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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review- A Feast of Ice and Fire

If you love to cook, and you're a fan of the George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, than you probably already know about the blog Inn at the Crossroads. If you've only watched the HBO series,  Game of Thrones, then you've missed the wonderful descriptions of food in the series. A big part of Martin's world building is trying to make you experience things on a visceral level, which includes rich, detailed descriptions of meals that you can almost smell and taste.

The authors decided to try and cook their way through the books, and more than that, to do it as authentically as possible using modern ingredients and techniques. They also wanted to update the recipes for modern palettes as well and provide information about both versions. So that required carefully reading the series, then doing the research in old cookbooks, some of which were in other languages. As someone who has researched medieval recipes, I really admire their commitment and dedication. A lot of those recipes aren't exact, and a lot of the words for ingredients aren't commonly used anymore which requires even more research. They succeeded brilliantly.

I got my copy about two weeks ago, and have made a few recipes from it. They all turned out very well, the instructions and ingredients are accurate. A lot of the recipes use exotic ingredients that you may not want to try or that may be hard for you to acquire, the authors have included some recommended substitutions.

While the recipes are heavy on the meat, there are a lot of great side dishes as well including a buttery, cheesy turnip dish that is absolutely a favorite in my household, either the layered, baked version that's more authentic to the period or the mashed, creamy modern version.

The Sister's Stew is my favorite of the recipes I've tried out so far. Living in Alaska, most of the ingredients can be locally sourced and it's rich and delicious with bread on the side. It's one that I plan to make at least once a month come winter, just as a special treat.

My daughter was also very enthused about it, she hasn't read the books and dislikes the tv show, but has enjoyed the blog quite a bit. She sat down and read it like a novel, the recipe introductions read easily and conversationally. Then she grabbed a saucepan and made herself the iced honey milk which she declared is one of her favorite drinks.

There are recipes for fruit dishes, desserts, vegetable side dishes and breads.Main courses are made using all sorts of ingredients like different kinds of poultry, beef, bacon, rabbit, fish and even rattlesnake.

Gorgeous photos, well researched and delicious, impressive rustic food. I recommend this not just to fans of The Song of Ice and Fire, or of the show Game of Thrones, but to anyone who is interested in food history, cooking or medieval reenactment.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, my reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.

Flower Pins

Last year at our Pride Festival, TG got this flowered lei, this year, for more rainbowed goodness for Pride Week, she decided to make the flowers go further as scatter pins.

We discussed the best way to go about it, since the flowers have unfinished edges, we had to decide if we liked them like that or wanted to seal them. She said she liked the frayed edges. We did experiment with some sealing options. Heating the edges carefully with a lighter worked, so did glue which looked good with glitter added. I do recommend if you're going to use glue and glitter to use a fine applicator and a crystal glitter. Colored glitters can be a bit too much. Nail polish will also work or of course Fray Check.

To make these pins, all you need is fake flower lei like the one shown above, thread, needle, scissors, buttons and pin backs. The pin backs we used were from a thrift store, and safety pins would work too. The buttons were from my button stash. So the only thing we bought new was the thread.

I made one, and was pretty careful about my stitching. I stacked the flowers and tied a knot in the thread and pulled put it through the top of the flowers, around the pin back, back up through the flowers, then added the button. Sewed it carefully in place then hid the knot between the button and flowers. TG decided that the thread ends wouldn't matter very much since it was for her jacket and knotted on the back of the flower.

