Sunday, October 16, 2011

Framed Inspiration- DIY "Distressed" Wood Frame

I have the most wonderful sister-in-law. We have the best time together and she is always there for me! So when she asked me to re-create a frame she wanted, I jumped at the chance! Lucky for me it was a pretty easy task. It turned out beautifully and would make a great holiday gift for someone special in your life too.
Matte Modge Podge
Foam Brush
Ribbon of your choosing (wired for best results)
2 pieces of Scrapbook Paper (one for base and one for mating)
Black Photo Corners
Old costume jewelry or "specialty findings" (found in the craft store jewelry isle)
1 sheet Transparency paper (optional)
1 piece of craft wood (desired size: approx. 5x7" for a 4x6" photo, or 8x10" for a 5x7" photo)
Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun

1. Cut the paper to fit the wood piece. Coat the back of the paper and the top of the wood with Modge Podge. Place paper on the wood and fold into creases along the edge. (If you have overhang glue it to the back and cover the seam with ribbon.) If you want to protect the paper or create a hard surface, cover the top of the scrapbook paper with Modge Podge as well. Make sure glue is totally dry before adding the other elements of the frame.

This frame was covered with Modge Podge to protect the paper surface.

2. Measure and cut the ribbon to fit the frame. Cut a second piece of  ribbon for the bow. Secure ribbon to the frame with a dab of hot glue on the back.                          
3.Cut the complementary piece of scrapbook paper to fit the picture with a 1/2" to 1" outline. Modge Podge the second piece of paper in the center of the frame, on top of the ribbon. 

4. Form bow and hot glue to the top of the frame. Then use hot glue to secure the jewelry piece in the center of the bow. *I did not use wired ribbon because I bought the wrong style ribbon. However, I would recommend it because it holds its shape better than regular ribbon.

5. Use self-adhesive black photo corners to secure photo to the center of the frame. *Tip* Put the corners on the photo first then place it on the frame. This will make it easier to get the corners in exactly the right spot without measuring. If using transparency paper  to protect the picture, cut to size and gently slide into photo corners over the picture.

To give you a better idea of what this should look like, I have some inspiration photos and my final product. I hope she loves them!
Inspiration 1
My final Product 1

Inspiration 2

My final Product 2

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Easy and Beautiful Fall Wreath

You might have noticed that I have been a little obsessed with wreaths lately. The only problem is that we don't have a lot of storage in our little apartment. So, when I was designing a fall wreath for our front door,  I knew that I needed something versatile enough to last through the Christmas season too. After much deliberation,  I decided on a simple, classic moss wreath with a big and beautiful bow. The trick is in the bow! I made the bow easily removable so that it can be removed and replaced with a Christmas bow in a couple of months. Here is how it all went down...

Hot glue gun, bag of glue sticks
Reindeer Moss (approximately 4 bags)
18" Straw wreath
1 roll Wired Ribbon of your choosing for the bow
Ribbon Wire
Flexible hold hairspray (strong but not extra firm because that will change the look of the moss)

-Remove plastic wrap from straw wreath. (This can be a little messy because the straw goes everywhere. I would suggest putting down some a cloth or newspaper to catch all of the falling straw.)

-Working slowly and in small sections, begin to glue the reindeer moss to the wreath form. Work all the way around the entire wreath (front and back). Every part of the wreath form should be covered. Then I sprayed the entire wreath with a light coat of hairspray to hold the moss in place.

-Now it is time to make the bows! If you didn't see my last post, here is a great Bow Tying Tutorial . I purchased two beautiful rolls of wired ribbon, one in fall colors and one in Christmas colors. I created my bow using the above tutorial.

**To secure the bow to the wreath I used ribbon wire instead of glue. This way I can easily change it when Christmas rolls around. There you go, a classic wreath that can take you from fall to Christmas with just a simple change!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Christmas in September, why not? A beautiful Pearl Wreath!

