Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to Nate

My older little guy turns 4 on Wednesday.  Sniff.  We invited both sets of grandparents and my sister and her family to our place on Sunday for a little celebration - nothing elaborate, no theme.

Nate told me he wanted a dinosaur cake - chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  Chocolate cake with chocolate icing I can handle (or so I thought), but a cake decorator I am not and so I just bought two sets of three little plastic dinosaur figures from the dollar store.

At first, I attempted this recipe, but it was a colossal failure.  I wish I'd had the presence of mind to snap a few pics before dumping it in the garbage can.  The recipe seems to get rave reviews so I'm sure it probably had something to do with the fact that I baked it in a roaster oven instead of a regular oven.  Our oven stopped working a few weeks ago and since we didn't use the oven much through the summer, it didn't seem like a big priority at the time and we still haven't arranged for a repairman to come and fix it.

The second cake I attempted was this.  It turned out much better (although it did fall a bit in the center upon cooling).  I iced it quickly with chocolate buttercream. Nate helped me place the dinosaur figures on it. 

No one would ever mistake it for a pro cake, but Nate liked it so that's all that matters.

He goes to daycare a couple of times a week and I decided to make a special little birthday treat to send with him to share with the other kids.  I used this recipe and it went much better than my earlier experiences in baking cakes.  I used a rainbow cake mix instead of a yellow cake mix with sprinkles stirred in.  Here's the result:

Hope the kids like them!

Linky linky:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hiatus-Ending Fall Wreath

It's been a while!  That was a rather long and certainly unplanned hiatus.  A lot has happened in the 15 1/2 months or so since my last post.  I'm now a mom of two!  Isaac joined us on June 26th and, well, he's awesome.  I'm feeling the need to get back in the blogging groove and so here I go...

I picked up a grapevine wreath at Michael's and some fall-ish stems at Walmart.

I pulled the berries, leaves, and stuff off the stems and started placing them on the grapevine wreath.  I dabbed a bit of hot glue on each little stem and then stuck it into the wreath.

All that was left was to hang it on the door.

I wonder if I should add a burlap bow?

Linky Parties:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A new camera!

I'm back!  I'm back!  Life has been soooo busy AND my old camera died.  Well, it didn't die, but it did start casting a vibrant pink hue over all of the photos and occassionally it wouldn't focus AT ALL - every subject would turn out as a big blurry blob.  So I got a new one!  Yeehaw!  It's a Samsung WB600 (or HZ30W) and it has 15x optical zoom!!!  Eeeeek!  Our old one only had 3x.  The new one will cover focal lengths from 24 mm to 360 mm - I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I think it's good.  It's not a DSLR or anything, but that's fine because I wouldn't have the first clue how to operate a DSLR.  It's a point-and-shoot with great zoom in a compact body and it's my new baby.  Here it is:
(I'd give photo credit, but I don't remember where I snagged the pic.  Oops!)

I've been playing around with it a little bit.  Here's the memo board I made a few months ago.  I hung it on a pre-existing nail and it partially covers the switchplate.  I've been meaning to move it ...

These are quilts.  I HEART quilts.  The top one is quite old - made by my great-grandmother.  The lower one is newer - made by my grandmother.  Lots of sentimental value!
These are some old books.  That front one is dated 1811 and belonged to an ancestor on my father's side.

Only 19 more days until Summer Break, but who's counting?


Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm still here! And I have curtains!

I'm still here!  We've had a tearful few weeks with the loss of my Nan-in-law after a battle with cancer and the diagnosis of cancer in my Dad.  Blogging has fallen by the way-side, but I thought I'd pop in tonight with an update on the dining/kitchen window.  It's finally dressed!

I used a piece of burlap 36"x54", cut in half lengthwise to get two pieces 18"x54", and then sewed end to end to get one piece roughly 18"x108" (1.5'x9').  The rod pocket band at the top is made of ribbon that I found at Walmart.  It was wire-edged ribbon and so I had to remove the wire - kind of tedious, but actually not as difficult as I thought it might be.  I used hem tape for the first time on the side hems, but sewed the rest.  The curtain rod was a real score - on sale at Zellers for $4.97!

I have some other projects in mind, but I'm not sure when I'll get around to them.  Hold your loved ones tight!

Linky Parties:
Funky Junk Interiors ~ Saturday Nite Special
A Vision to Remember ~ Check Me Out Saturday
Cottage Instincts ~ Make it for Monday

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kicking my Butt in Gear

I'm about to administer a swift kick to my own rear-end...figuratively, not literally.  There are a few projects that I've had floating around in my head for a while now since seeing them around blogland.  I'm going to list them here and then commit to checking them off the list.  Soon.  Very soon.  Of course, I'll take pics and blog about them as I get them done.

1.  A framed monogram like Jessica's @ This Blessed Life.
 (photo from
Don't you love it?  I picked up a truly hideous gold plastic picture frame from the dollar store...I'm hoping I can transform it with some paint.  Anyone know if you can paint plastic frames?  I guess I'll find out...

