Friday, July 29, 2011

Beach Inspired Art

If you don't know it by now...I'm inspired by the beach, especially New England beaches. Love the cool summer air up there (alas, I live in hot, humid Maryland). I love creating art that reminds me of the salty sea air. I made little block above and used real mini starfish to decorate it...aren't they sweet?
Then, some of you may remember the beach sign I made from a previous post...I added mini starfish (painted white) to this one and some torn muslin for the "ribbon."
Both of those items are in or going to be in my shop. 
But, this next one I made for hangs in my newly painted hall. I smile when I see it...isn't that what art is supposed to do? Its actually three separate pieces of art. 
The top piece has a little blurb from an antique book. I embellished it with some pretty papers (notice the waves?) and a piece of sea glass...I LOVE sea glass...someday I'll do a post about  it.
Anyway, the second piece of art really has nothing to do with the beach or the sea, but I kind of like how it turned out and the blurb talks about the British countryside (never been). 
The last features pretty papers in the shape of waves and a pretty vintage pin. I like how it just says, "Be."

Dreaming of the beach...and I have one more trip coming up when I drive my son back to college in New England. How about you? Dreaming of a beach?

Linking to:
The DIY Show OffUndertheTableandDreaming 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting There...

Well, everything is painted and looking so fresh! I am loving the paint color -- Zircon by Sherwin Williams--.just the look I wanted. I couldn't wait to give you all just a peek. I still have to get a mirror for over the mantle and that's what me and my mom (she's here for the week) are doing today.

Also working on finding material to cover the two chairs I got. Once I get the fabric, I'll paint them. The hallway isn't ready for a reveal yet as it is barren. Still trying to figure it out.

Sigh. Love this antique mantle/fireplace. Still can't believe I only paid $30 for it. I painted the top with chalk paint and it matched the rest of the it was my easiest fix yet! Happy.
Linking to:

The Thrifty Groove


Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Gift and One Thing Leads to Another...

I received this fab necklace from Tammy at Junkwild last week (I won it in a blog giveaway). She enclosed these little goodies with it, plus a ball chain in case I want to change the look of the necklace. She had it wrapped in a pretty burlap bag (that I can't locate right now). Thanks so much Tammy! Check out her's as sweet as she is!

Okay....well, after I painted my hall SW Zircon, I started painting my living room the same sweet color and then I wanted to paint the, a reveal of everything soon (once I get everything back in place). See below for what my house looks like right now!

I painted the hall and living room, but my husband decided to call painters to do the ceilings and finish the kitchen (I think my mood wasn't so good after all that sanding, taping and painting). Anyway, it looks so fresh and clean...I am so in love with it. We'll see how long it stays that way with three boys.
 The pictures above and below are of  a super find I grabbed at an estate sale early this morning -- two beautiful, pristine, vintage pillow shams. Aren't they gorgeous???

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back from the Beach and Inspired

Had a great time playing at the beach for three days, but now it's time to get to work! Coming back from the beach inspired me to create this sweet sign for my entrance table and then one for my shop...

You can even make a lamp inspired! Just adding this starfish ornament changed it up a bit!

You also might remember my beachy mantle (which is always a work in progress):


At the beach, we played lots of mini golf, had great dinners, and of course, played at the beach. We even created this replica of my son's new lizard:

We also had some fun making these smiley faces all over the beach...people kept looking and smiling (that's what we wanted!)

Dug a big hole and FINALLY, reached water!

Love this picture...pure joy!

Getting ready to go out to dinner on my b-day...

Then, we had to go home...oh well, something to look forward to...Another beach day trip before school begins? You bet!
Linking to:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beach Bound

We aren't taking a vacation this hoo! So, I decided that I wanted to take a mini beach vacation as my birthday present to myself! Luckily, we are only about 1.5 hours from the Delaware beaches (my favorite local beaches), so we are heading down for the day as a family...

THEN, my youngest and I will stay for two nights! Yippee! We are going to relax, swim, relax, eat yummy food, ride bikes, play mini golf, visit with friends, and have some good old fashioned fun. See ya when I get back!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Travel the World Without Leaving Home!

