Archives for April 2012

Let’s Talk About “Doing It Yourself” with Turnstyle Vogue

Hi everyone!

My name is Shari  from Turnstyle Vogue.  I’m so happy to be guest posting for Mandy today while she takes a much-deserved vacation. Isn’t she the greatest?  She has been one of my blog friends from the beginning.

My job is restyling furniture (that I sell) and as a side endeavor,  I started my blog to talk furniture and design.  In the seven months that I’ve been blogging, Turnstyle Vogue has evolved into a potpourri of my furniture reveals, tutorials and tips, tablescapes, design thoughts, and DIY projects.

Today, I’m not going to talk about my furniture.  Instead, let’s talk DIY.

Here is my big secret:  I have a love/hate relationship with DIY projects.


LOVE:  I love the challenge of creating a unique piece of home décor, especially if it is a knock-off of one of those fabulous items you keep eyeing in your favorite home décor store.

HATE:  I don’t consider myself a versatile DIY’er and I’m not a fan of cheesy projects just to say “I made this!”   Keeping in mind of course that the term “cheesy” is totally subjective!  One man’s cheese is another man’s treasure…isn’t that how the saying goes?!


I’ve talked before at Turnstyle Vogue about how I’ve never considered myself a crafty person, and I still don’t.  Obviously I like to create – it is a required skill if one wants to restyle furniture but  I don’t have a craft room and my sewing machine sits so long between projects that I have to Google how to thread a needle each time I want to use it.  Okay…I’m kidding a little on that one, but it isn’t too far from the truth!


That said, I do make some things.    I have always had a “I can do that” attitude towards many things, especially when I spy a potential need-to-have-that-now item that I can knock-off.  Many times though, I’ve just given in and bought it, rather than make it, simply because of time.  It has always been easier for me to just pay for it and bring it home and be done – especially when I was working in the corporate legal jungle.

2012-03-182Wire Basket Tutorials

My blog kind of changed all of this for me.  I posted a few DIY projects here and there but then I started getting feedback from my readers about how they wanted me to do more project tutorials.  I continually see it as a challenge because  I want to make sure I provide something fresh to the blog scene.  I don’t know if I’m always successful because there are so many talented bloggers out there that have brilliant minds and quick hands.


In addition to knock-offs,  a lot of my DIY projects stem from a challenge of trying to repurpose something.   I’m a very competitive person at heart and once in a while my eyes and my mind will immediately focus on a particular item and race each other to the what-can-I-do-with-that finish line.

Have you ever been there before?



Of course, being a furniture gal,  I always feel more comfortable if my DIY involves paint.  Paint is my friend.


What about you?  Do you bask in the glory of a DIY project or do you have these little guys hanging over your shoulders each time you start to create?

So, that’s my DIY story.  I’d love to hear yours!  I’d also love to have you all stop Turnstyle Vogue and chat.

Thanks again Mandy for inviting me to share at The Project Queen!  Enjoy every minute of your vacation!

Be inspired,

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Mother’s Day Cupcakes By The Sweet Swiper

Hi there!  I’m Kirsten from The Sweet Swiper, and I’m so excited that Mandy asked me to do a guest post on Project Queen for her while she’s on vacation!

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I decided to do a pretty little cupcake that would make a beautiful centerpiece on a dessert table…..Water Lily cupcakes.  I got this idea from Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My.  They’ve got a ton of amazing looking ideas for totally fun desserts (having two little boys at home, I’m always on the lookout for fun stuff).

For these cupcakes, you can use any flavor cupcake you want…and any size you want (regular or mini).  Go fancy or go plain…..homemade or a box mix…’s totally up to you.  Same goes for the frosting……homemade or store bought….your call.  I decided to go really simple, and make a box cake mix of chocolate fudge cupcakes, and bought a tub of vanilla frosting (something I would normally never admit to).

Once your cupcakes are baked and cooled you will also need:

white candy melt wafers

plastic spoons (they must be plastic, not metal)

vanilla frosting

red and green food coloring

yellow sprinkles

1.  To make the petals of the flowers, line a cookie sheet with wax paper.  Place the white candy melt wafers in a microwave safe bowl and heat until melted and stir until smooth.  Dip the back of the plastic spoon into the melted candy so that the back of the spoon is coated, and then gently shake off the excess melted candy.  If there is any melted candy that has oozed over the edge of the spoon use a finger or a paper towel to wipe it off.  Place the spoon, candy side up, on the cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden (for about 5 minutes).

2.  Remove the spoons from the refrigerator and let stand for about 1 minute.  Then, very carefully, bend the back of the spoons to release the candy, forming the petals for the flowers.  You will break a few of them, but once you get the hang of it, it will go pretty fast.  You will need between 3-5 petals per flower, so continue with this process until you have enough petals.

