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December 2009
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February 2010

From the beach to the snow

I kind of had to laugh as I started doing a layout tonight and realized that I had gone from a beach layout to a snow layout... no in between!  The next couple of weeks are going to be super busy working on our final project for Entrepreneurial Management and trying to keep up at work and in my other class, but I couldn't resist sitting down to do a quick layout when Erin posted these pictures today of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh's first time sledding.  They got dumped on again back home so Rick pulled out the sled (these orange sleds were ours when we were kids!  I can't believe they're still around.)

Rosy Cheeks

Yup, another crappy scan... this one I should have taken a picture of, but I wasn't in the mood to deal with my ancient computer and either its inability to open the Canon utility to transfer pictures or the extra steps and slowness of the card reader.  I need a new computer!  Hopefully at some point in the next few months, but I have a feeling that if I get a few hundred together I'm going to be getting an iPad instead... lol.  We'll see.

I'm also proud of myself today - I made homemade potato gnocchi, one of my favorite foods in the world, and they turned out perfectly.  I tried to make them before a few years ago, but they didn't turn out so well.  This time I tried a few tricks I saw on Iron Chef (including using the potato ricer that I finally picked up) and I got better instructions.  Now if only I weren't trying to watch my diet... if I weren't, I'd have had a gorgonzola cream sauce whipped up in a snap!  As it was I had a nice red sauce with mushrooms and roasted asparagus.  Yum!  I took pictures... I think I'll make a layout.  When I get in the mood to transfer photos :-P


I must be craving warmer weather

I think that's the explanation for why I scrapped a bright, cheery layout with beach pictures.  lol.  It was a pretty busy / crazy / slightly rough day at work today followed by a long night of class, so I wanted to unwind when I got home.  Surprisingly, given how little I've been in the mood lately, I felt like scrapping!  I pulled out a few pictures of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh that I had printed a few months ago to do a layout.  I really like how it turned out!

A Day at the Beach 

And now... CALLING UTAH SCRAPBOOKERS!!!

If there are any scrapbookers in or near Utah County, my study group is looking for people interested in joining us next week for a new product test group.  We're doing a project analyzing a new business making paper trimmers (which I mentioned last week... ) and we need a group of scrapbookers who want to come and play with the trimmer and give thoughts and feedback.  To make it fun, we'll have refreshments, a make-and-take (using the trimmer, of course!) prizes and giveaways.  If anyone is interested, shoot me an email and I'll give you the details.

Happy Friday!


Yikes!

I guess time kind of got away from me...

I can't say I've been doing too much that's exciting in the last two weeks - school and work, work and school.  I've tried coming up to my scrap attic a few times, but I've always been so tired that I just didn't have any mojo, so I didn't try and force it.  Tonight though, scrapbooking is actually homework!  For my Entrepreneurial Management class, our group has to pick a start-up company and analyze it.  One of the guys in my group has a friend that's starting a business making and selling a new paper trimmer.  He was looking at the Genesis trimmer and wanted something that cut accurately but didn't cost and arm and a leg and have a 2 year waiting list!  So as the scrapbooker in the group, I was elected to do some preliminary playing with a prototype.  I must say, it cuts straight!  I have some feedback for him, but I'm keeping in mind that my thoughts are all based on the prototype and I guess he's made changes since this one. 

Anyway, part of my homework included using the trimmer to scrapbook to get a feel for how it works.  I actually really liked it!  I might have to get myself one when they come on the market :)  So without any further ado, here's the layout I made while testing out the trimmer (the crooked part at the top is the scan, not the trimmer!).  This is from my birthday in October when my mom flew into town to celebrate with me :)

35 

Now off to bed... tomorrow I'm meeting the group to take the company owner out for Thai food and interview him before we dive into our analysis.  And... hopefully it won't be another two weeks before I scrapbook again :)


