Monday, September 18, 2017

Fox and Cactus Trifold Album

I recently made this trifold album using a tutorial on Youtube.  You can go here for a walk through of all the pieces of this album.  I attached a link to the original post, but it was really easy to follow and the album has a ton of space for pictures.  I don't know yet what this album with house, and I'll eventually add a title once I DO know, but....it's always good to be ready to scrapbook an adventure.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pencil Door Hanging

I made this pencil wreath last month as the school year geared up.  
 Step one is to cut out the shape and then run some glue or no fray glue around the edges so the strings won't fray away.  Cut out two of the same shapes and I do this to both the front and back.
I then paint my design on plastic.  Since the holes are so large in burlap it takes a lot of paint and this helps the paint kind of 'pool' and stick better.  
 Once it dries, run hot glue along three side's edges and glue the paint front to the blank back.
 I left an opening so I can stuff this.
I stuffed mine with paper b/c I plan to add some heated vinyl with a name or word eventually, but you can also stuff these with plastic bags or stuffing.  
Glue the last side and then add some rope for hanging.  These would be cute as a pumpkin or I've seen cute summer watermelons and flamingos.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Halloween Folio Album

 I made this album last spring.  I saw a tutorial on youtube and I LOVE it because it literally only took about three pieces of scrapbook paper (and maybe some scraps).  The plan is to make some of these as gifts for friends for various holidays.
Inside the album is a pocket for tag cards, and then a waterfall on the opposite side to add photos.  I also am attaching a youtube video where I flip through the whole album to show the smaller details (which also links to the original tutorial).

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sweet Potato Bread

It's always my intentions to roast or bake sweet potatoes when I pick up a few at the store, but.....every once in awhile I boil one up and bake it in bread because.....bread.  This recipe is so tasty. I love that the top is a little crunchy and the inside is moist and all that is good. Think pumpkin bread, but with a distinct sweet taste all it's own thanks to the potato.  I don't contain my sweet potatoes to any particular season, but...if they did have one, fall would be it, so....a bread for all seasons, but why not start now?
Sweet Potato Bread
Ingredients:  1 1/2 c. white sugar, 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 2 eggs, 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. salt, 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/2 t. ground nutmeg, 1/3 c. water, 1 c. cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 c. chopped pecans
Instructions:  Combine the sugar and oil. Beat well.  Add the eggs and continue to stir.  Combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir into the egg mix alternating with water.  Add in sweet potatoes and nuts.
Pour batter in greased 9x5 pan.  Bake at 350 for about an hour (I needed about 10 more minutes before I could insert a toothpick and have it come out clean).

Friday, September 08, 2017

Galveston 2017

 As summer becomes more of a memory every day, I figured I'd post a few pictures from a trip I took at the end of July.  I've blogged about Galveston a ton in the past....because it's one of my favorite places on planet earth.  I love the story she tells both personally and historically.  You won't get the clear waters of Caribbean, but Galveston has much to offer when it comes to personality.
 My great grandmother took my grandmother who took my Mom and aunt who took us.  You drive over the bay to the island, and a few minutes later you spot the gulf for the first time.  It's the same first look I've been getting my entire life, but it never disappoints.  There is nothing more I love than sitting and starring at the sea. A few years back I discovered a new old favorite pier called Jimmy's with a great view, fun vibe, and a pier that extends well past the restaurant for fishing.
 Galveston also does a great job of adding sand every few years as time and weather washes it away.  They also have put in a lot of natural features to help prevent storm damage...including these great piles of rocks and sand along the sea wall....complete with flowers.
 This little spot holds a lot of history-Murdoch's is probably my number one spot, it was totally swept away during Hurricane Ike, but they rebuilt even better than before.
 I've taken a lot of pictures on this spot through the years.  It's a little seaside shop that extends over the water, but they added a great deck out back where you can sit and watch the water from a rocking chair with a drink in hand.
 BUT one of my favorite places is on the bay a few minutes from the ocean-the Strand.  It's near the cruise terminal and filled with adorable souvenir shops, boutiques and antique stores.
 There is also a really great ice cream parlor called La King's I love swinging through and getting a scoop of ice cream and a bag of taffy....or in my world, lunch.  They pull taffy on site, and if you are luck you get to see it happen.
 For me, no trip is complete without a visit to the strand.  A little hint-some of the antique stores in town are closed (Monday) Tuesday and Wednesday.
 Every year, no matter how many years and trips came before I always find something new to explore....next up I need to actually make it past the front of the Pleasure Pier.  It cost to walk out, and I've always had too full of a schedule....those swims and sits aren't going to take themselves, but....I'll leave this here as a reminder of what's on my list next time.  It's a relatively new addition to replace the Flagship Hotel that was destroyed during the hurricane....which replaced a pleasure pier that first sat here once upon a beach town.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Vintage Jewelry Projects

