Hunger Games Inspired Paper Bead Necklace

Are you excited to see “The Hunger Games” movie this weekend?  I am!  So excited that when Lead Fiskateer Angela Daniels asked if I wanted to make a ‘Hunger Games’ inspired project, I knew exactly what I wanted to make before I could respond “Yes!”

These are paper beads and honestly, they are so easy to make.  The hardest part was waiting for the UTEE to melt in my melting pot.  I chose my paper colors based on the book; the green one is to symbolize the lush green of the forest where the games took place, the orange beads are for Katniss, “the girl who was on fire” and the black beads are for District 12.

Once you have your papers, cut long (8-10″) triangle strips.  The width of the paper at the ‘wide’ end is how wide your bead will end up being.  (I kept my beads at around 1” each.)  Roll each strip around a pencil, glue the end down, and dip it in melted UTEE.   (I used a melting pot, but you can also use a heat gun or glossy accents.)    While the UTEE on the black beads was still wet, I sprinkled glitter over them.  Once it cooled, a little, I pressed the glitter in.

Now that the beads are done, it’s time for the focal point.  The Mockingjay is one of Fiskars limited edition Jenni Bowlin punches (actually called ‘Flight‘).  I used my punch on gold glitter paper and dipped it in the UTEE.  Then I dipped part of the orange bead back in the UTEE and while it was still wet, I pressed the Mockingjay into the wet UTEE.  Be sure to use tweezers for this step if you don’t want to get burned.  Once it is cooled, the Mockingjay is sealed into position.

Do you like it?  Will you make one to wear this weekend?  Need a Mockingjay punch of your own?  Be sure to leave a comment here because Angela will be sending one random winner their very own Fiskars limited edition Jenni Bowlin Flight squeeze punch.  Thanks, Fiskateers!

Good luck, and ‘may the odds be ever in your favor.’

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Family Fudge Recipe

I did it!  I finally did it!!!  I was able to successfully make fudge using an old family recipe.  (So old that the copy I have calls for a ‘large wood spoon’ full of cocoa.  Don’t worry, I have actual measurements to share.)  I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been trying and failing for years, but the memory of it was sooooo good I could not give up.  So I’m here to share along with the tips I used to make the perfect fudge. 🙂

Grandpa Bedford’s Fudge

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup milk

Heat over MEDIUM heat stirring until all ingredients are well blended.  ***I use a large pan that is the actual size of my burner.  Not sure if it’s important, but that’s what I did and it turned out.  Also be sure to use medium heat.  You have to be patient because it takes some time for it to come up to a boil.

Once it starts to boil DO NOT STIR.  This is very important and has to do with the breaking down of the sugar or something… not sure, just don’t stir.  It will come to a rolling boil and rise up in the pan.  Then it will start to come down.  By this time your house will smell heavenly.

After 20-22 minutes of boiling, you can do the ‘cold water ball’ test to see if it’s ready for the remaining ingredients.  ***This is the trick to being successful so pay attention!  Add a few drops of the boiling mixture to a small bowl of cold water.  Scoop out the mixture with your fingers and if you can roll it into a ball and squish it between your fingers and then roll it back into a ball without it being sticky/mushy, it’s ready.  Mine has been ready at 26 minutes both times, but I start testing at 22 minutes because if you miss this perfect ‘cold water ball’ test mixture, the whole batch will be ruined.

Once you have passed the cold water ball test, remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.  ***I have the remaining ingredients ready because you need to do this part quickly.

  • 1 tbsp butter (room temp)
  • 1 rounded tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Stir together until blended and immediately pour into buttered 8×8 pan.

The original recipe calls for double the ingredients to make a full size batch.  I just halved everything because with all my failed attempts, I was wasting so much sugar.

Once it cools, enjoy!  This isn’t ‘creamy’ fudge.  It has a ‘sugary’ texture.  The sooner you pass the cold water ball test and finish it up, the more moist the fudge.  But be warned, if you pull it off the heat too soon, you will have to enjoy it with a spoon because it will not harden.  Although speaking from personal experience, it tastes pretty good with a spoon, too.  And I’ve heard lots of folks say they use failed unhardened fudge as an ice cream topping.

So let me know if you try it and if you get fudge, or something else. 😉

Come Get Crafty

With the new blog comes some new features… If you look over to the right side, you will see a calendar with the dates of my next events, so if you are so inclined, you can come get crafty with me.

Later this month on Saturday, March 31st, I am hosting an all day crop at my local scrapbook store (LSS), New England Scrapbook Company in Canton, CT.  Come for some quality crafting time and conversation from 10 AM to 10 PM.  Stay for the whole day, or just part.  I’ll be bringing Fiskars’ limited edition Jenni Bowlin punches to play with and you can bring your latest crafty creation.   I love seeing what everyone is working on.  Be sure to call the store to save your seat.  860.693.9197

Then on April 15th, I’ll be back at New England Scrapbook Company for a 4 store bus tour.  (Besides being a tongue-twister) “What’s a 4 store bus tour?” you ask.  Let me tell you.  For $69 you will receive breakfast, lunch, snacks, demos, freebies, discounts and chauffeured bus service from NESC to 3 other scrapbook stores in CT.  Did I mention the fun?  I will be demoing new Epiphany Crafts and the always entertaining  Ken Oliver will be demoing at Inspiration Station.  I’ve demoed for this tour before and let me tell you, there are always busloads of laughs.  A limited number of seats remain so be sure to call the store today to reserve your spot. 860.693.9197

I’ll be adding dates often so be sure to check the calendar.

