The Brain Hemorhage Cupcake & the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer

I took last week off from blogging b/c life has been absolutely crazy, with craft shows, our Halloween party and work!  But I’m back and ready to share some great Halloween stuff!  Below are the Brain Hemorrhage cupcakes I made for our Halloween party.  They were super easy, a white cake mix, a can of buttercream frosting, a little red food coloring, and some strawberry pie filling.  Of course, I can’t forget about the one key item, the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer.  
This little gadget at only $5 is definitely worth it.  I baked the cupcakes as normal let cool completely and then you just screw the corer down into the cool cupcake and pull out the center piece.  Fill with pie filling and then frost with pink-tinted frosting.  I used a large round decorator to create a brain-ish looking top!  
Don’t forget this weekend is the Uniquely NNY Upcycled Art Show in the Cheel Commons at Clarkson University, Saturday October 29th from 10 – 4.  I will have a new assortment of Thanksgiving and Christmas/Winter Decoration Sets for my Banners and Wreaths!
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The UGG Boot Dying Project – Trial 1

Everyone who lives through the salty North Country winters knows it reeks havoc on Ugg boots.  My brown pair, which are going on 3 years old and still in great shape other than the lighter spots on the toes from the salt.  I would consider this first trial semi-successfully my Uggs are a little darker, but still not what I want them to be, so I will have a Trial 2 to post later.  
My Uggs before:

Step 1:  Soak your Uggs with Hot Water
Step 2:  Fill a large bucket with hot water (I did this in the tub and then brought it outside to prevent a mess)
Step 3:  Add bottle of dye and stir with a stick to mix in and then add your uggs (you may have to like wedge them down with something to make sure they stay all in the dye)
Step 4: Let soak for 30 – 40 minutes
Step 5: Rinse (This is where I think I went wrong, I rinsed mine immediately with cold water from the hose and I think I should have down it in the sink with hot water then going gradually to cool, I am going to try this  in Trial 2)
Step 6.  I stuffed my Uggs with newspaper to keep them standing up and to help them dry, they will take several days to dry.  
The finished product: (ignore the grass)

They dont’ look too much darker in the picture but to the eye they are a shade darker.  I will be trying this again though so watch for my results from Trial 2!

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Wedding Wednesdays: Think Nature

This photo would make such a lovely background for engagment photos, maybe with just a few more leaves on the trees.  I took it last night of the road in front of our house.  Today’s post is to get others to look at the natural beauty all around them when deciding how and when to do photos.  Now this road is beautiful at all times of the year, freshly fallen snow to the green leaves of spring, but nothing beats maple trees in the fall.  This wasn’t even one of the best years for colors and they are still amazing   

I wanted to share some other great photo ideas from around  the web:

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From ordyandjoon.blogspot.com
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From forgetmeknotweddings.com

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After a fresh fallen snow, possibly a little freezing rain to coat the branches.
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Upcycled Door Knob Pumpkin

The inspiration for this actually came from a the other half of the white porcelain door knob leftover from creating my Upcycled Door Corner Display. It had been lying around since then and while looking at it one day, I decided it kind of looked like a little white pumpkin.  I didn’t want to paint that one, but wanted to do a test run on another rusty metal door knob I had from a pair of doors I bought not to long ago.  All I did was paint it orange and then a little green paint for a stem.  I added a little wire corkscrew curl to top it off.  I think it is adorable and would make a lovely paper weight!

I’m not crazy about the paint I used for the stem so I may look for a different kind and do it with a little more detail!

The pair will be for sale at my first show in Malone, this Saturday October 15th for the All You Harvest Festival at Davis Elementary!

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Recycled Sammy from Trick r’ Treat

If you have never seen the move Trick r’ Treat I totally suggest it.  It is one of the scariest movies I have seen in recent memory.   One of the scariest little guys is Sammy, here is my recycled version:

Now he is not completely finished, but I thought I would share my progress so far.  His body is made from a children’s feety pjs that one of my co-workers brought in for me.  That I dyed orange.  His body is made from old fence wire, so he is positionable and he is stuffed with plastic bags.  The portion holding his head up is a paper towel roll and again his head is burlap stuffed with plastic bags.  I hand stitched his mouth on with twine and stitched on 2 old black buttons I already had.

I still need to finish his hands, more coloring on the face, patches on his costume, and other accessories, but I think he is a pretty scary.  He is sitting in an antique kid’s rocking chair in the living room and I get freaked out every time I walk by it.  I told the BF he may have to go live in the garage until the Halloween party.  I also told the BF who absolutely loves to scare me that he is banned from moving Sammy.  

I will be at the 25th Annual Crary Mills Craft Show this weekend from 10 – 4 at the Tri-Town Community Building on Post Road in Crary Mills! Stop by!
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Creepy Bloody Recycled Jar Lanterns

 I love Halloween and all things scary.  I have been working on decorations for the BF and my upcoming Halloween party and here is a great one I came up with.  This is super easy and I think really really scary.

Basically, I took a bottle of white elmer’s glue and add a few knife tips of the red gel food coloring (found in the cake decorating stuff).  I did an entire bottle b/c I’m making a bunch of these, you could also mix it in smaller batches.  Stirred it around with a wooden skewer and took my clean recycled jar, placed it on wax paper.  Took the glue bottle, with my now red glue and filled just the threaded rim of the jar with glue and let it drip down the jar.  Let it dry and it will have a nice bloody look!

