Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

When searching for cool pumpkin patterns online, I knew I had to post this picture. Needless to say, our pumpkins don't look anything like this!

I know many of you out there have your camera batteries charged and ready to go for tonight. For those of you out there who want to brush up on a few photo reminders, check out this article on how to photograph your lit pumpkins. And if you scroll down on the article, it will provide you with a few tips on photographing your kiddos as well...

Have fun, and remember--it's your parental duty to "check" the candy to see if it is okay or not...(wink)...

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not a Halloween post.

I know. Shameful, isn't it? I should be inspiring you to do something last minute and all--and here I am, packing Christmas kits. For those of you coming to the Bertram Inn, this would be the contents of the "31 Days of Christmas" acrylic album class...And since I've been so productive, I thought I'd share my FAVORITE recipe with you all. We had this very meal last night and I promised Damaris I'd post it...

Whenever I'm asked about my favorite food, I always say "brisket" much to the amazement of others. I love it. Seriously. And if you have not had it, you MUST try it. If not for you, for someone you love. Why, you ask?
1. Any recipe in a crockpot with 4 ingredients is a good thing.
2. People will think you did something spectacular, when in fact it is totally easy peasy.
3. It smells like heaven.
4. It is made from the same slice of meat as corned beef (only it's soaked in salt water to make it "corned")--That tidbit may make you the winner in a trivia game someday, you never know...
5. When everyone and their brother is ordering pizza for dinner on Friday, you can serve this instead and walk it off when you take your kids door to door!!

Okay, so you get the idea. I love brisket.

1 big ass brisket (yes, my recipe card actually says that) 4-5 lbs.
1 can of beer
1 envelope of Lipton dry onion soup mix (or use your own rub if you want to get "fancy")
1/4c. oil

Put it all in a crock pot, with the fat side up on the meat, and slow cook this baby for at least 8-10 hours. If you want to throw in potatoes or onions or carrots, do it 4-5 hours into the cooking time, and you can have a whole meal finished.

When you pull the meat out of the crock pot, let it sit on a plate for at least 20 minutes so the juice in the meat settles. We serve ours with bbq sauce, but you don't have to. We rarely have leftovers, but if you do, it makes a GREAT sandwich on a bun the next day!!

I promise you--you won't be sorry. :)

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Only a few days until Halloween

And if you haven't finished with treats for the kids here's another idea.

I found these at Michael's and they were in a kit, but with all the little bags you can find these could easily be duplicated. The bags measure approx. 3 X 5

I just filled the bags with candy, wrapped the top of the bag with floral tape and then twisted a green pipe cleaner around.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Random bits...

I've been pretty productive these past few weeks, and I wanted to tease you all a bit today...

I am teaching 10 classes at the Fall Retreat at the Bertram Inn November 14-16, and if you're signed up, here is a taste of one of the banner classes...I've had several people request class kits already (although I have not publicly listed the classes) and if there are any leftover from the weekend, I will make them available on the WIP Etsy site immediately after the event, promise!

I've also had a couple people inquire about the December WIP kit. Here is a taste of the main kit--containing some of the beautiful Amy Butler Lotus items...
Just to clarify, the main kit will NOT be Christmas related. I have taken care of those of you who DO want Christmas items in a project kit, however. And what a kit that will be---WOW. I don't know if I have ever sold a kit like this one--and I promise you--you won't be disappointed!! I'll post sneaks on that later on in the week.

If you're like me, you're into carving pumpkins right about now in preparation for those beggers!! Be sure to check this out if you want a cool tutorial on how to turn a photo into a pumpkin carving pattern--it was easy and FUN! And if you'd like to carve your favorite candidate out, these are quick and instantly down loadable as well...

Have a great day friends!

Monday, October 27, 2008

for those of us who don't cook

Laina here -

I think it is time I make a confession...I am the Slacker Mom of the WIP Design Team. Feel sorry for my kids and hubbie. I don't really cook or bake. Only under extreme circumstances. I heat foods up, use a crock pot, make tacos, etc. Pulling out a cookbook, finding a gazillion ingedients and following a recipe?!? Not my cup of tea. Once our microwave went out and we had to go buy another one the very next day.

So today I thought I would share two of my favorite "Slacker Mom" recipes. The first comes from my 7th grade home ec class circa1981. No Bake Cookies made with peanut butter and quick oats. The perfect cure for PMS and snack when watching chick flicks.

My next treat is one everyone should try sometime their life.
Mix 1 bag candy corn with 1 jar dry roasted peanuts = bliss. I swear it tastes like a Payday bar.

Anyone else a slacker mom like me?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Quick Halloween Project...

I made this in about an hour, using a Martha Stewart shadow box frame (found on clearance at Mike's), one Martha Stewart bat punch, and a bunch of scrap black patterned papers...

