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Tag Archives: Father's Day

  • Coloring a Father's Day Frame

    Touch Dad's heart when you make a simple wooden frame an extra special remembrance by decorating it with coloring book pages and other embellishments. Dads have special places in our hearts. Kids share special moments with their dads no matter what the age of the child or father. Dads fix things. Through many electrical, mechanical, artistic or scientific projects, creations or experiments, dads are there. If they can't fix 'stuff', they are there standing by your side. Dads are the best support to help mend broken hearts and thwarted dreams. Nothing says, "Thanks Dad, you're great!" better than a handmade gift that is full of memories.

    Begin by thinking of things that you as a family, or individual, have enjoyed doing with your dad. Your special times could be based on a theme or an event like camping fun, or relaxing on a vacation. Once you have an idea in mind, choose the pages you would like to color from one or more of your favorite coloring books.

    For my two themes shown, I imagined family-time spent relaxing at the beach or in the woods. My coloring pages are from two books from the Color Art for Everyone series, 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone and 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone. The frames I chose to decorate were unfinished wood frames with flat surfaces. I decided to paint my frames first and add the coloring pages to enhance both the frame and the memory of the photograph it would hold as Dad's gift.

    A plain wooden frame painted with acrylic paint, a wooden anchor, and colored pages from 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone. A plain wooden frame painted with acrylic paint, a wooden anchor, and colored pages from 6703 - Ocean Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    As I was coloring, it dawned on me to add more than colored pages to give my frame extra dimension, as well as, personality. I added some other embellishments including a wooden anchor and letters, stickers and other shadowbox or scrapbook dimensional embellishments perfect for father's day.

    A detailed close-up of the painted wooden anchor. Silver gel pen ink is applied over the paint in small sections; while wet, the ink is spread using a dry stiff bristle brush. A detailed close-up of the painted wooden anchor. Silver gel pen ink is applied over the paint in small sections; while wet, the ink is spread using a dry stiff bristle brush.

    I needed to finish my prepping and gather the rest of my supplies for father's day: three colors of acrylic paint, a sponge brush, acrylic spray sealant to use on the completed colored pages, Mod Podge® for adhering my colored pages to the frame, and E6000 glue for the wooden pieces. Now it's time to color!

    A close-up showing the colored waves cut out from page; deciding on placement of overlapping layers. A close-up showing the colored waves cut out from page; deciding on placement of overlapping layers.

    For the ocean waves, I used lots of markers in multiple colors. Sometimes I colored sections in solid marker, in other areas I used markers with colored pencils. The use of different media, in addition to the change of colors between blue and green, helps to give the waves movement. I cut the waves out in sections and overlapped the sections when I was adhering them using Mod Podge® to the frame. To give more emphasis to the ocean's depth, I added fish and seashells near the top of the coloring book page's waves and the edge of the frame. The solid blue color of the frame is still the ocean's water, it's just not as defined as the waves seen at the bottom of the frame. The anchor reinforces the idea of the bottom of the sea.

    The silver gel pen ink has been completely applied to the top of the anchor. The silver gel pen ink has been completely applied to the top of the anchor.

    When looking at the leaves, I wasn't sure how I wanted to give some of the leaves more "pop" than others. I wasn't pleased with the brown oak leaf because it seemed too dismal even for fall. I left it alone and started on another area in the picture. It was after I started on my second leaf that I decided to give the effect of the leaves moving in the wind by using highlighters. Why highlighters? Their colors are not as bold or opaque as the other media used. The colors of the highlighters will lend continuity to the theme, but appear secondary to the leaves colored with markers or gel pens.

    I grabbed a green highlighter and quickly drew horizontal lines randomly spaced across the page. Then I used a yellow highlighter to color only the background spaces. I think this added the perfect depth of field for the leaves which I was coloring with markers and gel pens. I found a sleeping bag sticker in my stash which I thought was perfect for a woodsy theme.

