Monday, September 27, 2010

Sugar and Spice and a Bunch of Other Stuff

One of the best Christmas presents I got last year was from my sister-in-law, Andrea.  She got us the box of spices called Spicy Wedding from a place called Penzeys.  I'd never heard of it before.  I have to say, I LOVE the stuff!!  My favorites are the Chinese Cassia Cinnamon and the Pasta Sprinkle.  I use the cinnamon in everything, and I put the Pasta Sprinkle in hamburger when I'm cooking Italian food. 

I'd looked at the online store before, and there was all sorts of things I'd have liked to try.  On her most recent trip to Ohio, Andrea got me some vanilla extract and some poppy seeds.  Both of those were equally wonderful.  Imagine my surprise to learn there's a Penzey store in Indanapolis.  This weekend, I went to Indianapolis for my niece's 4th birthday party.  My mother-in-law went with me, and we left early enough to do some shopping, Penzey store included.

This place is AMAZING.  There are things in that store I'd never even heard of!  And I went a little crazy getting things to try.  But I do try to incorporate a lot of different kinds of spices into my cooking.  I always see the people of Food Network using spices and think that I could do that too.

The store itself is pretty cool.  They have jars full of all their spices so you can sniff them and see what you think.  The extracts all smell wonderful.  Next time you're in the Castleton area, make the trip down 82nd Street to Penzeys.  I already have a whole list of things I'd like to try, extracts included.  One of them is also the Sunny Paris.  I don't know what is in it, but it smelled like nothing I'd never smelled.  It was also like $9 for a small jar...I focused on cheaper spices this time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

PB Knockoff -- Chalk Board Rocks

I love Pottery Barn!  But I don't love hearing my total when I shop there...and I REALLY don't love having to tell my husband my total when I get home.  But I do get a lot of ideas from Pottery Barn.  I was looking on their website for some fall decorating inspiration when I came across these...Chalkboard Rocks.

Chalkboard Rock Vase Filler, Set of 4

They're different, but I thought they'd look amazing in my new bathroom.  My mom and sister offered some ideas of what to write on them, none of which should be shared or even seriously considered.  Unfortunatly, Pottery Barn's Chalkboard Rocks are $16 for a set of 4...a little pricey, especially considering I had rocks that look similar in my garage.

My mother in law put a bunch of large, smooth rocks in the bottom of  a bowl as filler for a centerpeice she made for our wedding rehearsal, and they've been sitting in the garage since the flowers quit blooming.  I plan to replant the bulbs this fall.  After I washed the rocks, I gave them a coat of white primer.

After the primer, I used Krylon Chalkboard spray paint to give the rocks a coat.  It takes two, and giving them the second coat was a process that took about a week.  I had the first coat done and the second on one side, and the wind kicked up and knocked the plywood down so I had no idea what side of the rocks had 2 coats.  Finally yesterday I got both sides painted.

You're supposed to let the paint dry 24 hours, but I only did it overnight, and it's worked fine so far.  Once it's dry, you cover the surface with chaulk and wipe it off with a cotton cloth.  I just used a dish towel.

Once I had the rocks cleaned off (I only did 5 of them) I wrote my words on them. 

I found my container on clearance at Bed, Bath & Beyond while I was killing time last week.  Plus I had a 20% off coupon which made it even better.  It turned out to be the perfect size for the number of rocks I had.

Finally, I put the rocks in the vase and it went to it's new home in the bathroom.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and it was a lot cheaper than ordering the real thing!

I think Abby likes them too!

I'm posting to the following parties:

Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple
Make It 4 Monday @ Cottage Instincts
Lucky Linky Tuesday @ Lucky Star Lane
Talented Tuesday @ My Frugal Family
Toot Your Own Horn Tuesday @ Silly Little Sparrow
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
Make It Yours Day @ My Backyard Eden
Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies and Jellybeans
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
A Crafty Soiree @ Yesterday on Tuesday
Passion for Paint @ Mural Maker & More

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Simple Fall Napkin Rings

My mother-in-law is an AMAZING quilter, and since I started dating Nick, she's been making me all sorts of quilted things.  For my first Christmas with his family, she made me beautiful fall placemats and napkins to match.  At the time, I was still living with my parents, and last fall when Nick and I bought our house I was too busy with wedding plans and getting our house in order to worry about decorating for seasons.  Well this year, that is not a problem, so I dug out the placemats from the bottom of my blanket chest.

The first thing I did was replace the limes in my centerpeice vase with pinecones and pumpkins...

I put out the placemats and dug out my napkin rings...but they were too big!!  Luckily I bought some fall things at Walmart last night to try to make a wreath (I'll let you know if that turns out).  I dug out some of the pinecones from the other places I had the scattered, and got my trusty floral wire and hot glue gun out of my craft box and cut 4 peices about 3 inches long.

Next, I hot glued the wire to the bottom of a pine cone and let it cool completely so the napkin wouldn't stick to the pinecone.

Then I wrapped the wire around the napkin and trimmed off most of the extra wire.  Here's the final product...

And here's a shot of the entire table.  My mother-in-law only made 4 placemats, so I may have to see if I can con her into 2 more.  My parents gave Nick and I bigger table when we bought the house.

I also put some pinecones and pumpkins in a wooden bowl my Dad made me.  I usually have fake key limes in that too, but I like the pinecones for fall.  The mat underneath is another of my mother-in-law's creations that I love!

Happy Fall Everybody!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bathroom Redesign Pt 2

I love 3 day weekends.  It's like a extra day to get things done.  Saturday I went shopping with my husband (who was in desperate need of new clothes) and that left Sunday afternoon to paint the bathroom I've been dying to get finished.  Once again, the before...

The walls were boring beige and the decor was tiki.  The hardware was bright, shiny silver...

I finished painting Sunday afternoon and I finished spray painting the hardware, so when it was dry I enlisted my husband's help in putting it back together.  I also had a couple of great $10 picture frames laying around that I'd picked up over the summer at Ikea. 

 I had a couple of pictures that I took at our local state park printed, and put them in the frames from Ikea since they matched amazingly.  Normally I'd print my own but my husband's photo printer's out of ink (I don't know WHO printed all those wedding photos for her scrapbook).  I used painters tape to help hold the photo in place to center it.

Then I hung up my half-off Pottery Barn shower curtain that I'm totally in love with.  The bathroom isn't COMPLETELY finished.  I still need to finish a little project, and get rugs for the floor and a soap dispenser and a new waste basket.  And I REALLY think I need a new black faucet to match everything else but when I mentioned that to Nick I got a non-commital grunt.  Although if one follows me home from Lowes, what can we do...?  Anyway, here's the almost-finished product....

Nick and I both agree that the next room we're going to tackle is our master bath.  It seems completely boring in comparison....