March 31, 2011

Easter Carrot Cutlery

Since I threatened to keep going with my Easter Egg Hunt 101 tips, I


thought I'd share another easy idea for a pretty

Easter table.

I'm not sure if you can even see it here, but I

made "carrot cutlery" to go along with the pretty

pastel paper plates (sshhhhhhhhh, don't tell ~

fine china just wasn't feasible for such a large

group!).


  I found

this idea in Family Fun Magazine back in 2006. 

It's obviously one of their most popular ideas,

since it's STILL on their website!  It's really

easy. 


Here's all you need:
Orange party napkins
green plastic cutlery
green pipe cleaners
(I used two different complimentary greens)


The napkins and cutlery were purchased at a party supply store and the pipe cleaners at Michael's.


Since I made these during my pre-blogging days I
don't have as-you-go pictures {sorry!}. 



So here's Family Fun's easy instructions:


For each carrot, fold one of the paper napkins

into a rectangle. Don't be afraid to re-fold them

from their original configuration, whatever that

may be (i.e., a square, etc.).  Place a set of

utensils across the lower left corner of the

rectangle, fold in the lower right corner as shown,

then roll it up loosely.


Wrap one or two green pipe cleaners around the

napkin and necks of the utensils, then twist them

to secure, as shown.  Cut down the pipe cleaners

to size.


And voila'.









So simple, yet they really make a statement.  I was

pretty proud of mine, and have made them every

year for the great egg hunt.

Hope you like this tutorial, and stay tuned for a

few more Easter-themed crafts/decor tips to come

between now and Easter.

Spring, it's bound to be here soon.



Have a great week!

xoxo

I'll be linking up here:












March 30, 2011

Meet Me at Na-Da Farm

Spring break is in full swing in our house so I've

not been too productive these past few days....but

I did want to share this with you.


 In a few short weeks (ok, well, maybe a few more

than a few), I'll be going to Na Da Farm in

Esmond, Illinois for their bi-annual barn Event.

It'll be my first, despite the fact that I don't live

too terribly far from where all the action takes

place. I'm SO glad I'm now in the know and

wanted to share the info with all of you, dear

friends.

Na-Da Farm is actually the Illinois prairie

homestead of Anne Marie and her family.  She

graciously offers it up, along with their barns, for

a marvelous get-together of all things beautiful,

inspirational, vintage, whimsical, style-ful (I

know that's not a word!).  Some of the

artisits/vendors are my absolute favorites!  Jill

Harris, Jeanne Oliver, Beth Quinn, Jennifer

Rizzo, Polly Hood, Jeanine Burkhardt, Anne

Marie and more.......{visit Anne Marie's blog for

more info on these special ladies}

{Click on image for larger picture}

And to top it all off, the author of Romantic

Prairie Style, Fifi O'Neill, will be on hand to sign

her book!  I've already gotten my copy, have you?


(Psssssttt......Anne Marie's home is in it!!!)

It's a two-day event, starting Friday night with

the Boho Ball {I hear there'll be champagne ~

count me in, yeah!}



Honestly, I cannot tell you how EXCITED I am

to be going!  I'm actually counting the days!

{Click on image for larger picture}

So count them with me, and join us at the Farm

on May 20th and 21st!  See you there!

xoxo









March 26, 2011

It's a Family Affair

My MIL sent me a package a while ago.
Okay, like a year ago. 
The package contained some pretty sentimental stuff.
The stuff memories are made of.

She sent me the "baby bracelet" worn by my husband in the hospital on the day he was born.
Back then they didn't just slap a plasticine strap around your arm with your name on it.
They actually put alphabet charms together to spell your name.
She also sent me my brother-in-law's bracelet and asked me to use it to make something special for his daughter as a birthday surprise.

I thought and I thought and I thought.
Finally, this.

 
I don't know why, but I had a very hard time coming up with a design.  I guess because I knew it was an important piece.  Not that all pieces we create aren't important, but this one was to {hopefully} have a special meaning for my niece.


