Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crockpot Dip

This is the dip we made today. The original recipe we just call Bread Bowl Dip (because it's made in a bread bowl), but I wanted to experiment (and I'm too cheap to buy a bread bowl for normal occasions) and make it in the crockpot. It worked! Delicious. But I can't call it bread bowl dip anymore.

16 oz sour cream
16 oz cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 small jar dried beef, minced in food processor
taco chips, for dipping

Pretty much just throw the first 4 ingredients into a 1 1/2 quart crockpot. Turn on low. Let it go about 2 hours or so, stirring occasionally, until everything is all melted together.

(Or you could do what we did and halve the recipe and make it in your Little Dipper - it's tight, but works.) There won't be much left. My husband and I munched all day, and my parents stopped by and ate a little too. There's not much left...

A Little of This...

So today was kind of a bust. We were supposed to get some plumbing done, so we didn't have anything planned, but that fell through due to the weather. So what else to do? Stamp! And make some really yummy dip, but more about that later.

I worked on a couple projects, and made a birthday card. I always seem to need those!

I used some old Stampin' Up DP for the stripes, and it's a little hard to tell, but the truck part is on dimensionals.

After bath time here, we're off to watch a family movie. I usually double task - watch & stamp!

Happy stamping!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Butter Balls

It's almost time to bake Christmas cookies! Growing up, we would always make lots of cookies and put them in our mud room in tupperware, so they were always available for company, parties or just for a snack. Butter Balls are one of the cookies that my mom makes every year. They're yummy. It's a tradition I want to keep up for my own family now. So I thought to share and pass on the love:) I love the Christmas season and sharing what we have with others. I'd also think it would be neat to hear about your holiday traditions if you have a minute. And if you have a little more time, you need to go bake some of these cookies!

Butter Balls
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional, but really good)
extra powdered sugar, for dusting

Mix all ingredients together. Shape by hand into 1" balls. Bake at 350 until golden brown. Cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar. (We ususally just toss them around in a plastic gallon baggie with a cup or 2 of powdered sugar).

Friday, November 28, 2008

8 x 8 Album

So, Thanksgiving is now over, although we have the second and final round tonight. But having nothing to do with thansgiving, here are two 8x8 pages I made for some swaps on SCS. My goal for this year is to do a small family album. I like this size. It moves pretty quickly.

I used stickles on the sprinkles of the cupcakes. It's a little hard to see in the picture. The photo mat is just some DP I had.

I cut out the light bulbs on my cricut, and used gold stickles to decorate the top part of them.
Thanks for looking and happy stamping!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Neglected Scrapbook

I have realized of late that I have been neglecting my scrapbooks. I've been making so many cards and other projects, that the scrapbooks have fallen low on my list. But that's ok. I have a plan.
I've joined a few border layout swaps and 8x8 page swaps. All of which are very easy to do. So I'm hoping I can get back to my scrapbook after the first of the year and put all these wonderful layouts to use!
Basically for a border swap, you make the titles, accents, sometime photo boxes and journaling pieces, and supply your own paper to create your own layout. I hope these inspire you too!

Happy stamping!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Best Crockpot Creamed Corn

Here is an easy side dish for Thanksgiving you can make in your Crockpot! I never liked creamed corn until I tried this recipe. I got it from a Betty Crocker cookbook last year.

Crockpot Creamed Corn
2 lbs frozen corn
12 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Spread corn over bottom of a 3-4 quart slow cooker. Top with cream cheese cubes. In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients and pour over corn and cream cheese.

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours.

Stir well before serving. Corn will hold on low heat up to 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.

Tag Time

I can't believe we're already 12 days into November! Thanksgiving is coming so fast, and then it will be time for Christmas! I love Christmas. I've always laughed at my mom for being a decorating nut around that time, but since having a little boy myself who is now almost 4, I find myself doing the same thing. So in honor of the impending season, here are two gift tags I made for some special gifts.This first one was made from a cricut tag (2 parts). The tree is embossed in gold, and the holly is just stamped and then accented with burgundy Stickles. It's raised with half of a pop-dot.

