Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pear, honey and gorgonzola dessert

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  So many wonderful presents and food.   One of the gift baskets we received (thank you Roger & Stephanie) had wonderful pears from Harry and David.   In the past we have enjoyed pears sliced with gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and port or red wine.  Great summer dessert, but it was cold outside so we took to the kitchen in search of how to make this combination, but with a Christmas comfort flavor.

Peel the pears, cut them in half and cored out the center.   The gorgonzola pieces fit perfectly on each pear and for a bit more sweetness, we drizzled with honey.
 
Blue Cheese & Honey
Add walnuts and bake







 
Sprinkle with  cinnamon (optional, we were going for Christmas comfort and cinnamon does that for me).  Top with walnuts and into the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.  The pears were el dente and perfect for us.
 
Ready to Eat   Top with a bit of vanilla bean flavored whipped cream.

 The cinnamon gave it a Christmas comfort, but the real  flavor came with the honey, gorgonzola and toasted walnuts.  This recipe is a keeper!
 
Have a great week and a safe New Year….

Silhouette Birthday card for the cowboy

Do you have any cowboys in your family?  Our family has cowboy Mike!  Like all good cowboys, the exterior is tough and the heart is HUGE.  My Silhouette has been quiet for a week or so and this morning I dusted it off and made this hat from the online store found here.

Cowboy Hat

 

   







The paper I used is from The Guy Stack.  It would be fun to cowgirl up this card.  Cowboy's don't have clean hats so I blotted on some prairie dust.

Happy Birthday Cowboy Mike.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Cards and Winter in Seattle

 Baby it’s cold outside! I wanted to share photos of our winter in Seattle. I woke to this spectacular sunrise as the backdrop to Mt. Rainier. The cloud formations that happen around Mt. Rainier are stunning. The second picture  is a sunrise cloud formation taken earlier this year. 

    Mt Rainier Sunrise






Mt






Signs of Winter


 Although it is cold, enjoy the beauty of the season! 








On to the cards.  These are a few cards I made using my Silhouette.  Silhouette is running specials and I purchased these designs on sale….yeah!

Silhouette Xmas CardsThe cardinal by Amanda McGee can be found here.   

For the kids its all about Santa and presents.  Silhouette online has Christmas Santa with present by PPbN Designs found here.  
I added Tulip Crystals Dimensional Fabric Paint in Icicle to the white parts of Santa’s hat, beard and clothing to give it glitter.  Simple card, but fun for the kids.



Treats for KidsThe treat bag holders can be found at the links below:
Santa treat bag holder by Amy Robison click here
Reindeer treat bag holder by Amy Robison click here
Snowman treat bag holder by Amy Robison click here
For the purse I used Spellbinder's Labels Eight die, 4 5/8 x 3 3/8, punched two holes for ribbon at the fold line, taped the ribbon inside the fold and done. 


These cards I used the Hero Arts Winter Scene and tried to add a bit of snow fun with the snowman and sledding bears.




Xmas Thank You Cards

Created a few Thank You notes for gifts we received. 






Our granddaughter, Sarah (age 7), makes these precious cards.  Currently her love is all things puppies.  Our daughter-in-law helps them write thank you cards for the gifts they receive.  She is an awesome Mom and a gift to our family.

Sarah Thank You Sarah

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reupholster Kitchen Bar Stools


The internet if full of fabulous people who have a great talent for redesigning, refinishing and repurposing furniture.  Well I want to be them when I grow up!  The projects I have done over the years generally turn out OK, but in the back of my mind I think there has to be a better way.  So why I took on this project….
Once upon a time, I bought two ugly kitchen bar stools.  They were plain, but functional, or so I thought at the time.  Little did I know how much they would get used.  These stools do not have padded seating and quickly become uncomfortable.  At Joann’s I saw a piece of fabric with color combinations and design I knew I should have in my house.  How do I incorporate it into my home and utilize Joann’s 50% off sale.  My ugly kitchen stools, of course.  Heading home with my great savings, 3” foam and my new favorite fabric,  I had visions of upholstering my ugly bar stools.
 
