Crafting in the Rain: March 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Gold Dotted Table Runner

**First up, I don't know if any of you remember filling out a survey for me a few months ago.  I kinda forgot about it myself, so thought I'd throw it out there again so if you didn't get a chance, please answer my 10 quick questions here**  

Looking for a super easy table runner tutorial?  You don't even have to sew this one!

1/2 yard fabric
Stitch witchery (or a sewing machine)
Gold paint
Circle furniture felt pad
Clear stamping block or scrap wood block

Cut the fabric into two long pieces, each 1/4 yard wide
Cut selvage off of one end of both strips

Wash and dry to create frayed edges, trim long threads.
Using stitich witchery or a sewing machine, attach the two strips at the ends that still have the selvage.

Lay fabric out on a protected surface so the paint doesn't seep through.

Attach felt pad to clear block and cover with gold paint--I added a couple of drops and spread it around with a brush.  I didn't even use fabric paint either, since the texture of it doesn't really matter.

Stamp pattern onto fabric.

Let dry, iron, and it's ready to use!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Focaccia Bread Recipe

This bread is a staple at our house since I started making it a couple of years ago.  If you've thought that this could only be done in fancy Italian restaurants, you'll love how easy this flavorful bread is.  

Focaccia Bread
adapted from Cooking Light

1 1/4 cup boiling water
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (save 1 1/2 T)
1 Tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 packet)
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

For egg wash: 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon water, 1 teaspoon olive oil

Add 1 Tablespoon rosemary and 1 Tablespoon honey to boiling water.  Let sit 15 to 20 minutes until temperature drops down between 100 and 110 degrees.  Sprinkle yeast over rosemary mixture and wait 5-10 minutes for yeast to bubble.  

Add olive oil and 1 cup of flour and mix.  Then add salt and 2 more cups of flour.  Add remaining 1/2-1 cup flour as needed for the dough to all come together.  Knead for 5 minutes.

Spray a medium size bowl with cooking spray, add dough, cover with a clean towel and let rise for 45 minutes.  Heat oven to 350.  Spray a cookie sheet and press dough down to almost fill the sheet.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes.  

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke indentations across the top of the dough.  Mix together egg wash and brush over the dough (you may not need all of it)  Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary over the dough.  Bake for 25 minutes.

When it's done, transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy!

My kids love it just plain, but I really like to dip it in this little mixture.

On a small plate pour: 
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Mix 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese
 1/4 tsp garlic powder
 1/4 teaspoon oregano 
and sprinkle on top

Do you love focaccia bread?  Do you make your own?  I hope you try it!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Game Closet Organization

If you haven't been around since the beginning of our blog adventure, you probably haven't seen our kitchen makeover pictures.  Check out the before and after!

Point of View--Closets

Whether it's a coat closet, linen closet or bedroom closet, they  all usually need a bit of help in the spring.  It's a great time to sort, purge and air everything out.

Here are all of the closets from the Point of View members, including our guest for March: Morgan.

Amy from Ameroonie Designs

Ashlee from I'm Topsy Turvy

Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything

Morgan from Style Oyster

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cadbury Mini Egg Recipes

I was going to introduce this as a bunch of great ways to use up those left-over Cadbury mini eggs after Easter, but then I just laughed. There's no such thing as Left-over Cadbury mini eggs!  

Friday, March 22, 2013

XOXO Blocks

Back on Monday I posted about the Spring Glitter Blocks I made, and if the process seemed a little familiar to you, it may be because you remembered the XOXO block I created for Craftaholics Anonymous last month.  If you didn't see them, here's what it looked like.

I made it the same way as the spring blocks by stenciling paint on a piece of canvas drop cloth and attaching it to a stained block.   What's great is that it's a "lovey" decoration that doesn't look out of place if it's displayed all the time.

Speaking of love, I always love when my projects are pinned to Pinterest, so please go ahead.  And if you want to see what I've been pinning lately, come follow my boards!

Finally, be sure to come back on Monday when the Point of View link party starts.  The theme is Closets, so any closet that you've organized, made-over or reinvented, we'd love to see it!


Now, jump over to Craftaholics Anonymous today for another post from me--A washi tape tray makeover!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Make New Wood Look Old

If you love the look of aged wood, but don't have access to your own dilapidated barn, you're in luck!  There are actually several ways to take new wood and make it look old, from beating it with random tools and metal objects to layering different wood stains.

