Monday, August 23, 2010 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Latest Composition Book Recycling Project...that you will totally love!!

Listening to Adele on my iPod, enjoying the return of our internet this morning, getting my Xolair shots, finishing up a crochet flower and then adding the final touches to my newest composition book recycling project (addiction that is in full swing), this has been a productive Monday already! Just saying... This photo is the cover of my newest book...but even at a sideways glance it doesn't compare to the inside...check this out...

Don't you LOVE it!!! I can never find my post notes or a piece of paper much less a pen when a phone call comes in or a website link I need to remember. This was one of my dreams for the composition book. I will save the inside pages for journaling or another project down the road.  However, this was such a sweet project to add to my growing composition books recycled, revamped into something fun and creative.

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},
Monday, August 16, 2010 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Altered Composition Books

This is my Altered Composition Book that I plan to use for my food journal, homework from the nutritionist to eating healthier. I thought I would at least make every entry worth it by having a journal that was absolutely fun to open. The theme of course is time! It didn't take a day to get outstandingly beautifully fluffy and it will take time to have less fluff and even more beauty. 

This journal got the ball rolling for me. A sweet friend, Linda, is having a grand opening and needed door prizes, so she asked if I might donate something, because she is a dear friend, I said, "of course!" This is the Vintage Altered Composition Notebook/Journal.  The clasp is, you guessed it, totally recycled from something, but don't think I will tell you just yet. =)

I hope that your week is super creative filled with wonderful ideas and inspirations and may your sleeps be filled with sweet creative dreams. My Sunday got the week off to a blast as you can see from these two creations.

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Do you have an eye sore you wish that would go away?

I have a lamp that is also a magnifying glass, great for doing small beading or sewing projects. However, the base of it is a caddy to hold tiny objects and, not in printed form from the company, also collects lots and lots of dust! So, while working on a project for our live show today, I decided to help this little lamp out and made it a skirt. Now my tiny items are hidden and the dust bunnies will have to find a new home plus this is a super easy project for pennies to make. Here is what I did:

Before I cleaned the caddy and before it got "dressed". =)
Don't tell the sweet lamp, but it will be spray painted next.

I found a scrap piece of fabric and made sure it would fit the caddy.
The light fixture pops out so that the caddy can be lifted easily.

I turned the fabric piece to the inside and laid my pencil on the caddy
leaving about 1/2" space between the caddy and
the cutting line so the fabric will hang off the side a little.

I cut the circle out not worryingi about the edge of the fabric.

Then, I folded the fabric in 1/4s.

Using scissors, I snipped off the corner of the fabric folded in fourths to form a small circle.

Next, I hot glued lace to the edge of the skirt. Glossy Accents would work too
but I was running low and wanted to save some for the live show. =)

I also added Fray Check around the center circle and to the lace before cutting it,
making two lines side by side and cutting down the middle.

Thus, a perfect solution for the eye sore that bothered me continously.

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

CrockPot Lemon Peppered Chicken II Recipe...

CrockPot Lemon Peppered Chicken Recipe

5 qt CrockPot
6 large frozen chicken breast, boneless, skinless
cooking spray
1 stick of butter, no melted
2 Tablespoons lemon peppered seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
sprinkling of lemon peel (optional)

Spray the CrockPot with cooking spray.  Place the frozen chicken breasts in the CrockPot, adding the remaining ingredience on top. Set the CrockPot to warm and allow to cook for 8 hours or until chicken is cooked completey. 

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},
Monday, August 9, 2010 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Homemade Cheese Cake Recipe

Homemade Cheese Cake Recipe

Ingredients needed:

3 lbs ricotta cheese
9 large eggs, beaten well
1 1/2 cups of sugar
grated peel and juice from 1 orange
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar to sprinkle on top (or chocolate syrup)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.
2. Using an electric mixer, combine the ricotta, eggs, granulated sugar, orange peel with juice, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1½ hours. Turn off the oven and let the cake rest inside for 30 minutes. Let cool, then sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, chocolate syrup (like photo) or fresh strawberries in strawberry glaze. (Personally, I love it by itself!)

Enjoy....Happy Birthday to Me!

Love, Blessings, and {{{Hugs}}},

my Girly Shabby Chic Steampunk Designs...

This weekend, I created two jewelry pieces for my Girly Shabby Chic Steampunk design collection, 10 O'Clock Chocolate. This cuff is made by recycling a paper towel roll as the base for adding the beading elements.  I brought in my favorite pieces of Tim Holtz clock pieces to accent both pieces. The necklace is crochet beading using copper wire.  The beads were from a local bead store, Bella Beads, that I bought some time ago. Steampunk appeals to me for the bright gold, copper as well as the clock elements used in creating the art. However, I needed to add some girly expression to these peices too...It's a Girl Thing!!! =)

As I was thinking about this particular design, I knew that I wanted it to be a cuff, but never making one before, I wasn't sure how to put it together. My son brought me a paper towel roll asking if I could use it. The design then took shape as I cut each peace and measured my wrist. I have large wrists and finding jewelry isn't easy. Then I had been working on some crochet flowers and realized that the copper wire would go perfect with the beads as well as adding the pendant pieces.

I didn't need to add closures to the cuff because it stayed in the shape I wanted. I did add some bead strings to each corner of the cuff to add a little sweetness to the design.  The closure for the crochet bead necklace is both silver and copper. 

