Looked into Grandma's recipes tonight and found an interesting cookie recipe. This one is called "Honey Cut-Outs", torn from a newspaper. From the information surrounding it and the age of the paper I would say its from the Korean War Era. (1950's?)

I think this recipe would render an awesome cookie. Next time I'm in the mood to bake cookies, this is definitely one I will try! Here it is:

Honey Cut-Outs

Mix thoroughly 1/3 cup soft shortening, 1/3 cup sugar, one egg, 2/3 cup honey and one teaspoon lemon flavoring. Sift together and stir in 2 & 3/4 cups flour, one teaspoon soda and one teaspoon salt.
Chill dough.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for eight to ten minutes. Cool and decorate. Recipe makes about 5 dozen, 2 1/2 inch cookies.
Enjoy! Have a great weekend!!
(Picture Courtesy: A Cookie Project)

My last post was about an adventure in making Fiber Art Scarves. Sunday, I had the whole day to "play" with the process and as yet, I haven't completed Scarf #1. There was a bit of measuring and cutting preparation before I could even begin adding the fibers to the Solvy. Once I had everything in place and pinned together, it was then time to do the endless sewing of the sandwiched layers on the machine. After 6 hours of non-stop work and two spools of thread, I felt like I should call it finished. Being so tired after all of that, I decided to take the scarf to work and do the soaking there. (Yes, being an Art Teacher, I have that luxury!)

But oh no, that didn't happen! Upon taking it out and inspecting it one last time, I decided "What the Heck"... I have some gold metallic thread, I'll just add some hand stitched embellishments before I soak off the Solvy. So folks, that is where I stand. The hand stitched embellishments are half-way finished. I hope to have the scarf completed on Friday. Have no fear, though. Pictures have been taken every step of the way and I will share these. In the meantime, wish me happy hands and creative thoughts!!!


Fiber Art Scarves

Yippee! My order of Solvy Water Soluble stabilizer should be out for delivery today! DD and I have decided to make a few Fiber Art Scarves for Christmas presents this year. With two art teachers, two sewing machines and a yarn stash that spans over thirty years, I'm sure we can come up with some marvelous, one-of-a-kind scarves. The best part is we might have tomorrow to try the technique out!

In case some of you have never seen or heard of these before, they are a no knit/no crochet type of scarf that you sandwich between layers of the water soluble stabilizer, free stitch on the machine and soak the stabilizer away. This leaves a beautiful open and airy scarf that can be embellished with beading, embroidery or whatever...

I found an example/inspirational picture which I am posting today, here: http://www.nancydorian.com/gallery.html

I hope to post pictures of our works in progress and some final results when we embark on our adventure in Fiber Art Scarves. Have a great weekend, everyone!


Food for Thought Friday...

Food for Thought Fridays might become a weekly thing...we'll see how the wind blows me on this. I was motivated to write this post after looking through my Grandmother's handwritten/newspaper cropped recipes which I was blessed to inherit so many years ago. Grandma was born in 1900 and some of these recipes are truly a treasure! Today I thought I'd share a very unusual recipe, at least it was for me, "Steamed Carrot Pudding". Judging from the coat advertisement on the back, I would say this one is from the 1930's. I did a google image search and actually found this picture on the http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Steamed-Carrot-Pudding website. You can check their recipe or go by the one I am posting below...

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup grated potatoes

1 cup raisins

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon soda

1/8 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix ingredients, pour into greased pudding mold. Cover tightly, steam 3 hours. Unmold and serve warm.

Quite interesting, as I never usually think of adding sugar to mashed potatoes and carrots. If anyone tries this out, please let me know!


With Thanksgiving approaching, many of us have already started thinking about the menu, tableware and decorations needed to host a Holiday Dinner. I wanted to post an edible treat which was a big hit at one of the Thanksgiving dinners I hosted. Its the breadstick cornucopia.

To me, the cornucopia represents our thanks for abundant food and the joy we receive from sharing our good fortune with family and friends. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to have an edible representation to share.

If you do an internet search you will find instructions to make one of your own. Hope this will inspire you to try one and share this edible Thanksgiving centerpiece.

The Trick is in the Treat!

It was one of those nights this week....neither Hubby nor I wanted to cook and nothing ordered out sounded good to us. Thus, checking our pantry and fridge, THIS is what we had! The most scrumptious...the most fabulous.....chili-cheese fries!!!!!!!!!!

