Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Elegant Embossing

Here's a fun card I created using embossing as suggested at Papertake and following sketch 62 at CPS. I used Stickles on the bird stamped images which adds a nice bit of shine.

Scrapbook Diva Crop

I spent the past weekend at The Scrapbook Diva Crop put on by Karen of Go Scrapping. It was an excellent crop and I got lots of layouts done some of which I'll show in subsequent posts. Holly of Schnider Photography took lots of pictures of all the Divas which she'll be sharing soon. For a preview of one of the Divas click here.

I took a great class from Diva Darren who was filling in for his wife Sheri( she was sick and unable to make it) of In A Pinch Designs.

The make and take card from a couple of posts ago was sponsored by In A Pinch and they have some fun photos of the crop on their blog including one of my table.

And don't crop photos worldwide all look very similar? Tables and aisles filled with scrapbook totes and supplies!

It was a fun weekend!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not Background Stamping

I thought I'd try background stamping as suggested by Allison. But I don't really have background stamps and I really didn't like how my try with the stamps I do have turned out. But I did like the stamped flower so kept it and created a new card.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I received An Award.......

I've been nominated for the 'Arte y Pico Blog Award' from Laura of My Little Orange Kitchen, thanks so much for the lovely comments on your blog too!

The Arte y Pico award does have some responsibilities that come with it, but feel free not to play along if you are not a blog award kind of blogger, even if I think you deserve one!

1. Pick 5 blogs that you feel are deserving of this award based on their
(a) creativity, (b) design,(c) interesting material, and (d) contribution to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. For each award giver: Include the name of the author and a link to their blog, so they can be visited.
3. For each award recipient: Show the award with the name and link to the blogger from whom it was received.
4. For both giver and receiver: Show the link of the Arte y Pico.
5. Publish these rules.

So, thank you again Laura and also to Arte y Pico.

Now it's my turn to pass on the award to my 5 worthy blogs!

Well, I've been thinking about what blogs to award to all evening and I'm having difficulty picking 5, I'm inspired by so many!

I have been able to select two and the first is DannisDoodles, her cards are absolutely gorgeous!

The second is Lavender Hill Studio. Penny's creations are beautiful!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I'm back from my weekend scrapbook retreat, always a fun event which I'll share more about in a later post, and I created a few cards inspired by different blog challenges.
The first card is inspired by Nancy at Scrap This. I created a layout with this paper and then made the card from the scraps.

Next I made a couple of cards inspired by Triple The Sketch which also used some distessing techniques(tearing and inking) inspired by DCM.

And finally a card offered as a make and take also features tearing.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A French Project

Here'a few pics of Brittany working on her french project tonight. Yes, she's really sewing up 'un poisson' for french class!


I had forgotten I took these pictures until I downloaded some others tonight. Earlier this week, we were entertained by a woman taking a walk while playing the bagpipes. That's never happened in the 11 years we lived here but actually was quite nice to listen to. Maybe she'll walk by again!

Tidbit Thursday

Well again this week I haven't had a chance to participate in any card challenges......but I have planned lots of scrapbook pages for my weekend getaway this weekend and beyond!

I've been browsing some blogs and am still quite taken with The Apronista and she's having an apron giveaway until tomorrow night, do check it out!

Maple Lane is also having an apron giveaway open only to those located in the US(too bad for us in Canada) but if you're visiting from the US do check her aprons out, they are very cute!

If you've been regularly reading my blog then you know I'm learning to crochet. When I was looking on the internet for crochet blogs, I found this one, What Not To Crochet, that is really quite amusing! The things that people crochet! There is also the Crochet Dude, who knew men crochet!

I've posted about Etsy before and I took the plunge and bought something. It came within days and is helping me to do my part in becoming more green. I've started using re-usable grocery bags then thought how nice it would be to have a pretty bag to carry when doing other kinds of shopping. But it had to have long enough straps to sling over my shoulder comfortably. I found exactly what I was looking for here, at Janine King Designs. Here's the tote I bought:

Isn't it nice? And she has lots more to choose from, all in beautiful fabrics.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A 50th Birthday Celebration

Meet Dave!

He just turned 50!

To celebrate, Kathryn and sons planned a surprise party for Dave. As part of the deception, Steve and I joined them for dinner at La Cucina in Guelph in last night. This, while the boys and Nicole finished preparations for the party and the guests arrived at their house. So we had to endure this dinner(see the slide show below). Ok, that was the wrong 'e' word, enjoy was more like it!

La Cucina is an Italian restaurant that changes their menu seasonally and bases their menu items on various areas of Italy. The current menu is spring themed and inspired by the southern area of Italia.

The kitchen is in the open so you can easily see the food being prepared and the chefs will pose for you if you ask nicely! They thought we might be from a magazine but we assured them were not!

All the food was amazing! I started with my favourite tomato and mozzarella salad, so yummy, followed by an asparagus crepe, so good and then homemade gnocchi, another so good! Kathryn, Dave and Steve enjoyed other specialities including tiger shrimp, crab stuffed ravioli, shrimp stuffed calamari and spinach lasagna. All this was accompanied by some great Italian wine then followed by some yummy desserts/coffee.

We all agreed that we would definitely go back to La Cucina, the food was so good and the service impeccable.

