Tag Archives: crafts

Birthday Party for a Cowgirl Wannabe’

My daughter wants to be a cowgirl.  She dreams of owning a horse  and wearing cowboy boots with manure on them, instead of city-slicking fashion cowgirl boots tucked into skinny jeans. But, we live in town.  A big town.  A big town not zoned for horses.

She dreams about horses so much, one night she sleepwalked into our room looking for the barn to feed the horses.

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Meeting Miss Rodeo Montana last summer only fueled the dream. 

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Visiting my friend high school friend, Janet, and her horses, didn’t help either. 

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Each summer we visited she petted, fed, rode and fell in love all over again. What’s not to love? Chaz with her twins, Whiskey Girl and Wyoming on the North Dakota prairie. Even as a toddler, Beka walked under and around these hand-fed pets.

When my Cowgirl Wannabe’ was planning her birthday party, we discovered early on it would be challenging to combine her loves if buying ready-made items. She wanted pink.  She wanted lace. She wanted vintage.  She wanted horses. Many things I found on the internet or in the stores were red/blue and geared towards cowboys. Since I’ve always been a DIY, homemade kinda’ mom, we were up for the challenge.

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When she found this beautiful calendar at the Dollar Store, I knew we could pull off the horse part easily and inexpensively.  On the back of each calendar was a page with smaller pictures of each month’s pictures.

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These were laminated and turned into magnets for each guests’ goodie bag.

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We hung the pictures from the grapevine garland that’s along the fireplace year around and added twine.

 

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A doll was dressed in denim and cowboy boots and decorated the desert bar on the buffet.

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We already had strips of fabric for a background from another birthday party, so we took out some colors and added strips of tan fabric and lengths of twine. The girls stood on a step stool for their picture.

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A wooden crate was decorated with lace, twine and a flower, then filled with props for the Cowgirl photo shoot. Pictures of each guest were emailed to them after the party. We printed off one picture for each girl and put it in a picture frame card for the thank you.

After being inspired by a summer project of serving from Focus on the Family, Beka decided instead of each girl bringing a gift for her, they would bring a gift or used clothing for the shelter for women and children.  We were thrilled to see the donations brought in.

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Even grandson, Finnean, looked adorable in a mustache.

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Glasses were pint jars and 1/2 pint milk bottles with strips of tan fabric previously used for vases at our writers conference last May.  Beka pulled off tan buttons and added some pink. She made a few out of lace just because.

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A drink station was staged on a child’s cupboard.  The white enamel coffee pot held pink lemonade.

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Pink plastic silverware was wrapped in brown paper and white doilies, which was Beka’s creation. The pink paper plates looked adorable on vintage white paper plate holders.  The small crate was found at the thrift store for $.99 and stained to look aged. The meal was a sandwich bar, fresh fruit and veggies.  Simple. Healthy.  Adaptable to food allergies or strong dislikes.

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A ladder in the dining room held the chips.

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These “feed bags” are actually burlap rice bags. I removed the zippers, turned them inside out, and  hot-glued a doily on.

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Beka didn’t want cake, she wanted cookies and ice cream. To simplify feeding the girls, we purchased the small cups of strawberry swirl ice cream.

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The sugar horse decorations were found at Dawn’s Cake and Candy World. I can’t give you the recipe for the sugar cookies, because the dough came in a tube. Sometimes a momma’s gotta’ do what a momma’s got to do.

 

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Since we had a hard time finding horse party items, we  also bought this horse mold at Dawn’s for melting chocolate.  The gold is a fine edible powder that rubbed on easily.

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After seeing these on a blog, we knew this would be the one thing we HAD to make for the party.  These are Nutter Butter cookies dipped in chocolate, with Wilton candy eyes, almond ears and hard caramel noses.  Instead of cookie sticks, I used skewers because they matched our theme better, were thinner, and cheaper.

Since this was way too much sugar for one day, some horses were on display, the rest were tied up in clear bags and sent home in the girls’ goodie bags.

