Nov 16, 2010

Recycled, Revamped, Renewed & Rewarding!

I love this time of year, and I am truly the happiest AND most grateful, I've ever been! I'm always "crafting" it seems, but lately... I'm in "CRAFTING OVERDRIVE!" We just bought our dream house in March and from the first time I laid eyes on this beauty, I KNEW that decorating it for the holidays was going to be SO much fun! But with the new mortgage, I've tried to be careful about my crafting expenses. So "repurposing" has become the name of the game around here! Now- the cheaper I can make it...the MORE I seem to love it.  I wanted to share two of my latest little projects that I made... hope you enjoy!

Here's how I did it...

These were an adorable addition to the front porch Halloween decorations, but I thought I could
 Re-Reuse them for my topiary!

Then I did some more rummaging around, and came up with these...

**NOTE- For plastic, you MUST use primer made for plastic**
 If you don't, the spray paint will chip off, and then you'll start to cry and then nobody's happy! 
 The pumpkins also got a coat of primer, to cover the pattern that was on them. 
How does the saying go? "She who has the MOST spray paint WINS!?" 

Then I went thru my left over ribbons, and fall accoutrement, and "prettied" her up!
I love the way it came out, and the best part was FREE! 

What do you have laying around the house that you could "Revamp?" I bet you have more than you realize. Try it for yourself, and share the pictures with me... I'd love to see them. 
Have an amazing day! 

I'm linking up to these Super Duper fun parties, Y'All!
handmade projects

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Oct 31, 2010

Scary Cabinet MakeOver

Happy Halloween! The funnest holiday of the year! I'm spending the afternoon, re-making this orphaned cabinet that I got at the ReStore for $10, from a "TRICK" to a "TREAT!" Hope you have a BOO-tiful day! Stand-by for the "After"pictures!  

Oct 29, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Cookies Tutorial

With the weather turning cold, I always get in the mood to bake. So I wanted to share my Slice of Pumpkin Pie Cookies with y'all! These are always a hit at any holiday gathering, and they are actually pretty easy to make.
Start with a fresh batch of sugar cookie dough- I have attached my "tried & true" recipe below. Roll it out into a large round circle, then trace a circle out with a pie pan, remove the extra dough and place it back in the fridge to use later. Then cut your dough up into sections, as you would a pie. **Make note of the width of your slices**
Bake according to recipe below.
Cut small strips the same width of your slices and about a 1/2" high then crimp them as you would a regular pie crust. After crimping, reshape them back into a curve so that they will fit on top of the cookie after you ice them.
Bake according to recipe below.

While your cookies are cooling, make your "pumpkin pie filling"- which is just Royal Icing, see the recipe below. Save about 3/4 cup of plain white royal icing. This will be your "whipped cream" on top of the cookie. Add orange food coloring to the remainder of the icing until you have the desired color. I also add a little cinnamon to the frosting (for this recipe ONLY) it makes them taste a little more like "fall" and the specks of cinnamon make the frosting look like real pumpkin.

Outline & flood your bottom piece of cookie, and set aside to dry. Do the same with the rest of the bottom pieces. Then add your "crusts" by piping a little royal icing under the crust and set on top of the already frosted pie slices. Then pipe the white royal icing, that you set aside, on top in a circular motion, and VoilĂ ! You've got the cutest lil pumpkin pie cookies that all your friends will love!

This is the BEST, and ONLY, sugar cookie recipe I ever use! I got it from Susan Carberry, Cake Artist extraordinaire, and owner of The Cake Cottage, in Murrieta, California. She has amazing classes and they carry a huge array of cake supplies. Check out her shop.
Her website can be found here.
Her Facebook Fan page can be found here.


**hint** I use Vanilla and Almond extract in my cookies, and lemon extract in my icing, and people LOVE it and can't quit figure out what it is!

Directions: In at least a 5 qt. mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter & the sugar until fluffy. Then add the eggs, mix. Add vanilla and lemon extract, mix.
In a seperate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Gradually add to the butter mixture until incorporated. Scrape bowl and mix until dough comes together.
They say- whoever "they" is, that you should wrap your dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour...but, I never do. I'm too impatient for that! So I take out a small amount and start cutting, and put the remainder in to chill while I'm working.

