Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas!

Many of you saw flurries Friday night.  But Christmas has been at our house all week.  Our schedule is a little different for a couple of reasons.  My mom owns her own gift shop in Cayuga, IN.  The Gingerbread Shed.  The second weekend on November is always her Christmas Open House so for three days we sit in a Christmas wonderland listening to Christmas music non stop.  If I want to make anything and contribute to this event that means I have to be making Christmas items in the fall.  This year I was behind, just didn't have the desire to get the sewing machine out.  This past week I have been in the craft room each evening with Christmas carols blarring to get me in the holiday spirit. 

In the basement, G is listening to Christmas music too.  His is a different reason, he is busy putting together this years light show.  For the past two years we have had over 30,000 LED lights synced to music!! The lights come on the night after Thanksgiving!

For several years now I have designed, sculpted, and created my own line of santa's.  I will post more about them later.  I also try to mix in something else.  Last year I made jewelry and this year I am creating prim banners that I found this fall.  I bought a Halloween version and knew it would be easy to duplicate my own.

I started with cutting triangles out of burlap.  Size will depend on the size of your stencils.

I created my own stencils.  I had bought a set and they were regular stencils with the lines that connected the center of the stencil.  I knew I wanted a more prim look.  Luckily I had just invested in a Cricut for work purposes and thought I would test it out.  The result was perfect! The only downfall is the letters with a center, like the above "e" I have to hold the center piece in as I paint around it.  I used regular craft paint and sponged it on.

I made a big mess and had newspapers laid out all over the place.  It made it easier to put the paint on a plate.  Lay out the painted pieces to dry.

To attach the triangles, sew to a piece of material.  Last year at a garage sale I found a whole bolt of homespun material that was perfect and long enough that I was able to use one piece of material instead of sewing a few pieces together.

Action pose!  Luckily I have a craft room that I can just close the door and forget about, this is not the best scenerio for trying to sew!  My santa heads are drying in the background!

The first finished product!! I am so excited.  I can't wait to see if they sell next weekend.  If making your own, you can make them say anything you want.

Three options to choose from!  They look great hanging from a mantle or over a door way.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Face Lift

After blogging for several months now, I have finally started to find my niche. Some of my favorite post and most commented on post are my prim projects and house updates. With that I found a background that I really liked for my blog. So welcome to Writings on the Wall, "Things to Crow About" Hope you enjoy and I look forward to posting more!
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rolling Along

This time of year makes me want to cook and create in the kitchen.  It also helps that the kitchen is done and I'm anxious to give it a work out!

Friday night I decided to make a batch of cinnamon rolls for the weekend.  This is so easy and super yummy!  It only takes a few ingredients. 

Dissolve two packages of yeast in 2 1/2 cups of luke warm water.  Add a box of yellow cake mix and stir in 4 1/2 cups of flour.
I made up my dough the night before and put in the fridge.  If making the same day, let rise before making rolls.

Here's the fun part, cover work area with flour and roll out the dough.  We just installed new granite counter tops, so I just let it roll on the granite and it made the job so easy!!  I made sure I had everything cleaned up before the husband got out of bed!

Cover dough with butter, I use soft spread and use the back of a spoon to cover the dough, makes it clean and easy.

I have become a fan of The Pioneer Woman.  She had a roll recipe but added chocolate chips!  I had to try it, so I bought mini chocolate chips.  This was a great addition and will be doing it the next time!

I did half chocolate and half regular just to test!

Let the rolling begin, carefully roll the length and keep even and tight as you go.

There are plenty of ways to cut the cinnamon rolls. This is a fun way to get the kids involved and no sharp knifes are needed.  All it takes is a piece of dental floss or thin string.
Slide the thread under the dough, about an inch in, cross the thread and pull tight.  Cuts perfectly!

Place in a greased pan, let dough rise and bake at 350 degrees until golden!

So I am not as good as Pioneer Woman.  I don't make my own icing, I just buy already made cream cheese icing!  Made for several great snacks this weekend!  It all depends how thick you cut them, but I made just over 2 dozen.  We ate a pan, the neighbors got a pan and I froze a pan to bake later!

You can also experiement with different cake mixes.  I have also used butter pecan, I want to see what a chocolate cake mix would do!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall is in the air!

I love this time of year and and Halloween is one of my favorite times.  I love to get out decorations for Halloween and Christmas, it's like a treasure hunt, you forget what you had from the year before!

Thanks to Cris at Goodeness Gracious, I have been reintroduced to Gooseberry Patch.  They asked fans to post their favorite decor or recipes so I wanted to share some of my favorites.

This is my newest purchase, and had I had time would have been an idea I would have recreated!  It is so simple, torn strips of orange fabric, sew on triangles of black burlap and stencil on your letters.  You can spell out anything you would like.  It looks prim and the perfect item for this opening!  I'll create my own for Christmas.

