Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DIY Magnet Tutorial

This is a quick easy tutorial on making cute magnets using washi tape or other decorative tape you have on hand. These would be fun to send out with save-the-dates, invitations or just for your own fridge at home. (If you like the save the date, you can find it in the download section on the Love and Lavender wedding blog!)

Supplies you will need: 
- Flat magnets (free ones are good for this)
- White paper
- Tape
- Small piece of sandpaper
- Sharp Scissors
- Glue: I used Arlene's Tacky glue

1. Lightly sand the top of your magnet, (helps the paper adhere better). Wipe surface with damp paper towel to remove dust and dry.
2. Apply small amount of glue to sanded side of magnet.
3. Spread thin layer of glue over the entire surface of the magnet. I just used my finger. You can see a light film over the magnet in the lower photo on the right. You don't want it to be super wet.

4. Flip magnet over and adhere to white paper. (This is to prevent original magnet color from showing through tape). Cut out around magnet edge.
5 & 6. Start applying tape in strips that are the length you want the magnet to be. I chose to cover the magnet more or less. Trim off any tape hanging over the edge.
7 & 8. Cut the magnet along the edges of your tape, to separate into individual magnets. You should end up with a pile of magnets looking like this.
9. Last step is to make jagged cuts on the ends to make it look like the torn end of a piece of tape. ...and you're done! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn Spiced Coffee

When I saw Bonnie's recipe for Autumn Spice Latte over on "Going Home to Roost" I knew I would have to try it out this fall. It sounded similar to a pumpkin spice latte.  I've been a little over budget in the coffee department recently and figured it would be a good idea to avoid going to Starbucks again. Since we recently gave up our latte machine (it wasn't seeing any action around here), I made a spin off of the origonal with drip coffee and half and half. And I switched the spice ratio a little, since I don't have whole cloves at the moment. This is really easy to make, took about 7 minutes and it does make the place smell delicious!

In small sauce pan combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp vanilla and let boil 1 minute, allowing the alcohol to boil off. Turn down to a simmer and add your spices. I used 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. Simmer for about 5 minutes, add to your preferred form of coffee and enjoy!

Bridal Shower

Little late, but I thought I post a few pictures of my sister's bridal shower. While showers can be a little stressful, they're also a good excuse to do some creative projects and bake some goodies! My friend Amy and I came up with a bunch of fun ideas for the shower!

My mom, sister and I by the "Ice Tea Bar". Amy found the oversize mason jars at Wal-Marche, they were perfect for this! I picked up three bunches of flowers at Safeway, and my mom did all the flower arrangements. I just picked out different shaped bottles I had around and some vintage blue canning jars.

This is an idea for an easy game I came up with, I loosely based it off the game Apples to Apples if you've ever played that. Make up a couple of categories (and label containers as such). Have slips for the guests write their answer on. The bride reads all the entries and picks the one she likes best.

For the food, we had chips & hummus, and some veggies and dip - need some healthy food to balance out the sugar :) I threw together the "Menu" below with an old window I had in the garage (I think it was an original to our house). I wrote up the menu on craft paper and taped it to the back of the window.

Instead of cake, we decided to go with fruit desserts. Amy made apple crisps, I made peach kuchen and berry cobbler. The mixed berry cobbler is a recipe from Bon Appetite, found here. The peach kuchen recipe was handed down from my great grandmother. We also had madelines and pie-crust cookies. (To make pie crust cookies, just cut out pie crust dough with a cookie cutter, sprinkle with sugar and bake! They're really tasty over fresh fruit with ice cream!)

Lastly a group picture of all the girl's in the family!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Happenings

I always look forward to the change in seasons, it's kind of like a new beginning. New smells, the change in weather, seasonal foods and all the different festivities. With fall, I look forward to warm drinks, pulling out cozy sweaters and coats, the crisp cool air after hot summer days, crunching leaves on walks, all the vibrant fall colors and the smell of autumn. Plus, there is Thanksgiving, gathering with family, and trips to Greenbluff to pick pumpkins and apples. This fall, I'm thankful to be living in a place with four distinct seasons, thankful for having my family nearby, and for having so many wonderful supportive people in our lives. Right now, I'm sitting out on my porch drinking a pumpkin spice latte and listening to the rain pattering on the patio and the X-Country race going on across the street.
Enough of the mushy stuff... I've had some time off work and it's been nice getting stuff done around our place. Of coarse the to do list is never completely finished and things always seem to take longer than expected. But none the less, it's nice to be crossing some things off! Did a goodwill run today and dropped off eight bags of no longer needed stuff, we've been trying to trim down around here, which also means exercising restraint in what I "find" and take home from thrift stores... Today, we mowed the lawn, weeded some of the backyard beds and got some new shrubs, on a side note Joe actually told the guy at Judy's we were looking for "a shrubbery" just like the guy says it in Monte Python. Epic. We rode the Hiawatha Trail on Saturday, then came home and had a lovely barbecue with friends, Joe made ribs! They were delicious! Yesterday, we had a family get together at my aunt's house, my great uncle was in town from California. We ended up having an "indoor picnic" instead of going to Arbor Crest since the weather was threatening to rain. Anyways, hoping to get a few more things scratched off before I go back to work in the next few days.

