Friday, July 26, 2013

New Life to a Headboard

The whole reason we bought a king-sized bed was because we got this headboard for a screaming deal for $100 at a garage sale. Now we were committed to finding the king-sized mattresses and ensemble. That actually turned out to be one of our best decisions ever made. Since we had no children at the time, we had no clue how many guests we would have sleeping in our bed in the many years to come. (I know I have a better photo somewhere, but this depicts what our bed looks like on a daily basis:  Invaded.)

Fast forward several years, and I now deem this headboard ugly. Due to the constraints of our bedroom and the new night stands I bought, I was forced to stick with this same, ugly headboard -- I couldn't fit the bed of my dreams into my room. So..... I brainstormed.

I was inspired by this photo at Pottery Barn:

Much, better, don't you think?

So, with a trusty fabric store online that came through at a fraction of the cost after Hancock Fabric failed me, my multi-skilled husband and and a nail gun, we made this:

So, I might not be in such a hurry now for a new bed. Even when our bedroom dimensions change, I think I'll be okay with this bed for a while.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fresh Feathers in the Nest

I posted these photos on our family blog - but wanted to share them here as well.  I secretly did a make over on my 15 year old daughters room earlier this month.  She was an exchange student in Brazil and was coming home a few months earlier than planned because her host dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We had picked out the new paint color last spring and thought we would work on her room that summer.  The invitation to Brazil came there went our summer! 
She had not really loved the barbi-pink color from the beginning but had patiently lived with it for several years.  I felt like I was doing one of those TV shows on HGTV as I ran around town looking for the perfect rug, lamp, etc for her room.  The entire room was re-done in just 24 short hours and we loved the outcome!  Hope this inspires you to do a room you have been putting off doing.
Next stop will be a bathroom!

The "before".

And the "after" - all grown up and beautiful, just like she is!

 I found the furniture at a consignment shop here in town last fall. Emily's sister "borrowed" her dresser when she moved out to go to college so she needed something.  The entire 3-piece set was only about $200.  The tall piece opens up for jewelry storage. There are finds out there!  You just need to search for them! The love seat was a $35 find at a garage sale last spring. Curtains and rug from Lowes. Lamp, bulletin board and sign from TJ Maxx. Emily loves Audrie Hepburn and the retro look.  Doesn't it look like a cute little studio apartment in  New York in the 50's?

Happy Nesting Everyone!!

Oatmeal Coconut Pie

Last week Mark and I were at the Logan Temple cafeteria.  (We love the homemade soup there)We saw a single piece of this really yummy looking pie and decided we better share it!  It looked a lot
like Pecan Pie but we were told it was an Oatmeal Coconut Pie.  It was incredible! I went home and started searching for a  recipe.  It turns out that its an old recipe that is sometimes called Poor Mans Nut Pie. There are several variations and many of them looked really great.  I opted for this one because it had maple syrup in it.  I have been on a 100% pure maple syrup kick since the holidays.  I'm afraid there is no going back to the fake stuff! I hope you will give this recipe a try - I made it yesterday for my little sewing circle of friends.  Everyone loved it!


Oatmeal Coconut Pie


  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
  • Cinnamon Whipped Cream (optional) (see recipe below)


For filling: 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, maple syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir together well.
2. Stir in the coconut, oats, and nuts. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
3. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of pie comes out clean. (Mine took a good 45 minutes - shield the crust to prevent it getting too dark.)
4. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours. Cover for longer storage. Serve with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, if you like.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Before and Ahhh-fter

I can't tell you how much I love to look at before and after pictures in magazines, blogs, etc. I am so excited that I can finally post one.

It has been a year -- I officially unloaded the first load of junk out of our bonus room Martin Luther King Day last year. Now, after finally tidying things up this week I took some shots of our complete bonus/craft/fly-tying/ computer gaming/sewing/memory keeping/hoping-to-do-homework room.
The embarrassing "before" picture 2010
The completed project

David graciously accommodated me by building me this bookshelf. Would you believe we haven't owned a bookshelf the entire 15 years of our marriage?
Ample drawers to store crafting supplies

I bought these card catalogs several years ago from an old elementary school. David thought I was crazy and begged me to get rid of them. My cabinet guy drooled when he saw them. I was fearful he would steal them when he took them to refinish them. Instead, his son/worker just stole a big load of cash from my money jar -- another story (I have his fingerprints on the jar, but the police don't care). Yeah, I am still reeling.
Stools where I hope my children will sit to become smarter while doing their homework. Yeah, right.
The fly-tying side of the room. I left my skeptical husband a set of drawers for his gear.
I think he is happy now I kept them.
And cubbies to store children's momentos in hopes of making it into binders before they marry.

