About Me

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I am a SAHM mother of three...only one left home though. Paper crafting is my passion...I love creating things and saving memories. I also enjoy reading, baking, spending time with my friends and family, and walking my two furry children. My goal on my blog is to share something a little crafty, something yummy, and something fun every week. Thank you for visiting & comments are appreciated :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Friendly Flower Card

I got this stamp a couple of years back and have not really used it much.  So, when I decided to join in a Stamped Image swap with the theme, "Flower Power" I just had to use it!  Then I just had to color it!

The stamp is from Peachy Keen Stamps:  Funny Flowers.
I used scraps of paper, ribbon and pearls.  I did add purple Stickles to the butterfly and Crystal Effects to the flower's eyes for dimension.

I think he is adorable!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cardiology: Scratch Off Cards

Cardiology is a weekly Make-n-Take I try to attend at our local scrapbook store.  Val does an amazing job with her kits and creations. 

This past week she did a technique that I had on my 'to try' list, but...I hadn't yet, so this was perfect.  We made a scratch off card.  Now I know Val and I both saw it on Pinterest, but here is the direct link to directions:  How to make scratch offs.  It is incredibly simple...for our project Val did most of the work for us though...making the scratch off portion, stamping images, cutting pieces...making it even easier ;)  She let us pick our message under the scratch off, mine says, " You're not old, you're vintage."  Perfect for a birthday card.

I am excited to do this on my own now that I see how easy it is.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another Sketch Challenge

After a bit of a struggle last week with the sketch challenge from Pixie Dust Studio, I decided I just had to try this one from Dutch Dare Card Challenges .

As soon as I saw it I got an idea...isn't it funny how that happens sometimes.  I wanted to use this cute digi from Doodle Pantry.  The image,  hat papers, and sentiment are from there,  they are the first pre-colored images I have ever purchased. 

I turned the sketch to accomate my image.  I layered the hat paper on blue cardstock.  I used a red for the matting on the image; and cut it with a Spellbinders.  I inked everything with Cat's Eye Chalk ink in Burnt Sienna.  Added a little rafia to keep that rustic feel.

On the image I printed out two copies.  I cut the second one apart to create dimension.  I pop dotted the pieces onto the first.  Then I painted the pop dotted pieces with Crystal Effects. 

I know exactly who this card is going to go to....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A different view...

I was playing around with the sketch on the left and I decided to change it up.  Instead of circles I used flowers.  Simple but cute card...I used Basic Grey papers (Urban Prairie:  Weather Vane & petticoat; and Eva:  Decadent) along with black card stock.  I cut the flowers on my Cricut using Sweet Treats.  I inked all edges, even the flowers; pop dotted the large flower.  I then added highlights with a white gel pen.  I can always add a sentiment in the lower left corner if I like.  

I am entering this one in the Dutch Dare Challenge:  Distressing. 

A Sketch Challenge

This week I decided to do the Pixie Challenge:  http://pixieduststudiopixiechallenge.blogspot.com/ .  You had to make a project using the sketch to the left.  This really shouldn't have been that hard, but for some reason it was.  I worked with several images and papers and I just couldn't "get it".  I finally decided that my type A personality just didn't like the two background papers to be different, so I changed it to the same papers and that seemed to help.

This is what I came up with:

Digi Stamp:  Japanese Princess by Pixie Dust Studio
Papers:  Cosmo Cricket:  Pixie-licious - Butterfly Kisses; Bazzill Cardstock
Flowers:  Prima
Misc:  grosgrain ribbon, epoxy glitter sticker flourishes, Stickles:  Diamond, Cat's Eye Chalk Ink in purple

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Soup's on...

Yesterday I got a new toy...a Cuisinart Food Processor.  It is amazing!  I have been putting off getting one only because I had a food processor.  Notice, I said had...a few days ago in the middle of shredding cheese my old one decided to die.  I have to admit I was a little excited that it was no longer working ;)  So, now to get a new one...with no guilt.  Of course, once I got it home, I had to play with it a little...I pulverized an onion, mashed potatoes...without meaning too!  It is a very powerful machine  and you have to get used to it.  Needless to say when I decided to use it to make dinner last night, my son was right there...what boy can't resist chopping things up in a cool machine?  Little did he know that he was going to get a cooking lesson in the process...We decided to make Zuppa Tuscano.  It is our favorite soup from Olive Garden and after some searching around and tweaking of recipes I have finally come up with a delicious home version...ours is a little creamier.

1 lb Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups sliced potatoes
32 oz chicken stock
2 cups kale, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste

-In large pot, brown sausage; drain off fat.

-Move sausage to side and saute onions and garlic until onions   are translucent.

