Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Etched Casserole Dishes

These are Anchor Hocking casserole dishes that I etched with my blasting cabinet.  I made these for my nieces' Christmas gifts.

Almost Floating Frames

A holiday catalog inspired me to make these frames.  Since floating frames are rather expensive, I decided to just make my own.

All these frames came from either the Dollar Tree or Dollar General Store.  The largest is 8" x 10" and the smallest is 4" x 6".  I removed the cardboard backing and then put a line of hot glue around the edge of the glass on the back side to hold it in place.

The issue with removing the cardboard backing was that also removed the metal hanging loops.  When I selected the frames I made certain the edge of the frame was wide enough to add my own sawtooth hanger.

The letters were cut from Oracal 651 vinyl and mounted on the surface of the glass rather than reversing the image and placing it on the back side of the glass.  I did it this way so that none of the adhesive on the larger letters would be visible from the front.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The 2103 Holiday Market

I haven't done a craft show in over12 years but my friend Shirley and I decided to do the Holiday Market in Ada this weekend.  I've been working diligently for the past few months making items for the show.  We had a decent crowd but sales were pretty light so I still have the majority of the items on hand.

It wasn't definite that I'd be able to participate since my husband took a fall this week and has some severe injuries.  I thought about it and discussed it with him and decided to do the show.  His recuperation is going to be lengthy and once he comes home from rehab, I'll be needed here 24/7 for a while.

These are items Shirley made.  Tic Tac containers, Ghirardelli chocolate boxes, Hershey's nugget tins and some cute embellished tins.
Shirley also decorated Vin to Go cups with some really cute vinyl cutouts.
 These are floating frames and shadow boxes that I made and put vinyl lettering and images inside.
 I sandblasted ceramic coffee mugs with masculine designs, made some vinyl signs, post it note pad holders, and some little candy jars.
 These are fruit jar mugs, insulated tumblers and beer mugs that I sanblasted. 
I had a rack full of decorated charger plates and glass cutting boards.
 Glass blocks that I sandblasted or decorated with vinyl.  I only made one cake carrier.

 A closer photo of the post it note holders.
Another photo of the floating frames and shadowboxes.

The show was only open from 9:00 until 3:00 so it was a short day. 

If you see anything in the photos that you might be interested in purchasing, just let me know.  The sales were light and I have the majority of these items still on hand.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cold Weather and Comfort Food

I'm not sure why cold, wintry weather causes me to want foods that I enjoyed as a child.  Oklahoma is under a winter weather advisory for the next couple of days.  It's grey, cloudy, and a mix of rain and sleet is coming down---and I had to have some home made tomato soup.

We don't get a lot of snow in Oklahoma.  As a kid, when we did get enough snow to play in, my mother gave us "one trip out and one trip in".  In other words, go play as long as you want, but you're not tracking snow in on the floors.  We'd bundle up, go outside and make snowballs and attempt to make a snowman.  We'd stay until we were frozen to the bone because we knew if we went inside she wouldn't allow us to go back out again.

I remember one particular snow day.  We wanted to make snowballs, but had no gloves.  I'm not sure if momma suggested this, or if we came up with the idea ourselves, but, we put socks on our hands to use like mittens.  It probably was our brilliant idea.  Cotton socks get wet really, really quickly when you're rolling snowballs and your hands are then encased in wet ice packs. 

That day when we went inside, momma had a pot of tomato soup ready for our lunch.  I can still smell the aroma of that soup.  It's a good childhood memory, one I associate with being safe and warm at home.

Today is a perfect day for home made tomato soup.  I made myself a small pan of it and finished every delicious drop for my lunch today.

Momma was a "from scratch" cook.  She did keep canned cream soups on hand to make casseroles and once in a while we'd have cans of chicken noodle soup, but she didn't use a lot of convenience foods.  When she put a meal on the table, it came from her hands, not a box or can.

