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My Decorating Dilemma Solution — Desk Area Makeover

6 Aug
 I participated in Amanda @ Serenity Now‘s Decorating Dilemma party a couple of months ago. I shared a terrible eyesore in my kitchen. 
My kitchen desk which is a haven for everything that comes in the house. My kids love to dump their papers, food, shoes, and whatever else they can find on that space. It also is where the builders of the house built in a huge intercom gadget smack in the middle of the wall, plus a zillion wall outlets. Let’s just say — it’s not a pretty corner to do any work. I saw a post that Pam did a Bibbity Boppity Beautiful where she put a shelf on the wall to store her electronic gadgets and I thought it was such a great idea. Well, the shelf I bought started dropping immediately after I installed it and all of the gadgets slid off onto the desk. I pretty much gave up on the space after that and I even left the metal strip from the shelf. 
Part 1: The Chair
About the same time as this was happening I was driving down the street in my neighborhood and came upon this beauty. She is pretty awful. Someone put her out to the curb in the rain! Well, I picked her up and thought I might be able to give her a new life for my desk. 
This was the catalyst that started my desk transformation. {Bear with me — this post might be a tad long — this is actually three projects in one post.}
It started with the chair. I brought her home, sanded her off and took off the hideous Brady Bunch upholstery. Then I painted her using DecoArt’s Americana black paint. I used a bristle brush to get in all the nooks and crannies.

I also decided to add some scallop molding to take a little of the gothic element out of the chair and add a little more cottage-y feel. I used Gorilla’s Wood Glue and then clamped it until the glue dried.
 And when I was done, I used  Rockler’s Deft Finishing Spray to give it a slight sheen and to protect the surface.
I picked out three fabrics that I liked for the seat, the back and the other side of the chair. Then I recovered the seat.
I took off the old hideous material and added an extra layer of batting. I used my staple gun and stapled one side, then pulled the material taut and stapled the opposite side. And did the same with the other three sides. I folded the material down before I stapled it so that it was extra secure. 
Then I upholstered the back of the seat. I measured the area and cut out a piece of material the same size. Then I got out my trusty staple gun and stapled the material onto the back. When I was done, I used a mallet and pounded the staples in so that none of them were sticking out. Then I covered the staples with coordinating ribbon. I hot glued the ribbon over the staples. 
Part 2: The Bulletin Board
The second part of the project was making something to cover up the wall area over the desk. I measured the area and found a picture at a garage sale for $1 that was about the right size.
 I took the picture out of the frame and hot glued a piece of metal sheeting  from a roll that I found at Home Depot’s Roofing Department. Then I painted the frame using the same black DecoArt Americana Paint. Once it was dry, I sprayed it with the Rockler’s Deft Wood Spray to give it a sturdy finish and a bit of a sheen.

 Then I took some burlap material and cut out a piece of material that was the same size as the picture plus 4 inches on each side. 

I wanted to make it cute, and one of the newest sponsor’s of the DIY Club is an adorable etsy shop called Olive Rue. I downloaded this image of a chair with a bird on it from Olive Rue and printed it on transfer paper {you must reverse out the image to do it on this type of paper}. Then I ironed it onto the burlap. I peeled off the backing and voila – an instanly cute focal point for my Burlap Magnet Board! I covered the metal sheeting with the burlap and flipped it over. I used Gorilla Glue Tape to secure the edges of the board. This tape is incredibly sturdy and sticky! Perfect for this project. Then I fit the magnet board inside of the frame and used my staple gun to attach it on the back. 

Part 3: The Magnets
The Third Part of the Project — was making some cute magnets to tie the chair material with the magnet board. I took some scraps of material left over from the chair redo and cut them into 2 inch wide sections and folded the pieces in half.
 I made a tie at one end of the material. Then I put a dab of hot glue on the knot and then wrapped the material around the knot, twisting it as I went.
 I kept adding hot glue every half turn and did this until I got to the end of the material. 
Then I added a second color of fabric and started it where the last fabric left off — also twisting it around until I got to the end. 
Then I cut out a burlap circle as big as the flower I just made and hot glued the circle onto the bottom of the flower. Once it cooled off, I added a magnet. And I had a cute magnet that coordinated with the chair! I made three for the board. 
And that is my answer to my decorating dilemma! A nice, colorful place in my kitchen with a magnet board where I can keep important to-do items! And I can move the magnet board to the side when I need to get into the intercom or outlets.
 Here are the DIY Club Sponsor’s products that I used: 
Gorilla Glue — Wood Glue
Gorilla Glue — Tape
DecoArt — Americana Black Paint
Rockler — Deft clear Wood Finish
** Olive Rue is offering a special discount for DIY Club Readers — If you mention you are coming from the DIY Club, they will send you a free image.And, if you go over to Olive Rue’s blog  www.oliverue.blogspot.com — there is a special there where you can download an image for free.

