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Monday, July 30, 2012

Pickled Spiced Beets


  • 6 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs non-iodized salt (for pickling)
    2 Tbs ground cloves
  • 12 lbs beets

Combine all ingredients, except beets, in saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil and remove from heat.

I washed and boiled my beets for 25 minutes, drained, and placed in cold water.  This allows skins to easily slough off.  Fill canning jars with beets and top with the prepared liquid.  Process in water bath for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Digital Scrapbooking Series Tip #5

Today is the last day in my week-long scrapbooking series!
As stated before, these are the tips that have worked for ME!

I know there are brilliant scrappers who would probably offer different suggestions,
 but for this amateur digiscrapper the tips work:)

The final tip is:
DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #5:
STAY CURRENT

Somehow in our heads, we feel the need to scrap like it's our job.
"Oh my, the 4th of July was THREE weeks ago and I haven't scrapped them yet!
My boss is going to be SO mad I missed the deadline!"
Uhm, nope.
Not true.

Digital scrapbooking is supposed to be a FUN and CREATIVE way to capture your life!
Don't get stressed out by getting involved in 'real life' and falling behind with scrapbooking.


The layout above is part of my son's baby book;
and I haven't scrapped any other baby book pages since!
Even though my son is SEVEN and I've had two daughters since then:(
Of course I want to (eventually) do a baby book for my girls,
just like I will love to do a scrapbook of my wedding!
But I think it's a better plan to stay current!


DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #5:
STAY CURRENT

I really do find joy in digital scrapbooking and I think everyone should give it a try.

I hope that one (or all) of these simple digital scrapbooking tips will help you document your family's memories!







Thursday, July 26, 2012

Digital Scrapbooking Series Tip #4

I'm here to share my digiscrap tip of the day.

Today's tip has to do with filing.

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #4:
SAVE LAYOUTS WITH ORIGINAL PICTURES

When I first started scrapping, I made a file called "My DigiScrap Pages".
This worked fine for awhile; but then I got confused as to what I had already scrapbooked and what I hadn't!!!
(maybe I'm the only one with that poor of a memory!)

Eventually I came upon the solution for me;
I now save the finished layout with the original pictures!

In the folder below, I have all of my son's birthday pictures.
And right there with those darling pictures is a finished LO! (see the first thumbnail)
 Likewise, below is this year's Easter Weekend pictures...and some finished layouts:)


This filing system works great for me!
I know that if I want to find that LO of Christmas Eve, I should look in my 12/24 file!  
Easy Peezy!

There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule.
For instance, some LOs may have photos from several different dates!

In that case, I either copy & save the finished layout in ALL of the applicable date(s) files
OR
save them as a miscellaneous jpeg in my general picture file.

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #4:
SAVE LAYOUTS WITH ORIGINAL PICTURES

I hope that makes saving & searching your completed digiscrap projects easier!





Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Digital Scrapbooking Series Tip #3

This next tip is going to seem like a 'no-brainer'.
But it is one that I easily overlooked.

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #3:
STATE THE FACTS!
(a.k.a. journal!)

In the beginning of my scrapbooking journey, 
I got easily caught-up in all of the darling papers, elements, alphas, etc.  
It was so fun to manipulate them!  
Well, I would "waste" so much time playing around with the look of my page
that at the end I would just hurry and throw in my picture and call it good.
I SKIPPED JOURNALING!

In my mind I just didn't think about it.
And somehow I thought I'd ALWAYS remember the event 
that was important enough to document in the first place, right?
WRONG!

Some of my pages from 5 years ago don't even have the date!
-see example below-
Pathetic, I know.


I have recently tried making a conscious effort to put the 
Who, What, Where, & When  in my pages.

This really is a MUST for documenting your families' happenings.
Just think, 100 years from now we will not be around to monologue the background 
behind your cherished photo album.
Your great-grandson may not recognize your sister's blue eyes----
so label the photo and preserve your information!

In the LO below I have the essentials covered.

Who: my son
What: his Christmas Gifts
When: Christmas 2011 (although not a specific date, good enough)
Where: location of photo w/Santa


The page isn't screaming "informative" but it will be helpful at a future date:)

Here's the review:

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #3:
STATE THE FACTS!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Digital Scrapbooking Series Tip #2

Another thing I eventually learned with digital scrapbooking, is to use templates.

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #2:
USE TEMPLATES

Templates are the perfect jump-off point for beautiful layouts.
Templates are merely a digital layered sketch of what your LO could be.
A blank canvas for you to embellish:)

Here's an example of a template:

And here is the resulting layout:

See how I copied the basic "idea" of the LO but switched and added some embellishments?
The best part of templates is that you can quickly create & FINISH a page.
Typically in less than an HOUR!!!

Here is a great tutorial on how to use templates in 
Photoshop Elements (PSE).

***Sidenote***I think PSE is the most user-friendly program for beginners.
Plus, there are TONS of tutorials & videos on how to utilize PSE.
You can download a free PSE trial here.


Finally, here are a list of websites that have some fantastic free templates to download:

That should keep you busy for awhile!

But you will be amazed at how many pages come up 
on a Google search for "free digital scrapbooking templates"!

