Friday, September 30, 2005

Craft Magazines To Subscribe

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Paper Crafts


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Creative Keepsakes


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Lapidary Journal


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Jewelry Crafts


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Create and Decorate


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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Build-A-Bear Birthday Party




Your child''s Birthday is coming up, and he/she doesn''t know what kind of theme to have. Depending on your what your child''s interests are it would be the suitable to base the theme this way There are so many activities to choose from that it can be overwhelming.

Why not have a Build-A-Bear Birthday Party? We have heard about the Build-A-Bear Factory at the malls. Why not bring Build-A-Bear Bday Bears to you house. Each kit comes with a 15" plush animal, stuffing fluff, animal T-shirt, birth certificate, packaged in a gift bag with a card for a personalized message. The plush animals have a hidden locking zipper closure that only zips up to make stuffing easy. Just browse the website, place your order, and the kits will arrive within 2 weeks. There are over 15 plush animals to choose from along with many outfits. Make your child''s party memorable, and all his/her friends will brag what a great party he/she had.

Visit: Birthday Bears

Pumpkin Soup

My mother was always preparing a different dish each night. We rarely ate the same thing twice. She is a great cook and there weren't too many dishes we didn't like. Often when she was cooking something new we would always look at it and make a face saying "What is that, and it looks awful?" You know, the funny thing is the things that looked awful tasted good. Here is a soup that we made a face at and it turned out to be one of my favorite soups and I am a fussy eater or was back then. There are alot of different varieations of creating pumpkin soup but this is a simple one.

Pumpkin Soup

1/2 cup onion
3 tbsp butter
2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin (I have used the can pumpkin)
1 tsp salt (optional for those that are watching their salt intake)
1 tbsp nutmeg
1/4 ground pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half n half

Chop the onions and gently brown in the butter in a pan. Put mashed pumpkin into onions in pan with the salt, sugar, nutmeg and pepper. Slowly add chicken broth and heat thoroughly, but do not boil. To serve, pour into a tureen and add the cream. Makes 4 to 6 small servings.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Kid's Craft Fun

These craft projects can be a great Christmas gift for someone, a holiday decoration, or just plane fun to do on a cold winter day.

Christmas Tree
4 cups soap flakes - Ivory Snow
1/2 cup water
Tiny Christmas bulbs - craft stores

Directions: Pour soap flakes and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer to a doughy consistency. Shape dough into a tree, and place tiny bulbs onto tree. You can find these bulbs at a craft store.

Soap Snowman
4 cups soap flakes - Ivory Snow
1/2 cup water
toothpicks
twigs
Whole peppercorns
Orange marker
Scraps of material
Twist-ties
Felt
Black paper

Directions: Pour soap flakes and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer to a doughy consistency. Roll into 3 balls. Make a golf ball size ball for the base, and then two other balls slightly smaller for the chest and head. Stick toothpick through the base ball, and then push chest ball onto toothpick. Put another toothpick into chest ball and push head ball through that toothpick. Decorate your snowman with twigs for the arms, peppercorns for eyes, mouth, and buttons. Break off a piece of a toothpick and color it orange for the nose. Use the scrap material for scarf. Make a hat out of the black paper. Use the twist tie for earmuffs.

Soapsuds Clay
3/4 cup soap powder, such as Ivory Snow
1 tablespoon warm water
Electric mixer

Directions: Mix soap powder in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer to a claylike consistency. Makes about 1 cup. The recipe may be doubled or tripled for larger objects. Be sure to use the same proportions. Mold clay into figures and other objects. The clay dries to a hard finish. To make simulated snow: Beat 2 parts soap powder to 1 part water and spread like icing on a piece of heavy cardboard. This "icing" may also be used to decorate cardboard holiday ornaments. It dries to a smooth, rubbery surface overnight.

Decorative Bathroom Soaps
Ivory Snow Powder
Water
Cookie cutters or molds
Food coloring

Directions: Combine Ivory Snow powder (the laundry detergent) and water to make a dough. Be sure to add the water as you mix until you have a playdough like dough.Give each child a small helping of soap dough and allow them to make what they wish. You can also use cookie cutters or molds. You can add food coloring to the water before mixing to create wonderfully colored soaps. Just be sure to explain that this is soap and that the kids should be careful not to touch their eyes!

This is great modeling dough that can be shaped, baked, painted, Christmas ornaments, small models, play food, shape letter, make a design and put a magnet in the back, hand molds,and many other ideas.

