Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Office 0 Me 1

Remember this post from way back when? It was the beginning of my accidental office redo. Perhaps it's the fact that we're hosting a New Year's Eve party or maybe it was the consistent nagging from The Hubs, but I finally finished and I dig it.

Here's the finished product.

and the befores...

my oops...

I created the corner shelves with the old shelves from the broken bookcase. All ya need is a few $.78 brackets from Menard's, a power screwdriver, a level and loads of patience.

A hand-me-down sewing machine, which a friend tells me is probably nicer than the sewing machine I use, works as my printing station.

and below serves as my filing station (which I purged biiiig time). These are the tips I used. This approach cut my files down by about 2/3s. So refreshing. Do it!

and it all came together to create this, ahh yay!

Totally high-five worthy, right?

By repurposing my old bookcase and purchasing a few cheap brackets, the look and feel of the room has changed completely. Fancy.

<3 dani

Jewelry Intervention

When Granny passed, I got a ton of her costume jewelry. Granted this stuff has no monetary worth, but the sentimental value is through the roof. Unfortunately, I keep it all in a box in the basement and only wear a few of the pieces that aren't completely dated.

Instead of leaving all of her stuff boxed up and unused, I grabbed a few pieces that had potential and went to work.

I'm no jewelry maker, in fact, I think this may be the first piece I've made from start to finish.

Check her out!

I disassembled the original green necklace.

Added the beads to a new wire.

Bought some chain and a clasp.

Connected the beads to the chain.

Added the matching clip-on earring and a ribbon with hot glue.


Purdy, right?

I gave it to The Momma for a Christmas Gift. 

Don't be afraid to break old jewelry. You might actually wear it!

<3 dani

Tiny Bathroom, Storage Necessary

Eventually I'll get the go-ahead to demolish our miniature bathroom, but until then I gotta make this one work.

So you have a good idea of the space (or lack of) I'm dealing with, here's the best photo I could get. Tight squeeze.

Two tiny drawers and one cabinet. Make-up, jewelry, hair stuff...I hide everything in that little vanity. But lately, I've really let it go and searching for my jewelry was driving me crazy. So, I pulled up the bootstraps and got to work.

Disaster, right?

Here's the after. No more jewelry lingering, no more overflowing bins. Just the stuff I use daily (or close to it) separated into hair stuff on the left and body stuff on the right.

I used a plastic hook on the inside wall of the cabinet for my hair dryer. She's all outta the way.

Now, I have to find a home for the jewelry that came out of the bins.

Whathuh? The cabinet door? Fo sho.

I used:

an old towel rack (maybe, I seriously have no clue where or how I got this, but I've been hanging on to it for years)
adhesive felt
hot glue gun

(I added more felt, but forgot the photo)

I started by figuring out where I could glue my rack. Being sure to leave space for the door to close completely. Then I covered with self-adhesive felt. I'm sure you could use regular felt and just glue it on. I used the felt for a couple of reasons. I needed something to put my earrings into annnnd I wanted to muffle the sound of the swinging and slapping necklaces every time I open the door.

I added a piece of ribbon with the hot glue gun to hold down the long necklaces, so I can swing open the door without fearing flying necklaces.

I rarely wear different earrings. My plain silver hoops and diamond studs have been in my ears for years now, but I do have a few pair and I just shoved them into the felt.

Out of necessity comes the most novel ideas. And lack of space forces us to make tough decisions about what we need and what we want. Making a small spot functional seems to maximize the space. It's like magic.

<3 dani

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's in a Name?

I've been waiting to make this Burlap Name Meaning Sign (from Full of Great Ideas ) for quite a while. The waiting was mostly the result of not having burlap or a frame. And truthfully, I didn't know who I wanted to make one for.

I never did get any burlap and instead I put my used ground coffee on a piece of 8x11 cardstock, smeared it around and let it dry. Once it fully dried, I dusted the coffee off and here it is. Same rustic feel with a different texture. Dig it?

Next I found a website that gave detailed name explanations, copied and pasted what I wanted into Word, picked a rustic looking font and printed it out.

Then I framed 'em.

I could have made one for everyone in the family if I had realized how easy this was!

Also, for people with unusual names or spellings, these are great.

<3 dani

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Egg Nog Pie Magic

Simple & Delicious rocks my world. It's not just a clever name. If you're not familiat, I've explained it in this post. I brought this little gem to The Momma's house for Christmas Eve. Usually I end up taking a ton of goodies home from her house, but this time we did a pie trade. I left all of my pie and took three pieces of her berry pie....fair, doubtful, but she did raise me so I guess I can spare a little pie.

Here's the recipe and the outcome:

So easy and so yum. Try it. I'll be trying it again this weekend. I might want to try a homemade graham cracker crust. Anyone have a good recipe for that?

<3 dani

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I Am The Fire Starter!

Well, the pine cones are the real starters, but I definitely helped.

In early November I made this post, highlighting a few projects that I couldn't wait to try. The pine cone fire starters were first on my list. The apron you'll see in another post. I followed almost exactly what Mrs. Adventure did in her tutorial with the exception of changing the amount...why change a good thing, right?

Here's what I used:

12 cinnamon smelling pine cones (half off at Michael's)
Soy Wax (leftovers from several used and abused candles -also, I just eyeballed the amount needed and melted more as I went)
Wick (leftovers from my "I'm gonna make my own candles" phase)
Cupcake Pan
Cupcake Paper Liners

And we're off.

