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My Best Posts so far…

One of the blogs that I follow is Jennifer Rizzo and she is looking for monthly contributors for recipes, crafting and home decorating.  To find out more about the contest go to her blog post Jennifer Rizzo Contributor Call-Out


To enter you have to do a post showing your three best posts.  Since I do all three, I will show my three best post for each.

Continue reading My Best Posts so far…

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Painting Donuts

Normally I paint from a pattern or sketch from photo references, but sometimes it is fun to set up a still life and paint from it….so why not paint donuts.

The best part about painting donuts is having to buy a “collection” of fresh donuts to sketch and then eat them. 😀 Since my husband was more than willing to help and anxious to get started, I took pictures. I stacked them and also took pictures singularly from the top, side and at an angle.  After photographing many donuts I decided on these three.


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Decorating for the New Year

Once Christmas was over my home looked a little bare, but how to decorate?  Should I do snowies, a touch of spring or something creative.  You will see that I did a little of all three.  And since I design and also enjoy painting other people’s designs you will find a lot of Art in my decorating.

And since I am posting this in the middle of a huge snow storm I am glad that I did not over due the snowies.  This is a picture of my living room/dining room.  I went with a lot of green here, especially on the mantel but you can see I have a little snow fairy.

Continue reading Decorating for the New Year

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Clothespin Snowies

I was moving some things around in my basement when I found the starts to these clothes pin snow people and thought you might enjoy creating them. You will need a few clothes pins, toothpicks, doll stands, some twigs for arms, butterfly stickers for wings, paint, glitter, glue, ribbon and tulle and any other embellishments you would like.  If you don’t have them already, you can get most of these supplies at your local craft store.


Continue reading Clothespin Snowies

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Making a Birthday Canvas

Our family was celebrating my nieces 50th birthday on New Year’s day.  I wanted to do something special for her so I decided to make a mixed media Birthday canvas.  I had a general idea of what I wanted to do and was able to find the needed supplies at my local crafts store.  I started with a 5x7x2 wooden canvas (you could use a regular canvas), I wanted to put her age on the canvas, her initial, a crown, and possibly feet on the project so she could sit it on a table.


Continue reading Making a Birthday Canvas

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Making Glitter Houses

I posted a picture on Facebook of me and a young friend making glitter houses, a number of people seemed interested in how they were made so I thought I would show you.  You are probably thinking this is too close to Christmas is she crazy…..but this could really be a fun project/ memory with your children, grandchildren or a special friend over vacation break.  In fact in would be fun to do every year and watch how their art changes as they grow.  When they leave home they will have their own Christmas village, much more valuable than any they could buy.

Continue reading Making Glitter Houses

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Aunt Sid’s Orange Cookies

Every year my Aunt Sid would make her orange cookies for a man at her church.  The last year she made them for him he actually died on that very day.  How very unfortunate for him.  It just happen that I visited my Aunt that very day and she sent all the cookies home with me, how very fortunate for me.  I loved them and have been making them ever since.  This is probably one of the favorite cookies with my family and friends.

Continue reading Aunt Sid’s Orange Cookies

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Christmas House Tour 2015

This year I am linking my Christmas house tour to Jennifer Rizzo’s Holiday House walk 2015 link party. Please stop over to her blog to see other wonderful holiday homes by clicking on the image below or by clicking Here.

linkgraphicFor those of you who don’t know me, I am a decorative painter.  I will paint something and then make a pattern and instructions so that others can paint my designs.  I also enjoy painting other people’s designs.  If you are interested in learning to paint, decorative painting is a great way to start.  You can contact the Society of Decorative Painters to find a teacher or a chapter in your local area or you can contact a local painting shop to see if they offer classes . Also today there are many online classes that you can take and learn at your own pace.

Continue reading Christmas House Tour 2015

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Playing with Glitter

My friend Amy Mogish (visit her blog at and I went to a glitter class with Miss Mustard Seed aka Marian Parsons.  We used MMS’s German Glass Glitter which has an extra sparkle, you can find it on her web site.  It was such a fun relaxing class and the process is pretty simple:

  1. Place white glue were you want glitter.
  2. Sprinkle on glue with glitter.
  3. Shake off excess glitter.
  4. Repeat.

