Crafts · Family · Party · Surprise · Wedding

So What’s New?

There is a great deal going on right now. We are down to the wire on the wedding shower for Ashley. That means I have a lot to get done before I head back to Texas. I had her brooch bouquet just about finished and torn the whole thing apart yesterday! It just wasn’t what I thought it should be. I scrapped the whole thing, ordered what I wanted for it and now I am waiting for my deliveries. Crazy I know, but it just didn’t speak ‘Ashley’ to me like it needed to do. I think my sister and niece were a little surprised at the news, but they know if I don’t like, ain’t nobody gonna see it.
I will be finishing up the rest of my to do list for the wedding next week. Bouquet, hair pieces, corsages, jars, flags, dream catchers…the list goes on and on. But I will be done and everything ready to head to Texas with me in a few weeks. I will be taking a few days after the shower to visit my daughter Lacey in Houston. She just returned from vacation with Abby and Maya, so I can’t wait to catch up on what is going on with her. I am hoping to see Amber and Chris while I am there. It will be great to see them. Their wedding is just after the new year! You will see what I am doing for Amber later this year.
We now have our official Facebook Page up and running as of yesterday. Look and ‘like’ our page so that you can see the latest of our adventures in your newsfeed. We are also on Instagram and will be posting little pictures and videos of our adventures between our blog posts. Our Pinterest boards are growing, and we are sharing the great people we have been following with you. We are also on Twitter.
It is all so exciting for us. Marie introduced me recently to an app called Marco Polo. On this app you send little videos for free back and forth instead of having to type out a text message. You can find it in the app store so check it out. We have had so much fun with it and when we shop it is easier to communicate when you need someone’s opinion. No longer must we take pictures and try to get them to send. We just make a little video and share.
In September we will be adding a series of blogs/posts called ‘Tips, Hacks and Cowboy Hats’. It will be where we share helpful hints and open it up for you to share your helpful ideas with us or questions. I always find it interesting when Marie and I cook or work together at the different ways we do things. And I am always learning about new tools, programs or apps from Ashley and Marie. They seem to know what is the latest and greatest that will make my life easier.
So, have a great weekend, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I can’t wait to hear from y’all and please share with us your ideas or questions. What are you working on? Is there something fabulous you would like to share? Hope to hear from you soon!

Crafts · Glass · Recycle/repurpose · Tools · Wedding

Dremel Me This

I am in love with my Dremel. Let’s be honest, it is a tool that can be used in so many ways. From carving wood to fixing tile in the bathroom the Dremel can handle it all. Currently, I have three of them. I have the mini engraver, a cordless one and of course the big workhorse. I have used it on metal, wood, glass, plastic and stones.

One of the ways I use it the most is on glass. I love the feel of the glass when you etch with the Dremel. Wet or dry, engraving with the Dremel gives you great results. You can etch/engrave sea glass to wine glasses with it. The ideas are as endless as your imagination.

When my daughter Lacey was in elementary school, one of the things expected of parents is to help earn money to support the small private school. Classes would make baskets to be auctioned off as fund-raisers. I etched beer glasses with my Dremel for a bar-b-que basket the class did. It drew a lot of attention and I must admit went for a good price too.

I have etched a few beer mugs and wine glasses through the years. Wedding gifts of custom pitchers and glasses make great gifts. Customized jewelry and Christmas ornaments all can be with the Dremel. Reverse engraving on a mirror and a little glass paint make unique items to give or sell.

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Reverse Etched Mirror and Mug

On Pinterest you can find incredible ideas of how to use the Dremel. But I warn you, etching with the Dremel can be addictive and the possibilities are endless as what you can do. Just take a look at a couple of the boards on Pinterest for glass etching with the Dremel.

Baking · Cooking · Food · Surprise

Is That Brioche?

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So creamy and delicious

My husband and I are huge fans of bread pudding. During one of our dinners at Kres is Orlando, the chef had sent out bread pudding for us to try after the incredible dinner he had prepared. What a surprise and enjoyment to taste this amazing creation. It was made with Brioche!

Brioche is amazing bread. So light and a little sweetness that you just can’t resist, or at least it is hard for me. When I was shopping at The Fresh Market in Kissimmee I picked up a package of their cinnamon swirl brioche tray. It is like a cinnamon roll without the icing and extra sugar. Such a nice balance of the brioche with the cinnamon. Tasted so good warmed up with a little butter on it. The next day I had a piece toasted with fresh fruit.

Tonight, after the brioche had been in the refrigerator for a couple of days I decided to fix my husband a little surprise of bread pudding from the cinnamon swirl brioche. Now there are a million recipes for bread pudding out there. But this recipe is mine. So, you’re getting my little secrets I don’t normally share.

