Friday Favorites–Pineapples

Thanks to our world economy, you can buy most varieties of fruit year-round these days.  Still, there’s something that says summer about a pineapple.  Even though the places that grow them are still on my vacation wish list, they evoke tropical feelings and make me want to hop an airplane. 

Pineapple Crafts and Recipes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

When I get wherever it is that I’m going, I want to eat these Hawaiian Pork Fajitas with Pineapple Slaw and Coconut Rice by Half Baked Harvest.  If that has to actually be Hawaii, I guess I’ll try to suffer through it.

Hawaiian Hula Pork Fajitas With Pineapple Slaw and Coconut Rice by Half Baked Harvest

Or, I might just go straight to dessert so I can try out these Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars by Averie Cooks.  Love the color.

Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars by Averie Cooks

Maybe if I stick a paper umbrella in a glass of Sparkling Pineapple Lemonade from Create Craft Love it will do the trick. 

Sparkling Pineapple Lemonade by Create Craft Love

I think, for now, I’m going to have to stop thinking about traveling somewhere tropical and just bring a little of it home.  I could start with this pineapple vase shown on Sugar and Cloth.

Floral Tablescape by Sugar and Cloth

This Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread from The Healthy Foodie has an intriguing list of ingredients.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread by The Healthy Foodie

I’ve had grilled pineapple, but never watermelon.  I’d love to try these Grilled Pineapple and Watermelon Fruit Kabobs from A Night Owl.

Grilled Pineapple and Watermelon Fruit Kabobs by A Night Owl

Let’s get the kids in on this pineapple thing with this Fake Food Pineapple from While Wearing Heels.

Fake Food Pineapple by While Wearing Heels

I made my daughter a pineapple purse a few years ago, but I love the dimension in this Pineapple Bag from Llevo el Invierno.

Pineapple Bag by Llevo el Invierno 

Maybe giving someone else a pineapple gift will make me forget about my tropical getaway.  This Champagne Pineapple from Super Sandovnik might do the trick.

Champagne Pineapple by Super Sandovnik

Nope, I’m afraid the only thing that’s going to cure this tropical fever is a plane ticket.  I can even keep track of my luggage with this Pineapple Luggage Tag from Jordana Paige.

Pineapple Luggage Tag by Jordana Paige

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Friday Favorites–Curb Appeal

Since we’re throwing a wedding at our home in a couple of weeks(!), we’ve been busy spiffing things up.  My husband just replaced all of our dark, 70’s doors with new pine complete with trim.  We’ve actually watered our yard and plants regularly and my son has been busy weeding and spreading bark dust.  It kinda makes me wish we had a wedding here every couple of years or so.  Don’t tell my husband I said that.  But our house and yard have never looked better.

Curb Appeal - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I actually have wood ceilings on the front porch and back deck of my house, similar to this Peekaboo Pallet Ceiling from Cape Twenty Seven.  It was one of the first things I loved about the house.

Pallet Ceiling by Cape 27

There are so many words you could use on this Welcome Mat from A Beautiful Mess

Welcome Mat by A Beautiful Mess

There’s just something about giant letters.  I love this Welcome Sign from The Wood Grain Cottage.

Front Porch Welcome Sign by The Wood Grain Cottage

This is a brilliant but simple idea to camouflage the electric box from Love of Family and Home.

Camouflaging the Electrical Box by Love of Family and Home

There are bricks on the front of my house, but somewhere along the way someone decided it would be a good idea to paint them.  I don’t know why, and I wish I could go back and stop them, but it isn’t coming off now.  I thought about painting them, but I wasn’t sure it would work.  After seeing this Faux Brick Walkway from The Painted Home I might reconsider.

Faux Brick Walkway by Painted Home Designs

Shutters are a nice touch to brighten up a house.  Find out how to make your own from The Scrap Shoppe.

DIY Shutters by The Scrap Shoppe

If my garden hose is not immediately visible and accessible at all times, my flowers would never see a drop of water.  This DIY Garden Hose Holder from Love Grows Wild is a pretty way to display it. 

DIY Garden Hose Holder by Love Grows Wild

This garage door update from Garr Den of Love just goes to show the huge difference a little bit of hardware can make.

Garage Door Makeover by Garr Den of Love

Mail theft has been an issue where we live, so we have a big, not very attractive, locking mailbox.  I’d love to have a cute little number like this one from Beneath my Heart.

Mailbox Makeover by Beneath My Heart

I love everything about this Tree Bench from This Old House.

Tree Bench by This Old House

Since you can barely get a cart through Home Depot these days, I know we aren’t the only ones knee-deep in home improvement.  Whatcha been working on?

Friday Favorites–Easy as Pie

Maybe it’s the “American as apple pie” thing, but the 4th of July always makes me think of pie.  And not necessarily apple, although there are few pies I would rule out.  In my perfect world, sugar is good for you and butter gives you a six-pack.  On the front.

Pie Recipes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

This Salted Caramel Peanut Pie from Eats Well With Others looks like a big, round, rich candy bar.  Yum.

Salted Caramel Peanut Pie from Eats Well With Others

I have a couple of hazelnut trees by my house, and the day I’m faster than the hungry squirrels I might actually get to harvest some to make this Chocolate Pudding Pie with Hazelnut Crust from Everyday Maven.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Hazelnut Crust from Everyday Maven

This Crème de Mint Pie from What’s Cooking with Ruthie might seem like more of a winter option, except I have a big patch of mint growing out front right now that’s just begging to become garnish.

Creme de Mint Pie from Whats Cooking With Ruthie

I have fond memories of eating blackberry pies and cobblers when I was a kid.  I just need some adorable little cast irons skillets and to convince my husband to let a few of the vines grow and I’ll be making these Blackberry Pot Pies from The Pioneer Woman on Food Network.

Blackberry Pot Pie from Food Network

I can’t even imagine how sweet and delicious this Butterscotch Pie from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice must be.

Butterscotch Pie from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

This Banana Split Pie from Raining Hot Coupons would be the perfect solution for one of those days when it’s too hot to cook, but everyone’s craving dessert.

Banana Split Pie from Raining Hot Coupons

This Caramel Coconut Cream Pie from I Want Crazy is definitely happening.  My son just discovered he likes to bake, and I watched him take a coconut from whole, in the shell, to grated last week.  I’m recruiting him to make this for me.

Caramel Coconut Cream Pie from I Want Crazy

This Strawberry Pie from Lemon Tree Dwelling is almost too pretty to eat.  I’m sure I could force myself to do it anyway.

Strawberry Pie from Lemon Tree Dwelling

Hey, all you bacon lovers out there, have you tried it in a pie?  Now’s your chance!  Check out this Bacon Apple Pie from The Loveless Café.

Bacon Apple Pie from The Loveless Cafe

My husband loves Red Velvet.  I told him it’s only chocolate dyed red, but according to him it tastes different.  I should probably stop trying to burst that bubble and just make him this Red Velvet Fudge Pie from Pizzazzerie.

Red Velvet Pie from Pizzazzerie

Have a happy and safe celebration tonight!

Friday Favorites–4th of July

I love it when the 4th of July rolls around.  The weather is nicer and we have a great view of a nearby town’s fireworks show from the back deck.  In addition to my country, I also just happen to love red, white and blue. 

4th of July Crafts - Friday Favorites from Crafty Staci

This Ticket American Flag from Organize and Decorate Everything was made using dollar store materials, but if you have some tickets stashed away from a special event, this would be a great way to display them.

Tickets American Flag by Organize and Decorate Everything

I’m really bad about painting my nails.  I’m probably the only person on the planet who doesn’t enjoy a professional manicure, and when I paint them myself I’m too impatient to do it properly.  However, this 4th of July Manicure from Fab Fatale really makes me want to give it another try.

4th of July Manicure by Fab Fatale

I had to include these Regal Eagle Cookies from Dollhouse Bake Shoppe.  I mean, how many times have you seen an Independence Day project involving eagles?

July 4th Regal Eagle Cookies by Dollhouse Bake Shoppe

These Popsicle Stick Flags from Gingersnap Crafts look like a good craft to try with the kids.

Popsicle Stick Flags by Gingersnap Crafts

I love me some red twists, and I’m thinking these 4th of July Party Favors from Sweet Simple Stuff are a good watching-fireworks-snack.

4th of July Party Favors by Sweet Simple Stuff

While we’re at it, lets add a side of Chocolate Dipped Oreo American Flag from The Pink Flour.

Chocolate Dipped Oreo American Flag by The Pink Flour

I’m going to have a TON of clothespins after the wedding, so I think I might need to make this wreath from Cat’s Craft Room next year.

Clothespin Flag Wreath by Cats Craft Room

This Crepe Paper Runner from Good Housekeeping is so simple and great for when you need a cute, temporary decoration.

Crepe Paper Runner by Good Housekeeping

These Fourth of July Chair Covers from Spoonful just make me wonder why I don’t have chair covers for every holiday.

