Friday, December 23, 2011

Naughty and Nice

I am getting down to the wire with last min. baking and gifts. I finished the last quilt I was going to do in time for Christmas.  This one is Amy's.  I just love the colors, Just fabulous!  I did this same pattern several years ago in dark colors.  It's good to see
 something so fresh and so NICE!
Yesterday I made popcorn balls.  Yummy and NICE!
I use to not like popcorn balls as they were so hard and crunchy.  I have a recipe that I really like that is creamy and chewy.  I am sure because it has more butter and also goes to the soft ball stage while others seem to go to the crack stage, which tends to stick to my teeth!

Popcorn Balls

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lt. karo syrup
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. salt
12 cups of air popped popcorn without salt

Air pop popcorn and set aside.  In a heavy duty sauce pan, combine other ingredients and cook on medium heat until temp. on the candy thermometer is in the soft ball stage.  Remove from heat and pour over popcorn.  Butter hands and form into balls.

Everyone has a favorite that they want me to make.

For my daughter, it's sugar cookies.  My Ex husband's grandmother made the best!  The sour cream seems to be the secret!  This year I tried something different in making icing with snow flakes.  Believe me,  no two snowflakes are alike! After spending so much time decorating them,  I kept thinking that certainly there is something faster!  Nope, I didn't have any sprinkles, but the craft side of me wanted to substitute beads instead!   NAUGHTY!

Grandma's Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
6 egg yolks
6 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the sour cream, egg yolks and vanilla.  Mix the dry ingredients and combine.  Roll out dough on a non stick surface and cut out into shapes.  Bake 350 degrees until lightly golden.

Glace' Icing

1 lb. powdered sugar
6 Tbs. whole milk
6 Tbs. lt. corn syrup
1 tsp. flavored extract (almond or lemon)

Combine sugar, and milk until smooth.  Then add the other two ingredients.  Tint with food coloring or food paste.  frost the cookies with this consistency.  If you wish to decorate, add more powdered sugar to the mix to make it stiffer.

My son likes lemon bars the best.  Somehow the first batch didn't turn out very well at all.  The lemony portion was runny and didn't even taste like lemon!  Then it dawned on me that I had missed putting in the lemon, the flour and the baking powder!  My thoughts were to give them to my son anyway. NAUGHTY!   But today I took time and remade them.  It's all about the list thing, checking it twice and making the second one NICE!

Lemon Bars

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
cut in 1 cup of butter and pat into a 9 X 13 pan.  Bake 20 min. at 350 degrees.
 then mix 2 cups sugar, 4 slightly beaten eggs, 1 Tbs. flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 4 Tbs, lemon juice.  Pour over crust and bake for 25 more min.

 I made baked potatoes for dinner.  Imagine my surprise when I ran across one in the shape of a Christmas stocking!

I have some gift cards to give out this year and ran across a unique way to present them in cans.  You can find the link here!  NICE!

Remember that New Year's resolution I made about hemming pants?  Well they all finally got done! NICE!  So I am wrapping up
8 pair for hubby for Christmas. One pair I picked up at a thrift store just for fun and hemmed it about 8 inches shorter than the others. hee hee...ha ha...ho ho....  NAUGHTY!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to ALL and hope it's all NICE!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Decorating

 It's beginning to look a lot more like Christmas around here, not only for us humans but for the kitties 
As you can see they had a great time decorating their tree!

 Herky: Hey, whatcha doin', Honey Boy?
 Honey: Me is gitten the last light put on!
Ani:  Oh so pretty!

Cheddar:  Hey, this is the best Nip I have ever had!
Jack:  Yep sure is good, we won't tell mom we opened the stash early.

 More pretty indoor lights...

 and outdoor lights too!

Some Christmas baking

And a pretty Christmas quilt for Carol!

