11.29.2010

Tutorial Tuesday with T's ETC!



Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Click to see my weekly tutorial: Silhouette Art

This week's giveaway is offered by Teri from T's Etc. - a long-time bloggy friend you might recognize as Mama Thompson!

Teri has stocked her Etsy shop, T's Etc with lots of goodies for Christmas - check out some of my favorites...

Mini Glamour Cuff



Purple Passion



Lemonade



Teri is offering one lucky participant in Tutorial Tuesday one of her handmade necklaces (a $30 value!) this week!

Want to win?

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

Visit T's ETC then comment below to tell me what necklace you would choose with your gift certificate.

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios



Silhouette Art



I've seen plenty of this pricey custom Silhouette Art around blogland lately and really wanted some...but, it's a little rich for my blood. There has to be a way to make this myself!

This is an awesome handmade Christmas gift for this year, so let's make some

Silhouette Art!


Supplies:

Artist canvas
Acrylic paints
Paint Brush
Transfer Paper (from your local craft store)
Digital photo

Choose a digital photo with a lighter background so the subjects stand out, like this one:



Upload it to Picnik or your favorite photo editing program to create a silhouette. Use Picnik in the following way:

Click the "Edit" tab
Click "Exposure"
Slide the "Contrast" slider to the right to create more contrast between the subjects and the background.
Now, click the "Create" tab
Last, the the "black and white" option


Your photo will now look like this:



Take your photo to your local copy center (I used Kinko's) to have your photo enlarged to the same size as your canvas. In my case, I enlarged it to 20x16 inches for right around $1.00.



Lay your transfer paper between your canvas and enlargement and trace the outline of each figure and the details you'd like to include:



You will have what looks like a rough pencil sketch when you are finished:



Fill in your sketch with the paint color of your choice. After one coat of paint your painting will look like this:



See the uneven quality of the paint that has that amateur look? We don't want that! Here's what to do - thin some of your paint down with water and apply one to two additional coats over the entire silhouette until you have an even, professional looking finish like this:



Finally, let your painting dry overnight, then thin your paint down even further using water until you have a "wash", a very watery version of your original paint. Dip a rag into the paint and "wash" the surface of your painting by rubbing small amounts of this watery paint onto the entire surface of your painting. This will soften the overall look so you don't have a stark white background.

If you accidentally apply the paint too thick, simply dip your rag into water and wipe. If you don't apply it thick enough, go over it with a few coats of the wash.




Come on back tomorrow to link up your own tutorial for Tutorial Tuesday!

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11.28.2010

Sunday Funny

My sister forwarded this JCPenney commercial for a laugh:


11.27.2010

Stuff I Learned

Cutest Ruffle Leggings!


Replacing your car's floor mats with an Oriental Rug could be the coolest idea I've seen in some time...



This could end all sibling battles in my house! Decision Dice



Turn an ordinary t-shirt into a cute Shrug!


11.25.2010

It's 2 O'clock, Let's Shop!



Are you planning to hit the stores this Black Friday? Stay put for a minute and look at my latest obsession! I'm freaking out over this brilliant idea for updating the ordinary wooden building block...



They put magnets in them, people!



Introducing the new eco-friendly, Tegu Toy Company. Listen to the amazing founders explain how Tegu Toys came to be:



I know, you're freaking out now, too, right?

I have to say that we bought a bag of wooden blocks for my boys when my oldest was 2 years old. He is now 12 (as of yesterday) and my boys play with those blocks at least once a week to this day. Oh, how I wish these Magnetic Building Blocks were available way back then...sigh...

Wooden blocks are one of the best investments you could make for your child. You will get your money's worth over the years and this updated version just expands the possibilities. I know what is going to end up under our tree this year...shhhh...


11.24.2010

Why Don't You ... Make Wine Charms for Thanksgiving?



Grab the kids and go for a good old-fashioned leaf gathering walk with the kids today and pick out some beauties for the Thanksgiving table.

Write your guests names onto each leaf and tie them to the stems of your glasses.

You can use them as wine charms or place cards!

Are you cooking all day? Create a Thanksgiving Schedule, like mine to keep yourself organized.

While you're at it, you might want to check out my recipe for Eggnog Pumpkin Pie and Corn Pudding.

You can keep the kids entertained by making Pilgrim Hats.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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11.22.2010

Tutorial Tuesday!



It's time for Tutorial Tuesday and your turn to link up your own tutorials. I'm not picky...just Teach Me Stuff! This week, I'm going to highlight some of my faves from last week and then give you a turn...Here we go!

Pretty Lace Keyhole Top:



Seasonal Fall Leaf Pillow:



Functional Decoupaged Ladder:



Eggnog Cappuccino:



You can find me guest blogging on Tuesday, click the button to check it out!



Okay, it's time for you to grab a button and link up!

Hope Studios




Teach Me Stuff!

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Tassel Necklace

I found a "Tassel Necklace" in one of my catalogs that I lusted after for weeks. I ripped out the page and didn't note the catalog...bummer. I did remember that the listed price was $120 ... A little rich for my blood.

