A Woodsy Birthday Card

Today I used CardPatterns sketch #111 to create a masculine birthday card. I also wanted to post for FWF so I used the Ippity stamp from Life's Little Moments set. Then I decided that I would go ahead and do the inside of my card too, and enter it into the My Unity Place challenge. I didn't really use a lot of stamps since the paper is the star of this card, but I really like how it turned out.

Supplies Used: Ippity(Life's Little Moments), Nikki Sivils (Tree Love Patterned Paper), Jillibean Soup (Bean Sprouts), Nestabilities (Labels 1)
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Spring Birdies

This week is my spring break. I had grand ideas of working in my garden and planting some vegetables. Apparently nature had other ideas...winter isn't over just yet. Today the sun's shining (even though it's still cold) and the snow is starting to melt! So instead of working out in the garden, I decided to work in my craft room. I played along with the Unity theme challenge for the month. This month's theme is birds.

Supplies Used: Unity Stamp Co. (endings and beginnings), Ippity Stamps (Life's Little Moments), October Afternoon (5 & Dime), Nestabilities (Labels 1), Fiskars Border Punch (Apron Lace), Jillibean Soup (Bean Stalks Red)
I hope you are all enjoying your spring -- and don't have too much snow on the ground!

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I Fondue, Do You?

I have a fondue pot that is similar to this one.
I got it for Christmas one year during one of those parties where you exchange gifts. I was SO excited. It looked SO cool. I took it home, looked at the box, then put it away. When we moved, I decided to bring it with me (since it was SO cool). Then we moved again. And again. And again. (4 times to be exact). It moved with me every time. I had never opened the box. However I just felt like this fondue pot was much too cool to give away. Move #5 came and I put my foot down...kinda. I moved it with us. And I decided if I didn't use it before we move again (which hopefully isn't for a long time), I would give it away. Well, we moved to Wisconsin about 10 months ago, and guess what finally happened?? I opened the fondue box, I invited some friends over, and we USED it! And I was right. It was SO cool! So here is what I learned about fondue:
1) A "true" fondue meal consists of three courses -- cheese, meat, dessert.
2) I am much too lazy to clean the pot after each course, so I improvised and we really only used the pot for the meat course. It worked well for us. The cheese course I made in a bread bowl (DELICIOUS!) The second course was meat, which I used the pot for. And the third course, dessert, I used my crock pot.
3) The meat course is so yummy. I used this recipe, Fondue Bourguignonne (nope, can't pronounce it). The main point of the meat course is the dipping sauces. This was the hardest part for me -- finding good sauces. Some worked, some didn't. But it's fun to try new sauces!
4) The dessert fondue seized up in my crock pot. Next time, I'll probably leave it on low using a double boiler on the stove top. It was still delicious, it just wasn't that dippable (which is kind of the point of a fondue).
So...if you have a fondue pot that you have never used. Or if you have thought about fonduing...GO! Fondue it up! You won't regret it.
*Fondue pot shown is My Perfect Kitchen™ Stainless Steel Lazy Susan Fondue Set.
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Beautiful Balloons {and a winner}

I made two very simple cards for the Beautiful Balloon challenge over at Moxie Fab World. I used the hot air balloon from the Unity Stamp Co. Love in the Air set and the cloud paper is from the Basic Grey Mellow collection.

And the winner from my blog candy is Marcy H. (My Angel). Email me your address at katytipton at yahoo dot com and I'll send you the stamp.
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Let's Hang Out

Well, I didn't make anything yet...but I have a card that I made a little while ago that I still need to share. I had fun paper piecing the tiny little clothes on the clothesline. These stamps are from one of my favorite kit of the months, Perfect in Every Way. I don't get the kotm anymore, but this month's looks so cute and is a little tempting!

Supplies Used: Unity Stamp Co (perfect in every way), Jillibean Soup (Egg Drop Soup), Nestabilities (Scalloped Rectangle), Fiskars Border Punch (Threading Water), May Art ribbon
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Tick, Tick, Tick....

Do you hear that sound? Yup, it's my biological clock ticking away...because it's my birthday! And to celebrate, I am extending the giveaway that I have posted here for a few more days. Leave a comment on this post or the one I linked for a chance to win! I should have more creations soon...maybe. I still haven't even cleaned the stamps that I used in my last post, yet alone made anything else. WHOOPS! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'll be back soon with a winner and a creation of some sort (promise!)

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Button It Up! (FWF)

Good morning! It's been awhile since I've been a part of the FWF hop. Today I made a card using the CardPatterns sketch #109. I kind of veered away from the sketch a little bit, but it's where I got my inspiration from.

Supplies Used: Bella Blvd. Calendar Month, Jillibean Soup Egg Drop Soup Patterned Paper, lots and lots of buttons, May Arts ribbon

You can find lots of Unity Stamps here, at {i heart papers}.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today on the FWF hop! You can go back to the Unity blog to continue on your hop. Also, if you are interested in learning more about my "new-ish" blog and winning an Itty Bitty stamp, see this post.
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A Birthday Card

Wow. How's that for a creative title, huh? Well, that's what I made today. A birthday card. I used the SFYTT sketch, which is being sponsored by Unity Stamp Co. this month. I needed a masculine'ish birthday card and I thought this sketch would work well. Here's the sketch:

And here's my card:

Supplies Used: Unity Stamp Co. (Sassy Alphabet),Nikki Sivils patterned paper (Tree Love), twine, button, brads, Nestabilities Rectangle, Clear Mini Stamps (happy birthday)

Check out my post here if you are interested in learning more about my blog and winning an Itty Bitty from Unity Stamp Co.

