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Fairy Garden Picnic
Black Cherry Fizz
Campfire Baked Apples
Felt Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

I love a good cheese board.  In fact crackers and cheese is pretty much my favourite, especially when I’m entertaining.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

A good cheese board though, takes crackers and cheese to a whole new level!  There’s certain elements that go into creating the perfect combo, if you have these elements covered, I pretty much guarantee a perfect cheese board.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

1.  Creamy

The creamy element of the perfect cheese board is the cheese.  We used Ivanhoe Cheeses.  They have a great selection of  artisan cheddars, as well as specialty cheeses including Naturally Smoked Gouda,  flavoured Monterey Jacks, Aged Cheddar,  Cheese Curds, and Swiss.  Yum, yum.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

It’s good to think about textures, from hard to soft, when choosing your cheeses, and flavours, from mild to strong.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

2. Salty

I love to add in some salty elements when putting together a cheese board.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

Think nuts -I added some salted roasted cashews, and I made a batch of spicy candied walnuts.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

Another great salty hit could be some olives.  I like to pick up a variety of kinds.

I also included some cured meats.  These were picked up at the farmer’s market -a great place to shop for these extra elements.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

3.  Sweet

When I was younger I didn’t get the whole sweet with savoury thing, I’m happy to say I outgrew that, and now I love it.  This time of year, there’s so much great seasonal fruit available.  I’ve included some lovely fresh plums and peaches from the farmer’s market.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

Another great addition is figs, these are fresh, but other times of year dried fruit works great too.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

Another great hit of sweet, with the salty included, are these pieces of beautiful fresh local cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto -always the first thing to go at a party.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

4. Sour

Sour is a great addition to a cheese board.  Think pickles and chutneys.  I’ve included a favourite of mine -red onion and balsamic chutney.  I just pick it up at the grocery store, it’s such a great combo with the cheese.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

5.  Crunchy

The crackers are a great crunchy element.  I’ve made my flatbread salt and pepper crackers -they’re pretty simple to make and always a big hit.  I also picked up a few of my favourite crackers from the store.  I like some plain and some more fancy with dried fruit and seeds, also some crusty bread is a great addition.

Homemade crackers flatbread 15

The nuts are also a great crunchy element.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

Fresh veggies can add a great crunch too.  These grape tomatoes add a little, think of the crunch of breaking through the skin of fresh sweet tomatoes.

6.  Spicy

A little spice is a nice addition to a cheese tray.  I love a red pepper honey (that sweet and hot combo is great) and the spicy candied nuts pack a little punch too.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

Another little spice comes from the meats, one crusted in peppercorns.

I love to serve a little grainy mustard too, it’s got a touch of heat to it that’s so nice with cured meats.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

7.  Presentation

Last but not least, make it pretty.  Collect some pretty cutting boards and lay everything out for guests to help themselves.  Overflowing containers look great, and create a feeling of abundance.

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

I added a few fresh flowers too, just some wild flowers from behind my house, and few sweet peas from the garden.

By including all these elements, you’re sure to create The Perfect Cheese Board -or Cheese Table, as my daughter said. 😉

How to Make the Perfect Cheese Board -learn how to combine sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunch, and creamy to create the perfect cheese board!

With The Perfect Cheese Board, life really is a party!

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks: really easy to make with your kids and the perfect treat to celebrate back to school.

It’s almost that time of year around here… back to school.  We’ve got two weeks of summer vacation left.  I spent my morning having my girls try on their old fall and winter clothes to find out what still fits, and what they need for back to school.  Tomorrow we’re taking on the back to school shopping.  And, we all have mixed emotions.  Who doesn’t love sleeping in, beach days, crafting partners, lazy days, and no bed times.  But, we love fall too, and new clothes, and brand new pencil crayons, and cooler days and even back to routine.  And since we’re all about making life a party, we can’t let this big seasonal change go by without a little celebrating.

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks: really easy to make with your kids and the perfect treat to celebrate back to school.

I was thinking the other day about cute school themed treats, and came up with these Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks. If your littles are anything like mine, marshmallows and chocolate are sure to be a hit.

All you need to make these sweet treats are coloured mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and some long toothpicks, or even bamboo skewers that you could cut down a little.

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks: really easy to make with your kids and the perfect treat to celebrate back to school.

These are super simple, and something your kids might like to help with, like mine did.

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks: really easy to make with your kids and the perfect treat to celebrate back to school.

To make them, thread yellow mini marshmallows onto a toothpick, and add one pink one to the end to resemble the eraser on a pencil, and one chocolate chip (on the sharp end of the toothpick) to be the tip of the pencil.

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks: really easy to make with your kids and the perfect treat to celebrate back to school.

These would be great for a back to school party, a treat on the first day, or a back to school family dinner.  We have a back to school family dinner to hear all about their first day every year, see last year’s and the year before that here for some inspiration.

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks: really easy to make with your kids and the perfect treat to celebrate back to school.

If there’s one thing I know about making everyday life a party, it’s that it’s just little things done with love that are a little bit special that turn everyday life into a party.

Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks: really easy to make with your kids and the perfect treat to celebrate back to school.

Sometimes making little people feel extra special feels like the hardest job in the world…and then other days all it takes is a bag of marshmallows and few chocolate chips.

With Back To School Marshmallow Pencil Snacks, life really is a party!

Life Is A Party Napkins

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

This month for our #12MonthsOfDIY challenge we’re working with vinyl.  I used the heat transfer vinyl from Expressions Vinyl and made some custom napkins.  They were really easy to make and I love how they turned out.

