Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tutorial: Drab to Fab Vintage Silk Flowers

It may be a miracle folks, but I thought I'd squeeze in one last tutorial for the year! Maybe you'll even have time to throw one of these together to coordinate with your New Year's outfit! Unless your outfit resembles mine this new years...the hub's p.j. pants and a cozy sweater! I hope your new years plans are much more exciting!

So as you know my marketing director and I have been working hard to get the new website up for my photography business (Which is now live so check it out!!) Well January also means the opening of my very own studio! I have some incredible sponsors decking it out with handmade props and I wanted to add to the action! Since I don't have girls to dress up I love making headbands for when I get the chance to photograph sweet little princesses! So today was a headband making day!

I wanted something using silk flowers but didn't just want to stick a drab silk flower on a headband I wanted something with a little more oomph!  Then I found these gorgeous brown/tan flowers and I knew I wanted to go vintage...with a little bling! This is what I came up with:

Drab to Fab Vintage Silk Flowers

Step One:
Pick up an assortment of silk flowers & detach from stem. They should just pop right off. 
(I found mine at Joann's)

Step Two:
Pull  green backing & center cluster off so you can separate the petals.

Step Three:
Separate the back petal from the group and hot glue a small felt circle to the back. Careful not to apply glue over the hole in the center. Thread your needle and loop thread at double thickness with a knot at the end. Feed through the felt/hole in petal. (The felt acts as an anchor.)

Step Four:
Thread up through the center hole in your cluster of loose petals reattaching bottom petal to group.

Step Five:
Thread through a button for bling then back down through hole. Repeat this step a few times for strength. Tie off at back when done.

Step Six:
Attach to clip, elastic or headband of your choice and voila! A gorgeous vintage silk flower! I played around with cutting lace petals and adding in randomly. I haven't glued them in yet as I'm still on the fence about it!

Here is another one I made using petals from two different silk flowers some brown feathers and of course a little button bling! (Buttons also from Joann's)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

FABULOUS GIVEAWAY To Celebrate The New Year!

First off, I hope everyone had an awesome 2010! 
Thank you to all of my readers for making this year one of my best! Your comments and emails over the year have touched my heart, made me laugh, supported me in trial and celebrated my successes! I am truly grateful for all of you!

Some big 2011 changes are in the works for my photography company DoChara Photography, the first being the name! It will now be Jacquilyn Avery Photography and my marketing director and I have been working around the clock to get a brand new website up and running for January 1st! Along with the new name and website I am thrilled to announce the opening of my very own studio! Hooray! No more living room photo shoots! (I think the hubs just might be more excited then I am!) To stock up my new studio with goodies I have acquired a few new sponsors I am so excited to share with you!

The first is an amazing company: Oops I Knit It Again! (Don't you just love the name!)

Sheri who runs Oops I Knit It Again recently sent me this to adorable Chunky Knit Mini Blanket in a beautiful grey/brown color. And I am just dieing to use it in my next newborn session! The blanket is extremely well made and super soft!

But Sheri is not only sharing her talent with me! She is offering one lucky reader their choice of either a Little Man Button Hat or a Little Princess Ribbon Hat! And the best part is you get to choose the color!! I bet everyone has a little someone in mind for one of these hats! They are just way too precious! 

Here's how to enter!

You must be an Aly&Ash follower & leave a separate comment for each entry.

Entry #1: "Like" Oops I Knit It Again on Facebook and tell her Jax@Aly&Ash sent ya!

Entry #2: Have a peek though her shop and tell me your favorite item!

Entry #3: Add Oops I Knit It Again's Etsy Shop to your favorites!

Bonus Entry: Leave a comment letting me know you resolution or goal for the 2011! 

Good Luck & Happy New Year Everyone!! 
The giveaway closes Friday, January 7th at 11:59pm 
& a winner will be announced Monday, January 10th!

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 Christmas Card - Merry Christmas!

