Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Christmas Cards from Prior Years

I Love My Stuff!

I do.  I love my stuff!  It's fun to just look at all the pretty papers, cardstock, and punches lined up on my Bigel Rods and nestled in drawers and just imagine what pretty cards I could make with them.

This paper crafting hobby began four years ago with a package of cardstock, one box of A2 envelopes, a few stickers and some loose sheets of patterned paper.  At that time, all my supplies would fit into a single 12 x 15" file box.  I made my cards on my fabric cutting table in my sewing room.

Within six months, I had to remove my sewing machines to make room for my paper.  Before the end of the next year, all my fabrics were stored inside totes, put into the garage, and I'd purchased an entire set of JetMax cubes just to hold paper and embellshments.

My Tim Holtz items are some of my very favorites.  I'll often take down a stack or two of his paper and just flip through the pages enjoying the colors and patterns.  So many great ideas pop into my mind, but, if I cut it and use it, it's gone!  So,  I savor the moment, and put the paper back into the cube it's stored in.

I've driven hundreds of miles searching for just the right containers to store my supplies and agonized over buying one or two of an item while standing in the aisle at Hobby Lobby with only one 40% off coupon to use.

Hours have been spent researching and deciding what will be the best way to store markers, embellishments and ribbon.  The first method, which seems ideal at the time, generally winds up being just a prototype.

 My ribbon has been kept in boxes, jars, stored in loose coils, standing on edge on wire shelves in its original spools and is currently wrapped around cardboard shapes that I cut with my Cricut.  It's now standing on edge in a drawer beneath my work surface and in easy reach.

The first set of markers that I purchased were BIC brand and they came in their own plastic storage case.  Then I was introduced to Stampin' Up markers and was convinced that if I bought the entire set with the case that I'd never want or need to buy any other brand.  Wrong!  Along came a blogger named Enfys and Promarkers.  Surely I could do much better work if I just had the brand of markers she was using!  Her colored images were so perfectly shaded and she even posted video tutorials showing how simple it was to do.  Of course I had to get some of those!

It's fun, to me, to reorganize my supplies.  Most recently, I sorted all my loose patterned papers into color groups and placed it beside the coordinating solid cardstock.  I've also come up with a great system for storing and organizing my Promarkers and grouping my finished cards to make them easier to ship.

All in all, I just love my stuff!  Looking at it, rearranging it, sorting it, and sometimes I even use some of it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today's Card

This one is totally lifted from the September issue of Cards magazine.  I computer generated the words, inked the edges and just applied a strip of ribbon and a few Prima flowers.  Plopped a dot of copper colored Stickles in the flower centers.

Every time I use this color combination, it reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream!

The Difference Between Male and Female Shoppers

My husband can absolutely drive me to drink when he's in a store, sees something he wants and doesn't buy it!

This afternoon, on our way back from visiting the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, OK, we stopped by a WalMart store so that I could check and see if they might have any of the Cricut Lite cartridges on clearance.

They didn't have any cartridges at all since they're in the middle of doing a reset on the store so we walked back into the sporting goods area to check it out.

This particular WalMart has a pretty good sporting good selection since it's located right beside a huge national park and recreation area,.  DH found a Winchester Shoot'n Rest Set he'd been searching for. (The best description I can give of this item is it's a set of two "V" shaped bean bags used to rest a rifle stock and barrel on to steady it while sighting in a scope or shooting targets.)

I watched as he did his usual routine; he read the price tag on the shelf, checked the tag attached to the item, and put it right back on the shelf.  He knew he wanted it, that the price was fair, but he never buys things he wants without mulling the purchase over like he's selecting a diamond ring at the jewelry store!

Since I had seen him looking at the set, I walked over to see what it was and suggested that he better get it if he wanted it because it would be some time before he'd be anywhere else that might have them in stock.  So, he bought them.  Mind you, this is not what a scrapbooker would consider a major purchase.  They were only $21.97!

Our next stop was at the LSS in Ada.  Where I leapt out of the car, debit card in hand, walked in and had $29.99 worth of Promarkers in my hand and was standing at the register to pay for them before DH could get out of the car and into the store!

