Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Primitive Black Cat

 I recently when to a retreat and I had some extra time to play around with fabric after I finished up my quilt.  I saw a cat like this via pinterest and decided to make a pattern to make my own.
Here is a free download if you want to make your own.  I cut off the front leg for mine, but whatever floats your boat.    I used some black fabric, added stuffing and stitched on a face and added a scrap of fabric for a collar and a bell.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Strawberry Pecan Salad

 There is a strawberry jello salad I love to make.  It does involved three different levels of ingredients and some very careful transferring levels so the layers don't mix together.  I recently saw the recipe at the Gunny Sack for this dessert salad and it sounded very similar...and oh my goodness was it ever delicious.  I think I'd make a lot of friends if I brought this to a potluck....but....I have enough friends, so I kept this gal for myself and a few people that accidentally gained access to my house.  You could add any fruit (pineapple?) you want, but....strawberries are my favorite with salty pretzels.
Strawberry Pecan Salad
Ingredients: 1 c pretzels (crushed), 1/2 c. pecans (chopped), 3/4 c. brown sugar, 3/4 c butter (melted), 2 c strawberries (diced), 8 oz cream cheese (softened), 1/2 c. sugar, 1 t. vanilla, 8 oz whipped cream
1.  Mix pretzels, pecans, brown sugar, and butter.  Spread and press down into a large baking sheet with sides.  Bake at 400 for 7 minutes.  Cool, and break into small pieces.
2.  Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Fold in the whipped cream.  
3.  Add the strawberries and pretzel chunks.  Keep chilled.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

West Texas

 A little something most people that know me know-I'm a fan of the weekend get away.  I want to explore every nook and cranny of a small town.  I'm in love with old Main Streets.  I grieve for close store fronts, and wonder about what was, and who experienced it.  Hotel Settles has been on my short 'to go' list since I read about it a few years back.  It was built in 1930 in Big Springs, Texas.  It's still the tallest building in town, and can be seen, with a back drop of the wind farms in the distance from many points throughout the city.
 The real draw for me, this was a town my grandfather called home once upon a time.  He's the only grandparent I really had the pleasure of knowing.  I didn't get to ask him nearly enough questions because I was still too young to know what questions I'd wonder about.  I do get the pleasure of spending the occasional lunch with his younger sister, and she fills in some of the gaps in his childhood I wish I had time to hear from him.  I love that this hotel was something he would have seen as a little boy on the streets of Big Springs.
 This hotel has sat vacant for years, and just a few years ago it was restored.  They did a great job of keeping the vintage feel, but bringing it up to date with modern conveniences.  Like, this pool....
 A little desert oasis, my Mom, Aunt, Cousin and I spent time at on the, much too brief trip to Big Springs.  The rooms are beautiful, and the lobby is classy, open, and it is surrounded by a great restaurant, bar, and a gorgeous ball room.
 I wish I had more pictures, but these few photos were taken from my iphone because a cooler was accidentally dumped on my camera, and it went on strike.  This means....I'll need to go back!
From Dallas, this was about a four out trip...if you don't stop at all the litttle antique stores in the little towns between here and there....and we did.  We also hit up Sweetwater, another town my Granddad called home. I was able to find the addresses where he lived here and in Abilene, and we swung by the houses he called home once upon a childhood.
 We also swung through Mineral Wells, which is a book end to this trip.  My Mom and Aunt have fond memories of this (currently closed) hotel.  My Mom took diving lessons in the huge pool that stands next to the pool.  It's currently in disrepair.  Windows are broken out, and the weather and human intervention have done a number on the innards, but having seen Hotel Settles...I can't imagine how awesome this would be with some TLC.  There is a group currently trying to get it restored.
We walked around the outside, and peeked through the fences, but while we were there for all of ten minutes, there were three other groups we ran into doing the same thing.  I have a feeling filling these rooms won't be a problem because it seems we aren't the only ones drawn to the past in hopes of getting to visit some of those memories again!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Making Bows 101

