Thursday, September 30, 2010

From The Cabbage Patch

We had (correction, make that have) several bags of shredded coleslaw mix hanging around since our party last Saturday, so last night I decided to use up one of them and make bierocks. They're meat pies that originated in Eastern Europe and are also known as runzas:


I'd made these a few years ago and liked them a lot, but I just hadn't gotten around to trying them again until now. Some recipes start with frozen bread dough, although I prefer to make my dough from scratch. I had planned on doing the latter and mixed together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Then I scalded the milk, water, and shortening.

It wasn't until after I'd done all this, of course, that I discovered I was out of eggs. Doh! By the time I ran a couple of errands (during which I was going to let the dough rise), it was too late to do things the "long" way. Steve plays billiards on Wednesday nights, so I had to get dinner on the table in under an hour. Instead, I took a suggestion from an Allrecipes.com review and used two tubes of Pillsbury Crusty French Bread. It worked like a charm and these went together pretty quickly. Thank goodness for the doughboy!

Thought I'd post the recipe in case you want to give it a try:

Bierocks (Meat Turnovers)

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs

1 pound lean ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chopped cabbage
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In a large mixing bowl, place 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Heat milk, water, and shortening to 120-130 degrees F. Pour over flour mixture; add the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low until blended. Beat 3 additional minutes on high. Stir in the remaining flour; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, brown beef, onions, and garlic in a skillet. Add the cabbage, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper; cook until cabbage is wilted. Punch dough down; roll into twelve 6-inch squares. Top each square with 1/3 cup meat mixture. Fold into triangles. Pinch edges tightly to seal, and place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes: As I mentioned above, I used two tubes of Pillsbury Crusty French Bread unrolled, flattened, and divided each tube into 8 squares with a pizza cutter. (I made my bierocks in squares rather than rectangles.)

For the cabbage, I substituted one 14-ounce bag of shredded coleslaw mix. This makes it extra cabbage-y, but I like it that way. I put 1/4 cup of filling in each bierock before pinching the edges closed. I did have extra filling, which I promptly devoured by itself as the bierocks were baking.

* * *

I'm heading to Cleveland this evening for the Adventures In Stamping show in Strongsville on Saturday, so I'll "see" you back here again next week.

If you're attending the convention, stop by the demo table and mention the secret phrase "Daisy Kit" to me. I've still got a few of these left, and I'd love to give you one as a thank you for reading the blog and visiting in person!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Party Time

On Saturday, we held a picnic open house to celebrate our marriage in May since we'd had a really small wedding. Steve's parents both have six siblings, so he has a large family. His cousin, Bret, asked to have his picture taken with his "new" cousin:


And then he wanted one with his "old" cousin:


(Okay, I added the "new" and "old" parts, LOL!)

We had a ton of food:


(Oh, and did I mention leftovers? My estimation skills when it comes to party planning are clearly lacking, as I think we had enough to feed twice the number of people who were there.)

Besides food, there was also plenty of socializing:


We lucked out because it rained in the morning, but the weather did end up clearing in the afternoon. Although it was a little chilly toward the evening, the sun poked its head through the clouds for most of the time.

I thought you might be especially interested in seeing one of the lovely cards we received:


Yup, this was hand-drawn by Ronnie Walter herself! It's a great rendition of me and Steve, don't you think:


The envelope even had a coordinating seal on the back:


And there was a "perfect" saying on the inside:


Now I think I'll go have some potato salad and cole slaw for lunch. Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cosmetic Car

Steve and I are hosting a gathering at our home tomorrow, so last night we went to pick up party supplies at a store in Minneapolis. We saw this car in the parking lot, and I had to take a few pictures to show you:


Take a gander at these lipsticks and mirrors:


I love the door handle detail, too:


"Pretty" fun, don't you think? (LOL, groan...you know how goofy I get with the puns.) Hope you have a great weekend, lovely Inky blog friends!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Magbooks Have Arrived

If you've been waiting patiently for us to receive our backorder of Magnetic Storage Books from QuicKutz (now called Lifestyle Crafts), I'm excited to let you know that we got a partial shipment this week! We only have a couple dozen of these and won't get more for about another month, so if you want any please order 'em now.

