Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Purex Joins Forces with Make-A-Wish Foundation + Giveaway

Disclosure:  I received Purex coupons to facilitate this giveaway/review but as always all opinions are my own.

What a dynamic duo Purex and the Make-A-Wish Foundation are!
But even Batman needed the support of Gothamites.  And where would Superman be without Lois Lane and the Metropolis folks?
That's why Purex and Make-A-Wish need you!

Before I get busy telling you how you can help, let me tell you about the wonderful things the Make-A-Wish foundation does. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatiening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.  Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family.

I can attest to this from personal experience.  My son's family experienced the kindness and blessings of the Make-A-Wish foundation first hand.  When Zach was about 9 years old, Make-A-Wish, with the help of its generous donors made Zach's dream of visiting Disney World come true.  He along with his parents, and sister Ki'a were flown from Nebraska to Florida for a weeks worth of fun at Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios.  A dream come true for another wonderful child.
Zach's Story
Our grandson Zach was born with Cystic Fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that affect the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the US (70,000 worldwide).  A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In 1950, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school.  Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF.  Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.  

I'm so grateful to be able to say that Zach just turned 13 on New Years eve and that he's thriving.  He still has his battles, hospital visits, good days and bad days but he's a very active boy with a love of sports.

Purex wants help
To honor the millions of children whose clothes they help to keep bright and clean every year, the Purex brand is teaming up with Make-A-Wish to bring bright wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

How YOU can help
By purchasing Purex products you can be a hero too.  Purex has come up with a way for you to donate without ever writing a check.
Laundry Detergent
Purex brand will pay $.05 per bottle to Make-A-Wish for the first 4 million bottles of 75oz+ liquid detergent sold from February 1 - February 28, 2014 and will increase the payment to $.10 for every bottle above 4 million, with a minimum guarantee of $200,000 up to a maximum of $300,000.

Fabric Softener
Purex brand will pay $.08 per bottle to Make-A-Wish for the first 620,000 bottles Classic and Ultra Lines in Mountain Breeze and Sweet Lavender fabric softeners sold from February 1 - February 28, 2014, and will increase the payment to $.10 for every bottle above 620,000, with a minimum guarantee of $50,000 up to a maximum of $100,000.

Be sure to stock up on Purex Laundry Detergent during the month of February as every bottle helps in their effort to support this great cause.  Learn more at www.purex.com/make-a-wish

We all need laundry detergent and it's the best and easiest opportunity you'll find to give back.  By combining coupons you can get a really great deal now.  Here's just one that I found this week.
Family Dollar - Purex Liquid -75oz sale price $3.50, but after using the $1.00 Purex coupon available in most Sunday newspapers you pay only $2.50.  Woot-Woot, what a deal!!!
Win a FREE bottle of Purex Mountain Breeze detergent
To get you in the spirit of giving Purex wants to give Cotton Pickin Cute readers a chance to win a free bottle.  All you have to do is follow the instruction below in the Giveaway Tools form.  The giveaway ends on February 6th at 11:59pm EST. Two lucky winners will receive one FREE coupon each.
Hugs Y'all...

Then Peter began to speak:  "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.
                                                               ~Acts 10:34

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Don't Need No Stinkin' Golden Globe

I'm blushing with pride because....
That's right, I won and I didn't even have to walk the red carpet.  How awesome is that!  Tammy @ One More Time Events made me proud by featuring my "Moon River Valentine Pillow Tutorial".
You can see the other features HERE.  Then jump over HERE to this weeks party and see all the new additions.  There's lots of Valentine crafting going on over there. Don't blame me if you can't leave.  I love linky parties.  It's like eating Lay's potato chips, you can't eat just one.

Have you been crafting or doing some diy projects?  Give me some feedback love y'all, and tell me what's been going on at your house.

For it is God who works in you to will and to work for his good pleasure.
                                               ~ Philippians 2:13

Hugs Y'all...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 2014 Winners

I've decided to keep a monthly list of winners instead of writing a post for each one.  I'll be adding a button to the sidebar that you can click on each month to see the winners.
 During the month each time a giveaway winner is chosen I'll add their name to the bottom of the list. The winners are randomly chosen using the widget and then contacted by email.  Winners have 48 hours to respond to the email.  Once they respond, their name will be added to the monthly list.  I won't post any private information, only the name used to enter.  Some people use full names, some use nicknames and some people use blog names.  It's all good. You don't need to check here to see if you're a winner, but it's here if you'd like to view the latest results of our giveaways.

