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Chandelier makeover

I recently decided to take down the old 80’s ceiling fan over my craft area and replace it with an upcycled chandelier. I visited my local ReStore (which is basically a thrift store for building supplies that supports Habitat for Humanity). I was expecting to find the old standard brass fixtures on the lighting shelves, but was amazed to find this crystal beauty, which I picked up on sale for only $50.

Now sadly, I failed to take a pic of the original which was pretty, but dark brown. I know – hard to tell the before and after, right?

To turn it “shabby chic”, I disassembled all the glass pieces and spray painted the base metal white. After reassembling, I added a home-sewn white cotton fabric sleeve to cover up the ugly chain at the top that goes into the ceiling.

My friend Sean graciously offered his services to help install it (knowing I’d probably manage to electrocute myself, if left to my own devices). I’m so happy with the results! It’s amazing the big difference a change in lighting can make in a room.

🙂

And how cool are the shadows cast on the ceiling when the light is on?!

Anyone else been re-decorating or renovating lately? Would love to see links to your projects!

Valentine’s Day sugar cookies

I spent Sunday with my friend Mimi baking and decorating cookies to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We tested out a new marbling technique we’d seen in one of her books.

These look a lot harder than they are to make! All you have to do is mix three different colors of royal icing (we used a base of white with red & pink accents). Pipe alternating stripes across the base color, then drag a toothpick up and down the lines before the icing hardens. Too easy, right?!

You can also pipe single color dots around the border and drag your toothpick down from the top creating lil’ heart-shapes along the way (like the white & pink cookie below).

The house-shaped cookies were special gifts for my neighborhood gal pals. I decided to dress them up for our Valentine’s Day get together…

Now my head is brimming with ideas for marbled St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July, and Christmas cookies this year!

Want to check out some other fab cookie ideas? Click below to look inside the Cookie Swap book by Julia Usher (one of the best I’ve seen). The heart cookies shown on the cover were our inspiration!

Custom Silhouette Wall Art

To celebrate the beginning of my 35th year on this planet, I decided to create a custom painting for my guest bedroom that would be a daily reminder of living life to the fullest.

I came across this brilliant tutorial from V & Co on making your own custom wall art. So I dusted off my trusty Silhouette SD machine, downloaded a few diecut images, then grabbed some vinyl and a large 24 x 36″ canvas.

Since the canvas I was using was so large, I had to piece together several cut images to get the final collage. (Note to self: Use the Silhouette-brand transfer paper instead of clear Contact paper next time…Contact paper is too sticky and won’t transfer the vinyl properly!)

“Dream out Loud” (one of my fav phrases) was cut out using the Engravers MT font and was transferred onto the canvas using scotch tape to ensure the letters were aligned properly.

After the vinyl was in place, I added two layers of Rustoleum spray paint (in Wildflower Blue) across the entire canvas and left it to dry.

After approximately 45 minutes, I began peeling away the vinyl to reveal the white silhouette beneath. You can see places where the vinyl was not flush against the canvas, but I think it sort of gave an ethereal feel to the flowers.

Once all the vinyl was peeled away, it revealed the final painting…

I added some wire to the back and hung it up just in time for a house guest who arrived that evening!

I highly recommend this project to anyone with a digital cutting machine. It was tons of fun and fairly easy to make (thanks again to Vanessa for the tutorial!). I’m guessing more canvases like this one will be showing up in my house in the near future.

Anyone else made any wall art lately? I’d love to see links to your projects!

Homemade Soaps

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I recently tried my hand at soap-making and decided to make some as gifts for my co-workers this year. I used a blend of glycerin-based soap (the kind you can find at Michaels or JoAnns) and added oats, honey, ground cinnamon, and honey-almond scent. Yum! Love how natural they look IRL.

I picked up the wood/bamboo soap dishes at Ikea, and I hand-crocheted cotton dishcloths to accompany the soaps (tucked underneath each dish). I found an easy crochet pattern you can use HERE. TFL!

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Holiday Cookies. yum! yum!

Last weekend, I baked and decorated holiday “stained glass” cookies with two friends. The stained glass comes from crushed & melted lifesavers in each cookie window. (Thanks to William-Sonoma for the recipe!)

Of course half the fun of making cookies is eating all the broken ones. 🙂 I wasn’t too careful at my decorating station. *lol*

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It was hard to believe we made so many in such a short amount of time! Here are even more…Man – just looking at these gets my tummy rumbling. heehee

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My first fondant cake…

After our adventures in buttercream, my friend Mimi & I decided to give fondant & royal icing a try.

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Believe it or not, this cake is only 3.5″ around!

We baked chocolate sheet cakes and then used large biscuit cutters to cut out the tiers. We torted them and then added the fondant along with some piped royal icing. The small flowers were made with fondant cutters, and the rose petals were individually shaped & put together like you’d do with polymer clay. We added a little bit of edible shimmer with Wilton pearlescent dust. 🙂 I gave this one to my new neighbor as a “welcome to the neighborhood” gift!

Am loving the mini-desserts right now…all the fun without all the calorie guilt. (well maybe a lil’ calorie guilt – but that’s what elliptical machines are for!) *lol*