Now for a little more shopping and praying for a little snow.   
Just 12 more days!
Hope your holidays are looking a bit bright! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do You Believe??? WOYWW

 The year that I was in the third grade, I still believed in Santa.  I had asked for a Barbie doll dream house.  When the packages arrived, my two younger sisters, got their asked for gift, but mine ended up being art supplies along with a hand written letter from Santa that said that my doll house had been delayed as the elves had been so busy, but were working on it and would make a special delivery for me later.  I was not disappointed as I had in my hand the letter in the most beautiful handwriting that I had ever seen!  Besides I got an extra gift that year with getting the art supplies! I don't recall my sisters getting an extra 'cause Santa only gave out one gift! It was always the special one, as mom and dad always gave us homemade gifts, clothes and underwear!  When my doll house finally arrived,  I simply had to tell my school friends that I had finally gotten my Santa gift!  They looked at me in disbelief and said, you still believe in Santa???  And they laughed at me!  That was when they told me that he DIDN'T exist!  I mean, What the Elf???  Was I played for a sucker or what?  I couldn't believe what I was hearing,  No Santa?  NOOOOOOOOO!!!  I so wanted to believe that the handwriting was authentic and sincere more than the gift itself!  Just when were my parents gonna tell me?  I was so crushed that I ended up being embarrassed in front of my friends.

Well now, here I find myself in Santa's workshop of Santas, spreading the belief to other adult art traders.  There is still something magical about believing even if we have to grow up.(or do we?)
Arts In the Cards had a Santa exchange, so we all made our own version.   Rather than traditional reds and greens, I added other colors with yet a Santa appeal. For me, Santa's weight has gravitated south, much like mine has! To my amazement, I even have chin hairs! Even my hair is getting whiter too!

  My original drawing started out twice the size of this and I decided to make it more manageable to fit into Christmas card envelopes so I had to reduce it on the copier.  I also bought some TomBo Dual Brush pens from Dick Blick in flesh tones.  I really like how they blended!

The claim to fame on these brushes is not only do they blend with other colors, but once the color is mixed, the tips will self clean after blending!  I did however manage to smear a little of the black ink from the printer in an area that I didn't want to but it wasn't enough for me to want to change it.  The pens ran $26.00 for a pack of 10.  Next time I will pick up the other color bold tones and the pastel set.  I still want to try out copic markers one day, but unfortunately my budget won't allow it at this time. Perhaps  I shall simply have to ask Santa!

For the rest of the Santa, I ended up using colored pencils.  Then I embellished with crystals and glitter glue.

My Santa's workshop wouldn't be complete without working on a quilt.  I finished this Christmas piece for Vickie in gold Superior thread. (I love working with that stuff!)  However I couldn't get the thread to sparkle for the camera, but it really is there!  Just like Santa, ya gotta believe! 
PS. To check out what WOYWW is about check out click here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Gathering Place and Magee Baby give aways!

I was blog hopping and came upon this awesome give away!  Wouldn't it be wonderful to win in time for the holidays?  If you are interested in participating, go to A Gathering Place to check it out!  Such a beautiful piece!  Lucky is the person that is chosen!  Good Luck to all!

Also another fantastic give away is to win a $150. gift card for a goal setting.   Wouldn't this be awesome for some lucky person.  You can check it out at Magee Baby!

Friday, December 2, 2011

O' Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree....

I have yet to put up the big tree but the lights went on the outside of the house and looking very festive at night.  I've been working on quilts yet, my bedroom still in disarray and nothing getting done very fast!  On Wednesday I had been to Trader Joe's in Columbus and picked up a stalk of brussel sprouts!  We haven't had fresh ones in a long while so simply had to get some!

  But first, not before I had fun decorating them briefly. hee hee

They eventually got cut from their stalk and were cut in half.  I tossed them in some olive oil and some fresh chopped rosemary.  They were roasted in the oven for about 20 min.  OH so yummy!  

Along with the sprouts, we had sweet potato fries and some delicious pork chops.  I must say, this is one of my favorite ways to make them.  I hope you will try them too!  Enjoy!

