Friday, September 28, 2012

Musings - Fall has arrived and a FREE word art cut for YOU

Ahhh, AUTUMN! 


I’ll never tire of taking pictures of the beauty of fall.  The first I’m drawn to is the sumac - ranging from light to dark greens and morphing all the way into blazing pinky red orange before drying burnt sienna, chocolate before the slender branches release them to drop in horizontal curls which break down back into the earth. 


I’m grateful for each season. 

When one season ends and another begins, it prompts the entire cycle of my life and household.  I’m grateful for the shift, it causes me to appreciate nature in each stage.  An orchard tree is a perfect example of this.

In spring the tree brings forth hopeful green buds with prelude a burst of beautiful blossoms -more breathtaking than a ravishing gown on royalty.  Once these each open, dazzle us with their utter lovliness, they flutter gently into the wind and carpet the ground and are suddenly gone. 

Now, the summer tree takes over and  fully leafs out and fairly vibrates GREEN.  It produces tiny perfect fruits which begin to mature before our very eyes. 

Next, depending on the fruit - either late summer or early fall, each becomes of size and colors and then with “official fall” we are blessed to enjoy the succulent flesh, incomparable to any processed food we could ever come up with. 

After all of that, as the days become cold the tree now stands naked and sleeping - seemingly dead for what we can see, only - and this is the coolest part - the tree represents HOPE - for we can know that come spring, the cycle starts all over again. 

See why I love the seasons? I see these same cycles in our lives, the Lord doing a work through each new change. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

A Time for Everything

3 There is a right time for everything,

and everything on earth will happen at the right time.

2 There is a time to be born
and a time to die.
There is a time to plant
and a time to pull up plants.

3 There is a time to kill
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy
and a time to build.

4 There is a time to cry
and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad
and a time to dance with joy.

5 There is a time to throw weapons down
and a time to pick them up.
There is a time to hug someone
and a time to stop holding so tightly.

6 There is a time to look for something
and a time to consider it lost.
There is a time to keep things
and a time to throw things away.

7 There is a time to tear cloth
and a time to sew it.
There is a time to be silent
and a time to speak.

8 There is a time to love
and a time to hate.
There is a time for war
and a time for peace


Well, my birthday happens to fall in this season, September, and I was blessed by my dear husband with a Silhouette Cameo.  Dear, sweet man, his own computer is making all sorts of fun hard-disk noises and could fail at any time, yet he sacrificed and ordered a Cameo for me, an upgrade from my Silhouette SD.  As he knows that my Sil has not been idle for more than a few days at a stretch over the past year, I am soooo touched that he has done this.  I’m going to have to do a LOT of cutting with “Cammy”  to make it worth his while. 

Here’s the very first thing I made:


This pretty card! 


And this may have you asking what the flowers are made of?


These are 36 years old! - I found this package of 200 transparency films in the Salvation Army on my birthday (my Mother and Father in Law treated me out to dinner in Penticton - 1 hour drive - so while they went off to shop, my Mr. and I poked about downtown)  I was really excited when I found these though my Mr. just could not understand at that point just why.  I paid $1.50 for this package which would have close to 200 sheets.  I can see all sorts of uses for this, thinking butterflies etc? 

Have you ever found something unusual and used it in a craft?  I’d love to know. Do you have a suggestion for me for these transperancies?


A good way to test out my Cameo - it performed perfectly.  I used this six petal flower shape which I believe I bought in the Silhouette Online Store.  I simply modified it by making three different sizes and adding a small hole in the center. 

NOTE: was just asked by Jocelan which setting I used, I believe I used the same setting as for Silhouette vinyl. 

So my next cut, I decided, should be one I make for YOU

But, before I do that, I have a funny photo to share so I’m sneaking it in here.  One day when I visited the fruit packers with my Mother in Law, we saw this:


Charlie, the cherry-eating Weimaraner dog!  His owner was kind enough to allow me to take a photo.  Kind of makes you smile, right? 

K, so here’s what I made for you -


A pretty two-piece fall word art.  One layer is the word with three leaves and an acorn attached, the second layer is just the word.


I know the background paper used is a Graphic 45 but the others are anonymous from my scrap-heap.  I embossed the top layer of the fall - a clear layer over brown card-stock.  I made the base layer out of cream card-stock, then stamped the leaves different colors before gluing and adding fairy glitter to them.  I modified a scalloped edging I purchased at the Silhouette Online Store

Just click on the following download link to pick up the fall word art.  Feel free to use it for all your projects but a link back would be totally appreciated.

