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Category — Craft

panic attack

I am having a bit of a panic attack. I don’t want to give you one too, but…

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks from today!

If that wasn’t bad enough….

Christmas is 6 weeks from today!!!!

kims tins

  • How does this happen every single year?
  • How do these major holidays sneak up on me?
  • What the heck am I doing the other 10 months of the year that I can’t be better prepared?
  • Does this happen to you?

Above is a true sign of my full-blown attack – I start asking rapid fire questions in complete and utter disbelief!

Breathe! In and out. Slow and deep breaths.

OK, I’m going to gather myself and dive head first in the holiday season by showing you how I’m going to get crafty with a recent windfall that was bestowed on me.

My dear, very sweet, thoughtful and generous friend, Kim, is moving. She has dropped off goodies to me for a few weeks now. Love!

tins from kim

The other day she brought a box filled with tartlet and candy tin molds.

light string

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November 13, 2014   4 Comments

gingerbread time!

At the Craft Party last weekend, it may have been warm outside and most of the guests were wearing shorts and sundresses …. that doesn’t mean we can’t begin to dream about and enjoy the fun and flavors of fall and winter!

crafting

What the heck!??! We were making fall and winter crafts so we may as well eat food associated with the season! With that in mind, I made these tasty gingerbread muffins.

gingerbread muffins

Gingerbread Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 8-ounces sour cream
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

Grease 12 muffin cups; set aside.

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October 17, 2014   3 Comments

zucchini & tomatoes

Rainy and crafts

This is Rainy and the crafts she made at the Craft Party. Cheryl and Angie provided the Fall Wire Tray (with all the trimmings) as their craft and Sloane brought the Thankful Glitter Leaf Garland that Rainy chose to make.

Below is the second egg dish I served at the Craft Party. A quick note about it – leftovers are only good the day after. By the third day, the tomatoes have given off too much of their liquid and it gets soggy. If you don’t have a crowd of 10 to 12 to serve, feel free to cut the recipe in half and assemble in an 8-inch square baking dish, bake for the same amount of time.

Z & T Strata

Z & T Strata

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 green zucchini, ends trimmed then sliced in half diagonally, then thinly slice
  • 1 yellow zucchini, ends trimmed then sliced in half diagonally, then thinly slice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups dry French bread cubes
  • 3 cups shredded Swiss cheese (12 ounces)
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat. Use a brush and take some of the butter and grease a 3-quart baking dish; set the baking dish aside.

Zucchini and tomato

Add tomatoes and zucchini to skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 6 minutes, , stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to lose their firmness but do not allow them to pot; remove from heat.

cooked

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October 16, 2014   5 Comments

Cocktail Infusions

The original craft that Tram planned to bring for the Craft Party was a very cool black and white-painted harlequin pumpkin. She and I looked at several options on Pinterest and we were both quite excited about it.  Then… time passed and well, if you’ve read this blog for more than a few months, you know that Tram has adorable 7-month old twins, Zak & Zoey. 

Z&Z

Yeah, I know! They are just about the cutest thing on this Earth! And to think that when they start talking up a storm, they will be calling me “Aunt Linda” – I’m super excited about that!

Anyhow, Tram has her hands more than full. As the party approached, I decided to take the pressure off and offer an easier craft option. One that I could help her with and one that was close to her strength. One with coffee! You also probably know that Tram and her husband, Steve, own Press Coffee Roasters.

So… I found some awesome bottles. Here are the bottles we used. Next, I gathered up all the ingredients needed – except some cinnamon sticks, and the coffee, of course, which I left to the expert! Somehow, between the two of us, we came up with the most popular craft at the party.

infussionsPhoto courtesy of Tram Mai

Cocktail Infusions!

And not just one flavor, but three delicious options!

Shopping Notes: All of the dried fruits were purchased at Trader Joe’s.  The whole spices can be found at any grocery store. The brown sugar cubes at Cost Plus and the rock sugar at an Asian market.

They come together in no time and make THE perfect hostess gift for the holidays. Or just a super cool thing for your own bar. Enjoy!

cranberry

To make the Cranberry Infusion:

Gently remove the cork topper.

Place about 5 of each of the three varieties of cranberries in the bottle. Add 2 brown sugar cubes and 8 white rock sugar pieces. Tear 2 of the large pieces of the dried Mandarin fruit into the bottle.

Return the cork topper and add the Cranberry Infusion label.

 (Trader Joe’s carries at least three varieties of cranberries. All have slightly different coloring and texture, so I bought 3 packages for added interest. You can use just one variety and drop in 15 cranberries of the same type.)

ginger

To make the Ginger-Cardamom Infusion:

Gently remove the cork topper.

Place 4 pieces of the Crystallized Ginger and 6 pieces of the Uncrystallized Ginger in the bottle. Add 2 brown sugar cubes and 8 white rock sugar pieces. Add 1 tablespoon Cardamom seeds to the bottle. Tear 2 of the large pieces of the dried Mandarin fruit into the bottle.

Return the cork topper and add the Ginger-Cardamom Infusion label.