3.  Separate about 1/4 cup of your frosting, and tint to a pale pink color using red food coloring.  Place this colored frosting in a ziploc bag.  Use the green food coloring to tint the remaining food coloring a vibrant (lily pad) green.

4.  Use a spoon to dab a dime-size dollop of the melted candy onto the wax paper.  Take a petal and place the larger end in the melted candy.  Repeat 2-4 more times with additional petals, overlapping each petal slightly, to make the water lily shape.  Refrigerate the flower until it has set, about 5 minutes.

5.  Frost the cupcakes with the green tinted frosting.  Use as much or as little as you like.

6.  Remove the flowers from the refrigerator.  Snip the corner off of the ziploc bag containing the pale pink frosting and dab on dots of pink frosting into the center of the flower.  Sprinkle the pink frosting with the yellow sprinkles.  Remove the flower from the wax paper and place on top of the cupcake.

7.  Serve, eat, and enjoy!

I really hope you give these a try……they’re sure to impress!  Check out Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My! for more fun dessert ideas.

Thanks for playing in the kitchen with me…..come visit me over at The Sweet Swiper sometime!

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Spring Inspired Projects By I Gotta Create!

Hi!  I’m Christina from I Gotta Create! I’m thrilled to be here guest posting for my extra special blog friend, Mandy. 

Here are a few Spring-inspired projects that provide HUGE bang for your buck using recycled and inexpensive materials.

Oriole Nest Vase. Beautiful as a Spring centerpiece, or to decorate a mantel or shelf. As a symbol of nurturing, the nest would make a lovely Mothers Day vase, too. You won’t believe how easy it is to make!

Party Hat Tutorial. Super, super simple, inexpensive, and you can create any theme or look you want! Plus…can you guess what the pom poms and fringe are made of? I have a tutorial for each element.

Tinfoil Rose Tutorial. This is my most popular post and it’s been pinned thousands of times! Come see how it’s done and check out the other amazing foil projects I have for you. I PROMISE you’ll be glad you checked it out!

If you’re looking for seasonal inspiration, I have ideas for Halloween, Valentines, Thanksgiving, Christmas and more! 

Each of us is a creative Super Star in one way or another. To nurture our creative process, I am featuring in-depth interviews of Inspiring Creative Women. Share YOUR creativity at one of my linky parties to be eligible.

Mandy, I want to publicly thank you for your encouragement, kindness, not to mention being the very first blog to feature one of my projects. {And you’ve featured several of mine!} 

What a pleasure to get to know such a generous soul. I hope you’re having the best vacation ever <3


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Embellished Frame By Pitter and Glink

Hey, y’all!  I’m Bethany.  

I am a high school English teacher, and I’m married to a  middle school English teacher.  (Yep, we have interesting conversations at the end of each day school day!)  We have one furry baby named Lily.  My outlet is my crafting, and I share all my crafting adventures at my blog Pitter and Glink.  I’m so excited to have the opportunity to guest post at The Project Queen today!  I want to share with you how I created a striped embellished frame to go in my newly redecorated craft room.

I am a craft supply hoarder.  I buy frames (and every other imaginable craft supply) even when I don’t need them.  I tell myself that this is because I live forty five minutes from a craft store, but I don’t know if that is necessarily true.  It may just be an addiction…  Anyway, when I got ready to decorate a wall in my craft room, I first looked at the supplies I already had, and I found an unfinished wood frame I had bought from Walmart a long time ago.

I first painted the frame a pretty turquoise color.  My craft room is gray, and my two accent colors are turquoise and pink, so I knew the paint color would help make this plain frame the perfect new accessory for my wall.  After I painted the frame, I used painter’s tape to tape off stripes.  You can measure to create perfect stripes, but I just eyeballed it.

I used a stencil brush to apply the paint between the tape lines.  My brush was not heavily loaded with paint because I didn’t want the paint to seep under the tape.  Once the stripes were dry, I sanded the frame really well to distress it.  Then I decided I needed another color stripe on the frame.  I followed the same steps above to create white stripes on the frame.  

After everything was dry, I sprayed the frame with a clear coat to protect it.  Then it was time for the fun!  I always say that I think more is more, so I used various felt and fabric flowers, buttons, rhinestones, and even vintage earrings to create an embellishment on the corner of the frame.

The frame didn’t come with glass or a back, so I purchased a 5×7 frame from the dollar store and used the glass and back from it in the frame.  I simply used tape to keep everything in the frame, but you could definitely use something a bit more permanent.  I put a picture of my mom, sister, and me in the frame, and then my masterpiece was complete!

