Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Something out of Nothing-Cinema Blog Hop

Howdy blog hoppers!!  Welcome to the August Club Scrap Cinema Blog Hop...
Are you in the right place?  If you just came from Debby's Blog then you are following along perfectly.  If you hopped over from Facebook you might want to check out all of this month's projects over at Club Scrap Creates!

So today we are going to make a cute little card...
I know, can you believe I made something so crafty and cute??

After stressing about what I was going to make (for days) and not coming up with anything (as usual) I turned to Pinterest.  I knew I wanted to use the "Stars" quote from the unmounted stamp set so I just did a simple search of "star card" and ended up with this!  Here's a quick tutorial...

Start with 4 colors of paper (I picked from the POPs that came with my kit.)  Cut each piece to a 2.5" square.
Next up stamp one side of each square with the stamp of your choice, I think a pattern of some kind would work best.  I picked the Workbench wood mounted grid stamp.  I used the black india ink on the light paper and the white pigment ink on the dark paper.  Be sure to heat set if needed before moving onto the next step.
So flip one of your squares over and mark lightly with a pencil halfway down each side of it.
Grab either a Scor-Pal or just a bone folder and score each corner from the pencil mark to the next pencil mark.
Fold each corner up so that your pattern shows at the top.
It really helps if the cat sits on top of your finished product, trust me!  If you do not have a cat you can skip this step.  If the cat destroys your prototype you must start over.  Sigh.

So after you have created (or re-created) each of your 4 base squares you can cut 4 small white squares for the insides of each little "box".  Now any good crafty blogger would have this measurement but I don't have the card with me and I didn't write it down.  Probably because I was peeved at having to start over since AJ ate my first box.  Anyways.  4 little squares.  I decided to stamp the insides each with a star image (this one from Time and Space UM's) in coordinating colors from each piece of paper like this.

I added a little bling to each inside paper (a star brad from Bright Lights, Big City.)
Firmly attach each inside to the outside and then nest together on the front of your card.  (I just used a basic 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper cut in half, and folded in half.)  Try to position the "boxes" as high as you can on your card to leave space for your sentiment.
The Hydrangea Zig Zag UM was a perfect touch for the bottom of my card.  Add your sentiment and maybe a little more bling (large star brad is from Equestrian kit) and you have your finished card!!  Oops, don't forget the rest of your sentiment on the inside of the card!!

I especially like that the card has dimension but also folds flat for mailing.

I hope you enjoyed my little card today.  Your next stop on the Blog Hop is with Tiare over at http://www.tiaresmith.com/  Be sure to tune in next time for the Blog Hop and in the meantime I'll be blogging this Tuna Tartare in the next few days so come back by to check it out!!
 








Monday, August 18, 2014

A Different Sort of Pizza

It's been such a long time since I did any foodie blogging but I have been trying some new things in the kitchen and wanted to start posting them...

First up an excellent pizza with an unusual cast of characters...

My recipe was based on this one from Epicurious, I was searching for a savory recipe with fresh figs (which was more challenging than I thought.)  Around here you can only get good fresh figs from the regular grocery store for about 3 weeks of the year.  They happen to be 1/2 off at Publix this week in case you have a hankering to re-create my creation!

You'll need this cast of characters...(I was so psyched I actually remembered to take this photo for once!)
Not pictured are some caramelized onions (which was not in the original recipe but a couple of recipe comments suggested adding them and I'm glad I did.) 

So your first step is to caramelize your onion (this is just one large onion sliced and then cooked for approx. 45 mins on low in a little olive oil.)
The original recipe called for 2 cups of some kind of blue cheese but I only had about 3/4 a cup so I subbed in some other cheeses (goat and fontina) that I had on hand for the total of 2 cups.

So after your onions are done, go ahead and cut up your prosciutto and figs (which will marinate for about 15 mins in 1 Tablespoon of the balsamic.)

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out of the pizza dough to some random shape that fits on the pan you want to use (either round or this lovely rectangular/oval shape I have here.)
Sprinkle some cornmeal on your pizza pan and crank your oven to 450 degrees.
Carefully transfer the dough to the pan (note there is a reason there is no picture of this step, let's just say there was some re-rolling after the pizza was dropped on the stovetop.)

Once your pizza is on the pan brush the dough lightly with some olive oil and then add the cheeses and bake for between 12-15 mins.  It really depends on your oven.  You want your pizza to be about 90% done.

Pull out the cheese-y dough and add the onion, strips of prosciutto and the fig slices (this is what it looks like before you put it in for the second baking.)