    The second plain wooden frame painted with acrylic paint, a wooden letters, stickers and colored pages from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone. The second plain wooden frame painted with acrylic paint, a wooden letters, stickers and colored pages from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    I cut out a few leaves and placed them over other leaves as if blowing or falling around a campsite. I am glad I didn't throw away that brown oak leaf with orangey highlights; it became the perfect counter-balance to the orange sleeping bag in the frame's adjacent corner. A lightly colored leaf was a great backdrop for the dark blue painted wooden letters; they are glued using E6000 and Mod Podge® painted over all.

    Here is the Mod Podge® used for this project. Please ensure that you choose the correct sealant for your individual projects. E6000 is an industrial strength clue used to adhere the wooden anchor and letters in each of the projects. Here is the Mod Podge® used for this project. Please ensure that you choose the correct sealant for your individual projects. E6000 is an industrial strength clue used to adhere the wooden anchor and letters in each of the projects.

    What fun I had coloring and building my themed frames! There are multiple steps, but many individuals of different ages and abilities can participate. Experiment with using the Mod Podge® over markers. I did NOT use permanent markers.  Because I used both markers and pencils, I did lightly spray my page with an acrylic sealant (NOT pictured) before using Mod Podge®. I did notice some of the markers colors smeared a bit [I think I forgot to spray my fish with sealant!], but the blue of the waves did not appear to bleed or blend like water color paints. But be cautious if you used markers to color your picture using light and dark colors.  TIP: Always read the instructions for your products carefully; a well-ventilated area is a must!

    All done with the frame's embellishments -- now to choose the picture. All done with the frame's embellishments -- now to choose the picture.
    Frame ready for its photograph! Frame ready for its photograph!

    Here they are; photographs inserted into finished frames. What fun the steps were as I created the backdrop for images of fun times; the frames only enhance such great memories!

    Cooling off; even a beautiful day at the beach needs some out-of-the-sun time! Cooling off; even a beautiful day at the beach needs some out-of-the-sun time!
    The fresh air is great; relaxing by spending time outdoors with family! The fresh air is great; relaxing by spending time outdoors with family!

    I hope to do more mixed-media projects like this one in the future. Share some of your ideas on our Facebook page. Don't forget to join our Color Art for Everyone  Facebook group; great ideas and encouragement are found there. Enjoy your days and memories spent with Dad; Happy Father's Day!

    Martha

  • Day of the Dead

    A lot of people think that the Day of the Dead happens on Halloween. But that is not true. It is a couple days later. I believe it is on November 2nd. It is a day of celebration of the dead that started in Mexico. It will still get you in the mood for Halloween. I love the Day of the Dead art work. I was really excited when I saw that Leisure Arts had a new series of coloring books and one of them was a Day of the Dead coloring book.

     

    FullSizeRender (38) I used color pencils, markers, gel pens, and a paint pen.

    This is what I like about this book it has several examples of the coloring pages done to show what different types of coloring utensils. This book shows what gel pens, markers, and color pencils look like. It gives you helpful blending tips. I never thought to use my gel pens to color with. I have even used my new box of crayons and a couple of my paint pens to color. You could use a clip board to hold your coloring pages. I use a piece of Masonite board and a clip to hold my coloring sheets. The books have easy tear out pages and I find it easier to color.  I like pull my coloring books out at the end of the day and it helps me unwind. The stress of the day just melts away.

    I cannot decide which new coloring book to get the Abstract and Geometric Designs or Folk Art.

  • Knitting Matching Hats for Father's Day

    Remember when I said that matching clothes were a great gift idea for Father's Day?

    Well, I got myself thinking.  And then I got myself to work.

    I checked my copy of Expand Your Knitting Skills to see if the Ribbed Hat pattern would look good on my dad and my daughter.  And I'm pretty sure it will!  This is a simple and straightforward pattern, so it doesn't present too much of a challenge if you have a lot of little heads to knit for.  The pattern calls for Size 7 needles (or whatever you'll need for the right gauge) and worsted weight yarn.  And yes, I did remember to make a gauge swatch at the very beginning.  This time.

