decorating with dodi

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Patience is a Virtue!

Lots of patience required for this project... like watching paint-or white wash- dry!

Then, it is simply a matter of tracing a heart shape and filling it in with paint.

And waiting once again for that paint to dry!

I always love it when my Dremel comes out to usually means I am getting close to the finish line and that was so in this case. All I had left was to drill some holes for the hanging wire and a few more for the wire to hold on the keys.

I think I said at the beginning of this project that I really didn't know where I was going with it but I wanted to try to reuse and repurpose some things I already had on hand. I also was O.K. with something that ended up outdoors because there is just so much room on indoor shelves or walls. I had sort of thought of dangling the key from the hanging wire on these signs but I didn't like the way that looked when I got going so...

...they sort of ended up looking like my big sign in our family room had a baby. This sign is definitely larger than I imagined when I began...don't know where I went astray, but I am O.K. with how it turned out.

For now, mine is hanging in the foyer. I like it there but I don't like that its color is so similar to the wall. Think it will be heading out to the front porch soon. I know it will pop a lot more against the brick. Stay tuned.

P.S. The more I am looking at it, the more I am wishing I had been able to find a darker wire. I will probably keep looking.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Back to Work...or Play

Yesterday was a "no-school" day here so daughter #3 likes to plan fun, family adventures on those days if possible. Since we enjoyed picking strawberries so much last year, that had been our goal but, alas, apparently Mother Nature had other ideas. The weather this season has not been ideal for strawberry farmers so they are just now harvesting their wholesale berries and won't be opening the fields to us pickers for a few more weeks. So, on to plan #2.

There is a place called Sky Zone about an hour away in Clermont. It is a kid's paradise-lots of soft slides and bouncy things. The boys have been a few times for birthday parties so we thought they would all love a day there. Jen did her homework and, indeed, it was open on Fridays at noon. But, as we pulled up, it was obvious that plans were underway for something big. And so it was...and we were here on the ONE day of the year that they close to prepare for a huge (10,000 people expected) affair that evening. So, by the seat of our pants, on to plan #3!

Luckily, Jen remembered a large, fabulous playground practically right behind this place that had been built a few years back in memory of a family friend's grand daughter. It is a beautiful park and the kids had a wonderful time here.


After wearing everyone out everyone having fun here, we decided to have some lunch. Gotta love technology these days. We are not at all familiar with Clermont but with just a bit of "searching" we found numerous places that sounded good. We settled on a gastro pub called "The Crooked Spoon" and it did not disappoint!

I had a blackened mahi sandwich with artichoke and lemon aioli served with homemade chips and it was delicious! The kids menu was unbelievable-very upscale as well. Harrison had steak quesadillas and he devoured them!

We all needed our nourishment because now we were off to our next adventure. The nice folks at Sky Zone told Jen about a bowling alley/laser tag spot that sounded great-except, when we pulled into this place it didn't look big enough to house what we were expecting. In fact, we were about a year too late. The bowling alley was still here but laser tag had moved about another hour away. Bowling it was!

And, you would never have known that these kids' plans had actually changed three times today. They were all in on the bowling and had a fabulous time.

We got home right before dark, lit a fire, poured a glass of wine and had a lovely visit the rest of the day as well-while Presley decorated their house for Valentine's Day right around us!

Today I am learning patience. When last I posted, I think I said the hardest part of pallet art was prying them apart but I have spent another day wire brushing off the moss and mud that had accumulated after months of sitting outside and then today I did all of the cutting and putting together...and now I wait. Because the thickness of these boards varies so much, it is almost impossible to find sets of three that are even so I am starting by just using wood glue and braces on the back and when this is finally set, I will go back and put in some tiny nails to help hold the variations in place.

Now that I have gotten this far, I wish I had made the dimensions a bit different but have decided there is no going back now so I will just have to get over it.

And, the pile continues to grow as does my list of ideas. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

FINALLY...and, Two For the Price of One!!

Yay! I finally have a bit of Valentine's inspiration. For some reason, I have a very difficult time coming up with new, cute usable ideas for this holiday! I can't begin to tell you how much time I have spent perusing Pinterest and the craft stores looking for something-anything-that would get me motivated. This is really about the only holiday that I don't have so many ideas, I can't fit them all in. I don't know why, but I just know it happens every year about this time-and, tempus fugit!

