Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Topiaries Just In Time For Thanksgiving!

I  l.o.v.e  topiaries!  All kinds of topiaries!  So, I have a habit of making them for all occasions and Thanksgiving is no different.  I love the little Jack Be Nimble Pumpkins you find in your local grocery store and every year I have to fight the urge to buy tons of them for decorating.  The problem is....what do you do with them after Thanksgiving?  This year I refrained and only bought a few and since the Thanksgiving season is coming to an end in just a few days, I needed to do something with my pumpkins instead of having them piled in a bowl on my table.  I decided on topiaries!  They are very easy to make and after the holidays I don't feel quite so guilty throwing them away since I had already poked holes in them.  Here are a few easy steps:
Supplies you will need:
You will need a miniature pumpkin, 1/4 inch wooden dowel, and a container. You will also need a little oasis or styrofoam for the pot, some Spanish moss as a filler and a piece of ribbon or raffia for the bow.  You can use any kind of container...I chose a little terracotta flower pot that I am going to paint using a crackle finish.  I love the effect of crackle and it's so easy to do.  You will need 2 colors of acrylic paint, crackle medium (you can get this at AC Moore or Michael's) and a paint brush.

First paint your bottom coat of paint.  This will be the color that shows through on the crackle.  Let it dry.
Next, paint a layer of your crackle medium (it's sticky) and let it dry.

Next, paint a layer of your second color using short strokes.  Paint only one coat and don't go back over where you've already painted.  As you start painting you will notice it crackling.  Isn't it cool!!  I love this stuff.  When your pot has completely dried spray it lightly with a clear acrylic sealer.  Now sharpen one end of your dowel rod and insert it up into the little pumpkin.  Fill your container with oasis and then stick the dowel into the pot, use some Spanish moss as a filler and finish off with a pretty bow!

I hope ya'll are all enjoying the preparations for turkey day on Thursday. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year and I can't wait for my Georgia family to arrive and the festivities to begin!  And, believe it or not, I've been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now and have already changed out all the CD's in my car to my favorite Christmas tunes.  I've been enjoying everything from Mannheim's Steamroller, to Martina MacBride and James Taylor and some nice Christmas piano tunes!  I love this season and hope you all are enjoying it too!  Until later . . .

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday - A Day Late!

Thank you to all the veterans who made the choice to take a chance in order to change our lives.
We are forever grateful for your willingness to serve our country. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

I have always been fond of collecting and sharing quotes, inspirational thoughts, poems, scriptures, and words of wisdom.  Over the years I have saved scraps of paper where I've written these meaningful expressions, stashed them in envelopes, tacked them to bulletin boards, and sometimes tucked them between the pages of my Bible.  Several years ago I decided I needed a little more organized method for my madness so I purchased a nice little leather journal.  It was very inexpensive but the words within its pages are priceless.  There are some days that I just need a lift so I pull out my journal and just read through some thoughts, and then there are days when a burdened friend needs a little encouragement and I've turned to my trusty "Reflections" journal to find the perfect quote.  Whatever the need may be I have found my collection to be the medicine for many wounds.  I have to share a quick story with you about how this all started, many years ago when I was in fifth grade.

