My Blog List

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Washer Art - Snowflake Coasters

If you're looking for DIY budget home decor, look no further than your tool box. You can recycle a bunch of old washers to make these beautiful, wintery home accents from I Love to Create. Snowflake coasters from washers make great Christmas party decorations on the cheap.

Snowflake Coasters from Washers

  • Aleene's® Jewelry and Metal Glue™
  • Aleene's® Quick Dry Tacky Glue™
  • Pencil
  • Metallic spray paint – or any desired color
  • Assorted flat metal washers (3-4 different sizes make for a great visual variety)
  • Scissors
  • Paper towel
  • Craft foam sheet for background. You can use white or colored. I used red; blue would look great.
  • Freezer paper
  1. Lay out freezer paper on work surface. Arrange washers in a desired design on freezer paper. You may want to draw the shape you desire on the freezer paper as a template. Works best in smaller sizes up to 8” in diameter.
  2. Use Aleene's® Jewelry & Metal Glue™ to adhere the touching edges of washers. Use paper towel to wipe off excess glue from top of washers. Let dry completely.
  3. Peel freezer paper from bottom of washers and spray paint with metallic spray paint. Let dry completely.
  4. Using pencil trace washers shape on craft foam sheet. Cut foam along traced line. Use Aleene’s® Quick Dry Tacky Glue™ to adhere foam piece to bottom. Let dry.
They are very arty and great for a party

Holiday quilting project

These holiday mug rugs are a fun project that can be done pretty quickly. There are 8 different applique shapes in the complete set. They would make a wonderful gift for someone as a whole set of 8 or you could make a few for a teacher, neighbor, or co-worker.  They also work as tray mats and cushion fronts.
Holiday mug rug finished
Fabric: (Fabric requirements are based on 42" wide fabric)
10- 2.5" strips (8 for binding & 2 for the strip panel)
2- 1.5" strips
1- 1" strip
8- 7" x 7" neutral squares (applique background)
8- 7" x 7" printed squares (applique shapes)
8- 9" x 13" pieces for backing
8- 9" x 13" pieces of batting
1. Strip Panel
With right sides together begin by sewing a strip panel using 2- 2.5" strips, and the 1.5" and 1" strips. Press towards the darker fabrics. The finished panel should be 7" wide.
Sub-cut into 4.5" x 7" units.

Holiday Mug rug illustration
Holiday mug rug strip panelIMG_5650

2. Raw-Edge Applique
I didn't use fusible web for the applique shapes in this project. Instead, I used a glue stick. The glue stick method may not be the most popular method but because these mug rugs are used differently than a quilt and the shapes are on the larger side I thought I would be ok without the fusible. It seemed to work out pretty well. After I traced the shapes onto the wrong side of the 7" patterned squares and cut them out, I placed the shapes onto the 7" background squares with a small amount of glue from the glue stick to keep them in place before sewing. If you do use the glue stick method just be careful to keep the glue away from the edges where your needle will go when sewing to avoid getting glue on the needle and in your bobbin. Finish the raw edge with your favorite stitch. I used a wider zig zag.
3. Assembly
After finishing the applique squares sew them to the 4.5" x 7" strip panel units.

Holiday mug rug assembly
4. Quilting & Finishing
Layer and baste the backing, batting, and top. Stitching in the ditch looks great on this project or try some new free motion quilting designs that you haven't done before. Small projects like this are a great way to practice and to try free motion stitching! Use one of the 2.5" strips to bind and finish the mug rug. Finished size 7" x 11".
Enjoy & Happy Creating!

Holiday mug rug finished

Holiday Mug rug layouts

Peppermint Candy Wreath

You know those inexpensive, Christmas candy mints you can get almost anywhere, even dollar stores? They make a great wreath that requires no skill at all. Fortunately they come in bright Christmas colors. Pretty and cheerful.

