Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Monday, September 5, 2016

Making a Family Cookbook from Scratch



My daughter, Brianna, celebrated her 23rd birthday a couple of weeks ago.  When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she replied, "I want a cookbook of all of your recipes."   This was not an easy task to accomplish.  First - like many people out there - many of the recipes I make are in my head.  I measure ingredients by sight and taste on many things.  Oh, sure, I do have several recipes written down or bookmarked in favorite cookbooks, as well, but I often improvise on these, too, to make them my own.  In addition, while I knew I would "someday" make recipe books for each of my kids, I knew it would be a large undertaking, as well as time consuming.  I am currently a full-time college student, plus I work part-time for a non-profit agency and run my own little jewelry business. Where in the world would I find time to construct a family recipe book?

I wanted this book to be special.  I wanted something that was more than just recipes.  I wanted this to be a generational cookbook; one that featured recipes not just from me, but also from my mother, grandmother and other family members.  I wanted it to be personalized with family stories and memories of food that will be otherwise lost when the older generations pass on.  In addition, I wanted to share special family pictures and my own cooking "secrets" that have worked for me over the years.   It was important to design the book in such a manner that my daughter can add her own recipes to the book, so she can eventually pass it down to her kids.   Last, but certainly not least, I did not want to have to create a book totally from scratch due to my tight time constraints.  (I had about 6 weeks to complete the book from start to finish, and that is not a lot of time.)

I ended up purchasing a pre-designed recipe/scrapbook from Hobby Lobby.  The book came with a set of designed tabbed dividers, several colorful scrapbook pages, page protectors and decorative recipe index cards.  Of course, I had to purchase additional recipe cards and pages in order to ensure I could put everything I wanted to include in the book.  Using the book as my template, I purchased other items to decorate and design the book, such as scrapbook paper in coordinating colors, vintage-looking paper flowers, lace, ribbon, buttons and cooking-related stickers.   All in all, I think the book turned out beautifully.

I began the book by writing a heartfelt letter to my daughter about my own cooking experiences and how I wanted her to make this book her own by adding her own recipes and memories to it.  Immediately following the letter, I designed a page of the four generations of women in my family that are (and will be) the main contributors to the book - namely, my grandmother, my mother, me and my daughter.

Generational family cookbook - four generations and counting.




I included individual pages about each generational member (the cookbook "authors") of our family, such their photos, their names, where they were born, dates of death and birth date information.  These pages were decorated with lace and flowers to give them an antique-heirloom feel.

The pages about my grandmother and mother.

The pages about me and my daughter.

One the front of each tabbed divider page, I wrote humorous food-related experiences encountered by our family members.


The back of each tabbed divider contains more photos of the women within our four generations.

Decorated divider pages. This is of my grandmother.

  Decorated divider pages. This is of my daughter when she was little.

No recipe book is complete without a few kitchen secrets. These are a few of mine.

 
Kitchen secrets page.



 And, of course, it is important to include pictures of some of the recipe highlights from the book:

Featured recipes pictures.

Featured recipes pictures.

Featured recipes pictures.






 When the book was completed, it was quite thick, but it still has room for additional recipes to be added in the future.

The completed recipe book.

The completed recipe book

My daughter loved her book.  She is getting married next month, so it is ready just in time for her to begin adding her own recipes to the book; an heirloom in the making.

Brianna and her family cookbook.

Brianna and her family cookbook.

To anyone thinking about making a family cookbook - you don't have to be an avid scrap-booker in order to create something like this.  Just be sure to allow sufficient time for it to be completed.  It took me six weeks to complete this book, and I had to work on it every day during that time period.  To make it really special, I'd also recommend handwriting the recipes and such in order to give the book some personal flair.

An another note - since I am sharing family information on this post, I want to announce that there is a new bud on my family tree.  I became a grandmother in July- for the first time ever (courtesy of my son and daughter-in-law)  to a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy name Oliver (Ollie).  He has absolutely stolen my heart.  There is no doubt you will be seeing more of him and creations made for him on this blog in future posts.

