Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Miniature Snowmen Kits

When it snows, I love to go outside and create snowmen. It drove me crazy though, when my kids used my good gloves, hat etc. to decorate their snowmen. Somehow my good stuff became more mundane the longer it was used by the snowmen. One day someone told me about snowmen kits. It was a package that held everything you would need to decorate a snowman. So it has eyes, nose, buttons, hat, and scarf for the basics. Not too long after that, I was told about Mini Snowmen. No taller than 12 inches, just the right size to sit on my front step. Something clicked and I created mini snowmen kits. So here we go, on Creating a Miniature Snowman Kit.
Orange Sculpty Clay (to make carrot noses +/- $2 per pkg.)
Black Sculpty Clay (to make eyes +/- $2 per pkg.)
Buttons (for buttons)
Fleece (for hats and scarves)
Use of an oven
Sewing machine
Parchment paper
Cookie sheet
Zip lock bag (to store the stuff in, between uses)
Nose: Tear off a piece of orange Sculpty. 
Soften it in your hands and roll it into a small ball. 
Roll the ball into a 1.5 inch oblong cone. 
Use the back edge of a butter knife to make indents into the sides of the cone. This will make it look more carrot like.
Eyes: When I was a kid we used coal for the snowman eyes, mouth and buttons. Take some black Sculpty and made ½ inch black balls (these do not have to be perfectly smooth or anything, because they represent coal). Make 2 for eyes, your snowman will be too small for a mouth.
Buttons: Make more black clay balls or raid the button tin and use the ones you like.
Preheat the oven to 275°. Place the orange noses and black eyes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven (for 15 minutes per ¼ thickness of the clay) for 30 minutes.
When the 30 minutes are up, turn off the oven and let the pan and oven cool down together. Once everything is cool, remove the pan from the oven. The reason I used Sculpty is because once it had been baked, it can be used over and over again.
Hat: The easiest hat is to take a 12 inch x 7 inch piece felt and sew it into a tube.
Fold up one end 1 inch, and either sew it, or glue it into place. About 3 inches from the folded end, tie the hat together with ribbon, string, a rubber band or whatever you have handy. You can also make hats by using left over yarn and knit or crochet or using round loom.
Scarf: Cut a 1.5 inch wide, two foot long piece of fleece. Cut a little fringe along each narrow edge on each end. You may also use yarn and knit, crochet or otherwise create a scarf of the previously mentioned detentions.
Now that you have the items created, now all you have to do is put all the items in a zip lock type bag and wait for it to snow; moist, snowman making snow.

Waiting… I’m still waiting… Hurray it snowed, snowman snow. My grandson, helped me ,making sure they had eyes and nose and hats and scarves. We had fun! My daughter informed me that she wanted a full size snowman kit. Sounds like a Christmas gift to me. Enjoy!




Monday, February 20, 2012

Jello Popcorn

I learned how to make this kind of Popcorn when I was 12 years old (45 years ago). One day I went to my friend’s house after school. She suggested that we make Jello popcorn. I thought she was crazy. Then we made it. I was hooked. I went home and introduced my family to Jello popcorn. They became hooked! I love this stuff. Hope you love it too. Let’s go.
6 quarts popped popcorn
1 3 oz. pkg. Jello
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Large bowl
Sauce pan
Rubber scraper
Preheat the oven to 200°. Pop 6 quarts of popcorn (this would be about 1 cup of un-popped kernels). Put the popped kernels in a paper bag and shake hard. Remove the popped kernels from the bag, leaving the old maids behind. Put the kernels in the big bowl. Place the bowl of popcorn in the oven to keep it warm.
In the sauce pan, place the sugar, corn syrup, and Jello. 
Mix them together with the rubber scraper. Put the pan on medium heat,
and bring the syrup to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute.
Pull the popcorn out of the oven (it will be HOT),
and pour the Jello syrup over the popcorn and stir.

