Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"A rose.....

by any other name would smell as sweet."

We have over 150 rose bushes through out our garden.

All colors...ranging from peach to pink with every shade in between.

In a variety of shapes and sizes.

Heaven *scent*.

What do I do with all these lovely roses, you might ask?

For starters, I put several arrangements in the guest rooms for our family and friends.

Followed with centerpieces for both the dinning and kitchen tables.

We've collected several small vases that are filled with roses for the sweet little ladies who stroll on over from the retirement home.
We'll also donate a few to those in need of roses for weddings.

To no surprise...I like to reserve a few for creative projects.
Like this one from my archives.

I took that previous idea and combined it with another favorite technique from
Its-Time-To-Celebrate post.

I stamped French text onto the petals with food coloring.
It's important when stamping..... to use a *gentle touch*.
Taking a liner brush I coated the edges with white chocolate and...

added a sprinkling of Non-Pareils on some, (coarse clear) sanding sugar on others.


I now have the perfect Embellishment for any confection.

Clear Sanding Crystals

Je t'aime=I love you

Along the same creative lines this next idea will impart an added sweet surprise to any...... tablescape or tuck a few into a note.
I used the same application, changing out the food coloring with ink for stamping my French text.
After allowing the petals to air dry, they were stored in a airtight container.
As a gift I've given a collection of French petals wrapped in a rose infused jar, that I've embellished,
which I could share the "how to" in a future post, if you'd like.

These dried petals are beautifully delicate.

Now, here's an easy Floral Caplet you can whip up for the lil' sweetheart in your life.
My friend Miss Shelia from Note Songs can make a petite version for Carter by replacing the metal or plastic headband with stretch lace or elastic and attaching the ends making a complete circle.

Step 1.
Pick out a 1 1/2- 2 inch width wired ribbon.
Measure the length of the headband (form) then double it.
Cut two strips of your ribbon to those specifications with an
extra 1/2 inch at both ends.
This will allow for the tuck and fold over for concealing the raw edges.

Step 2.

Hot glue or sew the two strip along the edge, creating a casing.
Smoothing the hot glue as you go, no lumps or clumps.
Don't panic if the hot glue squeezes out from the edges.
When the glue cools trim the excess with scissors .


Fold over and glue the raw edges.
Slip the headband form into your ribbon casing.
**Important reminder: Seal both ends
by hot gluing the last inch or two to the headband form before sliding the end of the casing over the edge. **
This will prevent the casing from slipping off the headband form.


Select and hot glue a charm to the center of your silk flower.

Step 5.
Flatten out the ribbon, glue your flower to the smooth area.
Once it's set It can be repositioned by sliding to sit center or off to the side.



make the prettiest Caplets.

I've got a smile on my face and you put it there!!
I would like to thank you for A-L-L your sweet comments!
In answer to your questions...yes these are my original ideas.
They come from many avenues of inspiration. I've had several years of practice in the creative process, through teaching craft classes. The ideas flow freely, but to my dismay the set of instructions aren't always included when they come to mind.
Sometimes it'll take a few (hundred) bloopers to get it right.
Thankfully I have you, my Blogettes to share them with when they do come to fruition.

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's official...

(well, as much as it can be in the Pacific Northwest) SUMMER has landed primarily on the weekends, but we'll take any sunshine that's willing to make the trek from Florida,
cause face it Justine at....Stupid Is As Sister Does has it all.
She's has expressed how her (cute) face is melting in the Florida sun , so I think
she'd be more than happy to share.
While most were running their air conditioners this month,
we had been running our heaters!

The fountain is filled and

the water is flowing.


There are many on line recipes for making candied citrus slices or peels.
Butter Yum
has the most beautifully illustrated detailed instructions.

I pour granulated sugar over the candied peels it keeps them crisp and
it leaves a sparkly coating.
You'll find yourself frequently reaching for these candied gems.
For topping your ice cream, cupcakes, drinks or for a treat to nibble on.

Candied Slices of...Orange, lemon and lime.

The simple syrup that's left behind from making your candied citrus can be used to sweeten any summer drink.

You know I couldn't leave you without a
*Sweet Surprise.*

How about Citrus Lollipop
While the tea is steeping we're going to get cookin.'

I used a lollipop recipe to create the citrus swizzles.
After the syrup reached the hard cracked stage, the zest from a whole lemon, lime and orange were added.
The zest replaces the need for any extract, the oils in the rind will provide a wonderful citrus flavor .
Bamboo skewers made perfect lolli sticks.
You'll see why in the finale.

*Important note*
I learned quickly...this is a slow and steady process,
a" low " boil will produce a clear candy.

If you let the candy syrup set for a few seconds the air bubbles will calm down.
I prefer the fizzy effect of the air bubbles, so I didn't wait to form my lollis.

I left the food coloring out so you could see the fine details of the zest.
Pretty sweet, don't you think?

Top off your Lollipops with fresh fruit
bump it up a notch for your guest , add a little frill to the end of your lolli for a little dazzle.

I spun a sugary cage for my fresh raspberry sorbet.

We've come to a close from our very busy bed & breakfast style of entertaining that began in May.
It was wonderful having family and friends take time from their busy lives to visit a spell with us.
I decided to re-post this, because there were so many of you who missed the first publishing who wanted the instructions.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Part Two

Let's get crackin' !
Part Two...Party Favor

We'll be using those toilet or paper towel rolls that you've been collecting.
Cut the paper towel rolls in half, matching the length of the toilet rolls.
You'll need three or four strips of (2 1/2-3 inch wide) patriotic themed (wired) ribbon or scrap booking paper.
Starting at the bottom, glue ribbon around roll leaving a smidge of over lap to cover raw edge.

Tuck edge in.

Wrap and hot glue second strip, tucking in raw edges.

Glue last strip leaving a large overlap.

Tie a bundle of tinsel trim together.
For a spiral effect I wrapped the wire tinsel around a pencil.

Slip tinsel bundle into the firecracker opening, tie securely with (patriotic themed) ribbon or bakers twine.

Here comes the fun part....turn the bottom over and fill with goodies,
candies, confetti, poppers, etc.

To close the bottom opening glue a strip of fabric then trim off the excess.
The weight of the contents will allow the firecrackers to stand on there own.

Time to embellish....well this would have been the part where I would have showed you the (various) vintage postcard (clipart) printed and glued to the front of my firecrackers....but my printer decided to conked out on me and when you're entertaining the masses there's isn't much time left for hunting down a new printer, so you'll have to imagine this part.
So... here's the fan that goes with the vintage postcard.

1. Cut the pleats from a cupcake liner.
2. Sew a gathering stitch along the top of the pleat.
3. Draw thread in until a round fan is formed, tie knot and glue closed.

I sprayed painted wood stars and used them as bases for my firecrackers.

I hope you have a star spangle 4th of July!!

Here are a few images that can be used as scrap booking paper for this project.

Vintage postcards