My Take: Temple Blocks


My awesome friend Kristyn of 'Lil Luna posted some neat Temple Blocks awhile back. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for my niece that was turning 7.

I had a bit of a last minute rush to get it done in time, so I didn't have time to get a wood block from Home Depot. Instead, I found this Oval plaque at one of my trips to Dollar Tree. It came with the ribbon to hang it, so that was nice. Unfortunately because it was an oval shape I couldn't use one of Kristyn's awesome pictures. :( Her photos are really awesome, and she has tons of Temples to choose from. You should check them out!
My Dad and I messed around in Photoshop and gave it a bit of an antique look. I did happen to find the same font though. Yay! (It's Scriptina from dafont.com)
I spray painted the wood with Krylon's Oil Rubbed Bronze, took some sand paper to rough it up a bit and then mod podged on my picture.

Thanks for the great inspiration Kristyn! My niece loved it.

Let me throw in a little plug for my Dad here too. The picture I used for this is one of my Dad's pictures. He is Kim Bennett of Kim Bennett Photography. If you are in Arizona, he is a great photographer. He also sells some amazing prints of Temples, lighthouses, nature, scenic, etc.
You should really go and take a look at his galleries so you can ooh and ah over his pictures.
His website is KimBennettPhotography.com

Blog Swap with Making the World Cuter

I am so pleased to present Tiff! She is swapping with me today. Her link party, Making the World Cuter Monday is one of the very first linky parties I ever joined. I am so excited she is posting here on Cute as a Fox today.

Take it away Tiff...

Ashley is so dang cute! I am really excited to be here introducing myself to you all today!
My name is Tiffany, since we are now friends, you can call me Tiff...I have 3 insanely cute kids that make my world cuter, and me and my adorable husband are expecting another little boy any day. This picture, (taken about a year ago) cracks me up with my two silly boys being so uncharacteristically darn serious! :)

I blog over here at Making the World Cuter. I am on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time! I hope you come over and say hi!I also love photography and have a little photography blog called Pumpernickel Buttons.
Here are a few random things about me...
  • My favorite food is the sandwich-yummy deli style sandwiches are the best, but I love just about anything between two pieces of bread!
  • I'm a student right now, studying web design-but my true passion is photography and Photo Shop so I will probably get my bachelors in Photography when I'm done with this degree.
  • If I wasn't pregnant I would be eating a spoonful of cookie dough while typing this, it really is a wonder that I don't weigh 1000 pounds.
  • I LOVE to organize things...like closets, and offices, and craft supplies and rearranging rooms and...the nesting instinct has kicked in-this intensifies this insane sickness 200%, so if you don't see a post for a couple of days, it's because I buried myself in a closet somewhere, and haven't found my way out yet...

I love to do anything and everything creative, especially if I can do it with things I already have on hand. Here are a few of my favorite projects I have put together...
This wooden tiled mirror...
I like to do furniture makeovers, this glider is my favorite-it was so hideous before!
I generally do easy and cheap projects (and no I am not either of those things-just ask my hubby), like this burlap wreath with fabric scraps and salt dough buttons.
One of my favorite things to make are napkin rings, just because they are easy, and fast to put together and are so dang cute! These ones are made out of a tinfoil tube and burlap.
Here is one of my absolute favorites! Hooded towel ponchos! My kids have been living in these this summer at the beach, at the lake, at the pool, after a jaunt through the sprinkler...and I get compliments on them everywhere they take them. Plus the kids are all super cozy and warm in them. The pockets hold goggles, extra sunscreen, snacks, beach treasures...you name it, it's probably been in there! :)

I love meeting new blog friends and I have a big old linky party on Mondays as well Making the World Cuter Mondays, I really hope you come by for a visit!

After Monday, I hope you come by every day next week for my baby shower...HUGE amounts of prizes will be given away every day...you don't want to miss it! Just sayin...

Thanks for having me Ashley, and thanks for making my world cuter! :)
-Tiff


Red ramekin Winners!

Thanks for the great response. Everybody got a little extra time to enter because my quick trip to Walmart turned into a dead car battery in the parking lot, etc, etc. At least I get to give away some free stuff after all that nonsense!
I may just have to go back and see if I can find a few more sets of the ramekins.

All winners were chosen using Random.org

From the blog: #15
Karen Tapahe

From FB: #9
Edna Guerrero Cole

From Twitter:
allthngzrelated -
That's Rebecca from All Thingz Related.

I will contact the winners and they have until 10pm tonight to get me their addresses. Otherwise, I am moving on with a new winner. These are going out in the mail TOMORROW!

