Thursday, August 28, 2014

More Garden Goodness - Sun Dried Tomatoes, My Way

So, do you have a dehydrator? If you don't, you need one. I have this small one and it is awesome. So many things you can do and I've barely scratched the surface.
One of my favorite things to make with mine is sun dried tomatoes. Years ago when I started gardening and planted my first cherry tomato plants I realized I had more tomatoes than could be eaten. So I searched online for ways to preserve them. My first attempts were in the oven with salt and oil poured on. They were alright, but what a mess and the time, not to mention running the oven all day long in summer. Yuck. So I tried them with the dehydrator and fell in love. Basically I slice my tomatoes in half and layer them cut side up in my dehydrator. Plug it in and let them sit all night long.
 Now to clarify, I don't dehydrate my tomatoes to a crisp. I like them a little chewy. Seriously I can eat them like candy. So when I take them out they are still a little squishy, but by no means runny.
 Once in a while I throw in a layer of chili peppers from the garden. These will be ground up for chili pepper. When I am dehydrating these guys it goes to the garage. Peppers can be a little hard to breath in.
 Now because my tomatoes are not completely dried out I can't just store them in bags in the pantry. They would end up molding. So I separate them out in portion bags and vacuum seal them and throw them in the freezer.
  These tomatoes are awesome in pastas, salads and I like to use them on veggie pizza rather than the ripe ones.
 As shown in the photo above I've been getting a lot of different produce canned lately. Tomato halves, tomato paste, banana peppers, pickles etc. And the other day I made a batch of spaghetti sauce, ohhh yum.
I also had my first canning accident. Whilst stirring my spaghetti sauce some bubbled up and melted the skin right off my arm. Ouch. I'm a little more careful with my stirs now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Work Tray Wednesday

Yep, that's my work tray, time to get to work!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

All in a days fun.

So recently I've been trying to check off a lot of my "to do's". I've had some pieces sitting in the garage that needed painting and we had a decent day weather wise so I decided to tackle that project. I debated what to do with the kids. Leave them to run crazy in the house, zombie them out with a cartoon, or do what they asked and let them play outside. The only reason I feared #3 was because we had gotten some rain recently and we do not have a lawn as of yet. So after lining them up and explaining some "rules" basically play nice and STAY OUT OF THE MUD, I set them loose. 

I pulled out my recently bought paints and chose my color and got to work.
 I look out the garage and see the boys hovering around a nearby mud puddle. I remind them of the rules and get reassured that they are just "fishing". Deep down I already know where this is going...

The next time I look out to check on them, can you believe they just accidently fell in? "Not on purpose mom!" That was their story and they were sticking to it. I wonder if their shoes had fallen off prior to entering the mud accidently too.

By the time I had finished that one little shelf I had something bigger to clean up than my paint brush.

And yes, Brett is holding a toad. Poor creature...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Cone Wreath Kits Available

So I've finally found some time to put together a few new paper cone wreaths. This first one has some beautiful primary colors and it is called All Star:
Fun Times is a beautiful wreath featuring that great color combo of turquoise, yellow, black and white:
And I've had this one in my mind for a little while, an all pink, "It's A Girl" wreath:
 Close up to the emblem in the middle. And YES there will be a blue version as soon as I get the paper!!
These wreaths are currently available on my website and will be added to etsy and ebay soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sketch N Scrap Card Challenge #32

I'm back today with another great card sketch from Sketch-N-Scrap. Don't forget to upload your take on this sketch and the others from the month of August for a chance to win a great prize!
 I had fun putting my card together. I love stamping and cards are a great place to use my one million stamps. (Seriously I have like a million stamps, who's with me??) Anyways, for the center embellishments I stamped three different party hats with colorbok ink and added an iridescent embossing powder. Then used my 1.5" circle punch to punch them out. 
Hope you have as much fun with this sketch as I did!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sketch N Scrap Layout Challenge #63

