Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Photo Tile Coasters

These are really neat coasters! You can print any image you like on them! Just think what a nice Mother's Day or Father's Day gift these coasters would make with your special photos on them! Only one word of advice before you begin, they are very addicting!!!

There is a really good tutorial at .Split Coast Stampers on how to make them. I followed these directions with no problems. I am not a stamper, nor do I own any stamps, so I did not stamp anything under my image. I also allowed the picture to wrap over the sides instead of centering my picture, otherwise I followed each step. I chose to print my pictures in Sepia tone, but you could use color or black and white also.

I got my tiles at Lowe's. They came in a box of 9 for about $4.00. Make sure your box says "Tumbled Marbled Tiles." I thought I had the right tiles at first, then I saw what I did need. I think there was 3 different colors of the tiles.

The first photo is an angel Ryan and I spotted at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. The second picture is the Harding Memorial in Marion, Ohio.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Swifter Style Dusters

A great alternative to buying expensive Swifter dusters! I would recommend rinsing in hot water before throwing in washing machine.

2- 8x8 pieces of fleece
2- 4x6 pieces of fleece
Swifter duster handle

1. Round the top edges of your pieces. Sew the small and large sections together in the center.

2. Sew the large sections together 1 1/4" from the center seam on both sides.This makes the slot for the handle.

3. Cut the fleece in strips almost up to the center seams. Fluff fleece and insert handle.

The original idea and instructions can be found on Flicker from

We Were Busy!

We were so busy this weekend!!! I am getting siding put on my house in 2 weeks!!! Yea!!!! There is still a lot of prep work to do beforehand.

I do not want to show any of the after pictures until it is all finished so you can see the vast improvement. I will, however, show some before and during pictures!!

A little history of my house:
The house was built in 1929. I always thought it was the oldest on the block because of the decrepit condition it was in. Turns out, it is the youngest house on the block!!! No one has ever done any improvements to the house (except for indoor plumbing, it was not original to the house!!) Our house looks like it is brick until you get close. It is red roof shingles made to look like brick. And, they are missing in several places!! I think someone did put windows in, but that was a long time ago. The windows were on the weight and pulley system. There are just painted boards around the windows were the replacements were smaller that the originals. Our front porch is a nice wooden deck...get to that later.

I got the house 8 years ago at such a good price, that I couldn't pass it up!! We have been working on the inside and are now focusing on the outside.

Here is the house when I bought it...

We discovered this weekend that our front porch wasn't supported. There was no support coming from the ground to the porch. I just could see someone falling through. There were cinder blocks under the deck, we thought that was the support. If you look at the pictures, you can see the gaps between the blocks and the wood planks!! We tore up all of the planks and put support under the porch. The pictures show the lack of support and the mess we found under the porch.

We also took down the square support beam on the right side, It was covered with roof shingles and was ugly. We put up a plain wooden beam instead! We also took down the black, metal railing. We figure since the porch is wood, we should have wooden railings.


We also took off the old, cheap screen (storm) door. I am looking to get a new one that is more updated. The front door is new. We got it 2 years ago. You can see the difference in the before pictures above. This is the picture of what it looked like with the screen door:

I think that is all of the pictures I am going to share for now. I will share some more "during" pictures when we start on the siding. I cannot wait to show the before pictures next to the after!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh, No Bunny!!

I think these are so cute!! I got the idea for these bunnies out of an old craft magazine about 12 years ago. They have always been one of my favorites!!

The story of the bunny is, the bunny saw a pot of jelly beans and dove in to get one. He got stuck trying to get one of his favorite Easter treats!

3" white pom pom
1" white pom pom
scrap white felt
scrap pink felt
2" clay pot
hot glue gun

1. Cut white felt into 2 paw shapes. Cut pink felt into 8 small circles. Glue dots to paw.

2. Glue large pom pom to inside of pot.

3. Glue feet and tail to large pom pom.

You might have a hard time finding the 3" pom pom. I have mine left over from several years ago. There was a little craft shop here that sold all kinds of stuff like that, but they went out of business 5 years ago. The biggest ones I saw at Michael's were 2". Just make sure that your pom pom is 1" larger than the pot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Homemade Cleaning Products

Get a jump on your spring cleaning with these homemade cleaning products!

“Cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfectant products need not contain harsh, chemical toxins to get the job done-there is a natural solution for every household cleaning job. By making your own from the simple staples, you’ll not only help the environment-you’ll save money, too.”

