Saturday, November 28, 2009

Something Wonderful

Something wonderful this way comes.

Oh I'm sooo excited! I've worked like crazy the past few days getting into my new craft room. Mr. fb@h has been finishing cupboards, installing drawer pulls, the light fixture and generally just working hard to get me in there.

So today I pretty much finished moving in and actually found a few minutes to create. We still have to trim the window and finish some of the cupboards but it feels so good to finally have my own space I just couldn't wait to share.

Here's a few quick peeks and I'll be back with exactly what I've done once it's finished. Hopefully before Christmas but you know how life gets this time of year. I probably won't do much in the form of decorating it. This room has to be practical and functional and keep me super organized with all my paper crafting supplies in a very small space. There really isn't much unused wall space in the room at all.

Do you have a project you've waited a long time for?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Hand Crafted Christmas Decorations

Today I thought I'd share a few of the handcrafted holiday decorations that I have created and decorate with each year. If you're looking for some holiday craft projects, they just may provide some inspiration. I hope you enjoy them.

This first one is a 6x6 plaque that has been altered with scrapbooking and stamping supplies. I love this Santa. Right now I have this on my new painted dresser/sideboard.

While I don't quite have my tree up yet, we'll be doing that tomorrow and hanging this paper mache star ornament from it.

This little paper mache wall hanging hangs on a hook at my back door.

I loved wrapped candles and this is one I created last year.

Here's another little wooden plaque. They make great design surfaces. This plaque is in the current issue of Crafts 'n Things magazine.

And lastly, I couldn't resist using that Santa image again for another decoration for the tree. It could also be tied onto a present for a special gift tag.

This post links up with The Inspired Room's Holiday Linky Party.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, November 26, 2009


When I first discovered DIY blogs all of two months ago, the first one I really came across was the Nesting Place. Immediately I was hooked. I loved the Nesting Place philosophy.."It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" and was fascinated with all things Nesting. One of the things I loved was the Nester's tassels. How gorgeous! What a neat craft project!

This week the Nester released The Ultimate Tassel Guide. Because I've wanted to give this project a whirl and because I am a strong believer in supporting the creative minds in the crafting industry and giving them their due, I wanted to order this e-book. It more than lived up to my expectations and I'm pleased with the quality of my first tassel. Many thanks to The Nester!

Fat & Shabby Tassel

Off to hunt for a special place in the house for my tassel!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American Friends,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some Holiday Eggnog recipes

While most of my family loves eggnog, I am not a fan. Except of course for baking. I love baking with eggnog and my main difficulty is keeping it in the house long to bake with.

Holiday Eggnog Bread

{this recipes makes a 2 pound loaf}

3/4 cup eggnog

1/3 cup water

1 egg

2 tablespoons butter or margarine cut up

4 cups bread flour (I just used all-purpose)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1/2 cup mixed candied fruits and peels

Add all ingredient to the machine according to manufacturer’s directions. Select basic white bread cycle. Drizzle Cooled loaf with Eggnog Glaze…as follows…

Eggnog Glaze: In a small mixing bowl mix together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and tnough eggnog to make a glaze….drizzling consistency.

Eggnog Cookies - Mrs. Fields recipe

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup margerine

1/2 cup egg nog

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 300°F. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mis well. In large bowl, cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer to form a grainy paste. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet one inch apart. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Immediately transfer to cool.

Quick Tip: Use the leftover egg whites from the above recipe to make the meringues below…

Christmas Eggnog Fudge

And here's a yummy recipe for eggnog fudge. My teenagers made it last night and yumm! They made a few alterations using what we had on hand but it worked well. I'm amazed! lol

2.5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup egg nog
1 jar marshmallow creme (they used 16 large marshmallows instead)
8 oz white chocolate (they used a bag of milk chocolate chips)
3/4 tsp rum extract (they omitted this)
3/4 cup chopped pecans (omitted this too)
3/4 cup chopped candied cherries (omitted this as well)

Combine sugar, butter and egg no in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows and chocolate and other additions if desired. Spread into prepared pan. Chill until set. Remove from pan. Cut into squares.

This post links up with the surprise recipe party. Check out all the other awesome recipe links as well at...

Hope this gets you into the holiday baking mood!


Holiday Greenery

As Christmas is coming up quickly this year and we're in the middle of a lot of other home projects right now, I've decided to keep Christmas decorating as simple as possible. Of course, the cupboard costs on the new craft room alone have kind of blown my budget so I'm going the least expensive route as well. I love big beautiful wreaths but decided the simplest idea for this year would be to just reuse a metal wall planter that I purchased the the fall. Actually, one of the reasons I love it so much is that it is so neutral. I just adore the green and brown stripes that make it look pretty but are also easy to coordinate with different seasons. I had also intended this for use on the outside of my door but puppy is in a wild and crazy chewing mode and right now...nothing is safe outside.

Last week I took a little trip to Michaels to see what I could find to put in it for winter. At the time, my most economical options was actually to purchase a couple small silver picks to accent and the large portion of the greenery is actually a swag that I turned upside down, bent a little more and then just popped into my planter. took me a couple minutes tops. I love quick and easy.

