12.28.2008
Ring in the old, ring in the new! Well here we go again! It's now that time to start thinking of a new beginning again. Dust off your resolving mechanism and get it into high gear - and watch out everybody -here you come. Wipe the slate clean and start thinking of your New Years Resolutions for 2009. A chance to change the way you are living now and start your new year off right. So we make those determineding lists and eternal promises and by the time February comes you've lost that list and forgotten the promises. too bad, you meant well. It was a good idea: everyone needs to take stock and do some starting over occasionally, and the first day of a brand-new year is a good time for a new beginning. What do we do wrong? Sometimes it's a question of giving up way before you even start. You are so sure that you've got weak kneed will power that you play it safe sometimes to safe. You pick something so insignificant that it isn't worth being so firm about. You know darn well it doesn't matter with you stick to that or not, and when your determination gets the best of itself on the small stuff your conscience won't nag you at all. Or perhaps you are horn blower. Standing up and make a loud announcement of your good intentions. You may do it because you enjoy the pat on the back that you get for all the wonderful things you are going to do with your new resolutions. More often, however the biggest stumbling block to staying true to your resolutions is the newness of it all. Once you start thinking about the ways to improve yourself its hard to know where to start or stop. You can get too big about the resolution itself and try to demand impossible perfection. You reach a point where you have to work so hard at resolving to keep your resolution that the positive change you were trying to make in yourself gets lost in the shuffle. Now wonder you don't get anyplace. Tradition dictates that every 365 days, you should try to kick bad habits and start your life anew. So sit down with a cup of coffee, a paper and a pen, and reflect: What kinds of New Years Resolutions will you make for yourself this January 1st? Step 1 Be realistic by setting achievable goals. Step 2 Describe your resolutions in specific terms. Instead of "I don't want to be lazy," opt for "I want to exercise regularly" or "I will cut down on my television watching." Step 3 Break down large goals into smaller ones. For instance, commit to losing weight by resolving to join a gym and improve your eating habits. Step 4 Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan. So you want to quit smoking but you smoked to relax yourself? What other forms of relaxation are available to you? Step 5 Above all, aim for things that are truly important to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you.New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. News Years Resolution Post Card Swap This is a swap for you to send out postcards to old friends or new all over the world! For this swap you will be given at random 10 partners that you will send 1 postcard to each person. That means 10 different locations! Send 10 postcards out - you will get 10 postcards back with everyone’s 2009 New Years Resolutions listed. Who doesn't love to get postcards the old fashion way - snail mail. Be as creative as you would like. Use store bought ones or make your own. How to play along: If you wish to join the swap please email me no later then January 5th with your name and home address to: lancarrowmaltby@yahoo.com With the title "New Years Resolution Post Card Swap". On the 6th I will then send out the address of your 10 partners that you will be sending your Resolution post cards too. Invite your friends to participate - the more the merrier. Please send out your cards on or before January 31st 2009
12.09.2008
I'm asking all artists, designers and crafters 101 reasons why you are going to buy or make handmade/vintage gifts for this holiday season (Please add your reason - so we can make it to 101) If you wish to participate, please follow with a comment starting with the #1 and then continuing till we get to # 101.
12.03.2008
Please vote for my T-Rex Cookies over at Instructables in the holiday treats contest. Only 1 day left - votes ends tomorrow 12.10.08 I am trying to get into the holiday spirit so last night my husband said let make some cookies. Oh what fun - so I went digging through my collections of recipes, ingredients and cookie cutters and thought "no cookie says Christmas more than a gingerbread man cookie - right. All I could find was this T-Rex cookie cutter, so here is my twist on this classic cookie.
Gingersaurous Rex Cookies
We had so much fun decorating and eating the heads off I do have to say I could almost hear bells ringing in the distance and caroling at the front door. Gingersaurous Rex Cookies Recipe INGREDIENTS For the cookies 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature, softened) 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed 1 Tbsp ground ginger 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 large egg 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses Royal Icing 1 egg white 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) METHOD 1 In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside. 2 In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour. 3 Heat oven to 350°. Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Use either a cookie cutter or place a stencil over the dough and use a knife to cut into desired shapes. Press raisins, chocolate chips, or candy pieces in the center of each cookie if desired for "buttons". 4 Transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired. Makes 16 5-inch long cookies. Royal Icing The traditional way to make Royal Icing is to beat egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. With modern concerns about salmonella from raw eggs, you can either use powdered egg whites or heat the egg whites first to kill any bacteria. With the heating method, mix the egg white and lemon juice with a third of the sugar, heat in a microwave until the mixture's temperature is 160°F. Then remove from microwave, and beat in the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Using the powdered egg whites method, combine 1 Tbsp egg white powder with 2 Tbsp water. If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency. Fill a piping bag with the icing to pipe out into different shapes. Keep the icing covered while you work with it or it will dry out.
Enjoy and I hope you add my Gingersaurous Rex Cookies to your Holiday this year!
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