Friday, October 02, 2015

Pumpkin Treat Jars

 This summer I went to my friend's house for a painting tutorial.  She does amazing work and she was willing to teach me some skills.  More on that later, but here's an easy one that sort of explains itself.
Another friend of mine brought me about 50 old baby jars she had in her attic.  I painting the lids with a dark orange (Americana-Paprika).  It took about two coats, but no other special paints to get it to adhere to the lids (I wasn't in case you have that question).  I let that layer dry and then painted a face with black paint.  After THAT dried I took a thing white brush and outlined them a little (not fully).  I then took a paint brush and white paint and 'flicked' some paint on the lids.  This is probably my favorite finish-it just looks flat to me without those little flecks.
I added a clear gloss on top so it wouldn't scratch and then some twine I got at the dollar tree.  
I'm sharing this tip b/c I spend a small fortune on ribbon...and seriously...a buck for three?  I didn't even put a dent in one and it makes a nice finish.  

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Bugs and Kisses in the Mail

 The idea of kisses and bugs isn't new for Halloween, but I three a twist into the mix and filled an empty water bottle with these and mailed them to some little ones.  I cut a slit in the middle, stuff my rings and kisses inside, then sealed it off with tape and a fun label.
I mailed this for less than two bucks....I give my cousin's kiddos lots to talk about around the dinner table.  I was informed that spiders weren't technically bugs, but....I think I'm allowed to take creative license when it comes to the aesthetic affect I'm going for....and the spider rings were fun colors that popped around the kids can just be confused a few more years....

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Spell Books

I have a stack of old books from a project I did last year.  I've slowly, but surely, been crafting my way through the remainder of the box!  I painted some of them black (with a can of 99 cent spray from Walmart) and then I took some black glitter paint and painted the edge of the pages.  I tied them all together and then added some little phrases on the spines.  You could hand write these, but I used a cricut b/c my hand writing has lots of room for improvement.  I used some sparkle tulle to put them all together, and then added a little spider and bottle (I paint the end of the bottle green by dumping green paint inside and turning it upside down so all the sides were coated and the excess dripped out).  Easy and quick-and now....I have a few less books that are taking up space in the box by my door where I left them almost a year ago.....oops!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Caramel belongs to fall.  I visit it a lot throughout the year, but....when it's fall, it's a mandatory part of my home.  I made these last year for a meeting and they were they should be....caramel and chocolate?  As if there was any, if you need a little goodness in your life.
Ingredients:  32 caramel squares (unwrapped), 1/2 c. heavy cream, 3.4 c. butter (melted), 3/4 c. brown sugar, 1 c. flour, 1 c. rolled oats, 1 t baking soda, 6 oz semisweet chips
Instructions:  Combine caramels and cream in a small pan over low heat.  Stir until it is completely smooth and then set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and soda.  Pat half of the oatmeal mix into the bottom of an 8x8 greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.  Pour caramel mix over chocolate chips.  Crumble the rest of the oatmeal mix over the caramel mix.  Return to the oven and bake for 18 minute (until the edges are lightly browned).  Remove and cool before cutting.
*You can use caramel sauce instead of the Carmel and cream mix-use 1 1/4 c of sauce.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Primitive Fall Wreath

