Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And some more painting

Mike and I are on overdrive trying to get our painting projects out of the way. Tonight we put two coats of paint on the ceiling in the bathroom. It was badly needed! A fresh white ceiling always helps to brighten up a room.

We have been debating over the color of our bathroom and, after numerous paint chip comparisons, I think we are leaning toward a tan color. It should work better with the rest of the colors in the bathroom and Mike thinks it will make the countertop stand out more. All the colors in our house are definitely not the same but we ususally stick with a more neutral palate. I do love how all the colors in our house flow nicely and make sense together. The entire wall color scheme in our downstairs was from an Olympic paint recommendation pamphlet from Lowe's. We loved how they did all the work of finding coordinating colors for us and all we had to do was pick the ones we wanted and paint. Our upstairs colors happened more randomly but they still work together.

On a completely different note it got up to 63 degrees here today! We live in northeast Ohio and it's pretty much unheard of to have temps that high at the end of February. We walked the dogs tonight and I didn't have to wear my winter coat :) This has been a strangely mild winter and I am loving it. My spring bulbs are alreading coming up in the garden and I'm guessing my crocus are going to bloom extra early this year. I love spring! It's my favorite time of the year. I love when all the flowers start popping up everywhere.

I have a bunch of projects I need to post and I am finding it a bit overwhelming editing pictures now that I have a DSLR camera. I take so many pictures that I am spending a ton of time sorting through them. Since Picnik is closing I'm also trying to figure out what program I want to use to edit photos. I keep searching for one that will make collages like Picnik did but I haven't had any luck so far. My camera came with photo editing software but it's not user friendly and I want a nice easy interface so I'm not searching the help files every time I want to do something.

Anyone have any advice on easy to use photo editing software with a collage feature?

Can we start a petition to keep Picnik?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cleaning, Painting and a Delimma

This weekend Mike and I started to tackle the painting projects we want to get done before we can consider listing our house for sale. There is lots to do so we are trying to get through it a little at a time. The agenda this weeked was to paint the molding in our bedroom, our computer/craft room and the bathroom.

Since we had to pull all the furniture away from the walls to paint we did an early spring cleaning too. I washed the curtains from both bedrooms and the shower curtain from the bathroom. I was a laundry machine this weekend! We already had a lot of laundry from the week and more and more laundry kept appearing. I got most of it put away and I'll finish it today. That's a big accomplishment for me since the laundry gets forgotten sometimes.

Then there was all the vacuuming. We did each room at least three times. Once to pick up all the hair and dust before we painted, once when the furniture was pulled out and once when the furniture was back where it belonged. I couldn't believe how dirty it was under our bed! I can't even think of the last time we vacummed there and it showed it. I love a clean house and it feels good to have the upstairs vacuumed so thouroughly.

The painting was a breeze. We only put one coat on the woodwork since it was already white. There were a few places we had to touch up but it covered really well. What a difference a coat of paint makes! It really freshened up the rooms and made the wall colors look better.  Even though I think this everytime we paint, I can't believe we didn't do it sooner.

So up next is the bathroom walls and ceiling. Here's our delimma. We aren't sure what color to paint. We really like the green walls we have now and the shower curtain is a perfect match. It would be easier to try and find a matching color and keep it the same.

On the other hand, the bathroom would probably look really great with cream colored walls since the counter top and floor are green. I think it would give it a fresh look and the color would be appealing to a possible home buyer. The downside is it would be harder to make a big color change and probably would require an extra coat of paint. Plus we might need to replace our shower curtain.

So what do you think? Keep the green or change the color to cream?




Thursday, February 23, 2012

DIY Elmo Shirt and Ponytail Holder


Check out the adorable Elmo Shirt and Ponytail Holder my sister in law DIYed!
Having this blog has sparked a lot of creativity around our house but it also seems to be sparking creativity in our family. For instance, my sister in law Elizabeth has made some really great projects. She was the one that made the Elmo cupcakes for her daughter Emmy's second birthday. She is going to be taking Emmy and her older sister Hannah to a Sesame Street show. Instead of going out and buying shirts for the girls to wear to the show she made her own!  Plus she made a cute ponytail holder too.
DIY Elmo Shirt
DIY Elmo Shirt
DIY Elmo Ponytail Holder


Here is Elizabeth explaining how she made these adorable creations.

