Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Gift Set for Under $10

Who couldn't use a little office frosting to jazz up their home or work office? I created this cute gift set for my cousin, whose name I drew for our annual Christmas Eve party and gift exchange. I certainly didn't invent the wheel, I just came up with my own methods for doing things as I went along, so I'll try to walk you through with a little tutorial.

First off, before today, I was a Mod Podge virgin. Gasp! Last year, I used spray adhesive to make notebooks, and let me tell you, there is NO comparison. Now, I am looking on facebook for a Mod Podge anonymous group. Anyone? This stuff is AZMAZING! Can't believe it took me this long to discover it!

Hi, my name is Ramsey and I am a Mod Podgeaholic.

The total office kit comes with
  • a clipboard
  • a notebook
  • two picture frames (she has two kids, you could definately do just one)
  • a set of blank notecards
    You will need:
  • Scrapbook paper in coordinating colors and patterns
  • 1 composition book
  • 2 woodenpicture frames ($1 at the craft store)
  • 1 clip board
  • Mod Podge
  • Cardstock
  • Ribbon
  • Felt
Let's get goint with the clipboard first.

For this I used 2 coordinating pieces of scrapbook paper. I simply traced the outline of the clipboard onto the paper and mod podged (is that a verb now?) it onto the board. TIP: make sure to cover the entire surface with mod podge to avoid bubles (foam brushes work great for this). Once I had my two pieces glued the way I wanted, I added a monogram. I printed the letter "C" backwards using Microsoft office word and traced it onto scrapbook paper, cut it out and stuck it on. If you have a cricut, you could definately use it here. (And send one my way please! I am stuck in the stone ages of crafting...I don't even have an exacto yet...pity me!) Finally, add a few layers of mod podge on top.

For the frames, I stained the edges of mine, but you could paint them with acrylic paint or leave them plain if you wish. The paint/stain job needn't be perfect, it will all get covered up! Next, you are going to cut out a rough tracing of your frame...again with the perfect thing, not necessary. Mod Podge that bad boy on there. Once dry, take a nail file and file off the rough edges at a 45 degree angle (approximately). Now, Mod Podge a few more layers on to secure it. Place a cute photo inside!

To add ribbon, simply cut to the length of your choice, I chose long so I could tie it at the top. Stick it to the back of your frame with m p and mod podge a piece of felt to the back to cover the ugliness and save your walls.

The note book works basically the same way as the clipboard. Just trace, cut, paste, and file the edges. You can arrange the paper any way you choose. I didn't add the mod podge top layer to this because I didn't want it to be tacky. I also lined the inside front and back covers to give it a more finished look.

These notecards couldn't be simpler. I just created them in Microsoft office word with word art. Orient the paper horizantilly (landscape) and you will fit two to a sheet to be cut apart. Place your design at the bottom center of each side. I suggest a light colored line down the middle as a guide for cutting. Fold in half with a bone folder if you are Martha or a Crayola marker if you are me...hey, it worked perfectly. You want a nice, clean fold.Just pair with some envelopes for a personal touch that keeps on giving!

Here we are all packaged up and ready to wrap in a pretty box!

I hope you try this! It is really cute and SO easy...tedious, a little, but super easy! If I did a bad job explaining anything, let me know and I will clarify. I'm admittedly not the best at picture tutorials. (and in my defense, I was working at night by nasty florescent light)
Here is my cost breakdown:
Composition book-$1
Paper-$2 (You could definately just use what you have on hand)
Paint (use what you've got)
Picture frames-$2
Ribbon-$2 (again, use or reuse whatever you have)
Felt $1
I used some cardstock that I already had. It's $5 a package from Wally World and I use it for EVERYTHING!
The total project for me cost about $9. Perfect, cute, inexpensive, functional, my kind of Christmas gift!
Let me know if you give this a go...there's the Dr. Seus in me coming out....I'd love to see the finished product!
Happy giftmaking!
Linking up here:

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden
Blue Cricket Design
Someday Crafts

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Crack

Have you tried this stuff? Let me just tell is AMAZING! I shared it here last year, but I will post the recipe again in case any of you have not jumped on the crack wagon. In addition to the fact that I have never met a food that was more aptly named, crack is SUPER easy (and cheap) and makes an excellent gift for anyone on your list. Seriously, I made a pretty insane number of batches of this last year and everyone loves it! Who wouldn't love it? Crunchy, toffee, chocolatey deliciousness! So, without further ado, Christmas Crack:
You will need:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
About 1 1/2 sleeves of saltines
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Boil the butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan for 3 minutes. Line a jellyroll pan with saltines. Pour boiling mixture over saltines and spread out to cover completely. Bake the whole thing at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow it to sit for a minute or so while the chips melt. Then, spread the chocolate to cover. Cool and place in the fridge (or freezer if you can't wait!) for a few minutes until hardened. Crack into small (or large) chunks.
Seriously...that is it! Have you ever heard of a candy so simple?
You should probably make two pans if you intend to give this away because I assure you, if you eat one piece, half of the pan will be gone before you know it...I'm just sayin'.

Looks like I will be running more hills tomorrow!



