Sunday, January 23, 2011

So Happy Together

Here's my latest scrapbook page. I did this layout for the January sketch challenge at Birds of a Feather, and used the January kit plus January kit add ons from there. Patterned paper is Jenni Bowlin. Flowers, crystals, butterflies, and the frame are all Prima. The kraft cardstock, glimmer mist, crystals, and thickers are from my stash.

If you would like a chance to be a guest designer at Birds of a Feather, join us in the Hen House, complete all five challenges posted for the month, and you could be chosen to work with the next kit! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Have you seen the February kit at Birds of a Feather?

It is BEAUTIFUL!! And I just ordered mine! Be sure and check out the extras too! Click here to order your kit for a one time shipment, or here to subscribe for 3, 6, or 9 months. If you subscribe on or before January 31, you will automatically be entered to win the new Webster's Pages Spring Market line plus a few other goodies! Here is what is included in the February kit:
Glitz Design “Love Nest” Collection
2 Sheets “Floral”
2 Sheets “Sky”
2 Sheets “Stripe”
1 package Glitzer Transparent Stickers with Bling

Lily Bee “Lovely” Collection
1 Sheet “Charm”
1 Sheet “Whimsy”
1 Sheet Die-Cut frames
1 12x12 Rub-On Sentiments

Prima Marketing, Inc.
1 Package Lilliput Roses – Lime Cooler

Tattered Angels
1 Bottle Glimmer Glam – Tidepool

Donna Salazar
1 Package 7x7 corrugated board

May Arts
2 ft. Grosgrain Ribbon - Light Turquoise
2 ft. Grosgrain Ribbon - Celery

DoubleMates Cardstock
2 Sheets Glorious Green
2 Sheets Outdoorsy Olive

Mark your calendar and come and crop with us in the Hen House at Birds of a Feather February 4-6. We will be playing bingo that Friday night. There will be fun challenges and awesome prizes! Check out the Hen House for more details!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Absolutely sinful...but my kids are happy

I remember my mom making these for me when I was a kid. Common sense tells me they are quite unhealthy, but my willpower is defenseless to them. And when the last one is sitting on the better watch out because elbows start flying, and an all out brawl ensues.
Heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
Mix up a combination of sugar and cinnamon. I don't measure it. I'm guessing about 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. of cinnamon.
Using a can (10 count) of biscuits, make holes in the center of each biscuit.
Once the oil is hot, turn heat down to medium-low and drop biscuits 3-4 at a time in hot oil. Let biscuits brown on one side, then turn.
Toss each biscuit in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Repeat until all biscuits are done.
Watch the happy faces.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I finally cut into my November kit from Birds of a Feather that I have been hoarding for a couple of months. The papers are just so pretty, I had to admire them before I cut them up. I also needed just the perfect picture, and when I found this picture of my daughter, I knew that it was time to use those pretty papers.
Supplies used:
Patterned paper: Webster's Pages and BasicGrey
Flowers, lace, and butterflies: Prima
Alpha stickers: Webster's Pages
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain
Prima say it in crystals not included in the kit.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stitching it up!

In an earlier post, I mentioned my new sewing machine and posted some pictures of fabric and patterns that I had purchased. I finally worked up the nerve to start cutting that fabric and really learn how to use my sewing machine. That machine is amazing! It has tons of stitch functions, most of which I have no idea what they even mean. I did use three different ones on my apron though. It has an automatic needle threader and thread cutter! (It's the little things that make me happy.) I learned how to read a pattern and many basic sewing techniques. I still have a lot to learn! Good grief, there are a lot of rules when it comes to sewing. I played around with my pattern and tweaked it some, and I still ended up with something that looked like an apron! It still needs a bit of work, but I'm happy with how it turned out being my first real sewing project.
Picture is courtesy of my five year old son and was straightened up with photoshop. ;)

Not to be outdone by her big brother, my three year old daughter wanted to take a picture too. Her style is a bit more...artsy... She did capture the finer parts of the apron though. ;)
And a new apron blog post needs a recipe to go with it right? Last night's menu was beef vegetable soup with cheesy potato bread. I used potatoes and tomato juice that I canned last summer in my soup.
Beef Vegetable Soup

1-1/2 lbs. beef stew meat, browned
1 qt. small potatoes, quartered
2 wedges cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables (I use a corn/carrot/green bean/pea blend)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 qt. tomato juice
1 can (14 oz) beef broth
1 beef bouillon cube
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Cheesy Potato Bread
(Bread machine recipe for 1-1/2 lb. loaf)

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup chopped, peeled potato
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp. margarine or butter
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. caraway seed, crushed (optional)
1 tsp. active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

In a small saucepan combine the water and potato. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potato is very tender. Do not drain. Mash potato in the water. Measure potato-water mixture. If necessary, add water to equal 3/4 cup mixture. Discard any excess mixture.

