Sunday, September 30, 2012

Easy Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

This is a quicky post about a quicky breakfast. I've been crazy busy with the kids starting their sports and had a bad bought of vertigo earlier this week. {NOT fun} So I haven't had a new post in a while.

But first, I wanted to say THANK YOU! I am so thrilled with the wonderful response to my little DIY Pumpkin Patch post! I was emailing the lovely and talented Claire at a little something in the meantime last week about how it so fun when someone else likes something you've created. It makes our efforts seem validated, because truthfully, my family doesn't even notice the little things I do. They have become "normal". To wake up the day before school and see that mom created a whole vignette, printable, chalkboard design, etc. Totally normal everyday stuff to my kids. :)

So, the blogging community enjoys my creativity more than my family. And I'll take it! I get why it is called a community. :) Thank you, everyone, for your sweet comments!

And if you liked my pumpkins, hop over to Claire's blog. She just posted about paint chip pumpkins... um, can you say So Stinkin' Cute {and clever}. Major inspiration - and even better, she tells you how to store them flat for next year!

On to my ridiculously simple recipe:

Easy Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

Easy Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

  • crescent roll dough {I used reduced fat}
  • butter or margarine
  • cinnamon sugar {or cinnamon & sugar}

this photo was just too boring, had to add some PW action

Note: I got this cinnamon sugar grinder at Trader Joe's and I love it! It gives you nice coarse pieces of sugar.

1: Melt butter in microwave. I used half a stick for two tubes of crescent rolls.

2: Roll out crescent dough. I recommend a jelly roll pan or something with sides to catch any melty goodness. 

Tip: I found after the first batch that separating them before adding butter  makes it easier to roll. The butter was sticking them together and made it a little gooey.

3: Spread melted butter onto the crescent dough.

4: Add generous amounts of cinnamon and sugar until the dough is mostly coated. Below was before I finished - add more :)

5: Roll those bad boys up. Brush with butter again and sprinkle more cinnamon sugar on top.

6: Bake per package instructions. Mine took about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. 

I sliced up some Gala apples to go with them. Probably could have put them IN the crescents, but then my son would never have come back in the kitchen.

Here is a closeup of the crystallized sugar on top. MMMMMmmmmmm...

And just for kicks and to keep it real... here is my daughter's actual meal :)

Super simple, and really scrumptious! I'll be back soon with some vintage goodness!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

oh... hello fall

I have wanted to try a few handmade pumpkins for fall. So, I decided to do whatever I had on hand - all in one naptime. I am hoping to make a few more this week. Possibly a different color scheme for a different room.

I bought decorated store bought orange pumpkins last year on 75% off. So about a quarter a piece. I spray painted some white before decorating them.

I made 2 different burlap pumpkins. The larger pumpkin has a tighter weave. This one is actually a plastic ball (like the ball pit kind) wrapped in a little polyfil and then covered in burlap. The smaller burlap pumpkin has no filler. It is just a puffy empty sack sewn together at the top and bottom. It is from a wide roll of burlap ribbon. 

burlap pumpkin wrapped in twine with tag

I added a wooden tag to the larger one that said, "oh... hello fall" in a coordinating ink color.

Some of the painted pumpkins have jute or twine around them for depth. For the littlest 2 white pumpkins, I wrapped their plastic stems in jute.

The remainder of the pumpkins have real pumpkin stems. They are hot-glued on to each pumpkin. I saved them after last years pumpkins were getting thrown out. My husband thought I was Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. :)

But I have a vision! It just might take me 10 months to get around to accomplishing it.

The other littlest pumpkin in wrapped in twine and then I wrapped it around the pumpkin vertically as well to add definition, because once wrapped, the little pumpkin lost its shape.

I wrapped a medium plastic pumpkin in linen ribbon and then added the twine for definition again.

Also, during the same naptime, I decided to roast my acorns I had picked last week from my neighbor's driveway. Shhhh.... But really, will they miss them? They were just going to drive on them and smash them to smithereens.

When I was looking for something to put a couple in, I realized the my little Chevrolet truck was the PERFECT shade of aqua to compliment the pumpkins. So stinkin' cute!

