Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WOYWW #191 Valentines

It is WOYWW #191 already!  The weekly world Wide Desk hop, hosted by Julia here at : http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/  I checked her blog and oh the wonderful sunshine and green there in Beautiful Oz!!
My work desk work was inspired by this lovely little Valentine I made at a shoe box swap several weeks ago
Isn't this cute! When I first made this I thought well this is a nice card but who will I give it too? 
   So I thought I would  give it to one of the girls at church, well then I thought I'd like to make them all one, we have a about 15 little  and medium girls, they would all love a valentine! This the a2 size and was a lot of fun  making this clean and simple card!
Then I thought about all of the wonderful women in my life and how wonderful and rich they have made my life, I need to make them a valentine too!  So now I have two batches of valentines going, I'll have somewhere around 60 to send out.
Of course my sweet husband's valentine will be the best !
So here is the start for the adult valentines (nothing bu the white card stock cut for the kids so far)
bases cut, first layer cut and ready to be dry embossed (that would be the pearl red paper)
Luke thinks the only valentine I should make is his and that I should make it on his favorite dog cookie,
He is actually doing his normal pouty routine when he wants to go to bed and I don't (he likes the pack altogether, he is a pain, we go through this every night!
my focal stamp
Searching for the perfect font in my index book - a very helpful tool!
Luke saying thank you for stopping by, time for us to go to bed!
Have a great week, I will post this cards in progress!
Ginny M

Monday, January 28, 2013

January 27th in Western MA

Cold and snowy and sleety today, nothing unusual for New England.  A great day to stay home, I didn't even take Luke for a walk. 
The view from the kitchen sink window! Makes washing the dishes so pleasant.  Yes It is true I still was my dishes by hand , why not, I can do it faster and certainly cheaper than using a dishwasher.  I'm an expert, 34 years of no dishwasher, why get one now, after the kids have grown and almost all of them out of the house?
It was definitely a soup kind of day, and with Steve home, I love to make a pot in the am so that we can eat it all day.
This was the soup at 11 am
Then again at 6pm.
and somewhere in the middle.
this was very easy!  I/2 pot of stock, add 1  large chopped onion, 1cup of barley and cook on a simmer for an hour, next add 3thinly sliced chicken breasts ( I do this while they are partially frozen - very easy and no messyness).  Add 2 thinly sliced carrots, 1 cup cooked black beans, 1 large can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup risotto .   I use my own blend of spice which includes the following: white pepper, freshly cracked black pepper, onion powder, saffron, basil, chives, tiny teeny bit of  tarragon and rosemary. a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.  Salt to taste. Simmer for another half hour.  Then I turn the heat off and eat with hot crusty bread (should have gotten a picture of that!) So this is pretty healthy almost no fat and lots of protein with complex carbs.   The cost to make this 6quart pot of soup was about $6.20 and that includes the bread!!
In between the cooking and card making  I did  cleaning and laundry, but my home is not large and we are generally pretty neat so house work only takes a couple hours a couple time a week.  I do have a washer and dryer, I'm not crazy!
Pintrest, oh yeah I might have spent a few minutes there too!
Cards for today:  Both for Oriental Stamp Art swaps:
They all required red or pink to be included.

This was a get well that went in the mail today

and last but not least my Bird stamps came off their blocks!
So that was my day, quiet and peaceful, I hope your day went well too!
Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Breaking fast

"Breaking fast" somehow sounds so much more epic than "Breakfast" But how ever you want to say it we have all heard how important it is to eat in the morning.  Now there is rarely a time in the day I don't want to eat, but what I don't feel like doing when I start my day is cooking and cleaning pans.  eggs sometimes make me feel a Little sick and toast, well there is nothing very healthful about that and not to terribly appealing to me.  My usual breakfast is a very healthy protein smoothie that Steve make before he leaves at 6am for work. Soy protein powder, and big handful of raw spinach,  a banana, strawberries and blue berries - we picked 40 pounds of blueberries locally last summer and I froze them for the rest of the year. I am hoping they last till June. This year I will pick at least 52lbs so that I can make sure we have a Pound a week. at 2.00 a pound, it is a very healthy choice.  That is choice number one. Number two choice is Oats.  I make a big batch of really good oatmeal,  this is a version of instant oats that is wonderful and healthful.  This is often my choice for lunch or a snack.

I start with Quaker oats, the big fat oats not quick cook.  I purchase these at Costco and the box is about 9.00.  Here is a box sitting on my pantry shelf, a picture is worth much more than my typing! It is a gaint box, with two packages inside.  I start with one of the packages.

