Fancy Paper Crafters

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kitchen Fundamentals Class Number 4

Hey y'all! Back at ya today with another one of the cooking classes Dan and I are taking at Charleston Cooks in Greenville, SC. Our "lesson" for tonight's class was Meat and Poultry in which we learned how to make the following: Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy, Smoked Pork Chops with Orange Barbeque Sauce, Oregano Steak and Mixed Pepper Fajitas, Chicken and Red Rice Stuffed Peppers, and Chile con Carne.

Tonight was another fun night! The kitchen was HOT with all of the cooking going on. The food was a bit fancier this week but was still good. Here's how everything turned out:
 
 
While we were eating dinner, Mark (the  super awesome instructor) asked everyone to sing happy birthday to Dan which was really special. He blushed ;) (I don't often get to see him blush). He was also suprised by 2 ladies in our class with 2 cupcakes!
 
My favorite dish was the Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy. I've never made fried chicken (is that a surprise seeing as how I don't cook?!) and it was so super easy! It'll be a while though before we make this as it isn't a healthier choice at all LOL. The rice dish was pretty good. They made it using dark meat which I would change if we ever made it at home. Also, I'm not that big of a fan of peppers so I'd leave those out of everything. The cheese on top of the rice was real mozzerella and man was it yummy! The Chile con Carne was super tasty as well. The only real change I would make to this dish is maybe leave out the cinnamon. There was just a touch of it in there which threw off the taste for me just a bit. The fajitas were great once I took off the peppers (I tried them at least!). Lastly, is the dish that Dan and I (and we had another person in our group but I don't remember her name) made which was the pork. We used a super spicy rub on the outside of the pork which was too spicy for me. It was pretty cool how we made this though as we used a stove top smoker which was awesome to see. It was small enough to fit on one burner and didn't smoke up the entire kitchen. The barbeque sauce on top was supposed to be a peach sauce but they couldn't find any peaches this time of year and didn't want to use canned. So, they changed it up and made an orange sauce instead. It was awesome! I have a feeling this is something we'll be making again :).
 
Well, that's it for this time around. Stay tuned for our next class which is Fish and Shellfish (Dan is not excited about this on AT ALL so we'll see how it goes!).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 2013 Sketch Blog Challenge

Hello again! I was browsing some of my old blog posts and realized that I had stopped participating in this sketch blog challenge (gasp!). I lost my old email address a while back and just realized that Shannon's email was one of the ones that I had forgotten to update (tsk tsk). So, of course I emailed her right away to get back to this challenge. I have just a couple of cards to share with you using this month's sketch by Shannon White at http://scraplady324.blogspot.com/. Shannon has created another wonderful sketch for us this month:

 

When I first saw this sketch, I immediately thought "Oh goodie, I get to scrap some of those Christmas pictures we took." Well, then I stepped into my craft room and quickly remembered that my room looks like it was hit by a tornado. I haven't been able to unpack from the recent retreat I went on so everything is still packed up and in chaos from when I was in a hurry packing. I'll get it cleaned one day but in the meantime, I figured I could at least work on cards as I could use papers from my scrap stash. So, here's the two things I came up with (going with the Love theme in honor of Valentine's Day):


 
Now for the details :). Since the papers came from my stash, I'm not positive the exact color names. I do know that the kraft cardstock base of each card and the green cardstock in the "rain" card are from Bazzill. On the "heart" card, I used My Mind's Eye designer paper and it was part of the All is Bright paper line. All of the stamps are by Unity Stamp Co - Itty Bitty collection (My Heart Belongs and Rain or Shine). I stamped using Momento Ink (Tuxedo Black and Rich Cocoa). I inked the edges using Stampin Up! ink (Bravo Burgundy and Always Artichoke). I busted out my Copic Markers for the "rain" card and boy am I rusty!! I used the following markers: C0, B000, B32, B34, B47, E25, E29, R81, R83, R85, RV00, RV02, RV04, YG13, Y00, Y04 and Y08. The little tear drops on the "rain" card are by The Robin's Nest (River Bed). I cut the hearts out using Spellbinders.
 
Well that does it for today ... until next time ... have a crafty day!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mosaic Madness

Hello again! No paper project for you today ... decided to mix things up a bit and show you my mosaic "skills". A while back, Groupon ran a special from Laura K. Aiken Studios for a Mosaic Tile class. A group of my friends decided we should try our hands at this new craft (as we don't have enough already lol). Here's my creation and then a group shot of all of ours:



I am definitely not a "pro" when it comes to working with little pieces of glass LOL. We had a really GREAT time together at least (isn't that the important part?!). These were really quite easy to make. We started with a 4x4 piece of foam board and using some type of glass glue (it looked like Elmer's glue), we simply glued these tiny pieces of broken glass down. The teacher gave us a ton of glass to choose from and we were only supposed to pick out squares and rectangles to keep it simple. She told us to glue down the pieces as we found them but my personality wouldn't allow that so I had to design the whole thing first LOL. Well, I learned why she said that once I finally started glueing it down. Glueing it down as you go keeps you from constantly changing your mind making the project take way longer than it should! I'm not sure why mine looks a lot sloppier than everyone else's but I'm proud of it none the less. I don't see myself becoming a glass master in the future ;).
 
That's it for today! Until next time .... happy crafting! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kitchen Fundamentals Class Number 3

Hi ya!! It's Tuesday! Know what that means? It's time for another one of our cooking class at Charleston Cooks in Greenville, SC. Our "lesson" for tonight's class was Everyday Sauces in which we learned how to make the following: Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Grilled Steak with Basil Pesto, Lemon Caper Chicken Piccata, Classic Marinara Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chocolate Ganache Covered Peanut Butter Cakes.
 
Tonight was another really fun night! The food wasn't nearly as heavy this week as it was last week. Here's how everything turned out:


The plating was a bit messy tonight. I think there were too many hands involved in trying to get everything on the plates so folks felt rushed and just started tossing stuff on them. The food itself still tasted pretty good. I think I'm spoiled by Dan's handmade marinara sauce as I didn't really think what was made tonight was all that great. The sauce needed a lot more seasoning and needed to be blended more as well (but I'm not a fan of chunky sauces anyway). I did like the freshly grated parmesan cheese that was on top (I'm so used to the stuff we buy in the bag!). We got to make the meatballs tonight. If you know me at all, you'll know that I run away at the thought of handling raw meat of any kind. Well, I toughened up tonight and actually helped roll the meatballs. They were so simple to make - who knew?! And, we didn't fry them but rather baked them in the oven and they were YUMMY! As far as the pesto dish goes, I learned that I don't really care for basil pesto. I did give it a try though but ended up scraping it off lol. Also, the steak needed to be cooked longer for me (I prefer my beef NOT to moo lol). The lemon chicken was great (especially after I scraped the capers off LOL). What can I say, I guess my palette is very plain :). The bruschetta was fabulous. I never knew I liked balsamic vinager but the drizzle on top of it was really good. If we ever make this at home, I'll toast the bread just a little less and lighten up on the olive oil. Last but not least, the peanut butter cakes were AWESOME. I could have eaten more than one of these for sure LOL. Too bad we're watching what we're eating as I would really like to make these at home ;).
 
Well, that wraps up this class ... check back next week for more cooking goodness. Dan may actually expect me to start cooking after all these classes! Yikes!

Monday, January 21, 2013

For the LOVE of Quilling

Hello! Just thought I'd share some of my recent quilling projects. I haven't really talked much about quilling so now is as good a time as ever. I recently had the pleasure of teaching a class at our local AC Moore store and I had so much fun! The class was a Quilling Basics Workshop so the designs were pretty simple. These are the three cards the students learned to make:

 
 
 
Since this was a class folks had to pay for, I can't share the nitty gritty details on how these cards were created (that wouldn't be fair to the fabulous students that took my class). I can at least tell you what products I used :). All of the cardstock was from my stash but I think it was all Bazzill. The designer paper was from My Mind's Eye and is part of their Lost and Found 2 paper line. In general, I'm not a big fan of paper packs and I find that I very rarely purchase any. The main reason for this is because most of the paper is single sided and I feel like I don't get my money's worth as it's hard to coordinate with other papers. However, when I found the smaller 6x6 paper packs by My Mind's Eye, I found these to be perfect for making cards! The paper is double sided and I don't waste near as much paper as I do when I have to cut up my 12x12 paper. The border punches and paper crimper were both by Fiskars. The stamp on the first card is by Inkadinkado and I believe the set is called "Thank You". The bling in the second card is by Queen & Co. I love this bling as it's only $1.00 and you get an assortment of sizes (with it being so cheap, you can buy every color! LOL). The embossing folder in the last card is by Darice. I used my heart shaped Nestabilities by Spellbinders to cut out the heart. That's about as much as I can share about how I put together these cards. :)
 
If you've thought about learning how to quill, don't put it off! It is one of those crafts that you can do just about anywhere and doesn't require a TON of money (or space) to do! For starters, you need your tools - slotted quilling tool (the long handled one) and needle tool, needle nose tweezers, fine tip scissors and a quilling board. The best quilling board that I've used is by Darice. Don't even bother trying to quill with the tiny tool that comes with it as it will just make you crazy and want to hurt someone. There are kits that you can purchase out there that have some of the tools, some sample paper and glue. As far as the kit goes, I'm kind of indifferent to it. If you're like me, you try to get the most for your money which may not be the case with the kit as most of the individual things you can buy using a coupon. It all depends on what's available in your area :). Another thing you'll need to figure out what you like is glue. There are all sorts of clear-drying glue on the market. My preference is Glossy Accents as it dries super quick and is super strong. The other nice to have thing would be the Curling Coach. This really helped one of my students during class as she did not have any fingernails to help get her roled quilling paper off of the slotted quilling tool. Next, you'll just grab you some quilling paper (PLEASE, I beg you, do NOT cut your own paper). I've been there and tried that and cut the crap out of my fingers and HATED how my projects turned out. There's just something about true quilling paper that works sooooo much better!
 
Okay, so now that you've got your tools, I'll give ya some tips and tricks of the trade .... but you're gonna have to wait :). Stay tuned for more postings about quilling very soon. Go forth and be crafty my friends!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valentine's Rinchies!

Howdy! If you're in Greenville, SC, you can relate when I say I am sick and tired of rainy days! Hoping we get some snow tonight but I doubt we will. I always loved seeing the snow when I lived in Virginia and really do miss it. So, to fight some of the rainy day blues, I thought I'd share another quick project I've done recently. These "rinchies" (I know it's not a word LOL) were made for a swap going on at the Fancy Paper Crafters group. These are simply round "inchies". These are primarily used as embellishments on various projects. I collect them ;) (what don't I collect, right?!). Anyway, here's an up close photo of one set of rinchies:
 
 
These were so super simple to make. The swap is a Valentine's them which is why I did "love". I used my Cricut to cut everything out. Using my gypsy, I was able to make sure that everything fit properly - so much easier! The bling on each letter are little Swarovski crystals that I found in the beading section at AC Moore. I love how they sparkle!!
 
Here's all the sets together. After they were done, I didn't want to give them away LOL. But, I went ahead and bagged and tagged them so they're ready to go for the swap :).
 
 
Well that does it for tonight! Hope you've enjoyed this quick and easy project. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kitchen Fundamentals Class Number 2

Hello again!! So Dan and I went to our second class at Charleston Cooks tonight. It was HOT in the kitchen tonight!! Our "lesson" for this evening was "Classic Sauces" in which we learned how to make the following: Fish Sandwich with Blue Cheese Coleslaw, Basil Chicken Pot Pie, Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, Hollandaise over Eggs Benedict, and Orange Raspberry Coulis over Grilled Pound Cake.
 
Dan and I really got to cook tonight which was really fun! If you know us at all, you'd know we immediately gravitated to the Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese dish. I was skeptical at first as I'm pretty "plain Jane" when it comes to cheese (Kraft Mild Cheddar on everything just about does it) but it was soooooo goooooooood!! I have never made macaroni and cheese that wasn't in a box (of course Dan has!) and I was quite surprised at how really easy it was! Tonight was quite different as we got a TON of food (way too much for one person to be able to eat in one sitting). Here are the pics of what we made:
























So, before I critique anything, I have to brag on us :). After we finished making our macaroni and cheese, the teacher tasted it and absolutely loved it! He actually told everyone in the class to get a spoon and taste our dish because it was so good. Boy did that make us feel good! Really, the only thing that needed a little tweaking was the chicken pot pie. When we make this at home, I'd like to add more seasoning for sure and make the dough a little thinner on top (this will allow it to cook more in the oven and not be so "doughy"). Outside of that, everything was pretty good. I have never had eggs benedict and was a little grossed out by the runny stuff. However, I pressed on and tried it and actually enjoyed it (although I don't think this will become part of regular meal rotation LOL).
 
Well, that's our second class in a nutshell. Next week is Everyday Sauces so we'll see how it goes :).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Love Themed Artist Trading Cards

Hello again! Today I thought I'd share a little Artist Trading Card (ATC) that I made for a Valentine's Themed ATC in the Fiskateers craft group. If you've never heard of an ATC, think of it as a crafter's version of a baseball card. It is small in size (3 1/2 inches x 2 1/2 inches) and is intended to show your creativity. Crafters will commonly collect them (which is pretty much what I do) or use them on craft projects like cards or scrapbook layouts. So, without further ado, here's my little creation:
 
 
These little cards took quite a while to do, but you know the old saying, "good things come to those who wait" right ;)?! Here are the products I used:
- Some form of a distressing tool (I like the Heidi Swapp one)
- Heartfelt Creations Daisy Patch Die and Daisy Patch Flowers Stamps
- Baker's Twine
- Laptop and Printer
- Hole Puncher
- Medium Sized Stylus and Foam Pad
- A stick pin that I created (see it up close here)
 
Once you gather your supplies, it's really simple (time consuming yes, but simple none the less). Start by cutting your bitter chocolate cardstock 3 1/2 x 2 1/2. Layer with your My Mind's Eye designer paper (layers cut 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 and 3 x 2). Print the word "love" repeatedly on a piece of the french vanilla cardstock. Using your tag punch, punch out a tag for your embellishment and punch a hole for the twine. Distress all sides of the My Mind's Eye designer paper and the tag using the Heidi Swapp tool and Tim Holtz inks. Stamp the small daisy flower (using the Tim Holtz ink) onto the Dearest Dots My Mind's Eye designer paper and cut it out using the coordinating die cut. This part took a bit of figuring out but then I smartened up and found this video on how to do that the best. Using your stylus and a foam pad, gently rub it over the center and petals of the daisy to give it dimension. Take some of the twine and feed it through the hole punched in the tag.
 
Now, it's just a matter of glueing all of your pieces together. I used pop up dots under the tag to give it a little "umph". Using the ink around the edges helps everything pop out instead of looking flat.
 
I hope you've enjoyed this little ATC. Have a super crafty day! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fun with Stick Pins!

Howdy folks! So, first of all, let me tell ya that me and my camera were not getting along when taking pictures of these little things. Of all the ones I took, these are the best so please bear with me :) (I'm definitely not a professional photographer LOL).
 
A while back, we did a stick pin swap at Fancy Paper Crafters. I had so much fun making them last time, I wanted to try them again. These are the completed ones from the swaps last year:
 
 
After digging through numerous drawers of embellishments for a project I was working on, I gave up trying to find "the perfect one" and made my own! Here's a list of supplies that you'll need (fortunately, all of these are pretty easy to find at any local craft store).
- Copic Marker of your Choosing (I think I used BG23 - Coral Sea)
- Beads of your Choosing (I used Swarovski Crystal Beads and a random antique silver bead I found in my collection)
- Some type of foam mat to stick them in (I used my stamp cleaning pad as it's what I had on hand (eh, it worked!)
 
I had to make a total of 10 of these little buggers. Here's a snapshot of what they look like "bare":
 
 
I took my Copic Marker and colored the "white" part of each pin to match the colors for my project (will share the finished project some other time). Once they're colored, I let them sit for a while so they could dry (about 10 minutes). You could probably also zap them with a heat gun but I didn't have one with me. Here's what they look like colored (if you want your color to be deeper, let them dry and then color them again and let dry (repeat until desired color is achieved)).
 
 
After the pins had dried, I took an antique silver bead and turned it up and slipped it on the needle. Before reach the top of the pin, I filled it with a little of glossy accents (doesn't take much!) and pushed it up to stick to the round pin top. After that, I put a tiny little drop around the pin just under the antique silver bead and slipped on the pink Swarovski crystal. I then stuck it in my foam pad and hung them upside down until they were dry (easy to do, just hang your foam pad off the edge or your table). It only takes probably 10 mintues to dry depending on how much glue you used.
 
Anyway, here's the finished project. Check back tomorrow to see how used these new creations!
 
 
Happy crafting folks!!
 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gasp! A non-craft related post! :)

Hahaha so I know I totally suck at this blogging thing ... I'll get better one day. Actually, I'm kind of being forced to get better because a lot of the online design teams want you to submit your blog. My poor neglected blog is not getting submitted to anything as is stands now lol. So without further ado (wow I use this statement a lot lol), here's a little bit of fun for the day :).

Haven't posted anything that isn't crafty related in a while and I thought to myself today, why the heck not?! I bought my husband a 6 week cooking class at the Charleston Cooks store in Greenville, SC. Our first class was tonight and it was called "Kitchen Fundamentals 1: From Stocks to Soups to Stews". We started out by learning how to make our own Chicken Stock and Seafood Stock (who knew Seafood Stock existed?! Not this lady!). Then, we broke up into little groups and each group made one item from the following: Chicken Tortilla Soup with Crispy Tortilla Strips, Chicken and Dumplings, Creamy Shrimp and Tomato Bisque and Shrimp and Grits. Dan and I initially started out by making the Seafood Stock. That took all of about two seconds (mainly because Dan was doing most of the work lol). So, after "we" finished that, we were able to walk around and observe the other groups as they cooked. I ended up stationed at the Chicken and Dumpling group and let me tell ya! I thought I was a bad cook - there are some folks out there much worse than me LOL. I can at least follow a recipe pretty easily ;).

Here's a happy little picture of us after we finished cooking. There were 12 of us in the class and we had a really great time! One of the main things I learned today was taste before you serve! A couple of the dishes needed more seasoning and I didn't want to offend any of the other cooks by adding seasonings after the dish was served LOL.
 
 
So, here's the finished products. The dish on the far left is the Shrimp and Grits. Then, there's the Chicken and Dumplings. These were not the "southern style" chicken and dumplings but they were still tasty and much healthier! The small red bowl is the Creamy Shrimp and Tomato Bisque (this would have been perfect if the soup was ran through a strainer first to remove the "bits of stuff" that I don't like to bite into. Lastly, the small green bowl was the Chicken Tortilla Soup with Crispy Tortilla Strips. We baked the tortilla shells instead of frying them and they were scrumptous!
 
 
So, overall our first class was a great success! Our favorite dish was the Chicken Tortilla Soup with Crispy Tortilla Strips. This is one that I could easily see us making at home and it is really good for you! For once, I actually now know how to make several dishes without his help around the kitchen ;) - Yeah me!