Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Recap and a Layout

I hope your weekend was a pleasant one.  We enjoyed a nice Easter weekend, though hectic (the hectic schedule continues into this week.)

The half-marathon trainers headed out for a long run on Saturday morning.  There was cleaning to be done since we were hosting breakfast/brunch for 22 on Easter Sunday.  There was a menu to figure out.  There was the trip to the store to get menu items.  We had egg coloring to do.  We had a coffee cake to bake.  We were attending Easter Vigil Saturday evening. 

Sunday, here, dawned gorgeous. The grass was greening up - at least in our backyard - and trees were starting to bud.  The bunny, with his cargo, made a stop at the house.  There was searching and seeking to be done, followed by shoving a ham in the oven and last minute clean-up and set up.  The weather allowed us to take advantage of eating on the back porch; a first for the year.  We sent some bunny-helpers down to the park, just a half block from the house, to spread out eggs for gathering.  After grabbing all the loot, the kids played a bit at the playground while the adults chatted and soaked up the sun.  We headed back to our house and continued to enjoy the weather and company - it was sunnier longer than we expected.  After everyone departed there was the clean-up and then a lot of sitting and doing nothing.  We did catch up on "Turn," our new family addiction since "The Walking Dead" is over for the season.  My 13 y.o., in particular, seems to enjoy it - even had some commentary for us during the first episode.  He really likes this time period and it helps that they've been studying it this year.

I entertained the idea of working on my StashBusters challenge #4, but couldn't make my body get out of the chair.  I have challenge #4 laid out on my table, it just needs gluing down, which, with luck, will happen today.

I did get Challenge #3 done last week.  The challenge was making chevrons; you saw the card based on the challenge HERE.  Had I looked in the gallery, I may not have taken the easy route by using chevron paper, as there were some good examples.  However, I was coming off the Starburst challenge and I couldn't make my fingers cut all the paper necessary to make chevrons.  Given the number of photos for this week's Project Life® 2013 page, I'm not sure all the cutting would have worked very well.  I'm pretty sure it would have been too busy.  I have the card and I have the idea should I have a page where that would work, so I'm good with this.  Plus it's now done.  And that trumps everything.

With this page, I'm well into July, 2013.  I barely dug into the October Afternoon All Boy line found in the April Bigger than a Breadbox kit.  I've got three more challenges laying out on my work table and like I said, #4 is laid out.  I'm loving this class.  Not only for the inspiration for digging into my stash - which I did for Challenge #4, but because I'm tag-teaming it with getting last year's album done.  It also has me rethinking how I'm storing my embellishments.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Layout, Two cards and Food

Last night we enjoyed, though that's probably not the right word for it, a nail-bitter of a playoff game watching the Av's take it down to the wire to tie the score with 15 seconds left and forcing an overtime, where they scored and took the first game win.

I decided to watch the game while working away on my StashBuster class and playing catching up on Project Life® 2013.  I got myself current with the challenges, I need to do #4 (just released yesterday) and managed to use up the Echo Park Splendid Sunshine line from the April Smaller than a Breadbox kit and barely scratched into another.

Last week's challenges focused on using paper.  I made this starburst pattern and created the layout.

These weren't the first photos I tried - the first set, there were just too many and it was just too much.  But this group works well.  Or at least, well enough.  I had a some scraps left, though looking at all that paper it's hard to believe.  But I popped out two cards as well.

The top card I used a sketch from the PageMaps U card class I took; a very loose interpretation.  The second card was based on StashBuster's  third challenge.

From that line I managed two layouts, the first was HERE, plus two cards.  I have some ribbon, a round diecut and a few bling dots left.  There was some of the Cherry paper left, but it was pretty thrashed and there was practically nothing left of the other two patterns.

I also managed to use Pinterest to menu plan, but it was more from rearranged dinners than intentionally planning from it.  I didn't end up cooking last Friday, so I have that recipe moved to tonight.  

I did make this OMGoodness awesome Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake.  I was a lemon shy of the recipe and I didn't have enough powdered sugar for the glaze, so I cut it in half.  You wouldn't know it though!  Moist, lemony, Springtime in a cake.

I paired the cake with these Cilantro Lime Tacos for our in-law dinner on Monday.  I doubled the recipe, but otherwise made it as called for.  They were so good.  It'll be a great hot-day recipe, they were just so fresh.  I had people all over the place on Monday, so it was the perfect make ahead.  You could do it for a "running around" night or so you can go watch a playoff game and crafting away.

I still have a couple recipes to make, kinda snacky things, that I just haven't had the time to pull together.

It's supposed to be mid-70's today and I have a walk and a ton of other things to deal with.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

You're So Sweet Card Tutorial

Hello and good morning...

