Monday, December 30, 2013

Crab Meat Party Pizza

Need a quick, easy appetizer for tomorrow night? I happen to
have one for you. It's one of my old stand-bys.

I did not get a picture of it before
the guys dove into it the other night!
Men love it!

Here's how you make it:
  • Spread one large brick of cream cheese on a plate.
  • Spread one bottle of chili sauce over the cream cheese.
  • Crumble one can crab meat or some fresh lump crab meat
  • over that. Drain well first.
  • Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley on top.
  • Chill well before serving.
  • Serve with your favorite cracker.
Happy, Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My French Christmas Tree

Are you still enjoying your Christmas tree or have you taken it
down? This year mine was French inspired. I went to Paris in
September (for 8 hours) and I have not gotten over my love of
the Eiffel Tower, the fleur-de-lis, and anything that suggests
Paris! I'm going back in September 2014!

  It's real--nice shape hubby picked out!
See my tree topper?
My Eiffel Tower from Goodwill
was just perfect!
Lots of Frenchy ornaments--these I made...

Joyeux Noel!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas in Cross Stitch

I did a lot of cross stitch many years ago when my children were little. I
thought it was out of style but  currently there are many patterns on
Pinterest. So I thought I'd show you the Twelve Days of Christmas cross
stitch hangings I made probably close to 40 years ago. I don't put them
out every year but decided to this year with the family home for the
holidays. The fun is about to begin! Our son and daughter-in-law are here
and our daughter and son-in-law will arrive tomorrow.

five golden rings

eleven pipers piping

I used 3M Command adhesive hooks
on the inside of the door.
Just use them upside down!

Do you need some last minute gift tags?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wreath in a Frame

There have been many Christmas wreaths created by frames the past
few years on Pinterest. I will have a few examples for you after I show
you how I combined a wreath and a frame to create something that could
be displayed throughout the year. I also used one of my favorite materials
to work with--book pages!!

   I started with a light brown wood frame
and gave it a distressed look with white
paint and sand paper.
The wreath was styrofoam and I began
by covering it with some jute I had on hand.
I created I pinwheel sort of flower with
six petals and used a vintage button for the
It is attached to the frame with black lace.
I was thinking of putting chicken wire behind that.
What do you think?
Here are some nice alternatives to the traditional wreath.
If you don't have an old frame, Goodwill does!
Have a merry, merry day!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 Christmas Doors Decorations (other than wreaths)

Holiday wreaths are wonderful and I love to make them, but
sometimes it is fun to have an alternative door arrangement.
And don't forget that your interior doors like to be dressed
for the occasion too!

Here are some ideas--this first one I created myself.

I drilled holes in the tops of the pinecones and
used eye screws to attach the ribbons.  I even dabbed a tiny
bit of clear glue on the ends as I put them in
to assure that they were secure. 
I dipped them in clear polyurethane to
preserve them and give them some shine. 
I tied pretty ribbon on each and gathered
them all at the top.
Seven to eight various size pinecone hanging
at different heights seemed to make a pleasing-
to-the-eye bunch
The burlap bow is separate and attached
where everything comes together.
On some, I hung three ornaments
down the front--this one graces the silver glitter snowman!
Don't forget to add a loop on the back for
easy hanging.
Monogram @ Mommy's Playbook
Christmas door bucket @ Daisymaebelle
Ice skate @ Etsy
 Vintage sled @ Dear Lillie
 Snowman @ Really Roached
source unknown
Twig candy canes @ eBay
Old rake
source unknown

I hope your holiday preparations are coming
along nicely. Don't stress--it's important
for you to enjoy the season also.
You have to work in some fun too! 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Craft Show Goods

Please Note: Asian Stamps for Sale--Click on tab to view

Here are a few pictures I took of some of the items sold
at the craft boutique which was held November14-16.

My book page pumpkins were popular again this year
and I sold all three of them. Vintage book snowman
also went to a good home.

14 x 14 pillows using The Graphics Fairy images

16 x 16 pillow set using place mats
16 x 16 pillow set using a table runner

 Christmas ornament cut and glittered

 French cone ornaments
Pattern from Etsy

Poinsettia urn

 Starfish wreath

Lighted wreath with ice skate
Repurposed blue jar with French script ribbon
and embellishments
Now--Please go take a look at those Asian stamps for sale!
Thank you for visiting today.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How Do You Say Thank You?

