Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cleaning Silver-Plated Items

As an avid Thrift/Antique Store shopper I come across tarnished silver items all the time. Most of these items have been passed up by others who just didn’t think they could be restored. But my Mother-in-law introduced me to a miracle product called Tarn-X and it is amazing.

Take these Silver-plated Chargers that I bought for $8, set of 8 at Goodwill yesterday. A set of 4 of these online is about $65, so I saved around $120+. I watched two ladies pick them up, rub their shirts on them realize the gold hue wouldn’t rub off then put them back on the shelf. So I happily took them home, rubbed Tarn-X over them with a sponge, rinsed off and they shined up like new.

Try it on old candlesticks that have a black residue in the creases or silver trays that are purplish/black, it really works wonders. If you know of any miracle cleaners please leave me a comment and let me know! (Tarn-X did not request a product review. I’m a happy, paying customer who just wanted to share a helpful product with any other thrift/antique store shoppers!).

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Fabric Organization

I store my fabrics much like you see them in a remnants bin at the fabric store, rolled with left-over ribbon tying them closed. This has been the best method for me since when I fold and stack them they usually wind up in a mess after digging through the box. If you have more fabric or larger pieces than what I do then a shelf storage system may work better (use Comic Book Art Board to create your own bolts). For smaller fabric collections (like mine) a large tote works perfectly.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

New Binder Organization Files

You can find the complete PDF list here: Binder Organization Post 1

Wish List

Important Dates

To Do

Supply List

Take Out

Freezer Inventory

Places To Go

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes (mainly desserts, but those are the best parts!):

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Marshmallow Sweet Taters (recipe from My Recipes)
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large)
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable cooking spray

TOPPING:
1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1 1/4 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake sweet potatoes on a pan for 1 hour or until tender. Let potatoes stand until cool enough to peel and mash with a potato masher.
Beat mashed sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, milk, egg, salt and vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon mixture into an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Topping: Stir together cereal, pecans, sugar and butter. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture in diagonal rows 2 inches apart. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle miniature marshmallows in empty spaces, and bake 10 more minutes.

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Pecan Mixture

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Everything in pie shell ready to bake

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Pecan Brownie Pie (Found this recipe at Bakerella)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp self-rising flour
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
2 cups pecans
1 package brownie mix and ingredients on the box
2 frozen deep dish pie shells

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put Brown Sugar in bowl, stir out chunks. Add flour to brown sugar, blend until flour disappears.
Add corn syrup and vanilla. Stir until completely combined. Add melted butter. Fold into mixture until mixed in thoroughly. Lightly beat two eggs in a separate bowl and fold into mixture until mixed in thoroughly. Stir in pecans and set aside.

Prepare brownie mixture using instructions on box.  Divide Brownie mixture between the two deep dish pie shells. Spoon pecan pie mixture evenly between the two pie shells. Bake for about 45-55 minutes. Place foil over the top of the pies for the last 10-15 minutes to avoid pie crust from browning too much. Inside will be very mushy and may take a little while to set up. I prefer to serve this cold for that reason.

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Pumpkin Bread Loaf (Was given this recipe from a friend)
2 3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Shortening
3 Eggs
2 cups Pumpkin
3 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp (each) Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice • 1 cup Walnuts (optional)

In large bowl, cream together sugar, shortening, eggs and pumpkin until well blended. Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Pour into two 9” by 5” loaf pans lined (on just the bottoms) with wax paper.  Bake at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

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Cracker Barrelish Macaroni and Cheese (it’s not exact but the closest I have found!)
4 cups uncooked Elbow Macaroni
1 stick Butter
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Ground Mustard
4 tbsp All-purpose Flour
4 cups Milk
16 oz American Cheese (slices)
16 oz Velvetta (half of the large 32 oz. block), cubed
Large rectangular casserole dish, or two medium dishes (I break my recipe in half in order to have it for both of our family gatherings, it makes a lot)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add macaroni. Cook until it’s close to done.

While the noodles cook melt the butter over medium heat in another pot. Blend in the flour, ground mustard and pepper into the melted butter until well mixed. Stir in milk, mix well. Then add the American & Velveeta cheeses and stir constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth. Drain noodles and mix them into the cheese sauce. Pour everything into your casserole dish. Cover the dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until sauce is thick and bubbling. This recipe reheats very well. You can also get it ready to go in the oven the day before, refrigerate overnight then just pull it out and pop it in the oven Thanksgiving day (to save yourself some time).

