Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in the New Year!


A New Year. . .

Happy New Years blog friends!
I really don't do resolutions though this past year I had hoped to do more journaling...I tried honest! I did some, and then found it really isn't me....you just can't force it and you know what...it's okay :-) When I was a little kid all my friends had favorite stuffed animals they slept with....I thought maybe there was something wrong me because I didn't have one, so I became set on a mission to make myself have a favorite stuffed animal. Well as you can probably guess it didn't happen, you just can't force something like that and it's okay. I think sometimes when everyone is jumping on one art wagon or another we all think we have to hop on too and if we don't there's something wrong with us, but nope there isn't....I just dance to a different art drummer thenjournaling . That doesn't mean I won't do more its just not something that I'm compelled to do all the time like some people are and guess what...it's okay :-)


Here's a freebie Dover image
I used in the above digital piece.
Click on the image above to
enlarge and download.



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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crafty Blogger Blurbs



Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world At Craftside there is a Steampunk-style cam chain necklace, how to make an image have a pop art look, recycle a milk jug into snowflakes, and a tutorial on making domed bead caps.

Crafty Princess Diaries Tammy is going bananas, literally, over amigurumi again. Crochet folks take note!

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style Linda DID get a present or two made before Christmas actually arrived--check it out!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter File this one away for next year...Madge's final Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration Project for 2009! This one kicks tinsel!

Mixed Media Artist Mix fabric and paper for a one-of-a-kind collage!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery Press On with Trylon and Perisphere Cross Stitch using a cool font from the book A Rainbow of Stitches

The Artful Crafter Don’t toss those leftover holiday candle stubs! Here’s how to organize them for recycling later – after the holiday whirl subsides.





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Monday, December 28, 2009

More gifts from the heart!

I wanted to share a special gift from the heart I received from my niece. She attends Notre Dame University and is in a glass club where she gets to make some cool glass projects. I am so honored to be given a mug from her that she etched using one of my whimsical character drawings that I made into a greeting card. Talk about a surprise! She made it into a line drawing and then painfully cut around all the little swirls and edges, so she could etch the design into the glass. How cool is that!

Below is the drawing she used to make my beloved mug!


Don't you just love gifts from

the heart, they're the best!

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Giant Happy Birthday!

Awesome Gift!
I was gifted for Christmas a Wilton's Giant Cupcake Pan. I have to say this is the best gift! I love my new cupcake pan. Even the most novice baker can't go wrong with this pan!
Since it's hubby's birthday today I was able to break this puppy in and boy did it work well! I sprayed it with cooking spray and the cake popped right out. Hubby requested carrot cake so I used a spice cake mix and added a cup of raw shredded carrots, 1/4 c. of raisins, and a 1/2 c. butterscotch chips. Instead of oil I used mayonnaise and boy is it moist!
To frost it I simply spooned the frosting into a zip lock bag, twisted, cut the end off and decorated away!
I set a tangerine next to it so you can get a better idea of the size.


I can't wait to use it again in January for my son's birthday the possibilities are endless what and how you can decorate it!


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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wonderful Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas
I had with my family!
Here's a few fun pictures :-)

My 3 sons and my beautiful daughter-in-love :-)

Never a dull moment!





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Friday, December 25, 2009

♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Merry Christmas♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

Merry Christmas♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Merry Christmas♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Merry Christmas ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪MerryChristmas ♥ ♥ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Merry Christmas ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ Tooo Yooooou¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪...

Do you need to smile or laugh...? turn up your sound and watch this feel good Pink Glove video for breast cancer awareness!




If you enjoyed this video and support breast cancer awareness please post a comment and let me know :-)


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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Freebie New Years Card

A little early yet but here's a freebie digital card you can send to your friends and family. Just click on the picture, save and send.
If you'd like to make your own card,
you can click HERE to download some
freebie vintage images.
Happy New Years!




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Crafty Blogger Blurbs



The Artful Crafter Eileen’s been elf-ed! Join in the fun and spread some holiday cheer. There’s still time for a few more elf-ings.

The Crochet Dude Drew reveals his themed Christmas wrap and also announces a fantastic giveaway!

Mixed Media Artist Make a stab-bound scrapbook or journal to hold all your Christmas cards and memories this year!

Stefanie Girard's Greeting Card Album Craftiness How to decorate your Greeting Card Album for Christmas and recycle a card from last year with a fabric die cut

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style Where did December go? Linda's sharing her mantel decorations as she ponders her lack of handmade gifts this year. Yikes!

Margot Potter-The Impatient Crafter Know someone bitten by the Twilight bug? Check out Madge's holiday themed Twilight silhouette ornament and pendant project for iLoveToCreate teen!

About Family Crafts Find out how you can spread the holiday spirit throughout your entire neighborhood using this fun pass-it-on gift.

