Tuesday, May 24, 2011

June Plaque Attack

I appreciated so much those of you who left a comment with words associated with the month of June for this month's Plaque Attack! I tried to use those words that were mentioned most often and as many as space would allow on next month's Plaque Attack!

Without further ado, let me introduce the 
June Plaque Attack...

In order to receive the June Plaque Attack PDF,
please follow the instructions below...

For those new to the "Plaque Attack Club," last September I introduced a new monthly feature on my blog and christened it "Plaque Attack." The best way to describe "Plaque Attack" is that it is a free plaque-of-the-month club. Each month, a few days before a new month begins, I will make a post featuring a new plaque. The plaque wording will reflect holidays or activities unique to the coming month. If you are new to the "Plaque Attack Club" know that you'll need to check back every month to receive each new document. 

For a list of supplies and a tutorial on how to make these plaques, go here. I am offering June's  Plaque Attack in a downloadable PDF document via Google Docs. As always it is free of charge. If possible, before you download the doc would you consider becoming a "follower" and would you be so kind as to leave a comment below?  

Important: The PDF Google Doc version is 1/8" smaller than the emailed Word version. After downloading the PDF, print it off on plain paper to determine the size. If you'd like it a little bigger, then request the Word document through email. 

If for any reason you would rather email me to request your Plaque Attack, feel free to do so. My email address is located on my sidebar. Just add "June Plaque Attack" in the subject line of your email and please remember to leave a comment below.

By downloading this copyrighted document you agree not to sell the document or sell any items that use this document. It is for personal use only. You may make as many copies for yourself or to use as gifts as you would like. If you post about your plaque on your blog, I would appreciate it if you would link back to this blog post. Thank you!

Click here to download
June's Plaque Attack document!

Once you are viewing the document, you can click "File" to the left of the document for download options. Select "Download original" to download the file to your desktop or select "Print PDF" to print the file immediately.


Linked to:
Show Off Your Stuff Party @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
Show & Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
Linky Party #10 @ Running with Glitter
Show Me What You Got @ Not Just a Housewife
Get Your Craft on Tuesday @ Today's Creative Blog
Anything Related @ All Thingz Related
It's Sew Fun Tuesday @ It's Sew Fun
Mad Skills Monday @ Support Blog for Moms of Boys

Monday, May 23, 2011

Creamy Dreamy Lemon Pie . . .

Generally speaking I'm a chocolate, caramel and nuts girl. I would take a Snicker's bar over fruity Skittles any day of the week. However, there is something about the impending heat of summer that brings about a change in me. I begin day-dreaming of sweet berries piled high and the tart taste of lemons. That is one of the reasons this Creamy Dreamy Lemon Pie appeals to me and why it tasted so good this last weekend...

A couple of reasons this pie is so dreamy are that it has so few ingredients and it takes just minutes to make. The fact that it's so inexpensive and easy to make makes each creamy lemony bite taste even better! See for yourself...

Creamy Dreamy Lemon Pie

8 whole graham crackers
3 Tbsp. butter
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
Whipped cream (optional)

Begin by crushing the graham crackers by pulsing them in a food processor or {like I do} putting them in a large Ziploc baggie and crushing them with a rolling pin or glass jar. Place the graham crumbs in a small bowl and add the butter. Mix until moistened. Press graham mixture into a 9-inch pie plate (do not use a "deep-dish" pie plate) and place it in the fridge until you are ready to fill it.

Mix together the condensed milk and 2 eggs until smooth and creamy. Add lemon juice and zest and beat all till combined. Pour this mixture into the pie crust. 

Bake pie in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool your pie completely and then refrigerate for best flavor. After cutting and plating the pie I add a little dollop of whipped cream and a little lemon zest onto each piece!

If you'd like to try the Weight Watchers version of this Creamy Lemon Pie, go here!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sailboat Applique

I know it seems like every project of mine lately has had something to do with infants. Not only do we have three grandbabies due in the next three months, but we also have three nieces that are expecting and due this summer! I hope the stork is taking extra-strength vitamins because he is going to be very, very busy delivering adorable bundles to our family and extended family! Last week I got busy creating for a couple of those bundles of joy who happen to be little boys...

I had bought a couple of baby boy outfits that had a sailboat "theme", so I wanted to add a receiving blanket to the mix with an appliqued sailboat on it. This is what I came up with...

I started with two pieces of flannel (1 1/4 yard each) for the top and bottom of the blanket. The top flannel had puffy white clouds, which was the perfect backdrop for the boat. I put the applique in one of the corners of the blanket. I made this blanket just like the other receiving blankets that I made recently -- ric-rac edges and all! 

This applique would be cute on a onesie, a child's pillow or any other item for the little sailor in your life! 

If you'd like the pattern for the applique, just make a comment below and email me with the words "Sailboat Applique" in the subject line of the email. Look to the right on my sidebar for my email address (under "Welcome" and "About Me"). I'll send the pattern in a word document. You can then resize the applique to your specifications.

