Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Family Card Challenge, GOOD Friends, Eating Local & Home Baking

I’m running by my shirt tails once again, life is FULL!  I do have an entire ‘nuther post coming up with pictures of a recent hike but for today I’ll stick to three topics:

1. FAMILY CARD CHALLENGE

My sister Nina challenged my sister in law Judy and I to try out a new technique.  It’s an interesting one and proved to be one I know I will attempt again in the future.  Here is the video which Nina shared with us:

Right - how cool is THAT - DRYER SHEETS!  So I created two versions of card:

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This card is very ARTISTIC.  I used some Boho Chic designer paper by Kristin Cronin Barrow for the base.  I stamped a pattern of Inkadinkado flowers all over in coordinating colors - then used bold black VersaFine for the central blooms.  Next came the adhesive and sparkle layer. I chose a heavier glitter for this project.  All I had to do to bring this card to life was add the black lace and tulle border.  This card and the next are reserved for two of my dearest friends. 

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I got more experimental on this second one.  I broke out my watercolour paper and paints.  I painted the bloom and dried using my heat embossing gun (so handy!) Next I trimmed dryer sheet bits to fit over the flower parts.  I spray adhesive-d (Krylon adhesive spray) 

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Then I laid it on the blossom, glittered with a Glitter Ritz super fine glitter while it was still tacky.  Once set I trimmed around the flower with sharp scissors.  I went in a second time with my watercolors to add bold edges and touches.   I think this is a very effective technique I’ll employ again and again.  The designer paper used here is Happy Trails by American Crafts.  The backgrounds to the Stampin Up Sentiment are actually paint chips I picked up from WalMart. 

CONFESSION: I dry 99.9% of my laundry on a rack outdoors so I actually had to MAKE some used dryer sheets for this project.  I now have friends saving them for me.

Be sure to visit Nina and Judy to see their lovely cards too!

♥♥♥♥♥

2. DINING OUT

I dined out for lunch yesterday with two dear friends who I’ve not seen since before Christmas.  What a tremendous amount our lives can change in a short span.  THIS meeting was one which has altered our friendships together.  I thank the Lord for HIS hand of graciousness upon our friendship. 

We chose to eat at one of the classiest restaurants in Osoyoos - and a personal favorite - Dolci Deli.  The food and service are a cut above.  The food is always unique, fresh and imaginative.  I know the staff buy ingredients locally (saw it with my very own eyes!) and the presentation is always a pleasant surprise.  I’m so proud to invite friends here and I always recommend it to visitors.

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We all chose yesterday’s special - Spaetzle!  Oh so soft and pillowy and nestled beneath just the right amount of caramelized onion and crisp bacon and sided with a bright colourful and tasty green salad - all I can say is its a good thing I live rural or I’d probably be there TOO much!  But just because I can’t … won’t you go FOR me? 

♥♥♥♥♥

3. HOME BAKING

Since I am rural and work from home a lot (working of the artistic sort) I like to bake and experiment.  These are two dishes I made this past week:

 

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Finnish PULLA

This is a Finnish Pulla - a sweet bread and I based my own loosely on a recipe from Cake Crumbs and Beach Sand  I added in some fresh orange zest and pepper and my own dehydrated apple bits.  Num! 

 

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Apple Pizza-Pastry Pie

I am using up apples - living in the Okanagan they are plentiful.  This recipe was a hit with my husband, other than he prefers not to have the peels left on. Me, I like them. 

 

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Super simple, I used the last ball of my Mother in Law’s incredibly flaky pastry.  (she loves me in pastry balls) I spread it on a silpat matt. I simply cut the apples into little strips, tossed them with lemon zest, ginger, cinnamon, a touch of brown sugar and a bit of flour.  I spread this over the dough and then used my cheese grater (sprayed with cooking spray) and shredded butter over the top.  Baked in a moderate oven until it was perfectly golden. 

 

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VOILA!

thanks for visiting!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Recap - “All ‘bout Love” Free Community Music Event Feb 15th 2013

The "All 'bout Love" event - yes, was amazing.  We had 130 people come out.  Before I go further I need to give a shoutout to Tim Horton’s Osoyoos for providing coffee and to the Polka Dot Door Florist for the the rose petals we decorated the sweets table with.  I also thank all my church family at Osoyoos Christian Centre who helped get this wonderful night happening! There are so many who work quietly in the background and make it all seem so effortless - from the setup to the cleanup.

Here are some photos and video from both behind the scenes setup right to the entertainment! 

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Cutting out hearts -

 

I got it in my head three days before the event what I wanted in the way of decorating!  I put my Cameo through it's paces and cut out trillions of hearts from shiny silver, black and gold paper.

