Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Digital Vintage Postcards

Vintage Postcard Alert - Need some cool old artwork for your holiday projects? Come on over to my etsy shop for downloadable 1907 vintage postcards from my family's collection. Great for scrapbooking, card making, shrink plastic, shirts, stockings, etc., etc. Holiday and fun everyday postcards. Can be resized and cropped to fit your project. https://www.etsy.com/shop/JoanMartinFee

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Last Minute and Inexpensive Thanksgiving Decorations

With Thanksgiving approaching here are a few ways to decorate your table with things you have around your home.  Last weekend I had a potluck at my house and had been so busy I didn't have any ideas to decorate my table.

I had bought a pumpkin basket at Michaels for less than $2.50 for part of a popcorn bar I had for my Bunco group.  (There is something to be said for waiting until the last minute to buy holiday decor - it was 80% off!)  I added some succulents from my yard to the basket and thought it wasn't Fallish enough.  I added in faux Fall leaves - still not enough pop of color.  That's when I saw my very Fallish colored cocktail napkins.  I opened them up, twisted them at the center and placed them among the succulents. 

I wanted a little favor for everyone to take home so I added some lentils (I was scrambling for ideas here...) to little cordial glasses a friend gave me, plopped in a succulent, added a faux leaf and cut a napkin in 1/4's and used them as little additions of color in the center of each place.

Check out the faux leaf inserted in the tongs of the forks.

Here's my less than $4 centerpiece (I'm guessing!)  Since not everyone has succulents, you could use some other kind of greenery, real Fall leaves, etc. to fill your basket - check out your yard, even ask a neighbor if you can do a little trimming for them!

 I used double-sided tape to stick faux Fall leaves on fishing line and tied them to my light fixture.

My guests were there from six until eleven so I think it was a successful night...

Gifts from the Garden Projects

It was my turn this month to come up with an idea for our garden group gathering.  We've visited gardens, a couple of months ago we visited a wreath making company so this month I thought making gifts from our garden would be a great idea.  There were almost 25 people there and we crafted our little hearts out.  We created the four projects below.  From Limoncello to Rosemary Salt all the items are from the garden, are inexpensive to create and easy.  Enjoy!

Rosemary Salt

Here's a perfect last minute gift for the cooks in your life!  Use smaller jars and they're perfect favors for a wedding or just as a thinking of you gift.

Rosemary Salt
Add the rosemary salt to potatoes, focaccia or any savory dish for the perfect extra little touch of home.

What You’ll Need
Fresh rosemary
Kosher salt
Frying pan with high sides
Stirring spoon or spatula
Storage containers

How to Make It
1.      Combine salt and rosemary in pan. Place over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer salt and rosemary mixture into a container. Let cool 5 minutes, uncovered. Cover with an airtight lid. Let stand at least overnight.
2.      When ready to fill containers, discard rosemary. Fill containers with salt. Seal containers.

Make Your Own Sugar Hand Scrub

Rub one teaspoon of this delightful mixture between your hands and on the backs for a few seconds, rinse (you might need a little dish soap to remove the coconut oil) and your hands will feel amazing!

What You’ll Need
1 cup cane or raw sugar
1 cup coconut oil
Lemon zest, lavender or rose petals
Essential oils (optional)
Mixing bowl
Containers for storing scrub
Embellishments and glue

How to Make It
1. Melt coconut oil in microwave. (for my class we melted it in a small crock pot.
2.      Place sugar in bowl or cup.  Pour in coconut oil. Stir to mix. Add in lemon, lavender or rose petals. If desired, add essential oil. Mix.
3.      Using spoon, carefully place scrub in storage containers.
4.   Glue on desired embellishments.

Butterfly Vellum Candle Holder

Your favorite photos become treasured gifts with this super easy technique!  This would make a great gift for grandma and grandpa with the grandloves photos on it.

