Jul 28, 2007

Earthquake Cake

This cake recipe can easily create a theme for us Californians, although earthquakes seem to be making peculiar visits elsewhere these days.


Spray 9x13 inch cake pan with Pam

Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans on bottom of pan

Layer 1 1/2 cups coconut over pecans

Mix German chocolate cake mix according to directions on box. Then spread over top of coconut and pecans. Do not stir!

Mix the following ingredients together until creamy:
• 1 stick of butter, softened
• 1 8 oz. Pkg. of cream cheese, softened
• 1 lb. Box of confectioner sugar

Pour on top of cake mix. Do not stir!

Bake 45 minutes at 350˚. Needs no frosting. Will have deep crevices in the top of the cake.

Hint: I sometimes soften the cream cheese mixture– a few seconds at a time– in the microwave to achieve the pouring consistency that I prefer.

Spread Your Wings

Spread Your Wings

Engage the pleasure of senses,
Aloft on wishes, desires, and dreams...
Fly beyond imposing fences;
Soar! Savor! Soak to the seams!

| Karen June Miller |

Cloche to Home

I am seeing a trend in many of the shops that I have visited lately: pedestal cake stands and cloches (bell jars). The decorating possibilities are endless!

Many of the pedestal cake stands can be inverted, functioning quite well as a punch bowl. Without the domed lid, the pedestal can be used to stack vintage books or create vignettes that showcase plants and collectibles. Beside the obvious uses– cakes, cookies, and cupcakes– the covered stands are a lovely showcase for cheese and fruit, and even help to ripen tomatoes. And, don't forget the decorating options around the base of the pedestal. You might consider using:
  • Plants
  • Fresh and dried bouquets
  • Succulents
  • Miniature knick-knacks and collectibles
  • Festoons of ribbon
  • Small vintage containers for utensils
  • Beautifully folded napkins or rolled napkins with creative embellishments
  • Handmade treasures– paper crafts, felt items, needle arts, etc.
  • Heirloom photos
  • Small jars of ephemera
  • Colorful glassware or teacups
A cloche can be used in much the same way as cake pedestal stands. Cloches sit on specially designed bases or directly on a piece of furniture. They are useful for protecting expensive collectibles such as crystal or fine bone china. I love using a cloche to cover smaller houseplants, thus creating a low maintenance terrarium. A cloche can be used with any larger plate or pedestal dish, and it sits nicely on coffee table books, mirrors or mirrored trays, or even firmly stacked vintage linens.

Jul 26, 2007

The Web Warming Gift

<== The Gift Sleeve for the Web Warming Giveaway

Here is an extremely simple way to present gift cards, and still make a statement. This gift card envelope was made with a Memorex CD & DVD Sleeve. I inserted a complimentary Retro Prints Mat Stack sheet inside, and then adorned the exterior with
Chatter Box 3D stickers and a silver metallic Sharpie. When time is at a premium, this quick presentation makes a personal splash!

This particular gift is going to the winner of my Web Warming! Charisse, the recipient, can keep this sleeve or gift it forward. (I'm sure the gift card will be going with her to Starbucks.)

Jul 24, 2007


I grew up with 20/20 vision. The term meant nothing to me. I simply understood the eye-chart lady’s smiling nod at the end of my annual grade school eye test. I had two best friends who wore glasses and they showed no enthusiasm. So, with all the potential for teasing on the playground, at least this was one area that I had immunity.

Fast forward to my mid forties. I’m reading the expiration dates on neatly clipped coupons. Overnight, the size of the expiration font has been downsized! “They’re trying to rip us off,” I tell my teenage daughter. A conspiracy, I thought! Surely, this is meant to catch the unsuspecting!

I see myself cheerfully approaching the register with a cart so full it looks like I shopped with a trash compactor! Pleased with my organizational skills, I present my coupons, halfway expecting a nod of approval. Instead, the checker utters vociferous disqualifications! “Expired! Obsolete. Over!” she snarls. “Use them for collage or papier-mâché, but they’re no good here!”

The security camera moves to a close-up of my face, magnifying the flush of capillaries. An over anxious guard is ready to pounce. My brain waves crash on the shores of my emotions. I grapple. Do I give in and pay full price? Or do I glare at my cart and release the liberating scream, “I WILL NOT BE MANIPULATED!”

“Mom.” The camera pans away from the checkout counter. Scene change. I am now aware of my living room. My daughter reaches for the coupons and begins to read each expiration date without a glitch. For a moment, I’m silent. “Give me those,” I say as I attempt to make my eyes cooperate. The print is still too small.

Now, with reading glasses perched on the end of my nose– I deal with new irritants.
  • I've lost several pairs of glasses by tucking them on my shirt collar or parking them on my head, proving that bending over can be hazardous to one's wealth! (I just found one pair in a pile of laundry.)
  • My granny chain secretly lifts off pierced earrings– often without retrieval.
  • Lens cleaning is never ending.
  • Pouring boiling water while wearing glasses is counterproductive.
  • Once, I awoke with a swollen schnoz due to falling asleep while reading.
  • My specs have been slept on and stepped on.
  • I have owned several pairs at one time and misplaced them all!
  • I've searched frantically for spectacles that are literally stored under my nose: hanging on my shirt collar. (This storage method is not compatible with hugs.)
  • Don't leave home without them... I have tried standing on tiptoe to gain distance from text or making a public plea to borrow those of a stranger.
Suddenly.....20/20 means something.

Jul 23, 2007

Vintage Apron Purchased from Ebay


I picked up this little goody on eBay awhile back. It was my first introduction to online bidding and I won! Yay! I display it on a cafe curtain rod, semi covering a kitchen door window. I love daylight peeking through the the roses.


I now live in a neighborhood that is largely Hispanic. Each afternoon, we are treated to cart vendors who sell shaved ice and steamy corn on the cob, buttered, salted and placed on a stick! (There are other seasonings for the less conventional.) Here I was, thinking that I would have to wait for my trip to the Orange County Fair, and the corn came to me first! A bike horn announces that the succulent corn is curbside and...wait, is that the corn horn?

Jul 22, 2007

Artful Blogging

This is my first month of blogging and I'm ecstatic! I've been a paper crafter all of my life; however, blogging has introduced me to digital scrapbooking and a candy store of creativity and business opportunities. I actually discovered Stampington's "Artful Blogging", through blog visits. I was even more excited to find out that many of the blogs featured in this special edition, are sites that I have already visited!

I called many of the stores that Stampington referenced as places to purchase the special edition. Many of the merchants did not know what I was talking about. So, taking the bull by the horns, I ordered it directly from Stampington online. I can't wait to "beef" up my skills!