DIY Glitter Ornaments

Christmas is coming!!  I thought I would give the glitter ornaments a try.

I use polycrylic instead of pledge.  I have read that the floor cleaner will run when stored in a warm place.  I want the ornaments to last as long as possible, so I went with poly.

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I bought the flat ornaments from Hobby Lobby.

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First, pour the poly into a cup.  This makes pouring into the glass ornament a lot easier.  You can also use a funnel to pour.

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Then, start to turn the ornament so the poly covers everywhere.  Slowly work your way to the opening, making sure you get the opening covered as well.

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Pour the remaining poly into the cup.

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I have a second cup on standby.  At this point place the ornament upside down over the new cup.  I let it continue to drip for 8 minutes.

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Get your glitter ready while you are waiting.  I found it easiest for me to pour the glitter into the cup.

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Then I made a funnel out of a sheet of paper.

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When your 8 minutes are up, pour the glitter into the ornament using the funnel.  Do the same with the glitter as you did with the poly, slowly turning so everything is coated.  Pour the excess glitter back into the cup.

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You are done!  I let mine air out and fully dry before putting the top back on.

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If you have stickers or vinyl you can attach it.  I like to put my vinyl on after I glitter.

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Make it a great day,

Jen

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Don’t let anything hold you back

I used to bake for other people.  I would make cakes, cupcakes, cake pops etc. for family and friends for their special occasions.  I did it for a few years.  I stopped around the time of our wedding.  I started back up for a while, but it was not for long.

It has been a few years since I have baked for other people now.  For a while I was taking a break.  I needed to enjoy decorating instead of having to do it.

Then came Alex.  It was too hard to bake with a new baby who was nursing.  I have baked some in the past year, but most of it has been before he wakes up or after I put him to bed.

I have been thinking of starting to take orders again for a while.  I have been thinking of starting with cupcakes.  It is the easiest to do with a toddler at your feet.  I made my decision a week ago to start again, but could not bring myself to post it to make it official. IMG_0131

I listened to Bearfoot Baker’s podcast today when she spoke with Callye from Sweet Sugarbelle.  Callye talked about not letting something negative stop you.  It really made me think.

As decorators we put our heart and soul into our creations for people.  That is what makes it so rewarding when we give our baked goods to someone.  But, it is also hard as we strive to put a smile on someone’s face.  I am my biggest critic and see every little flaw when someone else sees an adorable cupcake.  Also, every time I worry what if someone won’t like what I have made for them.  Rejection stings like a bee.

I think this is what has made me pause.  What if I don’t get one order for cupcakes.  What if they don’t like my cupcakes.   How do I deliver cupcakes with Alex in tow?  It is all these what ifs and unknowns that has stopped me in my tracks.  Wouldn’t it be easier not to bake for anyone.  I wouldn’t have to go down this road.

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But: What if they love my cupcakes and keep ordering from me.  What if every time I deliver, I see the smiles of happy customers.  What if I can help a little boy or girl have a wonderful cupcake for their birthday.

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I cannot let the negative or unknown freeze me in time.  I will miss out on all the good life has to offer.   Many people have stated all the good comes from what they were afraid of the most.  If I don’t try, I will never know.  I will never be able to brighten someone’s day with a cupcake and sprinkles.

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It’s time to give it to God and try again.  I have done this before, I can do it again.  And knowing I can make people smile with my cupcakes will be all the reward I need.

Make it a great day,

Jen

Ice Cream Cone Cookies

I have been following Sweet Sugarbelle for several years now.  She has come out with a kit that includes cutters, instructions and templates.  I picked up the kit and made one of the designs this weekend.

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I started at the bottom of the cookie.  I flooded the bottom for the cone.

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Once I was done with all the cones, I went back and added the lines.

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Next, I flooded the brown icing for the chocolate on top.

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After that I flooded the middle of the cookie white for the ice cream.

The last step was adding the sprinkles on the top.  Alex woke up at this time, so I had to rush to get the sprinkles added so I could be done.

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I bought sample boxes from BRP Box Shop a month ago.  I wanted to give some cookies to the neighbors, so I thought the box would be perfect.  It fit two cookies very nicely.

