Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Monday, December 6, 2021

Reviewing Handmade Kirigami Greeting Cards by Paper Love Cards

I recently received a card with a note in the mail at my new address. I was touched by the personal letter included in the card and mesmerized by the card. I opened and closed the card repeatedly, looking at the details. Throughout the day I moved the card from one shelf to another looking for the best place to display my new miniature piece of art. This card lay flat in the envelope but when I opened it I was surprised by an exquisite butterfly on a bouquet of foliage expanding into a three-dimensional paper sculpture. I was so intrigued by the card that I immediately looked up the company information.



This card was created by Paper Love Cards. Paper Love cards are exquisite pop-up cards handcrafted by origami and kirigami artists. I am familiar with origami. Origami is the art of paperfolding and making shapes (often birds, with the crane being one of the most popular. Origami utilizes folding only, no cutting or gluing.

I first learned the term kirigami when researching these cards. Kirigami is a form of origami that includes the folding and the cutting of paper that results in three-dimensional forms. I am unclear as to whether Kirigami originated in Japan or China, but all sources report that it has a very long history. By the 17th century, it was recognized as a true art form in Asian culture and became popular in America in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Paper Love Cards

The Paper Love Cards design office is based in New York, United States while the cards are made in by origami and kirigami artists in Vietnam. They advertise "A pop of art for every occasion" and they aren't lying. The offer cards for holidays, birthdays, changes of seasons, 

These cards are suitable for recipients of all ages. The Dabbing Santa Christmas card would tickle many younger people.

Paper Love can be ordered online via their website or Amazon store and are currently sold at Walmart and Walgreens.

The card sent to me was of a butterfly design. As I opened the card, it eclosed and fully displayed itself to me. The colors are vibrant and the foliage is in many shapes. My photos do not do the dimensions and details of this card justice but perhaps they will help show some of the details better than I am able to describe. 




The Lost Art of Tangible Communication

In this day and age of a constant barrage of text messages, video chats and constant conversations in our ears via earbuds, handwritten messages are becoming a lost art. How wonderful to recieve a heartfelt message from someone who takes the time to put a card into the mail. While I am not at all good at doing this on a regular basis, I had already sent out a few handwritten messages. 

Digital communication is very important. It is instant and frequent. It helps us to remain in close and quick contact. However, tangible communication, that can be held and saved, is a special thing. Especially when that communication includes a bit of handmade art.

Special Cards for Christmas, Thank You, Birthday, and More

The wide variety of cards available is wonderful. There is literally probably something for everyone and there are so many designs to choose from. There is a brief video on the Paper Love Cards Amazon store that currently shows the opening of a Christmas card.  It also shows the small insert of paper were a brief message can be written. It is about the size of a business card. 

I would like to encourage you to take a peek in order to see how these 3D designs pop open. And to take a peek at the selection of cards so you are prepared when you shopping for an extra special card for a special someone. 








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Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Best One Bowl Chocolate Cake According to My Family

Easy One-Bowl-Chocolate Cake - a Family Recipe

My grandmother used this recipe, then mom, and now me. It has been handed down from generation to generation, and I suspect that trend to continue in our family.

My family always requests this chocolate cake. In fact, for birthday celebrations, store-bought cakes are not an option; this home-made cake is always preferred.

What Makes this Cake So Good?


It's not difficult to make a cake, and I'll bet the ingredients for this recipe are standard to most cakes. However, if I had to pull out one ingredient that makes this cake taste amazing, I'd say it's the Cocoa. 

I've always used Fry's Cocoa. I use it for our home-made chocolate icing as well. See below for a link to that recipe.

I've tried other baking Cocoa, but my family always says that 'the cake doesn't taste the same.' So I stick to Fry's Cocoa. Maybe they're just used to it? However, their friends also comment on how good the chocolate cake is - so yah, maybe it's the Cocoa?

You can get Fry's Cocoa in the USA; it's imported from Canada and is available here via Amazon. Canadians can visit Amazon's Canada site to order it, or head to the grocery store; it's easy to find.

Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 Cups of White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Cocoa (Fry's Cocoa if you have it - I pack it a bit to get a little more)
  • 1 and 3/4 Cups of White Flour
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Softened Butter (not melted)
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups of Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
Put everything in one bowl and lightly beat the ingredients until they're mixed together. Never over beat a cake. Once the ingredients are mixed and blended, that's good enough.

I bake this cake in a three-quart oblong glass baking dish or cake pan (9inches by 13inches).
How to Make the Best Home-Made Icing

You can use a non-stick spray if you like; however, I never use that. I'll rub the bottom and sides of the dish with butter, then lightly coat it with flour. To coat it with flour, put about a teaspoon of flour in the middle, then pick-up the cake dish and tilt it in all directions until the flour spreads very thinly over the bottom and sides. If there's too much flour, dump out the excess.

