Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Crafting Fail

Last week I tried to make a papier-mache Easter basket from Country Living Magazine.  Here's a photo of their pretty baskets:
Photo by Dana Gallagher for Country Living
Here are the instructions from Country Living:

1. Tightly cover a small bowl with plastic wrap, then flip the bowl upside down on wax paper. In another container, mix equal parts water and clear glue.

2. Dip handfuls of shredded paper into the glue mixture, then immediately lay them on the bowl until it’s covered.

3. Lightly press dry paper strips along the outside to create a “nesty” look.

4. Let dry for 12 hours; carefully pull the wrap off the bowl and away from the nest.

Doesn't sound that hard, right? 

Here's my attempt.  I shredded some brown paper, and when I glued it on, it the paper slid all over the place. It was an icky, glue-y mess:

It took over over 48 hours for the whole thing to dry.  When I pried it off the bowl, there were pieces of wax paper stuck to it:

Handy Man said "It doesn't look that bad!"  He took some scissors and cut off the wax paper.
Handy Boy and Crafty Niece put plastic eggs in it, and played with it.  Of course, it doesn't look nearly as good as the Country Living basket, but I guess it's not too bad! 

I know they have a whole staff of people working on their crafts, but I can never get mine to come out as well.  I wonder how it would have come out if I used different paper.

Have you ever tried to do a craft from Country Living or any magazine?  Have you had any craft fails lately?

Linking to:  Under the Table and Dreaming/ Fingerprints on the Fridge/ Finding Fabulous/ The Shabby Nest/ House of Hepworths/  Fireflies and Jellybeans/ Beyond the Picket Fence/ Somewhat Simple/ Tales from Bloggeritaville/ The Shabby Chic Cottage/ We are That Family/ My Backyard Eden/ Savvy Southern Style/ Sugar Bee Craft Edition/ New Nostalgia/ The Gypsy's Corner/ Today's Creative Blog/ Homemaker On a Dime/ Sew Chatty/ Dittle Dattle/ Craft-O-Maniac/ Thrifty Decor Chick/ Keeping it Simple/ Making the World Cuter/ The Girl Creative/ Boogieboard Cottage/ Between Naps on the Porch/ Hazel and Honeysuckle/ Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wicked Awesome Sponsors

I usually talk about my sponsors on Sundays, but I've been having so much trouble with blogger this week, especially on Sunday.  Anyone else having trouble or was it just me?  Please take a look at our great sponsors (and don't forget, our link party is still up):

Barbara from DIY Home Staging shares great information about how to prepare your house for a sale: cleaning, decorating, lighting, landscaping, and much more! She wrote an informative guest post for us with tips about remodeling a house to sell.

Laila and Heather are co-founders and co-authors of Significantly Simple.  Though quite different from each other, they share a passion for their children and families and the environment. They created Significantly Simple as a means of helping others to live a simple, but significant life.  They write about the environment, words that move them, and fabulous finds, and more.

Becky from Organizing Made Fun is just that...a blog that makes organizing fun, inspiring, and motivating! Becky features projects she's working on around the house, and gives tips and great sites she finds that can help you get more organized.

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom who has just started an Etsy store, Goodies by Grenier, which features a variety of homemade goodies.  
Tiny Prints specializes in customized photo cards, stationery, holiday cards and invitations, with unique and exclusive designs for all occasions.  They have the cutest baby announcements and wedding invitations.  

Tiny Prints is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders of $49 or more for a limited time with the code FREESHIP, see their site for details.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wicked Awesome Wednesday #9

It's time for Wicked Awesome Wednesday #9.  Do you believe that we've been doing this for nine weeks?  Thanks to all of the very talented people who linked up to our last party.  

Here are a few projects that caught my eye last week:

Melanie from Reasons to Skip the Housework made the cutest Easter Topiary. 

Kari from Newlyweds on a Budget made these cute wedding decor pom poms.  Great idea for an inexpensive decoration!

Kerri from Boxers, Cleats and Me took this abandoned table and made it over.

Kristy from 4 the love of wood made over this cabinet, and lined the drawers with some really pretty fabric.

Kristen from Turning a House into a Home made these cute egg candles:

Gloria from Potentially Beautiful made over this buffet:

Katie from Newcomb Home made a delicious Chicken Divan recipe that you can make the day before: 

If you've been featured, you can grab our "I've been Featured" button.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Before and After, The Outside of our House

This post could also have the title: "I can't believe we bought this house."  

