Friday, September 30, 2011

Home Decorating :: Old Trunk Redo


In the spring Grandpa asked if I'd like to have Grandma's old trunk. I jumped at the chance without having a clue about the condition of it or anything else. I just thought it would be neat to have it not only because it was potentially a cool old trunk, but mainly because it was Grandma's. At one time she used it to store fabric. She did a lot of sewing; everything from fancy bridesmaids dresses to men's cowboy shirts and work clothes.
Here's how the trunk looked when Dad delivered it to me: covered in wallpaper, tons of rust and some mold. It was quite a chore to scrape off the wall paper, and get it clean enough to paint. After the wall paper was off, I ripped the leather handles off and then went to town bleaching the heck out of it - inside and out!
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Once it was completely clean and dry I used a whole can of white glossy Tremclad paint on it - inside and out. You can still see a few holes caused by rust, but they just add to the charm!
At the vintage market last week, Elisa had an old trunk that she'd mod podged with scrapbook paper. It looked really neat. Not sure if I want to have a scrappy look like that for mine, though. I think I'll leave it white - holes and all!

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$5 DIY Ruffled Pillow

With the whole living room re-do I've been on the lookout for cute throw pillows lately. The pricing on these things is HA-larious! Take Sears, for example, they had some (in a clearance bin) for $6.99 and others that were no cuter for $65.99! Who, in their right mind, would pay that for a cushion?!

Off to the dreaded Fabricland for me! I found this beautiful half meter piece of canvassy type fabric for only $1.44. Then bought a regular bed pillow from Wal Mart for $2.97. For the ruffle and piping I used drop cloth scraps from the slipcovers. 
Here's a tip for making a ruffle out of heavier fabric. Normally to make a ruffle I would just use a basting stitch and pull the ends while gathering the fabric. However, this did not work on drop cloth! The thread just broke. So, instead I laid a piece of embroidery floss (all 6 strands) down the center of my fabric tube and did a large zig zag over the floss, being careful not to sew through it at all. I left a long piece at either end so I could pull them to create the gather. Once the ruffle is nicely gathered, I attached it with pins in a straight line to the pillow cover front and sewed right down the center. The embroidery floss is still hiding in the back, but don't worry, nobody will know.

I used an envelope fold on the back of the pillow cover so it's completely removable and washable.

Have a nice weekend!  

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{ burlap bunting }

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Here's a cute bunting I made the other day out of burlap and jute. I had read on a blog somewhere that people were making these with a glue gun. ARE THEY CRAZY?! I tried that, and quickly realized that sewing would be much easier, quicker and less painful! At the Fieldstone Vintage Market last weekend just about all the cool booths had a bunting of some sort. Plus, I was really surprised and delighted to see how many people are using drop cloths to make all sorts of different decor items and accessories! Gives me tons of ideas for all the scraps I have left over from my slipcover projects.

Coffee beans in mason jars with LED tea lights.

Cute little birdie wall hanging from The Button Box. I just need a few robin's eggs for my nest!

After seeing these photos I think I'll put that hydrangea painting somewhere else. It's neat how photos can give you a different perspective than just looking at something.

I hope you're having a great week! I know I am. Lots of creativity happening around here and that's what makes me tick. :)

You should check out Today's Creative Blog! I just linked up this post over there along with hundreds of other fall craft ideas. There's some really great inspiration and tutorials!


Todays Creative Blog

Thursday, September 29, 2011

{ vintagey market in the fraser valley }

On Saturday, after dropping off Rachel at a birthday party, Laura and I spent the afternoon gallivanting around Abbotsford. I had heard great things about the Fieldstone Vintage Market, and it did not disappoint! I could have stayed in some of the vendor's booths all day! This one, in particular, was a favorite. Elisa from Home Sweet Nest had a lovely display of vintage mirrors and other accessories as well as furniture that she had re-painted and distressed. They were gorgeous! Gives me lots of inspiration to not only re-do even more of my furniture, but I've also been dreaming about having a booth in this market next time it comes to town! That would be so much fun!

One of Laura's favorite booths was The Orange Circle. Bethany makes the cutest necklaces that have a metal pendant that is sort of dish shaped and then she sells a million different adorable magnets that you put on the pendant. The fun thing is, you can have many magnets and just switch them out to coordinate with your mood or your current outfit.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DIY Slipcovers

Good morning!

Wow, it's turning out to be a glorious, sun shiny day! That's awesome. We've had quite the rainy and windy weather for a few days, so this is really nice.