These two pieces were so much fun to create and only took about 4 hours to do. I was pleased with that. I love dreaming about my creations regardless the mediums and pray as I go to sleep that God will give me sweet creative dreams so that my art is filled with love, blessings and peace knowing that hope is there for anyone who needs respite and rest.  I find that as I create my art.

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},
Saturday, August 7, 2010 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

This week on Open Studio, Tool Belt Apron used two ways...

Wednesday, August 11th, at 1 pm CST (Vintage Apron) and 6 pm CST (Children's Apron),
 the only Ustream fed website for Artists Only

I am so excited to make this apron for you this week during our Open Studio LIVE show. At 1 pm CST, I will recreate this apron with a little twist to it, but it will have various mediums used in it, like:  diecuts, paint, Mod Podge, decorative flowers, embossing, crochet lace and so much will love creating this fun piece without any sewing whatsoever!!!  Then at 6 pm CST, I am taking this apron and creating it different with wonderful elements any child will love!  So, be sure to spend some time with me this Wednesday for Open at a new time and new day!!! I am so very excited to share this with you as well as some fun tips and techniques for your creativity regardless what medium you will be working with.

Also, I just want to remind you that your continued support by purchasing my patterns and handmade items on my website help me stay in business and offer exceptional giveaways each month. The patterns are in great detail giving you step-by-step directions in the projects I make. Also, if you enjoy what you see and the tutorials, tips, techniques and videos that I provide, please donate through "Rita's Tips" located on my blog. I so appreciate your support and encouragement. Thank you for spending time with me each week.

Love, Blessings, and {{{Hugs}}},
Wednesday, August 4, 2010 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

a simple CrockPot English Pea Salad for 2 or more People...

I am not a fan of several veggies, English peas just happens to be one of them. I love them in soup because they are like some family members, they are surrounded by delicious ingredients and they make the not so bad green pea not so bad to be around. Garrett, however, loves English Pea Salad and I found a simple way to make it and it can feed 2 people to 100 people using 2 buffet CrockPots and 6 hours to do it in. Also, using the CrockPot sisters keeps the kitchen cool on a hot summer day.

In one 2.5 quart buffet CrockPot, put 1 cup of frozen green English peas for two people you plan to serve. Cover with water and cook on warm for 6 hours. If you need more servings than this buffet CrockPot will hold, move it to a larger CrockPot (a tip for this method at the end).

In the other 2.5 quart buffet CrockPot, put 1 egg for every cup of green English peas you are preparing in the other CrockPot. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice (to keep the shells from cracking). Cover with water and cook on warm for 6 hours. I use an egg timer that goes into the water with the eggs to let me know when they are done.

When cooked, turn both crockpots off and allow them to cool down for 1 hours. Drain the English peas well. Remove the boiled eggs from the CrockPot, peel and cut up finely into a mixing bowl.  Add the English peas, 2 Tablespoons of mayo, 1 dash of pepper sauce (optional since Garrett doesn't like it that way), pepper/salt/Ms Dash Tomato/Basil/Garlic blend and a dash of dill (totally love dill with any recipe that calls for eggs).  Mix well. Place in the fridge till ready to serve.

If you use the larger CrockPot to cook the peas, boil the eggs over night and then cook the peas afterwards, both will be ready for supper that night.

I boil eggs in the CrockPot all the time, at least a dozen to have on hand to eat individually or use in salads.  I can't peel them worth a flip regardless how I try so I don't make devil eggs often. However, egg salad is great for a hot day.

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},

CrockPot Breakfast Casserole

This Breakfast Cassrole has been a favorite recipe of our family for more years than we have had kids. I have changed it up a bit for today's recipe because not everyone in our family likes the onions, peppers, etc that you can add to this to make it even more mouth watering.  Here is the recipe I used for the CrockPot version of the Breakfast Casserole and it has turned out amazing!!! This is for tonight's supper, adding biscuits, salsa and spreadable butter to the menu. Add a square of this to a biscuit with a slice of turkey bacon and sprinkle some cheese and you have a great breakfast on the go is my original recipe for....

CrockPot Breakfast Casserole
(for 3 meals: breakfast, biscuits for tomorrow morning, & biscuit sandwiches for the freezer)

18 eggs, beat well
1 cut milk
1 loaf of french bread
1 stick of butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons of garlic, minced
8 sausage patties, cooked or pre-cooked packaged, crumbled
2 cups shredded cheese
salt, peper, Ms Dash Tomato, Basil, Garlic blend

1. Slice French bread in half, lenght wise.
2. Mix softened butter and garlic together well, spread over both halves of French bread
3. Toast French bread in the oven until edges are crisp
4.  Crack eggs and beat well.
5. Mix in milk, crumbled sausage patties, 1 cup of shredded cheese, seasoning and mix well
6. When toasted and cooled, crumble French bread into the mix.
7.  Stir all the ingredients, mixing well.
8.  Pour into a 5 qt (or 2 buffet crockpots 2.5 qrts) sprayed with cooking spray.
9.  Cook on WARM for 8 hours.
10.  Cover the top with remaining shredded cheese, serve.

You can also back this recipe, except, allow the ingredients to sit overnight in the casserole dish in the fridge.  Back at 400 degrees until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

If desired add to the mix prior to cooking:
1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup green/red/yellow bell peppers, chopped finely
1 teaspoon hot sauce, for a kick
top with crumbled bacon before adding the shredded cheese at the end of cooking time

Hope you enjoy! This is really a great recipe that can be used for anytime. Doc is taking a baked version of this recipe to work this morning for a brunch.

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},
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