The Great Ladybug Challenge/Exhibition!

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I’m flying by the seat of my pants here! When I saw the cute ladybugs on Our Little Red House’s blog,    https://ourlittleredhouseblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/dollar-day-do-overupcycled-coat   I thought they would be nice inspiration for a ladybug challenge/exhibition/creativity exercise. So I’m going to try to set this up sort of like the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination post. When I was nominated for that the first time, I had no idea what it was! So, I started following the links back through the various people’s nomination posts to get a feel for what was expected and along the way I saw some really nice blogs! So I’m going to make this challenge as wide open as I can to appeal to the most people. So, I’ll start with some rules…

  1. Thank the person/s who tagged you and create a link to their blog.
  2. Use “THE GREAT LADYBUG CHALLENGE!!!” logo banner on your post and copy and paste the rules on your post.
  3. Add a picture of your ladybug creation/s and maybe a how-to of how you did it and the supplies used.
  4. Create a link to Our Little Red House’s blog, so people can be inspired by her beautiful ladybugs! And check out her blog, she makes really neat projects!
  5. Tag 1 – 5 people that you think would be interested in making ladybugs and create links to their blogs.
  6. Notify your tagged people that you’ve tagged them through social media or in the comments on their blogs.
  7. This is a wide open ladybug making exercise! You can make them however way you want, it’s not limited to sewing them. Use whatever is your favorite crafting materials to make them. And you can even write poems or stories about ladybugs or paint pictures of them.  Or make cards featuring ladybugs. Or you could even make ladybug cupcakes or cookies! Use whatever creative medium you are comfortable with!
  8. There is no time limit! Ladybug making should be relaxing, not stressful!
  9. Even if you weren’t tagged, feel free to participate in making ladybugs! Tag others and create links to their blogs so people can follow the links to see the ladybugs!

So, I’ll show a few pictures of ladybug creations I have and have made and tell about ones I’m going to make, to help inspire you a little bit.20190130_045244 (2)That ladybug painted rock in the middle of the above picture is one I painted. I prime coated it with FolkArt 901E Wicker White. Then I base coated it with FolkArt 437E Lipstick Red. The head and dots and the pupils of the eyes were made with FolkArt 938E Licorice. The whites of the eyes and the antennas were made with the Wicker White. And the little smiley mouth color was done with a toothpick dipped in a mix of the white and the red.20190130_045333 (2)See the cute ladybug above, with the goggly eyes and chenille stem legs and wire antennas? That is a ladybug magnet that I bought from a little girl who was selling them at one of our local crafts show and sales. I’m showing it because, one it’s really cute and two, it shows you can get really nice results from simple crafting supplies. The body is just a teardrop shaped piece of wood that is probably available from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s or amazon.com. The legs are made from one short black chenille stem cut into four pieces and glued on. The antennas are two pieces of craft wire that have been shaped and glued on the bottom of the wood shape. She painted it to look like a ladybug and varnished it. Then she glued on the eyes. And lastly, she glued the magnet on the bottom so that it covered the ends of the legs and antennas to help keep them from falling off. I think she used some type of Super Glue to hold everything on cause the magnet is still in really good shape, even though it has been ten years since I bought it. And that round piece of wood with the squared off top, I’m going to use my carving knife to round that square bit off some and then paint the whole piece to look like a ladybug, that top bit will be it’s head. I might make it into a magnet. You can never have too many cute magnets!20190130_045913 (2)I’m also going to make a feltie version of a ladybug with some of that red felt. And last but not least. I’m going to undo that thread I have on my cross stitch cloth and use some 14 count graph paper and design a simple ladybug cross stitch picture. Maybe have the ladybug sitting on a leaf, or something like that.

So, there you go! For my tagged bloggers:

  1.    Sophie Marshall               https://smarshc.com
  2.    Starrcreative                     https://starrcreative.ca

 

 

Remember to include the links! They are SUPER important, you can follow back through them and see what other people have created ladybug wise who might participate in this challenge. I set this challenge up this way so that no one person will end up with their media library crammed full of ladybug pictures and then they can’t post pictures anymore on their blogs cause they ran out of storage space. When I get my lady bug projects done, I’ll add them to this post.  So, thank you for reading my ladybug challenge blog post! If you want to participate, jump right in! I can’t wait to see your cute ladybug creations! So, HAPPY LADYBUG CREATING and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!

