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Archive for July, 2011

Can’t get enough of milk jars but unsure of what to use them for?

Break out the tissue paper and go for a stroll to gather some fun shaped sticks and whip this project up.

I had some leftover tissue paper from past birthdays (Avast no hot pinks, yellow or salmon. I was feeling hot pinks, yellow and salmon.), so I went with the aqua tones. All you need to do is make up some flowers in varying sizes and tie or glue them onto fun or fancy shaped sticks. Add some decorative stones or sand to the jar for extra color if desired, and voila! A simple centerpiece.

While I like the idea, I’m not too fond of how mine turned out. Maybe it’s just the colors I’m not digging, or maybe straighter sticks? I’ll have to experiment.

In case you wanted to know how to make full-petaled flowers:

Cut out four rectangles of tissue paper and layer one on top of each. Then fold the shorter side like an accordion the length of the papers. Next tie a string around the center pulling it tight so it puckers a bit. You’ll want to not snip the tails of the string so you can tie them onto the twigs.

Then cut the ends of the accordion into either spikes like I did, or a scallop shape. Start unfolding the petals starting in the middle to form a fluffy, full-bodied flower.

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Project #9 Pie in a Jar

Finally!

After seeing pies in jars for ages, and coveting them from my jarless apartment, I have obtained pie in a jar.

And it is good.

The hubs and I are, quite frankly, gagworthy-ingly agreeable–except when it comes to pies that is. He’s an apple guy and I’m a boysenberry, strawberry, rhubarb, pumpkin, [insert other pies here], etc… kinda gal.  I’ve tried pie crust walls that span the pie plate and defend my choices from his cinnamon appleness. I’ve baked completely separate pies. I’ve even sucked it up and tried to be satisfied with ONLY an apple pie.  And then I ran across Single Serving Pie in a Jar on Our Best Bites. They’ve got fantastic directions for every step, and a whole bunch of other great food ideas.

Golden Baked Goodness

After hearing me talk about them for months (“Oh my god have you seen how cute these are?! Pie SQUEE!”), my husband surprised me with half-pint jars for my birthday! And they are just as little and cute as you’re imagining.

Pies in jars are really easy to whip up, and best of all my husband got his apple and I got my rhubarb. No sharing required!

I used my usual pie crust recipe and pressed it into the jar (this step is a lot more time consuming than just rolling out a crust, but totally worth it).  Then I spooned in rhubarb for me, apple for him, baked them up and enjoyed. I’ve still got three more in the freezer waiting to get in our bellies, and a recipe for strawberry shortcake in a jar I’ve been concocting in my head.  I’ve also been eying all kinds of things that might just want to become a jelly or need some preserving.

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Mad props to my bestie June for taking some pics of the backgammon board.

Her favorite color is orange so I wanted to make sure to incorporate a lot of orange-y tones.

This time I made a little pouch to carry the game pieces. It matches the fabric I used on the outside of the board and closes with velcro. To carry, just roll it up in the middle of the mat!  I also invested in a bag of wooden circle cut-outs to use as pieces! All I had to do was paint them with an acrylic paint and then use a couple coats of gloss.

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Hello blog. I have not abandoned you. Nay I have been a-traveling, and maybe a bit of slacking as well… It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things after a vacation. I haven’t been much in the mood to sew, and the thing I’ve been wanting to do (bake) has been pushed back until it’s not 80+ degrees.  I did finish another awesome backgammon set for my best friend’s birthday!  Sadly I forgot to take any pictures of Project #8.  Maybe my bestest of friends will take pics and let me post? (Hint hint. Nudge nudge. No pressure.)

The Hubs and I went off the Italy in June to visit his folks who are living abroad for a year (oh to retire and travel!). The picture above is us at our favorite place to have a morning cappuccino or evening prosecco. It overlooks our home base of Spoleto and the beautiful Umbrian countryside.

St. Peter's Basilica

Outside Assisi

Baths of Neptune in Ostia Antica

We toured Rome and were awed by St. Peter’s Basilica, played with donkeys in Assisi, wandered through the ruins of the harbor town of Ostia Antica which dates back to the 4th century BC, and enjoyed numerous glasses of delicious red wine. Standing in the shadow of Vatican City it was easy to see just how corrupt the church was, and impossible to not be impressed with the immensity and richness of it all.  One of my favorite and unexpected moment was seeing fireflies in the medieval town of Bevagna. It was a first for me and an experience I want to repeat. Needless to say we had a fantastic trip and I enjoyed getting to spend time the most of awesome of in-laws.

After traveling for 27 hours to get home I slept for four hours and then went to work. Unfortunately the jet lag hit harder than expected and I had to come home. But I was greeted by a beautiful bunch of purple tulips from the love of my life as a thank you for bringing home the bacon so soon after our trip.

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