Happy sailing!

Linked to:
Hookin' Up with HOH
Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
20 Below Thursdays @ Christina's Adventures

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tag Toy . . . Leo the Lion

Have you ever wondered what to do with those annoying little snippets of ribbon and ric-rac that you often accumulate? They're too long to throw out but not long enough for a "real" project? The other day I created something using a number of little ribbons pieces that were found in my stash. You see, my friend Leo the Lion needed a mane. He had a attractive face, but in order to impress the ladies he needed a mane...

So I used some of those little pieces of ribbon and went to work to produce a mane that any lion would be proud of, and in the process I made a tag toy for a little one...

A month ago Julie, at the Ribbon Jar was kind enough to send me a little potpourri of ribbon snippets in hopes that they could be of use for a project or two. Some of those definitely came in handy when I spruced up Leo!

Tag toys are easy for babies to grab hold of and are wonderful tactile stimulation when different textures of ribbon are used. Making a tag toy is also a great way to use up all those little morsels of ribbon and ric-rac you have cluttering up your ribbon jars!

Linked to:
Strut Your Stuff Baby Ideas @ Somewhat Simple
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous
Hookin' Up with HOH
Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies & Jellybeans
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic
20 Below Thursdays @ Christina's Adventures
Show Me What You Got @ Not Just a Housewife
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
Trash to Treasure @ Your Sassy Sites
What's Up Wednesday @ Sew Woodsy
Running with Glitter Linky Party
Better with Ribbon Wednesday @ Color Chic
DIY Project Parade @ The DIY Show Off
Mad Skills Monday @ Support Blog for Moms of Boys

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How to create your very own sweat shop . . .

Most of you know by now just how much I love {and have used} Anna's 241 Tote Pattern. Last week I made five of these babies in three days for my girls for Mother's Day. I might just as well have been in a sweat shop in Timbuktu. I came up for air and food, but that's about it. I can't complain too much though, because these beauties were the result of that sewing frenzy...

I paired muslin with fabric from Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 collection for all of these totes. I {obviously} love everything about this line of fabrics -- the color pallets, the traditional designs, and the beautiful life-like patterns.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Patio Furniture Redo . . .

I have several daughters who are not afraid of color. A couple of months ago one daughter chose a turquoise colored paint for me to use when I refinished a piece of furniture for her. Since then I've been dreaming in technicolor. The other day I had an idea as to how I should spice up some wrought iron patio furniture we've had for years. I've spray painted this furniture every few years to give it life, but the color it had been wearing the last few years was a pretty drab...

Here's the combination of colors I decided upon...
Warning: Please don sunglasses for the next few photos. 
{I can't be held responsible for burned corneas.}

Not only did I select one really bright paint, 
but I decided on two just to kick it up a bit!
Turquoise & Lime Green...

I used Rusto-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Satin spray paint in "Lagoon" and "Eden." The beauty of spray painting wrought iron is you don't have to keep it the same color forever. Next year I can tone it down if I choose. Still every time I walk by my sliding glass door and glance out the window, I smile!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Ribbon & Ric-Rac Storage . . .

Here's a quick and easy storage idea for those of you who are inundated with loose and unruly strands of ribbon and ric-rac! A few weeks back I realized I needed to organize better and consolidate the ribbon and ric-rac that I had accumulated in three different drawers in my home. I wanted to organize these adornments into one location where they could be neatly stored. I had seen this idea on various blogs in the last couple of years, so decided this was the approach I wanted to take...

I bought old fashioned wooden clothes pins at Hobby Lobby and used these as dowels to wind the ribbon and ric rac around...

The end of the ribbon was secured with a pin...

Then I placed these neatly wound ribbons in a cute glass container, so I could easily see what materials I had available...

I stored both the ribbon and ric-rac in the same container, but I will eventually buy another container so I can have ribbon in one and ric-rac in another...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Thankful Thoughts . . .

For those new to my blog, let me begin with a brief explanation of this weekly post...  A couple of years ago I began a post entitled “Thankful Thursday.” I was motivated to write this weekly post by bloggers who wrote regular gratitude journal entries on their sites. Their thoughts were often poignant and sweetly personal. As a result of their musings my heart was made more grateful, and I became more appreciative of my own blessings. In time writing my own gratitude post helped me to look at things with a more positive attitude and a more thankful heart. Eventually my “Thankful Thursday” posts went by the wayside, but several months ago I decided to re-institute a it as a weekly post that I publish on Sundays. I call this post "Thankful Thoughts." At the end of each week I answer one or more of these three questions...

1.) What surprised me this week?
2.) What moved me this week?
3.) What inspired me this week?

By concentrating on these questions throughout the week, I start and end each week with a more grateful, happy heart and a more positive outlook on life. On to this week's journal entry...

What inspired me this week?