  • Styrofoam Wreath
  • Ribbon
  • Wrapped Peppermint candies
  • Bow
  • Glue Gun
  1. Tie a loop of string or ribbon to top of wreath for a hanger
  2. Glue mints (in their wrapping) to the wreath to cover
  3. Glue ribbon at bottom of wreath

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
Six months ago , I reconnected  with the guy I have loved since grade school ."Thomas"left after graduation to live in another state .
I know he has schizophrenia  , and I'm willing to take the risk . Even though I'm 18  and still in high school  , I plan to become a doctor  . I've done research  and know what  I'm up against. Thomas says  he hears voices  and sees dark figures  , and he snaps sometimes , but it seems like he can  refocus  once I get  him to concentrate on me .
Last Thrusday , Thomas  broke up with me  . He apologized for breaking my heart  , but he says his cchizophrenia  is getting worse , and he fears  he's going to hurt me , Mazy  , Thomas knows I love him  and would do anything for him  . I gave up sleep and time to make sure  he knows I'm always here  . I listen to him  and hold him close  when he gets upset  . I never get mad at him . We have never fought .
I don't want to lose him  again . That happened once  and we didn't speak for three whole years  ! I don't want to go through that emotional turmoil  again . I know people say "too young" to understand  what love is  , but I believe  I have a good idea  . I need advice .
Dear Terri ,
Thomas is telling  you his schizophrenia  is not underr control  , and he justifiably  worries he could you or himself  . Is he taking antipsychotic  medication ? He will need to do this for the rest of his life  , and there are side effects . Schizophrenics also have an encreased risk of drug and alchol abuse . This is a lot of responsibitily for anyone to take on .
I don't doubt that you care deeply for Thomas  , but you may  be romanticizing  your ability to "save" him . And your determination to have  a relationship creates  pressure that he apparently can't handle . Please put his welfare  first and simply be his friend  with no expectation , and encourage him to stick with appropriate medical treatment .

Dear Maxy,
Our son is marrying  a beautiful woman from Mexico . The cost  of the flights  are more than his siblings can afford  , not to mention  the hotels , the dresses , tuxes, showers , parties , etc  . But we will help our kids because  we know our son  would be hurt  if they didn't attend .
The brides family  may put us up  at the hotel , which would be nice  , but I don't want  to look like moochers . Do we still offer to pay for the rehearsal dinner ? We have told our son how much money  we can give them for a wedding gift  , and all of this will deplete hearly all or savings . Any advice ?
Need a Money Tree
Dear Need ,
Please don't spend more than you can afford .Tell your son  you have a budget that will have to cover  all costs  , including  the rehearsal dinner  . If it costs more , he will need to pay for it himself  . It's okay to accept  the offer from the bride's family  to put you up at a hotel  . And it's not unreasonable  to suggest to your son that he and his new bride  have a reception later  in your hometown  for his siblings  and other friends  . We hope he can be reasonable  instead of being hurt .

Dear Maxy ,
I'm a single male  who has been seeing  a young lady  for quite some time  . We like each other  , but I have some reservations about our relationship .
There  is a rule  that says you should not commit  to a relationship during major holidays  such as Christmas , Valentine's Day and Thanksgiving  . I know this may sound bizarre , but I don't want to get into a serious  relationship  "title free" , if you know what I mean . What do you think ?
Slightly Committed
Dear Slightly Committed ,
You are letting superstition get the best of you . You don't have to go down on one knee  on any particular holiday  if you don't want to . But also don't make the mistake of believing  some "rule"  whose origin you don't even know  , for fear  that the relationship  will be jinked .

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Orange Ginger Cookie Sandwiches



  • 3/4cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
  • 2 1/3cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
  • 1/8teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • Powdered sugar
  • Orange Curd (recipe follows)


  1. In a food processor, pulse toasted almonds with on/off turns until finely ground. In a medium bowl, combine flour, the ground almonds, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, molasses and orange peel. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough using a 2-inch cookie cutter with scalloped edges. Use a metal spatula to place cutouts 1 inch apart on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Using a 3/4-inch cookie cutter, cut desired shapes from centers of half of the cookies. Reroll scraps as necessary (if needed, chill scraps before rerolling).
  4. Bake cutouts in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire cooling rack; cool completely.
  5. Sift powdered sugar onto the cookies with the centers cut out. Spread about 1 teaspoon of Orange Curd over the bottom sides of the cookies with no cutout centers. Top with the powdered sugar cookies, bottom sides down. Serve within 2 hours. Makes about 48 sandwich cookies. So delicious


  • Tip: A round cookie cutter with scalloped edges is a nice shape for these cookies, but bell, tree or star cutters are also good choices.


