tonia-loy
Author

Tonia Loy | Columnist

Tonia Loy is the Mail Lifestyle Columnist covering Food, Arts & Crafts, and Do It Yourself topics. She is from Peoria, Illinois, and is the owner of Great Cake Adventure Bakery. She attended ICC and NIU for art and design.

 


DIY Fire Pit
Best of 2021

DIY Fire Pit

Materials:  READ MORE...

Arts and Crafts  |  
How to Make a Dreamcatcher

How to Make a Dreamcatcher

 

Food  |  
Baked to Perfection Ziti

Baked to Perfection Ziti

 

Do It Yourself  |  
Small Raised Paver Patio

Small Raised Paver Patio

Steps to Create the Raised Frame Step 1 I laid out my paver design on a flat surface and then measured the length and width. This gave me my measurements for my frame! 

Arts and Crafts  |  
Pour Painting

Pour Painting

Acrylic pouring painting is the art of using fluid acrylics to pour onto a canvas (or other surface) to create unique abstract effects. The actual process of doing pour painting is mesmerizing and quite addicting!  You can use a canvas, rocks or any other firm surface. 

Food  |  
Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken

Quick chicken recipes, whether baked or grilled, are serious hanger lifesavers, and this chicken dinner is one of my absolute summer din din finest.

Gardening  |  
Four Season Garden

Four Season Garden

 

Arts and Crafts  |  
Start a Daily Sketchbook

Start a Daily Sketchbook

It's a great way to improve your art skills and see the progress in one place. I remember doing a daily sketchbook practice and loving seeing how my art progressed. 

Food  |  
Moist Carrot Cake

Moist Carrot Cake

Since I mentioned frosting, this really ‘takes the cake.’ Rich and plentiful, it presents an extra smooth finish because the powdered sugar has been sifted into the mixture. It’s just another reason why this recipe makes an exceptional moist carrot cake that’s bound to become your favorite.

Do It Yourself  |  
Hopscotch Stepping Stones for the Garden

Hopscotch Stepping Stones for the Garden

These hopscotch stepping stones aren’t the traditional children’s hopping game, nor are they typical for a garden pathway. I like these as part of the play garden design. 

Do It Yourself  |  
Painted Ottoman

Painted Ottoman

 

Food  |  
Mudd's Pasta Salad

Mudd's Pasta Salad

 

Do It Yourself  |  
DIY Fire Pit

DIY Fire Pit

Materials:

Do It Yourself  |  
Planting a Living Memorial

Planting a Living Memorial

Myself, like many others, have lost more people in this world than we would like. Many people ask what they can do for a loved one. Food is always a go to option, you can send cut flowers or floral arrangements from a florist. If you have any gardening experience you could make a living memorial on your own. This will allow personalized details or color choices. Head to your favorite flower shop that sell indoor plants. You can definitely do an outdoor living memorial as well, just aim for part sun perennial plants. By choosing indoor or perennial plants your loved ones can enjoy this memorial for years to come. 

Food  |  
No Bake Caramel Cookies

No Bake Caramel Cookies

 

Do It Yourself  |  
Faux Tin Ceiling

Faux Tin Ceiling

I’m going to show you how to install glue-up faux tin ceiling tiles so you can transform your ceilings from so-so to spectacular. Even though it was done in a small room, you can certainly incorporate the same easy steps in a much larger room.

Arts and Crafts  |  
Tie dye!

Tie dye!

Supplies 

Food  |  
Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi

Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi

 

Do It Yourself  |  
Preparing a Walkway for Concrete

Preparing a Walkway for Concrete

Tools Required

Arts and Crafts  |  
Resin 101

Resin 101

I started working with resin over a five years ago, and it has become one of my favorite hobbies! For the longest time I was too intimidated to try it - and chances are that you are, too. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I'm here to help. I want to share a "Resin 101" series to show you just how much fun working with resin can be and give you all of my tips and tricks!

Food  |  
Funfetti Cake

Funfetti Cake

 

Do It Yourself  |  
Wainscoting an Island/Wall

Wainscoting an Island/Wall

Now that we have made sure the wall is not supporting our house, it was a go for demo! I love demo! Best rule of thumb is to go slow and clean up as you go. In this case I followed beside Norm and cleaned up. Carried out drywall and removed cabinets. While stopping here and there to be an apprentice. Be careful to avoid any electrical wires, plumbing and gas lines.  I’m not going to go into too much detail on the wall removal or the build of the new pony wall. Most wainscoting is applied to an existing wall. 

Arts and Crafts  |  
How to Etch Glass

How to Etch Glass

There are so many possibilities of what you can make and these make great gifts.  It doesn’t have to be wine glasses or beer steins you can etch anything glass… mason jars, beer mugs, trifle bowls, candles, etc…  Just follow this etched glass tutorial and then sit back and admire the beautiful etched glass that you made!

Food  |  
Baked Tortellini Casserole

Baked Tortellini Casserole

Before the grilling season kicks off, I wanted to make my family a nice comfort food meal. Baked Tortellini is an easy, cheesy baked casserole made with fresh or frozen tortellini and a quick homemade red meat sauce.

Do It Yourself  |  
Outdoor Side Table

Outdoor Side Table

Supplies

Arts and Crafts  |  
How to Make a Rope Coil Basket

How to Make a Rope Coil Basket

Material List: 

Food  |  
French Macarons

French Macarons

Tips:

Do It Yourself  |  
How to Build a Faux Brick Wall

How to Build a Faux Brick Wall

I was inspired to attempt this faux brick wall after reading a post from Corey at Sawdust2stitches.  She includes a video on how she accomplished the technique of smearing the spackling over the brick panels. I chose the darkest colored brick wall panels for our home. The colors were a perfect fit for our newly sanded oak floors.

Arts and Crafts  |  
String Art!

String Art!

Supplies 

Food  |  
Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Twist

Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Twist

Have some fun with your dessert! Take your favorite cookie recipe and give it a twist! Try making them in to a cookie sandwich. There is nothing more satisfying than a good cookie with a soft, creamy buttercream filling! My favorite Chocolate chip cookie recipe is from Toll House, it’s simply perfect! Feel free to use any recipe you would like. I am sharing my adapted version of my favorite recipe! 

Do It Yourself  |  
How To: Tile a Backsplash

How To: Tile a Backsplash

Supplies: Installation of new tile over drywall. 

Arts and Crafts  |  
The Art of Crafts

The Art of Crafts

The first thing to remember is art is in the eye of the beholder. We have all heard this from time to time. Talking about and creating art for the majority of my life has lead me to so much more than pencils and paper. I now have the ability to see something and make it happen. For example, I wanted to build a front porch on our home. I didn’t hesitate or think to myself “can I do this?” because I already knew I could. I knew because I have the basic mental, math, and creative skills to do it. If a professional builder would come to inspect my deck, they may notice it isn’t the exact way they would have done it. This doesn’t mean what I did was wrong, every person does it differently. I did my research and I made it happen. Art has given me more confidence in everyday life. I want to encourage you to try something new. If someone feels like they can share what they made with you, be kind and honest. Kindness creates a world where more good can happen. 

Food  |  
Granny’s Biscuits and Gravy

Granny’s Biscuits and Gravy

“Granny’s Biscuits and Gravy”

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