Tuesday, January 31, 2012

IHB receives the liebster award!

When I come across small blogs like IHB, I meet the nicest people being creative and inspiring me like crazy. One such amazing blogger is Virginia at Live Love DIY and after she received the Liebster Award, she honored the Inspired Honey Bee and called me "super creative" ... *tear* ... I swore I wouldn't cry.


Liebster means beloved, favorite, dearest in German and is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers to promote and encourage new friendships among the blog community. Thank you Virginia for visiting my little blog and thinking there's some potential here .. and it's good to find a new friend! She really likes my 2011 Valentine's Day mantel and thank you V for finding me!

Check out Virginia's $500 makeover and the finished guest room! It's such a spacious room and she was able to take time for special details and a true one-of-a-kind space. Seriously. Check out the before.


Here's the deal! The Liebster Award is given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers who are doing wonderful, fresh work! And those of us in the under 200 category are a special breed - we get excited and notice when a new follower brings up the counter. Upon receiving it you do the following:
  1. Post the award on your blog for the world to see!!
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who awarded you the Liebster by linking back to them.
  3. Reveal your five picks for the award and let them know they've been chosen.
  4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogsphere...other bloggers!
  5. Finally, the best rule of all, have fun and spread the love!
To narrow this down to five bloggers is NOT easy, but all of the following bloggies are so deserving!!

Liebster Award Recipients

The Whole EnCHELLEada is one of my girlies and has contributed so much to IHB. One of my favorite bloggers, she is the reason why I started blogging in the first place and I am eternally grateful for her inspiration! Watch her as she takes on the wedding planning journey of a lifetime.

I better get Devon on here immediately! She is two followers away from hitting the 200 person limit and I am not surprised that Miss Make is getting more popular! She's a teacher of sewing and her adventures and blog posts are so fun to read!! Her super bowl cupcake tutorial is on my list of To Do's for this weekend's party! GO PATRIOTS!

Kimberly was one of the first blogs that I started following and I fell madly, deeply in love with her pressed fall leaves display, which I used in 2010. Craftyland is full of home improvement, sewing and decorating ideas ... my favorite!!

I recently found Melly Sews when I was linking up at a few parties last week and I fell in love with her argyle hoody. After checking out her blog and previous posts, I'm surprised that this talented blogger has under 100 followers ... but I doubt that will stay low for much longer. All sewers must join her blog!!

Repurposing is so important to me and if I can't sell or donate it, there will be a new use. That's what I love about Knot All That I Seam (clever, I know). I recently fell in love with her numbered crate on wheels and I hope to find something similar to put some potted plants in! Thanks for sharing your inspiration with us!

Congratulations ladies and I hope the decision to narrow down to five bloggers is much easier for you!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

guest contributor: january wrap-up

Thanks to the folks who took a chance and linked up at our linky party last week! Don't be shy and remember that this might be exactly what you need to take those projects that you pin and make them into reality!!


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Keep pinning little bees and we look forward to seeing your projects next month!

Friday, January 27, 2012

host post: driftwood star gazing

Hi little bees. Today’s project is the perfect example of one that I would never have finished if it wasn’t for this Pinterest challenge. There’s always something more important to do on the TO DO list but when you committed to doing something amazing, this is getting done! And I’m thrilled with the outcome – blisters and all!!



We have grandeur dreams to ride off into the sunset and wake up every morning beachside. In the meantime, we wake-up Monday through Friday and make sure that we don’t miss a single turn of the daily rat race.  To keep our eye on the long-term goal, I have always loved these driftwood stars as a simple addition to our home décor in the hopes that it will join sand washed walls one day. Here are two of my Pinterest inspirations:



To collect enough driftwood for this project, you wouldn’t see this star for a few years – there just isn’t enough time in my life to walk along beaches.  During a quick stop at Marshall’s, I just walked past this bag of quality driftwood for $5. Yup, I said it too. O-M-G.


I would have loved to create a star on something more solid, but alas, I don’t know how to work heavy machinery (not yet, at least). I took a chance and created a start on cardboard and cut the shape out with a simple knife. Then with a glue gun, I started fitting the larger pieces along the edges and to fill the inside. (Note: use the cardboard side of the cardboard so the white doesn’t stand out between cracks. Doh!)


Didn't it just turn out great?? Now we can remember where we came from and where we hope to go ... (So profound!)



