Friday, September 28, 2012

Gingerbread Skeleton

Last Christmas, while the little girls were icing high heels on their gingerbread men women I couldn't just stand by and watch the catastrophe.  So, I made this cute little man.  Maybe not too appropriate for Christmas, but I can't think of a better Halloween cookie. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Altered Art Fairy Jar

Here is another project "inspired" by a booth at the Country Living Fair last week.
The images were purchased from and are so cool because each image includes a front and back view.  And the colors are so vivid!   
The hardest part of the project was cutting out the front and back view of each image.  Also, finding a mason jar that had at least one smooth side!  Ok, this is how I did it.  I used florist clay mashed onto the bottom of the jar.  This was covered with sheet moss cut to fit.  Each image was cut out and sandwiched together front and back, with a strong wire in between that stuck out the bottom about one inch.  I used craft glue so the edges are really glued together and show no gaps.  After the fairy and mushrooms dried, I cut the wire off so it had about 1/2 inch lenght extending.  Now I could stick it through the moss into the clay.  You might notice a bee on a wire attached to the jar lid.  That was just two bee stickers stuck back to back.  I spray painted the jar lid a color to match the fairy and that's it.  Just a bit of whimsy for a little girl to gaze at and dream of tiny creatures dancing in the moon light.  Diana

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What's in Your Wardrobe?

I am so obsessed with the shadow box collage!  So when I saw this doll house wardrobe I knew I had to have it.
I did a Dracula scene complete with his bride and coffin.   There are even a few bats flying around.
The whole thing is so small which made cutting difficult but I am so pleased with the overall look.  It does make me a little nervous about that wardrobe so close to my bed.........  Diana

Friday, September 21, 2012

Browned Butter Icing

Where have you been all my life??? How is it that I have never had the pleasure of meeting you in my 33 years of living??? This Pillsbury recipe for Apple Sauce Cupcakes couldn't be a more perfect match for you.  Is it wrong of me to use all of my recently canned apple sauce on this recipe alone?  I think because of the apple sauce this cupcake is the close cousin of the muffin, which makes it a perfect fall breakfast...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Altered Art Halloween Scene

Remember when I said we went to the Country Living Fair last weekend?  And remember how I said we saw things we could craftlift?  Well this is the first of those craft projects.
One of the booths was huge and had sooo many cute things.  Only one problem.....super expensive.  So I decided I would make one of the items myself.  I didn't take a picture of the shadow box I fell in love with.  I only wanted to use the idea, not totally copy it.  (Saying that makes me feel saying borrowing instead of stealing.....)  Hours later (now I understand the high price) I have my own version of an altered art shadow box for Halloween. 
I picked up the shadow box at the craft store.  Then the entire thing was spray painted in a flat black. 
I lined the back with a piece of scrap book paper cut to size.  I downloaded the Witches Ball paper from the Graphic's Fairy which I wrinkled up and distressed with black ink.
Much of the clipart was purchased from Altered Artifacts on Etsy.  Check out her blog here for free clipart and a link to her shop.  The jack a lantern was cut from one of her sheets and I attached the dimensional witches hat and pipe cleaner limbs.
This creepy beetle was one I had in my stash.  He is served on a small favor tray I had left over from another project. 
A small bottle of Arsenic hides in the corner,  Maybe it was the cause of some of the deaths in the graveyard. 
A small little witch leans against one of the tombstones while her black cat stares at you.  A bit of moss is tucked among the tombstones.  I also brought more attention to the witch with a frame of spiders.   
This view shows better the many layers involved.  I used layers of foam tape and small blocks of wood to support the paper items and bring them forward.  
While this did take a lot of time, it was so enjoyable!  Everything had to be hand cut once it was printed but it wasn't difficult or expensive.  Now I am going to try my hand at another copied inspired project I have in mind.  Diana

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chunky Tomato Sauce

So many tomatoes, so little time.  But I will always find time to make this new recipe for tomato sauce that my daughter told me about!  Chunky and full of vegetables, this sauce doesn't even require you to peel the tomatoes.
Check out Thy Hand Hath Provided for this recipe and other great ways to preserve your gardens bounty.  I especially like the stewed tomato recipe though I do water bath them instead of the open kettle method she uses.  Delicious!  Diana

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Country Living Fair 2012

Sept. 14th the annual Country Living Fair, sponsored by Country Living Magazine, came to town!  Yipee!  Three generations of our family got up early and got busy shopping!
I can't even begin to describe the fun that we had and the wonderful handmade items we saw.  The first thing bought was this adorable vintage suitcase with both sides covered in chalkboard paint. 
We bought a bit of handcrafted jewelry too.  We all got a beautiful bracelet made from beads and reclaimed charms.
This lovely piece and the cuff links below are Laurie Leonard Designs.  She is out of Jeannette PA. 
The cuff links are very steampunkish and I love them.