To make the Elmo shirts:
First I googled "Elmo Face picture" and printed it out. I enlarged it for Hannah's shirt. There are a lot of pictures and templates online.

I cut the eyes, nose and mouth out. I left the two eyes together as one piece. I traced them on to felt.(used a white crayon to trace on the black) I got regular felt but later I saw some iron on felt at Joann's, it was $1.99 a piece. I bought black felt for .20 and a multi-pack for 3.99 that I will use for other stuff.

I cut the felt pieces out. Before I glued them on to the shirts I inserted card board into the shirt so the glue and paint didn't bleed through to the other side.

I glued the felt on with fabric glue. (First I tried glue that you put on and then iron on....it didn't work and I had to cut out new pieces.) I let this dry about 24 hours and then outlined all the felt pieces with Tulip brand black fabric paint. I used black felt for the black part of the eyes and outlined it but you could probably just fill it in with black paint if you wanted to.

When doing the paint I did about half and then let it dry and then did the other half. I did this because I found that my hand kept getting into the paint and got on the shirt. (It cleaned right off.)

To make the Elmo ponytail holder:

I used hair elastics that I already had, 1 inch red pom poms, 12mm google eyes, small orange pom poms (I couldn't find just the small orange pom poms so I bought a multipack), and a small oval piece of black felt.

I attached the elastic to the pom pom by running a needle with thread through the center of the pom pom and around the elastic a few times and then continued sewing it around the elastic on the same side.

Then I attached the eyes, nose and mouth with fabric glue. When I attached the mouth...I put my index finger on the mouth and pushed up and squeezed with my thumb. This made it look more realistic.

This idea I got online but instead of pony tail holders they were using 3 inch pom poms and making keychains.

*small parts could be a choking hazard


Thanks Elizabeth for sharing! I love what you made and I know the girls will have a great time wearing their Elmo shirts.


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY Chocolate Covered Wine Bottles Tutorial

 

This past weekend I went over to my friend Tammi's and with friends Janna and Deanne we made chocolate covered wine bottles. She found the idea online and had a picture on her phone but no link to a site so we worked on recreating this fun idea.

chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
They are the perfect hostess gift! I brought mine over to dinner with some of our friends that night. The way to eat this is to take out the bottle of wine from the inside bag.  When you pull the bottle out of the bag the chocolate starts to crumble. Break the rest of the chocolate up in the bag and then you can pour it into a bowl. Serve the chocolate with the wine.

 
We started out having lunch at Bob Evans before your shopping trip to Joanns and World Market to get supplies. We got melting chocolate and plastic bags at Joanns. At World Market we bought the wine  I had picked a Merlot blend to go with the chocolate and I thought it worked well. You can pick any bottle of wine that you would want to serve with the chocolate. You can also use soda bottles so this craft can be fun for kids too.
 
 
We also bought some candies and Tammi also had others she had picked up. The possibilities are endless! We used pretzel m&m's, oreos, chocolate covered pretzels, pistachios and chocolates. Whatever you would want to eat with chocolate.
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
 
We started by rolling the bag in the back to make it smaller and taping it down on the inside flap of the plastic.
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
 
Then we melted a lot of chocolate in a double boiler.
 
DSCF9582
 
Now comes the tricky part, trying to cover the bottle in the chocolate. The best strategy we came up with was to have one person dripping the chocolate on the top with a spatula while a second person smoothed it with a basting brush. Janna is helping me with this one.
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
Then we let them dry.
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
After the chocolate hardened we put another layer of chocolate on and started decorating. It's time to get creative!
 
The bigger pieces of candies seemed to stick better when the chocolate started hardening. It also worked well to start with a bottom layer and have everything rest on the layer below.
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY

Tammi and Deanne decorating their creations.
 
This beauty was mine :)
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
After the bottles were decorated we let them dry.
 
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
After the chocolate had hardened we took a second bag and placed the bottle inside and tied with a ribbon on top.
 
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
Don't you love the wine coasters? They are little flip flops you slide the glasses in. Tammi got them from Bed Bath and Beyond. I think I need some :)
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY


chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY
 
chocolate covered wine bottles tutorial DIY


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New ways to follow me

I have heard rumors that Google Friend Connect may be discontinued for all blogs so I've been setting up new ways to follow me.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Like Projects Around the House on Facebook

Follow me on Linky Followers


You can also subscribe to emails on the top of the right sidebar.