That, my friends, is the difference between male and female shoppers. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Punched Flowers

These are made from Stampin' Up cardstock.  The flower was punched with an 1.75" scallop circle punch, the petals were clipped and then shaped and I brushed them with gold Inka-Gold Paint.  The flower center is from the Boho Blossom punch.

The card base was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder and I brushed the Inka-Gold Paint onto the embossing.  The center part of the card front is a torn, distressed page from an old book.

 It's hard to see the gold metallic paint on the cards well in these photos.  The ribbon is sheer with a gold thread in it.  I added some Pearl Pen dots in the flower centers.

This card is based on one I saw online.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Using Inka-Gold Paints Again

The colors aren't very true in the photo.  The flowers are on a pale peach cardstock.  I used Versamark ink to stamp the flowers on the background piece.  A Martha Stewart punch for the leaves.  The flowers and leaves have Inka-Gold paints on the edges and I used a Pearl pen for the flower centers.

The jeans pocket was cut using Old West cartridge.  It's actually a card shape but I cut it in half to use just one.  Added some Chestnut Roan inking and a little doodling for the stitching.

Now if I just had a punch for the flowers so they didn't have to be cut out one at a time, I'd be in business! LOL!

Old West Card

Linda over at Scrapcat Cards blog posted a card almost identical to this one.  I like it!  So, I told her I was definitely going to scraplift it! 

Old West cartridge was used for the wording as well as the horse.  I tend not to cut the tiny layer shapes, like the hooves and mane for the horse, if I can color them with my Promarkers.  Scrapbookers need to keep in mind, I'm working with an area that's 5.5 x 4.25" instead of a 12 x 12" sheet of paper.  Cutting a lot of the Cricut images small enough to fit means that the layering pieces are extremely tiny and hard to manage.

I duplicated her card layout because it's going to be a good one to use for kids or men.  It's going into my cards for soldiers box.

Cartridge Boxes Completed

Shirley, aka Okieladybug, shared her cut. file to make little boxes to hold individual cartridges.  They fit perfectly into a brand of storage containers called Really Useful Box she found at Staples.  Since I don't have a Gypsy,  I used her file that cuts three at a time to make mine.  

She picked up one of the storage boxes for me since there's no Staples in my hometown.  I'll pick it up when I go down this Thursday for stamp club.  Meanwhile, I found an empty Rubbermaid box in the garage and stacked them in it. 

Prior to her finding the new storage boxes, I had all mine in some Plano tackleboxes that are made to hold spinner baits.  They work great but I had several boxes full and each time I needed a cartridge, I'd have to look through them to get it.  With the new box, all of mine will fit into one, making it easier to store them and locate the one I want.  I don't remember how many Shirley said will fit into the Really Useful Box; since I only own fifty-nine cartridges, I'm sure that all mine will fit into a single box though!

The only cartridge not in a little box is Pop Up Neighborhood that I received from my Circle membership.  It's not one that I plan to keep but just haven't decided yet how to get rid of it!   It's just sitting here in its original packaging ready to ship off to someone who can find a use for it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Friend in Need...

Forget about the 12-inch portable paper trimmer.  Forget about the silent eyelet setter. Forget about the Xyron sticker maker, the personal die cut machines, and the acid-free photo pen.  While all these are grand inventions in their own right, the single biggest innovation to ever hit the scrapbooking world is : the Internet.

To the non-scrapper, "Internet" and "scrapbooking" may not seem to go hand-in-hand.  But anyone who's ever picked up a tape runner knows that she would not scrap without her high-speed Internet hookups-both literal and figurative.

Just think about it.  Before the Internet, how did people know where to find the lowest price on American Crafts albums?  How did people keep up to date on the latest scrap celebrity happenings?  How did people compare ideas for enlivening Little League layouts, debate the best way to adhere twill to the page, or share the angst of trying to get noticed by the editors of Scrappin' Digest?

And most of all. how did scrapbookers find each other?

Scrapbooking can be a lonely hobby.  Husbands usually don't understand the obsession with all things lignin-free, and even the most dedicated memory keepers are often cursed with friends and family members who don't know a binder ring from a jump ring--and don't want to know.

