Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What's cookin'? - Blueberry Cobbler

What to do with all of those blueberries I have?

Usually, I make blueberry pie.

Tonight, though, I made a homemade blueberry cobbler.

I got brave and tried a new recipe... It was superb (and really easy) - that was a bonus!


• 1c flour
• 1 1/4c + 2 T sugar
• 1 1/2t baking powder
• 1/2t salt
• 1c milk
• 1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter, melted
• approx. 2c fresh blueberries (rinsed and patted dry)


*Whisk together 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour.
*Add baking powder, salt and milk.
*Stir until all dry ingredients are incorporated.
*Stir in melted butter.
*Pour batter in a GREASED 9x13" bake pan.
*Top batter with blueberries, sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup sugar.

(This is as evenly sprinkled as a shaky hand can do!) LOL
*Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. (uncovered)
*Remove from oven. Sprinkle additional 2T sugar evenly over cobbler, return to oven and bake 10 more minutes.

Let cool a bit but serve warm with ice cream!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Set Sampler Saturday - Pictogram Punches!

I knew it would happen sooner or later... "Set Sampler Saturday" has become "Set Sampler Sunday!"

What can I say? 

Life happens!

I started today off by making a graduation card from my son who is going to yet another party!

Isn't this great? I followed a design by Mary Brown on splitcoastampers.com.
I changed the colors to match the school colors (Pacific Point and Cherry Cobbler). Since this card was going to be given to a girl, the "bling" was rather appropriate!
(PS - I used a scallop circle-punched piece of card stock as a guide for perfectly placing the rhinestones in the circle!)

Of course it's the weekend so usual chores need to be done. 

By late afternoon, we were dropping the youngest son off to a birthday party while we ventured out on our own "date" night. - We went to IKEA to look at kitchen cabinets! LoL. 

We ate a quick bite at a diner, and by 10:20, picked up the one who was at the birthday party. 

I officially finished my third card at 12:03AM.

Darn it! 

Oh well, better late than never, I always say!

This is Pictogram Punches! It's a new set in the Stampin' Up! catalog. I love this set not only because you can use it for several different occasions, but also because it coordinates with the Itty-Bitty Accents punch pack!
All three of the cards I made tonight were inspired by cards that I've "pinned" on Pinterest. 

This first card was also originally made by Mary Brown. (You might know her as "stampercamper", her screen name. I'm a big fan of her work!) Anyway, I followed her original design almost exactly, except that I switched the colors around. In other words, wherever she used Blackberry Bliss, I used Hello Honey instead and vice versa. 

Colors: Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Moonlight DSP paper stack
Stamps: Pictogram Punches
Other: Blackberry Bliss ribbon, rhinestones, Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, Star Framelits 

For the second card, I consulted my "color combos" board on Pinterest. Here is what I chose:
How fun! 

This came off of the design-seeds.com website. I interpreted the colors the best I could and here is the card that I made, based on a design by Julie Davison.

Colors: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Wisteria Wonder, Tangerine Tango, Daffodil Delight, Rich Razzleberry, Lucky Limeade
StampsPictogram Punches, Hello & Thank You
Other: washi tape and Tangerine Tango (from Retro Fresh collection), Itty Bitty Accents punch pack

The third card I made was quick and easy! I based it, as well, on a card that I had seen on the Internet. I switched the stamps and the color scheme to one I had found on  colorthrowdown.blogspot:

I love taking every day sightings and interpreting the colors to match Stampin' Up's! color pallette! (like when I shop for clothes nowadays... It's not simply a green blouse... It's "Old Olive", "Gumball Green", "Mossy Meadow" etc.)  I spend so much time working with these colors that everything in my life now is compared to that color spectrum! 

Colors: as listed above plus Black and white!
Stamps: Pictogram Punches, Gorgeous Grunge
Other: Itty Bitty Accents punch pack, Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper, Heart Framelits

That's it for now!
I'm sure I will use this set again in the future!

If you are interested in any of the items mentioned in this post, be sure to either contact me (Dandyspandy@sbcglobal.net) or visit my website at:http://www.stampinup.net/esuite/home/dandyspandy/
You can place an order by simply clicking on "shop" in the upper right-hand corner. All catalog merchandise (and more!) is available in the online store.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 2/5/15 Class!

