March 27, 2012

I'd Rather Be Drinking Coffee

Sometimes you just need to bring a smile to a friend's face. A white mug and some porcelaine markers are all that it takes. I love these markers. They are easy to use and you can throw the mug in the dishwasher once the ink has set.

A cute little message to brighten the day. I'd rather be drinking coffee. For when your friend can no longer drink coffee, but that's all she wants to do.

 Some strawberry pomegranate tea and carrot muffins to help ease the pain.
 And it did put a smile on her face!

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March 21, 2012

Everybody Loves Brownies

We all love brownies in this house. Especially these.
 1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1/4 cold water

Grease two 8" pans. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth, but don't over beat. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 25 min. They will still be a bit gooey, but will firm up once they cool.

For fun, cut the brownies using a cookie cutter and sprinkle with icing sugar. Yum.

March 16, 2012

For the Love of Butter Tarts

Butter tarts. They're a Canadian thing, or so I'm told. The rest of the world doesn't know what they are missing! Since I've had a few people ask for the recipe, I thought I'd share.


1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pastry for 12 tarts (I use lard and just follow the directions on the box. Lard, in my opinion makes the best pastry. Just ask Andrew, he'll agree! If you don't want to make your own pastry, grab some pre-made shells)

Pour boiling water over raisins and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain. Add raisins, butter, sugar, salt and corn syrup. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is disolved. Add egg and vanilla. Fill the tart shells 3/4 full. Bake at 350F for 15 - 20 minutes.


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March 15, 2012

Feeling Lucky

Hoop art is so much fun. I love that you can quickly change it up for the seasons or special occasion. A few quick changes and the room all of a sudden feels more lucky. A little more green.

Have you tried finger knitting? So addictive. Go here to see how to do it. Gussy Sews has a great tutorial. The little clovers are hanging from a finger knitted garland.

I think this little hoop has to be my fave. Made from a vintage table cloth. To make the pockets, go here to see how. Some pieces of paper cut out in the shape of  a clover. With messages of love for my lovely little family.

At times, the world has a way of eating away at us. Sometimes it's nothing big, just an unkind word or things not going as expected, but those little things can drag us down none the less. I want to create a haven in my home for my little family. A place where despite what the day may bring, they know that they are cherished and loved. A place that is fun and colourful. A place where they feel special and know that they make me feel lucky.

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March 9, 2012

You Make Me Feel Lucky

Every once in a while, I need to declare my love for the man that I've been married to for almost 17 years. I'm not mushy. But I do love him so. This just seemed to fit. I was inspired by this post by Elsie Larson at A Beautiful Mess, in fact I even pinned it. I also pinned this sweet little clover. Time to put the inspiration into action.

I grabbed all those scraps from left over projects - mostly from when we refinished the basement.

I cut them and nail them to two pieces of wood that run vertically behind the boards. The strips of wood are all different sizes. I like the look. Not perfectly lined up, not exactly the same length. Definitely different widths and thicknesses.

Next up, paint. I just used some white paint that was left behind by previous owners. No priming, just a quick lick of paint.

Now the fun begins. My message to my love: you make me feel lucky like a four-leaf clover. I dug out some vinyl lettering left over from another project and that has been used time and time again, which meant that I had to improvise. In several places I used two letters to make one (look closely at the r's and the first e and the blue K). If you don't have vinyl lettering lying around, you can find it at an office supply store.

Once you have the vinyl stuck firmly in place, paint over it. I chose a green that, again, was left in the basement by the previous owners. It was a quick paint job. Some of the white still peeks through.

Next, pull out the stamps. And fight off the 8 pound puppy that is eyeing the stamps. You could avoid all the trouble that crafting on the floor with a curious pup brings, but where's your sense of adventure? I like to live dangerously.

While you are waiting for the green paint to dry, stamp out the remaining words. If you don't have stamps, you could use the same process as above with vinyl. I just didn't have vinyl letters that were small enough to fit, but I did have stamps. Once the paint is dry, carefully remove the vinyl letters.

To make the shamrock, cut out 4 leaves. Each leaf looks like a top of a heart. Sew a running stitch across the bottom of each leaf and pull the thread tight. A small rectangle becomes a stem. I used green flannel because it was what I had, but felt would be great. Glue it on to the board.

Give it to your love. Who declares it is great. And asks if you are going to share it on the blog.

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March 8, 2012

Yummy Labels

Where Andrew works, it's tradition to bring in treats to share on your work anniversary. Today Andrew celebrates his first year anniversary, so of course treats were required. It's a nice tradition, don't you think? Something to brighten the day. After baking up a storm, I decided that these treats needed some labels.

It's easy to do.  All you need is a paper bag, markers, scissors, double-sided tape and a stick of some sort. I used these metal sticks that I found in amongst some craft supplies. I'm not sure what they are. So if you don't have some unidentified metal stick thingamabobs, you could use toothpicks, skewers or chopsticks.

It's easy. Write. Cut. Tape. Press.  C'est tout fini.

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