Craft: Vintage Halloween Votive

DIY Halloween VotivesHere’s a craft project I created and published back in 2012.  I don’t have a witty introduction for it.  Simply, here’s the tutorial:


Glass candle votive



Vintage clip art – The images that work out the best have a good amount of white space in them.  The clip art I used came from The Graphics Fairy blog. Here are the links for the Raven, Owl and Girl witch.

Standard printer paper

Electric tea light


1.  Print images on paper.  You might need to adjust the size of an image depending on the size of your glass votive.

2. Cut image out and wrap around glass votive.  Tape paper together in the back.

3.  Add a tea light.

DIY Halloween Votives 2

Printable: Ginkgo Leaf Origami Paper

Printable Ginkgo Leaf Origami PaperOne thing I miss about Connecticut in the fall are the vibrant colored leaves. Now I’m surrounded by California brown.  There are some trees here that have color but it’s nothing like the trees on the east coast. So today, I’m bringing a little fall my way and yours with this ginkgo leaf origami print.  If you’re not into origami, consider using this paper for scrapbooking or cards.

Click here for the Ginkgo Leaf Origami Paper.

We Adopted a Pug!

Pug dogYou may have noticed there was no “origami printable” this week.  Well, there’s a good reason for that. I’ve been busy taking care of this sweet little pug.  Her name is Lilly and she’s about six years old.  We adopted her from Pug Rescue of Sacramento.  We started the process in June and we finally were able to take her home last weekend.  So far she has been very calm and doesn’t bark.  What has surprised me most is how she follows me everywhere.  She will not let me out of her sight!

I’ve never had a dog before so this is all very new to me.  I do know that pugs require a lot of care from all my research.  I also know I have a lot to learn.  If you have any helpful tips whether it be snacks, toys, etc., I’d love to hear.

Cute Pug Dog

DIY Boho Necklace

Boho Wrapped Paracord NecklaceBoho Necklace from the book KNITLESS: 50 No-Knit, Stash-Busting Yarn Projects by Laura McFadden, Photograph by Allan Penn

If you’ve read my blog for a while now, it’s no secret I like to knit.  And like most knitters, I have a massive decent yarn stash.  Which always has me asking, “what am I going to do with all this yarn?!”.  My daughter has started making pom-pom monsters with some of it.  But really, how many pom-pom monsters can one make?  So when Running Press reached out to me about KNITLESS I was eager to take a look at it.

There are a lot of great projects in KNITLESS.  One that stood out to me and I thought you would enjoy is the Boho Wrapped Paracord Necklace.  If you’ve looked through any fashion magazines, you know the bohemian trend is very popular right now.  Directions below:

Reprinted with permission from KNITLESS © 2015 by Laura McFadden, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Boho Wrapped Paracord Necklace

“Boho” or “Bohemian” style is all about the layering of accessories. This all-in-one multilayer necklace has that carefree, gypsy feel.


Hot glue gun with glue sticks
1 yard paracord (tan)
1 paracord closure
5 yards each of lightweight cotton yarn in four colors (pink, light purple, brown, and tan)
5 yards lightweight acrylic yarn (metallic red-orange)
Embroidery needle
White craft glue
Variety pack of assorted wooden beads
70 (3 mm) orange wooden beads
3-inch-wide piece cardboard
1 (20 mm) unfinished wooden bead

1. Heat up the hot glue gun with a stick of glue in it, and place a dab of glue on one end of the paracord.

2. Place the end of the paracord into the socket of the closure and hold it in place for a minute until the glue sets up. Repeat to glue the other piece of the closure on the other end of the paracord.

3. Take the tan yarn and hold a tail of about 3 inches of yarn parallel with the paracord, tail facing in. Start wrapping it around the paracord for about 3 inches to secure the tail.

