Monday, May 23, 2016

Drag Chain - Steampunk

Howdy.  I wanted to share with you a little piece of my latest home decor project.  While in Phoenix, I had the opportunity to stop by Sweet Salvage and pick up a few treasures.  {smile}  One of my treasures is a section of rusty bed springs.  I know, that doesn't sound like such a 'treasure'.  But, it truly is!
I want to make a light fixture out of this piece of rusty bed springs.   I know, that sounds a bit 'off' or 'crazy', but I have a vision.  And my vision also includes a piece of decorative 'art' to make it special.  While visiting Round Top, Texas, during Antique Week, I saw a piece of very interesting link chain.  I didn't buy it at the time, because the seller wanted to sell over 10yards in one bundle.  And I just couldn't justify the expense for the purchase.  The seller called it 'drag chain', and claimed that it was used in chicken coups.

Well, I found a seller on eBay, who was selling a 10 foot section.  I can handle 10 feet, just not 10  yards.  My chain arrived a few days ago, and well I have been busy.  Until today!  I opened my box, and the excitement bubbled up as if it was Christmas morning!  I plan on using this 'chain' as a decorative accent piece to my bed spring light fixture.  I haven't figured out {yet} how to attach it to the bed springs.  But, don't fret, I believe that I can figure it out.  {smile}
Stay tuned.  I can't make any promises as to when I will post photos.  
Thank you for stopping by.  I hope I have given you a new way to look at 'old' things, with a new eye! {smile}

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Provence-Style Rose

Howdy!  Hope this post finds you well, and enjoying your weekend.  Me, busy as a bee.  But, what's new.  I always wait patiently for the summer, because I tell myself, 'life will slow down, and I can catch my breathe.'  And we all know that is so far from the truth.  No one's life 'slows down' during the summer.  Actually, it is quite opposite.  We are all in a rush to get in some vacation time, and attend as many cook outs as possible.  {smile}
I did however, take some time for myself this morning to create a card for a challenge or two.  (ok, 3) So, here we go!  I stopped by the creative challenge site: Crazy 4 Challenges.  Their current challenge is a sketch.  Awesome!
I turned the sketch 90 degrees to the left

My next stop, was the beautiful challenge site:  Scrap Magic.  They always have great inspiration boards.  Their current challenge is to craft in Provence Style.  {I'm going to try it}

And last, I stopped by the Brown Sugar Challenge site.  Their current challenge is - Anything Goes.

here is what I crafted:

Recipe:  I used kraft card stock for the base of the card.  I love the rustic look of this paper.  I used two different pattern papers, and both are years old.  (sorry, I'm trying to use what I have on hand.)
The main panel is a Valentine's day theme paper from My Minds Eye.  It has that weathered look to it.  The blossoms are done in a faint reddish purple color.  I used the edge of my scissors to distress the edges.  I then swiped some white canvas ink over the edges.  And finally, I added some machine stitching.  
The grayish polka dot pattern paper is from a Christmas collection.  (my scrap piece no longer had the manufacture name on it.  If I had to guess, I'd say another My Minds Eye pattern paper.  I matted that piece with a scrap piece of kraft card stock.  A little more machine stitching.
The cotton-rhinestone piece is actually from Prima.  And probably 6/+ years old.  I still have 5 of these left, in a cream, a brown, and this beautiful rose color.  [I know this sounds like I'm a hoarder, but, really just a collector.]  I painted a wooden button with white acrylic paint, and dunked it into a tub of glitter.  Once the paint was dry, I took a small piece of sand paper to the button, to rough it up a bit.  I tied the button to the card front with kraft twine, from Paper Trey Ink.  I tied a double bow between the card and button.
I added a scrap piece of cotton trim just above the cotton-rhinestone piece.  I felt that the card needed another layer of fabric.  
My sentiment piece is hand-stamped and machine cut.  I used a coordinating stamp and die set from Amuse Studios for that piece.  [Vintage Labels is the die & stamp set]  I stamped the outline, and sentiment with basic grey classic ink, by Stampin' Up!  The Hand Scripted sentiment stamp set comes with various words to mix and match.  The card stock I used for the sentiment piece, is actually the back side of the weathered blossom pattern paper I used for the main panel.  The grey streaking is a distressed look for the paper.
I added a white resin piece from Melissa Frances.  I thought the basket of blossoms was a perfect fit for this card.  I used a retired Pale Plum marker, by Stampin' Up! to color two blossoms and the bow. I thought this color of purple matched the cards overall look perfectly!  And finally, I added a trio of pearl halves.  {smile}

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope that I have inspired you to create something beautiful or simply to play along in any or all of these challenge sites!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hand-Crafting in the Kitchen