Pork Chops with Rosemary-Vinegar Sauce

  • 4 large boneless pork loin chops (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar (I omitted this and they were still fabulous!)

Sprinkle pork on both sides with 3/4 teaspoon rosemary, salt and pepper. Coat with flour; shake off excess.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté until beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, discard garlic. Add pork to skillet and sauté until brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer pork to plate. Tent with foil to keep warm. Add chicken broth, white wine, cream, vinegar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon rosemary to skillet. Boil until sauce thickens enough to coat back of spoon, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour any collected pork juices from plate into skillet. Spoon sauce over pork and serve.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


It's been awhile since I have checked up on my WOYWW with the other gals, so thought I would jump back in.  Actually, my work desk is not too bad at the moment since I have just finished with "Iris"(see previous post) and have tidied up.  Just have to put some supplies away that I picked up today. Just got some brush markers that I can hardly wait to play with!  Also picked up some glitter glues, some new alphabet stamps and crystal embellishments. The only thing that I did not get was some ink refill for my Stazon pad, but no one had it so looks like I will have to order it on line.   

In between  doing some arts and inks, I have been working on quilts.  The quilt on the wall in the background I had just finished, have another quilt on the machine and the quilt in the foreground is yet to do.

I also made another one simular to the other quilt.  Both had embroidered names in the center.  They will be quilts given as Christmas gifts.

It's hard to believe it is Dec.1st already!  Time will fly quickly with many things left to do before Christmas.  The tree hasn't come out of the closet yet, but I do have my Christmas cards addressed and ready to send out, so I am at least getting one foot ahead of the other.  By the time next Wed. rolls around, my work desk will take on a frazzled look. lol  So tune in!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Zetti Challenge

I love working in the Zetti style and each month we will be working with a theme in my NING group of 4 X 6 pieces to form into a book.  This month's theme was flowers.  Here is my piece.

She is sort of sexy even though she has that extreme menopausal chin hair! lol

This one was done by Renee' from Mn. entitled Soul Petal.

This last one was done by Marion.  Love that the face was used in the calyx of the flower!

I am surprised that no one has picked up on poinsettia, but we are waiting to see Amy's flower yet, so we shall see what she comes up with.  

 Spring is still a ways off, but I shall think of warmer flowers for a chilly wet day in SE Ohio.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Birthday "Present"

Happy Birthday to me!  I am now officially older than my sister.  It use to bother me that she would catch up and we would be the same age for a week!  That's me on the right, with my sister, Veda. Mom often made us clothes alike and always made an angel food birthday cake with pink icing when we were younger, cause we were such angels.... well not always!

We also have a younger sister, Peggy who is 3 years younger than me.  I am guessing that we are 6, 5 and 3 in this photo. It was fun to look at the old photos with fond memories.  The dresses were in our favorite colors.  Mine a blue, Veda's a lavender and Peggy's a yellow.  My dad was an amateur photographer and would pose us on the sofa with blinding flood lights.
Somewhere I suppose that there are some baby photos of me, but none that we could find.  Maybe when I go home sometime, I will find them stored in a box or a long lost album.

Anyway, in honor of my birthday, my gift to you is that I shall share how to make some delightful art fairies or angels.  Since it is close to Christmas, you may enjoy making them for your family and friends.  This first one was made with one of my photos above.  Hurray, she is queen for the day!

First you will need to gather supplies:
  • Staz On Ink pad
  • Various rubber stamps with small designs
  • Colored pencils, acrylic paint, and markers
  • Glue stick and another glue such as fabric tac or another fast grip glue.
  • Cereal box or other cardboard
  • Card stock (white)
  • Emery board
  • puzzle pieces
  • photographs
  • Versa Magic Ink
  • Diamond Glaze or other finish
  • Bubble domes (Optional)
  • Crystals or other embellishments

Start by working on the body with puzzle pieces.  Use the emery board to remove the finish and then paint the pieces with a coat of white acrylic paint.