Another great class with good friends and simple cards was held today!

I have to tell you that most of the ideas were found online with a little bit of tweaking - I think only one is an exact copy.

I have also come to the realization that it is okay to use retired product! If you've been a customer of Stampin' Up! over the years, your keen eye will notice that some of these cards contain retired papers, stamps, colors, etc.

I used to only use current product. BUT I realize now that my efforts are futile, especially since a LOT of retired products are still available on the online clearance rack! I still try to focus mainly on current products specials and seasonal items, but if you got them, use them, I say!

Besides, people tell me that they are always looking for new ways to use what they already have.

It's all good!

Colors: Not Quite Navy card base, Basic Black, glossy white
Stamps: Lovely as a Tree

Ink: black StazOn, (card) Crushed Curry and Pumpkin Pie. (envelope) Soft Sky and Certainly Celery
Notes: inks were applied with a sponge dauber, using a "mask"/stencil for the sun (I just punched a 2 1/2 inch circle out of card stock!) 

We used washi tape to secure the mask to the table, placing it over the glossy card stock, while applying ink.

This next card had very little stamping, making it probably, the quickest one of all!
Colors: Pool Party and Naturals white
(we also used the retired Sycamore Street DSP from a previous Sale-a-Bration.) 
Stamps: Feel Goods

Ink: Rich Razzleberry
Other : ribbon in Tangerine Tango,
Labels collection framelits were used on the card and the Envelope Liner framelits used as well

A little splatter can add a big "wow!" factor...

Card stock: Whisper White
Paper: Watercolor Wonder DSP (retired)
Stamps: Gorgeous Grunge and Sweet Essentials

 (envelope featured a stamp from Papillon Potpourri)

Inks: Gumball Green (retired)
Other: Elegant Butterfly punch, Modern Label punch,  rhinestones

Aaahh.... "Two-step stamping" at it's finest....
Card stock: Strawberry Slush and Whisper White
Stamps: Too Kind

Inks: Pistachio Pudding, Crisp Cantaloupe, Strawberry Slush, black StazOn
Other: thick bakers twine

Last but not least, I can't go a single class these days without using a "swoosh" of color or a watercolor "blob", as I like to call it, from Work of Art:

Card stock:  So Saffron and Whisper White
Stamps: Work of Art, Another Thank You

(also, on envelope is a flower from Pictogram Punches)

Inks: So Saffron and Blackberry Bliss
Other: flowers punched using the Itty Bitty Accents punch pack (from Tangelo Twist card stock), rhinestones

If you are looking to make 10 simple, yet beautiful cards in a hurry, this class is for you!

I offer this class once a month - always on the Friday. The cost is $15 for 10 cards, and you make to each of five designs (hence, the name 2/5/15). Envelopes are optional (10/$2).

Make sure you are on my email list to find out when this class and others are offered!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's cookin'? - Gnocchi with Sage and Walnuts

My favorite pasta of all time is gnocchi.
"Little lead bullets" is how I've always referred to these little potato dumplings. They are heavy and doesn't take many to fill you up!

I usually just eat them with a tomato marinara sauce... but this recipe intrigued me! 

It was really different, and it was really good!

Here is the original link for the recipe:
My sauce version is DOUBLE THE ORIGINAL! I used the original amounts in the beginning for the walnuts and the fresh sage).

Gnocchi with walnuts & fried sage

You will need:
• 2 lbs. frozen gnocchi
• 1/2 cup walnut halves 
• 1/4c olive oil
• 12 fresh sage leaves
--(here's where I doubled the recipe)--
• 4T butter
• 1/2c flour
• 3c milk
• 5 cloves garlic, crushed or mashed into a paste
• 1t dried sage
• 1/2 t ground nutmeg
• approx. 1/2t salt & pepper (adjust to your liking)
• parmesan cheese

** Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook, according to package directions, (usually they are done when they begin to float!) when your sauce is almost done.

1) Toast walnuts in a nonstick skillet on low heat 8 to 12 minutes. Nuts will begin to brown and be very aromatic. Remove  immediately from skillet, so as not to burn, and set aside. (Just continue to flip them around with a spatula while cooking. Once they start to brown/toast, watch carefully, as burning happens quickly!)

