Site Meter

Sunday, December 20, 2009

For The Holidays

Having company? Need to feed them something yummy? How about my Outstanding Blueberry Muffins! They really are outstanding. And if for some reason you don't like blueberries, use chocolate chips. Or cranberries. Or bake them plain and break them in half and spread jelly on them. Or just eat them plain. I'm telling you, people are going to love them and you'll be a muffin star :)

Outstanding Blueberry Muffins

4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sour cream
2 cups blueberries (thawed frozen blueberries are fine)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In large bowl beat eggs, gradually add sugar while beating. Continue beating on low speed while slowly pouring in oil, sour cream and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda.

Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 25-30 muffins.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why do pro athletes get paid so much money? It's not like their jobs are vital to....anything. I just started wondering why they get so much money and how that whole thing started? I have no idea why I started thinking about it....I just did.

Here is something else I wonder about. Chefs are always taste testing things. Do they keep getting a new spoon? And when they dip their finger in and taste something, do they wash it before they dip it again? And when it's hot in the kitchen, does the sweat running down the bridge of their nose dip into what they are cooking? I know, I should just not wonder about this stuff too much or I will never go out to eat again.

I also wonder about wireless internet access. I work in an IT department and deal with this crap all day and I still have no idea how it is possible that I sit at my laptop in bed....it's connected to nothing and here I am typing on Blogger connected to the Internet. If I wonder about it too much I will get a headache. Computers baffle me with all their magic.

I could go on for pages and pages about things I wonder about. The wondering never stops. I wonder if I will wonder myself right into the crazy house? iCaramba.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

One Word Answer

The idea is to answer the questions below with only one word. So I thought I'd give it a try.

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your hair? Medusa
3. Your mother? grumpy
4. Your father? grumpier
5. Your fave food? asian
6. Your dream last night? dancing
7. Your fave drink? soda
8. Your dream/goal? happiness
9. What room are you in? cubical
10. Your hobby? papercrafting
11. Your fear? oecan
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? retired
13. Where you were last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? singer
15. Muffins? Yum
16. Wish List Item? iMac
17. Where did you grow up? Cali
18. Last thing you did? email
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your Pets? lots
21. Your Life? good
22. Your Mood? content
23. Vehicle? Buffy
24. Something your not wearing? socks
25. Your fave store? craft
26. Last time you laughed? earlier
27. Last time you cried? forget
28. One place that I go to over and over? work
29. Fave place to eat? Panda
30. Facebook? Nope

Monday, December 07, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS COOKIES

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup ... just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Umm, oh, check the Jose Cuervo! Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees for equally tonsisticity. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

CHERRY MISTMAS
HOW YOU DOIN?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Creative Sleeper

I've noticed that when I sleep or just rest, my creative mind comes alive. As I drift to sleep, images and ideas come to me....really good ones for all kinds of things....cards, photos I should take, recipes. Sometimes I will wake up and go right to my craft desk and jot down some notes, but more often than not, I just roll over and tell myself to remember that idea. Well, that never happens. I usually have some kind of vague recollection of things, but the details are not there so I miss out on the idea :-/

This also happens with ideas for stories. I like to write as a hobby and my best ideas come from dreams I've had. I can usually remember those when I wake up, but if I don't make notes right away, I will forget the dream in a day or so. I think if I were a writer, brainstorming would require a lot of napping. And I dream every time I sleep so I would not be lacking material. This has now become my dream job....get it....dream job? Laughs!

If I just didn't have this pesky day job that requires me to get a good nights sleep, I could get up in the middle of the night and write or craft and not have to worry about getting up at 5:45am. But you know....need that pesky paycheck to pay the pesky mortgage and feed our 4 pesky varments....one of which just jumped on my desk and is chewing on my colored pencils!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time

Time is a funny thing. And I don't mean funny "haha".

Sometimes time is not our friend.
Like when we see wrinkles or are being punished.

On the other hand, sometimes it's our best friend.
Like when we are on vacation for 2 long weeks.
However, it sucks when it's time to go back to whatever you were getting away from.

Time is the cure for broken bones. And broken hearts.
Time also helps kill us....durgs, alcohol, disease.

Time can be stressful.
Like being in traffic when you are supposed to be at jury duty.
Actually, I think time in general is stressful when the government is involved.

Wasting time can be fun.
It can also be very boring.
Running through the tide on a beach is a perfect waste of time.
Reclining in your chair counting ceiling tiles is less ideal.

With time, emotional pain can become more....bearable.
It can also be unbearable.

There is also:
Time for action.
Doing time.
Curtain time.
On your own time.
For the time being.
Double time.
Time of your life.
Time bomb.
Make time.
Ahead of time.
Many a time.
Behind the time.
From time to time.
Lunch time.
Time for bed.
Dinner time.
Bath time.
Out of time.

There is a short span of time each day when something amazing happens that many of us do not take time to witness. It's a golden time. Sometimes pink and blue. Sometimes silvery white. It's called sunset.

