Monday, February 6, 2012


   This comes from www.thatsmyletter.blogspot.com  .  Really cool and really retro looking. Enjoy!

Jaime's festive snowflakes are colorful, glittery and sure to add a touch of sparkle to your holiday decor. I love attaching ornaments to the tops of Christmas presents as a special additional treat and I can see a few of these being used this year. Please welcome Jaime.

Glittered snowflake ornaments.
Made from STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, wire hangers and glitter.

Simple, easy ornaments you can make to add sparkle anywhere for the holidays.

Inspired by the large bead snowflake from Pottery Barn:

You could glitter these any color to match your decor.

Here's how I made the ornaments:

Supplies needed:

- 1" STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam balls

- 1 1/2" STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam balls

- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam flat sheet goods (any size)

- Krylon spray glitter

- loose glitter

- wire hangers (& wire cutters)

- hot glue gun

- tiny measuring spoons or melon baller

1. Begin by cutting the wire hanger into pieces, one 5" piece and 4 - 2 1/2" pieces

2. Prepare the smaller balls.

Using a metal measuring spoon scoop out a small ball shape from the flat sheet:

Dig down deep and then twist in a circular motion:

This is what comes out.

3. Take the ball and roll it between your hands like a meatball to smooth the edges and achieve a nice rounded shape:

4. Make at least 6 1/2" balls and 6 3/4" balls:

5. Begin assembly.

Use the 5" wire piece and slide the balls on in this order:

(Use a drop of hot glue on the wire then slide the ball over the glue.)

6. Take the 2 1/2" wire and poke into side of large center ball.

Add same balls into place.

7. Repeat on other side for equality.

8. Spray the glitter spray paint onto the balls, then sprinkle loose glitter onto the paint.

(Do this in sections over a scrap paper to collect glitter for re-use.)

9. Make a resting cradle for the center ball with straight pins to let paint/glitter dry.

10. Hang using ribbon and a straight pin glued into the outer most ball.

Ready for Christmas.

A little STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam can go a long way.


   This recipe comes from www.designsponge.com .  It looks simply wonderful and delicious, without all of the frills. 

This week’s recipe is by Irish-born and Sydney-based food photographer/food stylist Katie Quinn Davies. You know her best as the one-woman show behind the blog What Katie Ate. When Katie and I began to discuss what recipes she might offer, I found out that she was Irish and that changed up the whole game! I had the greatest time in Dublin last year, and couldn’t wait to see what Katie would propose. As luck would have it, among her ideas was a Guinness Chocolate Cake. I wasted no time in saying, “Yes, please!” So here you go, a beautiful chocolate cake that even the guys can get excited about! — KristinaAbout Katie: Training originally as a graphic designer in her native hometown of Dublin, Ireland, Katie has spent over twelve years working for some of the leading design studios in Europe, the U.S. and Australia. In 2009, Katie re-focused her creative abilities toward hatching a new-found career in food photography and food styling. Working out of her own fully-equipped studio in Sydney and taking all photographs in natural daylight, Katie often creates, styles, art directs and photographs food photography briefs from concept to completion. Her work covers magazine editorial and cookbook commissions, as well as freelance shoots for a variety of Sydney’s gourmet food stores and restaurants. In her spare time, Katie runs a foodie photography blog, What Katie Ate, which covers all things relating to food and drink in Sydney and features recipes and photos from Katie herself. You can visit her portfolio here.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients
  • 250 g (1 c. and 2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 250 ml (1 c.) Guinness
  • 75 g Dutch process cocoa ( 3/4 c.), sifted
  • 275 g (2 + 1/4 c.) all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 400 g (2 c.) sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 150 ml (2/3 c.) sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. good quality vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients
  • 300 g (1 + 1/3 cup) cream cheese
  • 150 g (1+1/2 c.) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 150 ml (2/3 c.) cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

1. Add butter, cocoa and Guinness to a saucepan. Warm over a medium heat and stir until melted. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly.

2. Add flour, baking soda and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix together well. Pour in the Guinness/cocoa/butter mixture, lightly combine, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream and beat everything together until well combined. The batter should be thick and dark chocolate in color.

3. Pour into a greased and lined 10″ angel food pan (or another straight-sided tube pan) and cook in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.*Note: This cake is very moist inside, so use your judgment regarding the skewer test. Do not leave in the oven until the cake has totally dried out — cook long enough so there is no uncooked cake on the skewer but there may be a few moist crumbs sticking to it after an hour of cooking. [Please note: Katie baked this in an 8.5" x 3.5" pan. If you make this in a regular angel food cake pan, you should start checking for doneness at least 15 minutes early.]

4. Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the cake tin and placing on a wire wrack to cool completely.

Frosting Instructions
1. Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a mixer and beat on a low-medium speed using a whisk attachment (I find a paddle attachment tends to over-beat the cheese). Whisk until the cheese is smooth and there are no big lumps remaining.

2. Gradually, using a large spoon, add in the sifted powdered sugar and beat gently to combine. After 2 to 3 minutes, stop the machine, scrape any excess frosting from the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed until lump free.

3. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, mixing to fully combine.

