Keys to Travel- Key West

We are like birds – migrating south when the winter gets cold. Eight days of warmth and sun in the Florida Keys!

Key Largo Day 1-3

Who can’t enjoy the warm sun and breezy nights in the most Southern part of Florida?  After a harrowing experience of a near miss shooting at the Ft Lauderdale airport, we landed in West Palm beach.  Planes landing one after another to avoid the in Ft Lauderdale airport, dropping all their passengers off here, where travelers were scrambling for the few rental cars available at this smaller airport.

We had our family arrange one for us while we were disembarking the plane, so we scored our rental car to drive south for the night at Key Largo.   Staying at the Hilton for a relaxing experience.  Finally !!  Warm sun and beach water.  Here, the beach water does not have a tide.  You can leave  your chair on the shores edge and it will still be at the waters edge 6 hours later.  As a storm kick up  with quick winds on the beach, we headed to the pool.  Ah…Three days of bliss in Key Largo.

hilton-pool-key-largo
Water sun and relaxation

The area in Key Largo afforded us many choices of food.  We picked The conch House one night, a place where conch is big feature on the menu.  A conch is the creature that was inside the big shell you hold up to your ear to hear the sound of the ocean. Even Emeril stopped one time at this restaurant.  So I decide to indulge in tasting conch in their famous fritter.  NOT A FAN!   We tried a few other place to eat.  Another night, thinking we should be on the water front,  we tried the Pilot House. The food was good and of course I chose seafood and even dessert a key lime pie of course.

Key West- Day 3-6

coming soon

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Mad For Plaid Winter Shades-How to make a lampshade cover

Winter is coming and I decided that my lampshades need a winter blanket just like my bed.  The store bought lamp shades are rather expensive so I decided to make covers for my lampshades for less money.  In this post, I’ll share with you how to make lamp shade covers.

how to make lampshade covers
DIY- Make your own lampshade covers

I have been mad for plaid these past few years.  So I decided on plaid shade covers.  They match my winter bedroom theme and my overall Christmas winter theme too. I chose a very thin almost sheer fabric with the colors of plaid I wanted. You can choose what you might like for colors but a thin lightweight fabric works best.

I measured the circumference of the lamp shade and added only an inch and half to 2 inches extra to the number.  Then I measured the length of the shade and added just two inches to that measurement.  After the cutting the fabric to these sizes I sew the ends together of the circumference , then serge the edges of the length.  Now turn under the edges of the length to form a seam allowance just enough to be able to thread a thin elastic band through this.  Using 1/4 inch wide elastic,  the length should measure an inch less  than the number of the lampshade circumference.  It does not need to be too tight. After you have threaded the elastic band through the seam and stitched the ends to hold in place, you can simply pull the shade cover over the lamp.  The elastic seam should be under and over the edge of the shade to hold it tight.

how-to-make-lampshade-covers
Dress up a dining room lampshade for Christmas.

The sky is the limit to how many covers you want. Lampshades are sold in such boring colors, white, cream, burlap.  So get busy and create some interesting eye catching covers to match your decor.  Let’s not depend on the manufacturers to decide what our lamps should look like.  Make your lamps stand out and let the light shine through your choice of color.

 

“For her lamp does not go out by night.  She lays her hands to the spindle, ” Proverbs 31: 18-19

red-plaid-bedroom-winter-christmas
Warm up your bedroom with some red plaid.

 

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Skeletal Dinner Party in October

Having an October enchanted evening with guests for dinner?  Invite a skeleton to the party.

napkin-halloween-skeleton
Invite a skeleton to dinner

This party has a host of guests that need some meat on their bones.  I simply folded the napkins into a coffin shape and placed the dollar store skeletons on top.

tablesetting-halloween-black-orange
Halloween dinner with Skeletons in a napkin fold coffin

Orange napkins and flat black plates are ready and waiting for the next meal.   Serving up the cat under dome for a centerpiece.  I also added some cryptic black metal handle flatware to create a dungeon mood.

pick your poison
pick your poison

You finest poison can only be drunk from a black crystal goblet.

Create your own skeletal dungeous table setting by using  various metals for cups, flatware, chargers etc.  Have fun with Halloween accents from the dollar store.

 

HE uncovers mysteries hidden in the darkness, HE brings to light the deepest gloom. Job 12:22

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Summer Seas table setting

blue seas

Summer by the sea is the best place to be!  I love summer days and nights.  Living nearby sea water always reminds me, how I am lucky to live where I do.  Summer table settings should not seem fussy or elegant this time of year.  So gather up your seashell collections and grab some rattan placemats to set the dinner mood at ease. You too, can evoke the sense of the seas at your dinner table.

blue seas
Summer Seas Table setting
summer seas table
Capture the Seas mood

If your dinner mood is relaxing by the Sea. Play some soft music of ocean waves and listen to the seas while dining…pretend the the Caribbean sea is just beyond your table.   Those breezy outdoor summer nights are only a short season so be sure to make the most of dining outside!

