Peeking through my windows! Decorating with vintage Windows

If you peeked into my front windows you see my red piano! It’s hard to miss! It’s big and red and stairs you smack dab in your face! I LOVE my red piano (even though I can’t play it very well) but I always struggle with how to decorate above it! I’m in the “switch-a-roo” stage of home decorating! This time of year I get cabin fever and need to change things for sanity sake… I rotate my decor as often as I can to keep me from having to buy new decor. On occassion I will add something new and when I found these two vintage windows while consignment shopping one weekend I knew they would make great foundation pieces in decorating.
The smaller single paned window is from Abode ($15) and the larger one from Now and Again ($29).
Resting items is a great way to avoid endless holes in the wall. If you are like me you like to change things often enough to not want to a nail in teh wall dictate what you can put there! These frames look great layered and resting on my wall. Now that i hada a great starting point it was time to shop my house ans start accenting this area.
I started by trying out a ceramic vase with tall greens and my blue tiny cabinet. I wanted to try out different heights and colors. I have a blue table across from the piano so I was hoping the blue would look good.
Here it is with a few different items to try out! My grandmothers vintage children’s chair from her childhood that is very special to me and a bird cage. I like the way this all looks but it’s a wee bit dark for me! I need pops of color!
What about yellow flowers instead?
I kind of like this bright look…but it’s still missing something!



So I go back and forth between the two plants! I’m for sure decided on the blue cabinet but help me out on the plant. Tall or short?
It still need something more! I’m still on the hunt for the perfect last addition to the whole look! Suggestions?
Anyway…play with decor! Mix and match until you find what you love! Find large staple or foundation pieces that will work year round when you replace smaller items around it to fit the season or holiday or your mood in my case! Large statement pieces like these vintage windows are worth their investment!
Tips for finding great salvages windows:
  • Look for windows that have glass that is in good shape. Cracked panes that are cracked or broken will over time be a hazard especially you rearrange often. No one wants a boo boo!
  • Look for charming details like handles and hinges or hinge marks still on the original windows. Added details make for added charm!
  • Ask the retailer if they have more stock in the back. Often times stores can’t put out all of their inventory or they have yet to clean up all the window panes. It’s worth your time to ask.
  • Look past the dirt and grime! It only takes a little Windex and elbow grease to shine up the glass in a salvages window! Don’t be turned off if it looks filthy!
  • Negotiate the price. If you find more then one window ask if you can get a  discount! The worst thing they will say is no!

Photo Tips with Emilie {Let’s try this again!}

Ok! Let’s try this again!  this posted on Sunday but I had a wonky day and the photos for some reason didn’t show up! And seeing as this was a “Photo” post the pictures were the most important part! So here we go again…. 


I am so excited about attending Emilie Photography Workshop on

March 26th.  She is offering Blue Cricket readers a discount until
MARCH 1ST.  The workshop is regularly $225, you will get it for $189
with the discount code “bluecricket”.  If you’re not in the Salt Lake
area and still want to learn from Emilie check out her online
Today she’s here to give us a tiny little sampling of her amazing skills …
Photography tip by Photo ByEmilie
My name is Emilie and I am a professional
photographer out of Salt Lake City. I can’t decide which I enjoy more,
creating images with my camera or teaching others to
create images in their camera.  I’ve written a little tip and I hope
it helps on your journey towards improving your photography skills. Lots
more education on my
There are 2 common ways you can adjust White Balance in your camera when you take your image and in Photoshop when you edit your image.  I typically set my camera to an auto White Balance.  I use the Nikon D700 & the auto White Balance is awesome, but not always perfect.  Therefore, I clean up the White Balance in Photoshop.  This trick can be performed in both Photoshop Elements & CS.
Step #1 – Open the “Levels” palette.  (short cut is command/control L)



Step #2:  Click the White Balance Dropper.  The white arrow is pointing to the White Balance dropper and the black arrow is pointing to the Black Balance dropper.  I typically use the white first and the black second.



Step #3 – Click on the image on the color you would like to set as the White Balance.  I clicked on her white tank top.  Then do the same with the Black Balance (I don’t Black Balance every image, just ones that need it.)


Here are a few more examples..









This is just one of the tricks you’ll learn during my Photo By You Workshop.  I also offer 1 on 1 Photoshop lessons.  I used my Photo By Emilie Color Action for the final edits.

Happy clicking!!


Ribbon belts with flower embellishments.Making a felt flower.

I make head pieces and accessories for a local dance studio for competitions and photos. They needed a pop of red for a group photo so I whipped up these easy ribbon belts! Each belt needed to be slight different. I love how the creative process works! While creating one belt i came up with a way for a different one!

