Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Merry Christmas to You

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

A holiday wouldn't be complete without creating a special Christmas card and mailing them out to family and friends. This extraordinary angel image is available through Moonlight Journey's 2010 Calendar. You can personalize, crop and edit in a snap and mail them out in just a few days. By the way, don't miss out on a cyber sale at their site!

Thank you all for your kindness and devotion in visiting my blog this year. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

November Recipe Card

One of the best ways to cheer up a friend is with an old-fashioned sweet treat. And this one was introduced to me at a dinner party many years ago. This brownie recipe is not only beautiful in appearance, but down right spectacular in taste.

By either placing this recipe in a Christmas baking dish, or cutting them up individually and placed on a seasonal plate, you will be hooked. You can pass out a batch of "good cheer" to those that are in need of some extra love.

CREDITS: Images from Moonlight Journey "Vintage Ladies Holiday Pennant Banner" and Creative Memories.

Monday, November 07, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Things Bracelet

Inspiration can come from almost anything. For me, it's color, vintage images, and family. I can remember when I was in third grade sitting in front of our Christmas tree with a brand new dollie. Her name was Beverly, and at the time, I thought that name was just awesome.

What I typically do with my jewelry creations is to start with a focal point, something that's special to me, and then I add some beads to complement the color of that image. What is so easy is using one of the Christmas images called "My Favorite Christmas Things" from Moonlight Journey. All of my beads are from local craft stores, except the rectangle resin bead.

Me and my sister, Peg, 1955

I hope you will try making one of your own pieces using these sweet holly jolly images!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Pretty Gift Card Holders

Packaging gifts is something I like to do. I do have some loved ones that are hard to buy for or prefer giftcards or cash. I love to give people what they really want, but I look for ways to make it special. Call me fussy, I just challenged myself for unique ways of giving giftcards and cash.

I simply cut two squares of fabric (good side outward), stitched around three sides leaving an opening, and then used pinking shears to add a pretty edge. I didn't want the giftcard to take center stage, but rather blend in nicely with the paper art. Embellishing each pocket with a scalloped 1-1/2" edge on the end of the opening, and the latest images from Moonlight Journey called "Vintage Angels" work beautiful for Christmas gifts. Just imagine the possibilities, It's a great way to use up some tiny scraps of paper too!

I'll tell you that if you are making one, it's addictive. I started out making nine, and made six more that I want to coffee stain. This is a great project to make in mass so that you have gift holders on hand when you bring that giftcard home from the grocery store.

CREDITS: Lisa Super at anartsygirl.blogspot.com. and MOONLIGHT JOURNEY "Vintage Angels"

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Christmas Magic

Growing up, Christmas was a huge celebration. My mom always loved the holidays from the tree, the lights, family holiday parties, and the piles of gifts under the tree.

I have begun making a few gifts, and no detail will be unnoticed when you use these gorgeous tags from Moonlight Journey and magical beads from Fire Mountain Beads.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Diva Molasses Cookies

The most important thing to me is to make a cookie is that tastes great! My mom always seemed to make the best cookies, and this happens to be probably one of my favorites. She would always say to use the best ingredients you can find. And, whenever possible, serve your desserts while they are still very fresh.

I hope this recipe gives you as much joy as it gave me as a child. The molasses and ginger make it a wonderful change of pace and seems especially appropriate this time of year.

I created this recipe card using the latest images from Moonlight Journey entitled "Grunge Divas", plus papers and overlays from Creative Memories.

CREDITS: MOONLIGHT JOURNEY "Grunge Divas", Recipe from Mom

Friday, September 16, 2011

Frightful and Delightful Bracelets

As I write this post, it is a glorious crisp fall day in northern Michigan. Fall instinctively brings the thought of pumpkins, mums, apple cider, yummy donuts, and especially Halloween.

I always look forward to this holiday to begin creating all things Halloween. While visiting my sister, Peg, of the Crystal Pinecone, in Grand Marais, Michigan this week, we created these sweet bracelets with some of our recent shopping finds. Peg always continues to take my breath away with her so many clever ways to celebrate Halloween.