I'm currently in a holding pattern.  I've been collecting some fun things to put together my dream craft room. brother is currently residing in said room.  I was going to try to up my youtube game this year, but....there really isn't a great place to record.  BUT here is a video I'll see my issues....I ran out of storage room, I ran out of glue, and my dog saw her shadow or something and decided to express her feelings mid video.  BUT...I told a gal I'd teach her how to make a bow,'s been a little chaotic, so I recorded her a video for now and provided some supplies so I'm almost teaching her...and when we finally do get to get together for bow lessons....she'll be ready for Bow 102.  So...if you want to see a few ways to make some (almost) free bows.  You can find that video here.
I also refer to a bow pattern I have online (free).  That lives here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pumpkin Screen Painting

A little over a year ago I got new windows/screens.  I saved my old screens to craft with (plus this door below....that project is still on the shelf).
 I printed of a pumpkin picture like the one I painted last summer, but....I'm just now forcing myself to get these screens painted!  The key to painting on screens is A)  Choosing an easy design.  and B)  Paint on a trash bag or old table cloth b/c it will help the paint 'pool' and fill in some of the gaps in the screen as it dries so that the paint is a little darker.
I added a bow to the corner, but I actually just pinned it on the screen with a safety pin, this will allow the bow to be pulled of for storing it flat.  I also painted the silver a black color so it was more Halloween/Fall, and I sprayed a coat of water proofing spray to that so it wouldn't scratch off as easily.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chipboard Album

 I posted about this album Monday.  I used my cricut to cut out the shapes for the word Brazil.  I've spent a lot of money on scrapbooks over the year, but this go 'round-I literally just used scraps and stuff I could reach without going more than a room away.
It's nothing fancy, but I'm digging little albums.  
I put a little envelope at the back where I put a letter I wrote to share details from the trip with my friends who helped support the journey.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Chipboard Albums

 I recently returned from Brazil....and in a few months I'm visiting NYC.  I went to a scrapbook show a few weeks ago and I bought the letters for NYC to make a little album when I returned.  I got to thinking, I have a Cricut machine...I wonder if I can make my own and sure enough.....there was a tutorial.
 I had saved some chipboard backings from different pages etc I had bought the last few months, but I've seen where people use cereal boxes etc.  I just used the deepest cutting setting.
 I covered up the pages with scrapbook paper, and next up....I'm adding doodads.
 For my NYC album I have this little Statue of Liberty cut out of cardboard.  I painted it green...
 ...and then glittered it up.  So,basically I'm posting about a bunch of projects I'm in the middle of, so it's more a... be continued type post, BUT I'm really excited about the chipboard word album b/c I have a few other ideas I wanted to do, and normally the cardboard letters cost 2 dollars a page (at least), so now I can make my own!  Winning.

Halloween Yard Signs

 I've been working on some new Halloween yard signs. These two guys are super simple and adorable.  I cut out a wobbly little shape and then used house paint to paint a basecoat for my ghost.  The exterior paint should help prevent the ghost from warping if there is a lot of rain this fall.  I then went back and added a few details and flecked on some black paint with toothbrush to give the white a little character.
For the witches hats I did some curvy triangles and then I could out the little hilly shape.  I bought a star at a craft store (b/c small wood is tricky to cut with a jig saw).  I used wood glue to attach it all together and then nails to reinforce the glue and add it to the stake.  I also put a coat of polycrylic over the whole thing to help give it another layer of weather proofing.

Friday, August 05, 2016


The Olympics start today in one of my favorite places on planet earth.  I've blogged about Brazil a time or ten, and I am heading to Good Morning, Texas today with a car fool of crafts, food, and loot from my many trips.  I'll be doing two segments, but, in the meantime, I'm going to link all the past trip post with lots and lots of pics, and a few of the crafts I've done through the years.
Click on the words to go to the recipes/stories/pictures.
I'll link the videos from today's segments later on facebook, and I'm posting my favorite pics from Brazil on Instagram at least as long as the Olympics last.
Visits to Brazil:
2011 How it Started
Cheese Bread