Some of us are lucky enough to live within close proximity to a well-stocked scrapbook store, where we can meet like-minded souls.  But for many of our sister scrappers, it's easier to find a restaurant with Fresca on tap than it is to find a retail establishment that sells single sheet of Foof-a-la.  Thus, if it weren't for the Internet--and its scrapper-specific bulletin boards, inline communities, and Yahoo groups--a good portion of our ilk would live lives of quiet desperation, having no one with whom to share the trials and tribulations of hand-cutting titles and getting chipboard letters to stick on a page.

I think there are a couple of reasons why online scrapbooking communities are so popular.  First,  despite the fact that we journal on our pages because we want to share our stories, scrapbooking can be a very private hobby.  The longer you do it, the deeper and more personal your pages become.  And if you're going to journal about your stint as an exotic dancer, or you ambivalence about having breast augmentation surgery, you'll probably feel more comfortable sharing those stores online with a virtual (no pun intended) stranger, than with the gal you're sitting next to at Free Crop Night--a gal you just might run into at church or at the next PTA meeting.

Second, scrapbookers are round-the-clock crafters.  Yes, our free time may occasionally coincide with Archiver's business hours, but more likely than not, we're going to be needing that poem about the dead goldfish at 2 AM instead of 2 PM. And at any time, day or night, we can boot up the computer, safe in the knowledge that someone, somewhere--Australia? Madrid? Spokane?--will appreciate our creative use of deckle-edges scissors on our latest layout.

Any scrapper worth her glitter would argue that the friends she's made online are just as supportive and just as important as those who live next door or across town.  Whether we loan them our copy of Digital Designs for Scrapbooking in person or send it via UPS doesn't matter; the bond between two scrapbookers is stronger than any double sided tape.

Non-scrapbookers might not get this. "How can you feel so deeply about and spend so much time with people you've never met in real life?" they ask.  Little do they know that the hours we spend online are just as real--of not more so--than the hours we spend with our "real" friends and family.

It's okay if they don't get it, though.  They probably don't understand the need for seven different kinds of adhesive, either.

This is an excerpt from the book Snippets, Mostly True Tales from the Lighter Side of Scrapbooking by Lain Ehmann.

I love this essay in her book and wanted to share it with my online friends.  

The book was given to me at CKC in Tulsa last weekend as part of our registration packet.  It's comprised of short, humorous essays about scrapbooking.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Remembering my momma

Today my late mother's been on my mind.

She grew up in an era when not having water and electricity wasn't unusual in rural Oklahoma.  Got married, and had four children.  Lived in a house with no running water or inside bathroom for 16 years with all four of us kids. She hauled water from the well outside the kitchen door, brought in a big galvanized bath tub and filled it with water she'd heated on the stove for us to bathe in.  She had no air conditioning for another 5 years.  She sewed all our clothes, cooked meals, did laundry and kept an immaculate house.

I remember moving into town when I was seven years old.  Momma was so happy because we had a bathroom and a big old hot water tank in the kitchen so we could take our baths and she could do her dishes without having to heat the water.

It's 100 degrees today and about 74 degrees in my nice air conditioned house.  I deep cleaned the kitchen, and living room, did 4 loads of laundry and dusted/vacuumed the rest of the house.  The whole time I was cleaning, I was thinking about how hard it was and how hot I was getting.

Then, I remembered momma.  No matter what the weather, there was a cooked dinner on the table every night.  Clothes were washed, hung outdoors to dry, starched, ironed and hung back in the closet. Her hardwood floors weren't dusty and the bathroom and kitchen were always kept clean.

She'd have gotten up early to do the heavy work when it was this hot, but she'd have done it in a house that would have been 10-15 degrees hotter than mine.

Just thinking about how hard it had to have been for her to do all this without the convenient appliances and utilities I have made me stop to really appreciate what she and my dad had to do to raise us kids.

Maybe you didn't grow up in a house like ours, but I'll guarantee that you have it easier than your mother did.  If you're fortunate enough to still have your mother, you may want to just give her a call and say "thanks".

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another "Card" Card

While making the cards yesterday, I had difficulty applying ATG tape onto the backs of the playing cards.  Playing cards are coated so they'll be slick and easy to deal and shuffle.  Glue dots seem to be the easiest way to adhere the playing cards onto cardstock.

Papercrafts magazine also had this card in the September/October issue.  To make this one, I gathered up all the decks of cards we have in the house, picked out the Aces of hearts and just photocopied them onto white cardstock.  This eliminates the problem of applying adhesive to the slick surface of the playing cards.

The heart frame was cut using Plaintin Schoolbook.  I measured the heart on the playing card and resized a 1" heart using Design Studio to make the opening the right size.  The sentiment was printed in my card making software and I pop dotted the red frame for dimension.

On some of these, I applied red Inka-Gold paint to the heart frame for some bling.
Wouldn't these make great Valentine cards?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Super Simple Card

This card is from the September/October issue of Papercrafts magazine.  Super fast to put together.  I went to the local Dollar Tree and bought decks of cards to use for this project.  

It didn't take long to figure out that you can do 10 winning poker hands from each deck of cards and still have a couple of cards left over.  My cards will have 4 straight flushes and 6 full house hands.  I could have done Royal Flush hands but like to mix the red and black cards since I'm using the kraft paper background.

I probably should mail one of these to Okieladybug!  Maybe it would help her out in the next poker tournament!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poppy flower

I'm posting this on here so I won't forget how I did it!  LOL!

I stamped the flower with black Staz-On ink onto red cardstock, used gold Inka-Gold paint to add some highlights and added dots with a gold Pearl Pen in the center.  Each petal of the flower is cut into 4-5 thin pieces to make it look like a poppy.

Add caption
 Petals are cut into about 3 pieces in this photo.

This is after clipping them the second time.

Where I got the Inka-Gold paints  is the company that had the booth where Carrie Elmore and I bought these.

This page shows the colors of the Inka-Gold paints I used on the flowers.  I didn't buy the large size containers like they list on their blog; they had a set of all 10 in tiny jars so you could get them all for $29.99 at the CKC in Tulsa.

You can see that the jars are less than 1.5 inches in diameter so they're pretty small.  I figure that they hold enough for me to see if I'm going to use them.

The demonstrators were using a moistened sponge to apply the paint onto the edges of paper flowers.  The damper the sponge, the more of the paint you get on it to apply.  It can also be blended but I haven't even tried that yet!

Using Inka-Gold Paints

While in Tulsa at the CKC show, Carrie Elmore and I watched a demonstration of Inka-Gold paints.  They were using them to highlight the edges of cut out flowers.  I fell in love with the way the flowers looked with the metallic paint added.

The booth had so many different stamps that co-ordinate with Nestabilities to cut them out, that it was hard for me to pick which ones I like the best.  I picked up a couple of different flower stamps and the Inka-Gold's but it was not fun to walk away with only two sets of stamps, for sure!

Here are some photos of the flowers I did this afternoon to give the paints a try.  I used a wet makeup wedge sponge to apply the metallic paint onto the cut out flowers.

Of these four, the ivory with the gold edges is my favorite.  It has the most contrast on it so the gold shows up better.  I used gold on one red flower and then I tried putting the red metallic paint on another one.  The effect is really nice, but not what I was trying to achieve.

These Inka-Golds are going to be a great way to add shine onto a project.  Once dried, it won't transfer off so I can use it for Cards for Soldiers cards with no worries.

Each of the finished flowers with the paper used for them.

 Cream paper with gold.
 Light brown paper with gold.
Red paper with gold.

Red paper with gold

Red paper with red metallic paint.  The paint is too close to the color of the paper so there's no real contrast, but it made gorgeous metallic red paper!

I used a Pearl Pen to do the centers on all the flowers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cricut Lite Cartridges

Yesterday I found a pretty good selection of the Lite cartridges on the markdown aisle at our local WalMart.

There were a few I wanted and of course I had to call Shirley, aka Okieladybug, and tell her about them and pick up the ones she wanted too!

I did pick up some extras.  Here's a list of the ones I have.  They are $20 plus $5 postage.  I can mail two cartridges for $5 if it's okay that the clear plastic clamshell is removed.  That's the only way two will fit into a Priority envelope.  I do Paypal, but be sure to contact me first since I have these on my Facebook page also and they're going pretty quick!