1 loaf of cinnamon swirl brioche
4 eggs beaten
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon and a little more to dust the top
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried strawberries diced
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut brioche into 1-inch cubes and place in large bowl. In another bowl combine the sugar, beaten eggs, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon making sure it is mixed well. Pour mixture over brioche cubes and let soak for 30 minutes. (Brioche is not toasted or dry, so you don’t need to soak any longer than that. If you do have dried brioche, then soak at least an hr.) Fold in the cranberries and strawberries. Spray casserole or baking dish with Pam or you can use butter. Pour mixture into dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Allow the bread pudding to cool. You can top with whatever whiskey sauce, chocolate sauce, vanilla sauce, fresh fruit or ice cream of your choice.

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Out of the oven and cooled

As I mentioned, I used dried strawberries in this one. You can use whatever dried fruits you would like and nuts as well. Here in Central Florida we are huge on the strawberries and if you haven’t tried dried strawberries, you should. It is like a little fruit leather (fruit roll-up) still in the fruit. There are recipes on Pinterest with directions for drying strawberries. You don’t need extra sugar with them as the drying process brings that out. But once you have one, it is hard to stop eating them.

Tonight, I had some fresh strawberries I need to use up. I cut them up and add a little sweetener (I use Swerve instead of sugar 90% of the time) to them (about a tablespoon) and let them sit in the refrigerator while I made the bread pudding. Then I added an oz of both vodka and Chambord to the strawberries. Gave them a little mix and put them back in the refrigerator. When I gave the bread pudding to my husband, I topped it off with the drunk strawberries. Now here is a little secret, take the strawberries (4 cups worth), leave them whole but remove stems and place in a Ziploc bag. Add the sugar, ½ cup fresh orange juice, vodka, and an oz of Grand Marnier. Let the strawberries sit for about an hour turning every 1/5 minutes. Serve the strawberries in a nice stemmed glass with a little sprinkle of rock sugar on top and some whipped cream. Taste incredible with a scone or shortbread cookie on the side and a nice cup of coffee.

Enjoy!

 

Boho · Crafts · Decorating · Party · Vintage · Wedding

Catching Dreams

Remember in our post ‘And We’re Off…’ when I talked about projects I was working on? Here is an update on Ashley’s wedding decorations I am making.

I started off taking apart dreamcatchers my sister had purchased. The feathers and all did not work with the vision of the wedding. I had feathers floating all over my house after that. Sammy even got into the fun for a while.

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Hoops in the trees

My neighbors by now are used to coming home and finding things hanging in my trees. One day I will break down and make myself a paint tent but until then, my trees will have to do. Some of these are macramé hoop and some are hula hoops from the dollar store. I removed the beads inside and stripped them of the covering if I was able too. Then hung them to be spray painted. When you are working with light colors you want to make sure that none of the dark shows. I even covered some in white tape to help with string get a better grip on the hoops because sanding wasn’t doing it for me.

I use Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton string/yarn to cover the hoops. It works great and won’t damage the doilies when you attach them. Some of the macramé yarns are rough on them. After wrapping the hoops, I attached the doilies using the same yarn. We bought some of these at Antique Week in Warrenton and I had quite a few already.

 

Then it is to the stringers. I have everything from vintage lace and ribbon to yarns and muslin that I am using. I try to get an assembly line going so that I can focus on each stage instead of having chaos in my office. My husband made me a bar to hang things from to work and it made it easier when I got to the stringers. But now I have taken over my dining room. I see new tables in my future for my office and a little rearranging in there too.

I am not finished with these beauties yet. There are feathers and so much more to be done but so far, I am pleased with my progress. Tomorrow I will sit and work on the pompoms and tassels for a while. This is love ladies and gentlemen. My niece would tell you I am not known for showing emotions, but there is a lot of love for her in each twist and turn I make. It warms this Mimi’s heart that she will know she is surround with nothing but love.

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Little more organized…

When I am done, and they are hung at the wedding I will update you on these beauties. Until then, look at Pinterest at some of the great ideas people have come up with on dreamcatchers. See y’all later, I’ve got to get back to work!

Surprise

When My Sister Asks

So once upon a time a girl (my sister) was invited to a Denim and Diamonds party. She was so excited but standing at a height of 6ft 5in, shopping for this event was not going to be easy. Shopping for anything at this height is not an off the rack kind of life. So she took to Pinterest for ideas (you know you go there too). After looking and coming up with what she wanted, she went to her text messaging to texted her go to gal (me).

Ok, let’s get real. When my sister needs help, yes ma’am I am there for her. And the same goes for her too. I had never been to a Denim and Diamonds party but, being a Texan, I knew about it. How exciting! Nothing like getting to dress up in your boots, denim and bling to put a smile on this girl’s face. Any excuse to dress up gets me excited. After I put aside my envy, we went to work narrowing down what she needed to pull off her outfit. We ordered a skirt long enough to be a tea length on her, to show off her boots. She had a shirt and hat so all we needed was the bling factor. Now you might think that would be easy to buy but to get the length it had to be made.

