Monday, December 26, 2011


   This diy comes form www.centsationalgirl.com.  Very good gift idea for the coming New Year.  Enjoy!

DIY: Colored Chalkboard Vases

Greetings, I hope you had a lovely weekend! I spent mine mostly indoors with big rainstorms hitting our area, so I had a little fun inside doing some crafting. 
I had two quarts of tinted chalkboard paint sitting in my garage, waiting for some projects I plan to get to in the near future. I couldn’t resist the idea of ‘sampling’ the colors this past weekend making some colored chalkboard vases. Fun fun fun! Something about the notion of leaving sentimental or seasonal notes on glass appealed to me, so I tinkered around creating a few versions around the house.
Every time I bring home fresh flowers, whether from the grocery store or farmer’s market, my 7 year old asks me for a single stem for her room. Love that! I thought it would be sweet to make a little chalkboard vase for her in a bright colored paint , one where I could write little encouraging notes or endearing sentiments.
This bud vase was created with Rust-Oleum’s ‘Raspberry’ shade.

cg pink chalkboard final

And this gray label with Hudson Paint’s ‘So Stone’ tint:

cg spring gray chalkboard vase
This is such a fun way to personalize vases, whether for you, or for a housewarming gift, or perhaps someone recovering from illness. These make a great gift for friends too!

How to Make Colored Chalkboard Vases, Supplies You’ll Need:
Clear glass vase of choice
Tinted chalkboard paint (both Rust-Oleum and Hudson have great colors)
Frosted glass spray paint
Packaging tape
X-Acto knife or box cutter
Chalk or chalk ink markers (found at craft stores)


Begin by taping off any sections of your glass vase you do not wish to coat with tinted chalkboard paint. Both of these tinted chalkboard paints are water based, so to give them the very best adhesion to glass, I used a frosted glass spray paint to act as a primer. Frosted glass spray paint is designed to adhere to glass, and it dries quickly (in less than 10 minutes!) so it makes the perfect ‘primer’ for giving your tinted chalkboard paint staying power. Give your vase two good coats.
Next, apply two to three layers of the colored chalkboard paint to the vase, directly on top of the frosted glass spray paint. Allow it to dry between coats.

tape and paint

If you wish to carve out any pattern on the glass, like with the gray label version seen above, use the X-acto knife or box cutter to do so. A Silhouette craft cutter would also do the job just as nicely.

xacto knife

After your paint layers are dry, carefully peel off your packaging tape. Any rough edges can be carefully corrected with a small flat head screwdriver.

smooth edges

After a few coats of paint, you have a perfectly fantastic surface for writing notes with chalk.

cg i love you pink chalkboard vase

Or if you’ve discovered the wonder of chalk ink pens, you can leave your sentiments in different colors. Whoever invented chalk ink pens is a complete genius !!

cg sweet dreams pink chalkboard vase

I created this second version for me, for welcoming in the seasons.
I just love it!

cg spring gray chalkboard vase 2

cg pink tulips chalkboard vase

And another fun use of that chalk ink . . . I’m completely addicted.
Please send help right away.


Frozen Mocha Cake with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

   Thin, delicate layers of flourless chocolate cake are filled with silky chocolate-espresso mousse. Begin making this dessert at least one day ahead, and serve it straight from the freezer; the frozen mousse filling has the texture of soft ice cream.
Makes 8 to 10 servings



  • 4ouncesbittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2tablespoonswater
  • 3large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cupsugar


  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2cupsugar
  • 1/4  cupsKahlúa or other coffee liqueur
  • 1 cupchilled heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 teaspooninstant espresso powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cupfinely chopped bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate


  • 1/2 cupwhipping cream
  • 1/4 cupKahlúa or other coffee liqueur
  • 1 tablespoonlight corn syrup
  • 6 ouncesbittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoonswhole coffee beans



  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Lightly butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Combine chocolate and 2 tablespoons water in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Stir until chocolate is smooth. Remove from over water. Transfer chocolate to large bowl; cool 5 minutes. Whisk egg yolks into chocolate. Beat whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff and glossy. Fold 1/4 of whites into chocolate to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in 2 additions just until combined and being careful not to deflate batter.
  • Divide batter between prepared pans (layers will be very thin). Bake until cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 1 hour. Carefully invert cakes onto 9-inch-diameter cardboard rounds or tart pan bottoms. Cool cakes completely. Peel off parchment paper.


