Feb 27, 2013

Styled Photoshoot - Minerva House: Photography by Candace Moore

I am SO excited to share this unique post with you today! My normal posts usually include some sort of DIY or recipe inspiration, but I hope this post inspires your wedding photography! I was lucky enough to be asked to model for the amazing Katelyn Mizell from Southern Charm Photography, for a styled "moody" bridal and romantics photoshoot that was to be submitted to a few popular wedding websites! (fingers crossed they pick up this piece!) More photos to come from Katelyn in a later post!

Along for the ride with Katelyn, and to also do her own styled shoot that weekend, was the oh-so-fabulous Candace Moore from Minerva House. Candace is a brilliant photographer from Houston, TX and boy, if you're looking for some dramatic and gorgeous wedding or lifestyle photography you can count on Candace to deliver! Please do stop by her Facebook Fan Page, check out her work, and like her page!  Here are just some of the beautiful images I received from Candace, swoon!

Feb 24, 2013

Shabby Chic Nursery Chandelier

Today I'm sharing a very special post with you! Why so special? Because I'm going to be an Aunt!! I hadn't officially posted about it yet, but better late than never! My sister is due in late May, and revealed to the family on Christmas day that she was having a little girl. Hollynd Ainara Hardman, so precious! Preparing for Hollynd's debut, my sister requested that I make her a lace chandelier to go above her rocking chair. Now, when Hollynd is wailing at 2:00am for a late night snack or diaper change my sister will have a beautiful lace chandelier to admire.

For this project you will need:
- three looms of different sizes - large to small
- lace
- ribbon
- pearls
- rosettes
- hot glue
- fishing wire

This is definitely a two person project! You will need a crafting buddy to help you by holding the looms thought the project and when hanging it. My lovely mother, aka Grandma NeNe, helped me from start to finish :)

You'll want to start by deciding which lace will go on each of the three loom layers. If you have multiple layers per loom that you can glue together, it is helpful to glue them together first. I also suggest gluing the lace onto the loom first before cutting it, curves and lace can be tricky at times. 

I started by gluing a single layer to the inside curve of my loom.

Next, add your other lace layers to the outside of the loom. This will hide the wood, unless you want it to be seen. You can add as many layers to each loom as you'd like. Just do what you think looks best, you can't go wrong! Continue this with the other two looms. You can add pearls and ribbon for different textures.

Once your looms are complete you will want to hang the first one from the light fixture or ceiling. For this project, my sister wanted it to cover a light, so we attached it to the cord using a safety pin which went through the ribbons and between the cord twists. If you are covering a light, make sure that it is a low watt bulb and that it does not produce a ton of heat.

For the first level of the chandelier you will use three ribbons to hang it. The second and third layers will each be hung using three pieces of fishing wire (six pieces total). Attach the second layer to the first using the wire, and then the third to the second. I just tied it through the lace and made a few knots, completely unnoticeable. 

It may take you a few times to get the wire levels just right. Add any embellishments and you're done! Aren't little girls rooms so much fun to decorate!?!

Feb 19, 2013

DIY Rustic Wine Rack

How awesome is that wine rack? My Hubby built it for me! I think my craftiness has rubbed off on him. He's definitely more crafty / handy with the tools than when I first started dating him. I guess he's learned a thing or two from me over these past few years, *brushes off shoulder* hehe! Well, inspiration struck the Kurtz household this past weekend and, boy did we both hit it out of the park! Recently, Justin has gotten into building stuff...he's pretty good at it, too! Because he was wanting to make something this past weekend, I asked him to make one of the things on his honey-do list...yes, I have a honey-do list for him, but mine is not the typical clean out the gutters, mow the yard kind of list, it's a crafty honey-do list! Things I want, but can't afford, that I think he can make. Yep, he nailed this one! It looks 10 times better than the picture I showed him and he made it with no plans, just eyeballed it...did I mention how great he is?

- 1 wood pallet
- 1 - 1x4x8 white wood
- 48 - 2 in wood screws (24 per rack)
- 80 grade sandpaper
- wood stains - light and dark (your preference)
- hand held jig saw
- reciprocating saw
- miter saw
- paint brush
- hammer
- 1/8 drill bit
- power drill
- clamps
- wood glue

This is a new type of project for The Kurt Corner, so I will do my best to be as detailed as possible, since we kind of forgot to take pictures along the way. It's really as simple as it looks, I promise!

(Note: all areas needing screws are pre-drilled with a 1/8 in bit and all cut areas should be stained with lighter stain)

For this project, you will need a pallet without blocksthis IS what you want...NOT this kind. Start by removing the frame boards with a reciprocating saw using a metal cutting blade to cut through the nails. Make sure to leave two frame boards on each end, this will create the beginning frame of your wine rack. We leave these boards to maintain the integrity and rustic look of the nails already in use.