Oh, and back to the surprise party, Kathryn and Dave dropped us off at home(on the pretext that Steve had to fly to Vancouver after dinner), then we raced to their place on the expressway(they took the long way) and Dave was indeed surprised!

It was a fun evening!

A Beautiful Spring Day

Steve and Britt made the most of a beautiful day yesterday to do some yard work.

While I just took pictures of some of the spring flowers. Ok, not really but I quite enjoyed the thought of taking pictures while everyone else did the work!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two Cards, a Layout and a Peek

Finally! I had a chance to complete some cards using a few card challenges.

The first follows CPS sketch 60 and takes the colours from the Hot and Spicy theme over at DCM.

I created this second card to enter the spring shopping spree at Emma's Paperie.

And , I've also linked to this challenge from Stampin When I Can, as I primarily use scraps to make my cards and these two were no exception.

Then I created this layout following the sketch at Triple The Sketch. It features pictures of Brittany's tenth birthday that I've been carrying around for ages,she's almost 13!

And last but not least, some peeks at my PIF items! They do feature some glitter using the suggestion at Papertake and a few birds too! And I love the embossed and sanded look using the new Colour Coredinations paper.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tidbit Thursday on Friday

I'm late with this week's Thursday post...its been a busy week!

I was at a scrapbooking layout class on Monday night. We used Pink Paisley papers and I love them and the layout. I'll post it when I get the pictures added.

I took Tuesday to watch Dancing with the Stars and American Idol while I worked on my items for my PIF. They're almost done and will be in the mail no later than Monday!

Wednesday night I went shopping in Toronto and came home with nothing........not sure what that's about. The styles and colours seem to have changed so I think it was just a browsing night while deciding what I like.

Last night we saw the Jeans N' Classics band perform songs from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. It received excellent reviews here and here. Steve, a Pink Floyd fan, was more impressed than Britt and I, but we still enjoyed it. The video presentation, set to the music, was amazing.

So given everything, I haven't participated in any card challenges this week( which I have missed) but I have used some of the card tips on my PIF items. I'll share sneaky peeks of them in another post sometime this weekend.

Another highlight this week was receiving my PIF item from Sweet Jessie, pictured above. Isn't it great? She embroidered the bird on the branch with flowers then sewed it to the front of the booklet. She also added a button and floss which is used to keep the booklet closed. And since I'm quite into birds right now(ask any of my scrapbook friends), its perfect! Thanks so much Jessie!

Oh and despite all this I did get Curves in twice this week too!

Whew, I'm exhausted! Lol!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Butterflies and Branches

Well I can say that I missed joining in the card challenges this past week so have made up for it by completing a couple tonight.

The first is for the tree themed challenge at Caardvarks. This one was very easy to make and uses Heidi Swapp masks as stickers on the cardstock. I really like the simplicity of it.

The second is for Daring Cardmakers where we had to use a butterfly somewhere on the card. The full sentiment of this card including the inside says, I am blessed with friends like you.

Hankie Collection

, originally uploaded by srdreyer.

Found Show and Tell Sundays on a couple of blogs I read, Sugar Sugar is one of them and this week they were featuring hankies, I added mine on Flickr, check them out!

Great ideas for using vintage hankies can be found there too.

Easy Almond Cake and Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Because we visited friends last night and I was asked to bring a dessert and because I couldn't decide between recipes I made two. And also because I try out new recipes on my friends they were two I haven't tried before.

So first up was Nigella's Easy Almond Cake from How To Be a Domestic Godess.
She suggested serving it with raspberries which I didn't have so I served it with blueberries that seemed to work well. Nigella noted in her cookbook that the cake stuck to the pan a bit and so did mine but once dusted with sugar you don't notice it too much. Everyone really enjoyed this cake! I might serve it with a bit of fruit coulis or whipping cream another time.

Here's the recipe

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
11/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almont extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 cup self-rising cake flour
10-inch springform tube pan or patterned ring mold, buttered and floured

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Chop the butter and marzipan to make them easier to break down, and put them in the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the metal blade, with the sugar. Process until combined and pretty well smooth. Add almond and vanilla extracts, process again, then break the eggs one at a time through the funnel, processing again each time. Mix the flour and tip down the funnel, processing yet again, and then pour the mixture into the prepared pan, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 50 minutes, but check from 40. Then, when the cake looks golden and cooked and a cake tester or fine skewer comes out cleanish, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan before turning out. (This is when you will be feeling grateful if it's the springform you're using.)
Makes: 12 servings.

Then I made Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies from The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook.

This is the cookbook Brianne wanted for Christmas and while in NYC she did find the actual shop but wasn't able to go in as there was a line out the door and she was on a time limit.

And these brownies were a hit too!

And now for the recipe:

4 oz semi sweeet chocolate
5 T unsalted buter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Filling:
5 T unsalted butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 by 13 pan.
To make brownies: Melt chocoate with butter in medium pan over low heat stirring occasionally until smooth. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes, transfer to large mixing bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese filling.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, on medium speed of electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth. Beat in sugar, then eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla, set aside.

Beat the remaining brownie ingredients into the cooled chocolate mixture, in listed order until smooth. Spread half the brownie mixture into the prepared pan, then all the cheesecake mixture, then the remaining brownie mixture. Swirl the brownie mixture into the cream cheese batter with tip of sharp knife to form a decorative patern. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted into centre of pan cames out clean. Let cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.