Mason Monday–Lids and Cork Sheets

Hi everyone! I am back today with another “Mason Monday” project, and this one involves using wide mouth lids and bands. No jars; just the lids. I have been working on this idea for almost a week now, and it really started out as an experiment.

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I have a set of these coasters, and I love the combination of the galvanized metal and the cork and how striking the embossed white seashell looks against the cork background. I have always been curious as to whether I could duplicate this design using mason jar lids as the base, and, since I could use some coasters for our outdoor seating area, I decided it was time to find out.

Before I could even start this project, I needed to make sure that I had stamp images that were proportional to the size of the cork circles, and that I could emboss these images on to the cork. I would have loved to use seashells, but all of my shell stamps were way too small. I did find a set of chair images that looked like they might be large enough, so now it was time to see if the detailed images would emboss well on the cork. I am happy to report that the embossing went well, and here is what the chair images looked like on the cork circles:

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I really thought that the uneven surface of the cork would make it difficult to pick up the fine details of each of these chairs, but that wasn’t the case at all! You can see each image very clearly. I’m so excited! This project was dependent on being able to emboss on cork, and now that I have accomplished that, I can start working on the jar lids.

Here is a picture of the adhesives and paints I used on the mason jar lids:

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I started by gluing the lids to the bands with E6000 adhesive. I tried hot glue first, but it was too thick and bulky. Once the lids were secure, I whitewashed each lid with the white chalk paint.

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I then applied a thin coat of the vintage chalk paint, making sure to leave areas of the white paint exposed. I wanted the lids to have a distressed, worn look. Once the paint was dry, I adhered a plain cork circle to the bottoms of the lids for furniture protection.

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I couldn’t wait to put the embossed cork circles inside the jar lids to see how they would look!

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I liked the contrast of the embossed cork against the paint color, but these coasters needed something else; they lacked personality and charm. I turned my room upside down and tried all kinds of things, and here is what I finally came up with:

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All it took was some lace and tiny, satin roses to take these coasters from “bland to grand”, and now they have the personality and charm that they were lacking. I used the fine-tip glue pen pictured above to attach the lace to the lids.

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I finally have coasters for our outdoor seating area, and they couldn’t be more sweet and charming! They are ready for some sittin’ and sippin’, and I can’t wait to use them.

This has been a fun experiment and project to work on, and I’m glad you could join me to see how these coasters turned out. Have a great couple of weeks, and I will see you back here after vacation. Take care, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Mobile App”

I hope you are enjoying your area’s Fourth of July festivities, as well as some time with  family and friends. This is the third and final post for “Barbecue Week” here on my blog, and  I have an idea for a healthy appetizer. I have also created a to-go box to serve it in; hence the title “Mobile App”!

I have been following The Pioneer Woman–Ree Drummond–for a long time. Having grown up in western Nebraska, I felt an instant connection to this woman who lives on a ranch in Oklahoma. I own all of her cookbooks, and, in fact, I stood in line at the Tattered Cover Book Store in downtown Denver, CO to have her sign my copy of her first cookbook.

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I think her recipe for Watermelon Pico De Gallo makes one of the best summer appetizers around, and what’s not to love–it’s colorful, refreshing, and healthy to boot. Just look how vibrant all of the ingredients look together:

pico de gallo ingredients_1.jpg

It’s a labor of love, for sure, as it takes some extra time and effort to dice everything up, but you will not be disappointed with the end result. People appreciate having a healthy option, and you can’t get more guilt-free than this–especially when you serve it with vegetable tortilla chips!

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Doesn’t this look incredible? The best part is, it tastes as good as it looks! It’s cool and crunchy, and the sweetness of the watermelon balances out the flavor of all of the peppers.

The hard work is done; the pico de gallo is ready. Now let’s talk about serving it.  This is an appetizer that works well when it’s served in individual portions, so that people can just “grab and go”. Let me show you two ideas I have:

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I found these treat cups at my local dollar store, and I filled each one of them with the pico de gallo. This would be an easy way to allow guests to take the appetizer to anywhere in the backyard, but there’s no place for the chips. They would have to go on a separate plate.