Fastest Giveaway Ever!

I've had such great feedback about the Apple for Teacher, candy apple that I wanted to do a quick little giveaway. I've heard from several people saying that they weren't able to find the same red ramekins at their local Dollar Tree. So... I am giving away 3 sets of 3 ramekins. (Just the ramekins, not the other items to make the candy cupcake)



Here is the breakdown:
1 winner from the blog
1 winner from Facebook
1 winner from Twitter.

The giveaway will go until tomorrow, Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 12pm Pacific(3pm Eastern). That is just 24 hours. I will be mailing these out on Friday, so winners will need to get back to me fast.

Blog Giveaway
1. Follow the blog if you don't already
2. Leave a comment on this post telling me you are a follower and your email address.

Facebook Giveaway
1. Like the Cute as a Fox Facebook Page and leave a comment on the giveaway post on my wall.


Twitter Giveaway
1. Follow CuteasaFoxBlog on Twitter
2. Send a tweet referencing @CuteasaFoxBlog and the giveaway
3. Retweet my Giveaway tweet
Total of 2 entries on Twitter

Have fun! Let me know if you have any questions. Please help me spread the word on this super quick giveaway.

Homeade Red Enchilada Sauce

I realized my blog is seriously lacking in the recipe category. I will be working to remedy that for sure! I actually posted this recipe as a Facebook exclusive back in April. You could have been making this recipe for months if you 'liked' Cute as a Fox on Facebook. **hint, hint, nudge, nudge** :)

My Mother-in-law grew up in Colonial Juarez(Mormon colonies) . So she cooks a lot of Mexican food,which I love! She is a real cook so she doesn't usually measure a lot but I got her to try and take down the amounts for me. I've made it a million times, and it is yum-O!

Red Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:
7 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp oil
4 Cups tomato juice - (I usually substitute with 2 cups tomato sauce and 2 cups water)
4 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Taco seasoning
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt - I usually only use a dash of salt

1. In a sauce pan, mix Oil and Flour together with a whisk.
2. Add in part of the water. It will make it thicken up.
3. Heat on stove top until it gets nice and hot.
4. Turn down to med-low and whisk in remainder of water and tomato juice.
5. Add in chili powder, taco seasoning, sugar, and salt.
6. After it gets bubbling good, not necessarily boiling, turn it down to a simmer.
7. Let simmer about 2 hours. (I usually only get 1-1.5 hours in because I need to put dinner together.)

Preparing enchiladas
1. Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish.
2. Add a layer of white corn tortillas.
3. Add a another layer of sauce.
4. Add a layer of cheese.
5. Repeat the layers with tortillas, sauce, and then cheese until you reach the top of your dish.
6. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is hot and bubbly.


The sauce definitely freezes well and you could probably freeze them all prepped too. I have never tried that before though. This sauce is seriously delicious, I highly recommend you save this one!

Blogging Tip: Organizing Blogger Pictures

From time to time I hear about people having difficulties dealing with the way blogger handles photos. I have worked out a system that works pretty well for me so I thought I would share my process. Maybe it will save you some time and frustration.

This is especially helpful for tutorials, but it would work just as well for posting to your family blog.

Step 1. Organize your photos before you start writing anything.
I storyboard my photos in photoshop. I go through all the photos I took, find the ones I want to use and save them in order.
For this example the photos were named Boots1.jpg, Boots2.jpg, etc. This way the photos will all be together when I go to upload them to Blogger.

Step 2. Upload pictures to blogger in reverse order. In the picture you can see I started with 7 in the first slot, and worked down to 3.

When uploading more than 5 pictures at a time, start with your very last photo and work your way back up to 1. For some tutorials I have added close to 20 pictures, which is 4 times through the upload process.

After you have uploaded all your photos return to your blog post. All your pictures will be in the right order and ready for you to add captions or whatever text you want.

I have also found it helps me keep my blog posts organized and include everything I wanted to include. I spend a little more time in Photoshop, but actually writing my post in blogger is a breeze.

What about you? Do you have any tricks that makes blogging easier?

Spray Painted Boots

Alternate title: "Moon Boots"
Those were the first words out of the hubs mouth when he saw these boots. At first he got a death stare for the comment but then I decided that it wasn't too far off, in a good way of course!

Part of all this decluttering is going through some cousin hand-me-downs to see what will actually work for us and what we need to pass on. Check out these awesome boots from Children's Place. The exterior was a little worn but so far as the soles and interior of the shoe went they were in great shape.


Step 1: Wipe them down, tape them off, and cut any random strings.

