Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Yellow Etsy Buy

So I know I am really late with this post BUT...
 here is the final touch to my Add a Little Shine Project...
 I found these Paris photography postcards at Little Brown Pen's Etsy Shop for just $15 and they are the perfect final touch to my Add a Little Shine Project.
The package came with 9 postcards and it was extremely difficult to pick 6 for this project.  I loved them all!
I hung the postcards with mini clothespins that I lightly stained earlier this month.  
I originally used the the frame to display my Christmas cards, but thought it was so cute that I kept it up determined to find something else to put on it.  *Smiles*
I hung the frame over this buffet (actually I'm not really sure what this is because everybody calls it something different... but to me it is a buffet) that I purchased over the weekend from a closing antique store for $35! 
I plan to either stain it a darker color or paint it... but for right now it will stay the way it is until I can make up my mind.... typical right *Wink*
It's OVerflowing
The 36th AVENUE

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Front Door Progress

The time has come and I couldn't be any more pleased with the result!
Thanks to Young House Love's post on painting a front door and the "thin and even coats" tip!  If you are thinking about painting your front door -  you must read this blog post first. 

It took me a little bit longer then expected to finish this project due to school, work and guests at the house the past couple of weekends... but it is finally done!
I love this color -  Dinner Party Red by Benjamin Moore.
I liked it more and more with every coat I did.
 To compliment my new front door look, I put on new hardware 
with a satin nickel finish...
  I also have a peep-hole door knocker to install but I pulled a rookie mistake by not making sure the finish of the handle matched the finish of the door knocker...
Opps... hehe... Guess that will lead to a front door update post... 

Now that I have this beautiful red front door, I still need to put something on the porch to livin' it up a bit...
Thinking about something like this....
...but to be honest with you...
every flower that I have tried to grow in a pot has died on me
so this may not be a good idea for me...

Since the weather has been absolutely beautiful lately, it is my mission to get my front door decor picked out and to do a little yard work during the next couple of weeks so that my homes curb appeal becomes the talk of the neighborhood... in a good way that is...
 Are you catching up on any outdoor yard projects this week?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade Strawberry Jam

If your from Florida you've probably heard of the Plant City Strawberry Festival.

It was such a good time to walk around and see what the strawberry farms would look like
and to learn about the machinery  and man power it takes it get this beautiful berries 
from farm to market.  
  After enjoying the weather and lots of carnival food... we were able to snatch a 
flat of strawberries for just $12. 

What are we going to do with all of these strawberries.....?
Make homemade jam of course.  
*BIG Smile*

Thanks to Pioneer Woman's Canning 101 & Jam Recipe Part 1 -
  the jam turned out fabulous and since I can't share my jam with you, 
I will gladly pass on her recipe.

To begin, you need

Powdered Fruit Pectin (this is sold in the canning aisle of supermarkets)
Lemon juice

Small mason jars with lids
Large canning pot
Rack to fit inside pot (the pot and rack are usually sold together. Wal Mart’s a good place)
Jar lifter (to lift hot jars out of the water)
Large tongs
Magnetic wand (optional; to remove lids from simmering water)

 Simple Strawberry Jam
5 cups hulled mashed strawberries
7 cups sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 49g package powdered fruit pectin

1. Place 8 or 9 8-ounce mason jars in a large hot water bath canner (or pot). Cover with water and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer center lids in separate saucepan full of water.
3. Place mashed strawberries and lemon juice in a separate pot. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring strawberries to a strong boil.
4. Add sugar (measure beforehand so you can add it all at once), then return mixture to a full (violent) boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute 15 seconds.
5. Skim foam off the top.
6. Remove one jar at a time from the simmering water. Pour water back into the pot. Using a wide-mouth funnel, fill each jar with jam, being careful to keep the liquid/fruit ratio consistent. Fill jars so that they have 1/4-inch of space at the top.
7. Run a knife down the side of the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
8. Wipe rim of jar with a wet cloth to remove any residue or stickiness.
9. Remove center lid from simmering water and position it on top.
10. Put screw bands on jars, but do not overtighten!
11. Repeat with all jars, then place jars on canning rack and lower into the water.
12. Place lid on canner, then bring water to a full boil. Boil hard for 10 to 12 minutes.
13. Turn off heat and allow jars to remain in hot water for an addition five minutes.
14. Remove jars from water using a jar lifter, and allow them to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
15. After 24 hours, remove screw bands and check the seal of the jars. Center lids should have no give whatsoever. If any seals are compromised, store those jars in the fridge.

 Hulled berries.  

Mashed strawberries seven cups of sugar, pectin 
and 3 lemons (only had to use two though)
*Sorry about the crappy picture quality, camera was acting up this night*
Finished Product!  Aren't they cute!

AND all of the jars POPPED!
which was pretty exciting for a newbie-canner!