Serve up some fresh fish tilapia, salmon or how about a deep sea bass?  Keep the menu simple and light.

The blue melamine plates and soft ruffled linen napkins from pottery barn help create this light summer setting.  Bamboo flatware turns up the island feel.  Get to the sea! even if it is only at your dinner table.

 

 

The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land.   Psalm 107:29

 

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Newly Showered – Bath Remodel 2016

before and after bath

Adding a shower to a bathroom during remodel is tricky when you need to count every inch.  This bathroom was a 1980’s leftover and desperately needed a  2016 remodel.  The space needed a shower added, with only 8′ x 5′ of room to work with.

bathroom before
BEFORE

We knew the space was small and had a large window, but the only place for a shower was on the outside wall, which meant changing the window.  The vanity was allowed 30″ of wall space and the toilet 30″ of wall space and rest of the 66″ was left to create the shower.   The original space did not include the shower so adding was the biggest benefit to remodeling this bathroom. We hired our contractor John Bass. He created our custom cubbies and replaced the original window with the new sliding window.

My son and my husband handled the demolition of the old bathroom. The old bathroom needed a complete demo to the studs.

demo bathroom
Demo to the studs revealing the cast iron  pipes that should not be moved…

 

A bathroom size of 8′ x 5′ will allow only for a very small shower, vanity and a skinny size toilet.  The dual flush toilet was a Kohler Persuade  from Lowe’s.

My desire was to have shades of gray bathroom to blend with my new gray bedroom decor that is adjacent to this bathroom.  Choosing marble tile was the best match to the vanity, so I chose a subway tile in marble.  I purchased all the tiles at Lowe’s  so it was easy to return what I did not use.

After lot’s of shopping and lot’s of returning 3 vanities to find just the right one, we settled on this beautiful marble one.   My son the electrician Andrew, completed all the wiring and installing of lighting and fans.

The bathroom was completed in 6 weeks.

bath almost
Just before the plumber and painting
2016 bath in marble
Bath complete with shower added into the 8×5 space

 

Same view as photo before remodel

Bath remodel 2016
Full bath- remodeled 2016
before and after bath
before and after remember?
Sink and double flush toilet
Sink and double flush toilet

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;  Prov 24:3

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Mother’s Day -2016 – Kate Spade Inspired Table Setting

Kate Spade Table setting likeness

It’s here!…Mother’s Day 2016 Inspired Design table!

Kate Spade Table setting likeness
Kate Spade table setting

This special table setting is a nod to Kate Spade, in case you had not already guessed by the earlier posts, Creatively made, using a bit of sewing, painting and style.  Bright Pink color with black and white stripes and of course Kate’s signature bow.  Remember the handmade gold dotted plates? Here they sit in the middle of a basic white corelle plate, encircled by additional elements to set the designer mood.

The signature pink bow was made with a bright pink napkin pinched by a gold band ring. If you remember the table runners made with a black and white striped fabric were sewed on the last post.  Here these runners are across the table instead of set down the center.  The quick made chair covers on the six chairs bring the table alive with color. Set with some wine glasses for style and designed all for MOM.

Inspired setting black white polka dots and pink bow
Inspired setting black white polka dots and pink bow

It’s the one time a year we honor our Mother’s with a special Day.

Alternating the elements for this style was easy.  This time I changed the plates  and added a coffee cup all atop a fresh white placemat.

Kate Spade brunch table setting
Brunch setting

 

 

 

 

If you just wanted to serve Mom special desserts.  You can start with the simple plate and change the napkin ring to a flower.  Simplify the style and place the spoon at the head of the head of the plate which is the placement for dessert spoons.  I added a tall polka dot drinking glass to keep with the Kate Spade designer theme.

Kate Spade simple dessert place setting
Kate Spade simple dessert place setting

Try your hand a shaping a table setting to capture the look and feel of a designer.  Just a few quick changes and you could change the whole atmosphere for a special day. Lunch, brunch or dinner! Make your guests feel special by stepping up your game at the table!

Kate Spade another take
Another take on the place setting

 

 

 

This one song  reminds me of being a Mom and having a Mom,  sung by the late Whitney Houston “I will always Love You“.

Happy Mother’s Day !!!

Ephesians 6:1-3  “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Mother’s Day Table Setting 2016 – part3 – elements

Mother’s Day!!…. is Coming Soon!

Having Mom over for dinner or lunch ? Try creating a distinct table setting for her that will make her feel special!. This month I have been working towards that end.   Just a bit more sewing in preparation for this LUX  designer table setting.  I chose a black and white striped decorator fabric, Decorative Fabrics Direct was a good find, they carry a wide variety of fabric you may want online here .  A few quick stitches on a machine and you too, can create a table runner.

mothers day table runner
Yikes stripes!