Step 2: Spray with Primer. I was using a more expensive spray paint than usual, so I wanted to make sure 1 can would do it. I used the Walmart special primer to cover up the purple metallic.

Step 3: Spray your final color of spray paint. I went with the Rust-oleum Metallic- Brilliant Metal Finish. Originally I was going to tame down the color to a pink or brown. However they were metallic purple before and I just couldn't stand for them to lose their spunk! It took several coats and I had to keep repositioning the shoes to get in all the creases.

Step 4. You could be done there, but I wanted to take advantage of those cute embroidered flowers. At Joanns, I found these Puffy Velvet Fabric Markers on clearance. I bought them on a lark, but they ended up being perfect for this project.
Following package directions, I colored flowers with the paint marker.
Wet flower

Here is the whole boot colored with the paint marker. (Dried, but not puffed)

Step 5: Use your heat tool, this one was purchased for embossing, to slowly go over the paint until it puffs up. This was my favorite step.
Artistic Bonus! - Painting on the stitching meant the paint job was uneven as the paint seeped between the threads. When I used the heat gun, the paint popped up in such a way that it looks like chenille. I love it!


Little Ms Foxy loves her boots too! As I was editing pictures she was standing next to me going, "Pretty shoes! Pretty shoes!"
See they don't look quite so in your face when a cute little 3 year old is wearing them with a cute little dress.

I can't wait to experiment more with these Velvet puffy markers. The boots pretty well exhausted the pink and purple, but I've got 4 colors left to play with.

Bloggy Business

I got hit with a nasty cold Thursday night and all I have been good for is staring vacantly off in space. I can't be sick forever, so hopefully the crafting goodness will be back tomorrow!

I reached 500 Google Friend Connect followers Saturday morning. I am so excited. Thanks to everyone who reads, subscribes, and follows. I used to just add blogs to my Google Reader and never "followed" blogs unless it was to enter a contest. Once I started blogging myself, I realized how exciting it is to see that followers number climb. So thanks to everyone who has helped me get up to 500!

I have a little lame-o Kodak point and shoot digital camera. Every now and again I have a little pity party about how much better my pictures and blog would be if I had a nice digital SLR. Well I am getting much better with my little point and shoot and sometimes I am even quite happy with the results. I tell you all of this because I want to share this picture from mattbites.com. He did some food photography with a point and shoot and a nice fancy camera. Both are stunning!

Photo Credit: Mattbites.com

I am going to use this as inspiration to experiment more and find a way to take great pictures with my humble point and shoot. I bet it wouldn't hurt if I tried making this ice cream terrine too! Yummy!

Luscious Cream Puffs from Bite Me!

Here's another baby shower post. Only one more after this, I promise!
My friend Gina did the food for the baby shower. It was great. I thought I would feature her delicious cream puffs. They were so good and such a crowd pleaser. She says they are super easy to make too. Bonus!

Photo Credit: Kraft Foods

That filling is jello pudding and cool whip. Yummy!

Head on over to Gina's Food Blog: Bite me! and find out just how easy these cream puffs are!

Luscious Cream Puffs Recipe

Twitter!

I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Twitter! So far I think I like it, but I'm still a little confused on some of the lingo. Retweeting for example. When someone retweets, I have no idea what the original tweet was versus what the retweeter added. Please tell me I am not the only one, that is finding there is a learning curve on Twitter.

I would love to get to know you better and vice versa. So follow me on Twitter and I will follow you back. I am CuteasaFoxBlog. Leave me a comment with your handle or just follow me and I will reciprocate.
I'm planning on having my twitter account be different than what I post on Facebook. It will be a fun experiment to be sure!

As part of my quest to unclutter, I have taken a bunch of clothes to resale stores. I am beyond ecstatic that I was able to get $100 in cash. It is going straight to help my sister and the Susan G Komen 3 day for the cure. The donations have slowed down quite a bit and I am getting a little bored. :) Help keep me busy making awareness washers! (Click the link to learn more and get the details)





One last thing, today my Apple for Teacher is being featured over at Oopsey Daisy as a part of Wednesday's Wowzers. Go check out Alison's other Wowzers.

Decorative Stone Wreath with Craft Envy

I am so excited to have Nicholette and Vanessa from Craft Envy swapping with me today.
Here they are to show us how to make this decorative stone wreath.

Here's a fun project for a nice spring looking wreath! The only wreath I have is a christmas one, so I've been dying to make this! Plus!...I only spent $4.70 for the whole thing!



