Monday 23 December 2013

Buddy the Elf is an artist too.

Buddy is the little Elf that lives at my Grandchildren's house during the Christmas season. He is a pretty good Elf all round...not very naughty at all!
He seems to do a lot of fun things at night while people are sleeping. My grandkids were trying to explain him to me and asked if I had seen the movie Night at the Museum. When they heard I had not, they advised that I should go see it cuz then I would understand that Buddy is real!

Apparently, Buddy finished flying school last week.

And just before we actually had any snowfall here, he managed to produce his own snow and build a Elf sized snow family. Here he sits, admiring his handiwork.

Yes Siree...Buddy is quite enterprising! I think Buddy may have been sampling the rum and eggnog as he seems about to slide off that Lego chair!

Sunday 22 December 2013

Rudoff the Red Nosed Reindog

Ho ho ho ho ho

I am still laughing!!! The grandkids came over to help decorate the tree and stay for a sleepover.
They also wanted to make cards for their teachers and wrap up the chocolates I bought for them to give.

The doorbell rang and I could hear excited voices outside as I walked to answer the door.  In burst Little Mr P,  and he ran straight to the tree without taking off his boots (a no-no in  Canadian houses). He carefully hung something on the tree as high as he could reach and worked hard to adjust it just so. Well, truth be told, as carefully as a person can be when they are wearing a snow jacket with the zipper undone and big velcro cuffs at the wrists. As my daughter was scolding him for not taking off his boots first, he proudly turned around and with the happiest face ever, announced...I made this for your tree!!!

Little Miss C and my daughter instantly asked if this was the Christmas dog from the Grinch. No, he says crossly, the smile fading a bit...this is a reindeer! They seemed a wee bit shocked and tried to make a quick recovery muttering something about how much this looked like that dog. You guys are silly, he said, see.....first of all it has a red nose AND it says right here on the back that it is RUDOFF and Rudoff is a reindeer!!!
The funniest bit was after he left today, I took this photo and realized that he had originally spelled it correctly, and then carefully changed it. I think he is very arty, for a little boy still in kindergarten.

My daughter was trying not to laugh as she still thought it looked like a dog and because she thinks I am too particular about how I decorate the tree. I use certain colours and try hard to get a balanced look to the various ornaments. Well, she must have forgot that I only started that style long after she had left home to start her own life. I had my years of hanging everything up that she and her sister made in school.  And....I loved it too.

I love my little Rudoff and shall treasure my little reindog...errr...reindeer, forever.

I am taking this little paper decoration over to the Pixies Crafty Workshop (not for the prize, thanks). Just to share that Little Mr P has also been working hard to use up his snippets. This is such a busy time of year and we can sometimes get caught up in the To Do list. We all need a little smile each day and this was mine.

Friday 20 December 2013

Deck the Halls

It is looking festive in the Scrappymo household.

Nativity - check

Tree - check

Front porch and door decorations - check I usually do a much nicer job with different fresh evergreen boughs but there were not any windstorms helping us out. Usually we find the boughs freshly dropped from the treed edges of the farm roads just below us. Wish I had not hung the keys across from each other on the is checked off the list and that is how it is staying!
Still want to weave some loopy bit of the jute (hessian) around the bench...but perhaps I am running out of time...I had grandious plans to loop the hessian there and all around the door...DH says I am dreaming and just to leave it...maybe fairies will come in the night and do it for me!

Christmas Village - check    

Mantle - check

Dining table centerpieces - check
Tried something new this year with some rhinestone press on letters. And managed to work in the  angel that we never seem to have a place for. Can you spot them... Let me help you...
Various Christmas decor - check

Gifts wrapped - check

Shortbread cookies - check

Cards mailed - check

Front Garden Lights - check
The tacky DH Light Up Santa - sigh...check

Could stop now if I wanted to but would still like to bake some Mincemeat Tarts and some Walnut Snowballs this weekend. Also need to check the liquor cupboard and make sure we have wine and liquors in for Christmas dinner. Glad to see the to do list is shorter than the finished list! Yay!

How are you all doing...are you ready for the big day...Hope some of you post your Christmas decor is always so fun and relaxing to sit and visit round the blogs at this time of year.

I will close with my best setting the scene Christmas photo...we woke up to it this morning...SNOW!!!

