Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kitchen closed for a month...

My granddaughter is on her way.  Tomorrow, we add our grandson to the mix.  I can't wait! Our whole family will be together for a week and I am so grateful that we all love and serve God.  I'm also grateful that we love each other and get along so well!

On that note, the next four weeks will be spent with family so Nanna's Kitchen will be closed until the house is too quiet because our grands and daughters have gone home.  I'll then be posting pictures of the fun activities we will be enjoying with the kiddos.

I saw another picture hanging trick on Pinterest and decided to try it when I moved things around in the dining room.  I put masking tape on the back of the sign to be hung measuring the width from hanger to hanger.  I then placed the sign on the wall where I wanted it with a small level on the top edge of the sign to get it level and marked the ends of the tape with a pencil at the top of the sign.  The last step was to pound in the nails and hang the sign.  Easy peasy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hanging stuff...

Because of old carpet in the living room and water damaged wood floor in the dining room and entry, we opted to take out the old and put in new wood flooring.  It is so easy to clean!  Thanks to Dave Ramsey and my frugal husband, we had saved up to pay cash for the floor. 

All of a sudden, I noticed stuff hanging down from the bottom of one of the chairs and the sofa.  It looked awful!  What to do?! 

I first used my sweater shaver, but it immediately clogged.  So, I grabbed some scissors and snipped away - simple solution.  The furniture looks much better.

I love an easy free solution!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Saving a children's book...

When I was in elementary school, my parents would let me buy a Scholastic Book when the order papers were handed out in class.  It seemed to take forever for the books to come in and I would be so excited when the teacher announced that she would hand out the books the students had ordered at the end of the school day.  One of my favorite books I ordered through Scholastic Books was Too Much Noise.  It is a great story about a man who gets a change in his perspective and learns to be thankful for what he has instead of griping about things that annoy him.

The book has traveled with me and my family as we have moved to different homes in different places.  It weathered well until I started reading it to my grandchildren.  When the cover fell off, I sadly took it off the shelf and placed it on my project pile in my craft room.  I just couldn't figure out what to do with it so I could continue to read it to little ones. 

Then I got an idea - why not put it in a photo album?!  And that is what I did.  Now the book is back on the shelf with the other children's books to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Before:  (poor old book!)

An 8x8 photo album with extra pages:

I carefully took the pages off the binding, one at a time:

Each page was trimmed on two sides to fit into the protectors:

The papers in the protector pages were removed so both sides of each book page could be seen:

Monday, June 18, 2012

The grands are coming...

My honey and I moved away from our families on our first anniversary because of the recession and a job transfer. When we had our girls, we felt it was important for them to know their grandparents and extended family so we took the long drive "home" at least twice a year. 

Our girls want their kids to know and love each other and their extended family, as well, so the old tradition has started with the next generation since all of them live away from "home".  Yea!  We have Face Time on our phones so we can "see" each other, but there's just something about waking up and seeing those sleepy faces at breakfast knowing you have all day to get caught up on hugs and kisses and reading books together and playing and cuddling...

I have been searching out ideas for my active little grands on Pinterest and have found enough to keep them busy while they are here...and away from boredom and trouble.  Even though I love my grands dearly, they do have a sin nature.  LOL!!  So precious...

One of the activities was shown to me by my middle daughter when she was here at Easter.  She crushed up some sidewalk chalk, added water and made sidewalk paint.  I have not met a child who does not like playing with water so colored water is even better!  We gave my granddaughter a sponge paint brush and let her paint to her heart's desire on the patio. 

A little of this paint goes a long way.  I put lids on the jars and they are in my craft closet waiting for the grands to get here.  I think I will put names on the handles of the brushes so there will be no fighting over them...or maybe they need to learn conflict resolution.  Hmmm...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cute kitchen organization...

I hope you are enjoying the new format.  Nanna's Kitchen was beginning to look more like a small magazine than blog posts.  And all that research was taking up too much of my time, even though I love learning new things...

 My oldest daughter has all sorts of clever and cute ideas for keeping organized.  She has used a wall in her kitchen for her calendar, a hook for her son's backpack diaper bag and a daily schedule/ To Do List (a Pinterest idea where you use a picture frame with glass in it, put some cute scrapbook paper behind the glass. She uses a fine tip erasable marker to write the details on the glass so she can change it as needed.). 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

My oldest daughter wanted a creative artistic mirror for her new living room but didn't want to spend a lot of money.  So, she made one!