Some pictures from our ride on the Hiawatha Trail. The ride is on the route of an old train track near the Montana/Idaho border. It takes you through ten tunnels and over seven high trestles. The longest tunnel is 1.7 miles, and is absolutely pitch black inside so you need either a head lamp or a lamp on your bike. Its a gradual downhill grade so is a fairly easy ride, about ten miles long I think. Definitely far from hard core biking, but was a fun experience!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some Progress in the Office

Yay! Making some progress in the "Office". Since the days of less light are fast approaching, I decided since I was going to organize I might as well rearrange while I was at it to make it fit our needs better. I wanted a reading area and a more comfortable chair. So I ended up rearranging the entire room. (Sound familiar anyone who knows me?) Half the room, well a third of the room is clean, so I decided to post some pictures to keep me motivated to finish the other half. Kinda hard to get decent pics when it's this dark but here goes...

I really wanted to paint the back of the bookcase but couldn't settle on a color. So I cut some burlap-ish fabric to cover the back instead. Doesn't show up well in the picture. Brought in the rocking chair that was needing a good home. I love it, have the rocker from one grandma right next to my sewing machine from my other grandma.

DIY'd myself some free art. Found the picture in a magazine and threw it in a frame that was repainted after a second thought about what needed to go to Goodwill. Makes me smile :)

Kitty in his personal chair overseeing the progress.

I finally "de-blinged" the free chandelier I found on the side of the road. My gray candlestick got some free jewelry!

Quick Projects

The dust is finally settling around here. Its been a whirlwind of a month with my sister's shower, then the wedding, our trip to Oregon, two trips to Seattle, then getting sick. Whew... I've got a few more days off before getting back into the full time work routine and hoping to get a bunch of cleaning done around the house and hopefully finish up some projects before the nice weather goes. Thought I'd share a couple quick projects though.

For Rachel's "bachelorette" party we went to Polka Dot Pottery downtown, I know, we're a pretty cRaZy bunch. I finally went and picked up my mug yesterday, just in time to sit down and enjoy a cup of my favorite tea, Egyptian Licorice. Yumm.

During some down time, I ran across a picture on pinterest using clothespins to organize embroidery thread. And since today's mission is to organize/rearrange "the office" figured I'd try it out. I picked up 33 new jars yesterday at my local thrift stores, 5 blue ones and 28 regular canning jars. (Yes, I know I have a problem...) I decided they need to start being useful before someone starts getting cranky about me collecting more "stuff" that sits around and collects dust. That's it for now!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Finished Pinterest Project

When I first saw this on Design*Sponge, I thought it would be perfect for a monthly to do list of sorts. I pinned it to my "Crafty Inspiration" board and it sat there for awhile. I've been trying to think of a good way to organize monthly tasks that always get forgotten. For example, when to fertilize the lawn, when car tabs expire, when the fridge was last vacuumed under, when to change the oil, etc. So when I found this at Anthro, I knew it was perfect for this project. I hadn't found a disposable one yet, and I love ceramic things that look disposable.
Here's my version. I didn't have any vintage postcards on hand, so I dug through my scraps of paper, I picked ones that loosely coordinated with each month. Then cut out some little tabs for the tops, since my I don't have a notecard for each day like the example above. 
I did label the cards with the month using a date stamp, so if it gets pulled out, I will know where to put it back. Then I will just fill them out as I think of things that need to be done on a yearly, bi-yearly, quarterly basis, etc. 

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! Enjoy your extra day off (or extra holiday pay if you're working)!

P.S. Kitty is still on "house arrest" while his paws heal up. He's turned into quite the little helper, now that he can't be outside terrorizing bugs all day. His favorite art tool is the paintbrush, he likes carrying mine all over the house. 

Friday, September 02, 2011

Hanging out with my kitty