Sunday, 30 June 2013

Colour Keys

There are two colour Keys, Yellow and Blue. Yellow Key colours are warm tones. Blue Key colours are cool tones.
The circles above show the Blue Key cool colours on the left half and the Yellow Key warm colours on the right. There are true neutral grey or brown colours that do not fall into any Key, but some grey and browns can be warm or cool. This is where it can get tricky trying to figure out which Key colours fall into.

The easiest way to discover your personal Colour Key is by jewelry preference. If you prefer gold jewelry you more than likely have a Yellow Key, warm skin tone. If you are a Blue Key, cool skin tone person you will tend to favour silver jewelry. This means you look best wearing warm colours if you have a warm skin tone and cool skin tone people looks best in cool colours. Usually, we have a preference for the warm or cool colours already.

However, not all of us get this correct. If you do not know which colour Key you are, you can test it out. Hold up different warm and cool colours under your face to see which ones you look best in or like better. (You can do this in front of a mirror.) If you still have doubts, ask some of your trusted family or friends which colours you look best in. Pay attention to what colours you are wearing when people tell you look great! More than likely you are wearing the Key that suits you best.

When doing projects that combine colours it is best to stay in the same Key for a nice, flattering appearance. Using just Blue Key colours will blend nicely together or just using Yellow Key colours together will look good.

In advertising, such as store displays, they purposely mix the two colour Keys to make them clash and grab our attention. So, sometimes it is best to use both Yellow and Blue Keys together to make our look stand out and get noticed.

You can use this guide to choose the best colours for you and to help you choose colours for decorating or doing projects. If you find out that your favourite colour isn't from your Key tone, don't stop wearing it if it makes you happy. :-)

I hope you have found this informative and helpful. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Topping

I had never tried this before and found this idea online, so thought I'd give a whirl. If you are looking for it online, they call it puppy chow popcorn. It tastes pretty good and I found it quite filling.

Make a large bowl of popcorn, unless you like your topping thicker, then make a smaller batch. Remove the unpopped kernels before adding the topping.  I used crunchy peanut butter, which gave a bonus of small peanut pieces mixed in.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Topping

1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup icing sugar

Put the peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips in a small pot and melt on the stove at a middle-low temperature setting. (On my stove 5 is the middle, so I melted this at 3.) Mix it together until it is all melted and combined.

Pour the melted mixture over the popcorn, stirring to mix it throughout. Sprinkle with icing sugar again stirring the popcorn to coat it as evenly as possible.
Store any leftovers in a container with a lid, to help prevent the popcorn from going stale.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Grow an Avocado Tree

This is the easiest and cheapest way to get a tree plant in your home, at least that's been my experience. The first step is to buy a nice ripe avocado at your local store and make some delicious food with it. Keep the pit and wash it off.

Get a pot and soil to plant the pit. Yes, plant the pit in the soil because this is the easiest method. I have tried that hanging the pit with toothpick partially in a glass of water and that has never worked for me. Putting the pit in the soil has worked every time. I helped a friend grow one, who had tried to start it off in the glass of water and it failed. I had him do this method and he now has a tree of about 5 feet tall and it took about 3 years to reach that height.

To plant the pit, put the large round end in the soil and push the pit about half way down leaving the top pointy half sticking up out of the soil.

Water the pit in the soil about once a week. It will seem like the pit is not going to sprout because it takes a about a month before you see any results. I find when I think the pit is never going to sprout maybe I should give up, that's when it sprouts. haha  It is growing even though you don't see it, as roots need to form first. The best sign that your tree is growing is when the pit splits, like in the picture above. Sure enough shortly after that you will see a sprout begin to grow.
These beautiful big leaf trees grow fast once they have sprouted. You may need to transfer your plant into a larger pot faster than you think. I suggest doing this in the spring or summer months for the best results. Once you transfer it, watch how fast it shoots up. When your tree gets to a good a height and you don't want it to grow any taller, I suggest leaving it in the pot you have it in and not to transfer it to a larger pot at that point.

The tree will go through phases of growing tall, growing leaves, growing branches, thickening up, so don't grow disheartened if your tree seems to have stopped. It is probably getting thicker or starting a new phase.

By the way, this is a great project for kids to do, but they will need patience for a few weeks before seeing results. If you have always wanted a tree plant in your home, here's your chance to grow one from scratch. You will the love the results.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Basic Colour Wheel - Decorating/Design Combinations

Learning the Colour Wheel is one of the first steps for art design or interior decorating. (I would like to say that I am not an expert, I am just sharing the information I learned and hope it will benefit anyone trying to decorate their own home or anyone that has an interest or hobby in the arts and crafts areas.) This information is especially useful for any beginners.

Blue - Red - Yellow are the primary colours.  Green - Purple - Orange are the secondary colours.

Secondary colours are made by mixing the two primary colours together. You can see this on the wheel clearly as the secondary colours are between the two colours that make it, for example: Blue + Yellow = Green / Yellow + Red = Orange/ Red + Blue = Purple.

