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.