Barb Derksen’s FALL WORD ART

.studio file



In fact, if you like this fall word art, you may want to visit the free .studio and SVG tab (top of this blog) and look waayyyyy down (almost at the bottom!!!) and you will find the original leaves and acorn cut by themselves to download for your autumn projects. 

Stay tuned, I have loads more cuts rattling around in my head so check back often for more FREE files!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recipe for Crock Pot Canned Apple Pie Filling & a FREE Hat Cutout!


I ♥ this time of year especially, particularly the type we are enjoying this year. Long, hot days, and nights which cool down enough to make me think about bringing out my down quilt so I can be like a bird and tuck my snout under it’s fluffy warmth. 

I savor watching the Pink Lady apples begin to blush in their own particular color which almost vibrates or glows.  It almost tricks my eyes into seeing the super-saturated images which one might expect only after processing them in  Photoshop.  Rows of these pretty trees against the backdrop of the brilliant blue of fall afternoons has me thinking in poetry, wanting to paint - somehow capture part of what I’m seeing and transform it into a creation. 

I also feel this pull to preserve the bounty of fruit and veggies which abound - thinking ahead to how much I’ll enjoy the efforts on some cold winter’s day in the future.  It’s that thought which propels me to bring out the canner and dehydrators and get busy. 

While my mother in law was visiting we spent some precious elbow-to-elbow time doing just this and sharing family memories all the while.  Isn’t it funny, I remember doing “chores” like this as a kid and some of those “work” times turned out to be the greatest times to connect.  I’ve learned so much family history this way. 

The Gala apples were picked a few weeks ago so I decided I might like to try some Canned Apple Pie Filling, something I’ve done in the past, but this year I wanted to simplify the process a bit.  I decided to use my crock pot to make it!   It turned out to be a success.

Here’s my recipe, you may want to monkey with it a bit (adjust the sugar perhaps?  I cut mine way back) 



Barb’s Crock Pot Canned

Apple Pie Filling



Canning Jars (you decide, pints or quarts) Rings and Sealer Lids



slotted spoon

ladle or coffee cup

old towel (to place jars on)



2 1/2 cups White or Brown Sugar

1 1/4 cups Corn Starch

1 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp salt

10 cups ( or fill average sized Crock Pot to within 1” of rim)

3 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

6 lbs Apples (you can adjust - if you find more or less work for you)



Mix Sugar, Corn Starch, Spices, Salt together in Crock Pot.  Slowly add water, mixing well as you go.  Cook on HIGH for 30 minutes, then LOW for 5-6 hours or overnight.  Add food coloring and lemon juice.

Sterilize your jars and lids - keep jars warm in oven taking them out one by one as you fill them with apples and syrup.

Peel, core and slice apples (I actually cutting more in “chunks” than slices will allow you to pack more in the jars)  Add the apples into jars until you can’t pack any more in (I “shake” the jar several times while filling with the apples so they pack themselves in closely)  Fill jar to about 1 inch from the top.

Using a ladle or coffee mug with a handle, pour hot syrup through the funnel over the apples in the jar to within 1/2 inch of rim.  Push a knife blade down the side a few times as you fill to allow any air bubbles to escape.  Wipe the rim clean, add Sealer Lids and then rings.  Make sure they are firmly screwed down. 

Assemble in basket for the Canning Bath.  Process 30 minutes. (I do this for both sizes)

My mother in law taught me this good tip - place your processed jars onto the middle of an old bath sized towel on a flat surface.  Bring the sides of the towel up over the jars so that they will not be affected by drafts.  Drafts can sometimes cause problems! 

Once cooled, carefully check your jars have all sealed (the lids will be indented, not flat) and then store them in a cool place.  You may want to thicken this filling up further upon opening with more cornstartch - or you can use it as a syrup topper for pancakes and waffles or for an upside down cake. 


I also have a FREE template for YOU today - I found these darling little feathers one day on a walk and got an idea in my head for a card.


I’m not totally thrilled with my big fat lettering for this card, but I admit I was rushed.  I also think at some point in the future I will create a more feminine version of a hat, but all in all it’s pretty cool.  So, I’d like to share this cut with you!  It has the slots so that you can thread 1/4 inch ribbon through the slots and make a pretty bow.  When I create a woman’s hat I think it would mean using a nice flurffy soft feather, right?



