Sunday, February 11, 2007

I've Moved!

Okay, the next goody is that I have moved!!

please go here to see my new site and PLEASE tell me what you think!

If you have a link on your blog to mine, please update it with this web address!!! Thank you ~!!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Valentine Goody #1

Ok, this is the first of a series of Valentine posts. I thought I would share a few cool things for the upcoming holiday. This is probably my all-time favorite food. I absolutely love milk chocolate and I absolutely love strawberries. So the two of them together is about the best food EVER! This time I made them for our church group and I made both milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Here's how I make mine!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

1 carton strawberries - the riper the better!

1 bag chocolate chips - whatever kind of chocolate you prefer


wax paper or foil

Wash strawberries and dry gently with paper towels. Set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, put 1 c chocolate chips and 1/2 T shortening. (It may take more than this to cover all your strawberries depending on the size of your berries. This is just the ratio of chocolate to shortening.) Microwave on high for 1 min. Stir and then heat at 15 second intervals until chips are just melted. Do not overheat chocolate. Dip each strawberry in the chocolate and lay on wax paper (or foil) on a plate or baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hr. Eat!

I wanted to show you something new....

but it ain't gonna happen. My Alex is barfing today. Yuck. I do not handle barf well. So probably nothing new today.

But I am working on something really big. At least it is big to me. It probably won't be ready for a few weeks though. I really think you all will like it a lot though.

Actually, let me rephrase that - Mamak is working on something big for me! I am doing very little of the work because I am techie challenged.

Ok, off to do some more laundry.................

Thursday, February 8, 2007


I have been waiting to be able to share this news with y'all! I just became a member of my very first Design Team!!! Gina K Designs has the cutest stamps and pun-ny sayings!! I am so thrilled to be working with her and her images! Besides great images, she is just the nicest person! And she lives in WI, home of the bestest cheese curds ever! Something about that cold, squeaky, saltiness - nothing else is the same!

Anyway, you can view her blog here and read about what is like to design your own stamps. Or you can go view her fabulous images here! She sells other products as well as both unmounted and wood mounted images. Check it out!!

Manicotti and Sick Boy

I promised that recipe yesterday, but I just got busy! My oldest had a cup stacking tournament yesterday and it was a long night! Here's a link to a cool video in case you have no idea what cup stacking is. Supposedly it is excellent for hand/eye coordination. Anyway, this morning - poor guy has a fever. He is so upset because he's never missed a day of school - this kid loves to learn! Anyway, he's home hanging out with me today.

I do have that recipe, I made it yesterday as stuffed shells. I think it really turned out well - two of the boys even ate it! (My boys are SO picky! I can't wait til they become human vacuums like all boys eventually become, lol!) Anyway, the recipe is written as manicotti, but you can make it as either. Enjoy!


1 (8oz) package manicotti pasta
3 c whole ricotta cheese
2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 c grated parmesan cheese
1 T chopped fresh parsley
½ t salt
¼ t black pepper
3 eggs
2 ½ c (32 oz) spaghetti sauce (I always use more cause I love sauce!)

Bring water to boil, add pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes and drain. Cool on wax paper or foil.
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, ¾ c parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Fill manicotti with cheese. (I use a Ziploc baggie with the corner snipped off).
Coat 9x13 baking dish with spaghetti sauce. Place manicotti in single layer. Cover with remaining sauce. Bake for 45 minutes.

This recipe may also be used with jumbo shells, instead of piping the filling in with a baggie, you can just use a spoon to fill the shells.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I am so excited! I don't think I have ever won a drawing for anything in my whole life! But I was perusing some blogs the other day and I entered a contest on one. This morning I got an email and I WON! I think I am still in shock, lol! Anyway, since I just got my cuttlebug yesterday - it's the perfect prize too! A Cuttlebug embossing folder! I have only one folder and one die right now, so how exciting is this?!?!

Here is the link to Kim's blog, check her out! And a huge Thank You to you Kim!! I still can't believe I won!

Later today: A recipe for stuffed shells and hopefully something else pretty too!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Color Challenge 100!!!!

Wow, it's finally here! CC100! You can view the Color Challenge and the fantabulous prize here!

Leigh O'Brien made a gorgeous book of all the Color Challenges and it could be YOURS! Here are the two cards I did this week. I won't go into a lot of detail today, cause I gotta get my allergy shot. But, I will review the rolling pin/cuttlebug embossing folders idea. I hate it. I tried and tried. If you want a great ab workout - go for it. But it is HARD to get a good embossed image with this method. You must really spritz your paper and push very hard. And yes, I tried getting leverage, spritizing the paper, and using a mouse pad underneath. It was just plain hard!! But I did end up with a few ok embossings.

