Monday, May 23, 2011

Tags, and Flowers, and Recipes...Oh My!!

It arrived!!  Remember when I posted about this wonderful giveaway that I won over at Lillie Beffers and Maddie Lumpkin?  Well, it came just the other day and I couldn't wait to share it with you.  It's my most favorite image of the Blessed Mother.  Thank you again, Tami, for your gorgeous artistry and generosity!
My impatience to open it, like a kid on Christmas morning, prevented me from taking a picture of how it arrived.  I did save the beautiful wrappings so you could enjoy at least that much.

I'm up to my proverbial elbows in swaps!!!  But, it's all good and I'm feeling very productive.  You'll see the links to these swaps on my sidebar...they're the newest buttons.  Karla and Lynn at are having a vintage bling project.  We send in 20 pcs. of clear/silver rhinestone jewelry, along with a necklace chain, and they create a necklace for us!!  So, I'm ready to ship my bling off to them this week and wanted to share the "before" pic with you.  Keep in mind, this is very shabby chic so missing stones are acceptable..probably encouraged!  I had to remove earring backs, pins, and button shanks and then affix a bail to each piece (thank you friend Kiera, for coming to my rescue with bails!)  Here they are!
I'll have the finished necklace back in late June...will share with you then
Next is the "Birdsong" Tag Book Swap by Karla Nathan at Karla's Cottage.  We make 7 tags, send them to Karla, she sends us back a tag book with 7 tags from other bloggers along with a cover she creates for us.  Here are my tags, and I've included an extra for Karla, as a thank-you.
all the Birdsong tags - front


backside of tags

I've just finished a Mini Matchbox "Music" swap from the 2011 Matchbox Swap group on flickr, and a Pocket Whimsy swap at The Altered Paper Creations by Tee.  As soon as I receive mine from my partners I will post both in a future blog, as well as what I sent them.

I'd like to add a feature to my weekly blog...a recipe corner.  I'd like to feature a recipe each week from one of my followers, with photos!  If you are interested, please be sure to email me with your recipe and photos.  I'd also be happy to post your blog link if you have one.  I think this could be a lot of fun.  To kick it off, my oldest has offered her recipe for homemade Macaroni and Cheese.  Mandy is an amazing cook and I'm so glad she's initiating this.  She made this dish for us recently, for Mother's Day.  I think you'll recognize the images!

Here's the recipe:
Macaroni and Cheese
1 box penne rigate pasta
3/4 lb. sharp cheddar shredded
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese shredded
1/2 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese shredded
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 350.  Coat a 2 quart broiler-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.  Once water boils, add pasta.  Cook 6 minutes, drain.  In a large bowl, toss together cheeses and set aside.  Meanwhile, melt butter in medium size saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour until smooth and slightly bubbly.  In a thin stream, whisk in milk.  Stir in onion powder, salt, and cayenne.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.  Remove from heat; whisk in 2 1/2 cups of cheese mixture.  In the pasta pot, stir together the cooked pasta and cheese sauce.  Pour half into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle generous cup of cheese over pasta.  Spoon remaining pasta into dish and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Increase temperature to broil and cook 3 minutes, until top is slightly browned.  ENJOY!!

Can we ever have enough flowers???  I'm sharing this tutorial with you since I recently made a similar flower for Mandy to wear to a special event.  Unfortunately, I didn't take pix of the process and I can only show you the final product...ta da!!
More like the cabbage rose garden variety....but that girl of mine loves to rock the hair accessories and hats!

So, I did find this lovely tutorial on the "how-to's."  AND, Emily Rose of Simply Vintage Girl shows a neat technique for achieving more defined petals...I think you're gonna love it!  Please be sure to visit her blog at  She's got some amazing things going on over there!

I will leave you this week with peace, love, and inspiration and some shout-outs for some special 
"Happy Birthdays" to Alex, Berta, and Rick  and at the end of this week to Barbara and Kristin!!
Have a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.  I'll meet you back here next Monday and we'll celebrate our service men and women together!

