Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thought of the month for March

Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many--Charles Dickens

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bottle Cap Magnets and Thumbtacks

A homey take on the traditional locket, bottle caps inset with small black and white pictures can be used as thumbtacks or magnets Clear resin is poured into the caps to seal the photos and give them an appealing glossy finish

Twist off caps are better than conventional ones because they don't bend when removed. For appropriately small images, try cutting details fro large photos.

You need

1 inch circular craft punch/craft glue/bottle caps/clear casting resin/contact cement/small magnets or thumbtacks

How to

Using a craft punch, cut out pictures. Using craft glue,attach one picture to the inside of each bottle cap Let dry

Cover a work surface to protect it from spills, and lay caps on top. Following manufacturer's instructions for clear casting resin, fill each bottle cap to the rim Let dry overnight

Using contact cement,attach magnets or thumbtacks to the backs of the bottle caps. Let dry overnight before using

Paintbrush Holder

To minimize the mess of dripping paint,keep the brush somewhere contained. Attach a strong magnet to the inside of a clean metal paint pail. Keep your paintbrush in place with the magnet, brush side down,when not in use

Boston Cream Dessert Cups

This might be an option for Easter Sunday dinner dessert. Very easy and tasty

You need

Cookie Crust

1 pouch Sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter melted
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar


2 packages cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 box vanilla instant pudding


1 container chocolate frosting

How to

Heat oven to 350 Line 23 regular size muffin cups with baking cups Lightly spray baking cups with cooking spray
In a bowl stir in cookie mix,butter and egg until dough forms. Shape dough into 23 1 1/2 inch balls Place 1 ball in each baking cup. Moisten bottom of small flat bottomed glass with drop of water,then dip into 2 tablespoons sugar. Press glass on dough balls to flatten slightly, dipping glass in sugar after each dough ball

In same bowl beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, the flour and milk with electric mixer on med speed until smooth. Beat in sour cream. On low speed beat in eggs one at a time,just until blended. Stir in dry pudding mix until well blended Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling over dough in each cup

Bake 25-30 minutes or until set Cool 30 minutes

Microwave frosting for 30 seconds to soften,stir until smooth Spoon about 1 tablespoon onto center of each cookie cup

Felt Tissue Box Holder

A piece of felt in your favorite color makes an ideal cover for a tissue box--and the material will convey warmth when you need it most.

How to

Center a cubed tissue box on a 14 inch felt square;trace with chalk Set box aside

using a ruler, draw an X that extends to each corner of felt. Cut a 2 1/2 inch opening in center. Starting from outer corners,cut along lines of X;stop at corners of traced square.

Cut 4 notches as shown. Place felt on top of box. Fold edges of short sides;pin to box. Fold triangles 'corners around box to overlap on each side;pin

Make a stitch at bottom point on 2 opposite sides to secure all layers Remove pins

Reflective Dog Leash

Make evening walks safer with this reflective leash and collar

You need

Nylon leash or collar /2" reflective fabric tape/fabric glue/

How to
Cut a strip of reflective fabric two inches longer than the leash or collar. Be sure to include the hand loop of the leash. For the leash cut a second strip long enough to cover the reverse side. Using a utility knife on a self healing mat, trim the fabric tape lengthwise 1/4" narrower than the width of the leash or collar.

Apply a thin even layer of glue to the one side of the leash,including loop,or outer side of collar. Starting at one end ,apply the reflective tape to the glued surface.smoothing out as you go and being careful to keep the tape centered on the surface. Trim excess.
For collars,thread the thin,flexible tape through buckles or loops to cover entire surface of the collar.

Kitchen to Closet

A pair of paper towel holders mounted on the inside on one closet door organizes scarves or ties and keeps them wrinkle free. A kitchen utensil rail proves to be ideal for belts;Each get its own S hook

1000th Post

My 1000th post is getting closer ladies!! Keep checking back, and remember all you have to do to win, is wait until I post my 1000th post and send me a comment.

