Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Song in My Heart Card

Julie Day created this card layout.  I saw it after it was pinned on Pinterest and wanted to duplicate it.

It took me longer than I thought; getting the printing just where it needed to be and finding some sheet music clip art to use took quite some time!

My version of a card by Julie Day

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love Notes Card

This card was shown in a past issue of CardMaker magazine.  I don't have an envelope stamp so I searched online and found a free clip art image to use.  After they were printed, I used a Promarker to add the shadows for dimension and added some tiny hearts with a Martha Stewart Punch.

The scalloped rectangle was cut using the Art Philosophy cartridge.

I printed the sentiment then slipped one end of the rectangle into an oval punch to shape the end of the tag and tied it on with a piece of baker's twine. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Finished Pizza

This will make sense to you if you read the previous post for the pizza crust recipe. My recipe uses a food processor to make the dough, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't just use a mixer.

 Just roll your dough out to fit your griddle or skillet, whichever you use.  I had preheated my griddle for 2-3 minutes over medium heat and checked it with a laser thermometer.  It was almost 300° when I put the crust onto the griddle.  I let it cook for one minute and then lowered the heat.

 Tonight's pizza ready to go under the broiler.  I used a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, browned bulk Italian sausage, diced pepperoni, diced onion as well as some chopped orange, yellow, and red bell peppers.

After putting the pizza under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes.  I topped it with some fresh purple basil from my herb pot out back.  I let it stand for a few minutes for the basil's flavor to develop from the heat of the pizza.

The griddle's cooking surface measures 12".  I made the crust just slightly larger than 12" so we'd have a little edge.  If you like thick crust or soft crust on your pizza, this recipe's not for you!  It turns out thin and crispy.

 I prepared a salad with some bibb lettuce from my garden and that's what we had for dinner tonight. We managed to eat half the pizza!

Saturday morning the show America's Test Kitchen is on our local PBS channel.  They were making pizza crust.  They recommend using bread flour and allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator for several hours before you attempt to shape it. This allows for slower fermentation of the yeast and it lets the gluten from the flour develop.   Guess that will be the next pizza crust recipe I try...I'll keep you posted!

The Faster Than Ever Pizza

This recipe is from a cook booklet that came with my Cuisinart griddle.  It's a heavy stainless steel, round griddle with handles. 


Mix together and set aside:
1 pkg. active dry yeast (I use instant yeast these days)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water (120°)

 Place in food processor bowl:
1 2/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil

Prepare the crust in the Cuisinart using the metal blade.
Process the flour, salt, olive oil and yeast mixture about 60 seconds.  Reserve.

Preheat griddle over medium heat.

On floured surface, roll the dough to fit the griddle.  Brush a little olive oil on the preheated griddle and place the dough on it.  Shape the dough to fit and crimp the edges of the crust.

Set timer for 8 minutes.  Let the crust cook for 1 minute, then cover it with the sauce, cheeses and other toppings** and let cook for the remainder of the 8 minutes.  Check the underside of the pizza crust occasionally to be sure it's not getting too brown.

When the bottom of the crust is evenly browned and the cheese has melted, slip the pizza under a preheated broiler just until lightly browned.  You can omit this step if your toppings are okay after cooking on the stove top.  Today, I prepared my sausage and pepperoni ahead of time, so I'll use the broiler to get those ingredients good and hot again.

***Toppings of your choice.  I make my own pizza sauce and then use grated mozzarella, good Parmesan cheese, browned sausage, pepperoni --- whatever you like on your pizza.

You can use prepared pizza sauce or make your own.  I like to take a small can of tomato sauce, add Italian seasonings, oregano, paprika and garlic.  Then I heat it up in the microwave.  Spread it evenly on the pizza crust before adding your other toppings.


This came in an email today. It's fun and only takes a couple of minutes to do.  Try it!

Don't tell me your age; you'd probably lie anyway-but the Hershey Man will know!  

This is pretty neat.

It takes less than a minute .
Work this out as you read .
Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!
This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like
to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1762 ..
If you haven't, add 1761..

6... Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number
(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Butterflies and Marbles

Walking through the grocery store I spotted these cute metal butterflies for only $1 each.  Since I'm into a "let's brighten up the ugly wood fence" mode, five of them came home with me.  Then, I spied the glass marbles and remembered I'd seen a blog post showing how to insert them into wood fence pickets, and another back yard project was in the works!

DH and I only put these on one fence panel to see how well they'd work, but I can see that I'm going to want to pick up some more and make the display a lot larger.  It's on the west fence and the sun comes through the marbles really well.  DH thought I'd lost my mind; drilling holes in our new fence didn't seem like a really great idea to him!

