Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Make-Your-Own 'Mallows!

So my skirts aren't ready to chronicle yet, but my MARSHMALLOWS ARE!!!
Years ago, when I was working as a school bus driver, one of the aids that rode the bus mentioned that she spent the weekend making marshmallows.  I looked at her like she was crazy!  She talked about how much work they were, but how cool it was to make something like that from scratch.  She said they sell them at fancy department stores for millions of dollars.
Fast forwarding to now, I had to try it.  I don't even like eating marshmallows, but somehow I was dazzled by the idea of making my own.  I hit the web.  After finding a couple crazy marshmallow-making people I finally came across Deb at Smitten Kitchen.   Check her out!  The photos are amazing and the instructions she found were so easy to follow. 
I borrowed a stand mixer from a friend and went to town.  They really did turn out just right!  She says we can even roast them :0)  It is just cold enough her we can finally fire up the fire pit out back and not die of heat exhaustion :0)

One more thing...I just got an email tonight for this FABULOUS project, an advent calendar made from a mini-muffin tin!  It is such a great price...I just might order one myself!!!

   It is on sale for $20 at Story Tellers Club-Digital Scrapbooking Site, everything included-even the tin!  Now, I know that tomorrow is Dec. 1st and by the time it comes in the mail and I finally find time to make it Christmas will be here...but I am tempted anyway!!!

The skirts are coming, I promise!  See you soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Hairbow Holders

The big reason we left on our trip a day late was because I was frantically trying to finish these hairbow holders.  My wonderful customer who orders all of my hair clippies needed a place to keep them, go figure :0)
I cut all of these holders out of wood on my scroll saw.  I hand painted most, but some, like the cupcake and the background on the girls down below, were done by modge podging paper.
Yes, that Hello Kitty is a painted piece of wood!  I am particularly proud of how well Hello Kitty(s) came out!  It was definitely one of those things i looked at and said, "I made that?"


These are half of the most recent clippie order.  After several 2am sessions, and a couple total breakdowns, I got this order in a box and mailed it on my way out of town.  Now I get to finish the second half :0)

I spent today on the computer taking advantage of Cyber Monday. 
With all the hairclippies I have to make, I don't think there will be too much time for presents this year.  I sat at this very computer until I had ordered each and every gift.  Whew!  If only that meant easy sailing from here. 
In the near future you can look forward to, of course, more clippies, holiday kitchen towels, bunco prizes :0) and a slew of Christmas centerpieces around the theme of "Twas the night before Christmas"-churchy style. 
Tomorrow I will have the girl's Thanksgiving skirts.  I must take full advantage of each and every day in November :0)  Plus, why miss the chance to show you how easy it is to make a fabulous article of clothing with absolutely NO SKILL!!!!!  See you tomorrow with the circle skirts!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Know, I'm A Turkey :0)

I felt so bad when I was cruising in the car towards California last Sunday and suddenly realized I didn't post my Thanksgiving projects!!!  What a Turkey! 
Our family was headed for our very first Just-For-Us vacation...Disney, Beach, SeaWorld, Beach, maybe a little more Beach, and Great Grandma visit just before heading back to our avalanche of a life. 

Since it is still November, I am going to force my turkey cake balls upon your eyeballs :0)
I was so excited with how cute they were.  Eli's class was having a party (while we were gone).  Since my hubby had to bail on the class for their field trip last month, I wanted to make it up to them by making a special treat.  Here is how I did it.  The original idea came from Bakerella

I made the cake balls from chocolate cake and chocolate frosting.  I used my 1TBS cookie scoop to make the balls, then rolled them in my hands to make the ball a little firmer.  Almond bark is my melt of choice.  It comes in white and chocolate.  NEVER use regular food coloring to color it!!!!  The liquid will seize up the chocolate.  You can color the almond bark, or candy melts for that matter, but only with the coloring made special for candy.
After I had all the balls dipped in chocolate I let them rest while I made smaller balls from gum paste/fondant for the heads.  When they were made, I melted a little more chocolate and used it as glue to attach the heads and the candy corn feathers.   
For the gaggle I used this cake decorating tip I have for making flowers, no. 97.  It is S-shaped, used to make roses.  I thought it would make a perfect gaggle.   

