Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chandelier For The Seasons

Now that my kitchen is close to being finished, I finally finished my chandelier! I got this brass chandelier off of Craigslist for $30.00 last year. I realize now that I overpaid, because I've since seen this type in thrift stores for $10!

Anyway here is a blurry photo of the chandelier. Excuse the mess, our one garage is completely disorganized-especially since we're remodeling. All the tools and old doors and whatnots end up in here. I wish I would have taken a better photo, but I totally forgot until it was ready to be spray painted. So here it is, ready to be painted.
I lightly sanded it and used baby wipes to wipe off any excess dust and fingerprints.
I primed it and then painted it white. I actually painted it off-white, and then after it was hung in the kitchen it looked bad! Because the walls are white, it made the chandelier look yellowish. So I took it back out to the garage for another round of spray paint! So here it is finished and white!

After it was hung, I had a wonderful idea to take the candle cover parts that cover the wires and mod podge seasonal scrapbook paper onto them! I figured I could change them out each season and it would add to the decor!
You can buy the candle cover things at Lowe's. They are super inexpensive, a pack of two is about a dollar or two! Here is what I did:
First, I layed the candle cover thingy (my technical term) on the edge of a sheet of 12x12 scrapbook paper. I measured it's height, and then took my paper cuter and cut a long strip off.

Next, I layed the candle cover thingy onto the long strip and rolled it until it was completely covered and marked the paper so I knew where to cut. I then cut the paper and adhered it around the candle cover thingy using permanent scrapbook adhesive. You could use Mod Podge, but I wanted to finish this project quickly. If your measurements are a little off and the paper is sticking above the candle cover thingy, you could use sandpaper to sand it off before using the Mod Podge. I sanded the first time that I made these, and then discovered it's easier to just use scissors and trim of the edges!
Finally, I put a nice layer of modge podge on the candle cover thingy and left it dry! It was then ready to slip onto my chandelier! Here is a closeup of my chandelier decorated for Halloween, using candy corn scrapbook paper!
My kitchen is pink, so here is the everyday look.
The possibilities are endless! Think of the fun you can have decorating it for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter and Oooh the Fourth of July!

Go on over to "A Soft Place to Land" and see more DIY projects!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thrift Store Frame Transformation

It has been a really busy week for me! I've been trying to get the house back together....we're nearing the end of our 3-year plus remodel! YAY!

Besides reorganizing and cleaning, I've been doing a couple of projects. I finished my headboard & footboard. I've redone a chandelier, and finished 9 frames for my massive photo wall! I will share those projects with you throughout the week, so keep checking back!

Here is a thrift store frame transformation! I bought two of these frames at Goodwill for $1.50 each! I wish I had taken a photo with what was inside (it was a very ugly bird photo). Anyway, when I found two identical frames of this size....I fell in love! And I knew exactly what I was going to do with them. They were the perfect size for a little handprint!

These frames were plastic....but I primed and painted them with regular spray paint and it worked out really well! Here is a before photo of the frame.
And here is an after with Alexander's handprint. My kitchen is aqua and pink...so I decided to do the frames in an aqua color. I used Krylon's "blue ocean breeze."
And here is Benjamin's handprint.
And here is the what they look like on either side of my kitchen window! They are soo adorable, and much cuter in person!
So the total of the frames were $3.00 and I barely used any paint and primer (which I had on hand). And I used acrylic paint, which I had as well, for the handprints. So for under $5.00 I have these wonderful little handprints for on the wall!
Be sure to check back this week for some other cool projects!
Also, be sure to visit Katie at "Along the Way with K & J" for a Trash to Treasure Party! Love her blog, and everyone has such wonderful ideas and finds! I added my link...now go and add yours too! :)

Also, go to "Shades Of Pink" for a wonderful Shade Tutorial and a Linky Party!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Flax Scutching Festival

Today we went to the Flax Scutching Festival! You are probably wondering what "Flax Scutching" is. Well, you can read about it here! Basically it's the art of making linen from the flax plant.

They have demonstrations going all day showing you the process! The process used at the Stahlstown Flax Scutching Festival in Stahlstown PA, was the process used by our ancestors in the New World and the Old World. (1) the harvesting and drying process (2) The peeling of the stalks and separation of the fibers (3) the hackling and (4) the weaving of the cloth! It's quite interesting!