I grew up in Atlanta and as most people know, Atlanta is the home of the Coca Cola Bottling Company.  Every year the Cola Cola Company would give all students a Coca Cola tablet and pencil, and every year I just couldn't wait to get mine because I always used it to "play school".  It was the perfect thing to use for my grade book!  Fifth grade was no different and the morning I walked into my classroom and saw that stack of tablets on Miss Davidson's desk was like winning the lottery.  My mind was churning as I thought about how I was going to create my new grade book!  It's hard to believe that a fifth grader loved to play school but, that was back in the good old days when children really knew how to be creative with their playtime.  Anyway, as I remember it, after we had our morning devotional (yes we had those back in the day too!), the pledge to the flag and sang "My County 'Tis of Thee" I saw Miss Davidson quietly pick up the stack of tablets.  A big smile came over my face.  She passed a tablet  to each student and then turned on her perfect 3 inch pumps (yes teachers actually use to wear heels...all . day . long!) and said, "Boys and girls, this year we will be using our Coca Cola tablets to collect "Thoughts for the Day".  Wait a minute, did I hear her correctly?  Certainly she wasn't telling me how I was suppose to use MY tablet?  Oh but she was!!  She gave us all an ink pen and said it was also time for fifth graders to learn to write properly, with perfect penmanship, in ink!  My day was ruined!  I wanted to cry.  But I didn't....I took my tablet an began to write.  Every morning there would be a thought for the day on the board that we would have to write and occasionally, even memorize.  All that being said you know what?  I still have my Coca Cola tablet and it is one of most prized possessions.  I keep it here in my room at school and I can't tell you how many times I've pulled it out just to read some words of wisdom, copy a verse, or more times than not....just to travel back to  my fifth grade classroom and reminisce about the teacher who inspired me more than any other teacher I have ever had.  The teacher who taught me more than readin', ritin' and rithmethic!  She taught me about citizenship, about giving to others, about being a good person.  Now that my friends, is a good teacher.

Now, to my Thoughtful Thursday . . . I share with you the quote above. I've had this one for some time and read it often.  Just like I thought I had plans for my Coca Cola tablet . . . there were other more important plans for it, and I do believe God had a hand in it, and I believe His plan was the best plan.  I enjoyed our visit today.  Ya'll come back soon!     
My Coca Cola table - 1965
My journal now.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Moon Pies . . .A Southern Treat!

Well, ya'll all know there is nothing like a moon pie and an RC Cola to take care of a little hunger pain and here is a cute way to decorate a plain old moon pie and make it something special for Halloween!  Unwrap your moon pies and insert a 9" wooden dowel into the side, up through the marshmallow middle.  I pushed my dowel through, almost to the top.  Now you are ready to decorate them.  I laid them all out on a sheet of wax paper and used melted chocolate as my glue. I used the back of a spoon as my spatula and applied the melted chocolate all around the outter edge, then sprinkled orange Halloween sprinkles while the chocolate was sticky.  It only takes a few minutes for it to harden.  After the melted chocolate was hard I turned the moon pies over and shook off the excess sprinkles.  I attached candy corn with more melted chocolate, let that harden, packaged them in cellophane bags from AC Moore and tied them with curling ribbon in Halloween colors!  These are the cutest little treats!  I can't wait to give these to the children that will be coming to have some Halloween fun with me at school on Friday!  They will be so surprised!  Just let your imagination run with the decorating!  I love the banana moon pies too and I think they would be so cute decorated with a monogram!  Now you know everyone needs a monogrammed moon pie!  Hope ya'll have as much fun making these fun treats as I did!  Trick or Treat!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall memories are all in the smell and taste!

When I was a little girl one of my fondest memories was coming in from school on a cool fall or cold winter day and having the smell of my mama's gingerbread or fresh apple cake baking in the oven drift by my nose.  It's funny how now, years later, just the smell of cinnamon, ginger or cooked apples takes me back to a precious time in my life and conjures up all sorts of wonderful memories.  My mama was the Martha Stewart of the 60's and 70's and even today her organization skills will put Martha's to shame!  She always knew just what we needed when we walked in the door from school.  So, when the cool temperatures of autumn knock on my door I can't help but get out the cook book and look for recipes that not only tantalize the taste buds but...take me back to my childhood with their fragrance.  This weekend's cool temperatures brought that urge to me so I decided to bake up a batch of Molasses Cookies.  These cookies have a bit of a nostalgic tradition tied to them as well.  This recipe was shared with me by my sweet friend Sara who tells the story of her grandmother baking them every year in the fall.  The story goes that her grandmother was a docent at the Levi Coffin House in Fountain City, Indiana.  Each year during their Fall Festival Sara's grandmother would bake these cookies and serve them with tea on the back porch of the Coffin House for the visitors who came for a tour.  Of course, it would become a tradition for her grandmother to bake them every year and now Sara tells me that every fall she bakes these cookies because... they just taste like fall!  I can certainly vouch for that too because the first time she shared them with me I had to have the recipe.  Saturday I baked a batch and as soon as everyone in my family took a bite they all said, "This tastes like fall!"  So today I'd like to share the recipe with you in hopes that the smell and taste of these cookies will take you back to a sweet childhood memory of fall.

Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup shortening, melted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup sorghum molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoons soda
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt shortening in saucepan over low heat.  Remove and cool.  Add sugar, molasses and egg.  Beat well.  Sift dry ingredients.  Add to first mixture.  Mix well and chill.  Form into 1" balls.  Roll in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheet.  Gently press the top of each ball to slightly flatten.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6-7 minutes.  You will think they are not fully cooked but they are ready!  The cookies will have soft centers.  If you would like a crispier cookie, let them bake about 9 minutes.  ~Enjoy!

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Fall Ya'll!! I'm lovin' the weather!

The last time I made a blog post was at the beginning of my is now the beginning of my fall . . . so where has the time gone?  I have no idea!!  My summer was full of lots of things, not to mention computer problems, so every day my posting was put on the back burner.  Now that I have a new computer I have got to get out of the habit of moving things to that back burner!  I have so many things I want to share I am committing myself to post more regularly and it is starting today! 

Cool air is creeping into South Carolina and I am so ready for it.  This has been one of the hottest summers I have ever lived through.  It has been said that the only thing between Columbia, South Carolina and Hell is a screen door and honey, I am here to tell you that is so true!  Another reason for not posting much during the summer.  My computer is in my room over the garage and even though it is air-conditioned up there the hot Carolina sun beams down on that roof and it's never cool enough to stay up there more than 10-15 minutes.  I even had to drag my sewing machine downstairs to a bedroom so I could work in comfort!!  But the hot days are coming to end this weekend and Carolina breezes are starting to blow.  My creative juices are starting to flow and after decorating with  pumpkins and fall decor on the inside I can't wait to work on adding a fall flair to my screen porch.  My porch is my haven...mostly in spring and fall because it is much more bearable.  Cool mornings and evenings are calling my name!  I have some ideas for making pillows and maybe placements using this graphic . . .

Have you ever used heat transfers with graphics?  I've been doing it for years...long before there was ever a Silhouette machine!  And speaking of Silhouette, I treated myself with a little surcie by purchasing one of these babies when they went on sale this summer!  I am so excited about learning about this machine and finding some good projects.  If anyone has ideas they would like to pass on, please send me the link! 

And finally . . . I have some exciting news!  My daughter Brooke is engaged!  My new son (I don't like the term son-in-law) will be Brice Sprayberry and we couldn't be more thrilled!  Brice surprised us all when he asked Brooke to be his bride at Battery Park in Charleston on September 15 . . . but I wasn't surprised at all when she said YES!  They are the perfect couple and I pray God's blessings on them both for a long, wonderful life together!  Thanks for spending a little time with me today!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend....fall is in the air!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Girls' Day In . . . What Fun!

Today was spent with my dear friend Patty and what a good time we had . . . relaxing and catching up!  Actually we had a celebration!  We finally got to celebrate our birthdays....mine having been in February and Patty's was in May!  Time just gets away from us during the year.  Everything is so hectic, our schedules never seemed to mesh, something just always seemed to get in the way . . . so we decided to wait until school was out to have our celebration and today was the perfect day!