If you've never had home made tomato soup, and you're a tomato soup fan, you don't know what you've been missing.  Real tomato soup is nothing like the congealed, sweet, pink stuff in a can.  You can still taste the tang of the tomato and it's not sweet at all.

I learned to make tomato soup by watching momma do it.  There's no set in stone recipe.  In my opinion, the best recipes are the ones you prepare by sight and tasting.  Here's how my momma, and I, make tomato soup.

You'll need a small can of tomato juice, salt, pepper, baking soda and some sort of milk.  You can use milk from a carton, canned milk, half and half or even heavy cream.  My favorite is just milk from the carton but the cream or half and half will make it much richer.

Heat the tomato juice in a saucepan along with the spices until it comes to a boil.  Then add a generous pinch of baking soda and stir well.  The hot juice will immediately begin to foam.  That's the baking soda neutralizing the acid in the tomato juice.  If you don't use the soda, the milk will curdle when you add it.

Then add enough milk to your liking, lower the heat and simmer until it's heated through and through.  Now, all you need to add is a grilled cheese sandwich and you'll have a wonderful meal!

If you're making a large pot of the soup like the photo above, increase the amount of baking soda you add.  Today I measured the amount I used for 2 cups of tomato juice.  I added 1/4 tsp of baking soda and it was enough.  Momma never measured hers with a measuring spoon, she'd take the handle of the spoon and dip it into the soda box.  Whatever formed a mound on the tip of the handle was what went into the pan.

Heavy whipping cream is what I used to make my soup today.  It made it super rich and satisfying and I enjoyed two bowls full!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Old Fasioned Chocolate Pie

This is the recipe my mother used to make chocolate pie.  It's about a thousand times better than any boxed pudding/pie filling and it's very simple to make.  She topped hers with meringue but neither DH or I care for that.  We prefer whipped cream on ours.

The filling will develop a thick layer on the surface as it cools.  If you put a thin coating of whipped cream on it as soon as it cools, you can avoid that.  Otherwise, follow basic pie baking instructions for topping with meringue.

If you want to serve this as pudding and you put it into a large bowl, place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface to eliminate the thick layer that will form.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

¾ cup sugar
4 T. flour
¼ tsp. Salt
6 T. cocoa

2 cups milk
1 well beaten egg
2 T. butter
1 tsp. Vanilla

Combine sugar, flour, salt and cocoa in a saucepan.  Mix well.

Slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 2 minutes more.

Remove from heat.

Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the beaten egg.  Mix well and add to the hot mixture. 

Cook and stir 2 more minutes.

Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla.  Mix well.

Pour into baked pie shell or custard dishes to serve as pudding.

Top with meringue or whipped cream.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Etched Glass Coffee Mug

Bullets on one side and "Camo & Ammo" on the reverse.

Plastic Wine Tumbler

The Dollar Tree had some of these insulated wine glasses last time I was there.  I've seen them all over the internet; some were decorated with vinyl, some were etched, and they were all really expensive.

These will make a cut gag gift for a busy mom!  The words on the side:  Mommy Juice.

It's another item I'm taking to the craft show on the 14th.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tic Tac Toe Valentine

The tic tac toe grid is a Silhouette file (Valentine love tic tac toe)  that I sized to fit onto an A2 card.  I pop dotted the center heart and added some white and metallic silver pen work.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Thoughts on Thanksgiving

It was 150 years ago that President Lincoln declared a national holiday to be a day for  ""Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.  **

Subsequent Presidents fiddled with the actual date for the national holiday and set it as the final Thursday in November.  

In 1939, November had five Thursdays so  President Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas and changed it to the fourth Thursday of the month.   The country was still reeling from the effects of the depression and he wanted to stimulate the economy.

Perhaps his decision was the beginning of losing the real meaning of Thanksgiving. 