So I challenged myself to design a box that could hold both the treat cup and the chips, similar to the boxes your food comes in at sporting events.

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I found these treat liners at Michaels this week at 50% off, and I used the gingham and stars patterns to line the inside of my simple box design. I started with a 12″ x 9″ inch piece of paper, scored each side at 2 1/2″, and put the box together.

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There isn’t anything complicated or fancy about the boxes, but the treat liners make the boxes food safe and they are the perfect size to hold both the pico de gallo and some chips. Now this appetizer truly is portable and mobile, and guests can take it anywhere they want to be.

filled treat boxes_1.jpg

Mission accomplished! After I had taken all of the pictures, my husband and I each took a box and enjoyed our “mobile app” out on the deck with a glass of wine. The box helped brace the cup as you tried to get some pico de gallo onto a chip, which is an added bonus!

Thanks for joining me for “Barbecue Week”–I’ve enjoyed sharing my ideas and designs with you. Have a happy Fourth of July tomorrow, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

P.S. Did you happen to notice the watermelon towel in some of my pictures? My nephew’s wife, Jodi Kostelnik, made it. She creates and screen prints food-themed designs onto hand towels, onesies, tote bags, etc., and the watermelon print is one of her newest additions to her shop. Visit her website here and enjoy looking at all of her clever designs and gift items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Pies and Diaper Folds

Welcome back to Part II of “Barbecue Week”! It’s Friday, and the long Fourth of July weekend is about to begin. I can’t believe that tomorrow is July 1st–where did June go?!

In keeping with the focus on barbecues, today I have a fun dessert idea that would be perfect to serve at or take to a cook-out–hand pies. Sweet, round, fruit-filled miniature pies. The concept is brilliant, and I can’t think of anything more American, or better suited for a Fourth of July barbecue than hand pies. They require no cutting or serving; guests can just grab them and eat them on the go.

My vision was to make both strawberry and blueberry filled hand pies with star cut -outs in the middle of the top crusts to carry out the Fourth of July theme. I had picked up this recipe card at Stonewall Kitchen recently, which I thought would be perfect for the blueberry hand pies.

Stonewall recipe card.jpg

After a little more research, I found a strawberry hand pie recipe that I liked, so all that was left was for me to put on my apron and get to work. I will share the links for both recipes at the end of this post.

Hand pie crust_1.jpg

Both recipes provided instructions on how to make hand-made crusts, but I used prepared pie crusts instead.  I wanted my hand pies to be round, although they can be made in all kinds of shapes–half moon, triangular, rectangular, etc. I did make each of the fillings, and the blueberry filling consisted of both blueberry-rhubarb jam and a cream cheese mixture.

Blueberry filling_1.jpgStrawberry filling_1.jpg

The blueberry fillings were pretty liquidy–how’s that for a technical cooking term! Because I didn’t want all of the filling to escape out the star-shaped hole, I followed the recipe exactly and just cut a slit in the middle of the top crusts. The strawberry filling, on the other hand, was very congealed, so I did use the star cookie cutter on those top crusts.

Here’s what my pies looked like just out of the oven:

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the blueberry,

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and the strawberry. Look how sweet my little pies look with the star cut-out. In the end, I could have used the star cut-out on the blueberry pies, as the filling didn’t seep out of the slits at all.

While the pies were cooling, I started working on a packaging idea, which is where the diaper fold comes in. The diaper fold has been around for a long, long time and when all of the folding is done, you end up with a pouch. The best part about the diaper fold is that you only need a square piece of paper; no special tools or adhesive is needed. Just a square piece of paper.

Let me show you:

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I chose to use parchment paper, as it is food-safe and I really like how crisp and white it is. After some trial and error, I determined that I needed to start out with a 9 1/2″ square in order to fit the hand pies.

Start by folding the paper corner to corner to form a triangle:

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Next, fold one of the bottom corners over to the other side, making sure that you have a straight line across the middle of the triangle.

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Repeat with the other bottom corner.

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Fold down the top flap, and you’re done. The flap keeps everything closed together–as I said, no adhesive is needed.

