Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Blog Giveaway..

glitter MS giveaway
Since it is the holiday season, I decided to have a giveaway.
This time I will be giving away a Martha Stewart Woodland Glitter Pack. The glitter colors in the pack are
sterling, antique silver, florentine gold, citrine, antique gold, and copper. 
So, how do you enter my giveaway for a chance to win?
1. Leave a comment on why you would like to win the Martha Stewart glitter pack.
2. If you have a blog or you are on facebook and link back to this giveaway post with a mention of  my giveaway and your name is drawn as the winner, I will send you an extra gift.
Please mention in your comment where you mentioned my giveaway.
3.Leave an email or blog address so I can contact the winner.
4. Giveaway is open to all.
I will draw the winner Sunday night. Good Luck.
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Spin for the Day..

Ever have a day that you just don't know what you plan to do? Well, I created a spinner to decide for me. While downstairs doing laundry this morning, I decided to poke around in boxes of stuff that I have picked up really cheap over the years. Yes, I admit it...I love bargains. If it's cheap, and I think that I could possibly use an item in the future...it goes home with me. Unfortunately, I have lots of moments with breaks in my sanity, because I have way too many boxes of these bargains.
Anyway, I found this old plastic lottery number spinner that you spin, and it would pick numbers for you to play in one of my boxes of junk...oops, did I write junk? I meant really cool stuff just waiting to be repurposed.  My spinner cost me 19 cents. Last of the big spenders here. :-)
With the spinner in hand, a light bulb goes off in my head...don't you have a stamp that the image maybe would fit inside of the spinner circle. well, sure enough, in one of my iris cart drawers I found a Stamper's Anonymous image that had never been inked up...shame on me!!!!  The stamp image was indeed round, and has divided sections with the words...Paint, Create, Write, Dance, Sing, Play, Stamp.
I stamped the image onto a confetti cardstock, cut it out, plucked the spinner from the lottery spinner and glued down the stamped image. Here is my new day planner. Well, not really. I was only kidding when I mentioned this spinner would decide what to do with my day, but I thought it was a cute idea. And, I must admit, I do like lots of the options on the spinner. :-)
This is how the cheap, plastic spinner looked before I removed it from it's packaging.
lottery spinner 
How the spinner looks now:
art spinner 
p.s..did I just buy one of the lottery spinners? Of course not. I bought about 4 of them. Now, what to do with the others? I am sure I will think of something....eventually.
Do you buy things that you have no idea what you will ever do with them, just because they are really cheap?
Please tell me I am not alone with this bad habit. :-)
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Friday and Saturday shopping days

I had no time for creating art the past two days. I was in hit the stores early mode. Got up early in the morning looking for wonderful deals for those on my Christmas list at the doorbuster sales. I did really well crossing names off my list as I found the items I was looking for.

I must admit, I did a little shopping for me too. I bought a few things that I found on sale. I just couldn't resist the $1 bins at A C Moore craft store. Lots of beautiful beads that had once sold for much more, rubber stamps, scrapbooking items and  crafting supplies. I also bought a Cricut cartridge for making holiday cards on sale for $19.99.
I looked at the Big Kick by Sizzex as I had a 1/2 price coupon that would have brought the machine down to $50. I figured I could get it after Christmas with another coupon. I am still on the fence whether I really need one of the embossing machines or not. Other than embossing what does this machine do that my Cricut doesn't?  Anyway, I just needed to concentrate on getting my Christmas shopping done.

Here is a roll of ribbon that I picked up at Target for $3 for a 12 foot roll.  I found the roll amongest the holiday ribbons. I thought the snowflakes when put thru the small sticker maker Xyron machine would be great for adding to winter themed cards or scrapbook pages. The snowflakes are attached and feel like they are flocked. Maybe I should get another roll while it is still available, because if I bought a piece of the ribbon in a stamp/scrapbook store I would pay a lot more for that amount of ribbon. Just wanted to share with all of you one of my finds that maybe you could use in your cards or projects. Hopefully, if you liked this you may still be able to find some in a Target store near you.

One corner of my living room has stacks of filled shopping bags. I have to go thru everything and put things together for the different ones on my list. Can't do any wrapping yet as Mr. Fluffpuff, our kitty would have a blast undoing all the wrapping paper, tissue and ribbons. Not to mention how much he just loves jumping into bags.

Yesterday, before even leaving the house...I misplaced the second set of keys with clicker to my new vehicle. My husband, Tom and I looked thru both the new and old cars. In the kitchen, under the vehicles. No keys. Resumed my search again this morning...still NO LUCK!!! How frustrating! I can only imagine how expensive they will be to replace. The key is the strangest looking key I have ever seen. It only has channels down both sides and not to mention the clicker.

