Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I realize that I often say "easy-peasy" but in this case this really is very easy.  We recently put a bench on our front porch (the porch was looking a little barren without something)  a bench seemed a good solution.  I found a couple of outdoor pillows that I really liked but thought it needed a little something more (you know me me, always having a problem with enough....).  I had given myself an entire morning to do this an actually it came together in about an hour. A good part of that time was just getting everything together to start the project.
 My first idea was to make a stencil but making it easier on myself would use my Cricut machine and cut out the "D" on paper then transfer to stencil paper, cut the stencil and use paint for the "D." I remembered that I had some of the sticky back Cricut paper so I decided to see if just cutting out the "D" and attaching to the burlap with some extra glue would work - after all the pillow is going outside and vinyl would work?? You could also just purchase an alphabet stencil and use craft paint and make your initial.
Using Doodletype cartridge with shadow setting capital "D" size 5 on Cricut adhesive backed vinyl, cut out my initial.
Only other supplies needed will be a pillow and 1/2 yard of 45" wide burlap.  As you can see the fabric was only $1.49 and the pillow was $6.99 but I used the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon. Very reasonable craft to do.
No pattern is needed as the width of the fabric is perfect (if you use a 16" square pillow).  All you do is make an envelope. 

Set the pillow on the fabric and bring the two end pieces together and just by eyeballing the fabric cut off the extra that  you will not need. For my pillow it was about 8 1/2 inches. Since the edges of this open weave will fray just hem the two ends by turning the end over and tuck in the edge and sew along the edge, back-tack on the ends.
Once the ends have been sewn (I used black and zig-zagged so you can see the stitch) put the wrong sides together making sure that one side goes on top by a few inches (making the envelope) and sew the side seams (back-tack again) and the pillow is finished.
Just open it up and using a pencil or a bone folder poke out the corners, steam out the crease and you are ready to slip the pillow inside.

I had adhered the "D" (it is sticky backed but because it was going to be outside I added some adhesive to the back to make sure it would stay on the pillow).
Here it is on the porch - declaring someone who's name starts with "D" lives in this house.


Burlap, Hobby Lobby
Pillow insert, Hobby Lobby
Cricut Machine, Cricut 29-0001 Personal Electronic Cutting Machine
Cricut Doodletype Cartridge, Doodletype Cricut Cartridge

Cricut Vinyl, Cricut Vinyl, Midnight
Alphabet stencil, Pro Art 5-Inch Painting Stencil Set, Letters and Numbers

Outdoor green pillows, Overstock

Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Easy to do and you decide on the tape style and color!

Only four items needed to do this craft - Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, Washi tape, silver hair pins and sharp, small, sharp scissors. Washi tape is Japanese masking tape and is available everywhere and if you have not used it is is very much like very thin painters tape and it comes in a zillion different colors and designs and may be used for a zillion different things as I like to say, only limited by your imagination. There are so many craft ideas out there for Washi tape, I have seen covered lamp shades, book covers, covered knobs, if the Washi will stick you can cover or use.  Several Etsy sellers sell in bulk with several different designs. All craft stores carry Washi tape.
I wanted to make these hair pins for my granddaughter so I chose colors I thought she might like. Red, pink, black and animal print.  All you do is clip the hair pin to a piece of cardboard (I used the cardboard that was in the hair pin packaging) and then cut a strip of Washi tape and try and make it just a little thinner then the width of the pin so that the Mod Podge will adhere, cut the two ends to fit.
 Next you apply the Mod Podge and let it dry for three hours or more.  Any excess may be trimmed with cuticle scissors or the small scissors that you have used to cut the Washi tape. I have not used this particular Mod Podge product before and think there must be many interesting uses for this product.
 Finished product!  Lesson learned from first use of this product - be more careful about applying the Mod Podge as where it pooled it is difficult to get the paper off of the clip.  These were fun and easy and now I have used a new product! Next time I make these (and I will) I will clip them to a mat that I have that nothing sticks to - I use it when I am using hot glue, etc.


Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Plaid Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Glue
or craft stores
Washi tape, craft and specialty stores, online
Ready to decorate bobby pins Bobby Pins 6/Pkg-Black Ready To Decorate
or craft stores
Source for this craft Crafts Unleashed
Non-stick mat alt="" style="bordPlaid Mod Podge 16289 Silicone Craft Mat

Thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


For those of you who follow this blog you know that I volunteer for Alzheimer's Idaho and one of the things that I do is to make the dessert for their monthly support group.  Last nights dessert was chocolate malt cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting with a chocolate Eiffel Tower topper (Paris in the spring time theme) and homemade strawberry ice cream.
 The first thing I did was make my "Eiffel Towers." Very simple using dark cocoa candy Candy Melts. Using an Eiffel Tower candy mold, melt the chocolates in the microwave using the instructions on the package.  I used about 1.5 packages to make 24 Eiffel Towers.  I note that the chocolate Candy Melts are not as easy as the non-chocolate ones by by the last tray I was getting the hang of how to pour these and so those were perfect.  Be sure and "drop" the tray on the counter several times before you put in the fridge to cool - this will get rid of all air bubbles and guarantee equal distribution in the mold.
 A very easy recipe using ANY cake mix is to ignore the instructions on the box and melt a cube of butter and then in your mixer add the cake mix, 3 large eggs (room temperature please) the melted butter and one cup of water.  I thought with the strawberry frosting that malted milk would be good in the cupcakes so I added 1/3 cup of chocolate malted milk to the mix and because I was adding some additional dry ingredient I put in a little extra splash of water.
They came out just about perfect and I love these Wilton spring cupcake papers.
Next came the frosting.  I made my regular buttercream frosting but added some Watkins Strawberry Flavoring.  I was out of pure strawberry extract (can be hard to find) so I used the Watkins and I thought the taste was good.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
  • 3½ cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Soften the butter (do not melt) and add the butter and salt to your mixer and when combined gently add the confectioners sugar and then the milk.  If the consistency seems too thick add a little more cream.  Then I just put the mixer on medium and let it mix for several minutes.

Using your favorite tip, put the frosting into a pastry bag, frost your cupcakes.  Put the cupcakes in the fridge for about half an hour and when cooled you can then put the Eiffel Towers in as toppers.
 Using Corel Draw and a graphic from The Graphic's Fairy I printed out the description of the cupcakes on a large label (there was plenty of room for the ice cream label), cut the label out and added to a little piece of folded cardstock.

 Added them to pink edged plates and put them into a two tiered display stand with some pink ribbon.
Paper cartons of homemade strawberry ice cream finished off the dessert.

I just used my normal vanilla ice cream recipe but added the strawberry extract in place of the vanilla and then just a few minutes before the ice cream was finished I added about 1/3 cup of good strawberry jam that I had put into a bowl and stirred with a spoon until it was a consistency that I could just add dollips to the ice cream as the machine was whirring away.


1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 strawberry extract
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving
Two tier display stand, Tuesday Morning
Wilton Candy Melts, Walmart and online as in
Ribbon, Wide pink Hobby Lobby, narrow Martha Stewart at Michael's
Wilton Petal Cupcake liners, Walmart, online as in
Eiffel Tower graphic, The Graphic's Fairy
Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Lanterns have become so popular lately, quite ubiquitous - they are everywhere! All shapes, all sizes, colors and prices.  I saw one yesterday at a local store that was almost $100! I found this one (it is approximately 15") at my local super grocery store (Fred Meyer).  Located in their home decorating area these were 50% off on the day I purchased 
this one.
Once you have gathered your materials this goes together very, very fast.  I have no idea how much one of these decorated would cost but much, much more than if you do it yourself.  All you need will be the flowers/greenery, some oasis (the foam stuff that goes into flower arrangements that absorbs water) ribbon and some sticks.  My glue gun is in the photo but turns out I did not use the glue gun. The greenery I purchased was lilacs and lily of the valley and I just cut them off the stem (one of the most important things in my craft arsenal is a good pair of wire cutters).
The great thing about this lantern is that there was space under the little round handle to set the oasis inside - I cut the oasis a little larger than the opening so that once you push it in it is snug. Then just start adding the flowers - no need to glue because the stems are on a wire and it fits nicely into the oasis.
I next added the sticks (to balance the arrangements), the ribbon is added (add bows to front and back, to finish off the back).  Once I had added the ribbon I felt like it needed just a little greenery on the top so I found a leftover Easter flower and cut a couple of  jasmine flowers off and added to the top and we are done, just need to add the candle.

Use either wire or pipe cleaners for the ribbon so there is no  gluing. 
Here is the lantern on my entry table. Easter is all put away and when I was taking this photo it occurred to me that since nothing is glued onto the lantern that when Memorial Day and 4th of July arrive all I have to do is to pull the green gingham ribbon and put in red, white and blue and it will be just as cute for the holidays as it is for spring!


