Banner Frame

Hi Friends!!

Feels like it’s been forever since I’ve talked to you. Guess it’s only been a week, but I hope you had a fantastic last few days. I’m so excited to be doing this post, because 1. I really do miss you extra this week! and 2. This is another one of my favorite craft projects!!

I don’t know if you know this but I’m a drummer. Kinda. Well I can drum. I’m teaching myself and I kind of am at that place in the road where I want to quit because I can’t seem to get over this hurdle of everything flowing together perfectly…yeah definitely don’t come here if you want the “don’t give up” speech, I normally have no problem quitting if I’m unhappy. For example, I considered tennis in high school, I even got some tennis pants and a tennis shirt, but then realized I would rather just head home after my “strenuous” day of high school instead. But I really do enjoy drumming so I’m trying to stick with it. I’ll re-update you in the future with hopefully some good news (or maybe you’ll just know before I tell you because you’ll see me on tv and realize that I’m a famous drummer). I was recently sent THIS video link, and it is one of the most inspiring clips I’ve seen. This video will give you the “don’t give up” speech without even saying it! I so encourage you to check it out, it will melt your heart and remind you of all your blessings that we sometimes take for granted…I know I can use a reminder every now and then!

Banner Frame

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This craft was inspired by a frame I saw from The Examined Life. She is really great with papercrafts and mixed media types of projects. She very meticulously layers and designs things to look very multi-dimensional and very detailed. She definitely has some patience, let me tell you! I instantly fell in love with this idea from the moment I saw it, and I think you will too 🙂

What you need:

  • Frame, no glass
  • Hanging wire
  • Picture hanger
  • Glue gun
  • Mini clothes pins
  • Array of paper, stickers and anything else fun that you have that you can use, like string or brads or fabric etc.
  • Ribbon for bow

Instructions:

1. Take the glass and back of your frame off, if it has those. I found mine at Michael’s in the damaged goods section because the glass was chipped…which was perfect because then it was cheap and I didn’t need the glass or backing. I wanted mine to look rustic so I just so happened to find this neat frame that kind of looked like wood.

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2. Attach the picture hanger to the frame. I got mine at Walmart for $1, and it came with a few in it.

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3. The next part is the fun stuff! You get to just be creative and create! Lay your frame down on the table, and design the banners inside it, so you can get a good idea of how they fit and what they look like. Figure out approximately how big you want each individual banner to be, they don’t need to be the same exact sizes, and lay them all down, 10 in my case, so you have a base to build on.

4. I did this over at Tom’s house with his family, and they have so much neat paper and additions, that I picked out all the stuff that matched the Earthy tones I was going with, and started mixing and matching and layering. An easy way to make this multi-dimensional is to just buy some double sided foam tape and stick things on that on each banner. Makes them pop out. Have fun with this, it’s a very open-ended-lots-of-freedom type of craft! Here are close ups of all my flags:

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5. Once you have all your banner flags completed, get the hanging wire. I wanted silver or white, so if I didn’t see hanging wire for $1 at Walmart, I would have just painted some floral wire white and used that. Cut a long piece that stretches an inch or two outside each frame post horizontally. Coil one end in a bunch and hot glue to the back of the frame, gluing at the highest point you want your banner to touch. Leave some slack in your line, and do the same thing with the other side.

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6. Hang all your flags on the top row before you do the bottom row. You will hang the bottom row the same way you did the top, but make sure that the middle flag on the bottom, which will hang the lowest, will be high enough that it doesn’t get covered by the frame. Clip the flags on after you glue on the line.

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7. Make a bow to hot glue on the center that matches your color scheme. I was going to use an Earthy yellow thick ribbon, but I found some strips of blank off white canvas that I had left over from when I was an art major. Hilarious now because I hated being an art major. Even though I always loved art. It was not my calling to pursue that route in school though 🙂

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8. All done!! Now sit back and stare at it all day because it’s so adorable!

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Penne Rosa

Morning!

Tuesday mornings are up there on my favorite time of my week because I have Bible Study and I just love it so so much! We’re doing the Beth Moore Inheritance study, and if you haven’t done one of her studies, YOU SHOULD! She is an amazing author as well. I’m in the middle of reading one of her books right now too. She is so gifted with words and is able to paint pictures for you so you can look at a situation, and even if it’s only in a self preserving way, back off from making a bad decision in an already bad situation. I know each one of us has so many things we’re always going through, and misery sure does love company! BUT. Remembering we don’t have to fix everything or everybody, and quite honestly it’s not our job, might help you gain peace of mind. This is a quote from her book that I read this week, “To stir the pot we’re drowning in doesn’t do anything but intensify the undercurrent and draw us down further.” Um. Brilliant. Is there something you’re going through that has light at the end of the tunnel if you just let go of the reins?

