Sunday, June 24, 2012

PTI Blog Hop June 2012

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This month's Blog Hop is all about floral, ruffles and pleats.

Here's my take on the challenge - a little ditty for the Operation Write Home basket. The photo is not very good.  Using white ink I stamped the flowers randomly on golden harvest cardstock, and then stiched a zig-zag border.  If this card wasn't destined for OWH, I would have glittered the lace doiley for an extra special touch.  I didn't think any sentiment was necessary.

Papertrey Ink Stamps: Flower Fusion #4 and #6
Scalloped Border die, Lace doiley die,
Button, Ink and cardstock also from Papertrey Ink

Make It Monday

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This week's challenge: embellishments

Here's my take on the challenge - a little something for a dear cousin on her birthday. Using a framed out sentiment for the main theme, I embellished the card with a butterfly to make the card "pop".

Papertrey Ink Stamps:  Flower Fusion #4 and #6, Signature Series: Butterfly
Ink and cardstock also from PTI.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Make It Monday #69

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This week's design challenge from Papertrey Ink is to make something based on one of the Inspirational Sketches provided by Nicole Heady.

I spent a few hours of the morning making two cards - one for my current Send Love Today assignment and then second for a sweet young lady graduating from high school today.  I particularly like this layout and will likely use it often in the future.  I think it has the feel of opening up a gift and getting a glimps of a little treat.

PTI Supplies: Pink patterns 6x6 paper, berry sorbet satin ribbon
PTI Stampsets: Beautiful blessings and Background Basics Medallions

Here is the Graduation Invitation - my secondary inspiration source.
School colors: Navy blue and silver
I used two-sided piece of paper  for the top sheet.  I rolled back the paper and
secured it with brads.  This really gave the card a three-dimensional feeling -
almost like opening a gift. Did you notice that the emblem was cut out from the invitation? 

Today the sun was shining through the clouds and really warmed up the Island.  One comes to not take the sun for granted in the Pacific Northwest, and each time you are lucky to feel its warm kiss on your cheek it's a small miracle in an otherwise ordinary day.

Wishing all of you experience a miracle each and every day of this coming week,

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Make-It-Monday #68 and a Birthday Wish

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This week's design challenge from Papertrey Ink is to make a Pocket Card based in the sample from Heather Nicoles.  I always love Heather's cards - great colors and design mixes.

Pocket Card Samples by Heather Nicoles

I decided to make two different cards.  One for my sweet mama for her birthday and the other for my current Send Love Today assignment.

A little note is tucked inside this pocket card to wish my
Send Love Today assignment a week full of warm hugs.

This pocket card is a pretty means to present a gift card to my sweet mama.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet mama!!

Lunch at the Dockside Grill at the John Wayne Marina in Sequim, WA
(Yes - those are the magnificant Olympic Mountains in the background.)

No whales today, but lots of fishing boats to entertain us while dining.

Nothing better than a hand-crafted hot cocoa with real chocolate and
whipped cream to celebrate a birthday!

Wishing everyone a week full of God's warm hugs,

Friday, May 25, 2012

PTI Make It Monday

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This week's Make It Monday challenge from Papertrey Ink is to create something mixing paper patterns.  Betsy Veldman presented her method of selecting various paper patterns and color combinations when creating projects.  I liked her layout so much that I used it to create my own version.

Betsy's examples for the project.

My take on Betsy's layout. 

PTI blog hop

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This month's Papertrey Ink Blog Hop challenge is to create something based on this inspiring photo - Bright greens with bold black & white patterns.

Here's my creation - destined for my Send Love Today assignment.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Scrappy Bits

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Another Make It Monday challenge from Papertrey Ink. This week the challenge is to make something using paper scraps for the background. Well, let me tell you - have I got scraps! I don't throw out any of the beautiful bits and pieces left over from a project - be it paper, fabric, felt, ribbon ... You get the idea.  I think I get this habit from generations of savers.  My grandfather, orphaned during the Great Depression, saved every nut and bolt in baby food jars.  If you needed anything, go ask Pap Pap and rest assured he'd have it or something that would do just fine. 

This sweet thing is destined for my Send Love Today assignment.
I plan to tuck a packet of lotion in the card as a special treat.

All paper (except the white card) is from my scrap collection.
Papertrey Ink Stamps:  Tagged Sentiments
Other Papertrey Ink Products: cardstock, ink, felt

I often incorporate scraps into my cards. It's really easy with so many lovely border punches, die cuts and such. The challenge is in storing the scraps so they don't get lost or end up all over the place. I have found the simplest way to store scrap paper is in a binder. I place the scraps in plastic paper protectors organized by color. Pieces of felt and buttons are likewise stirred in jars organized by color. Ribbon is stored on little spools in a plastic organizer and fabric bits are stored in baskets. I don't throw anything away until it's nearly a speck.

A 3-ring binder with plastic protector sleeves provides an
inexpensive and easy way to organzie left over paper scraps.

Little scraps become itty-bitty adornments in future projects.
I often use Glossy Accents or fine glitter to make the die cuts extra special.
Pre-cut die cutouts from paper scraps just waiting for a project.

Scrap bits used to make little gift boxes, cupcakes and other special
finds in this birthday menagerie.

