About Me

I am a techno/gadget freak. I love almost anything that has to do with computers and software. I have an engineering background, but I haven't worked in that field for over 10 years. I married my wonderful husband in September 2004 and look forward to spending every single day of the rest of my life with him. I love cats and even call myself "Cat".


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Nail Art pic

While I haven't had much creativity for anything to do with paper lately,  I've been under the weather the last few days, so I decided to treat myself and give myself a manicure.  I was pretty sick Friday night with a fever, but I sat up anyway and painted my nails.  Here's a picture of how they turned out.  I think this would be a good one to do for the Christmas holidays.  I have an idea on how to do my nails for halloween, so when I do them for that I'll post another picture.


The gold was more like sparkles so I put a couple coats of yellow on first, then a couple coats of the gold.  Let that dry completely (I have a spray that accelerates drying).  The I cut masking tape in large circles and taped off the bottom half of the nails, then painted the top half with red.  Let that dry and then used my embossing stylus and dipped the tip into the nailpolish to make the dots.  It was fairly easy to do.

So that's all I have for today.  Once I get over this cold I want to do some cards.  I've bought so many new stamps that I haven't even looked at for a long time.  Plus this new job is taking up waaaayyyy too much of my time.  I've only been there a month and already I've had to stay late 2 or 3 nights each week.  I'm not impressed.

Anyway, talk to you later, and have a great weekend!


Sunday, September 04, 2011

ATC Card Swap

Hello!  Well, I've been very negligent in keeping this blog up over the last 4 months or so.  It seemed that when my back problems started I lost my umph!  Well, I haven't gotten it back totally, but I did make something a while ago that I thought turned out really pretty.  I've been involved in  the Stampin' Canada online community for a few years now. They are a great bunch of people and very fun to hang out with.  I hosted the first ATC swap on SC a few months back and it was a lot of fun and turned out to be a nice success.  It really gave us all a chance to work well outside our comfort zones.  Wendy decided to host this next ATC swap and the theme is "the nature of things".  It took me a while to come up with an idea, but one finally gelled in my mind.  Here is a picture of how it turned out:

The picture really isn't that great and doesn't show the detail very well.  I was quite pleased with the results, especially since I haven't had the inspiration to create much lately.

Well, that's all I have for today.  I have a craft date with my niece today over Skype.  That should be fun.

Talk to you later...


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Disappointed and a bit of a rant...

Rob and I went to a restaurant Friday night to celebrate my new job.  It use to be (emphasis on "use to be") my favourite restaurant.  The last time we were there was about a year ago.  My husband's meal at that time was not good.  He usually orders the mussels in tomato sauce as an appetizer and he had so many dead ones and lots of broken shells in the sauce that he almost chipped a tooth on one.  As his main course, he ordered the special (which sounded really good). It was mixed seafood in a phyllo pastry.  Well, the seafood was so over cooked and it was way too salty.  He ate about half of the entree because he really hungry because we had to wait about 45 minutes for our meal, but that's all he could stomach.  He mentioned it to the owner's wife when we were leaving and the waitress was like "well, he ate half of it" thinking we were trying to get the meal for free.  We ate at that restaurant at least once a month and it seemed every time we went, the food quality dropped each time. For my husband, that was the last time he wanted to go.  On the flip side, I hadn't had a bad meal there at all. Up until Friday.  I'm so disappointed.  I loved the stuffed Calamari in champagne mustard sauce.  I loved it so much, that rather than order it in the appetizer size, I decided to get the full entree size this time.  Well, it was so over cooked, it was like trying to eat a rubber band.  And the sauce didn't have any mustard taste at all - and I highly doubt they used champagne in it too.  All I could taste was pepper.  The stuffing was originally made with ground chicken, pinenuts, and leeks.  There were hardly any pinenuts and no leeks at all.  As an appetizer I had the dolmades.  It had a sauce (I can't remember the name) that was a creamy lemon.  It was good.  But, my soup was a greek chicken & rice, which is usually a cream soup with lemon.  Well, it tasted like they used the sauce from the dolmades as the soup base and just threw in some chopped chicken and rice and watered it down a bit.  Rob ordered the mussels in tomato sauce again, and of course, he had a whole bunch of dead ones and 3 or 4 pieces of broken shell - AGAIN.  Even after we told the waitress what had happened the last time. His meal was ok (mousaka), but again, they changed the recipe and it wasn't as good as the original.

I understand trying to cut costs, but really, if it means that you're providing lesser quality, is that really what a restaurant wants to do.  I don't think this restaurant is going to last much longer. The clientelle was slowly building, and the time before last when we were there, they had a full house.  Friday night - not so much. They had three tables (including us) and 5 wait staff.  It irritates me a little, since we would talk to the owner's wife all the time when we were there and let her know that we weren't complaining and wanted to just give them some feedback so they could make it better and that we actually really liked the food for the most part.  Just seemed the last few times, all she had was excuses each time we mentioned something that was a little off. The only reason Rob agreed to go was because the first restaurant we went to had too long of a wait time to get a table and because I really liked the food at the greek place. Well, unfortunately, I didn't enjoy my meal this time and I won't be going back and they've lost a couple of patrons.

That's it for today.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

So, I haven't had any crafting juice lately....

