Welcome!


Well, another year is winding down.  Soon we’ll be saying hello to 2012!  Really?  2012 already???  Seems like just yesterday we were worrying about 2000 and if our computers would really work when the clock rolled past midnight.  Boy, was that a false alarm….everything turned out just fine.


I stumbled upon a blog that mentioned another blog and so on and that Karin over at With an “i” for Paper was hosting “A Year in Review Blog Hop” today through December 31st.  Any craft blogger can join in…just pick out your favorite cards or craft projects you’ve done this year and post photos of them on your blog.  Then go over to Karin’s blog and enter your name in the Linky and link back to your own blog so others can hop over and look at your 2011 favs.  Karin does ask that you limit the number of cards/projects that you showcase to just 12.


I just started doing my craft blog a few months ago and making cards for Operation Write Home.  It was hard to just pick out 12 favorite cards as I like a lot of them!  Also, so as to not have a super long post, I put my favorite cards that I have made this year  (some have been featured here on my blog, some have not) into two collages. You will only see parts of some of the cards or should I say…my favorite parts of them.

 

Be sure to visit all the other participating blogs for great inspiration and ideas!  Have fun and enjoy!  And Happy New Year!!

I’m pleased to announce that since September 1, 2011 I have made and shipped 216 cards to Operation Write Home for the troops!

I started this post on Christmas Eve then got busy with holiday activities and never got back to it.  I know it’s rather late to share a Christmas recipe, but perhaps you can bookmark it for next year though candy is good any time of the year!


It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until my Mother’s Peanut Brittle is made. On the Friday before Christmas I finally found the time and felt like making a batch so I could send it to my brothers. My Mother’s Peanut Brittle is the best. I’ve tasted some made from other recipes and it’s just not the same. It’s either too hard, too sticky, the peanuts seem “raw” or something else isn’t quite right. The recipe that my Mother used was always labeled Aunt Mabel’s Peanut Brittle. Some thought that it was a recipe my Mother created as her name was Maebell but really the recipe was from an uncle’s wife on my Dad’s side of the family. But anyway, my Mother perfected it and in my mind it is now her recipe. I have shared it with others but something seems to get lost in the “translation.” The secret to this peanut brittle was to have been able to make it with my Mother and learn from her which I was very lucky to be able to do–learn from her. However, I’m going to go ahead and share it here. Just remember, that if it doesn’t turn out right, you’ll just have to keep trying.  Experience makes perfect and then sometimes you will goof up.

My Mother’s Peanut Brittle Recipe (With Tips Added in by Me)

Before measuring the ingredients, prepare a cookie sheet by buttering it well on the bottom and sides and place it in a warm 190 degree oven (the oven trick is something I learned and added to this recipe. It makes the hot candy mixture spread easily in the pan.) Also butter a large spoon and lay it aside. You will need this to spread the candy in the warm cookie sheet. Also, take a small bowl of water and add a couple of ice cubes. This is for testing the candy to see when it is done. Pre-measure 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and put each into separate little bowls and set them near your stove so you will have them ready to add to the hot candy mixture at the proper time.

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
3 cups raw shelled peanuts
1 cup Karo syrup
Piece of butter (the size of an egg, which is about 2 or 3 teaspoons)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all of the above ingredients into a saucepan.

Cook until it turns a reddish brown color (about 30-35 minutes). Stir frequently. After about 25 minutes cooking time, you will need to start testing a drop of the candy in a small bowl of ice water. You want the candy to get to a brittle stage. You will know it is ready when the drop of the mixture into the cold water is easy to break after it cools and it not sticky when you eat it. The peanuts will also taste done.   This is the only way to know when it is ready for the next step.

When ready as described above, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla first and then add the baking soda and stir well. It will get foamy.


Quickly spread the mixture into the warm, buttered cookie sheet and spread it out as thin as you can with the buttered spoon.

 

Let it cool and then break the candy into pieces. Store in an air tight container. Do not store with other candies.

 

I bag mine up to give away and only keep a piece or two for myself, otherwise I’d eat it all.  Christmas just isn’t Christmas until I’ve made my Mother’s Peanut Brittle.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday week and have a very Happy New Year!  I hope to do some card crafting or quilting this weekend to ring in the new year.

And all through my craft room were cards that I made on Saturday waiting for envelopes, addresses and postage!  I decided last week that on Monday I would get the last of my cards addressed and in the mail.  I have a nice stack ready to take to the post office when I go in to town.  Most are handmade cards that I created from scraps of scrapbook paper and left over stickers and other embellishments that I’ve collected over the years from creating layouts of our Christmas photos. A few have stamped images that I colored with my Copic pens and glittered up with Stickles and Spica glitter pens.   I’m pretty pleased with how they all turned out and that no two were alike.  My favorites ended up being made from several scraps of different printed Christmas papers pieced together much like you’d make a quilt.

