Summer Wine Bottle Torch

Are you looking for a way to brighten up your patio or deck this summer?  I have the answer for you.

Take a look at these hand made wine bottle torches.

Summertime Wine Bottle Torch

Summertime Wine Bottle Torch

Materials needed:

  • Clean wine bottle
  • Paint (any color you like)
  • Jute
  • 1/2 inch x 3/8 inch copper coupling
  • 9 inch Tiki Torch Wick
  • Pipe thread seal tape
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • White glue that dries clear
  • Embellishments
  • Sealer
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Hand full of pebble sized rocks

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Wipe the outside of the wine bottle down with rubbing alcohol and let dry
  2. Apply at least three coats of paint to the outside of the bottle, let dry in between coats
  3. Apply embellishments with white glue that dries clear
  4. Apply jute to the bottom and around the neck of the bottle with hot glue.  As you wind the jute around the bottle apply a dab of hot glue to attach the jute the bottle and keep winding the jute around until you get the desired coverage
  5. Let completely dry then paint or spray the bottle with clear sealer of your choice
  6. Wrap pipe thread seal tape securely around the copper coupling.  Check for a snug fit in the top of the bottle  Continue wrapping until the coupling fits snugly
  7. Thread the Tiki Torch Wick through the copper coupling
  8. Fill the bottom of the bottle with pebble sized rock to weigh it down
  9. Fill the rest of the bottle with Citronella oil
  10. Place the Tiki Torch Wick threaded through the coupling into the bottle
  11. Light and enjoy!

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Burlap & Wood Cross

These crosses are so pretty and they are so easy to make!  Here is how I did it…

Burlap Cross

Burlap, Wood & Lace Cross

Materials

  • Two pieces of wood cut to desired size
  • Burlap
  • Lace
  • #5 cloth staples
  • Jute

Cut a piece of plywood to the size you want. Measure a piece of burlap from back to front diagonally, make sure to overlap some of the burlap in the back. Tack down the burlap on the back with 2 – #5 cloth staples. Use a piece of jute about 8 inches long to gather the burlap about a third way down on the front and tie in a knot and leave the excess for the next step. Using the same technique cut a piece of burlap from back to front horizontally across the gathered first piece, making sure the pieces overlap on the back. Tack down the burlap on the back with two more #5 cloth staples. Flip the piece to the front and using the excess jut gather the horizontal burlap in front and tie this in a knot. Trim off excess jute. Now is the fun part. Chose a center piece for your cross. I used a metal medallion for one of them and I gathered lace into a flower shape and added a broach to the other.  I attached the medallion with hot glue and a screw to the center.  Then I added a fancy paper doily and a blue gem.  To the other I added lace that I gathered into a flower shape, hot glued it to the center then I pinned the broach to the center of the lace.

Both the broach and the medallion were in with some of my mother’s belongings. Since she’s passed I feel the need to display things that she loved and am having fun finding new ways to do it. It helps to have the things she loved surrounding me. Gives me some comfort. So here is the finished products — Let me know what you think.

Burlap & Wood Cross

Burlap & Wood Cross Art

More things that belonged to mom.

Buttons:

Buttons, Buttons, Buttons

 

Re-Purposing an Old Milk Can

Save

Save

Re-Purposing an Old Milk Can

I’ve recently become obsessed with re purposing things that have been sitting around my house taking up space.  The most recent re purpose was an old antique milk can that my mother gave me years ago.  When she first gave it to me the lid was welded shut by years and years of rust.  I couldn’t get the lid off so I decided to paint it the color of the 1990’s Hunter Green and put it on my front porch for display.  Since the lid had a deep bowl on it water would accumulate and it didn’t serve much of a purpose other than an old milk can painted Hunter Green sitting on my front porch.  We moved to a new home in 2008 and it found its way to our garage.  Over the next eight years I would shift it and move it from space to space until I saw a post on Pinterest that showed pictures of milk cans that were re purposed.  It was then that I decided I would do the same.  We were planning a surprise 60th birthday party for my husband Dave and we’d recently been spicing up our patio by adding a patio cover and re furbishing a free standing swing that mom gave us years ago.  It was the perfect time to finish off this milk can and add it to the patio for the party.  I loved the idea of bringing life back to this old antique milk can. I’ve included the complete re purpose instructions that I followed below.

