Oct 4, 2015

New Spiders and Ornament Updates

Just a quick little weekend update.  I made more spiders!  I hate spiders -  the real kind, but these - the fake ones, are making my heart happy. 

They are super easy to make and I had Bug and Jet help which meant we had some much needed Mom and Me time.  I pretty much followed the same steps as I did in the tutorial I posted HERE but this time I added heads and left off the googly eyes.  

The goal was to get them hung on my porch this weekend but instead I got hung up with strep!  So, the spiders are all over my living room floor patiently waiting for me to get better so I can hang them up.  Hopefully soon!

Also, not at all related to spiders, I just wanted to let you know the new ornament designs are up and ready for purchase in my ETSY SHOP.  Here's what they look like:

First Christmas Together Ornament.  You can include the couples name, wedding date or First Christmas on the back

And then there are these:

New this year, the Reindeer, The Gold Winged Angel and the two-part Christmas Tree with hanging name.

And, last but not least, I did also list several set of my Christmas Gnomes (or Santas)

Each set has five ornaments in it and all come with different hats and stitching.  These would be cute as ornaments, or hung on a garland, or you could add them to the top of a gift as package decoration.

Ok, and with that, I'm off to rest.  Hoping to kick this strep thing and return to normal soon.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Sep 27, 2015

Fast Fall Treat

I was in need of a super quick fall treat over the weekend but with temps still kinda high here in Colorado I wasn't really wanting to bake.  Hot oven means hot house and well, ya.  Not what I wanted.  

So I pulled out the crock pot and quickly whipped up some candy covered pretzels.  Did you catch that? I said crock pot.  I  may be the only one who didn't know this but you can totally use your crockpot for melting things.  Seems like common sense but I was always told you had to use the microwave or a double-broiler.  Neither of which work for me.  

The microwave is fast but the candy hardens quickly and so you are constantly re-heating and that usually ends up with clumping or burning.  I feel like I throw out more candy melts than I use.  And I get irritated and usually don't end up sticking with it long enough to make more than a handful of treats. 

The double broiler is not ideal because, well, I don't have one.  Simple as that.

For me, the crock pot is an ideal tool for this.  It keeps it at the right temp.  Is easier for kiddos to use and it's portable.  So, if I wanted I could totally sit on my living room floor, watch a movie and dip pretzels for hours.

So, here's what you do if you want to do your own.

What you need:
Candy Melts
Crock pot
Parchment paper
clean hands  

Step 1:  Dump the candy melts into your crock and set on high - DO NOT COVER

Step 2:  Stir regularly.  You want the clumps to melt evenly

Step 3:  Once the candy melts have fully melted, no more clumps, turn heat to WARM.
This is important as you don't want it to continue to cook or burn.

Step 4:  Spread out a large piece of parchment paper close to your crock pot.  Then start dipping.  Once dipped, place on paper to cool and dry.

Tip:  You could dip the whole pretzel but I never do.  I like the balance of taste with only one side dipped.  And, it's easier to dip this way.  You have a place to hold onto without getting your fingers messy.  This works great if you plan to have little kids helping too as it sets a guide for them and they won't burn their fingers

That is pretty much it.  If you have more than one crock pot you can melt multiple flavors at a time.  I did this activity with my Activity Day girls at church over the summer and it was a hit.  We had three colors of pretzels so I did double batches in each crock pot and the girls got to rotate through and dip a handful of pretzels in each color.  They loved it!

And, it will make a lot so this is great if you need to provide snacks or goodies bags for a large group.  Or, think Christmas neighbor gifts.  It's super easy, not all that expensive and using the crock pot to melt the candy saves a lot of frustration!

Enjoy!  And, Happy Fall!


Sep 23, 2015

Happy First day of Fall Y'all!

I'd like to tell you all about all the fantastic fall things I'm working on.  Pumpkin this and pumpkin that but, truth is, other than buying some Halloween decor for Miss M's apartment and eating some yummy Pumpkin ice cream, I've kind skipped right over fall.

