Friday, May 13, 2011

Easter Party (posted in Mid-May of course!)

I know I haven't posted and it seems silly to post the Easter pics now but I thought I would share.

We usually have an egg dyeing party with our neighbors. We cookout, eat, dye eggs, and then hunt Easter Eggs in the dark!
I made easy cupcakes with Peep Bunnies and jelly beans!
I have to admit that I went a little "Peep" crazy this year. My family has always made a candy using cornflakes and marshmallows (ala rice crispy treats) so I modified the appearance and made nests for my little Peep birds!
My wonderful neighbors bring tasty and really cute treats to share! Check out Melissa's bunny lollipops!

We set up an egg-dyeing table outside and bought all kinds of fun kits and stickers to make our eggs. I even had glue, glitter, and sequins this year! Everyone brings eggs to decorate and lots of ideas!
We even had a surprise appearance by "Eggston" Bieber!

I put goodies in the eggs and add a little reflective tape. Everyone has to bring a flashlight to find the eggs after the dads hide them. Even the teenagers enjoy hunting eggs and really get competitive!

Lots of fun with friends and family! I've already got some new ideas for next Easter!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hogwarts and Robots!

At Harry Potter Attraction at Universal Studios!
I've got a confession to make -- I'm a nerd, not only am I a nerd, my kids are nerds!

We just returned from a "whirlwind" trip to Orlando to compete in the BEST World Championship Competitions! Our team was 3rd in the nation last year. They came away this year with some awards and made it to the semi-finals but didn't place. They are not discouraged though -- they are already talking about next year!

This is a great program that our school promotes. It is an advanced science course. The teams have to build a robot to specs and it has to accomplish specified tasks. Every school in the world is given the specs on the same day and they start working immediately and competing in the fall.  They also have to create an engineering notebook, design marketing tools like t-shirts and a website, do presentatios, be interviewed and have LOTS of spirit. They get points for everything! Check out Wetumpka Robotics Website! Our team competed successfully in War Eagle BEST and South's BEST and qualified to go to the World Championship. We are very proud of them.

As a side trip, we went to Universal Studios and got to tour Hogwards and Hogsmeade! We rode broomsticks with Harry and Ron too! It was so much fun to see their interpretation of what we've been reading in the books all these years!

Needless to say, I haven't done much crafting this week. I did create some adorable Easter Labels. I printed them on white cardstock and used a scalloped circle in a pastel paper behind them. Since I layered them with other paper, I was able to use whatever colors I wanted and I was also able to get the size I needed for projects.

These fit nicely in the tops of mason jars. My friend took it a step further and used these in the top, glued a ribbon around the lid and filled the jars with Peeps and Easter Grass! It was adorable. She's using them as party favors.

We also painted Easter Eggs at the  Hometown Specialties Shop The moms got to paint the ceramic eggs and Miss Cindy handprinted the little ones. The kids got to paint an Easter ornament as well. They made bunnies out of fingerprints! All the eggs and ornaments turned out great. It was lots of fun too!

I've got some great Easter ideas for this coming weekend. We always paint eggs with our neighbors and cook out. I can't wait, it is so much fun to see the Easter eggs that these kids create.
I took a picture of my Pretzel Crusted Lime Bars. I will definitely be making them again. YUM!  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Redneck and loving it!

Spring is in the air!

The past week has been great. I've made some new things and had a blast doing them. My first new love is the redneck wineglass. These are just fun!

I figure they will be great conversation pieces this summer at cookouts. I did them with jewels, vinyl and ribbon. I have some that are red, white and blue and some that are Auburn or Alabama. War Eagle!

My favorites are the summer colors though. I've put several of these in the Hometown Specialties Shop in Wetumpka.

So today, I played off the wineglass idea with a friend of mine to create lanterns too. I used wire and beads to make the handles and put tealights in them. I really like playing with wire and beads. This is my set of pink/green lanterns and redneck wineglasses!

I have orders for 6 more glasses that I need to make this weekend. Can't wait to get started!

We've also found some really cute plates and cups at the local thrift store so I've been working with them too. This is a piece that I put together and put by my coffee pot. A friend suggested putting sugar cubes in the top (notice my little sterling silver sugar cube tongs, also a thrift store purchase), and sugar packets and substitutes on the plates. I put green tea bags on the bottom plate and the substitute in the cup but the effect is pretty much the same.


