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Thursday, December 31, 2009

My New Year's Blessing for You

We're busy packing and getting ready to travel back and forth from Colorado to Kentucky twice in the next two weeks, so I won't be able to be with you all very much during that time. That's over 5200 hard road miles. Yikes.
I will be visiting your blogs as much as I am able, but if you don't see me there, please understand. I'll catch up with you when I get settled in my new home.

I want to thank all of you who have visited my blog, and continued to help me grow this little dream of mine. I can't believe the amount of support one gets here in blogland, and I am truly thankful for each of you. I've learned so many tips from the creativity that is abundant in this little world of ours, and I've learned how to do so many new things, and made many new friends. I hope I have been able to be the inspiration to you that you have been to me.

That being said, here is my New Year's wish for all of my new friends out there in blogland..


I hope this year that you have a life filled with peace and contentment, laughter and joy, love and solitude. I hope you get all that you could ever hope for.

I hope that you will be happy, and that you will prosper at whatever you do, and that your children will experience the same. I hope that you will be in good health, and if you're ailing, that your health will be restored.

I wish your life to be free of serious incident, and that you find provision for whatever your needs may be.

I wish you friends that offer you laughter in your life, and a place to turn for strength when you are in need.

I hope that you will seek out the good in every situation in your life. I hope you will find a way to see the positive in all matters.

I hope that you will not have to struggle for any reason, but if you do, I hope that you will realize that it is temporary and will not let it get you down.

I hope that you set new goals for yourself, and achieve them.

And most of all, I hope that we can all be better than we were last year. I hope we can all have the opportunity to help others. I hope that we can look at the world a bit differently, and make a difference wherever possible.

May you have someone in your life that you love so much it makes you laugh and cry at the time, and may you be that person in someone else's life.

I wish that you are the person that someone else wants to be like.

Wishing you a year of new blessings for 2010.

With Ultimate Sincerity from me to you, Polly

Monday, December 28, 2009

Buttons & Lace are all you Need to Look Like a Little Lady!

UPDATE 12/29: Little Lady Lampshade just got a new home. She'll be off to Brenda at Cozy Little House in the morning. Thanks Brenda!

Joining up with

Head on over there and see what everybody is doing this week.

Did the title fool ya? Did you think you were going to come here and see me all decked out in something reminiscent of a corseted Victorian dress adorned with buttons and lace? Well, sorry, but that taint me!
I do have something even better though! I've dressed my lampshade up to look like a little lady.
Ain't she pretty?

I was going through my workroom last week and came across this dented little muslin shade. Can you believe I almost threw it away? What was I thinking? I set it on my work table while I continued to clean, and when I went back to the table, I realized that all of the things sitting out on the table with it would look great on the shade.
Sooo, I pulled everything together and started adding things one layer at a time.

(I keep trying to use those keys on every project I start, but it just doesn't seem to happen).

Anyhoo, I got out that new favorite glue of mine. (The Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive - love that stuff!), and started adding the trims. I had no idea where I'd end up, but I rarely ever do when I start something new.

See how much glue I put on there? Can't be too safe. It dries clear, which is good, because then I know when it's completely dry.

Layer, layer, layer.
I had to prop the shade up on a small wastebasket so that the fringe could hang loose at the bottom.
I used clips to hold the trims down where they meet until they dried.

Moving on up.........

When I got to this point, I thought I'd be finished, but then I realized it didn't have enough color for me. So off to the button jars I went.

I found some great shell buttons in greens and golds, so I thought I'd try them out to see how they look.

I think I like them. Let's keep going. See how that glue in the burlap is starting to dry clear?
I used E6000 to put the buttons on. It's thicker and sets up just as fast.

As I started to add a few more buttons down the back seam, I thought it was starting to look like a victorian dress, so I decided to make the back the front!

