Thursday, September 29, 2016

And the Cards Keep Coming!

This was a week of two quick and relatively simple cards and one that took a bit more time, but a comfort technique for me.  So with two birthday cards and one "thinking of you" card needed, this is what I came up with.

I love this design from Mamaw's Legacy (she no longer sells her files, but they are loved by those of us who followed her).  My neighbor's birthday is exactly one month after mine and he loves boating and the ocean, so this seemed perfect for him.  As I said, it's relatively simple, but was just right for him. 

His wife had some personal hurdles the past week so I wanted to let her know I was thinking about her.  This card was all about being bright and cheer.

The background paper has rows of glitter that makes it fun. The originally
white flowers were painted with Spectrum Noir Sparkle pens. (the color saturation is rich).
The little tag was cut out on the Silver Bullet then stamped with "Hi".
The colors made me happy.

And finally, a birthday card for a dear friend who is a real artist. I am always intimidated when I make something for her, so I returned to one of the first techniques I learned in Dutch paper crafting - iris folding. I love picking out the colors that will complement the design.

The iris folding piece ready for its place on the card.

This is the back side of iris folding.  The paper pattern is underneath,
so it's just a matter of  choosing the color, folding then, and taping them in place.

A side view to show the dimension.  The square is attached
with foam tape to let it stand out and be the focal point.
I wanted to incorporate some fall colors too, even though
the weather here is definitely not fall...yet!

Here is another view of the completed card.
There is holographic foil in the center.

I hope to do more card embroidery, paper pricking (ornare) and dry embossing on parchment especially for holiday cards. It can be so elegant. I want to work on my quilling too - have really let that go - so we will see what I can manage to produce. Lots of ideas in my head.  And I plan to work with more pen drawings on the Silver Bullet. I love how easily I can write and draw whatever I need, so look for new ideas from the Silver Bullet and the FoilMaster. I am so excited that all sorts of fun ideas are popping into my head.  I am going to push myself into new areas so hopefully I can inspire some of you to stretch your wings as well and join me! Pin It Now!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Bread

This is the time of year when lemons and blueberries are abundant, and they make such a great combo.  The lemon adds a brightness and zip to the sweet blueberries and together they are just so good.  Whenever I make anything combining the two flavors, I always receive rave reviews.
This recipe is no different!!

Lemon Blueberry Loaf

adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 c. organic cane sugar
2 T. lemon zest
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. coconut oil
2 eggs, whisked
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. fresh blueberries

(the original recipe uses a lemon glaze on top of the cooked bread, but I opted not to add a glaze. I like it simpler.  A recipe for the glaze is on the link above under the recipe title).

Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter and flour a loaf pan and set aside. (you can also use cooking spray, but I like to use the real thing).

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt by whisking together gently.  In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar and the lemon zest and mix together with fingers or a spoon until the sugar and lemon zest are incorporated and fragrant ( heavenly citrus!).   Mix the lemon sugar into the flour mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, coconut oil, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, combining slowly. Gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. 

Bake the loaf for 60-70 minutes, until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Loosen the sides of the loaf with a butter knife and carefully remove the loaf from the pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

If you choose to add a glaze, you can prepare it now while the loaf is cooling and drizzle it over the loaf when it is cool.

This is so delicious.  I recommend that you keep it well wrapped in plastic wrap and out of sight or you will want to snack on it every time you pass by the kitchen.  It is so moist and THAT good!

This is one lemon loaf that is well populated with big fresh blueberries!
The two flavors together are the essence of summer.

This is so moist - almost like a pound cake but not as heavy.

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Zucchini Banana Blueberry Muffins

This is a great time of year when zucchini and blueberries are plentiful and reasonably priced and what a great way to utilize these fresh flavors.  I don't think I would ever have put all three together so I am thrilled that someone else tried it first with success.  These are not only tasty, but they are healthy with no butter (just coconut oil) and very little sugar.  And moist?  They are incredibly moist and flavorful and you honestly forget that they are healthy because all you taste are the bananas and blueberries exploding with flavor with each bite.  These are great for breakfast but also as a midday snack.  And they freeze really well.

You will be SO glad you tried this recipe - I am!

