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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Golden Snitches from Ferrero Rocher Chocolates on: May 05, 2019 06:07:50 PM

Golden Snitches.  Perfect for your Harry Potter party or a lunch box treat!  Made over 200 of these guys for the local teachers at two schools, so no worries if you need to make a bunch.  They make up fast!... that is if you have a cricut cutter.  If you have to cut wings by hand making 200 wouldn't be as fun lol. 

Ferrero Rocher Chocolates
Hot Glue & Gun
Wings, cut from cardstock is best  (if you have a cricut cutter, it's already ready for you https://design.cricut.com/#/landing/user-project/89148520 )

Peel the sticker off of the chocolate.
Place it on the space between the wings.
Fold the wings over to give some shape.
Place a spot of hot glue on the underside of the wings.
Press to the chocolate foil.

2  COOKING / Dessert / Easy Coconut Macaroons on: January 29, 2019 08:45:09 PM
Baked cookies for a funeral (with about 10 others) and later the director called me and said the widower called to ask who made the coconut macaroons and if they could have some more.  Best compliment ever.  Of course they could!  Made some more and took them over to his house.

Super easy and you can even use food storage.

Easy Coconut Macaroons

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: melting chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, coconut and salt. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla using your hands until well blended. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about golf ball size or one tablespoon of mixture.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until coconut is toasted.
Melt chocolate and dip bottoms in, then drizzle over top.

To make sweetened condensed milk with food storage:
cup hot water
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered milk
1 TBSP butter
Blend until smooth in a blender.  Makes one 14 oz can.

Recipe works well with gluten free flours.  Grandpa's Kitchen GF flour is my favorite.

Ghirardellis melting wafers makes a better dipping chocolate than chocolate chips, but regular chocolate chips will work.
3  Category Challenges / Occasions and Holidays: Challenge Entries / Dancing Lights on: January 06, 2019 05:41:32 PM
I guess I understand this challenge to be outdoor decorations as in fancy lights.  If it means painted boards and crafted cutesies than I'm out.  But for lights we sure have fun!

We're the annoying house with lights dancing to music!    Cheesy

I can't post the music but you can sing Frosty the Snowman in your head. I love the bottom right corner where the snow covers the lights and really makes it glow.  Can you imagine being my neighbor with this flashing in your window for a month?  LOL

... and now it's over, but we still plug in the roof lights just to try to get some light in the dark January nights!
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Grinch Themed Party, Balloons Decor on: December 07, 2018 06:55:21 AM
My church was having a big holiday Grinch themed Christmas party where I was asked to be the decorator.  I made 30 wild balloon centerpieces, 2 winding Whoville balloon Christmas trees, a string of balloon lights, and a carnival cutout face in the hole board for a photo op.  It was a bunch of work, but I received soooo many compliments it was embarrassing lol.  I was sitting at the back during dinner and the leader got up to thank the committee and I whispered "don't call me out, don't call me out..." he did. 

Centerpieces each had a grinch or a heart, 2 round balloons, a balloon lollipop, a spiral, and a balloon candy cane.  Also a cute little flier about Christmas meaning more than gifts.  It was copied from a pinterest idea. 

People walked in the hall to this.  I think it's so fun and whimsical!

Photo op, balloon string of lights and Who tree.

Grinch peekaboo

Buffet table decor, there were two of these giant grinch faces.  Funny!

By the end, quite a few of the centerpieces were dismantled as kids picked the pieces out and wore spirals on their heads or used candycanes as swords.  I gave away all the helium filled and tried to swipe a few centerpieces back that were full.  The rest, at the end I would pick apart and throw the balloons on the floor and kids would run to grab what they wanted.  I seriously had the thought of chumming the water for sharks haha.

Jealous cat helping me paint

All lined up and ready to go

I'm not even sure how long the cutout took.  20 hours maybe??  I'm so picky about colors, I changed the paint on four things and there's not too many colors anyway LOL.  You can see the background paint as I was trying to decide what tone I liked best.  DH was like, "uh, there's not much difference?"  I went with a color not even tested  Cheesy

Took about 600 balloons and at least six hours of constant balloon blowing up and twisting!  I have an electric pump though, so at least I didn't pass out lol.  People were wow-ed about the time when they asked and I just smiled and said, "Hey, my whole day was a netflix marathon.  What could be better?" It was fun, but I'm glad it's done!  Although, a lady who is having a grinch themed party next week is going to rent some of the decorations, so I'll have to fix the balloons that deflate by then so I'm not entirely finished with grinches in my front room.

