Thursday, September 30, 2010



Primitive scented grubby muslin gingerbread boys/men. Time to get started. I know Halloween & Thanksgiving are not even here yet, but I also know now is the time to start making your Christmas decorations before the busy holiday season starts. Here are a few ideas!

Draw, sew, cut, turn and stuff your gingerbread shape. Put some Elmer’s glue with a little water, cinnamon, and ground cloves in an old bowl and mix well. Paint on the gingers. You can sprinkle more spices on them while they are wet. You could also add a little dry tea or coffee grounds for texture.

Dip the gingerbread boys in scented cinnamon wax.......they turn out great. Cut out any shape of gingerbread boy/man, heart, star, or whatever you’d like from Warm and Natural, then sew and lightly stuff. Stitch up your stuffing hole. Melt your wax, scent, and cinnamon (no coloring is needed) and start dipping. Keep dipping until you get the look you want. They smell fantastic.... They get hard and look great sitting in bowls or crocks or hanging on a tree.

Paint them with straight vanilla. Mix Elmer’s glue, cinnamon, and water. Use about 2 parts glue and 1 part cinnamon and then water. Excuse the description but I say it gets snotty. That is about the texture of it. When it is thinner you will have to apply 2 coats. Mist the gingerbread man before the first coat so the foam brush doesn't drag so much. Keep your brush in water between men.


These have a nice light flavor with a hint of orange.


1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt


Cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the egg and mix well. Mix in the orange peel and dark corn syrup. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and salt, mixing until well combined. Chill dough for at least 2 hours, I like to chill overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are firm and lightly toasted on the edges.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010



Serve with mugs of spicy cider.


1 refrigerated pie crust
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs, divided
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp rum or 1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/4 c. pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
1 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c. pecan pieces
Rum Whipped Cream, for serving (see recipe)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie crust in a deep-dish pie plate; set aside.
Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, nutmeg and rum with electric mixer until smooth. Spread evenly in prepared pie crust.
In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, evaporated milk, remaining 2 eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt until thoroughly combined. Starting around edge of pie, slowly pour pumpkin mixture over cream cheese layer. Bake for 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, make streusel topping. Combine brown sugar and flour in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Stir in pecans. Set aside.
Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over pie. Bake 10 minutes more or until center is nearly set and topping is golden. Cool to room temperature. Cover loosely and chill. If desired, serve with Rum Whipped Cream.



1 c. whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp rum or vanilla extract


In a medium bowl beat together whipping cream, sugar and rum or vanilla extract on medium-high speed of electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Cover and chill until serving time.



2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 c. canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. mashed ripe banana
1/2 c. vegetable oil
Dark Chocolate Butter (see recipe)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir flour, baking powder, cinnamon, orange zest, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves.
In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin, eggs, sugar, banana and oil. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture just until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.
Slice and serve with Dark Chocolate Butter.



1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. baking cocoa
3 tbsp water
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


In a heavy small saucepan stir together sugar, cocoa powder and water until smooth.
Add butter; cook and stir over medium-low heat until bubbly.
Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into a small bowl.
Cool 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.



2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 c. chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
1 tsp salt
6 c. chicken broth or vegetable broth, divided
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 tbsp sour cream, for garnish
Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds, for garnish (see recipe)


In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; cook and stir until onion is translucent and celery is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, sage and salt.
Stir in 4 cups broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in pumpkin; cover and simmer 10 minutes more.
Carefully puree in several batches in food processor. Return to saucepan; stir in 1 cup broth. If soup is too thick, gradually stir in more broth until desired consistency is reached. Heat through. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with sour cream and Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds, if desired



1 medium pumpkin
2 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar


To roast seeds, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Scoop seeds from pumpkin; pull seeds from fibers, discarding fibers. (Rinsing seeds is not necessary but if you do, pat dry with paper towel.) Place 1 cup seeds in a bowl. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons oil and salt; toss to coat evenly. Place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until seeds make a popping sound and become golden, stirring occasionally.
To caramelize seeds, in a medium skillet heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Stir in roasted pumpkin seeds. When seeds just begin to sizzle, stir in brown sugar, stirring constantly for 20 to 30 seconds or until seeds are coated with melted sugar and turn deep brown. Be careful not to scorch. Remove from heat and transfer to a sheet of foil to cool, breaking up any clumps.
Recipes from Hy-Vee

