Pitman Photography

Friday, July 30, 2010

Necklace Hanger

I have the cutest jewelry box but my necklaces always get tangled in it. Sometimes I will spend a good 15 minutes trying to untangle four different necklaces. So, I started shopping around for a necklace hanger, but just couldn't find anything my style. I finally decided to make my own and thankfully my friend Cassie pointed me towards this tutorial which got me very excited!
So, in the midst of rearranging our house, painting our upstairs hallway and getting ready for company, I decided it would be a good idea to go to Lowe's 20 minutes before closing and make my hanger that night!
I found it to be very easy to make and even drilled the holes myself!

I kind of just did my own thing and loosely followed the tutorial.

Here's what I used:
(any size) wood board - I think mine is 2 feet
wood glue
scrapbook paper
cup hooks
brown paint
Krylon gloss
hooks & screws for the back to hang on the wall

I painted all four edges of the board before knowing that I would be covering the top and bottom edges with scrapbook paper. So if I make another one, I will just paint the two smaller edges at each end. I painted wood glue on the board and laid the scrapbook paper on top.

Fold and glue the paper over the bottom and top edges. Tape the paper to the back while it's drying. Glue brown ribbon at each end and where the different papers meet. Turn the board over and attach the hanging hooks to the back. I placed one at each end to make it more stable to hang. Drill small holes where you want the cup hooks to be and then screw them in.

Once finished, take it outside and spray a few coats of Krylon on it for a protective coating. Hang it on a wall in your bedroom or bathroom. Not only is it great for hanging necklaces, but it's a cute piece of wall art!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birthday Fun!

My husband turned 25 on Monday and boy did we celebrate!

I started planning his party last December by inviting four of his good friends from Alabama and North Carolina to surprise him for his birthday week. Two of them were able to make it and they showed up on our doorstep the night of his party! They were able to stay for nine whole days and we had such a fun week (other then the flu bug being passed around between the four of us!). We went to a winery, a Brewer's game (my very first!), and to Green Bay, Wi. We also got in lots of Mexican Train Domino's and Spades...the girls beat the boys!

The birthday party was low-key, but fun. We grilled brats and hot dogs, had chili and cheese to make chili dogs, chips and watermelon. The birthday boy requested key lime pie instead of cake. So I made a strawberry shortcake to compliment the pie and some cake pops, because they are fun and yummy! :)

Strawberry Layer Cake
recipe by Martha Stewart

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.
3 C all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
course salt
1 3/4 C granulates sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp.
1 1/3 C buttermilk, at room temp.
1 TBSP vanilla

2 lbs strawberries
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 TBSP lemon juice
course salt
3 TBSP confectioners sugar
2 C cold heavy cream
1 1/2 C strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar on high until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with flour mixture. Bake about 40 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire rack for at least 20 minutes. Slice the strawberries and combine with sugar, lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt. Let stand, stirring occasionally for 3o minutes. (I did this overnight so I had less work in the morning. The strawberries weren't as firm, but I prefer them a little softer anyway.) Strain strawberries and reserve syrup. Beat heavy cream with confectioners sugar until peaks form. Trim cake tops and slice in half, horizontally. Brush each with syrup and spread with jam. Top with strawberries and whip cream. Repeat with each layer. So yummy!

Watch for a fun, easy craft post later this week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crafts to do this Summer

I have been in such a crafty mood lately, but haven't had the time to make anything! So to satisfy my crafting need, I have been spending lots of time on the internet (while the boys nap!) and found quite a few crafts I would like to make by the end of the summer. Here is a glimpse...

I found this bag on a new blog I follow, La Maison Reid. It's a burlap tote and is super cute. I especially love the flower accent, but think I might make it a little more colorful.

I don't own a single pin cushion (can you believe it?!) and would like to try my hand at making a few.

I love these from Crafty Stylish -

And these from Patchwork Posse -

I have three canvases at home waiting to be covered in fabric or possibly re-painted. I want to hang them in our craft/reading room so am looking for something a little artsy and cute. I love these ideas -

I want to learn to embroider and make something like these -

Or find fabric that tells a story by itself -


I (think I can) promise these crafts will be posted by the time fall comes around. :)
Stay tuned for a special birthday and jewelry post!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

$250 Neiman-Marcus Cookies

The cookie recipe, as promised! These make a ton so the recipe could easily be cut in half or you can make them all and freeze them - they'll still be just as yummy!

$250 Neiman-Marcus Cookies
recipe from Kristi Graves
2 C butter
4 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 C sugar
5 C oatmeal
24 oz chocolate chips
2 C brown sugar
1 tsp salt
an 8 oz Hershey bar, broken up
4 egs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
3 C chopped nuts (I used walnuts this time)

Measure oatmeal and blend to a fine powder -

Cream the butter and both sugars -

Add eggs and vanilla -

This is where it gets fun. Because this recipe makes so much and my Kitchen Aid is not industrial sized (unfortunately), I mixed together the remaining dry ingredients with the wet, and then separated the dough in half -

Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts to each half -

Don't you want to reach through your screen and sneak some cookie dough?

Roll into balls and place 2 in. apart on cookie sheet -

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

I hope you try these - they are delicious!

Almond Joy Balls

When my friend Cassie came for a visit, we made a plan to see Toy Story 3 at the drive-in. In preparation for this (the long wait for the movie) we made Almond Joy Balls and $250 Neiman-Marcus Cookies to bring along. For those of you who have gone to a drive-in before, you know to get a good spot you have to get there SUPER early. We picked up pizzas on the way and had a great picnic while playing Mexican Train Domino's (a new favorite game).

Almond Joy Balls
4 c (8 1/2 0z) shredded coconut
1/4 c light corn syrup
1 package (11 1/2 oz) milk chocolate pieces
about 26 almonds

Line 2 large cookie sheets with tin foil or wax paper and set cooling racks on top.
Place coconut in large bowl.
Place corn syrup in a 1-c measuring glass and microwave on high for 1 minute or until syrup boils.
Immediately pour over coconut.
Work warm syrup into coconut using the back of a wooden spoon until the coconut is thoroughly coated. This will take awhile.

Using 1 level measuring tablespoon of coconut, shape into a ball by squeezing in one hand and rolling between both palms. Shape all balls before doing this - it's way less messy. Let dry for 10 minutes and re-roll to prevent loose ends.

Melt the chocolate pieces and shortening in the microwave. Quickly drop spoon fulls of chocolate over each ball, allowing the excess to drip on the foil or wax paper.

Top each ball with an almond.

Let stand to set or place in refrigerator. Best stored in an airtight container in fridge.

These might take a little extra time to make, but are totally worth it in the end!

EnJOY! :) Cookie post to come on Friday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Crafting with a Special Guest!

So this week is going to be fun because I have three blogs to post and all with a special guest!

My good friend Cassie and her husband stayed with us for a long weekend in June and we had so much fun with them!

Cassie and I decided to have a crafting day and a baking day, and crafting came first! This craft started out with a bunch of flowers and an idea to make hair clips & headbands -

Here's what you need:
bobby pins with a small metal circle at the closed end
metal or plastic headband
hot glue gun
fake flowers

Step 1 -
glue a piece of felt onto the circle of the bobby pin -

Step 2 -
Glue and layer the flowers, add a button to the middle and you're done!

If making a headband, wrap and hot glue the band in ribbon first -

Then glue and layer flowers to a small piece of felt and then onto the ribbon -

After making all these hair pieces we decided to make magnets out of them too.

Stay tuned for our baking projects that will be posted later this week!

Happy crafting,