Holiday Swag

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I can’t believe that Christmas is right around the corner. Where has 2017 gone?

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I  did minor Black Friday shopping Friday morning. I ran to Michael’s and TjMaxx because was wide awake at 6:30 and couldn’t go back to bed. Saturday, I went and cut down my Christmas Tree with my niece Bella. So with a saw in hand, we headed about 20 miles east of Green Bay to Aissen Tree Farm, in Luxemburg, WI. Read More

Spoon Garden Markers

Last year in my herb garden I had Thyme, Oregano, and Rosemary and honestly I couldn’t tell which was which. So this year I decided I would change that. I had found some old spoons at various thrift and antique stores in the area and thought they would make nice garden markers.
After and exhaustive search for a chunk of steel bench block at various local craft and hardware stores, I came up with nada! I found a damping block which I bought thinking it would work.
It did, sort of, kind of, not really. Anyway, I started hammering out a spoon and I could get it sort of flat. I couldn’t get the edges completely flat. I tried a second spoon, and the same thing. So I let them sit for the night because it was getting late and hammering was making too much noise and I didn’t want to annoy my neighbor next door. And Outlander was on and I wanted to watch it.


So Sunday morning came and I was inspired. I needed a hard surface, that wouldn’t easily break (I broke a cutting board I used for crafts in the process). I grabbed my spoons and hammer and headed downstairs to my basement. I found some cardboard I could use to soften the blows because I didn’t want to hammer on the direct concrete.
I sat on the cold hard concrete and began to hammer away. After a few minutes of hammering one spoon, I realized I was further along in the process of flattening than I was using the damper. Once I found my rhythm, I was on my merry way.

Success! They aren’t perfectly smooth, and for me that’s OK, I like the beat up look of them. I tried to engrave the spoons using my Dremel and an engraving bit, but my hands aren’t steady enough for it. In my multiple searches for the bench block, I did find metal letter stamps at Joann and using my 50% off coupon I paid about $8 for them.

So to make sure that the word would be centered on the spoon, I marked some guiding lines.  The first marker I stamped was Basil. I started in the middle and then worked my way out with each letter. Some of the letters may have gotten a bit wonky, but for me it adds character.

To give the words more depth and make them stand out, I took permanent marker and scribbled over the word. Then I took nail polish remover and wiped them clean.  In the picture above you can see the Basil with out the added marker and the Mint with the added marker.
I repeated the process with the rest of my spoons, while some of them may have turned out better than others, I’m impressed with how the all turned out.


I found some cool tins at an estate sale that I got for half off. I think the most I paid for a tin was $0.40. Not a bad deal.
I planted my basil, lavender, bee balm, and mint in individual tins. The oregano, sage, chives, rosemary and thyme, I put in my big bucket, and then I planted calendula and chamomile in my medium size bucket.

I’m happy to say that my herbs are doing really well this year! I’ve already cut my chives back once and may have to do it again soon.

Chevron Painted Wooden Tool Box

Last summer while digging through  your dad’s garage for some tools and whatnot for some projects! I found this old wooden toolbox. After making sure my dad didn’t need it or want it, I packed up my supplies and brought the box home, where it sat for a while.


For this project, I decided to paint it a light gray and a light teal, with gold accents. My inspiration was the Tiffany box which  my wine glasses were delivered. I picked the wine glasses from options given to my from my employer for my 10-year anniversary. I had some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Gray and mixed it FolkArt Chalk Paint in White Adirndck to lighten the gray. To make the light teal, I mixed White Adirndck and Grotto at a ratio of 2 to 1. The paint was pretty thick so I added water to thin it out.
I painted the box 2 coats of the grey. And while waiting for the box to dry, I worked on making a chevron template.  To make a chevron template, I laid out a grid with the distance between each peak to be two inches & one inch high. Taping the template to the box, I used it as a guideline to place the painter’s tape.


Once the gray was dry and I taped around the box, I painted the untaped parts teal. After it was dry, I pulled off the tape.  When I pulled off, really tiny pieces of the gray came off. Instant distressing!

Next came what to do about the handle. It was a little blah, so I decided to paint the handle gold. Since I already had painted the rest of the box, I taped around the handle and used plastic wrap around the box itself and headed outside to spray paint.

Then I came back in, out of the cold, and added a few finishing touches. I painted the nail heads, the nails that were sort of hammered in and the holes where the nails ought to be or were hammered in too far. Since I used chalk paint, I had to wax the whole thing.

Now it’s home for odds and ends, like my collection of silverware, which I’m going to try to make garden markers, my essential oils and dried flowers and herbs, and some jars I have on hand to use to make scrubs.

Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Decorations.

I usually don’t decorate for Valentine’s day, but this year I thought I would. Maybe, I thought, it would bring me some luck in the love department. I officially took the plunge and I’m trying Match for three months, I’m hoping for some good luck! A little extra luck can’t hurt a single girl, right?
Today, I have three quick, easy and inexpensive projects to bring the love.
Valentine’s Subway Art
The first project is the simplest of the three. I was searching for some easy and free printable Valentine’s art and I came across this cute subway art from The TomKat Studio. I printed mine from Walgreen’s because I was running low on ink at home, and I believe I paid about $3.50 for the print. I found the frame at TJMaxx on clearance for $5.00. The total for this was under $10.00 and I can find other free printables and change it out for each season or holiday.

