Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quilt Project: Week 1

Honestly, I need a new project like I need a hole in my head.  However, while reading Randi's blog at I have to say, I got sucked into a quilt project.  Read more about the project here.

Yes, a quilt!  Have I ever quilted?  Heck no!  However, Randi ensures everyone can complete it, and we will be okay.  She broke the quilt into 6 weeks of steps.  Week 1 (last week) was simply to pick 10 fabrics, purchase 1/3 yard of each, machine wash, hang dry, and iron.  I may not make it through the remainder of the project, but at least I made it through week 1.

I'll try to keep you updated as I go along.  Here is a picture of my 10 fabrics.  Aren't they gorgeous?

Also, I'd love for some of you to join me in this little shindig.  I've never done this before either, and Randi promises she'll hold hands along the way...good thing!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Double Dipping

Remember how I told you I was going away for Scrapfest 2010?  The benefit of being around other creative minded folks is learning new tips and strategies to take back home.

Enter Diana...

Oh, how I envy her creativeness.  Diana is a scrapper AND card-maker.  With each scrapbook spread she creates, she takes the scraps and makes a card or two.  

After finishing this adorable Halloween spread, she created a quick Halloween card for later.

Then, using the scraps from an adorable page of her daughter...she created the gorgeous card in the back.

I always struggle to find something to do with the scraps from my pages.  Now, I can share my creativity with others by using the scraps to create cards for various occasions.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Featured Again

Exciting news...

Yup!  I was featured, again!  My curtains showed up on one of the fabulous blogs I read daily.  I love it.

On a different note, I am headed out of town tomorrow for a crafting weekend.  Twice a year, my sister and I join a group of lovely ladies in North Georgia.  The main craft is scrapbooking, but this year I decided to take my sewing machine.  I'll be making curtains for my almost complete office, a few presents for the "Year of the Handmade Gifts", and several other crafty things.

I'll be featuring many of these over the next couple of well as highlights from our fun weekend getaway.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo of the Week

This photo of the week is providing some inspiration for me...

I'm in the slump of writing my dissertation.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm riding a stationary bike and getting nowhere.  So, in hopes of reminding me where I'm going...the photo of the week is a picture of Dad standing under the arches at UGA...where I hope to stand in my graduation regalia too...soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Email from Papa Roy

So, tonight I send an email to Dad with the subject title "3 Things"...

1.  Has NCLB been reauthorized since 2002?
2.  Will you make a deposit for me when you get a chance?
3.  I go to Reinhardt on Thursday of next week.  I have to teach, but it is the topic of my choice.


His response...

1.   No. ESEA, which is NCLB has not been reauthorized.
2.   Yes.
3.   Good luck. I know you will do well because you are the best.
4.   I love you.


Adorable or what?  If you knew him, you would be moved.  First of all, he is a brief e-mailer (always just a "yes" or "no").  So, the compassion of #3 and the addition of #4 was pretty sweet.

Menu Monday

Well, I'm back with my second Menu Monday.

Don't you like my little my digital header I created for Menu Monday???

Anyway, I'm super impressed with myself for following the menu last week.  I cooked all I planned, albeit not on the days I planned.  My parents even talked me into bringing one of my meals to their share!

This week, I am going out of town on Thursday (a little crafting weekend getaway).  So, I am only menu planning through Wednesday.  Of course, I'll post a printable card for one of the recipes by Friday.

Menu for the Week of January 25th:

Thursday:  Out of town

Friday:  Out of town

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Burlap Stenciled Curtains

My sister and I did a little switcharoo several weeks ago.  We were both tired of our living room furniture, so we decided to trade.  I am in love with my new look, and best of was FREE!  The only issue was curtains.  My sister didn't have curtains, and I have a massive front window that needed a little privacy.  So, I decided to put my new sewing skills to good use.  Forgive the pictures, I took them at night (as you can tell by my sleepy dog who would not budge).

I purchased a stencil that I really liked and matched the paint colors to the blue and brown.  The burlap alone looked too bland, but the stencil gave it the needed punch.

The funniest part of this project, is that I made a slight boo boo purchasing 16 yards of burlap instead of 16 was one of those days!  Needless to say, I'll be doing a lot with burlap over the next year(s).