    I went with some acrylic yarn that I got from a friend because when my little girl and her Granddad have outdoor adventures, they can get really adventurous.  Plus, she'll be two and a half this fall and everyone knows that's just a filthy age.  They needed something that was easy to wash, and that actually might even get softer with repeated washings. 

    My reason for wanting to knit hats was twofold.  One, hats are quick, cute, and I like them.  Two, the hat patterns in Expand Your Knitting Skills run from Baby to Large Adult.  I didn't want my daughter and dad to have hats knit in matching yarn--I wanted them to have matching hats.  My little girl tends to think that she's very big and she likes to be helpful.  She loves spending time with her grandparents and she loves to tag along with her granddad.  And my dad?  My dad just loves his granddaughter and would wear matching princess t-shirts with her if they made them in his size and he thought she would like that.  (I think she would.) 

    I think my dad is going to be pretty excited to wear matching watchcap-style hats with my little girl this fall and I really like the idea of matching clothing as a Mother's Day or Father's Day gift.  I'm kind of wishing I'd thought to knit up hats for her grandmas on Mother's Day now.  Fall's a ways off, though, and I'm sure I can find time to think of something.  In the meantime, I'm really looking forward to seeing my dad's face when he opens his present and two of my most beloved people model my handknits for a picture.

    It's going to be great.

    I tried putting the hats on some stuffed animals so you could see how good they look on heads, but these guys just aren't smiling the way my little girl and dad do.  Use your imagination for now.

  • Five Father's Day Gift Ideas

    Father's Day is coming up in less than 2 weeks and if you haven't figured out what to get your special dad person, I'm here with some ideas.  For me, celebrating Father's Day means spending time with my dad and my husband--two of the best guys I know.  I also used to send cards to my grandfathers, and my family has celebrated with beloved friends and neighbors before as well.  It's just a nice way to honor the men in your life for, well, being such a great part of your life!  Here are some ways to show your appreciation. 

    1. Coffee mug and a tie.  Some things are cliche for a reason.
    2. An experience instead of an object.  I know I mentioned this when I wrote about gifts for Mother's Day, but I think dads like experiences too.  Last year, my husband took our little girl to the park on Father's Day.  He put a hat on her for sun protection, packed a diaper bag, and off they went--just the two of them.  She was just getting old enough (she was a little over a year old) to enjoy playing at the park, and he was thrilled to do something incredibly dad-like.  I have a hard time getting excited about the idea of a Mother's Day where I wind up taking care of kids all by myself, but I'm sure there are moms who'd love that.  Which means there are probably dads who like it too.  Miniature golf, museums, zoos, hiking--take your dad somewhere nice!
    3. Dad music.  You know it when you hear it.  It's whatever your dad person really likes to listen to and it's probably not your first choice.  For my dad it's ZZ Top, Journey, and Riders in the Sky.  For my husband, it's Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, and pop punk bands that have probably broken up.  It's music they love to listen to, and they really love cranking it up in the car with their offspring.  Go ahead and give him Bob Seger's greatest hits, go for a drive, and roll down the windows!  Maybe even make the promise to refrain from rolling your eyes and cringing if you're stuck at a stoplight and people are staring.
    4. Matching outfits.  Why should mothers and daughters have all the fun with their matching Laura Ashley jumpers?!  Match your dad! Whether you're an adult who wants to be just like dad, or trying to find matching clothes for the dad and his special little people, the possibilities are so great for this one.  Matching camo gear.  Matching t-shirts for sports teams.  My husband always thinks it's really cool to wear his Batman t-shirt when he dresses our two-year-old in her Batman onesie.  Matching plaid shirts, matching hats, matching pajamas.  I'm not even joking.  This is really fun.
    5. Something he likes.  I realize that's pretty similar to #2, but this is pretty much the wild card of gift ideas.  Does he like motorcycle rallies?  Classic car shows?  A nap on the couch while golf plays in the background?  Whitewater rafting?  Eating at that restaurant that everyone else in the family hates?  Browsing a comic book store?  Do that!  It's his day, so you may as well let him know how much he means to you by doing something important to him. 