The new recipe I am going  to try this weekend is
Pretzel Crusted Key Lime Squares
They sound really good -- salty/sweet lime. Kind of Margarita flavor maybe?
UPDATE: These tasted awesome! I think I could have done a few things better though. The crust didn't "stick" together like I thought it should. I will definitely grind my pretzels smaller and maybe add a bit more butter before pressing into the pan. Also the white chocolate should be added to the squares AFTER they are cut. I added it before and it was pretty but when we cut them the white chocolate drizzle just crumbled into they lime filling and didn't make a very pretty presentation. I will make them again just because they tasted so darn good!

1 1/2 cups pretzel crumbs
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp sugar

2 large egg yolks
1 - 14 oz. can fat free sweeteed condensed milk (I'll probably used the real stuff)
1/2 cup key lime juice

Optional white chocolate drizzle:
1 oz. melted white chocolate

preheat ove to 350

spray 8x8 square pan with cooking spray. in a food processor grind pretzels until they are a fine crumb (not dust). in a bowl combne your pretzel crumbs, butter, salt and sugar. press firmly into your prepare pan and bake for 10 minutes. let crust cool.

now combine yolks, sweetened condnesed mile and lime juice. stir until well mixed. pour into crust and bake 12-15 minutes until its set. cool completely and drizzle with white chocolate. refrigerate until ready to eat (at least an hour). store in refrigerator.

I'll let you know how they turn out ;)

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pedestals and Birthday cakes!

Finally, I'm getting to sit down and catch up. Sort of ...

Last week I was getting ready for my 16 year old's birthday party. We started with a scavenger hunt around town. There were four team of 4-5 kids each with an adult driving. I know many of the kids have licenses, but I wanted the adults with them anyway so it worked out great. The list included the following:

___ A disposable coffee cup with a business logo signed by an employee.
___ A take-out menu.
___ A free promotional pen (must have company's info on it).
___ A newspaper clipping of a women's event.
___ A 1980 coin (any denomination).
___ A family recipe from a local resident.
___ A bank deposit slip/envelope
___ How many swings are at Goldstar Park?
___ Napkin with Restaurant name on it
___ A pizza coupon.
___ How many arches on the Bibb Grave Bridge?
___ A business card from a local business

Take Photos of the Following:
___ Team member standing beside sign for Yard Sale happening tomorrow
___ Someone walking their dog.
___ Team with an American flag in the background
___  An out-of-state license plate
___ The longest limo (or car) you can find.
___ The most colorful car you can find
___ The team playing air-guitar in front of a local business that’s open
___ a picture of a hunting related decal on someone’s vehicle

It was great! The took off like an episode of The Amazing Race! While they were gone for the hour and 15 minutes, I went to pick up the pizzas. When I got back, there was one team back and they ran down the driveway to meet me! The other teams came soon after and they all had a blast! They had all found different items around town. I especially liked the photos of the teams playing air guitar in front of an open business!
During the hunt, a DJ was setting up and surprized many of our guests! The kids started out in separate groups but ended up dancing before too long. Our DJ Kenny from K&S DJ services really got them moving!
My husband took over the workshop to finally install electricity and lights so I had to get creative without using many tools or the workshop. I have recently been frequenting the thrift stores in search of china -- any pattern and any color! I am having a great time glueing the pieces together to create cake plates and other kinds of pedestal dishes.
 I also made an Easter wreath out of an vine wreath that I had. I got the vines on a scouting expedition with my husband at our hunting club and brought them home, formed them and let them dry. I usually decoreate it with something for different holidays.

I had some plastice Easter eggs and some tulle so I wrapped the wreath and added the eggs. Turned out just like I imagined and added a touch of Easter. I have other decoration but I haven't put them up yet.

Easter Wreath

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hole-y Saucers Batman!

Check it out! This is a saucer that I got at our local thrift store and it has a hole drilled in the middle thanks to my new drill! The possibilities are endless. I also drilled a hole in a beer bottle. Not sure where we could go with that one but it was COOL!

Glass blocks? Plates? Mirrors? Woo hoo!

Camp Fires and China!

My new drill came in on Friday and is still in the box! I am dying to get it out and play with it but I have house stuff to catch up on. My youngest crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts this weekend and we spent our time at the campgrounds. I smell like a campfire! My oldest is on his way home from his Spring Break trip to Texas. He fished for the entire week. Laundry may bury me before the day is over.

I bought a teacup and saucer at the thrift store to try my new drill and bits on. I really want to make light fixtures out of china and glass wear. I went to several garage sales this weekend looking for more china but of course when I don't want something, its everywher and when I do it isn't to be found. I did buy a couple of great antique jars to put flowers in. I have two of these with lids. I just like the way the sun shines through them when they are in the window.