These things are fantastic, and I love mine for storing Nestabilities. When closed, they measure approximately 1/2" thick:


But when you open them up, their real usefulness shines. You can store 5-8 complete sets in each one, depending on what shapes your dies are:


I know many people make their own magnetic storage system using CD cases. I'm sure that works well, too, but what I like about these guys is how you can put coordinating die sets in the same book. When I use my circle Nesties, for example, I don't pull out only one set of circles; I grab the large and small circle sets plus the large and small scalloped circle sets. Since all of them fit into a single book, I just open it up and I've got easy access to all of them at a glance. How nice is that!

No matter what magnetic storage you use, you might also find this handy: the Magnetic Wand. It grabs just the die you need...no more chipping or hitting the quick of your fingernails. (Ouch.)

Okay, advertisement is over, LOL. Just wanted to let you know because I've had several questions at shows about when these will be available again. I said I'd post on the blog when they were here. And here they are!

Monday, September 20, 2010

...And Now It's Gone

The rest of the weekend at ScrapFest came and went in a flash. On Saturday while we were doing make & takes, Ruthie spotted this giant shark and we chased him down so I could add to my "photos with mascots" collection:


I had a class in the afternoon and Jan & I went to a crop that night. But what girly weekend would be complete without a makeover? Since we were at the mall, a few of us had to get that done! Michelle's session was at the MAC counter:


Afterward, we met Tim and Mario to say hello with our freshly applied faces:


On Sunday morning, several of us got the opportunity to attend Tim's class:


Check out how many people there were:


Even though there were lots of students, Tim and his trusty helpers were continually walking around to provide assistance to anyone who needed it. He also had step-by-step pictures posted on the giant screens, and he explained things so well that it never felt like the class was that large:


We created a mini album with Journaling Tickets and Film Strip Ribbon as some of the inside pages:


The rest of the inside pages were made from the Lost & Found Paper Stack folded so they contained pockets:


The grungeboard covers were embossed with the Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folder in Regal Flourish. We inked them with the Distress Pads using a Blending Tool and added cool embellishments, such as the Time Pieces, Game Spinners, Locket Keys, and a Swivel Clasp with a Type Charm. My favorite detail was the Word Key, which was inserted between the pages and two 1/2" book rings:


If you're interested in working with any of the products shown here, you can find them on the Stampers Anonymous website. I've also added a bunch of BRAND NEW accessories that have just arrived, including holiday-themed Tissue Tapes, Texture Fades Folders, and Sizzix Dies in addition to all-occasion embellishments (such as Baubles, Facets, and more Accoutrements).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Scrapfest Is Here

Yesterday I picked up Michelle from the airport. We went to the Mall of America and met Jan, Ruthie, and Dawn to get our registration badges for ScrapFest. After dinner at Bubba Gump's, I had to get my picture taken with the giant shrimp:


Today I took two classes and did a few make & takes. The most interesting part of the day, however, was watching Tim Holtz demo several different techniques using his Stampers Anonymous stamps and Ranger & Idea-ology products. As you can see, I wasn't the only one who was inspired and entertained:


Even though it's not Inky-related, I wanted to show you one of the projects he made for us. (Well, technically I guess it is Inky-related since Stampers Anonymous, as you know, is one of our sister companies.)

Sidenote: Please excuse some of my blurry photos. I'm still trying to figure out the best settings to use on my phone's camera, and apparently I haven't mastered that yet! Tim does have an excellent video of this technique, called Dabber Resist, on his website. But the tag he created for us this afternoon had a unique embellishment, which I thought you might like to see.

He started by applying acrylic paint with the Adirondack Paint Dabber in Snowcap on a stamp from his CMS089 Bitty Grunge cling mount set:


After stamping it onto a manila tag, he used the Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool to apply various colors of his Distress Ink Pads:


See how the stamped part resists the ink:


The Paint Dabbers work like magic to keep the Distress Ink from staying on the image. The contrast is even greater when a cloth is rubbed over the area:


Next Tim stamped again over the tag...even the "resisted" part:


He rubbed the cloth over it again:


It's a bit hard to see, but if you view the photo carefully you can tell how the rings appear to be masked behind the rays on the bottom of the tag:


Neat, huh? He used an Archival Black Pad to stamp the umbrella man from CMS063 Mini Muse, and then he stamped alphabet type (which was inked very lightly) from CMS090 Going Somewhere:


Here was the part where he made the neat embellishment. He used a 1/2" circle punch on one of the specially sized designs from his Lost & Found Paper Stack:


He applied Glossy Accents to the base of a Type Charm:


Then he adhered the punched circle piece and added an epoxy sticker (which comes with the Type Charms) over the top:


He attached it to a Hinge Clip with one of his Jump Rings, along with a Locket Key. Half a wing from the Adornment Charms here (did you know you can cut metal with the Tim Holtz scissors?), a Game Spinner attached to a couple of Sprocket Gears with a Mini Fastener there...and, ta da, this cool tag was done:


I'm headed back to the MoA tomorrow for another class, more make & takes, and a crop night. I will post more about that afterward. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog Candy Congrats

Here are your random numbers:

13

Timestamp: 2010-09-14 15:38:13 UTC

* * *

Congratulations to Noelle, whose name was chosen randomly. Noelle, please email me with your address so I can send out your prize.

Thanks to everyone who participated! There are 44 cards in that section, in case you were curious. Edna R. had the closest guess...I'll send you a little goodie too, Edna, if you contact me with your addy this week.

Elaine had asked about where I got the storage cabinets. They're from the Cameron collection at Pottery Barn Kids and even though they were quite spendy, I absolutely love them. (Of course, it turned out that I decided to invest in them after I'd stopped working part time at Williams-Sonoma, when I could have gotten a substantial discount. Doh!)

It seems like we're always looking for better ways to organize our stuff. If you have any tips or even photos of your crafting area that you'd like to share, we'd love to see them! Add your comments here or feel free to post photos on our new Facebook page.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bits & Pieces

Did you have a good holiday weekend? I know we're already a couple days past that, but I wanted to let you know what I've been up to. Unfortunately, it hasn't involved much stamping...but it has been filled with lots of Inky stuff!

On Saturday, I followed up on a few helpful tips from Jan and created a Facebook page:


Jan made the Facebook page for Art Gone Wild and thought we might want to have one, too. I appreciated her suggestion and hope you might like to visit us there...and perhaps "like us" if you wish!

By the way, Michelle is hosting a card challenge (with a cool prize pack!) on the AGW page. You can still participate until this Friday at midnight, so please hop over there and join the fun.

My other task on Saturday was to send out the September e-newsletter:


We've just started a NEW feature, called the Project of the Month, especially for e-newsletter subscribers. Each newsletter will contain a link to a PDF document so you can print out a full-color instruction sheet to recreate the Project of the Month.

Our inaugural project was this sweet little Millie Mousie candy matchbook, which has designed by Beverly Gerard:


(If you're not yet signed up to receive our e-newsletter, please register via the box in the right column of this page. Collect each month's project sheet and print 'em out to make your own Inky idea book!)

On Sunday, Steve and I ran some errands, but then on Monday I decided to celebrate Labor Day by doing a little laboring that was way overdue: I cleaned my office/studio. I wish I'd taken "before" photos so you can see how truly scary things were.

Oh, wait...did I really say that? Well, it turns out that I'd done this very thing several weeks ago (back when I'd first intended to clean up). I can't believe I'm actually posting these photos in public, but at least you can laugh at my messiness and hopefully feel a bit superior knowing that your space isn't nearly as bad!

Here's what my desk looked like then:


And this is how it appears now:


To my right, this was the chaotic table:


And how it turned out after tons of straightening:


(Hmm, the sad thing is that I'm not sure you can see much difference. I mean, it's not like the dramatic final reveals on Trading Spaces or anything. But, believe me, it really is a whole lot better in person. Maybe it would help if I added a table skirt. Does anyone know a good seamstress who will work for stamps? LOL!)

To my left, the wall unit didn't change much on the outside (except that now waist-high shelf has been cleaned off):


But I actually sorted inside the drawers, cabinets, and baskets. All the Inky sample cards we keep on file are now neatly organized by theme:


It's a thing of beauty, I tell ya!

Speaking of cards, how about if we have a guessing game with a BLOG CANDY drawing? Okay, here goes...there is a "Turtles & Frogs" divider tab in the basket. Leave a note in the comments section of this post telling me how many cards you think are in that section.