So there it is.
DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #2:
USE TEMPLATES

Utilize (and then re-utilitze!) the power and simplicity of templates!
Great result with limited effort!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Digital Scrapbooking Tip Series Day #1

I've been dabbling with digital scrapbooking for the last few years and I really enjoy it!
However, I've definitely learned some tips along the way, so I thought I'd share them with you this week.
This is what has worked for me:)

DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #1:
LIMIT YOUR COLLECTIONS

I used to download EVERY free digiscrap element, alpha, & kit available.
They were free, right?!
I would use them someday, right?!

Well, what I quickly realized is that I was filling my external hard drive with random pieces in totally different styles---none of them really went together so it was hard to compose a stylish layout (LO).

Well, not anymore:)
I eventually  found an artist/team that I really loved....Shabby Princess (SP).
I loved how my layouts were turning out with their products,
and so I decided to trash all my other random collections and focus on SP!



From then on, I have only purchased/downloaded from SP.
It is so convenient having ALL of my digital scrapbooking supplies coordinate since they are the same genre. 

The 'heartfelt' and 'gracie' kits are just two example of SP products,
 but see how their elements can easily compliment one another?!

I am definitely not saying Shabby Princess is the ONLY great digital scrapbook supplier.
But they fit MY style the best:)
Check out their great blog, too!


My take-away tip is to find the artist/team that you most admire and stick with them!
If you try to mix up shabby, modern, and realistic elements into one LO it will only frustrate your digital scrapbooking endeavors.

So remember:
DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING TIP #1:
LIMIT YOUR COLLECTIONS
It's Overflowing

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rah-Rah Skirt Tutorial


 Some of my high school career was spent as a cheerleader; or as we said, "Rah Rahs"!

I wanted to make a skirt for my 'peppy' 3-yr-old and constructed this simple pleated skirt 
that is so quick & fun to make, you will shout, "Go Fight Win"!

Start by cutting some slightly angled strips.
I didn't worry too much about width, but I came up with the length by adding 3" to the desired finished length. (2" for waistband and 1" for hem).

Cut enough strips that the width X strips= >waist size.
 Sew those angled strips together.
I did two red, then 1 blue---repeat.
This pattern works best to showcase the pleats, as you'll see in a minute.
 Leave the panel flat at this point, this will make it easier to form your pleats.
You can sew the two ends together later.
I promise it WILL end up looking like a skirt eventually:)
 Straighten up the waistband & hemline by trimming off the excess fabric.
 Now you need to decide how far down from the waistband that you want your pleats to start.
It's all personal preference really.
I wanted a lot of the contrast/blue fabric to show, so I only went down 6". 
(Keep in mind that you will still subtract 2" for the waistband.)

Mark your measurement clearly.



 Now you will be matching the markings together; this will essentially "hide" your contrast fabric by matching up the two red seams.
Place a pin where you want your pleat to stop so you know where to stop sewing.
 Once you have sewn down to the pin, you are going to press open your pleat.
You could also trim off the excess fabric, but I like the weight of having the extra fabric at the waistband.
 Repeat the steps and press all pleats flat.

 Make a stitch to secure the pleats. 
 This stitch also shows on the outside of the skirt.

 You also want to baste the top of the waistband, so as to hold the pleats in place.
At this point, you can sew the two last panels together---forming your skirt!
 Double fold and press to form your waistband.
Sew down, leaving a 1" opening to thread elastic.

 Once your waistband is completed, press and sew your hemline.
FINISHED!
This is what the skirt will look like from the inside.
This is the darling skirt on my "cheery" model:)

I love that the pleats give such a full skirt!
Lots of movement for cheering on the fans.

 And, of course, this girl has LOTS of fans:)
The skirt really did look great paired with her faux applique t-shirt.
Try this "rah-rah" skirt out for you little sweetheart. 
Or for yourself!

Super fun and NO TRYOUTS REQUIRED!
Yep, that makes me cheer:)

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mad Hatter Birthday Tea Party

Who doesn't love the whimsy & fun of a Mad Hatter Tea Party?
My dear friend Amanda took the theme to a beautiful extreme 
for her daughter, Chloe's, twelfth birthday party.

And I, luckily, got to take some photos of the amazing event:)
When I look at the picture above, I seriously want to jump into that Wonderland and live there forever!
 Darling signs that said "Yonder", "Wonderland", "Tea Party", etc. lined the long driveway...inviting guests to enter into the magical backyard setting.
 Amanda specializes in the details; that's what makes her such an amazing hostess!
Just check out the assortment of glass jars filled with candy.
That's a 12-yr-old girl's dream!
 The tea party was set on the walk-out basement patio.
Such a great use of the deck rafters above!
 
 The table was gracefully adorned with both colorful ornaments and tasty food!
 The Mad Hatter's hat as the centerpiece took my breath away!

I also love the over-sized pocket watch and the real potted flowers.

 The personalized invitation and these elegant printables were purchased from this Etsy shop.

 Great mismatch of colors, lanterns, pom-poms, and pennants.
Yum.

 The crocheted white doilies dressed-up the back of basic chairs.
Super smart & economical!



 Amanda got the two golden velvet chairs that flanked the table ends from a YARD SALE!
She also collected the tea cups, saucers, & embroidered doilies from yard sales & estate sales.

So prim & prissy I could cry tears of joy:)
 Fun-colored cake pops.
 Wonderfully wrapped cupcakes.
 And even a special guest appearance by the Cheshire Cat in the gift area:)

Every detail of this Mad Hatter Tea Party was beautifully executed 
and I am so happy I got to participate!

How lucky am I to have such a talented & inspirational friend like Amanda?!

Thanks for letting me witness this happy Wonderland!