Summer is all about relaxing, the beach, and the pool, but we all know that we need to infuse some knowledge into those brains to keep them working so they are prepared for school. 
Well, years ago and continuing today with my 10-year old (the teens are now beyond my reach), I figured out a fun way to incorporate learning into summer: 

We research a different country every week (well, every two weeks, sometimes). My kids have loved this throughout the years. We have visited Japan, Brazil, and Sweden to name a few.
Here are my suggestions:
Have your kids do some Internet research on the country and give you some quick facts. Ideas:
  • Play games representative of the country.
  • Read stories originating in that country.
  • Play music representing that country.
  • Have them draw a flag of the country.
  • Visit a museum, store, restaurant or place that represents that country.
  • Finish by preparing a meal representative of that country.
Things we have done:
  • Visited a Brazilian restaurant and had sugar cane drinks (yuck).
  • Visited the Polish Museum in Philadelphia
  • Watched a Brazilian soccer game
  • Went to Ikea and shopped the Swedish food market
  • Listened to a Jamaican steel drum band.
You get the idea! To culminate the experience, we select and cook a meal together. Last week, my son selected Poland (we are, after all, Polish). And here are some of the pictures of us making homemade pierogies for dinner (quite a process). Making the dough:
Filling the dough with potatoes and cheese.
The perfect pierogie!
Here's the Recipe from TIP: I use a pasta maker to roll out the dough...much easier!
  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra to serve with the pierogi
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • butter and onions for sauteing
  • ingredients for filling of your choice (potato & cheese filling recipe below)


Pierogi Dough
To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 12-15 pierogies, depending on size.
Prepare the Pierogies
Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8" thick. Cut circles of dough (2" for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2" for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.
Boil the perogies a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.
Saute chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Congrats to the USA Women's team on their HUGE win over France today! Let's root for the USA in the World Cup finals on Sunday at 2 PM, EST.

In their honor, I decoupaged this sweet little switch plate cover! Kind of fun, huh? Speaking of switch plate covers...I have some big news, but will save it for another post...

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Computer's Back and a New Project to Share!

The iMac Saga officially ended today at 5:45 PM when I FINALLY got my computer back and running. After six trips (including three hours today) to the Apple "Genius" Bar (and I use that word "genius" with a large grain of salt), I have this baby back up and running.

Well, on to one of my many projects that I completed as I waited and waited for the computer.
Had this chalkboard. Loved it, but I've had it sitting in my house for six months just trying to figure out where to put it.

I bought it at a yard sale for a mere $5, knowing that I would use it SOMEDAY. Finally, it occurred to me that if I cant fit it horizontally, why not hang it vertically? So, I took off the hooks, spackled the holes, sanded them, and used my Annie Sloan chalk paint to cover the black. Love it! And now it hangs in my hallway (another project) right next to my kitchen entrance!

Linking to:

Stay Tuned

Someday, I'll get my iMac back... And that day I will update you on all the projects I have going...there's been quite a lot. Big projects, little ones. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Some Pretty Old Things

Still on my iPad...yes, my iMac hard drive is toast. So, I've been writing articles from this little device and also getting a lot of projects done around the house...don't worry, I'm taking pictures so I'll have lots to show you once I get back and running again.

So, today I just thought that I would show you some really pretty vintage findings. I just happen to have them in my photo library on my ipad. I am going to eventually list them in my etsy shop (can't do that from my iPad either), but maybe some of you vintage gurus can tell me about them...

First up, this very old, but very beautiful pin. I'm not sure what it's made out of ...bakelight, some sort of old plastic before there was plastic? Anyone know?

Here's the next one...a really cool, old button...not sure what it's made out of either. The center is kind of iridescent.

Then, these very cool Musi shoe clips. Shoe clips were popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but I think they should make a comeback. I've actually used old vintage clip on earrings to dress up my shoes, I have the actual clips...

So, that's about it for today gang. Headed out for a little R&R tomorrow for a beach day trip! One great thing about where I live is that it's only about 2 hours from the beach---sweet!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad