Thursday, January 18, 2018

December Daily 2017

     OK, I just completed my very first December Daily.  It's big, and interactive with lots of pages, so I tried my hand at a video that didn't wobble.  I still need to work on lighting and focus, get the idea. 
     I started reading about December Daily last year around Christmas.  The basic goal is to document each day of December (some people stop at Christmas, I did the whole month since my family didn't come into down until the 25th).  I tried to do it each night, though there were several times I waited and did a couple days at a time. 
     I think if I did it again, I would probably not feel guilty about waiting until after December to really get into it and complete/or even start.  I'd try to organize pictures and maybe even jot down daily stories and thoughts as the month rolls by, but.....just to ensure no time was taken from living in the moments....which I think is what a lot of folks do anyway, future me, you have permission to do December daily in July. 
     You can use the project life style photo inserts, which I did some.  This does make it a LOT quicker to scrapbook, as does the 6x8 size.  I did a combo of the plastic pockets and some pages of just scrapbook paper.  I also didn't pick a color scheme, but....eclectic is more my style and matching is something I appreciate in other albums, but not something I enjoy working on.  I bought several kits via Ali Edwards website Octoberish, which I loved, and then I lost my mind at every craft store and online site I could find in the United States of America, which basically means I have to scrapbook every December for myself and my 12 closest friends for the next 16 years to put a dent in my supply. 
     Something to look forward to...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

I'm always looking for new ways to bake chicken.  I ran across this one via all recipes and it was really simple and delicious.  I adapted it some by using Italian bread crumbs so I wouldn't have to add a bunch of different seasoning-I let the package do it for me!  So, if it's time for a chicken revamp, here is an easy recipe that baked well and heated up well. 

Garlic Cheddar Chicken
Ingredients:  1/2 c. butter, 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 3/4 c. dry Italian bread crumbs, 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese, 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast (pounded thin)
1.  Heat over to 350. 
2.  Melt butter in a saucepan on low and cook the garlic until tender (about 5 minutes).
3.  In a separate bowl, mix the crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Cheddar cheese. 
4.  Dip each slice of chicken in the garlic butter, then press into the bread crumb mix. 
5.  Place some bread crumbs at the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan, and place the bread chicken on top (this prevents the bottom from getting soggy.)
6.  Bake for 30 minutes (or until the chicken is no longer pink. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Nautical Nursery

Last summer I put together this surprise nursery for my friend.  Her and her husband decided not to find out what they were having, but they wanted to have a gender specific nursery.  I did this one other time (last summer) and had a lot of fun putting the details together.  This time around I had Amber do the same thing I did before-I asked her to create two pinterest boards so I had a good idea of what she wanted for either gender, but it was still enough of a mystery she didn't know exactly what to expect.  
 The only thing I did different this go 'round was paint the room-she selected a color for both genders, so once she headed out of town for a weekend I got to work.  She also had all the furniture already in place, and I love the way the trunk went so well with the theme.
 She had bought some fabric years ago when she was expecting her first baby (a girl), and so she gave me the fabric to use if this was a boy (knowing I'd go with a nautical theme-which is what she wanted to do the first time).  I framed some of the fabrics in old embroidery hoops I got at a thrift store.  I used my embroidery machine to make a compass for the smallest.  I found the "You Call Me" frame at Hobby Lobby, the "Work like a Captain" is from JoAnn.  I made the "Mightier than the waves..." sign.  I had her select a bible verse for each gender as well, and this is the one she had chosen for a baby boy.
 I found a cute whale lamp at HomeGood and I put some fish netting below the glass on the rocking chair table.  I added a blanket and made a pillow with my embroidery machine and some of her fabric.  I also bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby (one of my first purchases).  She had the red lamp we bought together years ago, and I added a glass fishing weight.  My thought is that she can eventually add books and special items like his first shoes etc to the boat.
 This shelf I imagine she will fill with different toys and baskets of socks, but I filled it with some things I found around the house, and a few things I bought.  I went back after these photos and added some pictures from her maternity shoot.  I found an anchor teether, and some cute little whales.  I made a burp.  I also found some sea themed bath squirts.  I 'borrowed' an ocean puzzle from her daughter.  The whale stool was also from Homegoods-it's one of my favorite pieces-hand carved....16 dollars!
 I added a few pillows to the crib and a penguin they had also bought.
 I added a little life ring I bought online.  The paddle I bought at Hobby Lobby and I added his name in vinyl, and I also added a 'No Wake Zone" sign I made.
 The quilt I made using fabrics she had bought, and the mobile I also made.  I bought some adorable, crocheted whales on Etsy, and added some anchors I also bought online.
 I found a few bins, made another sign using vintage dictionary pages, and I carved out a whale I imagine would be a good place to add baby's stats.  The banner is Holden's name using the nautical alphabet.
Last up was a wreath to greet the family.  Charlotte had one, so Holden needed one too.
It worked out well b/c Charlotte's room had some red, so I was able to use the old pieces without changing them out too much.  Hopefully Holden gets lots of good rest in this room.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