Little baker

I finally did another layout!  I decided to come up to the attic after the Avs game and do a layout with some of my letterpress experiments.  Pretty quick layout - I didn't really play around much on this one, but it was a fun sequence of pictures that I wanted to put into a layout to remember.  This is Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh and I baking cookies together while I was home for Christmas.  She was so cute, tasting each ingredient before it went in... this was my special recipe for Mexican Wedding Cakes - they came out soooo good.  She loved the dough, as you can tell :)

Little Baker

I also tried a fun new (healthy!) recipe tonight while I was watching the hockey game... I've wanted to make roasted garbanzo beans for quite a while and one of my friends at work asked me today if I'd ever made them.  I figured that was an omen that I needed to make them - especially since I already had all the stuff.  They turned out great, especially for a first try!  I bagged them up in little snack bags to take with me to work / class so I can have healthy munchies.  I didn't take pictures, but here's my recipe (I couldn't find one I liked online so I made up my own... and added corn just to see what would happen :)

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can sweet corn (or another can of beans)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp garlic salt

1/8 tsp chili powder

dash of paprika

dash of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground thyme

Preheat oven to 400, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Mix the oil and all the spices except thyme in a bowl.  Open the cans and drain the beans (and corn) and pat dry with paper towels.  Add to the mixing bowl and toss until coated.  Spread them out on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.  Pull them out and stir them up, spread out and sprinkle the thyme over top and bake again for another 20 minutes.  If you use corn, you'll hear it start to pop in the oven.  That's when I took mine out.  If I were doing just beans I'd probably cook another 5-10 minutes just to get them all nice and crispy.  I had to stop myself from munching off the baking sheet so I could bag them up!  Should be a fun treat at work, and it has the nice side benefit of making your kitchen smell totally delicious.


Fast start to the new year

Busy week!  I've been getting back into the swing of things at work, and my days have been packed with meetings.  Now that everyone is back from the holidays, it's definitely go-time!  I'm glad to be busy, though.  I also started my new semester at school - Entrepreneurial Management and Global Negotiations.  So far I'm loving the first and the second... eh.  I like the class itself, but I don't particularly enjoy negotiating.  We'll see if this helps me like it better :)

Up in the craft attic, I've spent most of my time trying to restore the room to my preferred state of organization and cleanliness.  It's hard because I have so much stuff in a small space, but I'm grateful to have a room of my own and I prefer a little overcrowding to the alternative of getting rid of it :)  So I actually had a few shelves that I'd bought for my condo a bit over 4 years ago that never got put up.  I finally pulled them out and hung them.  Installation was deceptively simple... wall anchors are handy little things, but installing the suckers gives me problems every time.  But they're up!  And they've helped de-clutter quite a bit (that and putting away the pile of paper accumlated from various shopping trips and a few trips to the AC warehouse sale!).  Hopefully now that it's organized I'll be more motivated to scrap :)

Speaking of... I was lucky to be one of the ones that got a great coupon from Two Peas in a Bucket that I could use for 25% off my entire purchase before the end of 2009.  That's too good of a coupon to let go to waste, so I ordered a few things to play with.  Since I've been playing around with letterpress-esque projects, I thought I'd try some of the QuicKutz Letterpress ink.  I got a few tubes and played with some of it this weekend.

Blog - Letterpress 1
It works great if you squeeze out a bit and use a brayer.  You definitely need to have some turpentine on hand to wash up afterward if you don't get the QK Letterpress cleaning cloths.  I had turpentine, but I have a feeling the cloths will be easier so I'll probably pick some up eventually.  I tried a few different mediums - chipboard, cardboard, two colors of cardstock and some metallic cardstock, all using my Cuttlebug embossing folder.

Blog - Letterpress 2
Not bad for a first batch!  One thing I learned: use very little ink.  The ones that I tried when my ink was almost gone came out with the best coverage and dried quickly... some of the others that I did early on are still a bit wet.  Now I just need to decide how to use these... I was planning cutting them into different sized hearts or flowers for a layout.  We'll see.