Barb Derksen’s Feather In Your Cap


.studio, png, svg and dxf


Speaking of “a feather in your cap” - I am adding a link into my sidebar for BC’s newest scrapbooking store - Memory Junction in Kamloops.  And guess what guess what guess what???    Melissa carries the CAMEO!  So exciting!  I hope all of us “Silhouette People” might check out the Memory Junction store online!  Congrats Melissa, I look forward to meeting you in person one day in the future.   You can also visit the Facebook page (and leave some comment ♥) HERE


Monday, September 17, 2012

Fun Squirrel Card

Still having a wonderful visit with my Mother and Father in Law.  We don’t sit still so much, we make day trips out here and there.  The days are interesting and we are building precious family memories.  I’ll share here more later.

It was my birthday on Saturday and they treated me out, I’ve ate and ate and ATE!

Thanks so much to all of you for all the birthday wishes I’ve been wished, I’m humbled.

A friend asked me to make a card for her and I know she has been given the nickname “Squirrel” recently. Something to do with being so cute and quick and industrious.   I figured it would be cute to go with that theme.  I’m going to link my card at the Graphics Fairy today (I really need to do this more often because Karen’s graphics are a constant source of inspiration to me!) and also entering into The Crafty Pad’s challenge this week - my first time with this challenge! 







Squirrel Graphic - Graphics Fairy

Designer Paper - various scraps (love using them up)


Stamps -

Leaves - Studio G

Letters - Studio G

Glue Dots


Wire Cutters



I noticed Debbie had posted a youtube tutorial for a “wobbler” on her blog the other day and I was instantly hooked, so I had to whip one up. Check out her post HERE which has instructions and an embedded video on how to make your own Wobbler  (and she has a wonderful FREE download to make a monster!)

I got this fun squirrel graphic from The Graphics Fairy, I took it into Photoshop and extracted the critter from the background (it was on a white background).  Next, I added a white “stroke” around him, then I added a thin black stroke around that… the reason?  I find the Silhouette software has a hard time detecting the “edge” when it’s white, so I used black.  I then traced the image and cut a sheet of them out.  I could have asked my machine to cut inside that black line but I left it so that if you want to simply print and cut you can - it will have the thin outline for you to use with your scissors. 



Print and Cut Sheet

Here’s a link to the print and cut Silhouette sheet (letter size) with registration marks all ready to go.  Note: when using these images in your projects be sure to give The Graphics Fairy credit!



I would like to note that most of the videos I saw called for you to either tape or glue the wire between two circles for the wobbler, I made my own adjustment to this which I think works and saves time.  I simply punched a TINY hole into the circles, threaded the wire through and then used a Glue Dot on the OUTSIDE of each one, this way, the wire is held fast and it’s ready to stick on right away… bonus?  It’s all neat and tidy!

Thanks for visiting! 

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Terribly Cute Teddy - FREEBIE Download

You would think the Queen has arrived - with all the preparation I’ve happily gone through. 

My In-Laws have arrived for the fall edition of their twice yearly visit and I’m so excited.  I know that there are a lot of jokes aimed at Mother in Laws but I am so blessed that I married into the best of the BEST and I always look at our time together as precious memories just awaiting to unfold.  I consider it a privilege and joy to have my in-laws, they are amazing people.

So, I may only post once or twice this week as our days are filled spending quality family time together.  We will be taking daytrips out, preserving fruit, going for coffee at Tim’s to name a few things.  We have invites out and invited folks in as well.  All the hard work (and cracked rib I’ve been groaning with in as I totally overdid things beforehand) will now pay off - time to relax and enjoy our Clan’s treasured memories as they unfold before us.


Vacation at Home


You don’t have to go on a journey,

You really need not travel far,

You can have a delightful vacation

at home, or wherever you are.


Have you tried taking life a bit easy

Have you tried making everything fun,

Have you gone for a walk in the moonlight

Or rested a while in the sun?


Have you ever sought peace in the garden

Looking up to the blue arc in the sky

Watching the bright panorama

Of clouds drifting lazily by?


Have you taken the time out just to wander,

To go fishing perhaps, or just dream

Where the willows are trailing their branches

In a pool, or a gurgling stream?


No you don’t have to go on a journey,

You really need not travel far

There are all sorts of vacation treasures

Right at home or wherever you are.


~ Mrs. Roy L. Peifer




I am getting up before the early bird even thinks of going for the worm, before the pickers begin harvesting the crisp, vibrant apples from the trees to get this post ready. 

I wanted to share this oh-so-sweet cute FREEBIE with you before the days get away on me. 


Terribly Cute Teddy

digistamp and cutting file FREEBIE



personal use

I’m going to have to work quick here to post so here goes and hope I get it all. 

