Friday, December 27, 2013

Wreath project

My daughter and son-in-law were given a large 'N' (first letter of their last name) and wanted to do something with it. I suggested hanging it above their fireplace    The previous owners had put two good sized hooks in the wall but the N was not wide enough for those so I started looking for ideas. 
The idea my daughter liked was a wreath with the N in the center and decorated for the season.  So I hit up Michael's after Christmas sale and found a 3 foot wreath 50% off. 
I had some snowflake wired ribbon left over from some project years ago and just enough to make a nice bow 

The N is silver/chrome and the ribbon had white, turquoise and silver so thought that would go well 
I then cut out snowflakes with my Big Shot and larger ones by tracing around a cookie cutter that I have and planned to layer them to add to the wreath. I thought they needed some mid-sized piece between them so used a flower punch that was 6 sided. I tried both turquoise and silver for the mid-sized piece and let my daughter choose which she wanted. 
Here they are all scattered on my dining room table. I used some stickles glitter on the largest pieces. 
Here are some of the layered snowflakes on the wreath. 

Here is the finished wreath above their fireplace. We all liked it and I'll help her change out the ribbon and snowflakes in the spring. My granddaughter's first birthday is in early April. Maybe we'll add some die cut balloons for her party. 

Christmas crafts

AllI've done a couple unexpected Christmas crafts and it's only Dec 2!  
The first was a new wreath for our porch. The old one had the red styrofoam berries on it and several years ago the birds had tried to eat then exposing the white styrofoam centers. It was looking pretty bad. 
And last year or the year before the lights on it stopped working. So while us was shopping on Dec 1 I found a plain lit wreath for under $10 and brought it home to decorate. 
All I had to do was add some ribbon. This is a candy stripe ribbon I had. I think it turned out cute. Simple but festive 

I was given the task for the second craft by my boss. This year they are asking each dept in the hospital and medical group to create an ornament inspired by the 'healing arts' to help us focus on the positive. I was automatically delegated. 
They gave us a flat acrylic disc and we could use whatever supplies we liked. 

Here is what I came up with. I work in Information Services and wanted something that was related to our dept. I cut it in pieces and taped the two ends together then covered my tape with the banner. 

And since the disc was clear the adhesive showed through on the back so I had to decorate it too 

I think it turned out pretty cute. We will all gather in the lobby next Monday and hang the ornaments on a tree. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy anniversary to us!

Our church has a cake and pinch reception for those couples hitting milestone anniversaries. Since we had our 25th on 11/26, our reception was 11/24. 
Here we are with the cake.  Tom got to bring home about half of that cake (white) and a couple pieces of a second smaller cake (chocolate).  
Tom's brother, Jeff, and his parents joined us for the celebration. And of course our two daughters, son-in-law and granddaughter.  Adelyn is trying to get my earring :-) 

On our actual anniversary, we went to see Catching Fire.  I loved it -would go again if I get a chance.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday is Bake Day :-)

A beautiful Saturday - sunny and crisp.  After a haircut and grocery shopping, I got some baking done. 

 I had a butternut squash from the co-op produce basket so made some squash puff for dinner.   I prefer to think it is healthy eating even with the eggs and sugar that make it taste so good. 

  Soft Sandwich Rolls to take to Katie and Jake's for pulled pork sandwiches.   I experimented with the recipe, replacing some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat.  They were pretty good.  I have one fresh from the oven for lunch.  I have a second batch of bread in the machine now - French loaves. 

And what sweetness.  This is her 7 month photos.  She was too interested in all the sights in the living room since they don't go in there very often.  Not interested in smiling.   Looks how well she is sitting up and using her arms :-)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Past

Looking through some old pictures of past Halloweens.  So many memories and fun times.  The first Halloween that we took the girls out they just wore Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse hoodies.  Simple and warm :-)  I took them to McDonald's because they got a free Happy Meal if they were in a costume. Then we stopped by to see both sets of grandparents and called it a night.  They had no idea what they were missing.   Don't have a photo of that though. 

The following year Bekah wore the larger Mickey hoodie and Katie was the Easter Bunny thanks to cousins Jessica and Josh for the hand-me-down costume.