I may have mentioned that in the summer we painted and started {finally!} decorating our house. It's such a gradual process because we are doing all of the work ourselves and only as the budget allows! I recently dove right in to the world of diy slipcovers! I received lots and lots of inspiration and encouragement from The Nester, Miss Mustard Seed and my friend, Madelyn. Who woulda thought I could make slipcovers, but here is my first attempt:

When I first started researching how to make slipcovers, I bought an awesome e-book (Click here to view more details) from The Nester's blog. In the ebook, she recommends using white cotton duck, but I couldn't find any locally. So, I did a quick search on Pinterest to see what other people were using for slipcover fabric. Oh. My. If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, what are you waiting for? One of the best things I've found so far through Pinterest is Miss Mustard Seed's blog and her amazing video tutorials. She explains and shows each step very clearly and makes you feel like you, too, can make slipcovers!

I found two of these blue velvet wingback chairs on craigslist along with an ottoman. So, now the chairs are both slipcovered and the ottoman is next in line. I'll also make a slipcover/skirt for the piano bench just to fancy it up a little, even though I just re-upholstered it!

The best part of this slipcover is the ruffle along the bottom. Amazingly enough, it's also the easiest part to do!

Finish Factor (Loews) Canvas Drop Cloth approx. 2 per chair, with lots left over- pre-washed
Sharp Scissors
Sewing Machine
Thread that matches your drop cloths
Lots of pins
Spare needles for your sewing machine, cuz they will break
Stitch ripper
Coke Zero (that's a "supply" that's always needed!)

The How To:

First it's very helpful to download the slipcover ebook ($10 well spent!) Click here to view more details

After reading through that, then move on to watching the following videos!

What have you slipcovered lately? :)


PS. See my tutorial: Ruffles and Rosettes Ottoman Slipcover!
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Creative Kristi Designs

Friday, September 23, 2011

Grilled Pineapple BBQ Chicken Pizza

A couple days ago I made what I think is one of the best pizzas I've ever made! Unfortunately, everybody was in such a hurry that we never took pics. I just thought I'd post the recipe here anyway. 1) In case someone else wants to give it a try and 2) For when I want to make it again!

Grilled Pineapple and BBQ Chicken Pizza

PW's Pizza Crust Recipe - Ree recommends making the dough at least a day in advance, but I always make it at the last minute and it turns out great. I rise it in a warm oven for an hour if there's time, otherwise I just use it right away.

-Jar of spicy garlic pizza sauce
-1 fresh jalapeño, diced small (remove seeds if you can't take the heat!)
-Fresh cilantro
-3 cheese blend
-Roasted chicken (Safeway) ripped off the bone and drenched in BBQ sauce
-Red Onion
-Grilled fresh pineapple - don't use canned or this won't be considered the best pizza ever!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

{ cooking along with chef michael smith }

Today on the Canadian Living website they had a live broadcast of celebrity Chef Michael Smith cooking up a few recipes. Yesterday I printed off the recipes and bought the supplies so I could cook along! Unfortunately, I just caught the tail end of the show, but made the recipes anyway and they turned out so gooood!

If you cooked along, too, I'd love to know what you thought of the recipes.

Coconut-Crusted Chicken with Mango Ginger Mint Salsa was the main course. And, for dessert... Caramel Milk Chocolate Mousse! YUM. The salsa was so incredibly light and refreshing with really bright flavors. Ginger, lime and mint go so well together. Who knew?! I guess that's why Michael Smith is known as the flavour chef. I cut the chicken into strips so the kids would think they were more like chicken fingers and perhaps want to eat them! (They are not fans of coconut).

For the mousse, I put the sugar and water on to cook it into caramel... and walked away to work on the kitchen. Suddenly there was a horrid smell in the kitchen! At first I thought it was just the oven stinking from something that spilled over a few days ago so I ignored it. Big mistake! I now had blackened, hard-as-a-rock "caramel"! I started over and this time stayed near the stove until it was done!

If you're interested in trying these delicious recipes yourself, you can click here for the printable from the Canadian Living website.

Here's the pics of our lovely dinner, thanks to my daughter and her fancy camera! Please, if you have a moment..."like" her photography page! Thanks so much. Here's the link: Cinnamon Swirl Photography.

 Notice the cat carrier in the background? It just adds to the charm, don't you think?!

 Everything is cuter in canning jars tied with red and white twine!

That looks good enough to eat! And, it was!

What did you whip up for your family for dinner tonight? 


Friday, September 16, 2011

Baking :: Chocolate Bavarian Torte


For Rachel's birthday I made this utterly delicious Chocolate Bavarian Torte. The recipe is by Edith Holmstrom from Madison, Wisconsin and appeared in the Taste of Home magazine. I normally would not use a cake mix, especially for a special occasion, but in this case it does the trick!