For this project - if you are using the .studio cutting files you will need:


Sharp scissors

tiny crochet hook or tatting shuttle (cheap cheap at Walmart)

crochet thread (or for the second file I created you could use wool, the holes are bigger)

reading glasses (haha, well I certainly do!)


I’m always blown away by my Silhouette SD in the incredibly fine work it can do cutting all these holes!  I have included all SORTS of files here - some with small holes, some with bigger ones, so you may adapt this file to whatever you wish.  I think it might be fun (with the bigger holed one, for little girls to “sew”)  The tiny holes DO take a lot of time, I’d say an hour if you are just going about it relaxedly. 

I’d love to see how YOU use this file, if you make a project, won’t you share with me so I can post here?  (hmmm, reminds me, I think I still have a share from Doodling Debbie’s past blog post of one of my projects…) 



I flnished my little bear up with a couple of sparkly gem eyes and brought it to life!



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Thursday, September 06, 2012

New Card - Word Art Wednesday and FREEBIE Printable Inspiration


The days are flying off the calendar and I’m in high chipmunk mode, hurry - scurry - furry all a flurry too.  I feel sorry I have not had time to blog hop much and leave some ♥ for my friends and readers, I do try to track back every on of you who leave a comment for me, though.   I’m a “nice-back” person.  One good turn deserves another and all that. 

I am using this week’s Word Art Wednesday card challenge is a reward between tasks - so scrub a tub = cut a file, clean a window = emboss something, sweep the floor = cut card base and print sentiment and so forth!  Do you ever make something you enjoy to do a “reward” for household chores or work? 

At any rate, I was able to complete a card - here goes!

Word Art Wednesday 44 - Double Prize week and using the FREE downloadable scripture 1 John 4:19



Printable word art - Word Art Wednesday


Crochet Yarn - pink

Pearl embellishment


.studio cut file - Silhouette Online Store (click photo to visit the store)

LA Colors Art Deco Nail Art Laquer (yes, nail polish!)

Method Notes:

I opened this beautiful flower frame in my Silhouette Design Edition Software and broke it into parts.  I duplicated the flower twice.  This is how I achieved the dual layer look for the flower.

At the end I needed that last little touch to my card, so I painted some Art Deco Nail polish in a sparkly red shade to the tips of the flowers. I often use nail polishes, especially these nail art type because they have such a fine brush.  Perfect for painting buttons and recoloring small elements - for only $1 at most dollar stores.

Won’t you come play along with Word Art Wednesday - you’ll not only make something nice to bless to someone but you will also have a chance at some wonderful prizes! 



And even though I mention I am so busy - I’m happy busy.  I am doing things I love to do and I don’t take one tiny moment for granted.  I have been posting on Pinterest - I”m Mrs Miles if you’d like to follow me!   I took forever to figure it out but now I’ve made my way around and I’m totally enamoured!  I’ve got so many fabulous boards going and not only this, it’s got me making my own ideas, unfortunately in the middle of the night and I need to turn my brain off for a bit.  I like all the DIY, Nummy foods and also all the quotes and sayings I find - (my board is called Words of Wisdom)  Some of these sayings have birthed great greeting cards for me. 

And so, I decided I’d like to make my own “Word of Wisdom” to share with you - it’s a Printable so all you have to do is to  PRINT it off (standard 8.5 x 11 inch letter paper) FRAME and HANG!


credit: KimB’s Watercolours2 CU overlay

(preview size suitable for blogs etc shown

for FULL size click on DOWNLOAD)



The sun be warm and kind to you,

The darkest night, some star shine through.

The dullest morn a radiance brew,

And when dusk comes - Gods hand TO YOU.

~ Eleanor Powers



In case you arrived here through a direct post, you may want to check out the “OLDER POSTS” by clicking this option below today’s post or by clicking onto my Mrs Miles blog header which will "refresh” your screen and allow you to view several more posts.  I have some great FREEBIES for you there.

I’d love it if you could Facebook, Pinterest or Tweet my blog post!

Until next time -


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Monday, September 03, 2012

Back to School FREEBIE Collab with Doodling Debbie and… Mrs Miles Blog featured in a UK MAGAZINE!

If you like the FREE downloads here - won’t you consider a small donation (DONATE button on the right in my sidebar) to compensate for the time and effort put into keeping things FREE here as much as possible, please?  Every dollar helps!  Thank you in advance.  If you can’t donate in $ would you consider please Tweeting, Facebooking and Pinterest - ing my FREEBIES as much as possible?