The lanterns and crows are actually full time decor, just added the pumpkins.  I like to burn candles, but feel so much better about it if they are contained.  This is a good idea if you have pets or kids!

I love to carve pumpkins, but decided a couple of year ago to invest in one that stays the way it looked at the begining of the season to the end of the season!  Looks great with a candle in the evening.

Jack on a raven is one of my favorite pieces, by artist Dan DiPaolo.  The base reads "Jack gave a grin as he flew out of sight, on the wings of a raven on Halloween night."

Jack with a corn stalk is another piece from Dan DiPaolo.  I also like the kitty dressed as a chocolate kiss.

"Trixie" is the green witch, yet another Dan PiPaolo piece.  She and the light up Halloween sign came from TJ Maxx, you never know what you will find, as their slogan goes, never the same store twice!

Our pergola project continues, but I had to add some fall outside.  These tin pumpkins were a great addition to the shelf and really went nicely with the new shutters.

So take some time in the coming weeks and enjoy the bounty that fall has to offer!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Distress Stress

Nothing we do is simple.  We always have a project going on.  A simple visit to the home improvement store for nails turned into a decision to order granite counter tops and redo the kitchen.  Mind you we were in the midst of building a pergola outside.  So not only do we always have a project going on, usally we have two or three!

Me and the slab!

So counter tops ordered, I try to convince my husband to let me paint our cabinets.  I love the look of black distressed furniture, see previous post, the Rolling Stones sing about painting it black, so I worked on getting him on my side. 
I have mentioned it on and off for three years.  So when he started to bend I took advantage of the situation and started to paint.  It was when the first cabinet was started that I stopped and looked at just how many cabinets I had and just how much of a project this would be.

The Before

Everything had to be cleaned and primed

Two coats of flat black paint

Then comes the distressing, why did I get the project half way finished before I remembered, I had the right tools for the job!  I started with a piece of sand paper and elbow grease, then I saw the mouse!  Much easier!  Just distress or sand the edges that would wear naturally.

After the sanding you can leave as is, or add a layer of poly to protect.  Here is the secret, adding something with a little color will really enhance the look and add to the distressed area. My secret recipe is a poly/stain mix that makes it a one stop process.  For just the right color we chose Red Mahogony.  It was the perfect choice!

You're going to get dirty and actually that is the the fun of it, here is a self portrait to show, you got to wear some grubbies.  I chose to "keep it rural"
So the process continues and pictures really don't do it justice, but I will keep you posted when the job is totally done.  As I looked at it tonight thinking it will be nice to have a project done, I was secretly thinking what we could do next!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Well Poo On You!

Caution, may contain dirty words!

So it's no secret that I have spent A LOT of time at the state fair this year.  And I knew from being around livestock that I would at some point smell poo, probably see poo and if I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, step in poo. 
So yesterday I was standing in line for some breakfast when I feel something hit my forehead, pass my eye and land on my cheek.  I keep my composure, grab a napkin and discover that I had been poo'd on!  It was just perfect, hit my hair, came just inside my glasses on landed on my cheek.  So I step out of line, get out a pocket mirror and clean myself off.  What a way to start the day.

Not even an hour later a friend gives me a belated birthday gift.  How appropriate, she must have known what was going to happen.

You can't really tell but this was in honor of the year of the pig, it's porky pooper!

So that is the story of my crappy day. Thought you all might get a kick out of it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Taste From Indiana Farms

Three days of free food, what could be better!  Over 1,500 folks came through yesterday to get a taste of what agriculture provides and they are walking away with some facts they didn't know.  Such as marshmallows are a pork by product!  Or how much milk the average dairy cow produces.  Here is a photo tour of what you can do.  We are here 11-5 Wednesday and 11-4:30 Thursday. 
District 3 serving cheese curds from Fair Oaks Dairy

District 8 serving pepperoni and marshmallows - promoting pork and by products

District 2 serving lamb

District 10 representing vegetables

Illiana Watermelon Association serving fresh Indiana Watermelon

Dow Agro Sciences promoting their new Omega 9 oils and serving popcorn

Indiana State Beekeepers Association giving taste of honey

Foremost Farms serving cheese cubes

Carley Elk Farm serving elk summer sausage

District 4 serving soy butter, a great substitute for those that can't eat peanuts

District 5 serving beef summer sausage from Boone County

District 6 is serving licorice.  Yes it is a farm product, have you seen all the grains that are in the candy you eat?

Indiana Goat Association serving goat brauts

District 1 serving duck. Indiana is the #1 producer of duck in the nation.

District 9 serving Red Gold Salsa

District 7 serving fruit juices

National Kidney Foundation to check your blood pressure.
We hope you can join us!

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