shoe string bow

13 Feb

Making a shoe string bow,

1. Cut a piece of cardboard about 2″ long and 2″ wide, if you want a bigger bow add to the length of the cardboard,

2. Cut notches in the cardboard for tying,

3. Drape a piece of ribbon over the notch

4. Wrap ribbon around the length of the cardboard OVER the draped piece of ribbon

5. Lift the draped ribbon OVER the wrapped ribbon, away from the cut edge and tie 2x

6. Slipp of the cardboard

7. Separate the ends


adding a bow

7 Oct

Customer service is a wonderful thing, you get to speak to some great people at all hours (this one is for you  David), I always get all excited when a future groom gets all involved in the wedding planing and has a lot of questions about the creation and looks of wedding accessories, the question posed was: if there is a box already decorated with organza ribbon do I need to replace it with the personalized ribbon?,  what else can I do?., Well, yes you can start from scratch and take off the original ribbon and replace it with everything , or get similar and add, but also there is a cost factor, I suggested to just add a personalized satin bow to the existing organza ribbon.

I found little statue in a clear box, the box is 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 4.5″ tall, it is wrapped in organza ribbon with a small bow on top, I created a small satin bow with personalized ribbon, and I will add it on to the existing decoration. Use the thin satin strands and slip under the original bow, and with this you have 3 choices, tie it so the original bow is on the bottom and not showing, second is the original bow on top and third, undo the original bow and tie it on top of the personalized one, here are picture of what it would look like each way

Personally, I like the last one best, tying in the existing organza ribbon, on top of the satin personalized bow, it looks like it was meant to be.

plum pierogi

17 Sep

My mother is a great cook, she learned her skills in Poland from the good sisters of Klasztoranki (I know a mouth full) it is a polish order of nuns. One of my favorites that she makes are plum pierogis, which do require fresh plums. We went to a local fresh produce market (I love the place so I will not mention the name) to purchase the makings for the dinner, we opted for a case of fresh plums, a 30 pound box.  The price displayed was 59 cents per pound, a good seasonal deal. We carted our purchases to the checkout and before we got there an employee ran to us and said his boss asked him to mark the case of fruit with the dollar amount for easy check out. I was impressed with the service, until I noticed the price he marked. A huge $30.00. Because he was English language challenged, I waited to get to the check out to correct the mistake, after all they were 59 cents per pound, and and the box weighted 30 pounds so quickly in my head I figured they should not be more than $18.00 because if they were 60 cents per pound, that is what it would be. My turn came up the the register and I pointed out to the clerk that the sign  listed the plus for 59 cents per pound which see agreed with and a big smile admitted it was a good deal, and than proceeded to ring up $30.00.  I asked her if she would like to weight the box and confirm the weight, which she anwered a happy NO to because the box was marked 30 pounds, so I mentioned that $30.00 for 30 pounds makes them $1.00 per pound, and of course she said, OH, NO, they are 59 cents per pound., Perplexed I looked at her and with slight irritation I said that I truly know that $30.00 for 30 pounds makes them $1.00 per pound, which she replied to, but Mam, they are 59 cents per pound and according to this paper here a case is $30.00. I took a deep breath and decided to take a different approach, so I tried to simplify the high finance of my plums, so I asked if maybe it would make a difference If I took them out of the box, and put them in plastic bags, because the customers before me had them in plastic bags and they paid 59 cents per pound.  Now she was perplexed, why would you want to do that?., she asked, I am charging you 59 cents per pound, it said so on the paper. By now 5 people involved in this purchase, myself, the young man that brought and marked the box, his boss, the check out person, and of course my mother standing off to the side laughing. The manager was called, after all, I was tying up the lane with an unreasonable request and I needed to be dealt with, the manager came over, looked, listened and with an attitude spewed, fine just charge her $16.00.  I sit here and write this 2 days later with the pierogis eaten and done and  I am still confused.  Should I dare and go back to buy a bushel of apples for the pie my mother is talking about?.

O.K., I vented, now for the recipe

* 4 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
* 3 pound of fresh plums
* large tablespoon of sugar

Preparing the plums
Wash the plums, take out the pits add a large tablespoon of sugar and par boil or steam.  to make them softer

Pierogi Dough
To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour, butter and salt.  Work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to over beat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Prepare the Pierogies
Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8″ thick. Cut circles of dough (2″ for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2″ for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place 2 plums on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork. Be careful not to press too hard, you just want to seal the edges, pressing too hard will make holes in the dough

Place gently the perogies in a boiling water a few at a time in a large pot . They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry.

