Monday, August 6, 2012


   This comes from www.madincrafts.com .  These don't have to made just in the fall.  Leaves look good all year round.  Enjoy!

PB Fall Knockoffs - Book Page Leaves

   Once again I am loving the gorgeous seasonal decor for sale at Pottery Barn, but there is no way I am willing to spend that much money. Even though it is lovely. Really. So, like usual, I brainstormed a few ways to use bargain priced items to replicate their ideas as best I can.

I considered making this another Dollar Barn series, but since so much of what I used was from my stash, I can't be sure that I everything was originally from the dollar store. If I think you can find the materials I used at the DT (or similar materials), it will be mentioned.

The major motifs I "borrowed" from PB are fall leaves, glass containers, and fall fruits and veggies - all pretty standard for autumn decorating. The one little idea I stole from them, and then ran with, is the addition of some book page leaves like those seen here.

You can't actually buy these from PB, so I feel a little less guilty commandeering the idea. Book page crafts have been all over the web this year, so this is hardly a PB original idea but I liked the idea of adding the bookish touch to my favorite season.

I already defiled an old dictionary for my Key Storage Makeover project, so I used more pages for these leaves, but any book will do. You can even pick one up from the dollar store if you aren't willing to destroy one you already own.

All you have to do is tear a few pages out of the book, keeping the binding intact if you are able.

Trace a leaf (real or fake) with pen or pencil. If you have kept the binding intact for these pages, you can easily cut several leaf shapes out at once.

Voila! Lovely little book page leaves.

I used these leaves in several places in my fall decorating, and you will see them peeking out at you in the next few posts. Last year, I made a Fall Wreath out of dollar store materials, but I wanted to freshen it up just a little this year.

All I had to do was wire in a few of my book page leaves and now the wreath looks even cuter!

Cool what just a little change can do, right?


Chocolate Malt Ice-Cream Cake

  • TOTAL TIME6 Hr 55 Min



    1 1/2
    cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
    cup sugar
    cup unsweetened baking cocoa
    teaspoon baking soda
    teaspoon salt
    cup water
    cup vegetable oil
    teaspoon white vinegar
    teaspoon vanilla
    cup chocolate fudge topping
    1 1/2
    quarts (6 cups) vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
    cups malted milk ball candies, coarsely chopped
    cup whipping (heavy) cream
    cup chocolate fudge topping
    Additional malted milk ball candies, if desired

    1.   Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom and side of springform pan, 9x3 or 10x2 3/4 inches, with shortening; lightly flour. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir vigorously about 1 minute or until well blended. Immediately pour into pan.

    2.   Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

    3.   Spread 1 cup fudge topping over cake; freeze about 1 hour or until topping is firm. In large bowl, mix ice cream and coarsely chopped candies; spread over cake. Freeze about 4 hours or until ice cream is firm.

    4.   In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks fo

    5.  Remove side of pan; place cake on serving plate. Top with whipped cream. Melt 1/4 cup fudge topping; drizzle over whipped cream. Garnish with additional candies.

    TIP:  Use an indulgent chocolate ice cream for double the chocolate pleasure.


        The Guelaguetza, or Los lunes del cerro (Mondays of the Hill) is an annual cultural celebration in Mexico that takes place in the city of Oaxaca, capital of the state of Oaxaca and nearby villages. The celebration includes parades complete with walking bands and the marketing of food, statewide artisanal production, and souvenirs, but centers on traditional dancing in costume in groups, often groups of only one sex. Each costume and dance usually has a local historical and cultural meaning. Although the celebration is an important tourist attraction, especially in the capital city of Oaxaca, it also retains significant independent cultural importance for the people of the state.

