Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wild onions and a much better way, a challenge and a freebie

Steve and I have been very busy settling into our new life here in New York.  Our home is midway in renovations, we are making friends, reconnecting with family and becoming a part of our new church community.  This spring seems like a spring in Canan Land. W have wanted to live in NY since we got married, it was always a goal.  We are missing Steves dad and somehow we are missing his mom more now too.
There are so many things in life I see as a way mark, and as a legacy, Actually,  I think our examples to our offspring are very important, and one of the reasons why we still work hard for our kids. We work hard at showing them a better way: A better way in our faith, our marriage, our finances, and our health.

Starting a garden is going to be a big thing here. We'd also like to have chickens and maybe bees.   this little bit of farming has been something we have been talking about for years and will have to wait until next spring to really start.  In an effort not to become totally overwhelmed with "new" in our lives we decided to make taking care of the house renovations the first priority.  We know almost nothing about gardening, chickens, and bees so this year  We are learning in an effort to make it happen next year.  We have found Local sources for honey, maple syrup, and vegetables - we live in farm country!!  Everything we need is available and abundant.  4 years ago I taught myself how to can, something I had always wanted to do.  I have all the equipment and enjoy using it very much, I have started to build my pantry here and we are enjoying the benefits of organic whole food cooking.

I may plant a few things this year, I have containers set up for squashes, melons and sweet potatoes.  and I have a patch of wild scallions that are flourishing.  

So far I have gleaned about 15lbs of these onions!

I am chopping the roots for Sauteeing,
I have about 5 lbs in my freezer right now.

The tops are chopped and then dehydrated,

and then when I am done drying they will be vacuum sealed. These will go into all kinds of food through out the year.

I won't have a garden this year but I will continue to do everything I can to keep and improve our health.  

A few months ago I had a little Ephiny, I was up early to take care of my Father in law. It was a cold snowy day and I was thinking about the passage in Pslams 90:17,  about God blessing the works of our hands. 
This thought has changed the way I think which has changed the way I act.  It went something like this " how are the works of your hands improving the overall quality of your life"  Maybe because we were also house hunting and car shopping and going through so many changes settling our pasts and planning our future while working so hard in our present.

I now look at what I am doing or spending on (whatever it is) as how will this improve the quality of our life and bless my husband and my family.    This gave me eyes to see how and why I was spending, what I should change and what I/we should work for.  Not only spending but just about everything I was doing.  It gave me eyes to see a better way. I can't explain it - how this flash of insight came but I can tell you it has changed our life in a wonderfully gentle way.  

We have retirement not too far down the road and our desire is to be debt free, healthy and on the go - well isn't that everyone's goal? 
This thought "how are the works of your hands improving the overall quality of your life" has changed everything.   The byproduct actions of that thought have increased our happiness and level of contentment. it has become a new lodestone for our compass.  It has brought us a measure of freedom.
 So if you have read this long post I challenge you with this same thought " How is what you are doing improving your life and your families "?
Is it time to pause and evaluate how you spend your time, your money your talents?  Do it!  you will be really glad you did!!

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it."
Ps 90:17

Here is this beautiful verse I digitized for you!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you truely consider teh works of your hands!
Ginny M

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Alcohol Markers on Cryogen Paper

 Today I tried something a little new to me today!  Using a Penny Black  stamp, I colored with Alcohol Markers directly on the stamp and then stamped on Cryogen#89  paper from Paper Temptress.

The different part: using alcohol markers for this traditionally used water color marker technique.  I stamped this on Beautiful
I stamped this on Beautiful Croygen 89# paper.  This also was a first for me and  I kinda of held my breath, not knowing how the ink would play on the paper
not knowing how the ink would play on this sparkly paper.  The ink left the stamp and sat on the paper perfectly and I was able to go back in and add a little bit more detail with the fine nib on my pen ( I use Spectrum Noir)

In this shot, you can see the beautiful Sparkle! This Just added something so special to this simple stamp!  I edged the card with distress ink which also moved beautifully on the  Cryogen Paper!

This lovely paper is one I will definitely want to stock up on, I am thinking what beautiful Christmas cards this will make!
Thanks for Stopping by! 
 Ginny M

How to get the best flavor and nutrition from walnuts

I was asked the other day about my soaking method for the nuts I use to snack on and cook with.  I've been soaking for about 3 years, actually, I soak all of my legumes and nuts and many grains before we eat them.  I am not a nutritionist I don't make any claims to superior wisdom, I have just spent a lot of time reading and experimenting in my kitchen.  The end result, we are happy, healthy reasonably fit and not obese.

