Saturday, December 29, 2007

A mini book--in sketches!

Janelle turned out the cutest mini book ever with the January WIP Kit, and sketched it out for each one of you to lift! Here is the cover:
And here is the first of the mini sketches (the others will be in tomorrow's post...stay tuned!)

And I also wanted to post this correction...

(...and the journaling on this lo is to die for! Seriously, he's a total keeper!)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 28, 2007

My Favorite Dip...and Sketch #3...

Is it me, or does the time between Christmas and New Years fly by at warp speed? I hope you are all enjoying this time with family and friends. I plan on scrapping my life away all day tomorrow with girlfriends, and we'll be eating lots of this...I want to apologize in advance for the bad photo. I promise I'll take a better one tomorrow. But believe me when I say this...

THIS is my all time favorite dip.

Whenever I make it, it is gone quickly. I can't take credit--my dear friend Marti is the one who brought it to a crop a couple of years back. Now we don't get together without it. Try it--you won't be sorry you did--I promise...

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2- 10 oz. cans of chicken, drained

2- 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)

¾ c. Frank’s Hot Sauce

1 c. Ranch Dressing

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Heat chicken & hot sauce in skillet thoroughly. Add cream cheese, cheddar and ranch dressing. Transfer to crock pot and serve with Tostitos, crackers, or celery sticks. Enjoy!

And here is the third lovely sketch of the week from Janelle. Did the girl bust out the walls to the kit or what? Totally adorable!

Okay guys...enjoy your Saturday! I hope you get some scrappy time in!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Fun Idea and another sketch...

This great idea comes from a very creative friend, Michelle Griffith...

She's hosting a New Year's Eve party and has made these for all of her guests. The CD is lightscribed with their photo--so cool! And for under $3.00 each, it is a unique and memorable gift...And here is the cover she created...
Thanks for sharing, Michelle! Always love your work!

And the second sketch of the week has completely inspired me to use this one today for a Christmas layout...

Could this lo be any more darling? I think not!

Stay tuned for a challenge coming up...I feel a RAK coming...


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A special treat...

I love a sketch. There's nothing like them. I have no idea how to come up with them--but I love working one that catches my eye....
And as a little post-holiday treat, the amazingly talented Janelle Richmond has whipped up a special surprise for us...

A sketch a day, for the next 5 days! And as if that weren't enough...she's created a layout as an adorable sample for every single one of her sketches! Check it out!

She used the January WIP kit for this one, and used the add-on as well. Love her work and I'm amazed at her sketches! So be sure to check back every day and see what else she brings us, okay? Feel free to print them out--she's made them exclusively for WIP! I know I'll be cropping all day Saturday and will print these babies out and put them to use for sure...

(And if you'd like to see more of her stuff, check out the link to her sketch site to the right...)


Monday, December 24, 2007

Some more fun with the January Project Kit!

I just finished using the acrylic album that Trish put in the January Project Kit and I wanted to share! Here is my finished album and a quick formula for putting together this mini.

I decided to do a Disney mini and chose my ten favorite photos from our trip earlier this year. I trimmed each photo down to the size of the album and backed it with cardstock from the kit (I alternated with two patterned papers). I then layered 7G labels on the patterned paper next to each photo and used them for my journaling (with some simple embellishing using the wordfetti stickers and bling along the way).

This is definitely a mini you could put together at one sitting! I pulled one of the Jenni Bowlin alpha cards from a previous WIP kit and used it on the front as "title page" and tied a ribbon to keep in together.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Well, I'm finishing up some my last gifts, and I wanted to share a couple of ones from today...

I wrapped many gifts in simple brown paper this year, tied up with string. I sewed two felt pieces of holly together and added two yo-yo's as berries, added some wire and a bow and was finished with this in no time. I actually made several at once, and it went by quickly!I also got really hung up on the Martha Stewart paper at Michael's (and at $2 a roll--who could go wrong?) (Thanks Anilu--you enabler you!) I used a ton of my stash this year, and it made me so happy! I also used a lot of photos for tags (will show more of this in months to come...)
So before I finish up my gift wrapping, I just wanted to stop for a moment and wish each and every one of you a sincere wish for the best holiday ever. My husband and I are blessed to live near both of our families, and will be spending the next few days with them. On behalf of my family and the Work In Progress team, we hope you have a very, very Merry Christmas!
Peace to you all...

