Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another card to share

This one was for my sister, of whom I am very proud!  She's a mighty accomplished gal - and brave too.

This is the rest of the new stamp set I used in the last card I posted and I was soooo excited to use it.  That large medallion is a single stamp but I inked it by coloring different parts with different color stamp markers so that when it was stamped it would be multiple colors.  All the elements are hand cut and the sentiment is embossed using the Elegant Lines embossing folder for the Big Shot.  Good times!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I know this time of year you'd expect to see a different harvest, but bounty is still bounty even when it comes in the form of jalapenos.

We had one pepper plant and it's some kind of "faux" jalepeno- it has no heat whatsoever. I mean literally, my spice-averse children can eat them raw with the seeds. I picked 33 on Saturday and left another dozen on the plant. What to do with that many jalapenos?? I made a jalapeno relish that I like. It's a different flavor, but addictive. And without any heat, easy to eat in mass quantities.

If you have mild peppers like I do, cut way down on the oil and salt. Without the heat it just doesn't need as much. In my case, I just kept adding peppers and lemon zest until I'd tripled those ingredients. If you have extra spicy pepper, deseed and devein them before you mince them - it will make a big difference.

Jalapeno Relish

6 minced jalapenos (by hand or in a food processor)
1/2 c olive oil
julienned zest of 1 lemon
2 t kosher salt

Combine. Let stand at room temperature 6 hrs. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's a good week to be Thankful

And I'm thankful for good friends.  It's true that I wish I had the time/opportunity/ability to connect more and better.  But when I think of my friends I'm really, really grateful.  This card went to a sweet friend who made it seem easy for her to make me feel better when I could have been totally embarrassed.  But I could write a bunch more notes to friends who deserve them (and yes, I probably should).  That makes me realize I'm really blessed.

This was a fun card.  My sister called it "lush" - that captured what I was going for so it made me feel great to hear that description!  The gratitude sentiment and flower stamps are from the Day of Gratitude set from Stampin' Up.  The little outline was hand cut from the negative after I punched a shape using this awesome punch from Stampin' Up / EK Success.  The flourish was a (big surprise) Big Shot die cut using the QuicKutz Flourish Border

See those two spiral flowers?  I learned how to make them from Miss Fancy Pants and you can too.  The larger white one started as a 2.25" circle, spiral cut with wavy decorative scissors (and to think I was going to get rid of those!).  Once it was glued, I used purple Perfect Pearls to give it some color.  The smaller one started as a silk flower petal.  It was harder to make come together.  I usually like to use a strong liquid glue like Glossy Accents to stick these flowers together, but the (not actual silk) silk just seems to wick it up without adhering.  So a big glue dot (like these Zots) is better for the silk flower. I've always wanted to use a pretty straight pin on a card but those sharp ends sticking out just look to dangerous!  It was a workable solution to land the sharp end into the fat spiral flowers.

I like how fluffy it turned out.  Good thing it didn't need to fit in an envelope!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Favorite Spot

This is Zack's favorite spot in his classroom.  It's the loft and I admit, it's pretty cool.  There are a few times the kids can ask to go up there with one or two friends and hang out or read.  There is just something about a little hiding spot that is thrilling.  Is this universal?  When I was a child our favorite bookstore had a little tunnel down to a children's reading nook - it's somehow magical to climb down and play and read.  Come to think of it, that still sounds really good.  Do you think I could get away with a little reading hideaway for Mommy??

Friday, November 05, 2010

Scrapbook Layout: 1

Back to blue!  Good thing this and last week's layout are not right in a row in my book.  I would be on blue overload everytime I looked at them.  And do you know what just killed me?  The backs of these blue cardstock pages I used as a base are a beautiful GREEN color.  But, this blue called to me so here it is.

This was the day Sammy turned one.  Daddy took off work and we went to the Austin Zoo.  It was a really beautiful spring day.

The chipboard 1 is flocked with black - my first time to try flocking.  I found it easy, but a little dusty.  I hope the flocking doesn't flake off over time!  The "happy Birthday" sentiment was on plain white but it just looked too stark on the dark layout, so I pierced around the edges and sprayed it with my blue Perfect Pearls.  I also took my Perfect Pearls to the little black flower and leaves.  I made the leaves using my beloved Bird Punch and the flower by a cool little technique I found here.  The spiral flowers turn out really thick, so I tend to make them but then dampen and rough them up until they have a little softer profile.  
And last but not least, that's my brand new Decorative Label Punch to make the shapes along the bottom right - so fun!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


I realized that I showed Sammy's costume but not Zack's. Wouldn't want to be unfair, right?

I didn't do very well with my Halloween pictures this year. I don't have any of Zack that I love. But, I'll still post a little pirate action.

We really picked this costume because it took no effort.  We had some pirate stuff from Zack's party and the rest came out of his closet.  I was relieved not to be Halloween crafting this year.  But, at the last minute I did do one little thing.  It was mighty easy.  See that earring - I had a silver (fake silver) hoop with a purple stone in it that I'd lost the mate to. I got out my little pliers and removed the stone, then inked and embossed it gold. Who knew scrapbooking supplies would come in handy for so many things! It gave a cool hammered-metal look. It was on a fishhook style post so we just hooked it through his bandanna. Voila! Pirate jewelry.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Cranberry Walnut Spaghetti Squash

I really like spaghetti squash but boy, is that a lot of the same vegetable!  I always buy the smallest one I can but by the time we've eaten it the kids and James are tired of spaghetti squash and really don't want it again for a while.  Either that or part of it goes to waste.  This time I did it a little differently.  I cooked the first half and served it with just salt, pepper and butter as a side dish.  I wrapped the second half really well in plastic wrap and waited about a week.  Then I made this recipe, which I altered from one I found in a Better Homes and Gardens Thanksgiving menu.  I really like that it has a nice fall flavor that reminds me of Thanksgiving food but works very easily for a weeknight meal.

Cranberry Walnut Spaghetti Squash
1/2 a Spaghetti Squash
1/4 c orange juice
1/4 + (a heaping quarter) cup craisins
2 T chopped walnuts
2 T fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 T brown sugar
fresh black pepper

1. Cook Spaghetti Squash: With squash cut in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds and stringy pulp.  Place cut side down in a flat dish with apx. 1/4 cup water.  Cover loosely and microwave apx. 9 minutes (will vary by microwave) until the flesh is soft but not mushy.
2. Scoop out the spaghetti-like pieces with a fork - pierce into the flesh with the tines of the fork on one side and you'll find the pieces will just peel out in long strings.  Discard the empty shell.
3. Bring the OJ to a boil then take off the heat and add the craisins.  Let them plump for about 10 minutes.
4.  In a skillet toast the walnuts in the butter for two to three minutes, until fragrant.  Add walnuts, parsley, brown sugar, salt and pepper to OJ mixture.  Toss everything with the warm squash and serve.