September 2012Occasionally Crafty: September 2012

Friday, September 28

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies

It is DEFINITELY that time of year! Fall has arrived and the stores are stocked with PuMpKiN!!  Baking during the next few seasons is what it's all about, and I have a great recipe to share with you. I'm sure the title had you salivating, and you have to be sure to make these at least once this fall. It has only a slight amount of pumpkin which is great if you have any left over from all your other holiday baking!

There are lots of recipes out in Pinterest land, and I know we all pin them, but how often do you make them?  How often do they turn out to be something you will regularly make, and even add to your own personal recipe collection? This recipe from Pennies on a Platter did all that for me.  Since I didn't change anything, please click over for the recipe.  You won't be sorry!

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Hurry and buy some pumpkin and make them today!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, September 25

Cutting Edge Stencil WINNER!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the Cutting Edge Stencil Giveaway!  Even if you didn't win, I hope you'll give them a try for your painting project.  I know you'll love the results.

I actually plan to "borrow" the stencil from Laura when we visit at Thanksgiving, so I can use it in my daughter's room.  

Well, without further ado, here is the winner of the Cutting Edge Stencil:

Entry #313-   Sarah Koch McBride!

Congratulations, Sarah!  Check your email for further details, and please respond in 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen!

Have a great week everyone!

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Monday, September 24

Halloween Vinyl Plates- Inspired by Cupcake Toppers

The Cutting Edge Stencil giveaway ended this morning, but I haven't verified the winner's information yet, so if you are dying to know who won, come back tomorrow- I promise I'll have it up then!

Well, it's officially Fall, and that means it's time to decorate for Christmas!  Just kidding- but am I the only one who thinks the season-before-the-season decor is getting a little crazy?  Especially in the blog-world, if you want to showcase a craft for an upcoming holiday, you're behind the times if you wait until the month said holiday actually occurs in!

So, with that in mind, I'm sharing some cute Halloween plates I made so you can get some made in time to do your Halloween decorating.  When do you put up Halloween decor?  I usually put generic "fall" stuff up in September, then switch to the Halloween-specific stuff after my son's birthday on October 6th.

Here's my Halloween Vinyl Plates:

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These Halloween plates were inspired by these cupcake toppers.  I think they are such cute, simple designs, and they would look great on a plate.  However, my Halloween decor is mostly black and white with a little bit of orange, so I kept mine simple.  Here's what you'll need to create your own.

Dessert/appetizer plates (or even mini plates would be cute!)
- I got mine at Target for $1.25 each!
Vinyl in your choice of colors
Transfer tape or contact paper
Vinyl cutter

You don't need a tutorial for this.  Simply design your pattern on your cutter's software, cut it in vinyl, and use the transfer tape to apply the vinyl.

I used shapes from the Silhouette store and my own words. I love that these plates look great on their own or together.  

I'm linking these up to these parties this week:

Keeping it Simple- Motivate Me Monday

Sugar Bee Crafts- Take a Look Tuesday

Someday Crafts-Whatever Goes Wednesday

Lil' Luna- Link Party

Somewhat Simple- Strut Your Stuff

Naptime Crafters- Friday Favs

I Heart Naptime- Sundae Scoop Weekend Wrap-up

Michelle's Tasy Creations:

Have a great week!


Thursday, September 20

Brownie Cookie Bars

Don't forget to enter the Cutting Edge Stencil giveaway!  Scroll down
or click here to enter.  Good luck- and pass it along!

This is a recipe that my friend Ashley gave to me in college. If you love chocolate chip cookies and brownies, you can't go wrong. You can even find something similar to this in the baking aisle by all the cake mixes, but there's nothing as good as making it from scratch, right?

Here are a few pictures of the 'during' phase of the recipe. Place your brownie batter on the bottom, and then add the cookie dough on top. I actually used my cookie scoop to evenly place lumps of dough on top of the batter, and then smoothed it out as best as possible with a spreader.

Cookie Brownies                                                     350® 25-30 minutes

¾ C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ C flour, divided
2 ½ tsp salt
1/3 C cocoa powder
1 TBSP butter, melted

Cream softened butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla to sugar mixture. Add 2 ¼ C of flour and salt to sugar mixture and cream. In a separate bowl mix cocoa powder, melted butter and remaining ¼ C of flour. Dived batter in half and add the cocoa mixture one half. Add M&Ms or sprinkles as desired (I added M&Ms, choc chips and sprinkles!). Bake and devour!

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Tuesday, September 18

Stenciled Bathroom- Cutting Edge Stencil Giveaway and Review!

This is such an exciting post to share with you. We have a great opportunity to work with Cutting Edge Stencils  to try their product, review it and then host a giveaway to our readers! Given that I've just moved into, albeit gorgeous and new, but a very neutral colored house, I thought this would add a great element of style and fun to a very basic bathroom. Just check out the results!