Featured on:

IhookedupwithHoHlamespice  It's Overflowing

Thursday, January 26, 2012

guest contributor: wrapping is the new gift bag

Today, Cece steps outside of her comfort zone and shows us how to dress up a gift.


This past weekend, I went to a baby shower and unfortunately, my gift was too big to fit in a bag. I have always avoided gift wrapping because it can be a frustrating task for me -- I never measure correctly or I keep redoing the folded edges, leaving me with wrinkled paper (so NOT pretty). At one point, I gave up and became the biggest investor in the gift bag industry! [If you need some help and need some encouragment in the gift wrapping department, don't come to me. But you should visit Real Simple and follow this easy tutorial!]


In this case, I couldn’t fit my gift in a bag so I took the plunge and decided to give this another try, since I have pinned so many “gift ideas” on Pinterest. I headed to Michaels and picked up paper, stickers and ribbon. I chose a solid color paper so I could use it on other gifts (depending on how this project works out for us). Ultimately, I was really impressed with my results and I actually found folding paper a little therapeutic (a recommendation for you Type A personalities). I seriously doubt that I will stop using those pretty and convenient gift bags, but now I know that I can wrap a present myself. (Ensue clapping!)


Good luck! Cece
Check out Cece on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

guest contributor: comfort with this gorgonzola dish

Today, we give a 'woot-woot' to Carrie and her delicious dish!
Here in California it’s been feeling a lot like Spring with the unbelievably nice weather we’ve been having (sorry to the majority of the USA, but has been so wonderful). Come to think of it, I don’t think it rained once in December either (sorry again).

Anyhow, we got our first big rainstorm this past weekend and all I wanted to do was snuggle up with my family at home. For some reason when it’s stormy outside I crave comfort food. Inspired by a recipe I pinned on Pinterest, I decided to make a variation of a tomato cream sauce by adding one of my favorite cheeses, Gorgonzola. This recipe is so delicious and easy!

My Pinterest inspiration comes from Ree Drummond over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Tomato Gorgonzola Cream Sauce with Rigatoni


Ingredients:
  • ½ of a medium sized yellow onion (finely diced)
  • 1 - One pound box of pasta (I used rigatoni)
  • 1 - 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 - 5 oz. container of room temperature crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup or 1 stick of room temperature salted butter
  • 2 Tbls of chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Place diced onions, chopped garlic and olive oil in pan. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until onions become translucent.


 
Add crushed tomatoes, stir together and let sauce sit till it begins to simmer. Add stick of butter and stir until melted completely. Add Gorgonzola, stir until melted and mixed together. Add salt and pepper, to taste.


Cook pasta as directed on package. Allow sauce to cook until your past is ready, stirring occasionally. Strain pasta and return to pot. Pour in majority of the sauce and mix, saving a little sauce to spoon on the top of each serving.

  
Serve pasta immediately and garnish with Parmesan cheese, to taste.


Enjoy!  xoxoxo Carrie

Check out Carrie on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

guest contributor: don't put your head down on this pillow {dress}

Today, we welcome Kimie and her pillow dress!
I've always wanted to but have never been brave enough to try a pillowcase dress. However, when I found Melissa's tutorial on Sew Like My Mom her easy step-by-step directions changed my mind. Little did I know that the hardest part would be getting my 16 month old daughter to sit still so I could take her picture in the dress! If you're a beginner sewer or short on time (or fabric), this is the perfect project!


Materials:
  • 1/4 yard of fabric
  • cutting mat
  • scissors
  • rotary cutter
  • iron
  • ribbon
  • safety pin
  • baby or toddler
Determine the finished length you want, for me it was about 16″, then add 4″ for seam allowances. The width of the fabric is the width we’re using (I made my width shorter by about an inch or so). Lay out your fabric and cut to your desired length. Then cut your fabric in half up the side to create 2 rectangles (or squares if you have a really fat and short baby)!


Take both pieces of fabric to the ironing board and fold the salvaged side over 1/3″-ish. I don’t measure, I just fold. Iron it down. Then fold it again and iron.

  
Do this to the top and bottom of both pieces. Then sew all four sides at 1/4" seam allowance.

Now make the casing for the ribbon. The size of the fold depends on your ribbon size. I used a 1/2" ribbon, so I made my casing about an inch (not exact science). Fold the fabric down and iron. Fold it again and iron. Repeat on the other piece of fabric.

