Archive for November, 2011

November 23, 2011

pocket bag

 A super cute, simple & functional tote pattern:

Made a little more complicated by moi…since I had to make the liner fabric different than the exterior…

The outside is a chunky cream corduroy, interior large pocket an orange micro suede, interior small pockets & straps a sweet cream vine & flower print on chocolate brown.

So handy!  The perfect size for an ipad or books, plus the pockets are nice little organizers for glasses, phone, pens, & goodies.  Or, a gift bag purse created & filled with treats suited for recipient…  ho-ho-ho!


November 22, 2011

box magic

Well, it’s not really magic, but “cardboard box organizing” = dull.  Skip the pricey containers & look to your kitchen or around the house for empty boxes to organize goods.

  • 1# butter box standing upright & placed in the car console for pens & pencils
  • cereal boxes with the opening tapped shut, laid on their side with the top side cut out – put a few side by side in a desk drawer for organizing papers 
  • empty kleenex box in bathroom to stuff grocery sacks for the waste basket
  • box in a box strategy for separating items or boxes in a crate for same idea

“Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society.  We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.” 

~ Erma Bombeck

November 21, 2011

perky planters

Do your planters need a little TLC after the summer blooms have died?  Take a walk around the yard to collect potential specimens for a fall arrangement.  Evergreen branches & low ground cover…

Brown-eyed Susan seed pods, hydrangea blooms, & crab apples…

Water the dirt in the pot for easy planting.  Place some plants in a spray, a few standing tall, & the rest as low fillers.

Last, add a wire edged fall ribbon, using tape in a couple of places to keep the ribbon in place.

The two planters flanking the front porch columns are symmetrical as a whole but not individually.

November 14, 2011

fowl play

Feather a doll’s nest with cute applique fleece blankets:

Similar to a previous post:

Using coordinating & complimentary colors, shiny ric-rac, beads & rhinestone buttons for eyes.

Find a picture & use as a pattern by cutting out the different parts, or create your own bird, animal, design, etc..

Use iron-on adhesive to adhere bird parts & blanket, straight or machine stitches around the edges depending on the part.  The fleece blankets sport the perimeter knot pattern. 

Christmas is around the corner…maybe a surprise original will be under wraps?

November 11, 2011

feather ring

A few years ago, Family Fun magazine had an adorable idea for Thanksgiving napkin rings or place holders.

  • cardboard tube
  • paint
  • construction paper for the feathers, cut all along  edges to make them “feathery”
  • glue feathers onto inside of tube
  • sharpie marker


“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”  ~ Edward Sandford Martin


November 10, 2011

concept cooking

The other day, I thought I had hash browns in the freezer for the breakfast casserole on deck for dinner.  Turns out, I had to substitute with the only frozen potato forms available…5 tater-tots & 8 french fries.  Being a recipe geek, a mild panic crept in that dinner was going to flop.  Until, I shared with chef hubbie my wariness, to which he replied, “Breakfast casserole is a concept.  It will be fine.”. 

Light-bulb moment. 

How true!  And so many other meals are mere concepts ready for adaptation.

  • pizza
  • practically anything Mexican
  • stuffed pepper – pick your pepper, starch, protein, veg, go!
  • sandwiches
  • meatloaf, meatballs or burgers
  • pasta salad
  • casseroles!

“I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with variation.”  ~ Madam Benoit

November 3, 2011

pico rescue

Yesterday, 5:23 pm, the dinner menu remained a mystery…  Upon searching through appliances & cabinets, I found frozen sliced pork tenderloin, taco shells, & ingredients for what I suspected would make pico de gallo. 

  • tomatoes
  • onion
  • jalapenos
  • avocado
  • lime juice, salt & pepper

Can you believe how easy?  Plus, it’s a flexible recipe.  Emeril Lagasse’s does not have avocado but does include garlic & cilantro.

The pico saved the boring pork!

November 2, 2011

cone wreath

Do you have sturdy cardboard?  Pinecones?  Glue gun?  Yarn?  Ribbon?  Then you are set to make a simple, elegant fall wreath for your front door:

  1. Cut cardboard to the size & shape desired
  2. Arrange & glue pinecones to cardboard
  3. Attach thick yarn to the inside & outside perimeters for a finished look
  4. Glue &/or tape ribbon to the upper backside corners to create a hook – wire edged ribbon makes nice curls to drape down

A similar idea using nuts from Martha Stewart:

For directions:  If a regular glue gun doesn’t work well, try wood glue sticks – & watch those fingers!

November 1, 2011

candy crunch

What’s really scary on the 31st?  Candy haul management!  “Mom, can I have a piece of candy?”…2 minutes 14 seconds later…”Mom, can I have this laffy taffy?”…”Mom?…”  !!!!!!!!

Munch on these ideas:

  • pick your favorite 2 dozen & eat them whenever you want
  • send left-over candy to the office or any office!
  • sequester a few favorites for wintertime milkshakes
  • do experiments with the candy:
  • learn barter & exchange skills with friends via candy auctioning
  • make crafts with the wrappers
  • save for gingerbread houses

“All the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911.”  ~ Lewis Black

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