I'll take entries until Monday at midnight Central time. The winner for a "surprise" turtle clear set will be randomly chosen on Tuesday, and I'll post the results here.

One final note: I'm heading for Cleveland tomorrow morning and will be driving with the rest of the gang to the show in Westminster, MD. If you're planning to attend this convention, please stop by my demo table and mention the secret phrase "Daisy Kit" so you can receive this goodie just for visiting.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Clear Stamp Creation

When Sue D. contacted me to claim her blog candy prize, I asked if she might consider sharing a project made with her new 10973SC BBQ Time Clear Set. To give her more versatility, I also included 10967MC Recipe Clear Set in her package. Wow, was I excited when I got this email from her a couple of days ago:

"I received both stamp sets and have attached a pic of the card I made with them. I used all the little stamps to make the background on top and I used the recipe card line stamps to make the plaid on the bottom. I wanted to include the grill so I used shrink plastic to make a charm. This is my first time using Inky clear stamps--I've always used the rubber wood mounts. I hope you like the card. I think I will try to make a recipe album with our favorite grilling recipes next."

And here was the photo she'd sent:


I thought the way she made the plaid background was really clever. Since she'd mentioned it was her first time using our clear stamps, I asked what she thought of them. Here was her reply:

"I will always prefer rubber stamps but clear stamps are very versatile. I like that I could put all the little stamps on one block to make my own background stamp. I could have made curved lines with the recipe card lines if I wanted to and of course less space for storage over wood mounted stamps is a definite advantage. I was pleased with the quality of your clear stamps. Cheaper ones don't always take dye ink very well--they bead up so I end up using chalk inks but I had no trouble using dye inks with these stamps."

Thanks for your kind comments, Sue, and most of all for sharing your card with us!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

State Fair Time

It's that time of year again...Minnesota State Fair time, that is. Steve and I took off work yesterday to attend:


We began with a nutritious, fruit-filled breakfast:


All right, maybe it wasn't that nutritious. But our chocolate-marshmallow sandwich did have bananas in it. Afterward, it was all downhill as we got sucked into a deep-fried food black hole:


This included a cinnamon and sugar dusted elephant ear, which was delicious:


We were feeling adventurous, so we had another type of ear...pig's ear fries, that is:


Unfortunately, we didn't care for 'em. They were like smoked rubber bands. Okay, I have to admit I've never actually had a smoked rubber band. But I can imagine they'd taste about the same.

We had regular fries, too:


Just a "modest" 32 oz. size, though. We weren't up for a 64 oz. barrel, which looks like it could feed a small army.

Our foray into Deep Fry Land not only included plain fried foods, but also fried foods on a stick:


We passed on the hotdish on a stick but had to have the ubiquitous corn dog. I think there are a gazillion pronto pup stands at the fair.

Who couldn't resist something you can watch being cooked in a huge vat of oil right before your very eyes? You can almost feel your arteries starting to harden:


Once it emerged, that dog was ours, baby:


Next, we got a deep-fried spiral cut potato on a stick (which apparently made the kid behind Steve envious...or perhaps awestruck):


And we had to try the deep-fried hamburger, which weighed about three pounds due to all the grease. Yep, the bun is hidden somewhere inside there:


Just like last year, this is how we were feeling after all those snacks:


Kidding. Unlike the cute piglets, we were no longer interested in eating.

Even though it's mainly about the food with me, you can also see animals at the fair. Averill, for example, is the highest scored cow:


Cows mean milk and butter, so we checked out the butter sculptures. They were actually working on one when we visited:


Don't forget about the chickens! When I think of a chicken, this is what I picture:


But did you know they wear all different kinds of outfits? Some are fluffy:


And some are downright pretty:


Others are fluffy and pretty, with a bit of goofy thrown in:


I liked this one the very best, however, and apparently the judges agreed:


You can ride things at the fair:


And you can buy things at the fair. Someone must have had a good time emptying the bottles to make these unusual night lights:


Need a marionette? You can find them here:


Along with a host of kitchen and other household gadgets:


My favorite vegetable peeler guy was in his usual spot:


He comes every year, which is one of the things I love about the fair. Something old, something new...and always lots of fun!