Sadly, we are much more so at this time of year as the leaves that help to screen out the neighbours have dropped! But it is still my view and I so love to see the snow at Christmas, especially on my little Victorian garden shed!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Grandma's Sliced Shortbread Cookies

My English Grandma always made sliced shortbreads. There were no other kind of shortbreads at her house. She emigrated to Canada after the First World War. She was from a tiny village in Cumbria that was fondly called Little Ireland. The locals have a bit of an Irish lilt to their speech.
I hope you will enjoy her recipe!

Cream 2 cups butter (I use salted butter)
Add 1 1/4 cups of powdered icing sugar and cream well again
Add 1/2 cup powdered cornstarch and cream again
Add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and cream in again
Add  3 1/2 cups of flour (one cup at a time and mix together well). Batter will be a bit stiff.

Divide mixture into 4 or 5 balls and place in a bowl with a teatowel over top.

Take out one ball and place it on a piece or tin foil or plastic wrap and roll it slowly back and forth with your hands,until it forms a log shape. I made mine about the size of a Canadian quarter this year. Other years I have gone a wide as a Loonie.

I use tin foil as my girls are into recycling and are against additives and chemicals etc, so they would not want the plastic wrap on their food! Once you have the log shape even enough to suit yourself, then smooth the tinfoil slightly around it and place on a cookie sheet. Continue with each of the remaining balls till you have 4 or 5 tinfoil covered logs on your cookie sheet. You can see I have 2 logs rolled already and in the first photo above, there were 3 balls left to roll)

Place in the fridge for about an hour or longer. Once firmed up in the fridge, remove a log at a time and slice them into cookies. I like to slice all at once as I get a rhythm going and I am more likely to get them fairly close to the same size. I was not as fussy today as usual as I am still over tired.

Once sliced, you will notice that there are some little edges that look a bit ragged where the knife may not have slid through cleanly. You can see them in the photo above...If that happens, I take that cookie slice and roll it slightly as if I was rolling a quarter across the cutting board. Just a soft roll about half an inch forward and all the raggedy edges would be hidden...except now the top is a bit  very lightly pounce it on the board to flatten the top even.

I did warn you that these cookies were longer to make than the Melting Moments on my earlier post!
You are almost done! Place them one by one on a cookie sheet. I got 35 on my cookie sheet on my last batch...they are in the oven as we speak!

 Take a luncheon sized fork and lightly press the tines into your cookie tops. This will prevent them from cracking.

Bake 300 to 325 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

Here are the finished cookies...after all that work I did to get them even, the tops reverted back to raised edges from rolling them like a quarter!!! They don't usually do that but que sera, sera!

Auntie Lil's Melting Moments (Whipped Shortbread Cookies)

I promised my readers that I would post my shortbread recipes. I will leave you to decide which you like better.  If you try to bake them, I promise you will not be disappointed!  I will start with the directions for the easiest and fastest to make.

Auntie Lil's Melting Moments

Whip 2 cups Butter (I use salted butter)
Add 1 cup icing sugar and whip again
Add 1/2 cup powdered cornstarch and whip again

Add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract...whip again
Finally add 3 cups of flour ( 1 cup at a time and whip in between each)

You whip the final result till it "breaks". The best way I can describe this is when all the ingredients are whipped in, you continue whipping till the resulting batter sort of stands in peaks when you lift the beaters up from the bowl. You will sort of notice it breaking on its own in the bowl as you are mixing it and then you are done! It is already starting to break in the photo above but I needed to beat in the is the finished can see that the colour is now even and the peaks are holding their own shape.

Drop by teaspoon full onto cookie sheets. See how they are still "peaked"...some people shape them but to Auntie Lil, the beauty of these was how quick and easy there were to make...I am in total agreement with her on that front!!!

I have air injected teflon pans so do not use parchment papers underneath the cookies.  Bake at 300 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. The bottoms should just be very lightly golden coloured. I have a slow oven and I live near the it takes about 16 minutes for me. If you are not sure, lift one and check if the bottom is lightly golden.

They are in the oven baking so no photo of the finished cookies. I will update this post later with some finished cookie pictures.


Tuesday 17 December 2013

Christmas Club Card - Get Your Skates On

I am little late...but better late than never! Our theme for the Christmas Card Club was chosen by the lovely Sue of Planet Susie.

I should have posted this card on Sunday but woke up feeling poorly with this darned cold/cough. Why is it that coughs always get worse as soon as your head hits the pillow?  lol

My friend Gloria hosted a fabulous crop on Saturday evening. I made a few cards for a little card exchange there and then got completely stumped with this card. The ladies tried to help me but I just couldn't get my head around the design I wanted. I set it aside to finish at home and finally got to work on it tonight. I was trying to use a lot of silver and the skates just seemed lost on it. Everything just looked the same to me. This skates die cut is very large and working with something that large takes some getting used to.  Thank goodness I bought the glitter card bases on my last trip to Michael's in America. They were the only precut cards I had that were large enough to carry that die cut!