So a tri-fold, front and back card doesn't translate as well digitally but you get the idea!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another year of stink eye for Santa!

Oh the difference a year makes!! Well...size wise, not so much on the attitude I guess! ;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Incredible Christmas Cookie Party - Blog Style!

First of all, welcome to:

We are so excited to put this together and hope you guys will link up your favorite cookie recipes and take a button for your blog to spread the word!

To start things off I'm going to share my Nana's famous Whipped Shortbread cookies with you! These delicious melt in your mouth cookies are a Christmas tradition in my family. My Nana has since passed but my mom makes a HUGE batch, or shall I say several HUGE batches and makes sure everyone in the family is well stocked for the holidays! This was my first year making them myself and I am kicking myself for not doing it earlier because they are sooo easy! I packaged them in green containers I found at the 99cent store and gave them as part of my "neighbor" gifts this year.

 Whipped Shortbread

1 lb Soft Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Icing Sugar
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
3 Cups Flour
Candied Cherries for Garnish
-Makes approx 60 cookies- 


Beat butter and vanilla then gradually beat icing sugar, corn starch and then flour a little at a time. Beat till the consistency of over whipped whip cream.
Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.
*Tip, line cookie sheet with parchment paper to keep bottoms from browning!
 Garnish each cookie with half a candied cherry.
Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 10-15minutes.
*Every oven is slightly different so keep an eye on them after 10min so they don't over cook.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Super Easy Cheesy Potato Soup & Possibly The Coolest Video Ever!

Super Easy Cheesy Potato Soup

So last Thursday was our Relief Society Christmas Dinner and who is our wonderful enrichment leader...yup, that would be me! In this case that meant baking 15 lbs of potatoes, 2 dozen of my Nana's Whipped Shortbread Cookies (recipe to come later), and 2 dozen rolls. Oh and I threw in 3 dozen peanut butter cookies for our freezer since well...the oven was on and the rolls hadn't risen enough yet. I will admit Asher was very much neglected that day as it was also a travel day for Daddy, to him this meant several episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba so I don't think he minded too much. Anyway my rock star of a committee member Ashley from Cute as a Fox had also made rolls and potatoes and when we were discussing what we should do with the leftovers she suggested Baked Potato Soup. I had never made it before so she forward me a recipe. Well we all know I can rarely stick to a recipe so I read about 3 or 4 different recipes and decided to combine what sounded good and make my own. Here is what I came up with and it was DELICIOUS!!! The hubs and I both went back for thirds...and so here I sit glutted and happy writing out this recipe before I forget!

*All measurements are approximate...did I mention I rarely measure either...oops!* 
6-8 Potatoes Baked, Skinned & Chopped
1 Can Chicken Broth
1 Can Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Green Onions Chopped
2 Tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. In a large bowl whisk together Cheddar Cheese Soup, Milk and Sour Cream. Set aside. 
2. In a large sauce pan heat butter until melted on medium heat.

3. Add green onion and simmer for 2-3 minutes until butter starts to brown.

4. Pour in Chicken Broth and bring to boil.

5. Add potatoes and let cook for a few minutes.

6. Reduce heat, add soup mixture, salt & pepper and mix well.

At this point I used a potato masher to  break up a few of the chunks & create a variety of texture.

Cook on med/low heat till heated through.

 Bon Appetit!

Now normally this is the point I would try to take and upload an amazing shallow depth of field picture of the soup in a funky bowl with a little roll and a few strategically placed crumbs...but that's not happening. We're in the middle of moving and the fact I even made soup in the first place is a miracle! But I do have possibly the coolest/cutest video ever for you! We had just finished taking a load over to the new house and Asher was in a particularity adventurous mood so the hubs followed him around and put together this little video! (Make sure your speakers are on!) Watching him learn to walk is so entertaining! Asher loves all the room to roam in the new house, I can't wait to be all settled in over there!