Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sugar, Grating, and Bobby Flay

I promised an update on my usual lack of prowess in the kitchen. Since I made the goof in front of the whole family why not share the story with my blog-land-friends too? I've posted before that cooking is not my thing. Here's the recent 'proof in the pudding' so to speak.

Daughter Amy drove up from Omaha, with sister Gail, Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving. And it's a good thing she asked to sample the freshly baked pumpkin pie. She took a bite, gave me a quizzical look and 'sweetly' asked me, "did you put any sugar in this?" I hesitantly said, "well, of course I did." She promptly turned on her heels and headed out of the kitchen - slice and fork in hand. "I'll have dad taste it." She returned to the kitchen tossed the pumpkin slice minus two bites into the trash can stating, "If dad won't eat it - we KNOW it's bad."

This isn't the first time I've made pumpkin pie...how could I FORGET to include the sugar? I couldn't believe it. Even though I had literally spent 12+ hours in the kitchen I made two MORE pies - this time adding the required sugar.

And an update on the painful Bobbie Flay Mac and Cheese Carbonara recipe...what a BUST! (If you're interested in my whining wretched details click here.) Sixteen ingredients, more different cheese types than ANY Midwest grocery store carries, thirty-two mixing bowls and pans later the taste was marginal at best  (okay I may be SLIGHTLY exaggerating on the number of dishes - but not by much).

When I work that long and hard on a recipe (which included chopping, grating, more chopping, more grating, melting, boiling, sauteing, and MORE grating) I expect the taste to be "OMgoodness - THAT was SO worth ALL that TIME AND EFFORT, hand me the grater I want to make another batch, curl your toes, implode your palate DELICIOUS!"

How disappointing! What was I thinking? A Bobby Flay Food Network recipe? I need to stick to Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or a good ol' Aunt Ethel recipe. Now if I only HAD an Aunt Ethel....

I told you I was kitchen-jinxed!




Wheeeee It's Snowing!
~Base card - Gina K Designs Pure Luxury White
~Layer of  blue cardstock
~Layer of pink cardstock
~Layer of snowflake design paper (don't know what the name of it is)
~Layer of pink ribbon topped with metallic silver edged white ribbon
~Three small punched snowflakes topped with Stickles Diamond
~Digital image - I can't locate the file - so I can't let you know where I got it from...How distressing! If anyone knows who's handwork this adorable trio of snow people is please give me a 'shout-out'. Image colored with Copics, noses topped with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects, areas highlighted with Stickles.
~Larger snowflake punch with pink rhinestone center and Stickle's Diamond highlighted tips
~Digital image update - whoooooot!!!! I misfiled the little darlings!!!! The image is by Sassy Cheryl's. Merry merry me - so happy I found and correctly refiled these cutie-pa-tooties!

Challenges
Digis with Attitude - Colors Pink, Black, Silver (the black is the black ink outline of the image)
I {heart} to Stamp - Sketch
2 Sisters - Non-traditional Christmas colors (inside sentiment is "Have a Merry and Bright Christmas")

I was going to make this a one-card-post but just found this adorable free digital image a Wendymade and couldn't resist a go at it.




Here's to Cheers
~Base card white linen pre-made card
~Layer of American Craft The Goods/Tinsel - edged smudged with Stampabilities True Red
~Narrow layer of green glitter cardstock by DCWV
~Layer of ribbon
~Center square of red cardstock - outlined with black faux stitches
~Cocktail digital image by Wendymade and All Things Crafty - printed on Paper Temptress Cryogen White cardstock, distressed with Stampabilities True Red; scallop circle die cut using Cuttlebug and dotted edges using American Crafts Black Galaxy Marker
~Digital sentiment also by Wendymade
Challenges
The Sweet Stop - Sketch
Daring Cardmakers - Spots and Stripes (ribbon is striped/dots around scallop)
Digi Doodles - Red and Green
Stamp Insanity - Try something new (brand new digital image!)

Thanks for clicking by.
Nancy

P.S. In case you are wondering, as evidenced by the still whole pie lying in the yard, even squirrels and birds don't like pumpkin pie sans sugar! As for the do-overs of the pie - they were a hit with all the humans.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holly Snow

Just a quick posting of a card. I will confess to my kitchen snafus later.