If you're interested in any of these,  please email me at: or message me on Facebook.  I seldom go onto the Cricut message boards any more so I probably wouldn't see a PM on there.

Unless otherwise listed, I only have one of each cartridge.

Live Simply---SOLD
Celebrate with a Flourish---SOLD
Cherry Limeade---SOLD
(2) Cupcake Wrapper--SOLD
Feeling Groovy ---SOLD
Lovely Floral---SOLD
Meow --SOLD
Slumber Party ---SOLD
Varsity Letter---SOLD

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Photo by my granddaughter

This photo of Cooper's feet was taken by my 17 year old granddaughter. Cooper is her baby brother and is now three weeks old.

I absolutely fell in love with it and had to post it on here.  She has a good eye for photography, don't you agree?

I told some friends it almost made me decide to do a scrapbook!  LOL!  And everyone knows I'm not a scrapbooker---I just make cards!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A comment about appearances

 Today I received a comment regarding a post I made on my blog May 13, 2011.  The post included several photos of items I'd made with Seminole patchwork on them.  Here's the comment, and my response.
Anonymous said...
nice work, but you do not look Seminole to me and there is a law against you making money on our culture and traditions...did any of that money go to help my people? Didn't think so.
Linda said...
Yes, Ms. or Mr. Anonymous, I do not look like a Seminole. I am a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and taught myself how to make the patchwork. I've received high commendations from even the Chief of the Florida Seminole tribe for my work. And I spent a good number of years participating in Native American art shows, pow wows and festivals in order to help promote the craft. I'd love to know where you got the idea that there's some sort of law restricting the making and selling of the patchwork. Please feel free to post the information here and I'll certainly look at it.

 The comment left by "Anonymous" isn't the first time that I've been told "you don't look Indian" or "you don't look Seminole". 
I also don't look like a wife, mother, accountant, small business owner or a Democrat, but I'm all of those things too.
The assumption made my "Anonymous" was that I had, as a non-Indian, cashed in on a part of Indian culture. My fair skin lead to this assumption, I'm sure.
Well, Ms. or Mr. Anonymous, let me tell you MY TWO CENT'S worth..........I made patchwork items and sold them at Native American festivals, pow wows, rodeos, and art shows for several years.  
I can't tell you how many elders came into my booth and complimented me on my work.  We usually had long conversations about how the younger tribal members have no interest in learning this craft and it's dying out.
I received a commendation from the Chief of the Chickasaw Nation thanking me for my promoting and perpetuating a Native American craft.

The Chief of the Seminole Nation of Florida visited with me at the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City and purchased some of my items for his own use.  The reason?  Because authentic patchwork, made by a tribal member, is so difficult to find in Florida.

Prejudice and assumptions lead to misunderstandings.  Before rushing to a conclusion, get the facts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Halloween Cards

These are part of the 30 Halloween cards that I completed this weekend.  The Frankenstein card is an oldie, but it's so cute I make some of these every year!  It's simply made with circle punches.

 I first saw this card on Dawn Griffith's blog.  I used 1.25" white and green circles and 1" black circles.  Computer printed the sentiment and added the scars with a pen.
 The candy corn was cut using Doodlecharms.  I cut it in all three colors, then trimmed and layered them.  Added some faux stitching and a Peechy Keen face.
The sentiment was computer printed.  This card is based on one I saw a few years ago online.

 These cut out images are a combination of clip art and some that Shirley shared with me from last year.
 This series of cards are note card size.  I found a box of them on sale and just decorated the fronts.
 I've stamped or computer printed appropriate sentiments inside on all of these.
 At last!  I got to use my Drippy Goo punch!
The witch is a Studio G stamp and the sentiment was computer printed. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How I Made The Flower Card

This is an A2 sized card.

!.  I covered the card front with green checked paper.

2.  Tape a solid pink piece of 5.5 x 4.25" paper onto a piece of pink striped paper the same size.  (If you   have double sided paper, you can just use that instead.

