Thursday, May 31, 2007

A couple of yummy Summer recipes

Here are a few summery recipes for some salad fare. These are great to make up at the beginning of the week so you have some light lunches for a few days.

A friend of mine made a salad like this for a cookout on Memorial Day. I don't know her recipes, but when I went to the grocery store the next day, they had mangoes on sale for 2/$1.00 and I thought I would try to recreate it. I think it turned out well. So here it is:

Mango Black Bean salsa:
One can of black beans rinsed and drained
One mango cut up in small pieces
Half a yellow or red bell pepper (I used yellow) chopped in small pieces
A few slices of red onion finely chopped
A tablespoon or two of cilantro chopped or some parsley finely chopped
About 2 tablespoons of lime juice
About 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 tsp. of jerk seasoning or I would cut up a jalapeno pepper (without seeds) for a little spice

Mix together well and chill. Serve with tortilla chips.

Couscous salad:
1c. whole wheat couscous
1 1/2 c . of water. Brint to a boil, pour couscous in, cover and let stand for 5 min. till done. cool slightly
2 tbsp. parsley chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, zest half, and squeeze the juice of the whole lemon
1/2 of a cucumber chopped into small pieces
1 tomato chopped into small pieces or cherry tomatoes cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste ( I tend to add a little more salt as it cuts the bitter flavor parsley sometimes gives and it mellows out the lemon flavor too.
2 green onions slices thinly

Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl and chill. It is very yummy, and refreshing.

I'll post some cool dessert foods you can make too.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Simply Said "Mish" cards

I made these cards by using the Kindness wheel on whisper white, coloring in the flowers, and then cutting the sheets into 4x4 and 3x4 pieces (you get 6 pieces total from one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper). Then I just mixed up the added focal points, ribbons, and prima flowers where necessary. It takes a little while to cut up everything but then you assemble them assembly line style and presto you are done very quickly.
These cards are based on basic layouts by Michelle Wooderson, so I have to give her credit. I actually took her basic layout pieces she uses in cutting out her printed papers or homemade background papers, and then cut some variouse sized focal point pieces and started playing with layouts. It is fun and easy. Take some scrap 1/4 size pieces of colored cardstock and then put on some white pieces measuring 3x4 , 4x4, 3x5/12, and 3 1/2 x 5 1/4. Then take a contrasting color and cut into squares, 2x4 strips, 1 1/2x 2 1/2 strips, etc. and play with placement and layout.
I made 12 cards tonight with 2 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of background paper. It was pretty easy.

I used the following for these samples:
Stamps: kindness jumbo wheel, simply said
Inks: cool caribbean, real red, barely banana, basic brown
Papers: cool caribbean, real red, barely banana, close to cocoa
accessories: prima flowers, bold brights brads, ribbons, stampin dimensionals, glue dots, chipboard flower negative space.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

some stamping tips

Hi, Everyone. I wanted to share some stamping tips with you, and some quick card making sketches for you to mass produce cards. I have been reading Michelle Wooderson's blog (MISH MASH) which you can find on the blog list to the right. She makes so many cute cards and she is all about mass producing. She sells a lot of cards, and she uses basically the same layouts but changes some of the accessories, card orientations (horizontal or vertical) and skews some pieces to make them look fresh and new. She takes whole sheets of 12x12 printed papers a lot, or homemade background papers she makes (called one sheet wonders) and cuts them to various "standard" sizes to make the most of each sheet. Then she pairs these with gorgeous focal points that are simply matted and embellished. I love this. So this week, I will be sharing some of her layouts, cutting tips, etc. by trying to incorporate some of her tips and such with you in my own work. I hope to use some sets that are retiring for some last minute inspiration for those stamps we will be saying goodbye to. I will be using some sets I just have let sit on the shelf too long as well as some Spring mini sets. Let's try this and see how this works.