Holly Baby
~Base card - Gina K. Designs Luxury Pure White
~Layer of My Mind's Eye Signature Christmas by Jen Wilson
~Digital image 'Holly' by Baby Bud Designs, printed on Paper Temptress Cryogen, colored with Copics, her red buttons and boots topped with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects and hat pompom accented with Stickles; oval cut using Spellbinder die cut and my Cuttlebug
~Design paper and white cardstocks punched using snowflake punch, centered with red brads, topped with iridescent glitter
~White gloss cardstock used for small snowflake punch
~Pearl bridal spray sprigs
~Two layers of ribbon
~Digital sentiment by Bird's Cards laser printed on Paper Temptress Cryogen White White - highlighted with a few dots of Stickle's Diamond
Challenges
Baby Bud Designs - Winter/Christmas
Scrap Book Sisters - Let it Snow
Stampin' B's  - Holiday Card
Stampin for the Weekend - Winter
Digital Tuesday - Let it Snow plus Digi
Just Us Girls - 3-D

Here is a hint about my upcoming confession - it has to do with baking and wildlife.

All good wishes,
Nancy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cheese I'm Tired!

Spent most of the day in the kitchen - which for me  - as some of you know - is a peculiar site. And yes, I was actually COOKING. I decided that the reason Food Network cooks make it look so easy is because they have peeps doing all the grunt work for them. Chopping, measuring, more chopping, mixing, MORE chopping, and then there is my personal favorite grating!!!!!

I'm trying a Bobby Flay mac and cheese recipe. I have no idea why! My idea of cooking is being sure to poke holes in the microwave dinner wrap! The list of ingredients is WAY past my acceptable number (3.4 is about average for me....) The cheese list ALONE was beyond my acceptable quantity of ingredients! I had to substitute one of the FIVE cheeses as I live in podunkville and I was lucky to find even one of the required dairy products. The red flag should have been when I had to use the dictionary to look up what the heck one of the ingredients was! I assumed I would have to substitute items but in order to substitute I needed to know what food group pancetta belonged to! Until I looked it up I didn't know if I should wander the meat department, the dairy department, the ice cream freezer, the wine department, or the photoshop!

Daughter Amy and sister Gail will be here tomorrow afternoon...they are my culinary victims... I can't include husband on the victim list as he will eat ANYTHING. Also shouldn't include Amy as she is a pretty picky eater. That just leaves Gail and me to be the true judges of this 16 ingredient masterpiece. I also made chicken noodle soup. Another new-to-me recipe. This one is from friend Nila. It includes ZERO grating!





Hello!
~Base card Gina K Designs Pure Luxury White
~Layer of DCWV The Glitter Stack
~Banner - Hero Arts stamp - Hello Flags, colored with Copics, highlighted with Stickles Diamond
~Two purple metal brads
~Sentiment - Studio G - Hello (from a Michael's dollar bin), colored with Copics and outlined with glitter
~Blue flower faux rhinestone (is faux rhinestone redundant? hmmm.... it sounds better than "a faceted piece of plastic formed to appear as a rhinestone and sold in a package of 50 from the Dollar Tree")
Challenge
Little Red Wagon - use banner

Now for some MUCH deserved Bubble time! I feel the need to start a new card.
All good wishes,
Nancy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Mondays!

Another Monday. This one started with icy streets and a 40 minute crawl to work (the trip normally takes me 6 minutes). In the middle of the day I made a trip to the eye doctor. My eyes are still HUGELY dilated so I'm typing this with the keyboard at arm's length...if I could only type with my toes I might be able to actually SEE what I'm typing! And because it is Monday - it ended with my weekly dinner at my mother's. She is a 94 year old spit-fire. She wears me out! Even with the less than perfect day I nabbed some card time in my 'Bubble'.


