Monthly Archives: July 2016

Olive Dip

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I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like this dip. It’s got the creamy deliciousness of cream cheese, the tang from the green olives, and a nice crunch from roasted pecans.  Served with pita chips, toasted baguette, or (my favorite) Wheat Thins, this is an easy recipe to make, and you probably have the ingredients in your pantry.

You’ll need these ingredients:

1 pkg. cream cheese (Low fat is fine.)

1/2 cup mayo (I just eyeball this.)

1 cup salad olives (These are chopped with extra pimentos, but I’ve also just chopped up regular green olives.)

1/2 cup roasted pecans, chopped (The roasting makes a huge difference in their flavor.)

2 Tbsp. juice from the olives

1 dash pepper

First, blend the cream cheese and mayo together until creamy.  Mix in the rest.  Simple as pie!

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Marbled Mugs

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Like some girlfriends I’ve know along the way, the adjectives fast and cheap fit this craft.  Using dollar store white mugs, a dollar store bottle of lavender nail polish, and a bottle of pink polish I found in my bathroom cabinet, I tried to replicate the lovely marbled mugs found on a million Pinterest pages.  The photos on all these pins make the mugs look elegant. The pinners promise easy art.  My kinda craft, right?

Well, it wasn’t quite without crapsmanship, of course.  First, the lavender polish was really pink, so I didn’t have much color contrast.  Second, the old forgotten polish just globbed into the water.  See the balls at the bottom?


Third, I guess because it was so ancient, the old polish created long pieces of snot-like strings. Ick!


Last and certainly as crappy as the other issues, I dipped the first mug rather willy-nilly into the floating polish and got the marbled effect smeared into the inner part of the mug.  Definitely not the elegant look I was hoping for, and probably not safe for coffee.

Not willing to give up on my $3 investment, I used nail polish remover to clean up the first mug I created.  After dipping both mugs into the nail polish soup, I set them aside to dry. They’re not without flaws, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever use them for drinking, but maybe they’ll make some good pots for flowers!

Knitting Success

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My current knitting project is this beautiful red scarf made from 100% mink yarn. I’m hoping it will look and feel good in December when I plan to wear it with my Christmas clothes.  I’m writing about it today because it’s a good illustration of my improvement as a knitter.

The pattern is called Kelp Scarf, and it’s available for free as a Ravelry download at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kelp-scarf-2.  It has this pretty lace pattern at either end, and the rest is all garter stitch.

I knitted the same pattern about a year ago as a Christmas gift for my friend Kerry. I struggled and struggled with the lace.  As a matter of fact, I worked on it on a 4-hour car ride to visit our grandkids. I ripped it out so many times (and undoubtedly said a few choice words), I was in the same place when we reached our destination that I had started at.

This time around, I completed the lace with zero errors.  Zero errors is an exceptional accomplishment in my knitting life, and this red scarf is a symbol of improvement for me!

DIY Marbled Paper

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In the back of my dresser drawer, I found a pack of 60 notecards that I’d bought long ago.  The note cards are in ten muted colors with a little embossing on each.  They’re pretty, but I decided to glam them and package them in six sets of 10.  My first try was to use this marbling tutorial that I found at Honestly WTF: http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-paper-marbling/.  And all it cost was $1 for shaving cream at Dollar Tree.

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You can read the tutorial at Honestly WTF, but I had a few tweaks and lessons I learned.  The tutorial recommends you mask off the inside of the card so the marbling won’t  bleed into the part where one would write.  CRAP ALERT: That’s a perfectly wonderful idea, unless you have messy hands and actually touch the inside with them! 13487282_10209576788966972_451237901_nYou squirt shaving cream into a baking dish, swirl gel food coloring (see above — I used purple and orange), and dip the front of the card into the shaving cream. The tutorial recommends that you use a straight edge to then scrape the dyed cream off the card, but that left an unimpressive mottled design.  Here’s the card after I played with it a little. Not bad, but not exactly marbled.13479256_10209576789006973_780716840_n

I nearly stopped right there, but I’m glad I persevered. For the next several cards, I placed the card face down, tapped it a little to make sure that the shaving cream adhered to the paper, and then pulled it up.  I found all I had to do was blot off the little bit of shaving cream that remained.  I was pleased with the marbling effect, and I liked how the embossing was evident.13492899_10209576788806968_2084116917_nCRAP ALERT — A few words of warning.

  1. Unless you are much more careful than I am, your hands will get stained.  Wear gloves!
  2. The food dye got all over my counter.  It cleaned up easily with a Clorox Wipe, but I can’t promise that it will if your counter is porous.  Protect your countertop.
  3. Give them plenty of time to dry.  Patience is definitely not my virtue when I’m being a crapsman, and I tried to take the tape off much too soon. The tape removed easily, but I got more dye over my hands and consequently over the writing surface of the paper.  Be patient!

I’ll try this again another day soon with different colors of food dye.  This was a fast, easy, and cheap project, but beware of the mess!