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Category — Craft

Marissa’s Bridal Shower


After a long hiatus, as promised, the next week will be filled with photos, crafts, recipes, and details from my daughter’s beautiful bridal shower. But before I begin, I want to let you know that I’ve missed creating and sharing recipes. I’ve really missed blogging. I’ve missed posting. I’ve missed you! It feels good to be back, even if only for a week.

window hearts

Today will be mostly a pictorial, giving an overview of the party. Tomorrow, the details will begin.

lined envelope

As any good invitation should do, this one set the theme.


Marissa is a voracious reader. She loves books. Her degree in Journalism with a Creative Writing minor, so a literary theme fit her to a tee.

book sleeves

Immediately upon entering, guests were greeted by a table filled with library bookplates with their names on them. The bridal party’s bookplates had a little bling tied to theirs.


A chalkboard sign instructed them what to do with their bookplate. Marissa’s maid-of-honor, Kaley, used her perfect penmanship and artistic flair to create all the chalkboard signs for the shower. Thank you, Kaley!

the table

When guests walked into Barbara Fenzl’s beautiful backyard, this is the table where they had their choice of seats.

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May 12, 2015   6 Comments

handmade birthday gifts

As soon as I received the invitation to Zak & Zoey’s First Birthday Party, I began thinking about a unique gift for them.

play pen

I knew they didn’t need more toys, as you can see! This space used to be Steve & Tram’s beautiful formal living room now turned into a huge playpen. Or as Tram calls, it Romper Room! Kids change your life!


I turned to Etsy. If you don’t already know about Etsy …” Etsy is a website where you can buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art, supplies and so much more. Etsy is the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace.” You can literally buy anything crafty from this site, literally anything!

I typed “1st birthday gifts” into the search bar and began strolling through all the possibilities.

etsy chalkboard

The first thing that caught my eye was this personalized chalkboard sign. I immediately sent an email to Tram asking for the twins’ favorite toys and foods and their first words, heights, weights, etc.

She replied, “Aww, you are SO SWEET!!!! We think alike! I’m actually having Steve work on this chalkboard 1-year mark too. I’m sure it’s similar to what you were thinking! I’m sorry to have spoiled your idea if that’s what it was.”

Darn, back to the drawing board.


Next, I spotted the party hats! I could not pass those up and absolutely had to order one for each, but that wasn’t a gift they would be able to open, so I needed something more.

etsy scrabble art

Finally, I found this! The best part? I can make this myself! I have a boxful of scrabble letters, I have blue and pink craft paper leftover from Tram’s baby shower and I have glue. All I needed were the shadow boxes.

pile of tiles

If you don’t happen to have extra scrabble tiles lying about and you don’t want to break into your Scrabble game to poach them, they can be easily found online, including on Etsy. Just type “Scrabble tiles” in the search bar and you’ll be amazed by all the options.

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March 17, 2015   2 Comments

TBT craft

This post is part “throwback Thursday” since Christmas 2014 was on a Thursday and part craft project for Christmas 2015.

I meant to share this back in mid-December… but… I forgot. Even so, it’s still an easy and fun craft for next Christmas.

I made a few of them as gifts this year and I’m planning to make many more for next year.

Here is the back story:

I was in serious “purge mode” last Thursday. I had finally owned up to the fact that I wasn’t wearing at least 80% of the clothes in my closet and about 90% of the shoes.

So I went through it, with a very critical eye, and this is what I gathered up to give away.


That mess on my bed consists of:

  • 26 skirts
  • 22 dresses
  • 11 pairs of dress pants
  • 7 jackets and sweaters


  • Over 13 DOZEN (that’s more than 156!!!) tops and blouses



… 53 pairs of shoes!

It is so freeing!

The dresser is my next target!

I did hold on to two really nice sweaters. One green and one cream for crafting purposes.

Here is what I’m going to make with them.

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January 29, 2015   1 Comment

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!


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 the skillet, and 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.


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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. 


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!


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 textures, so I bought 3 packages for added interest. You can use just one variety and drop in 15 cranberries of the same type.)


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 of 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.)


To make the Espresso Infusion:

Gently remove the cork topper.

Place 2 tablespoons of 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 breakfast food. Tomorrow, I’ll post the instructions for one of the most popular crafts that were 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


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 crafts 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 Fall 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