** Another Great TIP** Roll out cookies on parchment paper, cut shapes leaving space between the cookies, remove the excess dough from in between the shapes, leaving the cut shapes on the paper. Then, simply move the parchment with the cookies onto a cookie sheet.
When you've been working with the dough for a bit, it starts to warm up, so I put it back in the fridge and get out some of the colder dough. This helps keep the "spreading" of the cookie to a minimum.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees for a regular oven or 300-325 degrees for a convection oven and bake, between 8-11 minutes until golden brown. I find it usually takes approx. 8 minutes!

3 tablespoons meringue powder
½ TSP extract lemon
1/2 - 3/4 cup warm water
DIRECTIONS: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water.

To cover or 'flood' the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.
The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

Even though this is the LONGEST post ever...
Here are some other design ideas for Fall/Harvest sugar cookies...

I'd LOVE to see your Fall cookies, share them with me! Happy Baking!




I'm so excited, just had to share with you... I won the Tatertots & Jello- weekly giveaway! This week it was from Barn Owl Primitives. Her stuff is amazing, check it out.

Oct 27, 2010

One more Beautiful Giveaway to Share!!

One more Beautiful Giveaway to Share!!

Two Jens DO make a RIGHT!

Almost done with the Powder room makeover, but I had to stop and share my new piece of artwork I made especially for it. These subway signs are all the rage right now, and I LOVE, LOVE , LOVE them! My sign features streets that we've been to, lived on, have visited & DREAM to visit one day!
The first time I laid eyes on these lil' gems was on the amazing Tatertots & Jello Blog,
b.t.w- you MUST check it out, click here. I have Jen, @ Tatertots & Jello, to thank for my inspiration for this sign AND for my sudden NEED to finish my powder room in the first place.
She just shared AH-dorable bathroom & laundry room makeovers using the
batten & board application, that I am now doing in mine!
They say "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"- Well then, Jen should be
super-duper flattered, because I can't wait to finish all the projects that she has shared.
In this case....Two Jens DO make a right!

I'll post a tutorial on "my version" of subway art soon, but for now I've got to get back to the Powder room!


Oct 22, 2010

Mod Podge DOES Rock!

My latest obsession is Mod Podging!
It's so easy & SO much fun for quick & easy projects and makeovers.
I recently found a blog, that I AH-DORE,
called MOD PODGE ROCKS, and I totally agree!!!

They feature many great ideas & tutorials,
like this one for a mod podge- scissor makeover, from the CrafterHours blog.
As soon as I saw this, I HAD to try it! These would make a great little Christmas gift for any of your "crafty" friends, or maybe your kids teachers. You can see their tutorial here.

Subway sign for Scarlett

This is my version of subway art... I made it for the newest addition to our group, lil' miss Scarlett James!

Oct 21, 2010

A Thanksgiving Turkey that even the Vegetarians will LOVE!

That's right, because this one is cake!
I made this one last year, for my sister in law to take to work, they had a childrens charity dessert auction. Don't ask me why, but making "food" cakes is my absolute fav! This was a spice cake with a really yummy cream cheese frosting! The "stuffing" was just extra cake that I cut up. All of the "veggies" and decorations are gumpaste. I bet the kids would eat these brussel sprouts!

Nobody LOVES Halloween more than I do, but I'm getting excited for Thanksgiving/Harvest. This year has brought so many things, people & memories to be thankful for!
Do you have a special tradition with your kids/family that you celebrate at Thanksgiving? I'd love to hear them. I hope that you all are blessed- not just during these upcoming holidays, but all year long!

'Don't assume you're always going to be understood. I wrote in a column that one should put a cup of liquid in the cavity of a turkey when roasting it. Someone wrote me that: "The turkey tasted great, but the plastic cup melted." ' - Heloise.

Chicken Nugget & French Fries?!

I'll ALWAYS love Halloween, the fun decorating & endless crafts. But I sure do miss making my kids their costumes! Thinking about ALL the costumes I've made over the years makes me smile. Just wanted to share a couple of my favs!

All the kids were chickens, and we were farmers, these took a long time to make but were worth it!

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