Monday, September 26, 2016

Halloween Paper Mache Houses

I just love belonging to a craft group.  These ladies
are so talented and inspiring and we have such a
great time together.
This month we had a great time creating Halloween
Houses.  When I saw how cute they were, I
said I wanted to create a village.

Here are from the night of our crafting.  Each one
was unique and wonderful.  Karen purchased the
paper mache houses from Hobby Lobby (using
the 40% off coupon of course) and spray painted
them the base color of black and orange.  We had
all requested what colors we wanted.  Then
she used coordinating glitter and covered them
with glitter.  She used spray adhesive.  You could
also use Mod Podge.  

That night we added the fun decor.  Joanne had
dyed bottlebrush trees in black and orange
 for each of us, and Karen
brought some decor pieces and we were each
to bring additional things to add.

We were also provided with some black twigs, fence pieces
and pumpkins.  This is mine.  

I purchased glittery pipe cleaner at the dollar store for everyone.
You can see that I twisted orange and purple pipe
cleaners to edge the roof and crate garlands for the fence.

The clock is a door knob from hobby lobby.
I used crepe paper to cover the upper windows, and I glitterized
a broom from a package of craft miniatures.

This spooky guy peaking out of the lower windows
came from a package of tags from JoAnn's.

The cute glittery pumpkin stickers in the peaks of the
roof came from Hobby Lobby.  Karen gave us each a
silver skeleton.

I just love the trees.  One of the ladies
shared a black cat for my fence.

To make up my village, instead of starting from
scratch, I found two more houses at Jo-Ann's
fabric store on a 40% discount.  This large one
was wonderful.  I added the swirls, which were
purchased in the miniature section, along with the
candle stick, at Hobby Lobby.  This house came
with the fence and trees, but I added pipe cleaner
garland to the trees, and decked out the windows
and roof with pipe cleaner.

While we were working, Karen made me this cute 
garland out of padded stickers, which I brought
home and draped on my  tall house.

The looking ball was also a door knob from Hobby Lobby.

My final house was a small one.  It also came with
the trees and fence.  I adorned it with pipe cleaner,
spiders, a glittery broom and a glittery pumpkin
sticker.  The witches legs in urns were from
Jo-Ann's and were too large to fit on the porch
of the house we made, so I placed them in front
 of the house on the cake platter.

I thought these were killer!

I also purchased this hanging lantern
at Jo-Ann's.

They had a lot of cute miniatures for Halloween
this year, and I snagged this wagon of pumpkins.

These miniatures came from the Dollar Tree, last year.

I also glitterized some dollar store vases with
Mod Podge and purple glitter from Hobby Lobby.
These will hold a floating candle.

So there is my Halloween House Village
that sits on my kitchen table.  I just love
how it turned out.

I will post this with

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Swiss Birthday - Raclette

Tonight's dinner for our craft group was a Swiss Themed
night with little lambies!  Joanne's birthday was celebrated
with dinner before the crafting and she has Swiss blood,
so the table decor and dinner revolved around her heritage.

Each place setting had a Swiss postcard and a little lamb.

Brenda made us each a lamb potholder that 
was placed by our plate.

Lambs of all kinds stood on the "grass" all over the table.

We even had little Swiss bells that decorated our
chairs, which we got to take home.

Of course, the birthday girl gets the crown at her placesetting.
Notice the lamb ornaments hanging on the crown for this

Laura hosted the party this time and on the side board she
had a pastoral scene.

She even painted two paintings to give to Joanne.  They were 

 The beautiful dining room window had a lamb, bells, and other
Swiss goodies.

Everyone helps with the menu.

I made the plated salad with peaches, blackberries, pistachios
and a fresh lemon vinaigrette served on butter leaf lettuce.

We had one of my family's favorite dinners
Swiss Raclette.  The machines can be purchased
reasonably on Amazon.  The stone heats up to toast
your bread or meats, and then cheese is melted in
a little pan under the stone.  You pour the melted
cheese on your bread, meats, veggies, etc.

Laura bought French Raclette cheese which melts better 
than the Swiss Raclette.  It is also about half the price.
She bought it at our local Harmon's grocery store.

Melted cheese over potatoes is very traditional.

This one is cheese melted over the top of
mushrooms, so the mushrooms cook a little,
and the poured over a slice of bread that I had
heated on top of the Raclette machine.