It looks amazing, and with anything that requires a lot of effort, it is extremely rewarding to see the finished product.  So how does it work?

First I picked out the stencil of my choice, and there were A LOT to choose from. I finally settled on the Paisley Allover stencil, one of their many interlocking stencils, which give the effect of wallpaper and provide a seamless look.

Then it was time to pick colors and get painting. I chose a deep aqua for the base coat, and light blue for the stencil.

Now it's time for you to meet what I came to loathe.... my textured walls.

Dear textured walls,
You were very hard to paint.
It took me nearly 8 hours just to do the edging,

and another 4 to slap the rest of the base coat on.
Then you made me do oodles of touch ups,s o it didn't look like a starry night peeking through the paint.
I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stencil over you, 

But I won. (Though it may take awhile to convince me to paint in my house again)

The reason I mention this is not to make you feel sorry for me (or my right arm),  but to know that if you have textured walls like me, you can use Cutting Edge Stencils. Just be prepared for some extra work to make it look the way you want.  This is what the wall looked like after one coat of stenciling. See how much of the base coat was still showing through?

I had to decide (before moving the stencil to the next location- you want each set to look the same), if I was going to go for more of a sponged on look or drive myself insane to get every little nook and cranny filled in. I landed somewhere in the middle by doing one coat of paint with the foam roller, letting it dry, doing a once over the whole stencil with a stencil brush (that allowed me to get coverage in the pits of the wall), and then one more coat with the roller.  Here is the completed look:

So those were my painting issues thanks to my walls. However, working with the stencil itself was very easy. I watched a lot of the tutorial videos (linked below) so I could visualize what to do, and that helped me to not be nervous and just dig in and do it. Keep in mind that this stencil is huge, like 2 feet by 3 feet, so it was great to do large chunks of the stenciling at once. After I had decided how to paint my stencil to my liking, it was easy to move and position to the next spot because it interlocks. There is one shape on the stencil that you simply move it down and match the shape to line it up again. You can even purchase a stencil level that clips to the stencil to ensure you have everything lined up perfectly.

Keep doing your pattern as far down the wall as you can and as much across the wall as you can. Then, to create the full wallpaper effect you line up your stencil like you're going to keep going further down on the wall, except just paint to the edge. I used painter's tape on all my edges to make this easy. It was the same for the left and right side of my walls-- just fold it over the corner and paint within the stencil all the way up to the edge! For the top of the wall they included a special top piece, since the size of the stencil can be a bit much to deal with if most of it is hanging out on the ceiling while you do a few inches of trimming on the top edge!

The results speak for themselves. The project took me 4 days from start to finish, and that's only because I mostly painted while my other son was at school and stopped when everyone was home for the night. She's a beauty and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to try it out and show it to you!  I highly recommend Cutting Edge Stencils for your next home decor project!

I want to give you a few resources if you decide to do some stenciling in your house.  First of all, you can get some great inspiration from the Cutting Edge Stencil Blog.  They even have craft sized stencils for smaller projects like pillows or curtains, if a whole wall seems overwhelming to you.

Also, if, like me,  you're new to stenciling or need some help along the way, there's some great how-to videos on the Cutting Edge YouTube Channel, like this one here.

So, you know what to do, you've picked out the stencil you'd love to have, and you really want to win one!  Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter, and pretty please, share this giveaway with your friends!  (Open to U.S. Residents only!) This giveaway will be open until midnight on Sunday, September 23rd, Eastern Time.  Good luck!

**disclaimer** Cutting Edge Stencils provided us with a stencil and supplies to try out and review.
Any opinions, however, are completely our own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am linking this up to 

Craft-o-Maniac- Monday Link Up

Keeping it Simple- Motivate Me Monday

Sugar Bee Crafts- Take a Look Tuesday

Someday Crafts-Whatever Goes Wednesday

Lil' Luna- Link Party

Somewhat Simple- Strut Your Stuff

Naptime Crafters- Friday Favs

I Heart Naptime- Sundae Scoop Weekend Wrap-up


Monday, September 17

Bonita Bellita WINNER!

Happy Monday, everyone!  Would you like to know the winner of the beautiful Bonita Bellita accessories?

The winner is  Betsy Rubendall Barnes

Everyone, please come back tomorrow for a great Home Decor DIY post, plus one last giveaway for Spetember!  Have a great day!

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Wednesday, September 12

Giveaway- Bonita Bellita Accessories

If you've been around here for awhile, you might remember when Bonita Bellita was one of my sponsors.  I have always loved Stephanie's simple and beautiful accessories, so I am thrilled that she contacted me with some pretties just for you.

With the holidays coming up, these would make great gifts.  Or, we know a woman can never have too much jewelry of her own, right?

