Easter Eggs DIY – It’s Easy to Decorate With Decoupage

Easter Eggs DIY – It’s Easy to Decorate With Decoupage

Easter Eggs DIY – It’s Easy to Decorate With Decoupage

February 27, 2017

    Easter Eggs DIY – It’s Easy to Decorate With Decoupage.   In the past, I have seen Easter eggs decorated with type from books and thought I would like to create some antique looking eggs.  Then, I came across a pin of two beautiful eggs that I just loved.  

   I was curious how they managed to get the lovely aged color behind the black print.  The pin led me to this site,  Unique Papercrafting Graphic 45.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that it was tissue paper that had been stamped!

    So, I made a little trip to the craft stores and found the ink pad and some botanical and Easter – Springlike stamps.   Remembering that there was some patterned tissue paper in the bin with all the wrapping papers, I sifted through the papers and found three, which seemed to go together well.

     Have you ever heard of ‘StazOn’ ink?  Well, I never had and let me tell you, it does stay on!  It works really well.  

    You must know that I was pretty excited to begin this project.   The plain white tissue paper was placed on the wooden kitchen table and the StazOn ink pad was used to ink the butterfly stamp.  Then stamping began…unknowingly, right through the tissue paper and onto the kitchen table!  

    No big deal, right?  Isopropyl alcohol takes off almost all ink and acrylic paint.  Hmm, not so much.  It lifted a little.  This was not so critical; the tabletop needed to be refinished anyway.  Getting ribbed by Dave was another story.

   Brainstorming, I remembered the ‘Magic Erasers’ and with a little elbow grease, they worked perfectly, but I am pretty impressed with this ink.  You will note that in the pictures, which follow, there was paper protecting the table.

   Anyway, for this project, you will need Mod Podge, stamps of your choice, tissue paper, paintbrush, StazOn ink pad, and eggs with the contents blown out of them. 

    The instructions on the Graphic 45 website said to tear the paper but I like to cut in strategic locations so that the design desired will be showing.  You can see that glue was brushed under the bunny’s belly.  That was where gluing began.  The design was kind of large for the egg and positioned strategically.  

     This paper had lines of color printed on it and most of the cuts followed them.  After the cut sections were glued, the bunny’s pants overlapped the tissue on either side.

    You can see there are some wrinkles in the tissue paper but using the rounded handle of the paint brush or the X-Acto knife, those can easily be rolled out before the Mod Podge is completely dry.

    Wanting to preserve the ‘B’ design, it was cut around and glued over the top of the type and flourishes on the previously glued tissue sections.  You don’t want a lot of layers and sometimes, at the bottom of one of those sections, snipping off an unnecessary piece is easily done.

    Patiently, continue gluing the tissue paper onto the egg shell.  Continue adding tissue paper, trimming as necessary, until the entire egg is covered.  If you put the glue mostly under the paper, it won’t be so sticky and you should be able to cover the entire egg with no problem.   If you apply too much glue on top, you might have to allow the glue to dry before completing and then finishing any white spaces left.

    In the picture above, you can see cuts made along the bunny’s ears so they would ultimately be glued on top.  In my mind, tearing would not produce the best results in this case.

    Remember to use the rounded handle of your brush or X-Acto knife to gently roll over and smooth the wrinkles from the tissue paper.  Then, let the egg dry.  

    Aren’t these gorgeous?  I liked the muted colors of these tissue papers, but you could use any colors you like.  Fresh spring colors would create an entirely different look.

 

     I love this vintage look!  What do you think?  Inspired to make some of your own?   Easter Eggs DIY – It’s Easy to Decorate With Decoupage!

 

 

 

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Quick Shrimp Dinner With Flavored Rice

Quick Shrimp Dinner With Flavored Rice

Quick Shrimp Dinner With Flavored Rice

February 24, 2017

    A Quick Shrimp Dinner With Flavored Rice has been on my mind for over a week now.   I saw on an episode of The Kitchen how Sunny Anderson, one of the ladies on the show, had wrapped shrimp, compound butter, and some chopped onion into Reynold’s Wrap and baked it in the oven for 8 minutes.  Wow!

     Last night, the timing was right.  Dave was off on another of his fishing excursions and dinner would only be for the two of us.   I took the shrimp from the freezer and placed two dozen in a bowl of cold water to thaw.

