Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has had a good year and are looking forward to a new year, which has too quickly set apon us. Today my mom and I are making Christmas candy and I wanted to share a couple of recipes that we tried this year. Both ...

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"Joyful Creations by JJ" - 5 new articles

  1. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.......
  2. Altering a Book: A Project for Ephemera's Vintage Garden
  3. For I know the plans I have for you.........Desk Organizer
  4. So excited.... Guest DT Project for Ephemera's Vintage Garden
  5. Currently...........

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.......

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has had a good year and are looking forward to a new year, which has too quickly set apon us.

 
Today my mom and I are making Christmas candy and I wanted to share a couple of recipes that we tried this year. Both of these we will be making for friends in the future and we will be adding them to our traditions list.

First we made that cracker toffee that's been floating around Pinterest and Facebook. Then I twisted it a little. So I will share the twisted version below.

The second one we made is Coconut Walnut Drops. These are little praline like drops. The original recipe called for pecans and corn syrup and called them cookies. Mine did not resemble cookies, but blobs, so drops it is. Also, I don't use corn syrup at all. I don't buy corn syrup and I read all labels. You know even Worcestershire sauce has corn syrup in it! Why?! Ok, I jumped quickly to that soap box. I climbed down, so read on for the recipes.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy time with friends, family and of course food!



No Bake Coconut Walnut Drops
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup*
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or nuts of choice)
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine coconut and nuts; set aside.
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, stir sugar, evaporated milk, corn syrup, salt and butter. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a full rolling boil -- let boil and stir for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut/nut mixture. Stir until mixture starts to cool and thicken.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper/foil/parchment. Let harden completely -- about an hour to an hour and a half -- before serving.
Notes
*Corn Syrup substitute: for light CS use 1 cup sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water. For dark CS use 1 cup packed brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water. I heat mine until the sugar dissolves. This equals 1 cup of corn syrup.


Christmas Cracker Toffee (Sorry no picture yet)
Line a large cookie (11x17) with foil, make sure the whole pan is covered including the sides. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray. Line the entire pan with a single layer of saltine crackers. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat melt 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter and 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons of packed brown sugar. Bring to a boil stirring constantly and boil for 3 minutes. Remove and pour over crackers. Spread evenly with spatula. Place in oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with one bag (12 oz) white chocolate chips. Tent with foil until chips melt or return to oven for 1 minutes. Spread chocolate evenly with spatula. (You can also melt chips in microwave and drizzle over toffee crackers.) Sprinkle with dried cherry pieces, craisins, raw pumpkin seeds and walnut pieces. Make sure chocolate is still warm to push topping into. If drizzling with chocolate, place toppings in toffee then drizzle to secure to toffee.
    

Altering a Book: A Project for Ephemera's Vintage Garden

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by today. Over the summer I have been a guest designer for Ephemera's Vintage Garden and it has been a wonderful experience. I love working with Debbie-Anne Parent's digital paper packs. I had the privilege of working with the Love and Romance Digital Paper Pack. The six papers are truely beautiful and so versatile that I had a hard time picking only 3 projects to work on. I know I will be using these papers more in the future. Please click on the link above to see these beautiful papers on Debbie-Anne's Etsy store.

I hope you have seen the videos that I have done and the previous blog posts, if not please head over to my YouTube channel to view all the fun I had this summer.

Below I have posted the final project for my time as a guest on Debbie-Anne's design team. I did a series of four videos that I tried to show my process in completing my journal. I hope you enjoy the series. Hope you have enjoyed your summer so far and still have some plans for the warm weather while it lasts.

Part 1:

 
Part 2:
 
Part 3:
 
Part 4:
 


    

For I know the plans I have for you.........Desk Organizer

Hello everyone! Thank you for stopping by today. I have designed a desk organizer and wanted to share the video and then a small step-by-step of how I made the organizer.

 

This summer I am a guest designer for Ephemera's Vintage Garden. The digital paper pack that I have been working with is the Love and Romance digital paper pack which can be found on Debbie's Etsy store Here. I absolutely love all of Debbie's designs. This paper pack has 6 papers that you can print to use for your projects. Please head over to her store and check out all of her goodies she has designed.

So below is the step-by-step instructions with photos. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Starting with a large cereal box and glue the top closed and make sure the bottom is glued tight.

Then cut the box in half. Line up both of the halves and glue them together with Fabri-tac (or any strong glue). Allow these to dry for a few minutes.

Measure from the back top along the side 1 1/2" and make a mark. Do this on both sides. Then measure from the bottom front up 2" and make a mark. Using a ruler, connect the two marks. This will be the line that you will cut along to get the slant on the sides of the organizer.




Along the front measure 2" up from the bottom and draw a line across the front. Cut the front of the box off at the line.





Now to make the cubby for the pencil holder/can. You will see in the video that the final organizer is different than the pictures in this tutorial. I recommend leaving a 1/2" lip at the bottom and cutting the entire piece over to side, which removes the tab. This will allow the pen holder to fit into the space. Adjust the space according to the size of your can. Fold this piece back towards the inside of the box and adhere it to the center of the box.




Cut boards to attach to the back, bottom, sides and front of your organizer. These boards will strengthen your organizer. The boards that I used are Comicare Backer Boards (8.5"X11") which I purchased at my local comic book store. These boards can also be found on Amazon Here. Extra cereal box can be used as well. Glue the boards to your organizer box. Once dry cut off any excess board.











