Friday, November 27, 2009

Piece of cake

Today we celebrated my son's first birthday. I wanted to share the cake that my husband and I made. 

I have never baked anything more than a box of brownies, so I was a little intimidated about making a "cool" cake, but I'm never one to shy away from a creative challenge.

He LOVES Baby Einstein, and this catepillar comes across the screen at the beginning of each DVD.  My little guy gets SO excited, so I knew that's what we had to do for a cake.

The cake was made out of a sports ball pan.  I used the halves instead of making the full ball, and the covered it in store bought fondant that we colored with food coloring.  A LOT easier than I thought it would be!

The antennae are dum dums covered in fondant.

finishing touches:

Taste Test:

I think he approved:

He wouldn't stop eating it!  Daddy got a little scared that he would get sick so we finally tore him away from the cake.  I will absolutely be making more cakes in the future.  This was a lot of fun!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Best Turkey Ever!

Happy Thanksgiving

From the sweetest Turkey of all time!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Easy No Sew Curtains

These are the easiest window treatments in the history of window treatments to make. Well, now that I think about it, the blanket that I thumb tacked over my window in my first apartment was easier.  But only slightly.

Let me rephrase.

This is the easiest window treatment that actually looks like a window treamtment in the history of window treatments.

If you're like me, and you're petrified of any sewing project, and you haven't been introduced to hem tape - I would like to formally introduce you to one of my new best friends:

I was even a little timid of this stuff at first.  This was my first DIY involving any fabric - but it needed to be done. 

Pardon me, I didn't take pictures along the way, but this is so easy you don't need them!

All I used for this project was:
5 yards (total) of fabric
1 Package of hem tape
2 packages of grommets (1 per panel)

Step 1 - cut your fabric into 90 inch panels (or however long you want yours to be, I like mine to pool a bit at the bottom)

Step 2 - use your hem tape to hem the bottom of the panel

Step 3 - use your hem tape to hem to hem the top, leaving enough room for the grommets


Step 4 - Using the template that comes in your package of grommets, draw the circles that you will cut out.

Step 5 - These grommets just snap together, and your circles that you cut out don't have to be perfect for these to work.  I was the most worried about that part, but the grommets are very forgiving.  Just snap them together on either side of your fabric.

Step 6 - Hang them up and enjoy!

I would eventually like to put a sheer of some kind to cover the entire door area, but our backyard is private enough that no one can see in.  So instead of putting a huge long bar all the way across, I just got two small curtain rods to hang each panel on on either side of the door.  I got these on sale at Hobby Lobby for $7.99 each!  Way cheaper than getting a HUGE LONG curtain rod that wouldn't serve any purpose.

P.S.  I moved my couch for this picture because my brown microfiber couch looks PURPLE when being photographed.  I don't understand it. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009


My husband, the tuba player, needs a room to practice.  We have a third bedroom that would be oh so nice to turn into a beautiful (albeit manly) place to practice. 

Here is my sketch I did in powerpoint.  Two built in bookshelves flanking a little bench.  The back of the bookcases are a grasscloth wall paper.  The art above the bench is a brown square painted directly on the wall, then some moulding the same color as the wall and then another peice of molding the same color as the painted box.  That moulding is going to make a frame for more grasscloth wallpaper.  Inside those boxes will be artsy photographs of Jarrod's tuba, and my bassoon (I have a degree in music as well, playing bassoon and saxophone).

Now I just have to convince my husband that it will be a breeze to construct these built-ins ourselves.  I would LOVE this as a Christmas present to each other.  Maybe you could leave a comment to help convince him?  I'll do tutorials all long the way, I promise

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mondo Acorns

This is what I thought all acorns looked like.  Nice, delightful little things.

This is what the acorns look like at the house we just bought:


Maybe I just don't get out much, but I had never seen or even heard of Giant Mammoth Acorns.  They are ALL over my front yard.  They dented the trunk of my car.

Here is my son playing with the giant acorns.  They look big even next to him, who also is a giant (95th percentile all around)

So naturally, I wanted to incorporate these mondo beauties into my decor. 


First I just piled them in a vase to see what they looked like:

Hmmm... not sure how to arrange these guys.  You see, I can arrange furniture - but I'm not so good at arranging botanicals. 

Speaking of botanicals... have you ever been out on an evening family stroll in a really trendy area and found something on the ground that you knew you could turn into something really fabulous for your home?  If so you probably did as I did, which is get down on your hands and knees right next to the fancy steak house patio seating area and the valet parking station to rummage around.

