Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Wreath

So this is a totally last minute post......cuz it will be 2013 in 3 hours and 45 minutes write now as I write this

But this entire project in general was extremely last minute.  I just made it last night but I was determined to get it done because I wanted to show my support for New Years.

New Years Eve always kinda gets screwed....at least in the decoration department.  It gets the tiniest section in the store and then WHAM it's alllll Valentine's Day stuff

I like to root for the underdog so I felt it was my duty to pay homage to it


Just like any other of my wreaths I glued shreddy paper stuff (this time it's the foil kind) onto a form which in my case is always a cardboard round.......cuz I'm cheap


I found an oversized party hat at Walgreens and cut out the Happy New Year on it

I glued it onto poster board for structure and cut it out again


I didn't take a picture but I glued a scrap square of cardboard to help it pop out more

Then I just glued on some different blowers and horns from the dollar store and some squiggles I cut off of the party hat



That's all folks!  I wish you all an awesome year ahead of you! =)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Milk Jug Snoopy Porch Decoration

Isn't it funny how you shop shop shop at Christmas time...and then sometimes the littlest cheapest things turn out to be the BEST gifts!

My niece Brooke LOVES Snoopy so Christmas at the Jackson residence has sort of turned Snoopy themed

They have a cute Snoopy "Merry Christmas" yard sign outside so I wanted to give them something cute to add to the mix


Save yourself a couple of milk jugs and clean them out real good.....it takes a few rinses

Ask me how I know that

 After 2 rinses it looked perfectly clean but when I took a big deep whiff  I gagged one of those gags that feels like it starts at your pelvis bones.... YUCKA!

So save yourself the potential barf session and avoid sniffing it until about 3 rinses

Somebody told me after the fact that if you let it dry in the sun it gets rid of the smell faster....so maybe go that route




Cut the top off one jug and color the cap of the other with a black sharpie for his nose


Hot glue the one with the nose on top of the other, handle facing up


And just that quickly you can already see him coming together

I bought a beanie from the dollar store, but I wanted him to have a pom pom style hat....so I made my own


(sorry for the crappy pictures)


Take a 2 inch wide piece of cardboard and start wrapping around it with yarn until you have a pretty thick bundle.  Just imagine in your head how big you want the pom pom to be and kind of guess


Carefully slide the entire bundle off the cardboard keeping it all together the best you can




In the middle I put on a twisty tie, but you could also just tie it off tightly with another piece of yarn




Cut through the loops of yarn on each end




Trim it up to make a uniform ball shape




I didn't take pictures of the rest of the process but it's pretty straight forward

I hot glued the pom to the top of the beanie and stuffed the end of the beanie a bit with batting to make it stand up a little and not fall flat

Cut out ear shapes out of black felt and glue them to the sides of the head, then glue on the beanie all the way around

I glued on some googly eyes and wrapped him in a scarf I had my mom crochet (crocheting is on my list of things to learn)

The finishing touch was a pair of ear muffs I found on a whim...I think it really makes it!


And here he is







Isn't he cute?  I think I was just so in love with him I didn't even notice his ear muffs were all caddywompus.  So I apologize for his disheveled appearance.   Sorry Snoopy

Well....I do have one pic from my phone where he is put together like a proper gentleman....but he's on our ironing board....sitting next to the bottle of Renuzit....awesome



There ya have it folks


It was my favorite Christmas gift I made and it cost me 2 bucks and some change

I was so happy they seemed to love it as much as I did

I was really shocked at how much my brother inlaw liked it...it was cool!

Now I want to make a whole litter of Snoopies....maybe I gotta figure out some Woodstocks too?


Ohhh the possibilitie!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spice Cake Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream

We were having a cookie swap at work earlier this week and I decided to be a rebel and bring cupcakes instead.  

After all I am the crazy cupcake lady so it only seemed appropriate

I wanted to do something "Christmasy" so I decided Eggnog would be perfect

And then of course spice cake is the cake of the season (minus fruit cake)

 

For the cake I used Duncan Hines spice cake mix.  I added a touch more cinnamon to my taste but it was pretty good as is

For the eggnog butter cream I followed my basic Coffee Creamer Buttercream ratio

But I subbed the eggnog for the coffee creamer.  It wasn't as "eggnoggy" as I wanted so I added more cinnmaon and clove and just under a tablespoon of dark rum and a 2 teaspoons of vanilla

You can really play with it to make it just how you like....clovey....boozy.....whatever!




And here was our little cookie table.....with me being all cool and different.  Ya know....I'm a badass like that!








Saturday, December 22, 2012

DIY Felt Pet Ornaments




Don't forget about the furbabies this Christmas.....after all they are family members too!
             
