Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Faerie Gardens part 5 - Terrariums

Terrariums are not just for live plants. You can use them to make little indoor Faerie gardens too! I bought this little ruffled glass bowl at Walmart for a mere .97 cents!
The Styrofoam was leftover packing material, or you can buy it at any place that sells craft supplies, same for the dried moss.
We all have oodles and oodles of assorted clip art and toothpicks, right?
And pretty shiny, sparkly trim and filler is also easy to come by.
Scissors, tacky glue and tape. Can you tell how easy this craft is?
So begin by trimming your Styrofoam piece till if fits in the base of the bowl or other container you might be using. Cover the sides with glue first and apply the moss, holding in place till set. The adhear the moss to the top.
Plop you moss covered Styrofoam into your container and begin on the Faeries or other decorations. If the pieces are small like these, you are fine to just tape the toothpicks to the backs of the cut out clip art. If the piece you want to display is larger or taller, you'll want to glue the clip art onto thin card board, (cracker boxes) and then cut out, so the image is reenforced and won't flop over in the container.
Your images should insert into the Styrofoam or moss easily. Then you can sprinkle your pixie dust, add some shiny filler and even decorate the outside of the jar!
I'm not really good at mailing breakable things so this weeks giveaway will be the same clip art I used, moss, tooth picks, pixie dust and filler. Leave a comment here for a chance to win and visit the last 4 weeks of posting (see right side bar near the top) - leave a message on them too, so you increase your chances to win all 5 weeks of Faerie Garden gifts!
Happy Creating and Good Luck!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Perfect Memorial Day - S'mores Cake!

We did not do our annual beach BBQ party this year because many friends were out of town or getting ready to move and the weather here in Southern California has been down right windy and chilly! Yesterday we went to a friends house and I was asked to bring a dessert. Usually I make cupcakes but I wanted something that was easy and no fuss, yet still delicious. So I googled, "easy chocolate cake", and found Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake.
If you are a seasoned baker like me, you may find your self re-reading some of the measurements of the ingredients, because they almost didn't make sense.
But They worked. The last ingredient was to add 1C of boiling hot water to the batter, which they warned would make it thin. More like hot chocolate thin. I was a little dubious when I set the pan in the oven to bake and had to rotate the pan plus extend the baking time till the center was solid and a tooth pick came out clean.
Other than that, I was very happy with this recipe. :)
For the S'mores topping, which I totally added on at the last minute, you will need:
  1. package of graham crackers
  2. package of mini marshmallows
  3. 1 Cup mini chocolate chips
  4. 1/2 of the cake frosting
So go ahead and make the frosting that is with the cake recipe. Put aside 1/2 of the frosting in a small microwave safe dish. Use the other bit of frosting to spread on the cooled cake.
Put some crackers in a cereal bowl and use the bottom of a hard cup, plastic or glass to grind the crackers up. I used about 1/2 the package.
Don't worry if you have some little pieces in the bowl.
Use your hand to sprinkle the crumbs onto the frosted cake.
Melt your frosting in the microwave, about 20 seconds and use a spatula to drizzle about 3/4 of the frosting onto the crumbs.
I used almost all of 1 package of mini marshmallows on the cake. Pressing them down into the frosting and covering any opening. The amount you use is up to you. Now if I had one of those brule' torches, I would have lightly torched the top of the mallows, but I did not.
So I drizzled the rest of the frosting on top of the mallows and sprinkled the mini chocolate chips.
Next time, I might put this in a broiler for a few minutes to melt the mallows a bit before serving.
Ether way, the cake was a hit! Not to sweet as I feared (with all the extra's), but just right. The chocolate cake was the moistest I have ever had and I am sure I'll be making the cake again, with or with out the S'mores.
Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Steam Punk Charm Swap Reveal!