And Amy made us a delicious chocolate cake.  Shall we call it
a Swiss Chocolate Cake?  Notice the little lambie
grazing on the grass below the beautiful cake plate.

There was even a black sheep cookie!

The craft for the night was making Halloween
Houses.  I will do a follow up post on those fun houses.

I will be posting with

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dining Room Makeover

You saw this beautiful piece that I redid for
the wedding in my backyard this summer.

After I finished the wedding reception, I said this
piece was too pretty now to go back into the basement,
so it takes center stage in the dining room.

I removed the red curtains, the red lamp shades and
the red rug and wow, the room is now so much
brighter!!  I can't believe the difference just removing
the lampshades made.

Taking the red curtains down also changed the look
of the room as they were replaced with gauzy white ones.

The table and chairs were temporary, as the table
was moving to the kitchen and the chairs 
came from the kitchen, but when my oldest
granddaughter walked in, she said, "This is too pretty, it
needs a tablescape!"  She proceeded to pull plates out of
a cabinet and did the whole table by herself.  

The pink and aqua pieces were ones I had purchased
from Pier 1 quite some time ago, but had never 

They were stored in this tall cabinet in the dining
room, which used to have a red front, but that
got a makeover also.

I thought it was so cute that she used just things
that were stored here in the dining room.

She chose the gold flatware also.

It is so fun to see the little ones learn to love the things
that you love, and then to experiment with them.

I will post the new furniture that completes
the dining room soon!  I was fortunate that my 
sister Jean was visiting when the new furniture
arrived, so that she and my niece helped us set
up the new table and chairs.  Can't wait to share it
with you.

It has been a crazy end of summer, running from one
thing to the next, but I am still sad to see it end.

I will be posting with 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lake Powell Eating Like Kings


             We eat like kings at Lake Powell, with
              everyone couple making a lunch and dinner
            and everyone trying out fun new recipes.

             As we gather at night around the table on the upper
             deck, we have a gorgeous outdoor dining room.

            Definitely a room with a view.

The cooks for the evening can choose how to
set the table, as we have a few options - even
paper if they want - in many styles.

My meal featured an Italian theme with a creamy
Artichoke Dip starter, followed by a stacked Caprese
Tomato salad, with a Mushroom and Arugula Gnocchi.

The bottom right picture was a Pina Colada salad
made by my friend for lunch.  It featured coconut
crusted chicken.

These fabulous lunch pizzas were made on Naan bread
and topped with the most fabulous fresh ingredients.

The one on the top left was the one I created with all
three flavors in one.  They featured clockwise goat cheese
topped with arugula micro greens, strawberries, pecans and balsamic
glaze, then mascarpone cheese, smoked mozzarella, arugula, bacon, 
and drizzled with honey.  The bottom left one is avocados, Orange
infused olive oil, arugula, pistachios and feta cheese.

I think this was the best lunch I have had at
Lake Powell.  It was so fresh and delicious.

Another Italian night featured a copycat version
of Carrabba's Chicken Bryan with a fabulous
sauce of sundried tomatoes over goat cheese.

I just melted over these fun mozzarella stuffed
pesto rolls.  She put a cube of mozzarella inside
half of a Pillsbury biscuit, and then smothered
it in pesto sauce.  Ooey, gooey, cheesy heaven!

Another night was a pulled pork taco bar.

Our final night featured an Asian twist on
grilled Tri Tip with Asian appetizers,
followed by a rich chocolate cake
from Sweden.  This trip was to honor
our good friends, twins, who just returned
from their LDS missions - one from Taiwan
and one from Sweden, so they both let us
have a taste of their mission foods.

Of course, you know we had lots of
treats and desserts featuring Chocolate Chip S'mores Pizookies,
Virgin Mango Lava Flows, a Very Berry Gallette, and a
Pan full of Sugar Cookies.

Everyone is hungry after a fun
day of play, watersports, 

hiking through narrows,
swimming, etc.

Our special cave where we cliff jump 
            and have a picnic
            on the speed boat with music echoing off the cave.

           We always finish our days on top of the third
            deck under the stars, listening to playlists hubby
            has created - "Star Gazing Music".  Our favorite
            album is Ray Lynch's Deep Breakfast, Celestial Soda Pop!
            Check that one out on You Tube.

            There are no city lights so the Milky Way looks
            like a cloud stretched across the sky, and I never
              want to go to bed until I have seen 
a shooting star!!

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