Monthly Archives: January 2011

Glass Etching with the Rays

The Ray family is pretty creative.

In 2007 we exchanged flasks as part of our Christmas gift exchange.

Pretty cool huh? We engraved, glued, painted, and even ordered online! 

Andrew and Leah hosted Christmas this year, and they needed some new glasses. Apparently Leah and her friends have a tendency to break them. So, Andrew decided to have us do some glass etching.

The first step is to create your design. It works best to draw on paper and transfer to the contact paper, or just simply draw on the contact paper.

My design was detailed and I chose to find an image on the internet to use. So we printed it, then I cut it out of contact paper with an x-acto knife. If you look at the glass, you can see that one design is already attached to the glass. 

You can either have the etched design be the cutout, or have the etching around the cutout. Now, I’m not 100% sure how the etching works, but it’s basically like an extremely toxic substance that you paint onto the glass. Leave it on for like 5 minutes, then we would wash it off and paint it on again.

Here’s everyone’s final glasses:

^ Brian’s, flames

^ Mom’s, wood grain, or an eyeball

^ Tim’s, robot/alien

^ Tim’s, bottom, spaceship

^ Dad’s, pipe

^ Ginny’s, strippers

^ Ginny’s, strippers

Why did I chose strippers to decorate the glasses? Because this was a contest. And I knew that strippers on glasses would win. I won a trophy, and the 2010 Ray Family Champion.

Fused Plastic Clutches

The other day I stumbled upon some fused plastic baby bibs. Very interesting. I like the idea – the food comes right off. But that’s also the problem. The food would slide right off to Ken’s shirt (where most of it is destined to land anyways). So I think we’ll stick with terry cloth bibs for now. Ken’s a drool monster anyways.

Anyways, that bib reminded me of some clutches I made this fall for a sale. Of course they didn’t sell, but I think my bff Ashley snagged a couple for herself. I feel incredibly honored when my close friends and family actually WANT things I make!

I really should write a tutorial for this with photos…
So the meat of the bag is just a big piece of fused plastic. Before I sewed the sides, I “quilted” on another piece of RANDOM fused plastic – all those colorful pieces are leftover chunks from other scraps. I used the same color of thread for simplicity, but you can see where I traced over various lines and shapes. I believe the scrap piece was big enough to cover the back too. If you look at the bottom, you will see that not all of the edges are secured down. It’s plastic, so it won’t fray or anything.

After I sewed the bag I added gathered ribbons and attached them securely.

This is another bag embellished with leftover scraps. I used lots of greens and gray for this. The flower is made out of overheated plastic, you can see where it bubbled from being too hot.

This happens occasionally. It’s not something I ever set out to do, but if I leave the iron on too long or have the wrong types of plastic together, this happens. At least I’ve found another use for it.

This one is pretty simple, gathered ribbon and assorted buttons sewn on. Fun for fall.

If you’re looking for more fused plastic bag ideas, check out my Crafts: Fused Plastic Bags collection on Flickr.

Pumpkin Oatmeal and Pie

One thing I forgot to mention this fall was my pumpkin obsession. I made the most perfect ever pumpkin pie – my first one!

Don’t mind the slightly burnt crust 🙂 The pie itself was wonderful, no burnt spots or weird custard valleys. Husband approved.

This was an accidental pie. I was making another pumpkin dessert (apparently I decided not to document it) that called for the pumpkin pie mixture, but accidently doubled it. I just happened to have pie crust, so I took a chance and made this pie. Oh, and by accidently doubled it, I mean I had a brain lapse and thought I needed double the pumpkin. I didn’t have enough evaporated milk so I used skim for half. It turned out fine. The other dessert was a sort of pumpkin bars – you pour the pumpkin pie mixture into a 9×13 pan and sprinkle with a box of cake mix. The official recipe calls for a white cake, but I used chocolate and it was still great. 

I also made a lot of pumpkin oatmeal.