Every year I try to give them something small and last year I made them felt ornaments that looked like them

Meet Mimi, my oldest sisters dog



She's a Brenchie.  That's  "Frenchie" for anyone outside my family who speaks proper english. (My family has its own language largely based  on incorrect pronunciations by all the children of the family). 

And this is her in felt form



Next up is Wrigley, my second oldest sisters dog


Ain't she just the cutest damn thing you've ever seen?   And she has THE cutest bark in the world.....I'm not sure it will translate well via Bloggin but I will give it a try.  

It goes a little something like this :

Bow wow woo woooOO wooOO!  

It's so stinkin cute I find myself mimicking it just for fun.  I'm glad my husband is weird like me and doesn't mind me barking randomly

 And here is her ornament



And this is Phoebe. Also known as "Beebee" or "Beebers"  If you're thinking she looks familiar it's because she is Mimi's sister.  Yep....sisters have sister dogs.  


Even though they are sisters they couldn't be more different!  Mimi is more serious and Phoebe is that weird goofy girl you can't quite figure out.   Her lip is constantly getting caught on her teeth so we have dubbed this her "Ugly Elvis" look.  So it only seemed appropriate to pay homage to her goofy ass face



Now here comes the auntie guilt.  This sister also has a yorkie named Morty.  (Full name Mortimer Jasper)  I tried about 3 different times to make an ornament of him but was never happy with it so I threw it away and he never got one.  Now I feel bad.  Maybe I'll take another crack at it this year.  

But just so he gets the spotlight too, here are some pics of the man himself (the only male pet in the family)




He's soo cute in his xmas sweater!  Love that dog!



And last but CERTAINLY not least is my baby.  The only cat in our clan

The beautiful, the magnificent.... Mo Mo!





(look at her...a little blogger too.  Mama is so proud!)




When I unpacked it this year I noticed she lost a whisker.  I choose to believe it was for realistic effect.  After all, she does lose them in real life.  And whenever she does I pretend they are a quill pen and wish I could use them to sign the Constitution.   Is that weird?

So there ya have it...cute, easy, cheap, and personalized gifts for all the pets in your life.  Ok..so  maybe it's more for the owners...but who cares!

And they are just as easy as they look.  I  made templates out of paper, cut them out of felt, sewed them together, stuffed them a wee bit, and added the details. I used E6000 glue to glue on the eyes and noses etc, but you could use whatever glue you think works best.

   Add some thread to hang them and they are done!  Super easy...you could whip out a few in these last few days before Christmas and wow the crowds!

Your furry four legged friends will be so happy you remembered them! ;)


Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY Ugly Christmas Sweaters

With the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party growing more and more popular every year, ugly sweaters are becoming harder and harder to come by at thrift stores.

Goodwill is getting picked over super fast early in the season

I learned this the hard way last year and ended up making my own for me and The Boy


This project is perfect if you have a plain Tshirt or old sweater already.  We didn't at the time so we just bought some plain cheapy ones from Walmart 

(for the record, Walmart has some pretty hideous sweater and turtle necks already if you don't want to make them)

I bought some stockings at Dollar Tree that had felt embellishments on them  I cut them off and sewed them onto shirts

I added pom pom onto the wrists of the shirts and for the nose of The Boys reindeer.  

I bought mardi gras beads as well and sewed it onto the neckline of my sweater

Let you're imagination go wild!  The cheesier the better......and it's cheap!



Snowman Hat Headbands

When I made these Pilgrim Hat Headbands for my nieces on Thanksgiving it got the wheels turning in my head for a Christmas version

A snowman top hat instantly popped in my head


So I went and got myself some more of those little hats at Michael's (on the Xmas aisle), some stiffened felt sheets (I wanted the holly leaves to stand up nicely) and some cheap headbands, and a glue gun




I made myself a template and cut out the holly leaves and used a hole punch to make the berries quickly



Then just hot glue them on

Here's my little assembly line of hats



I hot glued them onto headbands but you could also glue them onto alligator clips or some kind of hair barette

Then put them on some cute kiddos and you're all set!










It makes any outfit super festive!




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Girly Pilgrim Hat Headbands

So apparently cooking a Thanksgiving meal, over decorating a house that's not even mine, and spending quality time with my family wasn't enough....no no no.

I of course had to shove a couple more things on my plate at Thanksgiving.

I had this grand idea in my head of making some cool Thanksgiving crafty things with my nieces....and once I get an idea in my head it's almost impossible for me to let it go....especially when it comes to Holidays

My idea of "letting go" this year was letting my sister bring whipped cream in a can.  And even that was sort of painful

Yep....I'm bat shit crazy

But a few years ago I wouldn't have bee able to even let that go....it's progress......baby steps.....baby steps I tell ya!!

Anyways....me...crazy.....too much crap.....

