Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Haunting! Layout for MTC Users!

I really should have been spending the evening entering some treatment plans in the database but then I thought designing a Halloween layout sounded like a lot more fun and I can enter the treatment plans in the morning while having my coffee, or at least that is the plan!

I should have had this done earlier but Make The Cut shut down on me, totally my fault for not saving it in the first place, so I was delayed by having to start all over. Since my daughter is all grown up I don't get to make Halloween layouts anymore and I do love them so I guess just designing was the next best thing.

I know some folks like just one page layouts but sometimes I think a double page is in order when there are a lot of pictures that need to be scrapped. I tried to design this it could be used with both pages or each page individually. I sure hope at least one person can use this file and will make an awesome looking layout with it! All the images are included in the MTC file that you can download below.

DOWNLOAD FILE HERE -Happy Haunting Layout

Sorry SVG users, I got lazy and only saved it in MTC format.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Candy War

Let me share a little story about what happened at my house last night....

My friend Rosemary sends me care packages for holidays and for Halloween she sent me a box of wonderfully packaged candy treats. I was amazed at the great packaging she made, as always they are just over the top!

When Shiane came in and saw the packages she said "what is that?" and I told her "care package from Rosemary" to which Shiane squealed "ROSEMARY IS MY FAVORITE!!" and she started digging through the candy. I told her to get out but then I made a mistake and read the note Rosemary and included that said "I gave you plenty so there would be enough for the kids". Sounds pretty nice and simple doesn't it? Well some how this turned in to THE CANDY WAR!!

I had given the tube of candy corn to Chuck and to be fair I gave Shiane the tube of white chocolate M&M's. I also gave Chuck some of the other candy as Shiane had gotten some earlier. Well Shiane's friend Alicia had come over for supper and she said something about stopping on her way home and getting some Twix and Kit Kats. I told her "hey go get some from Chuck, he had plenty". When I went to tell Chuck something I had seen he had a little tackle box looking thing full of candy and I told him to give me my candy back, which he refused to do so I though telling Alicia would get back at him a little.  I took the dogs outside and soon heard commotion from inside the house...running, laughing, yelling, smacking...

When I came back in I saw Shiane shoving candy down her shorts and Alicia saying "this chocolate is going to melt in my bra". As you see from the picture Alicia did get a KitKat!

Chuck came in the kitchen telling them to give him his candy, holding his little tackle box thing tightly so they couldn't get it. Both of the girls were laughing at him and told him he had enough candy and they weren't giving it back. By this time I had gone to the craftroom and Willy Wonka followed me and had lain down at my feet. I heard him chewing on something and he had a packaged gummy eyeball. I took it away from him and went to tell the kids to be careful.

When I went into the bedroom, of course I was still hearing laughing and thought I better take my phone with me in case more pictures needed to be taken and I saw Shiane getting into Chuck's dresser and finding his stash of candy, as you can see by her hands she was grabbing it by the handfuls! You can see Alicia in the background encouraging Shiane to keep taking more!

There was a short melee of the kids chasing each other through the house. I heard them going into and out of bathrooms, cabinet doors opening and closing, dryer being opened and shut, fridge being open and shut and several other things I couldn't quite identify and I knew the chase of finding the candy on.

I thought things settled down as the kids got kinda quiet. A few minutes later I hear "MOOOMMMM!!!" and I go back to the bedroom and Shiane tells me "CHUCK TOOK MY PHONE!" and Chuck was telling her to give him his candy back. Shiane said "I was tweeting!" and Chuck's reply was "well tweet my candy back in my box and you can have your phone back" at which point I cracked up laughing and retreated back to the craftroom. Well the dogs and I sat in the craftroom while the kids were chasing each other like crazy through the house yelling about candy and phones. Eventually they settled down but I never did get it straight where the phones were hidden or if Chuck got his candy back!

So to my friend Rosemary I say...THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for providing this wonderful memory I will always have of my young adult children acting like little rotten brats over some Halloween candy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chili Making Time!

