Jewelry organizer

Hey all, sorry I’ve been absent as of late. Life has gotten a bit hectic.

I have been working on a couple of crafts. Remember that cake, cookie/treat stand I made? Well, I decided to use that idea to clear off my dresser:

Jewelry organizer

For the full directions, check out my Homespun column. But it’s so simple and it’s been keeping everything accessory-wise in order. Love it!

As for food, I’ve been heading back to some new staples, particularly Crockpot Buffalo Chicken and Marinara, Alfredo pasta bake.


Versatile Valentine’s Wreath

Remember that yarn and ruffle wreath I made a couple months back? Well, I made it so the decoration was removable. I decided to change the decorations to a Valentine’s Day theme. I got a pile of felt and rather than just make one set of decorations, I wanted to show how versatile this wreath could be.

Versatile Valentine's Day wreath 2

Foam circles can be expensive. If you want to change up your wreaths depending on the holiday and the season, you don’t want to have to buy and store a dozen wreaths. I’m advising: Don’t glue your decorations on. Use pins! You can try and match the pins to your wreath theme or hide them strategically.

I also saw this pin and just had to try making these woven Danish hearts.

Versatile Valentine's Day wreath 1

It’s pretty simple one you get the hang of making these. Take two sheets of felt. Out of each sheet, you can get four felt strips (you can make four hearts). Take two strips and then round the edges. Fold them in half and cut three parallel lines. Then weave the strips together to make a heart! You can use these as little heart baskets or use them for what I did.

Versatile Valentine's Day wreath 4

So, I stuck the two woven hearts onto the wreath and then cut out two other hearts out of the same colors.

Versatile Valentine's Day wreath 5

Then I tried six hearts.

Versatile Valentine's Day wreath 3

Then two large hearts with three smaller layered hearts.

Versatile Valentine's Day wreath 6

Finally a pattern of hearts. I could have kept going. I just love that I can change up the decorations all I want. Right now I’ve left it with the two woven hearts.

Inside BruCrew Life

Top 5 posts of the year

This blog has only existed six months, but I wanted to round up my five favorite posts of the year.

I first started this blog, originally on Tumblr, as a way to keep track of some of my favorite recipes. I was going to create a cookbook of family recipes and other recipes I enjoyed making. Then I started creating the things I was pinning on Pinterest and my work took on a more crafty turn. It’s been great so far. I can’t wait to continue all my projects in the new year.

And here are my Top 5:

tape painted coffee mugs 5

These tape painted coffee mugs are actually not just my favorite post, but it’s the most clicked post on this blog. I’m writing this post while drinking coffee out of the yellow one right now. I had seen all these amazing mugs on Pinterest and Etsy and I had been determined to make some of my own. The tape painted mugs were born from frustration with other designs not coming out right. And I love them.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars 10

The salted caramel butter bars have been such a crowd pleaser. (hat tip to for the original recipe). I introduced one of my friends to them and she’s been making them for her friends and family. And they keep referring to them as my “salty bars.” Which I find hilarious and slightly wrong. But seriously, it’s so hard not to just eat a ton of these at once. They’re rich and sweet and buttery. So good.

melted snowman ornament 6

I love this ornament. Oh, the poor melted snowman. He’s provided me with such joy. He’s made the perfect gift and brought a little bit of joy to other people.

scrapbook paper coasters 6

The scrapbook coasters, my very first post and craft for Crafting and Cooking. I’ve made them as gifts, I have them all over my apartment and I use them religiously. I bought a whole box of tiles to try different patterns and over the last few months, I’ve revamped the ways I’ve been making them — longer drying times, felt rounds on the backs… I wasn’t a coaster person until I made them. I only wish I could find the paper I used in the coasters in the photo.

bacon wrapped, blue cheese stuffed dates 6

It’s a bit of a mouthful to say bacon wrapped, blue cheese stuffed dates, but man are they good. I’ve made them for a game night, Thanksgiving and Christmas. At Christmas, the plate full of dates disappeared within half an hour. People are skeptical when they first look at these little treats, but then they have a pile of toothpicks in front of them in no time.

If you like my posts, please give Crafting and Cooking a like on Facebook. You can also follow all my pins on Pinterest.

Hand painted ornaments

I know it’s the day after Christmas, but I didn’t want to ruin the surprise by posting these on the blog beforehand. I handed out these cute ornaments to my family during our Christmas celebration.

handpainted ornaments 7

I’m really happy with these.

handpainted ornaments 1

So I found these porcelain stocking ornaments at Michael’s. I hated the red string they came with so I cut that off.


handpainted ornaments 2


I wanted to keep the trim at the top. So I used a small piece of masking tape to block it off.

handpainted ornaments 3

I did a quick coat of my different paints. I used the Martha Stewart craft paints I have that are perfect for porcelain. The Satin ones coated the best. I used one kind of Metallic, but it got gummy and bubbly. Take the masking tape off while the paint is still wet. Otherwise, you’ll end up pulling off some of the paint.

handpainted ornaments 4

I did the one side, let it dry for about an hour and then flipped it over and did the same on the other side. You can do a second coat if needed.

handpainted ornaments 5

After letting them dry on both sides, I used my holiday stencils (also Martha Stewart) and put one symbol on top of each stocking.

handpainted ornaments 6


Let them dry overnight. I wanted to make sure they were permanent and I didn’t have 21 days to let them cure. So I did bake them. Stick them in a cool oven on a baking sheet. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Once it hits 350 degrees, bake for half an hour and turn the oven off. I baked for 40 minutes total. Leave them in the oven as it cools down.