While it is still hot, you have 3 choices, leave it in the bowl the way it is, or spread it out on wax paper, to make individual clumps, or make popcorn balls, (be sure to grease your hands if you make popcorn balls). My family is used to it remaining in the bowl. YUMMMMMM…


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

LOVE Pillow

On Ucreate's  Create With Me! series this year, Kari is doing a pillow cover a month.  I have personally accepted the idea, especially since I have a Pintest Board entitled "What is it about me and Pillows".  I love that we only need the one 18" x 18" pillow insert (which I already had) and we may tweak it any way we want.  I have set my own personal rules.  I will not buy stuff to create each new pillow, so I will be using stuff I already have (like my 25 yd bolt of muslin).  These pillows will not be on Instructables (I may put them in  a e-book on Instuctables) until they are all done.  Here is my version of the first pillow.  I used tea dyed muslin, hot pink felt, and hot pink embroidery floss.  I cut the letter patterns with my Cricut, and I used a blanket stitch to sew the letters to the  pillow front.  Pretty simple.  Lovely result.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to Make a Scratch-off Valentine

I saw this here on Pintrest. Yes, this was the Valentine I was looking for. When MDH and I got married, money was tight (worse than it is now), we came to an agreement that we would only make and give cards for Valentines, Anniversaries, etc. My Hubby will love it and it would take him all day to work through it (he works 10 hour days), so his Valentine would last all day.  I thought I would share what I learned, you get to enjoy the process I went through to create it. So here we go.
White card stock (will be cut down to 5”x7”)
Computer with desk top program
Red card stock (5 ½” x 7 ½”, choose your own color or design of paper)
Blue card stock (6”x8” choose your own color or design of paper)
Adhesive (I used my ATG 714- double stick adhesive, if you have glue use glue)
Heart shaped corner punch (I already had it so I used it)
Clear contact paper (really clear vinyl, just a small piece)
Silver or Gold metallic paint
Dish washing soap (whatever you have)
Paint brush
First go to your computer and with the Desk Top program you are most familiar with, create the basis of your Valentine. I use Print Shop 22. I first, using a text box, created the Title: 10 Things I Love About You. Using another text box, I wrote out the instructions, using fonts and colors as my little heart desired. I created them as postcards with 2 to a page. Then using the art section and the shape subsection, I made a red hollow heart. When I got it the size and shape I wanted. I copy and pasted 9 more so that I would have 10 evenly spaced hearts.
Next you need to think of 10 things you love about the person this card is for. You can print the things into center of each heart, using more text boxes, or you could write them by hand. Print off your card on to the white card stock (I printed off two for demo purposes).
Cut off a small piece of the clear vinyl. I placed the vinyl, paper side up, over the hearts on the card. I found that you could see the hearts through the paper.
I then traced the hearts onto the paper back of the vinyl.
Next I turned it vinyl side up. On a foam plate I mixed 1 part dish washer liquid to 2 parts metallic paint (just eyeball it). Mix it together with the paint brush and then
paint a coat of the new paint over the clear vinyl. Let it dry for at least one hour. 
Paint a second coat. Let it completely dry.
While the paint was drying, I took out my heart corner punch and punched each of the four corners of the red card stock. (Now don’t go running out to get a punch like this. I literally used stuff I had tucked in my craft cupboard. If you don’t have a corner punch and you don’t have anyone to borrow one from, skip this part, you loved one won’t even know it is missing.) 
I tucked the card into the corners (or you can just glue it on to this 5 ½” x 7 ½” paper) with a ¼ inch boarder all the way around the white card.
I then added adhesive to the back of the red
and glued it to the front of the blue paper. Again I had a ¼ inch blue boarder all the way around the red.
Once the paint is dry on the vinyl, cut out the hearts,
and peel off the paper backing. Stick the sticky side over the writing in the center of the heart. 
It is better to cut a little bit on the outside of the hearts you drew. It helps fill the hearts better.
I did two cards so that I can show you that you can use a coin, and scratch the paint off the heart revealing what it says underneath. It works. Way COOL!

