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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Create This Folding Flower Greeting Card!

Here is a great card idea for Mother's Day -- or hang the card from a neighbor's doorknob for May Day.


It's simple to make using our free template!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Best Ever Smoked Salmon Fillets!

I don't do a lot of recipes on House Revivals, but every now and then, something turns out so amazingly well, I just have to share!


My husband and I love to fire up the smoker on the weekends we spend at the beach house. We often hit the grocery store when we pull into our little beach town and grab something that we think will taste great smoked, but won't require watching the smoker all day long. Salmon fillets are perfect for this, because they don't need to sit in a brine or dry pack for very long, and they usually cook pretty fast.


While my husband usually mans the smoker, I usually choose the preparation method. I've experimented with dry packed salt and brown sugar, for a sweeter product, but this time I wanted something a bit more savory and less sweet.

To start, you will want one large salmon fillet, cut into about four pieces.  Next, pour about a half cup of hot water into a measuring cup. Now, add salt to the measuring cup until the level reaches three-quarters of a cup. Put this mixture into a glass dish (a baking dish works best), and add a couple quarts of cold water (enough to cover your fillets).  Add a generous amount of garlic powder or minced garlic (I added about a tablespoon of powdered and a tablespoon of minced), and add two or three tablespoons of sugar (or less). Experiment with seasonings you may like, such as onion, cumin, cilantro, or paprika. Add a generous amount of pepper, if desired. Mix everything together and add the salmon to the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two.


Heat your smoker to 225 degrees before adding the salmon.  If you'd like a "candied" crust, sprinkle the tops of the fillets with brown sugar right before putting in the smoker.

When the salmon reaches 140 degrees, it is done. Smokers vary, but in our electric smoker, a one inch fillet usually reaches 140 degrees within an hour.


While you're waiting for your salmon to brine, you might want to try this recipe for the Best Bloody Mary Ever!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How to Decorate With Free Stuff From Craigslist

I love Craigslist. Especially the free stuff. I am forever amazed at what you can get, simply by going to get it!


I've seen good quality paint, gardening supplies, furniture, sports equipment, and toys. Recently, these were a few of the items I found listed on Craigslist one Saturday morning.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How to Draw a Floral Wreath {a beginner's guide}

You don't need an expensive inventory of stamps and tools to create pretty cards and scrapbooks and art journals. There's nothing wrong with using stamps and other products -- there are some beautiful products out there; but sometimes, you just don't have what you need in your stash, or you don't have room in your budget, or you don't have space in your home to store lots of supplies, etc. Also, it's really relaxing to pick up a pen and draw something pretty.


This simple floral wreath would make a darling card front, or could look sweet framing a picture in a scrapbook.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How to Make Paper Peonies {Without Fancy Tools!}

Have you ever wondered how how to make dimensional paper flowers? Well, there are some wonderful tools you can buy to make perfect curves in your petals, but if you don't have access to a craft store or don't have the budget for fancy tools, here is a hack for making pretty paper flowers.


I love working with vintage book pages, but other sturdy papers will work with this technique, as well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How to Draw Pretty Flowers on a Trellis

Do you wish you knew how to create pretty doodles for you card making, Bible journaling, or art journaling projects? I promise, it's easier than you think!


You don't need to be a trained artist, or have lots of fancy art supplies to create pretty stuff. I keep a basket of kid's art supplies at our weekend beach house. On rainy winter mornings, I'm likely to be sketching and doodling, using Crayola markers and pencils. For paper, I rarely grab my nice materials -- I just pull some pages out of an old Reader's Digest Condensed Book.


To create this doodle you will need:

Crayola Markers (go ahead and splurge on Crayola brand -- you and the kids are worth it!)
Crayola Pencils
Regular pencil and white eraser
Black permanent pen
White gel pen, or White-Out, or white chalk marker or white china marker (optional)
Paper (I prefer a paper with some tooth. If the paper is too smooth, it won't grab the colored pencil)

Begin by lightly sketching in your trellis branches. I used a simple line to indicate where I wanted each branch to be. Sketch lightly, as you will be erasing these guidelines later.


Next, sketch your branches using a squiggly line.


Lightly indicate the placement of three large flowers, two or three buds, and three or four leaves. Don't fret over how to draw a simple flower. Just remember how you drew simple flowers when you were a child. For the five-petal flowers shown here, I drew a small circle, and drew five imperfect petals around the circle. The upward facing flower started out as a bowl shape, and details were added (lightly, in pencil). The flower buds were created by first drawing an elongated oval. The leaves started out as a slightly curved center line, as a guide, then the squiggly sides were sketched in.


