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!