Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Treat Bags

I have made some treat bags that are fairly easy. I don't make many of these, I just want to give them to my daughters babysitting crew and our neighbors kids.

I typed out a page with six "happy halloween" sayings on it.

Halloween Printout

The first bat is made from punching three circles, a large black one,  a small black one, and a small white one. The small circle I cut in half and then cut out dips to make bat wings. The small white circle I cut in half for the mouth. I am thinking it would have been cool to do a green or purple mouth - next time I guess. Then I cut out two tiny triangles for the ears. For the eyes, I used two different sized googly eyes. I inked the edges of the tag, glued everything together, including a green background to frame the tag, poked two holes in the top of the bag and the tag, and inserted a ribbon to tie it all together.
The second bat I hand drew. You can download an outline here....

Bat Outline Printout

The bat that has the square around it is the size I used for the tag. Cut the bat size out that you desire, and draw around the outline with a white pencil crayon on black card stock. Cut the bat out leaving a bit of black outline (don't cut on the lines). Draw a face. Cut out a couple clouds and ink, punch a circle for the moon. Glue as desired. I adhered the bat using pop dots. Next time I will ink yellow around the moon. I completed the bag the same as the first one.

The next tag I did I punched three circles the same size. I used a creepy green color for my main background and the two other colors I wanted to be my ground. I ripped the ground circles at different heights. I inked around the edges and glued them together. I pasted a cricut tree crooked on the round tag in between the ground layers. I made a tiny ghost and drew on gravestones. I used a white felt pen to dot on the gravestones. One was big enough to write "RIP".  I adhered the ghost on with pop dots. I glued on a purple border and I finished the bag the same as the first one.

Happy Halloween Printout

Happy Halloween

Bat Outline Printout

Bat Outline

Friday, October 29, 2010

Black Bean Dip

I first made this bean dip for summer lunches, now it is a family favorite. I am posting the recipe as it came, but I personalize it for my family to like it. I don't put in the cilantro - it is not an ingredient that works in my house.  I have never used the monterey jack cheese, although one of these days when I have it on hand, I will. I put in a scoop of Cheez Whiz instead.  I don't have picante sauce in my pantry, so I substitute the tomatoes for salsa and put a squeeze of ketchup in. This dip is definitely a thumbs up. Check out the idea to turn it into a Halloween appetizer.

Halloween Dinner

We did a special Halloween theme dinner during the week.  This is what was served.....
"Guacamoldy" - This was a cute idea. I found this idea on the Martha Stewart website.
"Eyeballs" - I needed to be a good girl and serve a vegetable with this meal so I opted for carrot eyeballs. I found this on the Family Fun website.
The "fingers" idea was also from the Family Fun website. These were super easy to do and looked so much like fingers. Although these fingers looked fantastic, if I do another Halloween meal I would choose to make chicken fingers. I saw a recipe on the BHG website. The "shriveled brains" I found on the Martha Stewart website. They were super easy too and very tasty.
"Worms in dirt". I found this idea on the Martha Stewart website as well, but the worms were just in mashed black beans. I wanted to make a black bean dip my family likes. The worms are hot dogs, sliced and boiled in water until they are curly. I quartered my hot dogs, but I would cut them even finer to make smaller worms.
We also had grape juice that was in a mason jar with a label. We had red jello, but I didn't do anything fancy with that. I meant to make cupcakes but I ran out of time.
I printed out labels. I found a cool frame from Vintage Vectors. I inked around the edges with my tea dye ink. I didn't take a picture of the whole table (I am kicking myself for that), but my homemade cake stand made an awesome display for some of the food.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Outdoor Halloween Decor - Wood Block Tutorial

I wanted to make some wood blocks for Halloween this year. I wanted something different from the regular "boo" so I decided to do "eek!"
Here's how I made the blocks....
I picked out 3 2 X10's from my scrap wood pile, and one 2x6. My pieces were all different sizes, the tallest being 12 inches. I sanded each block on all sides with a power sander.
Then I took a rag and wiped off all the dust.
Next, I painted the blocks. I used orange, lavender (purple) and pear green.
I printed out letters on my computer. I think the biggest font size was 1200.
The capital is from a font called Kwekel. the lower case letters are from a font called Lima Bean.
I cut the letters out, and then taped them on the blocks using masking tape.
Then I sponged on black paint, not quite reaching the sides, but making sure the letters were outlined. When the paint is dry remove the paper letters.
If you are putting the blocks outside, it would be a good idea to protect the blocks applying a stain. Just lightly sand the blocks first, dust off, and apply the stain.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Treat Basket

