Saturday, April 25, 2015

Apple Rose Cupcakes - Pinterest Inspired (Warning - Pinterest Fail)

Last week I saw this link on Pinterest for the wonderful-looking Apple Rose Cupcakes as they were calling them.  They looked fairly simple, with few ingredients and not any special skills needed so while we were in the grocery store last Sunday, I picked up the two ingredients that I did not already have at home to make these.  Apples and Puff Pastry.


I trimmed and cut the apples as the directions said, then nuked them for 3 minutes in water and lemon.  I was very careful when slicing them to make the slices as uniform as possible (and as thin as possible also).  


I defrosted a sheet of puff pastry, rolled it out and cut it into 6 slices as prescribed.  Then I used some apricot/mango/passion fruit jam on the strips as directed.  


I laid out the sliced apples just like in the video, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and attempted to roll them up just as easily as the cook in the video - NOT.  


Either I used the wrong type of apple, the slices were too thick, or they weren't cooked long enough because the apple slices cracked as I rolled.  Still I managed to get them into muffin liners and then into the muffin pan to cook.


I first took them out at 30 minutes which was a mistake because I didn't read the time correctly and the pastry was anything but done at that point.  BUT...... after putting them back in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes, the apples crisped to the point of browning and still the pastry wasn't done.  


I really didn't expect them to look exactly like the one's that I had pinned, but this was way off and such a disappointment.


After checking various other sources for recipes like this I found that some said it was okay to use Pink Lady apples (which is what I used), and some said you should not use Red Delicious (which was what the post I used recommended).  I also saw that there was a discrepancy as to what product to use - puff pastry, phyllo dough, or pie crust. I actually had all three on hand but went with what the video said to use.  

Taste - well after I cut into it and saw that the pastry was not done, I could not, in all consciousness, try to eat the mush.  Instead I pulled some of the apples out and sure enough, even after being in the oven for more that 40 mins. they were not all soft.  

Will I try this again?  Don't know.  The recipe says it makes six and there was a lot of unused apple slices to begin with.  The pastry was unappealingly mushy when rolled like that.  Perhaps it should be more like a little pie crust first and then add the apples.  In the long run, I am soooooooooo glad that I did not try to make these for Admin Prof Day (which I was thinking of doing) because I would have been very distraught with the results.  

If anyone out there decides to give this a try, please let me know how yours turned out - what tricks you used.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Administrative Professionals Day and a Little Bit of Earth Day

 Aren't these fish cute?  I had fun stamping and coloring them.  So why so many?


Today was Administrative Professionals Day and I know I don't have to, but I like sending a little some kind of recognition to my fellow admins as a kind of thank you for all the support that they've given me (and we've all given each other) over the year.  This year, because of my health issues and being out of work so long, I was especially appreciative.


I stamped and colored one circle and then printed up the message below and stuck them back-to-back.  Punched a hole through the top and tied them to individual bags of Gold Fish crackers (with a little candy tucked into the tie.  Sorry I didn't take a picture of the finished product, but I think you can picture it.  Here's the pin from Pinterest that inspired me.  It was on a Teacher Appreciation post, but I thought I could make it fit for today.  I downloaded the recommended fonts and used my Print Shop to recreate the label adding the curved message on the bottom.  


Today was also Earth Day.  I've been trying to keep a bit of a recycling theme to my cards this month, and although I did not need this card for a special event (YET), I wanted to put it together as my Earth Day project.   It started with a sheet of tissue paper that came in a recent online purchase of .... shoes....  I took some Mod Podge and attached the tissue to a rectangle of Bermuda Bay cardstock. When it was dry, I added some glitter pen to the shoes that were printed on the tissue.  (They're not all catching the light in the picture, but I did do all the shoes.)  That was mounted on a Brushed Silver card base.  I took a leftover scrap of the texture silver foil paper and added that to the left side.  


The sentiment says "I'm pretty sure that with sparkly shoes and a new tiara she could conquer the world" and I stamped in on another pieced of Bermuda Bay embossing it in black.  I added some silver glass glitter to the edges of that panel.  The last addition was the die cut "tiara" out of blue/green glitter paper. 

I had called HWNSNBP up to the stamp cave to help me choose a die that most resembled a tiara. This obviously was out of his comfort zone.  I showed him three possibilities and asked him which one looked the most like a tiara and he said "what is a tiara?".  Uh, yeah, too abstract for him. I know he knows what a tiara is, he just couldn't see it as something else.   I told reminded him a tiara was a crown and this is the die he chose which is what I was leaning towards anyway.

I don't think you can see how it sparkles enough.  Oh well. I was happy to be able to use even just a little of that tissue paper.

If you're an Admin I hope you had a wonderful day (mine was crazy busy).  And if you haven't done a recycling project yet this month, I encourage you to.  There's another week of April and I'd love to see what you can save from a landfill so be sure to let me know where to look.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saturday's Adventure

Saturday was such a beautiful day and we happened to be at the condo for a spring clean-up which thankfully didn't take that long.  So HWNSNBP and I took a ride to LBI and out to the lighthouse and I was determined to give it my all to walk the 1/4 mile out to the ocean and back.  On the way we encountered this pair.


Are they coming or going?

And this gentleman came shushing up alongside me and I do me shushing his boots along the sand so much so that I really found it annoying and stopped so he could get well past us.


Once we made it to the ocean, HWNSNBP put out the beach towel for me to sit a spell and he did some more shelling.


