Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HSM Memo Board turned Christmas Card Holder!

Today we received our first Christmas Card of the season! The girls were so excited to get out our metal tree card holder….. Oh NO! I forgot to tell them that it broke last year. On with the sad expressions and a tear or two from the oldest, but never fear Mom has an idea! *Ding*
After asking Allison very nicely and assuring her that what I was about to do could be “undone” as soon as the season was over, she finally agreed to let me turn her High School Musical memo board into a makeshift Christmas card holder!
Have an old memo board laying around? Found one cheep at the store? Or maybe even your sweet 7 year old daughter gave in and let you use hers? Well then you can make an easy peasy card holder too!
Here is what you need
  • A spare memo board (even if it’s one you use this project can easily be reverted back to it’s original state)
  • Holiday fabric
  • Coordinating ribbon colors. I used 5/8” width
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks (please excuse the nasty glue plate)
  • Optional but super cute coordinating buttons mine are in the Christmas bucket.
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Here is what you do
Cut your fabric to the appropriate size of your memo board. Make sure it overlaps a bit so that you can fold in under and glue it to stay put. Don’t mind the permanent marker scribble on the back…. the little one must have gotten ahold of it to add her special touch! *wink wink*
Place your memo board down wrong side up on the wrong side of the fabric. Start folding and gluing and folding and gluing until you can’t fold and glue anymore. When you get to the corners try to fold them in almost like your wrapping a present. It helps make the corners look crisp. I did mine kinda fast and probably could have worked on my corners a bit longer.
Arrange your ribbon anyway you like on the front of your board. Make sure there enough on each end to fold over and glue. I did ours in a sort of criss cross lattice way. Again I could have spent more time getting this even and such, but I am thinking this may just be a makeshift until I can find a memo board to use as a permanent card holder. Don’t forget I have to turn this one back into High School Musical…. Not sure what we will do if can’t see Troy’s face everyday!
Cut a piece of ribbon as long as you would like your card holder to hang and glue the two ends to the backside. The backside looks pretty messy.I also added a bow to cover the nail where it hangs.  If I were to make one of these to keep as is I would work more on neatness. LOL!   Oh and for the record the Husband is not hugely fond of any unnecessary holes in our walls so I had to take down a couple of pictures of my GORGEOUS girls to hang this. Boo!
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Remember we have only received one card so far this year so  I dug up a few from last year to giver a better effect!


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Friday, November 26, 2010

All Gobbled out! Let the Christmas begin!

Wow! Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Honestly I can’t believe it! Time has been moving by so fast for me the last few years.

Our Thanksgiving traditions went off without a hitch. The last few years we have declared Thanksgiving “our” holiday. The hustle and bustle of running here, there, and everywhere for Christmas can sometimes cause us to steer away from the quality family time we should be spending on holidays. Now for Thanksgiving we stay put. A wonderful family dinner is usually followed by our favorite holiday movies, and it’s just the four of us! I LOVE it!

The girls and I got into the crafting a little a lot more this year than in the past and I must say this is a tradition that will definitely stick through the years.  We had so much fun!
Using the same turkey as in our family thankful turkey I cut out smaller versions that we assembled and used as place cards. They turned out so cute. (at least I thinks so *wink*)  We also had a blast making our Indian Corn napkin holders. we will use these for years to come.  These are so easy. We just cut rectangles out of tan felt, glued buttons to craft sticks, and then glued the sticks to the felt.  Then we glued them in a “ring” and added our yellow napkins. These look much more “fancy” with cloth napkins, but in our house?!?!?  Ummm yea, not so much! LOL!
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Now that we are all gobbled out…… Let the hustle and bustle of Christmas begin!!
Here is a peek at our tree!…


Thursday, November 25, 2010

25 Days of Thanks Day 25

The Dix Family gives thanks!

Today I am Thankful for everything! I know it’s very cliché but it’s so true!

Last night the girls and I decided to make a last minute thankful turkey project. We have never done this before and I thought the girls were old enough now to both think of things they are thankful for.
So I got out my new Cricut. (which I LOVE) Believe it or not I still don’t own any cartridges other than the ones it came with. I did however purchase the Sure-cuts-a-lot program which allows you to virtually create anything imaginable. Check out the program here. I still use it blindly and have so much to learn.  I wanted a turkey cut out for our project but being on a budget I really didn’t want to purchase one. I sat down at the computer and created this little guy…..