Stop back tomorrow to see what this collection of pink paper scraps turn into for Mother's Day.

Any guesses what these bits of scrap paper and ribbon will become?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Make it Monday Color Challenge

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This week's Papertrey Ink Make It Monday Challenge is to make something using the color inspiration sheet provided.  I chose to make the (near) same card that Nicole Heady made but using a different color palette.

Nicole Heady's Sample

My version of Nicole's card using a different color palette.

All PTI product used to create this card.
PTI Stamp Sets Used:  Flower Fusion 12, Background Basics Medaliion,
Tiny Treats Birthdays, Tagged Sentiments

Isn't it interesting how a simple change, like a different color palette, can make a card look completely different?  This one is destined for a my new Send Love Today assignment - a 40 year old woman with glioblastoma brain cancer. 


To celebrate Cinco de Mayo I made Arroz Con Pollo to satisfy my mother's craving for saffron rice.  There are many different ways to make this simple Chicken with Rice dish.  Today I used a recipe from Martha Stewart Living.  It was a very easy dish to make and relatively inexpensive.  Saffron can be pricey, but you need only use a pinch (altough I used three pinches).  This recipe is very traditional with the strong Spanish undertones of saffron.  For more color, you may want to place pimientos on the top.  I give this recipe a "two thumbs up" given that the pan was empty at the end of dinner.

Arroz Con Pollo

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 6 chicken thighs (6 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed
  • 3 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia
  • 1 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives
Combine wine and saffron; let stand until ready to use. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or heavy-bottomed, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium, and cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add tomato, and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Stir in wine-saffron mixture, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the bay leaves. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Add chicken, stock, rice, and olives; bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, stirring halfway through, until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (If rice is not done, add more stock, cup at a time.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy your week! - Debbie

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Musings

Pin It Not much dabbling in my craft studio, but I did manage to squeak out a pair of cards for this week's Papertrey Ink Make It Monday challenge - glitter accents.

Two simple birthday cards with glittered  ribbons on the gift boxes.
I think the bottom card with the finer grit glitter turned out nicer.
PTI Stamp Sets and Dies: Make A Wish


Oatmeal - Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think everyone has a personal preference for chocolate chip cookies.  Some like them chubby, others like them flat.  Some like them chewy, others like them hard for dunking.

This month's Food Network Magazine featured a chocolate chip cookie recipe with oatmeal and flaxseed.  You could almost call it a healthy cookie :)   This cookie is very flat and crisp (but not hard).  I found it perfect for dunking in a glass of cold milk.

This cookie tin is destined for my mom & dad.
 I did keep a few for my wonderful hubby to snack on late at night.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Make it Monday: Computer Sentiments

Pin It This week's Make It Monday challenge is to print sentiments from your computer and then die cut them. Erin Lincoln has a wonderful video tutorial if you want to learn her tricks for perfect placement ( ). This will definitely become a frequently used technique for the Operation Write Home cards I make.

For this week's challenge, I simply used a Happy Easter sentiment.

Now, on to decorating the house for Easter. I wonder if I can coax out the sun? - Deb

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cheap Eats: Gemelli with Scallops

Pin It So maybe not the cheapest recipe to share, but a reasonable price none-the-less when serving four.  You could easily substitute a less expensive fish (like shrimp) or meat (like chicken) in place of the scallops.  Scallops were on sale at my local QFC, so I treated the family on Sunday. 

Not one bite left at the end of the meal.  Very Yummy.

Gemelli with Scallops, Snap Peas and Aspargus

(Source: Coastal Living Magazine March 2012)
Recipe can also be found here:
(I love - it's a great website for finding and storing recipes!  Try it -  you'll like it!)


  • 8 ounces of gemelli
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped (I used bacon)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped  
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, and cook 3 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels. Return skillet to cooktop, and add 2 tablespoons oil, onion, and garlic; cook, over medium-high heat, 5 minutes or until onion starts to soften, stirring occasionally. Add asparagus; cook 2 minutes or until bright green. Stir in peas, and cook 2 minutes. Add vermouth; cook 1 minute or until reduced to a glaze. Stir in tarragon and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.

3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add to skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

4. Return large skillet to cooktop. Add cooked pasta and 2 tablespoons butter, and cook 1 minute or until butter melts. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in cheese, half of reserved pancetta, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Divide pasta among 4 bowls, top each evenly with scallops, and sprinkle with remaining pancetta.

Here's a quick reference for buying scallops :

I recommend buying scallops that are not soaked in a phosphate solution.  To prepare the scallops before cooking, let them drain well on a paper-towel lined plate (cover scallops on top with paper towel as well) to remove  any wetness.  This will help ensure a nicely browned scallop after cooking.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

Pin It This month's PTI blog hop challenge: aqua and yellow. Here are just a few of my creations - enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Make It Monday - Colored Kissing

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Challenge:  Using atleast one papertry ink product, create a card using the colored kissing technique.

Here's my creation, using this week's PTI challenge.  This was a new technique for me - kind of neat.

PTI Products Used: Flower Fusion stamp sets and medallion background stamp;
PTI ink and cardstock - pure poppy and aqua mist; pure poppy twill ribbon.

I think this cutie is destined for the Operation Write Home basket.  Have you joined the mission yet?!

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