Simple Modeling Dough Recipe
4 cups Flour
2 cups Salt
2 cups Water

Directions: Mix all ingredients together. If it is a little sticky, knead with a little flour until it is workable. Should you want to bake your creation try to keep it under 2" in diameter and thickness for best result. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours or until slightly browning and hard. Let cool. You can paint your creation, and finish it with a sealer to give it a shine.

This dough isn't good for baking.

Play Dough
2 cups Flour
1 cup Salt
4 tsp. Cream of Tarter
2 cups Water
2 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
Food Coloring

Directions: Put the water and the desire amount of food coloring in a medium saucepan. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Cook and stir until dough forms a softball. Let it cool. Knead a bit before starting to create. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Hershey Fun

From Hershey- This is just one of the few stencils you can copy and put on your pumpkin. Visit Hersey's Site for more pumpkin stencils.





Click on the hershey guy

Instructions:

Choosing Your Pumpkin
Choose your stencil before you go shopping so you can get a pumpkin that is best suited for that particular design. Don't buy pumpkins with nicks or bruises (they don't last very long). Try to avoid carrying your pumpkin by the stem, two things can happen, a broken stem and a bruised pumpkin, neither are good.

Pumpkin Carving Tools
For best results, the above stencils are most easily carved with inexpensive pumpkin carving kits and are available many places such as your local grocery store. But you can also use the following common household tools:

a large spoon
a sharp serrated knife
a pin or nail
a paring knife
Carving Your Pumpkin
Start by spreading sheets of newspaper around the area you plan to work. This will reduce mess and make cleanup easy.
Print one of our stencils, or draw your own. Tape the stencil to your pumpkin. Using the nail or needle, punch holes through the paper, into the pumpkin, following the lines of the stencil.
Use the serrated knife to cut a circle out of either the top or the bottom of the pumpkin, depending on the look you want. Opening the top gives the jack-o'-lantern a traditional look with a convenient lid for the candle. Opening the bottom creates a flat surface to steady the pumpkin and keeps the top neat and uncut.
Scoop out the insides. Don't forget to save the seeds to roast.
After the insides have been adequately scooped, use the large spoon the scrape sides of your pumpkin smooth. The sides should be about one inch thick.
This is the really fun part! Use your paring knife to cut along the dotted lines you have made with the pin or nail.
Cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin to vent the heat from your candle.
Place a candle inside your pumpkin. Carefully light it - and watch your design come to life! Do not leave a lit candle unattended.

Hersey has a lot of free stuff on their site:
Free clip art
Party Ideas
Halloween Costume Ideas
Animated e-cards & invitations
Many Craft Ideas other than Halloween
Hershey recipes
Gifts






Scrapbooking






Saturday, September 17, 2005

Etch Ornaments


From BHG



Make this easy-to-etch ornament.


Halloween

Make Your Own Mummy Hands

I can't remember where I found this and can not claim as mine.

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Supplies:
Plastic Disposable Gloves
4" and 4 1/2" terra cotta clay pots
Poly Fiberfill
19 gauge wire
Masking Tape
Fabric Stiffener
Unbleached Muslin
Tacky Glue

Instructions:

Lay out glove on a flat surface.
Place five strips of wire over each finger.
Twist ends of wire together at the palm of the glove.
Cut off excess wire. (see fig. 1)
Wrap the ends of wires with masking tape so they will not punch through the glove.
Place wires inside the glove.
Stuff the hand with fiberfill.
Glue the clay pots together. (see fig. 2)
Tape the stuffed glove tightly to the top of the pots.
Bend fingers into desired positions.
Cut unbleached muslin into long strips approx. 1” wide across width of fabric.
Soak strips of muslin in fabric stiffener and wrap around entire piece, going around each finger and around the rest of the hand.
Cut off or add strips as needed. Allow to dry.
Glue a few strips of dry muslin around some areas of hand for ragged look.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm Counting On You To Have Fun.....

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Great Pumpkin Cake

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Graveyard Gelatin Dessert

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Ghosts In Graveyard

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Boo Cups

These are just the few Treats to get you started. Visit Kraft Foods for many more recipes ideas.

Eyeballs

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 lb. icing sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 ozs. white chocolate Cream the butter and peanut butter together.
Add the icing sugar and vanilla and blend thoroughly.
Shape into small 1-inch balls. Refrigerate on waxed paper for half an hour.

Melt the white chocolate (you can use a microwave for this).
With a toothpick, dip the "eyeballs" into the chocolate, covering all but a small circle on the top.

Let cool on waxed paper. Makes around 40 eyeballs.