  • Line 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with plastic wrap, leaving 5-inch overhang. Whisk egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and Kahlúa in medium metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Using electric mixer, beat until yolk mixture is thick and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 140°F for 3 minutes, about 9 minutes total. Remove bowl from over water. Continue to beat mixture until cool to touch, about 3 minutes. Beat whipping cream and espresso powder in another medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold cream mixture into yolk mixture in 2 additions. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Gently fold whites into yolk mixture in 2 additions. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  • Carefully place 1 cake layer in prepared pan (cake layer is very delicate). Spread filling evenly over cake (filling layer will be thick). Top with second cake layer; press gently to adhere. Fold plastic overhang over cake, then cover with foil. Freeze cake overnight. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.


  • Bring first 3 ingredients to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Transfer 1/2 cup glaze to small bowl; chill until cool and very slightly thickened but easily spreadable (if too thick, glaze will not spread smoothly on frozen cake), about 10 minutes
  • Remove foil and plastic wrap from top of cake. Invert cake onto 9-inch-diameter cardboard round or tart pan bottom; place on rack set over rimmed baking sheet. Working quickly, spread thin layer of chilled glaze over top and sides of cake. Freeze until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
  • Rewarm remaining glaze over low heat until just warm and pourable. Transfer to 1-cup measuring cup. Pour half of glaze over top of cake. Working quickly and using offset spatula, spread glaze over top, allowing excess to run down sides of cake; spread quickly over sides (glaze will harden quickly on frozen cake). Pour remaining glaze over top of cake; spread quickly and smoothly over top and sides. Sprinkle coffee beans around top edge of cake. Freeze until firm and glaze is set, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; keep frozen.
  • To serve, dip long thin sharp knife into hot water, then wipe dry and cut cake into wedges, pulling knife out at bottom of cake to avoid tearing glaze and repeating for each slice.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2003/04/frozen_mocha_cake_with_chocolate_ganache_glaze#ixzz1hLAUMtHj


    Christmas parades can be seen in cities and towns nationwide. The parades help usher in Christmas.
    Christmas parades can be small with just a few floats, and a couple of bands, or very large with a lot of floats, several bands, clowns, assorted groups, and cars carrying important people from the community. But whether the Christmas parades are small or large in size doesn't matter, it's what is at the end of the parade that makes all the difference and that would be Santa Claus! Seeing Santa Claus means the Christmas season is here!
    Christmas parades have been going strong for 90+ years. When Christmas parades first started it was more of a way for people who lived in small towns to get together and socialize with each other while watching a very short parade. The parades were something the communities looked forward to every year.
    One such Christmas parade in California started in 1928. It was one of the smallest parades ever. There was only one actress and Santa Claus with his live reindeer. This Christmas parade was named "The Santa Claus Lane Parade", and it kept that name for many years.

Early years when it was Santa Claus Lane Parade

    The Santa Claus Lane Parade was and is a located in Hollywood, California. The parade went down Hollywood Boulevard. This street was decided on because the city wanted to attract families and shoppers to this area during the holiday season. That idea worked out very well and is still the route for the Christmas parade today, which is 81 years later.
    During the 1930's, 40's, and 50's, the Santa Claus Lane Parade really grew. There started to be a number of Hollywood movie stars that were part of the Christmas parade and helped support it. Some of the early stars to be in the parade were Bette Davis, Gene Autry, Mary Pickford, and Angie Dickinson, just to name a few.
By the 1960's and into the late 70's, the Christmas parade was getting quite large. There were more and more movie stars and athletes riding in the parade. There were more floats, bands and clowns than ever before. There was even a variety of animals that graced the parade route.

Larry King and Newest wife

    In the late 1970's, it was decided that there needed to be increased excitement surrounding the parade and the glamour of Hollywood needed to be brought to everyone. This was done in three ways. First, the name of the parade was changed from the Santa Claus Lane Parade to "The Hollywood Christmas Parade". The second this to happen was the broadcasting of the parade on station KTLA, so that people could watch it from home. The third thing was the parade route was lengthened to include Sunset Boulevard. These were all great decisions as they are still working today.
    Today, "The Hollywood Christmas Parade" is star studded. There are more movie stars, athletes, and entertainers then ever before. There are equestrians, lots of bands that come from all over, numerous floats and of course Santa Claus, to finish up the parade and start the Christmas season.