 

 

More things are ready and almost ready to be embellished!

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Spider Girl has her eyes in place and they just need the color around the pupil. Then she is ready for her dot patterning. Spider Junior has his first coat of shiny black paint on. And the first paper-mache winter sweater is ready to be embellished, maybe with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Or something like that. 20190129_071024 (2)The two green rocks are ready to be zombie-a-fied. The shark rock has his eyes in place, I just have to work out the placement of the nostrils and gills, then I’ll work on his mouth. The M&M rock has the first coat of the chocolate center color in place, I’m thinking I’ll make the blue outer shell a little darker blue in color. The hippo shaped rock has the first coat of the pinky-purpley skin color in place. The air dry clay Teddy Bear that was left from the first batch of ornaments, has his muzzle color now and I used that color also on his tummy area. I had set him aside till now because I wanted to make sure I had enough of the colors I had mixed for the pigs, Squirrel Boy and him. If I had to mix a fresh batch of paint, it might not match what was on there originally from the first batch I had mixed. And then, Squirrel Boy! I need to tidy him up around the eyes, real squirrels have a light colored ring of fur around their eyes, so I’m trying to do that on Squirrel Boy’s eye area. He needs just a little bit more touching up and I’m going to declare him done. His eyeballs need a lot of varnish to make them shine, real eyes are not dull or matte looking.  And he needs those little shiny light dots you see in living creature’s eyes where the light is hitting them. I set him across the room and look at him from a distance and I think he looks squirrel-like. Maybe not exactly like a real squirrel, but squirrel-like, which is what I was trying for with him. And the two light colored clay pigs and the spirit bear rock have the base coat on their back sides now.

So, things are coming along pretty well! When everybody is done, I’ll take them all outside on a nice day and use the spray-on varnish on them. Several coats on the rocks, top and bottom. And after the first coat of spray varnish on Squirrel Boy, I’ll probably use a couple of coats of the paint-on varnish on his eyes. Make them shiny! So, there you go! Things are starting to get back to what passes for normal after the award nominations! I hope you all have a very nice day! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

Dollar day do over…upcycled coat.

This is a SUPER GREAT IDEA!!!! These little critters are SUPER CUTE!!!!

Our Little Red House

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Been some slim pickings lately with my dollar day shopping trips. Either that, or I have some sort of brain block when it comes to being creative in the up-cyling department. They can’t all be gems of course, everyone has their off days now and then. I try to make my dollar day remakes sort of like a game. Mostly dollar day items are clothes but occasional I run across something for the home.

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On this occasion it was an old coat/blazer that I found for a dollar. I thought I could use it for some of my little critters I like to make. With Valentines Day just around the corner, all things pink and red are in season for the month of love.

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Once home and in my favorite little creative space (my craft closet), I got out my pencil and paper and started drawing out some easy and…

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IT HAS HAPPENED AGAIN…THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD #2 !!!!!

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It’s incredible!!!! I was totally blown away by Sophie Marshall, at:  https://smarshc.com nominating my blog the first time. And now…can you believe it?!   Caramel, of  Crushed Caramel (Learner at love)       https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com   has nominated my blog for the Sunshine Blogger Award! A second nomination! (Sound effects: “Heavy groan….then loud crashing noise of a body falling to the floor”). Thank you Caramel for the nomination! It’s incredible!!!!! If you have time, check out Caramel’s blog, she’s a really clever and creative writer!

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award for bloggers who spread “sunshine” to the blogging world.

The rules for this award are fairly easy:

  1. Thank the blogger/s who nominated you.
  2. Use the “Sunshine Blogger Award” logo on your post and list the rules.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the selector asks of you.
  4. Nominate 5 – 11 bloggers who you want to give the award to.
  5. Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blog of their nomination.
  6. Ask your nominees 11 questions of your own that you have selected for them to answer.