Simple.
Elegant.
Heirloom.
And dare I say, vintage?


Once it was finally finished I decided that I was happy with it after all.


Now I get to make one for MY daughters.
And I'm looking forward to it.

Happy Sunday.

March 24, 2011

Vintage Rhinestones Galore

So who's with me on this one?  My stash of flea market and thrift store vintage jewelry finds includes mucho rhinestones.  (Can you tell I didn't study Spanish?  I studied French ~ and a lot of good that did me!)  Up until recently I had a phobia (for lack of a better word) about taking some of those rhinestones and using them for other things.  Until I had an epiphany and realized that they look SO DAMN GOOD when they're added to OTHER things.  Case in point.


Okay, so maybe you can't really tell what I'm talking about here.  Let's move on to a (somewhat) better photo.


Can you see the bling now?  I salvaged the rhinestones from a broken and very much I've-seen-better-days gold plated necklace with a broken clasp.  The stones seem quite at home on the St. Joseph medal, no?  And the rhinestone dangle came straight from the necklace as well.


Gotta  love the crown charm.  And the patina of the medal.  The back looks like this.

St. Joseph pray for us.  Amen to that.

And to change gears completely here, I want to thank each and every one my followers who has been so loyal and so supportive.  It means more than you know.  And as for you lurkers, I know who you are....and thank you, too.

Next time I'll be delving more into the Easter Egg Hunt Protocol (yes, there's a protocol ~ you weren't informed?)  So stay tuned.

Have a great weekend.

I'll be linking up here:















March 22, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt 101


For the past 4 out of 5 years my family has hosted a ginormous Easter Egg Hunt/Brunch with all the trimmings.  When I say ginormous, think 61 kids and 45 adults.  Yes, that's s.i.x.t.y o.n.e. k.i.d.s.  All going in and out of my house at the same time.  But hey, my husband wanted to make it a grand tradition that our kids will always remember.  And believe me, they will! 

A LOT of preparation goes into this event.  So I thought that this year it was time for me to share some of the arduous and really time-consuming really fun crafts, recipes, decor, etc. that go into what we call our Easter Egg Hunt.  And what better place to start than with my PEEPS?


Who doesn't love peeps?  I actually grew up not far from where they're made in Bethlehem, PA.  Today they're sold year-round for many holidays, not just Easter.  But I digress....I wanted to share a Peeps recipe that was a big hit with both the kids (who got to help) and the adults.  They're called Peeps Bunny Dips.  And if you also like chocolate you're in for a nice surprise!


Unfortunately, I wasn't a blogger when I made these, so there's no pics of the actual making-of-the-peeps.  However, it's sooooooo easy you truly don't need any visuals.

INGREDIENTS
Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies
1 (12 oz.) package of milk chocolate chips or melting chocolate
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or other nuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
Other toppings of your choice
Parchment paper

TO PREPARE
1. Melt chocolate according to manufacturer's instructions (I just used Nestle milk chocolate chips, threw them in a glass bowl and put them in the microwave for a few minutes at a time, warming them gradually until they melted.)
2. Transfer melted chocolate to bowl deep enough for dipping.
3. Let cool until comfortable to the touch and slightly thicker than when first melted.  This helps the chocolate to "cling" to the Peeps and the toppings to "cling" to the chocolate.
4. Hold a Peeps bunny by the ears and dip bottom of bunny into the chocolate.  Allow the excess to drip off.
5. Roll or dip chocolate-covered bunny in favorite topping. (We used multi-colored sprinkles ~ they taste good and make them pop with color!  We didn't use coconut or nuts, but I'm sure that would be good, too.)
6. Cool on parchment paper.

These can be made ahead of time.  Then just arrange them on a festive plate with Easter grass and enjoy!