-  Add chicken stock and potatoes.  Cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.

-  Stir in kale and cream.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.

-  Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Little Piece of History

On January 27th, John & Jarek attended a special screening of "Red Tails".  ( Yes, I know...this is a little late...but I am jsut getting the picture from my husband :) The movie is a fictional story of the Tuskagee airmen, a group of African American USAAF during World War II.  Before the movie a surviving Tuskagee airman, Charles Feaster, was there to meet & talk to patrons.  John & Jarek arrived early with a model fo the P-51C Mustang (Red Tail) for him to sign.  Not only did he sign the model plan, but he also signed a mini-poster & posed for a picture. 
John & Jarek enjoyed the movie...& meeting Mr. Feaster only made it more memorable.
John, Mr. Charles Feaster, & Jarek

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ladies Night....Martinis & Cards!

Last night was my annual Ladies Night Out for the women on our street.  I have been doing it since we moved here...I have the ladies over to make Valentine's Day cards.  It started as my effort to get our monthly gatherings to be more than just a gossip fest with wine...and it has stuck. 

The majority of the ladies are 'craft challenged' so I try to keep the cards nice, but simple.  I prep almost everything for them...cutting out all shapes, stamping or printing sentiments, etc.  All they have to do is ink, glue, layer & tie bows.  These are the three I came up with this year..

Of course you have to have something yummy after all that crafting!  Since it was all about Valentine's I went with sweets...dessert & drinks.  YUM!  The favorites for the evening were the English Trifle and the French Martinis...both new things for me.

English Trifle

1 large pound cake (homemade or store bought)
2 pints fresh strawberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 bananas
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant white chocolate pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 small container of Cool whip
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Slice strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar. Cut the bananas into slices and toss with orange juice. Combine pudding mix with milk and mix until smooth. Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes.

Use half of the cake cubes to line the bottom of a large glass bowl. Layer half of the strawberries followed by half of the blueberries, and then half of the bananas. Spread half of the pudding over the fruit. Repeat layers in the same order.

Spread Cool Whip over the top.  Garnish with chopped nuts and a berry.
This recipe is from All Recipes:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/english-trifle/detail.aspx
I did make some changes to use things I had on hand...walnuts instead of almonds, Cool Whip instead of whipping cream, pound cake instead of white cake, and white chocolate pudding instead of vanilla...but it was still very yummy!

French Martini
 2 ounces of vodka
1 ounce of pineapple juice
1 ounce Chambord

Combine first three ingredients in drink shaker with ice; shake...DO NOT add champagne to shaker.  Strain and pour into a chilled glass.  Top with champagne.  Cheers!

Because I did not want to have to mix each person's drink one at a time, I did the math and made a pitcher of the first three ingredients.  I then used a 4 ounce jigger to measure each serving.  I kept the pitcher in the fridge and chilled the glasses, so we did not have to use a shaker.

Another successful Ladies Night....I have a year before I host again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chef in Training

Jarek...Chef in Training!
What a wonderful ending to a nice weekend!  I didn't have to cook...and had help cleaning up after dinner. 
Sunday evening my son decides that he wants to make dinner and he wants it to be grilled chicken.  Forget the fact that I have not thawed any and it is already 4:30 or that is is like 22 degrees outside...But, hey, I am not one to turn down help so I told him I would help him thaw the chicken quickly, but properly and he could grill inside.  So, he not only got a lesson on ow to thaw meats properly, but also how to multitask during dinner so you end up with a complete, hot meal AND a clean kitchen.  The menu:  grilled chicken, pesto penne, and buttered green beans.  Not very challenging, but...that is OK.  It was delicious.  Well, at least I know he will not starve :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sweet Treats

Valentine Treats:  Strawberry Fudge, Chocolate Covered PB crackers, Chocolate
Covered Fluffer Nutter crackers, and pretzel bites two ways.

After browsing around on Pinterest and being reminded of some of the easy, but yummy, treats you could make I was inspired.  I used to make these treats for various holidays, but haven't in awhile...so, it was fun to do some 'old favs'. 
They are all so simple...I don't even have 'recipes', but here goes...

Strawberry Fudge:  You will need 1-12 oz bag of white chocolate baking chips and a can of Strawberry frosting.  Melt the chips in a micro safe bowl; stir in frosting.  Spread mixture into a lightly greased 9x9 pan.  Top with sprinkles, if you like.  My son LOVES this...next he wants to try lemon frosting...maybe for Easter with pastel sprinkles.

