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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Crochet Jute Basket at Darice


Today I'm over at the Darice blog sharing the pattern for this Crocheted Jute Bobble Basket. This guy was fun to make and a bit different for me, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. Come by, say hi, and get the pattern!

Alice Remembers Giveaway

*I received free products for this giveaway, and it is 100% my real opinion that they are awesome.

I am really excited about today's giveaway, friends! Today you can win a $35 gift card to one of my very favorite etsy shops, Alice Remembers.

Naomi is the sweet lady behind Alice Remembers, and she crochets all of the adorable goodies in her shop. This year she has added these adorable chunky crocheted ornaments.


I love them as ornaments, but they also make super cute gift toppers. I have purchased exactly one Christmas gift so far this year (ah! send help!), and I wrapped it up and stuck that cute chunky star right on top.


Naomi also makes really cute crocheted earrings. I have some of the little hearts, which I love and wear all the time.


This year Naomi sent me a pair of her dangly statement earrings.  They are so cute, and would make a perfect little stocking stuff or gift for friends.

To make your gift a little more special, I whipped up a simple little printable for you to attach your new earrings to.



Just print off the gift tags, punch little holes, and attach your earrings. If you'd like you can tie on a little twine bow.



These tags are perfect for earrings from Alice Remembers, but really any earring will work!

And good news! Even if you don't win the giveaway, you can still get a great deal this week because Naomi is offering 10% OFF EVERYTHING in the shop using the code THANKFUL10. Yay!

Ready to enter? The giveaway will close 12/3/14 at 12:00 EST, and is open to U.S. residents 18 and older. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY Watercolor Place Cards

*This project was originally created by me for Craftaholics Anonymous. For your convenience this post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Persia Lou!




Earlier this month I shared the gratitude tablecloth that I made for Thanksgiving this year. I also gave a little sneak peek of our Thanksgiving table including some pretty watercolor place cards, and today I have a step-by-step tutorial to help you make your own!

These are really simple to make and are such a pretty addition to any special dinner occasion.


To make your watercolor placecards you will need:
Using your pencil and ruler draw a light line across the middle of the paper so you have two 6×9″ halves.


If you are using tube watercolors, mix up the colors you want to use.


Starting at the pencil line, paint the a light wash about an inch and a half down from the line (to lighten the color, add more water). Then paint about another inch and a half below that with a darker wash. Blend the colors together.


With the darker wash, paint in a zig zag motion over the edge down below the midpoint between the pencil line and the bottom edge of the paper. this gives the watercolor portion an uneven edge. Feel free to play around with colors and designs.

Next, repeat this painting process starting at the top of the paper, and then set it aside to dry. When your paintings have dried, but are still slightly damp, you can put a heavy book on top to help flatten out any warping of the paper.


Cut the paper in half along the pencil line. And then cut each half into three 3×6″ rectangles.


To add the names to the placecards I used liquid gold leaf and a small round paintbrush. Be sure to use an inexpensive paintbrush you don’t care about because the liquid leaf will ruin it.


To create a calligraphic effect, try holding the brush at a right angle to the paper. When you move the brush upward, use very light pressure, so the line is thin. When you move the brush downward, use more pressure, which will create a thicker stroke.



When the lettering is dry, fold the cards in half and your place cards are all done!


I really love that the backs of the placecards are pretty too. They will be adding a nice pop of color to our Thanksgiving feast.

Do you ever use place cards for Thanksgiving?


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gift Idea and Printable at Yellow Bliss Road


Hey guys! In yesterday's post, I mentioned a little gift idea for packaging up those yummy hot chocolate sticks I made. I'm over that Yellow Bliss Road today sharing that idea plus some new printables.


I'd love it if you came by and said hi. Click right HERE. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hot Chocolate on a Stick With Salted Caramel Marshmallows

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Thank you for supporting Persia Lou!


A couple years ago, I made hot chocolate on a stick as neighbor gifts. They were super yummy topped with homemade marshmallows. This year I decided to try them again - this time with a twist.

I added a swirl of yummy salted caramel to my marshmallows, and they are super delicious melted into a cup of rich hot chocolate.


I finished my treats off with cute little tags that you can download and print off for your own treats. Here's how to make your own:


Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Slightly adapted from Makes and Takes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 fourteen oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups chocolate chips (the first time I made this it was a little too dark for our tastes, so this time I used 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate, 1 cup semi-sweet, and 1/2 cup 60% dark chocolate)
  • 1 four oz dark chocolate bar of chocolate broken into pieces
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or other flavoring), optional
  1. Prepare 8x8" pan by lining it with parchment paper.
  2. Add cream and sweetened condensed milk to saucepan and warm over medium heat until it begins to steam, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted and shiny. Add vanilla or flavoring, if desired.
  4. Pour/spread into prepared pan.
  5. Let set over night (or about 12 hours) before cutting. Cut into 36 squares.

Salted Caramel Marshmallows

Adapted from Allrecipes and Food Network

Ingredients
Salted Caramel
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Marshmallows
  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Begin by making the salted caramel. Place 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until sugar melts, begins to turn golden brown, and all chunks are dissolved, about 10 minutes. Stop stirring and let cook for 3-8 minutes more until it darkens to a deep amber and begins to smoke. Remove from heat.
  2. Add butter, and stir to combine. Slowly pour in heavy cream. Sprinkle in salt and stir to combine. Set caramel aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer combine 3 packages unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water. Let sit while making the syrup.
  4. In medium saucepan fitted with candy thermometer combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 240 degrees. 
  5. With the whisk attachment and the mixer on slow speed, slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin. Turn the mixer to high speed and whip the mixture until it is opaque, fluffy and nearly tripled in size. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. 
  6. Generously dust 8x12 glass pan with powdered sugar. Pour marshmallow into pan. Spoon the salted caramel on the top of the marshmallow mixture. Use a knife to swirl the caramel into the marshmallow. Smooth top and dust with powdered sugar. Let marshmallow sit uncovered overnight. Cut into squares the same size as the hot chocolate blocks. Coat marshmallows with powdered sugar to keep them from sticking to everything. 

To put your hot chocolate sticks together, push a marshmallow onto a lollipop stick , and then add a hot chocolate block. Put each stick in a little cellophane bag and tie with bakers twine or ribbon on top.


Too add tags to your hot chocolate on a stick, print the FREE PRINTABLE off on cardstock. I used kraft cardstock.


Cut the tags out, punch a hole in the top, and tie them onto your hot chocolate sticks. They make a perfect little gift stuffed into a mug.


Come back tomorrow for another printable perfect for any gift tucked into a mug.


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