Howdy.  I believe that you can 'hand-craft' a variety of things.  I also know, that sometimes, the best things in life are created.  I started making marshmallows last year. And yeah, as my husband has pointed out, 'you can buy marshmallows at the grocery store'.  So, there really isn't any need to make them at home.  I was a bit surprised that my husband took that stand.  I make his cookies, cakes, dinners, bread, and favorite dinner rolls by hand.  
I have tried several different recipes of home-made marshmallows.  And I have failed miserably at several of these recipes.  But, I didn't let that discourage me.  I'm pretty smart, and love a challenge.  
hand-crafted Vanilla Marshmallows

made @ Small {scale} Sweets shop

These vanilla marshmallows are not ridiculously hard to make.  They just take time.  I typically 'make' these in a rectangular pan. I use a serrated knife to cut these marshmallows into cubes.  As you can see, there are air pockets in the marshmallow.  I think these add character and aid in the lightness of these little pillows of sugar.  {smile}

half-recipe of marshmallows

made @ Small {scale} Sweets shop

3  envelopes of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup clear corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

You will need a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, a heavy sauce pan, a spatula, a rectangle pan, clear plastic wrap, parchment paper, powder sugar, a serrated knife, and Pam.
*if you use homemade vanilla extract, and organic powdered sugar, you will make these light as air pillows of sugar gluten-free! {smile}
Pour the water into the mixing bowl of the stand mixer.  Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on the water. Let this sit for 10 minutes.  While your waiting, make the sugar. 
Heat the milk, corn syrup, and sugar in a heavy sauce pan, over medium high heat.  Bring the sugar mixture to boil, and boil for one minute.  
Remove the sugar from heat, stir in vanilla bean paste and extract.
Turn the stand mixer on to medium, and slowly pour the hot sugar mixture down the side of the mixing bowl.  Bring the speed of the mixer as high as possible.  Beat on high for 12 minutes. 
While the mixer is going, prep your pan and clear plastic wrap.  Spray the rectangle (9" x 13") pan and plastic wrap with Pam.  Once the sugar is whipped, pour into the rectangle pan.  You will need to use a spatula (sprayed with Pam) to help move the sugar out of the mixing bowl into the pan.  You will need to level the whipped sugar into the pan, to help create a uniform marshmallow.  Lay the plastic wrap, sprayed side toward the whipped sugar.  Lay the plastic wrap directly on the whipped sugar, and sealing the whole surface of the whipped sugar.  
Set your timer for a minimum of 2 hours.  (I personally have not let this set longer than 4hours.)  Remove the plastic wrap, and turn the marshmallow slab onto a piece of parchment paper.  Use a serrated knife to slice the marshmallow slab into strips, and then cut the strips into cubes.  Place a few cubes into a bowl of powdered sugar and toss.  Shake the excess powdered sugar off each cube.  
Store the homemade marshmallows in an air tight container.
Use these marshmallows the same way you would the store purchased ones: roast them to make delicious s'mores, dip them in chocolate, add to hot cocoa, or simply eat them just the way they are!
*if you want to make gluten-free* 'rice krispie treats', there is no need to turn the whipped sugar into a rectangle pan to have them set-up, simply add the cereal into the mixing bowl and then turn the cereal mixture into a butter rectangle pan.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope I have inspired you to cook something home-made.  {smile}

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weathered Rose Card

Howdy.  I am in the kitchen, getting a few dishes together for our Nurse's Week Luncheon tomorrow. But, that didn't stop me from crafting one more card.  I have had a grand time playing along with the latest sketch from CAS(E) this Sketch, so I decided to make one more card {smile}.

and here is my latest card:

and a different view:

Recipe:  The card base is soft suede card stock, by Stampin' Up!.  I love this golden kraft color.  {smile}  The matt paper is from a local shop, and I don't know who makes it, or the color/pattern name.  Sorry.  I just love the aqua color with gold pattern.  Very pretty.   
The blossom pattern paper is from Authentique, the Grace collection.  I believe that it is the last remaining scrap piece I have on hand.  I used my sewing machine to do a double border, to add to the homespun feeling.
I used another Anna Griffin chalkboard sentiment tag for my sentiment.  I had a scrap piece of this beautiful orange polka dot pattern paper, that matched beautifully with the Grace pattern paper.  I adhered it to a scrap piece of soft suede card stock, with foam tape.  
I did wrap a length of Aqua Mist polka dot satin ribbon around the orange polka dot pattern paper and tied it in a simple bow.
Finally, I added a trio of gold sequins.  Viola!  Super simple for me, and pretty!  
Thank you for stopping by, I need to get back into the kitchen as my hand-crafted Lemon Marshmallows are ready to be cut and packaged.  {smile}  Yeah, I make my own marshmallows.  It's not hard, just time consuming.  The beginning part takes about 25-30 minutes.  Then you turn them out into a pan to 'set up' and this part takes 2hrs.  And finally, it takes about another 30 minutes to cut and toss them. {smile}  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rustic Rose Happiness

