From the World of Pinterest…

Ok,show of hands, who here is a pinterest junkie? Yeah, me too. The thing I’ve been seeing all over lately is the pin with the white coffee cups with writing in Sharpie on them. The pin says that you can write on ceramic mugs with a sharpie marker, bake, and the marker becomes permanent, even dishwasher safe. Some of the comments suggested that the marker does NOT become permanent, and one blogger who tried it on an empty spaghetti sauce jar had the jar EXPLODE IN HER OVEN. So it was with cautious optimism that I approached this project.

I have a wedding to go to this Saturday, and I thought a pitcher and glasses for lemonade or iced tea or sangria would be a lovely gift, but I wanted to personalize it. So, I found out the couple’s first dance song and decided I would write some of the lyrics on the pitcher. That way, every time they use it, the have a lovely reminder of the (hopefully) happiest day of their lives.

Step 1: Wash, thoroughly dry, and wipe down with rubbing alcohol all the surfaces you plan to write on.
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I picked up this pitcher and glasses for about $15. If you’re going to do this on glass make sure it’s nice and thick without air bubbles.

2. Make sure your Sharpies are oil based like these:
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Most of the failures I’ve seen were due to the wrong markers being used.

3. Draw on your glass! I freehanded a scroll and flower design, then after a few frustrating attempts at the text (I’m usually so good at freehanding lettering. Grr.) I decided to cheat and print the words on my computer. (If you need to “erase” you can use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab) I cut the strips of paper and used double sided tape to adhere them to the inside of the pitcher, then just traced the letters. I completely forgot to take a picture of this step. But here’s the scrolly flowery part.
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4. Bake. Place your items in a COLD oven. I was afraid of my oven heating up too quickly so I turned it to 200ºF, then stepped it up to 275º, then 310ish, then finally 350º. If you’re baking something you’re sure won’t be damaged you can go straight to 350º. Once your oven is at 350º, leave it for 30 min. Then turn it off and allow to cool in the oven until it’s cool enough to touch.
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Here’s my practice glass in the oven. I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t crack and that the paint would stay on through washing, so I started with just the one.

I noticed that the blue turned more turquoise after baking, which worked out for me because I wanted an aqua color in the first place.
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On the left is the before, the right is the after. Pretty, right? I tried washing the glass after baking, and the design didn’t budge. Success! I’d recommend hand washing with a soft cloth or sponge under running water (not submerged), but it looks like the design is going to stay put.
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I’m really happy with how it turned out. Now I just have to figure out how to wrap it. Back to Pinterest!

Cinnamon Roll Donut Hole Mini Muffins

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I have a sweet tooth in the morning so I’m always on the lookout for recipes for sweet treats I can make while still half asleep. I found this recipe and tweaked it to my liking. It’s a great recipe to make with kids because it doesn’t contain eggs, so it’s safe to lick the bowl! Here’s my version of it:

This project takes about 45 minutes and is suitable for ages 5 and up with some steps requiring close adult supervision (particularly the ones handling hot things).

Ingredients:

◆ flour
◆ white sugar
◆ a stick of salted butter
◆ milk
◆ cinnamon
◆ vanilla extract
◆ orange extract
◆ baking powder
◆ cream cheese
◆ powdered sugar
◆ salt
◆ heavy whipping cream

Tools you’ll need are:

◆ 2 mixing bowls
◆ mixing spoon
◆ hand or stand mixer
◆ mini muffin pan with 24 cups
◆ 2 spoons
◆ measuring cups and spoons
◆ small microwave safe bowl or cup
◆ small shallow container with lid

Step 1: gather ingredients and tools. Preheat oven to 375º.

Step 2:

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Cut stick of butter in half. (Oh, forgot to mention, you’ll also need a knife.) Unwrap half the butter and place in a mixing bowl. Microwave for about a minute or until melted.