Original Front:

The Cuter Front:

I just love my little lady! And if YOU love her too, you can find her in my etsy shop.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. If you celebrate Christmas in the biblical sense, then I hope that you will remember to offer up a bit of appreciation for all that you have because of His blessings in your life.
I hope that you all are surrounded by the love and laughter of family and friends, the warmth of this sacred season, good meals, and answered prayers.
When you have all that you need, remember to pray for those who do not. Do something special for someone if you can. And please, remember to pray for our troops who cannot be with their families, and those families that won't have them home for Christmas.

Have a Wonderful Christmas!
I'll see you back in a few days.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Art Transformation / A DIY Project

It's another Saturday Night Special over at Funky Junk.
This is the 10th edition and it's growing more and more popular every week. Its a party where the creative kind stop in to show you what they've been making. It's a great place to get fabulous ideas, so head on over there and have a look around when you're finished here.

I'm packing up my house to move, and I have no right stopping to make art projects, but I did anyway. I missed being a part of that party because so many great projects show up over there each weekend., so as I was trying to organize my workroom to ready it for packing I ran across these,  and I figured "Why not?".
These were so quick to do, and they can be applied to any  art where you love the frame but not the picture.

Here are the finished pieces:
Click on any of the pictures in this post to enlarge.

And here's how I got there:
I started with these pieces I picked up from TJMaxx a couple of years ago. I loved the look of the frames on the stands, but didn't like the center part. I knew I could easily change them, so I bought the three they had left and put them in my "SOMEDAY" pile. Someday happened in the middle of the night last night.

Then I scavenged my workroom to see what kind of adornements I could come up with. I thought about making them a set of three matching pieces, but then knowing I would be selling them on Etsy, I thought it best to make three different ones.
I pulled together some pretty scrapbook paper, some fabric, buttons, and a few things from this wall.

I cut the papers to fit only the center part of the frame where the wording was and coated the back with my new FAVORITE paper glue, which is Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive. (Can be found in the scrapbook section at your local craft store. You can use it on paper, metal, and plastic. It sets up really quick so there's not much working time when you're playing with paper.)
I very gently smoothed the paper onto the frame. I found that it's best to put the glue on the piece you're applying rather than the piece your'e applying it to. It makes the paper easier to manipulate.

Prettier already, huh?

Then I tried laying out several different craft parts to see what looked the best. I started with the grand idea that I would use keys on them, but for some reason the keys I thought I'd be using didn't stand out enough from the papers.

So I resorted back to my "TREATS WALL" (as I call it), and began laying things out again. Here's the first one.

I used a Cherry Pin (clipping the shank off the back), the word "Cherries" cut from an old calendar, some Hot Glitz Rhinestones in the corners, and a few buttons on the bottom. I love it!

For the next one, I made a little bird template and cut it out in fabric. I glued the fabric one with my fav glue. It worked perfectly! I added a Hot Glitz Rhinestone for the eye, and I cut the shank off the back of a cute button and glued it to the wing for a little added detail. I did the same thing to a few more buttons and glued them on the base. For the buttons I used another great glue I just discovered from the Martha Stewart Create line. It's in a clear tube and it just says "permanent glue". A woman at the store told me it was great for metal pieces, and she was right. (And I love that the tip screws on, not pops on, because it keeps the glue from gumming up and drying on the tip.)

SIDE NOTE: If you want this little bird template for yourself, right click on this picture and print it. If you need it larger, just put it on your printer and enlarge it, print it again, and then cut it out of paper. Make the bird and the wing separate. I printed this one out to test it and it's a good size for most craft projects.
(I had to decrease the size of the pic I had posted because it cut off the tail once it was posted.)

I also used it here, only I made him a little plumper to fit the scale of the mitten:

Oops, I'm getting off track here.
Here's the last picture frame. I really wanted to use a set of keys, but the ones I had in mind didn't fit the bill. I had these saved to use as a gift tag so I decided to use them on this instead.
All I used on this one was a set of keys and a collection of buttons.