Granted, this is not the healthiest of food. I know this. Its loaded with salt, fat and God only knows what else, but on a cool Autumn evening when no one wants to cook, this is a real treat! Quick, easy and filling, it one of my favorite comfort foods. All you need is a bag of frozen french fries, a can of chili and some shredded cheese to create this fine trick of a treat. Are you hungry, yet?
I read somewhere online that the hottest, new color combination is Orange and Aqua. If you stop and really think about it, orange alone is a pretty hot color. I LOVE the color orange (probably a hold over from the 1970's when it was used everywhere, including my first kitchen's walls!). To pair it with aqua....who knew? After a short google image search I found some really unique ideas that paired the two colors. The follow pictures can inspire a whole new dimension to your thoughts on the color pairing.... Enjoy the eye candy!

I love this party table setting.....can you imagine attending a dinner party with this lovely table available upon which to dine?-------------------------------->

<--------Look at the "pop" of chartruese in this tablescape....

Then, of course, you'd have to wear a matching dress for the party...

It seems that the possiblities are endless on how orange and aqua can be used together to create a fun and lively color combination!
Happy Halloween 2010! I sure hope that everyone is having a very nice weekend. Here in my neck of the woods, there have been Fall Festivals, several parades, costume parties for adults and of course "Trick-or-Treat" night for the kids to shine in their cute costumes. It's sad for me to let October go, but November and December bring in all of the family gatherings, good food and another Season.

In case anyone is having a last minute Halloween party tonight, I found the most gruesome entree' idea. It's called the "Meat Hand" ~ actually a meatloaf shaped like a hand with onion slices for the nails and bone. The ketchup and sliced cheese on top give it a really gross appearance to say the least. I found the picture and the recipe over at http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2009/10/27/meat-hand/
I'm sure if you get past the shape, its a delicious meatloaf which would be a hit at any Halloween party! So with that in mind ~ Happy Halloween....BOO!

Okay, I don't know where I was when this recipe became popular back in the 80's, but I'm glad I ran across it today! With the Holidays approaching, I like to have a few breakfast recipes on hand to make for any over night guests who wake up hungry. They look to be an ideal sweet offering for a brunch. You can find the recipe at the Pillsbury Website. Enjoy!

When I saw this shawl collared baby sweater, I KNEW I had to make one for my little grandbaby-boy, due to arrive in a few months. Its a Debbie Bliss Pattern that is available for FREE on Ravelry. What a fun and easy knit....I love the way the stockinette stitch curls on the sleeves and bottom, with the wide ribbing to finish the front. It was really hard for me not to add a 2x2 ribbing at the sleeve edge and bottom of the sweater, but the curled up edges add to the charm. The super huge button was a personal choice. ( It snaps, the button is sewn on top.)

I used Bernat Baby Coordinates in the Soft Blue color. I also chose to use size 8 (US) needles for the entire sweater, as the pattern called for size 7 for the ribbing. All in all, it was a very enjoyable knit. My only wish would be that it was available in adult sizes! Can't wait to see the little fella wearing it.... :>D
Here is a picture of some of the outdoor decorations I put up for Autumn. The scarecrow in the picture is made from wood that was cut to shape which I painted and assembled. I added the embellishments to give the little guy a bit more personality. Unfortunately, I can't take credit for the bale of straw, the mums or the pumpkins and gourds... those were purchased at a local farmer's market. I hope it all holds up until the day after Thanksgiving!!

I'd love to hear about how others have decorated for fall. Enjoy the Season, everyone...
I thought I'd share a pix of our tree in the front yard. It is one of the prettiest in the neighborhood, if not in our whole town, during this season. In honor of my favorite month of the year, here is a poem that expresses my sentiments about the month of October:

"October's the month
When the smallest breeze
Gives us a shower
Of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
Leaves sailing down -
October is red
And golden and brown."
- Can Teach Songs

( Courtesy of http://www.egreenway.com )

If anyone is looking for an easy Halloween/Fall Decoration to get their "craft on", this one is it! I loved making this one and its do-able in an evening. All you need are some different fall colors of felt, a needle, some thread, along with a few beads and buttons to construct one. In a short time you can create a Candle Cozy for your home or an Autumn gift.

Since a picture speaks a thousand words, I'll just show the picture. You can measure your particular candle's height and circumference to make up your own pattern. Use your imagination on the stitches and embellishments. Most of all, have fun with it!

