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Baseball Cuff Bracelet

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So I was wandering aimlessly around Pinterest the other day when I came across a pin showing a cuff-style bracelet made from a baseball.  Now it just so happens that my son plays baseball and I found the cutest baseball necklace to wear to his games at a local scrapbook store, so I decided I absolutely needed a baseball cuff bracelet!

One of my baseball cuff bracelets.

One of my baseball cuff bracelets.

I figured they would be difficult to make so I immediately went to Etsy to look for one to buy. I didn’t find any that I liked so I decided I would try to make my own. What I discovered is that the hardest part is deciding how to decorate it.

It really is easy, just follow these steps and then it is up to you to decide how to decorate it.

Step 1:

Purchase a baseball or two. If you want an antique look you can purchase an older one, or simply take one from the kids. Each ball will make two cuffs.

Step 2:

I used my seam ripper to rip out one of the seams all the way around the ball. Once you get one ripped out the other simply comes out as well. I went ahead and removed all the old threading, keep a trash can handy for this process. Peel both pieces off the ball and then you can give the inside to the kids to show what’s inside a baseball, or throw it away. (I got carried away and didn’t take a picture of this step after I separated the two. I was just too excited.)

Step 3:

I had some red embroidery floss in my scrapbook cabinet and pulled it out to use. You can buy it at any craft store and it is super cheap.

red floss

On my first one I used a needle and the floss and simply wrapped it around and through the holes.

Stitching

On the second one I sewed in and out of the holes to give it a stitched look. I just did this by hand with a larger needle that could accommodate the thickness of the embroidery floss.

Stitching 2

Other ideas to try for stitching:

  • Bakers twine (will want to get a good quality because the cheap stuff I had kept shriveling up)
  • Really thin ribbon, make sure to burn the edges so it doesn’t unravel.
  • Thin plastic ribbon that kids use for crafts (I really like this and will probably use it on a future one, not sure what it is called though.)
  • You could skip the stitching and hot glue pearls, sequins, ribbon or anything fun around the edge.

Step 4:

Add your clasps. I used a pony tail holder and a button. Simply sew them into two of the end holes. For the pony tail holder I made sure the loop that was being used was small enough that the button wouldn’t slip through. I also made sure to sew through the pony tail holder a few times to stabilize it so it wouldn’t slip through the threads. I used a baseball hat button for one cuff and a baseball glove button for another. I found my buttons at JoAnn’s Fabrics.

Pony tail holder used for one end of clasp.

Pony tail holder used for one end of clasp.

Baseball hat button used for one clasp.

Here is an image of what the underside will look like at this point.

underside

Step 5:

This is the most difficult part…deciding what to use for decorating your cuff. I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a bunch of stuff. I had also ordered some Baseball Star Bottle Cap Images from Scrapbook.com. These bottle cap images are meant to be used inside the decorative bottle caps. You simply punch them out to the size you want (1″ for this project), glue it into the inside bottom of the cap, then add a 1″ epoxy sticker to the top.

Here are some of the items I purchased.

My stockpile of products purchased to decorate my cuffs.

My stockpile of products purchased to decorate my cuffs.

Step 6:

Once you have chosen your products you will have to decide how best to adhere them to your cuffs. Many of my items were self-adhesive so I just had to stick them on. I used super glue for the items that weren’t self-adhesive. For the brads I was able to punch a hole in the leather with a regular hole punch. For the large baseball in the middle of my blingy cuff I actually stuck it to paper first. It didn’t cover the entire cuff and I didn’t want other things to get stuck to it. I simply stuck it to paper, cut a around the baseball and then used super glue to stick it to the cuff.

Here are my almost finished cuffs.

My first cuff. I used brads on this and a bottle cap decoration.

My first cuff. I used brads on this and a bottle cap decoration.

My "blingy" cuff.

My “blingy” cuff.

The reason I say almost finished is because there is a Step 7 that I just haven’t completed yet.

Step 7:

Purchase felt in your preferred color. Lay your cuff flat on the felt and draw an outline around the cuff. Remove the cuff from the felt and cut inside the line you have drawn on your felt. You can cut as far in as you want if you plan to have some of the threading show on the underside. Then super glue the felt to the inside of your cuff and make sure all your threads are covered and that the glue is all around the edge. This will make the cuff more comfortable to wear and will also help in the prevention of thread fraying.

Good luck and I hope this helps you. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Happy baseball season to all!

A Brat Helps the Flu

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It has been a rough week for me, starting out with the stomach flu on Tuesday, continuing into Wednesday, and still on Sunday I can’t eat much of anything. While this is good for my weight loss attempts (lost 4 pounds so far), it makes for a non-productive weekend since I have no energy because I have no appetite.

As a child you were always told to eat soup, dry toast and clear sodas when you have the flu. I have attempted this and still no luck, everything I eat makes me feel like somebody has punched me in the stomach 20 times. I decided to Google my issue of still not feeling well and not having an appetite days after the stomach flu has passed. Apparently this is quite common and I read that B.R.A.T. is what I should stick to. While my husband probably thinks I am a brat when I don’t feel well, I wasn’t sure what B.R.A.T. was so I had to further investigate.

