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.
DIRECTIONS:
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.
FOR THE "CRUST":
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.

TO ASSEMBLE:
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.

SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE
MAKES APPROX. 3 DOZEN 5" COOKIES

2 CUPS UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED
2 CUPS GRANULATED SUGAR, I LIKE BAKERS SUGAR
2 EGGS
1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
2 TSP LEMON EXTRACT ( OR FLAVOR OF CHOICE)
**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!
6 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
3 TSP BAKING POWDER
1 TSP SALT

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!


ROYAL ICING RECIPE
MAKES 3 CUPS
4 cups POWDERED SUGAR
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!





calm+breeze+banner+friday.jpg








 

I WON!


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!

Linking to:
Visit thecsiproject.com

Oct 20, 2010

From Trash to Sass- Lamp Makeover!



Here's a quick way to add a little something extra to your holiday decor. I love to shop for lamps at The Goodwill, or as I like to call it- "The G Boutique!" Click on the link, to find one near you. On this particular day, I picked up three lamps with shades for $8! I sprayed it with some primer first, then a couple coats of shiny black spray paint (KRYLON of course) and I was off to a great start. For the shade, a light coat of spray adhesive and some "CA-UTE" zebra Halloween fabric on sale from Joanne's. Of course I had to add some fringe! Seems I can't make anything lately without some fringe, feathers or glitter...but why would you!? That's it! Super easy, quick & cheap- just the way I like it. I love the way it came out and it looks so cute with my zebra and leopard painted pumpkins by it. Stay tuned for a Christmas edition!

Linking to:

Visit thecsiproject.com

How do you mend a broken Jack-o-lantern?

How do you mend a broken Jack-o-lantern?
With a pumpkin patch!
I absolutely LOVE this time of year! And now that it has finally cooled off, it is really starting to feel like fall. I was so excited, while grocery shopping today, to see the variety of pumpkins they had at Albertson's!

It's so hard to find different varieties of pumpkins to decorate with, so I was thrilled to see these beauties...








While browsing the web, looking for some new pumpkin recipes, I came across these PUMPKIN FUN FACTS
from pumpkinpatch.com... and thought I would share:


DID YOU KNOW:

A pumpkin is really a squash?

It is! It's a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.

That pumpkins are grown all over the world?

Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins including Alaska! Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow in.

That the "pumpkin capital" of the world is Morton, Illinois?

This self proclaimed pumpkin capital is where you'll find the home of the Libby corporation's pumpkin industry.

That the Irish brought this tradition of pumpkin carving to America?

The tradition originally started with the carving of turnips. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., they found pumpkins a plenty and they were much easier to carve for their ancient holiday.

Fun Facts About The Pumpkin!

Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.

Pumpkin flowers are edible.

The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.

The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.

Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.

Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.

Native Americans called pumpkins "isqoutm squash."

Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.


halloween. gif. animation.

Oct 19, 2010

Making this House...Ours!


I'm FINALLY getting around to some of the make-over projects in our new house, even though we've been here eight months already! I have done a LOT in the yard already, a quite a few rooms in the house, but deep down... I know I'll never really be done! Anyways- I wanted to share a really quick, pretty simple project I did in the foyer area. I LOVE the way it came out & think it adds a little sass to the front of the house!


These were fairly easy to do, I just measured the height of the wall to figure out the number of stripes and the height. I used a level to draw the lines. I painted the white with a flat paint, and the black was done in an eggshell. The different sheens give it a nice depth.



The DIY Show Off

Oct 18, 2010

Great Giveaway from tatertots & jello!

Have you heard of the fabulous Barn Owl Primitives??
Barn Owl Primitives hand paints and distresses beautiful and unique wooden typography word art signs!
Monday Giveaway from tatertots & jello this week...
Check it out!

http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2010/10/monday-giveaway-barn-owl-primitives.html


TALENTED people I LOVE!

I just had to share my cousin's BLOG with you all.... She is UBER-Talented and ALWAYS shares so many amazing treats, crafts and homemade LOVE. Check it out!

