Saturday, July 30, 2011

Guest Post: Christina Johnson on Fresh Trends for Fall Decor

We've got a great guest today at Snowflakes & Dragonflies.  Let me introduce you to Christina Johnson. She works remotely for Elliman Prudential.  She is using her journalism major to combine what she loves most, writing and her career.  Her specialties include home decor design and DIY home improvement projects.

Fresh Trends for Fall Decor
by Christina Johnson
As summer gives way to autumn and the air turns crisp, it's the perfect time to revamp your home decor. Bring some of the rich textures and colors of fall indoors, to create your own cool weather sanctuary. Take a peak at some of the fresh trends in fall decor.

Wall Decorations

Accent pieces, such as throw pillows, candles, art, sheets, comforters, slipcovers, floral centerpieces, and knickknacks, can complement the color of the room and add a fun or sophisticated feel. While neutral furniture has been the standard, don't be afraid to experiment and add a splash of color, as accessories can be easily swapped out with the change of seasons. Copper, red, black, chocolate brown, brass, wine, and funky patterns are popular this season. However, shades of orange have been stealing the show. Add some burnt orange pillows or a few pumpkin orange vases to give your home a fall feeling.

You no longer need to worry about adhering to a single style or aesthetic for a room. Eclectic decor is one of the bigger trends of fall. Mix masculine and feminine, antique and modern, or combine artwork of different mediums and styles. Try pairing your antique coffee table with a modern sofa. Try adding a splash of pink, or vases full of flowers, to an otherwise masculine room.  Location no longer matters either, whether you live in a Manhattan Rental, or a country colonial, whatever you call home should be decorated based on your taste.

 Up-cycled home goods

Take recycling to a whole new level by using up-cycled pieces. Whether you want to take on a craft project or browse Etsy; you'll be amazed by the range of re-imagined materials. Recycled-content counters have seen an increase in popularity but are still unique enough to drum up some compliments. Accent items, like clocks made from old records or bowls made from magazines can be chic and functional as well.

Basic window treatments
Lush, heavy window treatments have been abandoned for more streamlined versions. Design aficionados are predicting that linen panels will be huge this fall. These window treatments can soften any room. The classic fabric comes in a variety of colors and patterns to complement the colors of the room. With lighter material, the fall days will not seem so dark and dreary.


Bold, neutral, solids, and patterns can all add texture to a space. Wallpaper has become easy to apply and remove, making it an affordable way to update a room from season to season. Metallics can add glamour to a room, while printable wallpaper allows home-owners to customize the design to their tastes.

Mix it up


Painting is a simple, affordable way to reinvent a space. Imbue your home with fall's popular warm, cozy colors. Whether you want to go bold or stick with neutrals, this season's palette offers something for everyone. Among the trendiest paint colors are soft gold, burnt orange, mocha, creamy beige, asparagus green, earthy browns and tans, and shades of gray, ranging from peppercorn to a pale gray violet. In a neutral room, an accent wall in a bold color can add depth and interest. Some popular choices are creams and beige with a brown or red accent wall.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Do you make your own spaghetti sauce?  Or are you a jar person?   I am 100% homemade sauce type of girl; I can not stand the stuff from a jar.   It’s my mom’s fault.  I grew up this homemade spaghetti sauce, no other recipe will do. This is what you need:

Ground Beef, Tomato Sauce, Sugar, Vinegar, Yellow Mustard, Chili Powder, Italian Season. 

Start by browning the hamburger.  Drain off the grease.  If you desire (we don’t) you can cook up some onions, green pepper and mushrooms at this point.  Put the hamburger back in the pot and salt and pepper to taste.

Add the tomato sauce. 

 Add the remaining ingredients. 
I usually measure out the white sugar, vinegar, yellow mustard, chili powder and Italian seasoning while the hamburger is browning, it’s easier than reaching for everything separately when it’s time to add them.

Stir to combine and let simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  If you like a thicker sauce add cornstarch to get it to where you want it.


