Tag Archive | home

Crunchy Chicken Boobs

As you probably well know by now, I’m going through my “I never did this” recipes and am finding quite an overwhelming stash to get through. I also had gone a little crazy on buying chicken breasts. They were on sale. And a REAL good deal. I mean. Real good. They had to be because I actually don’t like chicken breast. I find it way too dry. I much prefer whole chicken, from my co op actually, but it was just way too good a deal AND I have so many recipes that call for chicken boobs.

When I ran across the recipe, it seemed pretty easy. And since that day I seemed to be being super lazy, it was a perfect fit.

First, grab some chicken boobs and slather them with mayo. Well, that’s what the recipe says anyway. Says more specifically to coat them with Miracle Whip. Which I didn’t have. So I used ranch dressing. Yes, I had mayo, but it was REAL mayo, and it probably wouldn’t add that “zip” the recipe was looking for so Ranch dressing seemed the way to go.

God that looks vulgar. Anyway…

Now you are gonna pop open a box of stuffing. Stove Top style. I used the chicken flavored one. And to that add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Mix that up real good. Don’t grind it or crush it, just leave it as is.

Now dip the chicken in it and coat it with the stuffing mix.


Now, slap those on a foil covered cookie sheet and stick it in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes. Well, mine actually took 45 but that could be the size of the meat.

And out it comes.

See? Easy peasy. Not even worth writing a recipe down. I love recipes like that, so simple they are in your head.

I ask my “testers” to tell me not whether the recipe is “good” or not, but whether it’s good enough to repeat because honestly, I’d like to get rid of some of the thousands of recipes I have.

The verdict on this was, and I was surprised, yes, it was a repeater. When I tried it it was nice and tender with an outside crunch and actually pretty pleasing. It’s a bit plain for me, but that could perhaps be because of the omission of miracle whip. This could EASILY doctored up and seems a good staple meal too. Maybe hot sauce? Thousand island dressing? Italian dressing even? It’s not exactly diabetic friendly, but it’s certainly NOT the worst thing you could.

Try it, doctor it up, let me know. I’m thinking this is one recipe for chicken boobs that might have some serious potential!

Advertisements

Spray It On Thick, Baby

Scent isn’t only my job, it’s my life. I am VERY olfactory. I can relate scents to memories, people, etc. I actually remember someone’s scent before their face. My friends tell me I have “werewolf smell.” I swear I can smell something going bad in my fridge from the second floor of my house.

I LOVE to have a nice clean scent in my house. I love any good scent in my house. And my job is actually creating scent, so it works perfect. But I realize that for most people, this isn’t the case. And even I sometimes run across something in the store and go “OH! I LOVE THAT!” and of course I buy it and go home and try to recreate it LOL. But nonetheless.

I noticed a clean scent in the house can actually trick people into thinking your house is cleaner physically than it actually is. I can’t, of course, smell my own house. My niece, nephews and my BFF all tell me that my house is their favorite scent. Yet they can’t describe it to me. Well, call me Elizabeth Arden.

I’m super sensitive about the smell of my fabrics. I don’t know why, but I LOVE the smell of fresh fabrics and linens. I make my own freshener sprays most of the time, but I have to say that I do love the smell of Febreeze. But it’s damn expensive. Lucky for me, I also love the smell of fabric softener. As a matter of fact, I can’t tell you how many times my other “were nosed” friend of mine and I have gone to Target only to spend a half hour in the fabric softener section opening caps and smelling them.

I was surprised when I was shuffling around Pinterest (if you haven’t joined that site yet, do it. Now. And realize that I’ve just caused an addiction) I saw that someone had made homemade febreze from fabric softener. This didn’t surprise me, what surprised me was all the people that thought this was a NEW idea. Man, I’ve been doing that for YEARS. It’s gotta be going on a decade now. And it’s GREAT stuff, better than the real thing, cheaper, longer lasting and you have more control over the scent. So go on and go sniff the laundry section and pick out your favorite.

This isn’t my favorite, but they didn’t have my favorite in stock. But this is pretty damn good, and it was on sale.

Now grab yourself a spray bottle. A good one too, one that does fine mist.

