Friday, February 28, 2014

Bless And Impress Sugar Cookies

My Life's Motto is "Bless, Not Impress".  I need it because if I'm not careful, I find myself wanting to do things to Impress others instead of Blessing them.  It is so freeing to stop yourself and ask, "Am I trying to Bless, or Impress?"  When it is to Bless, I can freely cross things off my to-do list that are stressing me out, and have much more grace for myself and the task at hand.

 This sugar cookie recipe is an old Pampered Chef recipe, and it lets me do both - Bless and Impress.  It is as easy as making cookies can get, but it is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  Every time I bring them to an event, I get lots and lots of compliments.

Just 3 Ingredients:

1 pound of butter, divided (It must be butter!)
2 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 18.25 oz. White Cake Mix (Most mixes have been reduced to
                   15.5, so you might need to add some from a 2nd box)

Preheat oven to 350*  In a medium bowl, microwave only 2 sticks of the butter on HIGH 1 minute or until melted.  Slice the remaining 2 sticks into 1/2 inch pieces; add to the melted butter.  Allow butter to stand 3-5 minutes.  After the rest, whisk the butter until smooth.  It should look like a creamy butter thick soup when ready.

Stir together the Flour and Cake Mix.

Pour the butter all at once into the dry ingredients; stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth.

Roll balls of dough (1 tsp) between palms of hand until smooth.  Place on parchment paper, and make a deep (all the way to the pan) indentation in the center.  Bake about 10 minutes, or just until the cookies start to brown on the bottom edges.  Allow the cookies to cool for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

If the cookies look a little less than perfect, dust them confectioners sugar - and they will look beautiful.

My favorite filling is raspberry jam, but you can do anything your heart desires......Nutella, bananas & whipped cream, frosting, candy, fruit......

I would keep them a secret in my
 "The Hostess With the Mostest" folder, 
but that is not Blessing.  I hope you get to 
Bless and Impress with these divine butter sugar 
cookies as much as I have.

Thanks for stopping by the Tub!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Postcard - Roses & Place cards

Warm weather is almost here......I hope, I hope, I hope.......
which means roses will soon be, as well!

 Here is a pretty rose postcard that would make a beautiful 
place card for your Easter table, or Mother/Daughter Tea.

The restored original.

In Black and White, in case you want to tint 
a specific color,  such as:

A lovely Periwinkle-Purple.

So rosey.

Thanks for stopping by the Tub!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Postcard - Couple in Love

Here is another postcard I thought you might enjoy.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Burlap Jewelry Display

I needed a jewelry display for a craft show booth I recently had.  Since I couldn't quite find what I was looking for 
- I created one.


Here is the mirror I stole the frame from.

Next, I cut a piece of scrap board to fit the frame, 
and glued burlap onto the board.

To get my hook placement even, I made a template and marked where I wanted to drill little holes.  This is much easier to do on paper than marking on top of burlap.

I used chain links and screws purchased at our local hardware store to make the hooks.  I had to pry links of the chain off
to make the hooks, but they worked better than anything
else I found.

This is not the jewelry I was displaying, 
but it gives you an idea in case you would like to make a
 jewelry display with this look.

What did we ever do before burlap?


Silhouette - Spring & Burlap

I'm working on my mantel, trying to bring some spring to these parts.  I've had my "Let It Snow" (see it here) banner up and decided I really don't mean that anymore - something has to be done to shoo this cold out of here!

I downloaded this split monogram "S" and then added the word "SPRING" to it.

Since I couldn't find a paper I liked to cut it from, I used a dark brown.  It had to have a kind of "mossy" look, so I spray painted it a blotchy green and stamped it with different color green inks.

I hope you'll come back to see the rest of mantel in a few days!

I feel renewed already.
Thanks for stopping by the Tub.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Postcard - St. Patrick's Day

My hubby has box full of hundreds of postcards from the early 1900's that were mailed to his Great Aunt Hattie (don't you just love her name?).  They are so wonderful, I just have to share from time to time.  Here is one you can use for St. Patrick's Day decor.

This is the original one all cleaned up

I tinted this one with some green

And made this one completely green

I'd love to see a pic if you use them to make something pretty!

