Saturday, December 31, 2011

"The wind of heaven..."

These past several days between Christmas and New Year's day have been relaxing for the mister, the critters and me. We've puttered about doing hobby things, a bit of organization projects are in progress and we've taken in a couple of movies at the cinema. One that I highly recommend if you get a chance is to go and see War Horse. The cinematography, history about WWI and of course the story of Joey, the war horse, makes for a fascinating movie(albeit very emotional - tissue alert).

After seeing the movie I decided to make some notecards for my own use and used the Bareback set from Stampin' Up! The paper piercing was done with a Spellbinders piercing template and stylist. I love the simple yet textural feel of paper piercing.
I love the sentiment that goes with the which reads, The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. and stamped it on the inside of my cards.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Bareback set
Ink: Versafine Vintage Sepia and Stampin' Up! Chocolate Chip
Designer Paper: October Afternoon
Embellishments: Nestibilities rectangle and scalloped rectangle dies, Spellbinders piercing template, machine stitching, jute, Brass hardware from Making Memories.

Do you have big plans for New Year's eve? Do you go out and ring in the New Year with friends? Gabe has gotten a jump start on the way the mister and I party. We are pretty laid back and will most likely toast the New Year around 10 p.m. and then be off to bed. I can't stay awake anymore until midnight. Obviously, neither can Gabe!

Happy New Year, my friends!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Fuzzy and Warm

"Fuzzy and Warm" is the theme for the final challenge #109 at House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge blog. I'm getting my card made just under the wire for the deadline, but I really had fun making this card. I used one of my Happy Hopper stamps titled Will Knit for Friends. I think this sweet stamp refects the fuzzy and warm challenge requirements.

My chicks are adored with some fuzzy down by using Flowersoft product on them.

The inside of my card is stamped with "Hello Chickie". Hopefully the recipient will get a smile or two from this card.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Stampabilities Happy Hopper "Will Knit for Friends" and Papertrey Ink sentiment
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black and Momento Rose Bud. Image colored with Copic Markers
Designer Paper: Stampin' Up!
Embellishments: Martha Stewart Eyelet Border Punch and Stampin' Up! Doily Punch, Yellow Flowersoft product, pale green, yellow and purple half pearls, Machine stitching.

Another fun House Mouse and Friends challenge will be posted on Monday, Jan. 2nd so if you don't get in on this challenge, be sure to check out their blog next week.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time's fun when you're having flies...

Winter most definitely has arrived. We've had a lot of snow over the past week and today the temperature has dipped to 4 below zero...and that doesn't even take in to account the wind chill factor. Suffice to say, it was C+O+L+D outside and a good day to stay inside and putter about. While the Mister worked on some automotive tinkering, I decided to make cards.

Cards for the fellows are always hardest for me to make. This stamp set called Frogs and Flies is a retired set from Stampin' Up! and you've seen me use it before. I think this fun little frog with his jar of pickled flies is a hoot and hopefully the man I'm sending this card to will think it is too.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: "Frogs and Flies" Stampin' Up!
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black and Momento Bamboo Shoots (green). Image Colored with Copic Markers
Designer Paper: K & Company
Embellishments: Stampin' Up! Corner punch and flower punch, Stickles glitter glue, Making Memories (I think!)dragon fly brads.

Until next time,


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours The Mister, Gypsy, Gabriel, Noah, Paige, Tango, Renoir and especially I wish you and your family a very happiest of holiday seasons filled with love, peace and laughter.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Baking

What did I get myself into? I told The Mister that I'd put together some simple gifts for him to take to his staff at work. Last summer I did so much canning and preserving I thought I'd give out jars of jam and preserves. Well, as usual, I over think things and decided a jar of jam didn't seem quite right so I decided to make up a plate of baked goodies surrounding the jam.
This is what I came up with. I made 7 different kinds of cookies (pictured above). The only baked goodie that I didn't share are the peanut butter/chocolate balls. The Mister loves those so much so I saved them for him. But I did do a lot of baking!! A LOT of baking. All of the cookies are family traditional Christmas cookies with the exception of two new recipes: the Chai Chocolate Snickerdoodles (that I posted about the last post) and the Cherry Bowties. OH MY GOODNESS! The Cherry Bowties recipe is a new one this year and we love them! I used my homemade cherry jam inside them. This is definitely a keeper recipe.

I used my Michael's 50% off coupon on rolls of shrink wrap and tied up the plates with ribbon. The tag is made from a Stampin' Up! set called "Deck The Halls".

And so......14 gift plates later, I finally finished packaging the gifts. The Mister will take the gifts in with him to work tomorrow to distribute to his staff.

