Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nutcracker Cupcakes

For one of our Thanksgiving desserts this year, I made these cupcakes, with special picks to celebrate the fact that my daughter is dancing in the Nutcracker.  I found the kit with these darling Nutcracker picks at Williams-Sonoma.  Aren't they fab? The ballerinas even have tulle added to their skirts!



For the cupcakes, I wanted to make something "salted" because lately I've been obsessed with salted dark chocolate.  So I made spice cupcakes (from a mix -- easy, peasy), and then made the icing from scratch: a salted caramel buttercream.  I wasn't using a recipe, so I was kinda flying by the seat of my pants.  But I thought they were super-yummy, and there were no complaints at the dinner table.


I'm sorry to say that I didn't take any other pictures at Thanksgiving!  I was too busy cooking, and then cleaning, and then giving in to my turkey coma....  I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Glitter-Palooza!

Happy Monday everyone!  I'm so excited that it is a short week and that Thanksgiving is almost here.  I've done my grocery shopping and I am ready to cook.  How about you?

Today I've got not one but TWO fun glitter projects to show you!  The first one is glittered clothespins: a quick, easy, cheap, and fun project brought to you by my friend Kari.  She came up with this project for our girls (10 year-olds) to do together for teacher's gifts for Christmas.  All you need are some clothespins from the dollar store, an assortment of glitters, some glue, and you are good to go!


 Just brush on the glue (to one side of the clothespins only), glitter, and let dry.



Kari cut strips of cute paper and clipped the finished clothespins onto the paper, and then put then into bunches in plastic gift bags.

I just need to add ribbons and tags and we are done!  How easy is that?  The girls had a great time doing these, and I think it's great that Chloe can give her teachers something that she made herself.

The second glitter project was also very easy and fun.  I found these large plain snowflakes at Target:

I was excited about the idea of making them into glitter snowflakes.  I found this cool tinsel glitter at Michael's:

(Thank you, Martha, for yet another cool glitter product!)  Anyway, after that this project was pretty standard: cover snowflakes with glue, cover with glitter:

And ta da!  Glitter snowflake!

Just as a note: I found that the glue/glitter did not stick very well to these snowflakes.  I did 2 (and even 3) layers of glue and glitter to get the coverage I wanted.  I do love this tinsel glitter -- it has a very cool effect and is super shiny!

I did 3 of these, 2 in blue and 1 in white.  When I was done, I hung them in my kitchen window.



[See that lovely -- not -- blue square tile in the picture?  If I'm a really lucky girl, that blue tile is going to be going bye-bye in January.  Fingers crossed!]

Anyway, once the glitter snowflakes were hung I thought, why not go ahead and start decorating for Christmas?  So I did.  I'm rushing the season a bit, but that's okay.  :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

And the Winner Is.....

I threw all the entries (and double-entries) into the hat (or actually, a bowl in this case), and picked a name!  The lucky winner of the lace giveaway is.... drumroll please....

Peggy!

Congrats Peggy!  If you'll drop me an email at ajcreed[at]comcast.net with your address, I will get this lace in the mail to you.

Thanks for entering, everyone!  This was fun, so stay tuned -- I think I'll need to do another giveaway soon. 

TGIF!  I don't know about you, but I've had a long week.  I'm ready for a margarita (or 3).  Have a great weekend! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lace Giveaway!



I hit another personal Etsy milestone this weekend - I had my 2000th sale!  WOO HOO!  To celebrate, let's have a lace giveaway, shall we?  There are 10 separate bundles of lace here, with a little bit of everything: some crochet, some Irish crochet, some filet lace, some chemical lace, all sorts of delightful things! 

If you'd like to enter for a chance to win this lace assortment, just leave a comment here.  If you link back to my blog and mention this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter, tell me about it in the comment and I'll throw your name in a second time for the drawing.  Enter by this Friday, November 19th at noon, Central Time.  Friday afternoon I'll randomly select and announce the winner.

Good luck!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Special Baby Journal

This week I've been hard at work on this little altered journal.  A friend of mine is about to have a baby girl, and so I decided to make her a journal for a baby shower present.  This is the most elaborate/complicated journal I've ever done, and it was quite a process!  I started by wrapping a composition book with burlap.  I'm not sure why I chose to do that, to be honest, but I wanted a fabric starting point (not paper).  I think the burlap is good starting layer to work with, but a couple of things to note: it frays (a lot!) and it's kind of see-through.

After that, I started on the front cover, and layered an old doily with a tatted lace edge, paper, another doily, several layers of trim, and some chipboard until I got to this point:

Then I went to work on the inside covers.  Here's the front inside cover:

I covered the page with my all-time favorite scrapbooking paper.  Then I used another small rectangular doily, added part of a hanky to it, and glued it down on three sides to make a pocket.  Then I added some trims to the edge of the page.

For the back inside cover, I kept things a bit more simple with just paper and trims.

Then I finished up by adding paper and trims to the back cover.

At this point, I think I'm done, though it's hard to know when to say when.  I feel like it may need a few more things here or there.....    Anyway, the shower is tomorrow so I need to be finished with it soon!

Hope you have a great weekend!  I'll be back on Monday with an exciting giveaway!  Also, it's not too late to join the 25 Days of Christmas Stitchalong -- the more the merrier!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blame it on the Burlap

So, it began innocently enough.  I needed to run into Hobby Lobby to buy some burlap for a new project I'm working on.  [This is very similar to something that happened last week, when I just needed to run into Target for packing tape....  But I digress.]  I noticed that Christmas ornaments were 50% off, as they often are, but I thought "I don't need any new ornaments.  I have too many ornaments as it is.  Hobby Lobby won't get me this time!"