Fourth of July Chair Covers by Spoonful

This Red, White and Blue Bustle Dress from Heart Break Kids is so sweet.  If I had a girl this size, I’d probably make the poor thing wear it all the time.

Red White and Blue Bustle Dress by Heart Break Kids

The 4th is on Friday this year, so be extra safe out there!

Office Organization Station

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 1

Yep, that’s me.  I am the queen of lists, and more than once I’ve crossed off the last item before tossing it in the trash.  I know once it’s finished there’s no need to mark that last box, but it just isn’t complete until I’ve done it.  I like my organization with a little side of obsession for flavor.  With the wedding coming up, you know I’m in full organizational mode.  My daughter and I decided it would be nice to put it up on the wall where we could both see it easily.  I think she’s trying to slow my list-making roll.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 2

Craft Warehouse has been carrying these square frames for a good ten years or so, and I’ve wanted to make one of these with them for about that long.  There are so many ways you could go with this, but I wanted a dry erase board, a calendar and something I could stick magnets to.  I also had the U.S. map scrapbook paper that I bought a long time ago and never found a use for, so four frames was perfect for me.  They also had the twig hanger, which I loved, so I brought that home too.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 3

I wanted to make sure they all hung together straight, so that’s where my husband and his trusty brad nailer came in.  I removed the glass and backing from each frame, then he lined them all up and secured them with three nails between each side.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 4

After that it was just a matter of putting in the guts.  The metal square went on top of the glass, as well as the dry erase.  In hindsight, I probably could have put a piece of paper behind the glass and just used it, but what’s done is done.  I did put a piece of scrapbook paper behind the glass with the calendar on top of it.  The map is behind the glass as well.  The backs went back on like they ordinarily would when framing a picture.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 5

My husband placed the nails for hanging.  That’s been our deal ever since I nailed the pocket door shut in our bedroom.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 6

After the frames were up, the next step was to hang the hook for the jars to hold the pens and eraser.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 7

While he worked on that, I took the jar rings outside and used a hammer and nail to poke two holes across from each other.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 8

I figured out how long I wanted them to hang and cut an appropriate length of wire, making sure there was enough to wrap back onto itself.  I stuck it through the holes on each side and twisted.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 9

I put the lids back on the jars, filled them with the eraser and dry-erase markers and hung them in place.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 10

I don’t know why I waited so long.  This didn’t take much time at all, and the whole project cost me about $45.  Not a bad price for my peace of mind.

Office Organization Center - Crafty Staci 11

Friday Favorites–When Life Hands You Lemons…

Admittedly, I might have lemons on the brain right now.  My daughter’s wedding colors are yellow and grey, and much of the dessert buffet we’re serving is lemon-based, so I may be suffering from citrus-immersion.  But doesn’t it seem like there’s just a ton of lemony goodness out there right now?

Lemon Crafts and Recipes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

We’ve found gluten-free and lemon play really well together, and can’t wait to try these Lemon Brownie Bars from Wicked Good Kitchen.

Lemon Brownie Bars by Wicked Good Kitchen

I loved hand pies when I was a little girl, but I’m pretty sure lemon filling would be a new one for me.  These Mini Lemon Hand Pies from Lemons for Lulu made my must-try list.

Mini Lemon Hand Pies by Lemons for Lulu

If you’re never had lemon curd on a scone, you’ve got to try this Homemade Lemon Curd recipe from Sewlicious Home Décor.  Yum.

Lemon Curd by Sewlicious Home Decor

If you have any left over after the scones are gone, this recipe for Lemon Meringue Fudge from Torie Jayne would be the perfect way to use it up.

Lemon Meringue Fudge by Torie Jayne

If you need a quick but impressive dessert, you might want to check out these Three Ingredient Lemon Cheesecake Truffles from Tatertots and Jello.

Three Ingredient Lemon Cheescake Truffles by Tatertots and Jello

How about some strawberries thrown in?  This No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cookie Pie from Life Love and Sugar looks delicious.

No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cookie Pie by Life Love and Sugar

You don’t have to eat lemons to have fun with them.  Try these unique Lemon Peel Flowers from The Daily Squeeze.

Lemon Peel Flowers on The Daily Squeeze

Don’t throw away that juice from the inside!  Instead, make Invisible Ink with Minieco.

Invisible Ink by Minie Co

Lemon is just the smell of clean, making it the perfect flavor for this Homemade Lemon Soap from A Pumpkin and a Princess.

Homemade Lemon Soap by A Pumpkin and a Princess

If you like to carry your lemons, then this Citrus Wedge Coin Purse from Delia Creates is for you.

