It’s a New Year

I’m not a resolution maker because they hang over your head and I tend to either forget them or resent them. However I have resolved to do better on my blog this year than I did last year. It would be hard to do worse. Last year was just an anomaly.

I was on the reunion committee for our class reunion which was in April (and out of town of course). Then I stayed to spend time with my kids and grandkids and spent most of the summer out of town. By the time I came home I had appointments to catch up on and and suddenly it was Thanksgiving and then BOOM Christmas. BTW if you think Christmas came fast it did. There was a week less than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So. Those are my excuses.

I did craft, I just didn’t take photos of everything and I didn’t blog about it. I already have a few craft ideas lined up and ready to start on and some things started that I need to finish, but today I’m just going to post a few photos of things I did last year and didn’t blog about. You can click on the photo and see a very short description along with a larger image.

And so that’s it for today. If you see something that interests you, please comment. If you have done something similar or the same and have a better idea, tell me! Here’s to happy crafting and cooking.

Throws Boys Will Like





















I promised a couple of weeks ago to share the Moose Throw I made. I’ve been having a little trouble with my back, which hurts most when I sit and that makes computering (which doesn’t seem to be a word) one of the more difficult things to do. However, I shouldn’t neglect my blog, and so I’m going to share the Moose Throw (which was a BIG hit) and another one I made for another boy this week.

I was going to make one of those tied throws (I’ve seen them called knotted or no-sew throws as well) for my nephew for Christmas. It’s gotten harder to get him something for Christmas as he’s gotten into the teen years and while a gift certificate is always welcome it also seems impersonal. I also wanted to make him something since boys are always a little more difficult to make for and I wanted him to have something from me that he could enjoy. I don’t get to see him very often and I thought it would be nice.

When I went to the fabric store I focused in on some really wonderfully soft fleece, in fact it was called Ultra Cuddle and I can’t disagree with that name at all! It was a little difficult to find a pattern that was appropriate for a teenaged boy, however I fell in love with the moose fabric, especially since my brother and his family recently returned from Alaska! It was even better that they were funny, since the recipient loves humor. I chose a dark fabric for the back that matched. Unfortunately when I went to have it cut the saleswoman asked me if I were planning to make a tied throw. When I said yes she said it would be unsuitable as it would fray and shed badly. But I was so in love with the fabric by now that I decided to sew it instead.

It was a little difficult to deal with (hard to cut straight, hard to sew straight and big and bulky to manage). However, I was still happy with the final result. I simply sewed it with wrong sides together, like you would a pillow, left a small opening, turned it and hand stitched the last little bit. Not only was I happy with the result, my nephew loved it. PLUS my sister in law apparently is thinking of stealing it. I think I know what I’m going to make HER for some future gift giving occasion! This was seriously easy and I have to say, really turned out great.

As for the knotted throw, I made it from a kit I bought. I got a soccer ball pattern because my grandson is an avid soccer player. This was equally easy to make (although I found it tedious to do the cutting). I don’t think the fabric quality was as nice as what I bought for the throw, but by the time it was cut and knotted it seemed just fine. I think you could easily buy fabric and make these up for gifts and raffles and things like that. When you are cutting the fabric the first thing you do is cut the corners of the fabric out (5 inches by 5 inches). I didn’t want to waste those 8 pieces so I pieced mine together and made a pillow with 4 pieces on each side. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately, but I think my grandson will like it.

One other thing I did that I almost forgot to mention.  When I made the Moose Throw I wanted to add something to identify the maker since it was a gift and so often I make things (especially stuffed animals) and give them away and no one will know in the future that they were made by Grandma or Auntie etc.  I am not that good at embroidery and I didn’t think I could hand sign fleece.  However I had bought a stamp that was on sale (YES!  on SALE!) and it allowed one to put whatever message you wanted in the center and then a circle of design (holly I think, it is a Christmas stamp) around it.  I had the bright idea to put a “label” on that.  I tried doing one and then “washing” it under running water and soap.  It seemed to hold up.  So, I stamped a label on a wide piece of white ribbon I had in my stash and sewed it in.  Not a bad idea, altho I think it’s time for me to have some labels made up.  I have some dolls that were made years ago by either my Mom or my Grandmother.  Sadly I knew who made them when I was given them, but at this point I can’t recall who made which one for sure.  I wish they had signed them.

