Printing Tips

Check out my printing tips if you're having problems printing to the right size
If you'd like to support this site and all the free things I post- please check out my Don't Eat the Paste Mandala collection coloring book for 9.99 at Amazon.

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Alice in Wonderland printables

When I posted the Mad Hatter's Mini Hat, it was planned to be part of a set. Here's the rest of the set.
A mini Queen of Hearts crown that needs elastic like the Mini Princess Crowns and tea boxes. The size that fits Tazo tea bags. 
The tea boxes are blank and with quotes. I hope you enjoy them!
Click on the images for the printable 100 ppi versions.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Printable mini Mad Hatter top hat with template

This was a lot more challenging than I initially thought it would be. I wound up having to remake the template because I messed it up the first time not taking into account the thickness of the cardstock.
Score the folds carefully. Cut out all the pieces. The first part you put together is the tube shaped top of the hat. Then glue the top circle into place with the tabs glued on the inside of the tube. Put one of the brim pieces face up over the hat down to the tabs on the bottom of the tube then flip it over and glue down the tabs. Glue the second brim piece over that sandwiching the tabs between the two layers of the brim. Glue the hat band and slip it over the hat, then put the card in the hat band. The plain ones could be decorated with names on the hat bands to make place cards for a tea party, or you could attach elastic cord like the Printable Mini Princess Crowns to wear the hats. If you make several of these, kudos. One was frustrating enough for me! Click on the images for the full sized 100 ppi versions. The finished size is about 3 inches tall and about 5 inches in diameter at the base.

Last picture is one my son thought I should take. The dragon is a little toy my husband won for me at the carnival.
Look for Queen of Hearts mini crowns and tea boxes to match in the next couple of days!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More photos- bears, ducks, wolves

Tired of me talking about my camera yet? Sorry, I just love it so much and haven't had it long at all. I'm enjoying the heck out of getting all sorts of neat pictures. All photos were resized to 50%, I put an arrow in one of them. They are otherwise unretouched. Click on the images to see the 50% version. All of them were using auto-focus but I'm slowly learning how to use the advanced features.
We went to the zoo the day before my b-day. Our zoo has an area that overlooks the wolf habitat.

I was also able to get this one of a bear there.

I'm planning on running the wolf photo through BeadTool and making a pattern of it. 
Earlier this week we went to Potter's Marsh. I took pictures of ducks of course. Next week the geese should be there as well.
This is zoomed out all the way. Just a natural shot. The arrow points to where the ducks are.

Gorgeous landscape isn't it? I love Alaska. It will be greener there next time we go. Spring was late this year.
Zooming in all the way, these are the ducks.

It's so nice having a camera that gets the shots I want without having to tip toe up to the birds I'm trying to photograph!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rose Embroidery Patterns

These can either be used as coloring pages or embroidery patterns.
Click on the images for the full sized versions. Print at 100 ppi.

Rose stationery page?

I actually drew this to use a dry erase board on my front door. One of my birthday presents was a new thermal laminator.
I'm starting a new site just for reviews. For the time being I'll still be posting some reviews in both places and I'm still in the process of getting all my craft reviews up on the other site. It's and there is a review of the laminator there.

I printed it out and ran it through my laminator in a glossy pouch. Then I put magnet tape on the back (my exterior door is metal) and when I find them, I'll use hook and loop tape to attach a dry erase marker to it. I think the sheet would also work well for stationery, and I'll be using the rose/thorn design on a box later today. Any preferences on which box template I put it on? Leave your choice in comments!
This is the laminator I used. It will do up 9 inches across documents and it's as affordable as the little card sized laminator I've been using to make jewelry and bookmarks with for years. This will work for the same sorts of things and do larger things like dry erase boards! Yay! (Thank you again R!)

To everyone who wished me a happy birthday, thank you. It was lovely. I spent the day with my family, my husband grilled chicken, pineapple, zucchini,mushrooms and asparagus. The chicken and pineapple with my homemade teriyaki sauce. It was just amazing. We had so much fun. Oh! And my uncle loved the cakes I made for him this year, they were an absolute hit with him.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sugar Free Chocolate Orange Cake Treats

One of my newer family traditions is to come up with a new recipe every year on my birthday for my Uncle Lamar. He was diagnosed a few years ago with diabetes.  Last year it was Banana Chocolate Bread which he doled out to himself a sliver at a time. 
This year, it's chocolate orange cake filled with a coffee cream cheese icing. If you want to substitute sugar you can. 
I made the cake in my sandwich maker because my oven still isn't fixed. Mike's just started a new job a couple weeks ago and just hasn't had the time. 
Baking cake in a sandwich maker? It's like Easy Bake but for grown-ups. 

