Monday, March 24, 2008

A Redbird Christmas



I finished this book several weeks ago and didn't mention it here. I was reading this while reading The Book Thief. I never finished The Book Thief. I made it about 150 pages in and just couldn't get into the book. It started to improve before that, thus why I made it as far as I did.

Onto this book. Very early on in the book I was laughing when the doctor inquired of Oswald how the news of his needing to leave Chicago or he wouldn't survive another winter affected him. I could relate Oswald to a friend I used to work with that was rather crusty so I found him to be a hoot. Jack, the redbird, was fun to read of his antics in the store and things he did that annoyed customers. Patsy was endearing and it was wonderful the way she was taken in and they hid her from authorities, even though they caught on early on and ignored it. The relationship of Patsy with Jack was sweet and when she left to have her surgery, the way she needed to see Jack to go and do well, it reminded me of the movie The Last Leaf. It was magical that there was a flock of redbirds when she needed to continue to thrive. It was great in the end that Oswald's health improved too. I found how he got his name to be humorous as well.

Once again, I enjoyed the way Flagg made the characters come to life and being able to identify to so many of them and how they interacted with one another. Another wonderful book.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

By Ones & By Twos


Someone I know had twins a few weeks ago and they came home from the hospital this past week. I finally bought some diapers and a couple of outfits yesterday for them. She had a girl and a boy. I recently ordered this set from Stampin' Up! because I know several ladies that are pregnant with twins and I was excited for the verses and congratulations. How cool that they have something for adoption in the set too.

I had this sketch idea the other day when I was working on something else. It adapts something I did several years ago. I would like the panel that is placed on top of the three rows to be a little longer, but overall, I really like this card. I never envisioned using the onesie that is in this set, but it is fun to use with the DP.

Stamps: By Ones & By Twos
CS: VV, Pretty in Pink, Barely Banana, Certainly Celery, Pretty in Pink, Bashful Blue, DP
Ink: Regal Rose, Certainly Celery, Brocade Blue, Barely Banana, Pretty in Pink, Bashful Blue
Misc: Brads; black, pretty in pink, certainly celery, barely banana markers; dimensionals

Pretty Peony


In the last week or so, I've come up with several sketch ideas. I tried one of them with the peony set but my main image was really too big to make it happen. It took me a couple of days to get this card done. I think I would like it better if I had a small amount of the groovy guava showing on the right side and bottom of the main image. It still is pretty but it looks out of balance to me.

Stamps: Pretty Peony, Linen, Sanded, Floral
CS: Really Rust, Groovy Guava, Wild Wasabi
Ink: Really Rust, Groovy Guava, Wild Wasabi
Misc: Groovy Guava ribbon, clear dew drops

Friday, March 7, 2008

Mademoiselle Boleyn


This book was a really quick read and unlike other books I've read as of late, flowed very easily. Having enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl by Gregory so much, this appealed to me and I wasn't disappointed. It is clear that Maxwell and Gregory have different points of view from their research, of which I don't have much of a background other than what Wikipedia offers. What I enjoyed about this book is that it takes us to Anne's younger years while she served in the French Court. One thing that is worth mentioning is that while Maxwell could have been much more descriptive or graphic in the goings of Francois, I appreciated that it was made clear enough without having it spelled out for the reader.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Homemade Caramel Corn 'n Nuts



A friend of mine made this popcorn at Christmas time and I just got the recipe from her and made it this week (minus the nuts). I love this caramel corn because it doesn't break your teeth. The recipe actually comes from Land O Lakes.

HOMEMADE CARAMEL CORN 'N NUTS


Preparation time: 45 min Baking time: 45 min
Yield: 18 cups

20
cups popped popcorn
2
cups firmly packed brown sugar
1
cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2
cup dark corn syrup
1/2
teaspoon salt
1/2
teaspoon baking soda
1
cup salted mixed nuts

Heat oven to 200°. Place popcorn in large ungreased roasting pan; set aside.

Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil (12 to 14 minutes). Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 238°F or small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a soft ball (4 to 6 minutes).

Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Carefully (mixture will be hot)pour over popcorn; sprinkle nuts over caramel mixture. Stir until well coated.

Bake for 20 minutes; stir. Continue baking for 25 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately place caramel corn on waxed paper. Cool completely. Break into pieces. Store in container with tight-fitting lid.


Nutrition Facts (1/2 cup): Calories: 140, Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 130mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Dietary Fiber: 0g, Protein: 1g
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