Designer Photo Gallery on a Budget

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I love taking pictures…and, as it turns out, I happen to have some of the cutest grandchildren, ¬†ever. ….. ūüėČ and I also have more cute photos than I know what to do with.

It’s been three years since¬†my daughter moved into her new home. ¬†She has a¬†loooong, beautiful, empty wall in her hallway. There’s¬†at least 15 feet of wall space…the perfect place for a photo gallery!

Buying frames can be hard on a budget…especially if you want to frame a lot at one time. ¬†However, there is a little known secret I’m going to share with you about how I did her whole 15 foot photo gallery and how you can have a designer photo gallery on a budget.

Decide on Wall Space

First thing you’ll need is wall space. ¬†Even tho my daughter has a huge wall for a gallery, a small gallery can be just as impressive. ¬† So, don’t worry if your space is limited. ¬†Find the perfect place in your home and go for it!

Collect an Assortment of Frames

The next thing you’ll need are frames. Many multi-sized frames.

hall-of-fame-frames

We’re doing this on a budget. Right? ¬†Here’s how to saved tons of money on frames. Once I decided to make a gallery, ¬†I began slowly collecting interesting frames to use. My secret:¬†I bought all of the frames I used at Goodwill, Salvation Army and thrift stores. I bought some really nice frames. I bought some old wooden frames. ¬†I bought some down right ugly frames (that had good lines). I bought some beautiful frames. I bought some plastic frames that I’d never hang in my home, least not the way they were. ¬†I bought them because they had good lines or a design that I loved. I’d worry about them being plastic later. ¬†You can find some beautiful frames at very inexpensive prices at thrift stores. So start there.

See the large oval cream colored frame below? It’s cheap, thin plastic..and it was an ugly gold color. And it framed an ugly pastel print. Who, might I ask, is going to be touching your frames? So, see, once you frame your beautiful family portrait with it…they will never know.

awesome-frames

It took me a while to collect enough, so go ahead and start making regular trips to your local thrift shops.

Don’t worry about making all the frames match, just yet…Look at the detail and if it’s a look you like we can deal with the color later. ¬†When I saw a frame that looked interesting or in a different size, I grabbed it. If the price bothered me, I didn’t buy it. ¬†The great thing is, you get to decide.

 

Decide on a Color for Your Gallery

A designer gallery requires some cohesiveness. The next thing I did was to paint the frames. My daughter has turquoise in her home and I wanted a color that carried that theme down the hall.

You decide what color you want for your gallery.¬†¬†Some use all gold frames, or only black or only silver. Or you may want to spray paint them all one color, say for a child’s room, like royal blue or red. You may want them to be dark stained wood. Whatever works in your space….there is no right or wrong color. You just want them to go together.

Run painter’s tape along the edge before you paint…js

gallery-frames-painted-blue

We wanted a old frenchy looking gallery of aqua-blues with silver and maybe a little gold peeking through.

I painted the frames a pale aqua chalk paint, and sanded them so that they looked old,  with some of the gold showing. They were beautiful.

gallery-frames-blue

After I painted them, ¬†I took several to my daughter’s house and checked to see how they looked in her hallway. What I found was that they were the same color value as her dove gray walls. They wouldn’t have the impact that we were wanting.

So sad..:(

I took them back home and added dark gray to the edges so they would pop off the walls. It worked! I left the blue and added some silver to the details with dark gray on the sides. That solved the problem.

Layout Design on Table or Floor

I find it easier to go ahead and work on your layout for the gallery, on the floor or a tabletop, prior to working on the wall.

Begin by placing your largest frames wherever you’d like them and work from there.

gallery-smalls-layout

I LOVE my tiny little frames.

I decided that my three large frames would be the focal point of the gallery, so I placed them in the center and worked out from there, balancing the size frames on each side, mainly because my daughter likes things balanced.  (I know that having things off balance would drive her nuts. ha!)

gallery-pre-layout

Take a photo with your phone.

Having a photo of my layout made it easier to place frames and/or patterns on the wall. It gave me something to refer to when making placement, because I had already decided what arrangement looked best. I took this photo with me to her house.

This was the beginning of our gallery.

 

Make Pattern of Frame Sizes

Making a pattern of each frame is a great help in arranging the frames on your wall.  Lay frames out on brown paper. You may use brown paper bags or butcher paper. Place them, touching each other and draw a pattern of each one.

gallery-layout-brown-paper gallery-brown-paper

Once the patterns are cut out, ¬†use the paper cut-outs to arrange your “frames” on the wall with painters tape….

gallery-paper-patterns

frames-patterns

….so you won’t have to put holes all over the wall while deciding what goes where. This also makes it easier to make adjustments to your original design.

Counting Frames by Size

gallery-frames-stacked

Next I made a list of how many frames I have in each size.

