DIY

How to Make a Ribbon Topiary

Don’t you just love a good craft project? ¬†Where you can spread out all the materials around and just think of the possibilities? ¬†Making a ribbon topiary is a simple project to add a splash of color to your space and create some height where ever you decide to place it.

I am going to be redoing mine and will show you as I go along just how simple this project is!

Here is my old topiary when I had my little office space pink, brown and white. ¬†(Mode & Brown for any Gamma Phi’s out there!).

I recently painted the accent wall in my office¬†a pretty peach (go figure!). So I wanted to redo my topiary with new coordinating ribbon. I chose some with different textures (sheer, ribbed, wired, satiny). ¬†Also look in the sewing aisle for Rick Rack (the gray wavy ribbon at bottom of photo). ¬†Other smaller ribbons were on end displays. ¬†Keep your eye out. ¬†The best ribbon isn’t in the obvious spots!

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Small Planter
  • Peat Moss
  • Different sized and textured ribbon in coordinating colors
  • Pins
  • Wooden Dowel
  • Styrofoam Balls (2, one to fit inside and one to be a balanced shape at top)

I looked for a different planter and base, but I didn’t find one I liked. ¬†So, I painted the one I had. ¬†Lucky me, I already had white and silver metallic spray paint!

Here’s a tip for spray painting a small item:

Find a box, open it up until 3 walls are open and you have the base in tact.  Place the item inside and spray with out the mist getting on anything in the area. I taped off this edge so I could spray silver on the inside of the pot.

Once dry, I placed the smaller styrofoam ball in the bottom of pot.  Work the dowel through the ball.  Place the larger ball at top.  Place peat moss around to cover styrofoam ball.

Next, the fun part! ¬†I recommend putting your self in front of Netflix or your favorite TV show is this is not a quick 5 minute project. ¬†But your patience will be rewarded every time you look at your beauty. ¬†Plus, if you’re like me, a little project like this is just good for the soul. ¬†It forces you to just relax, SIT, and focus on one task.

Back to the fun part, cutting each ribbon into small strips, rolling and pinning! I can’t really give you the exact measurement to cut as I didn’t measure with a tape measure. ¬†And I don’t know the size of your project. ¬†I simply rolled a piece of ribbon still on the spool held it up close to the ball and gave it a good look until I knew from the look that it was just right. ¬†You’ll know. ¬†From that first piece, I used that as my guide. ¬†Good news, this doesn’t need size for every single piece. ¬†As long as it just ever so slight give a nice look to your piece.

Keep at it with different ribbons, placing them at different angles to give it some movement and play.

I was lucky enough to have my 12 year old want to volunteer and help!  We had quite the system, one would measure and cut ribbon and the other would roll it and pin it.  It was a fun time together.  And no one got hurt.  Too much!

Have fun choosing your coordinating colors!  You could even change this up seasonally. I know I am enjoying this in my work space!

Using Pinterest Boards for Meal Planning and Saving Time

Favorite Friday

Today, I want to share with you the way I found saves me time in menu planning, shopping and actual preping for dinner. ¬†It doesn’t seem like a big deal to most, but discovering a way to organize my Pinterest Boards that really work for me is a BIG Deal to me!

It took me a while, but I finally figured out how I utilized Pinterest. ¬†I did my best to really break it down in categories of my interests: Food, Baking, Seasons, Crafting, Gifts, DIY, etc. ¬†In the early days of me using Pinterest, I quickly discovered I couldn’t find a recipe if it was just under ‘food’. ¬†So now I have several boards called FOOD, with subcategories. ¬†For example Food ~ Breakfast. ¬†Food ~ Chicken Dinners.

Back in the olden days (as my kids would say) before Pinterest, I used a binder to keep my recipes and ideas in. ¬†Then when I went to plan dinners for the week, I would peruse my binder and pull out the recipes for the week, make my shopping list from the menus and keep them on the fridge with a magnet so they were handy to access. ¬†Sometimes, when life got busy, I would forget to return them in proper place which made it hard to find then next time. ¬†Or I’d forget all together and would have a pile up on my fridge.

I really forgot about¬†this step with Pinterest, I putting everything in smaller, easier to find places. ¬†There is search, but sometimes the key word I would use to find a recipe isn’t used when I quickly pinned it. ¬†Although I have the convenience of the recipe literally at my finger tips on my phone (really handy in the grocery store!), I still had to hunt and peck my way through my boards (after I finally remembered the answer to “what am I making for dinner Tuesday night again?”.

