Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cricut: Conditioning your new cutting mat!

I don't know why I didn't know this! I just opened a brand new Cricut cutting mat. It was so sticky, it was ripping my paper. After spending more time pulling the paper off than it took to prep & cut, I Googled. Someone else had to know how to fix this, right? RIGHT! I found a little video where "Cricut Dan" shows how to "condition" your new cutting mat. Voila! It works. I like to share things that work. Here's the link to the video:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jewelry Organizer

Jewelry Organizer! I've seen several versions of this on Pinterest, so I don't claim it as an original idea. I DID find my own, very inexpensive way to make one for myself, and I LOVE it. It is SO MUCH easier to find matching accessories when I'm getting ready for work. Oh...and it looks pretty cute on my wall too :D

I used a metal and plastic curtain rod from Walmart. I don't remember the exact cost, but it was seriously like $5.00. I got several packages of metal, wire shower curtain hangers for $1.50 a package. Hung the curtain rod on the wall, hung the hooks, hung the necklaces. Voila!

One word of caution! This has also made it MUCH easier for my 22-year-old daughter to find my jewelry, and it gets borrowed. Often. I organized my shoes recently. Same problem. It's a good thing I love her to pieces.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I've never made homemade cream cheese frosting. I know. Until today! I had a mix for pumpkin cake, and wanted cream cheese frosting, but I didn't have any store-bought tub frosting on hand. I don't shop on Sundays...and I had a brick of cream cheese, so I Googled recipes and managed to improvise and make some with what I had on hand. It turned out great!!! Excellent cream cheese taste! Not just vanilla frosting with a hint of cream cheese. It's the real deal.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese (soften to room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (soften to room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
Note: I use a Kitchen Aid mixer. I grew up with one, and don't know what I'd do without it! Recently, I've been using a sifter for flour and powdered sugar, and I like the results. I also like salted butter. I think the salt helps take away some of the "too sweet" taste. You can also use margarine and 1/4 tsp. of salt instead of butter.

Combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla - beat until fluffy. Sift the powdered sugar, add 2 cups, and blend until smooth. Add another cup, and blend. Continue adding 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want.

I'm thinking this would also be excellent with a touch of lemon extract, especially on chocolate cake or sugar cookies...I may try it sometime.