Stamp of Authenticity is quite versatile

I am having fun using this set. Of course I would never come up with these ideas myself. But I can play around with others' ideas. This card again was inspired by Amy Rohl, who I think was inspired by Beate Johns. So see, I am not the only one who does this. Anyway, I love how you can use the basic library card image and then fill it with appropriate focal points for a wonderful casual feel. If you think you aren't the office look type, this set may change your mind. You can do these same things with the Memo stamp from Office Accoutrement. And just think how many more masculine looking cards you can create with this set using blues, browns, greens, burgundy, etc., with some of the more masculine designer papers.
I used different colors: a lovely monochromatic scheme with a pop of contrasting green. All the sets are current, and will be in the new catalog with the exception of the flower stamp, but the Heartfelt Thanks dandelion would be perfect here. And you can see how I switched out pieces of Hodgepodge hardware on both cards. So if you see a card with a piece of metal hardware that you don't have, use a similar sized piece. I could easily have put a button on here too with a little ribbon or embroidery thread or even copper metallic cord and it would have worked well. Don't be afraid to change things up. I am learning how to do that too.

Stamps: Stamp of Authenticity,Paisley background, Sincere salutations, Both Way blossoms, Elegant flexible phrases, circle of friendship, and little pieces
Inks: apricot appeal , old olive , basic brown, and pumpkin pie
Papers: apricot appeal (4x 3 1/4), vanilla (2 3/8 x 3 3/4), old olive (4 x 2 5/8), pumpkin pie card front cut 4 1/4 x 11
Accessories: watercolor brush for coloring flowers, hodgepodge hardware, sheer organdy ribbon in vanilla (13 1/2 inches), stampin dimensionals, 1/2 circle punch, spiral punch

More new stuff...

Another Stamp of Authenticity card. This one incorporates the Eat Cake set for a birthday card. I got the inspiration from Amy Rohl from Splitcoaststampers. I changed up the colors from her sample. Trying to use colors I don't normally use. For the lighter images on the library card to spice up the background, I used the caramel ink stamped off once before stamping on the image.

Stamps: Stamp of Authenticity, Eat cake, Amazing To Zany, circle of friendship
Inks: creamy caramel, choc. chip. sage shadow
Papers: same as inks
Accessories: paper piercing tool, mat pack, brads, 1 1/4 circle punch

Friday, May 25, 2007

Playing with new stamps and techniques

Yea!! I have some free time to stamp for me!! Okay that sounds purely selfish, but I have been so busy stamping for others, that it is nice to play with some of my new stamps, and try out a technique that I am going to teach in the next month or so. This card uses a layout by Beate Johns that was posted on our demo site. She is so talented. I used her basic image art and layout, but changed up the colors, the flower set and added the faux metal tag on the bottom. Thanks Beate for the inspiration.
Stamps: Double Line Doodles (a sneak peak at a new stamp set coming in July), Stamp of Authenticity, Amazing to Zany
Inks: basic brown, regal rose, mellow moss, and sahara sand, versamark
Papers: rebecca DS, sahara sand, regal rose, and close to cocoa
Accessories: caramel gingham, linen thread, gold glory embossing powder, circle punch, 1/16 hole punch, gold brads.

Faux metal technique: heat 3-4 layers of embossing powder by stamping with a shape stamp first ( I used the circle from Simple Shapes) or just press your versamark pad onto a scrap piece of paper. Heat first layer, then immediately sprinkle on more EP while it is hot, heat that, and repeat up to 2 more times. On last heating, immediately stamp your detail image into it (it is a good idea to coat this stamp in versamark ink to prevent sticking and to get a crisp image). Voila! You are done. I'll post some picture directions in the next month or so.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

more calendar pages

A gift calendar I made for a friend

I made this calendar for a friend of mine who wanted to give this to her husband for their anniversary. They have a long standing Ohio State and University of Florida rivalry. Need I say more after what happened this past year during bowl game time? Anyway, here are some of the pages. I really hope she likes it and it is what she was looking for.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

DADS and GRADS: It's BBQ time!!

It's BBQ time! I made this tonight very quickly for a great gift packaging idea for DADS and GRADS. We know they love to cook on the grill. What a better gift than to fill this great paint can with grilling tools: seasoning, recipes, tools, mitts. And I can't think of a better place to get all that in one place than a Pampered Chef show. And guess what I am having a show in June. If you want a container like this to give, please contact me. We can work something out.

A container decorated for the kitchen, (I have lots of other kitchen and cooking related stamps) would make a good gift giving idea to fill with tools for a new bride and college grads just starting a home of their own.

