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Cotton Boll Christmas Ornaments  

Recently I posted about the Cotton Field In My Kitchen here.   It was about the dried fall treasures I collect to make pretty things for fall and winter.  I showed you my "cotton field" awaiting their projects.

I saw this idea on Thrift My House and loved it!  Isn't the internet fantastic for sharing cool ideas?

I bought some empty glass ornaments at half price for $3 and started stuffing cotton and cotton burs into them.  Mine aren't as pretty as the person who posted my inspiration.  It looks like she managed to get complete burs into the ornaments.  I could barely get one section in at a time by breaking them apart.  Not as cool, but they are still cool enough and will be loved by those I give them too.  As I explained in the Cotton Field post, cotton is dear to my family and now that one of my daughters lives far away, she can now keep her cotton near for the holidays!

And here are the pretty cotton ornaments!

This picture also shows the Pottery Barn Knock Off Silver Acorns I made.  You can read about them three posts ago here.  I also made Pottery Barn Knock Off Gold Leaf Acorns here.

I hope you are having fun decorating with the beautiful treasures God is leaving for us in fields and brush!  See ya next time!

I'm posting this to The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict and The Sunday Showcase.

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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Chalkboard Pantry Door  

I finally put the chalkboard inside my new pantry door as part of The Accidental Remodel and I think it's great!  (The sunlight is making the cabinets look yellow...they are really a delicious soft white.)

I bought a vinyl chalkboard for $5.18 with a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.  I was concerned when I unrolled it as it was anything but smooth.  I had thought it would attach like a static sticker and was concerned as there is enough texture to the paint that my suction cup hook won't stick to it.  (I ended up using a clear Command hook for my dish towel.)  I was pleased to see the back of this was adhesive and also printed with a grid to aid in cutting.  It made trimming it to fit my area effortless.  It went on smooth and couldn't have been more effortless!  It is very easy to reposition and will come off easily when it's no longer wanted.  Sweet!

Already I'm forming ideas of what to do with the part I trimmed off!!!  :)  If I had a die cutting machine, I'd cut labels for jars and tags!

I used my method of grating part of a piece of chalk and rubbing the dust onto the surface to prime it.  I greatly prefer the results using this method to rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over it.  It's kinda fun to do it this way too!  It's like dry finger painting, and who didn't love finger painting???

I am thrilled with how well my $.47 pack of Walmart chalk shows up on this vinyl chalkboard.  It didn't show up well on the chalkboard chargers I made using Krylon Chalkboard spray paint, so this was great news.

As I drew my liquid and dry measurement equivalents charts on it, it erased beautifully with just my fingers, which we already chalky from the priming.   Yeah!

I'm a list person.  It's how I get things done.  Now I'll be able to keep my "to do" list on the chalkboard right next to where I work and just erase when one is accomplished and add more as necessary.  No more keeping up with a paper list and recopying what's left to a new list.  Yeah!

I think it would be cuter if part of this were corkboard and/or magnetic whiteboard, but the truth is that this meets my needs best.  I didn't want to risk of the door being slammed and tacks ending up on the floor with baby Boo.  I love magnetic whiteboards too, but even cleaning it immediately after every Bible lesson in class, it left ghosts I couldn't get rid of.  I knew that what I write here would stay a while and so would ruin the white board.  So, I'm a touch sad that it isn't as pretty as it could be, but this is more functional for us.

One last thing, if you are thinking of buying this vinyl chalkboard from Hobby Lobby, it was enough to do this floor to ceiling door and leave a little extra to play with.

Thanks for dropping by and have a great day!

I'm posting this to The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict and The Sunday Showcase.

UPDATE:  Two years after installing this, the corners are coming loose.  They are still secure and just tacking the corners on does the job.

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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Pottery Barn Knock Off Silver Acorns  

I love Pottery Barn's gold acorn vase filler, but I don't see any reason to pay that price when I can do it myself and have some fun!  So, Boo and I have been collecting acorns on our walks.  The weather is so wonderful and the fall colors so pretty, me and Boo and my bag of acorns!  An hour in my oven on low and they are safe from buggy surprises.