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I did not use the template for this design, but I imagine I will use it with some of the other cookie designs that I make.

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Make it a great day,

Jen

 

Back to our budget

We made our last hospital bill payment a couple of months ago.  It was a long 18 month journey and we are very grateful to be done.  We fell off the budget wagon after that and spent some money.  It was time for us to start shopping for a new vehicle this summer so I knew we would have to get back on track with our budget.

We found a truck for Paul and were able to purchase it two weeks ago.  We have not had a car payment in 1.5 years.  It was time to get back on track with our finances.

We use the cash system by Dave Ramsey.  We tried the multiple envelopes, but that didn’t work for us.  What did work best was to have one envelope for everything for the two weeks.  This will include groceries, Target, gas etc.  Our monthly bills are not included in this.

In the past we didn’t really stick to it fully.  The second weekend would come and there would be no more cash in the envelope for groceries.  We still had to eat, so I would end up using my card.  This defeats the purpose of the system.  So, this time around I set aside a little money for the 2nd weekend’s groceries.  It did help so much to have that already set aside!  We used our card just a few times:  date night, oil change etc.  For the first week being back on track I think we did well all things considered.

The pay period before we were just using our check cards and did not come close to our budget.  This last pay period we did so much better!  I also did try to stick with just one trip a week for groceries.  That way we wouldn’t be over spending.

You can see the two different pay periods listed below.  The left side is the one with our check cards.  Look at all those transactions.  The right side is using cash.  You can see we didn’t go nearly as often and we spent $358 less paying with cash.

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The cash system really does work.  It helps you see the cash as it dwindles in the envelope.  I am hoping to pay off the truck in less time than the loan.  And if we can stay on track and put that extra money towards the loan vs frivolous spending we could shave off 2 years.  How wonderful that would be.

Make it a great day,

Jen

Oreo Cupcake

My neighbor’s birthday is today.  I thought I would make her some cupcakes to help celebrate her special day.

I haven’t made Oreo cupcakes in a long time, so I thought I would make a batch.  I used my go to chocolate cupcake recipe.

I broke some cookies into pieces and placed them in the baking cups before pouring in the batter.

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I finely crushed some additional cookies with a rolling pin in a bag.  I mixed them into my buttercream and piped on the frosting.

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Add a piece of cookie, and voila!  Sweet deliciousness.

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Make it a great day,

Jen

Home sign

I made my first outdoor sign.  I created the design in the silhouette design studio and then cut out the letters onto contact paper.  I am only working with a 12×12 mat at the moment, so I cut out the letters and had to measure and place them manually on the board.  I painted the top of the board with black chalkboard paint and let it dry all day.  I cut everything out and taped it down to see how it would all look before starting to apply the stencil.

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I used clear contact paper as my transfer paper.

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Then, using the hinge method, I attached the stencil to the wood.

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Once everything was placed, I painted over all the letters with black to prevent bleeding.  I let that dry for about 20 minutes.

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I proceeded with painting the whole board white.  I did two coats with 20 minute dry time in between coats.

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After I was done painting, I started to peel the contact paper letters off.  I did this when the paint was still fairly wet.  Just be careful not to smudge the wet paint.

At the end I used polyurethane as a sealer to protect the wood.

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I am really happy with how my first sign turned out and am loving the PVPP method for painting.

 

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Make it a great day,

Jen

Paint wood sign with a stencil

Yesterday I thought I would try to paint a wood sign again using contact paper as a stencil.  I wanted to compare the technique and outcome with the PVPP that I just did.

Paul painted the whole board white for me a few days ago, so there was no worrying about dry time.

I used the silhouette to cut the stencil.  I like using contact paper since it is a lot cheaper than vinyl.

I put the stencil on the board and made sure everything was flat and had good contact, no bubbles or spots where the contact paper was sticking up.

I only did one coat of paint, waited about 10 minutes and then peeled the stencil off while the paint was still a little wet.

I did notice I had some bleeding and the letters were not as crisp as the PVPP method.  It was the same brand paint that I used for both pieces.

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I will keep trying.  Practice makes perfect, but this morning I am leaning towards liking the PVPP method better.  And I did prep a board this morning to start a new sign.  Stay tuned!

Make it a great day,

Jen