Simple I know, but I just think he’s so cute! Other than the feet and the wings which are hand drawn the rest of this little guy is all mouse drawn. I just love to create cute little images on my computer. You can use your creations for so many different things. I hope to someday really learn about designing graphics but until then I’ll just have to do things my cheat way! I know it’s  a little late but feel free to grab this little cutie if you want! Just be sure to tell everyone where you got him.

Anyway on to my Cricut and the sure cuts a lot program. While making the turkey in photoshop I made sure each part of the him was a different layer. I am certainly not a photoshop expert nor do I claim to be one on T.V. I am sure some of you seasoned photoshop users will find all the flaws in the way that I do things! LOL! That is another thing on my list of things to learn, better photoshop skills. Sheesh, I wish there was a place that I could take a class on all the things on my list to learn! Any tips and tricks on any of my projects is greatly appreciated.

Well shoot I thought I had been doing so good with my rambling! I guess not!

So while designing my turkey I made sure each part was a separate layer. When everything looked just right I saved the whole thing as a psd file. I then saved each individual layer as a jpg.  and loaded them into my sure cuts a lot program.  I don’t know how the svg file makers do it? Being this was a paper piecing project it took a while for me to get the pieces to all be the appropriate proportions. Finally when I put it all together to make sure the pieces fit, I saved my project as an SVG file. When I was ready to cut him out I got out the colors I wanted and cut out the pieces one by one. I “hid” all the parts I wasn’t cutting at the time so that the Cricut was only cutting the one piece I needed for the color of the paper I was using at the time. Not sure if this is making sense but if you want to give this a try and need help let me know and I’ll try to help the best I can. Like I said I’m no expert, in fact I need all the help I can get! LOL! 
So here is our finished Thankful Turkey project…

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I've only had my Cricut for about a month, I don’t have any fancy papers yet, and I’ve never done paper piecing before let alone design my own svg. but all those things considered I think he turned out pretty adorable! What do you think?


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Deep Fried Oreos YUM!

I fully intended to hold off on this post but my poor family couldn’t take it anymore! How dare I buy Oreos and  make them wait on my blogging before they could eat their most favorite desert EVER! I also think this will fit perfectly into my 25 days of thanks challenge. (even though I totally slacked at it)
So on my 24th day of thanks I am thankful to be able to splurge on foods during the holidays! OK so maybe I shouldn’t, but it just seems that at this time of year a few goodies won’t hurt. *wink wink*
Now on to the Oreos….. We rarely buy Oreos in this house, partly because I was told once they are the worst type of cookie you can eat, but mostly because if we buy them just to “have” I would sit and “have” them all in one sitting! Did I mention I really LOVE these things?  So when we do buy them it’s usually for a project or special desert that involves using almost the whole package at once. Like my Turkey Treats. Whenever our recipe doesn’t involve the using the entire package we almost always use the left overs for deep frying.  I know I know soooooooo horrible for you. However, the good GREAT news is (yes there is some good news) that just one usually satisfies any craving you may have.
Onto the good stuff…. Here is what you will need
  • Oreo Cookies We keep ours in the freezer so that they are less likely to break when taking their batter bath
  • Cooking Oil We use Canola since it’s a tad better for you than Vegetable oil (I think)
  • Pancake batter powder mix 
  • Cold water not pictured
  • Small container for mixing batter not pictured
  • Small pot for heating oil not pictured
Optional but highly recommended
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Whipped Cream (Ice Cream is really fantastic too but Whipped Cream cuts down on the calories)
  • Sprinkles not pictured
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 Start by heating up your oil in a small pot. I usually start of by setting the stove to medium high. I never ever know the exact temp. of my oil it’s always a guessing game for me.
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While your oil is heating start mixing your pancake batter. I’m no cook and I never claim to be one on TV so I rarely if ever measure anything. Just sprinkle an amount of powder that looks good to you and start adding water to get a consistency that is not too watery  nor too thick. You may have to play around a bit by adding more mix or water here and there. When you are satisfied with your mix you are ready to drop the Oreos into their batter pool. Coat the entire cookie in batter.

