Monday, April 11, 2011

This Week At The Answer Is Chocolate...

Actually, its should read "this next coupla weeks" at TAIC! Normally, this Friday would be my monthly Open House Link Party but I'm going to cancel it. I'm cancelling it because....starting Friday May 6th, I'm going to do a weekly link party!!!! I know, there are a lot of weekly link parties and several take place on Fridays but it's a big internet and we'll see how it goes by adding one more. This way I get to show off all my "BFFs" every week! YAY!

Here's a brand new button ( that I can't seemed to get centered!)

I'm extra excited about it because that's the same week that my little blog will be a year old so look for what I hope will be a fun way to celebrate!

I have had such fun and positive feedback about the weekly "BFF Blog Feature Friday" series so that will continue and  introduce the weekly party.  Since the following Friday (April 22) is Good Friday, I won't do a BFF feature then.

That's it for now! I'd love it if you share the upcoming new link party with all your BFFs so we have lots of great ideas to peruse ( while eating our favorite chocolates of course) on May 6th!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let’s Talk Dirt: Home Ec-101

Through my affiliation with One2One Network, from time to time I get the opportunity to participate in projects, reviews etc. I had one such opportunity to review a new book called “Home Ec-101: Skills For Everyday Living” by blogger and author Heather Solos.

Heather blogs at where she covers real every day skills for real everyday people. What made me excited about reviewing this book was the description of it being perfect for a variety of people including new college grads. While I’m not quite there, I hope to have one of those in four years ( FOUR mister…did you hear that?!) but he will be moving out this fall and quasi living on his own.

We think we’ve made sure he won’t be the roommate who has science experiments growing under the bed, but it’s never too soon to start preparing  your child not to move back home with you and live on their own after you’ve put them through college please oh please let that happen!

What I loved about this book, in addition to Heather’s biting wit and snarky style, is the way she’s broken down household realities into manageable chunks. There are four sections, divided into several chapters each:
  • Clean It
  • Wash It
  • Fix It
  • Cook It
She takes you through each section starting with the basics of each, infusing reality and humor throughout. For example before you get started in the “Clean It” section, you need to take the following oath:
I solemnly swear to always read the label, test in an
inconspicuous area, not feed the mogwai* after midnight,
and never mix chemicals without research.
(The mogwai comment refers to the movie Gremlins). Scattered throughout the book are “ Dear Home Ec-101” letters and answers. I really hope my son doesn’t have to deal with this one from the Clean It section in a dorm or future apartment: 
Dear Home-Ec 101,
What is the best way to clean diarrhea off of carpet? I’ll spare you the exact details, but let’s just say it’s pretty heinous.

Poopy in Peewauket
I highlighted that one to show that there’s no cleaning question she doesn’t tackle!

In the Wash It section, I plan to have my son memorize chapter 9:
Odors: Rolling Down the Window Is Not Always an Option
Teenage boys SMELL. I only have one but I’m pretty sure he’s going to have a roommate. Double the smelly. Fortunately, we have taught him how to do laundry and he generally manages to remember before the underwear runs out. Usually. But still…he’s going to read this chapter!

The Fix It section is great for anyone from renters to new or veteran homeowners. When you’re just starting out you do not want to spend money you barely have on pricey service calls. Heather provides great tips on basic handy-person skills along with checklists of things every home should have. There are chapters on appliances, plumbing, repairing floors and walls ( “Throw Rugs And Posters Only Go So Far”) you name it. I haven't put the "D" in "DIY" as much as I'd like to, and there's ample information on that.

Finally, there’s the Cook It section ,because after you’ve done all that cleaning, washing and fixing, you’re going to be hungry! From terminology to utensils to reading and understanding a recipe, it’s all there starting with the chapter: “Burned Water? There’s Hope Yet”.  Heather sums it up this way:
While most young adults have a metabolism that can handle a diet of pizza and Mountain Dew, there comes a time when broccoli is a welcomed addition,and your colon will thank you.
There’s also great information I wish I’d had when we first got married about how to PROPERLY care for all those nice utensils and gadgets you tend to get as wedding presents. Let’s just say “live and learn”.

Whether you’re single, newly married, just starting out or continuing to learn how to do things, this book covers it all. It’s available from both and and I think I am going to include it in what I know will be a series of college graduation and wedding gifts in my future!

I was provided with a copy of "Home Ec-101" to review but the opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Faux Oeuf en Chocolat aka Faux Chocolate Egg

I thought I'd share a project I did earlier in the month for a guest post over at The Scrap Shoppe. It was inspired by a graphic that had been put up at The Graphics Fairy, a vintage chocolate label! Did that have my name written on it or what?

I started with a plastic egg from Michaels that I painted a couple coats of  a deep chocolate brown. I used Folk Art’s Coffee Bean.
Once the egg was completely dipped in chocolate, I was ready to decorate!
I printed out my image from The Graphics Fairy, sealed it with a Krylon matte finish spray sealer and then tore around the edges.

