Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Resolutions for 2010
















1.  Do something nice for someone else every day.

2.  Do something creative or crafty at least once a week. 


3.  Try a new recipe, preferably something healthy, at least twice a month.  
4.  Participate in Project 365 - Take-A-Photo-A-Day
I learned of Project 365 Thrifty Little Blog where she shared she had participated this past year and shared a few of her photos along with changes that have happened in her life over the past year.  While I don't feel inspired to write something personal every day (or sometimes even once in awhile), taking a picture everyday is doable. Here is tutorial over at Photojojo - Photojojo's Tutorial for Project 365 Take- A-Photo-A-Day.
I am starting a new blog for this project over at KMOM14 365 Day - Take-A-Photo A Day Project

5.  Participate in Wardrobe Refashion
I have signed up to participate for 2 months over at Wardrobe Re-fashion where you pledge to not buy any "new" clothing for a period of 2, 4, 6 months or life and instead pledge to update and refashion pre-owned/loved items during the term of the contract.  I am only signing up for 2 months for now as I have a 16 year old teen boy that just doesn't wear the the stuff I have refashioned for him and he is going to need some new jeans, although they do have a "Get out of Refashionista Jail" that you can use just once during the term of the contract and I don't want to end up on "parole".   You also need to post once a week on the blog what you have been up to.  You can still sign up for January 1st up until December 31st here.
Wardrobe Refashion Sign-Up

6.  Learn HTML 
The internet had not even been invented when I last took any sort of computer programming class, even then, the class was theory and we had to sign up for lab time as the cost to have them in every classroom.  I want to be able to at least revise the coding so everything doesn't look jabberwocked when I publish it.

7.  Be More Active, Eat More Healthy and Lose 25 lbs.Just want to as healthy as I can.  


8.  Find A Job
Actually, this is the top priority, I just hate job hunting so it is going last on this list.  The company that I had worked for the last 5 years shut down the local branch in October so I am actively seeking employment.  Unemployment in the area runs 9-10% and competition for jobs stiff when there are any openings.  


To get a better chance of at least making the interview pile more often I plan on taking measures of improving that, such as revamping my resume, check into proficiency tests (I have already had some through JobWorks  and passed all of them, but maybe there are more I could take) and/or additional training to that will make me more marketable.  I miss interacting with people everyday, the challenges and opportunities that a full time job brings and I don't think I can handle daytime TV much longer.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Misc. Recycled Gift Wraps


It is based on the Risque Reindeer Gift Bag at Cut Out and Keep, except I was going for cute over being risque.

It is made entirely of recycled paper.  The face was from a Halloween craft project from a magazine for a jackolantern and the antlers handprints cut out of two similar shaded magazine pages (they turned out a little droopy - next time I try this I will use cardboard from a cereal box as backing.)

This is based on  Upcycled Gift Wrapping by Vanessa with a tutorial over at Craftzine.  On this one I used the page of a magazine,  a piece of sweatshirt for the bow and cut  out letters of the name kidnapper style from a magazine and glued them on with a glue stick.


This is basically the same concept, except I used a brown paper bag, cutout letter from a magazine and a cut off handle from a red plastic bag for the bow.


















This is just an ad from a magazine with the letter for the name drawn on another solid part of page and glued on with a glue stick.

Pear Oven Pancake



















Bake something inexpensive and different for breakfast!

This is based on a recipe from Erin Chase at $5 Dinners (she has a cookbook out called "The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook that is filled with $5 dinners) that she got from the Carnation Holiday baking book and went over very well and there were no leftovers.  I can't say it is really a pancake - the consistency is somewhere between a quiche or flan and a pancake with a pear custard sort of flavor that was delicious.

http://www.5dollardinners.com/2009/12/pear-oven-pancake.html/comment-page-4#comment-34045
 Ingredients:
  •  1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 12 ounce can  Evaporated Milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ripe pear 
  • Non-Stick Spray Coating 
  • Pancake syrup (optional)
Topping
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP Sugar 
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Peel and core the pear, then slice it into thin pieces.














Pour in a medium to large bowl 1/2 cup flour.















Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the flour.














Add 1/4 tsp of salt to the flour and sugar and mix thoroughly.














In a separate medium bowl, a mix the can of milk and the three eggs together.  Pour this mixture into the flour/sugar/salt mixture and mix thoroughly.














Spray the pan you are going to use with a non-stick coating spray.  The original recipe called for a 9x9 inch round pan, but I used a slightly larger pan.



















Pour the batter into the baking dish, then arrange the pear slices on top in a pinwheel pattern.















In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 TBSP of sugar together.















Scatter the topping mix over the top of the pear bake.














Bake 15-20 minutes (I baked for a little over 20 minutes) until it is golden brown and puffy.














I served ours warm with pancake syrup on the top.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rolled Flowers














Make pretty flowers to embellish crafts or packages from upcycled magazine pages!  This flower is a combination of a loose rolled flower with a tight rolled flower glued in the center.

I knew immediately when I saw the tutorial at Under The Table And Dreaming that I wanted to try to make some of these.  On her blog she makes them in both paper and fabric.


