Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Grommeted Canvas Notebooks

Do-it-Yourself: Decorate
Grommeted Notebooks
eing a very organized person, I like to keep everything in a very specific place, and neatly at that. My recipes were in a state of disarray (folded in a tin-I know it's awful isn't it), until last Christmas, my friend Tina, gave me the most fantastic gift-a painted canvas three holed grommetted notebook with 3 hole punched 8"x11" paper inside. That sparked this idea- in the age of the internet most recipes can be printed on 8 1/2"x11" paper. Insert them into a stylish three-hole punched vinyl notebook. It's kitchen-proof as well. It's the perfect solution to a simple problem. With cutouts of food items, like a pie, or a ham, or maybe a chocolate cake depending on what type of cookbook it is, your cookbook will be the most stylish thing in your kitchen and you will love referring to it all the time! 
What You'll Need:
  • Pinking Shears
  • 1 yard Vinyl
  • 1/2 yard Vinyl in another color
  • Hollowfill- just a pinch
  • Sewing machine
  • Hammer
  • 3- _” Grommets
  • Scissors
  • 3 hole punch
  • Ruler 
  • Pencil 
  • Sturdy but decorative ribbon

1. Measure 2 pieces of vinyl that measure 8 1/2" x 12" and cut the edges with pinking shears. Make sure they are exactly straight, for a professional look.

2. Match both pieces together using your hole-punch press down. This will lightly mark the vinyl, do not go through the vinyl, the marks are just so you know where to set your grommets. This is easier if you place a 8"x11" piece of paper on top you so you can see how much room is on top and bottom of your pages.

3. Set your grommets using your hammer and grommet setter.

4. Sew your design onto the front of your notebook, padding it with a touch of Hollowfill for that extra puff.

5. Hole-punch your recipes and line them up with your grommets. Run three equal-length pieces of ribbon through the holes and voila!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Austrian Beer Fest Theme Party

Do-it-Yourself: celebrate
Austrian Beer Fest
etting up for an Austrian beer fest requires only a few elements that make it distinctly Austrian. The first element is red and white checks-which represent the Austrian flag. The second is "wild" flowers that have been plucked from the hills of Austria. The third is of course pint sized beer steins.

What You'll Need:
Red and white checkered placemats
Baskets measuring 4"x 14" Alstromerias
Wet floral foam
Pint-sized beer steins 
Flower Arrangements:
1. First cut the daisies to the right height. About 8 inches high is good so people can see eachother across the table.
2. Next, Cut the Alstromerias a little shorter, about 7 inches.
3. Line the basket with water-proof plastic bags and place the floral foam in them so that it fills the basket, fill with water then start first with the daisies. Place them in a row down the center of the basket.
4. Arrange the Alstromerias on either side next to the daisies. 
5. Cut Amaranthus to the right height and fill basket in with it so that it is spilling over the sides.
Table Setting:
Set table according to photo. 

Cigar Box Purse

Do-it-Yourself: Wear
Cigar Box Purses
urgeon General Warning: Cigar purses may cause heart attacks in fashion conscious women and small dogs.

What You'll Need:
For the Light Version:
  • A cigar case (preferably with a hinge)
  • Pack of screw eyes 
  • Steel wire-20 gauge 
  • P lastic beads (I prefer the starflake shape
  • and brass beads for a vintage feel) 
For the Full-Bodied Version:
  • Same as above plus a small mirror (I snap them out of make-up gift with purchases) 
  • Craft jewels 
  • Hologram or glitter sticker paper 
  • Plastic toys
  • For the lining you'll need raw silk, hollowfill, flimsy cardboard, a rulerand pencil, scissors, and a glue-gun.

1. Take your ruler and measure where your screw eyes should go then screw them in into your case. One or two handles? It depends on your case. If it closes at the side, and you're going to flip it so that becomes the top, two is more proportionate. If it's a smaller case, a one handle might be more appropriate.

2. Take your wire and cut it to your desired handle length. Cut two equal pieces if you want two handles. Attach the wire to one screw eye and start beading your handle. The first half of the handle is where your design is decided, after that repeat on the other side. Attach the other side to the second screw eye and nip off the excess wire.

You can stop now if you are going for the light version.

3. Measure and cut 5 pieces of flimsy cardboard (cereal box weight) to fit in to each side of your case. Take one cardboard siding. Pad it lightly with hollow fill, take fabric and wrap it around the cardboard and glue the fabric to the back of the cardboard. Repeat to each piece of cardboard. Glue each padded piece of cardboard to the corresponding side, bottom first.