I then used my favorite fabric ribbon to restring them. Yay!

Something to pin and save for next year’s gifts!

Head over to the Crafting and Cooking Facebook page and give us a like. And check out the Christmas ideas board on Pinterest.

Handmade Christmas cards

I’m participating in my first Christmas card/craft exchange this year. It’s the first time I’m making a bunch of Christmas cards. I decided to go minimalist and simple.

handmade cards 5

I’m happy with how they turned out.

handmade cards 1


Supplies: card stock cut into card length, glue dots, three different types of Christmas scrapbook paper, a paper punch (I used a star)

Start by punching out a lot of shapes from the scrapbook paper.

handmade cards 2


Then come up with a pattern. I used three stars cut from each piece of scrapbook paper for a total of 9 stars.

handmade cards 4


Helpful tip: Prep your whole project by cutting out the cards and folding them. Then pull off the amount of glue dots you need for each card with the paper backing intact. Then stick your 9 star shapes onto the glue dots. Saves time from doing it one by one.

handmade cards 3


Then just apply the stars to your card in a pattern that makes you happy! Very simple and it’s a little something extra for your Christmas cards.

Head over to the Crafting and Cooking Facebook page and give us a like. And check out the Christmas ideas board on Pinterest.

Snowflake tealight holder

I was looking to make something that is both holiday appropriate and could still be kept around once the holidays are over. Something wintery seemed great. I had gotten a bunch of snowflake stencils recently and I had a few blank tealight holders left over from the glitter tealights I made before.

I’m really happy with how these came out, and just like snowflakes, neither one is the same.

Snowflake tealight holder 6


Supplies: glass paint, tealight holders, stencils and foam brushes

Snowflake tealight holder 1

I used four kinds of Martha Stewart craft paint: Wedding cake, wet cement, surf and sea lavendar, all in the satin finish. In hues of white, blue and gray. Totally winter right?

Snowflake tealight holder 2

You only need a little bit of paint for this entire project. A little dollop of paint is all you need. I will say I didn’t use much of the wet cement paint. It looks like a nice gray when it’s on the plate there, but it sorta looked like a dingy and dirty snowflake.

Snowflake tealight holder 3

I put the stencils all around the tealight holder. I let some hang off the holder so they would look like they were falling snowflakes.

Snowflake tealight holder 4

Dab the paint onto the stencil. I went all the way around the tealight holder before pulling the stencils off. I didn’t want the paint to dry all the way, because I’ve experienced the paint pulling off the glass with the stencil when it’s too dry. If there are some larger gaps between the pattern, you can fill them in with other stencils. If you want to paint over the other snowflakes, let them dry at least an hour.

Snowflake tealight holder 5


Love! Simple and pretty.

I’m going to follow the curing method that’s just leaving them out for 21 days. Otherwise you could bake them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You put the glasses into the cold oven, turn the oven on and let it hit 350 degrees. Then start the half an hour counter. Then turn the oven off and let them cool. Then they should be set. You need to wait 24 hours for them to dry before the baking method, btw.

Head over to the Crafting and Cooking Facebook page and give us a like. And check out theChristmas ideas board on Pinterest.

Inside BruCrew Life

Wedding invitation ornament

If you’re like me, you have been getting invited to a lot of weddings lately. After the wedding is done, I feel bad just tossing out the invitation.

This feeling has grown since one of my best friends got married last year. I helped her put together all those invites (because I was the maid of honor), with the ribbon and the two charms that needed to be tied on and all the little pieces of tissue paper and on and on. It’s so labor intensive just to end up in the trash. I did end up re-using the invite she sent me by including it in a photobook I created with all the photos I took throughout the year of festivities.

I got this fabulous idea at from glitter to gumdrops. It’s an awesome way to provide the couple with a personalized gift. I think I might do this for all the invites I get in the future. Although, if the bride uses Pinterest, there’s a good chance she might have seen the original pin as one of my other friends did. She posted a photo on Facebook of her ornament.

Supplies: wedding invitation, clear glass ornament, a paper slicer, ribbon (the one I used for this ornament was tied around the invite) and a pencil

Start by slicing up the wedding invite into strips.

Use the pencil to curl up the invite strips. I did it at an angle so that it looked a tad bit fancier.

You’ll end up with a pile of curls. Some of them, you’ll need to trim and use as filler for spots in the ornament.

Twist the curls into the ornament.

I used the pencil to help arrange the curls so that the words would show among the other curls.

There you go. a really pretty ornament for the newlyweds. As I said in the supply list, the ribbon I used for this ornament was provided by the invite sender. If your invite didn’t give you a ribbon, try finding one that matches the wedding’s colors. If there’s a charm included with the invite, try tying that onto the outside. You can also write in Sharpie on the outside of the ornament their last name and the date of their wedding.

Head over to the Crafting and Cooking Facebook page and give us a like. And check out the Christmas ideas board on Pinterest.

Katie's Nesting Spot The 36th AVENUE Thirty Handmade Days