This freezes very well, I usually make at least a double batch and then use half and freeze half for later. Mr. Manly Man freezes serving sizes, pasta and all, and takes it to work.    

Oh and dipping some French bread in the sauce as its simmering is highly recommended!

Here's the actual recipe:

Brown in skillet:

1/2 lb. hamburger
1 onion diced


1 can tomato sauce
1 Tbs. Chili Powder
1 Tbs. White Sugar
1 Tbs. Vinegar
1 Tbs. Yellow Mustard

Simmer and serve.

I recommend you make this recipe as is and then tweak it to your taste. I always use 2 tablespoons of chili powder, sugar, vinegar and mustard; and I add about 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. 

I also omit the onions.  Usually I used a whole pound of hamburger, as Mr. Manly Man likes it better that way.  This is the sauce I used for spaghetti, lasagna and stuffed jumbo shells. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lampshades and a Glue Gun

About a year ago I purchased a couple of lamps for our bedside tables.  Simple lamps with simple lampshades that matched.  I was giddy, matching lamps in our bedroom – for the first time ever!   Matching yes – but somewhat boring lampshades. 

I love love love this beading – it’s the same beading I used when Mr. Manly Man and I made our headboard.  Brown velvet ribbon with clear, brown and light blue wire wrapped glass beads.  What's not to love? 

I got out my mighty glue gun and went to town.  It only took 10 minutes to do both shades.  Here’s a quick before and after. 

A closer look.


Anyone can have a tan colored lampshade, but how many people have lampshades with beading that match their headboard?  

Linking to: 
A Vision to Remember Funky Junk Interiors Tater Tots and Jello Green Door Designs Craft Envy Passionately Artistic Creative Jewish Mom I Heart Nap Time Nifty Thrifty Things Sister of the Wild West The Tattered Tag Cherished Treasures The DIY Showoff Flamingo Toes nder the Table and Dreaming
The Girl Creative Hazel and Honeysuckle Petite Hermine Cherished Bliss Simply Cadence J Embllish  A Bowl Full of Lemons My Backyard Eden Craft outure R They All Yours All Things Fee Sew Chatty Singing Three Little Birds Mad in Crafts  Simponized Crafts and Then Some Crafts Keep Me Sane
Life Made Lovely Making the World Cuter Boogie Board Cottage Sumo's Sweet Stuff  Skip To My Lou  It's So Very Cheri C.R.A.F.T. Craft - O - maniac
Embellishing Life Polly Want a Crafter Homemaker on a Dime Southern Hospitality THe Girl Creative The Trendy Treehouse Its a Blog Party Me Making Do
Crayon Freckles  A Stroll Thru Life Funky Polka Dot Giraffe Sassy Sites Run with Glitter At Home with K   Ladybug Blessings Type A Decorating Hope Studios ewnostalgia  Sugar Bee Crafts Silly Little Sparrow Today's Creative Blog  Tip Junkie  Coastal Charm  All Things Related  The Blackberry Vine
I'm Topsy Turvy Tuesday Timeout Tuesday Glam Party Ginger Snap Crafts
Sugar & Dots Laugh Love and Craft  My Girlish Whims Rook No 17 Creations by Kara The T Shirt Diaries 733 blog Domestically Speaking rganize Your Stuff Now  Someday Crafts  Lil Luna  Blue Cricket Design  Goodbye City Hello Suburbs  The Thrifty Home  Twin Dragonfly Designs  Passionatley Artistic
Polka Dots on Parade Handy Man Craft Woman  omen who do it all  Kissed by a Frog  Katie's Nesting Spot  Crystals Craft Spot  omnivores-dilemma  Suzy SItcom  Ain't She Crazy  Saved By Love Creations   Tales From   loggeritaville  Night Owl Crafting  The Shabby Chic Cottage  Thrifty Decorating  Full Of Great Ideas  A Glimpse Inside   Paisley Passions  Delightful Order    Somewhat Simple  Beyond the Picket Fence  20 below thursday  The Brambleberry Cottage  No Minimalist Here  Rhinestone Beagle  Whipperberry

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Reminder - F.B.F.W.