I usually know who I am gong to give a card to and that influences how I make it...When I worked on it tonight, I realized that I still had to make a purple Christmas card for a special friend. Purple is her favourite colour and she has her Christmas tree and decorations all tied in to this colour!  Once I pulled out the purple card stock, I liked the look of the skates on it. Whew...problem solved! My card actually went together quite smoothly after that.

Card base and Envelope - Michael's
Card stock - from my stash, snippets of 2 shades of purple card stock and 1 piece of grey textured card that has a sort of satin sheen
Dies - Tim Holtz Skates and Spellbinders Decorative Labels Eight
Very fine silver metallic string - from my stash
Chalk - Stampin' Up chalked around the edges of the skates
Bling - teensy clear diamonds from my stash
Sentiment - prestamped set from my LSS

I am entering this card in the following challenges:
1. Pixies Crafty Workshop - must use snippets
2. CHNC Extra - must be Christmas
3. CHNC - Whatever is urgent to make #155
4. Christmas Card Club - Get Your Skates On

Thursday 12 December 2013

The last of my Falling into Fall cards

I hope you are not too tired of when I mention using up VOS (very old supplies)...because I have another VOS card. When I was packing for that recent crop, I found all sorts of things I had forgotten. One of them was a tag from maybe 10 or even 15 years ago.

I think the tag came from some kind of make and is so old that I can't remember anymore. I think that is funny as some of you know that I have a brain injury from a car accident about 5 years ago. Starting this blog was part of my recovery as I have problems with my memory "in the moment". Usually I can remember things from the past quite is in the daily aspects of life that I still have memory problems with. That is why I often write on blog comments that I am going to try their particular technique, or their particular style of folded card.....and then I promptly forget!!!

Sorry about the waffling,,,now...on with my card. The glue had dried up on this tag and the elements had fallen off. There were 2 or 3 punched leaves with bits of dried up glue in the bottom of the envelope with the tag, and that was that.

I remembered that I had a fall quote (also VOS) and some DP of a fall leaves line, so I dug that out and fussy cut some leaves from it. I needed to place them exactly where they were before as I was stuck with the sort of discoloured marks from old dried up glue...and needed to cover them up. 'Nough said!

I cut and matted some of the design papers and roughed up the edges with the blade of my scissors.
The tag had already set the colour scheme so I went with matching colours. Hopefully the DP is strong enough so that the card does not look too boring.

As part of my commitment to use up some of my ribbon collection, I left the top of the tag a bit free from the card so I could tie some ribbon through the loop. I tried several ribbons. A couple of different shades of velvet, a rust organza, and finally some jute. They all looked odd on the tag.
I think it is because the tag is so big and the distance from the hole to the edge of the tag is quite large. In the end, I decided to glue a twine bow into the hole at the top of the tag...probably a good idea as this card is going overseas and I want it to go for standard postage.
Although I did pop some of the leaves forward, I think (hope) it is still flat enough to fit through the tester slot.

Recipe - All items are from my stash
Card base and envelope - 5  1/2 inch square textured white card
DP - Forever in Time; Autumn Art
Card Stock - snippets of rust card
Quote - My Minds Eye; Autumn Tiny Tales Frames, this quote is also VOS
Twine - fine coloured jute type twine
Tag - VOS

I am entering this card in the following challenges
1. Pixies Crafty Workshop - must use snippets

Thursday 5 December 2013

Crafty Ribbons Christmas Advent Event

Just a quick post to let my followers know about the Crafty Ribbons Christmas Advent Event. 
They are featuring a different craft company or shop each day, with the design team showing projects from their products There are lovely daily prizes from each  highlighted company.
Day 1 is LOTV...I so love their stamps!

Entries for prizes ends Dec 26th and the prize draws will be made on Jan 2, 2014.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Recognizing limitations

My DH will be so proud of me.  He always tells me that I need to recognize my limitations if I am sore and sometimes need to alter plans or even cancel them if they are beyond my grasp.
Many of you know how much I look forward to Black Friday shopping. It is a tradition in our house and the shopping trip itself is planned and honed with precision. We usually manage to get all the doorbusters on our list! Not by shoving and pushing. but by merging our shopping lists and each of us searching for everyone else. We meet up before going thru the till, and sort if we have extras.  Generally someone takes them anyway!

