Pumpkin Topiaries

Written on 5:16 PM by Cara

These are fun to make and I've used mine for 4 years now. Simple, get 3 different sizes of foam pumpkins, drill holes and run a long dowel through so you can anchor them in your pot, and decorate how you wish. Mine have small grapevine wreaths in between the pumpkins to space them well and then the other stuff hot glued on. I have rocks in the urns to anchor the whole thing. Simple, easy, looks good, what more could you ask?

OK, going to add this pic for Pinterest, seems the others are coming out sideways!

Redoing the Formal Powder Room

Written on 11:16 PM by Cara

I finally got a chance to redo the formal powder room. We have two here, this one and the Cheetah Bathroom. Dillon is voting to keep the cheetah and it is a conversation starter, that's for sure. But I would like to change it into something more fitting for the pool bathroom.

I don't know what the lady before me had against her powder rooms but here's the Cheetah:

And here is the one I redid, don't you love the wallpaper? These are pictures from when the other people owned it.

I have always been fascinated with Egypt and I have been collecting stuff for years, so I decided this is where I can finally put the whole collection together.

So I stripped the wallpaper, textured, painted. Got new light fixtures and switchplates, and towel bars. I may add a few more touches, but it's pretty much done. Hard to take pictures, though, since it is so small.

Cabinet above the toilet:

I bought some plain black/bronze towel racks and rings at Home Depot and used my gold ink pad to bring out the pattern:

Charlie Brown Christmas Yard Art

Written on 11:24 PM by Cara

*note: For some reason, Blogger wouldn't take these pictures off my hardrive so I had to use the ones I had in Photobucket. So the pictures are slightly pixelated. When we set them back up at Christmas this year I'll take new pictures and replace these. Sorry about that.*

I made the Charlie Brown guys for our yard at Christmas. I always wanted cute stuff for the yard and the Charlie Brown Christmas show is my favorite, so it was an easy choice. A Pea at 2Ps gave me the idea and I ran with it. I'll show some of the process and a few how-tos at the bottom.

Right side of the circle drive:

Left side of the circle drive:

Inside the circle drive:

The Guys:

The How Tos:

I used high quality 3/4" plywood that had a "good" side. I used plain old craft paint and paint pens you get at Walmart or a craft store. Here is the back view, I painted the edges and backs black. I attached "rebar stakes" I found at Lowe's to them to stick them in the ground.

I got the pictures from books and the internet. I used a projection machine called an "Art Tracer Jr." I bought at Michaels to project the images onto the plywood, it uses regular images on paper, not transparancies like an overhead projector. You have to use thick outlines to keep the ratio right so they look right. I drew them with black paint pens, painted in the colors with brushes and craft paint, and then filled out the lines with the paint pens. My husband cut them all out with a jigsaw and I sanded the edges well.

Being sanded to get ready to paint:

A note about PigPen's hair. As you can see, I tried to draw it on at first and it looked like his brain was exposed, poor alien PigPen. So I asked my husband what I could use and he said he had some TV cable in the garage. So I staple gunned it to the poor kid's head (as you can see in the picture above under "The Guys"). He whimpered for a minute but then he was glad not to be alien PP anymore.

Another tip: Do not start this project 3 weeks before Thanksgiving thinking you'll finish before the holidays start, because you won't. Even if you spend hours a day in the garage. Do this in the summer, really, take my word for it, because you won't be done until the first week in December and then you'll be scrambling to get all your other Christmas stuff done.

Newest Lakehouse Project

Written on 8:10 PM by Cara

When you have a lakehouse it seems there is neverending work. It's either the watercraft, the boathouse, or the house itself. And since we bought a fixer-upper, well, it is an ongoing project.

When we bought it, it had been a "corporate perk house" when it was built and the people we bought it from had done nothing to it so it was filled with seafoam green and pink Southwest everything. And the boathouse was falling apart. So we had a new boathouse built. But Jimmy is not going to let other's do something he can do himself, so we basically had the shell built.

We put in all the lifts ourselves, etc. And now it was time for a storage building to keep all the "stuff" in. Oh joy. Luckily Dillon is getting old enough now to learn and help so that takes a lot of pressure off me. He was very proud of what they accomplished, so it was all good.

Boathouse before:

And the project begins:

Like father, like son:

Teaching the boy:

Here comes the supervisor to make sure everyone is doing their job:

When Jimmy was stuck up on the skis or on the scaffold, guess who had to cut the wood? At least I have girly gloves :)

What happens when you can't get a ladder in where you need it? You use the jetski lift.

And what happens when you can no longer build the outside walls from the inside? You make your own scaffolding over the water:

From the inside:

The Masterpiece finished. They were very proud of themselves:

Doesn't it look great? The supervisor approved, and another lakehouse project is done.

Baby Shower Gifts and How to Make Hooded Bath Towels

Written on 1:17 AM by Cara

I made a few baby shower gifts that are always a big hit and gets a LOT of use by the moms. Almost every single mom I have ever given these to call me within 6 months of the births to rave about how much they used them and how glad they were I made them.

Trimmed Burp Cloths: Super easy, just get some lace and other cute trim and sew it on cloth diapers. I only do it on one end, the part that goes over the shoulder, so the baby still has the soft side against their face.

Hooded Towels: Again, super easy and inexpensive (seeing a theme here?). These are just regular towels and matching washcloths, but they turn out really cute. They are great for after the baby grows out of the little newborn ones.

The How To: So many people have asked for directions so here they are:

Fold the washcloth diagonally and pin the corner into the middle of the long end of the towel make sure the right side of the washcloth and the right side of the towel are facing each other:

Then line up one edge with the edge of the towel and stitch:

Then line up the other edge and stitch. Turn it back right-side out and you are done! Super easy and super useful!