Right now Steve is in the garage tuning up our bikes.  My 57th birthday is just down the road a little bit and I intend on making it fitter than my 56th birthday, Why not!  It is true, you are what you eat and I hope to be fit and healthy and stay that way- so we eat good food, real food -whole food.  I know I've been saying this for years.  I've enjoyed almost every mouthful!

I am not going to get into the science of this, I will let you do your own reading so that you can discover what works best for you!

 I soak my nuts and legumes  to help rids them of  
"Antinutrients"  There are 9 of them that you ant to avoid:

  • Phytic Acid (Also Called Phytate) This is probably the most well-known antinutrient that's found in grains and legumes and interferes with the absorption of minerals. ...
  • Tannins. ...
  • Oxalates. ...
  • Lectins. ...
  • Saponins. ...
  • Trypsin Inhibitors. ...
  • Isoflavaones.

We're soaking the walnuts nuts to help neutralize the Phytic Acid and maximize the absorption of enzymes and minerals.
Some of us have an oral reaction to walnuts that ranges from mouth irritation to cancer sores - this is a result of the  Phytic acid 
soaking the nuts helps stop this reaction - sometimes more than others,
 But the nuts always taste better!

Step one
Soak the nuts in lots of fresh purified water - try not to use tap water especially if you have fluoride in your water, I wholeheartedly recommend a Berky Water Filter for filtering city water and some well waters.  

I used a bag of Kirkland walnuts for this, sometimes I find organic nuts and more locally grown, but fo this batch, this is what I used

In a large pot or bowl, and the nut and fill with water and add 1/8 cup of salt 

Soak for about 4 hours

I poured off some of the water after the first soak, it is really gross!

The nuts will already look better!

Next, I refill the pot and add another 1/8 cup of salt and soak over night

In the morning your nuts will have a much better look to them and if you try one now, they will have a much sweeter taste.  Pour off the water and rinse thoroughly

You can dehydrate them in your oven at 170. this make take about 8 hours, you must keep an eye on them in order that they don't get cooked!, I used my dehydrator and allowed to dehydrate about 14 hours

And when I am done, I have a beautiful bunch of nuts that taste oh so much better and don't hurt my mouth when I eat them!  You can see they are brighter and cleaner looking/

I hope you give this a try, you will really be pleased with the result and you will have gained more nutrition from your purchase!
Thanks for stopping by,
Ginny M

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How to make a healthy No Bake Almond Rocca ish treat!

I have found YouTube to be a wonderful source of information on many subjects, one of them healthy cooking. A long time ago, I would go to the library and read all the books I could find on the subject, scour tag sales and flea markets for books and magazines.  That was 1982 and that was very well spent time!  Now it is 2017 and many of us young people have grown up and found our own way of learning, sharing and enjoying like minded company: blogs and Youtube have become a great source for this generation to learn.  I still love my books and look for new ones all the time, - Who knows how long the internet will last and how long it will be affordable?  I'll be enjoying it while I can and still have a faithful backup - books!

Today I was looking for a healthy and yummy treat to make for Steve and I.  I've been promising to come up with something Her would really like.  We Score!!  Thank you, Stacy,  from 'OFF GRID with DOUG and STACY'.

Here are my results!!

I wanted to share this with you, this is a real winner!  I also added a couple of things you may or may not want to.

here is the video from Stacy:

A few things I did differently. I  chopped my almonds and my chips in my Vitamix, not too fine but I only had whole almonds ( soaked and dehydrated before storing) and the large dark chocolate chips.
I also used peanut butter and I added Molasses.  

I mixed everything using a wooden spoon and set it aside for about 40 minutes

I made the little balls and then I rolled them in chopped unsweetened coconut

Oh My, they are good!!!
I only ate one - just to make sure it was safe!  They are very rich and satisfying - one is enough!
can't wait till Steve gets home from work!
 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
Ginny M

Monday, May 15, 2017

Gracellie Designs Inspiration Blog Hop and Alcohol pen coloring on water color paper

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We spent ours traveling, so blessed to see my mother, my sister my Daughter-in-law and my sweet granddaughter! A Beautiful road trip through New York, Massachusetts, and  Connecticut!
We also have a sweet little blog trip today for Graciellie Designs New Release Mid-month inspiration Hop!
 Here are your stops!

Ginny Maxam -  you are here

Guest Designer:

I've got a little tutorial for you today featuring alcohol pen coloring on Watercolor paper - I love the rich look of watercolor paper and the ease of use with my Spectrum Noir pens!