Take some time to look around Stephanie's shop- my favorites are her hair clips, like this beautiful one:

Autumn flower hair clip and brooch

I also love this necklace,

Red and Gold Flower Necklace - Poinsettia Christmas Holiday

and I'd love a little earring holder like this.
Lace Jewelry holder - shabby chic embroidery hoop with pink lace

Stephanie is generously giving away these lovely golden topaz earrings (perfect for fall!)
Golden Topaz crystal rhinestone in brass -  Estate style jewelry - honey

AND these Butterfly Bobby Pins (which my daughter would just love!)

Butterfly Bobby Pins - Autumn set of four for whimsical weddings, bridesmaids, and free spirits

If you'd like to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This giveaway will be open until 11:59 pm (Pacific) Sunday night.  Good luck!

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Monday, September 10

My Space- Craft Room Progress

No, I'm not referring to that website everyone used before Facebook, I am talking about my very own craft space! I never thought there would be a day where my craft space wasn't shared. Now that I have a room solely for crafting I get to decide how to make it the most workable for me! So where else did I turn but pinterest for ideas!

At first all I was coming across were things like this:

Don't get me wrong, they're amazing! Who wouldn't want their washer and dryer and a gigantic work space all in one? However I have a 10x10 room [not complaining] and need to be frugal and creative to make the most use of 'my space'. Since I hope to be able to house guest in the room as well, a big table in the middle was not the solution.

Then I thought of this idea:
I even found one on craigslist for $200. Desk, storage and bed for that price was extremely tempting. But it extended out 6 feet and would basically swallow the room. I didn't want to dread going into my craft room or have it feel claustrophobic. Great idea, but maybe for a bigger space.

Next was this idea, which was headed in the right direction:

You can tell that this is a small space and I love how well it is used. Simple desks with storage underneath and mounted storage on the walls above. I even messed around with an L-shaped configuration but found that it limited the amount of room for a guest.

Then came this picture, which as hard as we tried, had no originating source so we just get to stare at it and theorize as to how they made it happen:

I love it, and this is what I am trying to achieve. They must have had the desk built and put storage underneath, but I am going to put two desks together. Now look at the walls. Simple L brackets with painted shelves keep it cost efficient and a great use of space. I don't have a window on the wall so I'm going to use this in its place:

The use of a peg board gives unlimited ways of storing items that otherwise end up in a mess of a drawer. I might even consider doing a combination pegboard and corkboard to pin up ideas, patterns, ribbon, fabric, or whatever I need.

Lastly I do have a closet that right now is filled with boxes of books while we wait for our bookshelves, but I can't wait to utilize that space. I love these hanging organizers that can be used in so many ways:

I use a larger one in my room to put earrings and hair clips and other accessories. It is light, doesn't take up much space and you can see where everything is! And how about using a pants hanger for ribbon storage? Great!

So here's the start of my room [baby steps, i know] and as soon as it's finished you'll be the first to know!

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Wednesday, September 5

Very Jane Giveaway Winner + Necklace Hanger

I know it's unoficially fall now, but it's still 103 here in Phoenix today.  Boo.  Still, I put up my fall decorations yesterday!  Am I crazy?  I'll show them off in an upcoming post.

First of all, we have some business to attend to.  The winner of the (gorgeous) bubble statement necklace from Very Jane is:

Kelsey Apley!  

Kelsey, check your email- you have 48 hours to respond or I'll have to choose a new winner!

Next, I have a project I whipped up last week.  I have been trying to decide what to do to take care of all my extra-long necklaces.  I mean, what I was using just was. not. working!

Look at this tangle of chains!

Every time I wanted to wear a necklace, I had to untangle it from two or three other ones just to get it out.  I'm kind of lazy, so I have wanted something better for awhile.  There are some great ideas in blog-land and on Pinterest, but I just couldn't decide.

After much debate, here's what I came up with:

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This is a super-easy project!  All you need is a piece of scrap wood, some paint, screw hooks, and vinyl, if so desired.

I used a scrap piece of molding that's been laying around our room since we had it replaced last summer.  My kids like to use it as a bat or a light-saber.  It's been taken away from them so many times I've lost count.  I'm tired of doing that- so I confiscated it for my project.  I didn't trim it or anything.

I painted it hydrangea blue (it was already white underneath), then sanded it for a slightly distressed look.  Then I measured and marked the spots for the screws.  I put them 2 inches apart.  I drilled pilot holes, then inserted the screw hooks.

For an extra little something-something, I added vinyl, using synonyms for "accessorize".  

Then, I screwed it to the wall.  Use wall anchors if you need to, because those necklaces can get heavy! 

Here's the final product.  No more tangled necklaces!  I have two on a hook and so far it's been working perfectly!  

I'm linking these up to the following parties this week:

Keeping it Simple- Motivate Me Monday

Sugar Bee Crafts- Take a Look Tuesday

Someday Crafts-Whatever Goes Wednesday

Lil' Luna- Link Party

Somewhat Simple- Strut Your Stuff

Naptime Crafters- Friday Favs

I Heart Naptime- Sundae Scoop Weekend Wrap-up