Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I have found a new love...PHOTOGRAPHY!!!!

I never knew this world was so much fun! I have found some awesome sites so I thought I would share them! And you can check out my photography too at brookelarsenphotography.blogspot.com

and one of my friends...who is absolutely amazing

But don't worry I will love my crafts just as much...so I will keep crafting and taking pictures!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Greeting Card Swap!!

Yup it is that time of the month again! My MONTHLY greeting card swap!
I got so super cute cards last night. Take a LOOK!!!

I made this Happy Birthday card. The flower is made out of ribbon. I found an awesome tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets to make a ribbon flower. They are super fast and add so so much!

You can't really tell ...but the cherry on this cupcake is a cute button! What a cute IDEA!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dried Fruit

I went to an awesome class last week about dried fruit and I loved all the tips and dips. So I thought I would share for those dried fruit lovers out there. Sorry I didn't take any pictures.....BUT OH THE FRUIT WAS GOOD!!!!

Dried fruit is a great, portable snack. I keep some in my purse most of the time. My husband takes it to work and has become rather popular with his coworkers who like it too. Our family now eats more dried fruit than canned. Many instructions can be found online but I’ve included things that I have used over and over for our family.

To choose fruit to dry, use ripe, but not over-ripe freshly picked fruit. It’s not worth your time to use sub-quality fruit! Wash well and remove blemishes.

For apricots, prunes and plums, cut in half, remove pit and pop the back to expose middle to more surface to the air. Place evenly over dryer tray with a little space in between each piece, with skin side down.

For sweet cherries, cut in half and pit. Place on tray skin side down.

For berries and grapes, dry whole. Strawberries can be sliced. Grapes and waxy-skinned berries will need to be blanched first in boiling water to crack the skins. Drain well before putting on trays.

Remove skin from apples (they become tough), and peaches, remove center and slice into ¼” slices. Nectarines and pears do not need to be peeled. They may be dipped first to prevent becoming too dark. (Dips described at end of page). Bananas are also treated this way.

Leathers are blended fruits mixed with sugar or honey. Bananas are great for thickening the fruit puree and adding sweetness. Taste the mixture to decide how sweet you want the leather to be. Nuts or coconut may be added before drying. Cover tray with plastic wrap, then pour puree into center (about 1 ½ to 2 cups), carefully spreading to make the center thinner, as it dries more slowly, and edges a bit thicker as they dry more quickly. Don’t spread all the way to the edge of the wrap.

Finished leather will be shiny and non-sticky to the touch. Remove from plastic wrap and roll it in a fresh piece of wrap to store. I keep mine in a gallon zip-loc bag in the freezer.

Sliced fruit dries in 7-15 hours depending on humidity in the air, while whole or half fruits may take up to 20. Check periodically and rotate trays 180 degrees halfway through drying cycle. Fruits dry at appx. 135 F.

Finished fruit will be leathery but not hard except apples which are a bit crispy. If it’s squishy in places (especially the half-fruits) it’s not quite done. Remove the fruits that are dried all the way then put the others back into the dryer. They can be stored in bottles, plastic containers or zip-loc bags.


Dips can keep fruit from becoming dark and can also be used to sweeten more tart fruits such as apricots or apples.

Ascorbic Acid or Citric Acid dip can be bought in canning sections of stores. Follow directions on container. I use lemon juice mixed with water for most fruits: 1 cup juice with 1 quart water. Soak prepared fruit for a few minutes, drain well then place on trays. I never soak prunes or plums.

Honey dip: dissolve 1 C. honey with 3 C. hot water. 1 C. lemon juice may also be added. I’ve also added cinnamon when drying apples.

Other miscellaneous things to try:

Vegetables may be dried then added later to soups, or reconstituted with water. Peas, pumpkin, squash and yams, should be steamed first. Summer squash, eggplant, peppers, onions, mushrooms and even potatoes may be sliced and dried like fruit.

Herbs are cleaned, snipped and dried for use as you would those you buy. Both dried vegetables and herbs may be blended into powder form and mixed.


Jerky may be made at home. Lean meat works best as the fat-marbled kind will go rancid more quickly. Flank, round and sirloin tip cuts are the best to use when making beef jerky. Deer, and elk meat are also great to use.

It is recommended to use a meat slicer to get a uniform cut, but a sharp knife will work. Cut across the grain if the meat is a little tough. A tender cut may be sliced with the grain. A dry cure means salt and seasoning mixtures are rubbed into the meat surface. A brine cure is a marinade that the meat is soaked in for a few hours. Either way, the meat is cured in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours or overnight. Make sure the meat is thoroughly coated.

To dehydrate, shake off extra cure and spread the meat strips in a single layer on the trays. Dry at 145 degrees for approximately 4-6 hours, occasionally blotting off any fat droplets that appear on the surface. To test for doneness, use a cooled piece and bend it. Properly dried jerky when bent should crack, not break.

Store in a dry, dark, cool place.

Please know this is just one persons opinion

Patching Jeans

I just learned how to patch my jeans...and they actually look good!! So I thought I would pass it on to you! I had so many pictures for you on step by step and wouldn't you know they got deleted. JUST MY LUCK! So I will just have to explain it.....here we go.

These jeans actually had a stain where I patched it. I LOVE these jeans but the stain wouldn't come out, probably because it was polyurethane, oops!