It is amazing how many things you can glitter in 2 hours. I had painted a small house and put clear glitter all over it, plus letters for two banners, snowflakes and pine cones.  These few projects added a lot of glitz to my holiday decorating.


Marian had given me some old music pages which I wanted to put my one set of letters on.  Since the paper was fragile I glue it to some heavier banners that I bought at Michaels.  I then glued the letters to them.

Continue reading Playing with Glitter

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Tips on Decorating your Mantel

Just like decorating a tree there are no specific ways to decorate a mantel, but I thought I would share a few tips on how I do it.  First I think about how I want the mantel to look.  Do I want my garland to go across the top, on the front edge, or swag off of the mantel.  I then think about where I want the garland to connect to the mantel and add command hooks following the manufacturers instructions.


Continue reading Tips on Decorating your Mantel

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Advent Tree of Service

Last year I had read on Jeanne Oliver’s blog that her family had a service advent tree.  Instead of receiving a little gift or treat to count down the days until Christmas, they did an act of service for someone each day.  I love the idea and thought I would try it this year.  You could use any tree and attach stars on it each day but I thought I would make one.

I found these wonderful kraft stars at Michaels.  I did not want to completely paint them, but I wanted a little bling so I flyspecked them with two shades of gold metallic paint.  I used DecoArt Metallics – Emperor’s Gold and Splendid Gold.

image Continue reading Advent Tree of Service

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Tips on Trimming Your Christmas Tree

If you haven’t started already, I am sure you will soon be decorating for Christmas.  For most of us the focal point in the room is the tree.  There is no right or wrong way to decorate a Christmas tree, but I follow some basics steps on every tree I put up.   I hope these decorating tips will be helpful to you.

I always sit my tree on a towel, so that it is easy to move around if needed.  I begin by fluffing and shaping the tree.  If you use a real tree you can skip this step and just turn the best side forward.


A pre-lit tree can be wonderful as long as the lights work.  I prefer a tree without lights.  If a string of lights goes bad you can easily replace them.  It also allows you to change out the color and type of light from season to season.

Continue reading Tips on Trimming Your Christmas Tree

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Festive Fall Pedestal – DIY

I love to display things on pedestals.  When I was at Micheal’s (You can see by now that I go there too often) I found the little wooden pedestal and thought it would work with a cake pan on top.  You could use any type pan.  I wanted something with straight sides so it would be a little easier to cover with scrapbook paper.  The pan I used is the 8″ tray available from Della and Company

pedgettingstarted Continue reading Festive Fall Pedestal – DIY

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Wonderful Fudgy, Chewy, Cakey Brownies

One of my favorite treats are these brownies, they have crunchy edges with a rich fudgy chocolate middle and lots and lots of nuts.   The original recipe is from “The Perfect Recipe” by Pam Anderson.  I have changed a couple things to make them even more perfect to me.


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.  Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Continue reading Wonderful Fudgy, Chewy, Cakey Brownies

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Say It With Pumpkins – DIY

I found this metal heart at Micheal’s and thought it would be fun to spell out some words with the heart symbolizing “love” or “heart”.  For example you could spell out GRATEFUL “heart”, THANKFUL “heart”, FALL “love” or WHO “loves” YOU.  I am sure you can also think of other combinations to spell out.  So first I had to figure out what I was going to spell out so I would know how many pumpkin blocks I would need. I had my husband cut out 8 sections of 2×4,  4 1/2″ long and sand them with a hand sander.  He then drilled a hole in the center top for the stems.  I cut tree branches 3″ long for the stems trying to keep them all about the same diameter.

Step1supplies Continue reading Say It With Pumpkins – DIY

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Fall Owl Painting – DIY

As you saw on my fall decorating blog post I have an “owl” thing going this year.  I didn’t plan it, it just happen.  I guess that means owls are big this year.  See Fall house tour – the Beginning and Fall house tour- The rest.

I wanted a painting of an owl, but wanted to keep is simple so I sketched out an owl and sized it to my canvas. I used a square canvas 24″x24″ and painted it Lamp Black (I used DecoArt paints). You could scale it to any size canvas.  I then positioned my owl and traced it on.  I outlined him in chalk so that you could see him better.  I decided I wanted him to sit on a tree branch and have a moon showing through the branches.  I cut a circle out of white paper for the moon and laid it in place.  Them using a piece of chalk I traced around the moon and freehand the trees and branches.

owlgetting started Continue reading Fall Owl Painting – DIY

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Chalk Paint and Gold Leaf Pumpkins – DIY

This year I have been seeing a lot of really wonderful looking pumpkins painted with chalk paint so I thought I would give it a try.  I went to my local craft store and bought some of the craft pumpkins and some bottles of chalk paint in the colors I thought I would like them.  I wanted my pumpkins to be a little funky and glitzy so I also purchase gold leafing and adhesive.  I bought as many as I could in white so that the coverage would be easy.

getting started

Continue reading Chalk Paint and Gold Leaf Pumpkins – DIY

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Sharing Art – Blessing Others

A little while ago I share a mixed media project that I felt would be a good way to introduce others to art.  You can see the blog post here.  The beginning of the month some ladies from my painting chapter Penn’s Woods Painters and myself did this project at the Ronald McDonald house in our area.  The project was open to patients and family members.  These are the happy faces of our helpers.

carollindabarb Continue reading Sharing Art – Blessing Others

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Welcome Fall

I have been trying to decorate the outside of my home for a few weeks, but it seems many things are against me.  First I bought mums that were late blooming, so that I could have them longer.  The only thing is they are not blooming for my pictures.  Then it started raining and kept up for days.  So the one morning I got up it had stopped raining and even though it was cloudy I decided to take pictures.  Well, that day the fountain pump broke.  So next year I will have pictures of the fountain running…maybe.

!1FrontpathThe one thing I love this year is how lovely my annuals are looking for fall.  The front walk way is lined with orange and pink lantanas.

Continue reading Welcome Fall

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Chocolate Chip Cookies – always a favorite

With the cooler weather I love the smell of baking in the house.  Chocolate Chip cookies seem to be a favorite of everyone….at least it is with my family and friends.  At almost every  function this is one of the things that I am always expected to bring…..and usually one of the first things gone.

imageSince I like to be the queen of ease I use an electric mixer for mixing up the cookies.  I follow the basic directions for mixing them up.  (See recipe below) I do prefer dark brown sugar over light brown sugar and I always like to add a few extra chocolate chips.  I don’t add the nuts, I find more people like them without, that is a personal preference. Continue reading Chocolate Chip Cookies – always a favorite

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Learning from others online

This weekend I was browsing through Pinterest and found the work of Karen Milstein  I loved her faces and saw that she offered online classes so without hesitation I signed up for the simply painting faces.  I watched the videos and did the project with the supplies that I had on hand.  This is my results:


Karen paints with gesso using pastels, water soluble pencils and crayons and some craft paints to add pigment.  She adds lots of layers with the gesso. Her technique was new to me, yet I found with her instructions it was easy to do and I was pleased with my results.  It was a fun relaxing project and I learned so many new things.

The wonderful thing about online classes is you can take them anytime and place and many of them give you unlimited access.

Happy Painting,


PS. I would love to hear about your favorite online classes.

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Share the LOVE of ART

A while ago I was asked to do an artsy project for a bachelorette party, that would be reasonably priced and would suit someone who had not painted before or very little. Something to have fun together.  I decided to incorporate mixed media elements into the piece and use stencils and scrapbook paper for the basic shapes. The project went well and everyone was happy with their ART.  Many were amazed at themselves…what a fun way to introduce others to the LOVE of ART.

Since doing this my painting chapter is going to be doing a similar project for Ronald McDonald house and I will be leading a workshop at my church’s woman’s retreat.  I thought you might also like to share this project with others.

stepfinalThere is no set way to do this project, you can add or eliminate steps.  I will share with you my process.  I started with a 9×12 canvas.  Using Matt Medium or Deco-Page glued paper to the canvas.  Using an old gift card I pushed the wrinkles out of the paper and then allowed it to dry.  (to speed things up I like to have a hairdryer handy),  I used Tim Holtz tissue papers on the background, but you could use book pages, sheet music or scrapbook papers.  When working on this project adding a coat of medium between layers will make it easier to wipe away any mistakes. Continue reading Share the LOVE of ART

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Still time to paint for fall

The days are getting cooler and I know that we are all anxious to get our homes decorated for fall.  How can we not be with all the merchandise being out in the stores for what seems like months.  In fact it makes us feel like we have already missed our window of opportunity. …but that is so not true.  We even have time to start painting a new piece or two for this year.  If you are looking for some great ideas you can find them in the new book Della presents

“Celebrating Fall with Friends”.Celebrate Fall cover copysm

These are pictures of the projects in the book, I think you will enjoy them. Continue reading Still time to paint for fall

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Making it yours…the beginning of designing

This weekend I was at a painting seminar at my local chapter with Amy Mogish.  We had  time to chat as we were prepping our pieces and one of the girls said that she just realized recently that she could make designs her own by changing things instead of making it exactly the way the teacher did hers.