Since it was rainy and a little cool yesterday I thought it was time to make some chili. I don't make just a little pot of chili and to be honest if I had bigger pots I would make more than I do!

I got a little curious about how much this batch of chili weighs so I sat down and figured it out. Below is the list of ingredients and some of the weights are approximate.
 6lbs of cooked hambuger
2 large diced onions
6 packets of McCormick Chili Seasoning
4 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 cans diced tomatoes and green chili's
6 cans (16 oz) of chili beans

This worked out to be about 344 ounces of chili, which is a whooping 21.5 pounds of chili! Now you would think this would last a person a long time, maybe through the winter, but not at my house. Shiane and Chuck love my chili as does Shiane's friend Alicia. Anytime Alicia knows I make chili she comes over, heck she has even just shown up when I was making it and I ask her "how did you know I was making chili" and she laughed and said "I could smell it!".

One thing I do like to do is get out my loaf pans and put chili in them. I have two large loaf pans I use and then 6 small loaf pans. The smaller ones are just the right size for a bowl of chili. After getting the loaf pans filled with the chili and wrapped with plastic wrap I put the pans on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer. I like to use cookie sheets so that I can stack the pans and not have to worry about them falling over and such. This process usually takes about a day for the chili to freeze well. Once it is frozen I drop the pan in some hot water to loosen up the chili out of the pans and then pop the frozen blocks in freezer bags. I use to vacuum seal the bags so they would stay fresher longer but the kids generally eat it fast enough that I don't have to worry about freezer burn. Oh, another reason I like the loaf pans is because the chili stacks nicely in the freezer.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pazzles Cutting Strip

A few months ago I cleaned up my Pazzles machine, ya know gave it a good dusting and cleaned out all the cracks and crevices, something we should all do to our machines much more often than I do to mine! One of the issues was the "cutting strip" which is the little line where the blade cuts. Mine looked dirty and nasty!

I was already in the process of cleaning the strip area when I took this picture. I was trying to get rid of the dirt and some of the curling on the clear tape and the tape started coming off. I wasn't even sure what the heck was going on and thought my machine was ruined. But after posting a few people put my mind at ease that it was the cutting strip and needs to be changed occasionally.

This is how it looked after I got it all cleaned. Someone had suggested using alcohol and that seemed to work pretty good. I also got an exacto knife and cut away at some of the clear tape that was curling up. I knew I would need to order another cutting strip in the near future and I did find that you can get them from and I found an instructional video on how to change the strip so I was prepared for when I ordered a new one.

I finally broke down and ordered another strip last week when my Pazzles kept missing cuts. Well not missing, but not cutting all the way through the vinyl. It was always around the same place on the mat and I tried a new mat and that didn't resolve the problem so I gave up and ordered the strip. It wasn't hard to change out the strip, just a little icky because of the adhesive and thank goodness for Undu! If you don't have Undu and you are a scrapbooker then you need to get some! It is the most awesome stuff and most Walmart stores are carrying it now so it is a lot easier to find.

With the video loaded on my laptop and my Pazzles on my table I went to work on changing out the strip. I got the old tape and strip off and all the adhesive removed, although it took me a lot longer than the 1.35 minutes it took the lady in the video.

Once all that was done I put my new strip down and made sure it was in there good and then grabbed the clear tape out of the box. When I unrolled it I saw a two wrinkles! I just knew I was totally screwed until I could order another strip and redo the process. Of course I was not happy about just receiving this and it having this wrinkle so I was actually kinda pissed too. But I was more upset about the thought about not being able to use my machine for probably at least another week.

I posted on Pazzles Facebook wall about the issue and also posted the picture, asking if I could still use this. I figured it would be a problem since the curling tape was a problem and this was a huge azz wrinkle. After sitting and thinking for a few moments I came up with a solution.

