Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paper Crafted Frames Tutorial

Today, I'm going to share a little tutorial with you to make cute and thrifty wall art and/or picture frames from $1 Michael's wooden frames, craft paper, Matte Mod Podge and a little glazing paint.

If you remember this post, where I shared a little master bathroom updating and a plan for a project gone awry, the above photos show the finished project.  Each frame is backed with a little piece of tan linen and I attached the coral (from my husband's boyhood collection) with white embroidery floss. 

If you would like to make some of these frames for yourself or to use as gifts, follow this simple for tutorial.

First, begin with a $1 square, wooden frame from Michael's or any craft store.  
Mine is spray painted black, but you can simply use the natural wood to save a step.

Using an X-Acto knife, cut an outline of the frame in your craft/scrapbook paper. 

It's okay if they edges aren't perfect as everything will be buffed out later. 

Now apply your Mod Podge to the back of the paper and smoothly adhere it to the frame.  Allow to dry completely.

After drying, apply the top coat of Mod Podge and allow to dry completely.  Then, most importantly, use a sanding block to sand the paper edges until the are smooth along the wood edge.

Lastly, to create a worn and custom look, use a brown or black tinted glazing paint (I use Ralph Lauren in Chocolate Souffle) and brush it all over the frame.  After a minute or two, wipe the glaze down and concentrate on keeping glaze in your "imperfection" areas.  

Your finished product will look like this. 

I hope this little, but picture laden, tutorial inspires you to create some simple and thrifty paper-crafted frames!

Sharing with...
Get your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative
Made By You Mondays at Skip To My Lou
Talented Tuesdays at My Frugal Family
Feature Yourself Friday at FingerPrints on the Fridge

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to cool.

For Mommy

For Kiddo

For Mommy

For Kiddo

What are you carrying back to school?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fresh Pesto Butter

Recently, I picked a large bunch of basil from my Mom's large garden (mine seemed to barely grow).  I used this bunch to make Cherries with Basil, Olive Oil Pesto, and this Pesto Butter.  I love Pesto Butter for spreading on a crusty piece of French Bread or for making "butter noodles". It's also great for grilled or sauteed vegetables. 

Anyway, it's super easy to make.  I used a small food processor to blend...
one lightly packed cup of basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
handful of pine nuts
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese.

After this mixture was blended to a paste consistency, I add 1/2 c of softened butter (I use Land O' Lakes Light), but I'm sure you can use whatever type of butter/margarine that you prefer.  I blended until smooth.  

Then you have Pesto Butter.  Simple. Delicioso. A great way to use a bumper crop of basil; it can be frozen and gifted!

Sharing with....
New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative
Feature Yourself Friday at Finger Prints on the Fridge

Friday, August 13, 2010

Veggie Rice Balls

So, in the style of Jessica Seinfeld, these fried rice balls are veggie packed.  I made them last night in an attempt to persuade the nugget to eat some veggies.  However, I also wanted them to be parent-friendly as well.  


Mix Together
2 cups cooked leftover, white rice
1/4 c whole milk (I used 1/2 c, but ended up adding more bread crumbs to absorb liquid)
1/2 c shredded cheddar
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot, celery, with 2 cloves garlic (I used a food processor)
1/3 c sweet potato puree (or baby food)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Roll In
1/2 c bread crumbs, crushed crackers, etc.

Fry In
2 Tbsp Canola Oil

They were actually quite tasty, even though I was really winging it.  Mild enough for toddler taste buds, but flavorful enough for parents. 

Are you hungry now?  What secrets do you have to get your kiddos to eat their veggies?

Sharing with...
Weekly Link Party at Simply Designing
Weekend Wrap Party at Tatertots and Jello
Tasty Tuesdays at  At Beautiful Mess

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cooking with the Kiddo: Blueberry Muffins

This afternoon, the kiddo and I made some blueberry muffins. 

He washed and dried the blueberries.  He also poured each ingredient and stirred the bowls.  The result was a floury mess with a splash of cinnamon mixed in, but it was so rewarding to see my baby do such big boy work! 

"Come on, Mom, stop taking pictures and put the cake in the pan."
Yes, we cook wearing only a diaper and Dr. Suess book bag.  

I used this recipe from Gourmet's July 2006 issue.  What I like about this particular recipe is that the muffins are really a cross between a muffin and a scone, which makes them pair great with cup of coffee.  

How about you, what have you cooked with your kids lately?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DIY Dry Erase Boards

This morning I shared five ideas for DIY Dry Erase Boards on Great Day St. Louis in order to inspire the audience's inner creative juices to get organized and have fun with their kids.

If you would like to check out the video (all my other segments can be viewed by clicking on the links in the left sidebar), be my guest...

The DIY Dry Erase Board craze began with a menu board that I made from a spare shadow box in May in order to inspire me to plan my weekly meals more regularly.  You can view the how-to post here.

My other DIY Dry Erase Board ideas are...

A Chore Chart

A Fun Face Frame

 Re-usable Learning Activities such as...

 If you have some unused frames around the house, get your creative juices flowing and make a few fun activities for your kids and an organization tool for yourself! 