The questions Caramel asked are:

  1. What do you do to keep fit and active?
  2. You are woken up by the love of your life who has made your favorite breakfast treat — What would that breakfast treat be?
  3. Are there any newish films or TV shows you enjoyed recently that you would recommend I watch?
  4. What motivates you to keep blogging?
  5. Is there a place where you go where “Everybody Knows Your Name” — A club, group, pub, class, congregation?
  6. What do you find inspiring about nature?
  7. Which song would get you up on the dance floor at a wedding reception or a party?
  8. Has anyone been able to pull off a big surprise for you? Or have you pulled off a big surprise for someone else?
  9. Do you remember who your first crush was on?
  10. If we were going out for drinks and I was going to buy the first round — What would I buy for you?
  11. Do you find it easy to be hopeful about the future or do you tend to worry?

My answers to Caramel’s questions are:

  1. I do Chi-Gung and short form Tai Chi everyday, I feel completely out of sorts if I don’t. I lift small weights (not more than 8 – 10 lbs or it aggravates my joints) and work out with stretch bands, every other day. For aerobic exercise, everyday, I dance to the music on the radio for 45 minutes or I power walk around my neighborhood for 45 minutes.
  2. Well, my husband can’t cook, so he would give me a can of beans and tell me to fix it myself or he would set the beans, can and all, on fire in the microwave. I mean seriously, he really can’t cook. He burns popcorn on a pretty regular basis. Or, he would give me a bag of frozen unsweetened red raspberries and I’d have those.
  3. My husband got me the third season of “The Last Kingdom”, on DVD, for Christmas and I’ve been watching that. It is about Alfred the Great and the people who helped keep him in power. It is historical, based on a real person and even though it is pretty violent at times,( there are Vikings involved), the story is really good and it has really good characters. I had seasons one and two already, so it was nice to see what was going to happen in the third season. I like historical movies and shows, so I really like this series. I hope they renew it for a fourth season so I can see what happens to Alfred’s son who is supposed to be king after him.
  4. I keep blogging because I like sharing about things I’m making and what my garden and some of the critters that live in it are doing. I do the tutorials so that young or new crafters, who might like some of the things I make, might be able to try making something similar for themselves.
  5. Would the dentist’s office count? They know me there. My husband’s mother, babysat my dentist when he was a little boy. So he, my dentist, is a friend of the family. I’m an introvert, so I don’t really do clubs or groups or pubs or classes. Being on here is about as social as I get. Seriously.
  6. How resilient nature is, is very inspiring and amazing. We had a major Category 2 hurricane blow through North Carolina, last September, and it really tore the area up pretty bad. For several days after the storm passed, it was dead quiet outside. No birds sang, no crickets chirped, no frogs sang at night, it was very creepy. Finally, after a few days, the crickets started singing again, birds started showing up, and the squirrels started running around in the yard during the day. And at night, the frogs started singing again and the bats were chasing bugs in the yard like nothing had happened. I guess it just took them that long to get themselves back to what is normal for them.
  7. Most Disco music songs. They all are pretty easy to dance to and I’m familiar with a good amount of them.
  8. That would be you and Sophie! I don’t think I’ve ever been more surprised than when I saw that, first, Sophie nominated me for this award, and then you did too! It’s really incredible!
  9. That would be Allan G.(that’s all I’ll say of his name). He was a senior in high school and I was a sophomore. He was very nice and I’ll always remember him.
  10. Well, if you could manage to get me out, I don’t drink anything alcoholic in nature. And no sodas. So, what I really like is a nice cup of hot tea. Oolong tea is very nice, no sugar or honey. I like my tea straight or with some carob powder in it.
  11. The future is kind of worrying. I see stuff in the news and it kind of can make my hair just about stand on end. I try to be as prepared as I can and hope for the best. And praying always helps!

My Sunshine Blogger Award nominees are:

  1. Ponnz  The Swan Song    https://myposttruth.wordpress.com
  2. Andrea Aguirre  Artful-living   https://artful-living.blog
  3. Crafty Rat    https://craftyrat.uk
  4. Crafty Lemur  blog   https://craftylemur.com
  5. Camie  Camie’s Cozy Corner    https://camiescozycorner.wordpress.com
  6. Kelleysdiy   https://kelleysdiy.com
  7. Inkybliss creations     https://inkybliss.wordpress.com
  8. restore raven    https://handmaderestoreraven.wordpress.com
  9. Double Pie    https://doublepie.blog
  10. Christina’s Creative Corner  Christina Miller   https://christinascreativecorner.com
  11. Robin at Haphazard Homemaker    https://haphazardhomemaker.com

Congratulations to the nominees! You all have super interesting, super clever, super crafty and super creative blogs. And you all deserve an award! I always look forward to your new blog posts!