There are still a lot of flowers left. I'm planning to use smaller buttons and sew them to some hair pins (the U shaped ones) for myself and TG is thinking of other things she can use them on. So far, we've talked about purses and miniature fairy dolls. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gestalt prayer and new beadwork

Gestalt Prayer
Gestalt therapy is complicated and controversial, but this "prayer", and gestalt principles had a lot of resonance with hippies, so it was one that I did grow up with hanging in my home.
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.
(Fritz Perls, 1969)
The problem with it for a lot of people is that on the surface, it seems very selfish, but that's not how my mom took it, and not how it was meant. The basic idea is that people need to be self-aware, to view themselves as a whole person and to fulfill their needs in order to be completely functional and to really appreciate other people's needs. It's about making improvements in who we are by not living up to other people's expectations of who we are, and instead really looking in ourselves to see what we want to be and working on that.
(more about Gestalt therapy here)

Anyway, like I said, there was a very popular poster in the 70s that was in a lot of hippies homes, including mine. I decided for my version, that I'd use a photo of seagulls that I took recently.
Click on the image for the larger printable version.
Gestalt Prayer-printable version

You can share the top version to share on Facebook at Don't Eat the Paste Quotes.

Also! I posted instructions for filigree earrings!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Heart Swirl Mandala

Still playing with CorelDrawX6! Ultimately, what I want to do is make laser cut pendants based on my mandalas using Ponoko, and possibly some hair forks as well. Right now it's just getting used to the program.

I hope you enjoy this mandala using the heart posted the other day. Click on the images for larger versions.
Small JPG version:
Large PNG version:

This morning we went to Value Village for their 50% off sale. TG was thrilled to find a nice big piece of black vinyl, and I picked up a lot of cross stitch fabric. We also found two short sleeved shirts in my husband's size since his current job allows more casual dress. I'm eager to see what TG makes with the vinyl. 
In the near future if you read and get updates from feed or email subscription, you'll see a sponsored post giveaway, which I'm mentioning because there are actually two photos of me in that post! Since generally I'm extremely camera shy, my husband was thrilled that I let him take my picture. I hope you all really enjoyed the weekend!

#EclosAntiAgingKit - Product review and give away!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of éclos Skin Care for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Eclos Anti-aging starter kit

éclos Skin Care offered me the chance to try their anti-aging skin care system with the starter kit pictured above. It uses plant stem cells to rejuvenate skin. They had such absolute confidence in the product that they wanted before and after photos. That confidence is impressive and intriguing.

The éclos Skin Care system  is a skin prep cleanser to use twice a day, a facial scrub to use every other day, a clay mask for use twice a week, a serum, skin cream and eye cream. The starter set also comes with a white terry stretchy headband (not pictured) and a 3.00 off coupon for a full sized product.

It all smells wonderful. My photo shows it on my towel, just taken out of my gym bag. The scent alone inspired some of the women I work out to ask me about it. 

The skin prep cleanser is low-sudsing, and it's the start of the whole system, getting your skin clean for the rest of the products. The facial scrub has little beads in it that dissolve as your scrubbing, it's very soft and gentle. Nothing like the harsh scrubs that you may have used as a teen. The mask tightens and tones, while drawing out impurities.

Then to the serious part of the program, the serum goes on first, followed by the skin cream, then the eye cream. The creams feel and smell amazing. The serum goes on easily.

I followed the regime very carefully following their instructions for a week. I noticed after the first 2 days that my skin felt very soft and smooth. After a week, I noticed something remarkable. Both of the photos below are without any makeup.

before picture

Above is the before picture. Me, without make up on a windy day. But the line on my forehead isn't from the wind or the sun, it's a concentration line. My mother had one too, and it's the reason I have bangs. When I was younger, I used a piece a tape on my forehead to remind me not to scrunch up my face when concentrating, since I haven't done that in a couple decades, the line took.

after picture

In just a week, that line has nearly disappeared. I'm a believer now. The small lines around my eyes are less noticeable, but it's how much it's smoothed the line on my forehead that really just thrills me.


The kit is valued at 19.99 and it contains:

  • Facial Cleanser Skin Prep
  • Cellular Activator Face Serum
  • Moisture Therapy Regnerative Cream
  • Restorative Eye Cream
  • Instant Radiance Facial Scrub
  • Skin Renewal Clay Mask
  • éclos Terry Cloth Headband

If you'd like to try the products, they sent a starter set just like the one I used for me to send to one lucky reader. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter and you MUST leave a comment saying which product you are most excited about trying out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit Sponsor's Site

Book Review: Zodiac Felties:16 Compelling Astrological Characters to Craft

Usually I don't post videos, but this one was too cute.