With the Versa Magic chalk ink, pounce a few color combinations on the puzzle piece.  Then ink your small rubber stamps and stamp over the top pieces.  With a magic marker, outline each piece.
If you don't have Versa Magic, you can also sponge on other paint layers to cover the puzzle before stamping.  If you water it down a bit, you will get nice transparent layers.

For the head, you can draw some of your own or use photograph that can be sized to fit into a one inch circle.  Or use a circle punch to cut out first before drawing.  On photos sketch in some whimsical hair.  Use markers to color in. Note that I used a double layer of card stock for the head.  Used a glue stick and a bone folder to seal the glue down well.

For faces, I used a flesh colored colored pencil and then used a darker peach to color around the eyes and other areas.  

Outline with a brown for more definition and add coloration for the lips and eyes.

Then use a fine black marker to define all of the features for more             depth.

Now you can glue the face to the puzzle pieces.  They look cool as is and can be hung on the Xmas tree or make them more grand with wings!

To make the wings. Sketch one wing about the size of the body in any style you wish on white card stock paper. Add a tab to join the other wing half way. Try different designs and stamp to fill the wing in with one or more stamps. You can have the other wing mirrored imaged on the copier so that you don't have to make them exact!  Or if you wish, you can make the designs different for an asymmetrical effect.

Then take both wing halves and glue as pairs on to a cereal box weight card board.
Then color in as you wish with markers or colored pencils.
Cut the wing pairs out and glue to the back of the head and body.    Embellish with crystals or other embellishments as you wish.  Add a small eyelet and cord for an ornament (Paint the back black) or use in scrap booking, making a birthday card or other projects.  Enjoy!  Would love to see what you create!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Purrfect Day!

You wouldn't think to look at me that I wasn't just laying around being a pretty boy, but I was told to take a few days off and rest up. Vet's orders ! Can you see me fighting it?  I actually had an abcess on my left paw!  Hurt really bad too!  One nasty kitty took a bite and had a piece of me.  As for me, I am a lover, not a fighter, but no matter, It was worth it for my humans to make such a fuss over me.

I got to lay in bed all day!  It was just Puuuuurrrrrrfect!  Mom gave me treats and Daddy got fed too!  He said it was the best onion soup and bacon and onion tart he ever had!
Bacon and Onion Tart
serves 6-8

6 oz. bacon cut into 1/4" matchsticks
4 tbsp. butter
2 - 3 med. onions sliced length wise
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/4 cups milk
3 eggs lightly beaten

heat back until fat renders and bacon is crisp in a skillet.  Pour bacon fat in a 9X13 baking dish.  Drain bacon on a paper towel.  Return skillet to the stove and heat med. high. add butter and  onions.  Cook until caramelized (about 10 min.)  Set aside.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, mustard, and pepper.  Add milk and eggs and stir until smooth.  Let batter rest for 10 min.  Meanwhile, place the baking dish in oven and let heat for 10 min.  Remove from oven and pour in batter and sprinkle with the bacon and caramelized onions.  Return to oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 min.

French Onion Soup
Serves 5-6

6-8 onions sliced thin or chopped in small chunks
3 Tbs. butter
4 cups of chicken broth
1 3/4 cups of beef broth (can substitute and add 4 bullion cubes to water)
1/4 cup dry red wine (I used Merlot)
1 bay leaf
sprig of fresh thyme
Provolone cheese
seasoned croutons 

Cook onions and butter until caramelized.  Put in a sauce pan and add all ingredients except for the red wine.  Bring to a boil, add wine, turn down and simmer for 20 min.  Remove herbs.  Place soup in a mug on a foil lined tray.  Add hot soup, seasoned croutons and a thick slice of provolone cheese. (Note fill mug full so cheese does not collapse but will melt over the edge) Place under a broiler and let the cheese melt and slightly brown.  Serve with additional glass of chilled Merlot!  Enjoy!