This second tag I really like. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the snowman has been embossed with clear embossing powder and then watercolored in for detail. I inked the snowman first with blue pigment ink and then immediately into Versamark before embossing. I also used the same cricut tag. I think it was from the Christmas Cheer cartridge.
I hope these ideas are inspiring and help you get in the Christmas mood!
Happy stamping!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes

I love all the new cupcake stamps coming out. These are from the only set I have that has cupcakes. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the bottom card, I first embossed the cupcakes by first inking the purple and then right into the Versamark and I used clear embossing powder. Both cards were colored in using a blender pen. On the top card I used clear sparkle Stickles on the sprinkles.
Thanks for looking and happy stamping!

Good Soup for a Cold Day

Golden Potato Chowder
Makes 6 cups
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped potatoes
Dash pepper
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Bring broth, vegetables, chives and seasonings to boil in medium saucepan on high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Do not drain. Melt butter in large saucepan on low heat. Stir in flour. Cook 2 minutes or until bubbly. Gradually add milk, stirring until well blended. Cook on medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Add cheese; cook until melted, stirring constantly. Add vegetable mixture; cook until heated through. Do not boil.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Icy Snowman Bookmark

I recently learned the technique of Dazzling Diamond Dust. Taking that and turning it a different way, I made this "Icy" Snowman Bookmark. You can see the "icy" part best in the last image.
Here is what you need: Ink, Versamark, Blender pen or watercolor pencils, clear embossing powder, white cardstock cut to 1 3/4" x 6 1/4", and blue background cardstock cut to 2" x 6 1/2".
Start by stamping your background snowflakes in Bliss Blue, then your accent stamp and snowman in Ballet Blue (or use your other favorite colors instead).

Using your blender pen and your accent colors, watercolor in the details you want to highlight.

Turn your versamark ink pad over your paper and ink ENTIRE image. You don't want to miss a spot. Double check. It will look funny when you are all done. Trust me.

Sprinkle embossing powder over entire bookmark, shaking off the excess and heat emboss. Let cool. I had to let my paper sit under a book for a while until the image would lay flat.

Mount your masterpiece onto the blue background, and embellish with ribbon or whatever you like and you are done!

Happy Stamping!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

Fall is here! And that means it's pumpkin season! Yea! Can you tell we like pumpkin here? So in honor of this wonderful time, let's bake pumpkin cookies! These are my favorite. I made oodles of them yesterday for a baby shower we're attending today. They're really good, especially if you ice them with buttercream icing with a 1/2 tsp of maple extract...

Pumpkin Cookies
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together sugar and shortening. Add egg, mix well. Add flour, baking soda and spices; add pumpkin and then vanilla. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet a 375 for 10 minutes. Ice when cool.

Happy baking!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Decorated Composition Notebooks

You know those little composition notebooks with the black and white mottled covers? They are super cheap, but pretty ugly. But they are SO EASY to dress up and they make great gifts! I had a couple sitting around so I used some Stampin Up paper kits I had sitting around for quite a while to personalize them. I just traced the notebook, cut the paper to fit, and glued the paper down. I stamped the letter of two first names on the tag, and used some of the stickers from the paper pack for the embellishments and the side border (they were sticky). I'd love to see other ideas using these notebooks if anyone has any?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recipe Cards

Recently I've participated in a couple of 6x6 recipe card swaps. They are so much fun to do and what a great gift idea with the holidays soon approaching! Here are a few of my samples. I just printed out the recipes onto cardstock from my computer.

I have a 6x6 album I'll be putting some into, but I may have to make one or two for gifts!

Happy stamping!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Best Household Tool - Ever

I didn't realize how much I used that little thing called the "Magic Eraser" until it was gone. (I think Mr. Clean makes them, but the cheapie version works great too.) I had been without them for a few weeks but now they are back. I have a ceramic/porcelain white sink in my kitchen. It is a small, deep sink, and it is a bear to clean. Add to that we have horrible well water, and I get these lovely brown stains that are so hard to get out. But a few swipes with my magic eraser, and they are as clean as they can be! And my dishes that sat overnight in the sink, wet (I try, but you know, who wants to always do dishes two or three times a day?), well, it works on them too! And the hard water stains on the chrome in the bathroom? Yep, works there too. Oh, and the biggie? THE CERAMIC COOK TOP ON THE STOVE! Takes off all the crusted-on yuckiness when things boil over. Just a little elbow grease.

