Jan 29, 2014

Super Bowl Party Food

 The Super Bowl is this Sunday!

At our house, a big part of Super Bowl fun is eating great party food while we watch the game on TV. I'm all about creating do-ahead recipes that can be quickly pulled out of the fridge or oven, so I'm not stuck in the kitchen missing all the fun. I'm also a big fan of easy-to-eat finger foods and simple individual servings for a casual and festive atmosphere. 

Today, I'm sharing some fun snack ideas for your Super Bowl Party!

{Click over to the source beneath each photo for ingredients and recipes.} 

 Buffalo and Blue Cheese Lit'l Smokies from

 Veggie Dip Cups from

 Whiskey and BBQ Meatballs from

 Football Deviled Eggs from

 Mini Reuben Appetizers from

 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Footballs from

 Individual Raspberry Brownie Trifles from

 Kettle Corn Favors from

For even more great football party food ideas visit my Friday Finds post from last fall:

I hope you've been inspired to make up some delicious snacks for the big game on Sunday. Even if you're not a big football fan or your favorite teams aren't in the game this year, it's always fun to party with friends and family, watch the commercials, and eat great food. 


Jan 27, 2014

Christmas Critter Felt Along

Every year I have good intentions of creating new homemade Christmas tree ornaments, and every year the long list of other holiday preparations between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to get in the way. 

So when I saw that


are co-hosting a Christmas Ornament Party where I can create new felt ornaments each month beginning in January, I thought it was a great idea. Supply lists, easy instructions, and tips are provided by the hostesses with two new patterns available each month.

To share the fun I invited my daughters to join in, and last week we gathered at my house for an afternoon of Christmas ornament-making.  I printed three copies of the patterns before they arrived and had plenty of felt, embroidery thread, needles and scissors ready for each of us. We chatted and caught up on some Project Runway episodes while we stitched away on our ornaments.

 These are our completed ornaments hanging on my bulletin board. The girls each made unstuffed owls, and I made a stuffed owl and a bear. My daughters' unique personalities are reflected in their interpretations of the same owl pattern, and it was fun to see how different they all turned out! 





It's not too late to join in the fun. The ornaments can be made from inexpensive felt squares or fabric scraps and embroidery floss or thread. Each one can easily be made in less than an hour and for under a dollar.

Next Christmas I'm planning to have a small tree in the family room with a woodland theme, where I can display my 24 cute new felt ornaments with some pine cones and burlap and other natural woodsy things.

Today, I'm heading over to pick up our February patterns and to link up our ornaments at the Ornament Linky Party where we can see other completed ornaments. I can't wait to see all the different colors, fabrics, shapes, stitching, and details, and to load up on some new ideas for the rest of the year's ornaments.

 I hope you'll join me for some fun ornament-making at 




Jan 23, 2014

Valentine's Day Rag Wreath

Old Man Winter has turned foggy, dark, and gloomy here in Boise. He reaches right through our windows and darkens every corner of our home!

 What better way to chase the gloominess of winter away than with a bright red Valentine heart?

My raggedy red heart was made from strips of the red shop towels from Costco that I use for rags in my craft studio. They cost about $10 for a big bag of 100 which will last for about the rest of my life. Using a rotary cutter, a ruler, and a self healing mat, I cut each rag into 1-inch strips, and then I cut the strips in half crosswise. (Scissors would work great, too, if you don't have a rotary cutter.)

 I twisted a dry cleaner's metal coat hanger into a heart shape using two pliers and then tied the rag strips on, snugging them up close to each other.

Take that, Old Man Winter! See ya, gloom!

Party Time!

Jan 22, 2014

Dining Room Table Shapes

What's the best shape for a dining room table? 

We're having the hardest time trying to answer that question.

I currently have this 54-inch round drop leaf table in my dining room. We keep four chairs around it and pull two more of the black chairs up to it for seating six when the kids come for dinner. If we want even more seating, there are four leaves that turn the table into an oval that can seat ten. 


The problems I have with this table (and admittedly they're small problems) are that it's a bit wide for the room, it's impossible to find or sew nice tablecloths to fit it, I find it difficult to style it when we're not actually eating at it, and when we're not sitting at it, it doesn't look very good with six chairs around it because of the awkward placement of the legs. Also, the colonial drop leaf style isn't my favorite. In fact, until I stained the orange-ish maple top with an English Chestnut stain and painted the bottom black, I really disliked it. It's a family heirloom, so I'll never give it up. I just don't know if I want it in my dining room. 