I have wanted gold ones for a long time, but what I had on hand is Krylon's Chrome spray paint, so silver they are!  It's beautiful paint and dries fast.  I hot glued the dried acorns into their caps.  The shiny silver paint made the caps look dull and too light to show up.  I could have sprayed them with a nice gloss finish, but I didn't have any.  What I did have was clear nail polish, so that's what I used.  They look great!

It turned out that silver was the perfect color!  This is how I used them, to tie my two focal points together on my coffee table.  I love the sparkly bird/branches.  Of course I'm the Mama bird and the two sparkly babies are my lovely daughters!  The story of the Pussy Willow and Kusudama Balls is here, the  Cloche is three posts back and the cotton is from my Cotton Field In My Kitchen post here , if you're interested.

The sparkly branch was from Michael's many years ago.  The birds were from Trees n' Trends years ago, but I've seen the little ones at Pier 1 this year.   The cloche and chrome paint are from Hobby Lobby and the candle inside from Bath & Body Works.  The "diamonds" in the cloche are from Hobby Lobby.   The acorns and cotton are straight from God, their Creator!

I finally made the gold leaf ones here if you'd like to see how.

Thanks for dropping by and have a great day!

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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Autumn In Dixie Is Spectacular!  

There are so many distractions in our lives today that it's easy to entirely miss the beauty God gives us so abundantly each season.  We're too busy to notice the change.  When we do notice we think, I'll enjoy it later, then when we finally look, it has past.   I know there are times while I'm working and I notice the sunlight is especially wondrous and plan to enjoy it later, but before I know it it's getting dark and I missed it.  It's sad.

We don't notice the rich sunrises and sunsets, every one unique, lightning bugs glittering in the starry black night sky, soft mist blanketed meadows and mountains, pavement glittering in the sunlight.  God is always surrounding us with the wondrous beauty of this world He created and we so often miss it.  We will drive to a museum, wait in line and pay money to see a few small pieces of art and miss the double rainbow filling the sky from one horizon to the other or the way the raindrops are sparkling in the sunlight.  I hope you really enjoy this spectacular fall, the way it looks, the way it smells when it crunches under your feet and the abundant treasures it dries and leaves for us to get creative with! 

Autumn is such a beautiful time in the South, but then pretty much every time is beautiful here!   This is the view from my bathroom window!  Unbelievable!

This is a Crepe Myrtle tree and they are one of God's year round marvels.   In the fall, on a sunny day, they are almost unbelievably brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red with greens still showing.

Here the branches look dark because the sun is bright on the other side.  But they are actually extremely light beige.  This time of year they have a pattern on them from having just shed their bark.  The bark hangs like lizard skin from the branches!  Here the arrows show some of the bark hanging.  (This was a cloudy, rainy day so the colors are dulled).

The Bag-O-Bark that I have collected for crafting.


The crepe myrtle blossom clusters become really cool dried goodies too.  I gave this away as a freebie in 2009.  It's in the Pods 'n' Berries Kit in the store now.  I'm just posting this preview so you can see what they look like.

This is a page from the first book I published, Surrounded By God's Glory.  The top four pictures show what a crepe myrtle looks like in the spring and blooming.  They come in different colors.  Ironically I bought three tagged dark purple and clearly they were brilliant pink!  They are still stunning, but my favorite is still the dark purple.  They don't bloom until day's reach the 90's and stay that way.  You know summer's here when they bloom!

If you'd like tons of cool pods, berries and fall goodies to use on your scrapbooking pages, these are just some of the fall related kits are available.  There are tons more in the store.  Just click the store button at the bottom of this post or the pretty blue round one at the top of the right column on the blog.  You can just use the Buy It Now Buttons to purchase any of these.

