Dec 24, 2014

Dress up the table Candle Craft

Serve up a little originality!

These Gel Candle table center pieces are a festive addition to your seasonal table.
The Candles can be created to match home decor and customized to impress upon personality. 

The slow burning candle gel make these an economical as well as a bright gift idea.

Candle table piece

One bucket of melt and pour Gel Wax. (Approx. $30.00 at Michael's Craft)
Candle wax coloring and a selection of essential oils ($20.00 initial investment)
Dinner plates and small dishes ($1.00 per at any second hand store.)
Decorations can be gathered year round and collected in a container...
it is a whole lot cheaper to buy Poinsettias in June than it is in Dec.
The small parcels were removed from a store bought corsage,
the red leaf on left was once a Tree ornament,
the greenery has been cut piece by piece from an old wreath,
(total decoration averaging a couple dollars a plate).

I have made many, many a Gel Candle 
still from the original bucket of Gel Wax.

 DIY Best Craft Blog
                                  These candles were made last night to fill a last minute request.
                                                 They were an honor and a joy to create.
DIY Candle Craft

DIY Gel Candle

 Light up your life

Merry Christmas to you
and to all a good night.

Dec 20, 2014

Best Butter Tarts

You butter, you butter, you bet!
Best Butter Tarts...ever!

Tis the season to be busy.
Time is a valuable commodity, especially at this time of the year.
 Time saving tips and delectable tidbits are a must on ever list.

Mark Frozen Tart Shells at the top of that list.
Some people see the frozen tarts shells as cheating but I prefer to view them as totally time tested
and as pretty good eating.


 1.Remove the tarts from freezer and place individually onto a tray
 or into muffin tins, as I have done here.

2. Fill tart shells.

3. Bake at 325 for 22-25 min.
The Filing
For 24 tart shells
2 cups raisins.
-I use the darker Thompson raisins, 
as opposed to the lighter Sultana.
-I also like to soak my raisins
for 15-30 before mixing and baking.
Pour boiling water over raisins to cover .
Let soak and drain before use.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
 2 tbsp. heavy cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Flavoring, OR
1 tsp. Rum, Kahlua,
1 cup crushed walnuts OR Trail mix.
                                                       A lovely mix of nuts and dried fruits that add both flavor and flair to the Butter Tarts.

                                                      1. Melt butter in a pot, on low heat.
                                                      2.  Add sugar, cream, and vanilla.
                                                      3. Drain and add raisins

                                    4. Add crushed  walnuts or pounded trail mix to pot and stir well.
                                    5. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture reaches a boil.
                                    6. Remove from heat and beat in 2 beaten eggs.
                                           Stir till smooth and well mixed.

  Mixture will be quite sticky and runny.
                                                   I use a 1/4c  measuring cup
                                      to scoop the mixture into the prepared tart shells.
                                                           Bake at 325 for 22-25 min.

Fresh freeze your Christmas baking in batches.
Once frozen, individual pieces are easier to handle.

  I re-use the Styrofoam trays that are found under many food products.
 They can be washed  and lined with tinfoil to create the perfect tray. 
Once filled, wrap each tray with cellophane before placing it into a freezer bag and finally into your freezer. Good wrapping is essential in maintaining future freshness.
 Freeze all baking in single layers to avoid damaging the goods.

Make sure to keep plenty of styrofoam trays on hand for use as last minute gift giving trays.
 Line with foil and fill with a selection of your frozen baking collection.
Add a few well placed chocolates a bow to the tray, along with a gift card to complete your gift giving tray.
 Large coffee cans also  make great gift containers. Frozen goodies can be gently stacked in the can with tinfoil between each. They also travel well.

 Select 4 or 5 different bakers delights that will you prepare and freeze for the season.
 Over the course of  as many nights, whip, mix, bake up the delight
 that you have chosen to make for the night.
 Mix up the shape and color of what you make. Variety is the spice of life that takes the cake!
Try Tarts, Peanut Butter Balls, Naniamo Bars, whipped and dipped Shortbread, hand dipped chocolates, Crinkle Cookies....
Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
Pick up a couple box of chocolates- a few strategically placed chocolates (hand made or otherwise),
a couple of candy canes, a beautiful bow or two are just a few of the things you can do
to add seasonal festivities to the gift of love, from you.

 Joy to the tray...the day is saved.

Dec 14, 2014

Gift the BAG

Easy, economical, enjoyable
          = Hot, Hot, Hot!
I happen to think that these magic bags are the hottest thing around.
 When you live where there is 6 months of bad winter followed by 6 months of bad summer
 anything associated with heat receives a warm welcome. 
The magic bags is loved by everyone. 
It provides therapeutic relief, it travels well
 and it is the gift that will keep on giving.