The entire organizer is covered in brown packing paper. Crumple and scrunch (yes, technical words here) the packing paper a few times. Glue the packing paper down with Collage Pauge (or your favorite glue), patting the paper onto the surface. Apply the glue to the box instead of the paper to keep all of the texture from crumpling. If you apply the glue to the paper, it can smooth out the crumples.

Once the box is covered and dried, dry brush gold metallic paint over the entire box (fingers work wonders here for the dry brushing). Once the gold paint is dry, go over the entire box with Distress Ink Gathered Twigs to give the box some depth. Now take your favorite digital papers or die cuts and decorate your organizer. Keep in mind where the pen holder will be so not to interfere.

The pen holder is a Great Value Black Pepper can (8oz). The can is wiped with rubbing alcohol inside and out. Using a multi-surface paint or enamel paint, paint the inside of the can and a small section at the top and bottom of the outside (I used Folk Art Enamel Hydrangea). To make the stucco look on the inside of the can, just bounce the paint brush over the surface to leave a texture. For the top and bottom rim of the can, use a gold enamel paint. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before touching (or follow the instructions on the paint you have used).





Measure the body of the can and cut the digital paper to size. For this can I only needed to measure the height, I left the paper at the full 11" to wrap around the can. I then trimmed off any excess. The back of the paper was inked using Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. The edges were also inked. I cut a portion of the paper that I wanted to show under the curled edges on the front of the can. I applied red-line tape to the back of each of the pieces.The red-line tape seems to be the strongest bond that I have found. Do not place tape behind the portion of the large piece that is curled on the front, if you want to curl the corners.

The small bottom pieces I applied Diamond Glaze to the top of the pieces and used Martha Stewart Clear Glitter to the top. These two pieces are then taped to the front of the can. I then taped the large piece over the can. At this point you are ready to decorate the can.







Please let me know if you have questions about the process that I took to make the desk organizer. I know that I did not give you any measurements, but that is due to the cereal box. The cereal box that you use may be different than the one that I chose.

I hope you have enjoyed the video and the tutorial. Have a wonderful day!


    

So excited.... Guest DT Project for Ephemera's Vintage Garden

I am very honored to be sharing with everyone today. I have posted my first video as a guest design team member for Ephemera's Vintage Garden. The project is a Bible cover made from a recycled pair of jeans and digital papers from Ephemera's Vintage Garden designed by Debbie Anne Parent. Debbie's work is phenomenal. I cannot say enough good things about the items available from her Etsy Store. They are all so pretty. The digital paper pack that I used was Love and Romance. Just click on the name of the pack to go directly to the paper on Debbie's Etsy store. While you are there, make sure you check out her other digital goodies as well.

I have an inkjet printer (Epson Artisan), which took me a little while to adjust to from my vintage Lexmark, but I love this printer. Now some would say that an inkjet printer is not the best to print digital files, but I say the papers are just as beautiful no matter if you use an inkjet or a laser printer. There is one draw back to the inkjet if you want to use any type of wet media though, where as a laser printer printouts are waterproof the inkjet prints are not. I have a solution though that I just found. This magical product is Microglaze by Judikins (this link is to Amazon, but Walmart.com also carries this product). This little pot of waxy goodness makes inkjet prints awesome. It seals the prints and you can use Diamond Glaze, Glossy Accents, Resin, Collage Pauge, etc, etc. The print stays put and the ink does not run when sealed with Microglaze. This product also seals your stamped images.

So, I made a video of my project and in the video I explain how I made the bible cover and the journal. I hope you enjoy the video. I encourage questions and feedback.

 

Thanks for stopping by today. I will have more projects in the next month with more videos to follow, so I hope you can stop in again. I hope you are enjoying your week!


    

Currently...........

So I thought I would share some of the projects that I have been working on lately.  I know that it has been a while since I have shared, but I hope everyone is doing well! Thanks so much for stopping by!

I have been working on a refillable planner, notebook book. I'm not sure what to call the project yet. I have used digital print files from Ephemeras Vintage Garden (the Vintage Queen Bee journal kit). I really love Debbie's journal kits and digital work. I have used them in the past either in projects here or on my YouTube channel

For the first project, I recycled a book, cutting the insides out and replacing them with pockets on each side of the inside cover. 

 In the pockets I will slip in my current planner and notebooks, etc, that I want to use. Once these need to be replaced I will replace them with new books. I will be making the insert books and will post pics when I am done.

 
Back view
View of spine


 The second project is from a recycled book as well. 

This one though I did not remove all of the pages. I left about 8 pages at the beginning and end of the book then removed pages in this order; keep 4 pages, remove 7 pages, keep 4, remove 7. I did this through out the book, remembering to keep the 8 pages or so at the end. Then I glued pages together creating pockets throughout. I glued 2 pages before the torn area to 2 pages after the torn area. This places the torn out areas between glued pages and hides the torn areas. So, as I progress I will hopefully remember to post pics of the project. I am not sure what I will use this book for yet. I have a lot of different techniques to try out so maybe it will become my "try this" book.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend with family and friends. Stay dry and remember that we have these days with our family and friends in freedom that was purchased with the lives of real heros! God bless America and the ones that put their lives on the line everyday so we can live freely.


    

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