Patty wanted me to come to her house for lunch and upon arriving our first order of business was a nice cool glass of Chardonnay....first order of relaxing that is!  Oh, did I mention Patty has a beautiful house on the lake with gorgeous view?  You'll see that in a minute...right now let me tell you about the delicious lunch she had prepared...Chilled Blueberry Soup that could have been a cool and refreshing...and my favorite, Curried Chicken Salad and croissants!  It was all so delicious!! After the Chardonnay and that delicious lunch I was prepared for a nap, but no....Patty said, "Let do a peppermint foot soak!!"  Sounds good to me...first I'm relaxed with the a full tummy from lunch... and now we're going to soak our feet in a something that smelled so good I wanted to drink it!!!  I will definitely be purchasing some of Dr. Teal's Peppermint Foot Soak tomorrow!  This stuff smells sooo good and makes your feet feel wonderful!  So, here we were, sitting on her screened porch, soaking our feet, overlooking her gorgeous pool and lake view and she comes with one more thing for I'm not already on the verge of Apricot Brandy Slush....sssslllllluuurrrrppp!  So delish, I wanted to just gulp that thing down but knew better!  You have got to make up a batch of these to keep in your freezer.  The perfect frozen drink for a hot summer day, especially here in South Carolina where it topped 100 today!  I'll share the recipe at the end of this post, but I just have to say my day was perfect.  Just what the doctor ordered...I was totally relaxed enjoying the time I got to spend with my special friend, catching up on our families, our lives, and just girl talk!  You know Patty and I can go for months without seeing one another and we live really close.  We'll shoot each other an  email here and there...maybe a quick phone call...but we are always connected in our hearts.  We were trying to figure out when we saw each other last and figured out .it was when we exchanged our Christmas presents sometime in January!  We had sooo much to catch up on, it was nice relaxing on her porch, soaking my feet, sipping an Apricot Brandy Slushy, chatting with my dear, dear friend.....thank you Patty, it was a perfect day!  xxoo
These Apricot Brandy Slushes are so good and refreshing!
A little southern watermelon to munch on!  Perfect for a hot summer day!
Aaaahhhhhh...not only does it feel smells heavenly too!

What a gorgeous view!
Will definitely be purchasing this tomorrow...Patty said they have it at Walmart....of course Walmart has everything!

Here is the recipe for the Apricot Brandy Slush, and a note about preparing . . . it may take several days for it to freeze so plan ahead and make sure you've got it mixed up and in the freezer well in advance of consumption!

Apricot Brandy Slush

Stir until dissolved:
1 cup sugar
9 cups water

1 - 12 oz. can orange juice concentrate
1 - 12 oz. can lemonade concentrate
2 cups Apricot Brandy

Mix and freeze.  Stir a few times during the freezing process.  Stir first time after the mixture has been in the freezer for 6 hours.  This may take several days to freeze.

To prepare drinks
Scoop slush into glass (you may need to scrape your spoon over the top to get mixture broken up).  Next, add enough seltzer to liquify while keeping the "slushy" consistency.  If you like your drink a little sweeter use Sprite instead of the seltzer.  This makes 4 quarts of the slush mix.  You can easily half the recipe and freeze in a 2 quart pitcher to keep in the freezer


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Today was a good day!

Today was a good day!  Not because anything special happened, but because I got to do things that I love and I wasn't worried about the time.  My life seems to revolve around a calender and a clock.  There's always a deadline for something I'm working on, whether it's something for me or someone else, and the clock just seems to tick way too fast! Before you know it, my day has ended and I still have more to do.  Today was one of those days that I didn't have a deadline on anything!  Yay for me!  I got up early and enjoyed coffee on my  porch and believe it or not, I was cutting grass by 9:00!  You have to get an early start in South Carolina because summer days get hot really quick.  I love to cut grass so it wasn't a chore for me. My husband wanted to do it but I said no, I need the exercise!  I worked in my yard, weeding, trimming, planting more flowers and suddenly I realized I was about to die from a heat stroke.  No problem...I went straight to the pool with all my clothes on and just jumped in!  I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy but it cooled me off pretty quick...although I did check the water temperature while I was paddling around and it was 90 degrees!!!  Can you believe that?!  After I finished my yard work I decided a proper dip in the pool with a bathing suit was in order so with sweet tea in hand I floated and relaxed for a couple hours.  It was so nice knowing I could stay in there as long as I wanted deadlines remember?  I finished off the afternoon reading and taking a quick nap....aaahhh...that was so nice!   Tonight my Gamecocks were playing the first game of the Super Regionals and as tradition has dear husband made his famous smoked chicken wings.  He makes the best chicken wings in the world and of course...we had homemade blue cheese dressing to top it off.  I just have to share this recipe with ya'll!  Most people eat celery with their wings and dip the celery in the blue cheese...not us...we dip the wings in the blue cheese!