Oh, and yesterday when I got home in the late afternoon, I found 2 swap boxes in my mailbox. Always love to recieve fun mail. They were packages from Jean and Barbara from the An Affair with Art Yahoo group that I belong to.
When I receive the last fairy slipper in the mail, I will post a photo of all three that I received in this fun swap. Each slipper is different, but oh so pretty.
Jean also gifted me with a bottle of Duke's mayonaise. We don't have Duke's mayo here in the Northeast. It is a mayonaise that is very popular in the south and southwest, I believe. The gals on the group are always raving about fresh tomato sandwiches with Duke's mayonaise and how there is nothing like it. I have one tomato left from our garden, and so this afternoon...I am going to do a taste testing. :-) Thanks again, Jean.

Also wanted to share with all of you some pictures that I snapped before 8 a.m. yesterday. I happened to look out the kitchen door and spotted movement on the big cherry tree that is near our property line in the side yard. Should have guessed..our Mr. Fluffpuff Kitty was chasing a squirrel. By the time I ran and got my camera crazy kitty was sitting on the roof of the neighbors garden shed and next thing I knew...I saw the foolish kitty leaping into a 25 foot pine tree in the neighbors yard after the squirrel. Here are a few photos of him sitting on the roof of the garden shed. The fence in front is 6 feet tall. I didn't get a picture of him leaping from the roof to the tree.


Well, if you were one of the  brave ones and hit the stores looking for wonderful bargains...I hope you found them. Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Just wanted to wish everyone safe travels for those who travel  by car or if you are flying to spend the holiday with family and friends. I hope you all have a most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Don't count the calories in all the delicious food that will be served, just enjoy.

Last night I made more jellied cranberry sauce. This morning I put a 25 pound turkey to soak in a salt water brine, and I still have to make a few more desserts.
Then, Black Friday, November 26th, the Christmas countdown for shopping begins with big sales, and stores opening extra early with crowds galore and lots of traffic. I don't know if I will hit the stores or not. I have a lot of my shopping done already, as I shop year round. We shall see.

Wishing you all a very blessed holiday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Simple and Easy Christmas Cards

For the past few years, I had good intentions of making my Christmas cards, like I had in the past. Well, time always seemed to get away from me and I would end up sending out store bought cards.
Then,  I would hear about it from family members that they were disappointed, because I hadn't made them special hand made cards. This year there will be handmade cards to send out, but not special, elaborate ones. I always tell myself that I will start early in the summer, but that just never seems to happen. I am such a procrastinator.
The other day in Michael's I bought a few Tim Holtz unmounted red rubber stamps with Christmas cards in mind.  This morning I dragged out some supplies and created a few fast and easy cards. I also used my Tim Holtz ink pads.
I bought a box of precut and folded cards with envelopes on sale a few weeks back in the craft store. Those cards are such a time saver, because I won't have to cut and score cardstock. Next, I rummaged downstairs in the basement, and found several precut corrugated cardboard pieces that I had sprayed with glitter sometime ago. I stamped my new images, used the Xyron machine, and started attaching the pieces to my cardstock.
Some of the cards below look crooked, but trust me, that is just me taking my photos and cropping. Sorry about that.

Christmas card believe santa Christmas card green with deer
Christmas card merry and bright Christmas card postcard santa
The next 3 cards were created from pads of background paper that I also bought on sale at Michaels. The papers were in a small pad. The pad had several designs each with a scalloped edge.
I layered my stamped image onto the glittered corrugated cardboard. On a couple I glued silk poinsettias and holly leaf and a rhinestone.
Christmas card santa bubble lights
Christmas Card pine branches
   Christmas card this christmas
I did a couple of the winter tree scene using a Dreamweaver stencil and Dreamweaver embossing white paste that I sprinkled glitter onto the paste as soon as I removed the stencil. Then I let the card sit for about 15 minutes until the paste was dry. This card is so showy, but in the photo you can't see how pretty it really is. The glittered, raised paste background just doesn't show up.
I think this card needs a red cardinal or some pop of color to finish it off. I have looked for small flat embellishments, but haven't found anything that I liked. Any suggestions?
tree dk green stencil Christmas card glittered tree
The ornament cards below were super easy. After Christmas last year, I bought a couple of packages of 10 cards and envelopes that were shaped like an ornament for 90% off the original $1.00 price. Oh, don't you just love sales and bargains? I sure do. :-)
I also bought some that were shaped like a Christmas stocking. I believe I saw the same card shapes in the $1.00 bins at Michael's again this year.
I once again used the glittered corrugated cardboard, but I added gift tags that are 3-D with glitter on top. I just cut off the part of the tag with the punched hole and gold ribbon tie. Easy, Peasy, don't you think?
I thought they would be cute to send to the kids in the family, and they can hang them on their Christmas tree. The message inside the card is rubber stamped.

