Thursday, December 13, 2012

Potato Soup

Mmmm, this is one of our favorite winter meals!

Potato Soup
6 Red Potatoes (or what ever you have) -diced, bite size 
3 Heads of Broccoli -chopped
1 Large Onion -chopped
3 Cloves  Garlic -minced
3 c. Chicken Broth or water and 3 bullion cubes.
4 c. Milk -I use 1% to cut calories but whole is so creamy!
2 tsp. White Pepper -this is a little more than we like
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 c. + 2 TBLS Flour
1 c. shredded cheese. Cheddar or Colby/Jack Blend are great.

To make this come together faster I start the potatoes cooking in the broth in one pan and use my large soup pan to saute the onion and garlic. Then add the broccoli to the onions and saute until it becomes tender, but is still a bright shiny green. When the potatoes are soft pour the broth and potatoes into the veggies.
Blend the 1/2 cup of flour and 1 cup of milk together in a small dish, slowly add it to the pot stirring as you go. Let it cook for a moment and add the rest of the (3 c.) milk, as well as the salt and pepper. Simmer until it begins to thicken.  
Add the 2 TBLS of flour to the cup of shredded cheese, tossing until the cheese is coated. Sprinkle cheese into soup and gently stir. The flour on the cheese helps keep it suspended in the soup rather than sinking to the bottom of the pan. We like to add a little more cheese to the bowl after serving as well. :) 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Large 3D Ornament

The story behind this ornament: 
A few months ago the Holiday Stampin' Up Catalog came in the mail and I fell in love with the project on the cover. 
 Now, I am not a big stamper but I really like their ink and paper, and establishments, and even their digital stuff so I love looking through the catalogs. When I saw this onrament I knew I could make it with my Kiwi Lane templates but I had no idea how to start! I emailed my Stampin' Up Gal Kristine, and she found me these GREAT instructions. If you get lost in my rambling you may want to check them out. lol

Kiwi Lane Celebrate and Tiny Nature Templates, I used the small "balloon" and small "leaf"
Patter Paper, I used some Stampin Up left overs I had
Scissors, ink, glue gun, glue stick, twine or ribbon, tulle, button or large jewel

Since I really had no idea how this would go together I started with copy paper. You will want to make one of these as a background to glue all of your pieces to. I made my final one out of red card stock to match my pattern paper. 
(She used it just as a template to design her ornament, but I actually glued my "petals" to it to make it stronger.)
Once I had the general idea and figured I could make it work I went to the pretty paper.
Trace and cut 20 of each design. I used the small leaf and small balloon.
I divided them into sets of 5 with "4 petals" each; you will need to score/fold 3 of the 4 "petals" to make 
one complete petal/arm of the ornament.  So 5 of the 20 will need to stay flat and the rest will need to be 
scored/folded in the middle

You will find when folding the leaf in half that it does not line up exactly, I just trimmed it to match once it was glued together. Once glued you may ink or distress to your liking.

Ah! I don't have a good photo of putting them together. 
-Lay down the un-scored piece, glue the 3 scored pieces to that one. The link above has really good photos showing how they go together if you need them. -So sorry!
Once your "petals" are glued together glue the "balloon" petals to the base.
Now it is time to plug in the glue gun. Cut 10 small lengths of tulle, mine are about 2 x 4 inches roughly.
In this photo I am just "playing" with my placement before I start hot gluing. The white "leaf" petals
have not been glued in yet.
I folded each piece of tulle in half and scrunched it together then glued in as shown.
Now that you are comfortable, go ahead and glue down with the glue gun.
It is time to glue in the 2nd layer of petals. I used a glue gun for these as well.
You should now have something that looks similar to this. :)
You are now ready to glue in your twine or ribbon. I find it easier to touch the twine to the glue gun rather than try and squeeze it onto such a small target. You will need 5 loops as well as a larger loop to use to hang from.
The twine is glued into the top fold of the "balloon" petal as shown. The larger loop for hanging will be glued down between the petals to the card stock base.
To make the center Rosette; scallop the edge of a 12 inch sheet and trim to 3/4 inch wide.
You can score every quarter of an inch or just eyeball it and fold it back and forth like a paper fan, like I did.
Once you have it folded glue the ends together and hot glue the center, holding until cooled.
Attach a button with a glue dot and you have a beautiful ornament!

Small 3D Ornament

After making the gorgeous Large 3D ornament I want to find something a little smaller to go with it. I found a great idea here. If you have problems with my introductions check out hers. ;)
I am using my favorite scrap booking tool. The Kiwi Lane templates to make these fun little gems.

Kiwi Lane Tiny Holiday templates
Double sided paper, scraps will do. I used Basic Grey Jovial
Ink, scissors, glue stick, hole punch, twine or ribbon for hanging

For the tree and snowflake you will need to flip them when tracing to get a full image. Trace and cut 3 of each image. In the above link she used 4 but I only used 3 so that I can fold them for storage.
Again, I only used 3 pieces and left this side unglued so that I can fold it like this to store easily. If you are not worried about storage use 4 pieces and glue all the sides.
Fold each piece in half. Two with one print up and 1 with the flip side off the paper facing up.
Before you glue you will want to make sure that when finished you will have 2 sides with each print.
First lay one down flat and then place the other 2 on top. Before glue make sure all side have the prints lined up how you want them. 
 It might throw you a little, but you are only using 3 pieces, gluing 3 sides and 
leaving one side unglued. In this picture the black snowflake print where my fingers are is your fourth side. DON'T GLUE IT TOGETHER.
This is what the unglued side looks like when open.
Ink and trim, if needed, all of the edges. Punch a hole for hanging. NOTE, when punching the hole fold the ornament so that the 2 sides that are glued. (not the one left unglued) are open and punch in the fold about 1/4 of inch down.
Attach ribbon or twine.
Continue with as many shapes as you like! 
With the tree I did not glue all the way to the tips because I liked the added texture. I even bent the tips out a little more just for fun. ENJOY!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Santa Countdown