Me and my precious grandson, Ollie. ♥

My little sidekick. LOL

Sweet little Ollie.
Please be sure to follow my blog here or through Facebook in order not to miss any future posts.  As always - have a creative day!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

DIY Waterproof Photo Tile Coasters Tutorial

I have been wanting to post this tutorial for awhile now.  Handmade coasters make great gifts for Christmas or any time of the year.  I will be the first to tell you that you can find other photo coaster tutorials on the internet and on Pinterest, but many of them are not waterproof.  This means that your efforts to create a beautiful DIY project are essentially ruined the first time someone places a glass on your coaster.   That is how this tutorial is different than the others out there.  Not only will I tell you how to make your coasters waterproof, I will also let you know about my product preferences based upon my own tried-and-true personal experiences.  (Why reinvent the wheel twice, right?)

I made this set of coasters for my parents, who celebrated 51 years of marriage this year.  They have everything they need so it makes it difficult to buy gifts for them.  I figured the coasters would be something they would not only  use, but also enjoy since they capture moments from their many years together.







DIY WATERPROOF PHOTO TILE COASTERS TUTORIAL

Supplies:

Four 4x4 ceramic white tiles
Four 4x4 pictures printed from ink jet or laser printer (do not use developed photos)
Pencil or pen
Scissors
White glue (I used Aleene's Tacky Glue)
Gold leafing pen or gold marker (I used Pilot gold marker)
Resin (I used Annie Howe's for this project)
Felt pads, round (about 3/4" inch in diameter)

Important Note:  Please make sure your work surface is covered with waxed paper, a plastic sheet or garbage bag, or something similar so you don't ruin your table!

Tutorial:

1)  Select 4 white ceramic tiles that will serve as the base of the coasters.  Set aside.
















2) On an inkjet or laser printer, select four photos for the coasters and print them out.  Make sure they are at least 4x4.  It's okay if they are a little bigger than 4x4, as they will be trimmed, just don't make them smaller than this size.   The ones I selected are memories of my parents over the years.

















3) Using one of the coasters as a guide, turn the coaster upside and center it over the photo.   Trace around it with a pen or pencil.  Use scissors to cut out images.  Repeat this process for the remaining photos.















4) Use your desired type of glue for adhering the images to the coasters.  I prefer to use Aleene's Tacky glue on most of my projects.   First, it's tried and true - but it also works well for adhering paper-based crafts.





5) Squeeze the glue randomly over the coasters.  Don't go crazy - the idea with this is that you will have enough glue to spread over the coaster, but not so much that you have a dripping mess. 















6) Using your finger, spread the glue evenly over the coaster from edge to edge.















7) Carefully lay the photo on top of the coaster.  Run your finger over the image, ensuring that all wrinkles and bubbles are gone.  Let the coaster dry at least an hour.  (Tip: If you don't allow the coaster to dry before beginning the next step, you will cause your image to wrinkle and pucker. Trust me on this one. :)  )

















8) Use the same technique as described in Step 5.  (Note:  Some people swear by using Mod Podge for this process.  I don't recommend it.  I have found that when using Mod Podge to decoupage images I print from my ink jet printer, the Mod Podge lifts the colors off of the image, making them faded and barely visible.  I have destroyed many a project by using Mod Podge for this purpose.  So - I just avoid using it all together.)


















9) Use the same technique as described in Step 6.  Make sure that all edges of the photo are coated with glue.  Failing to do this will result in the photo becoming damaged by the resin and/or liquids.















10) When all of the glue has been spread over the photo, it will appear white.  (This will turn transparent as the glue dries, so don't worry.)















11)  Allow the coasters to dry thoroughly.  They are considered to be dry when there is no white showing.

Images after glue has been applied and allowed to dry.



















12) Use the gold marker or leafing pen to apply a gold edging around the outside of the photos.  I like to use this technique because it gives the coasters a more finished look than when left plain.














13) Once completed, your coaster will look like this.  Allow the gold to dry for several minutes.


















14) Use your resin of choice to coat the top of the coasters.  For this project, I used Annie Howe's Luxe jewelry grade resin.  I have had very good results with this resin.  It looks crystal clear when dried, and it does not turn yellow over time.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mixing the resin.  Use a Popsicle stick to apply the resin evenly over the entire top of the coaster.  Make sure resin is applied evenly from edge to edge.  You don't need to put a heavy coat on top of the coaster.  A thin one will do.  To cover 4 coasters, you will use approximately 4 ounces of resin (one medicine cup full.)  If you see any bubbles form after the resin has been poured, hold a heat gun several inches above the coaster.  This will help to dissipate the bubbles.  Let coasters harden thoroughly.  Depending on which resin you use, this can be anywhere from 24 to 72 hours.



















15) Once the resin has thoroughly hardened, turn over coasters and stick one felt pad in each corner.     This will help to ensure you don't scratch your table top.
















16)  And there you have it!!!  Your beautiful, handmade, one-of-a-kind coasters!!!




















I hope you have enjoyed making this project as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.  Please don't hesitate to drop me a message if you have any questions about anything within this process.  Happy coaster-making!



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Vintage Hankie Mini Quilt

Throughout my lifetime, I was always very close to my maternal German-Polish grandmother, my "Oma".  She left us in 1999 from complications brought on by diabetes, but there isn't a day that I don't think about her.  I think Oma is the one who inspired my crafty side.  Ever since I can remember, she was usually making a new dress at her vintage 1940's sewing machine (a gift to her from my grandfather for their anniversary one year), knitting, crocheting or baking.  Her passing left a void in my family that can never be filled.

Sadly, my own mother has been quite ill lately, also suffering from diabetes complications.  She recently had her leg amputated and is still at home in Arizona recovering from the surgery.  I wanted to do something extra special for her this year for Mother's Day.   I decided to incorporate images of my Oma (my mom's mom) into a little memory quilt that she can display and enjoy all year long.

I cut apart vintage purple and white floral hankies and arranged them "crazy-quilt" style into a pleasing arrangement.  I also added images of my Oma that I printed from my computer onto fabric and incorporated them into the design.  Once all of the pieces were sewn into place, I embellished the quilt with buttons, trims, lace, fabric flowers and the like. 







I mailed my mother the quilt earlier this week to ensure she'd have it in time for Mother's Day.  She received it yesterday and said she cried when she opened her present.  I'm glad that I was able to do something for my mom to give her a little happiness during this really rough time she is experiencing.

If you are a mother, I want to wish you a heartfelt "Happy Mother's Day".  It's been said that there is no love like a Mother's love, and I really think that's true.  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your day!

P.S.  I want to credit quilter Cindy Brick for the inspiration behind my quilt.  Years ago, I purchased her "Hanky Panky Crazy Quilts" book that utilizes the concept of repurposing vintage hankies into quilts.  I own hundreds of craft and sewing books, but this one is still at the top of my favorites list.  If you'd like to see other hankie quilts I've made that are available for purchase, please check them out on my Etsy store, Retro Eclectica.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ornate Jewelry Creations and an Intro to My Daughter's Rosary Designs

It was a very productive weekend for me in the jewelry-making department.  It's no secret that I unwind from the stress of the work week by creating.  It's proven to be good for the soul and it keeps me out of trouble, too. :)

This weekend, I created the following one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and want to share them with you:


Bronze and Blue Crystal Virgin Mary Statement Necklace

Bronze and Blue Crystal Virgin Mary Necklace (Pendant Detail)

Red Filigree and Crystal Virgin Mary Necklace

Red Filigree and Crystal Virgin Mary Necklace (Pendant Detail - Check out the red rhinestones framing the image.)

Hand-decorated bronze Virgin Mary icon bracelet



All items are currently for sale in my EBay and Etsy stores.  By the way, if you like the look of the bracelet, stay tuned for details on how to decorate your own metal components for your jewelry projects.  I'll be sharing a tutorial on this very subject on my blog later in the week.

While I'm on the subject of ornate designs, I want to take a minute to introduce you to my daughter, Brianna's rosary designs.  Brianna started making corded rosaries and rosary bracelets while she was still in high school. 



She also became enamored with making automobile and full size crystal and gemstone rosaries.  These have proven to be pretty popular among her peers. She recently posted some of her latest creations on her Facebook page and sold every single one of them.  Is that awesome, or what?

She's decided to take her rosary making to a whole new level - she has begun selling them in her Etsy store, the Saint Philomena Store.  She also accepts custom orders, so if you'd like a sparkly, well-made rosary of your own, please don't hesitate to contact Brianna.  I know you won't be disappointed. :)


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