When you are satisfied with your composition, trace over your sketch with a permanent black (or brown) pen. Use your white eraser to remove the pencil lines.


Now, very lightly, scribble some base color onto your drawing, using colored pencil. I like to put down colored pencil first, because this "seals" the paper and allows me to move the ink around when I get to the marker step. Don't fuss too much, don't press too hard, and don't fill in every bit of white space. These papers have a limited amount of tooth, to receive colored pencil medium, and we want to be able to add more layers.


Keep adding light layers of color. Add depth and interest by using more than one color for each element of your drawing. For instance, I first added scribbles of yellow to my petals, then added a little pink, then a little red. Leaves have layers of yellow, green, orange, and even some pink.


Next, you can add marker. Add your marker layers the same way you added your colored pencil. You will notice that the marker behaves differently over the colored pencil areas than over the bare paper. Use these characteristics to float your ink around and blend, or to create darker unblended marks.


If you have a white pen, you can add highlights to whatever side you want your imaginary light source to originate from. Use a darker colored pencil to add shadowing on the other sides.


You can use these techniques in your Bible art journaling, altered art projects, scrapbooking, or card making projects. This sketch will likely be cut out and attached to a card base, with a stamped sentiment.

What would you do with your sketches?

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!



Friday, March 25, 2016

How to Weave a Pretty Seat

I popped into a Goodwill the other day and found the cutest little bench -- that is, it could have been cute. If it had a seat.


My husband has a running joke about my love affair with "broken chairs". We've moved broken chairs half-way across the country and back again.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How to Make an American Boy Doll

Recently, I was shopping for a little boy doll for my granddaughter, and had a difficult time finding one. There just aren't too many to choose from. My granddaughter loves her one and only boy doll, and thought he should have a brother. I agreed.


I felt a little sad that there were so few dolls available for our little boys to identify with. After all, our boys enjoy imaginative play just as much as our girls, and they can benefit from having a "little buddy" to hang out with.


On a recent trip to a thrift store, I found an Our Generation doll for only three dollars, so I decided to purchase it to turn into a boy doll. Our Generation dolls are inexpensive eighteen inch dolls to begin with, and this one had badly damaged hair, so I didn't feel too badly about altering it. I'm not sure I would use an expensive American Girl doll to make into a boy, unless I found one second hand and in poor condition.


To start the makeover, I chopped off most of the hair to get it out of the way.


Next, I cleaned the doll well. First, I used rubbing alcohol on the face and arms and legs; then I used acetone nail polish remover to scrub away some of the doll's lip and cheek color. I did not remove all the color -- I just toned it down a bit. You may find you need to scrub quite a bit to remove the color. Your doll will still look pretty, but I haven't seen a little boy who wasn't pretty, so I didn't worry too much.


Using a fine paint brush, I used acrylic paint to color in heavier, more "masculine" looking eyebrows. Don't worry if you mess up. You can always wipe it off and try again. Next time, I may try drawing in the eyebrows using a brown micron pen. You may want to add a few freckles while you've got the pen or paintbrush out.

I then washed the hair. I would recommend washing your doll's hair before painting the eyebrows, so you won't have to worry about messing them up. I used a blow dryer on low, and tried to shape the hair in the direction I wanted it to fall. You will need to work with the original doll's part, or risk exposing widely spaced hair plugs, if your doll's hair is rooted.

The hair was then trimmed a little more with scissors, then cut using hair clippers and a one inch attachment. I wanted to give the doll bangs, but since the original doll did not have bangs, the hair did not want to fall forward, no matter how much I tried to coax it with the blow dryer.


For a cute "little boy" tee shirt, I found this sweet little preemie size onesie from a thrift store, and cut the bottom off. The baseball is a plastic candy egg from the Dollar Tree.

So easy!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!





Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Secret Sisters and Book Exchanges and Field Trips, Oh My!

I shared last week about what to expect when you attend a blog conference.  Today, I want to share a little about the "extracurricular" activities at SNAP conference in 2015.


Several weeks before the conference, registrants had the opportunity to sign up for a Secret Sister (or Brother). We were tasked with stalking (in the nicest possible way, of course), our secret pal, by following their blog and their various social media accounts.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

{15} Pretty Projects and Ideas for Spring

I love Spring! By the time March rolls around, I am done. with. winter.  How about you?


I thought I would round up some spring inspired projects, including how to create a garden for free!