On Monday night, once my Hubby is in bed, I will go and put the other card on the steering wheel of his truck. I will have steak and potatoes ready from him when he comes home from work. Yes, this will work.
Have a Happy Valentine's Day and Enjoy!



Friday, February 10, 2012

How to Make Fragrant Hand Lotion

I love a good hand lotion and if it really smells good, even better. My husband has really dry skin in the winter and I wanted to find something that would serve his needs.  I came across this recipe on the net, and made it and found it good.  I hope you enjoy it also. So here we go!
16 oz. Baby lotion (+/- $4 depending on brand and type)
8 oz. petroleum jelly (+/- $3 depending on brand and type)
8 oz. Vitamin E Cream (the cheapest was $4.00 for two 4oz. jars at Walmart, other wise $5 for 2 oz.)
Fragrance oil ($4 for 0.5 oz. at Local Craft Store, buy the kind made for lotions etc.)
Rubber scrapper
Empty jars (use the ones you emptied, more of the same type can be gotten at Health Food Stores)Labels (made on your computer using a desk top program)
Gather the ingredients for the lotion.  Put the Baby lotion (if you don’t want it to smell like baby lotion, use the scent free and color less kind, since I didn’t think of this when I bought my lotion, I ended up with pink.  If you want Lavender fragrance, by that fragrance baby lotion.), petroleum jelly and Vitamin E cream (not oil, the oil makes it really oily) into the mixing bowl.  I had trouble getting the baby lotion out of its container.  I but the bottle into a sink of hot water (since I was washing out the other jars so that I could use them for the new lotion) and this helped make it thinner and easier to get out of the bottle.
Turn on the mixer and beat it for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides to make sure that everything is well mixed.
At this point, I removed the portion that I wanted to use for my Hubby for Valentine’s Day gift.  I used the Petroleum jelly jar, because it was squarish and more masculine, to my mind.  This would be a great gift for any time, yet Valentine’s Day is the next holiday, this is what I will use for that for my Hubby and for several of my female friends.  I asked Hubby if he would be upset by the fact that it was pink and smelled of baby lotion.  He replied, “You should see what some of the guys at work use.”  I guess that was to reassure me that it was okay.
Next I beat in the whole bottle of fragrance.  I used “Lovespell fragrance” which is my favorite.  Plus the name goes with the Valentines theme. 
I know that this will make “A LOT” of lotion more than 24 oz. because of all the air that was beaten into the lotion.  Fill the jars you have gathered with the lotion. I have several 2 oz. and 4 oz. jars for friends and one large jar for me.
Then, I gathered the jars I was using, and measured them for labels.  I booted up my computer and using the desk top program, created labels that would fit the containers I had.  I looked for my full page labels and couldn’t find them, so I used white card stock.
Once the labels were completed, cut them out and I used good old “unidirectional bonding strips”
(see Toy Story) to attach them to the jars.
When I get ready to deliver the jars of lotion for Valentines, I will add a piece of red ribbon to each and they will look (and smell) great.   Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Six Layer Bean Dip

This is my version of the Seven Layer Dip. I leave out the layer of green onions, and do other things to cut down the amount of onions and garlic in this dip for my allergic Hubby.  Please fill free to adjust this recipe to fit your tastes, after all I did.  This is a great dip for any gathering.  There are times when this dip served with corn chips, just hits the spot.  So let’s go.
2 – 14.5 oz. cans of refried beans
2 Tbls. Taco Seasoning
2 ripe Hass Avocadoes (you may use 1 cup Guacamole)
1 cup salsa (use your favorite type)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheese
½ cup sliced olives
8”x8” square casserole dish
Rubber scraper
Can opener
Open the two cans of beans and mix them all together with the 2 Tbls. of Taco Seasoning.  Spread this as the first layer of the dip.
Mash up the ripe avocadoes (or you may use guacamole) and spread them as the second layer.
Spread the salsa over the avocadoes, as the 3rd layer
Spread the sour cream as the 4th layer.
Sprinkle the grated cheese as layer number 5.
The final layer is the sliced olives.  Cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until the assigned time to Enjoy!