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Sustainable vase from Milk Design

3 Oct

This is pretty smart — take a used plastic bottle, remove the label, cut off the top and pop on the lace vase topper from Milk Design and voilà – a proper vase!  I love recycling stuff in clever ways.  My grandmother used to crochet little purses for us which transformed into a doll bed and they were crocheted on the top of an old plastic bleach container  — I’m sure that a similar approach could be taken to create a vase topper. Great Idea. 


The growing popularity of cake pops

2 Oct

Cake pops have hit Ireland with a vengeance. I’m seriously feeling like I’m out of touch lately — I was listening to one of my favorite programs on NPR, “This American Life” the other day (catching up from an old podcast from over the summer) and they were talking about how Bubble Tea and Vietnamese Sandwiches have swept the U.S. – whaaaat???  I felt so out of it!  Seriously, I track trends as a part of my daily job — how could I miss this?  Well, that’s how I feel about cake pops.  It seems like just in the past couple of weeks that they’re everywhere.  And now that I’m aware of them, I realize just how out of touch I’ve been! 

Anyway, loved the cake pops from “The Choux Box” – red velvet being my favorite.  And check out the Pop Stars post on Bakerella.com — so many creative ideas.  Makes me want to have a party just so I can make some Cake Pops!

Here’s a quick recipe to try if you haven’t made them yet – we can do this!

 

Thinking Christmas

18 Sep

When I was out with my family over the summer, my mother brought some old craft magazines with her — many of them had some great ideas so I’ll do some posts on them over the next few weeks.  Personally, while I don’t like to see the Christmas decorations go up in the shops too early, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start thinking about Christmas.

I know I always find myself behind at Christmas time  — over scheduled and stressed out! So it’s kind of nice to get ahead of the game with card making, decorations and picking up the odd gift now and again.  Otherwise, it seems like my efforts are a lot less thoughtful if I’m rushed and doing everything in December.

So, with that idea in mind, I thought this little Christmas tree craft made from felt and buttons was adorable and would be a great replacement for a framed picture in an entryway for the month of December. Easy peasy to make and sure won’t you look clever and organized when you pop it up on the wall on December 1st.

My new local

7 Sep

I was wandering past The Vintage Inn the other day which I’ve decided is going to be my new “local” — which is how people here refer to the pub they frequent in their neighborhood.  I’ve only been there twice but it’s very cute – case in point, I was walking past the other day and I noticed these cute little keg planters.  Looks like they literally cut a hole in the top to accommodate the bamboo tree and decoupaged the outside with flyers and newspapers.  

You can see The Vintage Inn in my “Then and Now” post — it’s the little white with green trimmed building on the right.

Ambrosia.com’s Tiny Polaroid Magnets

6 Sep

A clever new project for Charlotte-based  graphic designer, Jennifer Kirk, was brought to my attention by my sister, Rebecca.  Jennifer’s blog post on her blog, Ambrosiagirl.com has the full instructions on how to make these little gems yourself but I thought it was interesting that she was inspired from another post from How About Orange (one of my favorite blogs to follow). I guess Jennifer’s blog is another to add to the list!

Sourdough Christmas Ornaments

29 Aug
When I was out in Colorado this summer, my mother came prepared with a family craft project:  she had pre-prepared some sourdough Christmas ornaments ready for the clan to paint.  About eight of us spent a leisurely afternoon at the dining room table painting and decorating snowflake ornaments.  It was simple and fun.  See the recipe below to try out making your own (and by the way, use whatever cookie cutter you like and these don’t just have to be for Christmas — they also make great gift trinkets).
SOURDOUGH ORNAMENTS
4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. salt
1 1/2 c. water
Tempera, acrylic paint or paint pens
String or ribbon
Clear acrylic or varnish
Do not eat the ornament.Mix all ingredients in large bowl with your hands. Roll into a smooth ball. Roll dough 1/4″ thick with rolling pin on waxed paper. If sticky, sprinkle more flour on wax paper. If sticky, sprinkle more flour on wax paper, cut out shapes with cookie cutters or table knife. Use a pencil to make a hole for a string to go through. Bake 4 to 5 minutes in microwave on high. Do one at a time. The time needed and the size/thickness can be changed for different projects. When cooled they can be painted with tempera or acrylic paint or you can use standard craft pens. Then spray with clear acrylic paint (or varnish) to seal out moisture. Store in cool, dry place when not being used.

Swing Time

22 Aug

Oh the luxury of having room for a swing…and if I did, this is exactly the kind I’d love but I’d be impractical for Irish weather and cover the chains with fabric.  Another great DIY idea if you come across one of these old benches.  

Yellow ties it all together

7 Aug

Here are some random items for today’s post.  The only thing these three images have in common:  yellow.  But I like all three so I’m happy to be able to feature them.  First, lovely wallpapered stair risers – yummy.   Second, an industrial-looking yellow coffee table adds a bit o’ pop to a living room.  Third, a yellow picture frame and some chicken wire make a perfect little bulletin board. 

A quick and easy key hanger

3 Aug

Another easy craft-in-a-day idea.  Pick up a simple frame, some funky fabric and some hooks and you’ve got the makings for a great key hanger. Wouldn’t this be adorable with the Amy Butler Fabrics? I always need a way to keep my keys organized so I’m loving this idea.

A quick lampshade makeover

2 Aug

Here’s a quick tip for making over an old lampshade — simply mask- off the shade with painter’s tape and use a standard permanent market to re-color the trim on both ends.  Super easy and it will make your shade look so tailored.