I also did a little catch-up on my Christmas journal.  It seems kind of silly since I also spent part of the week pulling down Christmas decorations (all but my tree - I'm not quite ready to take it down yet), but I want to get pages made for the journaling I did.

Day 10-11 

One is about gift wrapping and the other is about my tree decorating style and the reasons why my tree is so different and unique.  These were both fun... hopefully I can get the rest of the pages done soon.  I've found that I prefer doing a Christmas album like this to doing actual scrapbook layouts.  I'm not sure why - these are actually layouts too, but it just seems easier.  I've got a pile of memorabilia that I collected while I was home specifically for my journal, so I can't wait to get it all done.

And now, it's time for my Sunday Evening with the Food Network ritual! 


Not quite done with Christmas...

Since things were so crazy before the holiday break, our study group didn't really do much for Christmas so I'm doing a little post-holiday gift for the members of my group.  It isn't much, just a little something to share with them and their families.  I made my favorite fudge - it's Symphony fudge - I found out about it from Melody who I think saw it on Good Things Utah.  I looked up the recipe and I've made it a few times.  It isn't super rich, but it's smooth and creamy and totally decadent.  I'm going to make up a few small packages of fudge and then I made Christmas / New Year tags to go on each package.  Here are the tags... 

#1: Flourishes poinsettia stamps and Papertrey sentiments, colored with Copics and sprayed with Glimmer Mist.

Christmas Tag 1 

#2: Hero Arts stamps, Copic markers and some Christmas twill and scrap paper.

Christmas Tag 2

#3: I'm not super happy with this one - it turned out a little sloppy for my taste, but not so bad that I felt like I had to start over.  Papertrey stamps, a scrap of old Autumn Leaves for the background and embossed K&Co for the gold accents.  The top ornament has gold embossing and the bottom one I used a glue pad and some of Martha's glitter. The lacey looking stuff is leftover backing from paper lace - I used alcohol inks and a Krylon leafing pen to get the marbled color.

Christmas Tag 3

#4:  Papertrey stamps, MM flocked paper, American Crafts embossing powder (that stuff is like butter) and the background with my homemade Glimmer Mist and a glimmer screen.  May Arts leaf trim (love that!)

Christmas Tag 4

Finally, Papertrey Stamps, AC EP, and more Glimmer Mist with a different Glimmer Screen.  A little ricrac and flocked paper at the bottom, with a hint of phone book on the sides :)

Christmas Tag 5
That's it!  Now I've got just enough time to grab some dinner and settle down with the Food Network for my Sunday night ritual.  I'm ridiculously excited about tonight's Super Chef battle.  I know... nerd.  But I'm looking forward to it all the same :)

Happy Birthday Rick!

I called home to wish Rick "happy birthday" and was just in time to be on the phone for the opening of the gifts.  It's kind of funny to listen and not see... a whole new perspective!  I gave him a gift card for Micheal's (he's a crafty guy) and he also got some vampire books (that's kind of a family thing it looks like... lol.  I've already read 2 of the 3 he got.)

In the meantime, I tried some experimentation.  I was watching an Iron Chef America re-run and they were doing some kind of brulee with fruit and Mario Batali said, "you should try it with bananas!" and so I did.  Of course, this is the point where I realized that the blow torch set I've had in my cupboard for several years that I finally pulled out to use didn't come with any butane.  What?!?!  Backup:  broil setting on the oven.  It worked pretty well and I put the caramelized bananas on top of some FF banana pudding with FF cool whip for a fairly low fat and yet still decadent dessert.

I'm also enjoying being done with all of the projects I was doing before Christmas so I could get back to scrapping for myself!  I printed out a few pictures of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh and whipped up this layout this afternoon.  I'm giving myself big points for stash usage (check out the older MME and Autumn Leaves... so proud I used it.)

Moxie

And now I'm off to see what other fun and lazy things I can do before the weekend is over and I have to head back to work and school :-P