I loved Zombie Felties and Steampunk Softies by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate, and I'm looking forward to Beaded Bugs by Nicola Tedman and Jean Powers. So I fully expected to love Zodiac Felties.

The tiny finished dolls could be sewn to pin backs, glued to magnets or have a small loop sewn on the back to add to key rings. They could also be used in a mobile.

It's the attention to detail that make these charming and inspiring.The dolls are hand stitched, with beads, charms and embroidery to add character. In this book, the representations are artistic, however since the shapes are simple you can modify the accessories to match personality with astrological symbol.

If you're a beginner at hand sewing, miniature sewing or embroidery, the beginning of the book shows good diagrams of all the stitches you'll need to know and talks about the tools necessary. The templates for the dolls are provided full size to scan and print or copy if you access to a copy machine. Because the shapes are overlapped, you'll need to make a couple copies of some of the pages. Otherwise you could trace them using tracing paper then use the tracing paper patterns to make sturdier templates using cardboard, which is the method I used. I keep the templates in envelopes marked with which pattern it is, and the page number.

I'm absolutely charmed by the planetary figures which aren't part of the astrological symbols as well. The sun is yellow and bright looking with tear drop pearl finish accents and pearly eyes. The moon has her eyes closed and hair accented by sparkling clouds.

At the end of the book is a background you can scan and copy to make cards to gift the finished felties. It's the same sort of pretty art that the rest of the book is photographed in.

I recommend this to crafters 12 and up because of the diminutive size of the felties and the tiny detail work.
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
You can get this book from Amazon using the affiliate links below.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, my reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Swirl Hearts to Color

Today I was playing with CorelDrawX6, and made this simple heart to color. There will be a mandala with the same heart later. Click on the images for larger versions.

Small JPG version:

Large transparent PNG version:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Recycled thread wrapped donut pendants

Recycled Thread Wrapped Donut Pendant

We don't have a Target locally anymore, and my medicine doesn't come with these nifty personal identification rings. A friend of mine who knows how much I love to craft with reclaimed things sent me a bag of them. 

They seem to be made of silicone, so the rings have some give. The base ring for the pendant above is blue. It's thread wrapped and color blocked, two popular trends. 

You will need:
A medicine personal identification ring
Embroidery floss in the colors you want
tapestry needle with an eye big enough for 6 strands of floss

Cut a strand of floss that's at least 2 feet long, and tie it loosely around the ring.

Start wrapped the floss around the ring. You want to lay the wraps right against each other so they cover the ring completely. When you've finished the area you want to wrap, thread the needle with the floss, and then slide the needle between the floss wraps and the ring. Pull the floss under to lock it into place. Trim thread close, then tie the next color loosely on.
For the smaller wrap areas, rather than trying to neatly end off a small area, I added floss into one of the longer sections, holding a 2 foot length of floss and wrapping over it, then letting the end dangle until I finished the main color blocking.
After the ring was covered, I put the needle on the strand of floss and wrapped over a small section, then passed the needle between the floss and ring to come out in the next area I wanted a small wrap section.

It looks neater if you always go backwards through the section just wrapped, so that floss went back and forth a few times. The silicone has enough give that it worked well and didn't show very much.

Add a cord. The one I used has a simple overhand knot over the donut and sliding knots for adjustable length.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

10 radish recipes I want to try

Radishes are really wonderful. They grow easily and quickly which make them a great starter vegetable for kids to grow. Since a lot of types are ready in 3 weeks planting every 2 weeks ensures a regular supply over the summer. The whole plant is edible. Radish greens can be cooked like most greens or put into salads or pickled. I'm planting organic cherry belle radishes, while they do well in poor soil, I also worked organic plant food into the soil before planting.
My daughter loves that they are coming up so quickly compared to carrots. I'm collecting radish recipes for the bounty that's growing now.