The photos really don't show how pretty these are...but the angle of the sun was not optimal for taking them! Looking at them from out patio, they're really cute.  Now I want the marbles put in the entire west fence....we'll see! lol!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Butterfly Postcard Stamp

This is one of the stamps I saw at and Bear Makes 3 in Moore, OK.  They were out of stock so I just ordered one and they mailed it right out to me as soon as it came back in.

The background piece is from an old encyclopedia that I inked using Memento Danube blue to match the stamped image.  The yellow paper is from a huge 360 sheet K & Company paper pad.  I finished it off with a bow of Lemonade gross grain ribbon from Ribbons and Bows, Oh, My.  Almost all of my ribbon comes from them.  Great prices and really quick shipping!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Orleans Garlic Chicken

New Orleans Garlic Chicken

4 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro leaves
4 T. olive oil or vegetable oil
4 T. Emeril’s Original Essence
5 slices white bread, cubed
1 to 1 ½ lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 T. fresh lime juice or lemon juice
¼ cup white wine 
sour cream (optional)

In food processor, combine garlic, cilantro and 1 T. oil.  Process until pureed.
Set aside half of the mixture.

Add Original Essence and bread and process on high for 1 minute, until well blended.

Dip chicken breasts first in flour, then eggs, then bread crumb mixture.

Heat remaining oil and saute chicken breasts until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan. 

Add remaining cilantro mixture, lime or lemon juice, and wine.  Deglaze pan and reduce mixture slightly.  Pour over chicken.  Serve with dollop of sour cream if desired.

This is one of the recipes prepared by Jamie Dunn at the Taste of Home Cooking School last night.

I used lime juice, Chardonnay wine and omitted the sour cream.  Notice that you use soft bread to make the bread crumbs.  It gives a really soft texture to the coating.

There was plenty of excitement last night.  About an hour before the show began, the tornado sirens were blown and we had to evacuate the building!  We were herded across the parking lot to the bathrooms in the arena since they were made from concrete blocks.  There were probably 100 people packed in there until we received notice that it was safe to leave. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tighwad Tip

This is the tool I use to remove tiny cuts from my Expression mat.  The blade tip is a rounded point and it's thin enough to slide under light weight paper making it super easy to get those smaller cuts off the mat without tearing or messing up the edges.

Painter's palette knife

The angle on the metal portion helps to slide it under your paper
I found mine at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 and used a 40% off coupon, of course!  Cheaper than a Cricut spatula and a lot thinner.  I have the spatula but don't care for it since it's so thick.  It tends to clobber up the edges of the paper before I can get it underneath to remove it from the mat.

Chickadee from Stampin' Up Bird Punch

Ann Fitzgerald has several examples of different ways to use the Stampin' Up Bird Punch on her blog.  This punch is great for making multiple cards.  I use it with patterned paper or colored cardstock that I ink to change the appearance of the bird.

The extra wing shape on the bird was done with a Stampin' Up Blossom Petals Punch.

The branches are from the Art Philosophy cartridge.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gray "Hares" Card

The rabbit was stamped on grey and white cardstock, colored with Promarkers and then cut out.  I pop dotted them on the front of the card.

I punched the circle border strip using an EK Success punch and printed the sentiment using my computer.

Fence with Flowers Card

Jenny at Crafting in the Country designed this card.  She made hers with much smaller flowers and used it as an insert onto a card front.  I made mine as the entire card front.

The flowers were cut and sized using Design Studio and Accent Essentials cartrdige.  The flower centers were done with an EK Success punch.  The fence boards are cut from kraft paper and embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.  The leaves are a Martha Stewart punch.

I really like the way this turned out, but it's way too complicated for me to make multiples.  This card will go into my basket of cards that I keep on hand and probably be passed on to a friend who sends a lot of cards.

It's nice that Scotch glue dries clear!  You can see some of it peeking out from behind the flower centers in this photo.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lace and Scallop Card

There are so many cute cards in the current issue of Cards magazine!  It's been hard to decide which one to make first.

On this one, I stamped the background with a Stampin' Up flower from their Mixed Bunch set using their Whisper White pigment ink.  Then I used Design Studio software and the Cindy Loo cartridge to fit the scalloped border to the width of an A2 card and cut it once from patterned paper and again from cream cardstock to match the paper lace.

I trimmed it out with a tiny bow of Stampin' Up Calypso Coral ribbon and rounded the edges of the card with  a Crop-A-Dile corner chomper.

