Thursday, February 24, 2011

Easy Gift Wrapping Station

I have always wanted to have a gift wrapping station. So much so, that I once bought one of those cheap plastic hanging thingies with the dividers for wrapping paper rolls, etc. But you know they still look kinda messy and after a while it ripped apart.
So I searched and searched until I found this:
Pantry Door Rack

And a light bulb went off! I could turn this into a gift wrapping station!
It's versatile, inexpensive and can hang on any door :)
I ordered it immediately. It was simple to put together and I like that you can put the baskets where you want.
Now the trick to having a good wrapping station is to get some good quality wrapping paper in some simple generic colors. Colors you can use over and over for birthdays, weddings, baby showers, etc.
Add some pretty ribbons, gift tags and you're set.
Here are some pics of my gift wrapping station:


Since I do most of my crafting in this room I decided to hang the wrapping station on this closet door. No more scrambling to find paper, scissors, tags or gift bags.
 I hung the tissue from one of the shelves to keep it nice and crisp. To keep the rolls from wobbling around I simply tied them to the rack with some ribbon.
 I used some inexpensive jars to house pens and tags. I plan on making more tags with my Cricut during the weekend.
 Different sizes of gift bags went into this basket.

My ribbon is housed right above the paper and placed so that I can just pull and cut :)
A small pail in the last basket holds the scissors, tape and curler for the ribbon. I also put some all occasion greeting cards with envelopes in this basket. more scrambling to find wrapping paper when I have a gift to give. I often found myself going out and buying more and more paper and tape not knowing where I'd put the last ones I bought. This saves me time and money.

The paper was ordered from and is good quality paper.
I plan on getting some white paper to use for weddings as well.
I love this little pantry rack and you can pretty much use these anywhere-laundry room, kids closets, garage, garden shed (they can mount on the wall too)
I love this find! What new "treasures" have you found? Do share :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

2 Bites of Awesomeness! {Cake Pops}

Who likes to eat cake? (raises hands)
Who likes to eat cake with built in frosting AND covered in chocolatey goodness?
How about with a sprinklin' of candies and chocolates?
Sound good? Well here's a recipe you're going to be making over and over. Yeah, they're THAT good.

Cake pops are very simple to make.
Here's what you'll need:
1 box of your favorite cake mix (mine is Duncan Hines Golden Butter)
1 can of your favorite frosting
Parchment paper
Candies for coating
lollipop sticks (found at craft stores)
sprinkles, chocolate bits
Heat proof bowl
Cookie Sheet
Styrofoam blocks

You are going to prepare you cake as usual. Bake it and let it cool. Take it and crumble it into a large bowl. You will then take 3/4 of the can of frosting and mash it all together with your hands. I find that I rinse my hands off a few times to take the sticky-ness off them.
Take some of the cake/frosting mixture and form into balls about 1 inch.
Put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Then stick them in the freezer.
Meanwhile, take your candy and start to slowly melt it by putting them in the heat safe bowl over a sauce pan filled with water. Heat until smooth and melted but not scorched or sticky. The store also carries some candy that is microwaveable in its own container. I've used both and the MW one is just more convenient as you can just throw out the container when done. Make sure you power your MW at 50% power or your candy coating will scorch.
Once your candy is smooth and melted, bring out your cake balls. Take one popsickle stick dip the tip in the melted candy and stick into cakeball about 1/4 of the way in. Dip the cakepop in candy and softly tap your hand to drip off excess. If you see the cakeballs start to get warm, simply stick them back in the freezer. You DO NOT want them soft as they will start to fall off the stick. If you'd like to have sprinkles on them take the pop while still "wet" and dip it into your sprinkles.

After coating and tapping, place your cakepop into styrofoam to cool and set. (Tip: don't remove the plastic wrapping from your styrofoam. This makes less of a mess and you can use them over and over by just wiping it clean.)
This time I decided to make my cakepops look like a flower. I simply cut out a heart shape on my Cricut about 2 3/4 inches but you can hand draw them and cut them out of cardstock. I then hole punched the tip of the heart slightly bent it at the middle like shown below.
Slide it into the cake pop stick and hold in place with a bit of tape.