Chocolate Covered PB crackers:  You can do this really easy and use pre-made PB crackers or make your own; you will also need chocolate bark.  Assemble your PB cracker sandwiches & set aside.  Melt bark in a micro safe bowl.  layout wax or parchment paper.  Once bark is melted cover sandwiches in chocolate.  This can be a little messy...I use two forks to dip and then drain off before placing on paper to harden.

Chocolate Covered Fluffer Nutter crackers:  same as above except you add marshmallow fluff to your cracker sandwiches.  This are my favorite...better than a candy bar!

Pretzel Bites:  You will need mini pretzels, chocolate candy  (any kind...I used Hugs and Rolos), and a topper (I used M&M's and whole pecans).  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Spread pretzels out on a cookie sheet.  Top with chocolate candy.  Place in oven for approximately 2 minutes to soften, not melt, chocolate. Remove and add topper.  You could come up with lots of combos on this one, but I did Rolos with pecans and hugs with M&M's.  My husband and son LOVE THE pecan ones...just like Turtles!

What sweet treats are you making for the holiday?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dandelion Mouse

Fell in love with this digi from Meljean's Design (http://shop.meljensdesigns.com/Digital-Stamps_c77.htm).  I did it two ways...one if for a going away card for a man - simple, and the other for a preteen girl - big fluffy bow.

I colored the images with my Stampin' Up pencils & blended with gamsol.  I added Diamond Stickles to the dandelion.  Both cards are easel cards, but one is offset.  I did discover that I do not like the super glittery ribbon...this one had no body, no fluff.  I layered it over the white grosgrain to give it some body.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What's for dinner?

That dreaded question...just makes you cringe when you hear it.  Well, at least I do.   We have a few favorites that I try to always have the ingredients on hand for and this is one of them.  I call it kielbasa and cabbage, but my husband calls it "Polish Stir Fry". 

1 lb kielbasa (or sausage of your choice) cut into 1/2" rounds
1 box Pierogies (I prefer the mini ones)
1 pepper (your choice of color) cut into strips
1 small onion coarsly chopped
1/2 head of cabbage chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil

*  Brown sausage in a large frying pan.  Remove & set aside. 
*  Add 1-2 T of olive oil to pan and set heat on high; once heated add frozen pierogies.  Saute until golden on outside.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and heat through (approximately 5-7 minutes).
*  Once pierogies are heated through add minced garlic and return sausage to pan.  Add onions and peppers, cover and let cook for approximately 5-7 minutes until vegetables are not quite done. 
*  Stir in cabbage; cover and let cabbage wilt. 
*  Of don't have pierogies, serve over prepared egg noodles.
*  Any sausage will do...even brats!  When using brats or similar types of sausage I precook the links to firm, then slice into coins and finish cooking.
*  Add other vegetables and even fruits....shredded carrots, finely chopped apples, etc...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love is in the Air ATC

The theme for the January ATC swap was "Love is in the Air". I decided that for this swap I could not buy anything, I must use things I had on hand...I have SOOO MUCH! After gathering everything I could find that was appropriate to theme I went to work...

This is a rather simple card, but I really like it. I used a purple glitter paper for the base. I then took a piece of handmade paper and tore it into a cloud shape. To make it more interesting I used metallic rubs all over in pink, purple, blue, & silver with blue inked edges. I then pop dotted the winged heart embellishment on.

For this card I wanted to use the vintage gold foil cupid seals I had purchased...and been saving to make something ;) I used a black print card stock for the back. I used gold metallic rub around the edges to soften the look. I then layered on a fabric heart, cupid seal and silk flower.

Now on to a challenge card....

My take on the sketch...I used a digi that I found for free on the Operation Write Home site (http://operationwritehome.org/digis.html).  The little puppy was just so cute and had the saddest eyes that I knew it had to be for a belated birthday card, so...I printed the sentiment on the computer.  After coloring the image I added Crystal Effects to his eyes & nose, "fussy cut'' the image, and adhered it with pop dots to the white circle.  The papers are scraps of Basic Grey from my scrap box.  To add a little depth I embosses the striped & white papers.  I inked all edges.  I just love him!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pinterest...and a super yummy dinner

Well, if you haven't discovered Pinteret yet, you just don't know what you are missing.  I am completely addicted, have thousands of pins and feel lost if I don't check it once a day.  One of my favorite things to pin is yummy recipes.  I have all kinds of soup, crock pot dishes, cupcakes, drinks....Now one of my goals this year is to start using/doing some of the things I have pinned...so in that spirit I used a recipe from there to create dinner.  To start with you need to make the chicken...