I had 4 5×5 and 3 8×10…etc.

With this info,  I was able to decide which photos I needed,  in which size.  You may choose to use color photos or  black and white photos or sepia or a combination!

 

Choosing Photos

Once you have your frames painted and the layout decided, it’s time for photos. ¬†There are several criteria I used to decide the pictures for our gallery. You will have your own criteria, ¬†but this will give you an idea of my project.

1.   Have basically an equal number of photos of each child.

2.  Photos from each stage of their lives: baby, toddler, early childhood, middle school, high school.

3.  Family group photos

4.  Photos of kids with each other.

5. ¬†Extended family photos. ¬†(if I don’t run out of frames:)

Most of the photos I have are on my computer, so I made a folder with my favorite photos of each child.

Since I wanted this done yesterday, I uploaded photos to Walmart’s one hour photo lab and chose the sizes I needed. ¬†Easy Peasy. I ordered my photos, put them into the frames and I was ready to go.

odd-frames

Tip on Positioning Frames

***Any photo with small subjects needs to be close to or below eye level.

You may have a small frame with a large subject a little higher because the subject can still be seen. But group photos with lots of small faces need to be at eye level to be enjoyed.

 

Adding Interesting Objects

Lastly, to make the photo gallery more interesting, we added some words that describe the gallery. We chose, “Family”, “Blessed” and “Love.” ¬†I found these at Hobby Lobby for half price. ¬†Another thing I found at Goodwill was a large metal key.

first-frames

Adding Letters

Use initials, empty frames  and any other object of interest to personalize your gallery.

The great thing about a photo gallery is you can change it all along. You may add more, take away some…add seasonal pictures to decorate, like Christmas photos from years past. It can be as large or as small as you like.

jennifers-gallery

I couldn’t stop…..once I got started, ¬†I had so many cute photos…(I told you) ¬†and every time I stopped by a thrift store there would be another frame calling my name….I had to fill the wall completely…..we will worry about where to place the 8 year old’s middle school and high school pictures later… ūüôā

gallery-photos-rt

We are all so happy with the way it turned out. ¬†So what are you waiting for? ¬†Make a folder of your best and cutest photos, start thrift shopping for frames and decide what color is best for ¬†you…

A Designer Photo Gallery on a Budget can be yours in no time at all!

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Bathroom Vanity Make-Over

I’m so happy! We finally finished the vanity for my daughter’s bathroom. And it’s perfect!

PicMonkey vaVanity makeover ad2

When she moved into her new home, the whole bathroom had been renovated,  except there was no vanity.  All Summer she looked for the perfect piece of furniture to use as her bathroom vanity. Finally, she found an old French Provincial dresser, the perfect size. The perfect price.  With a little TLC it really would be a perfect vanity.

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Pictures of Jesus in Genesis Page 5

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Last week I re-posted a long ago post from 2013¬†Pictures of Jesus in Genesis Page 4,¬† because it was my nephew’s wedding day and my post was about a wedding….I decided to go ahead and take the next few weeks to re-post the whole series…since, after all, ¬†it is my favorite…I hope you are as amazed at God’s¬†detailed plan for our salvation as I always am……bless you.

So far¬†we’ve covered 4 pictures of Jesus in our album!

The first week…one of my favorites…we saw how Jesus was there in the beginning when God created the earth. Skeptical? I don’t mind…read this: Here

Week 2 we read about God’s creation and the first thing he did was to create Light. And we know Jesus said HE is the light of the ¬†world…so we have another glimpse of Jesus right at the beginning of creation. Read this and I’ll fill you in: Here

The next week was the first wedding and how Adams relationship with Eve is a portrait of Christ and the church. The most beautiful wedding photos ever:  Here

And last week, we saw the picture of Eve’s being deceived and her husband lowering himself to her level, in order to save her. Here

Brilliant pictures for us…but maybe not so brilliant for those who had no New Testament to compare them with. Still, they’re there. And as we unfold the dusty pages of our album today,¬†we will see what God did as a result of their sin.

As soon as Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened, they knew they were naked and covered themselves with fig leaves. God had said, In the day you eat of the tree you will surely die.”

Before the day ended, in the cool of the evening, God came to visit them.

What do we know about Eden? We know it was perfect, it was lush, it was a place of complete relaxation, no worries, nothing to fear… a place to live…and it belonged to Adam and Eve. Paradise. That’s the word for it. Their every day was Paradise.

Erawan Waterfall, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

But an intruder came into their perfect life and they both fell into sin. Well, they didn’t fall into anything…they chose to believe a lie. And because of them, ¬†death entered the world.

 

This is a picture of all of us. Banished.

