Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

Hi Everyone!

Wishing all of you who celebrate Easter a wonderful holiday!

Beagle with Easter basket

While I know it's not about the Easter Bunny or the Easter Beagle, our fur boy loves sticking his nose in many of the photos you see on the blog. So, I made him a part of my Easter card. Have a wonderful day, and enjoy your blessings!

Dee :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Painted Wine Crates

Hi Everyone!

I love the look of wooden crates, especially old ones, but around here, there aren't a lot of places to find them, and of course, vintage crates can be pricey. I managed to get my hands on two new wine crates right after Christmas, but it took me a while to decide what I wanted to do with them. Originally, I wanted to make shelves out of the crates, but I loved the French labels and I wanted these to show. So, today, I finally got around to painting the crates so that they look aged and have a little bit more character.

painted french wooden wine crates

Here is how one of the crates looked before I painted it. Actually, they both looked the same, but they are from different wineries, so the labels are different. Also, this one has nails, and the other one has staples.

unpainted wine crate

I decided to paint them in two different styles. I wanted this one to look like the wood was stained, but I didn't want to use an actual wood stain -- way too smelly. So, I decided to mimic the stained look by using some watered down burnt umber craft paint. On the other crate, I used some off-white latex paint from my stash.

burnt umber craft paint and behr latex white paint

The burnt umber color made a nice dark stain on the wood. I did a few layers, and then I went back and dabbed some paint around the edges and the bottom. There was a big paper label on the side, and although I was able to get the whole thing off, there was still some sticky residue, which produced a kind of distressed effect on the wood.

stained painted wine crate

Still, I like how this crate turned out. I love the darker color, and this is exactly the look I was after! I left the inside alone since I plan to use these crates to hold magazines, blankets or whatever else needs to be contained.

french wine crate stained dark brown

I gave the second one a thin coat of the white paint, and then I went back and dabbed some burnt umber paint in random places with a dry brush. This technique gives the crate a shabbier, more rustic look.

white distressed french wine crate

Much better! I should have done this a long time ago, but I hate to rush projects if I don't know exactly what I want them to look like. Now, they look like vintage crates you might find at a roadside stand.

wine crates holding plants, books and magazines

You can give just about anything a vintage look with a little bit of paint, and I'm loving the new look! 

Thanks for taking the time to check out my latest DIY project. Have a great day! 

Dee :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No-Sew American Girl Doll Tutu

Hi There!

It's been awhile since I've made any no-sew doll clothes, so when my little Diva wanted some new clothes for her American Girl Doll, I went right to work. Last month, we made a ballet barre for her dolls, so I decided to make a no-sew tutu for her AG Doll to wear.

AG doll with pink tutu skirt

The doll has a pink leotard and short pink tutu, so I thought it would be nice to have a longer pink tutu too. Can you say that without smiling?! Instead of making it all one color, I used pink, white and purple tulle. My daughter has a lot of pretty dresses that she's outgrown, and I used the tulle from those dresses to make this skirt. This is a great way to save money on doll clothes and recycle the old children's clothes!

I started out by cutting long strips of tulle and tying them around a narrow pink ribbon. I have lots of ribbon around the house, so I just used a shade of pink that I had on hand.

tie strips of tulle around a ribbon

I alternated between pink and white until the tutu was long enough to cover the doll's waist without the pink ribbon showing. Then, I took some shorter pieces of purple tulle and tied them at various points around the tutu. The purple pieces are not very noticible, but they just give the skirt a hint of color. I left enough ribbon showing on either side and tied the ends together around the doll's waist to close the tutu.

no sew tulle skirt tied with ribbon

You can see the purple tulle better up close. When my daughter wants to take the skirt off, all she has to do is untie the ribbon--easy peasy! I also cut two tulle flowers from the same dress that I got the tulle strips and glued them to bobby pins. Now, the ballerina has a pretty headpiece too!

american girl doll with no sew tutu and tulle flowers

The skirt needed some extra bling, so my daughter pressed some pink heart-shaped crystal stickers on the tutu. I let her decide where she wanted them, and she did a good job. This tutu looks so much like some of the costumes that my little Diva and the other dancers at her studio wear when they perform, only this is a lot cheaper!

ag doll with no sew pink tutu and flowers

I was able to trim the tutu a tiny bit, but my daughter insisted it stay as long as possible. This was so easy to make that I think I'll make a shorter one too!

Thanks for taking the time to visit me and view my latest project. Have a wonderful day!

Dee :)

Linking With

Fab Creative FridayFriday Pin FestCraft Frenzy FridayFreedom FridaysFriday Pin FestI Heart Nap TimeBest of the WeekendSay G'Day SaturdayCrochet Crazy

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How to Fix Your Stubborn Sliding Glass Door

Hey There!