Link to the tutorial:  
http://ourliebertfamily.blogspot.com/2009/12/rolled-flower-gift-toppers.html?showComment=1261626546687_AIe9_BFUplHQvr_vCh6LkSdfSJ2hP73O3Mmk7CcQwvc5JFJAyx3GOkCNMrqW7qK5Cp4Vd3iZ5ps4E8WZzyLL97X6xiFZv_v6aQn8ZKF-dpIMBij1gq_5b26zxiAq-m2DlV0x-8WZWLbw7r4yIBZJB1HXUqVhKhy7tt0G8ekKJNzg9dIc94WQDNeJrwV2qVgV9WmuZ7NZSDBEasDnSL6k7bIoLW53PL2vgTYIamiGD-JbCnOGGLoKFxOz4ruDMU8b80520_jUHFiA#c2988219043799823034

Items I used:
  • 3 pages from a magazine
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Craft Glue
Take 3 pages of  magazine and square them up - I folded them up until they looked square then cut off the excess.













With a small hook in the center, draw an outward spiral on the paper with a pen or pencil and it will look sort of like this (sorry, you couldn't see the pencil on the pic I took so I did this instead).




















Cut the spiral on the lines and you will end up with a long squiggle of paper.


















Start with the outer edge and roll inward.  I ended up using dabs of glue as I went because the first time I tried making one after gluing the end the center unrolled like a Slinky.   How tightly you roll the flower  and how many layers you use will give the flower a different look.  The large flower below was rolled loosely, lower left tightly and for the small one on the right I only used 1 layer of paper.   For the above flower, a tight roll was glued inside the larger flower.



    Saturday, December 26, 2009

    Stoned Picture Frames


































    These are based on a tutorial over a Ruffles And Stuff for "Easy Fancy Pants Frames" which would never have flown if I had asked my son to make something "girly" as present for his Grandma so instead we are calling these "Stoned Picture Frames".   They were inexpensive and super easy.

    http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2009/12/easy-fancy-pants-frames.html
    •  Picture frames
    • Clear decorative stones
    • Amazing Goop or other strong, clear glue
    I bought 2 bags of clear small stones, one round and the other more oval, along with two picture frames, 1 rectangle and one fish shaped from the Dollar Tree.

    Position the stones on the frame to see how you want them to look.  My son decided to use the small stones on the fish and larger ones on the rectangular one.  You could add bows or flowers to dress them up more, but my son wanted to keep it simple.

    Use the Amazing Goop or other clear glue and apply to the bottom of one of the stones and position it back on the frame and continue until all stones are glued to the frame.

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    I'm A Winner of $15 Sav-A-Lot Card!

    I was just catching up on reading the blogs I follow and just found out that I am a winner of a $15 Sav-A-Lot Card!  This has made my day.  Frugal Girls Giveaway Winners

    If you have never heard of The Frugal Girls, they post all sorts of money saving deals, coupon codes, links to printout coupons and giveaways. 

    To check out their blog, click below:
    Frugal Girls!

    5 Minute Blinged Box




















    Bling up a gift box so it can be used for pretty storage later on.

    One of the presents that I am giving my niece for Christmas is necklace and I blinged it up with a few plastic jewels so she can store the necklace or other jewelry in if she wants to.

    Items used:
    • Small box with lid
    • Amazing Goop Glue
    • Plastic jewels
    The box I was already a glitzy red, but you could use a plain box and cover it with pretty wrapping paper.  The plastic jewels were in from The Dollar Tree - it came in a bag of around 100 assorted gems.  Choose the jewels that you want to use and set them on the box to see how they look.  Once you have the look you want, put a small dab of glue on the back of the plastic jewel and carefully place it on the box.   Don't put too much glue on the back or it will come out around the edges and look all globby.  

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!





    This is our Christmas card for this year.  This was created using the free online software at www.picnik.com.  Click on the Holiday option and there are several free options (all of the above are the free options) although some of the cute options are premium.

    Alas, gone are the days when I could dress him in a little Santa or Elf suit.  Now that he is 16, he would only agree to wear his "What Happens Under the Mistletoe Stays Under the Mistletoe" because he couldn't find his "Dear Santa, Let Me Explain..." t-shirt.  

    This was taken at our local Home Depot because it was more "manly".  Herefused to have his pic taken with Santa, but if there had been a cute girl elf handy he would have been game.

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Upcycled Gift Wrappings

























    Gift package wrapping made entirely of upcycled items.

    This was based on tutorial over at Craftzine by Vanessa at Designs by Vanessa:
    http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2009/12/upcycled_gift_wrapping.html

    Items used:
    • Bubble mailer
    • Magazine pages
    • Scrap of fabric
    • Scissors
    • Glue stick
    It is the same concept except I used an old bubble mailer instead of a grocery bag, a scrap piece of fleece instead of a piece of sweater (although I love the sweater look - just haven't chopped up any recently so I don't have any scraps) and instead of the cardboard tag I cut out letter for the name free hand from an old magazine.   The piece of paper with the wording is Singular ad.















    This was a page out of a magazine with letters cutout then tied with a scrap of green fleece.

