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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tea Party Time

A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards.  ~A.A. Milne

Can you imagine the delight and joy that fills the eyes of girls, at any age, when they are invited to Tea? There is something about a tea party...the petit fours, sugar cubes, and tea cups that contain such simple pleasure. 

Growing up as one of three girls, tea parties were the themes of many birthdays. The dining room was fancied up with lace, tea cups, Little Debbie tea cakes, doilies, and bouquets of roses, just to name a few. We found our best dresses and were given the rare privilege of wearing blush and a smidge of lipstick. Mom donned her apron and with the effect of many giggles, Dad wore his best suit, penciled a mustache on his upper lip and became Jeeves, complete with a British accent. 

So many happy memories turned into tradition as each sister became the hostess of her own tea party. And now with my own daughter, I can only imagine the fun yet to be had. Even now, at two years, she goes to her basket of dress up clothes and pulls out her tiara, high heels, necklaces (because why wear one when you can wear three?) and her tutu to be sure to be the best dressed at her own tea party.   
And once a year, we make our way to my mother-in-love's house for her annual tea party for the ladies in her neighborhood. This tea party is one of my favorites to prepare for! The table is decorated with china that has been in the family for at least 100 years. I love it! The finest silver, also a family heirloom, compliments the beautiful rose china. The decor continues with a matching rose china teapot, sugar and creamer and two three- tiered cake plates, one for each end of the table. The picture when you walk into the room would make any girl sigh! 
My mother-in-love uses this tea time to get to know her neighbor ladies and to bless them with her hospitality. She spends weeks planning, baking yummy treats and preparing for the perfect tea experience. She even lets me come in to help! :o) Each year is better than the year before and I look forward to many more years to come! 

A few of these teas were Proper Teas and some were Very Nearly Teas but none were forgotten teas. They were simply joy filled!

Three Tiered Cake Plates

 What You Need: (I bought all my supplies at consignment stores and paid max. $5)
-3 plates of your choice (coordinating styles)
     -1 large plate
     -2 medium or 1 medium
      and 1 small
Use different sizes so the plates look tiered.
- 2 glasses
     -1 small
     -1 medium (or just a little bigger than your first glass)
The pedestal shot glasses work well.
-super glue (no hot glue)
-finger nail polish remover
I made this cake plate first and learned alot!  Then I made the cake plate (below) for my mother-in-love and it turned out much better.

Instructions for the tiered cake plate: *
The best way to start is to assemble the cake plate upside down. Start with the top tier and apply glue to the foot of the smaller shot glass (or the one you chose) and attach it to the middle of the bottom of the smallest plate. Leave to dry. (Even though you are using super glue, the cake plate is going to be very delicate.) 
Use the same technique with the next size plate and the second glass. Let dry.
When both are dry, apply super glue to the largest glass' rim and place in the center of the largest plate with the plate facing up. Now you have two tiers. Let dry.
Apply super glue to the rim of the smallest glass and place in the center of the medium (or second tier) plate. Let dry overnight. 
(Do not submerge in water to clean. Wipe off each plate with a wet paper towel.)

* If you  make any mistakes with the super glue use the fingernail polish remover to help clean it up. For example, I did not center the glass correctly on the bottom tier so I had to do it again. I did not have fingernail polish remover (bummer) so there are glue rings on the bottom plate. If you have the same problem, do not worry, they get covered up with food anyway. :o)

Your three tiered cake plate is complate... I mean complete. :o) Sorry I need to fill my quota on lame jokes for the day. :o)   


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Homemade Love

Holidays are great days to create memories that last a lifetime. I love all the different holidays! I will take any excuse for having a party, celebrating, or just having a special day.

However, Valentine's Day was not always a good holiday for me. When I was in college, my older sister, my roommate and I would call Valentine's Day, Singles Awareness Day. We would buy black shirts and paint the words 'Valentine's Day' in elaborate font on the front of the shirt. Then we would paint a circle around the word with a diagonal line through the circle to prove this was a holiday to approach with caution. Those shirts were worn proudly for years (at least during the single years). :o)

Now all three of us are happily married and enjoying the Love Holiday the way it should be enjoyed. 