Helping Hands
~Base card - Gina K Designs Pure Luxury White
~Layer of American Craft cardstock
~Gold glitter trim (last year's Hobby Lobby Christmas 75% off sale)
~Layer of red cardstock - edges curved
~Digital image (Harry Needs a Helping Hand) by Mo Manning - colored using Copics
~Sentiment by Simple Christmas by Stampendous
Challenges
Scrapbook Sisters - Christmas Tree
Paper Sundaes - Sketch
Stamps R Us - Sparkle and Scallop
The Crafty Pad - Red and Green

All good wishes,
Nancy

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Marshmallow Husbands

Okay - so I'm busted. I didn't really get all that much work done around the house. But I did make a trip to the grocery store the Sunday before Thanksgiving! That alone should be worthy of some card making time! Too many hapless husbands wandering around Hy-Vee with grocery lists in their hands! I wanted to scream - "pick a bag of taters - any bag - just get out of my way!!!" The unfortunate part of this story is I usually send MY very own hapless honey to the store with a list. I had no idea this is what happens when other wives are trying to get to the canned pumpkin - only to be slowed down by some loving dunce with a list. One gent was stumped by the variety of marshmallows - he was on his cell phone asking his wife which size to purchase and if she wanted the pastel colored or white marshmallows. Maybe I will think twice about sending hubby to the grocery store only days before the holidays. Maybe...



Ornamental Greetings
~Base card - confetti cardstock
~Layer of Bazzill Apple Crush cardstock - edge dredged through Stampabilities Kelly Green
~Layer of American Crafts diagonal stripe cardstock
~Velvet/lace trim
~Strands of gold metallic floss (more Transfer of Crap from sister Gail)
~Free digital image from Wendy Made, colored with Copics , sentiment written over with Sharpie Poster Paint Silver Metallic
~Ribbons threaded through ornament 'loop'
~Die cut scallop circle using Spellbinders and Cuttlebug - edge of inner scallop highlighted with iridescent glitter
Challenges
2S4You - Sketch
Cardvaarks - Holiday die cut



Holiday Tradition
~Base card - Gina K Designs  Pure Luxury White
~Layer of Stampin' Up design paper
~Free digital image of Christmas wreath by Bird's Cards, colored with Copics, berries dotted with Ranger Rich Red embossing powder
~Ribbon
~Metal brad by Spare Parts Christmas Brads (a gift from sister Gail)
~Die cut circle scallop (Spellbinders and Cuttlebug)
Challenges
Card Patterns - Sketch #91
C4C - add circles
Mark's Finest Papers - use circle

Gotta' go now...I promised myself I would vacuum the Bubble before I turn in for the evening. Thanks for clicking by.
All good wishes,
Nancy

I Need to Get to Work so I Can Have a Bubble Break

I know I should be getting ready for the holidays. Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner and here I sit making cards. But I NEED to make cards...sister Judy will be here from Atlanta soon and will want to take cards back with her. And of course there is me...who NEEDS to have time in my Fiber Bubble...just to keep what little sanity still remains.

My employer, Briar Cliff University, has two additional Rwandan students arriving tomorrow. Two students arrived in August for the start of the academic year. They are delightful and have been mentioning how cold it is since the temperatures 'dipped' into the 40's! Romalise has been wearing a parka since mid September! Several of the staff and faculty of BCU pooled money together for Project Stay Warm. The monies collected purchased a hooded sweatshirt, mittens, stocking cap, and BCU scarf from the campus bookstore - a set for each of the four Rwandans.

Romalise stopped by my office last week - all decked out in his new hat, mittens, scarf, plus the hood of his new sweatshirt pulled up over his stocking cap AND his parka. With a beaming bright smile he said...."I'm staying warm!". I wanted to say - "yes, you are warm because it is only 52 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors" but I didn't. Instead I said, "You look great in that hat!" He picked one with ear flaps, braids and tassels. I didn't have the heart to say..."has anyone talked to you about wind-chill, snowfall, and subzero temperatures that go on for days?" He just looked so adorable all bundled up...I was sweating just looking at him!