Heat magic bag in microwave oven for 2 min. and enjoy!

 This year I made bags to gift to my Senior clients. They were easy, economical and enjoyable.

SUPPLIES:  knee high nylons (2 pair for 1.00) Dollar store = .25/bag
                     work socks (2 pair for 2.00) Dollar store= .50/bag
                      rice (8kg = 10.00) approx. 10 socks= 1.00/bag
                                                                                    1.75 bag! 

 I use 3 cups of rice per bag. Start by filling the nylon knee high with rice, one cup at a time. 
I  put rice into a measuring cup and then stretch the nylon over the measuring cup.
 Turn the cup over, while holding the sides of the stocking and pour the rice, cup by cup into the stocking.
Make sure there are no twists in the stocking or the rice won't go all the way down.
Once filled,  lay the bag on a flat surface and stretch it out like a sausage. 
If you ball it all before tying it won't lay around your neck when finished. 
Tie a knot at the open end of the stocking. 
Next open the mouth of your sock and feed the stocking into it. Again, keeping the bag in a sausage shape will make it easier to feed into the sock. I have used a classic work sock here. 
Finally tie a knot in the open sock end.
I have added a fabric bow tie in seasonal colors. Any ribbon or bow can be tied on but don't forget to remind the user to remove any bows with wire BEFORE putting in microwave.

 Gift the bag.

Or in a Kit, as the case may be.
 Keeping the tradition alive .
 Check out the links to some classic kits for children.

Great for girls AND boys  

Diamond Tech Crafts Fusing kit

Knot a Quilt. Award Winner!                                  

Paper Plate Bugs         

Duct Tape Kit                                                             

Hands on hands down  great!

Dec 10, 2014

There's something about Christmas time...

Lillian the Domestic Engineer.
There's something about Christmas time
that makes me wish it was Christmas all the time.

 Listen. Take a look around.

Like a fog that settles in on a December morn,
like the new fallen snow upon the frozen ground,
like a sound in the distance that can't be found
it is present, it is around.

in the stillness of a quiet morn,
found in the beauty of the snowflakes on the ground,
found in the music of our mind
gifted to all in time.

There's something about Christmas time
that makes me wish it was Christmas all the time.

Christmas door

A warm welcome 
now hangs on the door
of the neighbor we often see but don't really know,

Christmas lights
 now light the walk
 to the Seniors housing and the Christmas Pot Luck.

Santa Claus
 is at the Rink
where the community goes
to share Hot Chocolate and goodness knows
-a memory or two

about last year
at this same time
when we opened our hearts
to the world 
at large.

There's something about Christmas time
that makes me wish it was Christmas all the time.

 There is beauty everywhere

Beauty is everywhere

Dec 7, 2014

Check it out

  Trying to decide whether to purchase that book?
 Try it out. Take it home for a week or two.
 Visit your local Library on go see cruise! Books, books everywhere.

there are so many to chose from     
          Martha is a must             Craft a day 

 "CHECK it OUT" at your Local Public Library

  It is FREE in many Cities and Towns to obtain a Library Card.
  The best investment you could make today is to 
Gift Basket Making in 10 Simple Steps  Become a PATRON at your local Library.

 It is almost unimaginable what you can search for, learn about,
watch, surf, read, play request, see and receive all at your local Library!

 An Alberta Library Card holder can access a combined catalog of over 170 libraries with holdings of nearly 3 million books, DVDs and other material!
You can borrow and return at your local Alberta Library. Click on the links to literacy!!
 The Alberta Library
 Regional Automation Consortium

Libraries really are a whole lot more than they used to be!

I was thrilled to involve myself, as Program Coordinator,- for the summer reading program
for children at my local library. Not once or twice but  for three years running. 

A themed based, annual program that encourages kids to continue reading over the summer.
A free program for all. Check out your local library to register.
TD Summer Reading Program
Oh the fun we had

Creative Christmas Ornaments

Christmas Crafting

 Take another look.
This Christmas Ornament is created on a Styrofoam Ball base that has then been poked with individually folded twist ties.
 The greenery, the bow and the floral accessory and the hanging red string  have simply been hot glued
to the top.
Voila! It really can be that simple to fish up fun in the kitchen.

Creative Christmas Ornaments
 Styrofoam Balls can be purchased relatively inexpensively and are a perfect place to begin

 in the making of fun, quick, creative, home made  Creative Christmas Ornaments.

The first step is to hot glue  a loop of wire, bow, shoelace, glitter thread, fish line or wool to the top of the ball for a hanger. I do this first because it makes it easy to hold the ball for working and because you can then cover any excess hot glue with the decorations that are glued or pinned  over top, to the Styrofoam ball.