Now yesterday I just HAD to have my weekly shop at Home Sense (I believe it's the Canadian equivalent to Home Goods?) and I found some darling tassels. I wasn't quite sure where I was going to put them but they were pretty and I knew I'd find a place. One of them made it into my holiday greenery planter and I love how it finished it off.

I apologize for the less than stellar photos. There is just so little light the past few days. I can't wait until the sun comes out again!

This post links up with Red Writing's TWOC: Christmas Wreaths party

and Kimba's DIY Day

Have a beautiful day!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Felted Pin Cushion

This is a fast little project I've been meaning to make for quite a while. Although the saucer of this teacup is missing, I thought it could be reused for a fun project. I need a little pincushion for my paper crafting and making it out of felted sweater scraps was a fun idea.

To make the pin cushion...
  • form felt around a wad of polyester fill, sew into a firm ball that will fit into a teacup
  • To make roses, cut 1.25" strips of felt. Roll and twist them into roses while tacking with a needle and thread.
  • Tack your roses to the felt ball.
  • Cut out leaf shapes from green felted wool. Stitch around roses.

I'm excited with my quirky little pin cushion. I use needles and all kinds of fancy pins in my paper crafting and this will be a fun way to store them with ease.

Have a beautiful day!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some New Wall Art

I had so much fun creating this wall art using 4" square canvases. Inspired by Pottery Barn and Pier 1 style wall art, I thought I could make my own little block of canvases using some paint and some masks. If you've never used a mask before, it's like the reverse of a stencil. The plastic mask has a light adhesive on the reverse side. You adhere it over the color you want the letter to be and then paint over top. Once the mask is peeled off, you are left with your shape. They are so super easy to use.

I had the hardest time getting a good picture of it on my finished wall. The weather here has been so dark and wet it makes for very poor photos. If you're interested in a full tutorial with step outs, check it out here.

This post links back to The Shabby Nest Linky Party & Funky Junk Interior's Saturday Night Special.
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Have a beautiful day! Julia

What's Cooking

Actually...I have a lot cooking. I just can't wait to show you what I'm working on! I'm almost done!

And in my oven...

Turkey Biscuit Casserole

I got this recipe from my MIL. It's a family favorite for using up turkey leftovers. Works great for cooked chicken too.

2 cups chopped turkey
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt and pepper
2 cups chopped broccoli, boiled lightly
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons parsley

Mix turkey, onion, seasonings, broccoli, mushroom soup and sour cream in a large casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, vegetable oil and parsley together. Drop biscuits by spoonful onto top of casserole. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes at 400°F. Serve.

Anything special cooking at your house?


A Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses & whiskers on kittens... OK I'll stop before you start singing it. This post isn't about the Sound of Music but rather, a few Christmas ideas. I thought it would be fun to link up with 320 Sycamore and her My Favorite Things post. The idea is to share some of your favorite things, things that you love that you'd love to give or receive as gifts. It makes for some great ideas if you're having trouble with ideas for that holiday shopping list.

To start off with, a Christmas gift for me. Just couldn't resist. I ordered this lovely Christmas Memories fragrance diffuser from Claire Burke and it's now making my kitchen smell wonderful. I just wish my sinuses were a little less congested so I could enjoy it more! BTW, shipping to Canada was fabulous!

Just finished this book and like all Lynn Austin books, it was fabulous. I love historical novels and this is about a young girl finding her way. Actually, the story spans three generations from the Civil War through the womens right to vote to Prohibition and is woven brilliantly together. You can find it here or here.

I love Pampered Chef. I purchased this large Stoneware pan almost 10 years ago and it is now a lovely seasoned brown. I love it so much it hits the oven almost daily and not just for pizza. It's perfect for baking on and cooking frozen kid's favorites like chicken nuggets.

I have seriously purchased large quantities of these great Mini-Serving Spatulas. I can't get enough of them. I currently have three in my kitchen as they are perfect for serving bars, squares, desserts and lifting cookies off of baking pans. A couple months ago I ordered another seven of them. I had the consultant phone and ask me if I'd made a mistake. Nope! I wanted another and gave the rest away as everyone who tries one in my kitchen loves it. And no...I don't sell or own shares in Pampered Chef. ;)
Apothecary jars. I adore them. They are just so elegant and make anything you fill them with look wonderful. These beauties are from Pier 1.

I just got some more Obsession for Christmas. I know it's only November but hubby prefers it if I just buy what I want and save him the trouble. Not terribly exciting I know but it sure beats getting something you don't want. I've been wearing this for 22 years and haven't tired of it yet.

Seriously...this is my favourite chocolate evah! Cadbury's Flake. Have you ever had one? The chocolate is to die for. They are from Britain and I think I became addicted on my one trip to Ireland at age five. Since then it's always been a great treat brought home by my traveling relatives. You can find it at British shops, on-line and I just recently discovered that they carry it at a local bulk food store. Oh look...just found a case of 24 bars on-line at Amazon!

Please Santa bring me some more of my French Vanilla! I've been missing it tremendously. Our nearby grocery store just stopped carrying this. Why???? And just so you know, the empty tins make the cutest little gift tins.