Thanks for stopping by the Tub!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Think Outside the Box - Candelabra Sleeves & Post-It Note Trick

One of the problems I ran into on my chandelier restore that I wrote about earlier this week, see here, was the candelabra sleeves.  Some of them were missing, and the ones that remained were so brittle they basically fell apart in your fingers.  No problem - just buy new ones, right?

  Not!  I searched and searched, but couldn't find this size anywhere - not even the internet.  I finally decided to just make sleeves out of something else......and another search began.  I'm not kidding when I say it took me weeks to find a solution.  After trying one thing after another, I finally found a less than perfect fit with the cardboard tube that comes in foil purchased at the $ Tree.  It was less than perfect because I still had to cut it down the side to fit it over the socket.  Once cut, however, it fit snug and held the crystal bobeche' in place perfectly.  

Since segments of cardboard tube are not terribly attractive on a chandelier, I decided to cover them with vintag-y,  light blue, letter scrapbook paper.  

Lavender Tub Tip:  Rather than measure and cut all of those rectangles, I just measured what size they needed to be and cut several at one time using my Silhouette Cameo machine.

Lavender Tub Tip #2:  When I was gluing the rectangles onto the sleeves, the edges didn't want to stay together.  By covering the glued seam with the sticky edge of a Post-it note and pressing it down well, the edges were held tightly shut until the glue dried.  Because of how Post-it notes are made, they came off the scrapbook paper quite easily and left no residue behind.

It wasn't my plan to have custom candelabra sleeves, but now that they are finished - I think they add a nice touch.

What have you created out of necessity?
Isn't it amazing what you can come up with 
when you're in a bind?


Friday, February 21, 2014

Fast, Fun, & Fabulous - Beaded Message/Menu Board

Need a menu or message board?  Here is a quick idea:


Cut a piece of beaded wall board so the beads run horizontally, creating great lines and spaces for writing in.

I topped mine with Washi tape to give a prettier edge.

Classic and so easy!

Note:  I thought dry erase markers would be perfect for this......they are not.  The ink soaks in to the finish and you have to scrub to get it off......which is great for the areas you don't want to erase.  For the areas you do wish to erase, I would use washable markers.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chicken Fajitas Warm Salad

I got this Chicken Fajitas recipe from Taste of Home magazine a long, long time ago.  I started making it into a salad when a local Mexican restaurant had a Warm Chicken Fajitas Salad on their menu.  It is such a fabulous way to eat fajitas.  So yummy - I crave it like crazy. 


1/2 C. Cooking Oil
1/2 C. Vinegar
8 Cloves of Garlic, minced
4 tsp. Dried Oregano
4 tsp. Seasoned Salt
2 tsp. Cumin
The juice squeezed from a 4 oz. can of green chilies


2-4 Large Chicken Breasts, skinned, de-boned, 
        and cut into thin strips
1 Red Sweet Pepper
1 Green Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Red Onion
 (all veggies are cut into strips)
1-2 Tbs. Oil


Lettuce, torn into pieces
1-2 Avocadoes, cut into pieces
Tomatoes, cut into wedges
The can of green chilies that was previously drained
Colby-Jack Cheese, shredded
Corn Chips, strips or crushed
Sour Cream, optional

In a large mixing bowl combine the marinade ingredients; mix well.  Set half aside to be used as a dressing for the salad.  Put the chicken in a bowl, and the veggies in a second bowl.  Pour some of the marinade over each, and stir.  Cover and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours.

Drain the vegetables and the chicken.  (Veggie marinade can be used again, but the chicken marinade should be thrown away.)  Add 1 Tbs. Oil to a large skillet and heat.  Cook and stir the vegetables about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Remove the veggies from the skillet and set aside.

Add 1-2 Tbs. Oil to the skillet and cook/stir chicken (half at a time) over high heat, about 3 minutes or until no longer pink.

Return all veggies and chicken to the skillet; heat through.

In a large bowl, mix the lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, and green chilies.  Top the salad with the cooked chicken and peppers and toss.  Drizzle some of the marinade over the salad, but taste test as the marinade can be salty.  Top with shredded cheese (I go slight), corn chips, and 2 Tbs. salsa.  Give a quick toss before serving family style.  You can serve buffet style, but the salad tastes better when the different flavors have a chance to meld. 

If you just want the fajitas, stack 16 flour tortillas in foil and heat in a 350* oven for 10 minutes while you are cooking the veggies and chicken.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  
It is really delish!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Junk Medallion

If you saw my post yesterday on my salvaged chandelier, perhaps you noticed the cute little medallion I hung it on.  You can view that post here.

