Table for Two in The Pink Paradise

I have been thoroughly enjoying the Pink Paradise this year – as usual.  And while she hasn’t actually seen the pavement yet, she has come in quite handy.  I love to spend time in her reading, napping, and hosting cozy dinner’s.  This table for two is my idea of a perfect picnic.  No bugs, a nice summer breeze coming in through the window, keeping undercover in case of rain, and of course electric if we need it.

Sometimes I wonder if I should sell her and move on to my next project, while other times I think that is an insanely crazy idea.  Especially after enjoying a nice dinner and playing cards in her like we did tonight.  If I do decide to rehab another camper I’ve already made up my mind that I’ll pick a completely different theme, different colors, and select one that has a little more lounging around space.  

If you were going to restore a camper what would you want it to look like?

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DIY – Victorian Style Earrings

While I was out shopping this last holiday season I ogled over all of the pretty earrings that sparkled at me in just about every store I visited.  I fought hard to ward off the urge to buy myself a few pairs.  After all, I wasn’t shopping for myself, I was buying gifts for others.  And in the back of my mind, a little voice (coming from the frugal shopper in me) told me that they were too expensive.  You see, I have a hard time spending money on myself.  You might even think that I was reincarnated from the Great Depression if you watch me shop.

That little voice also reminded me that after the holidays blew over and things settled down that I could make my own unique sparkly earrings.  I completely embraced the idea of finding a DIY project to keep me busy and save me money.

This week I finally ventured into one of our local craft stores to check out their jewelry making supplies.  I happily settled on some pretty charms to use in my earring making adventure.  I also made the pretty little cards to hook the earrings to.  That was just as fun as making the earrings.

I’m not big chunky earring kind of girl;  I like drop earrings, not too long, not too big.  Pretty, but subtle.  These earrings fit the bill.  I really love how they remind me of the Victorian era.  Romantic, elegant, and pink.

I’ve decided I’m going to keep one pair of these for myself and give the other pair away as a Valentines Day gift.   I’ve also decided to take orders for these earrings.  If you’d like your own pair(s), in your own custom colors, please email me for details.

So, would you consider yourself more of a shopper, or a do it yourselfer?

Share Your Vintage Camper Story

Pink Paradise 2014

Since hubby and I remodeled the Pink Paradise I’ve gotten several emails from other vintage camper enthusiasts.  Let me just say how much that I love hearing from people that share my passion for these old beauties like I do.

My camper is about 90% finished and I’m already looking forward to warm spring days when I can get back to working on her. 

In the meantime, it’s going to be quite some time before spring arrives here in the Finger Lakes, so I’m looking for other vintage camper stories to feature here at The Joy of Caking.

If you have a great vintage camper story that you’d like to share then I’d love to hear it! 

Thanksgiving Day Favors

Although I’m oddly fixated on making Christmas cookies, decorations, and gifts right now, I had to throw myself in full throttle reverse to make sure I stopped and focused on Thanksgiving.  After all, it is fast approaching.  I know, can you believe it?  Honestly, where does the time go?

Over the years, I’ve gotten in the habit of making little favors or place cards to place in front of each place setting on the Thanksgiving dinner table.  These little decorations are far from sophisticated, but they are always brightly colored and fun, and nearly everyone remembers to take theirs home with them. 

Here is a quick look at some of my past projects.  Check out my 2011project here.

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This year I decided to make favors that I’m sure that no one will leave behind.  If they do forget and leave them behind, I’m just warning them now, it’s fair game!

These little foiled turkeys are actually disguised Niagara Chocolates – 100% all natural goodness.  If you haven’t had Niagara Chocolates then you MUST try them.  They are insanely delicious!  What else would you expect from a chocolate that has been in production for over 50 years?  If you’re like me, and you’re thinking ahead towards Christmas, make sure you check out all of Niagara’s other delicious holiday themed chocolates too.

Although these cute little guys came with gift tags already attached to them, I took them off, taped them to the bottom of their feet, and made my own personalized tag for each turkey.  Why?  Because I enjoy fiddling in my craft room. 

These tags are easy to make.  If you’re looking for a quick evening, or Sunday afternoon project, this fits the bill.   Or, hand the project over to your kids –  I’m sure they would love to help. 

Simply cut out or purchase some plain gift tags (I used my Cricut), stamp a cute Thanksgiving Day theme or word on them, glue on a little rick rack, string a colorful ribbon through them, and that’s it.  It’s as simple as eating this whole chocolate turkey in one setting.

Do you make favors for your dinner guests?  What’s your Thanksgiving Day tradition?

The chocolates for this post were provided by SweetWorks Candy.  I was not compensated for my work, and the opinions are sincerely my own.

Madagascar Vanilla Made with Vodka–A Special Homemade Holiday Gift

A couple of years ago, I won a bottle of homemade Madagascar Vanilla in a giveaway hosted by another blogger.  I have to tell you, I squeaked every last drop of vanilla out of that bottle.  For baking, there is nothing as good as pure vanilla extract; nothing…

Making homemade vanilla is a simple DIY project.  And if you get started right now, you’ll have a great holiday gift to give those bakers on your list.  And did I mention how delicious homemade vanilla extract tastes in French toast?

What you will need:

(8) 6 oz. Bottles & Corks, or Caps

(1) bottle 1.75 Liter of Vodka  (I used Barton’s Vodka)

(12) Madagascar Vanilla Beans

Sharp Pairing Knife

Cutting Board

Funnel

Wash all bottles with hot soapy water and let air dry.  Slice vanilla beans in half lengthwise; then cut in half.  Place 1 1/2 beans in each bottle.  Fill each bottle with vodka.  Wipe edge of bottles with warm clean cloth and place a cork in each one.   Store in dark place; uncork in 3 months.

This picture above was taken right after making the extract.

Once you make the extract you will need to decide how you want to label it.  I opted to keep it simple, and made my tags out of cardstock.  I used my Cricut cutter to make my tags, and then I stamped the word Vanilla on each tag using my alphabet stamps and maroon ink.  On the back, I printed the date that the vanilla may be opened.  To finish them off, I punched a star hole in the top of each tag so it could accommodate a ribbon.

Tell me, what baker wouldn’t want a bottle of this in their stocking?

My vanilla now 10 days old.  It will get darker and stronger as time passes.  I can’t wait to pop the cork and use this in a batch of my favorite sugar cookies.

What kind of treat would you make using homemade vanilla extract?

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Treat Your Ghouls with Easy to Make Halloween Goody Bags

This weekend I made some trick or treat goody bags that I’m going to surprise some little ghouls that I know with.

I used my Cricut to cut out the gift tags, and I used my Halloween stamps to decorate both the bags and the tags.  I added a little orange ribbon as a finishing touch.

Once the bags were decorated, I filled them with Spooky Eyes Wrapped Gumballs and Sixlets from SweetWorks Candy

It was a little hard slipping the candy past this guy, but I managed, and it was well worth the risk!  

What kind of candy are you passing out this year for Halloween?

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In the Pink–No More Ugly Duckling!

The day has finally arrived to unveil the Pink Paradises’ (Pinkie for short) new paint job – yea!!!

Do you remember the ugly duckling before?

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And here are pictures showing our work in progress.

Take a look at her after!

There are still some things that we need to do to finish her up, but what’s a little more work at this point – right?  I’m very happy with how she looks.  She turned out exactly how I envisioned she would – BEAUTIFUL!