Tuesday, September 28, 2010




You will need:

Tube of 100 percent silicone clear caulking, gloves, mineral spirits, oil-based model paints, scented oil, isopropyl alcohol (if you want to keep using the same bulb for practice), a container to put the silicone in (use an empty yogurt cup with a lid), night light bulbs, or the night light size 5 watt bulbs or the small clear Christmas string bulbs, wire or heavy string for hanging bulbs. Good ventilation is REQUIRED for this project! Use the 100 percent silicone because the fumes are not nearly as bad as the silicone rubber caulking. The silicone rubber caulking give off really bad vinegar type fumes. Use the empty yogurt cup with a lid that way you can seal it and reuse the silicone. •
Add 2 or 3 drops of mineral spirits and stir well with a plastic spoon to thin the silicone a little. You can add a little more mineral spirits later if you find that the silicone is still too thick.
Add color by dipping a toothpick into the paint (oil-based model paint) to scoop out a few drops, and drip them into the silicone. Mix it well with a plastic spoon. Continue adding paint, a few drops at a time, until the shade deepens to your satisfaction. Stir well following each addition. Keep in mind that the color will lighten somewhat when you add fragrance. The color will not be as dark as it appears now when you turn on the lights.
Stir in 3 drops of the scented oil. Stir very well. The oil will make the silicone look slimy at first, but keep stirring until it's thoroughly blended in.
Cut a 12-inch length of wire or heavy string to hang each bulb with after they're dipped. Wire or tie one end to the metal socket of each bulb, and set these aside

Take the bulb you want to use and hold it beside the outside of the cup to use for a measurement. Make a mark on the cup for a fill reference. Hold the light bulb upside down against the cup and make a mark at the end of the electrical contact (whole length of the bulb including the metal part). You need to have enough silicone in the cup to completely cover the glass section of the light bulb. I like to have it a little deeper than that. Wrap a piece of wire around the threads of the bulb leaving a tail that you can use to hang it up to cure somewhere. Fill the cup with silicone to the mark. Don't stir. Tap the cup on the counter until it levels off. Filling and tapping to level off until you get to the mark. You can stir if you are careful but stirring too much or too vigorously will introduce air into the silicone and the coating on the light bulb will have bubbles in it. The dipping is just all about timing and technique. Dip the bulb slowly into the silicone and back out slowing even more when you get to the end of the bulb this will give you a nice long tip at the top of the bulb. The dipping motion is straight in and straight out. Twisting will give you ripples going around the diameter of the bulb, if you like that look, feel free to twist. Doesn't look right? No problem. Wipe as much of the silicone off with a paper towel (dispose of properly please) as you can, then wipe it with a paper towel moistened with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residue. As soon as the alcohol dries, dip it again. It's better to wear gloves if you plan to wipe off the light bulb. If you get dried soap on the light bulb the silicone won't stick. It's really not that hard, it's just a matter of having enough silicone in the cup to cover the bulb, and getting the dipping motion and timing right. It just takes practice. Keep in mind they are never going to look quite as good as the store bought ones, they use a special silicone made for dipping. But with practice you can get a pretty good looking one.

Hang the scented silicone bulb up to dry by its string or wire. A towel rack in your kitchen or bathroom is perfect for this. Allow it to dry and cure undisturbed for 3 to 4 hours

Why not make up strings of lights using Fall colors & scents. They really are beautiful strung on the mantel or amoung your fall displays.

Monday, September 27, 2010









If you are interested in any of these items, then just click on my EBAY STORE button on the upper right side!