Hungry now??

This recipe is from Back To The Roots, and is essentially replicating the Penne Rosa from Noodles & Company. SO GOOD! Hopefully you love pasta as much as I do, because as an Italian, there are probably going to be more pasta recipes to come! I’m not allowed to disclose any secret family recipes, but just know that we have pasta for every occasion. It’s supplemented with the traditionals, but there are always pasta dishes at all our family get togethers! For example, on Thanksgiving, we have the turkey, yes, and the sweet potatoes and smashed potatoes and gravy and cranberries…but don’t forget the 2-3 different types of pasta we serve accompanied by homemade sausage and meatballs. Forget the Freshman 15lbs, talk about the Holiday 100lbs!

I seem to have gotten off on a rabbit trail. All I was trying to say was that I love pasta and hope you do too!

What You Need:

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List:

  • 1 Chicken breast! Never feels like a good idea to put the raw chicken pieces in the picture of ingredients. The original author used Shrimp, but I thought Chicken was better in it.
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 12 oz of penne
  • 1/2 of 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 4 sliced mushrooms
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • Red pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of marinara sauce (normally don’t like store marinara, but the Safeway brand was actually pretty good)

Instructions:

1. Follow penne cooking instructions from box, minus suggestions of adding salt. Pasta will take about 10 minutes to be done, so get started on everything else so they finish at about the same time. After you drain the pasta, set it aside.

2. Turn stove to Medium-low heat, and generously coat a large skillet in olive oil. Once hot, add garlic, a pinch of red pepper and let simmer for a couple minutes.

3. Next, add diced tomatoes, mushrooms and some dashes of salt and pepper. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

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4. While that is cooking, dice chicken into chunks.

5. Turn stove to medium-high and add chicken.

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6. It will take a little while for the chicken to cook through. Chicken will look golden brown when it’s done. Slice a thick piece of chicken in half to check. Remove skillet from heat.

7. Add spinach to skillet and cover til spinach wilts. You may need to stir it periodically, but keep it covered as much as possible.

8. Add penne, yogurt, marinara sauce and stir well.

9. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, and pretend you’re at Noodles & Company!
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Glitter Vases

Howdy!

Are you ready to see something cool?? I snapped some pictures of the little bird parents in my tree feeding their babies! Have you ever seen this (not on Animal Planet)?? It’s so neat! Although, Tom’s mom told me they dive-bomb squirrels, so I was a little nervous of being attacked. But I risked my life for you to take these. You can see their little heads poking out with their beaks wide open. Unfortunately the sun shined in the lens a little bit in the second picture, but you can get the idea.

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Remember when I told you about Lakai, the hunter? Well this is Aspen. And she wouldn’t notice the nest if it was right next to her, or above her as the case may be. Rabbits can run right in front of her and she won’t even notice. She’s not blind at all, just a dummy. I love all 100 lbs of her!

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SO. The first step is admitting you have a problem. I have a problem. I am so completely and unbelievably addicted to glitter. If everything could be covered in glitter, I think life would be that much better. Except for the Twilight characters. They should not be covered in glitter.

What You Need:

  • Mod Podge
  • Masking tape or painters tape
  • Acrylic spray – pictured below
  • Paint Brush – medium size- nothing too big
  • Vase – I used a jar from Savers
  • Couple sheets of paper to collect glitter
  • Glitter – I got the pack below at the dollar store. They also had a black/silver pack (which I made as well, pictured at the end), red/purple pack and gold/yellow pack.

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Instructions:

1. Tape off every other section. I am doing each color in one section, so I will use the 2nd, 4th and 6th pack of glitter in those blank sections first.

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2. Paint on Mod Podge in small portions within the untaped section. Depending on your vase size, I don’t recommend painting the whole section at once, because you don’t want the Mod Podge to dry.

3. Pour on glitter very generously, over a sheet of paper. Flick the vase (in a taped area) with your finger to knock off excess glitter.

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4. Roll the paper into a cone and funnel back into bag. It also works well to put an additional sheet of paper under the first one, and just use the funnel to reapply the glitter, so then it falls onto the 2nd sheet of paper. That way you don’t have to put the glitter back into the bag each time. If you use a big jar of glitter you won’t have to worry about that though because you’ll have plenty.

