Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Me Happy Monday

We took my animal-lovin' kids to the Denver Wildlife Experience over the weekend where I got to play photographer:

They were obviously featuring a frog exhibit - but we also saw a few cool fish:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Same Pattern a Different Way

I can't seem to quit making these giant crocheted flowers!! This one I turned into a pillow.

I used an old sweater and this tutorial from Lucy of Attic 24 for the back.

***And also, the lovely Caitlyn of Caits Creates is featuring me on her "Feature Friday" today - check out her blog to see my Modcloth inspired top refashion as well as all of the wonderful projects she has posted.***

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crockpot Vegetarian Lentil Taco Filling

A great vegetarian alternative to traditional meat filling:

In a crockpot, combine:

1 large red pepper, diced
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. dry lentils
1/2 c. brown rice
3 cloves minced garlic (I used about 1 tbsp. jarred minced garlic)
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Pour 2 (14 oz) cans vegetable broth (I actually used chicken broth because it was what I had on hand so technically mine was not vegetarian) over.

Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours. During last hour of cooking, add 1 medium yellow summer squash, diced.

This filling can be used for anything that you would use taco meat for - tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or . . .

taco salads.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Give-Away Winners

First, I want to say thank you to all who entered!! If you didn't win this time, stay tuned as I am planning more give-aways - because, honestly, they're just plain fun! The 6 winners of this give-away have been randomly selected thanks to and notified. And they are:

Comment #5 - winner of the handmade silver, flower necklace - Jenn
Comment #9
- winner of the crochet and beaded bracelet - Jessica

and 4 winners of the stay-put bookmarks -

Comment #42 - Jessica
Comment #60 - Gennie
Comment # 74
Comment # 95 -

And a little shameless self-promotion - I've listed new items in my etsy shop including several bracelets and bookmarks similar to those from the give-away (the bookmarks are really a steal at $3.75 with free shipping!!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blame it on Spring Fever

Although technically here in Colorado, Spring is a ways away, it's the only explanation I can come up with for this need I've been feeling to purge, clean, freshen, and update around the house. Consequently, I have about a thousand different projects going on right now (and I'm notoriously bad about starting bunches of projects and then only actually finishing a small handful of them).

My kitchen is going from this color:

To this color:

Now, I really want to paint my kitchen cabinets white. I've never liked the cabinets in this house - they're just your basic oak (?) inexpensive cabinets. But wouldn't they be oh so pretty in white against the blue paint color on the walls? Something along these lines:

Well, I think it would be beautiful but it's going to take some serious convincing to get my husband to allow agree to letting me tackle that project.

I've also been attempting to clean out my closet. This is so hard for me. Even things I haven't worn in years, I look at and think, "maybe I'll wear it someday". But I have managed to get rid of some stuff, organize what I kept, and just generally make it all a bit prettier.

jewelry organized here

and here

And pretty new hangers for my closet from this tutorial

Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't Forget!

*** Give-Away Is Now Closed ***

If you haven't already entered, don't forget that today is the last day to enter to win 1 of 6 great prizes. Just click here and leave a comment.

Friday, February 18, 2011

And I Went With . . .

. . . none of the options I was considering in this post. Instead I made this giant crocheted flower for the center of my table. I used this vintage potholder pattern and just kept adding rounds until it was the size I wanted. It's definitely bright and cheerful! And this pattern is really fun to work with not to mention, a great way to use up scraps of yarn.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Felt Flower Garden Cardigan

I picked this Ann Taylor cardigan up at the thrift store the other day for $2. Really, it's kind of cute as is. But for some reason it was telling me that it wanted flowers on it - specifically big white flowers. Inanimate objects speak to me like this sometimes - although usually it's cookies yelling at me from the cupboard ("eat me, eat me!").

I used these free downloadable flower templates from the Purl Bee and some felted white wool fabric to make my flowers. I hand stitched my flowers in place with embroidery thread and added a little accent stitching as well. Really, a very simple embellishment and I managed to do all of the hand stitching in an evening. It's kind of a felt version of my favorite way to embellish a cardigan.

