Thursday, March 29, 2018

Studio 5: Easter Paper Tussie Mussies

*Craft with me LIVE on Facebook - Sat, Mar 31 at 9:30am.
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I love a good Easter basket, filled to the brim with candy & chocolate... but there really is too much of a good thing!

These Easter Mussie Tussies are the perfect solution!  A special handmade gift pretty enough to keep out all spring with just enough room for just enough chocolate.

Have you watched the TV show "Victoria" yet?  Oh, the dresses are delicious!  You can certainly see the influence she had on these little bouquets of flowers that women would hold to ward off offending scents (baths were infrequent!).  Victoria was so fond of these bouquets, she would wrap them in embellished metal and paper cones and penned the name Tussie Mussie.

Queen Victoria was so influential she had a whole era named after her!  Tussie Mussies became vogue and were soon a popular gift for Easter, May Day, Mother's Day and more.  

Tussie Mussies were also called 'talking bouquets' because suitors would slip secret messages into these gifts.  

Kate Middleton chose a white Tussie Mussie for her bridal bouquet, choosing symbolic flowers like Lily of the Valley which meant trustworthy and Hyacinth which meant constancy in love.  How cool is that? 

How does all that translate to 2018?  How about a perfectly sweet paper cone beautifully embellished for Easter (or any other holiday) lightly filled with flowers, gifts and treats.

So let's start crafting!  
You can purchase paper mache cones from any craft store and cover that OR just create a cone with paper.

The paper mache cones will be strong, so if you need something more permanent or want to fill it with heavier items, you should use the cones.

Otherwise, grab some of that cute 12 x 12 inch scrapbook paper I know you have! 

I spent an inordinate amount of time creating a template for a cone on Photoshop, but realized there had to be a better way...and there is!  I call it the One-fold & roll technique!  It works so well and is so simple!  Click on the pictorial to enlarge!

If you're using thinner scrapbook paper, just fold and roll, but if you're using heavier weight paper, you'll want to cut on the fold, otherwise it'll be too bulky.

My goodness, just SO fun to make a dozen of these!

If you make a 12" cone with thin paper make one from thicker plain cardstock first and then cover it with the patterned thin paper so it's strong enough.

Scroll down to see some of my larger samples.  Planning on giving the biggest ones to my Grand daughters.  They're too young to consume mass quantities of sweets, so these will be perfect.  Can't wait to see my youngest with it, as it's almost as big as her (she's a wee thing at 2 years old!).

The 12" ones will be perfect as gifts for my daughters!

One last note...besides lace, ribbon, silk flowers etc... a last perfect touch would be a nod to the Victorian era with some stunning vintage tags.

And I have the perfect place to find some...for free (personal use only).  The Graphics Fairy!  

Enjoy and Happy Easter!

P.S.
Getting requests about info on the crepe paper I used.  I purchased Lia Griffeth Heavy Floristic Crepe paper on Amazon.  It was a Christmas set and it's now sold out.

However, here's a link to her shop and oh my, the colors are gorge!  I will need to add to my collection!

Keep in mind I used HEAVY floristic crepe paper.  She also sells regular and extra fine.



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Q's Creative Cards: CATS & DOGS Cards

You don't have to have pets to appreciate how cute cats & dogs are!  I have to admit, I'm a bit obsessed with cat videos myself! :)

I had so much fun creating these sweet cards; putting a cat in a box (which they love) and hanging a dog from a window (my grand daughter was playing with this card the other day and realized the tail wagged...that made her smile!).

This kit includes 5 cards (inside & out), pre-cut and ready to assemble with a step-by-step slideshow.  Also included are the printables and svg cut files. 

Kits are ready to ship and classes in Utah begin April 4 thru April 13 (see schedule below).  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.

Cats & Dogs Cards


Class Schedule

Wed., April 4th             West Valley Hires Big H               6 - 8 pm
Thurs., April 5th           American Fork Senior Center       6 - 8 pm
Mon., April 9th             Sandy Hobby Lobby                    2 - 4 pm
Tues., 
April 10th           South Jordan Hobby Lobby          5:30 - 7:30 pm
Wed., 
April 11th           South Jordan Hobby Lobby          10am - noon
Friday, 
April 13th         Layton Hobby Lobby                    10am - noon
Friday, 
April 13th         Layton Hobby Lobby                    2 - 4pm
Friday, 
April 13th         Layton Hobby Lobby                    5:30 - 7:30 pm

What you'll need: 


Adhesives:  

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

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

Liquid Glue

Tools & Supplies:

Scissors & 
Paper Piercer 
Ball tools & Foam mat
Fine Tip Black Marker

Large lid or small container to place small items from kit

Distress ink: Frayed Burlap, Black Soot & Stamping sponge.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

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







































































Thursday, March 1, 2018

Studio 5: Pretty Paper Clovers


*  Studio 5 video will be posted here on Saturday morning.

**Craft with me LIVE on Facebook, Saturday morning (March 3rd, 9am).  We'll make these clovers together!

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One of the things I learned about Americans after moving to the US 26 years ago is they LOVE to celebrate!  I have to say, I've embraced this wonderful quality, and even though St. Patrick's Day is a "B" holiday, it's still a fun day/week to play!

How irresistible are clovers?  If you look closely each leaf is in the shape of a heart, so pull out your heart punches, green paper and glue gun and in short work, you'll bedeck  your home in the prettiest leaves on the planet.

Once you get how to make one clover, they will turn into a field of clovers!  Make a simple pin (so you don't get pinched!), place a few in a vase or create a whole bouquet!

Add a few large clovers to a wreath or embellish an Irish Blessing.

Change the angle of the hearts when you hot glue to wire depending on what you're making.  If it's a pin it'll need to be flat, in a bouquet, adhere at a 90 degree angle, a little more or little less.

Scroll down for my tutorial and other projects.
Download my Printable sheet here!

Enjoy














































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.




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