Polka-Dot Initial Mugs

DIY, Entertaining, Holiday, Paint, Pinterest, Silhouette

Apply the sticker to a basic white mug

The crafting bug bit Fanny and she presented me with a Pinterest project she wanted to create. Fanny decided we were going to make polka-dot initial mugs for each of her employees. I am always game to try a new Pinterest project.



Use oil based paint pens to decorate the mugs


  • Ceramic Mug (Fanny purchased these white mugs at Dollar Tree)
  • Sharpie oil-based paint pens
  • Initial stickers (I used my Silhouette to cut the necessary initials on Oracal 631 removable vinyl. If using regular stickers, Michaels suggests first placing the stickers on a piece of fabric to make them removable from the mug.)



Decorating the first mug

Time to Decorate:

  1. Place initial sticker on mug
  2. Press the pen on the mug to create dots. The tighter the placement of dots, the more the letter will be defined
  3. Use additional colors to add more dots
  4. Allow the paint to dry for about a minute before removing the sticker
  5. Bake the mugs to make the paint dishwasher safe. General consensus on Al Gore’s Internet is to place the mugs in the oven, warm it to 350, bake for 35 minutes once the oven is heated, then let cool in the oven. Note: The paint color will slightly lighten after baking.
  6. Enjoy!



Bake at 350 for 35 minutes

The little kids had a blast decorating the extra mugs. It is beautiful to see 1st graders exercise their creative spirit. When will they be old enough to learn how to use the sander?




A one-of-a-kind Rose creation


10 Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin without Carving

DIY, Holiday, Paint, Pinterest

It is now pumpkin season! See that, it’s October 1st. October is pumpkin season. My family will soon be decorating our pumpkins.

Here is my list from the Interwebs of the best ways decorate your pumpkins this October (without carving):

  1. Glittered pumpkins by HGTV

    Glittered pumpkins by HGTV

    Glittered Pumpkins- If you have little girls, you already have glitter all over your house. Why not add some to your pumpkins? A girl can never have too much glitter.

  2. Duck Tape– Seriously? Is there anything that can’t be done with Duck Tape?
  3. Monogramed Pumpkin– Classy. I love it.
  4. Pumpkin by crafty morning.com

    Melted Crayon Pumpkin by craftymorning.com

    Melted Crayons– I think melted crayons on canvas are so beautiful (I’m a simple girl at heart); melted crayons on a pumpkin…even cooler!

  5. Decoupage– I was sold as soon as I saw Mod Podge as a required material.
  6. Gold! – Oh yeah. How can you go wrong with a gold pumpkin? This would be gorgeous on a table top with assorted shapes and sizes of those silly little decorative gourds.
  7. Pumpkin by unoriginal mom.com

    Glitter Monogram Pumpkin by unoriginal mom.com

    Glitter and a Monogram– I think I’m in love.

  8. Chalk Paint Pumpkins– These pumpkins exude rustic elegance.
  9. Boo-tiful Button Pumpkin – I am in awe of the creativity that some people possess. Buttons glued on a pumpkin to spell “Boo”. Genius.
  10. Choose your own adventure. Follow these simple steps to prep your pumpkin prior to painting. Our family followed these steps last year and had a blast. We painted the pumpkins white and black for a the base and used assorted metallic tones for details. I tied burlap and glitter ribbons on half of the pumpkins for a little extra pizazz.

So many amazing options! I can’t decide which one to choose this year.

Chalk Paint Pumpkins by percfectlyimperfectblog.com

Chalk Paint Pumpkins by percfectlyimperfectblog.com

Pumpkin by

Monogram Pumpkin by radiobutlers.blogspot.com

Pumpkin by bhg.com

Button-Boo Pumpkin by bhg.com

Youth Group Blessings Board

Barn Wood, Pinterest, Quotes, Reclaimed
Bible verses on canvas

Bible verses on canvas

I believe that God gives us all talents and calls upon us at different times to use them. 1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” I recently was asked to help lead the 8th grade Wednesday night youth group. I was nervous and excited at the same time. The theme of the group is “Every Day God Experiences” and I felt a calling to help the 8th graders, including Rae, acknowledge and see the presence of God in their life.