This one is so pretty in person. I love the red, pink, and teal mix of colors.
On the bottom, I put a blue button shaped like a flower in the middle. When I was finished, it just looked too plain, so I dropped a ball of glue in it and tossed in a few tiny beads. I can't seem to get a good picture of it, but trust me, it's darling.

So there you have it.................the easiest, quickest art transformation ever!
And if you'd like to have one of these, head on up to the top right side of this page and click 'practicalfnthings' at the bottom of my EtsyMini.
I'm selling these for $29 each, and I'm giving FREE SHIPPING through the end of the year to the US!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

O Holy Night / Such a Blessing!

I really want to share with you this version of O Holy Night sung by David Phelps, formerly with The Gaither Vocal Band. It deserves an honor all it's own, so turn all of the other noise around you down, turn the volume up as loud as you can get it, close your eyes and listen to the words of this song.

 ".....yonder breaks a NEW and GLORIOUS morning" are words that mean more to me than I could ever explain. Let's just say that God has answered yet another prayer in our home.

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I hope that you were able to feel the power in this tribute to God. This is my favorite Christmas song, and there is no one that can deliver it like David Phelps. I had the honor to see him sing this in person and it was such a deeply emotional moment that I will always treasure it. I hope you enjoyed it as much I did.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another Great Treat for the Holidays!

I'm linking up to Foodie Friday over at Gollum's with a great tasting easy-peasy treat!

When you're done here, head over there and see what everyone else has cooked up.

Pnut Butter Pretzel Nut Clusters are one of my all time favorite treats. They are seriously addictive, and you'll love 'em as much as the kids do!
If you're looking for a quick and easy treat, this is a surefire winner. Takes about 20 minutes to make start to finish. They last forever, so you can even make them up to 10 days in advance.

Let's jump right in. Here's what you'll need:
2 lbs of white bark chocolate (do not skimp here or you'll taste it in the end result)
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 cup of Rice Krispies
1 7oz jar of mixed nuts (I don't like regular mixed nuts, so I buy little bags of nuts that I like and add to the mixed nuts. You need the saltiness from the mixed nuts)
1 bag mini marshmallows
2 cups of straight pretzels, broken in half
Wax Paper
A strong mixing spoon
An extra set of hands to help you stir when it gets hard (trust me, you'll see what I mean real quick)
A large pot

Pull out a few bowls and get all of your ingredients ready to go. Tip: I break the nuts up a bit by putting them in a baggie and tapping them lightly with a coffee cup. Large pieces of nuts are hard for a lot of people to eat.

Now you're ready to start making these little treasures!
Lay out your wax paper on the counter before you get started.
Turn the stove on medium-low and put your large pot on the eye. When the pan gets heated, toss in your white chocolate bark. (I use morsels because they melt quicker.)
Note: When you get to this point, there's no stopping, so be sure you won't have any interruptions.

The chocolate scorches really easy so make sure you keep stirring until it's fully melted. It helps to have someone there that can hand you the ingredients or toss them in for you.

Once the chocolate is all melted, add in the peanut butter, and continue to stir until it's blended together and very smooth. You don't want any lumps.

Ummmm. I can taste it already.
When it's blended smoothly, start adding your ingredients.
Toss in your Rice Krispies and stir.

Then add the nuts.

Next, toss in the marshmallows. This is where you'll need that extra set of hands. Trust me on this.

Honeeeyyyy! can you come here a minute? Now throw those pretzels in and let him finish all that hard mixing for you.

See how yummy this looks?

That's all there is to it! Once you get everything covered up good with the creamy chocolate/peanut butter mix, you're ready to start dipping out the spoonfuls onto the wax paper. I suggest using a small spoon to do this. otherwise they can get really big. (Ok, so I used foil and a cookie sheet, but only because I had to throw these in the fridge so they'd set up quicker.)

Let them set until you can pick one up without it separating. You can freeze these for later if you want, but it's not necessary. I put all of my extras in a foil pan and covered it really well with plastic wrap. I made mine on the 11th, and they're still really fresh. I've even packed these up and sent them in the mail before, and they always arrive fresh. In fact, I'm mailing some today.