I love collecting vintage jewelry and brooches.  The goal is to spend as little as possible though, so I collect them at salvation army stores and thrift stores.  You can get a great deal when you find those bags with only 'one earring.'  I'm not going to actually uses the jewelry for it's original purpose, so I'm OK just having one earring, but I love repurposing something that had a life before...in this case, I hope it was a fun one.  
I recently did a segment for Good Morning, Texas.  They asked me to bring some projects using old jewelry.  I'll link the video here, but I'm also including a few pictures.  I used some of my brooches to decorate frames.  
I also made a wreath with some using a dollar store wreath I covered with some burlap ribbon.  The only tools I needed were a glue gun, so it was really easy, and I love getting to look at these vintage jewels in their repurposed form.
http://www.wfaa.com/entertainment/television/programs/good-morning-texas/turning-vintage-jewels-into-keepsake-items/456078403

Monday, September 04, 2017

Sweet and Spicey Snack Mix

This summer I discovered one of my pals is a genius snack mix maker.  I had her share her very favorite recipes with me.  I tried out this one for a work get together and...yum!  I love the sweet with just an undertone of spice you probably wouldn't even notice if you didn't know it was in there.  The original recipe calls for just 6 cups of crispex, but she said she does 8 so it's not overly saturated, so I followed her steps because I trust her judgment on these matters....I've had her other mixes!  
Ingredients:  8 c. crispix cereal, 1 c. pecan halves (unsalted), 1 c. pretzels (any shape), 3/4 c. brown sugar (lightly packed), 1/2 t. cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 c).  
Instructions:  
1.  Place cereal, nuts, and pretzels into a big bowl and toss together.  
2.  Melt butter in a small pan over the stove on medium.  Add brown sugar and cayenne pepper.  Stir together and bring to a boil.  Let boil for 1 minute.  
3.  Pour butter mix over crispex mix and toss together.  
4.  Pour mix  on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I covered mine with foil to help with clean up).  Place in preheat 350 degree oven.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Stir around.  Return to oven for another 8 minutes.  
5.  Pull out and let cool for at least 45 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  


1
1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper
1 1/2 stick
butter

Friday, September 01, 2017

Faux Flowers


I did a segment recently on Good Morning, Texas....and I didn't have a lot of time in advance to share the tutorials before I brought them to the set. However, I had some time to snap pictures of the trays with the step by step projects before they carried my table out to the set.

Sneak peak-this is my table sitting in the room that is behind the studio.  If I'm not in the first segment, a lot of times my table gets carried out during the comercial break.  
 Since it was in the heart of summer, I did faux flowers that can stand the heat and don't need water.  One thing I did was painted rocks.  I bought these at Michael's (near the bags of marbles).  I painted them different shades of green and then used a paint pen to mark on the 'needles.'  I put them in a little pot with some Spanish moss from the dollar store when I was finished.
I also made some felt flowers.  For the center I folded over a strip of felt and glued the cut edges together.  I then snipped on the fold about halfway down.  I rolled it up, adding a little glue as I went.  
 I then took some felt and cut in a spiral, but did a little 'bump'.  I glued this around the fringed center and added these to a cute arrow I had found at Hobby Lobby.
Last up-paper succulents.  I cut 3 leaves of five different sizes into a tear drop type shape.

