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September 2011


Delicious food.  Some of you may not know, but I have a gluten intolerance, so it's super important that I eat gluten free all the time.  

Recently, one of my friends at work, Angela (go here and see how superbly creative she is!), gave me this spectacular cast iron pan --

Isn't it pretty?!  The other side is smooth, so you can either use it like I did, as a grill on your stovetop (my stove is pretty sweet - this is over the center oblong burner), or smooth for things like pancakes and such.

Well, one night last week, I decided to give this bad boy a try.  I bought eggplant, zucchini, red onion, and red pepper, as well as some turkey breast to "grill" and went at it.

I was skeptical at first, since I'd never used cast iron before, but know that it cooks really well and gets H-O-T HOT.  Holy cow was that thing scorching.  



Now, this was taken about halfway through the grilling cycle, but I had to get a pic before I forgot...or the eggplant got too soggy.  Haha!  I had to cook the onions separately, since, as you can see, there wasn't any room for them.  How good does this look?!?!  I will attest, it was delicious, if I do say so myself. :-) 

A word to the wise about cooking meat on cast iron -- flip it QUICK, otherwise you'll burn it to a crisp, and the other side will be nice and raw.  

Next up in gluten-free goodness:  sausage and peppers over gluten-free pasta with homemade marinara sauce.  Oh yes.  

It's kinda dark, but I'm sure you can still smell the garlic from wherever you are.  Oh.  This was good.  One of my finer meals, if I do say so myself...and it's so easy!  You can make this, too!!  Sautee your sausage and peppers while the pasta is cooking and the marinara is simmering.  When the sausage and peppers are done, and the pasta is cooked and strained, throw the sausage and peppers over the bed of pasta...after you throw some marinara on the plate first, of course, and then some more on top :-)  YUM.

After all that, I was going to show you a pic of the Snyders, yes, Snyders of Hanover hard pretzels I found, but the picture won't upload.  Le sigh.  I was so very excited, since this is one of the few mainstream brand names that have products that are gluten free.  Oh well.  Next time :-)

I've been thinking I might start another blog for all my gluten free food endeavors, but haven't really thought too hard about we'll see if I actually do find time between 2-4am on the fourth Wednesday of every other month to update that with any frequency.  Haha!

Do something creative (even if it involves food!) this weekend :-)


A finish, a work in progress (WIP, if you will), and....FABRIC.

Hello to all you wonderful people out there in blogland!  I've been so incredibly busy with work lately, that I've struggled to find time to do anything other than sleep and eat.  BUT, last night, I took some time to sit and stitch...something I haven't done in quite some time.

So, without further delay, here is the latest Little House ornament that I finished stitching --

Go to for more info on the Stitch Starter

It's called "Bringing Home the Tree".  I think she is just adorable, and that doggie is beyond cute!!  She has a lil' pink collar and booties!!  I love it!  LOVE!  I just have to get some backing fabric for her, and find some time to sit at my sewing machine and finish her up.  I stitched her on 40 count Maple Sugar by Lakeside Linens.  I used this awesomely amazing lil' tool called the Stitch Starter by Blue Ribbon Designs.  Belinda, if you're reading this, I absolutely LOVE this instrument that you have created.  I cannot go anywhere without it.  

I have this up next to my stitched piece so you can see the size of it done on 40 count linen.  I know some of the ornaments out there can get a little big depending on what stitch count you use, so I figured I'd give you something to gauge how big this one actually turned out to be.  The "Baked Goods" one that I showed you all here a few days ago was also done on 40 count linen, and is the same stitch count, so it is the same size as this adorable little piece.  You must all run out and get a Stitch Starter!   I blogged about it previously here, and Belinda has since created another set of sleeves you can stitch for your starter, all holiday themed.  Love it love it love it.

My WIP is something I've been trying to get finished, but just seem to find other things to do the 1400 Christmas ornaments you've all been seeing.  However, this piece is totally cool, and I think it's turning out spooktacular....


This is "16 Men on a Dead Man's Ship" by Cricket Collection.  I love so many of her designs, including the seasons pieces of which I've finished Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  Spring is another WIP.  Check out older posts from my other blog to see the pics I posted over there of those finished pieces.  They turned out so great!  I'm still trying to decide if I want to finish them all as pillows, like I did for Summer, or if I want to frame the rest.  Decisions, decisions....

Now that I've shown you my WIP (how cool is that!), I have to show you this amazingly fun and fantastical fabric I found whilst visiting a quilting shop near me that I'd never been in before.  It's not far from my LNS, so one day when I had to pick up something those dear ladies were holding for me, I stopped in the quilt shop to take a peek.  

I went in with the intention of finding fabric to make a nook cover (which you can see a sneak peek of here). When I entered, they had adorable Halloween fabric on display in the front.  So...I naturally had to grab a quarter yard of two of those for my Halloween projects which are still in my stash...not yet stitched...


So, I'm coming around one of the display tables, and I see that they have Christmas fabric.  Now, Christmas is my absolute favvvvorite time of year, but it always makes me somewhat crazy to see Christmas stuff on display in SEPTEMBER.  Can we have Halloween and Thanksgiving, Mr. Crazy-retailer-giant-who-won't-let-me-enjoy-fall-before-shoving-Christmas-down-my-throat???  Pretty please?!  With powdered sugar on top of my gingerbread snaps????  No?  Ok, well...I tried.

That said....I start looking at the Christmas fabric because I absolutely cannot control myself because of my love for Christmas, and I found THIS.....


OMG.  THE GRINCH.  Now, my sister will attest to the fact that I know every.single.word to that Christmas special.  Every one.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm forced to watch it alone these days because I recite the entire daggone thing without even realizing it.

Ok.  So.  Not only is the cover from Dr. Seuss's amazing book on this panel....but so are 10 OTHER images from the book!!  



OMG.  I have so many ideas running through my head for this fabric I can't even hardly stop myself.

Greatness, amiright??  Love this fabric.  LOVVVVVVVE.

Now, I did buy adorable other Christmas fabric with which I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I couldn't pass it up.  Sadly, it now pales in comparison to the awesomeness and excitement that The Grinch creates, but I'll share them with you, too --

Cute, right?  I love the little presents :-)  The marshmallow kabob looks deeelish.  Now I want some...haha!

On that delicious note, that's all the creative I have in me for the moment.  I'm hoping to get some more stitching in this weekend, since I'll be able to breathe again for a little while, so stay tuned for more creations!

Have a fabulous fall day, and do something creative today!!! :-)



Today is "Slightly Indulgent Tuesday" over at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free (! Hop on over and see what all the foodies are cookin' up for us! There are a ton of fabulously gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar free, and just plain good for ya recipes over there every Tuesday. Make sure you check it out! Amy is an amazing GF/SF baker, so be sure to check out all her website has to offer!!!

Yes, the timestamp on this post is correct.

What am I doing up at this ungodly hour, you ask?  Well, I just got done a marathon baking session and putting the finishing touches on decorations and gift wrap for the bridal shower at work tomorrow.

I made a bangin' pumpkin cake that quite literally looks like a pumpkin.  It's an awesome, AWESOME recipe to go with this spiffy pan from Nordicware.  I love making this cake, especially because it's so festive and fun.  I used pumpkin cream cheese icing in the middle, which is just.delicious.

Oh.yum.  To.die.for.

I also made maple sugar fall cakelettes that are in the shape of acorns, pumpkins, pinecones, and walnuts.  They're super cute, but take foreverandaday to sandwich together with icing.  Especially when the icing is maple syrup cream cheese icing while, although DELISH, is a bit gooey and runny thanks to the maple syrup.  So, I sandwiched those bad boys and put them directly into the fridge so they solidify a little bit before I bring them into the office tomorrow.

While the last batch of the little cakelettes was baking, I ran up to my craft room to finish making the little banners I made to decorate the conference room.  Using my Cricut and the Tie the Knot cartridge, I cut out each individual letter and its shadow to create this --

Cute, right?!  I glued each individual letter to twine, so I can hang these up in the conference room and add some bright colors to our drab walls for the festivities.

Also while I was up there, I decorated a pillow box I got from Paper Source for the gift card we got as part of the gift.  This is always fun to do, since you can dress up the box however you want to make it one of a kind.  I got out a flower stamp, my Versamark watermark stamp pad (which I won at the grand opening at Walnut Street!!), and some plum embossing powder.  This is the magic that embossing powder brings to your stamped creations.  


I hope you can see the stamped awesomeness on this pillow box.  I have a slight love affair with embossing powder, I won't lie.  It's so much fun and SO easy to add dimension to your work.  The pink and black ribbon is part of Danielle's theme, and even though the pinks don't quite match perfectly (which is driving me only slightly crazy, since when I got the embossing powder I would have sworn it would match perfectly with the ribbon I alread had at home...but I digress...), I think this little box came out quite cute :-)

Next up:  the gift basket.  I decided wrapping the gifts was too much, and since we're all busy at work right now, I didn't want to keep people away from their desks too long, even though we're having this lil' soiree at lunchtime.  So, I got two baskets (50% off, of course) at Michaels, and put everything inside the baskets.  No frills, no fluff, just the gifts.  I did want to dress up the basket just a smidge, so this is what I decided to do:

IMG_3605I took the wide pink ribbon and wrapped it all the way around the basket, then did the same with the black ribbon.  Then, I took the "U" I cut the other night (also from the Cricut Tie the Knot cartridge) and adhered it to the ribbon on the front of the basket.  Such a simple fix so you don't have to wrap the gifts!  And, she now has storage baskets!  Woot!  I have another basket, but I didn't do anything quite as fancy as this ribbon-wrapping since 130a was rapidly approaching, so I just took this tag I made the other night, and hung it from the handle of the basket with twine.  Very simple, yet adds a splash of color, thanks to the bright pink.  I did add a little something to two of the gifts in the basket....I bought spaghetti sauce from Williams and Sonoma, and decided that they both needed just a little something.  Nothing else in the basket needed anything, but these jars definitely did.  

So, I took fabric, cut a circle, and used it as a jar topper.  Then, I took black ribbon and wrapped it around the top to look like a band.  

Voila!  A simple fix to a boring jar!

Alright peeps.  That's all I have for this ridiculous hour of the morning.  I hope you have a fantastic hump day, and that you can take time to do something creative today! 


Weekends just go way too fast.

Well, at least during this time of year.  It's just an insane time of year at work, and it always seems that Monday morning comes a lot quicker than it should.  

I went into work yesterday (yes, yesterday as in Sunday.....), only to find that my computer was acting all crazy.  Good times, right?  Story of my life, actually.  Especially at work.  I've already had one hard drive explode, why not have my new laptop combust as well?  I waited about a half hour after trying various things to get it to work, and since it was having none of that, I picked up my stuff and headed out.  I guess it was a little sign that I didn't actually have to go in yesterday, that I'll be able to finish all of my stuff with plenty of time to spare.  We'll see if that's actually true when next Friday rolls around...

Anyhooter.  Yesterday was an unexpected day to do stuff around the house, since I'd planned on being at work most of the day, so I started getting ready for Wednesday.  What's Wednesday, you ask?  Oh, only the little bridal shower I planned for one of my friends at work who's getting married next month.  Since my mixer is being a pain in the ass again (for those of you who are unaware of my mixer plight -- it now suddenly has 2 speeds:  off and warp.), I had to find recipes that did not require anything other than a good ol' whisk.  So, I got out my Magnolia baking book (if you don't have this book, you HAVE TO GET IT and the earlier one Alyssa wrote.  I have yet to make a bad recipe from this book, and her recipe for Red Velvet Cake is INSANE and PERFECT.), and made the trusty recipe for Hello Dolly! bars.  They're scrumptrulescent (bonus points for the follower who can tell me where that word originated...), and you all must make them.  I'm telling you -- these bars are to.die.for.  The men in my office eat these bars by the fist-full.  Next time I'm getting gluten-free graham cracker crumbs to make these so I can have them, and not just eat a spoonful of chocolate chips sprinkled with coconut.  I mean....whoops.....

So, I made the Hello Dolly! bars, and set them aside to cool, while doing laundry (I think I got lost in the piles for a solid half hour before finding my way back across the laundry room) and straightening up the kitchen.  Then, I went to mass like a good little Catholic girl, came home, and went straight up to my third floor to do some cardmaking.  A bridal shower has to have cards!  I've been gathering quite the stash of wedding crafty stuff, since my sister's wedding is also approaching, and I'll be making stuff for her, too.  So, I pulled everything out, and went to work.  The first one I made has an a-dorable stamped bride and groom:


I added flowers to the bottom corner with some shiny brads, and stamped the word "bliss" using typeface alphabet stamps, cut each one out, and glued them to the card.  I think it came out super cute.  Not over the top with too much going on, but just right :-)

The second one was even easier than the first, since I'd finally fallen into my card-making groove:

Adorable, right!  I don't know why, but the flourish stamp I put on the envelope came out blurry.  I put that on both envelopes to be a pretty little addition to a cutie card! 

On the inside of both cards, I put a very simple sentiment:

I hope Danielle likes them! :-)

I also spent some time at my sewing machine this weekend.  Actually, I spent the bulk of the Phillies CLINCHING GAME at the sewing machine, with Franski and LA announcing all the greatness happening at Citizens Bank!!  Anyways.........

What did I sew?  Well, some of you may remember this cover I made myself for my nook.  Well, one of my friends recently got herself a nook color, so I asked her if she wanted me to make her a cover.  She said she'd love one, so I told her I would surprise her with the pattern and make her a cover.  

This is a sneak peek of the cover I made for her --

Sorry Phils Phans...that's all you get to see for now.  She reads my blog, so I can't give away too much before she gets her pretty cover :-)  (side note, though:  I'm pretty daggone proud of myself for getting those blocks to match up!  Go me!)

That's all I have for today, folks.  Make today a fabulous fall day and do something creative!  Make some mulled cider and sit out back under a blanket and take in the crisp fall air!  I know I will be doing just CBP to see my Phils crush the Cards!!  Playoffs are almost here!!  Woohoo!!!!

Again with these ornaments?

Um, yes.  They're just so stinkin' cute!!  Here's the latest installment:

This one is "Baked Goods" (duh) by Little House Needleworks.  I just love the ornaments that Diane has created for us all this year.  They've all been so adorable so far!  I stitched this one on 40 count Sandcastle by Silkweaver.  I love their fabric - it's so, so nice to work with and the colors they come up with are just incredible.  They're a little more subdued than Picture This Plus, but I love their fabrics, too!  I stitched my Frank n' Boo on their Echo.  

I've also been busy with my Cricut this week -- a friend of mine at work is getting married in October, and we're throwing her a shower in the office.  She already had her big shower in July, but us gals at work thought we'd do something for her in the office, too.  So, I picked out a few things I want to do for her card and for little gift tags to put on the gifts, and this is what I've come up with so far:

This is a little gift tag I came up with using the Tie the Knot cartridge.  The bridesmaids will be in black, and their bouquets will have pink flowers, so I thought this was perfect.  I love how the dress came out in the corner - so dainty!

I did a monogram for what will be her new last name, which came out super cool.  I plan on using this for one of the cards I'm making for her.  The bottom piece is the back of the tag with the dress on it -- I cut out a little shoe for the top!  How fun is this!  I'm telling you -- papercrafting is totally addicting.  Totally.  

Now, you'll have to forgive me for the more personal nature of this next picture.  This is for my stitch bitches.  Feast your eyes on this, ladies --

Are you all seeing this??  Not only do have a-dorable new Christmas fabric, but I got me some new scissors.  You know what this means...Karlie will no longer suspect I've been using her scissors all night.  I still contend that I shouldn't possess anything this sharp...but I digress....

Much love to you all!

That's all I have for the moment!  Stay tuned for more papercrafting fun, and the next ornament -- "Bringing Home the Tree" from Little House!!

Do something creative today!  :-)

Never forget.

Ten years ago today, our country fell under terrorist attack.  This short post is to remind you all to hang your American flag high, and with pride.  This is not about what political party you support or what you believe.  This is about being proud to being an American.  Support our troops, no matter what.

The next time you see a man or woman in uniform (US military, police, fire fighter, National Guard, etc.), be sure to stop and thank them for all that they do to make sure us civilians remain safe.  Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us to remain the Land of Liberty.  Do NOT forget that.  Do NOT forget what happened on 11 September 2001.

Land of the Free

God Bless America.

And I'm back in the game!!!

Hello everyone!!!!!!  I cannot begin to tell you how fanfreakingtastic it is to be able to have a functioning computer!!!  I've been feverishly stitching, as you'll soon see, since my long absence from the bliggity bloggity world.

First stop, my newest Halloween creation.  This is from Bent Creek's photobooth series, and is called "Frank 'n Boo".   


I think it is a-dor-able and can't wait to frame and hang it for the holiday, which will be here before we all know it.  This series came as a kit -- Bent Creek supplied you with the buttons and the fabric.  I, as usual, did not like the fabric selected for me, so I went ahead and searched through my ever-growing stash of amazing fabric, and picked out 32 count "Echo" from Picture this Plus.  LOVE IT!!!!  I love how the Halloweeny colors just pop off that awesomely spooky fabric!  How funny is that little spider!  Love everything about this!

Next stop on our trip -- Christmas.  I know, I know....we barely made it through summer, and I've already got you singing "It's a marshmallow world in the winter...when the snow comes a tumblin' down...."  BUT, before you all leave me, the Christmas stuff I've been working on are these fabulous ornaments from Little House Needleworks.  Just LOVE these.  They are amazingly quick stitches, and turn out just so daggone cute!!!  




As you can see, I picked the fabric for the "Gingerbread Men" and "Tweet", I just need to search for some backing fabric for the "Deck the Halls".  I stitched all of these on 32 count neutral fabric, which I'm almost positive is Navy Bean from Lakeside Linens (lil' help from the peanut gallery if I'm wrong!).  I really need to start writing all this stuff down after I cut the fabric....

For those of you anxiously awaiting my next installment of the progress I'm making on "16 Men on a Dead Man's Ship" by Cricket Collection, you'll just have to wait ;-) 

That's all I have for the moment - I don't want to assail your computers with a massive picture-filled post, so I'll slowly be introducing you to the stuff I've been working on while my computer issue was being resolved.

I'm pretty sure it's supposed to rain from now until Halloween, so get those needles going and do something creative today!!

It finally happened...

Well, folks. It happened. I got the blue screen of death on my computer last night as I was trying to upload pictures to a post. I'm off to the apple store today to see what I can do about getting a new computer.

Thank you all for your continued patience as I work thought these crazy computer problems!! I have so much to sure with you all, and I haven't been able to do it!! Hopefully soon I'll be able to have a REAL post for you all!

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