Friday Favorites No. 330

Yesterday was my birthday. Since I'm still in Italy, but writing this ahead of time, I have to assume it was pretty amazing! There's also Mother's Day coming up this weekend. Hopefully you have some fun plans, either for yourself or to celebrate a mom in your life!

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Wouldn't these faux leather and felt anemones make a pretty hair clip or Mother's Day corsage? Delia Creates even shares the cutting file if you want to use a Silhouette.

If your sweet little ones need something pretty to wear this weekend, Violette Field Threads has one you can whip up fairly quickly. It has all the ruffles and lace that are so popular right now.

Aren't these flower pot cookies from The Gunny Sack adorable? If you have some skill at making frosting roses, they can be even more edible.

So, a cupcake and a mini cake are really only a little different in shape, but tell me this doesn't look so much more fancy! In my research (okay, honestly just mini cake stalking) I found there are lots of ways to make these. Some use actual, legit small pans, while others are made in clean, empty canned-food cans. The Kitchen McCabe here used little mason jars!

JennyAllsortsDesign has a shop filled with cute things on Etsy, but I particularly love the three sets of international dolls embroidery patterns. These are pretty both as redwork or in multi color.  Wouldn't these be perfect for a little girl's quilt?

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites No. 328

April is nearly over. Can you believe it? That means we're about to get smacked in the head by May, which has always been a crazy month in our house. I used to think it was because the kids had so much going on with the end of the school year, but even after they grew up and moved out it stayed a little nuts. Maybe it's the transition into better weather so there's more to do. If that's the case, I'm in. Bring on the crazy.

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If you have a kid who likes to carry around a little buddy, and all of said buddy's stuff, this backpack from Crazy Little Projects would be a great gift. Just make sure that backpack is comfortable for you to carry as well, because you know you're gonna.

These bag handles from So Sew Easy are pretty, and a great way to use up some fabric scraps.

What I like the most about these kitchen printables from The Happy Housie is that the background on each makes it look a bit like cross-stitch or embroidery, without the long hours of stitching.

I know it hasn't been very long since I featured a peanut butter dessert here, but just look at these stuffed cookies from Delish. Who could say no to those?

You really have to see the whole line of word jewelry from vanessahandmade on Etsy, but the cheerful orange of this one was my favorite.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites No. 327

I’m about to embark on the longest trip I’ve ever taken away from home, both in time and distance.  It’s also my first time flying directly out of the country – the other times I’ve been out of the U.S. I was on a cruise ship. I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve never crossed the Atlantic. I’ve never spent an entire day flying. But all that isn’t even the most exciting part.  I get to see my son again! The last time I saw him in person was at the Portland airport last May. I absolutely cannot wait. It's kind of a miracle I'm not already sitting at the airport right now.

Monday is the big day, and I'll be gone until late May. Since I didn't want you left with nothing new to look at all that time, I've scheduled a new Friday Favorites for each week while I'm away. When I return I'll be sharing some photos from my trip (which will hopefully include an Italian fabric shop!) and new projects and ideas that are already waiting in the wings!

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If you're like me, and love the look of a sliding barn door but don't really have a place to put one, Shanty2Chic has a solution for us. This nightstand has the style without the need for so much square footage.

Necklaces made from yarn can get a little warm to wear, which is why I think this one from Chabe Patterns is a perfect transition piece for spring. 

Fruit pizzas are one of my very favorite desserts (and that's saying a lot). I particularly love that Hungry Happenings used strawberries and kiwi to make this one look like a watermelon.

I've made homemade tortillas before, although not as often as my husband would like. I've never thought to make them flavored, but thanks to Amanda's Cookin', now I know how.

A while back I shared with you how I made notepads using a padding compound I'd found. I recently discovered that Chica and Jo also sell it in colors! As I write this, they only have red available. So many great project possibilities with this! **Edit - Now there's purple too!**

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites No. 325

The weather has finally taken a turn for the better here. A little less rain, a little more sun. I have my front door open as I write this, for the first time since last fall. Isn't it amazing what a little sunshine can do for your mood? Bring on more!