You can use different shaped cake pans as well. I've used two round ones before, then stacked them to make a round cake.

Bake the cake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes depending upon your oven. Check it at the half-hour mark, then judge the length of time left at that point. With my oven, it's usually 40 minutes or so.

Let your cake cool, and then ice it with delicious home-made chocolate icing; here's the recipe. I've also linked the above photo to the Icing recipe. My grandmother taught me how to make it, so be sure to check it out; it also uses Fry's Cocoa. 




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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Happy Birthday Capricorn! Let's Review How Wonderful You Are

Happy Birthday, Capricorn - Dec 22 to January 20
The Goat

For the proud Capricorn, the Goat is not an acronym lol (greatest of all time - sorry!). If your birthday falls between December 22nd and January 20th, you were born under the sign of Capricorn. 

Since I'm a fan of astrology and often on the hunt for funky home decorating ideas, I've added a section on Funkthishouse called 'Astrology Home Decor.' Each astrology sign is featured with suggested home decor items for creating a zodiac-themed bedroom. 

When decorating a bedroom to reflect your astrology sign, don't restrict yourself to just the sign name and symbol. Each sign has several other aspects; lucky numbers, birthstone, your sign's lucky days, your ruling planet, your sign's element, and more. Here are some suggestions for Capricorn's room.

Capricorn: Practical, Realistic, Persistent, Disciplined, Intelligent, Caring, Analytical, and Organized.

Traits: Capricorns tend to be rule-followers and prefer systems and boundaries that are clearly defined. If you're looking for a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, it's likely you won't find that trait in a Capricorn. 

Work: Preferring structure makes them ideal candidates to climb the corporate ladder. Whether they climb that ladder or not, they approach their profession seriously and with dedication.

Home: Capricorns are a bit fussy about their home and how it's presented. Hey, there's nothing wrong with that is there? 

Responsibilty: If your significant other is a Capricorn, they might be the banker of the family. Since they can be counted on to abide by structure and are detailed, the family finances are probably in good hands with a Capricorn. 

Love: In relationships, they're committed and will focus on doing what it takes with a partner they can count on. Since they prefer structure, a stable relationship that offers that has value to them.

Capricorn 2020

As one year ends and another begins, I visit my favorite Astrologer on YouTube, Kelly Rosano. She offers up fun and interesting videos for each sign. Her presentations are broken down in an easy to follow format. 

She's completed an annual 2020 summary for all twelve signs and also features a monthly summary for each. I'm a Leo, and I found her projections for 2020 to match almost everything I had been planning and thinking. Interesting!

Capricorn, if you're wondering how 2020 may look for you, check out Kelly Rosano's video below:







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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Birthday Mystery Reviewed

Cooking For A Birthday Can Be Deadly

birthday mystery
Mystery at a birthday party
Last night, I finished reading The Birthday Mystery by Faith Martin. I would like to offer my review to you this morning.

This book is the first in a newer series by the author known for her DI Hillary Greene series that spans back some thirty years or so. Ms. Martin does not disappoint with her new concept for a good old fashioned whodunit. 

Our sleuth in The Birthday Mystery is Jenny Starling. Jenny travels around the British countryside cooking for different clients. She has been hired to cook the dinner and birthday cakes for a party being given for Justin and Alicia, an upper-class set of twins who will turn 21 in a few days. As she arrives at the home of the twin's parents, something is already amiss. A body has been found in the pond on the residence. Jenny really does not want to get involved and plans to start preparing the plans for the meal and cakes. 

As reluctant as she is, Jenny can't help but overhear conversations that make her curious as to what is really going on in this home. The resident staff do not take well to her being there and give her a hard time whenever they can. She feels there is something off with the family dynamics but can't quite put her finger on it. Justin the birthday boy is a bit pompous and yet she can't help but like him in an odd sort of way. Alicia is beautiful but spoiled and demanding. 

I found this to be a fun reading experience with plenty of twists to the plot. The concept of a traveling cook was interesting and Jenny's sleuthing skills were impressive. The characters were well thought out and the mystery flowed along nicely. It reminded me a bit of the style of Agatha Christie and her Miss Marple which was enjoyable. 

I highly recommend The Birthday Mystery to those of you who enjoy a good old fashioned murder mystery that is not predictable at to "whodunit". To find out who dies at the birthday celebration and more importantly who caused the death, you will have to read the book. I do not think you will be disappointed. 




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