If you want to try this, just set your oven to 175 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. It is recommended to crack the stove door to let moisture escape. I have seen online that you can bake them anywhere from 20 minutes to all day. I did it for about 3 hours, since I had them sitting in a bag for a week. I wanted to make sure to dry out any moisture and/or critters. {eeeeewwww}

I wanted lots of different textures. I think I'm happy so far. Next, I want to make some out of velvet. I might add some glitter or epsom salt to the plain white pumpkins to add a little more character.

Have you made any new fall decorations? Share with me - I need some more inspiration. :)

Sometimes I link up with the following fabulous linky parties: The 36th AvenueA Ruffled Nest, At the Picket FenceBe Different Act Normal, Between Naps of the PorchBeyond the Picket FenceBlissful & DomesticBowdabra BlogCheerios and LattesCoastal CharmCommon GroundCountry Momma CooksCrystal & Co (The Mommy Club)The Dedicated HouseDIY Show OffElizabeth & Co., Embracing ChangeFaded CharmFamily Every AfterThe Farmhouse PorchFinding Fabulous, Fine Craft GuildFireflies and JellybeansFree Pretty Things!, French Country Cottage, Ginger Snap Crafts, High Heels and GrillsHome stories AtoZHouse of HepworthsI Heart NaptimeLil' LunaLadybird Ln, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Little Becky HomeckyMandatory MoochMilk & CuddlesMod Vintage Life, My Repurposed LifeMy Romantic HomeMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaNap Time CraftersThe Nature of GraceNifty Thrifty ThingsNot Just a HousewifeOne More Time, Primp Your StuffRedoux, Savvy Southern Style, Shabby Art BoutiqueSimple Home LifeSix Sisters' Stuff, Skip to My LouSomeday CraftsThe Shabby Creek Cottage, Stone GableTatertots and JelloThirty Handmade Days, Tip JunkieTwigg StudiosUncommon DesignsUnder the Table & DreamingThe Vintage Farmhouse, ...

The Lettered Cottage  Debbiedoo's

Saturday, September 15, 2012



Yep, that's me...

I have thought this whole time I have been blogging, that when I replied to a comment on a post here on my blog the person I replied to actually received the reply via email or blogger or something. Grrrrrr...

Well, really, it's only been a few months. But still.

Why does it show that you can reply to a comment, but the person doesn't receive the reply?

Help me out here ladies {and gents, if you exist in my blogosphere}. Am I doing something wrong?

And please, if you follow me or have ever left a comment, please please please, know that I have made efforts to reply to every single one! I just did it wrong apparently.

From now on, I think I will reply directly to the person's email instead - unless they are the famous "noreply-comment" - then it's blog reply time.

P.S. Sadly, "blogosphere" is already in spellcheck? Really?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Grain Sack Photo Frame

I had seen some photo frames in Pottery Barn's catalog a while back. They were a bit pricey, and I thought I would wait for them to go on sale. Well, they did, and I missed it. They are sold out. So, I decided to make my own. I learned a lot making the first one, and will probably do it a little differently if I make more.

The list of items I used to make my own DIY Grain Sack Frame:

  • frame {clearance for $1}
  • dropcloth {for my faux grain sack fabric}
  • scissors
  • craft paint
  • small paintbrush
  • tape
  • ruler
  • self-healing mat
  • craft knife
  • cotton batting 
  • quick dry tacky glue
  • stapler
Gosh, this list looks long, but really, I had everything on hand.

You'll want to pick your frame first. I have several out-dated, damaged, clearance or dollar store frames that I keep around just for the random photo frame inspiration. 

Here is the original inspiration for my DIY, but I decided I wanted to change up the stripes a bit:

via Pinterest (from Pottery Barn)

You can use any fabric you chose. I decided to use a drop cloth I had tucked away. Osnaburg is a good and inexpensive choice. Or if you're really lucky, you have some actual old grain sacks lying around. If that is the case, I'm jealous, you can skip the painting steps.

I cut the dropcloth fit the dimensions of the frame plus about 4 inches extra on each side. I chose a piece with some obvious flaws/nubby areas. 

Next, I taped off my lines. Sorry, no photos. But I used standard tape, not even painter's tape. {Too lazy busy to find it.} You can do just the 2 skinny lines like the original Pottery Barn style, or just one thick stripe. I chose 2 skinny with 1 thick stripe in the middle.

