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Archive for December, 2010

I heard a Pajamagram ad on the radio.  It was, specifically, an ad for their new hoodie footie pajamas.  Which sounded bad enough.  However, nothing (and I do mean nothing) could have prepared me for the stark reality.

I don’t mean to be unreasonable, but if my husband gets me this for Christmas, I think I might have to divorce him.  Or have him committed.  Either way.

Oh my gosh.  While I was just typing that, I noticed that you can have these atrocities personalized.  You know, in case some Grinch wants to steal your hoodie footie pink marshmallow pajamas, the personalization would make it easier to thwart him or her.

Nothing says, “I want your hot bod, baby,” like turning your wife into a giant life sized pink marshmallow slash deranged Easter bunny for Christmas!

In case you were operating under the delusion that it can’t get worse than turning your own wife into a giant pink marshmallow, don’t you should totally despair.  You can get them for the WHOOOOOOLE FAAAAAMILYYYY!!!

Someone really needs to call PETA or ASPCA or the local police department or someone on behalf of that poor dog.

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I like to make Christmas special with fancy punch and appetizers.  To that end, when I was planning this year’s menu, I turned to my 1967 Good Housekeeping Complete Christmas Cookbook.  As always, I found plenty of ideas.  Not anything I would actually make, of course.  Or even eat, for that matter.

But it’s fun to imagine a punch where the garnish is made from garbage.  At least I hope that’s the garnish and not just the ingredients trying to escape.

 But the best recipe in the book has to be the Molded – Pate Cheese Balls.  (Number 1 in the picture below.)

It is, I am not making this up, made up of gelatin, cream cheese, beef consomme, and liver pate.  Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like liver Jello!  That’s my motto.  And the orange garnish around the bottom of the plate totally brings the presentation home!

Number 2 in the picture (official name: Nibblers Crisp) has a long list of ingredients and instructions, which can be summarized thusly: take a bunch of raw vegetables, put them in a Jello mold, add water until full, and then freeze.  It’s basically a big giant ball of vegetable ice.  I imagine guests standing at the buffet line with ranch dressing and an ice pick, “Dang it!  All I want is a frozen cucumber, but they keep breaking everytime I try to pull them off the ice!  CHRISTMAS IS RUINED!”

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Yes, it’s true.  Kotex thinks they are my new spiritual advisor.  And it’s only fair, since they are the first place I turn to when I need to renew my focus for the holiday season.

I honestly have no idea how they got my email address or why they think I need advice from them about how to be merry.  But I like the concern they show for “the bloat.”

Oh yeah, and please don’t tell me what a “makeunder” is.  I’m sure I don’t want to know.

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Here’s a really great homemade gift idea for the kids on your list – couple it with a coloring book and everyone will call you Martha.  My daughter calls this “fixing my broken crayons.”

These are very easy to make.  Take your broken or unwanted crayons and remove the paper label.  Soaking them for a few minutes in warm soapy water will make that easier.  For the really tough labels, I used a paring knife and just peeled it off – I think that was easier than soaking them. 

As for melting the crayons, there are several methods – and each will give you a slightly different result.  For these, I melted the crayons in a small loaf pan set in a larger pan of water on the stovetop.  When they were melted, I poured the wax into a Christmas tree ice cube tray that I picked up at the thrift store for 50 cents.  Let them cool on the counter until they are hard and then put into the freezer so they will release from the mold more easily.  But don’t cool them in the freezer, they crack.

I put them in a cellophane bag and made a little topper with scrap paper and a Sharpie.  Ta-da!

Helpful hints about color: I used various shades of red, pink, blue, and purple for the purple crayons.  I also added white to soften the color a bit.  Same with the green (except I used blues, yellows, and greens obviously).  By the time I got to the red ones, I was out of red crayons.  But various shades of pink, orange, and a touch of brown combine nicely to make red.

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My Room Is Always Clean

You should totally go over to The American Homemaker and see why I have a note from my sister saying my room is always clean.

http://theamericanhomemaker.blogspot.com/

Thanks for asking me to guest post, Angie!

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We all know (or actually are) someone who loves books.  Here are a couple of handmade gift ideas for that person in your life; Bookmarks and Bookplates.

For the bookmarks, I trimmed a piece of cardstock to 2 1/2″ x 6 3/4″ (approximately).  Then I used rubber cement to adhere the fabric directly onto the cardstock.  To finish it off, I trimmed the fabric, punched a hole, and added a piece of coordinating ribbon.  (Give the rubber cement time to dry before you punch your hole or you will gunk up your hole punch.)

The bookplates are pretty self-explanatory.  I typed my phrase and name on my word processing software and adhered them to pieces of pretty scrap paper trimmed to size.

Both of these projects are quick, easy, and can be made from the stash of scraps that you have around your house.  (I assume I’m not the only one with a big paper and fabric scrap stash.)  They also make great gifts, just put them in a pretty box and tie them with some ribbon or bakers twine.

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Get it?  Bucks?  Like reindeer?  Donner and Dasher and Prancer and Comet and Cupid?  Well, Prancer probably isn’t a buck … Or if he is, I bet the other reindeer on the playground were ruthless.

But I digress.  I have made a couple of (what I think are) adorable Christmas decorations for under $5 this week.  They also take less than 10 minutes to make!

The first is my Faux Subway Art.

I’m sure you’ve seen all the subway art floating around the internet, it’s all the rage.  But I am not good at Photoshop (yet), so here is my take.

 

What you are looking at, besides being a great piece of faux subway art, was very nearly a craft fail!  *Gasp*  I got an 11×17 frame at Wal-Mart for $4.  The lettering also came from Wal-Mart.  It was a sheet of vinyl window clings – and it was only a buck!

I got home and realized I didn’t have any 11×17 paper to back up the art.  But, I put on my thinking cap.  You know the piece of paper that comes in the frame and usually has some dorky picture of somebody on it?  I just used that and turned it backwards.  Go brain!  Then I put the window clings between the paper and the glass to help hold them in.  I arranged them in the same pattern they came on the sheet.  (I had originally thought to just frame the whole sheet, but it was some weird size that didn’t fit any frames.

Next is my Front Door Wreath.

I got the snowflakes (pack of 5) and the beaded garland from my local Dollar Sense.  (I didn’t use the whole garland, so I’m calling that 50 cents.)  The glittered JOY was another great $1 Wal-Mart find.  (I gotta say, Wal-Mart really outdid themselves this year with the great $1 decorations.)  The wreath was free.  I just de-decorated a wreath that I had used in previous years.  Is that cheating?  Well, if you can find a blank wreath for $2.50, then you’re still under $5.

I thought about doing a tutorial for this, complete with pictures of me and my hot glue gun.  But, let’s be honest, if you can’t figure out how to wrap garland around a wreath and hot glue stuff to it, you probably aren’t going to want to make your own wreath anyway.

For this last one, you will have to use your imagination a little because I could not figure out how to get a really good picture of it.

It is a Floating Snow Flake Garland.

I just tied some of my Dollar Sense glittered snowflakes together with fishing line and hung it from a hook in the doorway.  (The previous owners of this house had some sort of fetish that required them to put copious amounts of finish nails and s-hooks into all the woodwork.)

I did think of something pithy while making this one … You might be a Crafter if you’ve ever said, “This looks like a job for 6# test line!”  You’re laughing on the inside.  I know.

 

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