Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Layouts - April 23, 2011

As expected, my scrapping fervor has run its course. Here are the two layouts I've made this week.  The first is just a picture of Miller that I took at the park.  We had an egg hunt and picnic with our Mom's Group.
Miscellaneous Temps II and Fun with Opacity Masks by Scrapping with Liz
A Place in My Heart by Vera Lim; Your True Colors by Captivated Visions
Just a Note by Kasia

Those flag banners are all over the place in digital kits lately.  The day I was working on that layout (before I had added the banner) I was going through some Parents Magazines I had.  I wanted to finish reading them and get them out of the house.  Well, I came across a little photographed scene - a little diarama that they had photographed, as the opening image for an article.  This photograph had a real banner with real shadows.  I thought I should study it to create more realistic shadows for my pages.  But I put the magazine down, finished my lunch and went on with my day.  Then the next day I was working on the shadows for that banner and decided I needed to find that picture from the magazine.  I went through all three magazines at least three times and could not find it again.  I don't know if I had actually tore the page out and then lost it, or was it in another magazine that had already been thrown out?  Did I dream the whole thing?  I was so frustrated!  I'm still mad at myself for not putting that page into a safe place to study later.  I can almost picture the photo in my head ... it had a yellow backdrop ... I think it was on the left hand side of the page .... Ugh!!

And here is a Project: Love, Me page.  I'm caught up again.
Delight and Amiable by DeCrow Designs; Template - pagemaker duo
freebie by iscrap; An Umbrella Built For Two by Leora Sanford
and Emily Powers; Sweet & Simple Kit #8 by Gina Marie Huff

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm out of leftovers!

The scientist isn't a fan of leftovers. Being the person who cooks 99.5% of the meals in my home, however, I'm a big fan of leftovers. In theory. I tend to go on cooking sprees. I'll plan out several meals. I cook the first one, which has leftovers. Then the next night, I cook the next planned meal, the leftovers from the previous meal being pushed toward the back of the fridge. The third day I cook the third planned meal ... the leftovers keep getting forgotten, and eventually they have spoiled.

I used to admire the idea of using leftovers to make a "new" meal. Say you make a roast chicken one night. Then the next night, you don't eat leftover roast chicken - instead you take the leftovers and make chicken soup or chicken enchiladas. A beautiful idea, but I have had trouble putting it into action. And let's face it: even though you are using leftovers, you are still making an entirely new meal. So you aren't saving as much work as you first thought.

Lately I have been doing the following, and I love it. When I make a meal, I make the full recipe (4+ servings). But I only cook half and put the other half in the freezer. A week or two later, I can take those leftovers out, thaw and cook, and have a meal with relatively little effort. I know, the domestic goddesses out there probably perfected this idea a month after freezers were invented, but it's new to me.

Here are the meals I've had success with. Well actually, these are the meals I've used for this technique. I haven't run into any failures yet.

  • Chicken Pot Pie.  Instead of baking the full recipe in an 8x8 Pyrex dish, I cook about half in a Pyrex that's about 8x5, and I put the rest into two large ramekins with plastic lids, crust and all.
  • Meatloaf.  I mix up a full pound of meat mixture.  I put half in a 1.5 pint Pyrex loaf dish/refrigerator dish and put the second half, raw, into a freezer bag to freeze.
  • Vegetable Soup.  I make up a double batch of my favorite Tuscan Vegetable Soup (which barely fits in my big soup pot).  I freeze six to eight pint-sized wide mouth canning jars, leaving about 1/2 inch air at the top.  The canning jars I bought actually say Freezer Safe on the box.
  • Broccoli and cheese Soup.  Same as above.
  • Stuffed Peppers.  I mix up the meat mixture for about 4 servings, which starts with about a pound of beef.  Then I freeze about half of it in a pint-sized wide mouth canning jar - which is enough for two really big stuffed peppers.
I'm in love with getting two meals out of one preparation.  And since they get eaten several weeks apart, it  doesn't "feel" like eating leftovers.  But now I am all out of my frozen leftovers.  I have to start over again.  It was nice knowing there were meals basically ready-to-go in the freezer.  I just had to cook them and add some veggies or a salad.  So easy!  Tonight I am making my Grandma's meatballs and gravy.  I'll make a large batch and freeze half.  Hopefully I'll have another two-for-one meal to add to my list.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Layouts - April 16, 2011

March is over! March was my busy month, with Miller's birthday, getting ready for Digiscrap-Apalooza and with my guest gig at the digichick.