 

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Heart Streamers

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I wanted to make something to break up the monotony of the green walls.  I could see these reflecting the stage lights in  my head.  Took several hours but so worth it. Someone had given me the ribbon quite a while ago and my dear friend Mel O had given me the pretty paper. 

 

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Money might not grow on trees - but LOVE does!

I thought I’d create something to flank the sides of the stage.  I went out to check the mail in the dark one night and saw these prunings across the road from us.  I dragged them home  I had no idea what I was going to do with these.  They stand about 7 feet tall!

Once I got them in I just began adding bits of things to them.  At first it looked pretty pathetic, like a Charlie Brown stage prop.  I got to a certain point and decided to go to bed and sleep on it.  

Bless my Mr.'s heart, first thing he said to me in the morning was they looked like fun!  So, I just jumped right in and kept going.  In the end they looked wonderful.  I wound up anchoring them in ice cream pails filled with sand (left over from the van from when the drive was snowy and icey and he bought it for weight)  then I covered this with brown paper I have a huge roll of and a nice big bow. 

 

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Yep, it was all bout LOOOOOVEEEE!

I made this feature sign from bits and bobs.  Backed with cardboard then art paper.  I cut a large heart from white shimmer paper then set to sewing on the pink frill.  I was only 1/2 way when I realized I would only get 1/2 way round so I sewed the top with white wide ribbon.  I'm getting good at this sewing thing!  

I made the plaque from an old plaque that had some cheesy sentiment on it.  I modge podged some chalkboard paper onto it and then made a stencil for the words, cutting it from plain paper on my Cameo  I used white pastel chalks for the lettering.

 

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Setting the Stage!

Adding light onto the sign really had an impact.  As you will see in the following photos I covered the mid section with red shimmery material and tinsel garland (thanks Mel O) so that it did not get in front of the lights.

 

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All lit up!

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As all these photos were taken on my iphone its not near as vivid as being right there but you get the feeling.  Local musician Jeff Smith was accompanied by my sweet husband for a rendition of "That's Amore!"  This was a big thing for my Mr - he's not picked up his accordion since he was a little kid.  Lets just say that its not his instrument of choice.  I had fashioned moustaches from on my Cameo for the musicians to wear for this song  and you might notice what could appear to be a "unibrow" on my Mr's forehead as it would not stick to his lip so he affixed it to the nearest flat surface... haha.  We will see if he actually reads my blog now.

Sue Gerrard singing “Till I Can Make It On My Own” for All ‘Bout Love - free community event Feb 15, 2013 at Osoyoos Christian Centre

Now for a HUGE treat - this is a video of Sue Gerrard (owner of Dirty Harry’s Barber shop here in Osoyoos) singing at the event.  Sue’s been snipping at my my Mr’s crown for a while now, and we’ve come to love and respect the beautiful person she is, inside and out.  Somehow we came to know Sue is musically gifted and invited her out to participate in our events.  All I can say is “WOW!” as is anyone who hears her.  I’d ♥ for you to leave some comment love here to share with her.  THANK YOU SUE!!! ♥

Osoyoos is truly a town filled with TALENT - and we would like to thank the following musicians who participated (and perhaps I’ll feature more “singin’ videos here yet!”

Sonny Black - Sonny blew us away with his own original song “Together Forever”  which he wrote for his wife.  We were lucky he was able to perform - his family was all home sick Sad smile  - but he was able to drive in, perform and then return home to tend to his lovely ladies.  Now THAT’S true amore!  Sonny is a Luthier (one who builds and makes stringed instruments)  If you have an ailing instrument I suggest you click on his name link here to get in contact with him Smile 

Jeff Smith - Jeff performed “That’s Amore” and “Unchained Melody” - Jeff is always upbeat and so easy to be around. 

Nathan Freeman - Nathan sang “Love is worth the Fight” and then another fun song he wrote called “Crocodile Tears”.  Nathan often writes original songs and “Crocodile Tears” was a fun take on his observations of his married life. 

Matthew Thomas - Matthew is of the ‘younger’ set - and he shines with pep and energy.  Matthew brought us a rendition of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me”

Chris and Lori Studola - Chris and Lori sang “The VEGETABLE Song” - such a playful song fitting all the vegetables you can think of into a ditty about love.  They even had a prize for anyone who could guess the 40+ vegetables in their song.  They also shared “Can’t Buy Me Love” - a Beatles song.  They leant a bright spot in the song lineup.

Kayla Turnbull - Kayla sang “Incredible” - a song she wrote for friends for their wedding.  Kayla is an up and coming artist (yeahhhh it was her birthday and we got to sing her and surprise her with a cake at the performance)  Kayla writes and sings her own songs and has a fresh and unique style.  Look for Kayla to be coming out with a CD in the future and shine as a talented local musician!