After twenty-three years without a romantic Valentine, I am loving being married to the romantic of all romantics! While flowers and chocolate are fun (and trust me chocolate is a dear friend of mine), my sweetheart and I try to challenge each other to show love in creative, new ways all year long.

Here are a few that are easy and a great surprise!
-Write an encouraging note and tuck it in your honey's lunchbox or briefcase.
-Get a dry erase marker and draw a funny picture or a love note on the bathroom mirror for your loved one  to see when they wake up in the morning.
-Find a funny comic that you know will make them laugh (one of my favorites)
-Make their favorite meal or dessert as a surprise.
-When he/she comes home from work, have a warm bowl of water ready for them to soak their feet, then add to the surprise by giving a foot rub.
-Text each other during the day or send pictures making kissy faces (this one can be romantic or, in my case, get a good laugh)
-Try and recreate the early days when you were dating
-Do something unique only for you as a couple

Have fun keeping the love going!

Homemade Valentine's

My daughter and I made this super easy Valentine for my husband. It is very homemade and a fun alternative to fighting the crowds at the store to find the right card. You can make it simple or add a poem, quote or picture. Since my daughter is two years old, we went for simple!

Here is what you need:
-Old magazines
-Fun scrapbooking paper/construction
-paper cutter/scissors
-glue stick
-ink pad (optional)
-stamps (optional)

 Cut out fun letters out of the old magazines. Find the letters that spell out the message you want for your valentine.

 Find coordinating paper
 Cut heart shapes in two sizes. Hint: I traced the back of the paper I was using to avoid having the traced lines on the front of the paper. Or if you are really good at cutting shapes out without the traced lines showing, you do not have to trace on the back and you are officially awesome!

 Use the ink pad to antique the edges of your hearts by brushing the ink pad against the edges to get the brown edges.
 Arrange the hearts and letters on your valentine before gluing so that you can play with the way the valentine looks. That way if you do not like the first layout, you can always try another layout.
Glue in place and add any embellishments that you want on your valentine to make it unique and special for the one receiving the card. And as my two year old would say, Ta-Na!!! You are finished!

Here is another valentine we made together, (I am sorry the picture is so bright). I printed out the word and had my daughter color on the word with different shades of pink crayons for that extra cute look. I the words into a heart shape and used the same process as above to add character. We wrote the special Valentine's Day note on the back of the card.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have learned that I have a family tree that is full of fabulous women...and men too, but that is another day! :o) Each of the women in my family, that I have been privileged to have a close relationship with, have given me tidbits of wisdom and advice that have helped me grow. One very special lady is my Mom!

While I was growing up, my mom was supermom! She told the best stories, made yummy meals and created a home environment that was welcoming and the greatest place to grow up. What I remember most was her ability to create from nothing. She made my sisters and my dresses, outfits, Fall Festival costumes and play clothes. She made curtains, pillows, decorations and as my sisters and I got older, Mom got a business license and started selling her handmade crafts. Martha Stewart got all her ideas from MY mom!

During all of my little kid years, I only ever wanted to grow up to be like my mom! And that has not changed. I know I cannot ever be my mom but she has instilled so much of herself into my sisters and me, that I have a small chance of being a great mom for my little girl. My mom is now Nanna to her grandkids and has saved me so many times from making mistakes while I raise my baby girl. Mom has given me a great example to go by and when I feel like I have come up short, she is there with her wisdom, love, encouragement and a few stories about what it was like raising me. The few stories that she can get out without laughing too hard. (Insert sarcasm here).

 I just had to remember a very fabulous woman in my life who's name is Mom! (Well her real name is Joni...) :o) You rock Mom!

Go hug your mom or that special lady that has poured into your life and let her know you love her!