Stitch them both along the bottom of the stitching. All sides of the dress should be stitched except for the bottom, which we will hem in a moment.

Next, put both right sides together (fabric side to fabric side). Measure down from the top of the casing about 5". If you're making a bigger dress, go down farther. This is your arm hole. Pin the pieces together at your desired mark.

Then starting at the pin, sew just inside the previous seam to the bottom of the dress. Repeat on both sides.
Now for the hem. Fold up from the bottom to your desired hem line. Iron. Then sew.
You need two pieces of ribbon for the dress. One for the front and back. Cut each piece so it's twice as long as the dress is wide.

Attach a safety pin to the ribbon and feed through the casing on both pieces of fabric. If you need a picture to go along with this part of the tutorial, then you're totally screwed!

Find the middle of the dress on each piece of fabric and sew the ribbon into the casing.

Lastly, place the dress on your child and beg her to be still so you can take her picture!

Check out Kimie on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

guest contributor: welcome to my craft studio

Today, we drool over Michelle's inspiring new work space!
I'm excited to share with you where the magic happens in our house ...

For several years I've made do with storing my craft supplies in plastic tubs and hauling them out to the coffee table when it was time to craft. With our most recent move I was determined to claim a corner in the house to build a craft studio where I could unleash the magic..the crafting magic, of course. We were fortunate to find a two bedroom townhouse with the perfect amount of space in the extra bedroom for two desks: his for schoolwork, hers for crafting (her's is way cuter).

My biggest inspiration for creating this space was Inspired Honey Bee's studio. I spent a lot of quality time in there and knew when we had space I wanted it similar to hers. I also found lots of great inspiration on Pinterest.
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The goals for creating my studio were to store all my supplies in an organized and easy accessible fashion, have ample space to work on projects and an area to display items that inspire my creativity/make me smile. After I built the desk, rather than dealing with the huge mess of supplies, I hung two pieces of rope and pinned up my favorite cards, prints, pictures and stickers.


Over the next few weeks I slowly began organizing all my supplies into boxes and magazine holders also purchased at Ikea. I used these cute free stickers to label all the supplies.


Here's a peek at the shelves (only organization lovers, like myself, will appreciate this photo). I have a feeling over time these items will all get moved around, but for now this works!

I used small mason jars to hold supplies that I use often, like pens, pencils, scissors, ruler and bone folder.


Last but certainly not least, I framed the PS motto Do Something Creative Every Day that sits on the corner of my desk. This is my reminder to make time to do what I love. I made a similar reminder for my creative soul sister's craft studio. Although we can't craft together as often, it makes me happy to know we both have well organized places to do what we love!


Thanks for taking my craft studio tour. I hope it inspires you to make a space to do what you love! Until next time...XOXO, michelle at the whole enchelleada

Check out Michelle on Pinterest and find your next inspiration. Don't forget to link up your Pinterest inspiration this week during our Pinterest-a-thon linky party. Click here to join in the fun!

Pinterest-a-thon: Linky Party #3

Welcome to our third linky party in honor of accomplishing some Pinterest projects - stop pinning and start doing! Don't forget the one rule: your project must have been inspired by something you saw on Pinterest. There's probably no way for me to really verify that, but I trust you!!


This party is rocking the IHB house until midnight on Friday! You have an entire week and we'll highlight our favorites next week. Have fun!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

green: unload your stuff without loading the trash

As we go through holidays, birthdays, moves, trends, family additions and life changes, we find ourselves collecting more stuff. Even George Carlin has a great standup piece on stuff - "your house is just a big pile of stuff with a cover on it." But when we look deeply into our drawers, garages and closets, do we hold onto stuff that we actually want and use? In our house, we are big fans of eliminating the things we no longer use or need, but we are strategic about our purging - nothing goes into the trash!

Craigslist or online communities
A lot of my friends are hesitant to use Craigslist but I swear by the online selling community. We have posted all of the furniture we no longer need, wedding decorations, frames and garden materials. Not everything goes right away, but I'm persistant and eventually everything goes.
Electronics
If you  have valuable electronics like old cell phones or ipods, Gazelle and Sell Cell will pay you for
used items. I have sold a broken ipod, old cell phones and cameras online through these sources.

Some elecrtonics are no longer needed and you won't be able to sell them for money. Don't let this discourage you and throw your old electronics back into a drawer. Find a deserving charity. Your company, school, professional group or favorite philanthropy may hold cell phone donation drives. We donate old cell phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers since they provide free shipping and this just gets it out of the house!