Santa and friend

    The Hollywood Christmas Parade, even though it's fun to watch and is very magical and glamorous, it still has educated the public about Hollywood and the interaction Hollywood has with the people of the United States.
    Here is something to remember. Gene Autry wrote the famous song that was named after the Santa Claus Lane Parade. So, every time you hear the song "Here Comes Santa Claus", you will know it's about The Hollywood Christmas Parade and the children wating to see Santa Claus.


   Most of us know December 25 by one name – Christmas. We all know the story of Christmas, but most of us don’t know when the first Christmas was celebrated. Today, the world as we know it grids to a halt on Christmas day, shops and restaurants all close down. It is a day of peace and tranquility, yet a time of great joy, for many. However, it was not always like that. I have created a list of a few significant events, some joyful and sprit raising, others sad and astonishing, that happened on the day we have come to know solely as “Christmas”. This list is in Chronological order, all dates are AD.

10. First Christmas,  325


   This is the first date that Christmas was celebrated for certain on December 25. This is significant because Christmas is arguably the most widely celebrated holiday in the world. It is also a strange date to pick, since many astronomers and scientists agree that Jesus would have been born sometime during our current summer months.

9. England Adopts Modern Calendar, 597


   On this date, England adopted the Julian calendar. This is a significant event because it was the beginning of the adaptation of the calendar that would become not only America’s standard, but the standard of the entire world, uniting us in the common way we look at time.

8. Charlemagne Crowned, 800

Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III. He would become perhaps the most important monarch in all of Europe’s history, founding the French and German monarchies. Today he is often referred to as the “Father of Europe.”

7. William the Conqueror Crowned, 1066
Willem De Veroveraar

   William the Conqueror is crowned King of England. He successfully lead invasion forces into England and defeated King Harold Godwinson (who died in the conflict) at the famous Battle of Hastings. He would go on to lead England in reforms on building standards, fortifications, the English language, and the Catholic Church.

6. The Christmas Flood Disaster, 1717

   The great Christmas Flood ravaged the Netherlands and parts of Germany and Scandinavia. It was caused by a violent northwest storm, the likes of which were unknown to the population at that time. The medieval dams and dikes could not handle the amount of rainfall and failed, causing massive flooding along the coastline, which is mainly flatland. At that time there was no good warning system, and the floodwaters moved so quickly it gave people little time to escape. Approximately 14,000 people lost their lives in the disaster.

5. Washington Crosses the Delaware, 1776


   On this day, at approximately 11pm, Patriot General George Washington, along with 5,400 of his men, crossed the Delaware River, in order to surprise Hessian troops celebrating the Christmas Holiday. Around 8am the next day, his attack commenced. The Hessian defenders were quickly overwhelmed and fled from the town of Trenton, all at a cost of at most four American lives. While the victory was not a big strategic victory, it had a huge effect on strengthening the Patriots moral, and would lead then to continue the fight for independence. This is largely regarded as the battle that changed the course of the war.

4. The Christmas Truce, 1914
Christmastruce1914 2

   This event came to be known as the Christmas truce. On this day at midnight, during the height of World War I the Germans began to sing Christmas Carols. As morning came, the Germans emerged from their trenches and crossed the deadly “No Man’s Land,” unarmed, shouting “Merry Christmas” in their enemies native tongue. Seeing they were unarmed, the allies emerged as well and met their enemies, shaking hands and exchanging gifts of cigarettes and plum puddings. This event showed that, even in times of great conflict, humans are silly morally good.

3. Surrender of Hong Kong, 1941
Japan Surrender Hkqt

   On this day, The British garrison in the city of Hong Kong surrendered. The day after Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941, the Japanese began bombing raids on the city. The British immediately put up a resistance and began evacuating the Chinese population to the Philippines. When the Japanese were alerted to this, they sent their navy to block off their evacuation roots, effectively cutting of the city from the sea. Attempts to flee the city by land were futile, as the Japanese army quickly surrounded the city, completely blockading it. They were cut off from any outside help and the Japanese cut the water and power lines to the city. Facing death by dehydration, the British raised the white flag of surrender on Christmas morning. This event set up Japan for their planned invasion and takeover of China.

