Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Q's Creative Cards: LOVE & HAPPINEST Cards

One of my favorite colors is Spring Green; that early leaf Green that makes everything seem so fresh and new.

For this kit, I've combined Spring Green with a color we so rarely see in the papercrafting world; Purple!  I had no idea how many people love this color... it was fun to see the 'Purple' reaction in our last class.

There are six cards in this kit, including one legal-sized Bunny card with so many fun details!  We'll be celebrating Spring, Easter, Birthdays, Wedding (or Wedding shower) and/or Graduation as well as a sympathy/encouragement card.  So many unique details; Vintage Graphic 45 prints, metal charms, glassine flowers, layered clovers and Spring moss.  All these pieces bring your cards to life!  *All kits include ready-to-assemble kits, instructional slideshow, printables and svg cut files.


Kits will ship Feb. 28 and classes in Utah begin March 1st thru March 7th.  If you're attending a class and want to pick the kit up there, use the drop-down menu to choose the pick-up price.


Love & Happinest Cards
 
OR buy both
Love & Happinest Kit  PLUS  Garden Party Kit for $60 and get FREE shipping!


Class Schedule

Thurs., March 1st          American Fork Senior Center      6 - 8 pm
Friday, March 2nd         Layton Hobby Lobby                  10am - noon
Friday, 
March 2nd         Layton Hobby Lobby                  2 - 4pm
Friday, 
March 2nd         Layton Hobby Lobby                  5:30 - 7:30 pm
Mon., 
March 5th           Sandy Hobby Lobby                   2 - 4 pm
Tues., 
March 6th          South Jordan Hobby Lobby         5:30 - 7:30 pm
Wed., 
March 7th          South Jordan Hobby Lobby         10am - noon
Wed., March 7th          West Valley Hires Big H               6 - 8 pm


What you'll need: 


Adhesives:  

Roller-type adhesive for putting cards together.  
Regular Foam squares

THIN foam squares & 1/2" foam roll 
Mini, Micro glue dots & 3/8" glue dots

Liquid Glue

Tools & Supplies:

Scissors & 
Paper Piercer 
1/16" (micro) & 1/8" hole punch
6" ruler
Ball tools & Foam mat

Large lid or small container to place small items from kit

Distress ink: Frayed Burlap & Stamping sponge.
Ranger Stickles (Glitter Glue) Lavender.


If you have any questions, please let me know.

...and I would love if you posted these pictures to Pinterest! 

































































Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Studio 5: Japanese Curry Comfort food



The first place our friend, Jordan, took us to eat in Kyoto, was a Japanese Curry House.  He doesn't know this (but he does now), but I was disappointed.  Curry?  In Japan?  And a franchise no less!  I was SO looking forward to all the Japanese food I love; Okonomiyaki, Yakitori, Sushi, Ramen, Shabu Shabu etc...  WHY were we here?

Of course, I humbly followed him in, because well, he had lived in Japan, had studied all things Japanese, was about to marry a Japanese girl, so clearly he knew something I didn't about Japanese food.  Duh.

You could customize whichever curry you choose (I picked Mushroom/chicken) from heat levels 1 through 10.  I asked Jordan which number it started to get hot.  He said three.  So I ordered three.  It was SO HOT, I could barely eat it, but I did, every last bite.  It was simply so delicious, I walked through the valley of lip death and enjoyed every minute!

What a food revelation!  Of course, I immediately started searching recipes and history on this curious Japanese dish with plans to eat more curry while on my trip and to make it once I was home.

Curry was most likely introduced to Japan via the Anglo-Indian officers of the British Royal Navy in the 1850's, started being served in restaurants a few decades later and then, instant curry blocks were developed in the 1950s. It is so popular in Japan that is regarded, along with Ramen, as one of the top two national dishes, ahead of sushi and miso soup!  I read that Japanese on average eat curry once a week!

So, what's the difference between Japanese curry and Indian or Thai curry?  Sweeter, thicker and normally less spicy, although obviously some Japanese like it hot!

It's typically served with sushi rice (but any rice with do) and a side of Fukujinzuke, which are Japanese pickles.  This adds a sour and crunchy aspect to the curry, but isn't necessary to enjoy Japanese curry.  Another popular restaurant version is to add a breaded, sliced pork cutlet to the dish; this is called Katsu curry.

