Sunday, 30 October 2011

Christmas Celebration Card

I wanted to design a simple, yet classy card, to celebrate the season.
Size: 4 1/4 inch x 5 1/2 inch (A2)
Colors: base – forest green, insert – white, sentiment on front – white cardstock, embossed with silver and highlighted with markers.
Cuttlebug Christmas folder used with Versamark ink on reverse side.  I’m still perfecting this method, I need to go and get an inkpot so I can brayer the ink onto the folder properly…. dabbing an ink pad on the folder does not get the effect I was really after.That being said, I do kind of like the rustic effect I did in error.  Sometimes mistakes are a good thing Smile
Friskars crimper used for bottom third of card.  Shiny trim with dots was strips of Christmas paper from years ago.
Adhesive used was my 3M tape runner.
I just love the way the crimper makes the green cardstock look velvety. That didn’t photograph well, but sometimes you’ve got to see things in real life to appreciate them.
Enough said… here’s the card!


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Oh my! I almost forgot I did this!

I work 3 days of graveyard shift at work this week.  I find this shift the ideal time to catch up on housework organization (and mine is way overdue!).  I spent most of the morning trying to get rid of stuff from our spare room / craft room / sewing room. 

I came across something I did years ago, that I’m sure someone will get a kick out of (right Mitchell?).


Now, I’ve still got the stuff to do more of them…. but where are the directions, sigh.

I do remember that I had planned to do about 10 of them for my Christmas tree Smile. Yes, I am a craft addict.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Quilting! Quilting! Quilting!

Last week was inspiring! First off, I was able to attend the Quadra Quilters’ Guild Meeting on Tuesday! My a quilting thanksgiving post shared some of the quilts that were shared there.  I also signed up for the block of the month. It is a hand applique square called Topeka Rose.  Today, I was able to finish it!


I still have to hand wash (very gently) and steam it, but am so happy to have got it done with time to spare before the next meeting!

The other quilting event that was inspiring to me during the past week, was attending the 2011 Hands Across the Water (or HAW) event at Powell River.  It is a meeting of the quilting guilds between Denman Island and Port Hardy (North Vancouver Island), including the Sunshine Coast of the BC mainland.  Over 200 quilters attended! There were at least 5 vendors set up, and it was so hard to choose what special thing to splurge on for myself to commemorate attending the event! I ended up getting a Clover Fabric Folding Pen. I’m sure it will come in handy for my paper crafts too!

We were inspired by the guest speaker at HAW…. Courtenay Pollock, a tie-die artist. You can see some of his artwork at his website. He had 5 huge samples of his work hung on the walls. As you can see, they covered at least an 8 ft square section of wall each!



Below, from left to right:  Arlis, myself, & our “adopted MOM” Margie.



Quilts from the different guilds, for a show and tell.



We were also blessed to see a special quilt that Margie made. There are over 28 different fabrics in it, and it took over one year for her to make! It is absolutely stunning! Some of the squares are as small as 1/2 inch by 2 inches! And it is a King Size quilt! One year I hope to have been able to make a quilt that special for myself too!



And finally, off to home. After this week, I can hardly wait until next year!


Until next time!


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Snowman Joy!

Welcome! Here is my entry for the Card A Day Blog Christmas Card Blog Hop!
I just love snowmen, and have over 15 snowmen ornaments on my tree every year Smile  So, when I was looking at the themes for cards on the blog, I was excited to be able to get one of the snowmen days!
I started out with making a white on white background by using the Spellbinders Impressabilities “Snowflake”. I couldn’t get it to impress the way I wanted it to using my Cuttlebug, so I used it as a stamp by dabbing clear versamark ink on one side, and carefully laying it down on the paper and rolling it with a pastry roller (I couldn’t find my ink roller).  I embossed it with clear gloss embossing powder, and that really brought out the snowflakes in the background.
Next, I used a soft cloth to dab onto a baby blue ink pad, and rubbed the color onto the bottom of the card, to indicate where the land was. I then covered that area with my tape roller and sprinkled it with plastic snow that I got from the dollar store. There was a bit of stickiness left, so I sprinkled some translucent glitter overtop of the “snow”, and carefully shook off the excess.
The snow people are from a card I received years ago from a dear friend. I simply cut them out and affixed them to one side of the card with 3-D glue dots.
The Joy label was hand written with a silver glitter pen with stitching highlights along the edge of the rectangle.
This was such a fun card to make, and I think I will do bulk cards with this pattern, buy making my own snow people digitally, and cutting them out for more cards.
Here is a picture of the final card, I’m in love Smile
Thanks for stopping by, and make sure to check out the next seven days of the Card A Day Blog Christmas Card Blog Hop! The seven designers following me are:

Friday, 14 October 2011

Bulbs for Barb

It is hard to believe, that in just over one month, my sister Barb will have been gone for a whole year.  I miss her sweet spirit so much, and only hope that a good part of her is reflected in what I do in my life.  If that is an epitaph, I hope it is mine, to be able to inspire someone the way she had inspired me.
This is also part of the story of the picture background of my blog. It will always have a picture of the area my sister Arlis and I chose to honor Barb. At Sproat Lake.
We planted a tree in Fossli Park and scattered her ashes nearby. Her request was to have a cherry tree planted for her. We got the best looking pie cherry tree called “Northstar”, and planted it on her birthday last spring. April 30th.
We also made a promise to do some planting of bulbs or spreading seeds yearly for her, and this post is pictures of our visit to the park.
Here is a picture of my sister Arlis walking ahead of me. It is about a 3/4 of an hour hike to the lake.
There was lots of moss, mushrooms, and fall colour to appreciate along the way.
We were delighted to see that Barb’s tree survived the summer. There were lots of little trees sprouting around it. Some of the pansies that we had planted with the tree had spread their seeds and they were sprouting all around it. Also some special flowers from the family homestead we planted by it were still there!
It didn’t take us long to clear around her tree, and plant some daffodils around it. Cody supervised the whole time Smile
Job accomplished! We enjoyed our visit, and trip to plant Barb’s bulbs.
Here is the view that is my new background of the blog.
Remember to hug the ones you love today.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A Quilting Thanksgiving!

I feel so blessed to have been able to visit my sister and her family this Thanksgiving! We were able to stay two nights and three days. The first day was glorious, and sis & I took Cody for a walk around the neighborhood. Cody totally impressed us when he leading us out of the woods (we were bushwhacking, trying to go through the woods to my sister’s place). It doesn’t sound that impressive, except for the fact that this is the first time Cody has ever bushwhacked, and he led us out exactly the way we went in… Every time I thought we were getting lost, there was another sign that we had been there before, and we landed right on the trail we bushwhacked from!

One of her neighbors had the cutest mailbox.


Thanksgiving day was full of preparation. . . We all left the table full, happy and content. Just the way Thanksgiving is supposed to be!

Today, Arlis & I spent at the Quadra Island Quilting Guild’s meeting. My sister is the secretary, and has got me involved in it too – my only regret is that work keeps me from going to the meetings.  I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting, and the opportunity that we had to work on our quilt square for the upcoming Hands Across the Water event at Powell River, this coming weekend!

I’m closing this post with a series of pictures from the show and tell from the meeting.  I regret that I don’t know everyone well enough to be able to credit them. . . but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying their hard work, and hopefully being inspired yourself!











Enjoy! And make sure to check out my blog later on this week! I have a post scheduled for the Card A Day Blog, and will have a post or two relating to my sister & my adventures this week (we plan to go to Port Alberni, and then Powell River for HAW!).

Monday, 3 October 2011

Spicy Rouladen

I was in a hurry to have a dinner prepared the other day… so I decided to make some rouladen, mashed potatoes and sliced carrots for dinner with my pressure cookers.  I’ve found with a pressure cooker, you can make a nice home cooked meal from the beginning to end, in under one hour! If you have two pressure cookers, you can have a meal for a large family done in just a few minutes longer (more food, more prep time).
My post is really about the main focus of this meal, rouladen.  When I worked as a grocery store cashier, I was dismayed to find out that most people bought this cut of meat for stir-fry's. What a waste of a nice cut of meat!
There are traditional fillings to make “beef rolls”, depending upon which region of Europe you come from.  Everyone has their favorite… sometimes it can be as simple as slivered carrots and a piece of pickle, with salt and pepper.  I’ve prepared them in a fry pan, a crockpot, and now because time was tight, a pressure cooker!  I never use a recipe for my filling, as for me, it is a way I can be creative with what is in my larder. 

First, I prepared some of the filling items. 
I fried the following together:
  • 1 small onion, finely diced.
  • 7 mushrooms, thinly sliced.
After they were nicely browned, I put them aside, and then fried up until almost crisp:
  • Approx. 7 slices bacon, chopped up fine.
Next, I spread out the meat strips and coated them with the smallest amount of candied jalapeno syrup, sprinkling with garlic powder, and pickled peppers. The pepper syrup just gave a hint of heat, but loads of flavor to the meat!  I finished the filling for the rolls by covering them with most of the onion/mushroom/bacon bit mix.