Time makes you think about your actions.
Like after you leave the party and realize you made an ass of yourself.
Or, maybe you're just an ass all the time.

Time can lead to change.
Hair color.
Skills.
Growth.
Income.

Time alone can be a blessing.
It can also be a curse.
We can sit alone in an ugly bathrobe with bed head and be perfectly happy.
On the other hand, the fact we are sitting alone in an ugly bathrobe with bed head can make us cry.

Most of all, I think time is a teacher.
Time has taught me things that can't be found on the internet....and that's hard to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sushi + a dog

Not sure why the dog is there. At times it looks like a stuffed animal. I have to say tho, that omelet she makes is pretty darn impressive.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

I worked at McDonald's when I was....uh, I forget how old. A teenager...maybe 16. To this day the only thing I will eat there is the McNuggets with hot mustard sauce. All I'm going to say is, I saw some stuff that makes me not want to eat anything else they make.

Anyway, the sauce is really the star, but the nuggets do have a crust that is like no other I've had. I came across a recipe I pasted in below for both the nuggets and the sauce and I'm eager to try both to see how close they come to the real thing. The nuggets sound time consuming, so on a weekend when I have nothing better to do, it would not be a big deal to try them. The reviewers on the site I found the recipes gave the sauce 5 stars, so I'm hopeful :)

Chicken McNuggets

vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup tempura mix
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Accent seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
4 chicken breast filets, each cut into 6-7 bite sized pieces.

1. Beat the egg and then combine it with 1 cup water in a small, shallow bowl. Stir.

2. Combine the flour, salt, Accent, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder in a one gallon size Zip Lock bag.

3. Pound each of the breast filets with a mallet until about 1/4 inch thick. Trim each breast filet into bite sized pieces.

4. Coat each piece with the flour mixture by shaking in the Zip Lock bag.

5. Remove and dredge each nugget in the egg mixture, coating well. Then return each nugget to theflour/seasoning mixture. Shake to coat. Put nuggets, bag and all, in the freezer for at least an hour. Cover andrefrigerate remaining egg mixture.

6. After freezing, repeat the "coating" process.

7. Preheat oven and large cookie sheet to 375.

8. Deep fry the chicken nuggets at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until light brown and crispy. (cook onlyabout 9 at a time)

9. Drain on paper towels 3-5 minutes.

10. Place deep-fried nuggets on preheated cookie sheet in oven and bake another 5-7 minutes.


McDonald's Hot Mustard Sauce

6 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard (Use store brand, I use Crystal - French's isn't quite right)
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup (Karo dark corn syrup)
4 teaspoons ground, dry mustard (I suggest Coleman's)
11/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/16 teaspoon (a dash) ground cayenne pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a microwave safe container until it is one solid color. A fork works well forthis. Microwave on high about 35 seconds, and mix again. Cover, and refrigerate at least 6 hours (to allow the flavors to meld) Refrigerate until needed, and remember to refrigerate unused portions. This recipe makes alittle more than 4 "packets" of hot mustard sauce.

Monday, October 26, 2009

December Daily

There is a group on Flickr doing a thing called December Daily 2009. I had no idea what it was about so looked at the 2008 group. I found the person below who did it:

December Daily 2008

You make a small album and document your days and decorate the pages. I think the real point is to get you to document the days with a photo and the pages can come together when you have the time. For me it would probably be a weekend project to put the week together. I got excited but then I got very unexcited. Scrapbooking is not my thing at all. I've made one page. One. It just does not stir that creative thing in me. To be honest, it seems like a real pain in the ass and a lot of work. But, I still think this looks...interesting. I'm not sure if I will do it, but I'm not going to rule it out just yet. I mean, you have to love that book in the link above....it would be cool to have one to look back on every year. And it's only a month. And there is sure to be lots to take photos of. OH! And I have that film camera that Greg got me that I have yet to use!! Wow, that would be awesome to use that for all the pictures. Humm. It's starting to sound a bit more interesting after that revelation. Well anyway, look at the link above and at all her pages. She did a good job of making the pages fun without being elaborate....mostly just trying to talk myself into at this point ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kitten @ Play

Tuesday was my 42nd birthday. Every year I take a picture of myself just so I can see the changes. Sometimes I post them to Flickr and sometimes not. I asked Greg to pick his favorite of the ones I took and he said it was a tie between the 2 below. Which do you like?





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Disneyland Photos

Greg and I went to Disneyland for our 18th anniversary over the weekend. Here are a few photos from the trip. The scary pumpkin with the santa hat and the scary house is the Haunted Mansion that they decorate in the Nightmare Before Christmas theme :)










Thursday, October 15, 2009

I want to start by saying I am not under the false idea that I am not flawed. I'm not perfect, I'm not always right and I don't have all the answers. I know this.

That being said, I do know *myself* pretty well. Other people....not so much.