Since the campus is essentially closed for break - I have 'Rowanda....it must be Tuesday' detail. Two young women arrive tomorrow late evening. I've been assigned Tuesday with these equator residing young adults. One place I will certainly be taking them is to the university bookstore to pick up their Stay Warm bundled gifts. I will be giving them the grand tour of our hilltop campus and making sure they get served a couple of meals as the campus cafeteria is closed until Nov. 28. Why you might ask would I be charged with anything to do regarding food preparation? GOOD QUESTION!!! Cooking is NOT my forte'. I'm a nervous wreck in the kitchen...it is definitely NOT my comfort zone. Give me a vacuum cleaner, dust cloth, rubber gloves, and bleach ANY day.
But feed them I will...lunch somewhere very Iowa-ish (a mom/pop shop cafe') and supper at my house. I will actually be having all four of the Rwandans for dinner at my home. That should be interesting....poor kids - they don't know what they're in for...The rest of the term break they will spend with fellow Rwandans in another small city in Iowa - Storm Lake.

And this is what I've been up to instead of getting ready for holiday family and out of country guests....





Star of Wonder
~Base card - Gina K Designs Pure White
~Layer of Bazzill Wildberry Pie cardstock
~Strip of navy cardstock down the right side of the card
~Layer of vellum stamped with Ranger Adirondak Snow Cap Pigment Ink with foam snowflake stamp, also stamped with Versamark and embossed with Tsukineko Turquoise Embossing Powder
~Three metal snowflake brads
~Chipboard aqua glittered star
~Six white large white metal brads
~Freebie digital image from Stretch n' Bubbles printed on Paper Temptress Cryogen White cardstock, tiny stars dotted with Stickles Diamonds, scarf and nose colored with Copics, buttons and eye topped with Stickles Black Diamond, snowman body filled in with Prisma Ultra Fine Multi Glitter using Sakura Quickie Glue
~Sentiment hand written using calligraphy quill and black ink, edges smudged with Color Box Chalk Blue Lagoon - silver metal eyelet punch in corner
Challenges
Stampin' B - Snowflakes
Totally Papercrafts - Snow/Snowflakes
Christmas Stampin' - Sketch
Delightful Challenges - Winter
One Stop Craft - Snow People
Simon Says Stamp - Sparkle
Wild Orchard - Blue Christmas



Merry & Bright
~Base card Gina K Designs Pure White, edges smudged with color Stampin' Up Cool Caribbean
~Layer of BasicGrey Figgy Pudding
~Free digital image from Wendy Made printed on Paper Temptress Cryogen White - bulbs colored with Faber-Castell turqoise watercolor pencils, coated with Inkssentials Glossy Accents, spotlighted with Sharpie Poster Paint White, bulb bases colored with Sharpie Poster Paint Metallic Gold, edges of cardstock distressed with Tim Holtz Peeled Paint
Challenges
Play Date Cafe - #56 color inspiration: Red, Olive, Turquoise
Stampin' for the Weekend - Winter

I really MUST do a bit of domestic labor now...Maybe for a break I'll sneak back into The BUBBLE. Of course I have to go DO something productive to get a break from doing it....

All good wishes,
Nancy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Short on Words

Seriously. Just a card tonight.


Christmas Wreath
~Base card Gina K Designs Pure Ivory
~Layer of dark red cardstock topped with layer of Basic Grey Fruitcake
~Horizontal strip of dark red cardstock topped with coordinating layer of Basic Grey Fruitcake
~Ribbon
~Sentiment Holly Merry Christmas by Stampabilities using Stazon Jet Black stamped on a paint chip attached to same dark red cardstock
~Digital image of wreath by Creative Mind of Sylvie stamped with Momento Tuxedo Black on Paper Temptress Cryogen White and topped with Flowersoft, edges of cardstock faux stitched with black ink
~Star brad; raffia; three red circular brads
Challenges
The Pink Elephant - sketch
Creative Cottage - Christmas card for someone special
Flourishes - Christmas
2 Sisters - Christmas
Bee Crafty - Christmas
C4C - Christmas
Totally Gorjuss - Traditional Christmas colors

Thanks for clicking by. All good wishes,
Nancy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Georgia on My Mind

I have to get movin' on card making. I just donated some to the Briar Cliff University annual athletic department fundraising online auction. And Sister Judy is coming to town to help Sister Gail during her knee surgery recovery and she (Judy) mentioned she really NEEDS to take cards back to Atlanta with her. I need to get my stash of cards' beefed up.


