Tea Party for Bella's Dolls

Mini Tea Set, Kid's Crafts, Faber Castell, Ceramic Painting, painting with girls, Tea Party, Cindy Rippe
Painting with Isabella - Ceramic Tea set for her Dolls ©CindyRippe2013
Bella and I spent a few days together this week while her Mom and Dad worked.  We always look forward to doing at least one craft project when we have the time.  I bought this Mini Tea Party kit for her at Christmas and it was the perfect day to work on it.  This photo shows the difference in painting stages from her love of mixing layers of paint on the tea pot to the last pieces painted.  I finally convinced her to slow down a little and help me paint dip-dot flowers on the creamer and sugar bowl.

Everything was included in the kit except for the aluminum foil.  The two days together were perfect since the painted pieces need to dry for 24 hours before baking in the oven.  She knew we'd bake them after school the next day.  We placed the painted pieces on plastic wrap to dry.  The next day we put the dishes on foil on a cookie sheet in a cool oven and turned the oven to 250 degrees. After it reached temperature and then baked we let it cool down inside the oven. 

Mini Tea Set, Painting with girls, Tea party, Faber Castell Mini Tea, Ceramic Painting, American Girl Doll, Cindy Rippe
Bella serves tea to one of her American Girl dolls ©CindyRippe2013

Bella spent a very long time serving her dolls "tea" (water) and Cuties mandarin "oranges".  I found that it was best to let her use a plastic water bottle for refilling the teapot and placed everything inside a large cookie sheet lined with a dish towel.  No spills to worry about!  She used her imagination making up stories to share with her doll friends and even explained how one of them didn't like the tea and would only eat all the foods with "sugar".  She tried to tell her it was junk food but the doll didn't care.  (she was frustrated with that girl!)

Cranberries - Fresh or Canned? Thoughts about trying something new..

Sarah's Cranberry Relish - photo by Cindy Rippe ©2012
I'm shopping for Thanksgiving dinner supplies tomorrow.  As I wrote the list I started wondering...how many other families serve both fresh and canned cranberries?  Our family serves both.  There are some who insist that we need the jellied version because that's traditional, others like the freshly made sauce.  I like them both.

There are 912 cranberry recipes at AllRecipes.com, 49 at CooksIllustrated.com, 685 at FoodNetwork.com, and 111 at OceanSpray.com.  So many uses for cranberries. The possibilities make me wonder why most of us only eat them at Thanksgiving with Turkey.

I think it's a combination of tradition and routine.  We are used to doing the same things, they same way, all the time.  I guess I'm a little more reflective about things like this as I'm working through some changes in my own life. Maybe a little nervous about trying new things. 

Here's hoping that you'll be blessed with the opportunity to enjoy the familiar and experiment with something that's just a little different. You might like it!

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Vintage Stoves and a Thanksgiving Blessing

As much as I love looking at vintage stoves it's so much easier to cook Thanksgiving dinner with modern appliances.  There was one similar to the Bartlett (upper right) in our basement when we moved in.  Since the house belonged to my husband's Grandparents we kept it for a while but gave it up as we needed more storage in the house.  I wonder what kind of holiday dinners were cooked in that stove?  Wonderful, I'm sure, since I know that family was there to help with the prep and share in the love.

Abundant Blessing

We thank you for the turkey,
The gravy and the dressing.
Dear Lord, this table overflows
With Thy abundant blessing.
Let us always be aware
That all gifts come from You,
And may we serve Your heavenly will
In everything we do. Amen.

-Joanna Fuchs

Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes - For Isabella

We celebrated Bella's Birthday this past weekend at The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor.  The kids got to make their own sundae, the adults indulged in ice cream cake.  Both desserts got rave reviews and my family was checking out the Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, that they sell in the store, so I think we'll be back some day.

Sarah and Bella made these cupcakes inspired by Bakerella.  So cute and yummy too!  It was a sweet and special day for our little granddaughter.  Happy Birthday Sweetie!  Love you Much!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Indoor Summer T-Shirt Project - Great for a Child's Party

Fabric Dye Sticks - T-Shirt project - ©2012 Cindy Rippe
After a morning outside in the Summer heat I thought it would be a good idea to have an indoor project  ready for the girls.  Pentel Arts - Fabric Fun Dye Sticks and white T-Shirts were the answer.
This would be a great party activity and becomes the party favor for attendees.  (I just remembered the first time I did this for a party was at Bella's Momma's Baby Shower 4 years ago!)