Thanks for looking!  Grin
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Gift Basket, Harry Potter style on: October 12, 2018 08:37:36 PM
There's a fundraiser for a woman in my neighborhood who just got diagnosed with breast cancer.  They have been doing a "Gift Basket Challenge" on Facebook which is quite clever. ... like the ice bucket challenge, you make a gift basket for their fundraiser and then tag three others to do it.  Well, me being me, I had to go Harry Potter themed and I had to go overboard.  Hopefully it will earn her a bunch of money, but it seems that gift basket auctions don't do great around here.  Anything will help though!

Diagon Alley book, Harry Ornament, Gryffindor scarf, Butterbeers, Butterbeer glasses, wands, chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts Beans, Chocolate snitches, Lemon Drops, Cauldron.  It's the biggest cauldron I could find locally, and all my goodies wouldn't fit so I covered a board in a fancy red wrapping paper that nodded to gryffindor.  I love the look it gives!

The butterbeer mugs, wands, and chocolate frogs are handmade.  And I glued cut out wings on chocolates for snitches, so I guess that counts as crafted too.  lol

All wrapped up

Ticket.  Lists all that's inside so people can see at a glance without having to poke around the cellophane.  

Butterbeer glasses with etchings.  I made a third in case I messed one up.  I could still put two in the basket, but all three look good so I guess I better go buy another mug as a set for me!

Is it bad that I kind of want to bid on my own gift basket?  hehe


Story time!
I enjoyed putting together the Harry Potter basket but thought it wouldn't go for too much because gift basket auctions don't do too great around here.  Well we started bidding on it for ourselves, lol.  But there was another teen that bid it up, so we thought cool.  Well, his friend from our neighborhood comes up to us and says "hey, he has some money, go bid him up again."  We laughed and did it.  Went up again, until another boy started a bidding war with him.  Turns out boy #2 was the lady who we were raising funds for, son.  Organizer comes  over to me and asks about making another because this boy is eating up all his savings and asked his mom for some money to get my basket.  She says the mom really wants to get it for him because this is the first time he's really been excited about something for a while.   ...that broke my heart!  Of course I would make a second!  And how lovely that they liked my craft enough to fight over it!  So organizer gave the basket to boy #1 and I made fundraiser's son his own super basket.  Can't have the mom we are raising funds for put in her own cash!  Made new chocolates and mugs and wands and wrapped everything in paper and string.  And an owl can even deliver it!  Hope he liked his personal package!

6  COOKING / Dessert / Apple Crisp on: October 01, 2018 09:51:52 PM
Wanted to try this recipe because it mentioned double the crisp.  Thought that sounded yum!  And it was excellent!.... but only the first day lol.  The next day it was pretty mushy and even a trip back to the oven didn't crisp it up too much.  So if you make this plan to eat it nice and warm.  Could even half the recipe for a 9 inch pan so you don't have leftovers.


10 cups Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup Butter cubed while cold

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a 9x13 pan with a coating of butter.

Place sliced apples in a bowl and drizzle over lemon juice.  Turn to coat slices best you can. Add brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir gently and make sure every piece of apple is covered in the sugar mixture. Set aside.

Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Add in the cubed butter and use your hands to combine. You want the butter to be pea-sized and coated entirely. You should have 6 cups.

Spread 3 cups over the bottom of your prepared pan and press flat. Pour the apple mixture over top and press down with rubber spatula. Pour remaining crisp mixture over top of the apples and bake uncovered at 375F for 35-45 minutes.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 3/4 whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, salt, and milk.  Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until mixture is steaming.  Reduce heat to low. 
In medium bowl, slightly beat eggs.  Slowly whisk half of the hot mixture into the eggs and pour back into saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat until slightly thick, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain mixture with a mesh strainer into a container.  Refrigerate until chilled or overnight.
When ready to freeze, stir in heavy cream and vanilla into the chilled custard mixture.  Stir ice cream maker and pour mixture through hole in the lid.  Freeze until desired consistency.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a gentle boil and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla extract.

7  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Zombie Flamingos! on: September 28, 2018 03:22:18 PM
I've always had this idea in my head that I wanted to create this whole scene around Halloween time with zombie flamingos.  Basically cute pink yard flamingos around and then day by day zombie flamingos come in on them.  One by one they get changed into zombies and by the end of the month they're all zombie flamingos and making mischief.  ....But... yard flamingos have always seemed so expensive to do what I wanted when they were ten bucks or more a piece.  Well, this summer I found some cheapie-cheepies at the dollar store and went eureka!  So this year in October I'm playing my zombie flamingo scene.  


I call them my zombie flamingos, but I tried to create a variety of spooky creatures: vultures, mummy, skeleton, devil, werewolfish etc

And the month should look something like this:

Zombie Tutorial!
Here's how I made my zombie flamingos.  You could use this tutorial for zombie anythinggarden gnomes, weird angel statues from a yard sale, maybe one of the horse toys or a fire breathing dragon sculpture?
I used hot glue for extra texture and I haven't had these outside yet, so your mileage may vary.  I have no idea if being outside will work for hot glue details, this was an experiment.  At least it looks great now!

