Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pottery Lace Print Candy Dish

This could really be any kind of dish, I just thought these truffles looked so nice on it. I have actually used this mold to make butter dishes before.

This time I thought I would try out 2 things:

  • Making a print with a lace doily I bought from Michael's
  • Only using clear glaze on a section of the piece
I thought it turned out pretty neat and will experiment with both items more in the future. 

Again, like most of my pieces this was created with slab clay and handbuilding,

15 .5Pt AR Books About Pottery and Clay

I'm Good at Making Art by Eileen Day

Clay by Mary Firestone

Blue Stone Plot by Susan Blackaby
Polka Dot Penguin Pottery by Lenore Look

Clay by Rita Storey

When Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor

Clay by Terry Jennings
The Clay Ladies by Michale Bedard

Clay by Vicki Wilt
Dream Something Big: The Story of Watts Towers by Dianna Aston

The Pueblo: Southwestern Potters by Mary Englar

Clay by Annabelle Dixon
Voices of Clay by T. Borregaard

The Nature and Science of Mud by Jane Burton

Clay by Cheryl Jakab

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Aitkin Depot Museum

My family and I had a good time exploring the Aitkin Depot Museum. There is quite a bit to look at and it is very inexpensive to go there, so I think we will make another trip there when we are looking for something to do when we are at the cabin.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Recycled T-Shirt Belt

Making a belt out of old t-shirts is easy and thrifty. Just pick up some D rings from a craft store or even Wal-Mart, or maybe you have an old belt of a style you don't care for anymore that you can re-use the rings for this project.

I chose a T-shirt that I didn't wear anymore because it was too stretched out nut I still loved the colors in it. I wanted a skinny belt to just add some detail to my waist with another top, but you can easily make a much thicker belt by cutting/ripping thicker pieces from the T-shirt.

Measure your waist and take that number and times it by 2.5. That is the length that you need to allow to rip from the t-shirt so that you can accomodate the braiding, My shirt was a loose fit and baggy one, so you might need to get a shirt from someone a size or two bigger from you to make this.

Rip the fabric (or cut, depending upon the fabric) your desired width and a length that is 2.5x your waist.

Fold over the fabric over the flat edge of one of the D rings with about a 2" tail. Sew this down just below the edge of the D ring. Then place the other D ring on the opposite side of the tail and fold the tail through the 2nd D ring. Stitch this in place. Trim away any extra fabric.

Now you can braid your belt. When you get near the end, try on your belt to see how much further you need to braid. When you have your desired length, tie off the end (or you could stitch it over if you wanted) and trim the ends.

Monday, April 27, 2015

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

These are so quick and easy and chances are you may have all the ingredients in your pantry already because it is only 5 simple ingredients.I only have natural peanut butter in the house, so even though it is creamy it does have a little texture to it because it is JUST PEANUTS compared to the other peanut butters that have oils and sugars added to them. Read your label, you might be surprised at what is in your peanut butter. Even ones that say "Natural" might have other ingredients other than peanuts. Peanut butter only needs to be peanuts.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 C butter, melted
2 C graham cracker crumbs
2 C powdered sugar
1 C creamy peanut butter

3 T creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Melt your butter and turn you graham crackers in to crumbs
  • Mix together butter, graham crackers, sugar and peanut butter
  • Press in to the bottom of a 13x9 pan
  • Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave - if using the microwave put it in for 30 seconds and remove and stir and keep adding another 30 seconds and stirring until it is melted and smooth, mine was in there for a total of 1 1/2 minutes
  • Spread chocolate over the crust
  • Place in the refrigerator to cool and set for at least an hour
  • Enjoy!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hand Made Pottery Rain Wind Chime

This is the final wind chime I made, until I come up with a new idea that is. I made this one for myself to hang outside our home, I enjoy the sound of wind chimes and wanted to have one that reflected nature and made one that looked like raindrops falling from a branch. The branch is taken from one of the birch trees at our cabin. This will hang on our front porch.

