Cork Trees and a Project Teaser

I have this amazing glass jar (or vase ~ as it may be) that I found at the local Goodwill store. I was pretty pleased when I found it because I'd been searching for some type of glass container to house my cork collection for awhile and this jar was big enough and had just the right personality for my space. I don't collect many things but I do collect white ceramic dishes...and then there are the corks. I think I may have every single cork from the first bottle of wine I popped open many years ago. I also found a big bag of corks at the Goodwill store for 2.99!   Why I thought it was necessary to buy a strangers discarded corks, I'm not sure. But honestly, I wish everybody would save their corks and give them to me. I just love corks. Someday the perfect idea will come to me for their use, I just know it! 

In the meantime, I replicated some cork trees I saw posted at Stonewall Kitchen's website. They are darling, if you ask me.   I'm not really all that "crafty" though so forgive me.  These are my cork trees:

And here's a look at my inspiration:

Just some corks, some hot glue and some buttons thrown together.  SimpleEasy.  Done.

While I'm here I thought I'd add in a couple shots of what my Adorable Upcycler is doing these days.  He says HI to everyone and wants you all to know that no man was harmed in the making of those craft cabinets you saw here.  Although I made it up to him anyway.  ;)

Isn't he cute with all those tools???

Can't let it out yet what he's working on but it should be pretty darn fab! We keep looking at the piece-in-progress and saying, "maybe we won't want to sell that after all". Ahhh well. Too bad we have absolutely no room available in our home. It's going to make a great entertaining and conversation piece for somebody.  And there may even be corks involved.  Ponder that for awhile!We should have more on this before the weekend is over...

Don't forget to FOLLOW US!!!  THANKS!

Bye for now!

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Coffee Filter Christmas Wreaths

I have envy.  Seriously.  I try not to compare myself to others and let the green monster overtake me, but...I see all of the beautifully decorated Christmas pictures on Pinterest and all over the web and I am green with envy.  I want pretty wreaths and garlands all over my house.  Sparkly baubles adorning every surface.  A mantle perfectly arranged with Christmas bling and cheer.  And everything color coordinated and perfectly matched to my decor (and I use that term lightly in my case).  Yet, I have no mantle AND I have a budget of zero, zilch, zip, nada, diddly, insignificant, fly-speck, squat and that is okay.  There are so many more important things than filling my home with new and shiny Christmas decorations.  Like, say, feeding my bottomless-pit family.  :)  And, for some reason, they just keep coming back for more.  When will it be enough?  Are they ever satisfied???  Little chuckle here.  Seriously!  They don't seem bothered by the lack of a beautifully decorated mantle.  But they do seem to notice when dinner is not ready and waiting at exactly the moment their hunger strikes!  Reminds me of the laundry...oh don't ask me why.   I love the laundry!  I will never get enough of freeing our garments from the soils and toils of life.  It reminds me that we are trully living.  OK, I'm fibbing.  I soooo cannot find any part of laundry that I like.  But it has it's perks...like fresh smelling clothing!  Oh, and that nice feeling of pulling radiantly warm clothes out of the dryer on a cold day.  That's kinda nice too.  And that sense of accomplishment I get when I multi-task and fold everything while watching my favorite tv show.  I'm gifted that way!    Maybe I don't hate laundry as much as I thought

But I digress.  All that envy is not good for me.  So, last night as I laid in bed..then on the couch..then in bed again, wishing I hadn't had that triple-shot mocha in the afternoon, I had an idea!  Yes, a lightbulb moment!!!  So today, as the children were coloring and napping and playing legos, I got out my glue gun and a bunch of un-bleached coffee filters from the kitchen cabinet.  I grabbed a couple of fun edging scissors and went to town folding and cutting and glueing and this is what I came up with.  Not very sparkly, or fancy, or intricate but still...they are color coordinated!  I have created a tiny little corner of Christmas in my home with the simple supplies I had hanging around.  I hope you like them!!!

Just some coffee filters!  Some folding, cutting and hot glueing and they become mini wreaths!

I added some buttons and a little hanging ribbon and called it good.  :)   SIMPLE.

I pulled the red ribbons out of those ceramic ornaments and added some twine.  I just can't do the red everywhere.  Sorry Santa...I kinda like green...

This "HAPPY" print was found on Pinterest...I'll look it up and add a link if it's there.  I just love it.  I'm sure that's what happens all the time...that or people wonder if I'm a little...you know...(go ahead and inject here cuz I'm not saying it!).

I suppose I could really go for it and add a bunch more of the coffee filters for fullness. 
Nah, I'm happy with these just the way they are.

The big white buttons kinda remind me of sea shells.  Buttons are cool.

I pulled this green fabric out of a box of remnants my mom had in her closet ~ thanks for sharing mom!!!   

