Friday, November 2, 2007

Thinking Outside the Box

Oy vay! So much stuff, so little time. I think this post needs to be a general ketch 'em up, get it all in the basket sort of thing.

Like the project pictured above. Yes, yet another project. I keep stumbling into them. I really need to be more careful about where I step. But I'll gleefully share these happy accidents with you, just in case one of them should come in handy in your neck of the woods.

With the holiday season barreling down on us, I thought having a supply of cute little gift boxes might be a Handy Thang. If you go to, you'll find all kinds of free, downloadable templates for these clever little boxes. The green one, for instance, has a lace design that doesn't show up in the picture and it comes in several different colors. I just happened to have some card stock in assorted colors so I ran a couple of templates off. There are also pages with different designs you can use as seals on the boxes. I chose the butterfly but you can see a page of the grape design underneath.

These are really easy to make, even for a klutz like me. It's a matter of cutting, scoring and folding. The daisy box doesn't require any glue and the other box only needs glue on one flap. The thing is, doing any serious number of them would be tedious in the extreme. Not difficult -- just tedious. I have all the templates stored on my computer so I can print off what I want, when I want it -- and only IF I'm in the mood to fiddle with it. You can go thou and do likewise, should you happen to wish.

Let's see ... the Yorkie puds. Mage, it's the photography, not the temperature. The pudding isn't as brown (burnt) as it looks, honest. If I adjust the color to show you the browned part accurately, I wash out the lighter stuff and lose that lovely gold. And a lower temp just doesn't work. I tried it today, just to test it out. Without that extra heat, the pudding simply doesn't rise. I ended up with a nicely baked pudding that still tasted good but looked like it squatted to rise -- and cooked on the squat. I had to ladle the food over it instead of into it. And that nice crispy risen wall was missed.

Ava, I'm not sure from your comment if you're saying you weigh your ingredients rather than measure them. I don't weigh so I hope I'm not giving you the wrong information. In a measuring cup, TWO ounces is 1/4 of a cup. And yes, you can nuke them in the microwave. I wouldn't bother after one day though. They really are best fresh. With the recipe I gave yesterday, using 1 egg, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup of liquid, that's just right for one of the Corning Ware bowls. So why not just double it and only make enough for two of them? That way, you and hubby can enjoy them fresh.

I keep meaning to say something about the Notify List, over in the sidebar. I've added a little notation because I think some folks sign up and don't realize they're supposed to get a verification email within about 24 hours or less. They have to click on the link in the email or, after a week, their name is automatically deleted from the pending list. I think sometimes that verification email gets popped into the spam folder and folks don't know it's there. So -- if anyone signs up and wonders why they never get a notify email, please look in your spam folder for the verify note!

Another new appearance in the sidebar is that wide-eyed kitten at the top of the page. Yes, it's National Novel Writing Month again. That crazy time of year when some of us try to lock our Inner Editors in a dark closet and turn our Inner Mad Wordsmith loose at the keyboard. So far I'm keeping up with my quota. Big deal. It's only Day Two.

No, I won't tell you what I'm writing about. One: it's still forming in my alleged mind and, two: talking about it takes all the steam out and it deflates before I can get it off the ground. Suffice it to say I have a plentiful supply of coffee and there's chocolate for rewarding myself when I meet the daily quota. I can do this because I checked the fine print and there is no sanity clause in my contract. That is a wonderfully freeing loophole. Heavy on the loopy.

Besides, if it gets too stressful, I can always sit on the floor and cut out all those clever little boxes to keep me from running into the street, screaming and frothing at the mouth. That might not be thinking outside the box but it's in the same neighborhood.


John Bailey said...

So many of my good friends are doing NANWRIMO this year that I'm feeling left behind. Again.

Never mind. Someone has to keep the homefires burning!

Good luck, Dee, and good coffee!

bb said...

Not much sense of me making boxes when I have nothing to put in them. :-) Not even sure I'm going to give the post office money to send a bunch of cards that go out once a year.

Mage And George said...

Yes mam.....glad it's not burned. Yes two, yup, yer crazy. I'll wave at you as I go by. :)

Dee said...

John, you're going to have more than enough on your plate this month, what with pending adventures. And don't think I won't be watching every step you take! Keeping up the daily word count doesn't take up *that* much time.

Bonnie, the little boxes are just the right size (2"x2"x2" for the square one) to stuff in some little stocking stuffer goodie for visitors.

Mage! That's right -- you and George about to zoom-zoom to Portland on the train. Good on ya and enjoy your visit in the Great Northwest. I'll wave back as you go by.

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