Aug 31, 2011

Autumn Round-Up

Hey Friends!

I'm stopping in for a little visit today, I've been missing the blog life!  

Can you feel it?  Can you feel the change in the air?  Autumn is coming.

Some of you more southern folks might not know what I speak of, but up here on the Prairie, I can feel it.
The sun is setting a little sooner, the nights are cool and the morning air is crisp.  It won't be long and the leaves will start changing from their vibrant and lively green to their final burst of life in beautiful hues of orange, yellow, and red.  I love this time of year.

In honor of the impending Autumn and all the changes it brings, I'm going to share some of my favorite fall projects I've seen around blogland and Pinterest.

The first stunning project is from Ashley over at Make it and Love it.

Her gorgeous autumn table runner is a total show stopper.  When I saw this last fall I went out and bought the supplies I needed pronto.  Instead of using vinyl, since I couldn't find any on sale (and that stuff is expensive!), I used a placemat I bought at the dollar store.  Worked like a charm.  I'm so looking forward to getting my autumn table runner out soon!

Over at Thompson Family-Life there is the epitome of fabric pumpkins!

Amongst a vast array of fabric pumpkins, Danielle's version is the one that popped out at me most.  The fabric she chose, the lovely design, and the sheer genius of attaching a crocheted doily onto a fabric pumpkin seals the deal for me.  Love it!

While we're still marveling over fabric pumpkins, check out this twist from Small Fry & Co :

With gorgeous fabric leaves and sweet mini pumpkins, all in wreath form, how can you go wrong?

And from the queen of all things crafty, Martha Stewart,

Who knew you could dip leaves in wax to preserve their color?  I surely didn't, but I am absolutely going to give this a try once the leaves turn.  I love how simple and straightforward this little idea is.

I saw this table runner from At Second Street last year, and I had to include it in my list today.

Kalleen's table runner is a showstopper, for sure, perfect for everyday or dressed up for a dinner party.

And lastly, from Little Things Bring Smiles, this gorgeous felt rosette wreath.  

To prove to you that it doesn't have to be all about pumpkins and leaves.  Between the stunning amber color and the perfectly placed rosettes, this wreath is the perfect autumn welcome to any visitor who may come to your door.
Well, I hope you're feeling inspired by my autumn themed round-up.  I'm looking forward to getting into some of these fabulous projects soon!
Thanks for stopping in today, if your project has been featured, feel free to grab my button on the right hand sidebar.

Be blessed,

Aug 23, 2011

I'm Back!

Hey y'all!  Missed me?

I've been off having a few summer adventures and completely ran out of time to leave a little note for all of you.  Sorry for leaving you hanging!  But, no worries, I'm back on my home turf, and had a wonderful time jetting off to the west coast of Canada to visit a dear friend of mine.  

I just wanted to leave a little note, thanking each of you for stopping in and leaving your encouraging words.  I'm going to be taking a little blogging break until mid-September.  I'll be using the time to savor the last few weeks before Bo starts Kindergarten, and to work ahead on a few bloggy projects.

Thanks, and as always, be blessed,

Aug 18, 2011

Out a Visitin'

Hey Gang!

Thanks for stopping in today, I'm glad you did!  I am over at Lolly Jane Boutique sharing my thrifty lamp makeover.  Remember these?

Come stop in at Lolly Jane Boutique to see how I totally transformed them!  

Be blessed,

Aug 11, 2011

Bustles of Love Dress

We celebrated Addie's birthday yesterday...and now I'm exhausted.

Not that putting on a little dinner in her honor is all that tiring, but the dress I rushed to sew (mostly the day of her birthday) wore me right out.

I've had my eye on the Bustle Skirt from Simple Simon & Co. for some time now, and it hit me just days before Addie's birthday that she would love to claim such a ruffly, flouncy skirt as her own.  Her Sunday dress selection for the coming fall and winter was looking a little slim, so I decided to modify the Bustle Skirt into a bustle dress...and it's ridiculously cute.  I'm calling it the Bustles of Love Dress because after lovingly cutting out and sewing on each and every one of those circles, this dress is literally bustling with love!

Are you ready for it?  Brace yourself, cuteness overload ahead...don't say I didn't warn you...

It's flouncy,

it's bouncy

perfect for twirling,

and dancing, and swirling.
And, as you can tell, she just doesn't like it at all!

What I wouldn't have done for a dress like this as a little girl!  

I used a pattern I had in my stash from a couple of years ago and sewed up a simple dress.

I made sure to sew it with a little extra room in it so Addie can wear it through the fall and winter with a shirt and tights.

Inspired by Simple Simon & Co.'s Bustle Skirt I added 158 circles to the skirt of the dress.  Yes, you read that right.  One hundred and fifty eight circles.  Hand cut.  Ouch.  

While the dress was pretty time consuming, it certainly wasn't too difficult.  I'm hoping to make a mini version for Addie's baby doll, Lil' Darlin'.  

