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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Sausage Breakfast Turnovers

I made up a batch of the Sausage Breakfast Turnovers from our Celebrating Quick Breads & Pastries cookbook and froze them for simple breakfast treats anytime!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pincushions for Christmas

Well, we’ve made it through Thanksgiving, but now we’ve got to get serious about this whole Christmas spirit thing. How many of you have already decorated your house for the holidays? There’s not a sprig of holly to be seen at mine, so I guess I’d better get busy…Think I’m going to start with making a few of the Christmas pincushions that our in-house design ladies created just for me to share with you! They’ll be great little gifties—

A “Green” Christmas Tree Pincushion
(Becky used eco-friendly sweaters from the resale shop & leftover felt scraps for this little tree’s foliage!)

Here’s how!

craft glue
4-3/4" long wooden dowel, sharpened on one end
1-1/2" dia. round wooden wheel
pinking shears
assorted colors of green felt scraps & recycled sweaters
craft knife
3/4" dia. bead
1/4" dia. bead
straight pins


1. Glue unsharpened end of dowel in hole in wheel.

2. Using pinking shears, cut 11 circles from felt—ranging in size from 3" to 1" dia; cut two of each size for a total of 22.
3. Using regular scissors, cut 10 circles from recycled sweaters—ranging in size from 3" to 1" dia; cut two of each size for a total of 20.

4. Using a craft knife, cut a hole in the center of each circle.

5. Alternating felt and sweater circles and starting with the largest circles, slide dowel through the hole in center of each circle.

6. Glue beads to sharpened end of dowel.

7. Add straight pins for ornaments.

Noel Pincushion
(I just love Anne’s elegant little design with its embellished pins!)

Here’s how!

brown solvent ink pad
NOEL stamp or individual alphabet stamps
twill tape
pinking shears
quilted fabric
snowflake garland
embroidery floss
pearl beads
pearl-topped straight pins
crystal beads
craft glue

(Use 3 strands of floss for all stitching.)

1. Using solvent ink, stamp NOEL in center of twill tape.

2. Using pinking shears, cut one 4-1/2" square of felt and one of fabric.
3. Pin NOEL twill tape to one corner of fabric.

4. Cut one snowflake from garland. Refer to photo of finished cushion to stitch snowflake to fabric and to tack a pearl bead in the center of the snowflake.
5. Stack fabric and felt squares with wrong sides together. Using running stitches, join the squares, leaving an opening for stuffing. Stuff with fiberfill and sew opening closed.

6. Insert each pearl-topped pin into crystal bead and a pearl, gluing them in place.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Celebrate Black Friday-Cyber Monday with Leisure Arts!

Hope you’re having a splendid Thanksgiving long weekend! Now that you’re stuffed with turkey, dressing, and pie, are you ready to celebrate the season with a little creative online shopping? If so, go on over and join us on LeisureArts.com where the word for Black Friday-Cyber Monday is FREE, FREE, FREE!

Just look at the good stuff we’re offering up:

Free Thinkable Inkable Stamp!
Paper crafters! It’s time to start on your Christmas Cards! Buy The Best of Stamp It! Cards (featuring over 500 designs) for inspiration and receive a Jumbo Thinkable Inkable - Celebration stamp with 8 huge phrases—free.

Get Festive with 4 Free Cookbooks!
The holidays are all about eating and giving! Why not combine the two? Buy either Creating the Happiest of Holidays or Creating the Happiest of Holidays, Book 2, and Leisure Arts will give you 4 free cookbooks containing a total of 271 holiday recipes!

Buy 2 Books & Get a Free Knook Set!
Start Knooking now! Buy any 2 Knook Books! And Leisure Arts will give you a Knook Beginner Set for free!

Just CLICK HERE to get to the free stuff! Happy Shopping! Enjoy the rest of your holiday! Our celebration started at midnight on 11/24 and ends at midnight on 11/28! Don’t miss it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope all of you are having a fabulous Thanksgiving Day! I’m up early baking…cornbread for dressing and two pies while everyone except The Cat sleeps in, so I thought I’d catch you up on my charity crocheting and my newest auction finds.

I finished the Basket Weave hat from Noggins & Necks (which I just discovered is currently out of stock on the Leisure Arts website. Rest assured, more should be arriving soon from the printer!). I almost want to keep this hat for myself—it’s so wonderfully Thanksgivingy!

Hoping to get some crochet time in today! I’ve started crocheting a new hat, also from Noggins & Necks

…the 2-Stitch Hat. I’m really liking crocheting all of these hats in the round, and this is another one.

Here’s a peek at my most recent treasures from the auction—some button hooks, eyewash cups, lots more salt and pepper shakers, some more Swanky Swigs, and some cobalt blue Shirley Temple emblazoned depression glass pieces. Oh, and there’s a green Sunflower pattern depression glass cake plate under the shakers in the back...I may dig it out and use it with Thanksgiving dinner.

