Sunday, March 31, 2013


I have fallen behind posting my Project life pages.
Today I am posting my title page for 2013 using my favourite photo from our trip to Disneyland earlier in the year. I had the photo printed at Camera House to 12 x 12, then trimmed it to fit inside the pockets of the page protector. I use the WRMK page protectors because I like the square pockets in the centre.
I'm also sharing my week 8 spread.

 The left side.

I love this flair from Greatest View!
and the right side.

 That sweetheart card is a digital download from Heidi Swapp.

I created a little pocket to add some journaling and extra photos!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Last minute baskets!

We are on our second set of kids.  The first two boys are grown and gone, one married to the most wonderful woman in the world and has two of the cutest boys in existence and the other is a meteorologist serving in the U.S. Air Force.  We have done the bunny thing over the years A LOT so I kinda get lazy and wait until the last minute to drag my happy self out to do the Bunny shopping.  And things have changed over the years. There is just so much to choose from and I honestly get a bit over whelmed by ALL of the STUFF to buy.  When the boys were little, I would buy some sort of reusable container that they could then store cars, crayons or LEGO in, new play dough, a few candies an airplane and some new crayons.  I am all about the simple when it comes to Easter. But at Target everything was BIG and honestly none of it looked worth the prices they were asking, with the exception of the Cadbury Eggs.

I came home with the few basket stuffings but no baskets...sigh...

Y'all know I have been loving Pinterest lately!  I think it is possibly the finest collection of  all the stuff I  want to do in one place!  So, I did a search for fabric Easter Baskets and TA DA...this great tutorial on Sew Lux showed up!!!!  It is easy and quick.  If you do not have a basket today...make one NOW!

Katy's basket has Tula Pink The Birds and the Bees ladybugs, Dear Stella Play Date dots and Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope ( I LOVE THE BAG) and Adam chose some very bold dots and stripes from the Riley Blake Pieces of Hope collection.  I used my favorite Pellon CraftFuse and 50/50 cotton soy batting.  I love my Aurifil 40wt, perfect colors and sews like a dream!

Blog Hop with TAWS: Wish Big

It's that time of the month!  New stamps from The Alley Way Stamps!!!

As always there are three new full-size stamps and a mini that's free with a $40 purchase.  If you started with me, be sure to go back to the beginning of the hop at The Alley Way Stamps blog so you can see peeks of all of the sets! 

I have chosen to show you some of the big and bold stamps from the new birthday set - Wish Big.

TAWS Let's Celebrate

Their big, bold size makes them perfect for stamping on patterned paper!!  

For this card I used the current sketch at Fab Friday.

Then the paper pad with all of the bold prints also comes with a wonderful olivey green (quite a bit more olive than my photo shows!) - so I decided to go masculine too!  This gives me a chance to show you even more images from Wish Big!!

The sketch for this card came from Seize the Birthday.

Next on the hop is: Melissa!

  • Stamps: The Alley Way Stamps Wish Big
  • Paper: Simple Stories, solid pink cardstock is Papertrey Raspberry Fizz, solid olive is unknown
  • Ink:  Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: Papertrey Ink Raspberry and Avocado buttons, Divine Twine Black Licorice

The official words from TAWS:

One person will win ALL 3 NEW SETS!! YEP!! So if you want to be that person.. 
all you have to do is comment on the hop! 
Here are ways you can win.. You can pick and choose which ones you want to do.. 
but the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.. 

1-Comment on The Alley Way Stamps Blog
2-Comment on the DT girls blogs (below)
3-Post about it on facebook or your blog
4-Like us on Facebook
(leave a separate comment for each that you do)
You have until tonight at 9:00PM TAWS time to leave them.. 

This is a fun mini set that is yours FREE when you spend $40.00 or more during the month of April! Nothing to do but shop.. this little guy will be added to your package..
Isn't is fun??!!  What do you think?

Now off you go to do the HOP!!! :) You never know which blog will pick!
Here is the lineup.. if you get lost feel free to come back here at anytime :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

CAS(E) this Sketch: A Banner and a Butterfly

There is a great and very versatile sketch this week at CAS(E) this Sketch!

