Monday, September 26, 2011

Peas Make the Vase

During the summer I went a little overkill on my Sally and Goodwill shopping trips.  Here are just a few of the things I brought home:

I purchased this lamp sans shade with the intent to find a shade and put it on my desk at work.  I do NOT need  light, but I thought it would add a certain homey atmosphere to my cubicle (ha ha).  Guess where it ended up?  Hubby's side of the bed - he loved it! Oh, and I paid $5 for the lampshade, which was $1 more than for the lamp! Sorry for the mess, he's a big reader and even though I dusted, the table still looks beat.  Its ready for a remodel but I don't have time!! Maybe I'm shopping too much?

Another trip was done with the intent to find some vases.

I also found the dragon fly to the left of the lamps.  I'm not sure what it is but I liked it. I suspect that it might have once held a glass vase, but I'm not sure.  This haul was also $4.

I wanted to mimic THIS project, but use something like Candy Corn.  Happily, I found the vases.  Sadly, I realized that the amount of Candy Corn needed for this project was going to be highly fragrant - so whether on my desk at work or at home it would cause problems.  First because the animals would eat them, and second because I can only take so much of that sickly sweet Candy Corn scent!

But I used PEAS instead!

And here is how I started the vase project:

Now I just need to decide what I'm going to put in it...  sorry for the bad picture!  
Maybe its just that green is my favorite color, but I think the peas go with EVERYTHING!  

I hope you get the chance to be creative today!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wall Decoration

What do you think about this?

This looks pretty funky, and I might give it a try in the hallway or family room.  Its from the online shop called Trading Phrases.

Something else I am thinking about is this simple modge-podge wall art from Blue Cricket Design:

Honestly, though I love the idea of using vinyl for wall lettering, I would just hand-paint the tree on myself.  The same goes for the birds in the bottom idea, but Blue Cricket Design gives a GREAT suggestion on how to create the bird shapes if you are artistically challenged by paint!

One more thing - I rescued an old pair of closet doors (yes, doors - but shutter style) and I'm not sure what to do with them. Any ideas?

I have been sewing my quilt squares this week (finally!) and I was getting SO excited as I was ironing them this weekend.  I can't believe I'm making a quilt.

I think I'm more excited than I should be - but I can't help it!

And I've also been sewing some other things.  I made some napkins out of some gorgeous fabric as part of a house warming gift for a young woman from our church who just bought her first house.  I will try to post some pictures this week. The few pictures I have aren't great, but I have some leftover fabric and I am thinking about making some more out of the fabric for other gifts.  Okay, maybe also for myself.   The fabric is so pretty!  

I do hope you get the chance to be creative today!  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mid-Week Chaos Clean-Up ~ Link Party #1

Mid-Week Chaos Clean-Up!

If you are like so many of the crafters I know, your PASSION for your craft(s) is immense.  And this might mean that you are super organized, and you have a place for everything.  Or this might mean that you have so many activities going on at once, that you have little piles of craft supplies throughout your house!  

At our house, the latter is the case.  Thus, I have a HUGE interest in all things organizational.  Though it LOOKS like a losing battle, the process is half the FUN!  And I love to see how people put things together, clean things up, and (dis)organize their lives. So I'm going to try hosting a link party for the next few weeks.  

I hope you'll join in.  The rules are simple:
1. You can link up a room, a drawer, a building, or a shoe box. It just has to show how you organize, or disorganize, your craft supplies!
2. Link to the specific post and not to the main page of your blog.

3. Add the Kitchenfunk button to your post, side bar, or linky party list.

<br /> <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" /></a><br /> 

4. Visit at least one other project and leave a comment. We all love comments!
Then I'll feature some favorites on next Wednesday's Mid-Week Chaos Clean-Up Party!
*By linking up, you give me the permission to use your photo(s) from your post.

Check out last Wednesday's post for some popular inspiration.  
And here are two ideas to get you started (they are NOT mine!)

Knife Strip
The blog Making Memories uses this magnetic
Ikea knife  strip to hold craft tools.  Useful & inexpensive!

Allie of Miss Lovie Creation shows off her messy desk on her blog.
But she does note that it is more fun to create than CLEAN!

Okay, let's get started!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stretch Ring How-To

Yesterday I showed you the stretch ring that I made. I thought that today I would show you how I made it.

To be perfectly honest, depending on the amount of time you have, and the supplies you have access to, you might want to skip the crafting part and just go right to to buy some! :)

But I AM glad I made this one, since it was on my to-do list.  And I enjoyed wearing it today!!  Woo-Hoo!

Okay, here is the piece from that I used for my ring's gem:

I chose this gem for 2 reasons - first, it was small, and for my first ring I wanted it to be understated; second, the holes on next to each other on each side.  There are 2 places for cord.

