Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And the winner is....

 Jacquline! I'll be in touch shortly for all your mailing info. Congrats Jacquline and thanks for all the comments and follower for the giveaway!!!!

(I have never used a random number calculator until now and I wasn't able to figure out how to copy and paste it once the number was generated!!! #3 was the lucky number generated though!)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A little late.

Thanks for all the wonderful response to my Blogoversary Giveaway. I'll be able to post the lucky winner's number later today. I'm so excited and I hope you all are too!!!!

See you later today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I'm having a Blogoversary Giveaway!!! Click HERE to enter.

Supplies needed for making candlewicks:
  • Cotton thread
  • Borax
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Wax and something to safely melt it in.
  • Wax paper
  • Small bowl of cold water.

Cut your cotton thread the length you want your candles plus 2’’. I decided to dip both ends of the rope at once to make more candles at once so I cut my thread to 18’’. Each candle wick will need 3 pieces of thread so if you want to make 5 candles times that by 3 and cut 15 pieces of thread all measuring the same length.
Mix 1 TBS salt, 2 TBS boric acid and 1 cup.all of the borax may not dissolve so don’t sweat it.  Add in your thread and stir gently a few times, try not to tangle your thread.
Now walk away from it and let it sit for 12 hours.

When time is up, have something ready to hang your candlewicks up to dry on. I used a coat hanger so I could move the wicks somewhere out of the way once they stopped dripping.

Gently remove them and hang them up immediately, try not to disturb all the crystals on them as you move them around.
Let them dry for 4-5 hours, the longer the better.

Then take 3 strands and braid them, tightly, together just like you would someone’s hair.

Here’s a few of mine all braided up.
Almost finished. Time to prime the wicks. Melt some wax, soy or beeswax, whatever you’re going to make candles out of really, over a double boiler.
Lay out some wax paper, and grab a few sheets of paper towel as well a small bowl of cold water.

Dunk one wick into the hot wax at a time, wait for bubbles to release (I had a few wicks that released bubbles almost as soon as they hit the wax and a few others that took a little longer) See some bubbles below?
You can use a paper clip on one end of the wick to save your fingers from getting burned accidentally or if you’re making double  candles like I am just pinch the middle of the strand and dunk carefully.

When bubbles start to pop this means the wick is saturated with the wax and you can remove it and immediately dunk it in the cold water.
Dunk for just a second or two, take both ends of the wick and stretch the strand out tight before laying on the wax paper. (I didn’t have wax paper, so please ignore the aluminum foil under my wicks)
Blot any excess moisture off the wicks with the paper towel and move on to the next wick.

Once finished with all the wicks you can repeat the wax and water dunk a few more times if you feel like the first dunk didn’t cover enough or if you want a stiffer wick. Give the wicks enough time to dry in between dunks or else you just end up melting the wax already on the thread.

Now you’re ready to turn the wicks into taper candles or use them in jar candles as well.

I started on taper candles but ran out of time and had to put it aside for another day.

Unique Window Treatment.

Pssst! Don't forget to click HERE to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway!!!

Curtains. What an ugly word in my house. not because they are ugly but because I hate to buy them. I’d rather make what I really want on the windows then spend forever shopping around for what fits my taste and idea for the room

That’s one of the reasons I made Mackenzie’s Jean Curtains.

And another reason I sweetly asked Boy Toy if he could help me flesh out my idea for one of my kitchen windows.

We headed to Lowe’s and picked up:
  • 1’’x6’’x6’
  • 1’’ x 1’’ x 4’
  • Any kind of natural fiber rope, not nylon. Cut 2 pieces of rope for each end with the length of tope equal to twice the distance from the top of your window to the bottom plus 6’’.
  • 1’ 1/2’’ screws
  • Round wooden pole to fit the size of your window.
  • Pole brackets.
  • Tools you’ll need for this project:
  • Drill and drill bit to match the thickness of your rope.
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Sand paper for the wood if needed.

Cut your 1’’x 6’’ x 6’ board into two pieces long enough to fit the length of your window. Mine was close to 36’’.  We’ll call this Board A and B.
Now cut four pieces of the smaller 1’''x 1’’x 4’ the width of the two boards above plus 2’’. These will be your end braces under the sides of each shelf.
Make the placement holes for the rope on the wide side of the braces about 1/2’’ from each end. Drill holes.

On the underside of the shelf, mark a line 2’’ from each end. This is the line where one of your braces will go. Place one of the braces against this line and screw into Board A or B 1 1/2’’ from the ends. The picture below is Boy Toy screwing the boards together, BEFORE he drilled the out holes for the rope.
This is how each end of Board A and B should look from the bottom. Screws on the inside hole and empty holes on the outside. Repeat for both sides of Boards A and B.
If you want to paint or stain your shelves, lightly sand them and then paint or stain away. Let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Attach your curtain rod to your window/wall however you like best and to whatever height you prefer.

A lot of this project is just putting this where you think looks and works best. (I didn’t mean to leave the fienial on the rod on the right for the picture, oops, you can leave them on if you like. I couldn’t because my curtain rod ended up really close to some of my cabinet doors and if left on would have kept them from opening)
Fold the 2 ropes in half. Tie each folded rope together by a simple overhand
knot near the folded end.
Leave about a 2 1/2’’ loop.
The loop Boy Toy is holding on the left side of the picture is the loop that’s going to hang around the curtain rod on the inside of the brackets.

