DIY Egg Cozies, Easy Egg Casserole, and Happy Easter Greetings

Happy Easter!

I like easy recipes, and this one is for fresh eggs as opposed to the hard boiled ones from Easter.  The weather here is very changeable, so one day it's 43F and the next it's 72F.  Which makes me want to use the oven on the cooler days.  Here is the recipe for the egg casserole.

If you have a couple of minutes to spare, you can make these egg cozies with fabric scraps, ribbons, or what you have handy.  Here is the post where they first appeared on the blog.

I hope you all have a very Happy Easter.

2016 A Merry Christmas Wish

Before all the cookies are eaten and the tree decorations are wrapped in their boxes for next year...
Remember... Dream... Enjoy... Share.  That is all.  

Merry Christmas.  

Easy Put Together Leather Cord, Charm, and Large Bead Necklace

I saw my friend liked to wear large bead necklaces and her favored colors were neutrals and shades of brown.  So, in a pinch, I put together this leather cord, charm, and large bead necklace.

There is a wing charm with a star and I put small glass beads on the jump ring.

Everything can slide on or off the cord if she wants to switch things to a different order or add something she already has to the cord.

Totally customizable and quick to assemble.  

The acrylic and glass beads have a glow in person and the silver beads complement the wing.   

Quick Bacon Cooking Tip

Here's a quick tip for bacon on the go.  Bake it!

Whether it's standard bacon, turkey bacon, veggie bacon, or other varieties, you can get a nice crispy bacon by oven cooking.

If you like you may crisp it even further in a pan or microwave before serving, or cook to perfection in the oven alone.

Line baking sheets/pan with aluminum foil, arrange bacon slices, and put the pan in a COLD OVEN.

Turn oven to 400 or slightly higher.  Cook for about 17 minutes, may be a bit longer, just keep an eye on it.

Carefully remove pan and put strips on paper towels to pat dry.  After a minute or so, the bacon is cool enough to put in the storage container with paper towels to cover/between- your choice.

Wrap the foil in on itself or pour off bacon grease (not in your drain) and dispose.

Keep cooked bacon in the fridge.  

Oven cooked bacon has a good flavor and is convenient too.   That's my quick cooking tip, enjoy.

Mid Year Review and After the Clear Out the Freedom Room

See that date over on the bottom of the collage?  Yep, I am seriously late in posting that one.  Only by eight months, but who's counting?

Sometimes there are 3 things going at once!

After a major clear out from when the house move was supposed to happen, I have less "stuff" in the craft room. From paints, to glues, to things for upcycling, they've all gone to the charity shop or the trash.  That made me consider just what to do with what is left.

Embroidery hoops on a tension rod in the closet.

Do I want to focus on making Art?  Jewelry?  Crafty things?  Needlework?
Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  And Yes.  See, how easy that was?

Seriously, supplies multiply like rabbits and yet, there is usually one special piece missing or needed, so shopping commences!

Here and there I toss something that I know is not to my liking.  When I shop for supplies, I really do try to write down what I am looking for and be more discerning as to the quality and value of the items for purchase.

I shop in person.  Online shopping may have a better range, but I would be like a "kid in the candystore." One day I will try it, with a budget and a list.

It's tough being a tightwad, but it feels good to not hoard.  Freeing.

I started a little collection of interesting feathers from my travels or wherever I find them when out walking. They don't take up much room!

Pretty feather illustrated tin.

I even have a feather tin, bought for tea, but I put rubber/acrylic ink stamps inside.

Rearranged room, nice and tidy.

The furniture, craft carts, and bookcases have been rearranged.

At first I did not think it would be comfortable sitting in the middle of the room, with no window or wall at the front of the desk- you know, to hold up all the things crowding the desk.

This arrangement makes me keep less stuff on the desk and to move projects to the shelves and racks as needed.  It also helps to focus on one project without the others asking for atttention.

I took the curtains down to let in all the light, which is wonderful. This is the only room in the house with good sunlight for most of the day.   That light is very good for seeing what I am painting.

My smaller liquid paint collection after the clearout.

Watercolors, paint pens, and more.

The last thing I will show you is this newspaper clipping which I taped to one of the closet doors. I try to follow this advice, but do fall away from it with all things going on.