What bugs me is when people think they have me all figured out. They *think* they know what makes me tick. I can honestly say Greg is the only person who knows me that well. And we're not talking about knowing my favorite color and the fact I like cats. We're talking about what's in my head. How I think. How I make decisions. What my triggers and traits are. What I think on a deep personal level. I'm a guarded person and people only know what I want them to know. They *think* they know, but they don't. I will show varied sides of myself to people.

So the next time you think you have me figured out -- think again.

In The Pink

October is breast cancer awareness month and I thought I'd share a few things.

Michelle's Story.

The White House shows their support.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ghosts * Nostalgia * Halloween

I took a quiz to see what kind of Halloween character I am. Here's how it went.

You are undoubtedly a ghost!

You're quiet and on the shy side, but when you're angry, you have no problem causing a scene, complete with slamming doors, stomping footsteps, and the occasional tantrum in the attic. You dwell on past events, especially when you feel wronged, and you're also prone to nostalgia -- people often have to tell you to stop living in the past!

23% A witch
19% Frankenstein's Monster
30% A ghost
28% Dracula


---

Oddly enough, it's kinda accurate. Tho I don't slam doors and I try *not* to make a scene...I rarely stomp either. However, I do get pretty miffed about being wronged and I am shy and quiet. The nostalgia thing is a bullseye. I do like pondering "the good ole days" and I like old things like antique Christmas decorations and vintage kitchenware. I also wish I had my hair and skin from when I was 19, but I don't think that's what they mean. One thing I don't long for is a bunch of stuff from the 80's. Those clothes....yeesh. And the music.....yeesh, yeesh! I listened to it and thought it was great, but now I can hardly stand a lot of 80's music. I like 80's rock, but stuff like The Bangles, The Police, Duran Duran....that all leaves something to be desired in my book. Really, it does. If you heard that stuff now for the first time, would you like it? If you say yes, then we have very different taste in music. I'm not saying it all sucked, but there is a pretty big percentage that does.

And since I'm talking about nostalgia, this gets me thinking back to the days when people dressed up for Halloween at work. Why don't people do that anymore? A few years ago I dressed up on Halloween in full costume for work. I don't think a single other person dressed up. I felt incredibly ridiculous. You know when everyone is looking at you like you are crazy? That's how it was. It's Halloween, people! It's not that weird to see people in costumes! So around 2pm off came the wig and I removed all my scary make-up. I have not dressed up since then :(

See....lots of stuff to be nostalgic about! Boo!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Chop Chop

Pork chops are notoris for being dry and tough. Greg and I have been making them for years and we never seem happy with the outcome. However, we recently started taking a new approach.

brine + gravy = juicy chops

If you make pork chops, they have to be served with gravy. I know that might seem like an obvious fix, but a lot of recipes for pork chops don't call for a sauce or gravy. You have to inprovise and make a sauce if the recipe does not call for one. Usually a white wine or chicken stock based sauce will work with pork chop recipes.

Also, only cook them until they are done. Even thick pork chops won't take very long. If you leave them cooking past their done stage they will be as dry as the Sahara and they will be like eating blocks of wood. I know you all know what I mean...we have all had the block of wood pork chop.

A while back we made pork chops and Greg suggested we should brine, which was a great idea. They brined all day and then I seared and cooked them in chicken stock. I made a maple sauce to go over them. They got that nice brown crust on them and then gently cooked the rest of the way in the stock. The sauce was awesome. And the best thing....they were juicy!

A few nights ago I made pork chops again and they turned out great.

Here is what we brined them in:

2 cups water
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks
20 black peppercorns

We put it all in a ziplock bag with the chops and they hung out in the refrigerator.

When I was ready to cook them, I remove the chops from the brine and rinsed them under cold water and patted them dry. Now for the sauce.

Molasses-Mustard Glaze

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup apple juice
Salt and pepper

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown. This won't take long, so don't run off and water the plants or something for 20 minutes. Once browned on both sides, remove from pan.

Now for the onions.

I thinly sliced a really big onion and cooked them over medium heat until they were caramelized. It takes about 10-15 minutes. Once caramelized, add Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, molasses, and apple juice and bring to a simmer. Add the seared chops back to the pan and turn the heat to low and cover. The chops we had were thick so I let them cook on low for 20 minutes. This is just enough time to make some wild rice and steam some mixed veggies.

When the rice is done, you are ready to plate it up. I served the chops on a bed of rice with the caramelized onion sauce over the top. Mixed veggies on the side. It's really good! They are juicy because of the brine and also because I didn't overcook them.

**If 20 minutes pass and you are not ready to serve them, remove them from the pan and loosely cover them with foil. Don't let them continue to cook in the pan! You can leave a lot of meats on the stove to hang out until you are ready to serve, but pork chops are not one of these things. They will turn into blocks of wood before you know it!

Now, you might say it sounds like a lot of mustard or that it must be sweet from the juice and molasses, but it's neither of those things. I don't know how, but it all comes together perfectly.

One thing I have learned about cooking is, you have to try things even if you don't think you like it. I wasn't sure about the molasses and almost used something else, but then I just went for it. Turns out you can't even tell there is molasses in it.