I decided that since I had cut away part of the tape that curled on the old strip that I could just cut away the wrinkles out of the new strip! Sometimes my enormously over-sized head that holds my gigantic brain comes up with a good idea. Now I can at least use my Pazzles until I can get another cutting strip ordered. And yeah, I am still a little peeved since the dang strip is $15 and the stupid shipping was over $8!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Canon A4000IS...Heart This!

I got a new camera back in the spring, my camera was having a few problems and I wanted to make sure I was able to take good pictures on vacation. After some research I decided on the Canon A4000 IS because of it's size and zoom ability. Also I do like Canon camera's and that is what my last two camera's were and I trust that brand.

I wanted to share some pictures I have taken with the camera with the zoom being used. I am really impressed with this little point and shoot camera! Now mind you these pictures are of moving objects so of course blur is going to be a problem. One of the hard things about taking pictures at football games, at least for me, is that I never know if I get a shot or not until I come home and load them onto my computer. Since I am out in the sun and there is a glare it is hard to check and see if I got a shot and I also don't want to spend time checking and miss another shot. I probably take anywhere from 60-80 pictures at Chuck's football games and usually end up trashing about 75% of them. But isn't that one of the great things about digital?

This picture was taken of Chuck and the other team captains right after the coin toss. They are in mid field and I am sitting around the 30 yard line up in the stands, I would say probably a good 60 yards away from them and the picture has been cropped.

You can click on the pictures and make them bigger if you would like to see more detail.

I was really surprised at this picture when it came up. I love the action shot and can't believe my camera caught it so well. This one is actually one of Chuck's favorite pictures. Oh and Chuck is number 91, the one on the right. I really like how this one shows how fast these big boys can turn and move. I am probably a little over 60 yards away from the subject on this picture and it has been cropped to get in closer.

Anyway if you are looking for a good little point and shoot camera that will easily fit in your pocket, take great pictures and has a great zoom I highly recommend the Canon line. This particular camera can be found for right around $100 so it won't break the piggy bank either.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bathroom and Laundry Quotes

I loved the laundry quote I did for my laundry area and decided I would do another one to put in my stash for the craft fair. I think I might try and do a few more as well.

This one was another layered vinyl and has 3 colors. It might be hard to tell due to the transfer tape being on the quote but there is black, maroon and teal. Since most laundry area's aren't decorated I figured the colors would be okay.

I had designed this quote for my bathroom but instead I cut it for the craft fair as well. I used the Samantha font for the swashes and I don't remember what font I used. I really need to start writing down what fonts I am using! I really do like this one and will likely cut one for my bathroom!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stampin Up MDS...Love the SVG's!

I have been busy working on some Wall Quotes for the craft fair and I hope they are going to sell, if not I guess my walls are going to be covered from top to bottom!

One place I have gotten some ideas for Wall Quotes is actually Stampin Up's program My Digital Studio. Everyone knows I am a fan of SU and I have quite a few stamps, just a little cardstock and a few punches from that company. They had special on the software and I got it sometime ago but just recently started playing with it due to it having some of the images in SVG format and I am really lovin some of the SVG's that are available!

The tutorial I posted last week was actually from that program but I wanted to show you a few more!

This one is from the Fantabulous You set and of course I am sure ya'll recoginze the quote from Toy Story.  One of the things I find myself doing is making the letters a little thicker by using the shadow feature in Make The Cut so the words are a little easier to cut and weed and also show up how I want them.

This particular one is from the set From My Heart and I had to do some tweaking on the scroll work as it was a little too detailed and I knew I wanted a cleaner cut than what I would have gotten. I used some of the swashes from the Samantha font for this purpose. I think this one would look great in a kitchen or dining area.

Now I am quite certain this came from Stampin Up but I can't remember what set it is from and I also didn't find the information when I did a very weak search in my list of files. I did add some circles in the ampersand because I thought it added a little something extra.

I'll be posting a few more wall quotes this week that I have gotten done. I am trying not to do too many duplicates of the quotes but some I just think need to be done twice.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pre-prepping Food...Who Does It?

