Monday, October 31, 2011

Celebrations: a black and white halloween

This year, my overall Halloween theme was centered around black knick knacks and décor. After I finished up all of my projects and put away my black ribbons, paper and other crafting supplies, I spent some time on Pinterest and found I wasn’t alone in the black or black & white Halloween palette.

Here are some of the amazing inspirational projects I found on Pinterest.

B&W Halloween 1
1. White pumpkins on stairs
2. Pumpkin with gingham ribbon
4: Pumpkin Candles

B&W Halloween 2
3. Trick or Treat table

B&W Halloween 3
Wishing you all a….
happy_halloween_garland[1] (2)
….filled with lots of treats.

Hope to see you tomorrow for the Inspiration Board link party.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Inspiration Board: link party spotlight ~21~

The Inspiration Board was full of creative ideas this week. I loved the variety of craft and decor projects, as well as all the yummy treats. I was really excited to see a few holiday projects in the mix. Is it really only 4 weeks until Thanksgiving and 8 weeks until Christmas? Time sure flies in the blogosphere. 

Here are a few in the spotlight this week.
Wood Halloween signs by 52 Mantels. I love the message and the burlap and spray paint technique is brilliant.

Just in time for holiday gift giving – lovely organic crocheted washcloths by Just Another Hangup. The soap and organza ribbon make such a nice gift presentation. 

Features 21 collage treats
A trifecta of yumminess – all beautifully presented and I’m sure equally delicious. 

{left} Start with a Peanut Butter Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcake by A Pretty Life in the Suburbs.
  {middle} Save room for some Pumpkin Mousse by It’s Overflowing.
{right} Top it all off with a cup of Red Velvet Hot Cocoa by A Law Student’s Journey

What a great find. A roadside rescue turned chalkboard. Shabby Art Boutique did a great job giving new life to an old cheval mirror that can be used at her boutique.

Features 21 craft rooms
Two very different office / craft room makeovers.

{top} This office is only 10’ x 12” but Salvage Savvy did a great job making her space beautiful, personalized and organized. I love the church pew turned bench. 

{bottom} A craft studio that dreams are made of. The Ivy Cottage turned their entire garage into a large craft studio. Wow!

Patch it-3
I love this idea to patch up ripped jeans by Mommy x3=Insanity. Very clever and a sure hit with the kids.

Miss Kopy Kat shows us how to age paper by painting with coffee. I’ve used this technique but never thought to actually use a paintbrush. Love the spooky graphics and the aged paper effect.

october2011 295
Show Tell and Share made this great shoulder strap satchel. She shares the pattern on her post and tips for making this bag.

Great living room wall art by A Blondes DIY Life. Such a variety of art and knick knacks that all work so well together.

This week’s inspiration pin board 
{precious metals} 

Features 21 collage 2 use-1
1. Silver Leaf Tray – My Covered Bridge
2. Autumn Painting – Dazed to Amaze
3. Gold Acorn Tree – Mom on Timeout
4. Butterflies and Baubles – Jellyfish Jelly

If you were in the spotlight, please feel free to grab a button.


Thank you again to everyone who linked a project and to everyone who came to visit. I loved looking at all the projects and visiting your sites.
Please come back next week for another link party.
Link parties are held every Tuesday.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Celebrations: halloween recap

It’s almost time for all the little goblins and witches to go trick or treating. In case you missed any of my Halloween posts, I thought I’d recap some of my favorite Halloween projects from this year and my archives.

Blog Halloween 1, 2 & 3
A mummy theme party complete with a mummy invitation, mummy goodie box and anti-zombie pills (curiously strong ones).

My dollar store crows are working hard holding up my halloween paper garland.

Last year I was all about white pumpkins.

This year it was black pumpkins.

Birdhouse 2
A spooky haunted birdhouse where no bird dare enter.

A splash of gold on these accidental pumpkins

These composition books are a fun non-sugary treat for halloween. Composition BOOk, MAD Science LAB Notes and a SPELLing workBOOK.

Sometimes less is more. You can’t beat the beauty and simplicity of unadorned pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good Taste: carapelli olive oil

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carapelli for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of the places I would love to visit one day is Tuscany. So many wonderful things seem to originate there. Most of them centered around fresh and flavorful food.  So when I was asked if I would like to try Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I didn’t need to have my arm twisted.
Carapelli Olive Oil is Italy’s number 1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the company has been making olive oil since 1893. That’s a long time.
Carapelli’s Master Tasters craft the exclusive blends of the best oils from the finest Mediterranean olive groves.
Today’s distinctive line of Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oils includes three varieties:
  • Premium 100% Italian – made solely from the first cold pressing of the finest 100% Italian olives with an intense, robust flavor and aroma
  • Il Numerato – a supremely smooth and low acidity oil that is a result of a delicate cold pressing of olives
  • Organic – Obtained only from organically grown olives and produced according to organic farming standards; certified USDA organic
What I didn't know was that you tasted olive oil just like wine tasting. Master tasters in Italy use a small blue gass to taste olive oil. The round shape of the glass fits into the palm of your hand so that the oil is warmed, releasing the aroma. The blue color of the glass also conceals the color of the olive oil since color is not an indicator of quality.