Paint with a primer.  I used a spray paint primer specifically for plastic.

Paint using green.  Can use green by itself, or for extra creepiness blend greens and reds.

Dribble hot glue to make fleshy grossness.  .... again, we'll see on using hot glue details outside!

Use a brown grey red color combo and just swipe all the paints on your brush at once and paint on the hot glue.  You can focus red into some parts to make it look like an open wound.  Don't worry about being too precise.

Add some pink to the very tips of the hot glue to give a highlight.... this part can be skipped if you want.  I ended up adding more highlight later too.

Thin out some black paint with water and paint all over your bird. Maybe to a heavy cream consistency.  I like to wear gloves for this part.

Use paper towel and wipe off all the black paint you can get to, leaving it to fill in all the crevices.  

Paint the last details: eyes, bloody mouth, etc.  If you want to bring out the hot glue details more, tap on pink paint here.

Seal with a good clear coat and youre done!

Enjoy your flamingos!  Thanks for looking.
8  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Painted Mermaids on: August 26, 2018 12:31:31 PM
Found these mermaids from the second hand shop and knew they belonged on my mermaid wall! 

Painted their tails with a swirl up their cheeks.  I added some waves to show the ocean as well.  Finished with a strong coat of glitter on their fins, very pretty in the light!

On my wall.  You can see two craftsters work up there too!

Poor Audri, nobody wanted her.
9  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) and Art Abandonment / Starry Night Stone on: August 07, 2018 02:12:44 PM
Tried to think of a stone that could be meaningful to me and this is what came to mind.  I've done art teaching at the local elementary once a month for a few years and thought that it would be fun for a kid to recognize art on a rock, so that's the route I went.  I can picture a student of mine running to their parents with this rock, telling all about Van Gogh and his Starry Night.  .... maybe.

So onward to Starry Night Stone!  Abandoned art project. 

Making of.  Just found a stone from my garden, washed him and paint-paint-painted!

Abandoned near a hidden away bench at the local park.  Just a sliver of blue.

Thanks for the challenge!  I've found a few painted rocks and wanted to get in on painting and hiding them myself, but never the push to jump.  It was fun, I'll probably make more. 
10  COOKING / Dessert / Scratch Ice Cream Sundae on: July 31, 2018 07:36:26 PM
Decided to get my Martha Stewart on and make a sundae from scratch.  Really I just made homemade ice cream and then went, wellllll I can't put homemade ice cream in a store bowl, and if that I can't use spray can whipped cream.... you probably could use store sprinkles, but I even went homemade sprinkles.  That wasn't a whim though, I had those in the cupboard lol. Just wish I had homemade cherries to put on top!  Guess that's the next project.

I used a waffle bowl maker (I was going to link it and then it was $70!  Don't pay $70 for waffle bowls---I buy all my makers at the second hand shop) and ice cream maker for this dessert, so if you don't have those your mileage may vary.  But if you do, yum yum for you!

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 3/4 whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, salt, and milk.  Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until mixture is steaming.  Reduce heat to low.  
In medium bowl, slightly beat eggs.  Slowly whisk half of the hot mixture into the eggs and pour back into saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat until slightly thick, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain mixture with a mesh strainer into a container.  Refrigerate until chilled or overnight.
When ready to freeze, stir in heavy cream and vanilla into the chilled custard mixture.  Stir ice cream maker and pour mixture through hole in the lid.  Freeze until desired consistency.

Chocolate Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the cocoa powder and the water in a saucepan. Heat and stir to dissolve the cocoa. Add the sugar, and stir to dissolve.
Boil for 3 minutes over medium heat. Be very careful not to let it get too hot and boil over! It is surprising how quickly it will boil up in these three minutes.
Remove from heat. Add the vanilla. Let cool. Pour into a clean glass jar, and store in the refrigerator.
~This recipe yields two cups. It will last for several months in the refrigerator.

Waffle Cone Bowls

2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your waffle cone maker according to manufacturers instructions.
Mix together egg, egg white and salt until well blended. Beat in the sugar until the egg has lightened in color, about 1 minute. Add the flour and mix until blended and smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Pour 1-2 TBSP batter in the center of the iron bowls. Close the lid and cook for 1 minute before lifting the lid to check for doneness. Continue cooking until the desired color is reached.
Quickly remove the waffles from the iron onto a wire rack to cool.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Put cream, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks begin to form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Homemade Sprinkles

Now go make all, or go make one.  And hey, that chocolate syrup is great for those chocolate milk cravings if not just for ice cream.  
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