I mixed my blue craft paint with a little black to make it in between royal blue and navy. Then I painted away between the tape. {Tip: put something underneath your fabric, so the paint won't bleed through. Seems obvious, but I anyone can forget that detail.}

Set it aside to dry completely. Yeah, like any of us have that kind of patience. Ha! But seriously, the next step is with the frame and batting, so you really can set the painted fabric aside to dry. :)

I cut skinny strips from my cotton batting because I wanted to fill in the bevel in my frame. {Looking at it now, I wish I had actually done 2 of these layers.} I just used my quick dry tacky glue and placed them on the frame.

Then I added thicker pieces on top, again gluing them onto the current layer of batting and the outer part of the frame. I over-cut the thickness for overhang to cause a soft outer edge, but kept the inner edge close when gluing. {You need the glass, photo, and backer to still fit once you wrap it.} I cut my corners on an angle to not cause too much overlap and lumpy spots on the frame.

Then I flipped it over onto the dry {wink, wink}, painted fabric. I tried to straighten it as much as possible and line it up where I wanted the finished lines to be.

I added my glue to the back of the frame and proceeded to wrap the outer edges over. I was not very aggressive about pulling the fabric too tight - just straight.

After wrapping 3 sides, I decided to cut the fabric on an angle at the corners. I did not cut all the way to the outer edge though.

Then I stapled the edges down for good measure, continuing to straighten and pull just a little.

I trimmed off all the excess fabric from the outer edges and did my best to tuck in the 4 corners to look flat, but covered. I added more staples as necessary.

Then I laid the piece down on my self-healing mat and used my exacto knife to cut an X in the center. Again, getting close to the corners, but not too close. 

Then I added glue to the inner ledge of the frame and stapled it down. I continued to press the fabric onto the glued areas, and then put the glass inside to flatten and help the fabric adhere to the frame.

I removed the staples on the four points shown above once the glue dried. Then I trimmed this excess fabric with the exacto knife. {Note: Every frame is a little different in its width, depth, and how the glass and backer are incorporated. For this particular frame, the fabric needed to be as short as possible, but long enough the wrap around to the inside.

I completed this frame on September 11. The date was heavy on my mind, and that is why I changed my frame - because I changed what I wanted inside the frame.

I found this printable around 4th of July by A Little Crafting, and I tweaked it a bit. I made the colors more muted (vs. the 4th) because I feel somber in remembrance of this day - and the days, weeks, months, and even years that followed.

It reminds me to feel blessed. The little things tend to disappear and I realize how lucky I am.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Versatile Blogger...

 The Versatile Blogger Award
I received the Versatile Blogger Award from my old friend, Laura at Pruning Princesses. No, she is not old - our friendship is old. Which is rare for me. I have moved a lot since middle school - before facebook, cell phones, etc. It took a lot of effort to keep in touch back then. So, Laura happens to be one of the ONLY people on Earth that has known me for a long time, aside from family. 

So, I would like to give a huge shout out and thank you to Laura for not only this award, but for putting up with knowing me for so long. :)

If you have children, check out her lovely blog. It does not apply just to princesses. You will no doubt find so much inspiration for raising kids in this crazy world we now live.

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award: 

1. Add the award to your blog. 2. Thank the person who presented it to you. 3. List seven random facts about yourself. 4. List the rules. 5. Pass the award onto seven other bloggers. 6. Inform each blogger they have won by posting a comment on their blog.

7 Random Facts about Me:

1. I love my children like crazy, but they drive me totally and utterly crazy. It is funny how you can love someone SO much, it feels like your heart is beating outside your body- living inside them. And yet, they make me certifiably insane. Until they smile. Then it's all warm fuzzies, cup runneth over feelings. Until they do something besides smile.

2. I am addicted to Pinterest, paint chips, coffee, fonts, thrifting, unfinished projects, Storage Wars {I don't care if it's fake; it's a really good show!}, hmmm.... I'm sure there are more, OH, yup - ice cream. Definitely ice cream. They're all legal, but that might be the problem.

3. I have only had one mani/pedi and massage in my life. For my wedding. 10 years ago! I paint my own toenails and they look like it, indeed. Boo! That's one of those items on my, "One of these days..." list that probably won't happen until my youngest goes to college. She's 3.