And with that, I bid you adieu and wish you each a lovely, lovely weekend!

Be blessed,

I'm Linking Up!

Aug 9, 2011

Turquoise Painted Dresser

So are you dying of curiosity from the preview I posted on Monday?  
Did you come back for the full story?  If so, I'm glad you did!

So, as a refresher, here's the original.

Here's the teaser, and you'll have to scroll on down to see the full finished product.

I bought this dresser at a garage sale about three years ago, I'm pretty sure I paid $20.00 for it.  I was pregnant with Addie at the time and thought the dresser would be the perfect size for sleepers, diapers and blankets.  I also put a little change pad on top and used it as a change table for awhile.  The dresser has been here and there throughout our house ever since, and I've always intended to paint it.  Last week I finally got around to it, hauled it up out my laundry room and into the backyard for a makeover.  

I started by removing the drawers and their hardware, and sanding all the finished surfaces of the dresser.

Next up came a coat of primer.

Then I had to decide on a paint color.  I knew I wanted to go with a shade of turquoise, but I just couldn't quite find what I was looking for.  I ended up buying two tubes of turquoise acrylic craft paint,  and adding a bit of white to tone it down just a little bit.  I think my tube of paint was a little old, too, it was super thick, so I added just a little bit of water to loosen it up.  Worked like a charm.

After two coats of my custom turquoise, it was time for my inspiration to come into play.  I've had this picture in mind for awhile now, knowing I wanted to incorporate something similar somewhere along the line.  This staircase is just so lovely, the branches are gorgeous, so I decided to emulate the same idea on my dresser.

Sorry for the teeny tiny picture, it got horribly fuzzy as soon as I tried to make it bigger.  Check the link out if you're interested in seeing the full version of this gorgeous room.

I started by sketching out my dresser and the branch layout I was planning.

Once I was satisfied with my sketch, I lightly drew out the same plan directly onto my dresser drawers.  I tweaked my sketch in a few places, but pretty much stuck to my original plan.
With a chick flick playing, the kids in bed, and Zach working late, I began to paint in the branches.  I used some brown paint I had on hand.  I poured a little bit in a cup and watered it down just a little bit to thin the paint out.  Though that's totally my own personal preference.  By the time the final credits were rolling from my movie, I was just finishing up the last drawer, perfect timing.

Apparently I forgot to take a picture at this point...oopsie.

After letting my freshly painted branches dry I put all the drawers back in the dresser to see how it all looked together.  The result?  Amazing!  The only thing I wasn't thrilled with was how absolutely electric my turquoise was.  It was SO bright.  So I decided to tone it down a bit by washing the whole dresser down with some really watered down brown paint.

I took the same paint I painted the branches with and watered it down even more.  My paint was really thin.  Then, using an old brush I brushed paint across the top of my dresser, and immediately wiped it off with a rag.  This lets the thin paint get into all the character dings, scratches, nooks, and crannies of the dresser, giving it an aged and worn look.  I did the same thing over the rest of the dresser, working in small sections at a time.

If I wiped too much paint off, I'd do another light layer of the brown paint and wipe it off again, adding layers of age and character.  Lastly, I did the same to the drawer fronts.  Can I just say, I nearly wet myself?  It was so hard to paint over the branches I'd slaved over...but with a deep breath I dragged by paint brush across the first drawer and swiped it off with my well worn rag.

Sorry for the AWFUL lighting here, daylight was fading and I wanted to get my painting done!
And the result was good.  I don't mean to brag, but I'm so pleased with how my fake glazing worked.  I love the way my little dresser turned out!

After all the paint dried and I calmed down from the "crafter's high" I was on, I sprayed a few coats of clear coat over the dresser and drawer fronts to protect my hard work, reattached the drawer pulls, and sipped a tall glass of iced tea.  Done.  

Well, was it worth the wait?  Thanks for stopping by today, come on back Friday for some more crafty action!

Be blessed,

Aug 7, 2011

Painted Dresser Preview

Well, it's Monday again.  Though I'm certainly not complaining, I really enjoy a good Monday.  Monday's are my day to get organized for the week, to get the house back in order, and to get back to our regular routine.  I like feeling organized and back in order, therefore, I like Mondays!  How about you?  What's your favorite day of the week?  Do you enjoy a good Monday too?

As you've probably gathered from the title of this post, today is just a preview.  I've been a-workin' away, refinishing an old dresser I had kicking around the house, but I just didn't have time this weekend to write up the full post.  So, today I'll just stick to sharing a little preview, and I'll have the full post up and ready to go a little later this week.

I bought this dresser at a garage sale three years ago and have been meaning to refinish it for quite some time.  Last week I finally got to it.

Here's the kinda blah before:

And here's a wee little preview of the not-so-boring after:

You'll have to check back on Wednesday for the whole shebang!  

And, while I'm handing out previews anyway, check out these ridiculously ugly lamps I bought at the thrift store this week.  I couldn't resist, they were on sale, buy one get one free, and they've got great potential.