All of these cleansers come from the book Home Made Best Made by Reader’s Digest. I have tried some of these cleaners while others I have not. Please use your own judgment before using any of the recipes to clean your home.

Lemony Furniture Polish
“This furniture polish protects the wood surface and make it shine. Mix it fresh before each use.”

1 c. olive or vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon essential oil

Mix oils together and apply sparingly with a soft rag. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth, buffing to a gleaming finish.

Nonstreaking Spray Glass Cleaner
“Use crumpled newspaper instead of paper towels for better results.”

¼ c. white vinegar
1 Tbl. Cornstarch
2 c. warm water

Mix in a spray bottle and shake well to dissolve the cornstarch. Spray liberally onto glass surface. Wipe dry with a clean cloth or newspapers, buffing to a streak free shine.

Eucalyptus Tile Cleanser
“This fresh, tangy powder leaves kitchen and bathroom tiles shiny and clean.”

½ c. pure soap flakes
1 c. chalk or diatomaceous earth
1 c. baking soda
1 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil

In a small bowl crush the soap flakes with the back of a spoon, or whirl them in a blender until powdered. Mix chalk or earth and the baking soda, breaking any lumps. Sprinkle essential oil over the surface of the powdered mixture and stir in with the spoon. Continue stirring for several minutes to disperse the oil then spoon the mixture into a screw top jar or can that has small holes punched into the lid. Cover the holes with masking tape to keep the powder dry while it is stored. Let the mixture sit for a week before using so that the essential oil is thoroughly dispersed.

Pine Floor Cleaner
“This cleaner is an effective cleaning agent that quickly cuts grease and removes stubborn stains. Mixed with soap and salt, it makes an excellent cleanser for most hardwood floor surfaces.”

½ c. soap flakes
¼ c. washing soda
2 c. water
2 tsp. pine essential oil
1 c. salt

In a sauce pan, place the soap, salt, water, and soda and heat gently, stirring until it is dissolved. Cool the mixture to lukewarm, then add the oil. Stir well and pour into a jar or other container. To use, put 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into a half filled bucket of hot water, stirring well. For large areas, you may need to double the amount. After cleaning, rinse the floor with half a bucket of clean water into which you have poured a cup of white vinegar.

Non Toxic Toilet Bowl Cleaner
“Clean and sanitize your toilet without harmful chlorine! For no scrub convenience, simply pour in and leave overnight.”

1 c. borax
½ c. white vinegar

Flush the toilet and wet the side of the bowl. Sprinkle the borax around the toilet bowl, then drizzle with the vinegar. Leave for several hours before scrubbing with a toilet brush.

Fabric Gel Wash
“The old fashioned method of washing clothes in pure soap is still one of the most reliable ways of getting them clean. This fabric gel, with it’s built in fabric softener, is partially good for washing in hard water."

2 c. pure soap flakes
1 ½ c. borax
6 c. water
½ c. glycerin
2 tsp. of eucalyptus, lemon, or lavender essential oil

In a sauce pan, stir together the soap, borax, and water. Heat gently and stir until the liquid is clear. And the glycerin and cool to lukewarm. Add the oil and stir thoroughly. Pour into a wide mouth jar or other container until needed. Add a cupful to the washing machine, making sure that the soap is fully dissolved before adding any clothing. For best effect, use this gel with warm or hot water.

Fabric Softener
“Use this simple treatment to make fabrics soft and fluffy.”

¼ c. baking soda
½ c. white vinegar

Fill the washing machine with water. Add the soda and then the clothing. During the final rinse cycle, add the vinegar.

All Purpose Cleanser and Disinfectant
“This spray is great for both kitchen and bathrooms surfaces. It works double duty, cutting grease and grime while killing germs.”

1 tsp. borax
½ tsp. washing soda
2 Tbl. Lemon juice.

In a spray bottle, combine the ingredients. Add 1 cup of very hot water and shale well to mix and dissolve the dry ingredients. To use, simply spray on the surface and wipe off with a spine or rag. This solution can be stored indefinitely.

Dishwashing Liquid
“Used with hot water, this liquid gel cleans dishes beautifully without creating unnecessary suds. Do not use in dishwasher.”

¼ c. soap flakes
2 c. hot water
¼ c. glycerin
½ tsp. lemon essential oil

In a bowl, combine flakes and water until flakes are dissolved. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in glycerin and oil and leave to cool. As the mixture cools, it forms a loose gel. Stir with a fork to break up the gel and using a funnel, pour into a narrow neck plastic bottle. To use, squirt 2-3 teaspoonfuls under running water into the sink.