Homemade Pierogi Tips:

1. If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal.

2. If you don’t want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months.
3. do not use eggs, it makes the dough harder

Serving suggestions

* top with sour cream

* fry in butter until golden yellow (after cooking), sprinkle with a little sugar

Smacznego, (enjoy)


Jordan Almond flower

27 Feb

Here is a new twist to Jordan Almonds, you can make a beautiful flower from nylon leaves and Jordan almonds, the leaves come in little bunches of 12, for out purposes I will use white candy, but they are available in different colors, you will need 5 nylon leaves, couple of green leaves a flower and white floral tape

here are the items you will need

the nylon leaves have a wire border, place an almond in the center and bring the sides together and pinch it slightly to close the leaf keeping the almond securely in the center. You can make the flower out of 5 or 7 almonds, either way they will look great.

Gather all of the items together, the made up nylon leaves, the green leaves and the flower. use one of the stems to wrap everything together to keep it from falling apart, for the best hold start as far at the top as possible

Wrap floral tape around all of the stems, once again starting high at the top

Arrange all of the petals sideways and place the flower in the center, because all of the leaves and flowers are on a wire, the positioning of the leaves does not need much effort.

double stack

19 Jan

For 10 years I had a store.  A 3,000 sq ft playground for people that wanted to do their own favors. I learned a lot from my customers and I tried to pass on what I knew and learned from them. Because the City acquired the building that I leased under eminent domain  I turned to e-commerce (EBay, Amazon and my own Party Favors Plus). I miss the personal touch with my customers, but email does a fine job also. I received a phone call few weeks ago from a lady claiming that we decorated her favors 9 years ago, and thru a web search stumbled onto the blog and took a chance it might be me.
She purchased candle holders for her son’s wedding and needed them decorated. When I saw her I remembered. Same type of candle holder. The nightmares of decorating this item came back, so I thought I will share the secret of decorating this one, because it is beautiful, but it does have few tricks.
The item is 2 universal candle holders, taper and tea lite. Mikasa. Gorgeous.

2 Mikasa candle holders came in a box

Wrap the candy in tulle so they don’t rattle around, fresh Jordan almonds can break the white sugar coating and because the glass is see through you might see dark almonds if the candy is not protected

Use the second candle holder as a cover for the candy, fitting the candle holders together

Cut tulle into 18 inch squares, and wrap the tulle around the set of candle holders. Here is a little trick you will need to do so the tulle does not slide and the candle holdes move around.  In a center of the tulle put a dab of hot glue on the bottom and than put a dab of hot glue on top before tying the tulle at the top

Trim the tulle by scooping all of it in one hand evenly and cutting the top of

Add a flower to the top by cutting a stem short and hot gluing it in and also add a personalized ribbon for the extra touch

favor / napkin holder / ornament

11 Dec

With Christmas right around the corner I was trying to think of something decorative that I can give to my guests as well as present it nicely. I wanted to use something I already had and had it in the blog to make it easier and simpler.

This is what I came up with. The star pull bow candy favor, but for Christmas. Just to remind you.

I purchased some fabric die at Jo-Ann Fabric Store. Everything was on sale. I purchased red, green and gold, I mixed a small batch of each in a glass cup, dipped pre-cut ribbon into the cup and air dried it.

The only change I made from the previous arrangements was that I added a ribbon to the ornament which gave us a variety of ideas, as a favor, an ornament and even a napkin holder

for the napin ring holders just wrap the hanging ribbon around the napkin and tuck it behind the flower in front. It will hold the napkin and it makes the table very festive.


The Spirit of Christmas

5 Dec

Something wonderful happened today and I wanted to share it with everyone that would listen or read.
I went to the post office, as I do everyday, it’s cold, windy and very slippery after the last snow fall. I dropped off my packages and was pleasantly surprised that a man held the door for me so I could get thru it with all of my empty bags.  Most of the time I get hit by the door or a person trying to get somewhere first.
Right behind me a small frail elderly lady tapped the man on his shoulder and asked him if he would walk her to her car. It was very slippery.  He smiled, extended his elbow, which she gratefully accepted, and step by slow step he walked her to her car.
He opened the door for her and made sure she was seated properly before closing the door.  As he started to walk away, he looked thru the window onto the back seat and went back to the front and asked the lady something, after few seconds he opened the back seat, took out an ice scraper and proceed to de-ice her rear window with care.
After he was done, he replaced the scraper in it’s former place, smiled to her and slowly walked away.
I felt like I have just experienced the true meaning of Christmas.
So, for all of you men, women and children, that do take that extra step or a minute to help the elderly or less fortunate, I thank you on their behalf and wish you a Very Merry Christmas.