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Here’s what the pouch looks like inside. This is going to be a perfect for the hand pies! Now it’s time to dress these pouches up–I can’t serve my cute hand pies in plain white pouches!

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I ended up making some paper rosettes and decorating them with layers of stars. The rosettes reminded me of the buntings you see everywhere, and they also mirror the round shape of the pies. My plan was to tie some baker’s twine around each of the pouches, and then tie the rosettes onto the twine.

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I didn’t like how this looked, however, so I went back to the drawing board. I ended up making double baker’s twine bows and I tied the rosettes to the bows.

 

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And there you have it–really cute, food-safe diaper fold pouches for my sweet, round, fruit-filled miniature pies! Wouldn’t you just love to serve or take these cutie pies to a get-together?! Better yet, wouldn’t you just love to sink your teeth into one of these cutie pies?!

Speaking of taste, I know you’re dying to see the inside of the pies, and I’m not going to disappoint you:Blueberry on plate_1.jpg

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It’s hard to see in the close-up picture of the blueberry pie, but the two different fillings really didn’t mix together during the baking. If I were to make these again, I would add the cream cheese filling first, and put the blueberry-rhubarb jam on top, so that the blueberry filling showed through the star cut-out. And, how did it taste, you ask? It’s not bad–you definitely need the cream cheese mixture, as it tones down the tartness of the jam. I don’t think I would make the recipe again, however. I think I’d be happier with a blueberry filling similar to the strawberry one.

Now on to the strawberry:

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The strawberry pie gets my vote, hands down! This is exactly what I wanted–a round hand pie with a star cut-out in the middle of the top crust. The filling was congealed enough that it didn’t ooze out during baking, nor did it ooze out when you broke it in half. And the taste–simply divine! I would definitely make this recipe again–the filling isn’t complicated to make, and the whole process goes pretty quickly if you use prepared pie crusts.

Before I go, I just have one more thing to show you:

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Look how cute this diaper fold pouch is as a silverware holder! I’m telling you, these pouches couldn’t be any easier to make, and they are so versatile. The sky is the limit!

Here are the recipe links:

http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/jam-filled-hand-pies-R2219.html

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/strawberry-hand-pies/

That’s it for today, and I’ll look forward to seeing you again on Monday for Part III of “Barbecue Week”. Enjoy your weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Charming” Wine Bottle Tag

It’s “Barbecue Week” here at Made by the C. With summer in full swing, and Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to design some projects with backyard barbecues in mind. Between today and next Tuesday, I will be featuring three different ideas of what to make and/or bring to a barbecue, and how to package it up. Whether you are hosting or traveling to a get-together, I hope that you will find some inspiration during this 3-part series.

It’s always nice to bring a hostess gift in addition to your food contribution to a get-together, and you can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of wine. So, for my first project, I designed a unique wine bottle tag that will set your bottle apart from others. After all, you know what they say, “It’s all in the packaging”!

I’m going to be using the very first stamp set I ever bought on this tag. I know I’m going to be dating myself, but I purchased this set back in 2005. It’s long since been retired, but it is still one of my favorite sets and I look forward to using it every summer.

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The images are perfect for barbecue- themed projects, and I have never seen another set with images as versatile as these since then.

As you can see in the picture above, I chose a red, white, and blue color scheme, and I made 4 different oven mitts, which will become the stars of this tag.

Wine Tag start_1

With the top part of the tag completed, it’s now time to focus on turning these 4 oven mitts into wine charms, which will get attached to the middle part of the tag. I took hoop earring wires that I purchased at my local craft store, along with a few additional supplies, and turned them into wine charms.

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The one thing that I discovered is that you need to use a jump ring to attach the oven mitt to the hoop earring wire, in order to get the mitt to lay flat.

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Once all four wine charms were completed, it was time to finish up the tag. I added more gingham paper to the bottom of the tag, and threaded some white baker’s twine through some punched holes. I tied the wine charms on to the tag with the twine, wrapped some coordinating paper around the wine bottle, and my project was done.

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I am in love with how this turned out! The tag with the wine charms would make a great gift by itself, but put it on a bottle of wine, and you are sure to impress your hostess! This tag would make even a cheap bottle of wine look like a million bucks. It truly is all in the packaging!