Got any ideas for displaying button hooks? I’m thinking about some sort of shadow box something…

Check out my Shawnee Pottery winking owl shakers! Fun, fun, fun…

I think these Tappan chef shakers might be my favorite find! They’re probably from the 1950s and darn cute!

Anyway, gotta go…smells like something’s getting ready to come out of the oven. Gather your family and friends around you and have a marvelous day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Sweet Potato Biscuits

For something a little different, I’m going to make the Homestyle Sweet Potato Biscuits from our Celebrating Quick Breads & Pastries cookbook for Thanksgiving dinner instead of rolls.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Best of Gifts of Good Taste

For me, one of the best things about the holiday season is the food. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I’m already thinking about Christmas treats! I’ve been looking through a copy of The Best of Gifts of Good Taste Christmas for inspiration (So cool, it’s two books in one…just flip it over for The Best of Gifts of Good Taste Everyday!) ’cause what makes a better present than food?

Take a peek at my top 10 favorite treats from The Best of Gifts of Good Taste Christmas, but don’t blame me if it makes you hungry:

1. Four Chips Fudge—I love fudge, and who could resist this combo of semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips in a beribboned box!

2. Spicy Bean & Tomato Spread with a baguette in a festive container would certainly tempt me…

3. These Christmas Light Cookies are just too much fun packaged in a cleverly disguised gift box!

4. The kids would have a super time decorating and eating these Fun Christmas Trees.

5. Just think how welcome you’d be if you showed up for a potluck with this Coconut Cream Cake and some adorable Penguin Ornaments to share!

6. Surprise your favorite couple with a basket packed with sundae glasses, an ice cream scoop, and spirited Cherries Jubilee Sauce.

7. Pretty, pretty colors! I really like the idea of gifting a jar of Dried Bean Soup Mix!

8. You know you’d be the employee of the month at work if you show up with these Sweet & Savory Spiral Rolls during the holidays…Yum…

9. How about a little goodie to share with somebody you kinda like a lot? Maybe a little Wine & Cheese basket for a bit of Christmas Eve cheer?

10. There’s even a treat for Fido and Fluffy—Favorite Pets’ Snack Mix!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Embellished Tassels for the Holidays

Leisure Arts in-house designer Anne and I are on an odd holiday project kick. We’re repurposing salt shakers and pie birds (sometimes the stuff I collect comes in handy!) with purchased tassels and some trimmings to create some really cool embellished tassels that you could use anywhere.

Fall Tassel

Imagine turning this tassel right from the store…

…into this! Too easy! For a fun Fall tassel, Anne used a pumpkin salt shaker, a raffia tassel, some pretty trims, a length of ribbon, some craft glue, and a bead.

All you do is:

1. Glue some pretty trims around the top of the tassel. (Anne snipped off the top two rounds of our tassel before she glued on the trim.)

2. Tie a loop of ribbon around the top of the tassel, run ends of ribbon up through the pumpkin, and out through the holes the salt comes out of. Run the ends through a bead and tie a knot to secure.

Christmas Tassel

Does this little pink pie bird say Christmas to you? Well, it didn't to me until I took it to Anne and told her what I wanted…

And how cool is this Pie Bird Tassel (or pretty Christmas Ornament) now?

You can whip one up in no time yourself with a pie bird, a store-bought tassel, some pretty trim, ribbons, red and green scrap felt, a hole punch, red thread, craft glue, and two sizes of beads.

1. Glue some pretty trim around the top of the tassel.

2. Loop some ribbon through the loop of the tassel, up through the pie bird, and out through the hole in the pie bird's mouth. Run the ends through a bead and tie a knot to secure.

3. Anne made our pie bird even more Christmasy by tying a ribbon around its neck and gluing on a handmade holly sprig. To make the holly, cut some holly leaves from green felt and use a hole punch to make berries from red felt. Using red sewing thread, sew red beads to the berries and tack the berries to the leaves.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Easy Autumn Wreath

Need an easy decoration for your Fall festivities? Leisure Arts in-house designer Becky put this wreath together in no time to hang on her mother’s door during the Thanksgiving holidays. Simple to assemble, it also makes a great little gift for those you love!

Here’s how:

• artificial berries, acorns, & leaves
• craft glue or hot glue gun & glue sticks
• grapevine wreath
• real leaves (for patterns if desired)
• double-sided cardstock
• pages from an old book


1. Twine artificial berries around wreath and glue acorns and leaves to wreath as desired.

2. Using a real leaf for a pattern or simply free-handing it, cut assorted leaves from double-sided cardstock.

3. Cut leaves from pages of an old book.
4. Glue leaves to wreath as desired.

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