Swirls of Joy
~Base card - confetti off white
~Layer of Basic Gray Fruitcake
~Layer of stripe coordinating Basic Gray Fruitcake
~Red satin gold imprinted ribbon
~Image Star Scribble Tree - stamped using Copic green for the tree and Versamark on the star and tree basket. Tree over-inked with a gel pen. Red berries on tree were made using Versapen and Red Embossing Powder. Star was Versamarked and topped with Gold Embossing Powder, Tree basket was colored with Versamark and coated with Bronze Embossing Powder
~Image was then oval cut using oval die cut from Spellbinders plus my Cuttlebug - background ovals of olive green were added. Image oval was distressed using Fired Brick, Old Paper, and Peeled Paint
~Greenery added using Martha Stewart punch - and embellished with red button after snippin' off the metal shaft
Challenges
The Sweet Stop - Sketch
Scrapbook Sisters - Christmas Colours
ABC - H is for Holiday
Fresh Brewed Blog - Two or More design papers
Anything Goes - Emboss it
A Crafty Little Place - Red, Green, White
Wild Orchid - Classic Christmas

Thanks for clicking by.
All good wishes,
Nancy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tomato Flakes

Sweet Julie, at Rainbow Days, who is the happy new owner of a Cricut, makes really lovely cards, and leaves dear comments on my blog, asked for an update on my 'stealthy-ninja' 94 year old mother's upside-down hanging tomato plants. Well, I'm sorry to report that both hanging vegetative bags died untimely deaths.

Even with the ridiculous nurturing (albeit begrudging) care they received (by me) they met their demise at the whim of the blustery winds of the Midwest. Lovely green vines grappling and yearning for something to attach themselves to...yellow blossoms hinting at the promise of late summer's quintessential red, flavorful, juicy fruit...shirred off in the prime of their lives by the winds that would put El Nino and Santa Ana all to shame. And I blame the Mad-Wacky-As-Seen-on-TV-Marketing-Gurus who appeal to the oddity - 'do these really work' - smoke and mirror - I gotta' get me some of those - gene in many of us.

These stupid poly-something-or-other vessels which are supposed to encourage the upward growth of the tomato plants - instead - encouraged these poor unwitting plants to grow straight down...down...down..towards the earth (where they BELONGED anyway!)

Seriously!!! Are these inverted bags-o-produce from some freakish vegetarian topsy-turvy mind-bender from Alice in Wonderland? AND why did the ninja mother feel the need to purchase two of them let alone one of them? Actually I know why she felt compelled to buy them - a smack down challenge from my brother-in-law who lives down south in Georgia!  He just HAD to brag about HIS (dorky) tomato bags...well that's all it took for my mother to 'need' her own agricultural sacks!

I AM happy to report however that the multiple tomato plants that I planted for her in the ground...as the good Lord intended...produced a bountiful harvest.

I actually got home from work at a decent time tonight so I 'bagged' some Bubble time. Here is the sketch from 2 Sketches 4 You followed by my interpretation of the sketch.





Snow-Sweet
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink - white
~Layer of snowflake paper - some of the centers dotted with Stickles Diamonds
~Layer of red cardstock, blue cardstock topped with white/silver ribbon
~Strands of silver metal embroidery thread (transfer of crap from sister Gail) and a snowflake charm
~Image is by Little Musings - printed on Cryogen White colored with Copics - snowflakes on her coat topped with Stickles Diamonds - image trimmed around, smudged with Polar Blue ink and attached to white glitter cardstock
Challenges
2S4Y - sketch
A Spoon Full of Sugar - snow/snowflakes
Paper Sundaes - Let it snow
Really Reasonable Ribbon - winter blue white silver theme

So Julie...are you sorry you asked about the 'maters? Can't wait to see what else you come up with a using your new Cricut!
Thanks for clicking by...
Nancy

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Curse of the Persian Pickle

This will be a quick post. Cards only no yada-yada-yada. WARNING - the "no yada yada" usually ends up being a big fat lie - cuz' I can't seem to NOT blather on about some inane subject - give me a key board and the prattling begins....


