Friday, April 21, 2017

Cooking, cards, and cross-stitch

Need to update on some recent recipes and cards.

Added some new recipes to my Recipes blog.  Check them out.   The bacon wrapped chicken breasts were a big hit.  Tom said I can make it any time I want.  It is a freezer meal and really pretty simple but looks like you slaved away in the kitchen :-)
Some others I added -
Slow Cooker Stroganoff
Skinny Southwestern Goulash
Sauteed Zucchini and Carrots
Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I've also been playing in the craft room.  Here are some of my favorite cards that I've made recently.

 I call this one "Rob Peter to Pay Paul"  It reminds me of that quilt pattern.  I tried to find an image of the pattern my mom did by that name.  The photo below is pretty close.

This card uses my new stitched shapes framelits.  The framelit cuts the circle and also makes the little stitching design around the edge.  

Another stitched shape framelit.  The sets has various sizes of circles, ovals and squares.  I think I'll be using them a lot!

Here I used some paper piecing.  I stamped the dress on the Very Vanilla and also on the piece of DSP.  I cut out the dress from the DSP and glued it to the design on the Very Vanilla card stock.  It is one of my favorite techniques.

I've also completed a couple cross stitch quilt squares recently. I have to limit my cross stitch time because of tendonitis in my elbow.  Gripping the fabric with my left hand aggravates the tendonitis. I think I'll be looking into some sort of frame to hold my stitching so I don't have to use my left hand :-)

 This Bassett Hound is for a Dogs theme stitch-a-long.  

This is a piece I found in the drawer that was half done.  I finished it up and it can go in the Dogs theme stitch-a-long too.

Easter weekend

I spent Easter weekend in Minnesota with my sister Jane and family.  My daughters, grandkids, and I took a road trip - stopping off at my niece Jill's in Iowa on the way there.   Such a good time - the kids did very well.  It was so much fun to see them get better acquainted with these family members.

A few pictures from the weekend -

 Story time with Cousin Jill.  Derek sat there for about 2 seconds :-) 

 Saturday donuts at the local bakery.  

Dying eggs

Sidewalk art

Chasing bubbles

Red Leaf breakfast - Chef Josh is peeping out from the kitchen.

Easter Sunday

Monday, March 6, 2017

Cooking and Pearls

I'll gotten serious about cooking again.  I have been pretty lazy this winter and not really planned my menus, just grabbed something from the freezer.  And at least once (usually twice) a each week we have picked up something.  And my clothes are telling me it is time to stop that nonsense and plans some healthy meals.  So I've been browsing Pinterest and Wildtree and have a plan for this week at least. 

 Last night was Pork Medallions and Mushrooms.  Sliced pork tenderloin is browned in a skillet while mushrooms are roasting in the oven.  Both are combined in a the oven with some Wildtree Piccata Sauce.   Served over rice and I make some quick and easy frozen broccoli for our side.
It was a big hit!

Another Wildtree meal tonight - Sweet Onion Chicken and Spinach Salad.   This is from the Easy Breezy freezer meal workshop.  The chicken cooked in the crockpot with sliced onions and the Wildtree Sweet Onion Dressing.  Served it on a bed of spinach with diced apples, yellow pepper, scallions and bacon.  Top with a little more of the Sweet Onion dressing and had a couple Cheese Twists on the side (my daughter helped make those using canned pizza crust). 

I've also developed a fondness for an online pearl harvesting show - Shuck It is the name of the company.  People order the pearls - sight unseen - and the ladies shuck the oysters on a live feed.  It is really fun to watch.  There are several but Shuck It is my favorite. You prepay for the number of oysters you want - discounts on larger orders.  They let you know what evening they will be opening your oyster.  I never realized there were so many natural oyster colors. These are not dyed like some are.   

 This is a screen print from my phone of some one person had purchased.  The lower right is a dark lavendar - not very common.   These were all for the same person.  In the center column, the two side by side were from the same oyster - twins!   If you happen to get twins in your oyster, it's a bonus.   And if the oyster is empty, they pull another one for you.  I have watched several times and have never seen an empty one.  There are a good number of twins though.

The bottom one here is called a 'gold nugget'.  It was such a dark gold and it very rare.  The gal that was shucking just kept saying "Oh my malanta!".  She couldn't get over how dark it was.  
It's really fun to see what each person gets.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be the change - Kiva

Thanks to a friend, Margaret Davaz, for introducing me to Kiva.  Kiva is a nonprofit organization that matches up borrowers with lenders.   You can choose who you want to loan as little as $25 to help them toward their goal. The website has information about the person and the reason for their request.  Your $25 loan is added to others to complete a request from the borrower.   And as they pay back the money you loaned, you can relend that money to someone else.  The website shows you the loans you have made and the repayment for each one.