  A while back I bought this great picture frame at an estate sale. I just took a canvas that was the right size, covered it with batting and fabric and slid it in the frame. Now I have a bulletin board that I can use to display business cards. Thumbtacks work great on it. This could be a great display for photos or school work too! I didn't have to glue the canvas in because it fit snugly with the fabric. It works to my advantage because now I can change out the fabric to work with the seasons!

Not your average corkboard!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fru Fru and Camo -- paradise!

Today I gave my husband a gift -- an entire room (10' X 5.5') for all the camo, deer calls, turkey calls, etc. that go along with hunting. We have a storage room that was in dire need of emptying and today was the day. I have a large selection of stuff heading to the humane shelter for their thrift store and lots of things went out to the workshop/garage! The result was a room that had all the shelves and hooks he could need for all the hunting stuff that piles up from October until ... well whenever I clean it up. I told him that anything I found related to hunting would now end up in that room. I have some craft stuff that has been displaced but it was worth it. I will find it a home.

Now.... Presenting ....
My before and after from the Habitat for Humanity Store!

after -- TOTALLY Fru Fru huh?

Now that the camo is out of our bedroom, my youngest helped me move THE desk in. I still need a cute cushion for it but it turned out really great -- Very Girly! I thought I had the right picture to put above it but I'm not quite happy with it. I saw some really cute ones at Cat's Treasures so I might have to take my paint sample back there and see what I can find.

It was a fun project and honestly not very functional but I really like it! The chair could use some touching up but that can wait. I just wanted to see it inside.

Now on to my next project ... I feel like a mad scientist! Speaking of science, not that it really related, I smoked the turkey today. The little bite I tried was good but a little dry. I think I need a new meat thermometer. We'll be having the turkey for dinner tonight. Not sure about what sides, but lately I have absolutely avoided the grocery store, so we will have whatever is in the pantry. My grocery store strike is starting to show. We are low on Poptarts and Pinot Grigio. I just might have to go out this afternoon!

This is one of the blogs I follow. It really helps to check out other folks since I'm the new kid in town ...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Teacups and a Drill Press!

He loves me! I've been wanting to play around with teacups, plates and general china to make lamps anl light fixtures. In order to do that, I needed special drill bits. My wonderful husband ordered a new tabletop drill press with a laser AND the drill bits. This cool stuff should be here Friday and I can start yet another project or two!

The desk is finished and I'm waiting to get it moved in before I take the picture. One lesson learned -- the drawers don't fit the same with paint on them! After all was painted and finished, I started putting the drawers back in and 3 of them didn't fit. I had to sand them down and repaint them. My husband even helped with one when I just couldn't get it right. Now all the drawers fit and the white hardware looks great! I primed and painted the chair that goes with it. For some reason, the paint didn't look right in a couple places so I need to sand and repaint those spots. Otherwise, now I'm just down to making a cushion. Gotta find just the right fabric.

I went to Cat's Treasures in Eclectic yesterday and found some great teacups and saucers. I also bought some old tea tins that I could plant some herbs in and I put them in the kitchen window. Can't wait to see the plants come up!

Tomorrow I will be smoking the turkey that my youngest killed on Sunday. Should be a great dinner!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Desk Parts and Turkey Parts (Parts is Parts)

My youngest got his first turkey this morning! I got up at 3 or 4, or maybe 2. This time change always kills me. Anyway, it was REALLY early. They left, I went back to sleep and he woke me with THE call at 8 (I think it was). He shot a big ol' Tom. His excitement was contagious! I forwarded the pic from my phone to my friends and spread the word. He is so proud!

I got up and proceeded to do some housework and then work on my desk. It is SO close to being finished. I decided to use "Kilz" on the desk top because I saw some of the stain coming through the green sides (which is ok since I want the distressed look). Then I went to Lowes to get more paint. I could have probably bought a desk for about what I've spent on paint and supplies but it wouldn't have been nearly as fun! I found the perfect color for the top at Lowes and painted it and the moulding. Now I just have to paint the rest of the hardware (I ran out of spray paint) and re-assemble the whole thing. I was going to glaze it so that it looked antinque but now I'm really liking the way it looks. Almost ready for the "after" shot. Apparently Lowes set their clocks correctly and proceeded to close at 6 pm so I don't have the last can of paint I need. Wonder what time they open!? check out the drawers with the hardware!

Then I was priviledged to clean the turkey parts. Apparently there are certain parts that you HAVE to keep. I cleaned the meat and put it in to soak. I will either smoke it or fry it in the next few days. Recipes to follow of course ...