I will remind you again when it gets closer. Also have you noticed that I have a new addition to my blog. Now I have , "you might also like" at the end of each post. Thanks to my daughter Jennifer, she is awesome.

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wooden Word Wall Hanging

Add a personal touch to an empty wall space. Decoupage patterned paper onto a purchased wooden word. Sand the edges once the decoupage medium has dried. For the wire photo holder,twist heavy gauge wire around a pencil Push the wire into a hole drilled into the top of the word. Secure with glue.

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sticks

Boneless chicken strips seasoned with cayenne pepper make for easy eating

You need

2 tablespoons butter melted
1/4 cup original cayenne pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing

How to

Mix butter pepper sauce, honey celery seed and salt. Remove 2 tablespoons sauce mixture set aside. Add chicken to remaining sauce mixture;stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes
Soak 10-12 wooden skewers in water fro 30 minutes

Brush grill rack with oil Heat coals Remove chicken from marinade,discard marinade. Thread each chicken tender on a skewer

Cover and grill chicken 8-10 minutes turning once and brushing with reserved sauce Serve chicken with blue cheese dressing

Bananas Foster with Ice Cream

A fast spin on a fancy dessert,this version is prepared in 10 minutes in the microwave.

You need

1/2 cup fat free caramel topping
2 teaspoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract
2 bananas cut into chunks
2 cups vanilla ice cream

How to

In microwave mix caramel topping with rum. Microwave uncovered on high for 20 seconds or until very warm Stir in bananas

Scoop ice cream into dessert dishes top with banana mixture

How to Dot Painted Pet Bowls

A dot print personalization with your pet's name matches the old fashioned look of an enamel bowl

You need

Enamel pet bowl/scissors/transfer paper/clear tape/pen/food safe ceramic paint/applicator bottle with fine tip/scrap paper/baby wipes/straight pin

How to

Print pet's name on a piece of paper in desired font,adjusting size to fit bowl.Cut out each letter. Cut a piece of transfer paper slightly larger than each letter. Place transfer paper under first letter and tape both to bowl;repeat with remaining letters. Using a pen,firmly trace the outline of each letter.

Remove the letters and transfer paper;a faint design should be visible on the bowl.Pour paint into applicator bottle. Practice making dots by squeezing the bottle gently over scrap paper. Let paint dry for 2 hours, then wipe away transfer lines with a baby wipe. Bake the dish according to the manufacturer's instruction let cool

Oxford Napkins

Make lovely cloth napkins out of your worn oxford shirts not only will they look great on your dinner table,but they'll also reduce the need for paper products. Faded plaids and checked patterns look great too.

You need

Old shirts/scissors/ruler/needle and thread

How to

Wash the shirts well. Cut the clean fabric into uniformly sized pieces about 12 inches square.

Either leave the edges frayed or sew a hem for a cleaner look

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Paper Topped Table

Wallpaper can dress up a coffee table. Pick a graphic pattern that looks nice from any angle. Avoid a curved tabletop to ease the trimming. Paint the table a coordinating color;let dry. Cut the paper to size and lay on top. finish with a custom cut glass top to protect the paper.

Pretty Bed Skirt

Don't let the bed skirt go unnoticed. Lay a white bed skirt flat on a table. Using a stencil and fabric paint, dab on a pretty design. Let dry before putting on the bed

Key Rack

Rather than clutter a single hook with several sets of keys,make a custom board that gives each set its own clearly labeled space.

To make the board,have a piece of Homasote fiberboard cut to fit into a picture frame. Cover the board with a piece of linen, and staple it at back. Tuck the board into the frame, then nail on labels and attach a screw hook for each set of keys

Easy Home Decor Craft and Idea

Colorful seat covers-- Add a bit of color to basic wooden chairs with seat covers made from pretty yet inexpensive dish towels. Hand or machine stitch ribbon ties along one edge of the towel. Tie around the chair to keep in place.

Savory Focaccia Pie

Another fast fix for weeknight dinner!! Start to finish 22 minutes.