While searching for something to add to this greeting,
I came across this article and it hit home.
It was written by Emily Post, the all-time expert
on manners and etiquette, and addresses the subject of
Who Needs A Thank-You Note?

Since we are all grateful when remembered throughout
the year with gifts from family and friends, just how do
you show your appreciation?

Who needs a note?
All gifts should be acknowledged with a note, unless the goodies were opened
in ront of the giver--then you have the chance to thank them in person. 
Who should write the note?
The person who received the gift should write the note. Group notes are
acceptable for Aunt Patty who sent the household a group present--just ask
each recipient to sign. For couples, it's perfectly fine to split the notes for
gifts you received together. For kids, parents can get creative and involve them.
When should thank-you notes be written?
Write your note as soon as possible, and don't hesitate if you feel you're late.
A ate note is always better than no note at all.
Can a thank-you note be creative?
Absolutely. Incorporating photos, children's drawings--anything at all  that
compliments the sentiment is appropriate. Just remember to include a short
written thank-you note.
What about e-mail?
The reality of email thank-yous, much like email itself, is of emotional distance.
An email to your grandmother is simply not as personal as a note written in
your own hand. So if you have a casual relationship with the gift giver and you
correspond via email regularly, an email thank-you may be appropriate. For
most other people, the written thank-you is your best for an expression of
warm, heartfelt thanks. 
How do I make writing thank-you notes fun?  
If you have a list, schedule s few different days to write your notes, and
each time give yourself a little something to make it interesting: music, a
glass of wine, a cup of tea, some chocolate. Take the time to yourself for
writing out thank-you notes, don't wedge it in between laundry, a TV
show and extra work from the office. You'll be able to think more clearly
and your focus will translate to the page. Above all, try to enjoy yourself.
Giving thanks shouldn't be a chore--and doesn't have to be if you make the
effort to keep it interesting.
I am a firm believer in notes--who doesn't like to receive a hand-written
message hat someone has actually taken the time to write? Isn't that the
least we can do for the person who has taken the time, money, thought,
and care in wrapping and delivering to you an expression of love and
good will?

What do you think? Would love to hear from you! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Craft Boutique Weariness

The craft boutique is behind me and I don't want to think about crafting for
who knows when! I sold quite a bit including some of my favorite items, but
 brought way too much home. I learned that my non-traditional wreaths have
no competition, and I should have skipped the greenery altogether. It's all
trial and error.

The most satisfying part is talking to the people, hearing their stories, and
finding out who they are purchasing the item for and why.

This is why I craft:

For the grandmother in the nursing home who was going to enjoy my sparkly
Christmas wreath.

For the friend back in Iowa who was going to receive my burlap wreath. This
lady saw it on Friday but wanted to look at everything else first. (That is what
you hear a lot when your booth is one of the first of 67 vendors!) She was too
tired when she got to the end to come back, so she came back on Saturday. She
decided that if it was still there, it was meant to be, and it was. Not only was it
her friend's style, but it was light-weight, and would be easy to pack.

For the psychologist who was moving to a new office and was going to decorate
it in French motif. She bought 5 items.

For the numerous people who smiled and bought my tea light birthday cakes.
One lady bought six because last year she had not bought enough and some of her
family members were "put out" because they did not get one.

For the young lady who I found out from a friend the next day who visited my
booth that she was "over the moon" about the felt wreath that she purchased
for her office. She was calling everyone up to come by and see it.

But the most moving....I framed the lyrics from Josh Grogan's song  It was the
perfect picture for the frame I had with the deep red matting that matched the
heart in the picture.

You Raise Me Up
so I Can Stand on Mountains
You Raise Me Up
to walk on Stormy Seas
I am Strong
When I am On Your Shoulders
Your Raise Me Up
to More than I can be.

Just after I put this out, a lady came along and put it in her bag. I had to tell her
it was one of my favorite songs and that was why I had decided to frame it. She
told me that this song had been played at her mother's funeral and that she had
not been able to attend. She had to have it. I hugged her and knew it had found
just the right home. I can't tell that story without sobbing.

Today I am flying to San Jose, CA to join a sorority sister. We are going to a
Road Scholar Program in Soquel -- Vegetarian Cuisine, Buddist Ways of Thinking,
and Building Energy Through Qi Gong. At least I won't be crafting and it should
be relaxing.

Have a great week.