3.  Mark the center of the bottom edge of the pink paper and fold the corners in to meet. Lay this onto your card front and determine if you need to trim any excess off across the top so that it fits where you want onto the card.  I think I probably trimmed off about .75 " on mine.

4.  I used the owl punch from Stampin' Up to make the tulip shape.  Punch one from pink paper and then trim the owl's feet off with scissors.  Punch a second owl shape and using your scissors just cut two curved pieces out of the body to make the outer petals.  Ink the edges of the white petals and glue them onto the pink base.

5.  Using a Su Five Petal Flower punch, punch two from white cardstock, emboss them with a Cuttlebug folder.  The center is one of the shapes from SU's Boho blossoms punch.  I inked the edges of the petals.

6.  The smaller flowers are made with the Boho Blossoms punch too.  I just layered them.

7.  When ready to assemble the card front, just apply adhesive to the back of the pink papers and stick them onto the green checked card front.  Arrange flowers the way you want.  Then I used a couple of dots of glue to hold the folded edges of the pink paper in place, placed glue dots on the backs of the flowers and tucked them into place.  Attached a bow with a glue dot and you're finished.

First Cards Uploaded On My New Computer

This afternoon has been spent getting software installed and data restored onto my new computer.  The computer I've been using is at least five years old and had become so slow that I was pulling my hair out waiting for things to load!

These are cards that I made yesterday while I was "computerless".  Fred came back to check on what I was doing and teased me about having to make cards "by hand" since I couldn't use my Design Studio to lay them out.  Each of these were inspired by cards in an embellishment magazine that I had on hand.

 The flowers are all made with SU punches and Cuttlebug embossing folders.
 The small flowers are SU stamps and the stem is an old stamp I've had for some time.  The papers are from SU
I used some Studio G alphabet stamps to do "dreams" and the other letters were done with some Martha Stewart stamps. 
The word "wish" is made from letters cut out from some
Tim Holtz paper.  I just tore the edges of the paper and inked it with Chestnut Roan ink.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wedding Photos

Not too many photos were taken at our wedding and reception.  It was 113° the day we got married, and the church had no air conditioning!

Today's our anniversary so I thought I'd post these in celebration of it!

I had purchased a light blue dress to be married in since we were going to be married in the rectory by Father Steven.  Then the guest list outgrew the space, so we moved the wedding to the church.  My mother insisted if I was getting married in the church, that I should have a wedding dress.  I told her "Fine, make me one." and left it all up to her.  She made the dress and veil without my even seeing the fabric. 

Since she'd made my clothes all my life, she knew it would fit.  It was perfect.  Not frou-frou at all--that isn't my style.

My great-aunt Elfreeda made our wedding cake as a gift to us.  I wanted a chocolate cake--which was kind of unusual back then.  My brother, who was best man, won't eat chocolate, so she made the middle layer white for him since we were married on his birthday.

We were only 20 years old when we got married, and a lot of folks never thought it would work out.  Guess somehow we've managed to prove them wrong!  LOL!

Punch Ladybug Card

Resurrected an old idea on this one.  You use a scalloped circle punch to make the ladybug's body and a round punch for its head.  I added the antennas with a pen, used some glue dots to affix the buttons and added some doodling with a Signo pen.

Now that squash season is almost finished.....

We have a sweet neighbor, Karen, who shared some of her garden vegetables with us this week.  She also sent us two jars of pickled squash that she'd canned. 

I'm not a big fan of relishes, chutneys and pickled things so I hesitated to sample the pickled squash.  When I did, I knew I had to make some jars for us to enjoy this winter.  Now that squash season is almost finished, it was hard to find good yellow squash at the local grocer's to make these.

These resemble a bread and butter pickle, sort of vinegary and sweet.  The recipe came from a Better Homes and Gardens canning booklet.

So-Sweet Squash Pickles

3 small yellow squash, cut into ½” thick slices
   (about 3 cups)

½ cup coarsely chopped onion
1 large bell pepper cut into strips
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 cup sugar
¾ cup white vinegar
¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
¾ teaspoon celery seeds
¼ teaspoon dry mustard

Combine squash, onion and pepper in a large bowl.
Sprinkle with the salt, stir gently to combine. Cover
and chill for 1 hour: drain well.