Hope to see You later this month.

Well, Hello there, Stranger

I bet you forgot all about this blog.  Well to be honest, so did I.  With Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and text messaging and… Life, I’ve let this blog slide.  I have been creating, for design teams and for myself, but I haven’t been keeping a record of all my stuff together.  It’s time to change that right here.

So what does that mean exactly?  I’ve got lots to share (over a year’s worth of stories and crafting!).  You will see projects from the past and some new ones.  I’ve been working with some of my favorite tools and materials so I’ll be sharing those, too.  Oh, and I’ll be updating that old pic of me on the side to a much better looking one.

To restart, I gave my blog a bit of a facelift.  My new header picture is of the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen, at Nauset Beach, from my recent trip to Cape Cod. (More on that to come, but now I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Whether it’s your first time here or if you’ve been here before, please introduce yourself.  I’d love to know who’s here.

Epiphany Crafts Holiday Blog Hop

Happy Holidays! If you are here via Samantha, then you are in the right place for the Epiphany Crafts Holiday Blog Hop.

Our lovely Design Team has created some wonderful holiday projects, brimming with inspiration and of course, Epiphany Crafts epoxies, buttons, and tools! Visit each Design Team members blog to see what inspiring projects they have to share. Leave a comment on each blog. When you reach the last blog, you’ll receive the final instructions on how to enter to win a fabulous prize pack filled with Epiphany Crafts goodies, straight from Santa!!

My ornament was created from a frozen juice can lid.  I added a sentiment from Cosmo Cricket’s Mitten Weather line, some coarse glitter, and used my Crop-a-Dile to punch 2 holes.  One hole is for the string to hang it and the other is for the Epiphany Crafts epoxies.  I used the round shape studio tool to create 2 epoxies using red foiled paper and then I sandwiched them back-to-back around a jewelry head pin.  I love that I got to use some of my jewelry items on this ornament.

Thanks to my hubby for getting my pictures uploaded… finally.  I hope you thought this ornament was worth the wait.

Now head over to Julie‘s blog; your next stop on this blog tour.

I know my blog has been long neglected but it’s just so much easier to post what I’ve been creating on Facebook.  I have Great plans to post my creative stuff here and if you keep checking back, it just may help kick me into gear.

Thanks for checking out this fun blog hop. Hope you are inspired.

Merry Christmas!!!

It’s an Orange Blog Hop!!!

Welcome!
If you just came half-way ’round the world from Australia and Lyn Dwyer’s blog, Fiskateer #1110, then you are in the right place. If you have stumbled upon this blog hop, then you might like to start at the beginning from the Fiskateers blog and find out what the Fiskateers are all about.

For this blog hop I decided to share an old standby ‘thank you’ note design that uses scraps. It seems that I always need thank you notes and this one is quick, easy, and I don’t feel guilty about using some of my ‘best’ stash on it. (I have to face facts that not everyone considers a homemade card a treasure like I do.)

Orange blog hop

I used the new Fiskars postage stamp border punch on both sides of a strip of paper, but any border punch will work as I’ve tried most of them. Then I lightly inked the design edges to help it ‘pop’. I added a rub on ‘thanks’ sentiment and then added the Epiphany Crafts button studio flower epoxy as the final touch. It’s simple yet says ‘Thank You’ in a way a store bought card can’t.

I hope you are enjoying this Orange Fiskateer blog hop. The next stop on this blog tour takes you to Fiskateer #352 Debbie Buckland who lives in New Zealand. You sure are racking up some frequent flyer miles today.

Have a Crafty day and I hope to see you back here again!

I Would Love to Win a Little Yellow Bicycle

One of my favorite companies, Little Yellow Bicycle, is hosting a contest at Two Peas in a Bucket where the grand prize is an actually little yellow bicycle.

I would just love to win a little yellow bicycle. I’d add a big basket on the front and a thumb bell and bike to the preschool everyday. I was so excited about the possibility of winning an actual little yellow bicycle that I quickly created this entry:
Kelly Count the Waves

I Love this quote… “If You want to know how much I love You, count the waves.” To make it work, I broke up the words on the LYB cardstock stickers and used them in a ‘ransom note’ way. This was one of those times when the end result turned out exactly the way I pictured it.

And here is a detail shot of the Epiphany Crafts custom epoxies that I love so much!
Kelly Count the Waves Close Up

The contest ends Sept. 15th and details are here. I hope you get a chance to enter, too!