Here are the steps to tasting olive oil - Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow (the four S's).

1. Swirl – By swirling the olive oil in your glass, you release the oil’s esters, which are the molecules that contain the aroma.
2. Sniff – Now inhale deeply. The aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil. Is it intense or is it more subtle?
3. Slurp – Sip the oil while “sipping” in a bit of air. This slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. Take note of the various tastes and sensations. Is it fruity, peppery, smooth?
4. Swallow – Once you swallow the oil, it should leave your mouth with no aftertaste. Again, take note of any peppery or stinging sensation in your throat.
001950 CarapelliTastingProgram_9_28_11.pdf
I taste tested the Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil following the four S's. I swirled and then sniffed. The olive oil smelled wonderful. The aroma was subtle but really inviting. I think it was saying "go get a piece of bread and dip it into the oil". The bread would have to wait until I finished taste testing. Next I slurped. The olive oil was very smooth and olivy. And I was actually surprised that after swallowing the olive oil, there really was no aftertaste.

Once the taste testing was over I was anxious to try out the olive oil with some other ingredients. One of my favorite ways to have olive oil is as a dip for bread.
Here's what I used in my dip:
{Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Dip}
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a dash of salt
  • parmesan cheese
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • bread for dipping
I dipped the bread and it was absolutely delicious. I use olive oil at home but you can really taste the difference with a quality brand like Carapelli.
It's always fun to learn something new and I really enjoyed learning a little about olive oil taste testing.
{and of course eating bread dipped in the oil}

Visit Sponsor's Site

Celebrations: mummy treat tubes and a winner

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without treats and this is fun way to wrap up some goodies.

Here’s how to make these treat tubes.
  • Start with empty paper towel tubes or use cardstock to make tubes. My tubes measure about 4 inches across not including the tissue paper ends.
  • Wrap a piece of tissue paper that is longer than the tube around the outside of the tube and tape.
  • Wrap a piece of 4 inch wide black paper around the tube and tissue paper – secure with tape.
  • Wrap gauze around the black paper. 

    • Add your treats and tie the ends of the tissue paper with string or twine.
    • Create a label and glue to the treat tubes.

    Happy trick or treating!


    The winner of the EK Success Giveaway selected by the Random Number Generator is:

    Thank you so much to everyone who entered.

    This project is linked at the parties listed here and 


    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    The Inspiration Board: link party 21

    Welcome to The Inspiration Board link party. If you’re new to the party – thank you for coming by to share your creativity. I’ll be going through the projects and featuring some in the spotlight on Friday. If you’ve linked up projects in the past – thank you so much for coming back each week.

    A few rules:
    • Link up your own projects – something you created.
    • Link to a specific post, not your blog home page (No Etsy shops or giveaways).
    • Grab a “homework” button and include it somewhere on the post you’re linking, on your home page or a page of link parties. Or, if you prefer, add a text link.
    • Follow homework. You’ll find the “Follow via Google Friend Connect” gadget on the right sidebar.
    • Please visit the other links that intrigue you and make someone smile with a comment or two.

    I’m ready to be inspired and can’t wait to see what you’ve been making.


    Want to host your own link party? Click here to sign up for InLinkz

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Upcycling: strawberry basket to gift basket

    The gift giving season is around the corner and now would be a good time to start preparing so you’re not racing around at the last minute. Planning ahead can also be a huge cost savings.

    One item I like to give is homemade fudge. I wanted to come up with a fun and economical way to package my fudge this year.

    Enter the plastic strawberry basket. My mother makes amazing homemade strawberry jam during the spring and summer. The jam goes quickly but strawberry baskets pile up. 

    To make these baskets I wrapped twine around the top edge of the basket, inserting the twine through the holes and gluing the ends to the inside.

    I cut out kraft paper and glued the pieces to each side and secured the corners with additional pieces of paper. I wrapped a piece of fringed muslin around the top edge to hide a little bit of the green plastic peeking through and added a “homemade fudge” tag. The fudge is wrapped in cellophane and a piece of fabric finishes off the gift basket.

    This photo has nothing to do with making the gift basket but I love these measuring spoons I used in these photos. They say “dash”, “pinch” and “smidgen”.  Fun!

    I’ll be making more of these baskets so I can have them ready to fill for the gift giving season. 


    Hope to see you tomorrow at the Inspiration Board Link Party.

    This project is linked at the parties listed here and 

    Photobucket UndertheTableandDreaming  Childmade Tip Junkie handmade projects    Tickled Pink at 504 Main