For the cake:
Chocolate Orange Cake-
Dust off the sandwich maker you never use. Wipe it out very clean. Make sure the non-stick surface is intact.
Dry ingredients- 
1 cup Splenda or similar measures like sugar sweetener
1 cup flour- I used my usual whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Mix dry ingredients well

Wet ingredients-
1 egg or equivalent egg substitute
1/4 cup melted butter (you could use oil, but I like the richness butter gives sugar free recipes), I used salted so didn't add salt to the dry ingredients
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. orange peel or orange zest. Adjust to taste. I used dried orange peel because it's convenient
1 tsp vanilla (everything is better with vanilla)
Mix wet ingredients well

Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix well. The batter is fluffier with Splenda. it's sort of weird to work with. Just trust it will all work out okay.
Heat up your sandwich maker and put a 1/4 cup of batter in each well. Close it. Because it's non-stick it doesn't need to be buttered or greased.
Check after 3 minutes with a toothpick, if the tooth pick comes out clean, it's done. Otherwise check about every minute. It doesn't take long at all to bake cake in a sandwich maker.
Keep making cakes until you've used all the batter.

1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 cup Splenda
1/3 cup of coffee

The Splenda might foam a bit. Mine did. This stuff is so weird to work with. 
Beat well until it's fairly smooth and fluffy. 

Cut each triangle cake in half, spoon in some frosting to make a sandwich. Wrap in plastic wrap individually and chill.

My daughter and husband both tried it and declared it a success, and in fact didn't hesitate to lick the frosting beaters.
I'll let you know what my Uncle Lamar thinks of them!

Cake box for all of you!

Tomorrow is my birthday and since I can't share my amazing, wonderful cake from The Flying Dutchman with everyone, I made you a slice of paper cake.
This is made so 8 slices will make an octagon shape for favors. Click on the image for the full size 100 ppi version. I'm including the blank template for you all as well.

If you're ever in Anchorage, check out the Flying Dutchman. For the last 27 years it's where my birthday cakes have come from, and I think my dad looks forward to my birthday as much as I do for those cakes. They started carrying cupcakes as well as their usual line of delicate pastries, tarts and cookies. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Current reviews

Red Pyramid- first of the new series by Rick Riordan who wrote the Percy Jackson books.
Flip Mino HD Camcorder- which The Turnip took some videos with at Potter's Marsh! If you're interested in very short HD videos of this very favorite of places for my family they are here.
Fujifilm HS10, which I'm full of love for. It's the camera I've been using for all my close up shots of crafty things but it has 30x zoom so I'm also using it for pictures of birds
Seed Bead Fusion- one of the best bead books I've ever seen for advanced beaders
Whoopie Pies- a cookbook full of Whoopie Pie goodness
50 Heirloom Buttons to Make- Very recommended for people into Victorian era costuming
Fast, Fresh & Green- a vegetable cookbook
As usual, if the reviews are helpful, please hit yes on "Was this review helpful?".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts and buttons

I reviewed 50 Heirloom Buttons to Make: A gallery of decorative fabric, needle-lace, crochet, and ribbon and braid closures you can create, my review was probably the last one posted if you want to take a look. I really liked it but it took a long time for me to get all the way through it because I read it in fits and starts. This is one I really recommend the Kindle version. The images are probably much better in the paper version, but it's out of print and costs 75 dollars, the Kindle version is only 9.99.

The book inspires me to crochet frog closures for shawls and such, so I'm working on a frog now to use in another project and see how I like it.

My favorite uncle can't have sugar, and so every year for my b-day I come up with a recipe for him. This year I'm going to make him sugar free whoopie pies. I'm planning on a chocolate coffee cake with an orange filling. While I was thinking of ways to do the filling, I realized for kiddie pies, you could use unsweetened drink mix for flavor and color. Need to try it at some point and see how it turns out.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book review - Whoopie Pies!

Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell is just a wonderful collection of recipes of the cake and filling combinations.  The photos are fantastic and the art is just darling, which make it a very nice gift for friends who bake. Whoopie pies are becoming increasingly trendy. If you've never had one, the basic whoopie pie is a sandwich made of soft moist cake like cookies and a marshmallow fluff filling.
In the introduction they talk about some of the history of the whoopie pie and offer a few pages of combination suggestions like a Death By Chocolate which has chocolate cakes, filling, glaze and is decorated with more chocolate or more exotically, Whoopie Satay which combines peanut butter and chocolate flavors with a bit of curry.
It's also a great book for your own collection. There are several cake recipes, starting with the traditional chocolate and then going into many others including some vegan and gluten free cakes and non-traditional flavors such as pistachio-cardamom which bring these sweet treats up from being a guilty pleasure to something you could serve at dinner parties.
The fillings start with the traditional marshmallow fluff then the sky is the limit. There are buttercreams, cream cheese, ganache in many flavors and styles, there is a maple-bacon filling even for people who love sweet/salty combinations.
Definitely a book I'll use often. I think my family will be perfectly happy with stacks of whoopie pies instead of cakes for their birthdays. Since there is so much mix and match possible in here, I can tailor them to individual tastes simply by changing the filling, seasoning a filling or adding favorite fruits. So Dad can have his basic chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, my daughter can have something with a bit of spice and my son can have lots of fresh fruit.
You can get this book directly from the publisher, Chronicle Books or from by clicking here from Amazon, Whoopie Pies (Cookery).The Amazon link is an affiliate link and helps pay some of the costs of maintaining this site.

A quick tip, since my oven still isn't fixed (but he promises it will be soon), you can make the cakes using a sandwich maker. They turn out a bit bigger than the usual size, and triangles instead of round, but using a sandwich maker means if you have the cake batter covered in your fridge you make them to order, just a couple at a time. Since I didn't have the ingredients for the fillings on hand, I just filled these with ice cream and they were a hit.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crochet Starflake Tawashi with patterns

I wasn't really sure what else to call these. They aren't really stars and they aren't snowflakes. So I'm going with starflakes.
Wikipedia page about tawashi.
I love my acrylic tawashi, they work very well for cleaning my coffee cups and coffee pot without using any dish detergent. I use cheap acrylic yarn from thrift stores. These two were made with some Wintuk yarn that's fairly rough.
I've had people say the first in the round pattern they crocheted was my Quick and Easy Washcloth, which makes a lovely gift with soap but is a little too open for using as a tawashi. So I designed these two with dishes in mind. Instead of using slip stitches to join the chain 3s to the starting dcs, I used ch 1, dc in 3rd stitch of the ch 3 because that way instead of having to slip stitch back through the dcs, you are starting right at the top of a loop.

Using worsted weight acrylic yarn and a size F hook

Ch 1 or magic ring
Round 1: ch 1(does not count as first sc), 6 sc in ring or first ch, if ring, tighten. Sl st to join
Round 2: ch 1(does not count as first sc), 2 sc in each stitch around, sl st to join (12 sts)
Round 3: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in same stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, *ch 3, 2 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next st,* repeat ** around, ch 1, dc in top chain of first ch 3. (6 ch 3 spaces)
Round 4: ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in same loop, *3 dc in next loop, ch 3, 3 dc in same loop* repeat ** around until you get back to the first space. 3 dc in first space, ch 1, 1 dc in top ch of first ch 3 (6 ch 3 loops and 6 spaces)
Round 5: Ch 3 (counts as first dc) 2 dc in same space, ch 1, sc in next space, ch 1, *3 dc in next ch 3 loop, ch 3, 3 dc in same loop, ch 1, sc in next space, ch 1*, repeat ** around, in first space, 3 dc, ch 3, sl st in top ch of first ch 3
Round 6: ch 1 (does not count as first sc), sc in same stitch, sc in next 3 sts, skip st, sc in next 4 sts, sc in ch 3 loop, *ch 3, sc in same loop, sc in next 4 sts, skip st, sc in next 4 stitches, sc in loop*, repeat ** around, when you're in the last ch 3 loop, ch 3, sl st to join. Break off and weave in ends.

Ch 1 or magic ring
Round 1: ch 1(does not count as first sc), 6 sc in ring or first ch, if ring, tighten. Sl st to join
Round 2: ch 1(does not count as first sc), 2 sc in each stitch around, sl st to join (12 sts)
Round 3: ch 3 (counts as first hdc and ch 1), *hdc in next st, ch 1*, repeat ** around, sl st in second ch of ch 3 to join (12 ch 1 spaces)
Round 4: ch 1 (does not count as first sc), *2 sc in space, 3 sc in next sp*, repeat ** around, sl st to join. (30 stitches)
Round 5: ch 1 (does not count as first sc), sc in same st, sc in next 2 sts, *ch 3, skip 2 sts, sc in next 3 sts*, repeat ** around, ch 1, dc in first st to join. (6 ch 3 loops)
Round 6: Ch 4 (counts as first dc and ch 1), dc in same loop, ch 1, skip st, sc in next st (middle of the 3 sc on the previous round), *ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1 in ch 3 loop, skip st, sc in next st*, repeat ** around, ch 1, dc in first loop, ch 1, dc in same loop, ch 1, sl st in 3rd ch on first ch 4 to join.
Round 7:ch 1 (does not count as first sc), sc in same st, sc in next 4 sts, skip st, *sc in next 4 sts, sc in loop, ch 3, sc in same loop, sc in next 4 sts*,  repeat ** around, sc in next 4 sts, sc in loop, ch 3, sc in loop, sl st to join, break off, weave in ends.