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This crocheted blanket from Dusty Geest on Ravelry looks cozy and is perfect for the spring season. Hey, not everyone wants a mermaid tail!

I love how this sign from Eighteen 25 has a modern look, while still keeping bright spring colors. 

I've seen lots of versions of drawstring bunny bags lately. I mean, those ears just make it perfect, right? Check out this one from We All Sew.

I'll admit, depending on the day I'm pretty easily amused, but these cookies from The Decorated Cookie cracked me up. Ba-dum-bum.

If you're making a stuffed animal for an Easter basket, there's no rule that says it has to be a bunny, or a chick, or a lamb. While there are plenty of sweet patterns for those out there, I vote for this dragon from Sweetbriar Sisters at Fabric.com.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites–Meet the Muppets

After working on my Kermit bookmark earlier in the week, I’ve been having flashbacks to the Muppet Show.  I remember when it premiered.  I had spent my young years watching Sesame Street, and then it was as if someone had recognized I was not a little kid anymore and made a grown-up version of my show.  Yep, I was quite sophisticated for a seven-year-old.

Friday Favorites - 10 Muppet Crafts - Crafty Staci

There are no instructions for these Muppet Show Cookies at 1 Fine Cookie, but if you’re talented with one of those frosting-squisher-outer-thingies you could probably pull these off.

The Muppet Show Cookies from 1 Fine Cookie

If you’re a knitter, you might want to give these Jim Henson Muppet Charts from Robin Barnhill on Ravelry a spin.

Jim Henson Muppet Charts on Ravelry

There is some debate about whether the creatures from Sesame Street are technically Muppets.  I’m not here to debate.  Jim Henson was a genius, no matter which camp you’re in and I will be referring to all his creations as Muppets today.  That said, I just love this Yip Yip Alien from WikiHow.

Yip Yip Alien from Wikihow

The best thing about these Sesame Street Hats from Girl in Air is that they’re available not only in kid sizes, but adult as well.

Sesame Street Hats from Girl in Air

Can you imagine a more fun way to hold your glasses than a Muppet?  Check out these Muppet Glasses Holders from djonesgirl on Craftster.

Muppet Glasses Holder from djonesgirl on Craftster

Did you see the Muppet commercial during the Super Bowl?  You can print your own Muppet-jacked car from Spoonful.

Muppet Car from Spoonful

With a little shrink paper you can have your own Muppet charm bracelet.  You can find the template on Disney Family.

Muppet Charms from Disney Family

For a quick, easy Muppet fix, try these Muppet Hand Puppets from Spoonful.

Muppet Hand Puppets from Spoonful

Who hasn’t wished at some point they could be a Muppet?  Rad Megan shows you how you can be Kermit for a day.

Kermit from Rad Megan

You guys, you can design and buy your own Muppet!  They’re called Muppet Whatnot Puppets, and they run just under $100 from Fao Schwarz.  So tempting…

The Muppet Whatnot Workshop at Fao Schwarz

Are you going to see the new Muppet movie tonight?

My Experimental Dinner

If we’re having guests for dinner, I’ll usually make something I’ve been successful with before.  It’s always seemed like a bad idea to use friends as test subjects.  However, for some reason I decided last week to not add just one completely new item to Sunday’s menu for a couple of our good friends, but to fill it with things I’d never attempted.  I was lucky enough to come out of it with only one fail, and even that turned out okay in the end.  Oh, so lucky.

We started off with these Caprese Bites from Budget Savvy Diva.  Simple, pretty and delicious.

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Melinda and I are not huge drinkers, but when we get together we usually find a new cocktail to try.  I recently discovered that DiSaronno, an amaretto liqueur, is pretty tasty, so I wanted something that used it as an ingredient.  I ended up finding a recipe on Top Secret Recipes for the DiSaronno itself.  If you give it a try, be sure to use real almond extract and dark, rather than light, brown sugar.  I also used vanilla vodka instead of regular, because it’s what I happened to have in the house.  We mixed it with some Chai tea concentrate and cream.  Yum.