For the beaks I used tip no. 352, normally used to make leaves.

So, did I mention that I made these guys at 2am.  Things got a little messy, but nothing I couldn't touch up :0)  I just made sure to start out with the same turkeys each step so the worst ones were always the same ones.  We kept those little guys :0) 

Here is the back-side view.  It just cracked me up!  All those little turkey bums :0)

I did the eyes in two steps, the whites with tip no. 4...

Blacks out with tip no. 3

How cute is that!?!  I can't wait to make Christmas ones!  Hopefully I get a little cleaner with the chocolate.
You know, the whole practice-makes-perfect thing.

I had to take a picture in the box too.  They were just so cute all lined up like a tiny turkey army :0)

While I had extra chocolate melted I decided to make marshmallow pops as well.  They are so easy!  I made 4 dozen in less than 20 minutes.  Stab the marshmallows with the short sucker sticks ($1.50 at walmart for 50 count pack), dip in chocolate.  I only dip part way because the chocolate runs down the side and makes them stick to the bottom of my cooling rack.  You can use a piece of Styrofoam to stick the suckers into if you have it.  That way the chocolate won't stick the pop to the rack if you over dip or want the whole thing covered. Sprinkle with decorations while the chocolate is wet.  Once the chocolate is set you are good to go!  You can always use mint chocolate chips for the dip and sprinkle with crushed candy cane for a festive touch.  

I did make this display stand for delivering the pops to the teachers.  I used floral foam, tissue paper, and ribbon.  I wrapped the foam in tissue paper, wrapped extra around the sides, then finished it off with a bow. 

I poked holes into the tissue so I could insert the sticks.  I used my awl hand tool, but I think even a ball point pen or a BBQ skewer would do the job.  I don't stick it all the way down, just poke the tissue so you can get the sucker sticks through.

Ta-Dah!  A better picture would have been more impressive, but at 2am the lighting is terrible :0)

Finally done!  Eli's teachers loved them.  Hopefully the kids did too.

Now, once I get a little laundry done, not all of it-just enough to make walking down the hallway once again possible, I will show you what else I finished in my crazy week before vacation.  Hope you all had a lovely week/Holiday!!!!
See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Me-Oh-My, More Pie!?!

Remember back a month or so ago when Madison made her Cutie Pies? Well, she gave one to a leader of her youth group at church. Naturally they thought that she must have learned pie making from somewhere…Guess what!?! Not me! I very, very rarely make pie. No one in my family will eat it, so why make it.
We got our reason to make pie, the youth group leaders asked me to come teach the girls how to make pie.
This photo was Madison, Emmalee and I hitting the kitchen with a vengeance in preparation.

Here was my To do list:

1. Learn how to make pie

2. Try to figure out how to teach pie making

3. Make pies to cover the kitchen counter so they have many different kinds to taste :0)

These are some that we made.  I made the pumpkin from the pumpkin pie mix they sell in a can.  The other two are apple from the apple pie filling I canned last year.  I canned 7 quarts.  We used...none, at least until Madison made her pies in a jar last month.  Madison gets full credit for the two apple in this photo.  See!  If my 12yr old can do this, you can too!

I really wanted the other girls to be able to give the pie thing a try, but couldn't find cheep little pie pans.  That was when we decided to buy the mini graham cracker crusts by Keebler.  They come 6 in a pack for $1.50.  There were going to be 14 girls so we bought 3 packs.  Not wanting to waste the crusts, we made up our favorite frozen pies.  We froze them, then popped the pies out of the tins.  Last, we bagged them all individually for easy desserting later :0)
They are SO easy to make, light, low-fat, and so YUMMY!!!
Simply mix about 16 oz yogurt with 8 oz whipped cream (cool whip)
pour into a pie crust, and freeze.  These little guys were frozen enough to slide into individual bags after one hour.  We like to thaw our yogurt pies on the counter a bit before eating. 