I'm linking to the following parties:
It's so very creative at It's So Very Cherri

Make it Monday at The Persimmon Perch

Just Something I Whipped Up Monday at The Girl Creative

Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

I Made the World Cuter Today at Making the World CUTER

Market Yourself Monday at Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Make Your Monday at Twice Remembered

First Project of the New Year at Sanctuary Arts

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog

Toot Your Horn Tuesday at Silly Little Sparrow

Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented

Talented Tuesday at My Frugal Family

Make It Yours at My Backyard Eden

Look What I Made at Creations by Kara

Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Designs

Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home

100 Ideas Under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence

Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple

Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage

Show Off Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans

Thrifty Thursday at Tales of Bloggeritaville

Thursday's Treasures at Treasures for Tots

Get Your Craft On at Life as Lori

Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous

I'm a Creative Cat at Poppies at Play

Remodelaholics Anonymous

Show and Tell Friday at Romantic Home

First Friday Party at Crafts in Bloom

Funky Junky's Saturday Night at Funky Junky's Interiors

Check Me Out Saturdays at A Vision to Remember

Friday, January 22, 2010

Brie Marmalade Appetizer

Tonight I reconnected with a former basketball coach and his family.  It was fabulous to have the opportunity to play with his kiddies and get to know his wife better.  I asked to bring something (considering his wife is a working mommy of two little ones).  She asked for an appetizer.  

Considering I don't cook often, I bribed my sister to help me find a recipe.  For Christmas, she gave me a brie baker and cracker dish (from this amazing local artist).  So, she recommended a dish where I could use my new gift.  Oh, and since I was sharing a recipe...I figured it was only appropriate to provide a digital recipe card that you can print and keep in your collection.

Brie Marmalade Appetizer

1 wheel of brie
1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 jar of orange marmalade

Flour your countertop so dough doesn’t stick
Trim the rind
Lay out rolls into 1 sheet and pinch together to form 1 large sheet
Spoon marmalade in center of dough
Place brie wheel on top
Add more marmalade to the top
Wrap dough around marmalade and brie and pinch ends together (making sure no marmalade or brie are showing)
Gently flip over onto cookie sheet
Refrigerate for an hour
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375
Serve warm with crackers

Click here to print a copy for your recipe collection.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Photo of the Week

I've been brainstorming about how to change my blog.  One way I decided to change my blog is to add a "Photo of the Week" feature.  I'll display the picture in a post and then feature it all week in the "Photo of the Week" section in the right hand column.  So, here is the first of many to come...

This is my absolute favorite picture of my grandmother.  She hated the picture, but I love her interaction with the kids.  Regardless of how Gran was feeling or acting, the kids always made her happy.  Her birthday was this week, so I felt it was only appropriate to remember her through this fabulous photo.

Handmade Kitchen Towels

Tomorrow night I'm having dinner with the family of an old basketball coach.  We recently reconnected via Facebook, and I'm so excited to get to know his wife and kiddos better.

Well, tonight I started planning for a hostess gift.  I have already planned out most of the gifts I'm giving over the year, but these here and there gifts I'm not quite prepared for.  I delved into my crafting craziness of an office and came up with these.

These are super easy!  I'm not the best sewer, and I haven't sewn in quite a while.  So, here you go..

Step 1:  Cut 4 inch strips of your main color fabric (I used t-shirts).

Step 2:  Cut 1 inch strips of a coordinating color fabric.

Step 3:  Using a straight stitch (with the longest stitch length possible on your machine), pass the smaller 1 inch strips through your machine.  

Step 4:  Pull the bobbin thread to create ruffles.  Pull the thread halfway on one side of the fabric, and then switch to the other end and pull the fabric on that end.  This will keep the bobbin thread from pulling all the way out.

Step 5:  Sew the larger four inch fabric rectangles onto the dishtowels.  I used a zigzag stitch to make it look more decorative.

Step 6:  Sew the ruffled one inch pieces across one end of the four inch rectangles.  I continued using a zigzag stitch, but this is your choice.  Also, go really slowly, so you can straighten the ruffled fabric and even it out as you sew.

Step 7:  Sew the ric rac at the top of the ruffled fabric.  This will cover up the ugliness of the stitches.

Step 8:  Fray check, trim ends/threads, and admire your handiwork!  

If you decide to make these, link up a picture!  I'd love to see them.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blog Feature

Guess what!  I was featured on another blog.  How crazy is this?  I'm sitting at my computer scrolling through my Google Reader, and I come across this...

Yup!  I was featured on another blog.  One of the blogs I read is entitled Sister Stuff.  Last week they wrote a post about what to do with your Christmas cards after the holidays.  Well, funny enough...I wrote a post about that about a month ago.  It is'll see the same photo from above too!

