Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cupcakes on My Mind--All Sorts

Loving my rick-rack border punch which I got on sale a few months ago at JoAnn's.
The paper is from a 6x6 pack by Basic Grey--Pantry and Nook
I love how they all coordinate. It makes the thinking process
so much easier when trying to decide what papers to put together. 

I used Spellbinders Classic ovals for the image and Tags 1 for the sentiment,
tucking the right side under the oval and adding baker's twine.
The cupcake was colored with markers and an aqua pen.

I've been having so fun finding other kinds of cupcake projects that I thought I'd show you a few here.
Maybe you'll find something that you'd like to try. Tutorials included.

Cupcake Liner Carnations



Cupcake Flower Centerpiece



Cupcake Felt Pincushions






Cupcake Topper Happy Birthday Flags



16 of Her Easiest Cupcake Recipes
who else?

and just for fun...



Have a great day!

We're entertaining both tomorrow and Saturday night so I
may not be back for
a few days. 

I'm trying a few new recipes so I hope that I have some 
good things to
share with you next week along with
some cards I am working on.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank You Ever So (Berry) Much

It was back to making a few cards last night and it felt really good! This is the first triangle easel card I have made and it was very easy.


I started with a piece of 8-1/2" x 4-1/4" paper folded to make a 4-1/4" square. Any size square will work. Then I scored the "top" square to form the triangle. The top folds down to lay flat in the envelope. I lifted the flap and wrote my message there.

Stamps: Hero Arts
Designer Paper: Basic Grey Nook and Pantry
Accessories: Martha Stewart fabric stickers, baker's twine, Marvy scalloped corner punch


Mah Jongg Back track
I forgot that I had these pictures on my camera--did not see them until I downloaded this card just now! I took them before the marathon started and everything got so hectic. So I thought I'd throw them in inside.

Ready for first day--Blue and black chips=25 cents, green=10 cents, red=5 cents
Each player was given $4.00 in free chips. If they lost all, they had to buy more or play without and not be eligible for daily prize. On Saturday, with 12 players, everyone was given $3.00.

Amazon gift cards were daily prizes printed off internet.


Today is our 42nd wedding anniversary!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's a New Week

A Mah Jongg Report 

I spent yesterday putting my house back together after the three day Mah Jongg Marathon, and resting up.   Everyone had a great time, including me.

Sue S. won the daily prize on Day 1 and 3, and also the dragonfly purse for the most concealed hands. Karen K., my sorority sister who flew in from Santa Barbara,  won the daily prize on Day 2. Deborah won the cash pot for the grand finale. I forgot to tell you that that person did not have to be present to win since some ladies were not here on Saturday.

The chip system ran very smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoyed it. Only two ladies ran out of chips ($3.00) on Saturday and that was at the very end of the day.

Everyone was very thoughtful and contributed a great portion of the lunch items and munchies. We ate well! 

My only regret is that I did not take a picture to put on my blog today. My camera was out, but you know how it is when you are hostess....next year.

If you are a mah jongg player, I would encourage you to organize some such gathering. Keep it simple--solicit help, and most of all, have fun yourself!

Back to Card Making
Now it's time to get back to some paper crafting. My supplies are feeling very neglected and I need my mojo to kick in. Time to get on Splitcoaststampers when that happens. What a wonderful place to get inspired. 

Have a wonderful day.     

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mah Jongg Marathon--Day Three----Already!

The first two days of Mah Jongg Marathon were a great success. There were eight women here the first day and seven yesterday--one had to cancel at the last minute because her dog was not doing well that morning.

Since my group from out-of-town is not used to played for money, and my other group does, I devised a system of playing with chips to hit a happy medium and add some interest to the game. I thought this up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago and refined it over the last ten days or so. Here's how it worked:

  • Everyone puts in a dollar at the beginning of each day they are here. That money goes into a cumulative pot. 
  • Everyone puts their name into a basket each day they are here. 
  • Everyone is given $4.00 in free chips. The blue and black chips = 25 cents (didn't have enough of either color), green chips=10 cents, red chips=5 cents. I made a sheet for each table to refer to. 
  • IF a player lost all her chips, she can buy more chips IF she wants to--not mandatory. IF she buys chips, the money will go into the cumulative pot and she puts her name into the basket again. (Idea: increasing her odds to win back her own money)
  • At the end of each day, who ever has the most "money" in chips wins the daily prize, which is a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. (It was very easy to purchase and print these online).
  • We are keeping track of wins with concealed hands just in case there is a tie, which is not the case thus far. I am going to give a prize for the most number of wins with concealed hands (overall) at the end of today.
  • At the end of today, one random name will be chosen out of the basket and she will win all the money in the cumulative pot. If no one has to buy chips today, there should be $27. No one has run out of chips the first two days.
One difference today though--There will be 12 ladies, and I have decided to give each of them $3.00 of free chips, instead of $4.00!

