Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall Decorations!

For some reason, I have never decorated for fall (or any other season for that matter) just Christmas.  This year I really wanted to decorate!   I haven't changed much since I moved in March of 2008 so I think now that it is mine AND Brett's home, I want to change it up a bit.  Well, a bit might be an understatement because I have been thinking about repainting the bathrooms and getting other furniture for the "office" to make it more functional.  But enough with my mini-tangent, I'm sure redecorating will be for other posts (unless we move soon).  Back to fall...

To take care of my fall decor needs I made a couple visits to my favorite stores (in no particular order) Michael's, JoAnn's & Hobby Lobby!  I should have gone to Hobby Lobby first because they had a ton of stuff and it was all 50%, but I was by the other stores first.  But I got everything on sale (40-50% off) so it worked out okay.  

Now for some pictures...

Our kitchen table centerpiece

The yummy pumpkin spice candle, candle holder and candle decoration came from Michael's.  I wanted a table runner to put the centerpiece on, but I didn't feel like paying $15 for one (and that was on sale!).  Plus our table is round and I'm not sure how I feel about table runners on round tables.  I think I'm too OCD for how it would lay.  Anyways, the candle is on a green silk-like napkin I got at Hobby Lobby (LOVE this green!  Green is my favorite color, but this green is so rich & perfect for fall). It was way more affordable than the runner & place mats.

On top of our DVD shelf

The leaf candle holder is from Michael's, the pumpkin & decoration around it are from Hobby Lobby.  Under that is the other green napkin from Hobby Lobby.  While reading another blog (and I cannot remember which one, oops!) I snagged an idea from them.  Each year of their marriage they buy a new (fake) decorative pumpkin & write the number for which year it is on the bottom.  I loved the idea of giving a simple decoration sentimental value!  So we have started that tradition too and above is our first pumpkin!  :)

Our fireplace area

Since our TV and all that goes with it is on top of our mantle, I'm left with decorating around it.  I got the cute Happy Harvest sign at Hobby Lobby.  It's made to sit somewhere, but it got lost when I put in on the ground in front of the fireplace.  So I took a small nail & hung it from a P on the front of the mantle.  It stands out great against the white wood.  I got the scarecrow from JoAnn's (he was too cute & I think it's Brett's favorite).  And on the opposite side is a 2nd candle holder from Michael's.

I hope you enjoyed our fall decorations!  Since we live in such a small space I can't go too over board on the decorations.  But I do have pumpkin and apple candles all over!  Unfortunately nothing was handmade (I wouldn't know what fall craft to make besides something with pine cones or pumpkins), but maybe I'll think of something!  

While I was out shopping I came across fake carve-able pumpkins.  So cool!  Did anyone else know they existed?!  No mess & you can reuse it--cool!  But then again I love munching on baked pumpkin seeds.  Mmmmm...

Hope you're getting in the fall decorating spirit!  Not too many hours before its the 1st of October!



P.S.  While getting my fall decorations I also got supplies for a couple jewelry projects that I'm super excited about.  And I'm looking around on etsy for supplies for another one.  Stay tuned!! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pearl & Satin Ribbon Necklace {Tutorial}

This post gives instructions on how to make the necklace (or one similar) below!  I chose colors I like, but feel free to choose whatever colors and materials that are your favorites!

1.  Pick your beads/pearls and ribbon.  For mine I chose 2 sizes of grey pearls (about 8mm and 10 mm) and black satin ribbon (roughly 15mm thick).  I love dark/neutral jewelry because it goes with just about everything.  I used 22 pearls (11 of each), which was about 11 inches.  I would say between 10 and 12 is a good length for your beads, unless you want a choker or long necklace.

2.  Cut 2 pieces of ribbon, each about 1 yard (3 feet) in length.  So the ends don't fray, lightly run a lighter or match near the ribbon end (don't get too close, it will melt the ribbon into a nasty mess).  

(My workspace-the kitchen table-is black so put my ribbon on a piece of paper to show you.  While living in a condo the kitchen table also doubles as my craft table.  Can't wait to have a house and a room to "craft" in!)

3. Take the cord (above) all the way off the spool.  Put a bead on leaving about 5 inches (I did more than 5, but you only need a couple inches) between the bead and knotted end (the end without the needle).  Tie a double (or triple) knot with the cord around mid point of one ribbon (see pictures below - the knot needs to be between the needle and the bead). Make sure its secure.

4.  Put needle back through bead so long and short cord are both coming through the same hole of the bead.  (see picture below)  Tie short end of cord & long to make a knot after the 1st bead.  I recommend a double or triple knot and then using glue (jewelry or super glue) on the knot so that it doesn't ever come out.  Especially if your cord is silk/soft.  Trim the short piece of cord off.

5.  Tie a double knot (sometimes a single knot is too small depending on the size of the cord and the size of the bead opening) after the second bead.  Continue adding beads and tying double knots until you have reached your desired length.  Tying the knots directly behind the beads can be tricky.  To make it a little easier, grab right after the bead with tweezers or small pliers in left hand. Take the needle in right hand, go behind tweezers (moving left) and then go over tweezers (moving right) and take needle behind and under cord on right side of tweezers.  Pull string tight, don't let go of string with tweezers until knot is made completely.  (It might help to practice on spare string, it took me a couple of times to perfect my technique).  Make sure the cord to the left of the pliers is all the way to the left of it so your knot gets as close to the bead as possible.  If you get a knot a couple mm away from the bead, making a double or triple knot usually takes up the space.