 Here is a better look.

If it looks vaguely familiar, 
perhaps you've seen it on one of these!

Yep, my medallion is fabricated totally from salvaged pieces of junk I've hung on to:  a plate from a ceiling fan, the base of an old lamp, and some recycled plastic beading.

I love making things from junk, don't you?  After all,



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sparkle, Sparkle, Shine - Chandelier

There is just something about blingy, sparkly things for the girls in this family.  We love them!  Have you seen the t-shirt that says, "Sparkle is my favorite color" ?  This is absolutely us, Dah-lings.  Even my 21 month grand baby girl will walk mesmerized across an entire Hobby Lobby just to get to the sparkly things.

A few months ago I put out a message on a local Facebook garage sale site asking if anyone had a crystal chandelier for sale.  I wanted to put a small one in my grandbaby's room here at my house, but didn't want to spend a lot.  I didn't get a response, so I moved on and picked up something else off Craigslist.

A few weeks later, however, someone wrote to me privately and said, "Hey, are you still looking for a chandelier?  I have one, but it is not in the greatest shape."  I thought, "What the heck, I'll go ahead and look if the price is right as I can always use the crystals on something else."

It was crazy dirty, and actually smelled smoky and dusty - but she would take $45 for it.  She thought it was from the 30's (like my house), but the wiring was in too good of shape and I knew it couldn't be that old - probably from the early 60's based on the labels.  It was pretty timeless though; I just wasn't sure I could get it cleaned up enough to hang.

It took a ton of elbow grease, but this sweety cleaned up so NICE!  I didn't think about where I would hang the chandelier when I bought it, because I honestly thought it would be parted out.  The longer I cleaned, however, the more I knew it just had to go over our bed.  We've had an ug-o ceiling fan there since we moved in, and although I knew Edward would think a chandelier over our bed would be a bit "ostentatious", as he likes to say, I knew he didn't like that fan either.   

 I can't believe he went for it, 
but then again Who could resist this pretty?

It is a fun thing to wake with a chandelier over my bed, especially when I can see its reflection in the mirror above our mantle.  It just kind of says, "There is a day full of wonderful things just waiting for you to discover."

What about you?  Are you a sparkle person, 
or not so much?'s never too late.........
isn't it time to come 
to the bright side?


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sentimental Valentines

I'm an absolute pushover for anything sentimental.  My sister #2 calls it being a hoarder, but for me - these are my treasures.

 A silk flower wreath with real roses tucked in.  Roses from a friend that I dried and kept.

A garden angel given to me by my longest, dear, precious friend.  Her wing broke off long ago, but I repaired her and sprayed her with a texture paint that is all but gone.  I love how she looks.  She also reminds me of my adorable, little niece, Willow, whose head is covered with bouncy, blond curls.

An angel from my white, ceramic nativity set made by sister #3, and a ceramic box of chocolates that arrived with flowers from my husband quite a few years ago.

My apothecary jar is filled with sentimental treasures:  Cinnamon hearts made by my mom, a glittery dove from sister #2, an empty box of chocolates from my children........... 
so precious.

Happy Valentines Day


Monday, February 3, 2014

Old Chandelier for the Dining Room

Last year I asked you Lavendears if we should change out our dining room chandelier, as we were getting our house ready to put on the market.  Those of you who responded said the chandelier we had was just we left it.  You can see more pics here.

Wellllll, we didn't put our house on the market (long story - essentially my hubby, Edward, became a partner in his firm last January.....which made the banks look at us as being newly self-employed.........which means no new mortgage on a new get the picture).  Anyway, I went on a business trip with Edward to Grapevine, TX, and while he worked - I killed time antiquing.  The only thing that caught my eye and could fit in our car was this solid brass chandelier.

Edward couldn't see past the Malachite finish - plus this thing is HEAVY - but Edward was a good sport and let me bring it home.  Although I felt a bit guilty painting over it's original paint finish, we both were really delighted with its new color.  (I forgot to get a full picture before I took it apart......).

 I think the faux Malachite finish kept more people from being interested in this chandelier, and it was deeply marked down.  

Lucky for me!!!

Isn't she a beaut?!

So glad you stopped by today!