Wednesday, February 27, 2019

2019 Craft Space Organization Challenge #9 ~ Books and Magazines

You may recall that Challenge #8 was organizing your paper cosmetics.   I have a rather large collection although I am pretty sure there are lots of you with even more.  But mine ARE organized.

So I am more than ready for Challenge #9 . . . 

Inspiration for scrapbook pages is everywhere.  But what is the best way to organize it so that it's actually USEFUL?

Image result for scrapbooking magazines

First consider cutting up your magazines and idea books, and only saving the ideas that you really plan to use. Magazines and idea books that just sit on your shelves aren't really useful. It can take hours to go through your books to find the one layout you remember. Having your ideas in a condensed form, arranged in a way that makes sense to you is much more effective.  If you are able to cut up your magazines, here are some ideas for arranging them:
  • theme (holidays, birthday, babies, pets, travel etc)
  • number of photos used in the layout
  • journaling ideas
  • colours
  • quotes
  • techniques

Now that you've decided how to arrange them, where to store them?  A few ideas:  

* a composition book or some other kind of sketchbook: you can sketch in here and adhere page ideas into it It's also portable, so you can take it with you to crops!  
* an index card box: adhere your ideas to index cards
* idea file folders. Place your ideas inside file folders and label the index tab.  Store in a portable file box.  Add categories as needed.
binder with page protectors: tuck clippings into the page protectors
If you have decided you are NOT cutting up your magazines . . . 

SORT: Make sure that the magazines and books are still relevant to you. If you are holding onto magazines more than a year or two old, REALLY make sure they still interest you. Sort them into piles: KEEP, DONATE, SELL, TOSS
PURGE: Trash the TOSS pile.  Arrange immediate drop-off or pick-up of the DONATE pile. Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile.

ASSIGN: sort your magazines/books by title/date of issue, and consider storing your books and magazines down low due to their weight.

CONTAINERIZE: store in boxes or magazine holders.

EQUALIZE: Consider getting varied colours of post-it flags, and setting up categories for ideas. Each time you get a new book or magazine, flag the pages you like according to your system, s
o that you an easily see from the outside of your books which one might have an idea applicable to the project you are working on.

Only one week left of our challenge . . . how's your space looking now?


Image result for rice

Put 1 cup uncooked rice, 2 cups cold water, and 1 tsp salt into a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a vigorous boil.

Turn the heat as low as possible.  Cover the saucepan with a lid.  Do not remove lid or stir rice while it is cooking.  Leave saucepan over this low heat for 14 minutes.

Turn heat off.  The rice is now ready to use.  However, leave the cover on the saucepan to keep the rice warm if you are not ready to use it immediately.

Makes 3 heaping cups.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

2019 Craft Room Organization Challenge #8 ~ Paper Cosmetics

I have not yet finished Challenge #7.  There . . . I said it out loud . . . LOL.  I promise to post photos of my finished Challenge #7 as soon as it is done.

I would love it if you would share your organization photos with us either here in the comments section or in our Facebook group.

Challenge #8


It is time to organize our "paper cosmetics": paints, inks, embossing powders, mists, and other products that add a little something special to our pages.

SORT: first go through each of these items and make sure your colours haven't expired.  Are ink pads still juicy?  Are lids still intact? Do paints still mix together when shaken? Are your chalks still intact enough to use?  Sort all of your paper cosmetics into TOSS, KEEP, SELL, DONATE

PURGE: Throw out the toss items.  Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them immediately in your garage sale box.  Arrange for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort your KEEP pile into categories that make sense to you.

CONTAINERIZE: Inks last longest when stored horizontally, upside down (that's why Stampin' Up ink pads flip that way!) on a shelf, in a drawer, or maybe a cassette tape holder?  Paints could be stacked on a narrow shelf, on a tiered rack, in spice racks, etc.  Embossing powders, chalks and other cosmetics could be stored in well-labeled drawers.

EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your paper cosmetics away where they belong.

Spaghetti and |Turkey Casserole

Image result for spaghetti and turkey casserole

1/2 lb spaghetti, broken in 2" pieces
2 cups coarsely diced cooked turkey
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 cups chicken bouillon or stock
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp melted butter or margarine

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until tender.  Drain and combine with diced turkey.

Melt 4 tbsp butter in saucepan and pan-fry mushrooms for 5 minutes.  Push to one side and blend flour and seasonings in drippings.  Add stock slowly and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly.  Stir in evaporated milk.

