Archive for September, 2012


Carcassonne Rubik’s Cube

Combinations of two fantastic things are always fun to me, like when The Doctor says “Expelliarmus!”, the possibility of Anne Hathaway playing Julie Andrews in a movie about the author of Mary Poppins, or song mashups like Michael Jackson and Ghostbusters or Glee’s mashup of two Adele songs.

So a Carcassonne Rubik’s Cube? Of course I was going to make this. I love the tile game Carcassonne, and I happened to have a Rubik’s cube. In case you haven’t heard of this game, it is a game in which you lay down tiles that have to match up – some sides are cities, some are roads, some are farmland, and each side has to match – city to I decided to give it to my friend Erika who is also a nerdy fan of the game.

Finished Carcassonne Rubik's Cube

Here’s how I did it! It’s quite simple.

Materials:

  • Rubik’s Cube
  • Printed Carcassonne tile template
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Adhesive (I used a glue stick but you could probably use other kinds of glues)

The original maker of this has a fantastic PDF template to download, so I just printed that off on regular paper, cut out one side at a time, and glued them onto the cube, making sure the sides are turned the right way so they match up.

Since the squares are slightly too big, this allowed me to cut between them using a utility knife instead of cutting them out individually and gluing them on in order (which would have taken forever).

Finally, a layer of Mod Podge as a finish (you could also use mod podge as an adhesive).

Mod Podging Carcassonne Rubik's Cube

Let it dry a few hours, and there you have it! You can jumble it up and score yourself like the normal game to have fun with it by seeing how high of a score you can get, or see if you can just match up one side at a time. Portable entertainment!

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Pay it Forward

I’m participating in the Pay It Forward gift-giving game through Hey Hey Heather K – check out the rules at her blog above if you want to participate and get a homemade gift from me!

I know it says you must have a blog, but I think social networking in general counts if you’re interested!

Hey, Hey, Heather K

I keep trying to reblog this and it’s not working! But I’m participating and sharing Mrs M‘s post! The rules are below!

This is how it works  (I’ve borrowed Mrs M’s, who borrowed Claire Bear’s  explanation, who borrowed it from the Quilting Chemist):

I will send a surprise gift to the first 3 people to comment on this post.  This gift will be made by me and I will send it sometime within the next year.  Exactly when you will receive it will be a surprise ( it will probably be a surprise to me too).

Of course there are some rules in this game.  Here it goes:

1.  I will make a little something for the first 3 people who comment on this post.  It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).

2.  To sign up to…

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I’ve already been buying/making/planning for Christmas gifts for a month or two now. My grandparents love anything with photos of their grandchildren, so when I saw an idea for photo coasters from Lee Lala, I thought it was perfect. I ended up combining it with ideas from two girls being crafty, as well. And heck, everyone else in the craft blog community is doing it, so why shouldn’t I? (Just don’t tell my grandparents until Christmas!)

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

My supplies were:

  • Digital pictures edited to black and white
  • White tissue paper
  • Ceramic or sandstone tiles (I couldn’t find sandstone even though I liked that idea, so I got some super cheap ceramic tiles from Home Depot that were like 10-20 cents apiece)
  • Printer (Many tutorials say to only use a laser printer, but I used an inkjet and just made sure to print in black ink/grayscale ONLY, not the color combination that creates black, so that the colors wouldn’t get all weird.)
  • Mod Podge and foam brush
  • Spray sealant
  • Black felt
  • Hot glue
  • O Magazine (or other easy-cleanup work surface… I had this free copy from years ago to use 🙂 )

The first two steps using the tissue paper are the hardest, because tissue paper is so fragile. First, I printed out each photo on tissue paper in a size to match my 4″ish by 4″ish inch tile. It had to be carefully taped to a sheet of cardstock so it wouldn’t get all bunched up in the printer.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Next, I applied a thin layer of mod podge with the foam brush and quickly but carefully placed the photo on top. There will be wrinkles, as is the nature of tissue paper, but do your best to smooth them out very carefully so the paper doesn’t tear. The wrinkles aren’t as obvious once the coasters are done, but they still help give the photos a worn, unique look.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Then, apply a thin layer of mod podge on top

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

And let dry for at least fifteen minutes, then add another coat. Wait an hour or two more, and add a coat of spray sealant to help make them waterproof.

Sealing Photo Coasters

Once that dries after a few hours, the main part of the coaster done, so you just need to glue on the felt.

I measured the tiles (since they aren’t exactly 4×4) and cut the felt to the same size, one piece for each coaster.