I carried my ripped out page to my Soul Sisters Weekend along with a container of various beads and we set to work.



Now we can show you how to make your own:

Tassel Necklace


Supplies:
Assorted beads
Eye Pins
Charms
Jewelry cord

We began with a cord about 31 inches long. Set aside and assemble your eye pins.

Attach a charm to the bottom "eye" and stack beads onto the pin.



I wanted the "boho" look, so I choose many random colors, sizes, and shapes. I tried hard not to coordinate. I ended about 1/4 inch from the end of the pin, ending with the smallest bead. (Ending with a smaller bead on top will allow your tassel to hang straight down.) Using needle nosed pliers, I curled the end of the pin into a loop.



Repeat five times.

Now, thread your 5 eye pins onto your cord. You can either attach them directly onto the cord, or attach a jump ring first.

Fold your cord in half and tie a knot 2 inches up to create a loop:



I wanted to make this necklace an adjustable length, so I tied the ends into a slide knot. Take the end of each cord and tie a simple knot around the opposite end. Now you can slide the knots to make the necklace longer or shorter:



This gentleman on You Tube explains it nicely (I should have tricked you and told you this was my voice, hee hee):



Here are all the Soul Sisters' Tassel Necklaces:



Here is my casual necklace, but imagine the way it would sparkle using crystals and a silver chain!

tassel necklace

Come back tomorrow to link up for Tutorial Tuesday...Come on, Teach Me Stuff!
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11.19.2010

Thanksgiving Prep


As Thanksgiving looms ahead...6 days away...I am in full-blown prep mode for my 21 dinner guests. I keep a log of past menus and guest lists. Some menu items are included every year just, well, just because. No one really likes jello salad, but we always have it - then we always scrape it off the plates into the garbage can after dinner.

Other items are regional - Kielbasi anyone? And some are specific to our family - Pineapple Souffle, perhaps? But the main goal is to sit down together and enjoy a gut busting meal.

I have a secret method of injecting brine into my turkey (using this recipe) rather than soaking my turkey the night before. Some folks set their tables the night before, others wake up at 5 am to put the turkey in the oven. What special dishes or secret techniques can you share with us about your Thanksgiving prep?

Trust me, your secret is safe with us...

It's Feedback Friday!

Share your special dishes and/or traditions to prep for this yummy holiday!

11.18.2010

Cool Menus

While on our Soul Sister's weekend, we ate a lovely lunch at the Ivy Cafe in Ligonier, Pa. We were all in love with their menus! Yep, their menus...

Check out the books we found at our settings, each one different:



They opened up to reveal the lunch menu. Come on, that's cool.



Congrats to Mommy of Three - She was chosen as the winner of the My 2 Sugarplums gift certificate!

Check out My 2 Sugarplums by clicking the button below. She is offering a 10% discount to Hope Studios readers with the password "Hope"!


11.15.2010

Tutorial Tuesday!

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Click to see my weekly tutorial: Caramel Apples

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios




Let's Make Caramel Apples!



You know those big, juicy caramel apples you can buy at fancy shops around this time of the year? Those things can run anywhere from $5 - $15 apiece and you can make something just as beautiful and delicious at home.

Let's gather our ingredients-

Choose 8 big, perfect Granny Smiths (I love the Costco Grannies in that plastic bubble container for this project):




About 40 Caramels (If you use this one, they include the sticks! Bonus!)



8 Popsicle Sticks

Semi-Sweet and White Chocolate Chips

An assortment of chopped nuts, mini-chips, mini-M&M's, sprinkles, Heath bars, etc...

Let's begin-

Melt your caramels in a pan with 4 Tbsp. of water,stirring until smooth (this is the most frustrating part).

Meanwhile, jam the blunt Popsicle sticks into the hard apple creating a sore palm and some swearing. I think the swearing actually helps the stick penetrate the apple. I don't know, I've never made these without swearing.

Prepare a cookie sheet covered with buttered plastic wrap. Arrange 8 little piles of whatever little goodies you chose (M&M's, nuts, sprinkles...). You will be setting the wet caramel apples on top of each pile to add another layer of goodness.

Once the caramels are melted, hold the apples by the stick and dip and twist your apple until it's coated. I like to tip the pan to make the caramel deeper. Continue to twirl the apple on the way up and over to the cookie sheet, and set it down on a pile of nuts, or m&m's or chocolate chips, or whatever else you dreamed up. You can kind of roll it around to embed the goodies into the caramel.

Repeat until all the apples are coated and nested in goodies. Let cool and set up.

Next, melt each of the chocolate and white chips, then place melted chocolate into two separate Ziploc baggies. Cut off the corner and squeeze each one over the caramel, nutty goodness in a messy criss cross fashion, just load it up!

See how pretty?



Get some crinkly cello wrap and a ribbon and you've got a teacher's gift to send along before Thanksgiving break.

*This post was originally published in November 2009*


 

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