Friday, June 28, 2013

Makeup By Candlelight

The photo above appears as if one is getting ready for a relaxing and enjoyable bath, doesn't it? Well, I only wish. We had some bad storms move through the area which left us without electricity and water for two days. I felt so primitive. I had to use candlelight to put on my makeup. No wonder women didn't wear makeup back in the old days!

Living out in the country we are used to being the last to be restored during power outages. I've gotten into the habit of filling one of the bathtubs with water when I hear a storm rolling in, just in case. We use that water for washing, and pool water for toilets. We always have a lot of drinking water on hand so that's never a problem.

But on another note, we will be shopping for a whole house generator this fall!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Christmas in July is One Week Away!

Just a little reminder that my Christmas in July Extravaganza is just one week away! I have lots of fun stuff planned, so check back here next week!

Shopping for the Baby Registry

In a few short months my first grand-baby will be here! Today I went with the kids to register for their baby shower. I was amazed at how many thing they have for baby now. Things sure have changed in the 27 years since I had my first one. Prices have changed quite a bit too. The registry is much different as well. Now they hand you a scanner instead of paper and a checklist. And my son was having way too much fun with that scanner!

We went to two stores and saw lots of baby things!

And you might notice the pink elephant in the picture, yep, it's a girl!

Background paper and clipart are from my baby collections available at my Etsy Shop.

Friday, June 21, 2013

3-Dimensional Paint - Helpful Tips

using 3-dimensional paints, fabric paints, craft tips, sewing tips

I LOVE my 3-Dimensional paint! My favorite thing to use it on are fabric and felt crafts. When it comes to making gingerbread boys and girls, it makes the best frosting! It's also a great supply for kids to use on their crafts (see the photo below with the treat/gift bags). Lately with my mug rug craze, I'm finding it handy to embellish them with this washable product as well.

This paint can be pretty tricky to work with if you’ve never used it. The following are some little tips that will help you to prevent problems such as spitting and globbing. I figured spell-check wouldn’t accept globbing, but you know what I mean!

~It’s best to start with a fresh bottle rather than using paint that has been laying around forever.

~Before using, shake very, very well. I always hold the bottle upside down while shaking so that the paint goes toward the tip.

~Lay a napkin or paper on your work surface and tap the tip on it several times during your project. This will help keep the paint at the tip, and prevent air bubbles that can cause spitting.

~I always do a little test drop on my napkin or paper before applying to my project. I even do this several time during my project. You never know when there is an air bubble or glob at the tip waiting to mess up your project!

~Keep a napkin in hand while working on your project so you can keep that tip clean. This will help you get nice, clean lines or dots.

~If you are new to this product, I'd suggest practicing before using it on your project. But once you get the hang of it, you'll love it and will find all kinds of things to use it on!

All the patterns to the photos you see in the photo above, along with the gingerbread napkin rings, garland, and ornaments, can be found at my Craftsy and Etsy shops.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ho Ho Cake - So Delicious!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the Dads!

For our celebration, I made Ho Ho Cake. If you haven't make it yet, you're going to want to!


BAKE regular chocolate cake mix and let cool. 

You will need a larger baking pan. I used 11x16 inches. You could also use two smaller pans. A 9x13 will be too small.

5 tbsp. flour
1 1/4 c. milk
1 c. sugar
1 stick butter
1 c. shortening
In a saucepan, add the milk gradually to the flour and cook over low heat until thickened. Set aside to cool. In the mixer, blend sugar, butter and shortening. Beat well. Add the flour and milk mixture to this and beat 3 to 4 minutes at high speed until light and fluffy. Spread the filling on the cake. Refrigerate immediately. In fact, if you can, put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. It helps if the filling is firm when you spread the chocolate frosting on it.

1 stick margarine (melted)
9 Tbsp cocoa
2 1/2 Tbsp hot water
3 tbsp oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Combine.....and beat til smooth.

Spread on top of filling.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Christmas in July - Coming Soon!

I love Christmas and I will be having a Christmas in July Celebration and doing it up BIG! I have fun Holiday recipes, a couple new tutorials, free digital downloads, ridiculous random sales, and more. And speaking of random, there will be random giveaways for my facebook fans because I LOVE to give things away! There are also a couple of other surprises, but my lips are sealed! So keep a watch for it!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Walking For Fitness

Even though I have an elliptical trainer and several Pilates DVDs, my favorite form of exercise has always been walking and hiking. No special equipment is needed, and you can do it anywhere, home or away. 

If I'm in the mood for some beautiful scenery and loud crashing waves, I drive a few minutes and walk along the shores of Lake Michigan. We even have a lighthouse that you can get to by walking along a pier.

If I'm really energetic I hit the trails at the Dunes. Trail 8 is a killer! It takes you up three huge dunes and back. They also have moderate and easy trails as well. We also have a bunch of smaller parks near our home that have nice walking trails.

Sometimes I just want to walk and get back home, those times, I hit the country roads by my house. I just put on my walking shoes, grab my camera (always) and start walking. 

One of my favorite things to do is find quaint little towns, Main Street style, and stroll. We don't have much of that around here, but it's worth the drive if we want to walk some. We can get to St. Joseph, Michigan or Saugatuck in less than an hour.

Whenever we are on vacation or out of town for something, we can always find someplace nice to walk.

Photo above: the shores of Lake Michigan on one of my walks just before sunset. Photo taken at the Indiana Dunes State Park.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

On Creative Overload!

I've heard of writers getting writer's block but I can't even imagine what that must be like. I've never heard of designers, crafters, seamstresses, knitters, sculptors, or jewelry makers getting creative block.  I seem to go in the opposite direction where I get what I call, "Creative Overload." I get so many ideas, and want to make so many things, that there just aren't enough hours in a day. Right now, as I'm typing this, I have a little basket on my work table with 11 mug rugs and mini quilts all fused and ready to be stitched. In the hanging file folder organizer I have about a dozen more patterns that I've already designed and printed, just need to be put together and documented. I also have a list on my computer, on my tablet, and even on paper of projects I want to do next. I just wish there were more hours in the day!

Do you ever get on a major Creative Overload like I do?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FREEBIES - Summer Vacation Facebook Hop is Here!

The facebook hop is closed but you can still get this freebie on the FREEBIE page of my website.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Favorite - Weight Watcher's Fudge Ice Cream Bars

As I was enjoying these super delicious Weight Watcher's Fudge Ice Cream Bars, it dawned on me that it had been a while since I've shared one of my favorites with you. 

The battle of the bulge has been so difficult for me, but I feel like I've finally gotten a grip on things. This delicious and guilt free treat makes it so easy! I just discovered them last week. I actually bought them by accident because I thought I was getting the ice cream bars with the ice cream inside, and the hard shell coating on the outside. I'm so glad I made this mistake. These things are so chocolaty and creamy, you feel like you are really splurging! Each one is only 100 calories and 1 gram of fat. And they are huge, in fact much bigger than any fudge bar I've eaten.

Signing off for now. Going to pull one out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter for about 10 to 15 minutes so it will get nice and soft, then I'm going to indulge....quilt free!
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