Well, this is really long, thank you if you have hung in there!  Time for Handmade Monday!  I will be popping in there off and on for the next few days as my back allows me to sit at the computer.  🙂


It’s a New Year!

I guess the first thing I need to do is apologize for not posting more regularly the past several (as in maybe 6 or so) months.  I was out of town for quite a bit of the second half of 2012, helping with my new grandson (oh what a joy!) and then visiting and helping with my 2 step grandchildren (who are older but every bit as much fun).  Then I went and spent some time with my Dad in New Mexico after a few days (not long enough) with my brother and his family.  When I finally got home for good it seems like it was time to prepare for a Thanksgiving visit by my new grandson (he brought his parents along too) and then it was time to get ready for Christmas.

Of course I could have blogged in the meantime but somehow I just got out of the habit –for some reason good habits break far more easily than bad ones.  But, my only New Years Resolution is to get back in the saddle and start blogging again.  I really HAVE  missed it.  It’s not that I haven’t crafted or cooked at all, it’s just that I haven’t done all of the work involved in getting things onto the blog, that is photos and writing.

Now, for today, I will share some of the few Christmas cards I made this year.  Like last year I made them, but I didn’t send out nearly as many.  I got such a late start I used more stickers and stamps than I did before, but I discovered that there are so many beautiful choices that I still liked the way they came out.  You can be really creative and still add your own touches.  And because I was so late getting started most of the items were already on sale!

If you see something you like and have any questions about how I did it, please ask, I will be glad to share.  I’m not going to blog any instructions since they weren’t all that special.  For almost all of them I used prefolded card stock that I already had and sticky dots for most of the gluing (to make things go faster).  I wanted them to go out before Valentines Day!

Now, I’m going to go over to Handmade Harbour  and see what everyone else is up to.  I’ve been away so long, I hope they remember me!  You should go too, I know everyone has been busy.  I really need to check back and see what they were busy with for the holidays, I can’t believe I missed all of that!  See you soon.  I want to share the Moose Blanket I made for my nephew!

I’m Back!

Oh my goodness, I’ve been gone.  I had thought I might blog while out of town but I didn’t.  I am still not really back into the swing of regular life yet, so I’m going to share something I made while I was at my Dad’s house.  I actually made 3 of these, one for each grandchild, but didn’t take photos of the process and in fact only took shots of the last one because I didn’t get it mailed off yet.

First, I had a wonderful 2 months visiting family in Texas and New Mexico.  I got to remember what it was like to take kids to school and activities (oh yes, you do get right back into the swing of that!) and cook for a family etc.  It was hard to leave them but I then went on to visit my Dad and we had a great time eating all of the Mexican food we could hold and I got to meet some family from that area I had never met and see some I had not seen in a long time.  All in all very fun and satisfying.  However, now, back to regular life and my very neglected blog.  🙂  I will likely post some of the many MANY photos I took while traveling, too.  But not today.

So, the project is made from the paper mache mash you can find here.  I used that and just free-hand shaped it into Christmas tree shapes.  I cut a little piece of wire, made a loop and stuck it in the paper mache at the top and made sure it was anchored in there.  I also made sure the ends of the wire stuck out to the sides (not out of the paper mache) instead of down as I thought this would make it more secure.  This made a nice sturdy hanger (I put a piece of ribbon but you could use those ornament hangers). Oh, and being made of paper, this ornament is really really light.

You can see the wire loop at the top.

You can see the wire look at the top.

I let them dry at least overnight and then finished drying in the oven (about 200 or so degrees F –I think my Dad’s oven runs a little hot tho –keep an eye so they don’t burn or get too crispy).  They didn’t take long since they were fairly dry after sitting out and being partially dry.  I just wanted them to be thoroughly dried before I painted them.

