Tissue Pom Pom Garland

Looks like the snow here may finally be gone for good and I've been enjoying some beautiful sunny weather. It really puts me in the mood for creating things. After making several beautiful bouquets of tissue paper blossoms to decorate my home with, I still had a lot of tissue paper left in some very lovely Spring colors. With some brainstorming, I came up with the simple idea of the tissue pom pom garland. I'd made large tissue pom poms for parties before, but after this project, I've decided I love the little pom poms even more! They're just so cute! Plus, it was a great way to use up left over scraps of tissue paper.
As the photo tutorial shows, cut your tissue paper into rectangles with 4-6 layers of each size. Experiment with different sizes to make the most of your tissue paper; You'll end up with a variety of different pom poms which looks much more fun than when they're all the same size. Fold the layers accordion-style. Using scissors, cut the edges to add some fun shape to your pom poms. Try different cuts for different looks. Pointed, rounded, zig-zag, etc. Secure a twist tie in the center, then begin to gently unfold each layer. Once each layer is unfolded, carefully fluff and shape your pom pom. Repeat until you have a number of pom poms. Arrange them in whichever order you want them to go in, then string them onto twine, or a thin cord.
I think it looks fun and cheery draped across my front window, but the possibilities extend beyond that! These would be great for decorating parties, draped around Christmas trees, hung down a wall for a photo backdrop... Oooh! I'm so going to do that! I hope I don't go over board with this, but how can I not be excited when something is this simple and this cute?

By the way, don't be surprised if, when you are done, your craft area looks like this:
I am not neat when I'm creating, so afterwards my house was like a New Year's Eve party with confetti strewn all over! I was sweeping these pieces up for days after! If I was smart, I might have made these pom poms first and then used the random scraps when making the tissue paper blossoms, but oh well. Maybe next time I'll remember.

Happy creating!


Cayuga Ducks

 Introducing the newest additions to our home: cute fluffy ducklings!

Cayuga ducks get their name from Cayuga Lake in New York state where they were first made popular. They are listed as threatened by the American Livestock Conservancy and considered a sustainable heritage duck breed. Adult ducks are a beautiful black with an iridescent green sheen to their feathers.

We are excited about them because of the qualities that make them an excellent backyard duck. They are known as very active foragers that love to eat snails, slugs, and other insects (My garden is going to love that!). They are known for their calm and docile temperament and can become quite tame if consistently handled. They are characteristically much quieter than some of the other duck breeds, such as the Pekin. They are one of the hardiest domestic ducks and can tolerate harsh winter conditions. And they also lay a decent amount of eggs, which are black and progressively get lighter through the season until they are white. Cool!


Strawberry Lemon Shortcake in a Mug

 My little brother dropped by for an afternoon visit the other day. I wanted something quick and easy to make for him. He does not need to be gluten free, but I wanted his opinion on one of my latest creations. I knew he'd be honest if it was awful, but I also knew he was going to love it! He liked it so much, that he's been begging me for the recipe ever since.  So, my dear brother, this post is especially for you! Enjoy!
I found the inspiration for this recipe here, but I added a few modifications and I think it's even better! This is the perfect treat for two. It can be easily whipped up when you have an unexpected guest; it takes practically no time at all to make! Enjoy it with a friend over a cup of tea or while playing your favorite game. lemon essential oil kicks the flavor up a notch. Try it; you won't be disappointed!
Making the Shortcake:
3/4 cup almond flour
2 TBL sugar
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 TBL lemon juice
2 TBL melted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2-3 drops pure lemon essential oil

In a medium bowl, whisk almond flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add lemon juice, butter, egg, and lemon essential oil. Stir until well combined. Divide mixture between two microwave-safe mugs and microwave separately for 1 minute & 30 seconds (cooking time may vary with microwave types). Remove from microwave, gently remove cake from mug if desired (you can also eat it right out of the mug!). Top with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. If you don't have or don't want to use a microwave, you might try this in a toaster oven. Feel free to modify it to your personal preferences.

Making the Strawberry Sauce:
4-5 large strawberries chopped (and thawed if using frozen berries)
Sprinkling of sugar (use more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
1 small drop pure lemon essential oil.
Mix together until sugar is dissolved completely. Serve over shortcake.

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