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Monday, March 30, 2015


You will find these cute watercolor coffee mugs all over the internet....simply Google watercolor coffee mugs and see for yourself.  I thought they were so pretty and abstract, that I  had to try a few for myself.  After all, for the price of a white ceramic mug and a couple jars of nail polish you can create a truly one-of-a-kind mug for yourself, or gift it to someone special.
Aren't they neat?

I'm not going to re-hash what is already out there in the way of really good instructions on this, but I will give you my two cents on tips......

I would get some cheap disposable rubber gloves, your hands will thank you.   Remember, this is nail polish, so it's going to stick to your fingers and nails if you don't (I had to scrub using finger nail polish to clean my hands because I didn't wear gloves).

I got my plastic container (for dunking) and the mugs at the Dollar Store, the nail polish I bought at Walmart...again, keep the cost down since they look like a million bucks when they're finished!

I didn't care for my second or third I removed the colors  using nail polish remover and a little elbow grease and went at it again.

Remember, these are not dishwasher safe....hand wash only.  So be sure if you are gifting them to let the recipient know how to care for them.   Also, try to leave blank space near the top of the mug for "lip room" just for good measure.

These could be really fun favors for baby showers (or bridal showers), use nail polish colors to match the gender of the baby, fill them with some candies or other goodies wrapped in tulle and you have a unique gift for each guest at a very reasonable price.

Note: If someone were squeamish about using this as a coffee mug with nail polish on it, then suggest they use it in an office as a fun pencil/pen container, or use it as a planter, or in the bathroom for a toothbrush holder, etc. 

Friday, March 20, 2015


This recipe was my Mom's from way back.  I hadn't made it in quite some time, but it delivered the same incredible flavor that my little taste buds remembered.

I served it with homemade shredded BBQ pork sandwiches....oooohhh baby, great supper!
Looks good enough to eat, right?

If you've never had German potato salad before, the first thing to know is it's served warm.  The second thing to know, is it's unlike any other potato salad since it has a sweet and sour flavor and everyone's favorite ingredient, BACON!


3 large Russett potatoes (boiled, not too soft)
¼ cup white vinegar
4-6 slices of  cooked bacon (broken into pieces)
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. margarine
¾ cup water
¼ cup white sugar


After boiling the potatoes, cut them into large cubes.  I cook an entire pound of bacon to ensure I have plenty of bacon fat (since that is the base for the sauce), but only use about six slices.  Once the bacon is cooked, crumble the slices into pieces; place the rest in the freezer and re-heat for breakfast.

To the bacon fat, add the butter and flour.  Stir well.  Next, add the vinegar, water, sugar and salt/pepper to taste.  Let the sauce come to a boil.  Pour the sauce over the potatoes, coating the potatoes thoroughly.  Serve and Enjoy! 

Monday, March 16, 2015


I can still recall the Coat of Arms that was hanging in our family room when I was growing up.  My Dad was especially fond of it and I thought it was cool knowing where his surname came from and having a way to honor the name and the generations who came before him.

So, with that in mind I've been doing some crafting with the Coat of Arms of friends and family.  My first was a wine label for a friend's 60th birthday......and dopey me forgot to take a single picture.   The second is what you see here.,,,and the final one is a trivet for my Mother-in-Law (bottom of this post)
I wanted it to look old and worn, as if it were found in an old family trunk or something.  I started with a scrap piece of wood from the garage and promptly went to town distressing it.   That means wailing on it with anything I could find.....hammer, screwdriver, hatchet, etc.

From there I took some craft paints and starting with black, I painted around the perimeter.  I then layered on some touches of red and gold.

After that step was completed and dry, I took the sander and began sanding the piece to remove some of the color, round the corners and remove any rough edges remaining from the above mentioned wailing step.

The next step allowed me to try something I had been wanting to do for some time now.  That is to transfer a photocopy of a picture to wood using a photo transfer medium.  I chose to use the Mod Podge medium, although there are other options available.

The first thing I needed to do was to mirror the picture since it had a name printed on it.  Since the picture is placed face down during the process, if it were printed and placed on the wood without "mirroring" the image, the Brewer name would have been backwards.  You do not need to mirror the image if it contains only an image. I have a mirror function in my Silhouette machine which made it really simple.

There are plenty of tutorials and videos available on the photo transfer topic, so I won't go through the steps, but it was pretty cool.  I do want to try a true photo in the future since they look really cool when finished.  Since there is so much white in the background of my Coat of Arms, it is hard to tell that the ink was transferred to the wood during this process.

