Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Care Packages for the Military

Some helpful websites to help with this project if you are interested in sending a care package to service men serving over the holiday season you may find them helpful too:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Pot Pie

A family favorite !!!

I'm sharing the recipe as I received it, then my variations are at the bottom.

Turkey Pot Pie
1 double pastry crust
1/4 cup butter divided
1 onion, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 Tbsp. dried parley
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
2 chicken bouillon
2 cups water
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 & 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 f (220 c). Roll out bottom pie crust and lay into a 10 inch pie pan, set aside.
2. Place 2 tablespoons of butter into a large skillet. Add onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bullion and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in potatoes and cook until tender but still firm.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in turkey and flour. Add milk and heat through. Stir turkey mixture into the the vegetable mixture and cook until thickened.
4. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust and place in the filling, flute edges and make slits on top to let out steam.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 f (175 c) continue baking 20 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Now this is my variation.
-My pie shell is usually the pre-made Pillsbury brand, I know how to make my own pie crusts but this is just too easy.
-I use 1 can of Swanson's chicken broth instead of the water and bullion
-I omit the celery and add a bit more potato and some frozen corn kernels.
- I grate my carrots instead of chopping, smaller pieces mean the kids will actually eat it.
-When I don't have roasted turkey left over from a holiday meal I will buy a thick chunk of oven roasted deli turkey (about 1/2 inch thick) and cube it, that works too.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Vintage Christmas Images

I love these images, just wish I could remember where there're from.

It was is a busy day here, I don't shop on Black Friday but I did visit half of my accounts today. I don't even venture out until the morning sales are over but no matter, it was crazy out there. I have to admit it was hard to be kind today. The people I saw were rushed, mad that they missed a deal, or generally stressed out.

I did get to have dinner with the family and tuck the kiddos into bed, later I sat down to watch "the Curious Case of Benjamin Button" with Bob. I really liked it though I'm sure most people have already seen it. One of the interesting facts of my life- I don't think I've seen a first run movie in over 3 years. Its hard to feel sorry for myself since renting movies is c-h-e-a-p in comparison.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Off to make apple pies and spend time with family. Best wishes to everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My art room

that is what Maria calls it. She also painted it for me. She recently found out all her tempera paints had dried out so she went in search of a new medium. This week it has been watercolor.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adventures in Scrapping

I remembered my camera so now I can show you all the fun we have on our scrapbooking weekends.

First we alter the room to fit our needs... who needs golf...we scrap!

The country club has 2 hotels, since it is the off-season we can lay claim to an entire building. The meeting room becomes our crop room and this weekend we squeezed in 19 ladies.

This is the view outside, around 5:00 the deer usually come out by the hundreds but not on this visit. It's hunting season so maybe they're in hiding.

Hey look, it's me.. I don't think you have ever seen me before... (hi!), so here I am teaching Impromptu Saturday Classes.

I think they really enjoyed making the altered stars. Rachel, Sharon, and Chole are scrapping regulars and oh they are such fun.

Tara (on the left) may very well be the funniest person I've everknown, you should hear her Cake Boss imitations. Debbie (middle) is more like a sister than a cousin and we have way too much fun together, just add a little Makers Mark and we get sassy.

After they all packed up to go home we cleaned up the room, packed up the tables, the left over food, and then it's just an hour ride north to get back home.

The weekend was wonderfully mild and sunny again, it feels like it went way to fast.
Now I need some sleep.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gathering up ideas on Craftig

I took a few minutes today to search the latest projects on Craftig, here are two I just have to rave about.

The first is a green project from Craft Pod, she made these fantastic notepads from cardboard boxes. I still have many greeting cards to recycle, so this is a must-try project. Check out her tutorial here

Then there is this darling embroidered snowflake pendant from Resurrection Fern. Some folks love fabric but I'm more of a thread girl myself; cross stitch and hand embroidery are hobbies I spend too little time on. I'm thinking this pendant may become gifts for some friends this Christmas season. If you think you would like to make some too, her tutorial is here.

I am almost ready to pack up again and head back to Perry Park to scrap, lets just hope I remember the camera.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On my wish list

I carry around an old Nokia phone, it doesn't have a cool ring, it doesn't text, it isn't in some pretty color, and it certainly can't take pictures.