I used a silk flower, riffles and felt to create three different looks! The silk flower was easy…remove the back plastic part and glue! the ruffles were wrapped in a circle and glued down onto felt. and the last one was created with that plastic left over piece from the silk flower!
Supplies are simple. One yard of ribbon for each belt, belt loops and your flower to embellish.


Sew the belt loops together on one end and roll and finish off the edge of the other.
To create the demetional felt flower you’ll need the plastic backing to any silk flower and cut circles of felt. Teh circles do not need to be perfect but they need to stagger in size.
Using hot glue you’ll glue each circle, starting from largest to smallest, into the center of the plastic flower part. It will create a beautiful ruffle look with each layer.
The last circle you’ll need to fold to get into the very center!
Fluff up the layers and add dabs of glue to make extra ruffles and folds.
And there you have it!

Sparkle Sparkle! Trim turned bracelets in a jiffy!

Who doesn’t love cheap affordable! I for one am always looking for affordable ways to create accessories so while I was waiting in the cutting line at JoAnns and the trim section caught my eye I knew I was on to something great! I’m on a jewelry fix right now and my brain started churning.
Project Runway now has a line of trim at JoAnns! Loads of beautiful trim that sparkles and adds texture! I was drawn to the ruffles and sequins and thought they would make beautiful bracelets. I bought 1/3-1/2 of a yard of each and spent around $5 total on all this trim. 



Next it was off to the jewelry making section where I grabbed a pack of ribbon clasps for $2. This pack will give me three finished bracelets.
I measured and cut my trim to fit my wrist. Be sure to burn the edges to keep the ends from fraying. You’ll need a small pair of pliers to clamp and attach the clasps.
The thinner gold trim worked great to get a twisted look. I took two pieces and twisted them together before I clamped the second end.
I love this last one! It looks like a fun cuff! This trip was stretchy so all I did was hot glue the ends together. You could also stitch it.
So cute right! So for $7 I created 4 new bracelets that are going to  add a little sparkle to my outfits!
Think outside the box the next time you visit the craft store. Trim can become a great tool for jewelry and with all of the amazing varieties out there you are sure to find something great to work with.

A look into the life of a real "Mormon Mommy Blogger!"

I love that I had three different friends email me the link to the article ” Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs” by Emily Matcher
It was pretty darn funny to read as I sat in my sweat pants in the middle of my pit I call home! I had to laugh! There I was technically a Mormon Mommy blogger myself and I knew for a fact that life as a MMB’er isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and flower arranging!
I had to put in my two cents! So here you go people! A look into the life of REAL Mormon Mommy Blogger! I’m happy to be the one to shed a little light on the topic and show you how life can really be… and NO… I don’t apologize for the day old mascara under my eyes or the double chin! Reality at its best!
So my real takeaway is this… No one wants to see us or be seen at our worst all the time! It was like when I first went on Myspace years ago…I was blown away at how great and happy everyone looked from high school. I started feeling frumpy and unaccomplished but then I was like “Hold up, Becks! No one in their right mind is going to put up a bad photo of themselves! No one is going to shine a spot light on their flaws, messy homes or less then perfect life!”
We ALL like to be seen at our best! EVERYONE! No matter your religion, financial status, or family situation! It’s not just we Mormons! It’s human nature to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative! But that being said, please realize that behind the scenes life is in full swing and to some, maybe even most of us, it looks like real life! Don’t feel bad that your house never looks like a photo of your favorite bloggers! Don’t feel bad that your kids aren’t dresses to the nines and can pose like Gap babies! Because the fact of the matter is most of ours don’t either!
So there you have! Call me a whistle blower! I’m just happy to be a blogger in this blogging world we all love and adore so much! Don’t fall into the trap of feeling bad that you don’t live a life like those that are portrayed as perfect all the time becasue it’s all smoke and mirrors but with lot of happiness and joy too.And yes…just enough Cheerios on the floor to make us relatable! Wink wink!
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My sweet little 50′s girl! Thank you Abode!

Ok…look at that face! Is she not the most mischievous looking little girl you’ve ever laid eyes on!? This here is my youngest and she is exactly what you think…a whole lot of fun, spunk, laughs and personality! Remember her run in with my flour… She actually never sits still long enough to take her picture so I count these latest shots as one’s to treasure!
And to make it even better I found the most adorable Vintage dress in perfect condition at my favorite consignment shop in Salt Lake called Abode.
I was dying when I saw it and had to buy it and boy am I glad I did! It fits Charlies’ sweet and sassy personality to a T! 