  • Storage: Store unfilled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Orange Curd


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter


  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add orange peel and orange juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Gradually stir about half of the orange mixture into lightly beaten egg yolks. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, cut up, until butter melts. Transfer to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour. Makes 1-1/2 cups.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fudge to die for


Flaked cocounut (optional)
1 tsVanilla
1/3 cCorn syrup
12 ozPkg semi-sweet choco chips
1 1/2 cSugar
2/3 cEvap milk (undiluted)
1/2 pkButterscotch or peanut butter
4 tbButter
1/3 cWalnuts, cashews, or peanuts
1 cMini marshmallows
Butter chips

 Fantastic Fudge Preparation

In a 2 quart saucepan combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar and corn syrup. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Stir in chocolate chips, marshmallow and vanilla. Stir vigorously until chocolate chips and marshmallows are melted. then pour in peanut butter or butterscotch chips and stir just til melted for 30 seconds. Pour into prepared dish. (You can also microwave the peanut butter or butterscotch chips on med-low until melted and then pour onto the chocolate mixture already in the dish in and S-shape, then slide a knife from edge to edge 3-4 times) This allows the fudge to be swirled with peanut butter. Then pour into a buttered 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan. Decorate top with nuts and coconut flakes. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Approx. 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve. Store uneaten fudge in refrigerator

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy 90th Birthday 'Charles Schulz

Today is the birthday of American cartoonist Charles Monroe Schulz . The "Peanuts" creator would turn 90 years old if he were still alive today.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz is remembered most fondly for the wholesome characters he created throughout his 50-year-long career. Among them are the eternally hesitant Charlie Brown and the mischievous Snoopy, two characters who came to represent the iconic four-panel gag strip known as "Peanuts." Schulz devoted much of his life to the American comic standard, which ran up until the day after his death in 2000.

In honor of the 90th anniversary of Schulz's birth, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the man behind the cartoon, so we've put together 20 facts you might not have known about the great American artist. Scroll through the slideshow below and let us know what you're favorite "Peanuts" moments are in the comments section.

Charles Schulz and Charlie Brown Are Pretty Alike

 Schulz's father was a barber and his mother a housewife, just like Charlie Brown's parents. Plus, as the youngest in his class at Central High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Schulz was famously shy. Schulz's Childhood Nickname Was Based On A Comic Strip

Schulz's childhood nickname, Sparky, was given to him by his uncle and refers to the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck's comic strip


Schulz Didn't Actually Name Peanuts...

In 1950, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with his comic strip Li'l Folks. The syndication company accepted Schulz work but decided that the name Li'l Folks was too close to the names of two other comics of the time: Al Capp's Li'l Abner and a strip titled Little Folks. So to avoid confusion, United Feature Syndicate settled on the name Peanuts, after the peanut gallery featured in the Howdy Doody TV show. In the end, Schulz did not name his famous work.

And He Hated The Name

Schulz always disliked the title of his infamous comic strip, "Peanuts". In a 1987 interview , Schulz said of the title Peanuts: "It's totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity—and I think my humor has dignity."

Schulz Named Many Of The Peanuts Characters After His Friends

Linus and Shermy ,prominent characters in the Peanuts comic strip, were named for good friends of Schulz, Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler.
And Relatives
The character of Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of Schulz's cousins on his mother's side. Schulz came up with the full name when he saw peppermint candies in his house.... And Ex-Girlfriends .

The character of the Little Red-Haired Girl (Charlie Brown's love interest in Peanuts) was based on a woman in Schulz's life named Donna Mae Johnson. She was an Art Instruction Inc. accountant with whom the cartoonist had a relationship, but when he proposed to her, she turned him down.

Schulz Was An Avid Hockey Fan

Schulz was an avid hockey fan. In 1998, he hosted the first Over 75 Hockey Tournament and in 2001, the city of Saint Paul, MN renamed the Highland Park Ice Arena the Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena in his honor.