Just look at them, in all their speckled glory!  I can't wait to reveal the finished product!

So, all in all, it should be an exciting week here in I Can't Stop Crafting.  Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you're enjoying your Monday!

Be blessed,

Aug 6, 2011

A Quick Saturday Note

Who doesn't love a giveaway?!
Well, I stumbled upon a fantastic blog this morning, and she just happens to be running a fantastic giveaway that closes Monday.

Zip on over to Proverbs 31 Life now and enter here for your chance to win a set of Jamberry Nail shields.  I've seen these things around for awhile now and have been dying to try some out for myself.  My fingers are crossed that I'll win, but a giveaway is no fun if I hoard it to myself!  So go check it out and put your name in the draw!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, I'll be back on Monday with a project to share!
Be blessed,

Aug 4, 2011

Love, Joy, Grace Printable

Not everything that comes out of my mouth is a blessing to the ears around me.
There is not always a smile on my face and a good attitude in my heart.
My patience level is not always where it should be, especially when dealing with my three children.

Sometimes I need a reminder to speak with love, to choose my joy, and to give grace as freely as it's been given to me.

In an effort to remind myself that a day full of love, joy, and grace is not just a happy accident, but rather a series of choices, I came up with this handy little printable to hang in my bedroom.  I'm hanging it in a place that I'll see each morning before I get up and going for the day.  Hopefully this simple sign will give me that early morning attitude adjustment I too often forget about, and enable me to do the sensibility switcheroo I occasionally need.

I don't know about the rest of you, but in my home, when I've got a sour disposition and a scowl on my face, I see three little scowls to match, glaring back at me.  When I don't measure my words and snap at my little family, I get an extra dose of sass back.  Ugh.  I don't care for that at all.

On the reverse side, when I'm a little extra encouraging, have extra words of love and extra laughs to share, my kids are right there with me, encouraging, loving, laughing and enjoying their day so much more.  I'd really like to increase those extra-everything days, and skip a few more of those frustrating, get-me-outta-here kind of days.

So, if you have a similar struggle to mine, feel free to print off just as many of these simple reminders as you like!  I've got printables available in an assortment of colors, or you could print one out on some lovely scrapbook paper like I did, whatever floats your boat.
I hope each of you will be encouraged, challenged, and reminded by these simple words.

Be blessed,

Aug 3, 2011

Oven Baked Potato Frittata

Did you know that I really, really enjoy sharing recipes here on my blog?  I try not to do too many, since this isn't primarily a food blog, but one every once in awhile isn't bad, right?  Besides, this post isn't so much a recipe as it is a method.  Enjoy!

Frittata's are simple, delicious, versatile, and oh so handy for cleaning out the fridge.  Nearly every ingredient can be swapped out for pretty much anything you may have on hand.  In fact, I made this baked potato frittata for dinner this evening simply because I had a little bit of pretty much anything in my fridge.  The colors are bright and lovely, the flavor is savory and satisfying, a frittata is perfect for a hearty breakfast or a bit of a lighter supper.

There are five main things you'll need to make my version of a potato frittata.  They are:

1. Frozen Hashbrowns
2. Eggs
3. Cheese
4. Fresh Vegetables
5. Salt and Pepper

Of course, you can add in all kinds of tasty extras like bacon, sausage, or any other kind of leftover meat you may have kicking around in your fridge.  I also like to add a splash of milk to my egg mixture, but it's not vital to the fantastic-ness of the frittata.

Start by heating up a frying pan, if you've got bacon to fry off, now is the time.  If there's no bacon going into the mix, then add a couple of tablespoons of butter and let it melt and get nice and bubbly.  Toss in about 3 cups of the frozen hashbrowns, season them well.  Stir occasionally.

While the hashbrowns are doing their thing, grab a cutting board and sharp knife and get to work chopping up any of the vegetables you'd like to add to your fritatta.  For the fritatta pictured here I used 1/4 of an onion, 1/4 of a red and green pepper and a few florets of broccoli.  Shred about a cup of whatever cheese you've got on hand.  Set a half a cup of the cheese aside for garnishing and put the rest of the cheese and all your diced veggies  in a bowl and set them aside for a moment.
Crack 3-4 eggs in a bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of milk and a generous dash of salt and pepper.  Whisk it all up till it's smooth and bubbly.  Add your bowl of vegetables to the egg mixture and stir to combine.  If you've got bacon or any other kind of meat that you'd like in your fritatta, add it to the egg and veggie bowl as well.

By now your hashbrowns should be tender and starting to get a little brown.  Add about 3/4 of the hashbrowns to a 9x9 glass baking dish, spread them evenly across the bottom.  Pour your egg and veggie mixture over the hashbrown base.  Sprinkle the previously set aside hashbrowns and cheese over the egg mixture.  Pop your dish in the oven, set at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until the eggs are set.

And with that, you've got my oven baked potato frittata.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

Be blessed,