I really don't see myself texting, nor downloading apps and ring tones, but a camera... now that would be handy. With a blog I often find myself thinking oh if I only take a picture of this. For instance... as a family we went to see the men's basketball game at Xavier University last night, this is a very rare opportunity. Now since I couldn't take a picture of this little outing, I will have leave you with this drawing Miss Maria made pre-game. Thank goodness I carry a journal or else I wouldn't have anything to share today ;)

courtesy of my 7 year old

I do want to take a moment and thank you for the nice comments on my jewelry, I will have to get it up on Etsy right after the New Year. I'm even thinking a giveaway here in blog-land may be in order to kick the whole thing off. Let me get though these crazy weeks ahead and I will get it all together.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tis the season'

Each year I am absolutely amazed by the interest in my photo jewelry, this is my third year selling these locally and I guess I thought the response would fade. Really, whenever I get an order I have that moment of wow, they like what I make, really?

When I started Hopemore on Etsy it was a way to showcase some of the other polymer clay work I do, but in the end this is really my claim to fame. Just in the last few days I've had two inquiries into why these are not in my shop, along with some personal orders and an invite to show my jewelry at a home holiday party.

I will work on the orders I have after my return from Perry Park this weekend. I will probably have to decline the holiday party just because I'm already feeling stressed, and yes these may very well show up on Etsy after Christmas. It is probably crazy to wait and miss the Christmas sales, but I find custom work via Etsy stressful and with the holidays, expectations seem higher.

Does anyone sell or buy custom work on Etsy? If so, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back and still busy

It was a gorgeous fall weekend at Perry Park, I think all the ladies had a nice time. As for posting pictures, well, if I had remembered my camera there would be pictures. I have a few friends that took some during the weekend, if I get a copies I will share them with you. We scrapped, we ate, I taught, we ate, caught up with relatives and ate some more.

I finished up my ATC's for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap, now for the hard part... getting them in the mail. I'm not going to post it yet, rather I'm thinking I would like to post one ATC per day once I get them back.

I have many, many, many accounts to get to this week for work and a class to teach at the stamp store (13 ladies signed, up isn't that amazing) then I'm back to the scrapping retreat on Friday. Whew I'm tired just thinking about it.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Images for you

I'm not headed by ship...

not going by plane...
there are no golf clubs in my trunk...

but the car is loaded down with all crafting necessities, the trip to Perry Park begins now.
(after a quick interlude at IHOP, of course)


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Packing up my workspace for a weekend away

I love weekend getaways but I'm not looking forward to packing up my workspace. That said, it may be less about having to pack it up and more about cleaning it up. I have a disaster on my hands and I will never understand how I can have 16 feet of workspace but only 6 inches to actually work in.

So here's the scoop on our weekend...I used to work and teach in a scrapbook store owned by my cousin Debbie, she closed it a few years ago to focus on her family. Not wanting to leave scrapbooking behind completely we would attend one day or weekend scrapbooking events. She always ran into people who shopped in her store and was regularly asked to host her own scrapbook weekends.

Not one to back down from a challenge, Debbie made plans and asked if I would consider helping out. Our first weekend was in Nashville Indiana, a quaint little arts and crafts town, like a teeny tiny version of old Gatlinburg Tennessee. We hosted 10 ladies in a rented cabin, set up a place to scrapbook, and cooked all the meals for the weekend. It all went well but we decided it was too far from home to lug all the supplies and we wanted to enjoy ourselves more (yes, in a nutshell we didn't want to have to cook and clean).

Thinking there must be a better way we went looking for other venues. My husband suggested a golfing community in Carrollton Kentucky where his dad lives, called Perry Park. A trip down to check out the facilities and we were sold. They have a little hotel and a restaurant that makes wonderful home style food; we could plan our weekends in the off season and basically have run of the whole place.