As a child, Thanksgiving was all about having a huge meal to be shared with your family.  My mother would cook and bake for days getting ready for the meal.  Our Thanksgiving table couldn't even accommodate all the food she'd prepare.  And, we all did our best to eat everything she sat before us.

There were no stores open on Thanksgiving offering super bargains or crazily extending shopping hours.  And, at our house, the meal wasn't scheduled around any football games that might be televised.  You visited with your relatives, yes, face to face, not via text messages then you ate the food prepared.  Afterwards, you visited again while the kids were outside playing.

In the last few years Thanksgiving has moved away from family meals and traditions and become a stepping stone for greed and envy as shoppers compete to find and buy merchandise.  Retailers have chosen to cash in and promote this by hosting Black Friday sales. Merchandise is chosen and sold for a limited amount of time which forces shoppers to be in their stores at a specific time to take advantage of their pricing.

I, for one, would like to see a return to the "old way" of celebrating the holiday where we'd all take time to be thankful for what we HAVE and not what we can push our way through a mob at 2:00 a.m. to buy. 

** Wikipedia

Monday, November 25, 2013

Valentine A La Okieladybug

Last February my friend, Shirley, aka Okieladybug, hosted a Valentine card making party at her house.

She had designed and precut all the pieces so we could make several cards. 

This is my version of one of her designs.  It was a perfect opportunity to use some of the paper pads I have on hand.  This card uses, seven, yes, count 'em, seven different papers!

The inside sentiment is:  U mean the world to me, Happy Valentine's Day.

card design by Okieladybug

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Paper Doily Card

I combined two different SVG files in Make The Cut for the cup and the steam.  The sentiment was printed on my computer; I added a lace doily and a Wr R Memory Keepers punched border.

Studio G Stamp Valentine

About three years ago, those of us on the Cricut message board were all crazy about Studio G stamps.  Each month a different set came out and it was a foot race to get to Michael's and buy them.

Over time, I've moved away from the dollar stamps but I'm glad that I kept the ones that I bought.  They come in handy when you just want to make a quick card.

The blue background paper is from Paper Studio and I added some tiny hearts with a Martha Stewart punch.  The stamped image was colored with Promarkers.

Valentines? Already??

Yep, we haven't even had our Thanksgiving turkey and I'm making Valentine cards for Operation Write Home!  They have to be received at their headquarters by December 31st to allow time to get them shipped overseas so I have to get busy! 

I haven't made any cards since early October.  All my time has been spent getting things made for a craft show coming up on December 14th in Ada. 

This cute card was seen on Pinterest and I back tracked to the original maker.  You can find it on Califormia Scrappin'.  It caught my eye because of the patriotic colors. 

I used Hallmark card software to print the words and the linked hearts on white cardstock.  Then I cut the red, white, and blue hearts with my Cameo.

My version of a card by Gina Karas

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Santa Tulle Wreath

This was seen on Pinterest.  I back tracked and found the original post with instructions at Baby Rabies. Her instructions are very clear and it took me less than 2 hours to complete the project.

You'll need:

Santa hat---I found mine at the Dollar Tree
12" foam wreath
50 yards of 6" wide white tulle
glue gun
ribbon for hanger
cardboard to wrap tulle around to cut to the proper length

You'll cut the cardboard into a 15" square and wrap the tulle around it.  Then take your scissors and cut it on both edges so you'll have 15" strips.  This is the fastest way to handle the tulle!

Position your Santa hat on the wreath and mark the area of the wreath you'll want to cover with tulle for his beard.  Remove the hat so it won't be in the way as you work with the tulle.

Tie the 15" strips of tulle on the wreath with a simple knot.

When the beard is nice and full, crumple up a piece of tissue paper to stuff inside the hat and using hot glue, attach the hat onto the wreath.

Cut a short piece of ribbon, fold it in half and either tack it with a few stitches or use the hot glue to make a hanger on the back of the hat, and you're done!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Biker's Sign

I saw this saying on a t-shirt and thought it would be perfect to utilize the last 8" x 10" floating frame that I bought for the craft show.  It's laying on a sheet of white paper so the lettering would show up in the photo.

