Tuesday, December 28, 2010

January's Plaque Attack is here...

Welcome to the Plaque Attack Club! 

January is a month filled with freezing weather, winter activities, and cozy evenings next to a fire. The wording on January's plaque reflects those events! Whether you plan on making the plaque in the next few days or later in the month, please request it now. On January 6th I will be wending my way to my new little granddaughter's home to spend a week with her and her parents, so I will be unavailable to send the plaque wording to you during that time! (Any email requests received for the plaque wording between January 6th - 14th, will be emailed by January 17th.)

Some of you have requested to be put on the email list to receive the plaque wording monthly. In actuality there is no "list." You'll need to check back every month and request the new plaque to receive the document. A number of ladies have sent me photos of their plaques or a link to a post after creating them. Nothing makes me happier than to see your wonderful and unique creations! It's fabulous to see the different spin people put on the same basic idea. Please feel free to share your creations!


If you would like to make this plaque just email me requesting the Word document. (If you are requesting more than one month, please make sure you specify the month(s).) My email address is at the top of my sidebar under "Contact Information". No purchase necessary. After receiving the document all you'll have to do is select a sheet of scrapbook paper, print the document off, and follow the instructions in this tutorial.

Important: By requesting this document you agree not to sell copies of this pattern or sell products with this pattern on them. You may make as many copies as you would like for personal use or gifts.

if you would like to join in on the fun
and become an "official" member of the 
Plaque Attack Club,
just email me and request "January's Plaque Attack!" 
I will send you the Word document so you can make one for yourself!

To see past plaques go here! 

Linked to:
Fancy This Friday @ Truly Lovely
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog

Monday, December 27, 2010

Get ready for January's Plaque Attack and more...

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! Today I am storming through the house putting away all of the Christmas decorations and getting the house back in order. Right after Christmas I always have an overwhelming desire to set things straight and simplify, and this year is no exception. It may take me a day or two to accomplish all that, but get prepared for a bevy of projects starting in January! I've made a list -- and it's long -- of items to create and share with you all! Later this week I will have the plaque attack for January up and running!

In the meantime, I will share this audio of a 911 call that our son tuned us into earlier today. This audio could be the perfect object lesson when you are teaching your children the importance of choosing a mate wisely.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Easy Peasy Rocky Road...

I'm sure most of you are finished with any baking that you've done for the holidays, but just in case you need a really quick, easy sweet here is a fabulous recipe...

Rocky Road

17 to 21 ounce bar of milk chocolate or dark chocolate 
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup coarsely broken walnuts

Break up chocolate and melt in microwave. Heat in 30 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted.  Stir until smooth. Stir in marshmallows and walnuts. Put in an 8x8 inch pan that has been lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate till set. Cut into serving pieces. (Option: You can also use a chocolate with almond bar and forgo the walnuts!)

I use Rocky Road as a "filler" on goodie plates for our friends and neighbors. It's so quick and easy to make and it adds some necessary chocolate to the mix...

This is such a fabulously easy recipe and it tastes sooo good.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Do you have a minute?
Scoot on over...
let's talk.

There's been some wild happenings over at The Blog Guidebook of late. Who needs reality TV when you can watch a good show via a great blog? Yesterday the competition got a little ugly interesting. Three blogs are now duking it out for the Top Blog of 2010 position. Just Another Hang Up is not one of them. My blog is in a dead heat for last place. I'm beginning to like it there -- it's safe from the fray of battle. One can find all sorts of intrigue in this campaign for "the best blog." There's a dash of treachery, a pinch of debauchery, some outright covetousness, and all manner of rivalry happening. Not from the creators of the Top 5 Blogs, mind you, but from their loyal readers. (Ya gotta love 'em!)  At first I was a little shocked by it all...

Then, and this shows my true nature, it began to amuse and entertain me. I especially appreciated "Buck McNutt's" comment on Campaign Finance Reform. Oh man... that was a good one! 

There's nothing like loyal readers to make the creator of a blog feel like the time and effort spent in creating amusing, heartfelt, or informative posts is well-spent. It's obvious that each blog in this competition has individuals that are committed and faithful readers! I just want to say "thank you" to mine. Thank you for your kind, heartfelt emails of appreciation. Thank you for your warm, encouraging comments. Thank you for being creators of blogs that inspire and teach me and enrich my life. And thank you, Julie, for nominating me for the Top Blog of 2010. You guys are the best!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Who knew?

