It’s 2017 and I’m Back!

This post is being updated from 2015 when it was initially written.  That was the day that I flipped the switch and started blogging on a self-hosted site with a paid domain.  And now for the good news…  I’m back!  Blogging back here at my old stamping grounds – yay!

Please continue to stay with me as I share my new recipes, DIY projects, photographs, and my simple country life back here where it all began.

Mini Blueberry Cupcakes

Wish me luck!

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PicMonkey Makes Photo Editing Simple

 

Have you ever worked with photo editing programs?  And if so, are you intimidated by them?  A long time ago I  purchased a photo editing program that I found wasn’t very user friendly.  Since then I’ve played around with some of the programs on-line and I’ve found PicMonkey  to be my favorite.  I can easily enhance, add text, make a collage, or turn an ordinary photo into the unordinary.  

This isn’t a sponsored post, it’s just me gabbing about a website that I’ve found quite useful in my blogging.   And because  I’m  somewhat  frugal, I work off of the basic (free) PicMonkey program.  But if you are willing to spend a few bucks then you can upgrade to their Royale package for $4.99 a month, or $33.00 annually, and the first month trial is free.

The photo above has been slightly enhanced through the photo gallery program on my computer.  Just a little tweaking was done to brighten the images and correct the color before I uploaded them to PicMonkey to make my collage. 

From this point forward I’m going to show you just how creative you can be using  PicMonkey.  In the pictures below  I used multiple design options.  My suggestion is to sit down and play with the program and get familiar with it.  I think you’ll see that there are plenty of features to keep you busy.  If you run your cursor over the image it will tell you what photo process I applied to each photo.

 

If you have a favorite image above please go ahead and share it on Pinterest – one of my most favorite places to hang out!

What Do You Get When You Cross A Paper Napkin With Decoupage? Spring Chickens…

 

Are you like me?  Do you go into quaint little boutiques and ooh and ah over everything but then leave without spending a dime?   I bet those shop owners just love to see people like us walk in the door.  But seriously, how can a girl who loves to shop at second hand stores ever in her right mind spend a wad of money on cute little home décor items that she knows she can make herself for pennies?

This project will require you to search out a few inexpensive items but I think you’ll have fun doing so.

First, you will need small piece of wood.  I used a 5 1/2” x 4 1/2” piece of pine (3/4” thick).  You will also need a fun or pretty paper napkin.   I happened to have these  funky chicken napkins on hand that I absolutely love.  You will also need a small bottle of acrylic paint (I used ivory) and a small paint brush,  a piece of fine grit sandpaper, a pair of scissors, and  bottle of Mod Podge

Paint the front side of your piece of wood with your paint and let it dry.  Once the front side is dry, paint the back side and edges.  Remember to rinse your paintbrush because you will need it later in the project. When all paint has completely dried, lightly sand the edges with the small piece of sandpaper to give it a weathered look.

Cut out the portion of the napkin that you want to use for your project.  I cut the napkin and then separate the layers once I’m done cutting.  This makes it easier. 

With that previously rinsed out paint brush, now apply a coat of Mod Podge on the front of your painted piece of wood.  Carefully lay the colorful top piece of your cut out napkin in place and apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over it.  I like to use a slightly wet brush while doing this so I keep a little dish of water nearby.  You have to be very careful not to over wet the brush though. I work the bubbles out with the brush and I go.   Once the first layer of Mod Podge has been applied let it dry thoroughly.  Proceed to apply three more coats (drying completely) between each application.

This particular project can be displayed on a table, shelf, or window sill.  And if you’re looking for a piece of inexpensive wall art just add a small picture hanger on the back and there you have it!

Imagine the possibilities.  Monogramed letters, quotes, shabby chic floral designs, and yes, funky spring chickens!

Looking for another clever decoupage project by The Joy of Caking?  Click here

Table for Two in The Pink Paradise

I have been thoroughly enjoying the Pink Paradise this year – as usual.  And while she hasn’t actually seen the pavement yet, she has come in quite handy.  I love to spend time in her reading, napping, and hosting cozy dinner’s.  This table for two is my idea of a perfect picnic.  No bugs, a nice summer breeze coming in through the window, keeping undercover in case of rain, and of course electric if we need it.

Sometimes I wonder if I should sell her and move on to my next project, while other times I think that is an insanely crazy idea.  Especially after enjoying a nice dinner and playing cards in her like we did tonight.  If I do decide to rehab another camper I’ve already made up my mind that I’ll pick a completely different theme, different colors, and select one that has a little more lounging around space.  

If you were going to restore a camper what would you want it to look like?

DIY – Victorian Style Earrings

While I was out shopping this last holiday season I ogled over all of the pretty earrings that sparkled at me in just about every store I visited.  I fought hard to ward off the urge to buy myself a few pairs.  After all, I wasn’t shopping for myself, I was buying gifts for others.  And in the back of my mind, a little voice (coming from the frugal shopper in me) told me that they were too expensive.  You see, I have a hard time spending money on myself.  You might even think that I was reincarnated from the Great Depression if you watch me shop.

That little voice also reminded me that after the holidays blew over and things settled down that I could make my own unique sparkly earrings.  I completely embraced the idea of finding a DIY project to keep me busy and save me money.

This week I finally ventured into one of our local craft stores to check out their jewelry making supplies.  I happily settled on some pretty charms to use in my earring making adventure.  I also made the pretty little cards to hook the earrings to.  That was just as fun as making the earrings.

I’m not big chunky earring kind of girl;  I like drop earrings, not too long, not too big.  Pretty, but subtle.  These earrings fit the bill.  I really love how they remind me of the Victorian era.  Romantic, elegant, and pink.

I’ve decided I’m going to keep one pair of these for myself and give the other pair away as a Valentines Day gift.   I’ve also decided to take orders for these earrings.  If you’d like your own pair(s), in your own custom colors, please email me for details.

So, would you consider yourself more of a shopper, or a do it yourselfer?

Share Your Vintage Camper Story

Pink Paradise 2014

Since hubby and I remodeled the Pink Paradise I’ve gotten several emails from other vintage camper enthusiasts.  Let me just say how much that I love hearing from people that share my passion for these old beauties like I do.

My camper is about 90% finished and I’m already looking forward to warm spring days when I can get back to working on her. 

In the meantime, it’s going to be quite some time before spring arrives here in the Finger Lakes, so I’m looking for other vintage camper stories to feature here at The Joy of Caking.

If you have a great vintage camper story that you’d like to share then I’d love to hear it! 

Retro Christmas Cards–DIY

I’m not a big Christmas card sender.  Yes, I like receiving them, and chances are, if you send me one you will get one back – but don’t bank on it.  This last weekend I was in one of my retro moods and decided to make a few cards to send out.

When I started this project I knew how I wanted my cards to look but I wasn’t sure if I could find the type of images I had in mind.  After searching on-line for a few minutes I found just what I was looking for.

For this project you will need:  printed images you wish to use, some blank cards, scissors, a glue stick, and a little rick rack.  Easy peasy!

 

So, my cards are made and sent out and I still have a lot to do before I’m ready for Christmas – eek!

Are you ready for the Christmas?  What’s left on your list of things to do?