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my latest projects!!!  Don't forget to click on that follow button you see on the sidebar...it really makes me feel awesome when I get new followers...REALLY!


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Cabinet Door Turned Tray

I hope everyone had a fun, family, friends and food-filled Thanksgiving holiday!  We enjoyed our time back in my hometown with some amazing family and friends.  Couldn't have asked for more.  So thankful for all of the blessings in our lives.  On our way out of town we stopped at a couple of thrift stores to see if they had anything we needed for our projects and Hallelujah!  Check out these finds:
Cushions just perfect for our new Entryway bench {$1.00 each}:
These will eventually be recovered but I may leave them this color for the Christmas Season :)

I found a piece of fleece {50 cents} ~ I think it makes an adorable Christmas table runner.  I may just swoop it up and wear it as a scarf though...can't decide.  ;)  What do you think?

And here it is on the table:

See those flowers?  I wandered aimlessly around Michaels on Black Friday for about an hour ~ carrying silk flowers that I wanted for Christmas decorating but I just couldn't justify the price.  (Might have been something to do with the lack of sleep!)  When we stopped at the thrift store I found these beauties for 25 cents!  I have never been a big fan of fake flowers but these are gorgeous and who has a fresh flower budget anymore???  That adorable metal tin in the background that says "merry" was only 49 cents.  The cranberry garland in the picture below was 75 cents per garland and the white cookie-cutter ceramic ornaments were 50 cents each after the 50% discount at Michaels!  Those and the clear "glass" ornaments are all I ended up buying at Michaels after all of that wandering...they were completely sold out of vinyl for my Cricut and their selection of Cricut cartridges was sad.  I'm so disappointed.

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas around here...

Look at those flowers!  SCORE!!!

I finally got around to working on one of my cabinet door upcycles today.  My Treasure Hunter Hubby went out a few weeks ago to check out an old 1930's radio cabinet listed on Craigslist and happened upon an amazing find ~ some unfinished  blank canvas, cabinet doors of varying sizes.  What a treat!  Now we are in the brainstorming and "recreating" phase with these doors.   What can we create!?  This is the fun part for me!  I have tons of ideas pinned on Pinterest and I'm just dying to try them all out.  Not enough time in the day.
Well, there was a cabinet~door~turned~tray that was one of the first things I pinned on Pinterest and I have been working on my own version. 

Here is my inspiration piece from the CraftyNest:
Check out the full tutorial at:  http://www.craftynest.com/2008/12/salvaged-cupboard-door-serving-tray/

And here is what I've been working on today:

Cabinet door with white paint  (clearance pulls found at Lowes)

I cut my design out of cardstock on my Cricut Expression die cut machine.
I used homemade "mod podge" to attach my design to the surface.

The knobs are not even attached yet because I'm too lazy I don't feel like venturing out into the rain to get the drill out of the shed.  I will poly the entire tray for durability (maybe when I get around to applying poly to the table and chairs, right!?) 

For now it can sit there and look pretty while I go read the directions on my wainscott wallpaper!!!

Happy Sunday Friends,

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I Love my morning coffee (and free printable link found on Pinterest)

There is nothing quite like a hot cup of coffee to get you going on a cold, dark morning. 

Around here we have a lot of those mornings.  My coffee tastes best when it is sipped from one of my big, ceramic Starbucks mugs (just perfect to wrap both hands around for warming).  They were a gift from my wonderful Sister-in-Law, Genevieve.  She is so thoughtful  :)   I prefer my coffee with cream and sugar.

No, that's not completely true...

If I had a choice, I would drink a full calorie, whole milk, Mocha or Salted Caramel Mocha.  But, I have grown to love setting the timer on my coffee maker and coming downstairs to fresh brewed, steaming hot coffee - just waiting to be enjoyed.  Much more thrifty than buying a coffee house Mocha or even making my own. 

The other day I saw a free printable on Pinterest and, of course, I pinned itI really love Pinterest.  And it's not just the complete over-indulgence of images showing recipes, fashion, crafts, decorating ideas, inspirational words and DIY projects.  It's the ease of finding, categorizing and relocating whatever you are interested in when you want it again.  Not to mention, it has inspired me to actually try some of these ideas!  Who doesn't need some inspiration?  Today I re-used a frame that was hanging around and turned it into fun wall art ~ sure to make me smile each morning:

Here's the link to Donna's blog and the free printable:    http://donnasdigitalcreations.blogspot.com/2011/07/freebie-for-today_25.html
Check it out!

And don't forget to leave a comment here and tell me, how you like your coffee?

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Dining Set Makeover...When Will I be done???

ALMOST DONE!!!  I'm so impatient I had to stop and take some more pictures of my progress. 



Some wax and a couple coats of poly and I'm calling it good.  I want to move on to some NEW projects.

