Friday, February 28, 2014

LOVE, of a new find... waterlogue

So I have to admit, I'm not much of an "ap" person when it comes to my phone... but this one I couldn't resist after seeing it everywhere.  It's an ap called Waterlogue and it turns any picture into a water color!  I can take a new picture or, of course, an old one and make something artsy in just a few minutes.

My first try was a picture of our house.

In the original you can see that our yellow lab is laying off to the left of the porch (that blob on the grass) but she really doesn't show up in the water color image... nor does the open garage look so tacky!  I do like that the rhodie, azaleas and peonies make little pops of color.   Although I like the way it turned out, I'm not sure I like that the grass is so dominant.  I think perhaps I'll look for another house picture to try it on.

Then I decided to use picmonkey to add some text, especially since that grass was such a great spot for a little something extra.  I found a quote I liked and voila!  

My second try, well I seem to have lost my original... it's in one of my many folders but I couldn't seem to find it this morning... it's taken in front of our little red pump house... my infamous trough of sunflowers.  Truly this is one of my favorites and seems make a perfect water color.

Playing in picmonkey I added text and lightened the picture so that the text would show up stronger since it faded into the foliage a bit too much.

One of my all time favorite shots from my daughter's wedding in 2012...

I think this one I may have printed on water color paper.  I found a place online where you can have images printed on water color paper.  For a large print of something special these turn out wonderfully and I've had a number of large pictures done this way.  I'm moving into a new office at work next week and this would be fantastic framed and hung on my wall.

Wanting to try something simple...

Pretty fabulous too, if I don't say so myself.

I may have this one made into a note card...

For me the most challenging part of this process was getting the changed/water color photos OFF of my phone!  For some reason I'm having difficulty emailing pictures so I had to resort to the old fashioned way... plugging my phone into my computer!

Now that I'm hooked, I dug up a couple of more shots that I think may look good as water colors...

For my kitchen perhaps?

 One of my all time favorite pictures that I took years ago...

And another old photo... a "fairy tale" shot of my house...

So what about you?  Tried anything new lately?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

LOVE, of chalkboards

My love this week, well it's one that should be well known to you all by now... chalkboards!

I've shown you chalkboard projects in the past... like this, this and this...

One of my favorites is this little vintage slate chalkboard that I change up all the time for holidays or seasons.

And the beauty is that it is two sided... so most of the time I have left this "home sweet home" message on one side...

And just change out the other side with my trusty bistro/chalk marker.  I've even gotten confident enough to free hand my images and not always use my tracing method.

But this one is probably the board that started it all.  It hangs in my kitchen and is actually the original medicane chest from our bathroom, found in the attic after we moved in.  The original mirror is still below the chalkboard as I just painted a thin piece of masonite with chalkboard paint to make this.

This spot too gets a little holiday decoration...

And last summer it was home to my "summer to do" list... which didn't all get done unfortunately.

And when talking about chalkboards I can't neglect to mention my daughter's wedding and all the chalkboards used.

All made from thrift and garage sale frames...

With chalkboard painted backings.

So although these may not stay in fashion in the "decorating world".
I'll be hanging on to mine, nonetheless.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

a baby's project, fun & flannel burp cloths

This is one of the first sewing projects I've tackled for our new grand baby, yes, if you missed it before, there will be a new (and first) grand baby coming around the beginning of June!  Since we don't know if it's a girl or a boy I decided why make these little burp cloths gender specific to the baby... how about making them gender specific for the parents!  Now dad can have a salmon on his shoulder even if the little one is a girl.

I came across this idea on (where else) Pinterest.  I found this blogger back when the wedding was being planned, she has a wedding blog and now a well, regular blog.  I liked the idea of adding flannel to pre-made/pre-fold diapers but I really just used the idea and didn't follow any of her directions... I kind of like to wing things sometimes.

First up, the diapers I used were OsoCozy pre-fold diapers I found here.  Since some of the flannels I used where white and some off white, I purchased a package of bleached (white) and unbleached (off white)... they come 6 to a package so I was prepared to make 12 clothes.

I rounded up some flannels... some from my stash, some purchased online and some fat quarters from a local quilt shop.  The fat quarters make 2 clothes and the online shop required a one yard minimum so I have enough of the salmon, stars and circles to make some flannel blankets as well.  The gray alphabet was also an online purchase and I purchased 2 yards so it will be enough for a crib sheet and 2 cloths.