I had a good time in Vegas, meeting all of the Scrap Orchard ladies. I got to meet Liz (of Scrapping with Liz - one of my CTs), and that was really the best part. I am a horrible traveler - it just isn't my thing. So I had issues on that side of things, but I'm so glad I went. There is even talk of another convention next year! I would love to go again, but location will probably be the deal breaker for me. I would love to take some family with me next time, plus I'm not a good traveler, so if it is too far away, I just won't be able to go. But here's hoping! (I'm hoping it might be in California, but if I could take my mom or sister I would go to Vegas again.)

I enjoyed my time at the digichick. The people in the staff forums there were so welcoming, and it had a really family-type atmosphere. Everyone was really nice. It was my first experience with a store team. I've always envied people who were on store teams their access to so many designers' products with relatively low requirements. Right now I am on two teams, and I've decided that that is enough for me. I actually don't have any kind of monthly quota with my teams. At the digichick, I really wanted to make the most of my time there, and made layouts every week. But I felt pressure (totally self-inflicted!!!) to make layouts fast, and I felt rushed.

So after getting back from Vegas, and getting settled down, and getting the whole preschool thing figured out (yes, I got a spot for Miller in a great preschool for fall, and even a summer camp too!), and finally finishing our taxes, I've gotten back into scrapping. And I mean really into it.; I think I have made a page a day for about the last week!  That's a lot for me.  I don't want to stop, but I just know this kind of productivity and creativity cannot last much longer for me (based on past experience).  Here's what I've got:

This was just a picture from playing at the park, Miller with his best friend.
Template - fei-fei-s stuff Oulined No. 4; Lemonade Stand by Paislee Press and
Taylormade Designs; Papers by Three Paper Peonies and Biographitti
Alpha from Everyday Life by Gina Marie Huff; Frame by Bren Boone

The potty training is coming along, so we only use one diaper a day or less.  I will miss the boxes that the diapers and wipes come in - we've had fun making the boxes into things like cars, planes and robot outfits.
Photo Clip Masks by Scrapping with Liz; Play by DeCrow and Sahlin

I had actually started this layout a while ago and then put it on hold.  It went through several re-dos, but I finally finished it.  The scientist recently commented that in all of the old Spider-Man shows, the villains always seemed to be scientists or academic-type people, and what type of message is that giving?  I worked that idea into the journaling.
Scrap Orchard Advent Template by Zinnias & Swallowtails
Various Kits by Gina Marie Huff

Miller's hair has gotten long.  He doesn't want it cut, but it drives me crazy.  That's what this layout is about.  I want to do a follow-up layout, though.  While I was in Vegas, the scientist got Miller to get a haircut, and it's a funny story, so hopefully I'll get to that one soon.
Freeway Map 16 by Roadside Designs; Painted Layers by Scrapping with Liz;
Everyday Life #2 by Gina Marie Huff and Cinzia Designs.

I was sitting on the couch with Miller (the photo was actually from a different time, but it fit the story well), and he literally said the words that are there on top of the photo.  A direct quote.  I think it is to our credit that the wost word I've ever heard him repeat is "dammit."  This is my favorite layout for the time being.
Everyday Life Kit by Gina Marie Huff; The Space Between 14 template
by EH Studios; photo action by My Four Hens

Miller is a cat person, thanks to our cat Bob. It's so sweet when he goes up and gives Bob some love. People always think Bob is a funny name for a cat. Maybe I should do a layout with the story of how he got his name.
Everyday Life #2 Kit by Gina Marie Huff and Cinzia Designs; Bow from
Everyday Life by Gina Marie Huff; Frames from Advent Freebie by
Three Paper Peonies; The Space Between 14 template by EH Studios
Photo action by My Four Hens

And three more Project: Love, Me pages, in the iLive theme.
Fancy Circles by Scrapping with Liz; Everyday Life by Gina Marie Huff
Template 17 by Roadside Designs, Everyday Life by Gina Marie Huff
Delight by DeCrow Designs, Swirl from Moments by Cinzia Designs