Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another French Manor Card

I like this one better.  The key and the photo corners are cut from gold metallic paper.  I used Elegant Edges for the brown background shape and added some Pearl Pen dots.

Another French Manor Card

Not crazy about this one either! lol!  But, I'm persevering with French Manor and will come up with one that I really do like.  It just may take me a while to figure out the right combination of Tim Holtz paper and French Manor shapes!

The heart I used is from Graphically Speaking. That cartridge has tons of great images on it.  The paper is Tim Holtz and the key and key hole are cut from Mica paper so they look metalllic.  The inside sentiment is "to my heart."  I added Pearl Pen dots around the heart.

The more I looked at it, I decided it needed something in the left side of the card.  It just looked too blank.  So, I added a couple of tiny flourishes from French Manor and this is the finished card.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

French Manor Cartridge

Today I received the French Manor cartridge from my friend Carrie Elmore.  As soon as I could, I got busy looking at the images and trying to do a card layout.

Well, this is what I came up with and it doesn't look anything like I thought it would! LOL!  I'll keep working on the concept and come up with a better one but I wanted to get this posted tonight.

Another Butterfly Card

Lately I seem to be stuck making cards with butterflies!  This is a remake of one I did a long time ago, with a little twist.  I made color copies of the butterfly stickers and used Martha Stewart punches to punch them out rather than cutting them out by hand.  I was able to get six of these done in a very short period of time by using the punches and cutting all the rectangles with my Cricut.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cards for the Swarm

I made up some card kits to take to the swarm in Norman today and then wound up not being able to participate.  So, I'll get them all finished and add them to my cards for soldiers box.

Three Butterfly Squares Card

Another card inspired from an online blog featured this layout.  Unfortunately, the blog is not in English, so I do not know the name of the creator.

 I did a couple without embossing the background and they looked too flat.  I like them better with the embossing and the Pearl Pen accents on the butterflies as well as the white squares.
I used a Martha Stewart punch and punched the butterfly out of white cardstock.  Then I punched an 1 1/4" square around the butterfly and mounted a 1" square of colored paper underneath.

 Then I cut an 1 1/2" square of orange cardstock and mounted the butterfly onto that.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Using an Image from Etsy

While looking around on Pinterest, I saw a vintage image from a store on Etsy.  I've never purchased anything from there before but thought this image was one that I could use with some of my Tim Holtz papers.  I contacted the seller and told her that I'd be using it to make cards and she was nice enough to re-size it for me to fit an A2 card.

I used Microsoft Word to print it onto some cream colored paper and then realized it just looked too flat for a card front.  So, I used a Martha Stewart butterfly punch and placed one image over the moth in the cage and one at the upper corner of the card front.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More Butterfly Cards

This was the first one.  I used a SU punch for the striped background piece and a SU three step butterfly punch for the butterflies.  The swirl stamps are some I've had for a long time.
The paper is from a Tim Holtz stack.

 I added copper stickles onto the swirls and blue onto the butterflies.
Some Pearl Pen dots onto the swirls.
 Just three Pearl Pen dots in the corner
 Pearl Pen dots on the swirl and the corner
More copper stickles and blue on the butterflies.

Cheddar and Jalapeno Muffins


This recipe was modified from a loaf bread recipe I found in a Fleischmann’s bread book.

3 ½ cups unbleached white bread flour
1 T. granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. Salt
2 ¼ tsp yeast (one package)
2 T. olive oil
1 2/3 cups warm water
8 oz. (3 lightly packed cups) grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped fresh jalapeno peppers

I put everything except the peppers and cheese in my Kitchenaid mixer bowl and just mixed it up for a couple of minutes.  Then I added the cheese and peppers and mixed it a little longer.  The dough was way too soft so I added, one tablespoon at a time, probably another ½ cup of flour to make the dough just barely stiff enough to handle.

I left the dough in the bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and let it rise until almost double.

