Friday, August 12, 2016

"Woven" Background

Hello!  Kristie here today from
with a tutorial for you.
It's been a while since I've done a tutorial for 
Mashed Potatoes and Crafts.
Sorry about that, life has a way of getting in the way 
of crafting and blogging sometimes.
But, I thought y'all might like this technique, so 
here I am.
I simply wound some string around an acrylic block.
I secured it on the side with some tape.
Next I chose a couple colors of ink.
First I chose blue
I pressed the ink pad against the string.
making sure to get plenty of ink onto the string.
I then pressed the "stamp" onto some white card stock.
Because the strings were wider one way than they were
the other, I stamped them twice next to each other.
As you can see I stamped one way, turned the block
and stamped again at a 90 degree angle.
Above was my test piece, where I used all blue ink.
Then I did one with all the blue going one direction and 
chose a green to go the other.
This shows the basket weave much better.
I decided to give a try with a different "block"
I took a small square ink pad and wrapped that with 
string.  This gave a more square stamp.
I tried going all the same way too.  I like this but it
doesn't give the basket weave look, just a totally different 
For this last one, I used 2 different colors of
Distress Inks (Vintage Photo and Tea Dye)
I wanted the stamp to be more square,
so I used the same small ink pad and 
covered the top with ATG tape,
you could use any kind of tape runner for this.
Adding the ATG tape was a game changer,
it held the string in place and I could place it all the way
to the edges of the block.
When I showed these backgrounds to my friends
they wanted to know how I got the darker spots in the 
'weave', the dark spots are where the string crosses over itself
so the string is doubled in those spots and it picks up a bit 
more ink.
I hope you'll give this a try, it makes a great background.
I did find I like the smaller block better, as it makes a much smaller
pattern which is more conducive to card-making.
If you'd like to see what I've done with one of these 
backgrounds, be sure to stop by my blog
I'll have it posted there.

Thanks for stopping by today,
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial
and will try this technique.
It's always fun to use something unique
that you made yourself.
Leave a comment and let me know if you
have ever made your own backgrounds.
Until next time, make something fun!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Authentic Hawaiian Shave Ice with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Here's another recipe from the bestselling novel, Veils and Vengeance.
This recipe is featured in Chapter 6 and it's pretty simple and easily adjusted for different types of fruits. And yes, in Hawaii they call it "Shave Ice" so it's not a typo. :)

1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries
2 tbsps freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup white granulated sugar

  Macadamia nut ice cream or your preferred flavor

To make the strawberry syrup, first wash and core your strawberries. Toss them in your blender and pulse the mixture.

Next, combine the strawberries, lime juice, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. After removing the pan from the heat, leave the fruit in the syrup while it cools to room temperature. 
Then, after it cools completely, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small pitcher or squeeze bottle. 
 If desired put one scoop of ice cream in the bottom of each bowl. This is how they serve it in Hawaii, with delicious creamy ice cream in the bottom!
Finely shave ice into bowls or cups, then pour syrup over the ice.
My kids loved this treat and we're going to try it with pineapple next!
 I hope you try this tasty recipe, and if you like it, you might be interested in more projects from my novels about a wedding planner who runs her own craft blog and solves mysteries! These Berry-licious Cupcakes with Magic Glitter would be perfect for a summer party and this tutorial on how to create Coffee-Filter Roses makes beautiful wedding decor.

Learn more about Veils and Vengeance and all of the chapter tips, recipes, and tutorials HERE.
Courtesy of

I have a brand new book that is also set in Kauai and features a little Shave Ice too! :) You can find Hawaiian Masquerade here and here's a blurb for this sweet new romance! 
Lexi closed her eyes. The waves rolled in slowly, rhythmically, with a dependability that would never be doubted. Shawn had been her rock and they’d worked together with a rhythm that had kept their jobs and life in sync. Before Derek, she might’ve entertained a future with Shawn … but the dark-haired man with a camera bag slung over his shoulder had changed everything. 

When Lexi Burke escaped the remnants of a cold winter in Chicago for the beaches of Kauai, it wasn’t a random vacation. She left the hectic pace of Burke Enterprises behind with enough money to retire at age thirty-two, intent on settling into the idyllic existence of island life. Until she met local photographer Derek Mitchell—a talented man with a grudge against rich tourists. 