In a greased baking dish, arrange alternate layers of turkey mixture and sauce.  Combine fine breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over spaghetti and turkey.  Bake in a very hot oven 450F until brown and bubbling, 20-25 minutes.

Serves 6.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Very OLD recipes ~ Victory Cook Book

I have managed to gain possession of my Nanna's recipes.  They were hidden in a little volume called Victory Cook Book.  I am enjoying looking through all the recipes in the cook book and thought you might want to see a few pages.

Let me know if you would like me to post more pages.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Let's Travel Canada Challenge ~ Niagara Falls

I am making plans to do some serious travelling this year around Canada . . . especially looking forward to our driving tour from SW Ontario to the East Coast.  So I have lots of planning to do.  

Have you been to Eastern Canada?  I'd love suggestions for what time of year is best to go as well as favourite restaurants and things to see and do.  Hal and I are really interested in historical sites, art and craft galleries, really different restaurants, theatre and culture, letterboxing, and just anything odd.  

So I've found this list of 60 must-see places in Canada and a list of 50 places in Eastern Canada to see before you die.

Niagara Falls

Image result for niagara falls

Who hasn't been to Niagara Falls at least once?  I've lost count of how many times I've been there with family, on a school trip, or with Hal.  There is always something new to see.  I'm not a huge fan of Clifton Hill but the parks and nature and, of course, the falls are so beautiful.

I've blogged about a few of our trips to The Falls over the years.  Here's a link to those posts.  I hope you enjoy them.

Monday, February 18, 2019

300 Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once ~ #34 Memoirs of a Geisha

Image result for memoirs of a geisha

I've read Memoirs of a Geisha (1997) by Arthur Golden several times in the past few years and really enjoy it.  I have no idea how "real" it is or if the author made up a lot of the things he wrote about becoming a geisha and about Japan at the time of the novel.  I did not read it for historical accuracy.  I read it for the first time because it was recommended to me by quite a few people.  I read it each time since just because it is a good read; quite a lyrical style in fact.

Memoirs of a Geisha is the story of a little girl, sold off by her father, who is trained to be a geisha.  Her life is not luxurious but rather strenuous, difficult, sad and harsh.  Reading the back story and then reading glamourous paragraphs about her as a geisha are the two sides of her story.  

The one time I read the book was for an informal book club I belonged to with several friends.  I was host of the month we discussed "Geisha".  As part of the refreshments I painted orange blossoms on little shot glasses and served sake.  The funny faces of some of my guests were photo worthy.  It also turned out that I do like sake.  Who knew?

I have watched the movie version a couple of times and, while it is pretty good, it did not come close to the depth and beauty of the book.  

Enjoy Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Top 250 Movies From the Last 10 Years ~ #2 Inception

I would like a survey of the type of people who rate IMDB's top movies because I certainly don't understand how Inception (2010) could be #2.

I watched Inception.  While I enjoyed the acting and the special effects, the story itself was unnecessarily complex and odd.  My son must have thought that my cool reception to this movie was because I didn't understand it so he tried to explain it . . . LOL.  I got it, I just wasn't crazy about it.

Having said all that, I would watch it again if I had to . . . it just wouldn't be my first choice.

It seems the Academy agreed with me . . . 

Academy Awards, USA 2011

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Wally Pfister 
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Lora Hirschberg
Gary Rizzo
Ed Novick 
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Richard King 
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Chris Corbould
Andrew Lockley
Pete Bebb
Paul J. Franklin 
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Christopher Nolan
Emma Thomas 
Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Christopher Nolan 
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Hans Zimmer 
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Guy Hendrix Dyas (production designer)
Larry Dias (set decorator)
Douglas A. Mowat (set decorator) 

Top 250 Movies From the Last 10 Years Challenge ~ #1 The Dark Knight (2008)

I love to watch movies and enjoy many different genres . . . except thrillers and horror.  My challenge for 2019 is to watch the Top 250 Movies (according to IMDB) from the last 10 years.

Image result for movie theatre

#1 on the list is The Dark Knight (2008)

I am not a fan of superhero movies.  In fact, I really don't like them much at all.  I was "forced" to watch some Batman movies when the kids were younger and hated them; which probably has a lot to do with my dislike.  So when I saw that The Dark Knight was #1 I can't say I was really excited to watch it.  