Our first getaway to Perry Park was March of 2008, we went again in November of that year. It is so delightful and the ladies love it. I'm Debbie's right-hand-woman, basically there to fill any need, oh and I might teach an impromptu class or two. But wait is doesn't end there, we are doing it next weekend
Photo courtesy of Flickr
Have a wonderful fall weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank a Vet

A quick note to say Thank You to those who have served our country in military service .
A special note of thanks to the members of my family who have served and to my brother currently in South Korea...we miss you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November ASOM

Last night was our monthly meeting for ASOM-Altered States of Mind, a fun group of female artists. As a way to stay focused they have been working on the techniques in Bernie Berlin's book Artist Trading Card Workshop. Last night we worked with metal tape and alcohol inks, these were just a few of my supplies for the evening.
-Metal repair tape, found in the duct work aisle of any hardware store.
-Alcohol inks, a supply I've had in my studio for over a year but have found very frustrating to come up with any results I like.
-Texture-drywall mesh, wire, puzzle pieces, chipboard or paper die cuts.
-Black Acrylic Paint
-Stylus, brayer, paper stump, 10 seconds studio implements
This is the result from my 2 hours of playing last night. From left to right-first one is all about creating texture, I put a little piece of everything I had under the tape and burnished just to see what it would look like. On the second one the texture includes a paper die cut and mesh scrap (that is actually the left over scrap from manufactured sequins-isn't that cool), finally some alcohol inks. This combination used Espresso, Mushroom and Butterscotch. The last piece used a chipboard die cut, it had nice deep texture but it also tore the tape in some places as I burnished. I will play with all these more and return one at next months meeting for an ATC exchange.

If anyone has a love of alcohol inks, useful techniques, or a favorite color combination I'd love know more.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Pretty Little Things

I was looking through an issue of Better Homes & Gardens from 2008 and was wowed by all the pretty packaging ideas. The little beaded leaves caught my eye and I wondered if I could make them. Some 24 gauge wire and silver lined seed beads and this is what I came up with. Oh the possibilities for these little guys...

It was an unbelievable weekend here in Northern Kentucky, 70 degrees and sunny. The kids played soccer and baseball in the backyard with Bob, the windows were opened up wide (no need to turn the heat on.. that's good in it's own way) and an old friend called early Sunday morning. She and her family were on their way to event in Cincinnati and hoped to stop by afterwards. I already had a huge pot of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove so we had dinner together at our house, it was so nice to catch up. I hope everyone else had a lovely weekend too.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Baby it's c-c-c-cold inside

I need some well wishes...either my 2 yr old thermostat is on the fritz or my 26 yr old furnace finally gave out. I wonder which is more likely. The house is holding steady at 64 degrees, so its not to bad, just a chill in the house. My friend the HVAC guy is on his way...

Update...Woo hoo it looks like we bought a hunk of junk when we replaced our thermostat a few years ago. Jim cleaned up the electrical connections and the heat kicked on, but it may not be a sure fix, we will give it a few days to see if it keeps working. He is so cool he even showed me how to turn the heat on at the furnace just in case the thermostat flakes out again before he can come back, what a good guy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Great Impressions

Today I get to put on my teachers hat. For the next few months I am helping out my local stamp store, The Creative Stamper, as a fill in instructor.

Today's class is based on a project board from the Great Impressions Stamp Company. It's a nice concept mostly because I don't have to design anything. The manufacturer comes out with a set of 6 samples, demo stamps and instructions. I create the kits with all the paper and embellishments then walk students through the steps.

You can see more samples from December and previous months here, just scroll down and choose "Samples of the Projects". If you like to make cards and you're looking for inspiration it's a nice resource.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I need a time machine

Do you ever think time will just stop for you?

I don't lose track of time because I'm a clock watcher, instead I think the minutes should slow down so I can get more done. I kept a close eye on my wrist watch today as it ticked closer and closer to 2p.m. As a general rule that my absolute deadline to be walking out of work and on my way to get the kids from school:
1:37 I can get little more done...
1:42 just a little bit more...
1:50 get the boxes packed up and take out the trash...
1:56 let me just try to straighten this up...
2:05 drat.

Look what Sharon blogged about at SharDonExclusives, she really went gang busters with the five point stars. She was kind enough to let me know she posted these pictures and there are a few others so please go check it out. I love that she used an up-cycled foil gift bag for the star and the gold doilies to cover the backside. I don't have any doilies around my house at the moment but I've been itching to order some German foil dresden, perhaps this is the incentive I needed.

Thank you Sharon I look forward to seeing the rest when you are done!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This is how I feel

...This little girl looks just like how I little grumpy,tired, and in need a nap.

I realize I should not be grumpy at all considering the incredible response to my tutorial (thank you!!!) I'm just missing my time, you know my 'own' time to do what makes me happy.

This is the busiest week of the whole year when it comes to my job. I am pulling down Halloween, moving Thanksgiving and putting out Christmas product. Two days in, three stores done and three to go. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.