Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spooky Time

I can't believe that it's the end of October already and that it's been a month since the cruise. I haven't finished my cruise projects but I did finish knitting a scarf that I started before the cruise. It was easy and fun to make - I think I would like one in pink if the weather ever cools down so I can wear them.  I've also been busy with school work: designing new online projects. It's been fun, but trying to use technology, especially new online tools, is always challenging.

Last weekend we celebrated "Stamp Out Breast Cancer" at Claire's in St. Augustine. It was an all day fundraiser with make-and-takes and lots of door prizes. I was so surprised to win the big basket. I divided up all the goodies to share with the Cult. There was golfing and rub-ons for Jan, Angels for Anita, Halloween for Joyce, embossing paste for Deb, Birthday for Kitty and some sweet flowers for Elaine. 

I did two make-and-takes: the Halloween candy treat and a zentangle card. The treat was real easy: Cut decorative paper the height of a flat candy bar (or any other flat item like a gift card or lotto ticket) and wide enough to loosely around the item. Glue the side and bottom closed leaving the top edge open. Decorate as desired (I used an embossed belly band with punched and stamped embellishments).

Use a slot punch about 1/2 inch from the open end on both the front and back of the pouch (or make a slit that the ribbon slides through easily). To finishing assembling, remove the candy item, thread the ribbon through the slots on both sides so the ends are equal (time to add a tag if desired); push the candy item into the pouch between the strands of ribbon and over the center of the ribbon so the ribbon catches on the bottom of the candy. Once the candy is snug in pouch, tie a knot or bow just above the opening. If you use a belly band, slide it up to cover the slots. The candy will appear like magic when you tug on the ribbon. I am making more of these treats to use as  prizes for my students who did the best job on their projects this past week.  They really enjoyed this treat; they love chocolate and had a good time making the candy slide in and out.

I also made some "cell phone bling" for student rewards. These charms were made for students earning a perfect score on their Child Abuse and Neglect test.

Since I am sharing treat ideas, I also want to share Anita's gift. She used a small box die cut (or just make your own) and wrapped it decorative paper. I love the treat inside: a granola thin and square marshmallow and instructions to layer and microwave for a few seconds to make a s'more. What's not to love about chocolate and marshmallow?

Seeing as the dogs awoke at 4 am today, I also experimented with new muffin tops today, pear with maple; and they are great! Here are the directions if you are interested. Preheat your oven to 375. Lightly spray a muffin top pan with Pam. Dice or mash 1c of fruit (pear was used today) Using a one cup dry measure, pour in a package of flavored, instant oatmeal (maple in this case). Fill the rest of this one cup dry measure with bisquik. Dump these into a bowl and add 1 tsp baking powder and mix well. In a wet measuring cup, add 1/4c egg beater and a single serving of unsweetened applesauce and blend. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until blended, fold in the fruit. You can also add a handful (about 1/4c) of chopped nuts for crunch. Spoon the mixture onto a muffin top pan. I usually sprinkle just a bit of coarse sugar on top. This makes 6 muffin tops that are about 100-125 calories each. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes; it depends on the amount of moisture in the fruit. I can tell you that raspberries took a long time!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fun in the Fall

So much has been going on--First, the Holtz cruise was just wonderful! I am putting up a separate page just for the cruise. You can check out Tim's blog for some pictures of the projects that we did. (No, mine are not done). Anita and I made mugs for all the Cultists and didn't take time to finish the journal or tray (besides, this way we can stretch out the cruise fun a bit longer). It took me two weeks to catch up at work from missing a week for the cruise. I can't believe that it's the end of first quarter and that quarter grades have already been entered.

Last weekend was time for being lazy and reading. I also caught up with Jennifer McGuire's online class that I had registered for and that aired the week before the cruise. I really enjoyed the course and recommend it to anyone interested in stamping techniques; the information was clear and well-organized. Some of the techniques were familiar, but with an interesting twist. Here is the tag that I made using several of these techniques. I plan to share more about it on the Tags page (as soon as I have a bit more time).

This weekend is for play (and cleaning up my craft room, organizing cruise pics, and updating the blog) The hot weather finally turned cooler the weekend we returned from the cruise, but then it rained constantly. At last it's just warm and dry; perfect weather to ride with the top down on my Miata or ride the bike. Friday evening Michael and I rode the bike down to Ormond to the Iron Horse Saloon to people and bike watch at Biketober Fest. It was definitely an eye-opening experience because of the costumes (or lack thereof) and interesting tatoos.
Yesterday, I cleaned off my craft table and put away most of the great stuff we received from the cruise class. (You will be able to see the piles of class supplies in the picture). In the afternoon, I worked on my charm swaps for Tobi's bird theme. I really like them. These are for plan B. (Plan A was a different model, but it was overly ambitious and I had to move on.) My next bird was made of zipper tape and Tim's rosette ribbon that I died with Distress Stains. A blue pearl is the egg. I have had the blue bird beads for several years; they are leftovers from when I made a Cinderella bracelet for my niece.

I got my fingers inky this week. I showed Kitty how to stamp with textured wallpaper and made a card using distress inks and perfect pearl misters. The words had to be restamped and mounted on top because the pearl misters made it had to read (the pearls bleed through the ink unless you've embossed the black). To make this I lightly rubbed three shades of distress inks (including the lovely new seasonal distress purple that I was able to purchase on the cruise was one of them) onto a piece of textured wallpaper (from samples at a hardware store like Lowe's). Spritz a few times (three or four) and then press onto a piece of cardstock. You can respritz and stamp again for a second generation softer look. Overstamp with selected images and black ink. I masked the flamingo for a cleaner look. Tim has more info and a video on his blog showing the three seasonal colors for fall. I can't wait to see the winter collection.