8 medium baking apples
1-2 TBSP lemon juice
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 C Oktoberfest lager style beer, the sweeter the better.
1 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 C butter


Peel, halve, and core apples. Sprinkle the cut edges with lemon juice.
Combine sugar, cinnamon, and beer in a large pot (make sure it's large, because the beer will foam up quite high on the hot break). Bring to a slow boil.
Add apples to the syrup, simmer until apples have absorbed much of the liquid. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, flour, and baking powder. Cut in the butter. Set aside.
Place apples in a medium to large baking dish.
Simmer remaining liquid down to a syrup. Drizzle syrup over the apples.
Spoon butter/brown sugar mixture over apples and bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes, until topping is brown.
Serve as is or with cream...whipped or otherwise.



3 eggs
2 C Granulated
1 ½ C vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 C chopped, peeled apples
1 C chopped pecans
caramel apple cake Topping


In mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy; gradually add sugar. Blend in oil and vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; add to egg mixture. Stir in apples and pecans. Pour into a greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove to serving plate. Pour Caramal Apple Topping over warm cake.



½ C butter or margarine
¼ C milk
1 C Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar or Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar, packed

Combine all ingredients in saucepan; boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly pour over warm Caramel Apple Cake. Some topping will run down sides onto serving plate. Keep spooning back onto cake a few more times



1 whole pie crust
6 cups (to 7 Cups) Peeled And Sliced granny smith apples
½ whole (juice Of) lemon
½ cups sugar
4 Tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoons
½ cups flour s
1-½ stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cups quick oats
¼ teaspoons salt
½ cups pecans, Chopped
½ jars (or More) caramel topping shopping list


In a bowl mix peeled apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside. For crumb topping, cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, then add in brown sugar, oats, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Add apples to prepared pie shell and top with crumb topping. Cover crust edges with aluminum foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil from crust and place back into the oven for another 30 minutes. Chop pecans, and when five minutes remain, sprinkle them over the pie. Finish baking. Quiver with anticipation.
Remove the pie from the oven and pour ½ jar (or more, if you’re feeling dangerous and naughty) of caramel topping over the top. Allow to cool slightly before serving, or don’t if you can’t wait. Eat. Enjoy. Smile. Cry. Then smile again.
Recipes fromGroup Recipes

Friday, September 24, 2010



Dipping is a technique used with wax. Also called grubbing. There are several methods to grubby your items. Here are a few: Whisk method, rolling method, and the spicy grubby method. Using an old pan or a double broiler, or crock pot, melt the wax (paraffin) on low heat. Add stearine (this helps the wax stay hard and not melt in warm weather). When wax is melted, remove from heat, and choose your way of dipping. If you want to add color and scent, this is the time to do so. You can buy color wax chips or just use crayons you snatched from the kids, or even food coloring. I like to use lots of spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves etc.). Spices mixed together make a dark brown color. Do not mix spices in with your color chips because you just end up with brown anyway. You will know when your wax in ready for dippin’ because it gets a film on top. TIP: If you dip a spoon in, the wax should stick to it. If this happens, you are ready to dip. If the wax runs off, it is too hot and if it is too clumpy, the wax is too cold.

Whisk Whip Method: Using a old whisk or fork, quickly stir and whip the wax to make bubbles. The more bubbles, the more grubby looking it will be. Dip your items and lay on waxed paper to dry.

Rollin’ Method: Dip your item into the wax and quickly roll in dry spices or mixture (shreaded wax, crushed bay leaves, coffee beans, etc.) Then re-dip to make the spices stick.

Spicy Grubby Method: Add spices to the melted wax. Keep stirring as you dip your items so that the spices stick to your item. Spices have a tendency to go to the bottom so you have to keep stirring.

If you are dippin’ wood items, you may have to dip it a few times for the wax to stick. If you are gluing bows, etc. to dipped items remember to use E6000 or tacky glue … HOT glue does not work as it just melts the wax.

NOTE: If you are dippin’ wood items, you may have to dip it a few times for the wax to stick. If you are gluing bows, etc. to dipped items remember to use E6000 or tacky glue … HOT glue does not work as it just melts the wax.

Try making some wooden gingerbread men and snowmen to add to potpourri. Tie them up with your candles to sell in a bag. Make bay leaf garlands out of them. Have your dolls hold them in baskets.