Test your oil by dropping a tiny bit of batter  into it. If it floats to the top you are good to go. You can drop your cookies in all at the same time if you want. I prefer to cook them one at a time. It seems to give me a better grasp on getting them done just perfectly. When the underside of the cookie is golden brown turn it over and wait for the other side to be the same. When your Oreo is done remove from oil and place of a plate covered in paper towel to sop up some of the oil.
Here is a picture of what they look like when done. See that yummy golden brown color! I’m drooling on my keyboard here!!
Presentation is everything! Use your optional ingredients to make your cookies look good enough to eat! Enjoy your Oreos warm or cool. With Ice Cream or Whipped Cream. With sprinkles or without! Use your imagination, but most of all savor every last bite! My kids even like to lick their plates!
I would love to hear any comments or see any pictures from those of you who tried this delicious desert! Let me know things you did different. Did you LOVE them like I do or were they really not for you? Comment away!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last Minute Turkey Treats!

I decided a while back I would help out in Miss Allison’s class today. They are making Stone Soup make with Petoskey stones from right here in MI. I’m not sure the exact story behind the Stone Soup but I hope to find out more while helping serve it today.
So while I remembered that I was helping out today I completely forgot I promised Allison I would make our traditional Oreo Cookie Turkeys.  Normally the girls and I would do this together but since I forgot until this morning I had to make them myself.  Let me tell you that they are so much more fun doing with my kiddos. Their little giggles were very much missed.
Due to my serious time crunch I don’t have any step by step photos but here is what you need to make these cuties……
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Candy Corn
  • Decorating frosting from the can in White and Green (I call this “cheat frosting.”)
  • A small tube of blue decorating frosting
  • Red Shoestring licorice
Start by separating all of the Oreo cookies in half. Set top half with cream aside. Using your green cheat frosting with the included “star” tip work from the inside out of the bottom part of cookie in a spiral motion. This creates the grass. Do the same thing to the top half of cookies only this time use the white frosting. Unwrap your Hershey kisses. Set aside. Oh and if you have enough make sure you eat a couple!  Everyone needs a kiss or two now and then.  Take the top half of the cookie and attach it to the bottom half. Use a kiss for the turkey head.  Using the blue and white frosting create eyes and use your licorice for a wattle. Too Cute! Arrange Candy Corn for feathers and wala! Cute Cookie Turkeys!  There are lots of versions of this floating around the net some are super duper cute! Check em’ out and make some for yourself!
Please excuse my less than stellar photos. My Camera battery is dying and it really makes my pictures come out poor. :o(
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If you love Oreos as much as we do around here, you won’t want to miss my upcoming post about what we will do with our leftover Oreos! YUMMY! That’s all I gotta say!


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

25 Days of thanks…. all the days I missed. :o)


Wow!  I am sooo bad at this!  It seems this time of year is a busy one for me!  Between bow parties, craft shows, and 7 year old dance party sleepovers I just can’t seem to get it together!  So since I neglected so many days and I am sure I will forget a few more I thought I would just start a list of things I am thankful for everyday!

My Husband

My Children

My pets


fountain pop

internet shopping

peace and quiet

my new found addiction to Miche  purses

The ability to make hair bows



good movies

Disney World


 Cozy Pajamas

a warm bed

time to myself

time with others

Good friends

There are so many other things I am thankful for. That was just a few to keep me tide over for a while!




Friday, November 12, 2010

25 Days of Thanks: Day 12

Today I am thankful for the ability to hang clothes out to dry on a beautiful fall day.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for clotheslines.  It may be the solitude I have while hanging them out, the wonderful sounds of the outdoors around me, or the fantastic smell of the clothes blowing in the breeze, or it may be all of those things combined. It reminds me of being a child playing outside while my Mom hung clothes out to dry. I think even if I didn’t hang clothes out myself I would forever remember that smell…. so clean and inviting. So fresh! LOVE IT!!



Mallard Cove Mommy