Posted in corkboard, Decor, Dinner, DIY, kitchen, kitchen decor, Recipes, Uncategorized, wine

Wine Cork Crafting: Recipe Display

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Oh Pinterest. You, the most loveliest of the lovely beasts on the interweb. You take all my time and keep me up until the wee hours of the night pinning countless recipes and craft ideas that will collect digital dust on my many pinning boards. Can I get an AMEN? Wine corks. ugh… the immeasurable amounts of awesomness you can create with those babies. So here is the low down on what sparked my creativity for this fully functional and cute wine cork craft. Of course I was on Pinterest late one night and saw a pin (that I lost somewhere in the hallows of my treacherous thumb scrolling) where the corks where used like cork boards. Well there is an idea! Who would have ever thought, lets use actual corks as cork boards!

Since I moved years ago I have inherited many fantastic family recipes that my Grandmother has no problem spouting out of memory. For me? I need them written down. I have not met that level of mastery yet….yet 😉 Until then, I shall utilize my Wine Cork Recipe Display. My small kitchen has very little counter space and having one less item setting on the counter makes things a bit easier.

I started with a usual trip to my trusty Daiso (dollar store) and bought a glue gun, glue sticks, and these small strips of wood that are about a yard long. I was going to start just gluing the wine corks that I had collected onto the wood side by side but soon learned that it was going to take many more hangovers to get enough corks needed to cover the space I wanted. But, one deployment and a few girls nights later, I had plenty of wine corks to complete my long awaited recipe display. Here are a few pictures of the process and final product:

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These are the supplies I used. I would recommend using a glue gun that works. I had to manually push my glue sticks through the heater thing and now have a perma-blister and increased chance of developing carpal tunnel.

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And here is the finished product! It is so easy and convenient, especially with Thanksgiving coming up. I have freed up some counter space during meal prep and in a super cute way!

You could use something like this to display pictures or to-do lists and even weekly menus…if you are that prepared. Try it! Save all your corks or you can find them on amazon here or here. Post your pictures and tag us @pricklypeargypsy

We would love to see what you are working on!

Smiles and hugs and until next time,

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Posted in Uncategorized

My First Sewing Project: Napkin Throw Pillows

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(cat not included)


How many times have you perused the linen aisles of World Market or Pier 1 Imports and dreamed of gorgeous and extravagantly set dining tables utilizing all of the lovely textures and patterns of the dinner napkins? I know I have…countless times. For so many holidays and room décor themes these linen aisles have served as inspiration for me.

I knew moving to my “dungeon-like” base housing here in Okinawa, Japan (which we are very grateful for), that the place would definitely need some sprucing up to make it feel like our home. Base housing came with standard issued government furniture and needed some added character right away. I was in search of a job and needed a cheap way to do this while we were only a one income household. We were patiently waiting the arrival of our household goods from across the ocean but I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to do something to make myself feel like I was at home and not in prison. Little did we know that it would take almost a year for our things to get here from Texas. With that, I knew that I would never have that store display dining room table that I always dreamed of. That kind of thing only happens in Martha Stewart’s jail cell or in magazines. My mom gave me the great idea of using the napkins that I always adored on the linen aisles to make throw pillows for the couch. Well hello Beth… apparently people have been doing this for years. Awesome idea Mom!…. but wait… I have to sew?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!! dun dun dunnnnnnnn! [the camera pans to a worried face as ominous music plays]

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Let’s be real here, from 21st century woman to woman. Sewing seems a thing of the past… a lost art. This isn’t 1954 and we aren’t all at home polishing silver on Tuesdays and playing Susie Seamstress on Thursdays. Sewing ain’t easy and I was terrified. Luckily Whitney had a sewing machine (with bobbin already threaded.. which is a whole other monster in itself) and graciously let me borrow it for 4 weeks; three of which it sat on my dining room table collecting dust until I mustered up the courage to just sew the darn things.

Countless YouTube videos and curse words later, I had my pillows. The project was surprisingly easy and though my sewing skills only slightly improved, I became and excellent seam ripper! I had to start over several times but all in all I am super pleased with the end result! If Susie Seamstress came to my house for Bunko night she would totally snob my imperfect and haphazard seams on my two throw pillows, but I am 100% happy with them. My blood, sweat, and tears went into the creation of those pillows. No, literally. Blood, sweat, and tears. Some of which were donated by my dog’s stupidity. Halfway through the project she ate the entire contents of a 50 count straight pin box. Onto the vet and lets stop at the craft store on the way to get some more needles… bet she won’t do that again. Ok… moving on…….

What is even better about my pillows is that they cost me a total of 8 whole American dollars to make! Compared to the $20 and upward price tags that one typically gets slapped with, I think I came out ahead. I paid $8 for the two customized throw pillows I made (well $9 if you include the straight pin replenishment after the dog got hungry).

