Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tomato-Herb Focaccia

Oops! I hadn't realized this had been posted until I popped onto the computer this morning. I guess I was distracted when I exited last night, because I thought I had just saved this as a partial post, not actually published it. 

So last week while my husband and I were out one evening our 10 month old puppy, Mr. Peabody, decided I needed an open-toe pair of boots.  He literally chewed off the toe of my suede boots.  This dog is the most destructive little animal I've ever come across.  In fact, I've nick-named him Destructo because of all the property he has destroyed, too much to begin to name here.  But my husband absolutely loves him and I keep holding out hope that he will get better once he gets older.  I've included a picture of him, although it is a few months old.  He's bigger than this now.


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small can chopped olives

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 tablespoon oil, salt, sugar, garlic powder, herbs, pepper and 1-1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into a 13-in. x 9-in. rectangle; place on a greased baking sheet (as you can plainly see, I shaped mine as a pizza). Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With fingertips, make several dimples over top of dough.
4. Brush dough with remaining oil; arrange tomatoes and olives over the top. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Glittery Halloween Pumpkins

Last Sunday was our family craft day.  Since we hadn’t had one in awhile, we were definitely overdue.   I saw a version of this project while surfing the web last month and thought it would make a good craft day project.

There are a few different versions of this dryer vent pumpkin out there, some call for the plastic vent, but for the most part the assembly is the same.   After it’s painted, add your own simple touches to make it unique.

Materials needed:
Orange spray paint
Sparkly Mod Podge
Metal dryer vent
Tie wraps (optional)
Cinnamon sticks
Ribbon of your choice

Cut a 24” length of the metal dryer vent.  Secure ends together with glue or tie wraps.  

 With orange spray paint, cover the entire surface.

Apply a coat of Sparkly Mod Podge to outer layer for glittery effect.

Glue cinnamon sticks to the center as the pumpkin stem. Attach a few leaves. Tie ribbon and raffia around the stem.

I have a few Halloween projects that I’m either trying to finish up or just get posted, so I hope you’ll check back.

If you like what you see on my blog, please vote for me at Picket Fence Blogs.  Just click the button below.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wickedy Witch Sign

This was a birthday gift from my sister. It came unmounted and unpainted, with just a coat of primer.  I was so excited when I saw it!  Last year about this time, I went to visit my sister and saw this witch sign amongst her many Halloween decorations.  I wanted it.  I really, really wanted it.  When I asked her where she got it, she told me she had made it.

One day while surfing the web she came across some craft classes--one to make these witch signs.  So my sister looked at the picture, she showed it to her husband and the two of them came up with a pattern.  When I saw it, I asked her for a copy.  Although it was less than a week away from Halloween at the time, I thought we could do it for an upcoming family craft day. Unfortunately, she never gave it to me.  When the end of September came around this year I thought again of that sign and I was just about to start bugging her for the pattern, but before I could--voilĂ !, she gave it to me without me asking.  Aren't sisters great?

Materials List:
Sparkle Mod Podge
Paint list
  • Orange
  •  Black
  • Green
  • Purple
  • White
Coordinating ribbon
Glue gun
4 googly eyes 
Decorations for witch hat (I used glitterly pipe cleaner, ribbon and spider)
Witch hair (I used chenille pipe cleaners, my sister used orange yarn)
1 5/16" button (for nose)--you can also use this for the cat nose if you choose not to paint it.
36" x 5" piece of wood to mount your letters

These are the wooden pieces you have to work with.  Mine were already primered.

Paint the following pieces and allow to dry before adding a second coat.  
  1. W--orange.  T, wooden button (nose) and witch's face--green.  C--purple.  H, cat head, witch's boots, hat brim, top of witch's hat and witch's dress--black.  Decorate the legs as you wish.     
  2. Mod Podge scraps of coordinating paper to each letter, the dress of the witch and to the dowels for the socks.  Trim the edges. Remember to cover the entire surface with the Mod Podge so it will all look the same, especially if you are using one of the glittery or sparkly types.
  3. Glue your googly eyes on the cat face.  Paint the nose and mouth.  I mixed a little black and white together to get the color I used for my cat's face.  Use the same color and a fine brush to paint the lines around the cat's face and ears.  
  4.  Glue the googly eyes on the witch and with a fine brush and black paint add some eyelashes.  Then attach the nose.  Paint the mouth, I used a fine brush and black paint.  For the rosy cheeks, I used some of the orange paint mixed with white and began stippling it on (the harder you dab the darker the color).  I crosshatched some fine lines with black to finish off the cheeks (you can always use a fine black sharpie in place of a fine brush and black paint).  Glue your hair in place.  Attach the brim of you hat and decorate as you wish.  I added a couple of pieces of glittery pipe cleaners, two different ribbons, and a spider.  Glue the dowels in place for her legs and attach her boots.
  5.  Tie/add bows where you wish!

Start with a primered piece.  Base the letter with the color of choice.  Add coordinating paper with the sparkle Mod Podge.  Then attached some matching ribbon just to add a little more flair. 

This was the first time I used the sparkle Mod Podge and I loved it

The W

The Witch

The T

The C

The Cat

This is my sister's sign.  The one that started my obsession with this project.  This is not the best picture.  It's kind of hard to see the witch's face clearly, but you can get the overall gist. 

And for any of you who would like to make your own sign, please e-mail me for the pattern.  I will be more than happy to send it out.  I tried to upload it to this post, but it just wasn't working.  :(

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Spooky Spider Web--Halloween Mantle

How many of you have discovered Pinterest?  After waiting for months for an invite, I was finally invited a few weeks ago by a blogger friend--Melissa from Mel Dreams Often.  Thanks again, Melissa!  It was more entertaining than I anticipated.  I absolutely love that site.  It's so addicting.  Every time I log on over there, I discover so many other interesting web sites.  One such site:  Centsational Girl.  She has so many fun things on her site, there are just too many to list.  Check her out.  But I did get the idea for my Halloween mantle from her.  So, to give credit where credit is due.  Thanks Centsational Girl, I love your website.

My arachnid invaded mantle

First, I needed some cute candlesticks to display.  I had an old set that had been kicking around and I really didn't know what to do with them.  They had a good shape to them but they were very past their prime.  I gave them to my hubby to spray paint black.

I was going to distress them after they were dry, but I decided I liked the glossy black look.  I had purchased the garden trellis and mixed my craft paint with a few tablespoons of water to turn it into the dye, then dropped the trellis into the mixture.  I stirred it around and after it was completely covered with the black stain, I let it dry outside for a few hours. Then I hung it on my mantle, and set the spiders loose.

This was the outcome.  What do you think?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Holly Legare, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator--Guest post

Holly Legare, Stampin' Up! demonstrator is our guest blogger today. 

Sandy, Thanks so much for asking me to be a guest on your blog. I really needed this as I am working on starting my own blog soon. 

As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator I'm getting ready for my Christmas Stamp-a-Stack on November 5th. I just finished the designs this week. No, I'm not forgetting Halloween and Thanksgiving. I just had to get a jump on Christmas. More details on my Stampin' Up! website:, or Holly's new blog: Holly's Stamping Addiction

Now that these are finished I can concentrate on Halloween - My favorite!