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diy easter bird nests

March 21, 2017

forsythia and nest pleasure in simple things blog

In the spirit of spring, today I am sharing an easy DIY for one of the many nests I make out of edible materials.  This one is simply shredded wheat and chocolate chips.

candy easter nest by pleasure in simple things blog

The shredded wheat is the original unsweetened variety that comes in the big ‘logs’…I think you must know what I am referring to.  For the chips, I have used butterscotch flavored chips – chosen because of the color.  You can use the chocolate ones if you prefer a dark brown color for your nests.  White chips are also an option and can be used as white or can be tinted with food coloring in any color you choose.

nests for Easter pleasure in simple things blog

To make:  For 4 small nests, you will need 2 shredded wheat ‘logs’ and about 6 ounces of butterscotch pieces.  First, separate the wheat logs as shown below and set aside.

candy nest collage

nests pleasure in simple things blogMelt the butterscotch pieces slowly over a double boiler just until melted.  Remove from heat and gently fold in the prepared shredded wheat until coated.  Form four nests on waxed paper and leave to harden.  Use jellybeans or small candy eggs to decorate.

These nests make great table decor and are perfect on an Easter table.

nest place card pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to create some of your own nests!

rabbits and nest pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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hanging plants in eggs diy

March 14, 2017

plant diy hanging eggs pleasure in simple things blog

It does seem a little bit crazy to think that while the snow is piling up outside, I am posting an Easter project!  But, hey – we have already changed the clocks and Target has more flavors of Peeps on display than I have ever seen in my entire life!  There are even Peep Oreos on the shelves!  So, I will not feel guilty about starting Easter DIYs!

diy Easter hanging eggs pleasure in simple things blog

And, if 2 feet of snow is happening while I post this, so be it!  Today’s Easter DIY is a simple one – hanging plants…but, the plants are hanging in eggs!  I guess I could have made the egg hangers myself.  It would probably have been long and tedious work not to break any shells in the process.  And, putting the holes in the eggs would be very delicate work!

hanging eggs pleasure in simple things blog

Instead, I found the eggs at Terrain for $2.50 a piece…a price well worth the convenience!  With hanging eggs at the ready, the project was super simple…I just planted – very carefully – in each of the eggs and hung them from branches.  Don’t they look super festive!

planting hanging eggs pleasure in simple things blog

If you want to do this project completely on your own, you can empty out the eggs, make 2 holes and add twine for hanging, but I recommend purchasing eggs ready to go from Terrain!  Or, if you prefer, plant in eggs that don’t hang.  (I like to plant shamrocks or pansies in eggshells.)  For this project, I chose to plant in natural eggs, but you may decide to plant in eggs that you have dyed.  Have fun with it!

diy hanging egg pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to plant in eggshells!

Thank you for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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before & after bedside table

March 7, 2017

Bedroom table after photos pleasure in simple things blog

Today, I am sharing the ‘after’ photos of the little mahogany side table I shared last post.  The piece belonged to the owner’s great grandmother and I was determined to redo the table to  fit nicely  into her new home.

before and after side table with Annie Sloan ochreDid you guess what neutral I chose to paint the piece?  I decided on Annie Sloan old ochre.  It is a nice neutral that has a warm tone and will combine well with both white and gold tones.  The piece will be used as a bedside table and, since I’ve seen the bedding in the room, I decided to find accessories to combine with the piece to look great in its new location!

Bedroom side table after photo pleasure in simple things blog

I started with a coat of shellac since the mahogany was sure to show through a light color paint.  Next,  I painted the piece with two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in old ochre.  Then, I added a coat of clear wax.  In keeping with the tastes of the owner of the piece, I didn’t do any distressing, but I did add a coat of dark wax in some spots.  This accented some of the details and added a little depth  of color.

Bedroom side table after photos wax pleasure in simple things blog

For the hardware, I used the original pull and just added a little metallic to brighten up the old finish.