       Oaxaca has a large indigenous population, 40 percent, compared to 15 percent for Mexico as a whole. Indigenous culture in the state remains strong in its own right, with over 300,000 people in the state who are monolingual in indigenous languages. Unlike the Yucatán, where the indigenous culture consists of closely related groups of Mayans, the indigenous people in Oaxaca are from many different cultures speaking mutually unintelligible languages. The celebration dates back to before the arrival of the Spanish

    and remains a defining characteristic of Oaxacan culture. Its origins come from celebrations related to the worship of corn. Communities from within the state of Oaxaca gather to present their regional culture in the form of music, costumes, dances, and food. It is the most famous event of its kind in Mexico.
        Like many indigenous traditions in Mexico, this festival was adapted to Catholic traditions after the conquest. The sacrifice of a virgin slave girl was eliminated, and the Guelaguetza became a celebration in honor of the Virgin del Carmen. After a terrible earthquake in the 1920s that destroyed most of the city, the festival was re-organized as a statewide cultural event to rebuild the morale of the people. It began to take on a

    more modern form as a display of each region's unique dance, and became more of a show than a spontaneous festival. In the 1970s a stadium dedicated to the festival was built on a prominent place on Fortin Hill in the center of the city. Foreign and national tourism became increasingly popular when Oaxaca became a UNESCO world heritage city in 1987 and when a modern limited access highway was built into the city in November 1994. Before the highway, transportation was so slow that it was virtually impossible to go to Oaxaca from Mexico City for a weekend trip.

        The celebration takes place on consecutive Mondays at the end of July in towns around the state and in the capital city's open-air amphitheater built into the "Cerro del Fortín", a hill that overlooks central Oaxaca. In 2010 this tradition will be changed as the venue will instead be the soccer stadium. The word Guelaguetza comes from the Zapotec language and is usually interpreted as the "reciprocal exchanges of gifts and services". The literal translation from Teotitlan del Valle is 'Tortilla de Milpa Zapoteca' or the tortilla from the Zapotec farm.

    Dates Celebrated

        Each year the Guelaguetza is celebrated on the two Mondays immediately following July 16, except when the first Monday falls on July 18, the day on which Benito Juárez died. Out of respect for Oaxaca's most famous son, the celebrations are postponed for one week, falling on July 25 and August 1 (as occurred in 2005). However, side events associated with the festival,such as concerts, are held all during the month of July.


        As the festival became a bigger tourist attraction, there was an inevitable backlash from purists that saw the ancient traditions being used for commercial purposes. There is a subgroup that vocally pushes for a populist Guelaguetza, or a return to the more spontaneous celebrations of the pre-Columbian era. The 2005 decision to conduct two performances a day for each of the two Mondays, was perceived by many traditionalists as a blatant attempt accommodate more ticket purchasing tourists.

        The commercialization of indigenous culture is hardly unique to Oaxaca. The Hawaiian luau and hula dances and the Flamenco dances in southern Spain are other prime examples. In Oaxaca, where there is conflict between some groups and the state, the festival can become a focal point of contention.

        Due to protests against the state government led by the Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca, which were met with State Violence, the State-Sponsored Guelaguetza was not held at the Cerro del Fortín as planned in 2006, but instead a free, "Popular Guelaguetza" was held by APPO. The 2007 celebration was boycotted by APPO, and attempts to hold a Popular Guelaguetza were thwarted by government police repression, including the killing of at least one attendee and disappearance of many others.


        Just lurking in the shadows of the neighbor's twinkling Christmas lawn lights is the darker side of the Yule tide. One rarely associates the holiday season with the ghouls and specters that cavort during Halloween, but in many traditions around the world Christmas does have a dark side. Aside from the specters in Dickens's A Christmas Carol, the threat of a lump of coal from Santa, and Chevy Chase's Holiday Vacation; American traditions have been insulated from the horror show of Christmas traditions around the world. Here are just some of stories of Christmas evil that will make you glad that shipping Aunt Tillie's sweater is high on your list of holiday stressors.

    A Tender Norwegian Christmas

        Besides eating lye treated cod during the Holiday season, the Norwegians have a number of frightful Christmas traditions. The foremost of these traditions being Julebukk the Christmas goat. Traditions centering around Julebukk are thought to have come from Thor being transported on a sleigh pulled by two goats. In pre-Christian Norway during winter celebrations someone dressed as Julebukk, and carrying a goat head, would burst on to the scene. Julebukk would then symbolically die and be reborn later that evening. Another variation of Julebukk traditions was for one to don the disguise of a goat. While in costume, one would visit neighbor's homes. The game was to figure out who was behind the scary goat head.