When my daughter was school she was in a ton of activities and there was about a 3 year period where we had something to do EVER NIGHT except for Sundays...oh how I looked forward to Sundays! Well in a way I did but in another way I dreaded Sundays. I spent Sunday's pre-prepping food for the next week. Since we had very little time to have dinner I would try and make things we could during the week. I would often cook up family packs of ground beef, drain the grease and then put in 1lb package freezer bags so we could have Hamburger Helper, spaghetti or some other dish that used ground beef.

My days are not quite as busy anymore and I don't have to spend my Sunday's cooking a ton of food and storing in the fridge and freezer, heck let's be honest here...I am overdoing it if I cook twice a week. Oh but back to the pre-prepping food! I went to the grocery store because ground beef was on sale and I picked up 20 pounds. I know that might seem like a lot to some folks but to me, well I am regretting not getting at least another 20 pounds! I had intentions of making homemade chili but it was late and that didn't get done. I did get 10 pounds of the ground beef made into patties, they are in the freezer right now waiting to get frozen and then I can toss them in bags and just pull out however many I need when I want to cook them. The other ground beef was broken down in a few 1lb packages and then larger packages when I get ready to make chili.

Another bargain I got at the grocery store was a big bag of over ripe bananas for 99 cents! When I was growing up my mom worked in the meat department of Humpty Dumpty and the produce manager would always ask her if she wanted to get some of the over ripe banana's, and sometimes other fruit so guess I always think about this when I see such things and remember what great food can be made. I brought the banana's home, peeled them, put them in freezer bags and mashed them up. Now each bag has enough bananas for 2 large loaves of banana nut bread when I am ready to do some baking!

I know we all tend to do what our parents did and I am quite certain my mom would be proud of me still thinking ahead and pre-prepping food! Just wonder what she would think of the 30 pounds of pork chops I broke down and vacuum sealed a few weeks ago!

So does anyone else pre-prep food?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Daughter Got Crafty

I came home the other night and there was a diaper cake sitting in my dining room. At first I thought my daughter might be trying to tell me something *okie won't mention that she almost fainted and fell to the floor at the original thought she had* but then remembered she mentioned she had a baby shower to go to and I figured she must have decided to get crafty.

Looking at her work I was rather impressed and didn't even know she knew how to make such a thing, later finding out that she learned how to do it, from her words "the internet". I noticed how nicely all the diapers were rolled nice and neatly the same size and how wonderfully all the items were placed in adorning the "cake".

As a life time crafter who has raised their child in a home where there was always some kind of craft being made, I have to say I did feel a little wash of pride flow through my body. When I first started paper crafting I had high hopes of my daughter and I crafting together. Now she will tell you "I can do all that stuff mom does" and I am quite sure she would give it a go but what she doesn't realize is that a lot of stuff that mom does comes with years of trial and error and a lot of patience, something my daughter seems to lack in most areas.

With that said, I do commend her staying with the project and finishing it, especially when she told me "I am never making another one of those! It took 3 hours to make that thing". Remember what I said about patience, or lack thereof HA HA HA.

As I examined the cake a little closer I started recognizing some things on the cake! She had used some of my paper flowers and brads!! I wasn't too concerned about the brads since she used simple ones but a few of the flowers were ones that were not cheap flowers. She told me she would pull them off and I told her "you can't, you hot glued them on there" and she said "no I didn't...I used your really good double sided sticky tape". I don't think she realizes paper flowers can be rather delicate! LOL After accepting that those flowers are now basically dead and gone to me I am still so proud of my daughter's handiwork!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Layering Vinyl for Wall Quotes

I have been doing a lot of Wall Quotes the last few days and a few of them I have done two colors and I had to figure out how to get the colors on one backer sheet, not even sure if that makes sense but hopefully it will in the pictures!

I first cut and weeded my black design. Notice the 4 triangles in the design. I added those for tick marks so I would know where to place my maroon layer.

