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My name is Missy and I’m a bibliophile.

On the nightstand

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum –  I’m sure you’re all somewhat familiar with this story.  But, if you’re basing all your thoughts on it on the Judy Garland movie (like I was), then you’re pretty off base.  Dorothy doesn’t even have Ruby slippers in the book! Crazy.  But I would highly recommend it.  It’s a really quick read.  I listened to in as an audio book while I was unpacking and finished it in a few hours.  Also, it’s in the public domain so you can get the audio for free if you Google it.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the popular 1902 Broadway musical and the well-known 1939 film adaptation. The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a cyclone. The novel is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum’s writing thirteen more Oz books.

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson – This book was crazy.  It was so kinda creepy, but I couldn’t stop reading it!  I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Bluebeard fairy tale, but this is a retelling that takes place before the Civil War.  Very well written, too.  It’s one that I’ll be thinking about for awhile.  Totally go read it.

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

Easter Window Pane Cookies

easter-window-pane-cookies

My church had an activity for the women a few weeks ago.  It was a service auction.  We were all encouraged to bring some sort of service that could be traded from woman to woman in a game similar to the White Elephant game.

I decided to donate a treat for Family Home Evening (a night we set apart for a church lesson and games with our family) every Monday for the month of March.  I was so excited for the first treat because I’ve been wanting to try these fun Window Pane Cookies for a long time.

It did take me three tries to get the pane to come out right and then not break it while removing it from the cookie sheet, but it was worth it.  I’ve heard the family loved them and the kids around here sure did.

Bunny Window Pane Cookies

Easter Window Pane Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • hard candies - I used Sour Jolly Ranchers

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in egg, vanilla and salt.
  3. Gradually add in the flour.
  4. Chill the dough for at least one hour. Overnight is ideal.
  5. Roll out then cut your dough with a large cookie cutter. Transfer to baking sheet either buttered or lined with foil and sprayed with a cooking spray.
  6. Now cut out the centers with a smaller cookie cutter.
  7. Set a hard candy in the center of the hole.
  8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the candy has melted.
http://missy-dear.com/2014/03/easter-window-pane-cookies/

Window Pane Cookies

Borax Crystals

Borax Crystals with Pipe Cleaners

A few weeks ago we had our eighth snow day since Jan 1 (8!!).  It started out as a two hour delay but quickly became a day off.  At the time we were still living with my sister and all the kids were getting a little stir crazy.  So I decided we needed to so a quick little easy project with supplies we already had hanging out around the house.

Enter Borax Crystals.

For the last few weeks the kids have developed an elaborate game loosely based on Minecraft and the Greek Gods (i know…).  They have have some element and emotion that they can control.  So when I asked them if they wanted to make crystals, and before I could suggest the cutsy springy type shapes I was thinking of, they jumped on the chance to make Crystal Wands and Daggers for their game.

Borax Crystals assembly

I pulled out some pipe cleaners that I already had on hand (thank you Target Dollar Spot) and put them to work assembling their stuff.  I had to suggest modifications a few times since they were making things that would be too big to fit in the bucket of Borax solution.

Borax Crystals supplies

While they were busy building, I got to work making the solution.  It’s soo easy.  Are you ready?

3 tbsps Borax for every cup of VERY hot water.  Simple right?

Then you just stir to dissolve the powder and pour it into your chosen bucket.  Now is the kind of tricky part.  You have to hang the pipe cleaners so that they are suspended into the solution without touching anything.  We used shish kabab sticks for the beams and had to raid the scrapbook supplies for some fancy paperclips because we couldn’t find any normal ones. The paperclips became the hangers.

Borax Crystals formed

Then you move on to the boring part.  Waiting.  I let them sit about 7 hours before I even checked on them.  I thought for sure it would take over night to get the amount of crystals we wanted, but the 7 hours was all we needed.  I thought it was so cool that it even formed crystals on the surface of the solution where dust had fallen.

Borax Crystals drying

I just fished them out and set them on some paper towels to air dry for a bit.  This may have been the hardest part.  Now that they were out and being all sparkly the kids had a might hard time leaving them alone.

Borax Crystals playing

Once they got hold of them they went nuts.  They even painted their faces to get more into their characters for their game.  You do have to be careful with them because the crystals are pretty fragile but we’ve been lucky enough to escape any major catastrophes so far.

Over all I’d say it was a pretty successful snow day activity.  What are some of your favorite activities for the kids when you’re stuck inside?

My Fave Blogs: I’m Topsy Turvy

You may have noticed that I was off visiting on Wednesday.  I am so excited to be the new crafts contributor over at I’m Topsy Turvy.  I’ve long admired both the blog and the woman behind it, so getting to work with her is super rad.

I'm Topsy Turvy

I met Ashlee at my very first blogging event ever.  It was a small little conference in SLC and I can’t even remember the name of it right now (how horrible is that?  i blame prego brain) about 4 years ago.  I was only about a year into blogging (at So You Think You’re Crafty at the time) and I was oh so nervous.  I was totally out of my element both business wise, and because I’m not the most outgoing of people and I was attending by myself.  But I met Ashlee almost right away and she (and a few other fabulous women) put me at ease right away and made me feel welcome.

I'm Topsy Turvy Ashlee

Since then we’ve kept in touch a little bit.  While I was still living in Utah we would meet up at different blogging or thrifting events, so just the occasional “Hey!” on Facebook.  I’ve been so happy to follow along and watch her blog grow!  When she put out the call for contributors a few weeks ago I jumped at the chance, but knew it was a long shot since this here little blog is so new.  But she must have seen something in me :)

If you haven’t been over to her blog, do it now!  Don’t worry.  I’ll wait.

Ashlee she is one crafty woman.  She has some of my favorite crochet patterns around. And boy does she throw a killer party.

I'm Topsy Turvy Parties and Crochet

Ballerina Birthday Party // Crochet Bubble Beard Beanie

But can we just take a second to admire what a spectacular baker she is?  I mean everything she makes is absolutely gorgeous and oh so delicious.  I mean, look at this!

I'm Topsy Turvy Cakes and Recipes

Minecraft Birthday Cake Tutorial   //  Coconut Panna Cotta

I’m so excited to be a part of her team for the year.  I’ll be over there the second Wednesday of every month.  So go follow I’m Topsy Turvy, then keep an eye out for me!

Have a great weekend!