Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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Son of a Nutcracker!

Since we’re only about 1 day from Christmas, I figured it was high time that I shared about our Christmas decorations! The past few years we’ve had a tree, some garland, and wreath on the door. I’d say my efforts were a mediocre 3 on the scale of Christmas cheer. But this year, gosh. This year is a solid 8.  We upped our game and brought the Christmas cheer in full force this year!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Thanks to Josh’s awesome handiwork, we added this amazing backlit star this year. We were inspired by this one on Beyond The Picket Fence and couldn’t wait to create our own. Because we had a big open space to work with, we made ours a bit larger and added some sweet backlighting. The wood is from a reclaimed picket fence that Josh found and cleaned up. After Christmas, we’re thinking of repurposing the boards into another art project. Promise I’ll share those details when it’s time!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The star is a simple square that Josh fastened onto 2″ x 2″ pieces behind. It’s backlit with a strand of leftover Christmas lights. The only thing we purchased for this project was a $3 spool of ribbon! A pretty great project if you ask me! :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. EdwardsI’ve been seeing a ton of fun chalkboard ideas all over, but since my chalk hand writing leaves a lot to be desired, I cheated a bit and used this transfer trick to write the Christmassy message below. If you doubt your writing skills, I highly recommend this transfer technique! The only thing I did differently was use a chalk pen to fill in my lines instead of regular chalk. My finished product may not look as rustic as it could, but I was lacking the patience and steady hand necessary to trace over the whole thing in smear-able chalk. I may re-do this again with real chalk someday, but I’m perfectly happy with the way this version turned out!

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Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Last year I made this fun Christmas card wreath out of a pack of Dollar Tree clothes pins, a little green spray paint, some red beads, some bailing wire, and red ribbon. One of the easiest projects ever! I’m happy to say that since this photo was taken we’ve filled up the entire wreath with fun cards from family and friends!

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Among other fine qualities, our house has a really odd living room with multiple doors on each wall. The only place that our TV fits is right in front of a coat closet that we don’t really use. I got tired of people asking why our TV was in front of a door, so earlier this year I made a curtain to hang in front of the door. This was also the point in which I got fed up with our dark redwood walls and decided to cover 2 walls in burlap. Thankfully both projects turned out great and we no longer receive weird comments or looks when someone comes into our house!

Thanks to some scissor wielding friends who were over one night, we ended up with a stack of beautiful paper snowflakes that were just begging to be displayed. It only made sense to hang them in front of the curtain that’s in front of the coat closet door. Duh, right? Thankfully, that experiment turned out great too!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

If  you’re on Pinterest, it’s very likely that you’ve seen tutorials on how to replicate mercury glass with mirrored spray paint and a spray bottle of vinegar/water. Well, I took a stab at it with some vases and candle holders and kind of failed. When they say that you MUST use the Krylon mirrored spray paint for it to turn out, they’re not kidding. I used some Rustoleum silver spray paint and my pieces turned out lacking some pizzaz (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word pizzaz…) I honestly really like how these vases and candle holders turned out, but they’re nothing like real or faux mercury glass. I think it has to do with the air temperature I was spray painting in and that I used the wrong type of spray paint. Oh well, ya win some, ya fail some.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

I really like the arrangement and that I get to display it on some antique doilies from my Mom. The view below is my absolute favorite this year! It’s what I see every night sitting on the couch :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Here are a few photos of the living room as a whole (this room is hard to photograph!)…

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards
Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Although we spend the majority of our time in the living room, a little bit of Christmas cheer spilled over into the dining room too. On the china hutch I simply hung some paper garland that I made last year…

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All it is is circle punches of scrap booking paper and Trader Joe’s bags sewed together…seriously, so simple.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The other thing I added is a Merry Christmas banner that we got at Target a few years back hanging on an old window from my parent’s house. Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards IMG_3266

My favorite Christmas tradition so far has been buying a Christmas ornament from our travels throughout the year. Hopefully someday our tree will be filled with ornaments from around the country and world! These three are from our trips in 2012:

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

These ornaments and many others were placed on our tree with love and care while we donned our antler headbands and turned on a Christmas movie. Ahh, I love tradition!

So, did you up your decorating game in 2012? What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Can you believe that Christmas is TOMORROW?!