4. Get a hand held mirror or an old compact that has run out of make-up and pop the mirror out. Glue the mirror onto the inside of the case and glue jewels around it. Look into your eyes and say "Mwwaa, dahling, you look maaaavelous!"

5. Hologram sticker paper in hand, cut it to the size of the front of your case. If it is too small to cover every centimeter, center it, and figure out how to cover the edges. Using a different color hologram paper will give it a framed look. You can also use pearls, beads, or rhinestones.

6. Mix a quarter cup of lacquer, coat your sticker paper, then center your favorite plastic toy in the middle, set your case on an even surface and let dry overnight.

Chinese Dinner Party

Do-it-Yourself: celebrate
Chinese Dinner Party
ver served longevity buns or lychee martinis? Try something different by making your next dinner party a Chinese themed fete. Don't forget to Feng Shui first! 

What You'll Need:
One gold Thai silk curtain
Round black placemats
Round gold leafed chargers (available at Cost Plus)
Clear dishes
Red salad plates
Gold small plates
Soy sauce dishes
Black napkins
Jade baby bracelets
Chinese Zodiac cell phone charms and faux Chinese coins
Black chopsticks
Glassware as needed
Flower arrangements in small boxes
Fortune Cookies
Gold Paint
Small, fortune sized pieces of paper
1. Set the table according to the photos.
2. For the napkins, fold into a paper airplane-like shape and run through the jade baby bracelet. Tie the Chinese zodiac charm on each person's napkin ring with the chinese coin somewhere in the loop.
3. Paint your fortune cookies gold, let dry, insert a fortune with a person's name into each cookie. Place on top of the place setting.

Cinnamon Ornaments

Do-it-Yourself: Decorate
Cinnamon Ornaments
hese suede-looking ornaments are lovely additions to any Christmas tree and are great fragrant additions to any lonely door handle or linen drawer.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 cup ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves 
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg 
  • 3/4 cup applesauce 
  • 2 tablespoons glue 

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix in the applesauce and glue. Work the mixture with your hands 2 to 3 minutes to form a ball. If mixture is too wet, add more cinnamon. If mixture is too dry, add more applesauce. 
2. Lightly dust a clean surface with cinnamon. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and use a toothpick to make a hole at the top for hanging with a ribbon. 
3. Dry in a slow oven 200 degrees F (100 degrees C) for several hours, or air dry in a sunny spot for 4 or 5 days. When dry, decorate with gingham and/ or ribbon.

Soiree Rouge

Do-it-Yourself: celebrate
Soiree Rouge
ersonally I'm in love with the color red and love every shade of it from the dark cabernets to the bright cherries. Recently, I had a "Soiree Rouge" where everyone had to come wearing red and where only red food was served. It was fun to watch the frocks that people come up and the sea of color in one room is quite a spectacle. A tasty menu can be put together as there are so many red foods out there: tomatoes, red meat, lobster, shrimp, red apples, marsciano cherries, srawberry ice-cream, the possibilities are as endless as a sea of red.

What You'll Need:
  • Heirloom Tomato Salad
  • Smoked Trout and Apple Salad with Horseradish Dressing
  • Mascarpone Cheesecake with Red Berry Coulis

See Eat

Boho Party Setting

Do-it-Yourself: celebrate
Bohemian Celebration
agical swags of fabric and sparkling beads gleaming candlelight finish off the aura for an enchanted evening with good friends.

What You'll Need:
The Basics:
1 easy-assemble gazebo (available at Target or other stores)
Plywood board measuring4'x8'
Sturdy Coffee table
Mat to place between plywood and coffee table to protect the coffee table
Rug for the ground or tarp with fabric over it
Two curtain panels measuring 108"x50"
20 yards of tulle in complementing colors
8-10 floor pillows
8-10 place settings
Dramatic twigs and tall flowers that look fine when they are out of water (to hang from the center of the gazebo
Pliable floral wire
50 yards coordinating ribbon to swag and tie bows in various places
Tablesettings for 8-10
Tumblers for floating candles
8-12 floating candles
2 candelabras
3 urn vases at varying heights
Dramatic elegant flowers, I recommend green goddess lilies, orchids, sweetpeas, and vegetables and fruit like baby pineapples, artichokes, don't be afraid of the exotic
1. Place your tarp or rug down. Center your coffee table over it and make sure there is enough room for everyones floor pillows to stay on the surface of the rug.
2. Center the mat on the coffee table followed by the plywood.
3. Assemble the gazebo leaving the fabric elements off so you can enjoy the stars.
4. Swag the fabrics around the gazebo frame and hang the twigs and dry-friendly flowers from the center of the middle of the gazebo. Extend the upside-down arrangement by wiring twigs to each-other downward.
5. Set the table.
6. Place floating candles strategically so that people can see their food.
7. Place candelabras symetrically.
8. Sprinkle gems around the table to catch the candle light and reflect gorgeous smiles.