This BLOG ALWAYS makes me smile!

This BLOG is SO amazing! Julie is a friend of my Sister-in-Laws, she lives in Idaho, and has MANY talents, but her photography ALWAYS puts a smile on my face! I just HAD to share it with you all...


MONDAY FUNDAY! Halloween Crafts on a BUDGET!


Who says Mondays have to be blue?
This time of year is my favorite, and I thought I would share some fun, inexpensive Halloween/Harvest craft projects that you can do. Cute ways to add a little pizazz to your holiday decorations, and your little ones can craft with you. I think there is something really special about "making memories" with your kids and crafting together is the PERFECT way to do it!
The $ Tree has become one of my new favorite places to support my "crafting habit!"
I picked up a few (ok, so I bought about TEN) of these foam pumpkins, and with a few craft items you probably already have- you can transform them into fun deco's!

The $ Tree also carries a wide variety of really cute holiday ribbons.
Walmart is also a great place for ribbons and other craft items on the "cheap"...

Now, here are a few of my "MUST HAVE-CRAFT STAPLES" that I always keep on hand...
MOD PODGE is a must for me! I LOVE it and it has SO many uses... It comes in many different varieties and can be used as just a glue or as a finish or sealer! I try to use my weekend Joanne's coupon when I want to buy it, and I get it in the biggest bottle I can find. But if you don't have any MOD PODGE, and you just HAVE to craft right this second- then you can also use any white glue you have around the house & just water it down a bit!
ALEENE'S tacky glue is another "staple" I ALWAYS have on hand! But any white glue will do.

I LOVE CRAFT PENS....these are SO useful for many products and you can pick them up at the $ Tree, Walmart, Joanne's or any craft store.
My absolute FAV is the Elmer's PAINTERS....
They come in combo packs- 5 pens for about $14 (Joanne's coupon baby!) or you can pick just one color for about $3.50
SO.... for our LIL PUMPKIN MAKE-OVERS the options are endless!
This is what I came up with...
MOD PODGE (aka M.P.) PUMPKINS....

With a little M.P. and some left over party napkins cut down to size, this pumpkin is lookin' pretty sassy! I also painted some white polka dots with my paint pen.
You can also use holiday ribbon, in any pattern for a cute look!

For this one, I found a cute Halloween picture in a magazine! Magazines are a great source for your "M.P.ing" obsession. I also used my CRICUT to cut our name, and added some silk leaves. **If you don't have a CRICUT- you can paint your name on with a paint pen or cut some letters out of cute paper!**

OUTDOOR PUMPKINS...
You've GOT to spread the holiday cheer to the front of the house as well, so for these pumpkins I used my paint pens and added some cute animal print! I'm a little crazy about zebra & leopard print! SO CA-UTE!
If you are going to put these outside ( and I HIGHLY suggest you do!) Make sure to coat them with some Clear Gloss paint, to protect them from the elements.


I love KRYLON brand spray paint the best, for two reasons...
1. You can buy it at Walmart, its a GREAT product and inexpensive.
2. It has a really nice spray nozzle! When you spray paint as much as I do, this is important!
AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST.....
$TREE - CANDY WRAPPER VOTIVES!

This is the perfect time to make these lil gems! There is about 3 isles of Halloween candy at the $TREE right now...so grab a couple bags of your fav's. Then find yourself a few glass votives, or you can use whatever container you like; buckets, tall glasses, plastic tubs, etc....
I pulled all the candy out of the wrappers (and saved it, minus what I ate! for a "candy wreath" project, coming soon!) and I cut the wrappers so that none of the printing, besides the candy logo were showing. Then just start M.P.'ing! **Glue them all into place, then let them dry pretty well (a few hours) then add another layer, or two of M.P. and voila! These also make great HOSTESS GIFTS for any Halloween Parties you may be going to.

So that's it for MONDAY FUNDAY! Hope you try some of these out.... send me pics & post some comments if you do!
HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!