Turned the dough out onto a floured surface and divided it into 10 portions.  I have some stoneware muffin cups that resemble flower pots so I did mine to fit into those.  But, you could definitely use a muffin pan or small loaf pans.  Don’t forget to spray the pans with Pam.

I put the muffin cups on a large baking sheet in a slightly warm oven and let them rise about 30 minutes. When they'd risen above the edge of the muffin cups, I set them on the counter and heated the oven to 350°.  Then I baked mine about 18 minutes, just until they were golden brown on the top. 

My dough was just a little too soft.  Next time I make these, I’ll add a little extra flour while its mixing.  And reserve just a little of the grated cheese to sprinkle on top before they bake.  That would give them a nice crunchy top.

The results are delicious!  The peppers give the dough some flavor but aren’t hot at all. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup very well drained and patted dry chopped green chiles.  I used the jalapenos because our plants are loaded with them and we had our first frost last night.  I hated to let them go to waste.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My favorite pizza recipe

When I purchaed my Cuisinart food processor, I received a large round grand griddle with it.  The griddle is extremely heavy and has helper handles on each side.  This is the recipe for pizza crust that's in the cookbook that goes with the griddle.

Even though the crust uses yeast, you don't have to allow any time for it to rise.  I can have a delicious homemade pizza on the table in less time than I can have one delivered.

Tonight, I browned a pound of bulk sausage, put it onto a paper towel to drain and sauteed some bell pepper and onion in the skillet, then I sliced some pepperoni and heated it in the microwave on a paper towel to help remove some of the grease that cooks out of it,

Once the crust was ready, I mixed the sauteed vegetables with a small can of tomato sauce, added some oregano, paprika and garlic and poured the mixture onto the crust.  Topped it with some grated Parmsan and Mozzarella cheese and the meats.

The only real recipe you need is for the crust.  Put whatever toppings on it you like.  I've done veggie pizzas for myself but the guys always wanted sausage or pepperoni.

The cool thing about this pizza recipe is that it's made on top of the stove.  You heat your griddle---and I see no reason why you couldn't use a cast iron skillet---on the stove top.  Brush it with a little olive oil and roll your crust out to fit onto the griddle/skillet surface.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 2/3 cup unbleached flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil

Stir the yeast and sugar in warm water to dissolve them.
Use the metal blade of your food processor to process the flour, salt, olive oil, and yeast about 60 seconds.
(I used my Kitchenaide mixer this evening and it worked just fine.)
Cook the crust about 1 minute, then add your toppings and cook another 8 minutes, or until the bottom is well browned and the cheese is melted.  Then you can slip it under the broiler if you like crispy edged crust.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Paper for the butterfly cards

 The stack is all double sided cardstock weight paper.  The music is on the reverse side.

I bought it a few months ago but I'm pretty sure that it's still available.
The side I used reminded me of the old tin ceiling tiles in buildings built in the early 1900's.

One Card--Four Versions

Background paper:  K & Company
Stamps:  Tim Holtz, Kelly Pennaci and some I've had a long time
Punches:  Martha Stewart butterfly and SU circles

 I like this one the best.
 I wanted to try a sepia tone card but the brown ink didn't look like I thought it would on the paper I had.
 So, I thought I'd add some color in the butterflies.

The butterflies are punched from charcoal grey Mica paper so they're actually shiny.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Custom Order Birthday Card

This easel card was done by request for a local motorcycle enthusiast's 40th birthday.  I was sent a photo of his Harley Davidson motorcycle and given free reign to create a special card.  The only request I got was to include "Enjoy the ride" somewhere on the card.

The Harley Davidson emblem has orange, black and white on it.  I chose to use these colors for the card also.

This photo shows the entire inside of the card.

He can keep the easel card on his desk to display the photo of his bike without it being obvious that it's a birthday card.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Simple Christmas Card

It's another card inspired by one on Pinterest!  Thanks Kittie Caracciolo, for posting this!

