Grapevine Pumpkin

I’ve been trying to get this post up for two days now, but I’ll be if a virus didn’t get a hold of my computer and mess everything up. I had pop up ads everywhere. Words were highlighted in blue for ads, even on the dashboard of WordPress. I couldn’t scroll down a page without a pop up ad popping up. Thank goodness My Man is a computer wiz and fixed it for me. 

Now, on to more pleasant things, like pumpkins!

I have seen some grapevine pumpkins on Pinterest and knew I had to make one. They weren’t near as hard as I thought they would be. 

Wait…

Did I say “they”?

I meant it. I only made one. 

There were several ways to make a grapevine pumpkin to choose from. Who knew there could be so many ways? I choose to use the directions from Jen at 100 Directions. Thanks, Jen for the great tutorial!

grapevine pumpkin

For the most part I did follow her directions, so I’m sending you to her to show you the how tos.  I’m just telling you what you need and giving some tips I have and how I added the vine on top. 

Whatch Need

  • Grapevine wreath
  • Floral wire on the roll
  • Wire cutters
  • Something to cover your work space
  • A stick for the pumpkin vine
  • Hot glue and gun

Putting It All Together

IMG_2051You are going to make a huge mess, so cover your work area with something you can take outside later and shake off.

Or if it is a pretty day, work outside. 

IMG_2052I was thinking all of the rings for the pumpkin had to be the same size. Not true. I have yet to see a real pumpkin that is perfect on all sides. Don’t worry if one is just a bit smaller or larger than the others. 

After I got all the rings wired in and the vines all spread out, I noticed that mine was shaped more like an orange than a pumpkin. Not at all what I was going for. 

I needed to push it down and hold it into place. Until it dried. How long would it take to dry? Longer than I wanted to stand there and hold it down. 

I looked around to see what I could use to hold the pumpkin in place. No rock on hand. No heavy book nearby. I saw my little stool. Would that work? Hummm…

I put the stool on top and it looked like a short lady sitting on a sofa with her legs swinging because her feet can’t touch the ground. 

I’m sorry my short lady friends.

The stool needed some weight on it. Still…no rock, no book. But I do have a full paint can! 

IMG_2059Now we’re talking! I see the shape I want. 

I let the stool and paint can do their job for two days. Not because that’s how long it took to dry, but because I forgot about it for that long. 

I tend to do that…forget. 

What was I talking about? 

Oh yea! Pum’kins!

IMG_2063For the vine I used a stick from my kindling bucket. You can get one off a tree. Cut it the length you want, put some hot glue on the bottom and

IMG_2064stick it in place. Hold for just a second or two for the glue to cool. 

IMG_2066I added some glue around the edge just to make me feel better about it staying put. 

Now for the hardest part of all. 

Deciding where to put it. 

Too big for the mantle. 

Aha! Perfect!

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Add some flowers!

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Pretty as a picture. 

Can’t wait to show you my next project!

Until then,                                                                                                                                                        Jayne

 

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A Real Man’s Meal

I love tater tots! Hash browns, whatever you want to call them. Something about that crispy brown outside and the warm soft inside. I usually think of hash browns for breakfast. I don’t know why. I guess they are breakfast’s version of the french fry. 

I came across a recipe called Cowboy Casserole. The first thing I noticed was the hash browns on top covered with cheese. The recipe looked good without me even having to read it. I knew it would be one that My Man would love!  

Since MM isn’t a cowboy, he hasn’t ever even been on a horse, I decided to rename it. It’s a meat and potatoes meal and what man doesn’t like a meat and potato kind of meal? 

A real man's meal Whatcha Need

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 bag Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns tater tots

Putting It All Together

A Real Man's MealBrown ground beef with onion and garlic; drain.

IMG_1428 While the beef is cooking, Mix together the cream of chicken,

IMG_1430milk, 

I did pour it in, I just liked how the camera focused on the milk and the soup is all blurry in the background. One of my better photos. Just wish I could remember how I did it. 

IMG_1432 All in there.

IMG_1435and the sour cream. 

IMG_1437Mix it all together and pour over the browned meat and onions. 

IMG_1438Stir all together. 

IMG_1439Add 1 cup of cheese,

IMG_1440and the corn. 

IMG_1442Again, stir it all together. 

IMG_1444Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and line with tater tots. I should have flipped this picture. I makes me dizzy. 