The best part of making this dish is just how simple it is.   You can make it on your stove top or in an Instapot.  If you are using stewing beef on the stove top, you'll need a few hours to soften the meat, but if you use chicken thighs (my favorite), it can be done in a little over 30 minutes.  You could even just make your favorite stew and then add the curry blocks to keep it really simple. 

The mixture of spices is what makes this dish unique.  You can make this part from scratch, however most Japanese use the pre-made curry blocks (which include spices and roux), which are simply added to the dish once it's together.  Let it melt and combine and you'll have a silky smooth gravy with tender chunks of meat, potatoes and vegetables or whatever else you want to add.  
So, there you go, simple.  But wait...there's more, of course there is more! 
  
IF you want to dig a little deeper into this dish, you'll do as most Japanese and make it your unique version by adding a fascinating collection of ingredients.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that...can make a huge difference.  Here's a list of what some might add to the dish.  DO NOT add all of them (yikes!), but you may want to try a few of these to add more complex flavors to your curry.  I would personally recommend the grated apple (add at the beginning so it pretty much disappears), a Tbsp of Tomato paste, Cocoa powder (just a tsp), soy sauce and Togarashi to spice things up a bit (go easy, this is spicy!).

Grated apples or other fruit (Banana, mango, etc...)
Jam
Honey or sugar
Soy Sauce
Worchestershire sauce
Ketchup
Tomato Paste
Chocolate
Cocoa Powder
Cheese
Coconut milk
Milk or cream
Yogurt
Coffee
Garlic
Wine
Tonkatsu sauce (amazon or Asian store)
Chunou sauce (fruit sauce/ amazon or Asian store)
Togarashi is a pepper spice mix (amazon or Asian store)

Basic Japanese Curry with beef


1 lb stewing beef
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 honey crisp apple, grated
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks. (see Rangiri note below)
1 large yellow potato, peeled and cut into similar size chunks as beef.
1 tsp unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
4 cups water or 1 Quart Chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 box of Japanese Curry Roux (med. hot)
*Togarashi to taste (start with just a tsp, let it cook for a few minutes and taste.  It will get hotter that longer it sits, so beware!  See below for Togarashi substitute.

Directions:  Heat oil in heavy bottomed large pot.  If beef is moist, pat with paper towels before adding to pot.  Cook beef until browned.  Remove beef and add onion to pot and cook for 10  minutes on med heat until onions are caramelized.  Add garlic, stir in and cook for 1 minute.  Add rest of ingredients except water, peas and curry roux blocks. 
Add 4 cups water, but depending on the size of your vegetables, you may need to add more.  Make sure everything in the pot is covered with water.  Bring to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Add curry blocks to pot,  gently stir them in.  Let them heat up and melt into the broth.  Gently stir to combine and bring temperature up to thicken curry.

Add frozen peas last so they are bright green.
My one issue with Japanese curry is that it isn't very pleasing to the eye.  So despite not being traditional, I top my curry with sliced green onions or chives.  Japanese Pickles (Fukujinzuke) can be bright colored and add a nice sour crunch to this dish, especially if it's spicy.

Serve with a sticky rice.  Any rice will work, but I like how Sushi rice sticks to my curry.
Japanese curry is traditionally eaten with a spoon.

If curry thickens before eating, or after being in the fridge, add a little water to loosen curry.


Japanese Curry with chicken, mushrooms & sweet potato

I adore mushrooms, but Japanese mushroom are the best!  Maitake (or Hens of the woods) have a delicate and feathery texture.  Bunashimeji are just adorable!  Perfect little mushrooms that have a nutty, buttery flavor and a firm, but tender cap.  Both mushrooms hold up well in stewed curry.  You can purchase these at an Asian store.


1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced or chopped
Pack of Japanese Mushrooms* (Maitake Mushrooms & Bunashimeji) or any mushroom
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 honey crisp apple, grated
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 3/4" pieces
4 cups water or 1 Quart Chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 box of Japanese Curry Roux (med. hot)
1/4 cup milk or cream

I created this to be a mellow curry and not spicy at all, but it is flavorful.  You can easily add Togarashi to spice it up. 

Directions:  Heat oil in heavy bottomed large pot.  If chicken is moist, pat with paper towels before adding to pot.  Cook chicken until browned.  Remove chicken and add onion to pot and cook for 10  minutes on med heat until onions are caramelized.  Add garlic, stir in and cook for 1 minute.  Add rest of ingredients except water, curry roux blocks and milk/cream.

