Friday, November 14, 2008

Lemon Creme Love

I adore everything about lemons & limes. I like the color. I like the pure, unadulterated flavor of a lemon plucked from a neighbor's tree. Shhh...don't tell. So when I saw the Lemon Creme lotion from Right As Rain, I knew I had to try it.

This lotion is so thick and rich, but absorbs quickly. It doesn't leave you feeling sticky or greasy. It even moisturizes my incredibly resistant dry skin, but isn't so thick that it's not an everyday lotion.

And the scent...oh the scent!
I nearly had to stop myself from licking my hands! It smells like lemon cookies or frosting, without the sugar-y sweetness.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Snowflake Ornaments -- How To

I adore snowflakes. Whether they're stylized or realistic, elegant shades of white or bright and garish colors, I love them all! Now you can make your own~

Materials needed --

Snowflake forms - Available at beadblanketbingo

Large round beads - Available at beadblanketbingo

Large white faceted oval beads - Available at beadblanketbingo

Large metal beadcaps - Available at beadblanketbingo

8mm silver beads - Available at beadblanketbingo

Metallic Silver ribbon - Available at supplycandy

Round nose pliers

Take one wire form. Working on one branch at a time, thread one spacer bead (I used vintage white lucite from vintagecallgirl), a silver round bead, a beadcap, a large round bead, another beadcap, another silver bead, a large faceted oval, and a last silver round.

Using your roundnose pliers, make a loop on the end of the branch.

Repeat this pattern on each of the following 5 branches.

Your snowflake is finished, but you still need a way to display it. Decide how long you'd like the snowflake to hang, and cut a length of ribbon twice that long, plus a couple inches. Thread the ribbon through one of the loops you made and even up the ends. Tie an overhand knot, leaving a bit of a tail.

Now, you can display your ornament however you see fit. I like to make several in varying lengths and sizes to display in my front windows.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Breakfast (and dinner) of Champions

I never really liked bread pudding until I was an adult. I don't know what happened, but suddenly, I was all about bread pudding! I tend to eat it for breakfast instead of dessert.

When the leaves change, I make this wonderful Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce


Bread Pudding
2 cups half and half
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup +2 TBSP packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
10 cups bread, in 1/2 inch cubes (about a loaf)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Caramel Sauce
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream

To make the bread pudding:

Prheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together half and half, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Fold in the bread cubes, stir in dried cranberries. Pour into an 11 x 17 baking dish & let rest for 15 minutes. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

To make the caramel sauce:

Over medium heat, whisk brown sugar and butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan until the butter melts. Whisk in the cream and stir until the sugar dissolves & the sauce is smooth. Generally, the whole sauce takes about 5-8 minutes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Altered Ribbon -- How To

Materials Needed --

Cotton Ribbon - Available at beckandcallgirl or supplycandy
Small Alphabet Stamps - Available at beckandcallgirl or supplycandy

Dye Ink Pad - Your choice of 2 or more colors

scrap paper
paper towel

Decide what length of ribbon you need for your project. Cut it off, plus a couple inches.

Place some scrap paper over your work space. I like to use copy paper. Put the ribbon on that and run the inkpad over it until you reach your desired color intensity. I chose the weathered look for the sample.

Run your paper towel over the newly inked ribbon to remove the excess ink.

Using your small alphabet stamps, choose a message to stamp out. I like to spell out the message and space it out before committing. This also helps to avoid spelling errors.

Once done, set it aside to dry completely. I like to leave mine at least overnight.

You now have customized ribbon, with a handmade touch. I wouldn't recommend laundering this ribbon, but it's great for most projects.