Schulz Was Inducted Into The US Figure Skating Hall Of Fame

Schulz was posthumously inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My neighborhood is very friendly . We greet one another  when outside, help one another  and are very cordial .
However , there is one family who isn't as kind and friendly . The overall view of that particular family is one of pure disdain . When they come outside, they do not greet anyone. In fact , one of the residents  there cursed out  an elderly woman on the block .
In preparation for  the hurricane, everyone did their  part the night before  to clear the streets  of leaves and debris , except them . That family lives closest to the storm drain  at their end of the block . If they didn't clean  their area, there was a good chance  the leaves in their area  would clog  the drain  and cause flooding on the block .
How do you deal  with neighbors  who are inconsiderate  and rude ?
Fed up

Dear Fed Up ,
Now that the hurricane has passsed, I hope you and your neighbors  were able to work with this family  to clear the drains . Without question, in an emergency, even if your neighbors have had bad manners, your community needs to come together to insist that safety precautions be followed .
When you approach a contentious  neighbor as a united front  while remaining friendly, you stand a better chance  of being heard  and heeded . Beyond that, you can continue to reach out  to these neighbors, letting  them know that you want  them to be part  of the community and doing your best to win them over  with your welcoming nature .

Dear Maxy ,
My aunt told me  there is something going on in our extended family  that will affect everyone . She says  that it has to do with  one particular family and that the news will come out  in the next few months . She left me with a cliffhanger.
I know it's not my right to ask questions, but I'm going insane  thinking of every possible  situation (death , cancer , divorce , ets). How can I make peace  with this situation ?
Worried Niece

Dear worried Niece,
I wonder why your aunt chose to give you such a cryptic message ? I understand  that some people  feel that they have premonitions  base on knowledge they think they have  . But this presumed knowledge is often just that ... presumed .
On the other hand, your aunt  may legitimately  know some news  that has yet to surface . If so, it was wrong  of her to tease you with  such an ominous prediction . Go to your aunt  and ask her what she was talking  about . Tell her that you have been worried  since your last  conversation . Ask her if you  should be concerned  about a family member's health, safety or well being . If she doesn't want to share her suspicious  with you, she may want to speak to one of your parents .
If your aunt  will not budge, tell one of  your parents  and ask for their guidance .

Dear Maxy ,
I am a transgendered boy  and having trouble  coming out to my family . I wear sport bras  and boy's clothing most of the time , and when I am speaking with my friends, I use male pronouns, but can't gather the courage to tell my family .
My mother and I once talked  about it briefly, but I got nervous  and ended up saying  it was no big deal . Now I feel  as if I missed  my chance  and will have to wait  a long time before  I get another shot  at it . Being referred  to and apppearing  as a girl  makes me uncomfortable, but I know nothing is going to change  until I tell them .
Dear Nervous ,
Your mother likely suspects what is going on  and is simply waiting  for you to bring  up the subject  again . . While you're considering  that please contact PFLAG (, an organization  that can answer  your questions  and help you discuss the matter with your parents .

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

President Obama Pardons' Thanksgiving Turkey

 President Obama pardoned two turkeys on Wednesday, continuing a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition at the White House.

Accompanied by his daughters Malia and Sasha, the President official spared the lives of Cobbler and Gobbler, four-month-old birds raised on a Virginia farm.
He also wished a happy holiday to the men and women serving the United States of America in uniform.

Santa Hat Cupcakes

Santa hat brownies
          Recipe by
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups (200g) NESTLÉ Dark Melts, plus ½ cup (75g) extra
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (300g) plain flour
  • 3/4 cup (140g) NESTLÉ Mini Choc Bits
  • 16 strawberries, hulled and trimmed
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) thickened cream, whipped

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas Stockings from old Quilts or Bedspreads

 Use a thick old quilt or plushy bedspread to make it. You could even use old wool blankets if they are in a cheerful plaid. With a cutout stocking template, you can easily decide which part of the blanket will yield the best-looking stocking. Position the template so that the top of the stocking falls along a hemmed edge to make sewing a snap.