Then I painted them green.  I had to mix blue and yellow since the green I had bought was dried out!  Yes I took it back but later and yes, they gave me my money back, but I had already painted my trees, so I didn’t need more paint.  The color was great but I was glad I had bought a few colors when I was at the craft store.  Anyway, I put on 2 coats to make sure it had a nice strong color. I did put a coat of Mod Podge over it too, just to give it some protection and shine.

I had bought all of these cute little buttons at Hobby Lobby (we don’t have one here so I really kind of went crazy in there!).  You can see in the picture some of the cute ones they had. I really like the glittery stars. For my Granddaughter’s I had ones that looked like flipflops and I forget some of the others, but they had such a great selection I bought quite a few different sorts.  Some of them had loops on the back and wouldn’t lay flat but I just nipped those off and they worked just fine.  I glued it all on with just regular white glue.  Since they are just ornaments and not toys I think it will hold.

If the holes in the buttons bother you you could find other items to decorate with.

I forgot to take a photo of the back, but I put their names and the year and Christmas and who it’s from on the back too (Sharpie!).  I always did ornaments for my kids and now for my Grandchildren, every year.  This way they will be able to remember when they pull them out (hopefully) every year.

These were SO easy and fun to make.  You could easily make them WITH kids too.

Now, I’m off to check on Handmade Monday, which I have sadly neglected for way too long.  I hope the rest of you will check them out because they have some amazing things and I KNOW they are all making beautiful things for Christmas by now.

And I hope that you all will be back soon, I promise to get right back into my normal routine (and post some fabulous vacation photos).

Oh and recipes!





Still Playing Catch-up

I thought I would have something ready for today, but I’m still trying to get things back together after having the kitchen cabinets refaced and the holidays over with, so I thought, since most of the Handmade Monday crowd didn’t see what I posted over Christmas anyway, I would give those a little repeat.

The marshmallows were a big hit, so if you missed that, you can find the recipe and directions at Peppermint and Cinnamon Marshmallows.  Very easy, and better than store bought.  Almost everyone who got them said, “I had no idea you could make marshmallows!”

Also, the peppermint trays were fun and easy.  They were all over Pinterest.  You can find my blog on them at Candy Trays.  At least save the idea for next year!

I’m so glad we are getting back to normal.  I should have my kitchen back in order in the next few days, and then can get back to organizing my craft room.  I will take some photos of both and share them, as I think there are some good ideas there also. I’ve really enjoyed finding ideas on Pinterest, if you’re not using that resource, you really should be.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask, I’d be glad to bend your ear (and give you an invite)!

And after you’ve finished here, head over to Handmade Monday.  Finally, it’s back up and running.  I know I’ve missed everyone! Holidays are wonderful, but it’s always nice to get back into the groove of normal life. 🙂

Christmas 2011

Christmas dinner, 2011.

The main event was a Prime Rib Roast using Pioneer Woman’s recipe and it was outstanding.  In addition we had Easy Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Creamed Corn (my husband’s recipe), Sauteed Mushroom Medley, Cucumbers W/Balsamic Vinegar and a nice red wine.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and the rest of 2011 is full of magic and whatever it is that makes you happy.  Here’s wishing only the best for 2012.  🙂  Oh, and yes,  Pauli got some of the roast.  And she pronounced it perfect!

Candy Trays

I ran across these cute candy trays on Pinterest and was infatuated with them, as was everyone else, apparently. I thought they would be perfect to give with my marshmallows to my neighbors and maybe bring the goodies I was making for my husband’s office party. So I gave it a try.

Mine didn’t turn out quite as perfect and beautiful as the ones on the original blog. The edges were not really nice and straight, I think maybe my oven temp is not even. Something I now want to check. Then again, I still liked them a lot and had fun with them.