I thought I didn't like fennel, but as it turns out, it's really good when it's cooked! I had no idea until I tried a recipe that called for fennel. I still don't care for it raw, but cooked is a different story.

Mint. I was pretty sure I didn't want mint leaves in anything I ate. Well, turns out they are not bad on fruit. And just saying that makes me crinkle my nose a little...even tho I know it's good. I just have an adversion to mint....or thought I had, I guess I should say. Although, I do like peppermint patties.

Anyway, there is your pork chop lesson. Follow my 3 rules; brine, gravy or sauce and only cook till done, and you should experience juicy pork chops :)

**I cooked mine for 20 minutes because they were very thick. You need to judge cooking time of the thickness of the meat. Thin-cut chops will not need very long at all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

City Girls "Camp"

Ok, ok. I'm back.

Just so happens I have some material to write about! And, I have a surprise! I know you are all on the edge of your seats now, but you'll have to wait a minute for the surprise.

BFF Laura and I went "camping" over the weekend. I say camping in quotes because we actually stay in a cabin now. I like it better this way. You can pee whenever you have to. You can wash your hands. Take a shower. Creature comforts. After all, I am a city girl :)

We've been going to Mt. Laguna for....oh....4 years now? Something like that. Once a year thing. This time it was spa weekend. We gave ourselves pedicures and facials. We also saw wild turkeys! They were huge. We saw woodpeckers and a giant moth. I named it Clarice. I hope you all understand why I named it that. She hung out on the porch all weekend. Gave Laura the heebie-jeebies. We played cards, ate beer nuts, took sunrise and sunset photos. Went for a 5 minute hike. It was pretty laid back and a nice get-a-way. Nothing too weird or exciting happened. Well, I did kind of ask the desk clerk in the $10 or over store if he murdered his wife. Yeah, now see I didn't really think that out very well. Here we are in the mountains in a cabin and that just has weird guy stabs "camper" headlines all over it. Next time I'll just buy my over-priced food and nix the small talk.

You can see my photos from the weekend here if you like. The first 8 are from this past weekend.

And now the thrilling surprise! I have a Twitter account! Wooooo! I can hear you all going wild with excitement!

http://twitter.com/kittenatplay

My plan is to update there more than here. I think it will be easier since I usually have more quick things to say and it takes much less time than posting here. Tweet me if you have an account :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Summer Hiatus

Just want to let everyone know I am taking a break from the blog. Not really feeling like posting. And honestly, most of the time it feels like a waste of time since I only get comments on my card challenges. Speaking of the card challenges, I'll be posting them to my Flickr site rather than here if anyone is interested.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge 13

Here's my card for Dawn McVey's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge.

I looked through my stack of American Crafts paper and saw a sheet that had this big flower on it and thought it fit the color challenge exactly. I cut it out and colored in the tips of the stamens in the center. They were yellow so I used my Signo white gel pen, which I love, to cover the yellow since that color isn't part of the challenge. It turned out pretty good.



Greg came home last week with 2 packs of Martha Stewart paper for me. I used a sheet of the green & white polka dot paper in that pack for the background. Then I cut the edge of the card with my Fiskars ripple scissors and added a strip of the green paper to the inside edge to make the ripple cut show. I stamped Happy Birthday in red ink and used my Cropodile to add the eyelets and ran the ribbon through it. I tried several times to tie a bow, but they all looked horrible so I went with my standard knot. Bows just are not my forte. And that's it!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Color Chef Challenge

Here's my card for Kelly Jo's Color Chef Challenge.

I used my Posh Impressions duet stamp for this card. It's simple, but I think it turned out nice :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Traveler's Inspiration Challenge

Here's my card for Traveler's Inspiration Challenge.

I don't usually upload the photo from the challenges, but for this one it seemed like a good idea so you could see exactly where I was going with this. When I saw the photo, I instantly thought of this huge intricate stamp I have. I don't use it much and I realize it isn't at all the same kind of doorway, but I just had to use it.





After the 6th stamping, I finally got an image that wasn't smudged. I looked on the bright side, I had a lot of test images to color :) On the card, you have to look at it with the idea that the sun is coming in from the left side.....so that's why there is all that shading. Also, the door isn't as light on the one side as it looks in the photo.

So that's what I came up with. Maybe not all that interesting by itself, but when you see what I was going for....maybe a little more interesting :)

computer geeks

I'm not a geek. There has been some debate about this at work, but trust me, I'm not.

Anyway.

Now the people I work with....95% of them are total geeks. There is one guy in particular who is a mega geek! I have no idea how he managed to get a wife. Honestly, he is that annoying. In the last few months he has been coming to visit squeaky keyboard guy in the cube behind me on a pretty regular basis. I cringe every time he shows up. First, he talks unbelievably loud. Second, the things he talks about are incredibly annoying/boring. Come to think of it, squeaky keyboard guy has a wife, too. I'm perplexed.

Anyway.

