Monday, January 31, 2011

The best Lemon Bars - ever

This day has just flown by! I meant to get this post up this morning, but yea life just seemed to happen. I know I am not the only one that this happens too! It was productive though, aside from Thing #5 eating the bubbles in the tub. I did not get any errands done because I had no desire to go out in blowing snow.

This weekend was very relaxing. I have been on a cleaning and getting rid of stuff. It is going rather well, maybe if I am brave enough I will post pictures on here. But today I have delicious treat for you! I used to make these bars almost every Sunday when I was a teenager. My friends would always know when to come over for a treat. So I like to think that I am pretty good at making these.

Lemon Browies

3 C flour
3 C butter - softened
1/2 C powdered sugar

Mix ingredients together until smooth and flaky. Press into a 11x15 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

5 eggs
2 1/2 C sugar
1/2 TBsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 TBsp lemon juice - I always add a little bit more

optional - the zest of a lemon. it just gives it that extra lemon kick that I love!

Mix topping together and beat for 3 minutes. Pour over warm base, and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.

I am off to make some warm rolls for this freezing cold day . . . unless I get caught up in sewing. Enjoy your Monday!
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Fantastic Friday #4

It's that Fantastic time again! I have been so busy this week, but in a very good way. I have gotten lots of crafts done and even stayed on top of the house cleaning and everything else! I hope all of you had just as good a week. We had 29 links last week! Our party is getting bigger every week! Isn't it so fun. I know that I have a great time looking at all of the fun things that you all make and getting inspiration from them!

I have also reached 50 followers! Yes, 50! I am going to do a giveaway next week to celebrate, so stay tuned to see what it is! ;)

This week I chose this Fantastic clock to feature from Reloved Rubbish. You need to check this out! I cannot believe the before and after pictures. Simply amazing. I am now on the lookout for one of these at the thrift store! Also you should see some of the other stuff that she has on her blog. Amazing!

So, grab a button to let everyone know that you have been featured here!

Iron Violet Designs

Now onto our party for this week. Let's see what you all have been up to this week, and link your FANTASTIC creations up!

*must link to a blog post, not your home page, another linky party, etsy shop or giveaway.
*link back to this post so that others can join in on the fun. Grab a button or do a text link.
*visit a few of the links and leave comments! I absolutely love it when people comment on my stuff - positively of course - and I know that everyone else does as well!
*become a follower of Iron Violet Designs. You know you want to do this, and heavens knows it makes me feel good! ;)
Iron Violet Designs

Let's get started:
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

I {heart} U

I have never really decorated much for any other holiday except Christmas, but that has changed this last year. I have really gotten into this crafting stuff. As I was blog surfing the other night - I know you all spend your evenings doing this - I came across this craft:

And yes I had to copy it because it was so simple, clean and not to mention easy! We actually made these at my craft group I host. And another nice thing about this craft is that I had everything I needed to make these right in my home!

I have a neighbor who has a grain business so they get huge orders of grain in on pallets. This last order all her pallets were brand new. She was just going to throw them out with the trash, but I intervened. And these pallets were food grade, so I felt safe to use them in a craft in my home. I just cut them out with my circular saw. Someday I will have some big girl tools, but until then we just make due.

What I did to make these was I took a brush and just dipped the ends into the paint - not a ton of paint on the brush - and then dotted it on the wood and them ran the brush along it to paint it. It is called dry brushing and I read about it somewhere, but I cannot remember where!:( But anyway, it gave it that rustic/weathered look that I wanted, and I did not have to do a ton of sanding!
I just out some letters on my Cricut, and I use the SCAL to make them tall on skinny so they would look good on my boards. I used a re-positionable spray adhesive to make them a stencil. It worked fairly well. You do have to make sure that you have the edges all pressed down.

You then paint them. We did realize that after about the 4 set of these that the stencil was not really holding its own as well. But we found if you painted from the outside to the inside then you had less chance of the paint leaking out the edges. But it looked okay when you did have little areas like that because it is a rustic look. I messed up on the bottom of my I. And yes these boards are not all the same size, but that adds to the character of it.

I then just tied them all together with a ribbon and viola! you are done. I have thought about gluing them, but I have not got to it yet. I placed them on the floor in front of my great quilt tin, and well they only lasted a day there before Thing #5 had them all taken apart and was playing with the ribbon. So now they are on my little counter. 