NOTE:  You can go to the Peeps website and find lots of recipes for those Peeps.  I looked for this one, but it's no longer listed.  I couldn't figure out why, until I stumbled upon their new product line.


So it looks like they're making their OWN Peeps Bunny Dips now.  But that's OK.  Cause everything tastes better handmade, no?  (And if you're pressed for time you can always run out and buy the ready made ones.  There, I said it!)

Yum.

More Easter Egg Hunt gems to follow as we get closer to Easter!

And before I forget, you can now subscribe to my blog via e-mail.  Just go up to the top of my right sidebar to subscribe.

Happy Tuesday, all!

March 21, 2011

What Every Blogger Girl Should Know

Time has been slipping past me lately, what with all of our St. Patrick's Day dancing and celebrating last week....and, oh, yeah, that thing about the septic system backing up into the house on Friday.....ENOUGH SAID.  It's time to MOVE FORWARD and that's what I'm really trying to do.

Alas, not my house!  Read on......
 
There WAS a glimmer of hope in my otherwise dreary weekend ~ I attended a Blog Girl gathering at the home of a fellow blogger, Heidi.  She graciously welcomed us into her home, affording us the luxury of hanging out with her and other women bloggers for a Saturday afternoon. 

Jeannie, Carrie and Elizabeth

 We socialized, ate, (see the gorgeous table!) drank and swapped lovely gifts.  





Yum!

Heidi and Jen, the cohost of the gathering, led us in a lively discussion about some of the ups and downs of blogging.  It was really nice to just sit back and listen to what other similarly situated women had to say about their own blogging experiences.  It's also nice to know that you're not the only one who is trying to balance blogging with the rest of what we call "Life."

The women are all amazingly talented and interesting  ~ stop by their blogs and let 'em know I sent you!  Go on, then, what are you waiting for?
Alison ~ The Polohouse
Carrie ~ Hot House Market
Elizabeth ~ Fabby Felt
Heidi ~ Dreams Intertwined
Jeannie ~ The Gilded Junqueyard
Jen ~ Jennifer Rizzo
Joy ~ Savvy City Farmer
Monica ~ Chasing Butterflies
Penny ~ At Home in English Valley
Suzanne ~ At Home with the Farmer's Wife
Tracey ~ French Larkspur

Thankfully I've been energized and inspired by these women, and with Spring right around the corner I am starting to feel motivated again.  Now if I could just manage to focus on only one project at a time.......

Have a great week!






 

March 17, 2011

Beannacht La Fheile Padraig






Foy School of Traditional Irish Dance
Chicago, Illinois
St. Patrick's Day 2011  

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!


March 11, 2011

Pottery Barn-inspired Book Bundles

Source: Pottery Barn

I've been loving these for quite some time, but I didn't want to pay for them.  I also knew I could make them myself, it was just a matter of actually getting around to doing the project (among many other projects ~  am I the only one who juggles a few at once?  I mean, is there a name for that?  Besides scattered, I mean!)

Source: Pottery Barn

They're simple vintage.  I love that.

All you need are some thrift store books and some jute twine.




Having been an English major in college, at first I was afraid to rip the covers off.  But once I started it was pretty easy.  Here are mine after I went to town on them.




I chose to go with three, rather than four books.  I just thought that it looked better.

Enter the twine, a la Dollar General.

And voila.




In doing some research on these little beauties
 I found out that books are used in oh-so-many ways to decorate.  In this case, I guess you could say it's book-as-relic decorating (I read that somewhere and thought it sounded impressive). 

 Thatcher Wine of Juniper Books is someone known for using books to decorate.  He was featured in a recent New York Times article entitled, "Selling a Book by its Cover."  You can check it out here .  You should also check out the Juniper Books blog as well as the New York Times "Books as a Way to Grace a Room"  slideshow which gives awesome inspiration for even more beautiful book decorating. 

Me, I'm pretty happy with the way my vintage book bundle turned out.

  

Have a great weekend.

I'll be linking up here

 






















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