Puppy Costumes Reveal!

Lots of other bloggers have big room reveals... I have puppy costumes to reveal. I think my priorities are squarely in order. So, without further ado, this is how the puppies will be greeting any trick-or-treaters we get tomorrow night...
Yup. A skunk and a hot dog.

My little skunk. The name of the costume is "Little Stinker" and it was just too perfect. Somehow, she and Max eat the same food and she has terrible kibble-breath and he doesn't... so she's the little stinky one (with special mouthwash from the vet that we can use if we think it's terrible... the vet says it's not bad... I think he had his nasal passages removed in vet school). And it has a tail so Bella's happy!

This could be my new screensaver.... I LOVE it.

The boyfriend did not go for coordinating/related puppy costumes, so Max is a hot dog. His costume was actually chosen first because Max is told to "play hot dog" when we want him to get up in the people bed and snuggle with us! You tell him to "play hot dog" and he runs and jumps up on the bed with his head near the pillows... it's the best trick ever. Especially if I feel crappy and want Max snuggles to make me feel better!

Max was kind of skeptical at first...

But then he was all about dancing and high fives as a hot dog!

Also, because it amuses me, I thought I'd share the pumpkins the boyfriend and I carved last year (we didn't get it together to carve any this year). This was during the time before the blog and perhaps the boyfriend should have started the crafty blog...

This was my pumpkin... as I was taking pictures the boyfriend was starting to actually carve and remove the stencil from the pumpkin...

And here it is all lit up... (this was also pre-nice camera days...)

Not too bad, right? A little scary...

And about 10 hours later, the boyfriend finished carving and created this...

Looks complicated and all and I knew he spent a lot of time on it, but then when we actually put a candle in it...

And I have the crafty blog... but I swear I try to make him guest post or help with projects as often as he's willing! Haha...

Have a happy and safe Halloween! Anyone else have puppy costumes to show off? : )

Guest Post: Laurie of Scene of Sublime

I'm SOOO excited to have Laurie here today to share a tutorial with you guys! Her blog is so cute and she's so sweet - one of my first blog friends!  Yesterday we had the interview and at least one of us got an idea for the next amazing thing to order at Sonic and today we have an awesome project....

Hi there! I'm Laurie and I blog at Scene of Sublime (formerly Scene of the Grime). I'm so honored to be guesting here at The Crafty Scientist today. I just love Mel and - she is one of the most creative bloggers in blogland in my opionion - so it is a blast to be in her house!

Today I’m sharing CREATIONS using materials I ALREADY HAD ON HAND (something I love to do because I am a thrifty AND creative gal) - FABRIC FLAG ART!

fabric flags 4

I made both a national and state flag. I used two particle board pieces we had around the house for some reason. Both wood pieces were about 20 inches by 24 inches. I covered each piece with off-white fabric I had purchased from a thrift store at some point. Whenever I see neutral color fabrics in good shape at the thrift store or in the scrap bin at WalMart, I usually buy them (for cheap!). I used a red bandana for the US flag stripes and blue fabric scraps for the stars background and the SC flag background.

fabric flags 1

As you can see, I had some serious help making the American flag – just call her Little Betsy Ross! Her role consisted mainly of napping on the project.

fabric flags 2

USA Flag

fabric flags 3

SC Flag ~ The Palmetto State

The Palmetto tree and moon on the SC flag are cut from paint dropcloth fabric I had left over from the dining room and living room curtains I made a few months ago.

I really like how these turned out – especially the FREE part!

Once again, I have so enjoyed being here at The Crafty Scientist today! Thanks so much, Mel! I would love for Mel's readers to come see me over at Scene of Sublime - I have lots of fun and creative crafts, decor, food, tips and thrifty ideas for you there! See you soon!

CY, Laurie

Thanks you SOOOO much for sharing, Laurie! I LOVE the South Carolina flag in particular... might have to find some SC fabric. Or my own little Betsy Ross. Be sure to check out Laurie at her blog, Scene of Sublime! Thanks again, Laurie!

Crafty Interview: Laurie from Scene of Sublime

You all might remember the fabulous Laurie from back when she was gutsy enough to invite me to do one of my first guest posts at her blog, though it was called Scene of the Grime then... now it's fancier and called Scene of Sublime, but it's still the fabulous Laurie behind the scenes and I'm incredibly excited to share some of her work with you all. Today we get the crafty interview with Laurie and tomorrow you must check back for a very fun tutorial (with super-cute 4-legged helper) from her!

