The Ginger bread House

Every year since my son was born we have made ginger bread houses. When he was really little we made houses out of graham crackers. That is the easiest to do with little ones.

Then when he got to be  about 4 or 6 we bought the prepackaged houses and would add our own candy.

It wasn’t till a few years ago that we started to make our own houses from scratch. I found a recipe  from a friend and we made our own dough. I drew the house out first and everything I wanted on the houses.Then I cut that out and put the houses together to make sure that it would fit. I actually had a few templates until I came up with one that worked. I then used those templates to cut out the dough.

After rolling out the dough, lay the templates on the dough and cut around. Place these sections on a bake  sheet and bake to temperature in recipe. As soon as the baked ginger comes out of the oven, clean up the edges with a knife. This will make it easier to put together when it is cool. Make sure the ginger is fully cool when you go to ensemble it. I found it helpful to have something for the walls to lean against when putting it together. Start with 2 walls and wait until that is dry before putting up everything else.

We love going to the candy store to find our decorations for the house. The other thing we do is save candy from my son’s trick or  treat bag. We put it in the freezer until December.

These pictures were our houses last year. I’m behind on doing this years houses. Hopefully we will get to it this weekend. I made the dough yesterday during our snow storm. This year I’m going to try a recipe from Martha Stewart. I down loaded her templates and cut them out. I’ll share it when we are done.

Enjoy this wonderful Christmas season.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tracy

Enjoying the fall!

Hope you all had a wonderful summer. Ours was a whirl wind but wonderful. We got to enjoy the ocean, the mountains, lakes, streams, body surfing the waves at the beach. Lots of bike rides, hiking trails and camping. Was sad to see it all come to an end but Fall is my favorite season. We have just as many fun activities that we will enjoy outside through this wonderful season. Apple picking, fairs, camping out with cool nights around a warm fire, & taking pictures of the colorful foliage.

MY TO DO LIST is growing.

Organizing, Sewing, crafting, gardening, cooking and scrap booking ( My son is ten and I only have till he was one. I need to catch up)

So I’ll be spending a little less time on the computer and more time creating & catching up.

Here is two projects I recently finished. It’s a great way to make clutter disappear and look pretty at the same time.

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My husband made me this art table a few years ago when I was taken Interior Design classes.

I made a skirt to hide all the container under it. The front I attached with furniture nails. The sides of the table have metal edges ,  I used Velcro to attach the fabric.

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This table is an old examining table that belonged to my husbands great grandfather. He was a doctor during the 1920-1950

Sorry for the poor quality of the two pictures above. I’m down to using my cell phone to take pictures. Working on saving $ for a new digital camera. The duck tape isn’t quite working anymore on my old one.

Here is an idea for fall window boxes. These are hardy enough to keep in your window boxes until the snow fly’s.

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I’ll leave you with some images of  fall in New England. We are not quite at our peak yet. A couple more weeks of cools nights and the forest will be on fire with color. Everyday puts on a new show.

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Enjoy the Fall!!!

Take Care and Have Fun!

Tracy

A Chic looking Bulletin Board & Tacks

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Make this Chic looking  bulletin board.

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I started with an old frame. I found this frame when I was helping my in-laws  unpack their storage container. They had just moved back to New England. This frame was really dirt, torn and ready to be discarded. I  ripped out the old mat, sanded down the frame lightly, wiped down with a damp cloth, sprayed with  primer, and 2 coats of desired color.

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I bought foam board and cut it to the size of the frame. The frame was so big that I had to use 2 sections of foam board. I taped them together with clear duck tape.

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After I made sure that the board fit tightly, it was time to wrap the fabric around the foam board.

I used clear duck tape to secure the fabric to the board.

Lay fabric out on table and leave about 3 to 4 inches extra to over lap on to the back of the board.

Iron your fabric first before applying to foam board. Start on the right side of the frame  half way up the board( Start on the longest side of the frame).

Tape and then press down on the tape to make sure it holds securely. Now go to the opposite side you just did and repeat the process.

After you do those two sides move to ( the shorter sides of the frame ). Repeat the process again. Work your way around the board pulling tight all the time. Flip the board over frequently to make sure the fabric is staying taunt.

I used a stapler to fasten the fabric covered foam board to the frame. I used the same method I did with the fabric.

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Check out the thumb Tacks. I made them with vintage beads and colored wire.

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I wrapped wire around the thumb tack. Once that end was secure to the tack I threaded the beads on to the wire.

To make the flower petals. I threaded seven beads on tot he wire  and twisted the wire around the tack twice and repeated the process two more times.

To make the loops I just added as many beads as I wanted and then twisted the wire around the tack to secure it.

These would make great custom gifts for friends &  family. Think of all the paint and fabric choices. They are endless.

