Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

From all the critters, the Mister and myself, we wish you Peace, Love and Blessing this Easter.

Happy Easter!



Thursday, March 28, 2013

A card of appreciation

Last October the Mister and I had our pictures taken and I posted about the day in my post Me, The Mister and The Girls.  It was a rare occasion for us (especially me) to stand in front of a camera but we were really happy with the photos.  You can see some of the photos taken here.
When I approached Stephanie Burns, our friend and photographer of In Frame Photography, with the idea of taking our pictures with the horses I was thrilled when she suggested that in lieu of monetary payment that we barter.  Among the many hats that Stephanie wears, from Police Officer, Photographer, owner/operator of the boarding facility where our horses live, Stephanie also competes in Equestrian events and asked if I would make some "show apparel" for her for this summer's competitions.   Don't you love exchange of services?  I was very happy to sew for her after receiving the lovely photos she took of us. 

In addition to the show clothing, I wanted to tuck in a small extra token of appreciate so I made her this set of cards to use to include when she presents her customers with their photographs that would also include her business name, i.e. In Frame Photography
I decided to try to replicate her website layout/design as closely as possible and this is what I came up with.

Card Recipe
Stamps:  Stampin' Up Bareback, Impression Obsession floral flourish, and Just Rite alphabet stamper for the title.
Ink:  Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink
Cardstock:  White Linen, silver metalic and black
Accessories: Double Sided sticky paper over the stamped image and cover with crystal Glitter Ritz Micro fine glitter, Nestibilities Labels die and rectangle die, Stampin' Up! oval punches, pink and diamond crystals, miscellaneous sheer ribbon.

Again, to Stephanie I must say a big Thank You for the lasting memories of a fun day of photography with the horses.
Until next time,

'The girls' in winter

Even though the calendar on the wall states that it is spring, when I look out the window here in Eastern Ontario I see the remains and reminders of winter. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of snow.  My girls, however, don't mind it at all.

Of my three Newfoundland dogs, Miss Paige loves snow the most.  She loves to catch snowflakes on her tongue and lay out in the biggest snow drift she can find.  Last week we had another substantial snowfall and while Paige's brothers (Gabe and Noah) prefered to watch from the window, Paige was eager to be outside and enjoy what I hope will be our last big snowfall.

Yesterday Dr. Carole came out to the barn for the spring herd health checkup.  My Canadian mare, Gypsy, spotted me getting out of my vehicle as soon as I pulled in the laneway and plodded through the snow to greet me as I arrived.

Like Paige, Miss Gypsy is an outdoors-y, winter lovin' gal.  One of her favorite activities is rolling in the snow.  Weeeeeeeeeee!

Gypsy came to me as soon as she saw me.  I'm not sure if it is because she loves me or because she's fairly certain I'll have a treat in my pocket.  Nevertheless, she comes to me. 
And I can't leave out my sweet, SWEET Newfoundland Pony, Flower.  Flower is a fuzzy gal this winter though she's begun her spring shedding and soon she'll be sleek and smooth.  Flower is another outdoors-y kind of girl.  She's outside 24/7 preferring to be out in the elements rather than in the barn.

Flower and one of her buddies (Jet) were watching and waiting for their turn to be seen by Dr. Carole.

Sweet Miss Flower...a muddy mess.  I asked her, "Have you been rolling in the mud, Miss Flower?"  Her response was, "Why yes I have!  Why do you ask?"

I'm eager for the snow to melt and more springlike temperatures to be here.  In the meantime, all three of my girl critters are showing the first signs of spring of the animal world and that is SHEDDING and MUDDY. 
Let the spring cleaning begin!
Until next time,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cake Dome Sunday #15: Butterscotch Pie - the failure

When I was a little girl every summer my siblings and I and our mother would spend about two weeks with my Grandma and Grandpa Inman while our father was doing his yearly training for the Army Officer Reserves.  In the town where Grandma and Grandpa lived was a pie shop that Mom and Grandma just thought was 'the bee's knees!'  Grandma and Mom shared a love of pies and both could bake a pie that were argueably THE BEST pies you've ever tasted.  My mother still, at 86 years young, can make a Lemon Meringue Pie that will make you pucker and smile at the same time.