Sweeties Marks and Almost Time to Paint the Trim

I have two spots on the wood trim in the kitchen where my #1 Sweetie who passed in 2007 left his mark. He would lean in and peek around the corner.

I refused to wash and repaint the trim.  But, now that I am getting closer to moving I have decided I will paint over it.  It is his mark and he is my dog and no one else will paint over that reminder of him.

Lucy left her mark, too.  Hers is a bit higher up on the wood frame.  She would have towered over #1 Sweetie. He, mostly Beagle and she, mostly Yellow Lab.

I noticed a smudge on the mirror, where she got up close to see what she looked like.  That memory makes me smile.

Well, if any one is thinking I am a terrible housekeeper, that is not the case.  I leave their marks the same as others carve initials.  Small and precious reminders of two whom I love and miss.

Do you keep reminders?

Challenge Won! Orange Marmalade Yum.

Truth.  Since the good old days weren't really good old days, I decided to challenge myself to make orange marmalade.

Why?  Ever since I was a young girl, I did not like the stuff.  Too many hard bits.  Too sweet.  Too thick.

Some years ago a national brand sold an orange fruit spread.  Lovely stuff. That company disappeared.

Another company sold a similar orange spread.  The product went through lots of mutations and it got to a point that the spread/jam was pretty much not recognizable as an orange marmalade type of spread.  This happened with a couple of companies.  Yuck.  

Now that a national brand stopped selling their version of orange marmalade, I had to find a replacement.

Don't these look pretty?  I was over the moon that I could make orange marmalade and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Pun intended!

What I give you here is not a detailed recipe. Oh, no.

I read several recipes online and found that their versions reminded me of the stuff from my childhood; hard, dark and thick.  Sorry, not my preference.

I took the basic ideas and morphed them into these golden, glorious jars, filled with orange goodness.   It was a several hours long process, but so worth the effort.

Two large seedless (not Naval) oranges.  Zest and tiny bits of lemon along with some lemon juice.  Water and not a lot of sugar.  Boil away until the peel and orange is soft and lovely.  Pour into jars. Leave to cool with the lids off.  Then put the lids on and store in the fridge.

This is an image of the jars and lids in a big stainless steel bowl with boiled water.

See that I cut away the white pith, which makes the marmalade less bitter tasting.

I put on a couple of cds and got to work.  Patsy Cline didn't think I was crazy! lol  You know the song?

Dive right in!  If you have a personal challenge decide to go for it too!

Autumn. Where Have You Been?

Vintage ribbon green lace binding wreath New End Studio

Hello Autumn, what took you so long?

Let summer be a nice memory and give a welcome to this brand new autumn.

My 2016 summer was all that summer stands for weather-wise.  Not sorry to see it give way to cooler temps, orange and red leaves on trees, falling into big wet piles on the ground.

Oh, the squirrels are very busy this week.  I think they were trying to cool off somewhere waiting for the lower temps to ride in on the winds of the latest storms.

The front door wreath is wrapped in green lace binding and autumn colored vintage ribbon.  The muted colored flower blossoms of celery green and light coral do not want to give up their summer dreams.

Take care to enjoy our autumn, soon enough the days will be darker earlier. Mugs of hot chocolate and ginger spice cookies will be a sweet treat.  Happy Autumn!

The Lost and Found of Art and Memories During a Mid Year Review, Turtle and City

aceo blocks and dots turtle and city New End Studio

The post on growing lettuce on the windowsill had this image tucked into the collage.  Didn't realize at the time that this aceo hadn't been shared in its own post.  It was made years ago with acrylics on cold press paper and gotten lost in the image folders for a while.

When I painted this, I was remembering my little turtle from my childhood.  That was back in the day when you could buy tiny turtles at the Woolworth store.

Whenever I think of him or her? I see shell, tiny head and legs which he used to full advantage while he explored the grass in my backyard.  Lost him once!  Green turtle in all that green grass wasn't easy to find him.

Let free from his turtle house, my tiny turtle would walk pretty fast for a turtle.  It was as if he was born to roam. The same way I enjoy myself on a trip to NYC or other city.