So anyway, that is my 2-cents for the day. For what it's worth, I find it a great help! Let me know if you have any other uses please?

Happy stamping!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Post-It Holder

Good afternoon! I'm starting to think about Christmas already (gasp!) but it's 3 months from today. Really! So in going through past projects, I found this great post-it holder. I love to give homemade gifts.

Here is the template:

It's not very good, and not really helpful, but it's so easy to make, you don't really even need the template! Just take your post-it pad and lay it on the bottom of your cardstock. The width is cut to the same width as the post-its. You will make four folds (crease well) and cut the front (top) corners however you like. Now you have your template. Cut out another piece without folding. Go ahead and decorate it/stamp with your design. Tape the post-it pad to the template at the very bottom with the sticky part of the post-its at the top. Fold it up and crease, embellish, and put a small piece of velcro on the bottom underside of the top flap to open and close.

Try it. It's a cute gift, and it's not near as hard to make as I made it sound:)

Happy stamping!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Crockpot Italian Roast

I know this has nothing to do with stamping, but I wanted to share it. I love to use my crockpot because it saves so much time and I can throw food in early in the day and clean up and pretty much forget about it until dinner time. Plus it leaves more time for other stuff. Like stamping. This is our favorite roast recipe.

Crockpot Italian Roast Beef

piece of Roast (I like English cut, but any cut and size that will fit into your crockpot works)
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1 packet au jus gravy mix (or if you want to save on sodium, omit and make your own gravy at the end)
up to 4 pepperoncini peppers, sliced; remove seeds for less heat. we like it spicy.
baby carrots (no peeling or slicing involved)
small red potatoes or your preference

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Put roast in bottom of crockpot. Layer in carrots and potatoes. Mix italian dressing (dry) and us jus (dry). Add 2 cups water and stir. Pour over crockpot contents. Add peppers. Cook on low 8-10 hours.

Absolutely delicious!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stippling & Embossing

This is a cute idea. It combines embossing and stippling. The components you need are:

You also need 2 stamps pads (not pictured) one light, one dark. I used SU Positively Pink and Chocolate Chip.

Start by stamping your Happy Birthday stamp in the dark color.

Then, ink your large stamp (butterfly here) with your versamark pad (or whatever clear ink you use to emboss.) Stamp image centered over the happy birthday.

Go ahead and add embossing powder (clear works best) and set the powder with your heat gun. Once the image cools, take your stipple brush and rub it on your lighter ink pad. Dab and swirl ink over your embossed image until you have the color saturation you want. The clear embossing will not take the ink and the image will pop out.

Then, mount your card front however you like, add any embellishments, and you are done!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quick Eyelet Setting

One of my favorite cheats is using circle hand punches to set eyelets. Start with your paper, eyelets, 1/8" circle punch and your 1/16" circle punch.

(Yes, I know this is a Christmas card, but I'm working on ideas for a card swap.)

Using the 1/8" punch, make a hole in the desired spot.

Insert the eyelet in the hole and using the 1/16" punch, put the shaft of the punch through the long part (the back) of the eyelet. Squeeze and voila! You have and easy set eyelet. This won't work beyond the outer edges of whatever you are making, but it's great when you can use it (and a lot quieter.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome to my blog

So I finally decided to join the world of blogging. We'll see where this takes me, but it should be interesting. I love to do so many things - stamping, scrapbooking, crafting, reading, cooking. Anyway, it's hard to find time to do all of that. Between my 3-year old, my husband, our house and daily life, it can be hard to find time for me. So I have to craft smart. Hopefully I can share some of that with you!

Since I started stamping about 8 years ago, I've had a guilt complex every time I go to buy a card in the store for someone. Don't get me wrong, I like Hallmark and all that, but most of the cards get pretty expensive. I have a hard time justifying even the $.99 cards when I have a room full of stamps and cardstock at home. But it doesn't always work out that I have time to make a card for someone (especially since I usually wait until the last minute to do it.) So I started making pre-made card pieces. I have a selection of pre-cut card backs, mats, and fronts all ready to go when I need a card in a hurry. All I have to do is stamp and glue.

The dimensions for a basic small card are:
Card base - 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Card mat - 4" x 5 1/4"
Card front - 3 3/4" x 5"