I am not exactly sure when it struck, but strike it did! I remembered some pallets that Jen and I had stuck stored in our backyard. It was about the time that she was cladding her foyer in ship lap siding made from old, found pallets and she was picking up as many as she could. Her foyer turned out beautifully and she had some left over so, never wanting to "short" a future project (in this case, waayyyy future), we kept them here. They have been here a while and as I started to think about readying the yard for spring, I thought about getting rid of them. And then...LIGHT BULB moment-since pallet art is so popular, how about figure out how to use some of this wood for Valentine's gifts? I didn't want to make anything large and presume everyone else would love it as much as me, so I decided to rig up a small sign that could hang by itself or nestled in a wreath, on a shelf, etc. And, because it is already weathered wood, it could definitely hang outdoors!

Now, I still don't know exactly what this said sign will look like, but I am on my way! And, because just that knowledge got me excited, I am on my way with other Valentines as well.

I finished painting the porch sign. The natural wood lettering would have been fine but I like the white better.

My other projects are beginning to fall into place as well. I got my cards made, found some other supplies I think I might want for the signs and have begun picking up supplies for the kids' Valentine weekend. The best part is that I am finally getting excited about it and cleaning out my yard at the same time! Yay!

If you are on my gift list, I would normally issue a spoiler alert at this point, but since I don't even know for sure where this is going, I don't think I am giving anything away.

The first step of pallet "art" is usually the hardest-taking apart the pallet. But, since I only need small pieces, I found that cutting the strips with a saber saw was WAY easier than actually trying to pry these things apart! Of course, this idea didn't strike until AFTER we had a much needed rain so everything is wet and now drying out in the garage before I can actually get moving on it-hopefully by this weekend! Stay tuned.

Friday, January 22, 2016

a "Sign" of the Times

I am getting good at "no-brainer" projects. Not only was this a snap the first time around when I did my "harvest" sign, but doing it the second time around was truly thought free. I had already figured out the few pitfalls so this time I was done in a flash!

I didn't have a font on my Cricut that I wanted to use this time so I just found one I liked on my computer, printed it and enlarged to just the right size on my copy machine. Then, I cut them out of scrap cardstock, sprayed the backs with adhesive and placed them on the 6" fence slat.

Next, I sprayed over it all with a red spray paint. I tried to spray straight down just in case I didn't have a perfect seal on the letter edges with the adhesive.

I peeled off the letters and, voila, I am almost good to go! I still want to paint my letters white. I could leave them like this and they would be fine but I just prefer red and white for Valentine's Day. Of course, I am out of white paint and it is raining today so I am not heading out now that I am cozy-this will just have to wait until tomorrow. But then, it will just be a simple process of filling in the "blanks". As I look at this picture and the way I laid the letters after peeling them off of the wood, I am almost sorry I didn't lay them a little haphazardly instead of straight down. Oh well, I will remember that for next time-which I am sure will happen-probably for St. Patrick's Day!

And here it is in its new home. I like the height it brings to the vignette on the porch. Note to self...time to get rid of the poinsettia even if it is red!

The hardest part of this project may just be getting off the spray adhesive and paint that are sure to get on your fingers. Off for a fire and a movie on this beautiful rainy day! Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Such a Nice Day!

I sometimes forget just how much I enjoy entertaining! I like the big affairs, like my Halloween open house, a lot but, the older I am getting, the longer it takes me to pull off something like that. On the other hand, I love a smaller gathering. A reason to do something just a little special...and, yesterday was just such a day!

We had a small lunch for my sister-in-law's birthday...just family...and, just the family in town who could get out of work. But, I so enjoyed the whole day!

My idea had been to have a little crafting party as well. Cyndi and I had gone to a large garden show a few years back and had seen some garden decor that looked so simple to make that we didn't see the need to purchase any. Our thoughts were to get together and whip them up ourselves. Fast forward a few years and we still hadn't done it so I decided today was the day. Since we were having a big lunch and I wanted to visit as well, I thought we would just start with a "no-brainer". Since both Cyndi and I and my mom have collected bone china cups and saucers over the years, the cup and saucer bird-feeder was just the ticket. I pulled out some of my collection and all it took was some copper piping, copper caps and E-6000 and we were off and running. We were having fun crafting and talking so I can't show you any pictures of the process, but it is pretty self explanatory...and, I can show you one of the end results.

Then we were on to lunch. I have a number of recipes that I love but only make for special occasions because they are loaded with cream, butter, cheese, etc. All things that hubby and I don't need to be eating too much of these days but when I have guests with which to share, I am raring to go!