Here is the maroon layer, the tick marks show up a little better in this picture. I cut the design right above the "enjoying" because my transfer tape isn't wide enough to pick up the whole design. Also because I didn't want to waste black vinyl by having a few extra inches at the top where there wouldn't be any design. Crap...I think I just confused all of us. I gotta stop writing blog posts when I can barely keep my eyes open! Maybe it will all make sense at the end! HA HA

I circled the triangles and put "remove after application" so the receiver would know it's not part of the design.

The transfer tape for the top half of the design was cut wide enough to cover the top maroon design but also be able to unroll over the top part of the black design. I pulled the backing off of the lettering and then taped the backing to the backside of the main design. Once the backing was taped together I lined up the triangles and placed the maroon back in position.

Here is the full design layered and with the transfer tape and hopefully it all made sense. Basically what you need to know is that you need to have some type of registration marks if you want your design to be lined up how you have intended. Of course you can be brave and just wing it!

I think this might be the most idiotic and stupidest sounding tutorial I have ever tried to do...I need a nap!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Martha Stewart Is Catty About Bloggers

As most of you know I am NOT a fan of Martha Stewart and her recent interview where she talked about bloggers most definitely didn't not raise her up in my book of favorites *okie even tries to remember which book Martha would be in but then remembers dear Ms. Stewart is on a "list" and not jotted down in one of okie's books*.

In the interview Martha states:
Who are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine. There are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of what really good editors have created and done. Bloggers create a kind of a popularity but they are not the experts. We have to understand that.
Well she is correct in her statement but allow me, if you will, to give a slight rebuttal to her comments.

"They're are not trained editors at Vogue magazine" 
  • CORRECT! I am not a trained editor nor do I pretend to be or even want to play one on TV. I have seen "The Devil Wears Prada" and believe me I have no desire to be a person who is so puffed up with self importance that I treat other people like dirt just because I have the money and power to do so.

"There are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of what really good editors have created and done." 
  • INCORRECT! Of course the recipes have been tested! They were tested on friends and family, people who we love and care about and certainly don't want to kill with our food *okie does think she knows a few people she might serve bad food too, not to kill but maybe just a little unpleasant stomach issues for a few weeks*. Now the second part of that statement confuses me...she says "what really good editors have created and done", so are they chefs or are they editors? WTH? Oh and as far as copies, well tell me what ingredient do you not copy from somewhere? It's not like someone goes out all the sudden and discovers a new spice called Funkamuskybutt and starts using it in food! *okie wonders why the heck she came up with that word for a spice*.
"Bloggers create a kind of a popularity but they are not the experts. We have to understand that."
  • INCORRECT! We are all experts at something, even if it is how to wash a dang baby bottle, clean a toilet, getting gum out of our kids hair, removing a stain from a shirt, etc etc etc. But to Martha I would like to say "Thanks for saying I am popular. I have noticed that you talk down to your staff on public television and I bet you wish you were popular, you probably don't even realize what a pompous ass bitch you are, bless your heart".
But to answer Martha's first question of "Who are these bloggers?"

We are the people who buy your products and share our reviews with each other, most of which are pretty bad and I don't know many folks I talk to that buy them anymore. We are real people with real opinions who don't give a damn if you like us or not so we tell the truth...which is appreciated *okie wonders if that is what makes bloggers popular*.

We are folks who sit around and type out or blog posts ourselves without the aid of a staff of 500, and yeah we make grammatical mistakes and misspelled some words *although okie is quite grateful for spell check working most of the time*. We share ourselves with our readers, our real lives, real problems, real success...well okay we are THE REAL PEOPLE.