Hope you are having a productive weekend...or a relaxing one...whichever you prefer!?

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This poor glider rocker was sad and pitiful.  The cushion covers were stained beyond help and were not removable for washing.  I'm not even confident that I could have given it away.  So it sat in my garage for quite some time with miscellaneous garage paraphernalia piled atop it's grungy seat. 
It had no hope...

I got a new Brother sewing machine as a gift from my Mom! 


So, I tore open the sewing machine box and pulled out my new toy.  After I read a few pages of the manual, (that's more than my instruction-allergic husband would have read!) I went to work whipping out new cushion covers.  The Brother Sewing Machine worked like a dream!  In no time I had created new cushion covers for the chair.  Okay, so my seamstress skills may need some practice.  My stitches are not perfectly straight and I'm thinking I'm supposed to clip the seam allowance inside the curves to help it take it's rightful shape.  Not sure???

Luckily I had this warm, neutral fabric tucked away in the garage as well.  It was just barely enough ~ but it did the job perfectly.  It's a microfiber type cloth so it will be easy to keep clean and stain free.  I decided to whip out a burlap pillow and see if I could do some fun text and the first thing that came to mind was "Cuddle".  I printed on the burlap with a Sharpie in brown.  I wanted to try printing on the burlap with the printer (I saw it on Pinterest!), but I didn't have any freezer paper on hand and that is what you need.  Must try that soon

With my new "Cuddle" pillow

Here she is again posing with a cuddly blanket and teddy bear. 

My pillow didn't turn out half bad.  (Although ~ I must learn to sew straighter.)

Finally, here she is with my favorite children's book...can't you just hear her calling out to be ROCKED ON???

Have a great weekend!
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The downfall of the paper towel

We use a lot of paper towels in our home.  I keep a roll handy ~ next to my kitchen stove for quick clean ups.  Right next to the paper towel-sized bottle of wine, an absolute necessity for cooking~after business hours, of courseHa ha.  I would feel lost without my paper towels.  Remember, I run a childcare business inside my home.  There are a ton of little messes to clean up. 

I used to keep a roll in the downstairs bathroom next to the sink for drying our hands with after washing.  I quit putting cloth hand towels in that bathroom some time ago and I'll tell you why.  Children are so germy!!!   I know, shocker.  They are amazing little germ factories and they love to share those germs with anyone and everything they get their hands on.  They may actually wash their hands after using the facilities or they may just run them under the water quickly ~ apparently to fool you.  Sometimes they wash very well and then rub their cute little nose before drying.  Or, they may just take the hand towel and use it to wipe their adorable little germy faces clean.  Really, who knows??? 
So, no multi-use cloth hand towels hanging in my bathroom. 
It really has cut down on the spread of colds and other minor illnesses.  The problem is stocking that many paper towels.  It gets spendy.  Not to mention the poor trees...right!?  I priced one of those paper towel holders that attach to the wall, you know those big rectangular metal jobs that hang in many public bathrooms.  Expensive.  Not to mention you have to refill with special paper towels that you cannot buy at your local Safeway store.  But, while I was getting my Child Development degree I took a class about Health and Safety in the Classroom.  I learned that many Preschools have adopted a cloth hand towel policy.  They use terry cloth - maybe even old towels, or cotton - like from t-shirts.  They are cut into washcloth sized squares and thrown into baskets next to the sink for single use ~ then thrown in the laundry.  I was excited to implement this in my own home but I didn't have a bunch of extra towels or t-shirts hanging around.  What I did find though, was a white cotton flannel sheet set that had a small tear in the center of the fitted sheet.  I was about to throw it out when it dawned on me how I could use it. 
flannel pillowcase

I took my scissors to the flannel sheets and pillowcase and cut out a bunch of squares:

My new washable, reusable hand towels!!!  So easy and inexpensive!

I have a cute little basket that sits on my bathroom vanity and holds a nice supply of hand towels.  I put another larger basket (easier for the kids to toss into when done ~ who wants them all over the floor?) to collect the used towels.  When I do a load of whites I just grab the dirties from the bathroom and toss them into the wash!  So easy. 

Hand towels on vanity

 Used hand towel basket in corner of bathroom

And that last pillowcase that I haven't cut up yet?  I think I'll leave it intact.  I can get it wet and soapy and use it for cleaning my ceiling fan blades...less messy than wiping with a regular cloth.  If you wrap the pillowcase around a blade and pull back while wiping you don't knock all of the grime and dust bunnies down onto whatever is beneath because it is caught inside the pillowcase!  Then just throw the pillowcase into the laundry.  Brilliant!  (I read that in some magazine or online...I can't remember...but it works great if you haven't already tried it.)

Always finding something to improve. 

Enjoy your projects,

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