When did you Last see a Paper Doll?

The last time I can remember seeing a book of paper dolls was on the shelves of a thrift shop, a second hand store. I’ve attempted to make my own, long ago. I have admiration for the people who accomplish all the precise cutting and planning to make a paper doll and her wardrobe.

Original Paper Doll Artist Guild
Organization of artists and collectors who promote the art and hobby of paper dolls.

Christmas Card Trees

xmascardtree

These free-standing paper Christmas trees add colorful, country charm to your Christmas decor. Cut various size circles out of Christmas cards, scalloping the edges of some. From the center of each circle cut out a 3/16-inch pie-shaped wedge. Curl the circle into a cone shape (pattern side up), overlap the ends, and tape the back.

To make the base, cut a 2-inch foam ball in half and a 1/8-inch dowel to desired height. Place the foam ball flat side down, add a drop of hot glue to an end of the dowel, and push the dowel through the foam ball until it stops. Slide the largest cone shape down the dowel, and then twist a small rubber band around the dowel; continue alternating progressively smaller cone shapes with rubber bands. Top the paper Christmas tree with the smallest cone shape and a ribbon.

via Christmas Card Projects: Decorative Ways to Recycle Christmas Cards.

This is Simon’s Cat

simoncatCats are funny. Whether we laugh at their misguided dignity, their stealth, or their casual use of human “owners”, cats can make us laugh.

Simon’s Cat began as an animated video on YouTube (2008, I think) and grew from there. Now you can find an online shop, print books and a lot more YouTube videos.

If you don’t know about Simon’s Cat yet, take a look. Start at the YouTube source. You’ll be awhile… from the first video (Cat Man Do) a few years ago Simon’s Cat has grown into a web empire and there are now four real cats living with the real Simon Tofield.

You can do so much to tease a cat. I like setting out a paper bag and watch them hide in it. Just getting inside the bag is funny to watch. Of course, you don’t make it too easy, crumple it up at the open end first. Cats will chase small things like a laser pointer, but tuck something under a rug and you can drive your cat crazy. They will sneak up and pounce on it and stalk it, my cat would reach a paw under the rug to try to grab whatever I had moving under there.

It’s a shame for cats to be indoors and become fat. They can be so active and sleek looking if they get exercise and aren’t over fed. It’s a bit of a myth that cats sleep more than they are awake. We just aren’t up to their schedule. Anyway, relaxing in a sunny window isn’t the same as sleeping the day away.

Regifting: Reuse, Reduce, Repurpose and Recycle for Christmas

Why Should you Regift?

There are good reasons to be a regifter.

First, if you know you won’t use it, can’t wear it, don’t have room for it, then don’t stick it on a shelf, at the back of a closet or somewhere else it will be forgotten and just take up space. Pick someone who will really want it, can use it. This way you don’t have clutter and someone else gets a gift they can use.

Second, it saves you money and time. Instead of buying more gifts or spending time making gifts (which can end up costing more than buying a gift) you can regift something you already have.

Third, it saves all those gifts from being added to the landfill. Not many gifts are made from 100% recyclable materials and most could be used by someone if you take the time to figure out just the right person.

The Five Golden Rules for Good Regifters

The item must be kept in brand new condition. You can’t have unpacked it to try it or use a little. If there is a guarantee or instructions they should be with the item. If you did open the packaging to take care in closing it up again. Dust it off, don’t regift an item that looks like it sat on a shelf for a year, or longer. If a book has an inscription you can’t regift it.

Wrap the item all over again with fresh paper, bows and whatever accessories and extras you usually use. Also, don’t mess up and leave the old gift card on or inside the gift. Some of the simplest things are the easiest to overlook.

Don’t regift the item to the same people who gave it to you. This is a reason for not hanging on to a gift for very long. You may forget who it came from. Also, you don’t want to send it to anyone the original sender knows, especially if it is easily identifiable, unique.

Never regift a handmade/ homemade gift. If it really is something you can’t use (wrong size, for example) find a gentle way to let the gifter know. Make sure they understand you value their work, their thoughtfulness and the time, energy and resources that went into the gift.

The gift should be desired and suit the person you are giving it to. If something really is unwanted by yourself or anyone else you can think of take it to the thrift store, or try selling it online. What you give to others is a reflection on yourself. Don’t regift something you know will be unwanted, just to get rid of it or save a buck. Consider age, gender, style, size, etc. when choosing who will get your regift.

National Regifting Day

Moustache Growing Month: Movember

emergmoustacheDo you know about Movember?

Movember is about men’s health, specifically prostate cancer. The idea of Movember is for men to grow a moustache in November and/or contribute to the cause of their own health. Growing a moustache is changing the face of men’s health, in a literal way.

Growing a moustache (also spelt mustache) myself doesn’t appeal to me. But, I’d wear a fake moustache for Movember. There are plenty of them to choose from once you get looking around online. You could choose them by facial hair style or hair colour. Of course, with a fake one you get to decide if you like felt, plastic, paper or something else too. You don’t even have to wear it on your face. I found necklaces, hair clips and mugs and glasses which make it look like you have a moustache when you drink from them.

 

How to Grow, Trim and Maintain a Moustache

 

What to do When you Can’t Grow a Moustache

 

Men’s Facial Hairstyles

 

Would you Keep a Moustache After Movember?

Would you grow a moustache just for the sake of having a moustache?

My Uncle has had a full beard and moustache for as long as I can remember. He has always maintained it well. But it’s fuzzy. I’ve seen him itching it at times. Often he gests something in it when we have dinner. I know he keeps his beard clean and combs it out too, but it must still be a weird feeling to have all that hair on your face. It gets in his mouth when he doesn’t keep it trimmed close.

There are certainly downfalls to having a hairy upper lip.

But, there are men who look really good with a moustache.

 

Find More Moustache Guys

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

red velvet cheesecakeRed Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Yields: 1 3-layer cake
Original recipe here.
 
For the cheesecake:
2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (2 packages)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsn. sugar
1 tbsn. flour
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsn. heavy cream
 
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsn. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsn./ 1 oz. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
 
For the cream cheese frosting:
16 oz. cream cheese/ 2 blocks, room temperature
8 tbsn./ 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
 
Preheat the oven to 350 F. To make the cheesecake, melt the white chocolate, set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl using an electronic mixer, mix the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar and mix slowly until smooth. On low speed, mix in the flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is smooth. Using a large spoon, stir in the melted white chocolate until incorporated. Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the center is set when you slightly shake the pan. Allow to cool before removing from the spring form pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling the cake.
 
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa and salt into a medium bowl. Beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until an inserted toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely, then level.


To make the cream cheese frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer until creamy and smooth. Turn the mixer on low and add the vanilla and salt. Then add the powdered sugar slowly. Once mostly incorporated, turn back to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. To assemble the cake, place your bottom layer of cake on the dish/ plate you will be serving it on with the leveled side facing up. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top – it doesn’t matter how messy it looks since it will be covered. Transfer the cheesecake to the top of the cake, then spread another thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top of the cheesecake. Top with the remaining layer of cake – leveled side down so that you have a clean surface. Use the rest of the cream cheese frosting to frost the entire cake. Enjoy!