She painted the background on a square MDF canvas my honey had made for her.  Then she used gorilla glue to attach an inexpensive beveled mirror to the canvas.  She finished the project with a paper flower embellishment that she made.  I would not have thought of that, but it looks so cute and perfect for her house.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Our family has wonderful memories made at beaches.  We also had lots of fun looking for seashells.  I've always been fascinated by the intricate designs put in them by the Creator.

So, when I saw an apothecary jar filled with seashells in several bathrooms in the Parade of Homes, I knew I would switch out the bars of soap for some of our collected seashells in the tall apothecary jar in our guest bathroom.  Much better!

Parade of Homes:

Our guest bathroom:

Monday, June 11, 2012

A simple breakfast...

Sometimes a simple breakfast is the best for your body.  One of my new favorites is a cubed avocado topped with a fried egg (yolk still runny).  It has healthy protein and fat and is filling.  Add a little Tony's Creole seasoning and pepper.  You can even add some salsa for more nutrients and spice.

Ok, I know...the egg in the picture below does not have a runny yolk.  I was too busy taking pictures and overcooked the egg.  I almost cooked another one, but didn't want to waste an egg. 

Avocado Tip:  Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed.  Using a paring knife cut 1/2" slices from end to end, then slice across the long slices, making cubes.  Simply squeeze the cubes out of the shell into a bowl.  It's easy and doesn't make a mess. 

Friday, June 8, 2012


It's always a good thing to help friends move.  We come home and get rid of superfluous stuff!  It's also helpful to go to the Parade of Homes because the show homes have just enough decoration to look nice.  My honey made a comment during our tour of homes that our home looked a little, lived in.  So, the next week I walked around the house trying to look at each room with the purpose of decluttering. 

I started in the kitchen.  The counters definitely had too much stuff on them.  I evaluated what needed to stay and what could go or be put away based on use.  It's so much easier to clean the counters now!

The next thing I decluttered was the hutch.  I've learned to think outside the box a little when decorating.  Just because an item has always been in a certain spot doesn't mean it needs to stay there.  My cute mini bunny lamp has a new home on the hutch and I really like it there.  It brightens up that part of the kitchen at night and on rainy overcast days.  Why didn't I think of that before?! 


First attempt:

Much better:

I gravitate towards symmetrical arrangements so the top shelf has tall items on each end with a shorter item in the middle.  The next shelf is the opposite with a tall item in the middle and shorter items on the ends.  The top of the hutch base is not symmetrical but is visually balanced. The larger baskets ended up on the bottom of the hutch with the smaller baskets on the top. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You are my sunshine...

One of my youngest daughter's favorite songs is, You Are My Sunshine.  I've been wanting to make a piece of subway art using the words to the song for the top floating shelf in her living room.  The shelf needed something taller and in her yellow accent color.  Sometimes it takes me time to mull over how I'm going to do a project before I can get started.  Normally, it doesn't take a year to figure it out...

I went out to my honey's wood stash in the garage and found the perfect size piece of birch plywood for the art work along with some small pieces to raise the wood up off the plastic I placed over the counter top.  I also grabbed the Kilz 2 to prime the wood on all sides after I sanded all the surfaces.

Tip:  Line your paint pan with foil for quick and easy clean up.  I used a small foam roller for the project.

After two layers of Kilz 2 dried, I chose my favorite words from the song and began putting them on the board with letter stickers.  The letters on the edge actually go off the edge 1/4".  It looks more interesting!  Once I got the words where I wanted them and smoothed them down with a bone folder, I painted the front and sides yellow.  Then I used a Victorian stencil to put a light yellow design on the front with a stencil sponge brush and acrylic paint.

Once the yellow dried, I mixed some white and turquoise to use as an accent color for the piece.  I borrowed a technique from my oldest daughter and put some of the turquoise on a piece of bubble wrap with a brayer and laid it on opposite corners for some added textural interest.

For the next step, I used an old paint brush.  I dipped just the ends of the bristles in the paint then dabbed most of the paint off on a paper towel.  I then dry brushed the turquoise over the front working top to bottom. 

I removed the letter stickers and dry brushed the edges.

 I also used a pallet knife and the turquoise paint to add some crosshatch marks.

It turned out better than I had hoped and my daughter loves it!

I think I'll have to make a piece of subway art for my craft room.  With pink and gray, of course!