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1  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Quick and Cheap - My "use what you've got" Halloween Mantle - Pom Flowers Added on: October 11, 2012 01:27:48 PM
I'mmm baaaack!
Like that's original.



So, I have a goofy little fake fireplace in my living room. My former room mate is making me keep it for her so I can't really do anything crazy with it. Usually it's just a drop off area for keys and library books and stuff. But the other night I got the urge to decorate... and having nothing to decorate with wasn't gonna stop me. I dove into my crafting closet and grabbed everything remotely Halloweenish I could find and got to work.

I started with a card I bought years ago just cuz I liked it.



But it needed a frame. So I stole snagged an old frame from my former room mates closet (she'll never remember it). God, it was awful, all fake wood and gold... so I painted it black. This took almost all night since I was working with a foam brush instead of spray paint.
Of course the frame was way bigger than the card so I made a sorta mat from some glittery spider web scrapbooking paper and put that on top of some brown paper. I crumpled the brown paper just cuz. A little glue sticking later and the picture was all ready.



An old candle found a home on the mantle with the picture.



I had another little picture frame and I filled that one with more of the glittery spider web paper. Inspiration struck and I cut a cute little pumpkin out of the other odd papers I had. Made it a stem by rolling some of the brown paper and glue sticking it on top. It needed a leaf, but I didn't have anything even remotely green... poor leafless pumpkin. More desperation inspiration and I used a green Sharpy to color some white paper, cut it out and my pumpkin has a leaf.



Next I grabbed a bottle of Jamaican Rum Cream (yes, I just got back from Jamaica), finished the booze, rinsed it out and wrapped it with twine.



I almost forgot... the first thing I made was a little bunting to hang on the bottom of the mantle. Just used more scrapbook paper and some twine I found in the laundry room.



Then I cut out some bats, just cuz I had some paper left and I had this really cute little bat template I wanted to use. I plan on hanging them with thread in the window, but till then they're just chillin' on the mantle.



That's it!



Nope... that's not it.
I really thought the twine wrapped bottle needed something so I made some pom pom flowers for it.



I think they add some needed height and interest. Don't I sound all designer-ish?

2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Brown Sugar, Oatmeal Muffins into Cakey Bars Thingy with Recipe on: July 21, 2011 10:13:26 AM



I have a muffin recipe that I've been making since my kids were little. I liked the recipe cuz it was fairly healthy, fast enough to put together, bake and have on the table while the kids dressed on a school morning and everyone like them.
Over the years the recipe has evolved from muffins into a cake/bar thing. This happened for a couple of reasons -
After a move I found myself without muffin tins and wanting a muffin fix.
I'm lazy and this makes the whole process even easier, no fussing with individual muffins.

Today I used chopped Dried Apricots leftover from Christmas baking. They've been in the frig all this time and they're still good... really... they are.



The RECIPE

1 cup Quick Oats
1 cup All Purpose Flour
teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder

cup Brown Sugar

cup Oil or Melted Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Whole Eggs
cup Milk

1 cup Golden Raisins or Chopped Apricots or Dried Cherries or whatever you have leftover from Christmas Baking

Heat your oven to 400 and prepare your muffin pans. This batch makes 12 muffins.
*Or use a 10.5 x 6.5 inch shallow baking pan. It might sound like a weird size, but it comes in handy alot. I like to use mine to make deep dish Chef Boyardee Pizza, the mix in the box.*
Combine all of the dry ingredients except the brown sugar. Mix well.
Whisk, or just stir well with a fork, together all of the wet ingredients, including the brown sugar. Mix until completely blended.
Pour the wet ingredient mix over the dry ingredient mix and stir just till its all combined, no longer.
Fold in the golden raisins or whatever you're using.
Divide the batter between 12 muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes.
I use the toothpick test to be sure theyre done.

Cool slightly and enjoy.
These also freeze well and its the only way to keep any around for breakfast the next morning.
Just cut the cake into bars and wrap them individually in plastic and toss them in the freezer. I've also used zip baggies when I'm feeling extra lazy and I have some on hand.

***When I use the pan I like to unwrap the end of a stick of butter and hold it sorta like a pencil and rub it all over the bottom of the pan. Then when it's done baking and still hot do the same to the top of the cake/bars thingy. This is a 2fer cuz you get great buttery taste and it releases from the pan easier.



Here's a picture of the Chef Boyardee boxed pizza mix made up deep dish style in the same pan... just cuz it looks yummy...



I think that's all.

Enjoy!

3  COOKING / Dessert / Merloc Turds...surprise your favorite World of Warcraft fan on: December 20, 2007 10:25:59 AM
My friend, the World of Warcraft addict, asked for my help in putting together a Christmas box for some of the players in his guild. This is what we (I) came up with: we (I) made shrinky dink keychains from screenshots of their characters and cards. He bought some game cards and other items for them. And I made Goat Turds, which were quickly renamed Merloc Turds.

These have been a favorite in my family for years. The first time I made them my son was about 10. They were simply No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Cookies back then. I didn't like the spikey tops I got when I dropped them on the cookie sheet so I started rolling them into balls. After awhile I got tired and the balls became logs. Well, my son came in and saw them and immediately informed me that they looked like turds (remember he was 10 at the time). I added the goat part and there you have it.

