Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cookie Cups

Yeah, that's right. Cookie cups. Stuffed with peanut butter and Nutella. These little bites of gooey bliss are sweet, adorable, and super simple. So simple in fact, that I don't even need to provide you with a recipe.
I know!!! This might be the simplest recipe I've ever blogged.
So here's what you do... Get some cookie dough. Any kind will do. Homemade, pre made, sugar cookie, chocolate chip. Seriously, whatever your little cookie-loving heart desires. Today I used my homemade chocolate chip cookie dough.
Preheat your oven to whatever temperature your cookie dough calls for. In the meantime, spray a cupcake pan with cooking spray. Take your cookie dough and roll it into balls, approximately 1 inch in diameter. Place one cookie ball into each cupcake well. Pop into your oven and bake until edges are golden.
You'll notice that as your cookies bake they perfectly fill up the cupcake well. No need to spread the dough along the sides, or push it into a cup-shape prior to baking... None of that. Trust me. Just drop the dough balls in there.
Once baked, allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the pan while you go find a shot glass. Take a shot if desired. Take the bottom of your shot glass and press into the center of each cookie. Twist the glass slightly so the cookie doesn't stick. Allow to cool for a couple more minutes... and do more shots if you feel so inclined.
Pop your cookie cups out of the pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Put some Nutella and peanut butter into separate bowls. Warm each quickly in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just to give them a more fluid consistency. Pour your fillings into the cookie cups, and you're left with this:
The centers will firm up after about 3 hours, but you're going to want to eat a couple in all their gooey glory.
Like I said... You're really going to want to eat them warm. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

DIY Frozen Glass

We don't get snow here in Houston. That's pretty obvious, no? Our home state of New Jersey, however, just got dumped on by Mother Nature. So today seemed like the perfect time to post this project, considering the fact that faux snow is the closest I'm going to get to the white stuff for a long time.
You can do this project with any non-food glassware. I'm assuming that a majority of the ingredients are somewhat toxic, so please don't do this to champagne flutes or something. Let's be smart. I used a flip-top glass jar from Ikea that had been sitting around in our cabinets.
I should also note, that if you read my previous post, this project didn't turn out exactly as planned. I had intended for my jar to be opaque, but wound up with a much different result. With the coating on the outside of the glass it didn't make a huge difference, but it should be noted that this project will look slightly different if using a true opaque acrylic paint on the inside. With that being said, here's your how-to...
For the first part of this project you'll need your glass item, Mod Podge, diamond dust,* a paintbrush, and a mixing cup.
*I used a product called diamond dust. I've seen it at almost every craft store, and I think it's pretty crucial to the outcome of this project. It is not your standard glitter. It looks like little clear shards of plastic. You can use it to coat ornaments, fake fruit, etc.. It should be in the glitter aisle, so look carefully! You need the rough consistency of the diamond dust to achieve the icy effect.
Mix your diamond dust and Mod Podge.
It should have a lumpy consistency. If it is too watery you won't get the nice "ice clumps" on the outside of the glass. This isn't an exact science, but thicker is better (not too thick though!)
Don't freak out! Your glass WILL look like this, but I assure you that it will dry clear. I put on one thin coat, let it dry for a few minutes, then liberally applied a very thick coat on top. You'll want to let this dry at least overnight so you can easily handle it for the next part of the project.
See! It's clear! I told you so...
Once dry, you'll want to get out the most disappointing paint in the world, or any other acrylic paint of your choosing. You can use a white paint and tint it ice-blue, or buy one that is pre-colored. I chose a paint that had glitter in it, but that is definitely not a requirement since the outside of the jar is glittery on its own.
This is the color I mixed into mine. It was just a combination of a dark blue and a dark green. I used just a few drops of each because I didn't want it too dark.
Next, you'll pour your blue paint inside of your glass. You're going to need more than you expect, so be prepared. Turn your glass to cover the entire inside with a layer of paint. It takes a little while, so be patient.
Place your glass upside down on newspaper for 30-45 minutes. This is crucial. After sitting for the allotted time, prepare yourself for a paint wave. Pick up your glass quickly, and you'll see all of the excess paint quickly flood out onto the paper. Throw it away and put your glass, right side up, onto fresh paper.
You want to get rid of as much excess paint as possible to help with drying time, and to not have a dark pool of paint on the bottom of your glass. Wait out the full 30-45 minutes. Trust me. It's worth it.
Finally, allow your piece to dry, attach a ribbon or other decor that you have lying around your craft room purchased for this wintry project, and ta-da!
Your own frosty little piece of glass with absolutely no real freezing required!
Here is a close up of the exterior ice"