The other day I was in Michael's looking for reindeer moss to make a fall wreath. They were out of the reindeer  moss. However, in wonderful strike of luck, I wandered by a tub of pearls that just called out to me! "What can I do with a tub of pearls," I wondered. So I carried the pearls around looking in every nook and cranny for the perfect project. Soon I stumbled upon the wreath making section of the store and there it was...the perfect idea. A pearl studded Christmas Wreath! So I gathered all the supplies and headed home.
The supplies I gathered were:
1- white Styrofoam wreath
1- tub of pearls ($6.99 -40% = $4.20!)
2- strands of large pearls (from the jewelry section)
1- Christmas floral pick of white/silver/clear bulbs
2- rolls of white satin ribbon
1- roll silver ribbon (optional for hanging)
Hot glue gun and glue

Here's how I did it:
1. Using hot glue, wrap white satin ribbon around the Styrofoam wreath. This will give a finished look to the sides and back of the wreath.

                                                        *Work in small sections, limiting hot        
                                                     glue usage to back of wreath if possible.

2. Separate the balls from the floral pick. Cut off the thin wire attached, leaving the base intact. Place the balls in sporadic areas around the wreath. When you get them where you want them push them into the Styrofoam.

3. Working in small sections, begin hot gluing the pearls to the top layer of the wreath.

4. When the pearls are all glued down and the wreath is complete, it is time to tie the bow for hanging. I used silver ribbon for this part of the project. If you are not confident in your bow tying capabilities this is a great tutorial: Ribbon Tying Tutorial .
So with no further adieu...
My Pearl Studded Christmas Wreath!!!!! (I actually plan to hang it in the dining room when I hang it for the holidays so that it will stick out more.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kitchen Mission: Peanut Butter Pie

Hello everyone in blog world! Today I am bringing you a wonderful Peanut Butter Pie recipe from The Bride & Groom: First and Forever Cookbook by M.C. Barber and S.C. Whiteford. We received this beautiful cookbook from my hubby's mom last spring. It is not only easy to use and practical for the novice entertainer, but it is also pretty enough to put on display in your kitchen. Anyways, my husband has an intense love for anything chocolate-peanut butter, who doesn't? So since I was feeling rather domestic this weekend I tried out the peanut butter pie recipe from our pretty little cookbook. It turned out so great that I just had to share it with all of you! Ladies and gentlemen get your pie pans ready...

Peanut Butter Pie Sealed with Kisses
Serves 6 
30 vanilla or chocolate wafers
1/3 cup lightly salted Dry-Roasted Peanuts
2 tbls unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature ( I actually used reduced fat and no one could tell)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
18 chocolate kisses (I used chocolate covered peanuts because I did not have kisses on hand)
Chocolate syrup for drizzling

 Put the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
 For the crust:
    Combine wafers and peanuts in the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the steel blade. Process until it finely ground. Add butter (melted) and pulse a few times until butter is incorporated. With your fingers, firmly press the wafer mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan. Bake until you can smell it, approximately 15 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.

 For the filling:
    While crust is baking and cooling begin the filling. 
Put peanut butter in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer (using the whisk attachment). Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, approx. 1 1/2 minutes. When the cream is ready it will slowly fall forward when lifted by the whisk. You could also use a hand mixer for this step.

With a rubber spatula, gently stir about half of the whipped cream mixture into the peanut butter. Then transfer the mixture into the remaining whipped cream and beat on medium-high speed just until incorporated. Do not over mix.

Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and spread until even. Arrange chocolate kisses (or chocolate covered peanuts) around the outside edge of the filling. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Slice and serve with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. 

Good luck and happy baking!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 deals everyday!!

Hello everyone! I just found a great new website full of awesome deals for your humble abode!! Everyday there is a new deal...check it out...become a member for free and get updates on fabulous finds for your home! Follow the link bellow to see today's deals!
 Joss and Main

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All this ottoman needs is a little TLC...The Finale

Back to my bench project... you know the one that went from a 1 day project to a 3 day project. Just to recap, first I sanded and spray painted the bench being sure to get out as many imperfections as possible. But then my Dad found the termites and I had to fill the wood and re-sand so that the paint would look even when I reapplied it to cover the wood filler. Now it is time to re-paint and create the seat cover. Here are the materials needed for this portion of the project:
-Jute Webbing to stabilize the seat (*I did not remove the old caning because I wanted the extra support)
-1/2 yard upholstery fabric
-matching Gimp to cover staples
-staple gun
-glue gun
-spray paint and supplies from this post All this ottoman needs is a little TLC...Part 1

1st I went outside and re-sanded, re-primed and re-painted the stool. Then I removed the plywood top and covered the bottom of the stool (under the caning) in jute webbing, making a woven pattern as I went. -Sorry there is no picture of the webbing.
2nd I placed the foam on top of the stool and covered it with my fabric. I made sure that the fabric was centered and straight before stapling anything. In order to get the fabric to pull evenly over the foam, I put a staple in the center on each of the 4 sides of the bench. The staple keeps the fabric in place as you tug your way around. Then I went to work stapling all the way around the stool. When all of the staples were in place I carefully glued the gimp all around the edge to cover my staples.