A Round TuitRecently I purchased a great shower curtain at Tuesday Morning for a cool $10.00, so I got to redecorate the bath.  I'll show you the before and after soon, it's not quite done.  What I can and will show you is some wall decor I whipped up.

I started with an unfinished 8" x 11.5" wood plaque from Wally World or Hobby Lobby - just one I picked up on the cheap.
I gave it several coats of light blue, got out the Silhouette and clicked on over to Pinterest where I had saved some great ideas.  The only problem was making the decision which idea to use.  I settled on this:

 Even though my girls are teenagers, I still feel the need to remind them of certain things they need to complete before going to bed each night.   Maybe this will help them remember!

Linking to:  Kissed by a Frog  Crystals Craft Spot  momnivores-dilemma  Suzy SItcom  Ain't She Crazy  Saved By Love Creations  Tales From Bloggeritaville  Night Owl Crafting  The Shabby Chic Cottage  Thrifty Decorating  Full Of Great Ideas  A Glimpse Inside  Yesterday On Tuesday   Paisley Passions Delightful Order Somewhat Simple Beyond the Picket Fence 
20 below thursday The Brambleberry Cottage No Minimalist Here Fireflies & Jellybeans Rhinestone Beagle Blue Creek Home A Creative Princess Whipperberry  Bacon Time  Fun Day Friday Very Merry Vintage Style Bubbly Nature Creations The Charm of home Homemaker in Heels Simply Sweet Home Home is Where My Story Begins
Frugal Fabulous Design Just A Girl  Remodelaholic  Common Ground Turly Lovely My Romantic Home The Girl Creative Finding Fabulous  Fingerprints on the Fridge The Shabby Nest  Home Sweet Farm Chic on Shoe String
Iron Violet Designs It's A Hodgepodge Life  Naturally Me Creations Stuff and Nonsense The Speckled Dog Tidy Mom French County Cottage Lovely Crafty Home Spunky Junky  Running With Glitter 
Cherished Bliss   Simply Cadence  J Embllish  A Bowl Full of Lemons  My Backyard Eden  Craft Couture Singing Three Little Birds  Crafts Keep Me Sane  Life Made Lovely
Making the World Cuter  Dittle Dattle Boogie Board Cottage Sumo's Sweet Stuff  Skip To My Lou It's So Very Cheri C.R.A.F.T. Polly Want a Crafter  Southern Hospitality
THe Girl Creative Its a Blog Party  Me Making Do Pinkapotamus Organize with Sandy  Kissed by a Frog  Crystals Craft Spot  momnivores-dilemma Suzy SItcom  Ain't She Crazy  Saved By Love Creations  Tales From Bloggeritaville  Night Owl Crafting  The Shabby Chic Cottage  Thrifty Decorating Full Of Great Ideas A Glimpse Inside  Paisley Passions  Delightful Order  Somewhat Simple  Beyond the Picket Fence  20 below thursday
The Brambleberry Cottage  No Minimalist Here Rhinestone Beagle A Creative Princess Whipperberry

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Brooklyn Park Flea Market

One of my favorite haunts is the Brooklyn Park Flea Market on the east side of the square in downtown Iola. 

I adore the owner, Melinda, she's really down to earth and knows her stuff.  She knows what I like and always lets me know when something good comes in.  I've spent hours upon hours browsing and have found lots of goodies, not all have come home but a few did. 

This parts bin came home a few months ago, I had no plan for where it would go in the house.  It has been propped up against the wall since I brought it home. I did take the time to sand off the magic marker, but other than that, nothing.

 A few weeks after the parts bin, Mr. Manly Man and I found this old buggy wheel.  Thankfully we were in the truck and were able to get it home.  It's just hanging out by the chimney outside. 