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(not the best photo sorry!)

William's Sacred Blueberry Crunch (this is my husband’s favorite, this is his Grandma’s recipe)
1 ready made Graham Cracker Crust
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
4 cups Cool Whip
1 can Blueberry Pie Filling, chilled
Pecan pieces, optional

Mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spoon into crust. Top with pie filling. Chill and serve.
Optional: Lining crust with pecan pieces adds extra crunch

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sequin Christmas Stocking Tutorial

After not being able to find a Christmas stocking “shiny” enough for what I had in mind. I decided to dust off a Stocking pattern I’ve had for years and make my own. This is a very easy project even for beginners.

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Supplies:

You’ll need a stocking pattern, either make your own or buy one I used McCall's M2991 Christmas Stockings

Fabric, I followed the yardage instructions that came with my Pattern. Your yardage will vary depending on the stocking size and design you make. For the outside I used a Sequin silver/grey. Inside I used a blue flannel. The Sequin was a bit flimsy so the flannel was necessary to stiffen it, it also gave them a pop of color on the inside. For the cuff I used a Satin Grey that coordinated.

Thread

Sewing Machine (not necessary but very time saving)

Ribbon (for hanging hoop)

A cutting mat and rotary cutter are also nice to have

 

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Begin by cutting out your stockings. You’ll need two for the outside, two for the inside (if you choose to line the inside like I did). Make sure you cut the toes pointing in the direction you want the stockings to hang and if your fabric isn’t double sided make sure that you cut the back pieces pointing the opposite way so the design shows on back and front.

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I have to brag a bit, I’m in love with my new cutting mat. I’ve been using my mom’s for years but finally broke down and purchased my own it’s an American Crafts 18" x 24" Rotary Cutting Mat

I bought it mainly because it was a minty blue color and matched my Pincushion but was very pleased when it arrived and I saw how high of quality it was.

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Here is a photo of the pattern I used McCall's M2991 Christmas Stockings

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I tweaked the cuffs a bit. The original pattern called for a cuff that wrapped around the entire stocking. I chose to half the pattern and just make the cuff wrap around the front half. Now I would like to say this was to make the design more retro however the truth is that the instructions confused me and it was a lot less sewing this way, I’m lazy like that

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Ok, now it’s time to begin sewing. We’ll first sew the stocking tops together (each side). Then we’ll turn them right side out and sew the two sides (A & B) of the stocking together.

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Here is Side A. It will have the cuff so I’ve folded the cuff in half (right side facing outwards) and laid it between the right sides of the inner and outer stocking.

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Here is side B. I did the same thing with it as Side A except instead of a cuff it has the hanging ribbon. I cut my ribbon 5 1/2” long, then folded in half and set it between the inner and outer pieces of fabric. Make sure to push it in about 3/4” so that is doesn’t get in the way of your seam when you sew the edges closed.

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Now sew the tops closed, making sure to sew the cuff and ribbon to each one.

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Flip right sides out, then lay side A & B together, right sides facing. Pin closed

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This is what the top should look like, all the pieces facing each other. Now just sew around all the other edges, leaving the top open. Turn right side out and hang.

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The Glitter letters are from Walmart

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Instead of multiple stocking holders I just use 2 and stretch a curtain rod between them.

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Pop of color on the inside.

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My reindeer (Marshall’s) and the tray/candle stick holders were a Goodwill find

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We don’t have a mantle unfortunately but this Ballard Design Benedetta Console table works perfectly

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photographer Freebies/Printables WHCC

I have sold templates on Etsy for many years for photographers. But have since decided to close shop and I didn’t want to take away some of the more popular templates permanently since that didn’t seem fair for my customers/future customers. So here are all the files, for free. Some are printable others are sized to be used with WHCC printing services.

Files are PSD format you'll need
Adobe Photoshop
or
Adobe Photoshop Elements
to edit the files.

WHCC Printable Accordion Product & Pricing Guide: Front & Back
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Portrait Agreement: Page 1 & Page 2
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WHCC Printable CD/DVD Trifold: Side A & Side B
Hubs to hold CD/DVD can be bought on Ebay or Amazon: Clear CD Hub
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