Have a great time with these colors! And I used the Textile folder from Cuttlebug. It is not one of the newest ones, it's been out for awhile, I think. Hope that helps!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Mailboxes, Marks and Meals

I just realized that I promised my Eggplant Parmesan recipe last week and never gave it! I'll post it right now. This is my most favorite meal EVER! My 6 yo loves it - has since he could eat food. The other two....well, they won't try it, but they don't really like stuff using pasta sauce so maybe when they are older.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Spaghetti sauce

2 eggs
2 T water
¼ c flour
1/3 c parmesan cheese

Wash and peel eggplant. Cut into ½ inch slices. Mix middle ingredients together to form a runny pancake batter. Dip eggplant into batter, then cook in hot oil. (4 to 6 minutes)
In large baking dish, pour thin layer of sauce. Place eggplant on sauce, sprinkle with sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until all eggplant is used.
Bake in oven at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes. (I usually double or triple the recipe - and it is just as good warmed up for leftovers, and I hate leftovers!)

So I know I have talked about how much I hate to have blood drawn. Well, I finally went last Wednesday for my follow-up bloodwork that the rhuematologist wanted. It was awful. I went to a cruddy lab - only to find out there was a nicer one closer to my house. I had to wait an hour. Then they tried to tell me they needed spinal fluid - um no, I've already had this test once and it NOT spinal! I think I'd remember that! Finally get it done and it HURT! I mean really hurt! This is a picture of the nasty bruise I got. Kinda hard to take a picture of your own arm, but I tried. I took this pic today and the bruise is 5 days old. I am such a baby.

And last but not least, another mailbox! I did this one with more basic grey blush papers, but I used those Li'l Davis chipboard letters to monogram it for one of the teachers. Alex and Andy wanted thiers done this way. Okie Dokie, that's fine with me! I think it turned out cute! Now I just need to finish the rest of them!

Don't forget, the 100th Color Challenge for Splitcoast is TOMORROW!!!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

What did you do during the Super Bowl??

Actually, I watched it. WOOHOO COLTS! But before it started, I managed to squeeze this in. I have had these Target $1 spot mailboxes for a few weeks now, but I have not made the time to do them. I even had paper all ready to go too. Anyway, I got these two little stamps at Recollections that had a heart stamp (postage stamp) and these little postmarked looking squiggles with hearts in them. I thought they would be perfect for making a little accent for the flag. I put this together for one of the boys' teachers for Valentine's day. I am making them for the boys' teachers and for my nieces. This one used Basic Grey's Blush papers, Joann's stamp, grosgrain ribbon, and O'So sticky tape. I think I will mod podge (under and over the papers) on the ones for my nieces - so they will be a little bit more durable. I have not decided what I will put in them, for the teachers, but I'll let you know!
I cut the blush paper 4 x 12. I put the seam under the mailbox and used the o'so sticky tape on the edges. I held the paper against the mailbox where I wanted it and kinda smooshed it against the screw on the handle. Then I used my 1/2 inch circle punch and punched where it had left a mark on the paper. I then cut a slit from the edge to the hole so I could put the paper on and slide it over the handle. You can't really even see it once it is all put together. I think this worked well. I used glue dots to put the ribbon around the front and back - and started on the underside so the seam would be underneath it. I'll show some more hopefully tomorrow!

YIPPEE!!!! She's doing it again!

I am so excited to pass this along! Remember how I was drowning in ribbon last week?!?! Well, now you can be too! Jody is having another Ribbon Share!! Just go to her blog and you can read about all the details. Let me tell you, you will NOT be disappointed in what you get! Here's a refresher of all the lovely ribbons I got when I did it. Now, the colors vary each time, based on what is availabe, etc. So here's a reminder pic!

Confessions of A Ribbon Addict - read the details here!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Beaded Pen Tutorial

Okay, here it is! These are so easy to make, and they are a great gift! I will let you in on where I get most of my supplies for this before I start the tutorial. The pens you can get a lot of places. Easiest is Walmart - a 2 pack is $1.06. You can get them at office supply stores in larger quantities and they are most likely cheaper that way.

The microbeads themselves you can also get a lot of places. I prefer one place for both my beads and my O'So sticky tape/sheets. I go to PennyWiseArts for all these items. Not only are they a great price there, but they are super nice and helpful too! I have been extremely please with the items I have gotten from them. For the pens I used 1/8 inch O'So sticky tape, 6 x 8 O'So Sticky Paper Backed Sheets, and Mini Micro Beads Clear - CB-1000. I could not recommend this store more, their products are the best, and they have the best prices too!

Beaded Pen Tutorial

Pentel R.S.V.P. ball point pen
O’so Sticky Sheets – piece cut to 2 ½ in x 3 ¼ inch
O’so Sticky Tape (or red liner tape)
Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
Bowl or Container long enough for a pen
Patterned paper (or Stamped paper) cut to 1 3/8 x 3 1/8 inches

Step 1:
Put red liner tape along both edges (lengthwise) of your patterned paper. The side you want to see on the pen should be facing down.