I love the little loopy flowers- now I'm trying to figure out what else I could use those for.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Making Me Happy Monday

A Random List of Things I Love Right Now

1. After watching this show rack up the Golden Globes, I decided I needed to see what all of the fuss was about. I'm only half-way through the first season but I have to say, I'm in love!! And I'm not even a big fan of musicals. But the musical performances are awesome, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) is hilarious, and Mathew Morrison is super cute in a slightly dorky way. If you haven't checked it out yet, it's definitely worth it.

2. I am finally the proud owner of this gorgeous handbag made by Sarah of BobandBelle. The most beautiful shade of blue, soft suede leather, and handmade from a recycled leather garment - LOVE IT!!

3. Things that keep me warm, including:

these old worn, brown leather boots - 1 size too big so I can wear 2 pairs of socks with them

and my heated mattress pad, possibly one of the greatest inventions ever! They're not cheap but sooo worth the investment.

4. My new favorite snack - Somersaults

5. And a quick Happy Valentine's Day from these 2 - don't they look pleased!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Handmade Valentines

I was seriously tempted to go the easy, store-bought route for school valentines this year. But then I saw this really easy idea. It took my kids and I about half an hour to make enough valentine "flowers" for 2 classes.

And for teacher gifts, we went from these:

To these:

with a little scrapbooking paper, ribbon, and double stick tape

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuxedo Cardigan Tutorial

I saw this idea somewhere but can't for the life of me remember where, nor can I re-locate it so I'm sorry if proper inspiration credit is not given in this post (most likely it was Anthropologie or Modcloth). But this is a really simple refashion with big impact. I started with a thrifted plain floral lightweight sweater:

I forgot to take a picture before I cut up the middle but you get the idea. I cut up the middle and turned it into a cardigan using this method. I also took in the side seams for a more fitted look, and fixed the rolled hem at the bottom.

Cut 2 strips of fabric for your "tuxedo" pleats - to determine the length of your strips, measure your sweater from neckline to the bottom along the button placket, then double this number (mine was 17 inches so I cut my strips 34 inches long). Width is 6 inches (or smaller if you want a thinner strip of pleats). Run a gathering stitch along both long edges of your fabric strips.

Pull on the end of your gathering threads to adjust the length of your fabric strip to fit on the front of your sweater. Pin in place - one on each side.

Now sew your strips down - I sewed along each edge plus 4 rows down the middle. Sew right over your pleats and "crinkles".

I also added a button and hidden hook and eye closure.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Because My Fresh Flowers Keep Dying

I know that's the nature of the beast but seriously, mine have only been lasting a couple of days before wilting away (I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be because I turn the heat down in our house to a brisk 55 degrees at night). But rather than throw more money away, I made some flowers that will last indefinitely! I used this tutorial, magazine pages, hot glue, and a branch cut from a bush in my front yard.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ginormous Give-Away!!

*** Give-Away Is Now Closed ***

So I've hit the 100 followers of my blog mark. Now I know compared to some blogs out there that have thousands of followers this isn't much of a landmark. But to me it's HUGE. When I first started blogging, I really wasn't sure anyone would ever read it. I was so excited when Google Analytics actual said I had 10 hits in the first few days!! And when I had my first comment, excitement doesn't even begin to describe it!

To celebrate, I'm having a give-away. But not just a give-away - a really big give-away!! Because, honestly, give-aways are only fun if you have a reasonable chance to win stuff. So the more prizes the more winners.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post. Make sure I have access to your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. I'd love it if you'd follow my blog (you can either follow via Google Connect or via e-mail - links for both on the side bar), but it's not a requirement to win. Entries will be accepted through 12:00 midnight MST on February 21, 2011.
And now the prizes:


handmade necklace - made from upcycled vintage silver chains and a vintage flower brooch


handmade crocheted and beaded bracelet


And finally, 4 lucky readers will each win a scrappy stay-put bookmark - made from vintage fabrics and buttons

Good luck to all and thanks for reading!!