Add the potato mixture and remaining ingredients to the machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Select the basic white bread cycle.

I'm eyeing the dress pattern and fabric I have here on my table, but I think I am going to hold off on starting that until I have a dress form. And a bit more practice. ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Greek Chicken Penne and Garden Patch Bread

That's what we had for dinner tonight. I made the bread in my bread machine, and it was smelling so good before it even started baking. The great thing about both of these recipes is that my kids are eating vegetables, and they don't even know it!
Greek Chicken Penne

2-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 jars (7-1/2 oz. each) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ppepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the chicken, onion, and garlic in oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the artichokes, tomato, cheese, parsley, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Heat through.
Drain pasta. Toss with chicken mixture.

Garden Patch Bread
(Bread machine recipe for 1-1/2 lb. loaf)

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrots
1/3 cup tomato juice
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped red pepper
1 Tbsp. margarine
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 tsp. active dry yeast

Add ingredients to machine according to manufacturer's directions. Select the basic white bread cycle. For my machine, I add wet ingredients, then dry ingredients, then make a well in middle of dry ingredients and add yeast to that. I also selected the light crust option.

Serve this with a tossed salad, and you have a complete meal!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back Porch Memories Member Layout Sneak Peeks

As promised, here are sneak peeks of the layouts I did with both the Solo and Medley kits at Back Porch Memories this month. Kit subscribers get access to the full pages and coordinating sketches used to create these pages.

The design team will be uploading their creations to the gallery tomorrow, so be sure and check out what they have created with these beautiful kits!

Back Porch Memories has a monthly guest designer contest too, and we are looking for a guest designer for February. You have to hurry because the contest ends tomorrow! Click here for more information on the February guest design team spot. And if you don't make it in time for that one, the new one for March will be posted very soon!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

From my kitchen to yours

Happy birthday to my mom today! The kids and I spent the morning baking this orange lemon cake for her. Isn't it pretty?
Here is the recipe, courtesy of Simple and Delicious magazine.

Orange Lemon Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 pkg (3 oz) orange gelatin
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup canola oil
4 eggs

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3-4 tsp orange juice

Combine first five ingredients. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10 inch fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes before removing cake and cooling completely on wire rack.

Combine confectioners' sugar and enough orange juice to reach desired consistency. Drizzle icing over cake when cake is completely cooled.

I also made a family favorite for dinner - hot chicken salad. This is an easy and tasty recipe that can be adapted to your personal preferences. Add whatever you like - chopped celery, diced onions, chopped green pepper, slivered almonds, etc.

Hot Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 cup real mayo
1 cup (more or less as desired) frozen hash brown potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup crushed potato chips

Combine all ingredients except for potato chips. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Top with potato chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

After dinner and cake, we played a few games of Sorry and LCR.

And here is the birthday girl with two of her favorite people.

Happy birthday, Grandma! We love you!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Operation Craft Room Reorganization

Well, I bit the bullet and bought a new sewing table. The old sofa table that I could barely fit my legs under just wasn't cutting it. Based on the UPS tracking information, I knew it was coming today, so yesterday I started a small space clean up which turned into a massive room overhaul. I like how it is coming along, but there are still some things that I want to do. I found a smaller table that matches my scrap table, so that was perfect for sewing! I'm planning on getting a dress form too, but hubby says I have to wait until my birthday for that, so just pretend that is in that empty corner to the left of the sewing table.
I think I am going to put a vinyl quote on the wall above the spool racks and pictures. I found this on Etsy and I love it!