It's Wendi here, and I'm sharing with you a tutorial from a card that I recently made using the April All Year Cheer Card kit...

Here is the finished card:

Let's get started:

  • Cut your cardstock base to create a 4 x 7" card (so cut it to 8 x 7")
  • Cut your base patterned paper to 3 3/4 x 6 3/4"

Next you'll want to cut out three papers that will turn into your "envelopes"

  • Cut three 1 3/4 x 1 1/4" squares and then three strips of 1 3/4 x 3/4"

Take your smaller strips and then cut one side into a triangular shape, those will be the "envelope" tops:

Adhere down the triangles onto the squares and you will have created your "envelopes"

You'll want to start laying out your card and getting things ready to glue down. Add a sheet of notebook/ledger paper and tear at the bottom:

So it should look like this:

You will then add your sentiment and a bit of twine on it for a bit of texture:

And for a final touch, add a strip of stitching down the bottom for a bit of pop:

And you are done!!!

Thanks sooo much for stopping by and have a great day....

How cute is that?  This card and six more were created using the April Card Kit.  Each kit comes with complete instructions for all the cards Wendi creates.  Join autoship today and start making up a stash of hand-made sentiments for all your occasions this year.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We Are

  • We are had to find a place to pull over to photograph these crazy amazing clouds
  • We are wondering how bad her day could have been
  • We are ignoring the clutter today and just working
  • We are seeing Spring in bloom
  • We are trying a new tracker for walking
  • We are wishing you could capture the sweet smell
  • We are enjoying a rare Sunday meet-up and the accompanying snacks
  • We are pretty sure Spring in Colorado has multiple personality disorder. . .it was 70 the day before
  • We are making sure crafting is on the to-do list, not the reward list
Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stash-Busting Layout and a Card

After posting on Friday, I did as I planned and headed back to my work table to use my first StashBusters sketch.

I was shoving things aside and found the pieces to a card that I didn't finish.  So as a warm up I finished that.  I have no idea what my original intent was with the pieces I had, so I just moved things around and well, there you go.  I very rarely add a sentiment to a card until I use it; and sometimes I don't even do that, I just write on the inside.  Keeping them blank makes them more flexible.  It used up the remaining scraps from January's Bigger than a Breadbox Lily Bee line.  Dang, did I really not scrap for two months?  My February and March kits seem to be untouched.  Boo!

I decided to play with the current April kits - they've been sitting on my desk so they qualify as stash, just not really old stash.  

I used the Echo Park Splendid Sunshine line in the Smaller kit to work on ProjectLife® 2013.  I think this is one of the weeks with the fewest photos - lame photos, but it's what I took, so in it goes.  I like the layout and it was an easy way to incorporate several patterns of paper.  I still have a sheet of cardstock, a decent amount of patterned paper (even with several mis-cuts because my cutter kept slipping) and the majority of embellishments; clearly enough for another single layout.  It will depend on how many photos are in the next group.

I have two more challenges now, but a single event on Saturday that turned into an out-all-day-extravaganza put me behind on things, so I wasn't able to tackle them.  It is my sincere hope to cross at least one of them off my list.  See - the class is on my to-do list for this week - though I made the list before the third challenge hit my in-box.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Time to Tackle a To-do and a Pinterest Cook-fest

Sometimes you just have to do your best to ignore the clutter - the best your A-type personality can - and decide you're going to create.  I am telling the voice in my head to shut up, I did my usual morning routine - made beds, tidied rooms, kitchen is clean, floors have been swept and mopped and so it's on to the next to-do item, which just happens to be creative.  This is not a reward because there's plenty of things left on my to-do list.  After I finish this post, I'm heading back to my work table (averting my eyes from the cluttered desk behind me) and, with my Stash-Busters sketch in hand, creating a layout.

After reporting for the last couple weeks of not doing any menu planning with Pinterest, I decided to go all in for this week.  I'd been doing way to much pinning and not enough using - now if I could just implement the "use it" plan for my other boards.  Anyway, all dinners and desserts were from Pinterest.  Can I get a WooHoo!?

I was on Pinterest for something Wednesday when I saw these Fluffernutter Chocolate Chip Bars and I just had to make them.  I. Had. To.  Some day I'll master the art of cutting bars and be able to have a pan of bars that are more or less than same size, rather than bars I have now which range in size from like an inch and a half to three inches.  WTH?  These bars, that I baked Wednesday, are gone.  They are that good.

I started out the week with these Glazed Orange Scones as part of Sunday's breakfast.  They were light and fluffy with just enough orange flavor. 