Today though we were all under the weather. The boys have had a bad cold for a few days, and Chris was feeling achy and feverish. I was also not feeling my usual self, but we wanted to go to the festival anyway! This seemed to be the first year that we were actually home and could attend! This festival runs two days and usually we are away from home!

Today it was on the cooler side, and at times there was a fine mist of rain! But we had a great time despite the weather!

We really came to the festival for two things (1) the staged Indian Raid & (2) a hay ride!

Here are the boys in their wagon ready for the Indian Raid Reenactment! Ben of course had to have ear muffs on because he absolutely hates loud noises! They were firing cannons and in the reenactment they were firing guns (with blanks of course)! The only time I could get him to take these off was for the hayride! lol

Here are the Indians getting ready to raid the settler's home!

The Indians set the settler's place on fire! It was quite dramatic! Ben was afraid that the fire was going to get out of control and spread toward us!
I have very fond memories going to this festival and seeing the reenactment! And now my boys will have fond memories too!

Here is a booth where they are making and selling buckwheat hulls, corn meal, and whole wheat flour! The machines behind the bags are what is making the product! I really like whenever the booths show you how the things are made!
There were many antique tractors at this festival! The boys loved seeing them all! Here is a closeup of one!
Oh my, this was my favorite booth! It was a booth that sold honey! I don't particularly care for honey...I can eat it, but it's not something I crave. Anyway, what I do like are bees! This display had the bees in between plexiglass, and you can see them at work making honey!
Here is a closeup of the bees! Sometimes, I'm not too intelligent, I don't think before I speak! Out of all these bees, I asked the guy..."Do you know which one the queen is?" That's right....I did ask that stupid question! lol He probably thought I was crazy!

These bees were put in this display about a week ago, and look how much work they've done already! They are just amazing! There were even bees on the outside trying to get in!
I have always been fascinated with bees, so I signed up for a class that will be held in February to teach you about becoming a "bee keeper!" I would really like to raise bees....I'm currently trying to talk my husband into it!

Now, how cool is this guy? I secretly wish I could express myself and dress eccentrically! But I just can't! I'm always too worried about what people think! This man plays guitar and sings for kids! He's quite entertaining! Don't you just love his "Hee Haw" overalls?!!!!! You all remember "Hee Haw" don't you?
Here are the boys before the hay ride!

Alexander has always been fascinated with farms and tractors! As soon as he got on the wagon, he was touching the hay!
We were quite proud of Alex...he's usually afraid of rides of any kind. He's afraid of the Power Wheels, quads, and even kiddie rides at the amusement park! This was a big step for him!

At first, he thought when the tractor started it would be loud! But it wasn't!
Here we are enjoying the hay ride! It was quite bumpy!
As we were walking to our car we saw other people enjoying their hayride!
And I just love this photo...it's Alex saying goodbye to the farmer and his tractor!
Despite being sick, we really had a fun day! Cannot wait until next year!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Time Capsule

A few weeks ago, my husband finally finished putting up our new kitchen cabinets that we bought on craigslist! They were only 5 or 6 years old and in perfect condition!

Today they finally came and installed our kitchen countertops! I'm soo excited, I can barely handle myself! Tomorrow I'm going to start decorating the kitchen for Halloween!

Back in February my blogger friend Kristin blogged about about a time capsule that her mother had placed in her kitchen! You can read about it here! I thought it was such a great idea, but since we were almost done with our remodeling I wasn't sure where we were going to place it! Well, in the back corner of the kitchen behind the lazy susan is a gap of space...perfect for hiding my family's time capsule!

I placed many things inside the container such as a letter talking about the house's history, the boy's paintings, many photos, coins, toys, a c.d. with even more photos, and a newspaper from today! What made it more special is the date today is 9-9-09!

Here is an excerpt of my letter. As I wrote this I felt sad, as if I was giving away my house!
Here's a piece of what I wrote:

"What really makes this house special is that our two children were raised here! Benjamin Christopher Shal was born on July 31, 2005 and Alexander William Shal was born on December 12, 2006. Each of my boys had their first steps in this house, said their first words, and crawled all over every inch of floor! There were many giggles, many songs sang, and many prayers said! Each birthday and holiday was very special to our family! There was so much love in this house and hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as we did!"

