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Saturday, March 29, 2014


I found these really cute frames and hearts at Michael's leading up to Valentine's Day.....they were natural wood when I found them (sorry, I forgot to take a few pics before I started painting).  When I spotted them, my mind skipped right past Valentine's Day and went on to other ideas.....The first thing I thought of was the styled photo shoot my daughter and I were cooking up, plus I thought they would make an awesome "Just Married" sign for one of her June couples (we offered to make their sign for them).   Hey, what could be better?, two projects for the price of one!!!

I used craft paints to hand paint the hearts, using a sponge brush.  It went really quickly, although my usual anal retentive self, I had to go back with a small brush to get all the nooks and crannies since I didn't want the bare wood to show through.  That's okay....I just put on some great music and went to town...painting and singing away.  For the small hearts, I then sprinkled some (large particle) pink glitter on top which made them sparkle oh so sweetly!  For the larger hearts, I used an off-white as my base color and then trimmed the inside edge with pink paint using a fine brush.

For the frame, I went with spray was going to take way too long to hand paint (plus we had moved out of the below zero temps and I could use the garage).  While the paint was still slightly damp, I sprinkled a bit of the pink glitter on top...pretty.   I sprayed all of the pieces with a clear matte finish to seal and protect them.    
After we used the hearts and frame for the photo shoot, I transformed two of the hearts and the frame into a chalkboard that we could write on for the "Just Married" sign.  I had shared some chalkboard projects in a previous post and as I mentioned you can use chalkboard paint on virtually anything to create a chalkboard. So, I chose to use cardboard. heard me right!   In this particular case it was the perfect solution since I wanted something really light since we would be hauling it with us to the wedding, plus I wanted an easy and cost effective option to remove the chalkboard in the event I wanted to reuse the frame for a future project.  The cardboard was heading for the recycle bin, so I snagged it before it made it there.

Just a word of aware that the cardboard definitely soaks in the paint, so it takes a couple of good coats to get the right finish.  I used a really awesome font to write the words and went with chalkboard markers versus plain old chalk since I wanted it vibrant and dust free.  Last step, I opted for velcro to secure it to the frame.  I used the loop on the frame, that way if I removed the chalkboard and wanted to hang it on the wall as is, the soft side would be on the harm, no foul. For the hearts, I did use my glue gun to secure the chalkboards.There wasn't much room around the inside border for velcro and I know I can easily remove them from the heart without too much difficulty since they're so small.

....and there you have it.  Can't wait for June 7th!  This wedding is going to be very unique, so this sign will fit right in....stay tuned to my Facebook page for the wedding photos.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I saw this cute item on one of the shelves at Hobby caught my eye since the teal and grey are my daughter's business colors.  I took a phone pic and sent it to her to see what she thought; I told her I could see me using my Silhouette to finish it off by adding her logo.  She loved the idea, so I timed it to when it was 50% off and bought it.  I was surprised to find it was actually magnetic....they had this cute flower magnet on the (the first one I spotted, the flower was missing) front of it.

I made a stencil using my Silhouette machine, since I envisioned her logo actually painted on the board.  It also allowed me to have a stencil to reuse in the event we found any other cool uses for it.  This was the first time I tried a stencil, so I was a little nervous because of the nice herringbone background....rather than mess it up, I decided to trace it with a pencil and then hand paint the lettering. Maybe next time I'll try it the traditional way of taping/pasting the stencil down and painting right over it.

 I then used two colors of vinyl to add the "digital designs" to finish off her name.  I was pleasantly surprised when I stopped by Hobby Lobby on my way home intending to get one color with my 40% off coupon....and lo and behold, the vinyl was 50% off.  How could I resist? I decided to pick up two colors for the price of one!                   Cute huh?

Friday, March 14, 2014


I'm a muffin lover. I admit it. I love them for breakfast, love them with a salad; but I don't love the calories in most muffins.   A while back I went to Starbucks and ordered their Morning Glory Muffin; I ordered it solely based upon the name, plus it looked healthier than the streusel covered blueberry muffin and most of the other goodies in their display case.  Some time later I stopped in again after they had re-done their signage and noticed the calorie count....Really?  380 calories for the Morning Glory muffin.  For me that's almost 1/3 of a day's worth of calories!  In digging further, of those 380 calories, 160 were fat!  Say goodbye to the Morning Glory Muffin.  Adios my friend........
But wait......I've discovered a homemade Morning Glory Muffin at 163 calories and only 4 grams of fat. Needless to say, I welcomed back the Morning Glory with open arms...."come to Mama".   In case you haven't ever had's definitely a heartier muffin, loaded with carrots, raisins, apples, pineapple; definitely not as sweet as some other varieties, but very yummy!


1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 apple, chopped (recipe calls for peeled, I left mine on)
1/2 cup raisins
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 Tbsp. toasted wheat germ
*1/2 cup dried pineapple bits cut into pieces (* my addition)


Pre-heat oven to 375.  I used my silicone muffin cups for some (12) and paper cups for the rest.  Whisk wheat flour, regular flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in carrots, apple and raisins.  Whisk egg, egg whites, apple butter, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.  Combine walnuts and wheat germ in a small bowl; sprinkle over the muffin tops.

Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly; 15-25 minutes.  Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes.  Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool.

I was intrigued by this recipe since it included several items I had never baked with before, namely: apple butter, wheat germ and whole wheat flour.  I have to tell you I wasn't sold on the wheat germ on the top, but I looked up the value of wheat germ and it contains several vital nutrients.  So, considering I have a whole jar of wheat germ now, I guess I'll continue to use it as I make more; or find other recipes that call for wheat germ.  :)

Thank you for the recipe!

Saturday, March 8, 2014


I decided to put together some pricing sheets to give to a bride when we meet for a consultation.  I also wanted a cute way to present it versus just handing her a price list.  So, I decided to use a card from the Silhouette online store....something creative and fun!  I love this's so intricate and it's just perfect in keeping with the wedding theme.
I used white glitter cardstock to make the outside of the card and then glued a lilac piece of lightweight paper to the inside front of the card.  By doing that, I was able to place my price sheet on the inside back of the card; using double stick tape.  Then I just folded it once so that when the card is closed, it's hidden inside.

I chose to make the price lists in Microsoft word and printed them on a grey linen resume' paper.

Finally, I added my business card to the inside front of the card using a rhinestone to secure it.

I'm meeting with a bride tomorrow morning, so she will be the first one to see this....can't wait to see her reaction!

Today, I handed off a cathedral veil to my first bride of 2014.   It's an absolutely gorgeous compliment to her gown. Unfortunately, I won't be able to share it with you until after the wedding in September.   I'm also looking forward to making her garter set and hemming and bustling her gown.

We'll see if tomorrow's meeting ends with more business for Shea Marie Designs.   Fingers crossed!