We are people who have to make our meals and projects on a REAL budget where we don't have a $5,000 bucket of Swavaroski crystals to hot glue on a phone case. Nor do we have that same staff of 500 digging in our gardens and dicing up our vegetables and killing goats so we can cook a dinner in 30 minutes for a party of 12 and still have time to make Baked Alaska because it's our guests favorite dessert. We are the people who after working all day dig through the trash for the pizza coupon and hope there is a box of Oreo's in the cabinet for dessert so we can have an extra 20 minutes to spend with our families before we have to do the laundry, run the vacuum, feed the dogs and help the kids with their homework and get them ready for bed. And sometimes we are the people who put a roast in the crockpot so we can have extra time to spend in our craftroom making projects and realize we forgot to plug the dang thing in about 4 hours later *which okie so did yesterday* and hope cooking it on high gets it done in time for supper.

We are the guys and gals who love making projects and understand that basically no idea is original, yeah that includes YOUR so called idea's Martha *okie seriously wonders if Martha could show up in okie's craft room and turn out a fabulous project without the help of anyone telling her what the products are or how to use them* and share them freely with others and delight when someone comments about how they love the project and can't wait to make one.

What it boil down to Ms. Martha is this...Who are these bloggers? We ARE your worst nightmare. We have caused you to lose business because we are just folks who make things easy enough, budget friendly enough, and with as little effort as possible and blog about it for others to read and take what they want from it for FREE. And, to quote you "It's a good thing!".

You can watch the video below if you would like to do so!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Does Anyone Use...

Aprons anymore? I use to use one all the time but it came up missing *okie wonders how things come up missing like not only her apron but forks, towels, bowls, etc*. I found some aprons pretty cheap at my favorite bargain store, Wall's, and decided I would see if I could bling one up for myself. Oh the apron is 100% cotton and is like a canvas material, very nice!

I did searches for aprons to see if  could find any good decorating ideas and I really liked the "That's how I roll" one I saw and thought I would go with that idea.

I used one of the swashes from the Samantha font and then added the saying inside of the scrollish frame. I can't remember the font I used off hand but I do know I did a shadow of it to make the letters a little thicker. I also lined up the words to the bottom of the scroll so I could get them curved a bit and then just moved all the words up toward the middle of the scroll. I got the rolling pin from a clipart image and just did an import and trace in MTC.

I had originally wanted to do the saying in white HTV but I am running extremely low on white so I went with the Spectrum Holograhic instead.

One more reason I love MTC is that it has a rhinestone feature where you can do an "outline" or a "fill shape" to make a rhinestone template. I did do a little tweaking since the fill shape would have had the rhinestones on some of the black vinyl but it was no big deal to just delete the circles I didn't need to cut.

I was concerned how the HTV and rhinestones would take to the canvas material so I did wash the apron first before applying the HTV and rhinestones. Here are the settings I used
HTV Black - 310 degrees 10 seconds (because it was going to get more heat when I applied the next layer).
HTV Spectrum - 310 degrees 10 seconds, checked it and then another 10 seconds
Rhinestones - 350 degrees 20 seconds

I was really nervous about trying to do the rhinestones on the hotter temp and longer time with the htv already down so what I did was I got my transfer rhinestone sheet in place and then I used the transfer film from the black HTV to lay over the whole image. I placed the image where the rhinestones were on the edge of the heat press and most of the HTV was out of the heat press. This seemed to work pretty good.

Now I guess this will either decorate my kitchen or I will have to start doing some cooking to justify this purchase and project! *okie thinks the decorating part is likely more plausible*

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spectrum Holographic - UMHB

My friend Carmen asked me to make some shirts for her, her husband and daughter for the parent's day at her daughters school, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. We found a design I could use for the shirts and thought the silver would look good on the purple. Actually it might have looked better with the yellow since the school colors are yellow and purple but I don't have any yellow HTV.

I am finding the Spectrum can be a little tricky to work with sometimes and some of the silver doesn't always make it on to the shirt but with it being spectrum and changing colors most of the time it isn't noticeable although I don't think it is something I would count on trying to use for selling purposes. 