I'll show you details when I get back in town.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Holiday Boutique is Finally Here

The Holiday Boutique starts tonight! I apologize for being MIA for so long but
thanks for sticking with me. This is kind of like getting ready for a wedding for
a whole year and now finally, suddenly it is here, and lasts for three days. We
set up the display that my amazing son-in-law crafted for me, keeping in mind
that it had to be a no-brainer to assemble! He did a great job. Even with a car
and a truck packed full, I still have more stuff to take up today. My vintage
snowman on the right sidebar is one of the items.

I am trying to deglitter the house, but that is not an easy task if you ever work
with it. I see some on my husband's face every one in a while and try not to
giggle! It only looks good in the right places, not on leather couches and Indian
rugs. It is kind of like that green Easter grass that used to show up everywhere!

I'll take pictures--promise.

I'm praying my load is light coming home. I could use your prayers too!

Hope all is well with each and every one of you.

"Friends create the world anew
each day. Without their loving
care, courage would not suffice
to keep hearts strong for life."
--Helen Keller

Monday, October 21, 2013

Good Thoughts to Start the Week

The following was printed in our church bulletin yesterday.
 Our church secretary has a real knack for finding meaning
quotes to include each week. I thought it was just too lovely
not to pass it on....

"I firmly believe in small gestures:
pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers,
chase the kid's runaway ball down the sidewalk
and throw it back to him,
try to be larger than you are - 
particularly when it's is difficult.
People do notice, people do appreciate.
I appreciate it when it's done for me.
Small gestures can be an effort,
or actually go against your grain,
but the irony is that almost every time you make them,
you feel better about yourself.
For a moment, life suddenly feels lighter,
a bit more 'Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.' "
                                        Jonathan Carroll\
                                             (American author)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Book Page Pumpkins

I made two book page pumpkins last year for the craft boutique and they
were good sellers so I made two more for this year's sale. It is just one
month away!

My life seems to be an open book these days...

They are good night-time projects to work on while
watching TV.  The first one is an Italian/English
dictionary. If there seems to be a natural split,
then I leave it open and fill it in will foliage.
People seems to like them both ways.   
You can find last year's pumpkins HERE.  
Partying at :

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Coconut Trifle

Do I ever have a gooood recipe for you today. You may think it is a
little late in the season  for coconut trifle, but believe me when I say
that it will be a big hit any time of the year! It looks so pretty in a glass
trifle dish--everyone should have one! I use it for fruit salad and pasta 
salad to name a few others.

 Don't be intimidated by all the layers. It is very easy to put together 
and well worth the effort.

Coconut Trifle

2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/4 cups butter, melted
3 cups coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3 small boxes sugar free coconut cream instant pudding mix
4 cups milk--I use fat free
Big size Cool Whip--I use fat free

1. Mix first four ingredients in electric mixer and pat into jelly roll pan. 
Bake at 300 for 35-40 minutes--until lightly browned. Cool and crumble. 
This can be done ahead or even frozen.) I turned mine out on a dish towel,
put another dish towel over it and hit to break up into small pieces. You may
not need to use all of it. Use your own judgement as to how thick you want 
the three cookie layers to be.

2. Whisk pudding and milk together for two minutes until soft set. Do three 
layers--first crumbs, pudding, and then Cool Whip. Sprinkle some coconut on
the top. 

 When serving, use a big spoon and dig deep so you get all three layers. Messy 
is good!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sea Shell Wreath

My wreath-making continues and today's theme is sea shells! Don't you
just love them? So many colors and shapes--truly another of God's works
of art.

I started with a willow wreath and began at the bottom.
I made the glass bobber out of a clear Christmas
ornament and the netting was what some shells
had been wrapped in that a got from Goodwill 
a while back. I almost destroyed it before I had
that "ah hah moment.!"

My sweet daughter brought the driftwood back
from the shores of Kauai last February--it was just what 
I needed to anchor the glass ball and also to place
around the wreath.
If the shell was concave, I glued some cotton inside
so that there was something to adhere to the wreath.
A lot of hot glue later and a little moss here and there, 
and there you have it.

The hanger is two burlap circles,
the top one inside the other, like
a chain.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mah Jongg Tip--Playing a Concealed Hand

Playing a concealed, or closed hand in mah jongg is more challenging,
yet exciting and pays more if you are lucky enough to complete it. I
had someone email me regarding the following hand, and I have also
been asked this question while playing mah jongg. Some players have
avoided this hand because they were just not sure if they were going
to do it correctly. It is the concealed hand under 2013.

              FFFF DDD 2013 DDD (Any 2 Dragons, 2 or 3 Suits)

Everyone seems to understand how to make this hand using all 3 suits,
but what about using 2 suits??? Here's how. 