Isn't this exciting?!?  I feel like it is the debut of the Persnickety Peacock!  I know, I'm a dork.  It is okay.  I'll be the first to admit it.

Menu Plan Monday

One of my goals for the year involves becoming more financially savvy.  Considering I'm a PhD student right now and my parents are helping to support my endeavor...they are probably thrilled I'm doing this!  I'm trying to slowly add practices to my life that help me save or be more organized with my finances.  One of these practices involves menu-planning.

My sister and I were really good about menu-planning and swapping leftovers (as you probably remember from this post), but with the holidays we got out of the swing of it.  So, I'm planning to post my menu on Mondays, link up to a few menu plan web-sites, and provide you with a recipe or two along the way.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy them.

Monday: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Tuesday: French Dip Sammies (from leftovers)

Wednesday: Easy Pot Pie (from leftovers)

Thursday: Chicken and Broccoli Braids

Friday: Brie Marmalade Appetizer (I'm having dinner with some friends, and I'm responsible for bringing an appetizer).  Also, I'll feature this recipe on Friday.

This menu is linked to:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Decorative Clipboards

Remember this post?  For a quick recap, I declared this "The Year of the Handmade Gift."  I'm a little nervous about creating all these gifts, so I decided to get a head start.

I began with my nieces and nephew.  They are all pretty stinking adorable, aren't they?

Well, Lilly and Will (the oldest) started kindergarten this year.  They are constantly writing in the journals and creating everything they can.  So, I decided a decorative clipboard and notepad would be great for the two of them.  Being that Ella and Libby mimic anything the older two do, I created one for them too.

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to create these for yourself!

Although you can use a traditional clipboard, Michaels sells clipboards with removable metal clips.  I purchased these (slightly more expensive...about $1.50 each).  After detaching the metal clips, spray painted the outside of the wooden boards.

Next, spray paint the metal clips a color that coordinates with the paper you want to use.  Hint, you may need to use a fingernail file to remove any excess spray paint that hangs over the edges.

Cut paper down to approximately 1/2 inch less than the size of the clipboard.  Ink around the sides of the paper with a coordinating color ink pad.

Using a foam paintbrush, add Mod Podge to the back of the paper.  Attach the paper to the clipboards.

Use a roller to remove any air bubbles.

Add a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the paper and clipboard.  Allow to dry and repeat this process.

Reattach the metal clips to the clipboard.  Cut a circle and attach the initial of the child to the punch.  Attach the circle to the metal clip with Mod Podge (using the same method as above).  After the circle punch is dry, paint Mod Podge over the metal clip.  Allow to dry and repeat the process.

Lastly, I attached some ribbon to the top for a decorative touch.

Initially, I was worried about how to make a "boy" version of this project...until I remembered Will's insane love for the Georgia Bulldogs.  So, I used "Super G" paper and left off the ribbon to create a male version.

Here are the other three finished projects.


Next up...the notepads that match!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Barnes Bad News Bears

My first year teaching was the hardest year of my life.  I only had 16 students, but 15 began my class below grade level in reading and math.  I cried every afternoon of my first week (and many other too).  I often thought I had been cursed with "Barnes Bad News Bears."

My only sanity that year was my mentor teacher.  Glenda was a veteran teacher who had come back to work after her grown son left for college.  She worked half days teaching early intervention because she had strained vocal cords and couldn't speak all day long.  She spent her entire time at school in my classroom because my entire class qualified for early intervention services.  Glenda was unique.  She didn't need to work.  She and her husband lived comfortably (or slightly above) without her paycheck.  However, she chose to take her strengths and help others.

My final year teaching, Glenda resigned mid-year because she was diagnosed with cancer.  She and her husband packed up and moved to Seattle, where the leading cancer specialists were located.  Glenda and I swapped letters over the past three years.  Before I left for Hawaii, I received a Christmas card/letter from Glenda's husband.  He explained that the past year had been wonderful.  Although Glenda was still battling health related issues, they had spent the year traveling together.  Her son had traveled multiple times from Florida to Washington to visit.  There was a family picture included too.  Glenda looked so happy.

Today, I returned from Hawaii and was greeted with a message from another former teacher.  She left the news that Glenda died a week ago.  I'll admit that I'm shocked how hard this news has hit me.  Glenda was honestly an amazing woman who portrayed exactly what every teacher should...a true love for her job and concern for every child she taught.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photoshop Elements

I've been wanting to break into the digital scrapbooking world for a while, but it is nerve-racking trying to figure it out.  In fact, I've harassed several of my followers for a tutorial on how to use Photoshop Elements.  One night (when I'm sure I should have been writing my dissertation), I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.  Ironically, I actually liked how it turned out.  So, I've now created a recipe card and a grocery shopping list too.  Here is the grocery shopping list.