Automatic Dishwasher Soap
“If you live in a hard water area, add the spotless dishwasher rinse to the machine before washing.”

2 c. borax
2 c. washing soda

Mix together and store in a closed plastic container. To use, add 2 tablespoons to the soap compartment.

Spotless Dishwasher Rinse
“You can get dishes spot free in you dishwasher without using chemical rinsing agents.”
1 ½ c. white vinegar

Add vinegar to your dishwasher. Wash dishes as usual.
Note From Ryan He said to NEVER put vinegar in the rinse compartment of your dishwasher. He said it breaks down the seal inside the washer. He said it is okay to put vinegar into the washer itself, they use that to clean the scum, but NEVER in the rinse compartment. He said they have done several repairs due to people putting vinegar in the rinse compartment.

“You can find diatomaceous earth in garden, pool, and hardware stores. Use store bought brands of pure soap flakes such as Ivory or Dreft, or make your own by grating a bar of pure soap. Washing soda is available at grocery store laundry sections.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pistachio Pineapple Delight

I got this recipe from my MIL and it has turned out to be one of my favorite treats! Very easy to make and tastes great!! This is a great dessert item to take to a "pot luck" dinner.

Pistachio Pineapple Delight

1 pkg. pistachio instant pudding
8 oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed
14.5 oz can crushed pineapple
1 c. mini marshmallows

Mix dry pudding mix and Cool Whip together well. Add pineapple and marshmallows. Chill. Stir before serving. Store in fridge.

Seasoned Crackers

My family can eat a batch of these in one night! I always keep them made up for a quick snack. We also love to put them in our chili!

Seasoned Crackers

1 pkg Oyster crackers
1 pkg or 1 ounce dry Ranch mix
1/2 c. oil
1-2 Tbl. dill

Mix oil and seasonings in a container with a lid. Add crackers and put on lid. Toss well to coat. Oil will seep into crackers and they will not be greasy after about 30 minutes. Keeps well in an air tight container.

If Oyster crackers are not available in your area, any saltine cracker will do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Scrabble Coasters

Another creation from my mother. Did you know that you can make almost anything out of Scrabble game tiles?? This is just one example!

You'll need:
Scrabble game tiles
Modge Podge
E-600 glue

Lay tiles out on cork and glue down once you have a pattern of letters that you like. Let glue dry and cut cork to form around the letters using a sharp craft knife. Coat with several layers of Modge Podge.

Record Bowls

Really neat catch all bowls made from records! You could add a bottom to these to hold chips for a neat party decoration. Just make sure that use wipe with a dry towel and do not use any water.

Turn an oven safe bowl upside down in oven. Set record on top. Bake at 200* for 8 minutes. Carefully take out of oven. Begin to shape into a bowl. You may need to put it back into the oven to make it more pliable.

EDIT: Doreen @ Doreen's Creative Space just emailed me with a site talking about the hazardous vapors that comes from heating vinyl. You can find it here. I will call this a "do it at your own risk" project. Now, when I did this, I did notice a slight smell but nothing more than slight. The smell did not leave my kitchen and I didn't even feel it was strong enough to turn on my fan. I have used my oven several times after I made the bowls and there was no smell when I heated my oven up.

I thank Doreen for pointing this out so I can pass it along! Again, use your own judgement when heating vinyl in your oven!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photo Paperweight

I don't think crafts get any easier than this!! I bought the photo paperweight at the Dollar Tree, in the frame aisle. All you do is take the bottom off and you can add your own photo. This would make a nice gift for mom on Mother's Day or even dad for Father's Day!!

For this paperweight, I just cut a pretty piece of material to fit inside the weight. You could use a photo, material, glitter, paper, stickers, or anything! The best of all, you only have $1.00 invested in each one!!

Hair Scrunchies

I think hair scrunchies are the first thing I sewed growing up for craft shows. They are easy to make and require little time. With all of the material out there, you can create tons of different scrunchies!

4x14 scrap of fabric (child)
6 1/2" of 1/2" elastic (child)
4x20 scrap of fabric (adult)
9 1/2" of 1/2" elastic (adult)
2 safety pins

(You can click on any picture to enlarge it)

1. With right sides together, sew fabric into a tube. Turn right side out. Center seam to the back. Iron flat. Turn inside one end about 1/2". Slightly round the corners of the other end.

2. Insert elastic into tube. Use a safety pin to secure one end to tube. Be sure to allow an overhang.

3. Overlapping, sew ends together. Sew a seam on each end and one down the middle.

4. Tuck rounded end of tube into other end. Make sure to match center seam. Sew to attach the tube ends. Also, make sure center seam is on bottom when sewing.