I just haven't felt like doing anything with my paper and stamps lately.  What I have been doing is reading a few blogs and websites about sustainable living and making/growing your own food.  I got the bug last year in the fall when I decided to try my hand and canning some jellies made from fruit grown in my neighbourhood.  It was a blast.  Over the winter, I've learned to make bread.  Its really easy and now my bread turns out every time.  I've also been reading on how to try and cut my food costs.  Some of you might know that I'm not working right now.  I've been unemployed since early last spring so anything that I can do to reduce my household costs is something I need to look at closely right now.  One thing I've been exploring is cheaper cuts of meat.  The methods I've learned are so easy.  Most of the time its either marinating or long, slow cooking, so this has become a way to prepare tasty meals with the less expensive, and usually tougher, cuts of meat. I happened to be watching the food network this afternoon while taking a little break from my cheese making (that will be another post in the near future), and watched two different programs.  The first program was Michael Smith's Chef At Home.  He made a stew that look so good with a chuck roast.  The one ingredient that was highlighted in the stew was beer.  Then I watched another show right after that called Glutton For Punishment (can't remember the host's name) and they were highlighting Hawaiian coffee.  They showed a recipe for braised short ribs using coffee and cocoa.  It looked so good. Well, to make a long story short, I had a huge blade steak in the freezer that I was wondering what to do with.  So I decided to make a stew incorporating the ideas from the two shows.  How did it all turn out you ask?  It was delicious.  I  paired it with the dark rye bread I made today.  The dark flavour from the rye bread matched the stew perfectly.  Here's a little picture to get your taste buds going:

Too bad you can't smell it because it made the house smell so good.  My husband was super impressed with the meal.  Here's the recipe for the stew:

Cat's Beef Stew
1 large blade steak or two small (about 1.5 - 2.0 lbs meat) cubed into about 1" chunks and patted dry (you can use whatever cut of meat you have on hand - I just happened to have blade steaks)
2 large carrots cut into bite size chunks
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large potato, peeled and grated
2 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 Tbsp canola oil (for searing the meat)
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup beer (dark beer or stout is best, but I just used a lager that I had in the fridge)
2 cups beef broth/stock (mine had salt so I omitted adding any more salt)
1 cup cold left over coffee (make an extra cup in the morning and use it for the stew)
1-2 bay leafs
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 can tomato paste or 1/2 cup leftover tomato/spaghetti sauce (which is what I used)

In a heavy bottom 4qt pot, heat 2 or 3 Tbsp oil on medium high heat.  Add the beef to the pot making sure it is only a single layer.  Brown all sides of the meat cubes.  Do the meat in batches if necessary, making sure the pan stays at medium to high heat to sear and brown the meat. You want the meat juices to caramelize and leave those little brown bits in the bottom of the pan.  Keep the meat aside in a separate bowl once browned. Add the onions and lower the heat to medium.  Sweat the onions so that it picks up all the brown from the pan.  Add the garlic, tomato paste, carrots, and celery and cook for a minute or two to cook the garlic.  Add the meat back to the pot along with the shredded potato, the liquids, and your spices.  The shredded potato will cook down and sort of dissolve into the stew and thicken the liquid.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally as the ingredients will sink to the bottom of the pot.  Once it has simmered for about an hour, stir 2 Tbsp of oil into 2 Tbsp of flour and slowly pour this into the stew while stirring so that you don't get any lumps.  This will thicken the stew if the potato hasn't thickened it enough. Cook another 15 minutes to make sure the flour is cooked and serve.

I think this is such an easy and versatile recipe since you can use whatever cut of beef you have on hand; you can switch up the herbs & spices; and you use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.  I was going to add some kale (collard greens), but I forgot.  I think next time I make it I'm going to add a little worchestshire sauce and maybe a little dijon mustard just to see how that tastes.

I really hope you try this stew.  It was so delicious.  And if you do, let me know how you liked it. :)

Talk to you later...


Sunday, July 03, 2011

In a slump...

I've been trying to think of something crafty to do, but just haven't had any inspiration come to me lately.  My back has been well enough for over a week for me to get back into my craft room and do something, but all that seems to happen is that I end up surfing the web for some ideas.  So I figured I'd take a look at all my digital supplies to see if that would spark any ideas.  Not really, but I did find a pretty scrapbook kit that I haven't used yet.  I decided to use it to do a page about my dad.  He'll be gone 10 years this coming September and I miss him a lot.  Its not a very fancy page, but its a start.  I have a bunch of pictures that I scanned from an old photo album my Mom has.  Mostly pictures of us kids when we were little.  But there were also some of my dad's retirement party.  That's where this picture was taken and it was 18 years ago that my father retired.

 The kit is called La Creme from 300dpi.com.  The font I used to do the journaling is Juice ITC.  The picture frame was created using stock frames in PSPX and then adding borders, and then finally bevelling the outside border.  The little curlicues on the frame are elements from the kit. I used a stock filter to change the photo to a sepia tone picture to match the kit.

So thats all I have for now.

See you later...


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just the cutest dog in the whole world!

I was going through some pictures on one of my sd cards and I came across this picture of my little girl Mitzy. She is soooooo cute.  Here she is sitting on my lap while I was doing something on the computer.  I just had to share this picture.

Just look at that face!  That's love with fur!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Another Nail Art attempt...

I've been having problems sleeping the last couple nights, so I've been watching you-tube videos on nail art.  I tried out one of the tutorials because it looked so pretty  and I had the basic colours and embellishements. Here's a picture of how it turned out.

