Holiday Word Cubes

Happy Wednesday wonderful people! I can’t help it, the holiday bug has bit me hard. I’m super excited for the season and don’t care if it’s too early or not. I simply love Christmas. It keeps me sane during the cold Iowa winters.

The project I bring to you today is a quick way to add some Holiday décor to a small space. Office, nightstand, desk, ledge (totally just read that in Stefan’s voice). It works everywhere! These Holiday Word Cubes are easily customizable and bring a pop of color to any space.

Holiday Word Cube

Supplies: wood cubes, acrylic paint, Mod Podge and brush, scrapbook paper, permanent markers, acrylic varnish, stencil or printout.

Holiday Word Cubes blocks

Paint your cubes with a base coat of acrylic paint. I used white (even though it looks pink, bad lighting) for my 1.5” cubes.

Holiday Word Cubes prints

Cut scrapbook paper squares to 1/8” smaller than the cube dimensions. One for each side. Use Mod Podge and a brush to attach. My method: a layer on the face of the cube, a layer on the back of the paper, stick, and a final layer on top of the paper. Let dry completely before proceeding.

Holiday Word Cubes modpodge

With a letter stencil or print out, transfer the letter outlines to the cubes. Choose a word per side. I only did a design on four sides. My words chosen: hope, paz (peace in Spanish) and a mistletoe, joy and a snowflake, and Noel.

Holiday Word Cubes layout

Color in the letters with permanent marker of choice. Metallics look really good.

Holiday Word Cubes trace

For extra contrast, draw an outline or shadow line with a thinner contrasting color.

Holiday Word Cubes outline

Do this on all sides.

Holiday Word Cubes faces

Once completely dry, brush on a coat of acrylic varnish to prevent stickiness. Follow directions on bottle. This Liquitex varnish is awesome.

Holiday Word Cubes varnish

Once all sides are done and completely finished, display your artwork and enjoy the versatility of the cubes.

Holiday Word Cubes

Happy crafting and enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Lime and Cornmeal Cookies

Hello everyone! How’s life? How was your weekend?

Today I’m sharing with you my 30 Before 30 sweets recipe for the month of November. Betty & Bobo’s Better Bread bakery in NewBo City Market here in Cedar Rapids has amazing breads and sweets. Ever since I tried their cornmeal lime cookie, I’ve been obsessed. Have to have one every time I visit. So, I’ve been perusing the internet trying to find a good recipe and I think my first attempt was a success, delicious!

Lime and Cornmeal Cookies

The cookie recipe I got from A Spicy Perspective. Their Best Sugar Cookie Recipe with Cornmeal looked like the prefect one to try. It starts by creaming together butter and sugar. The base of all good cookies.

Cornmeal Cookies cream

Then, add salt, flour, egg, vanilla and cornmeal.

Cornmeal Cookies batter

Don’t forget the special add-on: lime zest!

Cornmeal Cookies lime

The mix gets rolled into a log and frozen until firm.

Cornmeal Cookies log

To minimize stickiness before baking, the log gets rolled into even more cornmeal.

Cornmeal Cookies dust

Sliced…

Cornmeal Cookies slice

… and baked.

Cornmeal Cookies bake

For the frosting recipe, I went with the one on The Kitchn. The icing used in their Cornmeal Lime Cookies looked just right. Starts off as a simple powdered sugar, lemon juice and lime zest mix.

Cornmeal Cookies powder

All whipped together to perfection.

Cornmeal Cookies icing

Once the cookies are cooled, top them with icing.

Cornmeal Cookies ice

These are seriously really good. In the future I’ll probably play around with the recipe to make the icing more like a glaze and make the cookies thicker and more cake-like.

Lime Cornmeal Cookies

The best way to enjoy them: with a good cup of coffee.

IMG_3582

Have a good day!

Plush Penguin Wreath

Hello, hello, hello! Ready for the weekend? I sure am! Tomorrow is Ryan’s family Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to get some turkey in my belly. MMmmmmm!

Today’s tutorial is brought to you in part by my little sister. She had asked me for a wreath tutorial a while back and it’s finally here. I did incorporate a special love of hers to it, penguins. Adding a plush toy to any wreath is an easy way to take up a lot of space and create impact. Plus it’s cute!

Plush Penguin Wreath

The supplies needed: grape vine wreath, plush penguin (or character of choice), small fabric poinsettias, four berry spray picks, stick (chopstick or dowel), hot glue gun and glue, wire cutters, ribbon and scissors.