So here's my list of 10 radish recipes I'm really looking forward to trying:
The Root:

Out to Lunch with @MadameHuang has Sichuan's gorgeous radish pickles, the recipe is written for icicle radishes but will work with Western radishes as well. Spicy-sweet, these would be wonderful with summer salads.

Just Bento has Sweet/sour/salty "instant" pickles flavored with ume vinegar and strawberries. My daughter loves sour flavors, and this will probably be her favorite recipe. There are also furikake recipes available on this site.'s Quick Radish Pickles are super simple with a ginger sweet flavor that's perfect for summer. It's also a very small recipe, using only 7 radishes.

Bon Appetit has Shaved-Radish Sandwiches which pair thin slices of radish with an herbed butter for a crunchy  sandwich perfect for tea.

Sarah's Cucina Bella has a Grilled Radish Packet recipe which promise to tame the peppery flavor. She's a recovering radish hater, so this may be the recipe to convert people who don't know how wonderful radishes are.

PopArtichoke's Ravishing Radishes Part 1 is a recipe for Sautéed Radishes with Thyme-Garlic Bread

Rak's Kitchen offers this Mooli Paratha recipe for an Indian flatbread cooked with radishes. This is a bit more work than the above recipes, but it's the one I'm most looking forward to making.

Radish greens are a natural for furikake, my recipe is in the organic plant food link above. I'd also like to try

PopArtichoke's Ravishing Radishes Part 2: Radish Leaf Furikake, very spicy and simple to make. I think my son will love this.

Kalyn's Kitchen's Spicy Stir-fry Radish Greens look like a great quick, vegan lunch option.

Vegan Visitor has a Radish greens soup perfect for rainy summer days.

I'll be making printable radish recipe cards using the art above soon. The link for the seeds is an Amazon. affiliate link. I *always* recommend natural fertilizers and organic seeds. Organic fertilizers jump starts your seeds, then compost for feeding the rest of the growing season.

Today it's finally raining, so we don't have to water our plants.

Star Gift Book 150- Potholders Pattern

This is a repost from my old blog. I have a small collection of vintage Star and Clark's books found at a thrift store, and transcribed some of the patterns.

I colorized the picture so you could get an idea how they look colorized. The reversed colors for the matched set, I didn't do. But I'm sure you'll be able to imagine. And shudder. Be afraid. Be very very afraid.

Pot Holders
Materials Required:
1 skein each White and Red will make 2 Clown Potholders reversing colors
1 skein each Cerise and Lt. Yellow will make 2 Girl Potholders reversing colors
1 Bone Ring for each Potholder for hanging
2 Bone Rings for Earrings
Scrap of Black Felt for Clown
Scrap of Red Felt for Girl
Aluminum crochet hook size F