I used a SU bird punch and a Martha Stewart branch punch and border punch.  Super easy!  And really cute too!

I was sort of bummed out when I realized the striped ribbon I ordered from Ribbons and Bows, Oh, My would make the card too thick to mail with out extra postage.  So, looks like I'm stuck with using the red checked satin ribbon on these!

Butterfly Frame

I absolutely need to stay off of Pinterest!  There are so many neat projects on there that I re-pin and want to make that I don't get anything done at all!

This frame idea came from a Stampin' Up blog:  
Of course, she used all SU products to make hers but I used my Expression and a couple of  Martha Stewart punches.  The butterfly shapes came from various cartridges and I resized them using Design Studio so they'd fit into my frame.  Almost all the butterflies were embossed using Cuttlbug folders and I added some Pearl Pen accent dots.

This quick project is going in the main bath in our house.  I chose paper colors that matched the colors in the shower curtain.

The first photo shows the arrangement of the butterflies on the glass before they were embossed.  It is not a shadowbox so they're mounted on the surface of the glass instead.

Here's the finished frame, ready to hang.

Side view showing the dimension of the butterflies.

It may be interesting to see how long the exposed paper will hold up to the steam from the shower.  We finished the remodeling of the bathroom about 6 months ago and I've looked everywhere for some type of wall art for it without success.  I didn't want anything really geared toward a bathroom like paintings of a bathtub, sink, etc. and that's the only thing I've found that had colors in it that I liked.  So, my multi-colored butterflies will work just fine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jalapeno Bagels Recipe

Jalapeno Bagels

Recipe from Grit Country Skills Series
Guide to Homemade Bread

1 ½ cups warm water
4 tsp. Active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp, salt
1 T. sugar
4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup fresh seeded minced jalapeno peppers
1 T. plus 1 tsp dried red chili pepper flakes
1 egg, optional

1 gallon water
1 T. sugar

Combine warm water, yeast, salt and 1 T. sugar.
Add flour, jalapenos and red chili pepper flakes
and mix into a ball.

Knead for 10-12 minutes, adding more flour if
necessary, until dough is stiff.  Let dough rest for
10 minutes.

Divide into 8 equal pieces and form into balls.
Punch a hole in middle with floured finger and
gently pull to enlarge hole to 2 inches.

Place bagels on greased baking sheet, cover and        
allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to broil. Prepare water bath and
put it on to boil.

After bagels have risen for 20 minutes, broil for 1 ½ minutes
on each side.

Once water bath is boiling, reduce heat.  Place bagels, 3 at a
time in water for 1 ½ minutes, turning after 45 seconds.

Drain and place on greased baking sheet.  If desired, brush with
egg wash (beat egg with 1 tablespoon of water)

Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes.

Shaped and ready to rise for 20 minutes.  I used my stand mixer for the kneading process.  The simplest way to get like-sized dough pieces is to cut the ball in half, then half that and repeat.

Broiling for 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

This is what they look like after you boil them.  It firmed up the dough so they were easy to handle.  I've made bagels before and the recipe always called for salt in the water instead of sugar.

Ready to bake after boiling and letting them drain. I did use the egg wash on both sides and sprinkled the tops with some kosher salt.

My finished product.  It was hard for me to let them cool off before tasting one!  I was pleasantly surprised that they're not hot since they have two kinds of peppers in the dough.  They turned out perfectly crusty on the outside, moist and chewy inside and taste great with a little smear of cream cheese!

I know there are a lot of steps to making these but I believe if you want to try your hand at baking bread, this is a super easy recipe to start out with!  Much simpler than making a pretty loaf of bread!

We Love Bread

Fall is in the air. Our daytime temperatures are still reaching into the 80's but at night it's getting down into the 50's, making for wonderful sleeping weather.  When our temperatures start to drop, I head into the kitchen anxious to experiment with recipes I've collected over the summer.

