February 29th and Another Card

February 29th is a special day for one per cent of the population who only get to celebrate their birthday every four years. I was commissioned to make a birthday card for a lady (B) who is celebrating her birthday for only the twenty-first time in eighty-four years. Her friend asked for a card that emphasized the fact that B. can now legally have an alcoholic drink, (based on a legal age of twenty-one).

Rooting through my stash of supplies I pulled out watercolour cardstock and Distress Oxide ink pads to create a card base.

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The colours were applied to the cardstock with a sponge, misting each colour with water and heat dried in between. Next, I chose a Tim Holtz stencil that I love but rarely use, to create a bit of texture.

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The ink was smeared through the stencil and misted lightly with water before lifting the stencil.

I chose a figure from one of the Tim Holtz paper doll collection that I thought might reflect the era when B. was a younger woman.A small calendar from one of the Tim Holtz ephemera packs seemed appropriate too. I  used a gel pen to draw a circle around the day and month. Next I typed out the words for the card front. All the components were glued to the card base with Alene’s Tacky Glue.

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Have a happy day!

Valentine Note Cards

Oh my, it’s been a long time since my last post. Life got in the way, as sometimes happens. However, I was  encouraged by a note attached to a Christmas card  from my DC to continue blogging.

Valentines Day was one of those “special days” that I looked forward to as a child because our teachers always let us have a party in the afternoon. It was filled with sweet treats and card exchanges. Some years we deposited our cards in a huge decorated box and other years we had made individual “mailbags” to receive cards.

One year, my mother sat me at the kitchen table to make cards for my friends. Construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons and paper doilies – it was a smorgasbord of craft supplies. I loved seeing my ideas come to life.  No matter the time and creativity that went into these cards, I don’t remember my classmates really liking them. They preferred the store bought cards with the cute sayings.

One morning last week I was exploring techniques with a Gelli Arts gel printing plate and acrylic paints. It was tremendous fun and I ended up with a pile of colourful abstract sheets of photocopy paper. I selected a few to cut apart and use as background for mixed media Valentines note cards. I  ran another sheet  through my Vagabond machine to cut out hearts. (A lot easier than using scissors! 🙂 )

These are for you:

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Have a Happy Day!

A Vintage Butter Tart Recipe

It is raining this Labour Day, so what better to do than bake up a batch of what I consider to be the best butter tarts? Apparently there is some debate as to whether butter tart fillings are better with nuts rather than raisins, syrupy rather than firm. I prefer them with raisins and a firm filling, and the following recipe is the one I return to every time. It is from my mother’s old Purity Flour cookbook from the 1940’s. Butter tarts-1

 

2 eggs

2 cups brown sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar (I use cider vinegar)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups raisins (I use Thompson raisins)

Pastry (I use Glutino pastry mix)

Beat eggs only until whites and yolks are well blended. Beat in sugar and add vinegar and vanilla. Stir in the  melted butter and raisins.

Line tart tins with pastry and fill  1/2 to 2/3 full with butter mixture. Bake in hot (425 degree F) oven for the first 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to a moderate (350 degree F) and bake for 20 -25 minutes, or until filling is firm. Place tins on cooling rack.This recipe makes 24 small tarts or 12  2″-sized tarts.

Every time I bake a batch of these I remember back to the first summer of my  marriage. I had baked 4 dozen tarts in preparation for a family reunion the following day. After they were cooled and removed from the tins, I put them away and left home to go to my job. After my shift, I returned home to find DH and his friend sitting at the kitchen table happily munching their way through all four dozen tarts! Well, if that isn’t testimony to how good these are, I don’t know what is.

What ever you are doing this Labour Day, I hope it is something you love to do. Enjoy.

 

 

A Tale of Two Journeys

It had for many years been the dream of a DF to visit the country of her ancestors, the Ukraine. The opportunity arose this year when she was invited to join her Ukrainian immigrant friends on a visit to their homeland. Flights were booked, accommodations arranged and their three week journey began early in June.

My excitement for DF couldn’t have been greater and I am looking forward to hearing all about her adventures. Hopefully, she has taken hundreds of photos and kept a travel journal. Since I had just embarked on a journey of my own (making books), I thought she might like a “traveller’s notebook” style journal to encourage and help her along. There are dozens of ideas and tutorials available on Youtube about making travel journals, so after watching a few, I came up with the following.

The folio-style journal cover was made from an old hanging file folder covered with Tim Holtz’ “Eclectic Elements” fabric, chosen because of the map print.

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I added a Sizzix die cut to the inside cover for holding ticket stubs, stamps and other such snippets.

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Using cardstock and tea-dyed papers, I made three insert booklets. These were held in journal cover using elastic binding in a Midori style. I couldn’t stop  myself from inserting travel related quotes on several pages.

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Finally, I included a tag or two which DF could write on or use as book marks.Travel_journal-6

To my fellow Canadians: Happy Canada Day!