For the last 20 years I've shied away from making any kind of candy that required a candy thermometer. I tried making a pecan log shortly after I was married. To this day I don't know what went wrong, but a sledge hammer wouldn't have made a dent in the hardwood I created. I decided for the sake of our dental health to stay away from future endeavors of the candy making variety. That is until a favorite friend of mine presented me with some See's Peanut Brittle last week. When she gave me the box I asked her if I needed to share it with my husband. (He was on a business trip at the time.) She implied that, yes, it would be a good idea if I saved some for his return. I believe there were four puny pieces remaining in the box when he came home. I offered him two. I felt a little guilty after that and decided I would ignore my candy making ban and try my hand at creating some peanut brittle. After perusing the internet I realized that most peanut brittle recipes are exactly the same. I used this one at allrecipes.com. I doubled the recipe, which made a full cookie sheet of the scrumptious stuff!

I am not a fan of thin, hard peanut brittle. I like the thicker more air-filled variety and this recipe was just the ticket! Never having made it before, I was surprised how long it took to have the temperature of the sugary mixture rise to 300 degrees. I stood stirring that sweet concoction for the better side of 20 minutes in order for it to reach the desired temperature. (That may be due to the high altitude where we live.)

When the sugary mixture reached the correct temperature I poured it into a cookie sheet and waited for it to cool...

I was a little reluctant to taste it (fearing the worst), but when I gathered the courage to give it a try it was incredibly delicious. Incredibly. Delicious. 

If any of you out there thought making peanut brittle would be tricky, rest assured, it's not. This recipe is sure to become a family tradition!

I used lightly salted dry roasted peanuts because I love sweet/salty mixtures. The only thing I would do differently than the recipe indicates is add a few more peanuts! 


For those unaware, "Just Another Hang Up" made it to Round 5 for the Top Blog of 2010. If you feel inclined please vote for my blog on The Blog Guidebook's Top Blog of 2010 contest by leaving a comment on this post. I would appreciate it! Please remember that you can't vote "anonymously". If you don't have a blogger account, you must put in your name. Two blogs are duking it out for first place, but I wouldn't mind a few votes either. ;o) Thanks so much!

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Announcing the Etsy Give Away winner...

...but first, I'd like to issue a ginormous "thank you" to all those who entered my Etsy Give Away, and then made the extra effort to vote for my blog in The Blog Guidebook's Top Blog of 2010 contest! This is such a busy time of year, and I am fully aware that voting for my blog is (rightfully so) at the bottom of your "to do" list, which makes me even more appreciative of your vote! 

"Just Another Hang Up" survived the last cut and made it to the top five finalists for the Top Blog of 2010. Thanks to you!

The Blog Guidebook issued this statement yesterday:

We're going to mix it up a little this round and have everyone vote through COMMENTS. We know this is a little more time consuming, but we want to see how the numbers compare to the number of votes we've been receiving, just to make sure there aren't any discrepancies."

Round 5 voting starts today
Would you mind leaving a comment at  
this post  
on the Blog Guidebook
Thank you once again!

Alrighty then, let's move on to the Give Away winner!
The winner of this month's
Etsy Give Away

Taren has won a "gift certificate" that will enable her to choose from any item in my Etsy Shop! Soon the item of her choice will be wending its way to her home. Congratulations Taren!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

Just a quick reminder to sign up for my
Etsy Give Away.
Go here to sign up before the contest closes
at midnight tonight!

I spy with my Etsy eye something...
natural and neutral!

Clockwise, starting top left:
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rice-Filled Heating Pads...

Hey All ... 
I need a little help!
Before you start reading about his fabulous gift idea, don't forget to go  
to sign up for my Etsy Give Away
and to The Blog Guidebook  (middle column) 
to vote for my blog to make it to the Top 5!

I've been wanting to make a rice-filled heating pad ever since I first started seeing them in blogland. Instead of using electric heating pads or hot water bottles for aches and pains, one can soothe her aching muscles with one of these heavenly creations.  

A rice-filled heating pad is a welcome gift for many people. Elderly people or people suffering from arthritis will enjoy these bags for the relief they get from pain. Athletes can use them on muscle strains and pulls. For the rest of us these bags will soothe the stress and strain of our hectic days. One merely pops these bags into the microwave for 2 minutes (depending on the size of your bag), and whaaalaaa you'll enjoy many minutes of warmth and pleasure. These bags also serve a dual purpose as you can store them in the freezer and use them as a cooling pad as well.

The heating pads can be made by sewing two identical pieces of fabric together much like you would make a pillow, or you can make the top of the pad a little more interesting by combining different complimentary fabrics. I chose different fabrics for mine -- canvas-type fabrics purchased at Hobby Lobby -- and I really like how it turned out.