Next, I used Jewelry Fundamentals White Stretch Cord - it was really strong.  I tried to pull it and stretch it to try to break it, and I couldn't.  It looked somewhat like fishing line, but was much softer.

First I put the bead on the cord and then pulled the cord into the other hole and fed it back the way it came (different hole).  I used this "u" shaped end of the cord for tying when I was done.

After the cord was on the main gem, I threaded small beads onto the cord's ends, which were now hanging out of the gem's 2 holes on the same side.

These are the beads I used:

Once you have the beads on the cords, checking to make sure it fits your finger (I know it is stretch but you don't want to take the chance its too small or too big!).  Then feed one of the cord ends through the loop on the other side of the gem, and tie it together with the other beaded cord.  I had to use a tool to pull the loop away from the gem.  Be careful when you cut off any extra lengths!

And you're done!  and whew, if you're lucky, you'll get a lot of compliments on it.  and it might make you glad that you made it yourself after all, instead of spending the $10 for it already done!

I hope you get the chance to be creative today!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stretch Ring! I made it!

To see HOW I made it, click HERE!  

Last Christmas my college aged daughter, Sarah, asked for a "Stretch Ring".  I had no idea what it was.  I looked on and found them.  They are rings for your fingers (and toes) that S-T-R-E-T-C-H over your finger instead of fitting a hard ring around them.

When I bought her the rings for Christmas, I put "making my own stretch ring" on my to-do list.  Guess what?  I finally took the time to do it!

These are images of 2 of the rings I found on and bought for my daughter:

Two Tone Heart Stretch Fashion Ring
A two-tone silvertone/gold heart (above), and this silvertone-turquoise ring:Silvertone Turquoise Stretch Fashion Ring
They come in all styles...  here is another one that I did NOT buy, but you can see how it is made when you look a these cultured-pearl double strand rings:
White, Black and Pink Freshwater Cultured Pearl Two-Row Stretch Ring with Sterling Silver Beads, Set of 3
And here is MINE!  Yes, I made this TONIGHT!

I know my photos are awful, but I just couldn't wait to post them and I have a very long day tomorrow!

On Tuesday I'll fill you in about my adventure in making this little beauty.  In the meantime,

I hope you get the chance to be creative today! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

OREO cookie recipe #2

Back in January I posted the recipe I use for my Oreo Cookie Bites.

Today I'm going to share another Oreo Cookie recipe that my kids LOVE.  
Sadly, we don't have a name for it.  Okay, they do, but they call it Bird Poop.  

They were being silly and, because the recipe is similar to Dirt, they were wracking their brains to come up with a similar name. Maybe you can think of a nicer one!  If you do, please share it.
Okay, put the Oreos in a bowl, mix in the Cool Whip. 

Toss in some chocolate chips and gently mix.
Doesn't look like much, but just KNOWING those Oreos are buried in that 
whipped cream makes your mouth water, doesn't it? 

Throw in some gummie worms for good measure.

...And let the entire concoction sit in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. This allows the cookies to soak up the whipped topping and become soft. Or you can just eat it right away. We've done that plenty of times. 

It is a backyard barbeque favorite! 
I hope you get the chance to be creative today!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Craft Room Chaos/Organizing

Wouldn't you love to have a craft supply area like this?

This beautiful wall is from Kerry's Craft Blog which is at

I currently don't have a room solely dedicated to arts & crafts. My sewing machine is in my family room.  And I like that I can sew with everyone in the room. However, I can DEFINITELY use some organizing, because I have craft supplies everywhere.

I have a chest of drawers I pulled out of someone's trash, and I store things there. I have an old china closet that I've set up to hold supplies.

So I am blessed to have a place to keep things. But wouldn't you like to be THIS organized:

This is from Anne Beale at MUKIBUG, and she details that she made this wall above this desk by using ventilation sheet metal, so that all of the items have magnets on them and can be off of the desktop and ready for use!  Go to her site to see the details!

Now I know that both of these ladies work mostly in paper crafts, but this doesn't mean that sewers can't adapt their stashes in a similar way...  Or is it just me who has to have her finger into ten different creative endeavors at once??

I hope you get the chance to be creative today!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gardening and Reaping the Benefits...

Our garden took a beating this year!  Last year's garden was glorious.  

But I am already looking forward to next summer's garden, because this was just a crazy year for gardening, 
between the weeks of dry weather and the months of RAIN (see this post). 
But if you plan to have a garden, may I recommend planting zucchini & peppers?  
I did NOT think zucchini would be popular at our house, but my kids loved it! And since we had never grown zucchini before, I didn't know that it wouldn't grow FOREVER and EVER, like cucumbers do (that's a story for another time...).  We ate so much zucchini that we quickly depleted our stash.  
Note to self: More zucchini, Less tomatoes!
But while we did have it, one of the dinners we enjoyed was something we named, "Summer Chicken". 