This Halloween Treat basket's foundation came from a box inside a tampax super pack. These handy little half boxes make great starters for homemade baskets. With this one, I cut 3 inches off to make the basket not as deep. I glued on a handle (a one inch wide strip by 11 inches) and then I wrapped the box with orange card stock, scoring the corners using the piece I previously cut off as a guide to know where to score. The cob web was cut out with cricut. If you don't have a cricut with a cobweb in your cartridges, you can draw a cobweb, or print a cobweb clipart out on your card stock.
For the spider, I glued on a black pom pom and glued on two different sized eyes.
Then I glued on black ribbon all the way around the basket - top and bottom.  Next, I glued on a button that was embellished with ribbon and twine. Just cut a two inch piece of ribbon, lay it on top of the button. Thread in the twine from the back of the button through two holes. Tie a knot or two in the twine, catching the ribbon in it. Trim ribbon as desired.
These are so cute. I can't wait to give them away!

Monday, October 18, 2010

White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins

I was looking around the internet for a cranberry muffin recipe after I bought a few bags of fresh cranberries for 25 cents each. My daughter does not like orange in muffins, and that seems to be the typical cranberry muffin recipe. I found a recipe that said WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY MUFFINS and I was sold. This recipe had a couple odd ingredients, so I changed it slightly to go with ingredients I had on hand. I can't say they are as good as my favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, but I can say that they are tasty - and are pretty healthy for you too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Masculine Birthday Card Ideas

I have two brothers who have birthdays in October. I find that guy cards are the hardest to make. Here are some masculine birthday cards from that past....
For this one I picked out some scraps with masculine colors, and I embossed a birthday stamp that came with my cuttlebug to paste in the middle. I sanded the embossed stamp a bit to bring out the white. Pretty easy.

For this card I made my own background, and found a clip art man on the internet.

Here is this years attempt at making cards for my brothers. I printed out the same clip art and sayings, but I made two different cards.
I only had one piece of silver the size that would fit this card perfectly. I put it through my cuttlebug using my diamond plate embossing folder. I colored the truck and added three screw brads. I wish I placed the brads a little lower. I glued a scrap of black across the middle and put the "you are not old" saying on pop dots and placed it on the black strip. Oh yeah, I inked a little silver along the edges of the white paper before I glued it down.
For this card, I needed it to be fit to go through the mail. I found some nice earth toned scraps of paper. I cut out the clip art truck and saying. I distressed inked the truck and saying with Tim Holtz ink - very lightly with the walnut color, and then soaked it with the tea dye color. I inked all the edges of the scraps with black ink. I cut out two black circles to make it look like brads and pasted them beside the saying.
Here is the inside of the card. For next time, I would print out two trucks the same size. I would cut one out and pop dot it on top of the other to add dimension.
Oops! I hope my brothers don't look at my blog until next month, oh well. Happy birthday Stephen and Paul!
I am not sure how to put pdf files on my blog right now, and I am not sure if this file would work as it is a jpg, but I thought I would put it on just in case it would work. Once I figure out how to put pdf files on  my blog I will load up all the sayings and other stuff that I have made on my computer. Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

8 1/2 x 11 Scrapbook Page - Becca

Here is another scrapbook page that I used mostly scraps to embellish. The flower embellishment has two circles, a large and small, and a medium scallop circle, with a gem sticker in the middle. I cut out two leaves free hand. All edges are inked and some have drawn stitching.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Easiest (and tastiest) Homemade Buns from Scratch

I love homemade buns. I do have a lazy side to me though, and usually if something is not reasonably easy, I don't want to do it. I usually make buns from scratch in my food processor. The dough blade in it broke recently, and so I was scrambling to find a recipe. This one intrigued me when it said "DON'T KNEAD". You do have to knead the dough, but only 4 or 5 times. These buns are the easiest handmade (without a machine) buns I have ever made, and they are very tasty. They look pretty impressive too.