Almost everything and anything goes over the ball.
Fabric pieces can be pinned in place or wrapped creatively around the ball and tied with a seasonal bow.
Balls can be dipped in glue and rolled in glitter to deck the halls.
Old Christmas cards can be cut and kept in place using glitter glue smeared all over the place!

The Ornaments at bottom left were created using seeds and legumes;
I used mung beans (beansprouts) popcorn seed and bird seed  but the list could go on and on.
Seeds and legumes come in all colors, sizes and shapes. Use your imagination and as always,
have fun.

The Styrofoam balls are covered with white glue and then rolled gently through a seed or legume bath.
Another layer of white glue is then applied being squeezed right from the bottle tip onto, into and around
 the seeds or legumes that adhered to the ball in the first roll. After several applications of glue and seed or legume has been built up, the balls should be left overnight to dry.

It is optional then to give them an acrylic spray of glitter.

Ornaments of Seeds and legumes

                                                                Deck the Halls HERE
                                                                A Light bulb Moment HERE
Christmas Ornaments
These of course are not edible
but some Christmas Ornaments are.
Bird Seed Feeder Ornament
 Pine cones are a perfect  pick for pint size crafters and also happen to be loved by the birds! 
Top of the Season to you all.

Dec 4, 2014

Sugar Cube House

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                          How Sweet it is
                This Sugar Cube House is the perfect Christmas Kid Craft.
                                                      Let their imaginations run wild!
Sugar cube house

Lillian the Domestic Engineer

Crafting with sugar cubes

Sugar Cube house - Gingerbread alternative
 CLICK HERE for details

All in a Community

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 I stopped into my favorite little store the other day.
It just happens to be conveniently located right behind the grocery store that I often have occasion to patronize.
The little store however is only open on Tue. Thur. and Sat. 
so I do try to plan my trips to the grocery market accordingly!

The both of these (for me) essential markets are just up the street and around the corner from all else that I might need. The hardware store, the registry and the bakery.

Tis' the joy of a small community and the people that I meet that makes it all so meaningful for me.
All in a Community

 I have an ongoing relationship with the friendly folk at the local Thrift Store where I enjoy sharing in the exchange of funny, friendly chatter with the awesome crew of Senior Volunteers
who all give selflessly to the service of their community.
Their presence and dedication has been a source of much, much more than bargains to me.
Their smiling faces and pleasant nature have been like the sunshine on rainy days for over 9 years now.

 Upon driving into the parking lot the other day,  I spot my two favorite fellas at work taking boxes of treasures from the donation box outside to the group of ladies inside who would then sort and price the treasures.

 I quickly parked and scooted over to open the door in an effort to assist in ease of their entry.
" I can see you guys are working overtime today."" I teased them.
"As ever." the one fellow replied, continuing as we stepped inside.
"We do what we have to do. No point in complaining we're not listened to. Can't negotiate, we're not paid and the job is still required done by the end of the day."

 I smiled at them both and then ceased the opportunity to say
 "I see you guys are feeling a little like house wives today!" 

 A silent moment suddenly filled the gap between the gentlemen and the counter top.
The ladies behind it smiled at me and in recognition of the similarities.

The gentlemen grinned thoughtfully into the face of reality.

 "24 years a parent" I say.
"No pension, no pay, just self satisfaction at the end of the day."

Knowing the gratification of a domestic duty done,
 that has come from the mouth of babes, now my full grown Sons
 is often found in human things like Thanks, I love you Mom..
 I couldn't pass up the chance to say,
"Thank You guys, you make my day. Without your assistance here I couldn't find my way."

After scouting about  for the kettle I went to buy, knowing that it would first have been tested by my senior guys, 
I grinned when I spotted out of the corner of my eye, a stainless steel beauty, priced with me in mind.
I scooped up my treasure and set off to pay for the pleasure of shopping at my favorite place.

Elsie, at the counter, then informed me that she had set aside a bag of donations that a lady brought in.
She dug the green bag out of the storage drawer, recalling a request I had made many, many months before.
"Your Mom is a knitter and this is the Phoentex Wool she has been looking for." Elsie informed.
 Gleefully I peeked into my treasure bag.
The rainbow of colored contents I found inside was as much to my amazement as it was to my surprise.
"Thank You Elsie" I smiled "My Mom will be thrilled."

 "You're doing a fine job " I announced to the staff as I made my way to the door.
"See you all next week,  take care of yourselves."
The best things in life are almost free, I remind myself as I drive on  for my groceries.
 I am so grateful for a community of people and the service of Volunteers!

Volunteer your time today. Click HERE for ideas