2. Longest Battery Powered Car Trip Ends, 1985

   On this day, the longest road trip completed on a single battery charge ended. David Turner and Tim Pickard arrived in John o’ Groat’s, Scotland, the northernmost point in Great Britain. They had set out four days earlier from Land’s End, the southernmost point in Britain, in a battery-powered Freight Rover Leyland Sherpa driven by a Lucas electric motor. They traveled 875 miles on a single battery charge. This event was a giant step in moving automobile makers away from gasoline and fossil fuels and focusing more on electric power, leading to many of the electric and hybrid cars we have today.

1. Unsolved JonBenet Ramsey Murder,1996
Pl Jonbenet 060817 Ssv

   On this day, one of the most significant murder mysteries of our generation began with the murder of Six year-old JonBenet Ramsey. She was found under a blanket in her basement, with her hands and feet tied and her mouth taped, she had been strangled. Since this day many suspects have come up in the case, and several have even given a false confession, but evidence later proved the confessors to be lying. The chief suspects were the parents, as the ransom note for their daughter was written on paper found in their home, by writing utensils in their home, and the fact she was murdered in her own home without her parents awakening to any commotion seemed suspicious. These suspicions were raised when it was learned the parents were originally uncooperative with law enforcement. Nevertheless, a grand jury dismissed all charges against them due to lack of evidence. The case still goes unsolved even to this day.


   This diy comes from www.centsationalgirl.com .  What better way to give a gift on the New Year and it will also work to tell everyone's champagne glasses apart too. Enjoy!

DIY Wine or Champagne Glass Charms

That time of year is here again – we’ve got guests visiting from all over just about every weekend until the end of the year. With all the festivities planned over the next few months, I wanted to make some wine glass charms to help keep everyone’s glass identified during all the celebrating.
I first found out about an embossing powder called Amazing Glaze that hardens to a resin from my friend Cathe, she had used it to to make a memory pet tag and decal penny pendant in the past and I really wanted to try it out! I ordered the powder, some pendant bases and earwires, then came up with several versions of DIY wine glass charms. The first are these blingy sparklers which will work for just about any occasion.

diy wine glass charms

With the right supplies, these are so easy to make! Find some earwires, pendant bases, and some Amazing Glaze, and you’re in business (my sources below).

amazing glaze and charms

The sparkling gem versions were made with simple colorful glitter from my stash that was layered along the bottom of the pendant base, then topped with a small amount of the powder glaze (seen below).

glitter and glaze

Using aluminum foil beneath, I simply baked the first layer of powder inside the pendants in a 350 degree oven for two minutes and allowed it to cool for 5 minutes. Then I applied two more thin layers following the same technique, 2 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the powder melts and turns clear.
It hardens into a resin to make these little gems for your wineglass!

diy sparkle wine glass charms

Next, I experimented with some round numbered stickers from the scrapbook section of my local craft store to create these numbered versions. I noticed anything using paper tends to get a little muddied, and I suspect if you used a home printer to create a design on paper, the ink may bleed. But these raised numbered stickers turned out to look pretty good with two layers of the Amazing Glaze powder turned resin on top.

numbered stickers


diy numbered wine glass charms

I had some fun making a set of holiday charms too since we always throw a big Christmas party every year. Fine white glitter mixed with the Amazing Glaze powder forms the base. They’re topped with more vellum ornament and gift stickers and given another thick coat of the Glaze, kinda cute.

christmas wine glass charms

You can even skip the charms and use beads or vintage buttons or whatever you want. For the monogram charms below, I used some leftover metal button cover kits and paired them with some clear letter stickers. I made a small hole in the top with a nail, then melted a few thin coats of the Amazing Glaze powder over them in the oven.

monogram stickers

Hey, a tag for all my favorite drinkers!

diy monogram wine glass charms

No need to use this method for just wine glass tags, it works just as well for making charms for necklaces or bracelets too.

christmas charms on necklace bracelet
glitter charms on bracelet

Yes it’s true, the blingy glitter versions are my most fave, and I think they’d be really fab in vivid colors. I found the pendant bases at Rubber Nation and the wine glass earwires at FeatherBoutique on Etsy. Amazing Glaze is available on Amazon, $10 for 2 ounces but I have well over an ounce left over after making all these wine glass charms. I imagine you could make several dozen with one 2 ounce jar.

diy wine glass charms cg

They’re a fun and useful holiday gift idea for your friends and family so get together with your pals and make a whole bunch of them, just make sure you invite me to your craft party cause I’ll bring the wine.
cg kate signature