    The last time I went to Sam’s Club, I found this bag of uncooked Jumbo Shrimp.  There are 31-40 shelled and deveined shrimp per pound and this is a 2-pound package found in the freezer section.   (Love this!  You can remove what you need, zip it shut, and put the remainder back in the freezer.)  

 

   In the past, I have always used the shell on shrimp found in the meat department.  They are bigger and that is what is always used for the ‘Baked Shrimp Scampi’.

   Then, I began to make the compound butter.  I had left a stick of butter on the counter earlier to come to room temperature, making it easy to combine the ingredients.   For this compound butter, I chopped up about 1/4 cup of fresh parsley.  4 garlic cloves were minced and added.  The juice from half a lemon was added and 2 tsp. of lemon zest.   Salt and fresh pepper were then added and it was all stirred well to combine the ingredients.

  The compound butter was then placed in the fridge to firm up a little before it was needed.  Compound butter can be kept in the fridge for a week or two or frozen for a couple of months.  If you freeze this, wrap the plastic in foil and it will be better protected.  There was some leftover and it was wrapped up for use later.  Be sure you write on it what it is!

 

    Twelve shrimp were placed in the center of two pieces of heavy duty Reynold’s Wrap.  Then sliced green onions were sprinkled on top of the shrimp.  

    A good sized dollop of the compound butter was placed on top of the shrimp. Then, salt and fresh pepper were added.

    Then, two sides of the wrap were pulled together, folded over three times and sealed tight.

    The two open ends were folded up and sealed and the packets were ready to go into a preheated 450° oven for 8 minutes.  (It actually took this size shrimp 10 minutes to cook.  I checked at 8 minutes and they weren’t quite done.)

 

   Could it get any easier than this?   Yes, the flavored rice is.   Sunny served the shrimp with grits.  Yummm!  Yes, but David doesn’t like grits.  So I decided to make some flavored rice with this shrimp dish.


Lemon Parsley Rice

1 cup long grain white rice

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. compound butter

2 Tblsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. grated lemon peel*

    In a saucepan, heat rice, chicken broth, water, salt, and compound butter to boiling over high heat.  Lower heat and simmer for 18 – 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

  Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley and the lemon peel.  Stir to combine.  

   After the rice had been cooking for 10 minutes, the foil packets with the shrimp in them were placed in the preheated oven.  (As I said before, they actually took 10 minutes to cook through.)

     With 2 minutes of cooking time left, I popped some baby peas in the microwave to cook.

    Let me tell you when these packets were opened, the smell was amazing!   To serve, a generous portion of rice was placed on the plates and that was topped with shrimp and all of the butter goodness.  Baby peas were spooned to the side of the rice.  

 

   Dave and I both thoroughly enjoyed this simple and easy dish!  Quick Shrimp Dinner with Rice, we will have it again, soon!

  

 

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DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

February 20, 2017

|Part 2 – Victorian Wreath

   “DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To” resumes.  

Click here ► if you missed part 1.

 

 

   After the accessories had all been duly decorated with tulle, beads, ribbons, and roses, attaching everything to the wreath began.   The stems of the flowers were attached with floral wire in a couple of places to hold them securely to the wreath.

       The ribbon for the bow was 2″ ribbon and I felt that it was perhaps a bit small.  More weight needed to be added there.   Taking two of the flower stems, I pushed the lower leaves up to the base of the flower spikes and cut the stems shorter.

   Here’s a tip.  When you are making a wreath, take pictures.  For some reason, anything that is out of place, or blank spaces, etc. seem to be magnified in pictures!  They seem to be so much more obvious.

  

  The first picture above has most of the items loosely pinned or lodged on the wreath to get an idea of where to put them.  You can see what I mean about the bow lacking some weight.  The picture on the right shows the bow attached a little higher and how the added weight of the spiked flowers adds the needed weight.

 (The ribbon tails will be manipulated and attached after the other items are attached.)

    Noticing that the metal hook of the hanger was so dark it wasn’t even visible, I thought spraying it with white paint would be a quick fix.  A can of white spray paint was found and I wrestled with the stupid thing and then threw it in the trash.  I think it was so old, it came out in oily drops.

    Undaunted, I pulled out the craft paint and painted the hanger white.   I painted about three coats of white acrylic paint onto it and used a piece of brown grocery bag to lightly sand between coats. (The brown grocery bag trick works great with acrylic paints.)

    Then hot gluing the elements onto the wreath began.   The little box at the bottom of the wreath was the first element to be glued.   I tried to be cognizant of where the little rosebuds would be seen on the hat, the fan, and the parasol.  I also added a couple of buds on the hanger.

     It seemed the bow needed some pink so a little open rose was tucked into the bow.  It seemed perfect!  Then, I began to add more of the pink roses around the wreath.  

    Since the little shoes didn’t have pink on them, I considered adding a little rosebud to each but decided to add an open rose right in between them.  More rosebuds were added on either side of the big blue bow and another between the box lid and the parasol.  The pink color helps your eye move around the wreath.

    Notice that ivy leaves were tucked here and there around the wreath.

    Oh, my gosh!  Isn’t this the cutest little wreath you have ever seen?  I love the bright blue with the pink rose accents!   It definitely ended up looking like a very fresh feminine spring wreath.

   

 

“DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To”    Has this inspired you to make one of your own?

 

 

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DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

February 18, 2017

Part 1 – Victorian Wreath

     DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To.  These wreath ideas are decidedly feminine and would be perfect for a little girl’s room.  What little girl wouldn’t love one?  

    Although I love Victorian decor and the opulence of that era, my preference is a Victorian look with a little restraint.

 

    The wreath in progress here and the wreath in the picture above were planned a few years ago!  The one with rose accents above was made and quickly sold.   The little Victorian dresses were made from a pattern, which I have been searching for in the massive pattern collection in the storage room in the basement! 

    That pattern seems to be elusive.  This week, the search has resulted in organizing patterns and sewing supplies, tossing some things, and putting the remainder in proper places, which includes some new clear bins!  (I am beginning to hate all of the opaque bins!)

     The wreath made a few years ago included dried roses and some dried tiny flowers, but I want this wreath to be more ‘Springlike’.  It needs brighter, fresher colors.  Aside from the sphagnum moss, there won’t be dried items.

    The wreath above has a little box and a heart-shaped frame, which were both handmade but I don’t think I will be making them for this wreath.  The little Mary Engelbreit box is the perfect shade of blue and it has the pink rose color in it, too.

   Often, when I am starting a wreath, it will look like the picture above.   The items being considered and the ones planned to be used will be loosely laid on the wreath until a design begins to take shape.  It’s my process.  Out of chaos, order begins to take shape!

    A wired blue ribbon was used as a base and layered under a lace covered blue ribbon.  Together, they were shaped into a bow to be used at the top of the wreath.  Ten loops were gathered in the middle and a floral wire was wrapped around the middle and secured by twisting the wire.

   Sphagnum peat moss was laid on the bottom and gently squeezed around the grapevine wreath.    A little bit of Tacky glue was used to hold it in a few places.

    In one of the bins I was searching through, I came across a silk rose candle ring.  The roses were tiny and I thought they would be perfect on this wreath.  After popping the buds off of the plastic stems, the hollow stem at the bottom of the rosebud was snipped off close to the silk sepal.  (They would not lay as flat when glued if this wasn’t done.)

    The little 1/4-inch blue ribbon was tied around the parasol handle in an overhand knot and then, tied into a bow.  Then, the ends were cut.  A tiny rosebud was glued at the bottom of the bow.

    A silk three-leaf piece was glued to the parasol and then two more of the rosebuds were glued on top of those.   The same process was used to add the leaf and bud to the crocheted fan and a ribbon was woven through the wide end.

    When you purchase a bouquet of stems like these blue flowers, the stems are usually straight.  Cut the stems at the base and manipulate them into a curve to mimic the shape of the wreath.  These were great to use because the stem had wire in it but the whole length with the little buds also was wired!

    The little hat needed to be spruced up, too.  I found some tulle in my stash and cut a small piece, which was fashioned into a cute little bow.  Of course, another little rosebud was attached to the bow.  After attaching the hat to the wreath, it will be decided how long to leave the tulle ends.

   Monday will be the big reveal of the finished wreath and the remainder of DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To.  See you then!  

Click here ►for part 2.

    

  

 

 

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13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes

13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes

13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes

February 13, 2017

    13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes are simple.  Isn’t there something irresistible about cheesecakes?  It has to be one of the most loved desserts of all time.  