XOXO

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My Decorating Dilemma Solution — Desk Area Makeover

6 Aug
 I participated in Amanda @ Serenity Now‘s Decorating Dilemma party a couple of months ago. I shared a terrible eyesore in my kitchen. 
My kitchen desk which is a haven for everything that comes in the house. My kids love to dump their papers, food, shoes, and whatever else they can find on that space. It also is where the builders of the house built in a huge intercom gadget smack in the middle of the wall, plus a zillion wall outlets. Let’s just say — it’s not a pretty corner to do any work. I saw a post that Pam did a Bibbity Boppity Beautiful where she put a shelf on the wall to store her electronic gadgets and I thought it was such a great idea. Well, the shelf I bought started dropping immediately after I installed it and all of the gadgets slid off onto the desk. I pretty much gave up on the space after that and I even left the metal strip from the shelf. 
Part 1: The Chair
About the same time as this was happening I was driving down the street in my neighborhood and came upon this beauty. She is pretty awful. Someone put her out to the curb in the rain! Well, I picked her up and thought I might be able to give her a new life for my desk. 
This was the catalyst that started my desk transformation. {Bear with me — this post might be a tad long — this is actually three projects in one post.}
It started with the chair. I brought her home, sanded her off and took off the hideous Brady Bunch upholstery. Then I painted her using DecoArt’s Americana black paint. I used a bristle brush to get in all the nooks and crannies.

I also decided to add some scallop molding to take a little of the gothic element out of the chair and add a little more cottage-y feel. I used Gorilla’s Wood Glue and then clamped it until the glue dried.
 And when I was done, I used  Rockler’s Deft Finishing Spray to give it a slight sheen and to protect the surface.
I picked out three fabrics that I liked for the seat, the back and the other side of the chair. Then I recovered the seat.
I took off the old hideous material and added an extra layer of batting. I used my staple gun and stapled one side, then pulled the material taut and stapled the opposite side. And did the same with the other three sides. I folded the material down before I stapled it so that it was extra secure. 
Then I upholstered the back of the seat. I measured the area and cut out a piece of material the same size. Then I got out my trusty staple gun and stapled the material onto the back. When I was done, I used a mallet and pounded the staples in so that none of them were sticking out. Then I covered the staples with coordinating ribbon. I hot glued the ribbon over the staples. 
Part 2: The Bulletin Board
The second part of the project was making something to cover up the wall area over the desk. I measured the area and found a picture at a garage sale for $1 that was about the right size.
 I took the picture out of the frame and hot glued a piece of metal sheeting  from a roll that I found at Home Depot’s Roofing Department. Then I painted the frame using the same black DecoArt Americana Paint. Once it was dry, I sprayed it with the Rockler’s Deft Wood Spray to give it a sturdy finish and a bit of a sheen.

 Then I took some burlap material and cut out a piece of material that was the same size as the picture plus 4 inches on each side. 

I wanted to make it cute, and one of the newest sponsor’s of the DIY Club is an adorable etsy shop called Olive Rue. I downloaded this image of a chair with a bird on it from Olive Rue and printed it on transfer paper {you must reverse out the image to do it on this type of paper}. Then I ironed it onto the burlap. I peeled off the backing and voila – an instanly cute focal point for my Burlap Magnet Board! I covered the metal sheeting with the burlap and flipped it over. I used Gorilla Glue Tape to secure the edges of the board. This tape is incredibly sturdy and sticky! Perfect for this project. Then I fit the magnet board inside of the frame and used my staple gun to attach it on the back. 

