Monday, March 19, 2018

St. Patty's Decorating

I know I'm behind on this post since St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, but I look at it as being early for next year. 

I am loving sewing and paper crafting and meshing the two crafts to decorate. I'll start by showing my mantel and the paper crafts I made to decorate it.

The rainbow box, beer mug and clovers are from cutting files from SVG cuts. I used my Cricut cutting machine and my Silhoutte Cameo to make them.

The saying was printed off using my Canon color printer and then I glued it to a 12 x 12 inch piece of scrap book paper that I liked. I cut it down to look like I had framed the saying. It's been a few years since I made it so I don't know the link where I got it from. Sorry.

The flowers aren't made of paper and came from the Dollar Tree. The Dollar Tree is my go to place for inspiration and to fill in areas when I'm in a hurry.

Now on to my tables and table runners.

I made a reversible table runner for my coffee table. I decided to do the simple table runner method and try batting. It worked out for the most part but is a little bulky where I sewed across the end points.

This other table mat (sounds better than table runner due to it's size) I used on my kitchen table. 

I took a rectangle and then cut about three inches across off of each corner. No patter required.

Now on to the food part of the day...

I made corned beef for a crowd. I racked my brain on how to make three (yes, three) corned beefs weighing around 5 pounds each. My husband said use the roasting pan that I had bought at least six years ago and have never used. Great idea if you do it right.

I had lost the manual to the pan and thought I remembered how to use one. I was wrong. I put the meat in the pan, three beers and the rest was water. I picked up the over 15 pound pan and put it in the roaster and set it to high to heat up. I smelled something burning underneath so I grabbed and tugged and got the pan out of the roaster. I called to my husband in the bathroom and asked if I was suppose to have water in the bottom pan. He yelled back, "Yes." 

You know where this going, right? I put water in but wasn't for sure what were the fill lines. I thought the little marks halfway up the roasting pan were the marks even though that seemed like a lot of water. I filled it anyway, grabbed, tugged and lifted the over 15 pound top pan and let it drop in the bottom pan. Well have you ever seen a 6'2'', 250 pound man do a cannon ball in a pool? That's the way this looked. Water went flying everywhere! 

I yelled for my husband to get out here immediately. His break was over! As he entered the kitchen, there was water all over the counter and floor and under the stress mat. Lesson learned on those soft kitchen stress mats and water under them - it makes them float. I stepped on the darn thing and it hydroplaned across the floor and if it hadn't been for me grabbing the counter, I would have been on my butt.

My husband found the roaster manual on line, downloaded and we found out NO water in the very bottom pan. We cleaned up the mess and continued on our journey of cooking corned beef.

Here is the way I made it and it was the best corned beef I have ever made. It was tender and tasty.

*Wash the corned beef when you take it out of the package

*Place in roaster and spread seasoning packet on top
     **You'll need 1 stout beer per corned beef

*Cover corned beef with water and 1 beer trying to not wash off seasonings (I poured my beer and water on the side of the corned beef)

*Put cover on roasting pan and set on high

*When water is hot in pan, turn the temperature         to 350 degrees 

*Let cook with cover on for three hours

*Check the tenderness of the meat by using a fork    to break some off and try
      **If meat is still a little tough for your liking,            continue cooking with cover on for another            30 minutes at 350 degrees

*Remove meat from roaster when it's finished and wrap in tin foil and place to the side

*Add carrots, potatoes, onions and cabbage to the    roaster in the beer/water from the corned beef        and cook until carrots and potatoes are tender -      30 to 45 minutes. Use a fork to stab potatoes and    carrots to check for tenderness. Our potatoes          were done before the carrots.

Serve to your guests and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day and trapping Leprechauns

My daughter and I were talking about St. Patrick’s Day which is on Saturday, March 17th. We started reminiscing about when we use to live in Tucson, AZ and head downtown every year to their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and then close friends of ours, who are very Irish, would host a big St. Patty’s Day party in the evening.
Needless to say, we always decorated the house and the kids did crafts to help with the decorating. As my daughter and I were talking, she said the best thing we ever made was Leprechaun traps. These fun traps can be made out of many things from cereal boxes to shoe boxes and are great for letting children’s imaginations run wild. They also can make math and science more tangible when the children are figuring out which type of trap will work best.
Here are pictures of the Leprechaun houses we made way back in 2011.

The story behind Leprechaun traps is that children must believe Leprechauns are real to catch them. You design and make your trap and put something gold in it to get the Leprechaun's attention. Leprechauns love all things gold! When the Leprechaun comes to steal the gold, he gets trapped.  Parents get to play the Leprechaun, like the Tooth Fairy, and snatch the gold in the trap and leave a Leprechaun surprise for the children to find in the morning. Leprechauns are tricky fellows and always figure out how to get out of the trap with their reward before the children awaken. 😊

Here are some links to ideas of Leprechaun houses that you can share with your children.

This is a slide show of different Leprechaun houses to start the creative juices flowing.

Do you have a child that has the Martha Stewart creative bug? If so, here is a link to a trap from

Some other fun St. Patrick’s Day activities I found on line.

This is a STEAM activity where your children make a Celtic knot design. The description and link to the printable curves is here:

Here is a whole list of St. Patrick’s Day activities from yummy food to free printables.

You can print these cute little Leprechauns to make fun straw rockets. Have your children see how far their Leprechaun will sail!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bridal Luncheon and Dreaming Tree

What a wonderful weekend it was! This past weekend my beautiful niece got married in one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been too.
They decided to hold the wedding outside of Dallas, Texas which meant most of the family either drove or flew in. I live in Austin so I drove the distance to enjoy the beautiful ceremony. I decided because of the situation with everyone coming in for the wedding, including the bride, I would host a bridal luncheon for the bride and bride's maids. The bride's mom was co-hostess but she was flying in late Thursday night so I said I would handle it. I love putting together parties as much as I love crafting and sewing.
The restaurant I chose for the luncheon is called Le Hacienda Rance in Colleyville, TX. There is a fun story I have to share about this restaurant. The owner was the inventor of the original frozen margarita machine and his first machine is in the Smithsonian Institute of History.  Needless to say, I had to have a frozen margarita to celebrate that bit of history.
I made decorations for the luncheon using cutting files from Dreaming Tree and my Cricut Explore Air. Thanks to the vases from the ABC Flowers SVG Bundle and the rose from the Cupid Crush SVG Bundle, I had beautiful centerpieces that went with her wedding colors of blue and grey.

It helps to watch the construction videos that Dreaming Tree makes. I ruined my first flower and was up all night putting these vases and flowers together. I wish I had taken a picture of that first rose to show you how bad it was. Once I watched the video, I knew exactly how to put the rose together and make it look beautiful.
The mother of the bride has a wonderful gift for making garlands using origami to make dresses and suits. She made a very special garland for her daughter and son-in-law.
Now that the wedding has come and gone, I am moving on to my Saint Patrick decorations. I hope to have my mantel decked out in green before the weekend has ended.

See ya soon. :)