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I’ve had mixed results making bread from scratch in the past, but it’s never stopped me from trying.  I decided on this Rosemary Peasant Bread from Baking Whole Grains, and it was a winner.  I even made a mistake and used more wheat flour than white instead of the other way around as the recipe instructed.  I would do that intentionally last time.  My husband said he loved the texture.

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For our main dish, you might think I chose something with an Italian feel to coordinate with the other things I’d made.  Nope.  And I’m not even a little bit sorry.  This Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken from Skinnytaste was delicious and will go into our regular dinner rotation.

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Now for the fail.  My daughter was going to bring her fiancé over for dessert so he could meet our friends.  John has celiac disease, so that meant I needed to make sure it was something gluten-free.  I found several great options, but decided to go with some fudgy cookies.  Ordinarily, this is where I would link to the recipe for you, but in the four days since I was there the website shut down.  I know, weird.  Anyway, they had lots of chocolate chips and egg whites.  This is what they were supposed to look like:

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The batter looked perfect.  The cookies had been in the oven for about 4 or 5 minutes before I turned the light on to take a peek.  Then I exclaimed “Oh goodness, what happened to my beautiful cookies?”  At least, that’s what it sounded like in my head.  I think what my husband heard was something more like “Ack!  Wha, wha, NO!  Grrrr!”  This is what came out:

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The photo doesn’t even do justice to their complete and utter flatness.  When I tried to remove them from the pan, they were just goo.  Until they cooled, and then they were hard.  I threw the second batch into a square pan and cooked it like a brownie.  You still had to eat them with a spoon, but they tasted good.  I ended up saving dessert by turning a gluten-free shortbread cookie mix into lemon bars.  Whew.

Everything turned out, but I think next time I will mix one or two new recipes with something tried-and-true.  I have enough grey hair as it is.

S’mores Cookies

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any sugary goodness with you.  We’ve actually been trying to eat healthier around here.  That doesn’t mean we succeed every time, but when we cave it’s to tried-and-true things like chocolate chip cookies and caramel corn, not making up new stuff.  Except the truffle fries we tried this week at a local burger joint, but I didn’t make those, I just happily ate them.

Back to the sugar.  We attended a potluck event for my husband’s work last week, and he signed me up to bring a dessert.  I decided on cookies, but I didn’t want to make something too ordinary.  I also didn’t want to make a trip to the grocery store, so I started a search for interesting ingredients in my kitchen.  I had nearly given up when I found a jar full of graham cracker crumbs.  That started the ball rolling toward these delicious little treats.

S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 1
S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 1

S’mores Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup mini chocolate chips

1 cup marshmallow bits

Preheat oven to 375.  Cream together the butter and sugars.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Throw in the flour, graham cracker crumbs and baking soda and mix until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and marshmallow bits.  Drop by spoonsful onto a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 7 – 8 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 2
S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 2

For the graham cracker crumbs, don’t grind them into oblivion with a food processor.  These are actually better with some some chunks remaining.  I used the flat side of a meat tenderizer and a plastic bag.

If you’re not familiar with marshmallow bits, I found them in the baking section in Target and they look like this:

S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 3
S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 3

Now for the mini-fail.  I decided to bake these in bar form for the event, since I was short on time and I thought they’d be easier to grab.  They tasted good, but because of the extended cooking time required the marshmallows melted into the cookie and disappeared. 

S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 4
S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 4

Sad.

However, like I said, they were still tasty, so if you’re not concerned about the marshmallows you can press the dough into a greased jelly roll pan and bake for 17 – 20 minutes.

S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 5
S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 5

These were a big hit with my son, so I’m sure they’ll be turning up around here again.