Monday, September 05, 2011

September Recipe Card

A few years ago, I was given a treasured gift by being invited to join a recipe card club. Once a month, 12 of us get together to share laughter, stories, and an empathetic ear. There is a wide range of age, style, and circumstances. Officially, we are there to exchange our recipe cards, but, in reality, for us it has meant so much more. Something magical comes together in a creative way. The best part is that we bring food! We believe it would be "just plain wrong" for there to be a lack of treats and drinks any time women get together.

I used to frequent this wonderful restaurant back in the 70's. It was called the Magic Pan. Well, over the years the restaurant closed, but I managed to conjure up the recipe by sampling this salad each visit. It may not be the "exact" taste, but it comes pretty darn close. Whenever, I bring this salad to someone's house, it is definitely a big hit.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Colorful Autumn Afghan

As the weather begins to cool, I look ahead to fall by showing you this latest afghan knitted in autumnal colors. I started this afghan about a year ago. It has taken me quite a while, but I love the results.

One of the most challenging phases of this project was sewing the panels together. For some reason, I am never quite able to get the seams as flat as I hope to.

This is a very warm afghan, and is perfect to snuggle under. As a matter of fact, lately my favorite place to start another pair of socks is in bed at night while watching TV.

This free pattern is available by creating an account through Lion Brand Yarn Co. It was the latest featured item in their last newsletter. "Amazing" yarn (one of my favorites) was used with a selected few colors of "Jiffy" yarn.

I am lovin' it!!


Friday, September 02, 2011

Fun Sparkle Scarf

I can't wait to tackle that gift-giving list again this year. I love sharing through my love of knitting and here is my very first completed project. I ended up giving this to my lovable daughter-in-law for her birthday, and started a second in black for a lucky recipient.

If you seek something extra-special for those in your life, this quick and easy scarf fits the bill. I found the pattern on the yarn label called "Dewdrops," the color is 13 DIAMOND, by Loops & Threads. It is much easier than it looks!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I love the early morning, when the sun is just rising in the east; the sky is bright red and I can hear the birds sing. As I sit here today, I think about myself and my dreams.

There have been many days when I really haven't taken much time to sit quietly and really think about much of anything. Not the dreams, or the birds, yesterday or even tomorrow. In fact, it seems like I have been so busy working that sometimes I forget why I even had a particular dream in the first place.

Today has been one of the days I promised myself more time to sit at my kitchen counter, take a deep breath and actually realize that I am living "MY" dream.

I brought out the old stand up mixer, and made a new recipe from the recent issue of 'Where Women Cook." The results were amazing, a little messy, but it reminded me of the days when my kids were little, and we baked together.

I just may need a wee cup of cappuccino to go with that bright red cupcake with the cream cheese frosting. I know we all need to realize the "new" importance of food and health, but sometimes everyone needs a little sweetness.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Fair Isle Colorwork Coasters

What is Fair Isle knitting? With other names like stranded knitting, Jacquard, intarsia, mosaic knitting, it's no wonder the question comes up all the time.

Well, it is the traditional name, named after a small island off the coast of Scotland where knitters were known for their skill with the technique. I have wanted to learn this type of knitting method for years, and this is the most common and best technique to learn when only 2 colors per row and alternates colors frequently to create small patterns of color--usually 5 stitches or less.

Lucky for me, in the latest issue of "Creative Knitting," Lisa Ellis inspired me to try out my new skills with her four coaster pattern designs, "Colorwork Coasters."

Actually, it was much easier than I imagined. The trick is to carry the main color over the contrasting color, and the contrasting color always under the main color. The reverse side of your project will have a cleaner appearance.

I think these coasters came out pretty decent for my first attempt of Fair Isle. Thank you, Lisa Ellis, for introducing me to this beautiful technique.

CREDITS: CREATIVE KNITTING, September 2011, "First Fair Isle," An Introduction to Stranded Colorwork Knitting, pg. 36. Go to CreativeKnittingMagazine.com, sign in with limited-time access code of KD8339.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sweet Photo Panel

Gosh! You have probably been wondering where I've been. It's been shockingly weeks since I posted. For a starter I went on a three day/two night digital scrapbooking retreat with my friend Sherry. She is so talented, and lucky for me, shared this amazing technique to blend your photo with paper. I used Creative Memories Storybook Creator. I am so excited to continue my education with this user friendly software. It just seems like conventional scrapbooking takes so much more effort compared to whipping up a digital page in minutes.