Here are some examples of the loooonng conversations they have had that I have had to endure:

Godzilla ~ good guy or bad guy?
Getting a rat out of your house.
Dogs ~ there are basically 3 things they do.
An incredibly long discussion about "the bay area" vs. "San Francisco area"....which to call it.
Spiders (8 legs) vs. "bugs" (6 legs)....and then there is Spider Man. *sighs*
Street addresses. I'm serious. They had a discussion about street addresses.

The list goes on and on. And Greg can confirm how loud this guy is because he called during of the the discussions. And earphones don't work. This has got to be some kind of penance for something I've done.

Curtain Call Color Challenge 1

Here is my card for Stacey's Curtain Call Color Challenge.

I had 2 or 3 different ideas for these colors but as soon as I found this navy patterned paper with the sail boats on it, I changed my mind. I think it makes a good card for a man. Cards for men are always the most challenging for me because I don't have a lot of stamps that lend themselves to a more masculine layout.



Plus, I always finishing off my cards with ribbon and masculine cards don't always lend themselves to having that. So there's no ribbon and no "fluff" and I think it still turned out ok :) Hope you like it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Color Chef Challenge

Here's my card for Kelly Jo's Color Chef Challenge.

I punched what seems like 100 yellow dots and glued them down. The rest of the card came together really quick. I cut the onesie and the "sweet pea" using my Cricut. I added the stitch marks and glued it all down. It needed something so I cut the edge of the card off and punched more dots in pink and used them to create a scalloped edge. Oh, and I stamped the heart of the onesie. That was it! Hope you like it :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge 46

Here's my card for Stacey's Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge.

I used my Cricut to cut out the puppy using the Paper Pups cartridge. I love that cartridge. Such cute stuff. I cut him out of kraft card stock because that was the closest I had to the carmel color. I also had to guess on the blue color. It looks like teal on my computer and somehow I don't think that's right. So I used a denim color for the blues.



When I was done it still didn't look done. So I added the red ink to the edges in a freestyle kind of way and embossed it. Then used a blue pencil to shade the edges of the conversation box. Then it was done. Hope you like it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Traveler's Inspiration Challenge

Here's my card for Traveler's Inspiration Challenge.

I had bigger plans for this card but it just wasn't meant to be. I sat down last night at my craft desk and instantly started to perspire. It had to be 100 degrees in there. And since it was 85 degrees outside, it is possible it was very close to 100 degrees in my little room. I had all kinds of ideas for the card, but the heat forced me to do the minimum.



I cut the sun shape out using my Cricut and then used a VeraMark pen to draw on the face and around the edges. Then I used my new heat and stick powder on top of that. I sprinkled fire opal glitter on and hit it again with the heat gun to make the glitter stick - it worked! I have used glitter with regular glue and it works, but you have to be careful about touching the glittery parts because it can come off pretty easily. The heat and stick powder is much better....the glitter is really on there and you really have to scrape to get it off. I also used a background stamp on the card base and used blue and yellow glitter on that.



After all the heat and sticking I had to call it done and go lay in front of a fan. We don't have AC so we fans are our best friends these days.

Hope you like the card!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tired

I have been sooo tired lately. When I get home all I can do is eat and then I lay down and....zzzzzz. I fall asleep in just minutes. Back in January I told my doctor about this and she had me get a blood test to check my iron levels. They were low so she had me start taking iron pills. I think maybe I should start taking them again. Last night Greg had a softball game and when he got home, he came in the bedroom and said "I'm home". I didn't answer so he said it again but still nothing. He came over to my side of the bed, probably to see if I was dead, and I finally woke up. This is very unusual because I am a light sleeper and just coming in the back door from the garage would normally be enough to wake me up :-/

I take comfort in knowing I am not the only tired one. Yesterday afternoon I was at my desk working and I could hear this noise but I was only half listening so I ignored it. Then a few minutes later it got louder. I rolled back in my chair and looked into the cube across from me and the guy was hunched forward with his forehead on his desk snoring. I was stunned. He had to have been like that for a while because his screen saver was on and you usually have to be idle for a while for those to come on. And the position he was in made my back and neck hurt to look at him. It's almost as if his head dropped forward as he fell asleep and the he slowing just went forward from there until his forehead reached the desk. I rolled back up to my desk and turned my iTunes on and just kept working. I didn't notice when he woke up, but I did see him leave and go home. He looked like a zombie.

They could be working us to death here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge 12

Here's my card for Dawn McVey's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge.



What do you think? When I first made it I wasn't sure about it. However, the more I look at it, the more I like it :) I used my Parlez vous Francais stamp set from SU and my Merci stamp from Paper Source - they work perfect together! The pink card base has a pearlescent sheen to it which I thought really fit in with the theme of the card. For one of the dark red accents, I added a bow to the poodles collar. Bow tying is not my strong point, so I was happy this one turned out well. Hope you like it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Color Chef Challenge 14

Here's my card for Kelly Jo's Color Chef Challenge.