I have had this tapestry banner on my desk for quite some time knowing that I had to use it before I put it away or, as usual, I would forget about it when new stuff came into the house.  The banner led me to an elegant sympathy card.

With Sympathy

There is some detail that is hard to see - a little shine on the butterfly, some piercing on the vellum and a little woodgrain on the sentiment.

With Sympathy close up

I hope you play along - I really love to see what everybody creates with the same sketch!

  • Stamps: Impression Obsession Tapestry Banner, Papertrey Ink Round & Round (sentiment)
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Soft Stone, Stampin' Up Raspberry Ripple, misc. vellum
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Smokey Shadow, Stampin' Up Raspberry Ripple
  • Accessories: Memory Box dies: Kaleidoscope and Moonlight Butterfly dies, Papertrey Ink woodgrain impression plate, Stampin' Up piercing plate, Tattered Angels Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Mist

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

tulle pom-poms + garland tutorial

I promised a tutorial after my last post. It took a little longer than anticipated. I ended up having my granddaughter, Madi, spend two whole days with me. I like to give her my full attention when she visits. She's also a talker, so getting anything done is a little difficult. :) She is seriously one of the most hilarious little people I know.

Then I was called to a new position at church. I know. I did not see that coming. I loved my calling as RS Meeting Coordinator and I will miss working with so many wonderful women. More on that later.

Okay, let's get this party started.

Because I knew I would use this project often, I made a mini version of all the the pom-pom tutorials I could find. There were about six. I found this method was most simple and created the prettiest *pouf.*

  • 6" tulle (4 yards for each pom-pom)
  • crochet thread (I tried regular thread and fishing line, but found both made it difficult to see my stitches and broke when I pulled them tight. Crochet thread works great.)
  • needle with large eye
  • scissors
  • Fishing line for garland. (I just used what was in the garage, 12 lb. test)

  1. Cut four yards of tulle and approximately 3 feet of crochet thread. Thread your needle and tie a nice big knot at the end so you don't accidentally lose your gathers.
  2. Make a running stitch (up, down, up, down) the full length of the tulle, gathering lightly as you go. Make your stitches about 1/2" and 1/2" inch apart. Don't worry about keeping completely straight, it all works out in the end.
  3. Gather the tulle tightly on the string, making sure it's not twisted.
  4. Tie a knot with the two ends (pull together tightly), then tie a few more for good measure.
  5. Twist and pull on the layers to form a pom-pom.
Yep, it's that simple.

To make a garland, simply stitch through the center of each pom-pom with monofilament (fishing line). I use clear 3M hooks to hang mine. We leave the one in Ella's room up all the time. Both Kate and Tayler want to make garlands for their little's rooms after seeing this one. I feel some girls' time coming on. :)

I made mini pom-poms for our spring RS birthday party. I wish I'd known about these pre-cut 3" rolls then, it would have saved me a lot of time and grief. 

The process for mini pom-poms is the same, with one slight difference. Instead of one strip of tulle, you will cut two strips approximately 60" long, and layer them on top of each other before stitching. Gather your tulle tightly and tie the string in multiple knots.

Couldn't be more darling. :)

  • Use as decor for baby showers, birthday celebrations, weddings, and little (or big) girls' rooms.
  • Attach to a dowel and add ribbon for an instant fairy wand.
  • Tie mini pom-poms to bare branches for spring decor.
  • Use to top a gift in place of a bow. (Totally doing this for birthday parties.)
  • Attach to a little girl's headband for a "pouf" of style.
Any other ideas?

Paper Mart is my go-to source for tulle. The 25 yard rolls at my local craft stores are $4.99. Paper Mart has them for $1.35, and it's the same quality. The garland I made for Ella's room has 12 pom-poms, so it cost me about $3.00 to make. They also have100 yard rolls of tulle, that are a quarter more than the craft store's 25 yard rolls. Even with shipping included, it's a huge savings. (And their shipping is super fast.)

