“Brownies in a Jar” tutorial…no dolls featured, but I did use fabric and scissors

On this last day of October, I thought I would share with you a treat I made for a few friends of mine. I’ve been making these “Deep Dish Brownies in a Jar” gifts for years and they are SO SO good! I didn’t have any pictures in progress so I went to town and bought the stuff to “show” you first hand how these are made….and my hubby will be SO pleased I did. Do you smell D-E-S-S-E-R-T tonight? They are very easy to make for any celebration you have in mind… Christmas, Birthdays, Valentines Day, Easter, etc. All you need are the ingredients placed in layers in the mason jars and then a pretty topper decorated with some flowers or leaves. Tie on a printed card with the directions and you are set!

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If you’d like to try my recipe, here it is with a few instructions on the way I do it.

Take a quart jar, (not a wide mouth jar) and start at the bottom with these ingredients and work your way to the top:

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Add to the bottom of the jar:
1/2 cup chopped pecans, tap the jar so they level out evenly in the bottom of the jar.
On top of that add:
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, and tap the jar again to level the chips out.

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Next add:
2/3 cup of brown sugar, and use something to push it down and make it even across the top. I use an empty spice bottle to smash it all down evenly. Just reach down into the jar and push it down, going around the glass jar edges until you have it flat across the top.

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Next pour in:
3/4 cup sugar and tap the jar again to level it out. (I like my jars to have perfectly level rows of the ingredients. It just looks prettier to me.)

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Next you are going to mix together a few things to make a sort of cocoa colored mixture:
1/3 cup cocoa, 1 & 1/2 cups flour, a dash of salt and 1/4 tsp of baking powder.

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After using a whisk to get most of the mixture stirred up, I use a spoon to smash out any lumps of cocoa. I like the mixture to be evenly colored, with no dark cocoa lumps showing through.

Spoon this cocoa like mixture into the jar last and use a spoon and the spice bottle to push it down as you add it. It’s a tight fit but if you use the bottom of the spice bottom to push it all down in there, it will fit. You want it to be tight so it doesn’t shift around.
Trust me, it fits if you measure correctly as you go.

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Screw on the lid and now you’re ready to decorate. I cut a circle about the size of a luncheon plate from my fabric using pinking shears to give it a finished zig-zaggy edge. Put it on top of jar and use a rubber band to hold it in place. Fluff it out a bit and then tie a ribbon or a piece of jute around it.

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You’ll need to add the directions to the jar for your recipient to know how to make them. I use card stock and print out 6 of these at a time.
Here are the directions:

Add to Mix:
2 eggs
10 Tbsp Melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Stir until ingredients are well mixed. It will
be thick and gooey.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes in
an 8 x 8 buttered pan.

Tie this tag onto your jar and you’re almost done. Add whatever kind of decoration you like using a hot glue gun: flowers, leaves, acorns, Christmas sprigs, costume jewelry etc. Make it your own and give it with a smile on your face. The person who gets it will be thrilled! I guarantee it!

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Okay, do you want to see what happened with mine? Here is how they look before going into the oven…nice and gooey!

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Here they are fresh out of the oven…the smell is outstanding!

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Served on a plate for my hubby…

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See…I TOLD YOU THEY WERE GOOD!

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See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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~ A Vision in Velvet ~ Black & Silver American Girl Regency Dress Revealed

If you read yesterday’s post (here), you’ll remember I was working on a black and silvery velvet like Regency dress for the American Girl dolls. It turned out to be somewhat difficult fabric to work with, which slowed me down and I didn’t get it finished. I was determined to get it done today and listed on Ebay….AND I DID!!

I left you with an unfinished, undecorated dress and had lots of questions as to the direction I wanted to go to finish it. Bows or belts or ribbons or buttons or brooches??? Well, I plunged ahead and this is how I solved those questions.

I decided to use the black trim just below the shirred bodice. It had to be hand sewn on as I wanted it tucked up next to the bodice.

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Rebecca’s work never disappoints me and she made a beautiful necklace to go with this dress. IT IS stunning with this fabric.

