Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cupcake Holder

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI can't remember where I saw this idea (maybe on SCS) but it looked fun.  Cranberry Hill will be hosting a cupcake theme month of classes and these easy to make boxes/holder will work out great.  I had to use a fake candle cupcake in the photo since I didn't have any real ones around the house. It looks a little mousey but it gives you an idea.
This box idea came from the "Card Creations" magazine.  They made it a candle holder which I thought was a little dangerous.  Of course I've seen cards that could would never make it through the mail, so I wasn't too surprised.  Still a very cute idea for a cupcake.

It's cold out here - William Bailey

Related Posts with ThumbnailsOne of our oldest friends (moved out here the same time Hubby did 30+ years ago) William Bailey took this photo near his cabin up in the mountains. Knowing Bill I'm sure this photo was set up some how.  Bill has a wick sense of humor that he has pass along to his two young boys. Still it's a fun photo.

Going Green Christmas

 A lot of thought went into this year's Christmas gifts.  We are not crazy "go green" people but we do try our best. My son's girlfriend gave me a personnel tea pot from TEAVANA.  I'm a big green tea drinker and have been using tea bags for a long time.  I do throw them my the compost pile but now I can use loose leaf tea which reduces the  extra packaging and I can buy better green tea.
One very sore spot with hubby and me is his addiction to sparkling water. It's not so much him having to drink bubble water but all the plastic bottles left all over the house.  He buys a case (24 bottles) a week and the bottles never make it to the recycle center.  I have to sneak them out to the city's recycle bin and hope he doesn't fish them out before the garbage truck arrives.  I finally broke down and went to Sears (help support a retailer that supports their employees on deployment) and bought two SodaStream machines.  One for my hubby and one for my daughter for Christmas.  It solved so many issues and in less than two months it will pay for itself.  And yes, it does work well.
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Christmas Gifts 2010 boots

Related Posts with ThumbnailsNow that my children are grown and on their own, they ask me for a Christmas gift list.  I put things on the list I would like but would not buy for myself right now.  I also include things that don't cost anything but time.  Example: washing all the windows inside and out (that's been on my list for the last five years), help paint the family room, help rebuild the raised vegetable beds, sit in the same room long enough to get at good photo with no one sticking out their tongue or making funny faces. But they never seems to want to go in that direction. 
This year my son got me my favorite hiking boots.  The current pair I have (broke them in while I was in Nepal) are still good but I would like a back up pair.  These are Keen boots and you don't really have to break them in.  They work out great from the get go.  Sadly no major treks planned for 2011.  Would really love to go mushroom hunting in Tibet or hiking in the Swiss Alps but the travel budget is pretty low this year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just been one of those weeks

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIt's just been one of those weeks.   Lots to do but no energy or motivation to get things done.  I have tons of design work to get finished but I just can't seem to settle down in my studio.  Working on the restructuring of my home and business accounts.  Number crunching is just mind numbing. 
There are tons of exciting things are being planned for 2011 if I can get my act together.  Maybe some retail therapy will help.

Friday, December 24, 2010

All set for Santa - Annie

Related Posts with ThumbnailsAnnie is all set for Santa.  She really doesn't care if I dress her up as long as there is a cookie involved.  She has dirt on her nose because she decided to "season" (bury) her Christmas beef bone.  The butcher told me dogs lie to roll their food in dirt, so  not to freak out when she tries to bring in a dirty muddy mess into the house.

Marathon Christmas Cooking has started

Related Posts with ThumbnailsThe marathon Christmas cooking has started!  Hubby is making his family's  famous squash rolls even though he's on a liquid diet.  I just drop off a 12 pound standing rib roast for Christmas eve dinner tonight.  I didn't put it in a plastic bag so as I was walking up to the front door it leaked blood all down my pants.  I looked like road kill.  I was barely able to make it to the washing machine when I got home. Annie thought I smelled great and she was sure I had a Christmas treat hidden in one of my pockets for her. I will be making an apple cake with fresh whip cream along with bringing the ham to the annual Itatani Food Fest.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jackson Pollock

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI did a little research on the famous abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. I really don't understand his paintings but to understand how the art world works, the movie "Who the *$&% is Jackson Pollock" is very interesting.  A woman found what is to believe a Jackson Pollock painting at a garage sale for $5.00.  If it's real, it's worth 10 million. All the DNA of the painting proves that it was painted in his studio (paint chips match) and his finger print is found on the back of canvas (means he at least touch it) but no art gallery or critic will say it the real deal because it was found at a garage sale.  Jackson Pollack was known to give away his paintings and didn't always sign them.  In honor of the Jackson, I did my 2010 word " FOCUS" in his style. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Starbuck VS homemade latte