Zucchini Banana Blueberry Muffins

adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod


1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
3/4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (will yield 1 cup)
1/4 c. organic cane sugar
1/4 c. organic light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/3 c. melted coconut oil, cooled
1 t. vanilla extract (I use Vanilla Bean Extract Crush from King Arthur Flour)\
1 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. fresh blueberries
Turbinado or Demera sugar for topping


Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin pan with paper liners.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.  Set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix the mashed banana, cane sugar, brown sugar, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla.  Stir until well combined.  Add the flour mixture and fold gently until all of the flour is incorporated. Don't over mix. Place the shredded zucchini in a couple of paper towels and squeeze to remove most of the excess moisture.  Fold the zucchini into the batter and then fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups, about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle the tops with turbinado or demera sugar (optional).  Bake 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean..  Cool muffins on a wire rack.

Blueberries and zucchini visibly throughout
with the subtle flavor of the banana in the batter.

Definitely good enough to eat - guilt free!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

And Even MORE Summer Cards.....

It has been quite a month for card making! And there are still more on my to do list.

Love the soft colors with the vibrant flower.  Dominic's files cut beautifully.

The first card  is another birthday card.  The file is from Crafty Vectors (Dominic) and those of you who know me know I love his files.  Each of his beautiful floral designs have options to make several different cards.  I am partial to the flower in frame design because it just looks so clean and finished.  And his files are so well made that I can always use the remaining pieces to create another card.  That's a win-win!

And the second card was for my daughter in law.  She has been a special education teacher , served the past two years as an assistant principal, and was just promoted to principal of a new school that she helped open two years ago.  This is such a well-deserved honor (albeit an increased work load) but she has worked hard for this and I am so happy for her.  The teachers and children are the real winners here.

You can see the detail of those tiny circle patterns here - so perfect!

So I wanted to make her a card to express how happy I am for her.  This was from a jpeg online that I used as a sort of stencil, cutting the design out of the card front and letting the contrasting color shine through.  Gold stars were popped over the larger stars to give it some dimension .  It's really a simple card, but I love how it came out.

Added some gold stars a little off-centered from the red star background. 
Gold dots are brads with the ends snipped off.
Congratulations is P-Touch labeler TZ tape in gold.

And here is one more birthday card - with a simple birthday wish. This was also a stencil image that I created with a shadow image, tied the flower with simple variegated floss, and added some clear dew drops to add a little interest.  The Happy Birthday was printed through SCAL and then cut out using a tag from the software library.  Remember, when you do a print and cut, be sure to hide the text layer while cutting out the shape or this will happen!!

This is what happens when you forget to "hide" the text layer -
the machine sees it as a font that needs to be cut! Totally user error!

This was a silly mistake, but one I seem to make repeatedly when I haven't done print and cut in a while.  And even though I didn't mean for it to happen, look at the detail of the cuts (before I stopped them!)  My Silver Bullet continues to delight me with its ability to do whatever I ask of it - even if it's ultimately the wrong thing!

And here is the end result when I pay attention to what I am doing!

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Salted Caramel Toffee Pretzel Chocolate Chip Ice Cream!

Does it look like I was trying to see how many words I could fit into a recipe title?  Challenge accepted!  The recipe that started this journey did not have chocolate chips, and I thought adding a few of the "mini" would be a great addition. And so, I couldn't leave them out of the headline!

No Churn Salted Caramel Toffee Pretzel Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

adapted from Two Peas and their Pod


1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. salted caramel sauce (plus extra for swirling)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. very cold heavy cream
1/2 c. chopped pretzels
1/2 c. Heath toffee bits (in the baking section)
1/4 c. mini-chocolate chips (optional)
Additional chopped pretzel and toffee bits to sprinkle on top before freezing. (about 2 T each)


In a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and 1/4 c. salted caramel sauce.  Set aside.

In a large chilled bowl (I put the bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to chill) beat the heavy whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form. I used a hand mixer and it took just about 3 minutes - not bad at all.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk mixture.  Stir in the chopped pretzels, toffee bits, and mini chocolate chips.

Pour the ice cream mixture into a freezer safe canister (I love the Tovolo tubs found on Amazon).Pour the 2 T. of caramel sauce over the top of the ice cream and swirl it in with a butter knife.  Smooth the top and then sprinkle with the remaining chopped pieces.

Cover with parchment paper (prevents the ice from forming) and seal tightly.  Freeze at least 6 hours before serving.

Enjoy every bite!

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