Monday, December 31, 2012

Less than 2 weeks until CHA

Anyone else interested in what is happening in the craft industry in 2013? The manufacturers of The Craft and Hobby Association are introducing products at the biannual trade show in Anaheim Jan 12-15.
I always love to see the new ideas. Of course, some manufacturers tease us with prototypes. Always interesting to see how those products develop.Other companies have items already produced or in production.

Some sneak peaks are available. I always head over to the following site for information.

My role at CHA is a volunteer for Charity Wings I've been at it for a few years now - I think it will be my eighth CHA! Charity Wings is again raising money for A Place to Bark and a special event to raise money for the Be Aware Foundation

My prize for the New Year's Day, the eighth day of Christmas will be a $20 ticket to Live from CHA
Participation means you can come along with us on your personal computer as Elena visits manufacturers and discovers in depth what is new in the craft industry. You can win valuable prizes of items that in some cases you will have before your local retailers will stock them. It's always fun to see what those creative CHA designers do with the products, too. Truly, we feature some amazing talent!

Just comment on this post to be entered.

Stay safe and have a fun evening tonight even if you head to bed early like me! And I hope for the NZ and OZ readers of my blog that you are finding 2013 to be a great year. Enjoy your time on the beach!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Whew! Me writing all these posts!

Got some papers out yesterday and was considering what kind of page to put together. Two pieces of emerald cardstock but my favorites and manufacturers production have been more yellow greens and teals in cardstock and patterned papers. Still, I have found a couple to use. Maybe I'll do a page with this photo.
Today was much of a family day with Chris, Laurel and Joe joining us for brunch at Denny's and then we had  a bit of Christmas with a visit and exchanging gifts at our house.
So, just a brief post today.
Did you know that Sacramento is known as The Camellia City? Right now as I'm typing I can look out the sliding glass door to my right and see one of our plants in bloom.One of the compensations for our cold weather. Yes, I know, what we call cold would be heaven in a lot of places. I do know because I used to live in Selkirk, Manitoba and that has to be one of the harshest winters. Just look at a map - all water as you look north. Not even a tree to break that wind blowing down off the North Pole. Brrrr!!!
Stiil, I feel the cold even here.
The loveliness of camellias at least warms the heart. Regrettably, Sacramento gave up its Camellia Festival many years ago, it was just too expensive to host. Kinda like the situation with our Kings basketball team, LOL!
Still, we grow simply gorgeous camellia flowers here which bloom from October into April. Most of the ones in our garden bloom late December through February.
The prize for the Seventh Day of Xmas, also known as New Year's Eve, is a $10 gift certificate to You know the drill - leave a comment with this post to be entered in the drawing!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


One thing I learned from a semester of studying color theory is that I have so much more to learn on the subject.
I devour articles and books on color and give it a lot of thought.
Today's newspaper had an article about the Pantone color of the year for 2013 - Emerald Green.
I have noticed a lot of green lately as well as gorgeous violets and had been wondering which of these hues would be chosen. Again, like the past couple of years with Tangerine Tango and Honeysuckle (an odd name foe a bright pink, a name that makes me envision pale yellow, Oh well!) a vibrant color and one not for large doses unless very smartly done.Please no rather permanent stuffed sofas in this color
After a semester of painting color swatches i had to print this out and check it against my book. Luckily I have a computer monitor and printer that are very true in their hues.
It's a lovely cool green. Much cooler than even the coolest green in my book which uses a Prussian blue and a light cadmium yellow. I may try to mix it up later today.
As a cool green I can see it best in a color scheme based on an 18 color color wheel.
For complimentary hues I use a nice neutral red, neither warm nor cool.
I also favor traditional split complementary and triad color schemes so would choose this green contrasted with a warm red and cool red or use the emerald with a neutral orange and a neutral violet. Since Tangerine Tango was the Pantone color for 2012 do you think that a violet might be ahead for 2014? Would be interesting.
OK, so my challenge for the day will be to produce a craft project using Emerald. I'll see what I can do.
Meantime we need a prize for Day 6 of Xmas. Maybe a 4GB Chip drive in green? Yes, I think that would be perfect.
You can check out more about this at

Friday, December 28, 2012


One thing that is awesome about California is Meyer lemons. You can grow them in much of the state in one's garden or a pot on the patio. They produce fruit year round. So, summer lemonade or pie most any time.

A favorite in our house is a Shaker Lemon Pie.

So, here goes the recipe.

Prepare your favorite flaky pastry and prepare a 9 inch bottom crust and refrigerate until you've prepared the filling. You can roll out and keep top crust in fridge, too.

Prepare macerated lemons by first removing the zest from 2-3 lemons with grater and set aside.
Then slice the lemons very thinly, removing the seeds.
Combine the zest, lemon slices, 2 cups of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a glass or stainless bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit on counter for several hours or to next day. Stir mixture occasionally. When soft and macerated proceed to next steps.
Preheat your oven to 425.
Prepare filling by whisking 4 large eggs, add in 4 tablespoons of melted butter and 3 tablespoons of flour. Then stir in the macerated lemon mix.
Put filling in bottom crust, dampen edges of bottom crust and place top crust. Crimp pie edges with floured fork tines. Cut steam vents in top crust.
Bake the pie for 30 minutes.Reduce the temperature to 350 and cook about 25 minutes more. Cool on rack.
May be refrigerated but serve at room temperature.

Even if you do not live in California, nor have Shaker roots like our family, give this recipe a try!

Now, the prize. The prize for the Fifth Day of Christmas, December 29 is the Jan/February issue, Top 10,  of Masterful Scrapbook Design from Debbie Hodge. Check it out at

Here is a little info from the site:
Successful page designers break it all down—>And you immediately start applyingproven design techniques to your own scrapbook pages

Masterful Scrapbook Design is a membership website.

The cost to subscribe is $24.00 for your first month and $14 every month following. The first month fee covers the base lessons on design, titles, journaling, photos, embellishments, and canvas (over 300+ illustrated pages in pdf form) you receive at signup.

Note that this is an offer for non current subscribers only as Debbie cannot refund money to current members.

This site and its companion site Get It Scrapped have tons of inspiration for digi, paper and hybrid scrappers. MSD has multiple webinars with inspiring scrapbook teachers. There is a pdf/ezine with seminar info and multiple articles onthe topic of the month. Past issues are available. December's issue subject was Layout. Once an issue is in your library you can return to view it any time.

Just leave a comment to this post to enter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Numbingly Sweet

Yes, I do not ordinarily cook but sometimes I make/bake things. Especially those things that can be done in easily spaced apart steps.
I did have a little help with my Christmas menu yesterday when my DDIL asked if she could help I put her on the task of chopping up tomato and avocados for the guacamole. I had already got some of the other ingredients togaether. She helped get a few other things on the table, too.
Most everything was just food purchased and set out but I did make two desserts. One was an New York slice or a sort of Nanaimo Bar candy the other a nod to Cal's Quaker roots - a Shaker lemon pie.
I'll include the menu and the candy slice recipe here and maybe tackle the lemon pie in another post.
For the foodies in the crowd, do not expect much in the way of recipes here. You'll notice that my menu, while tasty was low on work.

Our Christmas Dinner:

Veggies and dip tray from the supermarket
White and wheat rolls from Whole Foods
Guacamole (home made) with tortilla chips
sliced meats (beef, prosciutto, mortadella, salami, turkey)
Sliced Swiss and pepper jack cheeses
Sandwich toppings (tomato slices, French and Dijonnaise mustard, mayo, lettuce from the garden,butter)
Pimento stuffed olives from Whole Foods (may I repeated say YUM!)
Cranberry chutney on cream cheese with multi-grain crackers
Shaker lemon pie
New York Slice
Cookies from Ettore's and Selland's
Fruitcake from Ettore's (someday I'll part with my recipe that makes a cake that tastes like drunken candy but for now it remains a secret and unmade unless I have lots of help from a young person, for that is quite a job!)
See's chocolates
Salted nuts
Un-shelled nuts
Assorted candy
Mimosa's, sparkling cider, coffee and hot chocolate

Now for the New York Slice Recipe

1 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
equivalent of one beaten egg's worth of pasteurized egg product or egg substitute
13 graham wafer rectangles (26 squares)
1 cup coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups confectioners (icing) sugar
3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
3-4 tablespoons milk
(vanilla extract optional)
1/4 cup butter
2 squares semi-sweet chocolate

Melt 4 tablespoons butter with 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup sugar, 26 crushed up honey graham wafer squares ( that is 13 rectangular biscuits.) I put about 5 at a time in a fold of parchment paper and run it over with a rolling pin), equivalent of one egg's worth of pasteurized egg product OR egg substitute, one cup coconut, 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts. Do NOT use a beaten egg, this mix is not cooked sufficiently by the heated butter/chocolate to protect from Salmonella.
Mix these items together and press into a 8-9 inch square pan. Set n refrigerator.

Mix 2 cups confectioners sugar, 3 tablespoons Instant vanilla pudding (I like the Jello French Vanilla)
into 1/3 cup butter. Moisten with 3-4 tablespoons of milk to make it the consistency of a butter icing. Vanilla flavoring may be added if more intense vanilla flavoring desired. Spread this on top of base and set again in refrigerator.

Melt together 1/4 cup butter with 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate and pour over filling layer, spread evenly. Return to refrigerator.
When topping firm cut into very small squares and enjoy.
Share generously!

Speaking of sharing the prize for the Fourth Day of Christmas will be a $10 gift certificate to Just leave a comment below. BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT ACCESS IS EASY TO YOUR EMAIL OR YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WIN A PRIZE. (Sorry about this requirement but it is sometimes soooo difficult to hunt down prize winners.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Three French Hens

December 27, the third day of Christmas will be the day today's prize listing winner will be chosen. Now, since the name of today's prize is the Two Turtle Doves 6.5" x 6.5" paper pad by Kaisercraft some might feel I put it on the wrong day. Despite the name the collection does contain Three French Hens paper. You can find it here
I think this paper with some cardstock from your stash could be very useful for scrapping Xmas photos and would be very helpful for a start on next year's cards.
Please leave a comment for a chance to win. Remember, only folks who have e-mail addresses that I can access easily will be considered for a prize.
Yes, above is part of my dining room Xmas display. When I saw these ceramic hens in the gift shop, a few years ago, I immediately thought of the Three French Hens. However, that reference seems to get missed by many of the visitors to my home during the holidays. Nevertheless, I smile every time I walk past them.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How are your holidays going?

Hi, folks! Well, comment here and if you win for Boxing Day, second day of Christmas, the give away is a $10 gift certificate to (I could not locate a reasonably priced two turtle doves.) As you all may know, Poirier is the french word for Pear tree! I did not think a prize of me stuffed post a partridge dinner was very appealing as a Christmas Day present either. At the price of gold rings and the labor costs for many of the last few days laborers were also so prohibitive that you will notice that I have made substitutions for all the traditional gifts. Nonetheless, you all remain my dear true loves! I have a lot of warm-hearted love to spread around. Cal will not be jealous.
All prizes will be awarded on Jan 7 since there may be folk who win more than one prize and if the prize is to the same place, I can bundle the prize.
I figured out how to link to my 12.12.12 video on you-tube which is the same as the one posted here a couple of posts ago; but, in better video quality.