Part 3: The Magnets
The Third Part of the Project — was making some cute magnets to tie the chair material with the magnet board. I took some scraps of material left over from the chair redo and cut them into 2 inch wide sections and folded the pieces in half.
 I made a tie at one end of the material. Then I put a dab of hot glue on the knot and then wrapped the material around the knot, twisting it as I went.
 I kept adding hot glue every half turn and did this until I got to the end of the material. 
Then I added a second color of fabric and started it where the last fabric left off — also twisting it around until I got to the end. 
Then I cut out a burlap circle as big as the flower I just made and hot glued the circle onto the bottom of the flower. Once it cooled off, I added a magnet. And I had a cute magnet that coordinated with the chair! I made three for the board. 
And that is my answer to my decorating dilemma! A nice, colorful place in my kitchen with a magnet board where I can keep important to-do items! And I can move the magnet board to the side when I need to get into the intercom or outlets.
 Here are the DIY Club Sponsor’s products that I used: 
Gorilla Glue — Wood Glue
Gorilla Glue — Tape
DecoArt — Americana Black Paint
Rockler — Deft clear Wood Finish
** Olive Rue is offering a special discount for DIY Club Readers — If you mention you are coming from the DIY Club, they will send you a free image.And, if you go over to Olive Rue’s blog  www.oliverue.blogspot.com — there is a special there where you can download an image for free.

XOXO

Dinner Dilemmas Solution: Meal Planning Magnets with free PDF

30 May

 
It’s Sunday and time for Dinner Dilemmas. Today I am so excited to introduce you to Amy from The Red  Chair Blog. Amy is a decorator, organizer, wife, and mom who lives in Cary, NC. She also owns and operates Red Chair Home Interior and gives great tips to help you turn your house into a home. She is so very talented. You might recognize this fabulous project that she shared in February: 

 Okay — take it away Amy!!!  



Greetings, Tatertots & Jello readers! I’m a huge fan of Jen and her incredibly creative project ideas, so I’m thrilled to be a guest here today to share a project with you as part of her series on Dinner Dilemmas.

“What’s for Dinner?” If these three little words strike terror in your heart, why not find a fun way to answer that question for yourself and your family? Today I’m going to show you how to turn junk mail magnets into a cute set of meal planning magnets.

I designed this project to be simple and affordable. I’ve even provided a free printable PDF for you. As an added bonus, you’ll keep all of those junk mail magnets out of the landfill!

Materials:

  • Junk mail magnets (the best are those awful giant magnets from personal injury lawyers that are always glued to the back cover of the phone book, but any flat magnets will do: pizza delivery, dentists’ offices, credit card solicitations, etc.)
  • Wide packing tape (I used the glossy kind)
  • Scissors
  • Decorative paper (I used 6 x 6 scrapbook paper)
  • Double-sided tape (optional–not pictured)
  • Computer and printer

Instructions:
1. Start by flipping through your recipe file and listing your favorite “old standby” recipes. This tutorial will teach you how to make 35 magnets, but you can make as few as you’d like; you can always add more later.

2. Open Microsoft Word and create a table that is 5 squares wide by 7 squares high (my “squares” were each 1.25″ x 1.5″). Type the name of one meal in each of the squares. Keep it simple–just name the main dish. You might also want to make several magnets that say “Left-Overs”, “Dinner Out”, “Take Out” and/or “New Recipe”.  I used a 22 point French Script MT font, and I centered the meal names in the squares.

3. Print your page, and cut out the meal names. My meal names were smaller than the outlined squares once I cut them out. This doesn’t have to be perfect! And yes, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that one of my meals is scrambled eggs. What can I say? I’m a lazy cook!

4. Using scissors, cut a magnet to roughly 1.5″(w) by 1.75″(h). Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to the same dimensions. If you really want to annoy your friends & family with your fastidiousness, you can color code your magnets. I used yellow for meals that are protein-based, and blue for “carby” meals such as pasta dinners; that way, I can tell at a glance if my week is balanced (I’m a vegetarian, so I need to be mindful about protein).

5. Using double-sided tape–or very good fine motor skills–to keep the layers in place, layer the magnet, scrapbook paper, and meal name.

6. “Laminate” the whole thing with packing tape. To do this, cut the tape a little bit longer than the magnet, cut off all four corners of the tape, and fold toward the back (see below). This step can be time-consuming, but it’s mindless enough that it’s a good while-you’re-watching-a-movie project.

7. If you’d like to use my days of the week and the “What’s For Dinner” header, you can download a free PDF from my website here. To “laminate” shapes with rounded edges using packing tape, use “V” shaped notches to navigate the curves.