Cathie Filian Check out Cathie's quick video on how to make a Christmas tree from a tomato cage.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world The Holiday Goodness Giveaways are in full swing with lots of great answers to fun questions and a week more to enter to win free books along with a free knit placemat pattern with a plaid detail, ribbon and pom pom trimmed dish towel, apron and Christmas tree how-tos, and an inside peek into artist studio with some fun recycled storage ideas.

Crafty Princess Diaries Tammy has received the first submissions for her book's gallery, and talk about impressive! Wow! Some amazing metal jewelry by Victoria Tillotson.

Cross Stitch at About.com Wishing you Merry and Bright holidays with a cheerful free pattern perfect for the holiday season.





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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gifts from the Heart

I've been busy finishing up last min Christmas gifts.

I normally make fairy boxes, but instead I made this one a guardian angel box for my son's girlfriend. I used a picture of her playing with her mother on the beach. Her mother recently lost her battle to cancer. On the back of the box I printed up the following:
Your Guardian Angel
Everything is okay up here.
I may not be there with you,
but I’ll watch over you.I may
not be there to talk to you, but
I’ll watch over you.
Listen to me. Look for my signs.
For I am your guardian angel,
I will watch over you
with great care and love.

For my daughter in law I made a shadow box and put their wedding invitation along with one of their wedding favors (a bottle filled with pink sand and sea shells), a silk orchid branch, and a shell. To be able to get a decent picture I took it out of the black framed shadow box to take it. I then used photoshop to add a frame so this isn't the actual frame.

Last year hubby worked on a train he made for our son this year he's been making 2 more pieces to go with it. Click HERE to see last year's gifts from the heart.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gifts That Give Back!

I know it might be a bit late for some, but I thought I'd pass these gift ideas on that give back. Some of them 100% even how cool is that!

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK

Choco-Logo for "HELP USA" chocolate and chocolate sets ($10-$55)

Several options to choose from: Sea Salt Turtles, Popcorn Extravaganza, 3-pack Caramel Almond Bars etc.
100% of net proceeds benefit HELP USA
HELP USA is a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to empower the homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant. Through the development of quality housing (including the Hickory Street Apartments in Buffalo) with on-site support services, HELP USA provides resources for its residents to become independent and productive.


Dancing Deer Company Sweet Home Cookie Pack ($35.95)

Includes a Dark Chocolate Sweet Home Project House Cookie, Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake and 18 pack of Molasses Clove Cookies
35% of the price goes directly to Sweet Home Project to help homeless mothers and their children fund educations, find jobs and move into homes of their own.
HELP USA is a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to empower the homeless and others in need to become and remain self-reliant. Through the development of quality housing (including the Hickory Street Apartments in Buffalo) with on-site support services, HELP USA provides resources for its residents to become independent and productive.

Ehlers Estate Wine ($25+)

Only non-profit winery in California
100% of profits support the Leducq Foundation for international cardiovascular disease research
Wine is certified organic, and is cultivated using biodynamic farming techniques to produce a small portfolio of exceptional estate-grown wines


FEED 10 Pouch ($25)

Made to be used as a clutch, makeup case, or pencil holder
With every purchase of this product, meals are provided to 10 women through the United Nations World Food Program's Food for Work program - which is a program in which community members are given food in exchange for work on vital new infrastructure or for time spent learning new skills that will increase the food security of households or communities.


FEED 5 Bracelet ($15)

Made out of corn-based plastic with a metal charm with the FEED logo stamped on one side and the number 5 on the other. Each bracelet comes in a mini FEED pouch.
With every purchase of this product, 5 school meals are provided to children in developing countries through the United Nations World Food Program.


Kiehl's Limited Edition KAWS Crème de Corps ($26.50/$44.50)

Rich body lotion with beta-carotene and cocoa butter
100 % of net profits will benefit RxART
RxART is a non-profit national organization, committed to fostering artistic expression and awareness through the challenging, yet rewarding task of engaging young patients through contemporary art in pediatric hospitals.
KAWS is the pseudonym of New York-based artist, Brian Donnelly, who has partnered with Kiehl's to create the label for this Limited Edition lotion.

Peacekeeper Cause-Metics Customized Care Package ($33)

Personalized gift box with three products: lipstick, nail polish, and lip gloss
100% of net profits will benefit women's health advocacy
Peacekeeper Cause-Metics is the first cosmetics line to give all of its after-tax, distributable profits to women's health advocacy and urgent human rights issues.

Tea Forté Rejuvenation Tea Set (Orig. $42, ON SALE for $32.99)

Gift set includes a Tea forté signature porcelain café cup with a ceramic tea tray and 10 pyramid tea infusers
Shop.stjude.com has a wide selection of gifts for virtually anyone. Plus, 100% of net profits benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


TOMS shoes ($35+)

For every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, another pair will be given to a child that would otherwise be barefoot: "One for One" philosophy.
Great gift for a kid or teenager
Since TOMS was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, over 150,000 pairs of shoes have been given to children around the world. Goal for 2009 is to give away 300,000 more
If you don't know recipient's shoe size, for $50 you can order a TOMS gift card (worth $50) that also comes with a DVD documentary about TOMS


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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Starbucks Coffee Sleeve Project

Starbuck's Coffee Sleeve
Mini Photo Album
Here's another Starbuck's coffee sleeve project. Since I still had a stack of the Starbuck's coffee sleeves I figured I better do something else with them. I was inspired by a mini Christmas album my friend Christy made for me last year. Its a basic design.