I pointed out to Carmen where there were some blemishes but she said it wasn't that bad and they would only be wearing them once...or so we thought. When she first told me to make her husband one like the ones for her and her daughter I asked her "with the silver? really?" and she said "yeah, that way we all match". So when she told me why he didn't wear the shirt I had to crack up laughing! She told me "he went and changed and when he came out in the t-shirt Dani and I were like "uhhh..NOO!!". Just as I had suspected, the silver is a little too feminine for the purpose of adorning t-shirts for most men! But on the upside her daughter can use the shirt like a dress t-shirt that all the girls are wearing right now so it won't go to waste!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chi-Omega Tumbler

Another project my Goddaughter Amber and I did for her "lil" was a tumbler. I did a couple of different designs and Amber decided on the one she liked best.

Ya  know when you are a crafter like I am  you have to love the ability to do internet searches and find ideas! I can't remember what website this idea came from but I was glad I found it.  Amber and I agreed it was the better of the ones I had found and would be great for the tumbler. 

I also have to say again *okie thinks she says it way too much but will continue to say it* I LOVE MAKE THE CUT! There is no way I could have designed this in the short amount of time I did if I was still using the Cricut cartridge method, nor would I have been able to do the "curve" that the tumbler needs for the image to go on straight.

Here is the tumbler finished. We decided to add some vinyl polka dots to the tumbler for some added color. I hit my ribbon stash and added some stripped and polka dot ribbon with a little tulle to dress up the straw. In order to see the images easier and for the purpose of presentation I added a little bit of black shredded paper to the inside. Amber was very pleased with the tumbler and joked about keeping it for herself. Of course we can make her one...hmm, I'm thinking Christmas present!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ya Know I Hate Cooking!

I mean I really despise it. I am not sure why as I use to enjoy it but I think after the two years I spent living alone I got spoiled to not having to do it and it was nice not to have to do a bunch of grocery shopping, get out a bunch of stuff to cook and then clean up afterwards. I actually think food is probably the biggest waste in our lives *okie figures in her case that should be "the biggest waist"* since we have nothing to show for but eventually a pile of chit! Did I just cross a boundary there? *okie shrugs her shoulders and sighs* Oh well, that is what I think about it.

Anyway, I have been trying to come up with some different things to cook and on my last trip to the grocery store I even got some rosemary, garlic cloves, red cooking vinegar (I actually meant to get cooking sherry) and some balsamic vinegar because it seems like recipes I see call for these things. When I was in Florida my BFF Karen made a porkloin that had rosemary on it and I loved it. I have been trying to remember to get a porkloin and try it and I finally got one this week.

I looked at several recipes and I also asked Karen how she cooked hers and then I came up with my own method using all the ideas I read. I cut slits in the roast and put in garlic cloves and then I mixed up some Sea Salt, Paprika, Rosemary and Black Pepper and rolled the roast in the mixture and patted it on good with my hands. I heated a cast iron skillet on the stove with some EVOO and when started to smoke a little I put the roast in the skillet and pan seared, even holding it on it's end to make sure all sides were seared well. I left the roast in the pan with the fat side up and then cooked until the internal temp was at 150 degrees, think that was about 50 minutes or so, I checked on it at 20 minutes and then 40 minutes with the thermometer. 

Once the internal temperature was where I wanted I took itout and let it sit for about 15 minutes before slicing. I was concerned about it being too dry but I didn't need to worry since it was nice and tender. I think pan searing and cooking fat side up helped.

As you can see in the picture it was very juicy!

I did make a little sauce with the pan drippings, water, flour and a touch of Worcestershire Sauce. It was a little bland but with the flavor of the meat it was still okay.

To complete the meal I made some Easy Bacon Cheddar Potatoes and steamed some broccoli. The potato recipe called for chili powder and I am not a big fan of that spice unless I am making chili instead I tossed my sliced potatoes in some Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning.