Yes, of course it was inspired by Ali's butterfly project :).I used pop dots on some of the bats, but not all. I did use a ruler to help me line them up straight, but I did not measure the distance between them--I eyeballed it and started in the center.
To finish it off, I added a Making Memories sticker embellishment and a paper ribbon from Creative Imaginations. I plan on doing one with pumpkins for Thanksgiving too!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

more halloween albums...

so picking up where trish left off on halloween albums.
how do YOU preserve your halloween memories? i tend
to make a little mini every year. i used the october
WIP project kit on this one-- as soon as i saw the kit with this little
house mini in there--i KNEW exactly want i wanted to do.
so heres a little peek into our 2007 halloween.
tell us----how do YOU document the holiday?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Halloween Album

Last year, I finally created our family Halloween Album. The directions for this exact album and all the contents were contained in a WIP kit (October 2007)--and for those of you who missed it, I wanted to share...The album itself is a linen 8x8 black We R Memory Keepers album. The front was embellished using a Making Memories chipboard pumpkin, some paint, and 7Gypsies 97% Complete Stickers. I also added a strip of olive fabric tied around the leaf on top of the pumpkin.
Here is the dedication page...
The rest of the book was taken from Ali's Christmas Album concept from a few years back. Basically, you cut up a series of 9 or so papers that are all theme related (in this case, Halloween) into 2" circles. I used my Cricut, but you could easily use a punch for this task. Ink all of the edges, and create a grid pattern on every right hand page.
Then, embellish as you see fit. I used stickers, die cuts, etc...
Every left hand page contains the photographs. Every right hand page contains a few bits of journaling and the circles/embellishments...
You can use a series of photos, or a good 8x8 shot on its own.
Unlike most of my albums, I did elect to make this one chronological, and I happen to have all the Halloween photos of my children organized (which made that process a bit easier.) I only do ONE page per year, so I really try to select the photo(s) that best describes that particular year.

The concept can be easily applied to any holiday--and I love that. Our album adorns our coffee table and is one of the most handled items when guests stop by during the season.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

pumpkin chocolate chip

this is the best fall cookie recipe i've ever had...and it's so easy!
this batch makes a lot! you can cut the recipe in half if you'd like!
they look delish, eh?
2 stick butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
16 oz. chocolate chips
cream butter, sugar and pumpkin.
add flour, soda and cinnamon.
add chocolate chips.
spoon on baking sheet and bake 10-17 minutes at 350*

Etsy Love

These leg warmers are simply irresistible, eh? I caved and got a few pair for my daughter and nieces. Oh, the flashbacks I'm having remembering the 80's...

Thanks Em, you enabler you! She turned me onto mamarunswithscissors's shop.

And I'm a long-time fan of Elle's Studio, who happened to add these beauties recently...

I love the vintage holiday feel to them...
I snatched this pendant up for my daughter's birthday, along with two adorable Halloween gems over at Home Studio. The gal who runs that site is offering free shipping from now until the end of the month, so be sure to check her out. Not only are they adorable, they're made out of recycled Scrabble tiles--too cool!! I'm in love with this one and this one too...
Go forth and shop!

Later Gators...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Favorite Fall Photos

Every season brings about something wonderful. I'd like to share a few photo ideas to prompt you to take seasonal pictures--in hopes that it will inspire you in some way...

1. Take a photo of your doorway, from outside your home. If you have a willing participant, shoot someone coming or going from your home.
2. Photograph the turning leaves or your garden in the fall. Instead of your typical point of view, stand right next to the trunk of a tree and look straight up and take the shot.
3. Photograph pumpkins, apples, or gourds. They are beautiful and so unique!
4. Photograph your sweaters folded in a stack, or the place where you hang your seasonal jacket.
5. Since soccer and football are fall favorites, be sure to take a few of those photos.
6. Snap a few photos of your favorite Halloween decorations--even if they don't belong to you! There is a house in our neighborhood that always goes the extra mile--and I am going to photograph them on Halloween this year.
7. Take a close-up of Halloween candy.
8. Photograph pie, chili, soup--comfort food that is good on a chilly day. If not the food itself, photograph your recipe books!
9. Photograph tulip bulbs, the raking of leaves, or your outdoor tools.
10. Sit your children in a pumpkin patch and keep snapping away. Go on a hayride and play!!

The above photographs of my own family are screaming to be scrapped and I can't wait to dig in! I plan on journaling directly onto the main photograph in the above 12x12 layout with a marker, and using simple embellishments for a small bit of interest, and that is IT.

Do you have any special fall tradition or seasonal photo tip you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it!

ETA--I took the photos myself using my Canon and my 50mm 1.4 lens. I did the post processessing, uploaded them to Costco and had them printed in 12x12 format.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I just can't get ENOUGH

of my Oct WIP kit, that is! For some reason, I just find myself using it again and again. I just loved the homey feel of it, and have found it totally coordinates with so many other lines. Here is another LO I managed to do using the kit:

Wait, just WAIT until you see Nov's kit. It is my fav so far. Plan to be ready to order quick because it's going to go FAST!