This is great for breakfast. I roughly used a recipe found here – she makes hers a little healthier, but I needed some more sugar. This was for breakfast after all!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal (uncooked) – not quick cook
  • 1 cup pumpkin (or a can)
  • 1 3/4 c milk
  • 2 eggs (or 3, if you want more protein and a more quiche feel)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 1/3 c brown sugar (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it) 
  • Optional: raisins, marshmallows, almonds, walnuts, chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375. 
  • Grease a 9×9 pan – use a 9×13 if you are going with 3 eggs. 
  • Beat milk and eggs, add vanilla, pumpkin and pie spice.
  • Add oats
  • Add any optional ingredients if you are using them, pour into pan and sprinkle with more brown sugar.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes – just make sure it’s not runny. 

This is great warm, right out of the oven. I like to make it on Sunday and eat it all week for breakfast. Also great if you’re having company. 

The other pumpkin-riffic recipe I made was pumpkin butter – which also did not make it to the photo shoot. I followed a recipe on AllRecipes.com – I just kinda stumbled across it and was interested. It is delicious on toast.

Merry Christmas!

Hello, my name is Ginny and I suck at updating this blog. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I’m not even going to try and justify why I haven’t updated in like three months. Lets pick up where we left off.

Holiday baking. Wow. We baked a lot of stuff this year. A lot of it was pretty generic, and you can find your own sugar cookie recipes. But I ventured out and made the most delicious tarts for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

The recipe hails from a 1985 Better Homes and Garden cookbook called “Cookies for Christmas”. I cannot stress enough how 1985 had all the best Christmas dessert recipes.

Tiny Holiday Tarts

Choose from multiple different fillings! I made Pumpkin-Sour Cream, Pecan Pie and Brownie-Nut. You will need a mini-muffin pan.

Ingredients for Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 3 oz package of cream cheese (I seem to only find 8oz containers, so I just use half. It works fine) [softened]
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

  • In small mixer bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese. Stir in flour
  • Cover and chill about 1 hour or till easy to handle (The first time I made it I chilled it, it was too hard and I had to wait for it to warm back up. The second time I just used the dough right after mixing. It was perfect.)
  • Shape into 1 inch balls
  • Press onto bottom and up sides of ungreased muffin cups. Make sure to reach the top of the cup.
  • Fill each with 1 rounded teaspoon filling. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes.
  • Makes 24. 
  • If you are making multiple flavors, you will need a batch of dough for each flavor.

Filling Ingredients

Pumpkin-Sour Cream Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cupcanned pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tbs milk, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Top with whipped cream for serving. 

Pecan Pie Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbs melted butter or margarine and 1 tps vanilla. Stir in 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans. [Note: the first time I made this I doubled the pecans. Don’t do that. It resorted in the batter over flowing the top of the crust – so the sticky caramelized sugar stuck to the pan, burning some edges and sticking to the pan]

Brownie-Nut Filling: In a small saucepan heat and stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 2 tbs butter or margarine over low heat till melted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/3 cup sugar, 1 beaten egg, and 1 tps vanilla. Add one whole peanut in each tart if desired. 

Other fillings I haven’t tried yet

Cranberry Nut Filling: Beat together 1 egg, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tbs melted butter or margarine, and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir in 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cranberries and 3 tbs chopped walnuts

Lemon Coconut Filling: Beat together 2 eggs, 1/2 c sugar, 2 tb melted butter or margarine, 1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, and 1 tbs lemon juice, stir in 1/4 cup flaked coconut. 

Almond Raspberry Filling: Divide 1/4 cup red raspberry preserves among pastries (about 1/2 tsp each). Beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 c almond paste, crumbled. Spoon 1 level teaspoon of the almond mixture over preserves. Sprinkle coarsely chopped sliced almonds. If desired, drizzle cooled baked tarts with additional red raspberry preserves.

Spiced Fruit Filling: In a small saucepan, combine a 3/4 cup chopped mixed dried fruit and 3/4 cup water and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 8 minutes or til fruit is very tender. Drain. Stir in 2 tbs orange marmalade, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cloves. 

Here’s Ken at Thanksgiving (6 months), being super cute and entertaining at the dinner table.