Friday, October 21, 2011

My Suitcase is Packed

My hubby surprised me by planning a trip to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary and my birthday which is October 31st. So I will be taking a leave of absence from blogging for about two weeks while we see the colors in New England and Canada.

I know some of you are new subscribers and followers and I welcome you to my blog. I hope you will stick around as I appreciate each and every one of you. 

My Printing on Ribbon Tutorial was featured on Craft
this week and some of you popped over from there. 

Thanks to all of you who validate my blogging efforts.
I strive to make it better and better all the time! 

See you soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkins on a Post

It's about time that I posted something for Halloween. I have to confess--I made this many moons ago but I still like it and put it out every year. Some crafts get out-dated, but I think this is still a fresh and creative idea, and not one I have seen on every other craft blog. So maybe you would like to make one too.

I have to admit, those pumpkins are starting to look a little tattered,
so next year I will jazz it up with some embellishments, but no time today.

You get the idea though--go crazy with yours!

Supplies: cedar plank from Home Depot, black paint, wire, screws,
                 ribbon, fabric, glue, felt, silk leaves, pinecone, raffia

Pumpkin Collections a la Martha Stewart

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to Make Homemade Granola

UPDATED 10/2013

My favorite breakfast is plain organic yogurt layered with homemade granola. It not only tastes delicious, but is good for you too. Here's how to do it::

1. Choose ingredients of choice from the bulk bins at the grocery store. I chose oatmeal, raw cashews, raw almonds, pepitos, unsweetened coconut (2013--started using coconut flakes.curls), and dried apricots. I use about two cups of each, as I would rather make it more often and have it fresh.
2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, except for the dried fruit. Coat lightly with coconut oil, no more than 1/4 cup. (This is a change I made in 2013 from from olive oil and it adds a wonderful flavor! Good for you too.)
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
4. Add honey--1/4 to 1/2 cup--depending on your preference of sweetness. Coat everything well.
5. Lay out on a cookie sheet and bake in 200 degree oven for 2-4 hours, turning often. Watch it closely!

6. Once it has browned nicely, but not burned, turn out on a towel to cool. Mix in dried fruit and store in airtight container. I cut the apricots in small, bite-size pieces.
(2013--I also add dried cranberries now.) 

Homemade granola also makes a wonderful gift for your health-conscious friend.


I'm going to the linky parties to share this recipe.
Click on the top tab and visit them too
for other great ideas.    

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Beauty of Designer Paper

Sometimes all you need is a beautiful piece of designer paper to make a lovely card. Why ruin a good thing? Why cover up an image that is so pretty in itself?

I find that is often the case with Basic Grey designer paper. This is an image from one of their past collections--I can't even tell you which one. To add a
little interest, I ran it through the Cuttlebug using the Birds and Swirls
embossing folder. That was one of Provo's first and still one of my favorites.

I double mounted the piece, added a bow,
stamped "Thanks a Bunch" on the
inside, and it's good to go.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What Are YOU Doing to Get in the Halloween Mood?

Halloween has become a very commercialzed holiday. The retailers certainly have capitalized on what used to be a simple "Trick or Treat" night and turned it into the second most profitable holiday. I think that adults love it as much, if not more than children!

Dressing up as someone else for this one occasion really appeals to some people. I guess it is because they don't have to be accountable for their silliness, for once. It never did much for me, even though my birthday is on Halloween. The best part for me was making the homemade costumes for my two children. Now that was fun!

If I were having a Halloween party, I think these free Halloween party printables would be just the ticket to help set a spooktacular mood!  April of  Second Sister entitled them "The Witchs Larder" and created them for your personal use.

They include cupcake wrappers and flags, straw sliders,

apothecary labels, menu cards, a vintage banner,

 and much more.

She has shown us how they can be used in

creative ways to make a great tablescape

and party scene.

I'm sure you can take her ideas and run with them

to give them your own twist.

Are you in need of Halloween invitations or cards?  Take a look at the variety from here.

And of course you can always count on Martha Stewart for a wide array of Clip Art and Templates for Halloween Decorations. There is everything from spiderwebs to candy jar treat labels to scary silhouettes lurking in your windows, but one of my favorites is this staircase template!

What are YOU doing to get in the Halloween mood?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Button Love

Do any of you love buttons like I do? I haven't always appreciated them as much as I do now, but I can say that for a lot of things!

Besides being very functional, buttons are also used in countless ways in the worlds of arts and crafts. Recently I found this fun set of 4 vintage button tags on It is a pdf. file that is easily printed off. Here is what I did with one of them.

I pulled a real button out of my stash and attached it with a glue dot up in the top right.
Perfect match wouldn't you say?

Don't you just love that pink jar?
I got it in a thrift store in Santa Barbara this past spring.
I was cleaning out a container full of all those little envelopes of extra buttons 
that you accumulate 
 from garments when you purchase them.
These were from clothes that I did not have anymore. 
It occurred to me that this jar would be just perfect for them!

    Martha Stewart had a clever idea this past week

Use a business card case--available at an office supply store--
to keep extra buttons, yarn, thread, and fabric care instructions 
for your garments. 

Do you have a system that works for you?
If so, we'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blog Candy!