Penguin Wreath materials

Start by placing two berry picks on one side of the wreath and cut off excess wire. Insert picks through wreath.

Penguin Wreath side one

Bend a piece of excess wire in a U shape and use to hold pick in place by inserting it through the front and securing in the back.

Penguin Wreath wire

Do the same on the other side with the other two picks.

Penguin Wreath side two

Insert the dowel through the top and bottom of wreath. This will hold plush penguin in place. With hot glue, secure penguin to dowel and wreath.

Penguin Wreath pinguin

On bottom of the wreath, create a poinsettia seat for the penguin. Attach with wires (these ones already had them) or hot glue.

Penguin Wreath flowers

Thread a piece of ribbon through the back and top of wreath. Tie in a knot. This will be the hanger.

Penguin Wreath hanger

Hang up and enjoy the whimsical wreath you just created.

Penguin Wreath

I’ve done a different version of this in the past, but with a Santa. Again, the possibilities are endless.

Penguin Wreath view

Have fun this weekend!

Holiday Decorative Pillows

I’ve got a super fun and easy project for you today. It literally took me about 30 minutes to make all three pillows. It all started with an impulse buy. I love browsing holiday decorations after the season is over and everything is on a super discount. Last year, I fell in love with some kitchen towels. Didn’t really need them and they really didn’t match my deco, but I bought them anyways. So, I’ve had them for a while and finally came up with a way to use them: Christmas Pillows!

Holiday Decorative Pillows

I love how cute Holiday pillows look, but sometimes they can be a tad too expensive. This version is cute, cheap and easily doable if you know how to sew a straight line. I browsed Home Goods for some more kitchen towels to use and they have some super cute designs. I purchased a pair for five bucks to use for this project. So if you needed an excuse to visit Home Goods, then here it is.

Holiday Pillows fabric

There’s a couple of ways to make these. The most basic, which I did with my “Merry Christmas” fabric, is to fold the fabric in half, printed sides facing each other.

Holiday Pillows fold

Sew the two shorter sides just inside their finished seams. Then, sew the longer “bottom side” leaving a gap in the middle.

Holiday Pillows sew

Turn inside out. Stuff with Poly-Fil (this 20oz bag was five bucks as well and enough stuffing for all three pillows).

Holiday Pillows fill

Close and pin gap and sew shut. Please ignore that the pics below are from a different pillow. I kinda forgot to take pics of this step on the first one. Done!

Holiday Pillows finish

The other two pillows I made with a different pattern fabric on each side. On one I used half of each towel and sewed them to make a rectangle pillow (same size as the first one). For the smaller one, I cut the fabric into 12” squares and sewed. The only difference with these is that you’re sewing all four sides instead of three.

Holiday Pillows versions

Tips. Don’t over stuff or the pillow will kinda scrunch up. Also, fill with poly-fill a little a a time to prevent lumpiness.

Holiday Pillows

The calm before the storm

Good morning! Hope your Monday is a little bit warmer than mine. It’s going to be a chilly one for the next couple of days here in Iowa.

This post should be short and sweet because I honestly didn’t do much this weekend.

Thursday, I brought Boone to work because he’s getting cabin fever with these short winter days. We leave home when it’s dark and get back when it’s dark, so I think he thinks we hate him. Poor guy.

Work Boone

Friday, I went on a craft store run and picked up some Chinese for dinner. One thing I did have on my plans for the weekend was crafting. And that’s exactly what I did any chance I got.

Boone work

Saturday we went to watch the Hawkeyes game at a friend’s house and Boone got to meet a new friend, Holly the golden retriever. Then, I spent the rest of the day working on different crafts and also a little bit of babysitting. Josh, Ryan’s cousin, came over to play video games with him and brought his 6 month old baby. So I took on baby duty every now and then.

holly date

Another thing that happened Saturday, our first measurable snow of the season. Yepee!!!! <—- sarcasm  On the upside, Boone absolutely loves snow. I can leave him playing outside chasing after his ball all over the yard until his paws freeze. Which is waaayyy better than a dog not wanting to go outside when it’s cold.

snow one

Sunday, I started my morning by shoveling the driveway. A good 1 hour workout. Then had a Gchat date with my sisters and mom, love them! We definitely should do this more often. I also transplanted some of my indoor plants, they needed it… Ran some errands, worked on some more crafts and had some ice-cream to end the night.

ficus transplant

Pretty uneventful weekend, but it’s a good way to start the crazy travel Holiday weekends coming up. Have a great week and hope you’re getting into the Christmas spirit, I sure am!

snow two

Yes, I took this picture while I was still inside.