Choose your weapons….CHECK!
My WeaponsStools

Sand – CHECK!




  Stools 1st Coat

Primer – CHECK!




Foam Cut Edges



Cutting foam…..When cutting foam we started with a knife and quickly changed to our electric knife.  You can see the difference in the cut!

Learning to cut thick foam – CHECK!




Apply Foam to Stool Top







Spray adhesive to top of stool and bottom of foam – CHECK!



 



Attaching Fabric


Anchor the fabric with 4 staples – CHECK!






Fold fabric

Fold fabric and staple – CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!

Anyone know of an easy way to tuck corners?







Finished


Have to say I was extremely happy that these were done…..CHECK! 








For a first attempt the frustration level was high but we got it done!  The original paint color was lighter than I wanted, and of course, I did not want to pay $13.00 for another can of paint.  Lowe’s has the Valspar sampler size paint for $2.50 and they color matched the next darker color paint for me.  Love those guys and gals! 

After washing the darker color onto the stool, I sanded the edges to give it a distressed look, applied two coats of paste wax and now these stools are easy on the bum and make me smile when I see them.
   
Have a wonderful week and hope you get your Christmas shopping done!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Easy Christmas Cards

It has been an incredibly busy week with far too many projects that need closure!  Having said that, I continue to love the holidays.  For the past few years my daughter comes over to make cards and enjoy snacks.  I am blessed, thanks CJ.  However today, I have a few presents to get into the mail, so early this morning I made a few cards. 

Seasons Greetings


This is a simple and easy card.   The tree was created using my Stampin’ Up tree stamp, Versa Mark and gray embossing powder. Outlining the tree I added gray and blue glitter glue specs and this card was done.
Season’s Greetings stamp is from Fiskars Simple Stick group.
Easy peasy…








Winter Wonderland
I am a skier and there is nothing more tranquil than riding the lift, experiencing the hum of the lift while taking in the snowfall on the trees.  This card reminds me of those ski days. 

Using 110lb card stock and Spellbinders Labels Eight 4 5/8 x 3 3/8 die, I cut out the label and embossed with my polka dots folder. FYI, the insert cutout pieces will be used for the next round of cards.

The stamp is Hero Arts, Winter Scene.  Sky color is rubbed on with Memento’s Bahama Blue ink, with a paintbrush I added Tulip Icicle Dimensional Fabric Paint to the snow and trees.  Winter Wonderland was stamped from Fiskars Simple Stick group using Memento’s Azure Blue.  The top cut out cover was added using foam squares.

Mike's Card

My brother is such a cowboy that I added two horses (one with xmas hat) to his card. Oh the possibilities!








 
Santa Card



Pintrest has variations of this card.  I wanted to make it because Santa is Christmas!  Embossed the middle white strip, glued the pieces and done.  Silhouette has a version I will try also!











These cards can make nice Thank You cards for after Christmas as well.

Enjoy your week and thanks for stopping by.

CJ’s Apple Caramel Pie

My daughter, Cortnie, came over before Thanksgiving and did some baking!  Over the years she has become quite the cook.  This sinfully delicious pie is a recipe she created.  FYI, CJ baked this pie in a 9” springform pan.  Did you  say deep dish..great idea CJ!
For Christmas one year I assembled a Family Cookbook (click to view post ) sharing recipes from friends and family that have become new traditions.  This recipe is one for the Family Cookbook!
 
Pie Ingredients


The ingredients.  Note: The heart shaped cutting board is one she made in woodshop for me in Junior HS…awe…





2 pie crusts
4-6 apples peeled and cored (she used honey crisp and golden delicious)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 cup caramel sauce (recipe post)
3 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar

Pre-heat oven to 425 (use a drip pan under pie to save cleanup time)

Lay the bottom pie crust on a greased (pam or buttered) springform dish.