Bedroom side table after hardware pleasure in simple things blog

Lastly, I added some fun accessories to coordinate with the bedroom where the little table will be residing.  The tea leaves scented candle, lamp, print, and plant all came from Target.  The cute succulent paper I used for the drawer liner came from Paper Source.

Bedroom side table after photo drawer pleasure in simple things blog

For such a straight forward paint job, it created quite an update, don’t you think?

Can’t wait to see the table with the new accessories in its new home!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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its always in the details

March 3, 2017

Bedside Table revamp acessories pleasure in simple things blog

A February day with temps in the high 50’s?  What does that mean?  Furniture painting projects, of course!

Because of space limitations, nearly all my furniture redo projects are limited to the outdoors.  With the record breaking temperature last week, thoughts of tackling one of the projects in queue was inevitable.  I decided to start with a little bedside table that would be a straight-forward project.  The owner wants a simple, single color neutral as a finish.  And, even though I really want to paint the piece charcoal gray and sand and stain the top, I think it is important to create something the owner would truly love in her home.  Especially since the piece belonged to her great grandmother.

bBefore Mahogany Side table pleasure in simple things blog

The table just needs a little love to make it current.

For Friday field trip today, I am giving you a ‘before’ photo and a little hint of the details I have started to put together to make the piece perfect for the owner.  I am putting together some accessories to go with the finished piece to make it really personal to the recipient.

Bedside Table revamp drawer pull pleasure in simple things blog

Can you guess what color I am painting the piece?

Remember, the owner wants a neutral.  I will give you a hint that it is an Annie Sloan color.

Bedside Table drawer liner pleasure in simple things blog

Well, let me get back to work…

I hope you will join me on Tuesday to check out the finished piece!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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maple vinaigrette

February 21, 2017

maple vinaigrette with wheatberry salad pleasure in simple things blog

I normally don’t add salad dressing to my salads.  I figure, why add extra calories and chemicals (from commercial salad dressings) when it isn’t needed?  I like the taste of most salads on their own.  If I really think my salad needs a little something, I would probably squirt a little fresh lemon or orange juice onto the greens.

With that said, I did recently make and add this easy maple vinaigrette to a salad after seeing the recipe in a piece about maple syrup in Real Simple magazine!  I love maple syrup and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand when I saw the recipe in the magazine.

maple vinaigrette ingredients pleasure in simple things blog

I think it is worth sharing…easy, tasty, and healthful!  Thank you Real Simple (recipe credited to Julia Levy)!

Maple Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake until well combined.  Toss with salad greens.

maple vinaigrette recipe pleasure in simple things blog

I have decided using a homemade salad dressing on my daily salad once in a while is a nice change!

a salad with maple vinaigrette pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like a homemade salad dressing!  Jackie xo

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valentine coffee sleeve diy

February 7, 2017

easy DIY Coffee Sleeves pleasure in simple things blog

Today, I am sharing a really easy Valentine DIY that is sure to make someone smile!   For no cost at all, it is easy to upgrade those sleeves you get on your cup of morning Joe!

Why not make one to slip on your loved one’s coffee before delivering it on Valentine’s Day!  Or, add a special message or photo to your child’s hot cocoa!

DIY Coffee Sleeves on pleasure in simple things blog
The supplies needed are easy:  decorative paper, a knife or scissors, a used coffee sleeve (you don’t throw these out, do you?), spray adhesive, and a glue gun.  Just cover a used coffee sleeve with a decorative paper!

steps in making a recycled coffee sleeve pleasure in simple things blog

If you want to get fancy, you can use fabric.  Here I used some scrap felt.  I cut a heart shape in the felt; adding a piece of decorative paper behind the opening before adhering the felt piece to the coffee sleeve.

DIY Coffee Sleeves pleasure in simple things blog
For this one I used a birch bark looking paper.  I drew on the heart and initials with a marker and rubbed it off some so the writing wouldn’t be as sharp.