Singing loud for all to hear,
Mrs. Edwards

P.S. Here’s our 2012 Christmas Card! Designed by the one and only, Josh Edwards :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards


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DIY Painted Pumpkins

Our front porch looked pretty sad all summer with a half dead plant hanging on for dear life. When I saw pumpkins for sale at the store I knew just what I needed to spruce up our sad front porch for this fall season. Pumpkins! But plain pumpkins wouldn’t do, so some masking tape, craft paint and a little elbow grease later, I had these fun painted ones. Don’t you just love ’em?! I’ve been dying to use a chevron print somewhere and this is the perfect spot!

Supplies: 

  • Pumpkins
  • Craft paint in whatever colors you’d like
  • Paint brushes
  • Masking tape
  • A monogram printed out (I used the Lavanderia font in 170 pt.)
  • A pencil

Begin by taping off the chevron print. This definitely takes some time and some patience to get the pattern just right. I found it helpful to cut my tape into 3″ lengths and then place them. Since it’s almost impossible to find a perfectly round pumpkin, your pattern will get a little wonky at some point. My pattern is super weird in one section…so that side is now facing the back :)  Once you get it all taped off, go ahead and get painting! The color choices are endless- navy blue, gold, yellow. Have fun with it!

For the monogram pumpkin, you’ll need to cut out your letter and tape it on the center of your pumpkin. No measuring necessary,  just eyeball it. Take a pencil (that’s sharp enough to make an indent on the pumpkin, but not so sharp that it pierces the skin) and trace over your letter a few times. You’ll need to press kind of hard to make an indent that you can actually see. Choose your paint color and paint over the indent!

My lumberjack husband cut a few wood rounds for me to prop these two on to create some height next to the door. This project was super simple and the look will last as long as the pumpkins do!

These pumpkins are a perfect match with my Fall Rosette Wreath. Fall has officially arrived at the Edwards’!

Thankful for Fall,
Mrs. Edwards


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Fall Rosette Wreath


On Monday of this week our outdoor thermometer hit 100 degrees. On Tuesday, I placed this wreath on our front door. And on Wednesday, our temperatures dipped back down into the low 70s. I’m absoulely sure that by placing this Fall Rosette Wreath on our front door I was solely responsible for this lovely fall weather that we’ve been experiencing the past few days. Yep, no problem. You’re welcome!

This wreath was so, so, easy to make. And cost less than $10.00! Want to try making one yourself?

Supplies Needed:

  • Grapevine wreath
  • Scissors
  • Felt cut into 3″ x 3″ squares (I used 8 1/4 of the 9″ x 12″ sized sheets to make 100 squares total. I found this color at JoAnn’s)
  • Fabric glue
  • Hot glue gun

First, begin by trimming the edges off of your squares to make a round piece. By no means does your circle need to be perfect, it just needs too be round-ish.

Next, cut your circle into a spiral, leaving a small tab in the center. This tab will become the bottom of your rosette.

Begin rolling your felt from the outside edge of circle inwards towards the center.

Once you have your piece rolled up, place a dab of glue on the bottom and fold the tab over.

Ta-dahh…you have a rosette!

Now just repeat this process until you have about 100 of these (depending on the size of your wreath). This is a great project to park yourself in front of the TV to work on. It’s pretty mindless and actually doesn’t take too long once you get a rhythm going.

Once you have all of your rosettes made, begin hot-gluing them to your wreath. There really isn’t any scientific way to do this. Just place a dollop of hot glue on the bottom of your rosette, stick it on, and hold it in place for a few seconds. I would, however, recommend placing newspaper underneath your wreath to prevent glue from dripping onto your work surface.

Continue placing the rosettes on your wreath until you have completely filled the front side. You can place them as tight or as spread apart as you prefer. I placed mine pretty close together and really like it!

Hang your wreath on your front door and enjoy! This is a great way to way to welcome fall to your home and neighborhood. Maybe your weather hasn’t quite caught on that it’s already October. I hope that once you place this on your front door you begin to experience cooler temperatures and the loveliness of fall :)

Lover of all things fall,
Mrs. Edwards

P.S. This project was inspired by this one  by Stelabird :)


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I Can-Can!

Tonight I decided to try my hand at canning. This was my first time embarking on this task solo. Other times that I have canned I’ve had my Mom holding my hand. Yep, for all the homemaking that I embark on canning has remained something that I’ve been slightly intimidated about. No more! I have conquered this beast!