B-Bananas
R-Rice
A-Apples
T-Toast

This is what they recommend, very bland foods, to eat after you have had the stomach flu. This is all news to me but I thought I would try it out, and so far so good. It allows me to eat something, although I can’t eat much of any of these, but they don’t upset my stomach like other foods I have tried (including the traditional chicken noodle soup).

Since I know many others that are going through the same issue, or have children dealing with this, I thought I would share my research in hopes it might help others.

Wishing you all a flu-free home.

Family Christmas Gift Ideas

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We all know Christmas can get expensive, so one thing I like to do is buy a couples gift or a family gift. Couples gifts usually aren’t too hard, but family gifts can be difficult, especially if the children have a wide age range.

I began buying family gifts for my sister’s family about three years ago, right around the time baby number four arrived. Because of the age range of the children, 12 down to 3, and mixture of boys and girls, the decision of what to buy hasn’t been very easy. When I would go online to look for ideas and search family gifts, I would get ideas that would cost hundreds of dollars, or the ideas that were more for couples and not families. Because of this, I have decided to share a few of my the ideas I have had in time for you to stock up on Black Friday.

The first year, I bought my sister’s family the same snow cone machine we had been using for several years. This machine has held up for many years in our house, including the making of more than 20 snow cones at a time at birthday and holiday parties. This snow cone machine is the same style that I bought, but a different brand.

Last year, I bought them an ice cream maker upon request. This is always a great gift for a family!

I already have chosen the item for this year, but I can’t reveal it here! So, you decide what you think they will get this year, and hopefully you will find some ideas of your own.

Game On
If it is a family that you visit a lot, you can scope out their collection of board games and make a board game basket of ones that they don’t have. Black Friday sales are a great place to pick up some of the classics such as Candy Land, UNO, Chutes and Ladders, etc. If it is a family that travels, buy the travel versions to keep the kids entertained.

Organize It
My one child has a way of taking over my car, so a family with multiple children can always use some organizing, and with Thirty-One gifts, you can personalize it for even more fun. The Large Utility Tote is perfect for organizing jackets, blankets, toys, etc. in the trunk or back of a van or SUV. The Uptown Jewelry Bag has many uses, including organizing small items for the car like crayons, cards, Band-Aids, tissues, ear buds and more. The best part, it has a clasp that allows you to hook it around the back of a headrest for easy access.

Healthy Frozen Fun
The Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma is a good gift for families, producing sweet frozen treats in less than 15 minutes. You can make popsicles all on your own, including healthy ones with fresh fruit, yogurt, or mix up the colors with some different flavors of Kool-Aid. The great thing about this, you can purchase accessories for it for years to come, my personal favorite is the chocolate station. Plus, it comes it a variety of fun colors!

Food Fun
I probably would have been more willing to cook as a child if there had been such fun cooking utensils as there are today. You can find fun aprons, colorful measuring cups, fun-shaped spatulas, and kids cook books in a variety of places and prices. I have recently seen them at TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Home Goods, kitchen stores, even craft stores like Jo-Anns and Hobby Lobby. Collect these items throughout the year when you find them and grab a cute basket to put them all in. If the family really enjoys this, maybe the next year can be a gift certificate for cooking classes.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Is there one activity center, zoo, or museum that this family enjoys visiting? If so, buy them a season pass to enjoy the gift all year round. If they always get their own season passes, why not purchase some gift certificates for eateries or buy them tickets for an upcoming special event or exhibit.

New to Town
If the family has recently moved to a new city, purchase them tickets to a local fun place, or a city tour. I am a big fan of experiential gifts because these help to build family memories that last forever.

The Family that Plays Together
Encourage families to spend time together, away from electronics, by purchasing lessons or passes to a local sports facility or gym. The entire family can enjoy tennis or golf lessons, something that will keep them playing together for years to come. If this is out of your price range, why not try for a set of yard games. These sets are available in a variety of games and prices at Wal-Mart, Target and other sports stores.

Movie Night
We have family movie night a couple of times each month, as do many families. Why not purchase some movies for the family, then include their favorite movie theater candies with some microwave popcorn. Or, purchase a fun popcorn popper and a mixture of colorful popcorn and a vareity of flavorful seasonings.

These are just a few ideas for family gifts. So, Katherine, if you are reading this, you can put them in order of what year you would like to receive them!

Happy shopping and have a safe Thanksgiving Day!

Crockpot Parmesan Ranch Mushrooms – Pinterest Review

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I am always trying recipes and projects that I find on Pinterest. Sometimes they turn out successfully, sometimes there are items/ingredients missing, sometimes I don’t think there is any way that the person could physically manage to make these items. One of my friends suggested that I start blogging about my experiences, so here is my first Pinterest pin review.

I just tried this recipe for Crockpot Parmesan Ranch Mushrooms for a work luncheon today. They were tasty but even better, they were super easy to make! I bought four containers of whole snow cap mushrooms, cut them in half, threw in two sticks of butter, one packet of powder ranch dressing, and about a half a cup of Parmesan cheese all into the Crockpot, threw on the lid and turned it on. I started with it on high for about an hour, then turned it to low for about 2 more hours.