You need

3/4 cup oil packed dried tomato halves with Italian herbs
1 12 inch round flat top rosemary or garlic focaccia
8 oz bulk Italian sausage
1 4 oz pkg baby spinach
2 oz goat cheese or feta

How to

Heat oven to 250 Drain tomatoes and reserve oil. Place focaccia on large baking sheet and vrush with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Cut in 8 wedges Arrange in circle Place in oven to warm

Cook sausage over med heat;drain and reserve 2 teaspoons of drippings Cook spinach in drippings just until wilted

Set oven to broil. Top warmed focaccia with cheese, dried tomatoes,sausage and spinach. Broil 4-5 inches from heat, for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is softened and toppings are heat through Drizzle wedges with additional oil from tomatoes

Grilled Steak with Cheddar crisps

Fast Fix weeknight suppers starting with this delicious flank steak dinner and yes, it's a weeknight fix.

You need

1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup Olive oil
12 oz flank steak
2 cups shredded hash brown potatoes
4 oz cheddar cheese
1 head romaine lettuce

How to

Heat broiler. For dressing mash 8 berries Stir in mustard, vinegar, and sugar. Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil set aside

Light sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, then lightly brush with olive oil . Heat grill pan Cook meat 12 -14 minutes turning once. Slice steak in strips

Meanwhile grease a baking pan. Toss together potatoes and cheese, spread in pan. Broil 3-4 inches from heat for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp Remove and cut into pieces.

Remove core from lettuce, cut crosswise in fours. Serve with steak and potatoes Drizzle dressing over

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bandanna Apron

Protect your party clothes while serving guests or whipping up last minute treats-without donning an outfit obscuring coverall. Tie on a lightweight,color coordinated bandanna apron. It easy to make.

Begin with a standard size bandanna about 22 inches square;pin twill tape along one hem,allowing enough overhang on both sides to tie around your waist. Machine stitch top and bottom edge of twill tape to bandanna

Tubular Frame

This would be a great craft for a bunch of tween's. Add a favorite picture or drawing to one of thee paper frames and you've got the perfect gift for someone special.

You need

Cardboard/scissors/colored paper magazine pages,gift wrap/tape/glue/dowel or round chopstick

How to

First trim a piece of cardboard into a rectangle for the frame and cover it with a piece of colored paper. Fold a small piece of cardboard and tape it to the back of the frame for a support.
Next,wrap pieces of colored paper around the dowel or chopstick, gluing or taping the edge of the paper in place.Remove the paper tube and glue or tape it to the frame.

Repeat the process with more tubes, filling in any spaces with smaller pieces and leaving room in the center for the picture. Attach picture with double sided tape or glue.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Healthified New Orleans Style Stuffed Peppers

This recipe comes to us from Eat Better America. 98% less sat fat 69%less sodium

You need

8 ounces ground chicken breast
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can Muir Glen diced tomatoes with garlic and onion undrained
1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice
1 med fresh jalapeno Chile pepper chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large red sweet peppers

How to

Cook chicken and celery in hot oil until chicken is brown, stirring to break up chicken as it cooks. Drain tomatoes, reserving liquid. Add half of the tomatoes,the cooked brown rice, Chile pepper,Cajun seasoning and salt to chicken mixture. Remove tops, membranes and seeds from peppers. Spoon chicken mixture into peppers. Pour reserved tomato liquids and the remaining tomatoes into the bottom of a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Place peppers, filled sides up on top of tomatoes in cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours on high for 3 -3 1/2 hours

Bandanna Halter

For a top that's as fun to make as it is to wear,all you need are a bandanna and some soft rope trim. To make; fold bandanna in half on diagonal. At neckline,fold center point over by 2 1/2 inches;stitch a seam parallel to the fold to create a 1 inch wide casing. Snake rope trim through casing with pin,and tie at the neck;tie corners together at the back

Bandanna Clothing Crafts

Dress up doesn't have to mean button down. Create a casual tie out of two 4 inch wide strips cut from a bandanna. Sew strips end to end to create one long piece;press hems in short ends. Fold this piece lengthwise, wrong side out, stitch along long edge. turn right side out,press,and you're ready to dress your kid for dinner.

