Saturday, May 14, 2011

{crafty} new pictures = new layouts

I am admittedly terrible at printing my own photos. I have a large stack of pictures printed from Carson's birth to about 2 years old and have ever so slowly worked my way through to scrapbook them. For whatever reason, creating pages with old pictures is terribly difficult for me. Its hard to get inspired. Maybe its because I have grown in my photography so all my old pictures seem so...blah? But then there is a flip-side to that. I have gotten horrible at taking snapshots of my son. I have some portraits that I love, but I no longer capture the day to day like I used to. I suppose it goes that way for a lot of people when you get out of the new mom/baby stage.

I wanted to create some new pages so I decided to print out some recent pictures.
Its inevitable. That stack of 3 year old photos is doomed to collect dust. It is just so much more fun to create pages with fresh pictures. 

For the first layout I wanted to focus on one larger image. I am still in love with this picture from our first real snow. I didn't really want to create something wintry so I chose to go with these gorgeous papers from the My Minds Eye So Sophie collection.

I used my CTMH edge distresser to rough up the pattern paper and to tear larger areas to allow the  background to peek through. 

I think my favorite part may be the tree. I glued down the large die cut tree and then layered the smaller sticker tree over the top with glue dots.

A little trick for using stickers this way; I stick it down on cardstock first and then cut it out. This gives you a little freedom to move it around the page and also lets you pop it up without leaving any stickiness exposed for things to get caught on. 

Supplies Used:
Bazzill cardstock
MME So Sophie papers
MME So Sophie & Quite Contrary diecuts/stickers
CTMH rub-ons
Sassafrass Lass chipboard
Prima flowers
Martha Stewart Optic Dot punch
Grey and yellow seems to be a popular color combo lately. I, for one, love it! I wanted to give it a shot on a layout and love the way it turned out. These pictures are from a walk my son and I recently took around our complex. He found a large stick and called it his super hero stick. It protected us from bugs and brushed leaves out of our way. So sweet, that boy is. 

The pattern paper is much more an accent in this layout. Using as much patterned paper as is in the first layout is actually rather new to me. I have always been afraid of that much print, despite loving it in other's work. If you flip through my scrapbook albums you would definitely see a re-curring theme; solid cardstock as a base. 

Supplies Used:
Bazzill Cardstock & borders
My Minds Eye So Sophie paper
American Crafts Thickers
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist
CTMH rub-ons & embossing powder
Crate Paper chipboard
Martha Stewart checkerboard border punch
EK Success binding edge border punch

Thursday, May 5, 2011

{crafty} Little Princess Frame & Etsy

I am in love with this frame! I wish I had a reason to keep it for myself. 

This cute little frame has a temporary home in my new Etsy shop! Awesomely enough, Etsy has a mini version that perfectly fits in my sidebar! à

Ahh the little things that excite me. I am hoping to start filling it with items soon. I have lots of ideas in mind, I just have to make them come to life! I am going to have to start giving myself deadlines.

The Basic Grey Olivia collection has been so much fun to play with that its actually been a little difficult doing more boy stuff lately.

I took a 7x9 solid MDF frame and first painted the sides in a dark teal color. I used mod podge to adhere the paper, and then did another coat over the top to seal it.  

The bunny chipboard piece was accented with Glossy Accents. 

The label chipboard piece was stamped with a small flower in Ocean blue, both from CTMH. And layered with a felt sticker from the Olivia collection, and a chipboard banner from My Minds Eye Fine & Dandy. And of course, the ball fringe, have I mentioned before how much I love this stuff? Its too fun and too cute to resist!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

{tasty} Grilled Polenta w/Roasted Veggies

If I have zucchini and bell pepper on hand, chances are I am going to chop them up and roast them.

When I roast vegetables I will want to flavor them further with balsamic vinegar, because its just the right thing to do. 

And chances are if I have a lovely, delicious, bright, colorful vegetarian dish like this I will have to add Italian sausage, because I can't leave well enough alone. 

Ok Ok, Enough with the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie throwback...

There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but luckily they are all rather simple. I love the flavors of this dish, I may be a little obsessed with balsamic vinegar. Can you blame me?

  • ½ cup ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt

Balsamic Veggies & Sausage
  • ½ pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and  coarsely chopped
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • ½ can artichoke hearts
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt, divided

You will want to make the Polenta ahead of time so it has time to firm up before slicing and grilling.

In a medium sauce pan bring broth, milk, and bay leaf to a low boil. Slowly add in cornmeal while whisking to avoid clumping. Turn heat to low and cook about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat and add salt and Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then dallop it all down onto a large piece of plastic wrap and roll back and forth forming a log. If you want to simplify it a little more you could easily mold it into a lined loaf pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine zucchini, eggplant, onion and bell pepper on a lined baking sheet and toss with 2tsp olive oil, vinegar and ¾ tsp salt. Roast for about 15 minutes; toss and continue roasting until nicely browned, about 30 minutes more.

While the veggies are roasting, combine tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, 1 tsp olive oil, garlic, remaining salt, parsley and basil in a bowl; toss to coat. Set aside and let all those wonderful flavors marry in to each other. 

Remove the Polenta from plastic wrap and slice into ½ inch slices. Cook on a greased grill pan on medium high heat for about 3-5 minutes per side.
While polenta is cooking brown the sausage in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once browned add the roasted veggies and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Turn off heat and add the tomato mixture; toss well. Serve over polenta. 

Serves 4. *Adapted from Weight Watchers*