I had about a cup of leftover mushrooms so I brought them home and used them as the base for a chicken pasta dish. I simply added some additional frozen veggies to the mushrooms in a pan, sauteed them with some already cooked chicken breast, then poured it over some bowtie pasta for a simple and tasty dinner.

This was a definite success and one that I will keep on my Pinterest board to make in the future!

From Old to New

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There is a new flea market in town, well, not a true flea market, but something that calls itself a flea market! Me being me, I had to check it out. I was beginning to think I had wasted the last 10 minutes of my life walking around when I looked down and saw this amazingly horrible, homemade cabinet!

Decoupage cabinet from flea market.

Decoupage cabinet from flea market.

Something about it struck me as having some potential if I could only get all that decoupaged image off the front. My mind immediately went to an image I had seen on Pinterest a few days before and I thought it would work perfectly for this cabinet.

My son insisted on helping me remove the decoupage image, after an hour scraping, wiping, and more scraping, we finally had the image off. The downside, the image had left quite a bit of discoloring on the wood, and the texture was more coarse than I originally had thought. It was time to rethink my original concept for this.

After stewing over it for a bit, I decided the texture could add personality to it, so I went on my hunt for the right paint colors.

After lots of layers of paint (the wood wouldn’t hold the color very well), I was finally finished and loved the end result. The best part, the inside is a fun shade of ocean blue so when you open the cabinet door you get a burst of color.

Now, I just have to figure out where I can put this magnificent little piece.

A bit of surprise color inside.

A bit of surprise color inside.

The cabinet after some scraping and paint.

The cabinet after some scraping and paint.

Beautiful Structure

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I was at yet another over-priced thrift/antique store when I saw this amazing bench sitting next to a pile of antique toys.

This is the bench that I am referring to:

This was my $5 bench before.

This was my $5 bench before.

What, not what you were expecting?

I know, but something about this bench drew me in, and the $5 price tag helped draw me in more.

Here is the crazy side to me, I walked away from it and left the store. As the day continued I just kept thinking about that crazy little bench. The shop was supposed to stay open until 5 p.m., but when I arrived at 4:45 it was already closed. I was saddened by this, but saw the store still had it.

The next day I worried all morning that somebody else was going to get my bench before me, but when I went back to the store on my lunch hour it was still there.

I got the bench home and my husband told me to go get my $5 back. The bench was not stable, the cushion was rotting and it was scratched in multiple places.

After a bit of spray paint, some wood glue to stabilize it, and a new cushion and cover, here is the end result.

My $5 bench after.

My $5 bench after.

I think it was $5 well invested!

A Stay at Somewhere Inn Time

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What better of a way to spend a weekend then with friends, wine and good food. Oh, and a comfy bed to sleep in at the end of the night  doesn’t hurt either.

For a 2011 Christmas present my husband and I received a gift certificate to a bed and breakfast in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. After searching TripAdvisor for a place with good reviews, my mother bought us the certificate for Somewhere Inn Time.

The hubby and I left one night after work to drive to Ste. Genevieve, about three hours away. After arriving around 8:30 at night, we were welcomed by Gary and Mary Scheel.  This was my third time to stay in a B&B and my husband’s second. We had rented Arthur’s Cottage which was actually a small building outside of the house behind the pool.

We quickly settled in and turned on some movies we had picked up from a Red Box on the way. The room we selected did not have satellite or cable, but that was clearly explained on the website so we came prepared.

With the room being separate from the house it was a bit on the chilly side, but there are several heaters in addition to the large one, including a small portable fireplace. The fireplace provided a nice ambience to the comfortable room.

With plenty of pillows and blankets, we slept well and awoke refreshed and ready to enjoy the day. We  enjoyed an excellent breakfast of pumpkin and walnut pancakes, locally raised sausage, and a fruit and yogurt parfait. Just a word to the wise, you don’t get your food until your fruit is finished. This became a joke during our stay when Gary commented that when we finished with our fruit we would get our pancakes.

Some long time friends then met us and we went on our days adventures. A separate blog will follow with the adventures of the day.

We returned to Somewhere Inn Time later that evening after a light dinner. Even though none of us were hungry, we were all very tempted by the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and decided to have a few and chat with the Gary and Mary.  They have a coffee table book with the history of Ste. Genevieve and a photo album with the B&Bs renovation pictures that provided for nice conversation starters.

Our friends had reserved a room in the house, and it was large with two double beds. They had a fireplace and a jetted tub along with television programming and a DVD player. We all slept well that night.

Breakfast the second morning was even better than the first. After finishing our pineapple lightly dusted with coconut shavings, we were able to partake in the main course. We had their specialty breakfast dish which they called a stuffed French Toast. It was very similar to a bread pudding and had blueberries. The servings were so large that I don’t believe anybody was able to clean their plates.

We each went back to our rooms and packed up to return home. We had an excellent time and I have to say that we will definitely return to Somewhere Inn Time in the future.

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