Sharing with...
Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home
Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts 
Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple 
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge 
Weekend Wrap Party at Tatertots and Jelly

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DIY Dry Erase Boards on Great Day St. Louis

Tomorrow morning I will be back on Great Day St. Louis (and if you are visiting from Great Day, "Welcome!") to showcase a variety of ways you can turn an average picture frame into a creative DIY dry erase board.  One DIY dry erase board I will be sharing is this menu.  Tune in to KMOV, Channel 4 if you are in the St. Louis area or online at 10am CST.  These ideas are great for organizing your weekly meals, lists, chores and fun activities for your kids. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cherries with Basil and Vanilla Ice Cream

First, I have to say that pitting cherries is extremely daunting, but definitely not as tedious as I had hyped it up to be.  I pitted about three pounds in less than 15 minutes.   Not bad, I say. 

Since the delicious Rainer cherries have been in peak season the past few weeks, we've been eating them up constantly.  However, I wanted to make something that we could freeze in order to enjoy these cherries all year round.  I stumbled across this recipe at Sweet Preservation. I didn't follow the recipe exactly as I only had three pounds of cherries compared to eight, but I basically just modified it for my amount.  Also, I chose to freeze my cherries, rather than can them, since, again, I only had 3lbs versus 8lbs. 

The recipe itself turned out delicious.  The hint of basil makes these cherries excellent for sweet and savory foods.  For example, the cherries paired with vanilla ice cream is truly delectable.  I also plan to try them with French toast, pancakes, and salmon.  If you were wondering what to do with all the luscious cherries at your local grocer or farmer's market, this is it!

Don't they look beautiful!

Sharing this with: 
Take-A-Look Tuesday with Sugar Bee Craft Edition
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple
Tasty Tuesdays at A Beautiful Mess

First Fall Outfit: Casual Country

Although the end of summer seems far from near with the blazing heat, I have been thinking about fall fashion. My goal is to use the end of summer sales to help boost my transitional wardrobe. Here are a few of my picks for a casual country look.  

What looks are you loving for fall?

Friday, August 6, 2010

shop local, buy handmade

 Here are a few local, St. Louis-based Etsy shops and some of their wares; you can find other great shops here , here and here

thehoneycomb offers hand-crafted floral clips, head wreaths, head bands, and combs and pins.  truly, these are beautiful and unique adornments for a wedding, dance, formal affair, photo shoot, or just for fun.
I love this clip...it's perfect for fall. 

Clever Hands Press offers custom correspondence printed using a Solid Ink Printer, which creates an effect between lithography and engraving, and results in a slightly raised print.  In addition to the designs they feature in their shop, they will work with you to create a custom creation to meet your design needs. 
My top picks...
(this) infographic birth announcement
You pick the information you would like to share with you friends and family in announcing your latest arrival.  This is amazing and I will definitely purchase these for my next kiddo.  What a perfect little frame for your nursery as well!


Aren't these hydrangeas lovely?

These are perfect for kiddo thank you cards

This concludes this edition of shop local, buy handmade...have fun shopping!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Budget Master Bath Makeover Part #1

This is an image of the master bathroom before we moved into our house.  

Nothing too special, but roomy and functional.  We were really happy to find double sinks, a separate shower, and garden tub.  The original builder's grade oak cabinets had been painted black, which was fine with us since we're not big fans of honey oak in the first place. 

This is an image of our master bathroom now.  Honestly, the only major changes we have made to this room are painting the walls and removing the large mirror and replacing it with two silver-framed mirrors for $29.99 each.  Truly, the mirrors really upgraded the look and feel of this room, giving it a more custom feel. 
We kept the chrome/white ceramic faucets and paired them with similar accessories (originally from Walmart) that we actually had used in our apartment.  The chrome and white fixtures were purchased at Lowe's on clearance for less than $5.00/item. 
The paint, mirrors and fixtures have been completed for over a year, but I'm finally getting around to pulling the room together with wall decor and other fun accessories. I found this little painting at a local consignment shop for $6.00.  I loved the bright colors, dreamy landscape and ornate frame.  I promptly sprayed the frame black to match the cabinets and placed it on the wall between our two mirrors to brighten up my early mornings. The "savon" tin is a recent purchase from Target-it came as a set of two for $9.99.  I like the vintage feel and the white, black, light blue color scheme.  These three colors are what I'm using to complement the soothing "lime sorbet" paint color.
This is my idea of budget-friendly wall decor.  I purchased a pine wood plank (that they cut into four squares for me) from home depot, primed it, and spray painted it black.  After some distressing and a little amateur design painting, I placed these on the bare wall above the toilet.  I had wanted to use the space for some extra shelving, but I reconsidered...I envisioned my seriously curious toddler climbing on the top of the toilet to reach the shelves.  As you can see, the extra Target tin has landed on the top of the toilet, which is perfect because it is virtually indestructible by the kiddo. 
This little area (ledge above the garden tub, which I won't be sharing because it is full of kiddo toys) is still in progress.  I had created this...
which was a "shadow box" frame of my husband's childhood shell/coral collection.  However, this project quickly met it's demise when it promptly and unexpectedly plummeted to the ground and shattered.  Thankfully, the shells and corals were spared.  

My new plan is to create three frames similar to the one resting on the towel bar above and place a dangling shell/coral in each one.  This triptych will hang above the towel bar.  
The only other update to this area is the "spa blue" basket that I recently spray painted to pull in more blue and a boldness.

That's the progress so far.  Other updates to come are...
a "fake" roman shade valance for the window using this fabric that I purchased at a Jo'Ann's liquidation sale, which is on target with this budget makeover. 
Plus, a shower curtain to hang in front of our glass shower doors to "camouflage" the area when not in use.
New bath mats crocheted from old cotton sheets.

Stay tuned for the final "reveal"!

Sharing with...
Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design
New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge
Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest

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