You're One of a Kind card

Inspired by a card seen in the May issue of Cards magazine.  I used two Martha Stewart butterfly punches and two Stampin' Up punches; computer generated the sentiment and added some doodling with a white gel pen.

 Using different colors for the background definitely changes the look of the card.

Vintage Six

My Mind's Eye Happy Days "Petticoat" Paper inspired these six vintage cards.  I found it and the vintage labels by K & Company at Scraptopia in Ada.  The images were inked with both Color Box chalk inks and Tim Holtz Distress Inks.  There are some adhesive pearls and Pearl Pen dots added for dimension.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tightwad Tip

While assembling the tic tac toe cards, I ran out of the mini foam dots needed to attach the hearts onto the gridwork.  I had an "ah-ha!" moment, picked up my Crop-o-dile and punched out the tiny pieces I needed.

As you can see, the spaces in between the dots leave me with plenty of useable adhesive foam.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tic Tac Toe Love Card

Quite some time ago I saw a card done by Claudine Poch with a tic tac toe design on it.  I'm not sure if the grid was a stamp or if it was something she drew herself.  I liked the card and saved it in my "Ideas" folder.  Tonight I was looking for something to make and decided to see if I could duplicate the grid using my card making software.

This is what I came up with.  I found the clip art image of the grid online, added some "X's" and hearts and then drew the arrow by hand.   Then I printed a sheet of them to use as a printing template.

Using Design Studio and Mini Monograms cartridge, I cut scalloped squares large enough for the grid.  They were taped onto the sheet of paper and run through the printer.

 As it worked out, the hearts I used were pretty close to the ones I could punch with a Martha Stewart punch.  The hearts are on mounting foam dots for dimension. The tiny sentiment in the corner is from Stampin' Up.

Claudine Poch design

Daisy Card

The flowers on this one were stamped, colored with Promarkers then cut out by hand.  The leaves were done with a Stampin' Up Build-a-Blossom punch.  I used a Cuttlebug folder on the green cardstock for the leaves as well as the red background.

Inspired by a card seen online.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Travel Themed Cards

This one was done using Memento Rich Cocoa ink and then colored with Promarkers.

This one was stamped with the same color ink but then the images were colored using Tim Holtz Distress Inks.

I like the inks but the Promarkers are so much easier and faster to use.  Guess I'll stick with the markers.

The image is a Hero Art stamp that I bought yesterday at "and Bear Makes 3" in Moore, OK.  The tickets are Tim Holtz, of course!

This card was designed by Vicki Bridges for a class she teaches at the store.

The Easiest Bread I've Ever Made

I found this recipe online to make bread in an hour:

**Note: if you are making this in a KitchenAid, halve the recipe and make 2 loaves of bread.**

10 1/2 c. white bread flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. salt
3 rounded tablespoons saf-instant yeast
3 T. liquid lecithin
4 c. hot tap water

Mix dry ingredients. Add lecithin (or oil) and water. Mix for 1 minute and check consistency. If dough is too dry, add a little more water. Dough should be very sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. (Do not add flour to the dough after it has finished mixing.) Spray counter and pans with Pam. Shape loaves, place in pans and cover with a dish towel. Let rise 25 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Makes 4 loaves.

Since there's just the two of us, and I have a KitchenAid mixer, I cut the recipe in half and made two loaves.  I used 2 cups of King Arthur White Wheat flour and 2 1/4 cups of unbleached white bread flour.  Lecithin can be found at a health food store.  It's a really viscous liquid, much thicker than molasses.

You really can get bread made in an hour!  The loaves did a great rise in just 25 minutes and using a convection oven, they were beautifully browned in 20 minutes with just the right amount of oven spring to make a pretty top.

This is a recipe that will definitely go into my Cricut Cookbook with a nicely decorated page!

Friday, April 6, 2012

While Okie's Away

My friend, Shirley -- aka Okieladybug--is currently on a seven day Cricut cruise.  I'm sure she's having a good time since she's with her BFF from college, Karen.  However, I'm concerned about Okie's not having internet or smart phone access for SEVEN WHOLE DAYS!

While she's off enjoying herself in the sunny Caribbean, we've had a cold snap and had to get our sweatshirts and jackets out again in Oklahoma.  No freeze warnings have been issued though and that's always a concern here until after Easter.

I've done quite a lot of work in the back yard getting it all prettied up for the summer.  Now that it's done, I took the afternoon and went craft shopping! Yes, without Okie along!