4. I'm a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with an aggressive thyroid cancer at 24 years old. Thankfully, thyroid cancer is one of the easiest treated cancers. Unthankfully, my tumor was growing at a rapid rate and almost entered my veins. Pretty scary stuff at the time. I am now 12 years cancer free! Woohoo! It has not been all smooth sailing, but I feel pretty lucky. Sad admission: until my diagnosis, I had NO idea where the thyroid was in the body. Freshman Health class failed me. 

5. I am a Hockey Mom. First it was soccer, now it is hockey full speed ahead. I had no idea how much I would love watching my son play hockey. I tell myself before every game that I will NOT scream and shout like a crazy person. But it is seemingly completely out of my control. Even if I am losing my voice and on antibiotics, I cannot help myself. I do not, however, yell at the referees or the other parents like some whacko's do. Although, I have been tempted to bring my own whistle since most refs don't remember to use theirs. :) What? What'd I say?

6. I love to think that one of these days I will have time to accomplish all my pins on Pinterest. :) Silly girl. If you are a conspiring pinner, you can see my pins and follow me here.

7. I am trying to ween myself from technology. So I started a blog. Hmmmm....I will never admit to being 100% sane. In fact, I am often saying to my husband, "I have more issues than Vogue." Don't remember where that quote is from.

These do seem mostly trivial and random. I could actually keep going and going, and they would all still be random and trivial. :)

I would like to award the following bloggers for inspiring me, and I would also like you to visit and even follow if they inspire you! I have also specifically chosen mostly blogs that have less than 100 followers - in hopes of helping my fellow bloggers increase their number of readers! :)

1. Chirping with Excitement

2. I Heart Pears
3. Fancy Seeing You Here
4. Barn Chic Antiques
5. Life on Peanut Layne
6. Once Upon My Life
7. The Scrapbooking Housewife

If you visit, let them know I sent you!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's OK Thursday

I like this link-up I just discovered...

It's OK... pin ab workouts on Pinterest that I will never actually try. want to take a nap every second of every day. be really cranky while starting a diet. take Advil for my caffeine withdrawal. feel relieved when my youngest gets on the bus for school. feel exhausted the second the bus drops her off. pick acorns out of my neighbors driveway for crafts. have 1,000+ projects in your head {and house} going on at the same time. not be able to find the polish remover and paint another layer over the current chipped toe nail polish. Because, disastrously painted toenails is better than bare toenails. skip reading the line above - it's so LONG. renew a book from the library for the 3rd time, even though I probably still won't read it. let the papers pile up until I can't stand it - and then file them all in one day. miss my daughter's Curriculum Night, because children aren't school. hmmm want my daughter to behave at home and be unruly at school. want to have nice things my kids will most likely break. have soup for lunch when it is 90 degrees. be really tired of summer already. crave pumpkin and caramel everything! do Nothing. Just Sit. Breathe. Do Nothing. It's a nice reminder. But I don't.

Join this link-up if you like at: Brunch With Amber

Saturday, September 1, 2012

DIY Special Tooth Fairy Pillow

When my son unexpectedly lost his first tooth, I panicked. He did not have a tooth fairy pillow. He was adamant that he should have one from the stories of his classmates. He was not going to sleep that night if he didn't have one. And that meant I was not going to get much sleep either. 

What's a momma to do?.... Improvise!

I wish I had pictures for a tutorial, but this is an old project that I'm still fond of today. Hopefully my description, photos, and links will help! And as for the "Quick" part of the DIY, I completed this within less than 2 hours from conception to completion. AND watched a movie with my hubby - and most definitely took an ice cream break. :)

You will need the following items:
  • old fabric from pants, shirts, blankets, etc - something of meaning is always nice
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • a ruler might be handy  {I winged it, but if you've read any of my posts,  you would have known that already :) }
  • thread of any kind - I doubled up standard thread, but embroidery thread would be ideal
  • needle
  • poly fil for stuffing
  • drawstring or shoelace (optional)
  • embroidery letter or other embellishment of meaning (optional)

Exhibit A
I decided to use 2 different colored pairs of pants that my son had outgrown and were so well loved, that Goodwill would reject them. Exhibit A is a sample of my son's well-loved clothes. 

We're not just talking worn knees. We're talking gaping holes that are 8 inches tall and 5 inches wide. Pretty impressive, right?

{Don't worry, I buy most of his pants at Kohl's for 50% off and then use a 30% off coupon. I know they will end up in shreds, so I refuse to pay more than $6.00 for his pants. But I do know he will get his wear out of them. :) }

First, I cut two equal sized rectangles, one from each color pants (navy and army green). I intentionally {or possibly due to holes} left a hem stitch on the army green to add a little texture. 

