Thursday, August 30, 2012


We invited some friends over for the holiday and the commodore had to buy some wine (we are not wine drinkers) for the occasion.  I had heard you can get free wooden wine containers at some of the spirits stores, so I asked him to inquire about the freebies. Sure enough at the check-out he asked if they had any free wooden boxes and the cashier politely said "go check in the pile at the corner." Although the pickens were slim, he returned with two of neatest looking boxes I've ever seen.

   It says IDOL VODKA

 Look at the markings in the wood .  .  .  .  Gorgeous!
  I had never heard of Idol Vodka, so I looked it up to see what type came in this exquisite box.

Hey, I would like to think this would be my kind of vodka,  (Purple Logo) if I drank Vodka!  WHOA!!!

Getting back to the box, it had a sliding top or cover which I thought pretty cool.

Divided (removable) compartments, an added plus!

 See the rubber stoppers at the top.  How neat is that?

There's a small indentation, I guess for sliding the top back and forth.  It definitely needs a cute handle. And I'm searching for ideas on that!

Grateful for the freebies, I didn't have a clue as to what I would do with them.
At the moment, I didn't want to change the finish or color of the boxes.  I think it's very appealing to me. Besides, what color or finish would maintain the character? I know, you're probably saying, "But, that's what crafting is all about! I could, however, see adding a stencil to the mix.

The boxes would be great to store things in, but WHAT?  The container is only 3 1/2 inches deep with the cover closed, and that would limit a lot of things. Then I thought about how junky , disorganized, my kitchen drawers are even though we haven't lived here that long.
                                Shame on me to show this,but .  .  .

 For starters, I tackled the last drawer with the large serving utensils. I rarely use these sizes unless I'm hosting a large dinner or buffet style gathering and that's not too often.

I sorted the serving utensils and this is what I came up with:

And the kitchen drawer now looks like this:

I can store the wine box in a cabinet until I need the utensils.

I want to do something amazing with the second box,
But, WHAT?   I'm still thinking  .  .  .


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Broccoli Bites

I learned early on in my marriage to cook what my hubby, the commodore, likes. What's that old saying, "What's for dinner?" is the only question many husbands ask their wives, and the only one to which they care about the answer.  My husband loves broccoli! When we got married I didn't know what broccoli was.  My mother had never cooked it. She was from the south and usually fixed some kind of greens for dinner each day. Kale, mustard, turnip and something called rape.  But she never fixed broccoli and I had never tasted it until I had dinner with my future in-laws. The commodore calls them "trees" and they even look like little trees. Don't they?

Over the years I've fixed all kinds of broccoli recipes. Broccoli casseroles, broccoli stir fry, broccoli and corn, broccoli souffle, steam broccoli . . .  I'm sure you get the picture.  I came across a recipe on Pinterest 
that really caught my eye. It was titled Broccoli Bites for Kids. Whoa!  I tried out the recipe and it was a WINNER with the commodore.  The broccoli bites was very easy to make it:
You will need

1         12.6oz bag of broccoli florets
1 1/2c  shredded cheddar cheese
3         eggs
1 c       seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
           salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl .  .  . 

 Form small patties with your hands and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

 One batch makes about twelve (12) patties . . . .

Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes, turning over mid-way. I baked this batch in a convection toaster oven and it turned out perfect.

                  These are great as a side dish or as finger food for a gathering! 
Either way,  they're good!!!                                                                                                   


New House, New Home, New Life

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beaded Wire Tree

What can I make out of floral wire and a bunch of craft beads?  You guessed it!    A Beaded Wire Tree!

 It's simple enough, just cut the wire (24 gauge), thread a bead of your choice to the middle of the folded wire, and twist several times to secure the bead in place.  

 Next, separate one of the wires at the base of the twist and thread a second bead about 1 1/2 inches (or less),  from the first twist, and twist again several times.

Continue, alternating wires, threading a bead and twisting to form branches.

I made ten of these,and grouped them in pairs.

I had five groups of two, twisted together, to form the tree branches  .  .  .  .  .

I then put all the beaded branches together and twisted several times

I rearrange the wire branches and beads randomly, opting for "narrow roots" at the base.

I found a rock outside (we have plenty, from tiny to boulder sizes) and secured the tree with a "Gloop" of glue. I draped the wire roots over the rock.

I like the way the tree looks, with the blending of colors  .  .  .   .  and I hope you do too!

Friday, August 24, 2012

What To Do With Leftover Fabric

  I found these chairs (do you know how hard it is to find accent pieces with plum colors?) online at Target (different style, same fabric ) while waiting for our house to be built in a +55 community.  While I truly love the chairs, I've learn that you really take a chance buying items for a new place in advance.  I've already made huge decorating mistakes, or should I say, wasting money mistakes in decorating my new home.  

Before I get into what this post is about, I want to talk a bit about moving out of a home that you've loved for over thirty-five years. We wanted to "downsize" and move to a new area. We found a community and house we liked, so we made a deposit, and put our house up for sale. Considering the market and the time it took for other houses in our neighborhood to sell (a long time), little did we know our house would sell within two months. Holy crap! We had to move into a rental townhouse while we waited for our home to be built.  In the process, my hubby, the commodore, was in this "either give it away, or throw everything we haven't use for awhile out - we can buy  new stuff mode."  And give away (to charities) and throw it out we did! 

I have my regrets.  I got rid of beautiful stuff I hadn't used in years. Now I wish I had them.  We didn't exactly downsize.  We moved into a different type of house.  One with an open floor plan, larger kitchen, and basically more room space. We had a basement in the old house.  This one, we don't. Every time I have to buy "new stuff" I think about my "old stuff".  It's not the same, and we've blown our budget big time!

OK, enough of that.  The chairs I got from Target went into the parlor . . . . a room you look into, but rarely visit.  I didn't know at the time that the chairs were made from Duralee fabric, until I saw it available online. Unfortunately, it is no longer available now (a few years later) I was so excited to be able to get additional fabric that matched the chairs exactly. I wanted to make pillows to put on the sofas (old) that were also in the room.   And that is what I did!

I'm not going to give a tutorial on how to make pillows. You can easily find many, like I did.  I made the quickest pillows I could - just sewing three sides and stuffing with fiber-fil! No zippers, no welting,etc. - just plain pillows.

But, what can you do with the extra fabric that's left?  

 One, make placemats!

Does anyone have any more suggestions on what to do with leftover fabric?  I still have plenty!

Thanks for stopping by!