Friday, May 28, 2010

Chocolate Barbeque Grill Cake ! How Perfect is This For Memorial Day BBQs

or even for Father's Day! I haven't made it, and the weather being what it is in my neck of the woods, there aren't any barbeque plans in sight, but maybe those of you with better weather need something fun for your weekend plans:

It's from the Hershey's Kitchen Recipe Collection (recipe at link) complete with the instructions for the "Cocoa  Fudge Burgers" and "Shish Kabobs". If anyone tries it, let me know!

Monogram Pillow & Friday Follows

I'm on pillow/flower kick. OK, I'm on a "I make stuff" kick, and the point of having a blog is to , well, blog about the stuff right? I had some "I know I'll use it someday" fabric in my stash and it went well with the colors of the other pillows I recently made and I still had some scraps left from the dress I cut up. So I created a monogram using a desktop publishing program ( Printshop Deluxe) and decided to add the year we were married. Printed that on transfer paper ( don't forget to reverse the image!) and ironed it to a linen dress scrap:
 I wanted a casual shabby look so I top stitched it to a flour sack towel panel and then to the pillow top. I didn't care about the linen or flour sack panel edges being finished because I wanted a ragged look. Sewed the rest of the pillow cover together and stuffed it w/ a 14x14 pillow form.

Being flower crazy, I made four black organza flowers with centers made from scraps of the fabric I used to make the pillow.  Here's the finished product:
It's hard to see in the picture but I pulled threads on both the linen and flour sack panels to fray them.

Linking Up and Participating in the following:


 Beyond The Picket Fence



The Girl Creative

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thrift Store Store Tray Makeover

I picked this up on one of my thrift store outings for $.99. I almost left it as is because it had a weathered look to it already, but like most of us...I JUST had to play with it. Maybe it was a sign that I should have left it alone because nothing was going right but I kept playing with it ( and didn't take pictures of the things that were going wrong while they were going wrong).  The end result after painting it green, a crackle fail, dry brushing it white and then glazing it w/a pewter glaze and decoupaging a piece of scrapbook paper to the bottom:

It was always intended for the kitchen to hold some this and thats , so I finished it off with a couple of forks I picked up for $.20 ea at the thrift store, and flat backed glass marbles for feet. I pounded the forks flat so things wouldn't catch on them. My husband was afraid to know what I was doing in my office/art room when he heard the banging lol. Definitely a "don't come in here" moment.

Linking up at:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Zen Doodling

This may be old news to all you cutting edge artists, but Mr. Chocolate, who watches me do this regularly, asked me if I'd put anything up on my blog about it and I haven't so here I am. I first became aware of this while watching an episode of "Scrapbook Memories" . Officially, it's called "Zentangle" but since I haven't taken a formal class I don't feel qualified to use the term. Here's the same segment I first saw:

I was instantly hooked and went online looking for more which led me to the official Zentangle site started by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. They have a Zentangle kit you can order and you can also become a certified Zentangle instructor (which I am not). I decided I would play first before ordering the kit and about a year later, here I am but I do plan on ordering it.

Most work is done in black and white but you can do whatever you want. I was playing around near St. Patrick's day when I did the green one (colored pencil). For me it's just relaxing, and unlike many of the creative things I like to do, very portable. I can Zentangle waiting for things like doctor's appointments, or sitting in an airport , or wherever. I have a small notebook I carry with me all the time and another one that sits by my "TV chair".

It's forgiving because you can hide your mistakes and consider them intentional. And there's no right or wrong. I've cut my pieces into smaller pieces and used on cards, and have framed some pieces as easy DIY artwork:

You can start any way you like but here are a few basic musts ( shoulds):

  • Good quality paper....I like Canson sketchbooks 
  • Smear proof pens. The recommended ones are Micron by Sakura and they're great, but a smear proof gel pen is what I tend to use...Pentel, Pilot  whatever's on sale at Staples usually
That's it. I either start with a free form blob kind of random drawing that I then section off and fill in until I get tired of whatever pattern, or like this basic diagram, with a focal point and work out from there wherever my mind goes:

Linking Up At:


From A Dress To A Pillow

I had fabric left over from my re-purposed linen dress and decided my urn pillow needed company. Our house has lots of neutrals (can you tell) so it was an easy addition to a chair in the living room. Cut two rectangular panels and sewed black and white ribbon down the center of one:
Using some scraps from the same fabric, I made four rolled flowers and used them as centers for four layered flowers I made from white organza scraps I had. ( Used the "singed" edge technique but used my embossing gun to melt the edges instead of doing it over a flame. See my earlier post, "Flower Power of Black and White for description. I added black crystal beads ( left over from another project...use those supplies!) to the center of each flower.