These are my grandkids, Ethan and Lauren. I love this sweet image of them.

I promise to post soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May Recipes

~ Apricot Bread ~

This Apricot Nut Bread recipe was given to me by my Mom, and probably tops the list as "one of my favorites!" For some reason, it seems like I mostly bake it during the winter at Christmas.

Due to the fact that spring is finally just peeking around the corner, this is a great chicken salad recipe that I create on a sunny summer day. It makes me think of vacation, with a little hint of "south of border." I sometimes omit the clove ingredient.

~ Chicken Salad Riviera ~


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Favorite Recipes

I have been working like a mad woman spring cleaning my office. So needless to say, it has consumed all of my free time. I actually think the house is raising.

I am feeling quite guilty about not being able to post due to another issue of my computer losing all it's icons, and not being able to remedy that problem. I am thinking it may time to consider a new computer.

This weekend I am celebrating my birthday while spending two full days catching up at Creative Passions Crop and Quilt Retreat in Chesaning, Michigan. The facility is a 125 year-old church, with it's original stained glass windows. There are 11 of us, doing what we all love doing--enjoying our passions--whether it be painting, crafting, beading, scrapbooking, quilting, stamping, knitting, or whatever. Last night, I even watched a DVD on my computer just to become totally consumed in relaxation. I am enjoying a well deserved change of pace.

Enjoy my latest recipe cards. I love, love, love what I call my "Magic Pan" Salad.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jane's Tomato Basil Soup

My mom has to be my "official" introduction to the kitchen. She let me scoot the kitchen chair up to the side of our beige Formica table, add some ingredients to the batter after she had already thoroughly mixed it. "Just making sure I did it right," she used to say and give me a smile. It made me feel very important and grown up! Making favorite recipes bring back these memories and helps me feel very satisfied with a yummy food creation in the present.

"Eat food. Not too much.
Mostly plants." ~ Michael Pollan

My sister, Jane, gave me this great recipe. I really like the flavors in a good tomato soup, especially when you add fresh basil. Bon Appetit.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

March Recipe Cards

This biscotti recipe has been in my family nearly 40 years. I used to make these cookies for my son, Brad, when he was a toddler. They are easy to make, and have a truly amazing anise flavor.
It's funny how these simple little cookies have created such a lasting and constant memory of my small little boy all these days of my life.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Magical Combination

Ahh . . . the possibilities a meal and your husband of 44 years can bring . . . so perfect at the moment. Fresh shrimp from the Pacific, homemade pasta, herb Italian dressing drizzled over a beautiful tossed salad, a couple shots of tequila, topped off with fresh crusty rolls, while relaxing on a balcony overlooking the ocean.

La Dolce Vita Ristorante

It's all about sitting down at your favorite restaurant once again, after a five year absence. I remember the wooden chairs, the antique mahogany bar, the green checked tablecloths, green cloth napkins, and the oil and balsamic vinegar in the middle of each intimate table while soft romantic songs play in the background. Then glance up and the vast ocean at sunset is before your eyes!

I've thought about this Italian Ristorante in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico so many times. It's funny how all the special moments shared with the one you love often centers around food and drink. I really can't explain why this restaurant happens to be my favorite restaurant in the world. Probably just sharing it with my favorite person is the real reason.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February Recipe Memories

A couple of years ago, I joined a recipe card club with some of my artistic friends at our local scrapbooking store. As time went on, I realized putting food together is an art just like everything else in life. Over this next year I will be receiving about 120 cards that measure 5" X 8." I have a special roll-top recipe box to hold them all, which really makes the journey of each month even more entertaining for me!

These were some of the cards I created, as well as, a couple of the special ones I received.

"Pa Pa's Delectible Crepe Recipe Card" designed by myself.

It is so inspiring to display my recipe cards on my kitchen counter as I begin a meal. I suppose my favorite meal is anything that's simple, or down-home cooking. I do enjoy stepping out of the box once in a while by coming up with ways to go all Italian, or do another meal all Mexican. I love traveling as it is such a good opportunity to learn more about local cultures and unique foods. I can't seem to get enough shrimp in my life.