2) Heat olive oil in another skillet over medium heat. Add fresh sage leaves and fry approximately 30 seconds. Remove from oil and set on a paper towel to drain.

3) Make b├ęchamel sauce:
     • In a large sauce pan, melt butter.
     • Add flour and stir until combined.
     • Slowly add milk. Whisk until there   
        are no lumps.
     • Add dried sage, garlic, salt, 
        pepper and nutmeg. Simmer 7 to 
        10 minutes until thickened. Keep 

4) Now is when you want to cook the gnocchi!

5) Add sauce to drained pasta. Add toasted walnuts and fried sage, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and give a little stir before serving. 

I think you'll find that the meaty, toasted taste of the walnuts is a very good complement to that of the earthy flavor boost of the sage!

(This meal did not take long to prepare - only 20 to 30 minutes, so it is good for a weeknight!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

July stamp club!

There usually is always a method to my madness when I plan the projects that we do each month at stamp club.

This month, I particularly wanted to focus on using framelits for the Big Shot and  the skin tone Blendabilities alcohol markers.

When I gave out catalogs in June, I included a coupon page that I had created. My July coupon is for framelits (and a free pack of glimmer paper!)

Since Stampin' Up! made six colors of Blendabilities available (and the skin tone assortment) on July 1, I decided to go ahead and honor the coupon for August (which is for the markers) as well as the July framelit coupon.

Therefore, our three projects revolved around using those products. 
These are the framelits we used: stars, banners and the window frame collection.

For our first card, I wanted to use the cute photopolymer set Sweetie Pie that I bought a few months ago. 
In our new catalog, there are more photopolymer sets available and they will be available all year! They come in a plastic case like our other stamps.

Sweetie Pies, however, is a set that was unveiled in our Online Store. They announce these, it seems, once a month - you just have to keep watching the Stampin' Up! blog!

You can put a photopolymer set that was announced online on any order but you can only view it online.

It will not come in a plastic case,  but rather a clear plastic envelope.

And unfortunately, as I have found out, they can sell out and no longer be available!

That is what happened with this set! It was announced and available for purchase for two months, if that. It was so popular that it's sold out right after I bought it!

I still wanted to use it, after all, it was brand new! Plus, it was the perfect set to use with the skintone Blendabilities.

I was sad to tell everyone that we were using a set that you could mo longer buy.

Hopefully, will see you somewhere again in the future! It's so stinkin' cute!

In the meantime, just last week they announced a new set called Dear Heart, which is a boy version of Sweetie Pie!
If you love this set as much as I do don't delay - buy it NOW  before it sells out too!

But I digress... back to club and Sweetie Pies...

(By the way, the Sweetie Pie Frames stamp set  is still available!)

Colors: Smoky Slate, Melon Mambo, Whisper White 
Ink: Smoky Slate, Melon Mambo, Memento Tuxedo Black, Blendabilities skin tone assortment

This was my guide for coloring her skin -please excuse my almost illegible scrawl! (At least it's better than this time last year!)

The finishing touch was a flower punched with the new Itty Bitty Accents punch pack.
Next, was a card I CASEd (and slightly changed) from Dawn Olchefske.

Colors: Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Marina Mist
Accessories: star framelits, banner framelits, NEW jumbo dots embossing folder, Dazzling Dismonds glimmer paper, rhinestones, chevron ribbon
Stamps: Pictogram Punches (images match the Itty Bitty Accent punch pack!)
Last but not least, a slightly tweaked version of a card that is in our catalog! 

I had a lot of help on this one! Check out this video by Wendy Cranford:

Colors: Lost Lagoon
Stamps: Endless Birthday Wishes photopolymer 

Paper: Moonlight DSP Paper Stack and Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper 
Other: banner framelits, Basic Gray ink, rhinestones, Tombow Liquid Glue
A "Godsend" in this case! We applied the glue to EDGES of the inner star!

All in all, this card isn't as difficult as it looks. It's really very easy - just be sure to have a scoring tool nearby!

I'm happy to give credit to the demonstrators that created these projects originally! I'm even happier to share them with my club members and all of YOU!

Join a club today so that you can learn how to make great cards and projects like these!