4. Follow Step 3 for all the remaining colors, changing the color of yarn randomly to suit. To attach a new piece of yarn: Cut the old yarn to leave a tail of a few inches. Hold it and the tail of the new yarn against the paracord. Wrap the new yarn around the tails to cover both. The idea is for the colors to have an uneven, random feeling.

5. When you finish wrapping the yarn all the way around the paracord, thread the embroidery needle with the last piece of yarn and sew it through the layer of paracord. Tie a knot in the end of the yarn. Cut the tail and add a small dab of white glue to secure the knot.

6. For the beaded strands in the middle: single thread the embroidery needle with a piece of tan yarn about 18 inches long. Tie a knot in the end, leaving a 6-inch tail. String on a variety of the wooden beads until they measure 6½ inches.

7. Fold the wrapped paracord part of the necklace in half and measure about 4½ inches from the center on both sides. Sew the beads onto the paracord to make a second tier in the necklace, as shown in the photo. Do this on both sides.

8. Using a piece of tan yarn, tie a knot leaving a 6-inch tail. Single thread the yarn and string on 70 of the orange wooden beads (or until the length of strung beads measures 12¼ inches).

9. Sew the beads onto the paracord, about 10½ inches up from the center of the paracord. Do this on both sides. Knot the ends and cut any excess yarn off.

10. FOR THE TASSEL: Wrap the tan yarn around the cardboard about 30 times. Pull the yarn off the cardboard, keeping the shape intact. Cut a 6-inch strand of tan yarn and wrap it around the top of the loops of yarn you just made, tying them in a tight bundle. Tie a knot in the strand of yarn but don’t cut the ends.

11. Slide the 20 mm wooden bead onto the tassel and white glue it in place.

12. Cut the ends of yarn at the bottom of the tassel so they measure about 2 inches from the bottom of the wooden bead.

13. Thread the uncut ends of yarn at the top of the tassel onto the embroidery needle. Wrap the strands around the center of the paracord several times and tie them in a knot. Feed the remaining strands in through the center of the bead to hide them.

TIP: When you are finishing off the ends of your beading, hide them by burying the remaining yarn strands back through the first few beads. Then cut the ends of the yarn. Add a little dab of glue for extra hold.

knitless craft bookIf you liked this project, I would encourage you to check out the other blogs/links below participating in this blog tour.  You’ll be able to see more projects from KNITLESS.  There are even some giveaways for the book!  You can also find more information at Running Press.

9/15 Pretty Things

9/17 She Shoots Sheep Shots

9/18 Knit and Nosh

9/19 Knitty Gritty Savings

9/20 ZakkaLife – You’re here!

9/21 Lorelei’s Blog

9/22 CraftGossip Knitting

9/23 Wendy Knits

9/24 Cut Out + Keep

9/25 Think Crafts!

9/26 Our Daily Craft

9/27 The Crafty Princess Diaries

9/28 Delia Creates


Grandma’s Biscotti Recipe

biscotti recipeThis is one of my favorite recipes that my grandmother passed down to me.  When I would visit her, she would always have a large jar of this on the kitchen counter among other treats.  As a kid I would just eat it plain but now I enjoy it with tea or coffee.  This is a great recipe to make in advance for entertaining (it can  last up to 30 days).

*If this recipe looks familiar to you, I first published it in 2008 on the old blog.

Biscotti Recipe


3 Cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 Cups sugar

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Cup butter

3 Eggs

3 Teaspoons anise seed

1 Teaspoon lemon extract

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1 Teaspoon almond extract

1 Cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 325

2. Mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs.  Add extracts and almonds.  Add the dry ingredients and mix.

4. Shape into two oblong loaves about an 1/2 in thick and place on two parchment lined baking sheets.

5. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes.

6. Let cool for an hour.

7. With a serrated knife, cut the loaves into diagonal slices about 1/2 inch wide.

8. Place slices back in the oven on their sides for 25 minutes. Bake at 325. Let cool.

*Biscotti can last up to 30 days in an airtight container.

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in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight - Proverbs 3:6