DIY Autumn Leaf Drink Markers …… by Trenda from Cottage Green on the Lake

It’s time to hang our autumn wreath on the front door; time to put out “Hal” … our wooden scarecrow with a green trellis backdrop and spunky black crow perched on the railing, and time for home fragrances and candles in mellow, spicy scents of autumn.  It’s time for the magical transformation of our home, putting “touches” of the season on tabletops, mantles, and throughout each room that reflect the warm, cozy feeling of autumn. <!–more–>

So far, the chandelier is dressed for autumn with leaves, grape clusters and a draping of golden acorns.

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And … summer decor on the buffet is slowly being replaced with pumpkins, bushy-tailed squirrels, and glittered acorns.

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Dressing our home for the fall season includes how I set my table … which dishes I use, which napkins I match up with what napkins rings, and all the other “accoutrements” I have to accent my table … “4theseasons.”

I made the cutest autumn drink markers that I want to show you how to make today.

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I bought all the supplies I needed at Hobby Lobby on the bead/jewelry-making aisle.  The wire loops, tube of assorted beads and cards of autumn leaf buttons were all on this aisle.  The only other item that I used in making these drink markers was a pair of needle nose pliers, which I used in bending one end of the wire loop to slip and secure the drink marker into the eye-hole, after all the beads and leaf were in place.

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These are so easy to make … Just take the size wire hoop that you want to use for your drink marker and begin “threading” beads in whatever order  you choose.  When you have half of the ring filled with beads, put on the size and color of leaf that you want to use for your drink marker and continue threading on the other half of your beads, matching the sequence you used on the first side.  Make sure you leave room at the end of your wire loop to make your fastener.  After all your beads are threaded, bend the very end of your wire hoop so it will slip into the wire eye on the other side of the hoop, and fasten. (Notice how the end opposite the “eye” of the wire hangers are straight before I bent them to make a fastener.  I’ve also turned some of the leaves over so you can see that they are just buttons!)

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Our family get-together’s range from small to large gathering’s so I made lots of drink markers and had fun using all different bead color combinations and sizes of leaves.  We always reserve the biggest leaf for my husband and our youngest grandchild gets the smallest leaf … and everyone remembers which glass is there’s by the color and size of their leaf!

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Now that you know how to make your drink markers, it’s fun to pick out different buttons and beads to make markers for every holiday and occasion. I’ve even bought block letters on the bead aisle and have made one-of-a-kind drink markers for our family using the first initial of every family member. I’ve also made drink markers and added them to wedding gifts as a little “bonus” gift for newly-weds … with their “love” names for each other, spelled out on the drink marker.  Halloween pumpkins and ghosts … Christmas trees and candy canes … Spring flowers and bunny’s … the possibilities are endless!  I hope you have as much fun making these as much as I do!

From my cottage to your’s  ~ Trenda

Cottage Green on the Lake … Sand Pail Ice Cream by Trenda

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!!”

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Back when our kids were in elementary school we began this family tradition of making, what we later name … “Sand Pail Ice Cream.”  It became our tradition to make this ice cream when the last school day of the year was over; a happy and fun beginning to summer vacation!

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Now, with all our family and their children going to different schools and having different schedules in different cities, we aren’t always able to make it together at the beginning of summer, but it remains a fun family tradition we still have every summer.  This summer we made it for our Labor Day celebration, signifying summer’s end, rather than it’s beginning.  Fun and equally good, whenever it’s served!

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First, you need to invest in a brand new plastic sand pail … to avoid the grit of sand in your ice cream! (:  Wash your new pail in warm sudsy water.
Then set out 1 or more half gallons of ice cream, depending on how many people you will be serving and how much your sand pail will hold.  (It’s hard to tell in this picture, but the sand pail I have can hold 3 half gallon cartons of ice cream!  We have also used additional sand pails when we have larger crowds to serve and for different flavors and mixes!)  When the ice cream has softened, scoop the ice cream from the cartoon and into the sand pail.

The rest is simple … just chop and stir in your family’s favorite ice cream “add-in’s” and toppings … or dish ice cream into separate containers for each person to individualize with their choice of toppings and add-in’s!

Some suggested add-in’s (but not limited to!)

  1. candy
  2. ice cream syrup’s
  3. marshmallow topping
  4. cookies
  5. fruit – cherries, pineapple, banana
  6. cool whip 
  7. sprinkles  … the more sprinkles, the better for your little ones!

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Other suggestions …

  • make sure all your candies “compliment” each other (don’t mix sour candies with chocolate candies!)
  • my family’s favorite ice cream is Bluebell’s Cookies and Cream – I used that flavor of ice cream and already had 1 “add-in” … cookies!
  • do not use candies that might harden in the ice cream and be difficult to bite into! 
  • have 2 or more sand pails for additional or different flavor combinations! 

Have fun setting your table and using all your festive bowls, glasses, soda fountain glasses, straws, spoons, and decorations!  I added a centerpiece of giant pixie straws, cupcake liners to hold extra add-in’s to nibble on, and little plastic animals to adorn each ice cream serving!

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“We all scream for ice cream!”

From my cottage to your’s ~  Trenda

From My Cottage to Your’s …

A little about my life and loves on Cedar Creek Lake …

 My husband and I live in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas on the banks of Cedar Creek Lake.  We love watching and being a part of all the seasons and changes that happen on the lake.

We moved here 25 years ago … and began the mammoth task of renovating our “tired” and “brown everything” lake house that was originally built during the early 70’s.

Slowly, with each wall we knocked down, each remnant of shag carpet we removed and the many gallons of white paint that we applied … our brown house began to disappear and the “Cottage Green” we had envisioned began to emerge.

It still seems like we are always working on our “nest” but we love seeing every result and improvement we make.

My love of decorating and crafts … 
When our kids were younger, I worked evenings for an Interior Design Company accessorizing and decorating people’s homes.  I also worked for a major hobby/craft store and gave classes on how to make wreaths, flower arrangements, seasonal door decorations, gift wrapping bows, and girl’s hair bows.

Through the years I’ve continued decorating, but mostly  for our own home or for custom orders.I was blessed with a full music scholarship to college and pursued a double major of both music and education before I left my Junior year to marry my sweetheart … or as Anne of Green Gables would say … “my kindred spirit and dearest of dear husbands.”  His name is Richard.

We have been married for 41 years and he still makes my heart skip a beat whenever I catch his eye across a crowded room.

We have been blessed with 2 children, a son and a daughter and we now have 2 dear grandchildren who are running in the same footprints our children did … and we’re still making memories at our cottage on the lake.

I hope each recipe, tablescape, decoration, arrangement, landscaping idea, and the whimsical way I like to decorate our home … Cottagegreenonthelake.com will inspire you … 4 the seasons!

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda