Monday, November 28, 2011

Stationery card

Newsworthy Girl Birth Announcement
Shutterfly has cute birth announcements and Valentine's cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall = Dutch Apple Pie and Caramel Sauce

This week is my husband's birthday. I asked him what he wanted for a birthday cake. After pondering this question for a few hours he landed on Apple Pie-- my how our taste buds change as we age... last year he wanted a McDonald's Cake. I love a good dutch apple pie. I love the topping and pie crust-- it's like the best of apple pie and apple crisp all in one dessert. My aunt shared a secret to a great apple pie when I was a teenager. She told me she cuts her apples and prepares the filling (with lemon juice so they don't turn brown) the day before she bakes the pie. It really lets all the flavors come together. I try to marinate the apples overnight if I have time. Last night I was putting the apples together... side note: if you don't have an apple peeler/corer you have to get one. It's an amazing invention and saves hours of peeling. It also helps us perfectionists get exactly the apple cut the same thickness. I sell them with Pampered Chef, but before I was a consultant I had a Cuisinart one and the suctioned bottom wouldn't stay in place all the time. Well this is what I made today. Sorry, it's not my photo, I was too lazy to take pictures and the kitchen is a disaster area. We're having the cabinets painted!!! Well back to the story about marinading the apples. When you fill the pie with the apples you notice there is a TON of juice left in the bottom of the bowl. I wanted to use the reserved liquid and quickly thought about a caramel sauce. I scoured the Internet for a recipe I could use to make caramel sauce with the liquid. I think I searched apple caramel sauce... I found something at the Better Homes and Gardens Website. Caramel Sauce


  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice (marinade from apples)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg yolk


1. For the Caramel Sauce, in a small saucepan combine the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. In a small bowl beat 1 egg yolk; gradually stir in 1/2 cup of the hot brown sugar mixture. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook and stir until bubbly; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; cover and cool. Use 1/2 cup of the Caramel Sauce for the Caramel Cream Filling. If necessary, thin the remaining Caramel Sauce with 1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider or apple juice to make a topping of drizzling consistency. Makes 3/4 cup.

2. For Caramel Cream Filling, in a bowl beat 1, 8-ounce cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the Caramel Sauce.

Did you notice the caramel cream filling... OHHHH YUMMMM!!! I'm gonna have to think of how I can use caramel cream somewhere. I was thinking on pumpkin bars, spice cake or even a chocolate layer cake? Maybe in between 2 oatmeal cookies?? I'm getting a little carried away. I was happy to find a recipe where I could use the reserved liquid from the apples- waste not, want not. Now on to eating the PIE... with caramel drizzled on top :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Floral

I was at Hobby Lobby last weekend and found this gorgeous pot. Then I quickly realized that I had nothing to put in it. I thought about a house plant, but I think I might kill it. I have 2 in my office and with as much time as I spend there you would think I could water them... well I forget and someone without fail asks if they can water it for me. Oh well, I think the fake ones are just fine! Of course I got everything for 50% off. One of the stems that is kind of blue berries out the left side was only $1.36. I made this entire arrangement with the pot and filling for $25. Oh, here's a tip: don't buy floral green blocks (I don't know the correct name because I never buy them). I use left over styrofoam from packaging. I just love having a pretty arrangement to look at as I lay on the couch!

Fall Entrance

This fall I'm going to finish the kitchen so I'm trying to be as thrifty as possible with my projects. I had this plant stand from a 75% off sale at Hobby Lobby for $5.00. I painted it brown to blend in with the brick. I decided to put the mum in something and all I could find for a few dollars was a silver bucket. I decided to keep it silver, but I wanted to put something fall themed on it. Believe it or not this is a logo from a picture frame I bought. I changed the words inside the logo to make it fit for fall, but I just loved the logo and knew I would find a way to use it someday. I free handed the logo on the bucket with a black paint pen. Who knows what color this bucket could be next? I just found some pumpkins to put around the bottom. Happy fall!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Coffee Table to Upholstered Ottoman

This is another GREAT find at the local thrift store. I found this table around the fourth of July. The special at the thrift store was to pick a star and on the back there was a discount for your entire order. Well I just so happened to pick a 30% off coupon. This table was a whopping $25, so I got it for just over $18 with tax. It had been loved. When I was sanding I found some crayon marks. I'm sure my mom's tables were loved the same way. I sanded the top and legs. My original thought was just paint it black and leave it as a coffee table. Then one night when we were watching a movie in the family room I got the idea that I should make it a big ottoman. Yes, an idea during a movie. I watch movies with him sometimes and sometimes I pretend to watch them just to spend time together. Now I had to figure out how to do it. This is what I came up with and the questions I asked myself:
  • What color: people are going to put their feet on this, it can't be cream or white... I found the same fabric I made my pillows out of for $6.99/ yard at Hobby Lobby. It was 3 years later and I didn't think I would be lucky and find the same fabric again.
  • How padded should it be? The upholstering padding is super expensive-- $39/ yard. No way!! I'm using mattress pads from Walmart and my MIL's basement.
  • How was I going to attach it? Luckily the coffee table has a small lip on the edges and I was able to staple underneath and hid the staples.
  • I didn't want it to look like a big pillow, so how can I make it tufted? This was a great time... my husband got frustrated and thank goodness my BIL was over. He helped me find just the right length of screw and attach it to the table through the fabric. It was a sight. I was holding the fabric and padding down so it wouldn't tear while he was drilling.
  • What type of buttons should I use for tufting? I found the type you can customize with your own fabric. I think this was the only full price item I purchased at $4/ pack of three.
You can see here where I stapled around the bottom... The biggest question after I tufted the ottoman was how to attach the buttons.. this picture doesn't show the tufting yet. You'll never guess what I used to attach the button to the screw. BREAD TIES!! I can't believe I make fun of my husband for keeping them, but one Sunday afternoon they came to the rescue when I was desperate to finish this project.

Monday, May 31, 2010

DIY Drapes

I was originally going to make a slip cover for a chair with this fabric. I found it on a huge discount from Hancock Fabrics. Can I just say, I find the best deals there. The back of the store has remnant pieces. I can usually get 3-6 yard pieces for $3-$7/ yard. These lined drapes cost me only $42.
The fabric was $4/ yard. The lining was $2/ yard at Walmart. The tabs were FREE. I bought some new black pillows and they were sold as a set wrapped in a ribbon. I sewed the ribbons behind the drapes to have a back tab style. You can find them from $50 -$90 per panel as a solid color. I calculate a savings of 50%-72% by making them myself.
Don't worry you can't make drapes. I didn't have a pattern and just took it one step at a time.
  1. Measure your window - take into account how high you want to hang your rod and how thick you want your bottom hem
  2. Cut your fabric into two identical lengths. If you have patterned fabric, make sure the pattern is going the same direction.
  3. Pin the lining inside the back of the fabric- this way you finish the edges of the curtains and line them at the same time.
  4. Only sew the top and sides of the fabric. Allow the bottom to stay unfinished.
  5. Hang the drapes on the rod and hem them to the exact height you want them from the floor. I think this is the easiest because I hate measuring. Seeing it exactly the want I want it confirms the last bit of sewing will be the last bit of sewing. I don't like resewing something to make it longer or shorter.
  6. Hang the FINISHED drapes.
Did you notice this is the same fabric from the lampshade?

A covered lampshade

Do you have some of these? Do you also have some scraps of fabric? Put them together and see what you get...
  1. Get your white lamp shade
  2. Cut the fabric
  3. Use iron-on hemming tape at the edges
  4. Take a complementary color of bias tape and use the hemming tape again on the top and bottom edges
  5. Don't worry about melting the lamp shade... I thought I ruined it a few times, but it just cools down again and molds back the way it was.

Since this was my first shade I made a few mistakes... I forgot to put the original lamp shade seam in the back with the fabric seam. I also should have thought about how dark the fabric was - blocking the light much. I guess it gives the room more ambiance. You'll see where the rest of this fabric is from in a minute...