Colorful Crystal Finial DIY

Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial)     I have to say that before this project I never really thought much about curtain finials. Obviously, pretty much every curtain rod and tieback hook has some sort of knob or something-or-other on the end of it, but I never paid much attention. When it came time to think of an idea to doll up the curtains in Elsie's new office, I was a bit stumped, to say the least. After much thought (and a few failed ideas), I was passing a bowl of crystals in the studio entryway and thought, "That's it! Crystal finials!" Sometimes you just can't foresee when and how an idea will come along...

Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial) Supplies:
-curtain rods or curtain tiebacks (do just one, or both!)
-crystals (at least about 1 1/2" big)
-copper spray paint
-flat head screws
-epoxy glue 
-embroidery thread (several colors)

Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial) Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial)  Most rods or tiebacks that you buy at the store will come with finials already attached that can simply be unscrewed. You'll want to find out what size screw your new finial will need to screw back into the rod or tieback. I just took the existing finial (with screw still attached) to the hardware store and matched the screw size to a package of new screws with large flat heads. Once you have your screws, use your epoxy glue to attach the screw to a flat area of the crystal and allow the glue to dry. You can either use a clamp while the glue dries, or you can simply prop the crystal upright (with the screw on the top) until it dries.

I bought a fast-drying epoxy that mixes itself as you use it, but I would definitely suggest using one where you have to mix the two parts yourself instead. Almost as soon as you stop pushing out the pre-mixed epoxy, the glue will set in the opening of the tube, and by the time you grab your next screw and crystal, your epoxy will be hardened and unusuable for the rest of the finials. Having the parts in separate tubes means you can mix as needed.

Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial)    Use the copper spray paint to paint your rods and tiebacks in light, even coats until fully covered. Make sure to give it ample time to dry before picking it up, or you may have fingerprints in the metallic paint.

Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial)         When the glue is dry, screw your finial back into your tieback. Wrap your embroidery thread (changing colors every so often) across the first few inches of the metal to add a little personality. I like to tie the old color to the new color and leave the ends a little longer so I can wrap over those ends as I go. Once your thread is finished, you can install your hardware and you're ready to hang your curtains!

Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial)      Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial)       Add some fun to your curtains with this colorful crystal finial DIY (click through for tutorial)        This finial update was pretty easy to complete, and the result is a fun splash of personality for any room. Can you think of some other fun objects to use for a updated finial? xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

My Favorite No-Bake Cookie Recipe

My favorite no bake cookie recipe (click through for recipe)I'm making good on a promise today. A few readers requested I share my no-bake cookie recipe on the blog sometime. Which, of course, gives me an opportunity to make and eat more cookies, so I promised I would. 

My favorite no bake cookie recipe (click through for recipe) I really can't claim this is entirely MY recipe. It's really my mom's. She makes the best no-bake cookies, as it was a childhood staple because we would not turn on the oven during the hot summer months. But we still needed cookies (needed? Okay, maybe just really wanted), so no-bake cookies it was.

There have been a couple times this summer I've made a batch of these and posted a photo on Instagram. I loved seeing all the comments because it turns out these cookies go by all sorts of names. Some people call them "cow patty cookies." Which, growing up visiting my grandfather's cattle farm often, I can see what they are saying. :) 

And on that appetizing thought, let's make cookies!

How to make no bake cookiesNo-Bake Cookies, makes about one dozen.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon coarse grain sea salt (optional)

I like to already have my peanut butter and oats measured out in separate bowls or containers. It's good to have them ready to go because once it's time for them, you better have them ready.

Best no bake cookie recipeIn a medium pot, begin melting the butter over medium heat. Just before it's all melted, add in the milk, sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon if using. Stir this together so it's well combined. Now turn up the heat. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, begin a timer (I used my phone). Allow the mixture to cook a full minute; don't get impatient here as it needs to boil for the full minute. 

Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and peanut butter. Once the peanut butter is mixed in, stir in the oats. Quickly plop the mixture into small mounds on wax paper, topping with a little sea salt if using.

My favorite no bake cookie recipe (click through for recipe)  If your batter seems too runny, before plopping the cookies onto the wax paper, add another handful (or two) of oats and stir those in. It's better for the mixture to be a little too runny than too dry, but once you've made these once or twice you'll get the hang of it. They are so easy, fast, and addictive. Enjoy! xo. Emma

P.S. To change up the flavor, you can add a handful of chopped coconut flakes or nuts. (Can you tell I've made these a lot?)

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Build Your Own Pergola (Part Three - Plants and Styling)

Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)                       Yay, pergola post #3! Thanks for letting me share this journey with you. It's been so much fun recapping the entire process with you guys. This post is going to go over planting the herbs and some other little things we did to make the pergola cozier. Let's start with herb planting. I listed the herbs I used in the previous post. I also used potting soil and gardening gravel for drainage.

Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        We went to a local nursery for all of our herbs and most of the other plants. We have a great one here in Springfield called Wickman's. Nurseries are great because the staff are usually pretty knowledgeable and can answer questions. Sarah and I love nurseries. Sometimes we go just to walk around. It's like going to a botanical garden, but it's free (super cheap date idea). I had a list of herbs I wanted to get, but after getting those, we just walked around and picked out plants that would fit in our space and/or just basically looked cool (i.e., we didn't over think it). Except I did want to add some color to the herb garden, so we got some hanging flowery plants called purslane.

Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)                                        Build your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more).  jpgBuild your own pergola - planting herbs (click for more)Here's my planting process:

I drilled some holes in the bottom of the the planters, then poured in the garden pebbles. I only wanted about an inch of pebble layer. Placing the herbs in their respective places was next. I wanted to keep the mint separate from the others, so on one side I planted tarragon and thyme. In the back planter I planted a ton of basil plants (I love basil, 'specially with homemade chicken phở) with rosemary in between them. On the remaining planter I put in chocolate mint and regular mint. The purslane made its way into the ends of the planters for some color. Purslane is pretty viney, so I'm looking forward to when they make their way down the posts.

Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)  Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)  Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)  After the herbs and plants were planted, it was just matter of placing a few pillows on the chairs and a candle here and there, and the space cozied right up. The chairs came with the house. I eventually want to put a little table with chairs in their place. We had a candle chandelier that Sarah picked up in Phoenix which fits right in. I hung some outdoor lights around the perimeter. I think that is an official policy; pergolas must have party lights. Another must was putting the grill nearby (I'm going to grill nonstop now). I'm sure we're going to get a bunch more plants (especially tomato plants), and the space will grow and evolve over the years. We're happy with it now, though. Sadie Dog even thinks it looks pretty good. 

Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)  Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)  Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)  I hope you guys got something out of this little series. It was so fun building and planting and even writing about. Leave any questions or comments below.

Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)                  Build a pergola - before (click through for more info)  Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Willis from the Folk Collection and Piper from The Signature Collection.

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