Re-Purposed Milk Can

Re-Purposed Milk Can

Our patio decor is a mix of bright oranges and reds so I picked a paprika color spay paint for the milk can base (I used two full cans of spray paint).

I purchased a round wooden slab measuring 15 inches for the table top.  I could have went with a 24 inch but the 15 inch table top fits perfectly along side our re furbished swing.  The wood round came unfinished and I didn’t like the idea of using a commercial stain so I researched articles on how to create natural stains.

To copy the stain recipe:

Take a quart sized mason jar ad place bits of torn steal wool inside.
Add about 4 ounces of fresh brewed tea and 4 ounces of fresh brewed coffee.
Top the jar off with white vinegar.
Let the concoction sit for about 24 hours.

To stain the wood round:

Put on rubber gloves and place the wood round on a piece of news paper in a ventilated area like a garage.
Pull out a bit of the steal wool and squeeze the excess liquid from the wool.
Begin rubbing the steal wool onto the wood round keeping with the grain of the wood.
Continue to cover one side and then the other until completely covered.
Let dry completely.
Lightly sand and repeat process until the desired color is achieved.

Note: the wood will get darker as you add rounds of stain.

Once the desired color is achieved and the wood is completely dry add a clear coat finish by brushing or spraying it over the entire surface of the wood on both sides.

To add the wood table top to the can we used a thin piece of wood as a spacer between the can and the wood as the can’s top was not completely flat.  Using 4 L brackets we secured the wood top to the can.  Fortunately there were 4 holes in the rim of the can’s top, I assume it was part of the original design.  If your can doesn’t have these holes then drill holes on all four sides of the can’s top and secure with L brackets.

I love this re-purpose and I’d love to hear your thoughts on how it turned out.  If you’ve done the same type of re-purpose please share!

Save

Happy 4th to You!

Its a rainy weekend here in Missouri.  I have to admit that typically we do get rain at least one day of the 4th of July holiday weekend most years but this year the rain has gone on forever!

So instead of planning an outing this holiday we decided to sit home and relax.  Its not that bad.  We avoid all the craziness of pushing through crowds to get the perfect seat for the fireworks display and avoid the rain hair look.  My hubby a lover of old Westerns has been able to sit back and enjoy some of the best old westerns Hollywood has create.  I on the other hand have spent some time working on projects and relaxing.

Currently it is about 10:30 AM on the 4th, I have pork chops in the crock pot for barbecue pulled pork sandwiches later and I’m bouncing back and forth between Pinterest pictures, Ancestry.com and historical pages on faceBook.

I think it is appropriate that I’m skimming through the history records on Ancestry and on faceBook today.  Today I also found out that for the 4th of July weekend Fold3, a family history site, has given free access to their Civil War documents.  LOVE THIS!

Happy 4th!  Remember this is an election year and get out and vote!

Post to Post!

Reward Programs

I worked for a company for 16 ½ years that does fulfillment for many reward programs.  Since the beginning they have worked with various financial and automotive companies to provide incentive programs for both retail and their employee base.

Isn’t it funny that a person can be in a certain business for so long without ever really utilizing it for themselves?  That’s me.  It wasn’t until I had worked for the company for many years that I actually began to look at reward programs for myself and my family.  When I look back and realize the opportunity that my position provided and I didn’t even attempt to utilize reward programs for my own family it bothers me.  I was in a position to be able to know the rules intimately because I spent my days working with the actual folks who put the programs together.

So over the next few months I will be providing reviews for the various programs.  I will be posting the reviews and providing information to help folks choose the right programs for their family.

If you are a member of a good rewards program, please share the details here.

Love These Wooden Letters

Here are some of the recent orders I’ve filled.   How I made them:

IMG_0877 IMG_0878 IMG_1111 IMG_1112

Materials:

  • Wooden or pressed board letter
  • Chalk paint
  • Stencils
  • Alphabet letter decals or stencils
  • Ribbon of your choice
  • Embellishments of your choice
  • Clear drying glue
  • Sealer
  • Brads or other picture hanging hardware
  • Hot glue and glue gun

Directions:

  1. Apply two to three coats of paint to the letter, let dry in between coats
  2. Apply alphabet of your choice to the surface of the letter with clear drying glue, let dry
  3. Apply one to two coats of clear sealer.  If you are hanging outside you may want to use more
  4. Apply embellishments as desired with hot glue gun, let dry
  5. Attach ribbon for hanger to the back of the letter using metal brads or hot glue.  Brads will be sturdier

You can attach picture hanging hardware to the back of the letter in place of the ribbon.