    My dad always asks for handmade cards and plenty of time with all his kids--3 daughters, 1 son, 3 sons-in-law, and 1 granddaughter.  So we give him cards and get together and shout over one another and he sits there and takes it all in with a grin on his face like he's the luckiest guy ever.  I'm pretty sure we're the lucky ones.  I hope you're lucky enough to have some special father figures in your life, and I hope you have a great time celebrating with them this Father's Day.

  • Happy Father’s Day & Last Minute Card Making!

    Hope you’re all having a fabulous Father’s Day! The Daddy at our house is still asleep, and The Cat and I are trying to decide on a last minute handmade card design to make for him. I’ve pulled out one of my favorite paper craft source books—The Best of Stamp It! Cards for inspiration…
    Which one would you make?


    Gears for Dad & Daddy’s Little Monkey

    Special Dad & Father’s Day Tree

    You Rock! & I Heart My Dad

    With Gratitude & Howdy Daddy

    Keep Your Chin Up & Tie Rack

    Making a Difference & Super Dad

    I’m leaning toward You Rock! ’cause The-Love-Of-My-Life plays guitar, but I’m also really liking Howdy Daddy just for the fun shape…
    Guess I’d better get started paper crafting before he wakes up. Then I’ve got cooking to do ’cause he’s all about home cooking on special days. (I think he’s getting chicken and dumplings for supper this year, but first I’ve got to figure out breakfast...What do you feed a man who’s allergic to eggs?)
    Wishing you and yours a special Father’s Day, too!
    (Oh, and if you like these cards as much as I do, get yourself a copy of The Best of Stamp It! Cards, so you can wait till the last minute for card making—just like me!
  • Free Project for Father’s Day

    Next Sunday, June 17, is Father’s Day! Yikes, as usual, I’m not ready, but I’m getting started with a Father’s Day card for the Love-Of-My-Life using a design from Card Sketches for Paper Crafters, and I thought I'd share it as a free project for you.
    But first, check out the description of Card Sketches:
    “Card sketches can be your secret weapon! Not only are they time-saving and handy for using scraps, but they are also perfect for breaking up a creative roadblock when you don't know where to begin. Whether you're new to sketches or just looking for a new batch, this must-have book from the editors of Paper Crafts magazine is full of inspiration—gathering over 145 sketches and more than 500 projects. You'll see how versatile sketches are, too, because each sketch is used in at least three designs. Sometimes the sketch is used as it appears and other times it's rotated, flipped, inverted, or cropped. The possibilities are endless. From fun birthday cards to holiday gift card holders, this book will become your go-to resource for paper crafting.”


    Are you inspired yet? Hope you enjoy this little free project tutorial! I’m making the Dad Plaid Card by designer Kim Hughes, and this is the sketch I started out with!

    Dad Plaid Card
    Here’s how I made it:
    (Ink all edges as you assemble card.)
    1. Make card from cardstock.
    2. Trim patterned paper and cardstock strips; adhere. Adhere border and zig-zag seam.
    3. Trim burlap and adhere. Stitch with floss.
    4. Cut star from patterned paper and adhere. Thread buttons with twine and adhere.
    5. Spell “Dad” with stickers.
    Finished size: 4-3/4" x 4".

    From that one simple sketch, Card Sketches offers up three more designs—the To You From Me Box, Beautiful Day Card, and Thanks a Bunch Birdie Card.

    Pretty cool, huh? Essentially four designs from one free project!