Mexican Crock Pot Chicken
1 3-lb bag of frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
1 can of corn, drained
1 can Ro-tel
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 8 oz block of cream cheese

Place chicken in crock pot.  Add corn, Rotelle, beans; to with cream cheese.  low 6-8 hours.  After an hour or so I stir in the melted cream cheese & continue to stir every 2 hours.  Once done cooking, remove chicken pieces & shred; then mix back in. 

This in itself is a yummy meal, but I decided to go a step further.  Here is what I did...

I used flour tortillas, a can of enchilada sauce and a bag of shredded Mexican cheese.

I covered the bottom of a 13x9 casserole dish with a little of the enchilada sauce.  I then filled the tortillas with about 1/2 C of the chicken mixture, rolled and placed seam down in the dish.  I made 6 filled tortillas.  Once your dish is full, cover with about a cup of the enchilada sauce; top with cheese.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through, bubbly on top.  Serve with sour cream on top.  Ole!

And, best part, I have half the mixture to freeze for another meal :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Girly Girls - Part 2

Now for Taylor's card.  While I consider Taylor also be a very girly, girl she is very different from her sister.  She is more free spirited, "hippy-ish"...long hair with braids, bright colors, tye dye...but still into all the girly things.  This image was perfect for her (Hippy Love from Saturated Canary:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/SaturatedCanaryDigis?page=2).  I did pretty much the same for the image as for Brigitte's card...colored with Stampin' Up pencils, added Stickles to the buttons on her skirt & boots, added Smooch to the flowers in her hair, and then I sprayed the image with Smooch Spritz in pearl.  Again, I used paper scraps for the card.  I did emboss the orange piece.  I inked all edges with burnt sienna Cat's Eye chalk.  Added a few flowers and a big bow to finish it off. 

I am entering this card in the following challenges:

Stamptacular Sunday Challenge: Diamonds or Pearls

Pixie Dust Studio: Girly, Girl

Girly Girls

This morning I decided that after doing the "have to" chores I was going to create.  After checking in the a few of the challenge blogs I follow, one had my creativity flowing.  Pixie Dust Studio (http://pixieduststudiopixiechallenge.blogspot.com/ ) the theme was "Girly, Girl".  Wow, I know for most people that would bring to mind bows, glitter, pink, etc.  My mind was reeling because I actually had a few ideas on how to go for this one and a lot of it was due to the images I had just purchased from Saturated Canary (http://www.etsy.com/shop/SaturatedCanaryDigis?page=2) to make some cards for my BFF's daughters who are away at college.  I consider both of them to be very girly, girls...in their own ways.  So, I made Brigitte's card first...

I consider her to be more of the typical girly girl...make up, clothes, pink & purple...but she is also very intelligent and even a little "geeky"...likes to read, plays video games, etc.  So, this image was perfect for her!  It is "Ivy" by Saturated Canary.  I colored her with Stampin' Up pencils and then embellished...stickles for the legwarmer pom-poms and glasses, Smooch for her blue eyes, and Smooch Spritz over the whole thing to make it shimmery.  I used papers from my scrap bin and then added some flowers, rhinestones, and ribbon.  Very girly, girl!  See my next post for my take on her other daughter, Taylor.

Entered this card into the following challenges:

Stamptacular Sunday Challenge:  Diamonds or Pearls http://stamptacularsundaychallenge.blogspot.com/

Pixie Dust Studio:  Girly, Girl

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


February!  And tomorrow is groundhog day.  I have to say, I am hoping he sees his shadow and goes back in his burrow, I want 6 more weeks of winter.  We have had no real snow this year...it has been so mild, more like a cold spring. 

Did you make any resolutions or goals for the new year?  I took January to think about this...there are a lot of things going on in my life right now that I wish I could change, but...out of my control, so I decided to do something about the things I can control.  So, my five goals for the year are:
1.  To finish what I started...a total house de-clutter.  I have been working this for a couple of months and I want to continue with it. 

2.  Get my scrapbooks caught up.  I am on the way with this...I organized all the digital photos from the last 3 years, made a list of events & I am now comparing with what I have done.  I should have 2011 all caught up in about 4-6 more layouts :)  Then back to 2010!

3.  Work on a healthier lifestyle.  This includes losing some weight, but also just being more active, managing stress in a constructive way, etc.  This includes participating in 2-3 5K with DH and DS.

4.  Blog at least twice a week...and not always craft stuff.  I have decided that if I am going to be on Pinterest, I need to use the pins I save...so I will share that with you...and some other fun things going on.

5.  Slow down!  I feel like I am constantly doing...and overwhelmed at times.  I am going to learn to say, "NO."  and to prioritize and simplify.  I need time for myself...and I need to enjoy things more...

I am sure this list will change as the year progresses and I complete things on the list, but this is a good start.  So, what are your resolutions/goals?