My Favorite of the May Releases is this beautiful butterfly set called 'Persevere':

For my card today I also teamed this set up with another set called  " Sent with Prayer"

Hre's my "how to":
 I wanted something simple and beautiful,

a few butterflies printed on 
watercolor paper

I pulled out my twinkling H2's and did a test butterfly 

This came out much more opaque than I would have guessed - this is due to the watercolor paper, great shimmer due to the ultra super fine mica in the H2o's. But not what I wanted in this card

I ended up doing alcohol marker.  Why not watercolor on the watercolor paper?  
If you want the lovely watercolor painterly effect using a digital, you can't use water colors.  watercolors require water 'wash' to help the pigments move and develop that lovely painterly look. You can't do that with the average ink from an inkjet without losing a  lot of line definition in your print.  That is exactly what happened in the butterfly above.  The ink jet inks work much better with non-water based materials - alcohol pen, colored pencil any solvent based product.  The good new is, you can do this with your alcohol pens!

I didn't swatch this out for you, I just pulled greens and blues
I gently sketched in color and then began laying in more, working light /dark.when you use watercolor paper, the trick is to add the color lightly, let the inks move as you add more color.  You can push the ink in the direction you want it to go, but a light hand on the paper really works well.  Just take your time and don't rub the nib into the paper

you can see I did achieve that painterly looks with very little effort

I did at stickles, I know, Gilding the Lilly - again!

Here is my card

Holding it all together, even the heavy glitter paper I used my faithful Best Glue Ever!

The ferns took about zero effort to just add a little color and I felt it gave the butterfly a nice frame!

I think you will find these lovely sets very useful and if you do buy from Graciellie Designs you can't use the code 'Ginny10' for a 10% discount!  Enjoy the Hop too!  

Have a grat day!
Ginny M

Thursday, May 11, 2017

From craft room to Kitchen: fast easy cleaning tips and a digital freebie!

I've got a few really great cleaning tricks today!  By now most of us that do spring cleaning are into it full bore or done.  I'm somewhere in between - We're in the process of remodeling our home -after is done.  One thing that really bugs me:  all the stickers they have plastered on my new appliances! Actually, most labels annoy me!
a cross country move.   I can deal with the big things, living out of boxes for 4 months and only now unpacking because some of the remodel
The ones that they put on the appliances seem to be the worst at getting off!  I grabbed my little bottle of Best Cleaner Ever and went to work.

 We spent $275 on a nice water cooler and I couldn't get the stickers off!

I tried Goo Gone and Un-do, all I could do was peel a bit of the edge back.

I gave the sticker one shot of Best Cleaner Ever waited for 20 minutes

The next thing and I know this sounds a little compulsive - but my kitchen will have open shelving and the hubby said:  "don't buy any more containers, but do something with the spices so they look nice".  I'm good with the not buying more containers, that stuff adds up!
So I thought why not try the Best Cleaner Ever on those labels!

I spritzed the label 

waited a half hour and it peeled right off!

Spice jars run around $3.00 each I have over 50 of these bottles! This little bottle will save you $$ by its powerful performance!
  Nice and clean, any residue wiped right off!

Before I took any of the pictures above I need to take care of my camera lens - it was dirty, finger prints, water droplets - who know, it was gross!  So I thought I have one of Scraperfects Perfect Cleaning Cloth that I usually use on my computer screen and Misti,                                                       I think I will try it on my camera lens!'

close up of the lovely plush towel, it cleaned up the lens beautifully!

Next onto my phone with the cleaning cloth.  My phone is so gross I hoped I'd never have to let someone use it - WAS embarrassing.  Not anymore!  my phone face looks like new!

The back is even better!  This poor phone left the roof of my car while                                                                 I was going down the highway 55 MPH and slid into a grassy gutter.

I wanted to share my success with you, these little things are such pains in the neck and these two products from Scraperfect help me get the job done in just a few minutes, they can help you too!  More time for FUN things!!
To say thank you for reading this whole post I have a fun freebie for you!
Ginny M

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Word Art Wednesday and a vellum overlay plus freebies!!

This month at Word Art Wednesday Anything Goes Challenge we have two really beautiful scriptures to bring to you.  with both of these challenges, I am going to demonstrate the beautiful effects of printing on translucent vellum and overlaying on a photo print. 

  My Card:

Using publisher ( you can use word too)

Karen Murray's verse sized up on the same template as the photo above ( I just move the photo out of the way after I printed it

Next, I slide the photo back under to make any size adjustments

I slide it back out of the way and print the scripture on  the vellum 

I use a tiny bit of Best Glue Ever to tack down the vellum, layers, and ribbon - for a perfect hold!

 Karen Murray's beautiful verse:

I hope you will stop over to Word Art Wednesday and joining the fun!  There are some wonderful prizes to be won!
Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M