So I created a New Board ‘WEEKLY MENU’. When I sit down and set my menu for the week, I will search out the recipe on my Pinterest Board and move it to my ‘Weekly Menu’ board.

Here is how I do it (after some trial and error and having duplicate pins!  You can learn from my mistake.):

  • Find your pin. ¬†Let’s say it’s called ‘Pesto Pasta Bake’
  • If using your phone device, tap the photo until the Save/Edit/Send/More buttons pop up
  • Select Edit
  • Under Edit Pin, tap the Board selection (this is what you are going to temporarily edit)
  • This moves you to a Select Board screen. ¬†I select ‘Weekly Menu’

 

Search your pin

 

Tap photo until edit buttons pop up

 

Select ‘Edit’ button

 

Edit Board location

 

Select New Board like ‘Weekly Menu’

Now you have them all ready to access as you move along your busy week! ¬†I can’t tell you how much time this has saved me searching and printing recipe ideas for the week(and losing my print out, whoops).

My follow up to this once the week is over and I am planning for the new week, I simply reverse this process.

  • Select Pin on ‘Weekly Menu’ board
  • Tap photo until¬†Save/Edit/Send/More buttons pop up
  • Select Edit
  • Under Edit Pin, tap the Board selection
  • This moves you to a Select Board screen. ¬†I select where I retrieved this pin in the first place. ¬†In my case of the ‘Creamy Pesto Pasta Chicken Bake’, I select my ‘Food ~ Casseroles’ board

I menu plan on a planner. ¬†This is new (again) to me. ¬†I used to use many variations of lists and forms, which ended up being scraps of paper in a trail all over the house, and¬†it didn’t work for me. ¬†You have to find what works for you! ¬†I thought I would try to keep up with the less-paper/paperless digital world and do everything on my smartphone. ¬†I use a calendar app that has a built in shopping list. ¬†I tried for too long to make it work until I realized I needed to have ONE paper place where I could put in calendar items and notes. ¬†So off I went for a planner.

After I have everything in my planner, have my shopping list entered into my app and have filled my Weekly Menu Pinterest board, I have one final step.  I usually involve my kids and family in the planning and grocery list, but this last part they really enjoy doing.  I created an Erasable Menu Frame.  My kids like the writing part of this task, so I usually let them have a go at it.  We keep it in a visible area in our kitchen.  Sometimes I even take a screen shot on my phone so when I am out and about and have something come up in reference to a menu item or what our dinner plans for the night, I have this to refer to.

If you like this and would like to make one, you can go HERE to my other blog post on how I made it!

Oven Cleaning

Tip Tuesday – Using at home and natural products to clean your oven

Everyone is getting their kitchen cleaned for the holidays, right!? It’s not just me!? Especially the oven. ¬†And who wants be judged on how their oven looks? ¬†Even though we know the odds of someone walking over and pulling the door open to look at our oven is almost null?

Well, I am still feeling the need to have the oven clean anyway. ¬†And I have a way to clean the oven that doesn’t require running to the store to buy an expensive cleaning product that smells to no end or makes you suffer with breathing in whatever chemicals are in the product. ¬†

Years ago, I used the self cleaning button on my over. ¬†Never again!! ¬†I may have sensitivities, but it drove me out of the house for hours with the biggest headache. ¬†I have no idea what made me react that way, and I don’t plan to spend anytime investigating why.¬†

So I went on the search for safe products.  And sure enough, I found out that I had them right in my home already.  So I put my wireless headphones, turned on the Hallmark Channel and started cleaning.

Would you be surprised to know that all I used was baking soda and a vinegar water solution?

That’s it.  

So on the outside, doesn’t look too scary, right?

front-of-oven

But this is what lurks inside…

inside-dirty

Eek!

I quickly gathered my products and tools:

What I used:

I started with sprinkling baking soda on all the surfaces. Then spraying with the cleaning spray.

baking-soda

vinegar

While that did its little chemical magic, I took a coffee break.

coffee-break

Then I grabbed a little stool and got to work with the scraper.

scrape

This tool is the best! ¬†If you don’t have one, follow the links above listed in the bullets. ¬†This scraper gets that baked on mess off with a little elbow grease and a lot of help from the baking soda and vinegar bubbling action. ¬†You will do a lot of wiping off the blade onto paper towels. ¬†Then wiping up the loose bits with a sponge. ¬†But soon, very soon, you will see beautiful results!

more-scraping

It took a couple of passes, but eventually, I got up all the baked on bits!