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5. Do all 3 untaped sections. Then repeat over same 3 areas to ensure there is a solid coat of glitter and no patches. Paint over glitter with Mod Podge and pour on glitter etc.

6. Tape top by covering with a bag, so that when you spray with Acrylic coat, it doesn’t get inside the vase or get the top.

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7. This is what it will look like at this point.

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8. Let those sections dry thoroughly. Take off tape and paint Mod Podge in the unglittered sections and repeat the steps above.

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9. Follow directions on Acrylic spray, and thoroughly cover vase. Let dry OUTSIDE for 24hrs. The glitter will be nice and solid. Also, in case you thought you would just ignore the part of the directions on the Acrylic can that says “spray outside,” you will regret that decision. One time I thought I’d open my window and do it inside. There are few ideas I’ve had that equal that one on stupidity. So basically, lay some newspaper down and spray it outside.

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10. My jar had a silly little rooster on the top, which I intended to paint over, but I actually liked it by the end. You can store other things in it if you used a jar.

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11. Otherwise, makes a great vase! I just cut a few things from the backyard but I also think those Tinted Poms that grocery stores always have would look really neat in this vase too!

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Below is the black/silver version I did. On this one I didn’t tape each section off, I tried to blend each section together. This color scheme made for a sleek addition in the house, since I have a lot of silver and black.

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I also thought since Fall is nearing, I would tie an orange bow and make it a Fall decoration!!

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Cake Pops

Hello!

So recently I have just loved the rain and clouds we’ve had. Admittedly, I love Colorado because of the 300+ days of sunshine, but on those other days, I always enjoy the weather so much too, probably because I feel a little deprived of it. BUT, when I was driving the other day there was the most beautiful rainbows! I honestly can’t believe how neat rainbows are when you stop to think about them! So cool!

Well while I was driving, I couldn’t resist the urge to take some pictures of them (totally not recommended)!! I made sure there weren’t any cars near me, and I’ve done it before and I’ll probably do it again! Colorado is too beautiful to pass up these opportunities. Unless of course an officer is reading this, in which case I safely came to a complete stop in a parking lot, turned my car off, removed my seat belt, checked for nearby pedestrians, opened my door slowly and took some pictures….!

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Double rainbow! What does this mean?! (if you don’t get the reference you obviously haven’t seen this silly video yet)

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So today I’m showing you cake pops! They are super easy, and make for a really cute gift. Wrap them in little baggies and tie a bow around!

What You Need:

  • Cake mix (of your choice- I used Funfetti because that’s the best in the whole world)
  • Cake pop pans (THIS is the one I have)
  • Sticks (you can get these in packs at Walmart, or any craft store)
  • A couple bags of chocolate melts (preferably in at least 2 colors)
  • Stryrofoam for a holder (be creative here if you have something else that would work- they also sell trays specifically for holding these)
  • Cooking spray
  • Sprinkles
  • Baggies and Ribbon (if giving them as a gift)

Instructions:

1. Spray your pans, both trays, with cooking spray. Cake pop pans each have little half circles for the cake pop, and they lay on top of each other. You fill one half with the cake mix, lay the other tray on top, and then as they bake they expand to fill the whole circle. Leave the tray with the holes in the top of the half circles, on top.

2. Follow cake mix instructions and baking instructions- I only made half the mix because I didn’t need too many- made approximately 30. If you made more mix than you need, just eat it. Cake mix is one of my favorite things in life. So is brownie mix. I used to wish when I was little (and still do) that all the big piles of dirt you would see would just turn to brownie mix.

3. After you take them out of the oven, there will be a little bit of cake that baked out of the holes on the top. Gently remove that excess.

4. Take the top pan off. Melt some of the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave.

5. Take a stick and dip one end in chocolate, and then into the cake pop. Let dry thoroughly.

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6. Melt all the rest of the chocolate in a bowl or cup. Dip the ball all the way in, and stick in a tray to dry. If you are adding sprinkles, do it now while it’s wet.

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7. If you want to drizzle chocolate on, wait for the dipped pop to dry. Then dip a spoon in the contrasting color of chocolate and swoosh back and forth, drizzling the chocolate on. Turn the cake pop in your other hand while you do this to evenly drizzle.

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8. Let dry, then package if you’re giving them as gifts!