The same day I found the buggy wheel I also spotted this gem.  It unfortunately, did not get to come home,   Mr. Manly Man really didn't like it.  When I went back a few weeks later, it was gone.  At least I can look a the picture. . .

I can hardly wait to see what's there next time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Going Red - Salt & Pepper Shakers

I’ve had these wooden salt and pepper shakers for a good 20 plus years.  They’ve been around longer than Mr. Manly Man and were looking a little sad.  They had a few scratches and were worn so I decided they needed a little facelift of the paint kind.

I started by sanding them down and then gave them two coats of some gorgeous red paint.   I put toothpicks in the holes of the salt shakers to keep the paint from plugging them.  After the paint dried overnight I did a light layer of wax.  I think they look great!

Linking to: 
Craft - O - maniac   Embellishing Life   Sew Can Do  Polly Want a Crafter  Homemaker on a Dime  Southern Hospitality  THe Girl Creative  The Trendy Treehouse  Its a Blog Party  Me Making Do  Pinkapotamus  Coastal Charm  A Stroll Thru Life    Funky Polka Dot Giraffe  Sassy Sites  Run with Glitter  At Home with K    Ladybug Blessings  Hope Studios  DIY Design
Sugar Bee Crafts  The Trendy Treehouse  My Frugal Family  My Craftie Life  Today's Creative Blog Tip Junkie  All Things Related The Blackberry Vine
Creative Itch  I'm Topsy Turvy  A Diamond in the Stuff  Tuesday Timeout  Tuesday Glam Party  Tell Me Tuesday  Whatever Wednesday Sugar & Dots  Laugh Love and Craft My Girlish Whims Rook No 17 Creations by Kara  Tearose Home The T Shirt Diaries  733 blog  Sister Stuff  Domestically Speaking  Organize Your Stuff Now  Someday Crafts Lil Luna  Sew Much Ado  Goodbye City Hello Suburbs  Twin Dragonfly Designs  Passionatley Artistic Polka Dots on Parade  Handy Man Craft Woman



Friday, July 1, 2011

Easy Homemade Donuts

When I was a kid, mom used to make us homemade donuts on the weekends. I now do this once in a great while, it’s quick and easy, plus there is no place in my small town to get donuts. 

I start with a tube or two of buttermilk biscuits.  Regular size, el cheap o biscuits, I think these were $ .85 a tube. 

I started by heating just under 3” of vegetable oil in a large pan.  I don’t use a thermometer but I just heat it over medium and use a donut hole to test if the oil is hot enough.  If it floats and bubbles the oil is ready. 
While the oil heats, I use an apple corer to make the hole in the donuts.

When the oil is hot, fry the donuts 3 or four at a time.   Stagger putting them into the oil by 30 seconds or so.  When one side is brown, flip the donut and cook the other side.  Too hot of oil will cook the outside too fast and it will be doughy inside, you want hot oil but not too hot, that’s why I used medium heat.  You could use an electric skillet to keep constant heat, set to 350 to 375 degrees.

When cooked on both sides use a slotted spoon or the utensil that come with a home fryer and remove the donuts.   Put directly into a bowl with 1 cup of sugar.  Using a spoon (remember the donut will be HOT) coat the donut with sugar.  When coated remove to a plate, I use a table knife to move the donut to the plate.  Cook the donut holes in the same manner. 

This is what I ended up with.

I find that having on the of the kids do the sugar part helps out a lot.  I don't recommend letting young kids help out though since the donuts are really hot as they go into the sugar.

Linking to:  

A Vision to Remember

Funky Junk Interiors

Tater Tots and Jello

Green Door Designs

Craft Envy

It's A Crafty Life

Creative Jewish Mom

I Heart Nap Time

Nifty Thrifty Things

Sister of the Wild West

The Tattered Tag

Cherished Treasures

The DIY Showoff

Flamingo Toes

Under the Table and Dreaming

Petite Hermine

Homemaker on a Dime

Cherished Treasures”=