On the wheel, we can see the opposite colours are situated across from each other. Blue is the opposite of Orange, Red the opposite of Green and Yellow the opposite of Purple. In terms of design/decorating, using opposite colours makes things stand out more and get noticed more. Here they are again arranged differently:

For decorating choosing three colours that combine well is best for an overall look. A good combination of colours to use are the ones that have a triangular formation within the circle. These colours compliment each other nicely.

1. Green, Orange and Purple.
2. Red, Blue and Yellow.
Another set of three colours that go nicely together are three next to each other in the circle. Red - Purple - Blue is one, Yellow - Green - Blue another, Green - Yellow - Orange and so on. Here are some examples of three colour combinations:
In this picture you can see the first set, Green, Orange and Purple is a triangular combination and the other two examples are three colours next to each other on the Colour Wheel.

Outside of the Colour Wheel we encounter more colours. Black is considered a shade and is used to darken colours. White is a tint and lightens colours. These two colours should work with all other colours.

Brown and Grey are neutral colours, meaning they go nicely with most other colours. Grey by the way, is a great colour to bring out any other colours you use with it. Grey makes the other colours 'pop'.

This basic knowledge can help when choosing what colours you want put together. Keep in mind this works for all the shades of the colours, as Pink is just a White + Red, so you can follow the guidelines for Red and Peach is White + Orange, so follow Orange guidelines, and so on.

Here is the basic Colour Wheel tinted with white to create pastel colours. You simply follow the same rules as above as they are the same colours, just lighter. The same rules apply when you darken the colours as well.

Here are three colour combinations in the same colours as the sets above just different shades to give you a further idea of how these can work.
So, these are just some very basic suggestions that can be used when making colour choices. I hope you find this helpful. :-)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Peanut Butter Muffins

You can use smooth or crunchy peanut butter, whichever you prefer. These were made with crunchy peanut butter. Good cut in half and spread with jam, too.

Peanut Butter Muffins

1 1/2 cups    all purpose flour
1/2 cup         white sugar
2 teaspoons   baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/2 cup          peanut butter
1/4 cup          butter or margarine
1 cup             milk
2                   eggs, beaten

In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Cut in the peanut butter and butter until the mixture is crumbly. (I use two knives to cut, you don't need a special tool.)

Add the milk and beaten eggs and stir together until moist.

Grease the muffin tin and fill the cups with the batter.

Bake in a 375F oven for 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

DIY Coloured Bobby Pins

 To create different coloured bobby pins, simply paint them with nail polish in the colours you like. I simply slipped the bobby pin onto a thin piece of cardboard and painted only the tops of the pins, as that's all you will see anyway when wearing them.
This first batch I did to match different summer shirts that I own.
I then decided to paint some of them to match the coloured hair ties that I have, so they would look cute when worn together. I did my best to find the closest nail polish colours I had to the hair ties.
As you can see I painted a lot more bobby pins than just the ones to match my shirts and hair ties. I decided to try some of my favourite nail polish colours and tried the holographic and glitter polishes too, for fun. Why not? I like to wear them on my nails, why not in my hair, too? :-D
A closer look of the coloured bobby pins. (The yellow, orange and darker purple also have a coating of glow-in-the-dark polish on top for even more fun!) (Yes, I know I'm crazy. hahaha)
Here are the normal coloured bobby pins and the glittery, shimmery ones too. The possibilities are endless, you could paint them any way you want, with stripes, polka dots, just about anything. Give it try!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins are delicious and moist.
Ripped one open so you can see how great they look. Yummy! :-D

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3                   large bananas
3/4 cup         white sugar
1                   egg
1/3 cup          melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon     baking soda
1 teaspoon     baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1 1/2 cups      all purpose flour
3/4 cup          chocolate chips

Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl. Add sugar and egg beating slightly to mix egg into the mixture well.

Mix in the melted butter or margarine.

Add the dry ingredients and stir well. Mix in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into muffin tins as evenly as possible.

Bake in a 375F oven for 20 minutes.

(I baked these in a non-greased muffin tin and they did stick to the pan somewhat, so you may want to try lightly greasing the muffin tin before pouring in the batter.)

Hope you like them as much as we do. Have fun.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Graffiti Art Under the Bridge

There is a path beside where I live that wonders beside a creek. At one point it leads under a bridge and there is often graffiti sprayed all over the bridge supports. The city paints over it once a year or so, which just gives them a clean slate to start over again. Personally, I think the city should hold a contest or something to have people submit graffiti art designs to cover the entire area to lessen the 'tags' which are usually just ugly. I would love to see some beautiful artwork under there.

When someone takes their own initiative and paints artwork under the bridge I do my best to photograph it before it gets ruined by a 'tag' or painted over by the city. It saddens me that people ruin or destroy these creations. To me there is a huge difference between spray painting your name or swear words on a surface and graffiti art, although I have seen some 'tags' that were very artistic. I like real graffiti art, to me it is a valid art form and I wish the city would promote that rather than destroy it.

So, here are some pictures I managed to take of some of the various artwork that had at one time graced the supports under the bridge. I apologize for the quality, but I tried my best. (I am not a professional photographer.)