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise (or Hellman's if you live up north, bless your heart!)
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
garlic powder to taste
1 - 4 oz. pkg. crumbled blue cheese

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for a couple hours before eating.  This is my favorite salad dressing too!

After munching on wings and cheering my Gamecocks to victory I decided to make up a batch of pesto.  Tomorrow I am going to Charleston to visit my daughter, Brooke, and she LOVES pesto!  Mama had given me a ton of her basil and I harvested my first crop today as well.  I made Brooke's batch tonight and will make mine tomorrow.  I love basil!  Of course my favorite way to eat it is on pasta but since I'm trying to be a little more health conscience it's delicious to mix a little with halved cherry tomatoes and cubed fresh mozzarella!  Light and refreshing!


1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
6 cloves of garlic
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup good olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Note:  If you don't have walnuts you can just use pignolis.  Most pesto recipes only call for pignolis anyway.

Place nuts and garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process for 30 seconds.  Add the basil and salt.  With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed.  Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute.  Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator with a thin film of olive oil on top.  This will keep the pesto from turning dark.  This freezes well too.  

I grow several pots of basil during the summer and freeze small cartons of pesto to have during the winter!  It's great on pasta, mixed with mayonnaise for a nice sandwich spread, or thin with a little more olive oil and use as a salad dressing!

Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have enjoyed my day....getting to do just what I wanted to do...and not watching the clock!  Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And the Winner of My Faith Giveaway is . . .


I am so excited that Patticake is the winner of my Faith Giveaway!  She has been a faithful
follower of my blog since I first started it back in the fall.  She is such a sweet person and deserves
to win this!  We have emailed each other over the past several months and found out 
we have so much in common...she has become not only one of my sweet followers
but also a great e-friend!  CONGRATULATIONS Patti!

Look for a package in the mail soon!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Summer To Me!

Monday was my official first day of summer vacation!  I've been waiting on this for a long time and I couldn't wait to start my day with my first official get-back-in-shape 2.5 mile trek through my neighborhood...only this summer I have an added little toy that I am so excited about!  Last week I decided to buy myself a little "Happy Summer" present, something that will be fun and at the same time get me in shape!  I bought this cute little Beach Cruiser from Walmart!!  I think it's pretty sporty looking myself and I have had so much fun riding it.  I get up quite early and after I do my 2.5 mile walk I saddle up for about a 2 mile ride through the neighborhood!  I get lots of waves from neighbors and several have stopped me to find out where I got it!  Maybe we'll start a bike club!  I do have a few more accessories to a cute little Nantucket basket for the front...hopefully Miss Sophie Annabella will go for a ride with me, and  I'd also like to change the's not real comfortable right now and that's probably attributed to the size of my derriere, but hopefully after a couple weeks that problem will be taken care of too!  I can't wait to take it to Charleston next week so Brooke and I can have some fun riding on the beach....I have never done that before!  Enjoy your summer days in the sun! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Help! Problems with Blogger?

I need your help.  I've been informed that many people have not been able to comment on my latest post to enter my giveaway.  If you've experienced this problem please email me at and tell me what your problem has been...i.e. no comment box, missing "Comment" button, etc.  I am trying to get this straight with Blogger.  Apparently several people have had this problem and Blogger was suppose to have fixed it.  I'd appreciate any help you can offer.  Thanks!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All About Faith & A June Giveaway!

