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Monday, June 23, 2008

Where have you been, Tay?

Well let me tell you! Last week Aiden had croup and after two sleepless nights, I about sank to my knees when the pediatrician told us the virus would run it's course in about a week an a half. Sure enough he was right. Aiden has a constant runny nose and the crabby temper that comes with any cold. And a molar that FINALLY popped through. I'm hoping it's all over by Friday...

Then I have been playing with my vinyl cutter. I would like to edit my previous posts to add that despite the price tag of this machine, it is most definately a personal CRAFT cutter. What I should have said is that I bought a WOOD BOARD vinyl lettering machine. I have yet to successfully cut anything longer than 12 inches. No lie - 12 inches. The machine has chewed up half of the white vinyl I ordered and punched through the backing and began cutting itself on the other half of the small jobs I gave it. So if anyone needs an assortment of 1 inch tall random letters that may or may not be slightly mangled, I'm your gal.

Needless to say this thing has a bit of a learning curve. It needs a ton of work room and is loud enough to wake the dead. It sounds like a fax machine paper jam at a saw mill - and that's when it's cutting properly. (As opposed to cutting itself. I'm certain I have the only EMO vinyl lettering machine on the market....) As soon as this brat machine and I learn to play nice (read: do things my way) I'll post some examples. And I am NOT shipping!!! Weeding takes more patience than I have exerted in my life and I actually paid for good quality supplies and several specialty tools.

If you absolutely cannot wait and hate that my machine cuts so small, here is a link to by far the cheapest vinyl lettering online: (She's MUCH cheaper than I will be.)

I've never seen prices so reasonable. You can buy kits from her to make message boards, too.

Okay, next. Jen Wilson has a huge, brand new line coming out on the 26th! Check out the sneak peek HERE. I've seen some of the papers and they are incredible! There are TONS of things that will be perfect for hybrid projects in kid's rooms. Good thing Hobby Lobby has unfinshed craft wood on sale this week! Ribbon and Exacto craft knives are on sale for 50% off, too. Did you notice you COULD win the whole line if you e-mail Jen a summer-themed picture? She uses a random number generator to pick the winner so it's NOT a photo competition. That 30 second e-mail could land you a $50 set of digi supplies!

To keep my utterly random blog post going, I should probably fill you guys in on some jewelry news. The price of sterling silver has gone very, very high. It's a commodity, like gold, and it's become surprisingly expensive to buy. Since I refuse to use anything besides sterling, the cost of my jewelry has increased. Yes, even for friends. The days of $5 baby bracelets are gone until silver comes back down. I'll fill existing orders placed before today but my sterling re-stock shipment is on it's way and will be used to fill future orders at a higher price. Binky clips are discontinued. I've used up the last of my clips and am not purchasing more because I HATE making them!!! Custom earrings are my favorite to make so they'll still be available, as will baby bracelets. They'll just cost a bit more. ;)

Last thing: We have been making this caramel kettle corn and it's absolutely delicious! It's not that barely-sweet crap the microwave popcorn industry has been trying to pass off as kettle corn. This is like caramel crunch & munch!

Way Too Easy Caramel Kettle Corn

You will need:

Your largest mixing bowl
Large spatula
Non-stick cooking spray
Medium saucepan
1 bag of kettle corn microwave popcorn
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of butter (or anything resembling butter)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of water
1 cup of brown sugar

Directions: Pull out your biggest mixing bowl and spray your largest spatula with cooking spray on both sides. Use a paper towel to wipe away excess spray so you don't soak the popcorn. In a medium saucepan on high heat, melt the butter. While the butter is melting, start the microwave popcorn. Once the butter is completely melted, add the water and then add the brown sugar. Stir with the spatula until the mixture is boiling. Continue stirring every 15-30 seconds as you let it boil for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, working as fast as you can, open the bag of popped microwave popcorn and pour it into a bowl, being careful to weed out any unpopped kernels. (It's easiest to try and leave them in the bag as you gently scoop the popped kernels out by hand.) Keep an eye on your sugar mixture, it cannot boil longer than 3 and a half minutes TOTAL. Once the popcorn is ready, immediately pour the boiling sugar mixture over it. Quickly use your spatula to turn and coat all the popcorn. Continue tossing and coating for 5 minutes until the popcorn begins to cool and harden. It should resemble lightly-coated crunch & munch when it is ready to eat. If it is still warm and chewy, let it cool further. Eat immediately.

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