Success sent this to me to give away on my blog.  It's priced at over $120 so this is a pretty sweet give-a-way.  It is several tools in one compact station.  Please leave a comment on this post and I will pick a winner on Saturday morning.  Good luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Moving Right Along...

So with Halloween behind me by mere hours I've begun working on Christmas projects.  Tonight I made the stocking for 1 of 2 classes we'll be doing on Saturday.  Once I get started with a needle and thread it's hard for me to put it down.   I did however resist my impulse to stitch over every square inch of the fabric as is my norm...

This is a good size stocking too, you could really load it up with a bunch of small gifts which is exactly what I'm going to do since Gracelyn said that she wanted it to be hers. 

I love this star with the mish mash of buttons.  It was really easy, I had a glittered star that I put down and I put a dot at each point and then sewed a button over each dot.  Once I did that I took embroidery floss and wrapped it in a star pattern twice.  If I wasn't so tired I wouldn't have thought of it!  Stitching into the night has it's advantages.