All in all, we replaced carpet and lighting, repainted, installed cabinets and countertops. I was hoping to splurge on furniture on which to lounge and possibly a TV, but since my cash was ripped off I will have to wait. I am project-ed out. But, I do have one in mind I might have enough energy for! :) We'll see if I can enlist my hubby's help again. He's such a great sport!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just Apply Yourself!

I have this cute friend who is always trying to encourage me to create. I can come up with a list of excuses a mile long. But her response is always..."Leisa, you just need to apply yourself!" So when I do I LOVE it!! It really does feel great when you complete something...especially if
it has been hanging over your head for awhile. I have had this skirt crumpled up in a corner in my closet for months. I decided today was the day to give her new life. It was rather blagh looking when I saw it in the thrift shop. It was very long and the elastic at the waist was shot. But it was calling my name because I had recently purchased a sweater that would look pretty cute with it. So I took it home for $2.50. I had a great time giving her new life AND I have a pair of brown boots on order that will look quite nice with this little ensemble.
Have you applied yourself lately?? It really is satisfying.

I wasn't really loving the fluffy ruffle at the bottom so I pressed it flat. I was happier with that. I thought the flowers kind of gave it an Anthrpoligie type look and Anthropligie is one of my very favorite stores to browse around in!
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Elves and The Shoemaker

As a child I was fascinated with this story. If I remember right, the version we had was by Paul Galdone and the little elves that helped him were naked and he and his wife surprised them with
beautiful little outfits. I just loved it! I have also fallen in love with the simple process of making these adorable little shoes out of my wool. I have made a few for baby shower gifts and for my little grand daughter Elsie. They are addicting and so adorable!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Witch Hat

A styrofoam cone and paper-mache . . . a festive little hat was
born! I covered it with old Halloween post cards, old photos and newspaper.
The silk flowers & bow are wired on the top.
It was fun to do - the only creative project I have made
time for this season.

*link is fixed to DIY Dish - sorry I goofed before!
Inspiration for this projects and the how-to
came from this DIY Dish web site. I met these
two girls at Spark last month and they are from
our sweet little valley! Funny girls with so much
energy...and yes, I think they look do look a lot
like Marie Osmond. They really are awesome

Thursday, September 16, 2010

You've Been Slimed

Cael loves to play with this "GAK" stuff. It is a slime --- even better than play dough in his mind. We have made it for several years, and it is always a hit. It's gooey and slimy and keeps well in a ziploc bag. The recipe is:


1 cup Elmer's Glue
3/4 cup water

Mix above together in a bowl.

Separately, mix together
1/4 c. hot water 
1 tsp. Borax

Slowly add the two together. The mixture will immediately coagulate together. 
Knead, then drain off excess water.

This is perfect for upcoming haunted houses. You can also tint it another color with food coloring if desired.

Happy Sliming!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm Back....

This summer has been beautiful in so many ways.
My days to create have been far and few in between
~but I haven't been idle!
I will be posting some of the projects I have been
working on in the not to distant future.

For now though, we must enjoy
fresh tomato sandwiches & corn on the cob


This is in a birthday package on its way to
my adorable daughter-in-law Dani.

It was a simple pre-fab apron of restaurant quality
that I souped up a bit for a great cook
who loves to garden and adores the color

It just took a tiny bit of seam ripping and some hand stitching.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

On Sabatical

This week is finals week for me - just two classes, but the work is piled so high I really don't have time to think about a spare moment to myself. The exciting news is that our sweet little granddaughter is preparing to enter this world in a matter of days!! I will get to go welcome her very soon! Even Mark gets to escape for just a few minutes :)

Can hardly wait to have some time in my life again for creating...
The thoughts of holding that brand new baby and playing with my
little Liam are what pull me forward - and that fact that Jake & Lindsey
came up for the weekend with that sweet Miss Molly. True love.
The silver linings in lifes storms are sweet indeed.