Scene of Sublime

When and how did you start being crafty?
I remember being into arts and crafts as early as age 4 - back then, I made a torn paper nativity scene that my mom really loved, and that meant so much to me!

When did you start blogging about your craftiness and why?
I started my blog in January, 2010. I had been reading and being inspired by other creative blogs for about a year. I was ready to get started myself and I am so glad I did!

What's your favorite project (of everything you've made)?
I really love my Kitty Cat Silhouette. It was one of my very first projects and I still think it was pretty clever "in it's day." >>^.^<<  It's a shame I blogged about it back when I was taking horrid photos and posting them on my newbie blog :)

What's your favorite crafty material or medium?
I think PAINT is amazing and visual miracles can be worked with it! But METAL is a real love for me and I think it would be super cool to learn more about working with it - don't ya think I'd look hot in a welding mask with a torch?! Haha! 

What's the biggest challenge you face(d) in blogging?
My challenge, and passion, right now is not spending much money on crafting. For budgetary, space and environmental reasons. But I enjoy and relish the challenge!

When you don't feel particularly crafty, what do you do to find inspiration?
I find that inspiration can't exactly be forced (at least with me!). If I'm at a standstill, I just let things sit for a bit. It's usually not long until inspiration reemerges and the project continues in the right direction! For general inspiration, I find it everywhere - the usual artistic places (crafts/decor/fashion) as well as grocery stores, hardware stores, even athletic equipment stores!

How do you organize your craft supplies?
I'm ashamed...so ashamed. To say my supplies aren't very well organized! I don't have a crafting room. And doubt I ever will. But I do have specific boxes for fabric, ribbon, frames, craft paint, etc. Supplies are somewhat corralled but could always stand improvement, let's put it that way!

How do you organize (remember, find) tutorials and posts online that you like?
I used to use "Favorites" files on my netbook, but now I'm a Pinterest girl all the way!

What's your best tip for new bloggers?
Take it a bit at a time. Don't be afraid to learn HTML yourself. And don't jump into hosting linky parties, giveaways and selling ad space right away - I held back on all those things (in fact, I still am - for a reason) and my bloggy life is still simple and manageable.

What are some things you're loving right now (crafty or not)?
Autumn weather. Sonic 1/2 Cherry Slush-1/2 Diet Dr. Pepper-2 Shots Vanilla. Thanksgiving Meal Anticipation. And CRAFT-WISE...Text Art!

What question do you wish I asked (and please answer it)?!
Girlie, you did a SUPERIOR job on these interview questions! I am so honored to be interviewed, in fact. Feel like I'm special or something! Thanks so much for featuring me on The Crafty Scientist. 

Remember to check back tomorrow for an awesome tutorial from Laurie and go check her out at Scene of Sublime while you're waiting!

Clemson Wreath

I put this together a little while ago, but needed to take more pictures of the finished product... and now that Clemson football is kicking @$$, the wreath went back up for a bit and I got some better pictures!

This project was a little bit of a roller coaster, with pieces coming together and falling apart and me re-inventing things and fixes and gluing my fingers together ... my usual process, I guess! : ) [I probably had issues because I made this before the Duke Wreath I made for my sister so I guess I got the mistakes out with this one... and I didn't buy anything new for it so I guess I had to struggle and be creative a bit more.]

I figure this could be a great present for someone going off to school or in their first apartment... or just anyone who loves their alma mater! You could even hang this up at a tailgate if you're one of those giant, awesome, high-tech, haute couture tailgaters with the flat screen TV and satellite, giant grill, tents, tables, platters, the works... (that's me drooling over the set up, not mocking... some day I swear I'll be able to do that... ideally without selling my own blood plasma, but we'll see...)

  • Wreath form (I used a straw one, in the wrapper)
  • Yarn (for wrapping wreath)
  • Ric rac
  • Felt (a little bit for bunting, more for felt flowers)
  • Ribbons
  • Paint and glitter
  • Chipboard/scrapbook letters or an X-acto knife and Sharpie (depending on whether you want felt letters or chipboard/stickers)
  • Needle and thread
  • E6000 glue
  • Straight pins
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Rhinestones, buttons (just a couple)
  • Glitter glue (paint-type stuff, or just glitter)

First, you want to wrap your entire wreath in yarn. I kept it simple and just made it all purple. After that, I went to work on the bunting. I measured out how I wanted the bunting to look and cut my ric rack. Then I cut up some scrap paper to the size I wanted my bunting/pennants to be and measured out where I wanted the felt triangles to be and used straight pins to attach them to the ric rack. (I used the scrap paper rather than just cutting out the felt because I wasn't sure exactly how big I wanted the triangles to be.)