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend at the Lake in Pictures

Howdy folks! I hope you all had a spectacular Thanksgiving! Ours was about 80 degrees, so positively bitter, but was wonderful nonetheless! After stuffing our bellies full of Thanksgivingy goodness, we headed off for the nap and eat some more...he he. It was so nice having the chance to slow down and do absolutely nothing before the big Christmas rush (and final exams). We just finished putting up all of the Christmas now I am sitting here (in my sweats because I am trying to avoid the inevitable guilt I would feel if I donned a pair of jeans only to discover the post-gluttonous weekend bloat clinging to my middle) enjoying a fire under a garland clad mantle that is frosted with twinkle lights. I am also attempting to ignore the fact that I will spend tomorrow burying my nose in an oh so depressing book and cranking out the remainder of my dreaded twelve page term paper about the late dictator, Joseph Stalin. Of course, this is after I hit some mean hills to try to prevent the lovely fluff that I fear will envelop my buttocks if I fail to crack down between now and Christmas. But that is for tomorrow, for now, I will enjoy a pork chop dinner and some apple cider and spend some time with Martha (yes, we crafters know her on a first name basis) and her wonderful Christmas ideas.

Here are some pictures from our trip to the lake, hope you enjoy!
View from our back door.

Our adopted doggie for the weekend.

Cutter sporting his new birthday garnet and gold bandana...go Noles!

Turkey frying 101 with Dusty.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Muffins and Cakes and Cookies Oh My!

Whew! Glad to be done with all the baking for the day!
Just thought I would stop in for a quick update.
Here are my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies:
I can't remember if I've shared this before, but it's a fabulous recipe and super simple. It makes a ton of cookies, (depending on how big you like them) so I have plenty for the church Bethlehem nights and some to snack on at the lake as well!
You will need:
2 1/4 cups self rising flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter Crisco/shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
Cream shortening and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well. Stir in flour by hand and add chocolate chips. Spoon onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 until golden brown. Enjoy while warm, or rather, I dare you to try not to enjoy warm!
Here is Sasa's Lemon Cheese Cake that I shared the recipe for earlier:
Trust HAVE to try this! The custardy, lemony filling soaks into the fluffy cake layers and creates a moist, spongy temptation of lemony goodness! MMMmmm!!! is my helper after a long day of's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

Ta ta For Now!


I'm still here...somewhere

Hi all! OK, so I definitely have let the old blog go for the past [I'm scared to admit how long] but if you will take me back, I will [try] to do better! I miss you all and I still stalk your wonderful creativeness when I have time to craft or simply have time to daydream about crafting. School and photography have kept me BUSY over the last few months, but both are coming along and maybe we will see an official Ramsey Revell Photography sometime in the near future!

Christmas is just around the corner, so I hope to post more often when I make it to the big breakaroo because I will definitely be making some goodies this year. No, I have not started yet. Yes, I know it's late. Yes, I will cram all of my crafting, baking, and candlestick making into approximately one week. I cram, it's what I do.

Since I am enjoying a leisurely morning on the old computer, I thought I would share the to do list for the hollydays!

1. Devour Country Living and Southern Living Christmas issues

2. Bake some yummy bread from said issues

3. Bake Mexican wedding cookies

4. Make the famous Christmas Crack

5. Enjoy an unhealthy amount of apple cider (doesn't an apple a day keep the doctor away?)

All of these seem to be about food so far, so:

6. Make those cute rosette necklaces and headbands for all the ladies in my family

7. Make some notebooks for friends

8. Sew some cute clutches for Christmas gifts

9. Get last minute shopping DONE

10. Nap, spend time cuddling around a fire, nap some more

Now, for all of you who have made it through this insanely long and likely boring post, I have a reward. I am going to share with you the recipe for my grandmother's Lemon Cheese Cake. I would never share this recipe with someone locally, heaven forbid they show up at the same event or bake sale with my cake! (You know how we southern women are about our recipes.) But, since you presumably will not hunt me down and bring my recipe to an event where I happen to be, here it is. Use it well, it is an amazing recipe passed down from an amazing woman.

Sasa's Lemon Cheese Cake

(Also, this is not a cheesecake that I happened to misspell the title to. We have no idea why it's called cheese cake because it has absolutely no cheese in it.)


1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix (this is what I use, you can use any brand)

1 cup oil

1 cup sour cream

4 egg whites (save 3 of the yolks)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Grease and flour three cake pans and bake cake at 350 for 20 minutes.


3 lemons

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 stick butter or margarine

reserved egg yolks

Zest lemons and then halve and juice them. Place zest and juice in pot with sugar, cornstarch, flour, water, and butter. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir until it begins to thicken. Beat egg yolks and add to hot mixture (tempering in). Return to stove until thickened. Allow mixture to cool and ice cake.

This is a bit of a process, but I PROMISE it is worth it!!! Please give it a go and let me know what you think. Maybe I will post some more good ole family recipes as the Christmas holidays draw near!

I am off for a run because I need to work off the calories that I will be consuming today as I make Lemon Cheese Cake, muffins, and cookies.

I hope you all have a stupendous Thanksgiving holiday!!!

I will leave you with a picture of my little helper for the day and my motivator, Cutter.

Much love to y'all!!