Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Change...

Life has been crazy busy this last week or so, and it isn't slowing down till after the new year!  This is the last time you will hear from me until 2013! 

So end this year with a bang, and start your new year remembering that it is a clean slate, with no expectations yet.  Take advantage of that and make it a year of change!  I fully intend to do that!  In my home I am planning to work toward a more organized house, with everything having a place and being in that place.  In myself, well, the changes that are needed are many, and at times it is daunting, but with Gods help I am and will strive to make those changes!  I want to remember to always think before I speak, stop gossiping, lose some and keep it off for once (that is going pretty well so far!), I want to be the helpmeet my husband needs, and the mother my daughter needs, and to be less about me, and more about others.  Its a lot of changes, and I know I will fail at times, and the victories may be so small that only I notice them, but that's okay.  So, today I will leave you with a quote that jumped at me yesterday, and may just be my "mantra" this year.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year, and will join me in a year of change.  Change is painful, but in the end so worth it!
Melissa

Monday, December 10, 2012

Saw It, Pinned It, Made It!! A Little Scarf.

This weekend the creative bug bit me, so me and my new best friend Kleenex spent a bit of time with the sewing machine.  I wanted something quick and easy, so I scoured my sewing board on Pinterest and found this little beauty.

Oh, I meant the scarf, but isn't she a doll? This scarf is from Designs by Sessa, you can find the tutorial for an adult version as well as this kids version here.

The original scarf is made from fleece.  Fleece is not my favorite fabric, it makes my hair really staticy, and that just bugs me for some reason.  I chose to make my scarf out of a soft gray knit that was left over from another project.  This one is for Little Monkey, I added a vintage red button.

This one is for Little Monkey's friend G. For this one I added a vintage mustard colored button.

I love how they turned out! I showed LM her scarf Sunday morning and she insisted on wearing that day, she really loved it!  She told me she loved that it didn't come "undone" like her other scarf, that is the best part about these, you don't have to wind them, or tie them in a certain way to get them to stay.  I will definitely be making more of these, I have a couple of nieces I think might like them too!  I hope you will stop by Designs by Sessa and have a look, tell her I sent you over!
Have a great Monday!
Melissa

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gallery Wall and Living Room Update

Do you ever complete and project and feel like it is just missing something?  Or maybe that you are not sure if you like it because it is so outside your norm that you just need to live with it a while before you decide?  My Gallery Wall was that kind of project.  I knew I wanted one, I also knew I wanted it to include some old "Funky Junk" type elements, and I had a picture in my head, but it was so hard to explain to anyone.  Last fall my sister Lois and my mom came to visit and along with Hubby helped me put my wall together.  I liked it, but I always felt it was missing something, and so I never showed it to you all.  I still love it, and I have added some elements since last fall, but I still feel like it needs something.
 

 All of the frames are either vintage/antique or just old frames I had.  I used acrylic paint on all of them, and tried to match the colors in my curtains.  I really hate having to take frames off the wall and pull out the back and stuff inside to change out pictures.  A long time ago, before I started blogging I saw an idea for turning a picture frame into a jewelry holder by adding chicken wire.  I saw another idea that looked like a close line in a frame and decided I would combine the two.  I use miniature cloths pins that I painted a sparkly copper color to attach the picture to the chicken wire.  The chicken wire itself is spray painted with oil rubbed bronze to give it an old rusty appearance.  I am trying to remember my cost, I know it was less than $50 for all the frames, paint, chicken wire, and cloths pins, but I don't remember the exact amount.  It is so easy to change out pictures!!
 I decided this wall needed some rusty junk, so I appropriated a few things from Hubby's stash, with his permission of course!  This fantastic old hay pulley is one of my favorites!  It has a wooden wheel that has lots of character.
 This rusty gate hinge is another great item, it is part of a set, but I haven't figured out yet where to put the other one.
 Perhaps the best elements of all, these old HEAVY gears!  The whole gallery wall had to be arranged around these gears because the nails they rest on had to be set into the studs.  These came from an old water turned grain mill. No, they will not fall down easily, they have made it through one good size earthquake and lots of aftershocks, as well as kids banging against the wall, and the train coming by multiple times a day and shaking the house a bit.