This aceo is city, buildings, lights, traffic, taxis, and turtle shells altogether.  It's dark and striking, confusing, congested, slow and fast at the same time.  Best of all, it's full of opportunities to explore and enjoy.

It's nice to sometimes find myself renewed through bits and pieces from the Lost and Found.

If you liked this post, check out some other aceos by clicking the Art Label in the sidebar or typing aceo into the Search bar.  You may like this one, a paper and collage plus digital version Love Always Hands Theme ACEO.

Grow Lettuce On Your Windowsill to Harvest for Sandwiches, Salads, and Snacks All Year

Fresh Lettuce From Windowsill to Table

Lettuce Be Clear, Gardening is Usually Hard Work.  (unPunny ...)
This Way is Cooler, Cleaner, and Oh So Delicious and Easy.  

Why not grow lettuce on a windowsill and keep harvesting for sandwiches, salads, and snacks anytime?

Growing lettuce in a glass or container of water didn't appeal to me.  Until now.  I thought I would give it a go and see what happens.  So I did.

I've been buying the bagged mixed greens and couldn't find any in my local stores.  There wasn't a recall, so I don't know the reason for their disappearance.

Instead, three romaine lettuce heads in a bag came to my rescue.  (Heads?  That sounds odd, but I didn't name it.)

When the lettuce was down to nearly nubs (hearts) I put them in juice glasses after not finding anything else suitable which would prop them up and which would fit on my narrow windowsill.  (I long for a deep windowsill in my next home.  Even a box seat would be welcome, or a bay window that I can fill with all the plants I wish.)

After about 3 days the lettuce was growing deep green leaves.  I changed the water every couple of days and snipped off any mucky looking bits at the bottom of the lettuce.

Now, with the leaves growing I anxiously awaited the leaves to reach harvesting size.  The day came, about the seventh day, and my sandwich was excellent!

I overdid it on the first sandwich as you can see from the photo.  Subsequent sandwiches had fewer leaves, all very good.

There's something delicious about growing fresh, free from pesticide, and free from the long transport from grower to distribution center to stores to me salad leaves.  It saved money, too. There's almost always spoiled salad leaves that have to be thrown out in each and every bag I buy.

I know this isn't making a dent in the ozone, but I'm glad to have tried it and will do so again. Next time, a bigger head of lettuce, which I will keep in the fridge and harvest as it produces.

If you enjoyed this post, you can find more Tutorials and Tips or Recipes by clicking the label in the sidebar or typing in your search terms in the Explore bar above the Archive.  Thanks for reading.

Here's something you might like,  Two Ingredient Angel Food and Pineapple Cake Sweet and Easy to Make.

I've shared this post in linkups at Bowl Me Over, Sincerely Paula, and Crafts a la mode.

Food is Love. This Apple Cake which is Awesomely Easy To Make and Will Have You Drooling Before It's Out of the Oven.

Food is more than nourishment isn't it?  We get to taste what was once out of reach, what is different, exotic, in short supply.  Those things which we are tempted by. New things, old favorites, strange combinations we risk trying.

Food is simple and complicated, too.  Sort of like opening a door to see what's behind it. Food is shared, coveted, desired, repulsing.

What we do with our food choices says, What?  
I  like you, here, try this.  
No, I don't eat fill in the blank.  
I can't eat that I'm allergic.  
Ewww that's gross.

aprons drying in the sun

Lick your fork and spoon if cooking is more than a chore sometimes.  Just hang up your apron.

I admit to getting takeout or a frozen pizza when I'm short on time to prepare a good meal, or just tired and frazzled from the details of life.  But, I often make the effort to cook Something From Scratch.  

With this recipe the house smells like a 
High Ranking Food Fairy 
spilled her 
Magic Meals Glitter 
all over me and soon the mouth starts salivating, no, DROOLING because 
This Time I Have Surpassed 
All Previous Efforts in Cake Making 
without even trying to.


I share this recipe with you and hopefully you should have a napkin or two at the ready to wipe your face and fingers.  The fragrance of the apples, sugar, and butter will cause you to dab at your chin.  Bib time?

Apple Cake which is Awesomely Easy To Make and Will Have You Drooling before it's out of the oven

Here is what you need: