Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rustic Roosters and Eggplant Pizza

Last week I played around and made a few cards. I went to Splitcoast Stampers for some inspiration. I found card sketch challenge SC240 and color challenge CC230. The color challenge was to use Close to Cocoa, Blush Blossom, Cameo Coral and Certainly Celery, but I substituted Sage Shadow. And this is what I came up with. I used the Rustic Rooster stamp set and stamped the rooster in Basic Brown and the script in Cameo Coral. For accenting I did a little paper piercing on the Sage strip at the bottom and then added a flower with a ribbon center. There are no greetings yet, I'll add one as needed.

And I have to tell you about the great pizza we made the other night. Tim has decided that he really likes eggplant, so I've been looking for eggplant recipes. I found one for pizza on Smitten Kitchen's blog. She grilled her home made pizza dough, we grilled the eggplant but used a pre-made store bought crust and baked it in the oven. It was yummy. The eggplant had a mushroom texture and the green olives ave lots of briney flavor and then it was covered in melty provolone. Go make one for yourself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blueberry Cake

It's really a coffee cake, and it's supposed to be apple. But I'm calling it blueberry cake. My friend Melissa posted the recipe on her blog, From Laptop to Stovetop. You must check out her blog, she cooks and bakes the most fabulous things. She found the recipe for Aunt DeeDee's Apple Coffee Cake at All Recipes. Since I can't follow a recipe, I used a can of blueberry pie filling instead of apple; I added some vanilla to the cake batter; I didn't have walnuts so I used slivered almonds; and I didn't do the icing. This is an absolutely wonderful cake and you all must go make one. I'm going to have to share with my co-workers because it make a 13x9 pan of yumminess.
The only problem I had making the cake was that my hand mixer broke. Tim even took it apart to fix it. But fifteen dollar hand mixers are not meant to be fixed. I bought the hand mixer when I was between stand mixers. And now I have my beautiful red Kitchen Aid so I can live without the hand mixer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 17

I'm really excited about the books that came in my mailbox last week. For several years I've been reading books for the Aspen Gold Readers Choice Awards sponsored by the Heart of Denver Romance Writers. The two books I am reading this year are Windswept by Ann Macela and A Daughter's Promise by Christine Clemetson. The scores are due sometime in September, so these books will be on the top of my reading pile.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mailbox Monday Aug. 10

One way to make Monday a happy day is to look at all the new books that showed up in my mailbox last week. Marcia at the Printed Page hosts this weekly event. Click over to her blog and see what other found in their mailbox.

Harlequin Romance sent me several copies of The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham. One copy is for me to keep and the others are for me to give away. We'll have a copy happy library patrons.

And Random House sent me an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts. Beautiful cover, I can't wait to read it.

Thank you Random House and Harlequin.

First Day of Kindergarten

My oldest niece will be starting 4th grade in a few weeks. It seems like it was just yesterday when she started Kindergarten. My sister-in-law even saved her bus card for me to include on the layout. The base of the page, and the red flowered piece is SU Cutie Pie pattern paper, the scalloped layer is Certainly Celery and last is a So Saffron layer. the pictures on matted on Rose Red. The accent flowers are a mixture of SU and CM with various brads and buttons. The title is SU On Board chipboard that I inked with Rose Red craft ink and a metal edge tag with So Saffron center.

Friday, August 07, 2009

July Reads

I read 14 books in July - a pretty good reading month. Everything I read was fiction, one was juvenile. I was disappointed by several of the books - maybe I just need to quit reading cooking and knitting books. If you disagree with my thoughts on any of these books, leave me a nice message and tell my why.

The Local News by Miriam Gershow. Rating 3. This book came to me from Gayle at Every Day I Write the Book for the June book club discussion - which I obviously missed. We get to see Lydia's point of view during the aftermath of her older brother's disappearance. I thought it was interesting to hear from a younger sister who wasn't all that sad that her older, more popular, bully of a brother was missing. But the characters lacked something, they weren't very interesting.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Princeby JK Rowling. I re-read this one before we went to see the movie.

Rosewater and Soda Bread by Marsha Mehran. Rating 3. Three Iranian women open a restaurant in a small Irish town. I felt like some of the quirky local characters got dropped halfway through the book. The plot and character weren't very original, and I didn't like the main love interest.

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich. Rating 4. Very funny and lots of blowing up cars. And Ranger - my favorite.

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil. Rating 3. Not very original The characters were nice. though neither the yarn shop of the knitting group were named after the title of the book, which I thought was odd.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. Rating 4. This is a juvenile book. Lovely little book. The copy I read had beautiful Illustrations. It reminded me of the Velveteen Rabbit. But this is the story of a china rabbit who passes from owner to owner and who learns what love is.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Rating 4.5. A fabulous book. Told from Alice's point of view as she descends into early onset Alzheimer's Disease. It was so realistic. And there are so many layers to the story.

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. Rating 3. This was for my face-to-face book club who liked it more than I did. We had a great discussion. I just think there are better books out there about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The author never gives the main characters names and so I felt a lack of connection to them.

Summer Houseby Nancy Thayer. Rating 3.5. A light book good for summer. The characters were enjoyable. I kept waiting for something big to happen but everything ended graciously.

God's Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. Rating 4. Very funny. The Greek gods now live in London instead of Olympus. They are bored and play mean tricks on each other to keep themselves amused. two innocent mortals get caught up in one of their tricks and they end up saving the world - but Alice has to die first.

Divorce Party by Laura Dave. Rating 4. This book came from Mari at Bookworm With a View. I really enjoyed this small book. It comes off as a light book, but there are lots of good underlying themes. Maggie meets her future in-laws for the first time at their divorce party, and learns a lot about her future husband.

School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Brawermeister. rating 3. Lillian runs a cooking school in her restaurant. Food is the answer to all the problems her students bring with them. Nicely written, interesting characters, but the plot did not feel original.

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond. Rating 4. The story focuses on Abby, who lost her fiance's young daughter one day at the beach. She blames herself for looking away for an instant, but she believes she can search her memory for the key piece of information and the little girl will be found. I thought the ending was a little unrealistic, but the author does such a good job that the reader believes too.

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. Rating 4. A group of young mothers meet in the 60's. They all read and discussing books is what brings them together. We watch as they grow into modern women who can think for themselves and take care of themselves and begin to see themselves as separate from their husbands but still have good marriages.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Just Like Mom and Dad

My parents came down to visit us in March. Tim took a few pictures of me with each of them. It's funny, if I'm with my Mom everyone thinks I look like her, but if I'm with my Dad everyone thinks I look like him. So that's how I came up with the title for this page. And I think the quote is perfect: "The greatest gift is a portion of thyself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson. The base is SU's Baja Breeze, and I also used SU's River Rock and a unknown dark brown card stock. The patterned paper is Wall Street's Metropolitan collection. I used K & Company paper ribbon and labels for accents. I also used my Big Shot and the Top Note die for the title and journaling boxes and a Sizzlet for the paisleys.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 3, 2009

Almost done catching up with old posts - food, scrapbooking, and now books. I made a couple new scrapbook pages this week and I have a list of the books I read in July to post later this week.

Mari at Bookworm With A View sent me a few books awhile back that I want to tell you about.

Divorce Party by by Laura Dave. I read this book this past week so I'll write a short blurb about it when I list the books I read in July.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. This book is for an online discussion on Wednesday, August 19th. I started the book this weekend and am really looking forward to the discussion. Click over the Mari's blog to follow the discussion.

I've been requesting fewer free books from bloggers so I can spend some time reading the great books I've all ready received. But I do have a few new titles coming in, and I'll share those when they make it into my mailbox. It looks like I'll also be doing some judging for several romance writers contests, so I'll have lots of books to be reading this fall.

And this is the time of the year that I start picking the books my book club will read next year. If you have any suggestions for book club books, be sure to leave me a comment. I've read lots of good things this year so I'm sure my group will end up with a great list.

Wild About You

My friend Darcy and her husband recently had a baby boy. A bunch of us put together a scrapbook for her. This is the layout that I contributed. The base is Stampin' Up's Pumpkin Pie and the coordinating colors are So Saffron, Tempting Turquoise, and Old Olive. The patterned stripe along the left side is also SU. I used the stamp set Wild About You. I made some patterned paper with the animals from the set - the alligator in Old Olive, the elephant in Tempting Turquoise, the lion in Pumpkin Pie and the giraffe in So Saffron. I also cut out some of the animals and used them for accents. I used the notebook edge punch along the top of the journaling box. And the title was stamped with Best Friends alphabet. I loved how this layout turned out and I hope that Darcy can use it.