Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sketch Challenge and a freebie

I host a Sketch challenge every Monday on my Christian card makers group, I design the sketch and then members make a card and the names of the participants go into a random draw.  The winner gets a nice little packet of supplies to make a few more cards with - Fun!  Well this weeks sketch was a challenge, I am not sure what I was thinking when I made it up, as my friend Pam said "It's just weird"  She was right!  You are welcome to try it - good luck!

here is the card:

Here is the Sketch:

after looking at this sketch I thought I'd use some bits from my scrap basket and a pad I bought 4 of to make kits with. I think I am very influenced by seasons- I bought these in the dead of winter and the bright strong colors really appealed to me.
  Now  that it is summer, I want to do everything in red and Aqua......
What I used

I also used Best Glue Ever and bits of Transfer Foil - because the paper needed more color I guess? 
and the card:

This photo really doesn't do the gold foil justice, it really brought this whole card together!  In the quilting world there is an old saying - 'no such thing as ugly fabric' - I work with my friends making scrap quilts for homeless and I'd see where they could use donated fabrics that were pretty hideous and put it next to a piece and the whole thing would sing - it was amazing!  I felt like the gold foil in this card did the same thing.  Otherwise, it might have ended up in the circular file.  Now I am very happy with it!   I'm sure you have card making experiences like this too, it is one of the things that is so fun about our craft (and quilting too)!

Here is a pretty little butterfly for you!

Have a Great Day and thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How to Season a new Granite Mortar and Pestle.

I have always desired to have a good mortar and pestle in my kitchen, I may have even had one sometime in my home cooking career but after 19 moves and a house fire I know it hasn't been in the last 20 years.  Recently I went on a hunt and found one that I thought would be perfect for what I wanted it for.  Medium size and high sides and a nice pest that fit in my hand.  I found one and as far as kitchen tools go it was fairly inexpensive!

What I didn't realize was this is not a tool you use fresh out of the box!  This tool requires seasoning.
Here it is all ready for use, the following steps are what it took to get it to this stage!

After washing:

First step: grind 1/3 cup white rice into powder. Not minute rice!
Sound easy? Well, just plan on having friends over, lots of them and each one takes a twenty-minute shift of grinding. 

It took Steve and  I  about 6 hours of swapping back and forth during the weekend

the get it to the "powder" stage

Step two: Dump the rice powder and add 3 cloves of garlic, and cilantro and a couple tablespoons of salt -except if you are like me and happen to be allergic to garlic and can't stand cilantro.  I had to think about that one.  I had no explanation as to why Garlic was a preferred medium for step two, it has antimicrobial properties and oil.  So I thought well Almonds do too so I will use those and Basil

Wow, what a change in the surface of the mortar!

Step 4 rinse it out well and it is ready to use

The aromas released from crushing and grinding herbs are just amazing!!

I really enjoyed using this over the weekend while cooking for our family, it is one of those things that really feel nice in your hands. "chopping "nuts took 3 seconds and no nut flying! Just pop them in and give a couple of bashes with the pestle and they are all set to go!

If you love to cook, and you don't have one of these - Get one!  you will be glad you did!
Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Honoring our men in women you have and are serving in the US Military Branches

I would like to say thank you to all our military members', spouses, moms children!  I know and appreciate the sacrifices that are made to keep this country safe and free.
To our services members and families: Well Done!
Our thanks to you,
Ginny and Steve MAxam 

Friday, May 26, 2017

How to make a beautiful and simple journal with a free gift!

Happy Thursday everyone!  I've been working on building my pantry, cooking and fermenting lately.  I've had to read lots of cookbooks, books on nutrition and instruction manuals for new appliances.  Now you may be wondering what that has to do with paper crafting? Well, leading a balanced life is very important and good nutrition is a foundation of life, plus I love cooking, it is another craft to me.
I decided to put together a little notebook using The Best Glue Ever to hold all my notes:

The sweet little butterfly is from Garciellie Designs , from a set with terrific sentiments!

I'm a big note taker and I use paper I have precut for stamping, nice 80# paper from Paper Temptress

I punched holes in all my paper and then used a 100# card base for the cover

I pulled  some pretty paper from my stash

Punched new papers

Next, doing the pretty part:

I attached my cover onto metal chipboard, the Best Glue ever holds all types of textures beautifully, I no longer need my Score Tap, ATG  or any other glue.

BGE even hold buttons!

My buttons took about 10 minutes to dry firmly, while I waited for them to setup set Up I went ahead and bound the journal.  

Next week I will show you the pretty label I created for this journal and how you can make one!

Here is the little gift I have for your paper crafting:

Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Word Art Wedsday digital stamps vellum printing and freebies

Welcome to Word art Wednesday's anything goes challenge!! Today I am bringing you part 2 of my vellum overlay printing!  For part one go here.  For papers, I printed on vellum and Heavenly White cardstock by Paper Temptress and used stash for accents and base. I used The Best Glue ever to keep it all together!

 Wouldn't this make a great guy card?

The beautiful verse by Karen Murray:
I was pretty sure using a deer for this weeks designer samples would be pretty common so I wanted my card to have just something a little extra, Vellum printing really looks so beautiful!

This is my deer and gift to you:

I printed my photo,  lined up my  deer and bible verse on the template ( check out last WAW)

Another great man card ( I think)!

I hope you take the time to try this and add it to your card making techniques, it is really simple and has great results!
Thank you for stopping by!
Ginny M

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

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