Thursday, January 27, 2011

On My Way to CHA

Still trying to get everything together - today was not the day for my printer to go on the blink..... aaargh!  At least I'm not stuck in 19" of snow..........

I leave tomorrow for CHA (the Craft & Hobby trade show) in Los Angeles.  I always seem to be at the last minute, but - if it weren't for the last minute nothing would ever get done......  it can get stressful though.   I'll be taking lots of photos, but may not get to post them for a few days so keep checking back.  I'll try to get the first ones up on Saturday evening.  

Had to share - I needed something to brighten up a gray cardi - gray really isn't my color, so I have a white tank to wear under it and thought I'd make a necklace to top it off.  The flower is made from ribbon and is detachable, so I can wear it as a brooch or on a hat (if I still had one), or even a headband....... but I don't really wear those either.........  not sure you can tell from the photo, but it's all black and white and silver......

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Painted Glass

It's hard to believe, but next week at this time I'll be at the Craft & Hobby Winter trade show in Los Angeles (did I spell that right?  It looks weird).  This is always an exciting show since most of the manufacturers are there to present their latest and greatest products for the coming year.  I have a preview list, but I'll get back to you later on that.  

One of the important events for this year is a small exhibit of designers' projects that have been featured in books, or magazines.  These will be on display throughout the show in the main lobby, then later donated to a professional auction house and all the proceeds will go to charity.  Here's my project from a book published by Leisure Arts, Garden of Glassware.  


I love to paint, especially on glass, and painted glass is so popular now. The juice pitcher and plate were painted using DecoArt® Ultra Gloss Enamels, but the plate and cake plate featured on the back cover of the book were painted with DecoArt® Americana acrylic paints on etched glass.  This is my favorite technique, and etching glass is easy with etching products from b&b etchall®.  DecoArt is featuring a new glass painting program at the show, so I'll be sure to let you in on all the details after I get back.  Have a great weekend!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mad Monday Menu!

Making dinner on Mondays is also a Quick'n EZ project at our house.  Here's something you can definitely whip up in about 30 mins:

Make "Spanish Rice" according to directions on the Knorr package.  Microwave about half a packet of Sweet Baby Peas then add to the rice.  In the meantime grill smoked turkey sausage in an iron skillet in a little olive oil.  Slice sausage then mix with the rice and peas.  Serve and eat!  It's very tasty and nice with a side salad.  I'll have to add a photo next time.......  we ate before I remembered to get the camera.....

Guten appetit...  y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tomorrow is January 14th, one month away from Valentine's Day, so there's no time like the present to start a few crafty projects for this auspicious occasion - and, believe me, it's all about the "present".  You can get away with forgetting a birthday, but forgetting Valentine's Day is a definite "no, no".  Here are some ideas to get you started:

 Mr & Mrs Valentine are easy to make.
You will need a Smoothfoam™ Heart for each figure, plus one 1" Smoothfoam™ Ball.  If you're not familiar with Smoothfoam™ you can find it in craft stores, or online at  Unlike "styrofoam", it has a smooth surface like a coffee cup, or plate and is therefore easy to paint and embellish.  You will also need floral wire, sticky back white felt, or foam, red foam sticker hearts, google eyes (the ones with lashes for the Mrs.), red and black acrylic paint (I use DecoArt Americana paints), Elmer's Paper and Fabric glue, red glitter, ribbon for the bows, a dowel (Forster) and black chenille.

1.  Paint the heart red.  Let dry. Cover with glue then add glitter.

2.  Cut the ball in half.  Paint each half black.

3.  Cut or break the dowel in half - you only need about 5". Push one end of the dowel. Into the base of the heart (the pointy end) and the other end into a half ball - see photo.

Wrap this "leg" with a black chenille stem.  Cut 3 additional pieces of chenille into about 4" lengths for the arms and the other leg.  Insert one end into the heart - one at the base for the second leg and the other two in the sides for arms.  Push the opposite end of the leg into the top of the second half of the ball.

