Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This is me. 
I'll be back in a few days.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Decorating The Porch For Winter

Winter Front Porches: Tips to Avoid Porch Disasters
With the gray landscape, overcast skies and chilly air, it's no wonder people are compelled to stay indoors during winter. Nothing else is more attractive at this time than curling up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.
The season can be unforgiving and being stuck at home may not be your idea of a good time, but there's something about winter that just makes many homeowners prettify their homes even more.
The porch is the first thing that greets you and your visitors and it's only sensible to make it as beautiful as it can be. Sounds like a tricky project, since winter does pose many challenges on outdoor home decorating.
Here are some ideas on what to do and not to do when decorating the porch for winter:

Do: Make the transition from winter to other seasons an easy one.
Sure, you may be focusing on winter decorating now, but a few months down the road, spring will come and yet another season will take its place. What happens to your winter porch decoration then? You don't want all your hard work go to waste, do you? Although it may not seem like it, the change in seasons is a fast one, and if you do not make your outdoor decorations last through the seasons, you will be wasting a lot of time and energy.
Don't: Leave your Christmas decorations up after the holidays.
Yes, the glass Christmas balls that spell "Merry Christmas" are absolutely gorgeous, so is the life-sized Santa Claus that you have by the front door. No matter how stunning these decorations are, you have to take them down at some point. You may, however, leave some of the wreaths or garlands and make them less Christmas-y by taking out the accessories.

Do: Focus on the essentials.
You need a place in your porch where everyone can sit, have a good conversation and enjoy the outdoor scene. Your porch furniture shouldn't come and go just like the seasons do. Invest in high-quality outdoor furniture so that you only need to change a few things when the new season rolls in. For winter, bring out your cushions, quilts and blankets and throw them over the chairs for a cozy appeal.

Lighting is another must-have in any porch design, so incorporate an outdoor lighting plan in your project. Ambient lighting makes a porch look very inviting. Make several tweaks in your porch design as you please, but keep the rest of your décor minimal.
Don't: Blow your budget on furniture and accessories.
Sometimes decorating the house can be such an addicting venture. A trip to a furniture store can make any design nut feel like a kid in a candy shop. Cool your jets! You can't cram all those gorgeous pieces in your porch now, can you? Take a deep breath, set your priorities, and follow them through!
Set a budget and stick to it. That way, you don't overspend and be tempted to buy things you don't really need. With plenty of thrift stores and flea markets around, you can save a lot of money on furniture and accessories. This is very helpful especially if you are experimenting on design. You don't want to commit yourself into buying something that you might regret later on.

Do: Provide ample space for movement.
Depending on the size of your property, a porch can accommodate as much or as little furnishings. Aside from knowing where to place your porch furniture and accessories, you need to make sure there is enough space for people. Your guests need plenty of legroom in your porch, especially if the area is limited. Choose smaller pieces of furniture or move objects to the side if they get in the way.
Do: Use bold colors.
With the gloomy atmosphere, it's only natural to look for a pop of color in your living space. One good way of adding color to your porch is by painting your door. This is a very easy, and oftentimes foolproof, way of incorporating color in your design. Another way is to bring the color of nature to your décor. The bright greens and reds of evergreens and berries are perfect for a winter porch theme.
Don't: Go color-crazy.
When it comes to your porch, a little splash of color goes a long way. You don't need to use all the colors of the rainbow to make your porch design stand out. Choose a color scheme that you want to apply to your porch design and stick with it. You can opt for subtle hues that calm the senses, or you can go for hot colors that make you want to jump around. Either way, the colors that you should pick must complement each other to create a smooth look on your front porch.
Get out of hibernation and start your winter porch project. Look for materials that can stand the frigid season, so that you can enjoy your porch a lot longer.

Jessica Phan is a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Rice Krispy Treat Kisses~RePost

This is a repost from February 11th of last year.
I started making these for my kids on Valentine's day a loooong time ago.
Now even my grown kids still want one every year.  
(I haven't seen these on blogland before, so either everybody and their dog knows about them and it's too boring to post about, or it's not a widespread thing. I'm hoping for the latter.)
They're really simple and really easy to make.
Start with a basic recipe for Rice Krispy Treats.
(I added a recipe at the end of the post, just in case you've never made these. Just in case you live in, I don't know, Outer Mongolia and have never heard of Rice Krispy Treats before.)
I doubled the batch.
Then take a funnel
like this one, and butter the inside. Butter your hands, too.
Then you just smoosh the Rice Krispy Treats into the funnel. Don't pack it too tight or you'll have something so hard it will be almost inedible. Almost. Just make them firm enough that when you take the treats out of the funnel that you'll have a shape like this.
I pinch the top and press down a little, to make the sides a little curvier.
You can fill the funnel all the way to the rim, or just half way, to make smaller ones.
These are some small ones.
Wait for them to set up.
Then melt a bag of chocolate chips and dip the tips of the kisses 
in the melted chocolate.
One bag is enough for 6 large and 12 smaller kisses.
Then you have to wait for the chocolate to set up. 
While I was waiting, I printed out sheets of paper that said "I Love You" in a light blue font and cut them into strips. You can say whatever you want on yours. 
(Clean your room, stop teasing your sister, buy me a house and a car when you grow up...whatever you want.)
 Then you just wrap them all up in tin foil!
It's so easy.
Kids love them.
And did I mention that they're easy?