Take heavy cardboard and use cookie cutters (stars, hearts, gingerbread men, etc.) Trace them onto the cardboard and cut out. Punch a hole in top and string in some twine. Now you have to melt wax in your OLD crock pot. When melted, turn off your crock pot and let wax start to harden. It’s ready when there is a film on top. Stir wax and start to dip your ornies. The wax should be cool enough to be chunky. Dip them about four or five times and they get the real grubby look. Add a piece of homespun to your gingerbread men and Wala!!!!!! You should add a scent to your wax.

Use your imagination. You can dip hang tags, stuffed stars and hearts, cinnamon sticks, dried apples and oranges to add to potpourri, the list is endless.
Please have fun with this craft but do remember that if you are not careful you can burn yourself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


In loving memory of my grandson David Dean who was killed September 13th at 9:10 PM.

June 24, 1977-September 13, 2010

In all the world we shall not find a heart so loving and so kind, so soft a voice, so sweet a smile, an inspiration so worthwhile, a sympathy so sure, so deep, a love so wonderful to keep.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Try these classic apple dessert recipes for a taste of nostalgia that your family will love.



Double Crust Classic Crisco Pie Crust ( recipe included)

6 medium Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
1 large egg white, lightly beaten


Single Crust Classic Crisco Pie Crust ( recipe included)

1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar


PREPARE recipe for double crust pie. Roll out dough for bottom crust. Place in 9-inch pie plate. Press to fit without stretching dough. Trim even with pie plate. Do not bake.
HEAT oven to 400ºF.
PEEL, core and slice apples. Toss with sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pour into unbaked pie crust; dot with butter. Cover with top crust; seal and flute edge. Brush with egg white. Cut slits for steam to escape.
ROLL additional crust to 1/8-inch thickness. With small 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, cut 20 to 25 stars. Place 1 star on rim of top crust; brush with egg white. Repeat until rim is covered.
COMBINE cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over crust. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until pie is golden brown and apples are tender.



Double Crust Classic Crisco Pie Crust ( recipe included)

1 (8 oz.)package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon apple juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups peeled, cored, sliced Jonathon or Granny Smith apples (about 2 lbs. or 4 large)
2 tablespoons butter


PREPARE recipe for double crust pie. Roll out dough for bottom crust. Place in 9-inch pie plate. Press to fit without stretching dough. Trim even with pie plate. Heat oven to 375°F.
COMBINE cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, egg, apple juice and vanilla in small bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Spread evenly in unbaked pie crust.
COMBINE 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Place apple slices in large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar mixture and toss to coat. Spoon over cheesecake filling in pie crust. Moisten pastry edge with water.
ROLL out dough for top crust Place onto filled pie. Trim 1/2-inch beyond edge. Fold top crust under bottom crust edge to seal. Crimp and flute edges. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to allow steam to escape.
BAKE 60 to 65 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cool completely



Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
5 cups peeled, cored, sliced Granny Smith apples, (about 3 large apples)
1/2 cup Smucker's® Sugar Free Caramel Spoonable Ice Cream Topping
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1 1/4 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar
OR 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Crisco Puritan Canola Oil
Sugar free frozen whipped topping (optional), thawed


HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan lightly with no-stick cooking spray.
STIR apples with topping, cornstarch and cinnamon until apples are coated. Place in prepared baking pan.
COMBINE flour, oats and brown sugar blend in medium bowl. Stir in oil until evenly moistened and large crumbs form. Sprinkle over apples.
BAKE 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender and top is golden brown. Let stand about one hour before serving. Serve with whipped topping, if desired.



1 1/3 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks
OR 1/2 cup well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water


2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks
OR 3/4 cup well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water


2 2/3 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks
OR 1 cup well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
6 to 10 tablespoons ice cold water


BLEND flour and salt in medium mixing bowl.
CUT chilled shortening into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut in chilled shortening cubes into flour mixture, using a pastry blender, in an up and down chopping motion, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some small pea-sized pieces remaining.
SPRINKLE half the maximum recommended amount of ice cold water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from bottom of bowl to the top, distributing moisture evenly into flour. Press chunks down to bottom of bowl with fork. Add more water by the tablespoon, until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together.

