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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Terra Cotta Treat Jars

Fine grit sandpaper
4" diameter terra cotta lid
3" diameter terra cotta lid
6" tall terra cotta pot
6" round glass bowl
Strong adhesive- I recommend E6000 (Glue guns will NOT work for this project!)
Acrylic paint
Foam brushes
Wood knob
Clear acrylic sealer (Spray or a liquid decoupage medium)
Paper to cover your table where you'll be painting.

1. Place your cover on your table.
2. Completely remove all the stickers and sand all the residue off. Fine grit sandpaper works really well. Also sand any rough edges from the terra cotta.
3. Glue small lid in the inside of the larger lid, applying glue around edges of smaller lid. Press together and let dry completely. (Tip- I put a cup on there to keep it in place while it was drying.)

4. Paint the outside of the pot, the wood knob and lid (top and bottom). You will need to do several coats of paint, especially if you use a light color. Allow to dry completely between each coat of paint.
5. Apply clear sealer to all painted areas and allow to dry completely.
6. When paint is completely dry glue knob to the top center of the lid. Press down and hold until secure. Allow to dry completely, approximately 20-30 minutes.
7. Turn your pot upside down. Next put glue on the bottom of the glass bowl and place on the top center of the pot. Hold in place for several minutes until it's secure and allow it to dry completely.
8. When it is completely dry clean out the jars and put in your treats. Decorate with a ribbon around the bottom of the bowl. The ribbon can completely change the look and feel of the bowl so if you choose a neutral color you can use your jar for several different seasons.

The total cost of this is approximately $10. If you already have the paint, sealer and brushes it's even cheaper. With help kids 7 and up should be able to do this project.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Christmas in July- Ho, Ho, Ho Wall Hanging

For church I'm teaching a class for a wall hanging that says HO HO HO. It's based on this project. In order to keep the price down and appeal to people who feel limited in their crafting abilities this is a simple craft. (There are several steps, but the process is simple.)

Supply List
  • Wooden Letters: 3- H's, 3- O's
  • 6- 12" x 12"coordinating decorative scrapbook papers
  • 1-2 coordinating craft paint
  • Decoupage medium
  • 2 sponges
  • 3 square wood boards, sanded to get rid of rough edges and splinters (Depending on the size of your letters you may need to adjust the size. For this project I did 10" square boards.)
  • 2 1/2 yards ribbon, 1" or wider (grosgrain or strong wired ribbon)
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Staple gun
  • Ruler
  • Stickers (3D stickers), ribbon and other embellishments


1. Sand all the letters and boards to get rid of rough edges.

2. Select 3 different papers for your letters. Trace your letters on the scrapbook paper and cut out.

3. Paint the sides of the letters. Don't paint the top or bottom. Set aside and let them dry. You may need to do several coats. I usually do 2-3 coats. You'll usually get a little on the top or bottom. It's okay, but don't paint the entire top or bottom because the paper won't stick to it if you do.

4. Paint the sides of the boards. Set aside and let them dry.

5. When the letters are dry adhere the letters to the front of the letters with the decoupage glue. Set aside and let them dry.

6. Cut remaining scrapbook paper to size for the boards. Adhere to the boards with the glue. You can use the ruler to make sure the paper lays flat. I usually paint the glue on the board and the paper in sections to make sure it sticks on there really well. Set aside and let them dry.

7. When the letters are dry seal them on the sides and top with the decoupage glue. Do the same to the boards. Set aside and let them dry.

8. Optional- If you want to embellish with ribbons tie them around the letters. Another thing I've done is when the letters are still wet is get chunky clear glitter and put it on them. It looks really cute! I've also used fake snow on the corners and then put glitter on it to make it look like sparkling snow.

9. Get boards out and turn upside down. Place the boards an equal distance apart, using a ruler if necessary. Staple the ribbon starting from the bottom board, up to the top board, making a loop at the top, and then back down to the bottom of the board.

10. Turn the boards over. Take the letters and place them on your boards. Move them around until you have them arranged the way you like. Then hot glue the letters on the boards. Press down so they are adhered well.

11. When everything is dry you can add your other embellishments- like stickers or skinny boas.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hawaiian and Chocolate Haystacks

Here's how to make Hawaiian Haystacks in a crock pot.

Hawaiian Haystacks
Prep work: (Do the night before.) Defrost 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chop veggies.
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup

Put all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When it's done cooking take the lid off and use 2 forks to shred the chicken. Add enough milk to make the soup creamy like gravy.
About 30 minutes before your chicken is done cook enough rice for your family, and flash fry your veggies.
I used white onions (I would use green onions if I did it again... my kids couldn't see these, though!), green pepper, red pepper, carrots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts and sugar snap peas. You can also use celery, tomatoes, (whatever other vegetables you like). Add a little soy sauce to taste for flavor. I've heard of people using cheese, almonds and pine nuts. The other ingredients I added (did not cook) were pineapple tidbits and chow mein noodles.
To serve rice first, then chicken and gravy mixture and veggies on top.
Chocolate Haystacks
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips
2 c. mini marshmallows
2 c. chow mein noodles
1/2 c. salted peanuts
In a microwave safe bowl add the chips and melt for 2-3 minutes on high. Remove from microwave ans stir. Cook an additional 1 1/2 minutes (time may vary depending on your microwave), and remove. Stir, add marshmallows and stir until coated. Add the noodles and peanuts. Place by spoonful on wax paper. You can refrigerate for approximately 1 hour or let them sit until they set up.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am always looking for a good recipe, and since my kids always have friends over (most of whom are hungry boys) I need to have things that are quick, easy and inexpensive. And if it makes a lot it's even better! After a recent visit with my grandparents my kids wanted to have the same chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. The cookies were store bought so I had to go online to find a recipe that would work. After eliminating many recipes, this is the one I selected, and they are perfect! They are super-soft and so yummy. The recipe made a TON of cookies, and even though it's the middle of summer they are quickly disappearing.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe George Duran
Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 2 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Serves: 60 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray.
Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

* I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, and my all-time favorite ingredient ,Mexican vanilla.