Be sure to use a laser print photo copy for this process.  I went up to Staples and used their machine since I have an ink jet at home.  The final step was a good coat of Mod Podge over the entire thing for added protection.

Anyway, there you have it.....I'm really pleased with the outcome. I'm sure there is a little nook in the Brewer homestead that can display their official Coat of Arms....maybe when the newly finished basement is fully decked out?

To the right, is the official crest for the "clan" for my Mother-in-Law's Scottish roots.  She and her brother have spent a significant amount of time tracing their family heritage over the years.   Her maiden surname is McCabe, originally MacCabe.  MacLeod of Lewis is the clan name, the MacCabes became a sept (branch) of the clan at some point in history.  Clans are an extremely important component in Scottish lineage I'm learning.  A visit to Scotland a few years ago, even had her locating the family castle!  

I decided to use the crest and add the official tartan (or clan colors) , and the MacLeod name for a trivet. Once I had used the ModPodge technique that I described above, I came back with the electric sander to distress the outer edges to give it a worn/aged look, as if the trivet were in the family for years.

I gifted it to my Mother-in-Law for her birthday recently.    She was thrilled with the gift and hadn't realized that I had made it.  I guess that's a good thing!

Friday, March 6, 2015


This project popped into my head since I have a number of celebrations coming up in the next several weeks/months.....Birthdays, and  Mother's Day to name a few.   I enjoy gifting handmade items when I can and I thought these little babies would be well received.
I can't really tell you when it came to me....I think it was a combination of  a couple of things.  First, I enjoy a glass of wine from time-to-time, but I can never finish a bottle, not even when we have company!   So, having a bottle stopper is awesome; it lets me go back and have a glassful whenever I feel like it.  Without it, many a bottle has gone to waste because my husband enjoys red wine and I love white (the sweeter the better).

The second item is drawer pulls......every time I go into Hobby Lobby I make it a point to stroll down this aisle.  I just love the colors and variety that are available.   So, I guess that's where the idea came from....put those two items together and you have an easy little DIY project that yields a fun gift with a lot of charm!

The first thing I did was order the stoppers online.   While I was waiting for those to arrive, I shopped for the drawer pulls at Hobby Lobby....and yes sir, I hit a 50% off sale!! The toughest thing was narrowing my selection down to just four.

The little screws you see on the top of the stoppers can either be left in place or removed.   I have a couple of other ideas for stopper decor which would mean drilling a hole in an that case, that screw would come in handy.   Since I didn't need them with the pulls, I removed them by simply unscrewing them.

The drawer pulls as you probably know come with long screw threads so they can easily be attached to a drawer.  My wonderful husband grinded them down for me so they were just a nub.  While I did ask him to show me how to do this, he opted to do it himself......and realistically, he did it in about 1/10 of the time it probably would have taken me!

Then, it was a matter of using super glue; gel formula.  It rocks!  It's not quite as messy, therefore you won't glue your fingers together as I've done one too many times with the original formula.  I put the gel on the underside of the knob all the way around the screw and then placed it inside the hole in the top of the stopper, it laid perfectly flush with the top because of the work my husband had done in shortening the screws.  Let it dry and there you have it....

Now I just need to decide which ones I'm willing to let go of....I really love them all, so it's going to be tough parting with any of them.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015


This particular veggie recipe dates back quite a few slipped my mind until today when we had yet another cold and snowy day and I was craving some comfort food.

Now rarely would you find me using veggies and comfort food in the same sentence, but this recipe has stuffing on it and THAT definitely is a comfort food for me.  I love the flavor of stuffing.


1 lb. bag frozen broccoli florets
1 small can mushrooms, drained (stems and pieces)
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups Pepperidge Farm stuffing*
3 Tbsp. milk


Make two cups of stuffing according to the package directions.   *Keep in mind, this recipe is long before stove top stuffing, so you may want to make it using your favorite stove top flavor...I doubt it would result in much of a difference.

Steam the broccoli according to the package directions.  Mix the soup and the milk to a smooth consistency in a small bowl.
assembled and ready for the oven
Once the broccoli is finished steaming; drain it and place it on the bottom of a casserole.  Layer the mushrooms on top.  Drizzle the soup mixture over the top of the veggies.   Arrange the stuffing over the top of the casserole.  

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.