From art night to snorkeling lessons, hiking, and chopping coconuts, Lexi can’t talk herself out of spending time with the handsome, hardworking man who knows the value of every dollar. She also can’t find a way to tell him the truth about herself. But then Derek is selected to help in a benefit at a masquerade ball as one of the eligible bachelors up for auction. Lexi must decide whether to wear a mask or unveil her true self and risk losing Derek’s trust and a chance at love. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Laurel’s Sweet Five-Petal Crochet Flower Pattern

Chapter 19- Laurel’s Sweet Five-Petal
Crochet Flower Pattern

Hi, Rachelle the farm girl here to show you how I used the Five-Petal Crochet Flower Pattern to create a darling set of patriotic hair clips.

Here's what you'll need to make the hairclips:

Yarn of your choice and weight- for this example I used crochet thread size 10 in red, white, and blue
2 crochet hooks, size C and size F (or size to your preference)
Metal hair clips
Small piece of felt--I used white
Glue gun
2 Buttons to match your hairclip

Make 3 flowers to create one clip.  I love crocheting these because they are so simple. I promise! It takes less than five minutes to crochet one flower. Here's the pattern with step-by-step photos using the size F hook:

Five-Petal Crochet Flower Pattern

Rnd 1: Ch 5, join into a ring w/sl st in 1st ch.

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), work 9dc in ring, join to top of
ch w/sl st—10 sts.

Rnd 3: **Ch 2, work 3dc in next st, ch 2, sl st in next st** five
times. Fasten off.

You can see how the petals form as you repeat Round 3.

 To layer a slightly smaller flower on top, use one hook size
smaller than you used for the larger flower.
 Now create 2 more flowers for the layering effect. Use the size C hook for your smallest flower. Take all 3 strands of Red, White, and Blue crochet thread and tie them in a slip knot. Crochet the flower with the 3 strands together to make your multi-colored base flower.

For variety, you can create a different colored center by changing
yarn colors after round 2. Experiment with different weight yarns and
hook sizes.
Once you've crocheted your 3 flowers, layer them one on top of the other and place a button on the top. Use a tapestry needle or other dull point needle to sew your button on through the 3 layered flowers.

Cut a circle of white felt and attach your metal hair clip to the underside of the flowers with hot glue.

Repeat this process to make a matching set. You can see in the photo that I changed up the layer for a second set of hair clips so both of my girls can wear their favorite messy buns in style!
These flowers would work well on a T-shirt, bag, or table runner. Use your imagination and enjoy!
Chapter 19- Laurel’s Sweet Five-Petal
Crochet Flower Pattern
Use any size hook (depending on what size flower you want) and
any weight yarn, but for delicate lace flowers use fingering 10-count
crochet thread and a size 6, 7, or 8 hook.
Rnd 1: Ch 5, join into a ring w/sl st in 1st ch.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), work 9dc in ring, join to top of
ch w/sl st—10 sts.
Rnd 3: **Ch 2, work 3dc in next st, ch 2, sl st in next st** five
times. Fasten off.
For variety, you can create a different colored center by changing
yarn colors after round 2. Experiment with different weight yarns and
hook sizes. To layer a slightly smaller flower on top, use one hook size
smaller than you used for the larger flower.

If you liked this project, you might be interested in more projects from my novel about a wedding planner who runs her own craft blog and solves mysteries! Learn more about Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things and all of the chapter tutorials here.
The handmade candles were a hit with my kids and everyone loves the special touch of this rose-petal covered journal.
 Courtesy of

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wedding Card Recipe from Veils and Vengeance

Chapter 2 Tutorial Wedding Card Recipe 
Hello, Kristie here from
Today I'm going to show you how to make
a wedding card using the idea from Chapter 2 
"1. Fold a 4 1/4" x 11" piece of brown card stock in half
to make 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card base.