snowman ornament card santa ornament card
The Christmas stocking card below was also from a pack of ten, red cards. I cut out a piece of cardstock to make the white topper part of the stocking, then stamped Merry Christmas.
  Christmas stocking

Below: Yesterdays Project for the day.
I had the sewing machine out yesterday and made several fabric bookmarks for gifts. I ended up using my Big Bite tool for the first time to punch out the holes thru the fabric and then to add the grommet.
fabric bookmarks
Well, that's it for today for projects. The area where I was working is covered in glitter, and I must confess I have a lot on me too. :-(
If you want to send homemade cards this year and time is an issue...cheat a little like I did to make some fast and easy cards. :-)
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Monday, November 15, 2010

More Fairy Slippers, beaded icicle ornaments and Snowman earrings

I made a few more fairy slippers today, but unfortunately I waited until  just a little while ago to take photo's of them. It has been a gray day, but the light was fading fast when I took the pictures. So, I apologize in advance that the photos are dark and you can't see the details that well. :-(
Here are two more of the larger 2 1/2  x  5 inch Holiday Fairy Slippers.
Holiday fairy slippers 2 more
Next, I created mini fairy slippers. The size of the ornaments are 1/2  x  3 1/2 inches.
Holiday Fairy slippers minis 1 Holiday Fairy slippers minis 2
I used cardstock in mauve, red, light green, red, pearl white and small red circles patterned.

Next, I used some glass lamp work snowman head beads that I bought last year to make a pair of earrings. The round earrings were really hard to get them to stand up to take the picture. Ugggghh!!!!

snowman earrings
My next project was to make some beaded crystal icicle ornaments. The icicles could be used year round as sun catchers in a window. I plan to add the icicle's to my Christmas packages for family members. I used 3 inch headpins and varied sizes of crystal beads and then added a ribbon so the icicles could hang.
icicle crystal bead ornaments

Well, that's it for my projects today.  It is time to start thinking of what I will make for supper. I hope you all had a wonderful day. I just wish my sinus headache would go away.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

A day for making home made Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Since we grow cranberries, and I had fresh berries waiting to be used, I decided I would make a few batches of jellied cranberry sauce. I've been saving 24 ounce Clausen pickle jars to store my sauce. But I plan on making more sauce, so I will go to the hardware store and pick up a few cases of Ball canning jars.

I took several pictures to share with all of you while I was making my sauce. Nothing beats home made cranberry sauce, but if you have to buy it..we sell our cranberries to Ocean Spray.  Hint, Hint. :-)
Here is the recipe I used from the Ocean Spray website, but if you do a google search you will find many recipes.
                  Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Before starting wash and sterilize your canning jars.

Jellied sauce starting with cranberries
I started off picking out any bad berries, then rinsed the cranberries in a strainer.
2 cups of berries, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar will yield 1 cup of cranberry sauce.

Photo below..cranberries and water in pan. Cook until the berries soften and burst open.
Jellied cranberry sauce cooking skins popping1

Jellied cranberry sauce cooking foam in pan1 
Jellied cranberry sauce cooking foam in pan2
When the skins on the berries have popped. Dump the juice and berries into a sieve or a food mill that is straddling a large pot. I used a sieve with legs. With the wooden pestel keep mashing the berries inside the sieve againist the sides until you only have dried skins left. Discard the skins. (chickens love eating the skins)

Jellied cranberry sauce in sieve1

Jellied cranberry sauce in sieve2
I continued mashing the cooked cranberries, until all I had left was the skins and seeds. I scraped the outsides of the sieve frequently to collect as much of the sauce as I could. You could  use a food mill to seperate the skins from the cooked pulp of the berries. Discard the skins and seeds. The sieve and pestle that I used to mash the berries, had once been my grandmother's.

Now, place the pan with the cranberry water/juice and pureed cranberries on the stove and add the sugar. Stir well. You can tell when your sauce starts to thicken and forms a coating on a metal spoon and drips off very slowly from the spoon that the sauce is ready.

Skim the foam from the top of the berries that forms in the pan and put it in a dish to discard as you don't want foam mixed in your sauce.  .