In a 3 quart saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard
seeds , celery seeds and dry mustard.  Bring to a boil, stir
until sugar dissolves.  Add squash mixture. Return to a
boil. Remove from heat.

Ladle hot vegtables and liquid into sterilized pint jars.
Cool for 30 minutes.  Seal and label.

Chill for at least 24 hours before serving. Store in the
refrigerator for up to one month. 

I sliced my squash with a mandolin slicer, then measured
it.  Wound up with 15 cups of squash, sliced 4 large onions,
and 4 bell peppers to make 7 pints.  Multiplied the amount of

spices, vinegar, etc times 5.

I sterilized my jars and flat lids and sealed them while the vegetables were

hot so that they are canned and do not require refrigeration since I made 
five times the recipe.

The second jar she gave us was a slightly different recipe and had jalapeno peppers mixed in.  Not enough to make the pickles too hot to eat, just enough to add the pepper flavor.  I started with 4 pounds of yellow squash and added 5 sliced jalapenos to the hot vegetables as I packed the jars. 

I multiplied the ingredients x 2 and wound up with a lot of the vinegar mixture left over.  Now, guess I need to hit the farmer's market and see if I can find more squash!

SQUASH PICKLES  (recipe from Elaine Nelson)

2 lb fresh squash yellow or zucchini  
2 or more onions
1/4 c. salt   
2 c white sugar
1 tsp. celery seeds  
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds   
3 c. cider vinegar

Wash and cut thin squash and onions.  Mix onions with squash and cover with water  add  salt and let stand for 2 hours and then drain.

Bring all other ingredients to a boil. and heat 5 minutes.

Pack squash and onions in jars and leave 1/2" space from top  of jar.

Pack firmly.. Fill jars. Wipe jar  rim and place on jar lids and screw down.
Cook in an open kettle bath for 15 minutes(boiling water bath)

Let set for a few days before opening.....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Butterfly and Roses Card

It's not obvious in the photo, but, this is a 5 x 7 card.  I don't make that size unless it's a special order but I found a pack of 8 black cards with envelopes at Michael's for only .50.  Knowing that was a huge bargain, I picked   them up and put them in my stash.  Today I ran across them and this is what I came up with.

The butterfly is a SU punch, the roses are SU done with StazOn black in on red paper. One rose is attached with a glue dot and the other is pop dotted for dimension.   I used the Cuttlebug on the white background oval, and you can't see them all, but there are five 1.25 inch circles cut in half and layered under the ribbon. 

There's a total of eight cards like this, some have stickles added onto the flower and butterfly and a couple have some black buttons added onto the white oval.

It seems like I learn something each time I lay out a new card.  First, I decided to do the black and white rectangles, then added the circle halves to look like large scallops peeking out under the ribbon.  I wanted to put two flowers and a butterfly in an oval and didn't realize the oval would be so big that you can't see the scallop!  But, it turned out cute anyway!

Getting a new computer!

The PC that I use is probably five years old, has had a few issues and been repaired a few times too.  Friday morning I drove up to The Computer Hospital and met with the owner to order a new PC. 

I had looked at a few retail stores and online to find one that I thought I'd like and decided to stick with what I like---Windows XP.   Many people who use computers for business are opting not to upgrade to Windows 7, and I'm one of them.

Yes, I understand that XP will not be as fast as Windows 7 because it can't utilize one "leg" of memory like W7 can, but that's okay.  I have several pieces of software that I use and they can't run on any version of Windows past XP.

My Pfaff sewing/embroidery machine software is the main problem.  The machine is over 10 years old and it took me forever to find a software patch so it would run on XP.  Even though I don't use the machine much since I've begun making cards, I want to be able to use it if the need arises.

Technology changes so fast that it keeps me leery of buying new things these days.  Just about the time you get a phone, camera or computer they come out with a newer version that makes yours outdated.  So, I've tended to not buy new stuff for the past few years, giving new technology a chance to be tested in the marketplace.  My friends really tease me about the cell phone I use but it works well for what I need and I'll keep using it until it breaks and I'm forced to find a new one!