Mariotto Albertinelli: Expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise

Mariotto Albertinelli: Expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise

We have choices and we make the wrong ones. We are selfish and demand our own way…and God lets us have it…but out of His eternal love for us, He provides a way for us, to once again return to Him. The first picture we have of God’s eternal plan for the salvation of man is seen right here, in the Garden, with Adam and Eve, on the very day they sinned.

On day one, God showed mankind what they would have to do to approach Him.

 He made garments out of skins and clothed them.    

That’s what it says.

A library full of books could be written on that one line.

Adam and Eve lived in a picture perfect world. They had never seen so much as a leaf fall to the ground and die. But on this day, God made the first sacrifice for sin…a foretelling of an event that was to come. Something had to die in order for their ‘sin’ to be ‘covered.’

Adam and Eve had never seen death. The had never seen anything to compared to this. At once, they understood the gravity of what they had done. Something gave its life so they could live. And this should resonate in the heart of all believers:

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†God himself provided the sacrifice. He ‘covered’ their sin.

It was a picture. As time went on the picture became more and more clear…but it still wasn’t perfectly clear, ¬†even after the death of Jesus. The disciples who walked and talked with him daily, ¬†still had no clue how all of this related to their Messiah. They were confused. After Jesus died they were in utter dismay. ¬†Expecting a King to free them from the tyranny of Rome…they didn’t understand that the Messiah had to die.

But the scripture tells us…after the resurrection Jesus met them on the road to Emmaus ¬†and Jesus beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them all the scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:27 Jesus began with the very scriptures WE are studying and explained how they were all pictures of Him!

There are two pictures in the Old testament of the coming Messiah. One a conquering King…the other, mostly overlooked…a suffering servant ( Isaiah 53). Jesus came as the servant to suffer and die for the sin of the whole world. And He rose from the dead.

My husband asked me: “Do you know why Jesus rose from the dead?” ¬†Ok, I’ll play along… “No, why?” ¬†“Because the wages of sin is death and Jesus never sinned, so death couldn’t hold him”……wow….. just wow.

God Gives Adam a Glimpse of His Plan

God pronounced the curse on mankind for their disobedience. But before He pronounced the curse…He gave them hope. He gave us another significant picture of something to come in the future…speaking to satan, God said:

” I will put enmity between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.”

It is significant that God spoke of satan’s seed…..and Eve’s seed. The first indication of a virgin birth. All other places in the Bible, ¬†offspring, are referred to as the seed of man. But THIS particular seed will be the seed of Woman. Eve’s seed, the seed of woman, ¬†will redeem the world of sin. And then God pronounced the curse and they were banished from the garden.

I heard a well known preacher say he didn’t think Adam and Eve were saved. Well, I respectfully disagree. I’ll tell you why next week.

Roasted Beef Bone Broth

roasted beef bone broth ad

It was¬†the last week before school starts back. ¬†I’d been helping my daughter with her children’s last minute needs, as she worked to get her classroom ready for Open House on Thursday and Kindergarteners on Friday.

Last week I put up 8 bushels of white acre peas, made 5 makings of my meatball recipe to freeze, painted and worked in my daughter’s house, marbleized her vanity top….which I will be posting about soon… and ordered her sink which came in 3 days! They install it tomorrow and we can’t wait!

In the midst of all this, ¬†was a little discussion on a Facebook page about bone broth…and mainly about chicken feet bone broth. yikes. Some commented how unpleasant it sounded, but there’s lots of great nutritional value to be found in those little toes….Of course, you have to clean them and peel the skin off, so that leaves the feet clean and very nutritious addition to a pot of bone broth.

I’ve yet to have the pleasure of using chicken feet… ūüėČ

As all this was being discussed, I had to make room for all my peas in my little bitty freezer. I came across some beef bones I had used before and froze to use again, that were in my way. ¬† I decided to make a new pot of Roasted Beef Bone Broth and that’s when someone asked for the recipe and I realized I had never actually posted it……I said all of that to say this: here you go. Roasted Beef Bone Broth.

Roasted Beef Bone Broth is so good and so nice to have on hand for a warm cup of broth and to use in all sorts of soups and sauces.

I found a butcher who was nice enough to help me with my bones. He cut them into about one inch pieces. I brought them home and placed them on a baking sheet.

beef bone broth tray

I  roasted beef bones for 45 minutes at 400*.

beef bone broth roasted

After roasting, remove the bones to a stock pot and the fat (tallow) will be rendered and  left in the pan.

tallow

Save it to cook with!

beef tallow

I had 2 pints of tallow.   The picture below shows one pint cooled, the other, still hot. I store it in my refrigerator and use it to cook with.

tallow hot and cold

Once the bones are roasted, add bones to a large stock pot.

beef bone broth full

Cover bones with water, Apple Cider Vinegar and Sea salt. Allow to stand about an hour. then proceed with recipe.

