Burlap and Red !


Hi friends.

I've been a bit stuck in the winter doldrums and oh so tired of my winter mantel look.  And yet a really springy look wouldn't fit yet with the piles of snow outside my window.
So I tried my hand at a burlap wreath.  I had been wanting to for such a long time and when I found this red/check ribbon I thought why not.
Well it's easy according to other's but not so much for me.  Burlap is a bit messy and it took me awhile to get the hang of the weaving and looping.
However I think I rather like it and the red adds a pop to my mantel.

I shopped the house and a little thrift store for more pops of red.
The only new to me things are the little bird house and the red planter.

And the cute little red clock!  Actually my hubby whipped this up so that he could show his Exploratory class one of the options they have.  This class is mainly made up of Freshmen students and they build more of a beginner project.  They only have 4 weeks so it needs to be done fairly quickly. 
He is going to add something extra around the face of the clock too.

If you live at Applestone Cottage you need to have an apple box!
I bought this quite awhile ago when it was on 90% clearance.

A thrift store birdhouse and my little white birdie.
A red planter and a few other accessories for a little more pop.
 I looked all over the Internet for tutorials on making a burlap wreath.  Let me say there is no shortage but some are easier to follow than others.
The one I like the best is here
The pictures and tutorial are pretty easy to follow along.
If your like me you will sit right by your computer screen with burlap and wreath in hand until you can get the hang of it.
So that's my burlap wreath tip...just give it a try, my total cost was about $11.50 for material, wreath and the big heavy ribbon.

Have a great week everyone and just so you know, I am currently mad at that little Chicago groundhog who said we would have an early spring. 
I am joining a few fun blog parties.
Tweek it Tuesday
Tabletop Tuesday
Wow us Wednesdays
Tips and Tutorials


This past week and Chili!


I have to say I have been feeling a wee bit down and sorry for myself this week. I had all these plans for joining some fun blogger parties.  But life has a way of interrupting the best of intentions. 
You see I babysit my 2 year old grand-daughter Addison about 40 hours a week.  And I love it and I am grateful to have such a special and amazing bond with her.  But she is a very active 2 year old and she sometimes wears this Grandma out.

Dancing here in the little dress I recently made for her.
And then there is my Mom.  She had a stroke in December right before Christmas.  She is improving but she is unable to drive because of it affecting her eyesight.  She also has limited energy.  So I drive her to appointments, pick up meds, grocery shop, pick up all kinds of necessary things, help clean her home, and various other daughterly duties.
So with the 2 year old and the 77 year old I am finding myself a bit short of energy.  I am a sandwich I guess. 
( I think that is the term.) 
The dress looks a bit scrunched up and funny but actually it is pretty cute. ( She just wasn't wanting to have her picture taken.)
So I had various projects started and none of them are quite completed (other than the dress)
But I do have something else to share.
A great Chili Recipe that I found a while back in Midwest Living.
I made it the other night and hubby loved it!

Three Bean Chili

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-15 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
1 to 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 to 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 bay leaf
salt and ground black pepper
Tortilla chips, dairy sour creme and/or shredded cheddar cheese
 In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook ground beef, green pepper, and onion until meat is brown: drain.  Stir in tomato sauce, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, brown sugar, chili powder., 1/2 tsp. salt, the paprika and the bay leaf.
Bring to a boiling, reduce heat. Simmer,covered for 45 minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaf.Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  If you like, serve the chili with tortilla chips, sour creme, and/or shredded cheese.
Makes 6 servings.

Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your visits!


Thrifty Valentine Centerpiece


 If your at all like my family, then your finances are tight come the end of January.
We are still paying off Christmas and then property taxes come due the end of January.  And Wisconsin is kind of well known for our high property taxes.
So what's a gal to do?  Shop my house of course!

I made fabric hearts out of scrap fabric and just gathered up some items to create this little table centerpiece.
Nothing fancy, definitely homespun.  But it brightened my day and these little hearts are easy and take no time at all.
Cost: Zero dollars.
Did you all enjoy the Superbowl?  My hubby is a football fanatic specifically the Green Bay Packers.  I enjoyed the halftime show and of course the commercials.  I think my favorite one was the Budweiser one, they are so well done.
And the farmer with Paul Harvey, is that amazing or what.
However my friend Linda, also a blogger made one up like that in honor of her Dad over a year ago.  Check it out at...Reminisce This and That.
Marty for Tabletop Tuesday
Brenda for Tweak it Tuesday
Debbie @ Confession of a Plate Addict
for Cowgirl Up Party.