Earlier this week the woman's organization at our church had a service project. Several different items were created or assembled for various organizations to help those in need. My daughter and I chose to work on some pillowcase dresses for an organization called FOVC -- Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children. FOVC works to restore hope, dignity and empowerment to orphans and widows in Shanto, a small rural village in Ethiopia. Its goal is to end the cycle of poverty and hunger through education and income-generating activities.

At the beginning of the meeting Lory Howlett, an FOVC board member, spoke passionately about this organization that she helped establish. For months I have been thinking about volunteering for a service-related organization. Unfortunately "thinking" about is was as far as it went. Although there are many deserving organizations that can use volunteers, I never found one that I felt connected to. That night as I listened to Lory I was inspired. Lory and her husband helped organize FOVC, and with the help of others they have accomplished much in the lives of the orphans and widows in this small Ethiopian town. They have also adopted two children from that area to complete their family. Their story made me consider just how influential one individual can be in the lives of many.

That night the women in our church group made 22 pillowcase dresses for the little girls in the town of Shanto. Other items were donated as well. I came home from that meeting wanting to do more. I look forward to helping in the months to come by pledging to make at least one pillowcase dress a week for the next year. I am grateful to have found an organization and cause that I can get behind and contribute to. It is inspiring to know that a few hours of my time each week will put clothing on the back of a little one and make a difference in the life of that child.

What moved me this week?

I would be remiss to let this day go by without giving thanks to the wonderful women in my life who are inspiring examples to me of motherhood. My mother and mother-in-law are at the top of my list, but I have been blessed by many who have and do influence and move me to be a better mother. My five daughters, all young mothers themselves, are prime examples.

I have come to realize in the last few years that motherhood is a life-long endeavor. Although I am no longer in the thick of it like I was as a young mother, I still feel very connected to this calling called "motherhood." For that I am grateful. Although there are many things in the life that add fulfillment and happiness, there is little to compare to the joy a couple can receive as they watch their children {and grandchildren} grow and become. I am moved and grateful for the blessing I have been given to be a mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Douple-Dipper Give-Away Results . . .

I just finished reading all the comments left by readers of my blog giving tribute to the special women in their lives. If you need a boost, go to the comments in my post earlier today and read them for yourself. They are beautiful, loving testimonials of incredible women. My heart is full.

I mentioned to my daughter while I was reading all the beautiful comments that it was going to be terribly difficult having just one winner. It's times like this I'd like to be Oprah and give everyone in the "audience" a prize. {Dang.} If it was me picking the winner I'd never be able to choose, so I had a random number generator with no feelings or emotions do the dirty work. And the winner is...

Lucky #35 was...

Thanks to all those who participated in this contest and wrote such sweet thoughts!

Double -Dipper Six Hour Give -Away

{Sorry, but this contest is now closed.}

Thank you! Thank you! Thank You! 

The other day when my Manfred Tooth Pillow was chosen by Amanda to be in the running at Today's Top 20 "Top Project of the Month", I hoped to get a few votes for quirky ol' Manfred. I quickly sent an email out to my family. I can always count on them to cast a vote or two, and then I added a little disclaimer to my readers in a couple of my posts to {please} head on over and throw a vote my way.  And many of you did. I truly appreciate those who voted and all the sweet comments, emails and support I get from my blogging friends on a daily basis. I am saving gobs of money that potentially could be spent babbling to therapists because you reinforce my positive self-image on a daily basis. (My husband is appreciative as well.)

 {My Little Chickadee Tote}

Here's how I'm going to prove my appreciation! For the next six hours I will host a Double-Dipper Give Away from my Etsy shop. The winner will be able to choose any item -- that's right -- any item from my shop for a mother or woman of her choice. It can be her own mother, a mother figure in her life, a sister, a friend, etc. But that's not all. Once the winner has chosen something for that special someone, she can also pick an item for herself! That's what I call a Double-Dipper Give-Away!

{Pink & Chocolate Wristlet}

Here are the specifics of the contest...
  • Make a comment below and your name will be submitted into the contest.
  • In your comment, please mention the first name of the person and your relationship to the intended recipient should you win the drawing. Also, please give us a little insight as to why you admire this person.
  • The winner and chosen recipient must live in the continental U.S. or Canada. (I will provide postage.)
  • Although each contestant can only nominate one person, the same person can be nominated more than once.
  • No anonymous comments. Please leave an email address or blog that I can visit. Private bloggers must leave their email address. If I don't have any way to contact you, your name will not be eligible. 

{Darling Damask Dwipe}

This contest will run for just six hours -- until 12 noon (mountain time) on Wednesday, May 4th (that's today!) -- so those seeing this post will have a better-than-average chance of winning. I will announce the winner of the contest about two hours later. If I am able to contact the winner within the hour, I should be able to mail the item(s) today. Hopefully they will arrive before Mother's Day!

Good luck to all!