Not to worry though, I'll get there!  I get giddy every time I pass the big cardboard box of pumpkins at my local grocery store.  And, I'm excited to make another GIANT SPIDER and decorate our porch with a bazillion of LITTLE SPIDERS, too.  That's my upcoming weekend project.

In the mean time though, I've  pulled out my clay and am happy to say my Etsy shop is back open for the season.  I did this because I've had a lot of emails asking if I'll be offering my custom ornaments again.  Some people are on top it and ready to order now.  So, the answer is yes!

And, kinda a cool thing, new designs are coming too.

These aren't finished yet but watch for a First Christmas together ornament and 

three fun new Christmas designs like the tree above.  

And, if you simple can't wait for the new designs, please know the Etsy shop is open and ready for you to order all the classic designs!   


You'll find these plus more!  

Sep 14, 2015

Wowser G's!

Has it really almost been two months since I last posted?

Seems I forgot I had a blog.

It's ok though, at least on my end, and I don't feel too bad about my disappearance because I was busy living life and doing the following:

Hit up some food trucks

Celebrated birthdays
Went to work
Went to work some more
Helped a kid navigate love
Packed and sent a kid to college
Bathed some guinea pigs
Paid bills
Shot a wedding
Enjoyed a few walks with my love
Went on adventures with the girls
and well, did a bunch of other stuff too.  

The sending the kid to college thing, all while she was experiencing a good relationship with a boy she cares about deeply and had to leave, was really hard.  REALLY hard.  For her and for me.  Lots of tears were shed.  Her tears were for the boy, my tears were for her as I knew she was struggling and I also knew I was going to miss her.

I also know that some of my readers are in the same boat as me.  Kids are leaving the nest and there is a sadness that hits your heart all the while you have this immense pride at their growth as well.

It's hard to explain

 (Mr. K and Miss M saying good-bye)

One night, after a late night talk with Miss M, I couldn't sleep so I wrote the following poem. Maybe some of you who are in my shoes can relate.

Stepping Back - by Amy Williams

As we sat talking in the middle of the night
I caught glimpse of her tears in the soft room light

"I don't want to leave him!" She exclaimed with strained voice
and with those words it hit me, her future is no longer my choice

It wasn't before but as her mom and best friend
We'd work through plans together, on me she did depend

But now, deep in her emotion, I pick up on a simple truth
It's time for me to step back, she is walking away from her youth.

The experiences ahead are big, exciting, and grand
She's leaving home, there's college, and a love that wasn't planned

She's ready for this, there's no doubt in my mind
So I'm stepping back, releasing, her future is hers to find.

And now, in her life, I will play a different role
But I couldn't be prouder as independence was always the goal.

So I wrote the poem.  We packed the car.  We drove 10 hours.  Now she is at school adjusting and learning the ropes of being a college freshman.  Me?  I'm adjusting too.  With her gone and Bug and Jet deep into their daily school routine, I am left with a little more time to create again.  

And creating is really what I needed to do.  So I did.

I just skipped right over the fall crafts and headed right to Christmas.  I cranked out 32 little Gnome/Elf ornaments yesterday and I'm working on stocking my Etsy shop, which has been closed, back up.  

Aren't they cute?  I made these last year too but made them later in the season so all of you that asked for them, they are back!  I'll let you know when they are ready for ordering.

And, also, because I have had some emails about it, yes, I will be offering personalized clay ornaments again this year, too.

Bottom line, I'm back.  It's good to be back.  Watch for more to come.  

Jul 20, 2015

Light Painting in the Dark

A few weeks ago, we like many others across the United States celebrated The Fourth of July.  My family had a fun day.  We hit a little local community celebration, watched some fireworks and then played with Sparklers.   It would have been a perfect All-American day had we had apple pie as well.

As part of our celebration re-cap I had posted the photo above onto my facebook page and had a few people ask how we got that photo.  So, in order to answer their questions I have asked my better half, Mr. K himself, to share all the details and how-to's on how to do light painting.

Light painting is super fun.  You can do it with sparklers, like above or even with flashlights like in the photo below.  And, depending on the hue of the light bulb in the flashlight, you will get a different look.