These eggs have a flat spot on the back so make sure you apply your pic to the rounded side! I used Mod Podge to apply. If only they’d make a chocolate scented Mod Podge!

Once that was dry, I went over the whole thing lightly with some gold paint. I just scrunched up a plastic bag and dabbed the paint on all  over.

I had some brown and cream self adhesive pearls ( Michaels) and some dark brown paper flowers in my stash that I used to embellish the front of the egg.
I put one whole strip of brown pearls in the middle of the label, and then used individual cream pearls as the centers for the flowers and randomly on the label.

Finally, I used self adhesive scrapbook borders by K&Co ( Sheer Simplicity , neutral collection) to go around the egg to finish it off. This collection contains neutral browns and beiges and metallic gold so I used the brown and gold of the same pattern, with the straight sides back to back.


So there you have it, a chocolate egg with 0 calories!
Linking Up At: 

Friday, April 8, 2011

BFF#15: homework…today’s assignment : be inspired

Yay! Not only is it Friday which is a yay in and of itself, but it’s also another Blog Feature Friday. And I’m not assigning you all homework, that’s the name of the blog I’m sharing with you today. The blogger behind homework is Carolyn, someone who is a constant source of inspiration.
Elegant is the word that always comes to mind when I visit Carolyn’s blog. Purposeful is another. She combines ordinary materials into beautiful creations, frequently recycling and repurposing things. For example this Craft Favor Party Bag, composed of bits and pieces that all of us might have leftover but when combined and given to a party guest provides them with the tools to make their own creations.
Or this gorgeous gift box that started out as, well you’ll just have to go visit her to find that out!
It may have something to do with a funny bovine.

Not one to let things go to waste, she brought the outside in after doing a bit of pruning and made beautiful upcycled wooden thumbtacks from tree clippings:

You may have seen these:
Yarn wrapped baby carrots! Aren’t they perfect for this time of year? They go perfectly with this twine and scrap fabric nest. So calming and delicate.
And she’s all ready for the Easter bunny to come fill this basket she decorated with the loveliest crepe paper flowers:
So your actual homework is to go check out the many other lovely ideas and projects at Carolyn’s. I guarantee it will be an A+ experience!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Social Networking Subway Art Printables

I don’t recall seeing this anywhere but I realize there are few truly original ideas! But with all the Subway Art and printables we see across the blogosphere, I thought it might be fun to have one that represents what we all do ( sometimes too much!). So here are some Social Networking inspired printables I thought I’d share. Not inclusive of every word but the main ones.

They should come to 8x10 when you click on them. Then right click to "Save As". Now I just have to repurpose a frame so I can hang one in my office!

Linking Up At: 
Catch a Glimpse Button
Beyond The Picket Fence

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chicos Inspired Necklace and Earrings

So I was at the mall last week wandering through several of my favorite stores. I don’t sew that well so I don’t knock off clothes. Trust me, people saying "Oh, you made that" about a clothing item would NOT be saying it in a tone conveying their awe at my dressmaking skills. More like "OMG, didn't anyone see you before you left the house?"  But jewelry I can  do.

I saw something like this at Chicos ( this is from their website) :
image enlargement

The one I saw was  longer and $48. I’ve seen variations of these long chain necklaces, some with beads incorporated. I had a couple of styles of Bead Landing chain on hand from Michaels, along with leftover washers from my Washer Charm Bracelet and beads from my stash.

The fun thing about this is there is no right or wrong. I wasn’t going for symmetry so I threaded some beads on wire and made wrapped loops on either end and then joined them to different lengths of pieces of chain:
Metal Necklace and Earrings

Faceted Metal Beads

Metallic Bead

It was such a fast project I had time to make a pair of matching earrings!

Hammered Metal Clips

I can’t wear pierced earrings so these are clip-ons. Just glued the clip backs (I love Beadalon’s adhesive for this) to some findings and attached one loop from leftover chain to each earring using a jump ring. Added a bead and a small washer to complete.

Metal Madness Earrings
They look a lot heavier than they are. They’re actually really light. Nothing like making something in the morning to wear  for something you need to go to in the afternoon!
Linking Up At:
Anything Related


Earth Day Printables

Or they could be for any time of year really. One of our best friends loved that her birthday was the same as Earth Day. She worked with pre-school kids and enjoyed all of the projects they did to learn about recycling, planting etc. She thought it was the best way to celebrate her birthday.  Sadly, we lost her  about 18 months ago.

Last year we mailed wildflower seeds to family and friends to plant in her memory on what we called her  Bearth Day. This year, I’d like to share this printable with all my blog friends. This is for Kris!

Keep Calm Recycle

Keep Calm Recycle White

And I know...printing something out while talking about recycling seems a little off right? But you could print on the other side of a piece of paper, or print on paper that's made from 100% recycled materials and then of course recyle it eventually!

Update...Jill from Envirocraftiness  says:
Other green ways to use the printable - set it as your desktop picture/profile or facebook picture, put as a button on a blog, or email it around to others! :) 

Click to enlarge to full res, then right click to Save As ( Windows Users).
Linking Up At: 
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