The font is Antigoni Medium.  I haven't decided yet if I'll put anything on the face of the white frame.  After I look at it a day or two, I'll decide what it needs.

This is the largest vinyl cut out that I've applied in a single piece.  Thanks, Shirley,  for reminding me to use registration marks!

Floating frames are fun to make.  Next time JoAnn's has them on sale for 60% off, I'm going to pick up a few more to have on hand.

Added sort of a checkerboard onto the frame.  I think I like it!


A Few More Post-It Note Holders

 I used a Tim Holtz stamp on this one.

I've had these embellishments for some time.
Finally found something to use them on!

Post-It Note Holders

Dawn Griffith shares how to make these post-it note holders on her Stampin' Up blog Dawn's Stamping Studio.   You can make three of them from a single sheet of 12" x 12"cardstock.

I used some paper doilies, butterflies, leaf stickers and Pearl Pen dots on mine.  The little pens can be found at Staples in a multi-pack.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Post-It Note Holders

 These are made with clear acrylic frames with the easel on the back.
 I used scrapbook paper and K & Company borders with some adhesive pearls on this one.

Both of these are 4" x 6" in size.

The Tart & Tangy stamp set from Stampin' Up was one of the first sets I ever bought.  I still use it a lot!

 These were done the same way.  They're 3 1/2" x 5" size.  I cut and pop dotted some of the border pieces on these.

These are 4" x 6".  On the yellow one I used some flowers I found at Michael's.  The blue denim one has paper from a Paper Studio stack.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo With Chicken and Broccoli

This is a dish that I enjoy and my husband will eat, but isn't crazy about having, so, I make it when he's not home for dinner.  It only takes about 20 minutes to make since the sauce goes together quickly.  It takes longer to cook the pasta than any other part of the recipe!

Start the water for the pasta first.  It can come to a boil while you prepare the other ingredients.


1 boneless chicken breast -  Smart Chicken is best
heavy cream
Parmesan cheese
olive oil
Fettuccine pasta

Slice the chicken breast across the grain about 1/2" thick
In a skillet, heat 2-3 tsp. of good olive oil
Brown the chicken on one side, turn, and sprinkle generously with black pepper
Cook chicken until done

In a saucepan, melt butter add cream and heat thouroughly
Add Parmesan cheese and keep sauce warm
*** a jar of Bertoli Alfredo sauce can be used****

Separate broccoli into florets and steam in the microwave until tender

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

When pasta is done, add the sliced chicken, broccoli and sauce.

Smart Chicken breasts are pretty large so this will make two generous servings.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Miniature Suitcases

I have a set of three tiny suitcases.  This one measures just 11" x 7" and it's the largest of the three.  I used  Challenge Contour font and added some swirls with hearts using Oracal 651 white vinyl.  Then I added two Christmas floral picks and a wired ribbon bow.  This is another project for the craft show next month.

The medium sized one is 5 1/2" x 9 3/4".  I used Partridge font for the lettering and just added a tulle bow on top. The reindeer and snowflakes are Silhouette files.

The smallest one is 7 1/4" x 4 1/2".  I used Partridge font for the lettering and the candy canes are Silhouette files.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Faux cupcake Jars

This project came from Club Chica Circle.  The "icing" on top is white caulk, the "cherry" is a large jingle bell.  I added some diamond dust glitter to make the icing sparkle and set the jar down inside a cupcake wrapper from the Cricut Artiste cartridge.  The openings in the wrapper were just perfect to thread some 1/8" ribbon through to add a bow.

These were done on 4 oz. Ball jelly jars, but any size jar would work.  I filled them with wrapped peppermint candies.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bless The Food Floating Frame

This is the largest vinyl project I've done.  The frame is 11" x 14".  I used Lobster 1.4 font and a corner decoration found online.