Just as I mentioned in this post about making blackberry jam, canning does not have to be done huge batches, as many people assume. It can be done in a stockpot on the stovetop in small batches. Tonight, I tried my hand at canning some fresh pears from my parents orchard. I was pretty conservative in my efforts and only ended up with 3 half-pint jars. Yeah, yeah, yeah…all you canning pro’s are laughing right now. But only worrying about 3 jars was perfect for my first time solo-canning. Next time, maybe I’ll double my batch :)

First I peeled and cut up my pears and placed them in water that had some Fruit-Fresh mixed in (to keep the pears from browning). Lemon juice is also a great option to prevent browning. Once I had all my pears peeled, cored, and sliced, I heated them in a simple syrup. Simple syrup is ridiculously easy. Basically, you mix two parts sugar to one part water. Heat your water to a boil and add sugar. Heat and mix until sugar is dissolved completely. Voila! Simple syrup!

I heated my pears for about 5 minutes while I prepped my jars and lids. It’s important to wash/sanitize and heat your jars and lids before you add your fruit. I was using a large stock pot to process my jars, so first filled my pot with water and heated my empty jars in it. I heated my lids and rings (which I realized afterwards that it’s not necessary to heat the rings, duh) in a small sauce pan. Basically, by heating the lids you’re softening the rubber seal.

Once my jars were ready, I removed them and placed them on the counter to be filled. I ladled the fruit into a glass measuring cup and funneled it into each jar. Once the fruit was packed into each jar I added the simple syrup liquid to about 1/2 inch from the rim. It’s also important to release any air bubbles from your jars. You do this by using a gently inserting a knife or a plastic spacer (like the one from this Ball Utensil Kit) on the side and pushing your contents towards the center of your jar. You’ll see a few bubbles rise to the surface of your liquid.

After I removed all the air bubbles, I wiped the rims off and used my handy-dandy magnetic lid grabber thingy to fish my lids out of the simmering water. Once the lids are in place I gently screwed on the rings and placed the jars one by one into my stock pot of almost-boiling water.

I covered my pot and boiled the jars for about 15 minutes. I carefully removed each jar from the pot and let them dry/cool on a dishcloth. After about 5 minutes of sitting on the counter, I heard the pop-pop-pop of the lids letting me know that the jars sealed successfully!

And that, my friends, is how I canned my first 3 jars of pears! I’m sure my next batch will be done slightly different. I’ve found a few other ideas that may be fun to try (like this and this). Thankfully, there is no shortage of pears at my parents orchard and they’re coming to visit next weekend! My mom is a canning wizard- just tonight she posted on Facebook that in the past 24 hours she has canned blackberry jam, vanilla bean pear jam, and zucchini relish. I said, “Teach me your ways, oh wise one!” Hopefully I’ll get a few pointers from a pro next weekend :)

Have you tried canning anything lately? Did you end up with a huge haul or just 3 measly jars? Any tips that you’d like to pass along? :)

Homemaking some more,
Mrs. Edwards


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Sponsored by the Letter “E”

Our house is literally 15 feet off of a semi-busy road and has a bright red front door. I try to keep something hanging on the front door all the time to be festive and cheery, but mostly to draw people’s eyes away from peering into our front windows. It probably doesn’t work, but I like to think it does!

Ever since I started seeing these jute wrapped letters popping up on Pinterest, I’ve been dying to get one put up on our front door! A Joann’s coupon and ball of twine later, I have this:

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper mache letter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Jute
  • Fabric for rosettes
  • Grosgrain ribbon

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsFlip your letter over, glue down the end of your jute and begin wrapping vertically. When you get to the edges, use a dollop of glue to keep the jute from slipping off the end. 

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsOnce you finish wrapping the entire thing vertically, wrap it again horizontally to cover all the exposed edges.

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsAdd your ribbon to the back and embellish with whatever you’d like. Stelabird has a great tutorial on how to make fabric rosettes over here

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsHang on your front door, step back and take a look!

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsI think it looks great on our front door! Don’t mind the left over 4th of July flags and my hubby’s work boots :)

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsLooks good, huh? A quick project to bring some cheer to our front door and distract people from looking in my windows :) 

The crafty one,
Mrs. Edwards