Monday, October 21, 2013

Good Thoughts to Start the Week

The following was printed in our church bulletin yesterday.
 Our church secretary has a real knack for finding meaning
quotes to include each week. I thought it was just too lovely
not to pass it on....

"I firmly believe in small gestures:
pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers,
chase the kid's runaway ball down the sidewalk
and throw it back to him,
try to be larger than you are - 
particularly when it's is difficult.
People do notice, people do appreciate.
I appreciate it when it's done for me.
Small gestures can be an effort,
or actually go against your grain,
but the irony is that almost every time you make them,
you feel better about yourself.
For a moment, life suddenly feels lighter,
a bit more 'Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.' "
                                        Jonathan Carroll\
                                             (American author)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Book Page Pumpkins

I made two book page pumpkins last year for the craft boutique and they
were good sellers so I made two more for this year's sale. It is just one
month away!

My life seems to be an open book these days...

They are good night-time projects to work on while
watching TV.  The first one is an Italian/English
dictionary. If there seems to be a natural split,
then I leave it open and fill it in will foliage.
People seems to like them both ways.   
You can find last year's pumpkins HERE.  
Partying at :

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Coconut Trifle

Do I ever have a gooood recipe for you today. You may think it is a
little late in the season  for coconut trifle, but believe me when I say
that it will be a big hit any time of the year! It looks so pretty in a glass
trifle dish--everyone should have one! I use it for fruit salad and pasta 
salad to name a few others.

 Don't be intimidated by all the layers. It is very easy to put together 
and well worth the effort.

Coconut Trifle

2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/4 cups butter, melted
3 cups coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3 small boxes sugar free coconut cream instant pudding mix
4 cups milk--I use fat free
Big size Cool Whip--I use fat free

1. Mix first four ingredients in electric mixer and pat into jelly roll pan. 
Bake at 300 for 35-40 minutes--until lightly browned. Cool and crumble. 
This can be done ahead or even frozen.) I turned mine out on a dish towel,
put another dish towel over it and hit to break up into small pieces. You may
not need to use all of it. Use your own judgement as to how thick you want 
the three cookie layers to be.

2. Whisk pudding and milk together for two minutes until soft set. Do three 
layers--first crumbs, pudding, and then Cool Whip. Sprinkle some coconut on
the top. 

 When serving, use a big spoon and dig deep so you get all three layers. Messy 
is good!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sea Shell Wreath

My wreath-making continues and today's theme is sea shells! Don't you
just love them? So many colors and shapes--truly another of God's works
of art.

I started with a willow wreath and began at the bottom.
I made the glass bobber out of a clear Christmas
ornament and the netting was what some shells
had been wrapped in that a got from Goodwill 
a while back. I almost destroyed it before I had
that "ah hah moment.!"

My sweet daughter brought the driftwood back
from the shores of Kauai last February--it was just what 
I needed to anchor the glass ball and also to place
around the wreath.
If the shell was concave, I glued some cotton inside
so that there was something to adhere to the wreath.
A lot of hot glue later and a little moss here and there, 
and there you have it.

The hanger is two burlap circles,
the top one inside the other, like
a chain.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mah Jongg Tip--Playing a Concealed Hand

Playing a concealed, or closed hand in mah jongg is more challenging,
yet exciting and pays more if you are lucky enough to complete it. I
had someone email me regarding the following hand, and I have also
been asked this question while playing mah jongg. Some players have
avoided this hand because they were just not sure if they were going
to do it correctly. It is the concealed hand under 2013.

              FFFF DDD 2013 DDD (Any 2 Dragons, 2 or 3 Suits)

Everyone seems to understand how to make this hand using all 3 suits,
but what about using 2 suits??? Here's how. 

Make the 2013 using any suit. Then make pungs of any 2 dragons, red
and green, green and soaps, or soaps and red. Don't over-think it! Just 
use 2 out of the 3 dragons to chose from, and you know how to make 
the 2013, using any suit with the soap for the zero. 

                      Now-----you can do it! Go girl firiend!

                                               Happy Clicking! 

 If you know of anyone in the Phoenix area who is interested in learning to
play Mah Jongg, please have them contact me at


Friday, October 4, 2013

Embellished Fall Wreath

Not everyone feels that they can make a wreath from scratch, but does not
want to sink a lot of money into a pricey one either. There is an alternative.
Purchase a simple, inexpensive one and embellish it yourself. Here's an example
of how you can do that very easily with very few supplies that you can either
gather from nature or the craft store.

 I found this wreath in my garage. Imagine it with just the 
branches and the berries. (Sorry I did not take a before
picture.) It was pretty bare. 

I started by adding the slender pinecones all around the center,
adhering them with my hot glue gun. 
Ladies, even if you are not a super crafter, a small hot glue gun
can be used for so much more than crafts and only cost a few dollars!
You can find them at Hobby Lobby and Michael's.

After I went all the way around with pinecones, I added another
where I could between the two, creating another row. 

I added more branches from my yard, wooden acorns, and more berries.
I cut off all the old berries that had cracked. 
And then finally, I glued in Spanish moss around the center.

It may even get some silk fall leaves now that I cleaned out another
closet and found my fall stash I bought after the season last year!
There's some small ones that would just be the right size.

Down in the corner I put out my pumpkins on a fence
that I made way back when my adult children were
little back in Illinois in the late 70's. It traveled all the way cross country 
with us 29 years ago.
This year I wrapped a leaf garland around but I'd say it's 
held up pretty well!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vintage Book Wreath

Last year I made a few book page wreaths for the fall boutique and
since they sold right away, I decided to try them again this year.
Here's one I made over the week-end using a grapevine wreath.

 I started with a book from Goodwill, published
in 1942. It was the story of Christopher Columbus
and has some interesting maps in it that I plan
to use in another craft done the road.
The pages had a nice yellow tint but were not brittle.
I cut them in squares, about 5-3/4 inches.
Then I took a pencil with an eraser, put that
end in the middle of the square and pinched the
 paper up around it. Then I put hot glue around the outside and
pushed the piece down into the grapevine wreath.  
I think it's my best one yet!  
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