The base blue needs to be lighter, but this is what I had already.  Basically, you put on your base coat colour, then with a little darker colour (purple in this case) sponge on some colour about 1/2 way down the nail, then with the darkest colour (cobalt blue) just sponge the tip.  This gives a nice gradient effect.  I let my nails dry, then I put glitter polish over it, concentrating the glitter near the tip of the nail at the darkest colour and let that dry.  I dug out some sequins I have and used the little centres for glitter and some of my tiny rhinestones.  To attach the little sequins, I used a wooden skewer tip dipped in a little top coat then touched the sequin/rhinestone and placed it on my nail.  I guess I should mention, I put a top coat on and was putting the sequins & rhinestones on while it was still wet.  Once I got everything in place and the way I liked it, I put on another layer of the top coat to seal the sequins and rhinestone.

There are thousands of you-tube videos on nail art and I'm finding it fun to have pretty nails again.  Its been so long since I've grown my nails out.  My old nail polish is getting used again. :)

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll be posting up a few past projects this weekend, so come by again and take a peek.  I think I might actually get into my craft room this weekend and try do a couple scrapbook pages.  I have a couple ideas floating around and there's a couple sketches I want to give a try.

Talk to you later...


Monday, June 13, 2011

Not exactly a paper craft...

But I had a little bit of time to kill today so I decided to give myself a manicure.  I usually have my nails cut short, but since I haven't been doing to much because of my back/hip problems, my nails have grown quite a bit in the last month.  I wanted something a little funky and out of the box for what I usually do (plain colours usually in the pink/red range or a french manicure).  This is what I came up with:

I bought some Wet&Wild nail polish the other day when I was at Walmart just because its so cheap.  I thought that if I didn't like the way it looked, at least I didn't waste a bunch on money on nail polish I would never wear again.  I like the way this turned out.  Now, I'm wondering if there are nail stencils out there.  I just may let my nails grow a bit.  But they're such a pain to type with... :)

Well, that's as far as I got for creativity for now.  I've been sketching out a new project that I want to get into. I have some photos of projects I completed before my back issues that I want to edit and post later (hopefully tomorrow or Wed).

That's all for now.  Talk to you later...


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Back Issues Update

I'm still recuperating from my back issues.  What happened was that, basically, I sprained my sacroiliac joint. That's the joint that joins the hip to the spine.  The inflammation and the pain in the joint has gone, but I'm still having some minor issues with the muscles in the rest of my back seizing up just because they had to work so hard to support my body.  As a result also, I now have some pain in one of my knees just because of the way I had to twist my body and use my legs to get myself standing.  If I had any inkling that I had to go the bathroom, I started to head there early because it was taking about 5 minutes to get up, walk to the bathroom, and then get seated again.  What a chore! :)  I don't wish this kind of torture on anyone.

So, needless to say, I haven't really been in the crafty mood for the last 3 weeks.  I'm starting to get the urge to be in my room, but under doctor's orders, I'm not suppose to sit for long periods of time.  So, I'll have to wait another week or two until I'm completely healed before I can really get some crafting time in.

Well, thanks for dropping by.  I'll be back - hopefully in the not too distant future.

Take care...


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Getting better...

I finally had a relatively pain-free day today.  I was even able to take the dog for a short walk around the block this afternoon.  Poor thing has been having to wait until hubby got home from work to go for her walk.  Its been very draining fighting the pain and using my arms and legs to do everything.  My arms & shoulders especially are so tired.  I've been going to the chiropractor and massage and that has helped tremendously.  Without that, I don't think I would have been able to walk at all these last couple weeks.  I'm looking forward to when I'll be able to sit for more than a few minutes at a time and get back in my craft room.  But, for now I'm just glad to rest and get better.

I'll be back soon...


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Out of Commission...

Hey everyone.  I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I'm not dead, but I feel like it.  I put my back out on Sunday and haven't been able to walk for a couple days.  I've only been able to sit up for about 5 minutes at a time with the aid of some groovy pain killers :).  I have a few projects I want to post, so hopefully, I'll be able to do that early next week.

Take care & talk to you later...


Friday, May 06, 2011

Last Card for I Brake for Digis...

This will be my last "official" DT card for I Brake For Digis.  Unfortunately, Della has decided to close the shop. Its too bad. I really like the digis she has available, but if things aren't working out, then she needs to take care of her interests.  The good thing is that the I Brake for Stamps shop is still going strong, so you can still get some of the images in rubber.  And she just introduced some of the Freddie the Frog images in rubber.  They're too cute.

I made this card for the challenge #26 over at the Brakefast Club (which will still be up and running as far as I am aware).  The challenge is to use things on your card that start with the letter "B".  Here's my card with all my "B"s:

Stamps:  Wedding Cake (I Brake For Digis)
Papers:  coloured cardstock (Recollections), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#)
Tools & Embellishments:  butterfly trio punch (Martha Stewart), corner ticket punch (SU), embossing folder (Floral Flourishes & Vines set by Sizzix), "Love" brad (Dollar Store), mini flat back pearls (Recollections), rhinestones (Walmart), satin ribbon (Michaels), pop up adhesive squares (Dollar Store), Gloo (KI Memories), ATG, pencil crayons (Martha Stewart), oms, Star Dust glitter glue (Stickles)

The card is pretty basic in design.  When I purchased my MS colouring pencils, the info on the box said that they are blendable pigment pencils.  So I tested it out on the image.  I first used a base of a light peachy skin colour, then near the bottom, I used a darker peach colour, then I used brown along the bottom of the layers of the cake.  I guess I'm not that good at blending because I had to go back in with my oms and a blending stump to smooth out the colours and blend them to get the lines to blend away. But I do like the way the colour graduates to a darker colour.  The last thing I did was put some stickles on the image.  So my "B"s for the challenge are:  brown, bling, butterflies, and brads.  I hope you like it.