I rolled each piece of meat as tightly as I could in jelly roll fashion. I used a toothpick for each roll, to keep it together.
I put the rolls in a covered pan that fits inside my pressure cooker, and put a cup of gravy in the pot with them, and sprinkled the remaining onion/mushroom/bacon mix on top.
I then used a long strip of foil to form a handle for the pot, to put it in or out of the pressure cooker. I put the pot on a rack inside my pressure cooker with approximately 2 cups water, and then started it cooking! I brought the pressure cooker up to pressure and allowed it to cook for 20 minutes.  I could have added another 5 minutes with no problem, as the cooker I used, is a lower pressure one – it cooks at approximately 11 lbs. pressure, vs. the 15 lbs. pressure that my old pressure cooker cooked at.
When the meat was about 1/2 cooked (the 10 minute mark), I started the other pressure cooker up that had cubed potatoes and thickly sliced carrots in it.  (I kept the vegetables separate by using a steam insert between them). They only needed 5 minutes to cook, and I had the potatoes mashed by the time the rouladen was cooked!
Below is my dinner plate, showing the meal I made, and the beef roll sliced.  It is definitely one thing I will cook again! Yummy!
So, next time you see some rouladen in the meat counter shelves, think of what you can stuff them with!
If you think far enough ahead of time, you can do the above preparation, and put them in your crockpot, to cook to perfection on low, while you are at work! An easy dinner, that is so tasty!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Christmas Card Blog Hop

Welcome to the Card A Day Blog World Card Making Day Christmas Card Blog Hop!  This is the very first blog hop I’ve contributed to, and I am so excited!
I am SO happy you have decided to hop along with us!! Make sure to check out the Christmas Card Blog Hop Challenge at the first post of this blog hop, at the Card a Day Blog!

With every card I do, I try to challenge myself with trying a new technique or item.  Today's card was intended to inspire the magical thoughts you may have when looking at your Christmas tree.  I always take pictures of my favorite ornaments on my Christmas tree, and saw how some "Sookwang" was used at my local scrap-booking store.   I hope you in turn are inspired too!

First, print a favorite picture that is clearly defined (good contrast).  Print it out two or three times, depending upon how you want to "finish" the card. 
Cut a piece of Sookwang to cover the picture, just larger on one side (my photo was 4 x 5 inches, and I cut the Sookwang 4 x 5 1/4 inches).
Apply the Sookwang carefully, to limit the possibility of air bubbles.  I just lifted the edge of one side of the adhesive cover, and aligned it with the edge of the photo... working it out as I pulled the adhesive cover towards the opposite edge.
Firmly rub the Sookwang onto the photo before removing the back adhesive cover.
Take a peek underneath the adhesive cover, it should appear smooth before you remove the adhesive cover.
Sprinkle clear transparent glitter (your choice of highlight)... I used "Glitter Ritz" Cool Highlight.  Rub off the excess glitter onto a scrap piece of paper and return the excess to the glitter container.
Trim the paper to card size, making sure to be careful when trimming along the glittered card front.  Use a bone folder or Scor-Pal to fold the card.
At this point I was not in love with the effect --- lesson learned, the picture has to have better contrast.  The background of the card does not photograph well… it really is stunning in a low light situation!
To improve the card for regular light viewing, I cut out the focal snowman from one of my photo prints.  I adhered it using my tape runner, careful to match it to the snowman on the card.  It just "popped out"! Yippee!
I then cut a bracket shape 1 x 2 inches, with my Friskars shape cutter, and stamped Happy Holidays with a versamark ink and applied white embossing powder to it.  I used some dimensional glue dots to apply the bracket to the card front.  I just love how it looks like the snowman is holding the sentiment!


Card name: Happy Holidays!
Card base size: 8 x 10
Card base material: White
Card front size: 4 x 5
Card front material: Photo, covered with Sookwang and glitter
Die cut shape(s) 1 x 2 inch bracket, made with Friskars Shape Cutter
Stamp(s) used: “Happy Holidays” (I was considering hand writing “Wishing you…” on the outside and “a Merry Christmas” on the inside).
Ink used: Versamark clear
Embossing materials used: Glitter Ritz Micro Fine
Other details (fonts, programs, etc):      I used CraftArtist to print my card front... it also enabled me to play with layout and ideas I had when arranging the photo on the card.
Comments I really like the way the card looks in a low light condition.

Make sure to see the next blog on the list! Its from Tina Campbell from Tina's Scrap Corner! 

Below is some great information about challenges you can enter! Also about some blog candy I am giving away.

A two-day extravaganza of Christmas Cards and prizes.
Each of our designers will be choosing something special for our followers and adding it to the grand prize package. You will receive something from each designer.
To join in the challenge go to Card a Day Blog and enter and see who wins!

Every person who leaves a comment for me by October 2nd (midnight), will be entered into a draw for ,the card posted and 4 additional pieces of Sookwang to make your own creation! If you are a follower, and leave a comment, you will receive two entries into the draw! I will make the draw on Monday, October 3rd, at 5pm Pacific time, and will email the winner to arrange for mailing the prize to them!

The designers from Card a Day Blog  participating in this blog hop are:

Thanks for visiting my blog!