But what I remember about my Grandma Inman's pies was her love of butterscotch and what a wonderful butterscotch pie she made.  I shared that same desire and whether it topped ice cream, was mixed into a milk shake or was made into a pie made no difference to me.  Oh how I love butterscotch.

Now you might notice that I'm into my third paragraph of this litany and I still haven't posted a picture.  That's because...I completely failed at my attempt to make a Butterscotch Pie for this week's "Cake Dome Sunday" post.   Oh I made a pie!  Yes indeedily-do I did!  But it tasted awful!  Horrendous!  So yucky that the Mister actually said, "Darlin', this is BAD!"

Notice here tears flowing and feeling like a complete and utter failure!

You see, I don't have Grandma Inman's recipe for Butterscotch Pie.  I found a recipe in a lovely cookbook that I was just sure would be perfect.  In fact, I'm sure it probably is a good recipe but somewhere along the line I messed it up.   I can't say what step or what I did wrong.  It just was awful when we took a bite.

I figure sometimes you just have to admit your mistakes and try again.  I won't give up on my Cake Dome Sunday posts.  I couldn't if I wanted to because the Mister has gotten very spoiled with his Sunday desserts. 

In the meantime, if anyone has a good recipe for Butterscotch Pie, would you mind emailing me your recipe.  I really want to give it a go again.

Until next time,


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thinking of you at Easter

Easter has snuck up on me this year so I decided I'd better get busy and spend the day making a few cards for sending.  I had fun this morning pulling out some of my older and well loved and used stamps.  This PSX bunny is such a sweet image for an otherwise simple card.

  On the inside I stamped a simple "Thinking of you at Easter" sentiment using a very old Darcie's sentiment stamp leaving plenty of room for a brief message.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  PSX G-1047 and Darcies F2619
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa and Tim Holtz Peeled Paint Distress in by Ranger  Image colored with Copic Markers
Accessories:  Machine stitching, miscellaneous button from the button box, Orange Jute, Die-namics Label die from My Favorite Things.

More Easter cards are in the works so I had better get them finished up.  Hope you are enjoying a lovely day!
Until next time,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cake Dome Sunday #14: Nanaimo Bars

This Sunday's special treat for the Mister is one that I had intended to make during my Christmas baking:  NANAIMO BARS!
This truly Canadian treat gets its name from its place of origin: Nanaimo, British Columbia.  The Mister tells me that everyone out west (where he is from) claims to have THE BEST Nanaimo Bar recipe.   The truth is, no matter what ingredients you use to make these rich bar cookies, they are bound to be delicious.
Since I am a simple Indiana Hoosier girl living in Canada I am going to rely other's advice for a good recipe.  I do know that every varying Nanaimo bar I've ever eaten has been yummmmmy so I thought I'd use this recipe for Cinnamon Milk Chocolate Nanaimo Bars because I like the combination of cinnamon and chocolate.



  • 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pink food coloring (optional)
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • edible décor such as sprinkles, quins or colored sugar
  1. For the base, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch square pan and line it with parchment paper so that the paper comes up the sides.
  2. Stir together the chocolate cookie crumbs, coconut, icing sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt, and then stir in the melted butter and egg until evenly combined.  Press this into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.  Cool completely before preparing the filling.
  3. For the filling, beat the butter with 1 cup of the icing sugar until blended, then add the milk and vanilla, blending again.  Add the remaining icing sugar and beat well until smooth and fluffy.  Stir in the pink food coloring, if desired.  Spread the filling over top of the cooled cookie base.
  4. For the topping, melt the chocolate, butter and corn syrup together in a metal bowl and place over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.  While still warm, pour this over the filling and spread (or tilt the pant) until the filling is completely covered.  If desired, sprinkle on any edible décor.  Chill the pan until set, about two hours.  Slice into squares with a hot, dry knife.
The squares will keep, refrigerated, for up to a week.

Makes one 8-inch square pan
Cuts into 16 to 36 bars

Recipe courtesy of Anna Olson.

Mmmmmm....I think I might just make a cup of tea and have one of these right now!
Until next time,

Friday, March 8, 2013

Canvas mixed media ATCs

Canvas, mixed media and ATCs...three mediums that are not generally in my comfort zone. So why not dive in, take the plunge, get wet and immerse myself in these unfamiliar art forms?  (WOW...that was an overload of metaphors and hyperbole!) HA!