So now without further adieu, the finished project. A little before and after action...
 I am so proud. I wish that the lighting in this room was a little better so you could see her in all her glory! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Little Inspiration from Abroad...

Hello from Spain! I was walking around today and suddenly I felt very inspired by the beautiful sights of Seville.I wanted to take a moment to share some of the beautiful colors, designs and unexpected inspirations that I came across this morning. And who better to share it with than my blog-family?! So here are a few inspirational photos from around this great city...

 **The wooden letters featured here were purchased (1 Euro each) at the shop pictured in the bottom left corner of the collage. I can't wait to get back to Florida to create something great with my 1 Euro find! 

I hope you like my inspiration board. I would love to see what inspires you too. Email me inspiration photos to be featured on The Not-So-Domestic Housewife!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All this ottoman needs is a little TLC...Part 2 (a set back)

After I had all of my materials together for my soon-to-be-new ottoman I was ready to get down to business. But, as with most things in life, my beloved $5 ottoman had a few surprises up its sleeve.I brought the piece to my parent's house (they are generously letting me use there garage for my bigger projects since my "cozy" apartment does not provide much crafting room-thanks Mom and Dad!) and sanded and sprayed the ottoman. Very proud of my spray painting job I showed it to my Dad who quickly noticed something I hadn't noticed during my prep work. Yes I am going to say it, any woodworker's nightmare, termites! EWWWW! I had chalked the little chips in the wood up to old age and mistreatment...boy was I wrong. When my Dad pushed on the frame of the piece a small chunk collapsed. Luckily for me they were dry wood termites and appeared to have abandoned my ottoman long ago. But the damage they left definitely needed to be fixed because the wood was soft in some places from the holes left by their feast. So it was back to Home Depot for wood filler. I purchased canned wood filler, but there is also a tube of wood filler that works just as well, depending on the size of the project. 

Here is how it went:

Step 1: Find all of the damaged places to fill. Gently push on the wood around that area to see if more wood breaks off. Clean out excess wood pieces with finger or dry paint brush.

Step 2: Apply wood filler in thin coats, using a putty knife, until it is built up to match the height of the rest of the wood. ( I actually used an old palette knife from my painting days.) Allow to dry according to package directions, on average 24 hours for best results.

Step 3: Lightly sand the wood filler to match the lines of the original piece. This was the hardest part because I wanted it to match perfectly. Use fine grit sand paper (150) for this process so that you do not over sand your reconstructed wood.

 Step 4: Once it looks like you want it you can move on to painting.

Phew...that was quite the learning experience! So now that my little set back is behind me I can actually finish this ottoman that has turned into an unexpectedly long project. Tune in next time for painting day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All this ottoman needs is a little TLC...Part 1

Hello friends! I know it has been a long time since my last blog but I have been very busy wrapping up the school year then traveling in Spain with my hubby's job. I have had a jam packed summer so far, but I have missed my blogging! I am still abroad but I just couldn't stay away any longer. Before I left I finally finished up an ottoman that I had been putting off for months and I am finally ready to share it with all of you! 

It all started on one of my fateful trips to my favorite place...Goodwill. I saw this stool and just knew it had to be mine, even though the wicker seat was broken and there were some small dents. Nothing I couldn't fix with a little wood filler and spray paint! So here is the stool as I bought it...
The last owner had covered the broken seat with a piece of plywood. The nails were sticking out and the wood didn't fit had to go.

The lines of the piece were beautiful but it needed lots of TLC.

The first order of business was to remove the old plywood and see if the seat could be salvaged. I could have replaced the wicker but it would have taken more money and woodworking skills than I had the patience for, besides I wanted to use it in the bedroom so I thought a cushion would be the best solution.

