Falling for Pillows~ A Cutting Edge Stencil Review

Hi friend, how was your weekend? We had some glorious rain and cooler temps come our way, which is always a welcomed sight. I spent a little bit of time doing some more fall fluffing around here. In particular, I was making a couple of fall pillows to keep the orange theme going. We've got company coming in a couple of days, so I want everything to be fall-i-fied!
Back in July, I celebrated my first year of blogging. I had contacted a few fun companies to help me out with a giveaway to celebrate, and Cutting Edge Stencils was one of the ones that responded with a yes. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my act together before now to actually work through their incredible inventory to choose (just one) a stencil that I liked to review. Have you been to their website? Truly a sight to behold. There is a stencil for every taste and project whether it is a wall or a placemat.
Source - Cutting Edge Stencils Blog
So, there was the dilemma. What kind of a project did I want to do and then which stencil did I want to use? Those people that really know me, are nodding their heads in agreement because they all know I am terribly indecisive. It's true. In high school, I even had a handwriting "expert" at a mall kiosk tell me I was indecisive based on my signature. True science here, people.
All right, enough about my quirkiness... I finally did decide on a pattern, Turkish Tulip. It is an "all over" craft pattern, meaning it is best suited to craft projects. I chose to make a couple of Fall Pillows to add to my obsession with orange. However, all of their stencils are multi-purpose and can easily be used on walls. In fact, they sell a nifty Clip-On Stencil Level for making your experience stenciling on walls so much better. Check out their videos to see for yourself how easy it is to transform a space with paint! The stencil came rolled up neatly and packaged safely with the tools.
After making my decision and receiving the stencil in the mail, I went to Harbor Freight Tools to get my material. What? You don't go to a hardware store for material? What if I told you that you could get a 12' x 4' piece of canvas cloth for $7.50? Interested? I went there to grab a drop cloth expecting to pay about $10, but it was on sale. Score! This stuff is amazing! I still have almost 3 yards of fabric left after making my pillows.
After cutting the drop cloth to the size I needed (19"x 48"), I taped it down to our craft table using painter's tape.

Ideally, you would want to put something underneath your fabric to catch the paint that bleeds through. (I skipped that step, and the washing-your-fabric-before-you-use-it step.)

So, the pillowcases were made from drop cloth and painted with a mixture of acrylic paint and a fabric medium. I used Canyon Orange Americana paint with Anita's Textile Medium.  For this particular project (2 pillows), I went through 1 (2 oz.) bottle of the fabric medium and 3 1/4 (2 oz.) bottles of the paint.

Here's what to do next:

You'll want to decide which way you want the pattern to go on the fabric, then lay the stencil down carefully, lining it up where you want it. Tape the stencil down to the fabric or the surface around it. Mix up the paint with the fabric medium (2 parts paint to 1 part medium). Using a stenciling brush, begin painting the fabric taking care to cover the open areas of the stencil evenly.
Continue all over the pattern. Allow to dry a little, then lift off and reposition to cover entire surface.
I loved lifting off the stencil to reveal the perfect pattern underneath. This was so much fun!
After letting the paint dry completely, I measured out the fabric to the size I needed to for the pillows.
Fortunately, I had some old Pottery Barn Pillows in my stash, so I didn't need to buy any.

Once the painting was complete, these pillows took just a few minutes to sew up.
I chose to do an easy removable Envelope style cover for the pillows so I can change out the designs for the seasons.
I absolutely love how they turned out. They are the perfect complement to my fall decor, existing pillows and even go well with the Orange Sweater Lumbar Pillow I made last week.
Source ~ Cutting Edge Stencils
I really would like to do an accent wall somewhere, but can't decide which one. No surprise, right? Now that I know how easy it is, I will definitely be doing more stenciling. I've got my eye on a few more patterns at Cutting Edge Stencils that I would like to try like this Zinnia Grande Flower Stencil.

With their gorgeous stencils and quality tools and accessories, Cutting Edge Stencils really take guesswork out of transforming your projects, big and small, into beautiful works of art. They have galleries of projects on their website as well as how-to videos and step by step instructions. Even more inspiration can be found on their blog.

Have you ever used Cutting Edge Stencils? Would you like to try your hand at stenciling? I recently passed a goal of 1000 Facebook fans and would love to celebrate by giving away one of these gorgeous stencils! Be sure to come back on Wednesday night at 8pm Central to link up to our All Things Thursday Blog Hop and to enter to win your own Cutting Edge Stencil (valued at up to $50).

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Food for the Soul ~ Romans 15:5-6

Happy Sunday to you! My soul feels refreshed by the lovely rain we had this weekend (although we were completely soaked at my daughter's soccer game) and the time we spent in fellowship with our old small group delving into the scriptures to study God's Truth. With a new work week starting, I know there will be challenges to overcome. Thankfully, God's word is a soothing balm and an encouragement to me as I face the inevitable.