My sweet little 50′s girl! Decked out in her red plaid ready to rule the world! All she’s missing is her text books wrapped in a belt and an apple for the teacher. Charlotte is her given name but we never call her Charlotte! From the very beginning we’ve always called her Charlie! It’s the prefect name for this larger then life little ray of sunshine! She’s a Charlie through and through and even a  Chuck on some days! I’m the luckiest mom on planet earth becasue she’s mine! Even if she’s all sorts of trouble,
I love this little chicken nugget!



The last thing this new outfit needed was the perfect accessory! Have no fear! Momma’s got this under control! Time to whip up a simple
Mary Jane Bow!


Boiled Wool (felt), really good wool, make’s for the best bow! Heather Bailey Wool is my all time fave and you can buy it locally at Material Girls Quilt Shop! I have a stash in endless colors in my craft room! Red was a given in this case! This strip is 12″ x 1″




A few simple folds later you’ll have the basic construction. The second photo is a side view so you
can get an idea of how I folded it.


Add tiny dabs of hot glue in between each fold to secure this shape.




You’ll add the center band by cutting a small strip of wool and wrapping it around the center being sure to secure it with hot glue on the back! If you pinch the center when you do this you can create a pucker! Trim the ends.


Lastly glue on a clip. Glue the clip on with the clip opened so you don’t accidentally glue it closed!




Sweet and easy!  Almost as sweet as my Charlie!  Ooh!!! I could just eat that face!
If you love vintage and great finds you must must must get over to Abode! I’ve never been in there and not felt like I just found the greatest find of my life!
Abode has it all! Painted and refinished furniture, vintage clothing, toys, home decor,  Letters, Maps, doilies, linens, accessories, artwork, and endless vintage details you didn’t even know you wanted!
Come see why I love this place!

1720 S. 900 E.
Salt Lake City, Ut 84105
(801) 486-2633
Visit them on line HERE!
Read their fun blog HERE!
Follow their sweet tweets HERE!
And follow them on Facebook HERE!
p.s. Abode has groovy music that plays on their website! I may have in fact been listening to it the entire time I’ve been writing this post and I’ve had a perma-grin on my face because of it!


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Marshmallows + Chocolate = Yummers! Chocolate dipped Marshmallows.

Nothin’ like a homemade treat to put  a smile on your face or the face of a good friend on the receiving end! I love this time of year for a few reasons… 

  1. I get to gush over my lover and no one can make fun of me!
  2. Pink is more tolerable
  3. They sell STRAWBERRY Marshmallows!
I may in fact be addicted to Strawberry Marshmallows!  I’m embarrassed to admit that I can polish off  half a bag in under 5 minutes! Gross right!  But when you dip ‘em and gussy them up a little for the holiday they are even more addicting!
I use a double boiler on the stove top when I melt Chocolate for dipping! It’s way more controlled then melting it in the microwave. I add a tablespoon of Crisco to 1 1/5 cups of Chocolate to get  a shinny glean when the chocolate dries!
Be sure to stir, stir, stir! Once the chocolate looks like a pool of  goodness that you want to drink, it’s time to dip!
Top it off it a sweet little Heart Candy and let ‘er dry!
I also dipped them in White Chocolate and used pink sprinkles! I placed then in pink and purple candy cups and used a window box to display them! Are they not cute or what!!!!
And look at how cute this is! I found  pink Egg Cartons on line at! I ordered a sample of each color they offered and  my mind is spinning  with future project ideas! Easter is going to be awesome this year with these babies!
I’ve spray painted egg cartons before but it takes like three coats to almost cover the writing completely. I like this way much better and if you ever plan on making tons of treats to pass out you can order a bulk order of 25 cartons in any color!
Happy Dipping!

Yeah….it’s a Monday!

So far history has proven that when you jump in the shower and cross your fingers and make a wish that life will not come to a crashing halt while you slip away for 5 minutes and wash away your two day old pony tail and sleepy eyes, that it’s almost a guarantee that something WILL in fact go wrong!
It’s almost 100% guaranteed that when you step out of said shower and all is quiet on the Western Front that something for sure has indeed happened! The only question is HOW BAD IS THE DAMAGE?
All of the following have occurred while I’ve been taking a shower….


Ball point pen on a BRAND NEW chair cushion!
Yellow Highlighter on the flipped over cushion of that same BRAND NEW Chair!
Lip stick has been eaten,
Diapers have been removed after #2′s
Boxes of rice carefully sprinkled about the livingroom,
Entire packages of Cheese consumed,
Toilet paper pulled off the roll,
Permanent Marker Murals on baby legs, bellies and arms…
And we can now add this to the list….


Charlie found the flour!
Moral of the story: NEVER take a shower!