Now I need to start working on an idea for one to hang on our back deck which we hope to update this spring/summer.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

15 - 3rd grade Accelerated Readers Books about the Garden

Mrs. Spitzer's Garden by Edith Pattou

Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin

Little Sweet Potato by Amy Bloom
The Boy in the Garden by Allen Say
Tiny Green Thumbs by C Z Guest

Grow Your Own Butterfly Farm by John Malam
Plant a Little Seed by Bonnie Christensen

Eddie's Garden and How to Make Things Grow by Sarah Garland
What on Earth is a Green Garden? by Oona Gardner-Juntti

How Groundhog's Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry
Pomelo Begins to Grow by Ramona Badescu
The Vegetable Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

Digging up Trouble by Kim Wayans

Examining Backyard Habitats by Zelda King
Mossy by Jan Brett

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: No Achen Cross Country Ski Trail

It is EARTH DAY today!!1 So get outdoors and enjoy it. Here are some pictures from a recent hike the kids and I did on the No Achen Cross Country Ski Trail in Aitkin, MN. It is both an XXC and hiking trail.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Easy Mini Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Easy Mini Cheesecake Swirl Brownies  - makes 4 dozen 

1 Family-Size Brownie mix (makes 13x9 pan size)
Look at your brownie mix box for ingredients, but mine were:
2 eggs
1/4 C water
2/3 C oil

Cheesecake Swirl
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg

(optional) mini-chocolate chips


  • Make brownie mix according to instructions in one bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat together cheesecake ingredients.
  • Place mini muffin cups in mini muffin tins.
  • Scoop about 1 T of brownie mix in each muffin cup.
  • Scoop about 1 tsp. of cheesecake mix on top of the brownie mix.
  • Cut in cheesecake mix to the brownie mix with a butter knife.
  • Top with mini chocolate chips, if desired.
  • Enjoy!
  • \

Sunday, April 19, 2015

#ad GIVEAWAY & Review: Divine LED ultra Bright LED Headlamp

My Thoughts:

I had the chance to review the Divine LED Ultra Bright LED Headlamp:

So, what sets this headlamp apart from others that are cheaper is the quality of the materials used. The elastic in the band is thicker and seems to have a high degree of durability, plus it also has adjustment points so that you can make sure that you have it fit perfectly on your head and it will not move. The type of elastic used seems so durable that I doubt it will stretch out like we have had happen on cheaper headlamps.

The plastic on this headlamp also seems highly durable. With cheaper headlamps I have found that with use and changing batteries the plastic is more apt to crack and this type of plastic does not feel like it would do that. 

The other point on this headlamp that you can tell it is a higher quality headlamp is in the switch. I can't explain it but there is just a way that some cheaper headlamps allow you to feel the push of the spring more as it pushes on the button, which is not the  case with this headlamp.

Product Description from Divine LED:

The XE Series Headlamp offers a lightweight headlamp with adjustable elastic strap for a snug and customized fit every time. A dimmer and multiple modes allow you to adjust the light strength to suit your task-at-hand. And speaking of hands, both are free for use when you rely on XE Series Headlamp . This automatically results in 50% greater efficiency when compared to performing the same task using a standard flashlight. Made from military-grade materials, this headlamp is guaranteed to work as hard as you do! And at $27.97, you can afford to have one in your car, in the basement, on the boat, in the RV… everywhere you currently have a bulky handheld flashlight. The XE Series Headlamp is great for camping, hiking, biking, running, boating, home improvement, reading… and much, much more. This headlamp will make a great gift for Dad, Grad, and even that person who is impossible to shop for.

enter rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was sent the above product for the purpose of reviewing it on this blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to me. No monetary compensation was received.

#ad Review: Yorkshire Mayfair Flannel Sheets

My Thoughts:

These flannel sheets from Yorkshire Mayfair are wonderful to have at the cabin. They really help keep in the warmth and are great to snuggle in. They have extra deep pockets, which is necessary if you have a tall mattress like we do or you have a pillow top. Our mattress is not as tall as some other mattresses out there and there was still some of the side pockets that wrapped around and secured with elastic under the mattress. If you mattress is very thick this is definitely a sheet set you want to get.

They sent me a random color to review (this color is called Burgundy) but it happened to be the same color they sent me in the Microfiber Sheet Set they also make and it works perfectly at our cabin.

We have washed and dried these a couple times already and have not had any shrinkage and the elastic is staying taut.

The set is both a flat and fitted sheet and 2 pillow cases, as you expect. You can buy them on Amazon and right now they have them listed as $39.99 for the set at the time of this post, I think that is a decent price to pay for these, but Amazon has them as a list price of 5x that amount, which I think is crazy.