Make the 2013 using any suit. Then make pungs of any 2 dragons, red
and green, green and soaps, or soaps and red. Don't over-think it! Just 
use 2 out of the 3 dragons to chose from, and you know how to make 
the 2013, using any suit with the soap for the zero. 

                      Now-----you can do it! Go girl firiend!

                                               Happy Clicking! 

 If you know of anyone in the Phoenix area who is interested in learning to
play Mah Jongg, please have them contact me at


Friday, October 4, 2013

Embellished Fall Wreath

Not everyone feels that they can make a wreath from scratch, but does not
want to sink a lot of money into a pricey one either. There is an alternative.
Purchase a simple, inexpensive one and embellish it yourself. Here's an example
of how you can do that very easily with very few supplies that you can either
gather from nature or the craft store.

 I found this wreath in my garage. Imagine it with just the 
branches and the berries. (Sorry I did not take a before
picture.) It was pretty bare. 

I started by adding the slender pinecones all around the center,
adhering them with my hot glue gun. 
Ladies, even if you are not a super crafter, a small hot glue gun
can be used for so much more than crafts and only cost a few dollars!
You can find them at Hobby Lobby and Michael's.

After I went all the way around with pinecones, I added another
where I could between the two, creating another row. 

I added more branches from my yard, wooden acorns, and more berries.
I cut off all the old berries that had cracked. 
And then finally, I glued in Spanish moss around the center.

It may even get some silk fall leaves now that I cleaned out another
closet and found my fall stash I bought after the season last year!
There's some small ones that would just be the right size.

Down in the corner I put out my pumpkins on a fence
that I made way back when my adult children were
little back in Illinois in the late 70's. It traveled all the way cross country 
with us 29 years ago.
This year I wrapped a leaf garland around but I'd say it's 
held up pretty well!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vintage Book Wreath

Last year I made a few book page wreaths for the fall boutique and
since they sold right away, I decided to try them again this year.
Here's one I made over the week-end using a grapevine wreath.

 I started with a book from Goodwill, published
in 1942. It was the story of Christopher Columbus
and has some interesting maps in it that I plan
to use in another craft done the road.
The pages had a nice yellow tint but were not brittle.
I cut them in squares, about 5-3/4 inches.
Then I took a pencil with an eraser, put that
end in the middle of the square and pinched the
 paper up around it. Then I put hot glue around the outside and
pushed the piece down into the grapevine wreath.  
I think it's my best one yet!  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Little Black Dress Template Card

I'm still making cards, but they have to be easy, as I do not have much
patience for fussy card making anymore (did I ever?)

You can't get much easier than this.
Little black dress template from Chia's Rubber Stamp Art Templates
Have a lovely week-end.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

20 Fall Goodies and Printable Tags

I've rounded up all sorts of sweet treats that will make the
perfect gift for a teacher, hostess, neighbor, or friend for
the fall holidays.

 Get ready to be dazzled by amazing creativity!

Pecan Praline Sauce (and more) with fall gift tags @
Halloween treat (candy in insulated cup)
with tag (eat, drink, and be scary) @
Winnie the Pooh Dipped Hunnycomb Treats @
Halloween treat tags @ The Crafting Chicks
Muffin gift basket @ Darling Doodles
Halloween cupcake topper on store-bought cupcakes @
Thanksgiving place setting treats @
Halloween treat tags and bags @
m & m monster treat covers @
Pecan, chocolate, and oatmeal cookies @
Fall treat tags @
NOTE: for great Banana Bread recipe,
go HERE. 
It's made in a blender or food processor,
and it is the best ever!
It makes up in a jiffy.
Homemade caramels and printable chocolate box @
Halloween cookies in a jar @
Pumpkin bread gift with grateful printable @
Thanksgiving blessing mix and gift tag @
Frankenstein Rice Krispie treat @
 Baked with love tags @
Monster madness for breakfast @
Use orange chocolate sticks or orange candies with tag @
Take a can of sweetened condensed milk and remove the
label. Get the kind that has
 the pull off lid. (Kroger)
Put in a large pot and cover with water.
.Boil in hot water for 2-1/2 hours.
Do not let the water get below the can.
Let cool overnight.
Voila--there you have it! 
Yummy caramel dip for apples
that has been cooked in a can.
Print off one of the cute labels and
attach with double-stick tape.
Disclaimer--I have not tried this yet
but it sure sounds awesome!
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