Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rustic Christmas Wreath

It's getting chilly outside. Time for Christmas decorations! This year I thought I'd try my hand at making a wreath for the front door. Completely inspired by my Autumn Wreath.

I picked up a few things from Hobby Lobby the other day. They were having all of their Christmas stuff 50% off so I had to get some. Since this was only my second wreath, I wasn't sure what I was doing.

I wanted it to have a chilly, rustic feel. I tried to keep the color pallette simple. There were SO many colors and elements to choose from. I almost got overwhelmed. But I just focused on my vision. I sat there in the aisle of  Hobby Lobby with my wreath and was practically designing it right there. I placed the hollies and pine cones right on top. Added the icicles. I kept playing around with various things until I thought it looked complete.

I took out my handy little glue gun and fired it up. I added each element a few at a time. Once it looked good I'd adhere it right in place. After a few glue gun burns and kid interruptions I completed it fairly quickly.

I put it up outside on my door. It looks a little sparse to me but I'm thinking that's what the rustic feel is all about?? I don't know. It's not perfect, but I like it.


Wreath: $2.00
Star: $3.00
7 ice branches: $3.50
2 Pine cones: $2.27
Silver Spruce: $1.00
Red Hollies: $2.50

Total cost: $ 14.27

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The Girl Creative

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Procrastination Can Pay Off!

I was meaning to make an Autumn Wreath for several weeks but something else on the To Do list kept getting in the way. I finally made my way to Michael's a few days after Halloween. They were having some huge mark downs on the fall stuff. So I picked some things up and tried my hand at making a wreath. My very first time!

Here you can see our extremely boring front door. Oh how I wish I could paint it!! Or even just have the kick plate replaced with one that matches our door handle. And a new mat. Those things will happen...Eventually.

Since we live in Texas I thought it would be neat to add a star to the middle of the wreath. I hot glued the star first, then added the leaves a few at a time.

At first I thought I would decorate only one side. It just didn't look right. Nobody in the family liked it. It MUST be symmetrical! So off I went to Michaels to find another matching leaf vine. I was hoping I wasn't too late!! You know how those things happen. Someone else buys the very last one. Or they discontinue it. Or it's 35 degrees out and they bring out the bathing suits...

Anyway, I played around with it and added some more leaves to the other side.

Ahhh, much better!!

And I didn't spend $80 on a premade one. :)
Next I'll be attempting to make a Christmas one.

Wreath: $4.00
Star: $3.00
Leaf Vines $4.50
Pumpkins 0.99
Final cost: $12.49

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Best White Chicken Chili

I am not a huge fan of chili. But my husband forced me to try out some mild chili when we were at a function that had a chili cook-off. My favorite was the white chicken chili. The cook had the recipe written next to the pot. I'm not sure if this was legal, but I took the liberty of taking a photo of it so we could make some at home. I HAD to have it and I was desperate!!

I think we ended up tweaking it a bit and then he found us a recipe online. We make it as soon as the cold weather approaches. It's so good with some fresh french bread or some homemade Garlic bread. Mmmm.

I love to add TONS of cilantro to mine. We like to change it up a bit. This time my hubby added some avocados and it was to die for!!!!

It makes for a great breakfast the next morning. And lunch and dinner. It gets better as the days go on!

White Chicken Chili

2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pound chicken breast, cooked and diced
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/3 of a 7-ounce can chipotle in adobo, chopped
4 tablespoons chicken base
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 pounds white beans, soaked overnight
1/2 cup heavy cream
16 ounces sour cream
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Saute onion, celery, and garlic in oil until tender, about 5 minutes. In a large stockpot add chicken, water, bay leaf, chiles, oregano, cumin, dry mustard, basil, Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, chipotle, chicken base, and pickled jalapeno and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add the drained beans and heavy cream and simmer for 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. Garnish soup with cilantro and sour cream.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Garage Sale Desk

This is my first ever refinishing job. Please don't laugh. Snickering is okay though because I'm used to my kids doing it to me. ;)

On Friday I was on my way home from dropping the kids off at school. I saw a Garage sale sign in my neighborhood. I've been looking for dressers and a desk to refinish but hadn't try a garage sale in a while.

I saw this desk sitting there and thought, "Oh I have to have it!!". But guilt took over and I drove away alone. As I saw it in the rear view mirror I got a bit sad. So I made a U-turn and then made a deal.

(You can click on the images for larger photos. But please excuse the blurry ones. My camera is in the process of a slow, painful death.)

It was marked, "Antique Desk $40". I only had $32 cash in my purse. I've never negotiated before so I was a bit nervous. I simply asked her if she would take $30 for it. She said yes!!

I absolutely LOVE the marks and old nasty dirt it has. While I was refinishing it I caught whiff of that "old house" smell.  How could you not like that smell? :)

I knew immediately that I wanted to paint it white. But I wasn't sure if it should be distressed or give it a few good coats of shiny white.

As I was sanding it, I let it "speak" to me. She was begging me to leave the top as it so she can show off her age. And distress the body in white paint.

 I had no idea what I was doing since I've never done it before.

I sanded her down while admiring her curves.

I gave her a quick coat and let it dry. I sanded again and them left it as is.

I'm pretty happy with it. I just need to decide if the top should have a clear varnish coat on it? Or leave her naked.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Vintage Desk: $30
Sandpaper laying in the Garage: Free
Leftover white Paint: Free
Final cost: $30

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