This is what your base will look like.
Next, lay out the boards you just removed and beat the crap out of them with a hammer! Just kidding, but you do want to beat them up a little with a hammer...don't break them though! You just need to beat up one side of each board. this will be the side that faces you when assembled. Also, beat one side of the end pieces, as shown above. This will be the front facing base.

You will need two stains for this next step. One dark stain and one lighter stain. The dark stain will be used to emphasize the beat areas and then the lighter stain for the rest. Take a small paint brush and only paint the hammered areas with the dark stain. Don't worry about being perfect, we will sand this away later. Paint each hammered area, leave for 5 to 10 seconds (longer or shorter depending on the depth of the stain you want) and then wipe away with a cloth. Repeat on all boards in the hammered areas. Next, sand away the extra stain NOT in the grooves so that all that remains are the darkened dents. Once you are satisfied, apply the lighter stain to ALL sides of the boards and leave for 5 to 10 seconds and wipe away. Remember to test your stains on a practice board before completing these steps. You should also stain your 1x4x8 and two extra pallet boards at this point (don't beat these boards, if you did, no worries).

This next part I did not get a picture bad. Take the pallet frame and cut down the center, parallel to the remaining two end boards that you did not remove. This will create two identical wine racks. 

Take two of your stained boards and space them out along the back side of the wine rack frame, half an inch apart, lining up with the three posts. This is a guide to show you where the top of the wine rack is. Mark where the top board hits your three posts with a pencil. Set aside your two boards and cut the three posts where you marked them. In this step, we used a miter saw, but you could also use a circular saw. Once cut, take your jig saw and create your own design in the three posts. We did a simple curve by using an extra piece of wood that was cut in to the desired shape and then traced on each of the three posts. You really can't go wrong here with the shape...unless of course you cut straight through the board, don't do that. After the shapes are cut, take your drill bit and drill two holes per post (six in total) and attach your two stained boards, beat side facing towards the front. Your basic shape is now complete, yay! You will need to stain the cut portion with the lighter stain at this time.

Take your stained 1x4 and make four cuts, creating four total pieces. These will be the bases on which the wine bottles sit. You will need to measure the open space where the wine bottles sit and cut your boards accordingly. Once cut, put in place with wood glue and clamp. Leave for one hour and then screw in from the back side for extra support, two screws per side (total of four screws).

Use remaining wood from the 1x4 scraps you just cut to create 1 3/4 in spacers that should be glued to the bottom of each three posts and let dry.

For the last part, you will need to cut the remaining two stained pallet boards for the wine glass holders. Hold up your board to the wine rack and mark the areas where the three posts are. You cannot place a wine glass in this section because of the spacers. Next, mark the areas where you want your wine glasses. We suggest four wine glass spaces per side (total of 8 per rack). The openings for the wine glass stems should be 1 1/4 in wide and the spaces between each opening should be 2 1/2 in so the glasses don't touch. Make your cuts and smooth out any areas with a jig saw/sandpaper if needed. Attach your cut wine glass holder to the bottom of the wine rack using the remaining six screws (two per post). Your wine rack is now complete!! 


After publishing this wine rack I made a second DIY Pallet Book Shelf and captured the steps on video and created a YouTube tutorial. While not exactly like this project, it is very similar. If you are interested in the video tutorial it can be found below. Enjoy!

Feb 17, 2013

DIY Maxi Dress

Boy, am I excited to share today's post with you! Why? Because I made a freaking maxi dress all by myself! This was my first sewing project, and I am beyond proud of myself with how it turned out.

I've been dying for a sewing machine for forever and I finally got one for my birthday from my amazing Hubby! This thing is amazing, let me tell you! There are so many stitches to choose from, I don't think I'll possibly ever use them all. But I'm sure going to try!

I saw this maxi dress on Pinterest a few weeks back after I received my sewing machine. I figured, "hey, that doesn't look so hard," so I pinned it. Well, I was finally brave enough to try it out and, as you can see, it turned out AWESOME!

For this project, you'll need one tank, fabric (I used jersey knit) roughly 2.5 yards or enough to wrap around your body 1.5 times and have some left over for a sash, elastic thread, cotton thread, ball point needle, walking foot (for the sewing machine) and scissors.

First, cut your tank. Cut where you want the skirt to attach… In my case, it was right under my chest, or boobs, if you will lol. Leave a little room to sew the tank to the skirt.

Wrap the fabric 1.5 times around your waist where you want the skirt part of the dress to start. Cut off any remaining fabric and save for a sash.

Fold the fabric in half so that the pretty side is visible on both sides, this will create a bubble bottom at the bottom of the skirt so you won't have to hem that. Now, to begin creating the skirt, place the edges together (four layers in total) creating a rectangle, and sew up the long side using the cotton thread. Because you folded the fabric, one end will have four raw edges and the bottom will be a pretty bubble edge. Flip the skirt inside out so you no longer see the hem edges.