Greek Salad

Recipe provided by Better Homes and Garden. My family loves salads, they are going to love this one.

You need

6 cups torn mixed greens
2 med tomatoes cut into wedges
1 small cucumber halved
1 small red onion wedges
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata Olives
1/2 cup crumbles feta cheese
1 recipe Greek Vinaigrette
2 small pita bread rounds cut into wedges

How to

Combine all ingredients and serve with pita bread

Greek Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Snipped fresh oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Cover and shake

Trim Curtains

Short shower curtains look tidy and tailored, and they don't trap dust and moisture. To create the look in your bathroom,cut a fabric curtain 2 inches longer than the desired length, then fold and sew a 2 inch hem. Leave the plastic line hanging full length in the tub to contain water from the shower.

Chopstick Hair Ornaments

Design your own distinctive hair decorations with a set of wooden chopsticks and a few spare craft supplies. Great for tweens.

You need: Wooden chopsticks/small handsaw or needle nose pliers/pencil sharpener /paint/wire/beads or feathers/glue

How to

Using a small handsaw or needle nose pliers, cut the tops off the chopsticks so they measure about 6 inches

Sharpen the pointed ends in a pencil sharpener and dull the points with a nail file. Paint them if you'd like

For beaded chopsticks, cut a 10 inch length of wire and center it about 1 1 /2 inches from the top of the chopstick. Wrap it tightly around the stick several times,then twist the two portions of wire together a few times. Thread beads onto the wire, bend the ends over, and clip off the excess
For feathered chopsticks, glue feathers to the top of the stick and wrap them tightly with wire.

Water Bottle Holder

Hydrate in style with the help of this hands free bottle holder that fits most any 16-20 ounce bottle

You need: Clear nail polish/4 feet of cotton or polypropylene belt webbing for the strap/1 rubber O ring/2 no sew dungaree buttons

Note O ring from hardware store plumbing department Take a bottle to the store to test the fit

How to

To prevent fraying, brush clear nail polish onto both ends of the webbing and allow to dry
Feed 2-3 inches of the webbing through the O Ring and secure with a dungaree button Push the tack through the webbing, place the button on the point, and press firmly together

Repeat for the other end of the webbing. Be careful no to twist it before you attach the second button Decorate the strap if you like Slip the O ring over the neck of the water bottle

Shamrock Cupcakes

Every one's Irish on St Patrick's Day., so get the family together to make a batch of these festive cupcakes.

You need

Cooled cupcakes
White icing
Green gum drops or spearmint leaves
Heart shaped coolie cutter
Rolling pin

How to

Frost a cooled cupcake with white icing
For the shamrock, flatten 3 green gumdrops or spearmint leaves with a rolling pin Sprinkle on a little sugar to keep candies from sticking
Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut a heart from each flattened leaf
Place the heart together on the cupcake to form a shamrock
Cut a stem from the excess of one of the flattened candies and sit in place below the 3 hearts.


1000th Post

Ok, ladies I have an announcement to make. I am getting very close to approaching my 1000th post. My I have done a lot of typing !!! I thought that it would be fun to do a giveaway to celebrate.

As you know I kind of dabble in making jewelry. Soooooo I thought it might be fun to give the first person that comments on my 1000th post.

To win, you have to write a comment and leave me your email address and I will in turn contact you for your address to send you a prize. I am about 70 or so posts away, so you will have to keep checking back , and I will keep you updated when it is getting closer.

I would also like to thank all of my regulars for hanging in there with me. I hope that I have helped you solve some of your crafting desires and given you new ideas to try. It has been fun posting and researching all the ideas and crafts, and this is my way of thanking you .

If this idea turns out well and I get a good response, maybe I will start doing this on a regular basis. Thanks again. Remember keep checking back and I will send out reminders of when it is getting closer.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Foil Pack Bruschetta Chicken Bake

This looks very good and very easy to prepare

You need

1 can diced tomatoes drained
1 pkg Stove Top Stuffing for Chicken
2 cloves garlic minced
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

How to

Preheat oven to 400

Combine tomatoes, stuffing mix and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.