It will be interesting to see if anyone has to buy chips--and chooses to so, or to just play without them and then not be eligible for the daily prize!

I'll keep you posted!

The games begin in an hour. I'd better get dressed!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Week of No Cards, But a Lot of Tiles

This is going to be a different sort of week for me. So if you are interested only in card making, please just be patient with me. I promise I'll get back to it and produce some really great things!

I'm having a few friends in from out-of-town, and along with some local friends, we'll be playing mah jongg for three days in a row.  The clicking of tiles will begin at 10,  then we break for lunch around 1. We resume play until our brains are fried, which is usually around 4:30! It's my Third Annual Mah Jongg Marathon!

I'm sure I'll have some good stories to tell you if you like mah jongg so stay tuned. It starts on Thursday.

I do have a good recipe so share with you today. I usually am delegated as the dessert maker when it comes to my contribution for a get-together. Last Saturday night I made an easy Peach Cobbler.

 
      1/2 cup melted butter
      2 cups flour
      1-1/2 cups sugar
      4 tsps. baking powder
      1-1/2 cups milk
      10 peaches, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Pour melted butter into a 13 x 9 inch pan.
  3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and milk.
  4. Pour over melted butter.
  5. Cover with peach slices.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and additional sugar.
  7. Bake until batter rises to top and forms a nice brown crust, about 30-40 min.
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream. 
Can't get much easier than that! Recipe can be halved and put in an 8 x 8 inch pan.


"So long as we are loved by
others, I should say that we are
almost indispensable, and no man
is useless while he has a friend." 
--Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pinterest is So Interesting

Surely you all know about Pinterest by now! I had heard it was addictive and I am getting sucked in too.

Just in case you have been living in a bubble, I will briefly fill you in, because if you do not know about it, you are missing out on the latest social sharing media craze.

It is a little hard to explain but the site creators describe it by saying:

“Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and “follow” collections created by people with great taste. 


Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

 Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests." 

If you click on Follow Me On Pinterest on my right sidebar, you can see my boards.

You create whatever type of boards interest you, and when you see something on a blog, website, or someone else's board that you like, you can pin it to your board.

How do  you do this? Currently access to this site is limited to those who have received an invitation to join. Once you join, you create a user name and password and are given directions to drag the Pin It widget to your Favorites toolbar. Then when you see something you want to pin on your board, you just click on Pin It and Voila--it is Pinned! You'll see, it is easy.

So...if you would like to join, leave me your name and email on this post, or email me at 2realtors@cox.net and I will send you an invitation.

I did not send you free printables yesterday, but if you click on my Printable Pinboard, you will have access to all of the ones that I have pinned thus far! You do not have to be a member to have access to them. It will be good practice! 

Just play around with it--and become one of my followers too. I am constantly adding new things to my boards. Have fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Squares Have It

Can you believe how well this designer paper matches the card base? I had intended to mount these scalloped squares on white until I saw how well they matched this pre-made DCWV card that I had chosen to use. So I decided instead to go with a monochromatic look and I like it very much. Sometimes your simplest cards turn out to be the prettiest.

Stamp:  Gina K. Punchy Words
Paper:  DCWV card set (Michaels), white, SU designer paper
Ink: Black Stazon
Accessories: Spellbinders scalloped square, flower punch, SU punch, half pearls


"Friends are God's way
of taking care of us."
--Anonymous


 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wishing You a Happy Birthday

My goodness, I had no idea my summer was going to be this crazy. I really have not been blogging as often as I would like, but I hope you still enjoy stopping by when I do. My goal is to get one step ahead instead of three steps behind!

I have a lot of July birthdays to recognize, so I looked through my stash for this one which will be just perfect for the recipient.

Stamps: On a Pedestal (SU)
Ink: SU markers, Versafine black
Paper: Razzleberry, Pretty in Pink, white, black
Accessories: Cuttlebug embossing folder Birds and Swirls (background), border scallop punch,
rhinestones, Spellbinders long rectangle, gingham ribbon


"Friendship is born at that
moment when one person says
to another:  What? You, too?
Thought I was the only one."
--C.S. Lewis 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Color Blocking

Don't ask me where this week has gone--I won't bore you with details. I'm trying not to feel guilty for just having too many obstacles to spend much time at the computer. I know  you've been there and understand.