Here are some photos that I placed inside! Since my boys are growing up in this house, I wanted to include photos of them beginning to walk, and swinging in the backyard! These are just a sampling of the photos that I included in my time capsule! There are many more photos, plus a c.d. of even many more photos! lol

Also in the middle of the photos you can see the coins that I included in there as well! I couldn't find any 2009 coins, so I came up with the idea to include a state quarter for each year that we lived in our house! From the year 2000 until 2008!
I also included today's daily newspaper.
Here's a closeup (Corlett style)!
What's a time capsule without kid's paintings and coloring pages!?
Here's a look at what I've included inside. I even put some of my boy's favorite toys when they were younger! They spent many hours playing with these toys!
See the gap in the back corner behind the lazy susan? This is where I placed the time capsule!
Here I am holding the time capsule before I put it in place!
I bet you never imagined seeing this side of me! lol My husband was documenting the process of the time capsule...I had to stretch and place it way down on the floor!
Here it is all lonely back there! I really could have hid something much bigger back there!
After I put everything in place the kitchen countertops were installed! I'll share those photos with you another day! Thank you Kristin for the wonderful idea of the time capsule!

Also in a few days I will blog about the interesting history of my house and share some of the cool things we've found since we've remodeled!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cream Puff Pie

Yesterday, for Labor Day, we went to a picnic at my sister-in-law's house. I decided to make "Cream Puff Pie." I'm not really into sweets, but each time I make this it is always so popular! So I thought I'd share the recipe!
Cream Puff Pie
-1 cup water
-1 stick margarine
-1 cup flour
-4 eggs
-3 boxes French Vanilla Instant Pudding
-4 cups milk
-8 oz. cream cheese
-Cool Whip
-Chocolate Sauce/Syrup

Bring 1 cup water and 1 stick margarine to a boil. While boiling, add 1 cup flour, turn off heat and stir until it forms a ball (cool). Add 4 eggs (1 at a time). Hand mix.

Grease a 9"x13" dish and spread dough up the sides of dish. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes; let cool.

Beat 3 boxes of pudding and 4 cups of milk together. Set aside. Beat cream cheese until creamy; add to pudding and beat together.

Pour into crust. Top with Cool Whip. Drizzle chocolate sauce on top.
Here is a picture of the pastry shell before I added all the goodness on top!
Here it is finished. Sorry for the bad photos...photographing food is not my thing!

You can get creative when making this. Instead of using French Vanilla Pudding you could use Banana Pudding....my husband likes it that way as well! Or you can use regular vanilla pudding. Just always make sure it's "instant pudding!" Have fun and enjoy! Be sure to get a piece if you make it for a party, because it really goes quick!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Friend Making Mondays: Favorite Things About Fall

It's "Friend Making Monday" at Ambers! Go take a visit, and read about everyone's favorites of Fall!

Here are my favorite things about Fall! Fall is my most favorite season! The crispness in the air and my most favorite thing....leaves crackling under your feet!
I love making pumpkin bread...the aroma that fills your house it just wonderful! One of my favorite smells!
Halloween...there's just something sooo wonderful about this Holiday! It's my favorite!
Trick or treating with my kids! I get such a delight out of how excited they are when we go door to door!
I love everything that is Halloween and witch related! Halloween witches are just the cutest! I'm going to be a witch this year for Halloween! I can't wait!
I love going to Fall Festivals! We have several great ones in our area! I love all the wonderful booths that are displayed with hay and corn stalks! Such a wonderful atmosphere!

And lasty, I love those few weeks when the leaves change colors! It's so beautiful here, especially in the mountains!
Fall is in the air already...that's for sure!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Joy Ride

The other day I went to Goodwill. I didn't find much, just a small coat hanger for on the wall. I plan to paint it "pink" of course and hang it in the new kitchen. I've collected several vintage aprons and I plan to display them on there.

After I got in my car I glanced over to my right and this is what I saw. What do you notice about this photo?
Much to my surprise this little dog was hanging out on the back of the bike just waiting for his owner to come out! He was just chilling out, he paid me no mind...like he was too cool to notice me! I really got a kick out of seeing him sitting there! I've seen several dogs on bikes and each time I do, it just makes my day!

Have a wonderful day!
-Ruth Ann

Friday, September 4, 2009

For The Love Of Her Country

This is my wonderful sister-in-law Kathy who was just sent to Iraq! Kathy is a Colonel in the Army, and a Psych Nurse. She has been in the army for almost 25 years!