Our FAVORITE booth is Sundaes Best Hot Fudge Sauce.  Unbelievably good chocolate.
We had to pick up the best roma tomato seeds at the next booth!  These tomatoes grow huge! 
We also got a purse made from a Harry Potter book and some giant cookies for the boys left at home.  Don't worry, we ate well too.  Wolfed down huge pulled pork sandwiches for lunch.  Once we had a little more room in our tummies we had peach and cherry cobbler with fresh ice cream on top.  Loaded with our new treasures and lots of ideas for things we knew would be fun to make ourselves.......we headed back home.  Can't wait for next year!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spider Card

Can a Halloween card be pretty?  I think this one is!
Martha Stewart's punch set makes it super easy too. 
The spider is cut from Cricut's Doodle Charm and I added gogglely eyes.  Scarey and yes, pretty.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Restore

Remember this brass chandelier? I found it at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. But the thing is, I don't do brass. In fact, I have been accused of being monochromatic on more than one occasion. I can't help it! I just love greys and beige.

This chandelier was in a donation box by the register and was only $20.00.  I had been looking for a light for quite some time, but wasn't thrilled with any of my options.  I had my husband re-wire the exposed gold hanging wire with a silver alternative, and then I went to town with the spray paint.  The hole in the ceiling for the wires was a little larger than the pendant of the chandelier so we attached a ceiling pendant to conceal all the insulation guts that were showing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Restore: Pottery Barn Look Alike

 I knew I was getting TOO comfortable.  The husband and both the kids were in school, I couldn't work because I was waiting for my board approval to come through, cookies were baking, sewing was coming along...when B A M! Emergency board meeting kindly allows my contract renewal early and little man decides to bathe and scrub down with (there is no other possible explanation) in poison ivy.  So now I have lots to get done and a sick kid, mind you not sick enough to leave me alone, just enough to annoy me!  I did manage to finish up this project while he was napping with the aid of Benedryl.

Not too long ago, a Habitat for Humanity ReStore opened in our area.  It is so fun to go and browse all of the building materials and furnishings there.  The hours are a bit sporadic, but if you are patient you might just find a fun weekend project. 

This chair started out with a pickled yellow finish, sage upholstery with royal purple piping. It was one of about 30 chairs donated from a local bed and breakfast. My mom remembers one of the chairs from a stay in the bed and breakfast 10 years ago!

TUTORIAL:  I had left over cream oil based paint that I used for the wood.  Actually, I am not even sure it was real wood.  Probably a fiber board or something.  I did decide to distress it with some stain because the dents from the previous finish didn't look right with a bright coat of paint on them.  I didn't even bother to tape off the upholstery, if you have a steady hand and a edging tool (like a Spackle knife) I wouldn't even bother.

The fabric I used was a linen.  I love linen!  It was really easy to work with and gave me the shabby chic look I wanted. After laying the fabric over the chair I cut openings for the frame and finished them with bias tape I made from the linen.  Then, bias tape ties were attached at each opening and a ruffle added.

I made the top portion by making what looked like a pillow case.  The only difference is I added a 2" strip of fabric to join the pieces at the top of the arch.  It was necessary to split the sides and finish with bias tape at the widest point for easy removal.

Here's another item I picked up at ReStore --  Check back soon to see what has become of it.
image from:


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Make Your Own Shower and Tile Cleaner

I have three showers and go through cleaner like you wouldn't believe.  And the store bought cleansers are soooo expensive!  So when I found this recipe to make my own I was thrilled to give it a try.  I made up a batch and used both the store bought and the homemade on a glass shower door to see if there was any difference.  I sure didn't see any and I really liked how the homemade cleanser clung to the surface.  Here is the recipe......equal parts white vinegar and Dawn dish washing detergent.  Heat vinegar in the microwave for about one minute.  Pour into spray bottle and add Dawn.  Shake well before each use.  Be sure and let the cleanser do the work by allowing to sit on the surface for a few minutes before scrubbing.  Seriously love this stuff.  Diana

Friday, September 7, 2012

All That Glitters is Not Gold

I just can't get enough of this new spray paint!  It is called Silver Foil Metallic by Krylon and I love it.  It gives the same effect of silver foil without all the frustrations and work.
 Here is today's projects.  I took an old pot metal candelabra that had been painted white and a simple mason jar.
It is hard to see the shine on this but trust me, it's gorgeous!  Diana

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pumpkin Shadow Box?

I don't know what you would call this.  A diorama, a shadow box?
But what ever you call it, I re-e-a-a-lly like it.
And this is how I made it.  I took a carvable foam pumpkin and sawed out an opening with a steak knife.

Then I found out that the inside of the pumpkin had impressions from the molding process that didn't look good so I mod podged newspaper over it.

Then I taped it off, covered it with plastic and gave it two good coats of matte black spray paint. 

I placed a wooden witch in it for now but you could put anything in it that you wanted. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mirror Finish Pumpkin

Do you have foam pumpkins that have seen better days?  Here is a chic way to update those ugly old things.  Just grab a can of mirror finish spray paint and go at it.  So cool.  Diana