My questions for my nominees are:

  1. When did you start on your creative journey and were you inspired by anyone?
  2. If you had time to learn a new language, what language would you choose to learn?
  3. What is your favorite product or item that you use in your creative process?
  4. If time travel was safe and possible, what point in history might you like to visit and why then?
  5. What new creative skill would you like to learn to add to what you already know?
  6. If you could visit any city or place in the world to help inspire you to new creative heights, what city or place might that be and why?
  7. Do you have a favorite animal that you like or that inspires you?
  8. If you eat salad, what are your favorite things you like in your salad? And favorite dressing for your salad?
  9. What new-do-it-yourself thing/skill would you like to learn?
  10. If you could teach a child only one thing that would help them make their way in life, what would that one thing be?
  11. When you aren’t with the people you know and care about, or even people you have just met, what nice thing do they hopefully say about you or that you want them to say about you?

So, there you go! Thank you for reading my second Sunshine Blogger Award nomination post! Thank you again Caramel for the nomination! Who would have thought? One, let alone two! It boggles the mind! And seriously, all my nominees deserve an award, they are all incredibly creative, clever people. Be sure and check out their blogs! So, I hope you all have a very nice day! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

Most of the Air-Dry Clay Pigs, Kickfighting Bears and the Spirit Bear Rock are ready to embellish!

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I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been the most wet winter so far that we’ve ever had! These guys took about a week and a half to finally be totally dry. So, in the picture, you are seeing the backs of the darker brown ones and the fronts of the light tan ones. One of the dark brown pig ones will be another Oxford Sandy & Black pig for me…proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-baby pig#5Similar to this little guy who is ready to chow down on those tasty looking strawberries!proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-tamworth pig#9One will look like this little guy who is snacking on some tasty blades of grass. This little guy or girl is a Tamworth, they are sort of a solid colored light-cinnamon brownish pig.proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-gloucester old spot piglets#1One of the light colored pig ones will look like one of these sleepy little guys. These are Gloucestershire Old Spot piglets. And those are the for sure ones so far. Somebody has pulled a lot of the really cute different breed piglet pictures off of Duckduckgo.com images. So, some of the other pig pictures I’ll show when I get the other ones further along, will be of the adult versions of some other pig breeds I’m looking at for models for the rest of the pig ornaments.iu93dbt1o2iucgz0pbl6iuprke62d7iusb3xis85

These last four pictures are of Spirit Bears, which I’m using as inspiration for the spirit bear, which I’m painting for my dad. He, and through him, I,  have a little bit of Native American ancestry. We don’t know for sure what kind we are a little bit related to, my dad was adopted and Grandmother hid the adoption records, and then she died, so that is that. So, any way, my dad really likes Native American imagery, so when I saw the bearish shaped rock in my bag of rocks, the ideas started percolating big time. I’ve been saving spirit bear images to my pictures for ideas for how to decorate the rock. When I settle on a design and get it done I’ll post a picture of what I came up with.

And the Kick-Fighting Bear shapes are ready to embellish. The paint is still usable that I mixed up, so all systems are go for doing them!

So, that is what’s going on so far with all of these air-dry clay ornaments and the bearish shaped rock! I hope you all have a very nice day! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

My Rosemary is apparently… very…confused!

