Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Card for Barbara

In our package to our Tea Cup Swap partners, we are required to add a letter or card to introduce ourselves, which is a great way to start a friendship.

I made this card for Barbara.  

No stamping whatsoever...I guess I could call it the "collage technique" of card making.  I used what I had in my MN measly craft room.
Please don't feel sorry for should see my AZ Craft Room...hehehe...but I do feel like I'm the poor relation while I'm there!  It does take time and lots of $$$ to have a fully stocked craft room...I keep telling myself.

I included a crochet pumpkin altered paper clip for her.  She can use it as a bookmark or paper clip.

I also included a letter along with her card.
Sometimes a card is just not enough!

The Wicked Witch
Can be bribe with

Friday, October 28, 2016

Tea Cup Swap for Barbara

I participated in Stephanie's 9th. Tea Cup Exchange again!

I really enjoy doing this every time Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose hosts one.

Let me introduce my lovely Swap Partner Barbara who I sent a tea cup to, and looks so very happy opening her package!  Barbara does not have a Blog, and hopefully some day soon she will!  She shared with me that she has been hosting a Halloween Tea Party now for several years.  Wouldn't that be a great post to read about!!!  ;-)

I carefully packed all of this for her, and mailed it all the way to Texas.

This is the tea cup and saucer I picked for her.

I thought it would be very appropriate for her Halloween Tea Party.
Barbara likes vintage doilies, lace, hankies, I found a tatted doily for her.

Barbara was the reason I created the Googly-Eyed Halloween wreath!  Wreath and Halloween paper chain (made by moi) were received by Barbara sans bottle of wine...sorry!

Barbara enjoys drinking black tea.  To make her box a little more festive, I included a small crochet pumpkin.

A headband that she can wear for her tea party (or everyday of this month), some pumpkin shaped pasta and...

a sweet pumpkin shaped sugar cookie to go with her tea.

Since Barbara is from Texas, I thought she wouldn't mind having a little something from her own State to hold her tea bag!

Another crochet doily for her collection, and a tea pot cookie cutter in case she wants to bake some cookies for her party or use it as a napkin ring.

I added a few fall leaves so that Barbara can experience a little bit of our MN autumn!

Confession Time: I always forget to take photos of swap packages before mailing out.  I had already wrapped every thing, and then I remembered I hadn't taken every thing was unwrapped and photographed, and re-wrapped again...not funny...!!!  I just get too excited!

It was a great pleasure putting this together for you Barbara.  Enjoy!!!

Thank you Stephanie for another fun tea cup swap.  Until next time!!!

My Diet Today:
1% Real Food

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Googly-Eyed Raggedy Wreaths

While working on some Christmas wreath ornaments, I thought "Wouldn't these make cute Halloween wreaths...hmmm?"

So I worked on some.

A little treat to add to some one's Halloween goodie bag!

Share Your Cup #221
You're NEVER
Too OLD to beg
for CANDY!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Arizona for the Winter

"Walking in random stores during the summer just for air conditioning"...LOL!!!

I'm back in AZ for the winter from spending a fabulous summer in MN...even though it doesn't feel to fallish or wintry yet here in this gorgeous State!
The temps are still in the high 90's, but it's not scorching hot and is a dry heat...very bearable.

I arrived and I haven't had a chance to even breathe.  My calendar is booked so far til the end of this month!!!  I don't even want to look further than that at this time.  All fun times though, and a few required doctor appointments...of course I don't look forward to those ;-)!

It's great to be back in the groove of things and spending time with family and friends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Roasted Beets Are the Best

I fell in love with roasted beets late in my early 30's.  
Before then I wouldn't even look at them and I wondered who would eat them.  Well my parents did and they loved them when we would go out to eat.  I just don't remember my mom ever cooking or serving them for any meal.  Hmm...

Thanks to my neighbor Bill who would grow them in his spring garden every year, and to his wife Elise who taught me how to cook them...I became in LOVE with beets!!!
Freshly plucked from the garden soil and later served for dinner...just heavenly!

Elise taught me how to prepare beets the right way...I mean her way!
 Clean them really well.

 Place beets in a dish, drizzle some oil and sprinkle some sea salt over them.  Cover dish and place in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 40-50 minutes; or until beets are tender when poked with knife.  You can also use foil to wrap beats and cook them individually like you do with potatoes.
Roasted beets taste so much better! 
Also are less messy than when you boil them...ugh!!!

Remove from oven and let cool.  When cool, the beets are easily peeled and slice.  No red beet juice all over your kitchen counter or stained kitchen sink.

We serve our beets in salads, make Borscht Soup, and my all time favorite Harvard Beets!!!
If you have any leftovers, simply freeze the roasted beets.

I hope you try roasting your beets next time!

Cooking & Crafting with J & J #71

Monday, October 24, 2016

Crochet Border Edgings

What to work on while watching Dancing with the Stars and use up bits & pieces of leftover crochet thread?
How about crochet border edgings!!!

Most crochet edgings ended up being about 1-2 yards long.
Pattern - 4th picture (I tweaked pattern to my taste)

I think I can use them on more handmade pillowcases,

or to embellish a tea towel,

or for a future altered art craft.  
Pattern - I tweaked it

The possibilities are endless.
Cooking & Crafting with J & J #71

"It's just a bunch of 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

If it involves 
& a 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Raggedy Mini Wreath Christmas Ornaments

Here are a few raggedy mini wreath ornaments I have been working on lately to donate for our Church bazaar.