Slide the wooden pole through the loops in the rope and if you decide to have finials attach them now.
Even though my picture shows the wooden pole already on the brackets don’t hand this up yet. You need too attach the shelves to the rest of the rope.
Once your loop is on the curtain rod you’ll have 2 ropes coming off the loop on both sides.

Take the back rope and thread it down through the holes of the brace on the back. Board A first, then Board B. Make sure you tie a knot underneath the braces as you bring your rope though, this is what makes the shelves stay in place. Here’s a picture of the top shelf.  DSCN1669
Do this for each side, decide where you want the two shelves to hang before you tie the knots. Place your level on the shelves as you tie them in place to make sure they are straight, not wonky.
Cut off the excess rope if you have any length left over, as short or long as you want it to hang.
I love my unique window treatment and can’t wait to plant some herbs in small pots to grow on the top shelf. 


         Link up you latest project every Wednesday on the Elle Belle Creative Your Way Wednesday link party!     Chic on a Shoestring Decorating     

Jean Curtains.

Click HERE to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway.

With 3 kids I accumulate a lot of jeans, well clothes in general, that everyone has out grown. Some of Mackenzie’s I donate, the others that are too worn out I’ve been saving.

Mackenzie has needed curtains since we moved into our new place last April. I’m a slacker, I admit and put her curtains on a forgotten list somewhere. Now that I have enough jeans, and jean shorts I couldn’t put it off any longer.
I started cutting, and cutting and cutting. One pair of jeans after another pair of jeans. Cutting right in front of the seams, all the way up the legs, through the crotch and through the waistband.
Then I laid everything out until I was happy with the length and colors of everything.
Then I realized what I had laid out wasn’t going to be long enough. What did I think I was making? An area rug? So I laid everything out again and started sewing.
After clearing the process with Mackenzie, we decided to go with the distressed look. So I didn’t place right sides of the jeans together when I sewed. I overlapped the edges where I wanted the seam to be and sewed straight.

As you can see there is no rhyme or reason as to where I placed the jeans. I just went with what looked good to me and with Mackenzie's approval.
I needed some way to hang the curtains so I cut off a bunch of the leg hems from the extra jean legs I didn’t sew into the curtain.
After sewing 4 hems onto each curtain into loops, I was ready to hang and show off my work to Mackenzie.
I think I might weight the bottom corners of the each panel, they keep wanting to fold under and towards the middle. Mackenzie is tickled pink so what more could I ask for?
     Creations by Kara  Link up you latest project every Wednesday on the Elle Belle Creative Your Way Wednesday link party!  

Hot Goods!

Did you know Frenzied Mutterings is having a giveaway to celebrate it's Blogoversary? Click HERE to enter. Bon chance!

What do you do when your dad brings you something that one of his friends stole from a restaurant  25 years ago in Maryland?

I wanted a rain barrel, was signed up to take a class last summer on how to make your own rain barrel and ended up not being able to go. So I asked my dad to see if he could ask some of his buddies to keep an eye out for an old wine barrel or the equivalent so I could convert it.

A week or so later my dad shows up with this.
An ugly red, plastic barrel of some sort without the lid.
Me to my dad: “What is that?”
“I thought you could use it for a rain barrel.”
Me excited to my dad, “Oh that’s awesome, where in the world did you find it?”
Dad somewhat sheepishly to me, “Price was getting rid of it, said you should consider it an early Christmas gift.”
(Price is one of my dad’s longest friends, he’s not known for his love of the law or authority, which makes me wonder why he and my dad are friends.)
“Where did Price get it?”
Dad started laughing, “Oh about 25 years ago he and one of his buddies were in Maryland and they stole it from the back of some restaurant. He said he thought they kept pickles in it”
So there you have it. The story of my ugly rain barrel. For anyone that may be out there missing this pickle barrel? I apologize on behalf of Price and his friend for stealing it and I hope the statue of limitations has already run out. Smile

I couldn’t leave this barrel ugly so I picked up 2 cans of stone spray paint.
I should have primed it first but I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted it covered and I wanted it covered now!
Ahhhhh much better!
Now all that’s left to do is shorten the down spout and get Boy Toy to make me some kind of lid/cover for the top to keep the bugs away.

I have to admit I’m looking forward to washing my hair in rain water, more than I’m excited about conserving rain water for our garden later. Smile

Quick Makeover.

Have you still not entered my Blogoversary Giveaway yet? Why not? It's so easy. Click HERE to enter!

One of Boy Toy’s grandmother’s use to sew and quilt. He unearthed her sewing chair a few weeks back and brought it to me so I wouldn’t have to keep using the bench from the kitchen table whenever I wanted to sew.
How perfect is this sewing chair??? And how badly do I need to clean up the living room and vacuum? Ewwww.
Evan Grace and I flipped it over, unscrewed the 4 screws that held the set in place and set to cleaning it up. We gave it a quick tea wash to clean it and put a little more color into the wood
If you want to do this yourself just let a tea bag seep in 1 cup of warm water for a few minutes. Then dip a cloth into the tea and wash the wood down. (If you have a darker type of wood you can use coffee instead of tea!)
After Evan Grace did all the work, we did all the work, I took over and recovered the seat with the same fabric I used on the couch cushion makeover with matching pillow.
It was easy, I didn’t sew a stitch. I just folded under the edges and used a staple gun to keep everything in place. Then Boy Toy was kind enough to force the screws back into their home and voila! a super quick, super easy make over.
It looks pretty good with the matching couch in the background doesn’t it?
But it looks even better all tucked under my sewing desk….just like it’s always been there.