Terry Jackson - Terry is not only gifted musically but artistically too!  Click on his link to visit his home page.  We are proud to say Terry is part of our Osoyoos Church family. I do not have the name of the song Terry performed on hand, but it was wonderful!

Miles Derksen - *prejudice alert* - my Mr!  I’m hoping to post his rendition of Steven Curtis Chapman’s “When Love Takes You In” here on the blog.  Look for this treat soon!

The food - I’ll let the photos do the talking! 

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Thank you to all the businesses and folks who promoted our event.   I suspect we will see some photos in the Osoyoos Times which comes out this evening, and in advance of this we heartily thank you for your support!  We look forward to the next - with a well deserved rest in between. 

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Card for Sunday Sketch and Stamp 143

Just fitting in a super quick card here to wind up my weekend.  It’s been a crazy old week for me and I’ve really missed blogging. 

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As our church is gearing up to host a post-Valentine’s music night called “All ‘bout Love” on Friday, February 15th at our church here in Osoyoos there is loads of prep to be done.  This is our second FREE music night - the first such a huge success we can’t think but we might be so fortunate this time.  We’ve got a great mix of local talent coming in to just sing ‘bout LOVE!  Besides three artists from our own church we also have a half dozen musicians who will entertain you with everything from completely original songs (Sonny Black singing a song for his wife - brings me to tears!) to Sue Gerrard singing a hit from Martina McBride, and your ears will be treated to some Beatles, Righteous Brothers, 50’s, folk and so forth!  We will provide delectable treats as well.  This is just a fun hang-out night, from our hearts to yours! Performance is at 7.

With no further ado - here’s the sketch for

Sunday Sketch and Stamp 143

Here’s my take:

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I used up ends of papers for this project, so no name dropping on the DP.  The stamp is a Fiskars I believe but don’t hold me to that.  The brown embellishments behind this blossom are “frogs” for sewing on a blouse.  I bought them at the thrift two years ago, I’m so glad to have found a use for them.  The flower is my own creation/.studio cutting file which I will share with YOU for your personal use.  This pattern is for a 7 petal flower (you can make as many petals and layers as you desire) and the center cut.  I’ve got a hole in the middle of each so you can put it all together with a brad of your choice.   Just click HERE to download the .studio file for your Silhouette or Cameo.  Comment ♥♥♥ and donations oh so gratefully accepted!  It all goes to the new cutting matt I need.  I’ve actually cut a large slice in my current one. 

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Our Anniversary - Celebrating on a Budget!

When my Mr. and I chose a long time ago to be a “one income family”.  It was not an easy decision for us to make at all but we wanted to try it on for size.  See what was possible.  It was really hard to wrap my head around this idea those first married years.  I’d worked most of my life.  But it seemed to make sense, to at least try - mostly in the way of being able to spend much more time together than if we both worked. 

Over the years its become a huge blessing in our marriage and in our life.  The long and the short of it is - its possible! 

One book that became a good friend and I would highly recommend is Shattering the Two Income Myth by Andy Dappen.  It explores the idea that living on one income is as much a mind set as a monetary reality.  It is chock full of down to earth instructions and ideas to equip you if you choose this lifestyle. 

So this leads me up to our anniversary celebration.  Both my husband and I ♥ to entertain and so we have to be very clever to do this on a low budget.  At this time of our lives its especially critical we are “salting” away funds for our retirement as its not so far off.  We have learned to create many of our gifts and live lavishly on mere pennies (those are history now here in Canada) nickles. 

Here’s a take on our magical night!

love-card

One of my hobbies is making custom greeting cards.  I use my Silhouette Cameo to design and create my own FREE cuts - which I then in turn give to YOU!  I made this card for my husband.  (check under the FREE cuts tab at the top of this blog to find a wealth of FREE cuts - donations most welcome to augment our retirement fund Winking smile)

DECOR:

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Aren't these just the SWEETEST?  Our friend Mel O gave us several items which I used to decorate, most from the local Dollarama Store, like these ♥ crackers.  The cloth napkins and silver napkin rings were purchased at the local Osoyoos thrift store. I tied a bit of “celebration” black ribbon onto them.   The black ribbon was clearance from Paper Nation in Abbotsford.

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The beautiful heart patterned sheers, which I used both to swath our amaryllis plant were also included in Mel’s gift, from Dollarama.  Candles always look lovely - wine goblets and candlesticks thrift store, tray with gravel from a Christmas gift from our brother and sister in law. 

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Lovely handmade greeting card from my sister Nina, so pretty it earned a place of honour on our table!