 I suggest everyone enjoy this seasons berries and make some jam of your own.

What should I can next....?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Adding a Little More...

I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning when I arrived home from work on Friday and saw this little package waiting on my doorstep....

What is this?  

My package wasn't schedule for delivery until Monday...!?!?

 The UPS Man brought it early!
I Love that brown truck man! *Big Smiles*
I already have PB's Mineral Green pillow (to match my Peyton Drapes of course) and thought a yellow pillow would go nicely and help me bring some shine in.
During the winter, I put the green pillow away and brought out the brown 
(found this on clearance at JCPenny's during Christmas time) 
but then somehow the green pillow came out and the brown one stayed too... I like it... but just needed wanted something a little brighter for spring.
Pottery Barn calls this their 18' Textured Linen Pillow in Flan & I love it!

Couldn't decide if I liked it better with the green...
or the brown.....

I am really starting to enjoying seeing this bright and cheery color around he house... 
As soon as I threw the pillow on the couch, the Daffodil Mason Jars I did
 earlier last week, stood out a little more too!

A little sneak peek for my final Adding a Little Shine project...
I wonder what I'll be doing with these tiny clothespins....


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Adding a Little Shine

So with Florida's beautiful sun shinning in the windows the past couple of days, I have decided to brighten up the house a bit with a little bit of yellow. 

My first project to bring in the sunshine - 
Daffodils in Mason Jars
I have been wanting to do this project ever since seeing a
picture on Blondie 'N' SC blog.
My Supplies:
3 Daffodil Bushes 
3 Mason Jars
3- 23inX3in  Strips of Burlap
Fray Block
Lime Slices
Clear Mini Gems
Ribbon (I used Papertray's Spring Moss
I wanted to use sliced limes in the bottom of the mason jars but since I wasn't going to use real flowers -  I couldn't exactly use real sliced limes... 
That's were JoAnn's came in... Found these for only $2.99
Here is the first burlap up.  
Look me a while to figure out how wide I wanted it
... 2"...3"...2"....3"...... 
Ahhh... 3" it is!
Tailor's Fray Block ($3.99 @ JoAnn's) worked beautifully to make sure my burlap didn't fall apart after handling it.  I put this along the 3" edge and then every couple inches down the 23" side.  Flipped it over and repeated on the other side as well.
Only took a few minutes to dry too!
This is how they looked before cutting the stems down... 
way to tall for the look I was going for.
I ended up taking off about 2 inches of each stem.
Now just add a little ribbon....
Aren't they cute?!?
 They really make the whole room brighter!
Now I am just waiting for the UPS Man to deliver my parts for Sunshine Project Number 2
Until then... go outside and enjoy this beautiful weather!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pressure Washing

In order to prep for my big Front Door Facelift project, I borrowed my Moms Kercher pressure washer and went to town. 
  One thing that bothers me about my house, is the exterior paint job.  If they primed at all, they did a horrible job because the paint is so thin and like chalk.  When I used the pressure washer on some of the areas (especially the spots lowest to the ground) the paint came completely off.  BUT that's okay, because I've got big dreams of a big paint project here in the next couple of weeks!

Here is what this lovely little machine did for my front porch area...
See all of the black to the right of the door?  Thats from having no gutters (project for another day!)
 I have NO idea what the orange and black marks are from...  sad face.
Still left with those ugly orange & black marks but at least the dirt is GONE!
Now that the area is clean -  it is time to paint the front door!!
I will probably look in to a driveway paint to cover the porch and sidewalk area 
- any suggestions?
I went to Lowe's today and they were able to color match 
Benjamin Moore's Dinner Party Red... isn't it purdyyy?  

This color is going to look perfect on my front door - 
can't wait to get it done to show all of you!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What Color Is Your Front Door?

Since the first impression your house gives to a visitor should be spectacular - I have decided that it is time to tackle the issue of my not-so-spectacular front door.

My inspiration?  Oh...just about every other door except mine!

For instance look at this stunning front door -  The entire style (including the light) makes me want to run to the store for new paint!
Or how about this beauty?  The bright red paint is so inviting... makes me want to walk right up to that front door (wouldn't it be weird if I just showed up on your doorstep drooling over your front door color?)
OR Look at this LIME GREEN door!!!
I wish I had the guts to do this!  
But alas.... look at my very sad front door (sad face)
From the picture it looks like the front door and wall color are the same... but the house is actually a light gray color (my painting project AFTER the front door facelift!) and the door is WHITE!
You also can't tell how fabulous my light is either by this picture...
Ahhh... that's better! 

My motivation?  Ace Hardware is giving away a FREE Quart of Clark+Kensington paint on March 3rd!  Make sure you log-on to their website to print the coupon!
Hopefully I will be able to choose the perfect color for my front door this Saturday and reveal it to you next week!
 What color is your front door?