Doing a floating frame is pretty easy.  You don't have to mirror your lettering since it's applied onto the surface of the piece of glass in the rear.

I had tried to use a much more elaborate font to do this and my machine was just not cooperating this evening!  After ruining a couple of pieces of vinyl, I gave up and changed the font.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Etched Tumblers

My two year old grandson loves to watch the music video for "What does the fox say?".  It's so popular right now that I decided to etch a few plastic tumblers with this design.  I'll take them to the craft show in December.

The fox face is clip art and I used Antigoni Med font for the lettering.  The stencil was cut from Oracal 651 vinyl and I etched it with my blasting cabinet and glass beads.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Quick Christmas Cake Carrier

I'll add a red and green tulle bow onto the carrying handle to dress it up a little bit more.  This came from the Dollar Tree so I'm thinking it's going to be a single use item, but it's cheaper than a holiday tin!

Motorcycle Frame For A Guy

This is my first floating frame vinyl project.  I used DomCasual ID font and a motorcycle clip art image found online.  This is a large frame--11" x 13".  It will make a nice gift for a guy who loves his bike.

I like that you can put your design on the bottom layer of glass and not have to reverse the images. It sure makes it simpler to assemble!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Labrador Silhouette Frame

The cat silhouette frame turned out so well that I made a frame with a Labrador dog too.  Using Make The Cut, I combined three clip art images found online.  I needed something more masculine for the craft show.  The only other masculine things I'll have are some mugs.

Cat Silhouette Frame

Of all things, a $39.00 night light that I saw in a catalog inspired this project.  The cat silhouette and tree branch are clip art images found online.  They were imported into Make The Cut software, resized and welded to create the silhouette.

The vinyl I used for the silhouette is matte finish and applied to the glass surface.  The background paper is by Pink Paisley.

I believe I'll put a soft, black bow centered on the top edge of the frame and leave the ribbon tails hanging down on either side.  That should finish this quick project up!

"Frozy Frame"

I've spent more time getting this frame done than any of my other vinyl projects.  The dimensions of the frame made it difficult for me to decide just what to do with it.  I thought the sentiment was cute and wracked my brain trying to come up with a layout for it.  This is why I don't design original pieces, it just takes me too long to put the pieces together. 

The icicles and snowflakes on the burlap background are cut from Mica Paper.  I etched snowflakes onto the surface of the glass with my blasting cabinet and added the sentiment on the inside of the glass.  The letters are cut from silver metallic vinyl with black shadows.

This photo was taken before I had completely assembled the frame.  The gold cords on the jingle bells were removed, of course!

Since the frame is stark white, I'll be adding a large bow around the outer edge.  It's still several weeks until the craft show so I'll wait to put bows on any of the items I'm taking so they won't get crushed.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jingle Bell Frame

Some days everything you do just goes so smoothly, projects turn out just the way you want, everything cuts fine and your software never shuts down.  Then there are days like today.  ***sigh***

I decided since DH was out of the house, I'd make a shadow box frame with a vinyl saying and it is one of those days that nothing seemed to go right.  I fought with my vinyl lettering for about 2 hours before I realized  what was wrong and fixed the problem.

Silhouette America ran a sale on vinyl and I ordered eight rolls because of the price.  I hate that vinyl!  The backing won't stick to my cutting mat.  I still haven't found the right settings to get a kiss cut and it will not stick to my transfer paper well enough to pull the vinyl off the backing!  One positive thing about it is that it does weed quite easily as long as the shapes cut cleanly.

After working with the Silhouette vinyl for over an hour, I gave up and used my Oracal 651.  It cut like butter and went on easily.

The lettering didn't show up well in the photo so I added a black shadow to the silver lettering I like the way this frame turned out.  Hope someone likes it when I put it on display at the craft show too!

 The shadow was just what it needed for the silver to show up well.