Add 4 cups water, but depending on the size of your vegetables, you may need to add more.  Make sure everything in the pot is covered with water.  Bring to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Add curry blocks to pot,  gently stir them in.  Let them heat up and melt into the broth.  Gently stir to combine and bring temperature up to thicken curry.

Finish with a splash of milk or cream.  This is a common add-in in Japan (as is cheese!) and will mellow and round out the flavors.

My one issue with Japanese curry is that it isn't very pleasing to the eye.  So despite not being traditional, I top my curry with sliced green onions or chives.  Japanese Pickles (Fukujinzuke) can be bright colored and add a nice sour crunch to this dish, especially if it's spicy.

Serve with a sticky rice.  Any rice will work, but I like how Sushi rice sticks to my curry.
Japanese curry is traditionally eaten with a spoon.

If curry thickens before eating, or after being in the fridge, add a little water to loosen curry.



Togarashi (or Japanese seven spice) is quite unique and difficult to fully substitute, but in a pinch, Chili pepper, Cayenne and/or red pepper flakes will work.

Typically this blend includes ingredients like tangerine peel and dried nori (seaweed), sesame seed, poppy seeds, ginger, garlic and  szechuan peppercorns.

Half of our family loves the HOT stuff, so I usually make a batch with a good amount of Togarashi in it.




Monday, January 29, 2018

Q's Creative Cards: LOVELY ladies Cards & More

One of my favorite childhood memories was when my Father would send roses to my Mother.  I can still remember the doorbell ringing, the delivery man holding this huge long white box and my Mom opening it to reveal 12 perfectly formed, long stemmed, deep red roses.

I still love roses, but prefer them in a garden (where they last longer) or on a card.  This lovely collection of paper projects has paper roses, printed roses and resin roses, combined with beautiful Graphic 45 vintage ladies.

I'm fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most incredible, kind, gifted, patient, beautiful ladies in the world!  My Mother, Mother-in-law, sisters, daughters and friends.  I'm especially grateful for the lovely ladies I've met while teaching my classes.  I count them all as friends and hope they feel the same way about me.

So, here's your opportunity to share your appreciation with the ladies in your life, with 4 cards (my first waterfall card...I made it SO easy!), a cute matchbook with Ghiradelli chocolate pocket, a gift bag and gift box, all with tags. 7 projects in all!

Always excited to share cut files that make duplicating these projects quick & easy!  Plus a slideshow to help you put these projects together & printables to print more when you need the perfect sentiment.

Classes start this Friday (Feb. 2nd) and kits will be shipping Feb. 3rd.  If you're attending a class and want to pick the kit up there, use the drop down box to choose the pick-up price.



Lovely Ladies Cards & More


You can add SAVE the DATE celebration cards 
with no additional shipping.














Class Schedule

Friday, 
Feb. 2nd         Layton Hobby Lobby                  10am - noon

Friday, Feb. 2nd         Layton Hobby Lobby                  2 - 4pm
Friday, Feb. 2nd         Layton Hobby Lobby                  5:30 - 7:30 pm
Mon., 
Feb. 5th           Sandy Hobby Lobby                   2 - 4 pm
Tues., 
Feb. 6th          South Jordan Hobby Lobby         5:30 - 7:30 pm
Wed., 
Feb. 7th          South Jordan Hobby Lobby         10am - noon
Thurs., Feb. 8th        American Fork Senior Center       6 - 8 pm
Tues., Feb. 13th        West Valley Hires Big H               6 - 8 pm


What you'll need: 


Adhesives:  

Roller-type adhesive for putting cards together.  
Regular Foam squares

THIN foam squares
1/2" foam roll 
Mini, Micro glue dots & 3/8" glue dots

1/8" tacky tape (or something similar)

Tools & Supplies:

Trimmer with Bone folder to score
Scissors

Paper Piercer 
Corner Rounder

5/8" circle punch (1/2" will do)
1/16" (micro) hole punch

Large lid or small container to place small items from kit

Distress ink: Hickory Smoke & Stamping sponge.
Ranger Stickles (Glitter Glue) Diamond, Orange Slice & Copper.


If you have any questions, please let me know.

...and would love if you posted these pictures to Pinterest! 