Linking up to the parties in my tab.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quilt #1 for 2011

Maybe you remember some of my New Year's resolutions, well I have started in on one. I am going to finish six quilts this year. I decided that since I have a few tops that I have sitting around I should get those ones done first. However, I have finished one other top and started in on another one. Sometimes I get tired of working with the same fabric for a long time, and so I set it aside and start another one. Not super conducive to getting things done, but eventually they do get done.

Anyway, this quilt top I have had laying around for about 2 years. I did the top one week when Conan was gone for business and I was a little bored in the evenings. It went together really quick - because it is just squares with sashing. I am not sure why I never got around to quilting it because I love the way it looks on my bed. I have had a quilt with a white background and not much color and this just adds that little extra to the room.

This is a huge quilt and my frame is only for up to queen sized, so it was a project to quilt. I had to fold and be careful not to quilt too close to my folds. Then when I took it off the frame I had to finish quilting it, and I do not like to quilt without my frame. It just takes way too long!! Because I knew that I would have to do this, I did a simple big all over pattern.
I am so motivated to get some quilts done that I actually sat down and did the binding in two evenings. Usually it takes me a long time, or I save it if we are getting ready to take a long drive. So this is a new record for me.

It makes me happy that I am progressing in my goals! Don't forget to come and link up your projects to Fantastic Friday this week!
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am Stylin'

I get to share my excitement with all of you today! I just received my first blog award! Bethany for Sweet Bee Buzzings gave me the Stylish Blogger Award. It was so sweet of her. Sometimes you feel like you are just writing for your own sake, but it is nice to know that someone appreciates what I put up on here! Thank you so much Bethany for this, you are wonderful!

As part of this award you are supposed to share 7 things about you - I am not sure I even have that many things that will interest you, but I will give it a try.

ONE - It is a very rare occasion that I miss working out. Which consists of running and kettlebells. I think in the last year and half I have only missed 3 days. Conan says that I over train, but I just think I am a better mom when I have done something for myself before I have to take care of the kids. And I just love, love, love it.

TWO - I have no artistic ability, when it comes to drawing. Not one ounce. The rest of my family is awesome to say the least. One good thing about this is that my kids never ask me to draw anything because they know that they can do just as good of job; or they just ask Conan and know they will get something spectacular.

THREE - I am a piano teacher. I love teaching piano, it is stressful at times and I say that I will never do it again, but I always do. I love being able to teach kids and adults something that they are so proud of accomplishing. And seeing the look on their faces after they play a recital song is worth every minute spent teaching them.

FOUR - I am very social. I love to go places, hang out with friends and have people over and talk, talk, talk, talk! Sometimes this drives Conan crazy because he is not a talker, but he is so sweet and understands that this is who I am and I need to get this out of my system. It works well for our relationship because he is a listener, so I could go on for hours to him and he loves it.

FIVE - My favorite food is chocolate - snickers candy bars to be exact. Thing #1 is such a good kid, whenever he gets a treat from something and he picks a snickers he will always share it with me. I also love broccoli. I know that is weird, but it my trying to eat healthier it has really grown on me. I eat it just about every night - steamed with whatever we are having. And my kids are even eat it without complaining.

SIX -  I love my family. They are the world to me. Conan is such a wonderful husband, he supports me in whatever I want to do. I love my kids - even when they are not obedient and I tend to yell at them. I love to hang out with my siblings. Whenever we get together we never really do anything, we just tend to hang out and socialize. I also love my faith. It is a huge part of who I am and who I am trying to teach my children to become.

SEVEN - Alright, I am really running out of things to tell you about me. My life is not that interesting I seem to do the same things everyday. But I love to blog. Starting this blog has been such a good experience for me. I enjoy all of the people that I have met and the talent that is out there. I am constantly amazed at what you all can do. You really inspire me to try new things and be better.

Thanks again Bethany for this award! I hope that all of you are having a wonderful day. I am hoping to finish up a sewing project to share with all of you tomorrow!
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Thrifty Finds