Bone Broth beef pot

Add celery, onion, carrots, garlic, pepper, egg shells (great calcium) and simmer very gently for 18-24 hours. Yes, you may cook over low heat in a crock pot.

bone broth beef veggies

Strain and cool. Remove fat on top. Ladle into jars to freeze (be sure to leave an inch for expansion in the freezer)  or into a container to store in fridge. It will keep about 2 weeks in fridge.

The next day, after it is completely cooled… this is what you want. This is the goody.

beef bone broth congealed

Congealed broth is full of collagen and tons of minerals needed by our bodies for optimal health. You can read my post on the benefits of bone broth here, which include reducing inflammation, symptoms of arthritis and reducing joint pain, not to mention,  promoting healthy hair, strong bones and nails. But one of the best reasons to include Bone Broth in your diet is its ability to heal a leaky gut which is the root cause of many autoimmune diseases.

If your broth doesn’t congeal quite to this degree, never fear. It still has great nutritional value that exceeds anything store bought. ¬†Just remember….This is the goal. ūüôā

To serve,  season with salt, pepper and your favorite herbs or/and seasonings and enjoy a cup of broth.

bone broth cup

Or use bone broth to make soup….¬†French Onion Soup¬†is awesome with bone broth. Use your bone broth for¬†sauce or gravy or simply enjoy a cup.

Bone broth may be made with any bones or combination of bones. Here is more info on bone broth on my Easy to Make bone broth recipe.

beef bone broth easy to make

Enjoy!

 

Roasted Beef Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • Raw Beef Bones (5-10 pounds bones) or more:)
  • 2 -3 TBLS Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs)
  • 1 TBLS Sea Salt
  • 1 TBLS Peppercorns
  • 2 large onions coarsely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks coarsely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, quartered
  • 1-2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Your choice of Seasoning salt, salt, pepper, spices, herbs

Instructions

  1. Place bones on a shallow roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes in a 400* oven.
  2. Remove pan of bones from oven.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, spoon bones into 6 quart Stock Pot. (Or your large stock pot)
  4. (The roasting pan will have a good amount tallow which you can pour up, once cooled, into jars to use for cooking.)
  5. Cover bones in 6 quart stock pot with water.
  6. Add onions, celery, garlic, carrots, bay leaves
  7. After simmering 4-5 hours I usually remove vegetables with a slotted spoon: carrots/celery/onion/bay leaves and continue to cook.
  8. Simmer bones, on the lowest heat, in broth 18-24 hours
  9. Allow to cool in pot. Add seasoning herbs now, to steep as it cools, if you like, or wait and season by the cup or recipe.
  10. Once cooled, strain through a sieve and pour into freezer containers or jars to freeze or refrigerate.
  11. Season with salt and pepper and/or seasoning salt or herbs
  12. Delicious by the cup... or use in soups, sauces, and gravies.
  13. Incorporating bone broth into your family's diet is beneficial for everyones health.
  14. **May be cooked in a slow cooker.
  15. **I turn my stove all the way down to the lowest temp, so that it is barely simmering. This is especially important at night. Rarely, do I add more water.
  16. **The bones may be cooled and either frozen until you are ready to make another batch or go ahead and start another batch with same bones and new vegetables. Bones are good until they are soft. You may add various other bones to this recipe: lamb, oxtail, pork etc.
  17. Enjoy.
http://joytomyheart.com/roasted-beef-bone-broth/

 

 

Pictures of Jesus in Genesis Page 4

really old book isolated on white background.

My nephew is getting married later today. ¬†It’s Saturday morning and I stumbled upon this old post I had¬†written three years ago, to the day….about another beautiful wedding……I took it as a sign that I should¬†share¬†it again…This post is part of a series about pictures of Jesus in Genesis, one of my favorite topics. ¬†I hope you enjoy and have a blessed Sunday.

Did you know that Adam laid down his life for his wife?¬† Sound familiar? Of course it does. We know that Jesus laid down his life for our sin. ¬†And we’re looking for pictures of Jesus in Genesis… [Read more…]

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream

About¬†5 years ago, I stumbled upon a Sea Salt Caramel gelato. I fell in love. My daughter’s birthday that year sent me on a search for a salted caramel ice cream recipe I could make for her celebration.

                          devils food cake jennifer

I found one, tried it and it was very similar to my favorite gelato.  A few tweaks later, along with the addition of pecans, made it next to perfection.

Our favorite home Churned Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream was born.

This recipe is one to add to your Bucket List of Ice Cream recipes to try…..

You do have a homemade ice cream bucket list, don’t you? ūüôā

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream ad

To begin with, if I’m churning ice-cream, ¬†I want to make a whole gallon. I mean, this is work, so I want to make sure I have plenty from the get-go. ¬†I have a 4 quart churn, which BTW I picked up at our local Goodwill Store for a fraction of the retail price…and it was new in the box, never even opened!