The IBFD shop is still open at the time I am writing this post.  If you're at all interested in the image I used for this card, or any of the other images, hurry - no, RUN! - over to the shop to snag it before they're gone for good.  Della didn't have a specific time/day she was going to shut down the site.  The 10% off discount code is also still available in my sidebar and still valid.  Don't miss out on your last chance to get some of the great digis offered in the IBFD shop.

Well, I had a great time working with Della - she's so nice.  And I loved working with the images I got to use for my DT assignments.  Good luck to the rest of the DT team and I'm sure I'll see you around the blogosphere. :)  I still have a ton of I Brake for Stamps rubber stamps I haven't had a chance to play with yet, so I'll still participate in the occasional challenge over at The Brakefast Club.

Take care & talk to you later...


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Long time no see!

Hi everyone!  Well, I've been MIA for a couple weeks here.  Life is taking its toll and I haven't been keeping up with blogging lately.  I finally said enough is enough and I took some time to create something.  It felt really good to play with my paper again.  I have two cards I want to show you.

This first card is one I started a couple weeks ago for the Brakefast Club Challenge #24.  I got as far as punching the edge along the patterned paper and printing off the image.  But that's all I got done.  So tonight I picked everything up again and finally finished the card. Its amazing how quickly it came together.  Sometimes, a card can take me hours - yes hours... I've been known to spend 8 hours making one card - and this one came together in about 40 minutes once I pulled out the papers and tools.  Here's the card:

Stamps:  Rosebud Vase (I Brake For Digis)
Papers:  patterned paper (K&Company), linen texture cardstock (American Crafts), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#)
Tools & Embellishments:  colouring pencils (Martha Stewart), oms, ribbon (Michaels), flat back pearls (Recollections), Loops border punch (Martha Stewart), Gloo (KI Memories), pop up adhesive squares (Dollar Store), Glue Dots, ATG

I don't remember who the patterned paper is made by - it was in my scraps.  The image is coloured with pencil crayons & oms.  I've been experimenting with using different colours as a shadow around the image other than the usual grey.  For this image, I used a pinky peach colour and I don't think the picture shows it well, but it does look nice with all the pink paper and ribbon.

The second card came together really quickly as well.  I always told people I worked well under pressure, so I think I actually proved that to myself tonight.  This card really only took about an hour to do.  I made this card for the Brakefast Club challenge #25:  One for the Kids.  Here it is:

Stamps:  Jack in the Box (I Brake for Digis)
Papers:  Digital Paper (Jeanelle Paige - A Cherry on Top), Presentation paper (Epson), coloured cardstock (Recollections), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#)
Tools & Embellishments:  Pencil crayons (Martha Stewart), oms, buttons (Walmart),  Cornice edge punch (Martha Stewart), Corner decorative scissors (Fiskars),  Gloo (KI Memories), pop up adhesive squares (Dollar Store), ATG, red Stickles

I changed the line colours of the image in my graphics program to blue so that it would match the papers I chose.  After colouring it with my Martha Stewart pencil crayons, again, I used a colour other than grey for the shadow around the image.  I used a light bluish green that I thought complimented the colours nicely.  I used red Stickles on the crown to give it a little zing.  Other than that, the card is pretty straight forward.

Well, its pretty late here and I have an early start tomorrow.  Thanks for popping by.  I'll have another card or two to show you by the end of the week, so come and visit again.  If you're interested in either of the images I used for my cards, they're available in the I Brake For Digis shop.  Don't forget to grab your 10% discount code in the sidebar before you head off shopping.

See you later...


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Brakefast Club Challenge #23 - Three

I'm back with a new project to show you all.  That was quick eh? (Yes, I'm Canadian...)  This week's challenge over at the Brakefast Club is to use 3 of something on your project.  Three buttons, three different papers... you get the gist of it.  I had an Easter card to make for a fellow member on the Stampin' Canada board, so I kinda cheated and combined both projects into one.  Here is my card for this week's challenge:

Stamps:  Lilies (I Brake For Digis), sentiment (SU! Well Scripted set)
Papers, coloured cardstock (SU!), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#)
Tools & Embellishments:  Craft Robo, Elegant Bouquet embossing folder (SU!), embossing ink (VersaMark), clear embossing powder (Stampendous), Copic markers, Liquid Pearls, Onyx ink pad (Stampology - Autumn Leaves), embossing stylus

To create the background on the yellow cardstock, I first embossed it with the Elegant Bouquet embossing folder.  Then I took my VersaMark re-inker and used a paint brush to paint on the ink over the design. Initially, I tried to use the ink pad and rub it on so that it only hit the high spots, but that was a disaster. Painting the ink on worked sooooo much better.  Then I poured on the embossing powder, shook off the excess, and hit it with the heat gun.  I like the way it turned out.  I cut my "faux nesties" with my CraftRobo. To finish off the image, I put three little "pearls" with the Liquid Pearls on the bottom side.  Its pretty simple in design, but I really like the colour combo.  And it also fits into the challenge - 3 colours (also the 3 little "pearls" works too).