Then I moved on to:
  • Lemon Garlic Chicken.  I made this Monday night.  It was a hosting-the-in-laws night so I cut the breasts in half (I usually do this with chicken breasts anyway, but the blogger mentions it as well) and doubled the recipe.  I am always wary of breading and browning things and then finishing them in the slow cooker - the "breading" tends to become mush.  I think doubling the sauce portion of the recipe was probably unnecessary as there was plenty of sauce to cook in.  I was conscience of the thin-ness of the chicken and the double cooking, so I didn't get the pan-fried color on them I'd have liked.  The breading was a little soft in the end, but the chicken was moist.  It wasn't my favorite recipe, but the family said they liked it.  It was a quick meal to assemble, even with the pre-fry, so I may try again, just for us, and instead of cutting the breasts, I may just pound them out. 
  • Orange Chicken  Half of my little clan loves Chinese, the other half tolerates it.  This was a quick-to-table recipe, even with the rice.  Those of us who like the Chinese loved it - though I think it needed more garlic and a pinch of salt.  That or I needed to press the garlic instead of grating it (as called for in the recipe.)
  • One Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole  Besides being a big fan of quick meals, I love a one-pan recipe.  This one was good and made a ton.  I forgot to salt and pepper before serving and while there was flavor, it could have used at least the pepper.  I think it needed a little more something. . .mustard maybe?  We did top it with fresh tomato and lettuce, but green onion might have done the trick too.  I'll make it again.  It's a good one for a "serve yourself" night when I want to be crafting.
  • Oatmeal Cookies with Apple, Raisins and Pecans  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw me enjoying one of these fresh out of the oven.  The recipe makes two dozen, which doesn't last in this house, so I scooped them smaller and they still didn't last more than a couple days.  They were really good.  My only problem is how to store them.  Because of the fresh apple, you can't store them in a cookie jar or tin because they'll get all soft and just fall apart. 
  • BLT Chicken Salad Sandwiches  We took the blogger's suggestion and used potato rolls - good call.  This was good the evening I made it, but even better the following day, after the seasoning had a chance to meld.  Next time I'll make it more ahead of time.  I served it with the bacon sprinkled on top - I hate soggy bacon - and tossed the remaining bacon in with the leftover salad and it, 1) didn't get soggy and 2) was way better in the salad than on it.  The yogurt and mayo combo I may cut down just a bit because there is plenty to bind the salad together.  This is a perfect too-freakin'-hot-to-cook meal and another one that's good to do ahead and then leave for the family to serve themselves.
So, of the recipes I grabbed for the week, I still have tonight's and then one to do on Monday, plus a dessert and a granola bar.  Report for those to follow.

I've got a sunny day to head out into for a walk.  A present to wrap and mail.  Dinner and dessert to get a move on.  A graduation.  Snow is in the forecast for later this weekend - yep, snow.  But that crafty time for myself comes first.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Totally random thoughts for today.

I'm so excited. . .the Stash Busters class started today.  I have my printouts sitting by me and have browsed the first week's challenge - Paper - and am looking over the first of the sketches.  Now to get the stupid donation list done for our taxes and then I can play.

It never made it to the near 80 that was called for yesterday (note if it had been 80, it would have been too hot), so I used that and the "I need to make these Fluffernutter bars" as reasons not to head out for a walk.  Hey, the photo looked amazing and they turned out to be really good bars!  I could have also used:  My daughter headed to the rec center without me.  Or my 15 y.o. needed help with his Confirmation poster - the one he waited until an hour before he left for his meeting to start!  Or it was my turn to drive the car-pool, which I had totally spaced out, and therefore it was too late by the time I returned.

I might be too good at the enabling dis-abling self-talk.

I'm feeling an intense desire to purge and clean various places in my home.

Every month when I pull together the orders for the kits, it's all done online.  I don't have samples in front of me, or even catalogs (nobody puts out catalogs anymore, they're all online.)  So it's a lot of page surfing and jumping around from site to site.  I'm always impressed with myself when the orders arrive and I see the kits together for the first time, in real life.  The colors, generally, coordinate and the bits and baubles look good together.  This month the April kits have lots of color - which I love.

One of my favorites is the October Afternoon All Boy line from their Daily Flash release.  If you have boys you know it's hard to find a non-bug, non-truck, non-dirt infused boy line.  I love the graphics (even the one side of a double-sided paper that has, yes, bugs).  Especially the Moon graphic - "Love you to the Moon & Back," which was my 15 y.o.'s favorite book when he was little.  Don't worry if you don't have boys, the line works for girls and just about everything else.  

If you aren't a member of Apron Strings no-commitment autoship, join us today.

Happy Thursday,