Tuesday, February 5, 2013


   This diy comes from www.makethebestofthings.blogspot.com .  Another really cool decoracting Idea.  Enjoy!

3 D effect with hot glue

I've been kicking this idea around in my head for awhile and I just decided to do it. How can I get a dimensional, 3 D image on a vase, jar, box or even a canvas? I considered cutting shapes out of foam and gluing them on, or gluing on store bought appliques or even jewelry charms. But all of those require a bit more effort or money and I knew there was a simpler way. So here's what I came up with.....

The standard thrift store cheap glass vase. The sticker on the bottom says fifty cents, so it was a bargain. Now for my design....

Aha! It's my "leaving the house and my hair is a mess" hat. I got the pretty applique for $1 and it makes it look less like my "bad hair day" hat and more like a stylish statement. That's what I tell myself, anyway. Lol! So, I love the look of the fleur de lis and went for it....

I drew a symmetrical design on paper, folded it up til it was positioned correctly and taped it in place on the inside....

...and filled in the shape with hot glue. I stayed inside the lines but was a bit messy filling it in. I knew I could trim the edges with a razor cutter if I wanted to, and the next part of my project would minimize the messy appearance of the glue. Trust me on this, the finished deal is awesome!

Crumple up about 1/2 sheet of tissue paper. You could use other types of paper but the tissue is the best for this technique. Tear it into pieces less than 3" x 3".

Now Mod Podge those babies on the outside of your vase, putting the MP on the vase only, since the tissue paper is fragile and tears very easily. Just lay the tissue gently on the shape and pat it with a fingertip. If your finger gets sticky, switch to another finger and continue patting gently. Once the paper is sticking pretty good take a small, soft brush and more MP and gently ease the paper into all the crevices of your design. Gently, ladies, gently. BUT, if you do end up tearing the tissue here and there, it's OKAY!! This technique is very forgiving of mess ups. Trust me on this.
Smooth the torn edges with your soft brush and cover any tears with small pieces of torn tissue. Once they are Mod Podged they will disappear. Then MP the edges of the paper down over the bottom and up over the lip for a smooth appearance. Let it dry thoroughly.

Now paint your project the background color. I chose Antique White by Plaid which is a bit of a buttermilk white. By the way, can you see the little smiley face guy with a mustache on the vase? Curvy eyebrows, curly mustache? Little goatee on his chin? Come on, tell me you see him! He looks a little French to me. I'm not kidding, there really is a smiling guy there. Lol! It's okay if you can't see him, I KNOW he's there. ; 0 )

Once the paint is dry on the smiling guy fleur de lis vase, take a soft brush and stroke just a bit of your accent color on there. I used black. You may want to use burnt umber or even a color to match your decor, like blue or even pink. Make sure your brush is almost dry, blot the paint out til it is barely there before brushing it on your project. It is better to have too little than too much, BUT, if you do get too much on there it is fixable. Trust me on this. Let the paint dry then fix your dark spots with the lighter color, let it dry and dry brush again with the darker color. Seal it with clear acrylic spray. See how the roughness of the hot glue and the texture of the tissue really give this a rustic, vintage feel? As my dad the engineer always said, "If you can't make it look perfect, then emphasize the imperfection."

This is the first time I tried this technique and I am jazzed at the way it came out! The hot glue tissue paper decoupage idea worked and it came out just as I hoped! Don't you love when that happens? I'm going to try it on different surfaces and see how it looks and I'm already thinking some kind of swirly damask design on another vase and maybe some dots and circles....!

WARNING-your vase or glassware will NOT be dishwasher safe. Also, do not submerge it in soapy water. Just dust it with a cloth. The inside is still safe to hold water since the technique is all on the outside, so your vase is fine to hold real flowers. Submerging the finished project will "lift" all your hard work


   This recipe comes from www.clairekcreations.com .  Two things that always go well together, cool whip and angel food cake (possibly with some strawberries)!

Today I am very excited to play host to my very first guest post! I discovered Mother Thyme a few months ago and I love reading her fabulous recipes. She’s the woman behind the delicious tomato pasta sauce and choc-ginger biscuits. Please make her feel welcome and be sure to stop by and check out all the fabulous recipes on Mother Thyme.