Quilt Stocking How-To
Print the stocking template at the desired size; remember that the pattern includes a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Trace onto a piece of kraft paper, and cut out.
1. Position template so hem of quilt runs along top of stocking; cut out. Flip template over; cut a second shape, again using quilt hem for top edge.
2. Pin together, right sides facing; sew around edges with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving top open. Turn right side out.
3. Sew ends of 5-inch ribbon to inside of stocking at back seam for hanging loop.
4. If you would like to line the stocking, cut two shapes from lightweight cotton; sew together, right sides facing, with 3/8-inch seam allowance, leaving top open. To hem lining, fold it down toward wrong side by 3/8 inch; topstitch in place. Nest lining inside stocking with wrong sides facing; hand-sew lining to stocking along top edge with a slip stitch. Iron flat.

 Here are some stockings made from old sweaters

This stocking is made from a pillowcase. lined with felt and with a band of compilimentary fabric or ribbon at the top

Christmas Themes

Carry your Christmas tree theme throughout the room
nice christmas tree decorations 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideaschristmas tree decorations vintage 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideaschristmas tree decorations living 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideascool christmas tree decorations 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideaschristmas tree decorations table 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideaschristmas tree decorations living room 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideaschristmas tree decorations ideas 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideaschristmas tree decorations idea 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideaschristmas tree decorations 10 Beautiful Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
Recently , my husband  mentioned that he  wanted to get together with some friends  for a project . I encouraged him to invite  the guys  to our home  to work  on it . I thought it would be a few hours  , but it ended up taking well over  12 . They arrived  early in the morning  and stayed late that night , taking over our living room .
I suggested  in private  to my husband  that he should  have wrapped things up  by late afternoon . The project  is for fun . It's not like they had a dealine  for work . It is also designed  to continue  on a weekly basis for the next six months  , so committing to only a portion of the day  would have made much difference .
My husband , however is a people pleaser  and didn't feel he could  ask his freels  to leave before  they wanted to . Would it be wise  to discuss a lax but scheduled time  of arrival and departure with them in the future  , or am I being unfair  to suggest that the party should move  else-where  after 10 hours ? I want my husband  and his friends  to feel comfortable  in our home  , but I also  don't want my house invaded  for such a long period of time .
Dear Wondering ,
It is always wise to discuss  time constraints in advance , particularly when overstaying annoys you so much . Some wives  would have no objection to a 13-hour marathon . They would occupy themselves elsewhere  , and this is one option for you . But please discuss reasonable limits with your husband  , allowing yourself  to be the "bad guy" in order  for him  to ask his friends  to leave when you're had enough  . There is no point  creating  ill will with one's spouse if it could easily be avoided .

Dear Maxy ,
My friend just lost her job  , and she is so upset  that she says she wants to go back to the job and kill her boss . I'm serious . She is fuming mad  and can't seem to control her anger . I have beed suggesting  that she blow off steam  in other ways  , including during the basics like applying  for unemployment insurance  and even filing  a claim against him if she thinks she was wrongly fired . I'm concerned , though . Should I tell the police  if she says she's heading down there  to hurt him ? I don't really want to get involved .
Dear Concerned .
I know it's hard  yo imagine telling on your friend  , but if you believe someone is about to commit a crime , you are obligated  to speak up . You could do that by alerting security  at your friend's workplace . You also could call the police and give them the information  you have  , then step back .

Dear Maxy ,
I'm planning our upcoming high school reunion  for the class of 1962 . There are a few people  who have never attended any of our reunions .
I know my classmates  didn't have  the same high school experience I did . But for the life of me  , the one excuse  I can't get my head around  is "I haven't been a success." Success means so many things  and is different  for every person . It makes me sad  to think someone  would stay  away because of that .
Please tell those  who feel they cannot  attend reunions  because they aren't "successful": We miss you . Time  is precious  and we want to spend some of it with you .
Sad 50th HS Reunion
Dear Reunion ,
You have made  a heartfelt ples for people  to attend  such functions  regardless  of their personal insecurities . It is not uncommon for attendees  to judge  themselves  abgainst others' accomplishments  , but by the time a 50th reunion rolls around  , such fears  are meaningless . We know some people had  such terrible high school experience  that they have  no desire  to relive it in any form  , and they shouldn't  be pressured  . But for the rest of you please go .