I thought this picture was perfect since you can see the turkey parts and my paint brushes right there together in the KITCHEN!
Maybe tomorrow I will be able to finish the desk and start the chair. I think its going to be white and then I have to go fabric shopping for the cushion. Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Possums, Paintball, and Primer

Last week my wonderful husband woke me up to ask where the BBs are. Apparently there was a HUGE possum (I know it starts with an O but seriously -- who does that?) eating our cats' food. The cats were just standing back and letting him have his share. I didn't know where the BBs were so my husband and my 16 year old son got out the trusy paintball gun. You guessed it, we now have a possum running around with big orange spots on his side. I'm sure all the other possums fell out of the trees laughing when he got home! My husband said that the possum wouldn't be back but we all know better -- wait for it -- a possum doesn't change his spots!

Now back to MY painting. My husband is gettng my paint for the desk this morning. I hope to have a drawer or two painted this afternoon so I can see how the color is going to look. I can't wait! But I do have to wait until after Soccer.

I thought I might need to let you know what has and has not worked on the drawers so far. The desk was thickly stained very dark. No wood was actually showing through. The stain had gotten old and almost sticky so it had to go! I sanded the whole thing and bought some chemical to "degloss" anything that I missed and to degloss the moulding. Then I repaired the drawers and taped them off. I primed the back, bottom, sides and insides with spray primer. Then I stood them out on the driveway to dry. As you can imagine, it looked like a very pitiful cemetery with all the gray drawers standing on end facing every direction.

Then I tried white spray paint. My finger got tired and it just didn't cover like I was imagining. Now I have a gallon of "Kilz" and it's working ok, wouldn't want to use it for the desktop though. Today I hope to put a second coat and when it dries take the tape off and paint so I can get a good feel about how the green will look.

I want to use the original drawer pulls. They have a light coating of rust on the back so now I'm off to google cleaning them before I paint them white.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Green Paint and Turkey Season

The sun is finally peeking out promising a beautiful day and a fabulous weekend! The guys are going fishing and turkey hunting so I will get to tackles some projects around here.

lyndhurst spring eve
I am ready to finish the white part of the drawers and make a "Lowe's" run to get the paint for the front of them and the majority of the desk. I've been toting around the paint sample "Lyndhurst Spring Eve" by Valspar for weeks. Isn't it a great color? I can't wait to get this desk in my room. I don't think I want to commit to painting a whole room right now but this will be a great addition of a very comforting color for me. Of course now I will have to clean my room. It looks like a Camo clearance sell similar to the second day of the yearly Victoria's Secret Bra Sale but with less lace! There is Camo everywhere. Of course, I guess it will go with the green!

Speaking of Camouflage -- We have just wrapped up Deer season here and are starting Turkey season so it can't be just tucked away just yet. In fact, I had to meet my husband this week to try on snake boots for me and my youngest since we have the same size feet right now. I'm sure that is a sign of love when your honey buys you snake boots.

A few weeks ago I found some great old silverware (real silver) that I want to use to accent a sign in my kitchen. Its a rustic "EAT" sign that I plan to put over the kitchen window. Check it out here knockoffdecor, there is even a tutorial on how to make it! I would love to make the one with keys too! I'll show you how mine turns out. Couldn't you just eat it up?!

Found another project that is TOO cool! This has to go on my project wish list. Not sure where i would put it but I'm thinking above my sink in the kitchen. I've been wanting a pendent light there. Think this would work with the "EAT" sign? I need a drill bit to use on ceramic. Guess that's another thing on my shopping list at Lowes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ready for Spring and Monkey Grass (for real!)

We've had a preview of Spring so now I'm ready. I already have visions of petunias and other annuals dancing in my head! This year I think I want to get a little old fashioned and put monkey grass along my flower beds. There is just something so defined about a flowerbed lined with monkey grass.

I also want to plant another type of lily to add to the color. All this makes me sound like a true gardener, don't get too impressed, I enjoy it until the next project jumps out in front of me.

I currently have an old wooden desk dismantled in my workshop. I bought it at the Habitat for Humanity store in south Montgomery. I replaced the bottoms of the drawers, removed the hardware and moulding, sanded the whole thing and am now in the process (between rainy/cold days and nice ones) of painting the inside/backside/outside of the drawers. The desk will be very "girly" when I'm finished. I'm going to paint it green with a white top. I plan to paint the fronts of the drawers green as well. I got a chair with the desk that also needed some "love"
I plan to repair the woven seat, paint it white and sew a new cushion to complement the desk.

All this and a flowerbed too huh?