In case some of you haven't heard, I'm going to be a "Grandma"! This will be our first grandchild, so you can imagine how happy and excited we are. I've been so busy all summer and fall making little outfits, trimming receiving blankets and knitting little goodies for our first grandson. I saw a little tricycle diaper cake that would be perfect for the baby shower and had to share the idea. Isn't it cute?

If you are interested in how to make one of these, I found some basic instructions here:

Soon I will post a pix of the yummy green cables and ribbon baby sweater FINISHED! One more sleeve to go and then it will be on to a Baby Blue sweater for my little grandson!
The Gals over at Opus Gluei fired me up this week with their Challenge....anything crafted for Halloween. I wanted to share a shadowbox decoration I made a while back to sit on my mantle during this Season. Using a 5" X 5" chunky pre-stretched canvas, some paint, vintage clip art and other bits, it was finally finished! I think it turned out really cute! I also used several coats of decoupage medium and a final coat of crystal glitter to give it a frosty look. Oh yes, the "frame" was made from a free yardstick that just happened to be a tiny tad wider than the chunky canvas, which was perfect for the shadow box effect. The fake leaves, gourds and pumpkins are epoxied to the frame.

Here it is:

Opus Gluei Challenge #74

Lasagna is a favorite around our house. Unfortunately, I haven't taken the time to make the "real" thing for several years. When served around here anymore, its of the frozen variety offered at the local supermarket. So... as a special treat for my Daughter's birthday dinner this weekend, I told her I'd make a big batch of home made lasagna for the family's celebration. I'll serve it with split loaves of french bread drizzled with galic butter/shredded cheese and a simple tossed salad.

In case any of you are interested, I am posting the recipe that I always use and always with fantastic results. Enjoy!

Lasagna ~ Serves 8 - 10

1 pound Hamburger or Italian Sausage
1 clove garlic, minced (or to taste)
1 tablespoon whole basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 qt. Tomatoes
2 (6-oz) cans tomato paste
10 ounces lasagna noodles
2 eggs
3 cups Ricotta, cottage or feta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded

Brown meat slowly, spoon off excess fat. Add next 5 ingredients; simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook noodles in large amount of boiling salted water till tender; drain; rinse. Beat eggs; add remaining ingredients, except mozzarella. Layer half the noodles in 13X9X2 inch baking dish; spread with half the Ricotta filling; add half the mozzarella cheese and half the meat sauce. Repeat. Bake at 350 degrees F about (or assemble early and refrigerate; bake 45 minutes.) Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
(Recipe Courtesty of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook I recieved as a wedding gift 30 years ago!)
Once again, I picked up my needles to knit (not like I've ever really put them down!) Thought I'd share the newest project, a baby sweater. Yes, a baby sweater for my grand-baby in waiting!!! This will be our first grandchild and I can't wait to meet her/him. So, in the meantime, I've been sewing and knitting lots of yellow and green until we know for sure.

Here is my current project, a Cables and Ribbon pattern for a baby sweater I found on the internet. It's an easy knit, the cables are what slow me down. I started it last Thursday, so with only working on it an hour or two a day, I'm already to the point I can divide it into fronts and the back on holders. Hopefully, I'll have it finished in a couple of weeks. Love the yarn, Simply Soft....can't beat it for beautiful baby things.
Greetings to All!

Its now fall and after a few months of respite, I feel renewed; ready to join the blogging world once again! The Spring and Summer were a whirl-wind of activities and travel. I let my mind have a much needed rest after several months of work and intensive writing. This new season brings on a new revitalization in my psyche and my creativity. I have been working on many projects which I hope to share with everyone in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more posts... I'm back!!!!

Writing for Others....

Please forgive my absence and lack of posts on my blog. Priorities shift and at this time I have been so busy writing for other people's blogs I have sorely neglected my own. I still do all the things I normally do: Crafting, Decorating, Cooking and all of it, but I have embarked on a new endeavor - being a free-lance writer.

I have found that being a free-lance writer is not only challenging but enjoyable for me. Learning new things everyday is a part of the job that I find the most interesting. The pay is nothing to write home about, but as I get closer to early retirement, I think that this will be one of the many things I will continue to do and relish.

My Mystery Party games have also been selling at an amazing rate. They have been well received all over the world and that creative side of my writing will be one that I continue to explore. Last year alone, I authored four of these scripts which take on average six to 12 weeks, each. That type of writing takes clever dialogue, interesting characters and reasonable outcomes to deduce the culprit.