I just noticed Paper Mart has added 12" and 18" pre-cut rolls of tulle. Fabulous! Thinking mega pom-poms for Ella's birthday party would be wonderful. I'll need to play around with the length.

Also check out the polka dot tulle and shimmery tulle.

Happy spring crafting.

My Top Five Madhur Jaffrey Recipes

Six months ago our cooking club voted in Madhur Jaffrey and I was very wary.  I had never tasted Indian food before, much less cooked it myself.  I instantly assumed that my family wouldn't like her recipes at all.  I felt as if I'd never survive six full months of Madhur Jaffrey's recipes.  I couldn't have been more wrong.

During my time with I Heart Cooking Clubs I've cooked the recipes of Nigella Lawson, Mark Bittman, Giada De Laurentiis, Jamie Oliver, Tessa Kiros, Rick Bayless, and Madhur Jaffrey.  One recipe every week for six months straight.  After cooking a particular person's recipes for that length of time you really get a feel for their cooking style.  You also usually have a few recipe failures.  I've had my fair share of failures with all the above mentioned chefs, except Madhur Jaffrey.  I can honestly say that all of Jaffrey's recipes were a home run.  It's kinda ironic, isn't it?

I was so skeptical about cooking her recipes.  I worried I wouldn't like them at all.  I figured my family would fight me with each new dish.  Then we fell in love with her recipes and ended up adding many new favorites into our dinner rotation.  Just goes to show that a little push in the right direction really pays off.

Every Madhur Jaffrey recipe I tried was delicious, but these were our top five favorites.  The first three recipes listed below are really tied for first place.  There is really no way I could put them in order.  I think it really depends on personal taste and maybe what you're in the mood for that day.  Either way, these top three recipes are very quick and really easy to cook on weeknights.  I've made the Delicious Chicken Bits and served them over rice at least 8 times since October.  I have the Most Delicious Meat Cubes on the menu for next week.  All three of these dishes are absolute flavor explosions and would be great for serving to company.  You really can't go wrong!
First up, and one of my husband's favorite dishes, are The Most Delicious Meat Cubes.  Crispy on the edges and tender in the inside, these little nuggets of pork shoulder are screaming with flavor.  Forget doubling the recipe....just go ahead and triple it (just don't crowd the pan or you won't get those crispy edges).  I kid you not.  One of the best meat dishes I've ever made.
Also tied for top place, are these Delicious Chicken Bits.  My eleven year old daughter can be quite picky and she usually does not like eating chicken.  Unless it's this dish.  When she smells it cooking she comes running.  I always laugh because the dish seems too spicy for her, but she pretty much inhales it like the rest of us.  Love this one because it's flavorful, great for weeknights, and pretty healthy.
Another top favorite was this Chicken with Garlic and Black Pepper.  If I had to pick my own personal top favorite then it would probably be this recipe.  This recipe is a lot like the Delicious Chicken Bits, but I'm a little biased when it comes to garlic so I think that's why I prefer this dish over the Delicious Chicken Bits.  It's all about personal preference, right?
While the first three recipes are tied for first place, this recipe for Onion Fritters with Fresh Green Chutney have been on my mind ever since they day I first made them.  Golden little crunchy fritters with chunks of onion dunked in a tangy zippy indulgence.  I wish I could indulge in some right now!
And, lastly, these Chicken Patties with Korean Dipping Sauce are really out of this world delicious.  I could never decide whether I liked the patties more than the sauce or the sauce more than the patties.  Either way, they're incredibly addictive.  My husband and I dunked and dunked till they were all gone. These would make a perfect party appetizer.

*Next week our our cooking club, I Heart Cooking Clubs, will begin cooking the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi.  If you are interested please head over and check it out!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the magic of Easter...

Being Easter soon I created a couple of Easter cards  for the Heidi Swapp blog. I decided to use Color Magic paper and Color Shine mist on all my cards as well as some papers from the new release Serendipity collection.

Here I've done some hand stitching on the  Color Magic note!

The yummy Easter flair is of course from Greatest View!

 ...and used my cameo to cut out the egg shape on the next two cards.

Another flair from Greatest View.

                                                               Happy Easter to you all!