Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inspirations from Neil

This week's teaparty challenge is to make cards with a motorcycle theme.  The cards are going to Neil Klippenstein. Neil is a total inspiration to us all!  His positive attitude reminds me of J.R. Martinez. If you have time, you should watch this clip:

Wow!  Is that inspiring or what? 

I used Priscilla's Midnight Madness Sketch to make the card.  You can check it out at:

Her layouts are so amazing! 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I ate too much as usual.  Right now, my darling husband is practicing frying a turkey in the Infrared Turkey Fryer I gave him 3 years ago. He hadn't even taken it out of the box, but after frying 2 turkeys on Thanksgiving and getting a hole in his fryer - not to mention the over $30 in oil that leaked out of the pot - he finally took the thing out and put it together.  I'll let you know how it comes out (I am a bit afraid since he couldn't find the assembly instructions and put it together by guessing how the parts went together and now he is at the stove mixing wine in the injection marinade and speaking with a cajun accent - he isn't cajun......). 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marleys Ghost and a Concept that went Off Track

This week's Our Daily Bread Shining Light Challenge calls for using something that falls into one of the following three categories:

Bells, or
Anything Clanging

I am pretty sure this meets almost all of those! I used Diamond Stickles on that chain so it may fall into the Baubles category (I know it is a stretch but run with me on this - LOL). In the scene where Marley comes to visit Scrooge, the door bell rings - watch this:

If everyone watched that scene every morning, the world would be a better place! Finally, chains clang or they do in the movies when people drag them like Marley does.

I used a Mo Manning image of Marley (isn't it great?) and a wonderful scripture from Our Daily Bread's Scripture Collection 1 (wonderful verses in that set). In the background, I used a page from an old hymnal with the song O'er the Gloomy Hills of Darkness. It was written in 1772 by William Williams (wonder if my DH is related to him?), and the third verse was my favorite (I had never heard this song before):

Fly abroad, eternal Gospel;
Win and conquer, never cease.
May Thy lasting, wide dominions
Multiply and still increase!
May Thy scepter
Sway th'enlightened world around!

Now, I my head the concept for this card was awesome.  Use the scary Marley's Ghost image and combine it with a scripture that states God will be there for you - you don't have to be afraid of anything - not a ghost and not that your fate will be to walk the world in pain forever never being able to fix the mistakes you made in life.  Well, in a challenge where everyone's cards are fancy, pretty, and all dainty, this card sticks out like a sore thumb. Oh well, it is still one of my favorite cards and I love how the chains look 3 D and sparkle. 
Hugz to all and have a blessed week free of haunting moments like Scrooge experienced!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Old Wine with Shrimp and Grits

A few years ago, Kenny and I got this wine on sale somewhere.  I have been hoarding it (I don't know why I was hoarding a $6 wine, but I did).  I needed some wine for a pasta dish, so we opened it up and it was wonderful.  I think the dust on the bottle made it better.  I drank a glass with my Shrimp and Grits martini.  This version of Shrimp and Grits is cheap and easy and everyone loved it.  Here is the recipe:

2 cups water
1 cup milk
Tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste

Bring to a boil, then add a little less than 1 cup of grits. Stir like crazy and immediately turn down the heat.  Once the boiling stops, continue to stir for a minute and then go to the next phase.

Take a frozen bag of shrimp out of the freezer and set the shrimp in a colander with cold water running over it.   Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the following:

1 Tbs onion flakes
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Tabasco and black pepper to taste (I added a lot of both)

Then add the shrimp to the mixture and fry the shrimp until they look done - probably about 3 minutes.  Turn off heat. 

Add  1/2 cup cheese to the grits (cheddar, American, or whatever you have) plus about 1 Tbs of parmesan cheese (I just used the Kraft in a can kind since I didn't have any fresh).  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Turn off heat and let the grits cool off about 5 minutes.

Spoon the grits into martini or wine glasses (try not to get any on the sides).  Then add the shrimp and butter mixture on top (be sure to get plenty of the butter mixture in the glass).  Serve after the mixture has cooled a little.  

There are plenty of great Shrimp and Grits recipes with bacon and onions and all kinds of wonderful things, but around here I have to do everything fast because my family gets hungry and they all hang out in the kitchen while I am cooking.  Crystal helps a lot but she is always in a hurry.  This quick method still tastes wonderful and looks very festive.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Praising the Mountains and Valleys

To celebrate Anne (Itsapassion) being the featured stamper this week, I selected this card she made to case:

I love Anne's card - the texture, the simple and clean lines, and everything else. I thought the canvas part looked like a rug so decided that I would use some burlap looking paper in my scrap pile and make it look like a rug. It took forever to cut around those little string looking things. Then I put it on my first card base which was long. I needed more so I added gems, put on some flourishes, and it still didn't look right. I left it for a few days and then decided to take it off the base. I have no tape right now so I have been gluing everything - taking this little rug off a paper it had been glued to was a total adventure! Oh well, you live and you learn.

