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Archive for January, 2010

Althered ID Badge Key Chain Thingie is the technical term for it too.  True story.

This was a really easy little craft.  I just used an ID badge holder (you can get them at Wal-Mart for $1.24 for a dozen).

On one side, I cut around a picture of my daughter and mounted it to a piece of scrap paper.  On the other side, I reduced a picture that she colored for me on the copy machine.  I added a little embellishment to the picture she drew because I can’t help myself.  Then I used my Xyron to adhere a piece of ribbon around the bottom – you could use glue though if you wanted.  I added a little key ring at the top and Voila!  A thingie!  I actually have mine attached to the side of my purse.

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I am often asked why I’m glad that I wasn’t alive in the Sixties.  In fact, I’m asked so often that I’m going to have to write a yet-to-be-determined-part story on it.

Okay, I’ve never been asked that but my mother gave me a set of 15 old Good Housekeeping Cookbooks which I believe aptly illustrate my relief at not having lived in the Sixties.  Here’s “Cooking for Company.”  They may be billed as “no-panic recipes”, but I would certainly panic if I was ever served some of this food.

But I digress.  If anyone were to randomly ask me why I am happy not to have been alive in the Sixties, I would present to them Exhibit A: Aspic. 

What was the obsession with aspic?  Every cookbook I have ever seen from the mid-20th Century has featured aspic prominently.  However, I have to say, nothing dresses up Jell-O like some lobster and sherry!  That will really impress the discriminating guest!

Then of course who wouldn’t add gelatin to potato salad?!  Seriously.  That’s the best – as seen here in Potato Salad Supreme.  (That loaf, however, does not look like any potato salad that I have ever seen.)

I don’t even know what the heck this is.  It’s only captioned as a “Cool Idea”.  It appears to be Jell-O rings filled with cottage cheese, celery, and chicken chunks served on lettuce.  Mmmmmm….Yum.

Sometimes in the Sixties, they tried to disguise aspic as a “loaf” as in Three-Layer Beef and Vegetable Loaf.  Don’t be fooled!  Oh wait.  I was fooled.  I just double checked the recipe and, surprisingly, it does not call for aspic.  Well slap olives on my aspic and call me a loaf.

But the Sixties weren’t all aspic and peyote.  Sometimes they had … cones!  What would a dinner party be without Company Tuna-Rice Cones?  This recipe calls for, among other things, corn flakes, brown sugar, salad oil, and canned tuna.  Nothing goes with brown sugar like canned tuna!  That’s my motto.

The Roast Beef Hearty Party Salad actually doesn’t look too bad.  Except that this version appears to be a bowl full of salad barfing up roast beef strips.  You know your party was a hit when even the salad has a hangover!

Apparently, the editors got tired of ruining perfectly good food with aspic and decided to ask themselves, “How can we screw up a perfectly lovely chicken?”  Then someone (probably someone who was high) said, “I know!  Let’s use toothpicks to stick pickles and carrots onto it and cover it with some sort of flesh-colored gravy so that it looks raw!”

Wouldn’t you just know that the people who had to make Jell-O fancy would also have to do something about that bourgeois bologna?  Oh yes, Bologna Barbecue!  Just add rosemary, red wine, and cheese slices along with a few other basic ingredients and you will have this culinary masterpiece!

Gives new meaning to the phrase “stuck pig”, huh?

And that, my friends, is Part 1 of why I am glad I wasn’t alive in the Sixties.

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I usually don’t blog about my scrapbook pages and cards because, quite frankly, there are millions of scrapbook and card bloggers out there.  Many of whom are far more creative than I am.  I think my cards and scrapbook pages are nice but they lean toward being simple and I figure if someone is looking for ideas online then they probably want something with more “stuff”.

However, I made these thank you notes and I did want to share them because I think they turned out really cute.

They aren’t fancy and, to be honest, I made them from my scrap pile.  But I think they are sweet.

I used my Sizzix to cut the tags and the verbage was just a rubber stamp.

On an unrelated note, I have a drippy sink from hell and it’s driving me nuts!  It started as a drip … drip … drip … then turned into an all out stream.  Meat Galore spent $18 on little rubber washers to fix it.  That fixed it.  For about three days.  Those three days of not having to listen to the steady drip … drip … drip … spoiled me.  Now it seems 1097 times worse than it used to!

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Aren’t those rigatoni pretty?  I made these for a kids’ craft party we had at my house on Monday.  (The pasta was only a small percentage of the craft stuff I had out, but stringing pasta was by far the favorite activity that day.)  It’s very easy and cheap.

