Big Picture Redo

Way back in November 2013 I made a big picture to put over my mantel.  It was nice to have something up there and I still love the picture, but I wasn’t loving how it looked up there anymore.

After several changes my mantel has looked like this for the last couple of months:

p1Not terrible but I just wasn’t loving it.

I decided to attach the picture to a piece of plywood and then build a frame around it.  All with stuff I already had.  And I didn’t have any plywood.

Improvisation #1:


I had a piece of bead board left over from my bathroom project that was slightly bigger than I needed it.  I still don’t own a table saw so I used a combination of an exacto knife and a hand saw.  Luckily it’s not really wood so it cut pretty easily (although not cleanly.)


Originally I was going to stain the trim around the edges but I had to use a combination of pine and redwood (improvisation #2) so I had to abandon that plan.  I had also planned on setting the picture down into the frame a little bit but since the back board wasn’t real wood I couldn’t nail into the edge so I just set the board on top of the frame and nailed it together (improvisation #3.)

Once everything was fastened it looked like this:

p4I caulked the edge between the board and frame and once that was dry I got to painting.  p5

First I sprayed it wit an aqua spray paint (obviously this was after I had already started to position the picture.)  Once the spray paint was dry I rubbed on a coat of Jacobean stain and let that dry.

Then I put it over the mantel!

p7I love it!  I’m looking for a frame in a size between the one holding the picture of me and Henry and the little one.


I really wish I had done this sooner!  It was so easy and looks so much better!



DIY Hose Holder

I have been dragging 100 feet of hose all the way around my house for the last several weeks.

I only had to water a couple of times before May turned into one constant rainstorm so I had conveniently forgotten what a pain it was to water until this week when the rain dried up.

I felt like I could be in an infomercial as the “before” person.  You know how they always look frazzled and frustrated?  I was.  It took me an hour plus to water and I’m sure half of that time was spent dragging, un-kinking, and cussing.

So when I found a pin for this tutorial I figured it was worth a try.

hose1This was my hose situation before.  I didn’t use it.  By the time I was done watering I was so frustrated that I just left the hose in the yard and walked away from it.

I went to Lowe’s this morning and bought

hose2a cedar post ($15)

hose4and some wood curtain rod finials ($8.)

hose3I cut the post in half and cut another board to a square and glued and screwed it on top.

hose5Then I glued the finial on top of that and caulked around it.

hose6I had this hose holder already so I screwed it onto the post

hose7and then made a second one (again with a hose holder I already had.)

I spray painted the first one and while it was drying I dug a hole.

hose8I thought about putting this several places but the other options would have limited how far the hose would reach so I put it here.  You’ll notice that the end of the hose is hanging into the planter.  I have a small leak at the hose bib and have found that if I leave the sprayer nozzle at the other end of the hose open my plants enjoy the extra drips of water (rather than the driveway.)  It’s not a good permanent solution but works until I can get a plumber here to fix it.

hose9The one for the front yard is still drying so I won’t be able to set it up until tomorrow but just having this one has already cut my watering time down!  AND I even put the hose away when I was done!


Clay Plant Markers

First I need to say that I hate these.

In all my years of crafting I’ve never used Sculpey clay.  Now I know why.

There are pins all over Pinterest that are so cute and I really thought this would be easy.

Turns out, I’m not good with clay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought I’d just form them into cute little stakes, write the plant names on them and then bake them.  I mean, I did do that, they just weren’t cute.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce they were baked I brushed on some paint, making sure it got into the letters, and then wiped it off.  Once the paint was dry I sealed them so they would stand up to the elements.

I really don’t know why I spent this much time on them, I knew I wasn’t going to like them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey work, I know which plants are where, but I don’t like how they look.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found the clay at Wal-Mart for 97¢ each and I had everything else on hand so I’m out less than $2.00 for this failed project, thankfully!


Can’t Blog, Too Busy Pinning

Now that my kitchen floor is done I’m going to sit back and relax.  Maybe do some knitting, watch some cooking shows, take a brea-yeah right!

My dad suggested an island for my kitchen and now I’m obsessed with the idea.  So, naturally, I’m going crazy Googling and Pinning ideas like:



Colorful!  Open shelves!  Pretty legs!  (found here)



Ooooh that towel rack!  Butcher block! (found here)



Slatted shelves!  With baskets! (found here)

Of course I’ll also need these



and this



to tie the room together!


Cranberry Orange Scones

For First Christmas this year at my house I made breakfast.  My dad and I are happy with eggs and sausage but my brother doesn’t eat eggs (although he’s the egg cook) and my mom’s not a heavy breakfast kind of person so I wanted to make something that I knew my mom and brother would like.

I found this recipe and decided to go for it.



I chose this recipe because it called for fresh cranberries rather than crasins and I’m glad I did.  The fresh cranberries were a little tart (which you need with all that sugar and cream) and I think they kept the scones really moist.

scones2(side note: I’m going to be cleaning flour out of those grout lines for months)

I didn’t get many pictures of the process as I was working alone and had to keep cleaning off my hands to pick up the camera.



Look at all those cranberries!



While the scones were baking I made the glaze.  The scones have orange rind in them but no juice, so I juiced the orange and added it to the glaze.  Cream, sugar, vanilla and orange juice can’t be bad, right?

As a testament to how good these scones are, I got no pictures of the finished products.  I thought we’d eat a few and then I’d take pictures of the remaining ones.  That didn’t happen.  I think there were two left by that afternoon and my brother and I ate them.  So you’ll just have to believe me, they’re delicious and so easy to make!


I Finished Something!

It’s not a big project.  Or anything fancy.  But it is something I’ve been working on since I moved in:



That’s right-this wall is complete!



Now I’m thinking about taking it all the way around the room.  What do you think?



There’s no shortage of these silver platters at thrift stores and for cheap!  I bought the last 3 today for under $6!

Okay, you convinced me, I’m doing it.


Christmas Pinterest Party

I love these parties.  I think everyone should have their friends over, eat delicious food and make pretty things.

This was my fourth Pinterest Party (see the first three here, here and here) and I decided to do this one a little differently.  Everyone was asked to pick a small, inexpensive crafty gift from Pinterest and make enough for everyone at the party.  I made a small, small gift and then gathered the supplies for everyone to make something during the party.



I made this tester frosted glass hurricane and decided it was easy and quick and would be the perfect project.



And because I have OCD (obsessive crafting disorder) I made another one but put an A sticker on it before I sprayed it.



Some people wrote words and one did her last name but most of us used a variation of our initials.

I didn’t get pictures of everyone’s 😦 but these are good examples of how they looked.





I just love seeing the craftiness of my friends!  I love my Santa W, the pretty candy cane decoration and my personalized mug!  I made the little hair ties and my friend Shiloh brought the Grinch ornaments.



I thought it was a perfect party.  We ate, and talked, and ate, and crafted, and ate and laughed.  And the best part was that Henry was well behaved!