FACE:With White chain (ch) 4, 11 double crochet (dc) in 1st stitch (st) of ch, join in 4th st of ch.
2nd ROUND: Ch 3, counts as 1st dc, 1 dc in same space, 2 dc in each remaining dc, join in 3rd st of ch.
3rd ROUND: Ch 3, dc in same space, * 1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, repeat from * all around ending with 1 dc in last dc, join in 3rd st of ch.
4th and 5th ROUNDS: Repeat 3rd round
6th ROUND: Ch 3, 1 dc in each dc, join in 3rd st of ch.
EARS: Ch 3, *yarn over hook, insert in next dc, pull through, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, repeat from * twice, yarn over and pull through all loops on needle, 1 dc in each of the next 3 dc, * yarn over, insert in next dc, pull through, yarn over and pull through 2 loops, repeat from * twice, yarn over and pull through all loops on needle, ch 3, sc in same space with last st, ch 3, turn. 1 sc in each st ending with a slip stitch (sl st) cut yarn. With right side facing, skip 36 dc, attach yarn in same space, and complete Ear in same manner. Work a 2nd section to correspond and crochet both sections together with sc.
EYES AND EYEBROWS: Cut strips of Black Felt as illustrated for Eyes and Eyebrows and applique in place.
NOSE: With Red work 1st round same as Face, cut yarn leaving an end. Thread yarn into needle and applique Nose in place.
MOUTH: Ch 35, join, cut yarn and applique in place as illustrated.
HAIR: With wrong side of Face toward you, join Red in next sc after Right Ear, work 3 loops in same space and in each of next 4 sc (loop st: wind yarn around index finger to form a 1 1/4 inch loop, insert hook in st, and complete sc) ch 1, turn.
2nd ROW: Work 1 sc in each loop st, ch 1, turn.
3rd ROW: Work 1 loop st in each sc, cut yarn.
Join Red in 5th st from Left Ear and complete Hair section to correspond.
NECK RUFF: With Red and right side facing, skip 10 sts after Right Ear, and join in next st, * work 1 sc in each of next 18 sc, ch 1, turn, work 1 sc in each sc, ch 1, turn, work 3 loop sts in each sc, ch 1, turn.
NEXT ROW:: Work 1 loop in each loop st, cut yarn. 
With White cover a bone ring with sc and attach to wrong side of Potholder. Reverse colors for 2nd Potholder

Work 2 crocheted sections same as Clown.
HAIR: With wrong side facing join reversed color in 6th st from Right Ear and work 3-1 1/2 in loop sts in each of the 16 center sts, cut yarn.
EYES: Wind yarn 15 times over a 1 inch cardboard, sew strands in position one after the other, slip strands from cardboard and sew loops in place shaping as illustrated.
MOUTH AND NOSE: Cut sections from Red felt as illustrated and applique in place.
EARRINGS: Cover bone rings with sc, join, ch 20, cut yarn. Draw sc in center of bone ring. Form ch into bow and sew in place. Finish with bone ring same as Clown. Reverse colors for 2nd Potholder.

Book Review- PlyDesign

PlyDesign: 73 Distinctive DIY Projects in Plywood (and Other Sheet Goods) is a collection of projects by different designers the use plywood sheets and other sheet goods for construction. For the DIY enthusiast who enjoys wood working, there are a lot of good reasons to get this book. The projects are good mix of perfect beginner's projects and more advanced projects. For the woodworker who is comfortable and experienced, there are a lot of projects that can be put together reasonably quickly.

If you're considering getting into woodworking and have access to power tools and someone who is willing to show you how to use them, this book has wonderful, contemporary designs for very functional furniture items made out of very affordable plywood. A lot of the designs only take one sheet of plywood. The instructions are clearly written with easy to understand plans for cutting.

It starts with an introduction to plywood, the different types, and where the best places to buy it are. It also includes tips on hauling and storing the sheets which are generally 4x8 feet and tips for making clean cuts.

Then you get into the projects.  My favorite kinds of projects are good knock down items. Things that can be dissembled easily and reassembled. There is a set of slot and tab end tables that use careful, clever cutting to make 2 out of one sheet of plywood to make a table that's over 3 feet across and stands about 30 inches high. The size, cost and ease of knockdown and putting them up make them perfect tables for all sorts of things.

Stacked candleholders are an example of a project that can be made using hand tools. They are attractive and can be made in different sizes using scraps of plywood. It's a great project for children who are just learning to saw and use a brace.

For a bigger challenge, the Bamboo Ply Wall Unit uses the most sheets and pricier bamboo plywood, but the end result is a gorgeous item of furniture that's very functional.

This collection of projects has a lot of very handy designs, especially for parents who prefer the look of wood to the plastic that so much children's furniture is made in. There are tables, chairs, shelves and a very stylish lamp for more adult decorating projects.