We also decided to rearrange the living room!!  This little loveseat came with me from California when I got married.  My grandmother gave it to us, and it had been given to her when she was first married by a neighbor.  We think it was made in the 1930's.  It is incredibly comfortable, even if the fabric is not my first choice.  The piano got moved to the corner, instead of where the couch is now.
I have a really awesome large antique frame to go over the couch, it is a dark orange, like the frame in the center of the gallery wall.  I really, really want to get a nice family picture done and have it made into a canvas so I can hang it over the couch in my awesome antique frame!  I haven't convinced Hubby to go get pictures done yet, hopefully one of these days!  I really love how our living room is now, it is so much roomier!  It also helps to have the piano in the corner, the kids no longer want to play under it, which means a whole lot less crying and banging of heads!
Thanks for stopping in!
I hope you all are having a great week!
Melissa

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to Dress a Curvy Body from Fox News

Today I am doing something a little out of the norm, I read this article on Fox news and I loved it!  I don't typically read fashion articles, but this caught my eye.  Tell me if you agree with the article.

How to Dress a Curvy Body


Read more: http://magazine.foxnews.com/style-beauty/how-dress-curvy-body#ixzz2E0BDZK4q

Scarlett Johansson, Kim Kardashian and Christina Hendricks wear their curves well. While they make it look easy, celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman knows that dressing a full-figure can be a real challenge.
The British stylist gets lots of practice dressing her own "rather curvy" body, but generally finds that when it comes to styling, the curvier the figure, the harder it can be to find a flattering fit.
We asked the Gemvara spokeswoman to share her top fashion advice for full-figured women — from finding the right undergarments to the perfect piece of jewelry (hint: avoid bulky necklaces).
What do you find most challenging about dressing curvaceous bodies?
I find personally that the curvier you are, the easier it is to look vulgar. Everything suddenly looks overstated. There are differences in bodies, though. I think, for example, that a generous hip or bottom is much easier than a large chest.

What are the most flattering styles for a full-figure?
If you have a little waist and a full bust and hip, then I think a classic fitted bodice with a full skirt is the ultimate figure flatterer. If your stomach is flat, then a narrow fitted pencil dress looks amazing.
What styles should you avoid?
I avoid a lot of volume — it’s a common misconception to put the "big" girl in a muumuu. I find it just makes you look bigger. I also don't like a lot of visual horizontal lines, such as a knee-high boot with a mini-skirt — it gets fussy and chops you up. Also, be wary of cotton shirts with a collar if you are busty (particularly if you have a short neck or wide shoulders). It's really much better to wear something with a simple neckline. Ditto lots of statement necklaces.
Is it true that patterns aren’t flattering on curvier figures?
I don't think that there are any specific rules about patterns, but I do think that jeans aren't for everybody. Frankly, most women — especially curvy ones — look and feel their best in a dress. They're so glamorous and also a lot more comfortable. And please don't wear leggings as pants (this goes for everybody, curvy or not!).
What about undergarments?
The correct undergarments are absolutely essential. If you have even the faintest inkling that you are chesty, then go and get properly fitted by a store that sells a variety of brands. It makes me nuts when bras only go up to a D cup — there's a whole alphabet beyond that! Foundation wear is not to be avoided — smoothing and shaping garments are your best friends. Your clothes only look as good as what lies beneath.

When dressing a curvaceous body, what items are worth the splurge and where can you save?
This kind of goes for everybody: save on summer clothing — cotton dresses, tops, pants and sandals shouldn't cost a fortune. In the winter, invest in a good coat, some great boots and a good handbag — and buy your sweaters and plain pieces inexpensively. Also, my ultimate chic on the cheap tip, if you have a small waist, accentuate it by adding a piece of grosgrain ribbon belt at the waist. You only need a yard or two and it adds a lot of look to a dress.

So, do you agree?  I definitely agree on the pants thing, and I read this article to Hubby and asked if he thought it was accurate, he agreed.  Very few women actually look good in jeans.  There is an old saying, "A skirt hides a multitude", it is so very true!  Anyway, I thought the article was interesting, as someone who is full figured, and working on being less so, it is nice to know what may or may not be flattering for me.  I still totally disagree with the writer about high waisted skirts, they just don't look good on someone full figured, but that's just my opinion.
Melissa

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tiny Headbands for the American Girl

Happy Friday!  I've gotta say it, I am glad this week is almost over!  Yesterday I had five kids under the age of five at my house, that can be summed up with one word, INSANITY!  It wasn't all bad, but I was glad to hand them off to their parents last night, and relax with three of my favorite things, hazelnut hot chocolate, rice crispy treats that Hubby and Little Monkey made (and cleaned up!), and a good book. 

I don't know about your girls, but Little Monkey had joined the American Girl doll craze!  Several of her friends got AG dolls this year when they turned five, and she cannot wait to get one!  She is saving her money because she wants to buy it on her own.  I am really happy she wanted to do that, and she is getting close, she needs less than $50 and she will have the doll!  Its been fun watching her save up and dream about the Caroline doll she wants. 