I really like the color combination.

And I love how the distressed paint balances out the girly-ness of the frame.  At least I think it does…

But, of course, my favorite part of the frame is the girly embellishment in the corner.

It’s the perfect frame for a special photo.  
I’m really thankful that Mandy let me hang out with y’all today.  If you liked this project, I hope you’ll head over to my blog to check out my other projects.
Happy crafting!


Craig’s List Makeover By Bleak 2 Unique

Hi, I’m Lori from over at Bleak 2 Unique where I like to do just that…take the bleak and make it uniquely me. I’m super excited to be a guest here at “Project Queen”….Thanks so much Mandy!!! Today I would like to share my first chair makeover. I have at least a dozen chairs stored here and there, but I finally got busy and fixed one up. This is one of three chairs that I picked up for free on Craigslist…gotta love CL. Unfortunately, I couldn’t decide what  to do with em’ , and so they sat in the garage forevvver. Then it occurred to me that I didn’t have to make a final decision….I could keep my options open by just tackling one, and see if I like it. Liking a lot of different styles can make it hard to make a decor decision sometimes…do y’all have that problem? Finally motivated to get moving, here is where I started…

A little dirty and beat up…but cute
Great details
Nice legs

She had a few “dings”, and I hate to sand, so out came the homemade chalk paint. Don’t get me wrong, I love Annie’s chalk paint, but since I have a budget I make my own…
 and you can too….you can get the recipe HERE.
After removing the seat and tightening up all the screws, I brushed on the first coat…

Needs more cleaning
Screws tightened
First coat on

While the chair dries, I worked on the new seat. Recently I found a curtain, and the fabric was just what I was looking for…bright, bold, and durable (the lining makes it heavier). The cushion was left over from another project, so I just cut it to fit and secured it with spray adhesive…like this…

Love this fabric
Cushion cut
Spray and press…done!

I used the seat as a template and cut the fabric leaving a six inch border. There was quite a bit of extra fabric to cut off, but too much is better than not enough, right? To finish off the seat I stapled each side in the middle…pulling tight, and working out to the corners. 

 Once the seat was finished I got back to the chair. Usually I just distress pieces a little bit, but on this project I wanted to try a more distressed look. I sanded, sanded some more and then finished up with a coat of wax…


The only step left….put her together and take her picture…..Here she is…”Paisley Love”. Tell me what you think…Too much distressing? Not enough distressing? Wrong color? Right color? Whatever you think, let’s hear it!

Thanks so much Mandy for having me over, and letting me share with your readers today!!!


Skinny Cocktail Recipes

Hey everyone!!! I’m sitting in the Admiral’s Club (thank goodness for hubby’s “work perks”) killing time until our international flight takes off in 2 more hours… so what better way than to kill some time, but to blog stalk!

I came across a great article on Skinny Alcoholic Beverages.  I don’t know about all of you, but when summer time approaches I find I often indulge (sometimes a little too much… but that will be our little secret) in something icy and cold and preferably a drink with some alcohol present.  My favorite is a Patron Margarita with a Grande Marnier floater on top.

I was shocked to discover that a pint sized margarita can have up to 800 calories in it (that doesn’t even count the Grande Marnier!)  What about a Long Island Ice Tea?  Yikes- 1,043 calories and 58 carbohydrates (mostly from sugar).

Every Day Health has a great article and lots of wonderful recipes to make those icy, cold beverages a whole lot lighter on the ol’ calories!  Just a few of them are…

Cinco De Mayo Mango Margarita
180 Calories

Skinny Strawberry Mojito
80 Calories

Bridal Shower Mimosas
120 Calories

These are only a few of the drinks with the recipes being shared.  Y.U.M.

Head on over to Every Day Health and get the
skinny on these wonderful guilt free cocktails.

Let’s go bottoms up without the guilt :-).

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What’s Cooking, Love?

Hi, I am Alyssa from What’s Cooking, Love?
I am so excited to be here guest posting at Project Queen.
I love Mandy’s blog and I like to party at her Turning the Daunting into the Doable Link Party!
I am a wife to my wonderful husband and a mother to my 10 month old son.  I like to blog about cooking and love food!  My blog is about cooking easy, good food, using shortcuts and timesavers.  I also host a weekly link party, Showcase Your Talent Thursday.  I hope that you stop by and visit.  
This Cheddar Chicken and Rice Skillet is a perfect example of an easy time saving meal.  This is a one dish meal that is easy to make and is great for a fast dinner or a weeknight meal.  When my husband and I get home from work, we are usually hungry and don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking dinner.
This meal is quick, without a lot of prep, and doesn’t dirty a lot of dishes.  This meal was really good and and more vegetables can be added to it if you wanted.  This dish tastes great and is easy to make. We will be making this dish again! Enjoy!!