DIY valentine Coffee Sleeves pleasure in simple things blog

Here I used a paper with some script writing…you may want to use some sheet music of a special song or an old book page with a special poem.

DIY Coffee Sleeves reuse pleasure in simple things blog

Think of the possibilities!  The paper I used in the second photo was actually a recycled Terrain bag!  (Click here for more Terrain bag uses!)

I hope I have inspired you to create a coffee sleeve for a special Valentine!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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my ‘punny’ valentine diy

February 3, 2017

candy pun diy pleasure in simple things blog

The valentine season is not complete for me without at least one ‘punny’ candy gift!

I am sharing one from this year on today’s Friday field trip!

Here is my package candy topper for some gummy eggs!  The candy came from Ikea’s candy bins…they have some cute, pun-worthy selections!

Egg Candy valentine pleasure in simple things blog

I created my topper, sizing the image 1200 x 1800 pixels.  Then, I printed it four times on a sheet of 8 ½” x 11” card stock.  Next, I attached the topper to a plastic bag of candy.  For fun, I packaged some up in a mini frying pan…so cute, right?

candy egg pun diy pleasure in simple things blog

I hope I have inspired you to create a ‘punny’ candy topper or tag of your own!

candy valentine diy pleasure in simple things blog

If you’d like my egg topper image, just shoot me an email and I will email it to you.  This candy also works well with ‘don’t yolk with me’ or anything about being ‘egg-static!’

candy pun valentine diy pleasure in simple things blog

For more detailed assembly instructions for toppers or some additional ideas for puns, you may like:

  • To use with candy chalk, click here (printable included).
  • To use with candy lips, click here (printable included).
  • To use with candy olives, click here.
  • To use with candy sharks, click here (printable included).

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things…like a good pun!  xo Jackie

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bird feeder diy valentine gift

January 17, 2017

making diy bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog

A bird feeder is a great gift you can make yourself.  Who doesn’t enjoy watching a free nature show from their window?

Hanging bird feeders made from bird seed are really simple and inexpensive to make.  A simple DIY, the bird seed is held together with clear gelatin and hangs from a tree branch with a piece of twine.

diy bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog heart

As a Valentine, a feeder can be packaged up really cute with a corny Valentine saying!  I love  “Valentine, you are so very tweet!”  So appropriate for a bird themed gift!  And, a small bird from a craft store is the perfect addition to the wrapping!

Choose an appropriate shaped cookie cutter to use as a mold.  I chose a heart to go along with a Valentine theme, but also chose a state-shaped mold to make a ‘state pride’ feeder to gift to an out-of-state relative.  Cookie cutters are available in virtually any shape so, have fun with it!

diy state pride bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog

Supplies Needed:

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 envelopes unflavored Knox gelatin
  • 2 cups bird seed
  • Large baking sheet
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Cookie cutters
  • Cooking spray
  • Drinking straw
  • Twine

Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on a flat baking sheet.  Set out desired cookie cutters onto the sheet.  Use cooking spray to spray the surface/cutters.  Cut the straw into 2” pieces and set aside.

a collage diy bird feeders valentines gifts
Heat 2/3 cup water in a medium saucepan; removing from the heat just before it starts to boil.  Sprinkle the contents of 2 envelopes (4 come in a package) of Knox unflavored gelatin on top of the water and let dissolve, stirring as necessary.  After the gelatin is fully incorporated, let the mixture stand 5 minutes – enough to cool down, but not enough to completely set.  Stir in 2 cups of bird seed, mixing thoroughly.  I used the seed for small birds – small seed pieces best stick together.

Place the bird seed mixture into the cutter molds; pressing firmly in place.  Insert a piece of straw into each piece to create a hole for hanging.

Place the sheet in fridge to set.  After an hour or two, remove each feeder from its cookie cutter and lay flat to dry overnight.