I hope you enjoyed this botanical taste of God's Southern autumn glory with me!  I know that I recently posted some of this when discussing the autumn dried treasures I was collecting, but it seemed right to put them here too so everyone could see the different seasonal dress of this lovely bush.  LOL it's seems odd that it's a "bush" when it's as tall as my two story house!!

Don't miss the autumn show where you live and be sure to share it with your kids so they learn to enjoy all that God gives us too!  And really, isn't everything in life more fun when we share it with those we love? 

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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Chalkboard Chargers a bit differently!  

I know everyone is making chalboard chargers, but I thought I'd share mine because I did something a bit different and it might be helpful to you.

Here is the first one I made.  It had a scrolled edge that made a pretty design with the chalk.  My daughter decorated it with the menu we were serving company.  


First try.  I chose a charger that already had a black back.  Then I put two coats of the wonderful primer I used to paint my kitchen hardware here.  It's fantastic stuff. I haven't read about others using primer, but I want to be able to really use these and the primer should help the chalkboard paint to stick to the slick plastic.  Then I used two coats of Krylon chalkboard spray paint.  I discovered that the fine mist of the primer ended up on the exposed underneath, even though I sprayed straight down from above.  So when the chalkboard paint dried, I sprayed the bottoms with the same industrial black enamel I had left from the kitchen and it's perfect now.

I had read to "prime" the paint by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over your project and then wipe it off.  They say this keeps your chalk marks from being permanent/semi-permanent.  It's also supposed to make the chalk show up better.  I wasn't happy with how this worked on the chargers due to their shape.  I couldn't get into the area between the raised rim and the bottom part and it left "scratches" trying.  It wasn't a consistent coverage.  Then when I tried it as a charger, I found that too much space was used by the pretty scrollwork around the edge and there wasn't enough room to write a message, draw or write someone's name.

Round two.  I chose completely flat rims so I'd have more space to write.  I did the same process up to the priming.  This time I grated my chalk and dumped the powder on a charger.  I gently rubbed it in circles...gently because there were a few small chunks that could have scratched, but it was mostly powder.  It works like a dream!  It easily goes anywhere and is very consistent.  Yeah!  Then I just dumped the extras into the next charger and kept priming.  So cool!  It took less than half a piece of chalk to prime all six chargers.

I just love these!  Thank you whoever first got the idea to do this!!!!  LOVE IT!

I'm posting this to The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict and The Sunday Showcase.

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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Kusudama Cloche  

If you were visiting during the Fall/Christmas season last year, you might remember the Kusudama Balls that I made from old book pages.  I had a LOT of time in waiting rooms for doctors and surgeries last year and I kept supplies in my purse and made tons of the little pieces to pass the time.  I ended up with some awesome decorations!  There were three posts here, here and here.  These are some of those pictures in case you don't want to go look.  

They were so pretty that I didn't put them away after the holiday, but I've been concerned about dust.  How do you dust these?  They took so long to make and I want them to stay nice for a long time.  I had an idea.

I fell in love with cloches in Pottery Barn catalogs, but wow are they out of the realm of possibility!  So, like any good DIY'er I kept my eyes open for more affordable things that would give the same look.  I bought a cloche and base from Hobby Lobby for $13.50 on half price sale.

I used this cloche in my Pottery Barn knock off spring tablescape here. 

BTW, those were bulbs I was forcing inside.

Ever since taking the spring table down so I could use the table for The Accidental Remodel of our kitchen, I had planned to use the cloche for the Kusudama Balls.  There was so much to do in the remodel and the house was a wreck from having the entire kitchen moved into all the other rooms.  I only got to it working on the cloche recently.

The redish brown base worked fine on the spring tablescape, but not for the Kusudama Balls.  I used the same primer and paint as my cabinets and trim in the kitchen on the base.  I had painted the trim in the rest of the house and our coffee table with the same paint before I started the kitchen.  So, anywhere in the public part of the house, this lovely soft white base will go perfectly!  And if I use it in the kitchen some time, NOTHING looks as good on my black granite counters as a soft white!

