Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday--Well, Almost

I am thankful for the beautiful country that I live in and for the bounties that it provides. I am grateful for families, friends and for my blog readers! Thank you all for being a part of it and for helping to make this year an enjoyable one! ~Happy Thanksgiving~

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

DIY Pottery Barn Christmas Sign Knock-off

I just love all of the great stuff Pottery Barn has but I don't love their prices. I saw this post describing how to make a sign similar to Pottery Barn's Peace sign and knew I had to try making my own too. (My finished sign is at the end of this post.)

Unlike the girls over at 2IY, I used a 6' pine board that Jerry picked up at Menards for under $5.00. I then painted it white using acrylic paints.

 Sanding disk attachment for the drill.

After it was dry I sanded it to give it a little bit of a distressed look. The sandpaper I had didn't do much so I used an attachment on Jerry's drill. (I'd never used it before--scary!) It worked just ok.

Then I used MS Word to design the letters. I used Word Art to pick letters that were just outlined to save on printing cost. I printed off one letter first to see if it was the size I liked. I used it to measure off the rest of the letters. When I got the size that worked, I printed off the other letters except for duplicate letters.

I used spray adhesive to put the letters on and then traced them with a pencil. I painted the letters with red acrylic paint.

After the paint dried (I tried sanding the red letters but didn't like the look.) I gave the board three coats of varnish. This varnish was something that I already had but I think there are plenty of different kinds of varnish that would work.

This is not my front step. Just propping it up inside to take a photo.

This is my finished product. I was really happy with the way it turned out until...we tried it on my front step. Jerry realized that a strong wind would probably tip it over. We are trying to figure out how we can secure it somehow. Also, I wish I would have left more blank space at the bottom. I thought it would be cute to put fake presents around it or a pot of evergreens. If I do that though it will cover up the Y

I also thought about using it inside but I really like the look of it on the front step. It is very visible from the street and I think anyone driving by would enjoy seeing the message. We have a few days to figure out how to secure it since I don't usually decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. If you've got an idea that would help us--please share!!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

                                                          The last of the fall leaves...

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Where Are Your Photographs?

Are your photos sitting on your hard drive? Are they ignored, unloved, unseen by the people who treasure them? Get them off your hard drive! Too many of us spend time taking pics but them don't do anything with them. I think that's a shame. (But then I have tons of photo albums that we have loads of fun perusing!)

Here are some ideas of what to do with your lovely photographs:

Print them. 
Put them in a collage
Display them digitally. 
Make cards
Send postcards. 
Create scrapbook pages. 
Post them to Facebook. 
Make magnets
Design a photo book
Check out Pinterest for Creative Photo Display Ideas
Send them to your mom (or sister or friends or aunt). 

Photographs capture moments in our lives. Time goes by too quickly so here's a way to relive some of those special times.

What do you do with your photographs?

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You Veterans!

                                               One day doesn't seem enough...

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shop Smarter

For awhile now I've been using sites like Groupon and Plum District to save money. I've recently come across some other places to help stretch my dollar. Here are a few sites to bookmark for bargains. With the holidays coming up, we can all use some savings!

* This website lists many deals for you to check out. You'll see a list of sites in various categories.

* Lots of product details and where to buy at sale prices. I looked up a camera lens that I've had my eye on. It gave me the prices at several different sites. Saving this for my Christmas wish list.

* A way to save money on your groceries

* I put in my zipcode and what type of food I like and this site brought up several restaurants in my area. It offers certificates that you can buy at reduced prices.

* You can create a newsletter of your favorite sites and it will send you a list of bargains.

* If you subscribe you will receive info on samples and giveaways.

* If you sign up for their newsletter you will get daily updates on ways to save money. Everything from ebooks to Walgreens and CVS to food and online deals.

* I have this app on my phone. I always check to see if there are any deals, promotions or promotional codes. Often there are discounts on chains like Target and Macy's.

* This is an app I have on my phone just for Target. It will give you products that you can save additionally on if you shop at Target.

*  One of the top price-trackers. This free service sneds you an email or text alert the minute the price on your chosen items drops.

Do you have any sites that you frequently find deals on?

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Tips for Making Cut-Out Cookies

I love the molasses cut-outs too!

Growing up we always made lots of cut-out Christmas cookies. Coming from a family of ten kids we made A LOT of cookies. It was so much fun to use mom's cookie cutters--each of us had our favorites. (Thankfully not all ten of us were old enough to help at the same time or I think mom would have gone crazy!) I loved the gingerbread man and woman.

I kept the tradition going with my own children. Every Christmas we cut out cookies, baked, frosted and decorated them. Sometimes it seemed like we made as many cookies as when I was growing up but really we didn't. With only three helpers (Jerry mostly came around when we were frosting them just so he could lick out the bowl.) I think I did more than my share of the work but I didn't mind.

I was still making the cookies the way my mom had taught me. Then today I saw Sweetopia's post that includes tips for making cut-out cookies. Man I wish I had found these years ago! Now that the kids are grown I haven't made cut-out cookies for a few years. But after seeing her easy tips I am going to try them again! I can't wait to make them because there will be less mess and the results should be way better. Although I am going to cut my recipe way down since I'll be doing the cutting out, baking, frosting and decorating all by myself. (Jerry will probably still come around for the frosting bowl!)

Do you make cut-out cookies? At Christmas or at other holidays too?

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