Turn a Photo into Watercolor

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Flower

Isn’t this a lovely picture?  I took a photograph of this iris when I was on a girlfriends’ trip to southern Louisiana.  We went to Avery Island — home of a beautiful garden, a bird sanctuary, and Tabasco.

I’ve been playing around with a new app, and I thought this photograph turned out the best.  The app is called “Waterlogue” ($3.99 in the Apple App Store), and it converts any photo to an assortment of watercolor images.  You can then save your new image to your Camera Roll, and you can even print it yourself or send it to a photo printing site.  It’ll make you look like an artist — exactly what every crapsman hopes for!

Poem for Expectant Grandma

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Several weeks ago, I hosted a baby shower for the daughter of a dear friend of mine. I was honoring the soon-to-be grandmother, the soon-to-be mother, and Baby Grace. Of course, my big gift was for Mother and Grace, but I couldn’t let Grams go away empty handed.  I attached the label above to a bottle of champagne.  The baby was born in early May, and Mother and Grace are doing fine!

M-m-m-m Mojitos!

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Mojito 2

I planted a variety of mint called “Mojito,” and how could I resist using it for its intended purpose?!  First a hint: Grow this in a pot; as with most mint, it will take over  your garden.  It’s a very pretty plant, but it is exceeding prolific!

Mojito 1

Usually when making a mojito, you muddle the mint with the sugar in a single glass.  That’s great for one-drink-at-a-time drinking, but I was making mine for a dinner party of six.  I wanted a pitcher full, and I didn’t want to have to do such serious muddling.  Instead, my base was a mint simple syrup.  I first boiled 2 cups sugar with 2 cups water, stirring occasionally .  (You could use 2 cups Splenda if you wanted a sugar-free mojito).  Once the water was boiling, I turned it off and put in about 20 mint leaves.  I allowed this to cool completely, and then put 1-1/2 cups of the syrup into a pitcher.  I added 2 cups of light rum and 1-1/2 cups of lime juice.  Yes, I probably should have used freshly-squeezed juice, but I cheated and used Real Lime (and I couldn’t tell the difference).

Once this concoction was stirred, I filled each glass with ice, poured them about 2/3 full of the mint mixture, and then topped each off with ginger ale.  (Sugar-free works here, too.)  Club soda is the traditional topper, but I like the extra flavor from the ginger ale.

Mojito 3

I garnished each drink with a lime wedge and some extra mint.  M-m-m-m!

NOTE:  This post is dedicated to Martha!

Easy and Cheap Table Decor

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Table 4Dan the Man and I were having a couple of great friends over for dinner, and because the weather was so nice, I decided we should eat outside.  We weren’t planning to have a fancy formal table on the patio, but I wanted to dress it up a little.

Table 3

First, a trip to Hobby Lobby.  I bought blue patterned scrapbook paper and bandanas.  The paper served as placemats, and the bandanas were our napkins.

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For just about $5, I had an easy table setting perfect for the patio.

Table 1

Cheap and easy!

Yummy White Cake

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Cake 1

I made these cupcakes for a baby shower I was hosting, and the cake part was just delicious.  (CRAP ALERT: We won’t talk about the frosting!)  I got this recipe from my son but don’t know it’s origin.  I also committed the cardial sin of a blogger — I didn’t take pictures as I worked.  But the recipe is easy to follow, so pictures aren’t really necessary if you try this yourself.

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Cleaning Aluminum Patio Furniture

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I read a Pinterest link about using Turtle Wax to clean outdoor aluminum furniture: http://hip2save.stfi.re/2015/04/16/how-to-fix-faded-aluminum-patio-furniture-using-just-one-common-household-item/?sf=dbopznp#aa

Our pool furniture is a couple years old, so I wanted to give this cleaning tip a try.  But being the cheap crapsperson that I am, I decided to use Armor-All since I already had it in my garage.  The Armor-All was useful for cleaning off all the yellow spring pollen, but it didn’t renew the finish of the aluminum.  Not willing to give up my cheap habit of using what I already had, I switched to using some Johnson’s Paste Wax.  Here’s a before and after:

Did it make a difference?  Somewhat.  Was it worth the effort? Maybe.  Did it live up to the restore-your-aluminum-furniture-and-make-it-look-like-new promise of the original Pinterest post?  Nope.  I guess I’ll splurge on some Turtle Wax!

Bunny Bite Mini-Cupcakes

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I’m hosting a baby shower the day before Easter and am decorating with a pink bunny theme.  (It’s a girl!)  I thought mini-cupcakes would be an easy thing for people to eat as dessert, and when I saw a how-to on making these cute bunny ears, I just had to experiment.  For my trial run, I used a boxed white cake mix and canned frosting, but for the real thing, I’ll go to more trouble ;-)!  I first made the cupcakes in mini-cake pans.

Cupcake 1

While these were cooling, I put a few drops of green food coloring and about a cup of shredded coconut into a mason jar.  After numerous shakes and a little stirring to break up clumps, the coconut was grass green.

Cupcake 5

The bunny ears were easy.  Since I was making two dozen cupcakes, I cut 24 mini-marshmallows in half, diagonally, using scissors.  I poured some pink sugar (I purchased this at Wal-Mart in the cake decorating section) on to a saucer and dipped the cut sticky side of each half-marshmallow into the sugar.  I set these parts aside.

Once the cupcakes were cool enough, I frosted them with chocolate frosting to represent dirt.  Icing these was not my strongest suit!

Cupcake 8

Next, I spooned some green coconut onto each cupcake, gently pressing the coconut into the frosting with the back of the spoon.  Using a cooling rack for this step helped the extra coconut drop below the cupcakes and made clean-up easy.

Cupcake 5

Finally, I put sets of bunny-ear marshmallows onto the top of each cupcake.  I gently pressed them down so they would adhere to the frosting.  Voila!  I think they’re the cutest thing ever!

Cupcake 6

Easter Egg Crapsmanship

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My two attempts at trying a new egg-dying technique were a failure, but perhaps it wasn’t due to my crapsmanship.  This tutorial (http://www.coupons.com/thegoodstuff/dye-easter-eggs-with-shaving-cream/#) for coloring Easter eggs with shaving cream and food dye seemed easy enough.  But instead of hard-boiled eggs, I used these craft eggs I got on clearance last Easter:

Eggs 1

No spoiled eggs with this product!  I rummaged through my cabinets to find these supplies:

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I sprayed the shaving cream into the 12 compartments in the muffin tin, and then I swirled combinations of food coloring in each.  Below you’ll see Li’l Miss helping me out.

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I smushed an egg in each compartment, Eggs 6

and then covered each egg with some of the surrounding dye and shaving cream mixture.

Eggs 5

Though the original tutorial said to let the eggs sit for 15 minutes, I let mine go for over 30, just to be on the safe side.

Eggs 7

Next, I carried the muffin tin to the kitchen sink and spray-washed them all.  CRAP ALERT:  Much to my disappointment, only one egg was completely covered with dye, though it was still unimpressive.

Eggs 8

Thinking that my technique was at fault, I tried the experiment again.  This time, however, I used vivid hues of blue and red.

Eggs 10

Another failure!  I’ve decided that the fault in this craft was really not in the technique or in the crapsmanship.  Instead, I’m blaming it all on the eggs, and if I try this again, I’ll use the real hard-boiled one called for in the tutorial!