Hope this has inspired you to breath life into some old frames you may have around your home.

Have a great night!

Tracy

A Sweet Little Quilt Tutorial.

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Here is a sweet little quilt I made for my BF daughter.  I used small squares cut out from fabric samples. I had many fabric books left over from my Interior Design business. I hated to see them go to the land fill. I choice fabrics that the colors went to together.

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Find a pleasing look to your fabric design.

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Stitched the rows and then flipped them over and ironed the seams flat.

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*  Attached each row to each other.  Turn over and ironed the seams again.

*Once  all the pieces are sewn together  sew them to the main piece of fabric.

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*  Use purple single sided bias tape to out line the squares.

*  Sew the main fabric, a natural filler , and muslin all together.

*   Quilt the layers together. I used the sewing machine.

*  Sew Quilting bias around the Quilt to finish it off.

* To add a little whimsy I made Yo Yos. Cut out circles, hand sew a loose stitch along the circle. It will pull together as you go along.With the Yo-Yos with a trim, I sewed on bias tape to them before I hand sewed them into their puckered state. I then sewed them onto the Quilt.

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This was my  first Quilt I have every made. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to make another one. I hope this inspires you if you’ve never made a Quilt. Start small and enjoy!

HAPPY SPRING!

Tracy

Window boxes for less

Here is a post from last summer.

You can check out my old blog @ Visionsofsuagrplums.net

Inexpensive Window Boxes

I finally got my window boxes. We’ve lived here for 5 years and I have always wanted window boxes on the front of the house. I love looking at houses with beautiful over flowing window boxes. My husband was worried about damage that the water might cause to the house. I came up with an idea that puts the boxes far enough away from the house that their should not be any damage.
I got all the material from the Mill Store. The unfinished boxes with plastic liners were only $14 a piece. Most window boxes I looked at were $75 and up. The brackets were $5.00 a piece. This was a very inexpensive project that added a lot of character to the house.I originally wanted to buy antique brackets but I couldn’t find enough that matched. I needed 8 brackets. I have four windows.

First thing I did to prepare the boxes was:

  1. Drilled about 30 holes in the bottom of each box
  2. Sand the boxes before painting
  3. Primed the boxes
  4. Used exterior paint ( I used 2 coats of left over paint from the house trim)
  5. Re drill the holes (paint can clog the them)
  6. I cut huge holes in the plastic liners so they would drain easily
  7. Placed one layer of newspaper on the bottom of the liner.
  8. Fill with potting soil and compost.
  9. Fill with plants. ( Choose filler flowers( I used pink Becopia) Usually small buds, trailing flowers & vines( Vinca or Potato Leaf as an example) and then a main flower ( I used ruffled Petunia)

I placed the brackets on the house with the long side faced up. The window boxes sit right up to the end of the bracket. ( I wanted a 2 to 3 inch gap between the house and the window box. )Once the flowers fill in you really don’t notice the gap. The window boxes were drilled to the bracket from underneath.


Notice the Whimsical bug. This was from the Kith & Kin Studios a few years back. My sister-n-law designed the wings and I designed and painted the body. We had them in all kinds of playful colors. Someday I’ll post the Fat Fairies we made. They are adorable.
You can really change the look of your house with this project. Next month I’m going to replace the summer flowers with Mums and Decorative Cabbage, and this winter I will have Holly berry, mixture of greens and red berries.

Have fun with them.

Pinewood Derby Time

This was our son’s first year at the Pinewood Derby in his pack. He decided he wanted to try Boy Scouts this year. He is in Weblos 1. We found a great den in the next town over from us. He is very active so we wanted to find a den that did a lot outside. His den leader is awesome with the boys.

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He worked on his car with his dad. He wanted to use the Weblo colors.

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The night before the race they weigh the cars and then confiscate them. They can’t weigh more then 5 ounces.

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He came in last for his group but he got the Scout Spirit Award for his design. He is already working on next years design.

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For Christmas we had bought him a kit to build. He had fun making that one to. Great project for the boys to build with mom or dad. They sell them at craft stores or hobbies shops. It’s amazing that all these cars started out looking all the same.

Have Fun!

Knitting Ideas

I thought I would share with you a few knitted objects that my client did. She has been knitting a long time and is very talented. When I asked her what she used for a pattern, she said it was out of head. I can’t wait to get to that point in my knitting!

In a future post I will show one of her blankets she made it with Fun Fur and Baby yarn. She gave me the directions for that. I’ll post the picture of it for now.

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Fun Fur Blanket

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I love these socks. They are so cuteeeeeeee.!

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A work in progress.

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A  hat for a new baby

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I love the colors and dainty little flowers on this afghan she made.

I hope this gives you some ideas for your own knitting projects. I love how she combined 2 yarns to produce different texture.

Have Fun!

Tracy