Glitter X and O

For my next project, I picked up an X and O and some red glitter the letters were about $1.97 each and the glitter was about $2.97. I already had red paint. I first painted each letter. Then I doused the letters with red glitter while the paint was still wet. After the paint had dried, I sprayed each letter with a sealer to keep the glitter from falling off.


Paper Heart Garland
Last I made paper heart Garland. This was a little more time consuming. I picked up 3 squares of 12×12 card stock at $0.79 each and 3 8 1/2×11 card stock at $0.59 each and pink paper ribbon on clearance for $1.59.
I started by cutting card stock into strips of 1/2 inch. I took 8 strips and left two at 12 inches, cut two strips of each to the following lengths: 10 inches, 8 inches and 6 inches.
I gathered the 8 strips and laid them out in 2 piles. I took a 9th strip to use as the center, which will act as a stabilizer. and placed that in the middle of the two piles with the longest strips in the middle. With that middle strip be sure to leave enough room at the bottom to allow the loose ends to be stapled. Staple the strips in place at the top of the heart. Then bring the ends and gather at the end of the middle strip and staple at the bottom. Taking a paper punch punch a hole at the top of the center strip to allow for hanging.

There you have it, my easy and inexpensive ways to decorate for Valentine’s Day. Maybe these will help bring some luck in the dating department. Do you guys go all out to decorate for Valentine’s Day? If so I’d like to hear about it!

Wisconsin String Art

As I mentioned in Homemade Christmas Gift  post I made Wisconsin String art for Betsy as part of her gift. Ir’s really easy to make, although it does take a bit of time.


  • Wood (I picked up a 12 inch square from Michael’s)
  • String
  • Paint or stain
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Map or outline of state

To start I painted the square of wood.  I used white chalk paint and when dry, I finished it with wax.

I found an outline of Wisconsin, and printed it, cut excess paper and taped the it to the board where I liked it best.

I placed a heart around the Milwaukee Area. Using the needle-nose pliers to hold the nails while I hammered them. I wanted to try and keep the nails about the same height.
When I was done with the nails, I then took the string and started wrapping it around the nails. If I wasn’t using multiple colors, It would have gone by much faster. To keep the string from unraveling, I used a piece of painter’s tape I found that the trick is to not pull too tightly, because doing so will cause the nails to start to pull out of the board.
I tried to keep the green and blue about equal, with the green/yellow on the top half of the state and blue/yellow on the bottom.


I choose to do the blue, yellow and green because she’s a Brewers and Packers fan (Greg is too) and also it was because of the Brewers that they are together.  They met while in Arizona for working at Brewers spring training in 2013. I wanted to make something to would remind her of home and represent them.
I think I may make Greg one of his own. I just don’t know what colors to do. Maybe an all Red/White or half red/white and half blue/yellow or a red/white, blue/yellow, green yellow. The possibilities are endless.
How do you guys show your city/state/country love?

Hand Made Christmas Gifts

I am happy to say that the holidays are over. These past few months seem to have gone by in a blur! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years have already come and gone and January is almost over! January is our busy time at work so I pretty much feel drained. Now that the rush of the Holidays and football is over here in Green Bay (I’m not dwelling on that loss in Seattle, I SWEAR), I’m looking forward to February, when things slow down a bit and I can get back in to a normal routine.

For Christmas, like last year, I made some of my Christmas gifts. I didn’t want to post anything because Greg and Betsy didn’t come home until Jan 4th, which is when we were celebrating Christmas with them, and I didn’t want to spoil Betsy’s gift. Like Greg did to me one year. When we were kids, he correctly guessed quite a few gifts I had under the tree. It didn’t hurt that a fair amount were porcelain dolls. I still like to tell him that he ruined Christmas for me that year…I “ruined his life” once so I guess were even!

Since they became engaged at Thanksgiving (And now they have the date set!), I thought that I would make her a spa/relaxation basket and some art to remind her of home. Wedding planning is stressful enough, but planning a wedding half way across the country is an added stress, they are still Boston and the wedding is going to be in Milwaukee.

The first of the gifts I made Betsy (and possibly Greg too) was Wisconsin String Art. I’ll have my tutorial up later.

The second part of her gift, included the spa/relaxation basket.

There were four parts that I made.  First, I found this awesome recipe for a body scrub over at The Rising Spoon, (I’ve gotten a request from Jenny for another batch! I’m going to try to experiment with different oils I think an chocolate orange sounds divine). Second I made a candle, using rose essential oils. Third I made an Epsom Salt soak. I also made candles and body scrubs for gifts for other friends.

I added Castelbel White Pine soap, a foot pumice, bath Lavender bath fizzies and small spoons from World Market. I found the eye mask, and the Scottish Fine Soap lotion (one of my favorites) at TJMaxx.
Lastly I made a tote with subway art style word collage with words associated to love and marriage.  She has something to carry the wedding planner Greg got her as a St. Nick gift. This was another project using the Citra-Solv method of transferring images to the tote, It took a while for me to get everything to be a mirror image of itself. To print it into the size I wanted, I used Block Posters.
Below are both versions of what I created.  Feel free to save them and use them!
So those were the gifts I made this year. I really like giving and receiving gifts that have a personal touch! I’ll have additional posts up later this week.