I love the thrift store, you can find some amazing things there. And whenever I go I usually end up spending more than I planned on, so I try not to go too often. My mother in law finds the most amazing things at the thrift store, I cam constantly amazed at what she picks up. But I went out this weekend and I found some great things - I felt like I was so lucky! I found 2 extremely nice Sunday suits for my boys at next to nothing. And here are some fun decor items that I found:
 I found this great wreath for $2. I love these simple ones with just branches. It does have a little bare spot at the top, but I was thinking that I could cut one or two from other spots and fill it in. And it goes perfectly right above the DR MAG coat rack, which I have to say my kids love. They have hung up their coats every single day since I hung it up. This thing is worth its weight in gold!
 I saw this pail for $6 and was not sure if I wanted it because I did not know what I would do with it. But I grabbed it and walked around the store with it for a little while. I then just decided to get it because it could put up with a beating and I was sure I could find a use for it somewhere in my house. And I did, I have it next to the couch and filled it up with my quilts.
This rug here was probably my favorite find at the thrift store. I have been wanting another rug but I had yet to find one that I loved enough to shell out too much money for. But this shag beauty was only $10. I was worried that I would unroll it and find something terribly wrong with it, but no - it is pristine! There is not even a water mark stain on the bottom! I am going to lay it down once I get it cleaned up.
This is my next huge project here. I found this headboard and matching foot board for a twin bed for $5. They are solid wood, no fake stuff here. Thing #2 is needing a bed, and I am planning on painting this up and getting it done for her birthday in a couple of months. I have plans of making it look somewhat antique, we will see what I can actually do.

It just makes me happy to find something good for a really good deal! Stay tuned for how the bed turns out!
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Almost BBQ Ribs

I am not a huge meat eater. It just does not appeal to me. But there are times where I just love it - and Conan loves those times! ;) The other day was one of those times, I was craving meat and so I decided to cook some ribs for dinner. Because I do not really care for meat, I do not have a ton of good ways to cook it. So it is usually an experiment. After talking to my friends husband I found a couple of good ways to cook ribs and surprised Conan with how good they turned out.

I do not really have a recipe because I just used BBQ sauce, but you could use any marinade over the top. I boiled the ribs first in a pot on the stove. I was told that this would make the meat softer, which it did. Then I placed them on a baking sheet and smothered them in BBQ sauce. I then cooked them on the convection bake setting in my oven. (We do not own a BBQ, and if we did I would not go outside with how cold it was the day I made these.)

I let them cook for about 30-45 minutes and it was awesome, they had a little bit of that grilled taste, and were delicious! The kids even loved them, but I think that somedays they will eat just about anything. Don't those just look so good?!

It was a quick and easy dinner, well maybe not quick because it did take some time, but for sure easy. We just had some steamed veggies to go with it.We will definitely be doing this meal again.

Stay tuned, I hope to post some of the great finds I got at the thrift store this weekend, and in doing that I will show you my newest project . . .
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

p.s. I love you

Okay I really fell in love with this craft from Flamingo Toes, it was just so elegant and simple, exactly my style.
I pretty much did everything that she did, except I used a sharpie to write my words. I tried the whole stitching thing, but it looked terrible. So I got out my trusty sharpie and done! My kids really got a kick out of the stitched paper, especially when I scrapped my first one that I tried the stitching on - they all tried to lay claim to it. Here is my version:

 I had a hard time decided exactly how I wanted to do my rosettes, but in the end I decided to go with these ones because they gave it a little bit more color.
Another great things about this project was that it was practically free. I had everything, but then I saw this frame at the thrift store for 99 cents and could not resist. This is also my craft for Ucreate's create with me.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Fantastic Friday #3

Can you believe that it is Friday already. I have a love/hate relationship with short weeks, I love that their is a holiday and Conan usually gets the day off and we have a long weekend, but then I hate how quick the week goes by. Oh well, what am I going to do. Anyway, last week we had 21 Fantastic Creations shared! I was super excited about all of them. But I chose to feature this beautiful bag this week:

Crafty Girls Workshop made this and I just love it. You already know that I am a sucker for flowers, but I love bags almost as much. I was talking about making one the other day and Conan asked why I needed another bag. I told him that I did not need one, but it would be fun to make. He just laughed. But I just look at this bag and wish that I had something that elegant when I was carting a diaper bag around. Who am I kidding, I still cart a diaper bag around! I could go on and on about how much I love this, but I don't want to totally bore you.

So, grab a button to let everyone know that you have been featured here!

Iron Violet Designs

Now onto our party for this week. Let's see what you all have been up to this week, and link your FANTASTIC creations up!

*must link to a blog post, not your home page, another linky party, etsy shop or giveaway.
*link back to this post so that others can join in on the fun. Grab a button or do a text link.
*visit a few of the links and leave comments! Comments are like warm fuzzies, they make everyone feel good and everyone likes them.
*become a follower of Iron Violet Designs. You know you want to do this, and heavens knows it makes me feel good! ;)
Iron Violet Designs

Let's get started:
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

I {heart} Flowers

I am so excited about this project, I finally have it all done to share with you all. One of the reasons I am super excited is because I just love flowers. Anything that has to do with flowers I am a sucker for - fabric, paper, stamps, home decor, accessories, and the list can go on and on. Another reason is because this project takes something old - aka trash - and turns it into something beautiful. So I feel like I am doing better at my part in recycling.