20190122_120152 (2)I don’t know if you can see it real well, but that blue thing a little below the middle of the picture is…a flower! IN JANUARY!!!!! 20190122_120213 (2)And here are more buds!!!! Can you believe it?! This plant is trying to make flowers…IN JANUARY!!! 20190122_120239 (2)I’ve been keeping track of what the weather is going to do temperature wise, and when the forecast is for the low thirties or below, I’ve been covering this plant up at night to give it some protection. Last night it got down to about 18 degrees and I had covered this guy up at 5:30 pm when it was about 31 degrees. So, when I uncovered it this morning, when it got back up above freezing, I saw the blue flower and thought I better take some pictures! All I can figure is that because the plant is right outside our front door, the heat from the building and reflected off the front door are creating a kind of micro-climate that Rosemary Boy or Girl, really likes. But still, all my herbal books say Rosemary is supposed to bloom in the summer and it is way not summer now! Maybe my plant is a rebel and wants to be contrary!20190122_120258 (2)The violas are blooming away like crazy!20190122_120311 (2)The flowering kale are kind of not doing a whole lot. I thought they would do…well a little better than just kind of existing. But at least they haven’t died yet.20190122_120319 (2)The lemon grass is…well…there. I don’t know if it is alive or not. I’ll know for sure in the spring if it starts actively growing again.20190122_120344 (2)

The bluebirds are actually in their house there on the tree. I had gone out the other day to see about cleaning the house out and a little blue head popped out of the opening and looked at me and then another one was trying to shove the first one out of the way to look out too. So, so much for cleaning the house. And a little head popped out today and was watching me take pictures, so they are keeping an eye on me.

The super moon was…not so super from our vantage point, on Sunday night. It started out huge as it rose up, but then as it got overhead and started going  into the eclipse it kind of shrank up size-wise. It turned red and that was impressive, but it didn’t get big looking again until after it was clear of the Earth’s shadow. I think we weren’t in the prime spot for optimum viewing, but at least we got to see the moon change color and that was neat. Not something you see every day!

So there you go! My plants are still hanging in there…well most of them. And the Rosemary is being…kind of strange! Plants! What can I say? They do what they want…apparently when they feel like it! And the bluebirds are still here! I think they want to make sure no other birds take over their house! And the Moon did…interesting things! So, I hope you have a very nice day! HAPPY WINTER GARDENING and HAPPY MOON WATCHING and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

Works in Progress! Coming along nicely!

20190119_052046 (2)The last three pear snowmen have been gessoed and are ready to be base coated. Spider Junior has his first coat of gesso on and Spider Girl just needs one more coat of the shiny black paint and then she’ll be ready for her dots. One of the paper-mache winter sweaters has been primed and base coated and another one has just been gessoed.

20190119_052648 (2)Three of the air dry clay pigs have been sanded and prime coated. Spring is coming, with hopefully, dryer weather, so some painted rocks are in the works. The two green ones will be rock zombies. The flat pink ones will be girly bugs, similar to lady bugs but pink with black spots. The more up-right pink rock will be a small pig. The sort of standing up grey and white rock will be a shark. The blue roundish rock is going to be another attempt at an M & M. This time I’ll varnish it with the spray on varnish. When I tried doing this same rock before as a red M & M, the paint-on varnish pooled in all the crevasses of the broken edge that was supposed to look like the chocolate center and it ended up looking like the M had molded, bleak! So, I scraped all the paint and varnish off and started over again. And the two rocks in the front, the bigger one will probably be a hippo and the smaller one will be a spirit bear.

20190119_052203 (2)I have also started doing a feltie  version of the winter sweater ornaments. The camera didn’t pick up that that white felt has iridescent glitter all over it. I have the hoop down side up because it makes it easier for sewing on the snowflake sequins. All the stitching is on the back and having it pointed up higher just makes it easier for tacking down the rocaille bead centers and doing running stitches from sequin to sequin.

20190119_052600 (2)And last but not least, are these two pom pom ragamuffins. The larger one is not going to be a zombie, but will actually be an owl, the two different size round pieces of cardboard are for auditioning sizes of eye shapes. His beak is a piece of foam-core board and he will have foam-core board feet. He is sitting on a small wooden truck wheel and he has a dowel holding him together. I’m going to use a long yarn darning needle to thread some more yarn onto,  into, through, him to tighten his shape up some and add some more color to him to make him more mottled looking color wise like a real owl. The smaller guy, in need of a hair cut, is going to be a bunny and he has a bamboo skewer holding him together. I’m working out the proportions for his tail and feet and arms, which will all be made from smaller pom poms. He’ll have felt ears and I’m still deciding what to use for his eyes.