My favorite way is to use a couple of household items.  If you have tried this before, would you agree with me that it's totally easy?  If you haven't heard of the vinegar method, here's what you do.

Start with about a cup of white vinegar in a glass jar and add a wad of steel wool (I have found bags of it at the dollar store!)  If you're doing more than a few pieces of wood, start with more like 2 cups of vinegar.

Leave it open and let it sit for at least a day a day or two.  By the end of a couple of days it will be pretty gross looking.

We don't drink tea, so I just picked up the cheapest box I could find at Winco and I've used it several times for either wood or just staining book pages.  Brush over the wood with prepared tea, then with the vinegar solution.  Order doesn't seem to matter either, you can start with the vinegar then do the tea.

I did this to the wood for my train pallet art and the glitter spring blocks.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Glitter Spring Blocks

If you're not one who likes to mix holidays, now that St. Patrick's Day is done it's the perfect time to whip up a bit of Easter or spring decorations.  Spring around here usually just means "more rain"...or "rain still." But we've had a few extra sunny days lately, which is always welcome!  Plus, it makes these blocks extra glittery.

I recently got to try out some Craft Twinkles from DecoArt and come up with an idea for their project library.  It's a glitter paint which is a great way to add glitter without the mess.  Check it out, it's really there! Easter Canvases

You can find supplies and steps there too, but here I'm going to share a few more pictures of the process.

You'll need:
  • Wood Blocks (buy some or cut your own from scraps.  They should be thick enough to stand on their own)
  • Linen or Canvas Fabric (I used canvas drop cloth)
  • DecoArt Craft Twinkles (Galaxy Blue, Sparkling Pink, Lime Green)
  • DecoArt Americana Paint (Snow White, Sea Breeze, Bubblegum Pink, Citron Green)
  • Stencils in Spring Shapes (I found some images that I was able to cut out of freezer paper using my cutting machine)
  • Brushes
  • Fabri-Tac
  • Flat Tacks (I used silver, but any finish would be cool)
Stain or paint wood with brown or black paint (I stained)  Paint all 4 edges with white paint.  You don't even have to be particularly neat about this.  Paint that creeps over the edge to the front of the block looks cool too.

Cut fabric squares to be just smaller than the block front.  Since I was using freezer paper I next ironed the paper down onto the canvas so the design wouldn't slip.  

On a protected surface, paint base color first, then add glitter paint after it dries.

Remove stencils and when dry, attach fabric to wood using drops of FabriTac or other glue.

Push a thumb tack into each corner of the wood, tapping with a hammer if necessary.

What shapes remind you of spring?


Friday, March 15, 2013

Shutter Washi Tape Organizer

A couple of summers ago I picked up 2 large shutters at a garage sale for $1.  I originally thought I might hang them on both sides of our tv (which is mounted on our brick fireplace, to maybe cover up the cords a bit)  But my husband hated that idea.  So they've been sitting in the garage all this time.  Of course I couldn't get rid of them!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Don't Want to Lose You! Google Reader Alternatives

Who currently uses Google Reader to keep track of all your favorite blogs?  I've been using it!  But now have you seen this message pop up?
But don't panic!  You don't have to lose all the blogs feeds you've collected, and you won't have to wonder if I ever found a way to store my washi tape, or if we ever remodel the last two rooms in the house (the kids' rooms) or even how our pet goats are doing.

Here are a couple of articles about it here and here.

Mandy at Small Fine Print wrote up an excellent tutorial on how to extract all your Google Reader info and add it to a new reader service.   She give examples of and  

Then another good post at Tech4Mommies.

Honestly, I'm kind of excited about one thing though...I have two or three blogs in my reader that have been abandoned, subsequently hijacked and are purely spam.  Because of some glitch in the Google Reader/Google Friend Connect interface I have been unsuccessful in deleting them from my reader.  I'm sure that in one of these new readers I'll have no problem deleting them.  Yay!