When the weather outside is frightful...would this warm and fuzzy throw be perfect to snuggle up in? This one is from Pier 1 but warm fuzzy throws are everywhere this year. A book, some French Vanilla and a Cadbury's Flake and this throw. I think I've found my perfect winter moment.

I absolutely adore this beautiful ruffled throw pillow. Hmmm....doesn't it remind you a little of that Cadbury's Flake?! I may be onto something. Actually though, I picked it up on sale at Pier 1 for my daughter. I think I'm going to have a hard time giving it away but maybe she'll let me visit it in her room now and then.

Lastly a super cheap stocking stuffer. Don't you love the black and white damask? This little Shopper Tote/Key Ring is great to have on hand, it's pretty and it's great for the environment. What's not to like?

So how's that for ideas? Nothing too outrageously expensive as I'm a girl on a budget. Now this post links up with 320 Sycamore. Click the button for more fun gift ideas.

Have a beautiful day!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Step by Step...the long road to a new craft room

We are hard at work here getting my new craft room done finally. It's been a 28 month long journey but in the mean-time we've accomplished a lot! A few detours too. When renovating, we try and take summers off. In Canada they are so short and the kids grow up so quickly, it's really important to us to spend them together. We've also had a few detours, a leaky roof and this entire addition/renovation was not JUST a craft room project. We added a new bedroom (done), a new back entrance (check), a beautiful new kitchen and eating area (check) and a few other things.

I have to stop right here and just say that my hubby is amazing! He did this all himself. The man is a machine and I've never seen anyone work like him. It's really the only way we could have afforded to take on this project. And while I NEVER want to go through it again, I'm so glad and appreciative now that we did. While we're finishing off the craft room, I thought I'd share a few glimpses into the process so you understand what has taken so long...

It all started Labour Day weekend 2007. Out came the tractor and the shovels and the saws and hubby went to work. Three weeks of heavy digging every Saturday and every night until well after dark, here's the start of my basement addition, ready to be blocked. As you can see, my large porch was cut down in size. I had to barricade off my kitchen door lest one of the little boys walked out into thin air. Under the kitchen of this 100+ yo farm house was a crawl space. Hubby had to dig out the entire corridor as well as a cold cellar and storage room under the house by hand.

October 19th and the blocks are starting to be laid on the footings. My craft room lies to the left. This is the view from my old kitchen door.

Finally we are closed in except for one window that has been left out to pour the floor. It's now November 21/07 and we're getting ready to pour the concrete floor. As we have old radiators throughout the house for heating, hubby installed hot water tubes in the concrete. My feet will be nice and toasty all winter long. Now my room is not this large. It's the space to the left. The larger room went to my 3rd child. I was thrilled to let him have it as it meant that child number 5 could move in with child number four and OUT of our room. Bliss!

My "huge" contribution to the project was keeping the construction dust & dirt under control, keeping the kids safe, and providing lots of food. I also spent time designing the kitchen, and figuring out how to best squeeze all my paper crafting supplies into one 8x8 room. Here's what I came up with.

I'm so excited to finally have a room to create in again. Hubby built me one in our last home but I haven't had one in 10 years and 5.5 months. Not that I'm counting. (wink) I've been creating in a small corner of the family room which has been less than ideal. Now it seems to close so being done, I can hardly stand it. A few weeks ago we found the time to paint the room and last Saturday spent the day installing cupboards. A little more electrical and some trim and I can start moving in. Well. Who am I kidding, as we finished getting the cupboards installed Saturday night, I've started moving stuff in already!

I'm off to do more sorting!

Have a beautiful day!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Frugalicious Christmas Accent

Don't you love it when you can create something new and not have to spend a cent? How cool is that? Last week I created this fun little tiered china project and had it sitting in my kitchen. I thought it would be lovely with some holiday treats on it but as it sat there, my brain started whirling. Do you ever do that? Keep something out to look at it for a few days. You just never know what creative idea will pop up while you're washing dishes. I'll tell you more about me little tiered china project when I can take a decent picture of it unadorned after Christmas. By then perhaps, I'll come up with a project idea for it for Valentine's!

Sorry if I'm rambling...back on topic. As it sat there, I noticed it's very loose Christmas tree like shape. Hmmmm..... and then I saw my bowl of decor pears on the sideboard. And that darling little silver bird that I keep in my kitchen window. How about some greenery to fill in the spaces. I'm too lazy to crawl into the crawl space and try and find some so I run outside to the closest coniferous tree and hack off some greenery. Not much as I have the worst nasty cold on the planet this week and baby it's cold outside! I found some beaded fruit sprays to add a pop of Christmas color but it still needed something. I know. Some silver jingle bells I had purchased last year quickly placed around the "tree" tie in that silver bird.'s not quite a partridge in a pear tree but for absolutely no money and very little time...I'm pretty tickled with how it turned out. I know that the spruce isn't going to last until Christmas but no worries...there's lots more where that came from!

Quick Tip: Mix things you already own some holiday color and greenery for a inexpensive project.

This project links up with Red Writing's 12 Weeks of Christmas.

And Kimba's DIY Day...

Happy Decorating! Julia