Step 2:
Removed one of the red strips and stick that part onto the barrel of the pen. Then wrap the paper around the pen very tightly. Remove the second red strip and adhere the end of the paper to the pen. Your paper should overlap slightly.

Step 3:
Remove one side of backing from your o’so sticky sheet. Very carefully (when it is stuck down, it is hard to move!) stick this onto your pen. I try to line it up on the opposite side of the patterned paper seam.

Step 4:
Very carefully, adhere the sticky sheet to the pen. When you reach the first edge of sticky paper, start there and remove the other side of backing. The end of you sticky paper should overlap your beginning seam. If they do not over lap, or there is a gap – this is easily fixable. Just cut another strip 3 ¼ inches long and just wide enough to cover your gap. Then stick it on the pen over the gap. This won’t be noticeable when the pen is finished, but a gap would be!

Step 5:
Pour microbeads into container. Drop sticky pen into beads and roll around to completely cover sticky paper.

Step 6:
Hold bead covered pen over container and roll between your fingers. This helps to get any loose beads off the pen and also kind of “set” the beads into the tape a bit more.

Step 7: (optional)
Hold beaded pen over container of glitter. Sprinkle glitter all over pen as you roll it around in your fingers. You want to really coat the pen with the glitter. Then tap it off several times (or thump one end with your other hand) to shake off excess glitter. I like the glitter because it fills any tiny gaps left from beads. Plus it just makes it sparklier!

That’s it! You’ve got a gorgeous, sparkly, beaded pen!

I made a few more just to show off different papers. In my experience, the darker designs or inks will look better with the beads on top. Lighter ones tends to get a little washed out by the beads. Have fun with it!

**ETA** I was asked how many pens you can get from one container of beads. I purchased a 5 oz bag at least a year ago. I still have over half of it left. I have made at least 30 pens so far as well as a few other projects. A little goes a long way with microbeads. And no, the beads do not fall off when the pen is used. I have some that are two years old and the beads are still on there!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Ribbon Storage, Valentines, and more!

This is kind of a hodge podge post. I've got a few things to share with you today, so get ready! The first is that ribbon storage I have been talking about sharing. I joined a ribbon share and got 30 colors of grosgrain ribbon in 10 yard segments. I looked around and settled on this storage solution. I love how Karen did hers and it was relatively cheap with sales and coupons. I got mine at Hobby Lobby. I only bought one drawer and not all my ribbon will fit. I had about 6 colors left over that wouldn't fit in the drawer. So I either need to buy a second drawer or hurry up and use a bunch of ribbon so I can squeeze more in! Anyway, I totally needed something to fill the space that my background stamps used to fill when they were stacked I put the drawer there. It's right next to me, easy to reach and it's really light so I can just pull it out and hold whatever I am working on right next to it to color match. Anyway, I got the drawers, the white cards and the clips at Hobby Lobby. They were all on the same aisle too.

Next I have a little valentine to share. I made this last night while I watched Scrubs with Matthew. Scrubs is only the best show on tv. It is completely our sense of humor. Anyway, here's a card I made while we watched. I used another $1 stamp from Michael's and Basic Grey Blush papers. I cannot get enough of the blush papers, and Recollections cannot keep them in stock! I used the mega scalloped punch for the striped Blush paper and sponged chocolate chip around the edges. I stamped the image on white cardstock, punched it out with the jumbo circle punch and sponged the edges with chocolate chip. I used markers to color the image. Then I stamped a strip of chocolate chip cardstock with paisley (in chocolate chip ink) and used the paper piercing tool to pierce along the top and bottom of the strip. I added pink organdy ribbon to that and mounted it on more Blush papers (also sponged in chocolate chip ink). Then did some more layering and voila! It's simple, but kinda shabby chic.

The last thing is another little gift set for a friend who is going through a hard time. I used more Basic Grey Romany on this set. Just a quickie Target notebook, monogrammed post-it holder, and a beaded pen. I hope it will at least cheer her up!

And tomorrow - the beaded pen tutorial will be here!!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

a truly touching story

I really feel led to share this with you all. I did not know this woman, but she graduated from my high school with my younger sister (mamakimberly). I have been reading this website - mostly kept up by her husband - for the past week, since my mother sent it to me. She is a 27 year old dying of colon cancer. At this point, her family is just praying for peace in her passing. She is on her way to be with Jesus.

She has two very young daughters that she will be leaving behind. I am just asking that you pray for her little girls and her husband. Actually, for her whole family. She is a beautiful young woman, inside and out. You can tell how much she is loved by the messages from her husband. This has truly struck a chord with me because of what an amazing witness her story is. I know there are many other people out there similar situations. I am awed by his positivity and his strength in the face of losing his young wife.

Here is a link to her website if you care to take a peek. Please pray for peace and comfort for her in her final moments....