January Silly Simple wrap up!

January 2012 Collage

 

January is finally over (ok, I know it was over a week ago but I can’t help wanting to go back and review what we have covered).

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Keeping it simple…

Editor’s note:  This is a recurring Wednesday segment on SillySimple where we can ground ourselves in the simple solution to everyday life.

In the name of keeping it simple for the first Wednesday in February…

The task list is such a universal organizational tool.I have a list book I carry with me everywhere. The list book keeps me organized but also is a record of where I have been. When I feel like my wheels are spinning and I am going nowhere, the old lists show me how far I have come in a week, a month or a year.

notebook

Photo Credit: waferboard

How do you keep organized?

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Quick crafting preview

I will return later this week with a fully formed craft tutorial, but I am so excited I just had to share what I am working on right now. Over the last few weeks I have been working to improve my sewing skills. My latest sewing attempt is to make a quilt for my living room. Here is one of my finished blocks. I still have a long ways to go– but it is an exciting process!

quilt blog preview

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Keeping it simple…

Editor’s note:  This is a recurring Wednesday segment on SillySimple where we can ground ourselves in the simple solution to everyday life.

In the name of keeping it simple for the third Wednesday in January…

Tonight is the kind of night that is made for curling up on the sofa with some hot cocoa and just being. The roar of the to do will return in the morning, but for tonight I will just be.

Care to join me?

Hot Cocoa in the Dolomites

Photo credit: Lee Coursey
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Simple Craft Failure: Or what not to do with recycled plastic bag flowers

I had a really great plan for today’s blog post. It was going to build on last weeks tutorial for recycled plastic bag flowers (which I still think are awesome and if you haven’t tried them yet then you should). There was clearly a little too much hubris in my excitement, though. The plan was to shape the flowers onto a wreath form and create a nice all-weather wreath for my front door. It seems like a great idea, right? You might even want to try it? Well, let me warn you — it doesn’t work (see below).

 

 

Wreath Failure

Don't try this at home, folks...

 

When woven together the flowers become those plastic pom poms we used to make in high school for the homecoming float. Not to knock the homecoming float pom pom tradition, but there are just certain looks from my youth I am not willing to recreate on my front door. Actually… come to think of it, there are a lot of looks from my youth I am not willing to recreate on my front door.

Anyways I have been reminded once again that not everything works out quite the way we intend. I have been trying to take more risks with creative endeavors lately, so I will chalk this up to part of my creative process.

While I don’t have a delightful wreath to enjoy, I have been enjoying these delightful flowers that Mr. Silly Simple came home with late last week. He may have thought I was crazy, but I just had to put a bloom in the bathroom; it seems to me like the ultimate in luxury.

real flower

Have you ever had a craft project not work out quite the way you had intended?

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Five Things: My favorite recipes…

 

Here in the Silly Simple household we have been doing and thinking about a lot of cooking lately, so I thought I would share with you some of my favorite foods.

5) Vegetable Stock From Kitchen Scraps— I have a batch of this cooking right now actually, it is great to stock up on and lasts a long time in ice cube shapes in the freezer.

Vegetable Stock from Kitchen Scraps

 

4)  Frugal Bread Dough— This recipe is still our go to recipe for standard white bread. It is easy to make, delicious and keeps well in the fridge and freezer.

Frugal Bread Dough

3)  The Best Brownies Ever! These brownies take a standard boxed brownie mix and make it phenomenal, a really not to be missed recipe.

The Best Brownies Ever!

2)  Easy Guacamole Dip— We have this recipe at least once a week, it is great with black beans and rice, with tortilla chips or in a myriad of other dishes.

Easy Homemade Guacamole

1)  Cranberry Citrus Coffee Cake— Otherwise known as Christmas coffee cake. This recipe can only be made with fresh cranberries, so it can be a little difficult to make when cranberries aren’t readily available in stores (why are cranberries only sold in the grocery store during the holidays?). It is a delicious and coveted dessert here in the Silly Simple household.

cranberry citrus coffee cake

 

 

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Keeping it simple…

Editor’s note:  This is a recurring Wednesday segment on SillySimple where we can ground ourselves in the simple solution to everyday life.

In the name of keeping it simple for the second Wednesday in January…

This weeks Keeping it simple is a quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Steps

Photo Credit: Kiwanja
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Use plastic bags to make your own flowers

plastic bag flower

Yesterday’s crafty afternoon flower making session was fun. I love the coffee filter flowers that we made, but not as much as my morning coffee. I need those filters! Since I have way more spare plastic grocery bags than coffee filters I decided to try some new techniques. Here is my version of the peony with plastic bags:

Equipment:

plastic bag flower supply list

  • Plastic grocery bag
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Wire cutters
  • Bowl or other circular object

 

 

1) Cut out the plastic bag so that you exclude the logo portion of the bag. You want to get a large rectangular shape from the flattened bag. Once you have the bag flattened and shaped you will fold the bag into 8ths.

2) Trace the shape of your bowl or circular project on the folded up plastic. Then cut around your pencil drawing-you will cut through all 8 layers of plastic.

trace a circle

3) Keeping your 8 circular layers together, fold the whole thing into 16ths and round the top edge like this:

folded circles of plastic bag

4) Once you have rounded the tops, open up your circles.

5) Take a 6 inch piece of floral wire. Make a small loop at one end.

6) Take each circular piece of plastic and push it on to the wire starting on the straight end.  Push all the way until the plastic stops at the loop on the other side of the wire.

push each set of petals onto the wire

7) To finish wrap a piece of floral tape around the base of the flower and the floral wire, pushing the petals upward to create the peony shape. You may need to adjust the flower a bit with your fingers to get the results you like.

Viola you are done!

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Check us out over at: Whipper Berry , Craft Monkey, The Southern Institute, The Brassy Apple

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Crafty afternoon results

I will be back tomorrow with a more detailed crafting post, but I wanted to show off the results from my crafty afternoon. I spent some time with a friend on Saturday making paper flowers inspired by these two pins from my craft board (speaking of pinterest are you following me yet?)

 

 

We ended up having a blast with our crafting session, and in the process making some pretty cool flowers. Here is our results:

white peonies from coffee filter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pink tissue paper flower pomander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yellow tissue paper flower pomander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like any truly creative endeavor a memorable mess was created, and I will fully own up to having no regrets.

messy craft session photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five simple living concepts to love in 2012

Simple Living Concepts

With the start of the New Year many people do retrospectives (uhm), and others set goals (guilty). I thought I would pair these things with some predictions, or at least wishes, for 2012. These are simple living concepts that I hope we will all have time to think about in 2012.

1)  Simple isn’t just about finding a better closet organizer. It is about living smaller so you don’t need as many organizers. I love this story about using beautiful jam jars as organizers, and how by simplifying you won’t actually need them anymore.

2) It doesn’t always have to be perfect. Accepting that truly living is more important than living perfectly.

3) The tiny house movement– a trend among home designers and buyers to create flexible resourceful home designs for houses < 500 sqft. Even if you aren’t ready to jump into a tiny space yourself the movement still epitomizes the lifestyle of doing more with less.

4) Appreciate the beauty in everyday life. When you really have time to step back and take an objective perspective on your life, you will realize that there is much beauty in the everyday world, that your Mom has good things to say and it is a good idea to follow your heart even if you have to fight for it.

5) Enjoy a good homemade meal. There are few ways to express your creativity that don’t require investment in expensive equipment, but cooking is one of those ways. A meal is a time to stop. connect. and enjoy the people around you.

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