What you will need:
-foam wreath circle ($1--go to the dollar store)
-2 bags of flat stones or marbles (again, dollar store)
-2 colors of ribbon
-some spring-like flowers or berries
-acrylic paint or spray paint
-hot glue gun

1. First step is to paint your wreath ring the same color as the stones you are using. I chose white stones so I painted my wreath white. I used acrylic paint, but maybe spray paint would work better???



2. Start hot gluing your stones on as close together as possible. This part takes awhile but be patient!



3. Eventually your wreath will look like this....I chose not to cover my whole wreath in stones because I wanted room for some colorful embellishments.




4. Hot glue your flowers or berries to the foam part of the wreath.


5. Wrap the still exposed foam part with one color of ribbon until the foam is covered up. Then take a skinnier ribbon of a different color and do a criss-cross pattern starting from the bottom and going up.





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Thanks for stopping by ladies! I love that wreath.

Invisible Thread Vinyl Plate

Yesterday I hit a wall of sorts. I got so fed up with the clutter that seems to be multiplying itself in my house. I said, "that's it!" Enough is enough! Since then I have been on the rampage purging and organizing. Nothing is safe. I've already taken a trunk full to DI and resold a box of clothes. Lots more to do though. I am the type of person that if I feel like cleaning and organizing, I better not ignore it because it could be awhile before the feeling comes back! LOL!

So that is what I am up to. I have several projects ready to go they just need some photo editing done. Hopefully between all the decluttering I can post a few fun things for everyone. I have some great ideas for this little blog of mine, I just feel like I have to get my real life more organized before I can start on my blog.

I do want to leave you with a recent project I completed for my sisters birthday.

It is a quote she likes a lot and had been wanting to do something with. I like the design element underneath, it feels like the thread in the quote.
Here is the quote if you are having a hard time reading it from the picture.

"An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break. May you be open to each thread that comes into your life-the golden ones and the course ones- and may you weave them into a brilliant and beautiful life."

Tomorrow I will be over at Craft Envy, for a blog swap.
Craftify It is featuring my Peanut Butter Cheese Ball today. Yay! I am hosting Bunco in September and this little lovely will be on the menu for sure!

Back to School: An Apple for Teacher

In case you missed it: Here is the {Candy} Apple cupcake I posted over at Someday Crafts.

The inspiration for this project came from OohlalaCandy.com, they make cute candy cupcakes, including an Apple for back to school. I saw it, loved it, and knew I could make it!

Here is what we are making:


Here is what you need:


  • Red Jelly beans or red candy. I paid way too much for Jelly Belly's at the mall. Joanns has solid packs of M&Ms for 5.99 then you could use a coupon. However, the Jelly Belly's are apple flavored so that is a plus
  • Cupcake liners or I used some ramekins from Dollar Tree. Three for $1.
  • Plastic wrap or shrink wrap
  • Skewers or toothpicks
  • Ribbon for a leaf (or a silk flower leaf)
  • Candy straws - also from Dollar Tree
Step 1. Layout some plastic wrap on something with sides. This will catch any candies that try to escape.


Step 2: Pour your candy in the center of the plastic wrap. 3/4 of a pound of jellybeans got me 2 apples worth.


Step 3. Bring all four corners of the plastic wrap up and twist. It will form a ball.



Step 4. Form your ball how you want it and get the plastic pulled pretty tight. You want it to look shrink wrapped or as close to it as you can.


Step 5. Secure the ball with tape and snip off any extra plastic wrap.



Step 6: Put your jelly beans into your cupcake liner or ramekin.


Step 7. Cut a piece of ribbon 3-4" long and singe or fray check both ends.



Step 8: Bring the "right" side of one end of the ribbon around and stack it on the right side of the other end to form a leaf shape.


Step 9: Cut a small slit in the end of your ribbon and put it on the skewer.


Step 10: Insert the skewer into your jellybeans and slide all the way down to the bottom of the cup.


Step 11: Trim your skewer and work the candy straw onto the skewer. It is easier if the skewer has a point to it, so cutting at an angle may be helpful.


You are done! I can't wait for my 4 year old's preschool teachers to get them on the first day of school!



Variation: I put a package of sour straws at the bottom of one of the apples. That helped it look a little fuller because I hadn't split the jelly beans exactly even.


Other fun variations:
  • Use a pretzel stick for the stem instead of a candy straw.
  • Color the end of a lollipop brown and use the end of the stick as the straw. You would just put the lollipop upside down and insert the stick through the jellybeans.
If you decide to create some, I'd love to see them. Please send me an email to cuteasafoxcreations@gmail.com or upload them straight to my Facebook wall.