Thanks for stopping by today.  I'll be back soon with something new to show you again.

Take care...


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blog Candy Update

I just got a message from Laura and she did get the blog candy - yay!  I'm always worried about sending things through the mail.  If they get lost, there's really no way to recover the items.  So anyway, here's what she said:

     "I did get the package. Thank you so much.I love everything you sent.I can use it all. thanks again..."

I'm glad she likes what was in the package.  Ok, Laura, lets see what you make out the shtuff!

Till next time...


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Brakefast Club Challenge # 22 - Primary Colours

Hi everyone!  Today I want to show you my project for the Brakefast Club challenge that ran last week.  I know I'm a little late with this, but this project took waaaaayyyy longer than I had expected.  The challenge was to create something using primary colours.  I love bright colours, and I thought this would be a great combination for a project that had something to do with kids.  So I decided to do a scrapbook page with pictures of my niece.  Here it is:

Stamps:  Beach Toys (I Brake for Digis)
Papers:  Coloured cardstocks (Recollections), Domtar Cougar 130# white cardstock (picture matts), Wausau Exact Index 110# white cardstock (journalling), Matte finish photo paper (Kodak), Glossy finish photo paper (Canon), Digital patterned paper (Summertime Designs)
Tools & Embellishments:  Craft Robo, Silhouette cutting files, Sharpie Markers, Zig Memory Writer markers, red, green, & gold Stickles, Mod Podge Dimensional Magic,  paper crimper, plastic wave template, foam letter stickers, rhinestones, pop dots

The title is some foam letter stickers I've had in my stash for about 5 years (finally used them - yay!) and all the other embellishments were cut with my CraftRobo. The sunglasses have Mod Podge dimensional magic on the lenses to make them shiny. I added a little bit of stickles on the rims to glam them up a little bit. The digi stamp was coloured with Sharpie markers and traced & cut on my CraftRobo.  I also created a white mat around it so it would stand out a bit and adhered it to the page with pop dots. The patterned paper is a digi paper from Summertime Designs and cut in a large square scallop on my CraftRobo. The little flipflops (Silhouette cutting file) have rhinestones glued to the strap at the toe. I used a plastic template to trace and cut the wave design, and I used my wavy paper crimper on the banner going across the page.  The journalling block is, again, another Silhouette shape.

Here are a few close up pics of the different elements on the page:

Well, that's all I have for today.  You can pick up the Beach Toys digi stamp in the I Brake For Digis shop. Its a great stamp to have for all those summer projects I know you'll all be creating here shortly. :)  Don't forget to grab the discount code in my sidebar before you head off shopping.  Another challenge starts today over at the Brakefast Club.  So pop on over there too to join in this week's fun.

Take care & talk to you later...


Monday, April 04, 2011

Baking Sour Dough Bread

One of the things I've been trying to learn to do lately is to bake bread.  There's something about the satisfaction of soft, hot bread out of the oven smothered in melting butter that just transports you to heaven.  I had really good success with white bread thanks to a recipe I found on the Our Best Bites site.  They have loads of information that really helped make my attempts a success.  I had tried to make bread quite a few years ago (over 20 years ago) and my loafs of bread were more like brick doorstops. So, I didn't try it again.  My husband actually got me into it.  We bought a big new top of the line Kitchen Aid for ourselves for Christmas.  My husband always makes pizza dough from scratch and he was getting tired of kneading it by hand all the time, so he wanted the Kitchen Aid.  Then he started to experiment with bread.  Well, a few loafs turned out, but for the most part, they weren't that great.  So, I thought I would try to see if I could do it (kind of a little bit of competition).  Well, I researched how to make good bread first on the internet and that's where I found the Our Best Bites recipe.  My first attempt with that recipe was so successful, that I thought, hey this is easy.  Yeah right.  My next two batches weren't that great.  They were heavy - but still soft - so that meant I used too much flour.  Then I thought I'd change gears a little bit and try making sour dough bread.  I had watched a show years and years ago about a woman who's sour dough starter was from one that had been passed down for a couple generations and was purportedly a hundred years old.  I have since read that it is true that some old family recipes today are using starters that their grandmothers started.  Well, my first starter started great, but I wasn't ready to make the bread yet, and when I tried to make the sponge, it just didn't work.  I was a little disappointed, so I started over.  This time, I made sure I didn't have anything happening for a few days and made a starter which worked great, then the sponge and that went like crazy.  It was great.  It was all going a lot faster than what I had read, so I thought I'm going to have a loaf of sour dough by the next day (it can take up to three days to get a loaf of sour dough).  I mixed up the dough and left it to rise.  And left it.  And left it.  It took forever!  Then I had to punch it down and let it rise again!  It took 2 1/2 days from start to finish to get one loaf of sour dough bread.  But it was so satisfying taking it out of the oven.  And it looked so perfect.  But the best part was cutting off big slices and lathering on the butter.  OMG!  It was good!  Here's a picture of the perfectly formed loaf just after it came out of the oven.

