I have a cork-monogrammed R on top of my refrigerator, and I always get compliments on it. When my friend Jackie K. admired it, I knew I had to make one for her. Cork projects aren’t difficult to do — after all, who minds collecting corks?! — but certain materials make the job easier. Read the rest of this entry
My BFF and I were looking for the perfect gift for a friend of ours (Jack) who was turning 65, and I think we found it! I bought a good bottle of wine (when is wine NOT a great gift?!), and BFF and I reworked the label to personalize it. Read the rest of this entry
I am extremely fortunate to have a group of eight of us who have known each other at least since high school. (Carol and I just celebrated our 60th year of friendship; we’ve known each other since kindergarten!) We call ourselves the HaHa’s because we laugh so much when we’re together. This weekend, we had our annual holiday cookie exchange. The event has evolved over the years — we now bring frozen dough so we can each bake what we want when we want. In addition to our dough exchange and lots of laughter, we might have stuffed ourselves with good food and wine. I’m not confessing to anything!
My cookies were extremely easy to do, and I was able to fairly quickly make eight batches for sharing. The recipe comes from the Magnolia Days blog, and I followed the recipe almost to a tee. (Find the recipe here: https://magnoliadays.com/lemon-sour-cream-cookies.) The directions called for grating a lemon and rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingers. What a brilliant technique! The lemon fragrance spread through the kitchen and flavored the sugar perfectly. The recipe is straightforward and the blog post is well-explained, so I won’t give any more comment on it.
But I did do a quick craft project to decorate the slice-and-bake logs and to give written directions for baking. Using a large purchased tag, I sprayed each side with red watercolor spray. I printed the baking directions on one side…
… and used scrapbook paper, a fine-tipped Sharpie pen, and ModPodge to decorate the other side.
CRAP ALERT: I glued the trees too far up onto the tags, and they weren’t centered to my liking. Pieces of green washi tape fixed the problem in a hurry.
To finish the packages, I used red and white bakers twine to tie the tag onto each log. Quick, cute, and fun!
My pseudo-nephew Hank turned 30 this month, and I wanted to create a special picture for him, despite my limited talent as an artist. Hank is a bicyclist, and I thought a bike wheel with 30 spokes should be my inspiration. Read the rest of this entry
Princess M spent several days with Dan the Man and me right before Christmas. She was most interested in my knitting, and of course, wanted me to make something for her. Since I’ve just mastered joining in the round (taking me from beginning knitting status to advanced beginners, I think!), I offered to make her some boot cuffs. We trekked to Hobby Lobby, and the princess got to select her own yarn. Read the rest of this entry
Dan the Man and I went to Arkansas last weekend to see one set of our kids and grandkids. Princess M was turning 7, and I assembled a gift package that thrilled her to pieces. Read the rest of this entry
I made the cutest earrings with some extra yarn I had after knitting a scarf. Makes me wish I had pierced ears! They were easy to make, though the construction was rather convoluted. I first had to find an object that was the right size to wrap the yarn around. I settled on Dan the Man’s new battery charger. The charger is snuggled under the mess below. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve been spending hours and hours lately in the hospital with a sick friend, so my cooking and crafting time has been limited. But about a month ago, a few girlfriends and I had two crafting days to make some door prizes for an upcoming conference. We were looking for inexpensive ideas that our conference participants (mostly women) would like. Necklaces made from washers seemed just the ticket. Read the rest of this entry
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!
Today I made an old family recipe that brings back the flavors and smells of my Grandma’s kitchen. She used to pickle bing cherries in a recipe she called Salted Cherries. They’re one of those you-either-love-’em-or-you-hate-’em relishes, and my dad and I used to go nuts over them. They’re easy to do when cherries are at their peak.
You first wash the cherries, and I always take the stems off. In they go into a quart Mason jar. For each quart, you sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt over the top.
Fill the jars half way with plain white vinegar, and then top it off with tap water. Screw on the lid, turn upside down, and store in the refrigerator. They should be ready in about 3 weeks. Yum!
Here’s the original recipe, in my teenage handwriting, as dictated by my grandmother.