Got it?  Good!  Now on to January's Winners List:

Ryans/HomeTown/OldCountryBuffet - *Shemp DeYoung
Brylane Home Deep Fryer - *Mary Beth Elderton
Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier - *Diana Stanhope


Congratulations to all our Cotton Pickin Cute Winners!!

Hugs Y'all...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Want Him So Bad...

I just fell in love...
Isn't he fabulous!!!  I want him so bad.  Come to me Wet Dog Tile and make my me swoon each time I walk into my kitchen too.
Take me away in daydreams everytime I look at you.
There are lots of murals to choose from.
So many ideas for using you.
For all you non-beach lovers, he's got brothers.  I love the colors in this fish.  I'm crushing on him too.  I look at these guys and see friends like Julie at Mamawj's Moment Away and her grandson Gage.  I know they would love him as much as I do.
You make me want to come home Wet Dog.
This backsplash made me think of my friend Deb at Dragonfly Treasure.
A New England seashore border if I've ever seen one.

There are so many more to choose from.  There are mermaids, crabs and lobster, sea turtles, moose and fall leaves.  Lots of naturalistic style tiles.

I love this company's name almost as much as I love their tiles. "Wet Dog Tile Co."  So cool!

Here's what I found out about them as I was drooling like a Wet Dog.  
Wet Dog Tile Co. offers a diverse collection of individual tile pieces, called “Friends”, as well as one-of-a-kind borders and murals that can easily be customized. Creating these beautiful and unique tiles is not our only passion here at Wet Dog. We believe all dogs deserve happy and loving homes, so a portion of every Wet Dog sale is donated to local and national rescue organizations.

  1. Partnering with local shelters and also the Great Dog Rescue of New England, a portion of all Wet Dog's proceeds are donated to help rescue animals from abuse and neglect as well as the so called, "Death Row" of  high kill shelters in the south.  Through these organizations animals are offered a second chance in finding a happy and nurturing, and hopefully forever home.  When you purchase a tile, every piece from its hand carved mold to its finely articulated hand glazing is being crafted for the dual purposes of creating a long lasting, one of a kind, functional work of art for your personal and public space, but is also easing or eliminating the suffering of a most deserving animal.

Hey check that out!  I didn't even know they were a New England company when I said their tile reminded me of a New England seashore!  I was right on the money.  It's good to read the fine print.  I started sharing because I love the beauty of their product, only to find out they have a beautiful heart too.  No wonder Wet Dog Tile stole mine.

*By the way I didn't receive any compensation for this post.  I solely wrote it after stumbling upon a picture and becoming enamored with them.  You know I couldn't keep him to myself. :)

As for me I just like the simple beach shore the best.  He captured my heart and now I can't get him out of my head!
**P.S  This is your last chance to enter the Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover Air Purifier.  It ends tonight Jan 23rd @ 11:59pm.  Click HERE to enter.

Hugs Y'all...

Again the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.
                                                                         ~Matthew 13:47


Monday, January 20, 2014

Cozy Winter Sweater Pillow Tutorial

Have you ever had a sweater that you couldn't bear to part with, but it really wasn't wear worthy any more?  That's exactly why I have a new winter pillow in a pretty soft blue.
Here's a picture of me wearing the sweater years ago when it was new.
I love the little pleats and it was so soft and super warm.  This sweater is the only piece of clothing I've ever bought in that soft blue shade.  I've held on to it till way past it's prime.  I picked it up the other day and was just about to take the buttons off and throw it in the trash can, when I said let me give it one more chance.
Looking at it now, I'm so glad I did.  It reminds me of a snowy day. The lovely pink and blue heart ornament was gifted to me by a sweet friend when I first started blogging.