I pulled out all the extra goodies I had and took to creating a few pieces for her. As you can see I had a lot to work with here. I cannibalized old pieces, collect bargains and used a few things I had stashed just in case I ever needed them.

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It took me a few days to get it done once I figured out exactly the way I needed to do it. I sewed as many pieces as I could to the backing and a little glue here and there.

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Initially she only asked for a necklace, bracelet and something for her hat. But I love her long hair and decided she needed a few hair pics too.

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All in all, I think it came out great and she looked MARVELOUS! What do y’all think?

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What a collection

2025

 

 

 

Organization · Surprise

Pantry Full of Chaos

Help I need Somebody…

Well my sister’s first blog just had to be about organization.   My worst enemy….

Misha loves to be organized and I’m just glad if I get somewhere with everything  most things I need.  And lately with all the remodeling going on in my house, organization and I are definitely not on the same page.  

Last night we did the dishes in the bathtub.  The new cast iron, apron style sink was installed but sadly the faucet was not!

Our little remodel turned into a major redo.  All I asked for Christmas last year was for the kitchen cabinets to be painted and new tile floor and a 3X6 foot pantry to be added.   It was time, a much needed facelift.  We needed to take my kitchen out of the 90’s.

So the pantry went from 3X6 to 6 1/2 ft X 15 ft.  We have had an office/guest room (sorry Joshua your bed is gone) adjacent to the kitchen.  Well…..it is now half pantry and half “small” office.  Thanks hubby for giving up half your office space.

Here is the pantry at the beginning of the construction.  George “my builder” cut a door in the wall to the old guest room and created this…

 

After tons of dust, and living out boxes, and eating way too much fast food, the pantry is almost done.  Here is the pantry after  we (hubby, daughter, and I) emptied a few boxes of wonderful kitchen gadgets, baking supplies and snacks of course.

 

I still have 6 or 7 more boxes to unpack. Oh My!!

Now to organize…  I added a few baskets today to pull together snacks, baking supplies, baking sheets and such.

 

(Did I mention baking supplies?) I can’t wait to bake in my new kitchen.  Oh wait.  I already did that and had to wash the dishes in the bathtub.

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Spinach and bacon quiche.  Yum!  Eggs and fresh spinach from my neighbors.

So now I need HELP!

Any ideas on how to organize this mess of a pantry?  By the way the most amazing room in my house now.  I am in love!

My friend Allison Yoder is coming over Friday to help me organize all my kit and kaboodle.  Let me know of any suggestions to get me organized.  I need them.  And I will let you know how Friday goes with Allison.

 

Surprise

To Inventory or Not To Inventory

To me, there is nothing more satisfying than a well-organized crafting space or home. I can be a little bit of a fanatic about it. I can’t function unless everything is in it’s place. And I am probably the messiest crafter or cook that I know. I know crazy! But lately I have found where I was lacking in keeping my craft supplies organized, I had no idea what I own let alone where it was stored. I mean, I really didn’t know everything that I have. You know what I mean?

 
We hit Pinterest and pin great ideas. We either make them, or not. We buy supplies with the intent of making them and never do. We hit garage sales and junk stores and buy goodies with great intentions to just get side tracked. So, then you organize and redecorate your craft room. We buy bins and make labels. We go to the Container Store and organize our closets and rooms. (I love the Container Store!) We hide our stash because we are afraid of what our friends or families will think. But when we do make things, oh we rock it! Friends and family want you to make things for them. We buy more inventory and we make and sell, and the cycle continues. Sound familiar? I mean, I am even a member of a few crafter hoarding groups on Facebook.

 
So here I am a great organizer (just ask my sister) but am I good at inventory? No, no I was not. As someone who did purchasing and had to keep inventory this is sad. I have known professional organizers that can make any room great. But they will even tell you that they don’t inventory everything, they just organizer and purge. So, you may not know what you have but whatever and where ever it is, it is put away nicely.

 

Terrifying! I finally sat down and decided I needed to inventory what I owned. I started to write out a list of what was in my craft closet. Then I started to list what was on the shelves, cabinets, bins and garage. Page after page filled my legal pad. My sewing supplies, glass, wood, tools, vinyl and the list just kept going. I knew that this was not going to work on paper. So, I pulled up my trusty Excel and started an inventory there. Assigning locations and notifications for what needed to be reordered and when. Oh, I went all out on this inventory. Then I put it in the cloud. What a great idea! I can pull it up when I shop to check my supply levels. I regret that I did not do this sooner.

Inventory

I have scheduled myself a weekly task to add new items and update my inventory. And I find that when special projects come up or I have big jobs to do like my nieces wedding, I am able to keep my costs and my sanity in check because I now know not only know what I have but where it is and how much of it I have. Would you keep an inventory?