4. Place cooled cake on a cake stand and add the frosting, spreading out just to the edge without going over the side (never go over the sides of the cake) until the cake resembles a pint of the creamy black stuff! The idea is to capture the essence and simplicity of a pint of Guinness. Sláinte!

A special thank you to Donna Hay for the cake stand and wire cooling rack!


    Most people no longer see a Spanish holiday as merely straw donkeys, Sangria and the hot sun of the southern costas. Tourism to Spain's wondrously varied interior are now commonplace, with Andalucia and Grenada particularly popular. There are though, still areas of Spain which go largely unnoticed by tourists, and some fantastic sights and experiences are there to be found by anybody looking for a slightly different experience of "Spanish culture". One such place is Galicia.

    Galicia is the "nub" of Spain which sits directly north of Portugal, in the extreme North West of Spain itself. It's an area of mountains, forests and , unlike much of the rest of the country, abundant water. Its people, who are Celts, display all the natural warmth and vivacity you find in their British and Irish cousins. It's there Celtic influences, together with a lack of mass tourism and a feeling that you're in a very different Spain from the one we've all seen from its beaches, that give Galicia the feel of a genuinely alternative Spanish destination.

    The period leading to the start of Lent is a particularly good time to go. The whole Latin world celebrates carnival during this time, and Galicia is no different. Different areas celebrate in different ways, all with their own trademark. One such trademark is the orgy of flour throwing which engulfs the town of Viana do Bolo, in Ourense, ever year.
    Viana do Bolo is not one of the most accessible places to take a holiday, but, particularly at Carnival time, it's well worth the effort. The specific origins of the flour festival are lost in time, but the locals make up for that with an entirely wholehearted celebration which lasts about three weeks, reaching a peak during the lat five days before Lent, the same time that Mardi Gras is happening all over the Latin world. The entire town becomes engulfed in flour as people go after each other armed to the teeth with bags of the white stuff. The perfect delivery is a handful delivered to the face, smothering the cheeks and mouth, below the nose. Men go after women and vice versa. A clean face is an invitation not to be missed to a Vianes. If you go out into town during Carnival, you accept the chance that you're going to get a handful to the face-don't wear your best clothes!

    It's not just flour though. This is a vivacious and easy going culture which places a huge emphasis on food and music as part of the celebration. On the last Sunday of Carnival, the Folion come to town. The Folion is the tradition of drumming your area's specific identifying beat on huge drums (but also shovels, heads or anything percussive!). Folion bands from the local towns parade through Viana in their finest costumes, beating their own beat over and over again while the crowds are kept at bay by the tall and highly decorative Boteiros, running up and down the edges of the parade, bells ringing. It's an explosion of noise and color which is followed by an impressive array of local meat delicacies: chorizo, lacon and androlla, and red wine, all handed out free by volunteers.

    Then it's a stroll uphill to the local sports hall, where 3000 people will sit and eat an even richer feast centered again around local meat, and watch pipe bands and more drumming. A quiet lunch it isn't. The sound of 3,000 Vianese eating their cutlery on the long wooden tables, hammering out Viana's own Folion, stays with you for some time.
If you want a break from the noise and activity, there are other things on offer in the wider area. Galicia has beautiful and spectacular scenery,with largely undeveloped mountainous areas offering trekking or mountain biking opportunities if you want to get away from the Carnival. The landscape is breathtaking and extremely quiet, and the pace of life in the area is reflective of that calm, outside of Carnival at least. Portugal, with its own festive traditions and pretty, old towns like Chaves, is just over an hour's drive away. There's even skiing available at Manzaneda, again, only about an hour from Viana.

    Viana, indeed Galicia generally, is not a beach holiday. If you're looking to catch some sun, go to an enormous nightclub and entertain children, it's not for you. A car is absolutely essential, not just for getting around but for getting there in the first place as the nearest airports are all a couple of hours away. But it's cheap, and it's real. Its largely undiscovered nature makes it a taste of real Spain.



   This diy comes from www.alderberryhill.blogspot.com .  I like this one alot.  I like to make things scary and creepy without all of the bloog and gore.  This is right down my street.  Perfect for Halloween or a Day of The Dead Party. I give this 2 thumbs up!

Ghoulish Centerpiece.

And now I'll tell you all about it!

I had all of this already in the house, some of it I bought about a month ago, some of it is more than a year old.

The glass bowl & vase was thrifted, the skull and pumpkins are from the dollar store and the decorative balls were in my bathroom on the window sill looking fit for the garbage.

Putting this whole thing together was pretty simple.

Rip the scrapbook paper into strips and start adhering them to the skull with mod podge. Keep going until you've covered the entire skull leaving the eyes, nose & mouth uncovered.

Spray paint your bowl fillers & accessories with your desired spray paint - I chose silver.

Spray paint your bowl & vase as well - I chose black.

I also spray painted a wooden charger that I found in the kitchen cabinet above the fridge (the one that compiles things that I never use!) and I used the charger as the base.

I glued the vase to the bowl and the skull to the vase and the crow to the skull!(Oh, I put some black glitter on the skulls eyes & nose for a little bling! Just use a liquid glue)

Then I went outside to collect some branches to go with the moss and leaves I had left over from last year.

I poked leaves and sticks here and there and draped some moss around.

I played around with it a little bit until I thought it looked right.

Imagine, Improvise & Invent