Ads 468x60px


Monday, October 26, 2009

A Good Read

With the cold weather upon us in the Midwest, it is the perfect time to curl up and read a good book. What could better than combining a cozy mystery and crafting together!? Here are a few books to get you through those cold winter months:

Tragic Magic by author Laura Childs

The next Scrapbooking mystery takes readers back to New Orleans, where there are spookies, foodies-and crafty killers. Carmela, owner of Memory Mine scrapbook shop, and her best friend, owner of Juju Voodoo, have a big project. Melody Mayfeldt is converting an old mansion in the Faubourg-Marigny district into an unforgettable haunted house for those who flock to New Orleans for a creepy fix. She needs Carmela's crafty touch to make the Medusa Manor come to life in time for the upcoming horror convention. But Melody takes her house haunting too seriously-especially when her flaming body comes crashing through a tower window to 'welcome' them to the job. Sure there's been an increased trend in murder lately, but someone specifically wanted Carmela's client very dead. Carmela's in some deep gumbo again and needs to crop out a killer from the throngs of people flocking to New Orleans. Then maybe it won't be so hard living in the Big Easy.

Inked Up (A Stamping Sisters Mystery) by author Terri Thayer

Halloween is scarier than ever in Aldenville, Pennsylvania, when professional rubber stamper April Buchert discovers a dead body in a "haunted" corn maze. The police suspect the victim's husband murdered her, but April knew the couple, and she and the Stamping Sisters are determined to find the real killer before he catches another in his murderous motif.
Spin a Wicked Web: A Home Crafting Mystery by author Cricket McRae

Soapmaker Sophie Mae Reynolds and police detective Barr Ambrose are back in their third enjoyable adventure in small-town Washington State. Sophie has become involved in the Cadyville Regional Arts Co-op (CRAC), where she is learning how to spin wool from one of the other crafters. Then a fellow member of the co-op is strangled—using Sophie’s first skein of yarn. To make things worse, Barr wants to have a “talk.” While the first two mysteries in this series involved crimes that looked like accidents, this time it is a straightforward murder, and it looks like the killer is going to get away with it. Ultimately, of course, Sophie and Barr sort it all out, and along the way, we learn more about fibers, weaving, and soap lore, and we are entertained by McRae’s clever analogies linking weaving yarn and unraveling the clues that will unmask the murderer. The wide variety of interesting hobbies represented among the co-op members leaves the door open for Sophie Mae to explore additional crafts and more lovably eccentric small-town characters in her future outings.

Cutwork (Needlecraft Mystery) by author Monica Ferris

After an artisan is murdered at the Excelsior, Minnesota, art fair, everyone is on pins and needles. It's up to needlework shop owner Betsy Devonshire to figure out who had designs on the dead designer.

The Divine Influence

You have to check out the Divine Influence blog.

Divine Influence - We created this blog to showcase 'Divine' Crafty Creations from all parts of the globe! Especially picked and showcase by our very own Divine Gals! You will find some crafters are features more than once, this is because it's their 'creation/s' that are inspirational and not the blog that's being featured ;-)

Today's feature is Melissa from Creating from the Heart. I have been a follower of her blog for a while now and really love her designs. Here are a few items that were just published in CardMaker magazine:

If you agree that Melissa's does beautiful work, send her some love via comments on her blog!

Leftover Halloween Candy

I know that Halloween hasn't come yet, but here is a great idea for your leftover candy corn candy. They were a big hit last year at my family's Thanksgiving celebration and would make a great holiday tradition.

Turkey Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped chocolate frosting
Candy corn
1 tube (4.25 oz) Betty Crocker® yellow decorating icing
Miniature candy-coated semisweet chocolate baking bits
1 tube (0.68 oz) Betty Crocker® black decorating gel

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.
  3. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  5. Frost and decorate 1 cookie at a time. After spreading frosting on cookie, add candy corn for feathers. Pipe yellow icing for beak and feet. Add baking bits for eyes; pipe black gel for center of each eye.

Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker website

Halloween Cookies

Here is a great idea for your next Halloween party or just to surprise your family with.

Candy Corn Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
Orange paste food color
2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled

  1. Line 8x4-inch loaf pan with waxed paper, extending paper over sides of pan. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.
  2. On work surface, place 3/4 cup dough. Knead desired amount of food color into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.
  3. Divide remaining dough in half. Gently press one half of remaining dough into pan on top of orange dough.
  4. On work surface, knead chocolate into remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over plain dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan.
  5. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm.
  6. Heat oven to 375°F.
  7. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.
Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker website.