 

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Granddaughter, Maddelyn, loved her little horsie.  She came with her mommy and siblings to help make them a few days before the party and had a hard time waiting until she could actually eat one.

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Aunt Cindy’s recipe has been a family favorite since Christmas of 1996, and  was the first cookie Beka baked for her party. 

 

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At the end of the day, the City-Slickin’ Cowgirl was very, very, happy, even without a horse in the backyard.

 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies

Cream together:

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Add:

2 cup flour

Chill dough if too soft.  Roll into balls and flatten slightly with a fingerprint hole in the middle. Fill the hole with seedless raspberry jam.  Bake at 350° 14-18 minutes, until edges are brown.  Do not over bake.

Drizzle glaze over baked cookies.

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2-3 teaspoons water

Making your home sing Mondays        WHWButton#2

Wooden You Love an Upcycled To-Do List ?

We’ve lived in our current home almost seven years.
I figured it was time to get a few things done.


I was tired of ugly To Do Lists.

It’s not inspiring.

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This window is from my dream home, an older two story beauty. 
We lived there less than one year.
When we replaced the old wooden windows with
double-paned argon sealed windows,
there were stacks of windows on my lawn.

I SO craved keeping them and making something out of them.
But, this was back in the Olden Days when there wasn’t
a lot of blogging and there wasn’t Pinterest.

Ya’ know, the Dark Ages for Inspiration Time.

I kept one.

It was used for a picture frame, then sat in the attic for years.
I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it.

I know all the young crafty people think they invented
UPCYCLING,
but they just renamed it.
We‘ve always called it “making do.”

Why do you think my mom was raised wearing panties
that said “SUGAR” on the bum?

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First, I had to remove the bright craft  paint.
A paste of Comet and water works well.
Smear it on, walk away.
Come back later, rub and scrape.
Smear on a little more and walk away.
Come back later, rub and scrape.
Repeat until paint is gone.

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Almost  done!

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I wanted something to back the panes of glass and remembered this vintage curtain
that I’ve stored away for….
ummm…nearly two decades?

It might be called Dotted Swiss. 
I read about Dotted Swiss in a Nancy Drew book when I was younger.
This has dots but I don’t know if it’s Swiss.

It was very hard to cut up a curtain. 
It kinda’ gave me the heebie-jeebies
’cuz it was such a nice curtain.

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But, I cut it up into four squares and kept the scraps.
Maybe 20 years from now I might need them.

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I smeared the back of each pane with Mod Podge.
The majority of my life I called it Modge Podge
That’s what Kim in my High School Home Economics called it.
I believed her.
After all, she told me she was one of the Popular Kids.
Now I know better about both accounts.

The fabric was carefully smoothed over the back of panes.
Don’t put it in backwards!
The pattern has to face forward.
It was challenging to get the rows of dots straight.

Just in case you’re wondering,
if you spill Mod Podge on brand new carpeting
but wipe it up right away with a damp rag
you can get it all up.
Almost all of it, anyway.
Just in case you’re wondering.

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It was going to be a bulletin board,
but the post-it notes fell off right away.

Remember post-it notes were invented because of a failure?
Oh, you didn’t read that
post?
You can read it now.

Well, my post-it note failure invented a better solution.

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I discovered dry erase markers work great on glass.

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Vintage tatted edging and clip-on earrings were later improvements.

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The final resting place, on an enamel topped table in my office.
Four panes to organize four parts of my life.

Suddenly, that To Do List is looking pretty good.

 

Do Ya’ Need A Cuppa’ Coffee?

Spray paint is vogue.

Tables, dishes, dressers, chairs, windows, tree branches~
everything is fair game for DIY’ers with itchy trigger fingers.
Sometimes, I worry about their kids, especially if they stand still
while watching their color-their-world parent with aerosol can in hand.
They could end up Smurf blue or Minion yellow.