As a kid, I remember my parents buying copies of a newspaper named "Grit".  It was full of rural news, quilting and sewing patterns and recipes.  The newspaper is probably no longer being printed, but I found a magazine: Grit Country Skills Series Guild to Homemade Bread on a local newsstand and have been reading the recipes and selecting the ones I want to try.

We love bread whether it be biscuits, cornbread, hushpuppies, hot rolls, homemade loaves or bagels. 

There are several good recipes for bagels in the magazine so today I'm testing their Jalepeno Bagels.  There are plenty of peppers left on the plants outback so it's a good way to use some of them before we get a frost.

Commercially made bagels are not "real" bagels. They're steamed and not boiled.  Traditionally, bagels are boiled before they go into the oven.  This process serves three purposes:  it sets the shape and kills off some of the yeast in the outer layer so that the bagel doesn't expand too much when it's baked; it effects the starches on the surface so that you get the shiny coating; and it activates the yeast in the center of the dough so you'll get the chewy texture.

I've read that "an unboiled bagel is just a roll with a hole".  And if you've ever had a homemade bagel or are lucky enough to have a bakery nearby that makes traditional bagels, you know what I mean.  We have no local bakery in our town and the only bagels available are in the local grocery store--and they're pretty lame.

My bagels are mixed, shaped and resting right now.  In a few minutes I'll head back into the kitchen to finish the baking/boiling process and have them ready by the time Fred gets home this afternoon.  He loves hot peppers and other spicy foods so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my bagels will be something he'll enjoy.

If they turn out satisfactorily, I'll post the recipe on here with the instructions and some photos so you can give it a try!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pen Stitched Card

This card layout came from  The original had machine stitching across the hearts.  I used a dark brown marker and made the stitch lines on my version.

Five Minute Cards

A lot of people ask me how in the world I make so many cards.  They may have seen a card that had a lot of details on it, hand work, inking, etc. and suppose that I spend that much time on all my card layouts.

A few weeks ago, I posted a series of what I called "30 Minute Cards" to show that you can make really nice cards that you'll be proud to use without spending a lot of time or having a room full of supplies and tools.

Pinterest has become a favorite place for me to visit.  If I see a card that I like, I re-pin it into a Paper Inspiration board so I can easily find it again.  These cards were inspired by one I saw on Pinterest from Lorrie's Story Creations.  I was not able to locate the original post to give full credit to Lorrie.

A Cuttlebug folder, punched shape (or Cricut cut), a corner punch and some pop dots are all you need to do these. And you can definitely do them in less than five minutes each.

They'd make perfect Christmas cards!

 Changing the embossing folder gives each card a slightly different look.  A Martha Stewart punch was used for the snowflakes.  They're punched from Mica paper.
 I like the clean lines of this card!  It's one that would work well for any winter birthday as well as a holiday card.
 Of course, you could always stamp a sentiment onto a cut out shape and put it on the front too.
Lorrie's card I saw on Pinterest was a lot like this one.  I pop dotted the bird on the front as well as the embossed piece of cardstock.

This bird is from Lacy Labels but you could use any punch shape that you like to go with your Cuttlebug folder.

Cupcake Punch Card

I made three versions of this card.  One has a twine bow with the cupcake mounted on an oval shape, one has the cupcake on a tag shape with a narrow strip of yellow card stock that goes across the width of the card underneath and this version.

The cupcake was done with a Stampin' Up punch and the tag was cut by hand.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Snowflake Cutout Card

Thanks, Darleen Adamo, for posting a card very much like this one on Splitcoast Stampers blog.

I used Design Studio, George and Lacy Labels cartridge to position and cut the snowflake from Kraft cardstock, then inked the edges and backed it with some red and while polka dot paper.

