Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wrapping Up Round 3

 Hello Inspiration Cafe readers... Its time to wrap up round 3!

You will notice some big changes coming up very soon. We are very excited and we hope you will be joining us for more!

We have 4 fun projects to share with you in case you missed them the first time:

1 Easy Wrap Bracelet by Natalie from NorthShore Days
2. Baked Apple Tortilla Rolls by Mary from Sweet Little Bluebird
3. House Haunts by Heather from The Beating Heart
4. Four for Fall by Danni from Silo Hill Farm

Now, the 4 of us are taking a week or two off to implement our changes and get a whole new Inspiration Cafe makeover....

So this coming Monday we have a very special guest, sharing an awesome craft. You do not want to miss Mel from Mellywood's Mansion.

Please pop on over and visit her this weekend and give her some Inspiration Cafe love.

And finally - check out our fab Facebook badge - our Mary designed it! And while you're checking it out, don't forget to "like" us too


 Have a great weekend and we will see you all on Monday with Mel

Take care



Monday, September 24, 2012

4 for Fall

Welcome Inspiration Cafe Patrons!  It's Danni from Silo Hill Farm today.  Fall is upon us here in the Midwest and with the change in the season comes some changes here at the cafe.  We are considering adding an occasional guest poster to our menu, so if you think you might like to give that a try, just contact any one of our wonderful Inspiration Cafe contributors and let them know! 

Today, I have two fun and easy projects for you, plus a few quick ways to spruce up some of your old fall decor.  Let's start with this:

Last year I had this half pumpkin and although I thought it was really cool in the store....when I brought it home and hung it on my wall....

It just had zero pizazz and I was not lovin it.  This year I decided to cute it up a little and give it some presence.
I found these little leaves in the dollar bin at Michael's and thought they just might do the trick.

Now you don't have to have a half pumpkin to do this, it would be lovely on a regular foam pumpkin or, if you're ambitious and trust yourself with sharp instruments, you can cut a foam pumpkin in half.  Either way, just lay out your leaves the way you think they might look best.

I set my pumpkin in a colander to keep it stable while I worked.  Using white glue, adhere your leaves to the foam pumpkin and add whatever trimmings you like.  I used  some small bittersweet berries.  Easy as pumpkin pie!  Much better don't you think?

Now, because I was happy with this little makeover, I looked around and found a few other things that I thought I could spruce up a bit.
I had an oil candle that just had a ribbon tied around it.  Boring.  I added a few faux leaves from an old garland and a sparkly gem and voila....

Suddenly it has come to life with no money spent.  My favorite kind of project for sure!

Now I'm just looking for more easy, "use what I have" projects.  I'm not a huge fan of raffia, and I've had some for years that I've never used.  Cutting raffia can be a mess and it seems to go everywhere when I use it.  I just looped a bunch of it together and tied it together in the middle with some wire.

 Then I cut open each end of the loop on both sides and trimmed it down to a smaller size.  I wired a piece of bittersweet to hang down from the center and added a little ribbon bow to the center to hide the wire. 

It reminds me of mistletoe.  Autumn Mistletoe...not a bad idea!
If you are a regular follower, you might remember earlier this week I was lucky enough to receive some beautiful buckeyes from Mary at Sweet Little Bluebird.  I have been scattering them all over my fall decor because they are just so much fun!  I had a little mini-vase and I put some of the buckeyes in it and added small pieces of bittersweet.

 This is just a tiny little vase, sitting on an old ceramic insulator that I wrapped in a piece of garden twine.  I can think of several places in my home that have room for something tiny and fall-ish.  Sometimes when something is so simple and beautiful, it doesn't need to make a big statement. 
Pretty much the only money I spent on these four little makeovers was the leaves I got in the dollar bin at Michael's.  Not bad, huh?
The moral of this post is shop local....real your own home!  Sometimes a "fresh coat of paint on the old barn door" looks pretty cute!

Monday, September 17, 2012

House Haunts

Welcome to the Inspiration Cafe. It's Heather this week, and I am so excited to get you inspired to do something....sewing.   Yeah.
Halloween is almost here. I know,  don't blink or anything. That is why I am taking the time today, in September, to help you get some Halloween decor ready before Halloween...because that's how I typically make decorations for holidays.  Once they are over I get things done and then can't use them until the following year.  So, we're getting started early.

I felt my house needed some haunts.  Kinda like Halloween groupies.  They hang around giving my house some ambiance, make us feel a little spooky...make my kids need to have the hall light on all night while they know, things like that.  I also wanted to give you two options.  One you can make with a sewing machine and one to make by hand with a needle and thread.  Both are easy and cute....and they take very little time. Which for me, counts for a lot when it comes to make decorations.  I love to get inspired and be able to make something in an hour flat.

So, to make some House Haunts of your own...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baked Apple Pie Tortilla Rolls

Welcome to Inspiration Cafe!  
It's me, Mary, once again, 
from Sweet Little Bluebird!

I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day weekend!

Today I'm sharing a fun fall recipe that 
was a major hit in our house ~

Baked Apple Pie Tortilla Rolls

Tortillas make a great replacement for those who are not
fans of traditional pie crust... like my girls.

Here's how to make this yummy fall treat:

8 Flour Tortillas (I use Large Size Tortillas)
6 Medium Size Tart Apples, Peeled and Sliced/Diced (I use Granny Smith)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
Dash of Nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon - optional)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

*Cinnamon Sugar Recipe
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Stir sugar and cinnamon together until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Butter (grease) a 9X13 baking dish.  Next, combined all of the ingredients above with the sliced/diced apples, making sure the apples are coated well. Place a 1/2 cup of the apple mixture and spread in the center of a tortilla.  Roll the tortilla and place in pan, seam down.  Repeat 7 more times.  Note, You may only be able to fit 7 rolls in your pan.  Once rolls are in pan, lightly brush with melted butter and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, making sure to sprinkle in between each roll on their sides. Cover with foil and bake on middle rack of oven for 40-50 minutes. Bake until apples reach desired texture. Once done, remove and enjoy hot or cold! This treat is great served warm with vanilla ice cream!  
*For an easier version, you can use canned apple pie filling {I use Duncan Hines®}.  Simply decrease baking time to 15- 20 minutes, following the same directions above.

Thanks so much for stopping by Inspiration Cafe!
We hope to see you again next Monday!

Cheers ~ Mary