Step 3: peel back the wrapper from the other half of the butter and use it to grease the muffin cups. Just stick it in, press firmly and twist. After a few cups, the butter will take on the shape and things will go faster:

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Step 4: Remove the melted butter from the microwave and add 1/2 cup of white sugar, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and a drop of orange extract.

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Beat with a mixing spoon until well mixed.

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Step 5: Add 1/2 cup of milk. Mix until the sugar mixture breaks up. It’ll be very liquid at this point. Here’s a picture while it’s in motion:

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And when it’s not being stirred the cinnamon floats to the top:

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Step 6: Dump in 1 cup flour. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon baking powder on top off the flour.

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Stir until just incorporated. All the big lumps should be gone, but small ones are ok.

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Step 7: Spoon into muffin pan. The best way to do this is to scoop with one spoon and scrape with the other. Fill the cups about 2/3 full.

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(Wow, my oven needs a cleaning.) Bake at 375º for 15-20 min, checking every minute after the first 15. They should be lightly browned on top and a little darker at the edges when done.

Step 8: While the muffins are baking, we’ll mix up the icing. In the clean mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) place a package of softened cream cheese. Add about 3 heaping tablespoons (more or less to taste) powdered sugar, about 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and a drop of orange extract.

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Mix with a hand or stand mixer on low until smooth.

Step 9: Add a splash (about 2 tablespoons) of heavy whipping cream and a pinch of salt.

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Mix on low until smooth and creamy. The heavy whipping cream loosens the icing up to make it more “dippable”.

Step 10: Remove muffins from oven.

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Allow to cool for a few minutes until cool enough to handle.

Step 11: Place the half stick of butter (the one you used to grease the pan) into the small microwave safe bowl or cup and microwave until melted.

Step 12: Put about 1/2 cup of white sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon in the container with a lid. Put on lid and shake to mix.

Step 13: Remove muffins from pan and dip top of each into melted butter, then cinnamon sugar mixture.

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Then just dip into the icing and enjoy! It’s best to scoop the icing with the bottom of the muffin because it sticks better on the un-sugar-coated part.

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Delicious!

How To Make Dollar Store Silk Flowers Look Spectacular

Silk flowers are a crafting staple, but really nice ones can be so expensive!  This tutorial will show you how to take really cheap, not so attractive silk flowers and make them look awesome.

This craft is suitable for ages 8 and up.

Time needed: about 3 minutes per flower

Supplies: Silk flowers, wire cutters

Step 1: gather your supplies. I’m using what I think are supposed to be peonies from Dollar Tree, and kitchen scissors because I can’t find my wire cutters (I’m guessing hubby has them stashed in the garage somewhere. Ugh.)

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Step 2: Pull the flowers off the stems.

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Step 3: Disassemble 2 flowers. You’ll combine these to make one much better flower. You do this by taking the green plastic thingy off of the back…

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Then pull the petal layers apart like this:

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Save all the little plastic doodads.  You’ll need those. Do the same thing with the second flower. I’m using 2 different colors so it’s easier to follow along, but it also adds a lot of interest to your flowers to do this. You can just use one color if you prefer.

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Step 4: Reassemble the flower. Start by taking one of the little green centers

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then stack the petals onto it, starting with the smallest.

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Make sure to stagger the petals so there aren’t any gaps. Don’t worry about the little white plastic “basket” things you pulled off during disassembly. You don’t need them.

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After you’ve got them all stacked…

Step 5: Put the green plastic base back on. P

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Step 6: Cut a stem off of the flower bush using wire cutters. I’m using kitchen scissors. I do not recommend this. 

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Step 7: Slide a couple of the leaves onto the stem. I stuck 2 of the leaves together to make it fluffier. You can do this if you want but it’s not necessary.

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Step 8: Stick the flower on the stem above the leaves.

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That’s it!  You’ve gone from this:

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To this!

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Once you’ve got the hang of it, experiment with color and shape combinations. You can also skip the stem step and insert the bent end of a bobby pin into the hole to make a hair pin like this:

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Fun!