Sunday, October 18, 2015

Knock if you Dare Halloween Yarn Wreath

Finally the weather is feeling like fall here in North Carolina!  I wasn't sure it was ever going to happen but the leaves are changing colors and starting to fall and the temps are getting chilly!  We even had to turn our heat on just this morning!  Yay!  It's my favorite time of year.  I love decorating for Halloween and Fall but this year I didn't feel like using any of the wreathes I've made in the past so I wanted to do something different.  

This was a total last minute decision because I was cleaning up some old craft supplies and found a ton of Halloween colored yarn and figured I would whip up a quick Yarn Wreath.  I also remembered I had this cute Knock if you Dare sign I had picked up at Home Goods last year on clearance for 2 bucks.  A little ribbon and it's done.  I realize it's not a very exciting wreath but simple and colorful made it work for me.

 If you've followed along with my blog over the years you know I love making yarn wreathes.  The best part is you can make them look different every single time depending on the yarn you use and the embellishments you add.  If you want to see a few of the others I have shared you can click here or here or even search my sidebar for yarn wreath for more.
 You will need:
Wreath form in the size and shape you would like for your wreath
Yarn--the more colors and texture the better in my opinion but for this one I used yellow, green, orange and two shades of purple
Floral pins
Flowers, plaque, ribbon or any other embellishments you'd like to add
 These floral pins are the bomb diggity!  I use them for just about every wreath I make and find they come in handy for lots of other projects too.  I buy them at Hobby Lobby or Michael's and try to always keep them on hand.
 Start with all your yarn lined up the same length and use the floral pin to hold the starting point of your yarn in place.  Make sure you pin it to the back side of the wreath so you can't see it.  Then just start wrapping the yarns around the wreath form.  I try to lay my yarns out "flat" instead of a big clump so that you can actually see all the colors.  You also want to pull the yarn very tight and keep it close together so your wreath form doesn't show through.  

You can also use several strands of the same color of yarn if you want a more dominant color to show up.  I wished I had used a couple strands of purple instead of just one of each shade but that's ok.  

After I finished wrapping the plain yarns I finished it off the same way I started it by pinning the yarn ends to the back side of the wreath with the floral pin.  I wasn't happy with the wreath because it didn't have any dimension so I took orange fluffy yarn and wrapped it around so it had a little extra oomph to it.  I didn't wrap it close together so it's spread out but you could either incorporate that fluffy yarn with the other yarns you used from the beginning or just add it after for a more subtle effect.
 I then took my sign and attached it with floral pins to the wreath.  You can barely see them so I didn't worry about hiding them but if you wanted to make them more concealed just cover them with a bit of yarn.
 I then took a wide piece of grosgrain ribbon and tied it to the sign to complete it. 
 Easy peasy and works perfectly for when the trick or treaters come around!
 Knock if you dare!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Black and White Stripe Painted Mason Jars

If you follow me on Instagram (and you should!) you will know I have an obsession with Black and White stripes right now.  I just got done painting bold stripes on my family room walls in black and white, buying candles in black and white stripes and now painting mason jars in black and white stripes.  I'd say my obsession is alive and well! 
 I have tons of jars in my house and always keep a collection of spray paint on hand so for me this project was as easy as digging into my stash in the garage and setting up my spray paint station and having at it.  If you don't keep these things around here is what you will need:
2 colors of Spray Paint in the colors of your choice
Mason Jars in the brand of your choice
Painter's Tape
First you will want to spray paint the entire jar white.  I did 3 thin coats on my jars to cover them well.  It doesn't have to be perfect since you will be distressing them after but make sure the jar is mostly covered and not see through anymore.  

Once your base coat has dried completely you will need to tape off your stripes.  I didn't do this by measuring because I didn't want them to be perfect but if you prefer perfection more power to you!  My tape measure and I are on the outs after the stripe wall project so I figured imperfection was right up my alley on this project.  

I taped off my stripes by starting right under the rim of the jar and then added a small piece of tape between the stripes to know how far down I wanted to go (just make sure you remove this piece of tape before you start painting your black).  I got three stripes out of my jar using the basic painter's tape.  I know I'm probably not explaining this step very clearly.

Once your lines are taped off go ahead and spray the entire jar black.  Make sure you really seal the tape all around the edges before you start this step.  The above photo is actually after I had already painted the black stripes but didn't seal the tape edges so the black got on my white paint a little.  To fix this I just taped off the black stripes once they were dry and repainted the entire jar white and it worked perfectly to fix the imperfections and bleeds of black.

You can decide if you want your mason jars with or without the "writing" on them.  I wanted mine to have the writing so it created a little more interest but I've painted plenty that do not have the writing and they still look great after they are distressed.  It just depends on your plans for them.
 When everything has dried remove the tape.  I found that letting my paint dry completely before removing the tape worked best.  It is hard for me to be that patient but I made myself do other things so I wouldn't be itching to remove the tape too soon.
 My Charley Girl had to oversee the painting project to make sure I was doing everything right.  She is quite the supervisor!
 Use a very fine grit sandpaper to sand the entire jar.  I went a little heavier over the raised writing but then went softer over the rest of the jar so I didn't actually remove the paint.
 As you can see the distressing masks all the imperfections anyway so don't worry about being perfect for this project.
 If there are areas that didn't get as distressed as you wanted just keep going over them with sandpaper.  I even had some actual chips in my jars but they just ended up adding to the look.  I was worried at first because I figured I'd have to repaint but it worked out in the end and I left the chips.
 I didn't paint lids for this project because I knew I was using my jars for flowers and I had black frog lids already.  If you don't have those or are using them for something else that requires a lid just spray paint it.  
*Frog lids are the wire lids that allow you to arrange flowers.  Sometimes they sell them just as Frog Lid Inserts but the ones I have are the whole lid and they are already black so it's a win win situation!
 I did three vases and added some flowers and a piece of ribbon to compliment the stripes.
Love an easy peasy spray paint project that actually turns out as well as I imagine it will!  
These would be great to fill with candy and give for Halloween Treats to someone special as well!  You could add a very cute Halloween tag and wrap the filled jar in clear cellophane and have fun and unique gift to give to teacher's or coworkers etc.  So many uses for Mason Jars!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Kielbasa and Cabbage Dinner

Years ago I came across this recipe somewhere and have been making it ever since.  I was doing a low carb diet and basically only eating meat and veggies so this was the perfect meal when I found it.  It can't get any easier than this either which is always nice!  The best part is that the kiddo will eat this and doesn't even bat an eyelash that he is eating cabbage because it has such a good flavor.  It is always nice when he will eat a veggie without fighting me on it.  
You will need:
1 package Kielbasa Sausage
1 red onion
2 bags of cole slaw mix (no dressing!)
1/4 cup of water
Celery seeds (optional)

• Cut the sausage into small pieces and then cut them in half
• Place the cole slaw mix, onions and chopped sausage into a greased casserole dish.  I usually use a 9x13 inch pan but if you were making more or less you can use a different size pan.   
• Drizzle your water over the top of the mixture and then add your salt, pepper and celery seeds if you are using them.
• Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the sausage is browned and the cabbage is soft.
• Serve and enjoy!

When I make mine I do not use celery seeds but just the salt and pepper and sometimes a little garlic.
If you didn't want to use the cole slaw mix just buy a head or two of cabbage and chop it up finely and add that instead. 
 I usually mix mine up while it's baking so that it cooks evenly.
 Now that I'm no longer doing a low card diet I usually serve this with mashed potatoes but you could serve it just as it is and you have a whole meal!
Yummy in the tummy!  So easy and so good which is always a great combo.