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Friday, October 25, 2013


I decided to try my luck at decorating a glass vase.  Funny thing was I had given a bunch of these to the local thrift store, so I didn't have one on hand that I wanted to experiment on.....I probably bought back my own vase from the store!  But was only .49¢ so I don't feel too bad.
BEFORE                     AFTER
Other than the vase...the supplies you need are:
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge Brush
  • Glitter (I used three different colors)
  • Paint 
To start, I coated the outside of the vase with Mod Podge.  I then sprinkled on a base of the lightest of the three glitter colors (I was trying for an ombre theme).  Then I began using all three of the glitter colors to create the abstract design on the outside.  Stroke on the Mod Podge and sprinkle the glitter on top, stroke and glitter, and so on....

As for the inside, I used  teal paint.   The cool thing is you just squirt it into the vase and swirl it around a bit...then I used a sponge brush to help coat the sides.  I saw a couple posts about thinning the paint and/or coating the inside of the vase to help the paint glide a bit better...I'll have to try that next time.  I sprinkled a little glitter onto the paint right near the top of the vase for added ooommphhh (yes, that is a word).
The final step was to coat the entire outside of the vase and the inner rim with Mod Podge to seal/protect the glitter.  Easy... Schmeazy and super fast!    I really like the way the teal inside creates a nice undertone that you can see fom the outside.

I plan to try another with just's a bit counterintuitive to me to paint the inside versus the outside, but it's faster and less forgiving to do it that way; good to know.  I've also read that if you wanted to use this as an actual vase, you probably want to place a plastic inner sleeve/cup into the vase to hold the water....or, just use it for a decorative piece instead.

 Do I see some gift giving ideas in your future??? That's what I plan to do with mine.   So go on-channel your inner VanGogh and have fun!

Friday, October 18, 2013


I first learned of these little babies several years back when I was putting together a college graduation brunch for my daughter.  They were such a hit, I've continued to turn to them for other occasions along the way and decided I should actually make and freeze them for my husband and me to enjoy.  They are loaded with protein and easy to pop into the microwave for a quick breakfast/snack.
You'll find all sorts of recipes for these little suckers online, and of course you can make up your own varieties, but I will share this recipe and tell you that one of the "secret ingredients" in this one is the cottage cheese.  Holy Cow!! It definitely keeps them really moist and between the eggs, jack cheese and cottage cheese the protein is out the roof!  For me, egg dishes can keep me satisfied for quite a few hours whereas with other breakfast items, I'm ready for a snack in just a couple of hours after I've eaten.

I just used the silicone bake cups with this most recent batch and what a time saver these are. Without these, the clean up of the muffin pan was the main drawback for this dish; even with a really good pan and cooking spray, the pan still needed a really good soaking and some scrubbing. Not with these; they're awesome!  I highly recommend them.


1 lb. bacon (cooked, drained and crumbled)
10 eggs, beaten
1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese
1 lb. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (7 oz.) can diced green chile peppers (drained)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl combine eggs, cottage cheese, jack cheese, chile peppers and bacon.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove cheese mixture from the fridge and stir in the flour, butter, baking powder and salt.  Spoon batter into silicone cups (sprayed with non-stick spray).  Bake in pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Experiment with the recipe by adding additional ingredients if you'd like. This time I threw in some sundried tomatoes; nice addition if I do say so myself!  What I wouldn't take out however is the peppers, I'm not a hot and spicy kind of gal, but these add great flavor (I use the mild).  I might try broccoli and mushrooms next time and I suppose you could play around and lighten them up with more egg whites and fewer yolks.....anyway, have fun and enjoy!   The perfect serving size for me is two; so I put two in individual baggies and threw them in the freezer.  Be sure to use low power on the microwave for re-heating so you don't overcook them.

Monday, October 14, 2013


I've been having a hoot making Christmas presents this year!   This first project has been in my head since last Christmas.  I was cruising through Kohl's at the end of the season last year and saw a white placemat with the face of a snowman screen printed on it; two black dots for eyes, six black dots in a semi-circle for the mouth and an orange carrot shape for the nose; really basic.  That was the inspiration for my snowman placemats.
I knew I wanted my little guys to have a bit more style and personality.  So, I came up with the idea of a design where it looked as if the snowman was wearing a hat.   I had one tartan fabric already and I spotted another on a remnant table at JoAnn's.  As I started playing around, I decided it would be fun for each of them to have different caps to add some variety to the dinner table.  So, I went to the local thrift store and bought two winter scarves at $1.50 each.  What a steal....since it would be just the amount of fabric I would need!

I chose a white quilted cotton as my base fabric; that meant an already finished front/back.   Once I added the hat and face, I just needed to finish the outer edge.  It was fun watching them take shape and I'm going to be little sad to see them go....but, hopefully my recipients will love them as much as I do!

Here's what you'll need to get started:
Supplies for 8 placemats:
1 ½ yards of quilted fabric 
1 square black felt
2 squares orange felt
shape for the hat
¼ to ½ yard of knit or tartan remnants
4 pkgs. of double fold bias tape
fusible hem tape (stitch witchery)
black fabric paint
black glitter
....and here are the steps to make your snowmen come to life:
Cut 8 circles from the quilted fabric (15"diameter)
Cut 16 ovals from the black felt
Cut 8 triangle shapes from the orange felt
Cut 8 caps from the tartan/knit for the hats
Cut 8 strips of tartan/knit 2" x 14" for the pom-poms
After cutting out the circles, develop the shape of the hat by placing it onto the circle.  I allowed for a 5/8 hem and a 3" brim; fold the hem (right side to right side) and then pull the folded edge up 3" to form the brim. Baste the hat into place around the outer edge.  Now topstitch the upper edge of the hat brim through all thicknesses.  To finish the outer edge sew double fold bias tape around the outer edge.

For the face, I first used fabric glue to adhere the eyes onto the fabric, but I didn't like how "crisp" it made them.  So, I then tried  fusible hem tape and it worked great!  So, those are just steamed onto the fabric with an iron.

The smile is drawn on with fabric paint and glitter sprinkled on top while it's still wet.

Finally the pom-pom for the hat is made from the same fabric.  Use pinking shears to cut the fabric to prevent fraying; then cut the small strips the full length of the fabric in approximately 3/8" widths stopping just shy of the edge.  Roll the fabric, gluing periodically.  Once you've rolled the full length, glue the pom-pom onto the top of the placemat.  

I'll be honest, I see these as decorative placemats....I did spray scotchguard onto the finished product, but the combination of cotton, felt, and wool definitely calls for handwashing in cold water.

Anyway, they put a smile on my face when I look at them and because they're not totally holiday themed, they could be on your table to enjoy all through the winter months!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


It's that time of year, I'm baking and taste testing some new cookie recipes to see if they have what it takes to make the 2013 Christmas cookie assortment.  Last year, I started this process in December...too close for comfort!  So, this year I've moved everything forward a bit.

I've come to realize most of my really good cookies have some form of chocolate in them.  I know....I LOVE anything chocolate, but it would be nice to have a couple that aren't, for variety sake.

I thought I'd share one with you that I tried out this past weekend.  They were tasty and so simple, so they're definitely a "keeper"; but I haven't decided whether they're Christmas worthy yet.

1 package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar (for decorating)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees (190 degrees C).  Pour cake mix into a large bowl.  Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon extract until well blended.  Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioner's sugar.  Roll them around until they're lightly covered.  Once sugared, put them on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 6-9 minutes.  The bottoms will be light brown and the insides chewy.  After they had cooled, I dusted the tops with a bit more sugar.
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