Give me some sugar
Next, mix dry ingredients into a large bowl, stir and set aside. 
Peel, core and slice apples in separate bowl (add lemon juice to stop from browning). 
Mix apples into dry mixture and coat well. 
Mix in the melted butter & vanilla. 


Combine until well incorporated. 

Add the caramel


Now for the real goodness, add caramel sauce and combine. 




Everybody in Pour this mixture into the pie crust and add the top crust folding the edges into the pan.



Ready to Bake


Moisten the top of the crust and cut 1-2” slits on top.  Sprinkle with pinches of sugar and brown sugar.
Wrap edges with foil.


Place a drip pan on the rack below the pie to catch spills .  Into the oven and bake at 425 for 30 minutes.  (Each oven varies so  use your best guess).

Remove the foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.

Perfection 
After the pie is done, add a few shavings of butter randomly on top of crust.
Cool for 10 minutes.  Add a bit (or a lot) of ice cream, drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.
Pure deliciousness…that’s my girl!




Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Cards and Silhouette Pen Feature

Turkey day is upon us, and yes, I just finished my cards today.  Do you have those quiet days mornings after a long week when you have an idea for a card and before you know it you are still in your PJ’s and it’s 2:00 in the afternoon?   Today was one of those days for me.  Coffee in hand I walked into my craft room at 7:00 a.m. and did not look up!  It was fantastic!!!

Thanksgiving Cards

Here are some of the cards I made today.  
Turkey & Tree Card



 


















I continue to learn more about my Silhouette, but today was the first time I used the pen/sketch feature.  New sentiment stamps cost $$$ and need to be stored.  Problem solved! 

Silhouette Pen
 
Inserting a personal sentiment in your card is as simple as selecting the font, writing the sentiment, aligning the sentiment placement for the card and selecting the sketch option on the cut menu.  
 
This was AWESOME!
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the past I did some of this in MS Word, but using the Silhouette software allows the words to fit together nicely. 
 
FYI, somewhere I have information on how to repurpose an empty Silhouette ink pen into a holder for smaller ink pens.  I will share it in a post or on YouTube when I find the information.  Not only can you save $$$, but the color options are unlimited. 
  
Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall Cards

 Double Spider Web
There are so many things I love about Fall, starting with watching the leaves change color.  Nature at its best, the colors are so vibrant it takes my breath away.  At about the same time, the spiders begin their web building.  I took this picture in the a.m. while it still had a few dew drops hanging from the web. Although I don’t care for spiders, they do have a talent and these two webs were spectacular.
During this time is Halloween, kids and costumes.  Answering the door is way too much fun.  The little ones who are having their first real understanding that Halloween means free candy, priceless!  Several little ones felt pretty at home and walked it the door like this was a good place to stay.  LOVE IT!  Our little Julian is 2 and stood at the door waving and saying “hi guys” as he CAREFULLY handed out candy.  One little guy gave him a hug and they were Halloween buds for life! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Then there is Thanksgiving, from planning the food, cooking ahead, spending time with friends and family… yes, even the cleanup is busy, busy, busy.  But I am grateful for every blessing that passes over my family.  Even the challenges are a blessing giving us a chance to grow, learn, have faith and be grateful.  We continue missing those who are no longer with us, but they do not leave our  hearts or our conversations.  Over time our heart hurts less and we can smile at the memories. 
 

Fall Cards There are also birthdays in October/November, so making fall themed cards is fun for me.  Although I have more cards to make, I wanted to share with you two cards already completed.  These fall cards can be used as a Thanksgiving or Thank You card for the person who cooked a great meal at Thanksgiving.
 
 
 
  
 
The card on the left was made using my Silhouette.  I have a template version of this card which my sister made last year.  I will attach the template and photo below (email me and I will send you the templates in a zip file).  It is a bit different, but for those of you who don’t have the Silhouette, this is a good option.
 
The second card is a birthday card  using inks and a leaf stencil to create a multi-layered look.  I did double stamp the wheat and use multi colors to give it some depth.


