31 October 2008


These are the most awesome sandwich cookies ever~

I was first introduced to alfajores  by my Mother-in-Law, who brings a box with her every time she visits from Argentina.  My husbands favorite are the Jorgito brand, which are very soft and cake like.  They have a slight citrus flavor, a generous serving of Dulce de Leche and are covered with powdered sugar.  I really, really liked these alfajores.  

In 2005, we traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to visit family.  While on this trip we traveled four hours to Mar del Plata, which is where my husband used to spend his summer vacations as a child.  While visiting this coastal town we played on the beach (scared the locals with our pasty white skin), saw a real gaucho, ate amazing pastries every morning and sampled quite a few versions of this treat called alfajore!  I had two favorites as we headed back for Buenos Aires.  The first was coated in dark chocolate and the second was actually called a "Conito" and was only one layer of cookie with a swirl of Dulce de Leche that was covered with dark chocolate.  

This homemade version of the cookies is really, really good! I've made them quite a few times and they have always been a big hit.


15 T Unsalted Butter, room temp
1 Sugar
1 Egg, room temp
2 Egg yolks, room temp
5 C All Purpose Flour
4 T Honey
1/2 T Baking Soda
2 T Baking Powder
1/2 T Vanilla

1 Jar Dulce de Leche (spreadable) **

3 C Chocolate candy coating**

Cream butter, sugar, egg, yolks, honey and vanilla in mixer using the whisk attachment.

In another bowl mix flour, baking soda & baking powder; slowly add the flour mixture into butter mixture working the dough until it is smooth then let it rest for 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4" thickness and cut with circle cutter (this dough tends to stick to the board and the rolling pin quite easily, just piece the dough back together and keep rolling it out). 

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes at 350 degrees until they are golden brown. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Spread a layer of dulce de leche onto one cookie and sandwich with another cookie.

Melt the candy coating in the microwave starting at 1 minute and then stirring very well. Move to 30 second intervals making sure to stir well.**

Drop each sandwich cookie into the melted chocolate and then let the chocolate set.


**You can make this with 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. Boil the unopened can of milk for 30- 60 minutes making sure to keep the can covered with the boiling water.  This Dulce de Leche is really good and gives a bit of a crunch to it in the cookie sandwich.  Making the Dulce de Leche this way is said to be dangerous as the can might explode.  Do NOT open the can while it is still hot.  I have used both versions of Dulce de Leche and find the convienience of the store bought spreadable version much easier.**

**when working with the candy melts, know that they maintain their shape even when they melt so you have to be very careful to stir well in between each melting cycle.

29 October 2008


This is one of the first cards I made when I got my UPS box full of new catalog goodies.  I stamped the butterflies in pink for the first layer and then I hand cut three more stamped butterflies and sponged the edges with chocolate chip ink to help them stand out a bit more.  I rolled the wings around a pencil to give them some shape and then I used STAMPIN' DIMENSIONALS to adhere them to the base layer.  This card was super easy to make, just a little time consuming on the trimming.  I hope you enjoy it!

Supplies Needed ~

Stamp Sets : Dreams du Jour, Heard From the Heart
Card Stock: Chocolate Chip, Pink Pirouette, Whisper White
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Pink Pirouette


Designer Series Paper ~ Bella Rose


I was just tagged by my friend Alice which is her way of saying " I love your blog!  Happy Autumn!"  The rules are that I am to post a Fall photo and then tag a site that I like.  You can visit Alice's blog here.   Alice is beyond creative and is always ready to give encouragement or advice.  The rules of the tag are that I have to post a Fall photo and then tag a site that I like. 

I am going to tag Jill's Card Creations, you can visit her blog here.  I love going to Jill's site and seeing what she has been up to. 

28 October 2008


How many items can I make with one SCRAPPIN' KIT?

I have been playing today, trying to figure out how many things I can make with one SIMPLY SCRAPPIN' KIT from Stampin' UP!  Well, I've only made three items and I've only barely touched the materials provided.  I think this is going to end up being a week long project.  I found the instructions for the 12 x 12 bag on Angie Juda's site
Select the link for Stamping Academy and then go to the archives shown on the left side of the page and select May 08', there you will find a fantastic tutorial for making the bag.  I haven't decided yet if the two boxes will be for cards or for recipes.  