Sewed the pillow together, stuffed it, hand sewed the flowers to the front and:

Linking Up At:
 All Thingz Related

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Vintage" Bottle and Pillow

Vintage as in it's an empty Worcestershire bottle but thanks to The Graphics Fairy and a little twine and painter's tape....
Easy Peasy. Tore a strip of paper tape ( I got it at Home Depot in the paint aisle) long enough to wrap the bottle. Ran it through my 5" Xyron and adhered it to the bottle. Printed this beautiful French label from TGF and trimmed it around the edges, Xryon'd it and ahered. Wrapped the bottle cap in scrap of paper tape and then with twine. Tied a couple of strands of twine around the bottle with a charm I bought that I knew I'd use "someday" and voila.

I love the vintage looking burlap and linen pillows I see at home decor stores and figured I could do one myself. A linen dress in my closet has been sitting there and now I knew why I never got rid of it. Because someday, it would make a great pillow!

So snip snip and turned it into fabric ( re-use!) , downloaded this urn from The Graphics Fairy, printed it onto iron on transfer paper and trimmed really closet to the edges:

Sewed it together, stuffed it and :
Linking up at:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Re-Used, Re-Fashioned...Fashion

I've been enthralled by all of the clothing makeovers that I've seen around blogland. It's like going shopping ( yay) in your own closet without having to spend a dime. Who wouldn't like that! I'm not much of a seamstress ( I do pillows, table runners, and anything that deals with straight lines) but thankfully there's stuff like Fabri-Tac:

and a little of it goes a long way. So I went to "closet mall" and pulled out one of my wardrobe staples, a plain black tee.
 Plain black tee + husband's discarded grey tee + scrap white knit = my three wardrobe color mainstays and using the layered fabric flower idea (which you can find here ) cut ten sets of these:

hand sewed ( I can manage that) through them adding three black beads for the centers, and then laid out the pattern I wanted and Fabri-Tac'd them on my shirt. End result:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Hopping!

Still learning all the ins and outs of the blogging world but have enjoyed the blog hops I've done thus far and am joining this one today:


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sssshhh....It's a Gift

Which begs the question why are you posting it for all the world to see but I didn't say I was being logical. I have a friend who does AMAZING wood work. Maybe someday I'll get to post some pics but I think I better ask him before I do. His wife who's one of my BFFs was asking about how to make some tags to put on his did I mention AMAZING pieces so I made him some which are going in the mail tomorrow. So Lucy...if you read this, don't show or tell!

Started with this: 

and aged the tags with the Distress Ink ( I also spritzed half of them w/ some ancient gold metallic spritz stuff I bought a long time ago) and then edged the tags with black ink. I used the inkpad as a stamp because I liked the pattern it made.

Got out a set of clear acrylic alphabet stamps I picked up on sale @ JoAnn's for $.90 (they were being discontinued so yes, I bought all the fonts they had) and stamped the initials and then threaded twine through them so they can be tied on to stuff. Here are the completed tags:

But they needed packaging so I put them in a cello envelope and used some paper from my scrap pile ( because we know we don't throw that stuff away am I right?!) and they're on their way tomorrow:

I hope he likes them! The colors remind me of the wood he works with. OK they also remind me of chocolates.

Linking up at:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

$1.92 Wreath!

I'm one of those people who when she goes to the $1 store, doesn't just buy one of the thing I went for. So when it comes to things like their deal on wreath forms, I buy several because you never know when you might need one right? Combine that with a complete inability to not stop at the 50% off remnant bin at JoAnn's and Houston, we have a problem.

I took one of these: ($1)

and a $.92 remnant of duck cloth or whatever it is that looks like muslin but is heavier. Cut the duck cloth in approx 1 inch strips ( exactness isn't required) and wrap your wreath form. I just used pins, started with one strip and when I came to the end, started with the next strip until the thing was covered.  Still new at remembering to take pics as I go along.

With the remaining remnant, I made flowers using Maize in Montana's frayed flower tutorial  which I first saw in Stampington & Company's 

and made flowers. I made 6 but ended up using 4 so two will show up on some other project...I'm thinking a grocery tote or something...haven't decided yet. I glued the flowers to the wreath and:

I decided it needed something and having gone to a store over the weekend that specializes in being a "purveyor of  fine goods" ( translation, stuff they can get away with waaaaaaay over pricing) and seeing a lot of things with cool tags on them, decided to add some shabby tags to the wreath:

And the end result:

Linking Up At:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


In my trips around the blogosphere, look what I found at

Chocolate Peanut Clusters:

Jump over there to see the easy steps and the recipe but I will definitely be adding this to my chocolate recipe collection!