    Try this little free project out for Father’s Day, and when you love it, as I’m sure you will, get your own copy of Card Sketches for Paper Crafters, so you’ll be forever inspired.
  • Socks to Knit or Crochet for Father’s Day! Sale Alert!

    With Mother’s Day behind us, it’s time to switch over to work on Father’s Day gifts. Be sure to check out our Father’s Day Promotion offering 30% off selected books of socks to knit or crochet. You’ll get to pamper Dad with a pair of soft, handmade socks now, and you’ll have all the knit and crochet patterns you need for later, to make sock gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. 
    A Cuff Above
    Wearing your own hand knitted socks or creating them for loved ones are such rewarding experiences! As anyone who has ever worn them can tell you, nothing is more comfortable than a pair of hand knitted socks. They are the best gifts you can give, and the nicest way to treat yourself to something very special. These 23 projects from Cynthia Guggemos include socks for adults and babies, leg warmers, slippers, and Christmas stockings with lots of room for gifts from Santa. Most projects include a generous range of sizes, and there is plenty of creativity here to keep you on your toes, with clear instructions that will help you put your best (soon to be sock-covered) foot forward! Sock knitting patterns include cables, lace, Fair Isle, and more.
    Socks to Knit for Those You Love
    Want to warm your loved ones right down to their toes? Hand-knitted socks are the most thoughtful of gifts, and are always welcome! Renowned designer and instructor Edie Eckman offers these 18 styles of sock knitting patterns for the family. Simple or fancy, they range from wee baby booties to roomy socks for men and toeless yoga socks. Techniques include lace, cables, slip stitch, and ribbing. The designs are standard cuff-down, French heel with gusset plus two toe-up designs that use primarily sock yarn along with a few heavier weight yarns. Thorough instructions include all the stitches and techniques you’ll need, including Edie’s helpful pattern stitch charts. And with the huge array of yarn colors available, your socks are sure to be the right fit for the lucky recipient!
    Sock Loom Basics
    Everyone loves hand-knitted socks! And now you can knit custom socks for everyone on your gift list—even if you’ve never knitted anything before! Fans of the adjustable KB Sock Loom will love this companion book, which provides a handy guide to the loom’s basic instructions plus 11 great sock knitting patterns for preemies to adults. It also includes handy tips on how to adjust the sizes to fit a larger or smaller foot. You’ll be an expert in no time! The designs feature mock cables, beaded cuffs, several rib patterns, stripes, garter blocks, a toeless pedicure sock, and spiral tube socks and a hat for preemies.

    I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks
    Cozy, comfy, colorful socks—with this book, knitting them by the dozens is incredibly easy! Make them cabled or plain, striped or solid, ribbed, lacy, or laddered. Wear them with your favorite clogs, pair them with jeans or skirts, or let them replace your fussy old house shoes. You’ll fly through our helpful hints and photos to create an entire wardrobe of indispensable tootsie-warmers in three sizes for women. Our Extras and General Instructions sections provide useful information on yarn options, different cast-on techniques, choices between double-pointed needles and circular needles, and different types of Heels and Toes. You’ll be thrilled right down to your (pampered) toes when you say, I can’t believe I’m knitting socks thanks to these sock knitting patterns!

    I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks
    I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks by Karen Ratto-Whooley teaches how to make comfortable, attractive socks for the family. Karen tells how to pick the right yarn, measure for a proper fit, and make two types of heels. The 9 patterns are sized for ankle circumferences from 5.5" to 13" and explain how to adjust the length of the foot and leg sections. With this handy guide, it won’t be long before you hear yourself say, “I can’t believe I’m crocheting socks!” Book includes 9 crochet patterns for light and super fine weight yarn include Basic Cuff-Down Socks, Basic Toe-Up Socks, Ankle Socks, Cabled Socks, Cobblestone Socks, Lace Socks, Ribbed Cuff Socks, Ripple Socks, and Tube Socks.