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear Martha

Dear Martha Stewart,
I've always felt a smidgen of self-loathing anytime I liked one of your company's ideas or products. You seem like a very rude and phony woman, with whom I would never actually enjoying doing crafts. However, over the weekend I was lured into purchasing one of your products that are now carried at Home Depot.
Namely, this...
"Oh sure," you say. "My special glitter finish. You use that as a top coat."
"You lying bitch!" I exclaim. "That is most certainly not how it is advertised in your store display."
I went into Home Depot looking for a simple white, acrylic base to coat the inside of some decorative glassware. It was an idea I had seen on Pinterest, of course. Normally, I'd make this sort of purchase at Hobby Lobby, but it was Sunday and we were already at Home Depot.
I wandered over to the paint section and was greeted by your large end cap display of decorative paints. I picked up one of the small plastic pots and immediately noted the watery consistency. It seemed perfect for my project, since I would be needing to water down any standard acrylic paint. As I examined the white, glittery concoction I noticed that it specifically said "decorative finish."
I reluctantly placed it back onto the rack, as I desired something more opaque. However, upon further inspection I noticed there were sample boards attached to the display, which showed the finished product of all of your nifty little paints. And there it was in its white, sparkly, totally opaque glory... Icecap White 442 843.
I was so excited about this paint, with its perfect consistency and opaqueness, that I totally disregarded my lack of trust in your charlatan "DIY" company. I quickly snatched the pot back up and hurried to find my husband. While checking out I grimaced at the nearly $9.00 price tag for a mere 10 oz of paint, but it was going to be perfect. It's the type of paint that I imagine would result from grinding-up and liquefying unicorn horn. So home it came.
Tonight was the moment of truth. I used your magical glitter paint to coat the inside of a vase to create a faux milk glass effect. I then tinted some more of the paint and coated the inside of an old mason jar. I was ecstatic. So happy in fact, that I Instagrammed my beloved project...
Do you see it? Do you see how perfect that looks? I left my precious glassware out to dry while I went about my evening. I returned to our kitchen to, once again, admire my work and quickly noticed a problem. It appeared as though the paint hadn't properly dried to the top of my vase and slid down the sides before it was fully dry. I picked the vase up to invert it for further drying, hoping the paint would run back in the other direction when, to my horror, I noticed that it wasn't at all what I thought.
The paint was drying clear... Like a glaze. I looked in horror at both of my projects just to confirm. My fears were correct. This beautiful, opaque paint that looked to cover perfectly in the store's sample, was basically glorified nail polish. I should've been more wary when I opened the paint container and noticed that it smelled like a vodka-soaked frat house the morning after a huge party. I knew acrylic paint didn't have that smell, but I was bewitched by the sparkle.
So here I sit, watching the paint dry onto nothing like what my creative mind envisioned. I don't really know how to fix this, Martha. I'm assuming that I'll just get some real acrylic paint and put a second coat onto my glassware, but that's not the point. The point is that your paint display is nothing more than a hoax. A sham to swindle well-meaning DIY'ers out of $9.00 for a sparkle-filled lie. I know, you'll say that the paint pot clearly says "finish" on it. I was well aware of that. However, your deceitful sample was my undoing.
So I hope you're happy with my $9.00, but it's not about the money to me. It's about the fact that your company charges double what your products are actually worth, for some half-assed craft shit with your name slapped on the front.
So Martha, while I'm sure I will find a use for the remainder of my specialty finish, I will be using it begrudgingly and cursing your name with each brushstroke. If you are going to sell craft products at least, for all things good and holy, show an accurate depiction of what your product does (and doesn't) actually do.
Thank you,
Heather G.
An actual artist and crafter

Friday, February 1, 2013


I can't believe it's here already. I used to dread February when we lived in NJ. Sure, it's a short month, but it's sandwiched between January and March. You're full swing into that post-holiday I-guess-its-really-winter decline, but spring is still a couple of months away. Valentines Day is in there, but who really cares about that? February is a rough one for most folks in colder climates. And don't get me started on March...
Down here it's the complete opposite. Our "winter" is over by now. I define a Houston winter as a period of time when high temperatures are well below 50. We had it for about two or three weeks this year, accompanied by cold rain. We've been back up into the 70's since the end of January. It'll still get cold at night, but I'm calling it... It's springtime.
And since its warm here again, February brings with it all the usual springtime stuff: flowers, open windows, BBQ'ing, and of course, landscaping and getting a garden started. Ahhh, gardening. A relaxing hobby that gives back to you in the form of a rich bounty of herbs, flowers, fruits, and veggies. Or, in my case, that dusty patch of earth in our yard and half empty pots with dried, dead plants that thrived prior to being placed in my care.
I have a love hate relationship with gardening. I can grow a seedling like nobody's business. That shit thrives, y'all. It's the part afterwards that results in death, frustration, and a yard barren of all fancy vegetation. I'm convinced the only reason our grass looks so nice is because its where the dogs shit. Free fertilizer!
Anyway, I'm going to try my hand at some landscaping again this year. Hopefully I can turn my thumb green and actually get some stuff to grow. I don't really have any garden plans, but I'm sure I'll put some herbs and peppers into some patio pots. Our main focus is on our front yard.
Yeah sure, it looks nice in that picture. What we didn't know is that stuff grows out of control down here in the perpetual sunshine. We're planning to rip out a lot of the ground vegetation in the beds and replace it with more manageable plants. Namely, hostas and palms. It's going to be a big job, but it needs to be done.