Thanks for stopping by today, and make sure that you come by on Friday for part two of this series. Enjoy the rest of your week, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C

 

Mason Mondays

It’s no secret–I LOVE mason jars! I love their shape and the color of the vintage aqua jars.  They are incredibly versatile, and can be used for many different functions and purposes. I have used them all throughout my house, and in each instance, they serve a specific need.  For example:

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I am using these jars in my pantry to provide a splash of color.

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This jar in my kitchen is doubling as a vase,

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while the painted jar in my living room,

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as well as these jars in my craft room have been re-purposed as home decor.

Mason jars work really well for craft projects. Since I tend to use them often, I am starting a new series here on my blog entitled “Mason Mondays” to highlight my posts using these jars. Anytime I feature a mason jar in my project design or packaging, I will post it on a Monday under the “Mason Mondays” heading.

Today is the first post in this series, as I used the 4 oz. mason jars for my husband’s Father’s Day dessert. He loves Key Lime Pie, and when I found this recipe for Key Lime Pie Cups, I knew these would be the perfect ending to his Father’s Day meal.

You start out by filling each jar with a graham cracker crumb mixture,

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followed by the key lime filling.

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The filling gets topped with Cool Whip and graham cracker crumbs, and then the cups need to refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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Just before serving, place a lime wedge on each cup.

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All I needed to do now was put each Key Lime Pie cup on a dessert plate and pour the coffee. My husband could hardly wait to dig in!

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Look how sweet each dessert looks in the 4 oz. mason jars! And it tasted just as good as it looked–I love it when that happens! It was very light and refreshing–a perfect summertime treat. My husband had 2 servings, so I think we can call this recipe a success! Check, check, and check!

I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. Take care, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars”.

-C-

 

 

 

Song Lyrics and a Computer

New Stamp Set and Dies_1

Stampin’ Up! recently released their 2015 Holiday catalog, and the minute I saw this stamp set and coordinating dies, I knew I had to have it. Not only was I excited about the possibility of using the dies to create all sorts of layered scenes, but I was also excited that the dies were sized such that they could be used on tags as well as cards. I also liked how the sentiments in the stamp set were curved to follow the lines of the dies.

My favorite part about this set is the horse-drawn sleigh die, and the first thing that came to mind when I saw it was the song “Over The River And Through The Woods”. I think these song lyrics and a horse-drawn sleigh scene were meant to go together on a card, so I could hardly wait to make that happen. If you look at the stamp set, however, you will notice that these song lyrics are not one of the sentiment options offered. Does that mean the game is over? Hardly. I’m going to show you how I made the card I pictured in my mind a reality by creating the song lyrics on the computer.

The key to success, I’ve found, is choosing the right card stock. The weight of the card stock is important because it’s going to be going through your printer. You want a card stock that is lightweight and flexible enough to be accepted by the printer. The color of the card stock is also important because you need to be able to see through it when holding it up to the light. So, I’ve found that using white, cream, or a light pastel color are the best options.

The first step is to prepare your card front or project to the extent that you can, so that you can see exactly where you want your sentiment to go.

Prepare card front_1

Since the focal point of my card was the scene layers, I needed to cut them out and place them on the card panel, so I could determine what space was left for the sentiment. Once you have a general sense of where your sentiment is going to go, it’s time to head to the computer. As a side note, in order to get the trees on the lefthand side of the paper for the top layer, I just turned the paper over after I cut it.

The second step is to select a font and font size, and type out a sample of your sentiment.   It’s important to take the time to select a font that matches the style of the project you are working on. Having your project planned out and somewhat prepared helps you determine what font size to use, as you have a general idea of how large or small a space you have to work with. For my card, I knew I wanted to use a larger font size to help take up some of that white space at the top of the card.

Once you have your font style and size selected, it’s time to type out a sample of your sentiment. I use Microsoft Office Word, and I always align the wording in the center of the paper. I type all drafts in black ink, as it shows up the best underneath card stock when held up to light. Once I am satisfied with my sample, then I’ll change the color, if needed. It takes a lot of time and trial and error to get everything just the way you want it, so be patient. I print each draft that I type, and place the card stock over the draft and hold it up to the light to check for size and placement.