I have been cleaning my craft room--again. It seems to be a never-ending task. I was paring down a paper drawer and came across these circles. They almost ended up in the waste basket--then I decided to make a card out of them instead. This is what I came up with.

I used the Quick Kutz Polka Dots embossing folder on the
background. If you look closely you can see them. 
The sentiment is from Gina K's Simple Pleasures.

Now--be the first to identify what stamp set the flowers
are from and I'll send you some blog candy!

Do you like to scour the local thrift stores in your area
for fabulous finds?
Here is a great website where you can enter your zip code or city
and search out what's around.
Your can read the reviews and see how they are rated.
You can also enter new ones into this national directrory
and find out more about thrift shopping.
Go to TheThriftShopper.Com

This thrift store national directory website and more
awesome blogs and websites can be found
on my Web Links
Pinterest Pin board.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Harvest Time in Illinois

Even though we stopped farming in cental Illinois in 1984 and moved to Arizona, my husband loves to hear how the harvest is going. When did they get in the fields? How is the yield? Is the weather holding out? What is the price of corn and soybeans? All that farmer talk that goes on in the local grain elevator....

One of our very dear friends back there sends us a package every year during this time. I look forward to receiving it as it is a reminder of those years when the fruits of the labor and God's greatness came together.

Her package arrived on Saturday and honestly, I could smell the corn dust
as I opened it 
For once, dust was a welcome smell...            

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Using Scraps to Make a Card

I really have a thing about throwing out perfectly good paper scraps. In fact, I am overloaded with scraps! I have a drawer dedicated with hanging files for colored scraps, so that when I am looking for a certain color, I go here first, rather than start a new piece. But I am still overloaded with smaller pieces--that is a whole other drawer--or just the top of my desk. It gets confusing...

These red pieces have been lurking around for quite some time, so I decided to finally put them to use. We are going to a birthday party for a sixteen-year-old young man this week-end, so here is what I came up with.
I knew I didn't have to get too carried away.

I used my trusty Zyron to adhere the pieces. It is one of my favorite tools. 
Stamps: Hero Arts Clings; (inside) Hope Your Birthday Rocks--The Stamp Doctor
Accessories: Baker's Twine, Zyron

You can see what kind of a day it is in northeast Arizona. I have been waiting for it to stop raining so I can go run my errands, but it does not look like that is going to happen. Guess I will have to face the rain. The trees are liking it, anyway! 

"What are some ways that you use your scraps, or do you just toss them?"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to Print on Ribbon

Last edited: March, 2013

This technique has received a lot of interest since I showed you this
Christmas ornament where I printed on the ribbon. So today I am going
to share with you the step-by-step tutorial on creating your own printed

This is a second ornament that I did.

 Using Microsoft Word or another program, on landscape layout,
choose a fontand print what you want on the ribbon.
Make sure the font is an appropriate size and
 not too elaborate. 


 Put double stick tape along the back of the ribbon.
I used grosgain ribbon.

Edited: Someone wrote that their printing blurred.
I thought it might happen with satin ribbon.

Satin ribbon may be more apt to slip around also.

Take off the protected back of the sticky tape.
Get down close to the ribbon and carefully lay this sticky side down over
the print on the paper. 
lining it up in the center.
Make sure both ends are stuck down well,
so that the ribbon does not jam the machine.

Now you are going to put the paper back into the printer 
in exactly the same place as the first time! 
To do this, I butted mine 
up along the right edge of the tray both times. 
It may take a little practice.
I also marked the paper to make sure I had the right side, 
right end going in first.

If you put it in corrctly, the print should end
up on the ribbon as it goes though the printer.

Please let me know if you have any questions on
how to print on ribbon. Using this technique, you
can create printed ribbon for any occasion.
You can email me at
I will be happy to help if I can..

Click on my Linky Parties to see where I'll be going with this tutorial.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spaghetti Squash is in Season

I don't know what I was thinking on Friday when I said that I would have the tutorial for printing on ribbon ready to show you on Saturday! Wishful thinking, I guess. Nothing ever goes that smoothly when putting together a picture tutorial, I should have known. But I do think it will be up by tomorrow!

In the meantime, I do have a delicious recipe to share with you today. It is a good time to make this as spaghetti squash is in season. We had it at a friend's home and liked it so much that I served it for company two days later, accompanied by garlic bread and a salad.

Baked Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash
12 oz. bulk Italian sausage (I used 8 hot Italian sausages--sliced in small rounds)
1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium green or red sweet pepper, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can chopped pitted black olives (optional)
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoing--or more
1 jar purchased red pasta sauce of choice
1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian parsley

Halve squash crosswise, remove seeds. Place cut sides down in 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high power 13-15 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with fork. Rearrange once for even baking. In a large skillet cook sausage, mushrooms, sweet pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink. Drain off fat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrape pulp from squash (about 3 cups). Wipe out baking dish, coat with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half the squash in dish. Add half the sausage mixture and half the olives. Sprinkle with seasoning and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Top with half the sauce and half the cheese. Top with remaining squash, sausage, olives, and sauce. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

This is even better the next day!

New to My Pin Board...
How to Make a Dress Form Mannequin Pin Cushion from DIY Dish which I received today.  It has been repinned several times--maybe you would like to see it too.

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