A Quilter's Nine-Patch
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink
~Layer of Autumn Leaves Adhesive Mats Carefree Autumn
~Deckle squared punches used for the nine-patch. layered on dark brown cardstock on layer of green cardstock
~Strip of tri-color ribbon from Hobby Lobby
~Button - tied with olive green raffia (which was a transfer of crap item from Sister Gail)
Challenges
Scrapbook Sisters - autumn colors
Gingerloft  - include buttons
Digi Doodles - autumn theme
C4C - create a square card (not one to frequently follow rules - I created squares to create a square - (would that be like square to the second power?)
Stamp Insanity - use your punches

And now a confession about a design that kicks my creative 'be-hind' every chance it gets: PAISLEY!

I love paisley designs (AKA Persian Pickles or Welsh Pears). You might know I would like them - the name originates from a town in center Scotland. I love Scotland too! Paisleys, however, don't love me. And I'm pretty sure Scots don't like me either - or at least I was told my accent was too strange to understand my simplest of requests.

I love curvilinear designs so why not embrace paisley designs - should be right up my art major background...then just when I think I can work with these swirly single cell organisms...I give it a try...They fight me and I lose every time. I'm never happy with the results. What is it with these amoebic shaped flourish-y doodles? I can find a paisley paper that I just love - try to create a card with it and all I see are giant commas on steroids or a mitochondrial experiment gone awry. I just don't have what it takes to wrestle a paisley to the craft table and create it into a crafty submission. I have paisley design papers, stamps, and embellishments. Perhaps these protozoan squiggles are just better suited under a microscope. Or on a castle tapestry...or best just left in my craft drawer...



I used the sketch over at Just Us Girls Saturday Challenge. I thought "I had it all together"! I had the sketch...I had the color theme (from Play Date Cafe) I had the paper...I had a punch that mirrors the flowers in the paper paisley...I had TRANSFER of CRAP (which RARELY if EVER lets me down...a single earring from my sister-in-law Jayne). I blame THIS failure on my paisley curse - not on Jayne's tub-o-crap. I just realized the list of people I accept ToC from is getting lengthier...hmmmmm....may have to reassess that situation. I did, however, before accepting the GIANT Rubbermaid TUB of 'crap' from 'Jayner' tell her the rules and conditions of ToC.... Yes - there are Rules and Conditions of Passing on and Accepting of Other People's Crap (aka treasures). Indeed - there should be a legal document regarding same...maybe I'll draft it later this week....



Paisleys: Not for the Weak of Heart
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink - White
~Layer of solid color My Minds Eye - layer of paisley print from My Minds Eye
~Layer of striped ribbon
~Celery green Stampin' Up word window celery green cardstock with three metal stucco orange colored brads
~Curve of tiny daisy stamps in various shades of stucco orange and green - centers of the punched flowers are dotted with Sharpie Pen Poster Paints White 
~Embellishment is paisley earring a transfer of crap from sister in law Jayne -  I sanded the single black earring, painted it green, dotted it with white Sharpie poster paint. Makes me wonder what people think of me - that I would actually accept a single giant black plastic earring shaped like an apostrophe....
~Sentiment - Hero Arts Thank you
Challenge
Play Date Cafe - Color Inspiration: Stucco Orange, Celery, White
Let's Ink it Up - no digital image and recycle (the earring)
Our Creative Challenge - Attitude with Gratitude
Shirley's Two Girls - Thank You
Stamp Insanity - use your punches
JUGS - sketch


It's All About the Shoes
~Base Card - PaperTrey Ink black
~Layer of the Paper Studio Vintage Black Checkerboard
~Three large black metal brads
~Corner  - a wedge of paper doily topped with back partial circle
~Image is a digital freebie from Yours Truly, colored with Copics and highlighted with Stickles Diamonds
Challenges
Little Red Wagon - use color Red
Cinema Saturday Pride and Prejudice Theme - use a bit of lace (paper doily)
City Crafter - get your digi on

I warned you about the no yada yada yada. I do get carried away sometimes....
Thanks for clicking by.
Nancy