I quickly researched how to do a blanket stitch.

I did this project before the days of Pinterest, if you can imagine such archaic times to live in.  I just googled it [old-school!] and found a simple tutorial. I still marvel at my ability to create this project from my own imagination and not from a "Pin".

Here is a clear and easy-to-follow tutorial with step-by-step photos and a video at Gulf Coast Cottage.  This is a very simple hand sewn technique. I have darned socks and simple holes before, but they weren't pretty. 

Trust me when I say that this is a Beginners Stitch. No experience necessary - except, it is handy to know how to thread a needle. :)

Next I cut another smaller rectangle for a pocket out of a the navy blue pants. With my new-found knowledge, I used the blanket stitch to sew the pocket onto the front side of the pillow. I only sewed the sides and bottom. You will need to leave the top open to form the pocket. 

pocket with original pant seam at top and blanket stitched sides and bottom

Time-saving Tip: I cut this smaller rectangle from the navy pant's original back pocket. Note from the photo that I chose to cut a section that had a piped edge at the top for less sewing - built-in seam!

blanket stitch shown from the bottom

Once the pocket was on the front piece, I used a blanket stitch to sew the top and bottom pieces together, leaving an opening with room to stuff with poly fil. Luckily I had some on hand! Phew!

shows more detail, and the original pant's stitching I left for texture

Then I filled it up to a nice, over-stuffed fluffiness and finished sewing up the opening. I could have stopped at that and left it just as a pillow, but...

I decided to take the drawstring from one of the pants and sewed it onto the top 2 corners as a hanging strap. That way we could hang it outside my son's door on the night the Tooth Fairy would visit. 

This worked for that evening, but the next day I did add an iron-on monogram with my son's initial to the pocket from the craft store for about $1. I found the same kind here.

Monogram initial added
This, too, is well-loved after several years, and several visits from the Tooth Fairy. You can see how it is a little fringed and worn from swinging around on a closet door. The pocket fits 3 treasure boxes from school comfortably. :)

The morning after I made this and hung it on his door, we found a teeny-tiny envelope and note from the Tooth Fairy. It reminded him to brush frequently and avoid sugary foods to keep his teeth nice and healthy. He got money, too, of course. But he loved the teeny-tiny envelope with his name on it.

I could have shaped it like a tooth or car - but I knew that he would be losing teeth well into grade school and beyond. I wasn't sure how long he would entertain the idea of this, but I wanted to have a design that would not be too childish as he grew.

I was so happy with my impromptu creation. It was unique, personal, one of a kind, and FAST.

What's also kind of cool, is that every time I see it hanging in his room, I remember him playing trains on his knees like it was his "job". It is a very fond and accurate memory of my little boy.

And best of all, it made my kiddo really happy! That's the best reward ever, isn't it?

~Please note that all photos are my own, unless indicated with a link.~

Sometimes I link up with the following fabulous linky parties: 2805The 36th AvenueA Ruffled Nest, At the Picket FenceBe Different Act NormalBeyond the Picket FenceBlissful & DomesticBowdabra BlogThe Charm of HomeCheerios and LattesCoastal CharmCommon GroundCountry Momma CooksCrystal & Co (The Mommy Club)The Dedicated HouseDIY Show OffElizabeth & Co.Faded CharmFamily Every AfterFireflies and JellybeansFree Pretty Things!, French Country Cottage, Funky Junk Interiors, Ginger Snap Crafts, Happy Hour ProjectsHome stories AtoZHouse of HepworthsI Heart Naptime, Just Us FourLil' LunaLadybird LnMandatory MoochMilk & CuddlesMod Vintage Life, My Repurposed LifeMy Romantic HomeMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaNap Time CraftersThe Nature of GraceNifty Thrifty ThingsNot Just a HousewifeOne More Time, Positively SplendidPrimp Your Stuff, Raising MemoriesRedouxShabby Art BoutiqueSimple Home LifeSix Sisters' StuffSomeday CraftsThe Shabby Creek CottageStuff and NonsenseTatertots and Jello, Thirty Handmade DaysTwigg StudiosUncommon DesignsUnder the Table & DreamingThe Vintage Farmhouse, ...