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Why I Hate Cooking for Two...

It's true. I admit it. I don't like cooking for just the two of us. It's so hard to find recipes that work for just two people and while on some food sites you can use a calculator to cut down the servings, sometimes it's just impossible to use 1/2 of an egg. I hear you saying, "Just eat the leftovers!" It doesn't happen. I know the biggest suggestion out there is to cook a lot ahead of time and freeze it. Let me be completely honest -- my freezer is full of frozen pizzas and ice cream. Isn't that what a freezer is for anyway?! There's also the chance that what I make I may never ever want to eat again. And the worst part of cooking for two? It usually takes me longer to make it then for the two of us to eat it!
So I'm trying an experiment this week. A few weeks ago we had company over and I oven-roasted a chicken. It was delicious. So this week my husband asks me if we can have the same thing for Sunday dinner. For just the two of us, really?? Well, we did. It wasn't as delicious as the first (more on that later), but still pretty good. But now I have a lot of chicken leftover. So here's what I'm going to do:
Sunday was the oven roasted chicken. Then after lunch, I threw the chicken carcass into some water with some vegetables I had lying around and made chicken broth. Super easy. Tonight we will have chicken noodle soup. Whatever leftover broth I don't use, I don't have to feel guilty about throwing away...essentially it's just water flavored with a used up chicken carcass (sounds yummy when you put it that way, huh?). Tuesday night, I will use some of the chicken and cover it in barbecue sauce, add a slice of cheese, and slap it on a bun. Chicken sandwiches! And throughout the week for lunches, or maybe even for dinner on Wednesday -- chicken quesadillas and chicken soft tacos. I know that we will be a little tired of chicken by the end of the week...but honestly we usually have chicken a few times of week, so it won't be that bad. And my $7 chicken will last me 3 meals! How's that for a deal?
So you may be wondering -- how do you oven roast a chicken?? Or maybe, how do you make chicken broth?? I am no expert. And you could probably google and find something better then my method. But I'll give it to you in a nutshell.

Buy a whole chicken. I buy mine at Walmart (oh how I miss you, Hy-vee!). They are usually in the coffins (the long freezer boxes) in the middle of the aisles. It takes awhile to thaw, so be sure to buy it in advance. When it's thawed, open it up, and clean out the gunk inside of it. (A tip: if your chicken is still a little too frozen to get it cleaned out, fill up your sink with hot water and put it in there. It makes it a lot easier to spread the legs of the chicken apart if they are still a little frozen. Just make sure to clean the sink before and after!). Then stuff your chicken with onions, lemons, garlic, etc... I used an apple this time. It was definitely not as moist and juicy as when I used the lemon. So think citrus and you'll have a juicy juicy chicken. Then pat the whole chicken dry with a paper towel. Take some herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, rosemary -- any 2 or 3 of those will do. I've used both fresh herbs and dry, they both work). Mix them with a little bit of olive oil (about a tablespoon'ish), push your sleeves up, and then rub the chicken down. Stick it in a roasting pan and let it cook for about 3 hours (it depends on your weight of the chicken). I like mine slow roasted, so I cook it at 300 degrees for 3'ish hours. I have a meat thermometer to tell me when it's done (about 180 degrees). So now, go forth, and roast a chicken. Even if it's just for the two of you, the leftovers can be turned into something different each night.

*Image is logo from chickfila.com
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A Bit of a Redesign

If you tried to visit my blog this past week or so, you may have gotten a message that said "YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO READ THIS!" (okay, so I'm paraphrasing -- it was more politically correct, I think). Well that's because I have been hard at work revamping my blog. I know what you're thinking..."Ummm. Katy. It looks almost exactly the same as it did before. Are you sure you remembered to press save after making all those changes??" Why, yes. Yes I did. I know it doesn't look a whole lot different on the outside, but the content is going to change just a tiny little bit...and I felt like it would be a good time to change up a few things. However, I really really really love my blog header (thanks Shabbyblogs.com) and even though I'd had it forever and a day, I'm still not ready to part with it. So I left it, which in turn, meant a lot of the design elements will be staying the same also. So here's a quick rundown on the reason for the content change and what to expect:
1) I have an Artfire store. Soon I hope to have an Etsy store too. We will see how that progresses. My store is called Pieces of Me. I really wished that I would have named it the same as my blog for a better cohesiveness. I didn't really want to change my blog name and redirect traffic and you can't change your Artfire store name. So I decided to integrate the two. You can check out my store here, if you so desire. My blog will in NO WAY become a promotion of my store. I will rarely even mention it from here on out. But that's why I changed up my header a little bit. It's more of an FYI then a sales pitch. Promise.

2) I often have the desire to share more then just stamping...but felt my blog somewhat limited that, seeing as that I had been promoting it has a papercrafting blog. So from now on, you'll see a little bit more of my other hobbies -- mainly sewing and baking. It will still be mainly a papercrafting blog, but I'm just warning you that a little more variety will be coming your way. I have a book review blog that is separate from this blog -- it will remain separate. However, there's a link over in the sidebar if you're interested in that.

3) Last of all...I have been lacking motivation to do anything in my craft room. So my choice is to either pack it up and sell it all or get my rear in gear. So, maybe a new blog format will do just that. We will see!

And now...for those of you who were nice enough to stick through to the end...I have a giveaway!! Comment on this post, follow my blog, send me an email, a facebook post, a tweet, or whatever telling me what you think about the new blog. I have an Itty Bitty rubber stamp from Unity Stamp Co. that could be yours!
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