Next, I set out to Joann's to find the perfect fabric match the bedding in our master bedroom. I settled on a French blue fabric with a hint of green.
I also purchased:
3 inch foam
Jute webbing (for extra support under the ruined canning)
Iron-on fabric interfacing,
Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Primer (white)
Rust-Oleum American Accents Satin Finish Spray in Espresso
Fine grit sand paper
Wood filler
 **The one thing that I didn't purchase is burlap to cover the webbing etc on the bottom so that it is not visible. This will be the next step when I get home.
-Then I was ready to work.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mom Worthy Craft Projects ...Happy Birthday Mom!

Hello Everyone! I know that it has been a while since I've posted but I have been crafting away! For me May means Mother's Day and Mom's Birthday. This year I was on a quest for the perfect gift for my Mommy. But what do you give the woman who has been there for you since day one? I really wanted to make her something special and from the heart. The only problem with homemade, after age six, is that you have to make sure it doesn't look homemade. Luckily for me, my mother loves jewelery and accessories. I did a little hunting and came up with two mom-worthy craft projects. 

First, I ventured to a local bead store to try my hand at beading for the first time. It was so much easier than I expected.

 I picked a black and white color combo that would go with almost everything! Then I simply headed home and began to lay out the beads in a pattern I liked. 
I also got some help from this tutorial:

Items needed: Jewelers Wire, Beads , Clasp, Crimps, Needle Nose pliers (I stole my husband's), Bead Stoppers (clamps that hold the beads in place until you are ready to finish it off) . 
This is what I ended up with...

 The second gift I wanted to make was a matching purse. So I scoured the Internet and found a beautiful clutch pattern on the Martha Stewart website. I just had to try it! 
The inspiration:

My version...
I think it turned out pretty well! I had so much fun making these items for my Mom. Check out the tutorial above. You too can make a totally unique purse for any occasion. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maybe it is a holiday thing...

Every holiday and family get together something strange and interesting happens to me and my kitchen. All of a sudden I come under the delusion that I am a great chef. Somehow the holidays make me believe that my cooking will suddenly become perfect, beautiful and tasty. However, the delusion never seems to manifest itself in reality. Last Christmas I made spice cakes and left out the stick of butter. Today was no exception, I made too-salty deviled eggs that were beautiful when I left the apartment and a mess when I arrived at the brunch. The list of mishaps is too long for my liking. I suppose I should not expect a miracle when I don't cook on a regular basis. I am more of a fair weather cook. When I cook I like to have lots of time to go slow, enjoy some wine and enjoy myself. The only problem with this is that during the week I have neither the time nor the energy for this cooking method and my weekends are when I enjoy dinners out with my hubby. So now to my point ...a resolution (yes in April)!! I refuse to be the relative who brings food to family events and has it "forgotten" in the fridge when it comes to dinner time. I am going to make it my goal to try at least one new recipe a week. After all, practice makes perfect. I will let you all know how they turn out. When I come across a good recipe I will share it with my blog buddies! Wish me luck and God bless my husband for having no idea what his stomach is getting into. Here goes nothing...tonight I will start with potato pancakes. 
A beautiful Thanksgiving job was chopping. I look like I had something to do with that turkey though!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Make it pretty...stools you can use!

I am short. I admit it proudly and my students make fun of me for it constantly. I prefer to quote a T-shirt I once saw, "I'm not short, I'm fun sized"! Needless to say, I make great use of the good old fashioned stool. But why must my stool be plain, boring and even dare I say... ugly? There is no reason that everyday items can’t be pretty and make us smile. So I set out to the craft store to remedy this problem. My painting skills are elementary at best, so instead I headed for the decoupage glue and scrapbook paper. After I settled on a color scheme I liked, I made my way home for a glass of wine and some crafting. Here is what I came up with…
 This project did not require a lot of supplies (which was great because I am running low in my crafting budget this month). I purchased the stool for $4.00 after coupons, 3 pieces of scrapbook paper for $.59, modge podge $5.99  and turquoise craft paint $.89. Not too bad! 