Remove straw pieces and let dry a couple days before adding twine to each feeder for hanging.

diy CT state bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog

Package as desired.  Makes approximately 2-4 feeders, depending on the size of the cookie cutters.  (For example, one batch could fill one 5” cookie cutter, one 4” cookie cutter and one 3” inch cookie cutter.)

gifting diy bird feeders pleasure in simple things blog
Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you are inspired to make and gift a bird seed feeder for Valentine’s Day!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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bird in a jar holiday decor

December 16, 2016

pleasure in simple things ornament diy

I have a fun and easy holiday décor DIY!

On today’s Friday field trip, I am demonstrating ‘a bird in a jar!’  Remember the year I put everything in jars for my holiday décor?  Gingerbread cookies as well as holiday ornaments were on display in jars of snow a few years back.  This is a little bit different from that display.

I have highlighted a single ornament in a pretty jar of snow.  I happened to choose a bird ornament, but you can easily change it up to your own theme.  I grouped three similar jars to create a display in my downstairs bathroom for the holidays.

diy bird in bottle pleasure in simple things

Only one ornament is needed for each jar; so it is an economical display as well as a pretty one!  The idea started from a beautiful little blue glass bird ornament I purchased new this year.  I wanted to showcase this beauty!  I looked through my ornaments and picked out two other bird ornaments – one was on a clip.

pleasure in simple things bird diy

I used one bird per jar and grouped the three jars on a bathroom shelf.  I am sorry the photos did not come out very well, but it is near impossible to get a good photo of a glass jar!  And even harder to get a good photo of one in a bathroom with no windows!  So I took the jars into another room to photograph.  I hope you get the idea of how you can create a grouping in a similar way.

The pretty blue bird is suspended with a little piece of clear packing tape to the top of the jar.  A second, sliver bird, sits in a pile of snow in another jar.  I clipped the third bird onto a sparkly piece of a branch – cutting the branch to the exact width of the third jar so it would fit snugly inside!   The three ‘bird in a jar’ creations make up an adorable holiday display!

christmas ornament bird pleasure in simple things

I hope I have inspired you to create your own ornament display in jars!

birds in the bathroom pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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target bargain bin diy

December 6, 2016

diy-felt-bag-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

I love the section at Target with all the low-priced items!  It is so much fun to find a great item for $1. or $3. in those magical bins at the front of the store!  Sometimes, a little DIY is the perfect thing to make something from the bin simply fabulous!

before-felt-clutch-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog-Recently, I ‘felt’ that way about a marvelous felt clutch I found in the $3. bin!  Though great on its own, a little enhancement would make it special!

I had a few ideas for a modification right from the start, but I knew I wanted to do an initial.  I was thinking I would use a plaid fabric that would make a nice contrast against the gray and would scream holiday.   To make it easy, I could use fabric bonding to adhere the initial.  Then, if I had any embroidery thread in an appropriate color, I would use a blanket stitch on the edges to finish it off.

felt-clutch-close-up-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

When I got home, I looked at the random buttons I had left in my button box and some of the button colors were perfect against the gray felt of the clutch.  I changed my plaid idea to an initial formed from  buttons!  Based on the colors I was using, I would make a mustard colored tassel to add a finishing touch!

I used a small bead of glue from my glue gun on each button to hold it into place before I sewed each one onto the clutch.

sewing-a-felt-clutch-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

When I went to the craft store to buy some yarn to make a tassel, I found a premade one in the color I wanted for less than the price of the material to make one!  Perfect!

initial bag diy pleasure in simple things

The pouch makes a great gift on its own or it can be used as a pretty item to tuck some presents into!

If you’d rather not use a needle and thread, another way to add an initial to the clutch could be to use a metallic iron-on initial from the fabric or craft store.

wrapped-gift-pleasure-in-simple-things-blog

A beautiful gift for under $5!  Thank you Target for the bargain bins – they are a wealth of (inexpensive) inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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