Friday, September 12, 2014

A Fall Card and a Fall Soup Recipe



Not much to report on today. I spent most of the day working on another quilt top while Joe cut grass – again! Usually in September he only has to cut the grass once a week or less but with the couple of hot humid days we had and then a day of steady rain it grew like it was June. They are predicting another rainy day tomorrow so he was happy to get it done. I didn’t do any yard work with him today. My legs and back were still tired from standing and cooking all day yesterday. Speaking of which, one of my faithful followers requested I post the recipe for my veggie/cabbage soup – oh, oh big problem…I don’t use recipes. To me they are guide lines only and in this case, not even that. I can tell you what I put into it, but not measurements, and I can tell you how to do it but quite honestly not much that I make tastes the same twice.

Today’s card is posted at the end so if you are not into making soup, feel free to scroll down.

So, to make the soup, I suggest you chop all veggies ahead of time….chop potatoes last and put them in cold water so they don’t turn brown….drain water before adding to soup pot. I use my food processor for most of the chopping because some veggies that Joe says he doesn’t really like I chop up finer so he cannot identify them – and he loves my soup – so it’s pretty much mind over matter I’m guessing.

Okay, chop the veggies and yesterday I put in: onions, mushrooms, carrots, red peppers, green peppers, garlic, celery, sweet potatoes (yams) and red potatoes, cabbage, black beans and red kidney beans (because those are the two I had on hand). Feel free to add or subtract any veggie or bean. I use canned beans so I rinse them very well to remove the brine they come in. Sometimes I add corn and peas too, sometimes turnip or parsnips.

Pour broth into a large pot (no oil) – I don’t eat meat so mine was organic vegetable broth but any broth will work. If you are using bouillon cubes be careful of the sodium content….and if they contain corn syrup solids throw them away…eating that is like putting glass shards through your veins!  Sorry, off topic - Add a can of diced tomatoes and some tomato paste...to taste is the best I can say. I freeze tomato paste by placing about a tablespoon of it on parchment paper on a plastic or foil plate, cover with foil and freeze....then store in the freezer in a container or freezer bag. I hate that tomato paste comes in a can…it’s one of my pet peeves. Sorry, off topic again! Add seasonings – salt and pepper, Mrs. Dash, celery seed, etc. What ever you usually use is fine. If the broth and tomatoes do not cover the veggies, keep adding more of each until all veggies are under broth. You may have to add more as it cooks too.

Bring it all to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it cook away, stirring about every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick and to move the veggies around. It takes a long time if you are making a huge pot of it like I was (we ended up with enough for six(6) meals!) but for most people it should only take an hour or so. Here’s a hint, instead of buying a whole cabbage and having to slice it – I also hate that part – buy a bag of coleslaw cabbage already sliced up but use it for soup instead adding dressing for coleslaw….if it comes with julienne carrots it’s a bonus.

So that’s it. Keep stirring and tasting and adjusting seasonings as you go until the potatoes are done. When the potatoes are done, the soup is ready. I mixed up some cheese biscuits, with garlic butter drizzled over the top as soon as they came out of the oven, to eat with it and called it a meal!

Okay, whew, that was a long explanation. I think it’s easier to pass on an actual recipe! Today’s card is for the challenge at Stamping Bella. She is coming out with 40 new stamps this month! I could use some more stamps---yeah, right!


This image is one of the Ramona stamps and I decided to make it into a fall birthday card but I wanted Ramona to stand out so I coloured her in the green. This time I used my alcohol markers and Prismacolor and Derwent makers to do the shading. Paper is from the stash and I love it when it matches! The banner was die cut but the triangle shapes on it were too small for my liking so I used it as a foundation and die cut six larger banner pieces and wrote “wishes” on them. I think it works.