This Christmas has been a bit different than years past.  Because of my back I decided to not put out ALL my decorations and limited myself to just two Christmas trees.  Yes, two.  I usually have four or five.   I know…overkill but I do love decorated trees and all the different ornaments I’ve collected through the years.  We also did not put out any lights or decoration outside this year.   And my kitchen seems a bit bare without all my snowmen.  I’ve also not done any baking or candy making, but as the 25th nears I’ve got this urge to pull out the recipes and make just a couple of things.  All this to say that maybe we try to do too much around the holidays and that it’s okay if you don’t put out all your decorations or bake a lot or wrap every gift or even if your holiday cards are late–arriving after the holiday (which may very well be what happens to some of mine) but that in the end it’s the joy and spirit of Christmas that matters the most and that you are happy and rested and can enjoy it.

I’m thinking that I may not be doing any card challenges until after the holidays or even any card making though I will be getting my Operation Write Home Valentine and love cards (they are ready to go)  in the mail tomorrow or Wednesday so they’ll arrive before the OWH deadline. So, just in case I have nothing new to share before Christmas….I wish each of you a wonderful, blessed and Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Do you have lots and lots of paper that you’ve bought but haven’t used yet?  Scraps of paper in boxes, bags and totes? Left over embellishments, stickers and die cuts or even some that you bought but have never opened the package?  Hmmm?  Yeah, well…me too. Ha, ha.  I’ve discovered that making cards is a great way to use up some of this stuff and I’ve been having a great time making cards and sending them to Operation Write Home for the troops overseas.  And I’ve decided it’s a great way to make Christmas cards too…each one different from the other.  No matchy, matchy for me this year. So if you’re on my Christmas card mailing list, hopefully I’ll get these made in time for you to get one of my handmade, “use it” cards.  If not, there’s always next year.

Which leads us to the Use It Tuesday Challenge #21 theme:  HOLIDAY!  Yay!  Since I’ve been making Christmas cards anyway, I can totally participate in this challenge.  In case you’re not familiar…the Use It Tuesday challenges require you to use “your hoarded supplies” and to tell what you used.  I couldn’t decide on just one card to share,  though “officially” the first one here is my entry for the challenge…anyway I’ve posted four Holiday cards that I made totally from hoarded supplies.

Card #1:  I headed to my stash of card stock and printed papers (of which I have a lot!) and chose this Santa paper and a green solid for the center and then I rummaged through my Christmas embellishments and came up with these adorable felt “stickers.”  I can’t remember if they came together or not but the tree and wrapped gift worked really well together with this paper.

Card #2:  I really like this one!  I found this lovely printed paper with the stack of gifts–this may be a new paper I bought this year but I’m not really sure.  It was among my stash of Christmas papers.  But the Santa sticker and the “Ho, Ho” I’m pretty sure I’ve had a year or so.

Card #3:  This one is made from some lovely light aqua dotted paper that was in my scrap stash and some die cut stickers that were left over from a scrapbook page I made.  The “Under the Mistletoe” sticker is from a completely different sticker set and was a left over too.

Card #4:  These adorable felt stockings were in the leftover embellishment box too and I thought they looked really cute with this scrap of Christmas stocking paper.

Four cards made really quick and I used up some of my leftover stuff!  Not bad. Not bad at all.  Thanks  Use It Tuesday for encouraging us to use up our stuff!

Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho!  This “elf” needs to get back to work.
Have an awesome day!

MoJo Monday Sketch # 219 

So glad I remembered to pop over to the Mojo Monday blog and take a look at this week’s sketch!  It was perfect for a Christmas card I was working on.  A bit of lovely printed paper, felt snowflake ribbon, a Just Rite Snowman stamped image, Copic pens, sketch #219 and I had this quick and easy card.

Here’s the sketch:

Click over to the Mojo Monday blog and check out this sketch and past ones too.  I have several Christmas cards made to send out but need to make more.  If you’re needing to finish up on your own, sketches are great for inspiration!
Just noticed the time!  Must go to bed as the alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. Yikes!  Have a good night!
~Sandy

Supplies Used:
  • Just Rite Snowman Stamp
  • Copic Markers:  R81, BG45, YR07, BG000, G24, R22, RV14 and B60
  • Spica glitter pens Blossom pink and Clear
  • Printed papers from Echo Park’s Holly Jolly Christmas 6×6 paper pad
  • Green cardstock for card base
  • Felt snowflake ribbon
  • Pre-punched hot pink paper scallop border