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Birthday Wreath

Morning!

Did I tell you we have some new neighbors? The nest is actually on a lower branch so I have a good view of their home. This is the momma…I think…they seem to look very similar.

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I’ve warned them to stay away from the ground, as we have a little hunter in the family. Lakai shows no sympathy on adorable woodland creatures. Some of you might now about when she killed a squirrel and dragged it under my parents bed. Or when she killed a rat and dropped it at my feet. We were all just thrilled…………………

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Since Tom’s sister’s birthday is today, I thought it would be good timing to post the Birthday Wreath! Happy Birthday Michelle!

This idea is from The Creative Homemaker and was so very simple and fun! I love the way it came out!

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What You Need:

  • Styrofoam wreath (I used a 14″ one I believe)
  • Balloons (about 230- the dollar store sells packs of 25 mixed colors, and then you can get packs of 12 in specific colors at Walmart)
  • Ribbon (I used bundles of mixed colored ribbon bows, and cut them)
  • Floral pins (250- they come in packs of 100 for $1 at Walmart)
  • Floral wire
  • Scrapbook materials for sign –  or buy a pre-made Happy Birthday sign

Instructions:

1. Take all the balloons out of the bags and get all the curls of ribbon ready. Grab a string of ribbon and a balloon, and stick the floral pin through the middle of the the two into the wreath. I laid the balloon on the wreath, then the ribbon string and stuck the pin in. I liked the ribbon being on top. Repeat. I left a few inches blank on the back since it’s against the wall.

2. I wanted to option to hang the wreath from something other than wrapping the hook around it, so I created a little hanger. I wrapped floral wire in several layers around the wreath and twisted it at the ends. Then I created a circle that I looped through, doing the same twisting of several layers.

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This is what it looks like with the hook:

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Make sure it’s nice and full, with alternating colors, like this:

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3. Next you need to pick the paper you want for the very back of the sign, and then the front strip of the sign. I used some fun sparkle paper from Hobby Lobby, and then bright yellow to go on top.

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4. If you’re buying a pre-made “Happy Birthday” sign, glue it to your paper and skip to step 7. I bought some 3D fabric “Happy Birthday” stickers, but I only used them for “Happy,” and added a few gems around them.

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5. As for the “Birthday” part of the sign, I looked off the sign from the original blogger. She bought her sign at Hobby Lobby, so I looked off it to recreate it. I wanted all my letters to pop off the page, so I added thick double sided adhesives to each letter to attach them to the sign.

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6. Here I have listed what I used, and how I made each letter. Below the list of descriptions you can see close ups of the letters.

B- Chipboard letter with some random design on it. I colored the green part on with colored pencil. Then I took black sharpie along the edges to make it stand out from the yellow.

I- I cut the “I” out of two different pink pages, using one as the “shadow.” On the front “I” I put dots of elmers and sprinkled some glitter. I “dotted” the “I” with a colored brad I had. That rhymed.

R- I cut out a balloon shape, and added a bigger version behind it so the yellow didn’t blend with the background. I had a fun letter “r” sticker that I put in the middle, and glued a ribbon string to the bottom.

T- I cut out a square. I used real red ribbon for the ribbon of the present to make the “T.” Then I lined it with elmers and poured glitter. The “bow” was a sticker I had.

H- I cut an “H” out of a magazine. Then I twisted little “wicks” out of floral wire and hot glued to the back. I cut the “flames” off some of the stickers that were in the pack that I used “Happy ” from. I cut them off the “Birthday” letters since I didn’t use those on this. It didn’t even ruin the letter fortunately. Add a dot of hot glue to the top of the wick and stick on.

D- I cut out a balloon shape, and colored some shading with colored pencils on it. I had a fun letter “D” sticker that I put in the middle, and glued a ribbon string to the bottom.

A- I cut out a party hat shape. Then I cut pieces of a contrasting color for stripes, and cut out the shape of a pom for the top.

Y- I covered a “Y” chipboard letter with elmers glue and poured Pixie Dust on it. It’s from the Disney store that I still have from when I was like 6 years old. I loved it so much I never wanted to use it. So now I still have it. Really logical, I know.

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7. Now we are going to attach the sign. Twist some floral wire, several layers, into a long string and line up on the wreath where that side of the sign will meet it. Wrap the floral wire around the wreath in that spot and then put LOTS of hot glue on the back of the sign and press into the wire. Repeat on the other side.

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8. Hang up and smile!

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