My mojo has left me also so I haven't really had anything to share with you!  Sounds like I'm in a funk, right? I did see two cute color blocking cards this week and thought that I'd give it a try--one-layer style. With the help of the larger size post-it notes, it is a fun technique.

  
Using a T-square was a help in keeping everything aligned. After I drew my square lightly with a pencil, I stamped my sentiment, then masked the four edges with post-it-notes. I purposely wanted a blotched effect, and accomplished that with sponge daubers. Each section was isolated from the other two with a post-it note. Once the inside was done, I stamped the flower, then went back over the outline with a black micro-pen and added some rhinestones. 


FREEBIE FRIDAY--A day of free printables

Customize Craft Labels for your personal use   
by Creative Mama

Having a summer ice cream social?
by Indie Spotting. com

Have a wonderful day!

"Nobody sees a flower--really--
it is so small it takes time--
we haven't time--and to see takes time,
like to have a friend takes time."
--Georgia O'Keefe

Monday, July 4, 2011

An Easy Chocolate Dessert

Happy Fourth of July! And Happy Birthday to my sister and niece--both firecrackers!

I haven't shared a recipe with you in a long time and this is a good one, so here goes--It is an adaptation from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe--Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cakes. I think the name is a little deceiving because it really is chocolate cakes with fresh strawberries on top. They looked festive and were easy to transport to a Fourth of July party last night. 

THIS RECIPE MAY LOOK LONG AND COMPLICATED, BUT IT IS VERY EASY!
Ingredients
1/2      cup butter
1         cup sugar
1/3      cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1         egg
1         teaspoon vanilla
1         cup all-purpose flour
1/2      teaspoon baking powder
1/4      teaspoon baking soda
1/8      teaspoon salt
3/4      cup milk
1/4      cup strawberry jam (I used more)
           Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache (see recipe for 3 ingredients)
           halved strawberries
           Cool whip or whipped cream for topping
           Chocolate curls or nuts for garnish if desired
  Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour or line with paper baking cups twelve 2-1/2 inch muffin cups; (I stretched it to 14.); set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and cocoa powder until combined. Add egg and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, beat lightly just until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to chocolate mixture, beating by hand after each addition. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the edges; carefully remove cupcakes. Cool completely on a wire rack. (I used paper liners and made them the day before, storing in a air-tight container. When ready to use, remove liners.As if you didn't know that!
  5. Place in cups or individual dessert dishes. (These are Chinet--9 oz.) Spread strawberry jam over each cupcake. (I was fortunately enough to have yummy homemade that someone gave me.)
  6. Prepare Chocolate Ganache. (below) Spoon ganache over cupcakes, covering top and letting it run down sides. Spoon strawberries over that, then drizzle lightly with ganache, letting strawberries show through. Dollop with whipped cream. Could add chocolate shavings or finely chopped nuts if desired. 
Ganache
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup whipping cream just to boiling over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips and do not stir. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then stir until smooth. Whisk in 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until ganache is smooth. That's it!

And while I'm in the kitchen and thinking of it, I have two tips to pass on to you---
  1. I  was serving bananas flambe and wanted some glass desserts bowls. Not finding the right size anywhere for what I was willing to spend, I went to the dollar store and bought glass candy dishes with lids. I didn't need the lids, but the dishes were just perfect! I have used them for a lot of other things too.
  2. Save the inner bags from cereal or cracker boxes. When it comes time to pound chicken pieces or tenderize meat, these are perfect because they are heavy and will endure the wear and tear. I have used them when I wanted to chop nuts also. 
Hope you enjoy the little break from my crafting. Thanks for stopping by.

Oh, and for you mah jongg players, can I brag that I got a pure mah jongg yesterday? It was concealed too, but I did not realize it because my change purse was in the way! Ha! It was in the 369 section and I had never played it before. Fortunately I did not expose anything.

Have a wonderful day. If you are traveling, be safe.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Some Unique Boxes

Are you enjoying your Fourth of July weekend? Hope you have something special planned with family or friends!

The goodie that I have to show you today is actually your Friday Freebie. Sorry I was MIA yesterday. It could not be helped!


  These lovely little boxes can be found on Don't Eat the Paste. I linked you right to the bird box, which is a  photo that the creator took. She also made some awesome boxes of photos she took while in Alaska.You will want to peruse around the site for the vast number of printable favor and gift boxes that are there for your personal use. 



Apple Pie on the Fourth of July!


Download this freebie template at A Craft a Day.

What great party favors!  Look for store-bought at Target or Walmart.
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