I will have to say that without a doubt Faith is the strongest force in my life.
My belief that my Heavenly Father knows my wants, but pays more attention to my needs and fills my
life with purpose, is the greatest gift that I have ever received.
I don't think I fully understood this until I became a parent myself. 
It was then that I could "take a walk in His shoes" and truly understand parental reasoning.
When I began raising my daughter my first inclination was to give her everything,
or I wished I could give her everything, 
to plan, map out and chart the course for her life and take care of all problems that would arise. 
the parental heart in me knew that giving her everything would not build the character of a strong, independent woman,
charting the course for her life would not build in her the courage to take a leap of faith on her own,
taking care of problems along the way would not build the confidence she would need in times
when mama wasn't there.
I would not say yes to all her whims and wants, and from time to time I stood back and
let her take the reins in the decisions of everyday life knowing there would be a lesson
she would learn.  It's not easy being a parent because your heart wants to always say yes,
but with the parental wisdom given by God, I would say no...knowing all along it was best for her.

After understanding these things I realized that my all-knowing Heavenly Father  knew what was best for me and sometimes when I didn't think He was there, didn't think He was listening, He was on the sidelines, cheering me on....sometimes allowing me to stumble as I learned..... as I learned to lean on Him to guide my footsteps, because He knows best.
That's when I started relying on my Faith in Him to guide my way.
My prayers always begin with "God you know my heart, and you know my needs...."
And they end with
"Thank you for all my blessings and all I ask is that You provide me with what I need."
He has sustained me through many trials along the way, has provided for me when I felt there was
no end in sight.  He has blessed me with "gifts" that some people call talents, I prefer to call
them gifts from heaven because they have allowed me to earn extra money
when I needed it most..... and when my ideas run dry...He gives me a brainstorm.  He always provides.
I give Him all the credit for He knows my needs, and will help me along the way, as long as
my Faith is strong, and I trust in His love for me.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."   Hebrews 11:1

When I first saw the faith plaque I immediately wanted it for my porch.  But then I said no, I'll buy it for my mother as part of her Mother's Day gift.  Then after I got home I started thinking about it and decided I wanted to give one to my friend Sara who so often shares her faith stories with me. 
When I bought Sara's there were 2 left so, of course I decided to grab one for myself,
no sense in giving them all as gifts! 
Then I felt guilty....I wanted one of my sweet blogger friends to have one too so I went back to get
the last one but it was gone.  I was sad, but asked Sara to be on the look out for one on her
side of town.  No where were they to be found.
Well, yesterday I quickly ran to the store to grab a few things and thought well, maybe I'll check just
to see if they got some more.  I went up and down the aisles 3 times and was about to leave when
all of a sudden I saw it....all by itself on the clearance shelf!!!  I had to look twice to make
sure it said Faith!  I was so excited I immediately said, "Thank you Lord!"
So now I can share it with one of you!

This is my giveaway.... the pretty Faith table ornament you see pictured above.  I call it a table ornament
because I really don't know what you call the "words" that you use in decorating! 
Anyway here is how to enter:

1.  Become a Follower of my blog and post a comment.  You can share about your faith if you like, if not, that is fine! (1 entry)
2.  If you are already a Follower, post this giveaway on your sidebar or blog about it and leave a comment telling me (1 entry)
3.  Recommend my blog to your friends and have them mention you in their comment (1 entry)

Three ways to enter!  The last day for entries is Wednesday, June 8. 
I will notify the winner and post it on Thursday, June 9.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!     

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tonight Is The Bachelorette and I've Found Heaven on a Stick!

Although I'm not a reality show junkie I do enjoy watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  These two shows are the only shows I never miss, and of course we can't leave out The Bachelor Pad, which is my all time favorite.  I think I like The Bachelor Pad best because it's the most realistic reality show of the three.  What you see is what you get, nothing planned or staged, but I'm sure there's quite a bit of editing!