This picture is not of Halloween costumes but some special sweatshirts made by a friend, Carol, and her daughters, Erin and Jenny.  

 One year I made butterfly costumes for them.  Aren't they cute. The wings were just attached to their clothes using safety pins and I think I used the black sweatshirts to make their Christmas sweatshirts that year :-)  

Here we have Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Cinderella.  They used these costumes as dress- up clothes for years.  Definitely worth the price.

This is Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit.  Bekah wanted yellow hair like Alice in the Disney movie.  We tried :-)  I even made a big watch face out of cardboard for the rabbit and she walked around saying "I'm late!"

Another year we bought some Pocahontas accessories (necklace, armband and mocassins) and I made dresses for them to complete the outfit.  More dress up clothes. 

And now it is a new generation.  Here is our granddaughter in her Halloween costume.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lots of time for cards today

Last day of vacation and lots of time for cardmaking :-)  So I'll just shared photos of some of my favorites.
 I have been playing with the clay molds recently and here I have used one of the buttons.   I like the simple two- tone (Island Indigo and Whisper White)
 I also played with the sunburst design.  It is fun and I plan to put together a tutorial on this soon.

 This is also a starburst variation using DSP.  This one features the Sweater Weather DSP and the This and That washi tape.

 I worked with some more faux patina.  For the tab in the upper right corner, I punched out the Modern Label and took a scrap of Marina Mist with 'love' stamped on it and positioned it behind the opening.  Then I folded the Modern Label in half and adhered it back in place.  Added a color dot for an accent.  Easy and something different.

 I sponged the white doily with some Crumb Cake and Sahara Sand and then folded it twice. 

 And another faux patina plus one of the clay mold flowers.   I used the piercing tool and template to make a design on the card stock.

 I love these colors- Crisp Cantaloupe and Pistachio Pudding.  The clay button was made using Gumball Green re-inker to color the clay before molding.

The clay was colored with Cherry Cobbler before molding and the color came out very close to Strawberry Slush - so I combined them with Smoky Slate and Pistachio Pudding. 

Had a lot of fun today.  It felt good to just play with everything. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cruise is over - but vacation is not :-)

We celebrated our 25th anniversary a little early by taking a cruise from Charleston SC to the Bahamas.  It was fun - and full of good memories - 
This is DH in our cabin.  It was comfy but cozy :-) 

Every evening we had a different towel creation in our room along with some mints and the next day's schedule.  I'll have to try my hand at some of the creations.  

One afternoon there was a Chocolate Extravaganza at the buffet.  Lots of goodies to dip in the chocolate fondue and a chef making ice cream swans - from pieces of cream puffs and a scoop of ice cream. 

And now we are back home (and covered in a blanket) but had to play with some of my new toys since I don't go back to work until Wednesday.   Good to be home and have some time to just relax. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

More Quick Cooking and some Adelyn Time

Last night I made Curry Chicken Breasts.  Reminded me of a recent date night to India's Oven.  Very tasty and really easy.

 I served them over rice and had some fresh pineapple (very ripe) on the side.  Very good!  I will be making those again.

Tonight it was Brunswick Stew

I told my husband this morning that I was making Chicken Stew for supper and he turned up his nose.  I said -"Well then, it is Brunswick Stew" and he said "Like we had in Williamsburg on our honeymoon." and smiled.  It's all in how you present it :-)   He loved it and the fresh hot biscuits on the side. 

Photo: Enjoying my Adelyn. And Adelyn is almost 6 months old!

Where has the time gone?  She changes so much every time we see her.  She and Mommy came over for a family brunch today and then just hung out for a while.  So blessed!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Getting serious about cooking and menu planning

I have been very lazy for quite a while when it comes to meal planning and cooking.  Too often just heating up some pre-processed package meal or even worse getting some carry out/fast food.  So.... over the weekend I pulled out a few of my old Quick Cooking magazines.  I used to plan all my menus around them and there are some pretty good recipes, after all they are submitted by everyday cooks and tested by the QC staff. 

The first recipe - Herbed Chicken and Rice

Number 2 - Vegetable Bean Soup

Baked Omelet was number 3 - oh so good! 

