Thursday, March 28, 2013

Giving a Homemade Gift

This year I've been trying to be intentional about gift giving.  Rather than spending money on store bought gifts, I've been making homemade gifts.  I love Pinterest for all the ideas, but I also love it for another reason.  I have intentionally been checking out the boards of people I am planning a gift for.

It's one thing to make a homemade gift, but if it's not in the recipients taste, they feel obligated, and I've wasted my time.  I know what I like, and I tend to want to make things to my taste.  But that isn't what gift giving is about.  So I peruse their boards, check out their gift registries, and then use what I see to come up with a gift that is to their taste and in colors they like.

I've been making gifts for my kids for a while.  I have one I will share for Pinterest Monday that I made for my daughter's birthday.  Today I am sharing what I made for a young couple's wedding.  After checking out their wedding registry, I noticed the colors of the towels they selected for their kitchen, and the overall colors for the house.  Then I visited her pinterest board and found some ideas there too.

While looking for something at Big Lots last week (never found it), I came across a packet of coordinating scrapbook papers in just those colors and patterns.

Ken had cut me some 12 x 12 fiber boards for a craft project I did for our church's ladies night out.  I had a few of those boards left.  They were already painted white on one side.

I selected three of the papers and mod podged them onto the boards, then top coated them with another coat.  Next time I would use spray adhesive, because I had trouble with bubbling after the top coat.  No matter, I got most of the bubbles out, and covered the others with strategically placed photo mattes and flowers.

I turned them into scrapbook pages for the wall.  They can be hung horizontally, vertically or individually however they like. Sorry about the picture quality.  I was in a hurry to leave for the weekend and had to go with the available light on a cloudy day.

I'm happy with how they turned out.  Although store bought gifts are nice, and registries make it easy to select something, the gifts that were made for me are the ones that I especially treasure.  What about you.  Do you like to make homemade gifts?

Until next time keep craftin' and smilin'!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What We Accomplished Wednesday #9

Want to be a pin-up girl?  Join the party, and if you are featured, I'll pin your project to my Green Willow Pond Features Board!

I'm back from my little break.  I wish I could say I feel refreshed, but I came down with a nasty cold on Sunday and think I have bronchitis.  I have the energy of a newborn.  Anyway, I am back, cough...cough.

What did I accomplish this past two weeks?  Taxes...although I'm not quite finished, I got most of it figured out.  I also made gifts for a wedding and for my daughter's birthday.  I will post those later this week.

I hope you have lots to share, because I need some inspiration ladies!  Before we get to that, let's take a look at the features from the last party!

The link with the most clicks was this antique buffet makeover by Lisa at Create Inspire.  Didn't she do an amazing job on it?  I love that she left the panels and top unpainted.

Donna at Distressed Donna Down Home made these adorable framed Hares.  So cute for Easter!  

Danielle at Finding Silver Pennies, transformed this old damaged dresser into beautiful soft blue and white one for a lucky little girl.

I love the sweet sentiment that this sign represents.  Home should be our happily ever after.  Mindi, at My Love 2 Create, shows step-by-step how she did it.

 Old windows have so much charm.  Deborah gave this one a double dose of charm with it's fabric back.  Check it out at Ramshackle Romance.

This family sign was made to look like an old barn door.  Aimee, at Vintage Estate, did a great job creating a laurel leaf design.

My heart goes pitter patter when I see harlequin patterns.  I'm in love with this wall that Lynda Bergman Decorative Artisan painted.  Check out her tutorial on how to figure out the pattern.

Sometimes simple is perfect.  Kirsty Girl painted and distressed an old mail holder that had worn many colors in it's past life.  Sweet and simple.

My parents are from southern Indiana, so when I saw this gorgeous Hoosier cabinet at Penny's Treasures, I was instantly in love.  Someday I want my own Hoosier cabinet!

You need to fix this tonight!  I'm serious.  I made this for my family and they loved it!  It's fast and simple.  Perfect for those nights you are in a hurry.  Visit Stephanie at The Cozy Old Farmhouse for the recipe.  