Hi everyone! I’m Jennifer from Mother Thyme. I am so thrilled to be guest posting on my foodie friend Claire’s fabulous site today!
Today I will be sharing with you a light and refreshing dessert that you can enjoy without the guilt, Angel Food Cupcakes. These cupcakes are light and airy and made with a few simple ingredients such as egg white, confectioners sugar, sugar, salt and vanilla. The egg whites are whipped to form stiff peaks that makes this batter light and airy.
Sure I could have topped these cupcakes off with a creamy, eat with a spoon buttercream frosting, but that defeats the purpose of composing a light cupcake. My first thought was to just add dollops of cool whip on top of these cupcakes with slices of strawberries, but after some experimenting and recipe developing I came up with this creamy, delicious cool whip frosting that is flavored with vanilla and a hint of almond. This frosting is creamy, tasty, and delicious without all the extra calories and fat. So instead of having one cupcake, let’s have two (or maybe three)!
Thanks for letting me share my recipe here with you today. Be sure to stop by and say Hi to me at Mother Thyme. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Angel Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Almond Cool Whip Frosting
(Click here for a print friendly version)

Yield: 1 ½ dozen cupcakes
Angel Food Cupcakes
12 large egg whites (about 1 ½ cups)
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
½ cup sugar
1 cup cake flour (plain flour)


Preheat oven to 350F degrees (160C). Line cupcake tin with liners, set aside.
Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment combine egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Blend on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Gradually add in sugars and continue to blend until just combined. By hand fold in cake flour.
Pour batter into cupcake liners filling ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until cake tester comes out clean and top is firm. Do not overbake.
Cool on wire racks completely before frosting.
Vanilla Almond Cool Whip Frosting
1 3.4oz (90-120g) package of vanilla instant pudding
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 8oz tub (240) of cool whip, thawed (fat free, light or regular)

In a medium bowl combine pudding, milk and almond extract until smooth. Fold in cool whip until combined. Frost as desired.


   Annually celebrated in United States and Canada on February 2nd, Groundhog Day is a well known holiday that revolves around the popular weather lore of the coming out of a groundhog from its burrow on this date to look for its shadow. The winter is nearing an end if the groundhog sees its shadow and if it retreats into its hole in its absence the cold season is likely to continue for 6 more weeks.

The Origins & Beliefs

   Groundhog Day, celebrated across the United States and Canada,  is purely a North American tradition. It is based on a belief that on this day (February 2nd) the groundhog, or woodchuck, comes out of hole after winter hibernation to look for its shadow. If the shadow is seen, it's a sunny day. And the groundhog foretells 'six more weeks of bad weather' and thus a lingering winter. But spring is coming if no shadow is seen because of clouds. The groundhog then behaves accordingly. It goes back into the hole if the weather turns bad, but stays above ground if spring is near.
   Thus weather prediction or prognostication came as an integral feature of Groundhog Day tradition. This prediction owes its origin to the European tradition of Candlemas. There is an old European supposition that a sunny Candlemas day would lead the winter to last for 'another six weeks'. Also celebrated on February 2, the was used to commemorate the Purification of the Virgin Mary. Candles for sacred uses were blessed on this day. Gradually the traditions at this Candlemas came to associate with them different folklores. The German added the belief of an animal, initially a hedgehog, being frightened by his shadow on Candlemas would foretell that winter would last another six weeks. This belief was brought in America during the 18th Century by the German settlers. These settlers adopted the groundhog as their weather predictor.

   Groundhog Day came into being in North America during the late 1800s. Thanks to the combined effort of Clymer H. Freas, a newspaper editor, and W. Smith, an American Congressman and newspaperpublisher. They organized and popularized a yearly festival in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the State was populated predominantly by German settlers. The festival featured a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil which used to foretell how long the winter would last. This very popular event is still being held and is called Groundhog Day.
    There has been a concerted effort in popularizing and commercializing the Groundhog Day across the United States. Chuck Wood is The Committee for the commercialization of Groundhog Day's official mascot. The movie "Groundhog Day," has played a key role in popularizing the schedule of Events in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on and around February 2. Apart from Pennsylvania, fascinating Groundhog Day events are also held in other states, especially, Nebraska, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Arkansas, and California.
   Groundhog Day is also very popular in Canada and Wiarton Willy is the Groundhog that is used to predict the length of winter over there.

Trailing The Tradition

   Historically the month of February bears a special significance to the people in the North. This is evident through various traditions and rites prevalent in this part of the world for thousands of years.
    Predicting the onset of the Spring had been a common practice even in the ancient times as much of the harvest yield was hinged on the change on weather.
  The ancient civilizations would greet this time of the year by performing rites to the rising power of the springtime sun. And these rites were agricultural in nature and performed mostly by the farmers.
    The earlier Romans in the pre-Christian era celebrated February 1 as the Feast of Lights. Lighted torches were carried in procession in a springtime rebirth ritual. The tradition witnessed a carryover in the Christian era and was glorified by linking it with Christ. For, what we celebrate as the Groundhog Day these days has since long been celebrated as the Candlemas across Europe.
     A clear, sunny day on a Candlemas was one of the worst things that could happen. Fair conditions would bring at least forty more days of snowy, rigorous winter. On the other hand, an overcast and generally miserable Candlemas promised a fat and early summer.