I am on Pinterest too!


Thanks to all my loyal followers and welcome to all new followers :) You all make me feel loved!

Flank Steak Marinade

 

Mike and I are fans of flank steak. It's a less expensive cut of meat but if you slice it across the grain it makes it tender. Last night we had it for dinner and Mike marinated it overnight and grilled it on the grill.

It was so good and there was only one ingredient in the marinade! It was soy sauce. It made the most delicious steak with great flavor. Quick and simple but with big results. We served it with some sauteed asparagus and a green salad with homemade lemon, olive oil and parsley dressing.

flank steak marinade

flank steak marinade

 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Home and Garden Show Pictures

Every year at the IX center by where I live there is a home and garden show. Exhibitors build gardens to showcase their talents around a theme. My dad and I usually go together. It is so bright and cheery to see flowers in February. This year I brought my new camera to get in some practice shots.


Love this waterfall.


I want to try this color scheme.
 

Another cool waterfall.


Funky little tree.


An elegant arrangement.



Love hydrangeas.



One more waterfall. They were all so pretty.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mike's Grapefruit Martini Recipe

 

When I first met Mike he was a bartender and I was a server at Ruby Tuesday.  All that experience plus bartending school has really shaped him into an awesome bartender. We love to entertain and Mike’s favorite thing to do is play bartender for our friends. He loves to whip up some drinks to impress them.


We were at a martini bar with a couple of our friends and there was a great grapefruit martini that Mike wanted to try and recreate. What he came up with is delicious, refreshing drink.

grapefruit martini recipe



Ingredients:

1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
1 freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit
1 freshly squeezed lime
Splash of Cranberry juice
ice

In a martini glass place a few cubes of ice. Pour in the vodka and tripe sec. Mix the grapefruit and lime juice together. Fill the glass with grapefruit/lime juice. Top with a splash of cranberry.

Enjoy!


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crochet Men's Striped Earflap Hat Pattern


Crochet Men's Striped Earflap Hat Pattern

One of my coworkers asked me to make a hat for her son to wear when he runs for cross country. She asked for it to be in his school colors of purple and gold, have earflaps, a pom pom and braids. I took a picture of her son wearing his cross country uniform and searched four different yarn stores before I found the perfect color of purple in Red Heart Super Saver yarn. I have never been so excited to find a color of yarn! I designed the hat with her specifications and a little design advice from Mike. She loved it and said her son looked really cute in it. I'm modeling it with my new Styrofoam head. I love being able to show my hats off this way :)


Materials:
Two colors of worsted weight yarn (A and B). I used Red Heart Super Saver.
I crochet hook
Yarn needle

Tips:
Ch 3 does not count as first dc.
Always begin in same stitch.
Every color change requires a join of the new yarn and weave in the ends of the other yarn.

Abbreviations:
dc= double crocht
ss= slip stitch
sc= single crochet
hdc= half double crochet
Dec= decrease

Instructions:

Hat
Using color A
Row 1: Ch 4. 10 dc in 3rd ch from hook. Join with ss in top of first dc. (10 dc)
Row 2: 2 dc in each stitch around. Join with ss in top of first dc. (20 dc)
Row 3: (1 dc in first stitch. 2 in next dc). Join with ss in top of first dc. (30 dc)
Row 4: (1 dc first two stitches. 2 dc in next). Join with ss in top of first dc. (40 dc)

Using color B
Row 5: (1 dc in first three stitches. 2dc in next). Join with ss in top of first dc. (50 dc)

Using color A
Row 6: (1 dc in first four stitches. 2 dc in next). Join with ss in top of first dc. (60 dc)
Row 7: (1 dc in first five stitches. 2 dc in next). Join with ss in top of first dc.  (70 dc) (Note: If you want to make the hat more fitted, then change this row to 1 dc in each stitch. You will end up with 60 dc)
Row 8: 1 dc in each stitch. Join with ss in top of first dc. (70 dc)

Using color B
Row 9: 1 dc in each stitch. Join with ss in top of first dc. (70 dc)

Using Color A
Row 10-12: 1 dc in each stitch. Join with ss in top of first dc. (70 dc)

Using Color B
Row 13: 1 dc in each stitch. Join with ss in top of first dc. (70 dc)

Using Color A
Row 14: 1 dc in each stitch. Join with ss in top of first dc. Fasten off and weave in ends (70 dc)