Back again today with another sketch from Sketch N Scrap, this one can be interpreted so many ways! I can't wait to see what you all come up with.
I pulled some pictures from our trip to see Thomas the Train. While all three kids are fans of Thomas, Rylan is, well, obsessed with him. It was a dream come true for him to get to see and ride on his favorite train.
This Little Sport line from Fancy Pants is adorable, the papers are really fun to work with. So many fun patterns it was easy to get a colorful layout. I distressed the edges and bent the paper up to add dimension to the piece.
Items I used in this layout:
Fancy Pants Designs • Little Sport • Pinstripe
Fancy Pants Designs • Little Sport • Jersey
Fancy Pants Designs • Little Sport • Player
Fancy Pants Designs • Little Sport • Go Team
Fancy Pants Designs • Little Sport • Ball Game
The Paper Studios • 2" Banner Punch
Tonic • Distress Tool
Tim Holtz • Tiny Attacher
Adobe Illustrator
Cricut Expression
Scotch ATG Gun
Xyron Sticker Maker

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sketch N Scrap Inspired By Challenge #8

Is everyone ready for another Inspired By sketch? This one was a lot of fun for me, I hope you all have as much putting your layouts together. Don't forget to upload your take to the SNS blog for a chance to win!
For my layout, I pulled out an adorable picture of my daughter and her friend at their dance rehearsal. Then I dug through my paper stash and picked out some perfectly pink papers for the base. I added a little turquoise in to play off their outfits.
A while back I bought some Claudine Hellmuth chip pieces and I always forget I have them. I really need to get this room organized! Anyways, I layered some different elements here for the journal spot.
I clustered some flowers and more chip pieces along the other side to balance it off. And added a crepe paper ruffle behind the checkered banner to dress it up and play off the little dancers tutus.
Items I used in this layout:
Crate Paper • Neighborhood Collection • Chores
Crate Paper • Neighborhood Collection • Visit
Crate Paper • Neighborhood Collection • Picnic
Sizzix • Big Shot
Sizzix • Circle Scallop Lace Die
White Crepe Paper
Claudine Hellmuth • Pop Art Stickers a Go Go
Claudine Hellmuth • Chip Board Pieces
Making Memories • Jet Adore • Embellishment Box
Circut • Expression
Adobe Illustrator
Scotch ATG Gun
Xyron Sticker Maker

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Work Tray Wednesday

Finishing up a canvas today!

Garden Update

Well I've finally been able to reap the rewards of my garden. I eeked out enough produce to do a little canning. I was so excited that I didn't care that I only had enough banana peppers to pickle two jars worth. It's a new recipe for me so I guess this is the best way to try them out before I do more right?
So this week I did Dill Pickles, Pickled Banana Peppers and Candied Jalapenos.  I have these all on my Garden Pinterest board, you can follow it here.

Follow Heather's board From My Garden on Pinterest.

I did process my pickles so that they could be stored longer. This may make them slightly less crunchy. I guess we'll see!
I have tomatoes that are starting to turn that wonderful shade of red, so I see much more canning in my future!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sketch N Scrap Card Challenge #31

Here is a fun card sketch from Sketch-N-Scrap! Upload your take to the SNS Blog for a chance to win a wonderful prize.
For my card I went to my stash of scraps, and it seems like I keep using papers from the Fancy Pants Hopscotch line because they're so darn cute! I layered some of the papers in the background and used a yellow card stock to make the center pop. For my sentiment I looked through my Elle's Studio pieces and layered two. The happy anniversary banner was made using the Basic Banners die and stamp set from WPLUS9.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sketch N Scrap Layout Challenge #62

Today I have a wonderful sketch for you from Sketch-N-Scrap. This month the prize is from Lissa Mitchell. Upload your take on the sketch to the SNS blog for your chance to win.
For my layout I started with some pictures of the kids from the 4th of July this year. Then I grabbed the new papers from Pebbles to put it all together.
I'm in the middle of organizing my stamps and trying to catalog where they came from. Unfortunately I can't remember the manufacturer on some like the ones I used on this layout. If you know, help me out! Lol, I want to give credit where credit is due.
This Americana line from Pebbles is just simply adorable. While the colors are patriotic, the look is very "country picnic". A fun mix if you ask me!
Items I used in this layout:
Pebbles • Americana • National Anthem
Pebbles • Americana • Liberty
Pebbles • Americana • Justice
My Stash • Stamps
Ranger • Archival Ink • Jet Black
Scotch • ATG Gun
Adobe • Illustrator
Cricut • Expression
Clear Snap • Smooch Spritz • Navy Twinkle