When I saw these flowers I knew that I had to make them. And they were not super hard. I saw them done, but I did them a little bit different to suite my needs and skills, and of course to make it my own. It all started with a simple empty can of soda. I am not a fan of soda so when I bought this my kids kept asking who it was for and they found out it was for them to drink I could not have made them happier. And a perk is that you can have different colors depending on what color is on the can! (this one was mainly purple)

This one here is my best one. I got the curling just right on it. There were some that well yea, they could still have qualified as trash.

Once I had a few good ones made I thought now what. I have these way cute flowers, but what am I going to do with them? I thought about a necklace, but I did not have enough jewelry stuff to make a necklace, so they became a bracelet. Which I have to say I think is perfect for these.

I tired it two different ways - not extremely different, just a teeny tiny bit.

The first way, pictured above was to place the flower with the large ovals between it.

When I tried it on I had only put one flower on just to see what I thought of it.

The next way, which I have to say was my favorite - it was also Conan's favorite, was to have a small chain connecting the roses together. I like this way because it really makes the roses stand out more.

I did the same thing here as with the big rings, I attached one flower and tried it on before I committed to attaching more. And part of my likes it with just one, but then I also like it with more. Good thing these are easy to make!

There you have it, some fashionable recycled jewelry. And I made it, which says a lot because I do not really make that much jewelry!

This is my entry for American Crafter. Go and check out all the talent that is out there.

Button Redo

Linking up to: Someday Crafts, Sugar and Dots, Sew Much Ado, Allie Makes, Somewhat Simple, House of Hepworths, Shabby Chic, Paisley Passions, Elle Belle Creative, Night Owl Crafting, Blue Cricket Design, Fireflies and Jellybeans, It's stinkin cute, Life as Lori, Finding Fabulous, Truly Lovely, Creation Corner, Shabby Nest, A few of my favorite things, Sunday Showcase, Craft-o-Manic, Embellishing Life, Sew Chatty, Making the world cuter, Made by You Mondays, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Tools are for Women too, CRAFT, Sew can do, Keeping it Simple, So very Cheri, Ladybug Blessings, Sugar Bee, A Diamond in the Stuff, Little Eme, Vintage Wannabee.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Ever So Talented Sister

I have a few sisters and all of them are supremely talented - but today I am going to share about one of my younger sisters. She can cook like nobody's business and blogs about it here . But she has recently got into quilting. All of my siblings can sew, my mom made sure of that, but this is the first quilt that my sister has made. This is her quilt laying on my floor.

Holy cow! I was stunned when I got this in the mail - it is not for me, I was just doing the machine quilting on it for her. All of her edges met and her corners are perfect! I have been quilting for a few years and would love to say that I was that good when I started, but I just wasn't. I am not even that good now! To quilt it I did a simple all over pattern.

There are a few reasons why I love this quilt so much: One because I do not get a chance to work with pink that much with the level of testosterone that is in my house, and isn't it just to die for?! Two because she did so good on it - I've said it already, but man this girl has talent! she even ironed everything - which is the part that I do not like, and therefore I do not do that very well. and Three it was baby sized, I had it on and off the frame the same day! I am used to working on big quilts, and so it was a dream to quilt something so small and dainty.

I mailed it back to her to do the binding and then give it to her SIL for her sweet new baby. 
Anyway, if you want some good recipes that are not hard go check out her blog. And we can all just dream of quilting this good. I do have some of my own sewing projects, but this tops them. I will show you more maybe next week. I do have one of my quilts up on the frame now, I figured since the machine was already up there I might as well quilt one, so hopefully I will be able to share my first finished quilt of the year!

AND . . . I have been working on a cool project, at least I think it is cool. I am hoping to get one of them to turn out good and worthy to be placed on here. ;) So stay tuned.

Linking to: Sew cute Tuesday.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Salty Sweet Snack

Last night I was trying to come up with a good idea for a quick and easy snack/treat for my kids. As I was rummaging through my cupboards I found some rolos and remembered something my friend had made for our cookie exchange last month. This is super easy and it was Conan's favorite 'cookie' from the whole exchange, so I knew that I could not go wrong.

I am not sure if this has a name but I call it a salty sweet snack because it is that perfect blend of salty/sweet.


I spread my pretzels out on a baking sheet and then topped them with Rolos. I stuck them in a warm oven for about 3 minutes just to soften them up a bit. Then I place a pecan on top of them. Let them cool and enjoy.