I'd like to tell you about why I think she is so wonderful! It is her job to assign soldiers to Iraq. She had assigned a particular soldier to go, but learned that he had a sick child at home with heart problems. Kathy decided to take his place, since her children are grown- and for the love of her country!
This photo was taken 4 years ago when she made "Colonel!" We went to Washington D.C. for her ceremony! It was a very special time! The whole family was there and she took (all 20 plus of us on a dinner cruise to celebrate!
Here is her sister and father putting on her pins!
She has been keeping us informed through e-mails and text messages. Here is one of her emails:

"Hello all, I am at USO and only have 30 min. Spent 1 week at Ft. Benning. Flew to Kuwait with fuel stop to Ireland. 24 hour trip. Then bussed to another base for more training. Waiting for manifest for flight to Iraq. Training included simulation in 2 mil vehicles in full mil battle rattle. Landed upside down and had to get out. I was hanging upside down with seat belt holding me. Just like Disney. I have bruises and blisters and my hips are screaming, but all is good. Makes me realize how tough our soldiers really are. 110-118 degrees with nothing but sandstorms. I don't know how they live here."

Here's another e-mail:

"Hello all, I did not manifest last night so still in Kuwait. Hotter today. Tent lost power for several hours so like an oven. Sleeping in a huge tent on cot with about 40 female soldiers. Went to USO tent to cool off, but had to walk 1/2 a mile!"

I think she is soo courageous to volunteer her services for our country! Because of her rank she is dressed like a regular soldier and no one is to salute her. This is for her safety! I can't even imagine...I don't even like going outside at night here let alone in another country where there is war! She is just amazing!

I found out that she just recently had to hike 7 miles with full gear! Amazing for a woman who is 61-years-old! And on her way to Iraq she got to marshall the plane! She was the first woman to do so! She is just soo inspirational for me and for all women! I can't say enough about how wonderful she is!

She will be home in time for Christmas, please pray for her safe return! I will keep you updated!

-Ruth Ann

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of School

Today was Ben's first day of Preschool! He's going three full days a week! Despite the look on his face, he was really excited! lol Here he is showing off his Diego bookbag and Spiderman lunchbox!
Here's his school. We decided to send him to Catholic school. It was the same school that his daddy attended long long ago! The school is nearly 100 years old! It turns 100 in 2011!
Here he is in his classroom...again with his "fake" smile! He smiles like this because I take soo many pictures of him all the time, and he gets tired of it! Plus I think he is a little apprehensive!
After I picked him up today, I took him to Dairy Queen for a special treat! Sure...now he smiles! Don't you just love sprinkles?! I know I do!
Did you ever see those plates that say something like "I am special?" They sell for close to $30 a plate! It was a tradition that I wanted to start with my kids, but wow that's expensive! Luckily, I found this one at a yard sale for $1! I plan to use it on birthdays and special occassions! I told him whenever he has a special day he can use it! Don't mind the uncovered outlet above his head...we're on the last stage of remodeling so it's not complete yet!
Here is one of the few special surprises that I had for him! I spoil my boys way too much! But that's ok...they deserve it!
And here is a little cup I bought for him and his brother. I just took a closeup to show you the cuteness!
And what would be a post without talking about my little Alex? Alex was soo excited for the first day of school. He actually thought he was going! He wanted to take his bookbag, just like his big brother Ben! He carried it on his back inside school, and when he left he was a little disappointed! He wanted to stay with Ben! Here is Alex with his daddy on his way back to the car! He's too cute! He really missed his big brother today!
So you're probably wondering what I've been up to the past couple of weeks! Well...ALOT! Let's see a couple weeks ago was the Wiggles concert that I blogged about! Well that ended up being a disaster...Alex started throwing up the night before and our car ended up breaking down on the Parkway after the concert! It was a nightmare! I have photos and can blog about it if anyone is interested?!
But the last couple of weeks I have been reorganizing our house! We're on our last stage of remodeling the kitchen so I've been busy getting our rooms back together. Our livingroom use to be a joint livingroom/diningroom/kitchen for the last 6 months! Our house literally looked ransacked! So I've been busy with that! We get our new counters next week! YEAH! So once my kitchen is complete, I'll share it with you!
Now that school has started it has freed me up a bit to blog on a more regular basis...so come back and visit me soon!
Have a great week!
-Ruth Ann