I wasn't sure what the kids would think of the meal, the broccoli I knew they would like and figured they would like the potatoes but the roast I wasn't so sure about. It did get the thumbs up from both of them. My daughter said "it tasted different, but a good different". Guess maybe I should cook more often...but, NNAAWWW! Still don't like doing it! HA HA HA

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Canvas Art - Chi-Omega Project

My youngest Goddaughter, Amber, got her first "lil" for her sorority this fall and while she was a bit nervous about how well she would do I think she is doing quite a fine job. She actually didn't find out until almost the last minute *okie hates it when her kids find out things the last minute because that always means okie finds out the last few seconds* that she was going to have a "lil" and needed a few things QUICKLY. One of them was a canvas. She asked if I would help her since she had never done canvas art...little did she know I had never done canvas art either!

We went with the "lil"'s favorite colors for the most part. I looked around on the internet for quotes that are used with Chi-Omega and found "A girl should be 3 things...Classy, Fabulous, and a Chi-Omega". I wanted an image that showed femininity and class and found a silhouette that I thought would work for the project.

This is a picture of the work in progress, I kept trying to get an idea of placement of the elements.

I think one of the things you are suppose to do with canvas I have texture, texture, texture so I tried to think of ways to add texture. I covered the canvas with Glimmer Glaze and then added the pieces of ripped cardstock then added a spritz of Glimmer Mist to the top. On the quote I made sure the key words were done in seperate fonts and added texture with embossing, glitter and rhinestones. I also found some magic mesh that I added for more texture. I had some book flowers in my stash and decided to use some of those as well. I sprayed those with Glimmer Mist as well.

Here on the finished project you can see how I also decided to add a few flourishes of bling in the corners. I was not actually happy with the end project and thought it looked a little cheesy but my Goddaughter said she loved it. I had to laugh at her thinking this was something that was going to only take "a little time" and it actually took a few hours, and that was with her helping me glue the letters for the words.

Oh you might need to make the picture bigger to see all the elements and texture in the project. 

Since making this project I have thought about doing some other canvas art but I am also thinking "I don't need to get into another media right now". But then again ya know when a bug hits me I am gonna give in!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Stress and Shut Down

Every year I get stressed about my annual Christmas party and how to make it better than the last, the only problem is when I do that then I tend to shut down and get nothing done! I think it is time for me to stop having the parties! Just kidding! I know I can't do that but I think I need to accept that my friends love me no matter what and even if the prizes might be crappy it's all about us getting together once a year for a night of absolute crazy fun. I have tons of ideas running around in my  head and I need to get on the stick and get busy but I guess not this weekend!

This weekend is ECU Homecoming and I will have people in and out of my house all weekend. Chuck's mom, 2 aunts and an uncle will be here sometime this evening. I am still not sure if his sister will be here or not and will find out later today. So you see, I have something totally different to stress about today...what to feed all these people! ACCKK! As we all know I hate cooking...with a passion, and thinking about what feeds a lot of people easily and cheaply stresses me out. Not that I am bad at cooking, I just think it is a waste of time. I am thinking "30 $1 burgers from McDonalds is an idea" but I know I won't be able to get away with it that easily. I am not so worried about tonight but I am thinking about after the game tomorrow. I know I just bought 30lbs of pork chops on sale but I am not wanting to cook a bunch of pork chops. I have decided I need a friend who is a caterer, or at least loves to cook that much HA HA.

Whatever I decide I am quite sure it will be appreciated but right now I am just sitting here stumped! Okay I say that but ya know the real problem? I get something in my head that I can and want to do and then I think of 10 other things that might be better and then I end up with my original idea in the first place. With that's time to get ready and run some errands and hit the grocery store and find some pork butt roast to make pulled pork!

I think pulled pork sandwiches, cowboy beans and potato salad will be the way to go! I actually shared about making PULLED PORK back in January and all that tried it loved it. This will be something I can make a lot of tonight, put it in the fridge and then have it ready tomorrow for after the game. I can get my beans and potato salad made tonight as well and then tomorrow I can have a stress free day...yeah right! HA HA