The theme of this charm swap was "Steam Punk"!
So instead of the normal charm sizes we usually make, I encouraged the participants to make what ever suits their fancy as long as they adhere to "Steam Punk" genre.
For those of you unfamiliar with Steam Punk,
here is a definition according to Wiki:Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history,
and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world
where steam power is still widely used—
usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain
that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy.
Works of steampunk often feature
anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations
as Victorians may have envisioned them;
in other words, based on a Victorian perspective
on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc.
This technology may include such fictional machines as those found
in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne
or real technologies like the computer but developed earlier in an alternate history.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pretty neat huh?
So with out further ado, here is the reveal...
Cuff -made by:
Countess Natalie Batterbee
aka Michelle Cummings (that's Me! :)
* * * * * * *
Gears and things- made by:
Miranda Dean Winterman
aka Ashani Samuel 4
* * * * * * *
Eye see you- made by:
Miss Malekeh Millicicent
aka Carol Hoffmann 4
* * * * * * *
Keys, rings, gears and things -made by:
Miss Ester Goodall
aka Fawndolyn Valentine 1
* * * * * * *
Ring- made by:
Mrs. Amethyst Hopperton
aka Tami Roth 3
* * * * * * *
Faux leather necklace- made by:
Estelle Boodle
aka Victoria Sturdevant 4
* * * * * * *
Gears and gadgets- made by:
Consul Penelope Farrier
aka Susan Link 2
* * * * * * *
Pendant -made by:
Ambassador Jessamine Addle
aka Marissa Wong 3
* * * * * * *
Copper Delight- made by:
Virginia Midgely
aka Charity Donaldson 3
* * * * * * *
Vintage pendant necklace -made by:
Ethel C. Beergoggle
aka Brenda Bliss Delaney 2
* * * * * * *
Service part charm -made by:
Elmira Pinch
aka Valerie Myers 4
* * * * * * *
Time Flys- made by:
Ms. Henrietta Lovegrove
aka Mahala Elliott 7
* * * * * * *
Dragonfly Dreams- made by:
Molly Brewer
aka Deb Patrick 1
* * * * * * *
Type writer keys necklace -made by:
Countess Amelia Ambrose
aka Kathy McElroy 2
* * * * * * *
Compass hair clips -made by:
Swami Sarah Ann Bleese
aka Dawn Freedain 3
* * * * * * *
Romantic hair clip -made by:
Speaker Rebecca Kingsland
aka Amanda Willey 2
* * * * * * *
Keys, gears, fobs and things -made by:
Countess Isabelle Cogsmith
aka Wanda Stivison 3
* * * * * * *
Victorian clock hands and gears earrings- made by:
Her Royal Highness Josephine Granger
aka Diana Pohl 4
* * * * * * *
This marks my 9th hosted swap on this blog.
You can view them all at the top of this blog under my banner.
If you notice, at the end of each participant, here on this post you'll see a number.
The number tells you how many of the charm swaps
(including this one) they have participated in!
All these participants, plus more, are all on a Master e-mail list.
When a swap is created, they get first dibs on sign ups before the swap goes live on my blog.
If you would like to be on that master list, please contact me here.
Thanks for coming by, and see you at the next Charm Swap!

Best Friends - a Pet themed layout AND a Giveaway!

This layout was created with The Robins nest products:
Classic Glitter Swirls - Glitter Gold & Glitter Coffee Creme, both have a vintage stationary patterned on the back, which is what I used for the photo boxes.
Glitter Paws, Gold Dew Drops, Paw Sticker set, Discovery Girl rub ons, and brown velvet ribbon.

I used a 1" and 1 1/2" punch for the circles, kraft paper for the background, auburn and cocoa ink for distressing and a pen for making cross hatching lines.

Please visit The Robins Nest blog for other inspirational idea's and an amazing Bog Hop! :)
PLUS...If The Robins Nest reaches 100 followers by June 1st, someone will win a fantastic sample pack of Robins Nest product!
Thanks and good luck!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mermaid ATC Swap 2011


I recently participated in a Mermaid Artist Trading Card Swap with my friend Valerie Myers. It's a annual swap and I look forward to this swap every year! See 2010's swap here,
and 2009 here.
The Mermaids you see above and below were the ones I made for the swap. I used vintage clip art, sea side themed stickers, souffle pens and The Robins nest white tear drops.









Here are the Mermaids I received in return....

Lesa Livingston ......... Valerie Myers

Christina

Laura

Vicky Hrabe.....Tari Kins

Donna Woods.............Karen Poirier Brode

Kathie Overman.....Valerie Myers

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