Thursday, December 31, 2009

Matchbox Tags

I took a lot of shortcuts this year for Christmas. Can you say "giftbags?" Yes, I recycled all the bags I had received over the past few years and just plopped my presents inside. It was pitiful. I just didn't have time to make gift bags and tags and make pretty wrappings like I had done in the past.

But then I discovered One Lucky Day - a gorgeous blog with all these wonderful tutorials showing how to make lovely tags! Oh my! I just had to go out and buy a snowflake stamp and play arround. I also had bought some matchboxes a while back, so I ended up combining a mathbox with a tag. A bit of stamping on the tag, covered the matchbox with some scrapbook paper, added a vintage picture and sticker, and attached a bit of ribbon and a jingle bell. I stuck a quarter and a perfume sample inside the matchbox as a little surprise for two little girls!

In case you are looking for further inspiration - Tags Reinvented is one of my favorite books!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Under my Tree

The cat finds a cozy spot.

-- Post From My iPhone

Little Laceys and a New Year's Giveaway!

I have enjoyed having two weeks off for Christmas vacation and having time to use my clever energy for something else besides lesson plans! It has been nice to be able to leave a few posts.

I went on a jewelry creating binge last week to make some Christmas gifts. I spent an entire afternoon making a bunch of these little lacey soldered tags. (And I have the burn on my finger after slip of the soldering iron to prove it!)

(Forgive the blurry shot)

I still have one or two left over that I didn't gift, so I thought I would have a little giveaway as a thank you for all the faithful readers who have kept checking back here over the past few months when there hasn't been very many new things to see! Just leave a comment below. Not sure when I will have a chance to pick a winner - probably on Sunday afternoon. Good luck!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Spinach Crab Dip

12 oz soft spread cream cheese
4.25 oz can crab meat, drained
8 oz shredded Italian cheese
1 cup frozen spinach
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Put spinach in a bowl, heat in microwave for about 20 seconds. Put in strainer and press out liquid with a spoon.

Reserve about 1/3 cup cheese. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with seasoned salt, about a teaspoon or so. You could also add minced dried onion or other seasoning if you wish. Put into shallow ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through and top cheese is golden.

Serve warm with slices of French bread or crackers.

This is what I served for an appetizer Christmas Day, and it was a big hit! And sooooo easy!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Via Maria - Holland

Our family had lunch here for a pre-Christmas Eve celebration. Cozy inside with stucco and brick and pretty wood work.

Bruschetta was the best I ever had. Tomato, red onions, peppers, other veggies, and goat cheese tossed with balsamic, served
in a dish so you can mound it on their freshly baked toasty bread.

My brother's calzone with the artistically turned edge:

Huge steak sandwich topped with mushrooms:

My pasta with tiger shrimp, artichokes, tomato, roasted red peppers, and olives. Tasted great although I thought the sauce was a bit runny.

Service was a bit slow - probably had people off for the holidays. They ran out off several choices for dessert and we finally opted to skip it because of the time. But I'd definitely return - it's nice to find a good non-chain Italian restaurant.

Post From My iPhone

Via Maria on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Holiday Workshop

What I've been doing this weekend.....

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vintage Ornaments by Candlelight

-- Post From My iPhone

Something to Watch - No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

I have been a fan of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book series by Alexander McCall Smith for several years. Recently HBO made a TV show out of the series and it now is out on DVD. I've watched the first couple episodes (I've been able to get them at our local library) and I really think they capture the flavor of the books. The photography of Africa is wonderful and Jill Scott plays the main character with sweetness and sass. Here is the preview to the series:

If you have not heard of this series, it is the story of a "traditionally built woman" in Botswana who opens her own detective agency. I like this book because the mysteries are not violent or explicit and the stories have a gentle, fun spirit. The lives and problems of the main characters are simple and have a dusty charm to them.

Here is a link to more information on the DVD. I hoping to be able to watch the rest of the series over Christmas vacation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Tree Remix 2009

This year I cut way back on my Christmas decorations. But when I put up my Christmas tree, I felt like I wanted to do something a bit different, so I pulled things from a variety of former projects to decorate. (Click on the links to see how I used the objects last year).

The tin ornaments I made last year:

My vintage postcards:

The mirrored snow flake ornaments:

Silver and gold balls I had collected for projects that I never made (look closely and you can see my reflection taking the picture:

Silver tinsel, silver beads, and lots of red berry picks tucked into the branches:

The end result is a vintage silver and red tree that looks lovely twinkling in the dark.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pearly Dangle Earrings

Another earring creation - lots of dangling pearls. Feminine and fun to wear!


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