   An old tradition was that Christmas decorations were taken down by Candlemas.   Though it is still kept in some places, but for the most part it has been set forward to January 6, the day of Epiphany. The 17th Century English poet Robert Herrick wrote concerning this removal:

Down with the Rosemary, and so
Down with the Baies, and mistletoe;
Down with the Holly, Ivie, all
Wherewith ye drest the Christmas Hall.

    To leave them up longer was to invite bad luck. The plants were burned and their ashes along with the ashes of the Yule log, were cast upon the fields, giving the earth new powers to promote growth in the spring.

Mythological link:
   According to Greek mythology, Proserpine had been abducted into the underworld by Pluto. The goddess Ceres, her mother, and the candle bearing celebrants searched for her in the winter darkness, bringing the reviving light was justifiably taken over by the Christian Church. The sacred light symbolized the Christ Child who was "a light for revelation to the Gentiles," and Mary was the Mother of God - the Theotokas- the lightbearer". The Mother and Son thus shared equally in the festival of Candlemas.

About The Groundhog

   A groundhog is a marmot of North American variety with a reddish brown fur and a rough bushy tail. Also called woodchuck, though it is no way related with chucking of wood.
   Being a rodent type groundhog is basically a burrowing mammal and lives in a hole in the ground (this is why the name!). It goes into a deep long slumber during the winter and comes out of the hole when the spring is on the verge. For a groundhog the moths before and after winter are very important. This is when the marmot remains extremely busy, searching for food, looking for a nice mate, helping the family grow, making good storage, furnishing new home (or hole) and getting thoroughly prepared for the next winter. The more active the groundhog remains during the summer the happier he spends the winter.
    Now the legend: According to the traditional belief it comes out of the hole after checking out its own shadow. This is where it applies its wit, or that is what the legend says:
    If a shadow of its own is seen under the sun, it slips back into the hole. For, it knows the winter is yet to be over by another six weeks.

A little nighttime festivities on Ground Hog Day

    If no shadow, it comes out finally. For, it predicts, the spring is close by
    Though there is no statistical evidence favoring this belief, it is fact that the woodchuck is a very nervous creature. It gets terribly scared with the slightest provocation and sprints back in to its hole.
    It is also a very shy animal and stays away from all possible human presence. There is, however, no evidence that a woodchuck has the power of predicting the change of season by studying the shadow.
    Well, many of us just laugh away the capability of groundhog. They say, if a groundhog really goes back to its hole on seeing its own shadow that is due to its nervous and scary nature. After such long time of underground sleep detached from the outer world, it simply gets startled by its own shadow and runs back to its cozy, secured home to be pent up for a few more weeks.

    Yes, it is only a possible explanation. But who knows if this met-marmot has got some magical power to foretell the arrival of spring!

Seasons and Shadows

   As the Earth orbits the sun it follows two motions. One is the spinning motion around the Earth's own axis. This motion causes the days and nights. The other motion along the elliptical orbit takes a year to complete one full rotation around the sun. Seasons are caused by the Earth's axis being inclined at about 23-1/2o with the orbital plane. As the Earth orbits the sun its axis always points to the same direction.
     In December the North Pole is leaning away from the sun and the Northern hemisphere receives less sunlight. The days are short and the sun is low in the sky so the sunlight is spread thinly over the Earth's surface. The sun is lowest in the sky on December 22, the winter solstice. The Northern Hemisphere receives so less sunlight that the Earth continues to get colder for another month. Thus January is colder than December. And the coldest time comes about the end of January. Things just get reverse as we move down to the southern hemisphere across the Equator.
    Thus seasons are defined by this gradual shifting movement between the summer solstice and winter solstice. As we move on from winter to summer, or, the other way round, we come across four seasons, distinct especially in the temperate zones. Moving from the winter, in spring it gets warmer, in summer, hot. In autumn it gets cooler, in winter cold. Spring comes earlier down in southern areas than farther in the north.  This is just the reverse in the southern hemisphere.


    As light emitting from a source gets hit by an opaque object a shadow is created away from the source and on the other side of the object.
    Shadows under the sun are created when the sunrays get hit by any opaque object - living or not. As the sun moves on from east to west shadows are created. Thus shadows are the longest when the sun is in the east or, west horizon. At around noon when the sun is perched just overhead, the shadows get reduced to a minimal length.
The movement of shadow in sync with the sun could be applied in making a sundial, the earliest form of clock known to give a near perfect reading.
     This shadow movement also changes with the change of season. In winter as the North Pole leans away from the sun light falls a bit slantingly on the objects in the North.
Thus shadows are always a little longer throughout the winter days as against those during the summer. The variation in this shadow movement also helps us to predict the shifting of the seasons.
     Now is it really possible to predict if spring is near or far?
    Well, on February the sunlight is already bound for summer as the North Pole comes nearer the sun. The length of shadow is thus somewhat shorter, but not remarkably enough. So it is difficult to distinguish between a late January and a late February shadow unless you are a keen regular observer.