    KMOM14's Full Disclosure for the FTC

    I got the link to generate the following disclosure policy to comply with FTC regulations for bloggers here
     here and learned about the generator at Tip Junkie.

    This is just my personal blog that I post my crafts and creations and one book review so far for Thomas Nelson publishing so far (they have a few books they publish which you can select from and send a book for you to read and keep and request that you write an impartial review).  I also have the Google ads that are an option when you have a blogger account.   I am not even sure how that whole thing works but put it out there, what the heck. 

    Here is the CYB (Cover Your Butt) for compliance purposes in case Big Brother is watching my little ole craft blog,

    Here is the generated part from the options that I selected.

    This policy is valid from 21 December 2009

    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact  kathrynsprowl@aol.com.

     This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

     The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.

     The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

    This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. We blog about people to whom we are related. The most interesting such people are: my son, Kyle.

    To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Fresh Apple Cake


















    This recipe I found at My Kitchen to Yours had me at cake for breakfast - what could be better than that. 

     Ingredients:

    Cake:
    • 3 cups apple - diced
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 3 cups flour
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    • 4 eggs
    • Non-stick coating spray
     Glaze:
    • 1 can vanilla frosting
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 4 TBSP milk
     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    The original recipe called for peeling and dicing the apples, I chose not to peel mine.  I used an apple corer then diced into small bite sized pieces.  I ended up using 4 medium apples to get 3 cups.














    Add the 2 TBSP of sugar to the diced apples.

    Add 2 tsp. of cinnamon

    Toss the apples, sugar and cinnamon together until well coated.
     

    In a separate large mixing bowl measure out 3 cups of flour.



    Add 3 tsp. baking powder to the flour.















    Add 1/2 tsp salt to flour and baking powder.















    In a separate mixing bowl, add 1 cup sugar.














    Add 1/2 cup brown sugar to the white sugar.

     Slowly add the 1 cup of oil (I used canola oil) and mix together until completely blended. 
     
    Add the vanilla to the mixture


     Add the eggs, one at a time, blending throughly.


    Add the 2 1/2 tsp. of vanilla to the sugar and eggs.















    Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture slowly and mix together until completely blended.














    Add the apple mixture to the flour and sugar mixture and mix together until well mixed.

     The original recipe called for using a bundt pan.  I don't have one so I used a flan pan and a baking dish.  Coat the pans with a non-stick cooking spray.


    Pour the batter into the pans.


















    As I used two smaller pans instead of a bundt pan, I only baked the cakes for 25 minutes.  For a bundt pan the recipe indicates 55 minutes.  Bake until the cake springs up in the center when touched, or use a toothpick and it is done when the pick comes out clean.














    To make the glaze, mix the frosting, cinnamon and milk in a bowl and drizzle over the top of the cake(s).

    Mr. Bill Ornament


















    Its Mr. Bill.  Oh, Nooooooo!    And he is created with recycled materials for a no out-of-pocket cost. 

    If you are under the age of 30 you may never have heard of Mr. Bill.  He was a playdough character from Saturday Night Live that was popular in 1979-80.  His catch phrase was "Oh, Nooooooo!" as he was pummeled and destroyed by his nemesis, Sluggo, in every episode.   It is teen boy humor, and this was made for a person that was a teen and was a fan. 

    Items used:
    •  2 Plastic lids, one white and one yellow
    • Glue Gun
    • Craft Glue
    • Pop tab
    • Craft Scissors
    • 3 soda bottle caps, 2 blue and one red if available
    • Plastic ring off of milk jug or soda bottle, red if available
    • Acrylic paint, red and/or blue (if needed)
    • Paint brush (if needed)
    • Yellow felt or paper
    • White felt or paper (if there is wording on the top of the white lid)
    • Ribbon, 8 inches or ornament hanger
    • Marker or pen






















    For the eyes, you will need two blue caps, for the nose 1 red one and for the mouth a plastic ring off of a milk jug or soda bottle.  If you do not have caps/ring in those colors, you can paint them with acrylic paint.  I didn't have the a red ring so I painted it red.  I also used red paint on the center of the red lid to cover up the wording on the top of the cap.

















    For the hair, a few inches from the top of the yellow lid, draw a line across then cut straight across.  


    Place the small cut part on the felt, trace around it twice then cut (one will be for the front of the hair, the other for the back.  Glue one piece of felt to the front of the plastic.   Use the hot glue gun to go around the edges and and affix it to the bottom of the white lid to make the hair.

    To make the face, use the glue gun to separately go around the edge of each bottle cap and then affix to the back of the white lid.    If the plastic ring is too large, which mine was, cut it and curl it up into a circle with a dab of hot glue at the end and then on the back and affix to the lid.

















    As there was wording on the top of my lid, I used an piece of thick white paper and traced around the lid, cut it out then glued it down with craft glue instead of hot glue to give it smooth surface.  Glue the pop tab in the center at the top for the hanger with the hot glue gun.

















    Glue the other piece of yellow felt over the top.   Thread a ribbon through the top of the tab or use an ornament hanger and it is ready to go the tree.























    To learn more about Mr. Bill visit his website:  http://www.mrbill.com/