Determine Placement by Holding up to Light_1

When you are satisfied with your typed sample, and have the card stock panel placed just where you want it, use scotch tape to tape the card stock panel to the copy paper and mark all four corners of the card stock with a pencil. The pencil marks will help with paper placement, should you need to make multiple copies of the sentiment. I have made my marks with a marker in this sample for better visualization.

Tape & mark paper position_1

You are now ready to print a trial onto the card stock. All you need to do is turn the copy paper over, and place it in the paper tray making sure that the card stock panel is at the top of the tray.

Print sample on cardstock_1

After the sample was printed, I placed my scene layers back on the card stock panel to get a sense of what the card front was going to look like.

Verify position by placing layers_1

Perfect! If you’re satisfied with everything, you can remove the scotch tape from the card stock panel only; leave the scotch tape on the copy paper. If you only need one copy printed, you can now finish your card. If you need to print more copies, just place another card stock panel where your pencil marks are; use the same pieces of tape on the copy paper to hold the card stock down; and print. Continue these same three steps to print the remainder of copies needed.

Once all of your printing is done, set the copy paper aside, and finish your card.

Completed SU card_1

Since “Over The River And Through The Woods” is a Thanksgiving song, I wanted to use a fall color scheme. I also wanted the card to have a down home, country feel, so my embellishments included a button and some lace. Here’s a close up of the embellishment:

SU Embellishment close up_1

This is the first time I’ve tried using a short piece of lace underneath an embellishment like the banners, and I know I’ll be doing this a lot more. I love how such a small piece of lace can add so much charm.

Once I was done with this card, I ended up cutting more scene layers out of other patterned paper, and I made three more versions of this card.

Whole group of cards_1

I’m so happy with how these cards turned out; they ended up looking exactly like what I had pictured in my mind. That doesn’t always happen! The best part was that I was able to increase the versatility of this stamp and die set by creating a sentiment on the computer. It’s always fun to get more bang for your buck!

As for the copy paper I used, I documented all of the specific details and measurements I used to create this card, and I’ve saved it in a file. That way, I can come back to this paper at any point in the future and have all of the information I need to recreate the same card.

Better instruction sheet_1

Well, that wraps it up for me today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-

 

 

 

 

 

Threads of Gold

I saw this card several days ago, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it:

Joy & Peace Wreath Card

I liked everything about the layout. I liked the burgundy paper at the bottom of the card, and more specifically, I liked the large plaid pattern, the edging, and the contrast it gave to the white background. I also really liked the wooden star–it’s so tiny, and yet it makes a huge impact on this card.

I couldn’t wait to try this layout today, and while I don’t have any wooden stars, I do have some wooden leaves, so that set the theme for my card. I chose my color scheme, gathered my papers and ink, and let the creativity begin.

I started with a Very Vanilla card base, and then I cut the patterned paper for the bottom and added the wooden leaf. I laid out different leaf dies until I found the right size and set the die on the card for placement.

Beginning of card_1

Next I stamped the leaf that coordinates with this die, and quickly watercolored the design centers. I cut the leaf shape out with the die, and also stamped the sentiment in the upper right corner.

Card step 2_1

The card was really beginning to come together, but I needed to fill in some of the white space around the leaf. I ended up stamping some paint splatters behind it, and, while that certainly helped, I still felt like the card needed something more.

Card step 3_1

I tried using all kinds of things behind the leaf–linen thread, vintage lace, part of a doily–and I also tried a gold button on the stem. Nothing was working for me; all of the above options either looked too heavy or looked odd and out of place. I then tried bunching up some fine gold thread, and that was it–that’s what this card needed!

Gold thread_1

The gold thread added the extra visual interest I was looking for without being heavy, and the messy bunch gave the impression of movement, like a gusty wind. I attached the leaf over the thread with dimensionals, and here is the finished card:

Finished card on tray_1

I’m quite pleased with how this card turned out, and I owe it all to threads of gold. Have a wonderful weekend, and, as always, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out number the stars.”

-C-