Earflaps- make 2
Count 10 stitches from last stitch and join with color A.
Row 1: Ch 1. 1 hdc in same stitch. 1 hdc in next 11 stitches (12 hdc)
Row 2: Ch 1 turn. 1 hdc in each stitch (12 hdc)
Row 3: Ch 1 turn. Hdc dec over first two stitches. 1 hdc in next 8 stitches. Hdc dec over last two stitches (10 hdc)
Row 4: Ch 1 turn. 1 hdc in each stitch (10 hdc)
Row 5: Ch 1 turn. Hdc dec over first two stitches. Hdc in next 6 stitches. Hdc dec over last two stitches (8 hdc)
Row 6: Ch 1 turn. 1 hdc in each stitch (8 hdc)
Row 7: Ch 1 turn. Hdc dec over first two stitches. Hdc in next 4 stitches. Hdc dec over last two stitches (6 hdc)
Row 8: Ch 1 turn. Hdc in each stitch (6 hdc)
Row 9: Ch 1 turn. Hdc dec over first two stitches. Hdc in next 2 stitches. Hdc over last two stitches. Finish off. Weave in ends. (4 hdc)
Using color B, join at the beginning of one side of the earflap and sc in each stitch around ending at the other side of the earflap. Join with ss in top of first sc. Finish off. Weave in ends.

Braids- make 2
Cut 6 strands of color A and 6 strands of color B 32 inches long.
Fold in half and use the crochet hook to pull though one of the bottom stitches of the earflap.
Tie a knot.
Separate the strand into three equal parts. Two will have 4 strands of color A and 4 strands of color B and one will have 2 of each.
Braid and knot the end.
Cut the strands to be even.

Make a multi color pom pom for the top. I wrapped mine around a piece of cardboard around 3 1/2 inches wide.
Crochet Men's Striped Earflap Hat Pattern


Crochet Men's Striped Earflap Hat Pattern

You may use any of the patterns I create for personal use. If you would like to make an item to sell with my patterns you must link back to the pattern on my blog. You can not sell my patterns as your own.


If you liked this pattern then check out my other crochet patterns and projects.


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cleaning Out Our Closets

So Mike and I have been contemplating moving closer to work. Right now we are 40 minutes away on a good day but typically it takes an hour to an hour and 15 minutes to get there. In the winter when it snows, the commute goes up to two hours and in some really awful storms it's been three hours.

I've been making the drive for five and half years and this past July Mike got a job right down the street from me. I love carpooling (especially since Mike drives) but I feel like the drive is starting to get old. I would love to get more time back in my day and that would require us to move.

This is a hard decision because I love love love our house. We have put our heart and soul into making this house our home. I know that we can make any house the way we want it but it will be hard leaving. The real estate market isn't the best right now so our move will be contingent on if we can sell for the price we need. I am optimistic we can do it but it's going to take a little work to get everything ready.

The past week we started by cleaning out our closets. We have huge closets so we can store tons of stuff but that also means we accumulated a ton of stuff we don't need. I actually can't believe how much stuff we had that we got rid of. It's easier to take a hard look at what you want to keep when you consider having to pack it all. The closets are so much more organized I feel like we should have done this a long time ago.

The plan is to finish cleaning and organizing next weekend so we will be ready to paint. Our painting list didn't seem like that much until I said it all out loud. We need to paint the molding in two of the bedrooms, the bathroom walls and ceiling, the basement steps and walls above the steps, the basement floor and the front porch floor. Considering how much we have already done it's really not that much. Besides we are practically painting professionals :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Knitted Cowl Scarf



knit cowl scarf

I did it! I finished my first knitting project. I am so excited to be learning this new skill. This scarf was super simple.

I used the knit stitch to make the scarf 9 inches wide and about 62 inches long using 17 needles and super bulky Wool Ease yarn. Then I bound it together to make it a cowl. I have a friend at work that has a similar scarf and I've always admired it. Now I have my own!

new camera pics 033



These pics are taken with my new Canon DSLR T3i. I am so excited about this camera. It takes amazing pictures and I haven't even figured out how to really use it yet.

I'm working on learning the purl stitch next on smaller size 8 needles. After using the giant ones it's much more challenging so I need to practice a lot more. I can't wait to start reading patterns...but that's another lesson.

knit cowl scarf

knit cowl scarf


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

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