The picture above here clearly shows the difference between an art piece and the usual spray painted crap on the walls. I was so sad when the city painted over these paintings. This takes talent to do.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

DIY Nail Polish (sort of)

To do this simply take clear polish and add glitter to it and/or fine powdered eyeshadow and mix it up. It is very easy to do. I just bought some clear polish at the dollar store to try this out and I had an old bottle of clear polish, too. Give it a try.

Friday, 21 June 2013

DIY Lip Gloss

Make your own lip gloss in any colour you want. To do this use Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) and add to it a little bit of lipstick, some eye shadow or blush powder or even cream blush if you like. This is very easy to do.

I would like to recommend when wearing lip gloss to wear it on your bottom lip only. This helps to make your lips look soft and sensuous and is more natural looking than doing all your lips with gloss. Give it a try and see how you like it.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Maple Walnut Muffins with Maple Glaze

A little bit of sunshine on these muffins did not make for a great picture, sorry. They tasted great though.

Maple Walnut Muffins

1 & 1/2 cups   all purpose flour
2 teaspoons     baking powder
1 teaspoon      salt
1/2 teaspoon   cinnamon
1/4 cup           butter or margarine
1/3 cup           pure maple syrup
2/3 cup           milk
1                    egg
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/2 cup          chopped walnuts

In a medium sized bowl, combine the first four dry ingredients.

Melt the butter, then stir in the syrup and milk. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Stir the wet ingredients mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to moisten. Stir in the walnuts.

Bake in a 375F oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is.

Maple Glaze

1 tablespoon  butter
1/2 cup          icing sugar
1 tablespoon  pure maple syrup

In a small bowl, blend the ingredients together until smooth. When the muffins have cooled off after baking use a butter knife or the back of a spoon to spread the glaze onto the tops of the muffins. I usually start off by putting a glob of icing onto each muffin to try to even out the amount of glaze on each muffin and then spread the icing over the top.

I think the glaze made these muffins amazingly tasty. Hope you like these as much as we did! :-)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Chocolate Mint Cake and Cupcakes

It had been a long, long time, since I had baked a cake and did all the icing and everything. I tend to make muffins and loaves when I bake, but when I saw this recipe online I just had to try it! My son loves chocolate mint flavour, too, so it had to be made.

Of course her cake looks way better than mine. I'm not sure, but I think there might be a typo for the amount of sugar used - 2 cups- is a ton of sugar. I cut the amount of sugar by half, which by the way you can do in any recipe for baking and it will not effect the results, just lessen the sweetness and using 1 cup of sugar for the cake was still way too much, in my opinion. If you like sweet go for it, but personally I would cut this down to 1/2 cup if I make this again.

I also found the cake had to cook for longer than the recipe called for, so be careful with that, too.

If you have never made a layered cake before, the trick for this is to place the first cake upside down on your plate so that the bottom of the cake is up and you have a flat surface to put the filling on and then place the top layer on normally so the flat bottoms are together and the top of the cake is rounded. Then you can put the icing on all around. 

Instead of making a cake three layers high I chose to make cupcakes out of the rest of the batter. It was tasty despite being very, very sweet. :-)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

DIY Cork Board Upgrade

My neighbour Teresa, who is also my Avon lady, gave me an old cork board she had that had come apart as she thought I might be able to do something with it.
I got an old pillow case and some acrylic paint that is very close to the colour of my walls to upgrade it.
I opened the pillowcase and folded it around the cork board for a snug fit.
I used thumb tacks to hold the pillowcase in place until all four corners were done.
Once it was in place, I stapled the corners.
This is the cork board done without it's frame yet.
One coat of the acrylic paint on the parts of the frame.
And now looking better with two coats.
Here is the final result.

Monday, 17 June 2013

DIY Lipstick Palette

*I have posted about this on my other blog, so I apologize if you are familiar with this, but I thought I might get new people to this blog, so I decided to share this again. :-)

I had a bunch of lipsticks at the bottom of my make-up bag that I rarely used and/or forgot I had, so when I saw this idea on Bellashoot ( ) I thought it was perfect. I also have empty containers of fake nails that I did not want to throw out, but wanted to re-use somehow and this was the perfect solution!

Here is the link for the tutorial:

My lipstick did not expand like hers did in the video however, perhaps mine wasn't as hot? Anyway, it's a great idea so your lipsticks are visible and in one spot to work with. I used the entire tube of lipstick I had left as the container was large enough to hold it all. It also allowed me to dig out the lipstick in the tube, so none of it was wasted.
The little tiny dot of lipstick in the one slot is from a lip liner that I melted down, as I never used it. This is a fun project and a good idea I think. It didn't seem to effect my shimmery lipsticks in anyway, they are still shimmery, but if you have any lipsticks with special effects, you might want to be cautious about doing this with them.

Thanks for reading! :-)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Chocolate Chip Muffins

You may have guessed that I like chocolate and you'd be right. haha These are a great and simple recipe to make.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups    all purpose flour
1/2 cup         sugar
3 teaspoons  baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup           chocolate chips
1 cup            milk
1/3 cup         melted butter or margarine
1                  egg

In a bowl, mix dry ingredients and stir in chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk and butter together, then stir this into the dry mixture. Do not beat.
Pour into a muffin tin making the muffins as even in size as possible.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.