It's best to pre-wash the shirts or use an older shirt with stains that you want to cover up.  Prep the shirts by ironing a large sheet of freezer paper inside which will stabilize the fabric and create a smooth surface for drawing.  Then just let the kids draw whatever they want with the Fabric Fun.

I used the Gel Roller Pen for Fabric to write names and add a few simple details (or in Bella's case, helped her write her own name).

These Dye Sticks can be washed out of fabric before they are heat set, if there is a mistake (or they end up somewhere they don't belong), which makes them perfect for kids.  The Gel Roller Pens are permanent immediately so are NOT so good for kids to use on their own but are great with adult supervision.

After the artwork is completed, set the dyes by ironing for a few minutes while the kids eat dessert. (Use a pressing cloth or paper to cover the drawings and protect the iron , use a hot setting - cotton). When the shirts are cool the kids love to peel the paper off and will probably put the shirts on right away!
©Bella's Happy Colors - 2012

A happy heart makes a face cheerful.  Proverbs 15:13

Bridesmaid Purses instead of Flowers

Personalized Purses with Fabric Paint - ©Cindy Rippe 2012
Our theme this month for the Designer Craft Connection Blog Hop is "SUMMER CRAFTS".  Since this seems to be a popular time for weddings I thought I'd share this fun idea for Bridesmaids.

You can purchase an inexpensive clutch and decorate it with Fabric Pens and Paint.  A purse with a personalized design that matches the theme of your wedding could be carried down the aisle instead of flowers. These would be perfect as a gift for your attendants or the Mom's too.

I sketched the designs free-hand but you can copy a pattern and use transfer paper to apply it to the purse. Trace the linework and then fill in with fabric paint if desired.  I used a Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric and DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paints.

Make sure you click through see more creative ideas from the other Designers on the Hop! Click the logo in the right column or go directly to the next Designer here.

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.  Martin Luther

Designer Craft Connection - Bright Floral Decor

This month's theme for the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop is Picnic.  A gathering of artificial flowers glued to a styrofoam ball would add a bright pop of color to your party decor. This grouping, from the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, would be perfect for a Wedding Shower or Tween Birthday party. Add a few butterflies on wires and hang a grouping of three or more with ribbon from a trellis or chandelier.  It would also be a great project to brighten up a corner of your enclosed porch for the summer if you don't have time to care for live plants.

 Make sure you hop forward by clicking on the DCC logo in the column on the right or go directly to the next Designer, here. Have fun!

"When bright flowers bloom
Parchment crumbles, my words fade
The pen has dropped ..."
   -  Morpheus

Dance Like a Chicken in the Kitchen

I just realized it's "Dance Like a Chicken" Day today.
In honor such a fun event I thought I'd share the Poultry themed tablescape and kitchen display created by a new store in Chicago called The Hutch.  They sell vintage and collectable kitchenware and showcased some of their items at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show.  So cute!

“Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it.” Eileen Caddy 


Tablescape Thursday - Between Naps on the Porch

Last Minute Wine and Cheese

I went out to the deck, after a long stressful week, with a new magazine to wait for Lee to come home from work.  All of the sudden I realize it's the first evening that it's warm enough to actually sit out and relax!  I jumped up and checked the fridge to see what we had for an appetizer. Just a little bit of cheese, some dried cherries and crackers.  Yes!  The bottle of wine we chilled a few months ago is still waiting for us. 

No planning, no elaborate prep, but 15 minutes later I decided to cut a few hosta leaves and add a centerpiece to the table because it looked so nice.  As I was cutting the leaves Lee pulled up. Perfect timing!

We even got our daily exercise in on our walk to Giuseppi's to pick up a dinner to share.  Lit a fire, invited the neighbors over and stayed outside till 11pm eating chocolates, drinking wine, and catching up with friends.

"The little things?  The little moments?  They aren't little." -  John Zabat-Zinn 

Mother's Day Centerpiece - Designer Crafts Blog Connection Blog Hop

I don't drink coffee myself and don't have a set like this but wouldn't a vintage coffee set make a great centerpiece for Mother's Day?  This one was part of a display at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show recently.

The theme for posting crafts this month at the Designer Crafts Connection group is "Fun and Easy Mother's Day gifts".  Most of the designers are focusing on jewelry. Since that's not something I craft I decided to share this simple floral arrangement. A tray, lined with a vintage doily and acrylic gems, creates the perfect base to showcase a few perfect roses for your perfect Mom!

As for the jewelry part, here's a jewel of a quote.  

Who can find a virtuous woman? She is far more precious than jewels...
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle.

Her sons rise up and call her blessed.

He husband also praises her:

Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
   ~ Proverbs 31:10, 25-30

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