Once they were pinned where I wanted them, I used one to cut out my felt triangles and then I grabbed my needle and thread and started sewing the felt ones on the ric rack.

I thought it would be super-cute if I used contrasting thread... so orange thread and orange felt triangle with purple letters and purple ric rack. I just made little stitches along the ric rack. I did this once for the school name and another time for the mascot.

Once all the felt triangles were in place, I thought I'd cut out some letters from coordinating/ contrasting felt. I just grabbed a Sharpie and drew the letters out and cut them out.

I did things a little backwards because I wasn't sure what I wanted, but you should cover your letters in glitter glue now... I waited until after I'd glued them down which made it much more tedious. So be smarter than me and cover them in glitter glue now. Then glue them to the felt triangles with E6000 glue.

I couldn't decide if I liked how it came out or not... I was frustrated because I felt like it was difficult to read. So, I ended up leaving one strand (the Clemson one) with felt letters, but changing the "Tigers" to the scrapbook chipboard letters.

I got the letters for Tigers, painted them all orange, and covered them with orange glitter glue paint-type stuff. I'd already spent a lot of time sewing the bunting and didn't want to just scrap it, so I flipped it over and just glued my nice new letters to the other side. The back of the stitching was now showing, so I cut little bits of ribbon and glued that over the stitching. Then the bunting is complete! I pinned it to the wreath with a couple of straight pins.

Then it was time to decorate the wreath. I tied a little purple ribbon around the wreath and then tied the orange bow, used my hot glue gun to attach it to the purple ribbon. It wasn't quite enough so I made 4 little loops (like if you were tying a bow) and hot glued those under the big orange bow loops.

I wanted to add some little felt flowers to dress it up a bit more, so I made some rolled rosette style flowers (like these from Craft Snob) and some fringe flowers that I showed you how to make here. I added a few buttons and rhinestones and hot glued them in two places on the wreath. This is the bottom of the wreath...

And these ones are at the top of the wreath...

Almost done now! Just add a ribbon through the back of the yarn and tie it in a pretty bow....

And you can hang it up! Ta da!

I'm linking up to some of my most favorite conferences!
Go Tigers!

Healthy Caramel Apples

This recipe came from Cooking Light and claims to be healthy, but they tasted so good that I'm not sure where the healthy part comes in... I guess it's all relative and these are healthier than other versions!

The original recipe came from Cooking Light, October 2010, posted here. I'm putting my own pictures into this little recipe/tutorial though and you can download the recipe to print here (pdf and doc versions available).

  • 16 wooden sticks (popsicle sticks)
  • 16 small apples, chilled
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups Half-and-Half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Candy thermometer

1. Push the wooden sticks into the tops of the chilled apples (we just put them in the fridge for a half hour or so before we started this project). Then put the apples back into the fridge until you have the caramel ready.
I love this project... and not just because this sour apple green is my most favorite color ever... but it helped!
2. Put the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan. Boil them, stirring until dissolved. Boil, without stirring, 9 minutes or until light golden.

3. Combine Half-and-Half, vanilla, and salt; slowly stir into pan. Boil until candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees Farenheit (about 45 minutes), stirring frequently.

a close-up of the candy thermometer (less than $5 at Walmart! wohoo!)
4. Pour caramel into a bowl sitting in a hot water bath. Swirl apples in the caramel and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

this was our hot water bath - a big glass bowl and a big soup bowl

the boyfriend did a much better, cleaner job dipping these so the pictures are of his technique...
we have metal shelf things on our counter, so it was easier to just put wax paper on those and then leave the apples to dry, so that's what we did and we had no problems...

We wrapped the dry caramel apples with cellophane and pipe cleaner ties because we didn't plan to eat all of them at once and we had minimal issues with the cellophane coming off later!

The one issue we did have is that the caramel was very, very thick and somehow we ended up not having enough caramel to cover more than 10 apples. The boyfriend says he thinks that if we had heated up the caramel for longer, it would have been thinner and covered more apples. Also, the apple we sampled the same night we made these was a little intense and hard to eat with the thick caramel, but a few days later, they were much easier to eat!

If you want to print out the recipe for your own recipe binder, feel free to download it here.

According to Cooking Light, for each serving (one caramel apple), you have 221 calories, 3.7g fat, 2.2g saturated fat, 1.2g protein, 48.9g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, 11mg cholesterol, 0.2mg iron, 57mg sodium, and 40mg calcium. Obviously I can't test this myself so I'm just passing on this information not personally guaranteeing it. I do guarantee that these were YUMMY! : )
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