Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I love the serene and picturesque view from my in-laws home in Midway, Utah. The calm surroundings and perfect weather remind me of the importance of taking time out to think and be still. Where are your favorite places to be alone with your thoughts?
(Trying to upload a picture from my phone.)
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
First, the claw foot tub and tiled walls. Love.
Second, the black and white tile floors in the kitchen(a MUST!) and the glass front cabinets. Pretty sure I would need some new dishes if I were to have the glass cabinet doors, and I'd probably have to ditch all the plastic kiddie cups we have collected from restaurants -- might be an eyesore. ;)
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Last week I headed to JoAnn's and found THE most perfect fabric.
1. Original price was $10/yard
2. I had a 50% off coupon!!!
3. I love the lattice style print - slightly modern and very crisp looking
4. Kelly green!
I was stoked. Per the excellent advice of the fabric counter helper, I purchased two yards of fabric for my 4 bar stools, and 2 yards of clear vinyl (8 gauge I believe -- strong enough to not rip really easily, but not so thick that I wouldn't be able to staple it.) I already had a staple gun and staples.
Ready for the pictures of my process?
Here's the before shot:
Here is a shot of my fabric and vinyl (I didn't edit every picture. I knew if I did this post wouldn't be up till next week!)
First, I unscrewed each seat from the stool. Then, I cut off the existing fabric. If I had wanted to be really perfect and precise, I could have taken the time to remove each staple from the old upholstering job, but I wanted to be speedy (instant gratification!), so I just cut all the fabric off as close to the staples as I could. You'll see some of the old fabric remains in some of the upcoming pictures. Next time I recover these stools I will take out the staples.
Next I placed my fabric, print side down, on my freshly wiped counter. Let the stapling begin! Start by stapling one side, then pull the fabric tight and staple straight across from it. Then, staple the top, pull the fabric tight and staple the bottom. See the picture for clarification.
Rotate the stool a quarter of a turn and repeat this process. Then, rotate another quarter turn and repeat. At this point, you should have enough fabric stapled down to focus on individual sections. Pull the fabric around, smooth out the wrinkles and folds and keep stapling until all of the fabric is secure. Staple a lot! Here's an example of how many staples I used.
I constantly held up the seat and looked at it from the front view to make sure everything was smooth and that no wrinkles were showing. If there were some wrinkles, no fear, I just pulled the fabric tighter and stapled again!
The fabric is pretty easy to work with. It's not really hard to make it look crisp and clean. If you don't have little mess makers in your house, you could easily stop here and be all done. In my case, I knew I was going to need more protection and a wipe-able surface (I want these bar stools to work for me!) Enter: the vinyl.
Stapling the vinyl on was a bit more work, and it was impossible to achieve a perfectly wrinkle free edge with the gauge I used. I did my best though, and once the seats are actually on the stools, you can't really tell. I think I will sacrifice a few wrinkles for clean seats!
Repeat the same process used for the fabric. Staple opposite ends until you have about this much space between staples, then start working in sections. Just keep pulling, smoothing and stapling until you are all done!
It took me about 30 to 40 minutes to recover each stool. I am SO happy with the results. I love that I don't have to worry about spills on the bar stools. I also love the pop of color they add to my space!
Hopefully this will inspire some of you to make a little change. If you can find a good deal on fabric, this project can be really cost effective! My fabric was only about $10, and the vinyl was only about $5.00!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
We are excited to introduce our new lowercase typewriter font! It's a fun alternative to our original uppercase font. All of our products can be created using this new font. It is larger however, so the one inch disks can only accommodate approx 29 characters and the half inch disks can only accommodate approx 5-6 characters when using the font.
These necklaces can be found in The Pretty Poppy Etsy shop!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
A few weeks ago, I grew some wheat grass to use as centerpieces for a little church activity I helped plan. It was so fun, and so easy, and so inexpensive. And the result was awesome! I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures of each phase, but wanted to share this little tutorial in case any of you want to try it. I just used it for display purposes, but if you wanted to be really healthy, you could also juice the grass and drink it!
Wheat grass berries (basically wheat that hasn’t been ground up yet.)
A big bowl
A spray bottle/with water
I needed eight centerpieces, so I went to Home Depot and got some small terra cotta pots (the ones you usually see sitting on a saucer.) They were about $1.50 each. Brought them home and gave them a good coat of spray paint – lime green and orange to go with our decorating theme of bright colors. (See photo above.)