Howdy!  As you know, I work at a local hospital.  This is Nurse's Week.  The nurses who work in our Radiology department, are wonderful.  All of the nurses there, are incredible.  They always greet you with a smile, and they are always willing to help where they can.  Super group of ladies, and gent.
I am making them lunch tomorrow.  A simple gesture to show my graditude.  And I have to make a card as well! {smile}
I wanted to make a quick card, so I stopped by CAS(E) this Sketch.  This wonderfully talented design team will certainly inspire you, and encourage you to play along.  

and here is what I crafted:

Recipe:  I used crumb cake card stock as the card base.  I used the same sheet of pattern paper for both of the matt and the main panel:  Rustic Harmony by KaiserCraft.  I added some machine stitching around the border.  I wrapped a piece of taupe lace trim, and pink rose vintage seam binding.  I added a multi-loop bow with hot glue.  [My bow, replaces the blossom in the sketch, and my lace & seam binding replace the sentiment piece, in the sketch.]
For the sentiment, I added a sentiment block pre-made by Anna Griffin.  I added this rectangle to a scrap piece of the rustic harmony pattern paper.  I adhered these two pieces together with foam tape.  
I wanted a little bling (and what girl doesn't?), so I added a trio of rhinestones.  I adhered the rhinestones in locations on the card, similar to splatters on the sketch.
Now, all I have to do, is add my hand-written note!  This is as 'clean and simple' as I can do.  For those who are use to my style, know that I would love to add another layer of lace/trim, a paper blossom (or two) a button, and most likely some twine.  But, I am pretty happy with how this CAS card turned out.  {smile}  I hope the nurses love it too!

Mint to Be Crown'd

~ Ikea Frame #2 ~

Howdy! and welcome.  I truly believe that when you are doing anything creative: paper crafting, sewing, crocheting, baking, or any other art form, that when you are in your groove, tapped into your mojo, that you keep going.  Because once you stop, that rhythm will stop.  {frown}  And that is why, I kept going with my frames.  I had the time, and I wanted them to 'match', so I let that creative juices keep flowing through me.  (my first frame was posted yesterday, HERE.)
For todays post, I want to share what I did with my 5" x 7" white, oval, Ikea frame.  I purchased some incredibly gorgeous shabby chic fabric from the Rachel Ashwell collection, while I was in Phoenix, last month.  I washed and dried the fabric, once I arrived home.  I didn't iron the fabric, because I really wanted it to show the 'worn' beauty of the print.
here is what I did:

Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Heirloom White Pink Cotton Poplin

I layered two pieces of quilting batting inside the frame.  Then I added my shabby chic fabric on top. I tied a double loop bow with this beautifully sheer, mint, lace trim, by Stampin' Up!. {smile}  I just love this color!  I added this lace because it matched the mint blossoms on the fabric.  [It also matches the crochet doily in the other Ikea frame.]  The sheerness of the lace, with the scallop edge, and the swiss dots adds another level of femininity to the whole look.  {smile}

a direct 'view'

I didn't want to add another door knob to this frame.  But, I wanted them to look like they are a 'pair'. So, I repeated some of the same elements: 
1) shabby chic Rachel Ashwell fabric with mint design elements (leaves in frame #1, and blossoms in frame #2)
2) mint embellishment (crochet doily, and sheer lace) to accent the mint elements in the fabrics
3) white resin piece (bird in frame #1, and crown in frame #2)
4) some bling (rhinestone chain wrapped around bow in frame #1, and rhinestone broach in frame #2)
5) and finally the tails of the bows hang past the edge of the frames.
If you visited me yesterday, you read that I'm a hoarder collector of various items.  The Ikea frames I've had for 3 years, and the resin pieces I have had for a bit longer.  And that beautiful vintage inspired broach?  I've had that almost as long, as well.  A very dear, close friend had used the rhinestone broaches, as an embellishment on wedding announcements when her first daughter got married.  [She has 4 daughters]  I kept the ribbon the broach was pinned to also, because it is this beautifully bright pink color. And you never know when you will need a bright pink bow!

I adhered the bow first, using hot glue.  I used the bow as my 'anchor' for this simple, shabby chic piece.  I kept the tails of the bow too long, so that they would go past the edge of the frame.  I adhered the rhinestone broach just above the bow.  It purposefully looks as if it is secured to the bow.  But it is not.  I then tucked the resin crown in towards the top of the rhinestone broach.  The center of the crown is in line with the center of the frame, and the top decorative piece on the broach overlaps the bottom of the crown, on purpose.  I wanted this to look like one piece, and not three pieces clustered together.  And yeah, the dangle of the broach swings.  {smile}  
I am super happy with how beautiful these framed inserts came out.  Now, all I have to do is hang them.  {smile}  Thank you for stopping by.  I hope I have inspired you to create something you have been waiting to make, or to simply use something from your stash.  It is always a great feeling, creating something from what you have on-hand.  That way, you don't have to change out of your pjs {smile}.