5. Distribute fullness of material.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Boxer Shorts

It seems like every three months, I am buying new boxers for Ryan. You'd think with him being an appliance repairman, he'd fix the monster that lives in our dryer that eats socks and boxer shorts. I buy 6 pairs and within two or three months he is down to one pair.

I am saving so much money making them myself; I get the $1.50 yard material from Walmart. I am now paying a $1.50 a pair instead of $6.00!! Plus, Ryan says he likes these better than the store bought! He says they are much more comfortable. I even made myself a pair for lounging around the house!!!

I used Simplicity pattern 9958. It is a one hour pattern and I think it is even the easy ones. The neat thing is that the pattern goes from boy's size 4 to (a true) men's XL.

Just in case you were wondering, I would have had Ryan model them for you, but I don't think the world is ready for that yet!! (I love you honey!!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I think I could almost eat a whole batch of these cookies!! Ryan and I love them!!


1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. margarine
1/2 c. shorting
2 eggs
2 2/3 c. All Purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. sugar - for dusting
2 tsp. cinnamon - for dusting

Mix sugar, margarine, shorting, and eggs. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Shape into teaspoon size balls. Mix dusting sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls to coat. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes @ 400*. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

History of the Snickerdoodle:
The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln, which means "snail dumpling." A different author suggests that the word "snicker" comes from the Dutch word snekrad, or the German word Schnecke, which both describe a snail-like shape. Yet another theory suggests that the name comes from a New England tradition of fanciful, whimsical cookie names. There is also a series of tall tales about a hero named "Snickerdoodle" from the early 1900s which may be related to the name of the cookie.
From Wikipedia

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some Fun. A Puzzle!

A fun puzzle for you. This is the entrance to Erie Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. It is Cleveland's oldest cemetery and one of the oldest haunted places in Cleveland. Behind the entrance of the cemetery is Jacobs Field where the Cleveland Indians play. Ryan and I visited here 3 summers ago.

Movie Ticket Gift Baskets

My mother made these last fall for Christmas presents and I think they are cute! She filled the basket with boxed candy, microwave popcorn, and Blockbuster gift cards. I think this would make a great gift for the hard to buy for teenager for any occasion.

You'll need:

1 roll of tickets (Walmart or Oriental Trading)
Mod Podge
plastic floral picks (kind that look like pitchforks)
goodies to fill the bowl
optional: small piece of cardboard to plug bottom hole

1. Using your hands, push tickets outward from the center to form bowl.
2. Coat inside and outside with a few layers of Mod Podge.
3. If you want this to be a popcorn bowl, glue a small circle of cardboard to the underside of bowl to plug the hole.
4. Place candy and popcorn into bowl.
5. Cut down floral pick to desired size. Using tape, secure the floral pick to the popcorn wrapper.
6. Place gift cards into floral picks.
7. Wrap with a plastic bag and a pretty bow.

Bowl can be wiped clean, but cannot be washed with water.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Framed Mirror

Pretty, easy and cheap! No, it's no a date! I got both the mirror and frame from the Dollar Tree. My total investment was $2.

Remove glass from 3.5 x 5.5 frame. Using E-600 glue, glue the mirror to the inside of the frame and let dry.

Remove rubber feet from back of mirror. Glue frame back to back of mirror and let dry.

I bought an easel frame, but it also had hooks on the back. You could either hang this on the wall or place on a coffee table.

Eraser Pads

Arya decided to try out some of her artistic abilities on my backdoor, window, and my TV room window. I had always heard to get those Mr. Clean eraser pads to remove anything off of your walls. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought their version on the cleaning pads (2/$1). It took the crayon right off of my metal door and the windows. It left a little brown residue from the crayon, but I wiped it clean with a wet paper towel. I definitely would recommend this product!

St. Patrick's Day Treats

I made these for Jaiden to take to dance class and to school tomorrow. I made green Play Dough for the kids. I got food containers from the Dollar Tree (6/$1) and attached a shamrock cookie cutter from Sugarcraft. I have less than a $1 invested in each one.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Smoothie Popsicles

These taste so good!! Plus, they are easy to make and you control the amount of sugar!

Smoothie Popsicles

Vanilla yogurt (not plain)
Fresh fruit (I used strawberries)
Optional: Sugar/Splenda to taste

Chop strawberries in food processor or by hand. Mix with yogurt and sugar. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.