After coming up with mini pie tins, we had to test one pie so we would know how long to bake them and how much crust dough would be needed.  Turns out you can bake one of these in 30 min or less at 350. 

Here, this piece is for you :0)

Want to make pies?  Here are a few tips to help you make them perfect.
All tips were found in various articles at Allrecipies.com
I have included the recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust and two pies that were out of this world!!!!

• Glass, ceramic, or dull metal pans are best. Avoid shiny pans.

• Make sure the fat and liquids are all ICE COLD

• The less you handle a crust, the flakier it will be-over handling makes a pie crust heavy and tough

• If you have time, chill the dough before rolling it out. Chill it again for 20-30 min. after you put it into the pan, before baking it. It will keep the crust from shrinking.

• Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, pastry cloth, or between 2 pieces of wax paper. Roll from the center out. You can turn it 1/8th turn as you roll to keep it a circular shape. When it is rolled out, you can fold it in half or roll it over your rolling pin to lift the crust into the pan. Trim the crust to have a ¾” overhang.

• Use a dry pastry brush to wipe off extra flour.

• Brush an unbaked crust with egg white before filling to keep the crust crispy when baking.

• You can par-bake, also known as “blind bake”, the crust to make sure it stays crisp by lining it with parchment or foil, then filling that with beans or rice. Bake at recommended temperature for 10-15 minutes. Remove all the filler, and the liner used, poke the crust with a fork to keep it from bubbling, then either brush with egg white and fill, or finish baking until golden. If you are making a pie with a top crust you cannot par-bake.

• To make your top crust look more golden, brush with milk or egg white before baking. You can also sprinkle the milk/egg white with sugar for added sparkle. If you want your pie to look shiny, you can make a light wash of corn syrup and a little bit of water. Brush that on and sprinkle with sugar if desired.

• Always vent the top crust to let steam out.

Custard Pie Tips:(like pumpkin)

• Add flavor by covering the bottom crust with crushed cookies, like gingersnaps, then fill as usual.

• Pre-bake crusts to avoid soggyness. If crust cracks in pre-baking, keep extra dough on hand to fill the cracks before filling. That will keep the custard from squeezing through.

• To prevent cracks, bake at a moderate temperature, or even better, in a water bath.

• The pie is done when the edges are set, but the middle has a little wiggle. If the filling has puffed up, you waited too long.

Tips for fruit pies:

• Cut the fruit all the same size to ensure even cooking.

“Never Fail” Pie Crust-from an old church cookbook
compliments of my good friend Elizabeth :0)  Wymount ROCkS!!!

3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. shortening
6 Tbs. COLD water
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 egg well beaten

Cut shortening into salt and flour. Beat egg and add other liquids to it. Combine the ingredients. For pie shells, bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes.

Blushing Apple Cream Pie

3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cinnamon red hot candies
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 1/2 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples 2- 9” pie crusts

In a mixing bowl, combine first six ingredients; mix well. Add apples and stir gently to mix. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut slits in top crust; place over apples. Seal and flute edges. Bake at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes or until pastry is golden and apples are tender.