Black Friday starts on Thursday...crazy I know...but it starts as early as around 3pm Thursday. Each store has doorbuster specials at different times on Thursday, Friday and even Saturday. You have to line up to get them, so it does take planning. We usually stay at till Saturday but the friend booking the rooms had to drop out this year...and forgot to do the booking!!! My back and neck were still really sore from that fall and poor DD had a migraine, so we cancelled the room that we did manage to get for one night. We scaled our list down, and drove home to our own comfy beds. We were home just after midnite.  The hotel had a wait list for the room so they were really nice about the cancellation.

I managed to get an Ipad mini for $199.  and three sets of king size and queen size 700 thread count sheets for $24.99 each  A king sized quilt, a little mini crock pot for keeping hot dips warm when you entertain for $4.50 and two 12 x 12 double sided  page scrapbook paper pads for $5.00, door buster gifts for the kids next door and much more.   I treated myself to two Christmas stamps that were BOGO...I know I will get a lot of use from them!

DH is in Vegas celebrating his 60th with his pals from elementary school! They have stayed friends all these years. He left me money to buy any scrappy purchases that caught my eye...boy, oh boy, did things catch my eye!

DD even had me chose one of my Christmas is a hanging embellishment cupboard that matches my craft room furniture. I have wanted it for about a year but it had been discontinued. It was $109.00 in Canada when they had it and she got it for $29.00 on clearance. She needed to show me as she needed to be sure that I had a wall that it could go on...needless to say, I am a very happy crafter. She will get me other surprises as well, so I did not mind choosing it. I will post a photo after Xmas when I have it hung up and filled with stash!!! Got lot of other stuff but don't want to bore you too, too much!

Here is the last one from the series of fall themed thank you cards I was working on this week. They all use the same basic selection of papers, just the way I combined the elements differs slightly with each.
I was happy with the look of the woodland branches on my Thanksgiving card so decided to use some of those die cuts again. This time I decided to tie the branches together in a bundle. I had just the right colour of fine jute twine, so pressed that into service! Kept it fairly flat again, as this card will be posted overseas.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:

1. Pixies Crafty Workshop - must use snippets.
2. Word Art Wednesday - uplifting words
3. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything goes

Sunday 1 December 2013

Christmas Card Club - Oh Christmas Tree

The lovely Dawn chose the theme of Oh Christmas Tree for our challenge this fortnight. It was a great theme...I do not have a single tree stamp so this theme encouraged me to ink and colour a stamp I have never used before.
I have been trying hard this year to finally create with some of my never before used stash (NBUS) and it was a good feeling to get this inked up and put to use. After pawing through my Christmas stamps, I realized that I seem to own a lot of getting the tree images!  lol

I am in full standard postage mode now...all my hand delivered cards are made and I am now making my cards for overseas. I checked this one through my new mail width tester and it fits! This was a gift and I am so very grateful for it. It is so nice to make a card and test it as you are is so easy to adjust your design with this special gadget. It was a gift from a special know who you are, and I just wanted to say thank you so much again!

There is no official recipe tonight as DH turned 60 today and we have been out for a lovely supper and celebrations. I am a wee bit sleepy now!
I started with a square textured card and envelope, and added two snippets of dotted MME design papers.  The image is a bit on the large side so in order to fit the largish corner dies on my card, I did not mat the image. I think it is the first time that I have not matted one and I must say it felt weird. I inked the edges quite liberally with an Ingvild Bolme red chalk ink to try to mimic a mat. I love this product! It has the cutest handle built in and the ink dries smudges on your fingers!

I added a Martha Stewart border strip...for those of you that know my name, this border is quite appropriate for me! I added the two Spellbinder Parisian corner dies and a cluster of Impression Obsession Snowflakes. Placed a few aqua tiny diamonds here and there to tie in that pretty blue from the MS border. Not sure about the sentiment...might be Stampin Up...will check it tomorrow.

I can not decide if I should stickle the snowflakes and the edge of the image. I usually do as it is Christmas after all, but something about this image felt a bit rustic. What do you think...let me know if you think I should go back and add it...
I am entering this card in the following challenges:
1. Pixies Crafty Workshop - must use snippets; Everything on this card is a snippet
2. CHNC Extra - Anything Goes, must be Christmas
3. MFP Speedy TV Christmas Card Challenge - must be Christmas
4. Christmas Card Club - Oh Christmas Tree