So, there you go! Progress is being made. The pear snowmen are closer to being finished. The spiders are coming along nicely.  The paper-mache winter sweater ornaments and one feltie version winter sweater ornament, so far, are in the works. The air dry pig ornaments are coming along nicely, finally. Rocks are being painted and prepared for hiding. And two pom pom critters are in the process of being made. I’m going to do a tutorial for the paper- mache winter sweater ornaments when I get the first one finished, so I can show the stages for doing them easier. And probably a tutorial for the feltie version of the winter sweaters too, they are a good small project to practice hand-sewing and beading skills. I’ll also tell how I did the pom pom critters, my version of them. And probably a refresher how-to for painting and varnishing the rocks and getting them ready for hiding. Projects in the works! I hope you all have a very nice day!  Be sure and try to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon Total Lunar eclipse. Starting Sunday the 20th…

  • Sunday night  The moon enters the lighter part of the Earth’s shadow, the penumbral, at 9:36 pm.
  • 10:33 pm Partial Eclipse begins
  • 11:41 pm Total Eclipse begins
  • 12:12 am Monday morning, the 21st, Maximum Eclipse is reached.
  • 12:43 am Total Eclipse ends
  • 1:50 am Partial Eclipse ends
  • 2:15 am The Moon moves clear of the Earth’s shadow.
  • Totality will last 63 minutes
  • This  Total Lunar Eclipse will be viewable in North & South America.
  • May 16, 2022 will be the next date this event will happen again.
  • This type of eclipse is safe to watch because you are seeing the Earth’s shadow moving across the surface of the Moon.

So, hopefully, the weather will cooperate and there will be good viewing conditions. I’m going to bundle up and go out and watch the Moon turn red! So, GOOD MOON WATCHING TO YOU!!!! And, HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!

Well, The NinjaBread Men…

20190108_025128 (3)Personally, I like the ones I made from the air dry clay a whole lot better…but my husband says he likes these guys and can’t wait to taste them, especially since I told him all those little colorful balls are candy covered chocolate. I had to decorate these guys with a toothpick dipped in the watery glaze. I call it that because when I loaded it into the piping bag it just ran out the tip like water. Very hard to make nice lines with it so watery, so it was just simpler to use a toothpick. And there were some too brown edges… 20190108_025128 (4)20190108_025059 (4)

I used rainbow candy sprinkles for the eyebrows and for the mouths. 20190108_025128 (5) 20181223_172424 (4)

Here’s one of the clay ones I made to show the difference. The squeeze tubes of the dimensional paint gave much more control for doing relatively nice lines and facial features, buttons, neckties, etc.20190108_025057 (2)

But, to put a good face on this, I got some cool cookie cutters, some colorful sprinkles I can use for Easter sugar cookies,  several Wilton cookie decorating tips, some couplers and bags to use them with, and a container of four different colors of sugar which can be used for the sugar cookies. So, some useful cookie making things came out of this ninja bread making adventure. At least they are now done! Not all projects turn out well, but at least in this case the results are edible, well…after the too brown edges are broken off. My oven can be super annoying, what’s in the front where I can see in can look fine but the back row where I can’t see can be just frazzling away. At least they aren’t totally burned. And, like I said at the beginning of the post, I like the kick fighters I made from the air dry clay a whole lot better! If I were reviewing this cookie making kit, below, I’d say get it for the cookie cutters, but make your own gingerbread recipe for the cookies and use frosting to decorate them instead of the glaze that comes with the kit. And, at least the box is useful for the pictures of the fighters for making patterns for them. I think my ones would look a whole lot better with colorful frosting on them and the cookie decorating tips would give much nicer lines for the facial features, buttons, clothing features, etc.20181117_014432 (3)

So, they are what they are and I’m glad they are done and pretty much edible. Things finally worked out where I had a big block of time to make them, and can you believe it took six hours from when I started them to when I declared them done. Decorating with a toothpick and placing little pieces of candy one at a time can take a lot of time! The round cookie in the top picture was the last of the dough, not enough to make another fighter, so I made a round shape with it. And they all actually do look better in real life than they do in the pictures. The camera made them look darker than they actually are. Cookie baking… sometimes things turn out great and sometimes at least they’re edible!!!  HAVE A GREAT DAY! HAPPY CRAFTING!