Love the quote itself, but also love Laura Ingalls Wilder, so that makes it extra special. Next on my crafting agenda is learning how to use that new sewing machine and making an apron. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A few of my favorites from 2010

I did a post of my favorite layouts of 2009 last January, and it was so much fun looking back at my pages that I decided to do it again this year. A couple of things struck me as I was going through my older blog posts. First, I didn't scrap nearly as much this year as I did last year. The main reason for that was because I started my Etsy shop with crocheted hats, and I was trying to get that off the ground, and trying to make enough hats to put into a craft show in October. That took up a huge amount of my crafty time. Secondly, I apparently have a thing for circles. Lots of circles. Another thing I noticed was that my style has evolved into a simpler, more clean lines type of scrapping. I'm not sure if this was a result of my personal taste or more related to the lack of scrapping time as noted above. Either way, I did create some pages last year that I really do love, and here are some of my favorites from 2010. So that's my scrappy year in review! Hopefully 2011 will be an inspiring one for us all!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back Porch Memories January Kits

January kits are up and available for purchase at Back Porch Memories! The Solo kit this month features My Mind's Eye Fine and Dandy Tickled Pink. The Medley kit includes collections from Fancy Pants Hot Chocolate, BasicGrey Marjolaine, and Bo Bunny Crazy Love. I don't know how anyone can choose as both kits are fantastic! Fortunately, I didn't have to choose as I am doing member layouts this month and got both kits!

Solo kit:
Medley kit:
For those of you that may not know what member layouts at Back Porch Memories are, let me give you a little bit of info. Member layouts are available only to kit subscribers. When you get your kit in the mail, there will be a password included that gives you online access to exclusive sketches and layouts all using both the Solo and Medley kits for that month. Using the sketches and layout examples is a fantastic way to save time and use up your kits each month! You get three sketches - two one page layout sketches and one two page layout sketch. We use every sketch with each kit, so you get six layout examples - and with one of the one page layout sketches, we turn it into a two pager to give you even more options! So all total, you get three one page layouts and three two page layouts to get inspiration from.

Tami Floyd was our resident sketch artist, but she has stepped down from the design team to pursue other ventures in life. I will miss seeing her gorgeous work each month at BPM, and I wish her all the best! I have taken over the responsibility of doing the monthly member layout sketches, and I hope I can do it justice! It has been fun this month, designing my own sketches and layouts, and I hope you all like what I have come up with! Look for sneak peeks on the 10th of the month!

I went back out to the flea market today to grab another canvas print to go with my corset prints to balance out the design on the wall of my craft room. Here's how it is looking so far. The empty spool rack looks really crooked in the picture lol. That rack is going to hold my embroidery thread. I don't have any yet, and that is why that rack is empty. I will take care of that soon enough. Just waiting for a sale at Hobby Lobby. I think I am going to buy or make one of those vinyl wall decals with a cool quote or something to put across the wall above the pictures and spool racks. Once I get my new sewing table next week, I will take a pic of the whole area and share it here.

I'm thinking with all of my crocheting and sewing, I might have to change the name of my blog! Does anyone have any creative ideas? I'm still scrapping, but want to incorporate all of my crafts and a bit of my personal life as well into the blog this year. So if you have a suggestion, please leave me a comment!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Start the New Year with a beautiful new kit from Birds of a Feather!

Have you seen the January kit from Birds of a Feather? It is amazing! It includes papers from Cosmo Cricket's Circa 1934 collection and Jenni Bowlin's Family Tree collection. The colors in this kit are so rich and beautiful. Here's a picture of what in included:
Over at Back Porch Memories, the January kits will be revealed very soon. I am working on member layouts this month which are only available to kit subscribers, but look for sneak peeks on the 10th of the month. I am so glad that I got to work with both the Solo and the Medley kit this month because I love them both!

I am adding a new hobby to my ever growing list and going to try my hand at sewing. My parents gave me this awesome sewing machine for Christmas, and I can't wait to play with it!

My old sewing machine did two stitches, so this one is much more intimidating! It also does embroidery! So I have been spending the last week studying the users manual and buying patterns, fabric, and all of the other things I need to start doing some serious sewing. Hancock Fabrics had these thread spool holders on sale for $14.99 this week. I bought two - one for regular thread and one for embroidery thread.
I am going to start with an apron pattern. I plan on making matching ones for me and my daughter. Here is the fabric I am going to use for that. The white and black damask will be the main body of the apron, and the pink will be used to accent it.
After a bit more practice, I am going to try my hand at making a dress. I found a pattern and some fabric that I fell in love with. I really hope I can get good enough to do this. How cute will this be next spring/summer with some strappy dark brown sandals?
We hit the local flea market today, and I scored some really cool artwork for my craft room. I love these dressform and corset pictures! They are going to hang on the wall on the sewing side of my room. They were less than $5 each!
And these are going in my craft room on the scrappy side. I just love the vintage feel of them. They were less than $3 each!
I will leave you with a picture of the beautiful sunset we had tonight. What a gorgeous end to the first day of the year! Happy New Year everyone!