I started by prepping my wax and my paper liners. I rigged a double boiler and stirred and stirred and stirred until all the wax melted.

I forgot to take a photo of this step, but next you should take your wick and wrap it around the cone. Now the cones are ready to drop into the wax.

Then pour your wax into your muffin pan, sticking your cones in as you go.

Here they are. The house smelled amazing after I finished too. 

These are great gifts for anyone with a fireplace and took about fifteen minutes start-to-finish. High five!

<3 dani

Holiday Hangover

During the last few days before Christmas, I was finishing gifts for what seemed like a million people, but in reality was something like six or seven. Either way, now that the excitement [read: anxiety] is over, I feel like I finally did a million things to post about, but now I have no time to type it up. Hence the holiday hangover. Funny how this little craft/blog cycle works.

I think I'll start simple considering I haven't posted in almost a week. No tutorial, just a little photo shoot.

The Pups had a serious Vet visit last Monday. Some x-rays, a nail removal, a mole removal, a biopsy annnnd fifteen stitches. Yikes, right? My boy isn't the most cooperative patient. In order to have all of this done, he had to go under anesthetic. I was a nervous wreck. The entire day.

When he finally came home and snapped out of his drug induced trance, I couldn't help but take a million pictures of him.

He could stop a train.

Hope you enjoyed ;-)

<3 dani

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate Cheese Ball & The Hubs

Originally, that combination scared me, but after a little guidance (and only minimal yelling) The Hubs rocked our family Tapas Party with his take on Bonnie's (at House of Grace) recipe -- If you haven't seen her blog, you are so missing out. So many great ideas and an amazing sense of style -- okay, back to The Hubs baking adventure.

Our family loves food. We are usually together at least every weekend and of course we eat a lot. We also love any reason to have a party. So, years ago my mother-in-law-in-law (no that's not a typo, that is how I refer to my sister-in-law's mother) created the concept of our Tapas Holiday Party. Each person in the fam has to bring a dish they've never made before. Consider The Hubs doesn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I usually get nervous for him a few days before the party.

I try to give him a few simple options and Bonnie's Recipe was on the short list. Considering how much he loves cheese and sweet treats, this was a clear choice.

The ingredients.

 The Hubs <3

The Pups getting a peek. Really inappropriate doggy behavior, I'm aware. But, OMG he's so stinkin' cute.

I forgot to take a photo of it during it's original presentation, so you get to see the leftovers. I'm assuming there were leftovers because we were all so full on other food because this cheese ball was uh-maze-ing.

Even if this hadn't turned out as well as it did, spending time with The Hubs in the kitchen was great.

<3 dani

Monday, December 20, 2010

Give Me a Break

It's finally Holiday Break. My first official Monday without work and all I'm doing is lounging around making lists. We had our besties over all weekend. Maybe it's because I'm bummed they left already (even though they'll be back soon) or maybe I'm just lazy, either way I'm having a tough time getting motivated. I really don't have time to be unmotivated! Making a post will at least allow me to mark one thing off my To Do List.

A few weeks ago, The Momma and I got together for our First Annual Baking and Beer Day. I love to cook, but baking isn't really my thing. See, my sissy-in-law is the family baker, so I never ever even consider baking. The Momma takes pride in the fact that she's taught me how to cook well, but truthfully I think she's a little embarrassed that I truly stink at baking. Thus she created a Baking Day (I think the beer portion of the day was just to ensure I'd actually show up). I learned alot. Here are the highlights of the day.

  The Momma

The student

The typical Michigan mitten map and a dot so you know where I'm at.

The Earth cookie. Easily the most exciting creation of the day. In my humble opinion anyway ;-)

We had an audience. This is J.D.

and baby Emma

All in all, the day went great. We made fudge, brittle (holy good lord it was amazing), sugar cookies and o-ke-doke carmel corn.

Our new tradition should have me baking on my own in no time!

I hope you're setting time aside for the special people in your life this time of year.

<3 dani

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bulb Ornament Wreath - Ish

I say 'ish' because I could easily add another package of ornaments, buuut it might be a while before I head back out to the madness that is the mall. Even my Dollar Store was a shopping disaster.

Is it wrong that I have a sense of ownership over the Dollar Store that I frequent? In my head, I caught myself saying to the herd of shoppers, "Don't even act like you guys love this place. I know better. I'm here all the time and I've never seen you before!" Possessive? Absolutely.

Oops, little sidetracked there. Anyway, about the wreath. I love it. And for roughly $5, it makes my crafty heart pitter patter. Check the little guy out.

Here's whatcha need:

Tons of ornaments (when you think you've got enough, get more)
Wreath Form
Hot Glue

And it wouldn't be Dollar Store material if it didn't have some personality

Just in case you don't know if you want to hang it from the top...or the side. That's my Dollar Store...always givin' me options.

Okay, then I painted the wreath form in case my covering wasn't sufficient. Black seemed to do the trick.

Then I just started gluing. If I was smart, I would have looked at a tutorial that one of my bloggy friends created, but nope, too cool for that.

This is about the time I discovered I didn't have enough ornaments. I pulled what I could from our tree (no ones looks at the back anyway tee hee), then ran downstairs and grabbed some old ones. Not the right color. Good thing I didn't put the black paint away.

Eventually, I came up with this.

Not quite circular. Kinda pretty though. In a non-circular kinda way.

What's the likelihood that I actually get more ornaments to fill this little guy up?

<3 dani

Loads of creativity where I LINK UP