Published by Storey Publishing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, my reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Printable Love Quote- Mother Theresa

"Do ordinary things with extraordinary Love" -Mother Teresa
The version shown above has my URL on it, and it's available to share on FB at the Don't Eat the Paste Quotes page.

Here's a version to click, print and frame- larger without the URL. I hope you like it!

Bright Pastel Tile Boxes

An upcoming limited palette contest on Spoonflower inspired this layout. That contest only allows 3 colors, but I really like how this looks in 6. These are in PNG format (not transparent) to keep the colors very clear.
I hope you enjoy these boxes!
Click on the images for larger versions, print, cut, score, fold, glue.

I also posted some new bird pictures to my Staree account. Check them out here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Review- Criminal Crafts

Criminal Crafts : Outlaw Projects for Scoundrels, Cheats and Armchair Detectives by Miss Demeanor AKA Shawn Gascoyne Bowman is one of the most amusing themed craft books I've ever seen. The theme is criminally inspired crafting, and it covers a broad range of crafts. The crafts are clever and most of them are very inexpensive to make as gifts or for your own enjoyment.
Each project starts with a brief introduction explaining the inspiration for the project. Some are inspired by real criminals, others are more generally inspired.

The projects are all written so craft novices can follow the instructions.

The chapters are separated by type according to how it's used. The projects themselves use a variety of techniques including but not limited to paper craft, hand sewing, stamp carving and duct tape.

Chapter 1- Criminal Intent has things with practical use, like the John Dillinger inspired gun shaped soap or the wonderful Ransom Note Kit that can be made with minimal cost and would be a great gift for slightly twisted paper crafters.

Chapter 2- Accessories to the Fact is accessorizing at it's sneaky, criminal inspired best. I really love the Case the Joint Craft Caddy made from a used violin case and the Crime Scene Tape Messenger Bag. The simple sewn orange and striped fleece poncho named for the craft world's most famous criminal had me laughing out loud.

Chapter 3- Recipes for Disaster is cooking and cocktails with a crafty, witty flair. My favorite is the Crime Scene Gingerbread Men all dead in creatively morbid ways. There is also the obligatory cake with a file in it!

Chapter 4- Home is Where The Heart is... and the Left Leg and the Spleen is home decor items. I love the noir silhouette Concrete Slippers Window Shade. My daughter loves the Barefoot Bandit Grass-Head Cellmate that's made from a discarded sock.

A really fun book with full of great gangster inspired crafts. This is a great book for my teenage daughter and I to work on things together and one I really recommend for sharing craft nights with friends and loved ones. Since most of the crafts can be completed in an evening, they would make a great themed party. Get your favorite gangster film, your glue gun and glue bandolier (instructions in the accessories chapter) and have fun.

Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, my reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.

Stars and Stripes Gift Box

I hope you enjoy this printable box. Click on the image for a larger version, it will print at 3x3x1 inch.
Print, cut, score, fold, glue.

Michael's working again, but it's a graveyard shift, because I sleep better with him and can work on my webpages any time of day, we've been keeping the same schedule. He did recently interview for a job that he really wants, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sens Cathedral Rose Window to color

This rose window, which is located at Sens Cathedral in Yonne, France is a wonderful example of Flamboyant tracery. The tracery is made up of curved lines which create a stronger lattice for holding the glass. The curved lines are flame like shapes rather than the straight lines and circles of older rose windows. I envy the fact my husband has seen a lot of these windows in real life.

It took hours to be satisfied with the basic layout for just the window, so I didn't include the marvelous framing designs on the top and bottom. I may modify the image later with those. Hopefully you enjoy coloring this one in! Click on the images for larger versions to color. Like with all my rose window designs, you have my permission to use them for crafty purposes as well as just coloring. Click on the rose window tag at the bottom to download more classic rose windows to color.

Small JPG version:

Large transparent PNG version:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Enthused about Staree for social networks

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of IZEA for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've been very happy working with SocialSpark as a way to make extra money, they are an ethical company and I'm only promoting brands and products that I personally like and think fit my readership.

So when I got the email about Staree, which is another Izea company, I was prepared to be enthused. 

With Staree, you apply to be part of the program, connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Then it works a lot like a photo blog. You can upload your photo or video content, add a caption and an optional © symbol, then click to share to FB and Twitter.  The more people click on your links, the more money you make. If you take really wonderful photographs, Staree team members may make special offers from advertisers for photos with product placements. For videos, you can choose the place in the video that will be the thumbnail image.

If you're an internet star with a lot of readers on your social networks, this is a great way to make extra money! I know a lot of my readers are very active on Twitter and Facebook but don't blog or have websites. This is way for you to make money doing something you love.

This is what a share looks like on Facebook.

screenshot- Staree share

When you click on the link, you get this page--> My Staree post.

Celebrities use Staree too.


It's new, it's exciting and it looks ideal for making a little extra money while sharing photos and videos with your friends, family and readers.  If you sign up, they will fast pass your application and give you the opportunity to give fast pass links to your friends. Check out Staree for yourself.



Visit Sponsor's Site

Book Review- The Muffin Tin Cookbook

The Muffin Tin Cookbook : 200 Fast, Delicious Mini-Pies, Pasta Cups, Gourmet Packets, Veggie Cakes and More by Brette Sember with Melinda Boyd

Muffin tins are great for portion control, cute meals and wonderful appetizers. This cookbook shows the variety of things that can be cooked in them.

It's even better than the cover suggests. The recipes are laid out like old fashioned cookbooks. There isn't a lot of room for gorgeous presentation color photos because the emphasis is on the recipes and there are a lot of them. The instructions are clear and easy to understand. You could cook a different recipe from this book for every meal you have in a week without repeating a recipe.

My daughter of course loves the desserts recipes. She's always been an "ice cream" first kind of lady if she can get away it. My son's preference is for the savory recipes. There are a lot of great savory type recipes in here. Appetizers, various types of main courses and vegetable dishes is how the chapters are separated, but there is some overlap, a lot of the main course recipes would be wonderful filling alternatives to standard appetizer fare, and the vegetables could actually be the main course of a good lunch.

Only a few recipes use convenient ingredients, like the ravioli lasagna which uses store bought frozen raviolis. Most of the  flavor comes from great combinations of ingredients. The prep work for most of these recipes is minimal too which make them a great option for busy households.

Some of the recipes do call for muffin liners which add a nice bit of cuteness. A lot of them don't which creates a nice, and more formal effect for things like appetizers.

My favorite recipes are the crab dip appetizer which is wonderfully rich and savory served hot with toast points or baked pita triangles, the stuffed cubed steak recipe because it's so easy and fast and the mushroom tarts.

My daughter likes the Gram's Chocolate Cupcakes best of course. It's based on a recipe that I used to use to make chocolate cake before she was born, but made cuter as cupcakes. She also likes the ginger-pumpkin pie.

These are great recipes to pack for lunches and to make for easy dinners. An impressive variety of  recipes that will fit the tastes of people who prefer basic homestyle cooking and for the people who prefer things a bit fancier and richer.

 Published by Adams Media
You can get this book below from Amazon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, my reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nearly Instant Cheesecake Pudding Recipe

We planned on a nearly instant no-bake cheesecake. But we didn't actually get a recipe for it, we discussed what might work and tried that.  It didn't work as cheesecake but works wonderful well as cheesecake pudding which TG has decided she actually prefers.

Nearly Instant Cheesecake Pudding
Makes 8 half cup servings

2 8 oz bricks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese- let soften
1 3.4 oz box Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cup milk

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl or into individual serving bowls. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until soft set (about a half hour)

For the topping:
Crush 4 full sheet graham crackers, melt 2 Tbsp of butter, combine. Sprinkle over top. I served it with canned cherry pie filling and graham crackers. It was nicely sweet and cool enough for a summer treat.