S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 6
S'mores Cookies - Crafty Staci 6

Friday Favorites - Gingham

I smell a spring trend coming.  Maybe it’s me, but everywhere I look lately, there’s gingham.  It could be that I just want an excuse to need it.  I don’t know how, I don’t know where, but there will be gingham in my house before autumn makes its appearance. There is a difference between gingham and buffalo plaid.  Something to do with the number of colors and/or scale.  I’m calling it all gingham today.  Try and stop me.

When I was a kid, I learned how to cross stitch on a piece of gingham.  The squares were the perfect canvas, and the effect was cute.  This Smocking with Gingham from Martha Stewart works a bit the same way.

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These Gingham Stars from A Spoonful of Sugar were originally meant for Christmas, but I don’t see why they have to be restricted to the holidays.

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Gingham on the wall sounds a little overwhelming, but the subtle way Southern Living pulls if off is beautiful.

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How about edible gingham?  These Easy Gingham Cookies from Glorious Treats are adorable.

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The bit of gingham peeking out from the invitation envelopes on The Wedding Post of Arkansas is just right.

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If you want to go full-on gingham, check out this Gingham Birthday Party from Kara’s Party Ideas.

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Or, for just a little gingham at your party, try this Vintage Summer Gingham Bunting from A Pretty Cool Life.

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Although I rarely paint my nails, I love all the creative options that are out there now, like The Gingham Accent Nail from The Beauty Department.

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I would so happily wear this Gingham Scarf with Scalloped Edge from Make My Day Creative.

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I have a big dining room table my husband built for me a few years ago.  The top is beautiful wood, and I try to protect it.  I want to make a thin quilt to use as a table cloth, but hadn’t found a pattern I was in love with yet.  I think the search is over because this quilt from Crazy Mom Quilts would be absolutely perfect.

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Fun fact:  I typed the word “gingham” about a thousand times while I was writing this and did not once spell it correctly on my first try.  Not even just now.

 

flickr  In other news, I've partnered with Natural Parents Network to launch their new Flickr pool.  Just click the camera over there <------  Be sure to check them out and enter for your chance to win this:

coffee sleeve and lens cap pocket - Crafty Staci

Caramel No Bake Cookies

I’ve been volunteering in the College and Career Center at my kids’ high school for the past couple of years.  I’m assigned a group of teenagers, and my job is to help them figure out how to achieve their post-high school goals.  We help them find scholarships, information on colleges, internships, military contacts, volunteer opportunities, etc.  You’d think that would be enough…

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Friday Favorites–Cookie Dough

You know that one food you’d take with you to a deserted island?  The one you’d choose if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?  Mine is cookie dough.  I like a lot of different things, but that is my number one favorite.  It doesn’t have to be a particular flavor, although if I’m only allowed one it would be chocolate chip dough with very few chocolate chips in it.  The more excuses I have to eat it, the better, which leads us to my Friday Favorites this week.

My son, who doesn’t like cheesecake, drooled over these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars from Bake or Break.  That’s saying something.

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I love a creative take on the traditional snap, crackle, pop, so these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Marshmallow Stuffed Rice Krispie Bars from Love Veggies and Yoga get extra points from me.

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This Cookie Dough Cocoa from Betty Crocker is almost too pretty to drink.  Almost.

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I may be stretching the cookie thing here, but this Brownie Batter Dip from Something Swanky was just too appealing to leave out.

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Since we’ve already ventured into brownie territory, how about these Cookie Dough Brownies from Stylish Cuisine?

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You just can’t talk about dessert of any kind without someone turning it into a cupcake, like this Cookie Dough Cupcake from Fake Ginger.  For the record, that’s totally okay with me.

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I don’t even care what this Cookie Dough Dip from Add a Pinch tastes like.  Maybe I do a little, but how could this not be completely delicious?

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Can’t. Speak.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough TrufflesFrom Love and Olive Oil.  Must. Have.

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I’m so dying for something involving cookie dough now.  How do I choose?