Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Springtime a Little Early -- Tissue Paper Cherry Blossoms

I actually did this project about a week before Valentine's Day so it would be part of the decor for the day, as well as carry over to the spring time decor.

I have been longing for spring more this year than any previous year. Even though the winter has been fairly mild in my area I (and my kids!) have hated being cooped up inside with the weather too cold to play outside. So any hint of spring (even if artificial like this) I've fallen in love with.

I found the idea (via Craft Gossip) for tissue paper cherry blossoms glued to sticks and placed in a vase. I made up the arrangement of sticks in the vase and made the tiny snowflake garland for it in January.  So when the time came I removed the garland and prepared the tissue paper flowers.  The original idea had dark pink in the center with lighter pink on the outside.  I really loved the way that looked, but I didn't have any dark pink and was determined to use what I had on hand, so I just skipped that part.

I started by making templates for two different sizes of blossoms (2" and 1.25").  I just drew squares that size then freehanded the flower shape inside.  Not perfect, but works just fine! 


I traced the shapes lots of times on some tissue paper and cut them out.


Then next three easy steps were repeated with every single blossom.




After gluing the blossoms on the sticks I felt like it needed a little bit of green. So I just free hand cut out some leaves and glued them on near the larger blossoms.


And here's the end result!




What projects are you doing to welcome spring?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quick Candle Revamp - Adding Paper

Above my mantle I have two wrought iron candle holders on either side of a painting by my grandmother (since passed away).  After we moved in (a year and a half ago) I hastily put the things on the wall then forgot about it.  However the colors of the candles did NOT go with the painting and just looked rather off. 

I wanted to change that.  I didn't want to replace the candles themselves, so I decided to simply wrap the candles in paper.  Especially since the candles are above eye level and I wouldn't be able to see the different colored candle inside. 


All I needed was the candle some cardstock, a 12" paper cutter and some glue dots. 

I measured the height of the candle and cut a piece of 12x12 cardstock to the right height. Then I wrapped it around the candle, making sure to overlap enough for the glue dots, and marked it by creasing it with my fingernail.


After cutting it to the right length I wrapped it around again, placed some glue dots under the flap, and stuck it down. Easy!


These candles (which I'm pretty sure I got at the dollar store) were not perfectly cylindrical so there was a bit of a gap at the top. I just made sure the paper was straight and decided it didn't matter since it wouldn't be seen.


Here's the before:


And after:



Much better!

I love quick little projects. They make me feel like I'm actually getting something done instead of constantly having to stop and put it aside AGAIN! :)

Finally, Almost Well Again!

So sorry for more delays in promised posts!  I was rather sick for about 5 days straight.  Like, seriously ill.  The worst I've been sick since high school (10 years ago).  Two days straight of huddling in bed shivering and sweating with a fever.  Then several days after of violent coughing and sneezing.  Not that you need all the details... but it was intense! 

Now I'm trying to get the house back in order and get my head wrapped around everything I need to do to accomplish that.  Plus just having to keep up with the daily activities and tasks.  I have several posts that have photos taken already and just waiting for the text to be written.

Here's a teaser for one of them:


Monday, February 14, 2011

Easy Taco Soup Recipe

One of my favorite things in winter time, when it's cold (I hate being cold), is having a bowl of soup to warm me up.  A favorite of mine is taco soup.  I love how easy and quick it is, especially since I tend to procrastinate fixing dinner.  For the ground beef part I've been using a vegetarian alternative which I can just throw in with everything else and heat. 


Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef (or substitute)
1-2 T oil
1 large onion
2 cans (15 oz) black beans
2 cans (15 oz) corn (or frozen corn)
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz or 1 can 28 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 c water (adjust to desired consistency)
1 packet taco seasoning -- see recipe here

Sour cream
Shredded cheese

If using ground beef, cook in frying pan, drain, and set aside.  Pour oil in stock pot and heat to nearly medium heat.  Chop onion, add to stock pot and cook until tender.  Add remaining ingredients (except cheese and sour cream), including ground beef or substitute, and heat until boiling.  Serve topped with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

I didn't have cilantro or parsley to garnish, so I had to use  a celery top!

I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taco Seasoning Recipe

So often when I want to get taco seasoning at the store I end up looking at the ingredients... then putting it back.  There always seems to be some sort of artificial / chemical / nasty additives in it.  Some of you may be lucky enough to find some natural alternative, but for those of us in places where those kinds of things are lacking, we can make our own!  I love making my own now since I can use organic spices that I get in bulk from my local health food store.  Plus it ends up being a lot less expensive than any natural alternative I may find.

Just an aside -- Does anyone else find it odd that there are health food sections in grocery stores and health food stores.  What does it say about the rest of the "food" available?  ... Okay, that's kind of a rhetorical question since I do know what that means.  (Anyone else wondering can watch "Food, Inc" or read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan)

Anyway, I will get off my soapbox now... On to the recipe!

Taco Seasoning

1 T chili powder
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t onion powder
¼ t red pepper flakes
¼ t oregano
½ t paprika
1 t cumin
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir together with a spoon.  Makes equivalent of one packet of seasoning. 

IMG_4872 r

It's a fairly mild seasoning mix, and it was great in my taco soup recipe (which I will post next).  You can also multiply the recipe and divide it into packets for later use.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Get 'er Done Day -- aka Clearing Off the Work Table

In preparation for the tutorials for the dress and bolero (no, I haven't forgotten, I promise!) I had to clear off a few other projects in various stages of completion (I think I must have craft attention deficit disorder -- I want to do too many things at the same time!).  But I decided I should actually finish them, instead of just moving them to a different area to sit and wait for me to get back to them... which may or may not ever happen.

I'm going to be putting each project in a separate post so I can fill up the few days it will take me to get the tutorials done.  One of the projects is something I'm going to list for sale on Etsy, so check back to find out what it is!

P.S.  Also in the near future... I will be starting a linky party (have you noticed if some bloggers have stopped having them since McLinky started charging?)  AND I will have another giveaway because.... I reached 100 followers!  Woo hoo!!  So exciting!

Oh, one more thing... go to the sidebar and "Like" me on Facebook!  If you want to :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...