Before making cards, I never put colors like this together. I'm still not sure I'd wear these 3 colors, but on a card they do turn out nice. The background paper is yet another sheet from my American Crafts paper collection. The pattern was actually light blue and not turquoise. I used a turquoise pencil to color in the pattern and, voilĂ , instant color match to the turquoise paper. It was very relaxing to sit and color in that pattern....reminded me of coloring books and crayons. Anyway, I added the orange butterflies and flowers. They were too plain so they got a tiny bit of turquoise glitter. The orange ribbon finished it off. Hope you like it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This is my reject card for Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration Challenge.

My husband wasn't impressed with it, so I made another one to see if I could do better.



We were split on this one because of the ribbon. I think it looks ok and he thinks - well, let's just say it got the crinkle eyebrow so that's never a good thing :)

Color Inspiration Challenge #56

Here's my card for Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration Challenge.



I used my new American Crafts paper for this card because it has all but one of the colors for the challenge. The letters are from a set that got opened and I don't know what brand they are. The little flowers are actually card confetti that I popped with dimensionals and added a green center to. The green satin ribbon finished it off. Hope you like it!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge 45

Here's my card for Stacey's Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge.



I used my dot stamp on the red background with VersaMark ink and then embossed it with clear powder. The flowers and "be happy" stamps are from my new "Darling Dots" set. Love it. I added some dots around the edge of the white card stock because it was a bit too plain.



It was an easy card to make until I got to the part where I had to cut the "be happy" sentiment out. Sometimes I'm really good at cutting around things and having it look perfect....and sometimes not. Today was not a perfect day. I thought about doing it again, but it's about 85 degrees so I have a little less patience ;) Going to sit in front of a fan now. Hope you like the card!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Hangovers

With summer usually comes a party, or two, and chances are there will be alcohol involved. Here are some tips from beauty expert Eva Scrivo on how to balance your drinking.

---

1. Consume one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage.

2. Eat a high protein and high fat snack before bed time (yes, I said "high fat," it's not a typo). I like natural peanut butter on whole grain toast.

3. Also before bed, take a B vitamin supplement which tends to get depleted when consuming alcohol.

4. The next morning drink a glass of coconut water which contains potassium and electrolites to help the body rehydrate. Also apply a hydrating mask to your face.

5. Mid-day a fresh vegetable juice is a great pick-me-up.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Traveler's Inspiration Challenge 2

Here's my card for Traveler's Inspiration Challenge.

It's simple but I think it turned out pretty.



The colors in the inspiration photo are blue and sandy earth tones so I thought the color of this flower patterned paper would work well on a deep blue card base. You can check out the link above to see the inspiration photo on Travelingmama's site. I used matching ribbon and ink. That's really it. No frills but you don't always have to have bling and fluff to get a pretty card. I hope you like it :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Color Chef Challenge 13

Here's my card for Kelly Jo's Color Chef Challenge.

This is my Abby card. Abby is my cat. The stamp I used reminds me of her because she is long and skinny with a long tail just like that cat. As I was getting all my supplies together to make the card.....wouldn't you know....my real live inspiration wanted to be the center of my attention. She jumped up on my desk and made herself comfortable. I just had to post a few pictures of her :)






And here is my card. I cut the scalloped circle with my Cricut and added the center circle in white with the printed "kitty" vellum over it. I stamped the kitty image and cut it out. The body is glued down but I left the tail loose so it pops off the card. I added ribbon and a button. Hope you like it!



Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge 44

Here's my card for Stacey's Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge.




This is my first card using my "Branch Out" stamp set and I love the set as much as I thought I would. I can't wait to make cherry blossom trees with it! This challenge used earth tones and they all came together well. The "Warmest Wishes" stamps is pretty old and it was in a set but I don't have the name of it on the clam case. I found the ribbon in the graduated colors and it was sheer luck that it matched the challenge so well. Hope you like it!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Traveler's Inspiration Challenge 1

Here's my card for Traveler's Inspiration Challenge.

You have to check out the gorgeous photo she has as the inspiration piece. After seeing that, I just had to make a card with those colors. I got out some old paper that I have had forever and love but never used it. It was perfect for this. So cheery! I cut a small round piece of vellum and stamped "hello" with my A Muse stamp and used my white gel pen to mark dots around the edge. I wanted it to pop off the card a bit and a foam dot would show through, so I just rolled a piece of clear acetate and glued it to the card and then to the vellum. Worked out pretty well, it hardly shows through.

Hope you like it!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Spaghetti Worth Making

1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed (mild or hot)
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 cups water
3 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 lb spaghetti
parmesan cheese

1. In large, heavy stockpot, brown sausage & ground beef, breaking up as you stir.
2. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
3. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.
4. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
5. Stir well and barely bring to a boil.
6. Stir in red wine.
7. Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour or up to *2 hours.
8. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
9. Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

*If you go over an hour, keep an eye on it so it does not burn

Monday, July 06, 2009

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge 11

Here's my card for Dawn McVey's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge.
I wasn't sure about these colors but I kept an open mind and this is what I came up with. I thought bright colors like this would be good for a get well card.