That’s all for a Friday,

Cheers
Violet

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Steampunk Dragonfly Card



I swear that Mother Nature is having menopausal systems! Seriously! The weather has been so odd this season and it continues. After a very cool summer, we’ve had a couple very, very hot humid days in September and then it turned cool again...and then hot and humid again. Last night about 10:00 Joe said it was getting humid in the house but I checked the thermostat and it was only 73ºF so I sure wasn’t putting the A/C on. It was still comfortable in the house when we went to bed but I woke up at 12:30 drenched in sweat! Whoa! What is going on? …..and no, I don’t get those hot flashes like some people do….never have before so I doubt if they are going to start now! I decided to open the window wider and man all I was getting was more hot humid air. I waited for half an hour and checked again and it was still blowing hot humid air into the house so I decided it was time for the A/C. The downstairs of the house was now 77ºF so the upstairs would have been close or over 80. Closed went all the windows and on went the A/C but by this time I was wide awake and tossed and turned for another couple hours before falling asleep again.

In the morning I mentioned to Joe that we could probably open the windows because I was turning the A/C off. “What?” he says. “When did you turn the A/C on? And why?” Honestly that man can sleep through thunderstorms and heat waves! “Well turn it off now, he says, it’s only 11ºC (51ºF)” Crazy, crazy weather.

I spent the entire afternoon doing two cooking jobs I really don’t enjoy…and I love cooking normally. I made a huge casserole dish full of cabbage rolls (vegetarian of course) and a HUGE pot of cabbage/veggie soup…yup, the old army mess pot was used again. We had the soup for supper along with some cheese/garlic biscuits I made and it was worth the effort for sure. Deeee-lish!

Yesterday was my oldest daughter’s birthday so I made her a steampunk card. All the members of my family got steampunk cards this year so I couldn’t leave her out.


Once again it was coloured with my Prismacolor and Derwent pencils. I sponged Mustard Seed Distress ink around the dragonfly and lightly sponged Tumbled Glass around the edges. The fancy square was die cut with a Spellbinder’s die and while it was still in the die I sponged some Tumbled Glass ink on the embossed parts. The sentiment is from Hot Off the Press and so is the background paper. These images are fun to colour.

That’s all for a Thursday,

Cheers
Violet




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Little Fireman Card



Rain, rain and more rain today. It started raining…and raining hard… right after lunch and didn’t stop until after 7:00 pm. The wind was fierce at times too so we had to close most of the windows which severely restricted getting some fresh air in the house. I hate having the A/C on so we just waited it out. I spent the afternoon in the sewing room working on yet another quilt top. 

After supper I headed down to the lower studio and got some more cards made. I had a friend ask me to make a specific card for her brother-in-law so I had to get it done, and get this week's challenge card done. They're done but not photographed yet.

Today’s card is an image that was a free digi stamp and I thought it would be great for a little boy’s birthday.


It was coloured with my Prismacolor pencils and blended with gamsol. All the other paper is from the stash.

It's almost 11:00 pm here and it's raining again. I think it was earlier on too but I was too lazy to get up and check. So that’s all for wet Wednesday,

Cheers
Violet


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Wall-hangings



It was a beautiful day here in Ontario, quite hot in the afternoon and a very busy one at our house. This morning was a) library b) fruit stand c) two different grocery stores and then d) lunch back at the house. Then this afternoon while Joe was cutting the grass I tackled three in the house jobs. 1) Blanched and froze a huge head of cauliflower. Joe’s cousin has a huge organic garden and grows way too much for them and brings us lots of veggies. Nice! 2) Cooked and froze 8 bags of red cabbage (also from the cousin) and apples. This was a LOT of work. Lots of chopping involved. Luckily I have a huge soup pan that Joe swears came from the army from WW1. It is old but not quite that old but I think I’ve had it for over 40 years. 3) While the cabbage and apples were finally cooking I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for Joe. I haven’t made them all summer so he was pleasantly surprised and eager to try them. I don’t like chocolate much so they are all his. I usually eat one right from the oven and cooled slightly and that’s enough for me. Needless to say we are both bushed tonight.