Flower pick of lily of the valley & lilac, Hobby Lobby
Fat round candle (not votive), Hobby Lobby
Jasmine flowers, Dollar Tree
Lantern, Fred Meyer (NW grocery chain)
Ribbon, wired checked green & white gingham, Michael's
Sticks, Home Goods

Thank you for stopping by.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Putting away Easter things yesterday and I was thinking about what wreath I was going to make or make better for spring. I decided this pretty wreath made from artificial roses that looks like paper climbing roses (I had on hand), was just what I wanted but it was not substantial enough for the place out front where I put my wreaths. My local craft/import store has been having the most beautiful curly willow flat wreaths that are meant to add wonderfulness to by adding another wreath,etc., but they have been out for weeks so I purchased this twig wreath and think it turned out just fine.
 Way simple - all you will need is the two wreaths, some ribbon and some pipe cleaners.  I use pipe cleaners all the time in the place of wire - so much easier to use, comes in all colors and so much kinder to your fingers.
Just attach the two wreaths together using the pipe cleaners and then hang the wreath and then add the ribbon with the pipe cleaner. You don't have to do the ribbon that way but my experience has told me that nine times out of ten if you apply the ribbon on a flat surface and then hang the wreath you will need to re-do the ribbon.
After making the big bow (and cutting a swallow tail at the ends) I added strings of coordinating ribbon to hang down. I attached the bow with a pink pipe cleaner. 


Ribbon and coordinating ribbon, Costco
Pipe cleaners, Michael's
Twig wreath, Hobby Lobby
Rose wreath, Steinmart (a few years ago)

Thank you for stopping by.


Saturday, April 19, 2014


One last item for the kiddos Easter baskets. Easy-peasy little chocolate nests with candy eggs.


2 cups chocolate chips (regular size bag is 2 cups)
2 tsp canola oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
10 oz of Chinese crispy noodles

Some eggs, whatever you like, these are the malt ball type eggs but you could use whatever you like, jelly beans, etc. Personal preference.

Place your chocolates in a microwavable bowl and add the oil and stir to coat the chips.  Using your microwave, high setting, put the bowl in and set for 30 seconds. Give it a stir after 30 seconds and keep putting it back in until melted.  I do not like it to get too hot so when there are still some un-melted chips I will pull it out and stir with a rubber spatula until all the chips are melted.

If your cupcake pan is non-stick just spray with non-stick spray, if it is not you will need to line the wells with foil and then spray the foil.

Once you chocolate has cooled a bit, toss in the Chinese noodles (I have seen recipes for this using pretzels but I'm thinking that the noodles would be easier to handle). Keep slowly turning the noodles in the chocolate with the rubber spatula and at first it will seem "this is not working" but just be patient and keep slowing turning and before you know it all the noodles will be covered and ready to put into the pan.

Using your hands put some of the noodle/chocolate mix into the pan and create a little well for the eggs.

Let this cool overnight or for a couple of hours in the fridge or freezer.

 You get a big bang for only (4) ingredients.

 You may use any size cupcake pan you like.  I think that these would be really cute place card holders if you used a regular size cupcake pan.  I used what is called a mini-pie tin which I use to bake Brookies.
This is what they look like ready for the fridge.  You will note that I held out a little container of chocolate.  This is to use for "glue" for the eggs and to put some chocolate on a nest if it does not come out easy and needs a little touch-up.
Here they are, cooled and ready for the eggs.  To get them out of the pan just run a knife (like a little butter knife) around the edges and they loosen and will pop out.
Here they are ready to be bagged in cellophane and tied with a pretty ribbon.  One last tip - have on hand a new, inexpensive small paint brush to use to put a dab of chocolate on the bottom of the eggs and to paint any noodles in an area where they have broken off showing the noodle color.  Because it is food, I toss the paint brush.



Adapted from Joy of Baking
Crispy Noodles, chocolate, oil and eggs, Grocery store

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, April 18, 2014


One more item for the Easter baskets. This is the first time I have made gingham cookies and also the first time I have used the spray food coloring so I can share what I would do different next time.  I think they came out cute but I would do a couple of things differently next time.

Ein weiterer Punkt für die Osterkörbe . Dies ist das erste Mal, dass ich karierte Cookies gemacht und auch das erste Mal, dass ich das Spray Lebensmittelfarbe verwendet, so kann ich teilen, was ich beim nächsten Mal anders zu tun. Ich denke, sie niedlich kam, aber ich würde ein paar Dinge beim nächsten Mal anders zu tun.