I have to admit that I thought it was okay.  The story was actually complex, dramatic and interesting.  I didn't like Batman's voice though.  Would I watch it again?  Probably not.  But if I HAD to watch it I probably could do it.  Sorry, that's as excited as I can get about it.

Academy Awards, USA 2009

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Heath Ledger 
Posthumously. The award was accepted by his father, mother and sister. Ledger is the only actor to have won an award in this category after death.
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Richard King 
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Wally Pfister 
Best Achievement in Film Editing
Lee Smith 
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Nathan Crowley (art director)
Peter Lando (set decorator) 
Best Achievement in Makeup
John Caglione Jr.
Conor O'Sullivan 
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Lora Hirschberg
Gary Rizzo
Ed Novick 
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Nick Davis
Chris Corbould
Tim Webber
Paul J. Franklin 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Taste of Canada Challenge

Some of these Canadian delights are well-known, others not so much.  Some of these foods originated in Canada and some were brought to here and became part of Canada's culture.  

Image result for canada foods

My challenge will be to try as many of these foods and beverages as possible in 2019.

Acadian Meat Pie
Akutaq (Eskimo Ice Cream)
Alberta Beef
Alberta Steak
All Dressed Chips
Arctic Char
Arctic Prawn
Baked Beans
BC Smoked Salmon
Beaver Tails
Boston Pizza
Bridge Mixture
Bumbleberry Pie
Butter Tarts
Caesar Cocktail
California Roll
Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Canadian Club
Caribou Stew
Chalet Sauce
Cherry Blossom
Clearly Canadian
Cod Au Gratin
Cod Tongue & Scrunchion
Coffee Crisp
Craft Beer
Crush Cream Soda
Dill Pickle
Dill Pickle Chips
Double Double
Duck Poutine
Figgy Duff
Fish and Brewis
Flapper Pie
Flipper Pie
Game Jerky (Moose, Deer, Elk)
Game Meat
Giant Jos Louis Cake
Ginger Beef
Green Onion Cake
Halifax Donair
Hawaiian Pizza
Hawkins Cheezies
Hickory Sticks
Ice Cider
Ice Wine
Inuit Herbal Tea
Jiggs Dinner With Figgy Duff
Joe Louis Cakes
Ketchup Chips
Ketchup Popcorn
Kraft Dinner
Labatts Blue
Lobster Guédille
Lobster Mac N'cheese
Lumberjack Breakfast
Mae West
Maple Bacon & Perogies
Maple Bacon or Sausage
Maple Butter
Maple Cookies
Maple Fudge
Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup Pie
Maple Taffy
Maple Walnut Ice Cream
Maple Water
Maritime Grilled Oyster
McCain French Fries
Milk in a Bag
Molson Canadian
Montreal Bagels
Montreal Smoked Meat
Moon Mist Ice Cream
Nanaimo Bars
Newfoundland Snowballs
Nova Scotia Lobster Roll
Oka Cheese
Oreilles De Crisse
Pâté Chinois
Peameal Bacon
PEI Lobster Mash
Pickerel Cheeks
Pig's Feet Stew
Potato Candy
Pouding Chomeur
Poutine Râpée
Prairie Oysters
Saskatoon Berry Beer, Wine, or Liquor
Saskatoon Berry Grunt
Saskatoon Berry Pie
Seal Meat
Seawater Lobster
Seaweed Pie
Second Cup
Shish Taouk
Sleeman Beer
Sourtoe Cocktail
Split Pea Soup
Spruce Beer
Sucre a La Creme
Thrills Gum
Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Tire D'erable Sur La Neige
Ungava Gin
Wild Chinook Salmon
Wild Game Served With Saskatoon Berry Chutney
Yukon Sourdough

2019 Craft Room Organization Challenge #7 ~ Embellishments

So how did you make out with Challenge #6?  I'm not a huge fibre user on my pages so I was pretty sure this was an easy challenge for me. It was fun re-discovering just how much pretty ribbon, floss and washi tape I actually have.

Are you ready for Challenge #7?

Embellishments are some of the easiest things to buy. Everything looks so good, and you really believe you NEED everything! Embellishments are also one of the supplies most affected by trends. Careful consideration is really needed here.

It's also important to find a system that will help you store all of your embellishments in a way that won't overwhelm you, yet also is visible enough that you don't forget to USE them.

Let's S.P.A.C.E. them.