So back to the original point here, I don't want to lose you!  I hope you'll transfer my feed over to a new reader, and you can find me in all these other places too:

Facebook (though we tend to only see updates that Facebook decides are important now unless page owners pay Facebook to "promote" our posts....BUT, you can go here and make sure that show in news feed is checked, and you can also check get notifications.  I did read that the "rumor" of adding pages to an interest list doesn't actually affect what you see in your feed)

Get posts delivered to your inbox by entering your email in the "subscribe" box in my sidebar.

There you have it.  Hope all that info helps.  What do you think?

Have you seen other posts I should include here?  Leave me a comment and I'll add them!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cleaning Up the Girls' Room

I can't really call this a makeover, because nothing drastic changed in their room.  I came up with a couple of solutions for some problem areas we had though, and since I *did* show you all the before pictures last week, I had to redeem myself with some after pictures, right?

As a reminder, here's what their room looked like when I tackled it:

Clothes spilling out of the closet, toys and stuff piled up in the corner and on the dresser. 

Here's what I did to tame a few monsters.  


  • Gave each girl their own shoe bucket.  We used to try to fit all the shoes into one of those white buckets, but it was always overflowing and it wouldn't fit back into it's spot.  With a little rearranging, I was able to give each girl their own.  I think they still need some cute labels though :)
  • Hung up all the jackets that aren't being used currently.  You can see where their backpacks and coats hang, but there were other sweatshirts that they tried to cram there and aren't being used and just ended up on the floor.
  • Art boxes.  The plastic containers on the floor hold their art supplies and as long as the lids get put back on, it keeps it looking pretty clean.

  • Mostly just needed to be cleared off, but a few special pictures can stay out.  You can see the dresser makeover here.

  • It's amazing what smooth covers can do for a bed!  
  • I cleared out their bookshelves so they weren't overflowing and constantly spilling books down to the floor
  • Use the under bed space!  I found 3 sturdy boxes in our garage and  covered the fronts of them with Duck tape.  One box was too tall to fit under the bed, so I cut down the sides with a box cutter.  Then I made handles from Duck tape so that we can pull them out from under the bed.  The pink box now holds all the Littlest Pet Shop/Polly Pocket/Princess collections!

  • You couldn't see this corner of the room very well in the original pictures, but it used to hold all of the toys.  Or was supposed to.  But mostly things spilled out of those pink boxes and in a big pile on the floor.  That's mostly taken care of by the boxes under the bed now, so here each girl gets one shelf, plus some series books take up another shelf.
  • They also each get one magazine file box to put their papers and notebooks in.

Now that we've had the new set up for a week, it's still looking really good in there!  Plus I'm trying to make sure that they take just a couple of minutes right before bed to do some "guided" clean up.  It's keeping things from becoming a crazy disaster in there again.  And I feel better knowing that there really is a place for things to go and I haven't let them be set up for failure when I say "clean your room." :)

Do you have any tips to share on helping your kids' rooms stay organized?


Monday, March 11, 2013

Disney Valentine

Back in February I shared this over at Undercover Tourist as a quick and cute Valentine idea.  You don't have to save this for a special holiday though.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Fix Comments on Instagram

So if you're on Instagram, maybe you've already figured this one out.  But did you know that you can delete a comment and start over if you misspelled a word, or autocorrect totally botched what you meant to say?  Even get rid of those spammy comments that show up sometimes--like "come get lots of followers here"  :)

I have the Android version, so I don't know if works the same way for iPhones, but here you go.

Tap the speech bubble.  

The box pops up where you can leave a comment, but there's also a pencil icon on the top right.

Hit that and you'll see a little red x next to all the comments.  Click that and you'll get an option to delete your own comment, or if it's a comment by someone else it will say "delete and report abuse" or just "delete."  So now you can erase your comment and re-enter it.

If this post helps just one person today, I have done my job :)

And I want to say congrats to all the winners for the giveaways we've had here over the last couple of weeks.

Joy won the 2-years Blogging prizes
Gemia won the notebook from QuadraFire
Sandra won the current Cutting Edge Magazine 
Thanks everyone for entering!!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Point of View Organization Features

It seems that all the organization ideas last week must of sparked something because I spent a good chunk of yesterday working through my girls' room after they went off to school.  

Generally cleaning their room is something they can take care of on their own, but things still need to have a place to be put.  And after a while they get piled instead of put away, and well, you know what that turns into.

Monday, March 4, 2013