(Same thing with the ginger. It would be perfectly fine to just use either ginger, but the two add a better look to the bottle with more variety and interest.)

espresso

To make the Espresso Infusion:

Gently remove the cork topper.

Place 2 tablespoons coffee beans (preferably Press Coffee!) in the bottle. Add 2 brown sugar cubes and 6 white rock sugar pieces. Next add 1 piece of vanilla bean (cut a vanilla bean in thirds and just add 1/3 of the bean) plus 1 piece of cinnamon stick, and 3 whole loves.

Return the cork topper and add the Espresso Infusion label.

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October 15, 2014   5 Comments

Caramel Apple Crêpes

caramel apple crepes

This was the most popular recipe from the Craft Party, not surprising since it’s basically a dessert disguised as a breakfast food. Tomorrow, I’ll post the instructions for one of the most popular crafts that was offered … Cocktail Infusions. Those may not sound exactly crafty, but they are easy to assemble and make great hostess gifts!

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October 14, 2014   6 Comments

breakfast lasagna

crafty!

Yesterday, I held my 5th annual Craft Party.  This time around, I only provided three craft options and asked the attendees to provide crafts they wanted to share too.

Just as only one of my three craft sold out while the other two went nearly or completely untouched – some of the guest crafts were very popular and others only had one or two that were made. But, it’s all good – everyone had a great time crafting, eating, drinking and socializing.

craft food

I made two egg dishes, a sweet crêpe option, muffins and, as promised, the Frosted Pumpkin Cookies.

The first recipe I’ll be sharing is a fun breakfast or brunch lasagna.

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October 13, 2014   2 Comments

2014 Fall/Winter Craft Party

It’s that time of year…. Time for the 3rd Annual Craft Party!

fall leaves

This year, I’m not the only one coming up with the crafts. A few of my “usual suspect” crafters are providing craft ideas, supplies and instruction too.

gift tags

2014 Fall/Winter Craft Party

 
Sunday, October 12, 2014
10:30 AM
 
 

flower art

Please leave me a comment if you would like to join us, and I’ll send you all the nitty-gritty details.

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October 1, 2014   1 Comment

Easter Eggs and Easter menu ideas

Instead of my usual Silk Transfer Easter Eggs, I went another route this year. On Pinterest, I found Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs.

IMG_9592

I hard-boiled 9 eggs and used the technique explained on This Site for the first eight eggs. Then on whim, I tried another technique and ended up with the egg above. I love the end results and will show you how to do both.

IMG_9570

Plus I’m putting up links to all of my Easter recipes as listed on the Complete Recipe Index – over there on the left, if you are still trying to figure out what to make.

IMG_9590

Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs

8 to 12 white hard-boiled eggs, cold
Printed paper cocktail or lunch napkins
1 egg white, lightly beaten

napkin squares ready

Open the napkins and separate the printed top layer from plain second layer if napkin has two layers. Discard any plain sheets.

IMG_9575

Cut each napkin into four squares, along the folds.

IMG_9581

Dip a small pastry brush into the beaten egg white and use to adhere and apply a square onto the front center of an egg.

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April 17, 2014   5 Comments

Friday Q & A

Wow, this week went fast! I can’t believe it’s Friday already.

figure tape holder

Once again, I shall be answering one of Lori’s questions. Lori put forth several when I asked you to pose questions to me. This is one that I didn’t expect to be getting to quite so soon. But the week flew by so fast, that I wasn’t ready to answer the tougher questions she asked… here we go:

Are you going to unveil your plan for your “playroom” when you figure it out?!?

ribbons

Yes, Lori, it’s not only figured out.. it’s all done. Well, not completely done… but done for now.

wrap copy

I desperately needed a space to store and organize all my craft supplies in one central location. It’s been stuffed in several places throughout the house; the garage, my closet, in the buffets in the dining room, the master bedroom sitting room, in the kids’ rooms (under their beds – without their knowledge) and even in the backyard patio area.

As I mentioned in a post earlier this month, I’ve reclaimed a portion of a large room upstairs that we’ve always called “the playroom.”  The playroom has always had a television, couch, and computer desk. In the early years it had a dozen shelves along two of the walls. Those shelves housed Marissa’s extensive collections of Disney figurines and Connor’s huge collection of Star Wars action figures. The shelves came down and the toys went up into the attic, years ago. There were also about a half-dozen tall white cupboards, in the early days, that held school craft and art materials, games, videos and toys… those too are long gone.

double doors

More recently the room has been an extra bedroom, with a trundle daybed and also sadly became sort of a junk room. When your kids are college age, they accumulate dorm/apartment furniture and when they finish college, that stuff has to get dumped somewhere… this room became our “somewhere.”

TV

Currently, the room is divided into three distinct areas – television lounge area … also known as Connor’s lair.

Cons desk

… Connor’s computer desk area …

daybed

… and my craft area, which still has the daybed included in it. Here are some of the details and close-ups.

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February 21, 2014   4 Comments

Christmas bunting

bunting on black fireplace

This, the simplest and the least expensive of the crafts, is my absolute favorite. So sweet and old-fashioned.

book page bunting

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December 16, 2013   6 Comments