Be back rejuvinated in just a few weeks!

P.S. My Basil is growing!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week #12

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Two quilts off a shelf and quilted! I did the piecing and had then machine quilted.
It sure feels good to have them finished. I need to finish the binding and then
wash the chalk marks off. The larger one that is a combination of pieced
and applique was probably nearly finished well over 8 years ago. Nice that I
still love it even though that much time has passed! It was the first quilt my little sewing group Purple Cats did together. The other little scrappy square quilt is just a throw Camber & Emily helped me piece a couple of years ago. I am really happy to be checking off unfinished projects!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Week #11

What a miracle a tiny seed is!

This week as I was going through a drawer, I found some seed packets that were never planted last year. I'm hoping they still have their get-up-and-go! I planted Sweet Basil and Lemon Basil. We love this savory herb at our house! The basil plant in the background was one I purchased at the grocery store about 4 months ago. It was $3.99 and was just a small little plant. It's fragile little roots were in a dirt pod type thing, wrapped in paper. I thought some fresh basil would be divine at that time and felt it was worth the $ even if for a few dishes. We snipped it, ate it and watered it when it was thirsty and it took off! I had to re-pot it about 6 weeks ago. I can't believe my luck.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Week #10

We enjoyed a nice spring break last week. Being gone most of the week I wasn't able to do much sewing or crafting, but yesterday - out of necessity, I decided Sunday dinner was coming from the pantry and whatever I could find in the freezer. I had a couple of apples that were well past their prime and few onions that were in the produce drawer. I found a few pork chops that had been in the freezer for about the allowed time - and I cooked up the most tasty little dish ever!

I browned the pork chops in a little bit of butter until they were nice and brown and then removed them from the pan. Then I sauteed the apples and onions in the same pan I used to brown the meat, adding a dab more of butter. I cooked them until they were softened and the pan was de-glazed. I placed the pork chops in a baking pan and poured the onions and apple over the them. I added one cup of chicken broth - covered and baked for about 30 min.

Just at the end I stirred a little cornstarch into some cold water - uncovered the pan and stirred it in carefully at the sides - added some Parmesan cheese and let it simmer while we set the table. I served it over rice with green beans on the side. So fast and so quick and the flavor was incredible!
Think twice before you toss out old produce or meat from the freezer that might have tiny spot of freezer burn. My grandma's words always enter my head - "Waste not, want not.

For dessert I looked through my collection of cookbooks and went to an old Hersey's Chocolate Favorites. I used to make these cupcakes for my kids when they were younger. They are similar to the hostess cream filled but SOOO much better! Recipe is below.

Creme Filled Cupcakes
3/4 cup shortening (I sub butter)
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs & vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3's with batter. Bake about 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Prepare Vanilla Creme
Combine 1/4 cup flour & 1/2 cup milk. Cook in a small sauce pan til it just mixtures starts to thicken and comes to a boil - stir constantly with a wire whisk. Cool. Cream 1/4 cup butter& 1/4 cup shortening. Add 2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt & cooled milk mixture. Add 4 + cups of powdered sugar til mixture is thick and creamy. Spoon into pastry bag with a large star tip and carefully fill cupcakes. You can squeeze a little of the white cream filling on top or we made a chocolate frosting.

Makes 24 cupcakes.
(I doubled this recipe for a fireside and there was enough of the single recipe of the cream filling for 48 so you can plan on that for the topping as well)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week # 9

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old sweater = new spring purse

and...a cute little Easter Skirt for Miss Molly.
(I did use a few little pieces of new fabric I recently acquired on a
shop hop last week - along with some scraps from days gone by.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Week #8

This week we gave new life to two jumpers that Em out grew. The fabric was so much fun we couldn't toss them ~ so here is how they will spend the next chapter in their lives...

This little ruched flower is pretty quick to work up -
it looks much more
complex than it really is,
I made a smaller one for her hair.
Emily wanted to
add the netting on the underskirt and
I think it is a great little touch!
She looked fantastic in her new skirt.


This next one is a zinger.
I will call it the collage skirt or
"eat your heart out Anthropologie"
It looks a little more hip in real life.
It was just a kick in the pants to do.
She wore it with a red sweater today
and it was amazing!

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So ... anybody else out there
using it up
wearing it out
making it do
or doing without?

or are you just buying more stuff??