Now, they have morphed again into Merloc Turds...

Appetizing...right?


the really great box we (I) made


the turds in all their oaty glory


the lovely card I (by now we know it was all me) made


and one of the keychains, not the greatest, but by now I was tired
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / The Candy Cane Mice are taking over!...with Template on: December 20, 2007 09:51:49 AM
These cute little guys came from Martha Stewarts Holiday Handmade Gifts 2007. I made them last year for just about everyone and again this year for everyone.
They're cheap, fast and easy...what more could you ask for? They make great add-ins for gifts you're shipping. And as you can see by the pictures I keep a bunch hanging around altho there never seems to be enough of them.

Ok...I tried the link to Marthas page, but it's not working. The only thing you really need to make these are the templates so I copied mine and here they are at the bottom of the pictures.
Wow! and they came out the exact size on my monitor. But if you're feeling lazy and decide to copy them directly from your monitor with a sheet of white paper and a sharpie marker be sure to have some alcohol nearby to clean the little sharpie marks off your screen quickly...I'm just sayin' is all.   Wink







5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Felt Transformer Ornaments For My Son & A Star For His Wife on: December 18, 2007 04:53:49 PM

Every Christmas, since they were little, I make or buy (shhhh) ornaments for my kids. This way I figured when they grew up they'd have their own collections.
My son is a huge Transformer fan, he loved them when he was little and he still does now that he's 27. So, this year he gets a felt Autobot and Decepticon Symbol for his ornaments. And his wife, who is willing to put up with his obsession for all things Star Wars and Transformer, gets a lovely beaded star.

Here's the two Transformer Symbols complete with jingle bells. Cuz every giant alien robot car thingy needs jingle bells for Christmas.


close up of the stitching on the Decepticon


my Daughter-in-Laws Beaded Star


and a close up of the beading


These were my first attempts at working with felt and I think they came out pretty good.

6  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Beef Barley Soup to return a favor... with Simple Recipe on: December 05, 2007 04:33:16 PM
A couple days ago a friend of mine made me a great fruit salad when I wasn't feeling well. Today I got to return the favor when my friend was suffering from a crappy headache and I made a big pot of Beef Barley.
Unfortunately I'm a vegetarian so I couldn't sample it, but I'm told that it's really good.

7  COOKING / Dessert / Fresh, Healthy Energy Food & Dessert too! on: December 04, 2007 04:23:55 PM

I don't know about you guys, but I always seem to overindulge during the holidays. After a day of running around, too many rich snack foods and not enough fluids I was feeling just a little under the weather. To my rescue came a dear friend with a luscious fruit salad. After downing the whole bowl full of watermelon, bananas, grapes and frozen blueberries I felt much better.
I thought I'd share this mound of fresh goodness with everyone. You can still see the frost on the blueberries.

8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitted Kitty - Cute and Easy...what more could you ask? on: November 23, 2007 11:54:50 AM

One adorable knitted kitty using the pattern from here
http://geobabe.livejournal.com/227621.html
It doesn't get much easier then this, he knits up with just two rectangles and the tail. Some shaping is involved, but not much.
The tail could be done using a simple I-cord or whatever works for you,  but if you follow the directions and use short rows it will curve up over the kittens back.
The first one I made using fuzzy white yarn and a stockinette stitch because I wanted it very soft and pliable. Knitting the correct number of rows in stockinette gave me a long rectangle which I thought was correct when looking at the diagram. But I got a weiner kitty. On this one I just knit till I had a square then added about 3 more rows...perfect.
He was made up using TLC Essentials worsted weight in High Plains with US 5, 3.75mm bamboo needles.



9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / One More Calorimetry on: November 23, 2007 09:50:47 AM

So I tried Knittys Calorimetry
http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTcalorimetry.html
to hopefully use as Christmas gifts.
It came out very nice and was really easy. The short rows intimidated me a little, but after I tried them I realized how easy they were to do. I did make it more narrow then the directions by using fewer short rows. I didn't wrap the short rows so that left me with six holes at the ends which work nicely as buttonholes and allow you to adjust the fit.
I used Caron Simply Soft Tweed in Violet, the color is actually a deep purple with flecks, on size US 5, 3.75mm bamboo needles.
I'd like to try it in something thicker and all wool for warmth.




please excuse the messy hair


I love the button from AC Moore
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Tropical Snowballs - the jury is still out on this one on: November 23, 2007 08:50:15 AM

OK, so I guess I promised to go to my friends daughter-in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner and needed something to take. Feeling lazy I checked all my sources for something quick and easy and came up with these. They are Pineapple Coconut Snowballs from Taste of Home Christmas Cookies & Candies, last years copy.
Since I'm in Florida for Thanksgiving I changed the name to Tropical Snowballs. All things considered they aren't bad, just weren't as impressive as I had hoped and really messy. They were messy to put together and are messy to eat. The coconut keeps falling off everywhere. Before I put them in the frig overnight they didn't look very appealing, the next morning they were much more solid and had taken on a whiter color.

They need to be kept cold which can be a problem in warmer weather, but they are refreshing and not too sweet.



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