Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine's Tutorials and Giveaway Winner Announced

Yesterday I showed you my "crafty" Valentine's Day mantle.  

As promised today I would like to share with you a few quick tutorials to show you how I created it all.
First up a pinwheel tutorial.  
I did not have any double sided scrapbook paper, so instead I adhered two pieces of scrapbook paper together, wrong sides together, to form two-sided paper.  
Pinwheels are so easy to make.  You just draw a diagonal line from 
one corner to the other corner to form a letter "x".  
Then draw dots as shown.  Using a hole punch, punch a hole in each of the dots (5 total). 
Finally you cut along the line to within approximately 1 cm from the center dot.  
Then you just fold each corner to the center dot. 
 Using a decorative brad, I attached all four corners through the center dot.
I then wrapped ribbon around a skewer and attached it to my pinwheel.  To keep the skewer in my candlestick holder, I just used play-doh.  Easy peasy!
My inspiration for this came from Pinterest.   
It was really simple to make.
I took a piece of scrapbook paper and used a heart shaped cake pan as my template.

After cutting out the heart, I punched holes about every inch or so.  
I then did a chain stitch around the heart crocheting through each of the holes.  
Once I chained around, I did a shell stitch around the edge to finish it off.
For the shell design (1 sc, 4 dc in the next stitch, 1 sc and repeat all around).
After I was done crocheting, I just cut out the nest and words from the original piece of scrapbook and glued it onto the heart.  This heart is my favorite part of the mantle.

Don't forget to stop back tonight at 8pm EST for my Winter Blues Wednesday party.

Finally, the winner of the $25 gift card to Madebytheresarenee is...
#13 Cindy

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine's Day Mantle

This weekend I spent some time creating a very "crafty" Valentine's Day mantle.  
I love it's simplicity.
From it's LOVE banner...
to the "love nest" I created (my favorite part)...
to the pinwheels I made ...
 which sit in crystal candlestick holders...
to the vase with the flower topiary made from paper punched-out flowers...
to my special Valentine's Day mailbox...
this mantle is filled with LOVE.

Isn't that what it's all about?
I guess that's why Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days.

This mantle rounds out my Valentine's Day decor. 
Make sure you stop back tomorrow when I will share with you tutorials on everything I crafted.

Thank you so much for stopping by.
Can't wait to hear what you think of my mantle.
I always love and appreciate your comments.


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Rigatoni ala Vodka

One of my kid's favorite meals is rigatoni with vodka sauce.  They order it all the time when we go out to dinner.  It's so easy to make at's my go to recipe:

Recipe for Vodka Sauce:
olive oil
1/2 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup pancetta or prosciutto minced (I buy it already minced in the deli aisle)
1/4 cup vodka
1 cup heavy cream
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce

1. In a pot (I use my Le Creuset 3 quart for all my sauces) drizzle some olive oil and saute the pancetta/prosciutto, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then.

2.  Add the vodka to the pan and wait for the alcohol to burn off.  Then add the heavy cream and let simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring now and then. 

3.  Add one jar of tomato sauce and let simmer for another five minutes or so.  That's it!

4.  In the meantime, have a pot of boiling water and cook your pasta until it is al dente.

It's such a simple meal that tastes like it was a ton of work.  It's definitely a crowd pleaser.  

Hope you give it a try. 

Don't is the last day to enter my vinyl wall quote giveaway HERE.

Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Valentine's Vignette and Topiary Tutorial

I'm not done with my Valentine's Day decorating yet.  
This time I created a vignette on my upstairs hallway table.
I knew I wanted to create a topiary, but wasn't sure what I was going to use to make it.  Then I looked in my gift wrap drawer and was inspired.
I created the topiary using tissue paper I had in the house (previously used in fact).

Here's what you need to create your own topiary:
4 sheets of tissue paper (I used two light pink, one hot pink and one white)
styrofoam ball
straight pins
candlestick (or a little vase would work well too)

First I cut two inch wide strips of tissue paper.
Starting at one end I gathered the tissue paper and gathered it as I turned it in my fingers.
I kept gathering it and turning it.
You really can't mess this just keep gathering it until it resembles a rose.
Depending on how tight you gather it will determine the fullness of the flower.
Then using a straight pin, I simply attached the flower from it's base  
(where I was holding it with my fingers) into the styrofoam ball.
I continued to do this until almost all of the styrofoam ball was covered with flowers.
Then I simply sat it on top of a crystal candlestick holder.  
Easy peasy!!  I promise.
So pretty, yet so simple.
As for the rest of the vignette, I looked around my home and gathered anything with hearts.  
All I did was cut the striped paper to fit the frame and then cut out the birds 
and the LOVE into a smaller square.   Then I just
placed it into the silver frame I already had.
I also had a crystal heart frame.  I cut a pink heart out of the left over scrapbook 
paper and placed it in the frame as a background.  Then I hung some heart
 jewelry I own over the frame.
To finish it off, I used left over fabric and laid it over the table as a tablecloth.  
It's amazing what you can find in your own home.  
Cost of this vignette - free.

There's still time to enter the giveaway for vinyl wall quotes. Click here to enter.

I can't wait to hear what you think of my Valentine's Day vignette.  
I always love and appreciate your comments.


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Participating in Tablescape Thursday

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Blues Wednesday - It's a Party #49

Welcome to this week's Winter Blues Wednesday party.  Last week's party was filled with so many awesome ideas and inspiration.  Here are this week's features:
First up is this GORGEOUS bed that Sophia's shared.  
This bed is a trash to treasure project at it's finest. 

Next up is this awesome entry makeover done by Modern Jane.  I hope you will drop by her blog to check out the before and the after.  It's quite a transformation.
I always love a great bathroom makeover.  This one done by Start at Home is just beautiful.  
I am in love with her new vanity.  Just stunning.
What an awesome library Thrifty Decor Mom created in her home.  
I just love the splashes of aqua.  What a neat idea.
I was so inspired to clean out my closets when I saw Turnstyle Vogue's newly organized linen closet.  I especially love the tags she created for each item.

If you were featured, please grab an "I've Been Featured" button (you can now find my buttons by clicking on the buttons tab right under my header).  Now let's get started with this week's party.  I can't wait to see what you have been up to.  Link up anything you have been working on...home decor, sewing, crafts, organizing, baking, recipes etc.     I will keep this link open through Friday.

A few rules:
1.  Please become a follower.  

2.  Please grab my party button above and display it either on your sidebar or somewhere in your post.  This way word can spread about the party.  The more people at the party, the more fun we will have.

3.  Please enter the link to your actual post, not just a link to your main blog page.

4. Please visit others who have linked up.   Everyone works hard on their projects and blogs...let's show each other some love by visiting each other.  Let's have some fun and hopefully make a few new friends along the way.

Ok...Let's Party


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