As soon as September starts I get out the fall wall-hangings for the wrought iron railing at the top of our stairs. Here’s what’s hanging there now. 

 

Love my jar wall-hanging. It reminds me of my mother and grandmother, both married to farmers with large families, so lots of canning was done by them.

My girls and I all love sunflowers so when our local quilt shop was teaching this stained glass affect I had to sign up for it.



 I had one lady who stopped by for a visit who thought this was real stained glass and I had to let her see it up close before she would believe that it was fabric.

That’s all for a Tuesday,

Cheers
Violet

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Big Guy Grills Card



I’m back with another card. Did you think I was MIA? Last Thursday was the annual appointment with the ophthalmologist and sure enough it was hours and hours before the lights didn’t hurt my eyes from those drops he put in. Friday we had deadly thunderstorms…yes, deadly. Sadly a young university student decided to take shelter from the rain at 9:00 a.m. and stood under some trees and was struck and killed by lightning. Please people; do not stand under trees in a thunderstorm, or anywhere there is a draft, like a pavilion. Better to just get wet. About 8:00 that night we had more thunderstorms go through so I wasn’t on the computer long enough to post anything. Of course, I seldom post on the weekend so here it is Monday again. 

Today was the first day back to making charity quilts at the church. We all have such fun doing this. My speech was a bit bizarre today but they are used to that and just laugh right along with me. That’s the kind of friends to have; ones that laugh with you and not at you!

So today I’m posting the card I was going to post on Friday. This was made for the Stamping Bella weekly challenge.


Her challenge was to use paper piecing on the card – which is his shirt. You stamp the image on cardstock and colour it and then stamp it again on patterned paper and cut it out and glue it over the other image. I love toding this so this was an easy card for me to do. The image was coloured with my Prismacolor pencils, except for the light blue around the image and the yellow around the flame which is chalk.

Next week’s challenge is a sketch. If you have a current Stamping Bella stamps, check out her blog for the sketch and enter.

That’s all for a Monday,

Cheers
Violet

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Leftover Baby Card



We had a lovely day today! The weather was perfect, more like an August summer day instead of September, which was nice so we opted to go to Port Stanley to see another play. It was hilarious! We loved it. Lunch was at the restaurant right across the street from the playhouse and after the play we stopped for ice cream. I think about half the audience from the play stopped at the same ice cream store. They make the ice cream on the premises and it is delicious!

This will be a short post because quite honestly, I’m bushed. I couldn’t get to sleep last night so I’m a bit tired today. There may not be a post tomorrow because it is the annual trip to the ophthalmologist and after he puts those drops in my eyes I am pretty much blinded by any amount of light at all for hours. Joe thinks it’s hilarious when he sees my eyes because they are just one big pupil.

But I do have a card for today. This card was made up from left over bits of paper and cardstock. Don’t throw out your leftovers people. Use them up instead.



The background paper and the green with stars is from two different paper sources. The blue “C” was from another. The yellow with congratulations and the tag from another set and the cute baby eyelets were from the dollar store I think. I think this is a very cute card and no one would guess it was not from a paper set.

That’s it for tonight,

Cheers
Violet

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Too Many Photos to Choose From..What to do, What to do...



Not much happening around here today. It was pouring rain all morning which put a damper on outside activities. I finished one quilt top today and worked on a few cards. I was watching a YouTube video about using Distress Inks and making your own background for cards so I went down to give it a try.  I think I grabbed some cheap water colour paper and it’s not blending well. Back to the drawing board on that technique!

I thought I’d stir things up a bit and post a scrapbook layout….with multiple photos on each page. I love how this turned out. We took two of the grandsons to a place where they had kiddie rides and mini golf. This is from 2010 and boy have those kids grown since then!