I use scraps of fabric and rip long strips to tie around shower curtain rings.

Once I complete all of them, I will add a few embellishments to make them look prettier; but I think some look just fine the way they are.
Sweet Inspiration #29

GOD bless Us,
Every One!
~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Friday, October 21, 2016

Crochet Holly Leaves

 Yesterday I mentioned I have been working on crochet holly leaves, and here they are!

 No...they were not hard to make, and it was an easy pattern to follow.

I'll be using them to decorate these Christmas ornaments.

"Happy HOLLY-days"

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mini Wreaths Christmas Ornaments

I have never in my life started working on Christmas decorations/ornaments this early...that I can remember!
I'm the type that waits until the very last minute...hehehe!
Here's a little sneak peek at what I'm working on: Christmas wreath ornaments to be donated to our Church's Christmas Bazaar in early November.

You simply take a shower curtain ring, and wrap it in jute twine, yarn, ribbon, etc...and add a little glue here and there to keep it from unraveling.  Let it dry and decorate as you wish.

Here I took some used Mason Jar rings, and wrapped them in jute twine as well and will decorate with some crochet holly leaves (I'm currently working on) and red beads.

All of these and other small projects are flying back with me to AZ next week, where I will finish decorating them in my fully stocked craft room. I can't wait to get home for the winter!!!
I'm working on other little Christmas projects to donate to church as well while I'm still here in MN...let's say I'm doing the preliminary work right now.  I can't wait to see what the other Church Ladies have been working on!
Share Your Cup Thursday #220

"Make it a 
to Remember"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Corner-to-Corner Crochet Pillow Cover

I finally finished my crochet corner-to-corner throw pillow cover.  I only did the one panel in crochet (for the front of it).  For the back I used fabric and made it into an envelope throw pillow cover.
This is a very easy and quick crochet pattern in my opinion.  You can find the pattern here.
I worked on this while watching the summer olympics...I can multi-task you know!
I used this fabric for the back of the pillow cover.  I think I'm getting better at my sewing prowess...hehehe!!!

Since I have one more piece of this same fabric, I'm currently working on another crochet panel (different pattern) to make a semi-twin throw pillow to go with this one.
I work on it while watching a new show I'm hooked and loving...This Is Us
So I might not be done with it for a while...sigh!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In the Baking Groove

Over the summer I had been saving/freezing very ripened bananas for when the weather cools down.
Well, wintry weather has arrived, and I like nothing better than to bake to keep myself warm and cozy, and eventually enjoy a homemade treat with some good hot tea.

This time I tweaked my banana bread recipe in hopes that Hubby would be able to enjoy a piece of "low carb" banana bread...well as low as I could make it.
To make it low carb, I used half of the flour called for in the recipe with almond meal, added 2/3 cups of roasted flax seeds*, and cut the sugar* by a 1/4 of a cup.  Hubby and I have not developed a taste for the fake sweeteners out there...yuck...they really upset our tummies!
While the bread was baking, the house smell divine and Hubby couldn't wait to taste it!

Success!  It turned out really moist and delicious!!!

Here's my revised Banana Bread recipe:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Almond Meal (I get it from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or shortening-room temperature (I used Canola Oil)
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripened bananans (I used 4)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cold brewed coffee (instead of the milk called for)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2/3 cups roasted flax seed (also from TJ's)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I do not like nuts in my banana bread)

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.  Add Almond Meal and flax seeds to sifted ingredients and mix.  
In another mixing bowl , creamed together oil and sugar together until creamy.  Add coffee and lemon juice (or vinegar) and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients (in small portions) and blend well after each addition. 
Grease the bottom of a baking pan (I use a bundt pan), and pour batter in.  Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 60-70 minutes, or until done (depending on your oven).  Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes, and then remove from pan.

Bon Appetit!

*Baker's Note (Moi): I'm planning on cutting the sugar to 1/2 cup next time; and grind the flax seed.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Autumn Scrabble Plaque

Isn't this just the cutest Scrabble Tile plaque ever!!!

While visiting Deb, I spotted a similar plaque she had on a fall vignette on her windowsill, and I fell in love with it!!!
Deb, being the generous person that she is, immediately told me I could make I don't have to tell me twice...hehehe!!!

Deb had all the supplies on hand, et voila...done!

Now I'm on the hunt for Scrabble games at garage sales for future similar projects like this.

Cooking & Crafting with J & J #70

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Autumn Banner

I made this fall banner at Garage Sale Gal's get-together!
The paper chain I made using some of my left over Halloween scrap paper.

Deb was very generous in letting me use her supplies in creating my pretty banner.
Thank you Deb!!!
I browsed through Deb's fall/autumn supply stash and picked bits & pieces to decorate my banner.

My idea was to showcase the four top events for each month during autumn:
Welcome Fall and Pumpkins...

Back to School & apple picking...

Halloween & candy...
The Pumpkin Spice sentiment is from one of Deb's newest acquired stamps for this season.

Being Grateful!