 This is a quilt I made for my friend's nursery.  She bought these fabrics quite a few years ago when she was expecting baby number 1.  She had a girl and went with a ballet themed, but this go 'round she got a baby boy who could use these fabrics.
I bought a really soft material for the back side and had them measure it to a little over a yard.  I took all the fabrics she bought and figured out how to evenly divide them (they were long enough for the width I wanted).  In this case I cut each strip evenly into 5 1/2 inches.  I sewed each strip together.  I embroidered Holden's name on one side towards the bottom.  I sewed the top to the back, and then added some binding I made with blue fabric I had in my stash.  
I'll post a picture in the nursery with this little guy ironed and ready to snuggle.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Nautical Mobile

 Soon I'll be posting some pictures of this mobile hanging in it's nursery.  In the meantime, you get my overgrown yard last spring.
My friend, Amber, was expecting a baby boy....but she didn't know she was expecting a baby boy.  I did because I was assigned the task of decorating his nursery.  When she had her first baby (Charlotte) a few years before I knew that the nursery was going to be nautical if it was a boy, or ballet if it was a girl.  Well, ballet it was.  So, this go 'round, she didn't find out in advance, but they wanted a gender specific nursery, so I got the privilege of putting it all together.  I stuck with nautical.  I've made a few mobiles for different friends in the past, but this time I went a little different.  
 I usually use an embroidery hoop, but this time I found these sticks/balls ready to put together via aliexpress.  They also sold these little wooden anchors (I painted two red).
I found these little crochet whales via Etsy (the gal was really quick, and so sweet, she even threw in an extra narwhal...if she only knew how much I loved unicorns).  I used some jewelry string to tied each one to the sticks.  Very simple, but it works perfect with the nursery theme!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Bible Verse Sign

Last summer I put together a surprise nursery for a friend.  I wanted to do as much DIY as I had time for to save money.  I had her pin some different things, and one thing we talked about was a bible verse. I had her choose one for each gender.  My plan was to do a piece of subway art on this wood, but when I went through the whole template/mod podge routine, and even an attempt at handwriting it....I just could NOT fall in love.  I had a white mess of messy penmanship.  So, my wood got a white wash.  I painted and scrubbed it off with a damp paper towel in enough layers that I covered up my handwriting.  I then found this quote ready to cut on my Cricut on Etsy and I purchased it.  I rubbed it down on the wood and once it dried I sprayed a clear coat of clear spray so it would stay (I was worried mod podge would wrinkle it).  Last, I glued rope around the top and bottom.  I love the way it turned out....after a few trial and errors.

Monday, January 01, 2018

A Jar of Good

Mission complete!  I always make a lot of resolutions because that's the kind of gal I am.  I figure if you have enough goals you are bound to hit some!  A new thing I did this last year was this jar of  'good.'  Before the start of 2017 I cut out 52 sheets of paper using some scraps I had.  Each week, on Saturday evening, I wrote one good thing that had happened that week.  Sometimes it was hard to narrow them down.  Sometimes it was hard to come up with something good.  In the end, despite trials and triumphs, I have a year of good memories in this jar.  I put a reminder in my planner each week, but another suggestion would be to put a reminder on your phone.  There were a few weeks I wasn't home on Saturday, so I wrote down a note in my phone and transferred it when I returned home.  I have some different plans for this year, but I'll definitely revisit this in the future!  I'm not sure if I'll keep these in the jar, or make a scrapbook or 2017 memory box, but for now, they will hang out in the jar as a reminder there was a lot of good in a seemingly difficult year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Buche de Noel

 I made this cake last year for Christmas.  Instead of retyping the recipe, In case a yule log is on your Christmas list,  I got the original recipe here.  There are a lot of steps, but it really turned out to be easy to follow.  The only changes I made...
I trimmed off both ends so you could see the 'log' and then I put one side at an angle to make it look more like a log with some character.  I ran my knife over the buttercream to make it the typical wood texture, and I ended up with a lot of left over frosting, so next time I'd be more generous with my icing inside.  The icing turns out to be more like a mousse, which is delicious!  I also made some holly leaves and berries out of fondant and I bought a little sugar Santa from a nearby cake store.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

I'm slowly, kind of sort of, getting my life back together after chaos hit these last few months.  This December I've been doing something called December Daily. Eventually, I'll go into full detail, but for the sake of time right now, I've been videoing the pages.  Here is one of several videos.  
I love it b/c it's a smaller album, and it goes well with my photo a day project (housed on Instagram).  I'm of for two weeks, so my goal is to finish up some projects around the house I started 4 months ago and start updating my blog again.  