I don't know about your family, but mine has a tendency to lean towards discord, specifically the siblings. We talk about being kind to one another, about the Golden Rule, but somehow things just seem to go south almost as soon as feet hit the floor in the morning. I am amazed at how quickly a misspoken word or a loud sigh can set off the alarms and the whole morning is turned upside down with tears and wailing. Ahhh, the preteen years! Oh, you thought I was talking about toddlers? No, no, no. That was easy, I almost expected the bickering when they were young. Somehow, I thought it would get easier...I didn't take into consideration hormones, much less sin nature.

Since we homeschool, my kiddos are around each other a lot. Besides the new (harder) school schedule this year, we are also spending several hours a week down at my husband's office helping him with various tasks of running a rental car agency. We have lots of opportunities for practicing getting along and you would think that we are getting better at it. But, like most families, we are a group of sinners in need of the Savior's grace. We need to draw on the strength and endurance of the One who created us. We need more unity and less selfishness, more love and less hyper-sensitivity. Basically, we need more Jesus.

This verse will be my prayer for our family this week. I will be praying for you too, that your hearts may be drawn closer in unity to those you spend your lives with as you follow Christ and His example of love and humility. Thanks for stopping by today! Wishing you a beautiful blessed week, sweet friends!

It's Fall Y'all Linky Party #2

Welcome to It's Fall Y'all - the BIGGEST & BEST Fall party! We're so glad you are here to party with us! So many great links from last week! Remember, we have 10 fun hosts - meaning your link-ups will show up on 10 different blogs!

It's Fall Y'all 2013 4

Let's meet the hosts, shall we?

This party is for all of your Fall related projects, recipes, crafts, decorating tips, tablescapes, DIY, printables, costumes, Halloween stuff, Thanksgiving stuff, etc .... By the way, they don't even have to be new posts - share your stuff from previous years as well and let's get them recirculated in bloggyland!

Everything and anything Fall is welcome!

Did you know, you can help spread the word and make this an even bigger party by placing this button on your post or blog .... or even by sharing a link back to the party. It's not mandatory, but we appreciate the bloggy love! :)

It's Fall Y'all 2013

We also have a Pinterest board for this party - Everything that gets linked up will get pinned for even more exposure! 

You can follow our board here:

Let's get this party started ... we're excited to see all of the great stuff you have! Just a quick note - by linking up, you are giving us permission to promote your links on social media - If we use your picture, it will either link directly back to your site or to your corresponding number in the party which links directly back to you. Let's have fun! :)

Don't forget to share and comment ♥

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Brownies

Pumpkin...the quintessential fall dessert staple. I bought four cans of it the last time I was at the store in anticipation of lots of yummy treats. Because my kiddos were begging for brownies, and I had a box of brownie mix in the pantry, I went to work putting together a new fall favorite...Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Brownies.

Here's what you need: 1 family size box of brownie mix, 1 can pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, cream cheese, egg and chocolate chips.
Start by mixing together the filling ingredients: the cream cheese, 1/2 cup pumpkin, sugar, egg and pumpkin pie mix. Set aside.
In separate bowl, combine dry brownie mix, rest of pumpkin and chocolate chips. (No oil required!)
Stir until thoroughly combined. Spray 9x9 inch pan with cooking oil. Pour 3/4 brownie mixture in pan and smooth out.
Pour and spread the filling mixture over the brownie base. Place dollops of the rest of the brownie mix on top of the filling. Swirl top layers with knife.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until set. Brownies will be fudgy, not cake-like. Allow to cool and cut. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Brownies
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 oz. cream cheese
1 egg
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 Family Size package Brownie Mix
~1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (rest of can after using 1/2 cup for filling)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pan with cooking spray. Combine filling ingredients - 1/2 cup pumpkin, cream cheese, egg, sugar and pumpkin pie spice - mix with mixer until smooth. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine brownie mix, rest of canned pumpkin and chocolate chips. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread  3/4 brownie mixture in pan. Next, pour pumpkin filling over the brownie base. Place dollops of the leftover brownie batter over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Using knife, swirl the top two layers to create a marbled look. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
These fudgy and rich brownies are the perfect (easy) treat to take along with you to your fall potlucks. You could even cut them smaller to serve more, as they are so decadent and rich. I absolutely love Pumpkin Cheesecake, but never make it because my family probably wouldn't partake and I'd be forced to eat it all by myself. Remember, they are die hard chocolate fiends. It doesn't really even count as dessert if chocolate isn't involved. With these Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Brownies, it's a win-win situation...I get my cheesecake and they get their chocolate.

So, I've got 3 more cans of pumpkin. What should I do with it? Any ideas? Have you started baking with it yet?