Citrus Wedge Coin Purse by Delia Creates

Friday Favorites–Gifts for Dad

It hasn’t been the best week, but I can think of no better way to finish it off than to plan a great day for the papa bear in our house.  He’s earned it.  When Sunday comes, we’ll be pampering that guy as much as he’ll let us.  And there will be gifts.

DIY Gifts for Dad - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Bacon and dads go together like salt and pepper.  Give your pepper this Bacon Salt from Not Quite Nigella.

Bacon Salt by Not Quite Nigella

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books?  Is my 70’s and 80’s childhood showing?  This Choose Your Own Father’s Day Adventure from the Dating Divas would be a fun gift for any dad.

Print 

If your dad likes to venture out on his bike, like my kids’ dad does, this Upcycled Handlebar Bag from Givers Log would be a handy gift.

Upcycled Handlebar Bag by Givers Log

This My Superhero My Dad Poem and Printable from Create Craft Love is sweet, and it would be even better if you happen to have a great photo of dad and kid in matching costumes like these.

My Superhero My Dad Poem and Printable from Create Craft Love

Is Dad a Star Wars fan?  If so, he’ll love this Star Wars Father’s Day Mug from Architecture of a Mom.  I can guarantee he’ll attempt the Darth Vader voice.

Star Wars Father's Day Mug from Architecture of a Mom

When my husband was a road officer, he loved the night shift.  We spent a lot of time trying to make the bedroom dark enough so he could sleep during the day.  What he really needed was a Superhero Sleep Mask like this one from Cutesy Crafts.

Superhero Sleep Masks from Cutesy Crafts

My hubby would get a kick out of this Father’s Day Beer Tasting Party from That’s What Che Said.  In fact, this one is on the short list for Sunday.

Father's Day Beer Tasting Party by That's What Che Said

Just about every guy wears shorts, so why not sew him a pair?  Melly Sews is here to show you how you can draft a pattern just for him.

Men's Shorts Pattern by Melly Sews

Since the warmer weather is here, Dad might appreciate a can cozy, like this one from So Sew Easy.  I think it would be fun to work a little duct tape in there.

Cool It Can Cozy by So Sew Easy

This Giant Dice Outdoor Game from DIY Showoff would be a great gift for Dad and a fun activity for the family.

Giant Outdoor Dice Game by DIY Showoff

Give the dad in your house a giant hug and tell him how great he is this weekend!

Embellished Kitchen Towels

Now that my daughter’s bridal shower is over, I can show you what I made for her!  It’s not too difficult to shop for someone who has never had her own kitchen before, but I really wanted to give her something homemade and personal.  She chose her kitchen colors based on the colors of three appliances owned that would be sitting on the counter, but I love them together.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 1

I set out to find fabric based on her color scheme.  That proved to be more difficult than I expected, but I ended up finding a couple I liked together. 

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 2

I made the apron based on a pattern I came up with last year.  I’ve decided every bridal shower I go to from now on will include one of these in the gift from me.  I added an extra pocket this time, with a little embroidery for the bride.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 3

And, of course, it’s reversible.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 4

I love these cotton kitchen towels.  Also known as tea towels, they’re a good size, absorbent and fun to decorate.  For the first one, I decided to add a strip of fabric overlapping the top edge of some eyelet lace.  It reminds me of some of her outfits when she was a little girl.  Sigh.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 5

For the next one, I just went with two simple pieces of fabric.  I wanted to make sure there was at least one that her fiancé might be willing to use.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 6

For the last towel I went a little fancier.  I cut seven 4” squares, then folded each corner to corner and pressed.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 7

Then I folded again to create this shape.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 8

I pinned them in place on the towel, overlapping to spread them evenly across the space. 

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 9

Next I cut a piece of fabric the width of the towel plus 1/4” on each end, and 4” wide.  I turned all the edges under 1/4” and pressed.

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 10

I stitched the strip on, overlapping the top of the triangles. 

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 11

The turquoise is my favorite of the three, but it wasn’t an easy choice.  Fortunately, the bride loved them all!

Embellished Kitchen Towels - Crafty Staci 12

Friday Favorites–Tea Party

I attended my daughter’s bridal shower last weekend, and it was an afternoon of girly fun.  This mother-of-the-bride job is pretty great!

Codi's Bridal Shower

 

Events like these always remind me that I have an ongoing wish to throw a mostly-grown-up tea party.  Not for any event…just because.  I’ve been collecting ideas for years now, and every time I mention it my daughter says “Do it!”  One of these days…

Tea Party Crafts and Recipes - Crafty Staci

If you’re going to throw a tea party, the first thing you need to do is invite some guests.  This Tea Party Invite from Seven Thirty Three would definitely convey the theme.