Getting a new computer set up is a pain for me!  It's sort of like moving into a new house and trying to find things in the kitchen.  I know where everything's at on my PC and it's going to take me some time to get settled in on the new one even though all my programs will be automatically transferred for me.

I have all my data and documents copied onto a couple of jump drives and I think I'm going to spend some time going through that information as I put it back onto the new PC.  Having lost important documents in the past, I tend to save everything!

If everything goes according to plan, my new computer will be ready by Wednesday and I may only be offline for one day.   In the meantime, I'll try to get something new made so I'll have something to share on here as soon as I'm back up and running again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Read this! Good information about food spoilage (with tongue in cheek)

DH shared this with me this afternoon.  It came from Chef Paul Kirk and was published in the "Bullsheet" paper for the Kansas City Barbecue Association.  It's well worth the read!


This is NOT a marketing ploy to encourage you to throw away perfectly good food so that you'll spend more on groceries.  Perhaps you'd benefit by having a calendar in your kitchen.

If opening the refrigerator door causes stray animals from a three block radius to congregate outside your house, the meat is spoiled.

Sesame seeds and Poppy seeds are the only officially acceptable "spots" that should be seen on the surface of any loaf of bread.  Fuzzy and hairy looking white or green growth areas are a good indication that your bread has turned into a pharmaceutical laboratory experiment.

Flour is spoiled when it wiggles.

It never spoils.

Bibb lettuce is spoiled when you can't get it off the bottom of the vegetable crisper without Comet.  Romaine lettuce is spoiled when it turns liquid.

Any canned good that have become the size or shape of a soft ball should be disposed of. Carefully.

A carrot that you can tie a clove hitch in is not fresh.

Raisins should not be harder than your teeth.

Fresh potatoes do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy under growth.

If you can take it out of its container and bounce it on the floor, it has gone bad.

Putting empty containers back into the refrigerator is an old trick, but it only works if you live with someone or have a maid.

You know it is well beyond prime when you're tempted to discard the Tupperware along with the food.  Generally speaking, Tupperware containers should not burp when you  open them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another hot weather recipe

 One evening I wanted to make a pizza for dinner but didn't have enough time to make crust and let it rise so I put the pizza topping ingredients over a layer of rice instead.  My guys loved it.  To this day, if we're having pizza at home, this is generally the way it's prepared. 

For just Fred and myself, it gets prepared in the microwave so it's another good recipe to have when it's just too hot to cook.

Rice Pizza

1 pound pork sausage
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
4 cups cooked rice

Crumble sausage in skillet and cook until done.
Drain well on paper towels.

Spread cooked rice in a greased 13 x 9 dish.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over the
top of the rice.

In a small bowl, mix tomato sauce with a pinch
each of oregano, garlic powder, and paprika.
I usually do this in a coffee mug and heat it in
the microwave to develop the spice flavors
before putting it onto the rice.

Spread tomato sauce over the parmesan cheese.
Top with the cooked sausage and mozzarella

Bake in 350° oven until cheese melts OR
microwave on high 3-4 minutes.

How to cook when its 100°

This is a super easy meal to put together when it's just too darned hot to cook.  We're had over 40 days of temperatures over 100° so tonight I pulled out one of my standby recipes.  I keep the ingredients on hand for this because I can throw it together and have it on the table in about 30 minutes and it will feed a lot of people.  For just the two of us, I freeze containers of it to heat later.

Penne Pasta with Marinara Sauce

1 jar Bertoli Marinara Sauce
1/2 of a 14.5 oz. box of Ronzoni Penne Rigate
Johnsonville Italian sausage patties
Italian seasoning
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and/or Mozzarella cheese

I cook the sausage according to the package instructions, then crumble it up.
Add the jar of marinara sauce and mix well.
I add about 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning to the mixture and about 1/3 cup of water
Cook the pasta until just al dente, drain well and add to sausage mixture.
Stir in the freshly grated cheese.
Put mixture into a microwave safe dish and continue cooking it in the microwave
until the pasta is completely done.

With some crusty garlic bread, salad and a good house red wine, you'll have a meal you'd be proud to serve to anyone!