I had so many cute pictures of them on the rides and playing golf that it was impossible to choose just a few for a layout using the full size photos so I opened a 4x6 new file in Photoshop and choose nine photos of them playing mini golf with Grampa. By shrinking each photo to 2” I was able to put three in a row, 2 layers thick and printed them off as one photo. Then I just cut them in half leaving three intact. These photos were then glued to a green background piece leaving a scant border and I used some patterned paper to fill in the odd blanks. I did the same with the ride photos but added one extra row. For the first page I traced and then hand cut the red shape using a template from Hot Off the Press. I made the tag from left over bits of paper. The other set of photos were first glued to a light blue piece of paper to pick up the blue in the other layout, and then it was glued to a pale yellowish-green piece. I used some bellies from a Theme Park pack from Hot Off the Press on those blank squares. To make the large red corner pieces, I cut a large square, cut it in half on the diagonal then notched the middle so the photo sheet would sit inside of it. The title “fun” was made from a set of blah letters and I painted them red to match. The background paper is from the stash. I wanted another bellie on the left hand layout and I had won a package of those little flags on toothpicks ages ago and I just wrote “fore” on it and glued it into the corner. These were fun pages to put together.

Here are the individual pages for a closer look.



That’s all for a rainy Tuesday,

Cheers
Violet



Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!



Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Yup, today’s my birthday and I’m the ripe old age of 67 now. I still feel like I’m in my 20’s most days, and probably act more that way too according to some people (hubby) but I enjoy life too much to sit around and feel sorry for myself for what ever problem crops up. I prefer to dwell on the positives instead of the negatives in life.

This is going to be a long post because I want to share my experience on Saturday biking at the park. The card will follow so skip this part if you don’t want a laugh. It was very hot and humid on Saturday…and every day since then. This is the first time all summer that we’ve had the A/C on 3 days in a row…..but back to the bike ride. We like to ride the trails and came out of one and onto the pavement and I’m riding along just enjoying the day when I looked down and saw a spider on the mirror attached to my bike handle…a big spider too….and he was crawling up towards the handle. AAAGGGHHHH. I HATE spiders and I took that hand off the handle and started yelling for Joe to come back to rescue me. Turns out I don’t steer very well with one hand and while panicking. Luckily we were on a closed road so I didn’t hit into a car or one didn’t hit into me because let me tell you people I was all over the place. I finally had the sense to stop and jumped off the bike just as Joe came back and he’s all panicky thinking I’m having a seizure of some kind and when I point to the dreaded spider he started to laugh. Laugh people. He was laughing at me. He blew the spider off which swung down his web so Joe waved over the web and the spider hits the pavement….right by my foot! STOMP! Joe says, “What did you do that for? That spider wasn’t going to hurt anything out here?”  Yeah well he landed by my foot and it was an involuntary reaction. Took a few minutes for the heart rate to return to normal that’s for sure and it didn’t help that Joe kept looking back at me and smirking. Okay you would think that’s the end of the story but it’s not. I woke up about 2:00 a.m. in a cold sweat because that darn spider was spooking me in a nightmare…and he was even bigger and closer to me. AAAGGGHHHH! Took awhile for me to get back to sleep because every time I closed my eyes, you know what I was seeing! When I told Joe in the morning about the nightmare, did I get any sympathy – NO! I got, “Serves you right for stomping on it”.  Grrrrrrr.

He made up for it though! His sister is still in hospital and not the local one so yesterday we drove to where she is (about 2 hours drive most days) and had a visit. She is getting much better and will be home in a day or two. So, we decided we wanted some Chinese for supper and we remembered going to a nice one with lots of choices that was reasonably priced so we headed for there – closed  {we don’t eat meat (except sea food and Joe eats chicken on occasion) so we like the buffet style ones} Oh boy that left the Mandarin Inn which is very, very nice and very, very expensive. We went for it. We had the best Chinese meal ever and that was my birthday meal gift. Nice! I haven’t had crab legs for about 4 or 5 years so I feasted on them the most. Definitely got my money’s worth there! Not sure what today will bring because we just had a rain storm come through and they are predicting a thunderstorm as well. Doesn’t matter. Just being alive is a fine birthday present to me! I think I’ll get some more card making in or maybe work on my current quilt project!