    I know I have a horrible time picking out Father’s Day gifts, so I’m kinda considering the I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks book myself! (Think I’ve got time to conquer some sock crochet patterns by Father’s Day?) Enjoy your own sock knitting and crocheting for Father’s Day!
  • Happy Father’s Day!

    Hope you and yours are enjoying this special day. We’re honoring the daddy at our house with food. Yes, food. Isn’t every special occasion really truly all about the food?

    Daddy’s Day Fat & Starch Lovers Breakfast

    The Love-Of-My-Life is allergic to eggs, so it’s always a challenge to please him when it comes to breakfast. At his request, we’re having real bacon (I normally only allow him turkey bacon, so this is a real treat!), biscuits and sausage gravy, and potatoes fried in the bacon grease. Horrible isn’t it?

    Lazy Man’s Lunch

    Meat and grease are back on the scene. As Daddy reposes in his recliner watching John Wayne movies, he’ll be served Reuben Sandwich Roll. I unroll one of those French bread loaves you find in the dairy case at the store, cover it with deli corned beef, sour kraut, and swiss cheese, roll it back up, and follow the bread directions to bake it in the oven. He likes it with thousand island dressing, potato chips, and a pickle.

    The Darling Daughters Do Dinner

    The girls are making Greek Chicken, Potatoes, and Salad. It’s a very easy meal that even they can handle, but it looks great on the plate.

    Greek Chicken
    • Dip boneless, skinless chicken breasts in olive oil. Season with Greek Seasoning (Cavender’s is a good choice).
    • Cook the chicken on the indoor grill till done.

    Greek Potatoes
    • Drain two cans of sliced or diced potatoes.

    • Sauté the potatoes in butter, the juice from a whole lemon, and Greek Seasoning to taste. 


    Greek Salad
    • Top bagged lettuce from the store with kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese.
    • Splash on a little oil and balsamic vinegar.

    We serve the chicken with Tzatziki on the side (don’t freak—it’s just a sauce). I have to make the Tzatziki cause the kids think cucumbers are gross.

    Tzatziki
    • Peel a cucumber and cut it into thin strips; then, cut the strips into small pieces. Drain well and add salt.

    • Mix the cucumber with 2-4 cloves of minced garlic, a little vinegar, and 3/4 cup of plain yogurt.

    • Add some olive oil (just a little at a time).
    • Cover and chill for 30 min.

    And I usually do some pita bread wedges in the oven to go with it all.

    So anyway, have the Happiest of Father’s Days, and Happy Eating, too, if your world is anything like mine! And if you’re always running behind like me, hurry up and finish that Father’s Day card that you haven’t quite completed. I’m using the image above on the front of the card I’m working on. Enjoy!

  • June—Guy Collections

    I thought since Father’s Day is tomorrow (yes, it is tomorrow—don’t forget!) that you might like to see some guy-themed collections.

    Anne’s (one of our in-house designers) husband Randy has a golf-themed collection. It features golf balls from the different courses he has played while on trips, golf hats from several favorite courses, a vintage putter from Randy’s Uncle Lou (the man who started him off playing golf), golf books, a glass trophy with random golf balls and ceramic balls in it, a small trophy from a recent tournament, and a picture in a pewter gold ball frame. (The picture is of the men in his family that go for an “annual” golf game over the 4th of July holiday. All of the guys go...young and old. The women go shopping.)

    The Love-Of-My-Life collects vintage musical instruments, mostly of the stringed variety, and I only wish I could talk him into displaying them in one place in the house. (I had to gather some up to take this photo!) They tend to make themselves at home anywhere they come to rest when he’s finished playing them. (Yes, he has a place to keep them, but he and his music like an audience.) He has a dulcimer, multiple banjos, guitars, several ukuleles, mandolins, tater bugs, and even a Singing Treholipee. (No, I didn’t know what some of them were either until he wandered home with them). He gets a kick out of giving these attic treasures a little TLC to make them playable once more.

