Monday, February 28, 2011

Boo! It's An Update

The Artistic Halloween Queens Bootique updates at midnight.....

Find him


He'll find you.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's That Time of the Month

When I get to cheat on my diet, of course. What did you think I was talking about?

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Found this recipe over at Picky Palate. I'm not going to share it with you. I'm just going to make you wish you were here. Here with a big glass of milk. You can hop over there and get if you like. I'm too lazy to type all of it out. Or copy and paste. It's probably due to the massive blood sugar spike and subsequent drop from eating one of those cookies.

Anything that starts off with two kinds of sugar is alright in my book. And the perfect way to totally ruin a diet. Which was my plan since I only get to do it twice a month.

And then you add the butta because butta makes everything betta.

While that's mixing, it's the perfect time to assemble the S'mores. Yes. Real S'mores. We are actually stuffing them inside the cookie. For real.

It's nice to have a helper for this part. In my case, it was my 7 year old. And if you're a dork like me and you break the graham crackers into halves, then your 7 year old will tell you, 'Mom, these are halves. The recipe says they are suppose to be in fourths', and you'll feel stupid and proud all at the same time.

There. Nice, eh?

Now, you and your helper can head back over to the mixer and add the rest of the ingredients. If your helper is little, make sure they are very, very careful with the mixer, especially those stand mixers.

They can, and will, take your arm off at the elbow. Or your finger. Whichever you're unlucky enough to get caught in there. So be careful. Respect the power of the mixer.

And, personally, I only allow my helper to use setting number one.

Still, tiny hands can slip or judgement can be impaired at the thought of consuming all that sugar and accidents will happen, so never them leave them unattended.

Then you do something that can only be described as ri-damn-diculous.

I had to take a picture with the box of pudding mix to give you an idea just how massive they are. The recipe is suppose to make 12. I wound up with 10. I tried borrowing from one to give to the other but then I just figured 10 is enough. If you made these often enough, and lived through the massive coronary that occured as a result, you'd probably have a good idea how much dough to use in order to make 12. But again, 10 is quite enough.

I mean look at those monsters! I've gotta tell ya, I think I checked them every 30 seconds. I was sure I'd come back to find what looked like a marshmallow bomb had gone off in my oven. But in about 17 minutes I was rewarded with this....

Yes my friends, it is another successful, diet-ruining day.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sleep off this diabetic coma.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bling Bling - And a OWOH Prize

(These were made by my friend Laura and gifted to me. Her Etsy shop is coming soon!)

I learned something new over the weekend with my girls. First, I learned that I really, really love this color. I already kinda knew that, just look at my blog, but I've come to realize that I'm drawn to it. In Everything.

Second, I learned to make jewelry. I'm using learned in it's loosest sense here. It's not that I didn't have a good teacher, it's just that I'm going to need lots of practice. Lots.

The hardest part, which blew my mind, was putting together the beads. I don't mean the actual execution. I mean the part where you go, 'oh this is pretty. i think i'll put this with this and that with that and this'll go here and that'll go there'. Not as easy as one might think. I mean, I'm a girl. I like jewelry. I like pretty, shinny things. How hard could it be, right? Deceptively.

I made the bracelet, which I was darn proud of! Just look at those colors. I planned to do it all in turquoise but then I saw those crackly beads and they just spoke to me. Something very vintagey about those little do dads. But I could NOT get it together for the earrings. I mean, I just made the bracelet. Now all I gotta do is pick out some pretty little matching beads, right?

It was a disaster. Not because I couldn't get down that little bend/bend/wrap technique for the tops of the earrings (I mean, I couldn't. I let my friend do that. But that's not what I'm talking about here. Pay attention), but because every bead I picked out was too big, didn't "compliment" the other shapes I put them with. Blah, blah, blah. So my friend executes the simple technique of going the 'simple is sometimes best' route and throwing three little turquoise beads together making the perfect little set of earrings. Yes, that made me feel like quite the winner. But then I just don't do simple well. I like to keep things complicated. You know, just for the fun of it.

I figure my lesson in jewelry making couldn't have been more perfectly timed since this little beaut arrived in the mail this week. A lampwork heart bead from Karen Klomparens over at Fire-n-sand Glass. I really like the idea of creating shapes for jewelry from glass with a blowtorch. That's just my kind of complicated. It's also the kind of thing that would get my house burned to the ground so I'm just going to see about making something with the one Karen sent me.

Maybe I'll just keep it simple. You know, like leave it on the little ribbon it came with. Oh, come on. You know that's never going to happen!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I want, I want, I want - AGAIN (Giveaway)

It's happening again folks. The Diva over at The Domestic Diva is giving away one of these awesome machines and I've gotta tell ya, I'm feeling really good about this one. Really good.

I'm curious does one get cool enough for Silhouette to send them a machine and an extra one to give away?? I want to be that cool.

Just for extra Karma here's a list of other blogs hosting this give away, too. (You can tell me how much you love me in the comments section)

The DIY Showoff
(You know how I be lovin some DIY!)

My Repurposed Life
(A girl after my own heart. Currently trying to figure out how to repurpose baby food jars, plastic formula containers and hubby)

Sugar Pop Ribbons
(And this one is just plain FUN! Especially since I have a new baby)

Vintage Revivals
(I could stay here all day. All. Day.)

C.R.A.F.T - Creating Really Awesome Free Things
(Now how cleaver is that?!)

Happy Money Saver
(Ok. The title alone should get you on this one!)

My Sweet Savannah
(She has a recipe for Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies AND Adele music on her blog. She's one of my new BFF's. Even if she isn't aware of it!)

If I win, I'm sending you all a prize. Promise.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Baby + Old Friends + Great Art =
1 Really Good Weekend

You know those kinds of friends that no matter how long it's been since you've seen them you just pick right up where you left off. Like it was only yesterday instead of years. I have those kinds of friends. And I love them.

My "Girl's Weekend" began in a way that I was not expecting. At all. Our niece, who was due to arrive St. Patrick's Day, decided she'd rather be here early enough to properly enjoy that party and arrived almost exactly a month early. She's my newest "girl".

Girl's Weekend officially kicked off at City Market in Downtown Savannah at the A.T. Hun Gallery where one of my girls has her mosaics featured.

They are so good, it borders on ridiculous.

Laura of Motley Lane Mosaics

There's just nothing like good friends. They make you laugh. Even when you don't feel like it. And then, before you know it, you feel like it.

Then they make you laugh some more.

And though you still think of them as your high school friends, you see them with your kids and you realize things have changed. But not how much you love them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Foto Friday: Photoshop

Repeat after me: Photoshop is my friend.

I always thought photographers were so fabulous their pictures came out of the camera in the form of pure awesomeness. Not true. I was astounded to discover that they "cheat". And I think it's awesome.

If you haven't tried photoshop and you're intimidated by it, don't be. Plus, you can get a scaled down version called Photoshop Elements just to get you started for around $99. Once you learn a few quick techniques you'll be hooked and then you'll want the full version. That's when you're in trouble. It costs like 7 times more. Plus, you'll feel the need to get Photoshop Lightroom, too (because you're hubby bought you a jam-up camera for Christmas and you fancy yourself a professional. But. You. Are. Not.). Incidentally, I would really like to upgrade from Photoshop Elements to CS5. (I'd also like one of those Silhouette SD cutting machines and a medium telephoto lens for my new jam-up camera). So have pity on me and check out the links to my work and buy something. You'll like it. I promise.

All the pictures in this post were taken with a simple, point and shoot camera - with the exception of the last one. My sister-in-law took that one because she had a jam-up camera at the time and I did not. (Can you tell any difference?) The awesomeness happened in photoshop. Truth be told, I became quite the prodigy with a point and shoot. I desperately coveted the DSLR but not having one, I learned to push my little P&S to the limit. Once I discovered the magic that can happen in photoshop, I almost lost the desire for the DSLR. Almost.

And you won't believe how I learned to use photoshop. For free. Yes. I said for FREE. I don't even remember how I stumbled on the Jessica Sprague website but one day I found myself there and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. You can even learn how to use that jam-up camera you have while you're there. Because I'd be willing to bet most of you, like me, have no idea what all it can do. But we'll figure it out. And until we do, we'll fix it in photoshop and call it a day.

So. Your homework for the weekend (yes, I said homework and weekend in the same sentence. But it's fun homework) is to play with your camera until you figure out something that it can do that you didn't know it could do. (And then come back here and tell me. It will save me some time learning on my own.) You should also obtain a copy of Photoshop (the cheap version or the expensive one. Your choice. But if you get the expensive one, don't tell me, I'll be jealous.) Then go over to Jessica and sign yourself up for that Free Photoshop class.

Have fun!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

OWOH 2011 Winner

And the weiner....I mean, winner is...

...drum roll, please....(I feel like Clark Griswold)....


(And I swear I didn't rig it. Count for yourself.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Celebrate the Boy

(Wanna celebrate The Boy, too? Click the banner)

I distinctly remember a clothes shopping trip just after I'd had my first boy. I walked into the store surrounded by delicious baby-ness, found a rack with boy's clothes and then looked around for the rest. I waded through a sea of pink and ruffles to ask the saleslady where they kept the rest of the boys' clothes. She laughed at me.

If you have boys, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, the boys section would be that small rack, usually at the back of the store that you've probably never seen. And if you have seen it, you were most likely on your way to the public restroom.

Soooo I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to find Made: Celebrate the Boy. In conjunction with Made by Rae, it's a month long celebration of...The Boy! No more little rack at the back of the store. It's a full fledged boy celebration complete with clothing tutorials, fun boy "stuff" and guest bloggers with NO PINK ALLOWED!

Not only will I be following along but I wanna play to. So here's my Ode to the Boy:

(Given the pile of "fallen soldiers" above, I'm really concerned about what these soldiers are doing. Are those shovels? I'm going to tell myself that they are metal detectors.)

*NOTE: None of the pictures above were staged. It's just a day in my life with the Boys' Club.

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