I motioned to him to walk towards the seagulls that had gathered around him to catch them in flight. I'm pretty sure they thought that he had something to share with them in the plastic bag that he was carrying, but they were wrong.


Walking the 1/4 mile back - a view of the lighthouse and I think you can barely make out those fence posts on the beach.  


There is a large area cordoned off for the Plovers to nest undisturbed.  This sign is on one of the posts to educate those that are visiting of the plight of the plover.


We were lucky enough to actually spot two of them on the way back.  It was low tide and there was no water on the beach side of the jetty making it pretty easy to walk in the wet compacted sand.  Still, these little birds are very quick and small and blend in very well with the surroundings.



Besides the dark ring around their neck, another feature that distinguishes them is the fact that they only have 3 toes that all face forward and no back toe.  We stood in one place and they circled around us stopping once or twice and softly calling to one another.  


Once we got back on the concrete walkway, we noticed this guy on the rocks.  Just look at those long toes!


This was the first time in almost three years (or is it just two?) that I was actually able to walk the beach and do some shelling (but don't tell my doctor).  My neck is still bothering me, but I was determined to not to let it deter me and I was very careful bending down to pick up some treasures.  







Friday, April 17, 2015

Jingle Belles - Let There Be Peace on EARTH (Day) II

We're still recycling over at the Jingle Belles blog this week.  The top portion of this card comes from the paper that was covering a box of Godiva chocolates I received for Christmas.  The bow was trimmed from a Starbuck's gift card holder.  


The sparkles are embedded in the paper and have sort of a holographic quality to them.  I put this on a base of Poppy Parade cardstock and embossed the sentiment in gold EP. 

The band of jewels is new however.  I picked that up at the Dollar Tree recently.  I don't usually go for yellow, but for some reason I grabbed the yellow one and I'm glad I did.


I think it goes well with the orangy-redness of the paper.  

So let's revisit the Jingle Belles and see what other recycling beauties have been added this week. And don't be afraid to jump in and try this challenge.  Have you any packing paper, tissue paper, rescued ribbons, cardboard, buttons, bottle caps?  I'm sure you've got some good "stuff" you can repurpose into a Christmas cards to celebrate Earth Day.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hello and Thinking of You - PP240 (2)




I mentioned that I had another idea for this color challenge and tonight I got a little extra time to put it on paper.  I just love these Essential by Ellen dies!  So using my Gorgeous Grunge stamp I added some splats in VersaMark and in the paper colors to the papers before I die cut the flowers and leaves just to give them some interest.  The center-most flower was popped up for a little more dimension.  I also added the grunge to the card base and then used another die cut "hello" for my sentiment in a tone-on-tone way.  All I did with that was press it into my VersaMark ink pad before I added it to the card.  Yes, this color combination was a lot of fun to play with.

Also having fun with a bunch of stamp sets to put together this "Thinking of You"/get well card for a male friend.  I feld butterflies and flowers were definitely out, but leaves were fair game.  


I used The Open Sea, Choose Happiness, Butterfly Basics, Wetlands, and Gorgeous Grunge again. And the ink choices were Pistachio Pudding (which is so faint you can barely see it), Crumb Cake, Wild Wasabi, and the sentiment is in Chocolate Chip.  All stamped on a base of Very Vanilla.

Please say a prayer for my cousin's husband who underwent some serious surgery earlier this week. Last I heard everything went well, but he has a long road ahead of him.  

Hello Bluebird


Hello Bluebird
With your back to me
Stay for a while
Rest in our tree
There's a house on the hill
It's waiting for you
Can't wait to see
What you will do

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PP240 - Color Challenge


I saw these colors as I was starting to plan my DIL's birthday card.  I'm afraid I didn't get enough green on there though.  It's her favorite color.  But I think she'll like it.


I used the Spring Flowers EF for the background base of Coastal Cabana.  Then I die cut some of the Handpicked framelits and stamped them with stamps from From the Garden and And Many More.  I fussy cut the flower and leaves before adding it to the label from the Circle Card Thinlit.

The picture is darker than I would like it - the colors are much prettier IRL.  I have another idea for this color combo but I'm not sure when I'll get to that.  Hopefully soon.   

Here is the link to see the other wonderful creations for this challenge.

Recycling - Have I Gone a Bit Too Far?


This card is made of a few things I had in my recycling stash.  The background papers are both wrapping paper from recent birthday gifts as is the blue seam binding ribbon.  The stamped flower was in a pile of stamped images that never made it onto it's original card and the blue flower - well, this is where I ask if I've gone too far - the blue flower was made from ..... a hairnet/covering that I wore on Monday during a medical procedure.  The nurse gave me the strangest look when I said that I wanted to keep it to make something out of it.  She offered me a new one, but I told her that I wanted to repurpose the one that I had used since we celebrate Earth Day this month.  Too far?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Quick, Colorful Thank You's

I needed a small bunch of thank you's last week so I was glad I found what was left of this sheet of colorful striped scrapbook paper.  And as I was going through my box of things to recycle I came across a handful of the flowers that I had punched out of kraft packing paper.  I gathered three for each card and scrunched them up and stapled them in the center. Then I grabbed my bunny dies and ran them through the Big Shot a couple of times.  


So the bunny is popped up over the staples.  (And I did swipe the edges of the bunnies with some Crumb Cake ink but I don't think it's showing in the pictures.)  I just varied the placement of the scrapbook paper and the flower for some variety.


Quick and easy and fun.