Thursday, January 18, 2018

Q's Creative Cards: SWEET EVERYTHINGS Card Kit

I'm excited to release another card kit from our last cruise!

There's nothing sweeter than babies & weddings and I get a lot of requests for these cards!  Three of each in this kit with SO many exclusive cut files and printables so you can duplicate to your heart's content!

Of course, this kit also comes with a step-by-step slideshow to makes creating these cards super easy!

I have a limited supply of this kit, so order yours now!

Sweet Everythings Card Kit


*There is no in-person class.  

What you'll need: 

Adhesives:  

Roller-type adhesive for putting cards together.  
Regular Foam squares

THIN foam squares
1/2" foam roll 
Mini & Micro Glue dots 


Tools & Supplies:
Scissors

Paper Piercer 
Corner Rounder
Distress ink: Pumice Stone & Stamping Sponge

If you have any questions, please let me know.
...and would love if you posted these pictures to Pinterest! 













Monday, January 1, 2018

Studio 5: Christmas to WINTER Decor transition


Happy New Year friends!  

Have you taken your Christmas decor down yet?   I'm only partially there, in large part because I've been out of town over the weekend.

I love that fresh start to the new year, but I MISS all the WARMTH my holiday decor adds to my home, so I've come up with ways to easily transition from Christmas decor to Winter (which will last even longer than the Christmas season).

My biggest strategy is to incorporate Winter White elements in my Christmas decor, then switch out anything that looks Christmasy (red, green, poinsettias, Santas, etc...) and replace with more Winter Whites, metallics and naturals. 

I picked up this lighted wooden village at Sams club this year and created a little Christmas scene on an end table.  After removing the red & green, I wrapped each home with some plush swiss dot white material and my 3-D snowflakes & Winter trees.  See tutorial for them below.


The inspiration for these 3D sparkle snowflakes came from something similar I had purchased at a boutique years ago.  I've always used them in my downstairs family room (my winter white, Metallic with pops of red room).  

I actually like these better, and they are very easy and inexpensive to make!

You'll need
  • 1" foam ball
  • 7 white pipe cleaners
  • 5 fancy white pipe cleaners
  • Spray adhesive
  • White glitter (chunky & fine)

There are several different kinds of balls in craft stores.  I went for the more condensed foam) because it held the pipe cleaners better.  Some, however, were so hard that I had to puncture a hole first.  My favorite was one that I could puncture just with the end of the pipe cleaner, without making a hole.

Cut your fancy pipe cleaners (look at picture of supplies to see what I mean by 'fancy'.  I bought them at Hobby Lobby but it didn't indicate on the package anything different, it just said pipe cleaners.  Cut these in fourths, between each puffy part.  You'll end up with 20 fluffy sections that taper off at each end.

Cut your regular pipe cleaners in half so you'll have 14 of these.  bend each one in half, then twist the top folded part a few times to create a little loop.  Use your fingers to create a slight bend on the bottom ends of these pieces.

Start by inserting the looped pieces around the Styrofoam ball in each corner and then again on each end.  Add 4 more looped pieces on one side, in between the one's you've already placed and repeat on the other side.

Now add the fancy pieces in between the looped pieces until you have a full 3-D snowflake.

To add the sparkle, place snowflake into a box and spray with adhesive and sprinkle with glitter.  Repeat until covered.  If it feels tacky, you'll want to continue sprinkling over those parts and pressing in with your fingers until it's covered.  After it's dried, shake in box to remove excess glitter. 

You can hang these snowflakes with fishing line from windows, doorways or under lights, or add to decor for added winter sparkle.

Another one of my Winter White items was some simple shaped white trees.  Replicating these was even easier!

Purchase foam tree shapes, spray with adhesive and cover in glitter.  Let dry.

Spray more on top and mound & cover with small snowflake rounds (all purchased at Hobby Lobby).  To finish off, I had some white snowflakes I sandwiched between a stick pin and inserted into the top of each tree.

As a side note, our grown up family had so much fun this Christmas, we really didn't want it to end.  We decided to carry some of that fun family time into January with a mid month PJ & Game all day party!  Can't wait!

Here's hoping your home continues to sparkle this winter season and is filled with warmth, love & joy!  ~ Sue



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Favorite Quote

"The art of being
HAPPY lies in the
POWER of extracting
happiness from
COMMON things."
~Henry Ward Beecher

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