SO easy!

I just realized that this photo of the finished meal looks almost just like the picture of the zucchini and peppers above!  Oops. You'll need chicken breast (cut into bit sized pieces), a half an onion, a zucchini, a fresh pepper, and a tomato, as well as 2T olive oil and  1/2 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Italian Seasoning mix. As usual, you will notice I don't have any measurements.  Sorry!

And I'd like to say that I have discovered that while fresh veggies always look good in photos, the finished product doesn't always.  Well, maybe for some people, but not for me!

Back to it:  Chop all of the vegetables. 

Pour the oil in the pan and heat, then toss in the chicken breast pieces and the chopped onion.  Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, throw in the zucchini and the pepper.
Sprinkle the seasoning packet over everything in the pan, and toss to coat.  You will want to cook the veggies until the zucchini is no longer firm - you will see a change in color but I don't know what to call it.   Just before you take the pan off of the burner, put the tomato pieces on top.  Leave them on just a bit, you don't want the tomato to be overcooked.  Remove from heat and eat!

It is just the right touch for a summer meal, light and delicious, and quick!  
And here are 2 of my gang of 6 who love it!

And i'm sharing this over at!

Monday, September 12, 2011


With the flood waters subsided, the work to clean up has been constant.  Some families have lost everything. I am trying to go through my kid's clothes to pull things that are halfway decent in order to donate them to some families I know who are in that position. At this point the families don't care about the condition of things, they just need clothes on their backs.

children,flower buds,fotolia,gardening,grow,holding hands,mothers,planting seeds,smiling,soils

Today my husband returned from the home of an elderly couple.  The flood filled their basement, ruining everything from sentimental items to the washer and dryer. The woman told the story of how a neighbor, whom they have never been friendly with, came over during the storm uninvited, and brought a powerful water vacuum.  This neighbor spent hours in the basement of this elderly couple, walking in the filthy water and pumping it out of the house.  The lady was brought to tears of embarrassment remembering how she would get frustrated by the fact that this same neighbor could never seem to get his shrubs cut, and the long arms of the branches would hang into their driveway and make it hard to park the car and made their house look unkempt.  She was so touched by the kindness of this neighbor, that he would come over unasked and would not take any money was such a shock to her, and a joy.

And another neighbor came by during the worst of the flood and admonished them to take photos for insurance, and she replied, "Some people have lost so much... I'm an old woman, and the items in our basement weren't going to be used anyway.  Leave the insurance money to all those people who have lost so much, because really, we didn't lose anything we needed."

Its a crazy thing that trauma and bring out the best and the worst in people. But its breathtaking to see people at their best, isn't it?  Blessing to everyone!  Psalm 46:1

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Water, water, everywhere!

Coleridge aside, the past six months have been crazy with weather.  Our rivers and tributaries have been put through a lot due to the rains. Though last year our precipitation was higher than usual, this year was strange.

And while our family had nothing to worry about (we just had a little water in the basement), we know families who have been struggling for 6 weeks to get past water damage, but it just keeps coming back.  We had a declaration of emergency on August 6th due to severe weather, which seemed to start all of the problems; and we had the state of emergency due to Hurricane Irene, in which our county experienced wind damage and rain but fortunately no big flooding problems, and now THIS:

 Wendy's in Hershey, PA

 Downtown Harrisburg, PA 

Washington National's minor league team, the Harrisburg Senators, play here on City Island normally...

So, even though my computer is fried from Hurrican Irene, I'm really back this time.  
I look forward to showing you what I've been up to!  

I hope you get the chance to be creative today!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Book Covers

Hi again!  I am just so excited to be crafting again, I'm having trouble with my (already) long list of things to do and I'm now adding more!  Because it is that time of year, I'm posting today a tutorial of a simple but brilliant craft (aren't those simple ones the best?) that my daughters and I are going to do this weekend.  And I'll post the photos following that.

I didn't mention it but my computer crashed during the recent hurricane, so we don't have one - but happily, our oldest child just graduated from college, and he is letting us borrow his old laptop.  Yay!  So no pictures, just words...

Here is the project, and I found it on  All you need is newspaper, contact paper, and magazine scraps to use for college.  Oh, and glue helps. I'm not going to redo their tutorial, because theirs is just great.

If you make this, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see it!  Please put the link here in a comment so I can see how it turned out.  I have made MANY book covers in my life (brown bags were de rigueur) but this one is AWESOME!!

I hope you get the chance 
to do some crafting today!