As far as the “amount” goes, I tend to use LESS than most “recipes” call for. Most recipes call for a 2:1 ratio water to softener. I find that this is nice and strong BUT it kind of leaves a real slick type coating on my fabrics. I find filling the bottle 1/4 of the way with the softener and the rest of the way with distilled water works great. But it’s really up to you. Test and try.

Some recipes also call for vinegar. I skip that. I like my stuff with just water and softener. But again, it’s up to you. Make sure you test an area first too, just to make sure your fabrics can handle your little experiment. I know some of the real cheap softeners can leave oily lookin stains on stuff.

So, pour it into your bottle, add the water, and shake like hell.

Label it cause, if you are anything like me, someone might think it’s meant to clean the counter tops and well, nothing says GROSS like when you realize the counter where you prep your food is covered with a film of fabric softener. Downy seasoned chicken is freakin’ GROSS.

I use dissolvable labels, which aren’t real conducive to nice writing because they come on a FREAKIN’ ROLL but they are easy to get off unlike regular labels.

And there you have it, homemade fabric freshener for super cheap! It works great, too, my house smells lovely.

I don’t know about you, and maybe I’m just a dork, but new cleaning stuff makes me so happy, especially when it’s something that smells great. Nothing motivates my cleaning fits like a freshly scented brand spankin new load of counter cleaner or scented scouring powder. It’s the simple things in life, after all.

Hot Stuff, my love…

I’m not a coffee snob. As a matter of fact, I HATE Starbucks. I’m sorry. Their coffee SUCKS. I’ve had a couple of their weird macchacappafrappfuckachino’s that weren’t bad, but they are just piles of sugar I try to stay away from. Moreover, their sugar free sweetener tastes like burnt carrots.

I actually prefer Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. It’s really good. Really really good. I can’t even imagine WHAT the do it to make it good, and I don’t care. I’m allowed some bad habits.

The BEST coffee I can remember is my grandmothers. I think she used a stove top percolator. She’d dry egg shells, washed, and put them in there to make the coffee mild. It did. Now that she’s gone, the Polish diner a few towns over has absolutely THE best coffee I’ve had save my Grandma’s. They say they use Stewarts, I don’t buy it. I think they do the egg shell thing because it’s wonderful and mild and just *drool*.

I prefer my coffee with cream. I like my coffee with lots of cream. No sugar, cream. That’s how I take it. Funny, that’s how my mom took it too, must be genetic.

And I LOVE flavored creamers. Again, it’s a franken-food, not to be classified as ACTUAL food, but they are fun and spruce things up a little bit.

I also generally drink decaf, organic so that it doesn’t have the god knows what it is chemical in it. I’m one of those super sensitive caffeine people. I’ve also found that I don’t LIKE the type of energy caffeine gives me, and no matter how early I drink it, it makes me tense, unable to sleep and grinding my teeth at night. I don’t like the crash either. The crash is awful. I find as long as I have something “hot” in the morning, it picks me up. Though I still prefer that “hot” to be coffee.

I have a Keurig. They are great little machines. We don’t go through a huge amount of coffee everyday, not enough to facilitate a whole pot of it most times. Plus I’ve always found coffee pot coffee to be kind of gross. My preferred way to make coffee is a french press. If you haven’t tried one of these, do it. You’ll never go back. It’s SO good.

Anyhow, I do use K-cups. But sometimes the buggers are just too expensive. So I have a “my K-cup” thing for my Keurig. Yep, gadget alert. It’s basically a cup where you can put in your own coffee. Which I do. I also find, for those of you in the same boat, that if you open the machine up (the little level you pull up to put the k cup in) WHILE it’s brewing using the my K-cup thing, it’ll give you a stronger cup of coffee. Just lift it while it’s brewing and let the water sit in there a couple seconds, then push it back down. Works great.

Anyhow, for those of you looking for a little make-your-own delight when it comes to coffee, here are some ideas I use frequently to kind of give my morning boost a kick.

Flavored Coffees:

Supposedly, flavored coffees are made using a sort of special flavoring on the beans before they are roasted. Or so that’s what I hear. I’ve done it a little differently cause well, I’m lazy, and I don’t want to roast my own beans.

1-2 pounds of coffee, ground

1 bottle (1 oz) of extract

Use any extract you like, though I caution against some funky ones like lemon. Lemon coffee. No.

All you have to do, essentially, is slowly drizzle the extract into the coffee grounds and use a pastry cutter to work it in. You can make super short work of this by just using a food processor and dumping half the bottle of extract in. Pulse it a few times. Dump the other half. Pulse again. It’ll smell wonderful. Will be sweet? No. Will it be exactly like store bought? No. But with a little sugar or cream to bring out the flavor, it’s pretty damn good.

Some of my favorite extracts to use are: Vanilla, Almond, Mint, Chocolate and Coconut. Mix them up. Add Vanilla AND Almond and you’ve got Hazelnut. You can get pretty damn creative. Don’t add TOO much extract though because it’ll make the coffee all funky, taste real bitter, and be almost wet and greasy and go rancid fast. If you can, store it in the freezer once you’ve done this.

What about creamers? Ahhh, yes. I LOVE making flavored creamers. Whenever I talk about “creamer” here, I’m talking about the powdered creamer, non dairy stuff. Cheap, easy, works great. I’m not going to give you hard and fast recipes here because sincerely it’s a matter of taste:

Half creamer and half brown sugar= a sweet creamer than tastes something like toffee

Creamer with some cinnamon and nutmeg will give you an unsweetened pumpkin pie type creamer, add sugar if you want it sweet

Creamer with some hot chocolate drink mix will give you chocolate creamer. Hmmmmmm.

Creamer with some Tang (yes, tang, I swear it) and some non fat dry milk powder will give you Orange Cream creamer.

You get the idea! Get creative!

Someone brought to my attention once the use of hot instant tea mix. Now, I AM a tea snob. I’m NOT a huge fan of instant tea mix. But, I have played with the unsweetened variety and I’ve gotten some cool variations out of it. I’m talking about UNsweetened instant tea powder here, not the sweetened kind. These all can be used hot or cold. For your instant tea pleasure:

Half instant tea and half tang. Oh yes, orange tea.

3 parts instant tea to 1 part flavored, sweetened jello. The consistency is a bit weird but it’s a HUGE amount of flavor.

3 containers of instant tea mix mix to half a bottle of lemon, orange, or lime extract. Do it the same way you’d do the flavored coffee.

Instant tea with sweetened, flavored koolaid, like the ones that come in the tubs. Or mix your kool aid and sugar together then add the instant tea. Do this to taste depending on how sweet you want your tea.

Really, there are endless possibilities here. Experiment using what you’ve got or what’s on sale or whatever.

It’s kind of fun having endless amounts of choices when it comes to drinks. For me, mostly, I can’t drink them what with the diabetes, however, other people can and do and love it. These things shouldn’t replace water, but it’s nice for a little change. And then, of course, you can go apesh*t like me and decide there are TOO many things in the cabinet in the way of options and force everyone in the house to drink your creations until they are gone.

HEY! That’s the power of being this crafty!

Unpluggeth!

I was sitting in my kitchen the other day happily typing away some recipes of mine into my Ipad’s recipe organizer. I’m trying to get it all in there so that I can throw away a lot of my recipe cards and have a nice, single organized place for all of them.

I’ve recently gotten Mr. B interested in steampunk style decor. He’s been pulling apart lamps and watches that would instead be garbage and making really cool stuff out of them. I’d had a long day of working, cleaning, taking care of my old pup and generally getting things done. Sitting down to type recipes was actually relaxing to me. And then I hear him say:

“Do you mind if I turn on Netflix for some background noise?”

This spawned a conversation. Mr. B and the Texan almost ALWAYS need some kind of noise going in the background. Even when they sleep. Mr. B is an ultra-gamer, he can spend hours and hours and hours day after day in front of the PS3 whereas Texan is usually glued to news, sports, message boards on his phone or the history channel on the TV and if not that then the radio.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my gadgets. My Ipad my Iphone and I do watch some TV: True Blood, Game Of Thrones, Californication, re runs of Family Guy. But in general, I’m not a “tv watcher.”

I’ve been poked at because I like my house silent. Like that’s a weird thing. I don’t mind kids laughing or dogs barking, I don’t mind organic noise. But I’ve truthfully gone entire weeks without a radio or TV and would probably go entire weeks without a computer if it wasn’t part of my job. I enjoy the quiet. I’m one of those people that relishes the silence when the power goes out. There’s no more electric buzzing from the plugged in but not running electronics in the house. It’s back to story telling and talking and knitting.

My BFF had actually once made a comment that she liked my living room a lot and that she plans on having one like it. There’s no TV. When we are in the living room, we TALK. We don’t eat dinner with the TV going, ever. It wasn’t even a hard and fast rule, it was just natural. Dinner times means catching up time.

I’m not so worried about people plopping in front of the TV or the game console, hell I do it. I’m more worried about what they AREN’T doing. Especially with children.

If you are pacified by the TV, or some other electronic thing, chances are you aren’t thinking about the walk you could take, the place you could go fishing, a trip to the zoo, a skill you could learn. I often wonder what happened to the great old art of “talking” or “teaching.”

This can most obviously be seen in going out to dinner. Go on. Go out to dinner with a bunch of friends, friends under the age of 35 especially. They are GLUED to their phones the whole time. My BFF found a fantastic idea called “phone stacking.” Put your phone on the table at dinner, all of you, first one to pick it up has to pay the bill. I thought this was a great idea but then she asked me:

“Well, what if your phone is ringing?” See what I mean? What are honestly the chances that THAT phone call is an emergency one? And if you are really worried about it, then how about if the phone rings incessantly, THEN it’s ok to pick it up. But, with the advent of technology feeds the “I-can-get-ahold-of-you-any-time-I-want” mentality, and the definition of “emergencies” become well, slightly altered.

I’ve gone fishing in the past where my friends haven’t put down their phones the whole time. I HATE that, you are in nature, enjoy it. If I go hiking, unless I need the GPS, the phone gets LEFT in the CAR. It’s just me and the dog and the noises around us.

When I suggest to people to unplug, including their children, they almost get into a panic. They start to make excuses like addicts. Well, just this one last week or I can’t because…it’s actually rather sad. What’s sadder is if you’ve ever know children who are addicted or “raised” on television, you’ll notice that their attention spans for anything, literally, are about 8-10 minutes long: exactly the amount of time between commercials. How about instead of just family xbox game night or family board game night, there’s family craft night? Family hike night? Family garden day? Something that sort of disconnects you from a serious central focal point of amusement and hones a skill or appreciation? I’m certainly not battering the way people do things, they are just suggestions. I get sad at the thought of “environmental deficiency” and I’m most certain that this condition actually exists. So many people don’t even get daylight nevertheless proper outside time.

As a chick who loves crafting and everything “homey” I mourn the days of crafting circles and actually LEARNING things from other women. Not buying DVD’s, books or looking it up on the internet. Nor am I talking about circles where everyone just gets together and does their craft and talks, though, those are a lot of fun. But knowing someone who knows how to knit, sew, make this or that and will teach you,  having days out of the season to all get together and can stuff, or make pierogis (which is a PAIN to do alone) or whatnot. It’s not just the act itself, it’s the social bonding as well. It’s how memories are made. It reminds you no man is an island. But the people who still do these things in and of themselves are few and far between, nevertheless a whole group of people in the same area.

I’ll notice a lot of people saying too that “they aren’t interested.” That annoys me. Maybe it’s because I really do believe in broadening one’s horizons, but how do you know if you aren’t interested if you don’t try?

All that being said, I don’t hate technology. I LOVE it. It certainly has it’s place. When I think of all the waste in landfills that things like MP3 players and Kindles have saved (though I still do love me an old book, and I’m totally sad at the closing down of SO many book stores),  or how  many lives technology has saved, I certainly know it has it’s place. I just often worry that this technology, instead of having it’s place and enhancing our lives, is simply taking it over.

Perhaps try a little bit today to unplug and listen to the silence. See if there is something there. Or enjoy that there is nothing there at all. Quiet, organic time is something that can be very rich and fulfilling, especially when you’ve only your own thoughts and the noises outside or in the house. It’s totally amazing the things that are there that you’d never notice if you are pinned to your phone.

Bacon Onion & Cheddar Carb Laden Flour Things

Ok, so they are biscuits. They are pioneer woman’s biscuits. Doesn’t mean I can eat them. However, I’ve always been fascinated by biscuits. It’s hard to find a REALLY good biscuit. Most of them are dry or tasteless, but when you do find a good one, they are REAL good.

So I thought this sounds perfect!

#1: It’s PW. I love her. She’s awesome.

#2: Bacon.

#3: Cheddar. Everything is better with cheddar.

#4: Onions. The wonderful, tasty little veggie, gas and bad breath inducing as it may be.

#5: Bacon

Can’t go wrong right?

So, first, I fried up some bacon. Hmmmmm, bacon.

It’s supposed to be done, but not too crispy.

Then, chop that up with some onions. I used my trust processor for this.

Then we mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and shortening using a pastry cutter.


Then whisk together the milk and the egg.

Add some oil.

By the way, did I tell you how much I love the recipe manager on my Ipad? It’s a God-send.

Now whisk the oil, egg, milk mix some more.

Now put your cheese into the flour mixture.

Then add the bacon onion mixture.

And finally add the milk mixture.

Now mix that up really good and well. It’s gonna be super super lumpy.

Grease up some muffin pans, in whatever way you will. I use Pam. And drop the mix into the pans by the heaping spoonful. I actually filled mine up pretty good because I didn’t want little muffins.

Bake them for 22 minutes at 375. And you’ll have nice golden Bacon Onion Cheddar Biscuits.

How were they? They were ok. I really want to jump for joy and tell you they were amazing. But I just though, eh, they were ok. HOWEVER, the boys loved them.

Keep in mind that I didn’t use super sharp cheddar either, because all I had was mild, and that I’m not used to carbs. So my primal palette has sort of adjusted and most carbs now tastes kind of plain to me. I suppose with the addition of more salt and sharper cheddar, and believe it or not perhaps MORE cheddar, these would have been really good. To me at least. But they got eaten up by everyone else.

So my quest for the perfect biscuit shall continue!

Even though I really don’t eat biscuits.

And when I do they make my blood go super thick.

And typically they aren’t my favorite thing in the world.

Don’t ask me why I search. I’m mental. You knew this.

Pain In The Arse But So Worth It Home Made Pasta

There are a few things that I make that aren’t, technically, “worth it.” By worth it I mean that the cost of doing it myself is not really saving anything when you consider the time it takes to make it. Pasta is one of these things.

Is it because I can’t actually eat pasta or my diabetic beta cells will attack me and make me go blind with high blood sugar? Surprisingly, no.

Is it because home made pasta is more expensive than store bought? No, it’s not, it’s cheaper, but marginally. When you consider the time it takes, it’s not really cheaper since pasta is SUPER cheap. Ok, maybe mine doesn’t have all the chemicals in it either.

It’s pretty much because it’s SUCH a pain in the ass to make, even with my little gadgets, that I’ll still go and buy pasta before I make it. But making it is SO worth it. And I’ve promised myself one day, one great awesome day, when I have the entire day to kill, I will make enough pasta to last this family a year. For now, though, I made enough for just two meals.

I used my handy dandy pasta attachment for my kitchen aid. Yes, man has made such things. I can’t even imagine the pain in the ass it would be to make this without it. I once used a regular hand crank pasta machine, and I’m just too damn lazy.

For all intents and purposes, pasta is super easy to make. You can find a slew of recipes online for it. It requires two or three ingredients usually and comes out, amazingly and shockingly, very very good.

So, the first thing I did was dump the ingredients in my kitchen aid. I believe it was flour, eggs, and some salt. What’s hilarious is that the instructions say you should make a well, put the egg in it, blah blah blah. Yeah, whatever, I just dump it all in there together. I really don’t know what difference making a well would make. But, then again, I’m no chef.

So I dump it all in the kitchen aid with the dough hook attachment

It takes a little bit for it to smooth out. But it does eventually smooth out, not totally silky smooth, but enough like dough.

It starts to roll in on itself and gather up the bits and pieces as it does this. It’s exciting isn’t it!

The dog certainly looked excited.

Ok, maybe not. But it’s imperative she’s in the kitchen with my while I do this. She’s my good luck charm.

Now, I attach the pasta do-hicky to the kitchen aid. Ain’t it cool?

And I start hand kneading the dough. It just kind of helps it form a little better cause it can be a little dry.

The first attachment I use is just a flattener. No, that’s not a technical term, it’s just what I call it. It rolls the dough flat. It has various settings on the side, 1-6. 1 being the thickest, 8 being the thinnest. Depending on what kind of pasta you want, you can roll it thick or super thin. I wanted spaghetti, so I’m figuring on rolling it to a 5. 6 would be like angel hair.

First you’ve got to roll it through #1 quite a few times, folding it half, then reinserting it. This makes the dough silky smooth and pliable, stretchy even. This is what you want. It helps to dust it with a little flour every few times to keep things running smoothly.

Eventually, it’ll become the width of the attachment, which is what you want.

A little ball of dough will eventually stretch to several feet long, so don’t go all happy on how much dough you initially put in there. Usually a palm full is enough.

Once it’s gone through #1 a few times, then it goes through each successive flattener size once until we reach 5. At 5, the sheets are pretty long and look like this:

I’ve got the kitchen aid book open right there! Tips for perfect pasta! Yah right! Perfect pasta=someone else coming in my kitchen and doing it.

Anyway, I lay the sheets on pieces of wax paper that I’ve sprinkled with flour until I’ve done the entire recipes worth of dough. This takes awhile, don’t fool yourself. One recipe worth of dough can easily take 30-45 minutes just to flatten into pieces.

So I go back and flatten some more pieces

See! It even LOOKS stretchy!!!

The dog still isn’t excited at this point. But, she sure did get way more excited when meat sauce was being poured over the cooked, finished product.

Now that all the sheets are flattened I proceed to cut them into spaghetti sized noodles and set them in a “nest.” I was never good at the “nest” thing, the way they’ve got them all nicely nested in the store. Here’s my version of a nest:

It REALLY helps if you have two people doing this because the sheets can get LONG and ANNOYING.

I wasn’t going to be drying this particular batch because it was all going to be used within a couple of days. If you want to keep them long term, you can always nest them, after dusting them with some flour, and freeze. OR if you have the room and patience, go ahead and dry them and stick them in bags or jars for long term storage.

Cooking home made pasta CAN be a little tricky, mostly when it’s fresh. Here’s how I do it:

Salt the crap out of the water. I do that any way, no matter if it’s fresh or dried. I once heard an Italian chef on PBS I think it was say that pasta water should be “salty like the sea.” I agree. The taste is so much better.

Then, get the water to FULL boiling and dump a little bit of olive oil in there. Then put in your fresh pasta and cook it, no kidding 1-3 minutes. I’m so not joking. It does NOT take long and there’s nothing worse than overcooked pasta.

And let me save you a little hair pulling: It’s gonna stick together. It’s not store bought, chemical laden pasta. It’s gonna stick. Learn to live with it. It doesn’t detract from the taste. The worst thing your family is going to do is take bigger bites. And that could be just cause it’s so damn good.

So, there you have it. Home made pasta. Enjoy it! Actually, you BETTER enjoy it because there are diabetic, urban homesteading, pasta making bloggers that CAN’T enjoy it because their body rejects carbohydrates in any form! (That’s my version of “there are starving people in china.”)

Make Your Own Tea Service

Ok, not really. It’s not really a tea service, but you can make your own decorated coffee mugs. Yeah, not the same thing, sorry. Tea service just sounded better.

For some time, I’ve been intrigued by porcelain painting. The fine detail and the craftsmanship is just amazing. But of course I’m not that talented so I have to fake it, and I found a way.

Porcelain paint. Or better yet, porcelain markers. Pens, even. When I first bought them I had first tried Pebeo porcelain paints, which I still use. Though I can’t say it’s not a little frustrating having this awesome design in your head and taking little delicate brush to paint and coming out with something like looks like a 2nd grade craft project. So I figured I needed to step down a bit.

I’ve decorated a few mugs. My practice mugs were always just from the $1.00 store and something to mess around on. I didn’t want to ruin anything too nice. I eventually started going to thrift and antique stores for finer mugs and cups. Now I give them as little personalized gifts. But let me warn you, it’s not as easy as it might seem.

Especially lettering! Unless you are FANTASTIC at free hand, using stencils is a bitch and a half because the pen (or the paint) is thin enough to kind of leak around the edges of the stencil. So you are basically left with smeary letters. That’s when I found the wonder of alcohol with this stuff.

First thing you are gonna have to do is prep the surface of whatever you are decorating with alcohol. It gives it a nice, clean, dry surface and gets rid of any residue that may be on there including dust of any kind.

You’ll need your pens or markers too. Use Pebeo, they are the best. I personally like the very fine tip unless I’m planning on really doing a big project. I also use the actually liquid paints as well with a very fine brush. Don’t buy the glass type pen or paint unless you are planning to work with glass. It’s really transparent and doesn’t work well on solid colored surfaces.

You’ll need some alcohol and a q tip.

You should probably bring your patience as well. You’ll need that.

The endless possibilities of something like this (especially the funny as hell possibilities) is very alluring and seductive. It’s much more work than you think, at least if you are a perfectionist like me it is. And I’m never 100% happy with the results. It’s one of those things that either isn’t as awesome as it seems or that I just suck at. I vote the second one.

Make sure you’ve got a good comfortable position. You don’t want to be adjusting left and right while you are doing this, especially if the paint is wet on one side. I’m very impatient, so I actually stick my hand INSIDE the cup, fisted, to hold it in place. I don’t sit at a table, I learned that lesson. It got real uncomfortable real quick. I actually sit on my bed to do this, it’s much much easier.

So, this particular cup was leopard printed for a friend of mine’s mom. I started off by painting little circles in black and filling them in with gold paint. The circles didn’t have to be perfectly round because I actually wanted it to look a little distorted and uneven. Or that’s what I tell myself anyway.

Yup. Child’s 3rd grade craft project.

Notice that it does leave that sort of “marker” streak on the cup too. In the dots and around the black. But fear not, usually a second coat takes care of that. And if it doesn’t, adding MORE dots will usually take away that effect.

But mind you, don’t add TOO many coats because the stuff will just peel off. It really takes a very thin coat, multiple if needed, otherwise it just turns to stupid.

Any mess ups you’ve got, use the q tips and the alcohol. It works wonders. I twisted the end of the q tip cotton really tight and pointy so I could get into fine places with it.

Told ya, more made it look better.

So I just kept doing that until I was somewhat happy. Am I PERFECTLY happy with it? No. but I probably will never be. In order for me (and possibly you) to be perfectly happy with it it’d have to be something I did with the finest of brushes and the finest artists hand. Neither of which I have. Therefore, we must do our best. Did I just refer to myself in the third person?

Anyway!

Here’s ultimately how it turned out

It’s not too bad. Still a little mussed in places, but that couldn’t be fixed. OH WELL! ITS THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS!

That cup was a pain in the butt. I’m not happy with the gold coloring, but they didn’t make brown. The gold has that annoying semi transparent metallic thing going on and I hate that. Stupid paint.

Now you’ve got to bake it in order for it to set. Once it’s baked, it’s hand washable. Just don’t do anything abrasive to it or use scrubbies on it. I don’t put them in the dishwasher because I notice the heat tends to make them go peely.

God my oven is filthy.

I rather like doing repeating work though. I’d made myself a cup awhile back using only black and a vine type theme, that worked rather well.

See? I’m not all thumbs all the time!

And my personal favorite, and biggest pain in the butt, was making a cup for a buddy of mine. I tried using stenciling. That was terrible, as I said above. I used a LOT of q tips and a LOT of alcohol trying to pull this one off. And it’s still not perfect but you’ve got to know the spirit of the thing.

Letters are hard to get perfect, they are even harder to write straight when you are working on a rounded surface. But the effort was worth it I think. Cause you can’t buy these in stores.

Right about now I can almost see your faces lighting up with the possibilities of what you could put on your own mug.

So I’ll leave you with that, the evil little seed firmly planted there in your head. Get as offensive as you want, you are the master of the mug!