I used this sentiment in honor of my good friend Samir Paul. Samir likes to talk about life and interesting ways to look at it - which is so wonderful. The other day we were talking about the mountains and valleys in life, and I mentioned this stamp that I have. I forgot to tell him that a 6 year old said it - kids are so smart sometimes!!

I think this sentiment is one of the wisest out there. I watched Joel Olsteen on Sunday. He said we need to praise God when we are on the mountain, in the valley, climbing the mountain, or falling down in the valley. Praising at all times is the only way; this is is so true and something I need to do more of every day and in every situation

Have a blessed day and extra hugz to all you who are current climbing, falling, or stuck in that valley!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jesus and the Grinch

This week's ODBD challenge involved making a card with white or cream, silver or gold, plus a color or two.

I had been thinking about doing a white wreath for some time so it seemed like the perfect opportunity especially after the SplitCoast Stampers' WT348 challenge was to use space wisely by doing a 3-D portion on your card.

The Splitcoast Stampers' F4A90 challenge was to use your favorite embellishment - the one you are the most thankful for so this fits in that challenge as well. I am thankful for Stickles, bling, and punches (a tool really - but it produces embellishments). Embelishments made from punches are my favorite thing, but they wouldn't be the same without bling!

I love how this card came out.  The scripture is one that we can all count on at Christmas and any other time of the year.  The wreath reminds me of some wreaths my daughters and I made this year.  A memory I will not forget (I hope they won't either). 

I saw a round cake someone had decorated on Pinterest to look like the Grinch. I thought it would translate well into a punched Grinch. Here is the cake:

This was so fun, I think I will make some more.  The Grinch story is one of my favorite Christmas stories.  I wonder what we would all do if someone stold every little thing from our houses at Christmas.  Would any of gather at the town square and sing joyfully because we know Christmas is all in our hearts? 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cards (of course) and Birthday Sushi!

I participated in the Our Daily Bread "Think Pink and Encouragement" Challenge last week and this card was selected for the Shining the Light Award.  How exciting is that!  Breast Cancer Awareness is really special to me since my sweet mother, Sara, is a breast cancer survivor.  She found the lump in her monthly self-exam so we all need to remember to do those along with our yearly mamograms. Encourage everyone you know to do them!!! Here is the link to the contest so you can see the other wonderful cards:  I used a sweet Our Daily Bread stamp for my sentiment and some lovely flowers made by my sweet friend Pat Smethers.  A few people have asked me where I get these wonderful scripture stamps and you can get them at Our Daily Bread Designs - here is the link to the store:

My birthday came and went this past week.  I got lots of special cards and gifts.  Here are some of the sweet cards I received:

I realized after I took the picture that I forgot some, but doing these cards like this was rather like trying to build a card house with playing cards.  One little movement and they all fell down.  This was the last picture I took before I gave up.  I received four handmade presents.  Pat Smethers made me some beautiful flowers which I used in the card up above, my Mother made a carrot cake (my fav kind of cake), my friend Michele made me a cell phone holder since I lose my cell phone in my purse all the time, and my friend Sheila made me these awesome cupcakes that look like sushi:

They were so fun.  I love sushi so much, I ate it 2 times this week (3 if you count these cupcakes).

Hope you all had a great week!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pine cones and Branches

Unfortunately, the pine cones and branches on my kitchen counter are made of paper.  This past weekend, I did a lot of projects involving these pine branches made with the McGill branch punch.  That punch is so hard to punch with that it takes a man to do the punching (or a lady with really strong muscles).  I was creating with several friends and one of them is pretty strong (plus we used really thin designer paper from Creative Memories) so she punched a zillion of them for us.  We made this pretty card with the leftovers.  We needed a pine cone so I thought we could make one from small circles (from the SU! Owl punch) layered over each other in a cone shape. The sentiment is from Stampabilities.  I outlined each circle on the pine cone with gold Stickles.  Came out pretty, and now I have one more Christmas card done (only 10 more to go).  

This is the project I was talking about above - the one resulting in the leftover pine branches.  We used this new SU! image and some old trusty Spellbinders dies.  We didn't feel like coloring so we just left the image uncolored.  I have decided I am going back and adding some coloring before I send it out. 

I am going to post an honest picture of my counter this weekend - the one that really shows what is on my counter before I clean it off and take pictures of my cards.  It will be scary to brace yourselves!