And don't you just know it? After all of the baking I've done, we now do not have any cookies left. Well, none in the photos above. Just his peanut butter balls now. That's fine with me.

Until next time,


Monday, December 19, 2011

Chai - Chocolate Snickerdoodles

For me, Christmas is all about family traditions. These traditions extend from how we celebrate the Holy day, how we prepare and decorate, and how and what we bake and eat. On December 1st I have been donning my favorite Christmas aprons (future post will be my aprons) and baking a variety of family favorite cookies, pies and cakes. Many of my cookies are the traditional ones that many people bake such as Spritz cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Fudge and jam/fruit filled cookies.
This year I tried a couple of new cookies to add to my holiday baking repertoire and today I want to share Chai - Chocolate Snickerdoodles. I discovered this recipe last year while watching ABC's Good Morning America and went to their website, printed it out but did not make them until I rediscovered my recipe yesterday. These are most definitely going to remain on my annual Christmas cookie favorite list!

My childhood memories of delicious cookies included Snickerdoodles. They are among my favorite cookies. I also love Chai! Years ago a dear friend made for me my first cup of real chai. It seemed to me that he was going to a lot of trouble just to make a cup of tea, but one sip was all it took for me to be a chai drinker. This recipe for Chai-Chocolate Snickerdoodles is a cookie version of my favorite beverage. The key ingredients include ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, all spice, white pepper and vanilla: all of those wonderful flavors found in Chai! And the addition of some cocoa powder adds a hint of chocolate. Yummm!

This is the recipe:

Chai - Chocolate Snickerdoodles

2 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup softened unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first six ingredients (sugar through white pepper) in a small bowl; reserve 1/2 cup in a shallow dish for rolling the cookies in right before baking. Add cocoa to the small bowl with remaining sugar/spice mixture. Stir to blend.

Cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the spiced cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, then add flour and baking powder, mixing at low speed until combined.

Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Roll balls in reserved sugar mixture and arrange 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Cool on sheet pan for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

If you'd like to see the video from Good Morning America's program click HERE.

I know you'll enjoy these!



Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Poinsettia

I gave myself a challenge today. I am way behind in making my Christmas cards to send...waaaaaaaay behind! So my challenge to myself was to try to make cards that are 'clean and simple,' or in cardmaker's lingo that would be CAS. One would think that that would not be a challenge at all, but I have a love affair with designer papers, ribbons, bling and glitz and lots of layers on my cards. Consequently, for me to stamp and color and be satisfied with the outcome is a challenge. I must say, though, I am pleased with this CAS card. I've stamped Merry Christmas on the inside, but it could easily be used as a winter notecard or, perhaps, a thank you card after the holidays.
In order to highlight my little Christmas Poinsettia basket I decided to emboss a design around the image. I used a Spellbinders die from the ironworks set to make the snowflake/doily embossing.

Card Recipe:

Stamps: Stampin' Up! Bitty Bouquets (1999 hostess set) and inside sentiment is Stampin' Up.
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black. Image colored with Copic markers
Accessories: Spellbinders Ironworks embossing die, Tonic Holly corner punch, red and yellow stickles glitter.

I must admit that I enjoyed making this card. It was hard not to add "just one more element" and the mister was laughing at me as I kept asking him, "what if I just added one more thing."

I'm going to make some different CAS Christmas cards. They are certainly more easily mailable without extra postage requirements due to bulk, and they are fast to mass produce.

Until next time,


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Country Christmas Wreath

I'm always attracted to primitive country designs and I wanted to design a Christmas card that was simple and of a country feel, so I pulled out a favored Stampin' Up! stamp set called Nellie the Nest Lady and set about using the vine stamp and wreath stamp and this is what I came up with.

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Stampin' Up! "Nellie the Nest Lady"
Ink: Stampin' Up! Chocolate Chip, Tim Holtz distress inks in Vintage Photo, Tea Dye and Aged Mahogany
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Kraft cardstock, Michael's Christmas pack cardstock in green and beige.
Assessories: Cuttlebug tag die, Nestabilities oval and scalloped oval dies, Stampin' Up! Early Espresso Baker's Twine, Liquid Pearls in Ruby Red, Corner Rounder punch, Ribbon and Button are from my sewing box and the PEACE sentiment is computer generated.

I hope all of my family and friends in the United States are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving day.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


It is a very cold, cold day here and the perfect day to stay indoors, sip hot tea and make cards! I was eager to ink up my brand new Shalom stamp for some Hanukkah cards.

This is a very simply made card but hopefully comes across as elegant.