If you can't sell a television, radio or kitchen appliance online (i.e., Craigslist), I suggest finding a local e-waste donation site. You're lucky this time of year as groups get together and set-up spots for people cleaning up for the new year. Check out your state's e-waste programs or check online for local efforts.
Clothes
I'm not one to have high cost clothing, but I tend to splurge on purses since I only get a new one every one or two years. There's a local high end consignment store that will sell my clothes for a commission - as soon as it's sold, I get a portion of the selling price. Some shops will just hand you the cash upfront. And if your old t-shirts and jeans don't hold street value, donate everything to your local thrift store, like Salvation Army. We visit the thrift store every other week to donate our stuff.


Books and Videos
For those who have a little time to post good to fair condition books and CDs on Ebay, this is a great source. For me, the time isn't worth the little return that we receive but I always find extra cash in my pocket selling at Half Price Books. Check out your local bookstores and find out if they purchase gently used books.
photo credit: Lori L. Stalteri
Old Paint and Supplies
When we moved into our house, the former owners kindly left behind extra paint from the recent work they had done on the house. Unfortunately, most of the paint had already gone bad - oil-based paints must be taken to disposal facilities and latex can be donated. Your local Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity may be accepting donations, or post your materials on the "free" section of Craigslist so that the supplies are used elsewhere.


What do you do to make sure your stuff stays out of the dump? Do you make extra cash from your goods? I'd love to hear how you're giving your stuff another chance in life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Save the Date: Pinterest-a-thon #3

Get your hot glue guns ready because it's time for the third Pinterest-a-thon hosted by your favorite pinning group at Inspired Honey Bee!  Follow your 2012 resolutions and start putting some effort into finishing those pinned projects.

Starting Monday, January 23, link up all week with as many projects as you want to share! We love them all!! See you next week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

look ma!! I'm on bhg.com!!

A few months ago, Better Homes and Gardens reached out and asked to feature my 2011 Valentine's Day mantel. I shreeked. I told only a handful of people (in case it fell through). Then I jumped up and down! Then I patiently waited.

A little late night stalking turned up the Valentine's Day feature and a heart-stopping search for the Cotton mantel ... THE COTTON MANTEL!!


And because this is my first, can I brag a little?

Inexpensive Valentine's Mantel
Debbie Cotton (inspiredhoneybee.blogspot.com) prides herself -- and her blog -- on creating things using inexpensive materials and what she already has on hand. Black frames with a picture, artwork, and Xs and Os are complemented with apothecary jars filled with hand-stitched felt hearts and confetti. The "Be my valentine" garland was created using a die-cutting tool and hung from the mantel with twine. Other items on the mantel were cute finds from around the house: a picture of her parents, candles, and small ceramic birds

Thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for taking a chance on me. This is so exciting for me and inspires me to do more, try harder and be more creative ...

Monday, January 9, 2012

home: office update

Once upon a time, the fourth bedroom of our house was turned into an office/dining space. The previous owners used the space as a home office and we really don't have a need for a formal dining space. Since we've been in this house, we have used this space as a canvas to try out colors and layouts. Some successes. Some failures (bright green walls!!). For this space, we purchased the Pottery Barn Bedford corner desk in espresso stain and over time, we added the swivel chair, desktop organizer and a 2-door file cabinet.


As you can see, the initial placement of our desk seems to be ok but we never used this space for work or blogging. There was something about staring at the wall and the television behind the desk that just wasn't making us run to the office.


Since I can be very persistent, I lured J into the office one day with the "can you just help me with a little something" plea. We simply flipped the desk from one corner to the other corner facing the window. The television is now on top of the office since all of the cables are below the desk, making this new placement the ideal one for us. I don't know much about feng shui, but this rearrangement really changed the harmony of this space.


My favorite wall shelving is the Ikea RIBBA picture ledge. This design is so simple and can hold most prints without having to put too many holes in your walls. We used the shelving in our bedroom, to display the map in our office and now to hold a few special prints for the hubs.


Not sure if you've noticed this yet, but we've got a New England sports fan in the house. These two framed newspapers were hanging in the craft studio but that was messing with my personal style, so I moved these "valuable" pieces into the office. Unfortunately, we're working with a light switch in the middle of the wall, so the balance is a little off. The room used to be a bedroom and when the change was made, no one considered moving the switch closer to the door. Yup, clever.