Cut desired card stock to 7 3/4" x 10"
Score at 1", 6 3/4" & 4 1/2", 5 1/2"

Cut score marks at the 4 1/2" & 5 1/2" to the crease as shown below.

Lid measurements are 5" x 5 5/8"
Score at 2", 3" on the short side.

Use STICKY STRIP to adhere the lid to the inside of the box.

All materials, unless otherwise stated, are from the I WISH, SIMPLY SCRAPPIN' KIT from Stampin' UP!
**I used a frame from HODGEPODGE HARDWARE and SILVER BRADS on the bag and velcro circles to help keep the boxes closed.**

Thanks for looking!

27 October 2008


I was given this recipe from a friend who found it on-line somewhere.  I love this bread, it is always a hit and it's super easy to make!


1 T Yeast
1 T Sugar
1 C Warm Water
1 T Unsalted Butter, melted
1 t Salt
2 1/2 C Bread Flour
1 T Chopped Fresh Rosemary

Place warm water, yeast and sugar into a large bowl.  Mix lightly.  Let the mixture sit for five minutes in bowl to proof.

Once the mixture has proofed add in melted butter, salt, rosemary and 2 cups of flour.  Mix in the bowl with a wooden spoon until well blended, then turn out the dough onto a floured surface (using the remaining 1/2 C flour) and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Punch down dough and let sit for five minutes.  Divide the dough in half and shape into round loaves, tucking the ends under.  Place on oiled cookie sheet and let rise for 45 minutes.  

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Brush top with butter and sprinkle with salt.

**You can use a mixer to knead the bread, just let the yeast mixture proof in the mixing bowl for five minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.  Add the last 1/2 cup of flour a little at a time and watch the dough.  When it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl or the dough hook, it is ready to rise for the first time.**

**I have made this bread without rosemary, with a three cheese blend and with an Italian herb blend and it has tasted great each time. **

**If you want a crispy crust, leave the bread in the oven about five minutes longer.**
**If you do not add the salt, the bread will be sweet.**

**I've messed this recipe up too many times to count and it still turns out great! **

Have fun!

Sitting with my friends learning how to assemble the altered notebook.

From left to right: Kim, Whitney, Diana & Sylvia

My favorite project was this card.  The technique is faux silk and it was unexpectedly easy.  My group had this project first and looking at the card that was placed on the table as an example,  I thought it would be difficult and was pleasantly surprised.  My friend Doris taught this project.  The "silk" is actually tissue paper that you stamp your images onto and then crinkle up.  Using your glue stick you completely coat whatever sized whisper white card stock you are using and then open the tissue paper (not trying to smooth it out) and then pat it down onto the card stock.  While patting the tissue down it was like watching magic, the silk look just happened.  This technique is super cool!





26 October 2008

Halloween Treat Box

I saw a gift box just like this at our annual group meeting and just had to come home and make one for myself.  I didn't have much to go on as far as instructions went so I learned as I went along.


Take a 12 x 12 piece of card stock and score it at 4" and 8" on both sides.  Fold along score lines.  I scored the four outer squares from inner to outer corners using a ruler and my bone folder.  I folded those to crease in towards the center of the box.  Once you have the crease formed take your 1/4" circle punch and punch through the the corner as shown in the photo below.

Start bringing the corners in towards one another.

This is what it should look like from the side.

Run a ribbon (I used a ribbon I had on hand from a craft store trip last year) through the holes that were punched out and tie.  Try not to pull too tight so there is about a 1" space between points.

This is what the box should look like from the side.

I used the Skull from the JUST JAWING stamp set for two of the sides.  I sponged the edges with BASIC BLACK INK.

I used GHOSTLY GREETINGS DESIGNER SERIES PAPER, white mulberry paper, a bat made using the SCALLOP SQUARE PUNCH and the ghost from the BATTY FOR YOU stamp set for the remaining two sides.