Tea Party Invitation by Seven Thirty Three

What’s a tea party without cute decorations?  This simple, printable paper chain from Allsorts seems perfect to me.

Paper Chains by Allsorts

I think these Paper Mache Tea Cups from Ann Wood would make beautiful centerpieces.

Paper Mache Tea Cups by Ann Wood

Sure, there’s tea at a tea party, but there’s also tasty snacks.  I couldn’t pass up these No Bake Teacup Treats from She Knows.

No Bake Teacup Treats from She Knows

Maybe you’d prefer something a little more traditional?  How about these Meyer Lemon Tea Cakes with Pomegranate Glaze from Weelicious?

Meyer Lemon Tea Cakes by Weelicious

If you want to go all-in, try some of the 50 options for tea sandwiches offered by the Food Network.

50 Tea Sandwiches on Food Network

These Handsewn Tea Bags Tied to Yummy Cookies from Merriment Design could serve as both tea bag and dessert.

Handsewn Teabags Tied to Yummy Cookies by Merriment Design

Someday, when I throw my tea party, all girls will be invited, no matter how small.  However, those little ones are going to want something to do, so I’m keeping my eye on this Mad Hatter Tea Set pattern by Super Pop on Craftsy.

Mad Hatter Tea Set by Super Pop on Craftsy

To go with that tea set, I’m going to need this Tea Box from Lil Blue Boo.  You might find I’ve wandered off during my party to join the little bits who are playing with these.

Tea Box by Lil Blue Boo

I want to send my guests off at the end of the party with a little something to take home.  I think this Tea Wallet from Sew It Girl would be a perfect tea party favor.

Tea Wallet by Sew It Girl

Book Review: Stylish Skirts

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, Tuttle Publishing contacted me and asked if I would review some of their sewing books here on my blog.  I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing Happy Homemade:  Sew Chic and Happy Homemade:  Sew Chic Kids already, and today I’m here with Stylish Skirts.  The books were given to me by Tuttle, but the opinions here are completely my own.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 1

I was really excited when Stylish Skirts by Sato Watanabe arrived in the mail.  I love skirts, and every year around this time I vow to wear more of them.  They also tend to be one of the easiest clothing items a seamstress can make, with so many options for variations.  This book arrived with 23 choices available, almost every one of them something I would wear. 

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 2

I like the unique touches to classic styles, like this Slub Denim Wrap-Style Panel Skirt, with its extra bit of extended hem.

Stylish Skirts  Book Review - Crafty Staci 3

Irregular hem skirts have been in style for a few years now, and this version just looks like someone should dance in it.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 4

The Tiered Look Frilled Skirt adds a twist to the usual tiered skirt by making the layers end at different lengths.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 5

I really like the white stripe coordinating with the white buttons on this one.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 6

There is quite a bit of embroidery in this book, which I’ve been loving lately.  Since this skirt is so easy to sew, the extra effort to add the embroidery isn’t much work.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 7

As far as the way the book is laid out, it’s very similar to the others I’ve reviewed from Tuttle.  It starts out with photos of each skirt on the same dress form, along with page numbers for the instructions.  I miss the personality of human models, but it did make me feel a bit less intimidated that I’m not the size 0 shown in the photos.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 8

The book includes several helpful pages for beginners or anyone needing a refresher, like this one that covers different closures.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 9

I really like the way they have diagramed the sewing instructions.  Like my cookbooks, my sewing books can’t have too many photos. 

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 12

The one issue I have with this book is that you have to draft your own patterns.  I understand this is necessary because there’s no way 23 skirt patterns in a variety of sizes are going to fit in an envelope.  However, I was disappointed to find no “How to Draft a Pattern” page, and even with my 40+ years of sewing experience and help from my husband I couldn’t figure out how to make my favorite skirt.

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 10

Granted, I don’t often draft clothing patterns, so this problem may be confined to me.  I did understand some of the other patterns.  My suggestion would be to make a muslin, especially for your first drafted pattern from this book.  I’m still hoping to figure it out, because I have a piece of fabric that would be perfect for that skirt.

The other thing I’d like to see is clearer fabric suggestions.  There are some, but if they were to add that and a page explaining pattern drafting, this book would be perfect.  Still, Stylish Skirts is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re a skirt fan like I am!

Stylish Skirts Book Review - Crafty Staci 11