And the verdict is in on these cookies! My husband says that even though he’s not normally a big fan of gingerbread,  he actually really likes these cookies. He says the icing has no flavor, I’m not surprised at that. And he says they would be even better, he thinks, with chocolate chips mixed in the dough and butter cream frosting piped on top of them. He is a major fan of chocolate…pretty much anything chocolate and he loves butter cream frosting. So, even though I couldn’t get them to look like the guys on the box, taste wise they turned out pretty good! So, there you go!

A Bit of a Product Review #4

20190107_023621 (2)20190107_023638 (2)It really annoys me to have to do this review for this product, but something needed to be said. My husband received these socks, U A Charged Cotton 2.0 Crew Socks, for Christmas from his sister who purchased them from Academy Sports. And she is not to blame in any way for what these socks are doing. They are sold by Under Armour and are 76% Cotton, 22% Polyester, and 2% Spandex. And as you may be able to see from my pictures, they are starting to disintegrate and they have only been washed and worn two times. Plus they shrank up almost to the size that a young boy would have been comfortable wearing them. I followed the washing instructions exactly, wash cold water, rinse cold water. Air fluff as in no heat and then hang up to air dry. Hand fulls of the black fluff are ending up in the lint catcher of the washer and the dryer. I’ve tried stretching them to make them wearable for my husband, I deformed coat hangers to hang them on so that they won’t shrink back up while drying. The black fluff is ending up all over our rugs all through our apartment. I don’t think these socks are going to last a whole lot longer with the way they are shedding. I tried to convince my husband to let me use the socks to make sock creatures, but he said he wanted to try to get at least a little wear out of them. Now I’m sort of glad I didn’t use them for sock creatures, even made that way they would probably have kept shedding and eventually be just a pile of fluff. On a scale from zero to ten with zero being the absolute worst and ten being the very best, I would only give these socks barely a one. They are not worth the money my sister-in-law paid for them. We are really disappointed. I thought Under Armour was a good brand, I guess some corners were really cut in the production of these socks. If they were never washed or worn maybe they would last longer. We are not happy!

20190107_023505 (2)On a much lighter note! My husband gave me a NordicWare Microware Popcorn Popper for Christmas and it is really great! It is BPA and Melamine free. It has a twelve cup capacity and pops up the corn kernels in about 5 1/2 minutes on high in the microwave oven without having to use any oil. The batch of popcorn you see in the popper started out as a third of a cup of kernels  and popped up to completely fill the bowl and then some. The package recommends hand washing the bowl and the lid which is no problem, they are both light weight and easy to handle.  I really like this popper! On a scale from zero to ten, with zero being the absolute worst to ten being the very best, I give this popper a TEN!!!!  It is so nice!

20190107_022940 (2)Being a vegan, I eat a lot of beans, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds. The beans and some of the veggies can cause gas, plain and simple, especially the beans. So to tame the gas I drink a mix of several herbal teas which take care of the problem. On the far left of the above picture, is Heather’s Tummy Tea, which is made from Fennel seeds which are very good for gas and upset stomach in general. I tear open the bag and use about half of the amount in my tea mix and then I chew up the seeds and eat them, they are actually very tasty and taste like licorice and this tea is organic. In that tin you get 45 extra large tea bags, it is Non GMO, and is a real good amount for the money and I ordered this tea from amazon. com. Next in line is Numi Moroccan Mint Tea. Its only ingredient is spearmint leaves and boy is it good! Spearmint is another gas buster as are almost all the mints, and is very gentle on the stomach. It also is organic and you get 18 tea bags per box and it is Non GMO. I get this tea at my local health food store. If I can’t get the Moroccan Mint Tea, I use Bigelow Mint Medley tea, which is a mix of peppermint and spearmint leaves. It is Non GMO and you get 20 tea bags per box. And I get this tea at my local Walmart. Now to Celestial Seasons Chamomile tea. It is very calming and very good for soothing a troubled stomach and busting gas. It tastes kind of like apples, very nice. It is Non GMO and you get 20 tea bags per box, it used to be 24, but what can you do? I get this tea at Walmart and it is probably available on amazon.com for a very good price. And now on the far right is Celebration Herbals, Absolutely Organic, Catnip Leaf & Blossom tea. Catnip is not just for cats! It is a very calming tea, a member of the mint family, very soothing to the stomach and very good for busting gas. And supposedly, catnip is very good for preventing cataracts in the eyes, though I don’t know how much you’d have to drink to achieve that effect. In the box you get 24 tea bags and is Non GMO and I get this tea from amazon.com. Now a word of warning, don’t drink Chamomile and Catnip teas together in the same 24 hour period, use one or the other or you’ll end up a bobble head person, you won’t be able to stay awake!  All these teas are caffeine free and I usually have them with a type of real tea such as white tea, green tea or black tea. But that is just my preference, I like my teas together in the same mug, they all flavor each other very nicely. And it does drive my dental hygienist kind of nuts, but you know, out of my cold dead hands, I’m not giving up my tea! I just brush my teeth well and use a whitening tooth paste every day and it keeps the tea stains down to a minimum. Now for a rating, all these teas individually work very well for taming gas and stomach troubles in general. But combined they work even better, just not the chamomile and the catnip on the same day, use one or the other. And all these teas are very gentle and safe to use. On a scale with zero being the absolute worst and ten being the very best, I give all these teas a 10! They work that well!

