Cherish Yesterday...Dream Tomorrow...Live Today

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Gift for a Special Baby, Some Yummy Cupcakes and Earrings

Hi and happy Saturday evening.  I am posting a little earlier this week so that I can have more crafting time tomorrow.  I wanted to start out with a project I am very proud of. 

A good friend had a new baby, a boy named Gunner.  I can't wait to get over and see him in person.  He looks so cute in the pictures I have seen of him.  I decided to make this African animal cap holder.  I thought it was a great gift for a second baby, her first boy.  Even if it doesn't go with the theme of the room, it would be useful on the back of the baby's room door.  If hung low enough, he could hang things on it himself when he gets older.  I used this tutorial  which led me to the original Martha Stewart tutorial.  I got useful information from Katie at Made To Be A Momma.  I went with her suggestion to use freezer paper as a stencil because she and I share the same crafting philosophy-keep it as uncomplicated as possible and use what you have. 

The toughest part of this project was getting the right size hooks.  We had to return some and go to another store to get the right size.  I am pleased with the results and as soon as I am 100% over my cold, I will pop over and see the happy and no doubt, slightly tired family and see little Gunner in person.  I want to whip up a puzzle bag for the big sister so she won't feel left out. 

I also wanted to share a pretty sweet recipe for Apple cupcakes.  I have this adorable little girl in my class this year who brings me an apple several days a week.  She is just such a doll and so thoughtful!  Anyway, I am coming up with ways to use the apples and this recipe used a couple of them. 

 Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Put foil or paper muffin cups in a 12 cup muffin tin.  Spray them with baking spray so your cupcakes won't stick. 
Peel and chop a couple of decent sized apples and put them in a small bowl.  Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and a healthy dose of freshly grated nutmeg.  Set aside.
In a medium bowl, put 1 cup Bisquick, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup milk, 4 Tablespoons melted butter and 2 eggs.  Stir together with a whisk.
Put 1 heaping tablespoon of batter in the bottom of each liner.  Divide the apples evenly among the liners on top of the batter.  Put another heaping tablespoon batter on top of the apples.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden.  Cool for 5 minutes and remove the muffins from the tins to a cooling rack.   Serve them with sweetened whipped cream and drizzled caramel sauce.  Enjoy!

Here are some earrings I made.  They are similar to some other ones I have made.  I loved the iridescent clear beads.  I love making earrings because they are so quick and easy and don't require many materials.  Also, with my hairstyle, they are something that gets noticed right away. 

I hope you all have a great week ahead.  I have a doctor's appointment in a town about an hour away and after that, my husband and I are going to spend the night at a resort for a little getaway.  It is my birthday Wednesday so I am excited for a three day work week and a four day weekend.  Take care.  Nancy

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Wonderful Weekend

Hi and happy Sunday.  I have enjoyed this weekend very much.  I am feeling quite a bit better compared to last weekend and I have gotten a lot accomplished.  I have been working on a project for a friend's new baby and that has been fun.  I will post about that next weekend when it is completed and gifted. 

 Starting out with a bang, I want to show you some saddle shoes made from $6 Walmart white sneakers.  I used info from Allison at Dream a little bigger .  I have gotten so much information and inspiration from her blog.  She is a genius with shoes!  All this project took(besides the shoes) was a fabric marker.  One pair took almost all of the ink in one marker, but it was so worth it.  I had saddle shoes as a teenager so I was excited to get a pair now at a reasonable price.  They look cute with jean capris.  I imagine you could use any color marker to get whatever color saddle shoes you want. 

I also took advantage of the cooler weather this weekend to make some yummy cookies.  Nothing says Fall like pumpkin to me so I saw a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with only three ingredients so I had to try them.  I, of course, substituted white chocolate chips for the chocolate ones and they were so moist and delicious and most of all:easy!  How can you go wrong with three ingredients?  I suppose you could put raisins or some other add-in in these cookies.  I am assuming they have to be somewhat healthier than other recipes for cookies because there is no butter, shortening or egg in them.  You have to try them.  Be warned though, they go quick!     
My latest jewelry project is from my club kit.   I love the color of the green beads.  It wasn't too difficult or time consuming and I think I will be keeping this set.  I think I may need a second jewelry armoire for all the jewelry I am making!  I have a couple of friends who I will be making jewelry for as part of their Christmas gifts so I will probably be starting soon on those.  I have quite the list of holiday gift projects.  I promised myself that I would get an early start so I am not frenzied in mid December. 
Well, I hope you all have a great week ahead.  My husband's birthday is tomorrow so the family will be going out for dinner.  I will make his carrot cake with cream cheese frosting when I get home from work tomorrow so we can have that when we come home.  Take care.     Nancy 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

An Exceptional Macaroni Salad and More Jewelry

Hi and happy Sunday-not so happy for me because I have my first sinus infection of the season.  I think this has to be a record for me, two weeks into school.  Anyhow, I tried to rest this weekend and we will see how tomorrow goes.  I am trying desperately not to be on as many antibiotics this year but it is not looking good. 

