Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Epic WIN!

Okay, no crafting, but cooking (sort of). We're all coming off having the flu. I said yesterday I was feeling much better. I was wrong; last night was heinous... the last time I was that miserable, I was 12 months pregnant with my son (what? it felt like 12 months). Anyway, today, I AM feeling somewhat better. I knew I was going to have to do some magic to entice my family to eat though... no one has had any appetite at all since Friday. (hey, flu, my butt flab thanks you...)
So, because I have a boat ton of tomatoes to get rid from my garden (after MONTHS of no action, all of a sudden they're all, "PICK ME!" I decided to make homemade sauce using "The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep" a recipe from Finny, of Finny Knits. I love her blog (note, she uses swear words. I use swear words in my real life, so it doesn't bother me in the least... just wanted to warn you if you're a sensitive type). We have the same sense of humor, and I love chuckling my way through her posts. I did make a couple of changes to her recipe:
  • I used parchment paper under my tomatoes during the roasting because the first time I used just foil and burned the begeezus out of them, and I was very sad.
  • I didn't have any red wine in the house, and I wasn't breaking into a bottle of Riesling that no one would drink because the thought of alcohol right now is just ick, so I hit it with a splash of balsamic vinegar.
  • I used a food mill, the real kind, not the kind she thinks is a food mill. It was the first time I had ever used it, and it was AWESOME. It was Curt's grandmother's, and holy moly, I'm mad that I waited until now to discover the awesomeness.
The verdict: ridiculously good. Better than I could have imagined. Seriously, it was awesome. Even a family full of sickies ate it up, yum. I might actually buy tomatoes to make this again, it was so good. And with all of the food allergies in this house, I love knowing exactly what's in it, 'cause I put it there.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Things are looking up...

Baby Jenny & I are feeling MUCH better, Max & Curt are going to need at least another day off from school/work. I just took Curt's temperature: 104! Eeek! No wonder he's crotchety! Max is too, but mostly because I kept him home from school. "Mommy. I want to go to Kindergarten!" ha ha ha, I'll remind him of this moment when he decides in 7th grade that he's never going to school again.

I'm slowly feeling the mojo ebb back in... we'll see if I can get anything done tonight!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the plague?

Oh my word, we're ALL sick in these parts. High fever (like 103+), terrible headache, feeling like a truck hit you. I hope it passes soon... mama is tired.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Crocheter?

I have a new article up at Craft Critique: Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks">Craft Critique about my favorite crochet hooks...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blog candy for a good cause (and ATHLETA Challenge too)

I'm sure you've seen Carolyn King's blog candy in honor of her grandmother. While personally I've not had any loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s, I have seen the toll full-time caretaking can have on a person and a family. I made six cards inspired by page 6 in the Athleta catalog:



here's one of the cards:



I'll be sending one to:
To the Staff at the Artman Home 250 N. Bethlehem Pike Ambler, PA 19002

in honor of Cammie's grandmother,
one to my grandmother (who cared for my grandfather, before his passing), one to my friend Joan, and three to Hospice Delaware, which was a great support to our family.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back in the saddle...

I told you I'd be back... Athleta challenge day 5...

Look how cute these shirts are...


and the cards they inspired...



I liked the design so much that I made a whole set of 12 with coordinating envies... not crafty & can't live without them? They're in my etsy shop.

Are crafty and want the details? Here ya go:

Stamp credits: Stampin' Up! Baroque Motifs, My Favorite Things Boho Blossoms
Card upper left: Close to Cocoa CS, PTI Stamper's Select White CS (base), Choc. Chip ink, VersaMagic Turquoise Gem, Ranger Superfine detail powder, clear.
Card center: Pale Plum CS, PTI Stamper's Select White CS (base), Basic Gray ink, Brilliance Rocket Red Gold, Ranger Superfine detail powder, clear.
Card upper right: PTI Stamper's Select White CS, Brilliance Pearlescent Olive, Lightening Black, Ranger Superfine detail powder, clear.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

COMPOST!

I'm sure you're all wondering why you bothered to add this blog to your reader, since I hardly ever talk about stamping, and lately I've been blathering on and on about dirt. Warning: it will get worse before it gets better.

Now that my horrendous ragweed allergy is in hibernation for the year, I was SO ready to get back out there and close my garden up for the year... although the tomato and pepper plants are still producing, so they can stay, and the watermelons are only the size of grapefruits, so they can stay too. But the raised bed with the (former) corn, yellow squash & cukes... your time is up.

Task 1: Finish sorting compost from bins, re-layer the stuff that needs to continue to cook, segregate the stuff that is good to go (or nearly good to go), and add it to the corn bed to let it finish cooking in situ.