Who will our Bachelorette, Ashley Hebert, choose?  We'll have to see!  My husband laughs at me and says, "Whoever would go on national t.v. and get dumped in front of millions of people, cry and make a fool of themselves, deserves whatever they get."  Well, that may be true's entertainment!  I may not believe in all that is said or done, and I certainly don't believe you can fall in love in 8 weeks on a few short dates and be ready to get married...but I do believe it can be the start to a long and meaningful relationship...look at Ryan and Trista (Are ya'll getting tired of seeing them interviewed on every season?....I guess ABC is just so excited that it "worked" they keep showing them off!) Charlie and Sara (I think they're still together), and of course Ali and Roberto.  Word has it from a very reliable source (personal friend with niece who lives in Charlotte) that Emily and Brad are still together in their long distance romance.  Emily still lives in Charlotte (and Brad in Texas) and has been seen in church with Brad and little Rickie and.....sources tell me her house has been up for sale.  Same source tells me little Rickie had a dance recital on Saturday, in Charlotte, and they were all together!  So, we will see.  It's nice to know they are going to church me that is a very good start!  Can't wait for tonight!

Now...about that heaven on a stick!!!  I am not a big ice cream fan.  I enjoy it occasionally, and only certain Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey or Pistaccio, Pistaccio or even Cherry Garcia.  I also am not one of those who, once I find a great flavor, will eat it every single night (like my husband!)  I will savor the flavor only once a week......while I'm watching The Bachelor!  That is my weekly indulgence, splurge, treat, whatever you want to call it!  Last season my flavor was Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey....I would eat half the container one week and save the other half for the next week.  This season...I'm so excited because I have found a new love!  Magnum Ice Cream Bars!  OMG ya'll, these are soooo delicious I just can't wait for tonight!  I have only tried one flavor and that is the Double Caramel.  Now let me tell you what this treat is all about...the vanilla ice cream is so smooth and creamy and it's covered with a thin layer of chocolate...which is covered by a nice layer of caramel which is covered by a thick layer of chocolate....Belgium chocolate to be exact!  Not the waxy, stick to your teeth chocolate that you usually find on ice cream bars...this stuff is good!  There are 6 different flavors.  I've bought all mine at Food Lion or Publix but they carry them at Walmart and Target too as well as other grocery stores and here is a link to a $1.00 off coupon from Target...I just printed mine.  Now hurry because the coupon expires May 31 and you know you're gonna want one while you watch The Bachelor tonight!!!  Now ya'll run on out to your local grocer or Target and grab a'll be so glad you did!  Now don't forget...9:00... I'll be on my couch...with Magnum ice cream bar in hand!  Toodles!              

Monday, May 9, 2011

Creating Cardstock From Your Favorite Prints!

In this tutorial you're not exactly going to make your own cardstock...I'm going to show you how to use your favorite patterned wallpaper, wrapping paper, or scrapbooking paper to create your own customized cardstock for crafting in any color you need!!

I use Microsoft Publisher to do this but you can use any desktop publishing program that will allow you to change the color of the graphic.

Choose the paper you would like to "recolor" and print as cardstock and cut it into a sheet measuring 8.5" x 11".  I happen to love toile and polka dots so that is what I will be using.  I lucked out on the beautiful navy toile wrapping paper when I was shopping at Marshall's several years ago!  I just seem to find everything I need there!

Scan your 8.5" x 11" piece of paper and save it as a graphic file on your computer.

Using MS Publisher create a new blank document (Full Page) then Insert -> Picture -> From File
Navigate to where you have the graphic saved, click on the file, then click Insert

Your graphic is now in the document.
Right click on the picture and choose Format Picture

Click on the Recolor button
Click on the More Colors line

Click on the color you would like to change it to.

Click OK on the next 3 screens.  And, there you have it!

