Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sparklers

I made Fourth of July Sparklers for a treat at the symphony orchestra outdoor concert tonight. Easy, easy treat to make. You will need:
A 10-oz bag of pretzel rods (I used Snyder’s of Hanover)
A tub of white icing
3 bottles of patriotic sprinkles (1.75 oz)
Cover a rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Break the pretzel rods in half, if desired. Empty a bottle of sprinkles onto a plate. Open the icing tub, remove the seal, and nuke icing about 15-20 seconds. Stir well. 
Dip the broken end of each pretzel in the tub down to the bottom, remove, and allow to drip back in the container. Roll the icing portion in the sprinkles. Place on the waxed paper. Repeat with remaining pretzel halves. When complete, chill in the refrigerator an hour or so.
You can do all the little broken pieces in the bag too. 
You can keep the pretzels whole if you want, but they don’t have the same sweet/salty balance. We liked them better broken in half.

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Filed under Celebrating, Cooking

Holiday Weekend Deals

I got some great grocery deals today, combining sales or BOGO and coupons. This is what I snagged:

Mueller’s pasta, BOGO and 55c/2 coupons: 52c each box
Dial soap pumps, $1 each and 35c coupons doubled: 30c each
Chinet plates 72 ct, BOGO: $3.20
Kraft shredded cheese, $2 each and 55c coupons: $1.45 each pkg
Reynolds Wrap non stick foil: $2.99 and 75c coupon: $2.24
Al Fresco sausages, $5.49 (regular price), $1/2 store Q and $1 mfr Qs: $3.99 each
Coleslaw BOGO: 65C

The Chinet plates are for our three away-from-home picnics this weekend; the cheese is for the freezer; the pasta is for hot-day salads; and I’m glad to finally get a good deal on non-stick foil. I’ve been wanting to try it.

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Filed under Cooking, Thrifting

Pinterest Craft Day #8

This afternoon five ladies met around my dining room table to make sheet music candles. We thought this was a really fun idea on Pinterest.
A few days ago I raided our decorations closet at church for a dozen or so white and cream pillar candles that have seen better days. I already knew fresh candles were in the new budget, so I felt confident that walking off with the old, wonky ones wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. But just to be sure, I passed it by our Worship Leader; he gave me the thumbs up. I also found, deep in a dusty closet, an old, outdated hymnal from two decades ago. We no longer use this edition, so I knew nobody would miss it either. 
At my dining table today, we first tore pages from the hymnal. We ripped the pages down to the size to fit the height of the candle, and then we tightly wrapped a page around the candle and pinned in place. 
Using a heat gun (best) or blow dryer (ok), we heated the candle until the wax started to melt and bleed through the paper, working all the way around the candle. That bonded the paper to the candle. We found it best to immediately roll any paper edges on the table to fully bond. Those edges like to pop up. 
After making some candles with music we decided to branch out and try different papers. We already knew that scrapbooking papers would be too thick, so we tried another Pinterest technique: color copy onto a piece of tissue paper or tracing paper. How did we do that? First cut the thin paper longer than a standard piece of copy paper, and barely narrower than the copy paper. For example, cut the tissue or tracing paper about 8″ wide, and 13″ or 14″ long. Stack the thin paper with the copy paper, then wrap the excess of the thin paper to the back of the copy paper and tape it in place. Run it through the copier as usual. (Make sure you select “color”!) Untape it and there you have thin,  pretty paper to melt to your candle. And that’s it!

The wax may run down the candle; that’s fine. You can roll the candle on your work surface whenever you want. The drips will embed into the candle and the edges will adhere better. See the pushpins on the candle? They hold the paper in place until it’s well melted.
 

 A fave rose print scrapbook paper turned into candle decor.
 Another favorite paper decorates a candle.

 

 We especially like the music candles clustered together for impact. 