P.S. Here is a plug for my mom and her blog! Nanna's Kitchen

Decorative Pillows
I learned how to sew by watching my mom sew so many pretty things. I got the idea for these pillows by looking at pillows that were made out vintage potato sacks.
What you need:
2- 22x24 inch pieces of fabric
acrylic paint (your choice of color)
craft sponge brush
your choice of stencil
sewing machine
pillow stuffing

I picked out the fabric that matches my curtains and cut two pieces into 22x24 inches. I chose one of the pieces to be the side that the number would go on. You can use a number or a letter, I have seen images of birds, flowers, etc. You can choose whatever you like. 
For the numbers, I simply picked a font that I liked on the computer, picked the size I wanted and printed it out. The tedious part was cutting out the black letter to make a stencil. It takes time but is worth it. Tape your stencil to the fabric to keep it from moving. 
Place you hand on the fabric to keep it from moving and sponge the paint onto the stencil. Sponge the paint on to the fabric in up and down movements. Up in the air, down on the fabric to keep the paint from seeping under the stencil. I learned the hard way :o) and did not do it that way with the first one. 
When finished painting, let the fabric dry.
When dry, put the stenciled side of the fabric face-down on top of the second piece of fabric and pin the sides. Leave a 4 inch opening on the side that you want to be the bottom and that will be how you stuff the pillow. 
Sew the sides together then turn right side out and stuff the pillow to the fullness you desire.
Sew the bottom seam closed and you are done. Now you have new bragging rights!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

For the Birds

"His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."

Not long ago, my husband, daughter and I faced a very difficult time in our lives. We were able to pull through but only by being held up by those that love us. Through that time I also learned a lesson I will never forget. 

For as long as I can remember, I have desired to have control over things in my life, specifically for sanity's sake. I am a worrier by nature and having control brings peace of mind...or so I thought. 
In the few months of constant struggle, I was brought, unwillingly, to my knees to be shown I have control of nothing. And in the midst of that pain I read a precious message from my heavenly Father that was for my heart alone telling me to hand Him all my fears, pain, struggles and finally live my life free of those chains. This is the message He left, literally on my desk.

From The Daily Bread Ministry- Sparrow's Flight
"Not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will." Matthew 10:29
After dinner one night, a tiny brown sparrow flew inside our house through the front door. A chase ensued. Each time my husband got near to it, the little intruder fluttered away in desperate search for an exit. Before we could escort it safely outside, the bird toured the house so frantically that we could see it chest throbbing from its rapid heartbeat. 
Sometimes we are like that little bird- anxious, frazzled, and afraid of what might happen next. It comforts me to think that, "not one [sparrow] falls to the ground" without God knowing about it (Matt. 10:29). He sees and knows everything in our world. 
"The eyes of the Lord are in every place" (Proverbs 15:3), and nothing escapes His attention, including you and me. God understands and values the finest points of our being. Jesus said, "The very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matt. 10:30).
It's amazing that God keeps a tally of our trivia and is even aware of a bird's misfortune. Since He knows about these small details, we can trust that He sees and cares about the big issues that ruffle our feathers. When we ask Him for help, God's response is always informed by His perfect knowledge of us and our circumstances. Let's trust Him with our anxious concerns. -Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Now, being the girl that I am, I had to have reminders of my Father's sovereign love and care in my home where I would see them constantly. Here is the result!

 To drive home the point of learning to trust God with everything, here is one of the many stories of how He has blessed my heart in small but significant way. I was bummed because I did not have any extra spending money due to paying bills, buying diapers or groceries. You know, trivial stuff :o). While driving home, I stopped at the mail box and happened to glance across the street. Our neighbors from down the street were getting rid of stuff. Oh be still my heart! There were four art canvas' laying on the curb just begging to be rescued. So I did what I NEVER do. I grabbed my daughter out of the car, went to my neighbor's door and asked if I could have their trash. 
A couple days later, along with lots of glue stick, scrapbook paper and creativity, my visual of God's love was complete!
May God bless you today in a way that you can be sure it is from His heart just to yours!


Friday, February 4, 2011


Welcome to my obsession! My husband will attest to the fact that re-purposing and creating is, indeed, an obsession! Being a counselor, he has diagnosed my obsession as a disorder. Call it CDD, Creative Design Disorder. If it is a mental disorder, I do not want therapy or medication! I love every minute I spend trying making things beautiful! The hours spent pouring over do-it-yourself magazines, books and other blogs are countless. Creating, whether a good outcome or not, is something that I must do. It is in my blood. I cannot walk into a room without rearranging the decor or walk into consignment shops without my head reeling. Oh it is all so much fun! And I get to share it all with each of you!
I hope you enjoy my musing and my projects! 
Welcome to Re-Purposed!