    The man-of-the-house also has a button collection…

    An assortment of sharp objects…

    And lots of record albums—he’s currently fixating on Elvis…

    So what’s the mancave in your life decorated with? How do you display these guy-collections?

  • Neckties For Father’s Day

    Is your dad a necktie kind of guy? Ahh, don’t give him that same ole tie in a box routine! Check out our free Necktie Lamp project, a cute idea for necktie-shaped cookies, and a free recipe for a necktie-embellished pie that your favorite father’s sure to love:

    All Tied Up Lamp
    Be eco-conscious and create a one-of-a-kind lamp for dad’s desk with vintage neckties or with some he doesn’t wear anymore!

    You’ll need:

    Cup-style trophy
    neckties
    lampshade
    candle lamp
    trim
    household cement
    hot glue gun & glue sticks

    Instructions:

    1. Use household cement to glue candle lamp into trophy.
    2. Measure side of shade from top to bottom. Cut a piece from large end of each tie 1-1/2" longer than determined measurement.
    3. With tie points extending past bottom of edge of shade and side edges overlapping slightly, glue tie pieces around shade. Trim tie pieces even with top edge of shade.
    4. Cut a length of trim to fit around top edge of shade; glue in place.
    5. Attach shade to lamp.

    Nutty Neckties
    Bake dad a batch of Nutty Neckties.
    Our recipe can be found in our book, Celebrating Cookies, if you want the real thing, but if you exercise your creativity, you can probably achieve the same necktie idea from any sturdy cookie dough intended for cutout cookies. (And if it was me making these, I’d just buy tubes of frosting and let the kids do the decorating for some fun family time!)

    Necktie Pie
    For a gift that says “Dad” in a big way, bake hime a luscious Cherry-Amaretto Pie. It’s made with dried cherries, laced with almond-flavored liqueur, and decorated with an easy to create shirt and tie! (Hint: If you’re pastry-challenged like me, just get a couple of boxes of the pre-made pie crusts from the grocery store dairy case...)

    CHERRY-AMARETTO PIE

    FILLING
    2
    cups dried cherries (available at gourmet food stores)

    1 cup amaretto
    1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract

    CRUST
    2
    cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup vegetable shortening
    1/2 cup cold water

    PASTRY DECORATIONS
    1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    1/4 cup cold water

    GLAZE
    1
    egg

    1 tablespoon milk
    Red liquid food coloring

    For filling, combine cherries and amaretto in a small bowl. Cover and set aside 8 hours or overnight.

    Reserving 2 tablespoons amaretto, drain cherries. In a large bowl, combine cherries, reserved amaretto, sugar, cornstarch, butter, and almond extract; stir until well blended.

    For crust, stir together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle with water; mix until a soft dough forms. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out one-half of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to an ungreased 9-inch pie plate and use a sharp knife to trim edge of dough. For top crust, roll out remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a sharp knife to cut an 11-inch diameter circle. Spoon filling into crust. Place top crust over filling. Fold edge of top crust under edge of bottom crust. Pinch edges together to seal. Cover and set aside.

    For pastry decorations, refer to photo to draw pocket, collar, and tie onto tracing paper; cut out. Follow directions for crust to mix and roll out dough. Place patterns on dough and use a sharp knife to cut out. Use a sharp knife to score detail lines on pocket, collar, and tie. Using dough scraps, shape small pieces of dough to resemble collar buttons. Cover and set aside.

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For glaze, stir egg and milk together in a small bowl until well blended. Brush egg mixture evenly over top crust. Place shirt dough pieces on top crust. Place buttons on collar. Brush egg mixture over shirt dough pieces. Use a small paintbrush and red food coloring to paint diagonal stripes on tie. Cut slits in top of pie along edges of tie and pocket. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

    Yield: 8 to 10 servings

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