Monday, 23 May 2016

Book Club & Delicious Cookies That Still Need a Name

Last month was my turn to host book club, and it was a great time. The book I picked for my month was The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarity, which is not my normal type of book but one I really enjoyed and which led to great discussion.

Along with lots of wine, we also like some munchies during book club. I had several types of crackers and chips, salsa, and texas caviar

I also had veggies and dip, cheese, a couple types of turkey sausage, and pickles. Most importantly (besides the wine), I had several types of cookies: chocolate crinkle cookies, peanut butter cookies, and the delicious cookies that still need a name.

These cookies are absolutely delicious. I can only make them when there's a special occasion because they're too good to keep in my house. When I have them, I can't stop eating them.

Here's the recipe:

  • Over low heat mix together 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup honey, and 1 cup peanut butter.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips until dissolved.
  • Stir in 2 cups oatmeal, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup craisins, and 1/2 cup raisins.
  • Press into a greased 9 x 9 pan and let set in oven.If using a 9 x 13 pan, make 1.5 times the recipe. Double is too much.

As a side note, I really want learn how to make printable recipes to put on my blog but I can't seem to find a tutorial that actually works. If you have a tutorial you've used, I'd love the website!

Shared at: A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Divas Run For Bling

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Bird on (Fake) Watercolour: Art Class 12

I love the look of watercolour and have even bought some supplies but haven't tried using them yet, so when I saw the sample for this art class, I couldn't wait! Imagine my surprise to learn that we were painting the entire project on canvas using acrylic.

The background technique was actually really cool. We wet our acrylic down as if it was watercolour, and let it drip and run and mix. I had a lot of fun playing with it.

Next was the bird, which went ok for the right-side up version. 

When it came to the reflection I struggled. I like my paintings to be neat and precise, so the reflection didn't look like it was actually in water. A few lines and a few paint splatters (with the bird covered) seemed to fix that problem.

A few weeks ago my brother was in Alberta for work and we got to spend a day together. We actually had a great adventure on the ice fields parkway and the scenery is too spectacular not to share a few photos.

Mistaya Canyon

Me in front of the Athabasca Glacier

The black bear we got to stop and watch from the safety of the car
I promise, there's a reason for mentioning my brother's visit. While he was here he brought home a couple paintings he wanted, including this bird painting. It now has a wonderful home in Newfoundland, in the hallway at my brother's house.

He texted me a photo of the bird in its new home.

I love when someone likes one of my paintings enough to ask for it, and knowing that it brings them happiness when they look at it!

Shared at: Life on Lakeshore Drive, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Finishing the Basement Part 2

You guys, I've got to keep it real. I'm struggling to find balance right now. To go from being a childless workaholic with a very understanding husband to being a full-time stepmom to a 14 year old girl has been a challenge. One aspect that I'm struggling with is finding time to create and to blog, and I really miss it. So here I am, for the first time in a long time, to show you the second part of finishing the basement.

I shared the before here in case you'd like to see where we started. Also, here in part one I shared framing, insulating, electrical, drywalling, mudding, and taping. I have to give almost all the credit for this to J. Other than having help with the framing and hiring out the electrical and carpet installation, he did all the work, and it looks fantastic if I do say so myself.

After the mudding and taping was finally done (that stage took FOREVER!), J and M primed the walls. 

Once the priming was done, M and I did all the painting. It was perhaps a little too much movement too soon after surgery, and I may have been hurting quite badly for a couple weeks, but I'm all healed now.

After priming came the ceiling. I went back and forth between drop ceiling or drywalled ceiling but ultimately decided on drop. There were two main reasons I made this decision: if we ever have issues with any of our pipes or ducting it'll be easy to access it, and I thought ceiling drywall might be difficult for J to do on his own and I wasn't up to helping.

At this point the electrician came back in and did the final bits of wiring. We also had carpet installers come in and put down the carpet. One thing I learned from this experience is that you're actually supposed to book carpet installation a couple months in advance, and I wanted it done immediately. Oops. Thankfully they were able to squeeze us in within a couple weeks. I didn't get any pictures of this stage.

Next came the little details: trim, baseboards, closet doors, closet organizers, etc. By this point I was 110% finished with the renovation and ready for it to be over.

Aren't you excited to see the finished, staged rooms? Hopefully I'll be sharing them with you sometime soon. Also, any of you parents out there, how do you do it? Any advice would be gladly welcome!

Shared at: The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Sugar Bee Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Pink Flowers: Art Class Eight

I haven't forgotten about my goal to cross all those little projects off my to do list and while I haven't been great at catching up on posting, I've been doing better with it around my house. One thing I finally did was spray all my paintings with a sealant and, while I had them out, I took photos of the ones I haven't posted about yet to share with you.

This is one of my favourites, despite the fact that I haven't actually hung it up anywhere yet. I really like the colours and texture of the background, and how it makes the pink flowers pop. 

I actually painted this one about a year ago and have had it sitting on a shelf in my office closet. Until I find the perfect location for it, it will continue to live there.

Shared at: Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Life on Lakeshore Drive, The Kolb Corner

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Pillows, Pillows, and More Pillows

Yes, I know, it has been a while. Moving on. M loves pillows. Seriously, the girl would have a dozen if I'd make them for her. Before moving her into her new room, I made her several. 

First I made a green chevron one using the envelope method. I've shared this style here on my blog before, and you can see a tutorial here.

Next I made two flannel grey pillows with a zipper. Again, this isn't a new style of pillows for me, and you can see the tutorial here.

While I was in the pillow-making mood, I decided to make a few for J's couch downstairs. I love this fabric. It's supposed to be snowflakes and I found it in the Christmas bin, but it makes me think of the sky at twilight.

Are you enjoying the little peeks of M's new room? I'll share the finished product with you in the near future, although perhaps I should share the last few stages of renovations first.

Shared at: The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, A Creative Princess

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Mint Green Crate Nightstand

Have you seen all the amazing crate furniture on Pinterest? I might be a little late to the party but I'm so glad I finally showed up. For M's new room we struggled to find a nightstand we liked, so we decided to make one ourselves.

Paint and paint brush
Joiners, screws, and screw driver

First we painted the crates. They were rough but we decided against sanding them and instead embraced the rustic feel. We made sure to paint all sides except the bottom, which would be against the wall.

Once they were dry we debated sanding them again but, to be honest, we were lazy. Instead we just stacked them together and used the joiners to attach them. 

See how short those instructions are? That's how easy this project was. As I said above, I'm so glad we finally jumped on the crate furniture bandwagon.

Also, did you notice in the above picture the room is finished? It is, and she moved into it earlier this week. I need to catch up on posting our progress and I'm so excited to show you her finished room.

Shared at: A Creative Princess, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Making It In The Mountains, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Diva's Run For Bling

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Valentine's Wooden Bead Bracelets

Recently I made a quick and easy Valentine's Day bracelet with some students. The idea for these bracelets came from this Heart Friendship Bracelet at Moms and Crafters.

Wooden beads (I bought mine at Dollarama)
Hemp twine

Step 1: Draw a design on your beads. Be sure to draw it on each side, and make sure it's facing the right direction each time.

Step 2: Thread the beads on the hemp. On a couple I used smaller beads and knotted the twine to hold the beads in place. On one I chose to let the beads move around.

Step 3: Tie knots. I like adjustable ones so I can put my bracelets on or off as I please.

These are the four bracelets made by my students.

The students had fun making these. They picked their own colours and what they wanted to write on their beads. The only help they needed was to be shown how to make the knots.

Shared at: Making It In the Mountains, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With an E, A Creative Princess, Life on Lakeshore Drive