4 quarts equals one gallon, incase you’ve forgotten.

The first thing you want to do is measure out all ingredients so everything is ready to go, when needed.

Ready?

Pour 2 cups of milk in a large stainless steel bowl ( I use my Kitchen-Aid large mixing bowl.) Place the bowl of milk in another bowl of icewater. Allow the milk to chill while you make the caramel custard.

Begin by browning the sugar in a HEAVY pan. You must stay with it and watch it, stirring constantly because sugar will burn and you don’t want burnt icecream….who knew that was even possible?

   Salted Caramel Ice cream sugar      salted caramel ice cream sugar cooking

As the sugar heats over med-low heat, it will begin to melt and it may seem to be lumping up but it will melt down and begin to brown and you will have a nice caramel color.

¬† ¬† Also…make sure there are no children in the kitchen. This stuff is¬†Hot!

Cook, stirring constantly, until the¬†sugar is browned. When you begin to see smoke, ever so slightly,¬†IMMEDIATELY ¬†REMOVE ¬†pan¬†from heat and add sea salt (don’t use regular table salt) (mine was coarse sea salt and it was fine) and butter, stirring until melted. ¬†Gradually whisk in cream, stirring constantly. Stir in the other 2 cups of milk. (Not the milk on ice)
salted caramel ice cream browning

salted caramel ice cream browned

salted caramel icecream cooking

salted caramel ice cream milk

Whisk egg yolks.

Very gradually/slowly stir in a small amount, (about a cup) of the caramel mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to incorporate mixture and temper the eggs.

Add the tempered egg mixture back  into the pan with the caramel and cook slowly until the custard reaches 160-170*F  (71-77* C)

salted Caramel Ice Cream eggs        salted caramel ice cream ice cream cool

Pour cooked custard through a sieve and into the bowl of cold milk.

( To be safe, I placed the bowl of cold milk in the sink (lower position) and poured the HOT custard into the bowl, rather than lifting the hot custard above the counter top to pour………………

( actually, I placed it in the sink and had my husband do the pouring )

Next, stir in vanilla, Eagle Brand Milk and chopped pecans.  Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

salted caramel ice cream custard

When ready to churn, pour custard into 4 qt. churn canister and add additional cream (or half n half) to the fill line. Churn according to instruction.

Once the ice cream has finished churning, ¬†allow ice-cream to ‘ripen.’ ¬†To do this: remove dasher from churn and replace lid. Add additional rock salt and ice around canister in¬†churn and cover with dishtowels. Allow to sit (ripen) for at 20-30 minutes. This allows the ice-cream to harden properly.

salted caramel pecan ad

This recipe is so perfect that leftovers can be frozen and the ice cream remains soft enough to easily dip.¬†I save my store bought gelato containers…they came in handy to freeze my very own leftover~ ¬†Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream!

salted caramel leftovers

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream ad

It’s what’s for dessert!

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream

Ingredients

  • **4 Quart Ice Cream Churn**
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons SEA salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted salted pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place 2 cups of milk in a stainless steel bowl (I used my large Kitchen Aid Mixing bowl)
  2. Place bowl of milk into a larger bowl or pan of ice.
  3. Cover ice with water.
  4. Set aside while making Caramel Custard.
  5. Place 3 cups of white granulated sugar in a heavy pan.
  6. Over medium low heat, using a heat resistant spoon, stir sugar as it heats and melts. Watch it and stir constantly as sugar burns easily!
  7. Once it BARELY begins to smoke and has turned a nice medium brown REMOVE from heat IMMEDIATELY
  8. Add Butter and salt, stir to melt
  9. Gradually whisk in cream and then add 2 cups of milk (Not the milk that's over ice)
  10. Whisk eggs yolks in a small bowl
  11. Slowly whisk about 1/2 cup of the caramel mixture to temper the yolks
  12. Add tempered yolks back into the caramel mixture
  13. Continue to cook over med heat until the custard reaches 160*-170* F or 71-77* C
  14. Strain the custard into the chilled milk.
  15. *** for safety, I place the chilled milk in it's bowl in the sink and pour HOT custard into bowl from there, rather than lifting it above the counter and into the bowl***
  16. Add Sweetened Condensed Milk to mixture
  17. Finally, Stir in Pecans and vanilla
  18. Allow to chill in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
  19. Pour mixture into churn and add cream or half N half to the fill line.
  20. Churn according to directions.
  21. Allow ice-cream to ripen for 20-30 minutes for best results
  22. Freezes beautifully, if you want to make ahead.
  23. Garnish with additional chopped, toasted pecans.
  24. Enjoy!
http://joytomyheart.com/salted-caramel-pecan-ice-cream/