IMG_1445Cover with meat mixture. 

IMG_1448Spread it all over the tater tots. 

IMG_1450Add another layer of tater tots on top of the meat mixture.

IMG_1452Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. 

IMG_1453Doesn’t it look so yummy? 

IMG_1454I wish you could smell it! 

IMG_1455 One last look! It’s about to be devoured! 

Until later, 

Jayne

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My Baking Cabinet- A Different Flavor of Popsicle

Some of you may remember my post from way back in August, Popsicles and Redecorating. I decided to try a different flavor and guess what? It was pretty good. 

At first, I though I was going to taste just awful! 

IMG_1522  I wasn’t really in the mood for this flavor. 

IMG_1523First, the color just was appealing to me at all. You know how some foods just look disgusting. 

IMG_1525The more I peeled the paper off this Popsicle, the worse it look. 

IMG_1524What is that? Gross! I don’t want this Popsicle!

But God kept nudging to me taste it. He added a little sugar to it. 

IMG_1527These made it taste just a little better. 

Then I took a big bite and pulled the drawers out, took everything off and swept out the bottom. 

My next bite tasted even better after I had put things back on the drawer. 

IMG_1528That little bit of sugar was just what I needed. Now my brown and powered sugars are neatly stored and labeled. The flour and cornmeal are kept safe and dry in their own container. 

The last of the Popsicle flavor was savored as I carefully labeled and organized all the spices .  

IMG_1530Now, I can find what I need without having to pick up every single jar to see what it is. 

IMG_1532Oh, this tastes so much better! 

Not sure what flavor I am going to try next. I may not have a choice. God may say, “Here is your Popsicle. Enjoy!”

Until then, 

Jayne

Posted in Organization | 2 Comments

Bottle Shelf

My Man loves to collect old bottles. He finds most of them when he is out surveying around old homesteads. He somehow knows exactly where to look for the trash pile and heads straight for it first thing. 

He has found old Royal Crown bottles, Nehi bottles, Red Rock bottles, many Milk of Magnesia bottles in different sizes, all sizes of Mason jars (the blue ones with the zinc tops). We have over 40 old bottles and still collecting more. 

So, where do we put them all, you ask. Good question. 

MM has built some shelves for them and I’m going to show you how he did it. 

Bottle Shelf

Whatcha Need

  • A 1 x 4 board cut to the length you want. For over the door we used a full 6 foot board.
  • Molding at least an 2 inches wide
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain
  • Finishing nails and hammer
  • Screws and a screw driver
  • Table saw (or have the home improvement store cut it for you. This is usually done for free. You need to know your measurements.)

Putting It All Together

The shelves you see in the pictures were made to go above door frames, but we used to have the on three smaller shelves that he made the exact same way, but we had them on the wall above our sofa. So…

Cut the board to length and sand.

Cut the molding the length of the front and sides of the board.  Where the front and the side edge meet needs to be cut at a 45 degree angle. 

bottle shelf

 

We painted the boards before we put it all together. 

 

IMG_1711

Nail the molding to the sides of the board, then the front, keeping the bottom of the molding flush with the bottom of the board. (That’s what the pen is supposed to be showing you.) TIP: MM used finishing nails and before he nailed them he “dulled” the nail by tapping them with a hammer first. This helps to keep the molding from splitting. 

IMG_1712 The top of the molding is rises above the top of the board. This gives you a “bumper” to keep the bottles from falling off the shelf. Normal, everyday vibrations cause the bottles to move. Slowly, but surely. 

IMG_1713To make the braces decide how tall you need it to be. Three of the side need to be straight edges. The front side can have some sort of design, if you want. MM got the curves by using cans and bottles to get the curves. He just eyeballed it. Oh, you can make the braces out of left over wood from you shelves or any other scraps you may have. If you don’t have scrapes, you’ll need to get another piece of wood. And… MM used a band saw to cut this. 

IMG_1714Line the brace to the shelf where you want it to go, just make sure they are the same distance on each side. Drill a hole through the shelf and into the brace. Attach with a screw. 

To hang the shelf, MM drilled holes on the backs of the brace. They are just a touch bigger than the screws we used to hang the shelf. 

IMG_1715Decide where you want to hang the shelf and hang it using screws in the wall. Make sure your know where you want them to go and how much weight you may put on them. You may need to attach them to the studs. 