Hope you're enjoying some fall weather where you are. Have a great day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy Fall, Everyone! :D :D :D There is something about Autumn that always gets me in a domestic mood and I start feeling the urge to bake, bake, bake! So today, I thought I would take a turn at sharing one of my favorite fall recipes.

These may look like your standard Peanut Butter Cookies, but don't let the picture fool you! The hint of cinnamon adds a little bit of a kick and leaves your tastebuds craving more. Be careful! This batch will be gone in no time. But that's okay because they are a cinch to make. Enjoy!!!

Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside. In a larger mixing bowl combine butter and both sugars until smooth and creamy. Add egg, vanilla and peanut butter, blend until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Make a single fork tines impression across each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. Yield: About 20 cookies

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A few more...

Here are Francine's layouts for the October WIP kit.....

Congrats on the pregnancy, Francine! Hope you're feeling better by now...

Have a great weekend...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Time Capsule Mini-Album

Happy Friday! Francine here! :)

I received my first PhotoJoJo /Flickr Time Capsule e-mail this week, and I couldn't wait to start the album I had in mind. I decided to use the September Kit for this project, I was happy to see that some of the Scenic Route Stickers had a photo theme! I used a 2-ring binder that I bought from the stationary aisle, and covered it with papers and embellishments from the kit.

Tip: If your main wallpaper doesn't cut to the exact size you need for full coverage, you can always hide your flub by distressing the edges of the album. Here I used the Basic Grey files and Distress Ink in Burlap (my new favourite).

I also found some binder separators in kraft in the stationary aisle, and cut them down to size to use for the album pages. Here is the title page:

and here is the first spread using four of the five photos I received in the email (one was pretty much a duplicate so I didn't bother to use it).:

I think I am really going to enjoy adding to this album, it might be the first mini-album I manage to keep up with over time. It's really amazing how seeing these photos sparked my memory, I remembered almost everything about this day: I'd been shopping in Lyon with my friend Lucy, and took the photos while walking along the main shopping street on my way home. It's inspired me to take another walk there soon, and see how much the area has changed, if at all.

Did anyone sign up for the Time Capsule project? What are you planning to do with the photos you receive? We'd love to see!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Still on that Fall high...

Happy Thursday everyone! Colleen here, still on my Fall high. My house is finally Fall'd, as we say here at Casa de Vasconcellos, and this year I decided to add a little crafty touch to my decorations.

Let's take a tour shall we? Won't you be my neighbor? LOL This is that Fall rag quilt that I was telling you about in my last post. I love this thing...and I love this spot in our house. A little reading nook right in our living room. If you look above it, you'll see one of my scrappy decorations. Here's a better look:I was reading Nora Griffin's blog the other day, and saw where she made one out of felt leaves that she cut with a Sizzix die. Here's a link to her post. I don't have a Sizzix and I couldn't find any brown or Fallish felt anywhere, but my friend Joanna (hi Joanna!) suggested that I use some American Crafts leaves and I just glued them together with some thin rope and made my own version of Nora's cute little garland. Mine are made with the foam leaves, because that is what I had lying around, and I used my tombow. I started out with liquid glue, but it was a mess and took forever to dry and I seriously do not have the time or patience to sit there holding every single leaf sandwich in the hopes that it dries sometime before nightfall...the tombow was so much easier. :)

Also in the living room, I've got my mantle decorated with some leaves and this cute little scarecrow guy that I found at Michael's.I'll change it out with some Christmas berries after Thanksgiving. The gourds and little bale of hay were at Mike's too and it makes a cute little mantle scene. And on the coffee table, I have this amazing wool felt runner that I bought on EtsyIt stays out all year, but it just screams fall to me. I also set the table in the dining room to be a little more Fallish...That is a runner that my mom made me (she's the master quilter of the family) and my 7Gypsies ATC spinner. And of course, Trish's little Halloween house set...well, one anyway.My sweet friend Nicole bought the set for me for my birthday, and I have them scattered around the dining room here and there. Here's how they turned out. Aren't they cute? Trish still has two in her Etsy shop if you want to get a set for yourself. You can so turn these around and use them for Christmas with Christmas paper. I used the leftovers from that kit to make a Halloween banner. Check it out:Here's a closer look. I used some things from my stash to add to it, and I think it came out pretty cute. I just love a vintagey banner. I might make one for Thanksgiving too with some leftovers from the WIP November kit. I made a couple of cards too with the leftovers from the Halloween houses, but I mailed one already. Ooops...I'm so bad about mailing cards before taking a pic of them. This one I did remember to shoot.
So, that's my version of Fall! If you guys make a banner, or have some great Fall decorating ideas, link 'em up here so we can see!