 This summer I went to a quilting retreat.  In a very uncharacteristic move...I didn't bring too many projects...which meant I have time...and some stuffing to fill that time with.  I started googling ideas for primitive Halloween projects.  It's currently my obsession.  I saw a wreath like this on etsy...and so I put together a few characters.
 Here is a free link to the crow pattern.  There are a lot of things I'm pretty mediocre at, but when it comes to free form's a weird skill I excel at....I drew a pattern of this bird before I sewed him together.  I added a button eye and a scrap for his scarf...b/c crows wear scarves.  You could also paint his beak, but....I didn't have my paints, and I didn't have my motivation when I got home!  I used some primitive-ish looking fabric I got at JoAnne's.
 I cut rough circles out of brown fabric, stitch a loose stitch along the edge and then pulled it shut after adding stuffing.  I cut two more circles with yellow and fringed the edge and then glued it to the back.
For the pumpkin I cut out a rectangle, sewed three sides, stuffed, and then put a stick in the middle and gathered the top.  I wired on some Spanish moss to a grapevine wreath and then glued these guys down and added a bow.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Meet my current obsession.  I've made it twice in just a few weeks (and I'm not someone who repeats a meal....almost EVER).  I love trying new things, so when I go right back to the same thing I just's time to put on the breaks.  This is the nod to the last of the summer vegetables....though Texas hasn't got with the fall weather program yet...the growing season is over....even if it's just because the vegetables were all scorched from the August sun.  Regardless, the great thing about this salad is you accidentally get a bunch of vegetables in every forkful....crazy!  So...if you are in need of vegetable downed in a tasty way or just another great summer (or winter) salad recipe, I give this an A++ from Just A Taste.  Just a note-the tortellini makes or break it.  Go with the fresh.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Ingredients for the Pasta:  1 lb tortellini, 1 red onion (thinly sliced), 1 pkg cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 cucumber (sliced thin), 4 oz feta cheese
Ingredients for the Dressing:  1/3 red wine vinegar, 2  lemon juice, 1 t sugar, 2 t oregano (dried), 1/2 t red pepper flakes, 1/2 c. olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste)
1.  Prepare tortellini according to package instructions.
2. Toss together the vegetables, feta and pasta.  
3.  Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over pasta.  Toss.  Serve at room temperature or chill and serve.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Candy Corn Sign

I promise to do an extended tutorial on wood signs (just in case someone is curious),'s a finished project, in case *you* already know all about the ins and outs of wood (and could probably teach me a thing or six).  I bought some stakes at home depot and a sheet of wood.  I drew a bunch of candy corn (they could also be gumdrop) shapes.  There were cut/sanded, then painted.  It didn't have to be perfect lines b/c I went back with black paint and made all sorts of little squiggles and lines and flicked it with black paint.  Paint flicking covers up a multitude of painting sins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cat Dictionary Page

I posted a dictionary page tutorial last week.  I've been using my search engine to find more primitive/vintage pictures and creating a whole dictionary collection.  Here's Halloween dictionary picture #2.  I found some black frames at the dollar store and instead of a second piece of glass, I used a clear sheet of laminating.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Galveston 2015

 Over Labor Day I went to the beach with my Mom, cousin, and aunt.  We do this every few years.  We love to go to Galveston Island.  I've blogged about Galveston a lot.  It's about six hours from my house.  We spent some time on the harbor near the Strand.
 My cousin loves sea life, so we took a dolphin cruise one morning...and you couldn't NOT see dolphins if your eyes were open.
 I'm sure all the shrimp boats fishing here help.
 A few years ago the island was devastated by a hurricane.  A lot of my favorite shops closed, but....I was excited to see them opening again.  In the end, some of the places are even better than before, definitely a beauty from ashes story.
 My favorite place to spend the afternoon is on the strand.  Once upon a time this was a bustling place thanks to the port, many well to do families settled and shopped here.  It's next to the cruise ports, so cute shops and fun restaurants remain.  I always hunt down cute things for the house...and an ice cream.
 Back on the sea wall they've built a pier with rides and restaurants where a hotel stood before the hurricane....but before that amusement park.  Full circle.
 Sea gulls.  Hard to miss.
 We spent one morning at Stewart Beach.  I was stung by a man o' war here once upon a teenage years.  I now do more wading at the edge.
 We also tried out two relatively new restaurants.  Jimmy's is built on a pier over the water.  The atmosphere was fun, the big wooden seats were neat, and I watch the Baylor game and met fellow alumni.  Just a word of warning, at times the mosquitoes dig this area, so...bring your spray, but...when we were there the wind kept them away.  It was a friend who later went who told me about the bugs.  They came in with the rain b/c I found them the next day too in other spots.  We also ate at a little historic home in the middle of the island called the Mosquito Grill.  The food was excellent.  The line waiting outside can attest to their quality.  It was worth the (relatively short) wait.
We also took the ferry across to the Bolivar Peninsula.  We also got stuck in a 4 hour traffic jam....ooops.  But....I got to see the light house.  I'm a fan of light houses, windmills, and church steeples, least this was that greeting us once we got off the ferry.
It was a relaxing weekend.  I've written about Galveston a few dozen times, but....I'm sure I've got a few dozen more in me before it gets old, and I love that I still get to discover new things in familiar places.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dictionary Page Pumpkin