Inside pages

I cut the sleeve in half, punched two holes through the top, bottom, and pages then tied them together with a ribbon. I glued papers on the inside of each cover front and back to give it a more finished look.

Backside
Click HERE to view my Starbuck's
Coffee Sleeve cards.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chocolate Biscotti Printable Recipe Cards

I'm still busy doing my holiday baking and made
more biscotti yesterday. They are so delish!
As a gift to you I've created two 4x6 size recipe cards
for you to print and use.
Double Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti


Recipe Card side 1

Click on these 2 recipe cards to enlarge, save, and
print out. Then glue them back to back
or laminate them.

Recipe Card Side 2
Click HERE for my Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe

Happy Holidays!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Crafty Blogger Blurbs


About Family Crafts Do you make your own Christmas cards? If you do, please take a moment and share your designs and then browse through the pictures of other peoples' creations.

Cathie Filian Whip up a vintage style wreath for the holidays!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world The 19 Days of Holiday Goodness Giveaways is week 2, leave your answer to the day's question and you are entered to win a free book and while you're there check out how to make pockets from coffee filters, crochet a 4 color spiral, some cool fashion insights, a whole bunch of recycled clothing ideas and a bit of architecture.

Crafty Princess Diaries Tammy is thrilled about a new set of bamboo crochet hooks she finally purchased from an Etsy seller.

Cross Stitch at About.com Having a hard time finding time to stitch during the holiday season? Read Connie's time-saving tips and share your own.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style Another project from the past--a quick and easy baby quilt.

Mixed Media Artist Cyndi is giving away a copy of Chain Style by Jane Dickerson! Come leave a comment and you'll be entered for the drawing.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery Die cut, stamped and shrunk deer Christmas necklace made with inspiration from the book Beyond The Bead

The Artful Crafter Just look at the darling ornaments you can make from mini clay flower pots!

The Impatient Crafter It's Project #2 from Madge's Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration! Perky Pixie Ornament!


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Give Thanks!

Give thanks to our troops by sending a e-card HERE

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

A little music for your soul...

I love Sting's song Soul Cake from his "If on a Winter's Night..." album. It has a Celtic sound to it, which I love!


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Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Chanukah!

Tonight marks the beginning of Chanukah and I'd like to take a moment to wish a Happy Chanukah to those that celebrate it.
If you interested in learning more about Chanukah click HERE
Below is a video I like to share each year that one of my Jewish friends shared with me a few years ago. Not only does this video make me laugh and smile it put things in a different perspective for me.




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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Julie & Julia & Aileen

This morning seemed like the perfect time to take a morning off and watch the movie Julie & Julia. I figured the rest of my family wouldn't be interested in watching the movie. I had to chuckle because It wasn't too long before one of my sons got caught up in watching it with me before he had to leave for class. What a wonderful sweet movie, I highly recommend it. Not only did I enjoy the movie, but it inspired me to cook!

julieandjulia

I ended up making Gingerbread & White Chocolate Biscotti (to give out as Christmas gifts), a Pot Roast in the crock pot (for dinner) and a pineapple upside down cake (for dinner).

Here's the recipe for the biscotti with some my own changes added to it. I think orange zest would be a great addition too. They're very easy to make.

Gingerbread & White Chocolate Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 1/2 C. dark molasses
  • 1/4 C. fresh, minced ginger
  • tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee *optional
  • 3/4 C. of raisins
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, molasses, and ginger until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Using another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & instant coffee. Add to wet mixture and stir to blend.

    On baking sheets lined with parchment paper, using floured hands, pat the dough into 2 flat loaves, spacing them evenly on sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven until just browned at edges and springy to touch, about 25 minutes. Halfway through the baking turn the pans so they bake evenly. Allow biscotti to set until just cooled, then cut into long, 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices.

    Loafs before baking

    biscotti1

    Loafs cooling on rack after baking.

    biscotti2

    Slice each loaf on a diagonal and arrange the slices close together on the baking sheet and bake again at 350 degrees until browned, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely before dipping in white chocolate.

    biscotti3

    Melt white chocolate in the microwave (follow directions on the package), then dip one end of the cooled biscotti into the melted chocolate and allow it to harden on baking paper.

    biscotti5

    biscottifin

    Grab a cup of coffee--dip, sip and eat or package them up and give them to friends with the recipe.

    Click HERE to view my past Christmas recipes!

    Bon Appetite!

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    Recycled Christmas Card Banner

    Do you have a box of old cards and you
    don't know what to do with them?
    I found a great use for mine by recycling them
    into a holiday banner!
    Click HERE to see my simple tutorial


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