I decorated the box with the artificial spider web material and little spider rings that my friend gave me last week as well as a cute little pom pom spider with googlie eyes.  I filled the box with tootsie rolls and starburst and am now eagerly waiting to deliver it!

Supplies Needed ~

Stamp Sets: Just Jawing, Batty for you
Card Stock: Only Orange, Whisper White, Basic Black
Ink: Basic Black


Scalloped Square Punch
1/4" Circle Punch
Ghostly Greetings Designer Series Paper
Mulberry Paper*
Tombow Multi-Purpose Adhesive
Chunky Essentials Black Glitter
Boo Ribbon*
Artificial Spider Web with spider rings*
Pom-Pom Spider*
White Gel pen
Bone folder

* ~ not Stampin' Up! Product


I had a great time participating in this card swap.  So many creative people in one little room with only an hour to chat about cards.  I could have stayed in the room for hours sharing ideas.  I can't wait to sign up for another swap!

**I will post photos of the group meeting projects tomorrow**

Swap created by ~ Denise D.

Swap created by ~ Deborah H.

Swap created by ~ Sylvia C.

Swap created by ~ Heather M.

Swap created by ~ Geri L.

Swap created by ~ Kim M.

Swap create by ~ Pat N.

Swap create by ~ Alice H.

Swap created by ~ unknown

Swap created by ~ Doris D.

 Swap created by ~ Beverly M.

 Swap created by ~ Lisa C.

 Swap created by ~ Jenifer L.

 Swap created by ~ Francine W.

24 October 2008


Tomorrow is our Annual Group Meeting and I have signed up to participate in my first card swap.  While looking at my favorite blogs, I came across a couple techniques that I really liked.  I started playing with my supplies and created the card pictured above.  I found instructions for the large scalloped square mask on Jill's Card Creations at www.jill031070.blogspot.com and I found a card that had a vase on it at www.carriestamps.com/weblog/

I love this card!  I made the large scalloped square using the mask I referenced above which is made using the Scallop Square Punch.  I made the vase using the Small Oval Punch.  I used a 1" strip of Bella Rose Designer Series Paper and lined it up so that one edge was right at the edge of the oval.  I coated the vase with Crystal Effects and let it dry for about an hour.  I attached the vase to the card and drew the stem and leaf using my Stampin' Write Marker.  I made the flower using the Boho Blossoms Punch, I cut each petal in towards the center about an 1/8" of an inch and then used the rounded end of the White Gel Pen to shape the flower.  I used a Brad for the center of the flower and pushed the tabs of the brad up to help the flower hold shape.  To attach the flower to the card I used a Stampin' Dimensional.  Using the same flower punch, I made the heart that is on the vase.  I just cut it into quarters.  I applied the heart to the vase using a very small dot of Tombow Multi Purpose Adhesive.   I coated the heart with Crystal Effects and let it dry.  Once everything was dry I stamped the phrase and the card was finished.

Supply List:

Stamp Set:  Inspired by Nature
Card Stock: Very Vanilla & Riding Hood Red
Ink/ Stampin' Write Marker: Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive

Apricot Appeal Brad
Designer Series Paper ~ Bella Rose
Boho Blossoms Punch
1/16" Circle Handheld Punch
Small Oval Punch
Crystal Effects
Stampin' Dimensionals
Tombow Multi-Purpose Adhesive
Snail Adhesive
White Gel Pen ~ for shaping the flower
Oreo Truffles

This is the best dessert EVER!!!

This recipe evaded me for some time.  I had gone to dessert/art event at my eldest daughters school almost seven years ago to this day.  I was pregnant with my youngest and was really loving these amazing chocolate covered, chocolate filled delicacies.  I searched and searched in vain for the wonderful parent who had created them.  Almost six months later, at a command function with my husband, I was happily surprised to find them sitting on the dessert table.  I was able to get the recipe that day and have been making them ever since.  I have made these for many different events and they have always been a crowd pleaser.  I have to warn you chocolate lovers out there, who lack self control like I do, you really can eat a whole batch of these.   I have done it!