Recipe card designed by Sherry Reiber

Recipe card designed by Andrea Wright

I wish I had more time to really develop my skills in cooking. I have a vast collection of cookbooks and family recipes just waiting to be made into really clever designs. Hopefully, you can dream along with me as I share a little bit of my kitchen.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Manly Man Cards

"Life is a succession of moments."

"To live each one is to succeed." ~Corita Kent

I've been working on some greeting cards for my monthly card exchange. When I first saw these images from Moonlight Journey, I just knew I had to try making something using these destinguished gentlemen!

I am also back and running with my repaired computer. It started acting up right at the beginning of the One World One Heart Giveaway, and was in the shop three times in the past two weeks. Hopefully, everything will be fine. You just don't realize how your life changes without your computer!


Friday, February 18, 2011

OWOH Giveaway Winners

Thank you so much, Lisa Swifka of Whymsical Bohemian, for giving us the opportunity to share a little of ourselves during this tremendous blogging event. It has truly been an amazing adventure! Each year gets even more thrilling when you to drop by and visit so many wonderful blogging artists from around the world.

I am pleased to announce the winners of my two special gifts.

Prize No. 1 "Woodland Mittens" goes to:
Birgit of Swapping Howdies,
Munich, Germany

Prize No. 2 "Dusty Rose Wrist Warmers" goes to:
Jenn of Just Jenn Designs,
Williamsburg, Virginia

Both Birgit and Jenn have been sent emails for their addresses. Thank you, everyone for all your kind comments and words of inspiration.

Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart Giveaway

This will be my third year
participating in the
I love flying all over the world
and checking out
some of the best blogs ever!
These two weeks will allow
you to meet people
that you probably would
never have discovered,
if this event was unavailable.
It is such a fun way to find some
fantastic inspiration. I will miss that
this will be the final year. Sigh!

I really should introduce myself
more than I have in the past.
Perhaps this will entice you
to share my life and art,
and we may even become friends.

Ever since I was even a child,
I have always loved doing artistic things.
I spent a number of years
making fabric quilts

and began knitting
when I was ten years old.
Then came more than a decade
of traditional scrapbooking
my heritage family photos.
I even spent a number of years
designing layouts
for a local scrapbook store.

My biggest leap in art
was discovering
art journals, ATC's and Altered Art.
That is when I really got hooked.
I love any kind of paper,
old photos, especially sepia toned ones.
I adore all Somerset Studio publications.

For as long as I can remember,
I have always liked old things.
I enjoy taking photos, assembling vintage
style collage art,
and sometimes I even cross
over to Country Western and Gothic themes.
There's nothing like reading a good mystery novel
and stories of the "Old South."

When I first purchased my
Canon SLR digital camera,
there was another huge turning point
in my artistic career.
I became obsessed with
learning more about the beauty
of digital art, and promised myself
I would become proficient at this.

Since that opened so much
visual excitement for me,
I began posting some of my
digital creations and then
was asked to become
a design team member
for Moonlight Journey.
It's been uphill ever since.
Their images are just stunning
and motivating to me!

Recently, I have been involved in a
monthly artistic recipe card swap.
My family recipes are
slowly evolving into
treasured little pieces of art,
which are dropped lovingly
into protective sleeves especially
for a recipe card binder.
This process has
triggered my desire
to become a better cook,
get all my recipes organized and copied
for future generations.
Plus, I can appreciate
the importance of eating more
natural and organic foods.

Over the years,
I have become more
in tune with the true beauty
of nature, friends, family,
art in a whole new way, and
less about what I don't possess.
it is much more important to
truly enjoy the present.

And ta da , for my prizes!

Prize #1
Mittens, Woodland Colors
25% Wool & Acrylic, Washable

Prize #2
Garter-Stitch Wrist Warmers, Dusty Rose
100% Acrylic

Please leave a comment
and a way to contact you.
On February 17, I will email you
for your address
and then mail you
your gift within 3 days.
I sincerely thank you for
stopping by and
sharing your talents!

Come back and visit me anytime.

A huge thank you so goes to Lisa Swifka, for all your devotion to this galant extravaganza. Without you, this would not be possible. To link back to the participants in OWOH, click HERE.