Saturday, December 31, 2011

Five Years Coming! Month 6


Halfway through the year and another delicious treat!  For my work Christmas party I whipped together a pumpkin Cheesecake I improvised along the way. 


Here's the recipe:



For the crust I used crushed gingersnaps and melted butter and baked it off and cooled it before I made the cheesecake.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snow Globe Soap


When I saw these on pinterest I knew it would be something Fender, mC and I could do together.  I already had glycerin soap on hand it was just a matter of finding small animals to fit in the ice cube trays.  While in Seaside visiting my parents, it was my lucky day when I came across tiny arctic animals (and a few elephants for mC) perfect for this craft!



It's as simple as melting glycerin soap, pouring it into ice cube trays, adding the figurine and topping with shaved white soap (for the snowy ground when they pop out!)  We used sand colored soap for the elephants which turned out the best.  The trick is to wait until the soap sets a bit (30 seconds or so) before adding the animal.  Otherwise they'll sink to the bottom (and look like they're floating to the top).

Like this polar bear that we say is "swimming"

Fender loves washing his hands because it gets him closer to the toy!



Friday, December 23, 2011

Fender's Name Plate



While at Ruffles and Rust we came upon a bin of old alphabet blocks and I decided to make a name plate for Fender.  Jessica and I dug and dug until we found all of the letters for his name.  We even had the man running the booth in on it!  Then after a few minutes we noticed that we had mainly red letters and I got the obsessive thought that they should all be red, so the hunt continued!  We finally found them - all red, but different sizes and styles. 




 I made a snowman, painted him and glued him on top.  I cut out a tree from an old Christmas Decoration, covered it in snow and topped it with a star anise (dC's genius idea!)  Now to find a place to put it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas in a Vase



I've been seeing these EVERYWHERE!  From pinterest to "enter your favorite blog here."  So while I was at my mom and dad's house in Oregon, I noticed they had a ton of unused vases, which they donated to my cause.  And though they are not vintage apothecary jars, I thought it would be fun to create my own winter scenes for our dining room table!



I used a few of Fender's pine cones from his collection, a piece of wood, dollar store animals, old Christmas decorations, and $2 ornaments to create my scenes.  If the object wasn't glitzy enough I just spray painted it white (or shall I say dC did the painting) and then covered it in glitter!



I think they turned out great and can see myself looking all year long for random little things that will fit inside them for next year. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Countdown


  I wanted to make an Advent Calendar this year, but once I was finished with my idea, it looked more like a countdown than a treat filled calendar.

Fender, mC and I were making ornaments using this great homemade clay recipe and the idea came to me that I wanted to make 24 snowflakes and hang them up somewhere in the house.

Once the clay was cooked and cooled, I simply rolled out the dough and used cookie cutters for the shapes.  But before they dried I stamped in numbers and skewered a hole in the top for hanging.  Then I let them dry for 24 hours or so.  DO NOT bake these.  The recipe said you could, and they reacted more like cookies - browning, bubbling and warping!  You can easily get 40 medium sized ornaments out of this dough and it can be painted and sealed!  It costs less than $2 to make a batch!

Fender's race car.  He's really good at rolling out clay!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Five Years Coming! Month 5




This Cake a Month is very easy and very delicious!  It's called Apple Pie Upside-Down Cake and unfortunately Martha (yeah we're on a first name basis!) doesn't have a link to this recipe anymore.  If you'd like it, leave me a comment and I'll e-mail it to you!

Upside-down cakes always make me nervous, because in the end, until you flip it out, you aren't quite sure what to expect the top to look like.  But the moisture (from brown sugar) in this cake and the beauty of the cinnamon sticks alone take care of that problem!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Tree Hunting

Nothing makes me feel more in the Christmas spirit than decorating a tree.  We went to a new tree farm to cut one down had a really fun time.  Lochsloy Acres in Lake Stevens is a cute tree farm all decked out for the holidays.  They give you a toboggan, a saw and as much hot chocolate as you can drink while hunting for the perfect pine (or fir in our instance) for the living room!
The boys with their tools
This one was more their size.

We're going for a white fir this year!


A slightly blurry thumbs up from Fender!
 

Time to head home and decorate!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

We celebrated Thanksgiving early this year since I had to work today.  My mom and dad came up to join in on the festivities.  I was definitely thankful for that.  I cooked a 25 pound turkey, baked pumpkin pies, and so many side dishes I thought my oven would give out!  My favorite part is decorating for the occasion.

I saw an idea similar to this on pinterest and was excited to try it.  Fender and I cracked several walnuts carefully open, scooped out the flesh of the nut and then inserted little rolled up wishes.  I hot glued the halves back together and then added a tag to the top.  Fender had a blast rolling up the scroll and setting each person's walnut at their place setting!




Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cinnamon Ornaments



I saw these advertised on the side of my cinnamon bottle and really had a hard time waiting until Christmas!  Fender has a Thanksgiving lunch next week and I thought it would be fun for us to make them together and given them to his teachers.  And it gives me an excuse to pull out the leaf cookie cutter I've never used. It makes quite a bot of dough, so I'll use them as place cards for Thanksgiving as well.  If you love the smell of cinnamon then get ready because they bake for 2 1/2 hours and make your whole house smell delicious!

This is Fender's new cool look he gives me...then asks: "Did I look cool?"




Monday, November 14, 2011

Yarn pumpkin



When I saw these on pinterest, I was hooked.  Anything with yarn is on the top of my to-do list and so with barely any qualms from Fender I started wrapping his pumpkin in yarn!

Really fun and easy to do...I got a little dizzy from the winding, but other than that it came off without a hitch!  I am just bummed (as dC reminded me while I was doing it) that the pumpkin is not going to last forever!  Well, maybe next year I'll get a funkin and do it all over again!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Acorn Napkin Ties



Though I wish I could skip right to Christmas, I do love Thanksgiving - the falling leaves, the dinner, and all of the people in my life that I am thankful for.  So to bring a little nature inside to the Thanksgiving table this year, I decided to make these cute acorn napkin ties

Up the street a few blocks there is a street lined with oak trees and for the past two years Fender, myself and the whole family have collected the few acorns here and there that have fallen.  I have jars full of caps (which I know I'll find something to do with) but have saved the full acorns for this craft!

My hubby is the best!  dC drilled little holes into all of the acorn tops so I could thread the ribbon through and then glue the caps back on!




Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!


Of course I procrastinated making the Cake a Month until the last day...and boy was it a doozey!  While I was making my 30th crepe, I definitely thought to myself - "self, what the heck are you doing?"  But thankfully the results of this crazy tower of power were worth it!  You can get the recipe here.

The best part was making the candied hazelnuts for the topping.  They turned out so well and were so easy that I'm sure I'll use this technique again for another cake topping!



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Countdown to Halloween...1

I saw this in the background of a magazine and thought it was a great idea - making bat specimens out of craft paper and framing it as Halloween art for your wall!

 
I found an old frame and quickly painted it black, letting some of the old white paint show through.
Then my hubby dC made a bat stencil for me to trace.  I traced it onto Halloween colored paper scraps.
For the printed paper, I typed Halloween words over and over and printed it on plain white paper.
Once the paper bats were cut out, I glued flat tacks on their backs.
Then I covered a piece of cardboard almost the same size as the frame with burlap.
 I then tacked the bats in place and slightly bent their wings forward.
To let the bats have room for their wings, I glued the cardboard to the outside of the frame's back.
Lastly I glued a satin black ribbon in place to hang it from!



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Countdown to Halloween...2



The number one easiest craft that I discovered this year is the cheesecloth spiderweb.  It couldn't get any easier and I'm sure most of you have one laying around somewhere!  You can use it for a table covering, cover it with spiders and use it as a shawl...then wash it and use it as a cheesecloth come Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Countdown to Halloween...3



If you know me at all, you know that I like to decorate with white in my kitchen.  So when white pumpkins come out for the year, I get very excited!  I see glittered pumpkins everywhere and couldn't help but want to make one myself!  Though a little time consuming, the actual act of making a glittered pumpkin is very easy!

Grab your glitter, paint brush, glue, your favorite pumpkin and get to town!

1.  Dilute your glue (I used Elmer's) with a little water so that it glides on the surface of your pumpkin easily.

2.  Doing 1/3 of the pumpkin at a time, coat the pumpkin with glue (on a protected surface, because this gets messy!) and cover the pumpkin generously with glitter.  I used a very fine white glitter and then topped the pumpkin off with an iridescent glitter as well.

3.  Knock off the excess and let that section dry before going on to the next!  Do not hold your pumpkin by it's stem - you could easily break it off and be left with a stem-less pumpkin!

If you have the gumption to do several - knock yourself out!  One was plenty for me and my decorating this year!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Countdown to Halloween...4

The blogger world is covered with homemade cake stands these days...since going out and buying them anymore will cost you an arm and a leg, people are trying to find ways to create the same look for cheap!  So for about $3 I made a black cake stand that has become a staple in my Halloween decor.





All I did was take a wooden candle stick and a round wooden plaque, glue them together using wood glue and then spray painted them back!  Super easy!  Though it's a cake stand it's not food safe, due to the paint, but a piece of parchment will do the trick.

Thanks to my hubby for the Photoshop work on my pics!!!

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