The thing about AG, its not just the doll girls want, they want the cloths, and shoes, and hats, and horses, and boats, and and and.  This stuff is not cheap!  As you know I do sew, but I have to admit I really hate to sew doll cloths.  They are so tiny, and you have to make them very differently from kids or adults cloths.  In an effort to avoid making too many cloths for LM's friends birthday presents, I decided to try my hand at hair stuff.  Little girls love to "do" their dolls hair, but at five they don't really know how to do much other than tangle it!  I made these little stretchy headbands that perfectly fit the AG dolls..



They were such a big hit at the first party we were at, all the girls asked for some for their birthdays too.  I got to thinking and decided maybe other little girls would like some too!  So, if you are thinking your daughter needs some for her doll hop on over to my etsy store, you can see it in the sidebar, and pick some up!  If you want specific colors let me know, I would be glad to do a special order for you!


I am hoping to work on some other headbands this weekend with some flowers, and also some velvet headbands to add to the store as well. 
I hope you all have a great weekend!!  I know we will!
Melissa

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Stuff

Today I thought I'd share a few pictures from our Thanksgiving day.  We had 23 people over, mostly family and a few friends.  My parents came to visit for the whole week, which was great!! 

I've never really done any decorating of the tables before, but I decided to give it a try.  My flower arrangements didn't turn out exactly as I wanted them to, but they still looked cheery and pretty!



 This was on the 8 foot table, a taller pumpkin with mixed flowers.  The leaves were collected about a month ago, and brushed with two coats of Mod Podge to preserve the color.  They were a little brittle, but still looked really pretty.
 

This arrangement was in the Cinderella pumpkin, Little Monkey's favorite!  This isn't the best view, but oh well!  Again, more leaves sprinkled on the table.

 While the ladies were hard at work inside preparing food and decorating, the guys were hard at work outside!  Hubby finished raising our walkway and filling it in with pea gravel,
and my brother in law put up the crown molding on our front porch roof.  The rest of the guys kept the kids busy by playing tug of war, a rousing game of football, and tag.


As I said earlier, we ladies were working on yummy food.
The main dishes, stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green beans with bacon and sauce, and cream corn casserole.
Fresh biscuit rolls, sweet potato biscuits, three kinds of cranberry stuff, apple butter, strawberry jam, and peach jam, all of it homemade (except the jelled cranberry. :)


The best part of the meal, dessert!  We had pecan pie, pecan pie cheesecake, chocolate pie, chocolate truffle pie, and chocolate pumpkin squares.  Yeah, we ate good!

The most popular thing of the day, the hot drink bar.

We had hot chocolate and hot tea, as well as Wassail.  There was several flavored creamers to add to your chocolate, as well as marshmallows and whip cream and chocolate pieces.  It was really fun to put together and I am so happy everyone enjoyed it!  We are going to do it again Friday night when we have another bunch of friends over!  It was a great day, and we all ate too much, laughed a lot, and just enjoyed each others company.

On another note, I finally have stock in my etsy store!  Its been forever, but I finally got around to stocking it again, I hope you will stop in and check it out!
Melissa





Monday, November 26, 2012

Pinterest Monday #31, Thanksgiving Left Over Ideas

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a fabulous week!  I sure did!  We had 23 people over on Thursday and of course tons of left overs!  In an effort to not eat just turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy all week I have been trying to find some alternatives.  Here are my favorites from Pinterest.

Homemade Hot Pockets! These can be made in lots of variations, but this one comes from Just Putzing Around The Kitchen. I mixed some cooked veggies, carrots, potatoes, etc, with left over turkey and a little gravy to bind it all.
This recipe is similar, but a little larger and a little more hardy.  This is a Pastie, a Cornish style hand pie.  They were meant to be a hardy quick to eat lunch, the best part for me, they freeze well.
For these, I did a couple variations, I did some like the hot pockets above, some I used turkey, a layer of mashed potatoes, gravy, and a bit of cranberry sauce for a hint of sweetness.  You can pretty much put any filling in and it is good!  This is from Allrecipes.com.

Since you can use chicken and turkey interchangeably in most recipes I love some of the options Mom's by Heart.net have put together. 40 shredded chicken recipes!!
Have tons of left over mashed potatoes?  Then this one is for you! Baked Potato Soup! This recipe is from Skinnytaste.com, they use a cauliflower as well, to lighten the recipe, I don't like the texture so instead I boil a rutabaga, which has no flavor, but does have the texture of a potato when you blend it.

I hope this helps you use up those Thanksgiving leftovers!!  We always enjoy leftovers, but sometimes you just need to give them a different twist!
Melissa