Cheddar Chicken and Rice Skillet

(Recipe adapted from Kraft Food and Family Magazine Fall 2006)

1/2 cup reduced fat or fat free Italian dressing

2 cups of precooked chicken, cubed

2 cups brown rice, uncooked

1 1/4 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 cup of reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1.  Heat the Italian dressing in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and garlic powder and cook and stir for 2 minutes.

2.  Stir in the rice and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and cover.  Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Let stand covered, 5 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

3.  Add the tomatoes and the cheddar cheese and stir until blended.

Thank you so much to Mandy for allowing me to guest post!
I hope that you stop by and visit me at What’s Cooking, Love?!
You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or by RSS Feed
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Busy Mom’s Version of Scotchmallows

For this week’s post, I had it all planned.  I was going to do a healthy version of those cute cake balls that you see everywhere. I even ran out and bought one of those cake ball machines (on sale and with a coupon, of course)!  My brilliant idea was peanut butter balls filled with organic strawberry jelly. Sounded good, easy, and a fun snack that the boys would love!

I came home with my handy, dandy cake ball machine and went right to work! I whipped up a recipe for a healthy peanut butter cake, put it in my little maker and waited the 5 min. Popped them out, filled them with my healthy, organic strawberry jelly and then put them out for the critics (being my husband and 4 boys).  Well let’s just say, they didn’t go over well!  My husband made a choking sound when he took a bite. When I asked him, “Are they really that bad?” His answer was, “Well, I wouldn’t be going back for a second sample if we were at Costco.”  My three year old took a bite, then threw it (which he isn’t allowed to do… no food throwing in my house) and then guess what???? The dog wouldn’t even it!  I grabbed one, thinking, “They really can’t be that bad”,  took a bite and they weren’t exaggerating!  They were awful!!!  When my husband asked what they were made of I told him,  “Whole wheat flour, honey and peanut butter.” He said, “Did you really expect them to be good?” Hmmm….

As I sat there feeling a little disappointed at my latest creation, my oldest son came in.  He was so sad.  He had been excited to spend the weekend with his dad.  Unfortunately, my ex-husband wasn’t able to pick him up and I had one little, sad boy on my hands.  I hate when my kids are hurt and I can’t fix it!!!  Don’t you?  But then,  I had a plan!!!  His favorite chocolates are Scotchmallows from See’s Candy. So I decided to make him my version of those!

Scotchmallow Recipe

1 bag of large Marshmallows
1 bag of Chocolate Chips (you can use any flavor)
1 bag of Kraft Caramels
Lollipop or Popsicle Sticks


1.  Cut the marshmallows in half.
2.  Cut the caramels in half and then press them so they are thin and flat.
3.  Layer the caramel, marshmallow and then the caramel again.

4.  Melt the chocolate chips and dip the layered caramel/marshmallow/caramel.
5.  Allow them to cool on wax paper.

6.  Once they are cool, re-dip them into the chocolate.
7.  Add a lollipop stick to them.
8.  Before they cool, you can roll them in crushed graham crackers (this was our favorite) or crushed peanuts.

They were a hit! My hubby said, “Now, these are good!”

By the way, I did end up making the kids something healthy. I had leftover chocolate, so I cut bananas in chunks and dipped them in the chocolate and added a stick! 🙂  I know, I know, maybe NOT THAT HEALTHY…. but some days, you need to break the rules!!

Thanks Mandy for having me!

Hope everyone has a great week.

Sharing with these amazing parties!

The 36th AVENUEA Crafty Soiree


Guest Post Round-Up

I’m on the countdown for a little R & R with the hubby for a few weeks.
I mentioned yesterday that I won’t be hosting the Link Party
for 2 weeks.

“Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able” will be back up and running on
Tuesday, May 8th.

In the mean time, I have NINE amazing women (with fabulous blogs)
who will be sharing with all of you!

Friday, April 20 – Alyssa from What’s Cooking, Love?

What's cooking, love?Alyssa started her blog so she could log and keep track of her recipes,
and let me tell you… she has some great recipes!  Alyssa is all about
cooking easy, good food, using shortcuts and time savers.

Monday, April 23 – Lori from Bleak 2 Unique

Lori is a southern gal who loves to find trashy treasures and make them new.
I got a sneak peak of the post she is sharing with you and it is GORGEOUS!!