When I thought about it I realize this is the beginning of designing.  First we use a different surface, then a different color on a few elements.  Next we are combining a few patterns to create a project…..and then we try our hand at making our own designs.

I had made some changes to Amy’s original design “Simple Goodness” which was placed on a tin cake stand.  I wanted to place mine on a canvas because I was going to put it  beside an antique cake stand that was my mothers.

Amy's original design on cake stand
Amy’s original design on cake stand

Continue reading Making it yours…the beginning of designing

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Packing up Christmas 2014

If you remember from my first house tour post I had an empty stable.  Around the end of November I had mentioned to my husband that I might paint a nativity for the front yard.  I had the wood cut a number of years ago.  Before I knew it he build me a stable.  I had finished painting it a few days before Christmas.  Here is a picture of the whole yard with the nativity and also a close up.



Continue reading Packing up Christmas 2014

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Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 2

Before I took you on a tour of my Living Room and Dinning Room, this week I thought I would show you the rest of my decorating.  We will start in my living room and family room which is one large room.  You can see by the colors in the room that I like to use red in my decorating here, but there are a few balls with pink on them. Can’t help myself. 🙂

This is a view from our family room into the kitchen.

&kit1 Continue reading Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 2

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Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 1

Hello Everyone,
It has been a while since I posted on my blog. My husband Al and I have been busy decorating our house for Christmas and I thought you might enjoy a little tour. As some of you know pink is my favorite color. So Al being the good husband put pink and white lights outside.  The little structure to the right of the front window is a manger that Al has built for me for a nativity that I am painting.  I still have a lot of painting to do so I will update pictures of the nativity a little later. (not sure what year :))
!outside1 Continue reading Christmas House Tour 2014 – Part 1

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Baking Day

picture of Emily using pastry board to roll dough
Emily rolling cookie dough on pastry board

Covering your tables with plastic table clothes and using parchment paper on trays will also make cleanup a lot easier.

Keeping pastry cloth and rolling pin cover lightly floured will make rolling dough out a lot easier.

When baking put the first pan in the lower shelf of your oven. Bake half of the time then turn pan and place on top shelf of oven. Place another pan on the lower shelf. Continue rotating pans through the oven this way. The lower shelf helps brown the bottom of the cookies and the top shelf helps brown the top of the cookies. Don’t rely on the suggested times for baking, you will need to watch to make sure everything is baking properly. Continue reading Baking Day

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Mixing Cookie Dough

Picture of mounds of cookie dough
A mound of chocolate chip cookie dough

I always start about a week ahead mixing up my cookie dough. I place it in food storage bags and write on the bags the type of dough.

You will need to decide how many cookies of each kind each person will take home. I would suggest at least 1 to 2 dozen of each. You will also have to decide how large you are going to make your cookies. I like to make mine small for cookie trays. I usually double the yield of a batch since I make my cookies about half the size I would normally. Then you will need to calculate how many batches of each you will need to mix up. Even though we made 28 kinds the last time, I think we mixed up over 60 batches.

This is a good time to ask others to help mix up some of the dough. Continue reading Mixing Cookie Dough

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Getting Started

It is not too early to start planning your cookie baking party. Think about who you would like to invite and pick a date. Since I want my cookies to be fresh (and still have some left) I usually pick the weekend before Christmas for my party. I keep the date consistent every year so that people can plan on it.

You probably will have some favorite recipes that you have made over the years, so start with those. Gather additional recipes from friends, cook books and magazines. Select recipes so that you have a variety of flavors choosing cookies that will also make a nice presentation.

You will find that there will be certain recipes that you will want to make every year. These make it easier because people know what to do.

So start contacting your friends and family so they can reserve the date. Remember to start small with the number of people you invite and the number of cookies you will bake.

Picture of Cookie Baking Crew
Happy Cookie Baking Crew after 7,000 Cookies