So, there you go! I hope my product review is helpful and maybe inspire someone to maybe at the least give one of the teas a try. I use them everyday and they really help me! And I’ll do a regular tea review on another post, I am a major hot tea drinker and some are better tasting than others. Thank you for reading my bit of a product review #4 and I hope you have a very good day!

Since I did this review, I have found out that Bigelow Tea has changed its recipe for the Mint Medley Tea. Originally, all that it had in there was peppermint and spearmint. Now it has : peppermint leaves, spearmint leaves, rose hips, lemon peel, and hibiscus. I avoid products with hibiscus in any amount in them because it has estrogen-like properties. I had to have bad cells removed from my right breast several years ago and my breast surgeon  has advised me to avoid herbs and foods that have high amounts of plant-type estrogen  in them and hibiscus does. I also had to give up red clover leaf tea, a favorite, and all soy foods and alfalfa sprouts and black beans. He said it is better to be safe than sorry, to try to keep anymore cells from going bad. He said it is okay for me to use fennel seed tea, just don’t take ground fennel seed powder pills, too concentrated. So, I have started using Celestial Seasons Peppermint Tea when I can’t get the Numi Moroccan Mint Tea. I get the Peppermint tea at Walmart for a very good price and it is also available from amazon.com

So, always read labels on products you buy, companies will sometimes change recipes and ingredients and don’t always say anything about it or give any warnings to the possible buyers of those products of changes in said products. It can be very annoying when you go to get a product that you have used for years and find out the company that made it has made changes to that product and now you can’t use it for health reasons. So, there you go, again! And I hope you all have a very good day!

A Thank You!

20190106_203257 (3)Here is a quick-ish thank you to my followers and the people who read my blog! I never thought I would be nominated for any kind of an award. I just blog about things I’m making and what my garden is doing and bits of reviews about products I’ve used. I’m not the most prolific blogger, some of my projects take a while to do and I try to take pictures along the way of the making of them to help with how-to-do tutorials and also to help me in the working out process of the various things I’m working on. I try to make my posts look nice and try to make sure I spell words correctly, though I still haven’t completely pinned down how to spell paper mache’ in a manner in which my browser won’t mark in red. My dictionary says papier-mache and the browser doesn’t like that either. Computers! To my followers, thank you for following me! I think your blogs are really neat and interesting! And to the ones who followed me and I haven’t followed back, it isn’t because I don’t want to follow you, it’s because I haven’t figured out where the follow button is on your blogs. I keep looking at your blogs and trying to figure out where that follow button is, it is annoying me greatly that I can’t figure it out! And to the people who drop by to look at my blog, thank you for dropping by! I try to make my posts interesting and colorful, I hope you enjoy them!

So, from Lil’ Mo, B.B. Jo, my other bears and I, THANK YOU!!! You all are REALLY GREAT!!! I enjoy looking at all your blogs greatly and always look forward to your new blog posts! I’m learning new things everyday from all of you, it’s REALLY GREAT!!!! So, I hope the new year brings all kinds of good things in your direction! Stay safe and warm! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!