 So the idea is to cover the center, padded section with flannel.  Making it nice and soft for a little one's head to rest, but a plain diaper on the reverse for, well, extra absorbency if needed... if you know what I mean... although I must admit I don't have a lot of experience with this.  My babies hardly ever spit up, really.  In fact when it did occasionally happen I usually was not prepared and would have to resort to what ever was handy, including a jacket one time... don't ask.

But lets get back on track... so the center portion...

I cut strips of fabric about a half inch larger on each side as well as top and bottom.  Depending on the size of diapers you use these dimensions could be larger or smaller... you should be sure to have the diapers BEFORE you get fabric, although I still think you'd be able to use a fat quarter for larger sizes.

Next I pinned the flannel to the diaper, folding the raw edges under.

And just sewed around the edge keeping close to the fold without getting off course.  Easy and peasy, wouldn't you say?

Really the hardest part was threading the sewing machine when I changed from white thread to off white thread!

But seriously, I'm happy with my dozen... two of each... some masculine some more feminine.  And yes, I did have my son in law in mind when I picked out the fish flannel!

The white's are pretty gender neutral... and I worked in a bit of our neighbor to the north in the Canada flannel.

All in all, worth the effort.  Only the softest will do.
This is going to be one pampered little Mr or Miss!

Linking up to 

Friday, February 14, 2014

happy (heart) day

 Just popping in to wish all a Happy Valentine's Day with the ones you love...

AND to let Camille Beehler know, she's the lucky winner of my homemade valentine... you can email me (see sidebar for email) with your info and I'll get it in the mail ASAP!
Now I'm off to have a bite of chocolate!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

LOVE, of lemon bars and le creuset

Since I neglected to have a "LOVE" last week, I thought I'd combine last week's LOVE and this week's in one... because I'd really like to have 52 loves by the end of the year!

First up, one of my favorite sweets... Lemon Bars.  And not just ANY Lemon Bars but the Barefoot Contessa Lemon Bars.  If you could see my cookbook up close, you'd notice the well worness (is that a word?) of the page.  But I must admit, I've been changing this recipe up a bit for years and making them with key lime juice instead of lemon.

You can see by all my little bits of paper marking pages that there are a lot of Ina Garten's recipes that I like... I mean who could resist a woman that isn't afraid to cook with butter and cream!

The first step is a bit messy... this crust is just butter, sugar, flour and a bit of salt.  Pressing it into the pan for baking is a sticky mess, but oh so worth it.

The next step isn't so photographic... but THIS is the key lime juice I always have in my refrigerator.  Mixed with lots of eggs, sugar and more flour and the magic is almost ready.

Oh, and the part two of this post?  I'll fill you in on that while those Lemon Key Lime Bars are baking...

It's my growing Le Creuset collection.  I started out small with some of the stoneware baking/casserole pans.  Believe it or not, you can make just about anything in these pans and the baked on mess?  Well it comes right off!  These pans are soooo easy to clean!  My collection of baking pans has grown from the original 9x13 green pan to include 2 bread pans, a 9x9 covered casserole and a large oval casserole as well.  Definitely worth the investment!

But my first piece of Le Creuset would be my green teakettle... it lives on my stove top.  My kids bought it for me the Christmas we moved to Red Gate Farm.  It was the only pretty thing in my kitchen when we moved here over 9 years ago.

My one and only enameled cast iron piece is my 3 1/2 quart pan... it too lives on my stove top when not in use... the heavy weight of this pan alone helped make this decision.

I typically use this pan every weekend for soup or stews.  The smaller size makes it super versatile, especially for just the two of us.

See?  There they are, both of them waiting for their next round of cooking and tea making.

Oops, speaking of the stove, those Key Lime Bars are out of the oven and ready for their powdered sugar dusting...

Since they are going with me to work, I can't cut into them for a glamour shot on a pretty plate... but believe me, they are tasty and they will disappear quickly... and the pan will wash up without a soaking!

Don't forget to check out my little valentine giveaway... you have a couple of hours still to enter!  (9:00 pm today, Thursday, February 13th)