What You’ll Need
Vellum paper (found in the scrapbook section of a craft store)
Computer and printer
Tape, matte finish
Votive holder

How to Make It
      1.     Print photos desired size on vellum.  Joan used fast normal setting on her printer. Cut out in strips slightly smaller than height of votive holder.
2.      Wrap around votive holder to check fit, leaving a ¼” overlap.  If necessary, trim to fit.  Tape ends.  Run fingernail over tape to make disappear.
3.      Place candle in votive holder.

How to Make Limoncello

Here’s the perfect way to spread the lemon love!

What You’ll Need
10 lemons
1 (750 ml) bottle vodka
3-1/2 cups water
2-1/2 cups sugar
2 quart container with lid or plastic wrap to cover
Coffee filter

How to Make It
        1. Wash lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water.  Pat dry.
        2. Using a zester, zest all lemons into a bowl.  Do not use whites of lemons or your Limoncello will be bitter.
    3. Place zest in 2 quart container.  Pour in vodka.  Cover with plastic wrap or lid.  Steep for four days at room temperature.
    4. Stir water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour sugar syrup over vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain Limoncello by placing coffee filter in strainer.  Discard peels. Transfer Limoncello to bottles. Seal bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least four hours and up to one month.

      NOTE:   If you have the time, let your Limoncello steep for a very long time.  One batch I let it steep for 4-6 weeks (I can't remember exactly when I started it).  My garden group did a little taste test and said the one that steeped longer was way smoother...

  Suggested uses for Limoncello – Great with soda or tonic water, champagne or mixed with juice as a          cocktail.  Drizzle over ice cream, fruit salads or fresh strawberries.

Place the Limoncello in a planter, an ice bucket or a container that's just perfect to fit a bottle of Limoncello, some lemons, a couple of cute cordial glasses and you can even stick in a couple little branches from a lemon tree to add a special touch.

Creativity Night at Heidi Borchers' Studio

Journal Jar

 Heidi Borchers opened up her studio recently for a very fun night of creativity!  It's always great to catch-up with Heidi about the good ol' Aleene's Creative Living days and glean a tiny bit of her creativity.  We used her awesome 3D paint resist technique to create beautiful paper using tissue paper.  We then decorated a journal, a jar and a tag with the paper.  The premise behind this lovely gift is to pull a topic out of the jar (yes, we created decorative little topic tags too) then write about the topic in the journal.  Such a great idea!

 Yep, that's tissue covering the journal.

Here's the paper I made.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gifts from the Garden Ideas

Ready to teach a Gifts from the Garden class.  I'll post pictures and instructions this afternoon.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Butterfly Necklace

 I LOVE butterflies and was inspired by my recent trip to Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, AZ to design this stunning necklace.  It was created from a photo I took while I was there.  I loved that the butterflies 'stood still' long enough for me to take some amazing photos.  Do you love butterflies as much as I do?  Check out my new etsy site for butterfly inspired gift ideas.  Don't forget one for yourself! 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Gifts From Your Garden

Making Limoncello today prepping for a garden group presentation on making gifts from your garden.  Stay tuned for more gift ideas, how to wrap them and create personalized tags.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Aleene's Creative Living Television Show

I posted the Shrinky Dinks Butterfly Necklace (below) on my facebook page and received this comment from an Aleene's show watcher - "I have all of you including Aleene on my friend's lists...you'd think I won the lottery when I discovered you ladies on here. That show brings such fond memories. ..I was a stay at home mom and it was one of the hilights of my day. That and watching the Home show. Ahhh...the good old days!"  Come on over to facebook and friend me at Joan Martin Fee - I'd love to hear from you!

Shrinky Dinks Butterfly Necklace

Back in the Aleene's days I was known as the Shrink-It Queen.  I saw a post on Mark Montano's page recently where he made a beautiful butterfly necklace using Shrinky Dinks and clip art.  I made his version now I need to make one using photos from my recent trip to Butterfly Wonderland.