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI'm not a coffee drinker but when the weather is cold, I do like a nice hot drink.  I went to Starbucks to try their Pumpkin Spice latte.  It was good but again, I'm not a coffee drinker so it tasted too much like coffee and not enough like pumpkin spice.  I went again a week later and it tasted like they forgot the spice completely. The little gray cells started talking to me to try and make it myself at home.
Now that I handle all my family's accounting and investments, I'm very aware of amortization.  When I buy something I figure out how much in the long run the item will cost or save my pocket book. With my crafting supplies, I figure out how many classes I have to teach to pay for it and if it's something my students would use.
Having a latte at Starbucks is close to $5.00 so if you had one every day that would be $35.00 a week or $140.00 per month = $1,680.00 per year.  I decided I could make my own at home for a whole lot less and use lactose free milk.  Cost Plus is having a sale on Torani (the flavoring used in most lattes) so I picked up a few (each bottle cost $5.00) and now trying to make a good cup of not so coffee tasting latte.  I know latte means coffee so I guess I should call it a "latte hold the coffee". 

Quick Christmas Card

It's a never ending battle to try and keep my studio work table clean.  With all the prototypes of stamped images that may turn into a class or cardRelated Posts with Thumbnailss (or may not)  and rubber stamps, I have the stacks everywhere.  When I'm cleaning up, I make some quick cards with those images laying around that I just can throw out. 
You can't see the silver Star Dreams paper I used for the base card but it does add a nice little sparkle. 

A Bakerella Christmas

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI don't know where her creative ideas come from but Bakerella is awesome and I'm always inspired. 
I have her cookbook and I've made some sad attempts at making cake pops.  I'm just try to keep them on the stick let alone making them look like anything. :)
Here the links to her fabulous blog Bakerella
And yes you can eat those little toy soldiers.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Early Christmas Present 2010

Related Posts with ThumbnailsLast week my old washing machine started to leak on the inside and my dryer has been sounding like a giant hamster running on a wheel for a long time. It's been 20+ years since I've had a new washer and dryer. The ones we just got rid of, were ones we found on Craig's list for free.  They lasted about four years which wasn't too bad for free.  I really wanted to get ones that were more energy efficient and use less water.  Hubby built the base (didn't see the need to buy the drawers) which put the washer and dryer at a nice height.  I really like the sweater rack feature.  Now I can dry my hiking boots after walking Annie in the rain.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Annie's Party Favors

Related Posts with ThumbnailsGetting ready for Annie's birthday party tomorrow.  The cupcakes are baked and waiting to be frosted. Doggie cookies for her pack buddies are almost done. Now have to decided should I package the doggie cookies or leave them loose so the guests can eat them on the spot. Annie would prefer no packaging because she doesn't like to wait for her treat.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quick Holiday Gifts 2-5-7-10 box

In my attempt to use up my stash of stuff, I made some quick holiday gift boxes.  The 2-5-7-10 box is super quick to make.  I filled them with candy and tied it with ribbon I've had for years.  The snowflake is a die cut from AccuCuts.
I'm also getting ready for Annie's first birthday party at the park this weekend.  It's suppose to rain so I plan to bring canopies along for the humans. 

Busy Week for Research

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI'm searching for a good recipe to make a crispy thin crust pizza.  I've been following some of the recipes in the "Pioneer Woman Cooks" by Ree Drummond.  Her recipes are very down home comfort food. My next recipe from the book will be homemade chicken pot pie.

While I was at the library, I saw a book called "Gay Bar". Now I have sister named Gay, so the word doesn't always mean what it means to most people to me. This is a book about a woman, Helen P. Branson who owned a gay men's bar in the 1950's.  She also wrote a book about the bar (which is now out of print)  at a time when being gay was very taboo, if not illegal.  Will Fellows, found the book and decided to add his input along with what Helen wrote.  I found his writing to be too technical and repetitive so I skipped his very wordy sections and read only Helen's.  Her writing style is not polished, more like reading a letter from your great aunt but you can tell what she wrote is what she thought.  What I found so interesting about the story was not only how brave this  straight woman was to open a gay bar during a very anti-gay time but also how she saw a need and marketed it. 
Up until the late 1960's it was illegal for Asians to marry outside of their race.  This law passed in the early days of  California to control the cheap labor coming in from Asian countries.  It was thought at the time if the Asian immigrants could not marry and start a family, they would not stay.  The same arguments made about gay marriages today were made about interracial marriage back then. When my husband and I got married in 1981, it was only twenty years early we could not have.  It was a blue law (on the books but not enforced) for many years but it still was illegal.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

May Arts Ribbon Contest

I entered my little Christmas stocking in the May Arts contest.  Please visit their blog and vote for my project, which is the first one listed.  Here's the link May Arts ContestRelated Posts with Thumbnails  You just have to leave a comment.  I'm not sure if it's by popular vote or not but it doesn't hurt to hustle up some positive comments. I just hope to get in the top ten. Voting ends tonight.
Update 12/18/10 Happy Dance Time! I won first place.  Thank you to everyone that voted for my mini stocking!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holly Sprig by Memory Box

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI had to borrowed this stamp because it sold out before I could get to it.  Again this was a popular stamp from Memory Box to use for the holidays. During Thanksgiving we used fun fall colors. For Christmas I used two shades of green (Memento Bamboo and Cottage Ivy) stamped on paper from October Afternoon - "Trim the Tree".   I added red berries with a small round stamp with Memento red. I distressed the edges with brown ink so if I was off in center it wouldn't show as much.  This was one of the cards I did for the ladies down at the Senior Center.

Memory Box Wreath

Related Posts with ThumbnailsThis was a very popular stamp from Memory Box this season.  It made a great fall/Thanksgiving card and now it's a great winter/Christmas card.  You can't really see the gold base card stock but it's a great shimmer gold. Looks really cool with gold embossing powder.  I rubbed some  Xmas Red Stickles around the wreath to add just a hint of sparkle.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Losing another stamp company - A Muse

(update 12/13/10) Related Posts with ThumbnailsSad to post that A Muse Rubber Stamps will be shutting down their wholesale side of the business as of January 1, 2011.  Cranberry Hill in Sunnyvale has put all their A Muse stamps on sale, so better shop early because when it's gone it's gone.  You will only be able to buy online from their website and at their store in Seattle. Still sad that our local  stamp stores won't be able to carry their stamps.  Means no more fun classes or make n takes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Prune Cake - Pioneer Woamn Cooks

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I'm always looking for new recipes and trying something different.  Ree Drummond as a great blog "The Pioneer Woman" about her life on a working cattle ranch. Her cookbook is a fun read and her recipes are for real people.  I'm guessing if Marlboro Man (her very hot husband) likes it, it can't be that bad. So today I made the cake, which was very light and tasty.  I messed up on the caramel frosting.  I don't have corn syrup in the house so I had to make some sugar syrup (google search said that was a good sub) instead. I didn't let the sauce cook long enough so instead of a nice sticky caramel topping I had sugary milk mess soak into the cake.  It still came out tasting great.
I had a hard time finding plain buttermilk.  I mean if you're going to use buttermilk why would you buy low fat or nonfat buttermilk?  That's all I could find at the big chain stores.
Here's the link to the PRUNE CAKE

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Washer and Dryer

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI have little quirks when cleaning house.  I have to clean the kitchen sink first, which according to all the household books (yes, I've read them) and my mother that should be the last thing you clean.  And it doesn't feel like I'm cleaning the house if the washer and dryer aren't running.  Guess that noise must trigger some Pavlov response. Anyone else have things that have to be done first when cleaning?
Today my washing machine sprang a leak and the dryer  has been sounding like a giant hamster running on his wheel for months. Going out today to buy a new set at. Every year I make sure to buy something at Sears to show support for their policy in keeping their employees who are called to military duty on the payroll and keep their health insurance active. Kenmore has gotten great reviews, so I will not only get a new washer and dryer but I can show support to a retailer that supports our troops.

Friday, December 10, 2010

You know your'e old when

Related Posts with ThumbnailsYou know you're old when you read People magazine and you don't know most of celebrities they are writing about.  You  know you're old when your CD/cassette boom box dies and you go out the replace it, only to find that they don't make them anymore.  Everything is made to use with an ipod. It took me a long time to find this Sony player.  This was the only model the store had on the shelf.
I've been looking into buying a new camera, but I've been told they too will be going the way of the dinosaur.

Bee Christmas

At my family's Christmas party the ladies have a themed gift exchange before we start playing cards.  For an extra challenge the gift has to fit into a 6X6 box in the photo. We use the same boxes every year - starting going green a long time ago.  This year's theme is the "honey bees".  A friend knitted and felted this little bowl (I thought it looked like a bee hive) and I added the bee charms. It will a great place to store the extra poker chips during our card game.