Monday, August 29, 2011

Crafting With Tape Measures: Featuring Danielle of EatBreatheBlog

Danielle from EatBreatheBlog is sharing a crafting tip using old tape measures. A great way to recycle!
Crafting with Tape Measures

I’ve long been interested in incorporating repurposed art into my home – that is, the sort of thing I could make myself out of found objects. I seized the opportunity when I moved to the New York City (NYC) area and moved into a home that needed a lot of attention. As the NYC remodeling expert I hired went through my home with her team, I found myself inspired by the tools of the construction trade and decided to use some of them in my renovated home.

The first room the crew worked on was a workspace where I could work on messy projects, like gardening. I tried to be artsy with screwdrivers and hammers but the result was nothing I was eager to display in my home. I found success, however, when I started working with cloth tape measures. I decided to make something small for a few rooms in the house, wanting to incorporate a design theme through my space. I had hung up photos that spoke to my interest in gardening and decided to replace the thin sliver of matting with sections of measuring tape. All I needed to do was section off the tape and glue it in place. Doing so gave the pictures a unique look and proved to be a conversation starter.

The remodeling crew also worked on the kitchen, which is where I decided to hang a dry erase/corkboard to keep track of coupons, recipe cards, and notes to myself. On the dry erase half of the board, I cut up a measuring tape to form a 1-10 numbered to-do list. I glued the individual numbers down and drew lines with a permanent marker to separate each list item. My initial idea was to use the numbers for a grocery list, but it didn’t take long to realize that would prove problematic when it came time to actually go to the store.

The final project the remodelers worked on was refurbishing a room with great natural light and turning it into a study/library. The crew assembled some bookshelves for me and I created my easiest craft – cloth tape measure bookmarks. My initial idea was to glue tape measure strips along the length of the shelves but doing so made my home’s design theme a little too overwhelming. (I’m glad I taped them in place first to see if I would like it.) For the bookmarks, all I used was a selection of measuring tapes, glue, and a sealant (I used Mod Podge) to protect them from getting grubby. Now wherever my books go, so will the bookmarks.

Ideas for crafting with tape measures abound. I’m glad I was inspired by the work crew that came to my home (and I’m still trying to make that screwdriver art a reality). Working with the measuring tapes was easy and fun to do, not to mention inexpensive. I plan to add a few more details to my home, but for now I’m happy with the projects I’ve completed.

Thanks for sharing this fun project Danielle! Don't forget to check out her blog,EatBreatheBlog. Lots of great information on health, wellness, and life.

Would you like to do a guest post on A lil bird? We would love to have you feature a project, your blog, or anything that strikes your fancy. Email us at alilbird3 (at) gmail (dot) com, we look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

50 Golden Years

Thursday marks my parents 50th wedding anniversary! 50 golden years is a big deal, so a few weeks ago we through them a small party of family and a few friends to celebrate. We had to do it before school started so everyone could attend. I think it turned out well. I started the planning process at the beginning of the year and wasn't feeling super creative. Thankfully there are plenty of creative people out there sharing the ideas on the world wide web. The "theme" was gold, since it was a golden anniversary. The "50" photo collage was Martha's idea, that woman is amazing. I decided to do a mix of color and b/w photos, mainly because I was lazy and didn't want to change them.

My niece made this cute arraignment from pie tins. Isn't it so cute!! You can find the full tutorial here.
I saw this idea last year on Ohdeedoh and bookmarked it, I knew I would want to use it and this was the perfect occasion. Instead of a guestbook, we had everyone "leaf" their thumbprint. We bought a foam board from the dollar store and cut it to 16x20, my husband the artist drew the tree, and my sister in law made the names and date in vinyl. Here is the before.....

And the after. Once it was full we framed it and my parents now have it hanging in their home.
We had a small luncheon with sandwiches, salads, and desserts. I found this fun gold star edible glitter at Hobby Lobby. It was way cute, but since I made the cupcakes the day before it bled a little and wasn't as gold. Lesson learned for next time.
One of my other sister in laws made the cake. SHE MADE THIS.

It was so delicious, yummy red velvet, and an absolutely stunning cake.

