Jan 28, 2009

National Bankruptcy Day

Today Bloggers around the country are posting about the damage CPSIA will do. Here is a common post you will find most posting pleading for your efforts to fix this situation.

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Jan 20, 2009

Inaugerating Bailey's & Twitter

Happy Inaugeration Day

Notice the above photos? They are a sample of my latest treasury - Pop Garden. Enjoy!

Please sign this CPSIA petition to the president. http://www.petitiononline.com/09ammend/petition.html

I've been reading up a bit on the history of Inaugerations in our country. Fascinating to know that they use to occur in...April, Well March - huh?

Our first president wasn't inaugerated until March. Makes sense though - imagine living in Georgia and not knowing you had a president or having the opportunity to challenge the election. Which is what it would have been like if the president became president at the time of election - back in the 1700's. But of course these days we actually follow the votes state by state and can get as up to the minute as possible with Tv, Radio, palmpiolets and now the internet...FDR decided we just didn't need the time in his 1st term and become the 1st president inaugerated in January. Or so Yahoo claims!

Here are some fun cupcakes discovered by cupcakestakethecake to set the mood!


Here is a video on the latest Fad explaining why to do it.



Enter for a chance to win a Quilt Kit

Hot Tutorial Spots

Yummy Bailey's Recipes...

Found this cupcake picture and decided I needed a recipe - figured I'd post all my results!

Don't over indulge :<)

Jan 17, 2009

Welcome to the 3rd week of 2009 - Wow.
I've been really busy with valentine skirts and studying this new clothing law that will put small children's clothing sellers out of business.

My First Etsy Treasury
Minnie Valentines

I finally was able to get a treasury on Etsy. The above pictures are a teaser of my a treasury of Minnie Mouse like items being sold on etsy. Check them out. :<) Let me know what you think. Let me know if you'ld like to be featued and I'll see what I can do. :<)

It's a playoff weekend & the hubby & I are playing ESPN Gridiron Challenge & NLF Fantasy - I moved up to second last week - behind him :<( Arizona one so that should help me a bit with ESPN I chose all Arizona & Raven's player. Although I'm a Giants/ Eagles fan... but I wanna win right...not much else happening. Catch ya later (hope you like the new music on the site!)

You Can Make this Quilt

Steps 4 & 5 are now available.

Send me a pic of what you're working on and all post here.

We're turning our triangle squares into pinwheels!
:<) YUM

A recipe for Bean with Bacon

A free pattern for Molly the Monkey
She's adorable and the seller has more patterns for sale in her etsy shop.

Jan 13, 2009

Wacky Wednesday


I found this link on Facebook from another Etsy seller whose all about helping other sellers get noticed on Etsy. Sounds like a good person to listen to. :<) Tim is offering a class on selling on-line January 26th check it out at http://handmadeology.blogspot.com/

Brought to you by Timothy Adam. Timothy Adam is a self taught metal artist who makes a living selling online. He is also dedicated to helping others achieve their goal of successfully selling their handmade goods online.

Follow Handmadeology:

Tim also has a blog page that recommends fixes to being lost in the numbers on Etsy. He makes recommendations in three areas: pictures, tags & self promotion... :<) Read more here:

Hmm...let me try a little self promotion....
Remember to check out my twirl sets at http://www.amievoltaire.etsy.com

More on the CPSIA Lawsuit
There is a group of WAHM who are getting together and gathering momentum for a lawsuit. Here is the info and the link to go for it


An interesting comment writen by The Gathering Stitch :

...sounds like that attorney has some foundation! he is referencing an act that went into affect in 1980...here is the key legal point...

Whenever an agency is required by section 553 of this title, or any other law, to publish general notice of proposed rulemaking for any proposed rule, or publishes a notice of proposed rulemaking for an interpretative rule involving the internal revenue laws of the United States, the agency shall prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. Such analysis shall describe the impact of the proposed rule on small entities.