I have loaned to people with small businesses in Haiti, Cambodia, Kenya, Paraquay and the United States.   You can choose from 78 different countries.   Of the 8 loans I have made, 2 have been completely repaid and I have re-lent that money to others.

Check it out and 'be the change you want to see' by helping out someone else.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Be the Change

One of my favorite inspirational quotes comes from Gandhi - "Be the change you want to see in the world."   Instead of expecting politicians and government to fix things, why not do what we can to make things better for others?     I like the idea of random acts of kindness, but I think we need to go a little bit further and be intentional about being kind and generous.  Look for ways to help others.  Seek out ways to give not only financially but also to give of our time and energy.
Between now and Christmas I plan to share some of my ideas of how to  'be the change'.

Recently Haiti has suffered massive destruction from Hurricane Michael.  There are many organizations that have popped up seeking donations to help the Haitians.   Who do you choose?  Who can you trust?   Many have such high overhead that most of your donations would never reach the Haitians. And others are corrupt and not doing the work they have promised.

I have a young friend who is a midwife in Haiti and she has shared a reputable organization that has been in Haiti for years.  She works through the organization, Heartline Ministries. (

For donations -

Send check payable to Heartline Ministries and designate "Haiti Housing Fund." 
Mail to:
Heartline Ministries
P.O. Box 898
Sunnyside, WA 98944

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Busy Day in the Kitchen

I have had a busy day in the kitchen.  First - shopping for supplies to make 6+ meals of Creamy Chicken Taquitos.   And I wanted to add some Caramel Apple Taquitos as a little plus. 

 Here is what I started with.  I was thrilled to find a 10 lb bag of frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  I used the whole bag for my taquitos (100 +)  And I bought all the small tortillas they had.  I could have used more but will finish making the Caramel Apple Taquitos for my family later this week.

 In addition to all that cooking, I had thawed a freezer meal to make Hickory BBQ Meatball Subs for supper.  When I started cooking the meatballs and trying to squeeze them all in the skillet, they kept breaking apart. So - I made Hickory BBQ Sloppy Joes.   Everyone like it!

 Couldn't wait to have some of the Caramel Apple Taquitos.  So easy to make with caramel ice cream topping and canned pie filling.  I served them with whipped cream but would really be good with a scoop of ice cream.

And after all that - I got all the dirty dishes in  the dishwasher (except the big pots, etc) and Tom cleaned up the kitchen.  He always does the dishes and cleans up the kitchen - I cook , he cleans.  Works for me.  There was a lot of cleaning tonight but on other nights when I pull out the taquitos, the cleanup will be super easy.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

2016 IN colors - WOW!

I am loving the new IN colors at Stampin Up.  They are so bright and 'happy'.  I've been playing with them lately and completing some cards for some challenges.

 This card shows all 5 colors (top to bottom) Sweet Sugarplum, Dapper Denim, Peekaboo Peach, Emerald Envy, Flirty Flamingo.  This was for a one layer card challenge.

 This also uses all 5 colors.  The flowers are stamped and then punched.  To give them some dimension, I placed them face down on the foam pad and rubbed with a stylus.  I made the petals curve.  This was for an IN color challenge.

 And again I have used all 5 on the flower.  I stamped it in Stazon black then colored with the Stampin Markers.   This was for a challenge to use a black background with some color.

 This charming little card uses Flirty Flamingo and Peekaboo Peach.   The ribbon and enamel stars take it up a notch - and then the envelope liner puts it over the top!

 Another card using Peekaboo Peach and Flirty Flamingo.  The sequins were left from a Paper Pumpkin kit. They went well with the colors.  The onesie is from a Stampin Wheel I have.  I stamped it onto the envelope paper and cut it out.  I stamped on a piece of Peekaboo Peach and cut out the star, then added it to the onesie.  I like the shaker - makes it WOW!

 Speaking of WOW!   This slider card will wow the recipient.  Again using the 5 IN colors.  I used a tutorial at Splitcoast Stampers for a Tab Slider Card. I made a few modifications like using the Word Window punch to make the slider track.

 Pull the tab and you have a surprise.   I made one this morning for a friend at church who is involved in a program that uses boxing to treat patients with Parkinson's Disease.  I regret I did not get a photo :-( before giving it to him.  I used the mitten punch and some images for boxing gloves on the internet to add some lines and trim down the cuff so it looked like a boxing glove.   Put it on the slider and added a sentiment that I hoped his birthday had a lot of 'punch'.  He has 3 little boys and I bet they enjoy the card  - maybe his older girls also.

This one was a little trickier I want to try a few more.   I think they would really be fun for a small child who might believe it is actually magic.  

Pull the tab and the image is magically colored.  I need to look through my stamps for some good images to use for these.