Test dough for proper moistness by squeezing a marble-sized ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together firmly, do not add any additional water. If the dough crumbles, add more water by the tablespoonful, until dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball when pressed together.
SHAPE dough into a ball for single pie crust. Divide dough in two for double crust or double deep dish crust, one ball slightly larger than the other. Flatten ball(s) into 1/2-inch thick round disk(s).

For ease in rolling, wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
ROLL dough (larger ball of dough for double crust pie) from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface (or between two sheets of wax or parchment paper) into a circle 2-inches wider than pie plate for the bottom crust. Transfer dough to pie plate by loosely rolling around rolling pin. Center the rolling pin over the pie plate, and then unroll, easing dough into pie plate.
For a SINGLE pie crust, trim edges of dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold edge under. Flute dough as desired. Bake according to specific recipe directions.
For a DOUBLE pie crust, roll larger disk for bottom crust, trimming edges of dough even with outer edge of pie plate. Fill unbaked pie crust according to recipe directions. Roll out smaller dough disk. Transfer dough carefully onto filled pie. Trim edges of dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold top edge under bottom crust. Press edges together to seal and flute as desired. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to vent steam. Bake according to specific recipe directions.

Two Methods for Pre-baking Pie Crusts (Cream Pies)

Pre-baking without weights: Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of unbaked pie dough with fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Bake crust in lower third of oven, at 425°F, 10-12 minutes or until edges and bottom are golden brown.
Pre-baking with weights: Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of unbaked pie dough with fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Chill or freeze for 30 minutes. Line pie dough snugly with foil or parchment paper. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Reduce oven to 350°F. Bake 5-10 minutes or until edges and bottom are golden brown.

Recipes from Pillsbury Baking

Monday, September 13, 2010



Forget about printing on some transfer paper and then ironing it onto some fabric. With some freezer paper you can print right on the fabric itself. No need to reverse the image and it's faster, cheaper, and more effective.

Use pinking shears to cut the top edge of your muslin. Cut your material exactly the size you are printing - 8 1/2 x 11, 11x14, 11x17, or 13x19 -- whichever your printer takes. Iron fabric to the shiny side of freezer paper. Leave just about 1/8 inch at top where pinked edge is so the printer catches the freezer paper first. MAKE SURE there are no threads ANYWHERE to catch in the printer or you will hear loud whining, groaning, dying sounds. Set printer to cardstock or heavy paper and to the size you are printing. Put in printer so material side gets the printing. Then --- hit the print button.


To make an iron-on transfer take a sheet of regular computer paper, run a glue stick around the outside edges and lay this over a piece of freezer paper--to the non-shiny side. Trim your freezer paper to fit the computer paper. Start your iron warming on a cotton setting--no steam. If your pattern has any text on it you will need to scan it into your computer as a mirror image--because otherwise it will print backwards! After you scan and save your new image print it out--this is the copy you will print from. Place the piece of freezer paper you created into the printer so that the printer will PRINT ON THE SHINY SIDE of the paper and print. Now take this directly to your iron (I don't know if you can let it sit for a long period of time and have it still work or not) and iron it face down onto your fabric--making sure to press the entire area. When finished pressing peel back the paper and voila'! You have your image all ready to stitch! Sure beats holding it up to the window.

Friday, September 10, 2010



You need a special needle for needlefelting. You just keep poking that needle in & out over your hair and the little prongs on the needle poke the hair into the dolls head. No need for glue or stitches.

It will work with any fiber that isn't real slick. Most yarns would be fine and of course the best is wool. It also depends upon what you are needlefelting into. If you've stuffed your doll with rags, it won't work. There isn't really anything in the rags that helps hold the fiber beneath the outer cloth. The needle kind of intermingles the fiber you are attaching with the fiber that is packed inside. And since rag stuffing is kind of hard, the tip of your needle will break off. If you've stuffed with wool or Polyfil, needlefelting will work great.

