Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I wanted to share the mini album I made this week for my sister.

Monday night I scored 7 Martha Stewart Crafts Halloween punches on clearance at Michael's and they were my inspiration for the mini.

The screaming ghosts are my favorite punch:

Here is the front cover:

First inside page.  I used paper bags and a binding technique I saw at Following the Paper Trail.   I used the bat punch on this page.

Cracks punch on the second page:

Third page:

Fourth page:

I also made a tag for each pocket, they generally all look like this:

And open up with two spots for photos or journaling with the double edge spiderweb punch.

The back of each has some clip art that I enhanced - witch's cauldron with paint bubbles:

Prima downloadable with bling:

Ghost with distress ink:

And candy corn with glossy accents:

My favorite part of the whole album are ghost tags I made using my cricut with the googly eyes.

For the embellishments I used recollections bling and brads, celebrate it! ribbon, and making memories spook alley brads and rub-ons.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October Swaps

All of my creative energy lately has been going into scrapping and swapping - I hope you aren't getting sick of me, but I wanted to share my ATC cards and Flowers.

I took a collage approach to building the base of this card.  I used three different papers, glimmer mist and stamps.
I then glimmer misted a prima flower, added some black lace behind it, and a making memories brad in the center.
Each card got a rub-on and stickers that I enhanced with glossy accents.
After all this, I felt the card was really busy and it needed a focal point - so I cut a bat from my cricut and added googly eyes to it.  I also cut some witches and heat embossed the broom copper.

Here are my flowers, I did the grunge type roses and dressed them up with glimmer mist, rhinestones, and little chalk bead center things.

And can anyone tell me why the borders I add to my pics only work half the time?  I just don't get it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dream Vacation ATC Swaps

First off, I have to mention that Today is my One Year Blog Anniversary. Woo-hoo. {and tomorrow is my 7 year anniversary}

I got my ATC cards back a few days ago and would you believe that of the 7 girls in my group, 5 of us chose Paris?!?

I decided to make a mini album to keep them in after seeing this YouTube video.

The paper I used has postage stamps all over it - very fitting for a travel theme.   The large white flower came from my goody swap and the center flower and lace is from Prima.  I also used a Tim Holtz hitch post to  loop the lace onto as a closure.

These two cards have a Moulin Rouge feel.  The one on the left is from Deb and the one on the right is from Marelys.

These two cards have a more vintage feel - and how cute that they both had the same charm?  The one on the left is from Kim and the one on the right is from Eileen.
These last two cards round out the group.  On the left, FayeCat wants to be On The Road and Dawn wants to travel to Australia.

I really enjoyed this swap.  I've already sent in my October cards and I've been working on November.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baking Challenge - October '10

Last month I talked about how I was going to change up the "rules" on my baking challenge.

I decided that instead of making the last page article recipe of MSL every month, I was going to start making all the recipes I have been saving over the years.

The first recipe I chose was Tiramisu Cookies.  Tiramisu is one of my all-time favorite desserts and I've been hanging onto this recipe for over two years.

Start by beating 5 yolks with 1/2 cup sugar.

Then add 3 tbsp. instant espresso powder (i had to use instant coffee).

Then add 1/2 cup cake flour.

This batter is thick!!!

In another bowl, beat 5 egg whites with 1/4 tsp. salt.  I took a tip from Beth at Stories of A to Z and cleaned my bowl right before using it - I really think this helped!

Once it got foamy, I added 1/2 cup sugar.

Check out those peaks!!

Finish up the batter by folding the white mixture into the yolk mixture.

You are supposed to pipe the batter into 2x1 rectangles - I obviously need to work on my piping skills.

The cream was very simple - mascarpone, confectioner's sugar, amaretto and vanilla extract.

Spread the flat side of the cookies with melted chocolate and allow to harden.

Make a sandwich with two cookies and a dollop of cream.

The cookies definitely have the elements of tiramisu but they don't hold a candle to the real thing.

I really like simple cookie recipes - if a recipe is more involved it has to be worth it and these weren't.  I'd rather spend the time making a real Tiramisu.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Shabby Chic Flowers

I received my first round of swap flowers this weekend and I was so excited to see them all.

These flowers are from Roxy. I was so excited to get flowers from her because I watch her youtube videos (roxyfur) and she created the Your Paper Pantry site that these swaps are hosted on.

These are from Dawn, they have such awesome texture and pretty little centers.

These are from Barbara, she made such awesome shapes and they are all glimmered up!

And these are from Tami, she got such great height on her flowers - and then there are the stick pins.  I have seen them in videos, but in person they are amazing!  I'm starting to gather supplies so I can make them, too!


Monday, October 4, 2010

CSN Giveaway Winner

Oops! I'm a little late getting the winner posted, but here is is:

moreofhim said...
How exciting!! Please enter me in your giveaway.

I really like your blog and have bookmarked it. I, too, cross stich and am really enjoying seeing all your beautiful projects.


Congrats, Julie!!  Check your email :)


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let's Do a Giveaway!!

The wonderful folks over at CSN stores have offered a $35 gift certificate to one of my readers!! You can use it towards anything you'd like from their 200+ stores where you can find everything from stylish handbags, to modern bar stools, or great dinnerware!

 I love this fall dinnerware set - Pfaltzgraff Plymouth Dinnerware Collection - 426 Series

I am obsessed with with fire pits - Bond Canyon Ridge Fire Table - 65224

But the best part is, you get to choose whatever you like!! To enter to win the $35 gift certificate, just leave a comment. That's it! I'll choose a winner Sunday night.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baking Challenge - September '10

Oh boy, this one was a disaster!

Blackberry Cloud-Cake with Pistachios - another overly ambitious, silly dessert from the Martha Stewart Kitchens.

Let me first point out two things:
1.  I always struggle with whipping egg whites into stiff peaks.
2.  I have yet to make a successful jelly roll.

I went all Pioneer Woman here and did a "Cast of Characters" shot.  I bought frozen berries because the fresh ones were very expensive.  I also skipped the pistachios for the same reason.  That container of egg whites equals 8 eggs, so that was a shell and yolk saver :)  And I used white wine instead of white wine vinegar.

I decided to skip preparing the berries for the garnish.

I whisked and whisked those eggs and could not get those stiff peaks, so I gave up and finished my batter anyway.  And poured it into the pan:
Wow, that filled up the pan completely!!

With six minutes left to bake, the cake looked like it was about to explode in my oven.

Exhibit A - you can see the cracks
Exhibit B - you can see the cake going over the edge.

After all this drama, I kept on going and made the mousse - uneventful.

Then I flipped out the cake.
a bit weird looking; sticky, too

I spooned on the mousse and rolled it up:
What a work of art!

And then had a slice
what is that strange gelatinous looking layer?

It didn't taste too great and it was so ugly - I just dumped it.  Disaster averted.

I started this challenge almost two years ago in order to try out new recipes, techniques and tools; and I've learned some things along the way.

  • I really like making cookies, brownies and cupcakes.
  • I don't like working with fruit.
  • I don't like whipping egg whites.
  • I don't like making "fancy" desserts.
  • I made up this whole challenge and I can change the rules whenever I want!
So starting next month, I am going to do things a little different :)

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