For today, I started with a homemade cream of roasted red pepper and tomato soup topped with lots of fresh grated Parmesan-yum! Then it was on to Giada's chicken tetrazzini. This is one of the most delicious things you will ever eat! It is a bit of a pain to make only because it has so many steps but it is worth every minute of it. Of course, it is LOADED with chicken sauteed in butter, onions and garlic sauteed in butter and a pound of fettuccine enveloped in a cream sauce made of lots of half and half and, you guessed it, butter! Then it is all topped with a cup of fresh Parmesan and just in case there wasn't enough, more dots of butter. I also made a huge fresh salad full of lots of goodness before I topped it all off with homemade garlic bread-that used 2 sticks of, you guessed it again, butter! I figured we needed some fruit for dessert-so, I made Paula Deen's peach cobbler and served it with vanilla ice-cream. So glad most of this meal got finished up so we didn't have lots of leftovers...not exactly a heart friendly menu!

I have started on my first Valentine craft and will share soon but right now I am off to get ready to go pick up the munchkins from school. We will probably head out for some yogurt before coming back here for the rest of the afternoon. A little bird told me Presley has a 100 Days of School project due tomorrow so I suspect we will find something to keep us busy. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

And We're Done!

Just a bit more of the house and we are done for this year.

So that will officially close the Valentine house decor for 2016. I hope to have some Valentine crafts to post soon! Stay tuned.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pinterest Here I Come!

Now that I am ready for next week's party, my thoughts are moving along to Valentines celebrations. We always do a weekend with our grand children where we cook, bake, play games, craft and just have fun! I have been doing this so long that I have pretty much "done it all" so this year I am really trying to find some "never-before-done-by-us" things to do. Of course, there are always the favorites (like the pink chocolate chip cookies) that they expect every year.

I am also having trouble coming up with my craft idea. I like to make at least one new item every year but somehow the Valentine things all sort of look the same. When this happens, I head to Pinterest!

Here is what I am thinking about so far.

I like to have the kids each make a shirt for the occasion. We have done the cute ones already and I was having trouble finding ideas that the boys would approve of until I saw this. Thought maybe they could have some fun painting like this on the front of a shirt. Theirs' could look kind of "paint-ballish" and then we could do Presley's in pinks and a little less "messy" and it should be feminine enough for her. Still debating but I am leaning towards this.

I like projects that all three can cooperate on so Mom doesn't have to find room for three of the same thing. I think it would be cute if we took a picture of all three in their shirts and then they could all make this frame.

This would be another great "cooperation" gift. I would probably lose the little kids if I expected them to each decorate this many hearts but they could probably each come up with 4 or 5 and we could make it a bit smaller.

I actually have 6 wooden blocks left over from another project we did so a play on this might also work.

Last year we played Valentine "Minute to Win It" and they loved that so we will repeat some of those tasks but, after seeing how well they played Hedbanz in Savannah, I think this might be fun too.

I think I might add this wooden sign to my to-do list. I love the way the one I made for autumn turned out so this should look nice on the porch as well.

I'm thinking about these two things as gifts. It is funny how I seem to always be drawn to things with "script". I'm not done looking but since January is flying by so quickly, I know I had better get moving. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Party Plans Are Ready... I am back to thinking about Valentine's Day. Join me in my dining room.

I love this little card. All I had to do was print the image, cut some backgrounds and ink the edges, layer the card together and top off with some glitter!

This vignette is also made up of "free" stuff. The large frame is just a piece of scrapbook paper and black numbers cut on my Cricut. The smaller frame has a downloaded and printed vintage Valentine image.

Still love my "love" sign. The girls and I made these as gifts for teachers, scout leaders, etc. for almost every holiday one year. I just bought thin wooden letters when they were on sale and we covered them in scrapbook paper, joined them together using popsicle sticks on the back and embellished any way we wanted.

More free downloads framed in vintage silver frames.

Now I am on to deciding how to set the table for our little party. I am leaning towards Valentine's theme since so much of the house is decorated in red and white but my sister-in-law loves gardening and, after all, it is a birthday luncheon for her, so we shall see where I end up!???! Stay tuned.

Wow! It didn't take me long once I realized that I needed a mix of Valentine and birthday to be happy. I remembered my "rose" dinner set and it is just what I wanted...the feel of Valentines romance but NOT red and white. And I decided to use the placemats that my mom crocheted for me many years ago. The rose napkin rings were a long ago gift from my sister-in-law so what could be more perfect? I think it is just right for my Valentine garden theme! Can't wait!