Soak the wheat grass berries. For eight pots, I put about 2 cups of berries in a bowl of water (completely cover them). I had a lot of extra. Soak the berries for about a day.
It’s time to plant! Fill your pot(s)about 3/4 full of soil. Then, spread a single layer of wheat berries over the top of the soil. Cover them with a thin layer of soil. TIPS: For thick wheat grass, make you you have a solid layer of wheat berries, but try to not overlap them. Using your spray bottle, water your little pots of grass!
Wheat grass is typically grown inside, so after the planting process, I carried all my pots inside and placed them in a sunny space near a window. Because I didn’t purchase the little saucers that go with my pots, I put magazines under them.
Cover your pot(s) with newspaper for a day or two until the berries start sprouting. Water them with your spray bottle twice a day.
Once your grass has sprouted, remove the newspaper and continue watering once or twice a day with the spray bottle. Within a week of planting, you will have something that looks like this:
Once wheat grass starts growing, it shoots up fast! When my grass was about this tall, I started watering it with a watering can because I am lazy and the spray bottle seemed to take FOREVER.
I grew my grass for about two weeks and it ended up being twice as tall as the grass in the photo above. For the centerpieces, we tied a bright pink ribbon around each pot, and using a skewer, we stuck a quote relating to our activity in each pot. One of the girls found some cute butterflies at Hobby Lobby meant to be stuck in gardens or plants, and we put one of those in each pot as well. They looked so good, and everyone was amazed that the grass was real!
This is a really fun activity to do with your kids at Easter. Real Easter grass!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise (do not use reduced-fat or fat-free)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in medium metal bowl. Add 1 3/4 cups boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into another medium bowl.Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and mayonnaise in large bowl until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with chocolate mixture in 3 additions, beating until blended after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Divide batter among prepared, greased and floured, cake pans (about 2 1/3 cups for each).
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto racks and let cool completely.
Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Carefully remove bowl from over water; let melted chocolate cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy. Sift powdered sugar over butter and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add melted chocolate and beat until well blended and smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.
Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over top of cake layer to edges. Top with second cake layer; spread 3/4 cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting decoratively over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
18 inch wreath -- $2.39 on sale
1 yard of felt -- $4.99
an old c.d.
The whole project cost less than $8.00! Yeah!
To make the pretty little roses, begin by cutting out a whole bunch of circles from the felt, using the c.d. as a pattern. To speed up the process, I cut long strips of felt the width of the c.d., then folded it up accordion style so that I could cut out about 7 or 8 circles at a time.
Next, spiral cut each circle. I layered my circles three at a time when I did this. Start from the edge and spiral cut all the way around until you get to the middle. Then, take a spiral and roll it up. Starting with the middle, roll it so that the edge you cut is all lined up and even. Thus, the bottom will be flat and the top of your rose will have dimension.
Start out by making a bunch of roses. I made a smaller size as well by cutting the spiral of felt in half before rolling. I liked the added interest that two sizes of roses created.
When you are ready, heat up your glue gun and start attaching the flowers to your wreath. Before placing each rose on the wreath, be sure to put a dot of glue on the outer flap to hold it in place. Then, cover the bottom of the flower with glue and stick it on your wreath.
Keep it up, and soon your wreath will start looking like this:
I found it was easiest if I positioned three or four roses on the wreath first before gluing them. That way I was able to make sure everything fit the way I wanted it to. I also periodically held the wreath up and looked to make sure the roses were evenly circling the edges of the wreath.
Because I live in Arizona and the sun would melt all my hot glue in about two seconds if I hung this on my front door, I opted to make this an indoor wreath and hang it over my bathroom door. I used an over the door wreath hanger, (as pictured in the first photo).
Happy crafting everyone! Hope you enjoy this pretty and simple project.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
While blog surfing, I came across this fun little round - up. 30 kids crafts from 30 very fun and talented crafters. In a few weeks I am hosting a summer play group at my house, and definitely plan on using some of these ideas for activities. I'm thinking maybe pet rocks or building with marshmallows.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I love The Purl Bee. So many cute little crafts and projects. A lot of them I can't make since they require knitting skills, but everything is so inspiring nonetheless. Last night we had a Mother/Daughter activity at church and made these pretty little rose barrettes from the Purl Bee's website. So, so cute.