Tie a pretty ribbon around it and it's ready for gift giving :)

I ran out of lollipop sticks so I just used popsicle sticks instead.  I made some by pressing a Sweetheart candy into the center of some pops. Some pops had Ghirardelli dark chocolate chunks coating them.
These are always a hit. Two bites and you're done :)

Linking up to :
Between Naps on the Porch

Bright and Sunny Day {YAY}

Finally! A bright and warm day :)
We were overjoyed to find the weatherman last night predicting beautiful sunny days to come. Sunny days in the 60s and 70s I tell ya!
So today we decided to take a little train ride into the BigD. We went to the Dallas Museum of Art. My daughter, Ellison, is majoring in Advertising and art and one of her requirements is to do some paper on art. Well pfftt....that's nothing to her. WE LOVE going to the DMA! And the best part of all (well for Aaron anyways) is riding the DART train downtown.
It was perfect. We had a late breakfast at Chick Fil A (yummy) then headed to the Parker Rd. station where we boarded the train.
We then walked the few blocks to the DMA. As I pulled out my wallet to pay, the lady said, "Today is Free!". Well Luck O' the Irish!!! That's the best price for me. Apparently they were having African Mask day and had a lot of activities for the kiddos. And well, we saw a cool African lady singing and drumming a drum. The sound was amazing!
We then wandered around from floor to floor taking in all the art. We stopped to see a very cool wooden sculpture made with many blocks of wood. Sort of like the ones Aaron builds but huge-er!! (is that a word?) Aaron was mesmerized. His looks like a miniature version of this work of art. Who would have known? I promised to get Aaron some nails and a small hammer along with wood glue so he can make his sculptures permanent. I told him, "Who knows, maybe one day your wood sculptures will be in a museum too!" He had a big smile when I said this.
I didn't take a pic of that because of the fact that you are only allowed to take pics on certain collections. I did manage to snap a few of my favorites.
Here are some highlights of our day:

                                                   we're here!

                                                     beautiful winter day?

Train rides are fun~

So if you have a chance check out the Dallas Museum of Art. Many times they have special activities and free days, like today! If you're here from out of town, take the DART rail. It's cheap and fun for the kids. There are many places to eat downtown and right next to the DMA is the Nasher sculpture center.
Great place to snap some pics.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dreary Day No More

As another winter storm threatens the DFW area, I sit and look ouside my window. I yearn for the BLOOMS of my roses to stare back at me, but alas there is nothing but melting snow.
I really want Spring to be here. I want to hear the  birdies sing and I want to sit on my front porch and watch my little guy "chalk" all over the sidewalk.
I want to smell fresh cut grass and go on long bike rides and feel the wind blowing thru my hair.

So there. You feeling as nostalgic and depressed as I am with all this wintery weather yet? Well I have some news for you.
I am not going to take another dreary day. I want to have a smidgen of Spring time here in my home.
So I went to the Home Depot and bought myself a tin bucket. I was looking for one of those empty paint cans but when I saw the bucket I liked it better. You can use whatever you have on hand. For smaller arrangements you can use a soup can or an empty peaches can (anything you can get your hands on).

I decided to cover this bucket with some scrap fabric, modge podge it and stick some beautiful flowers into it.
First I prepped the bucket by spreading some modge podge all over it.
I then took my fabric and covered it. After allowing for a few minutes of drying time, I then brushed more modge podge on the fabric to protect it from the moisture. I then added some grossgrain ribbon and a couple of buttons to cover up some *cough* flaws.  I simply stuck the planter it came in, in the bucket, stuck my flowers in them and added some moss. Voila! Instant Springtime.

                                       {sitting pretty by my kitchen window}

                                {beautiful flowers make this mama happy}

What do you do to chase away the winter blues?

Wouldn't this make a great gift too? Imagine for Mother's Day, Get Well Bouquet, etc. Oh the possibilites!
Things I learned from this little dealy: Next time I'll use spray adhesive. It sets so much faster. I will spray with acrylic sealant. Modge Podge took WAAAAYYY too long.