So there I am with this pile of stuff trying to make these adorable waffle cone cornucopias I saw on the Almighty Pinterest

Cute right?



Well mine weren't


I googled it and found a bunch of different techniques and tried them all


And mine still came out sad



EPIC fail

So we scratched that and ended up just eating all the Reese's pieces, pumpkin seeds, and sesame sticks  I bought to put inside them

The craft that did turn out well was the pilgrim hat headbands

In between setting off smoke alarms (it's a thanksgiving day tradition in our family) and drinking too many Vodka Cranberries I managed cut out squares of golden yellow felt (use whatever color you want for your buckle)



Fold it in half and cut little slits on each side



Then cut from slit to slit and unfold to give you and buckle shape


Hot glue onto little top hats.  I got these on the Xmas aisle at Michael's






Then I just hot glued the whole hat onto some glittery headbands from the Dollar Store



 Cute hats, cute kids



You know why they're so stinkin awesome right?

Because.........................







Damn straight they do!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Homemade Noodles- No Pasta Machine Necessary

Every year after Thanksgiving I make my Grandma Helen's Homemade Noodles to make a bog pot of Turkey Noodle Soup

This recipe probably would have been more useful to you a few days ago.....most normal people are probably almost done with their leftovers

But I kinda suck as a blogger in the timing sense...and picture taking....and posting regularly....basically everything haha

But I'm just gonna say what they always say in sports... "It's a building year"

I'm going to consider this first year of blogging as sort of a wash and maybe next year this blog will finally be somewhat useful...and timely

(A blogger can dream)

But of course these noodles are good for anything too! Not just turkey soup.  I won't care if you use chicken....promise

Here's what ya  need


Start by sifting the flour and salt together into a medium bowl

Separate your eggs and just keep the yolks


Form a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yolks and a tablespoon of the water



Beat the yolks and gradually start mixing in the flour and incorporating the water in a tablespoon at a time 




Once it gets hard to mix with the fork start mixing by hand

The original recipe calls for 7-8 tablespoons of water but I ended up using more.  Just do it by feel but you don't want it to be sticky....it will be a very stiff dough

Knead the dough until smooth and eleastic


This is the point where I look like a freak and I keep sniffing the dough...it just smells so good I want to bite it raw!  But I managed to refrain

Cover it in plastic and let it rest for 30 mins



Cut the dough in quarters and keep each wrapped until you are ready to roll it



You'll notice the dough feels completely different than it did before.  Before it rests it feels really tough and stiff....almost like rubber bands.  That 30 mins gives the gluten a chance to chill out and relax and it becomes easier to work with

Take 1/4 of the dough and begin rolling it out using flour as needed to keep it from sticking



Grandma's recipe says to roll it out to an 11x14 in rectangle

I have never once rolled it out into any kind of shape that remotely resembles a rectangle....ever.....and never once got it as big as 11x14

I don't think it's humanly possible

Or I am just incredibly impatient.....which is entirely possible

Lightly roll up your....errr....."rectangle" and cut across in thin strips




You'll get these cute little cinnamon roll lookin deals


Unroll them and lay them out onto a baking sheet to dry out a bit.  At least an hour



You could put these in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes and pull them out and eat as is......

OR

Do what I did and just add it to your soup

Saute onion, celery, and carrots


 Add in diced turkey (or chicken) and broth.  I used 12 cups of broth


Bring it up to a boil and then turn it off and add your noodles.  The residual heat is enough to cook the noodles




Why do my hands always look so disgusting in pictures?  I'm starting to get a complex

-__-


My turkey noodle soup has plenty of fresh thyme, a bay leaf, and 3 cloves of pressed garlic for extra flavor

Your soup and noodles are all done!




See how plump the noodles get when you cook them?  I cut them about fettuccine width and you can see how wide they got.  I like them because they have a nice bite to them....they're almost a cross between noodles and dumplings.....maybe I'll start calling them Doodles?


It's really not hard or time consuming so don't be scared to give them a try!  You could even make them the night before and just cook them when you're all ready


Grandma Helen's Noodles

2 C. flour
1 tsp. Salt
4 Egg yolks
7-8 Tbs. Cold water

Sift flour with salt into medium sized bowl

Make a well in the center and add the yolks and a tablespoon of the water

Beat the yolks and water together and incorporate a little bit of the flour

Begin mixing it together by hand adding the water a tablespoon at a time. The dough will be very stiff

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let rest for 30 mins.

After 30 mins, divide dough in 1/4.  Keep each piece covered until ready to roll out

Roll each piece out to an 11x14 rectangle (or as close as you can get) Roll up lightly and cut into strips

Unroll strips and lay out to dry on sheet pan

Add to boiling soup or boil in water 3-5 minutes until cooked