Celebrating the Fourth

Did the Fourth of July sneak up on you like it did me? ¬†Where has the month gone? Can you believe June is O-V-E-R? If you’re like me, busy with countless other things, and suddenly you check the calendar and June is gone……Here are¬†some last minute plans for Celebrating¬†the Fourth of July ….Begin with your front door…this Easy-Peasy Patriotic Wreath is a great place to start. ¬†Nothing says “Fourth of July” better than stars and stripes. This little wreath goes together pretty quickly and you can do it in an evening, ¬†watching TV….;)

Yarn wreath closeup

There are two fruit that scream Summertime: Peaches and Watermelon. What better way to begin a celebration than with a bowl of Watermelon Gazpacho. ¬†It takes time to put it together, but¬†Oh.My.Goodness….YUM!

watermelon gazpacho2

But, if you’d prefer a¬†quick dish to include at your cookout try Marinated¬†Cucumber and Tomato Salad. It’s easy and refreshingly delicious!

marinated cucumber and tomato salad

If ¬†hotdogs and hamburgers ¬†sound a little boring this year…..try ¬†Grilled¬†Sriracha Chicken¬†and you can throw a little pineapple on the grill, while you’re at it. ūüôā

grilled sriracha chicken

No matter what kind of meat you decide to grill, Southern¬†Baked Beans¬†with Bourbon are a must! I mean, come on…a cookout without baked beans? and bourbon………..

southern baked beans with bourbon2

There’s no other way to end a¬†Fourth of July celebration than with¬†Homemade Churned Peach Ice-cream. Perfect ending to a perfect cookout. Now, on to the fireworks!

churned peach ice cream3

Even if time has slipped up on you….try one or all of these tried and true recipes for a memorable way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

And everyone ~ Be Safe and Happy Fourth!

 

DIY Picture Frame Wreath

I’ve been on a wreath making binge lately. In the past few weeks I’ve made 9 wreaths with several more planned for next week. ¬†It’s hard for me to choose my favorite wreath. I love all of them. But today I made my most favorite wreath of all….using a picture frame I picked up at Salvation Army!

Picture Frame Wreath3

 

I love finding treasures in thrift shops.¬†¬†Like the amber lamp I found and gave to a friend that matched her¬†brown dining room…the one I mentioned earlier this week in the¬†Trash to Treasure Lamp Makeover.

 

amber

This lamp was only $3.00!!! I couldn’t use it myself, ¬†but I also couldn’t leave it behind. I called my friend, who was thrilled to have it. Here, I had just painted the metal parts an oil rubbed bronze color, for her.

While finding a treasure is fun…what I like even more is the challenge of making something¬†out of something that has seen better days. Trash to Treasure gets my artistic juices flowing. ¬†That’s just what happened when I visited The Salvation Army a few weeks ago. That’s where¬†I found this old picture frame.

jennifers frame wreath before

Now, it didn’t look like this when I found it! It was a cream color, that had yellowed, badly. I forgot to take a before picture….

I painted it light turquoise (above) to match my daughter’s dining room, but ended up painting it¬†a darker turquoise and adding highlights, ¬†so the details of the frame could better be featured.

picture frame wreth dark

jennifers frame wrerath cu accent

These highlights were made with the same paint I used on her lamps.   The highlights are a dusty Aqua.

jennifersframewreathcu

Once I finished that,  I added white highlights to accent the detail even more.

jennifersframewreathhighlight

I love this frame!

jennifersframedwreathwhole

 

For this DIY Picture Frame Wreath project you will need:

Frame of choice

Paints of choice: craft, spray or latex paints or a combo

Sponge brush or paint brush or both

Flowers choice

Hot glue gun

Bow/Ribbon is optional

Find a frame as ornate as you like. If you prefer a plain frame, that works, too.  And then paint it. I spray painted this one, but you could easily paint with craft paint or leftover latex paint.

There are a couple things to decide. If you’d like the details to be featured as light, ¬†then go with a darker paint overall. If you’d like the details to be darker then start with a lighter paint. I wanted my highlights to be light, ¬†so I painted over the lighter turquoise with a darker turquoise.

After it dries,¬†¬†you will want a lighter (or darker if frame is light) color paint to add highlights to show off the detail of your lamp. Or if your lamp is plain it will distress the frame to give it character. If you mess up…it’s just paint. Do it over.

I added white on top of that because there is so much to show off and accent on this frame.

jennifersframewreathhighlights

 Next gather flowers. I found these silk flowers at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. But I have found nice flowers at Walmart and even the Dollar Tree. You just have to be selective.