Skeleton Bone Cookies

4 egg whites
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chopped salted almonds

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites and sugar with orange peel and baking powder until blended. Gradually add nuts and flour, beating until mixture is thoroughly blended. Cover and chill until firm enough to handle, at least an hour or up to a day. Lightly flour your hands and pinch off a three-tablespoon size piece of dough.

On a lightly floured board, use the palms of both hands to evenly roll out an 8-inch long rope. Cut rope in half; roll each half out again to 8 inches. Fold an inch of each end back onto rope and pinch ends to
make bone shapes. Repeat to shape all the dough. Place bones an inch apart on a buttered and flour-dusted baking sheets. Bake in a 325 F oven until cookies are lightly browned on bottoms (about 20 minutes).

Witch Finger Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
1 tube red decorator gel

In bowl beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla; beat in flour; baking powder and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Working with one-quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remaining dough refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoons full of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press an almond firmly into one end for nail.

Squeeze in center to create knuckle shape. Using a paring knife make slashes in several places to form knuckle. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet in 325 degree over for 20-25 minutes or until pale or golden. Let cool for three minutes. Lift up almond; squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place so gel oozes out from underneath. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

Makes about 5 dozen witch fingers.

Creepy Spiders

4 cups semi-sweet chocolate baking chips

Melt the chocolate chips in top of double boiler. Let stand over the water until water is cool, about 10 minutes.

Place wax paper on a cookie sheet. Pour chocolate into a pastry bag that is fitted with a 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch tip. Squeeze the melted chocolate onto the wax paper in the shape of spiders. (8 legs!) If the chocolate is runny it needs to be cooled a little longer. Chill the spiders for about 10 minutes. When hard, peel the spiders off the wax paper. Store on a flat surface in the refrigerator.

Floating Hands

Make the punch of your choice. Fill washed & clean plastic or latex gloves with the punch. Tie off the top of each glove tightly with rubber bands. Freeze completely. Add the floating hands to your Halloween punch for a cool effect.

Variation: For a floating face, tape closed the eyes, nose & mouth of a scary mask. Fill with punch and freeze.

Vampire Punch

8 cups cranberry juice
6 cups sparkling apple cider
6 orange slices

Put all ingredients in a punch bowl. Add floating hand ice cubes just before serving.

Makes 14 cups

Nightcrawlers

12 large apples
Boysenberry jam
4 tablespoons butter
12 gummy worms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Core apples from stem end to 1/2 inch from bottom. Stuff each hole with 1 teaspoon jam and 1 teaspoon butter. Place in a pan and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. Remove apples let stand for 15 minutes. Set each apple in a bowl and spoon syrup from baking pan around it. Insert a gummy worm with half its body protruding.

Chicken Witch Fingers

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 Boneless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
Pitted black olives, halved lengthwise
Shredded lettuce Grease a baking sheet with the oil and set aside.

Witches' Brew

4 cups cranberry juice
4 cups apple juice
1 cup chopped candied ginger
3 oranges
2 large bottles ginger ale
2 cups grapes In your "cauldron," bring one cup of cranberry juice and candied ginger to the boil over a high heat. Boil, uncovered, for about two minutes and set aside.

With a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the oranges and cut the peel into thin 2-inch-long worms. Add the peel to the cranberry mixture.
Cover and chill for at least four hours or overnight.

Juice the oranges and put juice into a large pan or heavy bowl. Sir in the cranberry-ginger mix, the remaining 3 cups of cranberry juice, apple juice and grapes. Cover and chill for up to two hours.

Cut the chicken breasts part way to create five fingers (the uncut part being the palm of the hand). Dust the chicken in flour, dip in the egg and coat in the bread crumbs. Grill for five minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Trim the "fingertips" with the olive "fingernails" and serve on lettuce.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Halloween



Autumn as it is my favorite season. I find this time of year is the prettiest and being from New England area we have such a magnificent show of its beauty especially in areas like Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I am sure there are other areas in the US that are just as breath taking. The leaves haven't really changed yet here but they are falling from the tree.

This time of year has me thinking Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Also, the thought of apple pies, apple cider, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and yes adding on a few pounds too. I like the coziness of the fireplace warming up the house. Believe it or not I love the snow too but only when I don't have to drive in it.


Our first fun time of the season is Halloween. I am sure many our gathering up decorations for their yard and house, thinking about costumes, class parties, parties at home, etc. Need some ideas? Check out Life's Special Moments Halloween section.

Other Crafts:


Pumpkin Party Favor Bag


Bandit Trick or Treater
Halloween Gelatin Molds

Brain and 2 Hands
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