Love, Trish & Chris Turay

Friday, December 21, 2007

Coming down the stretch...

I'm so into pretty wrapping today! Anilu totally inspired me the other day, and tonight I plan on digging in and finishing up some gifts. I'll try and post more tomorrow...My daughter has a "big sis" at school who is a dream. We covered these giant sized chocolate bars for her last night, using the December WIP Kit leftovers. Quick and fun! And what 5th grader wouldn't love that?
And these are the chocolate covered spoons that I made to go along with the homemade cocoa, chocolate covered marshmallows and peppermint sticks. I added little gingerbread candies to match some of the mugs I had, bagged them up and tied with a ribbon. (Can't take credit for this--thanks again, Val!)

Can I also say that my friends and family that have received Anilu's jewelry have simply loved it? It wouldn't be a bad idea to email your husband the link and tell him that you'd like something for New Year's! Seriously, if you're a mom who doesn't do much for yourself, you should wander over to her etsy shop. The quality of her jewelry is top notch--and it is so unique! It has been the big hit so far this giving season for me...

And to end this post, I wanted to thank you all for your interest in the January Project Kit. It sold out this afternoon! BOTH kits will have newsletters sent out on January 1st this time around.

Enjoy a festive evening everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two more recipes & a cute container...

I made these today...(and they're both straight out of my favorite Paula Deen cookbook called Paula Deen & Friends...Living it up, Southern Style.

(Thanks, Dawn! Still use that book all the time!)

Oreo Cookies

2 boxes Devil’s Food Cake Mix

4 eggs

1 1/2 C. shortening

1 tsp. vanilla

Roll into 1 inch balls and bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Cookies will be soft, let them stand for 2-3 minutes. Do not over bake. Add cream cheese frosting between two cookies and serve.

Paula Deen's Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie Recipe
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Brown Butter Icing, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 1 or more cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Brown Butter Icing.

Brown Butter Icing:
1/2 cup butter
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in 3 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough water (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle on warm cookies.

Yield: enough to ice 5 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

And I got these cute containers at Michael's. I bought a few extras because I also intend on using some of them for friends we'll visit next week. I plan on making little "Celebrate 08" tags for them and the New Year...
Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

31 Days of Christmas & 2 Recipes...

I had the wonderful opportunity to take Melodee Langworthy's 31 Days of Christmas class a few weeks ago in Michigan. Tina had heard about her on Ali's blog, and so we treated ourselves and spent the day shopping and scrapping. I've been working on the book daily, and wanted to share a few of the photos...

It is a chipboard 4x6 book, documenting anything you'd like throughout the month of December. My favorite part? The fact that it was done before the month started, and I simply had to add photos as I went. Love that.
The cover:You can add as many pages as you want. It accommodates up to 90 4x6 pictures!

And there is a date page indicating when each new day starts. Lots of stamping and painting in this project.
And it is filling up!
Check out her blog--she is really creative, and a wonderful gal!

Okay, yesterday I spent most of the entire day baking. I'd like to share this idea from my friend, Val...

Chocolate covered marshmallows. Just stick a lollipop stick in the big ones, and dip them quickly. Let dry and bag them. Serve with homemade hot cocoa in a jar.
I made the homemade cocoa and put some in jars & others in pastry bags. I will print out the recipe and include it with the gift on a small tag. Feel free to add mini marshmallows or chocolate chips if you'd like too! Val took the liberty to dip spoons into chocolate and add those with her gift basket. At the bottom left of the photo below, I tied together candy cane sticks that were covered in dark chocolate that I purchased (I saw some at Hobby Lobby and Williams Sonoma). We love our neighbors across the street, so this one is for them...
Here is the recipe for the hot cocoa:

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

2 C Nonfat dry milk
1 C Sugar
1/2 C Cocoa
1/2 C. Nondairy Creamer
1 Dash Salt

Now, if you really want to go the extra mile...add this adorable poem...

Snowman Soup

When the weather outside is frightful,
Snowman Soup can be delightful.
May it warm your spirit and your soul.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
When you feel a chill or burrrrrr,
Use the peppermint stick to stir.
Add hot water and sip it slow.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.

Thanks for the ideas, Val! Love you!

Okay, one more recipe for you...