Okay, now the card. This is another Magnolia image.


Once again it was coloured with Prismacolor pencils. (My birthday gift from my girls was a set of Derwent pencils with colours I didn’t have and they are every bit as nice as the Prismacolor ones…and a set of the Derwent water colour pencils which I really wanted.) Back to the card….the ovals are from Spellbinder’s and I die cut both the purple and white one with the same die and then cut off the edge of the white one to layer on top of the purple. The ones in the set were too big for what I wanted. I sponged chalk around the image.  The ribbon and paper is from the stash. The ribbon at the top is just a piece of left over ribbon. I keep these instead of throwing them out because they sure come in handy for accent pieces.

That’s all for a Monday.

Cheers
Violet


Friday, August 29, 2014

Tomorrow you can eat broccoli???



Tomorrow you can eat broccoli???  I'll explain at the end of the post.

Another Friday already! It started out cool but turned out to be a beautiful day. All the clothes dried on the clothesline without any chance of rain which was nice. I spent the morning putting another quilt top together but then we decided it was too short for the son-in-law I had it planned for (he’s 6’3” at least) so I have to make another row of blocks. No problem. I have lots of stash. This afternoon just as I was leaving to visit people in the nursing home the mail came and the only mail was a parcel from my girls – a birthday present. They bought me a set of Derwent water colour pencils and a set of Derwent coloured pencils, like my Prismacolor ones. Nice. I wanted to sharpen them and play right away but I had to get my visits in first. Tonight will be colouring time!

Today’s card is for the Stamping Bella challenge which was a sketch.


I love these Senioritas images. I coloured it with alcohol markers, except for the face and hair. I don’t have any markers in the flesh tones – yet!!! All the paper is from the stash.

Tomorrow you can eat broccoli is the sentiment inside today’s card and this time I photographed the inside as well.
 

This is the long weekend. The end of summer once again. (big, big sigh) Even though I love the fall colours it means that nasty cold wind and wet snow is going to follow. Lots of rain predicted for our area over the weekend so not sure what we’ll be doing. What ever you have planned, I wish you lots of fun and good weather.

Cheers
Violet


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Great Blue Heron and a Warbler Card



It was another typical, for this year, summer day today. Hot while in the sun but cold when the sun went behind a cloud and the wind picked up. We had our blue jean shirts on and off all afternoon depending on where we were in the park. Yup, another 26.7km on the bikes again today. They are calling for rain for the weekend so we thought we better get a ride in today.

I am posting a card today but first I’m posting some pictures of a Great Blue Heron that I took last weekend in Sarnia. We went for a long walk through Canatera Park and there is a lot of water throughout the trails – canals and a small lake, Lake Chipican. Right opposite Lake Chipican is Lake Huron. As we were at the edge of the small lake Joe spotted this heron standing still and hunched up. After I snapped a few pictures we continued along the trail and looked back to see the heron move to the edge of the lake by the road and start feeding. I was only about 15 feet from him and he didn’t even look at me. Beautiful bird. Here are a few photos of him. I was actually looking for the Green Huron but once again he eluded us. This one made up for that though.






Okay and now the card which also features a bird – the most sought after warbler every May in Ontario – the Prothonotary Warbler. We were lucking enough one year to see two males and a female and they sat still for some photos – about 200 I think!!! This is one of my favourite photos of the male and I made it into an easel card.


I should have taken a side view shot but I didn’t. The sentiment was added in Photoshop on the card and the sentiment stamped on the blue portion is from Stampin’ Up. To keep the card from folding down flat I added a row of gems along the yellow bit. It does lay down flat for mailing but they look so nice standing up. If you’ve never made an easel card before, I encourage you to do so. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube and on the Internet itself.

That’s all for Thursday,

Cheers
Violet

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