Search This Blog


Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I've been known to have a really hard time not giving gifts before the special date.  I can get so excited over something that I can't wait until the actual Birthday, Anniversary, even I end up giving the gift early! This project was one of those....but I forced myself to hold off and wait.   I came up with this idea as I was making the photo coasters.  I wondered, what else can I make that would utilize ceramic tiles?, and that was when the idea of a trivet came to life.  I knew this would be a fun gift for my daughter and her husband. In addition to individual gifts, I like to give gifts that they both can enjoy at Christmas time....usually, they're related to the house.

I already had a 10" square ceramic tile that had been sitting under the bathroom vanity ever since we moved into our house 18 years ago.  It was one of three leftover tiles the builder left us when they constructed our fireplace.  I knew it would work well as the base for the trivet.  From there I worked on my computer to come up with the design for the top.   My son-in-law's family is from France, and he has a particular affection for the Eiffel Tower, so I decided to build off of that idea.

I found a great water color image of the Eiffel Tower, added the word "Paris" in a coordinating color and then added a bunch of french cooking/baking/food related words in various fonts to the layout.  I printed the design on a linen type paper since I wanted some texture....this particular paper also tore well, which is exactly the look I wanted for the edges.

To finish the top, I used Mod Podge, of course.  This time, I went with the hard coat variety since I knew I wanted the trivet to have a more durable finish to it.   Finally, I cut some cork and glued it onto the underside to give it a finished look and protect countertops/tables from scratching when it was used.
So there she fun is that?  I can even see displaying this on a wall or setting it on an easel when it's not in use versus just shoving it into a kitchen drawer or cupboard shelf.    Now you can see why I was so tickled to give it!  I love the way it turned out and designing a one-of-a-kind piece that I knew would be appreciated makes it really special.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This particular recipe has become a favorite Christmas cookie.  It made its debut in my household in 2012 and became an instant hit!  I featured it in a Christmas Cookie blog last December along with another scrumptious cookie.  I shared the Peanut Butter and Chocolate cookie cup recipe last year, but only shared a picture of these delectable edibles.  I just finished making this year's batch today, so before I let too much time slip by, here's the recipe.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries (I use kitchen shears to cut them into pieces)
  • 1 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
Mix butter, sugar and almond extract thoroughly with an electric mixer.  Gradually blend in flour and cornstarch.  Add cherries and chocolate.  

Form 1" balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Dip bottom of glass in sugar and press down on each cookie to flatten.

Bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown.  For the drizzle, melt in the microwave 2 oz. chocolate and approximately 1 tsp. shortening in a resealable freezer bag.  Snip off a corner of the bottom of the bag and drizzle chocolate over the cooled cookies. 

Thanks to for sharing this yummy cookie recipe!

You really want to give these a try....and if you hurry, you may still have enough time to whip a batch up for this holiday season.


Monday, December 9, 2013


I think it's fun to make gift baskets for out-of-towners highlighting unique Colorado products.  I've done this in the past, and got some really great feedback, so I decided to do it again this year for a very special someone we know in Indiana.
I made a whole list of authentic Colorado collectibles, including food and beverage items. Then, I whittled it down to what would make sense considering I would need to ship the basket to Indiana.   I decided to include some personal goodies from "yours truly" (hey, I qualify as a Colorado artist!), and other items that I thought our friend would really like.

Of course, I needed a basket.  You guessed it....I headed over to the thrift store for a perfectly good basket that I could spray paint to give it some holiday cheer.    Even better--the basket I found was in great shape and already had a gold glitter finish...the really fun thing was I saw this exact same basket at Michael's for $16.99 and got it at the thrift store for $1.99!

Here's what I decided to include in the basket:

  * Celestial Seasonings Tea 
  * Honey (made by the Ambrosia Company on the western slope)
* 2014 Colorado Calendar
*Hammond's Candy (Colorado based simce 1920)
*Peppermint biscotti (handmade by me)
*Colorado photo coasters (handmade by me)

So whether you're from Colorado or somewhere else, be proud to share gifts that represent your home state.  It lets you "show off" your State and the                          out-of-towners will get a kick out of it!

I think this may become an annual tradition for our Indiana friend, so I'm glad I started a list ....I'll be able to refer back to it when putting together next year's basket.  I want to be sure to send items that I haven't already sent to her and keep her basket fresh and exciting for years to come!

Happy Holidays and Happy Gift Giving!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I've been having fun getting to know my Silhouette cameo machine and the HUGE range of possibilities it provides.  Some of the software is pretty intuitive, other parts a bit odd and it will definitely take some practice to master this baby.    I chose to start with some easy projects to keep the frustration level to a minimum.  It's been a little bit like when I learned to sew....I didn't start out with a fully lined jacket, but instead it was a simple elastic waist a-line skirt.  Baby steps....
The gift certificate holder starts with a piece of white cardstock folded in half and glued on the two sides.   I used the silhouette to cut a reindeer out of some pretty Christmas paper; the contrasting piece of Christmas paper that I used for the border I just cut with some scissors; finally, the Merry Christmas sign was printed on my printer and then fed through the Silhouette to cut it into the shape I selected.   I added a few scribbles of silver glitter paint and a red plastic bow for added fun.
In order to reach in and pull out the certificate easily, I used my pinking shears to cut a semi-circle at the top of the certificate.

For the gift card holders I tried a couple of things..... the first one was my design....I chose a fun border/frame and then began writing Christmas related words within the shape in different font styles and sizes; my version of subway art!   I printed it on a pretty paper and then cut it on the Silhouette.  I felt like it needed a little something more so I used some green glitter paint to trim around the edge.
For the second design, I chose to use a basic gift card template from Lemon Jitters (I met this little gal at a blogger seminar).  I downloaded the template and cut the shape from some fun Christmas paper to give it some extra holiday cheer.  Then, I found a snowflake shape on the silhouette website and downloaded it to my library.  I found a beautiful white glitter paper that I cut them from.

 I am absolutely floored by the intricate cutting this machine can do.   I added a rhinestone to the center for a little something extra and look at that --- awesomeness!
There are so many possibilities--keep it really basic, or decorate them with snowflakes, rhinestones, sequins, or other fun!