I'm hoping to add my recipe cards weekly as I try new recipes.  It is a goal of mine for the year to get my recipes organized digitally...we'll see how that goes.

Anyway, as I devoured the web trying to learn as much as possible about Photoshop, I stumbled across an AMAZING blog.  Summer creates free digital scrapbooking packs at Summertime Designs.  Although her designs and kits are free, she does have a spot for you to contribute to her blog (considering she is doing this while also juggling four would probably be beneficial to contribute to the creativity juices).  Also, Summer is super speedy at answering any questions or checking out your designs.  I've kind of become a stalker of her site.  Anyway, she says it is okay for me to share my designs with you.

Click here to download the grocery list to use for yourself.

Also, this is the first time I've used this service to upload documents.  So, if you try to download the grocery list and it doesn't work...let me know.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Good news, Good news!

Most of you know I've spent the last two weeks vacationing in Hawaii.  Don't feel too envious, as the overall purpose of the trip was for two presentations I'm giving tomorrow and Sunday (which of course are in the middle of perfect sun time 1:15-2:45...what were they thinking).

Anyway, the new semester is beginning, and I had all intentions on graduating in May or August.  I'm still aiming for August, but I've really got to get on the ball to make that happen.  The next part of my program involves a meeting where I present the first 3 (of 5) chapters of my dissertation.  The one condition of this meeting is that you actually have the first 3 chapters written.  I have a meeting with my advisor about chapter 1 (which I've submitted and am awaiting edits) on Tuesday.  I worked very hard this week to finish up my draft of chapter 2, and I'm about to send that off to my advisor too.  Maybe I can get edits and comments about both on Tuesday (that might be pushing it).

I have an insane week after my early 6am return to Atlanta on Tuesday morning.  I'm headed straight to Athens to meet with my advisor and teach a 2 hour class on special education technology (luckily I prepared for that while I was here too).  Then, I'm headed back for the first of what I hope to be many job interviews!

Yeah...that is really my good news.  Not to overshadow the fact that I've submitted a draft for both chapters 1 and 2, but I have my first interview on Thursday afternoon.

This position seems (from the job description and information) to be a perfect fit for me.  The focus is in early childhood education at a small Christian college in the Metro-Atlanta area (granted anything above Macon and below Tennessee is Metro-Atlanta).  I'm keeping my fingers crossed and sending up MANY prayers.

If you have a second and would like to help, I ask that you will pray for the following things...
1.  That I will be focused and calm and able to express my true self throughout the interview
2.  That the interview time will provide me with information and an understanding of the inner-workings of the professors, department, and school
3.  That I can see and follow God's will as I continue this process

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blog Button

So, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I just spent well over an hour figuring out how to create a blog button for the Persnickety Peacock.  It was a pain...not going to lie!

Anyway, I'd love for you to add it to your blog.  Here are the easy steps to add it...

1.  Copy the link from the box below my button.

2.  Click CUSTOMIZE in the top right hand corner of YOUR blog.

3.  Choose ADD A GADGET on the right hand side of this page.

5.  A new window will pop up.  Choose HTMP/JAVASCRIPT by clicking on the + next to this choice.

6.  A new window will pop up. Type Blogs I Love in the TITLE section, paste the code in the CONTENT section, and click SAVE at the bottom.

If you do this, please link back and let me know.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year Challenge

I promise I haven't forgotten about you all.  In fact, I've thought numerous times about posting.  However, I just haven't made it the priority I want it to be.  Anyway, as I am sitting in my hotel room listening to the ocean...well, honestly I'm listening to the city sounds of Honolulu (but I wanted to make you a little envious).  Okay, back to my reason for posting...

This Christmas I received handmade gifts from a sorority sister.  She created tile coasters and label name plates.  These gift were extremely thoughtful and included several crafts I wanted to make myself.

She sparked an idea for me...hence, my New Year Challenge.

I've decided for the entire year, I will only give homemade gifts.  Obviously, every portion of the gift won't be handmade, but they will all include some sort of a self-created aspect.

I'm really excited about this challenge.  I definitely think it will challenge my creativity and time management (considering I will spend more time making the gift than I would purchasing one).

I'll keep you posted (ha, literally), as I plan to post all of my creations here on this blog.