 

   Surprisingly, my mother and grandmothers did not attempt these delicious perfect endings to a meal.  Here are some of The Secrets For Beautiful Successful Cheesecakes, which I have discovered after baking these desserts for years.

13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

   Techniques for making a perfect cheesecake are easy to master, but even as a novice, you can make an impressive cheesecake on your first attempt!

 

1.  Before starting one of these delicious desserts, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.  Aside from mixing together easier, the final cake will have a smoother texture.

 

2.   Combine the cream cheese and sugar thoroughly before adding flavorings, cream, or sour cream.  Stop the mixer a few times, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and the paddle.  It is impossible to remove lumps after liquid ingredients have been added.

13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

 3.  Use the paddle attachment on your electric mixer.  Regular whipping beaters incorporate too much air into the batter and it will result in cracks in the final cake.

 

  4.  Use a rubber spatula to fold in whipped cream or beaten egg whites if your recipe calls for either.  Be careful not to deflate the volume of the whipped ingredients when combining with the batter.

 

  5.  Almost any cookie will make a good base for cheesecake.  Many recipes call for graham crackers, but I have even used Oreo sandwich cookies!  The cookie or cracker crumbs are usually mixed with melted butter, sugar, and sometimes nuts.  Even if a recipe doesn’t call for nuts, I sometimes decrease the amount of cookie crumbs and add some ground nuts.

  6.  Crushing the cookies can be done by grinding in the food processor using the metal blade.  If you don’t have one of these, a plastic bag filled with the cookies can be crushed with a rolling pin.

 

  7.  Although I have never heard of anyone else doing it, I put a layer of parchment over the bottom piece of the springform pan, clamp the outer ring securing it to the bottom.   Once, I had a problem releasing the crust from the pan and this method has worked perfectly for me.  After the cheesecake has chilled sufficiently, the ring is removed and the cheesecake comes off of the parchment easily.  (The cheesecake can actually be lifted up by the parchment, held by the palm of your hand, peeled back one side at a time and placed on the serving platter.)

13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

    8.  After the parchment is attached to the springform pan, place two layers of heavy duty tin foil under the pan and pull up around the sides and crush to the edges.  ( You don’t want the water seeping in around the base of the pan.)

 

   Before or after pouring the batter into the springform pan, place the pan in a larger baking pan.   After the batter has been added, fill with hot water about 1/2 – 2/3 of the way up the sides of the pan.  That is called a bain marie.

Cheesecake is more like a custard than a cake.  The water bath bakes it more slowly and evenly.

 

    9.  Always Place in a preheated oven.   Make sure the oven is preheated!

 10.  Don’t open the oven door while the cheesecake is baking!  A sudden fluctuation in temperature could cause cracking.  Use your oven light to check until the cheesecake is 5 – 10 minutes away from the baking time suggested.  

 

  11. Don’t overbake.  The cheesecake should be set in the middle and jiggle when slightly shaken. It should still look slightly moist on top.  The top of the cheesecake should not brown and there should be no caramelization.  

 

  12.  When the cheesecake is finished baking, turn the oven off, prop the oven door open slightly, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for about an hour.  Cheesecakes release steam while they bake and cool.  If the steam is released too quickly it causes the top to crack.

13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

  13.   Just in case there is still some steam coming off of the cheesecake, lay a paper towel over the top of the cheesecake pan and a layer of Reynolds Wrap to hold it.  Any condensation will be absorbed by the paper towel.  (I don’t know about you, but it sometimes happens that there just isn’t sufficient time for the cake to completely cool before it has to go in the refrigerator at my house!)

 

   You don’t have to follow all of these steps, but I have found that by doing these things, the cheesecakes made in this humble home turn out perfect every time.  If you are a bit of a perfectionist, (Would you be reading this if you weren’t?) then you understand the motivation behind this!

13 Easy Tips For The Best Homemade Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    Almond cheesecake.  This was the first cheesecake recipe I ever made.  Isn’t that gorgeous?  It is simply delicious, too!  For more tried and true cheesecake recipes, click here ► Cheesecakes.

 

   Hope these 13 Easy Tips for The Best Homemade Cheesecakes ever, inspire you to create your own masterpiece!

 

 

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