Pampered chef party invites

This is a simple invitation I made for my pampered chef party. I wanted to create something that wouldn't just get tossed and forgotten. Maybe inspire someone to keep it and RSVP for the party. Just thought I would share it. Everything used is non-Stampin' UP!. Stamping bella stamp, Provocraft paper.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Off the Chart

These cards are from the Spring mini set, Off The Chart. I think they turned out cute. I found the layout for these cards from Valerie Stangle's blog. She is very talented. I used a variety of colors and designer papers to make the cards have a different feel, even though they all are the same style. Enjoy.

Papers used: Au chocolate, Polka dots and Paisley, Treehouse, dots and dashes
colors: pumpkin pie, apricot, chocolate chip, gable green, green galore, turquoise, regal rose, so saffron, celery, true thyme, buckaroo blue, cranberry crisp
ribbons, and stampin dimensionals

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Another baby name frame

Here is another baby name frame for a friend who had a baby in Feb. They didn't know if they were having a boy or a girl when she had her baby shower, so I had to wait until now to make this. Hope they like it.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Baby Gift part 2

Here is the second part to the baby gift. I painted a 8x8 wall canvas with Making Memories acrylic paint. Then I cut different papers to block it out. I stamped everything with craft ink. I modpodged everything together, but I must say that since I was in a rush, I didn't let things dry as much as I should to keep it from lifting up in places. The finished product looks fine, but I know if I had used patience, it would have been better. But alas, when you are short on time you do what you have to do. This wall hanging is for putting a picture of the new baby on the green piece to hang on the wall.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Baby gift part 1

Here is one part of the gift I made tonight. It is a baby tote, but I think it could be used for a chic little diaper bag when going out to dinner or whatnot. It will easily fit a couple of diapers, wipes, and a small outfit. I plan on making a frame to put a picture of the baby in. Later, when I have more time, I hope to make Amanda a few more little things for her use.
Amanda is special as she is one of the girls that was in my high school discipleship group at church several years back. I have watched her graduate from high school, college, made her wedding cake, and seen her mature into a beautiful young woman. Her husband, Sam, was in my husband's discipleship group as well. Scott tries to claim credit for getting the two of them together, but I see that as God's work. Scott made a suggestion, but God would have had them together anyway. I am so excited for the two of them as they get ready for this incredible journey into parenthood.

I used Sarah papers, bluebird ribbon, wild about you, riveting, and elegant flexible phrases. I think this turned out great.

Baby shower "corsage"

I made this "corsage" for the baby shower I am helping to give this weekend. I think it turned out okay. This way Amanda can keep it, and there are no flowers to get rid of, and it was a lot less expensive. I will post a picture of the adorable centerpiece that was made for the shower in lieu of a cake. I am making the desserts for the shower, but asked if I could please not have to make a baby shower cake. I really dislike making all those different colored icings on a cake hardly anyone will eat, as cake just doesn't go over well. So I wanted to make some more gourmet, bite sized desserts instead. Well Beth made this darling centerpiece that looks like a tiered cake out of baby receiving blankets wrapped around diapers. It is soooo cute.
I used Baby Talk (it's retiring folks), Riveting, prima flowers, Sarah paper, ribbons, rich regals colored brads, and coluzzle cutting system to make this.

Oh, in case you are curious about the desserts I made, here is a list:
lemon butter bars, tropical lime coconut kisses, madelines (brown sugar pecan, orange, chocolate chip, chocolate/kahlua), italian espresso cups, chocolate tart shells fillled with either a white chocolate and rasp. cheesecake filling or peanutbutter cheesecake filling, and Viennese chocolate walnut bars. Yummy!!! I am loving getting to make something gourmet that you can't find at the local store. We have no good bakeries in this town and very few cake makers who actually make things from scratch using no cake mixes. Yes, I am a pastry snob, but when you are a professionally trained pastry chef, you know there is a big difference quality wise between using a mix and actually using fresh butter, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, etc. A whole different pastry realm.. Too many restaurants and grocery bakeries cut costs and quality by not doing this. Okay I didn't mean to get on my soap box. Just too many people these days don't know the difference. And yes, I did grow up on Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines, and I like them, but that was before I learned how to do it better.