By the numbers:
Compost bins: 3

Kiddie pools filled with finished compost: 1

Approximate volume of finished compost: 35 cubic feet. Really. No, Jane, I didn't use calculus, that's why it says "approximate"

Times I told Lexi (the dog) to get out of the compost: 53


Spiders, millipedes, centipedes, prehistoric-looking crickets: eleventy-hundred

Moles requiring dispatch by vegetarian husband: 2

Gold stars earned by husband: 2

Instrument of mole dispatch, the first:



Instrument of mole dispatch, the second:



well, actually, it probably looked more like this:


Number of tired, sore, dirty, and slightly skeeved out mamas: 1

Saturday, September 20, 2008

ugh...

I spent close to 4 hours today emptying, sorting, separating, and reloading compost. I suppose this is the part where I tell you how wonderful and fulfilling it is to be as one with Mother Nature, and to give back to the earth. Yeah. Mostly it was dirty, and gross, and I'm more than a little freaked out by the fauna living in my compost bins. But, there is a bit of that self-satisfaction, so I guess I'll continue the mess tomorrow. That's right... there are two more bins to do! Ergh.

I did manage to have a dinner (with drinks! and adult conversation! well, not THAT kind of adult conversation!) with my husband, AND a movie. I wanted to see "Burn After Reading" because I have a thing for Brad Pitt, but compromised and saw "Dark Knight" instead. Meh. I lovey me some Brad Pitt...

My sister and her boyfriend of 8 and a half years got engaged today! YAY! I love planning weddings, and long as it's not my own, ever, ever again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I just can't stop sewing...

Okay, I think I have my pattern tweaked enough to make me happy... this bag is about half the size of the ones from yesterday, but I wanted to make sure the change I made to the bottom would work. It does. Yeehaw!






















































Alrighty then... back to stamping!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

11:30?!

How did that happen? Anyway, it's been a long, snot-filled weekend, with lots of nose wiping and cuddles for my kids... first cold of the season!

I didn't stamp, but I was crafty... I worked on two bags, and I'm pretty happy with them... I'm still working out the kinks and trying new things, but I would carry both of these without being embarrassed... (um... not at the same time).























































These bags were both made with home decorating samples that I bought by the trash bag full when a local fabric outlet was moving... $5 for a full bag of samples. Now, not all of them are big enough to make full-sized bags (these totes are pretty roomy), but I have LOTS of fabric to play with without freaking out about how much it cost, and when you're a crappy sewer like I am, that's a relief!

I'm headed to bed... back to the Altheta Challenge on Monday night (I FINALLY found the perfect stamp, and, as luck would have it, I already own it!).

Friday, September 12, 2008

No stamping, but...

I did clean off my stamping counter top. But just so I could get my sewing machine out. I took a page from Erin K, and made a cute little bag. I used Nichole Heady's method, and I'm so pleased with how this turned out.




By the way, these remnants aren't from JoAnn's... I have an entire room full of fabric that in my head are glorious purses. The pattern was super easy, and now that I know how to get all my unfinished edges on the inside, between the lining and the outer material, I'll be adapting the pattern to the one in my head.

The bag turned out way cuter than the gingerbread cookies that I made with my son last night.






He's been obsessed with "The Gingerbread Man" story for weeks, so I finally found a vegan gingerbread recipe (I'm not a vegan, and neither is he, but he is allergic to dairy & eggs, so I use vegan recipes a lot) by one of my favorite vegan cookbook authors, Isa Moskowitz. This batch was the other half of the dough from a few days ago. Martha Stewart, I am not. But, as ugly as they were, they were delicious. I'm trying to keep myself from eating the rest of them, so there's enough (read: one) for Max's after school snack.

Craft Critique is running my Mother of All Black Ink Tests today... be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

about that spending freeze....

clearly I cannot be held responsible when JoAnn's has the remnants marked an extra 70% off. Ergh.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

yeah, so...

okay, I know what I said yesterday. But, today I'm caring for a couple of extra kids due to a friend's medical emergency, and oh my word, I'm beat. I'll get back to it, honest...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Epic fail...

but not for lack of trying... The picture in my head looks so much cooler than what I'm turning out that I can't bear to post just anything and call it a day. I need clean surfaces! I'll clean up and try again tomorrow... and I'll do two, just to prove I'm worthy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

feeling a bit supermom-ish today...

I've gotten a lot done! I banged out 60 "save the date cards" for a client (I say client, but she's really a friend, and this is part of her gift), took my mom to a bead show (and didn't spend any money!), went to the pet store, Costco, took a two hour nap, and then baked gingerbread cookies with my son. And then I made this card, AND posted it to my blog. So, yeah... I'm a little full of myself right now!

Anyway... here's today's inspiration:




























and my card:





























Stamp credits: PaperTrey Ink-"Remember" by Lisa Johnson
Card stock: PTI Kraft (leftover from yesterday's card) SU! Pale Plum, Night of Navy
Ink: SU! Baja Breeze (under flock on flowers), Brilliance Med. Blue, VersaMagic Tea Leaves, Spanish Moss, and Night Sky.
Accessories: Colonial Blue flock that I've had for at least 9 years because I used it on my wedding party gifts, Offray ribbon.