Because they are hexagons, they should work for patchwork crochet as well.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Faux Wood Ankh Box

Well, I finished Rick Riordan's Red Pyramid. You can read my review here if you're interested. I decided to do at least 2 more Egyptian inspired boxes. This is the first one using one of my favorite templates. It's the slanted sides box that I've used in the past for stained glass effects.
This time I was trying for a faux wood effect inlaid with lapis lazuli and malachite.
I hope you enjoy it. Click on the images for the full sized 100 ppi files to print and assemble. This box really does need to be pre-folded before gluing or taping it together, but it makes a fairly generous sized box that's just really one of my favorites.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pyramid Box

Rick Riordan's The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) came out Tuesday. We all loved his Percy Jackson books, even my husband who picked one up that got left lying around and started reading it and then wound up finishing the series with us. I've just started reading Red Pyramid, after I finish,  the Turnip and Mike will read it.
The book inspired me to make this pyramid box, which is not red, but I do like how it turned out. It opens at the bottom, and needs to be scored carefully to fit together correctly. I did make the tab on the pyramid side big enough to use double stick tape with for quick assembly. It stands about 2.5 inches high and is 3 inches at it's base. I plan to do more with this template. The photo is a little darker than usual because using the flash washed out the colors very badly.
Click on the image for the 100 ppi file to print.

If you'd like the blank template, I posted it for sale in my Etsy shop. The template is 300 ppi, but if you want the web ready 100 ppi template as well, just let me know in notes to the seller. 

Busy Busy

Yesterday I did some stuff around the house, posted some new beadwork to Beadwork at BellaOnline and caught up on some reading. Plus working out some electronic stuph.

Currently I have a couple things in various contests if you'd like to take a look.
Slogan at, sign into Threadless to vote.

Cocktail fabric voting at Spoonflower, I'm very sure I won't win. There are some amazing designs in this contest. Go take a look and vote for your favorites! I think I wound up voting for 14. One of my favorite contests yet and I don't drink very often.

When I do drink, it's mostly locally produced micro-brews and just one, but we are going to try and go on a tour of the local mead brewery next weekend for my birthday. This weekend we are going to the local Saturday Market. Yay! The company my kids love best won't be there until next month, but it will still be grand.
I'm turning 39 on the 16th, the current plans are for my husband to grill chicken with my homemade teriyaki sauce, zucchini and mushrooms with his garlic butter/olive oil combination which isn't even vaguely healthy but tastes just incredible and to get a cake from the bakery I've been getting my cakes from since I was 12. My dad looks forward to my b-day just for those cakes. We are also talking about going out hiking. Look forward to lots of photos if it's warm enough.

I'm actually going to make 2 batches of teriyaki sauce. One will be my normal recipe, the other will be a sugar free variation for my uncle. I'll let you know how the sugar free one works out. I know he's very eager. He thinks Mike's grilled zucchini is one of the best things in the world as well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Snail For You (coloring page)

I hope you like this coloring page. 
Click on the image below for the full size 100 ppi version.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Free comic book day and other stuff

I told K that we are all plague-y because we had plans to meet tonight until I got sick too.
I do plan to go out though. It's the first Saturday in May which means Free Comic Book Day! Yay!!!
If it works like last year did at our local comic book shop, everyone gets 3 comics each but you *can* go to both Bosco's and wind up with 6 comics each. Which we do. Which really shows the world just how comic geeky my family is. The Free Comic Book Day website has a participating store locator that works with zip codes.
Last night I worked on a small electronic project. I'm working out a simple method using copper wires to make tiny led lamps to fit in decorated jars that can be turned on and off through a simple mechanism. This is complicated by the fact I know nothing about electronics. But leds and 3v batteries are simple enough. I don't need to mess with resistors.
Nearly done with The Turnips scarf. Made a necklace for William I'll get a picture of soonish.

Some of my most recent reviews on Amazon:
Fairy Parties by Colleen Mullaney
Curious Folks Ask: 162 Real Answers on Amazing Inventions, Fascinating Products, and Medical Mysteries by Sherry Seethaler
Totally Twisted: Innovative Wirework & Art Glass Jewelry by Kerry Bogert

If you find them helpful, please do vote so. I finally made it into the top 1000 reviews on Amazon. It's been a mini goal of mine for a while.