You can make one of these pillows too.  It literally took me 30 minutes to make.  Here's the steps:
  • Lay the sweater flat and cut the sleeves off, leaving a somewhat square piece of fabric.
  • Guesstimate, yes that's a special word, how big you want your pillow to be, then cut. If the sweater's not to big you already have your side seams and will just need to stitch across the top and bottom.
  • Remember to leave an opening at the bottom so you can insert a pillow form or just use loose stuffing like I did.  I stuffed mine with leftover scrapes of the sweater and a couple of tee-shirts I was throwing away.
  • I used one of the sleeves to make a ruffle.  Cut the sleeve right up the seam.  Cut 2 strips about 2" wide.  Make one seam by sewing the 2 lengths together at one end.  You can see the seam below.
  • Using a basting stitch (a long stitch) on your machine sew right down the center length.
  • Pull the basting thread to gather up into a ruffle to the length of your pillow.  Tie of the end of the stitches to secure.  I didn't even take time to permanent stick the gather.
  • Pin the ruffle to the desired area on your pillow and hand tack with thread.
  • Sit back and admire your new pillow while thinking about the wartime slogan your grandmothers used during WWII. "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without".  I bet my grandmothers are smiling down on me right now.
You hear me preach this all the time, but I want to people to know that you don't have to have to spend $50 on a new pillow to be able to freshen up your decor. Not that I don't like to buy beautiful things.  But I see so many women depressed because they don't have money to spruce up their homes.

There is always a way that you can do something to brighten up your space. Wrap a pillow in a pretty scarf if you can't sew. Just change something to lift your mood when your feeling blue.  You'll be surprised how much better it can make you feel by just making a change.

Hugs Y'all...
She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
                                                          ~Proverbs 31:27

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Valentine Pillow Tutorial - Part Deux

Love is in the air, or the craft room at least.  It's got me talking all French and everything.  I have a lovely French accent with that downhome Y'all pitch.  NOT!
When we last left off, I was sharing my first Valentine Heart Pocket Pillow Tutorial with you HERE.  Now I want to share with you the bigger Scottie Pillow.  I think the little Scottish Terriers are so sweet.
I call this a tutorial very loosely, because I didn't really take pictures along the way, but it's so stinking simple.
I've said it over and over again that you can make something decorative out of anything.  Just look around at things, and try to see beyond their original purpose.  That's the whole concept of upcycling.

Take this pillow for instance.  You'd never guess what I used to make it.  That adorable red fabric was a little girls dress!  I wish I would have thought to take pictures of it before I cut it up last year.  Bad blogger, bad blogger!  As soon as I saw this sweet little toddlers dress in the thrift shop I knew I had to get it. I had no idea what I would use it for, but with those darling hearts trimming the hem of the jumper I couldn't pass it up. The placement of the hearts hanging off the fabric was the thing that made it so great, it was also the thing that made it stump me as to what to do with it for so long.  It sat in my fabric stash for over a year.

Of course I knew it would be a valentine project, so it was the first piece I went to the other day to start the valentine ball heart rolling.  I cut the top off when I got it because there wasn't enough fabric on the chest piece to be any good and the skirt had all the decoration anyway.  So I was left with what you see.  I didn't let an inch of that skirt go to waste either.

If you read the last tutorial HERE, it's basically the same concept.  Cut 2 pieces your background fabric in the size you want.  Mine was some old striped ticking that I had done a tea wash on to age it.  I thought the striped grey ticking would work with the black, red and white color scheme.
You can see in this photo how the red corduroy fabric was only sewn on 3 sides leaving the decorative hem loose.  

  • Lay the wrong side of the red fabric on top of the right side of the striped fabric and sew the three edges.
  • Next lay the two striped fabrics right sides together and stitch all sides leaving an opening in the center of the bottom of the pillow.
  • Instead of buying a pillow form, I took one of the many old and worn pillows I have in the closet for spares and cut it in half.
  • I stitched the pillow form (old pillow) up on the machine. Not being particular about how it looked.  Since it will be covered.
  • Stuff with the pillow and then do a blind hem stitch on the opening at the bottom and you're done!
And there you have it, an upcycled pillow from found items around the house.  Tomorrow's pillow is a little less valentine and definitely more winter.  Come back to see what it's made from tomorrow.
Love and Hugs Y'all...
Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain.
                                                                 ~ Philipians 2:2-5

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Valentine Pillow Tutorial To Warm Your Heart

These pillows make my heart go pitter-pat.
I've been on a pillow making mission this week.  My heart's felt full and with Valentines Day coming on like a freight train, I thought it was time to make so upcyled pillows.

You know this little old internet world is amazing.  I was inspired to make this pillow from seeing the cute pillow Jenny made over at Days of Chalk and Chocolate.  Jenny was inspired by this post that Roeshel over at diyshowoff wrote a few years ago.  Amazingly enough I've had that post in the back of my head for years, intending on creating sharpie drop cloth curtains myself.  I have a couple of songs picked out but with "8" windows I haven't come up with that much fabric or drop cloth yet.  Maybe soon.
Pillows are one of the easiest things a some can sew for a first time project.  You can even make pillows with out sewing at all.  If you have a hot glue gun and a square piece of fabric, you can make a pillow.