2.  A burlap valance for the dining window like Vanessa's @ Vanilla Lavender
(photo from

I bought a curtain rod on Friday and I've had the burlap and some accent ribbon for a while now...just have to fire up the sewing machine.

3.  A family name sign from an old cabinet door.
(photo from

I've seen a few versions at various blog linky parties.  There's one in particular that I quite liked, but I didn't bookmark it and I can't seem to find it again.  Sigh...when will I learn?

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sponge-Painting Begone!

We all wish we had more storage in the bathroom, don't we?  Our bathroom needs some major updating, but for the short-term, a little extra storage space would be lovely!  

(I took this pic at midnight...bad lighting...sorry.)

Quite a while ago, my mother-in-law did a complete makeover on one of her spare bedrooms.  She changed it from an adult-type guest room into a kid-friendly sleepover room for grandchildren.  Primary colours and bunk beds are now the name of the game.

In the transition, we fell heir to an old nightstand.  It's not very big and that's ideal because it fits perfectly in our bathroom.  It has a drawer -- another added bonus since we only have one drawer in our bathroom vanity.  It's just made of particle board, was FREE, so who cares?  Then there's the paint job -- white and periwinkle blue -- some solid white, some solid blue, and some white with blue sponged on top.  If you're thinking that my mother-in-law must be stuck in a time warp, I assure you this is not her current style.  I'm sure it was all the rage in it's heyday (early 90's?), but I felt it needed a little facelift and my mother-in-law gave her blessing.

Here's the "before" in all her sponge-painted glory:

What I did:
  1. Cut a bigger opening at the base of the apron so that the bathroom scale would slide underneath.  Okay, okay, my dad did that part.  It was my idea, though, AND I drew the line for him to cut along.  That counts for something, right?
  2. Removed the drawer pull and filled the screw holes with spackle.
  3. Sanded and painted the whole thing -- Pittsburgh's "delicate white" in semi-gloss.  
  4. Drilled holes for the new drawer pull and attached it.  I love the patina on the cup pull.  I got it at Re-Store (Habitat for Humanity's thrift shop) for 50 cents!!!
  5. Added a cute little lined basket and took pics!
What I didn't do (yet):
  1. Sand the edges for a distressed look.  I'm undecided.
  2. Apply glaze for an aged look.  I'm undecided.
  3. Paint a third and final coat.  I will do this later today, but I was anxious to take pics and blog about it so I skipped ahead.  Do you do that, too?
The "after" shots:
(Another midnight photo...bad lighting...sorry.)

(Yet another midnight photo...this one with flash...hence the blinding white.)

I either mis-calculated or mis-measured because the cup pull is not positioned where I wanted it.  It'll stay for now.  I'll add it to my to-do list...

Linky linky!  Check out all the awesomeness at these parties:
Remodelaholic ~ RA Meeting
Thrifty Decor Chick ~ Before and After Party
Between Naps on the Porch ~ Metamorphosis Monday 
Cottage Instincts ~ Make it for Monday 
Making the World Cuter ~ Mondays 
The DIY Show Off ~ Project Parade 
The Girl Creative ~ Just Something I Whipped Up 
The Persimmon Porch ~ Made it Mondays 
A Soft Place to Land ~ DIY Day 
Today's Creative Blog ~ Get Your Craft On 
Domestically Speaking ~ Power of Paint Party 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DIY Curtain Rod & Brackets

I've been making plans to transform my son's room into a "big boy" room.  I like the idea of a rustic lodge theme for his room.  There's always good inspiration to be found at "Rate My Space":
Kaison's big boy room
Jack's Bedroom: Before & After
Rustic Fishing

I was browsing Dollarama one day when I saw a collection of rustic-looking walking sticks standing in an open box.  I immediately thought that two of them connected together would make a great (and frugal) curtain rod.  Each one was 36" long.  I sweet-talked Hubby into cutting about 5" of each one and drilling a hole into the end of each one.  At first, I tried connecting them with a piece of 1/4 " wood dowel, but it wasn't strong enough and so I ended up using a piece of threaded 5/16" metal rod instead.
Then I had to come up with a way of making brackets for the curtain rod.  I picked up a package of two ugly brass coat hooks from Dollarama.  I cut a couple of small wooden blocks and painted them and the hooks black.  I found some screws that were longer than the ones that came with the hooks.  I wanted the screws to be long enough to go throught the wooden block and into the wall beyond.  If the hooks were mounted directly on the wall, the curtain rod would have been too close to the wall.

The "handle" on each walking stick, makes a perfect finial.  I spent $3.75 on the two walking sticks and the one package of coat hooks.  I already had the black paint and the curtain rings.

Partying at:
Domestically Speaking ~ Power of Paint Party
Blue Cricket Design ~ Show and Tell 
My Backyard Eden ~ Make it Yours Day
We Are THAT Family ~ Works-For-Me Wednesday
The Thrifty Home ~ Penny Pinching Party
Someday Crafts ~ Whatever Goes Wednesday  
The Shabby Chic Cottage ~ Transformation Thursday