So I pour this package into a very large bowl, then I put a handful of almond, and a handful of walnuts and a big dash of raw pumpkin seeds into my Ninja chopper
<em>Ninja</em> QB900B <em>Master Prep</em> Revolutionary Food and Drink Maker, Gray
This is a picture from the Internet, I use the large container for our smoothies and the small one to make all may salad dressing, chop onions, nuts and dried fruit.  I love this machine, it has been such a work pony in our kitchen, all for 45.00.  We have had it for three years and it is running great.  When I  need a work horse I use my Cuisinart, that probably even mixes cement( not to be confused with some of my cooking).
I do the Nuts first because the dust left in the chopper keeps the dates from sticking and globbing together.
This does a wonderful job on the dates, it chops them into perfect size pieces.  That goes into oats, then I add about 2/3 cup each of dried cherries, cranberries and raisins.
I am careful where I do my purchasing and I am fortunate to have very nice places to make my selections.  For my dried fruits,my walnuts and almonds and oats I go to Costco.  If I can get organic with out taking a second mortgage on my house I will.  For my seeds and beans and specialty flours I go to whole foods, and believe it or not, for premium oils and vinegars the best place around here is Ocean State Job Lot!!  It pays to look around.  at whole foods, my pomegranate vinegar is $6.75 for a 8.5 oz bottle  at OSJL it is $$1.25!!  I will give you the recipe for my pomegranate vinaigrette in another post - you will eat more salad because of this dressing!
Back to the oats..
Now you mix this all up and place it in  a storage container.
I placed the mug there to give you a size idea.  I store the mix in my cabinet and when I am ready for a hot bowl of oaty yum, I take a half a cup of mix and 1 cup water cook in my microwave for 90 second on power 8 ( you don't want this cooked on full power, trust me, exploded oatmeal is a real pain to try to clean.  If your microwave isn't high powered then no worries, but mine is and I have blown up more than one bowl of oats!
I always add a splash of milk, and this does not need sugar, the fruit, especially the dates makes this very sweet and the nuts give a very rich taste.
So after tallying the cost of the ingredients, this breakfast of 100% nutrition come to about 35 cents.
Whole foods are so much more satisfying, when you eat right you don't have cravings and chemical dervishes going on.  But it does take practice and patience.  Just because it is a whole food doesn't mean you are going to like it, but you have to keep trying new things. My favorite food magazine is "Eating Well"  Is is one of the few publications I will pay for and feel like I have gotten my monies worth, a awesome blog is here: http://www.101cookbooks.com   I have learned so much from both of these resources!
 Steve and I have been "practicing" whole food cooking and eating now for about 5 years, it has been a great adventure and I am thank full for the health benefits, even more so when Cancer was something we had to deal with last summer.
I think what we eat is so important to the quality of life we  live, and that having our table healthy is a part of stewardship.  I love having a fresh bread, to break both in the natural and spiritual to share with a friend, sometimes it helps people hear other good things we have to tell them.  I was evangelized by a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a house full of the Love of Jesus!  But that is another topic!!
Have a wonderful weekend, be kind to your self, rest and eat right!
Ginny M

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Icebergs on the CT river

It is WOYWW# 190!!  go here http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/ To join Julia Dunnit's world wide desk hop for creative work desk weds. fun!!

It is cold here today and windy, Frrrrr ezzzing cold and WINDY.  And yet This guy still thinks he needs to go out side and get exercise, he told me so while I was sitting at my desk in my nice warm stamp room with my mini furnace keeping my feet warm.

 The animals around here think I am their pet, Luke  gets in my way enough that I can't do anything except what he wants.  We go through this every day around 11 am, it is the Luke hour.

               Tink just gets in the way because he thinks it is funny.
When I got Luke out for his walk, it was so cold the ducks were trying to swim south, before the icebergs hit them
I think they may have actually been frozen and they were floating with the currant, I couldn't get pictures of the ice flows they were moving too fast and my camera lens was to slow , I will let you figure the physics on that. 
Tink is here thinking I am pretty boring on a regular basis, he also couldn't find any other place to park himself except on my freshly printed business cards, before inking them up at least!
In my warm stamp room I've spent some time for  the last two days on the unmounting project which is what's on my Work Desk..
I now have 80% of my stamps off their wood blocks.  I think I will likely leave the other 20% on their wood.  Of the wood mounted group I have 88 large and extra large background stamps.  I use my speed ball mini press  with those and get excellent results. So I think I will keep them on their blocks.
I think the times we are living in are very interesting, I would suppose all of the times of lives have a great deal of interest, it is all a matter of perspective.  But in this day and age the lines of black and white, right and wrong are fading very quickly.   The Word of God however has never faded, and is a true compass in a time of fog and darkness.  I was reading today in Proverbs 21:21 and it says this:
" Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor."
I found that very comforting to know there is a reward for righteous and kindness, that is is still and will forever be a right pursuit.   Those are words we need to hear more, see more in action: Righteousness, Kindness, Life and Honor.  I want more of that in my life this year and I want it to be my regular pursuit.  How about you?  A world with more of this starts with us!
I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday and every day!
Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hug a Friend