Do you remember by Pussy Willow Ball?  You can read about it here.  It too has been a dust concern and I do love it so.  The colors are awesome and it's soooooooo soft! 

I finally gathered all my dust endangered treasures from last fall together in the cloche!  I love it and no more dust issues!   The pussy willow ball is on a spindle of twine.  The six pointed Kusudama ball is on a Bath & Body Works candle in it's silver metal snowflake holder.   The five pointed Kusudama ball is sprinkled with "diamonds" from Hobby Lobby.  They are sold to sprinkle on your table.  I got them 50% off for about $1.50. 

I may weather the base with sandpaper in the future, but for now it's on a coffee table that isn't weathered and it looks just fine.  My husband says it looks snowy.  Practical, affordable and beautiful!  Yeah!  Chalk another one up for DIY!

I'm posting this to The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict and The Sunday Showcase.

Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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An Ounce Of Prevention  

I thought I'd share another easy project connected with our recently completed Accidental Makeover series.  If you missed it, you can follow the entire journey here.

We had an older kitchen, the kind with the panels between the cabinets and the ceiling that were just wasted space.  We knocked them out and made shelves, painting inside including the ceiling that was exposed.  The plan was to fill the new shelves with baskets, boxes and chests that will store our Christmas decorations, all neatly sorted and easy to find using a key posted inside a cabinet door.

This is how it turned out.  Love it!

I knew that dust will be an issue, so I bought mostly closed containers.  Only three of them had no tops.  Dust would surely be an issue for the decorations inside the open containers, so that was challenge #1.  Challenge #2 is that all but two of the containers are covered in fabric or rough wood, (and one is leather).  I plan to only climb up there twice a year - once to get them down to decorate and replace the containers and once to get them back down to pack Christmas away and return them to the shelves.  Dust is going to accumulate on all the tops.  Trying to "brush" dust from fabric and rough wood doesn't work.

What does wash off easily?  I have long covered our guest beds with old shower curtains to keep the dust off between uses and since they are both upstairs where no one goes, looks don't matter.  They do a great job and dust comes off them lickety-split!  So, off to Home Goods I went and bought a new, clear shower curtain for my dusty dilemma in the kitchen!

For challenge #1, the three open bins, I cut the plastic a good deal larger than their tops so it will accommodate things piled inside.  Then I cut the plastic in to the container on the corners (like in sewing) to make fitting and turning the plastic inside the container easy.  I baste stitched the back plastic flap to the inside back of the liners that were in the baskets.  Then I tucked the other three ample flaps inside and temporarily secured them to the front inside with a pin since they are empty now with nothing to hold the plastic up.  This will catch any dust between now and putting Christmas away this year.

For challenge #2 I traced the tops of each container onto the plastic and cut them out.  The plastic just lays invisibly on top of the containers.  With seventeen containers, I didn't want to waste time trying to match them up when I was putting the containers away, so as I cut them out, I wrote the box number on each plastic piece with a Sharpie marker.  These are the same numbers I'll use on the key I put inside a cabinet door, listing what's in each container (when I put Christmas away this year). 

Now, dust will accumulate on top of the easily washed plastic pieces.  When I get each box down to decorate, I'll wash and dry each plastic piece and replace them. 

TA-DA!  You can't see any of this when you look up at them and both problems are solved, and all for under $5!  There are SO many great uses for shower curtain plastic! 

Thanks so much for dropping by!  Please support this blog by shopping my PayPal store. God bless you! Digifree CraftCrave CraftCrave

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All Heaven And Earth Declare His Glory!  

My daughter-in-law sent me this link.  It is unspeakably beautiful and shows us the awesome beauty and power of God in a simple cricket!  There are two sound tracks and they start playing when you go to this url.  Be sure to listen after the woman speaks as the best is after that and keeps just being more and more beautiful!  One track is crickets chirping at their normal speed and the second is slowed down to human speed.  I hear a symphony and six part angelic choirs!  Here

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