The bottle is stamped in gray and the hearts and label are in black. I cut a piece of acetate as an overlay to give it the look of glass. I stamped the image again and cut out the get well label and glued it on the acetate. It's hard to see the glass illusion....I tried to get the acetate to reflect so it would be more noticeable but I just could not get it to photograph well :-/ The red buttons finish it off.

Speaking of buttons, I got these plus some others at Walmart for .67 cents. I don't know why I don't shop there more often for card making supplies. They also sell spools of ribbon for under $2. I go to Michael's when I don't have a color I need and some of their ribbon is $4. I know $4 isn't that much money, but if you are buying ink and paper, too, it can add up fast.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge 43


Here's my card for Stacey's Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge.

My niece is expecting so I made this card for her. The colors seemed perfect for a baby card. I used my Cricut "New Arrival" cartridge for this one...it's a great cartridge if any of you have been thinking of getting it. The congratulations stamp is one from a Hero Arts set I have and I used a Martha Stewart ink called bamboo. The camera didn't pick it up very well but it is a very close match to the stroller.


Hope you like it!

Color Chef Challenge 12



Here's my card for Kelly Jo's Color Chef Challenge.

The colors are red white & blue so I just had to do a patriotic card. In the past 4th of July cards have been hard for me to conceptualize because I was stuck on the idea of a flag being the focal point. This time, however, I knew I wanted to have the torn paper flower rather than a flag and it all come together.
I've had that little red, white & blue button forever and I finally had the perfect project for it. I'm pleased with how it turned out :) I was thinking it would be a nice card for a woman who is in the military, don't you think?

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

it's a we'll see kind of day.

I'm sad that Bobbys Burger Palace is only on the east coast. It would be so fun to take Greg there....he would absolutely love it. Maybe Bobby is reading this and will open one in LA :) We'll see.

My hair is out of control. Seriously. It's down to the middle of my back and the best way to describe it is....wild. Some days I feel like I am all hair. I have a style in mind and I'm planing on getting it cut and maybe colored, but it's so dang expensive! I usually get it trimmed at the cheap little $15 places, but for an actual cut, I want to go to someone I know can do it. Especially with color. I have had and seen more bad color jobs so you do not want to mess around with that. Just costs an arm & a leg. I'm unsure about the color because you have to keep going back for touch-ups and I neither want or have the $$ for that. So we'll see.

The going into the card selling business idea I've been talking about is either going to happen sooner than expected or not at all. They are talking about taking our holiday pay away and 1 or 2 furlough days a month at work. Ugh. Because of this, I was thinking I could try and sell a few cards. However, EVERYONE is trying to sell a few cards. When I got the idea, there were other people on Etsy selling cards, but it wasn't overwhelming. Now it is. I visit card/stamping blogs and it seems everyone is in the business. A little disheartening. Course, I do have an idea that a lot of other people do not seem to be doing, so we'll see about that, too.

Monday, June 29, 2009

for your viewing entertainment

If you have been watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey, you will think the 2nd one is hilarious. If not, you might find it funny anyway.




Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge 42




Here's my card for Stacey's Jewelry Color Inspiration Challenge.

I love my "Owl Together Now" stamp set and thought these were great colors for it.

Card Recipe:

Cut turquoise & brown papers with Coluzzle & glue together
Cut tangerine and white papers with Coluzzle & glue together
Stamped owl and party hat
Added tangerine & turquoise stars around owl for interest
Stamped sentiment around outer edge of card
Used dimensionals to adhere tangerine card down
Added brown and tangerine ribbons
Added 3 buttons with glue dots



I'm not sure what set the stars and dots stamp came from. I took it out of it's case to use it and then forgot where it came from :-| I think the card could be used many occasions and left the space at the bottom blank for it to be signed. Hope you like it!

Cheers!

Watermelon Crush

8 cups seeded, cubed watermelon (about 4 pounds)
1 1/3 cups light rum
1½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice, or more to taste
½ cup orange liqueur
¼ cup powdered sugar, or more to taste
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:
Put the watermelon cubes in a plastic freezer bag; freeze for at least 8 hours Puree the watermelon and the remaining ingredients in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. Combine the processed mixture well. Serves 6.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge

Here's my card for Dawn McVey's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge.

My crafty mojo seems to be out of whack. I tore this poor card apart 3 times until I got it decent looking. I can't recall who the background paper is from, but it was spot on for this challenge. From there I cut the vase and flowers using my Cricut. Things starting getting out of whack right around there. The sentiment on the vase was a pain because the brown ink just wasn't popping so I cut another vase and stamped with darker ink and embossed it. I added the buttons but no ribbon. It looked ok but just left it at that. This morning I added the ribbon. Is it too much? *shrugs*

So this is it :) Hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This has to be quick because I really should be working and not posting since I have a crap load of stuff to do.