Card Recipe:

Stamps: SHALOM from Stampin' Up!
Ink: Versamark
Cardstock: Dark and light blue from Recollections and the silver is from my local stamp store
Embellishments: Silver Detail embossing powder, cuttlebug embossing folder, foam tape.

We are predicted to get snowfall tonight. I believe it because it is so cold right now. I've got a loaf a Black Forest Pumpernickle bread in the bread maker baking and soup on the stove for dinner tonight.

Stay warm!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler with Créme Anglaise

Temperatures are plummeting as we get a pre-winter blast of cold air and for me that means I'm serving the mister hearty meals followed by warm dessert. Last night's meat loaf, carrots and broccoli with buttered egg noodles was filling and good on a cold night but we both wanted something sweet and warm for dessert. Meals like this make me happy that I can pull from the larder a jar of peaches that I canned when they were ripe and juicy and freshly picked blueberries I froze last summer. MMmmmm...peaches and blueberries quickly made into a hot Peach - Blueberry cobbler.
A couple of years ago on our trip to England for my son and daughter-in-laws wedding I made a delightful discovery about British cuisine! My English family and friends serve this wonderful, thick and oh-so-delicious créme anglaise over cobblers, fruit crisps and even chocolate cake. The mister and I were sceptical at first but after one bite of dessert with this heavenly creme, we were hooked!
OK...admittedly I cheat a bit when I make créme anglaise. I'm not sure if Bird's créme anglaise custard powder is available world wide but here in Canada it is the fast and easy way to whip up this heavenly creme.
This is my favorite peach cobbler recipe. The "cobbler" part is light and cake-like and the fruit on the bottom is warmed in the oven prior to adding the cobbler, giving it time for the fruit juice to thicken and not cause the cobbler to be mushy.


1 qt jar of canned peaches (if you use fresh peaches you'll need about 8 peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped)
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 cup ground pecans or walnuts (optional - the mister prefers I don't add them but I like them!)


1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C)

2.) In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients to make the fruit mixture for the bottom. Toss to coat evenly and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

3.) While your fruit is baking, in a large bowl combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the water just until combined.

4.) Remove fruit mixture from the oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over the top. Sprinkle the top of the entire cobbler with the sugar/cinnamon (nut) mixture. Bake until the topping is golden brown (about 25 minutes).



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rustic Christmas Angel pin and ornament

If I were to be asked what my "style" is I would have to say it is rustic or primitive. I'm drawn to handmade items and country charm and simplicity. In my effort to create handmade ornaments for our Christmas tree this year I made these little rustic Christmas angels while watching tv last night. These go together in just a few minutes with a simple supplies. I think these angels will look very sweet hanging on the Christmas tree as well as made into a lapel pin to wear on my sweater or jacket.
Here is how I made them:

Materials needed:
One 4 1/2" X 7 " piece of unbleached muslin which will be the body
One 2 1/4 " X 3 " piece of unbleached muslin for the the wings
(NOTE: if you like the more natural/rustic look, tear the fabric rather than cutting it)
Polyester fiberfill for the head (just a tiny 3/4 " ball of it)
Raffia for the halo
Small piece of red fabric or felt for the heart

Step 1. For the head and body, fold one long edge of the 4 1/2" X 7 " muslin down 1 1/2" and place the fiberfill ball between the layers of muslin at the center of the fold. Using a doubled thread tie tightly under the fiberfill to form the head and pull up the head.

Step 2. Now you have a head and need some arms. The arms are merely knots. Pull up and tie one corner and knot close to the head. Repeat for the other arm.

Step 3: Cut out a small heart and glue it or rough stitch it to the angel.

Step 4: For the halo, wrap a piece of raffia (Spanish moss would work well too) around your finger to form a ring and roll it off of your finger and shape like a halo. Stitch (or glue) the halo to the back of the head. (I hand stitched the halo.)
Step 5: For the wings, take the remaining 2 1/4" X 3 " piece of muslin and make tiny fanfolds from the long edge to long edge. Tie tightly in the center with a doubled piece of thread. Sew or glue the wings in place on the back of your angel.

Step 6: To make your angel an ornament, tie a piece of ribbon or jute (I used jute to keep with the rustic look) to the angel's back. If you prefer to wear your angel as a pin, glue or sew a jewelry pinback to the back of your angel.
Feel free to use and share my little angels. I hope if you make these angels you'll link back here let me know and show me yours.

I am going to make up a few more for little gifts. I have some more ornaments I'm making that I'll show you soon.

Until next time,


Monday, November 7, 2011

Victorian Button Ornaments

Have you discovered Pininterest? It is a wonderful site filled with creative ideas for crafts, apparel, food, name it. I can spend hours browsing through the inspiration found on this site and that is exactly what I did today.