I love cheesecake and love pudding! Since this can all be done without using the stove or oven, it's a wonderful dessert!

Circle pattern 2x2 printable boxes in 5 colors

I hope you enjoy this simple geometric patterned box in 5 colors. Click on the images for large versions, print on card stock, cut out, score, fold, glue!

My birthday was lovely, my son made spaghetti for dinner and my daughter gave me a wonderful pair of knitting needles she made from a branch she found, stripped, dried and sanded super smooth. Then my daughter and I made a no-bake cheesecake without a recipe. Hopefully it sets up well! We also dyed feathers together. Crafty, creative fun. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Flowered headband link love

A lot of my crafting is binge crafting, I'll see an inspiring project and think of variations that would fit my personality or that of my daughter.

Headbands and hair clips are a regular favorite for near instant gratification. For headbands, rather than plastic ones that get uncomfortable after a while, I prefer elastic. The satiny kind that is used in a lot of baby headbands but in more adult colors. It's nice, smooth and doesn't damage my hair or give me headaches like plastic or metal bands can.

So checking out The Ribbon Retreat's blog, I saw this project for how to make a flower headband, as shown, it's meant for a little girl. But they have lots of colors available for the flowers, ribbon and elastic. All the supplies are inexpensive enough that they make a nice quick gift. They have enough colors you could do them for some sports teams. If you like the idea but not the flowers used, check out some of the other tutorials. There are instructions for other types of flowers made from ribbons.

I've been sort of obsessed with birdcage veils and putting it on an elastic headband seems a good option for bridal showers. Since they have the favorite colors of a friend of mine who is getting married soon, I think a mini-veil would a nice gift. Especially if I use the little rhinestone crown on it. 

They have lots of other tutorials for bows, sewing projects for babies, and other great gift ideas and they carry all the supplies so you don't have to search for the exact right thing to finish the project. Really cute projects that will work for teens and adults as well as babies. 

Take a look around, as well as learning how to make flower headbands, there are also great projects like this burned petal flower clip.

Really cute stuff that's easy to make more elegant.

Corrected link- How to make a flower headband

Little Monster Necklace- easy sewing

A little monster necklace is silly, but it made me smile.

You will need:

  • 5x5 inch approximate scrap of plush fabric
  • Stuffing
  • Cord or ribbon
  • safety eyes
  • needle
  • thread
  • scissors
The shape of the necklace actually starts with an equilateral triangle. Here are a pair of templates, one is 3 inches tall, the other is 4. Click on the images for full sized 100 dpi jpgs. Cut the triangle out of the plush fur, and cut a piece of ribbon or cord that's 6 inches long and a second piece as long as you want the chain to be, I made mine long enough to go over my head with slipknots to adjust the length. Fold the 6 inch piece in half and tie an overhand knot about a half inch away from the fold for the bail.
3 inch-
4 inch-

Thread your needle with a doubled length of thread. This is hand stitched together using an overcast stitch. Since all the stitches are on the back and the fabric is plush, it's worked from the outside instead of inside out and turned. Flip the triangle so it's pointing down, and fold the bottom point up to the center middle. Flip it so you're looking at the back of large side of the triangle and make two small marks for eye placement. Cut two small holes and set the safety eyes so they are on the outside of the plush fabric.

Now you'll fold the corners in to make the squashed pentagon shape. 

Put the bail piece into the top middle, and stitch it into place with the knot on the inside. Stitch down seam, then the open seam on the side. Knot off securely, and stuff it now. Then stitch the other side.

You can add other features with felt. If you think the stems on your safety eyes are too long, you can cut or file off part of them before stitching. Mine were fine without having to shorten them. I like the origami like folds of the piece. 

My husband thought it was a very strange necklace. My teenage daughter was delighted and wants one of her own, and my son just thought it was cute and different.