Please comment and let me know what you think.

Save

Save

Legit Ways to Make Money Online

I’ll be researching and posting information regarding online opportunities where someone can really make money.  I spend a lot of time looking through posts on Pinterest and Facebook that claim you can make money online only to find out its a post by someone who wants you to click on their post so they can get traffic to their site or to buy something from them like an E-Course.  Its just a big waste of time if you ask me.

Most people who are clicking on the post are folks who really want to work from home legitimately and have no interest at all in buying something from you.

So check back often.  I will be posting things I find as I find them.

 

Chocolate Cheesecake!

chocolate cheesecake chocolate cheesecake1

Chocolate, rich and creamy describes this delectable delight.  It is not easy to make but oh how satisfying once you do make it!

For the Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate graham crackers crushed (about 12 bars)
  • 1/3 cup butter melted

For the Filling

  • 2 lbs cream cheese softened (4 packages)
  • 1 and 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate roughly chopped

For the Ganache

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions:

For the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place chocolate graham crackers in a zip lock bag, then crush them with a rolling pin or mallet until they are finely ground.
  3. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir with a spatula to saturate the graham crackers as much as possible.
  4. Press the graham crackers into the bottom of a spring form pan. Tip: use the bottom of a measuring cup along the edges to get a smooth, even line.
  5. Place spring form pan in the oven and bake the crust for 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the spring form pan & crust to cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.

For the Filling

  1. Place eggs (still in shell) in a bowl of warm water to bring to room temperature. Set aside.
  2. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Whisk chocolate until all the clumps are dissolved and is creamy. If needed, nuke chocolate for another 15 seconds to melt the remaining pieces. Set aside to cool, at least 10 minutes.
  3. Using a table mixer or hand mixer + large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder on low until combined.
  4. Keeping mixer speed on low, beat in eggs, one at a time, careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour in the melted chocolate and beat on low, again careful not to over mix. Tip: periodically turn off the mixer and use a spatula to scrape around the sides and bottom, then beat again.
  6. Pour the filling in the spring form pan. Use a spatula to smooth off the top.
  7. Place the spring form in the middle of a large baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in the oven for roughly 1 hour (up to 1 hour & 10 minutes) until the center is set and the top looks as baked as the sides.
  8. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the spring form pan (to detach cake from the sides).  Don’t remove the spring form yet!
  9. Cool cheesecake in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or ideally overnight.

For the Ganache

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring heavy whipping cream to a boil.
  2. Add in chocolate and salt, then remove pan from heat. Do not stir yet – this will avoid ganache becoming grainy. Let ganache sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk ganache until chocolate is smooth and all clumps have melted.

Finishing Up

  1. Pour the ganache over the cheesecake, and then set cheesecake back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to set.
  2. Run a knife around the spring form pan again, then release the clasp.
  3. Cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.

My New Jewelry Creations

I love making jewelry and other crafts.  Stringing the beads and arranging the designs are so calming to me.  I guess I’m funny that way and some might think I am crazy when I say things like, I love to paint.  I’m not talking about the canvas painting, although I think I would like that too, but the full fledged paint the whole room painting.  It is another thing that I feel that calms me.  I can get lost in my thoughts and manage to mentally accomplish a whole lot when I am dragging that roller across the wall.  In addition once I’m finished I can stand back and look at the freshly painted walls and feel like I’ve physically accomplished a whole lot too.

So getting back to my jewelry creations here are a few of the new pieces I’ve finished.  And you can find them for sale at my Etsy Shop!  Look to the right menu bar and scroll down to my Etsy Shop!

IMG_0977IMG_1004BlackWhiteHorn

Save

Mom’s Flowers

Mom sure had a lot of stuff and when I was going through it I found bits and pieces of this and that.  One thing that mom had a lot of was silk flowers.  As I looked at the flowers I began to wonder what I could do with them.  I couldn’t bare to get rid of them.  Seeing how many there were and how she so lovingly stored them I just couldn’t throw them out or give them away.  So ideas started to formulate as I investigated how I could use them so that they could come out of the storage container and be enjoyed.  So I created some wreaths.  I haven’t yet made a dent in the collection she had but this is a start.  I’ll be posting a how I did it post in a few but for now, here they are.  Let me know what you think.

yellow-rose-wreath-2 yellow-wreath-4