But, I just want ya’ll to know,
I was spray paint,
when spray paint wasn’t cool.

In the early 90’s, I spray painted  thrift store baskets glossy white for baby gifts.
A patio table I acquired curb shopping was given new life along with some ugly outdoor chairs.

Yea, I was way ahead of my time.

Back then, when I went into the hardware store for spray paint,
they usually wrinkled their bulbous noses and  superior brows at me,
and told me it couldn’t be done.

Not anymore.

Spray paint comes in prettier colors and covers better,
and salesmen like to encourage, not discourage, useage.

With all my expertise, it was only natural that I create something unique.

I began with this plain ol’ can.
The painful job was eating all those chocolately cookies.
I don’t think I shared the misery with my family,
I handled this one on my own.

Of course, I had to use this Rust-Oleum product.

It was actually  Mitzi’s blog that inspired the craft.  Isn’t she talented?
I love her generosity in sharing her printables and her ideas.
The vintage coffee labels make we wanna’ Mod Podge everything in my house.
I printed my favorite images onto cardstock.

 

Oh, yea, another staple in my random crafting life.

The look of this vintage label on the black tin made me love, love, love coffee even more.

Because there were so many choices,
I added another vintage label to the opposite side of the can,
making it extra cool for those special people.

What special people am I crafting for?

The same  people who got this match box tin.

….stay tuned….

I have one more wedding present crafting to share with you…

…meanwhile, all these vintage coffee labels are making me crave a cuppa’ coffee…

What do Bad Breath and Matches Have in Common?

There are reasons people use breath mints.

We all know bad breath is #1 reason.
For coffee drinkers like moi, that’s a very good reason.

But this coffee-breath woman has another reason for devouring breath mints.

I love to make stuff outta’ the tins.
The company should make me a spokesmommy, seriously.

Take this very cool Mintz! box.

Add one can of this very nice spray paint to make the box black.

I used to use the stuff for $.88.  That was years ago. Ya’ get whatcha’ pay for.
This $4 a can stuff works really, really well.

Then travel to one of my favorite blog and print out some of these.
Cathe Holden is SO talented and so generous.  She offers a lot of free printables.

These vintage matchbooks are one of many freebies.  Cut out the one you want.

Use this to stick the cool label onto the black box.

End up with one very cool box that perfectly holds two boxes of matches.

‘Cuz ya’ need matches to light one of these.

This was one of the fun things I made for a very special couple…
…for a very special wedding gift…

…more coming…

….while ‘yer waiting for the other blog posts about the wedding gift,
take a hint and buy a box of Myntz! mints.

Seriously, ya’ NEED them, for two reasons.

Almost Free Teacher Gifts

I’ve gradually learned thankfulness over the years.  It didn’t come naturally.  For 18 years, my Mom taught me manners, but often I said “thank you”  from compulsion and expectation, not conviction or true appreciation. I knew it was polite, and wanted to be polite, but often I thought that person owed me something, so the thank you was to make me look good.

Afterall, why thank Mom for making dinner?  She’s the mom, isn’t it her job to make dinner?

Then I became a mother.

Why thank someone for a service? They’re getting paid to do it, right?

Then I started working as a busboy.

Over and over in life I realized I failed in thanking others. The biggest conviction came when I studied the Word of God.  Word studies on “give thanks” and “thanksgiving” gave me a deeper desire to improve. The basis of a thankful heart comes from thanking the Lord for our salvation.  Daily we should marvel that the Holy One who knew no sin became sin for us.  How can our hearts not be thankful?

When I learned to notice and appreciate the cost of what I received, financial, effort or time, it increased my thankfulness.

I learned to watch the examples of others as they ministered to others.  One thing I learned was giving little gifts of thanks.  You don’t need to empty the bank account,  pour out from the heart and hands. In other words,  my gifts are simple and inexpensive.