Rocky Road Cookies

1 stick butter, softened ¼ tsp. salt

¼ C. firmly packed brown sugar ½ C. chopped peanuts

1 egg ½ C. chocolate chips

1 tsp. vanilla extract ½ C. mini marshmallows

1 ¼ C. flour ½ tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Add vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt and beat until blended. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly press 1-4 marshmallows into center of each cookie. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes, or until golden. Let cookies cool for about 2 minutes, and then remove to a rack and cool completely.

Okay guys...enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stick them up!!!

Your chipboard letters from the January Project Kit,that is. :) Here is a quick and fun idea for turning the chipboard elements into a cute magnetic photo display!

First, cover your chipboard letters with patterned paper. I chose the ledger prints and used liquid glue to adhere the paper to the chipboard. (Note: while the paper is drying on the chipboard, place a heavy book on top to prevent "curving" of the chipboard).

Next, choose your favorite family photo(s) that you want to display . Clip them to the chipboard pieces using the clip provided in the kit (I decided that I liked the clean look of the "X" and chose one great photo for my project). Layer a heart doily behind your photo and add your favorite sticker phrase from the Making Memories wordfetti above the photo. I chose the "I Adore You" phrase since it fit my feelings perfectly for this photo (you see, I am usually behind the camera, so it's nice to have a photo of all of us together!) .

Finish off with a piece of trim tied to your clip. Voila!

I also took one extra step and added some magnets (purchased at my local craft store) to the back of my chipboard pieces so that I could display my creation. Piece of cake! And since Trish included not one, but TWO pieces of each the "X" and heart, you can make a second set to give as a gift!

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Check this out!

My dear friend Kelly has a photo up for the Tara Whitney contest! You can check out her blog here--she is amazingly talented! So go ahead...cast your vote! Good luck, Kelly! And remember, you can only vote once, K?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gingerbread Houses

I host a mother/daughter gingerbread house party every year. Today was the day! And despite the blizzard conditions, we all had fun!The set up is so simple. Buy lots of candy (or make a list and ask each mom to contribute one bag) and put them into little dishes. I like to pre-make the houses the night before so that the kids can jump right in. Their attention span isn't that long, and they usually get impatient waiting for the royal icing to dry, so this is done beforehand. I simply use graham crackers, royal icing and a small cake base (found at a candy store for a dime each!)...
Don't forget cereals, marshmallows, cookie sprinkles, chocolate chips, etc. I used what I had in the pantry, and every year it is different!

And a very special thank you to everyone who contributed toys for the Metro PICU in honor of Ryan Zarlenga. If you weren't able to make it or would still like to donate, she will still be taking the toys up to the hospital, so you can get them to me and I'll get them to her!

Stay warm, wherever you are!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Smattering of this...and a dash of that...

Here are some of the soap dispensers I made yesterday...
I keep extra gifts like these on hand, because you never know when you'll need them! You simply peel the label of a "Softsoap" dispenser off and use rubons in its place. I added a small red ribbon and tag, with a little metal snowflake and brad--and done! If you happen to be one of the lucky gals to order the December WIP Project kit, the snowflakes were included in that kit! I know I posted this idea back in October, but it was worth repeating to me. (And yes, I do them for most holidays in my house.)

And for Rita, the gal who asked about my carolers, here is the link. The ones I collect represent the children of the world. I have some who look like paupers, and some rich bratty ones. She makes all sorts of neat things, and most everyone in my family collects them. My mom's collection resembles our family. They make me happy.

And here are some more recipes I wanted to share. The first is from my friend Julie Krous. She and her husband Bruce both went to Ohio State, and she makes these every year. They are totally divine--especially if you love peanut butter!

The second recipe is from the one and only Becky Higgins. CK posted a favorite recipes book to retailers a few years back, and this recipe of hers was in there. I love them, especially because they're no bake!

And last but surely not least, the brownie recipe is from my good friend, Val. These are killer--no kidding. I'm hungry thinking about them right now...
Ohio State Buckeyes

1 lb. butter 2 lbs. peanut butter

3 lb. confectioner sugar 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 bar paraffin 1 box toothpicks

Soften butter to room temp. Mix butter, peanut butter, sugar (mix well). Roll 1” balls and put on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets. Put a toothpick in the middle of each ball; freeze overnight. Melt chocolate in double boiler, cut paraffin and add to chocolate. Dip balls into melted chocolate to look like a Buckeye. Chill or freeze. Take toothpicks out and enjoy! Makes approx. 200 Buckeyes.