I am not saying "farewell" but rather "I'll be back". I need to find a balance between my family, writing professionally, working full-time and all of my other interests. I'll be posting once in awhile in the future, but not on a weekly basis. I want to thank all of my faithful readers for staying with me...I have made many good friends from blogging and each are dear to me.

Enjoy the upcoming week and let's all hope "Spring has Sprung!".


Wow was the word for our Red Hat Ladies' Valentine's Dinner last night. After trying to find a caterer to no avail (all were booked for weddings and bigger parties!), it was decided to cater it ourselves. With an Italian theme in mind, we served Italian beef, baked penne pasta, breads, garden salad, fresh shrimp, fruit platter and tons of desserts. The best part was having all of our spouses with us and dancing the night away to 70's and 80's music provided by the band playing in the public area. It was a wonderful evening of fun, friendship and frolic that none of us will soon forget.

(Photo courtesy: flickr.com/photos/38684070@N00/3385692754/)

Why is it that winter and the colder weather always bring on the starch monkeys? Maybe its our bodies' way of adding a few extra calories to help keep us warm? No matter, nothing beats a big batch of beef and noodles to warm a tummy on a cold winter evening. I grew up on this dish and always serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans. Of course tonight is no different.
Mine aren't quite finished, but as I was looking for other's recipes, I ran across this website: http://meesosweetandspicy.blogspot.com/2008/04/moms-beef-noodles.html
She posted her mom's beef and noodles recipe, which was mighty close to the way I fix mine. Give me a bag of noodles, I will boil them into starchy goodness! Check out Meeso's recipe for beef and noodles. I thank her for posting it. Now on to the starch!
It's been my promise to myself that I would be more obedient to my blog and that's what I'm trying to do in this New Year of 2010. The movie "Julie and Julia" made me think I should have a focus on this blog. Most of my posts have been rambling... random things of what I am doing, how the weather is, my crafts, writing and all of that stuph. But then again, all of that stuph is me. What to do?

So anyone out there that actually reads my blog, for the time being, I've decided to continue on with my random ramblings. Perhaps you might get inspired from a thing or two, get a giggle out of a pun or find something that you find truly interesting that I share. If I get inspired to blog about a specific subject, so be the will of the blog gods. Until then I will remain Craftola with all of my stuph to share!

Gooey Goodness!

I have a secret. I am a closet chocolate-holic! Since I've been home the last two days because of the snow, yesterday was a baking day. It had been ages since I'd made a German chocolate cake with the traditional pecan and coconut frosting, so I decided to make cupcakes. Believe me, there is nothing more full of eewy-gooey goodness than these babies. The only thing I would have done differently would be to scoop out a little of the cupcake to fill it with some of that wonderful frosting...but unfortunately, I didn't have enough of it to do that. Next time I'll plan ahead! There's nothing like "comfort" food on these cold and snowy days. It makes you want to forget the calories and go for the gooey goodness that only a warm cupcake can bring. Are you hungry, yet?
(photo courtesty of http://www.slowtrav.com)
I have been a fan of "Big Love" for many a year and upon seeing the new season episodes will be premiering in January, I remembered something... I received the whole set of previous episodes last year for Christmas! Do you think I could find them anywhere in the house? Not...

As it so happened, our daughter and her hubby stopped by for a visit this afternoon. In passing, I asked her if she might remember my Big Love gift from last Christmas. She told me that she had borrowed the whole set. (Which I'm sure she asked, but I had forgotten about it.) Mystery solved at last!

So in short, it takes a Mother to give up a never opened Christmas gift and let a daughter use it first. Now I'm waiting for her to bake us a cake using the "Big Top" cake pans which was one of the gifts I bought her for Christmas. But that's another story....

New Year's Resolution

One of my New Year's resolutions is to try to keep up with my blog and post at least three times a week. I got so busy last summer, letting myself get out of the habit of frequent posting. I'm going to try really hard to get back into the swing of things.

Another resolution is to work on my mystery writing at least five hours a week. I have so many ideas and works in progress that I need to get myself structured to get them finished. I spent a lot of my free time in the last six weeks making Christmas gifts, baking and all of the general holiday preparations that I let that part of my creative side slide to the back burner.

Of course, there always the regular resolutions that many people make to themselves. Lose weight, eat healthier, live greener....those are on my list, too. I only hope the New Year will be good to me and help me keep my resolutions.

Happy New Year to All and may 2010 be your best year ever!