This ATC (artist trading card) is for the second swap I joined recently. The challenge was to create an ATC using canvas as the surface element. And mixed media seems to really be the rage for a while now so I have cautiously tried my hand at it.

For my ATCs I began by watercoloring the canvas in a wash of  3 different colors of Twinkling H2O's watercolors.  I haven't removed the lids from these little watercolor paint pots in ages and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the the watercolor with the lovely shimmery-sparkle once dried on the canvas.  

Once the watercolor background was thoroughly dried I used Dreamweaver Pearlescent Embossing Paste over a Martha Stewart butterfly stencil.  After carefully removing the stencil, while the embossing paste is still wet, the ultra fine glitter was applied to the butterfly body and wings.  I stamped the words "Embrace Happiness" with RANGER jet black Archival Ink using Papertrey Ink sentiment stamp.  Then I used a Martha Stewart rose leaf punch for leaves and Prima ASTER flowers with half pearl centers to finish the ATCs off.

These were a lot of fun to make.  I know that mixed media artwork can involve so much more technique, but for my first time working on canvas, I started simply, leaving a lot of room for future creativity. 
Until next time,

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cake Dome Sunday #13: Chocolate Griddle Cakes with Cinnamon Peaches and Crème Anglaise

What's under the Cake Dome Sunday #13 was not actually a dessert that I could serve from the cake saver but it most definitely is a dessert that got huge raves from the Mister.  Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu with Food Network Chef, Anna Olson.  You can read more about my experience last week HERE.   As I mentioned, Anna Olson is my very favorite Food Network chef so actually meeting her and taking a short course with her was the height of culinary excitement for me!
The Mister bought me Anna Olson's cookbook, FRESH.  It is a fabulous cookbook filled with mouth watering recipes for every season and I wanted to make him something out of it for this week's dessert treat, so I chose Chef Olson's recipe for CHOCOLATE GRIDDLE CAKES with CINNAMON PEACHES and Crème Anglaise.

This simple dessert (and truly, it IS simple to make) is such a fun surprise.  Chocolate griddle cakes with chocolate chips in them, covered in peaches that you've simmered slightly in maple syrup and butter and cinnamon.  Now the Crème Anglaise was my addition to the recipe.  You certainly don't need it, but ever since the Mister and I traveled to England and savored the wonderful fruit desserts that were topped with Crème Anglaise we like to add it as an extra little pizzazz.  A dollop of whipped cream or even a small scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream would be good too.  And don't NEED anything at all on top of the peaches if you don't want to. 

First you make the chocolate griddle cakes and keep them warm in the oven while you mix up the peaches.  The entire dessert is served warm and ohhhhhhhhh is so good!  Warm chocolate and warm peaches.........nummmmm.
I discovered this video of Anna Olson making the Chocolate Griddle Cakes and thought you might enjoy seeing it. 

So there we have week #13 of my "What's Under the Cake Dome Sunday."  I never expected when I found the old domed cake saver in the second hand shop that it would turn into such a fun weekly surprise.  And believe you me!  The Mister has come to expect a treat each Sunday.

Until next time,

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams..."

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." This beautiful and inspiring quote is the words and thoughts of Henry David Thoreau. I find it to be a very impowering sentiment.

It has been a long time since I've made ATC's (Artist Trading Cards.)  These little 2 1/2  by 3 1/2 inch canvas have always presented a challenge for me to create on such a small space.  But when one of my stamping friends invited me to participate in her "Sentiments ATC swap" I knew immediately the stamp I wanted to use.   

Each player in the swap creates 9 baseball card size creation and we send 8 of our creations to the hostess of the swap.  When she recieves everyone's ATCs she swaps them amongst the players and returns 8 original ATC works of art from the other players.  You keep one of your own (the 9th ATC you made) so that you end up with one of your own and 8 others. 

I'll pop these in the mail tomorrow to our swap hostess and in a month or so I'll received Sentiment ATCs from the other players. I'm looking forward to receiving these little inspiring ATCs from the other "players" in the swap.

Until next time,