In early May I will share the final project and give you some tips on how to create you own unique table setting.  Create this upscale look with a few simple elements  you might have around your house.  Then you too can make Mom feel special!

black and shite strip
Yikes black and white stripes!

So gather up some tableware to create a special setting

Here’s my list:

  1. table cover
  2. napkins
  3. dishes
  4. flatware

You can click the item links above to find where to purchase some of the inexpensive Fundamentals. On the next post I will reveal my final LUX  table setting and show YOU how to alter these elements to make your Mother’s Day table special.

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Table Setting 2016 -part 2- Crafty covers 4 the Chairs

pink chair cover stretch

Mother’s Day 2016 !  Create the table setting – part 2 – crafty covers 4 the chairs

How can I change up my boring leather chairs?   In time for Mother’s Day?

Time for a cover up!

pink chair cover stretch
Pink Textured fabric

Stumbling on a great find in a local fabric shop was this classy beauty.   I only purchased 2 yards of this unique, stretchy, textured fabric.  When I purchased this, I was unsure what to do with it.  I just fell in love with it!

Since  I’m loving the bright pink color, in my mind, I knew this fabric would be perfect for something!.  I often buy random fabric and create a party setting around it.  It is color and texture that grabs me at the fabric store.  Especially a 3 way stretch like this.  It’s a very forgiving fiber.

 

Creative crafting will make this months table setting stand out!.   April weather gives me time to stay in and sew, preparing a special May Mother’s Day table setting. The final setting will revealed before Mother’s Day,  so check back on this blog for the update.

 

With quick work I stitched up squares measuring carefully so I would have enough  to cover  6 chairs.  Folding the fabric into thirds,  I then made 3 cuts which cut it into four squares across  the tri-folded fabric.  The cuts left me with 12 squares enough to make six covers.  Then I began to sew the (approximately 18″) squares together on 3 sides.  I decided to leave the fringe that was  on the salvage edge of fabric as the ‘finished’ edge.   Time spent sewing was about a half hour.

Stitchin' a chair slip cover
Stitchin’ a chair slip cover

 

The kitchen became the craft room for this project.

 

 

The finished project was six inexpensive stretchy slip covers that will make my next table setting spectacular.  Be on the lookout for the part 3 of the April/May Mother’s Day 2016 Table setting.

Chairs get a new look!
Chairs get a new look!

 

Exodus 35:25   And every skillful woman spun with her hands….

Fresh Hot Plate!

gold polka dot plates

Sneak Peek at this months table setting.        Can you guess what the theme might be?

I started with these plain white plates.  Everyone suggested I head right to the dollar store, but I found these inexpensive white ceramic dessert  plates

white dessert plates plain
Plain white dessert plates ready for stylin’

at Walmart for only 88 cents…less than the dollar store.  The ceramic plates were perfect for my craft project for this table.  To create this effect, I found Martha Stewart gold nontoxic paint at Michael’s.  It was  important that the paint be nontoxic.  I intend for the guests to be able to actually use the plates to eat from.  Among my craft supplies I found the perfect foam dot paint tool to create a dotted plate.  I simply sponged the dots with the paint and and let them dry for over a week.

Gold Dot
Dot by Dot painting

 Next I placed the painted plates in a cold oven and turned the oven on and let the oven heat up to 350 degree temperature to allow the paint to “bake” on the plates for 30 minutes…  Feeling Hot, hot, hot…  After the 30 minute timer,  I shut the oven off,  opened the door  and let the plates cool.  When the plates were cooled, I removed the plates and placed them to finish drying.  The result is  six gold dotted dessert plates,  nontoxic of course!

gold polka dot plates
Ready and dry !

Easter is Hopping!

You might have all your ducks in a row…but I have all my bunnies in row.

Napkins Multiply like Rabbits
Napkins Multiply like Rabbits

Napkins

These colorful little bunny napkins will be filled with flatware for an Easter brunch.  The napkins needed to multiply like rabbits, so there’s enough for everyone.  This year I have decided to release my standard of traditional  seating and hop into a new plan.  Buffet style which I titled on my Pinterest page  “Buffet ole’ ” style.  These nibbling little creatures each have a carrot  purchased from Michaels, to which I added some wire to keep the lil’ cottontails wrapped together.

Spring season brings back the color into our lives.  I’m hoping My ombre cake will be a hit!…I created 6 layers each one more intense pink color .  This is simply a white boxed cake mix, I recommend using 3/4 cup batter for each of the 6 layers and adding one drop more food coloring to each 3/4 cup batter.  Bake,  then stack them with frosting in between. The topping you see is green colored coconut. Simply add a green drop of food coloring into a sandwich bag with the coconut, mix around til the coconut turns green. Place it on top of the cake with a few candied eggs.

Pretty in pink Ombre cake
Pretty in pink Ombre cake

Check back and will update with a photo of the cut layers of cake.

6 layer Easter cake
6 layer Easter cake