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Frames and Mirrors

I’ve gone a full year without artwork on the dining room walls, ever since I painted the room last May. See the corner of the dresser and the big, bare wall beyond the dining table, above.
I needed inspiration and a BIG mirror. Well, I got the big mirror last month. Heather had it stored in the attic and then she decided she would never hang it above her boys’ dresser. Never. Not with Thomas the Tank engines and books and Brix Blocks flying through the air on a regular basis. So she gave it to me and I knew it would be perfect above my dining room “china cabinet”, which is really just a dresser.
When Greta stopped by this morning, I snagged her help. That mirror is HEAVY! We weighed it just to be sure we bought hardware that would hold the weight. It weighs 33 pounds. After a run to three stores, we had hardware in hand and we got that thing up on the wall.
Next I wanted to add some artwork on each side of the mirror to fill out that big, blank wall and begin to balance the 12 feet of tall bookcases on the opposite wall. Greta helped me with that too…

 Tracing the frames on brown paper, cutting out the templates…

 taping them to the wall, pounding in the nails…

 And hanging everything up. Thanks, Greta!

 

 Two chairs to fill out the wall a little more, and a little r,w, and b for the season.

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Filed under Decorating, Homekeeping

Kitchen Closet Finished!

In my last post, I had cleaned out and repainted the closet in the kitchen. Over the next few days, I gathered up all my china, glassware, serving pieces, baskets, and all the other food-related items I use when entertaining. They have been scattered all over the house, from bedroom closet to laundry room to dining room and garage.  I slowly worked my way up from the floor, filling the shelves with it all. 
I purged (again) as I worked. Wow. I sure have a LOT of stuff. Some pieces I’ve held onto for decades, even though I haven’t used it in decades. I guess I thought I “shouldn’t” pass it on if someone gave it to us for a wedding gift. So silly.

I have officially renamed this closet the China Closet. Many historic homes have a china closet instead of a china cabinet or hutch, so I feel I’m in good company.
Going from top down and left to right on each shelf, I have: (shelf 1) glass beverage dispensers and large apothecaries; (shelf 2) inherited family china and vintage glass dessert sets; (shelf 3) china teapots and small pitchers; (shelf 4) our wedding china; (shelf 5) china Christmas plates, china plates for decorative uses, and china plates collected from our travels; (shelf 6) goblets; (floor) tall vases and baskets in open bins.
On the very top shelf which doesn’t show in this photo I have a green depressionware berry set and smaller glass apothecaries.
I love that I can simply open the doors and take out whatever I need.

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Filed under Homekeeping

A Redo for a Closet

After hurting my back on Monday (or maybe it was Sunday), I’ve been rather slow this week. Lots of lazing around and doing nothing. Yesterday I fell asleep while reading, and then I couldn’t go to sleep last night. I decided I’ve had enough of that, so I got busy on this sad, sad closet. 
This rats’ nest of cords and electronics is gone now. It’s new home is the office closet, but some has been completely removed. Yay!
The guys moved all the computer equipment out last night and that freed up lots of space. It also exposed all the grime on the walls! Since I needed to empty the closet and reconfigure it anyway, I decided to take the extra time to clean, patch, sand, caulk, prime, and paint.

 Lol. Some people have phone jacks in their closet…and electric outlets too!

 It’s still a work in progress, but here is the closet with one coat of primer. Check back later for the finished closet!

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Pinterest Craft Day 7

Today for our Pinterest Craft Day, we met in my dining room to make various button crafts. Each lady chose her fave button craft from our joint pinboard and brought all the supplies she needed for that craft.
Heather created a button flag on a chunk of 2×4. She had previously painted the board in chalkboard paint, but she didn’t like it as a chalkboard, so she recycled it for her flag. So cute!
Greta cut a star from heavy cardboard and then painted it pale blue. She completely covered it in two layers of mother of pearl buttons. She can use it to decorate for July 4th, for a beach theme, or for Christmas. So versatile!
Adie cut a piece of cardboard to fit a black frame she already had. She covered the cardboard in a thin layer of batting, and then she covered that with linen fabric. She created a Christmas tree with buttons in shades of green. Merry Christmas!

Joyce didn’t feel like digging through her boxes in storage to find her button stash, so she decoupaged a cigar box she found at the thrift store. She used pages from her book clock project as her decoupage paper. So thrifty and resourceful!

Ellen didn’t want to do a button project, so she started painting a cute train on a canvas for her grandson. She is an excellent artist and she drew her own train. It is adorable!

Mary Jo brought her buttons to make a button bracelet, but she had to go rescue her daughter from car troubles as soon as she arrived. We hope she can stay and craft with us next time.

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