A bigger problem is that they WERE sticky! I suspect it’s a function of living in South Florida where it’s very humid and particularly humid right now (70%). Heck, everything is sticky. I happened to be making marshmallows at the time so I had cornstarch out and had an idea. Why not try dusting them with cornstarch like I do marshmallows? So, I put some on both sides and rubbed it all over and let it sit. Then I wiped it off after awhile. I did this several times and it seemed to work. They don’t end up as pretty and glossy, but it does seem to take the stickiness off, at least for long enough to use them.

I’m not posting instructions here, you can check out the instructions at this blog Tutto Bella. Really easy and quick, and fun (except unwrapping the peppermints). Oh, and I had a harder time finding the green ones.  My green ones were a different brand than the red ones and I noticed they melted at a somewhat faster rate. I checked and the ingredients were different, so if I make these again I will try to find some that are the same brand with the same ingredients. Maybe my results will be a little more consistent. But, still, I was happy and they were fun. You could have kids place the peppermints and then have an adult do the oven part. And if you live in a less humid place maybe you won’t have to mess with cornstarch at all!

Impress Your Friends With –Marshmallows!

Seriously, I never thought about actually making homemade marshmallows until someone gave us some handmade ones for Christmas a few years ago.  They were peppermint flavored and they came from a boutique shop and they were awesome!  From that moment on I thought, “If they don’t only come in a bag from the grocery store, and they can be flavored, and they can taste this much better than the ones I grew up eating, why can’t I make them?!”  So, I finally got serious about finding a recipe that seemed simple enough and getting brave enough to try it.

And guess what?  They’re EASY.  Yes, you heard me right.  EASY.  There are a number of recipes out there on the web, so I picked one from someone who usually makes things that work for me and went from there.  I wanted to add flavors, but I started out with the original basic recipe and didn’t change anything the first time, so that if anything went wrong later I would know that the change was the problem (yes, I am a former science teacher).

However, not to worry.  No problems, easy and impressive.  Messy, but really, nothing really worth doing isn’t messy.  You still have time to make some for a last minute gift that will please virtually anyone, or to serve at your own Christmas or New Years party, or just to make to indulge yourself.  My husband gives them a big thumbs up.  I’ve made at least 4 batches so far.  OK, enough chit chat.  The recipe is at Peppermint and Cinnamon Marshmallows.  Check it out!



One more card. This one sort of made itself. I had the letters for JOY made from Mod Podge and food coloring –I think I need to do a blog on that, but not today. I wanted to do them in simple cut outs in the card, and it just started from there. It kept just needing *something else*. 🙂 That’s really my favorite way to work.

I ended up using ric rac and lace and glittery ribbon (behind the cut outs) and some snowflakes left over from making gift tags.  I glued the lace down on the dots, and amazingly that worked.  I cut it big enough to go all the way around the other side so it’s very secure.

Make a joyful noise.  And some cards!  🙂

Add A Little Christmas Color

It’s been a busy week, I’ve managed to get a lot done.  Christmas is almost here, but there’s still time for a few last minute gifts, and a little more decorating.   I actually did some of these glass balls a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t take photos of the process.  It was an experiment that I wanted to try, because I have several boxes of clear glass balls in my craft closet and I wanted to try the same process I used to make the colored glass jars earlier in the year.

As it turned out, they are beautiful!  I used one for the  Quick Christmas Ornament with ribbon in it earlier in the week, and I have a bowl full. I made a couple more to take a couple of pictures to show how to do it today.

You can check out a quick tutorial with photos at Colored Glass Balls.  Afterwards, you should probably pour yourself some tea (or really, it’s the season to indulge in a little Egg Nog!) and check out Handmade Monday and see what everyone else is up to. It’s the last one for this year, and I peeked and it might be the last one for a few weeks since the next 2 are Christmas Day and then New Year Day! So, better check this one out or you’ll be out of luck for a few weeks!  Oh, and if you really have some time on your hands, I have done several blogs this week with new crafts.  Yes, I know, that’s a record for me, but I’ve been quite busy, as I said!  And I’m hoping to keep up the pace!  It’s that crazy busy season.  Merry Christmas!