PKG Regular Oreos - crushed like dirt*
1 8 oz PKG Cream Cheese - softened**

PKG Wilton Dark Chocolate Candy Melts
1/4 PKG Wilton White Chocolate Candy Melts

Mix the crushed Oreos with the softened cream cheese until well blended and you cannot see cream cheese anywhere.  Roll into 1" balls and refrigerate for only 1 hour.  If you leave the truffles in the refrigerate too long the chocolate coating will crack and form moisture on the outside.  If you do go over an hour try to let the truffles sit out on the counter to bring the temperature up a little.

**I use a 2 Tablespoon sized cookie scoop to make the truffles uniform**

When the hour is up: 

Chocolate Coating

Melt chocolate in microwave.  For a whole bag start at 30 seconds on high, stir and melt in 15 second intervals until chocolate is smooth.  

Take rolled truffles out of the refrigerator and one at a time drop into the chocolate, roll until completely covered and then place on parchment paper.  

Let truffles sit at least 30 minutes at room temp for chocolate to harden.  If it is hot and muggy it may take more than 30 minutes.  You can test the chocolate by touching with your finger.  If you leave fingerprints, you must pick the truffle up and eat it.  I repeat this step every 15 minutes until the chocolate is set.  Did I mention I am in Florida?  Did I mention that I can eat a whole batch?  I make sure I turn the AC down on truffle making days...  You can also put truffles in the refrigerator for 5 - 10 minutes and they will set quite nicely.  

White Chocolate Drizzle Topping

Melt 1/4 pkg of white chocolate in microwave.  Start at 15 seconds on high and then move on to 10 second intervals on medium high.  Be extra careful on watching the vanilla while melting it down because it burns very easily.

Spoon the melted vanilla into freezer type of zip lock bag.  Try to move chocolate to one corner and get as much air out as possible.  Twist the end (like a pastry cream bag) and cut a very small section of the corner off.  Drizzle the white chocolate over the truffles and let set.  The white chocolate does not take as long to set.

**Store in refrigerator until ready to serve**

Helpful Hints

*when I first started making these I used the bottom of a drinking glass covered drinking glass and a large mixing bowl to obtain the dirt like consistency since then I have moved on up to the food processor which makes the task soooooo much easier.

**the recipe calls for regular cream cheese but I have found that the 1/3 less fat is easier to work with and tastes just as good.

***when working with the candy melts, know that they maintain their shape even when they melt so you have to be very careful to stir well in between each melting cycle.

****you can use chocolate chips if you prefer, melting 12 oz as you would the candy melts but you will have to add 2 Tablespoons of Crisco to the chocolate and stir well to incorporate.  If you do use chocolate chips as your coating, know that the truffles take a long time to set.


22 October 2008


I made this card at my friend Lisa's card class.  Even being a demonstrator I love going to this particular class each month.  I get to be with my friends, who I adore.  I get to see examples of cards that I would not think of making.  This class is awesome!  You walk into the workshop and can't help but be amazed at the set up and the professionalism.  There are always tons of example cards to re-create or get ideas from.  I was walking through the room checking out the samples and I came across this card (it caught my eye right away and I just had to make it).  

 I have absolutely no idea how this owl won me over (I hate birds!  I know, I know, hate is a strong word.  Birds of any kind truly scare me half to death when they come anywhere near me.) but it did and I love it!  

How to make this card:

Stamp Set:  Owl Together Now
Card Stock: Basic Black, Old Olive & Pumpkin Pie
Ink: Basic Black, Close to Cocoa, Old Olive, Bashful Blue & Pumpkin Pie


Aqua Painter
1 1/4" Square Punch

**This card requires very little in supplies but takes a bit of time because of the coloring involved ~ It took me an hour and 15 minutes to make four**

21 October 2008

Ghosting Gift Box and Boo Card

**I am new to blogging ~ if my measurements or instructions are confusing, please forgive me and then let me know so I can try to improve**