Or: "I can't believe I'm showing this picture."

What I am about to show you is really, really embarrassing...but hey, we're all friends here, right?

Even Handy Man said "Don't do it!!" 

Here was our current house, when we first bought it back in 2005:
What were we thinking?

...and here it is, after we did a TON of work fixing up outside the house, and the yard:
Here are some of the things we did to fix up the outside: 
  • We got a new roof.  Besides the mildew on the roof, we had some leaks.
  • Hosed down the siding to clean it up
  • Washed all the windows
  • Scraped the paint off the steps, and put a new grey stain on
  • Put up new outside lights.  Actually, one of the first things we did was to take down the old brass lights, and put the new ones up, so the new lights are in the "before" photo.
  • Put up the American flag, which is also in the "before" photo
  • Took down the red plastic shutters that were painted red.  Yes, someone painted plastic shutters.  We installed new black shutters
  • Handy Man did a lot of work fixing up the lawn
  • Tore out the old, crumbly, brick pathway (You can see photos of the new stone path here).
  • Tore out all the old, scraggly bushes and planted a new bed with mulch
  • Had gutters installed (for practical purposes, so water would run away from the house).
  • Installed new screen doors and a front and side door
  • Put up a house number on the siding
Let's take a look again:
I'm sure when Handy Man sees this post, he will point out a few things I may have missed.  He'll also complain about the before photo. 

What do you think?  Would you have bought the "before" house?  Let me tell you, the inside wasn't much better, but we'll get to that another time...

Linking to: Centsational Girl/ Funky Junk Interiors/ A Little Knick Knack/ It's a Hodgepodge Life/ Delightful Order/ We are That Family/ Fireflies and Jellybeans/ The Shabby Chic Cottage/ Tales from Bloggeritaville/ House of Hepworths/ Sew Much Ado/ Blue Cricket Design/ My Backyard Eden/ Savvy Southern Style/ A bowl full of lemons/ Not Just a Housewife/ The Gypsy's Corner/ Between Naps on the Porch/ Censational Girl

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weird & Wacky Kitchen Gadgets

Once in a while, we like to shop in kitchen stores and check out the latest gadgets.  We have plenty of kitchen gadgets...but I couldn't help looking at everything for sale in this huge kitchen store.

Here are some of the odd things I found, that I can't really imagine buying:

These little "frills" to put on the legs of meat.  Does meat really need to wear socks?
A stainless steel meatballer.  Hmmm...for people who want perfectly-formed meatballs?

Oooh, look: it also says "Ideal for shaping cookies or melon balls."  Those would be HUGE melon balls.  (Insert dirty joke here).

This wood contraption is a "chocolate mixer."  Apparently, a mere spoon will simply not do.

Ahoy, mateys!  If you want to continue that seashore theme in the kitchen, you can use these hot pink ship wine stoppers.

I don't even know what to say about this one.  He is cute, though.  He even has a name! It's "Pete" the Penguin Cocktail Shaker!

Rob just walked away, muttering "WHY are you taking a picture of that?"

For the blog, of course! Silly man.

In case you are wondering, we bought some dish cloths.  Nothing weird and least this time!

Do you have any weird and wacky kitchen gadgets?  Do you look at kitchen gadgets like this in stores?  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wicked Awesome Wednesday #8

It's time for Wicked Awesome Wednesday #8. Thanks to all of the wonderful people who linked up to our last party. 
Here are a few projects that caught my eye last week:

Cheri from Cheri Quite Contrary made the cutest scalloped pot holder. She's so talented!

Michelle at Decor and the Dog made a headboard that is an inexpensive copy of a West Elm one:

Kindra from At Home With K made these cute newspaper Easter eggs:

Amy from One Artsy Mama made a cute mini-vase that is perfect for Mother's Day:

Anna from Ask Anna did a fabulous kitchen makeover:

The Chameleon Girls have a great recipe for barbeque brisket:
Of Pinks and Fairy Tales made the cutest little crafty bee. This is a great project you can do with kids:
If you've been featured, you can grab our "I've been Featured" button.