The sentiment is a CTMH stamp combination.  I added some baker's twine and some white Signo pen doodling to finish the edges.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels

This is the recipe Fred fixed tonight.  It's really very good!  And it was no trouble at all to make--- Fred did it all!

This recipe came from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book, Recipes and Secrets From a Legendary Barbecue Joint


1 pork tenderloin
6 bacon strips
Carolina Mustard Sauce (see below)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black pepper

Cut tenderloin lengthwise into 6 long strips about ¼” thick. They should be about the same size as the bacon strips. Place a strip of bacon on top of each piece of the tenderloin and roll into a pinwheel medallion.  Secure with two toothpicks.

Set aside 1 cup of the sauce and brush the outside of the pinwheels with the rest. Stir together the salt, pepper and pecans and coat the pinwheels with this mixture.  Then slice the pinwheels through the equator to make two thin pinwheel medallions.

Grill the pinwheels over medium high heat 7-8 minutes on each side or until meat is done.  Serve with remaining sauce.


¾ cup prepared mustard
½ cup honey
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Hot sauce

Mix well.

The meat has a really good smokey flavor from the grill and the bacon.  The bacon keeps the tenderloin from drying out and the sauce is neither too sweet nor too vinegary

We decided that the next time Fred makes this recipe he's going to put the bacon on the outside and chop the pecans really fine and put them on the inside too.  The bacon was done, but not real crisp and the larger sized pieces of pecans fell off while the meat was on the grill.

Cartridge Storage Boxes

These are the Plano boxes I used to store my cartridges in.  Now that I've changed the way I store them, I have no need for these and no place to store the three I own either!

They're tackle boxes designed to hold spinner baits.  Each row is hinged to stand upright and has three compartments.  There is a total of six rows so the boxes will hold 18 cartridges.  

The price for all three is $15.00 plus actual postage to ship.  Just leave a comment or email me at if you're interested.

Spacing holes using a Bind-It-All

My Bind-It-All has been used very little since I've owned it because I never understood how to align the paper and get the holes punched equidistant from each edge.  Using the guide on the BIA, the top edge would be spaced perfectly but when I punched the length of the cover, the last hole would be too close to the edge--or even punched right on the edge of the cover.

I watched the online instructional video a few times and either they didn't explain how to do the spacing or it just went right over my head because it's been a struggle for me.  It's not that I make lots of books with the BIA, but when I do want to do one, I'd like for it to look professional. 

After seeing a demonstration on HSN for the Cinch, I've been considering getting it because it appeared to be easier to use for odd sized book covers.  The $100 price tag and the size of the machine is what's kept me from picking one up.

Three times I've stood in Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon in my hand and the Cinch in my shopping cart and each time I wind up putting it back!  (some of my friends make comments about how tight I can be sometimes!)

Recently, I put a post on Facebook asking about the difference between using the BIA and Cinch.  Thank you,  Sue Painter,  for posting a simple hint on how to get the holes perfectly spaced!  I had (another) AHA! moment when I tried her method.  It was one of those "How come I didn't think of that?" moments.  (But if you asked Fred why I didn't think of it, he'd explain!)

So, here's my explanation of what Sue Painter said.  I'm not a very good photographer but I wanted to document this on my blog so I'd have the instructions where I could find them the next time I want to bind a book.  I also typed them out and attached them onto the bead chain that holds the wire size templates on the BIA to have them handy.

Hope these make sense to you too!

Mark the center of your page along the side that you want to punch your holes.

Align your mark with the center point marking on the BIA and punch.

Select the SECOND hole from the left side of your punched holes.

Put the paper back into the BIA and align the SECOND hole with the stop guide, and punch.

Turn the paper over, align the SECOND hole with the stop guide and punch one more time.  You'll have an 11" sized book with perfectly aligned holes at the top and the bottom edge! 

This also works for an 8 1/2" sized book.

If you've been struggling with your BIA, I hope this helps.  If you're one of the smart folks who knew this intuitively, well, good for you!  LOL!