It never occurred to me until I saw others bringing them,  but this year I planned and conquered teachers’ gifts.  You might be thinking I’m pulling a fast one since I homeschool – making my kids give me presents.  They’re for the teachers who instruct my adorable, smart, house-trained kids in a homeschool co-op.

Succulents grow well in our climate and add color to the garden all year ’round.  When the skies are gray for months and months, these babies are always green.  They’re a comfort plant for me, since My mom usually had hen and chicks in her gardens.  This was a $.99 vase from Value Village.

These little terra cotta beauties were in my craft room because I found  a box of them at a thrift store for $1.99.  Who can pass up a bargain like that?  I bought the saucers for our Resurrection craft this spring. I like to plant them into little odd corners between rocks where I don’t want to weed.

This green and yellow plant grows prolifically and brings great color into the fall.  I can’t remember what it’s called and the little plastic identification tag  disintegrated years ago.  Another $.99 pot  I knew would perfectly compliment the plant with no name.

It was supposed to be a quick 5-minute job making the Thank You Flowers. Afterall, I still had flower scraps leftover from the Graduation decor I crafted last May with my Cuttlebug.  Some were  used some to make the Multiplaction Flower Power Manipulative, but there were still shapes longing to be crafted into usefulness.

I couldn’t find my glue gun.  I couldn’t find my 1-inch circle punch. Afater a half hour of hufingf and puffing, my way of expressing frustration, I found everything and glued them together.

DONE!  As long as they survive the car ride in commuter traffic, we should be good to go!

While junkin’, my mom’s term for hitting the garage sales and thrift stores, I also look for mugs with Bible verses  and vintage baby planters.  I also love unusual items, like old tea kettles and coffee pots.

My gifts of thanksgiving were almost free, but they express my heart.  I’m always thankful when someone invests in my children. I want the teachers to know that. A thankful heart overflows in word or deed.

How do you show your appreciation to others in word or deed?

I’d love to hear your ideas, I’m still learning about being thankful!

Take a Hint Mint!

A Myntz mint, that is.
I have a new favorite mint.
See the cool tin?
They’re better than Altoids tins because the lid is flat.
No embossing that’s nice to look at, but hard to cover up.
Delicious mints and useable tins,
what more could a frugal momma want?
A set of die cuts for my Cuttlebug fits perfectly in one tin.
It’s not that I’m green and wanting to keep the landfills empty,
 remember, I’m frugal.
Also remember, I come from a long line of frugal women?
Ya’ get whatcha’ pay for.
The cheap $1 spray paint I used to use will never hold up
to this discovery.
One coat of Rust’Oleum 2X is my new favorite spray paint.
  As long as I don’t miss a spot.
Love this stuff.
The beautiful tin on my Gramma’s red and chrome kitchen table.
I love crafting on the table where I know she spent hours
sitting, drinking coffee, visiting and rolling out sugar cookies.
This is the Cuttlebug.  It cuts and embosses.
She’s da’ boss!
So, ya’ know those die cuts I needed to store?
What a better way to store them, but in a box
decorated with papers cut from the die cuts within.
Didja’ understand that?
Papers were cut and Mod Podge applied.
Four sets of die cuts in four adorable boxes.
I was so pleased with them I wanted to  display the boxes
instead of putting them away in the Cuttlebug container.
The flowers would also look cute on stationary.
Maybe I should make another one to keep my mints in?
Wouldn’t this be a cute little box for some
stationary and tiny pencils?
I originally bought the button die cut to make pre-school
manipulatives for my granddaughter, Brookelyn,
who is crazy about her Lalaloopsy doll with button eyes.
But, these would be wonderful sewing kits,
doncha’ think?
A thin magnet glued on the inside would keep
needles and pins in place.
Magnets on the back would make these tins
stick to a fridge or a locker.
The look of the vintagey black tins
 fill me with such anticipation and promise.
I’m dreaming about other uses for them.
Take a hint.  You need a Myntz mint.
Then tell me how you’d use that adorable tin.