It doesn't look very big in the picture, but that's an XL pizza pan its on, so the loaf was probably a good 10" across.  It was enough bread to last us all week.  Good thing, because it took 1/2 the week to make it. :)

If you're interested in learning how to make sour dough bread, I found this site (click here) to be a great resource.  Of course, if you google it, you'll find hundreds of sites that will help you learn how to make great sour dough bread.

That's it for today.


Friday, April 01, 2011

The Brakefast Club Challenge #21 - Sewing

Hi again!  I have a little card I made up for this week's challenge over at The Brakefast Club to share with you. The them is sewing - anything that has to do with sewing.  So you could use actual sewing, faux stitching, pins, thread, etc., etc.  You get the idea.  I have a friend who is turning 50 in a couple weeks (I'm not long behind her - yikes!) and I also needed to make a card for her so I combined my efforts and killed two birds with one stone.  The image is called Two Friends (how could I not use this image) and its available in the IBFD shop.
Here's my card:

Stamps:  Two Friends (I Brake for Digis), faux stitching stamp (Hanging by a Thread set, Technique Tuesday)
Papers:  Recollections cardstock, digital papers (Summertime Designs), Wausau Exact Index 110# cardstock, matte presentation paper (Epson)
Tools & Embellishments:  pencil crayons (Crayola, Roseart), oms, French Script font, edge distresser (Heidi Swapp), brads, edge punch (Recollections)

I thought the image was so appropriate for my friend since we have been friends since we were about 11 or 12 years old - like FOREVER.  Even though we don't keep in regular contact, we do send the occasional email and I go visit her when I go to Winnipeg.  Its nice to have a friend that you can pick up right where you left off the last time you talked - even if it has been a year or so.  I am actually quite lucky to have two friends like that.

Well, that's it for today.  I'll be back in a couple days with something new.  Until then, take care...


Friday, March 25, 2011

ADFD New Releases - Birdwatching & Spring

Another fabulous set of images released today by ADFD.  They are super sweet and you will just love them. Here's a peek at the new images:

For this weeks release, I used one of the birdhouse images.  I don't know what it is, but I just adore birdhouse images.  I don't particularly like having one in my yard because I have two cats and that just means dead birds in my yard - not good.  So, I'll stick to pictures of birdhouses. :)  Here's the card I made for this week's release:

Supplies: Birdhouse image (A Day for Daisies), sentiment (Create With TLC)
Papers:  Recollections cardstock, Wausau Exact Index 110# cardstock, digital patterned papers (Summertime Designs)
Tools & Embellishments:  Scalloped Scallop edge punch (EK Success), Medallion Chain edge punch (EK Success), Zig glue pen, edge distressing tool (Heidi Swapp), bakers twine (Divine Twine), glitter (Craft Decor), pencil crayons (Crayola, Roseart), oms, copics (R35), button (Steam Trunk Craft Works)

To make the background on the image, I wanted to have sky & clouds.  Its a technique that is very easy to do with ink but I didn't feel like pulling out my ink and finding a sponge so I used my light blue pencil crayon & oms.  I cut a scrap piece of cardstock in a cloud shape.  I held the shape down on the image and then coloured along the edge of the cloud - colouring on the image and the cloud shape both.  Then I took my blending stump with oms on it and blended the blue pencil crayon.  Once it was blended, I took away the cloud shape and that left the subtle cloud shapes.  The only other "special" thing I did with the card is took my  new Medallion Chain edge punch and punched one of the shapes on a small piece of patterned paper.  I then cut the individual shape away from the rest of the "chain".  I used my Zig glue pen and glitter on the edge of the image.  Other than that, its a pretty basic card.

I hope you liked it.  Don't forget to check out the challenge still going on at the ADFD blog - there's still time. The new images are available in the ADFD shop now, so go on over and check out the new store.  You'll love the new set up.

That's my card for this week.  Unfortunately, I have some sad news.  I've had to make the sad decision to give up my spot on the ADFD design team.  I've really enjoyed working with all the girls on the team and, of course, Tammy.  I will still love ADFD images and will probably spend way too much money on the new images as they come out.  Its getting to be the time that I'll have to go back to work so I don't think I will have the time to devote to the DT commitments.  I'm truly grateful to Tammy for giving me my first position on a DT.  Its been a great experience. :)

That's all for today.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

IBFD - Challenge #20 - Birthdays

This week's challenge over at the Brakefast Club is to make a Birthday card.  I've always loved the Freddie Frog images - they're so much fun - so I just had to use one for this challenge.  Here's my take on the challenge:

Stamps:  Senior Freddie (I Brake for Digis), sentiment (Create with TLC)
Papers:  American Crafts cardstock, Bazzill cardstock, Wausau Exact Index 110# cardstock, digital patterned paper (Summertime Designs)
Tools & Embellishments:  coloured pencils (Crayola), oms, Studio G ink, tearing ruler, ZigZag Stitch edge punch (EK Success)

You still have time to get in on this week's challenge over at The Brakefast Club.  A new challenge will be posted on Sunday if you miss this one.  You can find Senior Freddie over at the IBFD shop.  Don't forget to grab your 10% off discount code in my sidebar before you go shopping. :)

That's all for today.  See you later...