You see, our Christmas tree is very ho-hum. Every year it is uninspired and less than festive. This past weekend I decided that this year we would have a tree and home decorations that are handmade, creative and handmade with love. While looking through Pininterest I came upon a blog called French Larkspur and on it she had posted glass ornaments filled with buttons that she had found at a flea market. I knew immediately where I had stored some clear glass bulbs that I bought several years ago on sale at Michaels and they were just waiting to be embellished. I got them out, along with my button jars, lace and hot glue gun. I was ready to begin creating!
(above) This is the first ornament I made. I probably could have filled it a little more full, but hey! It was my first attempt and I was happy with it.
Second I made another white with lace but added more buttons on the outside. This is fun! Let's do more!!
So I decided to try these with a bit of color. What do you think of the red plaid ribbon with buttons?
Or how about green? I'm on a roll now!
I could give you a long drawn out tutorial but that just isn't necessary. I think the photo above explains it all. Merely take the top off a clear glass ornament. Remove the wire from the brass top and slip the prongs through a large button and then thread the wire back through the brass top. You've just created the button top!
Then you will fill your glass bulb as full as you wish and replace the top. Tie ribbon or lace and add a button and that is it! A five minute project that has endless possibilities.
While searching through Pininterest archives I found so many handmade Christmas ornaments that I'd like to try. I think this year our home will be filled with a handmade Christmas...just the way we like it.

Until next time,


Friday, November 4, 2011


I'm on a cardmaking roll this week! WOW! Two posts in one day. Actually I have quite a few holiday cards in various stages of completion on my work table.

I wanted to share this Hanukkah card. It's very simple but I think it is pretty. The Menorah stamp is from the Stampin' Up! set titled Hebrew Holidays. Using Versamark I stamped the image and then embossed it with silver detail embossing powder. I used silver leaf pen for the mat borders and colored the small portions of the Menorah with metalic silver as well. I happen to have the soft blue crystals which I used for the flames and in the center of the Star of David. I was going to use crystal clear crystals but these matched nicely with the cardstock. The silver eyelash yarn is a Martha Stewart yarn. I'm still debating if I like it on this card or is too much? Let me know what you think.

The inside sentiment is computer generated. I wanted a little more than Happy Hanukkah in the greeting and didn't have any sentiment stamps that were suitable. I thought this sentiment goes nicely with the front image.

I'd better get back to my cardmaking table...



"Age and treachery will triumph over youth and skill."

When you need to make a funny geezer card the first stamp company I think of for classic geezer images is Art Impressions. Just their facial expressions alone will make you smile and the sentiment stamps are typical geezer wisdom.

The mister requested I make a get well card/thinking of you card for a very good friend of his who just this week had triple bypass surgery. I saw the worried and anxious look when my mister got the news about his friend and I am very relieved to report that his buddy is out of surgery and is expected to pull through the operation in good form. These two men would never dream of sending one another a 'mushy' and sentimental card so I pulled out this geezer guy stamp and some pearls of wisdom: "Age and treachery will triumph over youth and skill." which is stamped on the inside of the card.
I couldn't resist adding some ivory colored Flower Soft to this geezers tufts of hair, eyebrows and chesthair peeking through his shirt. His glasses have a small dab of Antique Glass dimensional glaze on them. Tee hee...I think he's all ready to hand out advice to his buddies, don't you?

My mister laughed out loud when he saw the finished card and said it was just what his buddy would enjoy to help him on his road to recovery. I was glad I could help out.
Until next time,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Hanukkah - Telescope card

The "Wednesday Tutorial" for this week at Splitcoast stampers, and beautifully demonstrated by Beate, is how to make a telescope card. I enjoy making interactive cards and I thought the telescope card would make a fun Hanukkah card.

"What is a telescope card?", you might ask. It is an expanding card that is made in layers and each layer is connected with a brad that will allow it to swing open. I made my Hanukkah card with various layers of circles using three swiveling layers. When closed, the card looks like the photo above.

Are you wondering how it opens? Look at the photo below and you can see how it opens by swiveling on the blue crystal brads:

Once the card is open it looks like this:

The dreidel and Star of David stamps are from Stampin' Up! set titled "Hebrew Holidays". The small Menorah from Inkadinkadoo. The Stampin' Up! set does have a lovely Menorah in the set but it was too large for this particular card. "Happy Hanukkah" is computer generated.

If you are interested in seeing Beate's tutorial for a telescope card you can find it HERE at Splitcoast Stampers.

Until next time,