4.  Cut 4 "mitten" shapes from foam or felt.  Stick together over the ends of the "arms".

5.  Add bows and wiggle/googly eyes and a small punched heart, or heart sticker for the mouth.

6.  Create the heart bouquet by sticking small foam glitter hearts back to back over the ends of wire.

Heart Topiary:  Nothing says "I Love You" like flowers and hopefully like love, these are everlasting.

You will need a large Smoothfoam™ Heart, a large Smoothfoam™ Cube, a dowel, red ribbon, red sticky back glitter foam sheets, small white silk flowers and white and pink foam hearts.

1.  Cover the sides and top of the cube with squares of red glitter foam.  Embellish with foam hearts as shown.

2.  Use sequin pins (these are short pins in silver or gold) to attach the small flowers all over the surface of the heart.

3.  Wrap the dowel with red ribbon then insert one end into the bottom of the heart and the opposite end into the top of the cube at the center.  TIP:  Use a craft knife to make a slit in the foam first.

4.  Tie additional ribbons around the top of the dowel.

How easy and fun was that!  Enjoy!

Y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Who Ate My Guacamole?

See previous post!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Mad Monday Menu!

I don't know what it is about Mondays, but whether you have a 9 to 5 job, or are retired, it's always a crazy day.  One of my biggest challenges is "what to cook for dinner" - and not just on Mondays.  Like a lot of my projects, meals have to be Quick'n EZ and tasty!  I'm sure I'm not the only one who is "menu impaired", so I thought I'd share some of my successes and maybe you'll share yours.  So..... without further ado, here's my first suggestion.

TACO SOUP........  yum

Cook *frozen chicken tenders in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet with a lid. 
*I use frozen, because then I don't have to remember to take things out of the freezer that morning.  The number of chicken tenders will depend on how many of you there are.
Heat the oil then add the tenders.  They will spit and sputter away so put the lid on quickly.  Turn the heat down just a tad to Med High.  Carefully lift the lid and turn them over.  Because they're frozen, they'll produce a lot of moisture.  Turn the heat down to low and cook until they are cooked through - about 20 mins.  Remove the lid then cut the chicken into small pieces.  I do it right in the pan.  Add one packet of Taco seasoning mix.  You can use Chicken Taco mix, original or mild.  I use mild, or chicken.  Following directions on the package add Chicken broth instead of water.  Let simmer for 1-2 mins then add the following:  One can each of rinsed Pinto Beans, Garbanzo Beans (chick peas), Corn and one can of **diced tomatoes w/garlic and onion.  Stir, then add additional chicken broth.  If I'm cooking soup for 4-6 of us, I transfer to a large saucepan at this point so I can add more chicken broth and beans.  Black beans are great in this soup as well as Cannellini beans, etc.  Simmer for 5-10 mins.  Serve in a soup bowl then add regular Frito chips, grated cheese (Mozzarella works well or the Mexican mix), a dollop of sour cream and chopped avocado.  **You can substitute diced tomatoes with Rotel if you like extra spicey food, or add both.  As you can see there are a lot of variables with this recipe.  Guten Appetit!  Y'all come back now..........

Yours truly,
Julie :)  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It Must Be Spring!

Wow!  This year got off to a really quick start.  I can't believe it's already the 4th!  The holidays have flown by.  My son and his wife left New Year's day to go back East and my sister returned to Knoxville, so the house is relatively quiet once again.  Sort of,  I just heard the pitter patter of 4 yr old feet - a surprise visit from my grandson.

Lots to do - projects for the upcoming CHA (Craft & Hobby Trade show) and end of year taxes; better do that first.  I definitely don't want to get into trouble with the IRS.  I used to be an IRS agent - in England in the late 60's.  That was an interesting time to be sure.

Back to work - must finish up the taxes, then Spring Clean.  Yes, I know it's still Winter, but I like to start the New Year by cleaning up the craft room.  I'm sure I'll find lots of things that I'll start to give away starting next week....  I think I have a Cricut Expression buried in the room somewhere, so keep your fingers crossed that I find it.

Gotta run - Dylan is going to help me sort through 2 drawers of stickers and I have a feeling I need to supervise.   Y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)