Okay, next we add the elastic thread around the top of the skirt, not the bubble side. In this step, we will use the elastic thread, but only for the bobbin thread. The top thread will remain the regular cotton thread. Below is the kind you should get, I found mine at Jo-Ann's Fabric Store.

Image Source
Wind the bobbin by hand, but make sure not to do it too tightly. Sew all the way around the top of your skirt with the elastic thread on the inside, the side that would be touching your skin. It should begin to gather like you see below. You want it to gather!

Before the next step, turn the skirt inside out so the raw edge that you sewed in the first step are on the outside.

Next, slide the tank top in the skirt, making sure the tank is right side out. Slide it in the skirt, top (straps) first, as pictured below:

Pin the cut edge of the tank to the ruffled skirt edge, making sure that the long seam on your skirt is in the middle of the back of your tank. The seam will run down the back of your dress. I would suggest pinning it in that spot first and then working your way around, spacing out the ruffles. As you sew, you will need to stretch the tank, but not the skirt. This will make the skirt gather more. Pull the tank tight towards you and lay the skirt edge on the tank edge and sew. You can't mess up ruffles!

While your dress is turned inside out, carefully trim the excess fabric at the waistband. Flip your dress right side out and inspect your work!

To make the sash to cover the seam, cut a long strip of fabric to your desired sash length. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and sew up the long side and one short side. Turn the sash right side out, fold down raw edges on the last side and sew. I did not attach the sash to the dress, but instead just tied around the small of my waist.

I really hope all of that made sense! I've never taught others how to do a sewing project... Heck I just taught myself how to sew! If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I'd be happy to help!

Feb 10, 2013

St. Patricks Day Pot of Gold Cake Pops

St. Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Cake Pops

How adorable are these pot of gold cake pops!? Too cute to eat, I think!

Recently, I was contacted by Heavenly Cake Pops - Easy Roller about reviewing their new product, that I'm betting most of you have never seen! I don't think I can even begin to explain how neat this tool is... So, instead, see for yourself in the below video and then continue reading about my experience with the Easy Roller!

Okay, seriously, how awesome was that!? When I first watched this video, I was thinking to myself, "alright, where is this going and how is it going to save me time?" Then like magic, around 2 minutes and 23 seconds, I had that ah-ha moment. Wow, what a time saver! I don't make cake pops on a regular basis, but when I do, this will save me so much time! If used correctly, it also helps keep your cake pop sizes consistent. I won't sugar coat it. Ha, get it? Sugar coat? It's punny...anyways, there is a learning curve with this tool. Like any new technique you try, it will take a few times before you perfect it. Cake pop consistency is key here. Too crumbly and it won't roll, too sticky and the balls will tear apart. My first try went pretty well, but I will definitely make my dough thicker next time.

For my first attempt with the Easy Roller, I wanted to make something fun and unique. Since St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner I wanted to make something that fit the theme and came up with these cute pot of gold cake pops! I think they turned out great, what do you think? Have some fun this St. Patrick's Day and make some of your own!

St. Patrick's Day Pot of Gold Cake Pops

Pot of Gold Cake Pops
- 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix (baked according to box)
- 2 tubs milk chocolate icing
- 2 12oz bags light coca candy melts (reserve 24 candy melts for cake pop bottoms)
- 24 cake pop sticks
- 1 10.5oz bag of Reese's Pieces
- 2 small mini m&m's tubes
- one small floral foam block

Bake cake according to box directions. Allow cake to cool completely. In a large bowl, crumble cake into small crumbs. Add 1 and 1/2 tubs of milk chocolate icing to the cake crumbs and stir until well combined. Place cake mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour until chilled. Roll and place cake balls on to a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Melt a small amount of your candy melts and coat the tip of your cake pop sticks before inserting into the cake ball. Place cake pops back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes so that the chocolate will set the sticks. Melt 1 and 1/2 bags of candy melts in the microwave according to the directions on the bag. If there are no directions, melt chocolates in intervals of 30 seconds at 50% power, stirring in between each 30 seconds. Remove cake pops from the refrigerator and coat each pop with melted chocolates and then place on top of one candy melt so that it creates a flat bottom. Place your cake pops back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. Once set, place the cake pop sticks into your floral foam block. You should now have a flat surface on the bottom of the cake pop to place your pieces of "gold". Using a toothpick, dab small amounts of melted chocolate on the bottoms of your Reese's Pieces and mini m&m's, and pile on the cake pop creating your pot of gold. Let the cake pops once again set up in the refrigerator and enjoy!

*I received free product in exchange for this post, but all opinions are true and are my own*