There's a really neat stamp shop in Moore, OK named and Bear Makes 3.  They sell all kinds of wood mounted stamps and have recently begun to stock more cling mount rubber and clear acrylic stamps.  I get emails from them every few weeks with a list of card making classes and photos of the finished cards.  Vicki Bridges is the class teacher, this link will take you to her blog with card photos.

They know what they're doing...each time I see the photos, I have to have the stamps they've used!

These are the ones I picked up today.  The travel themed ones remind me of Tim Holtz stamps (that's probably why I had to have them!)  I have a couple of other sets with the little fat cats and love them.  You can stamp and color them in just a few seconds.  That's a good thing when I'm making multiples of a card.

( I really bought the cat stamps for my recipe album pages.)

More butterfly stamps to add to my collection!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eye Chart Card

This card was seen on Pinterest.  When I attempted to find the originator of the design, I found that it had been pinned from a web page devoted to home decorating and had no one listed as the card maker/designer.  I just thought it was cute and would be super fast to duplicate.  I completed 15 of them in a little over two hours including the time it took to set the card up to print.

Donut Birthday Card

Operation Write Home posted a card like this done by Laura C. on Facebook.  I thought it was really cute, went online, found a free clip art donut image and made the card using Hallmark card making software.

Using a swirl stamp and some ColorBox chalk ink, I added some dimension to the background paper.  I also used a Promarker to put the shadow underneath the donut so it wouldn't just be floating on the white background.  There is some doodling around the borders done with Stampin' Up markers and Gelly Roll pens.

The donut image is pop dotted off the card face for some added dimension.  I also used a metallic gelly roll pen to put some sparkle on the sprinkles on the donut.

I totally agree with the inside sentiment!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Office Lady Birthday Card

Super simple card using an image I found online.  For some reason, I call her the "office lady".  Doesn't she look like she's on her coffee break to you?

I used a Cuttlebug folder to make the embossed strip, deckled edge scissors to cut out the clip art and then inked the edges.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dragonflies are on the fence

It's taken several months to get this project completed.  Once I saw an artist's rendition of dragonflies made from old table legs and ceiling fan blades, it took me over a month to find the parts needed.  Then I spent three days getting the pieces painted and ready to assemble.

The project was put on hold for three days while keeping our beautiful 8 month old grandson.  Today, the weather cooperated so Fred got them assembled and hung on the fence out back.

It's a good think he's got a large selection of hand tools and various types of hardware on hand. 

 One hung, and the rest are ready to go up.
 He wound up using some really, really long screws to attach the bodies onto the fence.
 After some discussion and re-arrangement, the last one goes up.  It's warm enough that the bermuda grass has come up.  Now, if we'd just get a little rain, maybe it would fill in the areas where Fred sprayed the yard and killed the spring weeds.
The finished project.  Now there's some much needed color on that ugly wooden fence.  Mexican Heather is planted in the wrought iron planters but it's too early for it to be in full bloom.

 This year I planted two types of squash in one raised bed and only put out six tomato plants in the second one.  If we have a repeat of last summer's weather, we won't get a single tomato.  It was so hot during the day and stayed well over 70 degrees at night so the tomato blooms couldn't set.

 There's one more 4 x 4 bed next to these 4 x 8 ones.  I planted lettuce and cucumbers in it.  Raised beds are so much easier to maintain than planting in the ground.  We do have to water twice a day during hot weather but they don't take as much water as a standard garden.

Shoes, shoes, shoes

When I was a teenager and got my first job,  I bought a new pair of shoes as often as I could.  Maybe it's because we really didn't have more than a couple of pairs each as kids.  Pretty much we'd get new shoes for school, had a pair for Sunday school and sandals or flip flops for summer.  You wore them until they were worn out or you outgrew them.

By the time I got married, I'd accumulated around 75-80 pairs of shoes and tons of handbags to go with them.  When Fred and I were moving our things into our first apartment, he was astounded that I had so many pairs!

Over the years I've eliminated the majority of my shoes.  Since retiring the Salvation Army and a local women's shelter have received almost all the heels and other dress shoes I wore to the office.  Nowadays, it's pretty much sneakers and flip flops again.

I still collect shoes, just not the ones for my feet.  Hallmark card stores carry a line of collectible figurines called "The Right Shoe".  They're miniature shoes and I have a nice collection of those as well as wall plaques and signs all shoe related.

My sister gave me this apron on Saturday and it's perfect! I love to cook and of course, I love shoes!   I had to coerce Fred into putting it on so I could take a photo of it.  So, those hairy arms in the photo aren't mine!