First, mix together 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol and about 15-25 drops of food coloring.  Put that into a zipper bag and add 2-3 cups of pasta.  Squish it around a little, then lay the bag flat.  Let the pasta sit for about 3 hours, flipping and squishing every 30 minutes or so.  Then drain the alcohol off the pasta and spread the pasta out on a cookie sheet to dry.  I also stirred it every 15 minutes or so while it was drying.  Because alcohol evaporates quickly, it didn’t take long to dry.

Voila!  How easy is that?  And I think the colors turned out gorgeous!

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I’ve never claimed to be a good driver.  Well that’s not exactly true.  I’ve claimed it, but no one ever believed me.  So I pretended like I was laughing too so they’d be laughing with me and not at me. 

Where was I?  Oh yeah, bad drivers.  I firmly believe that what this world needs is another blog-gy diatribe against bad drivers.  There aren’t nearly enough of those (diatribes, there’s plenty of bad drivers).

I also firmly believe I witnessed the worst driving ever in the long, colorful history of bad driving last night.

I was on my way to my folks’ house and was required to go through a major intersection.  Well, major for this part of the country anyway.  Each road has 1 lane plus a turn lane.  So we basically had 8 or so lanes at the intersection.  The light was out and was flashing red.  Now all my readers know that means to treat the intersection as a 4-way stop.  Because you are smart.  As I approached it was  apparent to me that was not what was happening in this instance.  Since I was about 4 cars back I took the opportunity to assess the traffic pattern.  I’ve always fancied that I was good at figuring patterns.

Was the right of way going around to the right?  No.  Were they allowing the first arrived to go?  No.  I studied it and studied it and finally found the pattern.

Basically, when you felt like it was your turn, you were supposed to close your eyes, pull out into the intersection, and pray.  Pray hard.  Luckily, I drive a big truck so the right of way was mine while the guy in the dorky rollerskate car closed his eyes and prayed.

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I’m just wondering what kinds of complications can arise from wearing blue jeans before you wash them.  Will you have the same complications simply from trying them on?

Actually, the only complications I have experienced from this particular pair of jeans is that, when I put them on, my butt expands 3 fold.

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Who couldn’t use more bath and body products?  No one, that’s who!

Here are a few of my favorites.  The best part about them (besides, of course, their overall awesomeness) is that all of these are very cheap to make and very effective.  Well, the tattooed soap is just the normal amount of effective for soap, but the rest of the stuff is super effective.

The first is this wonderful Hand and Foot Cream (although because I accidentally made so much, I now use it all over my entire body).  I first found the recipe over at Crazy Suburban Mom’s blog (http://www.crazysuburbanmom.com/) and she found it over at Colorado Lady’s blog (http://coloradolady.blogspot.com). 

Mix together 1 jar of Vitamin E cream, 1 bottle of baby lotion, and 1 jar of petroleum jelly.  I know it doesn’t look like a lot when you are staring into the bowl but, take my word for it, it’s a lot.  I made a double batch.  You can get all the ingredients for one batch at Dollar General for $3.50 plus tax.  I got this jar at Wal-Mart because it was made in the USA (go Wal-Mart!).

Isn’t it pretty and fluffy?  The baby lotion also makes it smell very good.  I cleaned out the Vitamin E jars and altered them so I could package some of this lotion as gifts.

The next is a homemade Salt Scrub.  Mix together 2 cups of Epsom salts and 2 cups of baby oil.  The baby oil also makes this smell really good.  I think you could also use mineral oil and add some essential oils if you don’t care for the smell of baby powder.

I packaged this in these little jelly jars (garage sale find – $1 for 4 of them!  Woohoo!) that I decorated on top with just a little bit of scrapbook paper.

I don’t have a picture of it, but you can also mix together your leftover Epsom salts with a little bit of essential oils for a nice homemade Bath Salt.

The next items are decidedly more decorative in nature.  The first is Tattooed Soap which I found over at Dollar Store Crafts (see link at right).  All you do is apply a temporary tattoo to a bar of soap per the instructions on the package (the tattoo package, not the soap package).

Finally, I have the gift that my daughter made for my mom last year for Mother’s Day.  I just had her color on regular bars of soap with permanent marker, then I tied a ribbon around each one.  I got the basket at Dollar Tree and hot glued the butterfly (also a Dollar Tree find) onto the front.  I finished out the basket with a bottle of (store bought) lotion.

There you have it!  That’s all the bath and body products I know how to make.  So far.

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