Wednesday, April 25 – Bethany from Pitter and Glink

Bethany is a high school literature teacher during the day and a
crafter by night.  She has a whimsical “twist” to her projects
that I love and I know you will too.  Bethany also has a great Etsy shop!

Thursday, April 26 – Christina from I Gotta Create!

Christina believes that everything is an opportunity for creativity.
She approaches every day life with new angles of possibility.
She is the Queen of re-cycling, re-using and re-purposing!
Christina hosts an awesome party every week.
Friday, April 27 – Kirsten from The Sweet Swiper
My Photo

 Kirsten is an amazing baker!
I have tried several of her recipes and they  have been
a hit with my family and friends.
Her blog documents all that goes down in her kitchen!

Monday, April 30 – Shari from Turnstyle Vogue Design & Styling

Shari has the gift of creating furniture and projects that are “outside the box”.
Her furniture re-do’s  are beautiful and her crafts are unique!
She has an “earthy” style and is a no-nonsense kind of gal!
You won’t see any bows or frills – just gorgeous down-to-earth talent.

 Wednesday, May 2 – Andrea from The Cottage Market

Andrea’s blog is just “plain ol’ eye candy”!
I can never get enough of the colors!
She is an amazing blogger with a heart of gold.
This woman can take a stick and make it beautiful.
Andrea also has 1 and 2 Etsy shops.

 Thursday, May 3 – Tracie from Project Queen

Tracie is my sweet step-daughter who I adore.  She shares her recipes
and projects at Project Queen every other Thursday.
She is a busy Mom of 4 boys (yes, my adorable grandsons).  Tracie shares
what works and doesn’t work with all those boys in a crazy household!

Friday, May 4 – Emily from 52 Mantels

52 Mantels
Emily can decorate a mantel like no other…. the colors that she incorporates
into her projects have a WOW factor that will brighten anyone’s day.
She is married to a hunky man and has an adorable little girl.
She also hosts a great party on Thursdays!

I’m blessed and honored to have these ladies sharing on Project Queen during the next few weeks.
I hope that you make them feel welcomed during my absence and send
lots of COMMENTS their way!!!

We all love comments!!!

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Link Party Highlights #29 – “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”

It’s that time again friends…Link Party Highlights!

I’m excited to show you what caught my eye this week.

But first, I need to give you some GOOD NEWS and some BAD NEWS.

Which do you want first?  Well, I always want the bad news first…

There will not be a link party for two weeks…booooo!

I’m taking 2 weeks of R & R… yay!

I have 8 amazing guests that will be sharing some fabulous projects
over the next few weeks…yay!
I will be posting the names tomorrow… so be sure you check back!

My step-daughter, Tracie and her husband, Brandon are moving to Fresno!!!!
You know what that means??? I’ll have 4 grandson’s living in the same town!!!
Can you tell I’m a LITTLE BIT excited????

Okay now… let’s get on with the highlights!

Terry from Forever Decorating showed off her white ironstone on her White Hutch.

It looks fabulous!
I’m lovin’ that cloche on top with the books under it!

Wendy from Her-Ballistic Garden repainted a Vintage Mirror (lovin’ the shabby chic white) and put it into her powder room.

This mirror is beautiful.  So feminine.

Lori from The Stonybrook House made these adorable Spring Topiaries.

She got most of her supplies from the Dollar Store!
Lori has a great tutorial to share with you.

Audra from The Kurtz Corner made these adorable Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.

Her husband said they were the best cupcakes that she has ever made!
She shares the recipe on her adorable blog.

Amy and Chris from Our Pinteresting Family framed out their Living Room Wall.

Love this!
It’s amazing how this one simple change warmed up their living room!

Karen from Redoux Interiors refurbished a Buffet Cart.

She took this little orphan home and turned it
into a buffet cart fit for a garden party!
If you haven’t been to Redoux, you are in for a treat.
Karen is a very talented lady.  She loves the little orphans :-).

Crystal aka Mrs. Happy Homemaker whipped up some Brown Sugar Bacon Stuff Waffles.

My grandchildren would LOVE these!
Those boys ♥ bacon.

Micki from ADD Housewife made these sweet Edible Tea Cups for her daughter’s birthday party.

They are adorable!

Aimee from Twigg Studios shows us how to make Fabric Peonies.

These are so pretty!

Julie from Knot All That I Seam turned a roadside rescue into this awesome Desk Chair.

Beautiful job, Julie!

Danette from The Shady Porch shared a recipe for a Pizza Casserole.

Easy and delicious!!

Thank you everyone for linking up all of your awesome projects.

Ladies, you are THE BEST!!!

If you have been featured, please grab a “feature” button and paste it
on your blog somewhere.  That way everyone can join the party!