Jellied cranberry sauce foam foam that needs to be discarded

after the sauce is in the jar...take a knife and gently move it back and forth to remove any air bubbles. Take a damp piece of cheese cloth and wipe around the lip of the jar and the top edge.

Jellied cranberry sauce in jars1
I then filled 3-24 ounce jars with sauce leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top of the jars. I melted paraffin wax in a coffee can on top of my gas stove. When the wax was melted I then put a 1/4-1/2 inch coating of wax over the sauce making sure that the wax covered the sides of the jars well so no air could get to the sauce.

Jellied cranberry sauce paraffin coated Jellied cranberry sauce Parafin wax
I still need to make some more jellied sauce, but I also plan on making some whole berry sauce, and then cranberry orange relish.  Making sauce doesn't take that long. You should give it a try.

P.S..it is much easier just canning the sauce in Ball jars with lids and screw covers using the same method as above just not using the wax.
Water bath the sealed jars. Don't screw the caps on too tightly. I place the jars in the boiling water for 15 minutes, remove from water with tongs and almost immediately you will hear the covers popping/sealing the lids. Let cool and loosen covers or remove. They sell plastic screw covers to use once the lid has been opened on the jar.

Most of the time I make a larger batch. 12 cups cleaned/rinsed berries, 6 cups water, and 6 cups of sugar for my recipe and I get about 30 half pint jars of cranberry sauce.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fabric Postcards for the Mail Art Envelope Swap

I wanted to make some fabric post cards to tuck inside my Mail Art Envelopes that I stamped for Lenna's swap the other day. In a previous blog note I posted the envelopes. I dug thru my containers of fabric to  find fabric in my stash that would co ordinate with each of my rubber stamped mail art envelopes.
I appliqued fabric to the front fabric,  rubber stamped and heat set POST CARD on the back sides. Then I either rubber stamped or appliqued  a matching piece on the backs. The colors are a little off, as it is a dark, rainy, day, and I had a tough time taking photo's of the post cards without getting shadows. The recipients can use a sharpie pen to add a message and address when they mail them out.                                             Well, now to get my swap out in the mail.
Below are the fabric post cards that I stitched up this morning.
front of Mermaid post cardmermaid fabric pc front
Mermaid fabric pc back back of my post card
Alice in Wonderland fabric pc front front of Alice postcard with appliqued Alice.
Alice in Wonderland fabric pc back back of fabric post card with applique White Rabbit.
Coffee fabric pc front front of fabric coffee post card
Coffee fabric pc back back of coffee post card with applique
 Mail art fabric pc front
front of fabric mail art post card. I had a hard time finding fabric that would go with my mail art theme, and so I went with artist tools and a ribbon with the word friends on it.
Mail art fabric pc back
back of mail art fabric post card
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P.S...My mail art envelopes with the fabric postcards tucked inside the envelope were mailed out Friday, November 12th. I took my 4 swap envelopes to the post office to make sure they had the correct postage and if they okay. The postal worker at the window took my envelopes, weighted them, checked for thickness, and took them as they were okay to go.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mail Art Envelope Swap

Mermaid mail art envy front front
Mermaid mail art envy back back

I joined a mail art decorated, closed envelope swap on  Lenna's Creative Swaps blog. We had to decorate 3-4 envelopes, and I chose to use light background inks and rubber stamps to decorate mine. I always use to decorate any envelopes that I mailed out, but then got out of the habit. Sometimes it took me longer to decorate the envelope than to create the card that was tucked inside.

Coffee mail art envy front front
Coffee mail art envy back back

For this swap, I found some 5 x 7  1/2 inch, manila envelopes with clasp closures in one of my  junk drawers. I had four, and so I am sending 4, that way Lenna gets to keep one of the envelopes. I will get 4 back.
I must admit, after I smushed ink over the envelopes it made it really hard to stamp on these envelopes. The ink on the rubber stamps didn't want to transfer well. I've never had that happen before, and I don't really know why it happened.
I chose coffee, mail art, Alice in Wonderland, and of course mermaids  for my envelope themes. I did dig out a lot of my Elvis stamps, so I may do one envelope with that theme.                         
I'm not completely done, because I would like to find some themed postage stamps to go on my stamped envelopes to mail them out.

Alice in Wonderland mail art envy frontAlice in Wonderland mail art envy back back

I am so disorganized lately and I have no clue were I stashed my older postage stamps that I could use. I would also like to  make some fabric postcards to tuck inside the envelopes before I seal them shut. We shall see how that goes.
Mail art envy front front
Mail art envy back back
This was a  fun project to do on a cold afternoon. Do you decorate the envelopes that you mail out?
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