Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Martha Stewart to the Rescue - Again

I've been on a bread-baking kick lately, having discovered how ridiculously easy it is to make Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread.  Honestly, mix it and let the magic of yeast do its work, then bake - it's really that easy.

I've been baking the bread in my old  ( as in purchased when I was in high school , at the end of the Pleistocene era) dutch oven.    The stainless steel pot with a loaner lid and no handles did the trick, but seriously,  I needed an upgrade.   

My first idea was to go all out and get one of  those chi-chi Le You-Know What ovens.  I just could not convince myself to spend  $350.00 for one pan .  The Captain says I'm cheap to keep, but really maybe I'm just cheap.  

Enter the Macy's flyer, with a one-day sale on Martha Stewart enameled cast iron cookware.   With the one-day sale and a coupon, here is my new $45.00 dutch oven.   Even at the full-price tag of $149, it's still orders of magnitude cheaper that the Le You-Know-What one.

This is one serious pan, weighing in at 12.6 pounds.  I love all the colors, but since I'm in a blue phase, this marine blue color is perfect.

Since I saved so much money on my Martha pan,  I replaced a 1980s vintage pan that is the perfect size, but looks exactly like you'd expect a chap 80s pan would look.   

Calphalon sale at the outlet - more money saved!

To celebrate all this saving, I found this summer tuxedo shirt at JJill - also on sale.

Two new pans in one day - I do live an exciting life.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bloglovin PSA

Change is so darn difficult !  Since Google Reader was murdered, I've been reading my blogs on Bloglovin and like the format.   But I never got around to adding mine so someone out there could find and follow me.  It just seemed so complicated. 

But like most of the things I whine about, it's not really all that bad.    I found this  tutorial here - with easy instructions and screen shots.  No need to recreate the wheel, so check it out .

This code has to be in the blog post to make it work, so here goes:

="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5171657/?claim=whpqght6xhb">Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Once Bloglovin' recognizes this code, add the Bloglovin button and DONE.  

The Borg will be happy, or at least  they'll be what passes for happy with Borgs.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nest in a Mug

I found this mug at a vintage shop and loved the spring colors.  I knew it would make the perfect spot for a little nest.

It's actually a shaving mug; the shelf with holes is where the soap sits.   

I made a spot for the nest with some strips of burlap, paper ribbon and strips of dictionary text.   Then added a little nest, some feathers and the faux robbin eggs.

Pretty sure I'll be drinking out of this mug after the eggs hatch.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Gelli Print Dresses

This is how I feel about my Gelli prints.  I rarely get a whole page that is perfect, but I always get parts that I love.  I've been trying to use more of those bits. 

Here are a few of the prints I used:

 Enter the Gelli dress:

I stamped this Dawn Houser My Mother's Dress stamp onto the Gelli prints.   I like stamping with VersaFine pigment ink because it captures all the detail in this stamp.  I finish the stamping with clear embossing.

Then I cut out the stamped dress, but  I didn't try to cut out the hanger!  Even my limited drawing skills were enough to draw in the hanger.

I had a group of clear border stamps that I never used.  I glued them on some pieces of wooden rulers and now I find all kinds of ways to use them.  I've started gluing down clear stamps and find them so much easier to use that the acrylic mounting foofaraw.  (If space and cash were unlimited, I'd only use wood mounted stamps)!

Love these frilly Gelli print dresses.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Letterpress-Inspired Tags

I love making tags, especially the Tim Holtz style ones that have 47 steps, use oodles of supplies and require an emergency trip to Joanne's for a special tool/ink/stamp you may never use again.  But I wanted to make some tags for people who have the "less is more " sensibility.

Here are some really simple tags, inspired by the clean lines and simple on the elegant stationery at Letterpress.  Turns out that one simple stamped image can make some sweet tags.

Grungy clock image tags would be perfect for a man-gift.

I cut these cold-press water color paper tags out with the  Tim Holtz tiny tabs and tags die and lightly embossed the vintage flower image.  I inked and embossed the reinforcers ( also in the die) as well.

This is a big background stamp, again lightly embossed.

And my favorite pear stamp.

These cute little circle tags are also in the die.  Love how the red ones look like Christmas tree ornaments.

These would be perfect for homemade food gifts.   

The Captain's step - dad, a crusty old New Englander  who embraced grungy well before it was chic, once cracked us by announcing that the neighbor's Christmas decorations were , "simple, but elegant".  Think that assessment works for these tags.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Summer Memory Book

 I've blogged about our far-flung family and how we try to stay connected.  My favorite idea is the family compound, but since that's not likely to happen, we try other ways to stay connected.  Google chat ( in our experience much better than Skype),  shared photo-streams, lots of calls, emails and packages mean we  get to share in their every day lives.

 I've been making memory books for our Montana granddaughter for several years and usually much sooner than this!   She visits us every summer and I want her to remember all those fun times.  This year I found these cute book covers at Pick Your Plum.  The covers are made of very thin wood with a name cut-out at the bottom - so sweet!

I forgot to take a "before" picture, but here is one from PYP:

I colored the covers with several shades of blue Distress Inks and paints.  I just happen to have a set of alphabet stamps that fit the letter cut-outs and like how the stamped letters make the letters easier for to read.   (Names with lots of letters are a bit harder to read than the ones with just a few).

I used plain white paper for the pages and let Washi tape do double duty - securing the pictures and adding some fun color.

Some stamped circles toned down all that  white space.

I like making flags with wash tape for some outside the page interest.

 Not surprising, this is my favorite picture.  Siobhan loves to spend time in my studio investigating all my stuff and making art.  This was her first experience with embossing .  Don't you just love how she's concentrating on the process?   She was pretty impressed with how embossing works - another convert is born!

 Heading out to Montana to deliver this book in person.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Pulled out my Sizzix Big Shot for some art play today.   I've decided the Big Shot is a lot like Gelli plate printing ; once you start you can not stop!   Nothing is safe from being rolled through this magic machine.

 Apparently is is an edging die, but I used it on scraps of paper and not as an edge cut.   Most of the papers I used were scraps painted with leftover brayer paint, credit card swiping and stamping off ink .  I did use some scrapbook and artist papers.  Like Gelli printing, there are always bits of these papers worth saving!

Then I used the Tim Holtz tag die.  In addition to these tags, the  die also has hole reinforcers.  I love all the little bits and save any partial cuts to add texture to journal pages.

 These are headed to a creative friend who will work her magic on them.    I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as too many tags or houses.


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