Topsy-Turvy Apple Pie-My Favorite Ever!!!
2 (9 inch) pie shell

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup pecan halves

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

5 large apples - peeled, cored and sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Spread butter or margarine evenly on bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Press pecans, rounded side down, into butter layer. Pat brown sugar evenly over nuts, then lay one pastry shell over brown sugar layer.  Place apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.
In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well. Toss mixture with apples, coating thoroughly.  Spread apples into pie plate. Cover apples with second pastry shell. Crimp edges of pastry and make steam vents in top.  Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then place serving plate over top of pie; invert pie onto plate. Carefully remove pie pan. Serve warm or cool.
(I didn't make the apple pie filling, I just used my jar of filling I canned last season)

May you be inspired to make many pies this Thanksgiving Season!  Happy Pie Baking!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Designs

New Customer, New Clippies!  These are a few of the new designs I came up with for a new customer.  I was told fruit, vegetables, chocolates and candies, some sports, and school stuff.  They had a few other requests, but with my limited time I focused on these areas.  For you that are new here, these are hair clippies :0)  I put them on an alligator clip and they are worn in the hair like a hair bow! 
I made these little chocolates out of clay.  I thin I might have shown them before.  They are about 1/2" in real life.  The little plates are less than 1", the bigger, just over.

Now that is a plate of veggies any kid could swallow!  Literally!  You know how your mama tells you two more bites of your broccoli and you can get down...well now it is only one!

These were a variety of stickers and buttons, but the grapes and the valentines box were made with clay!  Don't you just LOVE clay!?!  It really makes me want to pull out my fondant and make something!

How about that up close shot?  Can you tell I am a little proud of these?  I made that box of chocolates.  It took me some time to figure out just how to do it.  I finally ended up wrapping around a wooden heart with paper, gluing it underneath.  I punched circles out of tissue paper, scrunched them up over the end of a pencil, then glued them to the bottom.  After that I came back around with the little clay chocolates I had made (these ones were about 1/4" big) and glued them in place.  I totally love them!

More with stickers and buttons.  I will hand stitch a running stitch around the circles to combine the two scraps of felt, but these were just samples.  You have to pay for that kind of detail, right!?!

These were my little wooden cutouts.  SoCUTE!  I loved the strawberry!  The little seeds really made them pop.  Funny how they look so much better in person than in these pictures.  One day I will figure out how to fix that.

Tomorrow, I will have found my camera and show you our day of pie making we had today.  We taught the girls from church how to make pies.  I had to teach myself first :0)  Funny how people think because you can craft that your abilities are limitless :0)  See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Sticker Clips

Here are the sticker clippies I have been working on all week.  Monday I drove over 45 miles, 10 miles at a time, lugging 2 two year olds in and out of shopping carts to find 8 sets of each sticker set I needed.  We visited 4 Micheals stores, Joanns, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby to find all the sets that were missing.
Whew!  It makes my arms ache just thinking about it.
I hot glued each sticker together the way I wanted it, glued it to white felt, cut it out, glued it to black or navy felt, cut it out, then glued them on the lined alligator clips or ponytail holders as requested.
I will apologize now for the terrible picture quality.  With it getting dark so much earlier I can't get a decent photo in our black hole of a house :0)

I have to say that baseball bat/glove one is my favorite!!!
Now on to the felt order! 
(Ofdah! I think I need a nap)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Luv Bug Hairbows

I made this little bow a few months ago and posted her on Etsy for sale.  Yesterday I got a special last minute request for 9 of them.  The darling customer wanted them for her daughter's soccer team this Saturday.  Guess what their team name is...that's right, the Love Bugs!  How cute is that!?!  When I played little league soccer we were the panthers or the bobcats, nothing cute like the Love Bugs :0) 

The actual colors of the team were red and pink with black and white accent colors (nothing like our brown and yellow of the 80's).  Due to a mishap involving my husband being sent to Hobby Lobby alone on his way home, I had to go back to the store myself.  While there I realized that the ladybug ribbon not only comes in pink and green (which I already had), but in the exact team colors as well!!!  You know what that meant...

I HAD to make all new bows in the new ribbon colors to match those polyester soccer shorts exactly!
After a lot of diet soda...and some sugar to replace what was missing in the soda...I finished these babies about 4:30 this morning!  That is the latest night I have had in some time :0)
Cute though, right?

9 little girls running all over the soccer field wearing my baby bug bows this Saturday...Priceless!
It was all worth it :0)

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...