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Wedding Wednesdays: Colorful Ruffled Crepe Paper Tutorial

I found a tutorial a long time ago on how to make this, but I couldn’t find it again to link to so I made my own.  Ruffled crepe paper is a cheap and super easy decoration alternative.  I made a bunch of it last fall for the BF’s Grandmas 80th birthday party and it was a hit.  It looks 10x nicer than plain crepe paper.  I wish I had taken photos of it from her party, but unfortunately as normal I forgot.

Step 1:  Choose your colors!  These could be your wedding colors or accent colors.  For this tutorial I chose lime green and fuschia.  You can also use three colors and just cut it into long strips and inter mix the three, a little more challenging but that is how I did the red, yellow and orange combo above.

Step 2: Get out your sewing machine! Using a basic straight stitch, layer your crepe paper one over top of the other.

Step 3: As you are sewing along, gently give the crepe paper a little push so that it folds a bit and sew over the fold.  This will leave a nice ruffle, kind of messy ruffle!

Step 4:  Keep sewing until you get your desired amount, it really isn’t a labor intensive process just tedious!  If you know how long you need your streamers to be for decorating I would pre-measure and cut strips of the crepe paper to sew, just make sure you add a little extra to cover the ruffling.

There are so many uses for this beyond just streamers, it could be tied to chairs or laid on a table as a fun runner.  I have even used it to decorate gift packages!

Enjoy!

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Crockpot Salsa Chicken

This recipe is amazing and once again a Pinterest find!  The BF and I absolutely love it!  We got 2 meals out of it, the first was chicken tacos the second was chicken nachos!  I have the say it worked even better as nachos than tacos!  Would also make an excellent taco dip for a party.

salsa chicken
Photo Credit: Amanda’s Recipe and Beauty Finds

I didn’t have to adjust this recipe at all, it was perfect as is.  

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream
Directions:
1.  Mix soup, salsa and taco seasoning in the bottom of your crockpot.  Sink chicken breasts into the mixture, covering completely.  Cook on low for 5 – 6 hours depending on size of chicken breasts.
2.  Remove chicken, shred and return to the crockpot.  Add sour cream and mix well.  Heat until everything is warmed through.

Absolutely Delicious!  Give it a try!

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Saved by the Thundershirt – A Dog Lovers Miracle

Well since for some reason I can’t get the photos I wanted off my digital camera to blog about what I really wanted to.  I am going to blog about the Thundershirt.  Every one has heard about my little wild man, Bubba.  Bubba is a silky terrier that like a lot of little dogs likes to bark all the time.  We were at the end of our wits with him and I had tried everything except a shock collar to get him to stop.  I feel really bad shocking a 10 lb dog so I was willing to try anything.  Also from what I have read if the barking is caused by anxiety, most times “punishing” the dog has no effect.  I originally saw the ad for the Thundershirt on TV (which yes I know a tv infomercial) but after doing some research online, I found mixed reviews it worked for some but not others.  I think a lot of Bubba’s barking issues were due to anxiety so I decided to give it a try.

Above is Bubba in his Rugby Thundershirt.  A Thundershirt is an anxiety pressure wrap and for Bubba it seems to work.  It is a neoprene type material that fits fairly snugly.  I have had it for almost a week, which is definitely long enough for him to get use to it.  He is a lot calmer and barks a lot less.  Granted he still barks at the occasional passing car or if another dog is in the yard, but it is definitely not to the extent that he barked before.  I don’t make him wear it all the time. When we go for a walk, when he is home alone, or when its just me at home and he is being good, I leave it off of him.

Thundershirt comes with a 45 day money-back guarantee, so it is worth a try.  I ordered mine through Amazon which has an awesome return policy anyways.  Bubba’s was  little pricey at $44.95 for the rugby edition, but so far it has been money well spent.  For all the dog owner’s that want a humane way to stop the barking, give it a try!  If it doesn’t work for you send it back!

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Yummy! Hasselback Potatos

Another delicious Pinterest find, Hasselback potatoes are the Swedish version of baked potatoes.  Just a few extra steps to the typical baked potato, but it adds so much flavor!

Photo Credit: Seasaltwithfood

I altered the recipe a little bit from what Seasaltwithfood originally did, so here it goes:

Ingredients:
Medium size potatoes (I used Russet)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used my wonderful Pampered Chef Garlic Press)
2 tbsp butter, melted
Sea salt

Directions:
Preheat oven 425. Wash and dry potatoes.  Slice each potato thinly about 3/4 of the way through.  Place minced garlic on top and let some fall down in cracks.  Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until top is crispy and potato is cooked through.

These were so delicious I actually brought a leftover one for lunch today, and I am so not a leftover person!

On another note, if you don’t have a Pampered Chef garlic press, I strongly suggest, nothing is better than fresh garlic.  The best part of this press, is you never have to touch the minced garlic or peel, I just scrape it off with a knife and use the same knife to pop out whats left of the peel after pressing.  So no worries about how you are going to get the smell off your hands (baking soda works great!)

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