You can link crafts, recipes, sewing projects, home decor, before & afters, etc.
* We'd love it if you became a follower.
* Please link to your specific post.
* Please add our button or blog link to your post.
* No advertisements of any kind.
* Please comment on the blogs before and after you; everyone loves a comment!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snirt Watch 2011 Has Ended

Our snirt pile has finally disappeared!  

Remember our snirt contest?  The person who guessed the date and time that the snirt pile would disappear without going over, would be declared the winner.

The snirt pile was *tiny* yesterday, first thing in the morning, and it disappeared by just around 5 pm on April 18th, so: 

The winner of a $30 Gift Card to Target is: 
Donna from Just One Donna
who guessed April 18th at 3:00 PM.  

Congrats, Donna!

We had a lot of rain over the weekend, which really diminished the pile.  For those of you who guessed May, I wasn't trying to throw you off.  We HAVE had snow on the ground, in May.  

Look at these snirt piles we still had in mid April, one year.
Here's our snirt pile from April 15th, 2003.  We were walking around in shorts, looking at it!  (This is at our old house).

Does anyone have a "snirt" pile left in their yard?  I've been seeing so many blog photos of green grass and flowers...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Simple and Fun Scrapbook Page Borders

Over the weekend, I felt like playing around with my scrapbook stuff, but I didn't want to actually scrapbook.  I just felt like playing with my paper and stickers. 

I wanted to get into scrapbooking partly for the stickers.  Oh yes, it's a great way to preserve our photos.  But a chance to play with stickers as an adult?

Yes, please.

I know that I have fall and Halloween photos coming up, so I made these horizontal borders:

Some Christmas and winter borders:

Borders for the Boy's birthday party pages: 

I used Creative Memories paper and stickers for these borders.  I also used the Making Memories 12" trimmer (which I talked about here).  You can also check out this post to see my scrapbook table; where I work and store my supplies. 

Linking to: Delightful Order/ Fireflies and Jellybeans/ Beyond the Picket Fence/ Somewhat Simple/ Saved by Love Creations/ Momnivore's Dilemma/ House of Hepworths/ Tales from Bloggeritaville/ The Shabby Chic Cottage/ My Backyard Eden/ Savvy Southern Style/ The Thrifty Home/ Blue Cricket Design/ A Beach Cottage/ Sew Much Ado/ A bowl full of lemons/ Not Just a Housewife/ New Nostalgia/ Coastal Charm/ Sugar Bee Crafts/ Today's Creative Blog/ No Minimalist Here/ The Gypsy's Corner/ *born-again crafter*/ Homemaker on a Dime/ Craft-O-Maniac/ Dittle Dattle/ The Girl Creative/ Keeping it Simple/ Boogieboard Cottage/ Between Naps on the Porch

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wicked Awesome Links

Here are some Wicked Awesome links that I came across this week that I'd love to share with you:

You have to see this kitchen makeover from Mikey at Shabby French Cottage

We're big Star Wars fans here, so this site really cracked me up.  Check out this Star Wars crafts book at The Geeky Hostess.
Image from

Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas just completed a 30 day series where she made 15 decorations and crafts for her home using $0 for each project.  Great series! 

I love this big bedroom to bathroom renovation at the Newlywoodwards.  These are the kind of huge projects we've done in our past homes.
Photo from the NewlyWoodwards

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  The sun is shining and the daffodils are opening!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yard Work - Hooray!

At least, hooray for Handy Man.  He was so excited that the temperature got above 40 (har har), so he could have a chance to do some outside work.  

Here he is, taking the glass inserts out of the exterior doors, and putting in the screens. 

There were trees that needed to be cut down from winter storms. 

Handy Man put gas in his chainsaw and worked on getting it ready.

We dragged the branches into the woods, and made a pile.  It's convenient to have woods in the backyard.

After a while, the pile of brush, leaves and twigs will decompose, and get smaller.

Anyone else doing yard work this weekend?

For those who are wondering: yes, the snirt pile is still there!  It has shrunk quite a bit.  Thanks for all the comments and entries for the contest.  Comments have been turned off; we're going to be on "snirt watch" now.  

Also, I told Handy Boy that he should NOT jump on the snirt pile, or ride his bike through it...because I guess that's a fun thing to do.  He said "Awwwww!"
I told him that it can't be destroyed, it has to melt naturally.  

"For the blog contest, right?" he said.

The Boy pays attention! 
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