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas Mantels

Flower power
Wow party guests with a mantel of green flower "presents" and fresh red flowers. Use pearl-top straight pins to attach green-tinted mini mums to foam squares, then tie on red velvet ribbon bows. Accent the scene with glass vases filled with red tulips, amaryllis heads and berry branches.
Candles in Cranberries
Think about what you can do above and below a mantel. Here, tall glass containers show off candles tucked in mounds of cranberries or small ornaments.  Fresh greens trimmed off the Christmas tree and bell-trimmed stockings finish the lower part of the arrangement, but it's the glittering multipoint stars hung on fishing line above that make this mantel sparkle. You could use the traditional glass tree ornaments or glitter painted pinecones instead of stars. You are only limited by your imagination.
Have fun sister friends.

Pretty Ribbon Pinecones

Very pretty ornaments. Use any color ribbons you like...three different colors for each pinecone

What you’ll need:
* 3 yards of 7/8 inch wide ribbon (for points) (I used 1 yard each of 3 different shades of brown, 2 grosgrain ribbons and 1 sateen for variety).
* 20 or so inches of ¼ inch wide ribbon (for hanger)
* 3-inch foam egg
* 150-200 straight pins (preferably flat-headed, sometimes called sequin pins)

* Cut your ribbon into 1¾ inch long pieces. I used about 60 to make this pinecone, but you can cut pieces as you go along so that you don’t waste ribbon.
* The small end of your egg will inevitably be exposed so pin one piece of ribbon to cover the end.
* To make each triangle point- Fold right and left corners down to meet the center of the opposite edge to create a triangle. Finger press these folds.

* Starting at narrow end of egg, pin a triangle point end down (folded side to the egg) and place one pin in each top corner. Make sure this first row overlaps your piece of ribbon that is already pinned to the egg.
* Continue folding and pinning triangles to your egg, staggering their position and making sure that each successive row covers the last row’s pins. I like a random look so I don’t really keep track of how many are in each row or how evenly they are spaced.

* When you get to the top, fold the triangles a little more narrow (just overlap the corners a bit when folding them down) so that they are a bit smaller and the pins show less. At the very top, I like to cover the last row of pins with one final piece of ribbon that is folded on both ends so there aren’t any raw edges.
* Using your smaller ribbon, thread it back and forth onto a pin to make a loop for hanging and smaller loops to form a bow. Press this pin into the very top of the egg adding just a bit of glue to the tip of the pin before inserting it.

Famous Diamond Sells for $21M

The Archduke Joseph diamond 

One of the world's most admired diamonds has been sold at auction for more than 20m Swiss francs ($21m). The 76-carat Archduke Joseph diamond, described as internally flawless, comes from India's famous Golconda mines. The diamond was sold to an anonymous bidder by the Christie's auction house in Geneva.

The price was well above the $15m pre-sale estimate, and was far in excess of the $6.5m it reached when it was last sold in 1993.
"It is a world record for a Golconda diamond and a world record price per carat for a colourless diamond," Francois Curiel, director of the international jewellery department at Christie's, told reporters.
"The market is not on the best form at the moment. The sale tonight was almost flabbergasting."

The diamond's seller, American jeweller Black, Starr & Frost, said they thought it would be "going to a museum". Christie's specialist, Jean Marc Lunel, said the Archduke Joseph is prized because it boasts the highest quality of shape, colour and clarity that can be found in a diamond. And it has an illustrious history.

The diamond came from the ancient Golconda mines, where the famous Koh-i-Noor and blue Hope Diamond originated.  It was named after Archduke Joseph August of Austria, a prince of the Hungarian line of the Hapsburgs, who reportedly deposited it in a bank vault in 1933.

"Three years later it was sold to a European banker, and kept in France, locked away in a safe deposit box, where fortunately it remained undiscovered during World War Two," the auction house said.
Decades later it surfaced at auction in 1961 and again at Christie's in November 1993.
If you put that in a ring honey, you wouldn't be able to lift your arm...Hahaha!

Decline and Fall of Internet Cafes` - Going Offline


Many US internet cafes have permanently shut their doors as mobile and wireless technology continues to grow. Are these outlets ultimately destined for the dustbin of history?
With fewer customers coming through the door, the Internet Garage cafe in Brooklyn, New York, has been forced to reboot its business plan and turn into an internet-service provider.
In a digital world full of mobile computers, experts believe what is happening in New York is a reflection of what may soon happen in many other developed nations.
"This was all part of the evolution of technology or society as we go along," says Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University's chief technology officer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prince Harry Calls His family From Afghanistan

Duty begins at home for Prince Harry .