You can get the needles at sistersanddaughters for $5. When you get a needle, hold it up to the light and you can see the little barbs on it. If you have something very skinny that you are needle felting, you can get a thick piece of foam rubber or something similar and lay your item on it, then needlefelt and it will save your fingers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Almost every colonial kitchen contained round wooden nesting boxes, or pantry boxes. These boxes were often painted and used for storing spices, grains and flour. In the 19th century, clothing-makers adopted the shape for holding collar bands. Early American wives soon learned that these band boxes made beautiful and convenient storage boxes when covered with decorative fabric or wallpapers. Today, antique band boxes are considered a rare and sought-after collector’s item. It’s easy to make your own covered boxes for home storage.

Lay your box lid and bottom down on fabric or wallpaper, draw around it, then cut out about 1/2" from the circle...spread modge podge on the box, then glue the circle on, then glue the edges down. Next measure the side of the box, the height and add about 1/2", and measure the length around it, adding a 1/4" or so. Turn one edge under 1/4" and iron to hold it. Glue that piece on the side, with the turned under edge on the bottom of the box for a finished edge, and the other edge over the top of the box, glued on the inside (you could probably add a bit more, and turn that under as well, but I usually cover the insides with paper to hide it) the rim of the lid the same way. After it's dry, you can sand it, stain it, etc. If you want to cover the inside, I normally will tear paper in large pieces, then glue that in with the modge podge.


These are paper mache boxes that were painted, striped and distressed.

First, give all the boxes a good solid base coat of black.

Pick the two colors you want to use on your boxes. Select the LIGHTER of those two colors to paint over the black paint. I recommend using Americana Acrylic Paint.

On to the stripes! Take your secondary (darker) color and select a paint brush that is the width that you want your stripes to be. Note that the stripes will NOT perfect. If you want them to be perfect you can tape them off or use a stencil. I prefer the slightly crooked ‘free hand’ painted look. A lot of the imperfections in your stripes will ‘disappear’ when you distress your item later.

When you’ve got 3/4 of the way around your box with the stripes, pause and analyze the amount of space you have left and estimate whether you are going to have to ‘adjust’ your stripe width in order to get them to ‘match up’ with your first stripe. It’s better to SPACE the stripes a tad farther apart than to make them closer in order to fit the space.

Horizontal stripes are harder to do. But again, the ‘crookedness’ of the stripes will blend in with the distressing step.

Once all your paint is dry, it’s time to sand and distress your boxes. A COARSE sanding SPONGE is recommended.

If you want to add some designs to the boxes, then use FOAM (not rubber!) stamps and water based acrylic craft paint for your designs.

LIGHTLY load your stamp with paint (too much paint will cause your stamp to SLIDE when you press it to your box). You will also get TWO stamps per paint loading. The second one is lighter, but that just means less sanding off later!

After your stamped on designs are dry, lightly hand sand them with a coarse sanding sponge to distress them.

If you decide your box needed some DOTS in addition to the stamped design, then use the end of a paint brush, dipped into paint. You can make three dots with each paint loading. Each dot comes out slightly smaller than the previous one.

The ‘weathered wood wash’(water based stain) is just brushed on over the entire sanded box and lid to give it a nice aged look.

Once the wood wash is dry,add a coat of MATTE varnish to seal and protect the surface.

If you want to add some wood knobs to the boxes you will need to find the center of the lids. To find ‘the center’ for the knob placement, trace the lid onto a piece of newspaper. Cut out the circle to the INSIDE of the tracing line. Fold the paper circle into fourths, and cut a tiny snip out of the center. Placed the opened paper circle into the lid and use a pencil to mark the center.
Drill a tiny hole at the center mark and screw the wood knob on from underneath.

I use neutral paste shoe polish........goes on clear and gives a nice shine and protection to the boxes. The neutral shoe polish puts a nice soft shine to the paper mache boxes.......and it protects them to. I just buy it at Wal-Mart in the round cans.......just regular old shoe polish. I have also used the black paste shoe polish in a can to.......and I like the effect it gives the boxes to. It's easy to apply and buff off.