I started with the following materials:
cotton fabric of your choice
about 5 cups of rice
lavender / aromatic filler (optional)

You will need the following sizes of fabric pieces for a pad top like the one I made:

These measurements will make an 8 inch x 14 inch heating pad using 1/2" seams. For the back of my heating pad I chose to use a Minky fabric. I wanted the back to be a soft, comforting fabric, however, unless you want to make two gifts for the price of one -- a heating pad AND a pyrotechnic device -- you shouldn't put the Minky fabric in the microwave. You see Minky fabric is 100% polyester and as such melts and burns easily. Only 100% cotton fabrics should be placed in the microwave. The heating pad that you see in these pictures is actually an outside "envelope" which holds a muslin insert filled with the rice and an aromatic. I simply made an opening in the back of the envelope that allows me to take the muslin insert in and out. That way I can take the insert out of the envelope, put it in the microwave to warm, and then put the insert back into the envelope. Another advantage of having a separate insert filled with the rice, is that the envelope then becomes washable.

I tried to buy some lavender to add to the rice to give the pad a soothing fragrance, but I couldn't find any. I finally ended up buying a small packed of vanilla scented petals and wood bits (Hobby Lobby) and added them to about 5 cups of rice to fill the muslin insert. When I heated the insert up in the microwave there was a delightful scent of vanilla!

These rice-filled heating pads are extremely inexpensive to make -- scraps of fabric work perfectly -- and with very little effort, a thoughtful and beautiful gift can be created. These make fabulous presents for just about anyone!

Linked to:
Fancy This Friday @ Truly Lovely
Free For All Friday @ Sassy Sites
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Get Your Craft on Thursday @ Life as Lori
Hookin' Up with HOH
Show Off Your Stuff Party @ Fireflies & Jellybeans

With a little help from my friends...

We're friends, right? 
Let me give it to ya straight...

Remember back a few weeks ago when I begged y'all to start voting for my blog on "The Blog Guidebook's" Top Blog of 2010 contest? I mentioned that I hadn't asked for votes for anything since my junior year in high school when I ran for cheerleader, which by the way didn't end well. I thought I had learned my lesson, but there I was beggin' for votes (and feeling like an awkward teenager) once again. Ahem. Well, here we are weeks later and (thanks to you) we're down to the final two weeks in the contest, and I'm still in the running. (Surprised? Me. Too.)

Unfortunately when you get this close, being on the cheerleading squad is no longer enough. One wants to be head cheerleader. The whole enchilada. That's human nature I suppose, but it ain't very pretty...

I see the writing on the wall, however, and it is painfully obvious that I won't make head cheerleader, but I definitely want to be on the squad (top 5), so I need a little help from my friends to get me there. Voting ends Friday night. All but the top 5 blogs will be voted off this week. Then I'm going to sit back in my easy chair and let the two blogs that have been the top runners this whole competition duke it out for head cheerleader.

For those who have already voted this week thank you! I truly do appreciate it. For those of you who haven't voted yet, I need a little nudge...

Since I'm asking -- once again -- for my friends to vote for my ever lovin' blog, I am sweetening the deal with

Go here to sign up for the Give Away, and go to The Blog Guidebook (middle sidebar) to vote for my blog to make it to the Top 5!
Thank you so much!

Tune in later today for another fabulous (& cheap!) gift idea.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When the weather out side is frightful...

Today the high temperature along the front range in Colorado is predicted to be 64 degrees. I know. It's heavenly. Many other areas of the US are in the deep freeze. One of my daughters was somewhat complaining to me the other day because she went on a Caribbean Cruise last week and came home to a 9 degree blizzard on Saturday. I'd feel sorry for her if it wasn't for the "Caribbean" part of that story. Today I checked the temperatures where my daughters (daughters and daughters-in-law) live and came up with the following...

Omaha, NE - 24 degrees
Rexburg, ID - 34 degrees
St. Louis, MO - 22 degrees
Spring Hill, TN - 26 degrees
Washington DC - 28 degrees

(Please explain to me why my children don't live closer to home...)

Anyway, when the weather outside is frightful there is nothing better than being bundled up in a warm scarf with toasty socks on your feet. Today I took pity on those poor freezing girls of mine and made each one a little treat. I whipped up one of my Easy Peasy Scarves (go here for the tutorial) and combined each scarf with a pair of knee-high socks from Target. I love the knee-high socks at Target. They are only $2 each, and last winter, when it was freezing here, I wore them every. single. day. I'm wearing flip flops this winter.

Isn't this a cute idea for a friend or loved one for Christmas? I love the combo of the scarf and socks. So cozy!

I took the socks and rolled them right up with the scarf and secured a little tag with ribbon...

These will go in the mail today. 
There's nothing like being wrapped in love...

Please remember to sign up for my Etsy Give Away and vote for "Just Another Hang Up" at The Blog Guidebook's "Top Blog of 2010" Contest! Go here (middle column) to vote! Thanks so much for your support!