Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Etcetera: tea bag gift box

What is it about a cup of tea that’s so soothing? I’m not sure if it’s the preparation, the pretty cup or the aroma. I think it’s all of the above which is why tea makes such a nice gift.

Homemade tea bags are easy to make. You don’t even need to know how to sew. Just cut out fabric squares - you can use muslin or cheesecloth. The squares should be about 5-6 inches. Spoon the loose tea in the middle of the square, roll up and tie with baker’s twine or cotton thread.

Don’t forget to add a tag to the end of the string. You can make the tag out of anything since this part doesn’t touch the water. I’ve seen buttons and all kinds of cutouts. I went with a simple tag that includes a tea leaf image and “enjoy” in a pretty font.

You can package up the tea bags in a jar, tin or box.
I used a kraft box and added another tag to the top.

That’s it. Orange Spice Tea all ready to gift.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good Taste: mini pecan tarts

My friend from Louisiana served these at a crawfish party and I’ve been a fan ever since – of the tarts not so much the crawfish. Even if you don’t love pecan pie, you will love these tarts.

The crust is buttery crumbly and there’s just enough filling to get a little taste.

There are two methods to eating these. The two bite method. Or, the single, pop it in your mouth method. Both methods work equally well.

You can serve with plates and forks but really, why bother…

You’ll find the recipe in the Goodie Bag tab.

Entered in the CSI baking challenge.
Visit thecsiproject.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sew and Tell: home ec and my tomato pincushion

I’ve had the same tomato pincushion since high school home ec - which by the way, is no longer taught at my high school. The home ec room was turned into a computer lab some time ago. I can count myself as one of the lucky few who left high school knowing how to make a wrap skirt and a tote bag.

Anyway, I was way overdue for a new pincushion. Here it is...or here they are.

I used 100% grey wool, sewed the edges in a blanket stitch and added a button.

I hope my home ec teacher approves.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Inkling: recipe card overhaul

Update: recipe cards are now available under the Goodie Bag Tab in PDF format. (Word files wouldn't upload properly - sorry). Feel free to download the PDFs.

My recipe file box is stuffed to capacity with handwritten cards and clippings. Most days I try to convince myself that there is something nostalgic and charming about torn and spattered recipe cards.

Recently, I came up with a plan to overhaul my recipe box and color code the categories.

Wouldn’t it be nice to open up that box and have neat, orderly, categorized recipe cards?

Plus, I created the recipe cards in Word. I can type directly onto the templates and print out each recipe.

This project is definitely on my to-do list.

Someday. Maybe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Upcycling: inspiration vases

You know those days you need a boost and another cup of coffee just doesn’t do the trick? Today, I needed an extra dose of inspiration so I decided to make something that would inspire me visually and with words.

I printed out some inspirational quotes and framed them.

I added four little vases and placed them on top of each quote.

This project can be created with any size frame and any type of vase. You can use a small single frame with a tiny vase for place cards or party favors.

For this project, the frame was purchased at the 99 cent store and the vases were a sweet find at my favorite thrift shop.

The cuttings were borrowed from my neighbors – I’m sure they won’t mind…

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Etceteras: paper clips

Embellished paper clips may be leaning toward the “over the top” category but I think they’re fun. I’ve been thinking about ways to jazz up a paper clip and wanted to do something a little different.

I decided to peruse the aisles of the local hardware store. Not the big depot hardware store but the little local one that still sells nails by the pound in bins.

Success. I left with my finds. A packet of #10 plated flat washers and little cork pads. I’m not sure what the washers are used for – some kind of building thing. The cork pads are used for protecting a tabletop from vases, lamps etc. Who knew?

Embellished paperclips - over-the-top fun!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good Taste: vanilla dip

I’ve made this vanilla dip for many occasions and people always ask me for the recipe. It’s super easy and always looks so pretty.

I really can’t remember who gave me this recipe. I just have the ingredients jotted on a recipe card. But honestly, this is foolproof – I’ve never messed this one up.

I always serve this with strawberries but I heard there’s a variation of this recipe using brown sugar for apple slices. Sounds yummy.

Ingredients and my best guess on measurements are in the goodie bag tab.

Enjoy and try to resist double dipping.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Inspiration Board: around the world

I have to admit, I’m not very adventurous. But I’m in awe of people who are. You know, people who climb mountains, bungee jump and travel the world. That pretty much describes my friend, Izzy. A few years ago, he left for a year-long around-the-world adventure that took him to 24 countries with hundreds of stops.

He blogged about his travels taking his followers around the world with him.

Here are just a few of his insights from around the world.

Most inspirational sight: Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, Petra, Angkor Wat, Chilean Patagonias.
Most inspirational person: A family of Cambodians that he met on a bus who invited him to their family reunion reuniting four generations.
Most inspirational meal: Bife de lomo steak in Buenos Aires
Most inspirational moment: Climbing Villarrica volcano

His photography was filled with color, texture and emotion.

 I’m not sure I’ll ever travel around the world but it sure was fun tagging along.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Upcycling: coffee filter flowers

I got a new coffee maker. It takes #4 cone filters. That left me with an enormous supply of basket filters. I’m sure there are dozens of things you can do with basket coffee filters. After all, they’re already cut into a circle when you flatten them out. But here’s what I came up with.

Here’s how you can make these paper flowers.

For a large flower use about 10-12 coffee filters. Lay them in a stack and flatten them out. Punch or cut two small holes in the center of the filter. Thread a wire or pipe cleaner through the holes and twist tightly.

Start folding the filters one by one. It’s really just trial and error. You sort of crinkle the bottom and fluff each one.

If you want to put your flowers in a vase, use a longer piece of wire and cover with florist’s tape or you can hang them from a tree for a festive garden party feel.

Now I just need a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Giveaway: winners

My first giveaway contest has ended and I want to thank everyone who left a comment.
Thank you. Thank you.
Each and every comment made me smile.

The randomly drawn winners of the 2011 calendar are:

What a sweet calendar- if I win I will display it proudly.


Oh my, these are so lovely, please count me in!

I will email the winners for shipping information.

Thank you again.

Stay tuned. I will have more contests in the near future.