 This is one of my favorite crafts of the season.  I've been obsessed with old dictionaries that's not something people say often at parties.  I found a free primitive pumpkin printable and I saved it to Word and added a little message.  I ripped the page out of the dictionary that contained the word jack o lantern and printed it on this page.
 I took an old frame and discarded the back.  I hot glued the glass in place, used double sided tape on the back of the page and pasted it down to a second piece of glass.  I hot glued this second piece down next.
I loved the 'floating look.'  This particular page is a little shy of the 8x10 frame so this worked for me.  I've been playing around with using clear laminated pages or old overheads on the back instead of a second piece of glass and that works pretty well.  More to come!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Easy Eyeball Halloween Card

 This year I was determined to make all the cards I send by hand.  NOT because it's cheaper, somehow felt more thoughtful....right up until life hit.  BUT....luckily I worked ahead this summer, so I've made enough for 2 of the 6 major holidays when I send out cards.  I have one friend with three little boys, so I have to make at least three different cards.  I've posted a few but here's another easy one.
 I bought this little pack of eye balls.  It makes two cards.  Hobby Lobby has them on sale about every other week.  So...half off makes it affordable.  I used a little 'pokey' thing I've had forever to punch holes into the card.  I don't know what it is officially called, but....I use it all the time.  I bought in near the scrapbook section at a craft store.
I printed off a little message and mounted it on some bright paper inside.  The one thing I've learned about brads and the mail is it's usually a good idea to place another piece of thick paper over the brads as they mail or the sorting machine may punch holes in the envelope.  Just a little PSA.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Single Serving Cookie Dough

  • This summer I 'needed' cookie dough.  I do NOT 'need' the calories, but....sometimes you have to compromise.  My friend was telling me she made a cookie dough with no eggs you can eat raw and she tosses it in ice cream...or on a spoon and then into her mouth.  I googled and found a single serving recipe (probably the equivalent of 2 cookies).  Uhh...YES please.  This taste soooo good.  It's a great recipe, not so great for the diet, but....better than a whole batter....until you make it two days in a row.  If you are in need of cookie dough, for a party of one-this ones a winner.  
  • Egg Less Raw Cookie Dough
  • Ingredients:  1 T sugar, 1 T brown sugar, 1 T butter (softened), 2 T. chocolate chips, 1 T water, ⅛ t. vanilla, pinch of salt, pinch of baking soda, 4 T flour 
  • Instructions:  Blend all ingredients.  Pull out a spoon and eat.  Repeat.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Seam Binding Ribbon 101...thanks to the advice of other crafty folks.

I have bought a ton of this vintage looking ribbon in my life.  it's hanging off of a lot of things in my room.  I spend quite a bit of yard at boutiques, but....I could never figure out where in the world it came from!  I didn't even know what it was called until I got together with some fellow crafters this summer and one of them (Hi, Lori) mentioned she loved using seam binding for ribbon....what?  I LOVE crafting with crafters!  It unlocked a pretty big mystery in my life.  
I went home right away and googled it (thought I'm scheduling a tutorial soon with the pros).  I found this seam binding online.  I looked/asked in craft stores around here, and none of them had it (shout out if you know where to buy it).  I had this glimmer spray in my stash already.  It was called 'leather.'  That's a fancy way to say...brown.  
 I wadded up my ribbon (very technical) and I sprayed it with some brown spray.  I then got it a little damp and just started working the dye through the ribbon...adding more until I got my desired 'grunge' color.  If you wanted a less 'even' color....go back and spray some more when it's dried...that's going to be my next attempt.  I'm just at the start of my seam binding adventures...this post is mostly to say-I cracked the code (thanks to some well timed conversations).

Friday, September 11, 2015

Coal Gift Bags

 I thought I was so ahead of things this summer as I was making Christmas gifts...until I read one of my other friends said she was WRAPPING Christmas gifts!'m not ready to wrap them, but....I did decide to make some easy gift bags with some left over white bags I had from another craft.
 I typed the word coal and printed it on a piece of cardstock.
 I taped the bag onto the paper and positioned it where I wanted it to go.  I taped the top where it would start running through the printer and then both sides right by where it was going to print (to help stabilize it and keep the ink from smearing).
I carefully lifted off the tape and now....I'm ready to wrap.  OK...not really, but I could be.  And clearly, I have a bunch of naughty people getting gifts this year.