Friday, March 18, 2011

IBFD - Brakefast Challenge card

Hi again!  My second post of the day. :)  I can't believe I have so much to say lately.  Well, I want to share a little card I made for the Brakefast Club challenge this week.  The theme is SPRING - and its about time it got here.  Its been a lovely couple days here in Calgary and I sure hope it stays that way now.  I used the Bunnies & Watering Can image available at the IBFD shop for this card.  I hope you all like it. :)

Stamps:  Bunnies & Watering Can (I Brake For Digis), alpha stamp (Dollar Store)
Papers:  digital patterned paper (Sweet Springtime collection - Summertime Designs), Bazzil, red shimmer cardstock (Recollections), Wausau Exact Index 110#, matte finish brochure paper (Staples)
Embellishments & Tools:  Ribbon (dollar store), brad (Recollections), buttons (unknown), pencil crayons (Crayola, Roseart), oms, pink craft ink (Studio G), bakers twine (Canadian Tire)

If you haven't yet, you should get in on this week's challenge before it ends tomorrow.  A new challenge will be posted at the Brakefast Club on Sunday.  And, of course, you can get the image I used and so many more at the I Brake For Digis shop.

Thats it for cards for today.  Talk to later...


ADFD New Release & A New Challenge

Hi everyone!  Its time again for another great new release from A Day for Daisies and another new challenge starts today on the blog.  The challenge this time is to Go Green!  It will be a lot of fun, so hop over to the blog and join the activities.  You will get a chance to win a great image from ADFD and there is an awesome freebie this time to get you going.

Here's a little sneak peek of what in new in store today at the ADFD store:

I also want to congratulate Wendy C.  She is the winner of our last challenge.  Way to go Wendy!

So, here's the card I made for this new release and challenge.  I love love love peacock images.  They give you the chance to use so many beautiful colours and just dress them up however you like.

Stamps:  Peacock Fairy (A Day For Daisies)
Papers:  patterned paper (Amy Buttler Belle collection - K&Company), cardstock (Recollections, Bazzil, Wausau Exact Index 110#)
Tools & Embellishments:  Pencil crayons (Roseart, Crayola), oms, glitter (Jones Tones), glue pen (Zig), Floral Vine deep edge punch (Martha Stewart), Leave it to Weaver edge punch (Fiskars), striped grosgrain ribbon (Michaels)

That's it for now.  I'll be back later with a couple different posts. :)


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blog Candy Claimed ! Yay!

I heard back from Laura and the blog candy is now on route - I can't really say whisking its way because we're talking about the postal service here!  I'm glad it was claimed and I hope you enjoy it Laura.  And let's see what you do with it, ok?  Well, I'll be back tomorrow with a new project (or two).  I've been working on something and my other life got in the way of getting it done.  You know that unfortunate part of our lives that involve laundry, dishes, cooking...  that kind of stuff.

Talk to you tomorrow. :)


Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Winner drawn for the blog candy...

Unfortunately, Lisa didn't contact me by the deadline so I have re-drawn for the blog candy.  Here's the picture of what # was drawn:

and that # corresponds to ...............................................


I've emailed Laura and hopefully she will email me back shortly and claim her prize.

Again, I'll give it a few days and if the prize isn't claimed, I'll just keep drawing until someone claims the prize. :)

Talk to you all later...


Friday, March 11, 2011

Calling Lisa Cox! Calling Lisa Cox!

Just a post to Lisa.

Lisa, if you stop by, please email me your address so you can claim your prize!  You have until tomorro evening - Saturday, March 11/11.  I will leave it to you until 6:00pm MST, after which I will draw again and award the blog candy to a new winner.

So, please Lisa, email me!  You can use the contact form in my sidebar.


ADFD New Release Cards

I'm a blogging fool this week. :)  I think I've made 4 or 5 posts this week.  Well, here I am again to show you the card I made with this week's new release from A Day for Daisies.  This new release is, without doubt, one of the cutest Tammy has put out.  Here's a peek of what she has for you in the store today:

Aren't they adorable?  You can get them in the new ADFD shop.  AND, just for the grand re-opening of the store, there is 10% off all digital stamps now till March 14!  How great is that?  Also, don't forget about the challenge going on at the ADFD blog.  You could win an image from ADFD and there is a free image so you can play along (if you don't already have soooo many of Tammy's creations already like me.).

So without any further dilly-dallying, here is the card I made for this week:

Stamps:  Little Fish Child 2 (A Day for Daisies), Pretty Sea Shells Collection (A Day for Daisies)
Papers:  patterned papers (unknown), blue cardstock (Stampin Up), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#), craft cardstock (The Paper Company)
Tools & Embellishments:  CraftRobo, Silhouette fern cutting file, Dimensional Magic (Plaid - Mod Podge), white Liquid Pearls, Stardust Stickles, copics, Scalloped Scallop edge punch (EK Success), Quick Dry Tacky Glue (Aileen's)

The ruffled flowers that are so much the craze these days inspired me to create the large scallop shell that the baby mermaid sits in.  I used a scallop edge punch along a strip of paper (2" wide), then fan folded it at each scallop.  I opened it to create a 1/2 circle and glued that to a piece of scrap cardstock so it would keep its shape.  It was quick and a lot easier than it looks.  The trick is using a glue that will dry quickly so that it doesn't pull apart.  I like the Aileen's quick dry tacky glue, but you could use a glue gun too.

Well, that's all for now.  I'll be back again soon with something else.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Miscellaneous stuff I've been doing...