To start I traced the parts of the stool that I wanted to cover. Then I just cut and pasted the paper, covered with 2 top coats of modge podge and painted the rest of the surface. *I forgot to buy sand paper which would have given me a smoother finish on the painted surface.* Very fun and easy!!
Now for the unveiling...

Not too bad for my first decoupage project!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cork, Cork and More Cork! Place cards and Cork board DIY!

OK I admit it, I love wine! After a long day at work there is nothing quite as relaxing as cuddling in with my hubby and a nice glass of wine. Apparently my friends and family love wine too. When I asked them to collect corks for my wedding place cards I had more than I could possibly need. (THANK YOU EVERYONE!) So here are some things that I have created with my wine corks... 
Wine Cork Place Card Holders
*To create these I hot glued three corks together and then used a heavy duty X-acto knife to cut a slit in the top of one cork. I was careful to glue the corks together so that you could see the pretty designs on each one. The best part? One of our best friends was able to reuse some of my corks in her own wedding. She spray painted them silver to match her beautiful winter theme.

After our wedding I was left with lots of extra corks. So I created a "cork board" for our kitchen. Take a look...
To make this I used a cheap shadow box frame, hot glue, rolled cork board and left over  corks. I tried arranging the corks a few different ways but this way looked best. After that I just hot glued the rolled cork on the frame backing. Then I glued the corks in place. Ta-da! A cork board worthy of any bar area or kitchen. Practical and cute!!
*I have also thought about making this into an appetizer tray by adding some antique drawer pulls to the 2 sides of the frame. That is a job for another day.
So you can have your wine and drink it too!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Great Mirror Redo

Hello again! I hope you are all ready for my very first project as The Not-So-Domestic Housewife. Drum role please...da da da...The Great Mirror Redo! As you will find out Goodwill is one of my favorite furniture stores. Where else can you buy beautiful and unique furniture for practically nothing? So when I was there the other day I found this great mirror and all it needed was a little tlc.
I wanted something that would match the silver-blue of the beautiful bedding we received as a wedding gift, so I took myself over to the home improvement store to pick out some tile. I had a few criteria :
1. I wanted a relatively streamlined look to go with the rest of our furniture.
2. I have been dying to work with the trendy glass tiles you see on all the home shows...that was a must
3. It needed to make it neutral enough that it would fit in multiple places in our home if I wanted  to move it.

Soon I was off to the home store and this is what I found...
The materials included:
 3 squares of the small tiles
2 squares of the rectangular glass tiles...(if  you buy extra you can always return what you don't use)
Light sand paper, I used 150 grit
grout/adhesive in one, pre-mixed, they sell this in 1qt cans

This is how it went...
1st: I lightly sanded the wood base of the mirror.
2nd: With a clean rag I removed the excess dust from the wood. This gives the grout something to cling to on a smooth surface.
3rd: With the trowel I applied the grout/adhesive and started laying the tile.
            ***Make sure you know how you want your tile to lay. I went through a few different layouts before   
                I figured out how I wanted it to look. You might also want to make a template of the piece so that 
                you know exactly how it should look. 
Lay the grout in small sections as you work. If you grout the whole thing first it might begin to dry before you get all the tile down. 
4th: Once you have laid all the tile on the bottom layer of the grout you will apply grout over top of the tiles and then sponge it off. 
          ***Follow the directions on whatever grout/adhesive you buy. Each one has it's own specifications and the manufacturer knows best!
That's pretty much it, let me know what you think!
PS...Until we have a king size bed we can't use our new bedding. As a result, the mirror currently resides in our dining room.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My First Blog!

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting my blog! I am so excited to join the world of blogging. I suppose I should start by introducing myself. My name is Casey. I am a middle school English teacher (a tad masochistic I know) and a brand new wife to my fabulous husband, Jorge. As a new wife I am making it my mission to make our small apartment a home, learn to cook and stay on a budget. Unfortunately, for both my pride and my husband's stomach, my cooking career is off to a rough start. As I blog I will fill you all in on my mishaps and successes in the kitchen--if nothing else you should get a laugh! On the other hand, I have been crafting and sewing for quite a while and I am, dare I say, pretty good at the hands on stuff. I will be posting tutorials and projects as they come along. I hope that you will all enjoy reading about my adventures as the Not-So-Domestic Housewife.