I think I may get creative later today and make some cards. I've just been enjoying a rather stress-free pre-Xmas time. Joe did such a lovely job of decorating the house. I wander around and enjoy it. I've been listening to Xmas music on Spotify. The Xmas cards are delightful to receive (which is why I probably ought to send some!). I do not always send cards. One year it was Valentine's Day cards, which shows you that I was busy but still got greetings out. Thank goodness for all 12 days of Christmas and then Ukrainian Christmas. If I get cards out by then I guess I'm doing OK. Well, we'll see how my shopping goes this afternoon and if good then cards will be on this year's agenda!

Lots of warm and happy holiday wishes! Keep looking for the prize posts.

Nice little tea party yesterday. Must do more in future.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Xmas Give Away!

You know I like to spread a little love.
So, for each of the 12 days of Christmas, starting on Dec 25 (the first day of Christmas on the christian calendar) I will have a little prize.
Just a comment on each post where the prize is mentioned will enter you. You MUST be accessible easily by e-mail or your entry will not count. Only one entry per person, please!
The first prize will be a $25 gift certificate to Big Picture Classes. Comment on this e-mail and the winner will be announced on Xmas Day.

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Time Capsule

Well, I have made a silly rap video in the past featuring Fiska the Fairy celebrating the "Fiskamas" celebration on the Fiskateer website. However, "motion scrapbooking," a term introduced on Paperclipping Roundtable, has not been something I've explored before.
However, I've been more willing to explore new things in photography since my retreat at the Shutter Sisters "Oasis" in Palm Springs. Xanthe Berkeley, one of the Shutter Sisters, likes to make what she calls Time Capsules. She proposed a 12.12.12 project where photographers from several parts of the world could document their day. It was a fun project, and I've been delighted with the productions I've found on the private page she established for participants on Facebook.
I include my video here or you to view. It might have been nice if I had the cute animals, sweet children, or breathtaking scenery or even the amazing photographic skills that most of the participants possessed. It is what it is. It is mine, and I'm happy I documented my day! So what, if I had to prop up my left arm for self-portraits, at least I can still lift it up. (It was a Wednesday; so, Pilates which has been such an important part of my ability to manage physically in life got to be documented. I'm happy about that.)
Yes, I woke up in one bed on one side of the house and went to sleep in the other at the other end of our home. I was working late on the computer, and it's in the computer room. A logical solution! But, it does seem funny to me as  I watch the video. It's one of the parts of the day I'd not have documented nor remembered, without the video. A pretty dull day but I used a style and music to liven things up.
It seems to me that this would be fun to do again in the future and might even be a way to put together some photos of a past event, maybe something that seems hard to scrapbook might lend itself to this medium.
MyTwelve Video

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cupcake Art


A little color theory and a chance to paint a bit. Well, paint too much! Still learned a lot and met really nice people. I have decided I like painting though I think I'll approach it in a more leisurely fashion so I avoid all the neck pain that comes with deadlines!
For those who are curious, the color harmonies for the paintings are from right to left and top to bottom - split complementary, stippled effect, intensity (analogous), glaze on a grisaille, triad, earth tones, color value (monochromatic), power (complementary), neutralization and a glaze on a brunaille.
Note that I did the second to last in a complementary scheme of yellow-green and red-violet (18 color wheel). This color scheme made me think of Calvin's comments about desserts, "Poisonous". Guess what I named the painting, LOL! I like color theory and hope to study it more in the future but all I can think about now is Rest and Recovery!
All ready for the holidays, no special plans for gifts. Something simple I think. No grand social activities - just some pleasant times with friends and family.
Gradually, my house is getting organized. It's taken over 3 years now. Yes, I have not been barreling ahead at things - paperwork, in particular, is just too boring and overwhelming! Still, slow and steady can finish the race, sometimes even win it. 
I am managing to keep up the two blog posts at least per month pace that I've set for myself. Nonetheless, I'm going to give some holiday greetings and good wishes to all of you now even if i extend them again this season because I have so much happiness to wish for each and every one of you!

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...