Just thought I would put up some picture of stuff I've made over the last little while.  It seems lately that I've only been posting my DT stuff, which is great because I love the stamps, but I have done a few other things that I think turned out really nice.  Here's the pictures:

Valentine Cards for Ronald Macdonald house:

Before you all starting oohing and awing over how lovely my cards are    they're all cased from the Splitcoast gallery.  I don't take credit for these lovely designs.  I just used whatever paper & stamps I had handy.  But, honestly, I think they did turn out lovely and I hope they were able to use them at the Ronald Macdonald house.

So, that's all for now.  I'll be back again in a day or two to put up a few other things.  Hope you liked them. And remember, I'd love to hear what you think about my work, so leave me a comment.

Talk to you later...


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I Brake For Digis - Brush Horse

Back again with a picture of the card I made with the Brush Horse image from I Brake for Digis.  I used this week's challenge (Challenge #18 - Animals) over at The Brakefast Club as inspiration.  Its a very elegant image, very simplistic, and very versatile I think.  I chose a western theme for this card, but I know that it would work well with just about any theme.  Here's the card:

Stamps:  Brush Horse (I Brake for Digis)
Papers:  patterned paper (unknown), brown cardstock (Recollections), tan cardstock (Bazzil), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#)
Tools & Embellishments:  Craft Robo, Ribbon (Michaels), Mistral font (sentiment), copics, edge distresser tool (Heidi Swapp)

Thats it for today.  See ya tomorrow. :)


Blog Candy - 50 Followers Celebration

I just got back from shopping.  I told my hubby that I may reconsider what I'm giving away the next time I decide to have blog candy.  I had to buy two of everything!  I couldn't buy something and just give it away.  I had to have one for me too. :)  So, I took a couple pictures of the goodies I'm giving to Lisa.  Its all new stuff, except for the ribbon & the paper.  I've had these in my stash for a while.  There are some 6x6 papers, and one sheet of each design from the October Afternoon Seaside 8x8 paper pack.  Here's the pictures:

I've sent Lisa a message letting her know she's the winner.  If I don't hear from her by Saturday, I'll pick another random follower, and so on until I get some one to claim the prize. :)

I'll be back in a bit with another post, so talk to you later...


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

WHOOOHOOOO! I hit 50 followers

So in honour of this milestone, I have decided to pick one random follower and send them some goodies.  I haven't figured out what they are yet, but I will head off to the store tomorrow and get some stuff. :)

So here is the results of the random number generator from Random.org

Follower #40 is.....

drum roll....

LISA COX!!!  Yay!!  Lisa, I'll contact you through your google profile to get your address!

Congratulations. :)

Have a good night everyone!


I was a Guinea Pig...

My friend, Wenchie, was looking for a couple guinea pigs to test out her tutorial to make one of her amazing "furniture" projects.  So, I jumped at the chance to try my hand at making one.  It was a lot of fun to do.

If you aren't familiar with Wenchie's stuff, you should really get acquainted with her works, because they are spectacular.  She is one amazing crafter.  You can see her SplitcoastStamper gallery here, and this is her blog.

So, as I was saying I gave one of her projects a test run.  Its a sweet little dresser that turned out just amazing. I used plain cardstock (Domtar coated 200#) for mine and when I showed my husband the final product, he thought I had bought a little plastic dresser to store all my little trinkets in.  Be on the lookout for the tutorial for this project over at Splitcoast.  They have finally recognized Wenchie's talent and asked her to create a tutorial for the members.

Here is how mine turned out:

I think its awesome and the instructions were very easy to follow along.  After she does her tweaking on the tutorial, I think it will be even more easy to do.

Like I said, be on the lookout for this tutorial over at Splitcoast.  You won't be disappointed making this project.  Its fun and functional!

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, March 07, 2011

IBFD - Catch up cards

Here are a couple cards I created in the last little while using my I Brake for Digis stamps.  Hope you like them. :)

This first card I created using the theme from the BrakeFast Club Challenge #16 - Use something felt or fabric.  I've wanted to make a card with yo-yo's on it for a while and this challenge was the perfect opportunity to incorporate this embellishment.

Stamps:  Teapot (I Brake for Digis), sentiment (Create with TLC)
Papers:  digital patterned paper (Energy Kit - Summertime Designs), blue & pink cardstock (Recollections), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#)
Tools & Embellishments:  Corbel corner punch (EK Success), Paisley embossing folder (Cuttlebug), Blossom die (Spellbinders), ribbon (Michaels), fabric (unknown - stash), button (unknown - stash), pencil crayons (Crayola, Roseart), oms

This next card uses the theme from Challenge #17 - Make something green.  In honour of St. Patrick's day this month, I made this card:

Stamps:  Rock Out Freddie (I Brake For Digis), sentiment (CatScrapFever Designs)
Paper:  black cardstock (SU!), green cardstock (Recollections), white cardstock (Wausau Exact Index 110#), digital patterned papers (Summertime Designs)
Tools & Embellishments:  Ribbon (Michaels), Craft Robo, glitter (dollar store), pencil crayons (Crayola, Roseart), oms

I created the sentiment in PSPX and printed it out on white cardstock.  The little 4 leaf clover was cut on my CraftRobo and covered with green glitter.

Even though these challenges have "officially" ended, there is nothing to say you can't still join the challenge and create something for these challenges.  Give them a try. :)

That's it for today.  I'll be back tormorrow with some other projects I've been working on the last little while. :)

Talk to you later...

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