Sunday, April 29, 2012

DIY Wedding Gifts #1: Thumbprint Guest Tree

One of my friends is getting married next month.  She and her fiance are Pinterest fans and have used some of the ideas there for their wedding plans.  I pinned a really cool thing awhile ago that the bride also liked:  a thumbprint wedding guest tree.
Have you see these?  There are several varieties available (search Pinterest and Etsy).  The idea is simple: guests leave a fingerprint instead of signing a traditional guestbook.  vintage_dress_wedding_13They are not all trees…balloons seem to be a popular choice and the peacock is pretty cool.200-bike-guestbook-3balloonsprintpeacockMy friend asked me to give the tree a shot, so out came my watercolors. I haven’t painted in a long time…it was fun!DSCN7747I cut the paper so that the painting would fit in a 16 X 20 frame.DSCN7748I decided to add a city skyline….we love our San Antonio!DSCN7750And, a big tree!


DSCN7759The sky went in next with a washed-out skyline. Then, the field and the tree itself.
DSCN7760The bride and groom’s initials “carved” into the tree!DSCN7762I had to add a few bluebonnets!DSCN7770A few finishing touches and the wedding info…and it’s done!
What do you think?  With “leaves”, I think it’ll be a neat keepsake.  I hope they like it.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DIY Washer Jewelry

I’m sure that most of you have seen the cute “washer jewelry” and “Mom jewelry” that is all over Pinterest, Etsy, and the blogosphere.  I just love it and I’ve been dying to get a set of metal stamps so that I could try it myself.  I also needed some fun, creative gifts to make for a couple of girls at work.  Good excuse to buy those stamps, right?
I picked-up two sets of stamps at Harbor Freight…a 1/4” and a 1/8”…and a couple boxes of assorted washers.DSCN7824
There are lots of tutorials online for how to stamp on metal, but it’s really not that difficult.  You should plan to have some spare/practice washers on hand while you get used to how many times to hammer the stamp, line-up the letters, et cetera.
Basically, you need a hard surface (preferably cement), a protective surface (I used a plastic cutting mat), a hammer, washers, and your stamps.DSCN7828
The garage floor and front porch step worked well for me, along with an old plastic mat.  I hammered each letter about 5 times.DSCN7830After stamping the washer, I filled each letter in with a black sharpie.  It gets a little messy here and you need to wipe the Sharpie off right away.  You can use a wet wipe or cloth.DSCN7831The black ink stays inside the letters and makes them stand out.DSCN7849I made one for Baby Jude’s momma…this is her first baby!  I used black cord for the necklace and added a copper washer.  I also found a cute little boy charm at Hobby Lobby to finish it off.DSCN7854This one is for my friend Pam, who is having her third little one.  I included a washer with each of her kiddos’ names on a triple hanger that I found at Hobby Lobby.DSCN7861I also put one together (as an early Mothers’ Day gift) for my mother.  This one is on a chain and has her grandkids’ names on washers and the word “love” on another copper piece.  BTW, they all LOVED their gifts! DSCN7864Of course, I just had to throw one in for myself!DSCN7867And, since I was on a jewelry-making kick, I made one for a bride-to-be friend too.  I included their initials and wedding date.DSCN7878Aren’t they fun?  I am totally enjoying these stamps and am looking forward to more projects.  Maybe I’ll finally open that Etsy shop and put them in there…


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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boring to Fun: Fabric Rosettes

I bought a simple sundress at Ross a couple of weeks ago for only $12.99.  It is a gray/black lightweight chambray…very simple and plain.  I figured it would be perfect for this Spring and Summer and I could give it a little color with the right jewelry.  Yesterday, I needed something to wear for the Close to my Heart gathering I was hosting at my house….simple and plain wouldn’t do, but I just didn’t like any of my jewelry options with the dress. 
Fabric Rosettes to the rescue!  I keep seeing these online and figured they were a perfect solution.  It only took a few minutes to make them (I literally made them an hour before the party) but they made all the difference on the dress. 
I cut four strips of coordinating fabric from my scrap pile, grabbed some flat-backed pins, plugged in my hot glue gun, and twisted some flowers! Easy peasy. Literally, cut a scrap of fabric, twist it, wrap it around itself in a circle, and hot glue as needed to keep it together. I used this tutorial from Jones Design Company as a guideline.
The pins make the rosettes more versatile. I can use them on any outfit and I did not make any permanent alterations to the dress.

I pinned three to the collar of the dress and one near the hem.