That's right folks, I have NO shame.  NONE.  My poor puppy was probably so embarassed.  Not me, I had my husband take pictures :-)

But how could I resist, look what I found on the ground:

Aren't these beautiful? 

So I tried combining them with my acorns in that huge hurricane/vase:


These are two really unique and beautiful natural items that I would love to incorporate in my home somehow.  Please tell me how.

Any and all suggestions welcome!  Please Help!

Wall Display Bookshelves

So, this is wild.  I took my son to the library for the very first time a few weeks ago and he loved it.  I decided I wanted a really neat place for him to put his books.  So, I went to my "drawing board" (powerpoint) and drew up a sketch of what I wanted to make.

Here is my sketch:

So that SAME DAY, a few hours later, on Shanty2Chic's Gorilla Glue party, I saw Traci from Beneath My Heart post this!  I couldn't believe how similar the bookshelf that she created was to the one that I had sketched just hours before.

This is why I love the blogging world so much.  I had just sketched this out with plans to go to Home Depot that night and buy materials.  I saw that she used plaques from Hobby Lobby to do hers, and I thought that was Brilliant!  So I altered my boring plans to use scrapwood for the sides and splurged the extra $1.47 for the plaques.

This was a very easy and very inexpensive project that I think turned out really cute.

All you'll need is:
2 1X3's 24 inches long (or however long you want) - $0.50 from Home Depot Scrap section
1 12 inch plaque from Hobby Lobby - $1.47
1 set of wall hangers - $2.29
1 wooden dowel (mine was 7/16") - $0.99

Total Cost:  $5.26!!

Step 1.  Nail your 2 1X3s in an "L" shape

Step 2.

Cut the bottom off of your plaque so that you have a flat bottom. Then put it up against your "L" to see where you need to cut vertically so that it will be flush.

You should be able to get both sides of the shelf out of one plaque

Step 3

Nail the sides onto the "L"
I used my favorite tool for this:

Nope, not the nail gun.  The Tuba Player holding it :-)

Now you should have something that looks like this:

By the way, these pictures are taken in our garage.  We've only lived here a few months, and we haven't tackled cleaning this one out yet.  The old owner had carpet down, which is terrible, but it works out well for all my painting I do out here.

Step 4.

Cut your wooden Dowel Rod and nail this in place too.

Step 5.

Paint them and screw on your wall hanger:

I also wanted to dress them up a little bit, so I bought some letters, painted them brown and polka-dotted every other letter with my wall color and the other letters I modge-podged with my left over invitation paper.

It's all ready to hang on the wall:

The Vision:

Getting even closer to the vision:

I will be posting this on DIY day over at A Soft Place To Land


and Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pottery Barn inspired picture ledges

I love you Pottery Barn.

Too bad I have never purchased a single item from you - and probably never will, because you're just TOO EXPENSIVE!!!

I am, however, lucky enough to be the recipient of the world's most awesomest diaper bag from Pottery Barn Kids (yes, awesomest is a word) that a dear friend got for me.

Unless any other dear friends want to buy me something from Pottery Barn (which you are more than welcome to), you will never see anything from that store in my home.

Here are two reasons why:

1. You can usually find the same looking stuff at Ross or Marshalls (it may not be the same quality, but at this point in my life I'm not really looking for longevity)

2. You can MAKE the stuff yourself.

Let's explore Reason #2.

Here is Pottery Barn's Modern Ledge

4 ugly picture frames from the Salvation Army bursting with potential: $5

1 6 foot long 1X2 cut in half: $3
1 8 foot long piece of Brick Moulding cut to size and mitered: $10

I gave the poor outdated picture frames a new fresh makeover, and painted all my other materials with some satin finish black spray paint.

Next you take your favorite tool: your handy dandy husband (unless of course, you're Shanty2Chic), to attach the 1X2s to the wall. We (I mean He), just used 3.5 inch long screws and hung them directly into the wall.

So then you end up with your anchors. If I did this over again, I would have gone for the the 1X3 or maybe even 1X4. 2 inches was not nearly as deep as I wanted.

The next step involves power tools, although I'm sure you could do this with a miter box and a really strong arm. We (he) mitered the trim moulding so that the moulding fit together like a box:

Then we (he) took a nail gun and nailed these pieces directly onto our anchors. I did not want it exactly flush on top so that there would be a little lip to rest some frames against. (I still need to touch up and paint over the nails, but I'll get to that when my next 1,000 projects are done).

The final product!  Shield your eyes from the horrible natural wood color blinds. One of my next 1,000 projects is to make a faux roman shade for that window.

The vision:

Getting Closer:

Pottery Barn's Version: $90 WITHOUT frames
My Version: $18 WITH Frames
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