That attorney is saying that it is "unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, and disregards the significant and disastrous impact on small and medium businesses as Section 605 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requiresâ

New Children's Boutique
Adorable items http://www.styledbabydesigns.com/

Another interesting site:
an inspiration woman giveing Stay-at-Home Mom's
opportunities to share their voices.

Rootbeer Cake - YUM
I've Found Aidan's B'day cake!
I think I'll make a bear cake and it can be Rootbear Cake :<) This recipe is quoted from: HUB UK


1 box white cake mix
Root Beer instead of the liquid called for on box

Butter Cream Frosting:

2 Tblsp. flour 1/2 cup milk 1/4 lb. butter 1/2 cup sugar Speck of salt 1/2 tsp root beer extract

Make up the cake mix as per the instructions on the box substituting Root Beer for the liquid in the instructions.
Bake in a 9 x 13 pan or two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans until done.
Butter Cream Frosting:
Mix flour with milk. Cook over low flame until thickened. Let cool.
Cream butter and sugar. Beat with mixer for 4 - 5 minutes.
Add cooled paste and add root beer extract.
Beat another 5 - 6 minutes. The long beating is what makes this so fluffy.
Serves 6

Banning Children's Books now? http://blog.christyscreations.com/?p=806

Not because of their literal content but due to lead....when will this end. Who passed this law? I want them on CBS in front of a fireing squad - I mean - string of reporters to be drilled! What were they thinking....?

Vagina Monologues... http://www.thamesvalleymums.com/2009/01/private-parts.html

Luckily I have 3 boys & my daughter is beyond any point of me needing to refer to...
But as I woman, I can relate and am still at a loss for how to refer to... when necessary, disregarding crass terms. OY

Free Mini Cupcakes at Mini's Cupcakes
Salt Lake City 14 East 800 South!
Woo hoo!
Thank Cupcakes take the Cake for the information. YUMMM
While your at it pick up a "Change your cup size" appliqued cupcake tee - too funny!

Happy Tuesday
- it's garbage day at our house...

Christmas Money$$$

I let the kids spend there christmas $$ at Walmart last night. I wasn't too bad a trip they picked quickly. I will get pics up.

Monks Bag Tutorial
Cute pic & cute bag purlbee!

CPSIA update:
Posted on one of my ebay forums.(Hope it's true!)

Amy Klobuchar sits on the commerce committee,(the ones who review and amend this law) I spoke to her aid, I was not able to speak with her for long but she told me to call her back tomorrow, THEY ARE IN THE PROCESS of excluding clothing!!!She said they have been flooded with e-mails, so keep it up!!!Here is a list of who is on the commitees if your state is listed here, let your voice be heard.

Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (HI) John D. Rockefeller, IV (WV) John F. Kerry (MA) Byron L. Dorgan (ND) Barbara Boxer (CA) Bill Nelson (FL) Maria Cantwell (WA) Frank R. Lautenberg (NJ) Mark Pryor (AR) Thomas Carper (DE) Claire McCaskill (MO) Amy Klobuchar (MN) Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) Ted Stevens (AK) John McCain (AZ) Olympia J. Snowe (ME) Gordon H. Smith (OR) John Ensign (NV) John E. Sununu (NH) Jim DeMint (SC) David Vitter (LA) John Thune (SD) Roger Wicker (MS)

Class Action Law Suit

Interesting! It's come to my attention that a children's boutique in Texas have filled a class action law suit regarding the new CSPIA law with Kushner Lawfirm. I'm not finding more specifics. Comment if you have knowledge of...http://www.kushnerlawfirm.com/a/p12/More-Announcements

Deanna's Birthday Ideas

Today she's offering tips on parties for a 13 year old! Funny that today is the 13th - lol. A 13 yo is coming to my house in 3 1/2 months - ahhhhhh!!!!! lol Hmmm...if he had any friends....he could have a disco, or - tye dye party (he might actually go for that one). I think Alexander might light a tye dye party....As long as they came in tye dye and we didn't' do it here! lol

My Valentine Pies
I made Deanna's filled pies last night for mom's night out. Cut out hearts of pie dough & filled with cherry pie filling - had a couple apple too. I think the cherry tasted better. They were a hit at mom's night out! Try them, you'll like them...try them, you'll see :<) Dr. Suess would agree...sorry I didn't get pics but we bought two packages of the rolled pillsbury pie dough - 2 to a box. So we'll be making more as I only left 3 cherry for the kids to sample and Anthony was salavating for apple.