Here's the recipe:

1 package devil's food cake mix without pudding
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups whipping cream, whipped
2 tbsp grated semi-sweet chocolate

Mix and bake cake according to package directions, using 2 9" cake pans. Cool in pans for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy.  Fold in whipped cream. Split each cake into two horizontal layers; place one on a serving plate. Spread with 1/4 of the cream mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the chocolate. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

I bet this recipe would make awesome cupcakes, too! You could fill and frost each cupcake with the whipped cream mixture. I may have to try this for our upcoming craft day. I bet the ladies would love them!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer 2011

I painted the china cabinet Sherwinn Williams Halcyon Green with  Ramie trim.
I spray painted the chandelier white.
Here's the before pic of the dining room. It was a sea of brown!
  • Celebrated our 17th anniversary by renovating/decorating our house and also enjoyed a lovely dinner out at Jackson's.
  • Had an amazing holiday on the Sunshine Coast with my parents and sister (and her family). See the amazing place we stayed here.
  • My youngest daughter's new bike was stolen right out of our fenced, gated back yard. Idiots.
  • I finished knitting an amazing "swiss cheese" scarf. I can't wait until it's cold so I can start wearing it!
  • Made many delicious summer salads. We didn't barbecue enough, though!
  • The girls and I stayed with my parents for awhile; had lots of fun at the pool, the thrift store and Keefers.
  • Several trips to the waterslides!
  • Had my sister Lisa and her daughter stay with us, which was awesome. Lisa could not sit still the entire time, so needless to say - we got a lot done! We also had some fun, too.
  • The girls spent many hours splashing in our back yard pool and then dripping through the house repeatedly.
  • Helped friends move; mostly by babysitting their sweet little girl and boy and by letting them give us some of their excess stuff! lol
  • Sold the beast (ie. pick up). Got a new (old) car.
  • Closed my salon - for good. Applied for 28 jobs.
  • Made s'mores for the first time in my life, but it was in the oven so it probably doesn't count. I didn't even like them! Way too sweet.

  • Dragged the kids and sometimes their friends to lots of garage sales and thrift stores. Found some treasures.
  • Had friends over for meals, but not enough.
  • Made homemade pasta. It was good, but only if we cooked it the same day we made it.
  • Went to the beach, but not enough! We didn't have much summer weather this summer, so it feels like it was way too short.
  • Got obsessed with coupons a little, stacked a little, got lots of free stuff and good deals then got sick of couponing. Now I have a thick binder full of coupons that I will probably never use.
  • Made lemon pies in little mason jars - soo cute!! Don't you think everything looks cuter in jars? I do!
  • The girls each went to a different Bible camp and totally enjoyed themselves! Thanks, Grandma K. :)
  • Laur and I volunteered at the face painting table at VBS and ended up having fun doing it! 

  • Made granita for the first time.
  • Crocheted an afghan. (well, it's not quite done!)
  • Took a break from quilting.
  • Made sheer drapes for the living room and dining room.
  • Painted all my furniture and chandeliers and kitchen cabinets and basically everything that doesn't move and some things that do.
  • Went to our niece's wedding reception and it was beautiful! I did the hair for that as well.
  • Got to meet our nephew's fiancée and she is lovely.
  • Got hooked on Pinterest! Please follow me there, and I'll follow you right back. There are so many cool ideas, especially all the DIY projects and recipes.
  • There were birthday parties and sleepovers and ice cream waffle cones from the local dairy.
  • Trips to the USA for shopping.
  • Front yard bake sales complete with gymnastics for entertainment.
  • Free pedicures for my sister and I at a beautiful Mission spa thanks to the local radio station.

Furniture Feature Fridays

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

{ chevron crochet }


I was telling Reeve about this afghan I'm working on and she asked to see it, so I thought I might as well show you all! I was sure I'd posted this on my blog ages ago, but I guess it was just facebook. Oops! So, here it is... my greyish blue and white crocheted chevron afghan, in progress.

Before we went on our summer vacation to the Sunshine Coast, I started searching my local wool shop and Ravelry for a nice chevron (zigzag) pattern. I was inspired by all the neat chevron decor I'd seen on Pinterest and new I wanted to create something with that motif for my newly decorated living room. I went on our trip armed with 5 patterns, none of which ended up working! So, I took the best parts of each pattern and came up with one I'm happy with.

For yarn I am using cotton that I bought at Zellers. I love the feel of cotton in an afghan. It's nice in the summer or winter. It also washes up nice. 6 or 7 years ago I crocheted a cotton queen size blanket for our bed and it's still as good as new even though it's been washed many times.

Next I should show you the super-neat-I'll-never-make-another-one-again scarf that I finished about the time the hockey season finished up. To avoid watching hockey I would take my knitting and the kids to the pool. I kept track of the number of hours it took to make this scarf: 52! Holy crap.

Now that fall is almost here I'm going to get back into my sewing room. Do you have any crafty plans for the fall and winter?