8. Arrange the current week’s magnets on the front of your fridge–keep other meal magnets on the side of the fridge for planning future weeks’ meals. Some of my readers with stainless steel refrigerators have written to say that they used a cookie sheet to display their magnets. To further streamline your meal planning, you can make your own customized, pre-printed grocery list with the instructions that I provided here.

This is a great project for families with kids…just be careful that small saboteurs don’t constantly shift the magnets to make it look like every night is pizza night!

Thanks SO much Amy – here’s a button for your blog as a thank you for sharing your idea with us! Make sure to check out Amy’s blog and her wonderful ideas!!!
XOXO

Dinner Dilemmas: Part 3

12 Apr
It’s Sunday, the day I figure out what I’m making for the week. 
How did your dinnertime go last week? 
 I did preeeetttty well. I made dinner about half of the week and scrounged things up the other half. 
I had a big flop — fish and Asian noodles — the kids did not love that one. 
And a big success — homemade macaroni and cheese.  
Here’s the recipe:
{Homemade Mac &  Cheesebreadcrumbs on only half for those picky eaters}
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Crumb topping:
2-3 slices white bread
2 Tablespoons unslated butter. melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. Prehead oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish.
  2. Cook the pasta, drain well.
  3. Then melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan and add flour. Whisk until ixture is bubbly, about 1 minute. Add the milk, cooking and stirring until the mixture is bubbly and thickens up. Add the salt and Worchestershire sauce. Stir for another minute/
  4. Remove the pan from the hea and add cheese. Cook and stir until the cheese melts. Then stir in the pasta. Pour it into your baking dish.
  5. To make the bread crumbs, tear the bread into pieces and pulse in food processor. Mix in the butter and the cheese. Sprinkle over the pasta mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the topping is brown.
https://i2.wp.com/www.palmerpletsch.com/foodnanny/FoodNannyBOOK_shdw.jpg
And, as you might know, I am trying to start the Food Nanny philosophy of a different dinner theme every night with each of us being in charge one night a week. It’s hard when we have soccer games at dinner time and I have a husband who works out of town during the week. But I am going to try harder this week. We met and decided:
Monday:  Comfort Foods — Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (oldest daughter)
Tuesday: Italian Night — Spaghetti and meat sauce (10 year old daughter)
Wednesday: Pizza Night — Margherita Pizza (me)
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner — crepes (oldest son)
Friday: I think mom and dad are going out to dinner 🙂 So leftovers for the kids.
I also wanted to share a great idea from A Girl and a Glue Gun:
Magnetic/Dry Erase Monthly Menu Planner. 
Awesome! 
Then you can display your dinners by the month. I may have to make one of these soon!
So – what are you making this week? 
Do you have any great suggestions/tips that can help the rest of us? 
Do you have a favorite recipe that your kids just love that you can share
Let’s help each other make dinnertime less traumatic and more fun
You can link up your ideas at our Dinner Dilemmas Forum HERE. {there’s a linky}. 
I thought it would be nice to have one spot where we can collect the ideas – 
so when people come over they can find all of the ideas in one spot.

Check it out – there are all sorts of good recipes, a link on how to prepare an entire year’s worth of meals, and other helpful dinner ideas! 

Ok, I can’t wait to hear your Dinnertime Dilemma Solutions! 
XOXO
PS – The DownEast Clothing giveaway ends tonight at midnight. It’s on the sidebar if you want to enter.
PSS – A new giveaway will start in the morning!