Print this out on white card stock and this is what you get!  I did the same process with the polkadot wrapping paper I had.  I just changed the color to orange. 

It works best when what you originally scan is a dark color such as navy or black.  Now you can use this cardstock to make some pretty bag collars for all those gift bags you need to decorate!  This is exactly what I did on the aqua gift bag in my previous post!  Try it out!  It's easy and fun.  If you have any questions, you know you can always email me!! 
                                                                                                     ~ Becky

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Decorating Gift Bags for Mother's Day!

Ya'll know I've said it before, I love wrapping presents and making gifts looks special!  Gift bags have just about replaced wrapping presents in a box these days so I've decided if I can't decorate a box, I'll decorate a bag!  I want my presents to say, "Open me first!".  Here are the instructions on how I dress up gift bags with "Bag Collars"!  I usually buy several different colors and sizes of  bags to have on hand in my wrapping closet.  That way I can personalize the collar for the recipient of the gift instead of just giving a plain old bag!  I will go ahead and admit this....after taking pictures while  I was making a collar I realized I ended up with tons of pictures and a list of 23 steps to create these easy little bag collars.  It sounds daunting with all the pictures and steps but it is so easy and I'm sure can easily be shown in 5 steps but I tend to give instructions in more detail than I actually need to.  You are basically cutting a piece of cardstock long enough for a graphic and a fold at the top to tuck over the top edge of the is how I can make something so long!

Pick a bag and print a graphic in the middle of a piece of cardstock.  If you don't have a graphic, you can use a rubber stamp, cut out an old card you have received, use solid paper or to make it really special, glue a photo of the person who is to receive the gift!

Place the sheet with your graphic over the bag and trim the sides so the collar is narrower than the bag.  I'm going to add a border so I trimmed 3/4 off each side.

Center your graphic sheet over the bag to determine placement of the graphic itself.  Mark with a pencil on each side.

Measure 1/2" above this mark and draw a line.  Cut along this line.

Using a bone folder and straight edge place your straight edge along your first pencil marks and run the bone folder along the straight edge to form a crease.  This helps so much when folding paper but if you don't have a bone folder you can use the back edge of a butter knife.

Fold on crease

Place and center the folded edge along top of bag and on the fold, make a pencil mark at the handles.

Cut notches 1/2" wide up to the fold.  Your collar will be placed so it folds over the top edge of bag.

Decide how long you want your collar to extend down and mark the center with a dot.

Now, decide the angle of your collar and mark this point on left side of collar.

On the left side measure from the fold down to this mark.  You will need this measurement for the right side.

Now, using the measurement from the last step, measure this length on the right side of the collar from the fold down and mark.

Draw a line from the center mark of collar to each side mark.  This will form your point.  Cut along these lines.

Your collar will be placed in the center with fold over the top.

Now, using your border paper, mark width of bag.

Using double-sided tape, run tape along all edges of back of collar and center the collar on your border paper.

Since my collar will have a 3/4" border, measure 3/4" from collar on all edges and draw a line using a straight edge.

Cut along lines and cut out notches at top.  Fold along upper crease line.

Position collar over the top of the bag and tape the flap down on the side of the bag.  Place a small piece of double-sided tape at the bottom point of the collar to hold it in place.

The left gift bag has a graphic I found online.  I used a rubber stamp on the pineapple bag.

On this bag I scanned some beautiful toile wrapping paper I had but it was in navy and white.  I needed sea foam!  Once I inserted the scanned graphic into my document I changed the color of the graphic to the color I needed and printed.  I will be sharing this step by step "how-to" in a future post!

You can use just about anything to make a collar, I've used newsprint, old sheet music, Sunday comics, wrapping paper, doilies, and scrapbooking paper.  Your ideas are a big as your imagination!  I hope you enjoy this project and have fun decorating your Mother's Day packages as well as all those graduation gifts you will be buying this month and wedding gifts next month!  Until later...