Apron Card-2Apron Card-1 
These are templates I created from the card my sister sent.  I think these originally came from CardMaker Magazine.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a wonderful fall.  Have a great week!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Silhouette Piano Card

Piano Card side
 
 
 
 
Each time I see a piano card it draws my attention and makes me smile. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This piano card was designed by Loni Stevens and purchased at Silhouette America  here
 
There were some additions I made to this card by upgrading my Silhouette software to the Designer Edition.  The best software price I found is through sewforless.com for $32.62 which you can see here.  At this price the Designer Edition was a must have.   
 
My goal, create a file that I could print and cut the card pieces in one file.  My additions to Loni's design is the rose, the music book and the music reader.  The file I created has two groups.  One group (print then cut) uses a white sheet of paper to print the insert piece, “just a note”, the rose,  music book and white piano keys.  Once the printing is complete I can use the cut feature to cut all these items.  The second group uses a sheet of black paper and cuts the piano, the music reader and the black key notes. 
 
This card is versatile and can be used as a birthday card, thank you, sympathy, thinking of you and more. 

Piano Card Flat
 
 
 
Thanks for stopping by and let music into your heart!

Update Bath Accessories using Silhouette and Ribbon

Before

Tired of looking at the same guest bathroom in your home? This past week I decided to make some changes on a budget.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I purchased two new dispensers for a total of $6. 
 
Rummaged through my linen closet to find brown hand towels and a wash cloth.
 
Found coordinating ribbon in my Ribbon jar.
 
And, took two auto-timer candles from another spot in my house to use in the bathroom.

 After

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The dispensers were too plain looking and with my Silhouette  nearby, I cut out the Lotion and Soap lettering in a mustard colored vinyl.
 
The auto-timer candles were plain, white and needed help.  Silhouette to the rescue!  Cutting out a leaf design fit nicely on the larger candle, and the inner leaf I removed  from the design fit nicely on the smaller candle.  This vinyl is easy to remove and I am excited about changing the designs on these candles to fit holidays or decor. 
 
Lastly, using a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine, I added ribbon to the towels and wash cloth.
 
Done!

Leaf Candle


These candles come on for 4 hours everyday at the same time.  Functional, decorative and easy.  Better than a night light.


This could make a nice gift idea too! 






Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sheryl’s Chorizo Quiche

Sheryl is the perfect company.  She digs in and cooks, cleans, is lots of fun to be around and shares a passion for decorating and crafting.  If you live in or around Scottsdale, Sheryl owns a hair studio and her cuts and colors are perfection!  (Email me and I will share her studio information).  Whenever Sheryl is around we have great hair days!  Thanks Sheryl.
This visit she prepared her delish and easy to make, Chorizo Quiche.  Quiche is one of those dishes you can serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  She even brought her favorite chorizo sausage from Arizona on the plane. 
 
The ingredients:
1 lb Chorizo Sausage
5 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1 -  4 oz can chopped green chilies
8 oz Mexican Blend shredded cheese
1 pie shell unbaked
 
Heat the oven to 400°.  Brown chorizo sausage, remove from heat and stir in chilies and cheese.  Pour mixture into pie crust (you do not need to blind bake the crust). In a bowl beat eggs and half and half together and pour over chorizo mixture.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, reduce the oven temp to 325 and bake for another 20 minutes or until the center of the quiche is set.
 

Chorizo Sausage Quiche Ingredients Ready to bake Quiche is served



5 o'clock somewhere 
Of the many interests we share, Pintrest and a good bottle of wine are among the top favorites. Sheryl pinned a craft project utilizing wine corks.   The clock trinket on the bottom is a reminder that it is 5 o’clock somewhere. 
 
FYI,  red wine is the perfect pairing with this quiche!
 
 
 
 Happy Hour Snacks
 
 












Sheryl prepared this Happy Hour snack tray for us using the beautiful cheese knives she gave me as a gift.  I was feelin’ the love!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!