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

All Things Thursday Blog Hop #12

It's week #12 of our All Things Thursday Blog Hop! Time to party! Our past hops have been filled to the brim with awesome projects and I'm sure this week's will be no different. I'm so glad you're here! I hope you'll find this a place of inspiration. 
Speaking of inspiration, did you happen to check out the It's Fall Y'all Link Party going on right now? After you link up here, be sure to head over and link up your fall posts. A new one goes live every Saturday at 7am Eastern for the next 6 weeks and you'll be seen on 10 blogs!

Here were my picks for features from the last ATTBH:
Okay, it's your turn! We can't wait to see what you'll bring this week! Remember to visit some of the other party-goers. Everyone likes a sweet comment!
All Things Thursday Blog Hop

ATTBH #11 Features

Happy Fall to you! This week began one of the busiest seasons for us bloggers. Am I right? So many fall decorations to weed through and arrange into perfect little vignettes. There are front porch wreaths to make, mantels to decorate, and let's not forget all the pumpkin and apple recipes to bake up. It makes a girl's head spin, I tell ya! As usual, the All Things Thursday Blog Hop was a great source of inspiration in all kinds of topics. I'm armed with wreath tutorials and delicious recipes to get me going! Here were some of my favorites:

These Ginger Pear Cupcakes from My Sweet Sanity sound like the perfect fall treat to enjoy with an afternoon cup of coffee. 
Confessions of a Serial DIYer showed us exactly how to put together this gorgeous Traditional Fall Wreath. You've got to love a step-by-step tutorial!
Chicken salad is a favorite in this house and I am always looking for a new way to prepare it. Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Salad by This Silly Girl's Life sounds like a keeper!
I loved the unusual shape of this Hello Fall Harvest Wreath by Made in a Day. The chalkboard painted tray is adorable too.
Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please! These Chocolate Chip Coconut Zucchini Breakfast Cookies by Practical Stewardship sound like they have all kinds of goodies in them to start your day off right!
Filing Clothes to Make More Room in Drawers by Organized 31 made me think I need to spend some time in my kid's rooms with their overflowing drawers. Great idea for that dilemma of how to get to the shirt on the bottom without destroying the stack!

All Things with Purpose
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to link up to our party! If you were featured, feel free to grab a button! 
Don't forget to come back tonight at 8pm Central to link up to this week's All Things Thursday Blog Hop! We can't wait to see what you've been working on!

Also, our IT'S FALL Y'ALL link party is in full bloom right now too! Come by to see what's been linked up or to add to it! Another one will go live on Saturday morning at 7am Eastern! Hope to see you there!

Orange Sweater Lumbar Pillow

Well, I'm still going strong with the Orange Sweater up-cycle projects. This weekend we had an unexpected Saturday at home. With no school to do and no games to attend, I settled in for a day of crafting. Yes, I should have been cleaning, but fall decorations are so much more inviting than toilets. Okay, I did get a couple of those cleaned in between the crafting, but that's about it. Anyway, one of the many projects I worked on was this Orange Sweater Lumbar Pillow.
Remember, I started out with this yard sale find from last year. So far, I've made a Pumpkin Vase, a Headband, an Embroidery Hoop Pumpkin, and gave a Dollar Store Vase a makeover.
There's not much of a tutorial for the pillow, but here is what was left for me to work with...most of a torso from the sweater. Unfortunately, I had cut the circle out of the side of the sweater for my Embroidery Hoop Pumpkin. I would have liked to have done a regular square pillow with the gorgeous cable going down the center.
But, I had to "make do" once again. I found a pillow form in my stash of hand-me-downs from my mom and it ended up being the perfect size for the material. I cut the front and back to match even leaving the tag on, as I didn't want to risk unraveling.

I put the pieces right-sides together and pinned them.
Ideally, I would have pulled out the sewing machine for this, but I was concerned it would be more trouble than it was worth with the thickness of the sweater material. I went the old fashioned route...hand sewing with orange embroidery floss. After the three sides of the pillow case were sewn, I stuffed the lumbar pillow inside. Carefully tucking in the fourth side, I pinned it and sewed the end shut.

Overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out, even though the seams look a little "Frankenstein-ish" up close.  From a distance, I think it looks just fine. It ended up being the perfect shade of orange to go with my existing pillows too.
See how it ties in with my Orange & Turquoise Fall Mantel? Clearly, these are the colors that are speaking to me these days.

I hope you're not tired of the Orange Sweater yet. I have at least two more projects to show you after this one, but I'm coming to the end of the remnants. Have you enjoyed the process of crafting through this orange sweater with me? Your sweet comments have have encouraged me to continue stretching the limits of my creativity. Thank you for embracing this challenge with me.

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and