Dinner Dilemmas: Part 3

12 Apr
It’s Sunday, the day I figure out what I’m making for the week. 
How did your dinnertime go last week? 
 I did preeeetttty well. I made dinner about half of the week and scrounged things up the other half. 
I had a big flop — fish and Asian noodles — the kids did not love that one. 
And a big success — homemade macaroni and cheese.  
Here’s the recipe:
{Homemade Mac &  Cheesebreadcrumbs on only half for those picky eaters}
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Crumb topping:
2-3 slices white bread
2 Tablespoons unslated butter. melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. Prehead oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish.
  2. Cook the pasta, drain well.
  3. Then melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan and add flour. Whisk until ixture is bubbly, about 1 minute. Add the milk, cooking and stirring until the mixture is bubbly and thickens up. Add the salt and Worchestershire sauce. Stir for another minute/
  4. Remove the pan from the hea and add cheese. Cook and stir until the cheese melts. Then stir in the pasta. Pour it into your baking dish.
  5. To make the bread crumbs, tear the bread into pieces and pulse in food processor. Mix in the butter and the cheese. Sprinkle over the pasta mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the topping is brown.
https://i2.wp.com/www.palmerpletsch.com/foodnanny/FoodNannyBOOK_shdw.jpg
And, as you might know, I am trying to start the Food Nanny philosophy of a different dinner theme every night with each of us being in charge one night a week. It’s hard when we have soccer games at dinner time and I have a husband who works out of town during the week. But I am going to try harder this week. We met and decided:
Monday:  Comfort Foods — Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (oldest daughter)
Tuesday: Italian Night — Spaghetti and meat sauce (10 year old daughter)
Wednesday: Pizza Night — Margherita Pizza (me)
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner — crepes (oldest son)
Friday: I think mom and dad are going out to dinner 🙂 So leftovers for the kids.
I also wanted to share a great idea from A Girl and a Glue Gun:
Magnetic/Dry Erase Monthly Menu Planner. 
Awesome! 
Then you can display your dinners by the month. I may have to make one of these soon!
So – what are you making this week? 
Do you have any great suggestions/tips that can help the rest of us? 
Do you have a favorite recipe that your kids just love that you can share
Let’s help each other make dinnertime less traumatic and more fun
You can link up your ideas at our Dinner Dilemmas Forum HERE. {there’s a linky}. 
I thought it would be nice to have one spot where we can collect the ideas – 
so when people come over they can find all of the ideas in one spot.

Check it out – there are all sorts of good recipes, a link on how to prepare an entire year’s worth of meals, and other helpful dinner ideas! 

Ok, I can’t wait to hear your Dinnertime Dilemma Solutions! 
XOXO
PS – The DownEast Clothing giveaway ends tonight at midnight. It’s on the sidebar if you want to enter.
PSS – A new giveaway will start in the morning!

Creative Fridays:Stylish storage bins & GIVEAWAY

13 Feb

Welcome to my Creative Fridays. I am not the most organized person. In January I went through my daughters’ closets, cleaned them out and tried to make them neat. I put most of their toys in their closets but found that some of the larger items would not fit on the shelves. What to do? I went to IKEA and found these unfinished storage containers. They are quite big – 22 wide, 12 inches high, 13 inches wide. I got out my handy spray paint and went to work. Two coats of off-white paint did the trick. I found three coordinating scrapbook papers and decoupaged them onto the front panels of the containers. I used mod podge. I let it dry and then put the containers together. Now I have a place for all of those big Littlest Petshop houses, Pony castles, and My Twinn Doll tents and accessories. I finished them off by printing out some pictures of Ella and attached the pictures to some scrapbook frames using Gorilla Glue.
I added the wheels so she can push the containers around her room while she’s playing or into her sister’s room for play dates. I used Gorilla Glue to attach the wheels to the carts.

https://i1.wp.com/www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/15/156d1efe-de63-4a1e-8ea0-c982518ec19c_300.jpg

Favorite Things Wednesday: Lunchtime Solution!

12 Feb

{*Whew* I’m back from working on the Gently Used Boutique. We started at 10 this morning.
It turned out really well. I will post about it later.}
_____________________________________________________________________

At the beginning of the school year, I wrote a post about how my 9 year old hates school lunch. We’ve been struggling along for the past 5 months. Some days she makes a lunch, other days she “eats” the school lunch.

Sunday night she decides that she wants to have chicken noodle soup for lunch. We look in vain for a thermos. I know I had one around here somewhere. Maybe I donated it in a cleaning frenzy??? We ended up borrowing a travel mug from Grandma and Grandpa and wrapped the soup mug up in tin foil.

So Monday I went on a quest for a thermos. I figure if she will eat soup, it’s better than her eating nothing. Look what I found at Target – of course! (You know I’m a Target fiend!):

{insulated, dishwasher safe, microwavable, freezable}
{There’s a spoon hidden in the top – how cool is that?}

{$10 bucks}

Today she took ravioli for lunch. I checked the bowl after school — it was all gone! Yay!!!

What’s your favorite thing this week?