Yay - Today’s the day Doodling Debbie and I bring you a “Back to School” themed FREEBIE giveaway on our blogs.  It has been fun connecting with Debbie to provide you with some seriously cute cuts for your Silhouette magic machines. 

I chose to make an apple with a worm ( a going back to school worm, in this case coz it has books tucked under it’s arm ) but I’m sure you might adapt it for all sorts of themes. 


I made mine into a greeting card which I’ve already given to a young person in my Sunday School class. 



Back to School - cut and digital scrapbooking template by Barb Derksen

Set of Googly Eyes

Glue Dots

Clear Embossing Powder




I cut the two solid apple bases out of white cardstock.  I then cut the face out of red cardstock.  I cut the various other pieces out of paper and cardstock as I chose. 

I embossed the cardstock with a clear embossing - ok, well I’m sure you can see the grainy texture and I must fess up I tried an embossing technique which was a fail because I messed up on one of the ingredients, so I will share that with you later.  At any rate, emboss your apple if you like.  Emboss your leaf. 

Glue the stem onto they apple, then glue the leaf on too.

Fold the worm’s arms gently into the middle of its body (like it’s hugging itself) and squish it’s head into the middle as well so that you can fit it through the hole in the apple.  Pull it through the opening from the back to the front.  Secure the worm base at the back with some adhesive or tape.  Position the worm at the angle you would like.  Add the books under the left arm.  Add the hands to the arms with a Glue Dot and then anchor them down to the apple. 

Glue the bowtie and glasses onto the worm, then add Googly Eyes.  Voila!


Happy BACK TO SCHOOL all you Teachers and Kids out there!


Barb Derksen’s Back to School

Digital Scrapbooking Template, Silhouette Cutting File. dxf


Personal Use

For those of you who would like to download just the Print and Cut sheet you can find it here:



Personal Use for personal and non-profit organizations

photo 1

I’m so fortunate to live in Apple Country, watching the trees in every season, coming to life after a long winter, leafing out, blossoming in a spectacular celebration of spring and then seeing the tiny hard green apples grow into crisp juicy fruit - then the picking and the cycle starts all over again. 

photo 2

Who needs a running track when one can run between the sunlight dappled rows of trees in the freshly mown grass?  Ahhh!  If you would like to know more about the beautiful tree fruits of our Okanagan Valley you can visit the BC Tree Fruits Website!

But I’m off track now - because you really really need to jump over to Debbie’s Paper Pulse blog (hopefully after reading the rest of my post - don’t worry, Debbie’s link opens into it’s own window!)  Here are some previews of her amazing giveaway FREEBIE!

School Bus

School House Pic



Isn’t Debbie’s little paper backpack the COOLEST??? I can see filling these with candies as a gift!  I can also imagine these as a perfect present for a hiker too.  THANK YOU Debbie, for collab-ing with me - I think we should do this again in the future, it’s always more fun working with friends. Click HERE to be taken directly to this fun post by Debbie!

And another incredible FREE file is the fun Halloween Haunted House Studio cutting file that Debby made (click HERE for link to blog post) and which Kelly from Finding Time to Create has used on this fun and not so scary project!  The Haunted House goes over a beautiful acid etched bottle, which Kelly includes a tutorial for!


And now that I’ve finished “TOOT-ing” for all my friends, I’m going to “TooT” myself!  Imagine my surprise when Debby posted a Congratulations at the Silhouette Plus Forums to ME for THIS BLOG being featured in a UK Magazine, yes, a real paper magazine! 


Woo Hoo - and hahaha, I had NO IDEA that

  • I had a .uk extension for my bloggie
  • I was TOP BLOG in this magazine 

THANK YOU Debby for not only showing me this, but for sending me a copy of this magazine.  I’m so way excited about this, I’m posting it in my sidebar right away.  I’ve since visited the lovely ladies at the forums over at Let’s Make Cards too and they have loads of great info and good card making tips as well!  AND just this morning I received an email from Elizabeth at Let’s Make Cards (thank you!!!) and also my freind JanMary (Ireland who makes the most LOVELY jewellery!) who located another copy of the magazine AND I’ve since found out how to subscribe too!  Whew.

PS - you need to check out the pretty wreath Debby made using a tutorial at Kelly’s blog and featuring some of the lovely flower .studio cuts at the Silhouette Online Store

Ok, enough excitement for one day (fanning myself) - stay tuned here for my next blog post which will feature another FREEBIE!

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