Thursday, August 04, 2016


I was introduced to Brigadeiros 6 years ago when I first visited Brazil.  It would end better for my waist line if I didn't know about these, but that's another story and I do, so....  It's, basically, a Brazilian version of fudge, and they are really easy to make and really delicious.  My friends in Brazil tell me you can find these at just about every celebration from birthdays to get random togethers.  You can roll them in all sorts of fancy treats (nuts, coconut etc) but I see them most frequently rolled in sprinkles (the brown ones, in particular).
 All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz), 1 T of butter, and 3 T of (unsweetened)  Toss everything (minus the sprinkles) into a pan over medium heat and stir...stir...stir for ten minutes.
When it pulls away from the side of the pan, it's ready, but....I'm terrible at making candy, and I want a time limit....10 minutes was just about perfect.  At this point, let it cool, and you can even toss it in the fridge for awhile, but that's not necessary.  Once it's cooled, roll them into small balls (think, mini muffin size), and roll them in sprinkles.  You can serve them at room temperature, or chill them.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Olympic Crafts

 The Olympics begin Friday....just in case you missed that.  It just so happens that are happening in one of my favorite countries-Brazil.  I'm putting together two segments for Good Morning, Texas.  Here's an easy craft-I'm going to bring some Olympic colored feathers to make some mask in honor of Rio.
I grabbed all the supplies at the craft store and all it required was a glue gun and about two seconds. The skies the limit with creativity.  

Monday, August 01, 2016

Pumpkin Baseballs

Awhile ago, I posted about painting some baseballs with snowmen faces.  My friend, Terry, taught me how to paint those guys up.   I recently found another bag of softballs and baseballs at the thrift store and decided to give them a fall twist.  I painted the whole ball orange, added a face and some black and white flecks.  I covered the whole thing with a layer of polyurethane so it wouldn't chip away.  I'm ready for you, fall.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Brazil 2016

 I genuinely believed I would not be in Brazil this year. (Click on Brazil below to read more about the missions over the previous 5 years).   It's a good thing I have wiser friends and a big God who intervenes in my worldly thoughts.  It's a long story, but the short version is my house is literally falling apart (roof, new ac unit, plumbing back up etc), and I am currently holding my car together with duct tape (I wish I were making that up).  There have been family circumstances that require a lot of attention and I just thought....not this year.  I didn't see a way.  I told the team I wasn't going.  Twice.  One member put a deposit down for me, and then a few good friends that know my heart, and believed in the mission long before me blessed me and I found myself in Brazil.  It was a bumpy ride (plane delay upon plane delay, boat delays due to paperwork not being completed because the whole country was on vacation it seemed....all except for the military (who stopped us five times)).  There were bumps in the villages, but in the end, there was peace because I know where I was supposed to would be impossible not to know after the journey that came before.
 I love Brazil.  I consider the people I've met there family and I'm homesick for them already.  I was homesick just hours after leaving them.  Some of the best people I've ever met call it home, and meet me on this boat each year.
 I can't tell all the stories in a blog post, but I can share a few photos.  Kids holding bibles of their own for the first time, ladies getting pampered, medical and dental teams coming to villages in desperate need because an already difficult journey is almost impossible now with a chaotic country government.
 One of our team members began a Bucket Ministry after encountering all the people along the river sick from drinking the parasite rich water.  He raises funds all year for filters, and parasite medicines for each family member.  The team goes village to village and trains the people on how to use the buckets, and they also share the story of living water that last longer than the seven years these buckets promise.
 Each day the team splits up and spends time with the children (vbs and this year....water balloons), women, and men, and we also walk house to house to meet those who are unable to come to us.  I believe in missions that don't take me any further than my house, my next door neighbor, and my city, but I also know God sends us to all the nations until all have heard.  I'm blessed to get to make this journey and see the harvest God has prepared along these shores.
 The last few years we have added a Tex Mex dinner for our translators and boat crew.  When we leave, these folks remain-continuing the mission with the missionaries who call these villages home.  These are truly my brothers and sisters and I look forward to the yearly family reunion on these boat decks each year.
I'll pray about next year, but in the meantime, I pray for these folks I left behind on the shore.  I can't wait to hear updates, and I can't wait to be able to revisit these friends someday in heaven and introduce all those that made it possible to all those I got to spend a few minutes with on this side of heaven on the shores of the Amazon River.