To see if we'd prefer a rectangular table, I cut a piece of cardboard into a 42-inch by 72- inch piece and laid it on top of our table with the leaves dropped. These bottom two photos are from my phone, so they're a little distorted, but you can get the gist of it. As you can see, six chairs fit fine around this shape, and it would be great not to have to keep pulling the extra chairs up to the table only when we need them, like we do now. This shape is in better proportion to our rug and the rectangular shape of the dining room, too. It takes up more of the length of the room instead of the width of it, edging out more towards the entryway and kitchen. It definitely fills up more of the room in exchange for the practicality of having six chairs around it.

I think I'm more confused than ever!

 Right now, we're just trying to decide on the shape of the table. We'll try walking around this cardboard "table" for a bit to see if there's enough room on the sides, and we'll get used to the look of it. Once we've made a decision about the table, we'll decide on whether to keep or replace the chairs, too.

We've always had this round table in this dining room, and, honestly, we could keep living with it just the way it is and be happy. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time making this decision! But I keep picturing a fringed burlap runner on my dream rustic farmhouse table with a long wooden box full of hydrangeas sitting on top of it. 

I would love to hear your opinions about this. What shape is your dining room table? Are there pros and cons to different shapes, and do you think one shape is better than another? Do you think my round American colonial table fits in okay with my vintage rustic farmhouse dream home, or should I throw caution to the wind and buy a new one?

    Thanks for joining me on my quest for the perfect dining room table!

Jan 21, 2014

Family Room Writing Table

 When I replaced a huge old ugly desk in our family room with my vintage dresser-turned media stand last year, my husband no longer had a place downstairs to work on the paperwork he often brings home from the office. 

 I'm pretty sure he didn't mind being moved upstairs where he could work while watching football and hockey on his big TV, but I missed having him in the family room with me on those evenings.  

Even though I was kind of loving the new uncluttered space in our family room, I decided I loved my husband even more and started looking for a desk to surprise him with for his Father's Day gift.


The available space was pretty tiny, and I didn't want to make it look even smaller with another bulky desk. I also didn't want to block the light and view out the back window. I thought about making a pallet wood table, but I didn't know how I could keep that a secret. So I hunted high and low at thrift stores and consignment stores and just regular old stores for something small enough.


I finally found this little wood writing table with metal legs for under a hundred dollars at Target. It had a rustic industrial vintage vibe going on that I liked, and it fit in the corner perfectly. There wasn't one on display in our store, so I had to go by the photo on the box and the online description which said it was composite and veneer. 


When I opened the box at home I didn't find a wood veneer top at all, though. At least not any wood veneer I'm familiar with. It looked more like a picture of wood.

You know the saying? If it sounds too good to be true... ?


 I liked everything else about the table, though. I liked the fairly heavy metal legs and the size, and the directions sounded easy to put it together. I don't like shopping, and I like returning things even less, so I did what any self respecting DIY-er would do. 

I painted it with chalk paint, distressed it, and waxed it.


Then I bought a shiny new lamp at Pottery Barn to go on it.


 I hung the girls' portraits above and put an extra dining room chair below. 

 My husband loved it, and I do too. 

It's just the right size to jot down notes or make a shopping list during the day, and in the evenings my husband is back downstairs where he belongs, watching Rehab Addict with me while he works. 

Jan 17, 2014

Friday Finds

For Friday Finds today I'm sharing twelve of my favorite pins from my Valentine's Day Pinterest Board. 

The Shabby Creek Cottage 
 L-O-V-E clipboard art.
Confessions Of A Plate Addict
 French script dollar store candles.

Serendipity Refined
 Vintage post card wreath.

It All Started With Paint 
 Valentine's mason jars.

The Farmhouse Porch
 Valentine's tree and vignette.

Muslin & Merlot
 Framed button heart.

A Geek In Glasses
 Vintage kissing booth printable.

Villa Barnes
 Romantic metal heart.

The North End Loft
Valentine chalkboard art. 
(hey, that's me!)

Rooted In Thyme
 Valentine embellished pots.

Craftberry Bush
  Frozen whipped cream hearts.

Eclectically Vintage
 Cupid float valentine.

Aren't those great Valentine's Day projects? Valentine's Day is still a month away, so you have plenty of time to make a sweet project that says, "I love you" to the special people in your life.

For more ideas visit my Valentine's Day Pinterest Board

 It's sunny but wintery cold here in Boise today, and I'll be curling up in a chair with a cozy throw, a cup of hot chocolate, and some HGTV while I work on one of my fun Valentine's Day projects for the rest of the afternoon. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


{As always, if you've been featured on Friday Finds please feel free to grab my button from my sidebar, and thanks so much for sharing your talents!}