2. Stamp heart images randomly across the base."
I stamped mine with Versa Mark Ink which is
a clear water mark ink.
There is no color to this ink so it only enhances the
color of the card stock.
"3. Now stamp desired image (flower, bird, etc.) 
on white or other colored card stock scrap.
Punch with medium oval punch or cut using decorative
edges scissors.  Adhere to center of card front with glue."
I decided on this rose image, I stamped it with 
Versa Fine Black Onyx ink and cut it with 
a rectangle die as I don't have an oval punch
that was the right size.
I then adhered it to the card base.
"4. Utilize a favorite quote, printed on card stock 
for the inside message of the card.
Example: 'Of all forms of caution, 
caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.'
~Bertrand Russell"
I didn't put a quote or sentiment in this card yet,
as I would like to wait until I'm going to use it.
I will then add a sentiment specific to the couple it is 
given to.
This is where the card recipe ends in the book.
I have decided to take it a few steps further,
just to give some ideas if you'd like to kick it up
 a notch or two.
Some people will like to leave it at this point,
some will like to add a little more.
Here I added the rose stamped panel to a piece of
yellow card stock.  
If you know the wedding colors, you could use
a color that coordinates with their colors.
To take it up another level,
I stamped the rose again onto white card stock.
Then colored it with colored pencils and
fussy cut it, leaving just a small edging of
white around the image.
Using foam tape, I adhered it to the card 
front, right over the other stamped image.
This gives the card a bit more dimension.
And the final card.
I'm sure any couple would be happy to receive any of these
cards, if it is the most basic or the most 'embellished'
they will be sure to love it.
There is more you could do to embellish it even further if you'd care to.
You could add  "Wedding Wishes" above the rose,
add some "Wink of Stella" which is a clear glitter,
to the rose. You could use some ink or water color to 
give that white background a bit of color.
It's all up to you and your tastes.

Thanks for stopping by today,
I hope you'll stop by my blog 
to see what else I've been up to.
And come back again soon for more ideas from Veils and Vengeance

Until then, have fun crafting!

Learn more about Veils and Vengeance and all of the chapter tutorials here

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cover Reveal for Proposals and Poison

It's time to introduce book #3 in the Wedding Planner Mystery series! Adri is back with her assistant Lorea to solve mysteries, and that handsome divorce attorney, Luke, just might be a little help this time.

I'm so excited to introduce you to this book filled with dozens of craft tutorials, recipes, and more just like the other books in the series.

Do you want to take a peek of the cover?

Here's a little blurb on the book first:
Proposals and Poison, Wedding Planner Mysteries book #3 Rachelle J. Christensen

Love can be a very dangerous thing.
At least it seems that way to Adri Pyper, the premier wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. When one of her clients dies mysteriously, Adri takes the advice of the local detective and swears she will stay out of the investigation . . . this time. Luke Stetson's involvement in the case, along with the possibility of a kiss between the two, should be enough incentive to keep Adri out of trouble. But when a dog-themed wedding is almost ruined by a suspect, Adri and her assistant, Lorea, are thrust into private eye mode. When poison enters the picture, even a reluctant sleuth can’t steer clear of danger.

I had so much fun writing this story which is set in Sun Valley, Idaho--a gorgeous place to visit year-round! Here's what one of my readers said:

“Cozy mystery meets romantic comedy in this fabulous, fast-paced story.” 
Cami Checketts author of The Resilient One, A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance

Amazon Pre-order
 “Packed with danger and romance, intrigue and entertainment, Rachelle Christensen's Wedding Planner series is romantic suspense that will keep you turning pages late into the night!” --Maria Hoagland, Author of The ReModel Marriage (Romance Renovations series) add to goodreads
 RachelleAuthor Rachelle J. Christensen Rachelle is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense, nonfiction, and women’s fiction. She solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She enjoys raising chickens and laughing with her husband. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. Rachelle is the award-winning author of ten books, including The Soldier’s Bride (a Kindle Scout Selection), Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, and Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology. Her novella, “Silver Cascade Secrets,” was included in the Rone Award–winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.

Rachelle has a VIP mailing list where all subscribers get access to free books, guides, and other resources. Sign up now to hear what exciting news Rachelle has to share.
Diamond ringsVeils and Vengeance
Series endorsements
“Mystery, suspense, murder and romance all intriguingly tied together in one very fun walk-down-the-aisle cozy mystery!”—Shauna Wheelwright, reviewer

 “I love a great mystery that keeps my interest and keeps the pages turning. I loved the Hawaiian setting, that was a character on its own. As the story progressed, I enjoyed where the author went with the mystery, doing a perfect job of planting the right amount of seeds to try to throw me off the trail of who the killer was.”—Mindy Holt, reviewer    

Preorder your ebook now for only $2.99 here on Amazon

And because we really should celebrate birthdays before they happen, there's a giveaway just for you!

Giveaway Details $25 cash giveaway plus an ebook bundle of the Wedding Planner Mystery Books 1 & 2. (gifted via Amazon) Ends 3/3/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway