Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thank Yous and Les Miserables

I have two cards for you today that I made a few months ago, but never posted here. These are part of a set. You can see the others on THIS POST.

I used SRM Sticker Sentiments Thank You on these quick cards.
The papers are old October Afternoon. I love these and wish they're still available.
On another note, have you seen Les Miserables, the movie? After a long wait, it's finally showing in Croatia. My sweet husband took me and endured the musical. But without a doubt, he enjoyed it, too. I can't remember the last time I cried like that watching a film. Wow, it was fantastic! There are quite a few Christian themes throughout and thought-provoking subject matters. The highlights for me were:
  • Jean Valjean's Soliloquy after he was given a second chance in life. I loved that they didn't pre-record the singing because I could really hear the anguish in his voice when he just spoke the words in some parts. And then the hope he felt at the end when he decided to have a change of heart. I love stories of redemption!
  • Ann Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" gave me chills. And it made me think about how far do mothers go to save their children. How far would I go? 
  • With lyrics like, "Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people Who will not be slaves again!", "Do You Hear the People Sing?" is such a powerful song. I think about all the oppressed people in the world who are stripped of their basic freedoms and don't even have the chance to fight for change.
  • Javert's Suicide was distressing, especially after his life was spared by Valjean. It shows a stark difference from Valjean's response after he was shown mercy by a fellow man. One lives by grace and the other by law. HERE is a good article about the contrast between these men.
  • Marius' "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" was heart-wrenching, esp when he sang, "Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me, what your sacrifice was for." I'd like to imagine all sacrifices made are worth it in the end. I know of THE ONE SACRIFICE that is worthy and we who believe get the benefit of it.
And who knew Wolverine and Gladiator could sing?  I can't wait to get the Soundtrack and DVD. How about you? Have you seen it and did you like it?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Tis So Sweet

I just love the color combo of this one: pink, red and Kraft. I used two of the recent January release sets on today's card. The sentiment is from Beautiful Hymns set. The bird is from Happy as a Lark set.

I first cut a panel of patterned paper from Authentique's Lovely Collection and adhered it on a pink card stock. I die cut Spellbinders Window #2 die on kraft and popped it up using foam dots. I decorated the window with Want2Scrap's Bling Hearts - Pink and Red Rhinestones on the top and Sleek Strips Pearls-White along the bottom.
It's hard to see on the photo, but the window is slightly propped open. A little bit of twine above the sentiment and the card is done. I'm entering this to the Moxie Fab Window Challenge. Cath may have a different idea for a window, but I took it literally :).
Doesn't this card scream spring? I can't wait! :) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My first cooking post - our anniversary meal!

One blessing/challenge of living in a small town is the unavailability of many restaurant choices. If we want to eat familiar foods like Chinese or Mexican (and even McD's, my girls' favoite!), we have to drive an hour to get it. I'm not complaining...at least we can find them!

Since moving to Croatia many years ago, I have had to learn to cook from scratch and make up recipes. I present to you some that I've made up that were inspired by real dishes I remember eating in America somewhere. I made this for our anniversary a few weeks ago. We had planned to go out to eat, but it was a snowy day and didn't feel like driving two hours. So, after a quick trip to the market, we made this scrumptious and easy to prepare meal!

This is what we made: Creamy Pasta, Grilled Chicken and Glazed Carrots. I also served salad and yummy crusty bread, but forgot to include them in the photo. The ingredients are listed below, but keep in mind that I usually don't measure when I cook. Thankfully, these are really forgiving recipes that are hard to mess up. I also used ingredients (I even provided links to some of the products I used) that are readily available in Croatia, so my Croatian friends can easily make them!
If you're in Croatia, the first thing you need to do is get a gas grill. :) Those who aren't from here, Croatians usually have these gorgeous stone grills that are part of their yard landscape. They're pretty, but you can't use them when the weather is bad. Seriously, gas grills are DA BOMB! We can grill even when there's a snow storm outside. Preheat your grill and sprinkle your chicken pieces with seasoned salt (or Vegeta, which I don't use because of the MSG content), pepper and garlic powder. Grill the chicken until it's cooked through. Brush BBQ sauce or any sauce you have in your pantry (we used Mango/Ginger that we found at Lidl) the last 10 minutes of grilling.
For the pasta sauce, I chopped up country ham (or this in Croatia) or bacon and brown them in the frying pan. Remove from pan.
Slice and stir fry mushrooms in the same pan with the ham drippings. Add minced garlic. Stir fry for a couple more minutes.
Put the cooked ham back in the pan and add the cooking cream/milk mix and lower down the heat. Add a cube or two of chicken buillon, depending on how salty you want it. I'd start with one and add more to taste. Add pepper to taste. Let sauce simmer until thickened.
Cook pasta (I used Tagliatelle). Pour sauce over it and toss. Sprinkle generously with grated hard cheese (Padane, Parmesan, etc.) and toss a little bit more.
For the glazed carrots, slice carrots thinly. Stir fry in a pan with some butter until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.


Creamy Pasta:
1/2 cup of chopped ham/bacon
500 grams/1 lb of mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp minced garlic, about 2 cloves
1/2 cup or 100 ml of cooking cream (vrhnje za kuhanje)
1/2 cup or 100 ml of milk
1-2 chicken bullion cubes
500 g or about a pound of pasta
Grated hard cheese (Padano, Parmesan, etc.)
salt and pepper

Simple Grilled Chicken:
Chicken pieces
BBQ or any thick sauce
salt and pepper
garlic powder

Glazed Carrots:
1 kilo of carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
50g or 2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper

I'm linking this to the Homemaking Linking party.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Stamps and Winners!

I hope you enjoyed the new The Craft's Meow recent release. These are the two that are my designs:
Beautiful Hymns
See project samples HERE 
 Crafty Shelf
See project samples HERE
The Craft's Meow release hop is still going on and you could win these and the other new sets.

Now...the winners of the NinaB Designs Blog Hop:
Prize #1 from Lea's blog is...Loly Borda-Towery
Prize #2 from  Beatriz' blog is...Becky Dunham

Winners, please email (via Contact tab above) me with your info within 4 days (till Jan 26) in order to claim the  prize. Please put under Subject, "Jan 2013 NBD Hop Winner." This will help with organization and avoiding confusion. Thanks for understanding.

Monday, January 21, 2013

TCM January 2013 Release Blog Hop

Welcome to The Craft's Meow's January Release Blog Hop. If you came from Lindsay's blog, then you're at the right spot. To see the full list, make sure you visit the TCM blog. I have a card set for you today using my Beautiful Hymns set. These elegant-styled cards are easy to mass produce to give away as gifts.

I first embossed a panel of white cardstock with Spellbinders' Venetian M-Bossabilities. I just love how crisp these folders emboss! I used colors of the card bases based on which seam binding colors I have on hand.
Here is one close up. I then stamped different hymn lyrics on a light Kraft cardstock with Memento Espresso ink.
I adhered Want2Scrap Fancy That! bling on the bottom of the panel. Two of these are just the perfect size. I added a little white paper rose on the bow.
The Craft's Meow is giving away the 5 new sets. Participants are not required to leave comments on each blog, but they have a better chance to win because the winner will be drawn randomly from one of the hop participants' blog. Your next stop is my friend -->> Sharri<<--. 

Before you go, I also want to let you know that the NinaB Designs blog hop is going on till tonight! There are two prize packages up for grabs!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

TCM Jan 2013 Previews: Many Thanks

Welcome to day one of The Craft's Meow's January 2013 Release Previews. Today we're showing the Many Thanks set. I think the majority of cards I make individually are thank you cards. (Christmas tops Thank You's but I usually mass produce them). This set is just perfect for those gratitude cards.

I made a graphic style card for today. I used various Imagine Crafts inks to create the background.
I heat embossed with white another sentiment from the set on a dark red cardstock. I highlighted it with 2 Want2Scrap pearls.
Please check out the TCM blog for a list of participants on today's previews, including our Guest Designer of the month, Jennifer Ingle! A stamp set will be given away to one commenter on the TCM blog. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced the next day's post. Have a great day!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

TCM Jan 2013 Previews: Happy as a Lark and Lark Additions

Welcome to day one of The Craft's Meow's January 2013 Release Previews. Today we're showing Happy as a Lark and Lark Additions (the new Free with $50 purchase this month). I'm a huge fan of bird stamps and this one was gorgeously designed by Karen Baker.

I stamped and fuzzy cut the bird and perched him on the sentiment stamped on Kraft, which was stitched on the sides. 
The papers are October Afternoon. The buttons were added to create balance. Lace, seam binding and a paper rose add to the vintage feel of the card.
Please check out the TCM blog for a list of participants on today's previews, including our Guest Designer of the month, Jennifer Ingle! A stamp set will be given away to one commenter on the TCM blog. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced the next day's post. Have a great day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

TCM Jan 2013 Previews: Crafty Shelf

Welcome to day one of The Craft's Meow's January 2013 Release Previews. Today we're showing my second set for this month, Crafty Shelf, which coordinates with my previous release, Beautiful Shelf set.

I created the shelf scene here and colored them with Copics. I really enjoyed coloring these little pieces. I paper pieced the shelf. I hope to find a shelf like this for my own craft room. I love the hanging ribbons, don't you?
I "hung" different patterned paper banners to anchor my sentiment. The papers are mainly from Carta Bella. A little bit of twine embellishment finishes the card.
Please check out the TCM blog for a list of participants on today's previews, including our Guest Designer of the month, Jennifer Ingle! A stamp set will be given away to one commenter on the TCM blog. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced the next day's post. Have a great day!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

TCM January 2013 Previews: Beautiful Hymns

Welcome to day one of The Craft's Meow's January 2013 Release Previews. Today we're showing one of my new sets called Beautiful Hymns. As the name suggests, this set was inspired by some of my favorite classic Christian hymns. The hardest thing to do was to pick which ones to include.

For my card today, I used one of the most quoted lines from Great is Thy Faithfulness. The song is based on Scripture:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
(Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)
The card is simple shabby. I stamped the sentiment on a die cut Spellbinders Labels 10. The background paper is by Prima. I accented the label with some Want2Scrap bling, burlap twine and Prima flower.
Please check out the TCM blog for a list of participants on today's previews, including our Guest Designer of the month, Jennifer Ingle! A stamp set will be given away to one commenter on the TCM blog. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced the next day's post. Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NinaB Designs Jan 2013 Blog Hop

Welcome to the NinaB Designs* first team blog hop of 2013! We hope you have had a relaxing holiday break and ready to join us for another year of inspirations and prizes!
*NinaB Designs is a product designer for a few paper crafting companies including Spellbinders, Want2Scrap and Penny Black, and The Craft's Meow.

For this month's hop, I challenged the team to create a project with the LOVE theme, which can be interpreted in many ways: Valentine, Anniversary and Friendship. I made two cards for you. The first one uses Penny Black's Sent with Love stamp set. I did the emboss resist on this card with some Copic coloring on the flowers. I first heat embossed with white powder, colored the flower and blended different Distress inks to expose the white background.
I distressed the edges and stitched to a cream cardstock. Some lace, seam binding, buttons and flowers finish this simple shabby card.
For my second card, I went the fun route and made a patterned paper-filled card. I love patterns, don't you? I esp love this collection from October Afternoon. I use my TCM's Beautiful Shelf set on this one. I paper pieced the shelf/cabinet and colored the vase of flowers.
The sentiment is from Just Sayin' and placed over trendy banners. Some red twine is all it needs.
Here are the products I used for my cards: TCM's Beautiful Shelf, Just Sayin' and Penny Black's Sent with Love, respectively.
The NinaB Designs team is giving away these TWO PRIZE PACKAGES:

Prize Package #1 includes Spellbinders Venetian Accents and Motifs:
Prize #2 includes 2 retired sets from Layers of Colors stamps:
Winners will be picked randomly from 2 of the designers' blogs:
Everybody is welcome to comment and be eligible to win. The winners will be announced on  January 22 on My Blog, where you will also find all the relevant info regarding the giveaways. Finally, please consider liking the following Facebook pages that are represented on today's hop, so you don't miss the latest news and happenings:
Thank you for joining us today!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Petal Party Thanks

I have a special card for you today that took more than my usual 30-min limit :). But I had so much fun making it. I used my Penny Black's Puzzle Parts and Petal Party stamps.

First, I made my own background paper using the intricate border design from Puzzle Parts inked in rainbow ombre colors. I hope I'm using that term correctly here, but you get the idea :). Moxie Fab's Challenge here and here inspired me to do this. I then created a window by die cutting the middle part with my Spellbinders Labels 28, one of my designs from Summer CHA.
I then stamped the flower from Petal Party on a piece of paper and colored it with Copics. I adhered it to the card front so it shows in the center of my window panel. The white sentiment is by SRM Stickers. I just love that there is no need to heat emboss. I curled the ends of the little banner and adhered it over the window. I finished the card with some Want2Scrap pearls.
Have a great day!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Craft's Meow's January Blog Hop

Welcome to The Craft's Meow's Jan Hop. Today, we're featuring projects using stamps that are currently ON SALE! (extra 15% off retiring stamps, use code Winter15) If you came from Lindsay Amrhein's blog, then you're at the right spot. Please check the TCM blog for the list of participants and details about the giveaway!

If my projects look familiar, it's because they were cards I have shared here previously. For these, I used the Little Frieda Collection. Isn't Frieda sweet? I colored these with Copics.
Frieda Seashore
Frieda My Girl
Frieda Daisy
Your next stop is the lovely Sharri Seffens. Please note that the sale goes through 11:59 pm Pacific on Friday, January 11th. Happy Hopping!
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