Have you ever put up with something that wasn't working well just because you were used to the situation? If so, you aren't alone! Our sliding glass door was a bear to move, but we were so used to it that the more stubborn it became, the harder we pushed to move it. Come to think of it, this could apply to people, as well! Anyway, when the younger kids could no longer open the door and I was tired of nearly throwing my back out whenever I let the fur boys outside, I decided it was time to fix this sliding glass door.

beagle outside sliding glass door

There's  a lot of advice on this topic online, and some people suggest removing the entire door. I really wanted to avoid this because our door is super heavy, and I wanted to see if cleaning the track would help. I'll spare you the before pictures because the buildup of dog hair and gunk was not pretty. 

I try to use natural cleaners whenever possible, so I grabbed my trusty spray bottle of white vinegar and saturated the entire track with vinegar. I was so surprised when the vinegar did the trick, and the gunk came off easily with some Q-Tips and paper towels. I used the Q-Tips to reach as far under the door as possible.

After I got most of the gunk out of the track, I vacuumed the track and the area around the door. Some people recommend vacuuming the door whenever you vacuum your floors, but our floor is all tile, so I normally don't vacuum here. This is what the track looked like after it was cleaned.  

cleaning track on sliding glass door

This worked for a while, and it was no nice to open and close the door without a major workout! But, it wasn't long before the door began to get stubborn again, so I knew I would have to apply some sort of grease to it. I did some research, and most sites recommended a dry lubricant. So, I went to Lowe's, but after reading the myriad warnings on the different lubricants, I was really hesitant to buy any. 

I did find this white lithium grease called Ultra Lube. It's plant based and non-toxic, and after determining that I could probably use this without passing out, breaking out in a horrible rash or mutating, I decided to try this.

Ultra Lube white lithium grease on sliding glass door

I applied the lubricant along the entire track with a paper towel. The directions didn't specify how much to apply, so I applied a thin coat and then tried the door. It was still a little bit stiff, so I applied a little more, and the door moved like a dream. Seriously, I can open the door with one hand, and even the little kids can open it!

wiping track down with white lithium

You can see the rugs on either side of the door, and although I should have moved them, you can see the grass and hair that gathers around the door. This is what gets trapped inside the track, so you can imagine how the track looked before!

If the door sticks again, I'll keep cleaning and applying more of the grease as long as I can before it's time to remove the doors. I'll let you know how this plays out. In the meantime, I guess I need to find a new upper body workout!

I was not given this product or compensated in any way. I just wanted to let you all know how easy it is to fix a sliding glass door using natural, non-toxic products.

Have a great day!

Dee :)

Linking With:

Feathered Nest FridayFab Creative FridayFriday Pin FestCraft Frenzy FridayFreedom FridaysI Heart Nap TimeBest of the WeekendSay G'Day Saturday 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hearty Spring Salad

Hey There Everyone!

As much as I enjoy comfort food, I just love having salads when the weather starts warming up. And, because it's already getting hot here, we've been having salad for dinner at least once a week. The trick to getting my entire family to eat salad without gagging or complaining is to have a bunch of different topping on hand to disguise the lettuce. Adding some cooked, well-seasoned chicken and bacon to the mix doesn't hurt either! So, this hearty spring salad with chicken and bacon now has a permanent spot on our weekly dinner menu!

salad with mixed greens chicken bacon tomatoes raisins cashews

My family can't even agree on one type of salad greens, so I usually mix some iceberg lettuce, romaine and a spring mix, which usually includes some spinach and arugula. I love the spring mix, so this is what I'm showing you. We either grill some chicken or saute it with olive oil and garlic. This time, we were feeling adventurous, so we added bacon--yum!

mixed greens with chicken bacon raisins nuts tomatoes

We like to pile on the toppings, and I have to make sure that the younger kids don't go overboard with this. This time, I set out some chopped tomatoes, cashews, raisins and sunflower seeds. The kids like to add some shredded cheese to their salads, and if I remember to buy it, I'll add goat cheese to mine. My favorite dressing is an organic raspberry vinaigrette, but with all of these flavors, sometimes I omit the dressing altogether.

mixed salad greens topped with chicken bacon tomatoes raisins

Warmer weather also calls for iced tea, which goes really well with any type of salad. The other day, I brewed some chai tea and added ice--awesome! I always make enough chicken so that there's plenty left over for lunches or quick dinners during the week. And, after such a healthy, light dinner, you can treat yourself to dessert!

Any other salad lovers out there? What's your favorite kind?