Anyone watching any of the Little People shows on TLC? One is about a couple and the other is about a family. I have to say....it's pretty interesting. Check out the shows if you get the chance. Makes you appreciate things in a different way.

Also, is anyone watching The Next Food Network Star? Greg and I are watching it and I find myself looking forward to each episode. The person we call "The Muppet" got kicked off Sunday night.....thank goodness. That guy drove me nuts.

And Jon & Kate are divorcing. I'm sad to see it but I am not surprised. Maybe with time the two of them can be friends but I don't think we will get to see it. This was just released:

Jon and Kate Gosselin aren't the only ones taking a break.

Production on their claim to fame, TLC's reality hit Jon & Kate Plus 8, is going on hiatus.

Last night's sixth episode of the 40-ep season featured the couple announcing their separation and plans to live in different cities—a bombshell that attracted a TLC-record 10.6 million viewers.

But despite the huge ratings, the network and the family are "taking some time off to regroup," according to a TLC statement.


I would be better if they just cancelled the show and let them all try to live in peace....if there is any to be had.

Anyway, like I said....quick post.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Color Inspiration Challenge #55

Here's this weeks card for Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration Challenge.




This card took me 2 days to make! I could not get my design idea down. I had one idea and abandon that and then came up with this one. Something just wasn't right though. I got up and left it a bunch of times thinking it would look better when I came back. Have you ever done that? It finally came together :)

Here's the recipe:

Cut ivory paper for base card
Cut rust patterned paper and rust solid paper and glue down
Cut bird in mustard paper using my Cricut
Add stitching on card and bird
Glue down buttons
Add ribbon

Hope you like it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Visit this site and put your name in and see what you get. It retuned over 2000 options for me.

http://wordsmith.org/anagram

This is the first one it gave me: A Encomia Minx

So some kind of economics minx?

There are some others it gave me.

Ace Max Minion
Exam Man Ionic
A Cinema Mix On
A Ax Commie Inn
Ocean Man I Mix
Canon Aim Me Xi

Monday, June 15, 2009

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge 9



Here's my card for Dawn McVey's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge.

The background paper for this card was perfect for this challenge. It's from the American Crafts paper pack I got over the weekend. See the end of this post to read about that. I added a mini scalloped edge in cream and cut the sentiment tag with my Cricut. The "thanks so much" stamp is from my "Owl Together Now" Stampin' Up! set. I added the black ribbon and the ivory button. Hope you like it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Color Inspiration Challenge #54




Here's this weeks card for Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration Challenge.

I went crazy and made 3 cards!

The first one is a Father's Day card. I think this is my favorite but I'm not sure. I just adore this little owl from the "Owl Together Now" Stampin' Up set. The owl is stamped with teal ink on light blue paper. The sentiment is stamped with the same teal ink and may be easier to see the color. Inside it says "we do!". I colored the owl in with a lighter teal pencil for contrast and also colored his feet and beak orange. The branch is stamped with green chalk ink on all 3 cards. I shaded the edges of the blue paper with a teal chalk for contrast. The background paper is from a halloween paper set I got from Martha Stewart's line a few years ago. I also added a darker orange chalk around the edges for contrast.



The second one is very similar to the first one but I used a lighter teal ink from Encore called celadon. I had no idea what celadon is or means so I looked it up. Webster's says it's a "grayish-yellow green". Do you think that looks grayish-yellow green? I think it looks like a light teal and I see no gray or yellow. *shrugs*. It's a little hard to see in the photo because it's such a soft color. I used an orange ribbon here rather than the green. I changed the sentiment on this one, too. Overall I like it, but the teal might too light on this paper....however, it's my husband's favorite of the 3.



For the last one everything on the blue paper is pretty much the same as the first card except the sentiment is different. I used the teal/green/white floral paper from American Crafts as the background this time because it fit the challenge so well. The ribbon is sooo yummy. Another one of my estate sale finds. It's the most satiny luscious stuff and I got the spool for less than a dollar. So many bargains to be found in sewing stuff at estate sales.

Speaking of bargains, I got the American Crafts paper for the last card from Big Lots. If you don't have Big Lots in your area, it's just one of those closeout retailers who sells everything for crazy low prices. They had a 60 sheet paper pack from American Crafts for $8 bucks...that's around .14 cents per sheet. I also got a 100 piece American Crafts page elements package that has 6 different pattered papers, 2 spools of ribbon, 2 kinds of brads and buttons for $3 bucks. Crazy! I can't wait to use the paper from this set....it's so pretty. As we were checking out, the woman in front of us had the same paper I had, but she also had a bunch of packages of buttons and Thickers! I missed those somehow!? She noticed me looking at all her things and then saw my basket and said "You're not getting Thickers?". I told her I didn't see them and she suggested I get out of line and go back because they had tons of them and they were only $2. I tell you what.....it was hard not to go back...I'm kinda wishing I had. If you have a store like this in your area, go check them out. Stuff changes on a regular basis and the deals are great!

Anyway, hope you like my cards :)