So come on ladies (gents welome too), bring on the inspiration.  Give this tired invalid something to inspire me.  Okay, I am laying it on a little sympathy required to link-up ;)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Break for Taxes

The tax man cometh...and this girl is up to her eyeballs in tax forms!  I do our taxes, as well as my two oldest children's.  Theirs are easy.  Mine, not so much.

We have a wedding downstate to attend this weekend.  Our daughter, Jamie, is meeting us there, then we will spend the night at Ken's sister and brother-in-law's home.  Jamie's birthday is this weekend, so I am also busy making gifts for both occasions.

Soooo my dear friends, I am taking this week off from blogging to git 'r done!  I will be back next week with our regularly scheduled What We Accomplished Wednesdays, with features from last week, as well as posts about the gifts I am working on.

Until then,

Keep Craftin' & Smilin' :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What We Accomplished Wednesdays # 8

Want to be a pin-up girl?  Join the party, and if you are featured, I'll pin your project to my Green Willow Pond Features Board!

It's been a crazy week.  We had two funerals at our church in the past week, one today, which I worked at the funeral dinner.  Tomorrow is our last day of our spring session of our homeschool group, then we have our Celebration Night that same evening, then our annual Picnic and Pie auction fund raiser for our bible quiz team takes place this Sunday.  I'll be baking pies Saturday!

So sorry I'm late to the party, but better late than never!  I haven't had time to post last weeks features to my Pinterest Board either.  My apologies to those who were featured.  I will get it done in the next few days.

If you missed my post about the air freshener I made you can read that here.  Keep in mind it is a tongue-in-cheek poke at how to cover up unpleasant odors.  Get ready to laugh, unless good clean bathroom humor offends you.  Then by all means, don't read ;)

Last weeks top clicked link was this "You are my sunshine pillow," made by Brandi at Don't Disturb this Groove.  Isn't it adorable?  

Arlene, at For the Love of It, reupholstered this gorgeous chevron chair.  She did an excellent job matching up the pattern!

This bird banner is just so cute for spring!  Diana, at An Extraordinary Day, gives an excellent, detailed  tutorial so you can make your own.

I've been transforming my house with whites, but this darker kitchen is stunning too!  I love the huge clock and the chandeliers over the island.  Check out the rest of it at Market Nine Home.

I love three tiered stands, but they are usually quite pricey, and I can never find one to suit my taste.  Tanya, at Twelve-o-eight, fashioned her own out of...well I won't spoil it.  Go check out what she used!

Aimee, at Twigg Studios, did it again.  She creates the most gorgeous flowers out of paper!   These ranunculas are so beautiful and realistic looking.  

Do you have one of those 70's faux french provencial pieces of furniture.  My daughter has a desk with hutch in her room that I really don't like.  When I saw what Andi, at Delusions of Ingenuity, did with this dresser, I was smitten.  Now if my daughter agrees, I'd love to do something like this with it!

Jayne, at Daisy Jayne created this gallery wall with the help of her whole family.  I think they did an awesome job!

Lisa, at Create Inspire, painted this beautiful piece in duck egg blue.  Even the name of the paint is beautiful!  

In the yum department, Andi, of The Wednesday Baker, created this delicious looking Pizza dish.  I've got to try this one!

So, what have you been up to?  Link up your accomplishments below!  

Monday, March 11, 2013

How Pinteresting Monday - Homemade Air Freshener

I can hardly wait for spring here in northern Michigan.  I love to throw the windows open and let in the fresh air.  No matter how much I clean, nothing seems to clean the air like a good fresh country breeze. In the meantime, I have resorted to commercial air fresheners in the past.

I'm no longer comfortable using products that post: "Warning, hazordous to humans and animals." Seriously? Nor am I willing to sell a child to afford some of the commercial natural alternatives.