Product Description from Yorkshire Mayfair:

  • 100% Cotton
  • Extra Deep Pockets
  • Machine washable and dryable
  • 190 gram flannel weight
  • Breathable and Comfy

I was sent the above product for the purpose of reviewing it on this blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to me. No monetary compensation was received.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hand Made Pottery Moon & Stars Wind Chime

When I made and strung together this Moon and Stars Pottery Wind Chime that I made for my mother for Christmas, it really made me think about how different the clay sounds. I had not thought much about it before this one was put together and I found out how different the moon sounded from the stars.

The clay was slab rolled and the moon and stars are all the same thickness. I had hand stamped texture in to the moon to give it a crater look.

As for the sounds, the stars make a higher clinky sound but the moon make a lower clunking sound. I now need to think of a new idea so I can try to recreate these same sounds. I was very intrigued by the different sounds and want to experiment with that more.

Next week I will share the final wind chime I made. This last one I made for myself.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DIY Green Tea & Sweet Orange Sugar Scrub

DIY Green Tea and Sweet Orange Sugar Scrub
3 T Green Tea (allow to cool before mixing)
1 C Raw Sugar
10 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Directions: Mix together all ingredients in a container. Use to scrub on to skin while taking a bath or shower to exfoliate and moisturize. If scrub starts to dry out, just add some water to re-hydrate before using.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Break at Minnesota Children's Museum & Candyland

My son's is in a different town than his sister's school, so he had a week long spring break (she only got 2 days off surrounding Easter :(  ). We did a few fun things together by ourselves and with friends. One of the days we took a day trip to the Minnesota Children's Museum and Candyland (plus a stop at a park in Lakeville on our way home.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

10 Accelerated Books Level .2-.3 We Have Read

Hello, Doctor by David Marx

Cats by Larry Brimner
Come Here, Tiger! by Alex Moran
Ice is...Whee! by Carol Green

In The Yard by Dana Rau
Kk by Kelly Doudna
Show and Tell by Mercer Mayer
Snow Joe by Carol Greene
Todd's Box by Paula Sullivan
Where is Max? by Mary Pearson

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bean Thread Vermicelli with Edamame Stir Fry

This is a tasty, low calorie and gluten-free entree that will fill you up without being heavy. This will make 6 servings. FYI - all of that vermicelli is only about 120 calories!

Bean Thread Vermicelli with Edamame Stir Fry

5 oz Bean Thread Vermicelli
1 pkg Quick and Easy Asparagus Stir Fry
1 T sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C edamame, steamed
1 T soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 eggs, scrambled (cooked)


  • Bring a 3 quart pot of water to boil. Add bean thread vermicelli and remove from heat.Allow to sit in the hot water while you cook the other ingredients. When the noodles become clear they are cooked and you can strain them.
  • In a wok, heat sesame oil over med-high heat.
  • Add stir fry mix and garlic and cook until vegetables are cooked.
  • In a small dish, combine soy sauce, vinegar oil and red pepper flakes and put aside
  • Add cooked vermicelli and edamame to the wok. 
  • Drizzle sauce mixture over the top and toss together.
  • Just before serving, toss in scrambled eggs.
  • Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

#ad Review: Yorkshire Mayfair Microfiber Sheets

My Thoughts:

I had never used microfiber sheets before and wanted to try them since I love my microfiber towels. I was excited to be able to review the Yorkshire Mayfair Microfiber Sheets. We were not disappointed. They are very soft and silky feeling, much like you would get from a very high thread count of cotton but not with the high price tag of a high thread count cotton. My husband says that this is his preferred way to sleep. We put them on the bed at our cabin since the color sent to us best matches there. I love that I can sleep in flannel pajamas with these sheets and I don't "stick". I am going to have to buy a king size set or two for our home now.

The package says that this set has deep pockets and they really do. This set would be really great if someone has a pillow top mattress set because there is plenty of extra fabric on the sides to fully cover the sides. If you don't have a pillow top or it's not a high pillow top (like ours) then you just need to make sure your fitted sheets is fully tucked around the sides. The elastic is strong enough that it helps pull it in to keep in place.

I love that they are wrinkle resistant because I just don't have time to deal with wrinkles. I do love the color they sent me because it works awesome for a log cabin. I will be soon sharing a review of flannel sheets from the same company and they happened to send me the same color.

Product Description from Yorkshire Mayfair:

Made of the highest quality heavy-weight, high-gram luxury microfiber
•4 piece sheet set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet and two pillowcases
•More durable than cotton,Hypoallergenic and wrinkle resistant!
•Extra Deep Pocket Fit

I was sent the above product for the purpose of reviewing it on this blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs belong to me. No monetary compensation was received.