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MM made this shelf by attaching a board to a curtain rod that came with the braces. 

He has made several kinds of shelves and soon I will do a post on them. 

I love the way the bottles look over the doors. They add texture and color. Of course, you could put plates or pictures or anything else on them. 

Now he is ready for the next project on my list. 

Until then, 

Jayne

Posted in DiY Projects for the Home | 4 Comments

Pumpkins, Patience and Perseverance

I was going to do a tutorial on how to make these cute pumpkins and leave it at that, 

toilet paper pumpkins

but while I was making them, the Lord totally changed my plans. 

Don’t worry, I’m still going to tell you how. Not hard at all. But the lesson I learned I never expected. I’ll tell you about it as I give direction on making them. 

Whatcha Need

  • IMG_2034Rolls of toilet paper or just the tube
  • Strips of cloth, jute twine, raffia, ribbon
  • Sticks for pumpkin vine
  • Faux leaves
  • Tape

Putting It All Together

The basic directions I’m going to show you using the cloth strips.

IMG_2036

Insert one end of the strip into the tube. Tape it into place if you want. 

My strips of cloth are about 4 inches wide and 45 inches long. I used these for another project last year, so they were pre-cut. You can make them as wide or narrow as you want. 

IMG_2038

Stick the other end of the strip through the other end of the tube and pull it through. 

IMG_2040Wrap it around the roll and stick it back through, repeating as far as it will go. If the end of the strip ends up on the outside, just overlap it with the next strip and keep going. If the roll is all covered, just tuck it behind a strip. 

That’s basically it. Simple enough right? 

IMG_2043I thought so too, till I started covering the tube with raffia. My strips weren’t as long and I hadn’t thought of using tape to help hold down the inside yet. Covering a tube took me longer…a lot longer than covering with the strips of cloth. I knew it would take a little longer, but not as long as it took. 

But that is when the Lord started teaching me a little something about perseverance. 

As I was wrapping, I was getting frustrated with the whole thing and almost quit. That’s when that still small voice said to me, “perseverance must finish its work.” If I am to complete this small project, I must keep going. If I can’t persevere in something small like this, how can I think I can persevere in something much larger?

So I pressed on. 

Some things I realized about persevering…

IMG_2043 (yes it’s the same picture) 

1) While persevering, things can seem to get a little out of control. Like the ends of the raffia not wanting to stay tucked, I can go a little wild while waiting on the Lord to do His work. 

2) Be patient. If you need to take a break take one. I had to stop and get some lunch. I was getting to frustrated. Don’t be afraid to ask God to give you a break. During our toughest financial times, God would allow us to have a little extra money from time to time, I think to give us a break. Look for those breaks the Lord gives and be thankful for them. 

IMG_20463) If you take on more than you are supposed to during times of perseverance, you can get anxious and your tummy feels like it is in knots. 

I had cut the twine into long strips to wrap the roll. Strips that were feet long. One strip was like 10+ feet. That was too long and kept getting tied into knots. 

4) When life does get tied into knots, you need to stop and get the knots out. Take your cares and concerns to the Lord and let Him get those knots out. 

IMG_2044 5) Tape really does help this project. Use it at the beginning of each strip to hold it in place. Use prayer and let Jesus hold you in place when the winds of life are blowing hard. 

6) This too shall pass and perseverance will finish its work making you mature and complete. I did finish wrapping them and I love the way they look. You will love the work God has done on you too, just give it time to be completed. 

toilet paper pumpkins When you are finished wrapping the roll, place a stick inside the tube to make the pumpkin vine. You can also add a leaf. 

While making this I thought about how the pumpkins were all the same size and how could I change that. Here are some things I thought of. 

  • Use a partially used roll
  • Stack one roll on top of anther to make a tall pumpkin
  • Use just the tube for a skinny pumpkin. Again you could tape 2 tubes together for a tall, skinny pumpkin. 

You can use just about anything to cover the rolls. Clothe, ribbon, tissue or wrapping paper, aluminum foil (for a shiny pumpkin), yarn. The list is endless.

God’s list of ways He works on us is also endless. I never would have thought about learning a lesson in perseverance while wrapping rolls of toilet paper, but He did. How amazing is that? 

Until later,

Jayne

Posted in crafts | 4 Comments