-2 packages active dry yeast
(1 pkg. = 2 1/4 tsp)
                           -1/4 c warm water
                           -2 c warm milk
                           -1/2 c sugar, divided
                           -1 large egg, beaten
                           -1 tsp. salt
                           - 6 1/2 cups flour
                           -1 c butter, melted
                           1 large egg
                           1 tbsp. milk or cream

In large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast & 2 tbsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes. Whisk in warm milk, remaining sugar, egg, and salt, mixing well. Gradually add 3 cups flour, one cup at a time; beating until smooth. Beat in butter, mixing well. Add remaining flour, beating to make a soft dough (dough will be slightly sticky). Do not knead. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and refrigerate over night. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface, divide dough into 2 equal portions, knead each 4 or 5 times. Let rise about 10 minutes. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Using a floured rolling pin, roll one dough half into a 12 inch circle. Cut circle into 12 wedges. Roll up eaach wedge starting at wide end. Place point-side down, 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough half. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or clean tea towel; let rolls rise in a draft free warm place until almost double. Use a pastry brush to apply glaze to the tops of each roll. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown (approx. 15 minutes)

Here's the recipe card:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Count Your Blessings" Thanksgiving Decor

I love making frugal decor. One of my passions is painting scraps of wood - because it is extremely frugal and easy. Of course it is only extremely frugal if you get the wood for free, but I have had to buy wood for a specific project in the past and it was still pretty cheap. Here is what I recently made for Thanksgiving....
There are a couple of houses under construction on my street. I saw a big scrap pile at one of them and asked if they were throwing it out, and if they were, if I take some. I came home with a lot of pieces. I didn't feel like cutting the wood so I worked around what sizes I had. These are 2x6's. I sanded each block on all sides. It is super fast with my husbands power sander. I painted one a golden yellow, one a pear green, and the other I mixed some orange and red together. Then I made stencils with my cuttlebug using three different fonts. I then taped the stencils to the blocks with masking tape and sponge painted the letters with antique white. All paints were acrylic. So easy. I was going to sand each board again lightly and then stain it, but I didn't, and they still look good. When I didn't have the cuttlebug, I would print letters off my computer and cut them out. I would tape the edges back together that I had to cut through, like the letter "o". It is more time consuming but it still works.
Here is a project I did last year when I didn't have a cuttlebug, and I made the stencil by printing out the letters and cutting them by hand. This was also the board I had to buy. I think the whole 1x6 was less than $10. I got Home Depot to cut it twice (which they do for free) to the size I needed. This board cost less than $5, and I have two other pieces to make something with. I love what one can do with a little bit of wood, a little bit of time, and a little bit of paint.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Harvest Gift Basket

I had a basket I wanted to recycle - so why not make a harvest gift basket to give away? I used the same tag I put on the harvest gift bag.

I wanted to put a fabric yo-yo on the basket. These are so easy to make. I found a skirt that I didn't want to wear anymore, but the fabric would make fabulous embellishments - like a fabric yo-yo.
Here is a great tutorial on how to make a fabric yo-yo. 
The tutorial used a 4" circle. I used the bottom of an ice cream bucket for my fabric yo-yo, and I could have gone even bigger for this basket embellishment. I decided to safety pin the fabric yo-yo to some jute that I tied onto the basket so the recipient could use it again. She has a little girl so she could put it in her hair, sew it on a skirt, attach it to a gift. There are so many possibilities.

Harvest Gift Bag

I wanted to make a harvest gift bag to give to a friend. I grew tomatoes and carrots in my garden this year and thought it would be a good idea to share some. I bought a set of fall colored tea towels at the $ store.
I laid some carrots and tomatoes in the middle. I folded the towel, almost like how you would wrap a baby in a receiving blanket. I tied the towel with jute, making sure the carrot tops stuck out the top, and attached a home made tag.
I love this saying that I found. It is one of my favorites to use at Thanksgiving. I needed to find something to put it on this year, and I thought it be perfect for a gift tag.

"It is not joy that makes us grateful -
It is gratitude that makes us joyful."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Bro Scrapbook Page

With this page I was striving to be frugal. I went into my scraps and found these beautiful images that I trimmed around, or just cut out with a circle punch. Talk about cheap accessories to dress up a page. The title for the page depended on what tiles I had left. All three pictures were originally 4x6 pics but I cut them down to fit them all on my 8 1/2 x 11 page.

Stuffed Tex Mex Squash

Someone brought some of their excess harvest to church. Squash is not a typical menu item in my house, but I thought I would take one home and try to make something with it. I had no idea what I was going to make. I receive daily emails from Martha Stewart's cooking ideas website, and received this recipe. It was more time consuming than I thought it would be, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
I will definitely make this again, when I am not in a rush to make dinner.