Measuring Felt

Then, I placed hot glue on each coaster, one side at a time, and stuck on the felt before it dried.

Gluing Felt to CoastersGluing Felt Onto Photo Coasters

Add some ribbon, and you have cute personalized coasters!

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

For an easier version, you could just use regular paper or photo paper since it doesn’t wrinkle, or just use scrapbook paper for cute ones if you don’t want to put your glass on someone’s face. I know a lot of people have done this, and for some reason I decided to go with the harder-to-work-with tissue paper. But these coasters have character. 😉

Crepes Du Jour

I’ve had plenty of crepes at restaurants, but until recently, I hadn’t tried them at home. So I recently acquired some crepes (which are hard to find ready-made) and tried a couple of fillings in them, both sweet and savory: creamy summer vegetable filling and strawberry cheesecake filling. I am also planning on trying my hand at my own crepes and more fillings, and I’ll soon share those with you, too!

I used these ready-to-eat crepes that I found at Whole Foods. They have a slightly sweet taste, but they were still good with this more savory filling. They apparently came from France, because there is very little English on the whole package!

Pre-Made Crepes

Summer Veggie Crepes

I think there are a bunch of different vegetables that could be used here (like different types of squash), but I stuck with zucchini and corn, a couple of my favorites. I would probably add more veggies if I were to make it again.

Ingredients:

  • pre-made crepes
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat milk (or soymilk)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • Optional: 1 1/4 cups chopped green beans (I don’t like green beans, but if you like them, you can totally add them)
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from a fresh ear of corn)
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or other mild cheese

First, stir the sour cream, 1/4 cup chives, soymilk, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined.

Zucchini Cream Filling for Crepes

Chop up the zucchini and slice off the corn kernels, and sautee them on medium heat 5-10 minutes until they begin to brown.

Sauteeing ZucchiniReduce heat to low (I turned mine off since my stove is electric) and stir in ricotta or cottage cheese, other mild cheese (I used a mix of several), the remaining 1/4 cup chives, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until cheese is melted.

Creamy Zucchini Filling for Crepes

Scoop a small amount of the filling into a crepe. Since they are so thin, it can help to put some wax paper down to make them easier to roll, but I did away with this tactic after the first couple.

Rolling a Crepe with Zucchini Filling

Rolling a Crepe with Zucchini Filling

Finally, add a couple tablespoons of the sour cream sauce to the top of each crepe, and voila!

Summer Vegetable Crepes

Strawberry Cheesecake Crepes

These are really easy to make and quite sweet – I was actually enjoying the filling by itself a little too much. 🙂

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped (I substituted milk for healthiness, which made it much thinner, but it was still good)
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries

First, slice the strawberries – yum.

Slicing Fresh Strawberries

Next, blend or whisk the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream if using it, or add the milk if going with the healthier version (which is still not totally healthy due to all the sugar 🙂
Cream Cheese Crepe Filling

Add some sliced strawberries and cream cheese inside the crepe, roll it up, and add some more on the outside.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crepes

What kinds of fillings do you like in crepes?

SMASH Stories Feature

My International Smashbook post is featured on the Smashbook official blog today! I love this blog; it has a lot of fun/cute/original Smashbooks to browse through.

I’ve added a bunch of pages to my 2012 smashbook, so I may post a few more here soon.

In other news, I have a TARDIS bobble on my monitor. 🙂

TARDIS bobble monitor buddy

Dishwasher Clean/Dirty Sign

I know I’ve been away for a while – I tend to get into something like crafting for a while and then turn my attention to something else (like games or tv or traveling), and come back to it later. But I have some new stuff to show you guys!

Ever have problems telling whether the dishes are dirty or clean? The boyfriend and I sometimes have trouble coordinating the dishes, especially since he washes them before putting them in the dishwasher. So when I saw this cute tutorial on making a sign for your dishwasher, I thought it was a great idea.

First, I tried the method in the tutorial – saved cottage cheese lids, printed out the awesome printable the original poster made onto cardstock, cut them out and got the rest of my supplies together.

Image

I glued the magnet on the backside of one lid and the lids to each other with hot glue.

Image

However, when I tried to put it on the dishwasher, my magnet wasn’t strong enough, and it kept falling off. So, I gave up on that altogether and just ended up Elmer’s gluing the clean/dirty pieces of cardstock together with the magnet between them, and it worked.

If you have a stronger magnet than me, feel free to try the lid method, since that would be a more durable sign. But hey, sometimes you just have to use trial-and-error and work with what you have. 🙂