Baby Wipes Cover

Do-it-Yourself: decorate
Baby Wipes Cover
am constantly digging in my purse for this so instead of a boring old plastic case I thought that one of these padded numbers would be nicer.

What You'll Need:
Cotton Fabric 
Polyester Batting
Scissors- big and tiny nail scissors
Hot Glue Gun
Rick Rack
1. Hot glue the batting to the top of the box drawing a line of hot glue along the top of the box ¼ inch from the edge of the top.
2. Make a line of hot glue along the front top of the wipes case. Glue fabric to the front of the case.
3. Make a line along the bottom edge of the case. Close the box. Pull fabric tight and attach to the strip of glue.
4. Glue Fabric to one side at a time, pulling taut around the rounded edges. Slit fabric on the sides so that it is out of the way for the box to open and close.
5. Trim the excess bits with your nail scissors making sure the box opens and closes well.
6. Glue rick rack to the edge of the box covering the raw edge of the fabric. 

Recycle! Plastic Strapping Room Divider

Do-it-Yourself: decorate
Strapping Room Divider
wirls and twirls out of plastic strapping flow into a modern and functional room divider

What You'll Need:
Plastic Strapping (available at Uline.com) 
1. Curl strapping into a 5" circular shape and staple up to 4 layers together at the same time making sure they overlap perfectly so the curtain will hang straight. Twist in the opposite direction and make more curls and twists, stapling after every 3 to 4 layers, then stapling to itself to build it up to be wider and longer until the desired size and shape. If you want to make smaller pieces and staple them together after you make a few, this makes the size more manageable as you work on it. Hang from dowels or nails from a wall or from hooks from a ceiling.R

Night Light Makeover

Nantucket Nightlight
atch out Moby Dick! A fun project that uses your favorite animal and sets him up for a rocky ride.

What You'll Need:
One small nightlight with a hard plastic lampshade
Pound O' Beads assorted colors
Assorted sizes pearls in off white
One plastic whale (usually found in the Pound O' Beads)
Sixty blue, silver lined size eleven seed beads 
Five aqua blue chips
Hot glue gun
1. Put a generous dab of glue in the middle of the nightlight and place your whale there.
2. Dump your pound o' beads into a wide bowl and pick out all the variations of the color blue and clear.
3. Glue the blue beads first, starting directly next to the whale, get the beads as close as possible to him without gluing beads on top of him.
4. Move outward, making sure to vary your colors, textures, and not burn yourself with the glue gun. It's important to move fast after you apply the blue because it dries very quickly.
5. When you reach the edges, glue beads right to the edge. They can hang slightly off the bottom but make sure there is a more or less even line to maintain the lampshade's shape.
6. Now start wit h the clear beads, starting again, right next to the whale, again extending slightly past the outline of the shade.
7. Glue pearls in the void spaces and layer small and big pearls making the clouds come off the surface of the night light in a three-dimentional fashion.
8. Using a toothpick, put a tiny dab of glue right above where the blow-hole would be and quickly sprinkle your seed beads, correcting the placement with your toothpick. Extend the spray up and out. Add the aqua chips in between the seed beads.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Beaded Wind Chime

Do-it-Yourself: decorate
Beaded Wind Chime
himes are lovely on a slightly balmy day, different tones of bells can be found to create different qualities of sound.

What You'll Need:
Measuring Tape
10 yards leather cord
3 yards 16 gauge copper wire
42 large snowflake beads
177 small snowflake beads
7 leaf beads with holes through their bases
1 5 inch metal hoop
6 brass jingle bells (3/4 inch)
1 slightly larger brass bell (inch)
1. Cut 2 yards of leather cord six times. Take your first piece, and thread a bead, a leaf, then jingle bell to the bottom of by running the cord through the hole and tying in a slip-knot underneath the beads so the leaf bead covers the knot. Repeat five times, then using the big bell,use your seventh piece of cord.
2. Make a knot an inch above your bell. Thread a small, bigger, then another small bead on the cord, make another knot another inch above those beads. Continue five more times.
3. Take your metal hoop and wrap the copper wire around it once leaving an inch long tail. Twitie-tie it, then start beading small beads on the wire.