Saturday, September 12, 2015

Arrrr! Pirate Costumes!!!

Ahoy mateys,

This here Friday be Pirate Day at Marble Falls Middle School, yar.  Saturday be National Talk Like A Pirate Day. I hear way to many lads and lassies say they don't dress up seeing as they have no costume.  Pirate Captain Jett and Pirate Jett, well, we done teamed up to tell ye how to plunder ye own costume out of ye own home.  Don't be caught being a scallywag, wear yer gear with pride, mateys!  Arrrr!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dollar Store Glass Cross

I made this cool DIY glass cross for my new bathroom using supplies from the dollar store.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Incredibly Cute & Easy Folding Chair Re-do!

A few years ago, I saw an idea to re-do old folding chairs.  I thought about it for a long time, like a year or two.  Then, I finally bought fabric to re-cover the seats...that was at least a year and a half ago.  Anyway no time like right now.  This summer, I will finish this UFO (un-finished object)!

First, find your old folding chairs.  Mine were given to me by my parents who got them from a church 30 years ago.  (I only found 3 pieces of gum stuck under them.)

Scout the dog is helping me!
 Remove the seat cushions.  Mine just popped out!

Scout is a big help!

Take sandpaper and lightly sand the chairs all over.  Then wash them off real good.

Start spray painting.  Use multiple light coats.

Place your seat cushions on top of your new fabric.  

Cut the fabric so it's slightly bigger than the seat.

Pull up the edges and staple all around.

For the corners, I found it looked best just to pull the fabric towards the middle and staple instead of trying to do pleats or folds.

Cut away any excess fabric around your connectors.

Pop the seat cushions back in the holes using a hammer and VOILA!

I can't believe it took me years to do this.  It was really quite simple.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Making Mixes for Pastries

One of my projects this summer was re-stocking my mix supply.  I've never been a "health nut" but I do like knowing what ingredients are in my food.  I also like saving money vs. pre-packaged food.  However, when I'm busy I still want something quick and convenient.  So, I make my own mixes for many different things.  It only takes about an hour and then I have healthy cheap mixes ready to go for months.  Here I have mixes for Muffins, Quick Mix (for biscuits, etc.), brownies, and pancake mix.  Once I get all the ingredients out for one, I might as well make up several.

I put my mixes on zipper bags, label them, and then stick them in the freezer to keep the whole wheat fresh.

I use a big blue plastic bowl that was given to me for popcorn.  It's the largest bowl I have.  Since all the ingredients are dry, I just use a whisk to mix them all together. (Except for the shortening in the Quick Mix - I use my clean hands.)  I keep my most used recipes taped to the inside door of the cabinet above my mixer for easy reference when preparing a delicious yummy creation.

I spread out on my kitchen table.  Once you have everything out, you might as well make several mixes at the same time.
I can't claim any of my recipes.  I found them on the internet just like you.  I've made a few changes to my originals, I always use applesauce instead of oil when baking.  It's much healthier and keeps cakes more moist.  In these recipes, I have decreased the salt to 1/2 of what was originally called for to cut back on sodium intake.  Also, I grind my own whole wheat grain so many times, I will change the ratio of white flour to whole wheat to have more whole wheat.  My family likes the flavor of whole wheat and it's healthier.  One thing I've learned is that as soon as whole wheat flour is ground, it starts to loose nutrients.  I always store my wheat flour in the freezer.  If you are buying wheat flour from the store, you have no idea how long it has been losing nutrients.

All-Purpose Quick Mix

10 C flour              ~Use 1/2 whole wheat flour
2 C. nonfat dry milk powder or buttermilk powder
1/4 & 1/8 C. baking powder
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. cream of tartar
2 1/2 C. vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  With your hands (or a pastry blender) cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal in texture.  Store in zipper bags in the freezer or pantry.

3 C. All-purpose quick mix
3/4 C. milk or water
Stir together until blended.  Roll and cut biscuits or drop dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheet.  Bake in 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

*Scoop out balls of dough with cookie scoop and add to chicken soup in your crockpot to make chicken-N-dumplins.  Cook on high for 30 minutes to an hour.

Follow biscuit recipe but add 2 Tbsp. sugar to dough.  Sprinkle tops of dough with sugar.

Coffee Cake
3 C. All-purpose quick mix
1/3 C. sugar
1 egg
1 C. milk or water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Spray an 8" pan with cooking spray.  Combine quick mix and sugar in medium bowl.  Mix egg, milk and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients and stir to combine.   Prepare filling by mixing flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cut in butter till mixture is crumbly.
Spread half of the cake batter in bottom of pan.  Sprinkle filling over batter.  Top with remaining batter.  Bake 40-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Pancakes and Waffles

8 C flour
3 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C cornmeal
1 1/2 C oat flour (blend oatmeal in your blender into flour)
2 C buttermilk powder
5 T baking powder
2 T baking soda
1 C sugar
1 T salt

Mix all together in a very large bowl and divide into gallon sized freezer bags.  I store in my freezer since I use freshly ground whole wheat flour but you could store in the pantry.

To make pancakes or waffles:
1 C pancake mix
1 egg
1/2 - 2/3 C water
2 T applesauce (or oil)

In a medium bowl, stir mix with water egg and vegetable oil.  heat your griddle and make your pancakes as usual!  To make waffles, double the batter and follow the directions for you waffle iron.