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Golden Book Album

I made this golden book album for a friend of mine.  I did a full video on youtube walking through the whole thing.  You can find it here.  
 I borrowed the photos of her boys sitting with Santa for the last 16 years and made pages with tags she can write on embedded in an book I cut off the binding and rebound after decorating.
 She loves vintage things too, so I think this should be a hit!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

December Daily

This year I'm doing something called December Daily  The idea is that you do a page for each day of the month, which goes well with my photo a day.  
I'm going to do some videos on youtube b/c ther are so many 'pulls' and 'flips.' Here are a few phots of the first few pages.  The first day was all about my Christmas cards. 
I made a list of who all I sent cards to this year and I'm going to write who all I get them from on the back so that I can make my list for next year.
Day 2 and 3 involvd a short trip to San Antoni.  I'm not sure I'm done yet, but you ge the idea....and I have the next few weeks to add when the mood strikes.
The 6x8 size and little sleeves a lot f these albums house is throwming me of b/c it really does make it I keep thinking I need something more.  So far I'm loving it, and if I continue to love it I have enough supplies to scrapbook the next 50 Christmas seasons, so.....there is that.

(Vegan) Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes I like a little sweet potatoes with my marshmallows, so....I wasn't sure what I'd think about this recipe with a pecan topping instead, but I ended up really loving it.  It still had the fun sweet flavor with a little extra kick, and I was able to share left overs with the vegans that attend holiday dinners at my house, so anytime I can share calories is a good thing.
Vegan, or not, this is a keeper!  I just made a few adjustments to the original recipe from
Sweet Potato with Pecan Topping
Ingredients for Filling:  3- 4 large sweet potatoes (enough for 3 c. once mashed), 2/3 c. soy milk, 1/3 c. maple syrup, 1/4 c. melted vegan 'butter' or coconut oil, 1 t. vanilla, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. nutmeg, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 c. apple sauce (I used unsweetend)
Ingredients for Topping:  1 1/4 c. chopped pecans, 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. brown suar, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. vanilla, 1/4 c. vegan 'butter' or coconut oil (solid form)
1.  Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 2 inch chunks.  Place in pan and cover with cold wate.r  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until they are fork tender (about 20 minutes). 
2.  Heat the oven to 350 and oil a 9x13 casserole pan.
3.  Combine the pecans, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cut in vegan butter with fork until the mix has pea size chunks. 
4.  Drain potatoes and mash until smooth.  Use 3 c. and ad soy milk, maple syrup, vegan butter, vanila, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple sauce, and salt.  Whip to combine.
5. Place in pan and top with pecan mix.  BAke for 25-30 minutes until top is brown and bubbling.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Fabric Garland

 Last year I made a series of garlands for Good Morning, Texas, but I didn't have enough time to post them all before Christmas.  This was one I put together using some old scraps I cut up into 1 inch by 8 inch pieces and a strand of lights from the dollar store.
I just tied one knot in each piece of fabric along the strand of lights until it was filled up.  I actually used it for Valentine's as well.  Not too shabby for a buck!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Thanksgiving Bible Journal

I recently saw a tutorial using a napkin on bible pages.  I decided this Thanksgiving to use the napkins from our family dinner.  I cut out the portion of the picture I wanted to use...
     And then I peel off the back of the napkin so it was only one layer.  Sometimes napkins are three ply, so...just something to watch for with napkins.  I then used Gesso and spread it on the page and pressed the napkin down while it was wet and smoothed it out.  I took a paint brush and pressed it down some more.    If you try to apply it to the napkin it may tear the napkin, so this was an easier approach.  The nice thing is that if the napkin is a light enough color you can still see the words below the page.
     This time I journaled about a recent verse my pastor covered from 1 Peter 1:25.  The gist of the sermon was about the everlasting power for the gospel and the history of the bible and all the ways man has tried to destroy it, yet the words remain.  I started reflecting on the fact that a few hundred years ago I had ancestors that cross the ocean to America with these bibles.  Based on the timing of their voyage and what was going on in the countries they left it's highly likely they left for religious reasons.  I don't know all their names, or their stories, but they read these exact words once upon a journey and because of those decisions I sat down for Thanksgiving with my family....and my faith and the mystery and wonder of how God works and how He ties us all together with a bible that points to His son.  It's an overwhelming and comforting truth I can never truly understand or express on this side of heaven.