Jan 11, 2009

Minnie Twirls, Crayon Cookies & Cherry Pies

Yesterday...Gloomy Sunday
We hung out in our pajamas...all day. Alexander said, "it was fun wearing my pajamas all day - lol." Watched some football, played more guitar hero, played a hand of 5 card draw to determine who would do dishes - I told them I didn't want to play! Aidan & I did dishes - luckily Doug cooked on the barbie as I cooked Saturday. :<) My playoff Fantasy Football team was not doing well. -UPDATE - moved up to second in points -not bad...but DH is in the lead. (:<( we can't let him win! lol) ...What an underdog weekend!

Listed two new sets. :<)

They were fun to make.

YCMT Quilt Project - steps 2 & 3
Now that you have 64 squares cut you need to take 4 and make these:
This is step 2, step 3 is - iron each - iron seam toward the darker fabric - if you have a darker fabric...YCMT pics...
Can't wait to see what we create...

Deanna is offering weekly kid party ideas on her blog - since I have 2 birthdays approaching I will be following. She suggested Crayon Cookies as a party favor http://tentenspot.blogspot.com/2006/07/crayon-cookies.html <-instructions.
Top ten's pics...Doesn't this look fun! I think I will use the silicon valentine tins for my little valentine.

Deanna's pie w/ ice cream pic... sweet.

Deanna's Blog is becoming my favorite blog...She was my first blog that I followed - about a year ago, I was looking for info on an adjustable waist and found a tutorial on her blog - been following her ever sense. Though I just recently started actively following blogs...
She's been making some yummy looking fruit pies and here is where she discovered them:

She used pie crust, cherry pie filling & a leaf cookie cutter - another great idea for a Valentine Party (I think I'll use hearts). The not Martha site also make appetizer pies with the pie crust & some sort of meat/ vegetable filling - cool, reminds me of egg rolls & empanadas! Buenos Dias!

That's about all for today - I need to do some free writing/ exercize writting. Will do so tonight - I have to finish my capri & peasant top sets..

Jan 10, 2009

Happy Saturday

A MOM Tearjerker!
My Hero

Foldover Pouch Tutorial

I'm working on my black & pink twirl skirts. Pictures coming tomorrow or Monday...
Had a couple sales today - busy, busy...

Super Aidan!
He asked me to tie the dish towel so he could have a cape and then asked me to take his picture....

From Aidan:
- he says, it says "yo-yo."

1st grade basketball -
We're working on the notion of "team work" and passing. Alexander is a definite ball hog!

Diary of a Divorced Woman

CPSIA: Seller's speaking to the Media
Updates on the New Lead Law:

Utah media

Rochester NY


Sign An Etsy Chain, each person uses the people in the chain to make a treasury. http://tinyurl.com/98w72m

Edit your pictures online with http://www.picnik.com/ - Not to bad!

Jan 9, 2009

Update - just fund this Scholastic Dollar Days on http://sistertosisterdesign.blogspot.com/

Here's the link: http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10002&langId=-1

Woohoo - need some kids books? Check it out. Looks like I can pick up some bilingual books - my school didn't offer any bilinguals when I check. Woohoo! :<)


How to Make a Blue Cafe Bag


Hot Chocolate Mix

This last week has just been an amazing week! I'm not going to bore you all with the details, but just believe me, I feel like I'm Gods' favorite for sure! One thing I will say about it is yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary and my husband surprised me with a marmot vest. He was so tickled that he could surprise me (and so was I). Since I am the one to take care of our accounts and bills, I usually know in advance when something is up.

A couple days ago, I was jonesing for some hot chocolate really bad but didn't have any packets on hand. Instead of going to the store, I just mixed this recipe up very quickly which I found
here, heated up some milk and had a really fabulous cup of hot chocolate.

This recipe makes 5 3/4 cups dry mix or 92 eight-ounce servings (I cut it in half). The only thing I did differently was to add some cinnamon to the mix and used dutch-processed cocoa.

3 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups dutch processed cocoa
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon *my addition
Mix one Tbsp. of mix per cup of hot milk.

Jan 6, 2009

Happy Thursday
Not much happening today. Finishing up a few projects and preparing for Anthony's B-ball game. Alexander did great last night - he's so aggressive and good at defending the ball and moving forward. Of course he is. He's been manuevering out of my grasp for 6 years now!
GRRR... :<)
Just Listed..

Make it up as you go Quilt -
anyone care to play along? we'll go step by step on putting together some quilt - great for beginners.
They put together a ice cream quilt last summer. It might still be on their site for free. I just watch as I was busy with skirts.
Right now you just need to cut 60 4x4 squares...use any fabric you like...

Oh! Did I happen to mention...
2008 NFL Fantasy Football Champion
of the Wontubemyneighbor League.... :<)!

My phillies kicked the tar out a Mr. Fish - LOL (Good thing to because the rest of my team did diddly squat - ouch! probably the worst I did all season. I'm moving up to "ALL STAR" Status. Wish I could figure out how to show you my trophys!

Brushing Teeth

Clothing Protection Act
Looks like sever media sources are putting together articles on the new Child Safety Law that will affect everyone selling new & used children's items forcing all current items to be tossed out or sold at the consequences of huge legal fines.
LA Times did a story
KSL in Utah will do a story Friday.
Wisconsin is planning a story...
So much Activism from a plethora of Stay at Home Mom's
- Good work ladies!

Yesterday's News
Teen Pregnancy Rates - by State,
Not surprised Nevada's so high. There were 16 Freshman pregnant when I was a Sr. in High School. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_he_me/med_teen_births
That's about all for today - I have alot of work to do...

Jan 5, 2009

According to a fellow seller... Mimosa is the Color of 2009
A rather Earthy tone!
The Hot color of the year - so prepare for Yellow!

Goodbye 2008 Year of the Rat
...also known by its formal name of Wu Zi. Year of New beginnings and for us there were plenty! We're ready for some stability - budding roots.
Let's see what's in store for 2009 (Chineese New Year Jan. 26th 2009) Year of the Ox also known by its formal name of Yi Chou.

The Year of the Ox is denoted by the
earthly branch character (Wikipedia). The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. - Sounds like a year of hard work, patience peace & prosperity - Sounds great to me...


Dad's on a little trip and the kids are at school (Alexander with his new hair cut)- hurray! So I have a little time to do some writing... Hey remember that little magnet I picked up to fill the "teacher's bag"? Here is a tutorial to make them. :<)
Cute Magnet tutorial
So much talk of setting goals, making resolutions and now I've run into this:


The art of letting things happen, action through non-action, letting go of oneself as taught by Master Eckhart, became for me the key that opens the door to the way. We must be able to let things happen in the psyche.

Carl Jung

Hmmm...I think that philosophy falls directly en route to the word of the year...both mine & 7 all togethers....Relax...Breath...let the door open through the exercize book out the window and let the door open to ...the way....hmmm

Word of the year
Dawn at 7 All Together posted her word of the year, "relax" as in stop worrying...Great word and great reminder to not sweat the small stuff...I'm a perpetual worrier, so I've chosen the word "Breath." I need to remember to breath which will help me relax and will motivate my thoughts and creativity....Breath...

According to this website, this are twelve habits of Zen monks:. .
1. Do one thing at a time.
2. Do it slowly and deliberately.
3. Do it completely.
4. Do less.
5. Put space between things
6. Develop rituals .
7. Designate time for certain things.
8. Devote time to sitting.
9. Smile and serve others.
10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation.
11. Think about what is necessary.
12. Live simply.

Interesting, while they are "opening the door" and letting life happen, they are still setting goals yet in ritualistic fashion to be completed specifically and completely - one at a time and to be fulfilled with enjoyment "smile." ahhhh....breath, relax, open the door one step at a time...

I remember hearing a way to find love is to stop looking - very Zenish...I believe that's how I found my guy...the below "Love Story" seems to be such an experience as well...

For your reading pleasure...
A Love Story

Been There, Done That - aka the Bucket List
January 2, 2009 by sjbraun
I saw this at Girls in white dresses and thought it would be fun. Give it a try. Highlight what you've done.

1. Started your own blog. :<)
2. Slept under the stars (does a tent without the ceiling cover count?)
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain (a little mountain)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train - but next time it will be in cabin without 2 little kids and no walking up in the middle of the night in Buffalo without transportation...lol
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon - let's be realistic - ran some of a fun run!
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (just a lunar)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (How about just scored for the team - not RBI lol)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (my student did this for his comm service project!)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen (my students did this for class too!)
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (with my cousin Amy)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (again and again and again and again...lol)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Candy Mice


Hmmm... Cute
Onomatopoeia - Today's Writing Exercise ...

"a very long word for a pretty simple thing. It is when a word sounds like what it means. "Buzz" sounds like an insect flying by your ear; "meow sounds like a cat asking for dinner. Thomas Nashe wrote a poem about spring in which he made up words to sounds like bird calls: "jug-jug, pu-we, to-wittawoo" Write some words that are onomatopoetic. Then see if you can write a whole line that sounds like it's coming from one animal."

Slap, boom, hop, hop, wheee, queeek, ....Aidan...


Need ideas for cooking this week?
Check out this website..

I pulled out chicken last night and think I'll try
Chicken with garlic-tomato sauce
Maybe we'll have
Southwest Lasagna Rolls Tuesday and Black Bean Soup Wed... Those are easy for before or after basketball...

Cookie of the day
Apple Jack Cookies
found this recipe on the Menu Mom Blog

1 C. brown sugar1/
2 C. shortening
1 egg
1 1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt1 t. nutmeg
1 C. chopped unpeeled apple

Cream together sugar and shortening. Beat in egg. Sift together dry ingredients and add to mixture. Beat until well blended. Stir in apples. Drop in the shape of ball on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Now to brain storm some handmade birthday gifts for my Valentines...

Here's a child's tool belt - maybe...
Deanna extended the belt - see here http://deannasstuff.blogspot.com/2009/01/some-stuff-i-made-for-christmas-gifts.html

I still like the magnet board idea for Alexander...

These are cute didn't see a tutorial...

Cran-Apple Crisp from http://lavieenrosie.typepad.com/lavieenrosie/
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 1 - 29 oz. jar Apple Pie Filling with 1 - 18 oz. jar Apple-Orange Cranberry Relish. (We use the W-S stuff, of course.) Stir until it is evenly mixed. Pour it into a 9" x 13" pan. Spread evenly.

Open a box of yellow cake mix ~ or white, whichever one you have. Sprinkle the whole thing on top ~ if necessary, use a fork to evenly distribute the cake mix. Don't pat it down or stir it into the fruit mixture.

Melt 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter ~ 12 oz. (In the microwave is fine.) Pour that on top of the cake mix.

If desired, sprinkle the top with 1 cup chopped nuts ~ toasted or not. (We've been using walnuts but pecans work well too.)

Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes ~ or until the top is golden brown.
Cool until you just can't stand it any longer ~ about 2 minutes at the store ~ and dig in. (Now suck in air in vain attempt to cool burned tongue and start blowing on remaining crisp on plate so it will cool faster.)

This is really good with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top.
I have to tell you that I've made this three times at the store for samples and everybody loves it. More importantly, nobody can believe how good it is and that it is so easy to make! In a fancy dish, no one will ever know it took you 3 minutes to put together.

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