Fabric Flowers
These elegant fabric flowers are very simple to make . . . and only take a few basic supplies. The finished product is delightfully lovely, and at times can look like a real flower! Every flower will turn out differently and that is part of the beauty!
If you haven’t used those tea lights in a while, now’s the time! I hope you enjoy making these as much as we do . . . below are instructions with pictures on how to make your own.
Fabric Flower Tutorial: Supplies
· Synthetic Silky Fabric
· Scissors
· Candle (preferably a tea light)
Additional supplies:
· Needle and Thread, Glue Dots or Glue Gun
· Buttons and/or Beads
Fabric Flower Tutorial: Step 1
1. Cut circle patterns out of card stock.
Make the largest one’s diameter about half an inch larger than you want the diameter of the flower, as the petals will end up shrinking a bit. Create a few of these, lessening the diameter bit by bit so that the end result has smaller petals in the center and larger ones around the outside. You can also use a pattern here, which works very nice!
Fabric Flower Tutorial: Step 2
2. Trace around the pattern onto the silk fabric (using a pen).
You can also cut around the pattern and skip the drawing part, it just might not be as uniform . . . but with these, uniform isn’t necessary. And if it’s not uniform, it adds character. And character is good.
Fabric Flower Tutorial: Step 3
3. Take the scissors and cut out the circle and petals.
Cut just inside the drawn lines to make a circle out of the fabric. Carefully cut only about a third of the way into the circles to create the petals. You can do as many or few petals as you would like, or even add some variety to them. I cut five times, making five medium-sized petals. You can also round the corners of the petals, if you so desire.
Fabric Flower Tutorial: Step 4
4. Use the lit candle to melt and crinkle the edges.
Be very careful (please have adult supervision, this is rather dangerous), as it is very easy to get burnt. Hold the cut petals about one to two inches above the flame, making sure to keep the circle rotating so that it does not overheat and catch fire. Continue to gently melt the edges of each petal until you have gone all the way around. Do this with each layer.
Fabric Flower Tutorial: Step 5
5. Sew (or glue) the petal layers together.
Using a needle and thread, create a beginning knot and then sew the layers together. You can come up through the top because the center  of the top layer can be covered by a button or  bead. To finish the flower, sew (or glue) the button or bead on top.
If you would like to add extra stability to the flower, you can sew or glue a piece of felt onto the back (make sure it is large enough to give good stability, but small enough so that it won’t be seen from the top).
For a hair accessory, you can sew or glue the back of the flower to the back of a bobby pin, ponytail holder, or snap-clip.
For a broach, you can sew or glue them onto a broach pin or even a safety pin.
And the list could go on of how these flowers can add extra beauty!
What are some of your ideas?
And remember: every flower will turn out differently and that is part of the beauty!
(Thank you, Breezy (my artist sister), for being such a wonderful hair and hand model!)
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Cindy Adkins said...

Good morning, Karen--
Wow, what beauty abounds on this post!! What a gorgeous and special gift you received--amazing! And I love all that you created--those tags are precious!

Tara said...

Hi Karen! What a beautiful giveaway you won. I know what you mean about being so excited you don't run for the camera before you open it!
Thanks for coming by and entering my cottage giveaway. Have a wonderful week!

mrsthesun said...

Gorgeous flower (and daughter!) and wonderful recipe. I will definitely try both. Great post. Have a super week.

miss lynn said...

oooohhhhhh! love
the bling! so
perfect! we will
have a beautiful
new piece to
wear this summer!
thanks for
playing along!

dkshopgirl said...

I want to try the flowers!

~*~Patty S said...

So many things to enjoy as always dear Karen...
Love the idea of cutting snips in the chiffon...I have tried circles and had a lot of fun with that!
Sweet tags! as you know I adore nests...great how you used the red lick labels (name? hah)
and your bling I can hardly wait...
I prefer rhinestones to diamonds!!!
Happy to see you found some great swaps to play in.
Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend!

madison avenue said...

those tags are so awesome! i love anything and everything vintage!! thanks so much for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment :) i would love for you to share my cuff on your blog!! happy Saturday!