                                                                                                                     



I cut the end about 1/3 up the leave and then overlapped the cut edge a little and glued it together.  
Then I glued each of the three same sized leaves together and then stacked them.  I also made a little heart shape piece for the center, but....get creative.  
The segments are always about 4-41/2 minutes, so I try to pick each crafts anyone COULD do that can be explained clearly on air.  These are all easy projects to toss together.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Broccoli Bacon and Pasta Salad

One of my favorite salads includes broccoli, bacon, onions etc, and so when I found this on where you add pasta, I had to try it out.  It's a great dish before a run.  Granted, I wasn't in the middle of running when I made this salad, but you can never been too prepared for a long run....or a long nap.
So...with just a few more bbq's before fall kicks in...here's another pasta salad that makes a great side dish...or you know....a runner's carbo load.  I found the original recipe on a site called mandysrecipeboxblog.
Broccoli Bacon and Pasta Salad
Ingredients:  12 oz spiral pasta, 1 c. mayonnaise, 1/4 c. red wine vinegar, 1/4 c. sugar, 1 t. salt, 3 c. raw broccoli (chopped), 1 c. cheddar cheese (cubed), 1/2 c. roasted sunflower seeds (salted or unsalted), 1/2 c. crumbled (and cooked) bacon, 1/4 c.red onion (diced)
Instructions:
1.  Cook pasta according to pkg directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water.
2.  Place pasta in a bowl and add broccoli, cheese, sunflower seeds, bacon, and onion.
3.  In a separate bow, whisk the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt.  Pour over the salad and toss to coat.
4.  Place in fridge for at least an hour to chill.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Susan's Cracker Mix

Last June I headed to a retreat and the gal we put in charge of bring some snacks did NOT disappoint.  This recipe made a huge bowl....and we put it to good use.  This is a recipe I'm not losing!  It sounds so simple, but it is soooooo delicious!
Susan's Cracker Mix
Ingredients:  2 boxes of chedder ritz bits, 1 boxes of white cheddar cheese its, 1 box of wheat thins, 1 c. of canola oil, 1 (1 oz) pkg of dry ranch seasoning mix.
Instructions:  
1.  Take a large pan (like a disposable turkey pan) and mix the crackers, oil and seasoning.
2.  Bake at 225 for 2 hours (stirring every 30 minutes) and then leave the crackers in the oven over night (or for a few hours) to dry.
3.  Store in an airtight container.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Mermaid or Pirate Baby Shower

 I've been friends with Amber for well over a decade now.  She's expected baby #2 and this go 'round she decided to wait.  Since it's summer, her sister and I decided to throw her a shower that plays with the theme Mermaid or Pirate?  My pal Kelly made these adorable invites for me.
 Again, since it was a summer shower I was able to go crazy with desserts and I madea  collection of both mermaid and pirate themed desserts to serve.
 Last year I attended a shower and they had a poloroid camera where each guest had their picture taken, and then we made a scrapbook page with a message to mom and baby.  I knew Amber would love this (she's one of my last scrapbooking buddies).
 We each made a page and her sister said she would finish the album for Amber.  We had the guest decorate pages with either pirates or mermaids based on what they predict the baby will be.
 I made a bunch of banners I hung throughout my house as well.
 I also used beads someone gave me from mardi gras, shells, and coins to scatter around the house.
 We served all pirate and mermaid themed foods.  Canon Balls (meatballs), sumbarines (sub sandwiches), planks (crackers) and gold (cheese-served with little swords), crab legs (carrots), seaweed (spinach dip), seashells (pasta), and berried treasure (berries).
 We also served some blue punch in fish bowls.
 I made little mermaid straws.
 Amber's sister put together some adorable bubble bath.
 And bottled them in cute little bottles.
 All went so smoothly, but it helps when it's a sweet friend and easy going friends and family she's collected along the way.