I am linking up to the following amazing blogs!
Inspiration Friday
Sunday Showcase
Amaze Me Monday

Monday, February 7, 2011

I {Heart} Recycling

Get it? I heart recycling? Well if you don't get it - you will (in a little bit).
Last night as I was thinking of what to wear to work today, I suddenly decided I was feeling
crafty. Yep at 11:30 at night. That's when it usually hits me. Forget about sleep and how I REALLY need to rest, what I really wanted to do was craft!
I have been wanting to make a cute wreath for my front door. I wanted to do a Valentine's one and now here I was at 11:30 at night and I was NOT about to go to Wal-Mart to buy the supplies.
So I went to my closet, took out a wire hanger and shaped it into a heart. Sort of.
Then I rummaged through my under-the-sink stash of plastic bags (which I despise!!)  only to find out that I didn't have that many to work with SINCE I now use the reusable bags when shopping (I know...I'm SO GREEN :))
So I decided to at least get it started. I gathered my hanger and plastic grocery bags on the floor along with my trusty glue gun and I commenced to putting it together.

Well let's just say that the Wal-Mart blue logo was a little hard to work with.
So my advice to you is that you can go ahead and use the plastic grocery bags, the whiter and blanker the better or cut them out and throw away the logo-ed part of the bag.
I started off just tieing it around the hanger and twisting the bag round and round to form a rosette looking shape. Glue as you go. I started to find out that if I could take one "tail" of the plastic bag and wrap it around the hanger first the rosettes would glue on much better.
After a few of these and after I ran out of grocery bags, I remembered I had some cheap dollar store WHITE trash bags in the garage! SCORE!! So I went and got them and cut them lengthwise. This was MUCH better. The rosettes look a lot prettier.

So when I was done, I just took some ribbon and tied a pretty bow on it. isn't that simple? And pretty too :)

I like it so much I put it on this chalkboard and is now propped up on my hearth under my Valentine's mantle.
Great.Now I have to make another one for the front door. >:/

Linking up to the following blogs:
At the picket fence
Thrifty Decor Chick
The DIY Showoff
Mad Skills Monday

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ice Ice Baby

For the past 4 days the Dallas/Ft Worth area has been iced in. Yes that's right, not snowed in, but iced in, which is even FUNNER!!
Well I'm being sarcastic. Most of the parents are about pulling out their hair by now, what with having school cancelled for the last 4 DAYS!!
Thankfully my kids (of which I have three but the oldest one doesn't really count since she's 19 and "on her own" *cough*) are spread far apart age wise, so there's not much fighting between them (thank the good LORD!)
Sooo after cleaning out my office, baking the blasted fortune cookies (hee hee, read my post right before this one) and crafting, doing laundry, sleeping, cleaning,planning and then postponing a jewelry party-- I AM READY TO GO BACK TO WORK ON MONDAY.
With that being said, we did get to go out and play for a little while on the ice. My little guy wanted to go outside and "sled on the ice" with a cardboard box after seeing a girl ice skating on the street on the local news.
So I braved the 12 degree weather and bundled us up for the long trek to the front driveway ;)
He had so much fun sliding. I almost fell twice so I wasn't too excited about being out there. But I did it just to see the smile on his frost bitten cheeks (just kidding, no frost bite, that I know of anyways)

                                                       Pretty and Fluffy

                                               With his cousin's Flat Stanley

Then we came in and I made us some corn dogs {yep, Patty the Chef they call me}
and some hot chocolate.
I was all set to go to work this morning, Friday, when I looked outside and it had snowed most of the night. YAY another day off from work! My boss texted me that we were closed. You know I really needed this time to "rest" and get some of my things in order.
Fun in the snow and ice in Texas. The Super Bowl is THIS Sunday and with all the crazyness of the weather, roof falling on people, etc, I don't think we'll be hosting again :(
Oh well. I hate football.
But I love being inside all snuggled up. For. A. Short.Time.
I'm craving sunshine :)
Now where's that Groundhog Shadow report???? Did he see it or didn't he???
Stay warm.


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