6.  Once you put on the desired amount of beads tie a good double knot after the last bead.  Then use the string to double or triple knot around the middle of the 2nd piece of ribbon.  Take needle back through the last bead and tie a double knot between the last and 2nd to last bead. Put a drop of glue on the double knot and on the knot after the last bead (not the knot on the ribbon).  Trim off the excess (If you used a 2 meter piece, you will probably have enough for another necklace or a bracelet).  And admire the finished product!

Mine has a couple flaws as it was my first attempt at this piece, but I am very happy with it & can't wait to wear it!  I'll post a picture of me with it on.  It doesn't exactly go with my pajamas right now.  :)

If you don't have the time or skill/patience to make one of these, let me know and we can work something out! 


Update:  After wearing my necklace the first time, I had to make a new one.  I didn't tie my knots after the first beads secure enough & it came off the ribbon.  But I made the changes in the directions & my second one is much better!  The key: double knots and glue around the beads at the very end!  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alfredo Sauce Recipe

As my family knows, I love Alfredo sauce.  But up until tonight I have never made my own, just ate the jar kind.  So I was feeling adventurous and googled Alfredo recipes and came across this one.  Since it claims to be better than Olive Garden (yum) I figured it had to be good.  And it was!!  Brett & I both loved it (the more you put on your pasta--fettuccine--the better).  It's not the healthiest, but it tastes great and was pretty easy.  Here's the recipe with my comments in purple:

'Better than Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce'

  • tablespoons sweet butter
  • garlic cloves, minced (I use the Spice World Minced Garlic in the jar)
  • cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used more towards 2/3 cup because I didn't want to leave the container with just barely some in it) 
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese (All I had was a pizza blend that had mozzarella in it)
  • 1 (12 ounce) box angel hair pasta (I used fettuccine because I had some cooked already)
  • I also added some oregano in step two, about 1 tsp. 

1.  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium/low heat. 

2.  Add the garlic, cream and white pepper and simmer, stirring often.

3.  Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer for 8-10 minutes until sauce has thickened and is smooth.

4.  When the sauce has thickened, add the Mozzarella cheese and stir frequently until smooth.

5.  While the sauce cooks, boil noodles for 3-5 minutes.  

6.  Place pasta on plates and spoon sauce over pasta.

This sauce is definitely a great base to add other ingredients to.  It would taste great with mushrooms (fresh or canned), some tomatoes (specifically sun dried, yummy!), or anything your heart desires!!  Enjoy!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Post!

Thank you for visiting my blog!  This is my first post and I am very excited about this!  I was blog-inspired by my friend Ryan (Find her wonderful blog here!) and decided to create one too!  I created this blog to share how-to's and examples of my crafts, {everything from jewelry, gifts, organization help and baby things (for other people's babies-not mine yet) :) } recipes, photos, Christian inspiration, and the latest going on in my life!  Basically everything I'm passionate about! Feel free to make suggestions for posts, comments, etc.  Also, please feel free to use the how-to's!  That's how I have learned to do crafty things.

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted this blog to be on what I am passionate about. These past few years I've discovered that if you want to be happy with yourself and what you're doing, then you need to follow and pursue your passions, whatever they may be.  For me, this was leaving a good job that was making me miserable and lost.  The day I quit that job was the day I got engaged to my now husband Brett-November 10th, 2009.  Since that day I have been preparing for a new life with him and following my passions.  When planning our wedding I did a LOT of DIY projects (hmmm, maybe a post will come of that!).  Most of my inspiration came from the internet and was driven by saving money.  Well those projects opened my eyes to the world of crafting, cooking and sewing.  I did crafts when I was little (made candles from the candle making set you could buy, made jewelry out of string or those tiny beads) but I grew out of them quickly.  When I was doing things for the wedding, I realized that I really enjoyed making things and that a lot of them would be great gifts, home decor, etc!  And I wanted to share these things with other wonderful women out there and hopefully inspire them to pursue their passions as well.

I hope you noticed the name of my blog, "The Wellsprings of Life".  Here's the story behind it...After I decided to start the blog I told my husband, Brett.  He was very excited for me and I asked him to help me figure out a name.  After talking and thinking over dinner last night, we pulled out our bibles and began to look for inspiration.  I then grabbed a book I've been reading, 'Captivating' by John & Stasi Eldridge. If you haven't heard of this book, I highly reccommend it.

I came across this passage in the book: "... Scripture tells us the heart is central. "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).  Above all else.  Why?  Because God knows our heart is core to who we are.  It is the source of all our creativity, our courage, and our convictions.  It is the fountainhead of our faith, our hope, and of course our love.  This "wellspring of life" within us is the very essence of our existence, the center of our being,  Your heart as a woman is the most important thing about you."

I couldn't have said it any better!  A woman's heart is her most prized possession, it is full of her passions, her faith, hope and love.  What is in her heart motivates her.  It is her "wellspring of life".  With this blog I want to share my wellspring of life, and to help other amazing women out there discover and share theirs too.

The look of the blog may change initially as I work with new (to me) programs to design my own layout.  It's pretty time consuming, but I love it!  I already have several posts in my head so stay tuned!

In His Name,

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