You can make a pillow out of anything.  Take my script pillow.  I had an old patio pillow with a faded giraffe print. I knew I wanted this to be a script print pillow but I didn't have any script fabric.  No biggie, I dug through my stash of fabric and I found some way too thin cotton.  Too thin - because you could see the giraffe print through it. That wouldn't do or would it?  Sure it would!  I just doubled it up so you couldn't see through it.
Easy DIY Instructions:
  • To start, lay your pillow on top of the fabric and cut leaving a little room on all sides for a seam allowance. 
  • I searched the internet for the lyrics to my favorite classic love song, Moon River. Using a sharpie I just free handed them onto the fabric. 
  • Lay right sides facing together and sew or glue the edges together, being sure to leave an opening to stuff your pillow in.  After stitching a 4/8" to 5/8" seam, trim the seams and clip corners diagonally.  
  • Turn right-side-out and add your pillow form.  Hand stitch or glue opening closed. 
  • Cut 2 hearts out of paper, just like we did in grade school by folding the paper in half.  Draw 1/2 a heart and cut out.
  • Trace hearts on to a piece of felt in the colors of your choice.
  • Blanket stitch with embroidery thread using 3 strands of floss.  I used black because I thought it would tie in the black script.  For the smaller white heart I only used 2 strands and didn't attach the small heart to the bigger one at the top so I could slip in a little love note.  
Isn't my copy of a vintage french postcard cute!

If you'd like to learn how to do the simple blanket stitch you can watch this video from Tammy Hallam.

*Update:  You can see my other Valentine pillow HERE.

Here's a little trivia on why I like the song and is origin:

This song reminds me of when Neil and I dated - it was old then.  Plus it was written by the great, late Johnny Mercer of Savannah, Georgia while reminiscing about the days of his youth, and the bright moon over the Savannah river.

Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics and Henry Mancini wrote the music for Audrey Hepburn to sing in the 1961 Academy Award Winning Breakfast At Tiffany's. And of course it was Andy Williams theme song.  Love it!

I hope you enjoyed the song and my little Valentine pillow tutorial.  Come back tomorrow and see what surprising materials I used for my other 2 pillows.

Hugs Y'all...
I will be your God throughout your lifetime - until your hair is white with age.  I made you and I will care for you.  I will carry you along and save you.
                                                                ~ Isaiah 46:4

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Me and the Snowman - A Winter Decor Tutorial

In Florida there are two seasons, summer and Christmas.  That presents a little bit of a problem when decorating.
I love snowmen, they're just so cute, but I've just never been able to bring myself to add them to my Christmas decor and I'm certainly not comfortable putting them up after Christmas for the rest of winter.  I mean, putting them out for Christmas is a stretch, but it is a time of fantasy, so maybe you could get away with it.  After Christmas?  Well....it just won't work.  I can't come into the house after wearing shorts all day and look at SNOWMEN!  That's just crazy!

The same thing goes for all the icy blue and white snowflake decorations and whatnots.  When you put those out and it's 70-80 degrees outside and the a/c's running, all I can see is the blue ocean when I look at them.  Not that we don't get some downright cold nights here and there.  We even had snow once.  It was my first real Christmas eve with Neil in 1989. It shut down the whole city. HA!  But more times than not, we barely get to wear a long sleeve shirt for Christmas.  So where does that leave people like me?  I really don't want to go straight from the beauty and sparkle of Christmas to the water and sand theme.  I want a little winter coziness too.

With that said, I broke down and went with a little bit of a snowy theme anyway.  We have had a bit of a frosty cold spell here lately.  So I created a faux chalk board, snowflakes and all. You'll never guess what I created this free project from.
That huge framed chalkboard, isn't a chalkboard at all, hence the name "Faux Chalkboard".  I did a bit of dumpster diving. When Neil had to find a big box for shipping, I spotted this big gold plastic frame behind a bridal shop.  It's really BIG!  It had a picture of a bride in it behind a piece of clear plastic.  But best of all the backing was this black corrugated board.  I had a thought.  Would I be able to write on it with chalk?  Low and behold, yes I could!  Score!! It's perfect, I can use the chalk and just wipe it clean.