I did a DIY favor bar where guests could take a little scoop of gold with them.

We put our projector to good use and my brother made a slide show of the pictures throughout the years. It was great, he had the photos set to songs from the decade they were in. I loved it.
For the centerpieces I found some wood letters at Hobby Lobby, with a little gold paint, and some super glue, they turned out really cute. We added "50" confetti throughout the tables.
These tissue pomanders were fun and inexpensive, but I am not going to lie, they took awhile to make. My sisters, sister in laws, and nieces had a craft night and it took all of us a good 4 hours to make 12 of these. We found the candelabras at the dollar store, and did 2 different sized to signify my Mom and Dad.
Overall it was a great party, it is always fun to get together with family, visit, and eat don't you think?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tidy Tips: Upcycling Bread Bags

Like many of my tidy tips, this is another one of those I learned from my Mother. Speaking of my Mother, last weekend I threw their Golden Anniversary party, and everyone said it turned out wonderful! I thought everything went well, as soon as I have pictures back I will share them! Anyway, for as long as I can remember my Mother has saved her bread bags. They get the most use out of them around Thanksgiving and Christmas. That is when my Mother makes her famous rolls, she always makes tons extra, because we all love them so much, and then sends us home with an upcycled bread bag full of delicious rolls.

Lately, finances have been SUPER tight around here, so I have been using my bread bags for lots of things, for example, I buy a big block of cheese at Costco, then put it in a bread bag with a bag clip to keep it fresh. My favorite use lately though, has been to use them for recipes. One of my favorite treats is Muddy Buddies, the recipe tells you to put the coated cereal into a gallon bag and shake it up with the powdered sugar. I just can't get on board with buying gallon bags, I can do sandwich and snack, but I can't justify the money or waste buying more bags. SO, I use my bread bags, it works PERFECT. I have also used them to make sweet potato fries, I found that recipe HERE via Pinterest.

Just so you know I am telling the truth, here is my example. Depending on what mood I am in, I will either just shake out the bread crumbs or sometimes I will wash the inside of the bread bags with hot soapy water. Today, it was the shake out method. Here is my bread bag, ready to go.

For the buddies, I do a cup of powdered sugar on the bottom of the bag, and the other cup on the top, it helps to evenly distribute a little better.
The key is to leave a bit of air in the bag to shake everything around, shake it up good! My son likes to help me with this part, even at 15 months, he does a good job!
Here is the proof, perfect muddy buddies.
These ones are actually lemon buddies, YUM! I found this recipe via Pinterest as well, I am addicted it is true! Now I LOVE LOVE LOVE lemon, I am talking if my dentist hadn't forbid me from eating lemons, I would eat them like an orange, I love them that much. That said, this recipe needed a tiny bit more lemon than the recipe called for. So to remedy my lemon addiction, I added a little bit more lemon juice on the top of the buddies after they were done. These are an amazing, yummy summer time treat! Don't worry I still love the good ol' regular ones too. You can find the lemon buddy recipe in its entirety HERE.

Happy Upcycling!

Monday, August 8, 2011

S more's Simplified

It's August already, this summer has flown by! It doesn't help that it was in the 60's until the second week of June. I know a lot of people are complaining about the heat, but I love it! I am a summer girl and August makes me sad, it means summer is almost gone. Who doesn't love the grand summer tradition of S more's? We try to make some every chance we get. Saturday night we had a summer night of fun. Swimming, a BBQ, S more's, and an outdoor movie, it was grand. When I married my husband I learned a new way to make S more's. It is fun and a lot easier for the kids. I still love traditional S more's, but I have really taken a liking to the simplified version.

We started up the coals and waited for them to get just right...
Gathered the S more's supplies, yes you saw it right those are fudge striped cookies....
These babies are the way to simplify your S more's. The cookies act like the gram cracker and the chocolate is already there. Easier for the kids to manage, they don't have to worry about holding the chocolate on the cracker.

Once your mallows are perfect....
You slap them in between 2 cookies and you are good to go! Delicious!
What do you think? Have you ever tried S more's this way?
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