 Basic Muffin Mix

8 C flour
3 C sugar
3 T baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg

Combine everything in a large bowl and divide into freezer zipper topped bags (I do 3 cups in a bag for easy to use mixes.)  Store in the freezer or pantry.

To make muffins:
Preheat oven to 375ยบ F.

In a bowl, mix together 3 C baking mix, 3 T applesauce (or oil), 2 eggs, 3/4 C milk, and 3/4 C chocolate chips (or berries or raisins, or m&ms, etc.)

Bake in a prepared muffin pan (Use the cupcake papers, so much easier clean up.  I buy mine after holidays when they go on clearance.  So what if you are using red and green striped cupcake papers in summer....) Fill about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Brownie Mix

8 Cups of sugar
6 Cups of unbleached flour
2 Cups of cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 Tbsp. salt
Mix together and store in airtight container.

To Make:
2 1/4 C. brownie mix
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 C. canola oil (or melted butter or margarine)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C.  chocolate chips (optional)  *I don't like nuts so I always sub chocolate chips!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 inch square pan.  Combine ingredients and mix until smooth.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until center is set. Cool, cut, serve.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bleach T-shirt DIY

I made this peach heart t-shirt a couple of years ago.  I remember wearing it at school (I'm a teacher) for Valentine's Day and no one commented on it.  I asked a couple of my friends finally if they liked the shirt I made and they were floored.  They just assumed that I had bought the shirt that way.  They had no idea that I had made it myself.

The funny thing is that I made it from an old shirt.  I was bored one day and wanting a project without having to leave the house to buy supplies.  I looked in my closet and found the plain peach t-shirt that I hardly ever wore and decided the do something to it.  I was so pleased with the results.

I just made a navy blue shirt in time for Independence Day and I video taped the instructions so you can all watch.

Go look in you closet.  Do you have a plain shirt?  I'm sure you have some contact paper and bleach somewhere in your house.  Don't procrastinate!   Make something today!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fishing Vest Card Tutorial

I made this card for my father-in-law for Father's Day this year after seeing something similar in a card making group on Facebook.  I posted this picture and I had several people ask me for directions. 


I made a video explaining everything I did below.  Hopefully, my father-in-law doesn't see this until after he gets the card.  LOL!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Out of the Scraps Comes a Cute Heart Inspired Card

My craft studio/office is lovingly referred to by my children and husband as the "Black Hole."  It is the place to put stuff when no one knows where else to put it.  Things pile up and pile up.  I admit, I add to it, too.  I will go in to do a quick project and not put everything away, then I go in for another quick project, and before you know it my work table is piled a mile high.

After mostly cleaning it up, I made this video where I challenged myself to make a card just out of the scraps I found on my desk.

The final card!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Re-using Table Party Decorations

Hubby came home the other day and said that his office was hosting a luncheon on Wednesday. Knowing that hubby is such a "man," I volunteered immediately to help.  If I left it up to him, there would be food, probably plates, iffy on forks, but no napkins or decorations.

The luncheon was for his area's JPCA (Justices of the Peace and Constables Association). I knew I had some patriotic decorations, so there started my theme. By the way, none of the decorations cost me even a dime.

I decided to re-use the cans and burlap I made for my son's Eagle Court of Honor.  (Here's the link to that page.) I originally stuck the fleur-de-lis down with hot glue and knowing that my next son is getting close to his Eagle Scout, I didn't want to damage them. I heated up the hot glue with my heat gun so I could remove them without damaging them. Then, I cut out Texas shapes using Sure Cuts A Lot with my Cricut and attached them to the cans.

I went through my fake flower stash and found a sunflower garland that I had once hung as a window valence. I pulled off all the flowers on my other stems and replaced them with sunflowers from the garland.

In my patriotic decorations (and leftover school stuff), I found lots of American flags, a little ribbon, and that wire stuff with metallic stars.

I placed sunflowers and flags with garland in the cans held down with rocks. I took a picture at home of how the tables would look. I planned to use extra blue table cloths but when we got to the location, the tables were round and I only had rectangle table cloths.  Oops, no table cloths for this luncheon.  I also planned to layer the ribbon, burlap, and wire with the cans.  However, after arriving to set up, I discovered that I only had a small bit of ribbon. Add to that, I was originally told 20 people then it doubled! I figured I could decorated 4-5 tables. When we arrived 12 tables were set up. The back row didn't get decorations but the 8 tables in the front did.

How? I improvised. Some tables got burlap, some ribbon, some 2 cans, some 3, and one table only got one can. All in all, it turned out really cute. I received lots of compliments. The facility was very rustic looking and the decorations matched perfectly; almost like I had planned it. Not too shabby for 2 days notice and absolutely no money!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Thank You Graduation Cards

My son graduated from high school last week and needs a bunch of thank you cards.  I just couldn't go and buy cards.  So, I'm in the process of making him some and he's in the process of writing them.  Hopefully, we will both finish with all of them before he starts college in the fall.

The card in the video is actually pretty quick and simple to make but looks great.  The idea is to emboss your cardstock and then rub it with gold gelatos.  This effect would work for any cards that you need to do multiples for in a short amount of time.

Monday, June 8, 2015