Pop it back in for around 2 mins, you want to soften the figs and slightly crisp the prosciutto.  While it is cooking use the bowl that the figs and balsamic marinated in and add one more tablespoon of balsamic and about the same amount of olive oil and whisk.  Toss this dressing with your arugula in a large bowl (I'm not sure I used the full 8 cups the recipe called for-Leslie was pretty skeptical about the greens on the pizza.)

By now your pizza should be done, pull it out to rest and slice and top with the arugula salad on each plate.
This would be the perfect place in the blog to post a photo of a perfectly topped piece of the pizza on the plate...
oops.

Needless to say we both enjoyed it a lot!  So grab yourself some figs and make a pizza.  It really was pretty easy and very tasty!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Last Minute Oopsie Daisy Invitations



Do you know why today is extra special?  Because it's Blog Hop Day of COURSE!!  (It's also apparently National Father-In-Law Day?)  Welcome to the Oopsie Daisy July Blog Hop.  If you didn't check out all the cool projects so far you can always head over to Club Scrap Creates to check out the full list (or look at any of the other fun stuff posted there on a regular basis.) 

Soooooooooo...I found out two Saturdays ago (July 19th) that I might need to make some wedding shower invitations.  Around 20ish invites give or take but no other info.  I knew the shower was early Sept so this past Friday (July 25th) I pressed the requestee of the invites for some additional info...

Turns out I needed to make over 50 invitations in about 3 days.  Gulp. 

So much for that stunning, amazing, artistic, elaborate Blog Hop Project I was going to get done.  Ok, you totally know I am lying right?  (I'm no Julie Heyer here.)  But it did kind of screw up my plans to come up with something fun and new.

So I present to you 52 invites in 3 hours and it goes something like this.

Go to your stash and round up exactly all of the papers (multi-colored 8 1/2 x 11 fall colors with a touch of grey and cream please) that you will need.  If you A-do not have time to sort through 15 years of papers and B-don't really want to sacrifice your stash for invites and C-would have ordered additional CS paper if you had been given more notice...you can just go to Staples and Michaels and purchase a 50 pack of Fall cardstock, cream colored resume paper, envelopes and a grey sparkly paper for mattes.  If you happen to get a free large pack of markers in a back to school sale I will not be responsible for coloring to ensue later.

So now that you have your materials and an idea (kind of) I suggest setting everything out in front of the tv.  I have chosen Pioneer Woman...she made steak fingers.  Yum.

So figure out how many invites you need total (52) and how many colors of paper you have (5) and then divide  52 by 5 and pick out 10 pieces of each color plus one extra of your favorite.  Cut them all in half and then score them and fold them in half.  Right?  Next go ahead and cut your mattes.  I made the grey mattes 1/2" smaller on each of two sides than my cards for a 1/4" edge of color around the card and then the inside cream mattes I made 1/2" shorter from top to bottom than the gray matte but the same width.  Then I tore the cream colored matte 1/2" from the side for a nice cute edge.

Lay out all your pieces.  You will now probably have moved onto another TV program.  I had Walk the Line on the DVR...
Grab the main focal stamp (Mine is the Daisy from Oopsie Daisy (see I told you I used the kit!)) and the You're Invited from the Comics UMs and I decided for a little "splash" of color I would add the splatter stamp from Oopise Daisy in a color coordinating with each card.

Start stamping in an assembly line fashion.

I like to stamp 10 or so at a time and then assemble.  It makes it seem less boring?  My finished card looked something like this....
Once I had all 5 colors done they looked so pretty! (Coordinating ink colors of Topaz, Mahogany, Ruby, Leaf and Tangerine.)
For an extra touch I stamped each of the envelopes with the smaller Daisy stamp.
All that is left is to print out your party info inside on the computer (4 per sheet of the same lightweight cream paper) which I need to do as soon as I finish this blog post...and they will be ready to go.

The cats relaxed in their boxes while I worked, after I tossed them off the card table about 20 times.
Note they prefer CS over their own cat beds.  They are very loyal.

I hope you enjoyed my blog today, I'm headed to eat some cake for Father-In Law Day (or maybe my birthday!) and do some coloring...


Next up is Tiare Smith!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Time for a Picnic Party Post

Howdy Blog Hoppers...welcome to the Club Scrap June Picnic Blog Hop!
I hope you enjoyed Debby's Blog and I'm also sure that you missed me last month!  You did miss me right??  Or maybe you missed the cats?

This month I was lucky enough to be selected to be the Guest Artist for the Greetings to Go set and along with a little help from my mom we whipped up these great cards!  But after all that crafting and creating I was left in a bit of a conundrum for the Blog Hop this month.  Finally I had one of those necessity breeds creativity moments when I was working on planning a big party for this upcoming Saturday night at our house.  I needed some cute place cards for the foods I was making and waaa-laaa an idea was born.
Cute little stamped cards to go on my buffet table!  The picnic stamps work well for cook-out type cards but don't let those specific images stop you.  I was determined to find stamps that worked for all of my dishes!  (And since I'm not rocking an amazing new crafting technique I'll throw in the added bonus of the links to the dishes I am making.)

First off the above listed beverage...because nothing gets a party started at my house like some tequila shooters!
Jalapeno Cilantro Limeaid

Next up...Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad! Also a cute and perfect match for this kit.  Now let's branch out to other kits and stamps...

The Tahiti bananas work perfectly for my Mini Banana Pies.  And I couldn't resist the cute Oh Baby pig for the Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders.  Nothing says "I love ham" like a cute pig!  I have a couple of guests at my party who are gluten intolerant so I kept the place cards color coded so they would know to stay away from unsafe items.  Pink/Red Painted Desert paper means none for them...
More non-GF items include these tasty looking Jalapeno Popper Cups and these Easy Blackberry Crisps (Scroll partway down page for an easy description.)  Stamps from the Salsa kit highlight the spicy peppers and the Grapes from Sonoma make perfect blackberries!
The Salsa stamps make another appearance for these adorable Seven Layer Dip Cups (don't those look fun and easy?) and the After Five UM Stamps work well for any drink item but I'm fixing Bloody Mary Shrimp Shooters.  
(We need to work on getting some of those at Retreat!!)
Pull out the Seashore Stamps for anything fish related like my Tuna Tartare and either the older Asian Artisan stamps or some Fire and Ice stamps would work for anything Asian themed like these yummy Saucy Asian Meatballs.
Finally we will wrap up the cards with the corn from the older Harvest Kit for my Chilled Crab and Corn Soup (for the life of me I couldn't find a Club Scrap Crab stamp-do we have one?) and the Salsa stamps won out again for this Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.

I had a couple more but you get the drift right?  Pretty much anything you make you can make an adorable easy place card for!

AJ gives two thumbs up and was anxious to help with the party planning.  Here he is helping me finish my massive party grocery list!
So plan a party and craft your way to a cute table scape!

Next up this month is Carpe Memoria with Lisa!  If you want to see all of the cute Picnic creations just Hop on back to Club Scrap Creates!

I hope you enjoyed my little crafty post with a recipe bypass!  If anyone is in the neighborhood come by for a limeaid shooter!


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The .25 cent project--Hydrangeas Blog Hop

Howdy folks and welcome to the Club Scrap monthly blog hop!
I know you stopped by from Debby's Page and that you have come to my post in order to be enlightened with amazing artistic talent and a knock out project.  Ha ha, just kidding I know you came by to see if I would say anything to make you spit your morning coffee on your computer monitor.  Or maybe for a cat picture.

As usual I wanted to come up with a way to participate in the hop without actually using up any of my precious scrapping and crafting supplies.  What you don't actually use your paper do you???

I saw THIS IDEA on Pinterest and thought maybe I could recreate it with my Hydrangeas stamps and some cheap thrift store candle holders.

Step one-Hit up your local thrift store for some candle holders or any little glass containers (if you come home with a set of luggage and a new bookcase too this is not my fault but I will worn you it is known to happen-not that I would know anything about that.)  The three little holders below were less than .25 cents each.
Step Two-Gather some very basic supplies.  You will need some tissue paper, scissors, India Ink and Mod Podge and a little paint brush.  Thin the Mod Podge with some water, I used about 1/2 and 1/2 in a little bowl.

Step Three-Stamp the image of your choice on the tissue paper.  I found after a couple tries that a second generation of the stamping might work better for delicate images like these flowers.  See how the top image is just a little too dark and the ink kind of bleeds a bit.

Step Four-Cut out image.  Brush part of the glass you want to stick the tissue paper on with a bit of the water/modpodge mix.  (It will look cloudy but don't worry it will dry clear.)  Stick on image and then brush another thin layer of the glue mix on top of it.
I did the flowers and the stems separately here.

You can continue adding as many images as you would like.
It looks a bit like a pretty shot glass.  But beware these things and liquid really don't mix.

I tired it with a couple different stamps and colors.  They didn't turn out perfectly but I do think the stamping on tissue paper is kind of a "if at first you don't succeed thing".  I was in more of a hurry up and finish this so you can make supper mode.


Now those of you you know me well know that I'm really not a pink and purple flowery kind of person.  I'm more of a red and black NASCAR kind of person?  So my final test of this new little craft was this (also from the Hydrangeas UM stamp.)
While it still isn't perfect it is a bit more my style.  So there you have it, a handy quick craft that is cheap and doesn't use any of your precious Club Scrap paper.  It might also be fun with kids.  If you like spending time with kids and stuff.

I hope you enjoyed this stop on the Hop today.  Next up is Tiare's Blog!

And just in case you thought I forgot...
Here's a quick shot of AJ helping me with some Greetings to Go last week.  Cats are so helpful.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Year of Thanks

I'm getting this up a few days earlier than I originally planned but I wanted to re-cap some of my health updates and thank some folks for helping with my amazing year of recovery.  So here's a start...
Yeah I know...crazy thing is that wasn't even at my worst.  But there came a time when I just quit allowing people to take my picture.  The above shot is from 2010 (September) on the left and today on the right.

Here is what I looked like before everything just went so wrong...(2006)


Here is one a little closer to my diagnosis and surgery date.  This was May 2012.
It's not a pretty thing.  It's not something people want to show or talk about (thus the "missing years" of photos.)

It also didn't fix itself overnight, here is a picture from August when I felt so much better but was still a long way from where I am now.
Here is one from December...



And again, here is today.
80 pounds later with perfect blood pressure and a new lease on life.  My Cushing's syndrome diagnosis came around mid-April last year and I had my tumor and left adrenal gland removed on May 1st (a long day for friends and family.)  It's amazing how something so small can make you so sick.

But really the point of this post is two-fold.  First I would like to thank the countless people who have helped me this year. 

Thank you to Leslie, my rock, my work-mate, my helper with everything, my best friend.  Who kept his patience when I looked like the first pictures and couldn't do anything and felt like junk ALL the time.  I think if he had heard "I'm SOOO HOTTT!!" one more time he might have freaked out.  I can't wait to LIVE life with you again!

Thank you to my family, who was here to help, who sent cards and notes all the time and were so encouraging even when I felt horrible.

Thank you to my work friends who understood when I was dragging at a meeting or was late responding to an e-mail.

Thank you to all of my friends and neighbors and extended family who sent cards and notes and posted encouraging things on Facebook, they really did help!  My Club Scrap family has been super supportive as well!

Finally thank you to Melissa Johnson, my trainer who helped me when I was sick and for 2 years worked with me even though I was struggling and didn't know why I couldn't lose weight or get stronger.  I think she kept me out of a wheelchair.  She has also been a huge factor in getting my strength back.  I can do things now that I never could have before.  She has been an inspiration and a friend.

The second thing I want to stress here is that I knew something was wrong.  Countless doctors telling me I needed to lose weight or be more active.  People assuming I was a lazy fat person, it can really bring you down.  The last 6 months before my diagnosis I can honestly say I wanted to become a recluse.  I didn't want to see anyone or go anywhere (or have anyone see me.)  I knew I was sick but no one seemed to be able to help me.  A year or so before everything finally went down a neighbor said to me, "You know Janet, I think you have a tumor or something."  I'd like to say thank you to Kim King because she was right.  Leslie's brother Phil said towards the end to him, "You know, Janet just looks bad, I think something is wrong with her."

Maybe if more people had told me they thought I was sick I would have been able to find better help sooner?  I'm not sure.  I know it's hard to confront people about a problem you think they have.  You assume they know something is wrong.  A co-worker even told me this summer, "Well we knew something was wrong with you be we assumed you knew what it was."  I'm forever grateful to a suspicious cardiologist who finally said,"You know...you seem like a healthy person, I think something is really wrong with you."  Also to a surgeon that didn't brush me off and had me scheduled for surgery about a week after my CAT scan.

It hasn't been a super easy year, there have been some set-backs and some other issues associated with my rapid weight loss (what do I do with all this extra skin?)  And I'm trying to hold onto my gallbladder (he's pretty upset with me lately.)  Also I'm still hoping my "red face" will keep improving.  But without this diagnosis and surgery I would have had a stroke in probably a year or so.  Most Cushings patient live 5 years and from the 2010 picture you can see I wasn't that far off.  It is a tricky illness to get help for and I'm just for the rest of my life lucky that some people helped me.  I read stories everyday on support websites where people literally die waiting to be properly diagnosed.

Well I've gone on long enough but there were just so many things I wanted to say...Thank you again everyone. We are headed to Alaska in May to celebrate my new lease on life!!  When we get home I hope to take my medic-alert bracelet off for good!