So with a some colored chalk I already had, a bit of primitive free hand, I now have a tree, a deer (yes, that's supposed to be a deer), and snowflakes.  I think that qualifies for winter decor, right!
To round out the snowy scene, I added some Epsom Salt to my canning jars and just placed a few green cuttings from the garden. Mine are pine and Pittosporum branches, but you could use whatever's native to your area.  I think herbs would add a nice smell.  I love bringing some green into the house.

Add some winter to your home by putting some simmering potpourri on the stove.  It makes your house smell cozy.  You can see my recipe HERE.
Everything in this post was from things I had at home or found.  Another $0 project.  Remember to use what you have. It doesn't take a lot of money to make a house a home.  Just get creative, look around, and make do.  As the old adage says "nothing ventured, nothing gained".  What have you got to lose?

Don't forget today is the last day you can enter to win the Brylane Home Deep Fryer giveaway HERE.

Make it a day to remember y'all.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
                                                                            ~ Psalm 32:8

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Benefits of Blogging

There is nothing in the world like a caring friend.  Does it really matter if that friend lives next door, down the road or across the country?  I don't think so.

I was gifted this custom handmade set of jewelry from who else but my best bloggy friend Julie @ Mamawj's Moment Away.  Julie knows me so well.  I was so excited to see this come in my mailbox.
This set is even prettier than my photos show and it's going to look great with so many outfits.  I know I'm going to be wearing these pieces a lot.  I can already picture so many summer outfits that will make this set stand out even more.

I love all things aqua, turquoise, teal, etc...  You get the idea.
I know!  I'm so lucky to have such a talented friend.  What doesn't Julie do?  She's an excellent seamstress, and awesome artist, a talented blogger and an obviously great jeweler.  She loves to create anything and everything.

It's no wonder Julie found a niche in blogland.  She's created a wonderful blog that promotes her love of creating as well as becoming an online influencer working with national brands to share and promote their products.  By promoting these companies with honest reviews, you're able to learn about the newest and best products out there and most times it gives you, the reader, a chance to win them for yourself.
You know, when I started this blog, I could have never imagined how much it would add to my life.  I've meet so many people that I consider friends.  People that reach out and touch your heart through comments.  They share your joys and struggles and before you know it, you feel like you've known them forever.  This couldn't be truer, when it comes to me and Julie.

We quickly found out that we had many things in common. Even though she lives in Tennessee, she moved around bit while she built her life as a military wife.  That had her living in Jacksonville when her daughter was born.  Who knew we lived so close to each other.  We're the same age.  Her daughter was born about the same time my son was born.  Her daughter even has the same name as my DIL.  Julie's like me, and we both tend to carry our hearts on our sleeves.  Two Southern girls who have hearts as big as the Atlantic ocean.  We can almost finish each others thoughts. Ha - it's kind of insane!

Our friendship was meant to be.  All because of a little - huge thing called blogging.  We never know where something will take us when we start, but the ride's sure to be eventful and this one certainly was for the better.

It blesses my heart to know Julies there on the other end of this world wide web, to support me, to listen to my venting and rages,  laugh with me and just sometimes cry with me.  As if all that isn't enough, she occasionally sends me sweet gifts both big and small, that tells me I matter.  She is truly a gem!

Before I go I want to remind you about the giveaway that Julie and I are co-hosting together. Today and tomorrow are the last days you can enter.

I was lucky enough to review this super Deep Fryer with Warming drawer from Brylane Home and Julie reviewed a beautiful 8-pc bedding set. Brylane Home was generous enough to sponsor a giveaway for our readers.  You can be the winner of the same Deep Fryer that I reviewed.

Just visit the giveaway page on my blog HERE or on Julie's blog HERE to enter.
I also have another giveaway HERE.  Click over and enter to win your own Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover Air Purifier!
When you visit Julie's blog, be sure to check her sidebar and checkout all of her current giveaways.  You can even win a $50 Walmart Gift Card in her Herbal Essences Naked Collection review and giveaway.

Have you made any special friendships through blogging? Share them with me here.  I'd really like to know if you've had any great experiences.  Maybe you've had a not so good experience.  I hope not, because I want everyone to be as happy as I am.

Hugs Y'all...
Bear ye one another's burdens, and fulfil the law of Christ.
                                                                       ~ Galatians 6:2