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

Vinyl is such a versatile material, there are endless things you can do with it.  I thought it would be fun to do something with the iron-on vinyl and add some text to fabric napkins.  I added “life is a party” to mine -I love how fun and festive they are.

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

This is a really easy, inexpensive way to add a special detail to entertaining.

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

I already had a cutting machine -gathering dust in the basement.  I have an old Cricut -I think the last time I really used it might have been for my Fall Subway Art.  They’ve changed since I got mine about 6 years ago, but I plugged it in and it worked great.  They’re actually really easy to use too.

I used the cartridge that came with the machine -Plantin SchoolBook.  I cut out my letters in 3/4” size and used this chart from Expressions Vinylt to figure out my cutting speed, pressure and blade depth (med., med., 3 in my case).

On my first attempt, I flipped the text, but didn’t realize I also needed to type it backwards.  Second attempt I flip cut and typed the letters backwards and it worked out great. (This is because you’re cutting on the flip side of the vinyl).

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

I cut out all four together, and weeded them all together (that’s what they call removing all the negative pieces of vinyl in the cut-out).

Next, I used scissors to cut out each phrase individually.

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

Then you just iron it onto your napkins.  I used some pieces of linen look fabric I actually picked up at the dollar store.  I like their colour and texture.  I used them for this tablescape, and then washed them.  I liked the frayed edges, so decided against hemming them, making this a super simple project.

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

I love how they turned out -I made four, but I think I just might need to make this into a set of twelve.

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

You could customize the napkins with anything…think holidays, weddings, names, manners, conversations starters.  The sky’s the limit.

How To Make Heat Transfer Vinyl Napkins: Use heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine to add any phrase to napkins for a custom look. Add names, manner suggestions, conversation starters, or any word or phrase.

With customized “life is a party” Napkins, life really is a party!

Now it’s time to see the rest of the DIY vinyl project ideas from my Canadian blogging friends!

12MonthsofDIY-August-Vinyl-DIY-Craft-Ideas

From the top left, they are:

Number Subway Art from Love Create Celebrate

DIY Upcycled Faux Geometric Mosaic Tile Serving Tray Using Vinyl from Sustain My Craft Habit

Personalized Shoes from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Vinyl Otomi Chargers from PMQ for Two

DIY personalized throw pillow – home is where the heart is from Vin’yet Etc.

DIY Decorated Rain Barrel Using Fun Vibrant Colours from Time With Thea

Child’s Memory Box with Hand-Cut Vinyl Decals from Woman in Real Life

DIY Striped Carafe from Lifeovereasy

Life is a Party Napkins from Life is a Party

Vintage Inspired DIY Office Sign from Heather in Heels

Easy Strawberry Jam with Printable Vinyl Labels from The DIY Mommy

Custom Artwork Using Vinyl from Love Create Celebrate

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

Today I’m sharing this great DIY Leather Cuff Bracelet.  After a little experimenting, I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

If you’ve been following along lately, you’ll know I’ve joined with some other bloggers for the #12MonthsofDIY challenge, where we take a different item each month and come up with a DIY.  It’s so much fun to see what everyone does with the same material and all the great, creative ideas.  A few months ago our item was a thrift store find and sisters Jane and Sonja from  Sustain My Craft Habit used an old leather coat to a create a great bag.  Ever since then, I’ve been thinking I’d like to try working with leather myself.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

The leather I used is from Leather Hide Store, they have an amazing leather selection.  I used Sea Glass and Sea Mist for this project.  I learned a few things along the way and ended up making a couple, so here’s how I made them, along with a few tricks and tips. 🙂

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

I started by cutting out a 4 inch wide strip to fit my wrist.  I used a disappearing marker to mark everything, which works out great and doesn’t leave any marks on the finished project.  Just cut out with sharp scissors, and try to slightly round the corners.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

Next step is to punch out the holes for your snap closure.  I marked mine at 1 cm in from each side.  I used a leather punch from the craft store, which worked great.  On my first attempt I tried using the fabric punch that comes with the snaps, but it really didn’t work well, so it’s worth getting the leather punch.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

I picked up my snaps at the fabric store.  The kit comes with all the pieces you need to attach them.  Follow the directions on the package, you’ll need a hammer, but it’s pretty easy.  On my first attempt though, I had the metal piece that you use underneath upside down.  The indent was a bit too small for the snap, and marked it.  On my second attempt I used the other side and it worked perfectly, so be careful to follow the directions really carefully.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

I wanted to add a fun tassel to my bracelet, so I picked one up in the jewellery making section of the craft store.  To add it, I punched a small hole, close enough to the edge of the leather so that the tassel would still hang nicely.  Then I used needle nose pillars to attach it.   Then…I removed it to do the gold leaf, so the second time around I did this step after the gold leaf.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

To add the gold leaf chevrons to the leather, I used special gold leaf adhesive you can find at the craft store, and imitation gold leaf.  I created my pattern with washi tape -taking care to make them as even as possible.  Then, I applied the adhesive with a small paint brush, waited 10 min, for it to get tacky, and applied the gold leaf.  Lastly, I removed the washi tape.  On my first bracelet, I worked on the tape placement the night before, and the next day finished the bracelet up with the gold leaf.  When I removed the tape, it damaged the leather.  I think it was only because it had been on over night and really stuck.  On my second attempt I had no problems.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

Lastly I added the tassel back on.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

I really, really like how it turned out, and it makes me want to keep experimenting with leather.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

Perhaps I’ll try some different colours next, or mixing gold leaf and copper leaf?  The possibilities are endless.

How To Make A Leather Cuff Bracelet: Create an amazing bracelet yourself, tutorial for adding snaps, gold leaf detail, and a tassel.

With a DIY Leather Cuff Bracelet, life really is a party!

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