 Using your favorite sugar cookie recipe cut your cookies into egg shapes, bake and frost with royal icing.  Here is where I would do things a little differently. Next time I would make my cookies thicker and my royal icing thinner.  I used the same royal icing on the cookies that I used to decorate the rice cereal eggs yesterday and I should have just made a new, thinner batch.  A thinner frosting would have made for smoother tops and cleaner edges. Let the cookies set for overnight or at least a few hours before spraying.

Verwenden Sie Ihre Lieblings Zucker Cookie Rezept schneiden Sie Ihre Cookies in Ei-Form, backen und Frost mit königlicher Zuckerglasur. Hier ist, wo ich die Dinge ein wenig anders. Nächstes Mal würde ich meine Cookies dicker und meine königliche Zuckerglasur dünner zu machen. Ich habe die gleiche königliche Zuckerglasur auf den Plätzchen, die ich verwendet, um die Eier zu verzieren Reis Getreide gestern und ich sollte nur eine neue, dünnere Batch gemacht haben. Ein dünner Zuckerguss würde für glattere Tops und saubere Kanten gemacht haben. Lassen Sie die Cookies für über Nacht oder zumindest ein paar Stunden vor dem Spritzen gesetzt.

 I am showing this in all it's ugliness as I do not like using an X-acxto knife and you can see that my lines were not perfect.  You may use card stock to do this but I had some stencil plastic on hand and decided I may want to do this again so used the plastic.  Just draw 1/2 inch lines and spaces and then cut out every-other one.

Verwenden your Lieblings-Plätzchen-Rezept Zucker schneiden your Plätzchen in Ei-Form-, backen und Frost mit königlicher Zuckerglasur. Hier Ist, Wo Ich sterben dinge Ein wenig anders. Nächstes Mal würde ICH meine Plätzchen dicker und meine königliche Zuckerglasur Dünner zu Machen. Ich Habe sterben same königliche Zuckerglasur Auf den Plätzchen, sterben ICH verwendet, äh sterben Eier zu verzieren Reis Getreide gestern und Ich sollte Nur Eine neue, dünnere Batch Gemacht Haben. Ein Dünner Zuckerguss würde für glattere Tops und saubere Kanten Gemacht Haben. Lassen SIE sterben Plätzchen für Über Nacht oder zumindest Ein Paar Stunden Platz vor dem Spritzen Gesetzt.

 Here is the Wilton spray food coloring.  Behind the food coloring is a styrofoam cooler - I set the cookies in the bottom of the cooler to spray them.  This achieves two important things - you don't food color your kitchen and it allows you to be far enough away from the spray so you do not inhale the mist.  Just lay your template across the egg one way, let it rest for a bit and then lay it across in the other direction.  I sprayed four purple, four yellow and then four pink, wiping the template off between colors.  Next time I would probably wipe off after each spraying. 

Hier ist die Wilton Spritzlebensmittelfarbe . Hinter der Lebensmittelfarbe ist ein Styropor-Kühler - Ich habe die Cookies im Boden des Kühlers, um sie zu sprühen. Dadurch wird erreicht, zwei wichtige Dinge - Sie Lebensmittelfarbe Ihrer Küche zu tun und es ermöglicht Ihnen, weit genug weg von der Spritz, so dass Sie den Nebel nicht einatmen. Legen Sie Ihre Vorlage über das Ei in eine Richtung, ruhen lassen für ein bisschen und dann lag es über in die andere Richtung. Ich gesprüht vier lila, gelb und dann vier vier rosa und wischte die Vorlage aus zwischen den Farben. Das nächste Mal würde ich wahrscheinlich abwischen nach jedem Spritzen.

 I let them sit for awhile and then they were ready to put two cookies (un-frosted sides together) in cellophane bags, tied with a pink gingham (of course) ribbon and they are ready for the baskets.

Ich lasse sie für eine Weile sitzen und dann bereit, zwei Cookies (un-bereiften Seiten zusammen) in Zellophan Beutel, mit einem rosa karierten (natürlich) Band gebunden setzen sie waren und sie sind bereit für die Körbe sind.


Resource - Ressource

Wilton Color Mist, Wherever Wilton products are sold and if you cannot find them go to their website, great prices and reasonable shipping and of course a huge selection, more than you would find in any store.

Plastic for stencil, Craft stores
Egg cookie cutter, Hobby Lobby
Pink 1/4" ribbon, Offray Microcheck pink
Cellophane bags, Craft and specialty stores
Gingham idea link, Glorious Treats

Thank you for stopping by. Vielen Dank für Ihren Besuch.