Sunday, December 8, 2013

Candy Canes!

I follow quite a few baking and craft blogs and one of my favorites is, 
Mom on Timeout
And she had a post last week titled, 

17 Candy Cane Recipes and Crafts

Find it here

Anyway, one of the crafts were these adorable candy sleighs that were featured on 
Ellyn's Place

And I had to try them. They are quite simple to make and you can customize them any way you like.
Here are the two I have put together so far.

Let it Snow!

Instead of the usual red and green, I love blue and white for Christmas colors. They remind me of snowflakes and snowmen, which here in sunny southern CA we don't see too often. So I've put together a few crafts, gift bags, and ornaments in these two colors. Hope you enjoy them.

Wine or Sparkling Cider gift bag.

Gift totes to fill with whatever!
Purchased gift bag with plastic canvas topper.

And a snowman scene made from plastic canvas and decorated with items from the dollar store.

What are your favorite Christmas colors?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chocolatey covered mints

Chocolatey covered mints


4 ounces cream cheese-softened
3 tablespoons butter-softened
3/4 teaspoon mint extract
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 drops green food coloring
1 bag of milk chocolate chips or Candiquik coating

Combine all ingredients and then place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight. When chilled roll into balls and then place back in fridge while you melt the chocolate.

To melt the chocolate chips, I used two saucepans. Fill the bottom pan halfway with water and pour the chocolate chips in the smaller top pan. Heat on the stove on low, stirring until the chocolate melts.

Dip and roll the mint balls in the chocolate and place on wax paper and then place in refrigerator until set.

Melt in your mouth sweetness!

The original recipe had double the ingredients, did not use mint extract, but used peppermint extract, and was not dipped in chocolate, but was pushed through a pastry bag with a star tip.

 Use peppermint extract, omit food coloring, roll mixture into a log shape, slice, and then dip in dark chocolate to make peppermint patties.

This recipe was shared on facebook by Alexis Sayler you can follow her here

Monday, November 18, 2013

Toilet Paper Roll Decorations

Yesterday I wanted a quick craft to work on and here is what I made!

They are sooo easy to make and take no time at all.

Here's what you'll need

toilet paper rolls
paint in colors of your choice
hot glue gun and craft glue
clear spray paint
glitter or fake snow
embellishments of your choice

 Start with your toilet paper roll. Flatten it out and then cut off even strips. 

 For the green one I wanted it to resemble holly leaves so I folded my strips like this.

This will be a snowflake

And for the snowflake one, I wanted it to have more detail so I cut some strips in half like this.

I used hot glue to assemble the red and green ones, but ran out of glue sticks and had to use craft glue to assemble the snowflake. I prefer the hot glue because it's quicker.
After assembling them, I used different types of paint, because I didn't have spray paint in the colors I wanted, so I used craft paint and a paintbrush. If you use gloss spray paint you don't need to spray them with  the clear spray paint.

And here's the finished decorations!

(you could glue some green leaves to the back)


And last but not least,


Looking for other ideas to recycle your toilet paper rolls? Try

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vegetarian Chili

It has been chilly, cloudy, windy, and we have even had some rain today! A perfect day to curl up in front of a roaring fire with a good book and a warm satisfying bowl of homemade chili.

My Vegetarian Chili

1-14.5 oz. Can of chopped tomatoes- Mexican style

1- 15 oz. Can of ranch style pinto beans with jalapeno peppers

1/8 of a cup chopped onions

2 cloves of fresh garlic chopped

2 T. oil

1 cup Boca burger crumbles

1- can of water ( After dumping in the tomatoes, I fill the can with water and add it to the pan with everything else)

Saute onions and garlic in oil till transparent. Add Boca crumbles and cook for about one to two minutes, add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately one hour or till desired thickness.
This makes enough chili for two adults. To feed more, double or triple the recipe. 

Options- For less spicy chili, use pinto beans without jalapenos. 
Still want a little kick? Try adding one small can of chopped green chilis.
I use no additional salt, because the tomatoes and beans have enough. I do add about 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.

Serve in a bowl topped with chopped onions and cheddar cheese 
 Top Hot dogs with chili, cheddar cheese, and onions. Serve with tator tots, fries, or chips!
(I used Morningstar vegetarian hot dogs)

Follow up with a

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

Want more pumpkin recipes? Go here!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gift Cards

I always like to keep card stock paper on hand for creating cards for the holidays and special occasions. It also works out great for yard sale posters amongst other things. And I like to use it to make stencils to spray snow on my windows at Christmas. See mine here

 I'm a writer as well as a crafter and have recently been working on illustrating and writing children's books.
Using card stock to draw my illustrations, I wanted my pages to be square, so I cut off 2 1/2 inches from one end, which left me with strips of paper 2 1/2 X 8 1/2. These work great to make gift tags.

Items you will need;
Scissors regular and pinking shears
Card stock paper
Hole punch
Stampers and stamp pad (optional)

Take a plain white sheet of card stock
 Measure 2 1/4 inch increments (red lines) One strip will be smaller, but still works and that way you don't waste any paper. Cut using regular scissors.
Using pinking shears, cut straight down the middle. You can either fold and crease the paper
 or measure 4 1/4 inches. (Blue line)

 Now you have 10 gift tags
 Fold leaving top half of card about 1/2 inch smaller than bottom half.

 Using a marker, lay cards on another piece of card stock, and color the edge.
 Turn the card over to color the edge of the top half.

 Your card with the edges colored.
 Using crayons, markers, or stamps, decorate the front of the card.

 Using a hole punch, put a hole in the upper left hand corner and add ribbon and you're done!
 This is a great craft project to get the kids involved with. Cut out the cards and let them draw and color pictures on the front. You can leave the inside blank or write to and from or a personal message.

What do you use card stock for? I'd love to hear your ideas!