And probably our favorite - Lemon Broccoli Pasta

And tonight it was "Encore Night" (not leftovers - they were too tasty to be called leftovers)  Everyone just picked from what was in the frig and made their own supper.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Productive Sunday Morning

I did not make it to church this morning because I am on call and had an issue to resolve just as I started to shower. Didn't have time after that and good thing because got called back about 15 minutes later.
So I made good use of my time by using some expired Greek yogurt (outdated yesterday) in some experimental recipes. 

The first was some Pear Scones.  I took a recipe for blueberry scones and used diced fresh pears instead. Also used pumpkin pie spice. They are okay but probably won't make them again. I'll put some in the freezer to pull out this winter. 

The loaf is Cranberry White Chocolate Tea Bread.  Most of it will go in the freezer too. If I keep it all out, I will just keep snacking on it until I have eaten it all. 

And after all of that I made. A pot of Vegetable Bean Soup
A beautiful fall day and such wonderful smells in the house. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I love Saturdays

I love Saturdays - although I planned to work on some card designs, I never made it there (or at least not yet - there are still a couple hours in my day). 
Trying to get back to counting the calories with My Fitness Pal and a consistent exercise routine. The scale has slowly crept up about 10 lbs and some of the clothes are getting a little snug.   I am NOT buying larger clothes!!! So I am planning meals in advance instead of just winging it most evenings.   Pulled out a bunch of my Quick Cooking magazines last night and made up a menu for the next two weeks (and then I am off the hook for over a week - cruise! - and no calorie counting either)  First thing this morning I got my shopping done and then came home to a clean house (thanks to my DH who does all the housecleaning !)  and prepped the veggies for the week. 
Then a visit with my daughter's family.  Always happy to take a break with the granddaughter.  They had gone apple picking. 
She is rolling over a lot now and trying to talk.  If she is like her mama she will be talking up a storm in no time!  Won't be long and she will be crawling and sitting up.  No more cuddly little baby - but love seeing her grow and change.

After they left, I got busy on supper.  Lots of chopping - love my Pampered Chef chopper! Herbed Chicken and Rice (Quick Cooking),  Roasted Garlic Cauliflower (Allrecipes) and Provel Topped Tomatoes.  (So excited that Sam's has the provel cheese from Imo's.)

The whole meal was 474 calories  ( lots of Parmesan cheese on the cauliflower - which was good for something different and I had the calories to spare tonight but I usually make it without the cheese).
DH's favorite part of the meal - the tomatoes.  They really are tasty. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Faux Patina Technique

I have seen many examples of the faux patina technique and have been wanting to try it for a while.  Someone asked me to make an anniversary card for 7 years - which is copper - so I had a good reason to do some patina.
This one has a strip of the faux patina with some crocher trim. The card stock used is Early Espresso, Always Artichoke, and Crisp Cantaloupe.  The stamp is from Simply Sketched.

The patina hearts are layered on Cajun Craze and arranged on Always Artichoke, Early Espresso and Crisp Cantaloupe with a Crumb Cake seam binding bow.

These three hearts are mounted on Early Espresso and then arranged on Always Artichoke, Early Espresso and Baked Brown Sugar.

Coastal Cabana, Baked Brown Sugar and Crisp Cantaloupe.  A little extra with the embossing on the front and...

some pop-up hearts inside.   I really enjoy making the pop-up cards.  I hope people enjoy getting them as much.

Some Calypso Coral, Early Espresso and Island Indigo for this card.   The hearts on a Very Vanilla ribbon and then you open the card and...

the ribbon falls out with more hearts attached.  Just another fun card.  I'm not sure any of my patina experiments really look like tarnished copper - but it was fun and it gives a special touch to the cards. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Make your own envelopes

With Stampin Up's new envelope punch board it is so easy to make envelopes to coordinate with your cards.  The board has measurements on it for 66 different sizes of envelopes.   I experimented with a couple different sizes.  They are all close to 3 x 4 inches so would make cute cards to include in a gift bag. 

 Gingham Garden DSP is used for the envelope and a piece is on the card.    Love the gingham!

 Another sheet of Gingham Garden.  The double sided DSP is perfect for making these envelopes. 

Here I used some reitred DSP  (I have lots!)  It's really fun matching the envelope to the cards.