So, you
probably can't tell, but the flowers are flocked (inspired by the fuzziness of the blue coat), and then overstamped (poorly) with Brilliance ink, which I attempted three times with three different inks before that one took. Ergh. I wish I could say it looks better in person, but it really doesn't. Oh well, I need a thank you note for my inlaws, and they won't know the difference.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

HA!

You didn't think I'd make it, did you? Well, I DID make it. And I made this card. But I'll do the blah blah blah bit tomorrow, I'm sleepy...

Inspiration:




























My card:





























Stamp credits: Stampin' Up! "One of a Kind"
Card stock: PaperTrey Ink Kraft, SU! Riding Hood Red, Pacific Point, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: SU! More Mustard, Pacific Point, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: SU! Boho punch, some cheapo swirl punch I've had for a billion years.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Altheta challenge, day 2

Or page 2, I guess...

Here's the inspiration (in the real photo, you can see more of her cranberry suede-ish pants):





























and the card it inspired:




























Stamp credits: Ginko branch - Beeswax Stamps, Stripes - Hero Arts, Mulberry Texture and Faux Ribbon - Cornish Heritage Farms, Sentiment - Prickly Pear Designs.
Card stock: Stampin' Up! Cranberry Crisp, True Thyme & Marigold Morning (all retired)
Ink: Stampin' Up! Cranberry Crisp, Marigold Morning & Old Olive.
Accessories: Prismacolor Marker - French Gray 20%
, SU! markers Old Olive & Barely Banana

I have a story about ginko trees, if anyone cares, lol...
When I was in college at the University of Delaware, there were three gorgeous Ginko trees on campus, all in a row. Unfortunately, two of the three were female ginkos, and produced the most foul smelling fruit imaginable. Have you ever smelled ginko berries? We referred to them as "vomit balls" because that's what they smelled like. Try to imagine thousands of ground up pieces of stench fruit stuck to students' shoes, tracked all over campus. Horrible. But, later in the fall, the leaves turned the most beautiful color yellow, and all was forgiven. Until the next year. I went back to visit, and the trees had been cut down. I was sad, but totally understood.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Turning over a new leaf...

So, the annual onslaught of catalogs has already begun... my first one of the season:
Athleta, a company specializing in active/exercise/yoga gear for women. I have no idea how I wound up on this list. I wonder if there's a catalog for formerly fit women who ran track in high school and now only run to catch the ice cream truck. Whatever.

Anyway, I like the catalog. I think it has great colors & layouts. They say inspiration can strike anywhere... and here I am, inspired. I've decided to do one card/project a day (didja hear that? ONE A DAY), based on each page of the catalog, and, here's the kicker, ACTUALLY POST IT ON THIS BLOG. Ha! We'll see how long this lasts. There are 64 pages in this catalog, maybe I can get a flying start on holiday cards & gifts.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here's the photo from the cover of the catalog:



























and the card it inspired:



























Stamp credits:Technique Tuesday Boho Buzz and Handful of Henna, Stampin' Up! Love Matters

Card stock: SU! Bordering Blue and Going Gray
Ink: SU! Basic Gray, VersaMagic Aspen Mist
Accessories: Signo white gel pen, Copic Spica clear glitter pen (oh my word I love this thing).


So, why don't you take the challenge... find yourself some inspiration, and get cracking! Be sure to link back here if you do, so I can check you out and cheer you on!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thanks for not thinking I'm a crappy mom...

There's no Hallmark card for that occasion, is there? That's why I make 'em myself! This card & little boxy bag (again, full of basil, or will be in the morning), is for the other mom at my son's bus stop who helped corral my run-away circus of a family today, including my barefoot 2-year-old, my unleashed dog who snuck out of the house while I was running down the street (also barefoot. Me, not the dog. Well, actually, the dog was barefoot too, now that I think about it.), and a five-year-old little boy who was very sad that I didn't get to the bus stop to get him off the bus in time (the bus driver makes a loop around the neighborhood and swings back around when this happens. Ask me how I know.) I felt like a giant ass. Still do, actually.

BAH! Oh well... at least I sat down and made something!


























Stamps: Wow Flowers by Stampin' Up, Beautiful Blooms and Borders & Corners, Circle by PaperTrey Ink; Cardstock: Stamper's Select White by PTI, Kiwi Kiss and Baja Breeze by SU!; Ink: Going Gray, Kiwi Kiss & Baja Breeze Classic dye ink by SU! Ribbon: It's a sheer greenish gray that looks awesome in person. Probably Offray, but I'm not sure; Punches: Threading Water by Fiskars, Tag Punch (small & large) by SU!.