Look how fun this Santa Countdown turned out! My son's 1st grade class is super excited to start using it.
It only has 14 links because that is how many school days they have come Monday! How can that be!!!!!!
How did I make it you say? Well, with my Kiwi Lane templates of course! :)
Here is my general idea that I started with. -note I didn't end up using the star
Kiwi Lane Templates
Rings -Background and cap "ball"
Celebrate -Mustache
Wacky -cap
Tiny Wacky -beard
Pattern and solid paper, ink, daubers, scissors, pencil, cotton balls, adhesive, foam tape
I made this project with I Believe from My Minds Eye paper and the solid is Stampin Up.
First, trace your rings. A quick trick to cutting them easily is,once traced, cut a slit from outer to center ring then cut along the lines. Don't worry, you will be able to hide the slit in your layering. Also, don't cut the center out of the smallest ring for this project.  -note if your paper has a special pattern be careful where you cut your slit to make sure it will be hidden.
To make the cap I used the large "cloud" from Wacky. I could tell from my template design that I would need to make some adjustments, that is what you see here and in the next photo. -Note I started making it in white but changed my mind to the print you see on the final product.
I purposely made the cap long because I knew that I wanted to fold it to give it a little extra dimension.
You will want to play with your folds and then I used the largest ring, that the cap would attach to, as a template to trim it to fit.-Here is a photo with the the print! :) The "ball" at the end of the cap is the smallest ring with out the center cut from it. - I think the spoon was from a scoop of Nutella to help me concentratet! LOL
Use the "paisley" from Celebrate to make the mustache. I first cut it with print paper and then changed my mind to white. I know, one of the points of the templates is to reduce paper use, but I was a little (a lot) distracted during this project. LOL -note when tracing the "paisley" make sure that one is right side up and the other right side down or you will have a problem, yep still distracted!

In this picture you can also see how I did the beard. First lay your ring on the paper about where you want the final placement. Then use the "cloud" from Tiny Wacky to trace it out.

Here I'm showing how I used the 3rd smaller ring for the top of the beard placement. I drew a line from the ring placement, cut a slit and tucked the ring into the beard. The idea being to make it sturdier but leave some red to be his "mouth". I don't have a photo but the eyes are cute from the circle and oval from Tiny Shapes.
With all the piece cut it is time to put it together! But first ink and distress to your liking.  I used foam tape to apply the mustache for a little more dimension. I used all 3 rings as you can see in this photo, although the stripe (2nd ring) does not really show in the final shot.
As you are layering it together keep in mind that the 3rd smaller ring is both the "mouth" and "nose" so play with it until you like it. I chose to add some cotton balls for fun, but that is totally up to you.
Here is how I attached the chain. And you are DONE!

Primative Nativity Countdown

When the weather clears and I have good light I will try to get a better photo. :)

After doing the fun Thanksgiving Countdown I just HAD to make a Christmas one! In our home we try to keep the Christ in Christmas so I knew I wanted it to be a Nativity theme. It was really fun to pull out my Kiwi Lane templates and see what I could come up with. It you haven't used the templates before, one of the really awesome things about them is the ability to layout what you are working on and play with it before you ever cut any paper.
After playing around a bit here is my rough design.
Kiwi Templates:
Rings -the background, Mary's head cover, Joseph's face
Tiny Shapes -the manger
Celebrate -body of Mary and Joseph and sheep, baby Jesus
Adventure -Star
Coordinating double sided paper
Ink, Duaber, Adhesive, Desired Emblishements

 Now I am ready to gather my papers and get to work. Just like the Turkey, I am just using scraps from an old paper packet. This paper is from an old Stampin'Up Packet.
First, trace your rings. A quick trick to cutting them easily is,once traced, cut a slit from outer to center ring then cut along the lines. Don't worry, you will be able to hide the slit in your layering. -note if your paper has a special pattern be careful where you cut your slit to make sure it will be hidden.
I forgot to take pictures, but you will also need to trace your Mary, Joseph. and Manger.
For the sheep I thought the "cloud" was too big so I just scaled it down while tracing. First I traced the part I thought would make a cute head and body, then I moved the template over and traced the back end. :)
I forgot to take a picture while I was doing it, so here is an after shot to give you an idea of how much I adjusted it.
I was really excited when I realized that if I flipped the "cloud" over I could make my Baby Jesus. Make sure when you do it that you make it a little bigger than I did here. -When I went to put it together I had not really given myself enough room for gluing it on.
As I indicated further up, I forgot to take pictures as I made Mary and Joseph. So here is a bit of a closeup of what I did. With Mary I just played with the smallest ring until it looked good and then trimmed and inked it. For Joseph I took the small circle cut from the smallest ring and when I liked the placement I drew a faint line where I wanted it and cut a slit to slide the circle into.
Ink and distress to your liking. Tuck the pieces as shown in the photo. Glue and add embellishments. I did not add more than the jute bow because I thought it fit the "primitive" feel. As it turned out the star is a sticker from the paper pack so I used it instead of cutting one, as is the 25 December square. Attach paper rings and Enjoy!