The 8th grade meeting room is at the beginning stages of a remodel. The walls have been painted, but lack artwork. I knew I could easily paint canvas with bible verses, which I did, but I wanted something more. After reading the lesson plans, reviewing notes from my own prayer classes, and a little Pinterest research, I was compelled to make a Blessing Board.

Staple the twine to create a zig-zag pattern

Staple the twine to create a zig-zag pattern

With the support of our Youth Director, I put Mr. R&R to work constructing a frame for the board. He used reclaimed trim to construct a large frame. The corners were attached with wood glue and re-enforced with staples. Next was my turn to use the staple gun; I stapled twine to the back of the frame to create a random zig-zag pattern. I screwed hooks to the front of the frame to holds bags containing small clothespins and scraps of colorful paper.

This made my heart happy.

This made my heart happy.

The Blessings Board was introduced this past Wednesday. At the end of the night, the 8th graders where asked to write down, anonymously, when they felt the presence of God that day or simply, a blessing of the day. The responses were beautiful and filled my heart. The activity will be repeated each week and I look forward to seeing the blessings of God fill the board.

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above”

Blessings Board

Blessings Board

Wine Bottle Photo Frames

Photos, Pinterest

Long Lake, MN The photo for my bottle.

Long Lake, MN
The photo for my bottle.

Have a great holiday weekend! I’m already at the cabin to celebrate America’s birthday.

My friends know me well and constantly send me pins for inspiration. After a night of casual drinks with friends, Mrs. Keto sent me a pin to use an empty wine bottle to display a photo.  For the record, she helped finished the bottle too. I didn’t want the empty bottle to go to waste, so I had no option but to create my own wine bottle photo display.
My BFF Fanny is not a “crafty” person. I was blessed to have her all to myself for a whole weekend and I used the opportunity to make her craft with me. The wine bottle project didn’t involve a glue gun and she was looking for excuses to avoid completing her grad school homework, so….she became a crafter!

Photo rolled up to insert in bottle

Photo rolled up to insert in bottle

The original pin used sand and small shells in the bottom of the bottle and a seashell attached to the cork. I haven’t lived at the beach in over 15 years (man, I’m getting old), so that part didn’t jive with me. Wood shavings and sticks, on the other hand, are right up my alley. The picture I selected is a view of Long Lake in Minnesota, the backdrop of my wedding ceremony with Mr. R&R. I ignored the direction to print the picture on regular paper, not photo paper. Once the photo was rolled up to fit in the bottle, Fanny had a heck of a time unrolling it.  She used long wooden kabob skewers to try rolling it. The next hurdle in our custom bottle is that wood shavings are not as heavy as sand to hold a photo in place. Fanny has the genius idea to remove the wood shavings and add popcorn kernels to add weight to unroll the photo.

Wood shavings for bottle filler

Wood shavings for bottle filler

Fanny went back to homework and I did yardwork while we crossed our fingers and waited for the popcorn kernels to work their magic. Patience and ingenuity paid off. Fanny removed the kernels and replaced them with the wood shavings. Since I was cutting up sticks in the yard, I cut a piece hoping it fit the wine bottle opening. It was the perfect size!

The finished product!

The finished product!

As Fanny would say, the project and our afternoon together were “fantastic”.

Patriotic Silverware

DIY, Facelift, Paint, Pinterest

Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off of summer, but more importantly, a day to remember and honor Americans who have died while serving our country.  Similar to other summer Federal Holidays,  4th of July and Labor Day, most Memorial Day parties are adorned in red, white, and blue. In addition to hanging your American flag, bring these colors to your kitchen, or backyard party, with painted patriotic silverware.

Painters tape to mark the line

Painters tape to mark the line

I had an impromptu visit from Goodie the other night and to show my gratitude for her visit, I handed her a pile of garage sale silverware and painters tape. While I made dinner, she made easy work of applying the tape. To create uniform lines of where the paint would be applied, Goodie used a natural indention in the cutlery to serve as her mark to apply the tape.