I made the ghosting gift box using the same pattern idea as the Halloween Treat Box which is  listed below.  I changed the measurements to make the box a bit larger and a bit deeper.  I measured the box at 3 1/4" x 4 1/2" and then added 2 inches to all four sides in order to make the box 1 inch deep.  The starting measurement was then 7 1/4" x 8 1/2"; scoring at 1" and 2" on all four sides.    The lid measured at 4 1/2" x 9 1/2"; scoring at 3 1/4,  4 1/4,  7 1/2,  8 1/2.  This treat box held three long tootsie rolls, two Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, two Kit Kat bars and three Hershey bars.  (All the candy bars were the Halloween sized treats)

This Treat Box was made with:

Stamp Set: Batty for You
Card Stock: Basic Black
Ink: White Craft 
Mulberry Paper
Designer Series Paper ~ Ghostly Greetings
Sticky Strip

Halloween Treat Box

I saw this treat box over on Catchin' the Stampin' Wave's blog at http://stmprdee.blogspot.com and just had to make it.  The instructions are great  and very precise on CTSW's blog so I figured it would be best if I give you the URL and the date it was posted on which is...  Thursday, Oct 2, 2008.  

The treat box shown above holds 8 mini Hershey's candy bars.  I am running low on my Designer Series Paper which is why I did not wrap the individual bars.  

The bat was made by folding the scalloped square in half diagonally and smoothing with bone folder.  Make a 1/2 inch cut with paper snips with your starting point at about 1/4 of an inch in on each side.  Cut at an angle ~ aiming for a little higher than the center point of the side you are cutting towards.  Once you have made these cuts, fold the flaps up and smooth with bone folder to make the ears.  Flip the bat over and draw the eyes ~ I used the white gel pen and a black sharpie to make the eyes.

Sticky Strip is a must for this box ~ 

This treat box was made with:

Stamp Set:  Batty for You

Card Stock: Basic Black, Elegant Eggplant & Tangerine Tango

Ink / Stampin' Write: Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant & Tangerine Tango

 Designer Series Paper ~ Ghostly Greetings
1/4 " Old Olive Grosgrain Ribbon
Scalloped Circle Punch
Scalloped Square Punch
1 3/8" Circle Punch
White Gel Pen
Sticky Strip

20 October 2008

Upsy Daisy Sweet Sunrise Card

I saw a few cards like this on splitcoaststampers.com and fell in love with the look.  I swear every time I see a card I must make, I am missing a key tool or element.  This card had me searching for a brayer which was not to be found so I improvised and used my ink pad and just ran it over the card stock until I reached a color I liked.  I am really loving the silhouette stamps that SU offers, they are great as stand alone stamps and they are even better when combined!  I started with Summer Sun card stock and masked the sun with a 1" circle that I made using the 1" Circle Punch and a little bit of Dotto to hold it in place.  Once you have created the background that you love you ink up your Upsy Daisy stamp with Basic Black ink.  Ink it heavily so that you get a solid black image on your sunrise.  This card is pretty easy to make and very eye catching.  I hope you enjoy!

This card was made with the following items:

Stamp Set: Upsy Daisy

Card Stock: Summer Sun, Basic Black and Tangerine Tango

Ink: Only Orange, Tangerine Tango, Real Red and Basic Black


White Gel Pen (to outline the sun)

My first blog card...

I made this card with my friend Whitney last Friday while prepping for a demonstrator workshop at her house.  We used STAZ ON ink on watercolor paper.  I used Stampin' UP! Watercolor Pencils and the blender pen to color in the image.  We used white puffy craft paint from a local craft store to create the snow covering the tree and the porch.  We coated the puffy paint with SU Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter and then used a blow drier to help dry it as well as get the paint to puff up a bit.  

The card is layered using the following SU items:

Stamp Set: Home for Christmas (holiday mini catalog, pg. 22)

Card Stock: Whisper White (Base of card), Chocolate Chip & Real Red

Ink: Chocolate Chip, STAZ ON


Watercolor Paper
Watercolor Pencils
Blender Pen
Real Red Brads
Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter
Felt ribbon from Alpine set (holiday mini catalog, pg.23)
Designer Series Paper from Simply Scrappin' kit ~ I Wish

Puffy Fabric Paint from local craft store.