Chocolate Oat Squares

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine—softened & divided

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

4 tsp. vanilla extract, divided

3 cups quick cooking oats

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream 1 cup butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Combine the oats, flour, 1 tsp. salt and baking soda; stir into creamed mixture. Press 2/3 of oat mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan. In a saucepan, combine milk, chocolate chips and remaining butter and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in walnuts and remaining vanilla. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Val's Mint Brownies

Layer #1

1 C Sugar

1/2 C Butter (or margarine)

4 Eggs

1 C Flour

1/2 t Salt

1 16oz. Can Hershey's Syrup

1 t. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Spread in greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Layer #2

2 C Confectioners Sugar

1/2 C. Soft Butter

3/4 t. Mint (Peppermint) Extract

2 T. Water

2 Drops Green Food Coloring

Mix together and spread on top of cooled brownie layer.

Layer #3:

6 T. Butter

6 oz. Chocolate Chips (1 C)

Melt Together. Spread lightly or drizzle over mint layer. Cool, then cut into small squares. Freezes well! Enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


A few years back, Hallmark began creating ornaments to house photographs. I got a bunch of them that year, and gave each one of them as gifts to my husband's aunts. They loved them so much, it sparked a tradition.

This year, I decided to start collecting ornaments that hold photographs too. So I got to playing, and this is what I have so far. Each one of the photos is from a Christmas past. And this entire tree are pictures from either my childhood, or favorite old photographs. I am now working on my husband's childhood Christmas pictures, and those will go on another tree on the other side of this sofa table. They're not large trees, but walking by them brings a big smile to my face...

I made a ton of these block ornaments in 2004. I made them by the dozen and gave them to family members and neighbors, and they make me happy. Becky Higgins had the idea originally and I believe it was in a CK somewhere...
On the bottoms of the blocks, there is a name and a date representing each person on the block. You could do individuals or entire groups could be done easily. Buy the plain wood blocks, use paint pens (they cover so much nicer and only require one coat and I love them!). Print out your photos, leaving room to see the wood block underneath. Then place an epoxy sticker (clear ones) over the top of the picture, to give it that raised look. I also added the epoxy sticker to the name on the bottom as well. Put in a small eye hook on the top (didn't even require a drill--just a strong wrist) and some ribbon, and you're done!

And for the 3 people who asked about my return address label stamp, I got it from
Enjoy your evening!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Answers to a few questions...

Good morning!

Just wanted to answer a few of the questions I've been getting from some of the emails and such...The reindeer food pictured in the December Project kit simply consists of oatmeal and some glitter. My kids like to spread it out on the lawn on Christmas Eve because they believe it entices the reindeer to stop.
My "To Do" list is on a clipboard from Melissa Frances. And yes, it is displayed in my kitchen!
Janie in WI asked if I made dinner every night. Heck no! I do like to use my Sunday evenings to make a few dinners for the week, and then just freeze them and use when needed. This week I did spaghetti and chili, for example. Frees up a lot of my afternoons. I also am a fan of doubling a recipe and freezing leftovers as well. I couldn't live without a freezer!

Do I make my own Christmas cards? Well, sort of. A few years back, I realized uploading a picture to Costco was way easier. For about 80% of my card list, I go with that simple format. I just address the envelopes and they're good to go. For the other 20% who truly appreciate the work and time it takes to make handmade cards, I go through the effort. And while the photo shoot this year was a riot, I do like how the handmade ones turned out.

And Beth asked if I had any baking tips. Umm...I always use a Silpat or parchment paper. Always. And I freeze cookies after they cool off. Always. If you try it, you'll taste how much fresher they are when it's time to eat them--I promise.

And because I have super-talented friends who love to share, this lovely recipe is from my gal pal Sandra. Now, Sandra is from Columbia, and the woman can cook. She makes a mean salsa (will post that someday.) These gems are delish, and I'm sure she won't mind me sharing...Thanks Sandra!

Pecan Squares

2 C. all purpose flour

½ c sifted powdered sugar

1 c butter or margarine

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 package almond brickle chips

1 cup chopped pecans

Combine flour & sugar in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mix resembles coarse meal. Press firmly into a greased 13 x 9 pan, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Combine condensed milk, egg, and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brickle chips and pecans. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until golden. Let cool, and cut into squares.

Okay guys...more later! Enjoy your day!