I wanted to start off  with a delicious ranch chicken macaroni salad.  It quickly became a family favorite and I have made it twice since I discovered the recipe.  Cook about a cup of dry macaroni in boiling salted water until tender and drain and rinse.  Make sure you rinse it good because there is plenty of salt in the packet of ranch you will be adding.  In a large bowl mix together: a stalk of chopped celery, several spoonfuls of green olives, chopped, 1/4 cup each mayo and sour cream, a couple of tablespoons milk, a packet of dry ranch dressing mix, and some chopped rotisserie chicken breast(1 breast).   Add the macaroni and mix well.    Refrigerate to marry the flavors and sprinkle with smoked paprika.  It is delicious and different with all the ranch spices.  Plus the green olives made it a winner for me.  Enjoy! 

Here is a bracelet I made while experimenting with some assorted green beads and some metal beads with words on them.  I used jewelry wire to string the bracelet and I loved how some of the beads had some of the copper glitter in them to match the "live" bead.  I also happened to have a matching clasp so I was pretty happy with the result. 

I hope you have a great week ahead.  I am going to try to get in my craft room and get some sewing done.  I have some fun projects I want to make.  Take care.  Nancy

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Giveaway and a Look See at What I Have Been Up To

Hi all!  Happy Sunday to everyone.  I have been having a pretty great weekend.  Now that school is back in session I am appreciating my Saturdays and Sundays again like they were made of gold!  Because I appreciate all of you that read my blog and make comments, I want to throw an earring giveaway.  You will have your choice of the above pictured earrings:  The red white and blue pair, the silver and black pair, or the blue and green crystal pair.  All you have to do is be or become a follower to my blog and leave me a comment.  I will chose a winner next weekend and let you know  by email and on my blog post next Sunday. 

On the jewelry front, I made this set for myself.  I fell in love with the red flowered beads I found in the craft store.  They reminded me of bandannas, which I love, so I had to do something with them.  I used the black metal findings and some jet black glass beads along with some yellow gold crystal beads to accent them.  I even made a watchband for my interchangeable watch I have.  I thought the set would look good with a plain black or gold shirt or sweater this Fall. 

I also made this cube shaped small wristlet for a recent trip to a casino.  I don't like to carry my purse when we go there, so I usually use a wristlet, a fanny pack or a cross the body small purse.  For this cute little cube, I used a tutorial from Sew Spoiled.  I just added the wrist strap myself.  The instructions were well written and easy to follow.  I used recycled denim from a pair of jeans my youngest son had worn to the point of "unmendable".  For the lining, I used a pretty rose print.  It worked out well, I just had to pick and choose what was important to take because it is rather tiny!  It didn't weigh me down or feel clunky so that was nice.  I have more plans for those jeans, I just have to get at them. 

Last week was beautiful here in Northern NY-cool but not cold with warm afternoons.  This week promises to be very warm again.  I like the Fall weather so I will be anxiously awaiting its return.  Have a wonderful week and take care.  Nancy

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back To School and A Seaside Theme

Hi everyone.  Well, here we are at the beginning of a new school year.  I can't believe how fast August went.  I have really enjoyed my vacation.  It wasn't as structured as it could have been but I got some rest and relaxation in. 

I wanted to show you what I call my Mermaid set.  It all began when I got some sandals from Avon years ago with starfish on them.  I loved them so I was excited when I found a silver cuff starfish bracelet at a gift shop last summer.  Then Avon had a silver starfish cuff watch for sale this past Spring.  I had to complete my starfish jewelry/sandals with a necklace and earrings so this is what I came up with.  I love the blue square glass beads and pearls together and I was fortunate to find a chunky silver starfish pendant that was fairly plain.  I love it and I can't wait to find the perfect place to wear it and the perfect outfit to wear it with! 

Continuing with my beachy theme, I wanted to share an amazing dinner I made recently. 

This was yet another Pioneer Woman recipe Penne Alla Betsy .  It has shrimp and heavy cream in a tomato-based sauce.  I used the white wine suggested in the recipe but you don't have to.  We served it with a tossed salad and Italian bread and it was delicious.  There were plenty of leftovers and my husband and son said it was just as good the next day.  My husband and I go to Red Lobster for date night a lot and we both felt this tasted like an entree you would get there.   I hope you try it.  If you like shrimp, you won't be disappointed. 

Well, I am looking ahead to a busy week.  I met many of my students at an open house last week and they are so cute and fun.  It should be a good year.  I am thinking of having a giveaway next week of a pair of earrings I made.   I hope the first week of school craziness is gone by then! Take care.  Nancy