I use a hot glue gun and I start in the corner with a Hydrangea. That’s where to start arranging your flowers. Cut the stems close to begin…but longer as you go up the frame. And give them space to show off. In other words don;t cram them all so close together you can’t tell them apart.

jennifersframewreathhydrnagea

 Next add other colored flowers, spacing them along the frame.

jennifersframedwreathflowers

Keep adding flowers until you’re happy with the design.

jennifersframedwreathcu

 I added some berries and tiny flowers for filler.

Don’t forget¬†to add leaves in the background.

jennifersframedwreathdoor

…easy as pie.

¬†After you have everything glued into place, ¬†you may consider adding a bow to the bottom…or a ribbon to the top, ¬†to hang it by.

It turned out so pretty, we’re considering using it in a bedroom or living room.

Have fun!

Lamp Makeover: From Trash to Treasure

Jennifer lamp make over ad

I love Goodwill. I ALWAYS find a treasure…..Last week I found this pair of lamps for 8 dollars!. Lamps are one of my FAVORITE things to makeover, too. ūüôā I texted pics to my daughter and told her to look beyond the gold, at the shape and design.¬†Would this be something she’d like in her house? Sometimes it’s hard for people to see what I see…but thankfully, she’s learned to look beyond.

jennifers lamps tall

They were 20 inches tall, ¬†not counting the shade, ¬†which meant they were tall enough to give off good light for the room. I mean, what’s the point of having lamps if they don’t light the room enough?

jennifers lamps paint

She said yes…and I was so happy, because I could see them in her family room. ¬†But, of course, I was going to have to do some work first. ¬†As it turned out, not much, tho.

If you are wanting to makeover a lamp…you may need to prime it first. ¬†(after cleaning any dust and grime off) ¬†I spray lamps with a white primer especially if I’m wanting the color to be true.

But this time, I just went for it. ¬†Always remember, it’s just paint…so, if you make a mistake, just paint over it… You can¬†use spray paint or bottles of craft paints or in this case, I’m used a can of paint I had mixed for another project.

jennifers lamps stripes

Isn’t it amazing what a little paint can do? I used a dusty aqua latex paint leaving some of the gold peeking through my strokes. ¬†Then I went over the swirls with a brighter turquoise. But not too bright.

jennifers lamp gold

One thing you’ll want to do if you paint a lamp, or anything else for that matter, is to follow the shape or design of whatever you’re painting. In this case, my brush followed the path of the swirls. It makes the brush ‘work with you’ and makes life easier, and less messy looking. I like seeing the gold thru the aqua paint. It adds a little character.

After I finished painting the lamp, I painted the base. The base was dark, but dull looking and I wanted to keep them dark. So, I added a dark metallic brown mixed with dark brown to brighten the dull brown. It worked!

jennifers lamps base beforejennifers lamps base finished

See the before…just a dull dark brown. ¬†Below, ¬†I added some dark brown to a bronze metallic ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†paint to make a nice dark, but not dull, brown.

 

BTW: Dark Bronze Metallic Paint is Perfect for Dining Room

A¬†friend of mine wanted a brown dining room, ¬†but she was not happy with any of the brown samples she had tried. She finally gave up and just¬†painted the whole room a brown… but it was lifeless. ¬†She came over frustrated, and asked me to help her pick out the ‘right’ brown… I found a metallic brown for her and the room came to life. ¬†It made all the difference in the world. ¬†It is beautiful and so elegant! ¬†So keep that in mind. ¬†Metallic bronze-brown is beautiful on walls. fyi. …..You’re welcome.

jennifers lamps finish

The last step is to seal the paint with¬†several light coats of polyurethane. Used spray. (You can brush it on if ¬†you prefer) ¬†Allow to dry. ¬†Now they’re ready for shades.

Tip: I like to try on several shades from around my house to see what style looks best on whatever lamp I’m working on. ¬†I decided I liked drum shades best. ¬†Once I decided on the style shade, I checked¬†Pottery Barn to find the shade I wanted. ¬†I wanted a bargain to go with my bargain lamp…. ūüėČ ¬†So after checking around, I found very similar shades on eBay for half the price….Needless to say, I ordered the shades from eBay. ūüôā

jennifers new lamp alone

The lamps look so classy in her living room. They add just enough of her turquoise color to the room without being overwhelming. And the shades are perfect!

jennifers new lamp

My daughter teaches kindergarten and so having a cheerful, colorful home is very fitting. Red and turquoise are so happy. And don’t the lamps look perfect in the room?

 

jennifers lamps makeover

Bright and cheerful is what we’re going for…;)

jennifer new lamp rt

I ¬†love how they turned out….It’s a far cry from how they began!