        The tradition was Christianized by turning Julebukk into a demonic figure. The demonization of Julebukk must have given the children too many nightmares and Julebukk was forbidden by the church during the Middle Ages. The ban on Julebukk might have fostered the thought that on Christmas Eve witches and other evil spirits come out of the woodwork and to look for brooms to ride. To thwart the spirit world, brooms are hidden on Christmas Eve and guns or fireworks are shot off to spook the incorporeal from invading one's home. Some forms of the Julebukk tradition exist today as more of a door to door caroling event. Also on Norwegian Christmas trees it is common to see goats made of straw reminiscent of the impish goat.

    Whipping Up Some Christmas Cheer

        The French have yet another evil companion to Saint Nick in Le Père Fouettard (the whipping father). Like our previous examples, Le Père Fouettard has been bound to ride shotgun in Santa's sleigh for his misdeeds. Said to have been an innkeeper, Le Père Fouettard and his wife planned skullduggery for three wealthy young men who spent the night in their inn. The pair drugged the lads, stole their money, and then slit their throats. To cover up their crimes, the boys were cut into pieces and placed into a barrel of stew meat. Luckily for our three lads, Saint Nicholas was led to the inn by a vision. There Saint Nick confronted Le Père Fouettard and raises the young men from the dead.
    To punish Le Père Fouettardfor his crimes, Santa forces the murdering innkeeper to accompany him on the Christmas gift giving spree. Predictably, our whipping father punishes the wicked as Santa rewards the good children. I'm sure of in the back of poor French children's minds, Le Père Fouettard's justice will get out of hand and turn them into stew meat.

        The mixing of Halloween and Christmas traditions seemed farfetched to Americans when Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas was released. Turns out Burton was just following much older traditions than Americans were accustomed to. This Christmas Eve if you hear something rustling around your tree, make sure you're on Santa's good list. If you're not, who knows what spirit of Christmas evil you've conjured up!


       This was found at www.helenmade.blogspot.com .  Kind of cool and unique!!

    saw this origami bow tutorial here. However, it was in another language and many of you needed a written tutorial plus pictures tutorial, so here it is. A 3" x 3" paper would make a nice bow. I used 4" square for the bows that I made for the cake here.

    A thin pattern paper would make a beautiful bow.

    If you are using double side pattern paper place the side that you want down.

    Mountain fold horizontally, crease well, then unfold.

    mountain fold the other way, crease well and unfold.

    you should have this.

    Valley fold diagonally, crease well, and unfold.

    valley fold the other way,crease well and unfold. You should have this: 2 mountain fold lines that looked like a plus sign. And 2 valley folds that looked like an "X".

    Follow the creased lines and fold your paper like this

    Press it down and fold the "closed" side about 1/2" down like the picture below, crease well.

    Open your paper completely like shown. As you can see there is a small square in the center and the creased lines are not the same.

    You are going to mountain fold those lines or the small square.

    like this

    refold the paper like the 7th picture above except

    you will push the small square down like this

    you paper now should look like this with two layers.

    fold the top corners down like this

    turn the paper over and repeat

    you are going to open the paper, making sure your folds (small square) stay in place.

    it should look like this after you opened the paper.

    Turn the paper over, make sure you place your paper like in the photo. Cut at the fold where the black lines are.

    After the cut you should able to move the two pieces up and down. These two pieces will be the bow tails.

    Fold the top piece down and fold the edges

    of the side pieces down like shown

    fold the other edges up and over lab the previous fold a bit.

    now working on the bow tails, fold the edges in then cut the center where the black line is (make sure don't cut the small square on the bottom)

    then fold it like shown

    turn it over

    fold the bow tip under the center square

    cut the bow tails and you are done! It wasn't too hard right!

    I was in a rush putting this tutorial together so some phrase might not be clear but I was hopping the pictures will help.