FOOD:

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With my husband’s Italian heritage what could say “amore” better than a slow simmered all day pasta sauce?  Our father in law’s is hard to top but my Mr. has been working at perfecting his for several years now.  My secret ingredients are using a combination of our home-preserved tomatoes along with fresh tomatoes, and I also add in a teaspoon of well aged balsamic vinegar as it simmers!  The heart shaped noodles were under $5!

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I lucked out on these ‘designer’ chocolates for $4!

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I was so grateful my husband whimpered indicated he would love it if I could ever make some biscotti so I included this in my dinner plans.  I find biscotti is inexpensive and easy to make but is decadent in taste.  I like recipes which use Olive Oil rather than butter, for the texture and taste and these had hints of pepper, ginger and a three citrus zest of lemon, orange and lime. 

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A celebration would not be complete without some “bubbly” of some sort.  We actually enjoyed a bottle of non-alcoholic red wine (many of our local wineries carry a selection of non-alcoholic beverages though we sure wish there were MORE!)  We are saving this Pink Lemonade for our next date-night which we have once a week.

GIFTS:

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I was a good girl and kept to our budget in the area of gifts… (its SO hard to do this when you want to just spoil your spouse rotten - got to keep in mind its the thought as much as the item)  I gave my Mr. a sci-fi book I knew he’d enjoy (Salvation Army) and a gift basket of assorted spices and gourmet mustard and a jar of Ebesse Zozo Coconut Milk Marinade Sauce.  All this for $20! 

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AHEM!  Now when it comes for my Mr. buying for me he sometimes does not know restraint but as long as its not BOTH of us going wild with the chequebook its all good Winking smile

He picked up this gorgeous Tiger Eye Pendant from Bones and Stones Decor in Kelowna on a recent trip to the city. I wish I could have shopped with him there, but in retrospect its probably good I couldn’t - that will be another date day in itself.

We finished off our evening watching a movie on Netflix - Netflix saves us time and money for sure.

All in all, I think our “grand evening” (without my Mr’s gift to me) probably cost less than $40 and you must admit it was pretty extravagant. 

Do YOU live on a budget?  Have any great ideas you’d like to share with me?

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Saturday, February 02, 2013

Celebrating National Pancake Month with TWO ingredients!

Well, and Happy Groundhog Day too.  Surely everyone knows what Groundhog Day is, but just in case you just coasted in from another planet it goes like this.  All eyes are focused on a groundhog hole - when he/she comes up we watch to see what transpires.  A scramble back down the hole means we should all do the same, get comfy for another six weeks - winter is going to stick around a bit.  However, should said groundhog linger about, even venture out, we should be assured SPRING is in the sidelines and we should open our eyes for the signs all around. 

And well YAY - from all the reports I’m hearing - break out the daffs, foliage, cleaning supplies for the home and get ready to be astonished as the outdoors wakes up!

On another note, this is also the beginning of National Pancake Month.  How funny I should be inspired by a recipe I found cruising and “Pint (eresting)” the other day.  Are you ready for SIMPLE?  If you clicked the link in the introduction line to this block of text it will take you to RealSimple magazine - I ♥ that mag, can’t let go of the back-issues of it and its a constant inspiration.  They have some terrific recipes for great pancakes. 

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But if you’re like me and like SUPER SIMPLE (and super healthy) - then the following recipe is for YOU!

Ingredients:

2 bananas

2-3 eggs

Cooking instructions:

Mash or puree bananas.  Add eggs.  Mix.  Fry.

Seriously.  Use a teflon coated pan and you won’t need any oil or butter (though who can resist butter sometimes?) 

I wound up using my Maxim Crepe maker, leaving it heated side up, stationary and just drizzling and spreading the batter very thin on the surface) These pancakes are rather on the fragile side.  My friend Cicero tried these and she added some real flour in the batter to make it a little more sturdy.  

Here are some optional ingredients:

vanilla (or any extract - I personally like Watkins Vanilla Nut or Coconut)

1/4 cup coconut flour

chocolate chips

toasted coconut

They are DELICIOUS.  Naturally sweetened. I topped mine with fruit, a little greek yogurt and a goodly squish of a fresh, tangy and fragrant lime. 

Do YOU have a favorite pancake recipe or story you would like to share with me?  Have a great day and DO “flip out!”

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Friday, February 01, 2013

Fancy Little Things - Follow Along Friday!

Today’s a wonderful day to make some new Facebook/Twitter faith friends via Fancy Little Things.  Why not join in the fun?

 

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Just click on the graphic above to be taken to the link up page!   I look forward to getting to meet y’all!

Silver and Gold

Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test-
Time and change-are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray;
Friendship never knows decay.
For 'mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die;
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
What is real endures;
   it is as true of friendship as of other kinds of love.
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