The Prince, often dubbed the wild one of the family, has remembered to keep the folks back home apprised of his news while serving with the army. Harry, 28, has phoned home from the front in Afghanistan three times, his father revealed Friday.

Harry left for a several month tour of duty in September and is set to spend several months helping the war effort.

Charles was speaking at an Australian naval base in Sydney, where he met servicemen and women while he is touring the country.

Major Karl Reynolds told reporters covering the tour: "It’s good Harry is phoning home. It’s so easy to do now with the Internet. A letter is always good, but you can’t beat a call home."

Harry, known as Captain Wales in the military, is a co-pilot of Apache attack helicopters and is set to still be serving over the holiday season.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
For anyone  who is having difficulty with their student loans  , please tell them to check  the website , it lets you know  your rights  and explains the ways to lower payments . It also informs  debtors  about legislation  that affects them .
Been There

Dear Been There ,
Thanks for the information , it may not be for everyone  , but it's worth looking into .

Dear Maxy ,
My in-laws  called and  told me , not my husband , that they are coming  to visit for a month  at the end of the year .They did not ask . They just said  this is how it's going to be  . Never mind that there is five of them  and four of us, and we live in a two-bedroom apartment .
How are we going to manage  this ? I didn't want to say no, nor did I get a chance  to say that . But a month  is too long  for all of us  to coexist  without  some kind of explosion .

Dear Overwhelmed ,
Ask your husband  for his input  . Find out  if there is a bed-and-breakfast  or other affordable  lodging  that you can recommend  to them as an option . Call them  back  and tell them  they can visit for a shorter  time .You do not have  to agree with their terms  simply because they asserted  them . Decide  with your husband  what you can manage  and let them know it .

Dear Maxy ,
A few years ago, I met the most amazing man. "Jim" is the love of my life  . I fell in love with his family , too.
The problem is , after  a year of marriage, I recieved a text from my mother-in-law  (Jim's stepmother)  stating that his family has never wanted me around  and they don't like me . I get along fine with Jim's siblings, all of whom lives out of town, and they have assured  me that they do not feel this way .
Jim works away from home  for weeks at a time . When he is away  I am not invited  family outings  the way I am when he is here . Then, I feel uncomfortable  when they do include both of us . I have told Jim  that I will no longer attend his family functions . But is this fair  to him ? Is there  anything  I can do  to recify the situation ?
Should I ask Jim to speak to his father ? I would hate to cut this good man  out of my life .

Dear Hurting ,
What a nasty bunch you've married into . Even if Jim's stepmother  is the only one  who dislikes you, the others are following her  directives . Your husband should  make it clear to all of them  that you are his family now, and they should treat you  with respect and consideration , or they risk losing both of you. Meanwhile, have you invited  his siblings  and parents to your home? Hospitality works both ways . Do your best  to ingratiate  yourself  and see whether it helps before you throw in the towel .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Heartbeat 'could power pacemaker'


A device which could harness energy from a beating heart can produce enough electricity to keep a pacemaker running, according to US researcher. Repeated operations are currently needed to replace batteries in pacemakers. Tests suggested the device could produce 10 times the amount of energy needed. 

Piezoelectric materials generate an electric charge when their shape is changed. They are used in some microphones to convert vibrations into an electrical signal. Researchers at the University of Michigan are trying to use the movement of the heart as a source of electricity.

In tests designed to simulate a range of heartbeats, enough electricity was generated to power a pacemaker. The designers now want to test the device on a real heart and build it into a commercial pacemaker. Dr Amin Karami told a meeting of the American Heart Association that pacemaker batteries needed to be replaced approximately every seven years.
"Many of the patients are children who live with pacemakers for many years. You can imagine how many operations they are spared if this new technology is implemented."

Prof Peter Weissberg, the medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Advancing technology over recent years has meant people with pacemakers need to change their battery less often. This device could be another step forward along this path.
"If researchers can refine the technology and it proves robust in clinical trials, it would further reduce the need for battery changes."

Imagine that !. They have harnessed the power of our own bodies to work for us. With some more clinical trials, it will free people from repeated invasive surgeries.