But then I thought, maaaybe I should just take a little peek on the glass ornament aisle -- I always get my girls a special ornament each year, so no harm in looking now, right?  Wrong.  Twenty minutes later I emerged, blurry eyed, with a full shopping cart.  Here's some of what I came home with:


Gnomes on mushrooms, and clip-on mushrooms!  The gnomes have glitter accents, and the clip-on mushrooms have moss around the bottom!  Gack!  So cute!  Do any of these ornaments go with any theme of any kind that we have going on at Christmas, you might ask?  No, they most certainly do not!  Guess I'm going to need an additional tree....

I also couldn't resist this cool acorn ornament.  The back is an acorn (more glitter!):


and the front is this wonderful reindeer scene:

Now, I realize these aren't high end Christopher Radko pieces or anything.  But I think they're pretty cool, especially at 50% off.  So, if you're at HL, you might want to check them out.  But be careful, HL has a way of sucking you in -- it's almost as dangerous as the Target fugue state.  (Oh, and I did manage to remember to buy the burlap.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh, Happy Day!

There was already a lot to be thankful for today: beautiful weather, healthy kids off to school for the day, and a tennis match that I played pain-free (for the first time in about 6 months).  But despite all of that, I let myself get irritated by some small stuff, and by lunchtime, I was in a bit of a bad mood.

But then the mail arrived -- and lo and behold, it was Cath Kidston! My mood lifted.  Then I saw this:

and this:


and realized that I could order wrapping paper for Christmas that looks like this:

and well, I've been basically giddy ever since then.  The best part?  Apparently now Cath Kidston ships from the U.S. -- so, no more crazy expensive shipping from the UK!  Woo hoo!
[Edit: well, after placing my order it appears that shipping is still kinda pricey.  Maybe a little less, but not much.  Did that deter me from my impulse purchases??  No indeed.]

Wish I could stay and chat, but I've got shoppin' to do!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inspired Ideas!

Amy Powers has outdone herself again!  Her new Christmas issue of Inspired Ideas is chock-full of fantastic projects -- just brimming with inspiration!  Go here to take a peek for yourself!

In other news, I hope you'll consider joining the holiday stitchalong!  If you're interested, just leave a comment here or on my stitching blog -- and please leave your blog address if you want me to add you to the blog roll!  Also, I'd love it if you would grab a button (the code is over there to the right) and help me spread the word!  The more the merrier!  :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Cupcake and the Ice Cream Cone & Some Random Musings

Allow me to take a brief break today from all things crafty and vintage, to brag on my girls a bit.  I try not to post pics on them in this blog, but I just had to share these Halloween pics with you.  My oldest daughter fell hard for this cupcake costume.  I think it's one of the cutest things I've ever seen!  But my youngest daughter had her heart set on being a pink frothy princess.  Which was okay -- in all of their little lives, my girls have never coordinated at Halloween -- they've always done their own thing.

Anyway, as luck would have it, the frothy pink princess costume was sold out, so she reconsidered and decided that she wanted to be an ice cream cone.  Hooray!  Two cute costumes, kind of coordinating, and a break from the parade of princesses that we usually have year after year after year.....


What a blessing these two little girls are!  Halloween was such fun this year.  I hope you had a great day, as well!

In other news, it's rainy and cold today here in the tropics of south Texas (and by cold, I mean in the 50's).  I'm so glad for the change, actually.  While the girls are at school I'm planning lots of Earl Grey, some reading, crafting, and maybe even catching up on my favorite SyFy shows that are adding up on the DVR.  Sounds kinda perfect, no?  Tonight I'm making sausage and chicken jambalaya from a recipe I adapted years ago from the original River Road Cookbook (a true classic from the Junior League of Baton Rouge).  I think it's a great meal for a cold, wet day.

One last random thing: for those of you who share my almost 20 year-long obsession with Law & Order, I have exciting news for you: Law & Order UK!!!!!!!!!!  It's British L&O, on BBC America.  Same L&O (basically), but with wigs!  Awesome!! And the absolute best part:

  Yes, ladies, that is Jamie Bamber  -- most recently known as Apollo on Battlestar Galactica.  (Given my previous Star Wars themed posts, I hope it does not come as a surprise to you that I am a huge geek. The remake of BSG was one of the best series on TV, in my humble opinion, and I still miss it.  And Jamie Bamber.)  Anyhow, talk about a double geek-out!  A new L&O series, and Apollo?   Wow.  Be still my beating heart!

Thanks for hanging with me today for this randomness.  I'll be back tomorrow with the usual lace & glitter.  :)

Alison

Monday, November 1, 2010

Holiday Stitchalong!

Even though I didn't get an overwhelming response to my poll, I couldn't get the idea of this stitchalong out of my mind, so I decided to go for it!  I'll be doing a 25 Days of Christmas stitching project of some kind (not sure yet if it will be a Christmas design or a 5 x 5 sampler grid), but I'd love for you to join in!

If you'd like to join in on the fun, please leave a comment here or on my stitching blog, and give me your blog address so that I can add it the blog roll I will have on the stitching blog.  If after a couple of days you don't see your blog listed, please just drop me another comment as  reminder.  Also, I'd love it if you would grab a button and add it to your blog to spread the word.  The code for the blog button is right over there to the right -------------->.  The more the merrier, really!  It's so fun to log on every morning and see what everyone has stitched.

Once we get rolling, I'll set up a Flickr group as well where people can post their stitching pics.

So, I hope you'll join me for some holiday stitching!

Alison
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