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So here is the run down:

I can give you a skeletal direction step list. YouTube will serve you just as well on this project as it did me. I am a visual person.

1.) I started with my standard sized napkins that I found at World Market on clearance for $2. I then picked out fabric from a scrap bin at JoAnn’s Fabric  to match the napkins and to be the back side of the pillows. You may choose to use just two napkins to make the front and back.

2.) I then laid the napkin and fabric out (after ironing) flat on the table and pinned them together. Be sure that the sides you want showing are facing one another. Trust me, I made this mistake… twice. Hence the seam ripping skills.

3.) I then just sewed a straight line on three sides. On the fourth side, I sewed 1/3 of the way in from both corners.

4.) After this, I turned the fabric the right side out and filled with stuffing.

5.) Finally, after stuffing to my desired fullness, I sewed the small 4 inch opening I had left.

 

And voila! I had my own fabulous custom throw pillows!

Throw pillows are a great way to liven up and change a space. Have fun with it and make a set for each and every holiday or season! I know I am… I will make some for Christmas next!

Hugs and smiles and until next time,

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Posted in Uncategorized

A (not) so quick project: Ottoman

A few months ago my husband suggested getting an ottoman (after months of complaining we have only one large couch). Well I scoured all sources accessible to me and nothing appeared that I liked. I am very particular, especially with my design background. So I went back to the start and tried to find plans for an ottoman and low and behold Pinterest was my savior! I started with these plans as the base, but the problem with these were they were the wrong size, but how hard could it be to make them bigger. That was my first mistake. After thinking I know what size I want I then convert my measurements into centimeters, that way I can get them cut at the local hardware store (we live in Okinawa, Japan and they use the metric system).

A few weeks later my fabric arrives, so it will be the big day of assembling the ottoman. (haha second mistake right there). I knew we would have to wait until the weekend with our crazy work schedules. I wake up early Saturday wanting to get a head start on the chores so Brandon could help me build them when he woke up. I laid the lumber on our table to make sure it’s all correct and will work…….well it was WAY TOO SMALL!! Like half the size I wanted. so off he went to Makeman to get more lumber. (The plus side is I have more wood for a couple projects now!). He returns and gets his part done in no time.

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the lumber
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top frame

I start working on cutting the foam, which I am still finding a week later and multiple vacuuming sessions. After I finish cutting, he suggests a way he would like it done…this is the story of our lives and not really going to happen because we have no more foam!! We did do a double layer of foam since this would be our all the time ottoman.

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The foam on top.

A couple days pass and I finally have the supplies I forgot I needed (aka batting, which I have to get off base).  I go down and get some cardboard to use as a backing. After getting it all cut I have another mess on my hands.

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Attaching the cardboard.

I then cover it will batting, wrapping it like a present.

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Batting all done.

Then I come to the part I so badly want to be good at, but I feel like it is the one thing I will never be good at. Sewing and my sewing machine have been one of my most dreaded tasks. (You see the first time I used my sewing machine I was trying so hard to be the perfect wife and redo all the patches on my husband’s coveralls. I decided a typhoon would be a good time to do this. Well first my needle breaks and I don’t have spares, which means I will have to wait a few days to finish. Once I finally finish, which was a big deal since there were hours of seam ripping, I had sewn the velcro upside down. I gave up and decided sewing is not my thing). So these last few days have been almost a mirror image of my first sewing adventure, only this one has pictures for your entertainment!

I carefully cut the fabric about two inches bigger on each side…just in case.  I followed the directions for the cover to a T, except the different sizes. I started sewing the sides together. I then put the sides on (inside out) and laid the top piece on upside down to pin it. I then went to my nemisis to sew some more. I sewed this part all right. (make sure you leave the 1/2 inch gap and not much more…one of my corners has a little hole in it).  The last and what I thought would be easiest part, turned out to the exact opposite!! I put the cover on and pinned it up. I got it all ready to sew and it turned into a disastrous mess!! My sewing machine had trouble sewing nice and clean.  I figured as long as  you don’t pull up the seam it’s ok….so don’t look under the ottoman.

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Getting ready to cut and I wanted to take a pretty picture.
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My attempt at sewing!! I spent way more time seam ripping.
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I thought I would add a photo of the mess our spare room became after I did this project.

Happy crafting!! Hope yours is smoother than mine!!

Whitney

 

Posted in kitchen, Recipes, Uncategorized

Energy bites aka one of my favorite snacks EVER!

These have become one of my favorite snacks to have. They are great when you are hungry and in between meal time. They are also so incredibly easy to make and not messy!! After having done dishes the last three mornings, that is the most important thing at the moment!! I found the original recipe here.  Also don’t let the ingredient list freak you out! Beth was a little skeptical at first, then she tried it and I think she may like them as much as me!! (Bare with my pictures this time. I am still figuring out my fancy new camera!!) And the best part of these is Brandon doesn’t like coconut, so I don’t have to share!!