I nosed around pinterest to see what I could come up with.  I found a few ideas.  Baking soda has always been known to absorb odors, and you can add a few drops of essential oil to make it smell pretty, but I never found this very effective.  I think the baking soda absorbs the smell of the oil as well.  

However, baking soda doesn't hold a candle to a certain loved one in the smell department.  (I wouldn't light a candle around him either!)  To put it delicately...never be frank, the man is legend.  He even has the coffee mug, and he doesn't even drink coffee.   Not this exact cup, but you get the idea.

Lets just say, when we gut and remodel our bathroom, I'm installing the biggest, honking vent fan I can afford!  One, that on high speed, will eliminate the need for towels, and dry my hair in one fell swoop.

Note: I am not endorsing this movie.  I never saw it, nor do I aspire to.  
But the picture...need I say more?

Your secret is safe with me anonymous loved one.

Ahem! Back to alternative air fresheners. The best solution I found was the good old standby of simmering a potpourri of natural herbs, botanicals, and fruits.

I had done this before, but once boiled a pot dry on the stove.  Can you say stench??  Not to mention a ruined pan and much more seriously, a major fire hazard.  That was the last time I did that. I did, however, find a site that suggested using a candle warmer.  Now that would be pretty safe, and I even have one.

This is the first concoction I tried.  It consisted of orange slices, a few winter wilted lavender sprigs, a splash of vanilla and water.  It didn't smell like much so I added a couple sprays of a natural scent I had. Still not thrilled.  So out it went.

I settled on orange slices with some allspice sprinkled in.  Add water, stir, preheat in the microwave and set on the candle warmer.  Bingo.  

 I can't really use this in the bathroom because of electrical hazard (the cord would drape over the sink).  So I'm off to find a different solution in least until I find the worlds most powerful vent fan.

Grab something and hold tight babe.  I'm throwing the switch!

from the movie "Twister"

In the meantime, the kitchen and living room smell pretty yummy!  Maybe that's why I've been so hungry tonight??  Good grief...I can't win for losing!

So how about you?  Have you smelled done anything Pinteresting lately?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What We Accomplished Wednesday #7

Want to be a pin-up girl?  Join the party, and if you are featured, I'll pin your project to my Green Willow Pond Features Board!

This weeks most clicked link was this amazing gallery wall by Faye of Shabby Cottage Home.  I am taking notes for the gallery wall I want to create in our living room! (Edit:  This gallery wall was actually created by Faye's daughter, Katie.  Way to go Katie!)

Laurie at Heaven's Walk revealed the new closet doors her husband built for their guest bedroom.  I am seriously coveting them.  Pray for me ladies!

Aren't these denim "patch" eggs the cutest and most unique Easter eggs you've ever seen?  Marji at Ashbee Designs has a complete tutorial ot make your own!

 Lisa at Create Inspire, painted and antiqued this stunning buffet, bringing out all the gorgeous details.

Are these not the cutest necklaces?  Betsy from My Salvaged Treasure makes them from wooden thread spools, vintage music sheets and pretty beads and charms.   I love the way they are displayed on a lamp too!  This would be a great way to display your own jewelry.

I love mineral powder!  The price?  Not so much.  Rebekah at Accidentally Wonderful came up with a make-your-own recipe.  I'm am definitely giving this a try!

I love cherry blossoms.  We have four cherry trees in our orchard.  Nici at Posed Perfection made these darling cherry blossom branches that can be enjoyed year round!

Grain sack and coffee bean sacks are hot right now, but can be very pricey.  Lisa at House of Fab for Less made her own pillow covers to look like the real thing.  I love how they turned out!

Check out how Kathy from Life on Lakeshore Drive upgraded this basket.  A little paint, ribbon and a sweet framed key, and this basket is stylin'!

Mindy and her hubby built these awesome wall files to keep her family organized.  I need this...badly! Check out the complete tutorial at My Love 2 Create.

It's that time.  Time to show off your amazing accomplishments!  Link up your latest and greatest below.


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