Little helping hands applying paint

After dinner, Rose and Little Girl Goodie were delighted to assist in the painting of the silverware. Each girl, and Goodie too, was given a bowl with a specific color of acrylic paint, a foam brush, and a set number of pieces to paint. Since we were painting a set of 8 (not easily divided by 3), we chose to paint 3 red, 3 blue, and 2 white.  Glasses were arranged in the middle of the table over newspaper to hold the utensils while drying. The little girls were ready to play after one coat of paint and shockingly, as the one person not painting, I was covered in more paint than the little girls.

Oops! Painted the wrong end.

Oops! Painted the wrong end.

Waiting for paint to dry.

Over the next day, I applied three more coats of paint.  I was beginning to regret not using spray paint for easier application, but I already owned red, white, and blue acrylic paint before I started this project. One blogger suggested using poly as a sealant and another suggested using acrylic sealer. I owned neither and took a chance on Valspar clear lacquer spray paint. 

Clear lacquer paint for a protective finish.

The jury is still out as to whether these pieces will survive the dishwasher.  I was unable to find conclusive evidence during my online research.  I did apply heat from the hairdryer to help “cure” the paints. After I test out my patriotic silverware this holiday weekend, I’ll let you know how they fared in the dishwasher. (Note: I put a fork in the dishwasher last night and the paint was still on this morning, but I recommend hand-washing).

God Bless America. 

Misadventures of Pinterest Flower Making

DIY, Pinterest

My uncle is a master florist. I am not. I can’t even remember the names of the flowers in my yard. That being said, I love the peaceful feeling that washes over me when I see flowers. Mr. R&R on the other hand, gets watery eyes when he walks in the floral shop. While spending/wasting time on Pinterest, I found what I believed to be a fair compromise–flower bouquets made from old sewing patterns. I could channel my uncle’s floral creativity and Mr. R&R would have clear eyes. 

Sewing patterns- garage sale finds

 Rae and I went to work. We took our 25¢ garage sale bargain sewing patterns and cut them into six 7-inch squares, per the seemingly simple instructions I pinned. Folding the pattern accordion-style six times was easy enough as was cutting the ends to created rounded flower petals.

How tight is tight?

How tight is tight?

Step 2 instructed us to “tightly twist a wire floral stem around the center of the rectangle”. How tight is tight? We tried loosely-tight and tight-tight. I still don’t know the correct answer. The accordion-folded paper with the sorta-tight wire in the middle now needed to be pulled apart layer by layer to reveal a beautiful blossoming flower.

A flower "blossom"

A flat flower “blossom”

After my first attempt at Step 3, I was ready to throw all of our work in the trash. Rae and I persevered and managed to create 6 flowers yet none of them looked like a beautiful round blossom. The “flowers”, and I use the term loosely, were more visually pleasing when we bunched them together in a pot, secured by floral foam.

Finally, a floral bouquet!

I shared my frustration with my mother and she suggested I try making the peony-style paper flowers she had seen on Pinterest. I refuse to be a quitter so Rae and I went after it again with the assistance of Rose (she is named after a flower, surely she could help us). I did deviate from the true instructions because I was not using coffee filters, but a combination of sewing patterns and tissue paper. The instructions are “simply” to:

  1. Cut ten pieces of “paper” (or use coffee filters)

  2. Snowflake style, make pointed edges on two sheets of paper 

  3. Make rounded edges on the others eight sheets

  4. Stack the petals 

  5. Push floral wire through the layers in the middle. Easier said than done. My wire did not easily poke through the 10 layers.  I struggled a lot with this step causing Rose to give up and start a dance party.

  6. Wrinkle the petals and shape into a flower. Again, I use the term “flower” loosely. When I finally finished the first peony, Rae was exhausted as well and joined the dance party.

    Paper peonies

The girls and I don’t intend to make any more flowers in the near future, but I am pleased with the finished project. I may visit the floral shop this weekend.