You're done!! Enjoy a few right now!

Happy Holidays!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Yummy Peppermint Snack Mix

The DIY Showoff is having a Holiday Food Edition Party , so I thought it would be a good time to show you a quick snack that's really, really yummy. When I'm in a hurry for a treat, whether it be for a party, a gift for a friend, or just something good to munch on,
Peppermint Crunch Mix
is my go to snack.
And besides that, I have a party to go to in the morning, and this is what I'm taking, so the timing was perfect.

Can't you just taste this? Yum, yum, yum!

Wanna make some of your own?

Here's what you're gonna need:
6 cups of popped popcorn (I use the Vic's brand pre-popped cuz it just easy and quick)
4 cups of Honey Nut Chex cereal
1 10-12oz jar of Marshallow Creme
About 20 peppermint candies (red, green, or both)
OPTIONAL: chocolate peppermint bark and/or milk chocolate morsels
Cookie Sheets (this amount will use 4 cookie sheets)
Large bowl x 2 (for the popcorn and cereal mixture)
Medium bowl (for melting marshmallow creme)
Non-stick Spray

Here we go:
Gather your supplies.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350.

Grab your large bowl. (I actually split mine between 2 bowls so I have room to toss the ingredients.)
Mix your popcorn and chex cereal ONLY.

Set the mixture aside, and grab your peppermints. If you want a stronger peppermint taste, use about 30 peppermints instead of 20. Put them in a double bagged ziplock. Grab your hammer.......or an equilivent tool
for breaking up the mints. Put a towel under your bag so you won't get little holes in the bag as you hit it.

Be sure to break them up really good, but not so much that you end up with a lot of powder.
They should like this.

Now, grab a microwave safe bowl, put your marshmallow creme in it, and pop it in the microwave for 1 minute. (Tip: If you run hot water over the outside of your marshmallow creme jar, it'll be easier to get it all out.)

When you take the creme out of the microwave, put it in the mixture right away. Take your spatula and toss it around until you have all of the popcorn/cereal mixture covered.

Get your cookie sheets out and coat them with a non-stick spray. Spread the mixture so there is only one layer. Once you have the mixture on the pan, grab your peppermint crunch and spread it over all of the mix. Remember, you'll have to do this for 4 pans, so be careful to ration it out.

Now you can put the pans in the oven. I prefer to do them one at a time because the lower pan always seems to get too brown.
Let them bake about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep your eye on them because they'll get brown before you know it.
After 5 minutes, open the oven and move the mix around a little to keep it from burning on the bottom. Bake for about 3 to 4 more minutes.
Take them out of the oven and put the mix on some wax paper or foil, and let them cool.
Once they're cool, you'll want to break the pieces into smaller parts.
These are great to put in treat bags, OR, if you need it to feed a large number of people, scoop it out into cupcake sleeves since it won't take as much to fill those up.

When you're all done, here's what you'll have.

Remember I told you in the beginning that you can use some optional ingredients?
I made one batch of mine the way I described above, and I made the other batch this way:
For the chocolate lover, instead of using only the marshmallow creme, you can take about 10 pieces of peppermint bark, a tiny amount of milk in the bottom of the bowl (do not cover the whole bottom), and one large mixing spoon of the marshmallow creme. Use that to toss the popcorn/cereal mix in.
I just happened to have these on hand, so this is what I used.

Notice the color difference of the ones in the pan, and the ones in the cupcake sleeves. If you make both, it's super easy to tell the differenc in the ones with chocolate and the ones without.

Another option is to melt the chocolate morsels, put in an icing sleeve, and drizzle lightly over the mixture after you've separated it into the cupcake sleeves.

Ok, time to go make your own. I have to pack mine up for my party in the morning.

Be sure to head back over to The DIY Showoff and see what everyone else is cooking up today.


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