Have a great day!

Dee :)

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DIY Coastal Art

Hi Everyone!

It's only April, but I'm already thinking ahead to summer. Of course, we don't have much of a spring in the desert, and because the temperature is already rising, it's just about summertime here. Even in Arizona, we have lakes, water parks and swimming pools, and the beach is only a few hours away! And, since I absolutely love the ocean, I decided to create some coastal art today.

old picture frames decorated with burlap, paint and seashells

I don't know about you, but I tend to keep old picture frames, even when I move the pictures to new frames. Hubby was threatening to toss them, but I saved a couple, and I used them for this project. They were plain brown frames, but I painted them white and glued small seashells in each of the corners. Whenever we visit the beach, I always save some shells, and I always have some on hand.

old picture frame painted white with seashells

Then, I painted one of the glass pieces with aqua chalkboard paint. If you've seen some of my other crafts, you know I got a lot of use out of this little bottle! I originally bought some for the vintage school desk I redid, and I also used this to create some blue and gold polka dot eggs. Anyway, I just love the color, and I thought it would be perfect for a coastal art project.

blue chalk paint on glass frame

Instead of making both frames look the same, I went for a completely different look on the second frame. I cut strips of black ribbon and glued them over the glass. Then, I glued three larger shells to the ribbon. I liked the contrast between the black and white, but it needed a little something more, so I glued two thin aqua ribbons on either side of the seashells. 

old picture frame with ribbons and seashells

The glass fits tightly in the frame and helps to hold the ribbons. Some are a little loose, but that's fine. I haven't found the perfect place for the frames yet, but for now, this one looks nice with the dark wood and metal shelf. 

white picture frame with ribbons and seashells

On the other frame, I attached a strip of burlap over the blue glass and used hot glue to attach the shells to the burlap strip. The lighter colors go really well against the rustic fence on the mantel, and after Easter is over, I'll probably use this artwork to decorate the mantel in a coastal theme.

white picture frame with burlap and seashells

I keep looking at this and thinking about using chalk to add a little more pizzazz on the blue. It is chalkboard paint, after all! What do you think -- should I leave this picture alone, or should I jazz it up? I would love to hear your thoughts because I'm always trying to tweak my projects instead of leaving them alone after the first time. Hmmm, stay tuned for a possible update!

The best part about this project is that it didn't cost me a thing to make! That's one nice thing about saving old frames and other things instead of tossing them out. You never know when the decorating urge will strike, and you'll be prepared!

Thanks for visiting today, and if you have an idea on the blue frame, please leave your thoughts in the comments. Have a wonderful day!

Dee :)

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Easy Marshmallow Peeps Dessert

Hi There!

We had an incredibly busy weekend, most of which was spent shuttling the kids to various extracurricular activities. I love watching them perform, but sometimes I feel like I have to have another weekend just to recover! If you have kids that are involved in dance, sports or just about anything else, you probably understand this all too well! 

Anyway, it's become an informal tradition in our house to have sundaes on Sundays for dessert, but I thought I would try something different this week. The grandparents stopped by and brought over some marshmallow Peeps --because that's what grandparents do -- so I surprised the kids with these easy marshmallow Peeps ice cream cups. 

marshmallow peeps on ice cream cups with jelly beans

If you spend enough time on Pinterest, you see the cutest desserts circulating around the web, and right now, Peeps are just about everywhere! This isn't really a recipe, but I thought I would post it anyway! All I did was spoon some vanilla ice cream into paper baking cups, top the ice cream with green sprinkles and add some Peeps and jelly beans. 

marshmallow peeps on ice cream cups with jelly beans

You do have to put the ice cream cups back into the freezer before serving. Otherwise, they're too mushy to eat! I also added the jelly beans right before serving so that they wouldn't be too hard.

ice cream in cupcake wrappers with peeps and jelly beans

It was a nice surprise for the kids, and there were no arguments about whose portion was larger! Maybe I should start serving desserts like this more often! The kids also liked the cold Peeps better, and I noticed the sugar crystals didn't fall all over the place either -- just a nice bonus for me.

Thanks for visiting with me today. Have a great week! 

Dee :)

Linking To:

Whimsy WednesdaysWow Us WednesdaysWow Me WednesdayTwirl and Take a BowWednesday RoundupFull Plate ThursdayKrafty Inspiration ThursdayFabulously Creative FridayCommon GroundFeathered Nest FridayFlaunt It FridayCraft Frenzy FridayFreedom FridaysI Heart NaptimeBest of the WeekendSay G'Day SaturdayShow-Licious Craft & RecipesSunday SoireeShow and Tell Saturday