I had a fun day today, When Steve is on drill one weekend a month, it is my normal "girlfriend time".  Sometimes it is a road trip to a craft destination, sometimes a lunch.  Today was breakfast with a good friend I hadn't spent time with in almost a year.  It was really a great breakfast, the food was good but the company was better, Nancy and I are walking down similar paths in life and it was really good to hear how she was managing and it felt good for me to talk about somethings I don't normally, the soul was fed a good meal too!  I came home made a pot of soup and went off to Jackie's house to meet up with 5 other women.  It was more of the same, we ate, talked, shared.  Nobody had to get home, or go to work in the  morning.  It was a very relaxing time and it had been about 6 months since we last did something like this.  I treasure all the friends God has brought into my life, they make it so much richer!  The laughter , shared wisdom, advice wanted and unwanted, good times and bad times, there is just something precious about friendships!

5 of us came prepared with food and card kits. I should have taken pictures of the food and the group, but I just didn't think of it!! So we each had 5 cards to make from the kits (well I got carried away and made 15+ of my kits)  I did take card pictures when I got home to blog about:
Our Hostess Jackie made these kits

This is Michelle's card
Crystals cards
This is Tink over seeing photography, he is so board I think he fell asleep there.
Brendas' card
And lastly a couple of my cards:
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you are having a great weekend.
Give a friend a hug and let them know how thankful you are for them!
XX GinnyXX

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WOYWW#189 and Palm Trees in February

It's WOYWW#189 time!  The world wide blog hop that starts Here: http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/ on Julia Dunnits terrific blog!  Grab a cuppa and join in!

Today I have been busy getting ready for a swap on Saturday, the regular crew of stamping friends, this time we are getting together to swap card kits and make kits for troops.  I enjoyed making that trifold card so much earlier, I decided to make 15 kits of these for the swap and another 20 for my card stash.

For the card Kits I will bring and assortment of saying and images along with coordinating ink pads.  For my stash I will file them and then pull them as they are needed and use the appropriate sentiments/images.  With having the bases made I can personalize the cards very quickly. 
This batch required a lot of cutting and scoring and folding, but I really like the results!                         I started this earlier in the day
It must have been overwhelming for my staff:
Tink just couldn't take it any more.
After all that cutting I decided to get my solid colored card stock under control:
I went through my solid and put them all in this file folder.  I will only keep what fits in this folder, the rest go in a big box that goes to another stamping friend for her use .  Designer prints go in this :
and that gets emptied about every six months, if I haven't used it in that time, I'm not going to and those scraps go to the same friend.  I do however use most my scraps, I make a LOT of cards!
The last project that I am still working on is transfering this years information onto a new calander, I am trying to combine books of brithdays and anniverseries onto a calendar.
I couldn't help but sigh when I saw the next months photo, Palm Trees and Ocean!!  I would love to be there!!  Out side it is starting to snow and then I will be shoveling with Steve
But is is good, I will come into a warm and happy home and that is better by far than palm trees and oceans, of course being there with Steve kicking sand would be nice too! Contentment is a great thing, it turns the everyday into it's own form heaven here on earth.
Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week!
Ginny M

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Orange you glad

Last Sunday My Friend Betty asked me to make her a set of thank you cards.   Funny thing was the only MOJO I had a the moment was This:
But Since I was asked I thought the least I could do was try so I made a set of these:
Betty has just redone her living room in these colors so I thought she would get a kick out of the cards.  She did  like them and when I gave them to her she asked me how much she owed me for them.  Well I wasn't going to take cash, Normally with my Friend Betty I will work for food, she is the best pie maker  in Massachusetts!  But since I'm trying to loose weight I had to rethink that .  I asked her for a bottle of her orange salad dressing, it is so good!  We swap home made salad dressing on a regular basis and I was having a craving for this particular one.  Now My husband thought I was being selfish, He like s the pies too!  I did get two bottles of dressing for the cards, What a deal!!
Yesterday I made a great dinner Salad, I thought I'd share it with you all, easy, fast and very delicious!
Firstly I sauted' 5 chicken thighs in coconut oil
Drained off the unused oil and then tossed the salad:
I used quite a lot of baby spinach, I sliced 3 carrots at 1mm in my Cuisinart.  Tossed in the processor about 10 almonds, small handful of cranberries, chunked up some goat guida cheese  and then tossed with Betty's orange vinaigrette dressing.
The finished dinner salad :
We added a few croutons  and had a wonderful filling meal that was low in calories and high in nutrients.  The paper thin carrots were especially delicious with the dressing. 
This meal served three, the cost would be about 4.50 for the dinner.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!