SORT: As always, bring all of your embellishments together. Touch every piece that you have and ruthlessly sort through them, deciding what to KEEP, TOSS, SELL, DONATE.

PURGE: Immediately throw out the TOSS pile. Bag up and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and put them in the garage sale box. Set up a drop-off or pick-up of the DONATE pile.

ASSIGN: Sort through the KEEP pile in a way that makes sense to you. Some ideas for sorting your embellishments:

1) by category (buttons, brads, alphabets, charms, etc.)
2) by colour
3) by manufacturer
4) by type (metal, acrylic), or
5) by theme

CONTAINERIZE: Now that you've decided how to sort your embellishments, the next step is decided how to store them, and how to label them! Researching online will give you great ideas. Talk to other crafters about what ideas worked for them.

EQUALIZE: Take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your embellishments away where they belong.

Friday, February 8, 2019

A Taste of Canada: Butter Tarts

Image result for butter tart

I love butter tarts.

Sadly, I have lost my favourite recipe.  Why don't you send me your favourite recipe to try?

Butter tarts are a deliciously gooey Canadian treat.  The filling is generally made from butter, sugar, syrup and eggs and poured into a pastry shell to bake.  The recipe first appeared in the the early 1900s in the Royal Victoria Cookbook by The Women’s Auxiliary to the Royal Victoria Hospital (Barrie ON).  It was submitted by Mrs. Malcolm MacLeod.

Butter tarts have become so important to our culture that they are celebrated in many different ways. 

Tours have been planned around them, including the Kawartha Northumberland Butter Tart Tour and the Butter Tarts and Buggies Tour in Wellington County.  

Festivals have been planned around them such as Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival and Contest in Midland ON and the Butter Tart Festival in Muskoka Lakes ON.

Restaurants boast that they have the BEST butter tarts.  Now I have not tried every butter tart at every restaurant but my personal favourite is the bacon butter tarts made at Madelyn's Diner in Stratford ON.  The Spot Restaurant in Mount Forest makes a delicious tart as well.

Who do you think makes the best butter tart?

What is your favourite variation on the original?

Just curious . . . 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2019 Craft Room Organization Challenge #6 ~ Ribbons and fibres

Are you ready for Challenge #6?  

I'm not but I hope to be by the end of the week.  I've bought my supplies to finish the  fifth challenge.

Challenge 6 ~ Ribbons and fibres

There is no "right" way to store your ribbons and fibre.  The most important factor is that the system works for YOU.  First, let's make some S.P.A.C.E.

SORT: Gather together all of your ribbons and fiber, and sort them into piles: KEEP, TOSS, SELL, DONATE.

PURGE: Throw out the TOSS pile.  Immediately make arrangements for pick-up or drop-off of the DONATE pile.  Bag up, and assign a price and your initials to the SELL pile, and immediately put these in your garage sale box.

ASSIGN: Sort your KEEP pile into types/colours of fibre and ribbon.  If your ribbons are in a big wrinkled mess, take time now to give everything a pressing (careful with the heat, some synthetics may melt!).

CONTAINERIZE: Consider the space that you have, and the way that you work. Here are some ideas that work for both ribbons and fibres:

1) on those little cardboard bobbins meant for embroidery floss
2) organized by colour in big clear glass jars on a shelf
3) wound and paper clipped and stored with their coordinating embellishments
4) Cropper Hopper mini embellishment boxes and sorted by colour
5) in small ziploc bags stored in a photo box, or on a big ring
6) in sports cards organizer pages, sorted by colour and in a binder
7) wound on index cards and stored in a photo box
8) loosely tied on a big ring
EQUALIZE: take a few minutes at the end of each scrapping session, when you return from a crop, or return from a shopping trip to put your ribbons and fibres away where they belong.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Art Journaling in January 2019

Nothing very exciting done in January which is rather frustrating.  I need to take my time . . . stop hurrying to do "something" when that isn't good enough.  Hopefully I'll create something exciting in February.

First time I've done heat embossing in a very long time.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Scrapbooking finishes in January 2019

I tend to scrapbook in chronological order and with these layouts I have finally finished scrapbooking all my 2015 photos and made a start on January 2016.

Lesson learned:  If you are far behind on scrapbooking at least make sure you make lots of notes.  I actually had a photo that wasn't great but at the time of printing I had some important reason for choosing it . . . but for the life of me I can't figure out what the heck it was!  Make lots of notes!!!!!