 Here are the pretzels, all in a single layer.
 With the Rolos on top. I only made how many rolos where in the bag.
And this is where I squished the pecan on top of them. 

Seriously does it get much easier than this?! Hope that you all have a great holiday and you get to do something fun!
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Fantastic Friday #2

Our party last week was awesome! We had 17 people come and link up. I love all of them, but my favorite one was these love letters by Somewhere in Craftland. I love this idea of having a picture of abstract things that make letters. (I am thinking of my P365 - I could get 26 pictures taken just doing this!) But go and check out her blog, she is so talented and has many wonderful items for inspiration!

So, grab a button to let everyone know that you have been featured here!

Iron Violet Designs

Now onto our party for this week. Let's see what you all have been up to this week, and link your FANTASTIC creations up!

*must link to a blog post, not your home page, another linky party, etsy shop or giveaway.
*link back to this post so that others can join in on the fun. Grab a button or do a text link.
*visit a few of the links and leave comments! Comments are like warm fuzzies, they make everyone feel good.
*become a follower of Iron Violet Designs. You know you want to do this, now is a perfect time!
Iron Violet Designs

Let's get started:

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

PB Candles

Everyone loves a good PB knockoff -myself included. I saw these candles in the last catalog and immediately fell in love with them. My love decreased when I saw the price. I saw them done here with modge podge, and I tried it like that, but I was not completely happy with them. As I continually thought about these all day long I remembered a way I used to decorate candles with stamps in my Stampin' Up days. I thought that I would give it a try. Here is s picture of theirs.
And it worked beautifully. I loved it so much that I showed all the gals at my craft group how to make them. And they loved it almost as much as I did. They also loved how easy it was.

 Here is the simple instructions: And thanks to my friend for letting me take pictures of her making her candle.

We copied some music onto tissue paper and then trimmed it so that it was a perfect fit. I did not get any pictures of this step. The best way to do this is to cut your tissue paper to be the same size as your printer paper and then tape it to a piece of printer paper. Then you print your music on it. It does take a little bit of patience for this step, I had a couple of paper jams.

We used a tiny piece of tape to hold the tissue paper on. Then we took some wax paper and wrapped it over the tissue paper on the candle. You have to make sure that this is tight - it is very important to how well your candle will turn out.

Then you take your heat source - I used my embossing gun, and slowly apply the heat to the wax. You will be able to see when the tissue paper adheres to the candle it will change colors. The wax paper helps the tissue paper grab onto the candle. You can see in the picture where it is changing. But notice how she let go of the paper and there is a little bubble in the wax paper, we had to go back and try and fix that later, because it made a funny bump in her candle.

When you are done adhering all your tissue paper - be sure and remove the tiny piece of tape before you completely finish  - you slowly pull off the wax paper to reveal your new candle. We decided the a dark candle was probably not the best way to go with this.
As you could still see where the tissue paper was. We did this on a cream and a white candle and it blended in perfectly. The cream one was my favorite, it was very vintage looking.

Above are two of the ones made at my craft group. Don't you just love that cream one?!

Here are the white ones that I made. I have them displayed on a little shelf above my piano.

Here are two of the differences in the candles that really stood out to me. I did not like how when I painted the tissue paper with modge podge you could still see where it overlapped. (granted on my first one I just grabbed a piece of music and made this - I think it was to busy and so I used easier music for my later ones.) One my second ones you could not even see where they over lapped.

But I still do like the first candle (image on the top), I just display it on a higher shelf so that I don't have to see all the things that I did wrong with it. I will definitely be making more of these! Also later next week I will have some up in my etsy shop (ironvioletdesigns).

You can also do this with just about anything stamped onto tissue paper. If you are doing a small image just be sure and cut very close to the edge so eliminate extra paper that could show.

Don't forget that tomorrow is our second FANTASTIC FRIDAY! Be sure and come and link up all your great creations and see what everyone else has been working on.

Linking up to: Someday crafts, Sugar and Dots, Sew much ado, Somewhat Simple, House of Hepworths, Shabby Chic Cottage, Paper Issues, Too Cute Tuesday, Creation Corner, Fancy this Friday, Allie makes, Making the World Cuter, Craft-O-Maniac, Embellishing life, Skip to my Lou, Sew Chatty, Crafts keep me Sane, Vintage WannaBee, Tute Yourself Tuesday, Tea Rose Home.

This is also my entry for the Knock it off Contest over at 733.

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