I made a slit with my scissors and then I used a razor blade to fray the edges. I cut out a LARGE piece off of some of my jeans that are not salvageable..much larger then the hole, to make it easier to work with and I pinned it on the underside of the hole. I then sewed with a zig zag stitch vertically and then horizontally LOTS AND LOTS! Once it is sewn on good and secure turn your jeans inside out and cut the patch back to size...and TADA you have cute IN STYLE jeans!

Monday, July 19, 2010

HOMEmade BuBbLeS!!

My daughter loves BUBBLES! I wanted bubbles that would blow big..so I made my own.

Here is the recipe I found to work the best!

2/3 cup of JOY dish soap
1 gallon of water
3 to 4 Tablespoons of Glycerin (you can get this in the pharmacy area)
You can also add food coloring so your bubble have a hit of color!

TADA there you have it a whole GALLON of bubble for your little ones to enjoy! Cause if you are like me...I am running out of things to entertain my little with! So now we have a GALLON of bubbles to go though, HOORAY!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oven Curled Ribbon

My daughter finally has enough hair to put one bow on top of her head...we call her PEBBLES! So I can't put a big flower up there, and I LOVED the curled ribbon at Gymboree but at $5.00 a set that gets really expensive if you want one to go with EVERY OUTFIT! So I figured out how to make it myself! You can curl just about any ribbon that has polyester in it!

Wrap the ribbon around a squewer, a knitting needle, a pencil...ETC. When wrapping it make sure there are not any creses or you will see them after they have baked. Put clothes pins at either end to hold the edges of the ribbon. MIST with water.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees put aluminum foil over your cookie sheet and place in the oven once preheated for 10 minutes. Once they are done take them out and let them cool and finish drying on the stove. TA DA!! You have cute curled ribbon!


I just got 7 layers of ribbon lined them all up and wrapped a piece of ribbon around the center and hot glued it to the alligator clip and you have a cute curled hair BOW!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hand Pulled Taffy

Last night my mom came and taught a class on how to pull taffy! I thought I would share the recipes and some tips! They all turned out so so good!

Any Flavor Taffy

2 1/2 cups white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup corn syrup

1 1/3 cups water

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (0.13 ounce) package unsweetened, fruit-flavored soft drink mix


Butter 2 large baking sheets, and set them aside.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Add corn syrup, water, butter and salt, and stir to blend. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook until the mixture reads 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in the drink mix powder. Quickly pour out onto the prepared baking sheets, and let stand until cool enough to handle.

Grab a few helpers, and butter everyone's hands. Stretch (pull) the taffy until it lightens in color, and becomes firm. Roll into bite size pieces, and wrap in small squares of waxed paper.

TIP: We actually found on this recipe if you only cook it to the soft ball stage which is about 240 degrees and pull it for about 10 to 15 minutes, twist it like a rope and put it in the fridge for about 5 minutes it is the consistancy of Laffy Taffy! We just used grape Kool Aid to flavor the taffy, it was so so good! SOFT and MOIST!

Honey Taffy

1/2 C Sugar

1/2 C Cream or Half and Half

1 C Honey


Pour into buttered 13x9 pan, cool until candy can be handled, and pull until candy turns creamy white and is difficult to pull.

Twist in 1/2 inch rope place on wax paper. Make indents in rope with knife, turn over rope and hit indents with back of knife.

Molasses Taffy

2 C Sugar

1/3 C Molasses

1/3 C Karo Syrup

1/3 C Water

1/3 C Cube Butter


Pour into buttered 13x9 pan, cool until candy can be handled, and pull until candy turns creamy white and is difficult to pull.

Twist in 1/2 inch rope place on wax paper. Make indents in rope with knife, turn over rope and hit indents with back of knife.

Another trick you can use is butter a cookie sheet and fill your bath tub with a little bit of cold water. Place the cookie sheet in the tub but don't let any water get into the pan. You will want to scrap the pan until it is cool enough to touch. You will know when it is ready to pull cause it will not be quite at sticky and you can actually pull it!

I just found a great blog with pictures of them making taffy since my hands were too sticky to take pictures!! click here

This is a great summer activity for the kids! My daughter loves to watch it being pulled..she is a little small to actually pull it right now!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

**Button Ring**

I have been wanting to try to make a button ring for a long time. I think they are so so cute and I am too cheap to buy one! As I found out THEY are SO SO SO EASY!!

All you need is a ring form...I found mine at Michaels, I got 3 for $2.50 and I bought my buttons at Wal-Mart for $1.50 for 3!

Cut the button part off the back of you button so it is flat!
Add some glue...you can buy jewelry glue almost anywhere..
Let it dry...and TA DA (this is my little girls new favorite word)!! You have a way cute ring for about $4.00 and left overs for something else!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I am being featured on on C.R.A.F.T! Thanks to Jamie for letting me take over her blog! Check it out here! I put up some of my favorite 2x4 crafts!!

Check back for some awesome crafts with resin! I have wanted to try resin for sometime now and finally did it! I LOVE THIS STUFF!! So AWESOME! They are drying, I hope they turn out!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pantry CLEAN UP!!

I don't know about you...but I think the messiest thing ALWAYS in my house is my pantry! So when I ran across this awesome idea from Oopsey Daisey I decided I better share it...and well make it!! So enjoy..she has an awesome tutorial on her site!!


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