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I added a button at the front, but wasn’t sure if it was “too much” with the necklace…

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Another look and I decided, yes, it was too much…

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So I took it off and worked on another area…

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I rippled the wired ribbon and added it to the back. It’s pre-tied, so the owner doesn’t have to worry about tying it into the perfect bow each time. Just snap it in place and it’s done.

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I decided a pair of black stretch fingerless gloves would go nicely with this beauty of a dress. It’s very dressy and the gloves add an extra special touch.

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I worked on Eden’s hair, braiding it and pulling it back, but finally decided to just finger curl it and leave it long. A headband was decorated with the button I was going to use on the front and then I added some long tube like beads in a loop.

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Here’s another shot… doesn’t Eden look all grown up? No ten year old here!

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…and here are 2 final shots of the finished dress… It was more work than I anticipated, but I think now that it’s finished, I am pleased.
Okay, now who wants to start the bidding on Ebay? You can find the dress by clicking on the right sidebar picture of it.

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Thanks for taking a peek.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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A black and silver American Girl Regency dress in the works…

I had hoped to get this Regency dress finished today, but it didn’t happen. So I guess this post will be a “work in progress” and hopefully I’ll get it finished and showcase the big reveal on Thursday’s post.

If things go the way I hope they do with the rest of the sewing on this dress, it should be very pretty. It’s made from a black and silvery stretchy velvet like fabric. If you know what Panne velvet is, it’s similar to that. I’ve had it in my stash for quite a while and didn’t know what to make from it. Last night I decided on a Regency dress. I hadn’t ever made a Regency dress out of any fabric like this… with so much stretch and fluidity. It was fun, but at the same time it had its challenges.

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The first thing I did was pick my model. Yep…it’s Eden again. With her black hair, I thought she looked the best with the fabric draped around her.

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I cut out my pieces and constructed the bodice.

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A little more sewing and Eden has a fitting.

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How about some sleeves… they were a pain. I didn’t make them long enough and barely had enough fabric to turn up a casing. I could have taken them out and cut a longer sleeve, but the thoughts of using a seam ripper to pick out the seams and the serging stitches…especially in this stretchy fabric wasn’t something I wanted to do.

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…and I just had to see what it was going to look like with the skirt held up to the bodice…

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Once the skirt was attached, it really started to shape into a pretty Regency dress. I wanted the train to be the longest one I had ever added.

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…but I was having trouble getting the back seam to line up straight and hang perfectly vertical. I took out the back seam 3 times trying to get it right. Each time I tried to straighten it up, it took part of the fabric away, and it shortened the back train just a bit.

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Once the back seam was finally figured out, it made the train much shorter than I had hoped. Oh well… so I moved on to other things…
How would I decorate this dress? A black ribbon in front that hangs down from the middle?

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Perhaps 2 ribbons tied into bows at the sides?

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Maybe a black braid trim just under the gathered bodice?

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What about a black bow at the back? Perhaps some black fingerless gloves? I’m hoping Rebecca can come up with a pretty necklace too!

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I’m thinking the rest of the dress should go smoother than the first part. You’ll have to come back tomorrow to see how it all turns out! I certainly hope you like it when it’s all finished.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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A few of my favorite dolls with braided hair…

I just love dolls that have hair long enough so you can braid it in a lot of different styles. Sometimes the braids make the dolls look little girlish and other times the braided hair is about as elegant as you can imagine. Riley, my little 7 1/2″ imp has the shortest braids of the bunch…only about 1″ long. It was no fun when they got messed up and had to be re-braided; especially since her hair was mohair. One of the hardest things about Riley’s hair was “tying the ribbons in her hair”… not fun!
Elizabeth is my 70′s girl, my Colonial stand in and my favorite Regency model. Her hair is nice and thick and has the most versatile styles of the whole bunch. Whether it’s long braids imitating Julie’s or all piled up in a fancy style for a Regency dress, Elizabeth’s hair never lets me down.
Josefina is a natural for braids and probably my favorite picture of the whole group is the one with her in the sea foam green and black set with the shiny black straw hat. I remember when I did that photo shoot with her and had a hard time narrowing down which pictures to use because she was so photogenic in all of them.
So without further ado… here are my girls…

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Okay, ladies, shall we decide favorites again like you always do?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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