Ingredients list:

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

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Dump all ingredients in bowl
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Mix together and refrigerate for a while.
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Roll into balls and freeze (at least I put them in the freezer and they were amazing!!)

I made this with a mix of honey and agave nectar. I love honey, but it can be an overwhelming taste.  My next batch will be agave, apple butter and dried fruit in place of nut butter and chocolate chips.

These are probably some of my favorite “treats” to have on hand. I have come up with some other  versions and substitutes to try.  Here’s the list for you:

  • any nut butter
  • pumpkin puree/pumpkin pie spice
  • any nut
  • apple butter
  • agave nectar
  • dried fruit.

We would love to know your favorite combinations! Comment below or hastag #PPGenergybites and show us what ya got!

Whitney

 

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Posted in corkboard, DIY, kitchen, kitchen decor, Uncategorized, wine

Cork Board Kitchen

We haven’t quite reached that home owner status in our young marriage. With that, rental property (or in this case, base housing) can be hard to manipulate and make your own with all kinds of landlord restrictions. I was looking for a cheap and easy alternative to add a bit of pizzazz to our drab kitchen without painting the walls. If you live here in Okinawa you know the same sad story of the closed off submarine like galley of a kitchen we have. It gets the job done, but in typical fashion I need it to show some character and scream “Hey! Beth lives here!” On another note, for my fellow Okinawa dwellers… Dasio. enough said, right? Daiso is the Japanese equivalent of a dollar store. It is heaven on earth and often gets me into trouble with the ol’ ball and chain. “Beth. Sure everything is a dollar… but when you fill your cart with 50 $1 items you still wreck the budget!” touché Tom, touché. But I NEED these cat shaped hot pads and I NEED these lime green and purple flip flop socks…. oh yeah, I said it. Flip flop socks, they are a real thing and I own them. I NEEDED all of these things just as I needed to figure out a fix for my kitchen.

My kitchen revolves around wine and everything great that is wine. Like a basic white 20-something girl I can’t let that go. So wine themed it is. I love wine. As I walked every…single…aisle… of Daiso I stumbled upon some cork boards. I got the brilliant idea that I would use them in my kitchen because they reminded me of wine corks. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with them yet but I knew it was going to be fabulous.  Here is what I came up with:

cork board decor

There was a perfect space above our kitchen cabinets where the cork boards would fit without having to be cut down at all. I painted a series of wine bottle and wine glass silhouettes and hung each board on the wall using command strips. If you have not heard of or used these yet, you need to come out from under your rock and get with it! They are awesome! I hung each one with the command strips. These made them easily hung and will be easily removed when Uncle Sam comes to inspect our house when we move on to the next duty station in a couple of years. The strips stick out a bit at the top but when you are down on the ground and not on the counters snapping photos like a crazy person you can’t even see them. Here is a close up of the command strips:

cork board attachment

You just have to think outside of the box sometime. Typically one would use these cork boards to hang things on with push pins, but I used them as a wine inspired boarder to go from drab to fab! Well, in my opinion… 😉

Smiles and hugs and until next time!

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Posted in Uncategorized

A sneak peek

We are so incredibly excited for this day. Weeks of planning have gone into and it’s finally here. We were joking last night that its like having a baby. As I sit here writing this, I keep thinking I am not quite ready for this! I image it is similar to parenthood in that respect. I feel like if we had just a week more it would be better. But here we are little birdies being pushed off their nests, ready to fly!

A little back story of our baby, just in case you are wondering…Beth and I met through a mutual friend. The day we met, I found out she would be working with me. During work we started to see how similar we are (so much that we sign cards the same!!) Our husbands ended up leaving around the same time and we started hanging out a lot. Through them being gone or having duty we have had many craft days, where the idea of the a business was being thrown around. That was a few months ago, but we had to make it through a crazy summer to get where we are now.  The past month and a halfish we have been working to bring our little corner of the world to you.

A big shout out goes to our husbands for  being so patient and kind in the getting ready for this big day! Another to some of our awesome coworkers, who have kindly put up with our crazy idea bouncing whenever they hit us.

Now for the goodies….

Some of these are samples made for friends while others you may find in our etsy shop, which should be opening in just a few days!

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Welcome baby Ski...on our very ugly base housing hallway!
Welcome baby Ski…on our very ugly base housing hallway!

 

 

 

Tiny Typhoon Baby Shower

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It is hard to see, but the banner says Welcome Tiny Typhoon
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Umbrella cupcake toppers

 

 

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Cloud straw decorations

An early preview of our wedding collection

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 We are getting excited for football season!

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A fall preview

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Stay tuned for more!!!

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you come back!!

           Whitney