I did the same for the inside.

clean

clean2

So clean!!  I know, if you are looking super duper close, it will look like I left behind streaks.  Unfortunately, those streaks are on the INSIDE of the glass.  After a short Google & Pinterest search and the mention of screwdrivers or shoving a coat hanger with a rag attached up in between the windows, I declared this as a victory and put out the thought of taking apart my oven door!

So, about this homemade citrus vinegar and water solution?

Here is how I prepare my solution:

CITRUS VINEGAR CLEANING SPRAY

Save cleaned orange peels and place in large glass jar. ¬†Add vinegar to cover orange peels. ¬†Add a sprig of herb like rosemary if you prefer (this was actually the first time I did. ¬†It’s just for the smell). ¬†Seal tight with the lid and place on shelf for about 2 weeks. Solution will darken in color as it absorbs the citrus.

To make your solution for a spray bottle, I use a funnel and add 1 part water : 1 part vinegar solution.

orangesoranges-and-vinegarwith-rosemary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and the punch line to all of this? We aren’t even using the oven for Christmas Dinner! My husband will be smoking a bone in pork roast. But my oven will look pretty!

Erasable Menu Frame Craft

Custom Weekly Menu Frame

How often do you hear, “Mom! ¬†What’s for dinner?”. ¬†Daily? ¬†Here is fun craft you can do (even with the kids!!) to display your weekly menu. ¬†And potentially not here those famous words. ¬†Now, the kids know where to look. ¬†Or if they forget and ask, I just point!

Grab these items, or add them to your next shopping list!

  • 5 x 7 Frame
  • Craft paper – one background, one solid color
  • Number stickers (or a sharpie if you like your handwriting!)
  • Round large hole punch (an alternate would be to just cut a square)
  • Adhesive squares or glue stick
  • Scissors or paper trimmer
  • Bistro Pen (it will wipe easily from the glass)

Disassemble frame.  Use backing to use as your template as the size to cut your background paper.  Use a steady hand and scissors or use a paper trimmer.  Once paper is cut, place in frame to make sure it fits properly.  Keep it inside frame as template.

Gather your materials

Punch out the circles with solid paper (or cut squares). ¬†Apply stickers or hand write M-T-W-T-F. Now cut your solid paper slightly smaller in width as your “day of the week” circle (or square). ¬† ¬†Line this up on top of the glass on the frame. ¬†Play around with the layout and trim as needed. ¬†Don’t forget to leave room at the top for your Family Menu title!

 

Once your layout looks all peachy keen, remove the glass, but keep the background paper still in frame (you may need to put the glass behind the paper then attach the back so the paper stays tight with the frame or you might not get your solid papers lined up properly.  Now, start applying the solid weekly strips to background paper.

Now for the title. ¬†I have used Microsoft Publisher for years and am very comfortable with the formatting. ¬†Use any publication at your fingertips! ¬†I love fonts (I mean, I even have a board on Pinterest called ‘font freak’ if that tells you anything!). ¬†Play around with a few that are your style. A few I like are www.dafont.com/ or ¬†www.1001freefonts.com/. ¬†I also print out a few in different sizes so I have one sheet with 3-4 variations. ¬†That way, when I go to look for the one that fits, I am only printing once and I’m pretty guaranteed one is a winner! ¬†No back and forth to the computer resizing and printing and cutting…

Find fonts the compliment each other for the Menu title

Find fonts the compliment each other for the Menu title

Apply the title (left side, centered, right side, oh the choices!) and assemble the frame. ¬†Your done! ¬†I like to put my left over paper in a paper tote labeled ‘Scrap Paper’ because I always seem to find projects where I just need a little bit of colored paper.

One last option is to purchase a book or plate stand. ¬†This adds another layer of fun and adds to your decor. ¬†Plus, it gives you something to hide the bistro pen behind ūüėČ

frame-craft-5

 

Grab that Bistro pen and plan away!  Happy meal planning!

frame-craft-6