Rice Krispy Treats

Melt 3 Tbs. of butter in a large bowl. Add 40 large marshmallows. Microwave on high until the marshmallows start to puff up. Stir until smooth. You may have to microwave a little longer. 
Add 6 cups of Rice Krispies, stir until thoroughly blended. Pat into a buttered pan, or shape into kisses.

           Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Scratch Off Card

Did you see this card in the last issue of
 Better Homes and Gardens?
I thought it was cute, so I got on their website and printed one off. 
The instructions are there and it's easy to make. Not convinced? 
I'll prove it.

My printer did two copies, so I used one for the template for the little hearts.

Cut out one heart, and then trace 4 out on clear Contact paper and cut them out.

Apply them to your card.

Mix two parts metallic acrylic paint with one part dish soap.

And paint your hearts.I used a flat artist's brush. Wait for it to dry.

And it scratches off!

See? 20 minutes, tops! 
Just make sure what you put in the hearts is something your sweetie will want. 
I put what I want. 
If I hadn't, I could just scratch all the paint off that heart and repaint it.
I'll have to make another one.

Thanks for reading!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beware Of The Vintage Bed

You might be wondering what's happened to the vintage bed I was painting.
 (But really, why paint it? It's such a gorgeous color! No, I'm not serious.) 
 I was serious about painting it, though. I wore a mask and everything.
 I primed it with this stuff, which I like. I'd never used it before, but I will be using it again. Not one splatter out of that nozzle. 
 It took two cans of primer. I kind of liked the gray at this point. But it wasn't the color my son chose. So I got busy painting. 3 coats of paint. 
(I LOVE the paint color, but I'm holding off on showing that. 
I'm still hoping for a fun "after" photo)
When it was all ready to move in the house, my spatially gifted husband said "It looks kind of short." Short? SHORT?!!? 
It is short. 4 inches shorter than the mattress. Too short for a boy who's 6'1".
So we devised a plan that involved welding. 
(Lucky me! My husband has a welder and he knows how to use it. 
Gotta love those farm boys!)
Then this happened.
Snow. Why would that matter, you ask?
The only place on this entire farm that has the right type of electrical outlet for the welder is outside. I mean, a person can weld in the snow, but it wouldn't be prudent. Electric shocks and all that.
So we wait.

The moral of this story?
Measure the vintage bed before you buy it!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Ugly Skirt.

Do you like bed skirts? I thought I did. Who wouldn't like this?
Crisp, tailored...nice.
Or this?
Full and flouncy and romantic looking.
Mine wasn't any of those things.

Cheap to begin with. Old. Limp. Too short. 
(Really. The carpet is enough ugly for one room.)
And for some reason, I always think I can stash more under the bed when there's a skirt on it. Most of it just useless junk.
I decided to get rid of the skirt when
I saw this on Pinterest.
Pinned Image
Which led me here.
Since our bed has side rails and a solid footboard, I didn't have to do a full upholstery job. Just the sides and around the front and back about 8 inches.
I had this aqua drapery panel that was 96" long. It was some kind of velveteen or uncut corduroy.

None of my windows are tall enough to require drapes that long. There was also only one panel so I nominated it to be upholstery fabric. I then seconded the nomination and held a vote. Which went the way I had hoped it would. 

We have a king size bed with two box springs. They had to be moved to the other end of the house so I'd have room to do this.
I just placed the panel over the first box spring, and cut it to size. No measuring. I left the lining in place. 
And then I got busy stapling with this.
My Arrow ETFX50 T50 Electric Staple Gun. If you don't have an air compressor and you want to upholster something, this gun is a good alternative. You have to use some pressure when you're stapling, but it works. For something like this, though, even hot glue would probably work just fine.
This is how I did the corners. Easy. I was a stapling queen. I breezed through it in about 20 minutes.
And then.....Oh. Crap. Even if I scooted the mattress over more, the staples still showed. (I started pulling them out before I even got a picture. But they showed.) Not really the look I was going for. 
So I pulled them all out, and placed the new staples back farther.

After the re-do (which is usually how my projects go) this is how it looks with the bed (partially) made.

And this is how it looks when the maid turns down the bed. (You'll notice there's no mint on the pillow. Maybe we should fire her and buy new carpet instead. Honestly, most days she doesn't even make the bed.)

It's not a new idea, but it's easy and fast and I really like how it looks. And it was a lot cheaper than buying a new bed skirt.

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Want To Be A Blogger of the Month?

Just go to JUNKMARKETStyle™   for the details.


Pinned Image
I want this stove.
How could it be any more perfect?
Oh, yeah. It could be in my kitchen!

Have a great weekend!
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