I got so many compliments yesterday.  All of the ladies thought the dress was super cute and assumed the flowers were an original part of it!  They were so surprised when they found out I made them just before they arrived.  Fun, right?

Have a great week!

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Close to my Heart" Party!

I am hosting my first "Close to my Heart" party this weekend!

If you never heard of CTMH, they are a paper crafting/scrapbooking/stamping company and my mother is the newest local consultant. How fun is that??
April 2012 Constant Campaign: Dotty for You
Source: Close to my Heart
I totally expect to be doing more "paper projects" in the future....esp. now that I have an inside track (*wink).

I'll post pics later to show you what projects we do.  And, if any of you in the San Antonio area are ever interested in hosting a CTMH gathering or ordering products, please let me know and I'll get you in touch with my mother.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Freezer Meals & Quesadilla Recipe

With all the projects I was working on, I found that we ate out a lot last month….too much. I love to cook, but I was either in the middle of a project or too dirty/tired to make dinner. My crockpot has always been a good fix for those kind of days, and what could be better than having meals just waiting in my freezer ready to toss in the pot??  So, I tried something new in the kitchen....Pinterest-inspired, of course. 
I’m sure many of you have seen those pins for “cook one day, eat for a month” or “freezer to crockpot" meals”, or “once a month cooking”, etc.  I pinned one a long time ago thinking it might be a good idea to try, but I never got around to it until now.  I searched a few websites, picked some recipes that sounded good, made a grocery store run, and went to work in the kitchen for several hours.  It did not take that long once I got organized (and I think it’ll be even faster next time) and I ended-up with 10 meals in the freezer!
I made Salsa Verde Beef, Cranberry Chicken, Ginger Cranberry Pork Roast, and Lemon Dijon Chicken & Potatoes.  Each recipe made 2 freezer meals; except the Pork made 4 meals.  Several recipes and most of the instructions/ideas for how to go about the freezer meal thing are from the blog, Mama & Baby Love.  So far, we have had the Lemon Dijon Chicken (pretty good) and the Salsa Verde Beef (delicious!).  Tonight, we are trying the pork roast.

By far our favorite was the Salsa Verde Beef, so I thought I'd share what we did with it.  It is “awesome” (as my 9-year old described it).  You can use it for tacos or eat it by itself….it is super flavorful and tender.  We made quesadillas for dinner and then I made tacos for lunch over the next several days.  Each recipe made enough for one meal plus leftovers….depending on how many people you are feeding, of course.

I was a bad blogger and did not take pictures while I was prepping the meals; but Mama & Baby Love has great pics on her site.  I did however take pictures of my quesadillas (not great ones, but we were hungrySmile).DSCN7703
Lavash Quesadillas
Salsa Verde Beef
1/3 cup Reduced-fat Mexican Cheese Blend
Olive Oil Spray
Salsa (your choice)
Lavash Bread (or tortillas**)

Spray skillet or grill pan with olive oil.  Place 1/4 sheet of Lavash Bread on skillet and top with meat and cheese.  (You can add peppers, onion, pico de gallo, etc. if desired.)  Top with another 1/4 sheet of Lavash Bread and press down.  Cook for a few minutes and then flip to brown the other side.  Once the bread is browned and the cheese melted, remove from heat, slice, and serve. 
(**I calculated the WW Points Plus to be ~8 pts using Lavash; tortillas would increase the points.)

Hope you enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quick Easter Crafts

I’ve been busy lately….little things and daily life kinds of things and house work things and yard work things…you know what I mean?  I haven’t started any new, big crafty projects because I really needed to get the other stuff done.  Don’t you hate it when life gets in the way of fun?  Anyway,…
My little niece came to play one day this past weekend, so I decided to do some Easter crafts with the kids (my son is 9 and my niece is 5).  We dyed eggs and made candy Easter baskets.  I saw these on Pinterest (and several bloggers have featured them too)….aren’t they fun?IMG_0478[1]We made the first two this weekend and I put this bigger one together today (to take to work this week).  I opted to make “boxes” versus handled baskets, but I still think they are cute.DSCN7712
The idea came from these two sites:
I also put a few of these together…Bunny Lollipops.  These are for T’s teachers.DSCN7710The original idea was cuter (see below), but I tried to use stuff I had on hand (and save another trip to Hobby Lobby).  Since I did not have smaller poms, I used puffy paint for the faces and I left the arms off.  The suckers were found at Walmart for $0.50/each.
Source:  Bunny Suckersbunny suckers 002 blog
Hope you have a wonderful week!