Place 1 chicken breast on center of each of 6 large sheets of foil sprayed with cooking spray;top with basil,stuffing mixture and cheese. Bring up foil sides;double fold top and ends to
seal each packet,leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place on a oven proof pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until chicken is done.

Fabric Scrap Favor Packs

Great Idea for Easter goody bags for your guests to take with them on the way out. Guests will say "goody" when they get these cheerful bags. Made of fabric scraps, they sew up in a snap. Cut an 11x7 1/2 inch piece of fabric with pinking shears.

Fold in half, right sides facing, machine sew one short and each long side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance;turn inside out. Fill bag with treats,and tie with a strip of contrasting fabric.

Fanciful Indoor Herb Gardens

Catnip Cat Dish-- Humans aren't the only ones who enjoy herbs. Treat your cat by planting feline friendly herbs in aluminum or stainless steel pet bowls. The no slip bottoms will keep the containers in place when kitty comes nosing around. Be sure to drill drainage holes. Herbs for cats:catnip and lemongrass.

Toaster Garden-- Turn a broken toaster into a fanciful herb holder. Remove the toaster's electrical innards,and leave the bottom open. Use a brick to put potted herbs at the right height to grow out of the toaster slots.

Teacup Herbarium-Plant a tea garden in your kitchen window with large ceramic teacups. Use a jeweler's bit to drill small holes in the bottoms of the cups for drainage. Herbs for tea:English mint,chamomile,pineapple sage,and orange mint.

Healthified Winter Veggie Pasta

Twirl forkfuls of hearty, whole grain spaghetti,tossed with a simple tomato sauce and good for you cannellini beans and broccoli

You need

8 ounces dried whole grain spaghetti
3 cups broccoli florets
1 can Muir Glen no salt added diced tomatoes drained
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons no salt added tomato paste
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

How to

Cook pasta according to directions omitting the salt;add broccoli to pasta for the last 3 minutes of cooking

Stir in tomatoes,beans, tomato paste,garlic,salt, pepper heat through Stir in parsley

Fingerling Potatoes

Served with Aioli sauce(see below) these crunchy and tender roasted potatoes make an excellent side dish

You need

6 lb fingerling potatoes or small red potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 recipe Aioli Sauce

Scrub potatoes Cut any large potatoes in half. In a bowl combine potatoes, oil, salt and black pepper Toss to coat

Place potatoes in a baking pan. Roast for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender and browned .

Aioli Sauce

1 1/2 cups mayo
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Stir until mixture is well combined

Magnetic Garden Organizer

Gardening gloves have a way of disappearing. Once dirty, they seem to blend into berry patches and stone walls-only to be found the next day, dew socked and useless until they dry.

Cut two 1 1.4 inch long pieces of 3/4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon. Sew 1 piece of ribbon to inside of cuff,leaving 1 side open

Slip a 1/2 inch rare earth disk magnet into the pocket;stitch to close. Repeat process with second glove. In the garden, keep gloves within reach by attaching them to a metal bucket or to each other around one your belt loops.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Easy Batik

Bleach is usually off limits where colored fabric is concerned, but this decorative application gets out full approval. Using a bleach pen,you can create the look of batik on a blue runner and napkins for a coordinated table setting . Try this technique on pillowcases, curtains, and even canvas tote bags.

Fit a gel bleach pen with a 1/2 millimeter, stainless steel tip. Test a discreet area to make sure the fabric reacts well to the bleach. Use a water soluble dressmakers pencil to mark a grid on the fabric,where the lines intersect,create a 2 inch square. With the bleach pen, draw a freehand flower within each square and add dotted lines between flowers.

Let the bleach set until the pattern has faded to the desired shade about 20 minutes. To rinse, lay the fabric flat in a shallow pan of cold water,let stand for a few minutes.


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