Monday, January 16, 2012

Mason Jar Monday ~ Oil Lamps!

Today we are going to make super cute Mason Jar Oil Lamps.

You can make this wintery by using pine cones, greenery, berries, holly, etc. or you can put shells, flowers, fruit, etc for a spring/summer look.

I have seen these here and there and figured they can't be too hard to make... and I was right!  They are so easy and versatile.

All you need is:

Mason Jar
Lamp Oil from Walmart or the Hardware Store
A drill to make a hole in the lid
Lamp wick with glass sleeve (Michaels, Hobby Lobby or online at the

First, you are going to remove your lid.  Take an old piece of scrap wood and place your lid on top of it.  Now drill a hole in the center of your lid.  Insert the glass wick.  If your wick doesn't fit you may need to widen the hole a bit, I used a large nail.

Now fill your jar with whatever lovely items you would like.  Potpourri, Pine Cones, Greenery, Cranberries, Nuts, Lemons and Limes, Flowers, Glass Beads, etc.  

Now fill your jar up with the Lamp Oil and put your lid on and light.  

So pretty and so simple.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Feast ~ Beef Short Ribs

Beef Short Ribs... Yumm! It's whats for dinner tonight.  This is a big favorite of my family, I hope you enjoy it too!

  • 6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-diced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
  • 4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 cups beef stock

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the fennel, leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place rosemary and thyme in the pot.
Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy Thursday... A New Giveaway for 2012!!

I've decided to have my first Giveaway of 2012!!
I figured what a great way to start off the new year!

So, whatcha got in that giveaway, you ask?? 

1.  An adorable Prim Sheet complete with twig legs!! Who knows if I get crafty, I may make a super cute prim wreath for his neck. 

2. A little pin keep, make do - thingamabobber.  (I am participating in a Quilt Square Swap on Country Sampler Forum, so I am practicing my sewing skills!) :-)

3.  Six precious little Valentine Postcard Ornies.  Here is a closer up photo for you to see those adorable cherubs!

4.  A wonderful scented candle called 1821!

Rules for the Giveaway

Forgot to mention that the giveaway will end on January 28th. 

Leave a comment to this post... Please be a follower... new followers are ALWAYS welcome.

If you share my Giveaway on your blog, I will enter you twice.

That's it, pretty simple.  

Thanks for visiting today.

Hugs, Laura 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial... Jute Decorative Balls

Jute Balls

Today I am making a bunch of these cool jute balls.  I have seen them all over the place in potpourri, in old wooden bowls, in cool cloches, etc.  I also was thinking of making some with brightly colored leftover yarns for Easter Decorations for my Easter tree or to hang in windows.  

Okay, for this you will need:

Jute or Yarn of choice
Saran Wrap
Craft Glue

Okay, first blow up your balloons to the size you want your balls to be... I think doing both small and large is a good idea to get some variation.

Next, mix your glue with equal parts water.  I put my glue/water mixture into a 9 x 13 glass pan.  Cover your work space with the newspaper for protection. 

Now, cut a long piece of jute or yarn and place into your glue mixture and allow to soak for a few minutes, and then pull it out sort of squeezing the excess off. Now wind it around your balloon in random directions to give it a varied look.

Allow them to dry well on saran wrap.  When the tops feel dry to the touch, turn them over so that the whole things dries thoroughly.  Once completely dry, pop the balloon, and remove through the holes.

And voila, you are done! So, so simple, yet adorable! Don't you agree?

Pinned Image

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mason Jar Monday ~ Champagne Sake Mojito

Okay, I know the holidays are over, but we had some leftover champage... and neither my husband nor I drink it plain.  So, I found this clever take on it and since we love mojitos, thought we would give it a try.

You will need...
Mason Jar of course to serve...
1 bottle of Champagne (we used a dry Champagne)
1 bottle of Sake (we had about 3/4 of a bottle leftover, so we used that)
1 large bunch of mint leaves
fresh juice from 4 limes
2TB sugar or liquid sweetener

First, tear off all the mint leaves and place in the bottom of a large pitcher.  Also, place the sweetener of your choice and the lime juice in the container.  Take the back of a wooden spoon and press against the mint leaves to muddle them with the juice and sweetener.  Next pour the champagne and sake in and stir well. Pour over ice in your mason jars.