Next time you’re in the market for new lamps remember to check out your local GoodWill, Salvation Army and thrift stores. You’ll be surprised at the deals you can find. And with a little TLC (and paint), create a one of a kind decorating statement. Love…

Jennifer lamp make over ad

 

New Creation aka Poppy Lamp

I posted this 3 years ago but thought it worthy of sharing again….. ¬†There’s a powerful lesson here and I needed to read it again…Maybe you do, too.

I hope you have a blessed Sunday!

Behold I make all things new. That is an amazing truth in the Bible. The truth that when a person accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal savior…all the things we ever did in the past are completely forgiven. And we become a new creation.

The old is passed away and we are a new, totally forgiven person. While some of us….all of us….continue to make mistakes and sin against ourselves, others and God, it’s comforting to know that along with our salvation comes the right to approach God for forgiveness.

I was confronted last week with the realization that I had been less than forgiving of someone I ran into from my past. I hadn’t seen this man for years but I knew back then that he had been horrible to his wife. Abusive. Horribly abusive.¬†¬† He had done things, that in my opinion, ¬†were absolutley unforgivable and inexcusable!

And when I saw him, ¬†I was visiting a church and he was¬†leading the singing! ¬† Honestly, I just couldn’t believe he had the nerve to even accept such an honorable position! IN A CHURCH no less!¬† This came to my mind several times over the past few months and I continued to be¬†apalled.

And last week it suddenly hit me. I’ve done things that were wrong. I knew better and yet in moments of weakness gave in to sin. Things I’m ashamed of. And I have asked the Lord to forgive me of my transgressions and I know He has.

And yet, people who know of my sin may not know that I have repented of them and been forgiven. They may even look at me and think who does she think she is?  Just as I was doing this man! Oh my goodness.

That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. The truth is, that man has obviously¬†repented and here a I am judging him.¬†I’m not privy to his heart¬†nor his¬†most personal life. Just as others are not privy to mine.

The revelation I recieved from all of this is that, we are not to judge others. I know I am stating the obvious, but how easy it is to see someone and think back to what they were back then….when we don’t know what the Lord has brought them through and to.

In fact, to be Christians we are to extend MERCY to others because we ourselves are in such dire need of it.  So, I repented. I asked the Lord to forgive my arrogance and pride.

I understand the apostle Paul’s heartfelt cry when he said he was the chiefest of all sinners! I can so relate. I know I’m in need of his mercy and therfore I must extend it to everyone,¬†even to¬†those whose hearts I know not.

Oh, but this post¬†is about a lamp…my little new creation…. It in no way compares to God’s gift to us when we are saved. But in some small way it shows how we have so much potential to be so much more than the people who ‘knew us before’ could ever have imagined.

I hope you get my drift….

This is the lamp I found in an old thrift shop. It’s seen better days and its owners obviously thought it had nothing left of value and it was discarded.

Isn’t that how we are before God steps in and says “I see¬†potential in you.”

lamp before - Copy (2)

I took my daughter with me to see the lamp I had found. I thought it would look great in her den.  She had a hard time seeing any virtue in the old thing.

I said, “You’re just going to have to trust me.”

jennys lamp before - Copy

I primed it, covered all the blemished and made it whiter than snow…..ummm ~ what an interesting concept.

lamp base primed

Her den is green with red sofa and so I decided to paint the back ground green and somehow create poppies in some of the indentions….

Isn’t that the way we are? We can’t see anything but our shortcomings and can’t see past them to what we could be.

If we could just figure out a way to release our potential to someone who could do something with us……hummm… you do see¬†the poppies ~¬†don’t you?

lamp base painted green

lamp base flowers - Copy (2)

I thought of the lines in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts’ character “Vivian” gives her friend “Kit” some money because “You’ve got potential” and then later that same¬†friend gives some of the money to her friend because “you got potential.”

That’s what God says about each and everyone of us. He takes us as we are or as we have made ourselves….a plu-perfect mess and feeling worthless and God says “You’ve got potential.”

And even tho we may not want to believe it or we can’t see it, there’s someone who sees the potential in us….after all…This is the Creator who made the world out of nothing…surely he can make something out of you and me.

God says “Trust me, you’ve got potential.”

jennifers lamp

I bought a new shade and ¬†painted a new finial to match. ¬†My husband put a new switch on and rewired it….

My daughter claims she had faith in me all along…. ūüôā

Who knew life lessons could be learned from something as mundane as a lamp make-over.?

My lesson for this week….I will look beyond what I can see and find the potential in others…and I will extend mercy to all.¬† Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy!

So dear reader, ¬†remember that Someone far greater than¬†me has already made it loud and clear He thinks you are more than worth it….In His eyes You have GREAT POTENTIAL! He who makes all things new can make something awesome out of you….just Trust Him.

jennifers poppy lamp makeover

I pray your day and the coming week is blessed and that the Lord himself will show you just how¬†much potential He sees in you….warts and all.

Vintage Lamp Makeover

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